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Manchu Patronage and Tibetan Buddhism during the First Half of the Ch'ing Dynasty Grupper, Samuel Martin, 1938- 1984

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109. The text has lus dngos-po'i don ma-lus-pa . . ., surely ellipsis for lus
dngos-po'i gnas-lugs don ma-lus-pa . . .
110. gzhung-'grel 9b-10a, GST VII.1-4
110a. Especially the Guhyasiddhi and fhSnasiddhi: see Phyag-chen gan-
mdzod 4a6, 7a5, 161a2 (quoting fhanasiddhi, as p. 53 of the GOS Ed.)
111. gzhung-'grel 18a5 describes the subtle self of the cig-car-ba and gives
information on mi-shigs-pa'i thig-le.
112. PPD, introduction
113. Here I have deliberately maintained the noun/verb ambiguity in "being."
114. On rdo-rje 'dzin and rdo-rje 'chang, see N118, Pers 202.
115. Gzhung-'grel 344al: 'bras-bu rang-gi ngo-bo skyed-par byed-pas
nyer-len-gyi rgyu dang/ 'bras-bu de'i khyad-par skyes-pas than-cig byed-
pa'i rkyen zhes-bya'o/
116. See Broido (1979, 1983a)
117. See e.g. the quotations from the Tattvasarigraha and the Inanasiddhi
at Phyag-chen gan-mdzod 162ab.
118. Padma Dkar-po's works contain innumerable references to zung-'jug
(yuganaddha) including at least three systematic treatments. The most elementary of these is in the Rim-lngar 'khrid-pa (Lam-bsdu 161a5-163bl);
most of this is general, but the modes of the cig-car-ba, thod-rgal-ba and
rim-gyis-pa are reviewed separately at 162a4. The treatment in the Phyag-
chen gan-mdzod (155b6 ff.) is also general. The most advanced treatment is
found in the Gzhung-'grel (370a4 ff.) and the Khrid-yig (136a4, much briefer); it applies mainly to the cig-car-ba, and as expected is the only one divided into ground, path and goal (a division he does not use much for the
other two types). The Rim-gyis 'jug-pa'i lam section of the Gzhung-'grel
does not give a systematic discussion of zung-'jug. These bibliographic
points lead us to expect that the gzhung-'grel/khrid-yig account is the one
which will best illustrate the themes of this part of the paper; but it will turn
out that the other treatments will provide helpful elaborations on certain
Samuel M. Grupper
Hans-Rainer Kampfe, iVz' ma'i 'od zer/Naran-u gerel: Die Biographie des 2.
Pekinger Leah skya-Qutuqtu Rol pa'i rdo rje (1717-1786( (Monumenta
Tibetica Historica, Abt. II, Bd. 1, Wissenschaftsverlag, Sankt Augustin,
1976) 109 pp., 181 plates.
From the latter half of the seventeenth century the series of reincarnations known as the Lean skya Qutugtus served as an important link between the Manchu court and the Mongol, Tibetan and Chinese elites. Rol
pa'i rdo rje, the second Lean skya Qutugtu, stemmed from an illustrious
Tibetanized-Mongol family of western Kansu province whose members
assumed prominent roles as scholars and administrators of the Dge lugs pa.
As a novice, Rol pa'i rdo rje learned Tantric practices from the most
prestigious scholastic of the day, the Abbot of Dga' ldan monastery, Khri
chen Bio bzari bstan pa'i ni ma. At once a distinguished scholar and a
celebrated teacher—he tutored the Ch'ien-lung Emperor in Tibetan Buddhism and Sanskrit—the Lcari skya Qutugtu also wrote prolifically on
philosophy and hagiography. In fact, a review of his achievements indicates he played a more prominent role in Ch'ing cultural life than is commonly supposed. As editor and philologist he brought together and supervised the translation commissions for the Tibetan Tanjur into Mongolian
and the Chinese Kanjur into Manchu, compiled a Tibetan-Mongolian Dictionary, the Mkhas pa'i 'byuh gnas, and wrote a commentary to Thon mi
Sambhota's grammar. He authored words on 'Phags pa Lama, the Seventh
Dalai Lama Bio bzari bskal bzari rgya mtsho, and his former teacher, the
Abbot of Dga' ldan. But he is perhaps best known for the diplomatic
negotiations he conducted with the Dalai Lama, the Panchen Lama, and
Rje btsun dam pa Qutugtu concerning the tumult caused by the Zungar-
*I wish to express my gratitude to Dr. Ruth Dunnell for having generously taken the time to read earlier drafts of this essay and for having discussed
with me the broad historical context of the problems 1 have described in
this paper.
Kalka wars in Mongolia. His friendship with the emperor enabled him to
speak with special authority on matters of importance to the Manchu ruling house and, conversely, to express directly to the throne the concerns of
the Dge lugs pa. The biography, in short, deals with the life of a cultivated,
knowledgeable representative of Tibetan Buddhism and companion of the
Manchu emperor who enjoyed great privilege and moved in the highest
echelons of Ch'ing society as a scholastic and man of affairs. The record of
Rol pa'i rdo rje's remarkable spiritual, literary and diplomatic activities
therefore provides a personal focus for the religious and ritual concerns of
the Manchu court when the growing power of the Ch'ing dynasty neared
its zenith in Inner Asia.
Hans-Rainer Kampfe has accumulated and brought under control a considerable amount of data in preparing his informative introduction to this
useful text. Methodologically, he generally follows the model for textual
studies of bi-lingual Tibeto-Mongol literary sources set out by Rudolph
Kaschewsky in his work on the biography of Tsori kha pa.1 Kampfe has
mastered the philological and literary sources dealing with the complex
Ch'ing period materials and has put together an edition that is nearly an explication de texte. The result is an excellent piece of scholarship and a most
provocative introduction to a literary monument of the mid-Ch'ing period.
The editor presents his materials in four parts. In part one, he considers
the history of the text, presenting well-ordered bibliographic data, the
whereabouts of various copies in specific manuscript collections and a
discussion on the text's literary relationships. He then gives a brief account
of its author, Nag dbari thub bstan dbari phyug, Rol pa'i rdo rje's brother,
covers other sources on the life of Rol pa'i rdo rje, and provides a thumbnail sketch placing the subject within the historical context of his times. In
part two, he ranges, though not as extensively as did Kaschewsky, over the
text folio by folio to summarize its essential facts in what often amounts to
a line-by-line paraphrase (and in many cases a word-for-word translation)
of the Tibetan text and its Mongol translation. In part three, he provides
notes to the previous sections and includes a glossary of religious and
secular Tibetan, Mongol, Manchu and Chinese titles and technical terms
associated with individuals named in the text, as well as identifications of
place names. Part four consists of facsimiles of the Tibetan and Mongol
The assessment of the critical source value of this hagiography presents
special problems of interpretation. The description of the diplomatic and
religious duties Rol pa'i rdo rje carried out as liaison between the Ch'ien-
lung Emperor and the Dge lugs pa prelates ruling Tibet and Mongolia,
together with specific accounts of court-centered Tantric rites, makes it
clear the biography is addressed to members of the Tibeto-Mongol clerical
community. It is of significant value therefore in attempting to determine
how eighteenth century lamas looked at their vocation.  Because the
author's major concern was to depict the life of a Buddhist saint with
respect to his influence on the lives of others by his example and doctrine
(and in the case of the Lcari skya Qutugtu those he influenced were
members of the Manchu imperial household) it raises an historiographical
question: Were the Manchu rulers devout believers or merely generous
benefactors who assumed their role as patrons of Tibetan Buddhism along
with their sovereignty of the eastern portion of Inner Asia?
In what follows, I will attempt to outline this historiographical issue
from the vantage point of Manchu studies and the cognate discipline of
Mongolistics, to see what these two areas of study can bring to bear on the
question of Tibetan Buddhism during the first half of the Ch'ing dynasty.
A glance at the religious observances of the court mentioned in the
biography makes such events seem inappropriate, if not inexplicable, had
not the ruling house indeed professed Tibetan Buddhism. In this regard,
most specialists of Ch'ing studies relying predominantly on Chinese sources
have skirted the issue of Manchu conviction in Tibetan Buddhism, favoring
the interpretation that imperial patronage began as a measure for holding
the loyalty of the Mongol nobility. Such a policy obviously came to serve
Sino-Manchu ambitions in establishing protectorates in Mongolia and
Tibet. Now, thanks largely to David Farquhar's exploration of the
antecedents of the Manchu theory of state and religion, a conceptual
framework exists to explain how the monarchy organized its relations with
the Tibetans and Mongols of the Ch'ing state.7
Behind the policies for the restablization of Buddhist Inner Asian society
established by the Pax Manjurica lay a fundamental conception of Buddhist monarchy, one of the constitutional features of which was close
cooperation of crown and clergy. Its interpreters exhorted the emperor to
promote publication and study of the sutras, and encouraged his devotion
and that of his family and officials to the Dharma as the basis for preserving the state against natural calamities, public disorders and foreign invasions. The association of the Manchu ruler with his chaplain provided a
measure of continuity with established precedents, which, in fact,
amounted to the Manchu application of rites and customs that antedate
even the Yuan pattern.
Medieval Chinese documentary and hagiographical sources contain
references to foreign acaryas as National Masters (Kuo-shih), noting that
they initiated various T'ang emperors as Bodhisattvas/Jen-wang or
Cakravartins/Lun-wang. The Sung dynasty followed T'ang precedents in
subsidizing translations of canonical works including those outlining the
benefits religiously-inspired monarchs could expect. For example, affairs of
state held a prominent place in the fen wang hu kuo po jo po lo mi to Ching
and in the Lun wang ch'i pao Ching, Tantric works which urged consecrated sovereigns to adopt the twin goals of Bodhisattvahood and universal dominion.3 That the Manchus in the seventeenth century would have a
high regard for related Tibetan doctrines while conversely—as a matter of
theology as well as self-interest—Tibetan prelates would be supporters of
the regime, seems plausible in light of the traditional application of Buddhist theology to statecraft.
While this religiously-motivated stance of the ruler helps to make sense
of the reasons why the Manchus would adopt the Tibetan rite, the elements
of these theocratic and political equations are still incomplete and the manner in which they were integrated with one another is poorly understood.
