Read My Journey to Lhasa: The Classic Story of the Only Western Woman Who Succeeded in Entering the Forbidden City by Alexandra David-Néel Free Online
Book Title: My Journey to Lhasa: The Classic Story of the Only Western Woman Who Succeeded in Entering the Forbidden City|
The author of the book: Alexandra David-Néel
Edition: Harper Perennial
Date of issue: August 23rd 2005
ISBN 13: 9780060596552
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 26.74 MB
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Reader ratings: 4.3
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An exemplary travelogue of danger and achievement by the Frenchwoman Madame Alexandra David–Neel of her 1923 expedition to Tibet, the fifth in her series of Asian travels, and her personal recounting of her journey to Lhasa, Tibet's forbidden city.
In order to penetrate Tibet and reach Lhasa, she used her fluency of Tibetan dialects and culture, disguised herself as a beggar with yak hair extensions and inked skin and tackled some of the roughest terrain and climate in the World. With the help of her young companion, Yongden, she willingly suffered the primitive travel conditions, frequent outbreaks of disease, the ever–present danger of border control and the military to reach her goal.
The determination and sheer physical fortitude it took for this woman, delicately reared in Paris and Brussels, is inspiration for men and women alike.
David–Neel is famous for being the first Western woman to have been received by any Dalai Lama and as a passionate scholar and explorer of Asia, hers is one of the most remarkable of all travellersߴales.
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Read information about the authorAlexandra David-Néel (October 24, 1868 - September 8, 1969) was a French explorer, anarchist, spiritualist, Buddhist and writer. She is most known for her visit to the forbidden (to foreigners) city of Lhasa, capital of Tibet (1924). She was born in Paris, France and died in Digne, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. She wrote more than 30 books, about Eastern religion, philosophy, and her travels. Her well-documented teachings influenced the beat writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, and philosopher Alan Watts.
Her real name was Louise Eugenie Alexandrine Marie David. During her childhood she had a strong desire for freedom and spirituality. At the age of 18, she had already visited England, Switzerland and Spain on her own, and she was studying in Madame Blavatsky's Theosophical Society.
In 1890 and 1891, she traveled through India, returning only when running out of money. In Tunis she met the railroad engineer Philippe Néel, whom she married in 1904.
In 1911 Alexandra traveled for the second time to India, to further her study of Buddhism. She was invited to the royal monastery of Sikkim, where she met Maharaj Kumar (crown prince) Sidkeon Tulku. She became Sidkeong's "confidante and spiritual sister" (according to Ruth Middleton), perhaps his lover (Foster & Foster). She also met the thirteenth Dalai Lama twice in 1912, and had the opportunity to ask him many questions about Buddhism—a feat unprecedented for a European woman at that time.
In the period 1914-1916 she lived in a cave in Sikkim, near the Tibetan border, learning spirituality, together with the Tibetan monk Aphur Yongden, who became her lifelong traveling companion, and whom she would adopt later. From there they trespassed into Tibetan territory, meeting the Panchen Lama in Shigatse (August 1916). When the British authorities learned about this—Sikkim was then a British protectorate—Alexandra and Yongden had to leave the country, and, unable to return to Europe in the middle of World War I, they traveled to Japan.
There Alexandra met Ekai Kawaguchi, who had visited Lhasa in 1901 disguised as a Chinese doctor, and this inspired her to visit Lhasa disguised as pilgrims. After traversing China from east to west, they reached Lhasa in 1924, and spent 2 months there.
In 1928 Alexandra separated from Philippe. Later they would reconcile, and Philippe kept supporting her till his death in 1941. Alexandra settled in Digne, and during the next 10 years she wrote books.
In 1937, Yongden and Alexandra went to China, traveling there during the second World War, returning to France only in 1946. She was then 78 years old.
In 1955 Yongden died. Alexandra continued to study and write till her death at age 100.