The Relationship between the Ming Central Authorities and
the Phadru Regime in the Tibet Region
I. whether There Were Eleven or Thirteen Desi (Chief Administrator)of the Phadru
Since the reign of Wo Godan, emperor Taizhu of the Yuan Dynasty, Tibet has formally been incorporated
into the Great Yuan Empire, and it was the Sakya regime supported by the Yuan emperor that directly
administered the local affairs of Tibet. The Sakya regime ruled over Tibet for 89 years by altogether six
ruling lamas, from the second year of the emperor Shizu of the Yuan Dynasty (1265 A. D.), when Phagspa
established Labrang and appointed Ponchen (administrator) in Sakya Monastery, till the fourteenth year of
the emperor shundi of the Yuan dynasty (1354 A. D.), when the Sakya regime was overthrown by
Changchu Gyantsan of the Phamo Drupa Kagyu sect, the head of Wanhu (ten thousand households). The
history of this period is clear with few knotty problems. Now what is of problem is the history of the
Phadru regime's rule over Tibet.
The Phadru regime also had the recognition of the Yuan emperor Shundi, who granted Changchu
Gyantsan the title of "Da Situ" (grand duke) to take over the administration of Tibetan local affairs.
Immediately following the collapse of the Yuan dynasty, the regime pledged allegiance to the newly
founded Ming dynasty. Thus, the Tibetan region was formally admitted into the Great Ming Empire's
domain, peacefully establishing the relationship of subordination without any war. The successive ruling
lamas of the Phadru regime were granted official posts and titles. Moreover, from the fifth on, they
inherited the title of "Primce Chanhua" (Prince of Persuasion).
The ruling lamas of the Phadru regime proclaimed themselves to be Desi. The Phadru regime lasted for
264 years, from the first Desi Changchu Gyantsan in 1354 (the fourteenth year of Zhizheng in the reign of
the Yuan emperor Shundi) to the last Desi Dzowa gongpo overthrown by Tsangpa Khan of the Kagyu
Karma sect in 1618 (the forty --sixth year of Wanli in the reign of the Ming emperor Shengzong). In
regards to the historical period of the Phadru regime's rule over Tibet --- the earlier phase of which was
more explicit than the later one --- there are few detailed works and quite different opinions on the issues
concerning the number of Desi altogether, their chronological order of succession, and their term of rule.
While working on The Biographies of the Dalai Lamas, I made a brief study of the history of the Phadru
regime and held that there were thirteen Desi altogether, whereas, in fact the number is not precise.
Moreover, as for the Desi's dates of birth and death as well as the years of reign, most of them were
approximate numbers and a few were even without any numbers at all. Then I had to annotate with the
note: "without detailed dates of birth and death as well as the years of reign", leaving them for further
Later, in the process of compiling The Biographies of the Panchen Lamas, I met the same problem again
and was forced to devote a lot of time and energy to solve it. I tentatively found out that there were eleven
Desi under the Phadru regime, not thirteen. As for their dates of birth and death as well as their years of
reign, though I dare not say they are absolutely precise, they are somehow better than the exposition in The
Biographies of the Dalai Lamas.
Changchu Gyantsan (1302 -- 1364), the Phadru regime's first Desi, was a descendant of the Lang family
which owned a large number of manors and serfs in Lhoka area of Tibet. When the Yuan emperor Shizu
sent officials to Tibet to take a census in 1268, thirteen Wan Hu with a head for each were installed in U
and Tsang. Phamo Drupa was one of them; his eighth head was Changchu Gyantsan. Gradually becoming
powerful at the end of the Yuan danasty, Phamo Drupa conquered and annexed the rest of twelve Wan Hu,
overthrew the rule of the Sakya regime in the fourteenth year of Zhizheng under the reign of the Yuan
emperor Shundi, then established the Phadru regime. Proclaiming himself to be Desi, Changchu Gyantsan
possessed the capital city of Nedong Dzong (county), Lokha area of Tibet, and also had a Drungchen
(secretary -- general) working under him, attending to the day -- to -- day affairs. Being a monk, Changchu
Gyantsan did not get married. For this reason he stipulated that the post of Phadru's Desi should all be held
by monks. Within the areas ruled by the Phadru regime, Changchu Gyantsan set up Dzongs (equivalent to
'counties" in inland China),the heads of which, called Dzongpons, were not hereditary, but appointed by the
Desi. Furthermore, many Shikas (feudal manors) were established in rural areas, having serfs to work for
them. The History of Tibetan Kings and Ministers by the fifth Dalai Lama records: "During the reign of
Desi Changchu Gyantsan, all areas, even including the westernmost ones, were subject to the rule of the
Phadru regime without exception. Moreover, in accordance with custom, the minor heads offered tribute
and handed in taxes to the regime." It can be seen from the above records that the Phadru regime had
completely replaced the Sakya monarchy, marking the beginning of the Kagyu sect's Phadru rule of Tibet.
