Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 3 (of 3)
by Charles Eliot
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For our purposes Korean history may be divided into four periods:

I. The three States (B.C. 57-A.D. 668). II. The Kingdom of Silla (668-918). III. The Kingdom of Korye (918-1392). IV. The Kingdom of Chosen (1392-1910).

The three states were Koguryu in the north, Pakche in the south-west and Silla in the south-east.[896] Buddhism, together with Chinese writing, entered Koguryu from the north in 372 and Pakche from the south a few years later. Silla being more distant and at war with the other states did not receive it till about 424. In 552 both Japan and Pakche were at war with Silla and the king of Pakche, wishing to make an alliance with the Emperor of Japan sent him presents which included Buddhist books and images. Thus Korea was the intermediary for introducing Buddhism, writing, and Chinese culture into Japan, and Korean monks played an important part there both in art and religion. But the influence of Korea must not be exaggerated. The Japanese submitted to it believing that they were acquiring the culture of China and as soon as circumstances permitted they went straight to the fountain head. The principal early sects were all imported direct from China.

The kingdom of Silla, which became predominant in the seventh century, had adopted Buddhism in 528, and maintained friendly intercourse with the T'ang dynasty. As in Japan Chinese civilization was imitated wholesale. This tendency strengthened Buddhism at the time, but its formidable rival Confucianism was also introduced early in the eighth century, although it did not become predominant until the thirteenth.[897]

In the seventh century the capital of Silla was a centre of Buddhist culture and also of trade. Merchants from India, Tibet and Persia are said to have frequented its markets and several Korean pilgrims visited India.

In 918 the Wang dynasty, originating in a northern family of humble extraction, overthrew the kingdom of Silla and with it the old Korean aristocracy. This was replaced by an official nobility modelled on that of China: the Chinese system of examinations was adopted and a class of scholars grew up. But with this attempt to reconstruct society many abuses appeared. The number of slaves greatly increased,[898] and there were many hereditary low castes, the members of which were little better than slaves. Only the higher castes could compete in examinations or hold office and there were continual struggles and quarrels between the military and civil classes. Buddhism flourished much as it flourished in the Hei-an period of Japan, but its comparative sterility reflected the inferior social conditions of Korea. Festivals were celebrated by the Court with great splendour: magnificent monasteries were founded: the bonzes kept troops and entered the capital armed: the tutor of the heir apparent and the chancellor of the kingdom were often ecclesiastics, and a law is said to have been enacted to the effect that if a man had three sons one of them must become a monk. But about 1250 the influence of the Sung Confucianists began to be felt. The bonzes were held responsible for the evils of the time, for the continual feuds, exactions and massacres, and the civil nobility tended to become Confucianist and to side against the church and the military. The inevitable outburst was delayed but also rendered more disastrous when it came by the action of the Mongols who, as in China, were patrons of Buddhism. The Yuan dynasty invaded Korea, placed regents in the principal towns and forced the Korean princes to marry Mongol wives. It was from Korea that Khubilai despatched his expeditions against Japan, and in revenge the Japanese harried the Korean coast throughout the fourteenth century. But so long as the Yuan dynasty lasted the Korean Court which had become Mongol remained faithful to it and to Buddhism; when it was ousted by the Ming, a similar movement soon followed in Korea. The Mongolized dynasty of Korye was deposed and another, which professed to trace its lineage back to Silla, mounted the throne and gave the country the name of Chosen.

This revolution was mainly the work of the Confucianist party in the nobility and it was not unnatural that patriots and reformers should see in Buddhism nothing but the religion of the corrupt old regime of the Mongols. During the next century and a half a series of restrictive measures, sometimes amounting to persecution, were applied to it. Two kings who dared to build monasteries and favour bonzes were deposed. Statues were melted down, Buddhist learning was forbidden: marriages and burials were performed according to the rules of Chu-hsi. About the beginning of the sixteenth century (the date is variously given as 1472 and 1512 and perhaps there was more than one edict) the monasteries in the capital and all cities were closed and this is why Korean monasteries are all in the country and often in almost inaccessible mountains. It is only since the Japanese occupation that temples have been built in towns.

At first the results of the revolution were beneficial. The great families were compelled to discharge their body-guards whose collisions had been a frequent cause of bloodshed. The public finances and military forces were put into order. Printing with moveable type and a phonetic alphabet were brought into use and vernacular literature began to flourish. But in time the Confucian literati formed a sort of corporation and became as troublesome as the bonzes had been. The aristocracy split into two hostile camps and Korean politics became again a confused struggle between families and districts in which progress and even public order became impossible. For a moment, however, there was a national cause. This was when Hideyoshi invaded Korea in 1592 as part of his attack on China. The people rose against the Japanese troops and, thanks to the death of Hideyoshi rather than to their own valour, got rid of them. It is said that in this struggle the bonzes took part as soldiers fighting under their abbots and that the treaty of peace was negotiated by a Korean and a Japanese monk.[899]

Nevertheless it does not appear that Buddhism enjoyed much consideration in the next three centuries. The Hermit Kingdom, as it has been called, became completely isolated and stagnant nor was there any literary or intellectual life except the mechanical study of the Chinese classics. Since the annexation by Japan (1910) conditions have changed and Buddhism is encouraged. Much good work has been done in collecting and reprinting old books, preserving monuments and copying inscriptions. The monasteries were formerly under the control of thirty head establishments or sees, with somewhat conflicting interests. But about 1912 these thirty sees formed a union under a president who resides in Seoul and holds office for a year. A theological seminary also has been founded and a Buddhist magazine is published.


[Footnote 895: See various articles in the Trans. of the Korean Branch of the R.A.S., and F. Starr, Korean Buddhism. Also M. Courant, Bibliographie coreenne, especially vol. III. chap. 2.]

[Footnote 896: The orthography of these three names varies considerably. The Japanese equivalents are Koma, Kudara and Shiragi. There are also slight variations in the dates given for the introduction of Buddhism into various states. It seems probable that Marananda and Mukocha, the first missionaries to Pakche and Silla were Hindus or natives of Central Asia who came from China and some of the early art of Silla is distinctly Indian in style. See Starr, l.c. plates VIII and IX.]

[Footnote 897: These dates are interesting, as reflecting the changes of thought in China. In the sixth century Chinese influence meant Buddhism. It is not until the latter part of the Southern Sung, when the philosophy of Chu-hsi had received official approval, that Chinese influence meant Confucianism.]

[Footnote 898: The reasons were many, but the upper classes were evidently ready to oppress the lower. Poor men became the slaves of the rich to obtain a livelihood. All children of slave women were declared hereditary slaves and so were the families of criminals.]

[Footnote 899: These statements are taken from Maurice Courant's Epitome of Korean History in Madrolle's Guide to North China, p. 428. I have not been successful in verifying them in Chinese or Japanese texts. See, however, Starr, Korean Buddhism, pp. 29-30.]



The modern territory called Annam includes the ancient Champa, and it falls within the French political sphere which includes Camboja. Of Champa I have treated elsewhere in connection with Camboja, but Annam cannot be regarded as the heir of this ancient culture. It represents a southward extension of Chinese influence, though it is possible that Buddhism may have entered it in the early centuries of our era either by sea or from Burma.

At the present day that part of the French possessions which occupies the eastern coast of Asia is divided into Tonkin, Annam and Cochin China. The Annamites are predominant in all three provinces and the language and religion of all are the same, except that Cochin China has felt the influence of Europe more strongly than the others. But before the sixteenth century the name Annam meant rather Tonkin and the northern portion of modern Annam, the southern portion being the now vanished kingdom of Champa.

Until the tenth century A.D.[900] Annam in this sense was a part of the Chinese Empire, although it was occasionally successful in asserting its temporary independence. In the troubled period which followed the downfall of the T'ang dynasty this independence became more permanent. An Annamite prince founded a kingdom called Dai-co-viet[901] and after a turbulent interval there arose the Li dynasty which reigned for more than two centuries (1009-1226 A.D.). It was under this dynasty that the country was first styled An-nam: previously the official designation of the land or its inhabitants was Giao-Chi.[902] The Annamites were at this period a considerable military power, though their internal administration appears to have been chaotic. They were occasionally at war with China, but as a rule were ready to send complimentary embassies to the Emperor. With Champa, which was still a formidable antagonist, there was a continual struggle. Under the Tran dynasty (1225-1400) the foreign policy of Annam followed much the same lines. A serious crisis was created by the expedition of Khubilai Khan in 1285, but though the Annamites suffered severely at the beginning of the invasion, they did not lose their independence and their recognition of Chinese suzerainty remained nominal. In the south the Chams continued hostilities and, after the loss of some territory, invoked the aid of China with the result that the Chinese occupied Annam. They held it, however, only for five years (1414-1418).

In 1428 the Li dynasty came to the throne and ruled Annam at least in name until the end of the eighteenth century. At first they proved vigorous and capable; they organized the kingdom in provinces and crushed the power of Champa. But after the fifteenth century the kings became merely titular sovereigns and Annamite history is occupied entirely with the rivalry of the two great families, Trinh and Nguyen, who founded practically independent kingdoms in Tonkin and Cochin-China respectively. In 1802 a member of the Nguyen family made himself Emperor of all Annam but both he and his successors were careful to profess themselves vassals of China.

