What is Shang Shung?
Shang Shung, the name of the Institute, reflects the pre-Buddhist foundations of Tibetan culture and history. The ancient kingdom of Shang Shung once occupied a large area including Western and Northern Tibet with Mount Kailash at its centre. The study of Shang Shung is important if we are to understand the unique nature and the universal importance of Tibetan culture, past and present.
Many of its traditions have been transmitted across the centuries by both oral and literary means. Knowledge of Tibetan culture, influenced by the Indo-Buddhist tradition which was introduced into Tibet between the 7th and 11th centuries, is traditionally classified into five major fields or sciences: Arts and Crafts, Medicine, Linguistics and Poetry, Logic and “Inner Knowledge” which refers to the more esoteric aspects of Meditation and Buddhist Studies. These five fields of knowledge form the basis of the programme for the London Institute of Tibetan Studies.
“I therefore hope and pray that all Tibetans and those who are interested in the future of Tibet and its culture, will help in whatever way they can to ensure the continuing survival of the authentic Tibetan tradition.”
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu.