This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations . (May 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Died||1630 (aged 44–45)|
|Occupation||Jesuit priest, explorer|
|Known for||First European (alongside João Cabral) to enter Bhutan.|
Estêvão Cacella (1585–1630) was a Portuguese Jesuit missionary.
Cacella was born in Aviz, Portugal, in 1585, joined the Jesuits at the age of nineteen, and sailed for India in 1614 where he worked for some years in Kerala. In 1626, Father Cacella and Father João Cabral, another younger Jesuit priest, travelled from Cochin to Bengal where they spent six months preparing for a journey through Bhutan, which would eventually take them to Tibet where they founded a mission in the town Shigatse (near the River Brahmaputra), the residence of the Panchen Lama and of the great Tibetan monastery of Tashilhunpo. Cacella arrived in Shigatse in November 1627 and Cabral followed in January 1628. Although the Jesuits were well received and had high hopes for the success of the mission in Shigatse, it only lasted a few years. Father Cacella's poor health led to his death during 1630 in the high Tibetan plateau.
While in Bhutan, Father Cacella and Father Cabral met Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, and at the end of a stay of nearly eight months in the country, Father Cacella wrote a long letter from Chagri Monastery, to his superior in Cochin in the Malabar Coast; it was a report, A Relação, relating the progress of their travels. This is the sole report of Shabdrung that remains.
Father Cacella was the first European to enter Bhutan and travel through the Himalayas in winter. Also it was Cacella who, for the first time, described to European civilization a fictional place called Shambala (a Sanskrit term indicating "peace/tranquility/happiness"). According to Tibetan Buddhism this is an ideal country located north or west of the Himalaya Mountains): during the 20th century the myth inspired James Hilton to write his novel Lost Horizon, with its Shangri-La.
From Cacella's own words : "We asked as many questions as we could about the kingdom of Cathay [China] but have heard nothing of it by this name, which is completely unknown here; however, there is a kingdom which is very famous here and which they say is very large called Xembala [Sham-bha-la] next to another called Sopo [Sog-po] (Mongolia); the King does not know the law of Xembala and he has asked us about it many times. We believe it might be the kingdom of Cathay because that of Sopo belongs to the Tartars who we understand are constantly at war with China, according to information given by the King who also says that the King of China rules over a larger population; however he believes that the people of Sopo are stronger and thus normally defeat the Chinese, which is in agreement with all that is already well known about the war between the Tartars and the Chinese, and as the kingdom of Cathay is very large and the only on this side that is next to that of the Tartars as the maps show, it seems we can deduce with some probability that it is the kingdom known here as Xembala. The fact that it is not known here by the other name does not contradict our assumption, as neither China, Tartary or Tibet are known by these names, the people here having no knowledge of them; China they call Guena [rGya-nag], Tartary Sopo, and Tibet Bothanta; we are told that the way to the kingdom of Xembala is very difficult; however, I trust in the Lord because as He has brought us this far with our thoughts focused on that kingdom, so will He take us where we can see it close up, and thus next year I shall send Your Reverence news of it.....with the help of the Lord I shall try to go into the kingdom of Xembala where perhaps, either there or in another kingdom in the area, our Lord will give us the opportunity to serve Him, and next year I shall inform Your Reverence of everything we can find out"
Tibet is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about 2.5 million km2. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa, Tamang, Qiang, Sherpa, and Lhoba peoples and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han Chinese and Hui people. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 5,000 m (16,000 ft). The highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, Earth's highest mountain, rising 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level.
Bhutan's early history is steeped in mythology and remains obscure. Some of the structures provide evidence that the region has been settled as early as 2000 BC. According to a legend it was ruled by a Cooch-Behar king, Sangaldip, around the 7th century BC, but not much is known prior to the introduction of Tibetan Buddhism in the 9th century, when turmoil in Tibet forced many monks to flee to Bhutan. In the 12th century, the Drukpa Kagyupa school was established and remains the dominant form of Buddhism in Bhutan today. The country's political history is intimately tied to its religious history and relations among the various monastic schools and monasteries.
In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Shambhala is a mythical kingdom. Shambhala is mentioned in the Kalachakra Tantra. The Bon scriptures speak of a closely related land called Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring.
Ngawang Namgyal and known colloquially as The Bearded Lama, was a Tibetan Buddhist lama and the unifier of Bhutan as a nation-state. In addition to unifying the various warring fiefdoms for the first time in the 1630s, he also sought to create a distinct Bhutanese cultural identity separate from the Tibetan culture from which it was derived.
Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso was the 5th Dalai Lama and the first Dalai Lama to wield effective temporal and spiritual power over all Tibet. He is often referred to simply as the Great Fifth, being a key religious and temporal leader of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibet. Gyatso is credited with unifying all Tibet under the Ganden Phodrang after a Mongol military intervention which ended a protracted era of civil wars. As an independent head of state, he established relations with Qing Empire and other regional countries and also met early European explorers. Gyatso also wrote 24 volumes' worth of scholarly and religious works on a wide range of subjects.
