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The Madman's Middle WayReflections on Reality of the Tibetan Monk Gendun Chopel$
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Donald S. Lopez Jr.

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226493169

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226493220.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 24 October 2021

The Life

The Life

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter 1 The Life
Source:
The Madman's Middle Way
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226493220.003.0001

This chapter gives an introduction to life of Gendun Chopel. He was one of the most important Tibetan intellectuals of the twentieth century. He was regarded, at least locally, as the incarnation of Rdo brag sprul sku and was known by that name. His birth name, however, was Rig'dzin rnam rgyal. At the age of seventeen, in 1920, he moved to one of the two major Dge lugs monasteries in the region, Bla brang bkra shis ‘khyil, with 2,500 monks, where he completed his studies of logic and epistemology, and began the study of the structures of the Buddhist path. Born at the beginning of twentieth century and dying in the middle, he lived a life bracketed by two of the defining moments in modern Tibetan history, the entry of British troops into Lhasa in 1904 and the entry of Chinese troops into Lhasa in 1951. He thus witnessed decades of profound upheaval in Tibetan society, an upheaval only exceeded by that which followed shortly after his death.

Keywords:   Gendun Chopel, Tibetan society, intellectual, incarnation, monasteries, epistemology

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