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The Holy Land RebornPilgrimage and the Tibetan Reinvention of Buddhist India$
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Toni Huber

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226356488

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226356501.001.0001

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The Precious Guru in the Punjab

The Precious Guru in the Punjab

(p.232) Chapter Eight The Precious Guru in the Punjab
The Holy Land Reborn
University of Chicago Press

During their long acquaintance with India, Tibetans had often discovered that prevailing political, economic, and social conditions in India governed both the vitality of the Buddhist holy land and their access to it as pilgrims. Both the demise of Indian Buddhism in the thirteenth century and Tibet's revival of religious contacts with Bengal in the eighteenth century had been facilitated by major transformations in the political landscape of South Asia. This chapter explores how, on the one hand, a dramatic change in political affairs in Tibet itself during the nineteenth century completely thwarted the potential new wave of Tibetan pilgrimage to colonial Bengal. It also shows, on the other hand, how at the same time an ongoing series of displacements and migrations of local populations on the Tibetan plateau eventually led to the opening of new frontiers for Tibetan reinvention and colonization of the terrain of the Buddha in India. This time, the focus of Tibetan activities was to be India's northwestern region of Punjab, the traditional heartland of the Sikhs and their religious life and history.

Keywords:   Punjab, India, pilgrimage, Tibet, Buddhism, Bengal, displacements, migrations, Sikhs, political affairs

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