Thus it will be seen that Annam was at no time really detached from China. In spite of political independence it always looked towards the Chinese Court and though complimentary missions and nominal vassalage seem unimportant, yet they are significant as indicating admiration for Chinese institutions. Between Champa and Annam on the other hand there was perpetual war: in the later phases of the contest the Annamites appear as invaders and destroyers. They seem to have disliked the Chams and were not disposed to imitate them. Hence it is natural that Champa, so long as it existed as an independent kingdom, should mark the limit of direct Indian influence on the mainland of Eastern Asia, though afterwards Camboja became the limit. By direct, I do not mean to exclude the possibility of transmission through Java or elsewhere, but by whatever route Indian civilization came to Champa, it brought its own art, alphabet and language, such institutions as caste and forms of Hinduism and Buddhism which had borrowed practically nothing from non-Indian sources. In Annam, on the other hand, Chinese writing and, for literary purposes, a form of the Chinese language were in use: the arts, customs and institutions were mainly Chinese: whatever Buddhism can be found was imported from China and is imperfectly distinguished from Taoism: of Hinduism there are hardly any traces.[903]

The Buddhism of Annam is often described as corrupt and decadent. Certainly it would be vain to claim for it that its doctrine and worship are even moderately pure or primitive, but it cannot be said to be moribund. The temples are better kept and more numerously attended than in China and there are also some considerable monasteries. As in China very few except the monks are exclusive Buddhists and even the monks have no notion that the doctrines of Lao-tzu and Confucius are different from Buddhism. The religion of the ordinary layman is a selection made according to taste from a mass of beliefs and observances traceable to several distinct sources, though no Annamite is conscious that there is anything incongruous in this heterogeneous combination. This fusion of religions, which is more complete even than in China, is illustrated by the temples of Annam which are of various kinds.[904] First we have the Chua or Buddhist temples, always served by bonzes or nuns. They consist of several buildings of which the principal contains an altar bearing a series of images arranged on five or six steps, which rise like the tiers of a theatre. In the front row there is usually an image of the infant Sakyamuni and near him stand figures of Atnan (Ananda) and Muc-Lien (Maudgalyayana). On the next stage are Taoist deities (the Jade Emperor, the Polar Star, and the Southern Star) and on the higher stages are images representing (a) three Buddhas[905] with attendants, (b) the Buddhist Triratna and (c) the three religions, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. But the arrangement of the images is subject to much variation and the laity hardly know who are the personages represented. At side altars there are generally statues of Quan-Am, guardian deities, eminent bonzes and other worthies. Representations of hell are also common. Part of the temple is generally set apart for women who frequent it in the hope of obtaining children by praying to Quan-Am and other goddesses. Buddhist literature is sometimes printed in these Chua and such works as the Amitayurdhyanasutra and collections of Dharanis are commonly placed on the altars.

Quan-Am (Kuan-Yin) is a popular deity and the name seems to be given to several goddesses. They would probably be described as incarnations of Avalokita, if any Annamite were to define his beliefs (which is not usual), but they are really legendary heroines who have left a reputation for superhuman virtue. One was a daughter of the Emperor Chuang of the Chou dynasty. Another (Quan-Am-Thi-Kinh), represented as sitting on a rock and carrying a child in her arms, was a much persecuted lady who passed part of her life disguised as a bonze. A third form, Quan-Am-Toa-Son, she who dwells on the mountains, has an altar in nearly every temple and is specially worshipped by women who wish for sons. At Hanoi there is a small temple, rising on one column out of the water near the shore of a lake, like a lotus in a tank, and containing a brass image of Quan-Am with eight arms, which is evidently of Indian origin. Sometimes popular heroines such as Cao Tien, a princess who was drowned, are worshipped without (it would seem) being identified with Quan-Am.

But besides the Chua there are at least three other kinds of religious edifices: (i) Dinh. These are municipal temples dedicated to beings commonly called genii by Europeans, that is to say, superhuman personages, often, but not always, departed local worthies, who for one reason or another are supposed to protect and supervise a particular town or village. The Dinh contains a council room as well as a shrine and is served by laymen. The genius is often represented by an empty chair and his name must not be pronounced within the temple. (ii) Taoist deities are sometimes worshipped in special temples, but the Annamites do not seem to think that such worship is antagonistic to Buddhism or even distinct from it. (iii) Temples dedicated to Confucius (Van mien) are to be found in the towns, but are generally open only on certain feast days, when they are visited by officials. Sometimes altars dedicated to the sage may be found in natural grottoes or other picturesque situations. Besides these numerous elements, Annamite religion also includes the veneration of ancestors and ceremonies such as the worship of Heaven and Earth performed in imitation of the Court of Peking. To this must be added many local superstitions in which the worship of animals, especially the tiger, is prominent. But a further analysis of this composite religion does not fall within my province.

There is little to be said about the history of Buddhism in Annam, but native tradition places its introduction as late as the tenth century.[906] Buddhist temples usually contain a statue of Phat To[907] who is reported to have been the first adherent of the faith and to have built the first pagoda. He was the tutor of the Emperor Li-Thai-To who came to the throne in 1009. Phat-To may therefore have been active in the middle of the tenth century and this agrees with the statement that the Emperor Dinh Tien-Hoang De (968-979) was a fervent Buddhist who built temples and did his best to make converts.[908] One Emperor, Li Hue-Ton, abdicated and retired to a monastery.

The Annals of Annam[909] record a discussion which took place before the Emperor Thai-Ton (1433-1442) between a Buddhist and a sorcerer. Both held singularly mixed beliefs but recognized the Buddha as a deity. The king said that he could not decide between the two sects, but gave precedence to the Buddhists.


[Footnote 900: The dates given are 111 B.C.-939 A.D.]

[Footnote 901: French scholars use a great number of accents and even new forms of letters to transcribe Annamite, but since this language has nothing to do with the history of Buddhism or Hinduism and the accurate orthography is very difficult to read, I have contented myself with a rough transcription.]

[Footnote 902: This is the common orthography, but Chiao Chih would be the spelling according to the system of transliterating Chinese adopted in this book.]

[Footnote 903: It is said that the story of the Ramayana is found in Annamite legends (B.E.F.E.O. 1905, p. 77), and in one or two places the Annamites reverence statues of Indian deities.]

[Footnote 904: The most trustworthy account of Annamite religion is perhaps Dumoutier, Les Cultes Annamites, Hanoi, 1907. It was published after the author's death and consists of a series of notes rather than a general description. See also Diguet, Les Annamites, 1906, especially chap. VI.]

[Footnote 905: Maitreya is called Ri-lac = Chinese Mi-le. The equivalence of the syllables ri and mi seems strange, but certain. Cf. A-ri-da = Amida or O-mi-to.]

[Footnote 906: Pelliot (Meou-Tseu, traduit et annote, in T'oung Pao, vol. XIX. p. 1920) gives reasons for thinking that Buddhism was prevalent in Tonkin in the early centuries of our era, but, if so, it appears to have decayed and been reintroduced. Also at this time Chiao-Chih may have meant Kuang-tung.]

[Footnote 907: Diguet, Les Annamites, p. 303.]

[Footnote 908: Maybon et Russier, L'Histoire d'Annam, p. 45.]

[Footnote 909: Dumoutier, Les Cultes Annamites, p. 58.]




The religion of Tibet and Mongolia, often called Lamaism, is probably the most singular form of Buddhism in existence and has long attracted attention in Europe on account of its connection with politics and its curious resemblance to the Roman Church in ritual as well as in statecraft. The pontiffs and curia of Lhasa emulated the authority of the medieval papacy, so that the Mings and Manchus in China as well as the British in India had to recognize them as a considerable power.

Tibet had early relations with Kashmir, Central Asia and China which may all have contributed something to its peculiar civilization, but its religion is in the main tantric Buddhism imported from Bengal and invigorated from time to time by both native and Indian reformers. But though almost every feature of Lamaism finds a parallel somewhere in India, yet too great insistence on its source and historical development hardly does justice to the originality of the Tibetans. They borrowed a foreign faith wholesale, but still the relative emphasis which they laid on its different aspects was something new. They had only a moderate aptitude for asceticism, meditation and metaphysics, although they manfully translated huge tomes of Sanskrit philosophy, but they had a genius for hierarchy, discipline and ecclesiastical polity unknown to the Hindus. Thus taking the common Asiatic idea that great and holy men are somehow divine, they made it the principle of civil and sacerdotal government by declaring the prelates of the church to be deities incarnate. Yet in strange contrast to these practical talents, a certain innate devilry made them exaggerate all the magical, terrifying and demoniac elements to be found in Indian Tantrism.

The extraordinary figures of raging fiends which fill Tibetan shrines suggest at first that the artists simply borrowed and made more horrible the least civilized fancies of Indian sculpture, yet the majesty of Tibetan architecture (for, judging by the photographs of Lhasa and Tashilhumpo, it deserves no less a name) gives another impression. The simplicity of its lines and the solid, spacious walls unadorned by carving recall Egypt rather than India and harmonize not with the many-limbed demons but with the calm and dignified features of the deified priests who are also portrayed in these halls.

