Various texts imported from the Tibetan and Himalayan Library. These include, among others, Tibetan books on Tibetan Monasteries by region, English essays about monastic cultures, the book Tibetan Literary Genres, and so forth.
Lying at the foot of Géphel (dge ’phel) Mountain, the highest point in the lha saValley, Drepung offers an impressive sight with its hundreds of large buildings nestled in an impressive mountainous surrounding. It is one of the most important religious institutions in Tibet and hence its study offers a great avenue to penetrate Tibetan civilization, its religion, politics, economy, and culture. For in Drepung, all these aspects of traditional Tibetan life, which are often thought to exist apart, come together.
If we are to believe later traditions, and there is in my opinion no reason not to do so, the first Tibetan historiographic writings date from Tibet's imperial period (seventh-ninth centuries), which coincided with her relations with the Nepalese, Indians, Arabs, Turks, Uighurs, 'A zha and, above all, Tang China. Only a fragment of this literary corpus, falling into two broad classes, has survived.
In the following essays, Dreyfus provides us with a wonderful introduction to the Tibetan monastic educational system, discussing such topics as memorization, commentary, the educational curriculum, the theory and practice of debate, the schedule of monastic educational institutions, and finally the different geshé degrees awarded.1 Dreyfus’s years of experience as a scholastic monk in the Geluk tradition make his account detailed and accurate. At the same time, his first-hand familiarity with the tradition shines through in every section.