Influence Of Tibetan Buddhism betan Buddhism On The Hinterland In

Document Sample
Influence Of Tibetan Buddhism betan Buddhism On The Hinterland In Powered By Docstoc
					                                                 CHEN NAN   Influence of Tibetan Buddhism on the Hinterland...   1

             Influence Of Tibetan Buddhism
             On The Hinterland
             In The Ming Dynasty

                                                                                              Chen Nan

    The main sects of Tibetan Buddhism (popularly;          hinterland at that time.
Lamaism) were originally the Nyingma(rnying-ma),                It was in 1247 that Tibetan Buddhism spread to
Kagyu( bkav-brgyud), Kadam and Sakya (sa-skya)              Mongolia when Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen (1182-
traditions. Tsongkhapa founded the Gelug(dge-lugs)          1251) had an interview with the Mongolian Prince
sect at the beginning of the 15th century. Afterwards,      Godan at Liangzhou (now Wuwei of Gansu Province).
the Kadam sect merged into the Gelug sect. There-           Since then Sakya sect’s leader Phagpa (1235-1280) had
fore the four main sects of Tibetan Buddhism became         followed Kublai Khan and was promoted to the post
the Nyingma, Kagyu, Gelug and Sakya, which continue         of Imperial Tutor. The Kagyu tradition, another main
today. Tibetan Buddhism’s eastward spread was a long        sect of Tibetan Buddhism, also had contacts with
process. Tibetan Buddhism began to spread from the          Mongolia when Kublai Khan made a southward mili-
Qinghai-Tibet Plateau northward to Xixia (called Mi-        tary expedition. After the Mongolian leader, who was
nyag in Tibetan), exerting great influence on Xixia         Buddhist, conquered and became master of the Cen-
culture. Buddhism was the most important religious          tral Plains he imported leaders of Tibetan Buddhism.
belief of the Xixia people. Xixia had a special admin-      The central government of the Yuan Dynasty estab-
istrative agency in charge of Buddhist affairs and          lished the Zongzhi (General) Council, a body that
monks. There were a large number of monks in Xixia          handled Buddhist affairs for the whole nation and the
at that time. It was recorded that during on one single     local administration of the Tibetan areas, in 1264. The
Buddhist meeting of making vows three thousand              council was renamed as Xuanzheng in 1288. The Yuan
Dangxiang (Tangut), Chinese Han and Tibetan people          Emperor put the State Preceptor Phagpa in charge of
renounced their domestic lives and became monks. Ti-        the newly established council. In the autumn of 1264,
betan monks enjoyed high respect. Some of them were         Kublai Khan took Tantra vows of Tibetan Buddhism
granted the title of “State Preceptor.” Besides, Tibetan    from the State Preceptor Phagpa. This indicated that
Buddhism spread northwards to the kingdoms of Liao          Kublai Khan officially devoted himself to Tibetan
and Jin as well. However, it had little influence on the    Buddhism. Following his example, Mongolian queens
2    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

and princes also took Buddhist vows. Worshipping           Da-chong-guo-si (Great Worship State Temple), Da-
Tibetan Buddhism became a fashion for the Mongo-           cheng-hua-pu-qing-si (Monastery of Universal
lian aristocrats of the Yuan court. Phagpa worked out      Happiness), Da-tian-shou-wan-ning-si (Monastery of
an alphabetical scheme of writing for the Mongolian        Great Heavenly Longevity and Great Peace), Da-
language in 1269. In recognition of his service, the       chong-en-fu-yuan-si (Monastery of Great Blessedness),
Yuan Emperor granted him additional titles as “Impe-       Da-yong-an-si (Temple of Everlasting Peace), Da-
rial Tutor of the Yuan Dynasty” and “Great Treasure        cheng-tian-hu-sheng-si (The Holy Temple under Heav-
Prince of Dharma.” In 1271 Kublai moved his capital        enly Protection), Da-tian-yuan-yan-shou-si (Temple of
to Beijing. After the Yuan Dynasty was founded,            Longesvity), Da-yong-fu-si(Temple of Everlasting
Kublai gave more support to Tibetan Buddhism, which        Blessing), Shou-an-shan-si (Temple of Longevity and
was then represented by the Sakya sect. He built Ti-       Peace) and others. The construction of these monas-
betan Buddhist monasteries in Dadu (Beijing),              teries and frequent performances of religious ceremo-
Zhongdu (Kaiping) and Shangdu (Duolun), and finan-         nies consumed a large amount of money and materials
cially supported Phagpa in holding grand religious per-    each year.
formances at the capital city. Phagpa’s followers and
the monks of other sects of Tibetan Buddhism took          I. Ming’s policy of granting offices
the opportunity to propagate the doctrines of Tibetan
                                                           and titles to Tibetan monks and
Buddhism. This made Tibetan Buddhism spread very
fast in Mongolia and the central plains.                   Tibetan Buddhist monks coming
    The Yuan court’s respect for eminent monks of          eastward
Tibetan Buddhism reached its zenith. According to
Yuan Shi (History of the Y Dynasty), “The orders of
                           uan                                 After Zhu Yuanzhang founded the Ming Dynasty,
the Imperial Tutor are regarded as highly as those of      he and other Ming emperors, like the Y       uan emperors,
the Yuan Emperor in Tibetan areas. In a hundred years      pursued a policy of patronizing and using Tibetan Bud-
the imperial court paid the highest respect to the Im-     dhism in governing Tibet. The difference was that
perial Tutor. Even the Emperor and his concubines          instead of keeping an eye on the Sakya sect alone, as
and princes knelt down before him for taking religious     was the practice of Yuan, the Ming conferred honor-
vows. Whenever a court meeting was held for high-          ific titles on the leaders of all the influential sects of
ranking officials to have an audience with the Emperor     Tibetan Buddhism. Ming’s policy was in accordance
there would be a special seat in the court for the Im-     with the Tibetan political situation in which various
perial Tutor. When a new emperor came to the throne,       Buddhist sects each acted independently.
he would grant the Tutor a decree of praise as well as a       The titles conferred were “Prince of Dharma,”
seal of authority.”1                                       “Prince,” “the Buddha Son in the West Pure-land,”
    Besides, the flourishing development of Tibetan        “Great State Preceptor of Initiation,” “State Precep-
Buddhism in Mongolia and the central plains during         tor of Initiation” and “Chan Master.” Leaders of al-
the Yuan Dynasty was also indicated by a large num-        most all sects of Tibetan Buddhism were granted an
ber of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries built and the fre-     honorific title. All Tibetan religious leaders with hon-
quent Buddhist ceremonies held there. The Yuan im-         orific titles paid tributes at the capital. They presented
perial family and aristocrats in the capital city built    local products as tribute. Imperial bestowals in return
more than a dozen Tibetan-styled Buddhist temples          usually far exceeded the tributes by several dozens of
and monasteries. The main ones were Da-hu-guo-ren-         times. Under such historical circumstances in the
wang-si (Monastery of the Great Protector of Benevo-       Ming Dynasty a large number of Tibetan monks went
lent King), Da-sheng-wan-an-si (The Great Holy Peace       out of the isolated monasteries and stepped onto the
Temple), Xing-jiao-si (Flourishing Buddhism Temple),       wide political stage. For generation after generation
                                                CHEN NAN   Influence of Tibetan Buddhism on the Hinterland...     3

they spared no effort to seek the honorific titles, rich    True Enlightenment) and Xing-jiao-si (Xingjiao
bestowals and courteous treatment from the imperial         Monastery) were well known. Regarding the number
court. A period of nearly three hundred years of the        of Tibetan monks in Beijing in the Ming Dynasty, there
Ming Dynasty witnessed endless tribute-paying groups        were no accurate statistics. In a word, the number
of Tibetan monks going to and fro on the road be-           was great. The Ming imperial court patronized the
tween Tibet and the capital city.                           Tibetan monks in Beijing. This patronage required
    In the Ming Dynasty, Tibetan monks started to go        such a great amount of financial expenditure that the
to the hinterland in the early Hongwu’s reign (1368-        Ming imperial court once could not afford it. When
1399). They were permitted by the imperial court to         the Ming Emperor Yingzong came to the throne, Hu
visit famous Buddhist spots and recruit disciples in the    Ying, minister of the Board of Rites, suggested to the
hinterland. Therefore many Tibetan monks lived in           Emperor that the number of Tibetan monks be re-
the hinterland for a long time, and even built monas-       duced by 691. Hu Ying’s suggestion was accepted. In
teries there for themselves. Ming Shi Lu (Documentary       the fifth month of the first year of the Zhengtong’s
Records of the Ming Dynasty) pointed out that in the        reign (1436) of the Ming Dynasty, the number of monks
18th year of the Hongwu’s reign, “Jiming Monastery          of Ci-en, Long-shan, Neng-ren and Bao-qing monas-
was built on Mt. Jiming in memory of monk Bao Gong          teries was reduced by 450.”3
of the Liang Dynasty, with monk De Xuan as its first            From the historical record we can see that the num-
abbot. When De Xuan died the successor was Dao              ber of Tibetan monks was reduced by 1,100 in only
Ben. In the early years of the Hongwu’s reign of the        two years from the tenth year (1435) of the Xuande’s
Ming Dynasty Tibetan monk Sanggye Gyaltsen, who             reign to the first year (1436) of the Zhengtong’s reign.
had been appointed as a Right Buddhist Rectifier, came      According to a conservative estimation, the total num-
to the mountain. A house was built for him to west of       ber of Tibetan monks in Beijing was not lower than 2,
the Jiming monastery.”2 Enjoying preferential treat-        000 at that time.
ment from the Ming emperors, Tibetan monks had                  There were so many Tibetan Buddhist monaster-
monasteries built for them in the capital city and even     ies and monks in Beijing that they constituted a part
in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. Those with the titles    of the culture of the capital city during the Ming
of “Prince of Dharma,” “Great State Preceptor, Bud-         Dynasty. Some Tibetan Buddhist rites and customs
dha-son in the West Pure Land” and “State Preceptor         prevailed at the royal court and also among the people.
of Initiation” enjoyed much higher treatment. They
went into and out of the imperial court in a proud air.     II. Tibetan Buddhism’s impacts on
    The Ming court moved its capital city from Nanjing
                                                            the imperial court
to Beijing in the Y ongle”s reign (1403-1425). The Ming
Emperor Yongle attached even more importance to
                                                             1.  The Ming Emperor Yongle
Tibetan monks than the Emperor Hongwu. As Ti-
betan Buddhism had exerted greater impact than Chi-
                                                            (Chengzu) and Tibetan Buddhism
nese Buddhism did on the Yuan’s capital city of Beijing         It was probably in the Yongle’s reign that the Ming
in the Yuan Dynasty, the Ming followed the Yuan’s           imperial court began to worship Tibetan Buddhism.
inheritance in embracing Tibetan Buddhism. Accord-          The Ming Emperor Hongwu (Zhu Yuanzhang, also
ing to a rough statistic, Beijing had a dozen Tibetan       called Taizu) had been a monk for eight years before
Buddhist monasteries in the Ming Dynasty, of which          he founded the Ming Dynasty. This unusual experi-
Da-long-shan-hu-guo-si (Great Merits Monastery for          ence led him to adopt the policy of granting new of-
Protecting the Country), Da-neng-ren-si (Great Be-          fices and titles to Tibetan monks in accordance with
nevolence Monastery), Da-ci-en-si (Great Monastery          the then political situation. He knew very well the
of Compassion and Grace), Zhen-jue-si (Monastery of         role of eminent Tibetan monks amongst the Tibetan
4    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

people, so he tried his best to draw the high-ranking      you will come to hold liberation rituals for the
Lamaist monks over to his side by inviting them to         deceased. Now I send Hou Xian, my eunuch of rites,
visit the imperial court and give them preferential        to invite you with this letter. I hope you’ll accept my
treatment. He did it for political purposes though he      invitation and come as soon as possible. Together with
himself did not believe in Buddhism. However, the          the letter are the following gifts to you: three big sil-
Ming Emperor Yongle (Zhu Li, also called Chengzu)          ver ingots in a total of 150 taels, ten bolts of silk and
in the Y ongle’s reign devoted himself to Buddhism. The    ten bolts of satin, a piece of sandalwood, ten jins of
“Xi Yu Zhuan” (Records of the Western Regions) in          white incense, one jin of Suhe incense and 150 jins of
Ming Shi (History of Ming Dynasty) mentioned it in         white tea.
an ambiguous sentence: “He also believed in this               This decree was written at the Grand Palace on
religion.” However, Ming-shi-lu (Documentary Records       the 18th day of the second month in the first year (1403)
of the Ming Dynasty) did not say a word about it. It       of Yongle period.4
was in the Yongle’s reign that the honorific title of
“Dharma Lord” began to be conferred on eminent Ti-             The Ming Emperor Y    ongle (Chengzu) took the lead
betan monks. A Feast for Wise Men(mkhas-pavi-dgav-         in worshipping Tibetan Buddhism. His subordinates
ston), a Tibetan historical book, recorded the follow-     followed his example. So the whole court was under
ing invitation letter, which the Ming Emperor Yongle,      the influence of a flourishing Tibetan Buddhism. Ac-
(Chengzu or Zhu Li) sent to Deshin Shekpa(de-bzhin         cording to a historical record of the Ming Dynasty,
gshegs-pa), the fifth “black hat” Karmapa:                 Tibetan Buddhist statues were worshipped in the
                                                           Yinghua, Longde and Qin’an halls of the imperial
       imperial decree                    Karmapa
    An imperial decree for inviting Karmapa                palace. In each of the halls eunuchs were sent to take
    You, spiritual teacher, have a good knowledge of       charge of serving them with incense and candles. On
Buddha’s teachings. All sentient beings in the west        the Emperor ’s birthday, New Year ’s Day and
get benefit from you. All living beings worship you as     Ullambana Day, Buddhist rituals would be held at the
if you were the Buddha reappearing in the world.           sutra-printing house and a Tibetan Buddhist religious
Without your great achievements in obtaining wisdom        dance would be performed at the Longde Hall.5 It was
and merits, how could you bring benefits to all living     then a common practice that Tibetan monks were in-
beings? When I lived in the north I heard of your          vited to chant sutras and hold religious rituals in the
name and was anxious to see you. Now I have come to        imperial palace.
the throne and the Central Plains are in peace. I have     2. Zheng He and Tibetan Buddhism
long cherished a wish to overcome ignorance and to             Most of the attendants in charge of religious ritu-
awaken to the truth in order to help all the living with   als at the palace were eunuchs. So many Ming eunuchs
meritorious work. The Buddha helped all living be-         believed in Tibetan Buddhism. Some of them such as
ings with his mercy. You have the same mercy as the        Hou Xian, Gu Dayong, Li Tong and Liu Jin were well-
Buddha in your achievements in practicing Buddhism.        known eunuch Buddhist believers, but some others
I hope you will come to the Central Plains to propa-       were not known to the people, such as Zheng He, the
gate the Buddha’s teachings. For our country’s benefit     Emperor’s most trusted eunuch.
and my long cherished wish, I will learn Buddhism from         People know only that Zheng He sailed to the west
you when you come. Be sure to come. The late Em-           seven times, but they do not know he was a devoted
peror who founded the dynasty in the Central Plains        follower of Tibetan Buddhism.
worshipped Buddha’s teachings with sincerity. He and           According to Ming Shi (History of the Ming
his queen have both passed away. I have cherished the      Dynasty), Zheng He was called “San-bao Tai-jian (
wish to repay their favors shown to me. So, as a mas-           Three-protections Eunuch).” “San-bao” was nei-
ter with great achievements in Buddhism, it is hoped
                                                     CHEN NAN   Influence of Tibetan Buddhism on the Hinterland...     5

ther his personal name nor an honorific title. However,          a believer of Tibetan Buddhism also expressed his sin-
in other historical books of the Ming Dynasty, the title         cere thanks to the “Three Precious Ones” in his prayers
was written as“San-bao” (        , meaning “the Three            printed in sutras. So the“San-bao” for Zheng He in
Precious Jewels” in Chinese). In Buddhism, the “Three            the Ming Shi undoubtedly means the “Three Precious
Precious Jewels”denotes “Buddha, Dharma and Sangha               Jewels.”
(community of monks).” The Buddha preached                           The record concerning Zheng He’s belief in Bud-
Dharma and monks preserved Dharma to save all                    dhism can be found in the Preface to Rules of Libera-
beings. All Buddhists should surrender themselves to             tion for Upasaka, vol.7 (which was printed in the early
the Three Precious Jewels. Tibetan Buddhism attached             period of the Ming Dynasty) as follows:
great importance to the “Three Precious Jewels” (called              “Zheng He was a eunuch of the Ming imperial
“dkon-mchog-gsum” in Tibetan). In Tibetan society                court. He believed in Buddhism. His religious name
both lay and religious people take the Three Precious            was Sonam Drashi, which means ‘blessedness and
Jewels as witness when they make vows. Zheng He as               auspiciousness.’ Fortunately, he lived in the prosper-
                                                                                         ous period of the Ming
                                                                                         Dynasty. Thanks to the pro-
                                                                                         tection of Heaven and Earth
                                                                                         and the Emperor’s favours, he
                                                                                         was able to sail to the west un-
                                                                                         der an escort of troops for pub-
                                                                                         lic affairs several times. All
                                                                                         went well for his trips. He al-
                                                                                         ways cherished the wish to re-
                                                                                         pay these favours. He gave
                                                                                         alms for the printing of
                                                                                         Tripitaka Sutra so the sutra
                                                                                         would be chanted widely. He
                                                                                         wished the Emperor’s rule
                                                                                         would last for eternity. Every-
                                                                                         where he went on the Emp-
                                                                                         eror’s errands, he would kow-
                                                                                         tow to the Emperor for his
                                                                                         favour. He wished the Em-
                                                                                         peror would always enjoyed
                                                                                         good luck, happy life and
                                                                                         longevity. He wished everyone
                                                                                         in Buddhist circles good
                                                                                         progress. Zheng He had ten
                                                                                         sets of Tripitaka Sutra printed
                                                                                         at his expense. One set was
                                                                                         printed on the 11th day of the
                                                                                         3rd month of the 4th year of
                                                                                         Xuande period of the Ming Dy-
                                                                                         nasty and it was placed and
                                Zheng He sailed to the West                              worshipped in the Foku Mon-
6    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

astery at Mt. Niushou. The second one printed on             one was omitted by mistake.
the 11th day of the 3rd month of the 5th year of the             There is another record, which was earlier than the
Xuande reign was worshipped in Jiming Monastery.             one above. This record was written by monk Dao Y       an,
The third one printed on the 11th day of the 3rd month       Right Buddhist Patriarch of the Central Buddhist Reg-
of the 5th year of the Xuande reign was in Beijing           istry in the Central Government of the Ming Dynasty.
Huanghou (Queen) Monaster y. The fourth one                  On the 23rd day of the eighth month in autumn of
printed on the 11th day of the 10th month of the 22nd        kui-wei year or the first year of Yongle reign (1403),
year of the Yongle reign was in Jinghai Monastery. The       monk Dao Yan wrote a preface to the reprinted sutra
fifth one printed on an auspicious day of the fifth          Marichi Deva Dharani. He said in the Preface:
month of the 18th year of the Yongle reign was in                Zheng He is a Mahayana Buddhist; his religious
Jinshan Monastery of Zhenjiang. The sixth one printed        name is Fushan. He had sutras printed by the Bureau
on the 11th day of the 3rd month of the 13th year of         of Works with his donation. His merits are too big to
the Yongle reign was in Sanfengta Monastery at Mt.           be expressed with words. One day he came to ask me
Nan-shan of Fujian. The seventh one printed on an            to write a preface for the printed sutra. So I did.”7
auspicious day of the winter of the 9th year of the              Dao Yan was none other than Yao Guangxiao, an
Y ongle reign was in the Vairochana Hall of the Tianjie      eminent monk of the Ming Dynasty. Yao became a
Monastery. The eighth one printed on the 11th day of         monk at the age of 14. His religious name was Dao
the 3rd month of the 8th year of the Yongle reign was        Yan. Though he was a monk, it was he who suggested
in the Wuhua Monastery of Yunnan. The ninth one              Prince Yan to seize the throne by military force. When
printed on the 11th day of the 5th year of the Yongle        Prince Yan came to the throne as Ming Emperor
reign of the Ming Dynasty was in the Linggu                                                        an
                                                             Yongle (Chengzu), he trusted Dao Y very much. Dao
Monastery.”6                                                 Yan was also very familiar with Zheng He. From Dao
     In his Gu Dong Suo Ji (Random Notes on Antiques)        Yan’s words about Zheng He it can be seen that the
the above record was cited by Mr. Deng Zhicheng.             relations between them were unusual.
The ten sets of sutras printed by Zheng He are lost              More detailed records have not been found till now.
but Mr. Deng said: “In the spring of ding-hai year Mr.       However, the above two records are enough to prove
Li Xingnan of Jixian County happened to get the edi-         that Zheng He believed in Buddhism. He claimed him-
tion of the Rules of Liberation for Upasaka, vol.7, which    self as “a Buddhist of the Great Ming, religiously named
has a postscript . . . In the postscript, before each Chi-   as Sonam Drashi meaning auspiciousness.” Accord-
nese character “fo”(Buddha), “seng”(sacred) and              ing to Dao Yan’ preface, Zheng was a Mahayana
“huang” (emperor) there is a space, and each year num-       Buddhist. Zheng He donated a large sum of money to
ber and monastery name is put at the beginning of the        the printing of ten sets of sutras. If each set consisted
next line. Zheng He sailed to the west seven times.          of 635 hans, the ten sets should have cost as much as 6,
The dates of the printing in the cited record are mostly     350 hans. Except the ten sets of Tripitaka sutras he
before his sailing. Zheng He was a native of Yunnan,         printed and donated to ten monasteries, there were
so he naturally also donated a set of Tibetan Tripitaka      copies of Marichi Deva Dharani also printed by him.
to the Wuhua Monastery of Yunnan. The Wuhua                  He took on his shoulder the important responsibility
Monastery and Huaguo Monastery are on Mt. Wuhua              of leading the expedition of official ships sailing to the
in the capital city of Yunnan but now they have long         west several times. The Emperor also entrusted him
been in ruins.” The ding-hai year of the Chinese cal-        with the task of supervising the construction of Great
endar was 1947. It was true that Mr. Deng saw the            Bao-en Monastery. Generally, only a Buddhist could
postscript and had it copied. However, according to          be a supervisor of a monastery construction. All this
the record Zheng He printed ten sets of Tibetan              proved that Zheng He was a Buddhist. Otherwise it
T ripitaka, but only nine were mentioned above. I think      cannot be explained why he did those things.
                                                CHEN NAN   Influence of Tibetan Buddhism on the Hinterland...       7

     I think, it was Zheng He’s personal experience and     betan name meaning auspiciousness. Zheng He took
the then social background that made him believe in         it as his Buddhist name. This showed that Zheng He
Buddhism. Zheng He left home at the age of 10 with          believed in Tibetan Buddhism.
little knowledge of the world.8 Historical books of the         As Dao Yan wrote the preface to Marichi Deva
Ming Dynasty did not tell us when he became a eu-           Dharani in the first year of Yongle period of Ming
nuch of Ming Emperor Yongle. In a word, he was very         (1403), Zheng He converted to Tibetan Buddhism and
young at that time. The Ming Emperor Yongle’s main          took Bodhisattva vows. This must have been before
advisor was monk Dao Yan. This showed that the              the first year of the Yongle’s reign. Owing to lack of
Emperor had unusual relations with Buddhism. The            data we do not know when he was ordained or who
Emperor’s religious policies toward Tibetan areas also      was his religious tutor. According to the time clues
show his close relationship with Buddhism. Although         we can see Tibetan Buddhism had exerted a big influ-
the official historical books of the Ming court ignored     ence on the capital city long before the first year of
the Emperor’s belief in Buddhism, yet they still made       the Yongle’s reign. The influence was so big that eu-
a few critical remarks on his attitude to Tibetan monks.    nuchs converted to it one after another. A historical
One of the Ming materials says: “For the purpose of         book says:
civilizing and pacifying the people of the borderland,          Tibetan monks won the Emperor’s favour with
Emperor Taizu invited a few Tibetan monks and con-          their secret religion (Tantra, or the esoteric sect). The
ferred honorific titles of ‘State Preceptor’ and ‘Great     utensils for them to use in daily life were like those for
State Preceptor’ on four or five of them only. However,     the princes. Whenever they went out they sat in
Emperor Yongle not only patronized the monks but            sedans. Before the sedans were guards holding golden
also believed in their religion. He granted honorific       ceremonial weapons. Seeing their sedans coming, offi-
titles on many more Tibetan monks. There were five          cials and aristocrats all got out of the way. When they
monks with the title of ‘Propagation Prince of              were summoned to chant sutra in the imperial palace,
Persuasion’, two with ‘Prince of Dharma’, two with ‘the     flowers and grains were scattered on the road they were
Buddha Son in the West Pure-land’, nine with ‘Great         passing. Abundant food and drink were provided daily
State Preceptor of Initiation’ and eighteen with ‘State     to them by the imperial kitchen. Several thousand
Preceptor of Initiation’, in addition to numerous           Tibetan monks enjoyed free high quality meals and
monks with the titles of ‘Master of initiation’ and         clothes. The eunuchs, whenever met the monks, would
‘Monk official’. The roads were so crowded with Ti-         kneel down before them and the monks would sit and
betan monks that the postal delivery and even gov-          receive their salute. There were many dozens of hon-
ernment affairs were badly influenced. Officials and        orific titles for the Tibetan monks.”11
common people were annoyed, but the Emperor paid                The historical record told us that eunuchs paid great
no attention to it.” 9 Ming Shi (History of the Ming        respect to Tibetan monks. Having opportunities to be
Dynasty) said that Emperor Yongle “worshipped their         close to monks, eunuchs naturally treated them as re-
religion,” which meant that the Ming Emperor Y     ongle    ligious tutors and took Buddhist vows before them.
not only made use of Tibetan Buddhism but also be-          The Tibetan monks came from far-away snow lands.
lieved in it. The Emperor’s attendants were, of course,     With a cultural tradition different from that of the
no exception. A person of the Ming said in his notes,       hinterland, Tibetan monks developed a set of specific
“most of the Ming eunuchs believed in the doctrine of       religious rituals. Particularly, the rituals of Tantra Ti-
cause-effect and worshipped Buddhism.”10 Surrounded         betan Buddhism were complex, mysterious and
by Buddhist atmosphere, Zheng He naturally con-             attractive. At that time the Ming Emperor, officials
verted from Islam to Buddhism.                              and common people all worshipped Tibetan Buddhism.
     Zheng He claimed himself as a Mahayana Buddhist.       Following their example Zheng He naturally converted
His religious name was Sonam Drashi, a common Ti-           to Tibetan Buddhism. This was not a strange thing.
8    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

Perhaps the practice of taking the Mahayana vows and        dred thousand copies of monk certificates of ordina-
having a Tibetan religious name was a fashion at that       tion to Tibetan monks in order to spread Tibetan
time.                                                       Buddhism. Wuzong often chanted sutras together with
3. Ming Emperor Wuzong and Ti-                              Tibetan monks and eunuchs. He had his palace maids’
betan Buddhism.                                             hair cut as nuns and gave them sermons on Buddhism.
                                                            The Emperor several times sent eunuchs to Tibet to
    The preferential treatment given to Tibetan monks
                                                            invite Tibetan monks to the capital city of Beijing.
by the Ming imperial court reached its climax in the
                                                            According to Wu-Zong-Shi-Lu (Documentary Records
period of the Ming Emperor Wuzong. Soon after com-
                                                            of Wuzong), the Emperor knew Tibetan and Sanskrit
ing to the throne, the Ming Emperor Wuzong was in-
                                                            very well. He made deep research into Buddhist sutras
terested in Tibetan Buddhism to the point of
                                                            and scriptures and especially the doctrines of various
obsession. He built Yan-shou (Longevity) Temple in
                                                            Tibetan Buddhist schools. The officials who wor-
the western part of the imperial palace. Tibetan man-
                                                            shipped Confucianism were dissatisfied with Wuzong
tra-adept or master of tantra took their residence there.
                                                            over his devotion to Tibetan Tantra. They even criti-
Wuzong invited Tibetan monk Rinchen Drup to the
                                                            cized him for it on the risk of their lives.
capital city and conferred on him the title of “Great
State Preceptor of Initiation.” The Emperor granted
the late Emperor Xiaozong’s personal Buddhist teacher       III. Tibetan Buddhism’s influence
the title of “State Preceptor.” Then he conferred on        on Chinese Buddhism in the hin-
Tengye Odser, a Tibetan envoy, the title of “Great Vir-     terland
tue Prince of Dharma.” Most of the Tibetan monks
in the capital city of Beijing were granted the titles of       During the Kaiyuan reign (713-741) of the Tang
“Son of Buddha,” “State Preceptor” and “Buddhist            Dynasty, Shubhakarasimha, Vajramati and Amogha
Master,” and were appointed monk officials such as          made the first introduction of the Garbhadhatu and
Right and Left Jue-yi (Buddhist Rectifier), Right and       Vajradhatu of Tantrism to the hinterland. They
Left Zheng-yi (Buddhist Patriarch) and Du-gang of           founded the Esoteric Sect, or Tantrism of Chinese
“Seng-lu-si” (Central Buddhist Registry).                   Buddhism in the hinterland. According to Tantrism,
    The most influential event was the construction         the Buddha and all living beings in the world are made
of Baofang (House of Lust) by the Emperor Wuzong            of “six elements; earth, water, fire, wind, space and
in his palace.The Baofang is a house where the Em-          mind.” The former five elements are phenomena, the
peror and Tibetan monks practiced Tantrism, the se-         actual or phenomenal states as conceived, and they
cret sect of Tibetan Buddhism.Baofang was a storied         belong to the Garbhadhatu (reason and cause). The
building with secret rooms on either side. It had more      element of “mind” is of mental state and it belongs to
than two hundred rooms.The Emperor appointed Liu            the Vajradhatu (wisdom and fruit). Phenomena and
Yun, a eunuch who had been dismissed, as chief man-         mind are the same. The Garbhadhatu and Vajradhatu
ager of Baofang.Rinchen Drup and other Tibetan              are identical. People who practice the empowered
monks were often invited to chant sutra and practice        three mysteries (the Buddha’s body, mouth and mind),
Tantric Buddhism in Baofang.Emperor Wuzong learnt           that is, do Buddha’s hand-seal, read Buddha’s words
the Tibetan language and often wore monk clothes.           and contemplate the Buddha, can make the three
He even called himself “Dharma Lord of Great Cel-           karmas of body, mouth and mind purified and identi-
ebration” and made for himself a golden seal with the       cal with the Buddha’s mind, mouth and mind. As a
inscription of “Dharma Lord of Great Celebration, Bu-       result, the people can enter the Buddhahood. The
ddha of Enlightenment and Perfection in Pure-land,”         Tantrism had very complex religious rituals. There
so that the monk seal and emperor’s official seal stood     were strict rules on making a mandala (an open altar),
side by side for a long time. Wuzong issued three hun-      offering sacrifice to gods, chanting prayers, and hold-
                                                 CHEN NAN   Influence of Tibetan Buddhism on the Hinterland...        9

ing initiation ceremony. After two generations Chi-          fore they are very precious. The Sheng-sheng-hui-dao-
nese Tantrism declined. One branch of the Chinese            bi-an-gong-de-bao-ji-ji was edited by Palden Drashi,
Tantrism was introduced into Japan and became the            based on a Tibetan-Xixia edition of the scripture
Japanese Shingon School (lit School of the True Word)        printed in Xixia.
or the Eastern Esoteric Sect (which also developed                Many Chinese monks in the hinterlands knew Ti-
several sub-sects).                                          betan Buddhist Tantric rituals and scriptures well.
    After Tibetan Tantrism was introduced to the hin-        Among them were three eminent Chinese monks who
terland in the Yuan Dynasty, it flourished there.            were sent by the Emperor to Tibet in the Hongwu reign
    One of the cardinal events in the history of Chi-        of the Ming Dynasty.
nese Buddhism was the collation of Tibetan and Chi-               In historical records of official envoys dispatched
nese scriptures of Buddhist Tantrism and the publish-        by the Ming government to pacify Tibet, only Xu
ing of Zhiyuan-fabao-kantong-lu (A General Catalogue         Yunde, vice-director of Shaanxi province, was
of Collated Buddhist Classics of the Zhiyuan Period)         mentioned. He was dispatched as an envoy to pacify
in the Yuan Dynasty. A detailed comparison was done          all the tribes of Tibet. In fact, this difficult task could
to see whether there were any missing sutra-names in         not fulfilled by only one envoy. Historical books over-
the Chinese and the Tibetan editions, to find differ-        looked three eminent monks who made great contri-
ences between the two editions in the number of              butions to the unification of China in the early Ming
volumes, in translation, classification and sutra names,     Dynasty. They were Zong Le, Ke Xin and Zhi Guang,
and to fill in the Sanskrit sutra titles missing in the      three eminent Chinese monks at the turn of the Yuan
Chinese Tantric scriptures according to its Tibetan          and the Ming dynasties. The Ming Emperor in the
counterpart. This work of collation showed “the Ti-          Hongwu reign created the use of monks in policy mak-
betan and Chinese editions had slight differences in         ing for pacifying Tibet.
word expressions but had the same doctrines,” just as             For an account of the monk-envoys it is necessary
Jing Fu said in his Preface to the book.                     to say something about Da-tian-jie Monastery of Jinling
    Buddhist scripture translation activities in the hin-    (the present-day Nanjing). In the Yuan Dynasty Zong-
terland in the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties were            zhi (General) Council, which was renamed Xuan-zheng
mainly the translation of Tantric sutras from Tibetan        (Political) Council, was responsible for Tibetan politi-
to Chinese. Among the Buddhist circles who engaged           cal and religious affairs. When the Ming Dynasty was
in the translation work were some eminent Chinese            founded, the council was abolished. The Ming Em-
and Tibetan monks who knew both the Chinese and              peror Zhu Yuanzhang made new policies toward the
Tibetan languages well, such as Zhi Guang, a famous          administration of political and religious affairs in Ti-
Chinese monk in the early Ming Dynasty, and Palden           betan areas. The affairs were so many and complex
Drashi, a Tibetan monk with the title of “Great Wis-         that an ordinary administrative department such as
dom Dharma Lord.” A part of the Tibetan Buddhist             Department of Rites could not handle them and a spe-
scriptures of the Zhengtong reign, in the Ming               cial agency had to be established for them. So the Ming
Dynasty, have been preserved at the Yunju Monastery          Emperor appointed the Da-tian-jie Monastery of
of Fangshan County of Beijing. They consist of a thou-       Jinling to the post of special agency to meet the task.
sand odd volumes of five kinds of Tibetan Buddhist                The Tian-jie Monastery of Jinling was built in the
scriptures of the Ming Zhengtong period, of which the        Yuan Dynasty. It was originally the Yuan Emperor
most important one is Sheng-sheng-hui-dao-bi-an-             Wenzong’s private mansion. The Emperor changed it
gong-de-bao-ji-ji (Gatha of Merits of Sacred Wisdom          into a monastery in the second year of the Tianli pe-
in Going to the Pure Land). These Tibetan Buddhist           riod (1329) of the Yuan Dynasty. The monastery was
scriptures published in the Ming Dynasty are now rare        named “Da-long-xiang-ji-qing-si,” and its first abbot
in Tibetan areas as well as in the hinterland and there-     was eminent monk Guang Zhi, who was Zong Le’s tu-
10     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

tor in the late Yuan Dynasty. In the 3rd month of the        tery and treated him as a Buddhist master.”16 In the
16th year of the Zhizheng period of the Yuan Dynasty,        9th month of the same year the envoy Hui Tan died in
Zhu Y  uanzhang captured Jiqing (now Nanjing) and sta-       the West Regions. Unfortunately, he was not able to
tioned his troops at the Da-long-xiang-ji-qing-si            come back to make a report on his mission to the
monastery. The monks of the monastery fled. Its              Emperor personally.
abbot Hui Tan tried to defect to the new dynasty. Zhu           Ke Xin and Zong Le, who were dispatched to Ti-
Yuanzhang renamed the monastery as Da-tian-jie-si            betan areas as envoys in the Hongwu reign of the Ming
monastery and appointed Hui Tan its abbot.12 Sup-            Dynasty, were monks of the Da-tian-jie-si monastery.
ported by the Ming Emperor Taizu, the monastery              1. Ke Xin as an envoy to Tibet.
became famous for a long time. One history book said,            There were few records concerning Ke Xin. Da-
when the monastery held a religious meeting, Hui Tan         ming-gao-seng-zhuan (Biographies of Eminent Monks
would preside over it and the Emperor would attend           of the Ming Dynasty) and Xin-xu-gao-seng-zhuan (A
it and give a donation to the monastery. The monas-          New Sequel to Biographies of Eminent Monks) had
tery was then so crowded that there was no place even        no biography of Ke Xin. In his article “A Study of
for the monks coming from afar to attend it. 13 Over         Monk Ke Xin as an Envoy to Tibet in the Early Ming
the gate of the monastery was a board with Chinese           Dynasty,”17 Mr. Deng Ruiling cited Ke Xin’s three po-
characters “Tian-xia-di-yi-chan-lin” (the most impor-        ems and a brief record of his life from the Lie-chao-
tant monastery in the world) written by the Emperor          shi-ji (A Collection of Poems of Previous Dynasties)
Zhu Yuanzhang.                                               edited by Qian Qianyi. It says, “Ke Xin, whose other
    The importance of Tian-jie-si monastery was that         name was Zhong Ming, was a native of Fanyang. He
it concurrently supervised the whole nation’s religious      was the 9th generation descendent of She Xianggong,
affairs. In the first month of the first year of the         a minister of the Song Dynasty. At first he sought the
Hongwu reign of the Ming Dynasty, the Ming Em-               way of imperial examinations. When the Yuan impe-
peror Taizu established Shan Shi (Benevolence to the         rial court abolished the rank of “jin-shi” (the success-
world) Council in the monastery and appointed Hui            ful candidates for the highest imperial examinations),
Tan as its director in charge of religious affairs. 14 Hui   he turned to engage in the study of Buddhism. He
Tan was granted the title of “Great Buddhist Master          knew the scriptures of Buddhism and other religions
of Benevenence to the World, State and Buddhism”             well, and was good at the ancient Chinese prose. He
and was appointed a monk official of the second rank.        traveled to Mt. Lushan and famous rivers, and visited
An imperial edict was issued for the appointment and         the relic sites of the former six dynasties at Jinling.
a purple official robe was given to him. The Shan Shi        He served as a secretary for seven years in the monas-
Council was the first monk official agency in the Ming       tery rebuilt from Yuan Emperor Wenzong’s private
Dynasty. The Ming Dynasty initiated the use of “Shan         mansion. When a war broke out he went to Suzhou
Shi” as a title of a monk official agency. “Shan Shi”        and Hangzhou. He was abbot of Huiri monastery of
means that people should do good things for the world,       Changshu and afterwards, of Ziqing monastery in
just as Song Lian said: “Doing good things is a prin-        Pingjiang. In the Gengwu year of the Hongwu reign
ciple for entering the Buddhahood.”15                        he was dispatched by the Emperor to the West Re-
    Not long after the Shan Shi Council was established      gions to pacify Tubo.”
Hui Tan fell sick. He recovered in the summer of the             The “monastery rebuilt from Yuan Emperor
3rd year of Hongwu period. Then the Emperor dis-             Wenzong’s private mansion” as mentioned above was
patched him to the Western Regions. “In the autumn           the Ji-qing-da-long-xiang-si monastery of the Yuan
of the 4th year of the Hongwu reign he came to Sheng-        dynasty, and also the Da-tian-jie-si monastery of the
ha-la kingdom, where he announced the Emperor’s              Ming Dynasty. Ke Xin served as a secretary in the Ji-
power and virtue. The king had him stay in a monas-          qing-da-long-xiang-si monastery for seven years until
                                               CHEN NAN   Influence of Tibetan Buddhism on the Hinterland...     11

the end of Yuan Dynasty. At that time Xiao Yin was          Ming dynasties were not natives of India. Instead, most
the abbot of the monastery. According to the Xing-          of them were Tibetans and a small number came from
xu-gao-seng-zhuan, Xiao Yin had ten disciples, among        Kashmir. In the late 10th century Arabians invaded
whom Ke Xin was the youngest. Xiao Yin was Ke               India. Since then the Arabian rulers converted Indian
Xin’s tutor, so Ke Xin and Zong Le were both served         people to Islam by force. India was soon Islamized.
by one and the same tutor.                                  Buddhism in India declined and almost came to an end
    In the 3rd year of the Hongwu’s reign(1370)the Em-      in the 13th century. It was not until the second half of
peror dispatched Ke Xin to Tibetan areas.It was rec-        the 19th century Buddhism somewhat recovered in
orded that in the 6th month of the 3rd year of the Ho-      India. The “Biography of Monk Sakya Yeshe of the
ngwu’s reign three monks, including Ke Xin, were sent       Xiantong Monastery at the Wutaishan Mountain in
to the W Regions to pacify Tubo and they were ask-          Ming Dynastery” in the Xing-xu-gao-seng-zhuan (A
ed to make a map of the places they passed through. 18      New Sequel to Biographies of Eminent Monks) vol. 19
    Owing to a lack of sufficient data we do not know       said: “Sakya Yeshe was a native of Kapilavastu in India,
where he went or when he returned to the capital or         the same place as Shakyamuni . . . He came to the
anything else about his mission.                            Xiantong monastery in the 12th year of the Yongle
2. Zong Le as an envoy to Tibet.                            reign of the Ming Dynasty. In the 11th month the
    According to the Da-ming-gao-seng-zhuan                 Ming Emperor sent eunuch Hou Xian to invite Sakya
(Biographies of Eminent Monks of Ming Dynasty),             Yeshe to the palace at the capital city. The Emperor
Xin-xu-gao-seng-zhuan (A New Sequel to Biographies          exempted him from bowing down and let him be seated
of Eminent Monks) and Bu-xu-gao-seng-zhuan (A Fur-          at the Dashan hall. The Emperor had an interview
ther Sequel to Biographies of Eminent Monks), Zong          with him, and appointed him abbot of the Nengren
Le was a native of Linhai (now Linhai county of             monastery . . . The next year the Emperor granted him
Zhejiang province). He was surnamed Zhou and named          a gold seal and the title of ‘Son of Buddha at the Pure-
Jitan, also named Quanshi. Early at the age of eight he     land, Great state Preceptor of Good Enlightenment,
learned Buddhism from eminent Xiao Yin (Da Su) of           Perfect Comprehension, Wisdom, Mercy, Supporting
Jingci monastery at Lin’an. Then he learnt from emi-        the Country, Preaching the Religion, Initiation, and
nent monks Guang Zhi and Hui Ji. At 14 he took              Propagating Virtue’.” Anybody who has learned even
monastic vows and at 20 he received all the authority       a little of Tibetan history knows that the Sakya Yeshe
of a monk.                                                  was a disciple of Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelug
    In the 4th year of the Hongwu’s reign, the Emperor      Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. In the Xuande reign of
summoned Zong Le to the capital and appointed him           the Ming Dynasty he was granted another honorific
abbot of the Da-tian-jie-si monastery and concurrently      title of “Dharma Lord of Great Mercy.” So it is clear
director of the Shan Shi Council to fulfill the vacant      that Sakya Yeshe was not an Indian monk.
post left by Hui Tan’s death. It was not an accidental           According to the Xin-xu-gao-seng-zhuan (A New
phenomenon that the Emperor made this appoint-              Sequel to Biographies of Eminent Monks), Hui Tan
ment. It was because the monks of the Da-tian-jie-si        was a disciple of Sakya Y eshe. Naturally they both were
monastery had a special relationship with Tibetan           appointed abbot of Da- long-xiang -si monastery one
monks. All the Yuan emperors believed in Tibetan            after another. Hui Tan fell ill in the 3rd year of the
Buddhism. The first abbot of the Da-long-xiang-si           Hongwu reign of the Ming Dynasty, but he still went
monastery was Guang Zhi, who was most probably a            on as an envoy to the West Regions. This showed that
Tibetan monk. According to the Jin-ling-fan-cha-zhi         some of his abilities were applicable to the conditions
(An Account of Buddhist Monasteries at Jinling),            required by the mission such as his knowledge of a
Guang Zhi was an Indian monk. In fact the so-called         certain language and folk customs of the West Regions,
Indian monks in Chinese documents of the Yuan and           which other Chinese monks did not have. After Hui
12    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