An atmosphere of mystery and sorcery has long hung about the mountainous regions which lie to the north of India. Hindus and Chinese alike saw in them the home of spirits and wizards, and the grand but uncanny scenery of these high plateaux has influenced the art and ideas of the natives. The climate made it natural that priests should congregate in roomy strongholds, able to defy the cold and contain the stores necessary for a long winter, and the massive walls seem to imitate the outline of the rocks out of which they grow. But the strange shapes assumed by mists and clouds, often dyed many colours by the rising or setting sun, suggest to the least imaginative mind an aerial world peopled by monstrous and magical figures. At other times, when there is no fog, distant objects seem in the still, clear atmosphere to be very near, until the discovery that they are really far away produces a strange feeling that they are unreal and unattainable.

In discussing this interesting faith, I shall first treat of its history and then of the sacred books on which it professes to be based. In the light of this information it will be easier to understand the doctrines of Lamaism and I shall finally say something about its different sects, particularly as there is reason to think that the strength of the Established Church, of which the Grand Lama is head, has been exaggerated.


TIBET (continued)


It is generally stated that Buddhism was first preached in Tibet at the instance of King Srong-tsan-gam-po[910] who came to the throne in 629 A.D. Some legendary notices of its earlier appearance[911] will bear the natural interpretation that the Tibetans (like the Chinese) had heard something about it from either India or Khotan before they invited instructors to visit them.[912]

At this time Tibet played some part in the politics of China and northern India. The Emperor Harsha and the T'ang Emperor T'ai Tsung exchanged embassies but a second embassy sent from China arrived after Harsha's death and a usurper who had seized the throne refused to receive it. The Chinese with the assistance of the kings of Tibet and Nepal dethroned him and carried him off captive. There is therefore nothing improbable in the story that Srong-tsan-gam-po had two wives, who were princesses of Nepal and China respectively. He was an active ruler, warlike but progressive, and was persuaded by these two ladies that Buddhism was a necessary part of civilization. According to tradition he sent to India a messenger called Thonmi Sanbhota, who studied there for several years, adapted a form of Indian writing to the use of his native language and translated the Karanda Vyuha. Recent investigators however have advanced the theory that the Tibetan letters are derived from the alphabet of Indian origin used in Khotan and that Sanbhota made its acquaintance in Kashmir.[913] Though the king and his two wives are now regarded as the first patrons of Lamaism and worshipped as incarnations of Avalokita and Tara, it does not appear that his direct religious activity was great or that he built monasteries. But his reign established the foundations of civilization without which Buddhism could hardly have flourished, he to some extent unified Central Tibet, he chose the site of Lhasa as the capital and introduced the rudiments of literature and art. But after his death in 650 we hear little more of Buddhism for some decades.

About 705 King Khri-gtsug-lde-btsan is said to have built monasteries, caused translations to be made, and summoned monks from Khotan. His efforts bore little fruit, for no Tibetans were willing to take the vows, but the edict of 783 preserved in Lhasa mentions his zeal for religion, and he prepared the way for Khri-sron-lde-btsan in whose reign Padma-Sambhava, the real founder of Lamaism, arrived in Tibet.[914]

This event is said to have occurred in 747 and the epoch is noticeable for two reasons. Firstly Tibet, which had become an important military power, was now brought into contact both in peace and war with China and Central Asia. It was predominant in the Tarim Basin and ruled over parts of Ssu-chuan and Yunnan. China was obliged to pay tribute and when it was subsequently refused the Tibetans sacked the capital, Chang-an. In 783 China made a treaty of peace with Tibet. The king was the son of a Chinese princess and thus blood as well as wide experience disposed him to open Tibet to foreign ideas. But in 747 relations with China were bad, so he turned towards India and invited to his Court a celebrated Pandit named Santarakshita, who advised him to send for Padma-Sambhava.

Secondly this was the epoch when Amogha flourished in China and introduced the Mantrayana system or Chen Yen. This was the same form of corrupt Buddhism which was brought to Tibet and was obviously the dominant sect in India in the eighth century. It was pliant and amalgamated easily with local observances, in China with funeral rites, in Tibet with demonolatry.

At this time Padma-Sambhava was one of the most celebrated exponents of Tantric Buddhism, and in Tibet is often called simply the Teacher (Guru or Mahacarya). His portraits represent him as a man of strongly marked and rather angry features, totally unlike a conventional monk. A popular account of his life[915] is still widely read and may contain some grains of history, though the narrative as a whole is fantastic. It describes him as born miraculously in Udyana but as having studied at Bodhgaya and travelled in many regions with the intention of converting all the world. According to his plan, the conversion of his native land was to be his last labour, and when he had finished his work in Tibet he vanished thither miraculously. Thus Udyana is not represented as the source and home of Tantric Buddhism but as being like Tibet a land of magic and mystery but, like Tibet, needing conversion: both are disposed to welcome Tantric ideas but those ideas are elaborated by Padma-Sambhava not in Udyana but in Bengal which from other sources we know to have been a centre of Tantrism.

Some other points of interest in these legends may be noticed. Padma-Sambhava is not celibate but is accompanied by female companions. He visits many countries which worship various deities and for each he has a new teaching suited to its needs. Thus in Tibet, where the older religion consisted of defensive warfare against the attacks of evil spirits,[916] he assumes the congenial character of a victorious exorcist, and in his triumphant progress subdues local demons as methodically as if he were suppressing the guerilla warfare of native tribes. He has new revelations called Terma which he hides in caves to be discovered by his successors. These revelations are said to have been in an unknown language.[917] Those at present existing are in Tibetan but differ from the canonical scriptures in certain orthographical peculiarities. The legend thus admits that Padma-Sambhava preached a non-celibate and magical form of Buddhism, ready to amalgamate with local superstitions and needing new revelations for its justification.

He built the monastery of Samye[918] about thirty miles from Lhasa on the model of Odantapuri in Bengal. Santarakshita became abbot and from this period dates the foundation of the order of Lamas.[919] Mara (Thse Ma-ra) was worshipped as well as the Buddhas, but however corrupt the cultus may have been, Samye was a literary centre where many translations were made. Among the best known translators was a monk from Kashmir named Vairocana.[920] It would appear however that there was considerable opposition to the new school not only from the priests of the old native religion but from Chinese Buddhists.[921]

Numerous Tibetan documents discovered in the Tarim basin[922] date from this period. The absence in them of Buddhist personal names and the rarity of direct references to Buddhism indicate that though known in Tibet it was not yet predominant. Buddhist priests (ban-de) are occasionally mentioned but the title Lama has not been found. The usages of the Bonpo religion seem familiar to the writers and there are allusions to religious struggles.

When Padma-Sambhava vanished from Tibet, the legend says that he left behind him twenty-five disciples, all of them magicians, who propagated his teaching. At any rate it flourished in the reign of Ralpachan (the grandson of Khri-sron-lde-btsan). Monasteries multiplied and received land and the right to collect tithes. To each monk was assigned a small revenue derived from five tenants and the hierarchy was reorganized.[923] Many translators were at work in this period and a considerable part of the present canon was then rendered into Tibetan. The king's devotion to Buddhism was however unpopular and he was murdered[924] apparently at the instigation of his brother and successor Lang-dar-ma,[925] who endeavoured to extirpate Lamaism. Monasteries were destroyed, books burnt, Indian monks were driven out of the country and many Lamas were compelled to become hunters or butchers. But the persecution only lasted three years,[926] for the wicked king was assassinated by a Lama who has since been canonized by the Church and the incident of his murder or punishment is still acted in the mystery plays performed at Himis and other monasteries.

After the death of Lang-dar-ma Tibet ceased to exist as a united kingdom and was divided among clans and chieftains. This was doubtless connected with the collapse of Tibetan power in the Tarim basin, but whether as effect or cause it is hard to say. The persecution may have had a political motive: Lang-dar-ma may have thought that the rise of monastic corporations, and their right to own land and levy taxes were a menace to unity and military efficiency. But the political confusion which followed on his death was not due to the triumphant restoration of Lamaism. Its recovery was slow. The interval during which Buddhism almost disappeared is estimated by native authorities as from 73 to 108 years, and its subsequent revival is treated as a separate period called phyi-dar or later diffusion in contrast to the sna-dar or earlier diffusion. The silence of ecclesiastical history during the tenth century confirms the gravity of the catastrophe.[927] On the other hand the numerous translations made in the ninth century were not lost and this indicates that there were monasteries to preserve them, for instance Samye.