Consequently, much remains to be done in reconstructing events and
assessing states of minds before it can be shown why the Manchus involved
themselves in Buddhist affairs in general and for what ends in Tibet and
Mongolia in particular. But whether considered as a reflection of political
realities or measured in terms of partisan or international objectives, the ex-
istance of Manchu patronage does not affect the point that the ruling house
had a sincere belief in Tantric doctrines or that imperial policies were
shaped by a conviction in the truth of Buddhist teachings.
Therefore imperial support for Tibetan Buddhism went beyond reasons
of personal piety—not to mention notions of legitimacy and stability,
crucial though such notions were. The recognition of mutual interests between the Manchu ruling house and various hiererchs of Tibetan Buddhism
preceded official contacts with the Dge lugs pa in 1637.4 Institutionally and
theologically, formal relations between the throne and Tibetan prelates
drew heavily, albeit not suprisingly, on Mongol experience and preferences
for the Sa skya pa. Though the history of the Sa skya pa mission to the
Manchus remains unwritten, it may not be premature to describe the circumstances whereby certain lamas succeeded in establishing themselves at
the pre-dynastic Manchu court, and the effects of their having done so.5
To summarize what follows, the early accord between the Manchu ruling house and Tibetan Buddhism took the form of a traditional Buddhist
monarchy, a constitutional feature of which was the partnership of the
ruler and his chaplain. Here I would like to consider, in a limited way,
what the influence of this relation was on the ideological development of
the Manchu monarchy during the initial reigns of the Ch'ing dynasty.
Study of several Tibetan Buddhist monuments in Manchuria illuminates
pre- and early Ch'ing religious behavior, allowing us to see something of
the formalism of the spiritual bond betweeri the Manchu rulers and their
religious advisors. Furthermore, the identification of this factor will serve
as an orientation for some simple points concerning the role Tibetan Buddhism played as a major unifying force in the Manchu polity during the
reigns of Nurhaci (Ch'ing T'ai-tsu, r. 1616-1626), the founder of the Manchu dynasty, and Abahai (T'ai-tsung, r. 1626-1643),6 his son and successor,
and the cultural precedents it established for later reigns.
More than half a century ago, Oshibuchi Hajime, the lapanese
epigraphist, outlined the characteristics of the formative stage of the Manchu conversion to Tibetan Buddhism.7 Confining my remarks largely to his
findings, the ensuing points present a number of details that will help to
order the evidence regarding a religiously-inspired monarchy.
Early seventeenth century Tibeto-Mongol sources refer to contemporary
Tibetan missionaries established in the Cahar Khanate, while supporting
Manchu documents suggest the movement of individual lamas eastward
from Cahar into its dependecies in Manchuria.8 This period, which coincides with the extension and consolidation of Nurhaci's regime into northwestern and southern Manchuria, also marked the arrival of Tibetan missionaries at the Manchu court. At an undetermined date prior to 1621,
Buddhist influence had progressed to the extent that Nurhaci had taken initiation' and appointed his lama, the Olug Darhan Nangso,10 as Dharma-
master of the Manchu realm.11 Consequently, the emperor placed under
the Olug's jurisdiction a temple outside the capital at Liao-yang, the Lien-
hua Ssu, and endowed it with landed property and servitors, the so-called
La ma Yuan.'2 This is the first attested instance of Manchu patronage of
Tibetan Buddhism. An appropriate inference to be drawn from the pro-
sopographical data is that the lama—a possessor of rights of lordship over
several hundred Korcin and Sahalca households who followed him to the
capital—took his place in Manchu society as a peer of the Manchu and
Mongol aristocratic retainers of the emperor.
These facts, whatever the details, show that Nurhaci's consecration and
the resulting benefice established on the outskirts of the pre-dynastic
capital as a patrimony for the Olug—a property which subsequently
became the inheritance of his successors—mirror the emperor's desire to be
associated with Tibetan Buddhist ideals. Taken together with the lama's
"national" prestige (cf. n. 11), they point toward Manchu acceptance of the
social doctrine associated with the dichotomy of society into secular and
religious spheres, an arrangement that had long distinguished Tibeto-
Mongol culture.
Nor do these cases stand alone. A review of the onomastic evidence
makes it possible to place the founding Manchu emperor personally with
respect to such ideas.13 At present, however, it remains an open question
whether one should interpret the establishment of an imperial chaplaincy
by Nurhaci roughly at the same time as his declaration of dynastic ambitions as emperor of the Later Chin (Hou Chin) dynasty in 1616 as an expression of religious endorsement for Manchu expansionism.14 The true
significance of these events, 1 feel, lies not in the ruler's need to hold the
support of a group of Mongol partisans perse, but rather in the cultural appeal  of  Tibeto-Mongol   Buddhism   and  the   aura  of  authority  of  the
cakravartin which Nurhaci's involvement in the lama-patron relationship
Given the foregoing vantage point, 1 would like now to connect
Nurhaci's involvement in the lama-patron relationship to the flourishing of
Tibetan Buddhist activities that took place during the reign of his son,
Abahai. The religious interests underlying Nurhaci's conversion anticipated, in part, Abahai's decision in 1635 to found the Temple of
Mahakala at Mukden in order to enshrine the image of the guardian deity
of the Sa skya pa, the remains of the Sa skya Lama Sar pa Qutugtu, and the
Mongol Kanjur. Political considerations surrounding the fall of the Cahar
Khanate notwithstanding, when the group of Sa syka lamas who had
transferred their allegiance from the last Mongol qagan, Legdan, consecrated Abahai, they affirmed a link with the religious practices embarked
upon by Nurhaci and the Olug Darhan Nangso Lama.16
At the same time, the throne began to alter its relation to religious
authority. A review of the evidence for the endowment of Tibetan Buddhist communities at Mukden during the following decade shows extensively funded branch temples and stupas for a grand program of temple
construction.17 This period of augmented imperial support belongs to an
epoch of changed political circumstances, i.e. the extermination of the
Cahar Khanate and the rapid westward expansion of Manchu power over
the Mongols south of the Gobi. Over the course of a generation
(1610s-1640s), the dual principle of the theoretical equality of the emperor
and his chaplain, and by extension the parity of state and religion—the
distinguishing trait of the medieval Mongol-Sa skya pa alliance (Tib. lugs
ghis Mong. qoyar yosun1')—came to occupy a place in Manchu ideas
about statecraft. This came about partly because of Manchu alliances with,
and annexations or conquests of, various Mongol tribes.
With these facts in mind, most would agree (nor would I dispute) that
this pro-Buddhist policy dictated the main lines of strategy in relation to
the regime's Mongol allies, and was aimed at their accepting Manchu
authority. Adoption of the model of cakravartin monarchy not only
enhanced the Manchu emperor's ability to govern the Mongols, but imitated intentionally the pattern of groups aYid institutions traditionally
thought to have unified Yuan society. Outwardly, this explanation shifts
only slightly the received interpretation that the throne patronized Tibetan
Buddhism to ensure Mongol support. But here 1 wish to stress a critical difference in emphasis. As well as satisfying Mongol expectations about the
nature of the evolving Ch'ing state, Manchu support for Buddhism defined
a characteristic of the realm's political development according to the
medieval Mongol-Sa skya pa model:  a polity in which a religiously-
inspired monarchy headed a theologically-grounded state.
As a result, the foundation of an imperial sanctuary at the capital
dedicated to the worship of Mahakala1' was more than an elaborate gesture
of good intentions and, in fact, indicated an act of continuity with
medieval and contemporary Mongol images of monarchy. On several occasions the sanctuary provided the appropriate ritual environment when
the Sa skya pa enlarged the imperial household's sacral image according to
traditional Tantric initiations.20 These initiations and public rites coincided
with the period when Abahai received investiture as qagan and secured the
homage of his Manchu and Mongol supporters. Not only did these rituals
entitle Abahai, himself part Mongol, to be called emperor, but they furnished him with the overarching ideological basis for establishing a successor state to the medieval Yuan dynasty and for reconstituting its
political components.21 As a further step toward that end and as a consequence of his enthronement, Abahai proclaimed the Dayicing (Mong.
Dayicingi^Ch. Ta-ch'ing) dynasty.22
Keeping in mind the relation of these ideas of applied theology to the
central event of formally establishing the dynasty, 1 would argue that the
Manchu state, at this stage of its development, had taken on the trappings
of a traditional Buddhist realm. It had enthroned a sacral ruler, sanctioned
the theoretical dual organizaton of state and religion first endorsed by
Nurhaci and the Olug Darhan Nangso Lama,23 and embraced as its own the
dynastic cult of Mahakala to celebrate and preserve the Manchu ratification of state and religion. Against this background it is apparent that as early as 1635, if not already in the time of Nurhaci, the Sa skya lamas (with
imperial encouragement) had recast the medieval claim for their brand of
Buddhist Tantrism to be the state religion of the nascent Ch'ing dynasty.
A further sign of the honor the Manchus paid to these Sa skya pa ideas
took place in 1643 when Abahai's religious advisor Biligtii Nangso began to
direct work on the extension of the Mahakala complex. Under the shared
patronage of Abahai and Fu-lin (i.e., the Shun-chih Emperor, r.
1644-1662), the Sa skya pa completed in 1645 an elaborate complex of four
temples and adjunct stupas—the Rnam par snari ba'i lha khan, the Thugs
rje chen po'i lha khari, the Tshe dpag med mgon gyi lha khari, and the Dus
kyi 'khor lo'i lha khari—to encircle the Temple of Mahakala, the palace of
the cakravartin, and the capital of Mukden within a mandala.24 On the one
hand, the construction of this architectonic representation of the Buddhist
cosmological order (an arrangement reminiscent of the ensemble of Bsam
yas at the old Tibetan imperial precinct of Brag mar) celebrated Abahai's
succession as cakravartin, defined Manchu dynastic right, and set the Manchu capital and realm under the protection of Mahakala.25 On the other
hand, it identified the interests of the ruling house with its sanctuary and
the presiding lamas while demonstrating an abiding conviction in the efficacy of the Sa skya pa world view.26
If the above data and the facts and arguments presented in their support
are reliable, a number of conclusions can be drawn about early Manchu
imperial devotion to Tibetan Buddhism:
There seems sufficient reason to assert that the first two reigns followed a
cultural pattern well-known to students of Tibetan history. Both rulers accepted Tibetan Buddhism, both showed deference to their lamas (Abahai,
in fact, patronized several),27 and both endowed their chaplains' temples in
commemoration of their initiations. Both, their posthumous personas as
T'ai-tsu and T'ai-tsung notwithstanding, were consecrated rulers whose
vows committed them publicly and personally to support Tibetan Buddhism.
