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The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Palden Gyatso was born in a Tibetan village in 1933 and became an ordained Buddhist monk at 18 -- just as Tibet was in the midst of political upheaval. When Communist China invaded Tibet in 1950, it...

Customer Reviews

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Bearing witness to one of the greatest post-war 20th century crimes against humanity

Palden Gyatso relates his fascinating story of his life, as a Tibetan monk and his 33 years in a hellish Chinese Communist prison, where he was, starved, subjected to horrific tortures, leading to irreversible physical damage and barbaric reeducation classes. Born in the Tibetan village of Panam in 1933 he entered the Gadong monastery at the age of ten, and during the Chinese invasion of Tibet he was fully ordained as a monk. Arrested by the Chinese, along with thousands of monks and nuns,during his hellish incarceration from 1959 to 1992, he saw the destruction by the Chinese Communists of the Tibetan people and their culture and religion. Monasteries were destroyed, books burned and thousands of Tibetans arrested and executed by the Commuinist Chinese determined to destroy everything of Tibetan identity and culture, and replace it with Chinese Communism. Of the group of monks Palden was ordained with he was the only one that survived. By the time Palden was arrested the Chinese had woven a strangling web around Tibet, and the hapless Tibetan people could do nothing about it. Palden describes the barbarous "struggle sessions" in which thousands were murdered or beaten to death, the Chinese propaganda that turned reality inside out, claming they were "freeing"' the Tibetan people from "Feudalism" and forcing them to abandon " the four olds "- their culture, customs, habits and thoughts. Ii is horrific to read of the Communist Chinese prison methods. On a brief leave, during 1983, shortly before being re arrested, Palden describes the sight of thousands of Tibetan children starving to death as a result of the famine deliberately created by the Chinese to subjugate the Tibetan people, Many children from the wrong "class backgrounds" were deliberately starved to death by the Communist authorities. Thousands of arrested nuns were stripped, humiliated and often raped by the Chinese Communists. China and it's apologists claim that China introduced progress to Tibet and freed it's people from "feudalism". It does not matter to them that the Tibetan people did not want any part of Communist 'progress' and were happy with the life they lived before the Chinese invasion and genocide. After his release in 1992, Palden went into exile and swore to bear testament to the crimes of Communist China against the Tibetan people.

About as powerful book as you will ever read

This book is a testimony to the endurance of the human spirit, able to overcome the most nefarious system perhaps the world has ever known. The fact that Palden Gyatso is able to relay his story to you and me is nothing short of a miracle after what he had to endure for years inside China's prison system undergoing "reformation." The stories of torture, starvation and freezing nights will stay with you forever and make you question how strong your own beliefs are and whether you could do what Palden Gyatso did. I do not wish to reveal too much, but will say that calling the story compelling is a vast understatement. This book is as important now as ever. China has the 2008 Olympic games and yet these brutalities continue to occur. Not to mention the fact that China is now relocating Chinese into the Tibetan region, threatening forever one of the world's great cultures through dilution of the society and culture. Buy this book and see both the horrors of mankind and also his greatness in what he can overcome. If you like this book, I would also recommend Ama Adhe's book from a woman's perspective in the same system. We often hear the word hero, but rarely is it so appropriate as it is in describing these amazing individuals.

About as powerful book as you will ever find.....

This book is a testimony to the endurance of the human spirit, able to overcome the most nefarious system perhaps the world has ever known. The fact that Palden Gyatso is able to relay his story to you and me is nothing short of a miracle after what he had to endure for years inside China's prison system undergoing "reformation." The stories of torture, starvation and freezing nights will stay with you forever and make you question how strong your own beliefs are and whether you could do what Palden Gyatso did. I do not wish to reveal too much, but will say that calling the story compelling is a vast understatement. This book is as important now as ever. China has the 2008 Olympic games and yet these brutalities continue to occur. Not to mention the fact that China is now relocating Chinese into the Tibetan region, threatening forever one of the world's great cultures through dilution of the society and culture. Buy this book and see both the horrors of mankind and also his greatness in what he can overcome. If you like this book, I would also recommend Ama Adhe's book from a woman's perspective in the same system. We often hear the word hero, but rarely is it so appropriate as it is in describing these amazing individuals.

Amazing Story

This book is a story about endurance and perseverance, Pladen Gyatso wrote about his 32 years in Chinese prisions, what is also interesting about this book is to try and understand why and how the chinese communist government gradually invaded Tibet until the unleashed a wave of represion and murder. If we go into the mind of the gatekeeper we will find fanatism and brainwashing as a means to control the citizens.This is a good book, maybe not excelent but still worth your money, I especially liked that the author went into life in Tibet before the chinese invation, his family and society in general, also the meaning of the Dalai Lama to them.

Inspiring, Heartrending, Educational, Historical

Having been blessed to have read this book and having met Palden-la, I can only say that he has something inside of him that is truly exceptional. He is one of the most compassionate, courageous, forgiving, strong, funny, and seriously dedicated human beings I have ever known. The book is amazing and I read it in one night. The first few chapters are written in a way that carries the reader into pre-invasion Tibet as well as Palden-la's family...it is breathtaking. As his story unfolds, it very clearly shows how ridiculous China's claims are, from their so-called "liberation" of Tibet, to their denials of torture practices, both physical and mental, to their claim that Tibet is part of China. Sadness, nausea, and shock swept through me as I read this book, coupled by a respect and awe for Palden-la's resilience and resistance.The re-education sessions and interrogations are enough to leave one speechless, such is the horror that goes on in Tibet's Chinese prisons--even today. One can see the serious string of grievous errors carried out by the communist regime over time in Tibet--errors which they are terrified of admitting to now and will not risk loss of face at any price. Palden-la's book is A MUST READ FOR ANYONE AND EVERYONE. And, for anyone who is interested in Tibet's Independence Struggle and China's Communist regime, it is essential.
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