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A History of the Tibetan Empire

A talk by H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche

Saturday, August 28, 2010
1:00 PM–2:30 PM

A History of the Tibetan Empire
according to the Dunhuang manuscripts (prehistory to 9th Century).
A talk by H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche
Continuing in a tradition of formidable Tibetan polymaths, Drikung Kyabgon Rinpoche, head of the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddism, presents a survey of the Tibetan empire’s Pugyal dynasty. Starting with an examination of its prehistoric origins and the founding emperor Nyatri Tsenpo before the common era, Rinpoche traces the line of Pugyal tsenpo, or emperors, as their domain grows from a handful of assembled kingdoms into a powerful Central Asian empire, until its collapse in the 9th century following the assassination of the last emperor Uidumten (Lang Darma).
Rinpoche’s work is structured around the Old Tibetan Chronicle, the Old Tibetan Annals, and others of the thousands of Tibetan manuscripts discovered in Dunhuang at the turn of the last century, the bulk of which are now preserved in the national libraries of England and France. Buried under the sands of a forgotten Silk Road oasis for a thousand years, these documents comprise the earliest and most reliable sources on the Tibetan dynasty. Rinpoche’s study is likely the most comprehensive survey of the Tibetan empire, and specifically of its Dunhuang sources, available in any language today.
This talk will be given in Tibetan with translation into English.
His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang

His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, the 37th throne holder of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage and the 7th Chetsang Rinpoche, is a manifestation of Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara). Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, Konchog Tenzin Kunsang Thrinle Lhundrup, was born in 1946 into the aristocratic Tsarong family, in Lhasa. Since 1987, Chetsang Rinpoche began to give teachings around the world. In Dehra Dun, India, he established the Drikung Kagyu Institute, a monastery (Jangchubling), and the Samtenling nunnery. In 2003, Chetsang Rinpoche established the Songtsen Library near his monastery. It is a center for Tibetan and Himalayan studies. With the work of the library, Rinpoche pursues his vision for the comprehensive preservation of Tibetan culture and religion. Next to the library, Drikung Kyabgon built a large college for higher Buddhist studies (Shedra), the Kagyu College, in 2005.