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General Shiva or General Death! Who was He?

excerpts from Thomas Lowell Jrs book "The Dalai Lama" -

"Dalai Lama said that the existence of Tibet was at stake. Chinese occupiers pretend to be helping us but the situation is much worse. They have guns and they will use it without hesitation. Resist them with caution but “resist”.

At first “Mimang” hoped that passive resistance might have some effect. They remembered Mahatma Gandhi and his victory over the British in India. But Gandhi’s technique didn't work here in Tibet. The leaders of passive resistance were shot. Finally the monks took the lead and they counselled armed resistance. The farmers from “khamba” valley have sent their representatives and most prominent of all this meetings was a spokesman from the Khamba tribe. His Identity has never been revealed. He called himself as General Shiva, a threatening title, for Shiva is the god of destruction in the Hindu religion. We may call him as General Death as the nearest English equivalent.

Once the decision to oppose the reds openly had been agreed upon, General Death took the floor. He was the professional military man of the group, and so the others looked to him to give them their strategy. He had come with a precise plan, which he now outlined in detail. "


Few years later, an unknown monk in the Basti area of UP (source: Oi Mahamanab Ase) claimed that one General Shiva or General Death protected and saved Dalai Lama and advised him to escape to India. He told the great Lama that Indian people would accept him with open arms, so he must go to India and take refuge. He further claimed that Nehru (who did nothing to protect Tibet from Chinese aggression and betrayed the Tibetan cause) had to accede under compulsion or public pressure to give refuge to Dalai Lama. He also claimed that Shiva as the father of ghosts is fearsome. He is also known as Death - ghosts symbolize death, both the names are true. The monk claimed himself to be a dead ghost, "Mrito Bhoot." Dalai Lama's book Freedom in Exile mentions nothing about General Shiva, but it mentions about the Nechung Oracle who advised him to leave Tibet for India. Details about the Nechung Oracle and his relations with Dalai Lama is captured in the article Nechung: A Tibetan Oracle in Exile by Isabela Basombrio Hoban.

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