At the age of 62, Changchu Gyantsan died in 1364 (the twenty -- fourth year of Zhizheng under the reign of
the Yuan emperor Shundi), having reigned for ten years (1354 -- 1364).
Called Jamyang Sakya Gyantsan in The History of the Ming Dynasty, Changchu Gyantsan's nephew
Sakya Gyantsan (1340 -- 1373) was the second Desi of the Phadru regime. Being the son of Changchu
Gyantsan's younger brother Sonam Sangpo, Sakya Gyantsan became a monk when he was still a child, and
was once the abbot of Tsethang Monastery. After Changchu Gyantsan passed away, Sakya Gyantsan
succeeded him as the second Desi, and was grandted the title of " State Initiation Master" by emperor
Shundi of the Yuan dynasty. At that time there happened political upheavals causing dynastic change. The
Yuan dynasty was overthrown, and the Ming dynasty was soon established. In the fifth year of Hongwu
under the reign of the Ming emperor Taizu, Sakya Gyantsan sent an envoy to pay homage to the emperor
who also granted him the title of "State Initiation master." having reigned for nine years (1364-- 1373), he
died in 1373 (the sixth year of Hongwu) at the age of 33. The regime's third Desi Tapa Jangchu (or Kyila
Shipa Sangdru Ja Tsangpa tsangpo as he was referred to in The History of Ming Dynasty), was the son of
Rinchen Dorje, Changchu Gyantsan's younger brother. Becoming a monk at a very young age, he
succeeded Sakya Gyantsan as the Desi in the sixth year of Hongwu, and in the eighth year of Hongwu he
was granted the title of " Wan Hu of Phamo Drupa" by the Ming emperor Taizu. Later he resigned in the
fourteenth year of Hongwu and became the abbot of Den Sathil Monastery. As Tapa Jangchu was well--
versed in Buddhist studies, Tsongkapa once studied under him. He reigned for only eight years (1373 --
1381), and passed away at the age of 30 in 1386 (the nineteenth year of Hongwu).
Mentioned as "Sonam Tashi Yejan tsangpo" in Imperial Records of the Ming Dynasty, the regime's
fourth Desi Sonam Tapa (1356 -- 1408), also the son of Rinchen Dorje and the third Desi Tapa Changchu's
younger brother, became a monk at a very young age and once was the abbot of fTsethang Monastery. In
1381 (the fourteenth year of Hongwu under the reign of Ming emperor taizu) he became the fourth Desi
and was conferred the title of "State Initiation Master " in the twenty -- first year of Hongwu. Having
reigned for four years, Sonam Tapa resigned and his younger brother Tapa Gyantsan succeeded him to the
post. At the age of 49 he died in 1408 (the sixth year of Yongle of the Ming emperor Chengzu).
