"In Secret Tibet" & "Darkness Over Tibet" by Theodore illion in the 1930s - An incredible explorer

Folks , Theodore illion , a German who explored Tibet in the 1930s , had described his totally mind-boggling experiences in his books titled "in secret Tibet" and "Darkness over Tibet" .

Theodore Illion was born in Canada, raised in Japan, educated at Paris, New York, Berlin and Istanbul. He was a writer, journalist, hiker, philosopher and vegetarian.

https://ufoarchives.blogspot.com/2016/02/theodore-illion-as-esotericist.html

Theodore Illion as esotericist

In three earlier blog entries
I have presented the fascinating life and mystery surrounding Dr. Rudolf von Linauer who claimed to have witnessed Tibetan monks lifting giant blocks of stone using sound waves from various instruments. These blog entries gave the unexpected result that I was contacted by two of Dr. Linauer´s daughters, Monika in Florida and Kristina in Sweden. They had never met before and because of my blog there was a happy family reunion. I am very glad to have been the cause of this reunion and we all had a delightful rendezvous in Norrköping, Sweden in the summer of 2014.

Dr. Rudolf von Linauer

Dr. Rudolf von Linauer is not the only person claiming extraordinary experiences in Tibet in the 1930s. For many years I have been very intrigued by two books written by the German writer Theodore Illion (1898-1984): In Secret Tibet (1937, orig. Rätselhaftes Tibet, 1936) and Darkness Over Tibet
(1937). Using the pseudonym Theodore Burang he also wrote several books
and articles on Tibetan medicine. There is some debate whether Theodore
Illion ever visited Tibet but according to old articles and interviews he was in the 1930s physically extremely well trained and fit for such an expedition. He was also obviously endowed with an iron will and determination to reach his goals. So on these accounts he could very well have succeeded in his endeavors to explore Tibet alone on foot.

In January 1933 he visited Sweden for training trips in hiking and was interviewed by the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter
November 3, 1933. According to the article Theodore Illion was born in Canada, raised in Japan, educated at Paris, New York, Berlin and Istanbul. He is a writer, journalist, hiker, philosopher and vegetarian.
He is walking around five Swedish miles a day only living on black bread and milk. “For the past eight weeks I have hiked through Germany, studying Nazism, an interesting journey that ended close to the Danish border. I wished to see how a political refugee could get to Denmark.” He is now in Stockholm where he will lecture at several places a.o. The Theosophical Society .
Illion has some critical, philosophical remarks on todays society: “They invent technical means that grows over their heads instead of for one moment thinking of their own moral development.” I have checked old issues of the Swedish Theosophical magazine Teosofisk Tidskrift, but there is no mention of any lecture by Illion.

Article in Dagens Nyheter November 3, 1933

There is very little information aviable on the life of Theodore Illion. A short article on Wikipedia and almost no useful references on the internet. In his book Nazis of Tibet. A Twentieth Century Myth ,
author Isrun Engelhardt mention that “It may be worth noting that Gestapo ordered Illion to furnich documentary evidence of his alleged visits to Tibet when he returned to Germany in 1941, since he was under suspicion of being a liar, who claimed he had visited Tibet although he had never been there”. According to the Wikipedia article Illion was a member of the Club of Rome, never married and had no children.
A few more biographical details are presented in his books but it is somewhat surprising that there are so few data on his life as he lectured in several countries around Europe and was often interviewed extensively in large newspapers. In the preface to his first book In Secret Tibet ,
Illion gives a brief presentation of himself: "I travelled in Tibet neither as a Christian nor as a Buddhist. I did not look at things there
merely with the eyes of the scientist or the philosopher. I tried to examine things in an absolutely unprejudiced way. I do not belong to any
sect, party, or denomination." "...my interest in Tibet was centered around the reality of Tibetan mysteries and psychical phenomena." (p. 18). "Three articles were published about my expedition, The Sunday Express mentioning the fact that I was looking for companions to accompany me to Central Asia." (p. 26). Illion also mention an interview
that was published in a "large Stockholm paper in 1935", but gives nu further information.

Theodore Illion

As with Dr. Rudolf von Linauer there are no definite data to confirm that Theodore Illion ever visited Tibet in the 1930s. There have been some speculation that he relied on the information in the books by Alexandra David-Neel, published in the 1920s, and simply used the tavelogue about Tibet as a way to present his philosophy. Whatever the truth the books by Theodore Illion are a treasure trove of wisdom. Anyone thoroughly acquainted with the esoteric tradition will here find a
kindred soul. I do find it amazing that Illion at his young age could have such extraordinary deep insights into esoteric philosophy, coupled with a critical mind and wonderful humour: "I am a non-smoker. I only smoke in the company of people who consider non-smoking a virtue".
"In Secret Tibet" is the story of Theodore Illion´s travel in disguise in Tibet, meeting hermits, lamas and the somewhat more mysterious few "wise men", very different from the often primitive and superstitious hermits. He encounters and is able to study many types of psychic phenomena, some apparently genuine but often produced by "the grossest type of fraud." Illion gives many practical examples and is very aware of the negative power of organized orthodox religion in the world: "Organized Buddhism, as it stands today, is a formidable machinery for exercising power by exploiting fear and credulity, especially "Buddhism"
as it is in Tibet and Nepal...The Tibetans on the whole like to be told
what to do. This prevents unnecessary thinking. The lamas greatly profit by this attitude." (p. 116). This reminds me of a quote from the classic The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett where the adept K.H. comments on the problem of religion in world history: "...the chief cause of nearly two thirds of the evils that pursue humanity ever since that cause became a power. It is religion under whatever form and in whatsoever nation. It is the sacerdotal caste, the priesthood and the churches; it is in those illusions that man looks upon as sacred, that he has to search out the source of that multitude of evils which is the great curse of humanity and that almost overwhelms mankind." (Letter no.
10, 1882). The truth of this statement must be obvious to anyone following todays news.
Theodore Illion´s sequel Darkness over Tibet is a real adventure story and have by many readers been regarded as too fantastic and pure fiction. Illion is led to a secret underground community and is allowed an interview with the spritiual leader of the community who he soon realize is a very evil man and black magician. After having fled from this group, indulging in cannibalism, Illion gives an interesting comment on the two different philosophic or spritual schools he have encountered: "In this world of matter, which is really the battleground for a formidable struggle of two different spiritualities, the few wise men of Tibet who are great and dynamic personalities intensely personal and yet acting impersonally, represent a kind of bodyguard of the Creator which holds in check the other camp of methodically working "annihilators" and "soul-snatchers". " (p. 191). This, of course, is esotericism and a very good description of the planetary guardians or Higher Intelligence Agency (HIA).

