The Valley of Dantig and the Myth of Exile and Return

Imre Galambos and Sam van Schaik, “The Valley of Dantig and the Myth of Exile and Return.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (2015) 78/3, 475–491.

The valley of Dantig in Amdo plays a central role in Tibetan Buddhist historical literature as the place where the monastic code was maintained during the tenth century after the dissolution of the monasteries in central Tibet. This article shows that a manuscript (now kept at the British Library) carried by a Chinese pilgrim monk through this region in the 960s, which mentions Dantig, is the only direct documentary evidence of Tibetan monastic culture in this region at this time. The authors also show how the name Dantig, which has been previously unexplained, derives from the Sudāna Sūtra, a Buddhist narrative of exile and return that is directly relevant to the aspirations of the refugee monks from central Tibet who settled in the region.


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