The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults

Postby admin » Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:08 am

Part 2 of 3

The other sects accepted the situation, as they were indeed forced to do; and all now, while still retaining each its own separate hierarchical system, acknowledge the Grand Lama of Lhasa to be the head of the Lamaist church, in that he is the incarnation of the powerful Buddhist deity Avalokita. And they too adopted the attractive theory of the re-incarnate succession and divine reflexes.

Potala. The Palace of the Dalai Lama. (From Kircher's China Illustrata.)

It is not easy to get at the real facts regarding the origin and development of the theory of re-incarnate Lamas, as the whole question has been purposely obscured, so as to give it the appearance of antiquity.

It seems to me that it arose no earlier than the fifteenth century, and that at first it was simply a scheme to secure stability for the succession to the headship of the sect against electioneering intrigues of crafty Lamas, and was, at first, a simple re-incarnation theory; which, however, must not be confused with the orthodox Buddhist theory of re-birth as a result of Karma, for the latter is never confined in one channel. On the contrary, it holds that the spirit of the deceased head Lama is always reborn in a child, who has to be found by oracular signs, and duly installed in the vacant chair; and he on his death is similarly reborn, and so on ad infinitum, thus securing, on quasi-Buddhistic principles, continuous succession by the same individual through successive re-embodiments.

The first authentic instance of re-incarnate Lamas which I can find is the first of the Grand Lamas of the Ge-lug-pa, namely, Ge-den-dub. Had this theory been invented prior to Tson K'apa's death in 1417 A.D., it is practically certain that the succession to Tson K'apa would have begun with an infant re-incarnation. But we find the infant re-incarnationship only beginning with the death of Tson K'apa's successor, namely, his nephew and pupil, Ge-den-dub aforesaid; and from this epoch the succession to the Ge-lug-pa Grand Lamaship has gone on according to this theory. As the practice worked well, it was soon adopted by the Lamas of other sects, and it has so extended that now nearly every great monastery has its own re-incarnate Lama as its chief, and some have several of these amongst their higher officials.

The more developed or expanded theory, however, of celestial Lama-reflexes, which ascribes the spirit of the original Lama to an emanation (Nirmana kaya, or, changeable body)5 from a particular celestial Buddha or divine Bodhisat, who thus becomes incarnate in the church, seems to me to have been of much later origin, and most probably the invention of the crafty Dalai Lama Nag-wan, or Gyal-wa Na-pa,6 about 150 years later. For, previous to the time when this latter Grand Lama began to consolidate his newly-acquired temporal rule over Tibet, no authentic records seem to exist of any such celestial origin of any Lamas, and the theory seems unknown to Indian Buddhism.7 And this Dalai Lama is known to have taken the greatest liberties with the traditions and legends of Tibet, twisting them to fit in with his divine pretensions, and to have shaped the Lamaist hierarchy on the lines on which it now exists.

This Dalai Lama, Gyal-wa Na-pa, is the first of these celestial incarnate Lamas which I can find. He was made, or, as I consider, made himself, to be the incarnation of the most popular Buddhist divinity possible, namely, Avalokita, and to the same rank were promoted the four Grand Lamas who preceded him, and who, together with himself, were identified with the most famous king of Tibet, to wit, Sron Tsan Gampo, thus securing the loyalty of the people to his rule, and justifying his exercise of the divine right of kings; and to ensure prophetic sanction for this scheme he wrote, or caused to be written, the mythical so-called history, Mani kah-'bum. It was then an easy task to adjust to this theory, with retrospective effect, the bygone and present saints who were now affiliated to one or other of the celestial Buddhas or Bodhisats, as best suited their position and the church. Thus, Tson K'apa, having been a contemporary of the first Grand Lama, could not be Avalokitesvara, so he was made to be an incarnation of Manjusri, or "the god of wisdom," on whom, also, Atisa was affiliated as the wisest and most learned of the Indian monks who had visited Tibet; and so also King Thi Sron Detsan, for his aid in founding the order of the Lamas.

It also seems to me that Na-pa was the author of the re-incarnate Lama theory as regards Tashi-lhunpo monastery and the so-called double-hierarchy; for an examination of the positive data on this subject shows that the first re-incarnate Lama of Tashi-lhunpo dates only from the reign of this Na-pa, and seven years after his accession to the kingship of Tibet.

Tashi-lhunpo monastery was founded in 1445 by Geden-dub, the first Grand Ge-lug-pa Lama, who seems, however, to have mostly lived and to have died at De-pung.

It will be noticed from the list of Tashi Grand Lamas8 that Geden-dub, the founder of Tashi-lhunpo, contrary to the current opinion of European writers, does not appear as a Tashi Lama at all. This official list of Tashi-lhunpo, read in the light of the biographies of these Lamas,9 clearly shows that previous to the Lama who is number two of the list, and who was born during the latter end of Dalai Lama Na-pa's reign as aforesaid, none of the Tashi-lhunpo Lamas were regarded as re-incarnations at all. The first on this list, namely, Lo-zan Ch'o-kyi Gyal-ts'an, began as a private monk, and travelled about seeking instruction in the ordinary way, and not until his thirty-first year was he promoted to the abbotship, and then only by election and on account of distinguished ability. It is also interesting to note that on the death, in 1614, of the fourth Grand Lama of the Ge-lug-pa (named Yon-tan), whom he had ordained, he was installed in the abbotship at Gah-ldan monastery, and in 1622, at the age of 53, he initiated, as fifth Grand Lama, the infant Na-pa, who was then seven years old, and who afterwards became the great Dalai Lama.

And he continued to be the spiritual father and close friend and adviser of Na-pa, and seems to have begun those political negotiations which culminated in the cession of Tibet to his protege. When he died, in 1662, his spiritual son Na-pa, who was 47 years old, and had been 22 years in the kingship, promptly re-incarnated him, and also made him out to be his own spiritual father, even as regards the divine emanation theory. Thus the new-born babe was alleged to be an incarnation of Avalokita's spiritual father, Amitabha, the Buddha of Boundless Light; and he was given a considerable share in the management of the established church. This, however, merely perpetuated the relations which had actually existed between these two Grand Lamas as father and son, and which had worked so well, and had such obvious political advantages in providing against interregnums.

In the hierarchical scheme of succession by re-incarnate Lamas, the Lhasa Grand Lama, who wields the sovereign power, thus gave himself the highest place, but allotted the Tashi-lhunpo Grand Lama a position second only to his own. Below these come the other re-incarnate Lamas, ranking according to whether they are regarded to be re-embodiments of Indian or of Tibetan saints. The former class are called "the higher incarnations" or Tul-Ku,10 and by the Mongols Khutuktu. They occupy the position of cardinals and archbishops. The lowest re-incarnate Lamas are regarded as re-embodiments of Tibetan saints, and are named ordinary Tul-ku or "Ku-s'o,"11 or by the Mongols Khublighan or Hoblighan; these mostly fill the post of abbots, and rank one degree higher than an ordinary non-re-incarnate abbot, or K'an-po, who has been selected on account of his proved abilities. Most of these so-called re-incarnate Lamas are by a polite fiction credited with knowing all the past life and deeds of individuals, not only in the present life, but also in former births.

In the unreformed sects, where the priests are not celibate, the children succeed to the headship.
The ordinary hierarchical distinctions of grades and ranks have already been noted in describing the organization of the order.

The greatest of the Lama hierarchs, after the Grand Lamas of Lhasa and Tashi-lhunpo, are the great Mongolian Lama at Urgya, the Sas-kya Lama, and the Dharma Raja of Bhotan, this last being practically independent of Lhasa, and the temporal ruler of Bhotan. Here also may be mentioned the female incarnate goddess, "The diamond sow" of Yam-dok Lake monastery.

The following list of Tibetan popes, the Grand Lamas of Lhasa, is taken from the printed list.12 The birth-dates are given upon the authority of a reliable, trustworthy Lamaist calculator.13

List of Grand (Dalai) Lamas or Popes.

No. / Name. / Birth. [A.D.] / Death. [A.D.] / Remarks.

1 / dGe-'dun grub-pa / 1391 / 1475 / --
2 / dGe-'dun rGya-mts'o / 1475 / 1543 / --
3 / bSod-nams rGya-mts'o / 1543 / 1589 / --
4 / Yon-tan rGya-mts'o / 1589[14] / 1617 / --  
5 / Nag-dban blo-bsan rGya-mts'o / 1617 / 1682 / First "Dalai."  
6 / Ts'ans-dbyans rGya-mts'o / 1683[15] / 1706 / Deposed & murdered.
7 / sKal-bzan rGya-mts'o / 1708 / 1758 / --
8 / 'Jam-dpal rGya-mts'o / 1758 / 1805[16[ / --
9 / Lun-rtogs rGya-mts'o / 1805[17] / 1816 / Seen by Manning.
10 / Ts'ul-K'rims rGya-mts'o / 1819[18] / 1837 / --
11 / mK'as-grub rGya-mts'o / 1837 / 1855 / --
12 / 'P'rin-las rGya-mts'o / 1856 / 1874 / --
13 / T'ub-bstan rGya-mts'o / 1876 / -- / Present pope.

The Dalai Lama looks very brave. His eye-brows are very high, and he is very keen-eyed. Once a Chinese phrenologist remarked that the Tibetan Pope would bring about war one day, to the great disturbance of the country, for though brave-looking, he had an unlucky face. Whether the prophesy comes true or not, he really looks the very man of whose face a phrenologist would be sure to say something. He has a very sharp and commanding voice, so that one could not but pay reverence in his presence. From my long acquaintance with the Dalai Lama, during which I heard and saw much of him and had frequent interviews with him, I judge that he is richer in thoughts political than[318] religious. He was bred in Buddhism, and in it he has great faith, and he is very anxious to clear away all corruption from the Buddhism and Buddhists in Tibet.

But political thoughts are working most busily in his mind. He seems to fear the British most, and is always thinking how to keep them from Tibet. He seems to give full scope to all designs calculated to check the encroaching force of the British. I could plainly see this while remaining near him. Had he not been on his guard, however, which he always is, he must have been poisoned by his retainers. He has often been on the point of being poisoned, and each time his caution has detected the conspiracy and the intriguers were put to death.

None of the five Dalai Lamas from the fourth to the ninth in Tibet reached their twenty fifth year; all were poisoned when eighteen or twenty-two years old. This is almost an open secret in Tibet, and the reason is that, if a wise Dalai Lama is on the throne, his courtiers cannot gratify their selfish desires.
Some of these seem to have been wise Dalai Lamas, for they received special education until they were twenty-two or three years old. History proves that they have written books to instruct the people.

I could not help shedding tears when the ex-Papal Minister of Finance, at whose house I was staying at one time, told me about the fate of the predecessors of the present Dalai Lama. The Papal Court is a den of disloyal thieves who go by the name of courtiers, and they do all they can to neutralise the force of the few loyal courtiers, who are too weak to do anything against them. The ex-Minister for Finance was among the ill-fated party driven out of the court by these toadies, who pretended to pay great reverence to the sacred Monarch before the people, simply because they could not otherwise stay in their offices. When anything happened against their [319]interests, they conspired to communicate with one another and to accuse falsely the loyal courtiers. They would often go so far as to slander them shamelessly, and say that such and such a person had been guilty of a disrespectful act against the Dalai Lama.

In this subtle way some wicked courtiers turned honest scholars or priests out of the court, and the Dalai Lama is surrounded by these pretended loyalist devils. Hence he is so dangerously situated, that he is obliged to pay the greatest attention to what is offered him to eat, lest some poison should have been put in it. I could not but shed tears for him, when I thought that there could be no court on earth so full of wicked courtiers. But the present Dalai Lama is so prudent and particular that these evil doers can get no chance of doing anything against him. Still, he is really in great danger. He is wise for his age, for, young as he is, he seems to have great sympathy with the afflicted, and is much respected, and indeed almost worshipped, by his people, though much disliked by the evil local governors, whom he has been known to punish, to deprive of their estates, and to imprison for their evil deeds.

-- Three Years in Tibet, by Shramana Ekai Kawaguchi

The first Grand Lama, Ge-'dun-dub, was born near Sas-kya, and not far from the site whereon he afterwards founded Tashi-lhunpo. His successors, up to and inclusive of the fifth, have already been referred to in some detail.

On the deposition and death of the sixth Grand Lama for licentious living, the Tartar king, Gingkir Khan, appointed to Potala the Lama of C'ag-poh-ri, named Nagwan Yeshe Gya-mts'o, into whom the sorcerers alleged that, not the soul but the breath of the former Grand Lama had passed. It was soon announced, however, that the sixth Grand Lama was re-born in the town of Lithang as Kal-zan, the son of a quondam monk of De-pung monastery. This child was imprisoned by the Chinese emperor, who had confirmed the nominee of the Tartar king, until the war of 1720, when he invested him with spiritual rule at Lhasa; but again, in 1728, deposed him, as he was privy to the murder of the king of Tibet. So he set in his place the Lama "Kiesri" Rimpoch'e, of the Chotin monastery, four days' journey from Lhasa.19 He seems latterly to have returned to power, and during his reign in 1749, the Chinese put his temporal vice-regent to death, when the people flew to arms and massacred the Chinese.20

The ninth is the only Grand Lama of Lhasa ever seen by an Englishman. He was seen by Manning in 1811, while still a child of six years old. Manning relates that: "The Lama's beautiful and interesting face and manner engrossed almost all my attention. He was at that time about seven years old; had the simple and unaffected manners of a well-educated princely child. His face was, I thought, poetically and affectingly beautiful. He was of a gay and cheerful disposition, his beautiful mouth perpetually unbending into a graceful smile, which illuminated his whole countenance. Sometimes, particularly when he looked at me, his smile almost approached to a gentle laugh. No doubt my grim beard and spectacles somewhat excited his risibility. . . . He enquired whether I had not met with molestations and difficulties on the road," etc.21 This child died a few years afterwards, assassinated, it is believed, by the regent, named Si-Fan.

The tenth Grand Lama also dying during his minority, and suspicions being aroused of foul play on the part of the regent, the latter was deposed and banished by the Chinese in 1844, at the instance of the Grand Lama of Tashi-lhunpo, and a rising of his confederates of the Sera monastery was suppressed.22

The eleventh also died prematurely before attaining his majority, and is believed to have been poisoned by the regent, the Lama of Ten-gye-ling. A young Lama of De-pung, named Ra-deng,23 was appointed regent, and he banished his predecessor "Pe-chi," who had befriended Huc; but proving unpopular, he had eventually to retire to Pekin, where he died.24 Pe-chi died about 1869, and was succeeded by the abbot of Gah-ldan.

The twelfth Grand Lama was seen in 1866 by one of our Indian secret surveyors, who styles him a child of about thirteen, and describes him as a fair and handsome boy, who, at the reception, was seated on a throne six feet high, attended on either side by two high rank officials, each swaying over the child's head bundles of peacock feathers. The Grand Lama himself put three questions to the spy and to each of the other devotees, namely: "Is your king well?" "Does your country prosper?" "Are you yourself in good health?" He died in 1874, and his death is ascribed to poison administered by the regent, the Tengye-ling head Lama.

The thirteenth is still (1894) alive. He was seen in 1882 by Sarat Candra Das, whose account of him is given elsewhere.

The Tashi-lhunpo Grand Lamas are considered to be, if possible, holier even than those of Lhasa, as they are less contaminated with temporal government and worldly politics, and more famous for their learning, hence they are entitled "The precious great doctor, or Great gem of learning" (Pan-ch'en Rin-po-che),25 or Gyal-gon26 Rin-po-ch'e, or "The precious lordly victor." The Sa-kya Grand Lamas had been called "Pan-ch'en," or the "Great doctor" from the twelfth century, but have ceased to hold the title since the era of the Dalai Lamas, when the established church appropriated it to itself.

The following list of "Tashi" Lamas is taken from that printed at the monastery itself. 27

List of "Tashi" Grand Lamas.
No. / Name. / Birth. [A.D. / Death. [A.D.] / Remarks.

1 / bLo-bzan ch'os-kyi rgyal-mts'an / 1569 / 1662 / --
2 / bLo-bzan ye-she dpal bzan-po / 1663 / 1737 / --
3 / bLo-bzan dpal-ldan ye-s'es / 1738[28] / 1780 / Bogle's friend, installed 1743.
4 / rJe-bstan pahi nima / 1781 / 1854 / Seen by Turner.
5 / rJe-dpal-ldan ch'os-kyi grags-pa bstan-pahi dban p'yug / 1854 / 1882 / Died in August.
6 / -- / 1883 / -- / Installed last week of February, 1888.

The third Tashi Lama was the friend of Mr. Bogle, who seems to be the only European who had the advantage of close and friendly intercourse with one of the Grand Lamas. Mr. Bogle gives us a delightful glimpse into the amiable character of this holy man.29

"The Lama was upon his throne, formed of wood carved and gilt, with some cushions about it, upon which he sat cross-legged. He was dressed in a mitre-shaped cap of yellow broad-cloth with long bars lined with red satin; a yellow cloth jacket, without sleeves; and a satin mantle of the same colour thrown over his shoulders. On one side of him stood his physician with a bundle of perfumed sandal-wood rods burning in his hand; on the other stood his So-pon Chumbo30 or cup-bearer. I laid the governor's presents before him, delivering the letter and pearl necklace into his own hands, together with a white Pelong handkerchief on my own part, according to the custom of the country. He received me in the most engaging manner. I was seated on a high stool covered with a carpet. Plates of boiled mutton, boiled rice, dried fruits, sweet-meats, sugar, bundles of tea, sheeps' carcasses dried, etc., were set before me and my companion, Mr. Hamilton. The Lama drank two or three dishes of tea along with us, asked us once or twice to eat, and threw white Pelong handkerchiefs on our necks at retiring.

"After two or three visits, the Lama used (except on holidays) to receive me without any ceremony, his head uncovered, dressed only in the large red petticoat which is worn by all the gylongs, red Bulgar hide boots, a yellow cloth vest with his arms bare, and a piece of yellow cloth thrown around his shoulder. He sat sometimes in a chair, sometimes on a bench covered with tiger skins, and nobody but So-pon Chumbo present. Sometimes he would walk with me about the room, explain to me the pictures, make remarks on the colour of my eyes, etc. For, although venerated as God's vicegerent through all the eastern countries of Asia, endowed with a portion of omniscience, and with many other divine attributes, he throws aside in conversation all the awful part of his character, accommodates himself to the weakness of mortals, endeavours to make himself loved rather than feared, and behaves with the greatest affability to everybody, especially to strangers.

"Teshu Lama is about forty years of age, of low stature, and though not corpulent, rather inclining to be fat. His complexion is fairer than that of most of the Tibetans, and his arms are as white as those of a European; his hair, which is jet black, is cut very short; his beard and whiskers never above a month long; his eyes are small and black. The expression of his countenance is smiling and good-humoured. His father was a Tibetan, his mother a near relation of the Rajas of Ladak. From her he learned the Hindustani language, of which he has a moderate knowledge, and is fond of speaking it. His disposition is open, candid, and generous. He is extremely merry and entertaining in conversation, and tells a pleasant story with a great deal of humour and action. I endeavoured to find out in his character those defects which are inseparable from humanity, but he is so universally beloved that I had no success, and not a man could find in his heart to speak ill of him....

"Among the other good qualities which Teshu Lama possesses is that of charity, and he has plenty of opportunities of exercising it. The country swarms with beggars, and the Lama entertains besides a number of fakirs (religious mendicants), who resort hither from India. As he speaks their language tolerably well he every day converses with them from his windows, and picks up by this means a knowledge of the different countries and governments of Hindustan. ... He gives them a monthly allowance of tea, butter, and flour, besides money, and often bestows something considerable upon them at their departure. The Gosains who are thus supported at the Lama's expense may be in number about one hundred and fifty, besides about thirty Musulman fakirs. For although the genius of the religion of Muhamad is hostile to that of the Lama, yet he is possessed of much Christian charity, and is free from those narrow prejudices which, next to ambition and avarice, have opened the most copious source of human misery." And observing the universal esteem in which the Grand Lama is held by the monks and people, the looks of veneration mixed with joy with which he is always regarded, Mr. Bogle adds "one catches affection by sympathy, and I could not help, in some measure, feeling the same emotions with the Lama's votaries,31 and I will confess I never knew a man whose manners pleased me so much, or for whom, upon so short an acquaintance, I had half the heart's liking."32

This Grand Lama, soon after Bogle's departure, died of smallpox. He had, in response to the invitation of the Chinese emperor, set out for Pekin, attended by 1,500 troops and followers, and sumptuous provision was made for his comfort during the whole of the long journey in Chinese territory. The emperor met him at Sining, several weeks' march from Pekin, and advanced about forty paces from his throne to receive him, and seated him on the topmost cushion with himself and at his right hand. To the great grief of the empress and the Chinese the Lama was seized with small-pox, and died on November 12th, 1780. His body, placed in a golden coffin, was conveyed to the mausoleum at Tashi-lhunpo.33

His successor, while still an infant of about eighteen months, was seen by Captain Turner as the envoy of the British government This remarkable interview took place at the monastery of Terpa-ling.34 He found the princely child, then aged eighteen months, seated on a throne of silk cushions and hangings about four feet high, with his father and mother standing on the left hand. Having been informed that although unable to speak he could understand, Captain Turner said "that the governor- general on receiving the news of his decease in China was overwhelmed with grief and sorrow, and continued to lament his absence from the world until the cloud that had overcast the happiness of this nation was dispelled by his re-appearance .... The governor anxiously wished that he might long continue to illumine the world by his presence, and was hopeful that the friendship which had formerly subsisted between them would not be diminished...." The infant looked steadfastly at the British envoy, with the appearance of much attention, and nodded with repeated but slow motions of the head, as though he understood every word. He was silent and sedate, his whole attention was directed to the envoy, and he conducted himself with astonishing dignity and decorum. He was one of the handsomest children Captain Turner had ever seen, and he grew up to be an able and devout ruler, delighting the Tibetans with his presence for many years, and dying at a good old age.35 He is described by Huc36 as of fine majestic frame, and astonishing vigour for his advanced age, which was then about sixty.

The Mongolian hierarch at Urgya-Kuren, in the Khalka country, is called "His holy reverence," or Je-tsun Dam-pa"37 and is regarded as an incarnation of the celebrated historian Lama, Taranatha, who, it will be remembered, was of the Sa-kya sect, which had identified itself with Mongolian Lamaism, having introduced the religion there and given the translations of the gospels. Urgya monastery was doubtless founded by the Sa-kya-pa. However this may be, on the development of the reincarnate Lama theory, the Khalka38 Mongols fixed upon Taranatha as the source of the re-incarnations for their chief hierarch. And the Dalai Lama, Nag-pa, who had climbed into power on the shoulders of the Mongols, had to accept the high position thus accorded to Taranatha, whom he detested, but he, or one of his early successors, converted the monastery into a Ge-lug-pa institution.

The hierarch, Je-tsun Dam-pa, was the most powerful person in the whole of Mongolia39 during the reign of the emperor Kang-hi (1662-1723), and had his headquarters at Koukou-Khoton, or "Blue town," beyond the bend of the Yellow river, when the Khalkas quarrelled with the Kalmuks or Sleuths and escaped into territory under Chinese protection. The Kalmuks demanded the delivery of Je-tsun Dam-pa and his brother, the prince Tuschetu- Khan, which of course the emperor refused, and sought the mediation of the Dalai Lama. But the latter, or, rather, his regent (Tis-ri), for he had been defunct for seven years, to the emperor's surprise, advised the delivering up of these two princes, and such a decision was, perhaps, the first sign to him of the great fraud which was being enacted as Lhasa. To make matters worse, when the emperor was warring with the Kalmuks "he paid a visit to Je-tsun Dam-pa, and owing to some fancied want of respect on the part of the holy man, one of the emperor's officers drew his sword and killed him. This violence caused a tumult, and soon afterwards it was announced that Je-tsun Dam-pa had reappeared among the Khalkas, who threatened to avenge his former death. The emperor engaged the diplomatic interposition of the Dalai Lama, who succeeded in pacifying the Khalkas. But it was arranged that the future births of the Je-tsun Dam-pa should be found in Tibet, so that the Khalkas might not again have a sympathizing fellow-countryman as their high-priest."40

His "re-incarnation" is now always found in central or western Tibet. The present one is said to have been born in the bazaar (S'ol) of Lhasa city, and to be the eighth of the series. He is educated at the De-pung monastery as a Ge-lug-pa Lama; but the present one was carried off, when four or five years of age, to Urga, accompanied by a Lama of De-pung as tutor. A complete list of these hierarchs and fuller historical information in regard to them is much needed.41

The Sa-kya hierarchs, as we have seen, were once extremely powerful and almost de facto kings of Tibet. Although the Sa-kya hierarch is now eclipsed by the established church, he still retains the sympathy of the numerous adherents of the unreformed sects, and is now regarded by the Nin-ma-pa as their head and an incarnation of the Guru himself, and as such scarcely inferior to the Grand Lama of Lhasa. Sa-kya was founded, as we saw, by Kungah Nin-po, born in 1090 A.D., and became famous under Sa-kya Pandita, born 1180, and his nephew was the first of the great hierarchs.

The list of the earlier Sa-kya hierarchs, whose most prosperous era was from 1270 to 1340, is as follows42: —


1. Sas-kya bsan-po.
2. S'an-btsun.
3. Ban-dKar-po.
4. Chyan-rin bsKyos-pa.
5. Kun-gs'an.
6. gS'an-dban.
7. Chan-rdor.
8. An-len.
9. Legs-pa-dpal.
10. Sen-ge-dpal.
11. 'Od-zer-dpal.
12. 'Od-ser-sen-ge.
13. Kun-rin.
14. Don-yod dpal.
15. Yon-btsun.
16. 'Od-ser Sen-ge II.
17. rGyal-va San-po.
18. Dban-p'yng-dpal.
19. bSod-Nam-dpal.
20. rGyab-va-Tsan-po II.
21. dBan-btsun.

Its head Lama is still called by the unreformed Lamas "Sa-kya Pan-ch'en."43 The succession is hereditary; but between father and son intervenes the brother of the reigning Lama and uncle of the successor, so as to secure an adult as holder of the headship.

The Bhotan hierarchy is still a strong one and combines the temporal rule of the country. It ousted all rival sects from the land, so that now it has its own sect, namely, the southern Duk-pa form of the Kar-gyu-pa. According to Mr. (Sir Ashley) Eden, the Bhotanese only overran the country about three centuries ago, displacing the then natives, who are said to have come originally from Koch Bihar. The invaders were Tibetan soldiers, over whom a Lama named "Dupgani Sheptun" acquired paramount influence as Dharma Raja. On his death the spirit of the Sheptun became incarnate in a child at Lhasa, who was conveyed to Bhotan. When this child grew up he appointed a regent for temporal concerns, called Deb Raja,44 but this latter office seems to have lapsed long ago, and the temporal power is in the hands of the lay governors (Pen-lo) of the country.

The head Lama is held to be re-incarnate, and is named Lama Rin-po-ch'e, also "The religious king" or Dharma Raja. His hat, as seen in the illustration at the head of this chapter,45 bears the badge of cross thunderbolts, and is surmounted by a spiked thunderbolt, typical not only of his mystical creed, but also of the thunder dragon (Dug), which gives its name to his sect — the Dug-pa. His title, as engraved on his seal figured by Hooker,46 describes him as "Chief of the Realm, Defender of the Faith, Equal to Sarasvati in learning, Chief of all the Buddhas, Head Expounder of the Sastras, Caster out of Devils, Most Learned in the Holy Laws, An Avatar of God, Absolver of Sins, and Head of the Best of all Religions."


1. Nag-dban rnam rgyal bdud 'jom-rdorje.
2. Nag-dban 'jig-med rtags-pa.
3. Nag-dban ch'os-kyi rgyal mtshan.
4. Nag-dban 'jig med dban po.
5. Nag-dban Shakya sen ge.
6. Nag-dban 'jam dbyans rgyal mts'an.
7. Nag-dban ch'os kyi dban p'ug.
8. Nag-dban 'jig-med rtags-pa (second re-incarnation).
9. Nag-dban 'jig-med rtags norbu.
10. Nag-dban 'jig-med rtags ch'os-rgyal — the present Great Bhotan Lama in 1892.

Each of these Grand Lamas has a separate biography (or nam- t'ar). The first, who was a contemporary of the Grand Lama Sonam Gya-tsho, seems to have been married; the rest are celibate. A celebrated Lama of this Dug-pa sect was named Mi-pam ch'os-Kyi gyal-po.

The Dharma Raja resides, at least in summer, at the fort of Ta-shi-ch'o. The palace is a large stone building, with the chief house seven storeys high, described and figured by Turner and others. Here live over five hundred monks.

Bogle describes the Lama of his day as "a thin, sickly-looking man of about thirty-five years of age."47

He exercises, I am informed, some jurisdiction over Lamas in Nepal, where his authority is officially recognized by the Gorkha government.

The number of the lesser spiritual chiefs held to be re-embodied Lama saints is stated48 to be one hundred and sixty, of which thirty are in Tibet (twelve being "Shaburun"), nineteen in north Mongolia, fifty-seven in south Mongolia, thirty-five in Kokonor, five in Chiamdo and the Tibetan portion of Sze-ch'wan, and fourteen at Pekin. But this much under-estimates the number in Tibet.

Amongst the re-embodied Lamas in western Tibet or Tsang are Sen-c'en-Rin-po-ch'e,49 Yanzin Lho-pa, Billun, Lo-ch'en, Kyi- zar, Tinki, De-ch'an Alig, Kanla, Kon (at Phagri). In Kham, Tu, Ch'amdo, Derge, etc.

The Lamaist metropolitan at Pekin is called by the Tibetans "lC'an-skya," and is considered an incarnation of Rol-pahi Dorje. His portrait is given in the annexed figure. He dates his spiritual descent from a dignitary who was called to Pekin during the reign of K'ang Hi, probably about 1690-1700 A.D., and entrusted with the emperor's confidence as his religious vicegerent for inner Mongolia.50 In Ladak only four monasteries have resident re-incarnate Lamas or Ku-s'o. Although they are of the red sect, these head Lamas are said to be educated at Lhasa. The present (1893) re-incarnate Lama of Spitak, the seventeenth of the series, is thus described by Captain Ramsay.51 "A youth, 26 years of age, who lately returned from Lhasa, where he had been for 14 years. He was handsomely dressed in a robe made of a particular kind of dark golden-coloured and yellow embroidered China silk, which none but great personages are allowed to wear, and he had on Chinese long boots, which he did not remove when he entered the house. His head and face were closely shaved, and one arm was bare. On entering the room he bowed, and then presented the customary 'scarf of salutation,' which I accepted. He impressed me very favourably; his manner and general appearance was superior to anything I had seen among other Lamas or people of Ladak."

Head Lama of Pekin.52

In Sikhim, where few Lamas are celibate and where the Labrang Lama is the nominal head of the fraternity with the title of "Lord protector" (sKyab mGron), the fiction of re-incarnation was only practised in regard to the Pemiongchi and La-brang monasteries, but has ceased for several generations. In Sikhim, too, the same tendency to priest-kingship cropped out. Several of the Sikhim kings were also Lamas; and when the king was not a monk, the Lamas retained most of the temporal power in their hands; and the first king of Sikhim was nominated by the pioneer Lamas; and the ancestor of the present dynasty, a descendant of the religious king, Thi-Sron Detsan, one of the founders of Lamaism, was canonized as an incarnation of the Buddhist god, Manjusri.

The female re-incarnation, the abbess of the monastery of the Yamdok lake, who is considered an embodiment of the goddess Vajra varahi, or "The diamond sow," is thus described by Mr. Bogle53: "The mother went with me into the apartment of Durjay Paumo, who was attired in a gylong's dress, her arms bare from the shoulders, and sitting cross-legged upon a low cushion. She is also the daughter of the Lama's (Tashi) brother, but by a different wife. She is about seven and twenty, with small Chinese features, delicate, though not regular fine eyes and teeth; her complexion fair, but wan and sickly; and an expression of languor and melancholy in her countenance, which I believe is occasioned by the joyless life that she leads. She wears her hair, a privilege granted to no other vestal I have seen; it is combed back without any ornament, and falls in tresses upon her shoulders. Her Cha-wa (touch), like the Lamas', is supposed to convey a blessing, and I did not fail to receive it. Durjay Paumo spoke little. Dr. Hamilton, who cured her of a complaint she had long been subject to, used to be there almost every day."
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Re: The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults

Postby admin » Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:09 am

Part 3 of 3

Testing a Claimant to the Grand Lamaship.54

Let us now look at the manner in which the new re-embodiments or re-births of the hierarchs are discovered. On the death of a re-incarnate Lama his spirit is believed to flit into the soul of some unknown infant who is born a few days after the death of the Lama. The mode of determining the child who has been so favoured is based upon the practice followed in regard to the Grand Lama of Lhasa, which we will now describe.  

Sometimes the pontiff, before he dies, indicates the particular place and even the family in which he will be re-born, but the usual practice is to ascertain the names of all the likely male infants who have been born under miraculous portents just after the death of the deceased Lama, and with prayer and worship to ballot a selected list of names, which are written by a committee of Lamas on slips of paper and put into a golden jug, and then amid constant prayer, usually by 117 selected pure Lamas, to draw by lot in relays, and extending over 31 to 71 days, one of these, which is the name of the new incarnation. As, however, the Pekin court is believed to influence the selection under such circumstances, the state oracle of Na-ch'un has latterly superseded the old practice, and the present Grand Lama was selected by this oracle. Lama Ugyen Gya-tsho relates55 that the present Na-ch'un oracle prophesied disaster in the shape of a monster appearing as the Dalai Lama, if the old practice were continued. On the other hand he foretold that the present Dalai would be found by a pious monk in person, and that his discovery would be accompanied with "horse neighings." The "pious monk" proved to be the head Lama of Gah-ldan monastery, who was sent by the oracle to Chukor- gye, where he dreamed that he was to look in the lake called Lha- moi-lamtsho for the future Dalai. He looked, and it is said that, pictured in the bosom of the lake, he saw the infant Dalai Lama and his parents, with the house where he was born, and that at that instant his horse neighed. Then the monk went in search of the real child, and found him in Kongtoi, in the house of poor but respectable people, and recognized him as the child seen in the lake. After the boy (then a year old) had passed the usual ordeal required of infants to test their power to recognize the property of the previous Dalai Lama, he was elected as spiritual head of Tibet.

These infant candidates, who, on account of their remarkable intelligence, or certain miraculous signs,56 have been selected from among the many applicants put forward by parents for this, the highest position in the land, may be born anywhere in Tibet.57 They are subjected to a solemn test by a court composed of the chief Tibetan reincarnate Lamas, the great lay officers of state, and the Chinese minister or Amban. The infants are confronted with a duplicate collection of rosaries, dorjes, etc., and that one particular child who recognizes the properties of the deceased Lama is believed to be the real re-embodiment. To ensure accuracy the names are written as aforesaid, and each slip encased in a roll of paste and put in a vase, and, after prayer, they are formally drawn by lot in front of the image of the emperor of China,57 and the Chinese minister, the Amban, unrolls the paste and reads out the name of the elect, who is then hailed, as the great God Avalokita incarnate, hence to rule over Tibet. An intimation of the event is sent to the emperor, and it is duly acknowledged by him with much formality, and the enthronement and ordination are all duly recorded in like manner.

Interesting details of the ceremonies as well as of the prominent part played by China in regulating the pontifical succession, have been supplied by Mr. Mayers58 from the original Chinese document of Meng Pao, the senior Amban at Lhasa, and from which the following historic extract is made by way of illustration:—

I. Memorial drawn up on the 9th day of the 12th month of the 20th year of Tao Kwang (January 30th, 1841), reporting that, on instituting an investigation among young children for the embodiment of Dalai Lama, miraculous signs, of undoubted authenticity, have been verified, which is laid in a respectful memorial before the Sacred Glance.

In the matter of the appearance of the embodiment of the Dalai Lama, it has already been reported to your majesty that a communication had been received from Ke-le-tan-si-leu-t'u-sa-ma-ti Bakhshi reporting the dispatch of natives in positions of dignity to inquire into the circumstances with reference to four young children born of Tibetan parents, respectively at Sang-ang-k'iuh-tsung in Tibet, the tribalty of K'ung-sa within the jurisdiction of Ta-tsien-lu in Sze-ch'wan, and [two] other places. The chancellor has now made a further report, stating that in the case of each of the four children miraculous signs have been shown, and that bonds of attestation have been drawn up in due form on the part of members of both the priesthood and laity of the Tibetans. He annexes a detailed statement in relation to this matter; and on receipt of this communication your Majesty's servants have to observe that on the previous occasion, when the embodiment of the tenth Dalai Lama entered the world, three children were discovered [whose names] were placed in the urn for decision by lot. As the chancellor now writes that each of the four children discovered by the Khan-pu on this occasion has been attended by auspicious and encouraging omens, we do not presume to arrogate to ourselves the choice of any one of their number, but, as regards the whole four, have on the one hand communicated in a Tibetan dispatch with the chancellor respecting the two children born within the territory of Tibet, and as regards the two children born within the jurisdiction of the province of Sze-ch'wan, have addressed a communication to the viceroy of that province calling upon them respectively to require the parents and tutors of the children in question to bring the latter to Anterior Tibet. On this being done, your majesty's servants, in accordance with the existing rules, will institute a careful examination in person, conjointly with the Panshen Erdeni and the chancellor, and will call upon the children to recognize articles heretofore in use by the Dalai Lama; after which your servants will proceed with scrupulous care to take measures for inscribing their names on slips to be placed in the urn, and for the celebration of mass and drawing the lots in public. So soon as the individual shall have been ascertained by lot, your servants will forward a further report for your majesty's information and commands. They now present for imperial perusal a translation of the detailed statement of the miraculous signs attending the children that were discovered on inquiry.


Detailed statement of the miraculous signs attending upon four children, drawn up for his majesty's perusal from the despatch of the chancellor reporting the same: —

I. A-chu-cho-ma, the wife of the Tibetan named Kung-pu-tan-tseng, living at the Pan-je-chung post-station in Sang-ang-k'iuh-tsung, gave birth to a son on the 13th day of the 11th month of the year Ki-hai (19th December, 1839), upon a report concerning which having been received from the local headmen, the chancellor despatched Tsze-feng-cho-ni-'rh and others to make inquiry. It was thereupon ascertained that on the night before the said female gave birth to her child, a brilliant radiance of many colours was manifested in the air, subsequently to which the spring-water in the well of the temple court-yard changed to a milk-white colour. Seven days afterwards, there suddenly appeared upon the rock, behind the post-station, the light of a flame, which shone for a length of time. Crowds of people hastened to witness it, when, however, no single trace of fire remained, but upon the rock there was manifested an image of Kwan Yin (Avalokita) and the characters of Na-mo O-mi-to-Fo (Amitabha), together with the imprint of footsteps. On the night when the child was born, the sound of music was heard, and milk dropped upon the pillars of the house. When the commissioners instituted their inquiry, they found the child sitting cross-legged in a dignified attitude, seeming able to recognize them, and showing not the slightest timidity. They placed a rosary in the child's hands, whereupon he appeared as though reciting sentences from the Sutra of Amita Buddha. In addressing his mother he pronounced the word A-ma with perfect distinctness. His features were comely and well-formed, and his expression bright and intellectual, in a degree superior to that of ordinary children. In addition to the foregoing report, certificates by the local headmen and members of the priesthood and laity, solemnly attesting personal knowledge of the facts therein set forth, were appended, and were transmitted after authentication by the chancellor to ourselves, etc., etc.

II. Memorial drawn up on the 8th day of the 6th month of the 21st year of Tao Kwang (25th July, 1841), reporting the verification of the child in whom the re-embodiment of the Dalai Lama has appeared, the drawing of lots in accordance with the existing rule, and the fact that the entire population of Tibet, both clergy and laity, are penetrated with feelings of gratitude and satisfaction: upon the memorial bringing which to the imperial knowledge the Sacred Glance is reverently besought.

Your servants have already memorialized reporting that the embodiment of the Dalai Lama having made its appearance, a day had been fixed for the drawing of lots; and they have now to state that they subsequently received a letter from the chancellor to the effect that the children had successively arrived and had all been lodged in the Sangha monastery at Te K'ing, to the eastward of Lassa, whereupon he had appointed the 21st day of the 5th month for proceeding to put them to the proof. On that day, accordingly, your servants proceeded to the Sangha monastery in company with the Panshen Erdeni, the chancellor, and all the hut'ukht'u, khan-pu, ko-pu-lun, etc., when it was ascertained by a careful inquiry into each individual case that the two children born respectively at Sang-ang-k'iuh-tsung and at La-kia-jih-wa in Tibet are both aged three years, and the two children born respectively in the tribalty of K'ung-sa in the district of Ta-tsien-lu and at the Tai Ning monastery are both aged four years — that their personal appearance is uniformly symmetrical and proper, and that all alike display an elevated demeanour. Hereupon the Panshen Erdeni and his associates laid before them for recognition the image of Buddha worshipped by the late Dalai Lama, together with the bell-clapper, swinging drum, and other like articles used by him, all in duplicate, the genuine objects being accompanied by imitations. The children showed themselves capable of recognizing each individual article, without hesitation, in presence of the assembled clergy and people, who, as they crowded around to behold the sight, gave vent aloud to their admiration of the prodigy.

A despatch was subsequently received from the chancellor to the effect that the supernatural intelligence of the four children having been tested by joint investigation, and having been authenticated in the hearing and before the eyes of all, he would request that the names be placed in the urn and the lot be drawn on the 25th day of the 5th month; in addition to which, he forwarded a list of the names bestowed in infancy on the four children and of the names of their fathers. Your servants having in reply assented to the proposed arrangement, masses were performed during seven days preceding the date in question by the hut'ukht'u and Lamas, of mount Potala and the various monasteries; and, on the appointed day, the Panshen Erdeni, the chancellor, and their associates, followed by the entire body of Lamas, chanted a mass before the sacred effigy of your majesty's exalted ancestor, the emperor Pure, offering up prayers subsequently in devout silence. On the 25th day of the 5th month your servants reverently proceeded to mount Potala, and placed the golden vase with due devotion upon a yellow altar before the sacred effigy. After offering incense and performing homage with nine prostrations, they inscribed upon the slips, in Chinese and Tibetan characters, the infant-names of the children and the names of their fathers, which they exhibited for the inspection of the respective relatives and tutors, and of the assembled Lamas. This having been done, your servant, Haip'u, recited a chapter from the scriptures in unison with the Panshen Erdeni and the other [ecclesiastics], in presence of the multitude, and, reverently sealing up the inscribed slips, deposited them within the vase. The slips being small and the urn deep, nothing was wanting to secure perfect inviolability. After the further recital of a chapter by the Panshen Erdeni and his associates, your servant, Meng Pao, inserting his hand within the urn upon the altar, turned the slips over and over, several times, and reverently proceeded to draw forth one of their number, which he inspected in concert with the children's relatives and tutors and the assembled Lamas. The inscription upon the slip was as follows: "The son of Tse-wang-teng-chu, Tibetan, from the Tai Ning monastery. Infant-name, Na-mu-kio-mu-to-urh-tsi. Present age, four years." The remaining slips having been drawn out and inspected publicly, the Penshen Erdeni, the chancellor, with the greater and lesser hut'ukht'u and all the attendant Lamas, exclaimed unanimously with unfeigned delight and gladsomeness that "by the favour of his imperial majesty, who has given advancement to the cause of the Yellow Church, the established rule has now been complied with for ascertaining by lot the embodiment of the Dalai Lama, and the lot having now fallen upon this child — who, the son of a poor Tibetan fuel-seller, has manifested prodigies of intelligence, abundantly satisfying the aspirations of the multitude — it is placed beyond a doubt that the actual and genuine re-embodiment of the Dalai Lama has appeared in the world, and the Yellow Church has a ruler for its governance. The minds of the people are gladdened and at rest, and the reverential gratitude that inspires us humble priests is inexhaustible." After this they performed with the utmost devotion the homage of nine prostrations in the direction of your majesty's abode, expressing their reverential acknowledgments of the celestial favour. Your servants observed with careful attention that the gratitude not alone of the Panshen Erdeni and his attendant ecclesiastics proceeded from the most sincere feelings, but also that the entire population of Lessa, both clergy and laity, united in the demonstration by raising their hands to their foreheads in a universal feeling of profound satisfaction.

The infant is taken to Lhasa at such an early age that his mother, who may belong to the poorest peasant class,60 necessarily accompanies him in order to suckle him, but being debarred from the sacred precincts of Potala on account of her sex, she is lodged in the lay town in the vicinity, and her son temporarily at the monastic palace of Ri-gyal Phodan,61 where she is permitted to visit her son only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. She, together with her husband, is given an official residence for life in a palace about a mile to the west of Potala and on the way to De-pung, and the father usually receives the rank of Kung, said to be the highest of the five ranks of Chinese nobility.

At the age of four the child assumes the monkish garb and tonsure, and receives a religious name, and is duly enthroned at Potala in great state and under Chinese auspices, as shown from the annexed state paper: —

"Memorial dated the 18th day of the 4th month of the 22nd year of Tao Kwang (27th May, 1842), reporting the conclusion of the ceremony of enthronement of the embodiment of the Dalai Lama.

"In obedience to these commands, Your servants proceeded on the 13th day of the 4th month in company with the Chang-Chia Hut'ukht'u (the Pekin metropolitan) and the chancellor, followed by their subordinate functionaries, the hut'ukht'u, Lamas, and Tibetan officials, to the monastery on mount Jih-kia, for the purpose of escorting the Dalai Lama's embodiment down the mountain to the town of Chih-ta-hwang- pu, on the east of Lassa, where his abode was temporarily established. Your servants, in respectful conformity with the rules for attendance upon the Dalai Lama, appointed detachments of the Chinese garrison troops to form an encampment, and to discharge the duty of bodyguards during the two days he remained there. On the 15th, your servants escorted the embodiment to the monastery at mount Potala, where reverent prostrations were performed, and the ceremonial observances were fulfilled before the sacred effigy of your majesty's elevated ancestor, the emperor Pure. On the 16th, your servants reverently took the golden scroll containing the mandate bestowed by your majesty upon the Dalai Lama's embodiment, together with the sable cape, the coral court rosary, etc., and the sum of ten thousand taels in silver, being your majesty's donations, which they caused to be conveyed upon yellow platforms to the monastery at mount Potala, and deposited with devout care in due order in the hall called Ta Tu Kang. The couch and pillows were then arranged upon the divan; and on the arrival of the Dalai Lama's embodiment in the hall, your servants and the secretary of the Chang-chia Hut'ukht'u, reverently read out the golden scroll, embodying your majesty's mandate, to the perusal of which the embodiment listened in a kneeling posture, facing toward the east. After the reading was concluded, he received with veneration the imperial gifts, and performed the ceremonial of three genuflections and nine prostrations in the direction of the imperial abode, thus testifying his respectful gratitude for the celestial favours. Having been invested with the garments conferred by your majesty, the embodiment was supported to his seat upon the throne; whereupon the chancellor, at the head of the Tibetan priesthood, intoned a chant of Dharani formulas, invoking auspicious fortune. All the hut'ukht'u and Lamas having performed obeisances, a great banquet was opened, and the ceremonial of enthronement was thus brought to a close. The day was attended by the utmost fine weather, and everything passed off auspiciously and well, to the universal delight of the entire body of clergy and laity of Lassa. This we accordingly bring to your majesty's knowledge; and in addition we have to state, that as the embodiment of the Dalai Lama has now been enthroned, it is proper, in conformity with the existing rules, to cease henceforth from using the word 'embodiment.' This we accordingly append, and respectfully bring before your majesty's notice."62

Suppose a Grand Lama dies, and a necessity arises to determine the place of his re-incarnation. The four temples dedicated to the four deities are ordered by the authorities to undertake the mysterious business of identification, this order being generally issued about a year after the death of the august Lama. All the priests of the four temples are summoned on that occasion, and they separately consult their own respective oracles. Their deities are, however, not infallible, and often prove just as divided in their judgment as ordinary mortals are, for very rarely do the four oracles coincide, and usually those oracles produce three different candidates. The choice has therefore to be made from among the three.