I highly recommend these two books by Theodore Illion to anyone with an interest in the Esoteric Tradition. As the author told of lecturing for the Swedish Theosophical Society it is obvious that The Ancient Wisdom was his inspiration and he appears to have been an accomplished esotericist both in theory and practise. There is also deep psychological insights and a gentle humanism in his writings. He is very
well aware of the human condition on this interplanetary Alcatraz :
"Humaneness is the thing badly needed in this world, which dies from lack of love. We need people who are humane, really and spontaneously humane, in the little things of their daily lives. We have enough idealists who have occasional fits of idealism and tread the worm on the
ground while they are looking for the stars". (In Secret Tibet, p. 128).

List members , there were some incredible journeys undertaken in the early twentieth century to Tibet and Central Asia...the intrepid explorers who undertook these expeditions were in search of esoteric knowledge ...they were on the verge of revealing some FANTASTIC knowledge to the whole world , when WW II happened.

This event completely overshadowed the efforts of these intellectuals...a little later , China's annexation of Tibet brought down a seemingly impenetrable barrier between all these profound mysteries and the rest of world society . Most unfortunate for all of mankind that such deep knowledge has been withheld !

Regards

Books online:

@Soretna , thanks a lot for finding these out and sharing with this group ! These long forgotten works are so important to get the "big picture" about Tibet .

Regards

List members , post China's annexation of Tibet 60 years ago , their spiritual leader Dalai Lama took refuge in India along with his core group of followers (he still resides in India) . Much of the friction between India and China is on this account...

Whatever are the deepest secrets of Tibet , especially around the Sacred Mount Kailash region near the India-Tibet border (which is riddled with innumerable caves) , have remained a secret the Chinese could never get a hold of (a cause of never ending frustration for them) because , there are some mystical keys to those aspects that the Dalai Lama holds till today...however , those secrets would become productive ONLY to someone who has unfettered control over both the land of Tibet AND these mystical keys ! In very ancient times , the Vedic civilisation may have controlled both...

Regards

Folks , this matter pertains to the ongoing standoff at the international border between India and China , but the Chinese have crossed a red line they never did before - in the Mount Kailash region of Tibet , with it's lakes and innumerable caves (secretly used by ancient sages and monks for deep meditation) , that is held sacred by Buddhists and Hindus alike .

This mysterious mountain features in the religious scriptures of all ancient civilisations from Asia . Four of Asia's greatest rivers arise from around this site , including the Indus - which is why this Mount Kailash is called "the water tower of Asia" . So , it's quite disturbing that China is now weaponising and militarising even this most sacred of sites . They are actually "spreading darkness" over Tibet !

**God forbid that the need EVER arises , but from India's point of view - how do you retaliate against one of your own most sacred religious sites ??

China desecrates religious sites near Mt Kailash to deploy surface-to-air missiles

The heavy militarisation of the religious site comes amid Indo-China tussle in Ladakh and coincides with India's road construction to Lipulekh at the India-China-Nepal tri-junction that sparked a diplomatic row between New Delhi and Kathmandu.

New Delhi

August 22, 2020

UPDATED: August 22, 2020 19:21 IST

Mt Kailash and many areas along Manasarovar, including Rakshastal and Gauri Kund, are revered places in Hinduism and Buddhism. (File photo: Reuters)

China's enhancement of military facilities near Mt Kailash includes deployment of surface-to-air missiles (SAM) with fresh constructions that started in April this year being completed now, satellite images show.

Not being spared are religious sites, as satellite images show how Kailash Manasarovar, a place of religious importance to Hindus who travel for pilgrimage, now resembles a battle zone with heavy military presence.

The heavy militarisation of the religious site comes amid Indo-China tussle in Ladakh and coincides with India's road construction to Lipulekh at the India-China-Nepal tri-junction that sparked a diplomatic row between New Delhi and Kathmandu. Nepal claimed that India's road construction was in disputed territory between the two countries.

The 80-km strategic road at 17,000 ft would make the journey to Kailash Manasarovar shorter and smoother. Mt Kailash and many areas along Manasarovar, including Rakshastal and Gauri Kund, are revered places in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Construction of SAM site

Latest satellite images from August 16 indicate that it is a surface-to-air missile site with possible HQ-9 SAM system under tarpaulin covers. The deployment pattern shows four platforms for either four or eight SAM transporter erector launchers (TELs) with three radar ramps.

There is a separate place in this facility for deployment of three more radars. The raised ramps clearly indicate their purpose for deployment of vehicle-based radars. The HQ-9 system depends on HT-233 radar for fire control, and on Type 305B, Type 120, Type 305A, YLC-20 and DWL-002 radars to search and track targets.

The entire facility suggests PLAAF's heavy dependence on radars for search and tracking aerial threats.

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This SAM location is exactly 90 kms from Indian borders, suggesting that medium-range SAMs could also be deployed there, if required. PLA had a small detachment earlier supposedly prepared for the convenience and security of pilgrims visiting Mt Kailash.

It used to be manned by a section of People's Armed Police but now turned into a garrison with many hotels and houses built around it, and manned by the PLA. In the name of infrastructure development, houses of Tibetans are being taken over, razed to ground and new hotels are being constructed.

The last three months have seen new constructions coming up about a kilometre east of the highway. The construction at this site started on April 11 and has been completed this week.

Controlling Kailash Manasarovar

India has controlled these areas and collected taxes from villages here till the late 1950s. During the campaign in Tibet, China also grabbed the areas of Mt Kailash, Manasarovar and Eastern Ladakh.

