The title of “Dalai Lama“, was not granted by the Dalai Lama himself, or created by Tibetan Buddhism, or conferred by the old Tibetan ruling class and still less by any foreigners. The title was actually granted by the central government of China’s dynasties and has multi-ethnic language features.
In the late Ming dynasty, Tibetan Buddhism proliferated into a number of sects, among which Sagya, Gagya and Gadang were most popular. However, many monks failed to follow Buddhist tenets; instead, they always served the devil by seeking fame and personal interests, disrespecting senior monks, indulging in entertainment, abducting, cheating or raping women. This resulted in grievances among the public in Tibet. At that time, Tsongkapa, a monk born in Qinghai Province, was learning Buddha Dharma in Tibet. Seeing all this, he felt that what these monks did was a long way from the actual requirements of Buddhism. Then he proposed a religious reform of all sects in Tibet, and vowed to create a new sect.
In 1402 and 1406, Tsongkapa finished writing “Treaties of the Staged Enlightenment” and “Tantra in Tibet: The Grand Exposition of Secret Mantra” respectively, laying a theoretical basis for establishing the Gelug Sect. He thought that Buddhism believers ought to first respect Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, be devoted to learning Sutras, Vinaya and Sastra of Tripitaka Sutra, as well as the three trainings of precepts, concentration, and insight. That is, to abide by taboos, to esteem the Buddhas and Patriarchs, to be immersed in studying the original meaning of Buddhist scriptures, to cultivate oneself according to Buddhist doctrine, to free oneself from vulgarity, to study intensively sutras of Mahayana and Hinayana, as well as to practice both Esoteric and Exotoric Buddhism.
Tsongkapa’s reform soon won support from the Tibetan nobles and serf owners. In lunar January 1409, he held and presided over the first Pray for Blessing Dharma Assembly in Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple. Later in the same year, Tsongkapa had the Ganden Monastery built and appointed himself the chief abbot there, marking the establishment of the Gelug Sect.
With an increasingly higher influence, the Gelug sprang up in Tibet and Qinghai. As a result, more monasteries were set up, such as Drepung, Sera and Tashilhunpo, laying a solid foundation for the development of the Yellow Sect.
Tsongkapa’s success in the reformation enabled the Gelug to become the largest sect in Tibetan Buddhism. “Gelug” means that Buddhism believers should do good things and never do evil things. It is also called Huangjiao (the Yellow Sect) by the Han people because its followers always wear yellow hats.
Though it was the last to come into being, the Gelug had grown into the most powerful sect in Tibet with the energetic support of the central dynasty. This indicates that even a small sect would be able to become grand and influential in a region, so long as it gained support of the imperial court, the central government or a secular regime.
The title of “Dalai” first came from the third Dalai Lama Soinam Gyamco. “Gyamco” means the Sea in the Tibetan language, which is contained in the name of Dalai Lama of later generations.
In 1577, the 38th year of the reign of Emperor Jiajing of the Ming dynasty, Soinam Gyamco, Tsongkapa’s third-generation disciple, came to Qinghai, by traveling thousands of miles from Tibet, to publicize the doctrine of the Gelug Sect. At that time, Mongolian noble Althan Khan, who ruled Qinghai, was a Buddhist who believed in Tibetan Buddhism the most. Hearing that Soinam Gyamco had arrived, he extended a rousing welcome to the dignitary and conferred him the title of “the Overseer of the Buddhist Faith Vajra-dhara Dalai Lama” to express appreciation of his wisdom and talents.
The title has multi-ethnic language characteristics. “The Overseer of the Buddhist Faith” is the Han language. “Vajra-dhara” in Sanskrit means the ultimate Primordial Buddha, or Adi Buddha, according to the cosmology of Tibetan Buddhism. “Dalai” in the Mongolian language means the sea, and “Lama” in Tibetan means Living Buddha. All the best words in multi-ethnic languages had been granted to Soinam Gyamco.
Thanks to the support of the mighty Mongolian Khan, the newly-established Gelug Sect was able to stand firm in Tibet. Then the titles of “the first and the second Dalai Lama” were given to the former generations.
In 1653, the 10th year of the reign of the Emperor Shunzhi of the Qing dynasty, the 5th Dalai Lama, who had reached Beijing in the previous year, was granted an honorific title plus a golden certificate of appointment and a golden seal of authority by the Qing imperial court. For the first time the Dalai Lama had the administrative power as authorized by the central government. As a result, the Dalai Lama became a principal leader of theocracy in Tibet, which integrated administrative and religious powers.
