“Change Is Inevitable” – on the First and Second Generations of Tibetan Monks in India and Nepal

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 13:15
Oral Presentation
Malwina KRAJEWSKA, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland
This presentation explores subject of Tibetan monasticism in exile. It outlines the process of migration of institution and tradition. It introduces the story of how Buddhist monasteries led by XVI Karmapa have settled down and been evolving during last sixty years in India and Nepal. Moreover, it explains and presents how this monasteries function nowadays, how they have developed and changed.

Tibetan monasticism in exile clashed with cultures of countries giving asylum had to adjust and learn how to deal with cultural diversity, technological innovations, and capitalism. Along with institutional changes, transformation of monks’s attitude have occurred as well. The first generation had to primarily face many difficulties so that today it could be responsible for conveying the tradition and knowledge to newborns. Youths born in exile don’t have to traverse the Himalayas with all their families and possessions. They are born in safe places where they can practice Tibetan Buddhism freely. All they have to do is learn from the elders. How this knowledge transfer is happening? With what kind of effect? Is social cohesion among Buddhist monks in exile preserved? What is the relationship between the first and second generation in exile? These questions are subject of this presentation. Presented thoughts are based on a four-year research conducted among Karma Kagyu monks in India and Nepal.