China has been trying to control the access of Indians to Mt Kailash and Manasarovar since a long time by opening and closing various routes under different reasons. The easiest access from Nathula and Demchok were always stopped whereas the most difficult route via Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand was kept open most of the year.

Desecration of Manasarovar

The Manasarovar and Rakshastal are part of the parikrama of Mt Kailash.

China released two videos of tanks rolling over the road near Manasarovar in the month of May and June to show their deployment in occupied territories of Tibet and India. The most surprising element in this facility is that it does not have facility that it can defend.

The obvious answer that comes to mind is that PLAAF might be trying to cover a particular path that it expects the Indian Air Force (IAF) to take during hostilities.

The IAF certainly would have taken note of this facility much before.

India should take up the matter of desecration of our religious sites so blatantly by China with her and rest of the world community.

Regards

List members , most of us in this group would be aware that the Tibetan region is also known as the Earth's "Third Pole" and "The roof of our world" , because of the numerous glaciers originating from there , as well as it's great height (Tibetan plateau has an average height of 4,500 meters) .

**However , I suspect that those "in the know" , who called this area the Third Pole knew of another striking similarity of this Third Pole with the Earth's North & South Pole - each of these three Poles have openings leading to Hollow Earth :))

Third Pole

The Asian high mountain region or the "Hindu Kush - Karakoram - Himalayan" (HKKH) region spreads an region of more than 4.2 million square kilometers (1.7 million square miles) in ten countries, i.e. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. The area stores more snow and ice than anywhere in the world except for the North and South Poles, giving it the name the Third Pole . The Third Pole with the world's loftiest mountains, comprising all 14 peaks above 8,000 meters (5 miles), is the source of 10 major rivers, and forms an awesome global ecological buffer.[1]

The Third Pole area possesses huge socioeconomic and cultural variance; being home to a range of ethnic communities conversing in more than 600 languages and many more dialects. It is blessed with rich natural resources and consists of all or some of four global biodiversity hot-spots. The mountain resources administer a wide range of ecosystem benefits and the base for the livelihoods to the 220 million inhabitants of the region, as well as indirectly to the 1.3 billion people—one fourth of the world's population—living in the downstream river basins. More than 3 billion people benefit from the food and energy produced in these river basins that have their roots in the mountains.

Regards

List members , Chinese legends talked about the mythical dragons emerging from hideouts deep within the "cavernous Tibetan plateau" , given it's hollowness is evident in many parts of Tibet...the question is - if such creatures really existed , could they still be hiding down there , waiting for an opportune time , to resurface ??

Regards

Sidhartha,

Illion was an incredible explorer; the underground "apartment" buildings where he entered and stayed for a while are a Capadocia in Tibet. But who knows how far down it goes?

Before the Bhagavat Gita was spoken, Arjuna and his brothers stayed in a village or town way, way up in the mountains to the North of the main part of India; it must have been in the Hindu Kush, perhaps the Tajikistan area, above Pakistan. (I conjecture) But there was some kind of demon who would come to the town on a regular basis and demand a human to eat; I suppose it would take whomever it wanted. anyway, Arjuna's borther, Bhima, killed it.

But this narration just gives an idea of what kind of cretures live below the surface. Spelunkers beware!

But it isn't limited to Tibet. In the Yucatan, the cretures from below had a whole civilization set up on the surface, with permenet temples and townships. The people would worship the great snake Rahu/Kulkukán. The list members can see the image of the Mayan temple at Chicken Pizzá, I mean Chichen Itzá, at the right and come back:

The altar rooms were always at the top, and the priests would cut up the victims in front of the assembled population and drop the remains through a shaft to an underground streama that the temples were always constructed over. Apparently, there were alligators and crocodiles in the area at that time, or whatever else; why couldn't Ananconda-type snakes live there in ancient times if they live in the Amazon are today? And it seems that all this went on much, much earlier in Guatemala than it did in the Yucatan.

And in Guatemala, there are still long, deep tunnels underneath the temple complexes; even to the North of Mexico City this was the case.

It sems to me that the administrative hierarchy and the priests were abandoned by the ones from below because they started to lose their grip on the people. The people started to flee towads the North to the mountainous area. By the time the Spaniards arrives, the leaders of that society were rudderless.

But I think that you are right when you speak of such creatures just waiting for an opportune time to show their presence again.

And the Yucatan culture and history just goes to show that it wasn't limited to Tibet. The Mayan, Yucatan culture was the same culture as in South India, the Drvadian culture. This could have all had its source in Tibet.

Cheers!

@deandddd , interesting...I agree . There is a similarity between these two regions and cultures , with regard to what lies beneath...

Regards

List members , over the weekend , I found reference to a very fascinating slice of history , missing from most of the mainstream history text books . This story is from the 17th century , when the Mughal empire of India , in alliance with the Ladakh kingdom , fought a war with the Mongol Khanate (descendents of Genghis Khan) and the Tibetan kingdom of Lhasa .

This war ended in 1684 with the "Treaty of Tingmosgang" , that in a sense established the frontier between India and China :-

When Mughals fought the Mongols

The Mughals were always proud of their Mongol roots, tracing their lineage all the way back to the great Genghis Khan. But there was a time when the politics of war eclipsed their ethnic pride and the Mughals actually confronted the Mongols on the battlefield in the 17th century.

This historic clash was the Battle of Basgo and it had the most interesting cast of characters – Hindu Rajas, Mughal armies, the Dalai Lama, the Kings of Ladakh and Bhutan, and Mongol forces – all pitted against each other. It was a massive power struggle and its echo can still be heard today. It is this battle that defined the traditional boundary between Ladakh and Tibet, and it stayed this way for centuries, till the British drew the ‘Johnson Line’ in 1865, fuelling a border dispute between India and China over Aksai Chin, that exists to date.

The year was 1679 and the flashpoint was the fight for control over monasteries in the entire region, between the Yellow Hats (a Buddhist sect headed by the Dalai Lama) and the Red Hats (supported by the King of Bhutan). While most history books lack details, we know of the battle thanks to the account of a Moravian missionary called Francke, who lived in Ladakh for a long time.