Tan died, Zong Le was an appropriate candidate for          agency was set up again afterwards under the Central
the post of abbot. The reason was that he and Hui           Buddhist Registry, its director’s official rank was only
Tan shared the same tutor, Guang Zhi, and according         the 6th. That is, his official position was much reduced.
to history books, he learned Sanskrit at a young age.       However, this did not make the Ming Emperor Taizu,
It was quite possible that the records mistook the Ti-      or Zhu Yuanzhang underestimate the influence of
betan as Sanskrit. He went to Ngari under the excuse        eminent monks. The Emperor always thought that
of “searching for Buddhist sutras.” Then he translated      Buddhism could play a great role, so he persistently
the sutras he had collected. He was included in the         sought out eminent monks. The Emperor was in close
“Chapter of sutra-translators” in a history book. This      relationship with Zong Le from the 4th to the 10th
record was a proof of his language ability.                 year of the Hongwu period. The Emperor often at-
    Zong Le presided over the Tianjie monastery for         tended Zong Le’s sermons, ordered the royal kitchen
six years from the 4th year of the Hongwu reign when        to serve him with food every day, often invited him to
he was appointed abbot of the Tianjie Monastery to          the royal palace, wrote poems in response to his and
the 10th year of that reign when he went as an envoy        affectionately called him “Reverend Le.” Zong Le was
of the Emperor to Tibetan areas. In the six years he        grateful to the Emperor. In order to repay the
was in charge of the monastery’s daily affairs, he gave     Emperor’s favours he was willing to go to the West
religious sermons, made annotations on the Heart            Regions as an envoy. Though he was a Buddhist monk,
Sutra, Diamond Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra by           Confucianism still influenced Zong Le. Confucianism
the Emperor’s order, and composed Buddhist music.           advocated that one should faithfully serve his emperor
The Ming Emperor Taizu treated him well. “The               and surrender his service to those who appreciated his
Emperor often went to see him, gave him good food,          ability.
wrote poems in reply to his, and called him ‘Reverend           It was in the 14th year of Hongwu period that Zong
Le’.”                                                       Le returned from the West Regions to report his mis-
    According to Ming Shi (History of Ming Dynasty),        sion to the Emperor. Historical books did not record
there were only two volumes of annotations made by          when he went to the West Regions. According to Bu
Zong Le, one on the Heart Sutra and the other on            Xu Gao Seng Zhuan, it was in the winter of the 10th
Diamond Sutra.19 We do not know whether the anno-           year of Hongwu period. Xu Yi said in his preface to
tations he made on Lankavatara Sutra were finished          Quan Shi Wai Ji, “Zong Le was ordered by the Em-
or lost. As to the music he composed to praise the                                est
                                                            peror to go to the W Regions for the Buddha’s sutras.
Buddha, it can be proven by a poem about him offer-         Going to and fro from the West Regions he traveled
ing the music to the Emperor. The poem entitled “Jin-       for several ten thousand li through desert land and
ying-zhi-xian-fo-yue-zhang” (Offering the Composed          wildness. The journey took him five years and made
Buddhist Music to the Emperor) was collected in the         him suffer much from many hardships.” The “five
book entitled Quan Shi Wai Ji.20                            years” indicated that Zong Le left in the 10th year of
    According to “Records of Officials” of Ming Shi         Hongwu period.
(History of Ming Dynasty), the Shan Shi Council was             All the relevant documents say that he went there
cancelled in the 4th year of the Hongwu reign. So Zong      for Buddhist sutras. From the then conditions it can
Le was not in the high post of vice 2nd-ranking official.   be seen that his actual purpose was to declare the
However, Ming Emperor Taizu bestowed on him spe-            Emperor’s pacifying policy to the upper classes of
cial favours. When the Shan Shi Council was set up,         monks and laymen of Ngari. As mentioned above, the
many court ministers were opposed to it. Their oppo-        Ming Emperor Taizu established a Commander in
sition did not succeed because Zong Le was then in          charge of military and civil affairs of Ngari in the 8th
charge of the Council. When Zong Le left for the            year of the Hongwu period to follow the convention
West Regions, the council was cancelled. Though the         of Yuan dynasty. However, the monks and laymen of
                                                 CHEN NAN    Influence of Tibetan Buddhism on the Hinterland...     13

Ngari did not come to show allegiance to the Ming              three parts of Ngari’). The Yuan government estab-
Dynasty. Perhaps they did not know of the replace-             lished the Pacification Commission and Chief Mili-
ment of the Yuan by the Ming. In any case the Ming             tary Command of the Three Circuits of U-Tsang and
court had to send an envoy to declare its policy. Zong         Ngari Korsum, whose jurisdiction was over an area that
Le was the most appropriate candidate. If the journey          is similar to what is now the Tibet Autonomous Region.
were for Buddhist sutras only, then the Emperor’s or-          It was under the control of five Pacification Commis-
der would not have been a necessity.                           sioners and two chief military commanders of Ngari
    It was recorded that Zong Le wrote A Travel to the         Korsum. This showed that Ngari was an area under
West, in one volume, after he returned from the West           military control.25
Regions.21 “The book was about his travel as an envoy               The Chinese words “E-li-si” in Ming Shi Lu were a
to the west.” “It should have rich contents.”22 Unfor-         transliteration of “Ngari.” As to “Ba-zhe” myriarchy
tunately, the important travel notes have been lost.           we do not know its Tibetan expression, nor its locality.
Even the editors of Si Ku Quan Shu (the Four Trea-             There was not a Ba-zhe myriarchy among the thirteen
sures of Books) didn’t find it. It is impossible for us to     myriarchies granted by the Yuan Dynasty. Since the
find it now.                                                   envoy of Ba-zhe came to the capital together with that
    The records in the “Ji-mao” entry of the 12th month        of E-li-si (Ngari), the Ba-zhe myriarchy should be in
of the 14th year of the Hongwu period said: “In the            Ngari. Among the thirteen myriarchies recorded in
wu-chen day of the 12th month of the 11th year(1378)           “Bai Guan Zhi” (Records of Officials) of Yuan Shi
of Hongwu period, Monk Zong Le and his party were              (History of the Yuan Dynasty) was a myriarchy called
dispatched as envoys to the West Regions.”23 “Zong             “mngav-ris-rdzong-khavi-vog-gi-blo-da-lo-rdzong.”
Le returned from the West Regions. The envoys of               The Ba-zhe myriarchy, I think, was nominally under
the Commander in charge of the military and civil af-          the administration of U-Tsang but was located in Ngari.
fairs of Ngari, and of Ba-zhe myriarchy (administrative        It was the only myriarchy with the word”Ngari” in its
district), came together with him to offer tributes to         title, so it should be related with Ngari. Therefore,
the court.”24                                                  the “mngav-ris-rdzong-khavi-vog-gi-blo-da-lo-rdzong”
    The “West Regions” here denotes Tibetan areas.             myriarchy in the Ming Shi Lu was perhaps the Ba-zhe
In the Ming Shi, the historical events of Tibetan areas        myriarchy, but this remains to be proved.
were recorded in the section of Xi Yu Zhuan (Records                The Ngari Military Command was established in
of West Regions). Chinese words “E-li-si” were the             the 8th year of Hongwu’s reign of the Ming Dynasty.26
transliteration of Tibetan word mngav-ris (Ngari). The         Generally, a local administration should be set up af-
Ngari in the Ming Dynasty included what is now                 ter the local government offering tribute in response
Tibet’s Ngari district and a large stretch of land to its      to the central government’s call for pacification. In
southwest. In about the 6th century it was called              the light of the historical records of the Ming Dynasty,
Greater and Lesser Shangshung(Y     angtong). In the early     the Ngari local government for the first time sent en-
7th century Songtsen Gampo of Tubo captured it. It             voys to pay tribute to the central government in the
became a subordinate to Tubo. Owing to the uprising            14th year of the Hongwu’s reign because the journey
of serfs, Kyide Nyimagon(skyi-lde-nyi-ma-mgon), a              was difficult and long. Following the Yuan’s practice,
descendant of Tubo royal family, fled to Tsabrang of           the Ming established a Military Command in Ngari.
Shangshung (now Zada of Tibet) at the end of the 9th           This was before Ming’s pacification of Ngari local
century. Then his three sons founded Lhadak (now               regime. In the 6th year of Hongwu period, the acting
Kashmir), Purang (now Tibet’s Burang) and Guge (with           Imperial Preceptor Namgyel Palzangpo recommended
Zada as its center) respectively. Since then the Greater       to the Ming court 60 Tibetan local officials who had
and Lesser Yangtong (Shangshung) were renamed                  been appointed by the former Yuan court. Some Ming
“Ngari Korsum” (mngav-ris-skor-gsummeaning ‘the                ministers opposed to the recommendation, claiming,
14    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

“only those who have come to the imperial court to        peror Taizu. The Emperor found that Zhi Guang was
offer their allegiance could be reappointed, but those    proficient at the Sanskrit (actually, Tibetan) and the
who have not come should not be reappointed. But          Chinese language, and thus ordered him to stay in the
the Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang insisted that all the Ti-       Zhongshan monastery and translate the Buddhist scrip-
betan local officials appointed by the Yuan Dynasty,      tures his tutor had collected. In his translation work
no matter whether they had come to the imperial court     Zhi Guang was good at using simple words to express
personally to offer their allegiance or not, should be    accurately the deep meaning. The Emperor appreci-
accepted and reappointed.27                               ated that very much. Then the Emperor dispatched
3. Zhi Guang as an envoy to Tibetan                       Zhi Guang as an envoy with his disciple Hui Bian to
areas.                                                    the West Regions. Zhi Guang was dispatched to the
                                                          regions three times altogether. Two times were in the
    Regarding monk Zhi Guang’s life story we can con-
                                                          Hongwu reign and one in the Yongle reign. In the
sult Mr. Deng Ruiling’s article entitled “Ming Xi-tian
                                                          10th year of the Xuande reign he was granted the hon-
Fo-zi Da-guo-shi Zhi Guang Shi-ji Kao” (A Textual
                                                          orific titles of “Son of Buddha of the Pure-land” and
Research into Life Story of Zhi Guang, Son of Buddha
                                                          “Great State Preceptor.” In the 6th month of the same
and Great State Preceptor).28 This research was based
                                                          year he died and a grand funeral ceremony was held
on full and accurate data about Zhi Guang, except the
                                                          for him in San-ta-si (monastery with three pagodas)
“Biography of Zhi Guang” in Xin Xu Gao Sheng
                                                          monastery outside the Fuchengmen gate of Beijing.
                                                              Zhi Guang went as an envoy to Tibetan areas twice;
    According to Xi-tian Fo-zi Da-guo-shi Ta-Ming Xu
                                                          one of them was in the 17th year of the Hongwu reign.
(Preface to the Inscriptions on Memorial Pagoda of
                                                          “The Inscription on the Tomb Pagoda” said:
Son of Buddha of the Pure-land, the Great State
                                                              Zhi Guang with his disciple Hui Bian went as
Preceptor)29, and “Ming Jin-ling Zhong-shan Xi-tian-
                                                          Emperor’s envoy to the Western Regions in the Jiazi
si Sha-men Shi Zhi-Guang Zhuan” (Biography of Zhi
                                                          year (the 17th year) of Hongwu reign of the Ming Dy-
Guang, Monk of Xi-tian-si Monastery at Mt.
                                                          nasty (1384). He arrived in Nepala, a kingdom of Hin-
Zhongshan of Jinling in Ming Dynasty) of Xin Xu Gao
                                                          dus where he propagated the Ming emperor’s pacify-
Seng Zhuan, vol. 2, Zhi Guang was surnamed Wang
                                                          ing policies to the regions. This propagation was wel-
and was a native of Qingyun of Wudingzhou Prefec-
                                                          comed by the local people. He met with Buddhist
ture of Shandong (now the Qingyun County of
                                                          master Mahe Bodhi, who held forty-two prayer meet-
Shandong Province). He was born in the 12th month
                                                          ings of Thunderbolt Mandala. The king held him in
of the 8th year of the Zhizheng reign of the Yuan
                                                          high esteem.”
Dynasty. At the age of 15 he was ordained as a monk
                                                               It was recorded in the Ming Shi Lu’s Ji Wei entry
in the Ji-xiang Fa-yun-si monastery at the capital city
                                                          of the 2nd month of the 17th year of the Hongwu reign
Dadu of the Yuan Dynasty. His religious tutor was
                                                          that “Zhi Guang with his party went as the Emperor’s
Sahazashri, a Pandita (a title of honor to Buddhist
                                                          envoy to Nepala, a kingdom of Hindus.” This record
monk who was good at the Five Major Sciences of an-
                                                          and that of the “Inscription of Pagoda” had the same
cient India) of Kashimira (now Kashmir), who had a
                                                          content. They can prove each other.
good command of the Five Major Sciences of ancient
                                                              The Nepala was in today’s Kathmandu valley of
India and knew Sanskrit very well.
                                                          Nepal. Nepala was the farthest destination of Zhi
    He came to propagate Buddhism in China by the
                                                          Guang’s westward journey. Mr. Deng Ruiling said:
end of the Yuan Dynasty. He was a famous traveler
                                                          “After the 13th century Buddhist sacred sites around
and a great propagator of Buddhism. He had influ-
                                                          Bihar in the Central Hindu were destroyed by the
ence on Zhi Guang’s whole life.
                                                          Islamites and so Buddhist scholars fled to Nepala. As
    When the Ming Dynasty was founded, Zhi Guang
                                                          a result, the Tibetans used to go to Nepala for learning
with his disciples had an audience with the Ming Em-
                                               CHEN NAN    Influence of Tibetan Buddhism on the Hinterland...      15

Buddhism. Zhi Guang must have gone southward                 Yamdrok Regional Military Commission of U-Tsang,
along the road from Tibet to Nepala. He traveled in          by Gongkar Pashi, the ex-Situ of Amdo, by Paljor
the eastern and western parts of the valley and learned      Zangpo, Commander of Regional Military Commis-
Tantrism from a Mahayana Buddhist monk who knew              sion of U-Tsang, by Kongpo Gyaltsen, the Director
Buddhist sutras very well.”30 I agree entirely with          of the Branch of Regional Military Commission of U-
Deng’s inference and here I would like to add a little       Tsang, by Lespe Namgyel, by Karpa Nyangpo, by
more. I think, the rulers of the dynasties in the hin-       Dondrup Zangpo of Drathang Qianhu (chief of 1000
terland at that time had only an obscure idea of             households), by the Pacification Commissioner named
borderland. In the Han and Tang dynasties the West-          Legpa Dondrup, by the chief of U-Tsang Commanery
ern Regions (a general geographical term) were under         named Dorje Zangpo, by Panjor Zangpo, and by
the control of the imperial dynasty of the hinterland.       Shonnu Zangpo, as well as Zasakpa sent by monk
The rulers of the Ming dynasty following the example         Sengtak of the Dewatsan Monastery.”32
of previous dynasties also dispatched envoys to the               Drakpa Gyaltsen Palzangpo(grags-pa-rgyal-mtshan-
regions and the envoys went as far as they could. This       dpal-bzang-po), now abbreviated to Drakpa Gyaltsen,
was done more prominently in the Yongle reign of the         was a leader of Phagmo Drupa politico-religious
Ming Dynasty.                                                regime, the most influential local group of U-Tsang in
    Zhi Guang returned from the W      estern Regions in     the Ming Dynasty. Phagmo Drupa was one of the
the 20th year of the Hongwu reign of the Ming                thirteen myriarchies in the Yuan Dynasty. In the Ming
Dynasty. Together with him were envoys of Nepala,            Dynasty the Phagmo Drupa regime was so arrogant in
U-Tsang and Do-kham. According to Ming Shi Lu,               its great power that other local political and religious
“In the 12th month of the 20th year of the Hongwu            groups had to follow its lead. Its attitude to the cen-
reign, Madanalamo, king of the kingdom of Nepala, as         tral government exerted direct influence on the po-
well as Sogru Gyaltsen and other chiefs of U-Tsang and       litical stability of U-Tsang. The so-called “Yamdrok”
Do-Kham, commanders in charge of the Tibetan                 (yar-vbrog) and “Tshalpa” cited in the Ming Shi Lu also
Amdo area, dispatched their envoys to the capital to         were influential political regimes of Tibet. It was quite
offer such tributes as horses, swords, golden mini-pa-       possible that the envoys sent by Tibetan politico-reli-
godas and Buddhist sutras for celebrating the next New       gious leaders to pay tribute came to the capital together
Y ear’s Day.” “Monk Zhi Guang and his party returned         with Zhi Guang.
from Nepala. He offered eight horses as tribute but
his tribute was declined.”31                                 IV. Some Reflections on the propa-
    Ming Shi (History of the Ming Dynasty) has no
                                                             gation of Tibetan Buddhism in the
record of his second mission.The“Inscription on the
Pagoda”said:“He came back and went there again.Then          hinterland during the Ming Dy-
he led a group of the local people to the capital.”Other     nasty
tablets had the same record. His second return should
have been in the 12th month of the 23rd year of the          1. Ming’s policy of pacification by
Hongwu reign (1390). Ming Shi Lu said:                       granting various new offices and
    “On the geng-chen day of the 12th month of the
                                                             titles of honour to local leaders in the
23rd year of the Hongwu reign, the aboriginal officials
from the Western Regions came to the capital to pay
                                                             Tibetan areas was in accordance with
tributes to the imperial court and to offer their good       China’s actual situation at that time.
wishes for the coming New Year. They were envoys                It should be said the Ming’s policy toward Tibet
sent by the Nepala kingdom, by the State Preceptor           was a very sensible one. The making of this policy was
of Initiation Drakpa Gyaltsen Palzangpo, by the              somewhat related with the Ming Emperor Zhu
16     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

Yuanzhang’s private experience. He had been a monk           tant role in maintaining the nation’s unification and
for eight years before coming to the throne. Though          the unity of various ethnic groups of China for several
he was not a pious Buddhist adherent, he knew very           hundred years. In this respect nobody could replace
well the influence of religion and religious leaders on      the monks.
the society and politics. Ming’s policy toward Tibet            Why could Tibetan monks play such an important
had good results. First of all, the Ming ruler did not       role? The people who know little about Tibetan cul-
dispatch troops to conquer the Tibetan areas by force.       ture raise this question. The important role of Tibetan
Thus, the Tibetan areas were saved from war and tur-         monks reflected the key point of differences between
moil and their society, production and people’s life         Chinese Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism. First of
were not influenced by the change of dynasties. The          all, the Buddhism in Tibetan areas was an absolutely
policy was beneficial to maintenance of peace and sta-       leading social ideology, which most Tibetan people
bility in the Tibetan areas. Besides, the granting of        believed in. Tibetan monks were respected and
different honorific titles to the leaders of various Ti-     patronized. On the other hand, in areas inhabited by
betan religious sects and local politico-religious regimes   the ethnic Han Chinese, where Confucianism was the
according to the different extents of their influences,      leading ideology, the imperial examination system was
fundamentally conformed to the political indepen-            the ideal way out for the people, and the most learned
dence and division in Tibetan areas at that time. The        persons tried to become officials. It was different in
leaders were satisfied with the honorific titles con-        Tibetan areas where monks were the most learned
ferred on them by the imperial court. This policy ef-        among the people. So to be a monk was the best choice
fectively maintained a unified domain under the cen-         for the Tibetan people. However, it was not easy to
tral government and avoided the conflicts between            become an influential monk, who had to study Bud-
Tibetan local groups caused by the imperial court’s          dhism very hard for a long period of time and travel
partial treatment. The granting of too many honor-           about a lot to propagate Buddhism. In Tibetan his-
ific titles and imperial bestowals to Tibetan leaders        tory almost all learned people including historians,
caused trouble in the society and made a severe drain        writers, poets, dramatists, painters and sculptors were
on the state treasury in interior China. However, this       monks, and most of the leaders of all circles of Tibetan
policy had good results. Within decades the adminis-         society were monks. In the Ming Dynasty many influ-
tration of Tibetan areas was improved in the early Ming      ential leaders of political regimes in Tibetan areas were
Dynasty. In a period of about three hundred years the        also leaders of religious sects. They were the so-called
Ming imperial court did not dispatch troops to Tibetan       politico-religious leaders of Tibetan local regimes.
areas and the Tibetans did not worry about either war             Ruling monks made an unusual impact on the Ti-
or loss of territory. So, all Tibetan tribes paid tributes   betan people. For example, at the turn of the Yuan
to offer allegiance to the central government. This          and Ming, Sangyel Drashi, an eminent Tibetan monk
was because the Ming’s policy toward Tibetan areas           of Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism was known for his
was in accordance with actual conditions in the hin-         excellent magic arts. Thus he was called “Sea Immortal,
terland and Tibetan areasat that time.                       Mahasiddhi (one who has attained spiritual
2. The important role of eminent                             accomplishments)” by Tibetan monks and lay people,
monks of Tibetan Buddhism                                    and “Hai (sea) Lama” by local ethnic Han people. He
                                                             is called “Lama Sangyel, the Tibetan monk at Xining”
   In the Ming Dynasty, many eminent monks of Ti-
                                                             in the Ming Shi and Ming Shi Lu. Lama Sangyel played
betan Buddhism were granted honorific titles. The
                                                             an important role when the Ming court subdued the
road between Tibet and the capital city saw numerous
                                                             Tibetan tribes of Qinghai. Ming Shi said: “In the 25th
Tibetan monks going to pay tribute to the central
                                                             year of the Hongwu reign,Lan Yu, entitled as Duke of
government. Some Tibetan monks were active in the
                                                             Liangguo, pursuing and attacking a fleeing bandit group
Ming’s socio-political arena. They played an impor-
                                              CHEN NAN    Influence of Tibetan Buddhism on the Hinterland...     17

headed by Qi Zhesun, came to Handong Command.               cultures. This was reflected by a Chinese saying, “the
Most of Qi Zhesun’s followers fled and Lama Sangyel         monks from afar are good at chanting sutras.” The
of Xining successfully called them back with a per-         Ming imperial court and common people tolerantly
sonal letter. In the 30th year a Tibetan leader named       accepted Tibetan Buddhism for a long period of time.
Sonam Drakpa sent envoys to pay tribute to the Ming         It was due to its own fascination that Tibetan Bud-
emperor, and the emperor appointed him the Mili-            dhism could spread to the hinterland. Tibetan culture
tary Inspector of Handong Command.” 33 So, we can           with Tibetan Buddhism as its core has rich contents.
see that Lama Sangyel enjoyed very high prestige in         Spreading eastward to the hinterland, it propagated
Gansu and Qinghai. With only a personal letter he           not only religion but also culture. Culture is all
could subdue the rebellion of troops of Handong Com-        embracing. It covers language, writing, drawing,
mand and had them come over to the Ming dynasty.            sculpture, architecture and so on.
This event demonstrated to the Ming Emperor that                In order to meet the needs of Tibetan monks of
important religious personages in the Tibetan areas         taking residence, giving sermons and teaching disciples
had great influence over religious Tibetan people.          in the hinterland, the Ming imperial court built Ti-
    The Ming Emperor Taizu treated Tibetan monks            betan monasteries in Nanjing and Beijing for them,
very well. Because historically all Tibetan people in       whose Tibetan style of architecture, wall paintings and
Tibetan areas believed in religion, and the leaders of      sculpture much enriched the monastery culture in the
various religious sects were leaders of local political     hinterland. What is more important is that Tantric
regimes. The Tibetan eminent monks played an im-            Buddhism that had been lost for a long time in the
portant role in Tibetan society. In this respect Chi-       hinterland now appeared and developed again. Some
nese monks could not compare themselves with them.          Tantric sutras were translated into Chinese from Ti-
The Ming rulers knew it very well. So they tried their      betan and some monks of Chinese Buddhism con-
best to draw over influential Tibetan monks and             verted to Tibetan Tantrism. Stories of Tibetan monks
granted them various honorific titles and many gifts.       were recorded in personal notes, novels and official
“Tibetan people devoted themselves to Buddhism, so          documents of the Ming Dynasty. All these things made
we supported Tibetan Buddhism in order to draw over         the people in the hinterland more and more under-
the people”34 Most Ming emperors had good relations         standing towards Tibetan culture. A part of the cream
with Tibetan eminent monks and won their trust. The         of the Tibetan culture was absorbed by the Chinese
Ming’s pacification policy toward Tibet by granting         culture in the hinterland.
ruling lamas new offices and honorific titles was car-          Cultural exchange is a matter of two sides. The
ried out successfully. When the religious leaders were      Chinese culture is also very rich in content and covers
pacified the common people in the areas under their         a wide range. It exerted great influence on the emi-
control were also pacified.                                 nent Tibetan monks who went to and fro between
3. The cultural exchange between the                        Tibet and the hinterland. The history of development
                                                            of Tibetan culture saw two important periods of cul-
ethnic Tibetan and Han peoples be-
                                                            tural development. One was the Tubo period in which
ing promoted.
                                                            Tibetan culture was greatly influenced by the Chinese
   Because of political reasons influential Tibetan
                                                            culture in the Tang Dynasty. The other was the pe-
monks often went to and fro between Tibetan areas
                                                            riod from the 15th to 17th century, in which Tibetan
and the hinterland in the Ming Dynasty. Tibetan Bud-
                                                            culture was influenced by the Chinese culture in the
dhism was an important carrier of Tibetan culture, so
                                                            Ming Dynasty. Besides, the Ming rulers’ great sup-
the monks had to be also propagators of Tibetan
                                                            port promoted the development of Tibetan culture.
                                                            For example, in the 8th year of the Y ongle reign of the
   As an ethnic group with a long history of culture,
                                                            Ming Dynasty (1410), the Ming Emperor Yongle or
the Han people are always tolerant toward foreign
18      CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

called Chengzu appointed Deshin Shekpa, the Great                               15. “The Tablet in the Ming-Jue Monastery” in Song Xue Shi Wen
                                                                           Ji (A Collection of Essays of Scholars of the Song Dynasty).
Treasure Prince of Dharma, as the chief editor of the
                                                                                16. Xin Xu Gao Seng Zhuan (A New Sequel to the Biographies of
Nanjing-version Kangyur of Tripitaka based on the                          Eminent Monks) vol. 34. The He-la Kingdom was in the area of
Kangyur compiled by Tsalpa. The Y     ongle edition of                     Yanqi of Xinjiang. There was a He-la-chi tribe at Y    anqi in the pe-
the Kangyur was the earliest one. Its plates were cop-                     riod of the Kin Dynasty.
                                                                                17. Published in China Tibetology, vol.1, 1992.
per instead of wood. The Wanli edition of the Kangyur
                                                                                18. The kui-hai item of the 6th month of the 3rd year of the
was printed in Beijing in the 33rd year of the Wanli                       Hongwu reign of the Ming Dynasty in the Ming Shi Lu, vol. 53.
reign of the Ming Dynasty (1605). These two editions                            19. “Yi Wen Zhi” (Records on Arts and Literature), vol. 3, in
played a very important role in preserving and spread-                     Ming Shi, vol. 98.
                                                                                20. Zong Le, Quan Shi Wai Ji, vol. 6.
ing Tibetan Tripitaka.
                                                                                21. “Yi Wen Zhi” (Records on Arts and Literature), vol. 4, in
                                                                           Ming Shi (History of the Ming Dynasty ) vol. 99.
Notes:                                                                          22. Si Ku Zong Mu Ti Yao (An Outline of the General Contents
                                                                           of the Four Treasuries of Books), vol. 170. Also see “Bie Ji Lei”, vol.
     1. “Shi Lao Zhuan” (Biographies of Monks and Taoists) in the          23, in A Sequel to Quan Shi Wai Ji.
Y Shi (History of the Yuan Dynasty), vol. 202.
 uan                                                                            23. Ming Tai Zu Shi Lu (Documentary Records of the Ming
     2. See the Ding-si item of the 12th month of the 18th year of the     Emperor Taizu), vol. 121.
Hongwu reign in the Ming Shi Lu (Documentary Records of the Ming                24. Ming Tai Zu Shi Lu vol. 140.
History), vol. 176.                                                             25. Chen Dezhi, “On the Year When the U-Tsang Pacification
     3. Yu Minzhong (of the Qing Dynasty), Ri Xia Jiu Wen Kao (Notes       Commission of the Yuan Dynasty Was Established,” in A Study of
of Old Events Happened in the Capital City), p.844, Beijing An-            the History of the Yuan Dynasty and the History of the Northern Ethnic
cient Books Publishing House, p.844.                                       Groups, vol. 8, 1984.
     4. Pawo Tsula Trengwa (1504-1566), A Happy Feast for Wise Men              26. 27. “The Western Regions,” vol. 3, in Ming Shi (History of
(Tibetan edition) (1564), Beijing Minzu Publishing House, 1986, pp.        the Ming Dynasty), vol. 331.
1001-1002, Tibetan stereotype.                                                  28. Published in China Tibetology, vol. 3, 1994.
     5. See Liu Ruoyu (of the Ming Dynasty), Zhuo Zhong Zhi.                    29. Edited by Yang Rong (in Ming Dynasty). The Pagoda was
     6. Deng Zhicheng, Gu Dong Suo Ji, published by China Book-            built half a year after Zhi Guang’s death. The preface was the first-
store in July 1991, p.593.                                                 hand material for the study of Zhi Guang’s life.
     7. Feng Chengjun, Ying Ya Sheng Lan Jiao Zhu Xu, published by              The Inscription on the Memorial Pagoda for Zhi Guang was
China Book Company in 1955.                                                not collected in Yang Rong’s Yang Wen Ming Gong Ji (A Collection of
     8. Li shihou, “Zheng He’s Great Contributions and His Family          the Essays by Yang Wenmin). A copy of the inscription is preserved
Lineage,” in A Collection of Articles on Zheng He’s Trips to the Western   in the Rare Book Department of the Beijing National Library.
Ocean, vol. 1, p.360.                                                           30. Deng Ruiling, “A Textual Research into Life Story of Zhi
     9. “The Western Regions,” part 3, in Ming Shi (History of the         Guang, Son of Buddha and Great State Preceptor” published in
Ming Dynasty) vol. 331.                                                    China Tibetology, vol. 3, 1994.
     10. Liu Ruoyu, Zhuo Zhong Zhi.                                             31. Ming Tai Zu Shi Lu vol. 187, Guan edition.
     11. Ming Shi Lu (Documentary Records of the Ming History)                  32. Ming Tai Zu Shi Lu vol. 206, Guan edition.
vol. 53, Liang edition.                                                         33. “The Western Regions,” part 2, in Ming Shi, vol. 330.
     12. 13. “Biography of Hui Tan, a Monk of Da-tian-jie-si Monas-             34. The item of the 2nd month of the 30th year of the Hongwu
tery at Jinling in Ming Dynasty” in Xing Xu Gao Seng Zhuan (A New          reign in Ming Shi Lu, vol. 250.
Sequel to the Biographies of Eminent Monks) vol. 34.
     14. The geng-zi item of the first month of the first year of
Hongwu reign of the Ming Dynasty in Ming Tai Zu Shi Lu                                     From China Tibetology (Chinese Edition) No.4,1998
(Documentary Records of Ming Emperor Taizu) vol. 29. Also see                                  Translated by Chen Guansheng and Li Peizhu
Guo Que, vol.3.
                                              BAO GUIZHEN   The Qing Court’s Policies Towards Nationalities...           19

         The Qing Court’s Policies
          towards Nationalities,
     Religions and the Establishment
            of Lama Banners1

                                                                                           Bao Guizhen

I.The Development of Tibetan                                of monasteries with more than 100,000 monks. Un-
                                                            der the major influence of the Gelug Sect, upper-class
Buddhism in Mongolia and the
                                                            lamas enjoyed the same munificent treatment, cour-
Qing Court’s Policies towards Na-                           tesy names and honorable official titles as Mongolian
tionalities and Religions

