to myth, the Tibetan people attribute their existence to the
union of an ogress and a monkey. One day a monkey came into
a cave in Yarlung River valley and began to cultivate himself
to attain immortality.
Later, an ogress came to him and tried to tempt him with tricks.
She said to the monkey: “Will you marry me?” “No, I am a disciple
of Mother Buddha. I am instructed to come here to cultivate
myself. If I marry you, it will violate the religious discipline,”
replied the monkey.
ogress proceeded: “If you don’t marry me, I will have to commit
suicide because I am destined in my previous incarnation to
be degraded into a devil. Then you and I cannot become affectionate
couple. Days later, I will become the wife of a devil and
give birth to countless sons and grandsons. At that time,
the plateau will be plunged into a world filled with devils
and thousands of people will be killed. So please do as I
Stuck in the dilemma and puzzled, the monkey had to return
to Putuo Hill to seek instruction from Mother Buddha. She
said: “This is destiny and this is an auspicious sign. It
is a deed of great kindness to marry her and reproduce offspring
for the plateau. As a Buddha, you should not hesitate to conduct
kind deeds. Hurry back to marry the ogress.”
got married and brought six baby monkeys into the world. They
had different hobbies and different dispositions. They looked
for food in the forest by themselves.
Three years later, their father went to the forest and found
out that the number of monkey had expanded to 500 by the way
of reproduction. And they had eaten up the fruits in the forest
and suffered from food shortage.
the old monkey went to Mother Buddha for help. Mother Buddha
took the seeds of five types of grains from Xumi Mountain
and distributed them across the land. Crops sprung up in the
vast land without being cultivated. Hence monkeys got sufficient
some time, their tails became shortened and they could speak
language. Gradually they became humans, the ancestors of the
story that monkey became human was popular with the Tibetan
people and was recorded in the ancient scriptures. You can
also find the clues of the story in many wall paintings. Tsetang
Town in Tibet was named after the story (Tsetang means in
Tibetan language the play place for monkeys). The people in
Tsetang will tell you that the cave where the monkey lived
is still in the nearby Mt. Gangpo Ri. The legendary first
piece of farming land planting highland barley is in Sala
Village, three kilometers away from the town. Up to today,
every year when the sowing season comes, it is customary for
people to take some “sacred soil” from the first farming field
to pray for harvest and blessings from the ancestors. This
story also makes sense if you remember what old Charles Darwin
said - that we've evolved from monkeys.