Two views of Tibet

A while ago I came across the “Inspector Shan” series by Eliot Pattison, and I found them amazing reads – even the ones which seemed to have poor reviews, I enjoyed very much. Like very few authors, Pattison has the awesome ability to bring his stories and characters to life, especially their inner struggles. His writing inspired me to read some more on Tibet and Buddhism. I found myself reading Karen Armstrong’s biography of the Buddha, and soon after a Project Gutenberg version of A. Henry Savage Landor’s “An Explorer’s Adventures in Tibet” which was an fantastic read too. However, I was taken by surprise by Savage’s contrary view of the Buddhist priesthood and the various functionaries of Tibet. Maybe I had confused Pattison’s fiction with the reality of Tibet, but all in all I think it’s been great learning about Buddhism and Tibet. As a bonus I learnt a good bit about Hinduism and the Vedic religion from Armstrong’s book.

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