Tapa Gyantsan (or Kyila Shipa Gyemtsan Palzangpo, as he was referred to in The History of the Ming
Dynasty), Phadru's fifth Desi, sas the son of Rinchen Dorje and the fourth Desi Sonam Tapa's younger
brother. Initiated into monkhood in his childhood, he was once the abbot of Tsethang Monastery. Later in
1385 (the eighteenth year of Hongwu of the Ming dynasty) he became the Desi, and was endowed the title
of "Prince Chanhua" in 1406 (the fourth year of Yong -- fle under the reign of the Ming emkperor
Chengzu). During his term of office, Tapa gyantsan did two very important thimgs. First, he had post --
staging stations along the road from inland China to Tibet restorded, which was prdaised in The History of
the Ming Dynasty: "From then on, the roads streched unobstructed for thousands of Li and government
envoys in transit travelled along these roads without fear of being attacked by bandits." Second, he assisted
tsongkapa to institute the Lhasa Prayer Festival (Known as "Monlam" in Tibetan, nowadays generally
called" Monlam Chenpo") in 1409 (the seventh year of Ming emperor chengzu's reign). In the same year he
offered financial help for Tsongkapa to found the Ganden Monastery, the first one of the Gelug sect. Tapa
Gyantsan died at the age of 58 in 1432( the seventh year of Xuande under the redign of the Ming emperor
Zuanzong). His reign of 47 years was the zenith of the Phadru regime. Namka Gyantsan, an aristocrat,
usurped the post of Dzongpon (magistrate) of Rinpung cunty and changed it a hereditary position. Called
ringpungpa in Tibetan historical books, the family gradually grew stronger and more powerful, establishing
a separatist rule in Ringpung County whose influence extended into the internal section of the Phaddru
Phadru's sixth Desi was Gyungne (1414 -- 1448) (mentioned in The history of the Ming Dynasty as kyila
Shipa Yongnejan Tsangpa tsangpo), who was the nephew of the fifth Desi Tapa gyantsan and the eldest son
of his younger brother Sanggye Gyantsan. Becoming a monk at a very young age and once being the abbot
of tsethang Monastery, he took office as the Desi in 1432 (the seventh year of Xuande under the reign of
the Ming emperor Xuanzong), and received the dtitles of" the State Initiation Master" and "Prince
Chanhua" in 1439 (the fourth year of Zhengtong under the reign of the Ming emperor Yingzong). Later,
following a coup dd'etat staged within the Phadru regime in 1446 (the eleventh year of Zhengtong under
the reign of the Ming emperor Yingzong), Tapa Gyungne was dethroned by his father Sanggye Gyantsan,
who usurped the post of Desi. He died at the age of 34 in 1448 (the thirteenth year of Zhengtong under the
reign of Ming emperor Yingzong). Tapa Gyungne stayed in power for fourteen years (1432 -- 1446).
Sanggye Gyangtsan (1396 -- 1468, referred to as Sanggye Je tsangpa tsangpo in The History of the Ming
Dynasty)usurped the position of Desi in 1446(the eleventh year of Zhengtong under the reign of the Ming
emperor Yingzong. (Note: Changchu Gyantsan, the first Desi of the Phadru regime, made it a rule that all
the Desi had to be monks. Sanggye gyantsan was a layman and was not qualified for the post of Desi. In
order to usurp the power of the Phadru regime, he violated the rule established by Changchu gyantsan.
From then on, the position of Desi became a hereditary system.) He was not endowed with the official title
by the Ming government, and only received the title of" Successor th Prince Chanhua". He died at the age
of 72 in 1468 (the fourth year of Chenghua under the reign of Ming emperor Xianzong). Sanggye Gyantsan
stayed in power for twenty --two years (1446--1468).
The eighth Desi of the Phadru regime was Kungga lepa (1433 -- 1495), referred to as" Gongga Lesi
Phadrung Nelingzeng gyantsan Palzangpo" in The History of the Ming Dynasty. As the second son of
Sanggye Gyantsan, he succeeded to the Deso in 1468 (the fourth year of Chenghua under the reign of the
Ming emperor Xianzong) and received the title of "Successor th Prince Chanhua" in 1469(the fifth year of
Chenghua under the reign of the Ming emperor Zianzong). Having remained in office for 27 years (1468--
1495), Gongga Lepa died at the age of 62 in 1495 (the eighth year of Hongzhi under the reign ofj the Ming
emperor Xiaozong). As he had no son, Gongga Lepa was succeeded by Ngagen Wangpo.
Recorded as "Aje Wangsu Tapa" in The History of the Ming Dynasty, Ngagen Wangpo was the ninth
Desi of the Phaddru regime. It is still not clear whose son he was: according to The History of Tibetan
Kings and Ministers, there are two versions about his life. One is that he might be the son of the sixth Desi
tapa Gyungne; the other is that he was probably the som of Gongrang Robi Dorje, son of a high official.
Once being a monk, Ngagen Wangpo was the abbot of Den Sathil Zmonastery. Resuming sedcular life
after becoming fthe Desi, he married the daughter of Tsongkapa and had a son called Awang Tashi Tapa.
