History and Religions of Ngari
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History and Religions of Ngari

Update: Mar. 7th, 2013

Ngari Scenery

History of Ngari

In Ngari history, there were two famous kingdoms. They are Xiangxiong Kingdom and Guge Kingdom.

In the long period of early of era, the Ngari Prefecture was controlled by Xiangxiong Kingdom. In Tibetan ancient history and culture, the most mysterious is the Xiangxiong Civilization which disappeared in history. "Xiangxiong" means the habitation of roc in Xiangxiong Language. In general, it is regarded as present Ngari Prefecture. There are different ideas about the interior structure of Xiangxiong Kingdom in Tibetan history. Some people think that Xiangxiong was divided into upper Xiangxiong and lower Xiangxiong, and some people think that Xiangxiong was divided into interior Xiangxiong, middle Xiangxiong and outer Xiangxiong. About the real scene of ancient Xiongxiong Kingdom can be found in various caves left by ancestors in Xiangquan River Valley and Kongqi River Valley.

In 9th century, after Langdama destroyed Buddhism, the son of Tubo Zanpo fled to Ngari Prefecture. He married with a local girl and had three sons. Three sons were distributed to three districts. Among them, the prosperous one became later Guge Kingdom and created splendid Buddhist culture. In 17th century, Guge Kingdom was destroyed.

Religions of Ngari

Bon Religion

Before Buddhism came into Tibet, local Tibetans mainly believed in local Bon Religion. According to historical records, the birthplace of Bon Religion was Xiangxiong, present Ngari Prefecture. The first ancestor of Bon Religion – Xinrao Miwo was born in Weimo Longren Xiangxiong. As early as 5th century, there was prosperous civilization in Xiangxiong which is named Xiangxiong Civilization.

Bon Religion was formed on the basis of natural worship. It worships sky, earth, water, fire, snow mountain and other natural things. The Bon Religion in early period paid more attention to sacrifice and ever used thousands animals to sacrifice. In addition, Bon Religion laid stress on funeral. Until now, Bon Religion still keeps the burial way of stone coffin.

The Shamanism which was popular in Russia, Man National and Hezhe Nationality in Southeast of China originated rom Bon Religion.

Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism is a branch of Buddhism. It is also Lama Sect.

In 7th century when Songtsen Ganpo was in power, Buddhism was introduced into Tibet from inland of China, Nepal and Indian. At that time, Songtsen Ganpo also converted to Buddhism with the effect of her wives - Princess Bhrikuti from Nepal and Princss Wencheng from Tang Dynasty. Songtsen Ganpo ever sent people to study Sanskrit and Buddhism in Indian. After came back, these people created Tibetan Language and translated some Buddhism scriptures. In middle of 8th century, Chisong Dêzain invited Padmasambhava into Tibet and suppressed popular Bon Religion. Buddhism was widely spread. In middle of 9th century, Buddhism in Tibet was destroyed. Later, Buddhism was introduced into Tibet again from Xikang, and Tibetan Buddhism recovered again. In 11th century, the master of Buddhism Attisha came to Tibet. Tibetan Buddhism came to prosperous again.

In the long history of development, there are some sects of Tibetan Buddhism formed. Main sects of Tibetan Buddhism are Nyingma Sect, Kargyu Sect, Sakya Sect and Gelug sect.

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