Having been imperially acknowledged and granted the authority over Tibet since then, almost all the Dalai Lamas of later generations, except for the 14th Dalai Lama, were patriotic, loyal to the central government, and devoted to safeguarding the national unity. What people could not understand is that now that every Dalai Lama was the reincarnation of the late Living Buddha, why the patriotic quality wasn’t passed to the 14th?
In fact, what the 14th Dalai Lama loves is his personal reputation, personal status and old Tibetan local regime practicing a feudal serfdom under the theocracy. Since he fled to India in 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama has been depending on the western countries for survival and those politicians with ulterior motives who can support his living, to win his so-called honor, status and obtain more funds from them. How despicable it is that Dalai, a previously esteemed religious leader in Tibet, has been reduced into a card of others chosen to play in the game!
History of the Dalai Lamas
Let’s look at the history of the Dalai Lamas.
As mentioned above, the first and the second Dalai Lamas were posthumously admitted after the third Dalai Lama, who died at 46, was conferred the honor title by the Mongolian Khan.
The 4th Dalai Lama, Yundain Gyamco, was confirmed as the reincarnated soul boy of the late 3rd Dalai Lama by Gaden Tripa (the supreme head of the Gelug lineage, whose status was the same as Tsongkapa) before the Sakyamuni statue in Ganden Monastery. And he was granted the title of “Holy Vajra Buddha” in addition to an official seal as well as Lama costume and hat by Emperor Wanli in Ming dynasty. He died at 28.
The 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyamco, was conferred the title of “the Dalai Lama” by Emperor Shunzhi, plus a golden certificate of appointment and a golden seal of authority, bearing inscription written in three languages: Manchurian, Tibetan and Han. In 1682 he passed away at 68.
Three years later, Cangyang Gyamco was selected to be the 6th Dalai Lama and Emperor Kangxi of the Qing dynasty appointed Living Buddha Lcang-skya to officiate the sitting -in-the-bed enthronement ceremony at the Potala Palace. Cangyang Gyamco died at 25.
The 7th Dalai Lama Lobsang Gyamco was determined as the soul boy at 12 in Tar Monastery by Emperor Kangxi’s 14th son Yunti on behalf of the Qing imperial court. And he was granted a golden certificate of appointment and a golden seal of authority by Emperor Kangxi, with inscription written in three languages, Manchurian, Tibetan and Han Chinese. He died at 49.
In 1761, Emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty approved confirmed soul boy Jambai Gyamco in the form of an edict and he ordered Grand Minister Resident of Tibet and the 6th Panchen Lama to hold the enthronement ceremony at the Potala Palace in the following year, granting a golden certificate of appointment and a golden seal of authority. The 8th Dalai Lama passed away at 46.
The 9th Dalai Lama Lhundo Gyamco was confirmed as Living Buddha without going through the procedure of “drawing lot from the golden urn (the system introduced by Emperor Qianlong for Lamasery to determine the reincarnate of the late Living Buddha)” with the approval of Emperor Jiaqing of the Qing dynasty, who issued an imperial edict for this purpose. He was enthroned in the sitting-in-the-bed ceremony held by Grand Minister Resident of Tibet at the Potala Palace, but he died at the age of 10.
The 10th Dalai Lama Curchen Gyamco was determined as the soul boy with the approval of Emperor Daoguang of the Qing dynasty and went through the procedure of the drawing (of) lots presided over by Grand Minister Resident of Tibet together with the Panchen Lama. The 10th Dalai Lama died at the age of 21.
The 11th Dalai Lama came to throne after being approved imperially and going through the lot-drawing process. Emperor Daoguang dispatched a special envoy to deliver the certificate of appointment and gifts. The 11th Dalai Lama died in 1855 at 18.
In 1860, the sitting-in-the-bed ceremony was held to enthrone the 12th Dalai Lama Chenlie Gyamco after the lot-drawing procedure officiated by Grand Minister Resident of Tibet and the Hotogtu Living Buddha Razheng. Emperor Xianfeng of the Qing dynasty granted him a golden certificate of appointment and many gifts, and he died at the age of 20.
The 13th Dalai Lama was the second Dalai Lama approved as the reincarnated Living Buddha exempted from the drawing lot. Emperor Guangxu of the Qing dynasty ordered Grand Minister of Resident in Tibet and the 8th Panchen to preside over the sitting-in-the-bed enthronement ceremony and issued an imperial edict approving Lobsang Takai Gyamco to use the golden seal of authority of the 12th Dalai Lama. The 13th Dalai Lama passed away at 58.
