Friday, September 04, 2009

spiritual over-lord

"The Buddhism of Tibet is not the pure original doctrine of the gentle Indian prince who lived and died six centuries before the birth of Christ. It is the usual degenerate form, full of devils and spooks, and it has forgotten a great many of the noble teachings of the founder of that great Asiatic faith. But Tibet has been a bulwark of Buddhism which has been of great help in preserving that religion against the attacks of the Mohammedans from the west and the pagan creeds of southern India....

"During the reign of Kublai Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan and an ardent convert to Buddhism, the abbots of an important Tibetan monastery were recognized as the political rulers of all Tibet. In return for this favor, the new Dalai Lama, in his quality of spiritual over-lord of the whole Buddhist world, officially crowned the Tartar Khan Emperor of Mongolia, just as Pope Leo III had crowned Charlemagne."

--Hendrik van Loon, Van Loon's Geography: The Story of the World We Live In, 1932

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