The three or four boy-candidates (as the case may be) are brought to Lhasa, when they have reached the age of five years. The ceremony of selection is next performed. This is of course conducted with great pomp and solemnity. The dignitaries who are privileged to take part in it are the Chinese Commissioner residing in Lhasa and the Regent Lama; also the Prime Ministers and all the Ministers, Vice-Ministers and a number of high Lamas are allowed to be present. First the names of the boy-candidates (three or four in number, as the case may be) are written on so many pieces of paper, and put in a golden urn which is then sealed. For the period of a week a kind of high mass is performed in the ceremony-hall, in order to entreat the divine intercession for the selection of the real re-incarnation. When this period expires all the dignitaries before-mentioned are once more assembled around the sealed urn. This is carefully inspected and the seal is then taken off. The Chinese Commissioner then takes a pair of tiny ivory sticks something like ordinary chop-sticks in shape and size and, with his eyes shut, puts them into the urn and solemnly picks out one of the papers. The name written on that paper is read, and the bearer of that name is acknowledged as Grand Lama-elect.  

From what I have described, there is apparently little room, if any, for trickery, but I have heard from the Secretary of the Chinese Commissioner that dishonest practices are in reality not infrequent. Indeed the temptations are too strong for greedy and dishonest minds to resist, owing to the keen rivalry among the parents of the boy-candidates to have their own boys selected. Strong interest urges them on in this rivalry, for the parents of the Lama-elect are not only entitled to receive the title of Duke from the Chinese Government, but also enjoy many other advantages, above all the acquisition of a large fortune. Under these circumstances the parents and relatives of eligible boys are said to offer large bribes to the Chinese Amban, and to others who are connected with the ceremony of selection. I do not affirm the fact of bribes, but at least I have heard that cases of such under-hand influence have occurred not unfrequently.

The selection of the Grand Lama is thus made by an elaborate process, in which the influence of the oracle-invokers plays an important part. The priests who have charge of this business are in most cases men who make it their business to blackmail every applicant. Most of the oracle-priests are therefore extremely wealthy.

The Nechung who are under the direct patronage of the Hierarchy, are generally millionaires, as millionaires go in Tibet. This, taken in conjunction with another fact, that the re-incarnations of higher Lamas are generally sons of wealthy aristocrats, or merchants, and that it is only very rarely that they are discovered among the lowly, must be considered as suggesting the working of some such practices. I have even heard that some unscrupulous people corrupt the oracle-priests for the benefit of their unborn children, so as to have their boys accepted as Lamas incarnate when born. From a worldly point of view the expense incurred on this account not unfrequently proves a good ‘investment,’ if I may use the profane expression, for the boys who are the objects of the oracles have a good chance of being installed in the temples where their spiritual antecedents presided, which are sure to possess large property. This property goes, it need hardly be added, to the boys, after they have been duly installed. Whatever may have been the practical effect of incarnation in former times, it is, as matters stand at present, an incarnation of all vices and corruptions, instead of the souls of departed Lamas.

I once remarked to certain Tibetans that the present mode of incarnation was a glaring humbug, and that it was nothing less than an embodiment of bribery.

-- Three Years in Tibet, by Shramana Ekai Kawaguchi

He is now admitted as a novice to the Nam-gyal monastery of Potala, and his education is entrusted to a special preceptor and assistants learned in the scriptures and of unblemished character.63

At the age of eight he is ordained a full monk and abbot of the Nam-gyal convent and head of the Lamaist church.

The Dalai Lama is, as regards temporal rule, a minor till he reaches the age of eighteen, and during his minority a regent carries on the duties of temporal government. And the frequency with which the Dalai Lama has died before attaining his majority gives some support to the belief that the regents are privy to his premature death; and the Chinese government are usually credited with supporting such proceedings for political purposes.

On the death of a re-incarnate Lama, his body is preserved. The tombs of the Dalai, and Pan-ch'en Lamas form conspicuous gilt monuments, sometimes as many as seven storeys high, named Ku-tun,64 at Potala and Tashi-lhunpo. The holiness of such a Lama is estimated in proportion to the shrinkage of his body after death. The temporal rule of Tibet is vested in a Lama who has the title of "king." For when Nag-wan acquired the temporal power he retained this title for one of his agents, also called "The regent,"65 and "Protector of the earth,"66 and "Governor,"67 and by the Mongols Nomen-Khan.

A regent is necessary to conduct the temporal government, especially under the system of papal succession by re-births, where the new Dalai Lama does not reach his majority and nominal succession to temporal rule till his eighteenth year. In order to avoid plotting against the hierarchs, Nag-wan ruled that the regent must be a Lama, and he restricted this office to the head Lamas of the monastic palaces or Ling of Lhasa, named Tan-gye-ling,68 Kun-de-ling,69 Ts'e-ch'og-ling,70 and Ts'amo-ling,71 whom, he alleged, by a polite fiction, to be re-embodiments of the spirits of the four most celebrated ministers of the monarchical period. Thus the spirit of king Sron Tsan Gampo's minister Lon-po Gar is believed to be incarnate in the Lama of Tan-gye-ling. The office when falling vacant through death (or deposition) passes coeteris paribus to the surviving senior of those Lings. The present regent (1893) is the Kun-de-ling Lama. The regent is assisted in the government72 by four ministers called Ka-lon,73 who were formerly all laymen, but now some of them are being replaced by Lamas; also secretaries (Ka-dun) and district magistrates (Jon-pon). And the two Chinese political residents, or Ambans,74 have administrative as well as consulting functions.

With such large bodies of monks comprising so many fanatical elements, and not at all subject to the civil authorities, who, indeed, possess almost no police, it is not surprising that fracas are frequent, and bloody feuds between rival monasteries occasionally happen. Every monastery has an armoury, and in the minor quarrels the lusty young monks wield their heavy iron pencases with serious and even fatal effect.

Since the temporal power passed into the hands of the Lamas, the Tibetans who, in Sron Tsan Gampo's day, were a vigorous and aggressive nation, have steadily lost ground, and have been ousted from Yunnan and their vast possessions in eastern Tibet, Amdo, etc., and are now hemmed in by the Chinese into the more inhospitable tracts.



1 Hershon's Treasures of the Talmud, p. 242.
2  The Tibetan for this Mongol word is rGya-mts'o, and in the list of Grand Lamas some of his predecessors and successors bear this title as part of their personal name. And the Mongolian for rin-po-ch'e is "Ertenni."

3 Through the works of Giorgi, Pallas, and Klaproth.
4 Amongst others he seized the monastery of the great Taranatha, and demolished  many of that Lama's buildings and books, for such an honest historian was not at all  to his taste.
5 Cf. ante.

6 Literally ''The fifth Jina." Cf. also Pand., H., No. 46.

7 None of the so-called biographies of Atisa and earlier Indian monks containing any such references can certainly be placed earlier than this period.
8 Presently to be given.

9 Some of which have been translated by Sarat (J.A.S.B., 1882, 26 seq.).
10 sPrul-sku.

11 sKu-s'ogs. The use of the term for a re-incarnate Lama seems restricted to Ladak. In Tibet proper this title is applied to any superior Lama, and is even used in polite society to laymen of position.
12 The modern list precedes the historical names by a series of fifty more or less mythic personages, headed by Avalokita himself.

13 Lama S'e-rab Gya-ts'o, of the Ge-lug-pa monastery, Darjiling.

14 Desgodins (La Miss., etc., p. 218) gives 1588.

15 Desg. gives 1682.

16 Other accounts give 1798, 1803, 1808; cf. also Koppen's List, i., 235.

17 Desg., and this corresponds with Manning's account (Markh., 265).

18 Desg. gives 1815.
19 This latter Lama was in power at Potala in 1730 on the arrival of Horace Dellapenna, from whose account (Markh., p. 321) most of the latter details have been taken.

20 Ibid., lxv.

21 Ibid., p. 266.
22 Huc, ii., p. 166. This account is disbelieved by Mr. Mayers, J.R.A.S., iv., 305.

23 rva-sgren, the "gyal-po Riting" of the Pandit, p. xxiv.

24 Markh., xcvii.

25 Pan is a contraction for the Indian "Pandit," or learned scholar, and rin-po-ch'e = ratna or gem, or precious, or in Mongolian Irtini or Erdeni, hence he is called by Mongolians "Pan-ch'en Irtini."

26 Vulgarly "gyan-gon."
27 The official list is entitled pan-sku-p'ren rim-pa ltar byon-pa-ni, and gives no dates. It ends with No. 3 of my list as above, and extends the list backwards to ten additional names, beginning with the somewhat mythical disciple of Buddha, Su-bhuti; and including legendary Indian personages as re-incarnations, as well as the following six Tibetans, the fourth of which is usually held to be the first of the Tashi-lhunpo Grand Lamas. As, however, Tashi-lhunpo was only built in 1445, only the latter two of this list could be contemporary with it, and as is noted in the text, their biographies show that they were ordinary monks who held no high post, if any at all, at Tashilhunpo.


1. K'ug-pa Ihas-btsas, of rTa-nag monastery.
2. Sa-skya Pandita (1182-1252).
3. gYun-ston rdo-rje dpal (1284-1376).
4. mK'as-sgrub dGe-legs-dpal zang-po (1385-1439).
5. pan-ch'en-bSod-nams p'yogs kyi-glan-po (1439-1505)
6. dben-sa-pa blo-bzan Don-grub (1505-1570).

28 At "Tashi-tzay," N.E. of Tashi-lhunpo (M., p. 92).

29 Loc. cit., p. 83.
30 He held, according to Turner (p. 246), the second rank in the court of the Tashi  Lama, and was by birth a Manchu Tartar. He was then only about twenty-two  years of age.
31 Op. cit., p. 95.

32 p. 133.
33  Oriental Repertory, ii., p. 145; and Markham, p. 208.

34 On the 4th December, 1783.

35 Turner's Embassy, etc. The new Tashi Lama was installed in October, 1784, in the presence of the Dalai Lama, the Chinese Minister or Amban, the Gesub Rimboc'e, and the heads of all the monastery in Tibet, as described by Purangir Gosain, the native agent of the Warren Hastings, M., lxxv.

36 ii., 157.
37 rJe-btsun-gdam-pa.

38 The Khalkas, so called after the Khalka river, are the representatives of the Mongol or Yuen dynasty of China, founded by Jingis and Kubilai Khan, and driven from the throne in 1368. — Markh., p. xlix.

39 Koppen, ii., 178.
40 Markham's Tibet, xlix.

41 For an account of the journey of the present hierarch from Lhasa to Urga, see Peking Gazette for 1874, pp. 68, 74 and 124 (Shanghai abstract 1875). The new incarnation met by the Abbe Huc in 1844, journeying from Urga to Lhasa appears to have been the seventh.

42 Cf. also list by Sanang Setsen, p. 121; Csoma, Gr., 186; Koppen, ii., 105; Sarat, J.A.S.B., 1881, p. 240.
43 He is entitled by Turner (op. cit., p. 315) "Gongoso Rimbochhe."

44 Rept. cf. Markh., p. lv.

45 The figure is from a photo of a Bhotan Lama, and the hat is that of the present (1893) Grand Lama of Bhotan.

46 Himal. Jours, i.
47 Markh., p. 27.

48 In the Sheng Wu Ki, and registered by the Colonial Board at Pekin. (Mayer) J.R.A.S., vi., p. 307.

49 [Re-embodied Lama in western Tibet, Sen-c'en-Rin-po-ch'e] The last re-incarnate Lama bearing this title, and the tutor of the Tashi Grand Lama, was beheaded about 1886 for harbouring surreptitiously Sarat C. Das, who is regarded as an English spy; and although the bodies of his predecessors were considered divine and are preserved in golden domes at Tashi-lhunpo, his headless trunk was thrown ignominiously into a river to the S.W. of Lhasa, near the fort where he had been imprisoned. On account of his violent death, and under such circumstances, this re-incarnation is said to have ceased. From the glimpse got of him in Sarat's narrative and in his great popularity, he seems to have been a most amiable man.
50 Z.E. 21, Pand., No. 53.

51 Op. cit., p. 69.

52 After Grunwedel.
53  Markh., p. 109.
54 After Huc.

55 Loc. cit., para. 59; of. also Huc, ii., 197.
56 Circumstantial stories are told of such applicants to the effect, that when only a few months old the infants have obtained the power of speech for a few moments and informed their parents that the Lamas have left Potala to come and claim them.

57 The distant villages of Gada, south-west of Darchhendo (Ta-chhien Lu) and Lithang, have each produced a Dalai Lama.

58 The emperor Pure Kien Lung, who died 1796, since his final subjugation of Tibet, has continued to receive homage even posthumously as sovereign of the country (Marco P., loc. cit., L., p. 290.)
59  W. F. Mayer, Illustrations of the Lamaist System in Tibet, drawn from Chinese  Sources, J.R.A.S., vi. (1872), p. 284 seq.
60 As, for example, in the case of the eleventh Grand Lama, whose father was a poor fuel-seller.

61 Another account (Mayer, loc. cit., p. 295) states that he is kept at the "Jih-kia" monastery to the east of Lhasa, or "Chih-ta-wang-pu."
62 Mayer, loc. cit., p, 296.

63 The preceptor of the tenth and eleventh Grand Lamas was "Kia-mu-pa-le-i-hi-tan- pei'-gyam-tso." Mayer, loc cit.

64 sku mdun.

65 Gyal-tshab.

66 Sa-Kyon.

67 de-sid

68 bsTan-rgyas-glin.

69 Kun-'dus glin

70 Tse-mch'og glin.

71 Ts'a-mo-glin. A Lama of this monastic palace and a member of Sera, became the celebrated regent Tsha-tur numa-hang (? "Nomen Khan").
72 "De-ba zhun."

73 bKah-blon.

74 "Amban" is not Chinese. It is probably Manchu or Mongolian, cf. Rock., L., 51. The resident imperial minister of Tibet is colloquially called Chu-tsan tu-chon, and he is always a Manchu, that is, of the ruling race.
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Re: The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults

Postby admin » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:34 am

Part 1 of 2


Monastery of Chogortan.1

ISOLATION from the world has always been a desideratum of Buddhist monks; not as penance, but merely to escape temptations, and favour meditation. The monastery is named in Tibetan Gon-pa,2 vulgarly Gom-pa, or "a solitary place" or hermitage; and most monasteries are situated, if not actually in solitary places, at least some distance off from villages, while around others which were originally hermitages villages have grown up later.

The extreme isolation of some of the Tibetan cloisters has its counterpart in Europe in the alpine monasteries amid the everlasting snows. Some of them are for the greater part of the year quite cut off from the outer world, and at favourable times only reachable by dangerous paths, so that their solitude is seldom broken by visitors. The monastery of Kye-lang in Little Tibet stands on an isolated spur about 12,000 feet above the sea, and is approached over glaciers, so that sometimes its votaries are buried under avalanches. And the site is usually commanding and picturesque. Shergol in Ladak, like so many monasteries in central Tibet, is set on the face of a cliff. It is "carved out of a honeycombed cliff, forming, with some other cliffs of the same description, a giant flight of stairs on the slope of a bleak mountain of loose stones. The Gompa itself is painted white, with bands of bright colour on the projecting wooden gallery, so that it stands out distinctly against the darker rocks. There is not a sign of vegetation near — all round is a dreary waste of stone.3

Such remote and almost inaccessible sites for many of the convents renders mendicancy impossible; but begging-with-the-bowl never seems to have been a feature of Lamaism, even when the monastery adjoined a town or village.

Several monasteries, especially of the Kar-gyu sect, are called "caves" (hermitages) (or tak-p'u), although any caves which may exist accommodate only a very small proportion of the residents of the cloister so named. Yet many gompas, it is reported, passed through the state of cave-residence as a stage in their career. Firstly a solitary site with caves was selected, and when the monks by extra zeal and piety had acquired sufficient funds and influence, then they built a monastery in the neighbourhood. While, if the venture were not financially successful, the hermitage remained in the cave. One of these struggling cave-hermitages exists at Ri-kyi-sum near Pedong, in British Bhotan. Such caves, as a rule, are natural caverns, wholly unadorned by art, and are specially tenanted by the wandering ascetics named Yogacarya and Zi- jepa.4

The site occupied by the monastery is usually commanding and often picturesque. It should have a free outlook to the east to catch the first rays of the rising sun; and it should be built in the long axis of the hill; and it is desirable to have a lake in front, even though it be several miles distant. These latter two conditions are expressed in the couplet: —

"Back to the hill-rock,
And front to the tarn."5

The door of the assembly room and temple is coeteris paribus built to face eastwards. The next best direction is south-east, and then south. If a stream directly drains the site or is visible a short way below, then the site is considered bad, as the virtue of the place escapes by the stream. In such a case the chief entrance is made in another direction. A waterfall, however, is of very good omen, and if one is visible in the neighbourhoood, the entrance is made in that direction, should it not be too far removed from the east.

The name of the monastery is usually of a religious nature, ideal or mystic, or, like De-pung, borrowed from the name of a celebrated Indian monastery; but others are merely place-names which are often descriptive of the site,6 thus: —

Tashi-Lhun-po, "The mass of glory.''

Sa-skya, the tawny soil.

Min-dol-lin, "The place of perfect emancipation."

The "Himis," monastery in Ladak is called "The support of the meaning of Buddha's precepts."7

San-na-cho-lin (Ang., Sangachiling) gsan, secret or occult, + snags, spell or magic + c'os religion + glin, a place. "The place of the occult mystic religion." A catholic Buddhist monastery open to all classes, including deformed persons, nuns, Lepchas and Limbus.

PADMA-YAN-TSE (Ang.,Pemiongchi) = padma (pr. "pama") a lotus + yan, perfect or pure + rtse, the highest "the monastery of the sublime perfect lotus (-born one, i.e., Padma-sambhava)." A monastery professing, we believe, only well-born, celibate, and undeformed monks, and especially associated with St. Padma, who is worshipped here.

Ta-ka Tashi-din (Ang., Tashiding) = brag ( = tag,) a rock + dkar, white + bkra-sis (pr. ta shi) glory + lding, a soaring up or elevation. The original name is likely to have been 'bring, pronounced "ding," and meaning the middle, with reference to its romantically elevated site between two great rivers at their junction. "The gompa of the elevated glorious white rock." The site, a bold high promontory at the junction of and between the Great Rangit and Ratong rivers, is believed to have been miraculously raised up by St. Padma, and amongst other traces a broad longitudinal white streak in the rock is pointed out as being the shadow of that saint.

Pho-dan (Ang., Fadung) = p'o-ldan, a sloping ridge; such is the site of this gompa and the usual spelling of the name. As, however, this is the "chapel royal" of the raja, it seems possible that the name may be p'o-bran (pr. p'o-dan) = palace, "the gompa of the palace."

La-bran = bla, a contraction of Lama or high-priest + bran, a dwelling. Here resides the hierarch or chief Lama.
[N. B. — This is one of the very few words in which br is literally pronounced as spelt.]

Dorje-lin (Ang., Darjeeling) = rdo-rje "the precious stone'' or ecclesiastical sceptre, emblematic of the thunder-bolt of Sakra (Indra or Jupiter) + glin, a place. The monastery from which Darjiling takes its name, and the ruins of which are still visible on observatory-hill, was a branch of the Dorjeling, usually curtailed into Do-ling (Ang., Dalling) monastery in native Sikhim; and to distinguish it from its parent monastery, it was termed Ank-du Dorje-ling (dbang, power + bdus, accumulated or concentrated) on account of its excellent situation, and powerful possibilities.

De-t'an = De, a kind of tree (Daphne papyraceae, Wall.), from the bark of which ropes and paper are made + t'an, a meadow = "the gompa of the De meadow." Here these trees are abundant.

Ri-gon (Ang., Ringim = (ri + dgon, a hermitage = "the hermitage hill." It is situated near the top of the hill.

To-lun = rdo, a stone + lun, a valley. This valley is remarkably rocky, and avalanches of stones are frequent.

En-ce = dben (pr. en), a solitary place + lc'e, a tongue. A monastery on a tongue-shaped spur.

Dub-de = sgrub (pr. "dub"), a hermit's cell + sde, a place. "The place of the hermit's cell "—the oldest monastery in Sikhim, founded by the pioneer missionary Lha-tsun Ch en-bo.

Pen-zan = p'an bliss or profit + bzan, excellent. The monastery of "excellent bliss."

Ka-co-pal-bi (Ang. Ketsuperi) = mk'a, heaven + spyod (pr. cho) to accomplish or reach + dpal, noble + ri = the monastery of "the noble mountain of the Garuda (a messenger of the gods)" or "of reaching heaven."

Ma-ni = ma-ni, a tablet inscribed with "Om mani, etc," a Mendon. "The gompa of the Mendon"; here the gompa was erected near an old mendong.

Se-non = Se, a sloping ridge + non, depressed. It is situated on a depressed sloping ridge; and is also spelt gzigs (pr. zi), a see-er or beholder + mnon, to suppress; and in this regard it is alleged that here St. Padma-sambhava beheld the local demons underneath and kept them under.

Yan-gan = yan, perfect, also lucky + sgan, a ridge. "The monastery of the lucky ridge."

Lhun-tse = lhun, lofty + rise, summit. "The monastery of the lofty summit."

Nam-tse = rnam, a division or district + rtse. "Lofty division" one of the subdivisions of native Sikhim, on the flank of Tendong. It is probable that this is a Lepcha name from tsu = "Seat of government, as the site is a very old Lepcha one.

Tsun-t'an (Ang., Cheungtham) = btsun, a queen; also "respected one" i.e., a Lama or monk; also marriage + than, a meadow. This gompa is situated overlooking a meadow at the junction of the Lachhen and Lachhung rivers. It may mean "the meadow of marriage (of the two rivers)" or "the meadow of the Lamas," or the meadow of Our Lady" -- its full name as found in manuscript being btsun-mo rin-chen t'an," implies that the Lamas derive its name from "the precious Lady (Dorje-p'ag-mo)" whose image is prominently displayed within the gompa.

Rab-lin (Ang., Rawling) = rab, excellent or high + glin, a place. This monastery is situated on a high cliffy ridge.

Nub-lin (Ang. Nobling) = nub, the west + glin = "The gompa of the western place or country." It lies on the western border of Sikhim.

De-kyi-lin (Ang, Dikiling) = bde-skyid, happiness + glin = "The place of Happiness." It is a rich arable site with the beer-millet (murwa) cultivation.

The site chosen for a monastery must be consecrated before any building is begun. A chapter of Lamas is held, and the tutelary deity is invoked to protect the proposed building against all injury of men and demons. At the ceremony of laying the first stone prayers are recited, and charms, together with certain forms of benediction (Tashi-tsig jod), together with relics, are deposited in a hollow stone.8 And other rites are done. And in repairing a sacred building somewhat similar services are performed.

The size of the Tibetan monasteries is sometimes immense, several containing from 3,000 to 10,000 monks, in this the most priest-ridden country in the world. The larger monasteries are like small towns, as seen in the original drawing of Tashi-lhunpo here given, with long streets of cells, two or three storeys high, and usually surrounding small courtyards which generally contain a shrine in the centre. The chief building is "The assembly hall," which, however, is practically a temple, and is considered under that head.

There are always small halls for teaching purposes, as the monasteries serve also as colleges. But these colleges are for the clergy alone, as Lamas, unlike Burmese monks, are not the schoolmasters of the people. They teach only those who enter the order. And the lay populace have to be content with the poor tuition obtainable in a few schools (Lob-ta) conducted by laymen.

The architecture seems to have preserved much of the mediaeval Indian style. Mr. Fergusson shows9 that Nepal, in its architecture as well as ethnologically, presents us with a microcosm of India as it was in the seventh century, when Hiuen Tsiang visited it; and that the Sikhim monasteries show a perseverance in the employment of sloping jambs (as in the Tashiding doorway),10 as used two thousand years ago in the Behar and early western caves; and the porch of the temple at Pemiongchi shows the form of roof which we are familiar with in the rock examples of India.

The architecture of the monastery resembles that of the houses of the wealthy Tibetans, and is often ostentatious. It has been described in some detail by Schlagintweit, Huc, Rockhill,11 etc., as regards Tibet, and by General Cunningham and Mr. Conway as regards the large monasteries of Ladak. The monasteries in Sikhim are mean and almost devoid of any artistic interest.

Tashi-lhunpo Monastery. (From a native drawing.)

As wood is scarce in Tibet most of the monasteries are built of stone or sun-dried bricks. Most have flat roofs, some are in the Chinese style, and most are surmounted by the cylinders of yak- hair cloth crossed by a few white ribbons at right angles to each other, and topped by a crescent and spear, as in figures, and a curtain of yak-hair cloth bearing similar stripes in the form of a Latin cross closes the windows. In the outer Himalayas the cells and dormitories and other buildings cluster round the temple. And in the temple-monasteries, the ground floor is without windows and is generally used as a storehouse, and the upper storeys are reached by a staircase or an inclined beam on which notches are cut for steps; and the scanty furniture is of the plainest.

The well-known Indian name of a Buddhist monastery, namely Arama, or Sangharama ("the resting-place of the clergy") more strictly applied to the grove in which the monastery was situated is applied in Tibet, which is almost destitute of groves, to the auditory or library of the monastery.12

Ch'orten and Mendon in Ladak.13

Lining the approaches to the monastery are rows of tall "prayer"-flags, and several large funereal monuments — Ch'orten and long wall-like Mendon monuments.

Funereal Buddhist Monument (A Ch'orten Stupa or "Tope").

The Ch'or-tens,14 literally "receptacle for offerings,"15 are usually solid conical masonry structures, corresponding to the Caityas and Stupas or "Topes" of Indian Buddhism, and originally intended as relic-holders; they are now mostly erected as cenotaphs in memory of Buddha or of canonized saints; and they present a suggestively funereal appearance. Some commemorate the visits of Lamaist saints; and miniature ones of metal, wood, or clay often adorn the altar, and sometimes contain relics.

Mediaeval Indian Brazen Caitya. (from Tibet.)

The original form of the Caitya, or Stupa,16 was a simple and massive hemisphere or solid dome (garbha, literally "womb" enclosing the relic) of masonry, with its convexity upwards and crowned by a square capital (toran) surmounted by one or more umbrellas, symbols of royalty. Latterly they became more complex in form, with numerous plinths, and much elongated, especially in regard to their capitals, as seen in the small photograph here given.17

The Lamaist Caityas, or Ch'ortens, are mainly of the two forms here shown. They generally adhere to the Indian type; but differ most conspicuously in that the dome in the commonest form is inverted. Both have more or less elaborate plinths, and on the sides of the capital are often figured a pair of eyes, like the sacred eyes met with in ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman vases, etc., and believed to be connected with sun-worship. Above the toran is a bluntly conical or pyramidal spire, Cudamani, of thirteen step-like segments, typical of the thirteen Bodhisat heavens of the Buddhists. This is surmounted by a bell-shaped symbol (usually copper-gilt) called the kalsa, the handle of which forms a tapering pinnacle sometimes modelled after a small Caitya, but often moulded in the form of one or two or all of the following objects: a lotus-flower, a crescent moon, a globular sun, a triple canopy, which are finally surmounted by a tongue-shaped spike, representing the jyoti or sacred light of Buddha. And sometimes round the base of the kalsa is a gilt canopy or umbrella (catra).18

Tibetan Ch'orten, Common Form

Many of the Lamaist Caityas are, like those of the Japanese, symbolic of the five elements into which a body is resolved upon death; thus, as in the annexed figure, the lowest section, a solid rectangular block, typifies the solidity of the earth; above it water is represented by a globe; fire by a triangular tongue; air by a crescent— the inverted vault of the sky, and ether by an acuminated circle, the tapering into space.

A miniature Ch'orten, containing an enormous number of small images of Lamaist deities, in niches and in several inner compartments within folding doors, is called "the glorious (Ch'orten) of many doors."19 It is carried about from village to village by itinerant Lamas for exhibition to the laity.

In the wealthier monasteries the Ch'ortens are regularly white-washed.

Elemental Ch'orten

The Mendons, as figured on page 261, are long wall-like erections sometimes over a mile in length, which divide the road into two lateral halves to allow of the respectful mode of passing it, namely, with the right hand to the wall. They are faced with blocks bearing in rudely cut characters the six- syllabled mystic sentence "Om mani padme hum" — the same which is revolved in the "prayer- wheels" and usually called Mani; and its name is said to be derived from these, namely, Mani-don, or " The Mani-faced." It usually has a chorten terminating it at either end; and occasionally it contains niches to burn incense or to deposit the small clay funereal Caityas,20 and also bears coarsely outlined figures of the three especial protecting divinities of Lamaism.21 As it is a pious act to add to these "Mani" slabs, a mason is kept at the larger temples and places of special pilgrimage, who carves the necessary number of stones according to the order and at the expense of the donating pilgrim.

The small cairns, surmounted by a few sticks, to which rags are attached by passers by as offerings to the genius loci, like the "rag-bushes" of India, are called Lab-ch'a, and figured at page 286.

As with all sacred objects, these monuments must always be passed on the right hand,22 according to the ancient custom of showing respect. And thus, too, it is that the prayer-cylinders must always be turned in this direction.

In addition to the foregoing objects, there is frequently found in the vicinity of the monastery a stone seat called a "throne" for the head Lama, when he gives al-fresco instruction to his pupils. One of the reputed thrones of the founder of Sikhim Lamaism exists at the Pemiongchi Ch'orten, where the camp of visitors is usually pitched.

There is no regular asylum for animals rescued from the butchers, to save some person from pending death; but occasionally such ransomed cattle are to be found in the neighbourhood of monasteries where their pension-expenses have been covered by a donation from the party cured. The animals have their ears bored for a tuft of coloured rags as a distinctive and saving mark.

In Sikhim not far from most monasteries are fertile fields of murwa (Eleushine corocana), from which is made the country beer, a beverage which the Sikhim and Bhotanese monks do not deny themselves.

Over 3,000 monasteries are said to be in Tibet. But before giving a short descriptive list of some of the chief monasteries of Lamadom it seems desirable to indicate the chief provinces into which Tibet is divided.23

Tibet is divided into three sections, namely: —

1. Pod or "Tibet" proper, or the provinces of U and Tsang, hence the name "Weitsang" applied to Tibet by the Chinese.

2. High (or Little) Tibet, or the northern provinces of Tod, Nari, and Khor-sum.

3. Eastern Tibet, or the provinces of Kham, Do, and Gang.

In Tibet proper the central province of U and the western one of Tsang have their capitals at Lhasa and Tashil-hunpo respectively. U contains the districts of Gyama (and Kongbu, including Pema- Koi), Di-gung, Tsal-pa, Tsang-po, Che'-va, Phag-du, Yah-sang, and Yaru-dag, including the great Yamdok lake. Tsang comprises the districts of north and south Lo-stod, Gurmo, Ch'umig, S'ang, and S'alu.

Little Tibet is divided into the three circles of sTag-mo Ladvags ("Ladak"), Mang-yul S'ang Shum, Guge Burang ("Purang"), comprising the districts of Purang, Mang-yul Sangs-dKar, hCh'i- va, bLas'a, sBal-te, Shang-shung, upper and lower Khrig-se, East Nari includes Dok-t'al and lake Manasarovar. The Ladak and Balti districts of west Nari were conquered by Kashmir in 1840 and are now British dependencies. Ka-che, sometimes used synonymously with Kashmir, includes the lofty northern steppes and the gold fields of Thog-Jalung.  

Eastern Tibet is the most populous section of the country. The greater part of the low-lying Do province (Amdo) seems to have been detached from Tibet by the Chinese about 1720. The south-eastern province of Kham borders on Assam and upper Burma, and includes the districts of Po, Lhari-go. The Gang province consists mostly of high bleak ridges, Pombor, Tsawa, and 'Tsa- Ch'u. The northern Tsai-dam, comprising many marshes between Nan-sban and Altentagh mountains, is peopled by Tanguts and Mongols.

The chief monasteries of central Tibet are: —

Sam-yas, which as the first monastery founded in Tibet, deserves first mention.

Its full title is "bSam-yas Mi-'gyur Lhun-gyis grub-pal Tsug-lug- K'an" or "The academy for obtaining the heap of unchanging Meditation."

The explorer Nain Singh resided in this monastery in 1874 and has given a good account of it. It is situated (N. lat. 29° 20', E. long. 91° 26, altitude about 11,430 ft.) about thirty miles to the S.E. of Lhasa, near the north bank of the Tsang-po river amidst hillocks of deep sand, clothed with scanty herbage. It was built about 74 by Thi-Sron Detsan with the aid of the Indian monks, Padma-sambhava and Santa-rakshita, after the model of the Udandapur,24 temple-monastery of Bihar. But the building is believed to have been altogether miraculous, and an abstract of the legend is given underneath.25

Part of the original building yet remains. The monastery, which contains a large temple, four large colleges, and several other buildings, is enclosed by a lofty circular wall about a mile and a half in circumference, with gates facing the cardinal points, and along the top of the wall are many votive brick chaityas, of which the explorer, Nain Singh, counted 1,030, and they seemed to be covered with inscriptions in ancient Indian characters. In the centre of the enclosure stands the assembly hall, with radiating cloisters leading to four chapels, facing at equal distances the four sides of the larger temple. This explorer notes that "the idols and images contained in these temples are of pure gold, richly ornamented with valuable cloths and jewels. The candle-sticks and vessels are nearly all made of gold and silver." And on the temple walls are many large inscriptions in Chinese and ancient Indian characters. In the vestibule of the chief temple, to the left of the door, is a colossal copy of the pictorial Wheel of Life.

The large image of "Buddha," over ten feet high, seems to be called "the Sam-yas Jing " (Samyas Gyal-po).

The library contains many Indian manuscripts, but a great number of these were destroyed at the great fire about 1810 A.D.

In a temple close by among the sand is a celebrated chamber of horrors, built of large boulders, and containing gigantic figures of the twenty-five Gon-po demons. The images are made of incense, and are about twenty feet high, of the fiercest expression, and represented as dancing upon mangled human corpses, which they are also devouring. And great stains of blood are pointed out by the attendants as the fresh stains of bodies which the demons have dragged to the place during the previous night.

We have already referred to the miraculous account of the building of this monastery, which is said to rest upon Raksha fiends. On account of the peculiar safety imparted to the locality by the spells of the wizard priest, Padma-sambhava, the Tibetan government use the place as a bank for their reserved bullion and treasure, of which fabulous sums are said to be stored there.

Although it is now presided over by a Sa-kya Lama, the majority of its members are Nin-ma.  

Gah-ldan, the monastery founded by Tson-K'a-pa, is one of the four great Ge-lug-pa or established church monasteries, the others being De-pung, Sera and Tashi-lhunpo.

Its full name is dGah-ldan rNam-par Gyal-wahi glin, or the Continent of completely victorious happiness.

This monastery stands enthroned on the dbAn-K'or hill, about twenty-five miles E.N.E. of Lhasa. Its founder, Tson-K'a-pa, raised it to a high pitch of fame and filled it with costly images. The chief object of veneration is the grand tomb of Tson-K'a-pa, which is placed in the Tsug-la-k'an. It is a lofty mausoleum-like structure of marble and malachite, with a gilded roof. Inside this outer shell is to be seen a beautiful Ch'orten, consisting of cube pyramid and surmounting cone, all said to be of solid gold. Within this golden casket, wrapped in fine cloths, inscribed with sacred Dharani syllables, are the embalmed remains of the great reformer, disposed in sitting attitude. Other notable objects here are a magnificent representation of Cham-pa, the Buddha to come, seated, European fashion, on a throne. Beside him stands a life-sized image of Tson-K'a-pa, in his character of Jam-pal Nin-po, which is supposed to be his name in the Galdan heavens. A rock-hewn cell, with impressions of hands and feet, is also shown as Tson-K'a-pa's. A very old statue of S'inje, the lord of Death, is much reverenced here; every visitor presenting gifts and doing it infinite obeisance. The floor of the large central chamber appears to be covered with brilliant enamelled tiles, whilst another shrine holds an effigy of Tson-K'a-pa, with images of his five disciples (Shes-rab Sen-ge, K'a-grub Ch'os-rje, etc.) standing round him. The library contains manuscript copies of the saint's works in his own handwriting.26

Unlike the other large Ge-lug-pa monasteries, the headship of Gah- ldan is not based on hereditary incarnation, and is not, therefore, a child when appointed. He is chosen by a conclave from among the most scholarly of the monks of Sera, De-pung, and this monastery. The late abbot became ultimately regent of all Tibet. The number of inmates here is reckoned at about 3,300.

De-pung ('bras-spuns), the most powerful and populous of all the monasteries in Tibet, founded in and named after the great Indian-Tantrik monastery of "The rice-heap" (Sri-Dhanya Kataka) in Kalinga and identified with the Kalacakra doctrine. It is situated about three miles west of Lhasa, and it contains nominally 7,000[27] monks. It is divided into four sections clustering round the great cathedral, the resplendent golden roof of which is seen from afar. It contains a small palace for the Dalai Lama at his annual visit. Many Mongolians study here. In front stands a stupa, said to contain the body of the fourth Grand Lama, Yon-tenn, who was of Mongolian nationality.

Its local genii are the Five nymphs of long Life (Ts'erin-ma), whose images, accompanied by that of Hayagriva, guard the entrance. And effigies of the sixteen Sthavira are placed outside the temple door. In its neighbourhood is the monastery of Na-Ch'un, the residence of the state sorcerer, with a conspicuous gilt dome.

Ser-ra, or "The Merciful Hail."28 It is said to have been so named out of rivalry to its neighbour, "The rice-heap" (De-pung), as hail is destructive of rice, and the two monasteries have frequent feuds. In connection with this legend there is also exhibited here a miraculous "Phurbu," or thunderbolt sceptre of Jupiter Pluvius.

It is romantically situated about a mile and a half to the north of Lhasa, on the lower slopes of a range of barren hills named Ta-ti-pu, famous for silver ore, and which surround the monastery like an amphitheatre.

Its monks number nominally 5,500, and have frequently engaged in bloody feuds against their more powerful rivals of De-pung. The Indian surveyor reported only on the idols of the temple. He says: "They differ in size and hideousness, some having horns, but the lower parts of the figures are generally those of men." Huc gives a fuller description: "The temples and houses of Sera stand on a slope of the mountain-spur, planted with hollies and cypresses. At a distance these buildings, ranged in the form of an amphitheatre, one above the other, and standing out upon the green base of the hill, present an attractive and picturesque sight. Here and there, in the breaks of the mountain above this religious city, you see a great number of cells inhabited by contemplative Lamas, which you can reach only with difficulty. The monastery of Sera is remarkable for three large temples of several storeys in height, all the rooms of which are gilded throughout. Thence the name from ser, the Tibetan for 'gold.' In the chief of these three temples is preserved the famous tortche, which, having flown through the air from India, is the model from which all others, large and portable, are copied. The tortche of Sera is the object of great veneration, and is sometimes carried in procession to Lhasa to receive the adoration of the people." This "dorje," or rather "phurbu," is what is called a Tam-din-phurbu, and is said to have originally belonged to an Indian sage named Grub-thob mdah-'phyar. It was found on the hill in the neighbourhood named P'urba-Ch'og, having flown from India. In the 12th month of every year (about the 27th day) it is taken out of its casket and carried in state to Potala, where the Dalai Lama puts it to his head. It is thereafter carried by a high official of Sera monastery to the Chinese Amban, the governors (Shape) and the regent, all of whom touch their heads with it. Afterwards thousands throng to Sera to receive its holy touch on their heads as a defence against all evil and spells.

In the great assembly hall is a huge image of Avalokita with eleven heads.

Tashi-lhunpo (bkra-s'is Lhun-po), or the "Heap of Glory," the headquarters of the Pan-ch'en Grand Lama, who to some extent shares with the Lhasa Grand Lama the headship of the church. Its general appearance will be seen from the foregoing plate on page 260, from a native drawing. The monastery forms quite a small town, and not even Lamas other than established church can stay there over-night. It is well known through the descriptions of Bogle, Turner, etc. It is situated near the south bank of the Tsang-po, at the junction of the Nying river, in 89° 7 ' E. long., 29° 4' 20" N. lat., and altitude, 11,800 feet (Markh., xxvii.). This celebrated establishment has been long known to European geographers as "Teeshoo Loombo."

Mr. Bogle describes it29 as being built on the lower slope of a steep hill (Dolmai Ri, or hill of the goddess Tara). The houses rise one over another; four churches with gilt ornaments are mixed with them, and altogether it presents a princely appearance. Many of the courts are flagged with stone, and with galleries running round them. The alleys, which are likewise paved, are narrow. The palace is large, built of dark-coloured bricks, with a copper-gilt roof. It is appropriated to the Lama and his officers, to temples, granaries, warehouses, etc. The rest of the town is entirely inhabited by priests, who are in number about four thousand. Mr. Bogle also describes the interior of several of the state rooms and temples. On the top of mount Dolmai Ri is a stone cairn, where banners are always fluttering, and where, on high festivals, huge bonfires are set ablaze. The lay capital of the province, Shigatse, lies on the upper ridges to the N.E. of this hill, hardly a mile from this, the ecclesiastical capital.

The lofty walls enclosing the monastic town are pierced by five gateways. Over the eastern gate has been placed, in large carved letters, a prohibition against smoking within the monastic precincts. The western gateway seems to be regarded as the main entrance. So, entering the monastic premises there, you find yourself in a sort of town, with lanes lined by lofty houses, open squares, and temples.

In the centre of the place is the grand cathedral or assembly hall. Its entrance faces the east. Its roof is supported by one hundred pillars, and the building accommodates two to three thousand monks seated in nine rows on rugs placed side by side on the floor. The four central pillars, called the Ka-ring, are higher than the rest, and support a detached roof to form the side skylights through which those seated in the upper gallery can witness the service. The rows of seats arranged to the right side of the entrance are occupied by the senior monks, such as belong to the order of Kigch'en, Pharch'enpha, Torampa, Kah-c'an, etc. The seats to the left side are taken up by the junior monks, such as Ge-ts'ul and apprentice monks, etc., of the classes called Dura and Rigding.

The court around it is used by the monks for religious dances and other outdoor ceremonies. Round the space are reared the halls of the college, four storeys in height, provided with upper-floor balconies. North of these buildings are set up in a line the huge tombs of deceased Pan-ch'en Lamas. The body of each is embalmed and placed within a gold-plated pyramid raised on a tall marble table, and this structure stands within a stone mausoleum, high and decorated with gilt kanjira and small cylinder-shaped finials made of black felt. One of these tombs is much bigger than the rest. It is that of Pan-ch'en Erteni, who died in 1779.

Tomb of Tashi Lama.30

There are four conventual colleges attached to Tashi-lhunpo, all of which receive students from every part of Tibet, who are instructed in Tantrik ritual, and learn large portions of that division of the scriptures. The names of these colleges are Shar-tse Ta-ts'an, Nag-pa Ta-ts'an, Toi-sam Lin, and Kyil-k'an Ta-ts'an. Each of these institutions has an abbot, who is the tul-wa, or avatar of some bygone saint; and the four abbots have much to do with the discovery of the infant successor to a deceased Pan-ch'en, or head of the monastery. From these abbots, also, one is selected to act as the prime minister, or chief ecclesiastical adviser in the government of Tsang. The most imposing building of the monastery is the temple and hall of the Nag-pa Ta-ts'an, known as the "Nagk'an," which is the chief college for mystic ritual in Tibet. Another college, the Toi-san-lin, stands at the extreme northern apex of the walls, some way up the slope of the Dolmai-Ri hill.

Hard by the last-named premises, is to be observed a lofty building of rubble-stone, reared to the amazing height of nine storeys. This edifice, which forms a very remarkable object on the hill-side, was sketched by Turner, who visited Tashi-lhunpo one hundred years ago, and his drawing of it is here annexed on opposite page. It is called Go-Ku-pea, or "The Stored Silken Pictures," as it is used to exhibit at certain festivals the gigantic pictures of Maitreya and other Buddhist deities, which are brought out and hung high up as great sheets outside the walls of the tall building. By the vulgar it is styled Kiku Tamsa. It is used as a storehouse for the dried carcases of sheep, goats, and yak, which are kept in stock for feeding the inmates of the monastery. A wide-walled yard fronts the Kiku Tamsa, and this space is thronged by a motley crowd when (as is the custom in June and November) the pictures are exhibited.

The number of monks generally in residence at Tashi-lhunpo is said to be 3,800. The division into wards and clubs has already been referred to.

The head of the whole monastic establishment resides in the building called bLa-brang, or "The Lama's palace."

Nam-gyal Ch'oi-de is the monastery-royal of the Grand Lama on the red hill of Potala, where the Dalai Lama holds his court and takes part in the service as a Bhikshu, or common monk.

Ramo-ch'e and Karmakya monasteries, within Lhasa, are, as already noted, schools of sorcery, and the latter has a printing house.

"Desherip-gay" (elevation 12,220 feet), a monastery two miles from the fort of Chamnam-ring in northern Tsang, is subordinate to Tashi-lhunpo, where the Grand Tashi Lama was resident at Bogle's visit on account of the smallpox plague at his headquarters. Bogle describes it as "situated in a narrow valley, and at the foot of an abrupt and rocky hill . . . two storeys high, and is surrounded on three sides by rows of small apartments with a wooden gallery running round them, which altogether form a small court flagged with stone. All the stairs are broad ladders. The roofs are adorned with copper-gilt ornaments, and on the front of the house are three round brass plates, emblems of Om, Han (? Ah), Hoong. The Lama's apartment is at the top. It is small, and hung round with different coloured silks, views of Potala, Teshu Lumbo, etc."31

Jan-lache, a large monastery on the upper Tsang-po, in long. 87° 38' E.; elevation 13,580 feet. It is eighty-five miles above Tashi- lhunpo.32

The "Go-Ku-Pea" or "Kiku-Tamsa" Tower at Tashi-Lhunpo.33

Chamnamrin (Nam-lin), in the valley of the Shing river, a northern affluent of the Tsang-po, 12,220 feet, seen and visited by Mr. Bogle.