The 14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama, Dainzin Gyamco, is a son of a farmer in Dangcai Village, near Taer Monastery, in west China’s Qinghai Province. He was born on May 5, 1935 and was originally named Lhamo Toinzhub. Following the death of the 13th Dalai Lama on Dec, 17,1933, Tibet’s Gaxag Government and three monasteries in Lhasa (Sera Monastery, Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery) started searching for the reincarnated soul boy in accordance with religious practices.
Three candidates for the soul boy were found. In accordance with the 29-Article Imperially Approved Ordinance for the More Efficient Governing of Tibet by the Qing dynasty, the soul boy must be approved by the Qing Government. Moreover, the regulations stipulate that if there are several candidates, the soul boy shall be decided by drawing a lot from a gold urn. At the lot-drawing ceremony, the lots bearing the names of candidates in Chinese, Mandarin and Tibetan languages are put into a gold urn and drawn by the Grand Minister Resident of Tibet of Qing dynasty in the face of the representatives of Tibetan monks and lay people.
If the candidate with the lot bearing his name has the lucky number, he shall be the reincarnated soul boy of the dead Dalai or Panchen. The result of the lot drawing shall be reported to the emperor or the central government of the Qing dynasty for approval. Since there were three candidates for the soul boy of the 13th Dalai, a lot-drawing process was essential. In the winter of 1938, Living Buddha Prince Regent Razheng of the Tibetan government reported to Wu Zhongxin, commissioner of the Chinese Commission for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs of the Nationalist Government, that Lhamo Toinzhub, the reincarnated soul boy of the 13th Dalai, had been found in Qinghai Province. The Nationalist Government then instructed Ma Bufang, chairman of the Qinghai provincial government, to send troops to escort the soul boy to Tibet and also allocated 100,000 silver dollars as travel expenses.
Lhamo Toinzhub and his entourage left Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province, in July, 1939 and arrived in Lhasa in October. The Gaxag government reported Chiang Kai-shek, chairman of the Nationalist Government, saying “the title-granting, ordainment and a sitting-in-bed ceremony (enthronement ceremony) for the soul boy shall be held on an auspicious day and the date shall be submitted to the government soon.”
Later, Prince Regent Razheng of the local Tibetan government reported to the Central Government that as Lhamo Toinzhub, the soul boy from Qinghai Province, was exceptionally “intelligent.” He proposed that the soul boy should be exempt from the lot-drawing procedure. On Jan. 26, 1940, Razheng wrote to Wu, saying that “All Tibetan monks and lay people, old and young, rich and poor, all sincerely believe (Lhamo Toinzhub) is the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai. As all hold the same opinion, a lot-drawing process is unnecessary and the ordainment ceremony can be held as stipulated. All this has been reported to the Central Government for approval.”
Wu cabled the Executive Yuan of the Nationalist Government the following day after he received the letter. Chiang, then chairman of the Executive Yuan, reported to the Nationalist Government on 31, Jan, asking for permission that the lot-drawing be exempted and allow Lhamo Toinzhub be enthroned as the 14th Dalai Lama. Chiang also asked for fund for the sitting-in-bed ceremony. On Feb. 3, Lin Sen, chairman of the Nationalist Government, issued an order on behalf of the Nationalist Government, which reads:
“Order from the Nationalist Government: the Qinghai soul boy Lhamo Toinzhub, with unusual wisdom and extraordinarily intelligent signs, has been found as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama and should be allowed to ascend his throne as the 14the Dalai Lama without going through the lot-drawing ceremony. ”
On Feb. 22, 1940, in accordance with historical regulations and the requirement of the local Tibetan government, the Nationalist Government dispatched Wu Zhongxin, commissioner of the Chinese Commission for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs, to Tibet for the sitting-in-bed ceremony. Wu visited the soul boy on behalf of the Central Government and then presided over the enthronement ceremony.
On May 23, 1951, representatives of the Central Government and local government of Tibet signed the Agreement Between the Central Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Method for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet (also known as The 17-Article Agreement) in the hall of Qingzhengdian, in Zhongnanhai, in Beijing. On the following day, Chairman Mao Zedong gave a banquet in honor of the representatives of both sides in the hall of Huairentan, in Zhongnanhai, to celebrate the signing of the agreement regarding the peaceful liberation of Tibet.
Chairman Mao said happily, “Now, the forces led by the Dalai Lama and those led by the 10th Panchen Erdeni and the Central Government have become united. This has been achieved after the Chinese people overthrew the imperialist and domestic reactionary rule.” The People’s Daily carried the full text of the agreement.