In 1497 (the tenth year of Hongzhi under the reign of the Ming emperor Xiaozong) Ngagen Wangpo sent
an envoy to Beijing to ask for the Ming emperor's granting of title. As the post -- staging stations had long
been out of repair, it took several years to travel to and fro between Tibet and Beijing.Having reigned for
fifteen years (1495--1510),he howerer, died at the age of 72, in 1510 (the fifth year of Zhengdu under the
reign of the Ming emperor Wuzong), before the emperor's envoy reached Tibet.
Following the death of ngagen Wangpo, there was no recipient of the title conferred by the emperor; and
in accordance with regulations drawn up by the Ming Dynasty, the envoy was reguired to hand the
emperor's edict back to the Boardd of Rite to be canceled. Therefore at that time the regime's monk
officials requested that the edict, conferred on Ngagen Wangpo, be transferred to his son Awang Tapa
Tashi. As a Tibetan himself, the envoy did not know the Ming Dynasty's rules, and endowed the imperial
edict on the son. After he came back to Sichuan Province, howerer, the governor denounced him for his
crime of bestowing the title withhout authorization, and had him arrested and sent to Beijing to be
decapitated. Later, the Ming emperor ruled that:"Since tibetans should not be punished severely, he was
dexempted dfrom decapitation and sent to Ping Liang of Shaanxi in exile;
meanwhile as for dthe officials under the deputy envoy, they would be exonerated". (see The History of
the Ming Dynasty)
Referred to as Adwang Tashi Tapa Gyantsan Palzangpo in The History of the Ming Dynasty, Ngawang
Tashi Tapa (about 1499 -- 1571)was Phadru 's tenth Desi. As he was too young to administer the affairs,
Rinpungpa Chokyi Dorje and Chodra Yeshe, the fourth ruling Lama of Karma Kagyu sect known as " the
black hat sect", were the acting Desi for eight years (1510-- 1518), During their reign they perecuted the
Gelug sect founded by dTsongkapa, and did not allow the monks of Drepung and Sera Monasteries to
attend the Monlam Chenpo, an annual prayer restival held in January. The ban was not lifted after Awang
Tashi Tapa formally came into office as the tenth Desi in 1518 (the thirteenth year of Zhengde under the
reign of the Ming emperor Wuzong) . He was not granted the title of "Prince Chanhua" until 1563 (the forty
-- second year of Jiaqing under the reign of the Ming emperor dShizong). He died at the age of d72 in 1571
( the fifth year of Longqing ), having remained in power for 53 years (1518-- 1571). With the collapse of
the Phadru regime and the decline of the power of Rinpungpa, Shingshapa --- the ancestor of Tsangpa
Khan and one of the great serf -- owners in Tsang-- replaced them. Shingshapa, called Tsetan Dorje, was
once the subject of Rinpungpa; later uniting with the local powers in Tsang, he captured Rinpungpa's
manors and serfs, separately ruling in Tsang and calling himself" Tsangdui Gyalpo" (the king of the upper
part of Tsang).
Called "Tashi Tsangpo" in The History of the Ming Dynasty, the tenth Desi Awang Tashi Tapa's son
Drowa Gongpo (1568-1618) reiganed as Phadru's eleventh, and also last Desi for 47 years (1571-1618).
Succeeding as the Desi in 1571 (the fifth year of Longqing under the reign of the Ming emperor Muzong ),
he was conferred the title of "State Initiation master" and "Prince Chanhua" of Phamo Drupa in U and
Tsang by the Ming emperor Shengzong in the sixth year of his reign. The year he was overthrown by
Tsangpa Khan was 1618 (the forty -- sixth year of the reign of the Ming emperor Shengzong), when he was
probably persecuted to death at the age of about fifty years.
From the point of view of the religious sect, Tsangpa Khan still fbelonged to the Kagyu sect, whereas he
believed in the Kardma Kagyu sect. After overthrowing the Phadru regime, Tsangpa Khan named the
dtenth Karma sect's "black hat ruling lama" Chokyi Dorje as Desi, and located its capital in Samdrutse
(Shikatse). We call this hierarchy the Karma Kagyu regime.
Being hostile to the Gelug sect headed by the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama, Tsangpa Khan persecuted
the Gelug sect by every means and tried to exterminate it from Tibet. In order to protect their own sect, the
fourth Panchem Lama and the fifth Dalai Lama secretly sent for Gushi Khan of the Oirat Mongols. In 1642
(the fifteenth year of Congzheng of the Ming emperor Shizong) Gushi Khan led his army in Qinghai into
Tibet and put an end to the Karma regime, which had druled Tibet for only twenty -- four years (1618 --
1642). Adding up the years of rule by the Phadru and Karma Kagyu regimes, the Kagyu sect ruled Tibet
altogether for 288 years.
