Tibetans, the people who descend from the monkey

Tibetans, the people who descend from the monkey

According to an ancient myth, the Tibetans originated from the union of an ogress (raksasi) and a monkey. The monkey was sent by Avalokitesvara, Mother Buddha, to sow the seed of Buddhism in these lands.

One day, an ogress approached the monkey and tried to tempt him to marry her. At first the monkey refused, but the ogress continued:

«If you do not marry me, I will become the wife of a devil and give birth to countless children and grandchildren. In future times this plateau will become a world full of devils and thousands of people will be killed. So please do as I have told you.»

Full of doubts, the monkey consulted Avalokitesvara on how he should act, who replied that such a marriage was his destiny and a good deed for Tibet. So they finally married and had five children who learned to speak, lost their tails and became the ancestors of the Tibetan people.

This story is very popular in Tibet, found in myths, legends and wall paintings. Its reflection has remained forever in toponymy, for the name Tsetang, the place where its kings are said to have originated and its most ancient spiritual center, means in Tibetan «the place where monkeys play».

It is curious to note that long before Charles Darwin formulated his theories of evolution in which it is affirmed that man descends from the monkey, in some lands the intuition of this phenomenon already existed.

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