At the beginning of the eleventh century we hear of foreign monks arriving from various countries. The chronicles[928] say that the chief workers in the new diffusion were La-chen, Lo-chen, the royal Lama Yeses Hod and Atisa. The first appears to have been a Tibetan but the pupil of a teacher who had studied in Nepal. Lo-chen was a Kashmiri and several other Kashmiri Lamas are mentioned as working in Tibet. Yeses Hod was a king or chieftain of mNa-ris in western Tibet who is said to have been disgusted with the debased Tantrism which passed as Buddhism. He therefore sent young Lamas to study in India and also invited thence learned monks. The eminent Dharmapala, a monk of Magadha who was on a pilgrimage in Nepal, became his tutor. Yeses Hod came to an unfortunate end. He was taken captive by the Raja of Garlog, an enemy of Buddhism, and died in prison. It is possible that this Raja was the ruler of Garhwal and a Mohammedan. The political history of the period is far from clear, but evidently there were numerous Buddhist schools in Bengal, Kashmir and Nepal and numerous learned monks ready to take up their residence in Tibet. This readiness has been explained as due to fear of the rising tide of Islam, but was more probably the result of the revival of Buddhism in Bengal during the eleventh century. The most illustrious of these pandits was Atisa[929] (980-1053), a native of Bengal, who was ordained at Odontapuri and studied in Burma.[930] Subsequently he was appointed head of the monastery of Vikramasila and was induced to visit Tibet in 1038.[931] He remained there until his death fifteen years later; introduced a new calendar and inaugurated the second period of Tibetan Buddhism which is marked by the rise of successive sects described as reforms. It may seem a jest to call the teaching of Atisa a reform, for he professed the Kalacakra, the latest and most corrupt form of Indian Buddhism, but it was doubtless superior in discipline and coherency to the native superstitions mixed with debased tantrism, which it replaced.

As in Japan during the eleventh and twelfth centuries many monasteries were founded and grew in importance, and what might have happened in Japan but for the somewhat unscrupulous prescience of Japanese statesmen actually did happen in Tibet. Among the numerous contending chiefs none was pre-eminent: the people were pugnacious but superstitious. They were ready to build and respect when built the substantial structures required to house monastic communities during the rigorous winter. Hence the monasteries became the largest and safest buildings in the land, possessing the double strength of walls and inviolability. The most important was the Sakya monastery. Its abbots were of royal blood and not celibate, and this dynasty of ecclesiastical statesmen practically ruled Tibet at a critical period in the history of eastern Asia and indeed of the world, namely, the conquests of Chinggiz[932] and the rise of the Mongol Empire.

There is no evidence that Chinggiz was specially favourable to Buddhism. His principle was one King and one God[933] and like other princes of his race he thought of religions not as incompatible systems but as different methods of worship of no more importance than the different languages used in prayer. The destruction wrought by the Mongol conquerors has often been noticed, but they had also an ample, unifying temper which deserves recognition. China, Russia and Persia all achieved a unity after the Mongol conquest which they did not possess before, and though this unification may be described as a protest and reaction, yet but for the Mongols and their treatment of large areas as units it would not have been possible. The Mings could not have united China before the Yuan dynasty as they did after it.

In spite of some statements to the contrary there is no proof that the early Mongols invaded or conquered central Tibet, but Khubilai subdued the eastern provinces and through the Lamaist hierarchy established a special connection between Tibet and his dynasty. This connection began even in the time of his predecessor, for the head Lama of the Sakya monastery commonly known as Sakya Pandita (or Sa-skya-pan-cen) was summoned to the Mongol Court in 1246-8, and cured the Emperor of an illness.[934] This Lama was a man of great learning and influence. He had received a double education both secular and religious, and was acquainted with foreign languages. The favourable impression which he created no doubt facilitated the brilliant achievements of his nephew and successor, who is commonly known as Bashpa or Pagspa.[935]

Khubilai Khan was not content with the vague theism of Central Asia and wished to give his rude Mongols a definite religion with some accessories of literature and manners. Confucianism was clearly too scholastic for a fighting race and we may surmise that he rejected Christianity as distant and unimportant, Mohammedanism as inconveniently mixed with politics. But why did he prefer Lamaism to Chinese Buddhism? The latter can hardly have been too austerely pure to suit his ends, and Tibetan was as strange as Chinese to the Mongols. But the Mongol Court had already been favourably impressed by Tibetan Lamas and the Emperor probably had a just feeling that the intellectual calibre of the Mongols and Tibetans was similar and also that it was politic to conciliate the uncanny spiritual potentates who ruled in a land which it was difficult to invade. At any rate he summoned the abbot of Sakya to China in 1261 and was initiated by him into the mysteries of Lamaism.[936]

It is said that before Pagspa's birth the God Ganesa showed his father all the land of Tibet and told him that it would be the kingdom of his son. In later life when he had difficulties at the Chinese Court Mahakala appeared and helped him, and the mystery which he imparted to Khubilai is called the Hevajravasita.[937] These legends indicate that there was a large proportion of Sivaism in the religion first taught to the Mongols, larger perhaps than in the present Lamaism of Lhasa.

The Mongol historian Sanang Setsen relates[938] that Pagspa took a higher seat than the Emperor when instructing him and on other occasions sat on the same level. This sounds improbable, but it is clear that he enjoyed great power and dignity. In China he received the title of Kuo-Shih or instructor of the nation and was made the head of all Buddhists, Lamaists and other. In Tibet he was recognized as head of the Church and tributary sovereign, though it would appear that the Emperor named a lay council to assist him in the government and also had a commissioner in each of the three provinces. This was a good political bargain and laid the foundations of Chinese influence in a country which he could hardly have subdued by force.

Pagspa was charged by the Emperor to provide the Mongols with an alphabet as well as a religion. For this purpose he used a square form of the Tibetan letters,[939] written not in horizontal but in vertical lines. But the experiment was not successful. The characters were neither easy to write nor graceful, and after Pagspa's death his invention fell into disuse and was replaced by an enlarged and modified form of the Uigur alphabet. This had already been employed for writing Mongol by Sakya Pandita and its definitive form for that purpose was elaborated by the Lama Chos-kyi-hod-zer in the reign of Khubilai's successor. This alphabet is of Aramaic origin, and had already been utilized by Buddhists for writing religious works, so its application to Mongol was merely an extension of its general currency in Asia.[940]

Pagspa also superintended the preparation of a new edition of the Tripitaka, not in Mongol but in Chinese. Among the learned editors were persons acquainted with Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan and Uigur. An interesting but natural feature of this edition is that it notes whether the various Chinese texts are found in the Tibetan Canon or not.

Khubilai further instituted a bureau of fine arts, the head of which was a Lama called Aniko, skilled in both sculpture and painting. He and his Chinese pupil Liu Yuan introduced into Peking various branches of Tibetan art such as Buddhist images of a special type, ornamental ironwork and gold tapestry. The Chinese at this period appear to have regarded Tibetan art as a direct importation from India.[941] And no doubt Tibetan art was founded on that of Nepal which in its turn came from Bengal. Miniature painting is a characteristic of both. But in later times the individuality of Tibet, shown alike in its monstrous deities and its life-like portraits of Lamas, imposed itself on Nepal. Indian and Tibetan temples are not alike. In the former there is little painting but the walls and pillars are covered with a superabundance of figures carved in relief: in Tibet pictures and painted banners are the first thing to strike the eye, but carvings in relief are rare.

It is hard to say to what extent the Mongols beyond such parts of northern China as felt the direct influence of the imperial court were converted to Lamaism. At any rate their conversion was only temporary for, as will be related below, a reconversion was necessary in the sixteenth century. It looks as if the first growth of Mongolian Buddhism was part of a political system and collapsed together with it. But so long as the Yuan dynasty reigned, Lamaist influence was strong and the downfall of the Yuan was partly caused by their subservience to the clergy and extravagant expenditure on religious buildings and ceremonies. After the departure of Pagspa, other Lamas held a high position at the Court of Peking such as Chos-kyi-hod-zer and gYun-ston rDo-rje-dpal. The latter was a distinguished exponent of the Kalacakra system and the teacher of the historian Bu-ston who is said to have arranged the Tibetan Canon.

Although the Yuan dynasty heaped favours upon priests and monasteries, it does not appear that religion flourished in Tibet during the fourteenth century for at the end of that period the grave abuses prevalent provoked the reforming zeal of Tsong-kha-pa. Prom 1270 to 1340 the abbots of Sakya were rulers of both Church and State, and we hear that in 1320 they burned the rival monastery of Dikung. The language of Sanang Setsen implies that each abbot was appointed or invested by the Emperor[942] and their power declined with the Yuan dynasty. Other monasteries increased in importance and a chief known as Phagmodu[943] succeeded, after many years of fighting, in founding a lay dynasty which ruled parts of Tibet until the seventeenth century.

In 1368 the Ming superseded the Yuan. They were not professed Buddhists to the same extent and they had no preference for Lamaism but they were anxious to maintain good relations with Tibet and to treat it as a friendly but vassal state. They accorded imperial recognition (with an implication of suzerainty) to the dynasty of Phagmodu and also to the abbots of eight monasteries. Though they were doubtless glad to see Tibet a divided and contentious house, it does not appear that they interfered actively in its affairs or did more than recognize the status quo. In the time of Khubilai the primacy of Sakya was a reality: seventy years later Sakya was only one among several great monasteries.