These experiences, I contend, represent more than episodic dealings with
Tibetan Buddhism. The acts of imperial participation and material
assistance documented in the epigraphical and architectural monuments
and collateral sources show that Nurhaci and Abahai regarded themselves
as Buddhist monarchs, and illustrate the official recognition of the religious
bonds the first two sovereigns had with their lamas. This religious theme is
especially apparent in the iconography of the Mahakala complex, perhaps
the most eloquent of contemporaneous architectural expressions of Tantric
Buddhist dynastic right to be found outside Tibet. Beyond question, in
terms of conception and scale, it appears to dwarf any seventeenth century
sanctuary except the Potala and points to having played an analogous role
in the evolution of Manchu imperial culture.
In this regard, the early Manchu Buddhist monuments constitute
evidence favoring the interpretation that the most powerful political institution of the Manchu polity—the monarchy—at its political centers of
gravity, first at Liao-yang and then at Mukden, identified itself with the
ideals of Tibetan Buddhism long before it claimed to rule the majority of
Tibetans and Mongols. The self-definition of a religiously-inspired monarchy ruling a Buddhist state obviously dignified the sense of emerging Manchu national importance. But the most striking thing, in historiographical
terms, is that it marked the formation of a realm ideologically indistinguishable from the manner in which the contemporary Mongol
khanates viewed themselves. Together with other elements of Mongol
statecraft and trappings preferred by the Manchu ruling house prior to the
conquest of China, the founding emperors embraced the notion of a
Tibeto-Mongol style Buddhist monarchy as one of the components of imperial authority, though in what proportion to the whole remains undetermined.
What this means, among other things, is the approval in Manchu ruling
circles of Mongol-Sa skya pa ideas. But my point is that, based on the
cultural pattern established in the pre- and early dynastic periods profiled
above, this body of material should be interpreted as evidence of a Manchu
predilection for a Buddhist-inspired polity. Certainly no one would argue
that contemporary Mongol monarchies lacked this religious inspiration.
Yet the material evidence relative to Buddhist devotion in the early Manchu Khanate surpassess any of the published monuments from the seventeenth century Mongol-Buddhist states. Moreover, I would argue that the
Manchu ruling house, at this stage, chose to patronize Tibetan Buddhism
not simply because it wished to subordinate the Mongols to Manchu rule.
Rather, because of its own mixed cultural legacy and the realm's diverse
ethnic compositon of Manchus, Mongols and Chinese, it anticipated that
its dynastic ambitions as a successor state to the Yuan dynasty would be
better served by adopting the Mongol-Sa skya pa pattern of the hybrid
political and social order that had existed under medieval Mongol rule. The
Mukden Buddhist monuments, and to a lesser degree the complex at Liao-
yang from which they most likely evolved, symbolize a Buddhist world
order conceptually distinct from the Sinocentric model conventionally attributed to the Manchus in their efforts to form a state in the pre-dynastic
To recapitulate: of the factors surveyed in this essay to demonstrate the
existence of the partnership of the ruler and the representatives of Tibetan
Buddhism, I feet two are the most significant for defining the nature of the
relationship between them. First, the devotional—the formal recognition of
a personal spiritual bond between the Manchu emperor and his chaplain,
the so-called lama-patron relationship. Second, the institutional—the
establishment of Tibetan Buddhism as an officially recognized, state-
supported national institution.
Both factors contributed to the theological foundation of the Manchu
monarchy. The evidence shows that cordial relations between the imperial
household and the Sa skya pa in the 1620sT630s relied on reciprocity between crown and clergy remaining steadfast, and did not depend on the
outcome of international relations prompted by geopolitical ambitions in
Tibet or Outer Mongolia, or by the political limitations the Manchus imposed on allied Inner Mongolia. Under the influence of the Sa skya pa, the
Manchus instituted the fundamental bond that the Mongol ruling house
had established with its chaplains at the formative stage of conversion to
Tibetan Buddhism during the period of the Mongol world empire. Without
enumerating all the problems surrounding this relationship, it should be
obvious that the Manchu organization of state and faith paralleled
medieval and contemporary Mongol conventions, an association of crown
and clergy rooted in Tibetan practice.
Meanwhile, at Liao-yang and then Mukden, the Manchus had formulated a coherent policy towards Tibetan Buddhism and perpetuated it
once they had moved the government to Peking. Prolonged involvement
with the Sa skya pa meant that the Manchus brought with them a set of
well-formed expectations about the nature of a Tibeto-Mongol Buddhist-
inspired monarchy and a full comprehension of the lama-patron relationship when the Manchu regent, Dorgon, proposed to meet the Dge lugs pa
hierarchs at Peking in 1651.
While Ming loyalists operated in the southwest of China, the Ch'ing had
strategic reasons for entering into favorable relations with the Dalai Lama.
But an alliance with newly unified Tibet was not the only Manchu concern.
More formidable by far were the internal conflicts that had to be resolved if
foreign diplomacy was to succeed. Divisions within the imperial clan that
surfaced following Dorgon's sudden death in 1650 posed a dangerous
threat to central authority and required the immediate attention of Manchu
policy makers. Dorgon's successor, lirgalang, an advocate of imperial
prerogatives, viewed the lack of unity and rampant partisanship28 as the
most critical political factors to be overcome in reasserting imperial rights.
Consequently, talks with the Dge lugs pa mission convened amidst grave
political strains that plagued the regime until the middle of 1652.
How, in this instance, internal politics determined external policies may
never be known. But some consideration of the weakened condition of the
monarchy and the recent overthrow of Dorgon's faction could not have
failed to have affected the course of the negotiations. As the restoration of
the monarchy was the one solid achievement of his regency, lirgalang
could not afford to forego traditional Buddhist sanction to make it enforceable. On this account, we have seen that ideological currents in the
highest circles of Manchu society had moved in the direction of a universalis!, Buddhist-inspired succession for some time. The new dispensation of
1653 that replaced the Sa skya pa with the Dge lugs pa culturally and
ideologically benefitted the regime's well-established Buddhist identity.
Given the consequence of the antecedents and models ratified by Nurhaci
and Abahai and their respective chaplains, a case can be made for the logic
behind why the Shun-chih Emperor supported the Dge lugs pa and gave his
protection to the Dalai Lama.29 The emperor's patronage (under Jirgalang's
guidance) was a measure of his satisfaction with the sacralization of his
restoration, and an endorsement of his policy of centralizing power over
the aristocracy. At the same time, this authentication of his reign serves to
explain why Dge lugs pa influence at court was not called into serious question, and how the sect's capacity to pursue its religious mission with more
autonomy was strengthened.
The Manchu-Dge lugs pa accord—an arrangement that won the sect
significant state subsidies—produced profound social and economic consequences too. If this pro-Buddhist policy was followed, as the evidence indicates it was, it was of considerable importance, since the effect was to increase the community of interests between the Mongol lords and their
Tibetan Buddhist chaplains as a class, together with the Manchu ruling
house and its chaplains. What impact Tibetan Buddhism had on the lives of
Manchus outside court circles is an important subject requiring further
study.30 At the very least, however, it appears as if the discriminatory
allocation of power over socially subordinate groups and landed property
to the Dge lugs pa, in those regions under Manchu domination, grew out of
a favorable climate of opinion surrounding the continuing contributions of
Buddhist ideas in the evolution of the Manchu monarchy. It did not, as it is
sometimes disparagingly said, begin as an instrument of social control to
instill Mongol submission to the Manchu emperor, but instead developed
in accordance with traditional Tibeto-Mongol cultural standards which the
Manchus acknowledged as their own. This does not mean, of course, that
individual hierarchs and monastic institutions always treated their subjects
in an exemplary fashion, any more than members of the lay aristocracy so
treated theirs.
Having detected the reality of a religiously-inspired Manchu monarchy,
and keeping in mind the inevitable gaps between theory and practice, what
historiographical relevance does it have for Ch'ing era Sino-Tibetan and
Sino-Mongolian studies7 There are, in my opinion, two interrelated interpretive changes that stand out.
First, it shifts the focus of early Manchu patronage away from Tibetan
Buddhism as merely a pragmatic policy instrument for Tibeto-Mongol affairs towards intrinsic religious motivation and its corollary principle of
Buddhist monarchy.
Second, it means that Manchu ideology with respect to the Tibetans and
Mongols has to be re-interpreted in terms in which the development of an
idea of a traditional, cohesive Buddhist state becomes more important, and
the notion that patronage of Tibetan Buddhism served the Manchus' divide
and rule policy becomes much less important.
That Nurhaci, Abahai and the Shun-chih Emperor used their religious
charisma and personal relationships with their lamas to influence their Buddhist subjects as circumstances permitted seems undeniable. But to suggest,
as have some, that Manchu rulers patronized Tibetan Buddhism as a state
policy predominantly to impose a system of divide and rule, results in a
distorted and misleading interpretation of the amalgam of personal relations, religious beliefs and institutional factors that made for affairs of state
and faith. As in the case of the Yuan dynasty, Manchu policy toward
Tibetan Buddhism must be explained by personal religious considerations
as well as by partisan and ideological motives.
The early history of crown and clergy outlined above brings into relief
the sincere regard the Manchus had for the lama-patron relationship.
Subsequent Manchu rulers thought this relationship had a salutary effect
too, and took care to credit the first emperors with establishing relations
with Tibetan Buddhism. The fact that the K'ang-hsi Emperor endorsed it at
the time he enfeoffed the first Leah skya Qutugtu31 attests to conditions
prevalent during his reign and to the vitality of the constitutional principle
of the crown-clergy partnership. Therefore, however remote the
1620s-1640s and the 1690s-1780s (i.e., the era of the early Manchu-Sa skya
pa alliance and the era of the mature Manchu-Dge lugs pa alliance) are
from each other, it is important to know that they are linked to a cultural
legacy connected with a theoretical organization of the regime. The
paradigm of a state ruled by a Bodhisattva or a cakravartin may seem
abstruse, yet it mirrored an imperial ideology— whatever the political
realities—where a hierarchy of shared religious values and experiences influenced the conduct of political and social relations. While one might object that the first two or three reign periods do not clinch the case for a
customary dynastic partnership between ruler and chaplain or its corollary
dual principle, an overview reaching through the Ch'ien-lung period
presents definite elements of continuity in spiritual values, and from it
emerges evidence for imperial confidence in this bond.
