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Asian Commitment

Travels and Studies in the Indian Sub-Continent and South-East Asia

Snellgrove David L.

Editeur - Casa editrice

Orchid Press


Anno - Date de Parution


Pagine - Pages


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Asian Commitment: Travels and Studies in the Indian Sub-Continent and South-East Asia (United States) - order this book
Asian Commitment: Travels and Studies in the Indian Sub-Continent and South-East Asia

Asian Commitment  

This book is the autobiographical account of the enthusiasms and disillusionments, of the disappointments and enjoyments of an entire, quite extraordinary lifetime. It is an epic story of scholarship and travel that spans the history, geography, religions and cultural connections of South and Southeast Asia. Until his early retirement in 1982, David Snellgrove was Professor of Tibetan Studies at The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. But his travels and his interests took him much further afield, and the work gives an account of his series of remarkable research expeditions from 1943 until today, taking him through India, Nepal and Bhutan, as well as more recent research travels in the western archipeligo of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, before he quite recently made his second home in Cambodia.
For a period from 1969-72, the author was also a Buddhist consultant at the Vatican, and conviction of the importance of the religious dimension in all human society pervades the entire book. The Epilogue draws these various strands together, and evaluates the religions previously discussed - the various forms of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, as well as some indigenous cults and Christianity.

The book is richly illustrated, and its pages are permeated with evidence of the author's faculty for adaptability, combined with the gifts of energy, perception and enthusiasm.


Recensione in altra lingua (English):

Part One recounts his travels in the Indian sub-continent from 1943 to 1982, while Part Two, from 1987 to 1999 covers new ground. This follows the theme of Indian cultural influences upon the Malay-Indonesian archipelago and the Indo-China mainland.
India and Ceylon during World War II (1943-46);
India, the Himalayas and Nepal: Second Journey 1953-54;
Nepal and Tibetan Frontier Regions (1956-1961);
Tibetan Affairs, India and Nepal (1960-1966);
Nepal, South India and Bhutan (1967-68);
Vatican Affairs (1969-1972)- where he acted as Consultant for Buddhism at the Vatican Secretariat for non-Christian Religions;
Ladakh and Zanskar (1973-1979);
Farewell to India (1979-1982);
Malay Archipelago and Funan (1987-1994);
Hindu-Buddhist States of Java, Sumatra and Bali;
the Khmers and Angkor;
the End of the Old Order.


Traccia di una intervista del 2004
Born in 1920 in Portsmouth as father a naval officer; moved to Hampshire countryside; parents; brother also in the Navy but died during the war; got scholarship to Christ’s Hospital, Horsham; went to Southampton University to study French and German; war came and entered the army; went to India; got there by boat via Cape Town; officers and other ranks
Landed in Bombay in 1943; in charge of a reconnaissance group; sent to Barrakpore, Calcutta; working in intelligence; during leave went to Sikkim; at that time nobody went there; did tour on two occasions.
Became interested in Tibetan religion; met the Maharaja of Sikkim and family; at that time simple Himalayan country but more advanced than Dolpo; attached to an American unit by the end of the war.
Had been in touch with Sir Basil Gould who was in charge of the mission in Gangtok; applied to join Indian Civil Service to get into the political service to get into Tibet; back in England took examinations at India Office and accepted; lasted three months due to Indian Independence.
With knowledge of India and Tibetan decided to continue academically; met Sir Harold Bailey in Cambridge; went to Queen’s to study Sanskrit and Tibetan; Bailey was tutor, he only had three students; had already past the Government of India examination in Tibetan; had learnt both to speak and write Tibetan with the help of a Lama who had been at Calcutta University; also had a Tibetan servant whom I found in Kalimpong; was my batman and accompanied me through all tours.
Memories of Sir Harold Bailey; graduated and offered a post in London in Tibetan at School of Oriental and African Studies; post originally at Readership level but eventually got personal Professorship; started in 1950, before which went to Rome to study with Guiseppe Tucci for a year.
First went to Nepal in 1953-4; large part of Northern Nepal Tibetan in religion and culture; Tucci had been to Mustang and had travelled extensively in Western Tibet; Pasang personal assistant; first went to Solo Khumbu; in Nepal when Everest first climbed; in 1953 walked into Nepal over the hills; then Nepal an enclosed Himalayan Kingdom; large stocks of Sanskrit manuscripts in libraries, nothing comparable in India as all destroyed; had to get permission to travel within Nepal.
Name of Dolpo unknown at that time, but wanted to explore in the Tibetan frontier area; Ekai Kawaguchi had been through it earlier and written about it but he thought Dolpo was name of one town, not the area; went there in 1956 with Pasang and back in 1960-1; Pasang had no problem in communicating with Dolpo people; never learnt Nepali properly but relied on Pasang; he could manage with any Tibetan dialect; had originally met him in Kalimpong where he was the disciple of a Mongolian Lama; had had trouble with my Christian servant and wanted to find a Tibetan as I had during the war; Pasang, a Sherpa, was recommended
To get to Dolpo walked all the way up the Gandaki valley; lack of maps; longest tour took 8 months in 1956; fortunate to be able to spend long periods on research leave
At S.O.A.S. could teach as I liked; never had to give general courses; did series of general lectures on Tibet with the British Museum.

Consulta anche: Intervista in MPG4
Consulta anche: Intervista