    During the late Ming Dynasty (Altan Khan’s reign
in Northern Yuan), the Gelug Sect, one sect of Tibetan
Buddhism (the Y  ellow Hat Sect),2 prevailed in Mongolia
once again, and soon after that, the local people em-
braced it. Until the first half of the 17th century, all
the Mongols in the north, south and west of the Gobi
Desert accepted the Gelug Sect, However, the war-
fare in the late Ming Dynasty and the early Qing Dy-
nasty caused the Gelug Sect to decline in the south of
the Gobi Desert. In order to rule the Mongols in a
peaceful way, the Qing Government specifically advo-
cated and protected Tibetan Buddhism in its early
years. In the period from Emperor Shunzhi’s reign to
Emperor Qian Long’s, the Gelug Sect was treated with
courtesy, which resulted in its promotion in status, so
that its influence was strengthened and the number of
its monasteries increased. According to statistics, only
in the south of the Gobi Desert there stood thousands               The Third Janggya(lcang-skya)Hothogthu. ( Thangga)
20       CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

nobles. They even had the power of judicial adminis-         fairs in Khalkha Mongol (north of the Gobi Desert in
tration in the monasteries, and participated in the          modern Mongolia). In the same year, at a meeting in
political affairs of Mongolian banners, which were then      Duolun, the Qing Government recognized Jebtsun-
both prevalent and unprecedented.                            damba’s leading role in Khalkha Mongol. Compared
    The establishment of two reincarnation systems,          with the system of Jebtsundamba Khutughtu, the sys-
Jebtsundamba (rje-btsun dam-pa) Khutughtu and                tem of ICang-skya Khutughtu in the south of the Gobi
ICang-skya Khutughtu, was a landmark for the Gelug           desert was propped up completely by the Qing Gover-
Sect in its heyday in Mongolia. The Living Buddha            nment. When Jebtsundamba Khutughtu gradually
reincarnation systems of the Gelug Sect originated in        became a leader with both administrative and religious
Tibet, and in the 16th century two Living Buddha re-         power, the Qing Government, on the one hand, es-
incarnation systems - the Dalai and Panchan Lamas -          tablished ICang-skya Khutughtu Reincarnation Sys-
were established there. In order to guarantee the suc-       tem to weaken the authority of the former one in the
cessful spread of Buddhist doctrines and to prevent          Gelug Sect. On the other hand, by adopting a series of
the loss of monastery property, the Gelug Sect clearly       measures, the Qing Government gradually devolved
needed its own Living Buddha reincarnation systems           Jebtsundamba’s religious and political power in
as well as its own spiritual leaders. At the invitation of   Khalkha Mongol to Mongolian nobilities, then to
Khalkha Mongolian Khan in 1614, Taranatha, the               Manchurian-Mongolian cabinet ministers and finally
scholar of the Jonang school of Tibetan Buddhism,            to Manchurian ministers. Therefore, to some extent,
went to Mongolia and was given an honorific title of         the Living Buddha’s secular power was weakened. The
Jebtsundamba. He passed away in 1634, and next year          incarnations were chosen from Tibetans, not from
Tosiyetu Khan had a son, so his son was identified as        Mongols, so as to eliminate the possibilities of form-
the incarnation and named the First Jebtsundamba.            ing any forces with both administrative and religious
The First Jebtsundamba learned Buddhist doctrines            power.
in Tibet and converted to the Gelug Sect in 1649. Em-            The swift development of Tibetan Buddhism in
peror Kang Xi bestowed the title of Khutughtu Grand          Mongolia can be attributed to many reasons: its main
Lama (Mongolian: ündür Gegeen) on him in 1691 and            cause lies in the Qing Court’s policies towards nation-
appointed him to take charge of Tibetan Buddhist af-         alities and religions, i.e. to get support from Mongols

“Kangyur” in Mongolian lan-
guage (block-printed edition in
Beijing in 1720)
                                              BAO GUIZHEN   The Qing Court’s Policies Towards Nationalities...                    21

and Tibetans so as to restrain the Huis and Hans
(people of the Hui and Han nationalities). Early in
Nurhachi’s time, lamas had supreme power in
Mongolia. In order to weaken their power, Nurhachi
adopted a preferential policy to Tibetan Buddhism,
which exerted a far-reaching impact on his descen-
dents. After his enthronement, Emperor Huangtaiji
continued to support Tibetan Buddhism so as to rule
the Mongols. The upper-class lamas submitting to him
all received preferential treatment. In his reign, Em-
                                                            “Kangyur” in Mongolian language (block-printed edition in Beijing in 1720)
peror Shunzhi sent envoys to Tibet several times and
sincerely invited the Dalai Lama to the Central Plains.
Shih-tsu Imperial Edict reads: “In Huangtaiji’s reign,      financially. In its early period, the Qing Government
Dalai Lama was invited for Khalkha the Mongols still        appropriated money several times for the construction
didn’t surrender and lamas possessed supreme power          of monasteries, such as Huizong Monastery, Shanyin
there.” But it was Emperor Kangxi who was the most          Monastery, Xingyuan Monastery. (4) Establishing a
outstanding executor to implement this policy. Two          Feudatory Affairs Office to strengthen and regulate
major events must be mentioned. One was the estab-          the management of religions. There’s no doubt that
lishment of ICang-skya Khutughtu’s leading position         among these measures, setting up Lama Banners, be-
in the south of the Gobi Desert by constructing             stowing the same political power and status as the
Huizong Monastery in Duolun. In this way, two Liv-          Mongolian nobles upon the leading religious figures,
ing Buddhas shared their rights in Mongolia. Later the      confirming their feudatory privileges and implement-
Qing Government gave all ICang-skya Living Buddhas          ing the policy of alliance between Tibetan Buddhism
a special courtesy reception. The other was the publi-      and politics in parts of Mongolia, are of great impor-
cation of Kanjur (Buddhist canon). Emperor Kangxi           tance to the Qing Court’s policies towards nationalities.
ordered high-ranking Mongolian lamas to collate the
handwritten copy of Kanjur, written in Mongolian and        II.The Rationale of Establishing
edited in Ligdan Khan Period, and had it published in       Lama Banners
Beijing. After Emperor Kangxi, later emperors, such
as Yongzheng, Qianlong, continued to inherit the                When discussing the establishment of lama
policy of showing preference to Tibetan Buddhism.           banners, it’s necessary to start from the union-banner
    The Qing Government Sect took comprehensive             system carried out in Mongolia since the Qing Dynasty.
measures to strengthen its rule among the Mongols,          In the early Qing Dynasty, based on a policy of divide-
including: (1) advocating a hierarchical system; draw-      and-rule, the Qing Government divided the Mongols
ing up regulations and laws related to granting titles      into several banners without any control over each
such as Khutughtu and Normen Khan, and raising the          other. As a basic military and administrative unit, Ban-
social status of lamas. According to relevant historical    ner also stood for the land bestowed by Qing emper-
data, the Qing Court conferred the title of Khutughtu       ors upon the Mongolian nobles. The processes of es-
on more than fifty-five lamas at four different levels.     tablishing a Banner included marshalling Sumun janggi
(2) Setting up Lama Banners in regions inhabited by         (an official position taking charge of a registered per-
lamas or important religious leaders; conferring upon       manent residence, real estate, recr uitment and
the leading religious figures the same political power      lawsuits), making proper arrangements for Banner
and status as the Mongolian nobles; giving them             people, allotting land, demarcation of boundaries and
feudatory privileges. (3) Supporting the Gelug Sect         naming Jassak (the leader of a Banner). This kind of
22     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

Banner was commonly called Jassak Banner. Besides,          bilities like Taji.
there were General Banner and Lama Banner, directly
controlled by the Qing Government. Holding a meet-          III.The Establishment and Re-
ing was a tradition that originated from the Ming
                                                            forms of Lama Banner
Dynasty. When there was something important, the
heads of tribes or ulus (called “Banner” in the Qing            Located in the east of Inner Mongolia, Shiregetu
Dynasty) gathered together, discussing and making           Kulun Banner was a Lama Banner that completely
decisions collaboratively. From the Qing Dynasty on,        embodied the policy of alliance between Tibetan Bud-
it became a routine. The formation of the union-ban-        dhism and politics from its establishment. Its admin-
ner system guaranteed the Qing Court’s rule in              istrative structure and management style were differ-
     In order to extend Tibetan Buddhism’s influence
and raise the political status of the upper-class lamas,
the Qing Court conferred upon some leading figures
the same political power and status as the feudatory
lords. Regulations of Feudatory Affairs Office says: “the
head lamas have the same power as Jassaks.” Hence in
1667, the Qing Government authorized the establish-
ment of Lama Banners in regions inhabited by lamas
or important religious leaders. All together there were
seven Lama Banners in Mongolia: Shiregetu Kulun
Banner in the south of the Gobi Desert, Chagan-han
Normen Khan Banner in Qinghai, Jebtsundamba
Khutughtu Banner, Erdeni Pandita Khutughtu Banner,
Zaya Pandita Khutughtu Banner, Ching-sujugtu                Kapala skull drum,a rare and precious relic preserved in the Xingyuan Temple

Normen Banner, and Naru Panchan Khutughtu Ban-
ner in Khalkha Mongol. Lama Banners’ status and po-         ent from the other Jassak Banners. Taking Shiregetu
litical rights were equal to those of Jassak Banners, and   Kulun Banner as an example, this article intends to
Lama Jassaks had special power. Except for the mili-        discuss the issues of its establishment and mana-
tary affairs, Jassak Dalamas were invested with the         gement. Shiregetu means “abbot” in Mongolian.
power to deal with all religious, administrative and fi-    Shiregetu Lama, a post just inferior to Khutughtu and
nancial affairs as well as civil lawsuits and taxation in   Gegeen, took charge of religious and administrative
their own territories. So Shiregetu Kulun was not a         affairs. When a monastery didn’t have any Khutughtu
hereditary land of Mongolian nobilities, but a religious    and Gegeen, Shiregetu Lama was established. Because
region defined by Qing Emperors; the leader of the          Shiregetu Kulun Lama Banner was a specialized Lama
Banner was not a Mongolian noble but a Dalama with          Banner without any Gegeen (a Buddha incarnate)in
administrative and religious power directly appointed       Xingyuan - its main monastery, its head lama was called
by the Qing Court. Otherwise, Kulun was once pas-           Shiregetu Lama, i.e. Shiregetu Kulun Jassak Lama. In
ture-land owned by Inner Khalkha tribes, so originally      this way, Kulun Banner was also called Shiregetu Kulun
it was unpopulated. After the establishment of this         Banner. Shiregetu Dalama was the head of the whole
Lama Banner, the Qing Government ordered some no-           Banner, taking charge of the Banner’s religious and ad-
madic people to migrate there from the south of the         ministrative affairs.
Gobi Desert. As a result Kulun Banner, different from           In the Qing Dynasty, more than 30 monasteries
the other Jassak Banners, didn’t have hereditary no-        were built successively in Kulun Banner. Among them,
                                                 BAO GUIZHEN   The Qing Court’s Policies Towards Nationalities...      23

Xingyuan Monastery, Xiangjiao Monastery and Fuyuan             to 1931, there were 23 Jassak Dalamas in Kulun Lama
Monastery were called the Three Major Monasteries              Banner. The first one was Sherab from Tibetan Samlu
in Kulun. Xingyuan Monastery, constructed in 1649,             Family in A-mdo (modern Ledu County, Qinghai
was not only the main monastery in Kulun Banner,               Province). He preached Buddhist doctrines in the east-
but also the centre of religious activities. Xiangjiao         ern part of Mongolia in the early 17th century, and
Monastery, built in 1670, served as the administrative         wielded enormous influence over the people in Bagarin
centre and played the role of yamen (government of-            and Harachin, so he was honorably called Manjusri
fice in feudal China) and the centre of political activi-      Khutughtu. In the 1620s, in order to establish a friendly
ties as well. Fuyuan Monastery was the financial centre,       link with the Mongols and take advantage of Tibetan
dealing with the tax revenue. The founder of Fuyuan            Buddhism, Emperor Huangtaiji invited senior religious
Monastery was Ngagwangjamyang, the twelfth Jassak              figures to Shengjing (modern Shenyang, Liaoning
Dalama in Shiregetu Kulun Banner. Among the suc-               Province) and treated them with courtesy. Manjusri
cessive Jassak Lamas, he was the only one with the title       Khutughtu was one of them. Around 1632, Sherab
of Khutughtu conferred by the Qing Government.                 Lama preached in Kulun Banner, and in 1634, Emperor
Besides these three monasteries, the Auspicious God-           Huangtaiji granted his request to settle in Kulun, and
dess Monastery was built in 1665 and the third Jassak          defined the extent of his religious activities, which was
Dalama Pandita Normen Khan Shajabgungrug super-                called Manjusri Kulun. Emperor Huangtaiji also or-
vised it s construction. This monastery was famous for         dered some lamas to recite Buddhist scriptures in
the portrait of Auspicious Goddess given to                    Kulun and gave 1000 liang of silver per year as do-
Shajabgungrug by the Fifth Dalai Lama Blo-bzang-rgya-          nations. After Sherab Lama’s death in 1636, Emperor
mtsho, who was protected by her. After the comple-             Huangtaiji conferred the official title of Shiregetu
tion of this monastery, the portrait was worshipped            Darhan Chorji upon his younger brother Nangsu Lama
there as the main Buddha in Kulun Banner, thus the             and ordered him to succeed Sherab Lama. Thus
monastery had a high status in spite of its small size.        Shiregetu Kulun was named after him.
On the lunar New Year’s Day, Jassak Lama and all the               In 1646, the Qing Court appointed Shibjakunyug
other lama officials would go to the Auspicious God-           from Shengshi Monastery in Shengjing as Dalama to
dess Monastery and worship there.                              manage Shiregetu Kulun and also bestowed a Jassak
    During the Qing Dynasty, all the Jassak Lamas of           seal upon him. From then on, the regulation of the
Shiregetu Kulun Banner were directly appointed and             alliance between Tibetan Buddhism and politics was
dismissed by the Feudatory Affairs Office. From 1667           fundamentally confirmed in Shiregetu Kulun. The
                                                               third Jassak Dalama was responsible for the construc-
                                                               tion of Xingyuan Monastery and the Auspicious God-
                                                               dess Monastery. Recognized by the Qing Court, he
                                                               was summoned to Beijing to expound Buddhist doc-
                                                               trines for Emperor Shunzhi and the Queen mother
                                                               Xiaozhuang Wen. He also supervised the construction
                                                               of Huang Monastery in Beijing, and was given the title
                                                               of Pandita Normen Khan. He also attended the cer-
                                                               emonies of welcoming and seeing off the Fifth Dalai
                                                               Lama. From then on, the alliance between Tibetan
                                                               Buddhism and politics in Shiregetu Kulun Banner was
                                                               strengthened and improved. In 1729, Volume 58 in Regu-
                                                               lations of Feudatory Affairs Office, Made by Imperial Order
            The main hall of the Fuyuan Temple                 stipulates: “the vacancy of Shiregetu Kulun Jassak
24     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

Dalama must be succeeded by Mergen-chorji’s                ing would be held. In Shiregetu Kulun Lama Banner,
grandsons, or a qualified candidate from his disciples     Lama Jassak handled Banner’s administration, finan-
recommended to Feudatory Affairs Office.” Accord-          cial business, tax revenue, and civil lawsuits. Jassak
ing to this rule, except the Third, Fifth, Twenty-sec-     Dalama’s rights included:
ond and Twenty-third Jassak Dalamas, the others were           (1) Dealing with administrative affairs, concerning
all from Tibetan Mergen-chorji Family in A-mdo,            banner people and Hairatu (herdsmen who belong to
Qinghai.3 Apparently the Qing Court appointed all the      a Lama Banner).
successors, but actually the succession followed a he-         (2) Being responsible for financial and tax affairs.
reditary system. The only difference was that the po-      In the middle period of the Qing Dynasty, Kulun Lama
sition had to be succeeded by their collateral relatives   Banner was the only important centre for goods col-
if lamas didn’t have any descendants of the direct         lection and distribution in the eastern part of
lineage. Directly responsible to the Qing Court, they      Mongolia. Stores in many quantities were scattered
exercised their authority in their defined areas.          around it. Business tax was an important source of fi-
                                                           nancial revenue at that time.
IV.The Management Style of Lama                                (3) Managing monasteries and lamas. Lama Jassak
                                                           Banner implemented the policy of alliance between
                                                           Tibetan Buddhism and politics, so Shiregetu Kulun
    As a Jassak Banner, Shiregetu Kulun Lama Banner        Lama Banner built 15 monasteries in succession around
implemented the regulation of alliance between Ti-         Xingyuan, Xiangjiao and FuyuanMonasteries, which
betan Buddhism and politics, and had its own admin-        formed a monastery complex. The Qing Court imple-
istrative institutions and official positions that were    mented a preferential policy; i.e. the quota on lamas in
different from the other Jassak Banners’ and tallied       Kulun Banner was 1000. The Qing Government sent
with its actual conditions. Volume 56 in Regulations of    certificates, food and silver coins according to this
Feudatory Affairs Office, Made by Imperial Order           number, and allotted 1000 liang of silver, 1000 sheep
stipulates: “Jassak Dalama (colloquially called king of    and 1000 dou of rice annually. Historically, Kulun was
the lamas) is the religious leader and concurrently the    once known as “One Thousand Lamas”. Of course, that
administrative official. He is directly appointed and      number represented the lamas in the whole of Kulun.
removed by the Feudatory Affairs Office.” Other offi-      Jassak in Kulun Banner legislated that if a nomadic fam-
cial positions were as follows: Jassak Lama to assist      ily had three sons, one of them must become a lama.
Jassak Dalama with political and religious affairs;        In every lunar year of Ox, Snake and Rooster, a popu-
Demchi and Boshog to take charge of the governmen-         lation census was conducted. Lamas didn’t need to
tal affairs and Gesegui to be responsible for monastic     shoulder any taxes, and their lives were guaranteed.
affairs. The Lama Tamag-a-in Gajar (colloquially called    Monasteries had a great number of herdsmen, lamas,
Lama Mansion) of Shiregetu Kulun Lama Banner and           land, pastures, houses, etc. and Jassak Lamas directly
the seat of Jassak Dalama were all in Xiangjiao            managed all of their administrative and religious affairs.
Monastery, which was called Shangcang, namely, a               (4) Managing civil crops. The Qing Government
place used to deal with important political and reli-      didn’t have troops stationed in Kulun Banner, nor did
gious affairs.                                             any local armed forces. In the late Qing Dynasty, the
    The formation of a Lama Banner decided its power.      locals suffered a great deal from banditry. In order to
The top policy-making body was Lama Tamag-a-in             keep social order, civil corps were organized and man-
Gajar, and on every first and fifteenth day of each        aged by Jassak Dalama.
month, Jassaks would hold regular meetings to decide           (5) Being in charge of civil lawsuits. There was no
on any important administrative and religious affairs      independent judicial organ in Kulun Banner. Jassak
of the Banners. For something urgent, a special meet-      Lamas decided common law suits.
                                                 BAO GUIZHEN   The Qing Court’s Policies Towards Nationalities...                 25

    One thing is worth noting. Lamas in Kulun Lama             the essence: “Qing emperors show undue favor to the
Banner could live at home after their initiation as            Gelug Sect not because they want to pray for blessings,
monks. They could engage in productive labor, inherit          but because the Mongols have believed in it for a long
the family estate, and even get married. Local lamas’          time. In order to make them sincerely submit, the
explanation for this was: the Main Deity and Moun-             Gelug Sect was supported, thus Mongolia can be a
tain-river Deity were all feminine in Shiregetu Kulun.         feudatory territory under the Qing Court’s control.”
As a result, lamas in Shiregetu Kulun Banner could have        No doubt, it is not quite objective to say that Qing
women. As a matter of fact, this secular phenomenon            emperors’ attitude towards Tibetan Buddhism was
could be attributed to the policy of alliance between          solely motivated by their political needs. In fact, Qing
Tibetan Buddhism and politics. Compared with lamas             emperors, such as Shunzhi , Kangxi, Yongzheng and
in other places, lamas in Lama Banners enjoyed an in-          Qianlong, all showed their respect to Tibetan Bud-
comparable social status, which led to excessive au-           dhism and paid homage to Wutai Mount time and
thority and enabled them to enjoy a secular life like          again, offering incense, worshipping Buddha, building
the nobles; they did everything they liked, neglecting         Buddhist rites and praying for boundless longevity, etc.
religious doctrines. This phenomenon only emerged              However, in the author’s opinion, compared with their
in the middle period of the Qing Dynasty.                      political strategies, all of these actions are less
    The policy of alliance between Tibetan Buddhism            important.
and politics lasted until the Republic of China. In May
1931, the Commission for Mongolian and Tibetan Af-             References:
fairs submitted a report to the National Government
in Nanjing, asking for its consideration. The National              1. Delger. History of Tibetan Buddhism in Inner Mongolia. Huhhot:
                                                               Inner Mongolia People’s Publishing House, 1988.
Government’s executive branch issued Measures to the
                                                                    2. Historical Accounts of Kulun Banner, vol. 4. 2002.
Separation of Religion from Politics in Josutu-in Chigulgan         3. Choiji. Inner Mongolia Monasteries. Huhhot: Inner Mongolia
Shiregetu Kulun Banner on March 29, 1931. It abolished         People’s Publishing House, 1994.
the policy of alliance between Tibetan Buddhism and                 4. Surug and Namsarai. Concise History of Buddhism in Inner
                                                               Mongolia. Hailar: Inner Mongolia Culture Press, 1999.
politics, which had been carried out in Shiregetu Kulun
                                                                    5. Yu Benyuan. The Qing Court’s Religious Policies. Beijing: China
Lama Banner since Emperor Kangxi’s reign. The post             Social Sciences Press, 1999.
of Jassak Dalama changed into Jassak who only had                   6. Zhang Jian and Qi Jingxuan. Policies towards Nationalities and
the power to take charge of administrative affairs.            Religions of Chinese Successive Dynasties. Beijing: Capital Normal Uni-
                                                               versity Press, 1999.

   Generally speaking, the Qing Court’s policies to-
ward religions, especially the policies towards Tibetan            1.Banners were first used during the Qing Dynasty, which orga-
Buddhism, were used as tools for its peaceful reign.           nized the Mongols into banners except those who belonged to the
The measures of ordering Jassak Dalama, setting vari-          Manchu Eight Banners.
                                                                   2.Tibetan Buddhism was colloquially called Lamaism in
ous ranks and using a unique style of management all
                                                               Mongolia. From the late Ming Dynasty to the early Qing Dynasty,
proved that the establishment of Lama Banners was a            the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, also called the Yellow Hat
method employed by the Qing Government to rule                 Sect, prevailed in Mongolia. In order to be standard, this article
the Mongols by way of supporting Tibetan Buddhism.             uses the term: Tibetan Buddhism.
                                                                   3.Shiregetu Kulun Lama Banner. Historical Accounts of Kulun
In other words, the establishment of Lama Banners
                                                               Banner. Vol.4. p17.
was just a part of the Qing Court’s military strategy -
treating Mongolia as its feudatory territory. Xiao Ting                        From China Tibetology (Chinese Edition) No.3,2006
Za Lu (historical notes of the Qing Dynasty) unveiled                                                  Translated by Jiang Haiyan
26    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

           Measures to Protect Sovereignty
             easures to Protect Sovereignty
                 over Tibet Taken by
            uccessive Central Governments
          Successive Central Governments
               Period         epubl
        in the Period of the Republic of China

                                                                                            Tang Jingfu

    The Revolution of 1911 signaled the collapse of the    China” promulgated on March 11 of the same year,
corrupt Qing Dynasty and the founding of a bourgeois       “The territory of the Republic of China consists of
democratic republic, the Republic of China.                twenty-two provinces, Inner and Outer Mongolia, Ti-
    On January 1, 1912, the Provisional Government of      bet and Qinghai”2 . On April 22, the Provisional Presi-
the Republic of China was founded in Nanjing and Sun       dent issued another decree to reiterate the sovereign
Yat-sen became the Provisional President. He issued        principles of national unification and territorial integ-
“The Declaration of the Provisional President” and sol-    rity of China: “Now, we have the harmony of the Han,
emnly declared to the world “The foundation of the         Manchu, Mongolian, Hui and Tibetan nationalities.
country lies in the people, and the unification of lands   Areas inhabited by the Mongolian, Tibetan and Hui
inhabited by the Han, Manchu, Mongolian, Hui and           people are all part of the territory of our Republic of
Tibetan people into one country means the unifica-         China; people of the Mongolian, Tibetan and Hui na-
tion of the Han, Manchu, Mongolian, Hui and Tibetan        tionalities are all residents of our Republic of China.”3
races. This is national unification. After the Wuhan       These are the principles of sovereignty over Tibet ad-
Uprising, dozens of provinces became independent.          hered to by the government of the Republic of China.
This ‘independence’ meant exclusion of the Qing court      Afterwards, successive central governments promul-
through alliance with other provinces. This also ap-       gated similar declarations, set up special organs to deal
plied to Mongolia and Tibet. The unification of terri-     with affairs in Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet and other
tory means the concerted actions of all the nationali-     ethnic minority areas, and appointed Resident Com-
ties and provinces, under the leadership of the center     missioners in Tibet. All these are specific actions in
and extending its rule to the four boundaries”.1 Accord-   adherence to the principles. This article will give a brief
ing to the stipulation of Article III, Chapter One of      description of the measures to protect the sovereignty
“The Provisional Constitution of the Republic of           over Tibet taken by successive central governments in
                                           TANG JINGFU   Measures to Protect Sovereignty over Tibet Taken by...   27

the period of the Republic of China.                          Notice of Establishing a Temporary Office of the Bu-
                                                              reau for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs” was published.
I. Establishing an Administrative                             On September 4, the State Council issued “the Seal of
                                                              the Bureau for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs” in Han,
Organ to Deal with Ethnic Minor-
                                                              Mongolian and Tibetan scripts. On November 18, the
ity Affairs                                                   office was moved from Suzhou Hutong, Dongdan
                                                              Pailou of Beijing to the former place of the Feudatory
    The unification of the Republic of China was the
                                                              Affairs Office.
foundation of establishing a bourgeois republic advo-
                                                                  In order to develop ethnic culture and education,
cated by Sun Yat-sen. After its founding, the Nanjing
                                                              the Bureau for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs opened
Provisional Government decided not to set up “a min-
                                                              a Mongolian and Tibetan school in Beijing. The school
istry of ethnic minority affairs” when setting up vari-
                                                              was free for students from Mongolia, Tibet and
ous administrative organs. It appointed the Ministry
                                                              Qinghai and the government provided their boarding
of Interior Affairs to take charge of Mongolian and
                                                              fees. From 1913, the bureau also published Newspaper
Tibetan affairs. The Order of the President issued on
                                                              of Mongolian Vernacular, Newspaper of Tibetan
April 22, 1912 stated, “The Republic is composed of
                                                              Vernacular, and Newspaper of Hui Vernacular (Hui
five nationalities. All areas inhabited by the Mongolian,
                                                              refers to Uygur script). The purpose was to make the
Tibetan, Hui and Uygur people are the territory of the
                                                              government’s policies known to the people living in
Republic. The Mongolians, Tibetans, Huis and Uygurs
                                                              border areas and enrich their knowledge.
are all nationalities within the Republic. The designa-
                                                                  It was named as the Bureau for Mongolian and Ti-
tions used in the period of the Empire should cease.
                                                              betan Affairs, but, in fact, the bureau handled all af-
Henceforth, overall planning should be carried out re-
                                                              fairs concerning ethnic minorities of the whole coun-
garding Mongolian, Tibetan, Hui and Uygur regions
                                                              try or dealt with them jointly with other ministries.
in order to achieve the domestic unification and real-
                                                              Later on, due to the differences between certain laws
ize ultimate harmony among all nationalities. The gov-
                                                              and regulations in Mongolian and Tibetan areas and
ernment of the Republic of China will not set up a
                                                              those in the hinterland as well as due to its limited
special organ to deal with ethnic minority affairs. The
                                                              sphere of power, in May of 1914, the bureau was up-
reason for this is that Mongolian, Tibetan, Hui and
                                                              graded to the Council for Mongolian and Tibetan
Uygur regions are placed on equal footing with the in-
                                                              Affairs,5 becoming an administrative organ under the
terior provinces. All political affairs in those regions
                                                              State Council. It was parallel with other ministries -
should fall within the responsibility of the administra-
                                                              that is, it was changed from the direct leadership of
tion for the interior. We have now founded a unified
                                                              the Premier to direct leadership of the President. In
government. Ethnic minority affairs will be merged
                                                              March 1928, the Kuomintang set up the Nationalist
into and taken over by the Ministry of Interior Affairs.
                                                              Government in Nanjing, and the Council for Mongo-
”4 Later, considering that although Mongolian and Ti-
                                                              lian and Tibetan Affairs was renamed as the Commis-
betan affairs were closely related with the affairs of all
                                                              sion for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs.
other nationalities of the whole country and in view
                                                                  After the founding of the Bureau for Mongolian
of the importance of the handling of these affairs, the
                                                              and Tibetan Affairs,on March 25,1913,Zhong Ying,Act-
government thought that it was necessary to set up a
                                                              ing Resident Commissioner in Tibet,forwarded a tele-
special bureau to take charge. So on July 19, 1912, “The
                                                              gram from the Ninth Panchen, which stated that “I,
Bureau for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs” was set up
                                                              the Panchen Erdeni, have long admired the inland,
with its regulations issued on July 25. The Premier led
                                                              enjoyed its favor and have done everything in my power
the Bureau directly. On July 29, Y Xiguang was ap-
                                                              to help the Han soldiers and residents, including pro-
pointed vice-chairman of the bureau and the provi-
                                                              viding them with food and lending them money.” “The
sional head of the office. On August 5, “The Public
28    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

President founded the new Republic of China, which         peace. However, in recent years, the Resident Com-
gives priority to the protection of the territory of the   missioners in border areas have failed to carry out ap-
whole country, and all the people who follow the Cen-      propriate measures and continued to suppress the
tral Government will be protected by the government”.      people. An official even blackmailed and exploited the
In response to this, on June 22 of the same year, Yuan     people, which offended the public. I am deeply con-
Shikai ordered Lu Xingqi to send a telegram to praise      cerned about this. Now, with the reform of the politi-
the Ninth Panchen for his loyalty to the Republic of       cal system, all the five major nationalities of the Re-
China and his respect for the Central Government. In       public of China should be treated equally. As a
the telegram he said that “ the Ninth Panchen         president, I am determined to eliminate all the mal-
Erdeni through bKra-shis-Ihun-po Monastery: I have         practice and wickedness of the old dictatorship. The
received your telegram of gratitude sent by Lu Xingqi.     local governments of Mongolia and Tibet should con-
I feel pleased to know that you are loyal to the Repub-    sider people’s conditions and protect their public
lic of China, and respect the Central Government. I        security.”7 “We must work hard to ensure that Mon-
hope that you will rejuvenate the Yellow Sect of           golians and Tibetans enjoy equal rights in their private
Buddhism, help monks and lay men to maintain the           and public affairs and share a happy life with the people
peace in Tibet. From now on, your report can be sent       in the hinterland.”8 In October of that year, Yuan Shikai
through Lu Xingqi and will be received immediately.        decreed the restoration of the title of the Thirteenth
Hope you have a good time.”6                               Dalai Lama. The decree reads: “In his letter to Kun-
    Under the leadership of the Central Government         bzang-nor-bu, the Chairman of the Bureau for Mon-
at that time, the Bureau for Mongolian and Tibetan         golian and Tibetan Affairs, Ngag-dbang-blo-bzang-
Affairs, the Council for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs,    thub-bstan-rgya-mtsho-dbang-phyug-phyogs-glang-
as well as the Commission for Mongolian and Tibetan        rna-rgyal, the former Dalai Lama, said that when he
Affairs, no matter what title they enjoyed, all main-      returned to Tibet from Beijing, he did his best to
tained support for sovereignty over Tibet by the Cen-      preach Buddhism and carry out his duties. Then he
tral Government and adhered to the principle that          took up a temporary residence in Darjeeling because
Tibet is an inseparable part of the territory of China.    he was relieved of his title. An incident took place in
Therefore, their work should be affirmatively              Sichuan Province last winter, and the situation in Ti-
acknowledged.                                              bet has not yet calmed down. He intended to main-
                                                           tain the Buddhist order and asked for his letter to be
II. Restoring the Title of the Thir-                       forwarded. Now the Republic of China has been
                                                           established, and the five nationalities have become one
teenth Dalai, Conferring the Title
                                                           big family. Since the Thirteenth Dalai Lama has loy-
upon the Panchen Erdeni and Re-                            ally pledged his allegiance to the Central Government,
sisting the British Imperialist’s                          the former misunderstanding has disappeared. The
                                                           Thirteenth Dalai Lama reclaims the title of the “Loyal
Invasion of Tibet
                                                           and Submissive Great Benevolent Self-subsisting Bud-
   On March 25, 1912, President Yuan Shikai issued a       dha of Western Paradise”. He is expected to develop
decree to Mongolia and Tibet in which he stated that       the Yellow Sect of Buddhism, support the Republic of
“the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Panchen Erdeni and rje-        China and enjoy peace with us.”9
btsun-dam-pa Hutuktu are grand Rin-po-ches of the              Why was the Thirteenth Dalai Lama relieved of
Yellow Sect of Buddhism in Mongolia and Tibet. They        the title? Here is a brief retrospect. In April of the
are deeply respected and believed by generations of        thirty-second year of Emperor Guangxu’s reign of the
Mongolians and Tibetans, who abide by traditional          Qing Dynasty (1906), the Thirteenth Dalai left Khu-
customs, protect the northwest borders and live in         lung for Tibet. After he arrived at sKun-vbum Monas-
                                         TANG JINGFU   Measures to Protect Sovereignty over Tibet Taken by...     29

tery in September, he “received a decree from the            Brothers). The soldiers had no military training and
Emperor to order him not to return to Tibet                  were not used to discipline. They fired randomly at
temporarily”. Before long, the Qing Government or-           people and killed a policeman and Spyi-drong Lama.
dered him to worship Buddha at Wutai Mountain first          What was worse, they shot at the Potala Palace and
and then “to receive an audience with the Emperor in         frightened the Thirteenth Dalai, so he had to flee in a
Beijing”. On January 28 of the twenty-forth year of          hurry. After arriving in Ya-dong (gro-mo), the Thir-
Emperor Guangxu’s reign of the Qing Dynasty (1908),          teenth Dalai, while trying to determine the attitude
the Thirteenth Dalai reached Wutai Mountain and              of the British Government, observed the situation in
stayed there for about half a year. On July 27 of that       Tibet. Lian Yu did not stop chasing him and the
year, the Qing Government sent Military Minister and         Sichuan army soon reached Phag-ri. The British in-
the General Governor of Shanxi Province to come to           formed the Thirteenth Dalai of that by phone in Phag-
Wutai Mountain to invite him to Beijing to “receive          ri, which forced him to leave Ya-dong in a hurry and
an audience with the Emperor”. After his arrival in          flee to Darjeeling of India. After arriving in India, the
Beijing, he received a welcome and stayed at Huangsi         Thirteenth Dalai intended to go to Beijing. But just at
Monastery where the Fifth Dalai and the Sixth                that time, Lian Yu’s memorial to the Court to “im-
Panchen once stayed. Emperor Guangxu held a ban-             peach” the Thirteenth Dalai also reached Beijing and
quet at the Purple Light Hall of Zhongnanhai in his          the Qing Government ordered to the removal of the
honor and conferred upon him the title of “Loyal and         title of the Thirteenth Dalai again without inquiring.
Submissive Great Benevolent Self-subsisting Buddha           So we can see from the above that the flight of the
of Western Paradise”. The Emperor also decided to            Thirteenth Dalai to India should be blamed chiefly on
grant the Thirteenth Dalai Lama “living allowance” of        the erroneous policy of the Qing Government towards
10000 liang of silver per year, allocated by the Sichuan     ethnic minorities.
government. During his stay in Beijing, the Thirteenth           Soon afterward, the Revolution of 1911 succeeded
Dalai was received in audience several times by Em-          in the hinterland, the Qing Emperor abdicated and the
press Dowager Ci Xi and Emperor Guangxu. Soon                Republic of China was founded with Sun Yat-sen be-
afterward, Emperor and Empress Dowager Ci Xi died            coming the Provisional President. The Thirteenth
one after the other. Puyi became the Emperor and             Dalai returned to Tibet from Darjeeling on May 5 of
changed the title of his reign into Xuantong. Approved       Tibetan Calendar in the first year of the Republic of
by the Qing Government, the Thirteenth Dalai left            China (1912). Meanwhile, more changes took place in
Beijing for Lhasa on October 30, the first year of           the internal political situation. Mr. Sun Yat-sen re-
Xuantong’s reign (1909). Lian Yu, Amban (the Resi-           signed and Yuan Shikai became the president. On July
dent Commissioner) in Tibet, welcomed him in bKra-           19 of the first year of the Republic of China (1912), the
shis Town. Later, because of the entry of Sichuan’s army     government of the Republic of China set up the Bu-
into Tibet, contradictions emerged between the Thir-         reau for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs and appointed
teenth Dalai and Lian Y Before the Thirteenth Dalai          Kun-bzang-nor-bu, the Mongolian prince of mKhar-
Lama reached Lhasa, Lian Yu sent a memorial to the           la-chi as chairman. The Thirteenth Dalai sent a Mon-
Court asking to dispatch two thousand soldiers and           golian lama named blo-bzang-don-grub as his repre-
officers to Tibet and it was approved by the Qing            sentative to Beijing to deliver his letter to Kun-bzang-
Government, in which Zhong Ying was ordered to be            nor-bu. In the letter he said: “When I returned to Ti-
the General to lead the Sichuan army of two thousand         bet from Beijing, I did my best to preach Buddhism
soldiers to enter Tibet. However, Commander Zhong            and rectify order. Then I took temporary residence in
Ying did not know military affairs and his army was          Darjeeling because the title of the Thirteenth Dalai
just a disorderly mob consisting of vagrants and local       Lama was removed from me. An incident took place
ruffians (most of them belonged to the Society of            in Sichuan Province last winter, and the situation in
30      CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