II. Whether Rinchen Dorje Had Once Been a Desi Conferred the Title of
"Prince Chanhua" by the Ming Emperor Xianzong
There are different accounts of the Phadru regime in Chinese and Tibetan histories, and the life story of
Rinchen Dorje is one of the most unreconciled problems. In The Biographies of the Dalai Lamas, I, in
accordance with Tibetan historical materials, wrote the following accounts: "In Tibetan historical data there
was record of the Desi regime's ninth ruling Lama Rinchen Dorje (with- out detailed dates of birth and
death nor the years of reign), not the years of reign), and his receiving the title of " Prince Chanhua" from
the Ming emperor Xiang- xong. However he was not mentioned in The History of the Ming Dynasty, and
still less given the title."
While compiling The Biographies of the Panchen Lamas, I finally found out that there was really a man
called Rinchen Dorje, but no detailed account of him existed. For the following reasons, it can be affirmed
that he was never the Desi, nor was conferred the title of "Prince Chanhua" by the Ming emkperor
1. According to The History of the Ming Dynasty and Imperial Records of the Ning Dynasty, all the
successive Desi of the Phadru regime except the first one who died at the end of the Yuan Dynasty, were
granted titles by the Ming emperors, for instance, the second and thdird Desi received respectively the titles
of" the State Initiation Master" and "Prince Chanhua" from the Ming emperor Taizu; the fourth one was
conferred the title of "the head of the thousand households of Phamo Drupa" by Ming emperor Taizu, and
the fifth was given the title of "Prince Chanhua". From then on, the successive Desi inherited the title of
"Prince Chanhua" until the collapse of the Phadru regime. Neither of the accounts of the successive" Pince
Chanhua" in The History of the Ming Dynasty included a Rinchen Dorje. In the light of the Ming Dynasty's
system, when an old "Prince Chanhua" was replaced by a new one, an envoy would be sent to Beijing to
change the imperial edict and the seal. Otherwise it was illegal to have a new Desi. If Rinchen Dorje had
once been a Desi ("Prince Chanhua"), the above mentioned two history books of the Ming Dynasty would
not have left him out.
2. According to Tibetan historical materials, Rinchen Dorje was granted the title of "Prince Chanhua" by
the Ming emperor Xianzong. In accordance with records in The History of the Ming Dynasty, the Ming
emperor Xianzong, the title of whose reign was Chenghua, had remained in office for 23 years. It was in
this period, from the first year of Chenghua (1465) to the twenty -- third year of Chenghua (1487), that
Sanggye Gyantsan and Gongka lepa ruled Tibet. Following the death of Sanggye Gyantsan in the fourth
year of the Ming emperor Xianzong , his son Gongka Lepa succeeded him. Receiving the title of "Prince
Chanhua" from Ming emperor Xianzong, Gongka Lepa ruled Tibet until his death in the twenty--third year
of the Ming emperor Xianzong. Moreover, during the reign of the Ming emperor Xianzong. only Gongka
Lepa, not Rinchen Dorje, was granted the title.
3. Among the Tibetan historical materials referring to Rinchen Dorje, The History of Tibetan kings and
Ministers by the fifth Dalai Lama was an authoritative work. It says:
"Gongka Lepa,the brother of the Tibetan king Tapa Gyungne, studied diligently the canons and later
became the abbot of Drepung Monastery. Having married a woman of Rinpung, an aristocratic family in
Tibet, Gongka Lepa had a son called rinchen Dorje Wanggyal (also Rinchen Dorje). He had once been
granted the title by the Chine- se emperor Chenghua, the embodiment of Manjushri."
As for the real meaning of the account, it depends on the interpetation of it. The fact that Gongka Lepa
married a woman of an aristocratic family from Rinpung and had a son named Rinchen Dorje is explicit
without any question, whereas the last sentence of the account is questionable.
