History of Tibet

Brief summary history of Tibet

A glimpse of the summarized history of Tibet, a historical region of Asia, in a brief and entertaining way.

Tibet in ancient times

The first inhabitants of Tibet were a herding people. They were dedicated to grazing goats, cows and sheep. Around 100 BC, the people of Tibet learned to irrigate the land and cultivate rice and barley, as well as herd cattle. In the 6th century AD, Tibet was divided into different kingdoms, but in the early 7th century AD, Tibet became a single, unified state.

Also at the beginning of the 7th century, a form of writing based on the Indian script was created in Tibet. Tibet became a highly civilized nation between India and China. He was also powerful. In AD 763, the Tibetans captured the Chinese capital, Changan.

The oldest religion in Tibet was called Bon. It was a shamanic religion. His followers believed that there were good and bad spirits everywhere in nature. Shamans could communicate with spirits and act as intermediaries.

However, in the 8th century Buddhism was introduced to Tibet from India. The first Buddhist monastery was built at Samye in AD 779. Bon did not die, but he adopted many Buddhist teachings. Tibetan Buddhism also adopted Bon beliefs.

However, a ruler named Lang Darma 838-842, persecuted the Buddhists and after his death Buddhism declined. Also, in the 9th century, Tibet was divided into warring states.

Buddhism was revived in Tibet in the late 10th century. Men like Rinchen Zangpo 958-1055, who founded monasteries and temples, and the Indian teacher Atisha 982-1055 led the revival. Also, in 1073 the great Sakya monastery was founded.

At the beginning of the 13th century, the Mongols conquered a vast empire throughout Asia. In 1207, Tibet submitted to the Mongols. As a result, although Tibet became a vassal state, it was never fully absorbed into the Mongol Empire.

Then in 1247 Goden Khan, the Mongol leader, made the Sakya Lama temporary ruler of Tibet. He became the first priest-ruler of Tibet.

Kublai Khan, the Mongol Emperor of China, later made the Sakya lama his spiritual adviser. It was a symbiotic relationship. The lama advised the emperor and in turn received his patronage and protection.

However, in 1350 the Tibetans rebelled against the Sakya lama and overthrew him. Tibet then became a secular state.

In the fifteenth century several new monasteries were founded in Tibet. In 1409 in Gandan. In 1416 at Drepung, at Sera in 1419 and at Trashilingpo in 1447.

In Tibet, the Buddhists were divided into various sects. One of them was called Gelug pa or yellow sect. In 1578 the leader of the sect, Sonan Gyats, met the head of a Mongol tribe called Tumet. The Mongols converted to Buddhism and the two men formed an alliance. Sonan Gyats was given the title of Dalai Lama. However, he was called the third Dalai Lama. The two previous leaders of the sect were posthumously appointed as the first and second Dalai Lamas. Sonan Gyats, the third Dalai lama, became the Mongols ‘ spiritual adviser, while the Mongol chieftains became his patrons and protectors.

The early 17th century was a period of civil war in Tibet. Then in 1640 the Mongols entered Tibet to support the Fifth Dalai Lama. In 1642 he was made temporary ruler as the spiritual leader of Tibet. From then on, the Dalai Lama was a priest-king.

When the Dalai Lama dies, it is believed that he is reincarnated as a child. When the boy is discovered he becomes the new Dalai Lama.

Under the Fifth Dalai Lama Tibet was prosperous and powerful. However, when the Dalai Lamas died, his second in command, the Desi, kept the death secret. The Desi ruled on behalf of the Fifth Dalai Lama. He also concealed the discovery of a boy believed to be the sixth Dalai Lama. The 6th Dalai Lama was finally installed in 1697.

However, his less than pious ways infuriated the leader of the Tumet Mongols. In 1705 the Mongols attacked Tibet and killed the Desi. They also deposed the sixth Dalai Lama, who they claimed was an impostor. The leader of the Tumet, Lhasang Khan, installed a man of his choice as the Dalai Lama. However, the Tibetan people refused to accept it.

Tibet in modern times

In 1707 another Mongol people, the Dzungars, invaded Tibet and killed Lhasang Kang. The Chinese were alarmed at the success of the Dzungars. In 1720 they sent a representative named Amban to Tibet. They also stationed Chinese troops there. Over time, the Chinese began to see themselves as the lords of Tibet.

In the 18th century, Tibet was isolated from the rest of the world. However, in the early 20th century, Tibet suffered from a British invasion. At that time the British ruled India. Although the British did not claim to rule Tibet, they feared that it would fall under Russian influence.

The Dalai Lama fled to Mongolia and the Chinese representative or Ambman declared that the Dalai Lama had been deposed. The Tibetan people ignored him. The British then forced Tibet to sign a treaty that allowed some trade with the British Empire and excluded “foreign influence” (Russia) from Tibetan affairs.

The Chinese were alarmed at the British invasion of Tibet. They feared that if Tibet fell into British hands, China would fall under British influence. In 1909 the Chinese invaded Tibet. The Dalai Lama fled to India.

However, in 1911 a revolution broke out in China and the emperor was overthrown. Chinese troops in Tibet were forced to withdraw. In 1912 the Dalai Lama returned. However, in 1913 Chinese troops returned and occupied parts of Tibet.

In 1914 the British persuaded the Chinese to accept a treaty called the Simla Convention. The treaty divided Tibet into two regions, Inner Tibet and Outer Tibet. The Dalai Lama ruled out outer Tibet (although China claimed absolute control). The Chinese were given partial control over Inner Tibet, although the treaty said that Tibet would not be absorbed into China.

Neither party was satisfied with the treaty. In 1918 the Chinese invaded Tibet again, but were forced to withdraw.

In the 1920s and 1930s some attempts were made to modernize Tibet, but it remained a traditional and highly isolated country. It was also a feudal society. Most of the land was owned by monasteries or wealthy families. Most of the people were serfs. In 1951 Tibet was annexed by China. However, in 1959, resentment over Chinese rule led to a rebellion. The rebellion was quickly crushed, and the Dalai Lama fled to India.

Under Chinese rule, serfdom was abolished, and in 1965 Tibet became an autonomous region.

The Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

In 2006 a railway was built from Beijing to Lhasa. It is the highest railway in the world. However, in March 2008, riots broke out in Lhasa. Today, however, the Tibetan economy is growing rapidly and the region is rich in minerals.

Currently, the population of Tibet exceeds 3 million inhabitants.

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