Fresco representing Gushi Khan in Jokhang temple, Tibet|Wikimedia Commons

He wrote a book The History of Western Tibet (1907), in which he detailed what happened back in the 17th century. He calls this battle ‘The Great Mongol War’. There were myriad characters involved in this event, ranging from the Fifth Dalai Lama of Tibet (r. 1642-1682); to Gushi Khan of the Mongol Dzungarian Khanate; the King of Bhutan, the King of Ladakh, Gyalpo Delek Namgyal; Raja Kehri Singh of Bushahr; Raja Bidhi Singh of Kullu; the Mughal Governor of Kashmir Ibrahim Khan; and last but not least Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb himself.

In 17th century Tibet, the Dzungar Mongols had become the real power behind the office of the Dalai Lama. This had its roots in the struggle for power between the Yellow Hats and the Red Hats, the two Tibetan Buddhist sects, almost a hundred years earlier, in the middle of the 16th century.

The Fifth Dalai Lama|Wikimedia Commons

Through the alliance with the Mongol Khans, the Yellow Hats had emerged victorious and their leader, the Dalai Lama, became the de-facto ruler of Tibet.

In fact, even the title ‘Dalai Lama’ was a title conferred by Mongol ruler Altan Khan on the leader of the Yellow Hat sect.

During the reign of the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682), Tibet was involved in intrigue and feuds with various Tibetan Buddhist sects as well as neighbouring kingdoms. However, the Fifth Dalai Lama had found a powerful patron in Gushi Khan, the ruler of the Dzungarian Khanate in today’s Xinjiang province of China.

The Dzgunar Khanate was the last great nomadic Empire to emerge in Central Asia in the 17th century. Made up of a confederation of Mongol tribes, it controlled vast areas of what is today’s Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Xinjian province of China. It was their control over the strategically important Aksai Chin (occupied by China since the 1961 Indo-China War) that allowed them easy access to Tibet as well as Ladakh.

Basgo Fort|Zenab Sandhu / Paddle N Pedal Adventures

The Fifth Dalai Lama was involved in continuous wars with Bhutan, which followed the Red Hat school of Buddhism. It so happened that, in the 1670s, the King of Ladakh, Gyalpo Delek Namgyal (r. 1675-1705), backed the King of Bhutan on the issue of who should have control over the monasteries in Bhutan, much to the consternation of the Fifth Dalai Lama. On the pretext that the Yellow Hat sect in Ladakh was being persecuted, the fifth Dalai Lama called on his Mongol allies and together they decided that an invasion of Ladakh would be the best way to settle the matter with the King of Ladakh. So a force of Mongols and Tibetans were despatched to Ladakh.

Interestingly, Raja Kehri Singh (1636-96 CE), ruler of the kingdom of Bushahr (in present-day Himachal Pradesh) and an ancestor of former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, had a running dispute with Ladakh over the Spiti region. Hence he decided to join the Mongol-Tibetan alliance, to settle the matter of Spiti with Ladakh. As a reward, Bushahr traders were given the right to free trade with Tibet.

The joint Mongol-Tibetan force was first met by a Ladakhi force around Pangong Lake, in Changthang, just across what was traditionally considered the frontier between Ladakh and Tibet. After a long engagement, the Mongol-Tibetan force got the better of the Ladakhi forces, who went on the run. The Tibetan-Mongols continued to pursue them and the Ladakhi King and his forces soon took refuge in Basgo Fort, the strongest fortress in the region. It wasn’t long before the Mongol-Tibetans turned up outside the fort.

Basgo Monastery|Zenab Sandhu / Paddle N Pedal Adventures

The Buddhist monastery at Basgo, around 40 km from Leh, was built in the 11th century and a series of fortifications were gradually added to it over the years as Basgo played a strategically important role since it was close to the trade routes to Kashmir and towards the West. It was also the point where Upper and Lower Ladakh met and so was an important staging point for trade caravans.

Hopelessly cornered, the Ladakhi King had no option but to call for help from outside, and the only force he knew of, that could face the Mongols were the Mughals. Hence, he sent a message to the Mughal Governor of Kashmir, Ibrahim Khan, urging him to intervene against the invading army. The governor, in turn, referred the matter to Emperor Aurangzeb.

Lalitaditya Muktadipa - Kashmir’s Great Empire Builder
](https://www.livehistoryindia.com/cover-story/2017/07/16/kashmirs-great-empire-builder)

The Mughals sent a message to the King of Ladakh saying they were willing to help, on two conditions: first, that the lucrative Pashmina trade should be a Mughal preserve; and second, that the King would have to convert to Islam after the invaders were driven back. According to various Kashmiri Mughal historical sources, the King agreed. He even built a mosque in the main bazaar in Leh. That the King converted to Islam, even though only in name, is testified to by Francke after he went through all the circumstantial evidence available to him.

Map showing the Dzungar Khanate in the 18th century|Wikimedia Commons

Soon, a Mughal force led by the son of the governor was despatched from Kashmir and it was joined by a force from Kulu led by Raja Bidhi Singh, who was a nominal ally of Ladakh. The Mughal forces and their allies crossed the Zoji La Pass and entered Ladakh from Kashmir. They crossed the Indus river over two wooden bridges at Khalaste and marched towards Basgo.

Finally, battle lines were drawn and the two armies met on a plain called Jargyal between Basgo and Nimmu. This is referred to as the Battle of Basgo, fought in 1679. Eventually, the battle-hardened Mughals along with their Ladakhi and Kullu allies proved too strong for the Mongol-Tibetans and their Bushahri allies.

The Mongol-Tibetans were pushed back and routed all the way to Spituk, also in the Leh district, where after a brief lull fighting erupted again until they were driven beyond Pangong Lake to a place called Tashisgang, in the Spiti valley. They built a fort there and shut themselves in. The Mughal army turned back, confident that their opponents were gone for good.