Tibet has not clamed down yet. I intend to do my best                  the Republic of China. Hence, I beseech the Central
to develop Buddhism. Please report my case to the                      Government to restore the former title of the Thir-
government.”10 After receiving the letter, the Bureau                  teenth Dalai, grant him a new title by the Republic of
for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs knew his intention                   China, allocate more living allowance than last year so
clearly and sent a letter to Y uan Shikai for restoration              as to show preferential policy from the government,
of his title. The letter goes like this: “The Thirteenth               and restore his followers to their original official posts.
Dalai Lama of Tibet inherited Buddhism advocated                       This will disband malcontents and eliminate obstacles.
by Tsong-kha-pa and has been adored by Mongolians                      This will also show the President’s policy of appease-
and Tibetans as the head of the Yellow Sect of                         ment towards border areas and sincere desire to main-
Buddhism. In the first year of Xuantong’s reign of the                 tain Buddhism.”11 On October 28 of the first year of
Qing Dynasty, because the Sichuan army invaded                         the Republic of China, Yuan Shikai issued the decree
Tibet, he left Tibet out of fear and went to Darjeeling                of restoration of the title of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama.
of India with his entourage bKav-blons. The Qing                       On April 1 of the next year (1913), he issued another
Government did not take measures to retrieve the                       decree to grant the title of the Ninth Panchen, it reads:
situation; instead, it removed his title and discharged                “This is an order from the Grand President. The
the Tibetan officials who followed him. Last autumn,                   Panchen Erdeni says in his telegram that he has long
the Central Government was so deeply involved in                       admired the inland and enjoyed its favor, and that he
military fighting to suppress riots in other provinces                 has done everything in his power to help the Han sol-
that it did not have time to attend to borderland affairs.             diers and residents, including providing them with food
This caused misunderstanding between the govern-                       and lending them money. The Panchen Erdeni, sup-
                                                                       porter of the Republic of China, is loyal to the govern-
                                                                       ment of the Republic of China, and works hard to deal
                                                                       with Tibetan affairs. I, the Grand President, am pleased
                                                                       at this. I order that he be conferred with the honorific
                                                                       title of the “Most Loyal Propagator” to expressly praise
                                                                       to his loyalty to the Republic of China and my respect
                                                                       for the Yellow sect of Buddhism.”12 After receiving this
                                                                       title, the Ninth Panchen wrote a letter to Y   uan Shikai
                                                                       to express his gratitude. The letter is as follows: “On
                                                                       the twenty-fifth day of the third month in the Kui-
                                                                       chou year, Commissioner Lu Xingqi sent men to hand
Jade Album bestowed posthumously to the Thirteenth Dalai Lama by the
Republic of China                                                      over the decree to me, in which the Grand President
                                                                       conferred upon me the title of the “Most Loyal
ment and the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and a growing                       Propagator”. I humbly set up a sacrificial table in bKra-
dislike between the Hans and Tibetans. Under the lead-                 shis-lhun-po Monastery and kowtowed with respect
ership of the Thirteenth Dalai, the Yellow Sect of                     and gratitude to receive the decree from the President.
Buddhism, which had been inherited and spread for                      The Most Loyal Propagator Panchen Erdeni.”
hundreds of years, was the religion worshiped by Mon-                      After receiving the decree to restore his title, the
golians and Tibetans in border areas. So it should be                  Thirteenth Dalai sent a telegram to Yuan Shikai with
treated with preferential policies. Otherwise, the gov-                the help of Lu Xingqi, Acting Amban in Tibet, it reads:
ernment cannot win the peoples’ hearts in order to                     “Mr. President of Boundless Happiness, thank you for
dissolve resistance. Furthermore, it was the Qing Gov-                 your telegram. Britain has agreed to arrange the nego-
ernment who removed the title of the Thirteenth                        tiations between the Hans and Tibetans in Darjeeling.
Dalai. He does not blame nor have any grudge against                   Representatives are going to be sent there. Your order
                                           TANG JINGFU   Measures to Protect Sovereignty over Tibet Taken by...      31

is being awaited. I hope to get your reply as soon as         worried if the Han troops won the battle, the Hans
possible. Sincerely, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama.”13 In         would occupy Tibet and British ambitions in Tibet
view of the urgent demands of the Tibetan situation           would be heavily thwarted. So, they began to interfere
the Thirteenth Dalai asked the Beiyang Government             with the whole situation in the name of mediation.”16
to send representatives to negotiate with Tibetans in         They put forward a “protest” to the Ministry of For-
Darjeeling, India. After being defeated in battle with        eign Affairs of the Beiyang Gover-nment. The flagrant
the monks of Sera Monastery, the mutineers of the Si-         and rude intervention of the British Government into
chuan army were surrounded in Lhasa by the Tibetan            China’s internal affairs made the Beiyang Government
troops. Ma Shizhou, subprefectural magistrate of Qing-        reluctant to accept it. In reply to the British
xi in Tibet, sent an express telegram from India to re-       Government, it stated that: “It is China’s internal af-
port the emergency to Yin Changheng, Sichuan Milita-          fair to dispatch troops into Tibet. Britain has no right
ry Governor,to ask for more troops in Tibet.14 Lu Xing-       to interfere with it.” But, Yuan Shikai was eager to be-
qi also sent express telegrams from India to the Beiyang      come an emperor and did not intend to resist foreign
Government,Ying Changheng,Sichuan Military Gov-               invasion. Taking this advantage, the British Govern-
ernor and Cai E,Yunnan Military Governor asking for           ment demanded that the Beiyang Government send
urgent military assistance from Sichuan and Yunnan.           representatives to Darjeeling to attend “a conference
Yin Changheng then recommended himself to the Bei-            on Tibetan affairs” with representatives from Tibet be
yang Government to lead a crack army into Tibet.In a          present at the same conference. Under pressure from
telegram to Yuan Shikai dated on May 12 of the first          Britain, the Beiyang Government had to order Yin
year of the Republic of China(1912), he said: “If Tibet       Changheng and Cai E, military governors of Sichuan
falls, it will be hard to defend the frontiers, and if the    and Yunnan Provinces, to halt the troops on their
frontiers fall, the whole country will be in danger.” In      march into Tibet. Meanwhile, it agreed to negotiate
a telegram to Yuan Shikai dated on May 6, Cai E also          with Britain. The Chinese representatives were Cheng
said that: “U-Tsang of Tibet concerns the interest of         Yifan and Hu Hanmin. The British “welcomed Chen
the whole country. Should Tibet split off, Yunnan and         Yifan, while opposing Hu Hanmin. Hu Hanmin was a
Sichuan Provinces will be in the danger of being              revolutionary, so they were afraid that it would be dis-
conquered. You are urgently requested to arrange to           advantageous to their invasion of Tibet”.17 Then Wang
save the frontiers from danger.”15 Under such circu-          Haiping was sent as vice representative of China. Blon-
mstances, the Beiyang Government was forced to send           chen-zhabs-drung (also called bshad-sgradPal-vbyor-
an army under the command of Yin Changheng into               rdo-rje) and others represented Tibet. Representing
Tibet and ordered Cai E to send troops to Khams from          Britain was McMahon, secretary in Indian Foreign
Zhongdian of Yunnan Province in coordination with             Office, who was assisted by Bell, administrative offi-
the Sichuan army. Yin Changheng and Cai E took ac-            cial in Sikkim, as his advisor. Originally the confer-
tion according to their orders at once. According to          ence was scheduled to be held in Darjeeling but later
the record of Section One, Chapter Six of The Policy          it was changed to Simla, also in India. The “Simla Con-
of British Imperialist’s Invasion of Tibet and One of         ference” lasted for eight months and twenty days, be-
the Materials from 1905-1915 by the Bureau for Mon-           ginning on October 13 of the second year of the Re-
golian and Tibetan Affairs, “In July of the first year of     public of China (1913) and ending on July 3 of the third
the Republic of China, the Sichuan and Yunnan armies          year of the Republic of China (1914). At the “Simla
defeated the Tibetan troops in Ba-thang and Li-thang.         Conference”, the British imperialists concocted the
The Tibetan troops retreated gradually. At that time,         illegal “Simla Convention” which was intended to vio-
the British had drawn the Thirteenth Dalai to their           late China’s sovereignty and split the territory of China.
side. Meanwhile, they heard that the Han troops would             The Chinese Government rejected the treaty and
attack Tibet with more military forces. They were             ordered Chen Yifan not to sign the formal treaty. It
32    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

stated officially that “The Chinese Government will         titled An Outline History and Geography of Tibet
not acknowledge any treaty or other documents signed        records that “He asked the Thirteenth Dalai to allow
between Britain and Tibet on this day or any other          Lu Xingqi, Acting Amban in Tibet, to come to Lhasa,
day.”18 This notorious and illegal treaty will be defi-     but the Thirteenth Dalai replied that Lu Xingqi could
nitely condemned by the people of all nationalities all     not come to Lhasa until all problems between China
over China.                                                 and Britain were completely solved. The government
                                                            could do nothing with the Thirteenth Dalai.” Lu
III. Mediation between the                                  Xingqi was a patriotic overseas Chinese, who opened
                                                            Tianyi Store to do business in India. He was very con-
Beiyang Government and the Thir-
                                                            cerned with Tibetan affairs and often informed the
teenth Dalai and the Setting up of                          Beiyang Government of the situation in Tibet. He of-
the Tibet Office in Nanjing                                 fered financial help to officers and soldiers in Tibet
                                                            when they returned to the hinterland from Tibet via
    From “the Simla Conference”, we can see that the        India. Hence, Yin Changheng, Sichuan General
relationship between Tibet and the Beiyang Govern-          Governor, Ma Shizhou, former sub-prefectural mag-
ment during the period of the Republic of China, com-       istrate of Gyantse Pass in Tibet and Shi Youming put
pared with that between Tibet and the Qing                  forward a proposal to the Beiyang Government that
Government, was very abnormal. This abnormal rela-          Lu Xingqi be appointed as “Acting Amban in Tibet”.
tion was the direct result of the interference, incite-     However, not only bKav-gshags (local government of
ment and deliberate sabotage from the British               Tibet) refused to acknowledge this appointment, the
imperialists. Not long after “the Simla Conference”,        Indian Government also raised obstacles. As a result,
Yuan Shikai claimed to be Emperor and the war to            Lu Xingqi never entered Tibet though he had the post
defend the Constitution broke out. The local govern-        for over ten years.
ment of Tibet took this advantage to amount a mili-             In the second mission, the National Government
tary attack on the Sichuan army in Chab-mdo in Sep-         asked Zhang Guangjian, Military Governor of Gansu
tember of the sixth year of the Republic of China (1917).   Province to send Zhu Xiu, Li Zhonglian, Lama dGu-
“Having stayed in the frontier for a long time, the         rong-tshang, of the Red Sect of Buddhism and a small
Sichuan army lacked weapons and fighting will. Since        retinue to Lhasa via Qinghai to make direct contacts
the soldiers were dispatched to a number of places,         with the Thirteenth Dalai in August of the eighth year
their military power was rather weak, so when attacked,     of the Republic of China (1919). The Thirteenth Dalai
they could not resist the enemy.”19 Soon, Chab-mdo          sent Tibetan officials to welcome them at Dangs-ra.
and other places were occupied by the Tibetan troops.       On November 24, Zhu Xiu and the other envoys
At that time, the British imperialists attempted to in-     reached Lhasa. They had friendly talks with the Thir-
terfere into the interior affairs of China with the ex-     teenth Dalai. On April 8 of the ninth year of the Re-
cuse of “mediation”. They put forward malicious “me-        public of China (1920), Li Zhonglian sent a telegram
diation” proposals that the Beiyang Government “could       to Zhang Guangjian, Military Governor of Gansu Prov-
never accept”. As a result, the negotiation ended in        ince regarding his entry to Tibet to negotiate a cease
failure.                                                    fire and peaceful solution to the conflicts. Zhang
    During this period, the Beiyang Government sent         Guangjian then forwarded it to the Grand President.
two missions to Tibet to make contacts with the Thir-       The telegram reads as follows: ...In Lhasa, we had talks
teenth Dalai Lama.                                          with the Thirteenth Dalai, the Minister of Tibetan In-
    The first mission was sent to Tibet in the eighth       ternal Affairs and bKav-blons (Cabinet Ministers). We
year of the Republic of China (1919), headed by             discussed sending representatives to Beijing to solve
Commandery Prince Klu-mo-bkra-bho. The book en-             conflicts between the Sichuan and Tibetan troops in
                                            TANG JINGFU   Measures to Protect Sovereignty over Tibet Taken by...      33

order to remove suspicion and develop relations. Since         protection from Britain. Among the four, Byams-pa-
this is a very important issue, it has to be solved through    bstan-dar, General Commander of Chab-mdo is the
negotiations with the representatives of the three             head, who has now realized the wickedness of the Brit-
major monasteries and the ordinary people. Hence the           ish and tends to support the hinterland. But he is afraid
negotiation was delayed for many days. Afterwards,             that our government cannot protect him. So he takes
the Thirteenth Dalai, the Minister of Tibetan Inter-           a neutral wait-and-see attitude. Now it is not too late
nal Affairs and bKav-gshags ordered the Tibetan Na-            to mend the fold even after some sheep have been lost.
tional Assembly and the three major monasteries to             Besides, when asked by Li Zhonglian, the Thirteenth
select five monks and laymen as representatives to keep        Dalai knew nothing about the items demanded by the
contact with us at any time and discuss all the issues.        British minister recently in Beijing. It is sufficient to
We attended three meetings of the Tibetan National             prove that the British played tricks in secret and that
Assembly. Through friendly talks, all previous ill will        it was not the Tibetans’ intention to resist the Central
and doubts have been removed. All representatives are          Government. The above-mentioned facts all have been
pleased and they are willing to restore the relation be-       proved by the investigation made by Li Zhonglian in
tween the inland of China and Tibet as before.” In April       Tibet. It is possible to retrieve the situation. So we
of that year, Zhu Xiu and others returned to Gansu             plead to forward the letter to the Grand President as a
with official letters and presents from the Thirteenth         remedy and take back our lost territory. It is not only
Dalai and Ninth Panchen. At a farewell banquet, the            a good fortune for Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and
Thirteenth Dalai said sincerely “It is not my true in-         Xinjiang, but also a happy thing for the people of the
tention to be on intimate terms with the British. I had        whole country.”21 From this we can see that the Brit-
to take that stand due to the excessive pressure by the        ish imperialists were the main reason for the abnor-
imperial envoy. I am very grateful to your visit to Tibet.     mal relation between the local government of Tibet
I only hope that the President will speedily dispatch          and the Central Government.
his plenipotentiaries to solve the outstanding issues. I           Gansu delegation’s visit to Tibet marked the first
swear that I will be loyal to our own country and work         time that the Central Government of the Republic of
jointly for the common well-being of the five nationa-         China had sent emissaries into Tibet in spite of the
lities.” 20 A report by Li Zhonglian and Zhu Xiu in Sep-       British obstacles after the Revolution of 1911. It tem-
tember of that year about their visit to Tibet can also        porarily changed the abnormal relations between Ti-
substantiate this. Their report is as follows: ...After        bet and the motherland. It was the time of the civil
we arrived in Tibet, we tried to remove previous ill-          war between the warlords of the Zhili clique and the
will and doubts, build relations and exchange opinions.        Anhui clique. Though new political forces emerged and
The Thirteenth Dalai expressed his loyalty to the hin-         the Beiyang Government did not have time to attend
terland and treated us especially well. We were very           to Tibetan affairs, the political situation clearly showed
pleased. After Li Zhonglian and others explained               that it was in vain to pull the Tibetan issue back to the
everything, the Thirteenth Dalai selected five repre-          negotiations of the “Simla Conference”. Therefore, in
sentatives to have several meetings with Li Zhonglian...       order to eliminate the outcome of Gansu delegation’s
All this showed that Tibetans wanted to restore good           visit to Tibet, the British sent Bell, British Adminis-
relations with the Hans. The Tibetans are divided into         trative Officer in Bangladesh, to Tibet to interfere. But,
two groups: the new and the old. The old group counts          at last, their conspiracy failed. Relations between the
for 70% and the new only 20-30 %. The former is                local government of Tibet and the Central Govern-
headed by the Tibetan King, mKhan-po (General                  ment of the Republic of China began to be on good
Abbot) and the three major monasteries. Most of them           terms.
love their motherland. The latter is led by four bKav-             In March of the seventeenth year of the Republic
blons, who, frequently fooled by the British, sought           of China (1928), Kuomintang established the Nation-
34    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

alist Government in Nanjing. The Ninth Panchen then        Tibet within two weeks. The evil purpose was to split
sent Zur-dpon-mkan-bo Blo-bzang-rgyal-mtshan, Gen-         Tibet from the territory of China and change it into a
eral Abbot and Zhu Fu’an as representatives to go to       so-called “independent country” under the protection
Nanjing to establish official relations with the Nation-   of the British and American imperialists who took
alist Government and set up an office in Nanjing. The      advantage of the situation before the Kuomintang gov-
Thirteenth Dalai also sent several personnel to con-       ernment was overthrown and the people’s revolution-
tact with the Nationalist Government. He claimed           ary force won a complete victory. Nevertheless, with
“not to affiliate with the British nor forsake the Cen-    the victory of the Liberation War of the Chinese
tral Government”. In 1930, the Nationalist Govern-         People in the whole country and the founding of the
ment sent “Special Envoys to Tibet”. Later on, the lo-     New China, all the wicked attempts of the imperial-
cal government of Tibet sent representatives to set up     ists were in vain.
a Tibet Office in Nanjing. In both 1931 and 1936, the
local government of Tibet and the Ninth Panchen sent       IV. The Grand Greeting Ceremony
delegates to attend the National Congresses held in
                                                           and Conferring of Honorific Title
Nanjing. In 1946, Tibetan representatives also attended
the conference held by the Nationalist Government          upon the Ninth Panchen
to formulate The Constitution of the Republic of
                                                               After the plot by which the British imperialists at-
China. During this period, the Ninth Panchen and
                                                           tempted to split Tibet at the “Simla Conference” was
other prestigious personages from Tibet were also
                                                           exposed, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama felt a deplorable
elected and appointed as officials of the Central
                                                           weakness in power. Then he carried out a series of “new
Government. This proved that the traditional relations
                                                           measures” in Tibet. From 1916 to 1927, he not only set
between the local government of Tibet and the Cen-
                                                           up sMan-rtsis Khang (a research institute of medicine,
tral Government of China had began to be restored.
                                                           astronomy and calculation), a militar y provision
During his administration in the local government of
                                                           bureau, a police station, a post office, and a telegraph
Tibet, Rwa-sgreng Rin-po-che adhered to a patriotic
                                                           office, but also opened a gold mine and built a hydro-
stand that gradually normalized relations between the
                                                           electric station near Lhasa.22 No doubt, the Thirteenth
local government of Tibet and the Central Gover-
                                                           Dalai implemented new measures under the influence
                                                           of the Old Democratic Revolution in the hinterland
    In 1947, under the instigation of foreign imperia-
                                                           after the Reform Movement, which was of positive
lists, some Tibetan officials with separatist ideas went
                                                           significance. However, the main purpose of his new
to Britain and America in the name of “trade
                                                           measures was to strengthen his power in the unifica-
investigation”. They intended to plot for “Tibetan
                                                           tion of political and religious affairs. This led to tense
Independence”. The Nationalist Government and its
                                                           relations with the Ninth Panchen. Taking advantage
office in Tibet noticed the activities of the imperial-
                                                           of their discord, the British imperialists instigated the
ists and took some counter measures. In the summer
                                                           upper class personnel around the Thirteenth Dalai, try-
of 1949, the People’s Liberation Army crossed the
                                                           ing to make him suspect the Ninth Panchen and force
Y angtze River and liberated Nanjing and Shanghai. The
                                                           the Ninth Panchen to obey politically and economi-
Nationalist Government moved to Guangzhou. On
                                                           cally. This undermined relations between the two great
July 8 of the same year, a small group of reactionaries
                                                           Rin-po-ches. In the fourth year of the Republic of
in the local government of Tibet, under the direct sup-
                                                           China (1915), the Thirteenth Dalai established the sys-
port of the British and American imperialists, taking
                                                           tem of Gye-dzong (chief administrator) in Shigatse and
“to prevent the spread of Communism in Tibet” as an
                                                           appointed Blo-bzang-don-vgrub, a monk official and
excuse, asked all the personnel of the Nationalist Gov-
                                                           Mu-sha, a lay official as Gye-dzongs (governors-
ernment in Tibet and some Chinese traders to leave
                                          TANG JINGFU   Measures to Protect Sovereignty over Tibet Taken by...     35

generals). Gye-dzongs had great power, apart from            tainment. Meanwhile, by order of the government, Lu
governing all the Thirteenth Dalai’s manors in gTsang        Hongtao, Governor of Gansu Province, sent people
(western Tibet), they also had power to govern the four      to escort the Ninth Panchen to Lanzhou. When the
rDzongs and all the gShis-kas (manor estates) under          Ninth Panchen reached Lanzhou, Lu Hongtao led of-
the jurisdiction of the Ninth Panchen. This, of course,      ficials and troops, a party of several thousands to greet
infringed upon the Ninth Panchen’s status and power.         the Ninth Panchen in the outskirts of Lanzhou. The
In the Qing Dynasty, the Ninth Panchen and the Thir-         street the Ninth Panchen was to pass along was cov-
teenth Dalai were regarded as equal in religious and         ered with yellow cloth, and walls of Leitan Temple
political status, both under the direct leadership of the    where the Ninth Panchen was to be accommodated
Qing Emperor. The regions of the Ninth Panchen were          were decorated with yellow brocade. Archways were
under the direct supervision of the Amban in Tibet.          set up on streets. “It was a very solemn ceremony.”
Now they were put under the power of Gye-dzongs              The Beiyang Government specially appointed Li
that the Ninth Panchen could not accept. ce the              Naifen as “Reception Commissioner” to lead an es-
Panchen to obey in politics and the economy. They            cort of a hundred guards from Beijing to greet the
also sought to instigate the upper class around Dalai        Ninth Panchen. He declared that the President had
to sow suspicion. Besides, Gye-dzongs levied taxes and       bestowed the Ninth Panchen with the honorific title
ula (unpaid labor) to the Ninth Panchen’s people or          of “The Most Loyal Buddhist Preacher”.
even interfered with the internal affairs of bKra-shis-          At that time, the war between the Zhili (Hebei)
lhun-po Monastery. Hence, the security of the Ninth          and Fengtian (Liaoning) warlords broke out. Feng
Panchen and his men was threatened. In November              Yuxiang’s National Army captured Beijing and Presi-
of the twelfth year of the Republic of China (1923), the     dent Cao Kun was forced to step down from the
Thirteenth Dalai ordered some leading monks from             presidency. Duan Qirui became the Interim Governor.
bKra-shis-lhun-po Monastery (the Ninth Panchen’s             In August of the same year, the Ninth Panchen reached
trusted followers) to go to Lhasa. But when they ar-                                      an
                                                             Xi’an from Lanzhou and Y Xishan, Military Gover-
rived in Lhasa, they were put into prison and charged        nor of Shanxi Province sent representatives to greet
with being pro-Han. Their servants ran back to bKra-         him. The Ninth Panchen crossed the Yellow River at
shis-lhun-po Monastery immediately and reported to           Fenglingdu and went by car to Taiyuan. Interim Gov-
the Ninth Panchen. The Ninth Panchen regarded this           ernor Duan Qirui sent his eldest son Duan Hongye
as evidence of persecution towards him. If he did not        accompanied by Thuvu-bzang-nor-po from the Coun-
escape, his life and security would be in danger. So he      cil for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs, Mongolian
fled to the hinterland secretly with his followers on        Prince Yang Sangqiao, and lCang-skya Hutuktu, as his
November 15 of that year. On March 20 of the next            representative to Taiyuan to invite the Ninth Panchen
year, when the Ninth Panchen and his men arrived in          to Beijing and stay in Yingtai in Zhongnanhai. On Au-
Anxi County of Gansu Province, they were warmly re-          gust 1st of the fourteenth year of the Republic of China
ceived there. After the Beiyang Government got the           (1925), Duan Qirui appointed Gong Xinzan, Minister
news of the Ninth Panchen’s arrival in Anxi, it decided      of Internal Affairs, as an official in charge of confer-
to welcome the Ninth Panchen to Beijing and hold             ment and Kun-bzang-nor-bu from the Mongolian and
the same grand ceremony as the one held by Qing Em-          Tibetan Affairs Council as the vice officer in charge of
peror Qianlong to receive the Sixth Panchen. As              conferment. They brought a gold album and a gold seal
Huangsi Temple had decayed out of many years’                to Yingtai in Zhongnanhai to confer upon the Ninth
neglect, Yingtai in Zhongnanhai was chosen as the resi-      Panchen the title of “Propagator of Honesty, Savior
dence for the Ninth Panchen and Kun-bzang-nor-bu,            of the World”. The next day, the Ninth Panchen paid
chairman of the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs                a personal visit to Duan Qirui at his office to express
Council, was responsible for the preparation of enter-       his gratitude. On that evening, Duan Qirui held a ban-
36    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

quet in honor of the Ninth Panchen in Huairentang
Hall. Meanwhile, the Interim Governor approved the
Ninth Panchen to set up an office in Beijing, which
was located in Fuyou Temple. The next year, the Ninth
Panchen set up offices in Xining of Qinghai Province
and Chengdu of Sichuan Province.
    Before long, the civil war between warlords broke
out again. Zhang Zuolin and Wu Peifu expelled Feng
Yuxiang and his troops from Beijing. Feng Yuxiang
moved to Chahar, Suiyuan and Gansu. Zhang Zuolin
entered Beijing and proclaimed himself “Generalis-
simo” to wield state power. Under this political
situation, the Ninth Panchen moved to Shenyang in
October of the fifteenth year of the Republic of China
(1926) at the invitation of eastern Mongolian princes.
Zhang Zuolin appointed Huangsi Temple in Shenyang            Jade Seal bestowed posthumously to the Thirteenth Dalai Lama by the
as his residence.                                            Republic of China

    Since the Ninth Panchen reached the hinterland
from Tibet in 1924, he received many telegrams from         ened the Thirteenth Dalai and he sent the officer away
different provinces and cities to invite him for a visit.   from Tibet. Besides, a military clique called “aristo-
Under this new situation, the Ninth Panchen ordered         cratic military camp” formed by a few pro-Britain per-
his subordinates to form the Council of mKhan-po            sonnel schemed to stage a coup d’etat to overthrow
Assembly to handle all political and religious affairs.     the Thirteenth Dalai. Fortunately, the Thirteenth
This organ helped the Ninth Panchen do a lot of work        Dalai discovered it and ordered the military training
that was beneficial to the motherland.                      center to close down, together with the “aristocratic
                                                            military camp” and the school of aristocratic decedents
V. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama                                in Gyantse. All these taught the Thirteenth Dalai a
                                                            good lesson and made him realize that the British im-
Sending Personnel to Contact the
                                                            perialists were undependable. He then turned to the
Republic of China and the Repub-                            hinterland for support. Meanwhile, he felt uneasy at
lic of China Sending Officials to Ti-                       the news that the Ninth Panchen was warmly received
bet                                                         and respected in the hinterland. After the Ninth
                                                            Panchen fled from Tibet, a series of events took place
    After he forced the Ninth Panchen to leave Tibet,       in Tibet. They were all secret plots by a few pro-Brit-
the Thirteenth Dalai Lama fulfilled his desire to mo-       ish elements, which made the Thirteenth Dalai see that
nopolize religious and political power in Tibet. He in-     without the support of the motherland, it was impos-
tended to depend on his followers to carry out his “new     sible to maintain his power and position.
measures”, while the British imperialists attempted to          In October of 1928, the Nanjing Nationalist Gov-
make use of his followers to control him. For instance,     ernment was reshuffled with Chiang Kai-shek as chair-
a police officer hired by the Thirteenth Dalai was ac-      man of the Nationalist Government. Then, in order
tually a British special agent. This spy was so arrogant    to get support, the Thirteenth Dalai initially ordered
that he even gave face-to-face advice to the Thirteenth     General Abbot dKon-mchog-gro-nyi(also translated as
Dalai Lama that he should give up administrative af-        dKong-mchog-vbyung-gnas)23, Tshul-Khrims-bstan-
fairs and attend only to religious affairs. This awak-      vdzin and Wu Huaiqing to call on Chiang Kai-shek in
                                                   TANG JINGFU   Measures to Protect Sovereignty over Tibet Taken by...     37

Nanjing from Yonghe Temple (Lamaist Temple) of                        eighteenth year of the Republic of China (1929). Dur-
Beijing. They expressed the Thirteenth Dalai’s decla-                 ing her three months’ stay in Lhasa, the Thirteenth
ration that he was loyal to the interior, “not to affiliate           Dalai Lama received her twice. Returning from Lhasa,
with the British nor forsake the Central Government,                  she wrote a book A Mission to Xikang and Tibet that
and welcome the Ninth Panchen to return to Tibet”.                    recorded the Thirteenth Dalai Lama’s wish to pursue
On September 18 of the nineteenth year of the Re-                     “peaceful unification” of the whole country. In the
public of China (1930), Chiang Kai-shek wrote back                    book, she described how one o’clock of May 5
to the Thirteenth Dalai and asked dKon-mchog-gro-                     (1930), I went to Nor-bu-gling-ka to be received by the
nyi to forward this letter to the Thirteenth Dalai. The               Thirteenth Dalai. After having a two-hour rest in the
letter reads “To the Grand Dalai Lama: I heard that                   lobby, I was led to meet the Thirteenth Dalai in his
Tshul-Khrims-bstan-vdzin, the translator, came to                     old quarters. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama asked me if
Beijing to report to dKon-mchog-gro-nyi that when                     I had decided when I was leaving, I answered that I
visiting Tibet, they were warmly received by the Thir-                dared not to decide by myself but wait for his decision.
teenth Dalai Lama, which shows his loyalty to the in-                 After staying for more than three months, being
terior and respect for the Central Government. I am                   warmly received, I feel very grateful. I am afraid that I
pleased to hear that. The Central Government is de-                   dare not disobey the order from the Central Govern-
termined to follow Sun Y   at-sen’s will in supporting eth-           ment and if I stay too long without doing my job, I
nic minorities of the country for the welfare of the                  will be punished, so I hope to return soon. The Thir-
Tibetans. Now dKon-mchog-gro-nyi has arrived in                       teenth Dalai Lama said, “I understand your kindness.
Beijing, and will discuss all the Tibetan issues with Mr.             You told me before that you dared not disobey the
Ma Fuxiang, chairman of the Commission for Mongo-                     order of the Central Government. I let you stay for a
lian and Tibetan Affairs. Wish you happiness.”24                      long time, because you are tired after a long journey
    On September 22 of the same year, the Thirteenth                  and need a good rest before you leave. Now since you
Dalai replied to Chiang Kai-shek with a telegraph; “To                hope to leave, I have written a letter to the Gover-
Chairman Chiang of the Nanjing Nationalist Gover-                     nment. Besides, I will tell you my intentions and please
nment: I am glad to receive your letter forwarded by                  pass my words to Chairman Chang. Please take notes
dKon-mchog-gro-nyi who reported the details to                                                 while I am talking and I hope
me. I prayed sutras for world peace and good                                                                you record them
relations between Hans and Tibetans. I am                                                                        in a book to
pleased to know Ma Fuxiang, chairman of the
Commission for Mongolian and Tibetan
Affairs, will handle Tibetan affairs. ”25
    When sending dKon-mchog-gro-
nyi to Tibet, the Nationalist Govern-
ment also sent Liu Manqing,
a female employee at the
Office of Civil Affairs to Ti-
bet via Xikang in July of the

Jade Seal bestowed posthumously to the Thirteenth Dalai
Lama by the Republic of China
38     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

avoid forgetting. My greatest wish is for real peace and      on wide common interests. After hearing that conflict
unification of China. When I learned of the rebellions,       between Nepal and Tibet had broken out and both
I prayed daily for their suppression. I also prayed for       sides are going to resort to military means, I am deeply
your stay in Tibet at the three major monasteries. It is      concerned about the peace and security of the two
good for China. As for the Xikang incident, I would           peoples. I wrote letters to persuade against military
like you to tell the Government not to send cruel sol-        action. Now I send Ba W    enjun, counselor of the Com-
diers to suppress our people. It is better to have a clear-   mission for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs, to visit your
headed official to take over our affairs. I am ready to       country with my letter, photo and presents to extend
withdraw the Tibetan troops there at any moment.              my regards to you.”27 With regard to the result of this
Since this is all territory of China, there is no need to     event, the book entitled An Outline History and Ge-
argue which one of us owns it.” He also said: “The Brit-      ography of Tibet by Hong Dichen states: “Ba Wenjun
ish truly intended to tempt me, but I know that our           was very well received in Nepal. When the disputes
sovereignty must not be lost. Nature and customs are          ended, Ba Wenjun returned to Nanjing with a number
not compatible. So, when they came, we managed to             of gifts from Nepal for the Central Government. The
cope with them and didn’t venture to give them any            relations between China and Nepal are gradually turn-
rights. So long as China is internally consolidated, the      ing for the better.” After the conflict was dissolved,
Xikang-Tibet problem can be easily settled.”26 The            the local government of Tibet sent a letter to the Cen-
Thirteenth Dalai admitted that the British imperial-          tral Government to express gratitude. Since then, Ti-
ists intended to draw him to their side. Nevertheless,        betan affairs began to go smoothly.
he stated that Tibet is a territory of China, and that
sovereignty can never be lost. All these showed that          VI. The Republic of China Sending
he was really loyal to the interior.
                                                              Officials to Offer Condolences for
    In the nineteenth year of the Republic of China
(1930), the local government of Tibet sought to en-           the Death of the Thirteenth Dalai
force taxes on Nepalese merchants who had refused             and the Ninth Pan-chen
to pay them. The Thirteenth Dalai ordered the local
government of Tibet to arrest some Nepalese mer-                  In his late years, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama already
chants who had refused to pay taxes. The Nepalese             determined the ambition of the British imperialists
Government gave orders in its nationwide mobiliza-            from his personal experiences. Therefore, he hoped
tion for a large-scale invasion of Tibet. The Thirteenth      to resist the conspiracies of pro-British elements
Dalai sent a telegraph to Chiang Kai-shek asking the          through strengthening internal unity. When the Ninth
Nationalist Government for aid and to send officials          Panchen was forced to flee to the hinterland, he was
to Tibet to mediate. The Nationalist Government sent          warmly received in formal ceremonies held in Beijing
Ba Wenjun, counselor of the Commission for Mongo-             and other places all over the country. This was totally
lian and Tibetan Affairs, to Nepal to investigate and         beyond the expectations of the Thirteenth Dalai, who
mediate. Chiang Kai-shek also wrote a letter to the           realized that he was caught in the trap set by the Brit-
King of Nepal saying: “To the King of Nepal from the          ish invaders on one hand; while on the other hand, he
Nationalist Government of the Republic of China: The          was afraid that if the Ninth Panchen returned to Tibet,
Republic of China has pursued the Three People’s Prin-        he (the Dalai) would be put in a disadvantaged position,
ciples proposed by the former premier Sun Yat-sen to          since the Ninth Panchen had gained support from the
carry out the revolution of the republic. Now we have         people of the motherland. So, he was always in a con-
unified the whole country and are going to unite all          tradictor y mood. Soon after the founding of the
nationalities to promote world unification. Nepal and         Nanjing Government, following the Ninth Panchen,
China have been on good terms for a long time based           the Thirteenth Dalai Lama also set up offices in
                                        TANG JINGFU   Measures to Protect Sovereignty over Tibet Taken by...     39