Dorkya Lugu-DON, on the bank of the great Tengri-nor lake.

Ra-deng (Ra-sgren), north-east of Lhasa, a Ka-dam-pa monastery, founded in 1055 by Brom-ton, Atlsa's pupil.

Sa-kya (Sa-skya) "Tawny-soil," is about 50 miles north of Mount Everest, 48 miles east from Shigatse, and 30 miles from Jang-lache; E. long. 87° 54', lat. 28° 53' . This monastery gives its name to the Sakya sect, which has played an important part in the history of Tibet. A considerable town nestles at the foot of the monastery. The foundation of the monastery and its future fame are related to have been foretold by the Indian sage, Atisa, when on his way to central Tibet, he passed a rock, on the present site of the monastery, on which he saw the mystic Om inscribed in "self -sprung," characters. Afterwards this establishment became famous as a seat of learning and for a time of the priest-king.

It is said to contain the largest single building in Tibet, — though the cathedral at Lhasa is said to be larger. It is seven34 storeys in height, and has a spacious assembly hall known as "the White Hall of Worship." It is still famous for its magnificent library, containing numerous unique treasures of Sanskrit and Tibetan literature, unobtainable elsewhere. Some of these have enormous pages embossed throughout in letters of gold and silver. The monastery, though visited in 1872 by our exploring Pandit No. 9, and in 1882 by Babu Sarat Candra Das, remains undescribed at present. The Sakya Lama is held to be an incarnation of the Bodhisat Manjusrl, and also to carry Karma, derivable from Sakya Pandita and St. Padma.

The hall of the great temple, called 'P'rul-pahi Lha-k'an, has four enormous wooden pillars, Ka-wa-min ches zhi, of which the first pillar is white, and called Kar-po-zum-lags, and is alleged to have come from Kongbu; the second yellow, Ser-po zum-lags, from Mochu valley; the third red, Marpo Tag dzag, from Nanam on Nepal frontier; and the fourth pillar black, Nak-po K'un-shes, from Ladak. These pillars are said to have been erected by K'yed-'bum bsags, the ancestor of the Sikhim king.

Ting-ge is a very large Ge-lug-pa monastery to the north of Sakya and west of Tashi-lhunpo.

Phuntsholing (p'un-ts'ogs-glin) monastery, formerly named rTag- brten by Taranatha, who built it in his forty-first year, was forcibly made a Ge-lug-pa institution by the fifth grand Lama, Nag-wan.

It is situated on the Tsangpo, about a day's journey west of Tashi-lhunpo, and one mile to the south-west of it is Jonang, which has a very large temple said to be like Budh Gaya, and, like it, of several storeys and covered by images; but both it and Phuntsholing are said to have been deserted by monks and now are occupied by nuns.
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Re: The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults

Postby admin » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:35 am

Part 2 of 2

Sam-ding (bsam-ldin ch'oinde). It lies in N. lat 28° 57' 15", and E. long 90° 28'. Altitude, 14,512 feet. An important establishment, noteworthy as a monastery of monks as well as nuns, presided over by a female abbot— the so-called re-incarnate goddess already referred to.35 This august woman is known throughout Tibet as Dorje-P'ag-mo, or "the diamond sow" the abbesses of Samding being held to be successive appearances in mortal form of the Indian goddess Vajra- varahi. The present incarnation of this goddess is thirty-three years old (in 1889); and is described as being a clever and capable woman, with some claim to good looks, and of noble birth. She bears the name of Njag-dban Rinchen Kun-bzan-mo dbAn-mo, signifying "The most precious power of speech, the female energy of all good"). Under this lady the reputation which Samding has long enjoyed for the good morals of both monks and nuns has been well maintained. Among other rules, the inmates are forbidden to lend out money or other valuables on interest to the rural folk, usurious dealings being commonly resorted to by the monastic orders. It is said to be of the Nin-ma sect. The monastery was founded by one Je-tsun T'inle Ts'oma, a flower of the philosophy of Po-don P'yog Legs Nam-gyal, whose writings, to the amazing extent of one hundred and eighteen volumes, are treasured up in the monastic library.  

Yamdok lake is remarkable for its scorpionoid shape, the grotesque shaped semi-island anchored to the main shore by two necks of land. Samding is itself placed on the main shore at the juncture of the northern neck. Being built on a conical hill, it appears to be guarding the sacred island from intrusion. The monastery stands like a fortress on the summit of the barren hill some 300 feet above the level of the surrounding country. Huge flags of stone are piled in ascending steps up this hill, and a long low wall mounts beside them like a balustrade. At the top of the steps, a narrow pathway conducts to the foot of the monastery which is circled by a high wall. Samding is finely placed. To the N E. it fronts the dark and precipitous mountain spurs which radiate from the lofty central peak of the islands. To the S.E. it looks over the land towards the illimitable waters of the weird and mighty Yamdok herself. To the S. it frowns down on the Dumo Tso the inner lake betwixt the connecting necks of land above-mentioned into which are cast the bodies of the defunct nuns and monks, as food for fishes.

On entering the gates of the monastery, you find yourself in an extensive courtyard, flanked on three sides by the conventual buildings. Part of the fourth side of the parallelogram is occupied by a kind of grand-stand supported on pilasters of wood. Ladders with broad steps cased in brass, give admission to the first floor of the main building Here in a long room are ranged the tombs of celebrities connected in past times with Samding including that of the founder, T'inle Ts'omo The latter tomb is a richly ornamented piece of workmanship, plated with gold and studded with jewels. At the base, on a stone slab is marked the reputed footprint of the saint. In a private, strongly barred chamber, hard by to which no one may be admitted, are laid the dried mortal remains of all the former incarnations of Dorje P'ag-mo. Here, in this melancholy apartment, will be one day placed the body of the present lady abbess, after undergoing some embalming process. To the grim charnel-house, it is considered the imperative duty of each incarnate abbess to repair once, while living, to gaze her fill on her predecessors, and to make formal obeisance to their mouldering forms. She must enter once, but only once, during her lifetime.

Another hall in this monastery is the dus-k'an, the walls of which are frescoes illustrative of the career of the original Dorje P'ag-mo. There, also, have been put up inscriptions recording how the goddess miraculously defended Samding, when, in the year 1716, it was beset by a Mongol warrior, one Yung Gar. When the Mongol arrived in the vicinity of Yamdok, hearing that the lady abbess had a pig's head as an excrescence behind her ear, he mocked at her in public, sending word to her to come to him, that he might see the pig's head for himself. Dorje P'ag-mo returned no angry reply, only beseeching him to abandon his designs on the monastery. Burning with wrath, the warrior invaded the place and destroyed the walls; but, entering, he found the interior utterly deserted. He only observed eighty pigs and eighty sows grunting in the du-khang under the lead of a bigger sow. He was startled by this singular frustration of his project; for he could hardly plunder a place guarded only by hogs. When it was evident that the Mongol was bent no longer on rapine, the pigs and sows were suddenly transformed into venerable-looking monks and nuns, headed by the most reverend Dorje P'ag-mo; as a consequence, Yung Gar, instead of plundering, enriched the place with costly presents.

A certain amount of association is permitted between the male and female inmates of this convent, who together number less than 200. Dorje P'ag-mo retains one side of the monastic premises as her private residence. It is asserted by the inmates that the good woman never suffers herself to sleep in a reclining attitude. During the day she may doze in a chair, during the night she must sit, hour after hour, wrapt in profound meditation. Occasionally this lady makes a royal progress to Lhasa, where she is received with the deepest veneration. Up in northern Tibet is another sanctuary dedicated to Dorje P'ag-mo. This convent also stands on an islet situated off the west shore of the great lake, 70 miles N.W. of Lhasa, the Nam Ts'o Ch'yidmo, and is much akin to Samding, comprising a few monks and nuns under an abbess. At Markula, in Lahul, is a third shrine of the goddess.36

Di-kung ('bri-gun) about one hundred miles N.E. of Lhasa, is one of the largest Kar-gyu-pa monasteries. It is said to receive its name, the "she-Yak," from the ridge on which it is situated, which is shaped like the back of a yak. It was founded in 1166, by the son of the Sakya Lama, Koncho Yal-po.

Mindolling (smin grol-glin), close to the S. of Samye, a great Nin-ma monastery, sharing with Dorje Dag, not far off, the honour of being the supreme monastery of that sect. It lies across the Tsangpo from Sam-yas in the valley of the Mindolling river, the water of which turns numerous large prayer-wheels. Its chief temple is nine storeys high, with twenty minor temples with many "beautiful images" and books. A massive stone stairway forms the approach to the monastery.

Its chief Lama is a direct descendant of the revelation-finder Dag-lin. The succession is by descent and not by re-incarnation. One of his sons is made a Lama and vowed to celibacy, another son marries and continues the descent, and in like manner the succession proceeds, and has not yet been interrupted since its institution seventeen generations ago; but should the lay-brother die without issue the Lama is expected to marry the widow. The married one is called gDun-pa or "the lineage." The body of the deceased Lama is salted and preserved. The discipline of this monastery is said to be strict, and its monks are celibate. A large branch of this monastery is Na-s'i,37 not far distant from its parent.

Dorje-dag, between Sam-yas and Lhasa, is a headquarters of the Unreformed Lamas. It has had a chequered history, having been destroyed several times by the Mongols, etc., and periodically restored.

Pal-ri (dpal-ri), a Nin-ma monastery between Shigatse and Gyangtse, where lives the pretended incarnation of the Indian wizard, Lo-pon Hunkara.

Shalu monastery, a few miles E. of Tashi-lhunpo. Here instruction is given in magical incantations, and devotees are immured for years in its cave-hermitages. Amongst the supernatural powers believed to be so acquired is the alleged ability to sit on a heap of barley without displacing a grain; but no credible evidence is extant of anyone displaying such feats.

Guru Ch'o-wan, in Lhobrak, or southern Tibet, bordering on Bhotan. This monastery is said by Lama U. G.38 to have been built after the model of the famous monastery of Nalanda in Magadha. The shrine is surrounded by groves of poplars, and contains some important relics, amongst others a stuffed horse of great sanctity (belonging to the great Guru) which is called Jamlin-nin-k'or, or "the horse that can go round the world in one day."39 Observing that the horse was bereft of his "left leg," U. G. enquired the cause, and was told how the leg had been stolen by a Khamba pilgrim with a view of "enchanting" the ponies of Kham. The thief became insane, and his friends took him to the high priest of the sanctuary for advice, who instantly divined that he had stolen some sacred thing. This so frightened the thief that the leg was secretly restored, and the thief and his friends vanished from the place and never were seen again. The upper Lhobrak is well cultivated; barley, pea, mustard, wheat, and crops of rape were noticed by U. G., surrounding the monastery of Lha Lung. With some difficulty he obtained permission to see the sacred objects of the monastery, whose saintly founder, Lha Lung, has three incarnations in Tibet. One of them is the present abbot of the monastery, who was born in Bhotan, and is a nephew of the Paro Penlo. The monastery is well endowed by the Tibetan government, and rituals are encouraged in it for the suppression of evil spirits and demons.

Sang-kar Gu-t'ok, also in the Lhobrak valley, has one hundred monks, and is a small printing establishment.40

Kar-ch'u, also in the Lhobrak valley, said41 to be one of the richest monasteries in Tibet, and to contain many bronzes brought from Magadha in the Middle Ages. Pilgrims carry off from here the holy water which percolates into a sacred cave.

Gyan-tse, on the Painom river, east of Tashi-lhunpo. Its monastery is named Palk'or Ch'oide. Its hall is reported by Lama Ugyan Gya-ts'o to be lit by 1,000 lamps. In lofty niches on the three sides, N., E., and W. (implying evidently that the entrance is on the S.), are placed "three huge images of Buddha — Jam-yang, Chanrassig, and Maitreya," copper-gilt. Here also he notes "stone images like those at Buddha Gaya. In the lobby is a collection of stuffed animals, including tigers."

The foregoing are all in the U and Tsang provinces. In Kham, in eastern Tibet, are many large monasteries, the largest of which are perhaps Derge and Ch'ab-mdo (Chiamo), with about 2,000 monks and large printing press.

Derge (sDe-sge), at the town of that name, and capital of one of the richest and most populous of Tibetan provinces, containing "many Lamaserais of 200 or 300 monks, some indeed of 2,000 or 3,000. Each family devotes a son to the priesthood. The king resides in a Lamaserai of 300 monks."42

Other large monasteries of eastern Tibet are Karthok and (?) Riwochce on the Nul river, under the joint government of two incarnate abbots.

In southern Tibet in the district of Pema Kod (map-name Pema- koi) are the monasteries of Dorje-yu (founded by Terton Dorje-thokmi), Mar-pun Lek-pun (built by Ugyen Dich'en-lin-pa), Mendeldem, Phu-pa-ron, Kon-dem, Bho-lun, C'am-nak, Kyon-sa, Narton, Rinc'hensun (built by Ugyen Dodulin-pa, the father of Dich'en-lin-pa), Tsen- c'uk, Gya-pun, Gilin, and Demu, which are all Nin-ma, except Chamnak and Demu, which are Ge-lug-pa, and all except the last are on the west or right bank of the Tsangpo river, and the number of monks in each is from ten to thirty. Amongst the chief shrines are Horasharki Ch'orten, Mendeldem's shrine, and "Buddu Tsip'ak."


Monastery of U-Tai-Shan.44

In China proper there seem to be no truly Lamaist monasteries of any size except at Pekin and near the western frontier. The Pekin monastery is called "everlasting peace" (Yun-ho Kung), and is maintained at the imperial expense.43 Its monks, over 1,000 in number are almost entirely Mongolian, but the head Lama, a re-incarnate abbot, and his two chief assistants, are usually Tibetans of the De-pung, Sera and Gah-ldan monasteries, and appointed from Lhasa. The abbot, who is considered an incarnation of Rol-pa-dorje, already figured, lives within the yellow wall of the city, and near by is the great printing house called "Sum-ju Si," where Lamaist books are printed in Tibetan, Chinese, and Mongolian. In the chief temple "the great wooden image of Buddha, seventy feet high, richly ornamented and clothed holding an enormous lotus in each hand, and with the traditional jewel on his breast. In each section of his huge gold crown sat a small Buddha, as perfect and as much ornamented as the great one. His toe measured twenty-one inches. On each side of him hung a huge scroll seventy-five feet long, bearing Chinese characters and a series of galleries, reached by several flights of stairs, surrounded him. The expression of his great bronze face was singularly lofty. Near by were two magnificent bronze lions and a wonderful bronze urn: many temples filled with strange idols hung with thousands of silk hangings, and laid with Tibetan carpets; all sorts of bronze and enamel altar utensils, presented by different emperors, among them two elephants in cloisonne ware, said to be the best specimens of such work in China, and the great hall, with its prayer-benches for all the monks, where they worship every afternoon at five."

Another celebrated monastery is the Wu-tai or U-tai-shan, "The five towers" in the north Chinese province of Shan-si, and a celebrated shrine.

Kumbum (T'a-Erh-Ssu).46

The great monastery of Kubum (Kumbum), in Sifau, lies near the western frontiers of China. It is the birth-place of St. Tson-K'a-pa, and has been visited and described by Huc, Rockhill, etc. Its photograph by Mr. Rockhill is here by his kind permission given. Its Mongolian name is T'a-erh-ssu.47

Here is the celebrated tree, the so-called "white sandal" (Syringa Villosa, Vahl), which the legend alleges to have sprung up miraculously from the placental blood shed at Tson-K'a-pa's birth. Its leaves are said to bear 100,000 images, hence the etymology of the name of the place (sKu-'bum). The image markings on the leaves are said to represent "the Tathagata of the Lion's Voice" (Sen-ge Na-ro), but Huc describes the markings as sacred letters.48

Huc's account of it is as follows: "At the foot of the mountain on which the Lamaserai stands, and not far from the principal Buddhist temple, is a great square enclosure, formed by brick walls. Upon entering this we were able to examine at leisure the marvellous tree, some of the branches of which had already manifested themselves above the wall. Our eyes were first directed with earnest curiosity to the leaves, and we were filled with absolute consternation of astonishment at finding that, in point of fact, there were upon each of the leaves well-formed Tibetan characters, all of a green colour, some darker, some lighter, than the leaf itself. Our first impression was suspicion of fraud on the part of the Lamas; but, after a minute examination of every detail, we could not discover the least deception, the characters all appeared to us portions of the leaf itself, equally with its veins and nerves, the position was not the same in all; in one leaf they would be at the top of the leaf; in another, in the middle; in a third, at the base, or at the side; the younger leaves represented the characters only in a partial state of formation. The bark of the tree and its branches, which resemble those of the plane-tree, are also covered with these characters. When you remove a piece of old bark, the young bark under it exhibits the indistinct outlines of characters in a germinating state, and, what is very singular, these new characters are not unfrequently different from those which they replace. We examined everything with the closest attention, in order to detect some trace of trickery, but we could discern nothing of the sort, and the perspiration absolutely trickled down our faces under the influence of the sensations which this most amazing spectacle created.

"More profound intellects than ours may, perhaps, be able to supply a satisfactory explanation of the mysteries of this singular tree; but, as to us, we altogether give it up. Our readers possibly may smile at our ignorance; but we care not so that the sincerity and truth of our statement be not suspected."49

The large temple (Jo-wo-k'an) is described by Rockhill.50


In Mongolia the chief monastery is at Urgya-Kuren, on the Tula river in the country of the Khalkas, about forty days' journey west of Pekin, and the seat of a Russian consul and two Chinese ambassadors. It is the seat of the Grand Lama, who is believed to be the incarnate historian, Lama Taranatha, and he is called Je-tsun Tamba, as detailed in the chapter on the hierarchy, and its monks are said to number over 14,000, and during the great new year festival over 20,000 are present. It contains twenty-eight colleges (sGgra-ts'an).

The monastery is named Kurun or Kuren, and is described by Huc. The plain at the foot of the mountain is covered with tents for the use of the pilgrims. Viewed from a distance, the white cells of the Lamas, built on the declivity in horizontal lines one above the other, resemble the steps of an enormous altar, of which the temple of Taranatha Lama appears to constitute "the tabernacle." Huc says it contains 30,000 monks!

Kuku Khotun, or "blue city," near the northern bend of the Yellow river, is said by Huc to have formerly been the seat of Jetsun-Dam-pa. It contains five monasteries with about 20,000 Lamas.


In south Siberia, amongst the Buriats, near the Baikal lake, a large monastery is on a lake thirty versts to the north-west of Selinginsk, and the presiding monk is called the K'an-po Pandita, and claims to be a re-incarnate Lama.51


The Kalmak Tartars on the Volga have only temporary, nomadic cloisters and temples, that is to say tents, in which they put up their holy pictures and images, and celebrate divine service. Such temporary cloisters are called "Churull," and consist of two different sorts of tents or Jurten (Oergo), the assembly hall of the clergy (Churullun-Oergo) and of the gods and image hall (Schitani or Burchanun-Oergo). Some of these Churulls contain a hundred priests.


He-mi (or "Himis" of survey map). This fine old monastery is situated about 11,000 feet above the sea-level, in a lateral ravine that joins the Indus, a day's journey (eighteen miles SSE.) above Leh, on the left bank of that river. From its secluded position this was one of the few monasteries which escaped destruction on the invasion of the country by the Dogras under Wazir Gerawar, who ruthlessly destroyed much Lamaist property, so that more interesting and curious objects, books, dresses, masks, etc., are found at Himis than in any other monastery in Ladak. It was built by sTag-stan-ras-ch'en, and its proper title is Ch'an-ch'ub sam-lin.

The "Himis-fair,'' with its mask plays, as held on St. Padma-sambhava's day in summer, is the chief attraction to sight-seers in Ladak. This Lamasery is at present still the greatest landowner in Ladak, and its steward one of the most influential persons in the country. The Lamas seem to be of the Nin-ma sect (according to Marx52 they are Dug-pa, but he appears to use Dug-pa as synonymous with Red cap sect). To the same sect also belongs Ts'en-re and sTag-na. A fine photograph of this monastery is given by Mr. Knight,53 and one of its courts is shown in his illustration of the mystic play reproduced at p. 528

"The principal entrance to the monastery is through a massive door, from which runs a gently sloping and paved covered way leading into a courtyard about 30 x 40 yards square, having on the left hand a narrow verandah, in the centre of which stands the large prayer-cylinder above mentioned. The larger picturesque doorway, the entrance of one of the principal idol rooms, is in the extreme right hand corner, massive brass rings affixed to large bosses of brass are affixed on either door, the posts of which are of carved and coloured woodwork. The walls of the main building, with its bay windows of lattice work, enclose the courtyard along the right hand side, the roof is adorned with curious cylindrical pendant devices made of cloth called "Thook"; each surmounted with the Trisool or trident, painted black and red. On the side facing the main entrance the courtyard is open, leading away to the doorways of other idol rooms. In the centre space stand two high poles "Turpoche," from which hang yaks' tails and white cotton streamers printed in the Tibetan character. Innumerable small prayer-wheels are fitted into a hitch that runs round the sides of the courtyard. A few large trees throw their shade on the building, and above them tower the rugged cliffs of the little valley, topped here and there by Lhatos, small square-built altars, surmounted by bundles of brushwood and wild sheep horns, the thin sticks of the brushwood being covered with offerings of coloured flags printed with some mantra or other.54

Lama-Yur-ru, elevation about 11,000 feet.55 Said to be of the Dikung sect, as also the monasteries of sGan-non and Shan.

The name Yur-ru is said to be a corruption of Yun-drun — the Svastika or mystic fly-foot cross.

Tho-ling or Tho'lding (mt'o-glin), on the upper Sutlej (in map of Turkistan it is Totlingmat, "mat" = "the lower," i.e. lower part of the city). It has a celebrated temple in three storeys, said by some to be modelled after that of Budha Gaya, and the Sham-bha-la Lam-yig contains a reference to this temple: "It had been built (A.D. 954, Schl.) by the Lo-tsa-wa Rin-zan-po. The Hor (Turks?) burnt it down, but at some later date it was rebuilt, and now, in its lowest compartment, it contains the 'cycle of the collection of secrets.'" Adolph von Schlagintweit visited it.56

Theg-Ch'og is a sister-Lamasery to He-mi, north of the Indus, in a valley which opens out opposite He-mi. Che-de, vulg. Chem-re (survey map: Chim-ray) is the name of the village to which the Lamasery belongs.

Kor-dzogs in Ladak, 16,000 feet above the sea (J.D., 11). Tik-za (Thik-se) is said (Marx) to be a Ge-ldan (?Ge-lug-pa) monastery, as also those of San-kar (a suburb of Leh), Likir and Ri-dzon. It is pictured by Mr. Knight.56

Wam-le (or "Han-le") in Rukshu, a fine Lamasery figured by Cunningham. It is about 14,000 feet above sea level. Its proper name is De-ch'en, and it was built by the founder of the one at Hemi.

Masho is affiliated to Sa-skya.

Spi-t'ug, Pe-tub, or "Pittuk" (sPe-t'ub), a Lamasery and village on the river Indus, five miles south-west of Leh. The Lamas belong to the "Ge-ldan-pa" order of Lamas. The Lamasery has an incarnated Lama.

Sher-gal, figured by Knight, loc. cit., p. 127.

Kilang (Kye-lan) in British Lahul, romantically situated near glaciers, at an elevation of about 12,000 feet.

Gu-ge, where several translations were made over 800 years ago, and still of repute for printing and for its elegant manuscripts.

Kanum, in Kunaor or Kanawar, where Csoma studied. Also Dub-lin, Poyi, and Pangi.


In Nepal there appear to be no Lamaist monasteries of any size, at least in the lower valleys. At the principal Buddhist shrines in that country a few resident Lamas are to be found.


In Bhotan the largest monasteries are Tashi-ch'o-dsong and Pun-t'an or ? "Punakha" (spun-t'an bde-ch'en), each, it is usually said, with over 1,000 monks, though according to other accounts, under 500.

Tashi-ch'o-dson (bKra-shis ch'os rdson), or "The fortress of the glorious religion," forms the capital of Bhotan and the residence, at least in summer, of the Grand Lama of Bhotan — the Dharma Raja and Deb Raja. It has been visited and described by Manning, Bogle, Turner,57 Pemberton,58 etc.

The other chief monasteries in Bhotan, all of the Duk-pa sect, the established church of the country, are: dbU-rgyan rtse, Ba-kro (Pato or Paro) 'Bah, rTa-mch'og rgan, Kra-ha-li, Sam-'jin, K'a Ch'ags- rgan-K'a, Ch'al-p'ug. Of these the first three were formerly Kart'og-pa. In British Bhotan there are a few small monasteries, at Kalimpong, Pedong, etc.


In regard to Sikhim, as my information is complete, I give it in detail in tabular form on opposite page.

In addition to the monasteries in this list are several religious buildings called by the people gompas, but by the Lamas only "temples" (Lha-k'an), such as De-than, Ke-dum, etc.

List of Monasteries in Sikhim.

Serial No. / Map Name. / Vernacular Name. / Meaning of the Name. / Date of Building / Number of Monks.

1 / Sanga Chelling / gsan nags ch'os glin / The place of secret spells ... / 1697 / 25
2 / Dubdi / sgrub-sde / The hermit's cell / 1701 / 30
3 / Pemiongchi / pad-ma yantse / The sublime perfect lotus. / 1705 / 108
4 / Gantok / btsan-mk'ar / The Tsen's house / 1716 / 3
5 / Tashiding / bkra-s'is-ld n / The elevated central glory / 1716 / 20
6 / Senan / gzil-gnon / The suppressor of intense fear / 1716 / 8
7 / Rinchinpong / rin-ch'en spuns / The precious knoll / 1730 / 8
8 / Ralong / ra-blan / -- / 1730 / 80
9 / Mali / mad-lis / -- / 1740 / 15
10 / Ram thek / Ram-tek / A Lepcha village name / 1740 / 80
11 / Fadung / p'o-bran / The chapel royal / 1740 / 100 12 / Cheungtong / btsun-t'an / The meadow of marriage (of the two rivers) / 1788 / 8  
13 / Ketsuperri / mk'a spyod dpal ri / The noble heaven-reaching mountain / 1788 / 8
14 / Lachung / t'an-mo-ch'en / The large plain / 1788 / 5
15 / Talung / rdo-lun / The stony valley / 1789 / 90
16 / Entchi / rab-brten-glin / The high strong place / 1840 / 15
17 / Phensung / p'an-bzan / The excellent banner, or good bliss / 1840 / 100
18 / Kartok / bKah-rtog / The Kartok (founder of a schism) / 1840 / 20
19 / Dalling / rdo-glin / "The stony site," or the place of the "Dorjeling" revelation-finder / 1840 / 8  
20 / Yangong / gyan sgan/ "The cliffy ridge," or "the lucky ridge" / 1841 / 10
21 / Labrong / bla-bran / The Lama's dwelling / 1844 / 30
22 / Lachung / pon-po sgan / The Bon's ridge / 1850 / 8
23 / Lintse / lhun-rtse / The lofty summit / 1850 / 15
24 / Sinik / zi-mig / -- / 1850 / 30
25 / Ringim / ri-dgon / Hermitage hill / 1852 / 30
26 / Lingthem / lin-t'am / A Lepcha village name / 1855 / 20
27 / Changhe / rtsag-nes / -- / -- / --
28 / Lachen / La-ch'en / The big pass / 1858 / 8
29 / Giatong / zi-'dur / -- / 1860 / 8
30 / Lingqui / lin-bkod / The uplifted limb / 1860 / 20
31 / Fadung / 'p'ags rgyal / The sublime victor / 1862 / 8
32 / Nobling / nub-glin / The western place / 1875 / 5
33 / Namchi / rnam-rtse / The sky-top / 1836 / 6
34 / Pabia / spa-'bi-'og / -- / 1875 / 20
35 / Singtam / sin-ltam / A Lepcha village name / 1884 / 6

The oldest monastery in Sikhim is Dub-de, founded by the pioneer Lama, Lhatsun Ch'embo. Soon afterwards shrines seem to have been erected at Tashiding, Pemiongchi, and Sang-na-ch'o-ling over spots consecrated to the Guru, and these ultimately became the nuclei of monasteries. As the last-named one is open to members of all classes of Sikhimites, Bhotiyas, Lepchas, Limbus, and also females and even deformed persons, it is said that the monastery of Pemiongchi was designed, if not actually built, by Lha-tsun as a high-class monastery for orthodox celibate monks of relatively pure Tibetan race. Pemiongchi still retains this reputation for the professedly celibate character and good family of its monks; and its monks alone in Sikhim enjoy the title of ta-san or "pure monk," and to its Lama is reserved the honour of anointing with holy water the reigning sovereign.

The great majority of the monasteries in Sikhim belong to the Lha- tsun-pa sub-sect of the Nin-ma, only Namchi, Tashiding, Sinon, and T'an-moch'e belong to the Na-dak-pa sub-sect, and Kar-tok and Doling to the Kar-tok-pa sub-sect of the same. All the Nin-ma monasteries are practically subordinate to that of Pemiongchi, which also exercises supervision over the Lepcha convents of Ling-t'am, Zimik, and P'ag- gye. Lepchas are admissible to Rigon as well as Sang-na-ch'oling.

Nuns are admitted to a few monasteries in Sikhim, but their number is extremely small, and individually they are illiterate.

The names of the monasteries, as will be seen from the translations given in the second column of the table, are mostly Tibetan, and of an ideal or mystic nature; but some are physically descriptive of the site, and a few are Lepcha place-names, which are also of a descriptive character.

A Lamaist Cairn. Lab-ch'a, after Huc.



1 After Huc.  
2 dgon-pa. The title C'og-sde, or Choi-de, a "religious place," is especially applied to temple-monasteries within a village or town. "Lin," or "continent," is applied to the four greatest monasteries of the established church especially associated with the temporal government, and is evidently suggested by the four great fabulous continents of the world. gT'sug-lag-k'an' is an academy, though it is used for temples frequently.
3 Mr. Knight, loc. cit., p. 127, where a picture of the monastery also is given.

4 Under this heading come the four great caves of Sikhim hallowed as the traditional abodes of St. Padma and Lhatsun Ch'embo, and now the objects of pilgrimage even to Lamas from Tibet. These four caves are distinguished according to the four cardinal points, viz.: —

The North Lha-ri nin p'u, or "the old cave of God's hill." It is situated about three days' journey to the north of Tashiding, along a most difficult path. This is the most holy of the series.

The South Kah-do mil p'u, or "cave of the occult fairies.'' Here it is said is a hot spring, and on the rock are many footprints ascribed to the fairies.

The East sBas p'u, or "secret cave." It lies between the Tendong and Mainom mountains, about five miles from Yangang. It is a vast cavern reputed to extend by a bifurcation to both Tendong and Mainom. People go in with torches about a quarter of a mile. Its height varies from five feet to one hundred or two hundred feet.

The West bDe-ch'en p'u, or "cave of Great Happiness." It is in the snow near Jongri, and only reachable in the autumn.
5 rgyab ri brag dan mdun ri mts'o.

6 See my "Place, River and Mountain Names of Sikhim," etc., J.A.S.B., 1891.

7 Schlag., 179.
8 Schlag., 178, who there translates the historical document on the founding of Himis; Csoma's An., p. 503; Cunningham's Ladak, 309.

9 Hist. Ind. and Eastn. Arch., p. 299, et seq.

10 Figured by Hooker, Him. Jour.

11 See also detailed description of the houses of the Lamas of Kumbum in Land of the, Lamas, p. 65.
12 Cf., Jaesch., D., 4.

13 After Mr. Knight.
14 mCh'od-r-ten.

15 Skt., Da-garbha.

16 Cf. Hodgs., II., 30, et. seq., for descriptions; also his views about the respective meanings of "Caitya" and "Stupa."

17 In Mr. Hodgson's collection are nearly one hundred drawings of Caityas in Nepal; Fergusson's Hist. Ind. and East. Arch., 303; Ferg. and Burgess' Cave-Temples; Cunningham's Bhilsa Topes, p. 12.
18 Cunningham's Bhilsa Topes, 12.
19 Ta-shi-go-man.

20 dharma-sarira.

21 The Rig-sum gon-po.

22 pradakshina.
23  The best vernacular account of the geography of Tibet is contained in the  Dsam-ling Gye-she of Lama, Tsan-po Noman Khan of Amdo, and translated by  Sarat, J.A.S.B., 1887, p. 1, seq.; Csoma, J.A.S.B., 1832, p. 123. For scientific  geography, see Markham's Tibet, Indian Survey Reports, Prejvalsky, Rockhill, etc.  D'Anville's map of 1793, compiled on data supplied by Lamas, is still our chief  authority for a large portion of Tibet.
24 For some details see Sarat, in J. Budd. Texts. Ind., i., p. 4, seq.

25 To consecrate the ground and procure supernatural workers St. Padma made the magic-circle of rDo-r je-P'ur-pa with coloured stone-dust, and having the K'ro-wo of the five kinds, and all the necessary offerings arranged in his presence, he worshipped for seven days. Then the five Jinas (Dhyani Buddhas, Gyal-wa-rigs-lna) appeared to him, and the king, being empowered, also saw the faces of these five. Then the Guru created several incarnations of himself, some of whom entered the Mandala, while some flew up into the sky. These incarnations caused the Tibetan devils to bring stones and wood from the hills and rivers, and thus the foundation of bSam-yas academy was begun. Human beings built it by day, while the devils worked at it by night, and so the great work rapidly progressed.

When the king saw the great piles of gathered wood he was surprised and was awestruck, and asked the Guru to explain. The Guru thereon made the Mandate of the "Five," and worshipping for seven days, the Five transformed themselves into five kinds of Garuda birds, which were visible to the king. And at that very time the Guru himself became invisible, and the king saw in his stead a great garuda holding a snake in his clutches and beak; but not seeing the Guru, the king cried out in fear. Then the garuda vanished and the Guru reappeared beside him. The country to the south of Samye was then, it is said, inhabited by the savage "kLa-klo" tribes, which the Tibetans, through their Indian pandits, termed Nagas (cognate with those of the Brahmaputra valley). The next day, a Naga, having transformed himself into a white man on a white horse, came into the presence of the king and said, "O king ! How much wood do you need for building Sam-yas? as I will supply you with all you want." On being informed of the requirements, the Naga collected wood to an enormous extent.

The building of the Sam-ye academy (gtsug-lag- k'an) swallowed up the wealth of the king. So the Guru, accompanied by the king and his ministers, went to the bank of Mal-gro lake, and keeping the ministers concealed in a small valley, the Guru began to make a Mandala of the "Five" and worshipped for seven days, after which Avalokita sinhada, with Amitabha on his head, stood at each of the four directions, where dwell the four gods of the Five. On this the Nagas of the depths became powerless, and the Guru, addressing them, said, "The wealth of my kin a being exhausted, I have come to ask wealth." Next day the banks were found lined with glittering gold, which the Guru caused the ministers to carry off to the palace On this account all the images of gods at Sam-yas are made of solid gold, and of a quality unequalled in any part of our world of Jambudvip.  
26 Abstract from Survey Reports, etc., by Rev. G. Sandberg.
27 Lama U.G., loc. cit., p. 34, says 10,000.

28 This word is usually spelt ser, and seems never to be spelt gSer, or "gold."
29  Mark., p. 96.
30 After Turner.
31 Markham, op. cit., p. 82.

32 Markham's Tib., p. xxvii.
33 After Turner.
34 De-pung and the larger monasteries in Tibet have several much smaller buildings  distributed so as to form a town.
35  See page 245.
36 Abstract of Sarat's Report, by Rev. G. Sandberg.
37 U. G., loc. cit., p. 26.

38 Loc. cit., p. 23.

39 Compare with the sacred horse of Shintoism, etc.
40 Explorer R.N.'s account (S.R., 1889, p. 50).

41 Lama Ugyen Gya-ts'o, loc. cit., 25.

42 Baber, Suppl. Papers, R. Geog. Socy.; see also Rockhill, L., 184, etc., 96.
43 Edkin's Relig. in China, 65.  44 After Huc.
45 Newspaper Acct., 1890.

46 After Rockhill.

47 Rockhill, I., 57 said to mean "the Great Tent (Tabernacle)"

48 Cf. also ibid., 58, etc.
49 Huc, ii., p. 53.

50 Rockhill, L., 66.
51 Koppen, op. cit.

52 Loc. cit., 133.

53 When Three Empires Meet.
54 Godwin-Austen, loc. cit., p. 72.

55 Marx, loc. cit.; Cunningham, et. al.

56 See Results of Scientific Mission.
57 Bogle and Turner in 1774 and 1783. Markham, op. cit.

58 In 1837-38. Op. cit.  
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Re: The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults

Postby admin » Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:02 am


Lhasa and Its Cathedral (From a native drawing)

In primitive Buddhism the temple had, of course, no place. It is the outcome of the theistic development with its relic-worship and idolatry, and dates from the later and impurer stage of Buddhism. The Lamaist temple is called "God's house" (Lha-k'an).

It is usually the central and most conspicuous building in the monastery, and isolated from the other buildings, as seen in the foregoing illustrations. The roof is surmounted by one or two small bell-shaped domes of gilt copper1; if a pair, they are placed one on either end of the ridge, and called jira2; if a solitary one in the middle of the ridge, it is called "the banner."3 They are emblematic of the royal umbrella and banner of victory. At the corners of the roof are erected cloth cylinders called gebi.4 The building is often two storeys in height, with an outside stair on one flank, generally the right, leading to the upper flat. In front is an upper wooden balcony, the beams of which are rudely carved, also the doors. The orientation of the door has already been noted.

In approaching the temple-door the visitor must proceed with his right hand to the wall, in conformity with the respectful custom of pradakshina widely found amongst primitive people.5 In niches along the base of the building, about three feet above the level of the path, are sometimes inserted rows of prayer-barrels which are turned by the visitor sweeping his hand over them as he proceeds.

The main door is approached by a short flight of steps; on ascending which, the entrance is found at times screened by a large curtain of yak-hair hung from the upper balcony, and which serves to keep out rain and snow from the frescoes in the vestibule.

Temple-door Demon

Entering the vestibule, we find its gateway guarded by several fearful figures.6 These usually are —

1. The tutelary demon of the ground, usually a red devil (Tsan) a brawny-limbed creature of elaborate ugliness, clad in skins, and armed with various weapons, and differing in name according to the locality.7

2. Especially vicious demons or dii minores of a more or less local character. Thus, at Pemiongchi is the Gyal-po S'uk-den with a brown face and seated on a white elephant. He was formerly the learned Lama Sod-nams Grags-pa, who being falsely charged with licentious living and deposed, his spirit on his death took this actively malignant form and wreaks his wrath on all who do not worship him — inflicting disease and accident.8

3. A pair of hideous imps, one on either side, of a red and bluish-black colour, named S'em-ba Marnak9 who butcher their victims.

CHAPTER LVI. Tibetan Punishments.

One day early in October I left my residence in Lhasa and strolled toward the Parkor. Parkor is the name of one of the principal streets in that city, as I have already mentioned, and is the place where criminals are exposed to public disgrace. Pillory in Tibet takes various forms, the criminal being exposed sometimes with only handcuffs, or fetters alone, and at others with both. On that particular occasion I saw as many as twenty criminals undergoing punishment, some of them tied to posts, while others were left fettered at one of the street crossings. They were all well-dressed, and had their necks fixed in a frame of thick wooden boards about 1⅕ inches thick, and three feet square. The frame had in the centre a hole just large enough for the neck and was composed of two wooden boards fastened together by means of ridges, and a lock. From this frame was suspended a piece of paper informing the public of the nature of the crime committed by the exposed person, and of the judgment passed upon him, sentencing him to the pillory for a certain number of days and to exile or flogging afterwards. The flogging generally ranges from three hundred to seven hundred lashes. As so many criminals were pilloried on that particular occasion, I could not read all the sentences, even though my curiosity was stronger than the sense of pity that naturally rose in my bosom when I beheld the miserable spectacle. I confess that I read one or two of them, and found that the criminals were men connected with the Tangye-ling monastery, the Lama superior of which is qualified to succeed to the supreme power of the pontificate in case, for one reason or[375] another, the post of the Dalai Lama should happen to fall vacant. The monastery is therefore one of the most influential institutions in the Tibetan Hierarchy and generally contains a large number of inmates, both priests and laymen.

Shortly before my arrival in Lhasa this high post was occupied by a distinguished priest named Temo Rinpoche. His steward went under the name of Norpu Che-ring, and this man was charged with the heinous crime of having secretly made an attempt on the life of the Dalai Lama by invoking the aid of evil deities. Norpu Che-ring’s conjuration was conducted not according to the Buddhist formula, but according to that of the Bon religion. A piece of paper containing the dangerous incantation was secreted in the soles of the beautiful foot-gear worn by the Dalai Lama, which was then presented to his Holiness. The incantation must have possessed an extraordinary potency, for it was said that the Grand Lama invariably fell ill one way or another whenever he put on these accursed objects. The cause of his illness was at last traced to the foot-gear with its invocation paper by the wise men in attendance on the Grand Lama.

This amazing revelation led to the wholesale arrest of all the persons suspected of being privy to the crime, the venerable Temo Rinpoche among the rest. Some people even regarded the latter as the ring-leader in this plot and denounced him as having conspired against the life of the Grand Lama in order to create for himself a chance of wielding the supreme authority. At any rate Temo Rinpoche occupied the pontifical seat as Regent before the present Grand Lama was installed on his throne. Norpu Che-ring was the Prime-Minister to the Regent, and conducted the affairs of state in a high-handed manner. Things were even worse than this, for it is a fact, admitting of no dispute, that Norpu was oppressive, and mer[376]cilessly put to death a large number of innocent persons. He was therefore a persona ingrata with at least a section of the public, and some of his enemies lost no time in giving a detailed denunciation of the despotic rule of the Regent and his Prime-Minister as soon as the present Grand Lama was safely enthroned. Naturally therefore the former Regent and his Lieutenant were not regarded with favor by the Grand Lama, and such being the case, the terrible revelation about the shoes was at once followed by their arrest, and they were thrown into prison.

All this had occurred before my arrival. When I came to Lhasa Temo Rinpoche had been dead for some time, but Norpu Che-ring was still lingering in a stone dungeon which was guarded with special severity, because of the grave nature of his crime. The dungeon had only one narrow hole in the top, through which food was doled out to the prisoner, or he himself was dragged out whenever he had to undergo his examinations, which were always accompanied with torture. Hope of escape was out of the question, and the only opportunity offered him of seeing the sunshine was by no means a source of relief, for it was invariably associated with the infliction of tortures of a terribly excruciating character. The mere description of it chilled my blood. The torture, as inflicted on Norpu Che-ring, was devised with diabolical ingenuity, for it consisted in driving a sharpened bamboo stick into the sensitive part of the finger directly underneath the nail. After the nail had been sufficiently abused as a means of torture, it was torn off, and the stick was next drilled in between the flesh and the skin. As even criminals possess no more than ten fingers on both hands the inquisitor had to make chary use of this stock of torture, and took only one finger at a time, till the whole number was disposed of. Such was the treatment the ex-Prime-Minister received at his hands.

Norpu Che-ring bore this torture with admirable fortitude; he persisted that the whole plot originated in him alone and was put in execution by his own hands only. His master had nothing to do with it. The inquisitors’ object in subjecting their former superior and colleague to this infernal torture was to extort from him a confession implicating Temo Rinpoche, but they were denied this satisfaction by the unflinching courage of their victim. It is said that this suffering of Norpu Che-ring had so far awakened the sympathy of Temo Rinpoche himself that the latter tried, like the priest of noble heart that he was, to take the whole responsibility of the plot upon his own shoulders, declaring that Norpu was merely a tool who carried out his orders, and that therefore the latter was entirely innocent of the crime. Temo even advised his steward, whenever the two happened to be together at the inquisition, to confess, as he, that is Temo, had done.

The steward, on his part, would reply that his master must have made that baseless confession from the benevolent motive of saving his, the steward’s life, but that he was not so mean and depraved as to seek an unmerited deliverance at the cost of his venerable master’s life. And so he preferred to suffer pain rather than to be released, and baffled all the attempts of the torturers. By the time I reached Lhasa Norpu had already endured this painful existence for two years, and during that long period not one word even in the faintest way implicating his master had passed his lips. From this it may be concluded that Temo had really no hand in the plot. At the same time it must be remembered that Temo was an elder brother of Norpu, and the fraternal affection which the latter entertained towards the other might therefore have been too strong to allow of his implicating Temo, even supposing that the late Regent was really privy to the plot. Be the real circumstances what they might, when[379] I heard all these painful particulars, my sympathy was powerfully aroused for Norpu, whatever hard words others might utter against him; for the mere fact that he submitted so long to such revolting punishments with such persevering fortitude and with such faithful constancy to his master and brother, appealed strongly to my heart.

The pilloried criminals whom I saw on that occasion were all subordinates of Norpu Che-ring. Besides these, sixteen Bon priests had been executed as accomplices, while the number of laymen and priests who had been exiled on the same charge must have been large, though the exact number was unknown to outsiders. The pilloried criminals were apparently minor offenders, for half of them were sentenced to exile and the remaining half to floggings of from three hundred to five hundred lashes. The pillory was to last in each case for three to seven days. Looking at these pitiable creatures I felt as if I were witnessing a sight such as might exist in the Nether World. My heart truly bled for the poor, helpless fellows.

Heavy with this sad reflexion I proceeded further on, and soon arrived at a place to the south of a Buddhist edifice; and there, near the western corner of the building, flooded by sunshine, I beheld another heart-rending sight. It was a beautiful lady in the pillory. Her neck was secured in the regulation frame, just as was that of a rougher criminal, and the ponderous piece of wood was weighing heavily upon her frail shoulders. A piece of red cloth made of Bhūtān silk was upon her head, which hung very low, for the frame around her neck did not allow her to move it freely. Her eyes were closed. Three men, apparently police constables, were near by as guards. A vessel containing baked flour was lying there, and also some small delicacies that must have been sent by relatives or friends. All this food she had to take from the hands of one or other of the three rough attendants, for her own hands were manacled. She was none other than the wife of Norpu Che-ring, whose miserable story I have already told, and was a daughter of the house of Do-ring, one of the oldest and most respected families in the whole of the Tibetan aristocracy.

When her husband was arrested, he was at first confined in a cell less terrible than the stone dungeon to which he was afterwards transferred. But this early and apparently more considerate treatment only plunged his family into greater misery. His wife was told that the jailer of the prison in which her husband was incarcerated was not overstrict and that he was open to corruption, and what faithful wife, even though Tibetan, would resist the temptation placed before her under such circumstances, of trying to seek some means of gaining admission to the lonely cell where her dear lord was confined? And so it came to pass that Madame Norpu bribed the jailer, and with his connivance was often at her husband’s side; but somehow her[381] transgression reached the ears of the government, and she also was thrown into prison.

