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Journey Into Buddhism: Vajra Sky Over Tibet
Journey Into Buddhism Vajra Sky Over Tibet
Actor: Tenzin L. Choegyal
Director: John Bush
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Documentary
NR     2007     1hr 29min

Vajra is the Sanskrit word signifying the thunderbolt of illumination, and yatra is the word for pilgrimage or spiritual journey. This enthralling third documentary offers a cinematic pilgrimage to central Tibet, bearing w...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Tenzin L. Choegyal
Director: John Bush
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Travel, Television, Religion
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/04/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 29min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

Movie Reviews

Beautiful images of Tibetan sites, forgetable naration.
Jonathan Greenlee | 02/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the best of the 3-part DVD series. The images of sacred sites are 5-star. The naration is forgetable, I recommend this DVD to Buddhists who want to see sacred sites. This is not for someone seeking teachings."
Death of a Culture
Bernard T. Watts | London, Ontario Canada | 09/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Journey Into Buddhism: Vajra Sky Over Tibet

This is a powerful DVD that tells a story of what was once a wonderful country and nation; TIBET.

It deals, poignantly, with what has happened to Tibet and its people since the disastrous invasion by the Communists in 1950's and the departure of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the nation, to India in 1959.

Many of the Tibetans that are left (only a fraction after the myriad of purge's and pogroms against their way of life), still pursue their simple spiritual way and the producers of the movie capture this beautifully in a segment at the Jhokang temple, a sacred shrine to the Tibetan form of Buddhism.

The barbarism of the communists and their system is exemplified in a segment on Shigatse, the home of the second-highest-ranking lama in Tibet, the Panchen Lama. The 10th's name was Choekyi Gyaltsen, and he is described as becoming important to the people when His Holiness escaped to India. The narrator explains that during the Cultural Revolution he was imprisoned for a period of ten years after which time he was released but held under house arrest in Beijing until 1982 when he was allowed to return home where he mysteriously grew ill and died. The narrator points out that the conjecture at the time was that he had been poisoned after giving a speech critical of the Chinese occupation.

The story continues that following his unexpected death in 1989. A search for his reincarnation was undertaken and the head of the search committee and after communicating with the Dalai Lama, recognized Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the new (11th) Panchen Lama. Apparently shortly afterwards the Chinese authorities spirited him away and announced that Gyancain Norbu would in fact be the new Panchen Lama. To this day the whereabouts of the boy, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family are unknown and the narrator comments that the Tibetan Government in exile claim that he is "youngest political prisoner in the world".

All in all a wonderful DVD beautifully filmed and photographed, with a sound track that is truly remarkable.

Bernie Watts"
Beautiful photography, nicely produced
M. King | Glenn & Ellen | 04/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I highly recommend the video for anyone wanting to get a feeling for the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in its vanishing milieu. Perhaps there will come a day again soon when Tibetans will be allowed to freely practice their religion (and I do pray for it), but this record of the rich culture which still exists (though diminished) is an important work. My one regret is that there is (for my taste) not enough background information for the those who are just beginning to get to know Tibetan Buddhism."
A magnificent and poignant portrait of a vanishing world
rachel b. | santa fe | 04/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This has to be the definitive film about Tibet today. Shot entirely in this endangered land, the filmmaker John Bush takes us into seldom seen places to reveal the beauty and spirituality that still remains there. Without permission of the Chinese authorities he captures an in depth portrait of a valiant people struggling to maintain their sacred traditions and practice their faith in spite of huge interferences from their atheist overlords. It brought tears to my eyes several times.

Traveling through all the many wonders of Tibet we see the most extraordinary art and spiritual treasures that are so unique to this culture. The noble faces of Tibetan pilgrims illuminated by yak-butter lamps are unforgettable. The soundtrack is ethereal and transporting.

Through all of this we hear the tragic story of the Tibetan people, but somehow seeing their strength and determination in the face of such adversity seems triumphant at the same time. The politics never overwhelm the spiritual intent and the magnificence of what we are seeing.

I heartily recommend this dvd to anyone - it is also available in the boxed set of the trilogy at a better price. I bought it that way. Its interesting to see that the filmmaker builds to this story."