The advent of the Ming dynasty coincided with the birth of Tsong-kha-pa,[944] the last reformer of Lamaism and organizer of the Church as it at present exists. The name means the man of the onion-bank, a valley near the monastery of Kumbum in the district of Amdo, which lies on the western frontiers of the Chinese province of Kansu. He became a monk at the age of seven and from the hair cut off when he received the tonsure is said to have sprung the celebrated tree of Kumbum which bears on its leaves wondrous markings.[945] According to the legend, his birth and infancy were attended by miracles. He absorbed instruction from many teachers and it has been conjectured that among them were Roman Catholic missionaries.[946] In early manhood he proceeded to Tibet and studied at Sakya, Dikung and finally at Lhasa. His reading convinced him that Lamaism as he found it was not in harmony with the scriptures, so with the patronage of the secular rulers and the support of the more earnest clergy he successfully executed a thorough and permanent work of reform. This took visible shape in the Gelugpa, the sect presided over by the Grand Lama, which acquired such paramount importance in both ecclesiastical and secular matters that it is justly termed the Established Church of Tibet. It may also be conveniently termed the Yellow Church, yellow being its special colour particularly for hats and girdles, in opposition to the red or unreformed sects which use red for the same purpose. Tsong-kha-pa's reforms took two principal lines. Firstly he made monastic discipline stricter, insisting on celibacy and frequent services of prayer: secondly he greatly reduced, although he did not annihilate, the tantric and magical element in Lamaism. These principles were perpetuated by an effective organization. He himself founded the great monastery of Gandan near Lhasa and became its first abbot. During his lifetime or shortly afterwards were founded three others, Sera and Depung both near Lhasa and Tashilhunpo.[947] He himself seems to have ruled simply in virtue of his personal authority as founder, but his nephew and successor Geden-dub[948] claimed the same right as an incarnation of the divine head of the Church, and this claim was supported by a hierarchy which became overwhelmingly powerful.

Tsong-kha-pa died in 1417 and is said to have been transfigured and carried up into heaven while predicting to a great crowd the future glories of his church. His mortal remains, however, preserved in a magnificent mausoleum within the Gandan monastery, still receive great veneration.

Among his more eminent disciples were Byams-chen-chos-rje and mKhas-grub-rje who in Tibetan art are often represented as accompanying him. The first played a considerable part in China. The Emperor Yung-Lo sent an embassy to invite Tsong-kha-pa to his capital. Tsong-kha-pa felt unable to go himself but sent his pupil to represent him. Byams-chen-chos-rje was received with great honour.[949] The main object of the Ming Emperors was to obtain political influence in Tibet through the Lamas but in return the Lamas gained considerable prestige. The Kanjur was printed in China (1410) and Byams-chen-chos-rje and his disciples were recognized as prelates of the whole Buddhist Church within the Empire. He returned to Tibet laden with presents and titles and founded the monastery of Serra in 1417. Afterwards he went back to China and died there at the age of eighty-four.

mKhas-grub-rje founded the monastery of Tashilhunpo and became its abbot, being accepted as an incarnation of the Buddha Amitabha. He was eighth in the series of incarnations, which henceforth were localized at Tashilhunpo, but the first is said to have been Subhuti, a disciple of Gotama, and the second Manjusrikirti, king of the country of Sambhala.[950]

The abbot of Tashilhunpo became the second personage in the ecclesiastical and political hierarchy. The head of it was the prelate commonly known as the Grand Lama and resident at Lhasa. Geden-dub,[951] the nephew of Tsong-kha-pa, is reckoned by common consent as the first Grand Lama (though he seems not to have borne the title) and the first incarnation of Avalokita as head of the Tibetan Church.[952] The Emperor Ch'eng Hua (1365-1488) who had occasion to fight on the borders of Tibet confirmed the position of these two sees as superior to the eight previously recognized and gave the occupants a patent and seal. From this time they bore the title of rGyal-po or king.

It was about this time that the theory of successive incarnations[953] which is characteristic of Lamaism was developed and defined. At least two ideas are combined in it. The first is that divine persons appear in human form. This is common in Asia from India to Japan, especially among the peoples who have accepted some form of Hindu religion. The second is that in a school, sect or church there is real continuity of life. In the unreformed sects of Tibet this was accomplished by the simple principle of heredity so that celibacy, though undeniably correct, seemed to snap the thread. But it was reunited by the theory that a great teacher is reborn in the successive occupants of his chair. Thus the historian Taranatha is supposed to be reborn in the hierarchs of Urga. But frequently the hereditary soul is identified with a Buddha or Bodhisattva, as in the great incarnations of Lhasa and Tashilhunpo. This dogma has obvious advantages. It imparts to a Lamaist see a dignity which the papacy cannot rival but it is to the advantage of the Curia rather than of the Pope for the incarnate deity of necessity succeeds to his high office as an infant, is in the hands of regents and not unfrequently dies when about twenty years of age. These incarnations are not confined to the great sees of Tibet. The heads of most large monasteries in Mongolia claim to be living Buddhas and even in Peking there are said to be six.

The second Grand Lama[954] enjoyed a long reign, and set the hierarchy in good order, for he distinguished strictly clerical posts, filled by incarnations, from administrative posts. He was summoned to Peking by the Emperor, but declined to go and the somewhat imperative embassy sent to invite him was roughly handled. His successor, the third Grand Lama bSod-nams,[955] although less noticed by historians than the fifth, perhaps did more solid work for the holy see of Lhasa than any other of his line for he obtained, or at least received, the allegiance of the Mongols who since the time of Khubilai had woefully backslidden from the true faith.

As mentioned above, the conversion of the Mongols to Buddhism took place when their capital was at Peking and chiefly affected those resident in China. But when the Yuan dynasty had been dethroned and the Mongols, driven back into their wilds, were frequently at war with China, they soon relapsed into their original superstitions. About 1570 Altan[956] Khagan, the powerful chief of the Tumed, became more nearly acquainted with Tibet, since some Lamas captured in a border fray had been taken to his Court. After causing China much loss and trouble he made an advantageous peace and probably formed the idea (which the Manchus subsequently proved to be reasonable) that if the Mongols were stronger they might repeat the conquests of Khubilai. The Ming dynasty was clearly decadent and these mysterious priests of Tibet appeared to be on the upward grade.[957] They might help him both to become the undisputed chief of all the Mongol tribes and also to reconquer Peking. So he sent an embassy to invite the Grand Lama's presence, and when it was not successful he followed it with a second.

The Grand Lama then accepted and set out on his travels with great pomp. According to the story he appeared to the astonished Mongols in the guise of Avalokita with four arms (of which two remained folded on his breast) and the imprint of his horse's hoofs showed the six mystic syllables om mani padme hum. These wonders are so easily explicable that they may be historical.

A great congregation was held near Lake Kokonor and Sanang Setsen records an interesting speech made there by one of his ancestors respecting the relations of Church and State, which he compared with the sun and moon. The Lama bestowed on the Khagan high sounding titles and received himself the epithet Dalai or Talai, the Mongol word for sea, signifying metaphorically vast extent and profundity.[958] This is the origin of the name Dalai Lama by which the Tibetan pontiff is commonly known to Europeans. The hierarchy was divided into four classes parallel to the four ranks of Mongol nobles: the use of meat was restricted and the custom of killing men and horses at funerals forbidden. The observance of Buddhist festivals was made compulsory and native idols were destroyed, but the deities which they represented were probably identified with others in the new pantheon. The Grand Lama specially recommended to the Mongols the worship of the Blue Mahakala, a six armed representation of Siva standing on a figure of Ganesa, and he left with them a priest who was esteemed an incarnation of Manjusri, and for whom a temple and monastery were built in Kuku-khoto.

His Holiness then returned to Tibet, but when Altan Khagan died in 1583 he made a second tour in Mongolia in order to make sure of the allegiance of the new chiefs. He also received an embassy from the Chinese Emperor Wan-Li, who conferred on him the same titles that Khubilai had given to Pagspa. The alliance between the Tibetans and Mongols was naturally disquieting to the Ming dynasty and they sought to minimize it by showing extreme civility to the Lamas.

This Grand Lama died at the age of forty-seven, and it is significant that the next incarnation appeared in the Mongol royal house, being a great-grandson of Altan Khagan. Until he was fourteen he lived in Mongolia and when he moved to Lhasa a Lama was appointed to be his vicar and Primate of all Mongolia with residence at Kuren or Urga.[959] The prelates of this line are considered as incarnations of the historian Taranatha.[960] In common language they bear the name of rJe-btsun-dam-pa but are also called Maidari Khutuktu, that is incarnation of Maitreya. About this time the Emperor of China issued a decree, which has since been respected, that these hierarchs must be reborn in Tibet, or in other words that they must not reappear in a Mongol family for fear of uniting religion and patriotism too closely.

Lozang,[961] the fifth Grand Lama, is by common consent the most remarkable of the pontifical line. He established the right of himself and his successors—or, as he might have said, of himself in his successive births—to the temporal and ecclesiastical sovereignty of Tibet: he built the Potala and his dealings with the Mongols and the Emperor of China are of importance for general Asiatic history.

From the seventeenth century onwards there were four factors in Tibetan politics.