After the 17-Article Agreement was signed, the 14th Dalai, who was in Yadong, a small town in south Tibet, ready to flee to a foreign country at any time, cabled Chairman Mao:
“Chairman Mao of the Central People’s Government:
“This year the local government of Tibet sent five delegates with full authority headed by Kaloon Ngapoi to Beijing in late April 1951 to conduct peace talks with delegates with full authority appointed by the Central People’s Government.
“On the basis of friendship, delegates on both sides concluded the Agreement on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet on May 23,1951.”
“The local government of Tibet as well as the Tibetan monks and laymen unanimously support this agreement, and under the leadership of Chairman Mao and the Central People’s Government, will actively assist the People’s Liberation Army in Tibet to consolidate national defense, drive imperialist influences out of Tibet and safeguard the unification of the territory and the sovereignty of the motherland. I hereby send this cable to inform you of this.”
The Dalai Lama of the Local Government of Tibet
Oct. 24, 1951 of the Solar Calendar
Chairman Mao cabled Dalai Lama:
Mr. Dalai Lama, I have received your letter dating on Oct. 24, 1951. I would like to thank you for your efforts to sign the agreement concerning the peaceful liberation of Tibet and would also like to extend my sincere congratulations to you.
Oct. 26, 1951.
At the First National People’s Congress, the 14th Dalai Lama was elected a vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, thus becoming a young leader of New China.
Chairman Mao gave (sent) the 14th Dalai Lama 12 letters and cables from 1951 to 1957, with seven letters written personally by himself. Zhang Jingwu, representative of the Central Government in Tibet, delivered the first letter to Dalai from India to Yadong, a small town in southern Tibet. He also advised Dalai to return to Lhasa. The last letter was written on Aug. 18, 1957, in which Chairman Mao praised Dalai for returning to Tibet from India.
From the letter and cables we can see that Chairman Mao had pinned great hopes on young Dalai and that he hoped that the 17-Article Agreement would be implemented with Dalai’s efforts. With regard to the reform that did not involve the political power of old Tibet and that would maintain the original political and religious status, young Dalai always got things done with a great enthusiasm. Nevertheless, if the reform was designed to grant farmers and herdsmen greater rights and interests, he then became very inactive. In particular, on the issue regarding China’s unification, Dalai usually took a wait-and-see attitude and agreed with it overtly but opposed it covertly.
After a rebellion took place in Tibet on March 10 in 1959, Mao Zedong once spoke of the Dalai Lama’s fleeing abroad at the 16th supreme state conference.
The leader said, “If he is willing to return home and is able to get rid the reactionaries, then we hope he will do. However, in fact it seems impossible for him to return home. Is it possible for him to change his own world outlook? Perhaps he will do so in 60 years, maybe it will not take 60 years. But as the matter stands now, it is unrealistic to expect him to return within a very short time. If he wants to return, he can do so tomorrow. ”
In a talk with the 10th Panchen Erdeni and Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme in Beijing on May 7, 1959, Chairman Mao said: “As for the Dalai Lama, one possibility is that he will return and the other is that he will not come back. Messages carried by Indian newspapers show that he is planning to return. But the two statements he made thoroughly oppose the Central Government and the big family of the motherland, and advocate Tibet independence. As a result, he has blocked his own way back home.”
Mao added, “Even so, we still leave leeway for him and elected him vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. Furthermore, the position of the chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the Founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region is still kept for him. By leaving leeway for him, we’ have taken the initiative in our hands.”
In this way, the Central Government waited patiently for the Dalai Lama to change his attitude toward splitting the motherland. His post of NPC Standing Committee vice chairman was retained until 1964.
Since fleeing abroad in 1959, the Dalai Lama has never stopped activities to split the motherland in both words and deeds. Before the 1970s, the Dalai Lama and his clique remained in the state of silence. However, ever since the 1970s, especially since 1989, the Dalai Lama became quite active in the international arena, with the support of Western anti-China forces.
He has visited 64 countries and regions and visited Taiwan twice. He visited nine countries for at least ten times. For instance, he had visited Norway ten times, Austria, 12 times, Japan, 13 times, Britain, 16 times, Switzerland, 19 times, France, 20 times, Italy, 22 times, Germany, 32 times, and the U.S., 36 times.
