Monday, July 16, 2012

The Great Liberation (Tibetan Book of the Dead)

Wisdom Quarterly;
A presentation of NHK Japan, Mistral Films of France, and the National Film Board of Canada
This is a companion piece to The Tibetan Book of the Dead, a Way of Life. It is a short film that centers around the premature death of a 42-year-old man in the Himalayas. He has returned to his family from a long journey and is suddenly stricken with an unknown illness. The film serves as a practical introduction to the Tibetan Book of the Dead with stunning visuals from Buddhist India high in the Himalayan province of Ladakh. The area, near the Tibetan border, is home to a unique form of Buddhism known variously as Vajrayana, Tantrayana, and Lamaism. It is mixed with an indigenous pre-Buddhist shamanistic tradition known as Bon. It survives in spite of Chinese desecration of Tibet because it was once spread throughout various Himalayan Buddhist kingdoms such as Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal, Mustang, Ladakh, and Shangri-la.  
World Buddhist Forum (
(, 4th of 5 parts) In recent years, China's communist government has taken a new, proactive approach to religion. In particular, it has bolstered support for Buddhism, which provides needed charity work and financial aid -- and also serves as a counterweight to the explosion of Christianity in China.... This was the first World Buddhist Forum, attended by more than 1,000 monks, and held in China. Never before had the officially atheist country sponsored such a large religious conference. Tensions still remain in Beijing's relationship to Tibetan Buddhism, particularly given believers' loyalty to their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

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