The History of Tibetan Kings and Ministers did not express clearly who was granted the title by the Ming
emperor Chenghua (also called Ming emperor Xianzong), whether Gongka Lepa or Rinchen Dorje. Then
some of the Tibetan historians of the later period held that Rinchen Dorje was conferred the title by the
emperor Chenghua, and listed him as the ninth Desi, immediately following Gongka Lepa. In fact it was a
Except for the above mentioned account, there was no more information about Rinchen Dorje in The
History of Tibetan Kings and Ministers, and perhaps he died very early. For this reason, there was not a son
succeeding Gongka Lepa, and the monk officials of the Phadru regime invited Awang Gepu, the abbot of
Den Sathil Monastery at the time, to succeed Gongka Lepa as the ninth Desi. To the question --- whose son
Awang gepu is --- there were different versions. The History of Tibetan Kings and Ministers reads: "Some
observed that Tsetan Rinpoche, Tapa Gyungne (the regime's sixth Desi) was Awang Gepu's father, and
others argued that he, as a high--ranking monk, was by no means Awang gepu's father. Whereas in the
postscript of The Sea of Karma by Ngagen Wangpo himself, he mentioned gongrang Robi Dorje, a son of a
high official, and it can be inferred that probably Gongrang Robi Dorje was Ngagen Wangpo's father."
We can make further textual investigation into who Ngagen wangpo's father is, but at least for now it is
certain that Gongka Lepa was not his father, thus proving that Rinchen Dorje, Gongka Lepa's son, had died
III. Whether the Names Tashi Tsangpo and Dzowa Gongpo Refer to the Same
Person or Two Different Persons
Who was actually the last Desi ("Prince Chanhua") of the Phadru regime, then the Tibetan local
government in the Ming Dynasty? The historical data (Chinese) say that Tashi Tsangpo was. The Tibetan
histories, however, record him as Dzowa gongpo. Were these two persons actually the same person or two
different persons? In The Biographies of the Dalai Lamas, I argued that they were two different persons
and made the following points:
"Tashi Tsangpo (without either detailed dates of birth and death nor years of reign), the regime's ninth
ruling Lama, received the title of "Prince Chanhua" in 1579 (the seventh year of Wanli under the reign of
the Ming emperor Shengzong).
The regime's thirteenth ruling lama Dzowa Gongpo (with neither detailed dates of birth and death nor
years of reign) was granted the title of "the State Initiation Master and Prince Chanhua of Phamo Drupa, in
U -- Tsang" by Ming emperor Shengzong"
In accordance with the following accounts of "Prince Chanhua" in The history of the Ming Dynasty, I
held that they were two different persons.
"In the seventh year of Wanli, the tribute -- paying envoy said that Tashi Tsangpo, the eldest son of Prince
Chanhua, requested the emperor's permission to socceed to the title of Prince Chanhua, and the Ming
emperor Shengzong also granted him the title. Later following Tashi Tsangpo's death, his son asked for his
inheritance of the title, and emperor Shengzong also approved his request. The emperor issued an edict
calling him Prince Chanhua, and in accordance with his minister Sheng Yiguan's suggestion, conferred on
him the title of 'the State Initiation Master and Prince Chanhua of Phamo Drupa, in U--Tsang.' From then
on, there were continued tributes to the emperor by the Desi."
As it reads in The History of the Ming Dynasty, Ming emperor Shengzong granted the title of" Prince
Chanhua" on Tashi Tsanpo. Later his son was allowed to inherit the title. As for who the son was, there was
not any account of it, whereas the Tibetan historical data say that the regime's last Desi was Dzowa
Gongpo. It can be seen from the above information that Daowa Gongpo was Tashi Tsangpo's son, who was
permitted to inherit the title of "Pirince Chanhua" by the Ming emperor Shengzong . Thus I dealt with them
as two different persons in The Biogrphies of the Dalai Lamas, in which I also noted that it still needed
dates of birth and death nor years of reign of the two ruling lamas.
Later, while compiling The Biographies of the Panchen Lamas, I found out that tashi tsangpo and Dzowa
gongpo were actually the same person. As in The History of the Ming Dynasty, the translated name of the
Desi was quite different from the original Tibetan name, and the account of the Desi was not explicitly
made. Therefore it was liable to cause misunderstanding.
It is The History of Tibetan Kings and Ministers, by the fifth Dalai Lamai, that helpedd me solve the
problem . It reads as follows:
"Taking the daughter of Rinpung as his wife, the Tibetan king (referring to the tenth Desi Awang Tashi
Tapa) had two sons, the Tibetan king Dzowa Gongpo (the Lord of the Living Beings) and Jinan. Tajongwa.
