Tag Archives: Younghusband

An account of the British Invasion of Tibet | Colonel Younghusband | 1904

PICKED UP this account published by the Stationery Office 1999:

Kalachakra Yantra“…we showed the Abbott the celestial and terrestrial globes. He was especially interested in the former, wherein he recognised all the twelve signs of the Zodiac, calling them by the same names that we use; and he gave us an interesting little lecture on the science of astronomy as known in Tibet. Tibetan astronomy comes from the Hindus, and consists mainly of a mass of absurd superstitions and legends grafted upon very accurate observations of the actual movements of the heavenly bodies.” (An account of the British Invasion of Tibet | Colonel Younghusband | 1904)

Hmm. Kaalacakra and the Tibetan Calendar by Edward Henning, New York, 2007 is worth a read (ISBN 978-0-9753734-9-1) . Appendix II has a chronology of the Shambhala kings.

See Also
Beelzebub and the Beast published
Time and the Kalachakra

Four against 4,000 demonstrate for Tibet

A BIG DEMONSTRATION in New Zealand had 4,000 pro-Chinese demonstrators turn out against four folk holding Tibetan flags.

In other news, the People’s Republic is sending someone to meet the envoy of the Dalai Lama, although what they’ll say to each other no one really knows.

Mr Dalai has long said he’d like Tibet to be an autonomous area of China – there are many Tibetan Buddhists in Taiwan now, don’t you know. And quite a few in India. And even quite a lot in Scotland.

Of course, in all the hoohah about the useless concept called the Olympics, everyone seems to have totally forgotten the British expedition to Tibet in 1904, headed by a man called Younghusband.  A few squaddies under the command of this geezer shot their way through to Lhasa, it appears.

This book, on page x of the foreword, has the telling statement: “The [British] Government of India, however, despite its perceived geopolitical requirements, was never able to persuade its masters in London that Tibet was not in some way or other a part of the Chinese world… When, soon after the British had departed the Subcontinent in 1947, the Government of independent India was not slow in acknowledging the fact of a Chinese Tibet.”

The problem, of course, is not suzerainty, but religion. The PRC in 1951 was hardly secular, and a form of Buddhism has long been prevalent in Greater China and still has many adherents. It is all very complicated. The PRC does get its knickers in a twist over this however – religion is not the “opium of the masses” any more, capitalism is. And the Opium Wars are long over. 

Perhaps if the new Kuomintang government in Ole Taipei gave back or at least started talking about the treasures held in the CKS museum to mainland China, a new era of rapprochement between “autonomous regions” could kick off again.  After all, even Scotland has its own “parliament” these days, apparently from an Old French verb “parler”. And as Winston Churchill is said to have said, “better jaw jaw, than war war”. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to think that…