On the very morning of the day on which I came upon this piteous sight of the pillory, she was led out of the prison, as I heard afterwards, not however for liberation, but first to suffer at the gate of the prison a flogging of three hundred lashes, and then to be conducted to a busy thoroughfare to be pilloried for public disgrace.

Poor woman! she seemed to be almost insensible when I saw her, and the mere sight of her emaciated form and death-pale face aroused my strongest sympathy. The sentiment of pity was intensified when I saw a group of idle spectators, among whom I even noticed some aristocratic-looking persons, gazing at the pillory with callous indifference. They were heartless enough to approach her place of torture and read the judgment paper. The sentence, as I heard it read aloud by these fellows, condemned her to so many whippings, then to seven days pillory, and lastly to exile at such-and-such a place, there to remain imprisoned, fettered and manacled. The spectators not only read out the sentence with an air of perfect indifference, but some of them even betrayed their depravity by reviling and jeering at the lady: “Serve her right,” I heard them say; “their hard treatment of others has brought them to this. Serve them right.” These aristocrats were giving sardonic smiles, as if gloating over the misery of the house of Norpu Che-ring.

Really the heartless depravity of these people was beyond description, and I could not help feeling angry with them. These same people, I thought, who seemed to take so much delight in the calamity of the family of Norpu Che-ring, must have vied with each other in courting his favor while he was in power and prosperity. Even if it were beyond the comprehension of these brutes to appreciate the meaning of that merciful principle which bids us “hate the offence[382] but pity the offender,” one would have expected them to be humane enough to show some sympathy towards this woman who was paying so dearly for her excusable indiscretion. But they seemed to be utterly impervious to such sentiments, and so behaved themselves in that shameful manner. I, who knew that political rivalry in Tibet was allowed to run to such an extreme as to involve even innocent women in painful punishment, felt sincerely sorry for the Lady Norpu, and returned to my residence with a heavy heart. ...

On my return, when I saw my host, the former Minister of Finance, I related to him what I had seen in the street, and asked him to tell me all he knew about the affair. He fully shared my sympathy for the unfortunate woman.

While Norpu Che-ring was in power, my host told me, he was held in high respect. Nobody dared to whisper one word of blame about him and his wife. Now they were fallen, and he felt really sorry for them. It was true, he continued, that some people used to find fault with the private conduct of Norpu Che-ring, and the former Minister could not deny that there was some reason for that. But Temo Rinpoche was a venerable man, pure in life, pious and benevolent, and had met with such a sad end solely in consequence of the wicked intrigues of his followers. My host was perfectly certain that Temo Rinpoche had absolutely no hand in the plot. He said that he could not talk thus to others; he could be confidential to me alone.

Tortures are carried to the extreme of diabolical ingenuity. They are such as one might expect in hell. One[383] method consists in drilling a sharpened bamboo stick into the tender part of the tip of the fingers, as already described. Another consists in placing ‘stone-bonnets’ on the head of the victim. Each ‘bonnet’ weighs about eight pounds, and one after another is heaped on as the torture proceeds. The weight at first forces tears out of the eyes of the victim, but afterward, as the weight is increased, the very eye-balls are forced from their sockets. Then flogging, though far milder in itself, is a painful punishment, as it is done with a heavy rod, cut fresh from a willow tree, the criminal receiving it on the bared small of his back. The part is soon torn open by the lashing, and the blood that oozes out is scattered right and left as the beater continues his brutal task, until the prescribed number, three hundred or five hundred blows as the case may be, are given. Very often, and perhaps with the object of prolonging the torture, the flogging is suspended, and the poor victim receives a cup of water, after which the painful process is resumed. In nine cases out of ten the victims of this corporeal punishment fall ill, and while at Lhasa I more than once prescribed for persons who, as the result of flogging, were bleeding internally. The wounds caused by the flogging are shocking to see, as I know from my personal observations.

A prison-house is in any case an awful place, but more especially so in Tibet, for even the best of them has nothing but mud walls and a planked floor, and is very dark in the interior, even in broad day. This absence of sunlight is itself a serious punishment in such a cold country.

As for food, prisoners are fed only once a day with a couple of handfuls of baked flour. This is hardly sufficient to keep body and soul together, so that a prisoner is generally obliged to ask his friends to send him some food. Nothing, however, sent in from outside reaches the[384] prisoners entire, for the gaolers subtract for their own mouths more than half of it, and only a small portion of the whole quantity gets into the prisoners’ hands.

The most lenient form of punishment is a fine; then comes flogging, to be followed, at a great distance, by the extraction of the eye-balls; then the amputation of the hands. The amputation is not done all at once, but only after the hands have been firmly tied for about twelve hours, till they become completely paralysed. The criminals who are about to suffer amputation are generally suspended by the wrists from some elevated object with stout cord, and naughty street urchins are allowed to pull the cord up and down at their pleasure. After this treatment the hands are chopped off at the wrists in public. This punishment is generally inflicted on thieves and robbers after their fifth or sixth offence. Lhasa abounds in handless beggars and in beggars minus their eye-balls; and perhaps the proportion of eyeless beggars is larger than that of the handless ones.

Then there are other forms of mutilation also inflicted as punishment, and of these ear-cutting and nose-slitting are the most painful. Both parties in a case of adultery are visited with this physical deformation. These forms of punishment are inflicted by the authorities upon the accusation of the aggrieved party, the right of lodging the complaint being limited, however, to the husband; in fact he himself may with impunity cut off the ears or slit the noses of the criminal parties, when taken in flagrante delicto. He has simply to report the matter afterwards to the authorities.

With regard to exile there are two different kinds, one leaving a criminal to live at large in the exiled place, and the other, which is heavier, confining him in a local prison.

Capital punishment is carried out solely by immersion in water. There are two modes of this execution: one by[385] putting a criminal into a bag made of hides and throwing the bag with its live contents into the water; and the other by tying the criminal’s hands and feet and throwing him into a river with a heavy stone tied to his body. The executioners lift him out after about ten minutes, and if he is judged to be still alive, down they plunge him again, and this lifting up and down is repeated till the criminal expires. The lifeless body is then cut to pieces, the head alone being kept, and all the rest of the severed members are thrown into the river. The head is deposited in a head vase, either at once, or after it has been exposed in public for three or seven days, and the vase is carried to a building established for this sole purpose, which bears a horrible name signifying “Perpetual Damnation.” This practice comes from a superstition of the people that those whose heads are kept in that edifice will forever be precluded from being reborn in this world.

All these punishments struck me as entirely out of place for a country in which Buddhist doctrines are held in such high respect. Especially did I think the idea of eternal damnation irreconcilable with the principles of mercy and justice, for I should say that execution ought to absolve criminals of their offences. Several other barbarous forms of punishment are in vogue, but these I may omit here, for what I have stated in the preceding paragraphs is enough to convey some idea of criminal procedure as it exists in the Forbidden Land.

-- Three Years in Tibet, by Shramana Ekai Kawaguchi

Guardian King of the West. ( Virupaksha.)

4. Here also are sometimes portrayed the twelve Tan-ma — the aerial fiendesses of Tibet, already figured, who sow disease and who were subjugated by St. Padma.

The policy of the Government towards medicine is a dark chapter in the history of modern Tibet. The doctors of the British and Chinese Legations were the only qualified medical men in a population of three and a half million.... In the towns and monasteries one can get oneself vaccinated against smallpox, but no other forms of inoculation are practised and many lives are lost needlessly in epidemics for want of prophylactic treatment.... The Lamas often smear their patients with their holy spittle. Tsampa, butter and the urine of some saintly man are made into a sort of gruel and administered to the sick.... A monk who had studied in the school of medicine in Lhasa .... his methods of treatment were diverse. One of them was to press a prayer-stamp on the spot affected, which seemed to succeed with hysterical patients. In bad cases he branded the patient with a hot iron..... During the New Year Celebrations the father of the Dalai Lama died. Everything conceivable had been done to keep him alive.... They had even prepared a doll into which they charmed the patient’s sickness and then burnt it with great solemnity on the river bank. It was all to no purpose.... His brother Lobsang, [was] seriously ill with a heart attack... so the Dalai Lama’s physician recalled him to life by applying a branding-iron to his flesh.

-- Seven Years in Tibet, by Heinrich Harrer

Confronting the visitor in the vestibule are the four colossal images (or frescoes) of the celestial kings of the Quarters, who guard the universe and the heavens against the attacks of the Titans and the outer demons, as described at page 84. They are clad in full armour and are mostly of defiant mien, as seen in their figures over the page and at pages 83 and 330. Two are placed on each side of the doorway.

Sometimes the guardian of the north is given a yellow, and the guardian of the south a green, complexion, thus suiting the complexion of the guardians to the mythic colours of the cardinal points. They are worshipped by the populace, who credit them with the power of conferring good luck and averting the calamities due to evil spirits. And in the vestibule or verandah are also sometimes displayed as frescoes the Wheel of Life and scenes from the Jatakas or former births of Buddha; and here also may be figured the sixteen great saints or Sthavira (Arhans or "Rahans").10

In the smaller temples which possess no detached chapels for larger prayer-barrels, one or more huge prayer-barrels are set at either end of the vestibule, and mechanically revolved by lay- devotees, each revolution being announced by a lever striking a bell. As the bells are of different tones and are struck alternately, they form at times a not unpleasant chime.

The dour is of massive proportions, sometimes rudely carved and ornamented with brazen bosses. It opens in halves, giving entry directly to the temple.

Such grand cathedrals as those of Lhasa will be described presently. Meanwhile let us look at a typical temple of ordinary size. The temple interior is divided by colonnades into a nave and aisles, and the nave is terminated by the altar — generally as in the diagram-plan here annexed. The whole of the interior, in whichever direction the eye turns, is a mass of rich colour, the walls to right and left being decorated by frescoes of deities, saints, and demons, mostly of life-size, but in no regular order; and the beams are mostly painted red, picked out with lotus rosettes and other emblems. The brightest of colours are used, but the general effect is softened in the deep gloom of the temple, which is dimly lit only by the entrance door.

Diagrammatic Ground-plan of a Temple in Sikhim.

1. Fresco of local demon. 2. Fresco of Ki-kang Mar-nak devils. 3. Fresco of guardian kings of quarters.
4. Prayer-barrels.
5. Station of orderlies.
6. Table for tea and soup.
7. Seat of the provost.
8. Seat of the water-giver.
9. Seats of monks.
10. Seat of abbot or professor.
11. Seat of choir-leader.
12. Seat of king or visitant head Lama.
13. Site where lay-figure of corpse is laid for litany.
14. Head Lamas' tables.
15. Idols.

Above the altar are placed three colossal gilt images in a sitting attitude, "The Three Rarest Ones," as the Lamas call their trinity; though none of the images are considered individually to represent the two other members of the Tri-ratna or "Three Gems,'' namely Dharma or Sangha. The particular images of this triad depend on the sect to which the temple belongs; Sakya Muni is often given the central position and a saint (Tson K'a-pa or Padmasambhava) to the left of the spectator and Avalokita to the right. Particulars and figures of the principal of these idols are given in the chapter on images.

Sakya Muni is figured of a yellow colour with curly blue hair, and often attended by standing figures of his two chief disciples, Maugdalayana on his left and Sariputra on his right, each with an alarm-staff and begging-bowl in hand. In the temples of the unreformed sects, St. Padma-sambhava and his two wives are given special prominence, and many of these images are regarded as "self-sprung:"

"No hammers fell, no ponderous axes rung;
Like some tall palm the mystic fabric sprung."11

But even this order of the images is seldom observed. Most frequently in the Ge-lug-pa temples Tson K'a-pa is given the chief place, while in Nin-ma it is given to the Guru, and this is justified by the statement put into his mouth that he was a second Buddha sent by Sakya Muni specially to Tibet and Sikhim, as Buddha himself had no leisure to go there. Sometimes Sakya's image is absent, in which case the third image is usually the fanciful Buddha of Infinite Light, Amitabha, or Amitayus, the Infinite Life. In many sectarian temples the chief place is given to the founder of the particular sect or sub-sect.

Ranged on either side of this triad are the other large images of the temple. Though in the larger fanes the more demoniacal images, especially the fiendish "lords" and protectors of Lamaism, are relegated to a separate building, where they are worshipped with bloody sacrifices and oblations of wine and other demoniacal rites inadmissible in the more orthodox Buddhist building. Some of such idol-rooms are chambers of horrors, and represent some of the tortures supposed to be employed in hell.

The alleged existence of images of Gorakhnath in Tashiding, Tumlong, and other Sikhini temples12 is quite a mistake. No such image is known. The name evidently intended was "Guru Rinbo-ch'e."

Yogi Gorakhnath (also known as Goraksanath,[3] c. early 11th century) was a Hindu yogi and saint who was the influential founder of the Nath Hindu monastic movement in India.[4] He is considered as one of the two notable disciples of Matsyendranath. His followers are found in India at the place known as Garbhagiri which is in Ahmednagar in the state of Maharashtra. These followers are called yogis, Gorakhnathi, Darshani or Kanphata.[5]

He was one of nine saints also known as Navnath and is widely popular in Maharashtra, India.[6] Hagiographies describe him as more than a human teacher and someone outside the laws of time who appeared on earth in different ages.[7] Historians state Gorakhnath lived sometime during the first half of the 2nd millennium CE, but they disagree in which century. Estimates based on archaeology and text range from Briggs' 15th- to 12th-century[7] to Grierson's estimate of the 14th-century.[8]

Gorakhnath is considered a Maha-yogi (or great yogi) in the Hindu tradition.[9] He did not emphasise a specific metaphysical theory or a particular Truth, but emphasised that the search for Truth and the spiritual life is a valuable and normal goal of man.[9] Gorakhnath championed Yoga, spiritual discipline and an ethical life of self-determination as a means to reaching samadhi and one's own spiritual truths.[9]

Gorakhnath, his ideas and yogis have been highly popular in rural India, with monasteries and temples dedicated to him found in many states of India, particularly in the eponymous city of Gorakhpur.[10][11]

-- Gorakhnath, by Wikipedia

The large images are generally of gilded clay, and in Sikhim the most artistic of these come from Pa-to or "Paro" in Bhotan. A few are of gilded copper and mostly made by Newaris in Nepal. All are consecrated by the introduction of pellets of paper inscribed with sacred texts as detailed in the chapter on the pantheon.

Amongst the frescoes on the walls are displayed numerous Lamaist saints and the pictorial Wheel of Life, though this last is often in the vestibule.

There are also a few oil-paintings of divinities framed, like Japanese Kakemonos, in silk of grotesque dragon-patterns with a border, arranged from within outwards, in "the primary" colours in their prismatic order of red, yellow, and blue. Some of these pictures are occasionally creditable specimens of art.

The seats for the several grades of officials and the Lamaist congregation are arranged in definite order. The general plan of a small temple interior is shown in the foregoing diagram. Along each side of the nave is a long low cushion about three inches high, the seat for the monks and novices. At the further end of the right-hand cushion on a throne about 2-1/2 feet high sits the abbot or professor (Dorje Lo-pon),13 the spiritual head of the monastery. Immediately below him, on a cushion about one foot high, is his assistant, who plays the si-nen cymbals. Facing the professor, and seated on a similar throne at the farther end of the left-hand cushion, is the Um-dse14 or chief chorister or celebrant, the temporal head of the monastery; and below him, on a cushion about one foot high, is the deputy chorister, who plays the large ts'ogs-rol or assembly-cymbals at the command of the Um-dse, and officiates in the absence of the latter. At the door-end of the cushion on the right-hand side is a seat about one foot high for the provost-marshal, who enforces discipline, and on the pillar behind his seat hangs his bamboo rod for corporal chastisement. During the entry and exit of the congregation he stands by the right side of the door. Facing him at the end of the left-hand cushion, but merely seated on a mat, is the water-man.

To the left of the door is a table, on which is set the tea and soup which is to be served out, by the unpassed boy-candidates, during the intervals of worship.


To the right front of the altar stands the chief Lama's table,15 about two-and-a-half feet in length, and one foot in height, and often elaborately carved and painted with lotuses and other sacred symbols, as figured at page 215. Behind it a cushion is placed, upon which is spread a yellow or blue woollen rug, or a piece of a tiger or leopard skin rug, as a seat. The table of the abbot or professor contains the following articles in the order and position shown in this diagram: —


1. Magic rice-offering of universe.
2. Saucer with loose rice (Ch'en-du or ne-sel) for throwing in sacrifice.
3. Small hand-drum.
5. Dorje-sceptre.
6. Vase for holy-water.

The other two monks who are allowed tables in the temple are the chief chorister or celebrant and the provost-marshal. The chief chorister's table faces that of the abbot, and contains only a holy water vase, bell, dorje and the large cymbals. The table of the provost stands in front of the seat of that officer, near the door, and contains an incense-goblet (sang-bur), a bell and dorje.

At the spot marked "13" on the plan is placed the lay-figure of the corpse whose spirit is to be withdrawn by the abbot. At the point marked "12" is set, in all the larger temples in Sikhim, the throne of the king, or of the re-incarnated Lama — the "protecting lord"16 — when either of them visits the temple.

On each pillar of the colonnade is hung a small silk banner with five flaps,17 and others of the same shape, but differently named,18 are hung from the roof, and on each side of the altar is a large one of circular form.19


Altar (Domestic) of a Nin-ma Lama


The altar20 occupies the upper end of the nave of the temple; and on its centre is placed, as already mentioned, the chief image. Above the altar is suspended a large silken parasol,21 the oriental symbol of royalty, which slightly revolves in one or other direction by the ascending currents of the warm air from the lamps. And over all is stretched a canopy, called the "sky"22 on which are depicted the thunder dragons of the sky. The altar should have at least two tiers. On the lower and narrow outer ledge are placed the offerings of water, rice, cakes, flowers and lamps. On the higher platform extending up to the images are placed the musical instruments and certain other utensils for worship, which will be enumerated presently.

Magic-Offering of the Universe. The Rice-Mandala.

In front of the altar, or sometimes upon the altar itself, stands the temple-lamp,23 a short pedestalled bowl, into a socket in the centre of which is thrust a cotton wick, and it is fed by melted butter. As the great mass of butter solidifies and remains mostly in this state, the lamp is practically a candle. The size varies according to the means and the number of the temple votaries, as it is an act of piety to add butter to this lamp. One is necessary, but two or more are desirable, and on special occasions 108 or 1,000 small lamps are offered upon the altar. Sometimes a cluster of several lamps form a small candelabrum of the branching lotus-flower pattern.

Below the altar stand the spouted water-jug24 for filling the smaller water-vessels, a dish to hold grain for offerings,25 an incense-holder, and a pair of flower-vases. And on the right (of the spectator) on a small stool or table is the magic rice-offering, with its three tiers, daily made up by the temple attendant, and symbolic of an offering of all the continents and associated islands of the world.

The Five Sensuous Offerings

The ordinary water and rice-offerings are set in shallow brazen bowls,26 composed of a brittle alloy of brass, silver, gold and pounded precious stones. Their number is five or seven, usually the former. Two out of the five or seven bowls should be filled with rice heaped up into a small cone; but as this must be daily renewed by fresh rice, which in Tibet is somewhat expensive, fresh water is usually employed instead.

Another food-offering is a high, conical cake of dough, butter and sugar, variously coloured, named torma or z'al-ze, that is, "holy food." It is placed on a metal tray supported by a tripod. To save expense a painted dummy cake is often substituted.

Sacred Cakes

Upon the top of the altar are also usually placed the following objects, though several of them are special to the more demoniacal worship: --

1. A miniature funereal monument.27

2. One or more sacred books on each side of the altar.

3. The Lamaist sceptre or Dorje, typical of the thunderbolt of India (Jupiter), and a bell. The dorje is the counterpart of the bell, and when applied to the shoulder of the latter should be of exactly the same length as the bell-handle.

Some Altar Objects. lamp (inverted), caitya, holy-water jug.

4. The holy-water vase28 and a metal mirror hanging from its spout. The holy-water of the vase is tinged with saffron, and is sprinkled by means of a long stopper-rod, which is surmounted by a fan of peacock's feathers and the holy kusa grass. Another form is surmounted by a chaplet, etc., as its frontispiece.

5. The divining-arrow bound with five coloured silks called dadar29 for demoniacal worship.

6. A large metal mirror30 to reflect the image of the spirits.

7. Two pairs of cymbals. The pair used in the worship of Buddha and the higher divinities are called si-nen,31 and are of about twelve or more inches in diameter, with very small central bosses. They are held vertically when in use, one above the other, and are manipulated gently. The pair of cymbals used in the worship of the inferior deities and demons are called rol-mo, and are of shorter diameter with very much broader bosses. They are held horizontally in the hands and forcibly clanged with great clamour. Chinese gongs also are used.

8. Conch-shell trumpet (tun32) often mounted with bronze or silver, so as to prolong the valves of the shell and deepen its note— used with the si-nen cymbals.

Devils' Altar

9. Pair of copper flageolets.33

10. Pair of long telescopic copper horns in three pieces,34 and often six feet long (see illustration on page 17).

11. Pair of human thigh-bone trumpets.35 These are sometimes encased in brass with a wide copper flanged extremity, on which are figured the three eyes and nose of a demon, the oval open extremity being the demon's mouth. In the preparation of these thigh-bone trumpets the bones of criminals or those who have died by violence are preferred, and an elaborate incantation is done, part of which consists in the Lama eating a portion of the skin of the bone, otherwise its blast would not be sufficiently powerful to summon the demons.

12. Pair of tiger thigh-bone trumpets.36 These are not always present, and the last three instruments are only for the worship of the inferior gods and demons.

13. Drums (ch'os rna): —

(a) A small rattle hand-drum or na-ch'un37 or damaru, like a large double egg-cup. Between its two faces are attached a pair of pendant leather knobs and a long-beaded flap as a handle. When the drum is held by the upper part of the cloth handle and jerked alternately to right and left the knobs strike the faces of the drum. It is used daily to mark the pauses between different forms of worship.

(b) The big drum, called ch'o-na,38 or religious drum. These are of two kinds, one of which is suspended in a frame and beat only occasionally and in Buddha's worship. The other is carried in the hand by means of a stem thrust through its curved border. These are beaten by drum-sticks with straight or curved handles.

(c) The human skull-drum made of skull-caps, and of the same style as the smaller drum (a) above described.

14. Libation jugs, figured on page 225.


The greatest of all the temples of Lamadom is the great cathedral of Lhasa, the St. Peter's of Lamaism, the sketch of which, here given, was drawn for me by a Lama artist, who visited Lhasa with this object, and who deliberately sketched the sacred city and its great temple from the hillock about half a mile to the south of the city. And with the description of it39 we will close our account of temples.

This colossal temple, called "The Lord's House" (Jo-wo K'an), stands in the centre of the city of Lhasa, to which it gives its name, "God's place;40 and it is also considered the centre of the whole land. All the main roads, which cut through Tibet, run out of it and meet again in it. But it is also the centre of the united Lamaist church, as it is the first and oldest Buddhist temple of Tibet, the true metropolitan cathedral of Lamaism. Founded in the seventh century, on commencing the conversion of the gloomy snowland, by king Sron Tsan Gampo, for the preservation of those wondrous images brought to him by his two wives, as before mentioned, it has, no doubt, in the course of a millennium, received many additions and enlargements, and in the seventeenth century it was restored and rebuilt.

Its entrance faces the east, and before it, in a square, stands a flagstaff, about forty feet high with yak's hair, and horns of yak and sheep, tied to its base. The main building is three storeys high, and roofed by golden plates.41 The entrance is in the shape of a hall, which rests on six wooden pillars, very handsomely decorated with engravings, paintings, and gilding. The walls are covered with rough pictures out of the biography of the founder of the religion. In the centre of the hall is a swing door, which is decorated on the outside with bronze, and on the inside with iron reliefs.

Ground-Plan of Lhasa Cathedral.42

Through this you pass into the ante-court, which is covered by the first storey. In the wall, opposite the entrance, is a second door, which brings you inside, on both sides of which stands the colossal statues of the four great guardian kings; two on the right and two on the left side. This brings us into a large pillared hall, which has the form of the basilica, and is divided by colonnades into three long and two cross-aisles. The light comes from above in the middle or broadest aisle, where a transparent oilcloth serves instead of glass. Through this the whole temple is lighted, because there are no side windows. On the outside of the two side aisles, i.e., on the north and south side, as the entrance is towards the east, is a row of small cells or chapels, fourteen to the right and just as many to the left. The two cross-aisles form the background, and are separated from the long aisle by silver lattice-work. Here are the seats of the lower priests for common prayer-meetings. From the west cross-aisle a staircase leads into the holy of holies. On the left of this we see, by ascending behind silver rods, fifteen plates of massive silver, which are covered with innumerable precious stones, and contain representations of the Buddhist dogmatics and mysticism. We see there, for instance, the Buddhist system of the world, the circle of the metempsychosis with its different states. From the stairs above we come into a cross-aisle, which has just as many pillars as the two lower ones, and is also the inner front hall of the sanctuary. The latter has the form of a square, in which are six chapels, three on each of the north and south flanks. In the middle is the place for the offering altar, which, however, is only erected on certain occasions. On the other side of the altar, on the west side of the holy of holies, also in the lowest depth of the whole edifice, is the quadrangular niche, with the image of Sakya Muni. Before the entrance in this, to the left, is raised the throne of Dalai Lama, very high, richly decorated, and covered with the customary five pillows of the Grand Lamas. Beside this stands the almost similar one of the Tashi Grand Lama; then follow those in rotation of the regenerated Lamas. The abbots, and the whole non-incarnate higher priesthood have their seats in the cross-aisle of the sanctuary. Opposite the throne of Dalai Lama, on the right from the entrance of the niche, is the chair of the king of the Law, not quite so high as those of the regenerate Grand Lamas, but higher than those of the others. Behind him are the seats of the four ministers, which are not so high as those of the common Lamas.

On the west side of the niche stands the high altar, which is several steps high. Upon the top of the higher ones we see small statues of gods and saints made of massive gold and silver; upon the lower ones, as usual on Buddhist altars, lamps, incensories, sacrifices, and so on; upon the highest, behind a silver gilt screen, the gigantic richly-gilded image of Buddha Sakya Muni, wreathed with jewelled necklaces as native offerings. This image is named "The gem of majesty" (Jo-vo Rin-po-ch'e), and represents Buddha as a young prince in the sixteenth year of his age. It, according to the opinion of the believers, was made in Magadha during Buddha's lifetime, and afterwards gifted by the Magadha king to the Chinese emperor in return for assistance rendered against the Yavan invaders; and given by the Chinese emperor to his daughter on her marriage with the king of Tibet, in the seventh century A.D. Flowers are daily showered upon it. Beside this one — the highest object of reverence — the temple has also innumerable other idols; for instance, in a special room, the images of the goddess Sri Devi (Pal-ldan Lha-mo). There is also a celebrated image of the Great Pitying Lord — Avalokita — named "the self-created pentad."43 Also images of historical persons who have made themselves worthy of the church; amongst whom one sees there the aforesaid pious king and his two wives, all three of whom are canonized; also his ambassador, who was sent by him to India to fetch from there the holy books and pictures.44

In this large and oldest temple are lodged great numbers of other precious things and holy relics, consecrated presents, gold and silver vessels, which are openly exhibited at the beginning of the third Chinese month.

Round about these stand many wooden or copper prayer- machines. The surrounding wings of the building contain the state-treasures, the magazines, in which are stored everything necessary for divine service, the monks' cells, the lecture-rooms; in the higher storeys also the residences of the highest state officers, and special rooms for the Dalai Lama. The whole is surrounded with a wall, at which are several Buddhist towers, which, as in the case of the large temple, are covered with gilded plates. No women are allowed to remain within the walls during the night, a prohibition which extends to many Lamaist cloisters.

Benedictory Clay Seal of Grand Tashi Lama, Given to Pilgrims. (full size)



1 See pp. 271 and 273.
2 Spelt "knjira," (?) from the Skt., kanca, golden.
3 rgyal-mts'an.
4 Gebi— cylindrical erections from three feet high and about a foot wide to a greater size, covered by coiled ropes of black yak-hair and bearing a few white bands transverse and vertical, and when surmounted by a trident are called C'ab-dar.
5 The Romans in circumambulating temples kept them to their right. The Druids observed the contrary. To walk around in the lucky way was called Deasil by the Gaels, and the contrary or unlucky way withershins or widdersinnis by the lowland Scotch. See Jamieson's Scottish Dict. ; R. A. Armsteong's Gaelic Dict., p. 184; Crooke's Introd. ; Rockhill. L., p. 67.
6 Compare with description of Chinese Budd. temples by Eitel, Lects. on Buddhism.

7 Thus the local devil of Ging temple near Darjiling is called "The Entirely Victorious Soaring Religion" (Ch'os-ldin rnam-rgyal).

8 Compare with the malignant ghosts of Brahmans in India. Cf . Tawney's Katha Sarit Sagara, ii., 388, 511.
9  rKi-ban.
10 For their descriptions and titles see p. 376 Amongst the common scenes also represented  here are "The Harmonious Four" (mt'un-pa rnam b'zi), a happy family,  consisting of an elephant, monkey, rabbit, and parrot; and the long-lived sage (mi-ts'e-rin) with his deer, comparable to the Japanese (?) Ju-ro, one of the seven genii of Good Luck, and the long-lived hermit, Se-nin.
11  Heber's Palestine.

12 Campbell, J.A.S.B., 1849; Hooker, Him. Jours., i., 323; ii., p. 195; Sir R. Temple, Jour., p. 212; Sir M. Williams, Buddhism, p. 490.
13 rdo-rje slob-dpon.

14 dbU-mdsad.
15 mdum lc'og.

16 Kyab-mgon.

17 Ka-'p'an.

18 Ba-dan.

19 p'ye-p'ur.

20 mch'od s'am.
21  dug.
22 nam-yul; but its more honorific title is bla-bras.

23 mch'od-skon.
24 ch'ab-bum.

25 nas bzed.

26 mch'od tin.

27 ch'orten. In the room in which worship is done there must be present these three essential objects: sku-gsum (Skt., Trikaya) (a) an image, (b) a ch'orten, and (c) a holy book, which are symbolic of "the Three Holy Ones." In the early Indian caves this triad seems to have been represented by (?) a Caitya for Buddha, and a Wheel for Dharma.
28 k'rus-bum See fig. Rock., L., 106

29 mdah-dar

30 me-long.

31 sil-smyan.

32 dun.
33 rgye-glin.

34 rag-dun.

35 rkan-glin.

36 stag dun.

37 rna-ch'un.

38 ch'os-rna.

39 Summarized from the accounts of Huc, etc., and from Koppen, ii.. 334.
40 The name Lhasa is properly restricted to the great temple. Sron Tsan Gampo appears to have been the founder of the city now generally known to Europeans as Lhasa. It is recorded that he exchanged the wild Yarlung valley, which had been the home of his ancestors, for the more central position to the north of the Tsangpo, a village named Rasa, which, on account of the temple he erected, was altered to Lha-sa, or "God's place." An old form of the name is said to be lnga-ldan.

41 These plates are said to be of solid gold, and gifted by the son of the princeling Ananmal, about the end of the twelfth century A.D.
42  After Giorgi. l have not reproduced the references as they are not sufficiently  concise.
43 ran byun lna-ldan. So called because it is reputed to have formed itself by emanations from: Thug-je ch'enpo (Avalokita), T'ul -ku-geylon— the artist, Sron Tsan Gampo, his Chinese wife, and his Newari wife. Ami the location of each of these in the image is pointed out.

44 Koppen says an image of Hiuen Tsiang is also there.
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Re: The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults

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Lama-Pope Blessing Pilgrims.1

PILGRIMAGES are most popular in Tibet. The country contains an infinite number of sacred sites, reputed re-incarnated or supernatural Lamas, self-created images, relics of the Buddhas, holy footprints, sanctified trees, etc., to which the pious throng with gifts of gold and other precious offerings; while many extend their pilgrimages to places outside Tibet, to China, Bhotan, Sikhim, Nepal, Kashmir, Turkestan, and India, to places hallowed by St. Padma-sambhava, or by Buddha himself.

The most holy of all sites, according to the Lamas, in common with all Buddhists — like Mecca to the Muhammadans — is the Tree of Wisdom at Buddh-Gaya, in India, with its temple known to Tibetans as Gandhola,2 where Sakya Muni attained his Buddhahood, and which is believed to be the hub of the world. After this come the site of Buddha's death, Kusinagara; and the eight great Caityas which enshrined his bodily relics; the mythical mount Potala3 in the south; the mythical Shambhala in the north; the Guru's Fairy-land4 in Udyana in the west; and "The three hills," or U-tai Shan, in northern China, the original seat of the God of Wisdom, Manjusri; and Lhasa, the St. Peter's of the Lamas, and the seat of Buddha's vice-regent upon earth.

The Indian shrines are seldom visited by Lamas and Tibetans on account of the great distance and expense. I have listened several times to the prayers of Lamas and Tibetan laity at the great Buddh-Gaya temple, which, strange to say, is still held by unsympathetic Hindu priests who prey upon the Buddhist pilgrims. These prayers were divided between petitions for temporal prosperity and for "the great ultimate perfection," or Nirvana. They make offerings to the Tree of Wisdom, but their oblations do not take the form of watering it with eau de Cologne and gilding it, as do some of the Burmese.

Pilgrim Lamas

At the shrines under Buddhist management, the pilgrims carry off, as relics, printed charms and fragments of the robes of re-incarnated Lamas and other holy men, leaves of sacred trees, etc., which are carefully treasured as amulets and fetishes. And these objects and holy water work most miraculous cures in a manner which is not unknown even in Christian Europe.5

The fullest Tibetan account of Indian shrines is found in the book named Jambu-glin spyi bs'ad, a compilation containing a very confused abstract of Hiuen Tsiang's celebrated treatise.6

In regard to the site of Buddha's death, the Lamas have placed it in Asam.

In conversations some years ago with Lamas and lay Buddhists at Darjiling, I was surprised to hear that Asam contained a most holy place of Buddhist pilgrimage called "Tsam-ch'o-dun,"7 which, it was alleged, next to the great temple at Buddh-Gaya, was the most holy spot a Buddhist could visit. Asam is usually regarded as being far beyond the limits of the Buddhist Holy Land, and the Chinese pilgrims, FaHian and Hiuen Tsiang in the fifth and seventh centuries of our era, to whom we are mainly indebted for our knowledge of ancient Buddhist geography, not only do not mention any holy site in Asam, but Hiuen Tsiang, who visited Gauhati at the invitation of the king of Kamrup, positively notes the absence of Buddhist buildings in Asam.8

I therefore felt curious to learn further particulars of this important site in Asam, which had apparently been overlooked by geographers.

In Jaschke's Tibetan dictionary9 I found the name "rTsa- mch'og-gron" defined as a "town in west Asam where Buddha died," and this statement, it is noted, is given on the authority of the "Gryalrabs,'' a vernacular history of Tibet. Csoma de Koros also notes10 that "the death of Shakya, as generally stated in the Tibetan books, happened in Asam near the city of Kusa or Camarupa (Kamrup)."

Here, then, was a clue to the mystery. Buddha's death, it is well known, occurred between two sal trees near Kusinagara or Kusanagara, in the north-west provinces of India, thirty-five miles east of Gorakhpur, and about one hundred and twenty miles N.N.E. of Benares; and the site has been fully identified by Sir A. Cunningham11 and others from the very full descriptions given by Hiuen Tsiang and FaHian. The name Kusanagara means "the town of Kusa grass";12 and as the early Lama missionaries in their translation of the Buddhist scriptures habitually translated all the Sanskrit and Pali names literally into Tibetan, Kusanagara was rendered in the "Kah-'gyur" canon as "rTsa-mch'og- gron," from "rtsa-mch'og," kusa grass, "grong," a town ( = Sskt., nagara).

Now, near the north bank of the Brahmaputra, almost opposite Gauhati, the ancient capital of Kamrup, is, I find, an old village named Sal-Kusa, and it lies on the road between Gauhati and Dewangiri, one of the most frequented passes into Bhotan and Tibet. With their extremely scanty knowledge of Indian geography, the Lamas evidently concluded that this "town of Sal-Kusa" was the "town of Kusa," where Buddha entered into Nirvana between the two sal trees — seeing that the word sal was also incorporated with the equivalent of "Tsam-ch'o-dun," and that in the neighbourhood was the holy hill of Hajo, where, as will be seen hereafter, there probably existed at that time some Buddhist remains.

No description of this Buddhist site seems to be on record, except a very brief note by Col. Dalton13 on the modern Hindu temple of Hajo, which shrines a Buddhist image. So as I have had an opportunity of visiting the site, and enjoyed the rare advantage of being conducted over it by a Lama of eastern Tibet who chanced to be on the spot, and who had previously visited the site several times, and possessed the traditional stories regarding it, I give the following brief description of it in illustration of how the Lamas, originally misled by an identity of name, have subsequently clothed the neighbourhood with a legendary dress in keeping with the story of Buddha's death, and how this place, with its various associated holy spots, is now implicitly believed by the pilgrims to be the real site of Buddha's pari-nirvana. And in this belief, undeterred by the intemperate heat of the plains, Buddhist pilgrims from all parts of Bhotan, Tibet, and even from Ladak and south-western China visit these spots and carry off scrapings of the rocks and the soil in the neighbourhood, treasuring up this precious dust in amulets, and for placing beside their dead body, as saving from dire calamities during life, and from transmigration into lower animals hereafter. Authentic specimens of this dust, I was informed, commanded in Tibet high prices from the more wealthy residents, who had personally been unable to undertake the pilgrimage.

The Hajo hill, or rather group of hills, where is situated, according to the current tradition of the Lamas, the spot where Buddha "was delivered from pain," lies to the north (right) bank of the Brahmaputra about nine miles north-west from Gauhati (Kamrup), north latitude 26° 11' 18" and east long. 91° 47' 26", and four or rive miles north of Sal- Kusa. The hill rises directly from the plain, forming a strikingly bold and picturesque mass; and it is a testimony to its natural beauty to find that the hill has attracted the veneration of people of all religious denominations. The semi-aboriginal Mech and Koch worship it as a deity under the name of Hajo, which means in their vernacular "the hill." The Buddhists formerly occupied one of the hillocks, but are now displaced by the Brahmans, who restored the temple, which is now one of the most frequented Hindu temples in Asam. The Muhammadans also have crowned the summit of the highest peak with a mosque.

The cluster of hills presents a very symmetrical appearance as seen from a distance, forming a bold swelling mass culminating in three trident-like peaks, the central one of which is pre-eminent, and is regarded by the Buddhists as emblematic of Buddha. The high peaks on either side of this are identified with Buddha's two chief disciples, Sariputra and Maudgalyayana, This triad of peaks is seen from a great distance, and it is only on near approach that the smaller hillocks are observed. These latter number about sixteen, and are called Ne- ten c'ti-du, or "the sixteen disciples " of Buddha.

The most holy site, according to the Buddhists, is a bare flattish shoulder of rock, about eight yards in diameter, situated at the northwest base of the hill. This is stated to be the Sil-wa ts'al-gi tur-do, or "the pyre of the cool grove," where Buddha died, and where his body was cremated. The rock here bears several roughly-cut inscriptions in Tibetan characters of the mystic sentences, "Om mani padme hum," "Om ah hum" "Om" etc., and coloured rags torn from the vestments of the pilgrims are tied to the bushes in the neighbourhood. The Hindus have carved here on the rock a figure of the four-armed Vishnu, which the Brahman priests call Dhubi, or "the washerwoman of the gods," and the rock they call "Letai dhupinir pat."

It is worthy of note that the Lamas, for the benefit of the resident population of Tibet, have made copies of this spot in at least four places in Tibet, viz., at: —

1. Ra-rgyab, in the south-east outskirts of Lhasa city.

2. P'a-pon k'ar, in the north suburbs of Lhasa.

3. Pur-mo c'he, about twelve miles to the north-east of Tashi-lhunpo.

4. Sel-brag.

These sites were consecrated by placing on them a piece of rock brought from this Asam site, now under report; but the latter spot bears the distinctive prefix of Gya-gar, or Indian, implying that it is the original and genuine site.

A high cliff, close to the west of this spot, is called "the vulture's mound hill," as in Tibet vultures usually frequent the neighbourhood of the tur-do cemeteries, and in belief that it is the Gridha Kuta Giri hermitage of Buddha.14

A short distance beyond this spot, in the jungle, is a roughly-hewn stone basin, about six feet in diameter, called by the Lamas San-gyama ko-ko, or the pot in which the Sin-je — the death-demons — boil the heads of the damned. The Brahmans, on the other hand, assert that it is the bowl in which Sira or Adi-purusha brewed his potion of lust-exciting Indian hemp, and they point to its green (confervoid) watery contents in proof of this. They also state that a snake inhabits the depths of the bowl; but it was certainly absent at the time of my visit.

Advancing along the pathway, leading up-hill, we pass a few columnar masses of rock lying near the path, which are pointed to as fragments of Buddha's staff with which he unearthed this monster bowl.

Climbing up the hill we reach the temple of Kedaranath, which is approached by a very steep roughly-paved causeway. At the entrance is a long inscription in granite in old Bengali characters, those being the characters adopted by the Asamese. Adjoining this temple is the shrine of Kamalesvar or "the lord of the Lotus." Here is a tank called by the Lamas "Tso mani bhadra," or "the lake of the notable gem"; and they state that many water-sprites (Naga, serpents or dragons) came out of this pond on the approach of Buddha and presented him with jewels. A small cell by the side of this pond is said to be the place where Buddha set down a mass of butter which had been brought to him as a gift, and the stone linga and yoni (phallus and its counterpart), now shrined here by the Hindus, are pointed to as being this petrified butter.

Crowning the summit of the hill is a large masjid built by Lutfullah, a native of Shiraz, in the reign of the emperor Shah Jahan, in 1656 A.D., with a Persian inscription.15

A detached conical hillock, about 300 feet above the plain, lying about half-a-mile to the north-east of the hill, and now crowned by the Hindu temple of Madhava, is identified with "the great caitya" which was erected over the cremated relics of the Tathagatha's body.

The present shrine of the temple seems to be the original shrine of an older Buddhist temple, which, according to both Buddhist and Asamese tradition, formerly existed here — the upper portion only is modern. Col. Dalton has described the general details of this building, and he states: "The Brahmans call the object of worship Madhab, the Buddhists call it Mahamuni, the great sage. It is in fact simply a colossal image of Buddha in stone. Its modern votaries have, to conceal mutilation, given it a pair of silver goggle-eyes and a hooked gilt silvered nose and the form is concealed from view by cloths and chaplets of flowers; but remove these and there is no doubt of the image having been intended for the 'ruler of all, the propitious, the asylum of clemency, the all-wise, the lotus-eyed comprehensive Buddha.'"

This large image of Buddha is called by the more learned Lama-visitors Munir Muni Mahamuni, i.e., "The Sage of Sages, The Great Sage." It is the original image of the shrine, and is stated by the Brahmanic priests, who call it Madhab, to be of divine origin and an actual embodiment or avatar of the god, in contradistinction to the other images which are called mere "murtis" or hand-fashioned copies of typical forms of the respective gods represented. This may merely mean that the Brahmans found this image here, while the others were brought from the neighbourhood or elsewhere. What seems to be the history of the mutilation of this image is found in the account of the invasion of the Koch kingdom of lower Asam by the Musalmans under Mir Jumlah in 1661 A.D. This chief issued "directions to destroy all the idolatrous temples and to erect mosques in their stead .... To evince his zeal for religion, the general himself, with a battle-axe, broke the celebrated image of Narain, the principal object of worship of the Hindus of that province."16 Narayana is one of the names of Madhab and a patronymic of the Koch raja's; and Hajo was a seat of the Koch rajas. And it was at Hajo that Mir Jumlah took the Koch king prisoner.17

The other images, not mentioned by Dalton, but which must have existed at the time of his visit, are also of stone and are placed on either side of the large image. They are four in number and are of considerable size. According to the Lama-pilgrims they are all Buddhist images; but the crypt was so dimly lit, and the images so enveloped in clothes and wreaths of flowers that I could not distinguish their specific characters, with the exception of the head and peculiar trident of the first, and the head of the second, which were characteristic and justified their recognized names, viz.: —

No. 1. — -Ugyan Guru to the left of Mahamuni.

No. 2. — Dorje Dolo to the right of Mahamuni.

No. 3. — Sakya Thuba to the right of No. 2.

No. 4. — "Sencha" Muni to the right of No. 3.

Although Hindu priests, as a rule, are not very methodical in their bestowal of names upon the images which they have appropriated from Buddhist ruins, still I here give the Brahmanical names as reported by the attendant priests, as, this being a wealthy temple, the priests were more learned than usual, and the names should give some idea of the nature of the images. After stating that the Buddhist pilgrims gave the above noted names to the images, these priests said that the Brahmanical names were as follows, which, it will be noticed, are Bengali. I give them in the order of the previous list: —

No. 1. Dwitiya Madhaver murti.

No. 2. Lal Kanaiya Bankat Viharer murti.

No. 3. Basu Dever murti.

No. 4. Hayagriver murti.

In the vestibule are lotus ornamentations and several articles of the usual paraphernalia of a Buddhist temple, including the following: A pyramidal framework or wheel-less car like the Tibetan Ch'an-ga chutuk, with lion figures at the corners of each tier, such as is used to seal the image of a demon which is to be carried beyond the precincts of the temple and there thrown away. The present frame is used by the priests of this temple to parade in the open air one of the smaller images of the shrine (? Hayagriver), but the image is again returned to the shrine. Above this throne is stretched a canopy containing the figure of an eight-petalled lotus flower, and has, as is customary, a dependant red fringe. On either side is hung a huge closed umbrella. These articles have been in the temple from time immemorial.

Of the external decoration of the temple, the row of sculptured elephants along the basement, evidently a portion of the old Buddhist temple, has been figured by Col. Dalton in the paper above referred to; and is identical with the decorative style of the Kailas cave temple of Ellora figured by Fergusson in Plate xv. of his Cave Temples. The upper walls are covered with sculptured figures nearly life-size. The ten avataras of Vishnu are represented with Buddha as the ninth. The remaining figures are of a rather nondescript character, but they are mostly male, and nearly every figure carries a trident (trisula) — the khatam of the Buddhists. The Lamas state that these figures were formerly inside the temple, but that Buddha ejected them. And it is stated that the temple was built in one night by Visvakarma, the Vulcan of the Hindus and Buddhists.

Attached to the temple is a colony of Nati, or dancing girls,18 who are supported out of the funds of the temple, and who on the numerous feast days dance naked in a room adjoining the shrine. These orgies are part of the Sakti worship so peculiar to Kamrup, but nowhere is it so grossly conducted as at this temple.19 The Nati and the idol-car are also conspicuous at the degenerate Buddhist temple of Jagannath at Puri.

