A fascinating presentation of the cultural history of Tibet, based on a lecture given by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu in 1975 to the annual meeting of young Tibetans in Switzerland.
author: Chögyal Namkhai Norbu
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Availability date: 10/15/2019
Translated from Tibetan by Adriano Clemente
The Necklace of Zi (gzi yi phreng ba) is a fascinating anthropological survey of ancient Tibet, based on a lecture given by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu in 1975 to the annual meeting of young Tibetans in Switzerland. Some years later, The Necklace of Zi was published in Dharamsala in both Tibetan and English, immediately generating great interest for a completely new approach to the history and culture of Tibet.
With remarkable authority, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu emphasizes the originality and specificity of his people's culture. Citing ancient texts but also using illuminating examples from his education in Tibet, he refutes the almost universally accepted theory that reduced Tibetan civilization to a Himalayan appendage of Indian culture without even a form of writing of its own.
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu traces back the emergence of his country's culture nearly 4,000 years and identifies the original Tibetan system of writing in the ancient Mar (smar) alphabet, from which the present cursive characters (dbu med) evolved. Besides the analysis of Tibetan history and language, together with a short chronicle of pre-Buddhist Bön, this text addresses in a simple but very meaningful way the crucial topic of the harmonious union of Dharma and politics.
FOREWORD 7 PREFACE 9 THE NECKLACE OF ZI 13 AUTHOR’S FOREWORD 15 1. THE TIBETAN PEOPLE 17 2. THE TIBETAN LANGUAGE 21 3. BÖN AND BÖNPOS 27 4. SHANG SHUNG AND TIBET 35 5. DHARMA AND POLITICS 41 NOTES 45 APPENDIX 61 The Thirty Letters of the Tibetan Alphabet A BRIEF PRESENTATION OF THE LIFE-STORY OF THE AUTHOR 63 TIBETAN TEXT 67 BIBLIOGRAPHY OF TIBETAN SOURCES 123 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE AUTHOR 125 INDEX OF TIBETAN AND SANSKRIT NAMES AND TERMS 127
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