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Robert A. F. Thurman on Tibet: The Dharma State: Tibetan Lamas, Modernity and the 21st Century (1999)
By demonstrating that it was possible to attain Buddhahood in one lifetime, Milarepa attracted many more Tibetans to Buddhism, continuing the shift away from militarism. Under Kublai Khan, when the influence of the Mongols was widespread, Tibetan monasteries, uniquely, took a role in administering the nation.
Even after the Mongols’ dominance, Tibet was the only place where the warlords lost – the armies were disbanded, not the monks. From the 17th through the 20th centuries, Tibet was successfully non-militaristic. The institution of the Dalai Lama contributed, as he was both the spiritual and the temporal leader of the nation. Today we wonder if this unusual national dedication to spirituality can survive the Chinese policies.