At the eastern base of the hillock, on which this temple stands, is a fine large tank, called by the Lamas "the lake of excellent water.''19 This pond, it is said, was made by Buddha with one prod of his staff, when searching for the huge bowl already described which he unearthed here. This pond is also said to be tenanted by fearful monsters.

I have been unable to ascertain positively whether any Buddhist building existed here previous to the Lamas fixing on the site as the Kusanagara of Buddha's death. Certainly no monastery existed here at the time of Hiuen Tsiang's visit to the Kamrup (Gauhati) court in the seventh century A.D., for he says of this country that "the people have no faith in Buddha, hence from the time when Buddha appeared in the world even down to the present time there never as yet has been built one Sangharama as a place for the priests to assemble." The reference which Taranath20 makes to the great stupa of Kusanagara as being situated here, in Kamrup, was taken from report, and thus would merely show that the present Lama-tradition was current during his time. Any chaitya or other Buddhist building would seem to have been subsequent to the seventh century; and in all probability marked a site visited by the great founder of Lamaism, St. Padma-sambhava, or one of his disciples. The different accounts of this saint's wanderings vary considerably, but he is generally credited with having traversed most of the country between lower Asam and Tibet. And in this view it is to be noted that the Bhotan Lamas call the chief image of this shrine Namo Guru or "the teacher,'' one of the epithets of St. Padma-sambhava. And the images on either side of it are also forms of that saint.

The form of Buddhism here represented is of the highly Tantrik and demoniacal kind, propagated by Padma-sambhava and now existing in the adjoining country of Bhotan. Even this mild form of the image of Ogyan Guru has decapitated human heads strung on to his trident. The second image is of a more demoniacal kind. The third image is, of course, Sakya Muni. The fourth image, from its Brahmanical name, is Tam-din Skt.. Hayagriva), one of the fiercest forms of demons and an especial protector of Lamaism. The trident is everywhere conspicuous in the hands of the sculptured figures on the walls, and Shakti rites are more pronounced here than in any other place in northern India.

It is also remarkable to find that the high-priest of the Hajo temple, in common with the other high-priests in Kamrup, is called Dalai, — a title which is usually stated to have been conferred on the fifth Grand Lama of Lhasa by a Mongolian emperor in the seventeenth century A.D.; though the Tibetan equivalent of this title, viz., Gyam-ts'o, or "ocean," is known to have been used by Grand Lamas previously. As, however, the word is Mongolian, it is curious to find it naturalized here and spontaneously used by Brahmans. It seems also to be the title of village-headman in the adjoining Garo hills. The dalai of this temple is a married man, but the office is not hereditary. He is elected by the local priests from amongst their number, and holds Office till death. He resides at the foot of the hill, below the temple, in a large house, the exterior of which is profusely decorated with the skulls of wild buffalo, wild pig, deer, and other big game, etc., like the house of an Indo-Chinese chieftain.

''There does not seem to be in Tibet," says Mr. Fergusson,23 "a single relic-shrine remarkable either for sanctity or size, nor does relic-worship seem to be expressed either in their architecture or their religious forms," and he supports this by saying that as their deity is considered to be still living, no relics are needed to recall his presence.

Certainly no immense mounds of the colossal proportions common in Indian Buddhism, and in Burma and Ceylon, appear to exist in Tibet, but smaller stupas are of very common occurrence; and the tombs of the departed Grand Lamas at Tashi-lhunpo, etc., are special objects of worship.

It is said that Tibet possesses several large stupas as large as the Maguta stupa of Nepal. This latter is one of the celebrated places of Lamaist pilgrimage outside Tibet. It is called the Ja24-run k'a-sor ch'o-rten, and lies about two miles to the north- east of Khatmandu, and it is figured at page 262. Immense numbers of Tibetans, both Lamas and laity, visit the place every winter, and encamp in the surrounding field for making their worship and offerings, and circumambulating the sacred spot. It is the chief place of Lamaist pilgrimage in Nepal, attracting far more votaries than the Svayambhunath stupa,25 which is not far distant. Its special virtue is reputed to be its power of granting all prayers for worldly wealth, children, and everything else asked for. Dr. Buchanan-Hamilton, in his account of Nepal, written about the beginning of the present century, gives a drawing of the monument, which is of an almost simple hemispherical form, of the type of the earliest stupas; and Wright,26 under the title of "temple of Bodhnath," gives a rough chromo-lithograph of its more modern appearance, with its additional buildings and investing wall. But no description or account of the monument seems to be on record.

As I have obtained a copy of the printed booklet which is sold at the stupa to the pilgrims, I here give a short abstract of its contents, which are interesting as showing how the stupa is brought into intimate relation with the chief legendary and historic persons of early Lamaism. The print is a new revision by Punya-vajra and another disciple of "the great Lama Z'ab-dkar." This latter Lama, I am informed, lived about thirty years ago, and gilded the short spire of the stupa and built the present investing wall.

The book states as follows: —

"This stupa enshrines the spirit of the Buddhas of the ten directions, and of the Buddhas of the three times (i.e., the present, past and future), and of all the Bodhisats, and it holds the Dharma- kaya.

"When king Thi-Sron Detsan27 asked the Guru,28 at Samyas,29 to tell him the history of the Ma-gu-ta stupa in Nepal, made by the four sons of 'the bestower of gifts,' named 'the poor mother Pya-rdsi-ma (fowl-keeper),' then the Guru thus related (the story): —

"'In a former Kalpa — time beyond conception — the Bodhisattva Mahasattva Avalokitesvara, approached the Tathagatha Amitabha and prayed for the animals immersed in the miry slough, and after saving these he went to mount Potala. There he saw hosts of unsaved animals, innumerable like unto mounds of murwa30 lees, and (seeing this he) wept. Two of his pitying tears were born into Indra's heaven as god's daughters, named respectively Kan-ma and the little Kan-ma or Kan-ch'un-ma. This latter having stolen in heaven some flowers, was as a punishment reborn in earth, in a low pigherd's family in Maguta in Nepal, under the name of Samvara or "the Chief Happiness," her mother's name being Purna. On marriage she had four sons, and her husband's early death left her with the sole care of the family. She with her family undertook the herding and rearing of geese for the wealthy, and having in this pursuit amassed much wealth, she — Ma-pya-rdsi-ma (or mother fowl-keeper)— decided to build a large stupa in honour of the Tathagatha. She, thereon, went to the king and begged for a site, saying she wanted only so much ground as one hide could cover. The king assented, saying "Ja-run," which literally means "do" + "can," i.e., "you can do (so)."31 Then she cutting a hide into thin thongs (forming a long rope), enclosed that very large space which now is occupied by this chaitya. And she, with her four sons, and a servant, and an elephant and an ass, as beasts of burden, brought earth and stones, and commenced to build this chaitya by their own personal labour.

"'Then the king's ministers appealed to the king to stop such an ambitious building, as they asserted its magnificence put to shame the religious buildings of the king and the nobles. But the king answered "K'a-Sor" — which literally means "mouth + (has) spoken" and so refused to interfere. (Thus is the name of the stupa — 'Ja-run k'a-sor' — accounted for.)

"'After four years, when only the base had been laid, the mother died, but her sons continued the building till its completion. And in the receptacle was placed one Magadha measure (drona) of the relics of the Tathagatha Kasyapa. This event was celebrated by the manifestation in the sky, above the stupa, of Kasyapa himself, and the circles of celestial Buddhas and Bodhisats, and their hosts of retinue, and amongst showers of flowers the gods contributed divine music and rained perfume. Earthquakes thrice occurred, and through the glory of the assembled divinities there was no darkness for five nights.

"'One of the sons then prayed, "May I in my next re-birth be born as a great scholar (to benefit mankind)" — and he was born as Thunmi Sambhota32 (the introducer of the so-called "Tibetan" character, and the first translator of Indian Buddhist texts into Tibetan), circa 650 A.D.

'"The second son prayed in a similar manner, and was re-born as "The Bodhisattva"33 (the abbot of the first monastery of Tibet).

"'Then the elephant or lan-po (hearing these prayers) said, "These two, neglecting me who contributed so much assistance, are asking all the good things for themselves, therefore let me be re-born in a form to destroy them or their work." And he was afterwards re-born as Landarma (the persecutor of Lamaism).

"'The third son, hearing the elephant's request, prayed that he might be re-born in a form to neutralize the evil of the elephant's incarnation; and he was born as Lho-lun phel kyi rdorje (the Lama who murdered Lan-darma, the Julian of Lamaism).'

"This stupa is also worshipped by the Nepalese Buddhists, viz., the Newars — the semi-aborigines of the Nepal valley, and the Murmi, a cis-Himalayan branch of Tibetan stock. The name 'Maguta ' — pronounced 'Makuta' — is doubtless a contraction for Makuta bandhana, the pre-Buddhist 'crested chaitya,' such as existed at Buddha's death at Kusinagara, in the country of the Mallas."

The Gyan-tse Caitya-temple is thus described34: —

It is nine storeys high, and is about 100 to 120 feet high and capped by a gilt dome. A magnificent view of Gyantse town and monasteries from top storey. Numberless niches filled with images of Buddha and Bodhisatwas. In the first floor is an image of the religious king Rabtan. The base is fifty paces square. It is only open to public at the full and new moon.

At those shrines holding or professing to hold relics the fiction of miraculous increase of the relics is frequently enacted. Thus at the Maguta stupa and Tashiding Ch'orten are sold small granules,35 alleged to be obtained by miraculous efflorescence on the surface of the building from the legendary relics of the fictitious Buddha, Kasyapa, alleged to he enshrined therein. But this practice is common also to southern Buddhism. In the Burmese chronicles36 it is stated that the tooth of Buddha, enshrined at Ceylon, yielded in the eleventh century A.D., to the Burmese king, "a miraculous incarnation or mysterious growth of homogeneous substances from the holy tooth," and Col. Phayre adds "and a somewhat similar mission with alike result occurred about twenty years ago (about 1860 A.D.).

And in 1892 similar relics were sent from Ceylon to the Tibetan commissioner at Darjiling. But, after all, such relics are no more spurious than the innumerable "bits of the true cross," holy coats, and keys of St. Peter, of Christendom; nor is their worship more remarkable than the vestiges of relic-worship which still survive in the structural features of our chancels, and the black- letter day of the Holy Cross in the calendar.

The temple of Buddha's tooth at Fu-chau in China is also a known place of Lamaist pilgrimage. The tooth is evidently an elephant's molar.'37 That one also at the "Clear water P'u-hsein monastery" in western Ssu-ch'an seems to be somewhat similar. It is described by Mr. Baber as "dense fossil ivory," "about a foot long, and of a rudely triangular outline."

The sacred mountain of Wu-t'ai or U-tai in northern China, and the alleged birth-place of Manjusri, now identified with the metaphysical Bodhisat of Wisdom, is a favourite place of pilgrimage. It has been visited and figured by Huc and others.38

On mount O in western Ssu-ch'an, at an elevation of about 11,000 feet, is to be seen "The glory of Buddha"39 — a mysterious apparition like the giant of the Brocken,40 which is seen occasionally by looking over the top of a cliff about 2,000 feet high into the terrible abyss below. It is a radiant halo of rainbow tints and it is deemed an emanation from the aureole of Buddha. The Tibetans visit the place.

The sacred sites of Tibet are cited in considerable detail in the vernacular geography already mentioned. And stories abound of the miraculous efficacy of such pilgrimages, and even of the manifestations of the divine spirit to worthy worshippers.

Thus a story is related regarding the great image of "the Lord" at Lhasa, which is a parallel to that of the widow's mite: A poor old widow, destitute of friends and of means, made a long pilgrimage to Lhasa, but had nothing left as an offering. By begging she ultimately obtained a morsel of butter, which she offered in a tiny lamp to the great idol. The god thereupon revealed himself through the idol, which thanked her for her gift, and spoke to her a few words of comfort. On this miracle getting noised abroad, a rich merchant set out for Lhasa, arguing that if the Lord appeared to a poor woman who presented only one tiny lamp, he would certainly appear to the donor of a host. So he offered many thousands of lamps with tons of butter, but the idol remained impassive and irresponsive.

The circling of the great temple by prostrations on the ground is an essential part of the devotions, not only of the pilgrims but of the residents. The day's devotions begin at Lhasa with the gunfire about 4 a.m. from the Chinese minister's house, and they close with another gun at 9 or 10 p.m.

After the morning report the people are to be seen in dense crowds on the circular road, all moving in one and the same direction, as with the hands of a watch. A similar circuit is made by the devout in the evening, to say nothing of smaller circuits around individual shrines: at least this is imperative on common folk; as to the great and wealthy,41 they urge that their presence would only interfere with the piety of the people, so they engage substitutes, who, however, are rigorously required to circumambulate for their masters. But whether done in person or by proxy, a careful reckoning is kept of the number of circuits performed, and these, in occasional cases of excessive devotion, are even executed by the method of successive prostrations full length on the road, each prostration beginning where the preceding one ended, called "Kiang K'or."

Of the places sacred to the Guru, the most celebrated is the "Lotus lake" (Ts'o Padma-c'an), on which he is believed to have been born. It is usually stated to be in Udyana, but other accounts place it near Haridwar.42 In Nepal at Halasi on the bank of the Dudh-Kusi is the famous hermitage of the Guru on a hill with many fossil remains, which from their description suggest the outlying Siwaliks range.

In the mountains, two days' journey south of Gyang-tse, near the unreformed monastery of Se-kar, is a celebrated rock-cut cave of St. Padma, called Kyil-k'or ta-dub. It is thus described43: —

"We took lighted lamps, and after going 120 paces inside the cavern we reached an open flat space about twenty feet square, from which a rock-cut ladder led us up to another open space about ten feet square; thirty paces further brought us to a stone seat, said to be the seat of Guru Padma-sambhava. Behind the seat was a small hole drilled through the rock: through this hole a wooden spoon about two feet long was passed by the sister of the Lama who accompanied us, and a small amount of reddish dust was extracted which is said to be the refuse of the Guru's food. This we ate and found very sweet to the taste. Then after lighting some sacred lamps and asking a blessing, we descended by another flight of steps to a place where a stream issues from the face of the rock. The total length of the cave from the entrance of the stream is about a quarter of a mile. There are ascents and descents, and many turn.s and twists through narrow passages where only one man can go at a time, and many people are afraid to risk exploring the place, if the lamp were to go out there would be no finding the way back again."

Colossal images of Jam-pa or "The Loving One" (the Buddha to come), and sometimes of Avalokita are occasionally carved on cliffs. A monster image of the god Maitreya (Jam-pa), three storeys in height, is mentioned by explorer A. K.;44 the figure is internally of clay, and is well gilded externally; it is seated on a platform on the ground floor, and its body, passing successively through the second and third floors, terminates in a jewelled and capped colossal head above the latter floor; in all, the figure and platform are said to be seventy or eighty feet high. Now, as an essential feature in Tibetan worship is the performance of circuits around an image, it will be seen that the pilgrim in circling this image of Jam-pa is compelled by circumstances to perform three different series of circumambulations on as many floors; at first around the god's legs, next around his chest, and lastly around his head.

But, after all, the greatest pilgrimage to which a Lamaist devotee looks is to the Buddhist-god incarnate at Lhasa, the Grand Dalai Lama.

Accounts of the culmination of such a pilgrimage have been recorded by Manning and others. The infant Grand Lama, who received Manning, was altogether a prodigy. A reception by the Grand Tashi Lama, one of the many witnessed by Mr. Bogle, is thus described by that gentleman45 (see figure, page 305): —

"On the 12th November, a vast crowd of people came to pay their respects, and to be blessed by the Lama. He was seated under a canopy in the court of the palace. They were all ranged in a circle. First came the lay folks. Everyone according to his circumstances brought some offering. One gave a horse, another a cow; some gave dried sheep's carcasses, sacks of flour, pieces of cloth, etc.; and those who had nothing else presented a white Pelong handkerchief. All these offerings were received by the Lama's servants, who put a bit of silk with a knot upon it tied, or supposed to be tied, with the Lama's own hands, about the necks of the votaries. After this they advanced up to the Lama, who sat cross-legged upon a throne formed with seven cushions, and he touched their head with his hands, or with a tassel hung from a stick, according to their rank and character. The ceremonial is this: upon the gylongs or laymen of very high rank he lays his palm, the nuns and inferior laymen have a cloth interposed between his hand and their heads; and the lower class of people are touched as they pass by with the tassel which he holds in his hand .... There might be about three, thousand people — men, women, and children — at this ceremony. Such as had children on their backs were particularly solicitous that the child's head should also be touched with the tassel. There were a good many boys and some girls devoted to the monastic order by having a lock of hair on the crown of the head cropped by the Lama with a knife. This knife came down from heaven in a flash of lightning. . . . After the Lama retired, many people stayed behind that they might kiss the cushions upon which he had sat."

The ordinary receptions by his holiness have been described by the survey spy A. K.46 Since his worshippers are in thousands, and it is only to those who are wealthy or of high degree that he can afford to address even a brief sentence or two, this is always done in a deep hoarse voice, acquired by training in order to convey the idea that it emanates from maturity and wisdom. Seated cross-legged on a platform some six feet high, he is dressed to be worshipped in the usual colours of priesthood, i.e., red and yellow, and with bare arms, as required of all Buddhist priests, and holds a rod from the end of which hangs a tassal of silk, white, red, yellow, green, and blue. The pilgrim, coming in at the entrance door, advances with folded hands as if in prayer, and resting his head against the edge of the platform above him, mentally and hastily repeats the petitions he would have granted. These unuttered prayers the Dalai Lama is understood to comprehend intuitively; he touches the pilgrim's head with the bunch of silk in token of his blessing, and the worshipper is hurried out at the east door by attendants, only too happy if he has passed say half a minute in the vicinity of the great priest. This is the common procedure. Persons of rank or substance are permitted to mount the platform and to perform obeisance there, receiving the required blessing by actual touch of the Dalai Lama's hand; subsequently such worshipper may be allowed a seat below the platform where a few hoarse utterances of enquiry may be addressed to him by the Dalai Lama, and he may also be given some food.

The account of one of these more select receptions, to which Baber Sarat gained admission in disguise, is here abridged from his narrative.

"We are seated on rugs spread in about eight rows, my seat being in the third row, at a distance of about ten feet from the Grand Lama's throne, and a little to his left. There was perfect silence in the grand hall. The state officials walked from left to right with serene gravity, as becoming their exalted rank in the presence of the supreme vice-regent of Buddha on earth. The carrier of the incense-bowl (suspended by three golden chains), the head steward, who carried the royal golden teapot, and other domestic officials then came into his holiness's presence, standing there motionless as pictures, fixing their eyes, as it were, on the tips of their respective noses.

"The great altar, resembling an oriental throne, pillared on lions of carved wood, was covered with costly silk scarves; and on this his holiness, a child of eight, was seated. A yellow mitre covered the child's head, his person was robed in a yellow mantle, and he sat cross- legged, with the palms of his hands joined together to bless us. In my turn I received his holiness's benediction and surveyed his divine face. I wanted to linger a few seconds in the sacred presence, but was not allowed to do so, others displacing me by pushing me gently. The princely child possessed a really bright and fair complexion with rosy cheeks. His eyes were large and penetrating. . . . The thinness of his person was probably owing to the fatigues of the ceremonies of the court, of his religious duties, and of ascetic observances to which he had been subjected since taking the vows of monkhood. . . . When all were seated after receiving benediction, the head steward poured tea into his holiness's golden cup from the golden teapot. Four assistant servers poured tea into the cups of the audience. Before the Grand Lama lifted his cup to his lips a grace was solemnly chanted. Without even stirring the air by the movements of our limbs or our clothes, we slowly lifted our cups to our lips and drank the tea, which was of delicious flavour. Thereafter the head butler placed a golden dish full of rice in front of his holiness, which he only touched; and its contents were then distributed. I obtained a handful of this consecrated rice, which I carefully tied in one corner of my handkerchief. After grace had been said, the holy child, in a low indistinct voice, chanted a hymn. Then a venerable gentleman rose from the middle of the first row of seats, and, addressing the Grand Lama as the Lord Avalokita Incarnate, recited the many deeds of mercy which that patron saint of Tibet had vouchsafed towards its benighted people. At the conclusion he thrice prostrated himself before his holiness, when a solemn pause followed; after which the audience rose, and the Grand Lama retired.

"One of the butler's assistants gave me two packets of pills, and the other tied a scrap of red silk round my neck. The pills, I was told, were Chinlab (blessings consecrated by Buddha-Kashyapa and other saints), and the silk scrap, called sungdu (knot of blessing), was the Grand Lama's usual consecrated return for presents made by pilgrims and devotees."



1 After Giorgi.
2 dri-gtsan-k'an, or "The Untainted (pure) House." It was built in seven days by  the high-priest "Virtue" (dge-ba). See also Taranatha, 16, 4, etc. At the Bodhi-  manda (byan-ch'ub-snin-po) is the diamond-throne (vajrasana, Tib., Dorje-dan),  so called on account of its stability, indestructibility, and capacity of resisting all  worldly shocks.
3  ri-bo gru-'dsin

4 mk'a-'gro glin.

5 Those Europeans who sneer at the "pagan" superstitions of the East may find  amongst themselves equally grotesque beliefs. For example, the Holy Coat of Trees,  and one of the most recent miracles, the Lady of Lourdes. Lourdes, as a miracle place,  dates from 1858, when a little girl had a vision of "a beautiful and radiant lady."  Eighteen times the glorious apparition was seen by the girl; then it was seen no more.  Twenty thousand persons by that time had gathered to the rendezvous. On one of the  last occasions the girl, as if obeying a sign from her visitant, went to a corner of the  grotto where the appearances occurred, and scratched in the dry earth. The gaping  crowd saw water rise and the girl drink. Then a little streamlet made its way to the  river. In a short time the spring gave 120,000 litres a clay. And the wonders of  miraculous healing effected by this water are the theme of the learned and the  ignorant alike. In 1872 the number of pilgrims amounted to 140,000, and this  year the same number appeared at the health-giving spring. Over 12,000 brought  1,100 sick. They had come from Paris and the north in seventeen pilgrimage  trains, and this year (1894), according to the newspapers, two train-loads steamed  out of London for the same convent. There is a band of trained attendants, who  do good service, and the sick are dipped by experts and cared for. As the patient  is immersed, some of the assistants, with arms uplifted, pray with him. Some  of the sick quietly undergo the dip, as if resigned to whatever may befall them.  Others beat the water in agony, and clutch at hands near, but all pray— these last  with loud cries of despair to heaven: "Cure us, Holy Virgin. Holy Virgin, you  must cure us." There is great ecclesiastical ceremonial, elevation of the host, priests  with lighted tapers, and high dignitaries be-robed and be-mitred. "The cures" are  duly certified— they are as marvellous as any by a well-advertised specific.
6 For a translation of a smaller one see my article in Proc. A.S.B., Feb., 1893.

7 rTsa-mch'og-gron. See J.A.S.B., lxi., pp.33 seq.

8 Si-yu-ki, trans, by Beal, ii., p. 196.
9 P. 437.

10 Asiatic Researches, xx., p. 295.

11 Arch. Surv. Indian Repts., i., 76; xvii., 55, etc.

12 Kusa grass (Poa cynosuroides), the sacrificial grass of the Hindus, is also prized by tihe Buddhists on account of its having formed the cushion on which the Boddhisattva sat under the Bodhi tree. It is also used as a broom in Lamaic temples and as an altar decoration associated with peacock's feathers in the pumpa or holy water vase.
13 J.A.S.B., 1855, lxxi., p. 8.
14  bya-rgyod p'un poi ri
15  See J.A.S.B., lxi., p. 37.
16 Stewart's History of Bengal, p. 289.

17 Beveridge, Cal. Review, July, 1890, p. 12.
18 "Asam, or at least the north-east of Bengal (i.e., Kamrup), seems to have been in a great degree the source from which the Tantrica and Sakta corruptions of the religion of the Vedas and Puranas proceeded" (H. H. Wilson, Preface to Vishnu Purana).

19 They have their counterpart in the [x] of the Greek Strabo: viii., 6, p. 20.

20 Yon-ch'ab-mts'o.

21 Vassiliev's Le Bouddisme, trad, du Russe par M. G. A. Comme, p. 44.
22 Dancing girls appear to figure to some extent in certain Lamaist ceremonies in Bhotan, vide Turner's Embassy to Tibet, p. 32.

23 Hist. of Ind. and Eastern Architecture, p. 311.
24  Spelt pya.

25 Called by the Lamas 'P'ags-pa Sin Kun (or ? Zan-bkod); cf. also Svayambha purana, transld., J.R.A.S., 1894, 297. Another stupa not far off, namely, about ten miles S.E. of Bhatgaon, and twelve from Khat-mandu, is called sTags-mo-lus-sbyin, and identified as the site where Buddha in a former birth gave his body to a starving tiger, though the orthodox site for this story was really northern India, cf. FaHian, c. xi.

26 Nepal, pp. 22, 100.  
27 The king of Tibet who introduced Lamaism.

28 i.e., Padma-sambhava, or Ugyan, the founder of Lamaism.

29 The first Lamaist monastery in Tibet.

30 The millet seed (elusine crocanum), about the size of mustard seed, from which is made the Himalayan beer.

31 This story, and, indeed, the greater part of the legend, seems to have its origin in a false etymology of the proper names.
32 Who introduced a written character to Tibet.

33 The Indian monk Santa-rakshita, abbot of the first monastery of Tibet (Samyas).

34 Sarat's Narrative.

35 On the cremation of the body of a Buddha it is believed that no mere ash results, but, on the contrary, the body swells up and resolves into a mass of sago-like granules of two kinds, (a) Phe-dun, from the flesh as small white granules, and (b) ring-srel, yellowish larger nodules from the bones. It is the former sort which are believed to be preserved at the holiest Caitya of Sikhim, namely, T'on-wa ran grol, or "Saviour by mere sight." It owes its special sanctity to its reputedly containing some of the funereal granules of the mythical Buddha antecedent to Sakya Muni, namely  Od-srun, or Kasyapa, the relics having been deposited there by Jik-mi Pawo, the  incarnation and successor o St. Lha-tsun.
36 Phayre's History of Brit. Burma.

37 Sir Henry Yule's Marco Polo, iii., ch. xv., where it is figured after Mr. Fortune.

38 Visited and described also by Rev. J. Edkins (Religion in China), Gilmour, Reichthofen, Rockhill, and more fully described by D. Pokotiloff, St. Petersburg, 1893.

39 In Chinese Fo-Kuang. Cf. Baber's Suppl. Papers Geog. Soc., p. 42.

40 Brewster's Natural Magic, 1833, p. 130.
41 Says A. K. (Henessy's Abstract, p. 293).
42 One account given me says that three days from the town in northern India named Nirdun (? Dehra Dun) lies Ramnagar, thence four days Haraduar, where there is a railway station, thence on foot two days m Guruduar, whence Ts'o Padma is eight days distant amongst seven bills, like Mt. Meru. la regard to it, the Sham-bha- la Lam-yig contains the following passage: "At the city of the king Da-ya-tse of Pu-rang, in consequence of water striking against coal, at night the coal is seen burning. It is said of this coal and water, that they have the peculiarity that the water, if introduced into the stomach of man or beast, turns into stone."

43 Lama U.G. S.R., loc. cit., p. 20.

44 Henessy, S.R., loc. cit., para 19. an image similar to this, thirty feet high, but of gilt copper, is noted by the Lama U. G., loc. cit., p. 22. Lake at Ronch'am Ch'en, near the crossing of the Tangpo, near Yam-dok.
45  Op. cit., p. 85. A grander reception is described by him at p. 98.
46 Loc. cit., edited by Henessy, para. 20. 
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Re: The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults

Postby admin » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:16 am

Part 1 of 3


LAMAIST mythology is a fascinating field for exploring the primitive conceptions of life, and the way in which the great forces of nature become deified. It also shows the gradual growth of legend and idolatry, with its diagrams of the unknown and fetishes; and how Buddhism with its creative touch bodied forth in concrete shape the abstract conceptions of the learned, and, while incorporating into its pantheon the local gods of the country, it gave milder meanings to the popular myths and legends.

The pantheon is perhaps the largest in the world. It is peopled by a bizarre crowd of aboriginal gods and hydra-headed demons, who are almost jostled off the stage by their still more numerous Buddhist rivals and counterfeits. The mythology, being largely of Buddhist authorship, is full of the awkward forms of Hindu fancy and lacks much of the point, force, and picturesqueness of the myths of Europe. Yet it still contains cruder forms of many of these western myths,2 and a wealth of imagery.

Primitive Buddhism, as we have seen, knows no god in the sense of a Creator or Absolute Being; though Buddha himself seems to have been in this respect an agnostic rather than an atheist.

But, however, this may be, the earliest Buddhist mythology known to us gives the gods of the Hindus a very prominent place in the system. And while rendering them finite and subject to the general law of metempsychosis, yet so far accepts or tolerates the current beliefs in regard to their influence over human affairs as to render these gods objects of fear and respect, if not of actual adoration by the primitive Buddhists.

The earliest books purporting to reproduce the actual words spoken by the Buddha make frequent references to the gods and demons. And in the earliest of all authentic Indian records, the edict-pillars of Asoka, we find that model Buddhist delighting to call himself "the beloved of the gods." The earlier Buddhist monuments at Barhut, etc., also, are crowded with images of gods, Yakshas and other supernatural beings, who are there given attributes almost identical with those still accorded them by present-day Buddhists. Every Buddhist believes that the coming Buddha is at present in the Tushita heaven of the gods. And the Ceylonese Buddhists, who represent the purer form of the faith, still worship the chief Indian gods and are addicted to devil- worship and astrology.3

But the theistic phase of Buddhism carried objective worship much further than this. For as Buddha himself occupied in primitive Buddhism the highest central point which in other faiths is occupied by a deity, his popular deification was only natural.

In addition to the worship of Buddha, in a variety of forms, the Mahayana school created innumerable metaphysical Buddhas and Bodhisats whom it soon reduced from ideal abstractness to idolatrous form. And it promoted to immortal rank many of the demons of the Sivaist pantheon; and others specially invented by itself as defensores fidei; and to all of these it gave characteristic forms. It also incorporated most of the local deities and demons of those new nations it sought to convert. There is, however, as already noted, reason for believing that many of the current forms of Brahmanical gods were suggested to the Brahmans by antecedent Buddhist forms. And the images have come to be of the most idolatrous kind, for the majority of the Lamas and almost all the laity worship the image as a sort of fetish, holy in itself and not merely as a diagram or symbol of the infinite or unknown.

The Lamaist pantheon, thus derived from so many different sources, is, as may be expected, extremely large and complex. Indeed, so chaotic is its crowd that even the Lamas themselves do not appear to have reduced its members to any generally recognized order, nor even to have attempted complete lists of their motley deities. Though this is probably in part owing to many gods being tacitly tolerated without being specially recognized by the more orthodox Lamas.

The nearest approach to a systematic list which I have seen, is the Pekin Lama's list so admirably translated by the late Mr. Pander,4 but this, as well as all the other extant lists, is defective in many ways and only fragmentary.

The chief Tibetan treatises on the Lamaist pantheon according to my Lama informants, are: —

(a) Z'a-lu Lo-tsa-wa's, "The means of obtaining The Hundred (gods).5 This is said to be the oldest of the extant systematic works on Lamaist deities and seems to date from about 1436 A.D., when Z'a-lu succeeded to the great Pandit Atisa's chair at Gah-ldan monastery. Zha-lu Lo- ch'en, "the great translator," states that he translated his description from one of the three great Indian works by Pandit Bhavaskanda entitled "Slokas on the means of obtaining (tutelary and other deities)."6 The term "the hundred" which occurs in the title of this and the following treatises refers only to the chief divinities; for the total number described is much greater.

(b) Pari Lo-tsa-was "The Hundred precious Manifestations of Narthang."7 This work issuing from the great press at Narthang near Tashi-lhunpo is said to deal mainly, if not solely, with those omitted by Z'alu, and is placed about the sixteenth century A.D.

(c) Taranatha' s "The Hundred precious Appearances."8 This work by the great historiographer Lama Taranatha contains mainly residual deities omitted by the two previous writers; but it is chiefly devoted to the more demoniacal forms." This work dates from about 1600 A.D. and was, I think, printed at Phun-ts'o-ling near Narthang; but I omitted to note this point specially while consulting the book at Darjiling.9

(d) The Dalai Lama Nag-wan Lo-zan Gya-ts'o's "autobiography," written in the latter half of the seventeenth century A.D. In its mythological portion it describes chiefly those aboriginal Tibetan deities which had become grafted upon orthodox Lamaism.

All the foregoing works have been consulted by me except the second or Narthang text, which seems to be the same book referred to by Pander.10 The Pekin work translated by Pander and dating from 1800 A.D., seems to have been a compilation from the above sources in regard to those particular deities most favoured by the Chinese and Mongolian Lamas, though the descriptions with the Pekin list are often meagre and frequently different in many details compared with the earlier work of Z'a-lu.'11 Another book, also, it would seem, printed in China, was obtained by Mr. Rockhill.12

I cannot attempt, at least at present, to give any satisfactory classification of such a disorderly mob, but I have compiled from the foregoing sources a rough general descriptive list, so as to give a somewhat orderly glimpse into this chaotic crowd of gods, demons, and deified saints.

Arranged in what appears to be the order of their rank, from above downwards, the divinities seem to fall under the following seven classes: —

1. Buddhas. — Celestial and human.

2. Bodhisats. — Celestial and human, including Indian saints and apotheosized Lamas.

3. Tutelaries. — Mostly demoniacal.

4. Defenders of the Faith, and Witches (Dakkini).

5. Indian Brahmanical gods, godlings, and genii.

6. Country gods (yul-lha) and guardians (srun-ma), and Local gods.

7. Personal gods, or familiars.

The tutelaries, however, overlap the classes above them as well as the next one below, and some of the "guardians" are superior to the Indian gods. The first four classes, excepting their human members, are mostly immortal,14 while the remainder are within the cycle of re-births.

Before giving the list of these various divinities, and descriptive details of the images of the more important ones, let us look at the typical forms and attitudes, the material, and methods of execution of images in general.

The immense numbers of images abounding in Tibet are not confined to the temples, but are common in the houses of the laity, in the open air, as talismans in amulet-boxes, and painted or printed as screens, and on the title-pages of books, and as charms, etc.

The artists are almost exclusively Lamas, though a few of the best idols in Lhasa are made by Newari artisans from Nepal, who are clever workers in metal and wood. Some also are painted by lay-artists, but such images must be consecrated by Lamas in order to be duly efficacious as objects of worship, for most of the images are credited with being materially holy, like fetishes, and capable of hearing and answering prayers. The mode of executing the images, as regards the materials, the auspicious times to commence the image, and to form the most essential parts, such as the eyes, are all duly defined in the scriptures, whose details are more or less strictly observed. Many of the more celebrated idols are believed by the people and the more credulous Lamas to be altogether miraculous in origin— "self-formed," or fallen from heaven ready fashioned.15

The images are executed in various ways: as statues or bas-reliefs (sku) and medallions, and as pictures (sku-t'an or z'al-t'an).16 The statues are sometimes of colossal size,17 especially those of Maitreya, or "The coming Buddha," which are occasionally rock- cut; but most are less than life-size.

Of statues the most common form is the plastic,18 all of which are gilt or coloured. They are often cast, as bas-reliefs, in moulds, and are formed of coarse papier-mache, or clay, bread- dough, compressed incense, or variously-tinted butter,19 and the larger ones have a central framework of wood. The plastic image or moulded positive is then dried in the sun — excepting, of course, those made of butter, -- and it is afterwards painted or gilt.

The gilt-copper images20 are more prized. The costly ones are inlaid with rubies, turquoises, and other precious stones. Less common are those of bell-metal,21 while the poorer people are content with images of brass or simple copper. Wooden images22 are not common, and stone images23 are least frequent of all, and are mostly confined to the shallow bas-reliefs on slabs, or rock-cut on cliffs. Internal organs of dough or clay are sometimes inserted into the bodies of the larger images, but the head is usually left empty; and into the more valued ones are put precious stones and filings of the noble metals, and a few grains of consecrated rice, a scroll bearing "the Buddhist creed," and occasionally other texts, booklets, and relics. These objects are sometimes mixed with the plastic material, but usually are placed in the central cavity, the entrance to which, called "the charm-place,"24 is sealed up by the consecrating Lama.25 And the image is usually veiled by a silken scarf.26

Amitayus. (Gilt-copper from Lhasa.)

Here also may be mentioned the miniature funereal images or caityas, moulded of clay or dough, with or without the addition of relics,27 and corresponding to the dharma-sarira of the Indian stupas, and mentioned by Hiuen Tsiang in the seventh century A.D. Small consecrated medallions of clay are also given by the Dalai and Tashi Grand Lamas to donors of largess, in return for their gifts, one of which is figured as a tail-piece on page 304.

Guardian King of the South. Virudhaka.

The pictures are mostly paintings, seldom uncoloured drawings, and many of them are of considerable artistic merit. The style and technique are, in the main, clearly of Chinese origin. This is especially seen in the conventional form of clouds, water, etc., though the costumes are usually Tibetan, when not Indian. The eye of the Buddhas and the more benign Bodhisats is given a dreamy look by representing the upper eyelid as dented at its centre like a cupid's bow, but I have noticed this same peculiarity in mediaeval Indian Buddhist sculptures.

The paintings are usually done on cloth, frescoes28 being mostly confined to the mural decoration of temples. The colours are very brilliant and violently contrasted, owing to the free use of crude garish pigments, but the general colour effect in the deep gloom of the temple, or when the painting is toned down by age, is often pleasing.

The cloth used is canvas or cotton — seldom silk. It is prepared by stretching it while damp over a wooden frame, to which the margin of the cloth is stitched; and its surface is then smeared over with a paste of lime and flour, to which a little glue is sometimes added. On drying, its surface is rubbed smooth and slightly polished by a stone, and the drawing is then outlined either by hand with a charcoal crayon, or, in the more technical subjects, by a stencil-plate consisting of a sheet of paper in which the pattern is perforated by pin-holes, through which charcoal dust is sifted.

The lines are then painted in with Chinese ink, and the other colours, which are usually crude pigments imported from China or India. The colours are simply mixed with hot thin glue, and as the picture is unvarnished, Lamaist paintings are especially subject to injury by damp.

On completion, the artist puts a miniature figure of himself in a corner at the bottom in an adoring attitude. The painting is then cut out of its rough easel-frame, and it has borders sewn on to it, consisting of strips of coloured silk or brocade, and it is mounted on rollers with brazen ends, somewhat after the manner of a map or a Japanese Kakemono.29 But it is not so elongated as the latter, nor is it so artistically mounted or finished.

The mounted Tibetan painting has a tricoloured cloth border of red, yellow, and blue from within outwards, which is alleged to represent the spectrum colours of the rainbow, which separates sacred objects from the material world. The outer border of blue is broader than the others, and broadest at its lowest border, where it is usually divided by a vertical patch of brocade embroidered with the dragons of the sky.

A veil is usually added as a protection against the grimy smoke of incense, lamps and dust. The veil is of flimsy silk, often adorned with sacred symbols, and it is hooked up when the picture is exhibited.

Now we are in a position to consider the detailed description of the images. The various forms of images fall into characteristic types, which, while mainly anthropomorphic, differ in many ways as regards their general form, attitude, features, dress, emblems, etc., yet all are constructed, according to a special canon, so that there is no difficulty in distinguishing a Buddhist image from a Brahmanical or a Jain.

The forms of images differ broadly, as regards the general type or mode of the image, the posture of the body (sedent or otherwise), and the attitude in which the hands are held, the number of arms, which are emblematic of power, and the symbols or insignia which they bear, as signifying their functions.

The general type of Buddha's image is well-known. It is that of a mendicant monk, without any ornaments and with tonsured hair, and it is also extended to most of the mythical Buddhas. It is called the Muni or saint-type,30 and it is usually represented upon a lotus-flower, the symbol of divine birth.

Extra to this type, the three others most common are: —

1st. "The Mild" calm form (Z'i-wa31) or Bodhisat type.

2nd. "The Angry" type (T'o-wo32), of the "Howler" (Rudra and Marut), or Storm-deity of Vedic times.

3rd. "The Fiercest" fiend type (Drag-po or Drag-s'e33); a fiercer form of No. 2, and including the "lord"-fiends.34

These latter two types are confined mainly to Tantrik Buddhism, which, as with Tantrik Hinduism, gives each divinity a double or treble nature with corresponding aspects. In the quiescent state the deity is of the mild Bodhisat type; in the active he is of the Angry or Fiercest-fiend type. Thus the Bodhisat Manjusri, the God of Wisdom, in his ordinary aspect is a "Mild" deity (Z'i-wa)' as "The Fearful Thunderbolt" (Bhairava-vajra), he is an "Angry" deity (T'o-wo); and as "The six-faced dreadful King-demon,"35 he is of "The Fiercest Fiend" type (Drag-po).36

To avoid unnecessary repetition in the detailed descriptions, it seems desirable to give here a general note on these typical mild and demoniacal aspects, and also on the attitudes of the body and of the fingers.

Amitayus. The Buddha of Boundless Life.

The "Mild" (Z'i-wa) deities are of what has been called by some European writers "the Bodhisat type." They are figured as young handsome Indian princes and princesses, seated usually on lotus thrones, and are thus described by Z'a-lu: The figure looks proud, youthful, beautiful37 and refined. The body emits a halo of innumerable rays of light, figured as radiating wavy lines, with tremulous lines alternating. The dress is of the Indian style, with one silk shawl for the lower limbs, and one for the upper, a head ornament (or crown) of precious things, an ear-ring, a close-fitting necklace, and a doshal or garland reaching down to the thigh, and a Semondo or shorter garland reaching to the navel, an armlet, wristlet, bracelet, anklet, girdle (ok- pags), and a sash (dar- 'p'yan) with fringes. The above ornaments are accounted thirteen. The hair of the gods is dressed up into a high cone named ral-pa'-t'or- tshugs, and the forehead usually bears the tilak or auspicious mark. The goddesses are given a graceful form with slender waist and swelling breasts, and their hair is dressed into plaits which lie on the hinder part of the neck, and they beam with smiles.

The She-Devil DEVI. T., Lha-mo.

The "Angry" type (To-wo) is terrible in its elaborate ugliness, with disproportionately large head,38 scowling brows, and cruel, callous eyes, and usually with a third eye in the centre of the forehead.39 Z'a-lu describes them as fat, brawny-limbed, and menacing in attitude, standing or half-seated upon some animal, their lips agape, showing their great canine fangs, and rolling tongue; their wolfish eyes are glaring, the beards, eyebrows, and hair are either yellow, red, reddish-yellow, or greyish-yellow, and the hair is erect, with occasionally a fringe of curls on the forehead, believed by some to represent coiled snakes. The females, as in the annexed figure,40 except for their full breasts and the absence of beards, do not differ in appearance from the males.

All these fiends have six ornaments of human bones, namely (1) ear ornament, (2) necklet, (3) armlet, (4) bracelet, (5) anklet (but some have snake-bracelets and anklets), and (6) a garland of circular bodies fixed to bone-heads (seralkha), and corresponding to the semodo of the Z'i-wa, and occasionally they have a doshal garland. The foregoing is according to the Indian canon, but the Tibetan style enumerates for them thirteen ornaments, namely: (1) the raw hide of an elephant, as an upper covering, (2) skins of human corpses as a lower garment, (3) a tigerskin inside the latter, (4) Brahma's thread (ts'an-skud), (5 to 10) the six bone ornaments above noted, (11) Tilak mark on forehead, of blood, (12) Grease (Z'ag) on either side of mouth, and (13) ashes smeared over body.

The "Fiercest" Fiends— (Drag-po and Gon-po) closely resemble the above "Angry Deities." They have usually chaplets of skulls encircled by tongues of flames; and they tread upon writhing victims and prostrate bodies.

Sakya in Meditation

As regards the Postures of the images, the chief sedent postures, and especially characteristic of the several forms of Buddha himself, and secondarily of the celestial Buddhas and Bodhisats are as follows: —

(1) "The adamantine, unchangeable, or fixed pose" (Skt., Vajra (?) Palana41) sedent in the well-known cross-legged Buddha posture. The legs are locked firmly and the soles directed fully upwards. This is the pose of deepest meditation, hence it is also called, when the hands lie loosely in the lap, the "Dhyana or meditative mudra."

(2) "The Bodhisat-pose" (Skt., Satva (?) palana42) differs from No. 1 in having the legs looser and unlocked. The soles are scarcely seen. This is the pose of first emergence from meditation.

(3) "The sub-active pose" (Skt. (?) Niyampalana)43 is emerged farther from meditation. It has the legs unlocked, the left being quite under the right, and the soles invisible.

(4) "The Enchanter's pose" (Skt., Lalita44), i.e., after the manner of "The Enchanter" Manjusri. Here the right leg hangs down with an inclination slightly inwards and the left is loosely bent.

(5) Maitreya's pose.45 Sedent in the European style with both legs pendant.

The Five Celestial Jinas (or Buddhas). Amogha-siddi. Amitabha. Vairocana. Akshobhya. Ratna-sambhava.

The chief attitudes of the hands and fingers (mudras46) are the following, and most are illustrated in the figures: —

1. "Earth-touching,"' or the so-called "Witness" attitude (Skt.. Bhusparsa47). with reference to the episode under the Tree of Wisdom, when Sakya Muni called the Earth as his witness, in his temptation by Mara. It affects only the right hand, which is pendant with the knuckles to the front. It is the commonest of all the forms of the sedent Buddha, and almost the only form found in Burma and Ceylon. It is also given to the celestial Buddha Akshobhya, as seen in the figure on the preceding page.

2. "The Impartial" (Skt., Samahitan48), or so-called "meditative posture" (Skt., Samadhi49). Resting one hand over the other in the lap in the middle line of the body, with the palms upwards, as in Amitabha Buddha (see the attached figure).

3. "The best Perfection" (Skt., Uttara-bodhi50). Index-finger and thumb of each hand are joined and held almost in contact with the breast at the level of the heart, as in the celestial Buddha Vairocana in the figure on the opposite page.

4. "Turning the Wheel of the Law" (Skt., Dharma-cakra51). Dogmatic attitude with right index-finger turning down fingers of left hand, figured at page 134.

5. "The best Bestowing" (Skt., Varada52). It signifies charity. The arm is fully extended, and the hand is directed downwards with the outstretched palm to the front, as in "the Jewel-born" Buddha Ratnasambhava, who is figured on the opposite page.

6. "The Protecting," or "Refuge-giving" (Skt., Saran53). With arm bent and palm to front, and pendant with fingers directed downwards, as in No. 5.

7. "The Blessing of Fearlessness (Skt. ? Abhaya). The arm is elevated and slightly bent. The hand elevated with the palm to the front, and the fingers directed upwards, as in Amogha-siddha Buddha, figured over page. It is also the pose in the episode of the mad elephant.