A view of Pangong Lake|Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0

In the meantime, the Ladakhi King had moved west, to the Fort of Tinmogang, around 30 km west of the Fort at Basgo. The Mughals now turned up to get their pound of flesh. All the Pashmina trade rights were given to them and, according to Mughal chronicles, the Ladakhi King converted to Islam and took on the name ‘Akbat Mahmud Khan’. As a guarantee, the Mughals took with them to Kashmir as ‘guests’ a few members of the Ladakhi royal family, including one of his sons.

Ladakhi chronicles, however, make no mention of King Gyalpo Delek Namgyal’s conversion to Islam, probably because the King kept it secret as he did not want to upset his people or incur the wrath of the orthodox Buddhist Lamas.

Satisfied that their conditions had been met, the Mughals went back over the Zoji La Pass to Kashmir leaving the Ladakhi King in charge as before. Once the Mughals returned, the Tibetans with new reinforcements from the new Dzungarian Khan, Galdan Boshugtu Khan, attacked again in 1684. This time, the Mongol-Tibetans were victorious and the Ladakhi King didn't have the time or the inclination to call upon his Mughal allies; and neither were the Mughals prepared nor interested in intervening again.

Basgo Monastery|Zenab Sandhu / Paddle N Pedal Adventures

In the aftermath of this attack, a treaty was signed between the Tibetans and the Ladakhis, which fixed the border between Ladakh and Tibet. It also restricted Kashmir’s hold over the Pashmina trade till Spituk. This border remained unchanged till the British drew a new one in 1865, called the ‘Johnson Line’.

Much of the ‘Line of Actual Control’ (LOAC) established between India and China after the 1961 Indo-China War runs along this old Ladakh-Tibet border.

It also fixed the sum in an annual tribute that Ladakh had to send to Tibet. Interestingly, there is a living remnant of the Mughal-Mongol War of 1679. Apparently, to commemorate the treaty which Raja Kehri Singh of Bushahr had signed with the Tibetans, a trade fair would be organized in Rampur-Bushahr every year since 1681. This unique Loi Fair or Wool Fair is held here till this day.

Today, Basgo is a sleepy village on the Leh-Kargil highway around 40 km from Leh, along the Indus, not far from where the Zanskar meets the Indus. The monastery and the fort here are still standing. Their popularity is slowly growing and the number of visitors interested in this historic place has risen.

...
Read More at https://www.livehistoryindia.com/cover-story/2019/04/04/when-mughals-fought-the-mongols

Regards

List members , while we've discussed about other aspects of the Tibetan mysteries , here is a fascinating view about the Dragon beliefs of Tibetans themselves :-

Dragons, Drokpa

and a Drukpa Kargyu
Master

In the West, dragons are the stuff of myth,
legend and wonderful children’s stories.
But to Tibetan nomads, or "drokpa", dragons are real
and seeing them is always an auspicious sign.

WORDS and PHOTOGRAPHY by DIANE BARKER
DRAGON STORIES and PAINTINGS by CHOEGYAL RINPOCHE
EDITED by MOOWON

78710911

Sonam Wangbo describing how he saw a dragon in the high summer pastures of his nomad camp.

He uses his hands to describe the energy of the dragon pushing a cloud down and then spiraling up into the sky.
Dahu Valley, Kandze area, Kham 2016

"To be really frank about these things, it is something that conventionally you can not explain—
whether it's comprised of the four elements or if it's a form, a substantial body of some kind, or if it's ethereal,
or just a mental body or what. There's something, but it's really impossible to say what.
So nobody can say for sure that dragons aren't real.

Scientists would explain that they are not real because, from the beginning,
they don't accept anything beyond the material, or anything spiritual, so that's that for them.
They just explain it according to the physical elements. But in all these nomadic places, people believe 100%
that these things are real because they've had ages and ages of experience.

Just because science hasn't seen something isn't evidence to refute it.
There's a different reality and a different world in every single person and none of us can refute that."

– Gebchak Wangdrak Rinpoche, in a recent conversation

While I was travelling in eastern Tibet last summer with my Tibetan friend Dawa, I visited Sonam Wangbo and his family, nomads who live in the remote, beautiful and sacred Dahu Valley. We travelled on horseback for many bottom- aching hours to reach his spring home high in flower-filled pastures. When we arrived, we settled in front of his stove with the Tibetan staple, a bowl of tsampa . Local gossip and stories were shared and then, idly, I found myself asking him if he had ever seen a dragon.

"Yes, in the high summer pastures a year or two back," he said casually. Using his hands, he proceeded to describe how a dragon had descended, pushing a thick cloud down towards the mountain, and had then spiralled back up into the sky. He told us that his grandma saw one fleetingly, too, in high summer pastures when she was young. He then moved on to the topic of a new Chinese road coming through the valley below and the impact it might have for him and his family. The dragons were forgotten. I have heard a number of stories of contemporary dragon sightings from Tibetan friends and realise that nomads in high, remote places more frequently make these sightings which are often accompanied by turbulent weather conditions.

The nomads (or drokpa, which roughly translated means people of the solitudes ) frequent high lonely alpine grasslands unsuitable for settled farming, moving their herds of yak, sheep and goats up to five times a year according to the seasons. In certain parts of Tibet, nomads also go high into remoter mountains in the spring to collect the highly prized medicinal Cordyceps, otherwise known as Caterpillar Fungus (or Yaertsa Gonbu in Tibetan.) From the stories I've heard, it seems that these solitary places are also the favourite haunts of dragons.

Ani Tenzin Yangchen, a nun at Gebchak Wangdrak Rinpoche's retreat center in Nangchen, told me how she and her nomad family had seen a dragon when they were collecting Cordyceps fungus in a valley near their nomad camp last spring. She told me that they have seen dragons on other occasions, adding: "When a dragon arises, the wind gets choppy and the clouds move around fast and it all gets very violent. You only see dragons in very high altitude places, the tops of mountains. You don't see them in lower altitude places."

A Drukpa Kargyu
Master

Dru gu Choegyal Rinpoche

I first heard stories of dragons in Tibet from my precious friend, Drugu Choegyal Rinpoche. A noted Tibetan Buddhist Master and artist, I first met him in the Tashi Jong Tibetan community in India in 1994, when I went to interview him about his exquisite watercolour paintings for Cho Yang Magazine .