Toward that end, the biography of Rol pa'i rdo rje contains significant
information relative to the antecedents of, and continuities with, the pre-
and early dynastic eras. The text is, in my opinion, illuminated by the
author's awareness of the Buddhist heritage of the Manchu ruling house,
against which heritage he has measured contemporary eighteenth century
devotional acts. Given the nature of this evidence, several events of the
mid-Ch'ing period reported in the biography may now be considered in
order to see how they accord with the conclusions on imperial conviction
in Tibetan Buddhism I have drawn above.
As noted in the text, the Lcari skya Qutugtu engaged the emperor in rites
which in the lama's thinking had an underlying theological continuity with
the court-Buddhism of the Yuan32. The Ch'ien-lung Emperor, despite competing demands for his attention, had an abiding interest in the distant
origins of his house's support of Tibetan Buddhism. The text contains data
for understanding the imperial family's consciousness of its Buddhist
heritage and its desire to continue its role, which formally obligated the
ruler to uphold the Dharma and protect its institutions:
—In 1743, the Ch'ien-lung Emperor invited the Lean skya Qutugtu and
the Abbot of Dga' ldan to his palace at Mukden. They examined and paid
their respects to the monastery—the shrines of the body, speech and mind
[of the Buddha], and the shrine of the chosen divinity [thugs dam-yi dam]
of the refuge of sentient beings, 'Phags pa Lama, the image of Mahakala
—and other Buddhist shrines built by the emperor's father, grandfather,
and ancestors.33
—In 1746, the Lean skya Qutugtu bestowed the Cakrasamvara initiation34 on the Ch'ien-lung Emperor, a rite the Qutugtu equated with the
establishment of the lama-patron relationship begun by Qubilai and 'Phags
pa Lama.35
—At an unspecified date during the Yung-cheng period (1723-1735), an
image of the Ch'ien-lung Emperor's father, the Yung-cheng Emperor,
depicted as a lama, was installed at the Sung chu Temple, the Lean skya
Qutugtus residence in Peking. This was because the emperor was regarded
as the bearer of the crown of the Yellow caps and the Buddha's universal
doctrine, as a great lord of religion and the immeasurable compassion he
possessed as a lama who had increased ancient (religious) tradition,36
—In 1777, the Lcari skya Qutugtu held a requiem for the emperor's
—In 1780, he translated at the Ch'ing court for the Panchen Lama, who
praised the Ch'ien-lung Emperor as protector of the Yellow Doctrine, and
granted him the Mahakala and Cakrasamvara initiations.38 At that time,
the Panchen Lama entrusted the Yellow Doctrine and the protection of the
chief monasteries of Tibet to the emperor.3'
While the underlying historical character of these rites and iconographies
remains undetermined, they furnish incontrovertible evidence that the pattern of a religiously-inspired ruling house in effect during pre- and early
Ch'ing dynastic times was preserved and even extended and perfected in
the Ch'ien-lung period. Nor were such associations with Tibetan Buddhism
in any way inconsistent with the Confucian and shamanistic ceremonies
held at the Manchu court; similar state ceremonies and animistic rites had
been performed at the pro-Buddhist Yuan court. A detailed investigation
and sensitive interpretation of the biography promises to reveal more
about the contemporary religious attitudes and practices of the Manchu
imperial household, its participation in Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies and
the general level of Buddhist culture and belief at court.
Even at the present level of research, the specific points relative to court
observances, consecrations and iconography extending from pre-dynastic
to mid-Ch'ing times indicate that the Manchu imperial household held to a
characteristic Buddhist ethos. The existence of this cultural pattern appears
comparable to the confidential relationship of crown and clergy that existed under the Yuan. It is not surprising, given the range of these circumstances, that the Manchu ruling house had a positive and unstinting
regard for Tibetan Buddhism as a pillar of the regime since the early seventeenth century.
In the areas of the history of the relations of the Manchu sovereigns with
Tibetan Buddhism and the religious convictions of the ruling house, to
mention just two possible subjects for further study, the biography of the
Second Lean skya Qutugtu serves as a significant source for fruitful work
to be done. Cultural and intellectual historians as well as Buddhoiogists
stand in Kampfe's debt for making this hagiography available.
1. Kaschewsky, Das Leben des lamaistischen heiligen Tsongkhapa
Blo-bzah-grags-pa (1357-1419) Dargestellt und erlautert unhand seiner
Biographie Quellort alien Gliickes, Bonn 1967.
2. David Farquhar, "Emperor as Bodhisattva in the Governance of the
Ch'ing Empire," HfAS 38, 1975, 5-25. In opposition to this viewpoint
stands the influential divide-and-rule theory pioneered by Owen Lat-
timore. Inner Asian Frontiers of China, Boston 1967 reprint, p. 219: "The
Manchu Empire, intervening in the affairs of the Mongols, 'froze' the
development of the Lama church and effected a permanent cleavage between the Mongol state (divided between many princes) and the Mongol
church (unified and powerful but not supreme), thus preventing a national
unity of all the Mongols." See also ibid., pp. 232-233.
3. Amoghavajra translated the Jen wang hu kuo po jo po lo mi to Ching
Taisho, no. 246) into Chinese in 765, and Danapala, a Tantric active at the
court of Sung T'ai-tsung in the late tenth century, translated the Fo shuo
lun wang ch'i pao Ching (Taisho, no 38).
4. Regarding the onset of Manchu-Dge lugs pa relations in 1637, cf. I.J.
Schmidt, Geschichte der Ost-Mongolen und ihres Furstenhauses verfasst
von Ssanang Ssetsen Chung-taidschi der Ordos, St. Petersburg 1829,
(hereafter Erdeni-yin tobci), pp. 289/19-291/7.
5. The history of Tibetan missionaries at the pre-dynastic court represents
a neglected area of Manchu studies. Farquhar concentrates on the Chinese
and Tibeto-Mongol ideological antecedents and their consequences during
the dynastic era. Prior to 1637, he observes "no evidence available shows
that Buddhism of any kind was a very important religion [to the
Manchus)." See, "Emperor as Bodhisattva," p. 20. Walther Heissig, "A
Mongolian Source to the Lamaist Suppression of Shamanism in the 17th
Century," Anthropos 48, 1953, 1-30; 493-537, p. 500, earlier came to a
similar conclusion.
6. Cf. Arthur Hummel, Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period (1644-1912),
Taipei 1970; for Nurhaci see pp. 594-599; regarding Abahai, see pp. 1-3.
7. A review of the early epigraphical sources and architectural monuments
provides a point of departure for the study of Tibetan Buddhism in the
Ch'ing era; any work on contemporary Sino-Tibetan or Sino-Mongol
studies otherwise must remain partial in its reach and conclusions. These
undervalued Buddhist historical sources, the Sino-Manchu inscription of
1630 on the outskirts of the pre-dynastic capital at Liao-yang and the
quadralingual (Manchu-Mongol-Tibetan-Chinese) inscription of 1638 at
Mukden, furnish data regarding the Buddhist principles of organization
that contributed to the theoretical development of the Manchu polity. For
analyses of these texts, see Oshibuchi, Hajime, "RyOyB Rama-fun Hibun
no Kaisetsu," Naito Hakase Kanreki Shukuga Shinagaku Ronso, edited by
Haneda Toru, Kyoto 1926, 327-371. See also Oshibuchi's corrections
published in "RyOyo Rama-fun Hibun no Kaisetsu Hosei," Shirin 22,1937,
724-729 and Manshu hiki ko, Tokyo 194&.
8. The Mongols, especially the Cahars, wielded considerable control over
western Manchuria in the 1570s. See Erdeni-yin tobci, p. 200/9-18. Given
Cahar domination of the region for nearly half a century, and Legdan
Qagan's patronage of Sar pa Qutugtu, the presence of Sa skya pa missionaries in his Manchurian dependencies does not strike me as an
unreasonable assumption.
9. The Sino-Manchu Inscription of 1630 commemorates the foundation in
1621 of the La-ma Yiian, a patrimony granted the Olug Darhan Nangso
Lama. However, it also refers to the fact that he had initiated the emperor.
Presumably, this rite took place during an earlier visit that occurred at an
undetermined date. The lamas obituary in the Chiu Man-chou tang [Early
Manchu Archives, hereafter CMCT], 1-10, Taipei 1970, v. 2, pp.
1091-1093, dated May 2, 1622 but referring to October 6, 1621, refers to
two trips he made to the capital. The same source attests to the fact that
Nurhaci promised to build a stupa for the lama's remains.
For present purposes, I regard the most important information found in
the 1630 La-ma Yiian stele to be lines 4-5 of the Chinese text, which run:
(4] As soon as [the lama] reached our nation, he
[5] met with T'ai-tsu Huang-ti (Nurhaci) who honored his ritual and
revered the master, (thereafter) diversely and habitually supporting him.
The monument, to my way of thinking, represents as clear an expression
of the reality of the lama-patron relationship as one is ever likely to find in
a Buddhist document meant for secular purposes. Despite his zeal to build a
state, Nurhaci took care to exempt clerical property and personnel from
taxes and corvee. This arrangement, demonstrated further by the lama's
Manchu title darhan (<Mong. darqan "tax-free"), had its roots in medieval
Mongol-Sa skya pa practices.
The emperor's initiation into the Tibetan rite drew on a long line of
Tibeto-Mongol historical antecedents. For theoretical reasons, I wish to
draw attention to the existence of the concept associated with conversion
to Tantric Buddhism, the formal relationship between the convert and his
religious master, the so-called mchod yon "lama-patron" relationship. The
establishment of a religious bond called for the faithful's compliance with
two obligations: 1) the religious subordination of the initiate to his teacher,
and 2) the neophyte's liability for his teacher's material well-being.
Nurhaci undoubtedly complied with the second of these two ties. For
remarks concerning various aspects of the lama-patron relationship, see
Zahiruddin Ahmad, Sino-Tibetan Relations in the Seventeenth Century,
Roma 1970, pp. 95-97; D.L. Snellgrove, Buddhist Himalaya, Oxford 1957,
p. 196. Concerning the notion of royal consecration, cf. the latter's article
"The Notion of Divine Kingship in Tantric Buddhism," in The Sacral
Kingship, Leiden 1959, pp. 204-218; also see Stephan Beyer, The Cult of
Tara, Berkeley 1973, pp. 67-68.