8. "The Preaching"54 differs from No. 7 in having the thumb bent, and when the thumb touches the ring-finger it is called "The triangular55 (pose), see figure on page 5.

9. "The Pointing Finger."56 A necromantic gesture in bewitching, peculiar to later Tantrism.

The halo, or nimbus, around the head is subelliptical, and never acuminate like the leaf of the piped or Bodhi tree (Ficus religiosa). The fierce deities have their halo bordered by flames (see figure page 330). An additional halo is often represented as surrounding the whole body, as figured at pages 333 and 335. This consists of the six coloured rays of light, and it is conventionally represented by wavy gilt lines with small tremulous lines alternating.

Colour, too, is frequently an index to the mood. Thus, white and yellow complexions usually typify mild moods, while the red, blue and black belong to fierce forms, though sometimes light blue, as indicating the sky, means merely celestial. Generally the gods are pictured white, goblins red, and the devils black, like their European relative.

The Buddhas and other divinities, as well as the superior devils, are figured upon a lotus-flower, a symbol of divinity. The lotus-flower, on which the Buddhas and mild divinities are figured, is the red lotus (Nelumbium speciosum); while the fiercer divinities, including frequently Avalokita, and all those demons who are entitled to lotus-cushions, should have a pinkish variety of the white lotus (Nymphoea esculenta), the petals of which are much notched or divided, so as to resemble somewhat the Acanthus in Corinthian capitals. The blue lotus is the special flower of Tara, but it is conventionally represented by the Lamas as different from the Utpal (Nymphoea sp.), as figured on the opposite page.

TABLE SHOWING The Surmounting JINAS in Buddhist Images.

JINAS. / Vairocana. / Akshobhya. / Ratnasambhava. / Amitabba. / Amoghasiddha.

Surmounted BUDDHAS. / Maitreya / Muni-vajrasan / -- / Amitayus / Maitreya

Surmounted BODHISATS. / ? Samantabhadra; Prajna-paramita (pita); Vetuda-Marici; Mahasahasran; Vijaya; Pita-Vijaya; Sita-Ushnisha / Vajra-pani; Mamju-ghosha (adhicakra); Jnanasattva; Manjusri; Sita; Prajna-paramita / Ratna-pani; Pita Jambhala; Pita Vaisra-vana; Vasudhara; "Kan-wa-bhadra" / Avalokita; Padma-pani; Tara / Visva-pani

Surmounted Krodha-fiends / -- / Kala-Yamari; Sasmuka-Yama; Kala-Jambhala; Acala-Khroda-raja; Ri-khra-loma- gyon mar; "Hun mdsad" Khroda raja / "San-nags rje 'dsin-ma"; Maha-pratyan-gira / Rakta-yakiha / Hayagriva; Krodha Avalokita Pita Brikuti (?' ... Kalpa); Kuru-kulle; "rTogs-pa las-junwa-Kuru-kulla"; "gsilba tsal ch'en-mo" / Kuru-kulle; Maha-Mayuri

Lotuses and other flowers of conventional form: utpa57; Blue Lotus; White Lotus; Asok; Naga-tree

A remarkable feature of most Tantrik Buddhist images is the frequent presence of a Buddha seated on the head of the image or amidst the hair. The existence of such surmounting images in the Tantrik Buddhist sculptures of India was noted by Dr. Buchanan-Hamilton in his survey of Bihar57 at the beginning of this century, but since his time the subject has attracted only the merest incidental notice of writers on Indian Buddhist antiquities,58 who seem to have considered all such images to be figures only of Avalokita, because Hiuen Tsiang mentioned that a certain image of Avalokita had Amitabha seated in his hair.

As the subject is interesting, and of some importance, I give in the table the results of my study of a large series of Lamaist pictures containing such figures, and descriptions of others extracted from the works of Pandits "gZ'onnu" Gupta, Sritari, Kalamtara, Lhan-skyes rolwa-kun-rigs, and Bhavaskandha.

The surmounting image represents the spiritual father of the particular Bodhisat or deity; and he nearly always is one or other of the five Jinas, as the Tibetans term them,59 or the Buddhas of Meditation (Dhydni-Buddha), as they are called by the Nepalese Buddhists. In a few cases the coming-Buddha Maitreya is figured with Sakya Muni on his head, as indicating spiritual succession rather than parental relationship, but it is the latter which is the rule.

Occasionally the surmounting Jinas are represented by their mystic emblems of a wheel, vajra, jewel, lotus, or visva-vajra, as will be described presently. Thus Ratnasambhava is usually represented by a jewel on the head of his spiritual reflex Jambhala, the god of wealth. And it is to be noted that when, as often happens, the image is surrounded by figures of the five Jinas in an arc outside the halo, then its own special surmounting parent occupies the central position in that arc, whilst the others are placed two on each side at a lower level.

English Name. / Tibetan. / Sanskrit.

1. (a) a pike; (b) a trident / (a) K'atvan; (b) K'a- 'tvan- rtse-gsum / (a) khatvanga; (b) trisula
2. hand-drum / Da-ma-ru / damaru
3. chisel-knife / Gri-gug / kartrika
4. thunderbolt / rDo-rje / vajra
5. cross-thunderbolt / sNa-ts'ogs rdo-rje / visva-vajra
6. rosary / Pren-ba / mala
7. (a) Lotus-flower (white or red); (b) blue lotus60; (c) Asoka-flower60; (d) "Naga's tree" (cactus or coral)60 / (a) Pad-ma; (b) Ut-pal; (c) Mya-nan-med pahi-shin; (d) kLu-shin / (a) padma; (b) utpal; (c) asoka; (d) naga-taru
8. (a) alarm-staff; (b) begging bowl / (a) 'K'ar-gail; (b) 'Lun-bzed / (a) hikile, or khakhara; (b) patra  
9. wish-granting gem / (Yid bz'in) Norbu / (cinta-) mani
10. flames / Me-ris / --
11. snare61 / z'ags-pa / pasa
12. bell / dril-bu / ghanta
13. wheel / 'K'or-lo / cakra
14. skull-cup / T'od-k'rag / kapala
15. thunderbolt-dagger / p'ur-bu / phurbu(?)
16. spear / gDun / --
17. club / Be-con / gada
18. dirk or dagger / 'Chu-gri / --
19. sword / Ral-gri / adi
20. axe / dGra-sta / parasu (?)
21. hammer / T'o-ba mt'o-ba / mudgara
22. iron-goad / lC'ags-kyu / --
23. mace / Ben / --
24. thigh-bone trumpet / rKan-dun / --
25. conch-shell trumpet / Dun / sankha
26. iron-chain / lChags-sgrog / --
27. skeleton-staff / dByug-pa / --
28. See No. 1 (a) / -- / --
29. (a) water-pot; (b) anointing vase; (c) fly-whisk; (d) banner / (a) Bum-pa; (b) sPyi-glugs; (c) rna-yab; (d) rGyal-mts'an / (a) kalasa; (b) --; (c) chauri; (d) dhvaja

Insignia and Weapons of the Gods, etc.

The objects or insignia which the several figures hold in their hands refer to their functions. Thus, Manjushri, the god of wisdom, wields the sword of the truth in dissipating the darkness of ignorance, and in his left he carries the book of Wisdom upon a Lotus-flower, thus symbolizing its supernatural origin; and he rides upon a roaring lion to typify the powerfully penetrating voice of the Law.

The chief of these insignia and other objects held in the hands of the images are shown in the foregoing illustration62 and are as follows; the numbers in this list correspond to those in the figures.

We now can look into the details of the principal members of the pantheon.

The vast multitude of deities forming the Lamaist pantheon is, as already mentioned, largely created by embodying under different names the different aspects of a relatively small number of divinities with changing moods. Such expressed relationship, however, seems occasionally a gratuitous device of the Lamas in order to bring some of their indigenous Tibetan deities into relationship with the earlier and more orthodox celestial Bodhisats of Indian Buddhism. But the various forms have now all become stereotyped, and even a trivial difference in title yields a different form of image. Thus the images of "Maitreya" and "Bhrikuti" differ much from those of "Bhadraka Maitreya" and "Arya Bhrikuti." And different writers differ in some of the minor details in their description of some of these stereotyped forms. Thus we have images described as "in the fashion of Nagarjuna," or of some one or other celebrated Indian monk or Lama.

First in our classification come the Buddhas, human and celestial.

I. The Buddhas.

The innumerable forms of the Buddhas, the fabulous terrestrial, the celestial and metaphysical, are all, with a few exceptions, based upon the five conventional attitudes ascribed to the historical Buddha, as marking the chief episodes of his Buddhahood. And of these "the Witness attitude" is in Tibet, as in Indian and southern Buddhism, the most common. Additional varieties are obtained by giving to these images different colours, ornaments, and symbols. Almost all are sedent in the well-known cross-legged attitude of Buddha's image; few are standing, and the recumbent or dying posture is very rarely seen in Tibet.

The typical Buddha is conventionally represented as a man of the most perfect form and beauty.63 The face, usually of Aryan type and unbearded, wears a placid and benign expression. The head is bare, and the hair roughly tonsured and curly,64 with a protuberance65 on the crown or vertex upon which is sometimes represented a diadem.66 He is clad in mendicant's garb, without any jewellery. The shawl67 usually leaves the right shoulder bare, except when representing him preaching or walking abroad in public. He sits under the pipal-tree, the "Tree of Wisdom," upon a cushion of lotus-flowers set upon a throne covered by a mat,68 supported by lions or other animals, as a sort of heraldic shield. And the throne is sometimes surmounted by a framework bearing at its sides the figures of a rampant lion trampling upon an elephant, and surmounted by a "water-lion,"69 topped by a garuda-bird as the centre-piece or keystone of the arch.

1. Sakya Muni Bhagavan.

T., S'akya-t'ub-pa bc'om-ldan 'das.

This typical form of the Buddha is figured as at page 6, but the right hand should be in the pose of Akshobhya at page 336. It represents Sakya Muni at the greatest epoch of his life, namely, under the "Tree of Wisdom," at the instant of his attaining his Buddhahood. He has the general characters of a Buddha as already described. He has a golden complexion, with tonsured indigo-coloured hair, and wears the three robes of a religious mendicant, without any ornaments. He sits in "the indestructible" pose, with right hand in "witness attitude," and sometimes a begging-bowl rests on his lap. He is seated upon a cushion of sacrificial grass,70, set upon a lion-supported lotus-throne at the spot at Buddh-Gaya, in Gangetic India, afterwards called "the adamantine throne."71 In this, his final struggle for the Truth, the powers of darkness which assailed him are concretely represented as Mara, the demon of Desire, and his minions, and the "three fires" of desire are still pictured as being above him.

Mara denies the good deeds in this and former lives, which qualified Sakya Muni for the Buddhahood, and calls upon him to produce his witness. Whereupon the embryo Buddha touches the ground and instantly the old mother Earth, Dharitri or Dharti Mata,72 appears riding upon a tortoise (symbolic of the earth), bearing in her hand a "pantsa" garland, and she addresses the saint, saying, "I am your Witness," — hence the name of this attitude of Buddha, the "Earth-touching" or "Witness." The legend goes on to relate that the earth-spirit, wringing her hair, caused a huge river to issue therefrom, which swept away Mara and his hordes. This episode of wringing the hair and the destruction of Mara and his minions is frequently depicted in Burmese temples; and the custom amongst the Burmese of pouring water on the ground at the conclusion of a religious service is, I am informed by a Burmese monk, an appeal to the earth-spirit to remember and bear witness to the particular good deed when men have forgotten it.

In the larger images of this form of Buddha he is frequently figured with his two favourite disciples standing by his side, Sariputra on his right, and Maudgalyayana on his left.

This title of Bhagavan, or "The Victorious,"73 is in Tibet the frequently used of all Buddha's titles, after Sakva Muni and Tathagata.

Other recognized forms of Sakya's image are: —

(a) Sakya in the four other sedent attitudes, and the standing and dying, or the so-called "lion"-postures.

(b) Jo-wo Rin-po-che, "The Precious Lord," as a young Indian prince of sixteen.

(c) Vajrasan Muni (T'up-pa rdor-rje gdan tso-'k'or-gsun).

(d) T'ub-pa dam-ts'ig gsum-bkod (Pand., No. 86).

(e) Bhagavan ekajata (Csoma's An., p. 591).

(f) Buddha-kapala (Sans-rgyas t'od-pa: Pand., No. 69) -- a very demoniacal form.

And here also seem to come the mythological series of "The Six Muni," the presidents of the six worlds of re-birth— see "Wheel of Life.'' These appear to be identical with "The Six Jizo" of the Japanese, though the "Jizo" are usually alleged to be forms of Kshitigarbha. Here also should probably come "The King of the powerful Nagas"74 which seems to represent Buddha defended by the Naga Muchilinda, who seems to be a historic person, a helot (that is Naga) villager of Muchilinda, a hamlet which adjoins Buddh-Gaya.

2. The Seven Heroic Buddhas (of the Past)75 or Tathagatas.76

This is a fabulous arrangement of human Buddhas, for none of them are historical except the last, to wit, Sakya Muni. Yet it was of early origin, as this series of images, and each of the number with his special tree of wisdom, is found in the Stupa of Barhut, which is assigned to about 150 B.C., and they are also enumerated in the southern scripture, the Digha-nikaya.

In keeping with their imaginary character, all are given the most extravagant size and duration of earthly life.77

Their number is sometimes extended to nine. The most celebrated of the antecedent Buddhas is Dipamkara (Tib., Mar-me-mdsad), "The Luminous." This imaginary Buddha is considered by some of the Lamas to be the first of the series of the seven earthly Buddhas preceding Sakya Muni, but by the Ceylonese he is placed as the twenty-fourth predecessor.78 He is represented as the first teacher of Sakya in one of the former births of the latter, and a favourite Jataka-tale frequent in the Gandhara sculptures in the British Museum, and as a current picture in Burmah shows the self-sacrifice of the embryo Sakya Muni in throwing himself over a puddle to form a stepping-stone for the Buddha Dipamkara (Sumedh ?) — suggestive of Sir W. Raleigh's gallantry to Queen Elizabeth under somewhat similar circumstances.

Dipamkara's image, which is figured in the Vajracedika,79 is frequently perforated by innumerable sockets, into which small lamps are set. This practice is evidently suggested by the concrete rendering of his name as "the burning lamp."

The Seven Buddhas are usually enumerated as: —

1. Vipasyin (T., rNam-gzigs); hands "earth-touching" and "impartial."

2. Sikhin (T., gTsug-gtor-c'an); hands "best-bestowing" and "impartial."

3. Visvabhu (T., T'am-ch'ad-skyob); hands "meditative."

4. Krakucandra (T., K'hor-wa hjigs); hands "protecting" and "impartial."

5. Kanaka-muni (T., gSer-t'ub); hands "preaching" and "impartial."

6. Kasyapa (T., 'Od-sruns) has his right hand in "best bestowing"; and the left holds a piece of his robe resembling an animal's ear (see figure on page 5). Each is dressed in the three religious garments, and sits in the "unchangeable or adamantine" pose, or stands.

7. Sakya Muni (T., S'akya t'ub-pa) in "the preaching attitude."

"The Three Holy Ones" are seldom, if ever, concretely represented in Tibet by Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha; nor have I found such a triad figured in Indian Buddhism, though many writers have alleged the existence of them, without, however, bringing forward any proofs. A triad of large images often occupies the centre of the Lamaist altar, the central one being usually the founder of the particular sect to which the temple belongs, and the other two varying with the whim of the local Lama.


The ideal origin of the celestial Buddhas has already been referred to in the chapter on doctrine. The five celestial Buddhas were invented in the earlier theistic stage of Buddhism.

The first of the series seems to have been Amitabha, or "the Boundless Light," a title somewhat analogous to the name of the oldest of the mythical human Buddhas, "the Luminous" (Dipamkara). This metaphysical creation first appears in works about the beginning of our era, and seems to embody a sun-myth and to show Persian influence. For he was given a paradise in the west, to which all the suns hasten, and his myth seems to have arisen among the northern Buddhists when under the patronage of Indo-Scythian converts belonging to a race of sun-worshippers. Indeed, he is believed by Eitel and others to be a form of the Persian sun-god; and he was made the spiritual father of the historical Buddha.

Afterwards he was quintupled, apparently to adapt him to the theory of the five earthly Buddhas, the coming one and the four of the past, as well as to the other mystical groups of five — the five senses, the five skandhas, the five virtues, five cardinal points where the centre makes the fifth. And each one of these five celestial Buddhas was made to preside over a particular direction, as already detailed.
Images of this series of Buddhas are found amongst the lithic remains of India about the seventh century A.D., if not earlier.

In the more developed theory, tending towards monotheism, a First Great Cause, under the title of the primordial or Adi-Buddha, is placed above these five celestial Buddhas as their spiritual father and creator. And to this rank was promoted the first and central one of the metaphysical Buddhas, namely, Vairocana, "The Omni-present" or his reflex Samantabhadra, "The All Good."

These three series of Buddhas are arranged according to the mystical theory of the three bodies of Buddha (Tri kaya);80 namely, (a) the Dharma-kaya, or law-body, which has been termed "essential wisdom (Bodhi)" and is self-existent and everlasting, and represented by Adi-Buddha, (6) Sambhoga-kaya or adorned body, or reflected wisdom, represented by the celestial Jinas, and (c) Nirmana-kaya, or changeable body, or practical wisdom represented by Sakya Muni and the other human Buddhas. Though in a more mystic sense Sakya Muni is considered to be an incarnate aggregate of the reflected wisdom of all the five celestial Jinas.

But these five celestial Jinas were latterly held to unite also within themselves both the forms of metaphysical bodies, both the Dharma- kaya and the Sambhoga-kaya. Hence arose two series of their images.

The original series of these images of the strictly ascetic Buddha-type was by a materializing of the word called the religious (ascetic) or Dharma type — and such images may or may not hold begging-bowls; while the other is literally represented as "adorned bodies" (Sambhoga-kaya) in the same postures as the foregoing, but adorned with silks and jewels, and wearing crowns, like kingly Bodhisats. In this latter series, "the five Jinas" bear individually the same names as their prototypes, except the second and fourth, who are named respectively Vajrasattva (or "the indestructible or adamantine-souled") and Amitayus, or "the boundless life," instead of Akshobhya, "the immovable," and Amitabha, "the boundless light." These alternative names, however, it will be seen, empress very similar and almost synonymous ideas.

Side by side with these developments arose the theory of celestial Bodhisat sons. The celestial Jinas absorbed in meditation in heaven could hold no contact with the sordid earth, so as agents for the salvation and protection of mortal men and animals they evolved sons, who, though celestial, were given active functions on the earth.

As in the other developments, this new theory first and most firmly attached to those creations most intimately associated with the historical Buddha. His celestial father, Amitabha, evolved the celestial Bodhisat Avalokita or Padma-pani, who still remains the most popular of all the celestial Bodhisats.

But the popular craving for creative functions in their gods led, in the Tantrik stage, to the allotment of female energies to these celestial Bodhisats. Thus Tara, the goddess of Mercy, was given to Avalokita. And the extreme Tantrik development under the Kalacakra system81 awarded female energies also to each of the celestial Buddhas, and even to the primordial Adi-Buddha himself.

Thus we have celestial Buddhas and Bodhisats and their female energies. Of the celestial Buddhas there are the following series: — (1) The primordial Buddha-god, or Adi-Buddha. (2) The five celestial Victors (Jina). (3) The adorned forms of these latter, like kingly Bodhisats. (4) The Tantrik forms with energies, mostly demoniacal Buddhas. And from several of these were latterly evolved other forms with special attributes; also medical and other Buddhas.

The Primordial Buddha-God.82

As found in Lamaism, he is most actively worshipped by the old or unreformed school, under the title of "The all-good religious body."

Skt., Dharma-kaya Samantabhadra; Tib., Kun-tu bzan-po.

He is figured of a blue colour, and often naked, sitting in Buddha fashion, with his hands in the meditative pose.

The established Lamaist church gives somewhat similar functions to Vajradhara, whom, however, they regard as a sort of celestial offshoot of Sakya Muni; while others of the semi-reformed sects seem, like the Nepalese, to credit Vajrasattva with supreme power as the primordial Buddha-god.

The Five Celestial Victors or Jina.

Skt., Pancajati Jina; T., rgyal-ba rigs-lna.

These are figured on page 336[83]; and for the sake of clearness and convenience of reference, I have tabulated (see following page) the objective characters and relationships of these divinities. All the forms sit in the same Buddha-like attitude,84 but the pose of the hands is characteristic.

The technical description of their attitudes and colour is as follows: —

Akshobhya (T., Mi-skyod-pa), blue in colour, has his right hand in "witness" attitude and left in "impartial."

Vairocana (T., rNam-snan), white with hands in "best perfection" attitude.

Ratnasambhava (T., Rin-'byun), yellow, has his right hand in "bestowing" attitude, and left in "impartial."

Amitabha (T.,'Od-pag-med), red, in "meditative" (Tin-ne-'dsin) attitude.

Amogha-siddhi (T., Don-yod-grub-pa), green, has his right hand in "protecting" (skyabs-sbyin) Attitude, and left in "impartial."

Each sits in the indestructible or "adamantine" pose, and differs only from the images of the human Buddha in having no begging-bowl in the lap.

In another and more common series, each is adorned with silks and jewels like a kingly Bodhisat, see page 333.

Other Celestial Tantrik Jinas.

Table of The Objective Characters of The Five CELESTIAL BUDDHAS OR JINAS

Direction where located.85 / Names of the Jinas. / Mode of holding hands. (Mudra.) / Animal as Throne-Support. (Vahan.) / Colour. (These seem colours of the five elements, not the quarters.) / Symbolica Objects or Insignia.86 / Essential or "Germ" Spell. (Vija.) / "Adorned" Active Reflex. (Sambhogakaya) / Female Reflex (? Sangha-prajnam naya) or Energy / Bodhisat Reflex, or Spiritual Sons. (Jinaputra) / Earthly Reflex, as Buddha. (Manushi Buddha)

Central / Vairocana (rNam-par snan-mdsad) / "Teaching," or, "Turning the Wheel of the Law". Dharma-cakra.87 / Lion / White = space / Wheel, Cakra / Om / Vairocana 2nd / Vajradhatisvari (nam-mkah-dbyids-p'ug-me) / Samantabhadra (Kuntu-zan-po) / Krakucandra ('K'or-ba-'jigs)

East / Akshobhya (Mi-bskyod-pa) / "Witness," -- "touching the ground." Bhusparsa / Elephant88 / Blue = air / Thunderbolt, Vajra / Hum / Vajra-sattva (rDo-rje-sems-dpa) / Locana / Vajrapani (p'yag-rdor) / Kanaka Muni (gser-t'ub)

South / Ratnasambhava (Rin-ch'en' byun-gnas) / "Bestowing". Vara. / Horse / Golden-yellow = earth / Jewel, Ratna / Tram (or Khram) / Ratnasambhava 2nd / Mamaki / Ratnapani (p'ag-rin-ch'en) / Kasyapa ('Od-sruns)

West / Amitabha (sNan-ba mthah-yas, or, 'Od-dpag-med) / "Meditative." Dhyana / Peacock / Red = light / Red Lotus, Rakta-padma / Hri / Amitayus (Tse-dpag-med) / ? Pandara or Sita (gos-d Kar-mo) / Avalokita -- the common title of Padma-pavi (sbyan ras-zigs) / Sakya Muni (S'akya-t'ub-pa)89

North / Amogha-siddhi (Don-yod-'grub-pa) / "Blessing of Fearlessness." Abhaya / "Shang-shang," a winged dwarf = ? Kinnara / Green = water / Cross Thunderbolt, Visva-vajra / A / Amogha-siddhi 2nd / ... Tara (dam-ts'ig-sgrol-ma) / Visvapani (p'ag na-ts'og) / Maitreya (Byam-pa)

N.B. -- The Sanskrit names are in italics and the Tibetan equivalents in brackets.

Another series of celestial Buddhas was formed by adorning the five Jinas with a crown, silks, and jewels, like a kingly Bodhisat, of "the mild deity" type. Of these the best known are Amitayus, Vajradhara, and Vajrasattva.

"The Buddha of Infinite or Eternal Life," Skt., Amitayus or Aparimitayus; Tib., Ts'e-dpag-med. He is, as figured at pages 329 and 333, of the same form as his prototype Amitabha Buddha, but he is adorned with the thirteen ornaments, and he holds on his lap the vase of life-giving ambrosia.

Other forms of Amitayus are the four-handed white A., the red A., the King A., Tantracarya A., and Ras-ch'un's A.

The following two divinities, esoteric so-called, are accorded by the Lamas the position of Buddhas, though they are Bodhisat-reflexes from or metamorphoses of Akshobhya, and they both resemble in many ways their relative and probable prototype Vajrapani: —

"The Adamantine or Indestructible-souled." (Skt., Vajrasattva; T., rDor-je dSems-pa), The Everlasting.

"The Indestructible or Steadfast holder.'' Skt., Vajradhara; T., rDorje 'Ch'an).

He is figured at page 61, and holds a vajra and a bell. In the exoteric cults he is called "the concealed lord" (Guhya-pati, T., San- bahi'dag-po). He is a metamorphosis of Indra, and, like him, presides over the eastern quarter, and he seems the prototype of most of those creatures which may be called demon-Buddhas. And though, as above noted, the established church regards this Buddha as a reflex from Sakya Muni himself, it also views him as the presiding celestial Buddha, analogous to the Adi-Buddha of the old school.90

Some Tantrik forms of Amogha-siddha, etc., are: —

Don-yod z'ags-pa (Pa., 96).

Don-yod z'ags-pa sna-ts'ogs dban-po.

Don-yod lc'ags-kyu.

Don-yod mch'od-pa'i nor-bu.

Other forms of celestial Buddhas and Bodhisats are: —

rDo-rje mi-k'rugs-pa (Pa., No. 87).

Vajraadhatu: rdor-dbyins (Pa., No. 77).

rNam-snan mnon-byan (Pa., No. 83).

Vajragarbha Jina: rGyal-ba rDo-rje snin-po.

Vajragarbha rin-c'hen-'od-'p'ro.

Surasena Jina: rGyal-ba dpa'bo'i-sde, etc., etc.

(See Pa., p. 71 for about thirty more), and cf. Butsu dzo-dsui, p. 62, for "the Secret Buddhas of the 30 days."
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Re: The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults

Postby admin » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:21 am

Part 2 of 3

Demoniacal Buddhas.

The later Tantrik forms include many demoniacal Buddhas: —

Guhya-Kala (T., gSan-'dus).

Buddha Kapala, Sans-rgyas t'od-pa (Pand., No. 69).

Vajrasana-mula, rDo-rje gdan-bzhi (Pand., No. 70), etc.

The special relationships of the Buddhas to certain fiends is seen in the foregoing table of surmounting Jinas.

The Thirty-five Buddhas of Confession.

These imaginary Buddhas or Tathagatas are invoked in the so-called Confession of Sins.91 Their images are evolved by giving different colours to the Buddhas in the five elementary sedent attitudes. And they, together with "the thousand Buddhas,"92 may be considered as concrete representations of the titles of the historical human Buddha.

The Highest Healers and Medical Tathagatas. (T., sMan-bla-bde-gs'egs brgyad.)

This is a very popular form of Buddha as "The supreme physician," or Buddhist AEsculapius, and is probably founded upon the legend of the metaphysical Bodhisat, "The medicine-king" (Bhaisajyaraja), who figures prominently in several of the northern scriptures as the dispenser of spiritual medicine. The images are worshipped almost as fetishes, and cure by sympathetic magic. The first of the series, namely, the beryl, or Beduriya Buddha, is also extremely popular in Japan under the title of "The lord Binzuru " (Binzura Sama), a corruption evidently, it seems to me, of the Indian word "Beduriya," although the Japanese themselves93 believe it to be derived from Bharadhvaja, one of the sixteen Arhats.

These AEsculapic Buddhas are much worshipped in Tibet, in ritual by pictures, seldom by images as in Japan, where, as the latter are so much consulted by the people, and also doubtless owing to their essentially un-Buddhist character, they are usually placed outside the central shrine. The supplicant, after bowing and praying, rubs his finger over the eye, ear, knee, or the particular part of the image corresponding to the patient's own affected spot, and then applies the finger carrying this hallowed touch to the afflicted spot. The constant friction and rubbing of this rude worship is rather detrimental to the features of the god.

This group of medical Buddhas is figured in Schlagintweit's atlas, but erroneously under the title of "Maitreya." They are: —

1. Sans-rgyas sman-gyi bla Bedurya'i 'Od-Kyi rgyal-po, or, "King of beryl-light, the supreme physician Buddha." Like all of the series, he is of Buddha-like form, garb, and sedent attitude. He is indigo- coloured; his right hand is in mch'og-sbyin pose, and in his palm he holds the golden Arura fruit (myrobalans). His left hand is in mnam- bz'ag pose, and holds a begging-bowl of Bai-dur-ya (beryl-stone). Cf. Butsu Yakushi in Butsu-dzo-dsui, p. 26; Schf., Leben, 84; Pand., No. 142.

2. mNon-mk'yen-rgyal-po is red in colour, with hands in mch'og- sbyin and mnam-bz'ag pose. Cf. Pand., No. 141.

3. Ch'os-sgrags-rgya-mts'o'i-dbyans is red in colour, with hands in mch'og-sbyin and mnam-bz'ag pose. Cf. Pand., No. 140.

4. Mya-nan-med-mch'og-dpal is light red in colour, with both hands in mnam-bz'ag pose. Cf. Pand., No. 139.

5. gSer-bzan-dri-med is yellowish-white in colour, with right hand in ch'os-'ch'ad mudra, and his left in mnam-bz'ag pose. Cf. Pand., No. 138.

6. Rin-ch'en-zla-wa (or sgra-dbyans) is yellow-red in colour; his right hand is in ch'os-'ch'ad, and his left in mnam-bz'ag pose. Cf. Pand., No. 137.

7. mtsh'an-legs yons-grags dpal is yellow in colour. His right hand is in ch'os-'ch'ad, and his left in mnam-bz'ag pose. Cf. Pand., No. 136.

And in the centre of the group is placed, as the eighth, the image of Sakya Muni.

In this relation it is rather curious to note that some celebrated Europeans have come to be regarded as Buddhas. "The common dinner-plates of the Tibetans, when they use any, are of tin, stamped in the centre with an effigy of some European celebrity. In those which I examined I recognized the third Napoleon, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and Mr. Gladstone, all supposed by the natives to represent Buddhas of more or less sanctity."94

II. Bodhisats (Celestial).

These are the supernatural Bodhisats, the active reflexes from the relatively impassive celestial Buddhas. The human Bodhisats, or the saints, are referred by me to the end of the pantheon, though the Lamas usually place them above the dii minores, and many of them next to the celestial Bodhisats themselves.

The Lamas head the list with the metaphysical Bodhisat of wisdom, Manjusri; but following what appears to be the order of development of these divinities, I commence with Maitreya, the coming Buddha, who, indeed, is the only Bodhisat known to primitive Buddhism and to the so-called "southern" Buddhists of the present day, the Burmese, Ceylonese, and Siamese; though the Lamas place him fourth or later in their lists, giving priority to the especially active Bodhisats which the Mahayana created, the mythical Manjusri, Vajrapani, and Avalokita, whom they have made their defensores fidei of Lamaism, with the title of "The three lords"95 and given functions somewhat like the analogous triad of Brahmanism, Brahma, Siva and Vishnu.

The female Bodhisats, Tara, etc., are given towards the end of the list, though they might more naturally have been placed beside their consorts.

Maitreya, "The loving one," the coming Buddha or Buddhist Messiah. T., Byams-pa (pr. "Jam-pa" or "Cham-pa.")

He is usually represented adorned like a prince,96 and sitting on a chair in European fashion with legs down, teaching the law.97 He is at present believed to be in the Tushita heaven. His image is frequently rock-carved or built in colossal form several storeys high in Tibet, as he is credited with gigantic size.

Manjusri or Manjughosha, "The sweet-voiced," the god of wisdom or Buddhist Apollo, and figured at page 12. T., 'Jam- pahi dbyans (pr. Jam-yang).

He is Wisdom deified, and seems a purely metaphysical creation unconnected with any of his later namesakes amongst the Buddhist monks in the fourth or fifth centuries of our era, or later. His chief function is the dispelling of ignorance. He presides over the law, and with his bright sword of divine knowledge98 cuts all knotty points, and carries in his left the bible of transcendental Wisdom, the Prajna-paramita, placed upon a lotus-flower.99 He is the especial patron of astrology.

Astronomers and astrologers were not always so distinct. For most of human history the one encompassed the other. But there came a time when astronomy escaped from the confines of astrology. The two traditions began to diverge in the life and mind of Johannes Kepler. It was he who demystified the heavens by discovering that a physical force lay behind the motions of the planets. He was the first astrophysicist and the last scientific astrologer.

The intellectual foundations of astrology were swept away 300 years ago, and yet astrology is still taken seriously by a great many people. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to find a magazine on astrology? Virtually every newspaper in America has a daily column on astrology. Almost none of them have even a weekly column on astronomy. People wear astrological pendants, check their horoscopes before leaving the house, even our language preserves an astrological consciousness. For example, take the word "disaster." It comes from the Greek for "bad star." The Italians once believed that disease was caused by the influence of the stars. It's the origin of our word "influenza." The zodiacal signs used by the astrologers even ornament this statue of Prometheus in New York City. Prometheus who stole fire from the gods.

What is all this astrology business? Fundamentally, it's the contention that which constellations the planets are in at the moment of your birth profoundly influence your future. A few thousand years ago the idea developed that the motions of the planets determine the fates of kings, dynasties, empires. Astrologers studied the motion of the planets and asked themselves what had happened last time, let's say, that Venus was rising in the constellation of the goat? Maybe something similar would happen this time as well. It was a subtle and risky business. Astrologers became employed only by the state. In many countries, it became a capital offense for anyone but the official astrologer to read the portents in the skies. Why? Because a good way to overthrow a regime was to predict its downfall. Chinese court astrologers who made inaccurate predictions were executed. Others simply doctored the record so that afterwards they were in perfect conformity with events. Astrology developed into a strange discipline, a mixture of careful observations, mathematics and record keeping with fuzzy thinking and pious fraud.

Nevertheless, astrology survived and flourished. Why? Because it seems to lend a cosmic significance to the routine of our daily lives. It pretends to satisfy our longing to feel personally connected to the universe. Astrology suggests a dangerous fatalism. If our lives are controlled by a set of traffic signals in the sky, why try to change anything?

Look at this. Here's two different newspapers published in the same city on the same day. Let's see what they do about astrology. Suppose you were a Libra, that is born between September 23 and October 22. According to the astrologer for the New York Post, compromise will help ease tension. Well, maybe, it's sort of vague. According to the New York Daily News' astrologer, demand more of yourself. Well, also vague, but also pretty different. It's interesting that these predictions are not predictions. They tell you what to do, they don't say what's going to happen. They are consciously designed to be so vague that they could apply to anybody, and they disagree with each other.

Astrology can be tested by the lives of twins. There are many real cases like this. One twin is killed in childhood, in say a riding accident, or is struck by lightning, but the other lives to a prosperous old age. Suppose that happened to me. My twin and I would be born precisely in the same place and within minutes of each other. Exactly the same planets would be rising at our births. If astrology were valid, how could we have such profoundly different fates? It turns out that astrologers can't even agree among themselves what a given horoscope means. In careful tests, they are unable to predict the character and future of people they know nothing else about except the time and place of birth. Also, how could it possibly work? How could the rising of Mars at the moment of my birth affect me, then or now? I was born in a closed room. Light from Mars couldn't get in. The only influence of Mars which could affect me is its gravity, but the gravitational influence of the obstetrician was much larger than the gravitational influence of Mars. Mars is a lot more massive but the obstetrician was a lot closer.

The desire to be connected with the cosmos reflects a profound reality. We are connected. Not in the trivial ways that pseudo-science of astrology promises, but in the deepest ways. Our little planet is under the influence of a star. The sun warms us, it drives the weather, it sustains all living things. Four billion years ago it brought forth life on Earth. But our sun is only one of a billion trillion stars within the observable universe. And those countless suns all obey natural laws, some of which are already known to us.

-- A Personal Voyage: Harmony of the Worlds, by Carl Sagan

In keeping with his pure character he is strictly celibate, one of the few of the Mahayana deities who is allotted no female energy.100 He usually sits, as in the figure, in the Buddha attitude. He is given several other modes.

Most of the countries where northern Buddhism prevails have their own special Manjusri. Thus China has a quasi-historical Manjusri of about the fifth century A.D., located near the U-tai Shan shrine; and Nepalese Buddhism has another of the same name as its tutelary saint.101

Vajrapani, "The wielder of the thunderbolt," a metamorphosis of Jupiter (Indra)102 as the spiritual son of the second celestial Buddha, Akshobhya. T., p'yag-na-rdo-rje (pronounced chana-dorje or chak-dor.)

He is figured at page 13, and of the fierce fiend type, black or dark blue in colour, and wields a Vajra (rdo-rje) in his uplifted right hand, while in his left he holds a bell or snare or other implement according to his varying titles, of which there are fifteen or more.103

Hiuen Tsiang mentions his worship in India in the seventh century A.D.104

Avalokita (or Avalokitesvara or Mahakaruua), "The keen seeing lord, the great pitier and lord of mercy." T., spyan-ras- gzigs (pr. Cha-ra-zi), T'ugs-rje-ch'en-po.

His origin and various forms I have described in some detail elsewhere.105 The spiritual son of the celestial Buddha Amitabha, he is the most powerful and popular of all the Bodhisats, and the one which the Dalai Lamas pretend to be the incarnation of.
Other forms of this deity are Padma-pani, the Lotus-handed Khasarpani, Sinhanada (T., sen-ge-sgra), the Roaring Lion, Hala-hala, Arya-pala ("Aryabolo"), etc.

Avalokita, being a purely mythological creation, is seldom like Buddha represented as a mere man, but is invested usually with monstrous and supernatural forms and attributes. The earliest Indian images of Avalokita yet found by me, dating to about the sixth century A.D., clearly show that Avalokita's image was modelled after that of the Hindu Creator Prajapati or Brahma; and the same type may be traced even in his monstrous images of the later Tantrik period, and his images usually bear Brahma's insignia, the lotus and rosary, and often the vase and book. His commonest forms found in Tibet are:

The Four-handed form, see figure on page 228. This represents him as a prince, with the thirteen ornaments, of white complexion, and sitting in the Buddha posture with the front pair of hands joined in devotional attitude (and often as clasping a jewel); while the upper hand holds a crystal rosary, and the left a long-stemmed lotus-flower, which opens on the level of his ear.106

His monstrous eleven-headed form is figured at page 15. It is usually standing. In addition to the double pair of hands, it has others carrying weapons to defend its votaries. It represents the wretched condition of Avalokita when his head split into pieces with grief at seeing the deplorable state of sunken humanity. But this form, too, seems based on the polycephalic Brahma.107

The eleven heads are usually arranged, as in the figure, in the form of a cone, in five series from below upwards, of 3, 3, 3, 1 and 1, and the topmost head is that of Amitabha, the spiritual father of Avalokita. Those looking forward wear an aspect of benevolence; the left ones express anger at the faults of men; while the right faces smile graciously at the good deeds or in scorn at evil-doers.

This form is frequently given a thousand eyes, a concrete materialistic expression of the name Avalokita, "He who looks down" or Samanta-mukha, "He whose face looks every way."108 The fixing of the number of eyes at one thousand is merely expressive of multitude, and has no precise numerical significance. And unlike the thousand-eyed god of Brahmanic mythology — Indra — Avalokita's extra eyes are on his extra hands, which are symbolic of power, and most of their hands are stretched forth to save the wretched and the lost. The eye, which is ever on the look-out to perceive distress, carries with it a helping hand — altogether a most poetic symbolism. Of this type there are many modes, differing mainly in colour and degrees of fierceness.

The other supernatural male Bodhisats109 are not so commonly met with. The chief are:

Samantabhadra, "The all good." T., Kuntu-bzan-po.

He is figured at page 14,[110] and is the son of the celestial Buddha Vairocana, and is to be distinguished from the Adi-Buddha of the same name. He is of the "mild" type, and usually mounted on an elephant, and he is frequently associated with Manjusri111 as attendant on Buddha.

Kshitigarbha, "The matrix of the earth."112 (T., Sa-yi snin-po.)

Akasagarbha, "The matrix of the sky." (T., Nam-k'ahi-nin-po.113)

Sarva nivarana vishkambhini. (T., sgRib-pa rnam sel.114)

(? Jnanaguru), Master of divine foreknowledge.115 (T., Ye-s'es bla-ma.)

(? Prabhaketu), The crown of light.116 (T.. 'Od-kyi-tog.)

Pranidhanamati. (T., sMon-lam blo-gros."117)

Santendra, The foundation of power.118 (T., dbAn-po z'i.)


The chief and most active of the supernatural female Bodhisats or "energies" are Tara and Marici.

TaRA, The saviour, or deliverer. T., sgRol-ma (pr. Do-ma).

She is the consort of Avalokita, who is now held to be incarnate in the Dalai Lamas, and she is the must popular deity in Tibet, both with Lamas and laity. She corresponds to the goddess of mercy and queen of heaven (Kwan-yin)119 of the Chinese, and has her literal analogy in biblical mythology (see the heading to this chapter), and she has several analogies with "the Virgin;"120 but she is essentially Indian in origin and form.

Her most common form is "the green Tara," and much less common is "the white Tara," whose worship is almost confined to the Mongols. Her other numerous forms, of which the names of "the twenty-one" are daily on the lips of the people, are seldom pictured, except the fiendish form Bhrikuti.121

The green Tara. T., sgRol-ma ljan-k'u — pronounced Dol-jang.

She is represented (see the figure) as a comely and bejewelled Indian lady with uncovered head, and of a green complexion, seated on a lotus, with her left leg pendant, and holding in her left hand a long-stemmed lotus-flower.

Tara, the Green

The white Tara. T., sgRol-ma dkar-po — or sgRol-dkar (pr. Do-kar).

She is figured (see p. 23) as an adorned Indian lady with a white complexion, seated Buddha-like, and the left hand holding a long-stemmed lotus-flower. She has seven eyes, the eye of foreknowledge in the forehead, in addition to the ordinary facial pair, and also one in each palm and on each sole. Hence she is called "The seven-eyed white Tara." She is believed by the Mongols to be incarnate in the White Czar.

Tara with the frowning brows— Bhrikuti Tara. T., kKo-gner- gyo-ba-hi sgRol-ma (pronounced T'o-nyer-chan).

This Tara is dark indigo-coloured, and usually with three faces, all frowning.

The Twenty-one Taras.

The list of the names of "the twenty-one Taras" given below,122 and known to almost all lay Tibetans, indicates many of her attributes.

Marici, The resplendent. T., 'Od-zer 'c'an-ma.

She was originally the queen of heaven, a Buddhist Ushas, or goddess of the dawn, a metamorphosis of the sun as the centre of energy, curiously coupled with the oriental myth of the primaeval productive pig. In another aspect she is a sort of Prosperine, the spouse of Yama, the Hindu Pluto. While in her fiercest mood she is the consort of the demon-general, "The horse-necked Tamdin," a sort of demoniacal centaur. In another mode she is "The adamantine sow" (Skt., Vajra-varahi; T., rDo-rje P'ag-mo), who is believed to be incarnate in the abbess of the convent on the great Palti lake,123 as already described.

In her ordinary form she has three faces and eight hands, of which the left face is that of a sow. The hands hold various weapons, including an araju, axe, and snare. She sits in "the enchanting pose" upon a lotus-throne drawn by seven swine,124 as in the figure.


Although the tutelaries (T., Yi-dam) belong to different classes of divinities, it is convenient to consider them together under one group.

The important part played by tutelaries in every-day life, their worship, and the mode of coercing them, have already been described.

Marici, or Varahi. (or "The Diamond Sow.")

The qualifications demanded in a tutelary are activity combined with power over the minor malignant devils. Thus most of the superior celestial Buddhas and Bodhisats may be, and are, tutelaries. But the favourite ones are the great demon-kings, and also some of the inferior fiends who have been promoted in diabolic rank for their adherence to the cause of Buddhism.

All the five celestial Jinas are tutelaries, but it is their Tantrik forms, such as Vajrasattva and Vajradhara, and Amitayus, which are especially utilized in this way; and most common of all are those who have consorts (sakti), as these are considered to be most energetic.

Of the Bodhisats, those most common as tutelaries are Avalokita and Manjusri, the demon Vajrapani, Tara, and Marici.

The demon-kings, however, are the favourite ones. They are repulsive monsters of the type of the Hindu devil Siva.125 These morbid creations of the later Tantrism may be considered a sort of fiendish metamorphoses of the supernatural Buddhas. Each of those demon-kings, who belong to the most popular section of Lamaist Tantrism — the Anuttara yoga — has a consort,126 who is even more malignant than her spouse.

There are several of these ferocious many-armed monsters, all of the fiercest fiend type already described, and all much alike in general appearance. But each sect has got its own particular tutelary-demon, whom it believes to be pre-eminently powerful.

Thus the established church, the Ge-lug-pa, has as its tutelary Vajra-bhairava, though several of the individual monks have Sambhara and Guhyakala as their personal tutelaries.

Vajra-bhairava, or "The Fearful thunderbolt." (T., rDo-rje- 'jigs-byed). See figure on opposite page.

This is a form of Siva as the destroyer of the king of the dead, namely, as Yamantaka. Yet with truly Lamaist ingenuousness this hideous creature is believed to be a metamorphosis of the mild and merciful Avalokita. His appearance will best be understood from his picture here attached.127 He has several heads, of which the lowest central one is that of a bull. His arms and legs are innumerable, the former carrying weapons, and the latter trample upon the enemies of the established church.

It will be noticed that these writhing victims are represented of the four ancient classes of beings, namely, gods, men, quadrupeds, and birds.

Others of these tutelary devils are: —

Samvara (T., bDe-mch'og128), the chief of happiness, also called dpal- 'k'or-lo-sdom-pa

Guhyukala (T., gSan-'dus129), "the secret time."

Vajra-phurba, the phurba-thunderbolt.

Dub-pa-kah-gye (or ? dGyes-pa-dorje).

Vajra-Bhairava. (Tutelary fiend of established church)

These are the tutelary fiends of the Kar-gyu, Sa-kya, and the unreformed Nin-ma sects respectively. Others are He-vajra (Kye- rdorje), Buddhakapala (Sans-gyas-t'od-pa), Yaina (gsin-rje), but they do not here require special description.

IV. Defenders of the Faith. (Skt., Dharmapala; T., Ch'os-skyon.

These are the demon-generals or commanders-in-chief who execute the will of the tutelaries — the demon-kings. In appearance they are almost as hideous and fierce as their fiendish masters, and each commands a horde of demons.

They are of the fiercest fiend type (the Drag-po and To-wo) already described. The females are metamorphoses of the Hindu fiendess, Kali Devi.
A few local country gods have also been promoted to the position of defenders of the faith.

