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Crossing the Brahmaputra—Fifty Years Ago Today

December 16, 2009

[Fifty years ago, on the night of December 15 and the morning of December 16, Chögyam Trungpa and his party crossed the Brahmaputra River on their way to India, escaping from Tibet. See below for information about following their journey as it unfolded.]

We were now ready to start; it was the night of the full moon on December 15. . . . I went from group to group to encourage those in the rear to move more quickly, and as I was walking between them I saw a man. . . carrying a rifle; I thought he might be Chinese. . . . At last my group reached the river and were the first to embark; eight of us got into one coracle (boat). . . followed closely by a second group. The full moon was just rising. It took some time to get across. . . . As I walked up and down the bank talking to the three groups who had arrived, I suddenly heard gunfire...and I could hear the shrill shouts from Chinese voices. The firing became continuous and bullets came whizzing above us. . . . We intended to walk up the mountain until we found a suitable place where we would hide. . . .we were all utterly exhausted, having eaten hardly anything, and the climb took a long time.

From "Across the Himalaya, " pages 230 to 231, in Born in Tibet, Chögyam Trungpa's autobiography.


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