Choegyal Rinpoche is the eighth reincarnation of the Drugu Choegyal lineage of the Drukpa Kargyu. The Drukpa Kargyu is a line of great masters otherwise known as the "Dragon Yogis." It was established by Tsangpa Gyare who, in search of a site to build his monastery, saw nine dragons (or druk ) ascending from the earth into the sky with loud thunderous roars at a place called Nam, near Lhasa. Due to this auspicious sighting, he called the place Namdruk (meaning Sky Dragons) and built his monastery there. He and his group of followers became known as Druk or the Dragon lineage.

In Tibet, Choegyal Rinpoche is a spiritual guide to the people of Tho Drugu, an area located northwest of Chamdo. Tho Drugu is comprised of six nomadic tribal groups and getting from one end to the other end requires a day's journey by horse. As described by Rinpoche, the area "is a pasture where yaks, horses and sheep can graze… the nomads' black yak hair tents can be seen settled over widely scattered areas. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen…there are many white rock mountains, streams and forests."

Over many years, Choegyal Rinpoche has shared with me his stories and insights of the Tibet he remembers, brought to life by his magical and unique watercolour paintings. I have especially loved and been fascinated by his descriptions and depictions of dragons. From our conversations, I have transcribed the stories that follow.

Dragon Stories
Recounted
by Choegyal Rinpoche

When I was young, living in Tibet, I believed in dragons. Everybody believed in them. I came out of Tibet to India in 1958 or 1959, when I was around eleven or twelve. For many years, I didn't think about dragons as it was a time of study. Then I met many Westerners who became friends; they said that it's not true—dragons don't exist.

They said a dragon was people's imagination, a mythical animal. And so my concepts changed and I thought they don't exist. It wasn't a big thing for me and neither was it a big thing believing in them in Tibet. It became clear that most people didn't believe, so my mind was changed.

Later, when we studied Drukpa Kargyu history, we learned why it is called Drukpa, named after the dragons that the founder Tsangpa Gyare saw.

Somehow, I came to suspect that there was something more to certain events in Tibet to do with dragons. This conviction began to grow when a number of respectable people told me stories about what had happened when their spiritual teacher, Dorzong Rinpoche (who was earlier my Dharma-brother but who I now regard as a teacher and inspiration,) visited a holy place in Tibet in his childhood. Because the whole village had seen the special signs at the birth of this child, they had great respect for him. And they used to talk about how nine dragons were perceived when the young Dorzong Rinpoche visited Yonten Ritroe in Rongmi.

Still, to me, it seemed like people's imaginary fantasy. And yet the stories were very honest, but I couldn't help thinking that it must have been very special clouds, even though the descriptions seemed very convincing.

I came across more and more reliable people—the sort who don't just accept mysterious things, who are very down to earth and not the type to fall for fantasies. They told me they had really seen dragons in Tibet and gave very precise descriptions of the place, time, distance involved, size, colour and shape. So I have come to believe that dragons existed in Tibet before.

A Dragon
Ascending into the
Sky

Dru gu Choegyal Rinpoche's painting of the dragon seen ascending into the sky from the hill in front of Nubgon Monastery in Gonjo, Kham, by thousands of people in June 1993. Painted in 2012.

A very well-known occasion that took place in the presence of thousands of people was the famous dragon ascending into the sky from the hill in front of Nubgon Monastery in Gonjo, Kham. This was when the eighth Dorzong Rinpoche visited the monastery to perform the enthronement of Popa Rinpoche and to bless the reconstructed shrine, which had been destroyed in the Cultural Revolution.

The ceremony was held inside the temple on 16th of June 1993, but the majority of people could not fit inside and were waiting outside and praying. Suddenly, everyone saw a dragon emerge from the top of the hill and shoot into a cloud! As is traditional in Tibet, and especially among the Gonjo people, at a joyful moment they all shout 'Kyi, Lha-Gyal-Lo, Kyi, Lha-Gyal-Lo,' an ancient call which means 'Be happy, may the gods be victorious.'

When the shouting outside reached the people inside the temple, they thought that the people were drunkenly happy and shouting with joy. This is what they told Dorzong Rinpoche. Then people from outside ran in and told of the dragon ascending into the sky from the hill in front of the monastery.

Tibetans believe that when you see a dragon ascending into the sky any wish you make will be fulfilled, so they usually pray for the peace and happiness of all beings in every world by shouting 'Sem-chen tam-che-la ga-mo chid-mo yongoe.'

Konchok Tashi, Dorzong Rinpoche's personal photographer, was called outside to see the strange event and he saw the dragon flying from mountain top to mountain top, waving its tail. He ran straight away to get his camera from the Lama's room in the upper residence and returned to take pictures. By then most of the dragon's body had passed into the rain clouds, but the last part of it was still bending and rolling up and down.

So many people really saw it—thousands of people all together—so it was not an illusion. It was a real event. So after that, I became fully convinced that there are dragons, and then I asked many of the senior people in Tashi Jong: "Have you seen dragons?" I wanted to investigate who had seen them.

A
Snake with
Horns

Dru gu Choegyal Rinpoche's painting of Pema Tashi's story of seeing a snake with horns (baby dragon) when he was young in Tibet 2012

Among senior Tibetans, I met a few very reliable people who have seen dragons. One was Pema Tashi , an older man, very well respected, very honest and very intelligent. He was one of the very hardworking and dedicated people who worked for Tashi Jong, a very important member of the community in those days. He said he had seen a dragon. When he was young in Tibet, his family were nomads in the area of Ling (around Dege). One morning, when he was taking the yaks to graze on the pasture, he very clearly saw a snake with horns. He was very surprised. It stayed in one place and he looked very carefully, and yes, it has horns!

He was really astonished and he left the yaks there. He was very small and he ran back to his family in their black tent, screaming to everyone: "There's a snake with horns! Come, come and see!" Older family members said: "No, no, no! That's a dragon. There's no point in going there to see. If we go there it won't be there, it will have disappeared!" He said: "No, no, it definitely will not disappear. Come, come, I'll show you. It is very short, very clear grass—no bushes, no where for it to disappear." So they all went and when they got there, it had totally disappeared.