Nanjing and other places and sent representatives to       grand memorial ceremony in Nanjing, sending Huang
restore relations with the Nationalist Government.         Musong (deputy chief of the General Staff ) as a spe-
With these efforts, he hoped that the Central Gov-         cial envoy to Tibet to offer condolences for the late
ernment would support the local government of Ti-          Dalai Lama, and allotting 50,000 yuan for funeral
bet headed by him and help solve some historical           expenses. The Ninth Panchen, after hearing of the
problems. However, the Nationalist Government at           death of the Thirteenth Dalai in the hinterland, sent
that time pursued a policy of surrendering and com-        telegraphs to all the monasteries in the country, ask-
promising to foreign aggressors and suppressing the        ing them to chant sutras together for seven days.
Communist Party and democratic forces domestically.        Meanwhile, he gave 73,200 silver dollars for the me-
It was too busy to attend to Tibetan affairs. After the    morial chanting sutras by lamas of monasteries in
breakout of the “9.18” Incident in 1931 and the “1.28”     Tibet, Qinghai, Xikang, Inner Mongolia and other
Incident in 1932 caused by the Japanese imperialist in-    places.
vasion of China, both the Thirteenth Dalai and the              On February 14 of the twenty-second year of the
Ninth Panchen expressed their support to the Cen-          Republic of China (1934), people of all circles held a
tral Government and appealed for unity of the whole        grand memorial ceremony in Nanjing for the death of
country to resist Japanese aggression. In the winter of    the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. More than two thousand
1932, the Kuomintang Government appointed the              people attended the ceremony with representatives
Ninth Panchen as Commissioner for Tibet. In April          from Beiping, Shandong, Shanxi, Henan, Shannxi,
of 1933, the Ninth Panchen sent bStan-vdsin-vjigs-med      Chahar, Anhui, Hubei, Guangdong, Yunnan and
Rin-po-che and others to go to Lhasa with his per-         Qinghai.
sonal letter. The Thirteenth Dalai received them                On September 23 of the same year, Huang Musong,
warmly in person and expressed his hope for the Ninth      special envoy to Tibet to pay homage on the demise of
Panchen’s early return to Tibet. He said that the pre-     the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, presided over the cer-
vious grudges between the two sides were caused by         emony of conferring upon the Thirteenth Dalai the
the instigation of subordinates. He promised to with-      posthumous title of “Great Master of Patriotism,
draw all Dza-sag lama and all the newly appointed gov-     Magnanimity, Benevolence and Sagacity” in addition
ernors (rdzong-dpon)from gTsang. When a bright fu-         to a jade album and a jade seal at the Potala Palace.
ture began to loom in the internal unity of Tibet, the     The contents of the jade album reads: “Born in Roushui
Thirteenth Dalai Lama passed away in December of           of Tibet, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama was a son of Bud-
1933 because of illness. It brought new turbulence to      dha and a true disciple of Sakyamuni. He maintained
the situation in Tibet.                                    the power of politics and religion, was loyal to the Re-
    After the death of the Thirteenth Dalai, the local     public of China, enlightened the Tibetans and spread
government of Tibet sent telegraphs to the National-       Buddhism. Now the posthumous title of “Great Mas-
ist Government and the Ninth Panchen respectively.         ter of Patriotism, Magnanimity, Benevolence and Sa-
At the same time, it unanimously elected Rwa-sgreng        gacity” should be conferred upon him. His morality
Rin-po-che Byams-pavi-ye-shes to take charge of the        and reputation will be spread widely and remembered
local administration and submitted a report for ap-        forever like Yikezhao Temple where the Third Dalai
proval by the Central Government. Learning of the          Lama used to spread Buddhist doctrines. His religious
death of the Thirteenth Dalai, the Nationalist Gov-        tradition will be inherited for generations as long as
ernment held a meeting immediately and made the            Mount Aruda stands. To praise his contributions, the
following decisions: conferring upon the Thirteenth        title-conferring album is issued.” 28 After the title-con-
Dalai the posthumous title of “Great Master of             ferring ceremony, the local government of Tibet ex-
Patriotism, Magnanimity, Benevolence and Sagacity”         pressed gratitude to the Nationalist Government for
in addition to a jade album and a jade seal, holding a     its “deep and profound love for Tibet” through its of-
40     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

fice in Nanjing.                                             eign Affairs, the Ministry of Military, the Ministry of
    After the mourning ceremony for the Thirteenth           Transportation and other departments according to
Dalai, according to tradition, Huang Musong offered          their competence can select the Tibetan people who
two silver dollars to each of all the lamas from the three   want to participate in government and political affairs.
major monasteries and money to lamas of other big            As for detailed methods, Tibet can send officials to
monasteries. It is said that Huang Musong spent 400,         ha ve discussions with all the ministries and
000 yuan in Tibet.                                           departments. Now dKong-mchog-vbyung-gnas has
    During his stay in Tibet, Huang Musong held many         become a member of the legislative committee and
talks with the local government of Tibet on the rela-        Ngag-dbang-rgyal-mtshan a member of the Commis-
tions between the Central Government and Tibet. The          sion for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs. They are ex-
main points of the talks between Huang Musong and            amples to prove that the Central Government is more
the four bKavs-blons (ministers) were recorded in a          open to Tibet than just granting Tibet autonomy.29
“report” to the local government of Tibet, which says:           On November 28 of the twenty-third year of the
Two fundamental points that Tibet is asked to observe:       Republic of China (1934), Huang Musong left Lhasa
1. Tibet must be an integral part of the territory of        for Nanjing via India. General Consultant Liu Puchen,
China; and 2. Tibet must obey the Central Gover-             Consultant Jiang Zhiyu and others stayed in Lhasa as
nment. As the special envoy, I have explained many           directors of the Lhasa Office with a wireless transmit-
times that the two points actually will not interfere        ter for communication. This was the predecessor of
with the religion and politics of Tibet. China is a coun-    the Office in Tibet of the Nationalist Government.
try with a large territory. Tibet has its unique charac-         According to common sense, after the death of the
teristics. The Central Government will certainly deal        Thirteenth Dalai, the Ninth Panchen could return to
with Tibet in accordance with this reality and the de-       Tibet without a hitch. But on the contrary, his return
sires of Tibetans. In regard to the political system of      was obstructed more seriously than before, because
Tibet, I solemnly declare that: 1. Buddhism shall be         the youthful Rwa-sgreng Rin-po-che lacked political
respected by all and given protection and its develop-       experience and could hardly control the situation, thus
ment shall be encouraged. 2. In the preservation of          the pro-British force and separatist elements became
the traditional political system, Tibet shall be granted     rampant. The local government of Tibet spared no ef-
autonomy. The Central Government will not inter-             fort to oppose the Ninth Panchen’s return to Tibet by
fere with any administrative measures within the au-         saying: “The Ninth Panchen is welcome to go back to
thority of the autonomy of Tibet. On foreign affairs,        Tibet. But it is hoped that he will return without any
there must be unified action (with the Central               troops. If he needs an escort, an escort of Tibetan sol-
Government). All administrative matters nationwide           diers will be provided for him by the local government
shall be administered by the Central Government, such        of Tibet when he reaches the Tibetan border.” At the
as: a). Foreign affairs shall be directed by the Central     same time, the British Embassy also presented a memo-
Government. b). National defense shall be planned by         randum to the Foreign Ministry of the Nationalist
the Central Government. c). Communications shall be          Government objecting to the Ninth Panchen’s return
managed by the Central Government. d). The names             to Tibet with an escort, and said that it had been asked
of important officials of Tibet, after they have been        by the local government of Tibet to warn against it.
elected by the autonomous government of Tibet, shall         The local government of Tibet claimed that if the
be submitted to the Central Government for appoint-          Ninth Panchen “returns to Tibet with Mongolian and
ment. All the above points belong to national admin-         Han soldiers”, then it will not only refuse to supply
istrative matters. It shall be clarified that the Central    any ula, but will “use military force to block the entry
Government is not a government of the Hans, but a            of Mongolian and Han soldiers into Tibet”. “Return-
government of the whole nation. The Ministry of For-         ing without an escort of Mongolian and Han soldiers”
                                           TANG JINGFU   Measures to Protect Sovereignty over Tibet Taken by...     41

meant that the Ninth Panchen was not allowed to bring             Frustrated in his effort to return to Tibet, the Ninth
back any necessary guards nor be escorted by any offi-        Panchen fell seriously ill. Soon, he could hardly eat
cials sent by the Nationalist Government. It is not hard      anything, for food made him sick. And for a sharp pain
to imagine the result of the Ninth Panchen’s return to        on the left side of his chest, he could not sleep. His
Tibet without any escort. Superficially, it seemed to         condition got worse. On December 1 of the twenty-
be a matter of guards only, but actually, it was a mat-       sixth year of the Republic of China (1937), the Ninth
ter concerning the relations between Tibet and the            Panchen died at the age of 54 in Yushu of Qinghai
Central Government or the Central Government’s sov-           Province.
ereignty over Tibet. The Ninth Panchen took a firm                After receiving the telegram of the death of the
attitude and made no concessions in this matter. In           Ninth Panchen, the Nationalist Government conferred
view of the situation, the Nationalist Government             upon the Ninth Panchen a posthumous title of °∞Great
made the following decisions: The Han-Tibetan rela-           Master of Perfect Enlightenment, Infinite Wisdom,
tionship is China’s internal affair. Britain is not quali-    Defender of the Nation and Propagator of the
fied to speak for Tibet. The Central Government is            Doctrine”. Receiving the title-conferring order, the
trying its best to facilitate the Ninth Panchen’s nego-       entire staff of the Council of mKhan-pos moved the
tiations with Lhasa for his peaceful return to Tibet.         remains of the Ninth Panchen from Yushu, Qinghai
Surly this will not cause hostility from the Tibetan side.    to Gantse Monastery Byang-kun-bla-brang at Xikang
The escort guard of honor would be withdrawn as soon          on December 25 of the same year. There they chanted
as the Ninth Panchen arrives in Tibet.                        sutras for forty-nine days according to tradition, and
    After the “July 7” Incident, because Chiang Kai-          meanwhile, waited for the instructions from the Ad-
shek wanted to rely on financial and military support         ministrative Department of the Nationalist Govern-
from Britain and theU.S., he changed his attitude of          ment for funeral arrangements. On August 25 of the
supporting the Ninth Panchen’s return to Tibet, in-           twenty-seventh year of the Republic of China (1938),
stead he suggested that the Ninth Panchen suspend             Dai Chuanxian, chairman of the Administrative De-
his return to Tibet. According to the order of the Ad-        partment of the government and a special envoy, ar-
ministrative Department, the Commission for Mon-              rived in Gantse with Xiang Yuren, General Counselor,
golian and Tibetan Affairs telegrammed the following          Xu Chonghao, the Secretary General, Secretary Chen
instructions to Special Escort Envoy Zhao Shouyu: “In         Buojia and others. On August 8, Dai Chuanxian paid
the time of the Anti-Japanese War, the Sino-British           his last respects to the late Panchen on behalf of the
relations must be taken into consideration. The Ninth         Nationalist Government and presented thirty thou-
Panchen’s return to Tibet will not be carried out until       sand yuan to the Council of mKhan-pos and offered
the Tibetan side agrees to it and sends troops to the         condolences to all the staff of the Council of mKhen-
border to welcome him”. In the telegram, the Com-             pos. After staying for eighteen days in Gantse, Dai
mission for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs also told           Chuanxian left Gantse.
Zhao Shouyu to “persuade the Ninth Panchen to put                 The whole life of the Ninth Panchen was marked
the interest of the whole above everything and sus-           by vicissitudes and struggles. He was not only well
pend his return to Tibet”. The Ninth Panchen was very         versed in Buddhism, but also experienced in politics.
surprised at the decision that he should “suspend his         Throughout his whole life, he was a brave fighter
return to Tibet”. He told Zhao Shouyu at once that            against imperialists, leading the struggle against the
the Ninth Panchen “will not in any case enter Tibet           British imperialists in his early years along with the
without the escort sent by the Central Government,            Thirteenth Dalai, and actively taking part in the Anti-
nor will be forced by the local government of Tibet to        Japanese War in his remaining years. As an outstand-
estrange himself from the Central Government after            ing representative of anti-imperialist patriots among
going back to Tibet”.                                         the members of Tibetan upper classes, he contributed
42     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

all his life to the cause of national unification and the   to the public and please the people far and near. It will
unity of nationalities.                                     be consulted later whether the Central Government
                                                            will send Commissioner Zhang Ziyi (also named Zhang
VII. The Republic of China Con-                             Weibai), its Amban in Tibet, or another high official
                                                            to Tibet to attend the ceremony. According to divine
firming the Reincarnation of the
                                                            oracles, if the three boy candidates are not taken to
Soul Boys of the Thirteenth Dalai                           Tibet this year, this will be a bad omen for the Thir-
and the Ninth Panchen “without                              teenth Dalai himself. It is such a crucial matter that I
                                                            myself cannot take it on my shoulders. So, I sincerely
Going through the Method of
                                                            request you to ask the provincial government of
Drawing Lots from a Gold Urn,                               Qinghai for permission to let Ge-cang Rin-po-che es-
Sending Officials to Tibet and                              cort the boy candidate of Qinghai to Tibet. I am wait-
Qinghai to Preside over the En-                             ing for your instructions”.30
                                                                According to the request of Tibetan Regent Rwa-
thronement Ceremonies and Set-
                                                            sgreng Hutuktu, the Nationalist Government ordered
ting up the Tibet Office in Lhasa                           Ma Bufang, Chairman of Qinghai Province, to provide
                                                            the boys with an armed escort for their journey to Ti-
    After the death of the Thirteenth Dalai, the local      bet, and funded the escort mission with 100,000 yuan.
government of Tibet sent Ge-cang Rin-po-che and             Ma Bufang dispatched an escort of a cavalry battalion
others in search of the “reincarnated soul boy” in          led by Divisional Commander Ma Yuanhai.They start-
Qinghai. After searching for a long time, in the twenty-    ed from Xining on July 1 of the twenty-seventh year of
seventh year of the Republic of China (1938), they          the Republic of China (1938) and arrived at Nag-chu
found a boy named Lha-mo-don-vgrub in a Tibetan             on August 7 and reached Lhasa safely on August 25.
peasant family at Qijiachuan (sDag-vtsher in Tibetan)           On December 28 of the same year, the Nationalist
of Huangzhong County, Qinghai Province, who was             Government ordered that: “Wu Zhongxin, Chairman
regarded as the “reincarnated soul boy” of the Thir-        of the Commission for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs,
teenth Dalai. On December 12 of the same year, Ti-          should preside over the ceremony of the reincarnated
betan Regent Rwa-sgreng Hutuktu sent a telegram to          soul boy of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama jointly with
Wu Zhongxin, chairman of the Commission for Mon-            Rwa-sgreng Hutuktu.”31 At the same time, the Nation-
golian and Tibetan Affairs, asking the Central Gov-         alist Government decided the main points for Wu
ernment to send officials to participate in the lot-draw-   Zhongxin’s talk in Tibet. The main points included the
ing ceremony. The telegram reads as follows: “Chong-        following: “Tibet is an integral part of China, but the
qing, Chairman Wu: Three promising candidates for           Central Government promises that Tibet will not be
the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai have been           reorganized into a province. Tibet shall be granted
found. I am very glad to know that you have asked the       autonomy, and its traditional political and religious
Qinghai provincial government for permission to let         systems should be preserved”. “The Central Govern-
the boy candidates be escorted to Lhasa by Ge-cang          ment shall appoint a high-ranking official to be sta-
Rin-po-che. As to the lot-drawing ceremony, it has          tioned in Tibet as the representative of the Central
been decided after consulting with the Silon and the        Government, on the one hand, he would carry out
local government of Tibet that it will be held after the    national administrative measures, and on the other
three boys candidates are taken to Lhasa. According         hand, he would report to the Central Government
to traditional convention, the Central Government           about Tibetan affairs”. “Tibet has the right to set up
should send a high-ranking official to Tibet to super-      an office in the national capital to take charge of liai-
vise the confirmation ceremony, so as to give its faith     son duties. The Tibetan officials, to be chosen by the
                                         TANG JINGFU   Measures to Protect Sovereignty over Tibet Taken by...     43

Central Government, shall be employed by the insti-         The decree reads as follows: “Lha-mo-don-vgrub, the
tutions under the Departments, Ministries and Com-          boy candidate from Qinghai, being endowed with pro-
missions of the Central Government”. “Tibet is respon-      found wisdom and extraordinary intellect and being
sible to maintain its local public order. In case of any    the reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, shall
foreign invasion or extraordinary incident, under the       be enthroned as the Fourteenth Dalai Lama without
requirement of Tibet, the Central Government shall          the lot-drawing ceremony. As a special favor, the Ad-
provide support for it as far as possible”. “The foreign    ministrative Department shall appropriate, through
affairs of Tibet shall be handled by the Central Gov-       the Ministry of Finance, 400,000 yuan to meet the
ernment according to international regulations”.32          expenses of the enthronement of Lha-mo-don-vgrub,
    Wu Zhongxin and his entourage started from              who has been decreed to succeed as the Fourteenth
Nanjing in March of the twenty-eighth year of the Re-       Dalai Lama.”33 Thus, on February 22 of that year, or
public of China (1939), and arrived in Lhasa via India      January 14 on Tibetan calendar, the enthronement
on December 15 of that year. They found that there          ceremony was held at the big hall of the Potala Palace.
was only one “soul boy”, named Lha-mo-don-vgrub                 In his telegram to Wu Zhongxin and the Commis-
from Qinghai. Taking Rwa-sgreng Hutuktu as his tutor,       sion for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs of the Nation-
this boy had been tonsured (shaved) and given the re-       alist Government, Rwa-sgreng Hutuktu told that there
ligious name bstan-vdzin-rgya-mtsho. It was declared        were three boy candidates of the late Thirteenth Dalai
that all this was the final decision of the Tibetan Na-     Lama, then why, when Wu Zhongxin reached Lhasa,
tional Assembly and could not be changed. What the          only one boy candidate was left? In the book Forty
local government of Tibet did on this matter did not        Years of Qinghai Ruled by the Ma Bufang Family writ-
conform to historical precedence. In the Qing Dynasty,      ten by Mr. Chen Bingyuan, published by Qinghai
the Qing Emperor approved the omission of the lot-          People’s Press in 1981, there is a mention of the soul
drawing ceremonies for the Ninth and Thirteenth             boy of the Thirteenth Dalai. It says: “At first, three
Dalai Lamas. If there were no emperors, the omission        reincarnated soul boys of the Thirteenth Dalai were
should have been approved by the Central Gover-             found at Huangzhong, Hualong and Xunhua. Accord-
nment. Wu Zhongxin thought that he must not in-             ing to tradition of Tibetan Y  ellow Sect of Buddhism,
volve himself in this matter because it concerned na-       the confirmation of the soul boy should go through
tional sovereignty. But since there was only one “soul      various religious procedures such as lot-drawing, di-
boy”, Wu Zhongxin felt that he was in an awkward            vining and personal test. But Ma Bufang gathered the
situation. After repeated consultations with Rwa-           three boy candidates at sKun-vbum Monastery to make
sgreng, Silon and bKav-blon, it was decided that the        selection first. Two of the boys sat still while only Lha-
confirmation formalities would be omitted on the con-       mo-don-vgrub rushed to Ma Bufang. Then Ma Bufang
dition that Wu Zhongxin examine the boy personally          said happily “This boy is the real Dalai”. After repeated
to determine whether the boy was the reincarnated           consultations with Ge-cang and three others sent by
Dalai. Otherwise, “all the representatives of the Cen-      Rwa-sgreng Hutuktu of the local government of Tibet
tral Government will leave Tibet immediately”. Finally,     to welcome the Fourteenth Dalai in Xining, and going
an agreement was reached that Wu Zhongxin would             through religious ceremonies, he confirmed Lha-mo-
examine the “soul boy” and report to the Nationalist        don-vgrub as the Fourteenth Dalai. In 1939 he telegra-
Government. According to Wu Zhongxin’s report, the          mmed the Nationalist Government to order Ma Yuan-
Nationalist Government, on February 5 of the twenty-        hai to protect the soul boy with an escort envoy. They
ninth year of the Republic of China (1940), issued a        left Xining in July and arrived in Tibet in October.”
decree to confirm Lha-mo-don-vgrub as the Four-             From this description, we can see that before Wu
teenth Dalai Lama without the lot-drawing ceremony          Zhongxin arrived at Lhasa, the three boy candidates
and allocate money for the enthronement ceremony.           of the Thirteenth Dalai had already been judged by
44     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

Ma Bufang, who then after “having repeated consulta-        proval of his enthronement in Qinghai and send offi-
tions in Xining” with Ge-cang Rin-po-che, the repre-        cials to preside over the ceremony”.35 With the ratifi-
sentative of Rwa-sgreng Hutuktu and “going through          cation of this approved by the President, on behalf of
religious ceremonies” officially confirmed one of them      the Nationalist Government, mGon-po-tshe-brtan
as the reincarnated soul boy. Here, the original words      obtained the legal right to succeed the Ninth Panchen.
intended to help readers have an overall understand-        According to the rituals of Tibetan Buddhism, he was
ing of the whole procedure from selecting to confirm-       to be tonsured, given a religious name and taken as a
ing the reincarnated soul boy of the Thirteenth Dalai.      male Buddhist novice, so the Council of mKhan-pos
    After the death of the Ninth Panchen at Yushu in        had invited, in advance, the most eminent lama La-
the twenty-sixth year of the Republic of China (1937),      ko-tshang-vjigs-med-vphrin-las-rgya-mtsho from bLa-
the Ninth Panchen’s mKhan-pos Council sent monk             brang Monastery at that time to come to sKu-vbum
and lay officials to search for his “reincarnated soul      Monastery. He would tonsure the Tenth Panchen, hold
boy”. Meanwhile, the local government of Tibet also         the ceremony to dress him as a monk, give him a reli-
ordered bKra-shis-Ihun-po Monastery to do the same          gious name (Blo-bzang-vphrin-las-lhun-grub-chos-kyi-
in Tibet. In the thirty year of the Republic of China       rgyal-mtshan), and confer the title of a Buddhist nov-
(1941), the search group organized by the Council of        ice upon him.
mKhan-pos found the reincarnation at Wendu of                   On August 10 of the thirty-eighth year of the Re-
Xunhua County in Qinghai Province. The boy’s name           public of China (1949), the Nationalist Government
was mGon-po-tshe-brtan. He was three years old when         sent Guan Jiyu, chairman of the Commission for Mon-
he was found. The Council of mKhan-pos, after going         golian and Tibetan Affairs, and Ma Bufang, Governor
through religious rituals of divine oracles, inviting the   of Qinghai Province, as special envoys to preside over
visit of spirits and judging by what the boy picked up      the enthronement of the Tenth Panchen at sKu-vbum
among the articles used by the deceased Ninth               Monastery. On August 11, 1949, Guan Jiyu described
Panchen, claimed that the boy was the Ninth Panchen’s       the enthronement in his report: ...the enthronement
reincarnation and took the boy to sKu-vbum Mona-            of the Tenth Panchen was held in the Grand Sutra Hall
stery. Then the Council of mKhan-pos telegrammed            in front of Manjusri Hall in sKu-vbum Monastery at
the Administrative Department of the Nationalist            eleven o’clock on the morning of August 10th. Ma
Government in the name of Dza-sag Lama Blo-bzang-           Jirong, representative of Ma Bugang (Ma Bufang could
rgyal-msthan to ask for approval.                           not attend the ceremony in person for certain reasons)
    On June 3 of the thirty-eighth year of the Republic     and me presided over the ceremony. The decree of
of China (1949), Li Zongren, the Acting President of        the President was read and presents were delivered on
the Nationalist Government, issued a decree for offi-       behalf of the President. The Tenth Panchen received
cial recognition of the Qinghai boy as the Tenth            the decree and presents. The enthronement was held
Panchen and permission to omit the lot-drawing              on a fine day, attended by more than five thousand
ceremony. The decree reads: “The Qinghai boy, mGon-         people, including officials of the Qinghai provincial
po-tshe-brtan, known for his profound wisdom and            government, Mongolian and Tibetan Rin-po-ches,
intelligence, has been proved as the reincarnation of       chiliarches, and centurions of Qinghai, Khams and
the Ninth Panchen Erdeni and shall succeed as the           Gansu. The solemn and harmonious ceremony was
Tenth Panchen Erdeni without the confirmation               over by three o’clock in the afternoon”.36 After the
formalities.”34 On June 18 of that year, the Administra-    enthronement, the Tenth Panchen sent a telegram on
tive Department issued a decree for the enthronement        August 11 of the same year to the acting president Li
of the Tenth Panchen. It reads: “The President is in-       Zongren to express his thanks for sending officials to
vited to declare that mGon-po-tshe-brtan shall suc-         preside over the enthronement. The telegram reads:
ceed as the Tenth Panchen Se-chen-rgyal-po, give ap-        ...The Tenth Panchen is deeply grateful for the Na-
                                           TANG JINGFU   Measures to Protect Sovereignty over Tibet Taken by...                      45

tionalist Government, which issued a decree to ap-            Kuomintang personnel in Tibet by those in power in
prove him to succeed the Ninth Panchen and send               Tibet was plotted by the British and the U.S. imperi-
Guan Jiyu and Ma Bufang as special envoys to preside          alists and their follower, the Indian government of
over the enthronement ceremony with generous                  Nehru. This “anti-Communist” incident was engi-
presents. The enthronement was held at sKu-vbum               neered by the British, American and Indian reaction-
Monastery on August 10th. I will follow the Panchen           aries in collusion with the local authorities of Tibet,
of successive generations to be loyal to the Central          which aimed not only to prevent the Tibetan people
Government and love the people, to carry out my duty          from winning their liberation at a time when the lib-
and to repay for the kindness of the Central Gover-           eration of the whole country by the People’s Libera-
nment.”37 Hence, the Tenth Panchen fulfilled all the          tion Army was drawing near, but also to turn them
legal procedures for inheriting the position and power        into colonial slaves of foreign imperialism by further
of the Ninth Panchen politically and religiously.             depriving them of their freedom and independence.
    After presiding over the enthronement of the Four-        Their attempt was to gain real control of Tibet through
teenth Dalai, Wu Zhongxin left Tibet. Before leaving,         some elements of Tibetan high circles. The Chinese
he sought the approval of the Administrative Depart-          people historically have already kept a close watch on
ment, the special office in Lhasa, which was set up           the tactics of the British, American and Indian invad-
when Huan Musong left Tibet in the twenty-third year          ers and clearly remember their crimes against the Chi-
of the Republic of China (1934). It was changed into          nese nation. The People’s Liberation Army with more
the Office of the Commission for Mongolian and Ti-            than four million soldiers, under the leadership of the
betan Affairs in Tibet with Kong Qingzong as its head         Communist Party of China, are determined to liber-
and Zhang Weibai as its vice head. After informing            ate the entire territory of China (Tibet, Xinjiang, Hai-
the local government of Tibet, the office was founded         nan Island and Taiwan included). It will not stop until
on April 1 of the twenty-ninth year of the Republic of        every single inch of the land of China is brought under
China (1940).                                                 the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China. Ti-
    After World W II, Britain more flagrantly incited         bet is Chinese territory, no foreign invasion is allowed;
the Tibetan pro-imperialist separatists to clamor for         the Tibetan people are an inseparable part of the Chi-
“Tibetan Independence”, in which the American im-             nese people, no foreign partition is allowed. This is an
perialists also participated. In the hinterland, after vic-   unswerving policy of the Communist Party of China
tory in the Anti-Japanese War, the People’s Liberation        and the People’s Liberation Army.
Army soon crushed the attack of the reactionaries and             On October 1, 1949, the people’s government of
liberated most of the country in 1949. As for Tibet,          the People’s Republic of China was founded. With the
the pro-British separatists, under the support of the         liberation of millions of Tibetan serfs, Tibet gained its
British and American imperialists, openly clamored for        new birth with a bright future.
“Tibetan Independence”, attempting to split Tibet
from its motherland. The Chinese people, including
Tibetans, could never allow this. In response to the          Notes:
“Hans, go home!” incident made by the imperialists
abroad and the pro-imperialist elements of the local               1. Tibet Is an Inseparable Part of China (Shortened as A Compilation
                                                              of Historical Documents), Tibet People’s Publishing House, 1986, p.
government of Tibet, the Communist Party of China
on September 3 of 1949 published an editorial through              2. A Collection of Constitutional Documents of China, Vol. II, p. 336.
Xinhua News Agency with the title of “Never Allow                  3. A Compilation of Historical Documents, p. 454.
Foreign Invaders to Take the Chinese Territor y -                  4. A Compilation of Historical Documents, p. 454.
                                                                   5. A Chronology of Official Posts in Seventeen Y after the Revolu-
Tibet”. The editorial pointed out that on July 8th, the
                                                              tion of 1911.
expulsion from Tibet of the Han people and of the                  6. rDo-rje-tshe-brtan (ed). A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives
46       CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

on the Relations between the Local Government of Tibet and the Central         Dalai sent him directly to Beijing in the thirteenth year of the Re-
Government since the Yuan Dynasty (6), China Tibetology Press, 1994,           public of China (1924). When he arrived in Beijing, he had ten staff
p. 2379. (Shortened as A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives).           with him. His public position was abbot of Yonghe Temple, but
     7. A Compilation of Historical Documents, p. 455.                         actually, he was the representative of the Thirteenth Dalai and the
     8. A Compilation of Historical Documents, p. 455.                         local government of Tibet. He often contacted with the Beiyang
     9. A Compilation of Historical Documents, p. 456.                         Government and the Commission for Mongolian and Tibetan
     10. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (6), p. 2354.             Affairs. Later, he became the general representative of the Thir-
     11. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (6), p. 2353.             teenth Dalai in the Nationalist Government and received by Chiang
     12. A Compilation of Historical Documents, p. 458.                        Kai-shek many times.
     13. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (6), p. 2397.                 24. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (6), p. 2499.
     14. According to A General Description of Tibetan Events by Xie                     a
                                                                                   25. Y Hanzhang, Biographies of the Panchen Erdenis, p. 246.
Guoliang, the riot of Sichuan army in Lhasa refers to the incident of              26. Liu Manqing, A Mission to Xikang and Tibet, 1933, published
the Sichuan soldiers being surrounded by the Tibetan troops when               by Shanghai Commercial Press, p. 118 -120.
they attacked Se-ra Monsatery in order to grab the property of Ti-                 27. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (6), p. 2526
betan aristocrats, which happened after the Sichuan army led by                    28. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (6), p. 2681-2682
Zhong Ying entered Tibet on February 5 of the first year of the                    29. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (7), p. 2761
Republic of China (1912).                                                          30. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (7), p. 2761
     15. Ya Hanzhang, Biographies of the Panchen Erdenis, p. 228.                  31. A Compilation of Historical Documents, p. 508.
     16. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (6), p. 2385.                 32. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (7), p. 2777.
     17. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (6), p. 2390.                 33. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (7), p. 2787.
     18. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (6), p. 2422, line 6-7.             a
                                                                                   34. Y Hanzhang, Biographies of the Panchen Erdenis, p. 285.
     19. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (6), p. 2440.                 35. A Compilation of Historical Documents, p. 523.
     20. Zhu Xiu (ed), A Sixty-year Chronicle of Major Events in Tibet,            36. A Compilation of Historical Documents, p. 523-524.
p. 57.                                                                             37. A Compilation of Historical Documents, p. 523-524.
     21. A Collection of Tibetan Historical Archives (6), p. 2456.
     22. Ya Hanzhang, Biographies of the Dalai Lamas, Part Two, Chap-
ter 37, “New Measures to Strengthen Serfdom”                                                  From China Tibetology ( Chinese Edition ) No.1,1997
     23. dKon-mchog-gro-nyi was an important figure. The Thirteenth                                                          Translated by LiHua

              IMPORTANT NOTICE:

                 We deeply apologize to the author and the readers because of the mistakes of the editor;
              we attached the wrong pictures and illustration in Andreas Gruschke’s article “The Grand
              Lamasery of Dzamthang” in volume 1 of 2008.
                                    MICHELE MIEGGE   , FEDERICA VOLTOLINI WITH LIUHONG The Tibetan village of...   47

                  THE TIBETAN VILLAGE
                 OF NORTH WEST YUNNAN
                                a basic grammar of local authenticity

                                                                                           Michele Miegge
                                                                                           Federica Voltolini
                                                                                           with Liuhong

    This work is the result of a journey in North West       in a region. Tourism can bring economic advantages
Yunnan. The European architects try to identify and          to local inhabitants of the villages. Investors can also
explain which the main characters of local authentic         be attracted by a well preserved area.Old traditional
architecture are, and to define a basic grammar. Ob-         buildings and villages are a unique treasure and prob-
serving the ongoing trends of change, they make com-         ably will become a tourism attraction in a near future.
ments and give some basic personal suggestions about         Today, tourists come to Europe to visit old cities and
architectural conservation. Authenticity is not an ab-       villages and to learn from traditions there. For the same
solute idea and it should be clear that the following        reason tourists go to Yunnan to see Yunnan’s traditions.
observations come from a European conservationist            Generally, tourists from Europe want to visit the real,
point of view. The document is written in the perspec-       original Yunnan not a new fake one.Yunnan is rich of
tive of promoting a conservation oriented to tourism         treasures, almost like Italy, but many of these are on
development in the area. This proposal is meant as a         the way to be destroyed because their value is not well
base for an open discussion and for more in depth            known.
studies. The work has to be considered a work in                 Traditional villages are ecosystems which have a
progress and all the studies should be verified with         balanced relationship with natural surroundings: they
experts and the recommendations discussed with lo-           live in harmony with the natural context. The way of
cal inhabitants.                                             life of a traditional village is considered in Europe a
                                                             positive model from which we can learn a lot. Con-
Tibetan architecture, a unique                               sumption of natural resources is becoming a problem
                                                             all over the world and only an organism which lives in
                                                             harmony with nature will survive in the long run. In
                                                             the future a way of life which is eco-sustainable can
    The background idea of this document is that, in
                                                             become an economical opportunity for villagers.
the long run, a well preserved heritage can become the
                                                                 Original objects coming from the past are part of
starting point for the development of cultural tourism
48     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

cultural heritage. In the future, they will become pre-     to become more comfortable. The more expensive are
cious and probably will be saved in museums. Material       the ones which didn’t loose their original character.
cultural heritage should be preserved, not destroyed            On the other side, in Europe many new concrete
and remain property of local communities, not sold          buildings built thirty years ago today are not consid-
out to antique dealers. Houses and villages should be       ered attractive any more. We are discovering that con-
preserved like precious treasures.                          crete and new materials are not always in balance with
    In Italy, Country houses are in these days very ex-     the ecosystem: their production often causes pollution
pensive and difficult to find. Many people dream to         and their use, in some situations, can be dangerous for
buy an authentic farmer’s house. If the grandparents        health. In some European areas heavy concrete inter-
went to the city, now many grandchildren want to go         ventions have been declared illegal and demolished be-
back to the countryside and find a new way of life closer   cause of their negative environmental impact.
to nature. Almost all country houses have been restored


   In a village, all the buildings are similar. There is     Fields and terraces are part of the village landscape.
only one house type with small variations. Buildings’
dimensions and shapes are similar and with similar
colors. Usually every house is detached from the
others, but sometimes the village can be a cluster of

                                                              Trees and bushes are part of the village landscape.

                                                                Water and canals are part of the landscape. Trees’
                                                            position is related to the location of canals. For
                                                            example, there grows an old tree near almost every wa-
                                                            ter ramification.
                                     MICHELE MIEGGE   , FEDERICA VOLTOLINI WITH LIUHONG The Tibetan village of...   49

    There are not many other things to see in the
village. Fences, earth walls and animals are part of the
landscape, Stupas are part of the landscape too. There
are only natural sounds, no artificial strong noises
(engines, radios).Roads are narrow and generally not
used for cars which don’t enter the village.Trucks are
not part of the landscape. There are no antennas, no
big electric lines. During the night, public lighting is


                                   House’s main characters

                                      The basic building type is based on a symmetrical and regular grid.The
                                   plan is composed of 4 modules x 4 modules, each ones measuring approxi-
                                   mately 4m x 4m. The modules composing of the main room are generally a bit
                                   bigger than the others.Roughly the basic plan is 16m x 16m, the floor height is
                                   about 4m.

                                     Viewed from outside, the house looks as a closed system, facing inward.

                         In elevation, the house can be composed of a single floor, double floor, double floor
                      plus an open air floor (third floor). Four floors are infrequent.
50     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

    The design is very clear and simple, character-
ized by few architectural elements: small windows
and few doors, terraces with cornices which out-
line the shape of the house. There is one window
in each module.

 Every valley has different variations of
 the same basic house type

                                                         The third floor can have different
                                                      shapes, every valley has its own typical
                                                      shape.A food storage room made of
                                                      wood can be added.

                                                          In dry climates the roofs are flat,
                                                      in rainy climates the house can have a
                                                      wooden tiles roof.Only in some areas
                                                      the open air floor has a wooden roof.

                                                         In some areas the entrance door is
                                                      on the second floor and the upper ter-
                                                      race is longer, in order to protect the
                                     MICHELE MIEGGE   , FEDERICA VOLTOLINI WITH LIUHONG The Tibetan village of...   51

                                                      The basic type can be expanded by a terrace and
                                                   by a rural annex for animals and food storage.

                                   The basic type can be expanded by a private garden
                                with entrance door.

Materials and colors

    The main colors are the landscape
colors: sky, mountains, rivers, forests,
fields.The colors of villages are natural
colors and every valley has its typical
shades depending on the local materials:
earth, stones and wood essences.Every season the color of cultivated land changes with different crops growing;
colors of trees change every season, even the houses change colors when crops are dried on the terraces.

   The materials used for the Tibetan house are local natural
materials; the colors of the house are the same as those found in
the environment: earth, stone and wood. Other typical colors are
the white of clay and the black from the smoke of burned wood.
Walls are mainly made with earth a bit leaning, not vertical. Some-
times walls are made of stone or wood. Terraces are made with
wood and earth, and roofs are covered with wooden tiles.

    In the Tibetan tra-
dition strong colors are
used only for small
decorations of surfaces
of the house and for de-
tailed decoration of
windows and cornices.
Strong colors are used
also for curtains, flags
and dresses.
52    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

                                   Usually decorations are elaborate compositions of colors, oversimplified and
                                uniform colors on windows, awnings and cornices are not traditional.

                                                                          Extensive uniform colored surfaces
                                                                      are not traditional.

  Red and white decorations are used only for religious buildings: traditional symbolism should be respected.
The black border of the window traditionally is made of clay and is 2-3 cm thick: in this example it is only painted
on the wall. This decoration is typical of Xinjiang and Sichuan but not broadly widespread in North West Yunnan.


    The house represents the basic unit of social life in the village. Every building has its own name and people
living in the village are identified using the name of their home.
    Besides to provide kitchen and bed rooms, the functions of the house in this context are also to fulfil differ-
ent needs: a space to worship gods; an area for drying and storing corn; a place for the productions of tools used
by the family; a cattle shed; and more over a garden in the courtyard.
    In section the domestic space is organised on three levels: the ground floor is used for livestock; the first floor
is mainly for people, and also for some divinities; the last floor is reserved for monks visiting the house and for
                                        MICHELE MIEGGE   , FEDERICA VOLTOLINI WITH LIUHONG The Tibetan village of...   53

A typical house in the northern
Lanchangjiang valley

       1    Central pillar
       2    Cupboard
       2a   Worship cupboard
       2b   Kitchen utensils cupboard
       3    Fire place-stove area
       4    Water reserve area
       5    Living area
       6    Pantry (store room)
       7    Room
       7a   Main bedroom                                             11   Stairs
       7b   Multi purpose room                                       12   Burner for offerings
       8    Kneading trough                                          13   Chimney
       9    Water area                                               14   Livestock
       10    Entrance and storage space for farming uten-            15   Prayer room

The main room
    The central pillar and the stove define the main room axis. On the two
sides of the axis we can identify two areas: the first space (B) which is on the
pantry side of the room, is used for circulation and for food preparation
(kitchen utensils and water containers are arranged here); the second area
(A) is used to have meals and worship gods. The space B is used mostly by
the woman of the family, while in the other area live men and guests.
    Looking at the plan of the main room it is possible to identify different
characteristic elements:

Central pillar (1)
    The central pillar is a structural element which has a sacred value: an
important god of the house is believed to reside here. Moreover the central
pillar has the symbolic function of axis mundi, because, according to the Buddhist Tibetan tradition, it is consid-
ered an element linking the three different levels of the universe. The upper part of the pillar is carved and
painted. The two horizontal brackets on top of it taper toward the end and are generally elaborately carved with
floral motifs. The main beam can be decorated with painted swastika and other symbols of good fortune.

Cupboard (2)
   A wide cupboard covers an entire room
wall. This is the first and main piece of fur-
niture catching the visitor attention. Cup-
boards complexity and decorations reflects
the economic status of the family. In the
poorest houses they are essential structures,
54     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

made of only two long wood brackets going from one pillar to the other. In the wealthier ones the structure can
be elaborately organised in shelves with carvings and paintings as decorations.

Worship cupboard (2a)
     Inside the cupboards used for worship, there are images of Bud-
dhist temples and sacred landscapes: the Potala palace, holy
mountains, posters showing Buddhist traditional auspicious
symbols, various Lamas and Buddhas, thangha paintings. In recent
times images and little statues of Mao Tze Tung have been intro-
duced in this area.Seven little brass bowls containing pure water
are often disposed as offerings to these holy subjects.
     The bowls sometimes can be fourteen or more. The kettle to
fill them is on the shelf too. The water has to be changed every day
in order not to offend the Gods. Other offerings are: flowers,
painted wooden boxes for tsampa, fruits, often pomegranates,
candles. Prayers wheels or beads can also be placed or be hung in
the worship area.

Kitchen utensils cupboard (2b)
    The kitchen utensils area starts at the end of the stove and con-
tinues in the wood wall separating the main room from the pantry,
as additional narrower glass cupboard. This area is used to store
utensils such as basins, butter-tea kettles, pottery bowls, strainers,
ladles, baskets, water kettles, pots of various sizes, metal pot lids
and plastic bottles containing oil, thermos, plastic tanks in recent

Fire place-Stove area (3)
   The fire place is always between two wooden pillars, in the centre of a wall, opposite to the main pillar. This
area is used for cooking and as a worship place.
   The type of stove represents another status symbol. The most expensive and recent ones are those made of
metal or covered with tiles, with the pipe ending outside the terrace roof. Other stoves can be made of clay. The
traditional way to cook on the fire place, consists of an iron trivet. In some houses recent and traditional tools are
both present. Behind the stove, a rectangular wall portion is used for the worship. Generally this area is deco-
                                                                                rated with the symbol of the fire god,
                                                                                which is a very important and ancient
                                                                                divinity, existing also in the pre-Bud-
                                                                                dhist Tibetan tradition. Offerings
                                                                                can be arranged in this little area, for
                                                                                example: flower va ses, incense
                                                                                burners, big brass vases containing
                                                                                corn or water as “food for the god”.
                                                                                Images of various subjects with holy
                                                                                significance can be also placed here.
                                      MICHELE MIEGGE   , FEDERICA VOLTOLINI WITH LIUHONG The Tibetan village of...   55

These are generally disposed one very close to the other, in order to worship them all together.

                               Water reserve area (4)
                                  A large copper tank containing water is placed inside a niche in the wood wall
                               separating the main room from the pantry. This niche is usually placed between
                               the kitchen utensils glass cupboard and the pantry door. The water in the tank is a
                               reserve to be used in case of fire. Metal ladles are hung up over the tank and are
                               used to carry water.Sometimes the water space can also be fitted between two
                               cupboards placed before the pantry door.

Living area (5)
   The area in which the family has meals is always near the
windows, on the room side of the cupboards used for worship.
Here there is usually a low square table, with wood benches. Of-
ten two or three square tables are placed together and in one of
them there is a metal basin containing ashes and brands to keep
warm a butter tea kettle.In some cases, inside the main room there
are two areas for meals, one after the other.

Pantry (store room) (6)
    This room is used to store food provisions and prepare meals.
Inside it there is a space to sieve flour and to knead it on the top
of a table or on a small cupboard. Usually there is also one or more
kneading trough. Various provisions such as rice sacks, vegetables
in wood interlaced baskets and utensils to prepare food are ar-
ranged in the room, being gathered on the floor, hung or placed
on cupboards.

Other rooms
   The remaining rooms at the second house level are bed rooms and multi purpose rooms. Generally one of the
bed rooms is broader than the other and is used by the woman of the family (7a).
   TV, sewing machine and gas oven can be seen in the houses in recent years. They can be placed in the main
room (near the walls separating this room from others, near the central pillar) or in the multi purpose rooms.