10. The text of the 1658 inscription at La-ma Yiian and the Manchu annals
serve to establish the fact that the court provided an estate for the Olug
Darhan Nangso Lama. Moreover, analysis of the form olug and the
translations of it in the collateral Mongol (yeke), Manchu (amba), and
Chinese (ta) epigraphical sources (cf. notes 7 and 9) as "great" serve to identify the word as the Manchu transcription of the Turkic form(s)
olugrvulug. (Cf. Gerard Clauson, An Etymological Dictionary of Pre-
Thirteenth Century Turkish, Oxford 1972, p. 139, ulug "'greatness' both
physical and in [an] abstract moral sense; 'seniority' and the like.'") The
presence of this epithet among the lama's titles taken in conjuction with his
designation in the annals as a Tanggut (or a Tibetan, according to the
Chinese text of the 1630 inscription) indicate Amdo or the Tibetanized
Uighur communities of Western Kansu as his place of origin and point
toward his possible Turkic ancestry. Given the significant body of evidence
that Uighur Buddhism had received heavy doses of Tantric influences since
Yiian times, I do not find the likelihood of an Uighur lama preaching
Tibetan Buddhism problematical. In fact, one encounters the term ulug
qualifying the names and titles of a number of Sa skya pa dignitaries during
the Yiian period. For attestations in the literary sources, see George Kara
and Peter Zieme, Fragmente tantrischer Werke in uighurischer Uberset-
zung, Berlin 1976, pp. 76 and 110: "Ulug Sisrap «Tib. Ses rab) baxsi." As a
point of departure for the Uighur translation literature of Tibetan Buddhism, see their editions of the Lam zab mo bla ma'i rnal 'byor in Die
uighurischen Ubersetzungen des Guruyogas "Tiefer Weg" von Sa-skya
Pandita und der MahjusrTriamasamgTti, Berlin 1977, and Ein uighurisches
Totenbuch. Naropas Lehre in Uighurischer Ubersetzung von vier
tibetischen Traktaten nach der Sammelhandschrift aus Dunhuang British
Museum Or. 8212 (109), Budapest 1978. See also, Kara's
"Uiguro-Tibetica," in Proceedings if the Csoma de Koros Memorial Symposium held at Matrafiired, Hungary 24-30 September 1976, edited by
Louis Ligeti, Budapest 1978, 161-167, especially p. 162.
The Manchu form nangso is a transcription of the Mongol loanword
nangso (<Tib. nan so). According to Giuseppe Tucci, Tibetan Painted
Scrolls, 3 vols., Roma 1949, v. 1, p. 35, it represents an abbreviation of the
compound form nan so chen mo, a title characteristic of the Mongol-Sa
skya pa alliance of the Yiian period. In an edict of Gyantse, cited by Tucci,
the highest official of the medieval state was the nan so:
[This] dignity, in its administrative organization, was certainly modelled
on the Sa skya pa's organization of the state; the Gyantse princes for
several generations had held the office of Nan e'en, i.e. Nan so e'en mo
[the Grand Nan so] at the Sa skya pa court. But from the Dalai Lama's
biographies we see that this office was also found in other states [1949. I.
43J, and in fact continued ancient traditions. The Nan so presided over
the administration of justice [Gyantse genealogies, p. 34], and was sort of
Prime Minister; the King's or the abbot's orders were made executive by
this official, who naturally was also their fif^t counselor. . . . Round the
sovereigns, whether they were the Sa skya pa abbots or the P'ag mo gru
pa's or the lords of the Gyantse (and in lesser measure, round all the
families with any territorial jurisdiction), a petty court was gathered,
headed by these Nan so . . .
These attributes roughly characterize the office of those dignitaries who
bore the title nangso at the various Mongol courts in the late sixteenth and
early seventeenth century and relate equally well to the nangsos resident at
the courts of Nurhaci and Abahai. Hypothetically, the use of the Uighur-Sa
skya pa elements olug and nangso in the compound clerical title of
Nurhaci's chaplain permits one to pose the question whether the lama the
Manchus officially credited with initiating the emperor was a Sa skya pa
missionary. The career of the Olug, a contemporary of the Sa skya pa Sar
pa Qutugtu, provides complementary material for the study of missionary
activities during this epoch. The sect's preeminence at the Cahar court since
1617 and its proselytizing efforts in the east (cf. notes 8, 12 and 14) are further cases in point. In my opinion, the Olug Darhan Nangso Lama's work
in Manchuria should be seen within the larger framework of the Sa skya pa
missionary history of the early seventeenth century. This makes sense inasmuch as no contemporary Manchu evidence has emerged concerning a sustained Dge lugs pa mission farther eastward than Western Manchuria prior
to the activities of Neyici Toyin (who went to Mukden twice between 1629
and 1644). Alternately, Tibeto-Mongol documentary and literary evidence
contains no reference to Manchu-Dge lugs pa contacts prior to the 1637 embassy of the Ilagugsan Qutugtu to Mukden (see n. 4). Further descriptions
of cultic activities presented in this paper make it clear that elements of Sa
skya pa organization (rather than Dge lugs pa features) were increasingly
favored at Mukden in the 1630s and 1640s. As a result, the immediate
precondition for Manchu acceptance of the introduction of the Sa skya pa
tradition, I suggest, is best explained by ascribing the Olug to the sect's
Another interesting facet of what appears to be Sa skya pa intellectual
and literary influence on the Manchu elite is the reference in Manchu
sources dated 1636 to the Subasitai bithe (i.e., the SubhSsitaratnanidhi of
Sa skya Pandita), see MWLT, vol. VII, p. 1523.
11. Judging from the facts that the lama had catechized the emperor and
received state support in return, it seems indisputable that Tantric Buddhism had gained Nurhaci's trust. This interpretation is further strengthened by the inscription (Manchu line 1/ Chinese line 1) that identifies the
Olug Darhan Nangso as the Lama of the Ayisin/Ta Chin Nation, a title
reminiscent of the status of state Buddhism during the period of the
medieval Mongol-Sa skya pa alliance and indicative of the fact that national as well as personal religious relations were thought to be at stake in
furnishing support for Tibetan Buddhism. Correspondingly, given the information surveyed here, it becomes possible to establish a connection between imperial consecration, patronage and Nurhaci's dynastic ambitions.
For further information regarding this type of connection, cf. notes 13-14,
15-19, 21-23, 25, and 28.
12. The establishment of the Lien-hua Ssu (supposedly a reconsecrated
temple dating from T'ang times) coincided with Sa skya pa missionary activities that took place under the direction of Sar pa Qutugtu (see the
Tibeto-Mongol inscription of 1626, Pozdneyev, v. 2, p. 255, cf. notes 8 and
14). During the reigns of the first two Manchu emperors, the temple remained dependent on imperial generosity, first securing an estate, the Lama Yiian, and then the produce and labor from a peasant hamlet for its
support. Subsequently, Abahai's commitment to the material support his
father had promised the Buddhist community at La-ma Yiian, the details of
which were formalized during his own reign, brought him into contact with
the successor of the Olug, Baga ba (<Tib. 'Phags pa) Lama.
13. While no direct evidence points to a role for the Olug at the enthronement of Nurhaci, definite elements of a Buddhist policy can be detected in
the emperor's conduct in the years following his induction (see notes 9, 11
and 14). As described in the documentary sources, the Manchu lords raised
Nurhaci as emperor, Han (i.e.. Khan), in 1616, after which Manchu
sources refer to him by the title Genggiyen Han. Comparative study of
Tibeto-Mongol imperial tradition furnishes instructive material regarding
the Manchu title genggiyen and leads me to suggest that it can be explained
in terms of the theoretical requirements of Buddhist initiation. The vocable
genggiyen "clear, bright" should be compared with the Mongol forms
gegen gegegen "clarte, eclat. . . titre d'un saint personage (khoutouktou),"
Kowalewski, Dictionnaire mongol-russe-frangais, Kazan 1844-1849, p.
2495. Precedents for the Buddhist usage of the title Gegen Qagan, the
agnomen of the Yiian emperor and patron of Tibetan Buddhism, *Sid-
dhipala, as well as the sixteenth century Turned ruler and Dge lugs pa
patron, Altan Gegen Hakan ( = Qagan), occur in the Hor chos 'byuh of 'Jig
med rig pa'i rdo rje. (G. Huth, Geschichte des Buddhismus in der
Mongolei, Strassburg 1892-1896, 2 vols, v, 1, pp. 36 and 57.) The Mongol
form gegen by its definition and application has a distinctive Buddhist connotation as a mtshan "ordination name." One need only note that such
titles were conveyed at the time of imperial investiture to see that they have
religio-dynastic connotations. The Hor chos 'byuh, v. 1, p. 24 lines 9-11,
relates the ascendancy of *Siddhipala in the following terms: (9) ... de'i
sras suddhephal chu yos (10) lo ba dguh lo bcu dgu'i thog rgyal sar 'khod
pa la ge gen rgyal po zes (11) mtshan btags pa, "His (i.e. Buyantu Qagan's)
son, Siddhipala, born the Water-Hare year (1302), was established on the
throne at the age of nineteen, and given the mtshan (ordination name)
Gegan Rgyal po [i.e., 'King Gegen,' or *Gegen Khan]." For further examples of imperial ordination names, e.g., the Qagans Buyantu and Kiiliig,
bestowed at the time when Mongol sovereigns took power, cf. Huth, v. 1,
p. 24. (Also see Louis Ligeti, "Notes sur le colophon du 'Yitikan Sudur,' " in
Asiatica edited by Johannes Schubert, Leipzig 1954, 397-404, pp. 401-403
for the reconstruction of the name *Siddhipala.) For the definition of
mtshan, see Das, Tibetan-English Dictionary, Delhi 1970 reprint, p. 1036,
"resp. for ming 'name,' esp. the new name which everyone receives that
takes orders." The fact that during the Yiian dynasty ordination names
were bestowed at the time of imperial investiture indicates Tibetan Bud-
dhist authorities had more than an advisory role in imperial politics, their
ceremonial ratification being a necessary component of the induction rite.