Of those of the Drag-po or To-wo type, the chief are: —

"The horse-necked (fiend)," Skt., Hayagriva; T., rTa-mgrin, pron. Tam-din.

Tam-Din. (General tutelary of established church)

He is figured as shown here,130 with a horse's head and neck surmounting his other heads. There are many varieties of him131; see also his figure at p. 62.

"The immoveable," Skt., Acala; T., Mi-gyo-ba.

He is also found in the Japanese Buddhist pantheon as "Fu-do."132

"The slayer of the death- king," Skt., Yamamari,133 T., yS'in-rje gs'ed, a form of Bhairava, and held to be incarnate in the Dalai Lama as the controller of metempsychosis.

"The Goddess or The queen of the warring weapons." Lha-mo (or pal-ldan-Lha-mo); Skt., Devi (or Sri-Devi). And also, in Tibetan, dMagzor rgyal-mo.

This great she-devil, like her prototype the goddess Durga of Brahmanism, is, perhaps, the most malignant and powerful of all the demons, and the most dreaded. She is credited with letting loose the demons of disease, and her name is scarcely ever mentioned, and only then with bated breath, and under the title of "The great queen" — Maha-rani.

She is figured, as at page 334,[134] surrounded by flames, and riding on a white-faced mule, upon a saddle of her own son's skin flayed by herself. She is clad in human skins and is eating human brains and blood from a skull; and she wields in her right hand a trident-rod. She has several attendant "queens" riding upon different animals.

She is publicly worshipped for seven days by the Lamas of all sects, especially at the end of the twelfth month, in connection with the prevention of disease for the incoming year. And in the cake offered to her are added amongst other ingredients the fat of a black goat, blood, wine, dough and butter, and these are placed in a bowl made from a human skull.

THE LORD-DEMONS. (T., mGon-po; Skt., Natha.135)

These form a class of demon-generals, of the fiercest Drag-po type. Each Lamaist sect has chosen one as its defender, whom it claims to be pre-eminently powerful, thus: —

"The six-armed lord,"136 T., mGon-po p'yag-drug, is the chief minister of the tutelary fiend of the established church.

"The lord of the black cloak," or "The four-armed lord," T., mGon-po Gur, is the general of the tutelary Samvara of the Kar-gyu-pa sect. And he is the fiend-general of the old unreformed sect — the Nih-ma-pa. He is figured at page 70.

These "lords" are said to number seventy-five. Several of them are referred to in regard to their masks in the chapter on the mystic play. The highest is the bird-faced Garuda.
Other important ones are: —

"The lord of foreknowledge," T., ye-ses mGon-po; Skt., Jnananatha; and formerly called "The devil Mata-ruta."

"The black lord." T., mGon-po Nag-po; Skt., Kalanatha.

"The great potent sage." T., bLo-c'an dban-p'ug-ch'en-po. Both of these latter bear titles of the Hindu Siva, Mahakala.

Dakkinis, or Furies. (T., mkah-'gro-ma, or "Sky-goer"; Skt., Khecara.

These Dakkinis are chiefly consorts of the demoniacal tutelaries, and the generals of the latter. Many of them seem to be of an indigenous nature like the Bon-pa deities. One of the most common is "The lion-faced " (Sen-gehi-gdon-c'an). Several others are described and figured by Pander.137

Here also may be placed the eight goddesses, who are probably metamorphoses of "the eight mothers." They encircle the heavens and are figured in many of the magic-circles, usually of beautiful aspect and with the following characters: —

1. Lasya (T., sGeg-mo-ma), of white complexion, holding a mirror and in a coquettish attitude.

2. Mala (T., Pren-ba-ma), of yellow colour, holding a rosary.

3. Gita (T., (gLu-ma), of red colour, holding a lyre symbolizing music.

4. T., Gar-ma, of green colour, in a dancing attitude.

5. Pushpa (T., Me-tog-ma), of white colour, holding a flower.

6. Dhupa (T., bDug-spos ma), of yellow colour, holding an incense-vase.

7. Dipa (T., sNan-gsal-ma), of red colour, holding a lamp.

8. Gandha (T., Dri-ch'a-ma), of green colour, holding a shell-vase of perfume.


These Dii minores are the gods and lesser divinities of Aryan and Hindu mythology, degraded to this low rank on account of their inclusion within the wheel of metempsychosis, and from their leading lives only partially devoted to Buddhist duties. The morality of these gods is, generally, of a higher order than their counterparts in the Greek or Roman mythology.

Collectively they are called "The eight classes," and are made subordinate to the tutelary-fiends and their generals; and in the order of their rank, are thus enumerated138: —

1. The Gods— Skt., Deva; T., Lha.

'2. Serpent-demigods (mermaids) — Naga; kLu.

3. Genii — Yaksha; gNod-sbyin.

4. Angels — Gandharva; Dri-za.

5. Titans — Asura; Lha-ma-yin.

6. Phoenix — Garuda; Namk'ah-ldin.

7. Celestial musicians — Kinnara; Mi-'am-c'i.

8 . The Great Reptiles (creepers ), Mahoraga; lTo-'bye-ch'en-po. The Gods are the thirty-three Vedic gods, which have already been described as regards their general characters.139 They are usually figured, like earthly kings of the "mild deity" type, on lotus-thrones. The chief gods are made regents or protectors of the quarters; though in the later legends they have delegated these duties to subordinates, the "kings of the quarters"; see page 84.

The great Indra (Jupiter, T., brGya-byin), on the east.

Yama (Pluto, T., gSin-rje), on the south.

Varuna (Uranus, T., Ch'a-'lha140), on the west.

Kuvera (Vulcan141, T., gNod-sbyin), on the north.

The remainder of the ten directions are thus apportioned: —

S.E. to Agni (Ignis, the fire-god; T., Me-lha), or Soma the moon or Bacchus.

S.W. to Nririti (the goblin; T., Srin-po).

N.W. to Marut (the storm-god; T., rLun-lha).

N.E. to Isa (T., dbAng-ldan).

Nadir to Ananta (or "mother-earth"; T., 'Og-gis-bdag).

Zenith to Brahma (Ts'ans-pa142).

The first and the last of the above, namely, Indra and Brahma, are represented as attendant on Buddha at all critical periods of his earthly life — the former with a third and horizontal eye in the forehead, acting as his umbrella-carrier, and the latter usually four- handed and headed, carrying the vase of life-giving ambrosia. The Brahmanical god Vishnu is called K'yab-'jug.

Yama (T., S'in-rje), the Hindu Pluto, the judge of the dead and controller of metempsychosis, is the most dreaded of these divinities. He is represented in the Wheel of Life as the central figure in hell; but he too has to suffer torment in his joyless realm. His special emblem is a bull; thus the great tutelary demon Vajra-bhairava, by having vanquished the dread Yama, is represented with the head of a bull under the title of Yamantaka or "the conqueror of Yama."

The most favourite of the godlings is the god of wealth, Jambhala, a form of Kuvera or Vaisravana. He is of portly form like his relative or prototype, the Hindu Ganesa. In his right hand he holds a bag of jewels, or money, or grain, symbolic of riches, and in his left an ichneumon or "mongoose,"143 which is the conqueror of snakes — the mythical guardians of treasure.

The Naga or Dragon-demigods are the mermen and mermaids of the Hindu myth and the demons of drought. They are of four kinds: (1) celestial, guarding the mansions of the gods; (2) aerial, causing winds to blow and rain to fall for human benefit; (3) earthly, marking out the courses of the rivers and streams; (4) guardians of hidden treasures, watching the wealth concealed from mortals.

The Nagas are usually given the form of snakes, as these inhabit the bowels of the earth, the matrix of precious stones and metals; while in their character of rain-producers they are figured as dragons.
From their fancied association with treasure they are often associated with the god of wealth, Vaisravana and his mode Jambhala. Indeed, the great Naga king Mahakala, the "Dai Koko" of the Japanese, seated on his rice-bales, like our chancellor of the exchequer on his wool-sack, and his attendant rats as symbols of prosperity, form almost a facsimile of the Buddhist god Jambhala, who, like his prototype Ganesa, seems of Naga origin. Indeed, one of his titles is "lord of the water" (Jalendra).144 The Naga community, like the human, is divided into kings, nobles, and commoners, Buddhists and non-Buddhists.145

Of the remaining classes, the Yaksha and Asura have already been described. The female Yaksha— the Yakshini— are the "witch-women," the stealer of children of general myths. In addition there are also the malignant spirits and demons,146 of whom among the Rakshas, the already mentioned she-devil Hariti, "the mother of the Daitya-Aemons" is the chief.147

VI. The Country-Gods.

The country-gods (Yul-lha), and the country-guardians (Srun- ma) are of course all indigenous, though some of them have been given quasi-Buddhist characters. Ruling over a wider sphere, they occupy a higher rank than the more truly local genii, the locality- or foundation-owners— the Z'i-bdag of the Tibetans.

These indigenous gods, godlings, and demons are divided after the Indian fashion, roughly into eight classes, namely:—

1. Gods (Lha), all male, white in colour, and generally genial.

2. Goblins or Ghosts (Tsan), all male, red in colour. These are usually the vindictive ghosts of Lamas, discontented priests; and they are vindictive. They especially haunt temples.148

3. Devils (bDud), all male, black in colour, and most malignant.149 These are the ghosts of the persecutors of Lamaism, and cannot be appeased without the sacrifice of a pig.150

4. Planets (gZah), piebald in colour (Kra-bo).

5. Bloated fiends (dMu), dark-purple colour (smug-po).151

6. Cannibal fiends (Srin-po), raw flesh-coloured (sa-za), and blood-thirsty.

7. King-fiends (rGyal-po), the wealth-masters (dkor-bdag), white (? always) in colour, the spirits of apotheosized heroes.

8. Mother-she-devils (Ma-mo), black coloured, the "disease mistresses" (nad-bdag). They are sometimes the spouses of the foregoing malignant demons, and cannot be very sharply demarcated from the other she-devils.

The greatest of the country-gods and guardians have been made defenders of Lamaism. They are chiefly the spirits of the larger mountains, and deified ghosts of heroes and ancestors.

The former are figured either as fierce forms of Vaisravana, the god of wealth, but clad in Tibetan costume, and riding on lions, etc., and carrying banners of victory, such, for example, as mount Kanchinjunga, mount Langch'enna, of western Tsang, etc., as in annexed figure; or they are figured as fiendesses, as for example, the Tan-ma, or as mild nymphs, as the five sisters of mount Everest.152

The Red God of Wealth

The mountain Kanchinjunga, on the western border of Tibet. is known to most visitors to Darjiling and northern Bengal. This graceful mountain, second in height only to Everest, was formerly in itself an object of worship, as it towers high above every other object in the country, and is the first to receive the rays of the rising sun and the last to part with the sun-set. Kanchinjunga153 literally means "the five repositories or ledges of the great snows," and is physically descriptive of its five peaks — the name having been giving by the adjoining Tibetans of Tsang, who also worshipped the mountain. But the Sikhim saint, Lha-tsun Ch'enbo, gave the name a mythological meaning, and the mountain was made to become merely the habitation of the god of that name, and the five "repositories" became real store-houses of the god's treasure. The peak which is most conspicuously gilded by the rising sun is the treasury of gold; the peak which remains in cold grey shade is the silver treasury, and the ether peaks are the stores of gems and grain and holy books. This idea of treasure naturally led to the god being physically represented somewhat after the style of "the god of wealth," as figured on the opposite page. He is of a red colour, clad in armour, and carries a banner of victory, and is mounted on a white lion. He is on the whole a good-natured god, but rather impassive, and is therefore less worshipped than the more actively malignant deities.

The four greatest deified mountains of Tibet are alleged to be T'an-lha on the north, Ha-bo-gans-bzan or gNod-sbyin-gan-bza on the west, Yar-lha z'an-po on the east, and sKu-la k'a-ri on the south; but mount Everest, called by the Tibetans Lap-c'i-gan, is not included here.

The twelve furies called Tan-ma have already been referred to and figured in connection with St. Padma-sambhava's visit. They are divided into the three groups of the four great she-devils, the four great injurers, and the four great medicine-females,154 of which the last are relatively mild, though all are placed under the control of Ekajati, a fiendess of the Indian Kali type, who rides on the thunder-clouds.

The deified ghosts of heroes and defeated rivals are pictured usually of anthropomorphic form, and clad in Tibetan style, as for example, "The holy rDorje Legs-pa," figured at page 26, and others at page 385. Though some are pictured of monstrous aspect, and of the fiercest-fiend type already described, as for instance, Pe-har,155 the especial patron of the sorcerers of the established church.

Pe-har is a fiend of the "king" class, and seems to be an indigenous deified-hero, though European writers identify him with the somewhat similarly named Indian god, Veda (Chinese wei-to), who is regularly invoked by the Chinese Buddhists156 for monastic supplies and as protector of monasteries ( — Vihar; hence, it is believed, corrupted into Pe-har), and chief of the army of the four guardian kings of the quarters.

VII. Local Gods and Genii.
The truly "local gods" or Genii loci, the "foundation owners"157 of the Tibetans, are located to a particular fixed place, and seldom conceived of as separate from their places.

In appearance they are mostly Caliban-like sprites, ill-tempered and spiteful, or demoniacal
, like the temple-door fiend figured at page 288; and, unlike the higher spirits, they have no third or "heavenly eye of second sight or omniscience."

The majority are of the "earth owner" class (sa-bdag), occupying the soil and lakes like plebeian Nagas of the Hindus. Others more malignant, called "gNan," infest certain trees, rocks, and springs, which reputed haunts are avoided as far as possible, though they are sometimes daubed with red paint or other offering to propitiate the spirit.

In every monastery and temple the image of the genius loci, as an idol or fresco, is placed within the outer gateway, usually to the right of the door, and worshipped with wine, and occasionally with bloody sacrifice, and it is given a more or less honorific name. The local demon of the red hill near Lhasa, surnamed Potala, and the residence of the Grand Lama, is called gNan-ch'en Tan. The one at Darjiling is already referred to at page 288.


The House-god of the Tibetans seems to be the same as the "Kitchen-god" (Tsan-kuin) of the Chinese, who is believed to be of Taoist origin, but adopted into the Chinese Buddhist pantheon158 as a presiding divinity of the monastic diet. He also has much in common with the Door-god of the Mongols.159

The Tibetan House-god, as shown in his figure at page 573, is anthropomorphic, with a piggish head, and flowing robes. He is called "the inside god,"160 and is a genius loci of the class called by the Tibetans "earth-masters" (Sab-dag).

As he is of a roving disposition, occupying different parts of the house at different seasons, his presence is a constant source of anxiety to the householders; for no objects may invade or occupy the place where he has taken up his position, nor may it be swept or in any way disturbed without incurring his deadly wrath. Thus it happens that an unsophisticated visitor, on entering a Tibetan house and seeing a vacant place near at hand, sets there his hat, only, however, to have it instantly snatched up by his host in holy horror, with the hurried explanation that the god is at present occupying that spot.

It is some satisfaction, however, to find that all the house-gods of the land regulate their movements in the same definite and known order. Thus in the first and second months he occupies the centre of the house, and is then called "The Gel-thun house- god."

In the third and fourth months the god stands in the doorway and is called "the door-god of the horse and yak."

In the fifth month he stands under the eaves, and is called "ya-ngas-pa."

In the sixth month he stands at the south-west corner of the house.

In the seventh and eighth months he stands under the eaves.

In the ninth and tenth months he stands in the fire-tripod or grate.

In the eleventh and twelfth months he stands at the kitchen hearth, where a place is reserved for him. He is then called "the kitchen-god."

His movements thus bear a certain relation to the season, as he is outside in the hottest weather, and at the fire in the coldest.

Formerly his movements were somewhat different; and according to the ancient style he used to circulate much more extensively and frequently."161

The other precautions entailed by his presence, and the penalties for disturbing him, are these: —

In the first and second months, when the god is in the middle of the house, the fire-grate must not be placed there, but removed to a corner of the room, and no dead body must be deposited there. While he is at the door, no bride or bridegroom may come or go, nor any corpse. Should, however, there be no other way of ingress or egress, such as by a window or otherwise, and there be urgent necessity for the passage of a bride, bridegroom, or corpse, then the images of a horse and a yak must be made with wheaten flour, and on each of them is placed some skin and hair of each of the animals represented. Tea and beer are then offered to the god, who is invited to sit on the images thus provided for him. The door is then unhinged and carried outside, and the bride, bridegroom, or corpse passes, and the door is restored to its place.

When he is at the kitchen fire, no part of the hearth can be removed or mended, and no corpse may be placed there, nor must any marriage then take place. And should any visitor arrive, he must be screened off from the fireplace by a blanket, and a scripture (the "ch'os-mge-khri") read to avert his wrath.

When he is in the verandah he gives very little trouble. Only at that time no one may whitewash or repair the outside of the house.

And as a general precautionary measure once every year, and at extra times, whenever any suspicion arises that the god may have been slighted or is offended, it is necessary to get the Lamas to propitiate him by doing "The water sacrifice for the eight injurers."

CHAPTER LV. Wedding Ceremonies.

Early in the morning of the nuptial day the father and mother give a farewell banquet in the house of the bride. At the same time the priests of the Old School, generally known as the ‘Scarlet-Hoods’ or Red-Caps, are asked by the family to hold a festal service in honor of the village and family Gods. The object of the festival is to inform the Gods of the daughter’s being engaged and to take leave of them, and further to pray the Gods not to do any injury to their family because of their daughter’s leaving them for ever, as in return they promise to make offerings to them and recite the Sacred Text for their pleasure. Such ceremonies in general are held at the temple to which the ‘Scarlet-Hoods’ belong. Simultaneously with the above another festival is held in the house of the bride by the priest of the Bon religion (pronounced Pon, but written Bon), the old religion of Tibet, to propitiate the God Lu-i Gyalpo, or King-Dragon, who according to the Tibetan mythology is the protector of the fortunes of each individual family. It is a constant fear with Tibetans that if it should ever happen that a man should provoke this God’s anger by any means whatever, the consequence will be the entire destruction of his fortune. Therefore lest the God should leave the family and follow the daughter to whom he is affectionately attached, and thus abandon the family to utter poverty, no efforts whatsoever are spared by the family to keep him away from the daughter. The passages from the Bon scripture which are read on the occasion of the ceremony are very interesting. In most of the cases the sentences are the same, and, in the main, are to the effect that the family to which the daughter has been engaged is not enjoying such happiness as the maiden’s own family enjoys; and again that it is not dignified for the King-Dragon to go to another house in pursuit of a girl: it is advisable for the God to stay with the present family and look after its interests, as before; for boundless will be the happiness that he shall enjoy in case he stays with the present family as hitherto. After all, this is not a matter of mere traditional formality, for among the people of Tibet the superstition is common that if the King-Dragon should leave a family for ever to follow a daughter on her marriage, the family will be reduced to utter poverty; hence these customs are universally observed by the people.

The banquet over, there enters the preacher who is to exhort the bride. He stands in front of the bride, and instructs her by means of a collection of maxims which he has well committed to memory previous to the ceremony.... After these ceremonies, the bride has at last to leave her old home. There is no fixed standard as to the property which a bride takes with her to her husband’s on the occasion of her marriage. Some are rich enough to take a piece of land as a dowry, but some can afford only to take a few clothes....

Now the bride, thus placed on horseback, makes her way to the house of the bridegroom....

The people who have come to see the bride off and those who have come to receive her all go on horseback, and on their way to the bridegroom’s house six banquets altogether are given by the relatives of the bride and of the bridegroom. Those who have come to see the bride off give three banquets at three different points on the road, and those who have come to welcome her give three similar banquets....

Thus the gate of the bridegroom’s house is reached. It would not occur to anybody that there should be any question as to whether the bride could at once be admitted to the house of the bridegroom or not, as those who had come to receive the bride on the way were the relatives of the bridegroom. However, the fact is quite the reverse. This is where the Tibetan custom appear so strange in the eyes of a foreigner. When the bride reaches the gate, she finds it locked, bolted, and barred against her ingress. In the crowd gathered in front of the gate of the bridegroom’s house, there is a man whose duty it is to drive away the evil spirits, or epidemic diseases, which, it is believed by the people, may have followed the bride on her way to the bridegroom’s. Hidden under his right hand, the man has a sword which is called the Torma, or the sword of the secret charm, with which he tears such evil spirits or epidemic diseases to pieces. The sword is made of a mixture of baked flour, butter and water, fried hard and colored with the red juice of a plant. Its shape is long and triangular, like a bayonet; it looks like a sword, and is said to have some secret charm, pronounced by a priest, concealed in it. The spectators do not know which one in the crowd has the sword, but some one must have it, and as soon as the bride arrives the man, taking advantage of any opportunity that may offer, throws it in the face of the bride, and runs inside the gate, the door of which opens to receive him as he discharges this duty. No sooner has the man fled inside the gate, than the door is again closed, and the bride is left standing outside, all covered with the red fragments of the stuff that has been thrown at her. One may wonder what can be the origin of such a custom, and one is told that the bride, on taking leave of her family, has lost the protection of the Gods of the village and of the house in which she has been a resident, and the people are afraid that, for want of the divine protection, the bride must have met with a crowd of evil spirits, or epidemic diseases, on her way to the bridegroom’s house, and that these might cause some injury to the new couple; hence the use of the Torma to conquer such evil spirits, or epidemic diseases....

By this time the people inside the gate, who have been waiting for the arrival of the wedding procession, demand that the bride’s party give sheppa (explanation) at the gate, or else the bride cannot be admitted. The sheppa consists of many beautiful words and fine phrases, indicating wishes for good luck and happiness. In response to their demands, the man in the wedding procession whose duty it is to say the ‘explanation’ has to say: “We want to say sheppa, but for lack of the kata we cannot do so.” On hearing this the man inside the gate shows a tiny piece of kata through a chink in the gate and says: “Here is the kata,”.... On seeing the kata, the man in the wedding procession whose duty it is to say sheppa solemnly says as follows: “This is the gate which leads to the store-house where many precious and valuable things are kept; the pillars are built of gold and the door of silver and inside the gate there is a hall of worship which is made of natural cloisonné; there is also a palace, the inmates of which are as virtuous and beautiful as angels and Gods.”

Words similar to these are said, and at the termination of the sheppa the gate is open.

I must here not omit to say that on her way to the bridegroom’s, as she is riding past a certain village, the bride is sometimes caught hold of and carried off by the people of the village, on the pretext that her coming will cause some injury to them, as it is believed by them also that the bride has lost the protection of the Gods of her native place, and that during her journey many evil spirits and epidemic diseases must have taken hold of her, and that these, on arriving at the village, will do great damage to its farms and cause much injury to the inhabitants. So the people of the village carry off the bride as a compensation for such prospective damage, and in order to get a safe passage through the village the attendants of the bride must pay ransom. I may say that this is a very rare occurrence in a town, but in lonely parts of the country it will sometimes take place. It must be understood that it is generally in the case of a family which is not popular with its neighbors that the bride receives such treatment.

Upon the gate being opened, the mother of the bridegroom comes out with some sour milk and chema in her hands. Chema is a mixture of baked flour, butter, sugar and taro-root. Taro-root is a kind of potato, produced in Tibet, as large as a man’s little finger, and very nice to eat. Chema and sour milk are used only when there is a celebration of some extraordinary occasion. A little of this is distributed to each person in the procession, who receives it on his palm and eats it. This ceremony over, the mother leads the party into her house and gives a banquet in honor of the bride, when the priest of the “Old School” is called upon to inform the Gods of the village and of the house that an addition has been made to the members of the family by the arrival of the bride, and that, therefore, the Gods are prayed to extend their arms to the bride, and to be her protectors henceforward.

These prayers over, the father and mother of the bridegroom give a piece of kata to the couple, and to all the other people who have come to see the bride off or to receive her. Such is the ceremony that makes the happy couple husband and wife.

-- Three Years in Tibet, by Shramana Ekai Kawaguchi
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Re: The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults

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Part 3 of 3

VIII. Personal Gods or "Familiars."

These are comparable to the daimon or familiar-spirits of the Greeks. But in Tibet the body of each individual is beset by a number of personal sprites.162

Each Tibetan carries the following familiar spirits extra to the two Buddhist angels, good and bad, which sit upon the right and left shoulder respectively and prompt to good deeds or to sins, namely, the p'o, ma, z'an, da, or enemy (-defeating) god, vulgarly called dab-lha. This enemy-god sits on the right shoulder of every Tibetan.

Worship of the p'o-lha secures long life and defence against accident; by worshipping the da-lha enemies are overcome. Worship of the ma-lha and z'an-lha procures physical strength; worship of the yul-lha glory and dominion, and of the nor-lha wealth.

The greatest of these gods is the Enemy (-defeating) god, a sort of Hercules, who resembles in many ways the war-god of the Chinese — Kwan-te, an apotheosized hero — though the Lamas endeavour to identify him with the Buddhist Mara, the god of passion. As seen from his figure, in the upper compartment of the Wheel of Life at page 102, he is of un-Indian aspect: —

He is of a white colour clad in golden mail and flying on a white horse through the clouds. In his uplifted right hand he holds a whip with three knots and in his left hand a spear with a stream of the five-coloured silks. The blade of the spear is blue, bordered by flames, and at its base the two divine eyes, and below the blade is a ring of yak- hair-bristle. His bow-sheath is of a leopard hide and his quiver of tiger skin. A sword is thrust into his waist-belt, and from each shoulder springs a lion and a tiger. The mirror of fore-knowledge is suspended from his neck. He is accompanied by a black dog, a black bear, and a man-monkey; and birds circle around his head.

Each class of these local and personal gods has its particular season for popular worship, thus: —

The Earth-gods (sa-gz'i mi-rig-gi lha) are worshipped especially in the spring.

The Ancestral gods (smra z'an ch'un-gi lha) are worshipped in the summer season.

The three Upper gods (stod-sum pahi lha) in the autumn; and

The royal Ancestor of the Tibetan or Sikkim king (ston mi-nag-gi lha) in the winter. The first king of Mi-nag in eastern Tibet was a son of Thi-Sron Detsan, and the Sikhim king is alleged to be of the same ancestry.

It is beyond the scope of our present subject to refer to the heterodox duties of the aboriginal or Bon-pa order. But it may be stated that this latter religion having existed for centuries side by side with the more favoured Lamaism, it has now come to model its deities generally on the Buddhist pattern. A reference to one of the Bon gods, namely, the Red-Tiger devil, will be found in the chapter on the mystic play.

The Saints.

The saints of Lamaism may be divided into the Indian and the Tibetan, inclusive of a few Chinese and Mongolian. They are usually figured with a halo around their heads, and when attended by disciples they are always represented much larger in size than the latter; and, in keeping with the later fiction of re-incarnate Lamas, they are usually surrounded by a few scenes of their so- called former births.

Of the Indian saints the chief are: —

I. The Ten Chief Disciples of Buddha.

The highest of these is "the model pair," Sariputra and Maha- Maugdalayana, the right- and left-hand disciples of Buddha, and generally represented in a standing posture, carrying a begging- bowl and alarm-staff, or with the hands joined in adoration of Sakya Muni.163 After these the best known are Maha-kasyapa, the president of the first council and the first "patriarch," Upali, Subhuti, and Buddha's cousin and favourite attendant, Ananda.

II. The Sixteen STHAVIRA, or Chief Apostles or Missionaries. (T., gNas-brtan = "The Steadfast Holders (of the Doctrine).")

These are called by the Chinese and Japanese "the sixteen Rahan" (= Skt., Arhat), or "Lohan."

Several of them lived after Buddha's day; and latterly two other saints were added to the list, namely, Dharmatrata and Hvashang, bringing the number up to eighteen. Other conventional groups of Arhats are the 108, 500, 1,000, etc.164

Each of these Sthavira or Arhats is figured in a fixed attitude, and each has his distinctive symbol or badge, like our apostles, as Mark with a lion, Luke with a book, etc.

The descriptive list of these sixteen Sthavira is briefly165: —

1. Angira-ja (T., Yan-lag 'byun), "the limb-born." Holds incense censer and cow tail fly-whisk fan. He went as missionary to the Te-Se mountains around Manasrovara lake (Jaesch., D., 203), or to mount Kailas (Schief., Lebensb.)

2. Ajita (T., Ma-p'am-pa), "the unconquered." Hands in the "impartial" attitude. A rishi, or sage, of mount Usira (Nos-se-la).166 His statue is one of the few which is prepared singly.

3. Vana-vasa (T., Nags-na-gnas), "forest-dweller." Right hand in sdigs-Me dsub attitude; left holds a cow-tail fly-whisk. He went to "The seven-leaves mountain" (Loma-bdun). According to Schief., he remained at Sravasti.

4. Kalika (T., Dus-ldan-rdorje), "timely." Wears a golden earring as a badge. He went to Tamradvipa ( = ? Tamluk in S.W. Bengal).

5. Vajraputra (T., rDo-rje-mo'-bu) "son of the thunderbolt." Right hand in sDigs-mdsub attitude, and left carries fly-whisk. He went to Ceylon.

6. Bhadra (T., bZan-po) "the noble." Right hand in preaching, and left in meditative attitude — the latter hand usually bearing a book. He went to Yamunadvipa.

7. Kanaka-vatsa (T., gSer-be'u), "golden calf." Carries a jewelled snare. He went to the Saffron-peak in Kashmir.

8. Kanaka-bhara-dvaja. Hands in "impartial" attitude. He went to Apara-Godhanya (Nub-kyi-ba glan spyod-glin).

9. Vakula, carries an ichneumon (Nakula) like the god of riches. On this account, Pander notes (p. 86) that the Tibetans probably knew this saint as "Nakula." He went to Uttarakuru (byan-gi-sgra-mi- snan).

10. Rahula (T., sGra-c'an-zin [? 'dsin]). Holds a jewelled crown. Pander believes that this simile is probably suggested by interpreting the name as "sgra-rgyan-'dsin," or "holding a crown." He went to Pri-yan-gu-dvipa ( = ? Prayag, or Allahabad).

11. Cuda-panthaka (T., Lam-p'ran-bstan). Hands in "impartial" pose. He went to Gridrakuta hill in Magadha.167

12. Bharadvaja (T., Bha-ra-dva-dsa-bsod-snoms-len). Holds book and begging-bowl. Went to the eastern Videka. He is usually identified with the "Binzuru" of the Japanese.

13. Panthaku (T., Lam-bstan). Hands in preaching attitude with a book.

14. Nagasena (T., kLu'i-sde). Holds a vase, and an alarm-staff'. He went to "the king of mountains," Urumunda (Nos-yans). This seems to be the Arhat who is known to southern Buddhists as the author of the celebrated dialogues with Menander (Milinda).

15. Gopaka (T., shed-byed), holds a book. Went to Mt. Bi-hu.

16 .... (T., Mi-p'yed) Holds "the caitya of perfection." He went to the Himalayas.

The additional pair of saints who are usually associated with the above are: —

Dharmatrata or Dharmatala (T., dGe-bsnen dharma). Holds a vase and fly-whisk and carries on his back a bundle of books, and he gazes at a small image of Buddha Amitabha. As he is only a lay-devotee he has long hair. He was born in Gandhara and seems to be the uncle of Vasumitra. Of his seven works the chief are the Udanavarga (translated by Rockhill), and the Samyuktabhidharina Sastra.

Hvashang corresponds to the Chinese "Huo-shang" or priest with the sack.168 He is a sort of lay-patron or "dispenser of alms" to the disciples; and is represented as a good-natured person of portly dimensions, in a sitting position. His attributes are a sack, a rosary in his right hand and a peach in his left, while little urchins or goblins play around him. The name in Chinese is said by Pander to be also rendered "the dense-smoke Maitreya Buddha," and he is explained as the last incarnation of Maitreya who is at present enthroned in the Tushita heavens. In the entrance hall of all the larger temples in China we find the colossal statue of this big-bellied, laughing Maitreya surrounded by the four kings of the universe.

III. Other Mahayana Saints.

The other Indian saints of the Mahayana school who are most worshipped by the Lamas are: Asvaghosha, Nagarjuna (kLu-grub), Arya-deva (P'ags-pa-lha), Kumarala, Asanga (T'ogs-med), Vasu- bandhu (dByig-gnan), Dharma-kirti (Ch'os-grags), Candra-kirti (zla-wa-grags); and the more modern Santa-rakshita and Atisa- Dipamkara. Figures of most of these have already been given.169

IV. Tantrik Wizard-Priests.

T.'Grub-t'ob ch'en or "grub-c'hen (Skt., Siddha or Mahasiddha).

This degraded class of Indian Buddhist priest (see figure on page 16) is most popular with the Lamas. They are credited with supernatural powers, by being in league with the demons. They are usually figured with long untonsured locks, and almost naked.

The chief of these Indian priests is St. Padma-sambhava, the founder of Lamaism. Others are

Savari (Sa-pa-ri-pa), Rahulabhadra or Saraha (Sa-ra-ha-pa), Matsyo- dara (Lu-i-pa), Lalita-vajra, Krishncarin or Kalacarita (Na'g-po-spyod- pa); and more modern Telopa or Tila and Naro.170 These latter two are apparently named after the Indian monasteries of Tilada and Nalanda.

St. Padma-sambhava receives more active worship than any of the others. Indeed, he is deified. He is most commonly worshipped in the form shown in the centre of the plate on page 24. He sits dressed as a native of Udyana, holding a thunderbolt in his right hand and a skull of blood in his left, and carrying in his left arm-pit the trident of the king of death. The top of this trident transfixes a freshly decapitated human head, a wizened head, and a skull. And the saint is attended by his two wives, offering him libations of blood and wine in skull-bowls, while before him are set offerings of portions of human corpses.

He is given seven other forms, wild or demoniacal, which are shown surrounding him in that picture.

These, his eight forms, together with their usual paraphrase, are here numerated: —

I. — Guru Padma Jungna,171 "Born of a lotus" for the happiness of the three worlds, the central figure in the plate.

II. — Guru Padmasambhava, "Saviour by the religious doctrine."

III. — Guru Padma Oyelpo, "The king of the three collections of scriptures" (Skt., "Tripitaka").

IV. — Guru Dorje Do-lo,172 " The Dorje or diamond comforter of all."

V. — Guru Nima Od-zer,173 "The enlightening sun of darkness."

VI. — Guru S'akya Sen-ge, "The second Sakya — the lion," who does the work of eight sages.

VII. — Guru Seng-ge da dok,174 The propagator of religion in the six worlds — -with "the roaring lion's voice."

VIII. — Guru Lo-ten Ch'og-Se,175 "The conveyer of knowledge to all worlds."

These paraphrases it will be noted are mostly fanciful, and not justified by the title itself.

As he is the founder of Lamaism, and of such prominence in the system, I give here a sketch of his legendary history: —

The Guru's so-called history, though largely interwoven with supernatural fantasies is worth abstracting,176 not only for the historical texture that underlies the allegorical figures, but also for the insight it gives into the genesis and location of many of the demons of the Lamaist pantheon and the pre-Lamaist religion of Tibet. The story itself is somewhat romantic and has the widest currency in Tibet, where all its sites are now popular places of pilgrimage, sacred to this deified wizard-priest: —

The Legendary History of the Founder of Lamaism.

Once upon a time, in the great city of Jatumati177 in the Indian continent, there dwelt a blind king named Indrabodhi,178 who ruled over the country of Udyana or Urgyan. The death of his only son plunges the palace in deepest sorrow, and this calamity is followed by famine and an exhausted treasury. In their distress the king and people cry unto the Buddhas with many offerings, and their appeal reaching unto the paradise of the great Buddha of Boundless Light — Amitabha — this divinity sends, instantly, like a lightning flash, a miraculous incarnation of himself in the form of a red ray of light to the sacred lake of that country.

That same night the king dreamt a dream of good omen. He dreamt that a golden thunderbolt had come into his hand, and his body shone like the sun. In the morning the royal priest Trignadhara179 reports that a glorious light of the five rainbow-tints has settled in the lotus-lake of Dhanakosha, and is so dazzling as to illuminate the three "unreal" worlds.

Then the king, whose sight has been miraculously restored, visits the lake, and, embarking in a boat, proceeds to see the shining wonder, and finds on the pure bosom of the lake a lotus-flower of matchless beauty, on whose petals sits a lovely boy of eight years old, sceptred and shining like a god. The king, falling on his knees, worships the infant prodigy, exclaiming: "Incomparable boy! who art thou? Who is thy father and what thy country?" To which the child made answer: "My Father I know! I come in accordance with the prophecy of the great Sakya Muni, who said: 'Twelve hundred years after me, in the north-east of the Urgyan country, in the pure lake of Kosha, a person more famed than myself will be born from a lotus, and be known as Padma-sambhava, or "the Lotus-born,"180 and he shall be the teacher of my esoteric Mantra-doctrine, and shall deliver all beings from misery.'"

On this the king and his subjects acknowledge the supernatural nature of the Lotus-born boy, and naming him "The Lake-born Vajra,"181 conduct him to the palace with royal honours. And from thenceforth the country prospered, and the holy religion became vastly extended. This event happened on the tenth day of the seventh Tibetan month.

In the palace the wondrous boy took no pleasure in ordinary pursuits, but sat in Buddha fashion musing under the shade of a tree in the grove. To divert him from these habits they find for him a bride in p'Od-'c'an-ma,182 the daughter183 of king Candra Goma-shi, of Singala.184 And thus is he kept in the palace for five years longer, till a host of gods appear and declare him divine, and commissioned as the Saviour of the world. But still the king does not permit him to renounce his princely life and become, as he desired, an ascetic. The youthful Padma-sambhava now kills several of the subjects, who, in their present or former lives, had injured Buddhism; and on this the people complain of his misdeeds to the king, demanding his banishment, which sentence is duly carried out, to the great grief of the king and the royal family.

The Lotus-Born Babe

The princely pilgrim travels to the Shitani cemetery of the cool grove,185 where, dwelling in the presence of the dead as a Sosaniko186 he seeks communion with the gods and demons, of whom he subjugates many. Thence he was conducted by the Dakkinis or witches of the four classes to the cave of Ajnapala,187 where he received instruction in the Asvaratna abankara, after which he proceeded to the countries of Pancha, etc., where he received instruction in the arts and sciences direct from old world sages, who miraculously appeared to him for this purpose.

Other places visited by him were the cemeteries of the Biddha (? Videha) country, where he was called "the sun's rays," the cemetery of bDe-ch'en brdal in Kashmir, where he was called "the chief desire sage" (blo-ldan mch'og-sred), the cemetery of Lhun-grub-brtsegs-pa in Nepal, subjugating the eight classes of Dam-sri at Yaksha fort, where he was named "the roaring voiced lion," and to the cemetery of Lanka brtsegs-pa in the country of Zahor, where he was named Padma-sambha.

At Zahor (? Lahore), the king's daughter, a peerless princess who could find no partner worthy of her beauty and intellect, completely surrendered to the Guru — and this seems to be the "Indian" princess-wife named Mandarawa Kumari Devi, who was his constant companion throughout his Tibetan travels. At Zahor the rival suitors seize him and bind him to a pyre, but the flames play harmlessly round him, and he is seen within seated serenely on a lotus-flower. Another miracle attributed to him is thus related: Athirst one day he seeks a wine- shop, and, with companions, drinks deeply, till, recollecting that he has no money wherewith to pay his bill, he asks the merchant to delay settlement till sunset, to which the merchant agrees, and states that he and his comrades meanwhile may drink their fill. But the Guru arrests the sun's career, and plagues the country with full daylight for seven days. The wine-seller, now in despair, wipes off their debt, when welcome night revisits the sleepy world.

The leading details of his defeat of the local devils of Tibet are given in the footnote.188

The Tibetan and other non-Indian canonized saints may generally be recognized by their un-Indian style of dress, and even when they are bare-headed and clad in the orthodox Buddhist robes they always wear an inner garment extra to the Indian fashion.

The various Tibetan saints, excluding the apotheosized heroes already referred to, are held in different estimation by the different sects, each of whom holds its own particular sectarian founder to be pre-eminent. Thus the established church gives the chief place to Tson-K'a-pa and the chief pupils of Atisa; the Kar-gyu sect to Mila-ras-pa, the Sa-kya-pa to Sa-kya Pandita, and so on. And each sub-sect has canonized its own particular chief. The innumerable Lamas who now pose as re-incarnations of deceased Lamas, also receive homage as saints, and on their decease have their images duly installed and worshipped. Some saints are entirely of local repute, and the ghosts of many deceased Lamas are worshipped in the belief that they have become malignant spirits who wreak their wrath on their former associates and pupils.

Demonified Tibetan Priests.189

Amongst the earlier Tibetans who are generally accorded the position of saints are king Sron Tsan Gampo, his two wives and minister Ton-mi, who were associated with the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet, king Thi-Sron Detsan, who patronized the founding of Lamaisin, the earlier translators of the scriptures, and especially those associated with St. Atisa.

One of the popular saints is the famous engineer, T'an-ton rGryal-po, whose image or picture is often found in Lamaist temples. He lived in the first half of the fifteenth century A.D., and is celebrated for having built eight iron-chain suspension- bridges over the great river of central Tibet, the Yaru Tsan-po; and several of these bridges still survive.190

Certain titles have come to be restricted to particular saints. Thus "(His) Precious Reverence" (Je-rin-po-c'e) is St. Tson K'a-pa, "(His) Reverence" (Je-tsun) is St. Mila-raspa, "(His) Holy Reverence" (Je-tsun dam-pa) is Taranatha, "The Teacher" (sLob-dpon) is St. Padma-sambhava, and the Sakya Lama is "(His) Highness."

Mystic Monogram. (Nam-c'n-van-dan.) See p. 142. f.-n. 6.



1 Compare with the analogous Buddhist "Queen of Heaven, "Tara or Kwan-yin, pp. 435, etc.

2 Cf. V.A. Smith "On the Graeco-Roman influence on the Civilization of Ancient India," J.A.S.B., 1891-9:2, p. 50, etc. Also Prof. Grunwedel, loc. cit.
3 Rhys Davids, B., p. 7. "In the courtyard of nearly all the wiharas (monasteries) in  Ceylon there is a small dewala (or god-temple) in which the Brahmanical deities are  worshipped. The persons who officiate in them are called Kapavas. They marry.  The incantations they use are in Sanskrit (East. Mon., p. 201). The chief gods  worshipped are Vishnu, Kataragaina, Nata who in the next Kalpa is to become  Maitreya Buddha, and Pattini Deva. Other temples belong to tutelaries. e.g., Saman  Deva, the tutelary of Buddha's foot-print, Sri-pade (Rept. Service Tenures Commission,  Ceylon, 1872, p. 62). It is probable that this Pattini is the tutelary goddess of  Asoka's capital, Patna. Cf. my Discovery of exact site of Pataliputra, etc., 1892."
4  Das Pantheon des Tschangtscha Hutuklu, etc.

5 sGrubs-t'ub brgya-rtsa.

6 Sgrub-t'ub ts'ig bc'ad, Skt. ? Sadanan sloka.

7 rin-'byuin sNar-t'an brgya-rtsa.
8 Rin-'byun-brgya rtsa.

9 Gon-po, Skt., Natha; and Lha-mo, Skt., Kali.

10 It may probably be a version of this work which Pander (Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie, p. 54, Berlin, 1889) refers to as published at Urgya by a successor of Taranatha rJe-btsun gdam-pa.

11 Op. cit., p. 63.

12 With these lists may also be compared the illustrated Buddhist pantheon of the Japanese, Butzu dso-dsui, reproduced in parts in Prof. J. Hoffman at Leyden in Siebold's Nippon Archiv sur Beschreibung von Japan, Vol. v., and by Dr. W. Anderson in his admirable Catalogue of Jap. Paintings in British Museum.

13 It gives pictures of the gods and saints with their special mantras.
14 The Lamas do not generally, as do the Nepalese Buddhists, restrict immortality to Adi-Buddha.

15 The Hindus entertain the same belief as regards their ap-rupi idols, which are mostly ancient Buddhist ones.

16 Lit. =flat + image.

17 Schlagintweit describes (Bud, p. 220) one of these colossal images at Leh as "the Buddha in Meditation," and as higher than the temple itself, the head going through the roof. "The body is a frame of wood, dressed with draperies of cloth and paper,  the head, the arms, and the feet are the only parts of the body moulded of clay."  
18  'jim-gzugs.

19 Huc's Souv., ii., p. 95: Rockhill, Land, i., p. 69. In Ceylon temporary images are said to be made of rice.-- Hardy's East. Mon., 202/

20 gser-zans-sku.

21 li-ma.

22 S'in-sku.

23 rdo-sku.

24 zun-zhug.

25 This ceremony is called "rabs-gnas zhug-pa." Cf. Csoma, A., p. 403.

26 The images of the fierce gods and goddesses especially are veiled. The veil covering the face of Devi is called "Lha-moi zhab-k'ebs. Itis a white silken scarf, about eighteen inches broad, with red borders about a foot wide. And on it are drawn in  colours several of the auspicious symbols, the swastika, elephants' tusks, conch, jewels,  also the goad, etc., and the mystic spell Bhyo-o.
27 Called sa-tsch'a.
28 'dabs-ris.

29 Cf. W. Anderson's Catalogue Japanese Pictures; Nott and Gliddon, Indig. Races, 302.
30 t'ub-bzugs.

31 Tibeto-Sanskrit dictionaries give "Siva" as well a "Santi" as the Sanskrit equivalent of this word, so it may literally mean a mild form of the Sivaist gods.

32 K'ro-bo from the Skt. Krodha, anger.

33 Drags-po or Drags-gs'ed.

34 mGon-po Skt., Natha.
35 gdon-drug-ch'an 'jig-byed bdud-las rnam rgyal.

36 According to the rhyme:

rje-btsun 'jam dbyans k'ros-pa-ni
rdo-rje 'jigs byed 'jigs par byed,
k'ro-bor rgyal-po gdon drug c'an.

37 For the (80 or 84) secondary beauties, cf. Burnouf's Lotus, App., viii., Hardy's Man., 367, Raj. L. Mitra's Lalita Vist. For description of Hindu Idols, see Brihat Samhita, translated by Dr. Kern, J.R.A.S., vi., 322.
38 Cf. Schlag., B., p. 222, for measurements of proportions of several of these images.

39 Trilocana, a character also of the Hindu Bhairava and Kali and their demon troop of followers, the gana.

40 After Pander.
41 rdo-rje skyil-drun.

42 sems-dpa skyil drun.

43 Skyil dkrun chun zad.
44 rol-ba bzugs. 45 byams bzugs. 46 p'yag-rgya.

47 sa-gnon
48 mnam-bz'ag.

49 tin-ne 'dsin.

50 byan-chub-mch'og.

51 ch'os 'k'or-bskor.

52 mch'og-sbyin.

53 skyab-sbyin.

54 ch'os 'c'ad.

55 pa-dan rtse gsum.

56 sdigs-dsub.
57 Eastern India, i.

