صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

been on the top of a hill called Potala-giri (the habour-hill)* somewhere in the south of India. Henceforth, from this circumstance, Potala became the chief place of pilgrimage of the Buddhist of the northern school who regarded the Dalai Lama as the holiest of holies. His His young Desrid, an adept in statecraft, than whom a greater statesman has not appeared in Tibet, in course of three years, firmly established the grand Lama's temporal authority all over the country, including Kham and Amdo. In 1681, Lozang Gya-tsho died, but the wily Desrid managed to keep the occurrence secret from the public. He gave out that the Dalai Lama, whose spirit was in communion with the gods, had entered into a samadhi (deep-meditation) under a solemn vow not to come out to public view for a period of twelve years. He now dressed himself in lamaic robes, and assumed a holy character, for it was not desirable for a Desrid not to be looked upon as a holy man. He was regarded as a wise minister and efficient ruler: in 1683 he wrote a valuable work on astronomy, astrology and chronology called Vaidurya Karpo. In 1693, he completed the nine-storeyed building called Phobrang Mar-po (the red-palace) on Potala, and entombed the remains of Gongsa-nga-pa chen-po, in the central hall, in a golden Chorten (chaitya). In the same year he installed, under the name of Tshang-yang Gya-tsho,1 a child, three years old, as the incarnation of the deceased Dalai who had passed out of his body at the termination of his twelve years trance in profound samadhi. During this long period the Desrid had consolidated the Dalai Lama's authority, having governed the country with consummate skill. He being the central figure in the government, and a layman, 100, was called De-ba, and his government came to be known by the name of shúng. At the close of the year, with a view to commemorate the accession of his late master to the sovereignty of Tibet, he inaugurated the Tshog-choi3 the congregational service in connexion with the annual prayer meeting called Monlam Chenpo, of Lhasa, founded by Tsong-khapa. In 1697, he wrote the work called Vai Ser-Choijûug, the history of the rise of the Yellow Church. The boy Dalai

* The Sanskrit name Potala in Tibetan, is Gru-hdsin

( གྲུ་འཛིན)


'harbour.' The Chinese Buddhists have located Potala the residence of their favourite saint Kwan-yin (Avalokiteçvara in his Chinese form) in the island of Patoshan, situated on the coast of China about 200 miles off Shanghai, N.N.E., where pilgrims from China and Mongolia go annually in large number.

Alex-Csoma de Körös, by mistake, located Potala in the neighbourhood of the town of Khara Tata in the mouth of the Indus in Sinde.



ཚངས་དབྱངས་རྒྱ་མཚོྋགཞུང wignifying tae central, ཚོགས་ཚོས

J. I 12.

Lama, as he grew up in age, shewed indifference to the performance of his religious duties. He failed in almost all the examinations that he was required to pass through, before his ordination. He, however, displayed a tendency towards love-literature in which he acquired some proficiency. He selected from among the monks of Namgyal Ta-tshang young men for his companions. He composed love songs and generally spent his time in the royal groves in the suburbs of Lhasa, where men and women of all classes and age came to receive his blessings. Here he got facilities for indulging in the pleasures of life, the enjoyment of which was strictly prohibited to monks. His attention to young ladies alarmed the Lamas. At first the courtiers interpreted this unholy tendency of the youthful Lama as a mark of his communion with the Khan-do (female angels) who, it was given out, paid him secret visits in the guise of young maidens for initiating him in the mysteries of Tantrik Buddhism; but later on, when the grand Lama ran to excesses, and sung love songs and behaved in utter disregard of the canonical rules, the public became undeceived. The Lamaic authorities of the monasteries of Sera, Dapûng and Gahdan took steps for his removal from the hierarchial throne.

About this time the Chungar or the left branch of the Eleuth Mongols under the leadership of Tshe-wang Rab-dan had become very powerful, in consequence of which the influence of Kushi Khan's line over the Tartars greatly waned. The ambitous Tshe-wang Rabdan, who had made his power felt even in Russia in the north, was waiting for an opportunity to overrun Tibet.

The friends of the Desrid now courted his help against the enemies of the government who had reported the matter to the Emperor of China. In the year 1701, the abbots of the great monasteries with the help of the Desrid induced the prodigal youth to formally renounce the vows* of celebacy and monkhood which he had taken from the grand Lama of Tashilhûnpo. An incarnate Lama named Yeçes Gya-tsho, who had come to Lhasa for that work, now took up the spiritual business appertaining to the Dalai Lama.

In 1702 Desrid Sangye Gya-tsho resigned his office and retired to private life. In 1705, the unfortunate Dalai Lama was removed from Tibet under a Chinese escort. He died on the way near lake

* It is customary with the incarnate Lamas of Tibet to take religious vowg from their seniors in the order. The grand Lama of Tashilhunpo being spiritually of equal rank with the Dalai Lama is competent to ordain him in the holy order. In the same manner the Tashi Lama, when junior in age, receives his religious vows and ordination from the Dalai Lama. They are related to each other as spiritual brothers and called (Gyalsrus or Jinaputra) sons of Buddha.

