King Gesar A Touch of Gesar Gesar Studies Gesar Artist Gesar Bards Foreign Influence  
  The Gist of the Story

King Gesar tells the following story: Long, long ago, natural and man-made calamities occurred all over Tibet and all forces of evil trampled on the masses. To deliver all living creatures from torment, the Goddess of Mercy begged Amitabha to send the Son of God to the world to vanquish demons and monsters. So, the Son of God, Tuiba Garwa, descended to Tibet and became King Gesar. In order that Gesar could complete the sacred mission of vanquish the demons and benefit the people, the creators of the epic bestowed on Gesar outstanding characteristics and rare ablilities, and portrayed him as a semi-human and semi-god-like hero, a combination of deity, dragon and Nyi devil King. After descending to the world, Gesar was often attacked, but because of his own powers and the protection of the gods, he was never harmed, but the demons and monsters that attacked him were always killed. From the day he was born, Gesar began to rid the people of the scourges. When he was five years old, Gesar moved with his mother to the bank of the Yellow River. When he was eight years old, the Ling tribe also moved there .At the age of 12, Gesar won the horse race of the whole tribe and took the throne. At the same time, he married Sengjam Zhubmo. He vanquished the devils in the north who invaded the State of Ling and successively defeated King Paicham of te State of Hor, King Sadain of the State of Cham, King Xinchi of the State of Moinyu, King Nor of the State of Dashi, King Chidain of the State of Kachesongershi, and King Togui of the state of Zugu, and subdued scores of ancient Tibetan tribes and small kingdoms. After all these victories, his mission completed, Gesar returned to heaven with his mother Gormu and his queen Sengjam Zhubmo, and the magnificent epic King Gesar ends here.

King Gesar involves nearly a hundred tribes, small kingdoms and areas. The epic can be mainly divided into three parts: the first part, Birth of Gesar; the second part, Conqueror of Demons and the third part, Return to Heaven. 


The second part, Conqueror of Demons, is the richest in content and the longest among the three. Besides the well-known four segments of history about fighting against demons, i.e. Conqueror of Demons in the North, Battle Between Hor and Ling , Protecting Yanghai, and Battle Between Moin and Ling, there are the 18 large Zongs, 18 medium-sized Zongs and 18 small Zongs, each an important story and each battle in which can be seen as an independent epic.

The characters in King Gesar number about a hundred. Every character, positive or negative, hero or tyrant, man or woman, old or young, is vividly portrayed. As many as they are, there are no identical characters or generalized ones.
For example, in Battle Between Hor and Ling, the three kings in Hor sent troops to the State of Ling to steal Gesar’s queen Zhubmo, because when the queen of King Paicham of the State of Hor died and King Paicham sent four birds from Hor to search for the beauties in the world, the crow brought him the message:
  In the State of Ling the beautiful lady,
Queen Zhubmo is so pretty.
One forward step of her is valued at a hundred steeds,
One backward step of her is valued at a hundred sheep;
In winter she is warmer than the sun,
In summer she is cooler than the moon;
Scented all over like the flowers,
She attracts swarm of bees dancing around.
Among the numerous beauties in the world,
Only she well matched your majesty;
King Gesar is now away in the North,
Leaving her at home by herself

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