58 India Archaeological Survey Repts., by Sir A. Cunningham; West India Arch. S. Repts., by J. Burgess; Catalogue of Archaeolog. Collection in Indian Museum, by J. Anderson.

59 rgyal-ba rigs-lna — or "The Pentad Victors." No one seems to have noticed this constant use by the Lamas of the word Jina for the celestial Buddhas, whom the Nepalese term Dhyani-Buddha, though it is interesting in regard to Jainism in its relations to Buddhism.  
60 See figures on previous page.

61 To rescue the lost or to bind the opponents. A symbol of Siva, Varuna, and Lakshmi.
62 After Pander, Pantkh, p. 108.
63 Possessing "the thirty beauties" and "the eighty secondary beauties." These include a lotus mark on each palm and sole.

64 The ragged contour of Sakya's cropped hair in his images is ascribed to his having on his great renunciation cut off his tresses with his sword. The cut locks of hair were carried to heaven, where the gods enshrined them in "the tomb of the Jewelled Tresses" (Cudamani Caitya), which is still a regular object of worship with Burmese Buddhists.

65 Skt., Ushnisha; Tib., Tsug-tor.

66 Skt., Cuda. The peculiar flame-like process intended to represent a halo of rays of light issuing from the crown, so common in Ceylon images, is not distinctly represented by the Tibetans, and at most by a jewel.

67 Tib., Lagoi.

68 Tib., Ten-kab.

69 Described by Hiuen Tsiang, Beal's translation of Si-Yu-Ki, ii., p. 122.
70  Kusa (poa cynosuroides).

71 Vajrasana (T., rdo-rje-gdan, pron. Dorje-den).

72 Cf. Taylor's Primitive Culture, i., 326; ii., 270.

73 Le bien-heureux (Burn., i., 71; and Jaesch., D., 147).
74 kLu-dban-gi-rgyal-po; Skt., Nagesvara raja.— His face is white and his body blue; he is sitting in rdo-rje skyil-krun. Symb.— His two hands are in the mudra of nan- 'gre-las-'don-par-mdsad-pa (or causing the animal beings to be delivered from misery) and are held over the heart. He has no ornaments. Behind him is a screen and flower and a seven-hooded snake canopy. Cf. Pander, p. 71.

75 Sans-rgyas dpah-bohiduns.

76 De-bz'in gs'egs-pa.

77 Cf. Cs., An.; Turner, J.A.S.B.. viii.. 789: Hardy's Man., 94.

78 The Nepalese place him as the ninth predecessor of the historical Buddha (Hodgs., I., p. 135). Cf. Hoffmann in Siebold's Nippon Pantheon, v . 77. "The Twenty-four Buddhas" are Dipamkara, Kaundinya, Mangala, Sumanas, Raivata, Sobhita, (?) Ana-vama-darsin, Padma, Narada, Padmottara, Sumedhas, Sujata, Priya-darsin, Artha-darsin, Dharma-darsin, Siddharta, Tishya, Pushya, Vipasyin, Sikhin, Visvabhu,  Krakucandra, Kanaka-muni (or Konagamana), and Kasyapa.
79 Csoma, An.
80 Cf. Hodgs., Ess., 27, 58, 64; Koppen, ii., 25; Schlag., 51, 210; Eitel, Handb., passim.
81 In its Anuttara-yoga section.
82 t'og-mahi Sans-rgyas.

83 Conf. also Hodgson's figures from Nepal in Asiatic Researches, xvi.

84 i.e., Vajra-palanga. See p. 335.
85 In magic-circles, however, the special form of the celestial Buddhis to which the Mandala is addressed occupies the centre.

86 This symbol is represented on the special Tantrik vajra, and bell of each of these Jinas and the colour of the vajra and bell are the same as that of the Jina they symbolize.

87 This refers to the witness episode of Mara's temptation, see page 344.

88 Being in the teaching attitude, Vairocana Buddha is held to be the Buddha who specially personifies Wisdom.

89 He is usually made an emanation from all of the celestial Jinas.
90 Cf. Schl., 50; Koppen, ii., 28, 367; Hodgs., 27, 46, 77, 83; Schief., Tara., 300: Pand.,  No. 56.
91  Dig-pa t'am-c'ad s'ag-par ter-choi, details in Schlag., p. 123 seq. It is not to be confused with the section of the Pratimoksha, properly so called.

92 See list of Buddha's thousand names by Prof. Schmidt, B. Ac., St. Petersbg.

93 Banyio Nanjio, Chamberlain's Handbook to Japan.
94 Baber, Supp. Papers, Royal Geog. Soc., p. 200.
95 Rig-sum mgon-po, the Lamaist Trimurti.

96 Of the mild, z'i-wa type.

97 Cf. Pand., No. 151.

98 Ses-rab ral-gri

99 Cf. Koppen, ii., 21.
100 Though the Prajna must be somewhat of this character.

101 Cf. Archaeol. W. Ind.,9, xxvi., 18. Pa., No. 145.

102 bDyaush-pitar, or heavenly father of the Hindus, becomes "Jupiter" or "Dies- piter" of the Romans, and "Zeus" of the Greeks.

103 Cf. for more common form, Arch. W. Ind., 9, xxvii., 23, and Pa., 84, 146, 169, 170, 171.

104 Beal's trans., ii.

105 J.R.A.S., 1894, p. 51, et seq., where twenty-two forms are described.
106 Cf. A.W.I., xxvi., p. 17; Pa., No. 147 and my Art. J.R.A.S., loc. cit.

107 Cf. my art. above cited. The head-splitting is associated with the presence of an obstacle, in early Buddhist works. Thus in the Dialogues of Menander (Milinda, Rhys Davids' trans., p. 222), in regard to the raiser of an obstacle it is said, "then would his head split into a hundred or into a thousand pieces."

108 Cf. Burnouf's Lotus, p. 428; Beal's Catena, 384.
109 For description of some of these in the Ajanta caves, see art. by me in Ind. Antiquary, 1898.

110 From the Japanese Butzu Dzo-dsui, p. 127. The form figured, which is generally like that in Lamaism, is entitled Samantabhadra-Yama. Cf, also W. Anderson's Cat., p. 81, No. 57.

111 Cf. Pand., No 152, and No. 55. The Japanese call him Fugen.

112 Fig. Pand., No. 148.

113 Fig Pand., No. 150.

114 Fig. Pand., No. 149.

115 Fig. Pand., No. 153.

116 Fig. Pand., No. 154.

117 Fig. Pand., No. 155.

118 Fig. Pand., No. 156.
119  Or in Japanese Kwan-non, a translation of "Avalokita."

120 For note on Tara's origin, see my article in J.R.A.S., 1894, pp. 63, etc.

121 For detailed description of twenty-seven forms, see ibid.
122 Titles of "The Twenty-one Taras."

1. Tara, the supremely valiant (Pra-sura Tara).

2 Tara of white-moon brightness [Candrojasa Sita Tara).

3. Tara the golden coloured (Gauri T).

4. Tara the victorious hair-crowned (Ushnishahjava T.).

5. Tara the "Hun-shouter (Humda T).

6. Tara the three-world best worker.

7. Tara suppressor of strife.

8. Tara the bestower of supreme power.

9. Tara the best providence.

10. Tara, the dispeller of grief.

11. Tara the cherisher of the poor.

12. Tara the brightly glorious.

13. Tara the universal mature worker.

14. Tara with the frowning brows (Bhrikuti Tara).

15. Tara the giver of prosperity.

16. Tara the subduer of passion.

17. Tara the supplier of happiness (Sarsiddhi T.).

18. Tara the excessively vast.

19. Tara the dispeller of distress.

20. Tara the advent or realization spiritual power (Siddharta Tara).

21. Tara the completely perfect.

123 Cf. Chapters x. and xi., and also Giorgi.

124 Cf. Pand., No. 163, whose figure is reproduced above.
125 As in the type also of the "Pancha Raksha."

126 Skt., Matrika, or mother; T., Yum, and the pair are called "the father-mother," T. Yab-yum.

127 After Pander, No. 61, which see for some details.
128 Pand., No. 63, and Csoma, An., p. 498.

129 Pand., Nos. 62 and 68.
130 After Pander.

131 Cf. Pa., No. 166, 167, 168, 213.

132 Cf. Chamberlain's Handbook to Japan, Pand., No. 174.

133 Cf. Pander, No. 212.

134 After Pander, No, 148. Cf. Schlag., 112.
135  This name suggests relationship with the "Nats" of the Burmese Buddhists, though most of these Nats are clearly Hindu Vedic deities, and as their number is said to be 37, probably they are the 33 Vedic gods of Indra's heaven plus the four-fold Brahma or the four guardians of the quarter. For list of the Nats cf. App. by Col. Sladen in Anderson's Mandalay to Momein, p. 457.

136 Pand., No. 230.
137 Nos. 127, 187, 188, 189, 191, 192, 223, 224, 226, 227, 228.

138 Cf. Bournouf, i., 87.
139 They comprise eleven Rudras, eight Vasus, and twelve Adityas.

140 The god of the Waters, formerly the god of the Sky.

141 Kuvera or Vaisravana "the renowned" is identified by Genl. Cunningham with the Greek Hephaestus, and the Homeric epithet Periklutos always applied to Vulcan.

142 Also Me-mjad kyi bdag-po, or Master of the Universe.
143 Skt.,Nakula; T., Ne-'ule. Herpestes sp. (? pharaonis). It is figured vomiting jewels.

144 Cf. also Beal's Catena, 417.

145 The Naga kings Nanda, Upananda, Sagara, Dritarasa, and Anavataptu are Buddhists and therefore exempt from attack by Garudas. For many particulars regarding Nagas, cf. Megha Sutra, transl. by Prof. C. Bendall, J.R.A.S., 1880, pp. 1 seq.; Beal's Catena, 50, etc.; Schiefner's trans, of the kLu-'bum dKar-po; also my list of Naga kings and commoners, J.R.A.S., 1894.
146 The malignant spirits are also divided into:

Preta (T., Yi-dvag).
Kumbhanda (Grul-bum).
Pisacha (Sa-za).
Bhuta ('Byun-po).
Putana (Srul-po).
Kataputana (Lus srul-po)
Unmada (sMyo byed).
Skanda (T., sKyem byed)
Apsmara (Brjed-byed).
C'haya? (Grib gnon).
Raksha (Srin-po).
Revati graha (Nam gru hi gdon)
S'akuni graha (Bya hi hdon).
Brahma Rakshasa (Bram-zehi-srin-po).

147 On Hariti, cf. p. 99, and Eitel, Handbk., p. 62.

148 Cf. Jaeschke, p. 423.

149 The 'Dre are especially virulent. Cf. Jaeschke, p. 269 and 434.

150 Cf. also Jaeschke, p. 423.

151 Cf. also Jaeschke, p. 284.
152 Tse-rin mc'ed-lna. They are higher in rank than the Tan-ma.

153 Properly Kan-ch'en-mdsod-lna.
154 bdud-mo ch'en-mo bzhi, gnod-sbyin ch'en, etc.; sman-mo ch'en, etc.

155 See his figure in Schlagintweit's Atlas.

156 Remusat's Notes in Foe-Koue-Ki; Edkin, Chin. Buddh., Sarat., J.A.S.B., 1882, page 67.

157 (gZ'i-bdag).
158 Edkins, Chin. Buddh., 207. His official birthday is the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.

159 The Mongol Door-gods are thus described by Galsang Czomboyef, a recent Russo- Mongol writer, quoted by Yule (Marco Polo, i., 250): "Among the Buryats (who retain to greatest extent the old customs of the Mongols), in the middle of the hut, and place of honour is the Dsaiagachi, or 'Chief Creator of Fortune.' At the door is the Emelgelji, the tutelary of the herds and young cattle, made of sheep-skins. Outside the hut is the Chandaghatu, a name implying that the idol was formed of a white hare-skin, the tutelary of the Chase and perhaps of war. All these have been expelled by Buddhism except Dsaiagachi, who is called Tengri (=Heaven), and introduced among the Buddhist divinities" as a kind of Indra. Those placed at side of door are not prayed to, but are offered a portion of the food or drink at meal times by greasing the mouths of the fetishes, and sprinkling some of the broth by them.
160 Nan-lha.

161 As detailed in my article on the subject in Journ. Anthropological Institute, London, 1894.
162 Cf. my Lamaism in Sikhim.
163 Cf. Csoma's An., 48:;Raj. Lal Mitra's trans. Lalita Vist., 10.

164 For descriptions of many of these see Taranatha's mDsad-brgya, and his Hist. of Ind. Budd., trans, by Schiefner; also Eitel's Handbk., and Pander's Panth.

165 For their figures and some details cf. Pander's Panth. (loc. cit), pp. 83 et seq.
166 Schief., Lebensb., 92.

167 Cf. Jaesch., D., 372.
168 Cf. Pandeb, Panth., p. 89.

169 For additional details see Taranatha's History (Schiefner's transl.), and Pander's Panth., pp. 47, etc. These first four, cf. Julien's Hiuen Tsiang, ii., 214.

170 For some details and figures see Pander, Panth., pp.50, etc.
171 guru pad-ma 'byun gnas. Cf. Giorgi, p. 242, and figure p. 552.

172 rdo-rje gro-lod.

173 nyi-ma 'od zer.

174 Sen-ge sgra sgrogs.

175 blo-ldan mch'g-Sred ( or? Srid).

176 The account here given is abstracted from the following Tibetan works, all of which are of the fictitious "revelation" order, and often conflicting, but dating, probably, to about six or seven hundred years ago, namely: Padma-bkah-t'an (or "The displayed Commands of the Lotus-one"); Than-yig gser-'p'ren (or "The Golden Rosary of Displayed-letters"); Than'-yig-sde-la (or "The Five Classes of Displayed- letters"), and a Lepcha version, entitled Tashi Sun, or "History of the Glorious One," written by the Sikhim king (? Gyur-mei Nami-gyal), who, about two centuries ago, invented the so-called Lepcha characters by modifying the Tibetan and Bengali letters.
177  mDses-ldan.

178 This is the form found in the text, while another MS. gives Indrabhuti; but its Tibetan translation also given is Spyan-med-'byor-ldan, or "The Eyeless Wealthy One," which could give an Indian form of Andhara-basuti.

179 Trig-na-'dsin.

180 Also an epithet of Brahma.
181 mTs'o-skyes rdo-rje; Skt., Saroruha-vajra.

182 Skt., Bhasadhara or "The Light-holder."

183 The text gives "wife."

184 This is probably the Sinhapura of Hiuen Tsiang, which adjoined Udayana or Udyana; or it may be Sagala.

185 bSil-ba ts'aL This is said to lie to the east of India and to be the abode of Hung- kara, the greatest of the eight great sages or rig-dsin. For a Mahayana Sutra delivered here by Buddha, see Csoma, An,, p. 517.

186 Sasanika is one of the twelve observances of a Bhikshu, and conveys just ideas of the three great phenomena, impermanence, pain, and vacuity, by seeing the funerals, the grieving relatives, the stench of corruption, and the fighting of beasts of prey or the remains. Buddha in the Dulva (Rock., B., p. 29) is also stated to have followed the ascetic practice of a Sosaniko, or frequenter of cemeteries,.

187 bkah-skyon, or command + protector; it may also be Sanskritized as pudarsana-pala.
188 When the Guru, after passing through Nepal, reached Man-yul, the enemy-god (dgra-lha) of Z'an-z'un, named Dsa-mun, tried to destroy him by squeezing him between two mountains, but he overcame her by his irdhi-power of soaring in the sky. He then received her submission and her promise to become a guardian of Lamaism under the religious name of rDo-rje Gyu-bun-ma.

E-ka-dsa-ti.— When the Guru reached gNam-t'an-mk'ar-nag, the white fiendess of that place showered thunderbolts upon him, without, however, harming him. The Guru retaliated by melting her snow-dwelling into a lake; and the discomfited fury fled into the lake T'an-dpal-mo-dpal, which the Guru then caused to boil. But though her flesh boiled off her bones, still she did not emerge; so the Guru threw in his thunderbolt, piercing her right eye. Then came she forth and offered up to him her life-essence, and was thereon named Gans-dkar-sha-med-rDo-rje-sPyan-gcig-ma, or "The Snow-white, Fleshless, One-eyed Ogress of the Vajra."

The twelve Tan-ma Furies.— Then the Guru marched onward, and readied U-yug-bre- mo-snar, where the twelve bstan-ma (see figure, page 27) furies hurled thunderbolts at him, and tried to crush him between mountains; but the Guru evaded them by flying into the sky, and with his "pointing-finger" charmed their thunderbolts into cinders. And by his pointing-finger he cast the hills and mountains upon their snowy dwellings. Thereupon the twelve bstan-ma, with all their retinue thwarted and subdued, offered him their life-essence, and so were brought under his control.

Dam-c'an-r Dor-legs.— Then the Guru, pushing onward, reached the fort of U-yug-bye- tshan'-rdson, where he was opposed by dGe-bsnen rDo-rje-legs-pa (see figure, p. 26) with his three hundred and sixty followers, who all were subjected and the leader appointed a guardian (bsrung-ma) of the Lamaist doctrine.

Yar-lha-sham-po. — Then the Guru, going forward, reached Sham-po-lun, where the demon Yar-lha-sham-po transformed himself into a huge mountain-like white yak, whose breath belched forth like great clouds, and whose grunting sounded like thunder. Bu-yug gathered at his nose, and he rained thunderbolts and hail. Then the Guru caught the demon's nose by "the iron-hook gesture," bound his neck by "the rope gesture,'' bound his feet by "the fetter-gesture"; and the yak, maddened by the super-added "bell-gesture," transformed himself into a young boy dressed in white silk, who offered up to the Guru his life-essence; and so this adversary was subjected.

Tan'-lha the great gNan. — Then the Guru proceeded to Phya-than-la pass, where the demon gNan-ch'en-t'an-lha, transformed himself into a great white snake, with his head in the country of Gru-gu, and his tail in gYer-mo-than country, drained by the Mongolian river Sok-Ch'u, and thus seeming like a chain of mountains he tried to bar the Guru's progress. But the Guru threw the lin-gyi over the snake. Then the T'an'-lha, in fury, rained thunderbolts, which the Guru turned to fishes, frogs, and snakes, which fled to a neighbouring lake. Then the Guru melted his snowy dwelling, and the god, transforming himself into a young boy dressed in white silk, with a turquoise diadem, offered up his life-essence, together with that of all his retinue, and so he was subjected.

The Injurers. — Then the Guru, proceeding onwards, arrived at the northern Phan- yul-thang, where the three Injurers — sTing-lo-sman of the north, sTing-sman-zor gdon-ma, and sTing-sman-ston— sent hurricanes to bar the Guru's progress. On which the Guru circled "the wheel of fire" with his pointing-finger, and thus arrested the wind, and melted the snowy mountains like butter before a red hot iron. Then the three gNod-sbyin, being discomfited, offered up their life-essence and so were subjected.

The Black Devils.— Then the Guru, going onward, reached gNam-gyi-shug-mthon- glang-sgrom, where he opened the magic circle or Mandate of the Five Families (of the Buddhas) for seven days, after which all the commanders of the host of bDud-Devil offered their life-essence and so were subjected.

The-u-ran. — Then the Guru went to the country of gLar-wa-rkan-c'ig-ma, where he brought all the The-u-ran demons under subjection.

The Mi-ma-yin Devils. — When the Guru was sitting in the cave of Senge-brag-phug, the demon Ma-sans-gyah-spang-skyes-shig, desiring to destroy him, came into his presence in the form of an old woman with a turquoise cap, and rested her head on the Guru's lap and extended her feet towards Gye-wo-than and her hands towards the white snowy mountain Ti-si. Then many thousands of Mi-ma-yin surrounded the Guru menacingly; but he caused the Five Fierce Demons to appear, and so he subjected the Mi-ma-yin.

Ma-mo, etc.— Then he subjected all the Ma-mo and bSemo of Ch'u-bo-ri and Kha-rak, and going to Sil-ma, in the province of Tsang, he subjected all the sMan-mo. And going to the country of Hori he subjected all the Dam-sri, And going to Rong-lung-nag-po he subjected all the Srin-po. And going to central Tibet (dbUs) towards the country of the lake Manasarova (mal-dro), he subjected all the Nagas of the mal-dro lake, who offered him seven thousand golden coins. And going to Gyu-'dsin-phug-mo, he subjected all the Pho-rgyud. And going to Dung-mdog-brag-dmar, he subjected all the smell eating Driza (? Gandharva). And going to Gan-pa-ch'u-mig, he subjected all the dGe-snen. And going to Bye-ma-rab-khar, he subjected all the eight classes of Lha-srin. And going to the snowy mountain Ti-si, he subjected all the twenty- eight Nakshetras. And going to Lha-rgod-gans, he subjected the eight planets. And going to Bu-le-gans, he subjected all the 'dre of the peaks, the country, and the dwelling-sites, all of whom offered him every sort of worldly wealth. And going to gLo-bor, he subjected all the nine lDan-ma-spun. Then he was met by Gans-rje-jo-wo at Pho-ma-gans, where he brought him under subjection. Then having gone to rTse-lha-gans, he subjected the rTse-sman. And going to sTod-lung, he subjected all the bTsan. Then having gone to Zul-p'ul-rkyan-gram-bu-t'sal, he remained for one month, during which he subjugated gzah-bolud and three Dam-sri.

And having concealed many scriptures as revelations, he caused each of these fiends to guard one apiece. With this he completed the subjection of the host of malignant devils of Tibet.

Then the Guru proceeded to Lhasa, where he rested awhile, and then went towards sTod-lun. At that time mnah-bdag-rgyal-po sent his minister, Lha-bzan- klu-dpal, with a letter and three golden Pata, silken clothes, horses, and divers good presents, accompanied by five hundred cavalry. These met him at sTod-lun-gzhon-pa, where the minister offered the presents to the Guru. At that time all were athirst, but no water or tea was at hand, so the Guru touched the rock of sTod-lun-gzhon-pa, whence water sprung welling out; which he told the minister to draw in a vessel. Hence that place is called to this day gz'on-pai-lha-ch'u or "The water of the God's vessel."

From Hao-po-ri the Guru went to Zun-k'ar, where he met King mNah-bdag- rgyal-po, who received him with honour and welcome. Now the Guru, remembering his own supernatural origin and the king's carnal birth, expected the king to salute him, so remained standing. But the king thought, "I am the king of the black- headed men of Tibet, so the Guru must first salute me." While the two were possessed by these thoughts, the Guru related how through the force of prayers done at Bya-run-K'a-shor stupa in Nepal (see p. 315) in former births, they two have come here together. The Guru then extended his right hand to salute the king, but fire darted forth from his finger-tips, and catching the dress of the king, set it on fire. And at the same time a great thunder was heard in the sky, followed by an earthquake. Then the king and all his ministers in terror prostrated themselves at the feet of the Guru.

Then the Guru spoke, saying, "As a penance for not having promptly saluted me, erect five stone stupas." These the king immediately erected, and they were named z'un-m'kar-mch'od-rten, and exist up till the present day.
189 After Pander.

190 Regarding his image in the cathedral of Lhasa, the sacristan related the following legend to Sarat: T'an-ton feared the miseries of this world very much, having inhabited it in former existences. Accordingly he contrived to remain sixty years in his mother's womb. There he sat in profound meditation, concentrating his mind most earnestly on the well-being of all living creatures. At the end of sixty years he began to realize that, while meditating for the good of others, he was neglecting the rather prolonged sufferings of his mother. So he forthwith quitted the womb, and came into the world already provided with grey hair, and straightway commenced preaching.
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Re: The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults

Postby admin » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:26 am

Part 1 of 2


Garuda Yantra Charm

Most religions of the present day teem with symbolism, which is woven so closely into the texture of the creeds that it is customary to excuse its presence by alleging that it is impossible to convey to the people spiritual truths except in material forms. Yet we have only to look at Muhammadanism, one of the great religions of the world, and still actively advancing, to see that it appeals successfully to the most uneducated and fanatical people, although it is practically devoid of symbolism, and its sanctuary is a severely empty building, wholly unadorned with images or pictures. People, however, who are endowed with artistic sense, tend to clothe their religion with symbolism.

The symbols proper, extra to the symbolic representations of the deities dealt with in the preceding chapter, are conventional signs or diagrams, or pictures of animals, mythological or otherwise, or of plants and inanimate objects; and in Tibet they are very widely met with. They are painted or carved on houses and furniture, and emblazoned on boxes and embroidery, and on personal ornaments, trinkets, charms, etc.

The extremely rich symbolism found in Lamaism is largely of Indian and Chinese origin. Its emblems are mainly of a conventional Hindu kind, more or less modified to adapt them to their Buddhist setting. Others are derived from the Chinese, and a few only are of Tibetan origin. These latter are mostly of a very crude kind, like the rebuses common in mediaeval England for the use of the illiterate.

In this place, also, we can most conveniently glance at the mystic value of numbers; the "magic-circle" offering in effigy of the universe, etc., which enters into the daily worship of every Lama; and the charms against sickness and accidents, ill-luck, etc., and the printed charms for luck which form the "prayer- flags," and the tufts of rags affixed to trees, bridges, etc.

The Lotus. — Most of the sacred emblems, as well as the images of divinities, it will be noticed, are figured upon a lotus-flower. This expresses the Hindu idea of super-human origin. The lotus upon the lake seems to spring from the body of the waters without contact with the sordid earth, and, no matter how muddy the water may be, the lotus preserves its own purity undefiled.

The various kinds of lotuses figured at page 339 are given special uses. The red lotus is common to most deities and divine symbols; the white lotus is special to Avalokita; the blue one to Tara; and when a demon is figured upon a lotus the latter is a pinkish variety of the white form, with the petals much notched or divided.

The Three Gems (Tri-ratna1), symbolic of the Trinity: Buddha, his Word, and the Church. These are usually figured (as in No. 2 on next page) as three large egg-shaped gems, with the narrow ends directed downwards, and the central member is placed slightly above the other two, so as to give symmetry to the group, which is usually surrounded by flames.

The Svastika,2 or "fly-foot cross," is a cross with the free end of each arm bent at right angles to the limbs. It is one of the most widely diffused of archaic symbols, having been found at Troy by Schliemann, and among ancient Teutonic nations as the emblem of Thor. In Buddhism, the ends of the arms are always bent in the respectful attitude, that is, towards the left; for the Lamas, while regarding the symbol as one of good augury, also consider it to typify the continuous moving, or "the ceaseless becoming," which is commonly called, Life. Sir A. Cunningham believed it to be a monogram formed from the Asoka characters for the auspicious words Su + Asti, or "that which is good."3 It was especially associated with the divinity of Fire, as representing the two cross pieces of wood4 which by friction produce fire. The Jains, who seem to be an Indian offshoot of Buddhism,5 appropriate it for the seventh of their mythical saints.6 The heterodox Tibetans, the Bon, in adopting it have turned the ends in the reverse direction.

The Seven Gems.7 These are the attributes of the universal monarch,8 such as prince Siddharta was to have been had he not become a Buddha. They are very frequently figured on the base of his throne, and are: —

1. The Wheel.9 The victorious wheel of a thousand spokes. It also represents the symmetry and completeness of the Law. It is figured in the early Sanchi Tope.10

2. The Jewel.11 The mother of all gems, a wish-procuring gem (Cintamani).

3. The jewel of a Wife.12 "The Jasper-girl" who fans her lord to sleep, and attends him with the constancy of a slave.

4. The gem of a Minister,13 who regulates the business of the empire.

The Seven Gems

5. The (white) Elephant.14 The earth-shaking beast, who as a symbol of universal sovereignty the Buddhist kings of Burma and Siam borrowed from Indian Buddhism. It seems to be Indra's elephant Airavata.15

6. The Horse.16 It seems to symbolize the horse-chariot of the sun, implying a realm over which the sun never sets, as well as the celestial Pegasus-steed,17 which carries its rider wherever the latter wishes.18

7. The gem of a General,19 who conquers all enemies.

And to these the Lamas add an eighth, namely, the Vase,20 for storing all the hidden riches of the three regions of life. The Seven (Royal) Badges21  

1. The precious House (palace). (Kan-san Rinpoch'e)
2. The precious royal Robes. (Gos Rinpoch'e)
3. The precious Boots (embroidered). (Lham Rinpoch'e)
4. The precious Elephant's tusk. (Lan-ch'en ch'em Rinpoch'e)
5. The precious Queen's earring. (Tsumno na-ja Rinpoch'e)
6. The precious King's earring. (Gyalpo na-ja Rinpoch'e)
7. The precious Jewel. (Norbu Rinpoch'e)

The Seven World-Ravishing Gems.

The above list seems somewhat confused with "The seven world-ravishing Gems" here figured.22

The Seven Personal Gems.23

1. The Sword-jewel — confers invincibility.

2. The Snake (Naga)-skin jewel. It is ten miles long by five broad; water cannot wet it, nor the wind shake it; it warms in the cold weather and cools in the hot; and shines brighter than the moon.

3. The Palace-jewel.

4. The Garden-jewel.

5. The Robes.

6. The Bed-jewel.

7. The Shoe-jewel. Conveys the wearer one hundred miles without fatigue and across water without wetting the feet.

The Seven Personal Gems

A selection of four of these, with the addition of the royal umbrella, is termed "The five Royal Insignia,"24 namely:—

1. Ornamental cushion or throne.

2. Umbrella.

3. Sword— emblematic of power of life and death.

4. Cow-tail Fly-whisk with jewelled handle.

5. Parti-coloured embroidered shoes.

The Eight Glorious Emblems.25

These auspicious symbols are figured in Buddha's footprints,26 and on innumerable articles, lay and clerical.

The Eight Glorious Emblems

Name / Skt. / Tib.

1. The Golden Fish27 / matsya / gser-na
2. The Umbrella ("Lord of the White Umbrella"28) / chatra / gdugs
3. Conch-shell Trumpet— of Victory / sankha / dun
4. Lucky Diagram29 / srivatsa / dpal-be
5. Victorious Banner / dhvaja / rgyal-mts'an
6. Vase / kalasa / bum-pa
7. Lotus / padma / padma
8. Wheel / cakra / 'k'or-lo

The Eight Glorious Offerings.29

The Eight Glorious Offerings

1. Mirror. — The light-holding goddess-form offered a looking-glass to Buddha Bhagavat when he was turning the wheel of religion, and he blessed it and rendered it holy. (Compare with the mirror in the Shinto religion of Japan.

2. The intestinal concretion (gi-ham or gi-'van found in the entrails of certain animals and on the neck of an elephant. The land-guarding elephant offered this to Buddha, and he blessed it.

3. Curds (zo). — The farmer's daughter (legs-skyes-ma) offered Buddha curdled milk, and he blessed it.

4. Darwa grass. — Mangalam, the grass-seller, offered Buddha darwa grass, which he blessed.

5. The Bilwa fruit (AEgle marmelos). — Brahma offered him bilwa, which he blessed as the best of fruits.

6. Conch-shell. — Indra offered him a white conch-shell, and he blessed it.

7. Li-khri. — The Brahman "King-star," offered him Li-khri, and he blessed it as the overpowering knowledge.

8. The white turnip. — Vajrapani, "the Secret Lord," offered him a white turnip (yan-dkar), which he blessed as the demon-defeating turnip.

The Five Sensuous Qualities.31

These are figured at page 297. They seem to be a Buddhist adaptation of the Hindu "eight enjoyments" (Ashtabhoga), namely, a grand house, a bed, fine clothes, jewels, wives, flowers, perfumes, areca-nut and betel. They are offered on the altars and are: —

1. Pleasing form (Rupa).
2. Sound (Sapta).
3. Perfumes (Gandhe).
4. Luscious eatables (Naiwete).
5. Pleasing-touch and feelings (Sparsa).

Distinctly Chinese in origin are the Trigrams and the following symbolic animals.

Symbols (a) rGyon-K'yil; (b) Hor-yig; (c) Hor-Tad Trigrams

The Trigrams are especially used in astrology, and are described in the chapter on that subject. They are based upon the very ancient Chinese theory of the Yin- Yang or "the great extreme" ("Tai- Ky"32 ), where two parallel lines, in a circle divided spirally into two equal tadpole-like segments, represent, as in the doctrine of the Magi, the two First Causes and great principles, or contrary influences ( Yin + Yang); such as light and darkness, good and evil, male and female, heat and cold, movement and repose, and so on.

The circular diagram33 is divided by the Lamas, like the Japanese, into three segments (as in the annexed figure a); and it will be noticed that the tails are given the direction of the orthodox fly-foot cross, for it too, according to the Lamas, signifies ceaseless change or "becoming."

Trigrams as Charms

The Longevity-trigram or hexagram, in both its oblong and circular forms (fig. b and c), is a modification of the Chinese symbol for longevity called Tho.34

The Lamas have also incorporated the four greatest amongst the Chinese symbolic animals, to wit, the Tortoise, the Phoenix, Dragon, and Horse-dragon, as well as the Chinese Tiger, and the Bats.

The Tortoise symbolizes the universe to the Chinese as well as the Hindus. Its dome-shaped back represents the vault of the sky, its belly the earth, which moves upon the waters; and its fabulous longevity leads to its being considered imperishable.

The Dragon35 seems to perpetuate the tradition of primaeval flying saurians of geologic times, now known only through their fossilized remains. The Lamas and Chinese Buddhists have assimilated them with the mythical serpents (Naga) of Indian myth.

The Horse-dragon figures, as it seems to me, very prominently in the prayer-flags of Tibet, as we shall presently see.

The Phoenix (or "Garuda"). This mythical "sky-soarer"36 is the great enemy of the dragons, and has been assimilated to the Indian Garuda, the arch-enemy of the Nagas. And anyone who has, like myself, seen the bird popularly called Garuda (namely the Adjutant or Stork) devouring snakes, must realize why the Indians fixed upon such a homely simile to represent their myth. It seems to be analogous to the Thunder-bird of the North American Indians. In a more mystic sense the Lamas, like the Chinese, believe it to symbolize the entire world; its head is the heaven, its eyes the sun, its back the crescent moon, its wings the wind, its feet the earth, its tail the trees and plants.37

The Tiger is a deity of the pre-Lamaist religion of Tibet; and the "Red-Tiger," as already noted, appears to me to be the prototype of the favourite Lamaist demon (Tam-din). The tiger is displayed on all the Tibetan prayer-flags in contest with the dragon,38 and the five tigers (see figure, page 519) are conspicuous in the Chinese symbolism prevalent in Annam.39

The group is mystically reputed to symbolize the five elements: the central yellow tiger is the earth, the upper right blue one is wood, the lower right red one is fire (also the south), the upper left black one is water (also the north), and the lower left is metal (also the west).

The Bats, five in number, have come by a confusion of homonyms to symbolize the five good Fortunes,40 namely, Luck, Wealth, Long life, Health, and Peace. They are embroidered on dresses of high Lamas, sorcerers, maskers, etc.41

The Five Bats of Fortune

Astrology also uses many other symbols, as will be seen hereafter.

The symbolism of colours is referred to in the chapter on images and incidentally elsewhere.

Symbolic Words used as Numerals in Chronograms.

In chronograms and astronomical and other works, symbolic names are often used instead of numerals. The rationale of the use of such names is generally obvious; thus the individual's body, the moon, the (one-horned) rhinoceros, express unity from their singleness. The hand, the eye, wings, twins, denote a pair. And many of the others are derived from the mythology of the Hindus. The following are some additional illustrations42: —

3 = the world — i.e., the three Buddhist worlds of Kama, Rupa, Arupa.

3 = quality — i.e., the three Guna.

3 = fire — evidently from its triangular tongue.

3 = top — probably from the Chinese ideograph of a hill.

4 = a lake or sea — i.e., the idea of fluid requiring to be hemmed in on all four sides.

5 = the senses — the five senses.

5 = an element — the five elements.

5 = an aggregate — the five Skandha.

7 = a sage — the seven Rishi.

8 = a snake — the eight great Nagas.

9 = a treasure — the nine treasures of Kuvera and the Nandas.

10 = points — the ten points or directions.

12 = the sun — with its twelve signs of the Zodiac.

24 = Jina or victor — the twenty-four Jina and Tirthankara.

32 = tooth — the human set of thirty-two teeth.

0 = sky — the "empty" space.

The "Mandala" or Magic Circle-offering of the Universe.

It is almost a matter of history how the great emperor of Asoka thrice presented India to the Buddhist church, and thrice redeemed it with his treasure. But it seems to be little, if at all, known that the Lamas systematically ape Asoka in this particular gift; and they are much more magnificently generous than he. For every day, in every temple in Lamadom, the Lamas offer to the Buddhas (as well as to the saints and demons) not only the whole of India, but the whole universe of Jambudvip and the three other fabulous continents of Hindu cosmogony, together with all the heavens and their inhabitants and treasures. And although this offering is made in effigy, it is, according to the spirit of Lamaism, no less effective than Asoka's real gifts, upon which it seems to be based.

The mode of making this microcosmic offering of the universe in effigy is as follows; but to fully understand the rite, reference should be made to the illustrated description of the Buddhist universe, already given at page 79.


Having wiped the tray with the right arm or sleeve, the Lama takes a handful of rice in either hand, and sprinkles some on the tray to lay the golden foundation of the universe. Then he sets down the large ring (see figure, p. 296), which is the iron girdle of the universe. Then in the middle is set down a dole of rice as mount Meru (Olympus), the axis of the system of worlds. Then in the order given in the attached diagram are set down a few grains of rice representing each of the thirty-eight component portions of the universe, each of which is named at the time of depositing its representative rice. The ritual for all sects of Lamas during this ceremony is practically the same. I here append the text as used by the Kar-gyu sect.

During this ceremony it is specially insisted on that the performer must mentally conceive that he is actually bestowing all this wealth of continents, gods, etc., etc., upon his Lamaist deities, who themselves are quite outside the system of the universe.

The words employed during the offering of the Mandala are the following, and it should be noted that the figures in brackets correspond to those in the diagram and indicate the several points in the magic circle where the doles of rice are deposited during this celebration or service.

"Om! Vajra bhummi ah Hum!"

"On the entirely clear foundation of solid gold is Om! bajra-rekhe ah Hum.

"In the centre of the iron wall is Hum and Ri-rab (Meru), the king of Mountains (1).

"On the east is Lus-'p'ags-po (2),

"On the south 'Jam-bu-glin (3),

"On the west Ba-lan-spyod (4), and

"On the north Gra-mi-snan (5).

"On either side of the eastern continent are Lus (6) and Lus- 'p'ags (7).

"On either side of the southern continent are rNa-yab (8) and rNa-yab-gz'an (9).

"On either side of the western continent are Yonten (10) and Lam-mch'og-'gra (11).



The numbers are in the order of the procedure.

The Great Continents

1. Ri Gyalpo Ri-rabs.
2. Shar lu Phag-po.
3. Hlo Jam-bu-ling.
4. Nub Pa-lang Jo.
5. Chang da-mi nyen.

The Satellite Continents  

6. Lu.
7. Lu phag.
8. Nga-yab.
9. Nga-yab zhen.
10. Yo-den.
11. Lam-chhog do.
12. Da-mi nyen.
13. Da-mi nyen kyi da.

The 4 Worldly Treasures

14. Rin-pochhe-im-wo.
15. 'eg-sam Kyi Shing
16. Dod jo-i-loo.
17. Ma-mo pa-i lo thog.

The Seven precious Things

18. Khor-lo.
19. Nar-bu.
20. Tsun-mo.
21. Lon-po.
22. Lang-po.
23. Tam-chhog.
24. Mag-pon.
25. Ter chhen-po-i-Bum-pa.

The 8 Matri Goddesses

26. Geg-mo-ma.
27. Theng-wa ma.
28. Lu-ma.
29. Gar-ma.
30. Me-tog ma.
31. Dug-po ma.
32. Nang sol-ma.
33. Di chhab ma.

Sun and Moon

34. Nyi-ma.
35. Da-wa.
36. rinpo-chhe-i dug.
37. Chhog-le nam-par Gyal-wa-i Gyat-tShen.
38. Nam-par Gyal-wa-i Khang zang.

"And on either side of the northern continent are sGra-mi-snan (12) and sGra-mi-snan-gyi-mda (13).

"There are mountains of jewels (14), wish-granting trees (15), wish- granting cows (16), unploughed crops (17), the precious wheel (18), the precious Norbu jewel (19), the precious queen (20), the precious minister (21), the precious elephant (22), the precious horse (23), the precious battle-chief (24), the vase of the great treasure (25), the goddesses sgeg-pa-ma (26), 'P'ren-wa-ma (27), gLu-ma (28), Gar-ma (29), Me-tog-ma (30), bDug-spos-ma (31), sNan-gsal-ma (32),Dri-ch'al-ma (33), the sun (34), moon (35), jewelled umbrella (36), the ensign of victory (37), which is entirely victorious from all directions, and in the middle are the gods (38), the most accomplished and wealthy of the beings!

"I offer you all these constituent parts of the universe in their entirety, O! noble, kind, and holy Lama! O! tutelary gods of the magic-circle, and all the hosts of Buddhas and Bodhisats!

"I beg you all to receive these offerings for the benefit of the animal beings!

"I offer you O! Buddhas! the four continents and mount Meru adorned with the sun and moon on a foundation of incense and flowers. Let all the animal beings enjoy happiness!

"I offer you O! assembly of all the accomplished supreme beings of the outside, inside, and hidden regions, the entire wealth and body of all these ideal regions. I beg you all to give us the best of all real gifts, and also the real gift of rDsogs-pa-ch'en-po (the mystic insight sought by the Nin-ma)!

"I offer up this fresh magic-circle, through the virtue of which let no injury beset the path of purity, but let us have the grace of the Jinas of the three times, and let us, the innumerable animal beings, be delivered from this illusive world!

"I offer up salutations, offerings, confessions of sins, and repentance. What virtue has been accumulated by myself and others, let it go to the attainment of our great end. Idam-ratna mandala kamnir-yaiteyami!

"I humbly prostrate myself three times to all who are worthy of worship, with my whole heart and body." Let glory come!43

But the commonest use of sacred symbols is as talismans to ward off the evils of those malignant planets and demons who cause disease and disaster, as well as for inflicting harm on one's enemy. The symbols here are used in a mystical and magic sense as spells and as fetishes, and usually consist of formulas in corrupt and often unintelligible Sanskrit, extracted from the Mahayana and Tantrik scriptures, and called dharani,44 as they are believed to "hold" divine powers, and are also used as incantations. Shorter forms of these, consisting often of a single letter, are also used as representing the essence or "germ" of these spells or mantras, and hence named vija. And the mystic diagram in which they are often arranged is named Yantra, as in Hindu Tantrism.45

The forms of these talismans and amulets are innumerable. The majority are luck-compelling, but different diseases, accidents and misfortune have each their special kinds.

The eating of the paper on which a charm has been written is an ordinary way of curing disease, as indeed it had been in Europe till not so many centuries ago, for the mystic Rx heading our prescriptions is generally admitted to have had its origin in the symbol of Saturn, whom it invoked, and the paper on which the symbol and several other mystic signs were inscribed constituted the medicine, and was itself actually eaten by the patient. The spells which the Lamas use in this way as medicine are shown in the annexed print, and are called "the edible letters" (za-yig).

A still more mystical way of applying these remedies is by the washings of the reflection of the writing in a mirror, a practice not without its parallels in other quarters of the globe.46 Thus to cure the evil eye as shown by symptoms of mind-wandering and dementia condition — called "byad-'grol" — it is ordered as follows: Write with Chinese ink on a piece of wood the particular letters and smear the writing over with myrobalams and saffron as varnish, and every twenty-nine days reflect this inscribed wood in a mirror, and during reflection wash the face of the mirror with beer, and collect a cupful of such beer and drink it in nine sips.

Edible Charm.

But most of the charms are worn on the person as amulets. Every individual always wears around the neck one or more of these amulets, which are folded up into little cloth-covered packets, bound with coloured threads in a geometrical pattern. Others are kept in small metallic cases of brass, silver, or gold, set with turquoise stones as amulets, and called "Ga-u." These amulets are fastened to the girdle or sash, and the smaller ones are worn as lockets,47 and with each are put relics of holy men — a few threads or fragments of cast-off robes of saints or idols, peacock feathers, sacred Kusa grass, and occasionally images and holy pills. Other large charms are affixed overhead in the house or tent to ward off lightning, hail, etc., and for cattle special charms are chanted, or sometimes pasted on the walls of the stalls, etc.48

Most of these charms against accident, disease, and ill-fortune are in the form figured on the opposite page, which is called "The Assembly of all the Lamas' Hearts," as it is believed to contain the essence of all that is most powerful in the Lamaist spells.

It consists of a series of concentric circles of spells surrounded by flames, amid which in the four corners are the symbols of the Buddhist trinity symbolized as three gems, a lotus-flower, a thunder-bolt sceptre, and a flaming dagger with a vajra-hilt. In the interior is an eight-petalled lotus-flower, each petal of which bears mystic syllables, and in the centre of the flower is a circular space of about an inch in diameter, in which is placed the especial mystic charm, prepared as presently described, and varying according to the purpose for which the charm is wanted. The outer spells are: —

In the Outmost Circle. — Guard the Body, Mind, and Speech of this charm-holder! Rakhya rakhya kuruye svaha! Angtadyatha! Om muni muni mahamuniye svaha. (Here follows "The Buddhist creed" already given; followed by the Dhyani Buddhas: — ) Vairocana Om vajra Akshobhya Hum, Ratna-sambhava Hri, Bargudhara Hri, Amoga- siddha Ah!

In Second Circle,— Om! Nama Samanta Buddhanam, Nama Samanta Dharmanam, nama Samanti Samghanam. Om Sititabatrai. Om Vimala, Om Shadkara, Om Brahyarigar Vajra ustsikhatsa krawarti sarvayana manta mula varma hana dhanamha. Namkil- aniba makriayena keni chatkramtamtata sarban ratsin ratsin dakhinda bhinda tsiri tsiri giri giri mada mada hum hum phat phat.

In Third Circle. — Guard the Body, Mind, and Speech of this charm- holder! Mama rakya rakhya kuruye swaha. Here follows the letters of the alphabet:—) Ang, a, a, i, i, u, u, ri, ri, li, li, e, ai, o. au, ang, a, k, kh, g, gh, n, ts, tsh, ds, dsa, n, ta, th, d, dh, n, p, ph, b, bh, m, y, r, l, w, s, sh, s, h, am!

In Fourth Circle. — Hum, Hum, etc.

In Fifth Circle. — Hri, Hri, etc.  

The General Charm Print. Entitled "The Assembly of Lamas' Hearts." (Reduced 1/2.)  

In Sixth Circle. — Om! A! Hum! Hri! Guru! Deva! Dakkini! Sarvasiddhipala Hum! A!

The special charm, which occupies the centre of the diagram, varies according to the object for which the charm is required. It consists of a monogram or mystic letter (Sanskrit, vija, or seed), which represents the germ of a spell or mantra. This letter is often in the old Indian character of about the fourth or fifth century A.D., and is inscribed in cabalistic fashion with special materials as prescribed in the manual on the subject.
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