Kokonur. When this news reached Peking, Emperor Kanghi ordered that a child in whom the spirit of Nag-wang Lozang may be discovered should be reported to him. In 1703, Lhabzang, son of Talai Ratna Khan, declared himself ruler of Tibet. He dismissed the militia

and raised an army from among the Tartars. His first act was to surround the residence of the retired Desrid, his former chief, with a number of armed men and to kill him with four hundred of his devoted followers. In 1704, orders came from the Emperor to deport Tshang yang Gya-tsho to China. The faction in the Yellow-Church which was inimical to Lhabzang took immediate steps to elect a new Dalai Lama. They gave out that Nag-wang Lozang Gya-tsho, who was reported to have entered Samadhi, had actually died in the year 1681, and his spirit reappeared in one Pakār dšin-pa Ye-çes Gya-tsho in 1685, whose claim to the hierarchial throne was set aside by the Desrid. Pakār dsin-pa, who was an ordained monk of pure morals, was, however, was holding the office of the high priest of Dupûng. Accordingly, they set him up as the real Dalai Lama in 1706, but the public hesitated to accept the new pretender as their grand hierarch.

Lhabzang submitted to Chinese authority. The Lamas of the YellowChurch were now on their wit's end, being required to solve a problem of a novel nature. Emissaries were, therefore, sent to the different great monasteries of the Yellow-Church in search of a new incarnation of the Dalai Lama. Applications came from the parents of different childpretenders to the exalted office, which were carefully examined. At last the real embodiment of the Dalai Lama was found at Kûmbûm-the birth-place of Tsong-khapa, the founder of the Yellow-Church. The council of Buddhist cardinals comprising of the abbots of Sera, Dapûng and Gahdan, with the Tashi Lama as president, on whom devolved the responsibility of the right identification, resorted to all manner of religious rites and consultations with the gods for the purpose. All evidence having pointed towards and in favour of the discovery at Kûmbûm, in a child born in 1707, the matter was reported to the Emperor. Sanction having come, the princely child named Kalzang Gya-tsho was declared Dalai Lama, but, on account of his tender age, the child could not be brought in state to Tibet and installed on the throne of Potala. Kanghi, however, invested him with the insignia of an imperial order in 1709. But fresh dangers had in the meantime sprung forth which threatened Lhasa and also taxed the energies of the Emperor.

Tshe wang Rabdan, the powerful chief of Chungar or the left branch of the Eleuth Mongols who had risen to eminence on the downfall of Gushi Khan's kingdom, had espoused the cause of the Tibetans. The friends of Desrid Sangye Gya-tsho, with a view to avenge his death

and to overthrow Lhabzang, had communicated to him all that had happened in Tibet. Accordingly, Tshewang Rabdan sent a large army to Tibet for punishing the enemies of the Yellow-Church. In 1716 the Chinese and Tibetan troops fought a great battle with the Chungar army but were defeated, Lhabzang being slain in the field. In 1717, the victorious Chungars, at the instance of the yellow-cap Lamas, sacked the monasteries of rival sects such as Tshur-phu, Samding, Namgyaling, Dorje Tag, Mindolling and others, situated in the valley of the Tsangpo. In 1718 they returned to Mongolia.

About the time of the Chungar invasion the Tibetans had endeavoured to be independent, but Kanghi was determined to re-establish his authority over the whole of Mongolia and Tibet. In 1718, when order was restored in Tibet, the Chungar Mongolians being fully subjugated by the victorious Chinese, the young Dalai Lama was brought back to Lhasa from Kûmbûm by the command of the Emperor, who sent two high Commissioners ostensibly to protect the Dalai Lama but really to form an imperial residency at Lhasa which has since been controlling the political and military affairs of the country.

In 1722, the Chungars and the Eleuth Mongals of Kokonur fought with the imperial forces and were defeated. The Chinese killed upwards of seven hundred monks of all grades, including the abbot of SerKhog-Gon, called Chûzang-Rinpo-che, and destroyed many religious objects and burnt down many shrines and congregation halls. They demolished the great monastery of Shwa-khog. Many aged monks of Kumbum were also killed by them. In Amdo, in the following year, the Chinese generals Kûng and Yo-u theü destroyed the temples and grand congregation halls of the Gon-lûng monastery. In 1725 and 1726 there arose internal dissensions in the Government at Lhasa, the Kahlons or ministers having risen against the Desrid Shang Khang Chenpo and killed him. About this time, general Phola Theji* who had gone to Upper Tibet returned to Lhasa with troops from Ladak, Ngahri and Tsang. He slew upwards of one thousand men who had been drawn from Ü and Kong-po by the rebel ministers, and for a time restored order in the country. In 1727, Chinese troops came to his help and he was enabled to suppress the rebellion of Ü by killing the three

* On account of his gallant and meritorious services Phola Theji was invested with the title of Chun-wang and appointed Desrid by Emperor Yung-ting. Henceforth he became known in Tibet by the name Gyalpo Mi-wang. In 1734, by the command of the same Emperor, Chankya Rinpo-che brought back the Dalai Lama Lhasa from Kahdag, (Ka-thóg) and thereby restored peace and prosperity in Tibet and Kham.

ministers who had headed it. He removed the Dalai Lama to Kahdag, or Kathog monastery in Kham, thinking it would be unsafe to keep him in Lhasa at the time.

NOTE. This paper has been compiled from Tibetan histories such as Pagsamjonzang, &c.

« السابقةمتابعة »