Corn store room (reserve room)
    After the harvest, the corn is spread on the terrace floor to be dried. Then it is stored in a small volume, built
in wood trunks, which is placed on the terrace roof or near the house. The corn store room is considered a
symbol of family wealth.

The fire place for offerings (12)
   A little burner in bricks is daily used to burn offerings such as leaves and twigs for the worship. This is placed
very close to the end of the roof perimeter.
56    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

                                                  Prayer room (15)
                                                   The entrance door of the prayer room is always placed
                                               eastward. This is an orientation rule always observed in the house
                                               planning. One wall of the room is occupied by a piece of furni-
                                               ture used for worshipping with some central brackets on which
                                               are arranged images of Buddha, lamas and holy places, surrounded
                                               by offers, as seen before. On both brackets sides there are spaces
                                               to contain sacred texts and other objects with holy value. In the
                                               centre of the room, close to the cupboard, are placed some low
                                               tables on which are other offers as incense burners and painted
wooden boxes for tsampa.On the walls there are generally posters with other holy subjects and thangha paintings.


“Tibetan style” modern buildings

    If these buildings can be considered by some designers a solution in cities,
the free interpretation of Tibetan architectural language to design fashionable
buildings can give negative example to uneducated people coming from villages.
Once returned home, they will reproduce the models seen in the city without
critical distance. This “fashion fascination” process is one of the most danger-
ous enemies of heritage conservation.In many circumstances innovative inter-
ventions on old houses are not really made to improve living standards or to
solve real problems. When we ask villagers why they modify their house design,
most of the times, the answers are “for fashion”; “we like it”, or worse: “tourists
like it”.

   Designers should be conscious that they can not be presented as traditional
Tibetan buildings, and that their use should be limited to urban environments.
From a European conservationist point of view, these buildings are considered
a negative model and represent the real drama in rural areas of China.Conserva-
tion means to keep the old buildings. If new buildings are needed, they should
be built respecting the traditional urban fabric and in harmony with the old
                                      MICHELE MIEGGE   , FEDERICA VOLTOLINI WITH LIUHONG The Tibetan village of...   57

   In general, these buildings are entirely made of concrete. Their dimensions
are not comparable with those of the traditional ones. The forms and colors
used in their design do not come from tradition or are a free interpretation of
tradition. The concrete reproduction of wooden details creates fake objects.

    All the buildings and all the details are made of concrete. The building is out
of scale, too big, the plan is not square but long and thin. The facade is too wide
and too low. The shape of the central part of the fa?ade and the placement
organization (composition) of the windows are not local. Windows are too big
and their proportions are not correct.The color blue is not used in traditional

   This building is a typical example of oversimplification. The red and white
ornament of the roof terrace is a simplified concrete reproduction of the wooden
one, the windows have no awning, only the grey ornament remains. All the
other elements of the traditional house were eliminated.Walls are vertical, not
leaning. The fa?ade is flat and has too many windows. The windows’ size is too
big and windows’ dimensions are variable. Pink walls and blue glasses are not
traditional colors.

    This building is made of concrete; shape and proportions are not Tibetan:
the plan is small compared to the height of the building. Windows’ size is
irregular. Blue glass walls are too evident; walls are straight vertical and not
leaning as the traditional ones.

   This house is an attempt to build a concrete copy of a Tibetan wood and
earth house. This attempt presents the following problems: a wooden detail
has a typical form which depends on the material used and on its structural
composition. The copy of a wooden detail made in concrete has no meaning.
Wood is wood and concrete is concrete; the two materials use two different
architectural languages and have different typical forms. A wooden beam is
“true”, a concrete copy of a wooden beam is “fake”. The same happens with
earth: earth walls are ruff and leaning, concrete walls are straight, vertical and

                                                           The building is stone made and the shape is similar to a
                                                       Tibetan house but the following problems can be seen: a. Blue
                                                       glasses are too big and strong, and white frames are too evident.
                                                       b. The ground floor windows are not in a traditional shape. c.
                                                       Upper windows have concrete and coloured awnings. d. The
                                                       roof is metal and its ornament is a concrete oversimplified
                                                       copy of a wooden one with non natural colors.
58    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

   The house is out of proportions: The windows and the door are
too big compared to the house size. Ornaments are too evident and
the door’s awning roof is typical of other parts of China. Double glasses
on aluminium frames hide the decorations of windows. The house is
made of concrete and covered with ceramic tiles, colors are not

   The building is made of stone and the shape can be comparable to
some Tibetan houses but the following problems can be seen: a. The shape of roof is not local and tiles are not
local. b. The glass wall on the third floor of the facade is good, but the plastic roof is too evident and the shape is
not local. c. The composition of the central part of the fa?ade (ground and first floor) like the entrance door
                                         shape and the two lions are typical of other parts of China. d. The blue
                                         ornaments in Tibetan tradition are only for Gompas. (monasteries) e. Fence
                                         design is modern.

                                           The glass wall is too evident, too big compared to the size of the building.
                                        Blue glass and aluminium frame make it too visible. Traditionally, this space
                                        was covered by curtains on a wooden frame.

Mixed style house
    The Mixed style terrace house is widely diffused in north west Yunnan. This house type is not local and comes
from other areas of China. Its diffusion causes a widespread contamination which is difficult to avoid.The advan-
tages of this house type are less wood consumption and more open space, moreover, glass walls and wood walls
are supposed to create better comfort in winter. The building is more expensive than the earth one, but it can be
built without involving the whole village community as manpower. Some villagers say that this type of building is
preferred by tourists because the balcony guarantees a better view on the landscape and the wood ensures more

    If these advantages are in part real, it is nevertheless recommended to strictly control the impact on the
villages’ landscape (see Jubeng) using expert designers to position these houses in a proper relationship with the
traditional urban fabric. Jeopardizing the histori-
cal urban fabric should be avoided.

    Ceramic tiles walls are not traditional. This is
a very expensive fashion coming from other parts
of China which must be absolutely avoided. Local
tradition uses lime plaster to protect mud walls.
                                      MICHELE MIEGGE   , FEDERICA VOLTOLINI WITH LIUHONG The Tibetan village of...   59

                                                                   Traditionally wood is used only for small buildings
                                                               in high mountain areas or for food storage rooms; 45°
                                                               degrees oriented wood textures are not traditionally
                                                               used for houses.

   Heavily modified buildings are not traditional.

    Greenhouses and glass walls are not traditional. These items can be useful for temperature control but their
design should be controlled and the maximum dimension should be limited: wooden frames and transparent
glasses are recommended. The blue glass is a filter for sunlight, it reduces the amount of light reaching the inner

spaces. If blue glass is required, it means that the glass wall is too big and too much sunlight will enter the house.
It is recommended to use normal glass and smaller glass surfaces instead of big blue glass surfaces. Terrace house
with colored glass walls is not local style

    Traditional buildings are handmade; some
irregularities are normal and should not be con-
sidered negative. Modern constructions are too
regular and straight to be used in a traditional

    Concrete is a very useful material but we should consider that concrete is not always healthy compared to
earth. It is not always true that concrete lasts more than earth. In cold climates earth ensures better hydro-
thermal comfort and “warm feeling” than concrete. Almost all of the advantages of concrete and its hygienic
characteristics can be obtained by using and plastering earth properly. Concrete is not a natural material and the
process producing concrete is very dangerous for human’s health and the environment. Concrete was widely used
in Europe, but now natural materials are preferred for houses. In the future, concrete interventions in rural
villages probably will not be appreciated by young generations of cultural tourists because it is not considered
compatible with traditional and natural environments aesthetically.The major esthetical problems with concrete
60     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

    Concrete reproduction of wooden and stone de-
tails is a fake, with little sense.
    Concrete walls are generally smooth and glossy,
with 90° corners, different from traditional earth
walls which are rough and have rounded corners.
Gray concrete color on big surfaces is not traditional.
The concrete color is homogeneous, different from
the traditional clay plasters which often are irregular.Concrete plaster is an option which has to be authorized
only after an evaluation of the plaster colors.

                                                              Wide concrete surfaces such as walls and terraces
                                                           should generally be avoided. If concrete is used, walls
                                                           should be plastered with white clay and terraces cov-
                                                           ered with earth.

                                                              Concrete containment walls should be avoided.

    Metal roofs, tiles roofs and asbestos roofs are not Tibetan; their shape, color and reflections are different
from the traditional wooden roofs.Blue metal roofs and other strong color metal roofs are absolutely to be avoided
(see Colors). A blue roof contrasts with the other roofs of the village and can be seen from many miles away from
the village. At least only dark brown color or copper roofs should be authorized. Asbestos/Concrete in Europe is
forbidden because it was proved to cause cancer.
                                      MICHELE MIEGGE   , FEDERICA VOLTOLINI WITH LIUHONG The Tibetan village of...   61

   If tiles or metal roofs are authorized, the roof shape
should be the local one rather than others imported
from other parts of China as the following ones.

   Big entrance doors made of metal and concrete are
a widespread fashion in Yunnan. The design of door is
often influenced by foreign models and often differ-
ent from traditional design.

    The traditional window has a decorated wooden
frame and a wooden awning covered with slate tiles
which protects the window from rain and has orna-
mental and symbolic meanings. The window is three-
dimensional and emerges from the facade. The awning
is decorated. Window proportions are roughly 1:1.2.

                                                   Generally all the windows of the house have the same size. In
                                                some circumstances the sacred room and the main room can have
                                                bigger windows.

                                                                                          Very elaborated details are
                                                                                       only for buildings which have a
                                                                                       special function in the village,
                                                                                       not for every house.
62    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

                                                                        Metal grating: if it cannot be avoided,
                                                                    it should be of simple design.

   Oversimplified details are cheaper but
not traditional.

                                                                         Frames made of aluminium, metal,
                                                                    plastic, and color metal should be avoided.
                                                                    If this is not possible, at least the modern
                         This window’s                              frame should be hidden in the wooden
                     awning roof is typi-                           frame. The advantages of modern materi-
                     cal of other parts of                          a l s c o m p a r e d to w o o d s h o u l d b e
                     China.                                         demonstrated.

                         Concrete awnings
                      are not traditional.
                                                             Not traditional shape and proportions.

                                              Blue glasses, mirror glasses and dark glasses should be avoided
                                           (see paragraph: Colors) because they will bring disadvantages to
                                                                              traditional houses in which the
                                                                              light is generally insufficient.
                                                                              These seem only to be fashion
                                                                              items imported from cities
                                                                              which have nothing to do with
                                                                              tradition. In the past, protec-
                                                                              tion from the sun was ensured
                         Very big windows                                     by colored and decorated textile
                      are not traditional.                                    curtains.
                                           MICHELE MIEGGE   , FEDERICA VOLTOLINI WITH LIUHONG   The Tibetan village of...   63

   As a general rule, homogeneity in colors and
materials, uniformity in shapes, proportions and di-
mensions of the buildings are considered positive
values in a traditional well preserved context.Single
buildings contrasting with the rest of the village
should be avoided.

   Out of scale buildings are one of the most wide-
spread and dangerous problems in Yunnan.

   Buildings with non-traditional shape are one of
the most widespread and dangerous problems in

   These building are out of scale,
too big compared to the village

    The building is out of scale, too
big compared to the other ones in
the village. Its shape is different from
that of the others; the building ma-
terials and the colors are different
from those of the rest in the village
The white painted surface is bigger
than that of the other buildings.
64     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

New buildings in historical context
   All the buildings should have the same size, shape, proportions and colors as the others. The village should
result as a unique harmonious composition.If new buildings are required, it is better to build many small build-
ings than a big one out of scale. Urban development should continue as in the past: buildings are many and small

   If big buildings are necessary (schools and religious
buildings), only those with small differences in scale,
shape, colors and materials from the old ones should
be authorized.Big buildings should not be isolated and
should be organically integrated in the rural fabric.
Roads should not reach the centre of the village.
Trucks, buses and cars should not become part of the
landscape and the parking area should be hidden.

   A metal roof can be covered with wooden tiles. This        Improvement of wooden roofs can be reached by
technique hides the metal and helps to create a ther-      adding a waterproof layer.
mal insulation against the heat of the sun.
                                         MICHELE MIEGGE   , FEDERICA VOLTOLINI WITH LIUHONG The Tibetan village of...   65

   Earth terraces can create water flood problems. A waterproof layer can be a solution. Another easy solution
can be mixing concrete with earth and small stones. This technique will ensure more water resistance and keep
the same color of the traditional terraces.

    Trees should be planted if wood is scarce. The ex-
cuse that Tibetan Houses need too much wood is not
real. In local villages wood consumption is not the ma-
jor cause of deforestation. Only in extreme situations
of wood scarcity the two layers of small wood can be
substituted by a concrete slab. It is recommended to
use an earth layer over the concrete one in this case.
Earth ensures thermal insulation and guarantees the
maintenance of the traditional aesthetic character of
the house.

   Concrete walls should be avoided, but concrete can be used to cement stones.

    Satellite antennas and solar pan-
els create visual pollution, these ob-
jects must not be positioned in vis-
ible places and should not become
part of the local cultural landscape.
66     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

   A single collective satellite antenna can be used for the whole village. It is recommended to place solar panels
where they can’t be seen from the main landscape point of view of the area; a solar panel can also be positioned on
the roof or hidden by walls.

   Smoky rooms and related diseases are a serious problem in old houses. Tourists don’t want to stay in these
   High efficiency stoves can be a useful solution for smoke and wood consumption.
   Wide chimneys can also reduce the smoke.

    Plastic used for crop cultures causes
pollution if it is dispersed in the environ-
ment after use. It can be recycled as mate-
rial of water proof layer in earth walls and
small buildings’ roofs.
                                     WU MINGDI   The Export of Silk to Tibetan Areas in the Ming Period and...      67

                             The Export of Silk
                              to Tibetan Areas
                     in the Ming Period and Its Impacts

                                                                                                         Wu Mingdi

    Silk handicrafts are most representative of the Chi-    the bestowals granted to tribute payers, silk made up a
nese hinterland and have played an important role in        great majority of all kinds of handicrafts. According to
interethnic cultural exchanges throughout China. Ever       Ming regulations, the gifts returned for Tibetan trib-
since the Tang dynasty (618-907), a “Silk Road” had         utes from chieftains of various Tibetan areas were,
existed between the hinterland and the Snow Land and        generally, money and silk. If the tribute payers were
had promoted friendship and cultural exchanges be-          monks, clothing, shoes and socks would be granted in
tween Han and Tibetan peoples. During the Song (960-        addition; if horses were offered as tributes, tea would
1279) and the Yuan dynasties (1271-1368), silk was ex-      be included in the returned gifts. A scholar made an
ported in a steady stream to Tibetan areas and made         estimation in accordance with Official Documents of the
considerable impact on the economic life and culture        Ming Dynasty: “If one suit of clothes, one hundred in-
of the Tibetan people. Although the relationship be-        gots of silver, four bolts of silk, and sixty jin of tea are
tween the Central Government and the Tibetan lo-            given to every member of a tribute-paying team, and
cality under the Ming dynasty was different from that       for every horse they offered would be given three hun-
in the Yuan dynasty, both sides maintained close con-       dred ingots of silver and a bolt of raw silk ... then for
tact among officials and common people... and the Silk      ten tribute-paying teams and each team with ten horses
Road ran smoothly and unimpeded.                            the Ming government should have paid 1,000 suits of
    This paper will explore questions concerning cul-       clothes, 4,000 bolts of silk, 60,000 jin of tea, 130,000
tural and artistic exchanges between the Han and Ti-        ingots of silver, and 130,000 bolts of raw silk.”1 This
betan peoples resulting from the silk trade to Tibet        was a regular bestowal; the actual expenditure was far
and its impact. The results of my study will show that      more than this because after the mid-Ming period, the
the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) was a golden age of cul-       Tibetan tribute-payers came continuously to the
tural exchange between Han and Tibetans and that            hinterlands, and a tribute-paying team often comprised
the impact of the inland culture and arts was not weak-     several hundred people, sometimes reaching 1,500. For
ened but, on the contrary, strengthened. This has been      instance, in the 8th year of Chenghua reign (1472), the
vividly demonstrated in many areas including religion.      royal court received 4,200 Tibetan tribute payers from
    Silk was only second to tea in the quantity of goods    Northwest China. In addition to the money for the
exported to Tibetan areas in the Ming dynasty. Among        horses they bought, the Ming court granted them 8,
68     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

542 bolts of coloured silk, 8,520 bolts of raw silk, and       quoted by tibetologists of a later age. The amount of
298,300 silver ingots. As the number of tribute payers         bestowal given by Emperor Chengzu to Tsongkhapa
was large, the bestowals were a big expenditure for the        cited in Guo Heqing’s translation work “Biography of
royal court.                                                   Most Reverend Master Tsongkhapa” 6 (hereafter “the
    From the above we may gain a rough picture of be-          Biography”) and Yu Daoquan’s work “Notes and Comments
stowals to the Tibetan tribute payers. Besides, the royal      on the Accounts of Ming Emperor Chengzu, Sending Envoys
court often sent envoys to Tibetan areas to bestow gifts       to Invite Tsongkhapa and Tsongkhapa’s Reply to the Em-
and donations, to grant honorific or official titles and       peror”7 (hereafter “the Reply”) are quite different from
to offer invitations; on such occasions the quantity and       each other in some parts. The varieties of gifts cited
quality of the bestowals were usually much greater and         in the Biography are greater than those in the Reply
better than those granted to the tribute payers. Gold          and the account is more detailed. For instance, the
and jade articles, religious instruments, porcelain, silk      difference between Emperor Chengzu’s decree and
and even high-quality brocade were added in the                Tsongkhapa’s reply lies in the account of the bestow-
bestowals.2 The gifts to Tibetan common envoys were            als given by Chengzu; the former is more detailed while
usually one or two bolts of silk, but now it was increased     the latter is simpler, especially in the account of gifts
to seven or nine or even dozens of bolts. For instance,        of silk.
in the twelfth month of the fourth year of Y     ongle pe-         Judging from historical records, the Ming court’s
riod (1407) in the Ming Dynasty, the imperial bestow-
als to Karmapa, the Great Treasure Dharma Lord, in-
cluded ten bolts of coloured silk and ten bolts of raw
silk;3 but when he came to have an interview with the
emperor in the twenty-first year (1423) of Y   ongle reign
period, he was given forty-five bolts of silk.4 In the
Ming dynasty, different kinds of silk were generally
called “caibi”, or “caibi biaoli”,or simply “cai” or “bi” in
Chinese.5 The bestowals of silk to Tibetan tribute-pay-
ers by the Ming court included two parts: the outside
covering and the inner lining. The amount of each was
the same.
    Some Tibetan historical documents translated from
Chinese only included the silk outer surface but not
the lining, or there was only a record of the lining but
not the silk outer garment. This was because the
translators, while rendering the original Chinese into
Tibetan, did not clearly understand the variety of silk
products. Thus, when the documents were later re-
translated from Tibetan to Chinese, differences
appeared; even well known tibetologists such as Guo
Heqing and Yu Daoquan did not detect the errors in
them or point them out. The decree of the Ming Em-
peror Chengzu to Tsongkhapa, founder of the Yellow
Sect, for an interview and the replying letter written
by Tsongkhapa were very important documents of the
Ming dynasty, and the two documents were often                      A silk-woven “ Thangga” of Jamchen Choje Shakya Yeshe
                                       WU MINGDI   The Export of Silk to Tibetan Areas in the Ming Period and...    69

bestowals of silk to Tibetan rulers were fewer in be-          statistics, a monastery needed at least several hundred
stowal number and less in quantity than those given            to one thousand bolts of silk in a year. If the consump-
by the Song and Yuan courts. However, as the Ming              tion of silk in all Tibetan monasteries were put
court paid attention to all influential sects, it gave hon-    together, the total amount would be enormous! It also
orific titles and powers to leaders of various sects that      means that the amount of silk imported from the hin-
led to its practice of granting bestowals to more people       terlands must have been equally colossal. During the
and large numbers of bestowals. Therefore, generally           Ming dynasty, a very extravagant and wasteful way of
speaking, the scale of imperial bestowals of silk to the       making clay sculptures appeared: to crush silks into
Tibetan-inhabited areas in the Ming dynasty greatly            clay and then make them into sculptures. In the “Biog-
exceeded those in the Yuan dynasty. Moreover, the              raphy of the Most Reverend Master Tsongkhapa” there is a
amount of silk exported to Tibet through non-govern-           record of “pounding silks into clay to mould a statue
ment trade was hard to determine.                              of Yamantaka with a height of 17 ka . . . the silk-clay
    That the Tibetans in the Ming dynasty possessed a          statue of Samvara in Tsongkhapa’s chamber is one el-
surprising amount of silk and how they were used were          bow high.” 9 The method of pounding silks into clay
clearly recorded in Tibetan historical documents. For          for the purpose of molding clay sculptures had never
instance, according to “Annals of the Tsang Region”, when      been heard of in the hinterlands. The practice of it in
the Pelkor Chode (dpal-vkhor chos-sde)Monastery was            Tibet did not have any practical function. It must have
built at Gyantse in 1418, “37 tailors were invited to make     been the result of respect and reverence for the Bud-
brocade clothing for Buddha statues in the Assembly            dha and the sizable increase of silk imported to Tibet.
Hall in 27 days. The statue of Shakyamuni is in the                Tibetan historical documents also record the
middle, with a height of 80 elbows; on his two sides           following: when the Great Dharma Lord of Compas-
are the two Supreme Ones (Gunaprabha and                       sion Shakya Yeshe (1352-1435) came back to Tibet after
Shakyaprabha). Others are Dipamkara, Maitreya, and             having an interview with the emperor, he brought back
Sixteen Arhats. On the upper section are the heavenly          a great deal of embroidered silk tangkas, which were
gods’ sons holding waving flags; behind the throne are         granted to him by the Ming court as gifts. He then
protectors holding weapons.” In the following year             offered the tangkas before the tomb of Tsongkhapa in
(1419), “from the 15th day of the third month of the           the Ganden monastery. From that time the Ganden
Tibetan calendar, a grand golden religious banner was          has held an annual exhibition of the embroidered silk
made with 23.9 bolts of gold-thread brocade and 22             tangkas, which became the well-known Ganden Silk-
bolts of silk. The banner has a height of 33 elbows and        Tangka Festival. This demonstrates the Ming court had
a 8-width of brocade. On its center is the image of            made a lot of tangkas specially for the purpose of grant-
Maitreya of 18 elbows high. In addition, two more re-          ing them to Tibetan Buddhist monks.
ligious banners were made with 1,502 squares of silk.              Tibet has a lot of precious silks and embroidery
On each banner were embroided images of various                handed down from the Ming dynasty. The most promi-
Buddhas and bodhisattvas.”8 In this passage, the so-           nent of them are polychrome weaving tangkas made
called “gold-thread brocade” used at the Pelkor Chode          by the Ming court in the Yongle reign period and
Monastery was a kind of high-grade silk product pro-           Xuande reign period specially for the purpose of grant-
duced specially for the imperial court by factories in         ing them to Tibetan Buddhist monks. For instance,
Nanking, Suzhou and Hangzhou. Surely it was through            they include the embroided tangkas of the Y     ongle pe-
bestowals that it came into the Tsang region. Accord-          riod “Image of Yamataka” and “Image of Samvara” col-
ing to the tradition of the Tibetan Buddhism, the              lected at the Jokhang Temple at Lhasa, 10 the silk tap-
clothes on Buddha’s statues, decorations, screens and          estry tangka “Image of Shakyamuni” and “Image of
religious instruments also need a considerable amount          Avalokiteshvara” made at the beginning of the Ming
of silk and brocade. According to conservative                 dynasty and now collected by the Tibetan Shannan Cul-
70     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

tural Relics Administration Committee,11 silk tapestry
tangka “Image of Great Dharma Lord of Compassion Sha-
kya Y eshe” of the Xuande reign now in the collection of
the Lhasa Sera Monastery (see Plate 1),12 a silk cloth
picture of “Shakyamuni in a standing position” dated the
17th day of the fourth month of Yongle 10th year,13
and the embroidery “Image of Samantabhadra” granted
to Rinchen Palden, the Great Vehicle Dharma Lord,
by the Ming court in the Zhengde reign period and
now in the Potala.14 These works not only exhibit the
strikingly artistic characteristics of Tibetan Buddhism
but also contain artistic elements from the hinterland.
For instance, on the upper left side of the silk tapestry
tangka “Image of Shakyamuni” is a white rabbit pound-
ing medicine under a bay tree on the moon. Obviously
the motif of the picture was taken from the Chinese
legend of Chang’e , the lady in the legend who swal-
lowed elixir stolen from her husband and flew to the
moon. These works are usually large; for instance, the
                                                                A silk-woven “Thangga” of the phoenix and peony (intact)
embroidery tangka “Image of Yamataka” is 4.3 metres
long and 2.39 metres wide; the “Image of Samvara” is 4.         of Arts. It is obvious that the two silk tapestry pic-
34 metres long and 2.39 metres wide; the silk tapestry          tures were drawn after the same design prevalent in
tangka “Image of Shakyamuni” is 1.92 metres long and 1.         the Ming period by the same artisan. One of the two
78 metres wide. They all were well painted, woven and           pictures went to Tibet through bestowal while the
embroidered; their quality is far better than ordinary          other was either kept in the court or went to a noble
tangkas and exemplifies the high quality of the em-             family. These silk tapestry artistic works have linked
broidery of the Ming court.                                     Drashilhunpo to the imperial capital city.
    A large part of silks and embroidery works exported             In addition, Drashilhunpo monastery has collected
to Tibet in the Ming dynasty have a Chinese-Han                 a “silk tapestry image of Arhats” 16 in which Arhat
motif. For instance, in the Drashilhunpo monastery              Dudan and Yelachong sit face to face in the centre.
there is a silk tapestry “A couple of phoenixes and peonies”’   The landscape in the background is very beautiful. This
(see Plate 2) and the silk polychrome canopy with an            is also a piece of silk fabric imported to Tibet from
embroidered picture of two dragons playing with a               the hinterlands, probably a reward from the imperial
pearl. At present the two pieces of silk knit works are         court.
well preserved and remain very precious. What is wor-               Canopy is a silk fabric decoration used to hang upon
thy of mention is that in the Beijing Museum of Arts            the throne of a high-ranking lama of Tibetan
there is a silk fabric work entitled “Phoenixes and peo-        Buddhism. In the hinterlands the image of dragon
nies” (see Plate 3)15 which is similar in appearance to         could only be used on the emperor’s personal prop-
the silk tapestry picture collected in Drashilhunpo.            erty and utensils. However, there is a canopy in the
The designs; phoenixes, peonies, a decorative stone             Drashilhunpo with a decoration of two dragons play-
and clouds in the two pictures are quite similar, ex-           ing with a pearl. The design, form and size of the
cept that there is a red sun on the upper part of the           canopy are the same as on the emperor’s personal
silk tapestry picture in Tashilhunpo, while the sun is          property. It goes without saying that this canopy was
absent in the picture collected by the Beijing Museum           a reward given to a high-ranking lama by the emperor.
                                      WU MINGDI   The Export of Silk to Tibetan Areas in the Ming Period and...    71

    There are many unique and prominent embroided                In the Ming period, a tangka was edged with silk;
tangkas of the Ming dynasty in Tibet. For instance the       besides, it was covered with silk gauze, which was rolled
Ming embroidery tangka “Namgju W      angdan” (rnam-bcu      up when people looked at the picture. The colours of
dbang-ldan)(see Plate 4) is an example of merging the        silks added to the grandeur of a tangka, otherwise the
Han and Tibetan artistic styles.17 The lower part of the     tangka might be devalued.
picture is a lotus pool with flowers in bud and on both          The tangkas were mostly concerned with Tibetan
sides is a pair of mandarin ducks. These decorations         Buddhism. To decorate a tangka with silk fabrics, just
had seldom been seen in Tibetan traditional designs,         as to wrap a sutra with silk fabrics, is to show respect
while the mandarin duck designs had been quite preva-        to Buddhism as well as to impress believers with the
lent in ethnic Han areas since the Tang dynasty and          solemnity of the faith. Decorative silks played a promi-
the theme of mandarin ducks playing in lotus pools           nent role in setting off the motif of tangka. Tangkas are
was prevalent in the Yuan dynasty. In the early period       hung not only in halls or chapels in monasteries, but
such decorations were used in embroidery, but gradu-         also at family shrines of believers for them to worship.
ally they were also used on porcelain and other handi-       After being mounted, tangkas received protection and
craft items. It is not clear whether or not silk fabrics     added their aesthetic value. Tibetan people love tangkas
with lotuspool design and mandarin duck designs were         dearly. It is due to the fact that they use silk to edge
imported into Tibet from the hinterland in the Yuan          tangkas that the silks from inland centuries ago are pre-
or Ming dynasties, but the coloured porcelain bowls          served till now. For instance, a series of tangkas en-
and stem cups in the Drashilhunpo that have these            titled “Pictorial Biography of Phagpa(vphags-pa)”19 (made
designs prove that articles with these designs were          in the Ming dynasty and now kept in the Sakya
exported into Tibet f rom the Han-inhabited                  Monastery) was edged with red and yellow silks with a
hinterlands. Surely this tangka with lotuspool and           gold-lined lotus pattern. The flower forms were rich
mandarin duck design was made under the influence            and beautifully coloured. They are a rare and precious
of the inland silk fabrics. The colours of the flower        material for the study of Ming silk arts. However, it is
petals, flower buds and waves in the lotus pool are very     a pity that silks of this kind have not yet attracted the
beautiful.18 The cloud design on the upper part of the       attention of departments concerned, and so no infor-
tangka “Namju W   angdan(rnam-bcu dbang-ldan)” also has      mation about such materials has been revealed. As to
the characteristic features of the inland design of the      the tangkas that have been openly published, only the
inland-embroidered articles.                                 motifs of the pictures have been described. Therefore
    The above-mentioned silk fabrics collected in Ti-
bet were all made in the Ming period. They have lasted
because their quality is more than that of ordinary silks
because they were used for special purpose. On the
other hand, the Ming silk fabrics that were used for
practical clothing and decorations of monasteries have
nearly disappeared. The only reason that those very
few Ming ordinary silk fabrics still exist in Tibet is
that they were used for mounting tangkas or for deco-
rating sacred scriptures. During the Ming and Qing
periods, tangkas were mounted on silks of rich colours;
the quality and colour of the silks used for mounting a
tangka must be harmonious with the motif of the
picture, and therefore different kinds of silks were used
for mounting tangkas.                                        A silk-woven “Thangga” of the phoenix and peony
72     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

we know nothing about the quality of the silks deco-          boards.
rating the tangkas and no study of the Ming silk prod-            It gradually became a fashion in Tibet during the
ucts has been carried out. However, we may have an            Ming dynasty to decorate a sutra with silk fabrics. It
understanding of the Ming silks from the clothing on          was just like the practice in the hinterlands to deco-
statues of deities. There are many patterns on silk           rate the case and cover of a sutra. The introduction of
clothing of this period; the patterns on the clothes on       inland sutras to Tibet began in the Tang dynasty. In
the statues of Buddha and bodhisattvas are especially         the Ming dynasty, the imperial court specially printed
abundant.20 There is a Ming gilded-bronze statue of a Sakya   Tibetan Tripitaka and granted the sutras to Tibetan
eminent monk enshrined at the Mindroling Monastery            monks. The binding, layout and decoration of these
(smin-grol gling dgon-pa)in Dranang County(grwa-              court-made sutras surely had a great impact on the
nang rdzong), Tibet. 21 The patterns on the clothing          binding and decoration of Tibetan Buddhist sutras.
were very delicate, including turtle-shell designs, lin-      Tibetan sutras, based on sutra texts written on palm
ear designs, geometric designs, grass patterns... and         leaves, began to use the Han-style way of binding and
they all were typical traditional designs of the inland       decoration and the making of a sutra in this style be-
ethnic-Han people.                                            gan to mature. Moreover, the illustrations of a sutra
    The binding and layout of Tibetan Buddhist sutras         and the coloured pattern on the margin of a page be-
are excellent and finely done. Red sandalwood, ivory          gan to use the forms of expression of silk patterns. For
and other precious materials are used for boards carved       instance, on the edges of sutra pages of “Tantra of the
in relief that are placed on and below a set of sutra,        Wheel of Time”, 22 which is now held in the Tibetan
and inlaid with pearls and jewels. In addition, silk fab-     Museum, are lotus flowers with coloured cloud designs.
rics are used to wrap sutra inside and outside the sutra      This kind of edge painting is quite different from those
                                                              of old-style Tibetan edge paintings.
                                                                  The above-mentioned is a discussion on the close
                                                              relationship between Ming silks and the Tibetan Bud-
                                                              dhist arts in the mounting and decoration of tangkas
                                                              and sutras, but in reality, it had become a custom for
                                                              the Tibetan Buddhists to spend a great amount of silk
                                                              on religious activities. We may know a little about it
                                                              by citing a few records from the “Biography of Most Rev-
                                                              erend Master Tsongkhapa”. From the first day through
                                                              the 15th day of the first month in the Earth-Bull year
                                                              of Tibetan calendar (1409), Tsongkhapa held a mass
                                                              prayer meeting attended by numerous monks at the
                                                              Jokhang Temple of Lhasa. From then on this kind of
                                                              service took place annually. Among the sacrificial of-
                                                              ferings there were many silk fabrics and products made
                                                              of silk fabrics. Tsongkhapa personally offered seven
                                                              suits of clothes for two Shakyamuni statues and all
                                                              other Buddha-statues in the Jokhang and Ramoche
                                                              temples. Along the circular path around the Jokhang
                                                              all big trees were decorated with silk banners.23 Other
                                                              patrons and alms-givers also always offered silks and
                                                              silk products in great quantity on these occasions. From
       An embroidery “Thangga” of Namju Wangdan               this it is clear that Tibetan Buddhism was extravagant
                                      WU MINGDI   The Export of Silk to Tibetan Areas in the Ming Period and...      73

