Samten G. Karmay

Samten G. Karmay is one of Tibet’s foremost scholars. Karmay was born in Amdo Province and attended a local Bonpo monastery from ages eight to fourteen. He then followed a three-year course of Dzogchen meditation at Kyangthang Monastery. At twenty he obtained the Geshe degree and took further studies at Drepung.

In 1959 Samten and his family left Tibet and settled briefly in India. From 1961 to 1964, he was a visiting scholar at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, where he earned an M. Phil. degree for his thesis on Bon history, and then a Ph.D. for his thesis on the origin and development of Dzogchen in Tibetan Buddhist traditions.

In 1980 he entered the National Centre of Scientific Research, Paris, where he became the Director of Research in history and anthropology. In 1996 he was elected President of the International Association of Tibetan Studies. He has written a number of books on Tibetan religions, including a book on the Fifth Dalai Lama.

Samten G. Karmay on TibetWrites

Articles [1]

  • Religion and Politics: commentary The Tibetans prided themselves on what they believed to be a unique tradition, the “combination of religion and politics” (chosi zungdrel). 7 September 2008

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