ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Globalisation, Demystification and Schism in Tibetan Buddhism

For Tibetan Buddhism the exile in India and the west has meant not only survival, but the possibility of gaining followers from around the world. Globalisation, has however, accentuated internal weaknesses and contributed to demands for reform. The dispute relating to the appointment of the 17th Karmapa, reincarnate head of the Kagyupa sect, shows the difficulties of accommodating all Kagyupas under the same hat, IN 1959 Tibet's theocratic polity was shattered and the Tibetan people were subjected to a tragic confrontation with Chinese communism. According to the Tibetan exile government, more than 1.2 million Tibetans died as a direct consequence of the Chinese take-over while some 6,000 monasteries and temples were demolished [Office of Information and International Relations 1990:5 and 71 ]. These figures may be an exaggeration [Sethi 1993], but there is little doubt that Tibetans have had their share of suffering.

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