1. The Gelugpa or Yellow Church, very strong but anxious to become stronger both by increasing its temporal power and by suppressing other sects. Its attitude towards Chinese and Mongols showed no prejudice and was dictated by policy.

2. The Tibetan chiefs and people, on the whole respectful to the Yellow Church but not single-hearted nor forgetful of older sects: averse to Chinese and prone to side with Mongols.

3. The Mongols, conscious of their imperfect civilization and anxious to improve themselves by contact with the Lamas. As a nation they wished to repeat their past victories over China, and individual chiefs wished to make themselves the head of the nation. People and princes alike respected all Lamas.

4. The Chinese, apprehensive of the Mongols and desirous to keep them tranquil, caring little for Lamaism in itself but patiently determined to have a decisive voice in ecclesiastical matters, since the Church of Lhasa had become a political power in their border lands.

Lo-zang was born as the son of a high Tibetan official about 1616 and was educated in the Depung monastery under the supervision of Chos-kyi-Gyal-tsan, abbot of Tashilhunpo and a man of political weight. The country was then divided into Khamdo, Wu and Tsang, or Eastern, Central and Western Tibet, and in each province there ruled a king of the Phagmodu dynasty. In Central Tibet, and specially at Lhasa, the Gelugpa was the established church and accepted by the king but in the other provinces there was much religious strife and the older sects were still predominant. About 1630 the regent of Tsang captured Lhasa and made himself sovereign of all Tibet. He was a follower of the Sakya sect and his rule was a menace to the authority and even to the existence of the Yellow Church, which for some years suffered much tribulation. When the young Grand Lama grew up, he and his preceptor determined to seek foreign aid and appealed to Gushi Khan.[962] This prince was a former pupil of Chos-kyi-Gyal-tsan and chief of the Oelot, the ancestors of the Kalmuks and other western tribes, but then living near Kokonor. He was a staunch member of the Yellow Church and had already made it paramount in Khamdo which he invaded in 1638. He promptly responded to the appeal, invaded Tibet, took the regent prisoner, and, after making himself master of the whole country, handed over his authority to the Grand Lama, retaining only the command of his Mongol garrisons. This arrangement was advantageous to both parties. The Grand Lama not only greatly increased his ecclesiastical prestige but became a temporal sovereign of considerable importance. Gushi, who had probably no desire to reside permanently in the Snow Land, received all the favours which a grateful Pope could bestow on a king and among the superstitious Mongols these had a real value. Further the Oelot garrisons which continued to occupy various points in Tibet gave him a decisive voice in the affairs of the country, if there was ever a question of using force.

The Grand Lamas had hitherto resided in the Depung monastery but Lo-zang now moved to the hill of Marpori, the former royal residence and began to build on it the Potala[963] palace which, judging from photographs, must be one of the most striking edifices in the world, for its stately walls continue the curves of the mountain side and seem to grow out of the living rock. His old teacher was given the title of Panchen Rinpoche, which has since been borne by the abbots of Tashilhunpo, and the doctrine that the Grand Lamas of Lhasa and Tashilhunpo are respectively incarnations of Avalokita and Amitabha was definitely promulgated.[964]

The establishment of the Grand Lama as temporal ruler of Tibet coincided with the advent of the Manchu dynasty (1644). The Emperor and the Lama had everything to gain from friendly relations and their negotiations culminated in a visit which Lo-zang paid to Peking in 1652-3. He was treated as an independent sovereign and received from the Emperor a long title containing the phrase "Self-existent Buddha, Universal Ruler of the Buddhist faith." In return he probably undertook to use his influence with the Mongols to preserve peace and prevent raids on China.

After his return to Tibet, he appears to have been a real as well as a nominal autocrat for his preceptor and Gushi Khan both died, and the new Manchu dynasty had its hands full. His chief adviser was the Desi[965] or Prime Minister, supposed to be his natural son. In 1666 the great Emperor K'ang-hsi succeeded to the throne: and shortly afterwards the restlessness of the Mongol Princes began to inspire the Chinese Court with apprehension. In 1680 Lo-zang died but his death was a state secret. It was apparently known in Tibet and an infant successor was selected but the Desi continued to rule in Lo-zang's name and even the Emperor of China had no certain knowledge of his suspected demise but probably thought that the fiction of his existence was the best means of keeping the Mongols in order. It was not until 1696 that his death and the accession of a youth named Thsang-yang Gya-thso were made public.

But the young Grand Lama, who owing to the fiction that his predecessor was still alive had probably been brought up less strictly than usual, soon began to inspire alarm at Peking for he showed himself wilful and intelligent. He wrote love songs which are still popular and his licentious behaviour was quite out of harmony with the traditions of the holy see. In 1701, under joint pressure from the Chinese and Mongols, he resigned his ecclesiastical rights and handed over the care of the Church to the abbot of Tashilhunpo, while retaining his position as temporal ruler. But the Chinese still felt uneasy and in 1705 succeeded in inducing him to undertake a journey to Peking. When he got as far as Mongolia he died of either dropsy or assassination. The commander of the Oelot garrisons in Tibet was a friend of the Chinese, and at once produced a new Grand Lama called Yeses, a man of about twenty-five, who claimed to be the true reincarnation of the fifth Grand Lama, the pretensions of the dissolute youth who had just died being thus set aside. It suited the Chinese to deal with an adult, who could be made to understand that he had received and held his office only through their good will, but the Tibetans would have none of this arrangement. They clung to the memory of the dissolute youth and welcomed with enthusiasm the news that he had reappeared in Li-t'ang as a new-born child, who was ultimately recognized as the seventh Grand Lama named Kalzang. The Chinese imprisoned the infant with his parents in the monastery of Kumbum in Kansu and gave all their support to Yeses. For the better control of affairs in Lhasa two Chinese Agents were appointed to reside there with the Manchu title of Amban.[966]

But the Tibetans would not accept the rule of Yeses and in 1717 the revolutionary party conspired with the Oelot tribes of Ili to put Kalzang on the throne by force. The troops sent to take the holy child were defeated by the Chinese but those which attacked Lhasa were completely successful. Yeses abdicated and the city passed into the possession of the Mongols. The Chinese Government were greatly alarmed and determined to subdue Tibet. Their first expedition was a failure but in 1720 they sent a second and larger, and also decided to install the youthful Kalzang as Grand Lama, thus conciliating the religious feelings of the Tibetans. The expedition met with little difficulty and the result of it was that China became suzerain of the whole country. By imperial edict the young Grand Lama was recognized as temporal ruler, the four ministers or Kalon were given Chinese titles, and garrisons were posted to keep open the road from China. But the Tibetans were still discontented. In 1727 a rebellion, instigated it was said by the family of the Grand Lama, broke out, and the Prime Minister was killed. This rising was not permanently successful and the Chinese removed the Grand Lama to the neighbourhood of their frontier. They felt however that it was unsafe to give ground for suspicion that they were ill-treating him and in 1734 he was reinstated in the Potala. But the dislike of the Tibetans for Chinese supervision was plain. In 1747 there was another rebellion. The population of Lhasa rose and were assisted by Oelot troops who suddenly arrived on the scene. Chinese rule was saved only by the heroism of the two Chinese Agents, who invited the chief conspirators to a meeting and engaged them in personal combat. They lost their own lives but killed the principal rebels. The Chinese then abolished the office of Prime Minister, increased their garrison and gave the Agents larger powers.

About 1758 the Grand Lama died and was succeeded by an infant called Jambal. The real authority was wielded by the Panchen Lama who acted as regent and was so influential that the Emperor Ch'ien-Lung insisted on his visiting Peking.[967] He had a good reception and probably obtained some promise that the government of Tibet would be left more in the hands of the Church but he died of smallpox in Peking and nothing came of his visit except a beautiful tomb and an epitaph written by the Emperor. After his death a new complication appeared. The prelates of the Red Church encouraged an invasion of the Gurkhas of Nepal in the hope of crushing the Yellow Church. The upshot was that the Chinese drove out the Gurkhas but determined to establish a more direct control. The powers of the Agents were greatly increased and not even the Grand Lama was allowed the right of memorializing the throne, but had to report to the Agents and ask their orders.

In 1793 Ch'ien-Lung issued a remarkable edict regulating the appearance of incarnations which, as he observed, had become simply the hereditary perquisites of certain noble Mongol families. He therefore ordered that when there was any question of an incarnation the names of the claimants to the distinction should be written on slips of paper and placed in a golden bowl: that a religious service should be held and at its close a name be drawn from the bowl in the presence of the Chinese Agents and the public. The child whose name should be drawn was to be recognized as the true incarnation but required investiture by an imperial patent.

A period of calm followed, and when the Grand Lama died in 1804 the Tibetans totally neglected this edict and selected a child born in eastern Tibet. The Chinese Court, desirous of avoiding unnecessary trouble, approved[968] the choice on the ground that the infant's precocious ability established his divine character but when he died in 1815 and an attempt was made to repeat this irregularity, a second edict was published, insisting that the names of at least three candidates must be placed in the golden urn and that he whose name should be first drawn must be Grand Lama. This procedure was followed but the child elected by the oracle of the urn died before he was twenty and another infant was chosen as his successor in 1838. As a result the Lama who was regent acquired great power and also unpopularity. His tyranny caused the Tibetans to petition the Emperor; and His Majesty sent a new Agent to investigate his conduct. Good reason was shown for holding him responsible for the death of the Grand Lama in 1838 and for other misdeeds. The Emperor then degraded and banished him and, what is more singular, forbade him to reappear in a human reincarnation.

