Lobsang Rampa : biography
Cyril Henry Hoskin (8 April 1910 – 25 January 1981), more popularly known as Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, was a writer who claimed to have been a lama in Tibet before spending the second part of his life in the body of a British man. Hoskin described himself as the "host" of Tuesday Lobsang Rampa. The name Tuesday relates to a claim in The Third Eye that Tibetans are named after the day of the week on which they were born.
Influence of The Third Eye on Tibetologists’ callings
American tibetologist Donald S. Lopez, Jr., in Prisoners of Shangri-La – Tibetan Buddhism and the West (1998), points out that when discussing Rampa with other tibetologists and buddhologists in Europe, he found that The Third Eye was the first book many of them had read about Tibet; "For some it was a fascination with the world Rampa described that had led them to become professional scholars of Tibet."
Lopez adds that when he gave The Third Eye to a class of his at the University of Michigan without telling them about its history, the "students were unanimous in their praise of the book, and despite six prior weeks of lectures and readings on Tibetan history and religion, [...] they found it entirely credible and compelling, judging it more realistic than anything they had previously read about Tibet."Donald S. Lopez, Prisoners of Shangri-La – Tibetan Buddhism and the West, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1998, p. 104 and 112.
Role in Tibet cause
Lobsang Rampa was a supporter of the Tibetan cause despite criticism of his books. In 1972, Rampa's French language agent Alain Stanké wrote to the Dalai Lama and asked for his opinion about Rampa's identity. He received a reply from the Dalai Lama's deputy secretary stating "I wish to inform you that we do not place credence in the books written by the so-called Dr. T. Lobsang Rampa. His works are highly imaginative and fictional in nature." The Dalai Lama had previously admitted that although the books were fictitious, they had created good publicity for Tibet.[https://www.box.com/s/n7bxpreatecy4vkgqjlm Extract from Lobsang Rampa - New Age Trailblazer, pages 166-167]
Controversy over authorship of The Third Eye
Original 1950s cover of The Third Eye Explorer and Tibetologist Heinrich Harrer was unconvinced about the book's origins and hired a private detective from Liverpool named Clifford Burgess to investigate Rampa. The findings of Burgess' investigation were published in the Daily Mail in February 1958. It was reported that the author of the book was a man named Cyril Henry Hoskin, who had been born in Plympton, Devon, in 1910 and was the son of a plumber. Hoskin had never been to Tibet and spoke no Tibetan. In 1948, he had legally changed his name to Carl Kuon Suo before adopting the name Lobsang Rampa. An obituary of Fra Andrew Bertie, Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, claims that he was involved in unmasking Lobsang Rampa as a West Country plumber.
Rampa was tracked by the British press to Howth, Ireland, and confronted with these allegations. He did not deny that he had been born as Cyril Hoskin, but claimed that his body was now occupied by the spirit of Lobsang Rampa. According to the account given in his third book, The Rampa Story, he had fallen out of a fir tree in his garden in Thames Ditton, Surrey, while attempting to photograph an owl. He was concussed and on regaining his senses had seen a Buddhist monk in saffron robes walking towards him. The monk spoke to him about Rampa taking over his body and Hoskin agreed, saying that he was dissatisfied with his current life. When Rampa's original body became too worn out to continue, he took over Hoskin's body in a process of transmigration of the soul.
Rampa maintained for the rest of his life that The Third Eye was a true story. In the foreword to the 1964 edition of the book, he wrote:
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