In the case of Nurhaci, it may serve to explain why—because of his initiation—the first Manchu emperor felt compelled to promote the Olug
Darhan Nangso Lama to an important benefice just outside his capital.
Beyond the suggestion that the Manchu form genggiyen mirrors Nurhaci's
Buddhist ordination recorded in the 1630 Sino-Manchu inscription,
perhaps the best measure of Mongol (as well as Buddhist) influence on the
Manchu institution of emperor is the preeminent place Mongol titles held in
the pre- and early dynastic Manchu scheme of things. See notes 20, 24 and
25 for additional references.
14. On the basis of the material discussed so far (cf. n. 11), the existence of
the lama-patron relationship at court indicates Nurhaci attached a higher
importance to this act than a mere demonstration of imperial largesse.
Reference to contemporary comparative material, i.e., the Tibeto-Mongol
inscription of 1626 at the Cagan Suburgan, site of Legdan Qagan's capital
and the spiritual center of the Sa skya pa-Mongol renaissance, provides
some instructive material for interpreting the Sino-Manchu sources and
showing Nurhaci's motivation for becoming a Buddhist. According to the
Mongol version of the 1626 inscription, an imperial patron could have
compelling reasons for subsidizing a stupa's construction and adornment
(Pozdneyev, v. 2, p. 257/5):
dorben dib-i ergsigci cagravardi gagan bolun burqan-u sasin-i barigci
oglige-yin ejen-i basa basa bolqu boltugai:
May he again and again become the ruler of the four continents, the
cakravartin and the adherent of Buddhism, the donor (danapati) . . .
The pertinent idea appearing in these lines demonstrates that contemporary Tibeto-Mongol canonical writers believed patronage, appropriately
conducted, benefitted the imperial donor in postulating an assertion for
dominion, setting him within the heritage of princely believers stretching
back to Asoka, and, whatever his pedigree, theoretically furnishing him
with claims of authenticity to govern as a world ruler, a cakravartin. In the
case of Nurhaci, it sanctified the Manchu ruler's dignity, raising him near
the level of his Mongol rivals, and gave him the ideological basis for consolidating his realm. This charismatic power based on traditional Tibeto-
Mongol prototypes, needless to say, would have been impossible without
the presence of the Tibetan Buddhist establishment at his court.
The Cagan suburgan inscription further attests to the central place of the
idea of conquest and dominion and its religious sanction in contemporary
Tibeto-Mongol political thought (Pozdneyev, v. 2, pp. 254/24-255/25);
[the text within brackets was restored by Pozdneyev on the basis of the
parallel Tibetan text]
kitad nanggiyad terigiiten ober ober keleten-u olan [orun-ijilugudcu
qan toru-yi delgeregiilugsen:) . . . blam-a oglige-yin ejen bolun
barildugsan-a situjii: . . . bey-e jarlig sedkil sitiigen-i bayigulqu
quvarag-un ayimag sin-e mandagulqu terigiiten sasin-u lingqu-a yin
ceceglig asuru yekede negelgen jokiyagsan
[Legdan Qagan] lead the Jurchen, Chinese and many other lands of
different languages and expanded the empire. . . . After [he and Sar pa
Qutugtu] had cherished one another to become lama and patron, he
venerated [the lama]. . . . Building shrines of the body, speech and mind
[of the Buddha], he re-established the clergy and so forth and extensively
implemented and developed the lotus of the doctrine . . .
15. The exchange of honors and titles between rulers and their chaplains as
cakravartins and lords of religion reflects a distinctive feature of the claim
of dynastic right. Without going into the details that the subject deserves,
note the example of the consecration of Qubilai in 1264, at which time he
granted 'Phags pa Lama the title Nom-un qagan, "Dharma-king," in return
for the designation Minggan altan kiirdiin-i ergigiiliigci cagravard secen
qagan "Cakravartin who turns 1000 golden wheels, Secen Qagan" [Erdeni-
yin tobci, pp. 116/18 and 118/7-8). To this can be added the exchange of
titles between the Turned lord, Altan Qagan and the Dge lugs pa hierarch
Bsod nams Rgya-mtsho in 1578: minggan altan kiirdiin-i ergigiiliigci
cagravar-d secen qagan and vacir-a dhara dalai lam-a, "Cakravartin who
turns 1000 Golden wheels, Secen Qagan", and the "Vajradhara Dalai
Lama" [Erdeni-yin tobci, p. 263/1-5, whence stems the title Dalai Lama.
Furthermore, in 1614, the Ordos prince Bosug-tu Jinong granted Mayidari
Qutugtu the title Yekede Asaragci nom-un qagan, "Rgya chen Byam pa
Dharma-king", receiving in return the title Altan kiirdiin-i ergigiiliigci
cagravard secen jinong qagan "Cakravartin who turns the golden wheel,
Secen Jinong and Qagan" [Erdeni-yin tobci, p. 264/7-12]. For additional instances of this custom, cf. notes 9 and 11. In conjunction with the Buddhist
renaissance, the institution of cakravartin monarchy diffused among the
various Mongol khanates (e.g., Tumet, Ordos, Cahar) during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. The theoretical organization of these
theologically-inspired domains in terms other than the lama-patron relation between sovereign and chaplain, however, remains undefined.
One encounters evidence that the Manchus followed a similar course of
action when in the late 1640s they renewed «n invitation to the Dalai Lama
and Panchen Lama to come to Peking. According to the 1651 inscription of
the Sara siim-e at Peking (Manchu inscription, line 5): lama-de nomon han-
i gebu bufi, "[The Shun-chih Emperor] granted the title of Dharma-king to
the [Dalai] Lama." For the transcription of the text, see Franke, "Die
dreisprachige Grundunginschrift des Gelben Temples' zu Peking aus dem
Jahre 1651," ZDMG 114, 1964, 391-412, p. 392. See n. 29 below for addi
tional comments regarding the formation of Manchu-Dge lugs pa relations.
16. A direct consequence of Abahai's triumph over the Cahar was the extension of the dual-monarchy (i.e., the Manchu sovereign as ruler of Manchus and Mongols) assisted by the Tusiyetu Qagan (Assistant Emperor),
Nurhaci and his Korcin ally Aoba Tayiji had devised this dispensation in
1626 (cf. Hummel, Eminent Chinese, p. 304). Their settlement cleared the
way for a similar arrangement under Abahai which guaranteed that Manchu authority would be imposed on the defeated subjects of Legdan Qagan.
In this respect, the expansion of the dual-monarchy coincided with the
founding of the Temple of Mahakala at Mukden. The creation of a suitable
sanctuary for the Buddhist deity, relics, religious texts and the retention of
the Cahar-Sa skya pa hierarchy and its organizations mark the attempt to
validate the Manchu victory and expanded rule. For additional comments
regarding this monument, cf. notes 19-23 and 25.
17. Cf. note 25.
18. Klaus Sagaster has described this relation and its implications in his
monograph Die Weisse Geschichte. Eine mongolische Quelle zurLehre von
den Beiden Ordnungen Religion und Staat in Tibet und der Mongolei,
Weisbaden 1976.
19. The 1638 inscription commemorates the foundation of the Mahakala
Temple. For present purposes, I have corrected the misprints in the published version of the Manchu text (lines 5-9) established by Oshibuchi, Manshu
hiki ko, pp. 135-140, and retranscribed it in conformity with the Hauer
system of transcription:
(5) . . . dai yuwan gurun-i (6! sitsu hubilai sure han-i fonde pakspa lama
minggan yan ayisin-be gur mahag'ala fungkerefi u-tai-lan alin-de jukteki
amala sisiya bade gamaji juktehe jai sarba hutuktu lama (7) soolifi dai
yuwan gurun-i enen cahar-i lingdan han-i gurun-de gajifi juktehe dayicing
gurun-i (8) gosin onco huwaiiyasun enduringge han cahar gurun-be
dayilame efulefi gurun irgen gemu dahame jidere-de mergen lama
mahag'ala-be gajime dahame jidere-be (9) enduringge han donjifi lama-
se-be dorolome okdombufi mukden hecen-i wargi-de ilibufi . . .
Paraphrasing the main points of the tradition recorded in the inscription, it
appears that the Manchus deliberately preserved elements of continuity
with the Mongol-Sa skya pa heritage when they began to build the site in
1635: 'Phags pa Lama had cast the golden image of Gur Mahakala, made it
an offering at Wu-tai Shan, and later moved it to the Hsi-hsia (i.e.,
Tanggut) land. Subsequently, Sar pa Qutugtu brought the image to the
descendant of the Yiian, Legdan Qagan of the Cahars, who paid homage to
it. Mergen Lama [=Marijusri Pandita], following Abahai's defeat of the
Cahars and their subordination, brought the image with him [to Mukden],
The emperor heard of it, had the lama welcome it and founded the temple
west of Mukden.
Regarding the identification of Mahakala as the tutelary genius of the Sa
skya pa, see Mireille Helffer, 'Traditions musicales des Sa-skya-pa relatives
au culte de Mgon-po," JA 264, 1976, 357-404, pp. 360, n. 13, and 376, n.
87. Heissig, "Lamaist Suppression of Shamanism," p. 499 has interpreted
Mongol data surrounding this event. For further references to Mahakala
worship, see notes 15, 20-22, 26 and 36.
20. The entry in the CMCT, v. 10, p. 4605/2-8, dated February 12, 1636,
records that Abahai, his brother Dayisan, and their Mongol ally, the Kor-
cin Prince Jasag-tu Diigereng participated in a mandala ceremony at which
they venerated the image of Mahakala Buddha. The relevant portion of the
text, line 8, reads: fucihi juleri jafafi han: amba beyile: jasag-tu diigereng-be
gayifi uyunggeri niyakurafi: uyunggeri hengkilehe: "... offering [ritual
objects] before [the image of Mahakala] Buddha, the Emperor led the
Grand Prince [Dayisan] and Jasag-tu iigereng to bow and prostrate
themselves nine times." Regarding the identification of the Amba Beyile
Dayisan, cf. Hummel, Eminent Chinese, pp. 1 and 214. The Manchus and
their Korcin allies took the Mahakala consecration of 1264 (in which 'Phags
pa Lama had initiated Qubilai as a cakravartin) as the prestigious antecedent for this rite. For further remarks, cf. Walther Heissig, Altan kiirdiin
minggan gegesiitii bicig, eine Mongolische Chronik von Siregetii Guosi
Dharma (1739), Kopenhagen 1958, III 6r/8-6v/4. Also see n. 15 above concerning the exchange of titles between Qubilai and 'Phags pa Lama. In addition, see notes 18, 20 and 21.