The reigns of Grand Lamas in the nineteenth century have mostly been short. Two others were selected in 1858 and 1877 respectively. The latter who is the present occupant of the post was the son of a Tibetan peasant: he was duly chosen by the oracle of the urn and invested by the Emperor. In 1893 he assumed personal control of the administration and terminated a regency which seems to have been oppressive and unpopular. The British Government were anxious to negotiate with him about Sikhim and other matters, but finding it impossible to obtain answers to their communications sent an expedition to Lhasa in 1904. The Grand Lama then fled to Urga, in which region he remained until 1907. In the autumn of 1908 he was induced to visit Peking where he was received with great ceremony but, contrary to the precedent established when the fifth Grand Lama attended Court, he was obliged to kneel and kotow before the Empress Dowager. Neither could he obtain the right to memorialize the throne, but was ordered to report to the Agents. The Court duly recognized his religious position. On the birthday of the Empress he performed a service for her long life, at which Her Majesty was present. It was not wholly successful, for a week or two later he officiated at her funeral. At the end of 1908 he left for Lhasa. He visited India in 1910 but this created dissatisfaction at Peking. In the same year[969] a decree was issued deposing him from his spiritual as well as his temporal powers and ordering the Agents to seek out a new child by drawing lots from the golden urn. This decree was probably ultra vires and certainly illogical, for if the Chinese Government recognized the Lama as an incarnation, they could not, according to the accepted theory, replace him by another incarnation before his death. And if they regarded him as a false incarnation, they should have ordered the Agents to seek out not a child but a man born about the time that the last Grand Lama died. At any rate the Tibetans paid no attention to the decree.

The early deaths of Grand Lamas in the nineteenth century have naturally created a presumption that they were put out of the way and contemporary suspicion accused the regent in 1838. There is no evidence that the deaths of the other three were regarded as unnatural but the earlier Grand Lamas as well as the abbots of Tashilhunpo lived to a good age. On the other hand the Grand Lamas of Urga are said to die young. If the pontiffs of some lines live long and those of others die early, the inference is not that the life of a god incarnate is unhealthy but that in special cases special circumstances interfere with it, and on the whole there are good grounds for suspecting foul play. But it is interesting to note that most Europeans who have made the acquaintance of high Lamas speak in praise of their character and intelligence. So Manning (the friend of Charles Lamb) of the ninth Grand Lama (1811), Bogle of the Tashi Lama about 1778, Sven Hedin of his successor in 1907, and Waddell of the Lama Regent in 1904.

The above pages refer to the history of Lamaism in Tibet and Mongolia. It also spread to China, European Russia, Ladak, Sikhim and Bhutan. In China it is confined to the north and its presence is easily explicable by the genuine enthusiasm of Khubilai and the encouragement given on political grounds by the Ming and Manchu dynasties. Further, several Mongol towns such as Kalgan and Kuku-khoto are within the limits of the eighteen provinces.

The Kalmuks who live in European Russia are the descendants of tribes who moved westwards from Dzungaria in the seventeenth century. Many of them left Russia and returned to the east in 1771, but a considerable number remained behind, chiefly between the Volga and the Don, and the population professing Lamaism there is now reckoned at about 100,000.

Buddhist influences may have been at work in Ladak from an early period. In later times it can be regarded as a dependency of Tibet, at any rate for ecclesiastical purposes, for it formed part of Tibet until the disruption of the kingdom in the tenth century and it subsequently accepted the sovereignty of Lhasa in religious and sometimes in political matters. Concerning the history of Bhutan, I have been able to discover but little. The earliest known inhabitants are called Tephu and the Tibetans are said to have conquered them about 1670. Lamaism probably entered the country at this time, if not earlier.[970] At any rate it must have been predominant in 1774 when the Tashi Lama used his good offices to conclude peace between the Bhutiyas and the East India Company. The established church however is not the Gelugpa but the Dugpa, which is a subdivision of the Kar-gyu-pa. There are two rulers in Bhutan, the Dharmaraja or spiritual and the Debraja or temporal. The former is regarded as an incarnation of the first class, though it is not clear of what deity.[971]

The conversion of Sikhim is ascribed to a saint named Latsun Ch'embo, who visited it about 1650 with two other Lamas. They associated with themselves a native chief whom they ordained as a Lama and made king. All four then governed Sikhim. Though Latsun Ch'embo is represented as a friend of the fifth Grand Lama, the two sects at present found in Sikhim are the Nying-ma-pa, the old unreformed style of Lamaism, and the Karmapa, a branch of the Kar-gyu-pa, analogous to the Dugpa of Bhutan. The principal monasteries are at Pemiongchi (Peme-yang-tse) and Tashiding.[972]


[Footnote 910: Tibetan orthography Sron-btsan-sgam-po. It is hard to decide what is the best method of representing Tibetan words in Latin letters:

(a) The orthography differs from the modern pronunciation more than in any other language, except perhaps English, but it apparently represents an older pronunciation and therefore has historical value. Also, a word can be found in a Tibetan dictionary only if the native spelling is faithfully reproduced. On the other hand readers interested in oriental matters know many words in a spelling which is a rough representation of the modern pronunciation. It seems pedantic to write bKah-hgyur and hBras-spuns when the best known authorities speak of Kanjur and Debung. On the whole, I have decided to represent the commoner words by the popular orthography as given by Rockhill, Waddell and others while giving the Tibetan spelling in a foot-note. But when a word cannot be said to be well known even among Orientalists I have reproduced the Tibetan spelling.

(b) But it is not easy to reproduce this spelling clearly and consistently. On the whole I have followed the system used by Sarat Chandra Das in his Dictionary. It is open to some objections, as, for instance, that the sign h has more than one value, but the more accurate method used by Grunwedel in his Mythologie is extremely hard to read. My transcription is as follows in the order of the Tibetan consonants.

k, kh, g, n, c, oh, j, ny. t, th, d, n, p, ph, b, m. ts, ths, ds, w. zh, z, h, y. r, l, s, s, h.

Although tsh is in some respects preferable to represent an aspirated ts, yet it is liable to be pronounced as in the English words hat shop, and perhaps ths is on the whole better.]

[Footnote 911: See Waddell, Buddhism of Tibet, p. 19.]

[Footnote 912: It has been argued (e.g., J.R.A.S., 1903, p. 11) that discoveries in Central Asia indicate that Tibetan civilization and therefore Tibetan Buddhism are older than is generally supposed. But recent research shows that Central Asian MSS. of even the eighth century say little about Buddhism, whatever testimony they may bear to civilization.]

[Footnote 913: See Hoernle MS. Remains found in E. Turkestan, 1916, pp. xvii ff., and Francke, Epig. Ind. XI. 266 ff., and on the other side Laufer in J.A.O.S. 1918, pp. 34 ff. There is a considerable difference between the printed and cursive forms of the Tibetan alphabet. Is it possible that they have different origins and that the former came from Bengal, the latter from Khotan?]

[Footnote 914: There were some other streams of Buddhism, for the king had a teacher called Santarakshita who advised him to send for Padma-Sambhava and Padma-Sambhava was opposed by Chinese bonzes.]

[Footnote 915: The Pad-ma-than-yig. It indicates some acquaintance with Islam and mentions Hulugu Khan. See T'oung Pao, 1896, pp. 526 ff. See for a further account Grunwedel, Mythologie, p. 47, Waddell, Buddhism, p. 380, and the Tibetan text edited and translated by Laufer under the title Der Roman einer tibetischen Konigin, especially pp. 250 ff. Also E. Schlagintweit, "Die Lebensbeschreibung von Padma-Sambhava," Abhand. k. bayer. Akad. I. CL. xxi. Bd. ii. Abth. 419-444, and ib. I. CL. xxii. Bd. iii. Abth. 519-576.]

[Footnote 916: Much of Chinese popular religion has the same character. See De Groot, Religious System of China, vol. VI. pp. 929, 1187. "The War against Spectres."]

[Footnote 917: Both he and the much later Saskya Pandita are said to have understood the Bruzha language, for which see T'oung Pao, 1908, pp. 1-47.]

[Footnote 918: Or bSam-yas. See Waddell, Buddhism, p. 266, for an account of this monastery at the present day.]

[Footnote 919: The Tibetan word bLama means upper and is properly applicable to the higher clergy only though commonly used of all.]

[Footnote 920: He was temporarily banished owing to the intrigues of the Queen, who acted the part of Potiphar's wife, but he was triumphantly restored. A monk called Vairocana is also said to have introduced Buddhism into Khotan from Kashmir, but at a date which though uncertain must be considerably earlier than this.]

[Footnote 921: See Journal of Buddhist Text Society, 1893, p. 5. I imagine that by Hoshang Mahayana the followers of Bodhidharma are meant.]