A gilded bronze statue of a sakya                            pattern on the main deity’s clothes are two designs
eminent monk in the Ming Dy-
                                                             commonly seen in the hinterlands.
                                                                 On the painting entitled “Strolling on the Street”, 29 a
                                                             large space on the background of the bodhisattva are
                                                             “Four Auspicious Cloud Patterns”, which are also seen
                                                             on the wooden ceiling in the Red Temple of the Tol-
                                                             ing Monastery. 30 This cloud pattern originated from
                                                             silk fabrics of the hinterlands, and it was a prevalent
                                                             decorative design there. It goes without saying that
                                                             the geometric pattern on the windowsill in the “Stroll-
                                                             ing on the Street” was also modeled on patterns on silks
                                                             of the hinterlands. All these decorative patterns gave
in spending money on religious activities.                   the Toling wall paintings the distinctive influence of
    Not only the decoration of tangkas and sutras, the       the hinterlands.
wall pictures of Tibetan monasteries also present deco-          The aforementioned patterns, rich with inland cul-
rative designs unique to the silk products of the hinter-    tural colours, should not be regarded in isolation; they
lands. On the fresco of the mandala of Vaishravana,          symbolise the impact that inland culture and arts have
the King of the North, in the White Temple (lha-khang        had on the culture of West Tibet. Previously, when
dkar-po)of the Toling Monastery(mtho-lding dgon-pa),         scholars at home and abroad made a study of West
there are several cosmological diagrams which are            Tibetan culture in the fields of architecture, image scul-
unique to the ethnic Han people’s traditional emb-           pture and wall paintings, they noticed that the Bud-
roidery; the diagrams are also used for the patterns on      dhist arts of W  estern Tibetan had a strong Indian and
the clothing of the main deity of the fresco. On the         Kashmir cultural flavour, but seldom paid attention
blue scarf on the deity’s right shoulder and his red un-     to the impact of Chinese inland culture. Now that the
der-skirt are painted well-aligned cloud designs.24 It is    typical inland patterns appear in the Guge wall paint-
well known that this kind of cloud design is very com-       ings, this shows that the Gu-ge civilization had been
mon in the hinterland. It is also seen as decoration on      affected by the Chinese inland culture, which might
the decree of Emperor Hongzhi of the Ming dynasty            have come through the Buddhist culture of Central
enabling Sonam Gyaltsen Palsangpo (bsod-nams rgyal-          Tibet (U-Tsang), because West Tibetan Buddhism had
mtshan dpal bzang-po)to inherit the position and title       been closely linked to that of the U-Tsang regions. 31
of State Preceptor of Quiet Cultivation and Complete         The inland cultural factors in the U-Tsang Buddhism
Harmony.25                                                   naturally went westward together with U-Tsang
    On the clothes of persons in the wall paintings          Buddhism.
“White Tara” in the White Temple of the Toling                   In a word, silk fabrics in the Ming dynasty played a
Monastery, “Giving a Sermon” and “Listening to a Ser-        very important role in Tibetan religious activities. They
mon”26 in the Red Temple (lha-khang dmar-po) of the          were used on nearly all occasions. To do a further study
Toling Monastery there are scattered little-flower           of historical documents and existing materials, we must
designs; among them many are plum blossoms with a            have a further understanding of the role of Ming silk
red background. This kind of flower design has been          fabrics in Tibetan society.
prevalent in the hinterlands since the Song dynasty. 27          In order to show respect to special natural objects,
It is also seen on the clothes of a bodhisattva in a wall    Tibetan people also offer silk fabrics to them. For
painting of the Drathang Monastery. On the picture           instance, they hang brocade clothing on the white san-
of “Holding the Begging Bowl” at the Red Temple of the       dalwood tree at Tsongkhapa’s birthplace.32 This em-
Toling Monastery,28 the flower pattern and the lotus         bodies the special value of silk fabrics that are not only
74       CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

practical articles but also a medium for Tibetan                                                         An
                                                                                    (14) Ou Chaogui, “ introduction to two tangkas of the Ming
                                                                              and Qing dynasties”, “Cultural Relics”, No.11, 1985.
people’s self-expression. In view of the aforementioned
                                                                                    (15) Zhao Xiuzhen, ed., “Essence of Cultural Relics In Beijing: Vol-
facts, we may say that Ming silk fabrics played a cardi-                      ume on Tapestry and Embroidery”, Beijing Publishing House, 2001, Plate
nal role in Tibetan religious activities. Although Ti-                        112.
betan common people could not afford to use silk                                    (16) A Complete Collection of Chinese Fine Arts: Volume on Tapestry
                                                                              and Embroidery, Electronic edition, 1997, plate 265.
themselves, but they had contact with silks in monas-
                                                                                    (17) Jamyang and W Minxing, ed, “A Treasure: Historical Relics
teries and so had a special feeling for them. Probably                        of China’s Tibet”, vol. 3, Plate 81. “Namju Wangdan”(rnam-bcu dbang-
this is why silk decorative arts might be widely spread                       ldan) is a transliteration of two Tibetan words, which means “ten
afterwards in Tibet and be used in every area of Ti-                          articles”or “ten independent things”,. It is composed of 7 Sanskrit
                                                                              letters, a new moon, circular dots, and vertical lines, which symbol-
betan society.
                                                                              ize the harmony and unity of the Tantra tutelary and his Mandala.
                                                                              The date and place of production of this work are unclear. But, in
Notes:                                                                        my opinion, judging from the patterns of its parts and its style, we
                                                                              think probably it was made in the hinterlands in the Ming dynasty.
     (1) Deng Ruiling: “The Relationship Between the Central Govern-                (18) Xu Zhongjie, “History of Nanjing Brocade with Coloured
ment and Tibetan Local Government During the Y and Ming Dynasties”,
                                                  uan                         Cloud Design”, Jiangsu Science and Technology Publishing House,
China Tibetology Publishing House, Beijing, 1989, p.66.                       1986, pp. 168-176.
     (2) During the Ming and Qing dynasty, brocade was produced                     (19) Kalsam and Liu Lizhong, ed., “Tangka Arts”, Sichuan Fine
at Zhangzhou in Fujian, Nanjing and Suzhou. This kind of silk is              Arts Publishing House, Chengdu, 1992, Plates 205-207.
rather heavy. It was material-consuming and cost high. The impe-                    (20) Forbidden City Museum, ed., “Cultural Relics of Tibetan Bud-
rial court gave it only to high-ranking Tibetan chiefs and in low             dhism Collected in the Qing Palace”, Forbidden City Publishing House,
quantity. For instance, the Ming court gave only three sections of it         1998, Plates 41, 44, 48, 52, 58.
to the Great Treasure Dharma Lord.                                                        A
                                                                                    (21) “ Treasure: Historical Relics of China’s Tibet”, vol. 3, pp.
     (3) “A Collection of Historical Archives of the Tibetan Local Govern-    267-271.
ment and the Central Governments ever Since the Y Dynasty”, edited
                                                     uan                            (22) Shanghai Museum, ed., “Snowland Treasures - A Selected Col-
by China Tibetology Research Center and the First China Histori-              lection of Tibetan Cultural Relics”, Shanghai Calligraphy and Painting
cal Archives, Published by China Tibetology Publishing House,                 Publishing House, Shanghai, 2001, p. 116, plate 41.
Beijing, 1994, p.156.                                                               (23) “Biography of Most Reverend Master Tsongkhapa”, written by
     (4) “A Collection of Historical Archives of the Tibetan Local Govern-    ruling lama Drugyal, rendered into Chinese by Guo Heqing. Qinghai
ment and the Central Governments ever Since the Y Dynasty”, Vol. 1,
                                                      uan                     People’s Publishing House, Xining, 1988, p.257.
p. 96.                                                                              (24) Cultural Relics Administrative Bureau of Tibet Autonomous
     (5) “A Collection of Historical Archives of the Tibetan Local Govern-    Region, ed., “Toling Monastery”, Encyclopedia of China Publishing
ment and the Central Governments ever Since the Y Dynasty”, Tibetan
                                                    uan                       House, Beijing, p. 74.
People’s Publishing House, Lhasa, 1981, Vol. 1, pp.175, 177, 179.                   (25) “A Treasure: Historical Relics of China’s Tibet”, vol. 3, Plate 57.
     (6) “Biography of Most Reverend Master Tsongkhapa”, written by                 (26) “A Treasure: Historical Relics of China’s Tibet”, vol. 2, Plates 57,
ruling lama Drugyal, rendered into Chinese by Guo Heqing. Qinghai             58, 92.
People’s Publishing House, Xining, 1988, pp. 249-250.                               (27) Xue Yan, Wu Weiwei, ed., “A Collections of Designs on Chinese
     (7) “A Collection of Historical Archives of Tibetan Local Government     Silks”, Shanghai Calligraphy and Painting Publishing House,
and Central Government. from the Y Dynasty Onward”, vol 1, p.113.
                                      uan                                     Shanghai, 1999, pp.101, 119, 139.
     (8) “Annals of the Tsang Region”, written by Jonang Taranata,trans-            (28) “A Treasure: Historical Relics of China’s Tibet”, vol. 2, Plate 60.
lated into Chinese by She Wanzhi, Tibetan People’s Publishing                       (29) Ibid. Plate 93.
Housse, Lhasa, 1994, p. 31.                                                         (30) Ibid., Plate 81.
     (9) “Biography of the Most Reverend Master Tsongkhapa”, p.321.                 (31) Huo Wei, “West Tibetan Buddhist Civilization”, Sichuan
     (10) Cultural Relics Survey Team under the Tibetan Cultural              People’s Publishing House, Chengdu, 2000, p.216.
Relics Administration Committee, “Cultural relics of Y      ongle Reign Pe-         (32) Sertok Lozang Tsultrim Gyatso and Guo Heqing translated
riod collected at the Jokhang Temple”, Cultural Relics, 1985, No. 11.         from Tibetan into Chinese, “       Annals of the Kumbum Monastery”,
     (11) Su Bai, Archaeological Research in Tibetan Buddhist Temples and     Qinghai People’s Publishing House, Xining, 1984, pp.3, 39.
Monasteries, Cultural Relics Publishing House, Beijing, 1996, p.79.
     (12) Jamyang and Wang Minxing, ed, “A Treasure: Historical Relics
of China’s Tibet”, vol. 3, Zhaohua Publishing House, Beijing, 2000,                             From China Tibetology (Chinese Edition) No.1, 2007
Plate 55.                                                                                                           Translated by Chen Guansheng
     (13) Su Bai, Archaeological Research in Tibetan Buddhist Temples and
Monasteries, Cultural Relics Publishing House, Beijing, 1996, p.113.
                                             ZHANG YASHA   Pagoda-Shaped Pictures in Tibetan Rock Paintings      75

                           Pagoda-Shaped Pictures
                          in Tibetan Rock Paintings

                                                                                                 Zhang Yasha

I. Introduction                                             tion of the Helanshan range3 (Plate 2). These two types
                                                            of Xixia pagoda shapes are different from each other
   In 2004 we, with our colleagues, went to the             in their outward appearance. The latter are Buddhist
Helanshan Ranges in Ningxia to conduct a rock-paint-        pagodas, while the former, only a kind of construc-
ing survey for more than a month. We were members           tion in pagoda shape.
of the Rock-Painting Research Center, Ethnology and             According to Mr. Su Bais investigation and study,
Sociology College of the Central University for Eth-        “Kadamkyi Chorten” pagodas were prevalent in Tibet
nic Minorities. In the central and northern sections        proper and in the Hexi Corridor during the 12th-14th
of the Helanshan ranges, we accidentally came upon          century. They appeared in monasteries in Tibet proper
quite a lot of “pagoda-shaped” rock paintings of the        and in some cave temples (the stone carving of the
Xixia period (1038-1227). These rock paintings consist      Mati Monastery at Zhangye and the frescoes in the
of two different types. Examples of the first type are      Yulin Grottoes at Anxi) in the Hexi Corridor
rather simple and irregular, but they are more numer-       simultaneously, and they are a typical form of Tibetan
ous than the second type. Rock paintings of pagodas         Buddhist pagoda of the second propagation period of
of the second type have been identified as Buddhist         the Tibetan Buddhism by the end of the Yuan Dynasty.
pagodas of Tibetan Buddhism in its early period. The        According to our study over the past years, the earli-
first type are mainly found in the central and northern     est Kadamkyi Chorten pictures to appear in Tibet must
sections of the gullies of the Helanshan mountains (the     be those that are seen in the rock paintings at Rutok,
central section of the Helanshan mountain range is near     Ngari (see Plate 3). They were made before the 11th
to the city of Yinchuan, and its northern section is        century or the 10th or even the 9th century, but they
near to Mt. Shizuishan), especially a large number of       appeared in the frescoes in monasteries in U-Tsang
pagoda-shaped rock paintings are found in the               (dbus-gtsang) no later than the 11th century.4 This kind
Jiucaigou Gully in the northern section (Plate 1).1 Rock    of pagoda with its unique form might not necessarily
paintings of pagodas of the second type are similar to      come from India. They appeared in Gandhara of Cen-
the “Kadamkyi Chorten” pagodas often mentioned by           tral Asia as early as the 2nd century. Therefore it is
Mr. Su Bai in his works.2 Up to the present, pictures of    quite natural to estimate that this kind of Buddhist
pagodas of the second type are found only in the            pagoda came to the western part of the Qinghai-Tibet
Laobagou Gully of Shizuishan area in the northern sec-      plateau by way of some Buddhist countries in Central
76       CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

Asia, and then spread to Gansu and Qinghai by way of
the hinterland of Tibet. During the period of Xixia,
they had already arrived at the Hexi Corridor.
   We, as authors of this article, have been also very
much concerned with the extension of this shape of
pagodas eastward and northward. By theoretical
inference, the spreading of “Kadamkyi Chorten” pa-
godas must not have stopped after it reached

Plate 1. Pagoda-shaped stone
carving in the Jiucaigou Gully
in the Helanshan mountain
range, Ningxia

Dunhuang, Anxi or Ganzhou; it might have reached              Plate 2. Pagoda-shaped stone carving in the Laobagou Gully in the Helanshan
the territory of Xixia or even the Mongolian territory.       mountain range, Ningxia

The discovery of the rock paintings of Kadamkyi
Chorten justified our inference. According to our             Tibetan Buddhism but it appeared in the central part
theory, it is not difficult to give a reasonable explana-     of the populated areas of the Xixia people, and as such
tion for this discover y. However, the discover y of          contains more cultural connotations.
Kadamkyi Chorten pictures in the Helanshan,                       These “pagoda-shaped” pictures are not so much
Ningxia, was not limited to the study of rock painting        Buddhist cultural remains as remains of the Bon
(it also falls into the category of Buddhist rock carving).   religion. The appearance of these remains in Xixia re-
They are the reason why it is necessary to mention            flects at least two facts: (1) the similarity of the rock
here that it had a close relationship with the first type     paintings of the Dangxiang people and those in the
of pagoda-shaped rock pictures found in the                   Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. (2) The pagoda-shaped altar
Helanshan.                                                    that appeared in the Bonist sacrificial ceremony had
     Since the Dangxiang people (Mi-nyag in Tibetan)          already emerged in the Buddhist culture.
founded the Xixia kingdom with Yinchuan city as its               In addition, because of the accuracy of the dates in
capital, and Tibetan Buddhism flourished and pros-            the Xixia period, the discovery of the Xixia pagoda-
pered during the middle and later periods of the Xixia        shaped rock pictures is helpful to ascertain the dates
kingdom, it was quite natural that the Tibetan pagoda-        of the Tibetan rock paintings.
shaped pictures of the early period could be found                The similarity of the rock paintings of the Xixia
within the boundary of Xixia. But we were happily             Dangxiang people with the rock paintings discovered
surprised by the discovery of the first type of rock          in the Qinghai-Tibetan proved the painters of the rock
paintings in the Helanshan ranges in Ningxia (Plate           pictures in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau were the Qiang
4). This kind of rock painting seemed not related to          people who inhabited the northern part of the Qinghai-
                                                          ZHANG YASHA   Pagoda-Shaped Pictures in Tibetan Rock Paintings                   77

Tibet Plateau. The producers of Tibetan rock paint-                         The origin of both of these two types of pagoda-
ings were the ethnic Qiang people who lived in                           shaped rock carvings discovered at Helanshan, Ningxia,
Changtang in Northern Tibet about 3,000-1,000 years                      may be found in rock paintings in Tibet. In other
ago. The most important two ethnic groups of the                         words, they originated in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Qiang people were the western “Women Kingdom”                            Obviously, they were the works of the Dangxiang
and the northern “Shangshung Kingdom”. It seems the                      people, who, in ancient times, lived in the eastern part
Sumpa people and the Dangxiang people to their                           of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau but moved eastward
northeast were not involved in the production of rock                    continuously. There are many designs of pagoda-
paintings (although the rock paintings around the                        shaped pictures in rock paintings in Tibet. As to the
Qinghai Lake were obviously related to the Tuyuhun                       date of these pagoda-shaped rock paintings, scholars
people).5 However, judging from the fact that the pa-                    tend to attribute them to the Tibetan Buddhist culture.
goda-shaped pictures of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau exist                        Thus, the dates of all the sites where pagoda-shaped
in the Xixia rock paintings in the Helanshan range (in                   rock paintings appeared were defined as the Tubo dy-
addition, there are some very typical Qinghai-Tibet                      nasty period or even later. However, as to the pagoda-
Plateaupatterns of yaks), the Dangxiang people were                      shaped rock paintings in Tibet, there are some prob-
also the producers of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau rock                     lems that should be discussed. 1) Are the pagoda-
paintings. The Sumpa people were probably one of the                     shaped rock paintings in Tibet, without exception,
peoples who created the rock paintings of yaks.                          Buddhist stupas? 2) Did the Tibetan aboriginal reli-
                                                                         gion ha ve a pagoda-shaped sacrificial altar or
II. Pagoda-shaped pictures in Ti-                                        construction? The key to the problems lies in obvi-
                                                                         ously whether the Tibetan pagoda-shaped rock paint-
betan rock paintings
                                                                         ings belonged to the Buddhist culture of the Tubo pe-
                                                                         riod or to a pre-Buddhist period, i.e. the Bon cultural
                                                                            Judging the plateau rock paintings as a whole, it
                                                                         seems unreasonable to say the majority of the rock
                                                                         paintings belong to the pre-Buddhist cultural period
                                                                         while the pagoda-shaped patterns belong to the Bud-
                                                                         dhist cultural period. It is true that the six-word
                                                                         Lamaistic charm Om-mani-padme-hum was carved on

                                                                         Plate 4 Pagoda-shaped pictures in the Jiucaigou Gully, Helan mountain,
Plate 3. Buddhist pagoda, Ladrodrang rock-painting site, Ngari,Tibet     Ningxia.
78    CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

the side of some pagoda-shaped pictures. But there          birth, formation, evolution and final perfection. What
are two possible reasons for this phenomena: firstly,       are worthy of attention are the Qinghai rock paintings.
the six-word Lamaistic charms were added at a later         During this period they gradually separated from the
time, that is to say, the date of the rock picture cannot   main part of the Qinghai-Tibet rock paintings, and
be ascertained by the existence of the six-word dharani.    began on the road to decline. The main part of the
Secondly, a few pagoda-shaped pictures surely might         Plateau rock paintings is the paintings concentrated
be the works in the Buddhist cultural period, but the       in the western and northern part of Tibet (from Rutok
majority of the pictures are still the works of the Bon     in Ngari and extended eastward to the Namtso Lake/
cultural period. Our reasons are as follows:                gnam-mtsho in the north of Tibet), i.e., the Changtang
    1. The majority of pagoda-shaped pictures in Ti-        (byang-thang)region.
betan rock paintings are different in shape from Bud-
dhist stupas. Up to the present, a great number of pa-      III. The early evolution of pagoda-
goda-shaped patterns of Tibet are quite different from
                                                            shaped pictures in Tibet
Buddhist stupas prevalent in India or Central Asia in-
cluding others in the western regions of China.                 In the remains of small articles for personal adorn-
    2. The Bon religion in Tibet used a “pagoda-shaped”     ment (called “toja(thog-lcags)” in Tibetan, which means
stone altar, whose fundamental characteristics are          “stone dropped from the sky”) from ancient times we
stone terraced pagoda-shaped construction.                  found the earliest “pagoda-shaped altar” of the Bon
    Tibetan rock paintings were made 3,000 --1,000          religion. Obviously, the ancient northern part of the
years ago.7 It was in the Chaleolithic age (in archaeo-     Plateau had its own tradition of sacrificial altar. Sacri-
logical terms), or Small Kingdom period and Tubo dy-        ficial altars of this kind consisted of two parts: the main
nasty period in Tibetan history. Tibetan rock paint-        body and the top of the altar (Plate 5 and 6). Its main
ings have a historical developmental period of more         body is like a cone and the top is like a trident. It re-
than 2,000 years. Compared with ancient symbols of          mains unknown as to what the trident means. It is in-
Yungdrung, trees, the sun and moon, etc., the pagoda-       teresting that we have found similar pagoda-shaped
shaped pictures are a product of a rather late period.      altars in the western Ladrodrang rock-painting site in
However, we should say that the majority of the pa-         Rutok (Plate 7 and 8).
goda-shaped pictures were made in the Bon culture               The original form of the Bon altar might be related
period, but pictures of this kind were under Buddhist       to the stone sacrificial pillar (Plate 9), which was preva-
influence in the later period. The patterns of the pa-
goda-shaped altar of the Bon religion must have
emerged in the first millennium of the Christian era.
    As to the Tibetan rock paintings, the Bon symbol
system was rapidly nearing perfection 2,000 -- 1,300
years ago. A prominent feature of this period was the
adding of the pagoda-shaped sacrificial symbol into the
Bon symbol system. About 1,200 years ago (the Tubo
period) and after that, the Buddhist cultural impact
was clearly shown in the rock painting of the Bon
religion, and the Bon sacrificial altar also gradually
came near to the pattern of Buddhist pagodas (but not
up to that standard). That is to say, during a period of
                                                            Plate 5 (left) and Plate 6 (right) are pagoda-shaped articles, called “togja
one thousand years, the pagoda-shaped pictures in           (thog-lcags)” in Tibetan ,meaning “stone dropped from the sky” . They were
Tibetan rock paintings have experienced periods of          small bronze decorations of religious connotation in ancient times
                                               ZHANG YASHA    Pagoda-Shaped Pictures in Tibetan Rock Paintings        79

                                                                Plate 7 (left). The symbols of eagle, pagoda,
                                                                tree and Yungdrung, on Ladrodrang rock
                                                                painting in Rutok County

                                                                Plate 8. Pagoda-shaped pattern in Plate 7

                                                                ture consists of a number of representative symbols --
                                                                the sun, moon, Yungdrung, trees, pagoda patterns,
                                                                eagle, bird-man and bird-witch, etc. Among this set of
                                                                symbols, what calls for our attention is two pagoda-
                                                                shaped patterns, which are quite similar to the early
                                                                Bon sacrificial pagoda shown in the “stone dropped
                                                                from the sky”. The main bodies of these two pagoda-
                                                                like things are like cones, and their tops are like a
                                                                    That the early-stage sacrificial pagoda (or sacrifi-
                                                                cial pillar) of the Bon religion emerged in the West of
                                                                Tibet instead of the North of Tibet is a very interest-
                                                                ing problem worthy of study. It shows that the origin
lent in the west and north of Tibet. As early as the            of the pagoda-shaped patterns might be related to
beginning of the 20th century, some foreign investi-            Central Asian culture or Kashmir culture. The two
gation teams and tibetologists found a lot of man-made          pagoda-shaped objects are in a set of symbols that are
single stone pillars and altars made of stone. 8 During         unique to the Bon religion, which means a new item
1989--1992, the Tibetan Cultural Relics Survey Team             (pa goda-shaped pattern) has been added to the
discovered a number of remains and named them                   symbols. In the Ladrodrang rock-painting site at
‘Megalithic remains” or “Megalithic buildings”. 9               Repang Lake of Rutok County, there are not only pat-
American Tibetologist Vincent Bellezza has conducted            terns of early period Bon sacrificial pillars, but what is
a survey of ancient Shangshung cultural remains in the          more important, more than 10 other pagoda-shaped
north of Tibet since 1995. His reports made in 1999             items display the influence of the Bon sacrificial
and 2000 provided a great number of pictures and                pagodas. Judging from this, it is without doubt that
photos about the stone altar and stone buildings of             the Ladrodrang site is one of the most important rock-
early period. All this pictorial data clearly proved that       painting sites in the West of Tibet.
the Bon culture in the Changtang grassland was well                 The sacrificial altar looks like a sacrificial pillar
developed. It goes without saying that there were a             (Plate 9), but later it developed toward the form of
rather large number of early Bon stone altars or stone          altars. The sacrificial pillar transforming into altars
buildings in the north of the Plateau; they and the rock        should have been the first stage of the evolution of
paintings in the north of Tibet were of the same period.        the Bon pagoda. The key change was that the pagoda
    The Bon altar of early period is more like a sacrifi-       was no longer made from a single stone, but was made
cial pillar. Plate 7 is a set of religious symbols found at     with a number of big pieces of stone. Plate 10 and Plate
the Ladrodrang rock-painting site at Rutok. The pic-            11 are altars made of several layers of stone. It seems
80       CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

                                                                                               Plate 11. Rock painting of pagoda at
                                                                                               Ladrodrang, Rutok County, Western Tibet

Plate 9. An ancient sacrificial pillar made of a   Plate 10. Rock painting of pagoda at Ladrodrang,         Plate 12. Rock painting at Ladrodrang at
single stone in the Northern Tibet                 Rutok County, WesternTibet                               Rutok in the Western Tibet

there was no strict regulation about the number of                            in a form of terraced ladder; at the top of it is a pair of
stone to complete an altar. For instance, the altar in                        yak horns; on the right is an unfinished picture of a
Plate 10 was made of four large pieces of stone, while                        pagoda. Of course, the sacrifice was not necessarily
that in Plate 11 was made of three pieces. The pagoda                         yak horns; on plate 15, the sacrifice on the top of the
in Plate 12 has a big belly, which is wider than the top                      altar is something else, but we are not sure what they
and the bottom. It is unique. The top of the altar is no                      are. It must have been in the third stage of the evolu-
longer a trident, but a thing with a pointed head.                            tion of pagoda altars in West Tibet that the pagoda
    When the main body of the altar evolved into a                            was fixed at five terraces and yak horn were offered at
five-terraced form, the Bon altar came to its final form.                     the top of it. In this stage the basic Bonist form of
John Vincent Bellezza said the “five-terraces” of the                         altar was completed. It goes without saying that the
stone altar of Bonism might be the representative of                          structure of the altar and the yak horns on the altar
the five elements (water, fire, metal, wood, and earth)                       has clear Bonist cultural characteristics. The custom
that made up the cosmology of Bonism.10 This kind of                          of offering yak horns on altars or important piles
relatively regular form appeared at the Drakpuk rock-                         which still remains in Tibetan-inhabited areas up to
painting site. Like the Ladrodrang rock-painting site,                        the present is, without doubt, related to Bonism. Thus,
Drakpuk is also located in the region of Repang Lake.                         at least by this period, the pagoda-shape pictures in
The pagoda-shaped construction on the Drakpuk rock                            rock paintings must belong to the pre-Buddhist period.
painting has distinct Bonist characteristics -- the altar
was made of five pieces of big stone, every piece of                          V. Impact of early-period Buddhist
stone smaller than the one below it, and a pair of yak                        pagoda on the Bon Pagoda altar
horns were placed on the top of the altar (Plate13).
There are seven pagoda-shaped patterns on Plate 14,                               From what period did the Buddhist pagoda begin
the biggest one of which consisted of five stone layers                       to have notable impact on Bon sacrificial altars? Judg-
and a pair of yak horns is on its top. The other six                          ing from the process of the development of the pa-
pagoda-shaped altar is composed of only four layers.                          goda-shaped picture in the west regions, probably it
It seems to demonstrate that in that time there was                           started from the fourth stage of the development of
no strict regulation of the number of layers in a pagoda.                     the Bon pagoda. The most important change occur-
Above the rock pictures of altars are pictures of two                         ring in the fourth stage is a “round altar” which ap-
animals. In the centre is a deer and the animal on the                        peared on the five-terraced altar. Its appearance should
right is probably a sheep. Plate 13 seems clearer. It is                      be regarded as the result of Buddhist impact (Plate 16).
                                               ZHANG YASHA     Pagoda-Shaped Pictures in Tibetan Rock Paintings                       81

Its appearance seemed an insignificant change, but in             that in the Women Kingdom in the west of Tibet, ex-
reality it was a very important one because there was             cept for the worship of Tree Spirits and the custom of
no round altar of this kind on the early period. The              Bird divination, their main religious practice was the
problem is from what time did the Bon altar begin to              worship of Asura. Geographically, the Women King-
feel the impact of the Buddhist pagoda. Did it begin              dom bordered on Kashmir and the Indus valley in the
at the time of the Tubo dynasty?                                  west, and the Kingdom of Khotan in the north. In
    According to the chapter of “Women Kingdom” in                these two places Buddhism was prevalent. It was in
the History of the Northern Dynasties, at least in the pe-        Kashmir that the Buddhist Fourth Gathering was held,
riod of Southern and Northern Dynasties (the fifth                and the Buddhist culture was prosperous in this area.
and sixth century), the western “Women Kingdom” had               In neighboring areas such as Spiti valley and Swat area
already felt the impact of Buddhism. What is worthy               Buddhist statues made in the 2-3 century B.C. have
of notice is that in the same period, the Tubo to the             been found. The rock paintings in Spiti area and in
east of Women Kingdom also began to have contacts                 Rutok were of the same type. In ancient times, the
with Buddhist culture. Acc ording to Tibetan                      Kingdom of Khotan was the first area of China to re-
documents, during the reign of Tubo Tsenpo Lhatotori              ceive Buddhism, which was introduced into Khotan
Nyantsan (about the fifth century, at the same time as            around the first century. The introduction of Bud-
the Women Kingdom was recorded in the History of                  dhism into Khotan was closely related to Kashimira
the Northern Dynasties), a Buddhist monk went to                  (the present-day Kashmir).
Tubo to do missionary work, but the Tubo Tsenpo it                    Owing to the fact that the kingdoms west and north
seems did not accept his doctrine. The monk left a                of the Western Kingdom of Women were Buddhist, it
few Buddhist sacred books behind when he left. 11                 was quite possible that Buddhism spread to the King-
    Although King Lhatotori Nyantsan did not accept               dom of Women by way of these areas. Chinese his-
Buddhism, he worshipped the scriptures as sacred                  torical documents clearly indicate that the Western
things and he got the Buddha’s protection for this.               Kingdom of Women had close contacts with North-
Tsenpo Lhatotori Nyantsan recovered his youthful                  ern Hindu.13 From this it is clear that the Women King-
vigor at the age of 80 and lived to the age of 120. It is         dom in the western part of Tibet might have received
because of this that the Tibetan historians say that in           Buddhist culture before the period of Tubo Kingdom
this period of time “Tibet began to have orthodox                 (Tang Dynasty) because it was under the influence of
Buddhism.”12                                                      Buddhism from North India and Kashmir. However,
    The chapter of “Women Kingdom” in the History                 there is no record of when this influence began. The
of the Northern Dynasties says that the Women King-               History of the Northern Dynasties and the History of the
dom “worshipped Asura and Spirits of Trees.”It reflects           Sui Dynasty have similar records; the form of the pa-

                                       Plate 14. Pagoda-shaped rock pictures at Drapuk,
                                       Rutok, Western Tibet

Plate 13. Rock painting of pagoda at
Drapuk, Rutok, Western Tibet                                                      Plate 15. Rock painting at Drapuk, Rutok, Western Tibet
82      CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

goda had been fixed at least in the Southern and North-                 appearance of the round top is the fourth stage of the
ern Dynasties (420-589). In our opinion, the Bonist                     development of pagoda-like patterns, and it is an im-
altar first appeared in the west of Tibet, but then it                  portant stage to show the Bonist altars began to feel
was under the influence of Buddhism. It was because                     the influence of Buddhist pagoda. A square base placed
the neighbors bordering West Tibet such as North                        under the five-terraced pagoda completed the fifth
India, Kashmir, Khotan and Nepal were all Buddhist                      stage of the development the Bonist pagoda. This stage
countries. Just because of this, West Tibet became the                  made the Bonist pagodas look much like Buddhist ones
key place for the Bonist Pagoda (altar) culture to                      (plates 17, 18, 19).
emerge, develop, and evolve.                                                There are a few Buddhist pagoda patterns at the
    The five-terraced pagoda with a round top first                     Ladrodrang rock-painting site: on a rock surface are
                                                                        three pagodas side by side. The six-syllable dharani in
                         Plate 16. Banre rock painting
                                                                        Tibetan is painted on the base of each pagoda. The
                         at Rutok, Western Tibet
                                                                        body of each pagoda is in three sections, at the centre
                                                                        of the second section are Sanskrit letters; at the top
                                                                        are the sun-and-moon patterns, which are in the pro-
                                                                        totype of Bonism. Obviously Buddhist pagodas have
                                                                        also absorbed some traditional Bonist patterns.

                                                                        VI. Development order and char-
                                                                        acteristics of Pagoda-shaped pic-
                                                                        tures in North Tibet

                                                                            The earliest Bonist pillar-form pagoda pictures have
                                                                        not been found in rock paintings in North Tibet, be-
                                                                        cause this kind of pagoda only began in the third stage
                                                                        in West Tibet. Judging from the materials we have got,
                                                                        the Bonist sacrificial altar rock painting came into be-
                                                                        ing at Rutok district in West Tibet, and then it devel-
                                                                        oped toward relatively regular Bonist models. When
                                                                        it came into the third stage, i.e. when the Bonist pa-
                                                                        goda was basically formed, it gradually spread to North
                                                                        Tibet. In other words, pagoda-shaped rock paintings
  Plate 17, 18, 19. Ladrodrang rock paintings at Rutok, Western Tibet   first appear in chiseled rock pictures; after they came
                                                                        into maturity, they spread to North Tibet.
appeared at Karin Banre (also called Banre), Repang                         The pagoda-shaped rock painting of North Tibet
District of Rutok County (Plate 16). At first sight, it                 are mainly concentrated in the caves on the shore of
has no great difference from the Drakpuk rock-paint-                    the lake of Namtso(gnam-mtsho), especially on the
ing altar, but the round top itself is a great change.                  Greater Tashi (bkra-shis)Island and Lesser Tashi (bkra-
However, other things might appear on the round top                     shis)Island (the later was also called Dong Lake) on
of the pagoda. For instance, on a Ladrodrang rock                       the eastern shore of Namtso Lake. The rock paintings
painting, a pillar appeared on the round top; on an-                    in the caves of these two islands are numerous and
other Ladrodrang altar, a flat platform is on the round                 unique, and their forms are varied. Surely it can be said
top, on which are images of the sun and moon. The                       that the pagoda-shape of West Tibet represents the
                                                        ZHANG YASHA   Pagoda-Shaped Pictures in Tibetan Rock Paintings               83

               Plate 21, 22, 23. Rock paintings on Drashi
               Island in Namtso Lake

Plate 20. Pagoda and Yungdrung. Rock                                                                   Plate 24, 25. Rock paintings on
paintings in a cave of Drashi Island in                                                                Eastern Island (also called Lesser
Namtso Lake of Northern Tibet                                                                          Drashi Island),in Namtso Lake

early and middle stages of the Bonist sacrificial rock                 North Tibet pictures always had an aerial-like straight
pictures, while the pagoda-shaped pictures in the caves                line (Plate 24). The same is true of the pagoda-shaped
on the shore of Namtso Lake represent the later stage                  pictures of the fifth stage of North Tibet (Plate 25).
of Bonist pagoda culture. The third stage of the Bonist                However, this kind of pagoda is similar to the later
rock pictures was a period in which the Bonist pagoda-                 Buddhist pagodas.
shaped altar attained maturity. An example (Plate 20)                      The Bonist pagoda of the later stage in North Ti-
may be found in the rock pictures in the caves of Tashi                bet presented a free style, with various characteristics,
Lake. The form of this pagoda was identical with that                  and the sacrificial culture was prominent, with strong
of the third stage in West Tibet. The forms of                         mystical elements. Plate 26 is a cave picture of a Bonist
Yungdrung indicate clearly that this type of pagoda                    sacrificial pagoda on the Lesser Tashi Island. On the
had a special relationship with the Bonist sacrificial                 base of the pagoda are two yungdrungs, and three more
altar.                                                                 around the body of the pagoda. The most conspicu-
    Although the rock paintings of the pagoda-shaped                   ous is the human form standing on the altar, but we
altar of north Tibet was introduced from West Tibet,                   do not know whether it is a witch or a sacrifice. Plate
yet they began to follow a path of their own in                        27 is similar to Plate 26; on its top is probably a human
development. They formed their own unique systems;                     form or a strange symbol. The base and body of the
the distinctions between them gradually became clear.                  pagoda are also quite strange; it looks like a terrace
On the altars in the West Tibet Drakpuk rock-paint-                    with many signs representing various spirits. The pa-
ing site are yak horns, while this kind of sacrifice has               goda-shaped pictures in the caves on Tashi Lake on
never been found in North Tibet. The sacrifices on                     the eastern shore of Namtso Lake in North Tibet not
the altars in North Tibet are trees (or something like
plants, see Plate 21, 22). This kind of altar and trees are
also found at the Donshampo rock-painting site, but
they seemed to be the pictures of the later stage, be-
cause there were Tibetan letters on the pagoda (Plate
                                                                                                               Plate 26, 27. Rock paint-
23). The pagoda-shaped rock pictures of the fourth
                                                                                                               ings on Eastern Island (or
stage of North Tibet were different from those of West                                                         Lesser Drashi Is-land),in
Tibet. They all had a round top, but the round top of                                                          Namtso Lake
84       CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

only have various shapes and mystic symbols, but also        a big collection of pagoda-shaped pictures, which
have Yungdrung symbols, characteristic of the Bon            means this area is a major Bonist cultural centre in
culture. The “bird” (eagle) worship also has a spectacu-     North Tibet. John Vincent Bellezza conducted a field-
lar representation in the Northern Tibetan rock              trip here to collect a great number of folk legends, and
paintings.                                                   proved that Namtso Lake was the Northern Tibetan
    In the Ladrodrang rock paintings in Ngari, North         Bonist cultural centre for a long time.14 The pagoda-
Tibet, eagle and early-stage pagoda sacrificial ritual co-   shaped rock pictures on the Greater and lesser Tashi
existed; but generally speaking, rock paintings of West-     (bkra-shis)Islands have proved his view-point from the
ern Tibet seldom put pagoda altars together with eagle-      angle of cultural relics.
worship in one and the same picture. This indicates
                                                             Evolution of pagoda-shaped picture in Tibetan rock paintings
that the eagle (or bird) worship was an important cul-
tural character of the ancient civilization of
Shangshung (this has been strongly confirmed by rock
paintings in Tibet). But the picture of the eagle (or
bird) seems more related to witchcraft (to pretend to
be a bird-man or adorn the witch with bird mask or
                                                             The first stage
bird-feather) of the witches (Bon followers), while the
pagoda altar itself was the object of worship by the
Bon followers.
    An example of combining pagoda-worship and bird-
worship appeared in the cave rock paintings on Namtso
Lake in North Tibet (Plate 28). This bird-shaped pa-         The second stage
goda is more of a sacrificial altar than a pagoda, and it
represented more directly the idea and custom of
Bonist bird-worship. On the right of Plate 28 are two
bird-shaped sacrificial altars, on whose tops, it seems,
are some vegetables. In front of these bird-shaped pa-
godas is an animal with a tree-branch (?) on its head. It
                                                             The third stage
seems to signify that the animal was a deity, or it means
the animal was a sacrifice. The Greater and Lesser Is-
lands in Namtso Lake are Bon rock-painting sites, with

Plate 28. Bird-shaped pagoda.
Rock paintings on the Great
Drashi Island,on the eastern shore
of Namtso lake,Northern Tibet                                The fourth stage

                                                             The fifth stage
                                                            ZHANG YASHA       Pagoda-Shaped Pictures in Tibetan Rock Paintings                   85

                                                                               were Buddhist things, and thought they were strange things, so they
                                                                               placed them on the top of the palace and worshipped them with
                                                                               food and gems. Because of this, from the year of the Monkey when
     (1) Li Xiangshi and Zhu Cunshi: Rock Paintings in the Helanshan
                                                                               he was 80 years old, Lhatotori Nyantsan’s white hair began to turn
Mountain Range and in Mt. Beishan, Ningxia People’s Publishing
                                                                               into black, wrinkles on the face disappeared, and became as young
House, Yinchuan, 1998.
                                                                               as a youth, and he lived to the age of 120. These sacred things de-
     (2) Su Bai, Tibetan Buddhism and Temple Archaelonogy, Beijing,
                                                                               scended from heaven were called Nyepo-samba. Lhatotori Nyantsan
Cultural Relics Publishing House, 1996.
                                                                               said before his death: “All my descendants should pay homage and
     (3) According to Mr. Han Junfeng, vice director of Shizuishan
                                                                               offerings to Nyepo-samba, and their prayers would come true.” It
cultural relics department, who acted as our guide to the Laobagou,
                                                                               was at this period that the Buddhist doctrine began to come to Tubo,
the rock carvings at this location are the most beautiful among the
                                                                               and the Tubo king Lhatotori Nyantsan was the reincarnation of
rock carvings in the Helanshan range, their discovery has not been
                                                                               Samantabhadra. (Taktsang Paljor Sangpo, A Collection of Chinese and
announced after they were found lest they would suffer man-made
                                                                               Tibetan Historical Records, Tibetan People’s Publishing House, Lhasa,
                                                                               1986, pp.85- 86. Translated from Tibetan into Chinese by Chen
     (4) By the end of the 11th century, the pattern of this kind of
Kadamkyi Chorten Pagoda already could be found in the frescoes
                                                                                    The “Blue Annals” has a relatively objective comment on this
of Drathang Monastery at Dranang County in Lhoka (present-day
                                                                               passage of Tibetan history: “When Lhatotori Nyantsan was on the
Zhanang County in Shannan District). Mr. Su Bai has always in-
                                                                               throne, ‘Tsedamani Dharani’ and ‘Sutra of the Names of Bodhisattvas’
sisted that the frescoes of the Drathang Monastery were made in
                                                                               descended from this sky, and they were worshipped piously. The
the Yuan Dynasty, and so deemed the pagoda was made around the
                                                                               country became prosperous and the king’s life prolonged. This was
13th century (see Su Bai, Tibetan Buddhism and Temple Archaeology,
                                                                               the beginning of the orthodox Buddhism in Tibet. Lonpa Pandita
Beijing, Cultural Relics Publishing House, 1996.), but now some
                                                                               said: As the Bon tradition was in the dominant position, it had to be
scholars, including us, hold that the frescoes should belong to the
                                                                               said that those things descended from heaven. In reality, Pandita
11th century. See our paper, Frescoes in the Tibetan Drathang Monastery
                                                                               Losentso and Lotsawa Nyitisen brought those things to Tibet. The
and An Analysis of the Arts in the Drathang Monastery.
                                                                               Tubo King could not read the scriptures nor understood their
     (5) The reason why rock paintings found around Qinghai Lake
                                                                               meaning. Soon afterwards, the pandita and lotsawa returned to India.
can be certainly ascertained to be related to the Tuyuhun people is
                                                                               This statement was relatively correct.” (Gos Shonupal, Blue Annals:
that, in addition to the original characteristics of the Qiang people,
                                                                               A History of Buddhism in Tibet,Tibetan p.26 People’s Publishing House,
there are prominent characteristics of the Hu people (or the north-
                                                                               1985. T ranslated from Tibetan into Chinese by Guo Heqing.)
ern Di people), such as pictures of a vehicle, tiger and camel. The
                                                                                    (12) Gos Shonupal, Blue Annals: A History of Buddhism in Tibet,
combination of two different cultural phenomenon in rock paint-
                                                                               Tibetan p.26 People’s Publishing House, 1985. Also see Tibetan docu-
ings proves that the formation of Tuyuhun people was fundamen-
                                                                               ments “Red Annals,” p.31 and “Taktsang Paljor Sangpo, ‘A Collection
tally the result of the emerging of the Qiang aboriginals and the Hu
                                                                               of Chinese and Tibetan Historical Records’ ”, p.68.
people that had come from outside. ---the author.
                                                                                    (13) Hye-cho in his “A Journey to the Five Hindus” said: “Another
     (6) Tibetan Cultural Relics General Survey Team: “A Report on
                                                                               month on the journey passed snow mountains, came to a small king-
the Survey of the Rock Paintings on the Tashi Island in Lake Namtso”, 1994.
                                                                               dom called Suvanatantara, which was a vassal state of Tubo. The
Li Y ongxian, “Primitive Arts in Tibet”, 1998. Tang Huisheng, Zhang
                                                                               people there dressed like those in North Hindu, but spoke different
Wenhua, “Qinghai Rock Paintings”, 2001.
                                                                               language. The climate there was very cold.” The Old and New “Tang
     (7) Li Yongxian, “Primitive Arts in Tibet”, Sichuan People’s Pub-
                                                                               Annals” have no mention of the western Women Kingdom, but when
lishing House, Chengdu, 1998.
                                                                               it talks about the eastern Women Kingdom in the Eastern Tibet, it
     (8) G. Tucci, “Tibetan Archaeology”, Chinese translation by Xiang
                                                                               confuses the Eastern Women Kingdom with the Western Women
Hongjia, Tibetan People’s Publishing House, Lhasa, 1987.
                                                                               Kingdom. The Old Tang Annals (the 197th juan) says that women had
     (9) Li Yongxian, “Primitive Arts in Tibet”, Sichuan People’s Pub-
                                                                               higher status than men, and the script of the Eastern Women King-
lishing House, Chengdu, 1998.
                                                                               dom was same as that of Hindus.The New Tang Annals (the 222th
     (10) John Vincent Bellezza: ANTIQUTTIES OF UPPER
                                                                               juan) says: “Their customs gave more attention to women and men
TIBET: An inventory of Pre-Buddhist Archaeological Sites on the
                                                                               had lower status.All noble women have manservants ... Children
High Plateau (Findings of the Upper Tibet Circumnavigation
                                                                               have their mother’s surname. The climate there is very cold; people
Expedition, 2000), Adroit Publishers, Delhi--110053, 2002.
                                                                               tend sheep and horses.The place produces gold.People’s customs
     (11) According to A Collection of Chinese and Tibetan Historical
                                                                               and habits are the same with those of Hindus.”
Records: “When Lhatotori Nyantsan was on the throne, a bronze
                                                                                    (14) John Vincent Bellezza: Divine Dyads Ancient Civilization
box descended from the sky on the top of Yumbulagang; in the box
                                                                               in Tibet. Library of Tibetan Words and Archives. First Edition 1997,
were the “Sutra of the Names of Bodhisattvas”, “Sutra of Precious Book-
                                                                               New Delhi. pp. 159-210.
Case”, a gold pagoda the length of a forearm, Chandramani-dharani,
and “Morality of repentance Sutra”, etc. And a voice was heard from
                                                                                               From China Tibetology (Chinese Edition) No.1, 2005
the sky: “People who can understand the meaning of these things
                                                                                                                   Translated by Chen Guansheng
will appear after five generations.” At that time nobody knew those
86     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