The Dragon
Sucking Up Water
from a Stream

Dru gu Choegyal Rinpoche's painting of a dragon sucking up water from a stream in Tibet, 2012.

This story was told to me by H.E. Adeu Rinpoche who heard it from a very high Gelugpa Rinpoche from Amdo. The Amdo Rinpoche and his monks went for a picnic with their families. Tents were put up, wood collected, and water was brought to the stone-piled fireplace. Some of the group started to make a fire and to boil water for tea. Some had no tasks so went into a wood to have some moments of practising love and compassion, prayer and meditation.

They heard a loud sound, like a tornado. In fact, they thought it was a tornado and they all tried to run to the trees and hold on to them. But it wasn't that, and they were fine. The high sound made the wild animals that were freely wandering in the area run around in shock. But there was no harm to anyone. Then they clearly saw a dragon stretching down towards a spring and sucking up a jet of water into its mouth. Within a flash, the dragon went back up into the clouds with a happy, contented roaring.

The Hunter
Who Falls into the
Dragon’s Den

Dru gu Choegyal Rinpoche's painting of a hunter who falls into a dragon's den ––a story told to him by one of his tutors when he was young. Painted in 2012.

It was when I was young, living in Tibet, peaceful and happy. One of my personal tutors was Bhente Kunzang. He was old, around 75 and with white hair, always kind and compassionate. He was very good at telling stories when we had free time. He was a wonderful monk.

I remember one time he told me a story about a dragon. One day a hunter, by mistake, reached a huge crevasse in a hill. He slipped and fell down deep into the ground, so deep into the earth that it was not possible for him to escape. All around were smooth rocks.

He found that he was lying on something soft and moving. After a while, he regained his sight in the dark. He saw two big bright eyes in the corner gazing at him and heard the sound of deep breathing. Although it was winter, it was warm. The hunter lost his mind in fear, neither moving nor bothered by hunger or the need to sleep. Since there was no way to escape, he stood still and then slowly sat in a dark corner. He realised that here was a dragon.

Within a few days, he found that the dragon was harmless. It was a mother dragon nursing two baby dragons, one male and one female. The mother dragon had a jewel in her lap, which was the source of her energy. She shared her milk with the babies and the hunter. The milk was warm and pure, giving great energy and a healthy feeling.

Until springtime came, the hunter chanted 'Om mani padme hum' * and made his home in the dragon's den. When spring came, the dragon started to become agitated. The hunter knew that this was his only chance to escape to his home and the world above. One day, it was clear that the dragon was leaving for the sky. The hunter held the tail of the mother dragon. While hugging the tail, he kissed it 108* times in thanks and looked to his underworld brother and sister with love and tears. Since then, dragons are his parent and family.

Truth
Is
Truth

Listening to Tibetans recounting sightings of dragons in Tibet is extraordinary. To see a dragon in our world would be unbelievable but in a culture where dragons are real, it is special—it is a great blessing to see one and a fact of life in the remote mountain areas of Tibet.

" Many dragons were truly seen. They are true. Otherwise why would so many good people tell useless stories? What benefit is there to tell something that is not true? In earlier times, Tibetans knew who told the truth and whose words were not reliable. The population was small and generations of people in an area knew each other very well. Dragons are real. I have no wish to prove the existence of dragons. For what reason would I try to prove this? Truth is Truth." – Choegyal Rinpoche

* Om mani padme hum is the most commonly used mantra among Tibetan Buddhists
  • 108 is a sacred number in Tibet and India.

Diane Barker is a photographer and artist based in Worcestershire, England. Born in what was historically a pub, Diane's "nomadic" roots trace back to the 70s as a hippie living in a camper van in America. It was also during that time her first encounter with the Tibetan lamas transpired in Wales. During the 1990s, a Buddhist boyfriend lured her into a voyage to India, which eventually led to her encounter with Tibetan nomads in the Changthang of Ladakh. Ever since, Tibetan nomads are her obsession and the subject of her heart.

Venerable Drugu Choegyal Rinpoche is the 8th incarnation in the line of Choegyal Rinpoches, all of whom were outstanding artists and masters of the Drukpa Kagyu meditation lineage. Originally from Tibet, Choegyal Rinpoche has been active in the arts preservation and training programs in the Tashi Jong community in India. He also founded the Tibetan Heritage Project on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal. Well aware of the potentially negative stresses and influences challenging Tibetan refugee artists today, Rinpoche encourages the exuberant diversity of expressive forms; at the same time he emphasizes the singular purity of motivation that must distinguish all dharma activity. His own work is remarkable, both for its radiant clarity and for its range of style—from the ornate precision of traditional religious thankas to tender depictions of Tibetan scenes and impressionistic expressions of his spiritual experiences. His work has been exhibited across Europe, North and South Americas, and Asia. His paintings, carpets, and carpet designs are included in museums and prominent private collections. See www.artsofunderstanding.org to view more of his art.

Regards

Folks , now here's some food for thought - the Chinese view of "Tibet's most elusive mysteries" :)) yes sure - an occupied territory and it's people are ALWAYS so difficult to figure out...hmm !!

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/tibet50years/2015-06/30/content_21247037.htm

Tibet's most elusive mysteries

(China Tibet Online)

Updated: 2015-06-30 14:36:54

No 1: Savage

Tibet's most elusive mysteries

As the "four greatest mysteries in the world", the savage in Tibet has provoked much discussion.

As early as 1784 there were records about Tibetan savage.

In recent years, many claimed they had witnessed the savage in the vicinity of the Mt. Himalaya. It is also said that the female savage even robed local men to force them to get married.

Many investigations have been launched in eastern Tibet, but no one could interpret the mystery of savage so far.

No 2: Red snow

Tibet's most elusive mysteries

The Mt. Himalaya is laced with blood red stain all year round in its 5,000 plus peak, seen from afar as red snow.

The red stain is made up of the highland algae, which is able to endure extreme coldness to survive 36C below zero. It appears blood red because it contains blood red pigment.