[Footnote 922: J.R.A.S. 1914, pp. 37-59.]

[Footnote 923: See Rockhill, Life of the Buddha, p. 225.]

[Footnote 924: Various dates are given for his death, ranging from 838 to 902. See Rockhill (Life of the Buddha), p. 225, and Bushell in J.R.A.S. 1880, pp. 440 ff. But the treaty of 822 was made in his reign.]

[Footnote 925: g Lan-dar-ma.]

[Footnote 926: But see for other accounts Rockhill (Life of the Buddha), p. 226. According to Csoma de Koros's tables the date of the persecution was 899.]

[Footnote 927: See the chronological table in Waddell's Buddhism, p. 576. Not a single Tibetan event is mentioned between 899 and 1002.]

[Footnote 928: Pag Som Jon Zang. Ed. Sarat Chandra Das, p. 183.]

[Footnote 929: Or Dipankara Srijnana. See for a life of him Journal of Buddhist Text Society, 1893, "Indian Pandits in Tibet," pp. 7 ff.]

[Footnote 930: Suvarnadvipa, where he studied, must be Thaton and it is curious to find that it was a centre of tantric learning.]

[Footnote 931: From 1026 onwards see the chronological tables of Sum-pa translated by Sarat Chandra Das in J.A.S.B. 1889, pp. 40-82. They contain many details, especially of ecclesiastical biography. The Tibetan system of computing time is based on cycles of sixty years beginning it would seem not in 1026 but 1027, so that in many dates there is an error of a year. See Pelliot, J.A. 1913, I. 633, and Laufer, T'oung Pao, 1913, 569.]

[Footnote 932: Or Jenghiz Khan. The form in the text seems to be the more correct.]

[Footnote 933: Tegri or Heaven. This monotheism common to the ancient Chinese, Turks and Mongols did not of course exclude the worship of spirits.]

[Footnote 934: Guyuk was Khagan at this time but the Mongol History of Sanang Setsen (Schmidt, p. 3) says that the Lama was summoned by the Khagan Godan. It seems that Godan was never Khagan, but as an influential prince he may have sent the summons.]

[Footnote 935: hPhagspa (corrupted in Mongol to Bashpa) is merely a title equivalent to Ayra in Sanskrit. His full style was hPhagspa bLo-gros-rgyal-mthsan.]

[Footnote 936: By abhisekha or sprinkling with water.]

[Footnote 937: Vasita is a magical formula which compels the obedience of spirits or natural forces. Hevajra (apparently the same as Heruka) is one of the fantastic beings conceived as manifestations of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas made for a special purpose, closely corresponding, as Grunwedel points out, to the manifestations of Siva.]

[Footnote 938: Schmidt's edition, p. 115.]

[Footnote 939: It is given in Isaac Taylor's The Alphabet, vol. II. p. 336. See also J.R.A.S. 1910, pp. 1208-1214.]

[Footnote 940: E.g. see the Tisastvustik, a sutra in a Turkish dialect and Uigur characters found at Turfan and published in Bibliotheca Buddhica, XII.]

[Footnote 941: See Kokka, No. 311, 1916, Tibetan Art in China.]

[Footnote 942: Sanang Setsen, p. 121. The succession of the Sakya abbots is not clear but the primacy continued in the family. See Koppen, II. p. 105.]

[Footnote 943: Strictly speaking a place-name.]

[Footnote 944: The Tibetan orthography is bTson (or Tson)-kha-pa. He was called rJe-rin-po-che bLo-bzan-grags-pa in Tibetan and Arya-maharatna Sumatikirti in Sanskrit. The Tibetan orthography of the monastery is sKu-hbum or hundred thousand pictures. See, for accounts of his life, Sarat Chandra Das in J.A.S.B. 1882, pp. 53-57 and 127. Huth, Buddhismus in der Mongolei, ii. pp. 175 ff.]

[Footnote 945: There is some difference of statement as to whether these markings are images of Tsong-kha-pa or Tibetan characters. Hue, though no Buddhist, thought them miraculous. See his Travels in Tartary, vol. ii. chap. ii. See also Rockhill, Land of the Lamas, p. 67, and Filchner, Das Kloster Kumbum, chap. vi.]

[Footnote 946: But the tradition mentioned by Hue that he was instructed by a long-nosed stranger from the west, has not been found in any Tibetan biography.]

[Footnote 947: Tibetan orthography writes dGah-ldan, Se-ra, hBras-spuns and bKra-sis-Lhun-po. dGah-ldan, the happy, is a translation of the Sanskrit Tushita or Paradise. Tsong-kha-pa's reformed sect was originally called dGah-lugs-pa or those who follow the way of dGa[.]-ldan. But this possibly suggested those who pursue pleasure and the name was changed to dGe-lugs-pa or those of the virtuous order.]

[Footnote 948: dGe-'dun grub.]

[Footnote 949: He was not the same as Ha-li-ma (see p. 277) of whom more is heard in Chinese accounts. Ha-li-ma or Karma was fifth head of the Karma-pa school and was invited on his own merits to China where he died in 1426 or 1414. See Huth, l.c. vol. I. p. 109 and vol. II. p. 171. Also Koppen, die Rel. des Buddha, II. 107. Byams-chen-chos-rje was invited as the representative of Tsong-ka-pa. See Huth, l.c. vol. I. p. 120, vol. II. p. 129.]

[Footnote 950: See for a list of the Lamas of Tashilhunpo and their lives J.A.S.B. 1882, pp. 15-52. The third incarnation was Abhayakara Gupta, a celebrated Bengali Pandit who flourished in the reign of Ramapala. This appears to have been about 1075-1115, but there is considerable discrepancy in the dates given.]

[Footnote 951: See for his life J.A.S.B. 1882, p. 24.]

[Footnote 952: Tsong-kha-pa is not reckoned in this series of incarnations, for firstly he was regarded as an incarnation of Manjusri and secondly Geden-dub was born before his death and hence could not represent the spirit which dwelt in him.]

[Footnote 953: Tibetan sPrul-pa, Mongol Khubilghan. Both are translations of the Sanskrit Nirmana and the root idea is not incarnation but transformation in an illusive form.]

[Footnote 954: The following list of Grand Lamas is taken from Grunwedel's Mythologie, p. 206. Their names are followed by the title rGya-mThso and in many cases the first part of the name is a title.

1. dGe-hdun-dub, 1391-1478. 2. dGe-hdun, 1479-1541. 3. bSod-nams, 1543-1586. 4. Yon-tan, 1587-1614. 5. Nag-dban bLo-bzan, 1617-1680. 6. Rin-chen Thsans-dbyans, 1693-1703. 7. bLo-bzan sKal-dan, 1705-1758. 8. bLo-bzan hJam-dpal, 1759-1805. 9. bLo-bzan Lun-rtogs, 1806-1815. 10. bLo-bzan Thsul-khrims, 1817-1837. 11. bLo-bzan dGe-dmu, 1838-1855. 12. bLo-bzan Phrin-las, 1856-1874. 13. Nag-dban bLo-bzan Thub-ldam, 1875. ]

[Footnote 955: See for an account of his doings Sanang Setsen, chap. IX. Huth, Geschichte, II. pp. 200 ff. Koppen, II. pp. 134 ff. It would appear that about 1545 northwestern Tibet was devastated by Mohammedans from Kashgar. See Waddell, Buddhism, p. 583.]

[Footnote 956: Also known as Yenta or Anda. See, for some particulars about him, Parker in N. China Branch of R.A.S. 1913, pp. 92 ff.]

[Footnote 957: Naturally the narrative is not told without miraculous embellishment, including the singular story that Altan who suffered from the gout used to put his feet every month into the ripped up body of a man or horse and bathe them in the warm blood. Avalokita appeared to him when engaged in this inhuman cure and bade him desist and atone for his sins.]

[Footnote 958: In Tibetan rGya-mThso. Compare the Chinese expression hai liang (sea measure) meaning capacious or broad minded. The Khagan received the title of lHai thsans-pa chen-po equivalent to Divyamahabrahma.]

[Footnote 959: The correct Mongol names of this place seem to be Orgo and Kura. The Lama's name was bSam-pa rGya-mThso.]

[Footnote 960: He finished his history in 1608 and lived some time longer so that bSam-pa rGya-mThso cannot have been an incarnation of him.]

[Footnote 961: This is an accepted abbreviation of his full name Nag-dban bLo-zan rGya-mThso. Nag-dban is an epithet meaning eloquent.]

[Footnote 962: The name is variously written Gushi, Gushri, Gus'ri, etc., and is said to stand for Gurusri. The name of the tribe also varies: Oirad and Oegeled are both found.]

[Footnote 963: So called from the sacred hill in India on which Avalokita lives. The origin of the name is doubtful but before the time of Hsuan Chuang it had come to be applied to a mountain in South India.]

[Footnote 964: Some European authorities consider that Lo-zang invented this system of incarnations. Native evidence seems to me to point the other way, but it must be admitted that if he was the first to claim for himself this dignity it would be natural for him to claim it for his predecessors also and cause ecclesiastical history to be written accordingly.]

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