In all the countries and regions the Dalai Lama visited, he was received by local principal politicians. However, As a matter of fact, the leaders of the Western countries are clear that they met him not because Dalai had a great personal charm or had a high international status, but because they wanted to use his political value to divert China’s attention and impede its development and rise. It’s not hard to tell which country supports him most strongly just from the number of his visits to the countries.
The Chinese people and leaders have always been tolerant and patient to the Dalai Lama. In an interview with AP journalist Steele held after the decade-long Cultural Revolution, the then vice chairman of the CPC Central Committee Deng Xiaoping said, “The Dalai Lama may come back, but must as a Chinese citizen. We have only one requirement, that is, patriotism. We have also maintained that it is never too late to be a patriot. ”
In February the next year, the Dalai Lama’s private envoy returned to China and contacted related departments of the Central Government. In March, Deng Xiaoping had a meeting with the Dalai’s envoy, saying: “The cardinal principle is that Tibet is part of China. We ought to use this criterion to judge whether anything is correct or not.”
In Nov. 1997, President Jiang Zemin delivered a speech at Harvard University in the U.S. After the speech, a question concerning talks between the Chinese Central Government and the Dalai Lama was raised. President Jiang answered the question in explicit terms: “As long as the Dalai Lama really abandons his advocate of Tibet independence, as long as he stops his activities to split the motherland, as long as he openly declares that Tibet is an inalienable part of China, as long as he acknowledges Taiwan is a province of China and the Government of People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government to represent the whole of China, the door of negotiations is wide open.”
On March 26, 2008, in his phone conversation with U.S. President George W. Bush, President Hu Jintao made clear China’s policy concerning the Dalai Lama: “The Chinese Governemnt’s policy concerning the Dalai Lama has been explicit and consistent, and we have been maintaining contacts with him with maximum patience. So long as he abandons Tibet independence, halts activities to split the country, especially the present activities to instigate and design violent crimes all over Tibet and elsewhere in China, and activities to sabotage the Beijing Olympics, as long as he acknowledges Tibet and Taiwan are inalienable parts of China, we are willing to continue engaging him and holding talks with him.”
It can be stated that the Chinese leaders’ attitude toward and policies on the Dalai Lama have been consistent, whereas the Dalai Lama’s attitude varies with the changes in the international situation.
As early as 50 years ago, Mao Zedong came to know the true nature of the Dalai Lama. Just a few days before Dalai went to India to attend ceremony to mark the 2500 Anniversary of Sakyamuni’s Nirvana, the leader predicted the possibility of Dala’s not return at the Second Plenary Session of the Eighth CPC Central Committee.
“We must predict that Dalai will possibly not come back. He will not only refuse to return, but also curse us, saying ‘Chinese Communist Party’ invaded Tibet’. He would go so far as to declare ‘Tibet independence’ in India.”
As was expected, after the Dalai Lama and the 10th Panchen Erdeni went to India, only the latter returned, while the Dalai Lama stayed in New Delhi and refused to return home at the instigation of certain foreign forces and Tibetan separatists who had previously fled to India.
Late Premier Zhou Enlai who was then visiting India met with the Dalai Lama for three times. Thanks to Premier Zhou’s earnest admonition and patient persuasion, the Dalai Lame returned to China. Chairman Mao sent a letter to him right away in praise of his deed.
On Jan. 23, 1961, Mao Zedong had a long conversation with the 10th Panchen Erdeni in Beijing. Speaking of the Dalai Lama, he said, “The Dalai Lama was very reluctant to sign the agreements. He and his clique sent two groups of negotiators: one led by Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme from Chanmdo to Beijing, and the other from Kolkata, India. The second delegation was obstructed by Nehru, while the delegation members did not want to come. Seeing that they had to, they arrived at last. … The Dalai Lama began to conspire a rebellion after he left Beijing in 1955. He had been arranging the rebellion for two years, from his departure from India to his return from India in early 1958. ”
On Oct. 6, 1959, Mao Zedong met a delegation of the Communist Party of India. In his conversation with Ajoy Kumar Ghosh, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of India, Mao expressed China’s attitude toward the Dalai Lama: “We hope for his return if he supports our proposition. As long as he acknowledges two principles, i.e., first, Tibet is part of China; second, he agrees to carry out democratic and socialist reforms in Tibet, then he can come back. ”
China’s central authorities have not changed the policy formulated by Mao Zedong 57 years ago concerning the Dalai Lama who fled abroad, especially the first principle. With the passage of so many years, however, the Dalai Lama has not changed his attitude at all. Furthermore, he has become even more skilled in serving as a double dealer, and slipped further and further on the path of splitting the motherland.