No 3: Flag cloud on top of Mt. Qomolangma

Tibet's most elusive mysteries

In sunny days, the peak of the Mt.Qomolangma is shrouded with moving milk-white clouds and fogs, seeming as if a flag with the mast of the peak was swinging.

It is formed by the convective cumulus. Judging from the location and height of the clouds, the expert could tell the speed of head wind on the peak of the mountain. The higher the height, the smaller the speed of wind is. When the height parallels with the peak, the speed of wind is estimated at nine degree. Hence, the flag cloud on the top of the Mt. Qomolangma is also known as "the highest vane in the world".

No 4: Honghua

Tibet's most elusive mysteries

Honghua (become a rainbow) is an occult phenomenon formed when the enlightenment great monk passes away. It is said when the enlightenment monk who has obtained a certain degree of Buddhism passed away, his body will convert into a rainbow and enter the Amita World of Buddhism.

No 5: Wizardry

Tibet's most elusive mysteries

Mightily influenced by the aboriginal religious belief, Tibetan people believe that everything, either flying in the sky, running on the earth or swimming under the water, has deity, who dominates over the world.

In the evolution of human being, people has never stop longing for a superhuman power to influence or even control the objective reality or some natural phenomena, thus engendering the fete and wizardry along with a group of people who lived on it-necromancer.

However, people know nothing of the necromancer, for example the title, ways of inheritance, clothes, religious wares, altars, curses and so on.

Perhaps, somewhere in the world the most primitive wizardry rituals were still more or less keeps, and the mystery of necromancer still remains a mystery and needs to be further studied.

No 6: The Epic of King Gesar

Tibet's most elusive mysteries

Hailed as the longest heroic epic in the world, the Epic of King Gesar has more than one hundred volumes.

It has been passed on from one generation to the next mostly orally, and only an extremely small amount of hand-written copies are kept in folk.

The legends of Gesar narrators have been told for centuries. The Gesar artists, who are able to tell dozens of epics, claim themselves "God-taught artists" because they are endowed by the God with super power.

According to the artists, when they were young, they had dreams and then fell ill. In the dream, they met the God or the King Gesar and have their decrees. Afterwards, their family members invited monks to chant Buddhist scriptures, during which the "door of wisdom" opened, giving them the ability to narrate. Some legend has it that many kids who are totally illiterate got ill but woke up with ability to tell the Epic of King Gesar. It is still an unsolved mystery and no one could tell why.

No 7: The Guge Kingdom

Tibet's most elusive mysteries

In the middle of the 9th century, Lang Darma, the 9th Tsenpo (the highest leader) of Tubo Kingdom was murdered and his great-grandson escaped to Ngari Prefecture in the west of Tibet. By the 10th century, Lang Daram's descendants set up the Guge Kingdom, which had influenced Tibet with outstanding culture from more than 700 years.

In 1630, Ladakh invaded Tibet and ultimately annihilated the great Guge Kingdom.

Historical data show that the war and slaughter did not destroy the civilization of Guge Kingdom nevertheless. But one thing for sure, there is a striking similarity between the disappearance of Guge Kingdom and the Maya civilization-too abrupt.

Today, dozens of households, who are proved not to be descendants of Guge Kingdom, live in a lonely city which could contain thousands of people. Where could the hundreds of thousands of people of Guge Kingdom have gone and how did they disappear overnight? Nobody knows.

No 8: Terma

Tibet's most elusive mysteries

The Bon religion and Tibetan Buddhism believers hided or buried their Buddhist scriptures somewhere secluded when their religious belief were undergoing a disaster. Those Buddhist scriptures being dug out in later years is called Terma, translated in English as "treasure" or "revealed teaching".

Terma is divided into "Shuzang", "Shengwuzang" and "Shizang". Shuzang means scriptures while Shengwuzang refers to religious ritual implements or things used by the great monks.

The most wizardly is "Shizang". When the Buddhists had difficulty in keeping the Buddhist scriptures or paternosters in the face of calamity, the God would "put" them on someone's consciousness to make sure that those classics be passed on successfully. When the right comes, the "scripture receivers" will read out or write down the scriptures under some unearthly instructions. This is the mystery of Terma, which has been absorbing a great number of experts to explore its secret.

No 9: Shadrubling Temple: The thousand-year-old girl's body isn't rotten

Tibet's most elusive mysteries

Shadrubling Temple is located close to Lhasa Konggar Airport.

The girl's body here is unique not only because of the important role she played in the history of Tibetan Buddhism, but what's more amazing is that her body has survived 1,000 years till now!

She died one thousand years ago, at the age of 12, and after her death, the body naturally shrank to only one cubit in height while remaining in the seated Tara posture.

According to legend, she was a true embodiment of Palden Lhamo, and after her death believers enshrined her in the temple. She sats in the shrine, the size of a five- or six-year-old girl, wearing a crown on her head and a colorful costume.

Her face is calm and her skin plump as if it still has flexibility. Her head is slightly lowered and her eyes rest half open, in which a reflection is faintly visible. How incredible she is!

No 10: Underground fluid moves Tibet eastward

Known as the "Roof of the World", the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is "drifting" eastwards at a rate of a few centimeters a year.

The cause of this phenomenon is the very good conductivity of the substances under the earth's crust, not tectonic plate extrusion as was previously believed.

Scientists from China, the United States and Canada recently published the full text of their study in the magazine "Nature".

No 11: Tibetan Tantric Buddhism's adoption of Yin doctrine

Tibet's most elusive mysteries

The doctrine of Yin and Yang is one of the basic teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, and a guide for Tibetan Buddhist practice.

If we look at the material that is classified as "negative" or "Yin": knowledge, matter, emotions, language and light – it seems that the entire universe is negative.

Negative energy and wisdom are the sources of the real world, so a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner must strive to achieve the so-called "Yin essence" in order to discern and apprehend the real world and achieve a Buddha mind.

To obtain this kind of primitive energy, Tibetan Buddhist practitioners must master the corresponding "method".

According to tantric teachings, the source of cosmic energy in the universe is at the intersection of the sexes, and after advanced practice of the "method" the practitioner will have both male and female genders including fertility and the ability to birth all things.

Regards