21. As remarked in n. 20, the CMCT specifically refers to the veneration
shown by members of the imperial household to the image of Mahakala
which the Sa skya pa Lama, MarijusrI Pandita [ =Mergen Lama], had
brought to Mukden on February 2,1635. A Chinese source, the Ta-ch'ing li
ch'ao shih-lu Vol. 4, chiian 43, lOa-b, records that Abahai led a grand procession of Manchu and Mongol dignitaries to the Mahakala sanctuary on
September 19, 1638. According to Oshibuchi, Biligtii Nangso Lama conducted the emperor to the Buddha image where they led the assembly to
perform the kowtow ceremony. Cf. Oshibuchi, Manshu kiki ko, p. 154.
Herbert Franke notes that "rites connected with Hevajra and Mahakala had
been customary for the enthronements of the Yiian emperors." See his article "Tibetans in Yiian China," in China under Mongol Rule, edited by John
D. Langlois, Jr., Princeton 1981, 296-328, p. 308. Regarding the actual
ceremony of investiture, cf. Franke, Beitrdge zur Kulturgeschichte Chinas
unter der Mongolenherrschaft.   Das Shqn-chu  hsin-hua des  Yang Yii,
Wiesbaden  1956,  pp.  30-31.  With respect  to  the manifestations and
iconography of Mahakala, see Shinko Mochizuki, Bukkyo daijiten, Tokyo
1960-1963,   v.   4,   pp.   3216-3218;   B.   Bhattacharyya,   Indian  Buddhist
Iconography, Calcutta 1958, pp.344-348.
Farquhar, in his article "The Origins of the Manchus' Mongolian Policy,"
in The Chinese World Order (edited by John K. Fairbank, Cambridge 1970,
198-205), p. 199, observes that the early Manchu emperors appear to have
derived their titles from prestigious Mongol prototypes. For example, in
1607, Nurhaci received his title Kundulen Han (<Mong. Kiindelen Qagan,
"Respected Emperor") from the Kalka prince Enggeder. Nor was this an
isolated case. Abahai, the name by which Nurhaci's successor is popularly
known, is a form unattested in Manchu sources. The word, in fact, is a
loanword from Mongol Abagai "nom respectueux donne aux aines par
l'age  ou   la   parente:   titre   des  fils  cadets   d'un  monarque   ou  prince
hereditaire" (Kowalewski, p. 41) and thus accords perfectly with his Manchu title Hung Taiji (<Ch. Huang T'ai-tzu) as it appears in the Sino-
Manchu sources. Perhaps most significantly, when Abahai received the
homage of the forty-nine Mongol beiles in 1636, it was they who bestowed
upon him the Manchu title GoszVt otico hiiwaliyasun enduringge han and its
Mongol prototype Aguda briisiyegci dagedii erdemtix nayiramatagu bogda
qagan as emperor of the Dayicing, and not the Manchu or Chinese officials. For further remarks on the forty-nine lords of the sixteen Mongol
tribes who proclaimed Abahai emperor, see Louis Ligeti, "Deux tablettes
des T'ai-tsong des Ts'ing," AOH 8, 1958, 201-239, pp. 213 and 235, n. 57.
22. Everyone who has treated the question agrees that the Manchu word
dayicing and the Mongol loan word dayicing convey the Chinese dynastic
title Ta-ch'ing (normally pronounced Tai-ch'ing in the seventeenth century;
moreover, despite modern usage it should be noted that during the life of
the dynasty, the title was apparently never used without the first part, Tai-
/Ta-). Given the context of the Mahakala consecration (see notes 19-20)
and associated Buddhist ceremonies that had preceded the inauguration of
the dynasty on May 14, 1636, I wish to draw attention to the transcription
of another Mongol form with the identical orthography dayicing. Close
analysis confirms the foreignness of the word which does not come from a
Mongol root, does not conform to the language's principles of word formation and is unattested in Middle Mongol linguistic monuments. However,
evidence exists that the Chinese word may have entered Mongol from a
Tibetan intermediary attested in the mid-fifteenth century materials edited
by Tatsuo Nishida, Seibankan yakugo no kenkyu [ = The Tibetan-Chinese
Vocabulary of the Hsi-Fan Kuan I-yii] Kyoto 1970: Document II, Chinese
Text, p. 124 Ta-ch'eng fa wang I Tibetan text, p. 124 Dai-chih hwa wan
"Dharma-king of the Great Vehicle." The bilingual petition shows the
scribe rendered the Chinese compound ta-ch'eng (or tai-ch'eng) "great vehicle," a caique of the Sanskrit term Mahayana, by the Tibetan phonetic
transcription dai-chih, a form neither Jaschke nor Das registers. (Cf. Ernest
J. Eitel, Handbook of Chinese Buddhism, Amsterdam 1970 reprint of the
1904 edition, p. 90, Mahayana (—ta-ch'eng) "lit. great conveyance. ... A
later form of Buddhist dogma, one of the three phases of its development
(v. triyana), corresponding to the third degree of saintship, the state of a
Bodhisattva, who being able to transport himself to Nirvana, may be com-
Chinese Buddhist Terms with Sanskrit and English Equivalents and a
Sanskrit-Pali Index, London, 1937, p. 83.)
First conferred on the Sa skya hierarch Kun dga' bkra sis rgyal mtshan in
1413, the Ming court made the title dai-chih/ta-ch'eng the exclusive right of
his successors who served as abbots of the Lha khari branch of the Sa skya
sect. (For the full title and intricate problems associated with its history, see
Sato Hisashi, "Mindai chibetto hachi tai kyo-c5 ni tsuite," Toyoshi kenkyu
21,1962, 51-170, pp. 63-64. A check of the seventeenth century Mongolian
chronicle, the Erdeni-yin tobci, p. 198/6-7 attests to the Mongol form as an
element in the compound name for Buyanggulai dugar dayicing (b. 1526).
A further occurrence of the Mongol vocable dayicing confirms the Sino-
Tibetan usage of the fifteenth century. At the 1625 consecration of Toba
Tayiji as ruler of the Ordos, Sagang Secen recorded the titles the Panchen
Lama and the Dalai Lama awarded the spiritual lords who accompanied the
prince to Tibet. Next in importance after Toba Tayiji was Res rdog Chos
rje whom they invested with the title dayicing (Erdeni-yin  Tobci, p.
276/8-9): . . . resrdog corfi-da togulugsan dayicing corji . . . kemekii cola-
yi oggiin: "[The Panchen Erdeni and the Dalai Lama] gave the title called
. . . the Perfected Dayicing Chos rje to Res rdog Chos rje . . . " The details
relative to the religious investiture of Toba Tayiji as ruler of the Ordos
Mongols and the conferral of titles by the officiating Dge lugs pa prelates
favor, in my opinion, a Buddhist interpretation for the Mongol form dayicing. As in the case of the mannered clerical titles the Ming court awarded
Tibetan lamas (cf. Nishida 1970, Docmuents, I-XXX, pp. 123-152), the Dge
lugs pa title reserved for Res rdog Chos rje seems appropriate to his high
religious standing. Sagang Secen's use of the form dayicing as an epithet is
appropriate to the Chos rje's status as an incarnated Bodhisattva, and is
consistent with the way Eitel defined the term. The use of Dge lugs pa rites
in Tibet to enthrone Toba Tayiji and the honorary elevation of his chaplain
clearly justifies the assumption of a Tibetan intermediary for the Mongol
word. (For other instances of the reciprocal award of titles between secular
and   spiritual   lords,   cf.   n.   16  above.)  Moreover,   the  circumstances
demonstrate the currency of the term in a Tibeto-Mongol context a little
more than a decade before the founding of the Ta-ch'ing dynasty. What
this all goes to show is that Tibetans and Mongols might have been welt-
disposed to a dynasty that to their understanding proclaimed itself the
Dayicing (Tib. dai-chin^Mong. dayicing) "Great Vehicle" dynasty. While
these remarks may or may not prove the etymology of the Manchu form, it
is important to note that the Manchus seemed never to have made an attempt to clarify for the Tibetans and Mongols the possible religious meaning of their dynastic title.
23. See notes 9 and 11.
24. The Sa skya pa Lama Biligtii Nangso, according to the Ta-ch'ing-li
ch'ao shih lu, v. 13, ch. 21, 20a-b, received Kun dga' 'od zer, i.e., Marijusrt
Pandita [ = Mergen Lama], who in 1635 had brought with him to Mukden
the image of Mahakala and the Kanjur.
Regarding the symbolism of the mandala with cakravartin rulers cf. J.
Przyluskt, "La Ville du Cakravartin," Rocznik Orientalistyczny 5, 1927,
165-185; Snellgrove, "Divine Kingship," p. 213.
25. Johannes Schubert, "Die viersprachige Inschrift des buddhistischen
Klosters Fa lun szu in Mukden," Artibus Asiae 5, 1930-1935, pp. 71-75;
251-255. My transcription is based on the Mongolian text of the foundation
inscription of 1645 for the Dus kyi 'khor lo'i lha khari (Ch. Fa-lun ssu),
plate 3. p. 74:
1) dorun-a tu tala dur esergulegcid-i daraqui-yin tulada bayigulugsan:
teyin biiged geyigiiliigci-yin siim-e: [lines 7-8) "The [Rnam par snari ba'i
lha khari] Temple of Vairocana which we have established in the eastern
quarter in order to subdue the resistors ..." 2) emiin-e tu tala dur qamug
amitan-i engke amugulang bolgaju: tariya togosu qaragaqu-yin tulada
bayigulugsan: yeke nigiilesiigci-yin siim-e: jlines 8-9] "The [Thugs rje
chen po'i lha khari] Temple of Mahakaruna which we have established in
the southern quarter in order to purposely watch over crops thereby putting all living beings at ease ..." 3) 6riin-e tu tala dur amin nasun
urtudqu-yin tulada bayigulugsan: nasun caglasi-iigei-yin siim-e: [line 10]
"The [Tshe dpag med mgon gyi lha khari] Temple of Amitayus which we
have established in the western quarter in order to prolong life ..." 4)
umar-a tu tala dur qan orun-i ogugata orusiqulqu-yin tulada
bayigulugsan: cag-un kiirdiin siim-e: [lines 11-12] "The [Dus kyi 'khor lo'i
lha khari] Temple of Kalacakra which we have established in the northern
quarter in order to command the realm ..."