The king Dzowa Gongpo went to Gongka married the daughter of Sajongzhi, the magistrate of gongka
area, and had a son called His Highness Awang Tapa".
In the light of the record in The History of the Ming Dynasty, the tenth Desi Awang Tashi Tapa received
the title of "Prince Chanhua" from the Ming emperor Shizong in the forty--second year of Jiaqing. Awang
Tashi Tapa's son was Dzowa Gongpo. whose name was incorrectly translated as Tashi Tsangpo in The
History of the Ming
Dynasty. Moreover, it was stated clearly in The History of Tibetan Kings and Ministers that Awang Tashi
Tapawas succeeded by his son Dzowa gongpo as Desi. As The History of Tibetan Kings and Ministers was
written by the fifth Dalai Lama in the sixteenth year of Congzeng under the reign of the Ming femperor
Shizong, which was only twenty-- five years after Tsangpa Khan's overthorw of the Phadru regime, his
account of the Desi is believable and reliable.
Meanwhile, I consulted The Imperial Record of the Ming Dynasty, and it reads as follows:
"In February, the seventh year of Wanli (the Year of Snake), the emperor granted titles and endowed
awards accordingly on the tribute--paying Tibetans, who claimed for themselves Prince Chanhua's eldest
son Tashi tsangpo , the second son Tashi Tsang Gyantsan, Tibetan monks Sonam Gyantsan, Sengge
Tsangpo and others.
"In December, the fifteenth year of Wanli (the Year of Tiger), Prince Chanhua's of Tibet sent 600
people,led by monk Lingdzin,to offer local special products as tribute to the emperor,and in accordance
with the precedent, the emperor granted rewards on them.
"In January, the sixteenth year of Wanli (the Year of snake), the Tibetan Prince Chanhua sent an envoy of
more than a thousand people, headed by Dzi Dorje, to present local special products to the emperor.
"In August, the twenty-- first year of Wanli, a banquet was held in honour of fifteen tribute--paying
monks, Dorer and others, sent by Prince Chanhua of Tibet, and the Marquis Xu Wenwei received them.
"In May, the thirty--ninth year of Wanli (The Year of Goat), the emperor gave satin, silk, silver and paper
money to the tribute--offering envoy Gyantsan Dorer and fourteen others.
"In April, the forty--fifth year of Wanli (The Year of Dog), Prince Chanhua of Tibet sent State Preceptor
Sonam Gyantsan, and about a thousand other people to present corals, Puluo (Tibetan wollen cloth), and
other goods to the emperor, and the emperor endowed silk and paper money on those tribute--offerers, both
in Beijing and in Tibet."
From then on, there were no more records about the "Prince Chanhua" of Tibet.
The above quoted materials in The Imperial Records of the Ming Dynasty, proved the following three
(1).Prince Chanhua Tashi Tsangpo was still alive and was not dead during the thirty--nine years beginning
in the seventh year of Wanli when he was granted the title to the forty--sixth year of Wanli. And there was
no such account as" after a long time he passed away and his son asked inherit the title."
(2).It was in the forty--sixth year of Wanli that" Prince Chanhua" sent the envoys to offer tribute to the
emperor for the last time, this proving that the Phadru regime, toppled by Tsangpa Khan, was not able to
dispatch envoy to present tributes to the Ming emperor any more.
(3).It can be seen that the last Desi of the Phadru regime was Tashi Tsangpo. Also Dzowa Gongpo
referred to the same person, not two different persons.
The Biographies of the Dalai Lamas, p.27--p.29, published by the People's Publishing House in 1984.
The History of Tibetan Kings and Ministers(Chinese edition),p.130,published by the Nationalities
Publishing hose in 1983.
The Biographies of the Dalai Lamas,p.28,published by the People's Publishing House in 1984.
The History of Tibetan Kings and Ministers, p.139, published by the Nationalities Publishing House.
The History of Tibetan Kings and Ministers (Chinese edition),p.140,published by the Nationalities
Publishing House in 1984.
The Biographies of the Dalai Lamas, p.28, published by the People's Publishing House in 1984.
The History of Tibetan Kings and Ministers (Chinese edition),p.143,published by the Nationalities
Publishing House in 1983.