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Books by Title A-Z
Life and Contribution of the Nepalese Princess Bhrikuti Devi to Tibetan History
By: Min Bahadur Shakya
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About the author
Legendary Nepalese Princess Bhrikuti Devi who lived around mid-seventh century A.D. is perhaps best known for having married Tibetan King Srong Chen Gampo and promulgating Buddhism through the construction of the world famous Potala Palace (which still bears her images) and Jokhang Temple which is credited to her.
Although some Tibetologists regard the existence of the controversial Bhrikuti Devi as Mythological, author Min Bahadur Shakya has thoroughly researched lost Tibetan text that shed light on this fascinating and mysterious woman who played as monumental role in Tibetan history as did Helen of Troy the Greeks.
After a mystical experience, the victorious Tibetan king requested the hand of Bhrikuti Devi from Nepal. Unlike his counterpart in Beijing, the Nepalese king wisely acquiesced, and agreed to send his daughter to distant Tibet on the condition that she spread the Dharma from the land of Buddha's birthplace.
A tender teenager at the time, Princess Bhrikuti Devi was escorted over the Himalayas by a band of soldiers and loads of priceless jewels and Buddhist images borne by a caravan elephants. The rest is history and the fabulous stuff of legend. In any case, Bhrikuti Devi no doubt earned herself the name of "White Tara" for which she is still venerated.
The Author, Min Bahadur Shakya is a scholar of Newari and Tibetan Buddhism. Among his major publications are A Short History of Buddhism in Nepal, Introduction to Buddhist Monasteries of Kathmandu Valley and Iconography of Nepalese Buddhism.
He was elected Vice President of the world Fellowship of Buddhist youth (WFBY) from 1984-1988 and was nominated as Research Associate of the Fokuang Shan Chinese Buddhist Research Academy (Taiwam), 1989-`1990.
In 1990 he was granted a SAARC fellowship in Buddhist Studies by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bhutan where did extensive research of Tibetan texts on Princess Bhrikuti Devi for the present volume, his major work to date. Currently he is Editor-in-Chief of Buddhist Himalaya, a semiannual journal and also serves as Director of the Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods, Center for Buddhist Studies in Kathmandu. In addition to his renowned. Buddhist scholarship, Mr. Shakya also teaches at the Engineering Institute at the Pulchowk Campus in Lalitpur.
Description of Source Materials
Historical Background 15
Buddhism in Pre-Lichchavi Period
Buddhism in Lichchavi Period
Introduction of Buddhism to Tibet 31
Life of Princess Bhrikuti Devi 35
Birth and Lineage
Marriage of Bhrikuti Devi to the Tibetan King 47
Contribution of Bhrikuti Devi 62
Contribution of Potala Palace
Construction of Thangdul, Yangdul and Runon Temples
Contribution of Jokhang temple
Last Days of Princess Bhrikuti Devi 84
Notes and References 98
Select Bibliography 116
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