>Atish Dipankar Srijan

Posted on March 30, 2011



Dipankar Srijnan, Atish (980-1053) Buddhist scholar, religious preceptor and philosopher, Atisha Dipankar Srijnan has been venerated for nearly 1000 years as an outstanding religious personality in Tibet and Asia countries north of the Himalayas. But the great saint-philosopher of 10th-11th Century was forgotten for centuries in a peculiar twist of history in the land of his birth in Bangladesh as well as in Indian sub-continent till the end of 19th Century.
Scholars in their quest for Bengal's ancient history and heritage as well as its age-old cultural and religious link with Tibet have resurrected an almost forgotten chapter of history of Buddhism. In the last decade of the 19th Century the name of Atisha Dipankar Srijnan as one of the greatest sons of the Bengal and an outstanding religious personality of India was discovered from the rather rusted records of history inscribed in Tibetan Tanjur. A scholar-diplomat Sarat Chandra Das (1849-1917; born in Chittagong, Bangladesh) had visited the forbidden land of Tibet several times in the latter part of the 19th Century as an envoy of the then colonial British Empire. A fearless explorer, he was fascinated by glimpses into Tibetan religion and culture and risked his life several times as a political suspect in the eyes of the Tibetan ruler while he was visiting remote monasteries and gumpas in rather inaccessible regions to collect materials buried in ancient manuscripts.

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