For the medieval rites of Mahakala worship and Mongol emperorship,
cf. n. 20.
26. This testament of Buddhist faith, an expression of belief corroborated
by the inventory of architectural monuments, set the pre-dynastic Manchu
capital together with the residence of the Manchu cakravartin firmly within
the Buddhist cultural tradition. Moreover, the meticulous application of
the lama-patron relation since at least 1621 shows, in effect, that Tibetan
Buddhism played a major role in the exaltation of the early Manchu
sovereigns, their consolidation of the state according to religious principles
established during the Yiian dynasty, and their conscious succession to the
legacy of the medieval Mongol Empire. I cannot here demonstrate the filiation of ideas needed to prove Manchu reliance on Mongol-Sa skya pa patterns of state. It must suffice to say that Manchu acceptance of these ideas,
which bound medieval Mongol Buddhism with the religious revival of the
Buddhist Renaissance of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, is clearly
not gratuitous, and goes a long way to explain why the Manchus had a
vested interest in the promotion of the doctrine. For a preliminary assessment of the Manchu monarchy's continuation of the Mongol-Sa skya pa
conception of religio-political organization, see my dissertation, "The Man-
chu Imperial Cult of the Early Ch'ing dynasty: Texts and Studies on the
Tantric Sanctuary of Mahakala at Mukden," Bloomington 1980.
27. I.e., the Sa skya pa lamas, Manjusri Pandita and Biligtii Nangso Lama,
and the Dge lugs pa envoy at Mukden, the Ilagugsan Qutugtu.
28. Robert B. Oxnam, Ruling from Horseback, Manchu Politics in the
Oboi Regency, 1661-1669. Chicago 1975, pp. 47-49, has characterized the
years 1651-1653—the time of the Dalai Lama's mission to Peking—as a
"period of intense factional rivalry" and "among the fiercest and most complex in the early Ch'ing." The death of Dorgon late in 1650 allowed his
cousin, Jirgalang. to move against the Dorgon faction and other groups
seeking to dismember imperial power. By mid-1652, he had overcome these
centrifugal elements and succeeded in transforming the Shun-chih
Emperor's nominal rule to one of actual control over the government.
29. In January 1653 the Dalai Lama arrived at Peking, the Panchen Lama
having declined repeated invitations because of his advanced age. For the
two generations preceding formal Manchu-Dge lugs pa relations, the
throne had shown keen interest in Tibetan Buddhism and had made it a key
part of the religious and cultural life of the court. This fact together with
subsequent actions taken by the throne run counter to the received interpretation that the Manchus had invited the Dge lugs pa to Peking to present
tribute. According to Sagang Secen [Erdeni-yin tobci, p. 296/12-15], the
emperor on this occasion substantiated the "rule of the saints" by supporting Tibetan Buddhism and venerating the Dge lugs pa prelates as his
religious masters:
(12) . . . ilagugsan cidagcin-u (13) erketii-yin sasin-i iiiemji tedkiin:
ilagugsan-u kobegiin qamug-i medegci-yi orui-yin (14) cimeg bolgan
tabiglaju: amitan-u itegel bogda bancin erdeni-yi ecin-e ete lam-a
barigad: (15) burqan-u sasin-i ulemji-de tedkiin bogdas-un torii-yi asuru
tiibsidken bayigulfu:
[The Shun-chih Emperor] abundantly supported the Jina's religion of
the powerful saints and venerated the son of the Jina, the Omniscient
[Dalai Lama), as the ornament of his sinciput. He cherished the Lama in
the absence of the Refuge of Sentient Beings, the Bogda Panchen Erdeni,
giving protection to the Superior of the Buddhist religion [i.e. the Dalai
Lama], and firmly established, to a high degree, the rule of the saints.
The account of the emperor's recognition of the Dge lugs pa hierarchs
and doctrine calls to mind not only the formal features of the regimes of his
predecessors and their Sa skya chaplains but the whole tradition of Tibeto-
Mongol acknowledgements between state arid faith up to that time {see n.
15). The titles the parties exchanged as a result of this mission suggest a set
of conditions consistent with the tradition of mutual recognition. The Dalai
Lama received the title Rdo rje 'than ("Vajradhara") and the Shun-chih
Emperor took the title Gnam gyi lha 'jam dbyahs goh ma bdag po chen po
("God of the Sky, Great Mafijughosa-Emperor and Great Being"). (See
Tsepon W.D. Shakabpa, Tibet, A Political History, New Haven 1967, p.
116; cf Farquhar, "Emperor as Bodhisattva," p. 20, n. 49; Huth, Geschichte
des Buddhismus, p. 268.) The point is, of course, that the establishment of
this personal religious bond followed a definite cultural model and institutional structure that had come directly from Sa skya pa inspiration. When
the pre-dynastic pattern of crown and clergy relations is compared with the
Dge lugs pa exaltation of the role of the emperor and his chaplain over
other segments of society, they are seen to resemble each other closely.
This state of affairs takes on added significance since it coincides exactly
with Jirgalang's centralization of authority within imperial hands. At the
same time, the reasons for Jirgalang's substitution of a Dge lugs pa ratification of his house's dynastic right in place of the Sa skya pa legitimation remains unclear. The sectarian realignment coincides with his attempt to
dissociate the ruler from the aristocratic factionalism of the day. The Sa
skya pa, as they had toward the end of the Yiian, may have become embroiled in partisan causes bringing discredit to themselves and ultimately
forcing the throne to reject them. This view, however, remains speculative
pending further research into the question of the earliest period of Manchu-
Dge lugs pa relations.
30. For a brief discussion of a fairly widespread Chinese Buddhist sect that
traces its origins to the Tibetan Tantric Buddhism of the Sa skya pas introduced during the Yiian and, as we have seen, perpetuated in Dge lugs pa
form by the Ch'ing, see Christopher I. Beckwith, "A Hitherto Unnoticed
Yuan-Period Collection Attributed to 'Phagspa," in L. Ligeti
(edited), Tibetan and Buddhist Studies Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Alexander Csoma de Koros, v. 1, Budapest, 1984, pp.
31. The Manchus attempted to set the institutionalization of the relationship between the K'ang-hsi Emperor and the first Lcari skya Qutugtu in an
appropriate historical context when they established the Qutugtus see at
Dolon Nor. The foundation charter of 1714 records the submission of the
Kalka Mongols to the emperor in 1691 in the following terms (Pozdneyev,
Mongolia, v. 2, p. 188/5-8):
tayitsu tayitsung bogda kelekii tobciy-a yi bariju oriisiyel erke yin
kiirdiin-i orcigulugsan-iyar monggol u!us-un olan ayimag-ud ulam jerge
ber iinen sanag-a ber dagan driibei
Because T'ai-tsu and T'ai-tsung, cherishing the relations which the
[Buddhist] saints expressed, turned the wheel of compassion and power,
many tribes of the Mongol nation gradually and earnestly offered their
Viewed against the background of pre- and early Ch'ing dynastic devotion, such tributes to imperial advocacy of Buddhist ideals of state and
faith correctly relate the evolution of this tendency to the reigns of the
founding sovereigns. Statements of this sort often appeared in foundation
charters. Albeit formulaic, they obviously had historical validity.
32. Kampfe, p. 35.
33. Ibid. p. 34; I have paraphrased the Mongol text (60a/ll-23):
(11) tendece qaragcin (12) qagai jil-dur: manjusri (13) bogda ejen ber:
miigden (14) kemekii ordu qarsidagan (15) jalarafu: tere ecige ebiige (16)
degediisiin bayiguluqsan keyid (17) siim-e: bey-e jarlig sedkil-iin sedkisi-
iigei (18) sitiigen-iid ba: amitan-u (19) itegel 'bags ba blama-a yin (20) tiigs
dam-un sitiigen maha (21) gala-yin koriig bey-e (22) terigiiten dotugadu
sitiigen-iid- (23) degen ayiladcu morgiiged: barag-a bolju morilalcagsan,
34. Regarding this initiation, see n. 38.
35. The biographer asserts that the Lcari skya Qutugtu recalled this event
when he wrote the biography of 'Phags pa Lama. For additional remarks
cf. Kampfe, p. 35. Also see n. 28 above.
36. Ibid. p. 52. 1 have paraphrased the Mongol text 169v/10-27:
(10) ene (11) bogda ejen-ten jerii burqan-u (12) sasin kiged ilangguy-a sira
(13) malag-a yin didim-i (14) barigci yin oni-yin (15) yosun-i deger-e ece
tegegesi (16) arbijigulugad: nom-un (17) oglige-yin yagun (?) egiiden-i (18)
nekeju: ene bogda cu (19) sasin-u yeke ejen mon-u (20) ucir-iyar ulisi-ugei
(21) qayira bar blam-a bolgan (22) barigsan anu tere metii bui (23) tende
ene kii bogda ejen-ten (24) toyid-un diiri yosun-i (25) bariqsan gayiqamsig
jiriig-tii (26) bber-iin koriig nigen -i (27) qayiralagsan-i ene bogda bar
zung te (?) zi-yin dugang dur jalfu ergun kiindijlel-i jokiyabai:
For remarks regarding the ideological significance of such effigies, see
Farquhar, "Emperor as Bodhisattva," pp. 5-6.
37. The Emperor's mother, Empress Hsiao-sheng (1693-1777),was herself a
member of a Manchu consort clan and not of Mongol origin. Cf. Hummel,
Eminent Chinese, p. 369. The fact that her funeral was presided over by
Tibetan clergy led by the most prominent lama resident in China would
seem to indicate that Tibetan Buddhism was an integral matter of faith in
Manchu ruling circles independent of the requirements of showing toleration of the beliefs of the Manchus' Mongol allies. For further remarks, cf.
Kampfe, p. 48.
38. For details concerning the initiations for the chosen divinities (i.e. yi
dam) Mahakala and Cakrasamvara, cf. Beyer, Tara, p. 401.
39. Kampfe, p. 51. Regarding the precedent for this act, cf. n. 29 above.
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