The Leonardo of
Part 2 The Iron-Chain-Bridge Builder and Architect/
Teil 2 Der Eisenkettenbr?ckenbauer und
A video document by
German, 1985-95, 54 minutes
The Crazy Mahasiddha (magic enlightened one) Thang-stong rgyal-po
(spoken Tung-tong gyal-po) 1368-1485
was one of the most illustrous personalities of Tibet in the middle
ages. During his extremely long life, in a time of renaissance of
Buddhism, he 'the king of the empty plains'
started a number of outragious innovations, of which some changed
Tibet dramatically until today, others vanished.
The methods he used were the one of a 'smyon-pa', a crazy holy one.
If we, at the Thang-stong rgyal-po Archive Berlin,
had not translated his biography in detail
and made research over years to prove it,
his vital and energetic deeds would be undiscovered and unbelievable.
He not only invented and built iron-chain-bridges,
which do not corrode until today,
started the Tibetan opera, developed medicines, still used today,
influenced the iconography,
sculpted statues, composed work songs
invented a revolutionary type of architecture, today vanished,
but also wrote poetry,
taught to bridge the gaps between philosophical schools of his time,
and went into retreats to meditate several times for years on his
life long nomadic journey between Pakistan and Assam of today.
This second film
(the first called 'The Demon in the rock' documents the Breaking of
the Rock' ritual that originated the Tibetan theater)
as an example of his work
only shows his spectacular, newly by us discovered bridge
and tchoerten architecture at Riwoche,
and tells the stories of their erection
in the original words of his unpublished biography.
(Six further films on his other 'occupations' shall follow)