Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
A Survey of Bonpo Monasteries
by Dondrup Lhagyal, Phuntso Tsering Sharyul, Tsering Thar, Charles Ramble and Marietta Kind
Edited by Samten G. Karmay and Yasuhiko Nagano
National Museum of Ethnology and THL
Reproduced with permission from the authors
under the THL Digital Text License.

Introduction

Foreign interference

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Jungar tribes of the Ili district in western Mongolia began to expand their empire. When they became a threat to the Manchu rule over China, the emperor Kangxi had to appeal to the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682) to exert his influence over them since they were of recent conversion to the dGe lugs pa school. Tibetan authorities in Lhasa maintained good relations with them. However, after the death of the Fifth Dalai Lama, the Manchus began to have political interests in Tibet. sDe srid Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho was therefore in collusion with the Jungars in a design to outdo the policies of the Emperor Kangxi concerning Tibet. In 1717, they accordingly began to make incursions into Tibet intended partly to forestall any aggression from the Manchus and on the pretext of defending dGe lugs pa interests. As their hordes made their way into Tibet, they attacked Bonpo monasteries that they found in their way, looting, burning and murdering monks. As a people of recent conversion, they seem to have had the conviction that they should ransack other religious establishments in Tibet that were non-dGe lugs pa, such as those of the rNying ma pa and Bonpo. The rNying ma pa suffered particularly at their hands in Central Tibet as they executed several eminent rNying ma pa masters, like Lochen Dharmasri (1654-1717) amongst others, for no valid reasons. Many a Bonpo establishment, such as gShen Dar lding, had experienced the plunder of the Jungars. From the accounts of Phuntso Tsering, it is clear that they pillaged and destroyed at least six Bonpo monasteries (Nos. 15, 19, 22, 54, 27, 34). The Jungars were finally expelled by the Tibetans with the help of the Manchu army.

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Note Citation for Page

Dondrup Lhagyal, Phuntso Tsering Sharyul, Tsering Thar, Charles Ramble, and Marietta Kind, A Survey of Bonpo Monasteries and Temples in Tibet and the Himalaya (Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology, 2003), .

Bibliographic Citation

Dondrup Lhagyal, Phuntso Tsering Sharyul, Tsering Thar, Charles Ramble, and Marietta Kind. A Survey of Bonpo Monasteries and Temples in Tibet and the Himalaya. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology, 2003.