Bhutan, officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in South Asia. Located in the Eastern Himalayas, it is bordered by Tibet in the north, the Chumbi Valley of Tibet and the Indian states of Sikkim and West Bengal in the west, and the Indian states of Assam, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh in the south and east. Bhutan is geopolitically in South Asia and is the region's second-least-populous nation after the Maldives. Thimphu is its capital and the largest city, while Phuntsholing is its financial center.
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, founded in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama, is the traditional monastic seat of the Panchen Lama, and an historically and culturally important monastery in Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet.
The Catholic Church in Bhutan is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. The Kingdom of Bhutan falls under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Darjeeling (India).
Immigration to Bhutan has an extensive history and has become one of the country's most contentious social, political, and legal issues. Since the twentieth century, Bhutanese immigration and citizenship laws have been promulgated as acts of the royal government, often by decree of the Druk Gyalpo on advice of the rest of government. Immigration policy and procedure are implemented by the Lhengye Zhungtshog Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Department of Immigration. Bhutan's first modern laws regarding immigration and citizenship were the Bhutanese Citizenship Act 1958 and subsequent amendments in 1977. The 1958 Act was superseded by the Bhutanese Citizenship Act 1985, which was then supplemented by a further Immigration Act in 2007. The Constitution of 2008 included some changes in Bhutan's immigration laws, policy, and procedure, however prior law not inconsistent with the 2008 Constitution remained intact. Bhutan's modern citizenship laws and policies reinforce the institution of the Bhutanese monarchy, require familiarity and adherence to Ngalop social norms, and reflect the social impact of the most recent immigrant groups.
The location of Tibet, deep in the Himalaya mountains, made travel to Tibet extraordinarily difficult at any time, in addition to the fact that it traditionally was forbidden to all western foreigners. The internal and external politics of Tibet, China, Bhutan, Assam, and the northern Indian kingdoms combined rendered entry into Tibet politically difficult for all Europeans. The combination of inaccessibility and political sensitivity made Tibet a mystery and a challenge for Europeans well into the 20th century.
The French Internet site "Aide à l'Eglise en détresse" puts the figure of Christians in Bhutan at 12,255, with 1,000 Roman Catholics, making it a total of 0.9% of the population. The population also consists of 84% Buddhists, 11.4% Hindus, 3.4% Animists and 0.3% uncategorized.
The Tango Monastery is a Buddhist monastery located 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) to the north of the capital city of Thimphu in Bhutan, near Cheri Mountain. It was founded by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo in the 13th century and built in its present form by Tenzin Rabgye, the 4th Temporal Ruler in 1688. In 1616, the Tibetan lama Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal meditated in its cave. The self-emanated form of the wrathful Hayagriva is deified in the monastery. It belongs to the Drukpa Kagyu School of Buddhism in Bhutan.
The main religion in Tibet has been Buddhism since its outspread in the 8th century AD. The historical region of Tibet is nowadays mostly comprised by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China and partly by the provinces of Qinghai and Sichuan. Before the arrival of Buddhism, the main religion among Tibetans was an indigenous shamanic and animistic religion, Bon, which now comprises a sizeable minority and which would later influence the formation of Tibetan Buddhism.
Karma Tenkyong, in full Karma Tenkyong Wangpo, was a king of Tibet who ruled from 1620 to 1642. He belonged to the Tsangpa Dynasty which had been prominent in Tsang since 1565. His reign was marked by the increasingly bitter struggle against the Gelugpa sect and its leader the Dalai Lama. The final outcome was the crushing of the Tsangpa regime and the establishment of the Dharma-based Tibetan state that endured until 1950.
João Cabral was a Portuguese Jesuit missionary, who, along with Estêvão Cacella, were the first Europeans to enter Bhutan in 1627. The following year he became the first European to visit neighboring Nepal and the Sikkim region of India.
The Dual System of Government is the traditional diarchal political system of Tibetan peoples whereby the Desi coexists with the spiritual authority of the realm, usually unified under a third single ruler. The actual distribution of power between institutions varied over time and location. The Tibetan term Cho-sid-nyi literally means "both Dharma and temporal," but may also be translated as "dual system of religion and politics."
Lhasa Newar refers to the expatriate Newar traders and artisans who traveled between the Kathmandu Valley and Tibet from centuries ago. The Nepalese merchants conducted trade between Nepal, Tibet and Bengal, India over the Silk Road, and acted as a bridge for economic and cultural exchanges between South Asia and Central Asia.
The military history of Bhutan begins with the Battle of Five Lamas in 1634, marking Bhutan's emergence as a nation under the secular and religious leadership of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Before Bhutan emerged as a separate nation, it remained on the periphery of Tibetan military and political influence. The region that became Bhutan was host to several battles and waves of refugees from turmoil in Tibet. After its founding, Bhutan was invaded numerous times by outside forces, namely Tibetans, Mongols, and the British. Bhutan meanwhile invaded its traditional tributaries in Sikkim, Cooch Behar, and the Duars.