                    Further Understanding of
              the Local Official Post System of Tibet
              in the Period of the Republic of China

                                                                                             Wang Haiyan

    In the period of the Republic of China, Tibet was          cal background? At the end of the nineteenth century,
in a special historical period of development. The re-         after Britain and other Western countries invaded
forms in establishing a Tibetan system for appointment         Tibet, the Qing Government was forced to sign a se-
of official positions went through different stages. In        ries of unequal treaties. Gartok, Gro-mo and other
the system of the fusion of political and religious affairs,   places in Tibet gradually opened their commercial
mild reforms were carried out so as to adapt them-             ports and started business with foreign traders. As a
selves to different social changes and help maintain           result, China lost its tariff autonomy. The traditional
the situation of Tibet, because “mild reforms can not          agricultural and pastoral economy still played a lead-
only continue but also continue for a long time.” 1            ing role in Tibet, but, because of the dumping of West-
Meanwhile, these mild reforms offered certain oppor-           ern industrial commodities, Tibetan wool and other
tunities and possibilities for active adjustment in the        raw industrial materials were inevitably restricted in
development of other fields. From the perspective of           world markets, and Tibet’s natural economy almost
historical development, this paper intends to further          disintegrated. When Tibet’s backward agricultural and
expound the active measures taken by the Thirteenth            pastoral economy was passively affected by this eco-
Dalai Lama to promote internal reforms in the local            nomic transformation, the original political system
official post system of Tibet.                                 worked out by the ruling class was exposed to an un-
                                                               precedented impact. After the Revolution of 1911, the
I. The Social Conditions and the                               situation in Tibet changed dramatically. Offices set up
                                                               in Tibet by the Qing Central Government were ter-
Discontinuous New Policies in the
                                                               minated and the organizational system for the local
Early Period of the Republic of                                government of Tibet went into a period of transition
China                                                          and partial readjustment of official posts. Moreover,
                                                               contradictions emerged between the two Rin-po-che
    “Political actions are related to the environment of       systems of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and the Ninth
the process of their accomplishment. Therefore, they           Panchen. This resulted in not only in their disagree-
are all objective actions.”2 How did the Tibetan ruling        ment on political views about the development of Ti-
class respond to political changes against this histori-       betan society but also their uncompromising views and
                                    WANG HAIYAN    Further Understanding of the Local Official Post System of ...    87

plans for the reform of the social system. The “New            was defeated, it was too busy to attend to Tibet.”5 So,
Policies” adopted in the late Qing Dynasty were the            the Thirteenth Dalai Lama failed to realize his politi-
first attempt in the transition of a society with tradi-       cal plan and was exiled to Outer Mongolia. One year’s
tional politics and economy to a modern society. Zhang         stay in Khu-lun made him realize the importance of
Yintang and Lian Yu initiated departments to imple-            maintaining his political and religious position in Tibet.
ment the New Policies and started various reforms but          “Furthermore, the disagreement between the Thir-
they failed to obtain any results in their efforts to lead     teenth Dalai Lama and rJe-btsun-dam-pa urged the
Tibet towards modernization. The enclosed and ill-             Thirteenth Dalai Lama to return to Tibet quickly.”6
informed ruling group of the Tibetan upper class was           The Thirteenth Dalai Lama arrived in Beijing on Sep-
forced to reconsider this unprecedented innovation.            tember 3 of the thirty-fourth year of Emperor
In their administration, they inevitably had to show           Guangxu’s reign (1908.9.27). “He was received by the
concern for the specific roles and realistic needs of the      Emperor in Renshou Hall... and had conferred upon
official organs of the New Policies. The Qing Govern-          him the title of Loyal and Submissive Great Benevo-
ment twice pursued a policy of compromise during the           lent Self-subsisting Buddha of Western Paradise.”7
wars against Britain in Tibet, especially when Youtai          However, the treatment in receiving audience and con-
(Amban in Tibet) surrendered and withdrew the troops           ferring the title in Beijing was lower for him than for
at the cost of sacrificing the interests of Tibet. All this    the Fifth Dalai Lama. Under these circumstances, the
led to the gradual intensification of the divisions be-        Thirteenth Dalai Lama had to return to Lhasa. Though
tween the Amban in Tibet and the Dalai Lama, bKav-             advocating and negotiating, he failed to prevent the
shag (the local government of Tibet) as well as the            Sichuan army from entering Tibet. “On January 3 of
Three Major Monasteries (Se-ra Monastery, dGav-ldan            the Year of the Iron Dog of Tibetan Calendar, several
Monastery and vbras-spung Monastery). The Amban                thousand Sichuan soldiers reached Lhasa where a
in Tibet neglected ethnic and religious traditions and         Grand Summons Ceremony was being held.” 8 Under
“used special measures to restrict the lama system in          military pressure from the Qing Government, the
eastern Tibet, such as limiting the number of monks            Thirteenth Dalai Lama “worried about the dangers and
and weakening the authority of monasteries. This               fled to India with his followers.”9 Lian Yu sent a me-
caused suspicion and resentment from the monks in              morial to the Emperor saying, “We will refuse to re-
Lhasa.” 3 In addition, it also aroused discontent and          ceive supplies from Britain. If the Thirteenth Dalai
resistance from the local government of Tibet toward           Lama is urged to return to Tibet, we will receive him
residential officials dispatched by the Central                properly. We ask for permission.”10
Government. Some senior officials of the local gov-                The Thirteenth Dalai Lama’s experience in India
ernment of Tibet began to turn against reliance on the         endowed him with political ideas from different per-
Central Government to effectively maintain the sta-            spectives and helped him form his preliminary views
bility of Tibetan society.                                     concerning the fighting capacity of armies and local
    “Any governmental system will embody character-            economy. In addition, having witnessed the modern
istics of that era and the preference of the policy-           military weapons of the British armies in the two Brit-
makers. So, it is double-sided in designation.”4 The           ish invasions, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama began to at-
personal, restrictive role of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama        tach importance to developing Tibetan armies and
was closely related to his special experience. In 1904,        adopting Western military training. Hence, the effect
resorting to his special personal relationship with            of these stimulating historical events is clearly evident.
Dorjieff, his reading attendant, the Thirteenth Dalai          When the Thir teenth Dalai Lama was in the
Lama “hoped to depend upon the help of Russia... but           hinterland, he contacted British and Russian envoys,
at that time, Czarist Russia was at war with Japan in          expressing his concerns about the situation in West-
its attempt to seek hegemony in East Asia. Because it          ern countries. He became greatly interested in West-
88     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

ern political systems through his close contacts with        government of Tibet. New reforms were carried out
Britain and formed his own ideas about how to influ-         in the Tibetan local official post system in the follow-
ence the local government of Tibet.                          ing aspects: establishing power organs and power
    “From 1898 to 1911, the Chinese traditional politi-      spheres, setting up other administrative offices and
cal civilization began its hard transition toward            selecting officials. The establishment and administra-
modernization. Though, subjectively, it aimed at sav-        tion of Tibetan local official post system during this
ing the nation, objectively, it initiated the transition     historical period, especially under the circumstances
of political civilization in China.”11 The bourgeois re-     of suspicion and resistance from the local government
formers “injected new contents (modern attitudes such        of Tibet, exerted great influences not only on the de-
a s anti-feudalism, anti-ignorance and anti-                 velopment and reform of the system in ethnic regions,
backwardness) into obsolete forms (such as questions,        but also on the social, political and economic develop-
forms and terms in discussions) which both upset and         ment of Tibet. This enables us to make further his-
inspired their contemporaries.”12 The combination of         torical studies on the influences and restrictions of
nationalism and enlightenment fostered ideas for ex-         historical, cultural as well as regional factors on the
amining and changing the current situation. “ nation         local system of Tibet.
is virtuous, benign and strong, when it is engaged in
realizing its goals, and when it protects its actions        II. Administrative Division and
against external violence during its process of
                                                             Organization of the Official Post
realization.”13 The two Anti-British wars in 1888 and
in 1904 touched the Thirteenth Dalai Lama deeply.            System of Tibet
His understanding of the advanced material and po-
                                                                 The organizational system of the local government
litical civilization of Western countries impelled him
                                                             of Tibet consists of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, the
to respond to the challenge by imitating Western
                                                             Ninth Panchen Lama, Regent (Srid-sgrong), the Three
systems. In the early twentieth century, national lib-
                                                             Major Masteries, the Four Major Lings (Kun-bde-gling,
eration movements began to rise in Asian colonies.
                                                             zhi-bde-gling, bsTan-rgyas-gling and Tshe-smon-gling),
Britain limited its policies towards colonies and gradu-
                                                             dGa-ldan-khri-pa, the Tibetan National Assembly, and
ally changed its ruling policies in colonial countries.
                                                             rDzongs (grass-root units of the local government).
Hence, the living conditions were relatively improved
                                                             “Under the local government of Tibet were the local
for colonized countries and regions. After the outbreak
                                                             administrative posts at the level of sPyi-khyab (Gover-
of World War I, the major powers of the world turned
                                                             nor), most of which were established after 1911. They
their attention to Europe and their scramble for inter-
                                                             included Byang-spyi (Governor of Heihe), Lho-spyi
ests in Asian colonies became relatively less intense.
                                                             (Governor of Lho-kha), Dwags-kong-spyi-khyab
So, Britain and Russia reduced their direct interfer-
                                                             (Governor of Dwa gs-po and Kong-po Districts),
ence into Tibetan political and military affairs.
                                                             mNgav-ris-sgar-dpon (Governor of mNgav-ris), Gro-
    After the Thirteenth Dalai Lama returned to Ti-
                                                             mo-spyi-khyab (Governor of Gro-mo), Zhol-las-
bet in 1912, he began to carry out reforms and imple-
                                                             khungs, gZhis-ka-rtse-sPyi-rdzong, and mDo-smad-
mented the New Policies. Following the modern sys-
                                                             spyi-khyab14 (Governor of Chab-mdo).”15 Lhasa, the
tems of Western countries and integrating the frame-
                                                             residence of the Dalai Lamas, was the center of the
work of the New Policies in the late Qing Dynasty, he
                                                             administrative organs of the government. It had juris-
removed and established official departments, trying
                                                             diction over districts of local headmen, including dbus
to find an administrative model to adapt to the fusion
                                                             (central Tibet), gTsang (western Tibet), Chab-mdo,
of political and religious affairs in Tibet so as to main-
                                                             sDe-dge and La-stod, the district of thirty-nine ethnic
tain his political and religious position. Great changes
                                                             groups[16], vDam-gzhung District, district under the
took place in the administrative system of the local
                                    WANG HAIYAN    Further Understanding of the Local Official Post System of ...     89

jurisdiction of Sa-skya Abbot, sPo-bo District, Lha-           of four Drung-yig-chen-mos (chief secretaries), who
rgyab-ri District and vBri-gung District. After the            were all monk officials.”26 “The departments under the
Thirteenth Dalai Lama carried out the New Policies             direct jurisdiction of the local government of Tibet
within the local government of Tibet, some new de-             also included dMag-spyi-khang (commander in chief ),
partments were set up while the other administrative           gLa-cha-las-khungs (chief official in charge of receipts
systems basically inherited the framework of the mid           and expenditures), rTswa-cha-las-khungs (chief official
Qing Dynasty.                                                  in charge of loans), Par-khang-las-khungs, So-nams-las-
    The Thirteenth Dalai Lama took charge of all the           khungs, vBab-zhib-las-khungs, Ja-rtsam-las-khungs,
political and religious affairs and held the greatest po-      Ar-povi-las-khungs, sNang-rtse-shar-las-khungs, Zhol-
litical and religious power in Tibet. In early 1907 a          las-khungs (chief official in Lhasa Commission’s office),
post of Blon-chen was established, which was ranked            gsher-khang-las-khungs, dDe-zhib-las-khungs, Thab-
below the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and above the local            cha-las-khungs, rTse-yig-tshang, Tar-khang, sbrags-
government of Tibet. “There were three Blon-chens              khang, sMan-rtsis-khang and others.”27 Divided accord-
at first. The vacancies were not filled after the death        ing to their responsibilities, the government depart-
of two of them, and only one was left in 1926. The title       ments were in charge of administration and investiga-
was then changed into Srid-blon (temporary official).          tion of the economy, legislation, reform, the military
After 1937, the post existed only in name. The post            and other administrative fields. The Tibetan National
was restored in 1950 when two other Srid-blons 17 were         Assembly was established “with four Drung-yig-chen-
appointed. But it was annulled in 1952.”18 Srid-blon, as       mos and four rTsis-dpons forming the presidium. The
a special official post without a definite official rank,      members attending the assembly included (1) all monk
“took charge of transmitting orders and letters for the        and lay officials in Lhasa; (2) mKhan-pos from the
Thirteenth Dalai Lama and the local government of              Three Major Monasteries; (3) Hutuktu representatives
Tibet,”19 could contact the Thirteenth Dalai Lama di-          of the Four Major gLings; and (4) representatives of
rectly and participate in management of affairs. “The          labor.”28 In certain Tibetan affairs, districts were di-
local government of Tibet was the core organization            vided into major and minor rDzongs according to the
and under it were more than twenty departments in              population. “The whole Tibetan region was divided
charge of legislative and administrative affairs.”20 As        into fifty-three districts (rDzongs). Every district was
the highest administrative organ in Tibet, the local gov-      under the leadership of two officials (rDzong-dpons),
ernment of Tibet consisted of four bKav-blons (cabinet         one layman and one monk. Some important towns or
ministers) of the third rank, (one monk and three              remote districts were under the leadership of local of-
laymen). It adopted a panel discussion system to handle        ficials of higher ranks.”29 They were in charge of the
internal affairs, and “played a decisive role in the policy-   local administration, legislation, military affairs and tax
making of Tibet.”21 Among the departments directly             collection. rDzong-dpon’s effective administration,
under the local government of Tibet, “the most au-             implementation of their powers, and the relations
thoritative department was rTsis-khang, (the Bureau            among different rDzong-dpons played a crucial role
of Finance).”22 “rTsis-khang was under the administra-         in local military, civic affairs and communications
tion of three rTsis-dpons (finance secretaries) (layman        among districts in Tibet. Special officials handled the
officials of the fourth rank); and in the late 1920s, the      internal affairs of the Potala Palace, including sPyi-
number was increased to four.”23 “Their major duty was         khyab-mkhan-po (Lord Chamberlain), gSol-dpon-
to keep accounts and supervise manor tax collection.           mkhan-po (Master of Tea and Meals), gZim-dpon-
”24 Yig-tshang was a special department to transmit            mkhan-po (Master of Clothes), Chos-dpon-mkhan-po
opinions about religious affairs directly to the Thir-         (Master of Religious Ceremony), mGron-gnyer-chen-
teenth Dalai Lama. “It was also in charge of recruiting        mo (reception personnel) and the general manager of
and training monk officials.”25 “Yig-tshang consisted          the Potala Palace.
90     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

    The Ninth Panchen was in charge of the affairs of     politics. It was reformative improvement and
gTsang (Western Tibet). The administrative system         readjustment. For instance, the post of Srid-blon was
included bKra-shis-lhun-po Monastery, Nang-ma-            set up in an accidental event when the Thirteenth Dalai
sgang, and Bla-brangs. In November of 1923, after the     Lama fled from Tibet. Srid-blon, ranked under the
Ninth Panchen went to the hinterland, “he set up the      Thirteenth Dalai Lama but above the local government
Ninth Panchen headquarters in the hinterland, and         of Tibet, could directly participate in political and re-
later changed its name into the Ninth Panchen Coun-       ligious affairs. On one hand, the Thirteenth Dalai
cil of Khen-pos (mkhan-po)to replace the former           Lama, when handling administrative affairs, needed to
Nang-ma-sgang administrative organ of the Ninth           listen to all kinds of opinions within the local govern-
Panchen. It became his organ of power used to sum-        ment of Tibet; while on the other hand, the official of
mon his followers to make decisions.”30                   Srid-blon played the role of balancing and restricting
    In the period of the Republic of China, the regent    the power of the government so as to facilitate advice
was usually selected from the four major Hutuktus.        to the Thirteenth Dalai Lama to know and examine
mKhan-pos from the Three Major Monasteries and            all the subordinate departments. In assigning officials
Hutuktus from the Four Major gLings played impor-         of the government, in order to balance and restrict the
tant roles in Tibetan affairs. Rwa-sgreng Regent Coun-    powers of monk and laymen officials, “in all the de-
cil consisted of Bla-brang, Yig-tshang and the depart-    partments of the government including the local ad-
ment of close attendants.                                 ministrative organs, double official posts were assigned
                                                          with one monk official accompanied by one or several
III. Reforms in Adaptation and                            laymen officials.” 31 So, “a binary system was a very
                                                          unique phenomenon in the administrative system of
Their Implications in Modern
                                                          Tibet.”32 The laymen officials were selected only from
Times                                                     noble families. The purpose for this was to fulfill func-
                                                          tions of the government through their powers in Ti-
    In the period of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, the
                                                          bet on one hand; and on the other hand, to make the
local official post system of Tibet, through absorbing
                                                          officials uniform in social status. The positive roles and
advantages and eliminating disadvantages of the old
                                                          abilities to participate in politics of the officials from
system, developed into a set of administrative institu-
                                                          noble families should be recognized. After the depart-
tions of the local government suitable for the historic
                                                          ments of Par-khang-las-khungs, So-nams-las-khungs,
transition. In this special historical period, many po-
                                                          Ar-povi-las-khungs, Tar-khang, sbrags-khang, and
tential factors and various restrictions co-existed. So
                                                          sMan-rtsis-khang were set up to suit a modern
we can say that in the period of the Republic of China,
                                                          economy, some departments did not effectively per-
the establishment and administration of the local of-
                                                          form their administrative duties, for “new things and
ficial post system of Tibet were carried out through
                                                          new ideas could hardly penetrate deeply because of
partial elimination of tradition on one hand and imi-
                                                          strong resistance from religious and traditional
tation and amendment of mechanism on the other
                                                          thinking.”33 Some departments were even restrained
                                                          in their functions and powers. Nevertheless, the set-
1. The establishment of institutions                      ting up of those departments met the needs of imple-
and division of functions and powers                      mentation and political practice of the New Policies.
became clearer and covered all areas                      Modern transportation, post office, telegraph and tele-
                                                          phone facilitated communications between Tibet and
of social life.
                                                          the outside world. The administrative decisions and
   The establishment of new administrative depart-
                                                          orders of the local government of Tibet could also be
ments met the needs of the New Policies and modern
                                                          transmitted. “Ula cows and horses, (important trans-
                                   WANG HAIYAN    Further Understanding of the Local Official Post System of ...   91

portation tools in Tibet) could only be levied by gov-        tary ideas, but also gradually developed military
ernment officials”34 as well as Ula (unpaid service).         equipment, set up arsenals and bought advanced weap-
Clear division of government departments with com-            ons through the British-Indian Government. Though
patible responsibilities and powers could avoid shift-        the reform of the new army did not continue, and a
ing responsibility onto others or cross-management.           Tibetan army trained completely with modern mili-
    The establishment of the Tibetan National Assem-          tary skills was not established, the role of the army in
bly should be examined objectively. Though in some            politics was increased and the original intention of
particular issues, it did not really solve internal prob-     making the army a strong support for carrying out the
lems of the government in democratic ways, and after          New Policies deserves attention. The Thirteenth Dalai
the Ninth Panchen fled to the hinterland, “monk and           Lama and the local government of Tibet had the high-
lay officials of the Three Major Monasteries and the          est military power. dMag-spyi, as the highest military
Tibetan National Assembly issued a declaration”35 to          commander, had certain power in appointing and re-
condemn his activities in the hinterland. However, as         moving subordinate officers. In this military system,
a democratic channel and administrative organ to re-          officers’ noble family status and terms of holding a post
alize partial democracy, it is of innovative significance     were clearly stipulated. This reflected an unsystematic
to the fusion of political and religious affairs in Tibet.    awareness of border security and an embryonic form
From the members attending the assembly, we can see           of defense strategy.
that though the Thirteenth Dalai Lama held the great-         2. Administrative structure was im-
est power in administration in Tibet, the Three Major         proved based on the understanding
Monasteries and the Four Major gLings could have
                                                              of the hinterland and the outside
their opinions on important issues of Tibet. Therefore,
when the Thirteenth Dalai Lama was handling affairs,          world.
there remained in his policies and measures the traces            In the period of the Constitutional Restoration and
of balancing forces of different parties.                     Modernization of 1898 and the Revolution of 1911, in-
    The training and selection of officials were stan-        novative personnel, in their pursuit of survival and
dardized to a certain extent. “ Tibetans who wanted
                                All                           salvation, began to know about the modern political
to become lay officials, after their graduation from          civilization of the West and tried to design a Chinese
Lhasa normal schools, should enter rTsis-khang to             political model by following the Western model. The
study writing and calculation.”36 In all districts, two       New Policies of the late Qing Dynasty followed the
officials, (one monk and one layman), took charge of          pattern of constitutional government. “They repro-
civilian and military affairs. “In military organizations,    duced in law that the final goal of the political reform
dMag-spyi (commander in chief )37 was appointed by            of China was to establish a Western-style constitutional
the Dalai Lama, and mDav-dpon (senior military                monarchy.”43 In the period of the Republic of China,
officer) 38 by the local government of Tibet through          the local government of Tibet was influenced by the
dMag-spyi-khang. The appointment of Ru-dpon 39                restoration ideas from the hinterland and learned the
(battalion commander) submitted by dMag-spyi-khang,           Western political system from reforms of different
was approved by the local government of Tibet, while          systems in the hinterland. For instance, it appointed
brGya-dpon40 (company commander) and lding-dpon41             officials to negotiate with the Korkas. Realizing the
(platoon leader) were directly appointed by dMag-spyi-        necessity of solving problems in border trade and re-
khang. Officers ranked above Ru-dpon were all selected        gional conflicts, it also appointed special officials to
from noble families, and officers from civilians would        deal with trade and border affairs. Nevertheless, ob-
be lower in rank than Ru-dpon.”42 The Thirteenth              jectively speaking, those departments were set up un-
Dalai Lama not only adopted new military units and            der the special circumstances of solving historical
Western training methods, introduced modern mili-             problems. In July of 1942, the so-called “Bureau of For-
92     CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

eign Affairs” was restored44 in order to seek for help      a special department to manage and supervise all
from Western countries. “The Trade Delegation of            departments, nor did it introduce a political system to
Tibet” visited India, Britain and America. However,         match the new economy. The idea of imitating West-
Britain and America never acknowledged it as a repre-       ern political systems could only be found between
sentative delegation of a country. The so-called “Bu-       monk and lay officials of high rank and in the process
reau of Foreign Affairs” was a product of Western in-       of building administrative systems, the government
vasions that took advantage of Tibet when relations         only partially imitated Western systems in order to
between Tibet and the Central Government were               maintain its political and religious position and the
abnormal. China was always on the weak side in for-         system of the fusion of political and religious affairs.
eign affairs. As part of this, the local government of      It basically inherited the policies carried out in the
Tibet attempted to bypass the Central Government            Qing Dynasty in such aspects as political foundation,
and relied on direct communications with Western            land system and financial system. This was related to
countries to exert pressure on the National Govern-         its main economic approach at that time. What de-
ment of the Republic of China. In fact, the “Bureau of      serves more attention is that in the Tibetan political
Foreign Affairs” was not acknowledged by international      system of the period of the Republic of China, the ac-
societies, but its establishment obviously revealed that    tions of the government played a restricting role in
both the old traditional ideas and the enclosed society     social development. Though sharp contradictions in
of Tibet were being violently impacted by the outside       the local government of Tibet and conflicts occurring
world.                                                      among different political sections, and the appoint-
3. The system of the fusion of politi-                      ment of monk and laymen officials went side by side
                                                            with internal power struggles, such as the resignation
cal and religious affairs developed ac-
                                                            of glang-mdun Srid-blon, and Rwa-sgreng Rin-po-che’s
cording to latent rules.
                                                            being forced to leave his office. Nevertheless, until the
    The Thirteenth Dalai Lama’s New Policies covered
                                                            Democratic Reform, no radical changes took place in
social life as well as innovation and improvement of
                                                            the political system of the local government of Tibet.
political systems. They solved internal contradictions
                                                            This shows that the official post system during this
and partially dissolved the Tibetan crisis. During this
                                                            period played certain roles in readjusting the relation
period, there were no social forces or groups who were
                                                            between economic foundation and superstructure of
powerful enough in Tibet to counterweight the local
                                                            Tibet, maintaining the Tibetan political situation and
government, nor was there any large-scale local warfare.
                                                            keeping constant contact with the hinterland.
In an attempt to remove obstacles from all social classes
and reduce pressure from the outside, in the period of
                                                            IV. Conclusions
the Republic of China, the local government of Tibet
carried out reforms and innovations in the official post
                                                                In the early period of the Republic of China, in-
system of Tibet and formed a vertical administrative
                                                            tense political conflicts occurred within the ruling
system with all the departments under the leadership
                                                            group of the local government of Tibet, which coordi-
of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. “In Chinese traditional
                                                            nated the claims of regional autonomy in the
politics, importance was attached to functions of the
                                                            hinterland. After the Amban in Tibet withdrew from
government. Each official had his own obligations and
                                                            the political system of the local government of Tibet,
responsibilities, and each official was assessed accord-
                                                            the official post system of Tibet without officials from
ing to his qualifications. And then, who would be re-
                                                            the hinterland to participate in politics, revealed its
sponsible to manage and supervise those officials?”45
                                                            regional and ethnic characteristics. Due to complicated
Whereas, the local government of Tibet did not form
                                                            and capricious historical factors, there existed negli-
an administrative system to conduct mutual restraints
                                                            gence and defects in the administrative system of the
and supervision among departments, it did not set up
                                               WANG HAIYAN        Further Understanding of the Local Official Post System of ...                         93

local government of Tibet. It reflected that in the de-                         Guanzhong, Wang Yuping: On the System of the Fusion of Political and
                                                                                Religious Affairs, Beijing: Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology,
velopment and transition of the system, not only ups
                                                                                Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, 1983, p.117.
and downs but also many irretrievable factors were                                       a
                                                                                     6.Y Hanzhang: Biographies of the Dalai Lamas, Beijing: People’s
involved. Compared with other historical periods, the                           Publishing House, 1984, p.210.
official post system of Tibet in the period of the Re-                               7.Miaozhou Master: History of Buddhism in Mongolia and Tibet ,
                                                                                Nanjing: Jiangsu Guangling Ancient Books Press, 1993, p. 128.
public of China went through more trials and adopted
                                                                                     8.Historical Data Research Committee of the People’s Political
more innovative measures. In this period, the relation-                         Consultative Conference of the Tibet Autonomous Region: Selec-
ship between Tibet and the Central Government was                               tions of Historical Data of Tibet (11)——Annul of the Thirteenth Dalai
remarkably different from that between other prov-                              Lama, Beijing: Publishing House of Nationalities, 1989, p. 118.
                                                                                     9.Zhu Xiu: Important Events of Tibet in Sixty Years, 1925, p. 22.
inces of the hinterland and the Central Government.
                                                                                     10.Wu Fengpei: Memorials from Lian Yu in Tibet, Lhasa: Tibet
The conflicts among warlords of the hinterland, waves                           People’s Publishing House, 1979, p.73.
of revolutionary movements and a relatively stable situ-                             11.Liu Shijun: Studies on Transition of Politics and Civilization in Mod-
ation in Tibet with the Thirteenth Dalai Lama as its                            ern China. p.62.
                                                                                     12.Li Zehou: On Thoughts of Modern China (Vol.Two) , Hefei Anhui
core leader were the political backgrounds to make the
                                                                                Arts Publishing House, p. 457.
official post system of Tibet systematic.                                            13.[Germany] Hegel, translated by Wang Zaoshi: The Philosophy
    Analyzing the process of social modernization of                            of History, Shanghai Bookstore Publishing House, 1999, p. 78.
Tibet, we can see that the official post system of this                              14.mDo-smad-spyi-khyab is also named Chab-mdo-spyi-khyab.
                                                                                Though the local government of Tibet established sPyi-khyab in
period standardized and maintained the original eco-
                                                                                this district and appointed rDzong-dpons in some par-
nomic form and system of Tibetan Buddhist                                       ticipate in administrative affairs, Chab-mdo remained relatively in-
monasteries, for its reform of the tax collection sys-                          dependent until the liberation of Chab-mdo in 1950.
tem did not affect the economic form of monasteries.                                 15.Compiling Team of The Introduction of the Tibet Autono-
                                                                                mous Region: The Introduction of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Lhasa:
Reforms in the official post system smoothly pushed
                                                                                Tibet People’s Publishing House, 1984, pp.311-313.
the process of modernization in Tibet. Gradual reforms                               16.“The district of thirty-nine ethnic groups originally was called
carried out among people with relatively conservative                           the thirty-nine Huerpo ethnic groups, that is, thirty-nine Mongo-
cultural backgrounds did not cause political upheavals                          lian tribes.” Written by Compiling Team of The Introduction of the
                                                                                Tibet Autonomous Region: The Introduction of the Tibet Autonomous
or lead to retroversion. Compared with violent wars,
                                                                                Region, Lhasa: Tibet People’s Publishing House, 1984, pp.311-313.
reforms will better reflect people’s political demands                               17.Here Srid-blon should be changed into Srid-tsab.
when their political conscience is still obscure. Hence,                             18. [Italy] Petech, translated by Shen Weirong, Song Liming:
in this period, the official post system developed                              Aristocracy and Government of Tibet, Beijing: China Tibetology Press,
through constant conflicts as well as innovation in
                                                                                     19.Huang Fensheng: A Brief History of Tibet, Beijing: Publish-
systems, so the reforms of the society were also car-                           ing House of Nationalities, 1985, p. 383.
ried out step by step.                                                               20.The Second Historical Archives of China, China Center for
                                                                                Tibetan Studies, Reports of Tibetan Affairs by Huang Musong, Wu
                                                                                Zhongxin, Zhao Shouyu, Dai Chuanxian, Beijing: China Tibetology
Notes:                                                                          Press, 1993, p. 170.
                                                                                     21.[Italy] Petech, translated by Shen Weirong, Song Liming: Ar-
     1.[Britain] Edmond.Burke, translated by Jiang Qing, Wang                   istocracy and Government of Tibet, Beijing: China Tibetology Press,
Ruichang et al: Freedom and Tradition, Beijing: Commercial Press,               1989, p. 8.
2001, p. 140.                                                                        22.[America] Melvyn C. Goldstein, translated by Du Yongbin:
     2.[America] Harold.D Lasswell, translated by Y           ang Changyu:      The Demise of the Lamaist State, Beijing: Current Events Publishing
Politics, Beijing: Commercial Press, 1999, p.121.                               House, 1994, p. 18.
     3.[Britain] Younghusband, translated by Sun Xichu: India and                    23.[Italy] Petech, translated by Shen Weirong, Song Liming: Ar-
Tibet, Lhasa: Information Research I nstitute of Academy of Sociol-             istocracy and Government of Tibet, Beijing: China Tibetology Press,
ogy of Tibet, 1983, pp.276-277.                                                 1989, p.9.
     4.Liu Shijun: Studies on Transition of Politics and Civilization in Mod-        24.[America] Melvyn C. Goldstein, translated by Du Yongbin:
ern China, Shanghai: Fudan University Press, 2000, p.62.                        The Demise of the Lamaist State, Beijing: Current Events Publishing
     5.Dung-dkar. Blo-bzang-vphrin-las, translat ed by Guo                      House, 1994, p. 18.
94       CHINA TIBETOLOGY Number 2, September 2008

     25. [America] P Carrasco, translated by Chen Y      ongguo: Land       Yuan Dynasty, Beijing: China Tibetology Press, 1994, p. 2619.
and Polity in Tibet, Lhasa: Chinese Documents of Tibetology Com-                 36.The Second Historical Archives of China, China Center for
piling Office, Academy of Sociology of Tibet, 1985, p. 81.                  Tibetan Studies, Reports of Tibetan Affairs by Huang Musong, Wu
     26.The Second Historical Archives of China, China Center for           Zhongxin, Zhao Shouyu, Dai Chuanxian, Beijing: China Tibetology
Tibetan Studies, Reports of Tibetan Affairs by Huang Musong, Wu             Press, 1993, p.178.
Zhongxin, Zhao Shouyu, Dai Chuanxian, Beijing: China Tibetology                  37.dMag-spyi, the commander in chief of Tibetan army, com-
Press, 1993, p. 170.                                                        manding all the high ranking officers of the Tibetan army, the offi-
     27.Compiling Team of The Introduction of the Tibet Autono-             cial post was assigned to one monk and one layman officers.
mous Region: The Introduction of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Lhasa:             38.mDav-dpon, senior military layman officers of the Tibetan
Tibet People’s Publishing House, 1984, pp.310-311.                          army, commanding 500 soldiers.
     28.The Second Historical Archives of China, China Center for                39. Ru-dpon, low ranking layman officers of Tibetan army, com-
Tibetan Studies, Reports of Tibetan Affairs by Huang Musong, Wu             manding 250 soldiers.
Zhongxin, Zhao Shouyu, Dai Chuanxian, Beijing: China Tibetology                  40.brGya-dpon, low ranking layman officers of Tibetan army,
Press, 1993, p. 170.                                                        commanding 125 soldiers, a rank lower than Ru-dpon.
     29.[America] P. Carrasco, translated by Chen Yongguo: Land                  41.Iding-dpon, low ranking layman officers of Tibetan army,
and Polity in Tibet, Lhasa: Chinese Documents of Tibetology Com-            commanding 25 soldiers, a rank lower than Brgya-dpon.
piling Office, Academy of Sociology of Tibet, 1985, p. 81.                       42.The Second Historical Archives of China, China Center for
     30. rDo-rje-tshe-brtan: Social Formation of Feudal Serfdom of Tibet,   Tibetan Studies, Reports of Tibetan Affairs by Huang Musong, Wu
Beijing: China Tibetology Press, 1996, p. 210.                              Zhongxin, Zhao Shouyu, Dai Chuanxian, Beijing: China Tibetology
     31. [Britain] Richardson, translated by Li Youyi: A Short History      Press, 1993, p.176.
of Tibet, 1978, P. 15.                                                           43.Liu Shijun: Studies on Transition of Political Civilization of Mod-
     32. [Canada] Tom Grunfeld, translated by Wu Kunming, Wang              ern China, p. 96.
Baoyu: The Making of Modern Tibet, Beijing: China Tibetology Press,              44.“It was first set up in the year of iron cock of the Tibetan
1990, p. 8.                                                                 calendar (1921), with one monk official, one layman official and one
     33.Shes-rab-nyi-ma: Studies on Modern Tibetan Affairs, Lhasa: Ti-      translator.” (Historical Data Research Committee of the People’s Political
bet People’s Publishing House; Shanghai: Shanghai Bookstore Pub-            Consultative Conference of Tibet Autonomous Region: Selections of Histori-
lishing House, 2000, p. 107.                                                cal Data of Tibet (13) , Beijing: Publishing House of Nationalities, 1989,
     34.The Second Historical Archives of China, China Tibetology           p. 26.
Researd Center, Reports of Tibetan Affairs by Huang Musong, Wu                   45.Qian Mu: New Opinion about Chinese History, Beijing: SDX
Zhongxin, Zhao Shouyu, Dai Chuanxian, Beijing: China Tibetology             Joint Publishing Company, 2001, p. 100.
Press, 1993, p.189.
     35.China Tibetology Researd Center, The First Historical Ar-
chives of China: A Collection of Historical Archives about Relations be-                  From China Tibetology ( Chinese Edition )No.3,2006
tween the Central Government and the Local Government of Tibet since the                                                Translated by Li Hua

Shared By: