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BEFORE the propagation of Buddhist doctrines in Tibet the religion of the inhabitants of this country was most probably a kind of worship differing but little from that prevalent among all rude nations, viz. a mingled system of idolatry and sorcery administered by priests enjoying great reputation;and power, in consequence of their supposed intercourse with the Gods, and presumed knowledge of the means whereby the divine favour and assistance can be obtained. The first attempt of Buddhist followers to extend their creed to Tibet doubtless met with general opposition at the hands of both priesthood and people. The latter indeed must have found it far less troublesome to pay a clerical class to obtain a sensual prosperity for. them, than by painful discipline,

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combined with profound meditation, to seek salvation and eternal welfare in a future re-birth and final emancipation from metempsychosis. In order to attain success and the more readily impose upon the tribes they were about to convert to a new religion, the first teachers of Buddhism in Tibet were most probably induced to ascribe to themselves supernatural qualities, and to yield, in minor points of discipline, to some of the ideas of their neophytes. Many suggestions to this effect are to be found in the sacred Tibetan books, as in the Bodhimör, and in the history of Ssanang Ssetsen, which teems with the miraculous and wonderful works performed by early Buddhist priests. Again, it is related that Padma Sambhava's first labour was the subduing of the dreadful demon who rose up in opposition to prevent his entering Tibet. His scholars are said to have derived from the instructions he gave them on the proper employment of charms, the power of performing most extraordinary deeds.[1] Thus, they caused good harvests, and similar prosperous events, taught the Tibetans some of the arts and sciences which were then practised in the, more advanced civilization of China and India (whence they came), but were discreet enough, after a while, to attribute all their successes to the worship of the images and relies of Sâkyamuni.

With regard to the introduction of Buddhism into the Eastern part of Tibet we are now in possession of many positive data, though here also the early history is involved

[1. Schmidt, "Ssanang Ssetsen's Geschichte der Ostmongolen," pp. 41, 43, 355. Compare ."Forshungen," p. 136.]

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in darkness and myth. The first attempts apparently led to very unsatisfactory results; at least, the monastery which is reported to have been erected in the year 137 B.C. on the slopes of the Kailás range seems to have been soon abandoned and to have fallen into ruins.[1] The legends attribute the conversion of the Tibetans to Buddhism to the Dhyâni Bôdhisattva Avolôkitêsvara, the celestial son of Amitâbha, whose Chosen land is Tibet; many of the rulers and priests who took an active part in the consolidation of Buddhist faith in this country were regarded by its inhabitants as incarnations of these two sacred persons.

We here give the following as a narrative of some historical facts intimately connected with Buddhism.[2]

In the year 371 A.D. there, suddenly appeared five foreigners before the king Thothori Nyan tsan, who instructed him, how he might use for the general welfare

[1. Lassen, "Ind. Alterthumskunde," Vol. II., p. 1072.

2. See Csoma's Chronological Table, extracted from an historical book written by Tisri, the regent at Lhassa in the year 1686 A.D.; in the notes, Csoma adds further details from other original books. See his "Grammar," pp. 181-98.--Ssanang Ssetsen, "Geschichte der Ostmongolen," aus dem Mongolischen übersetzt von I. J. Schmidt; Chapter III., treats of the history of Tibet from the years 407 to 1054 A.D. The annotations to Ssanang Ssetsen contain translations from the Bodhimör, and other Mongolian books. "Chronologie Bouddhique, traduite du Mongol," par Klaproth. Fragments Bouddhiques = Nouveau Journal Asiatique, 1831.--The data of these three authors differ as far as the eleventh century, from which period Csoma's and Klaproth's lists agree, saving a constant diversity of two years, which results from the circumstance that the one counts from the Tibetan era, whilst the other brings the data in accordance with the Chinese years (see Chapter XVI.). In the text I have adopted Csoma's dates, with the single exception of the time of Srongtan Gampo's birth, which, it is more probable, took place in the year 617 A.D. (Klaproth and Ssanang Ssetsen), instead of the year 627. See Köppen, "Die Religion des Buddha," Vol. II., p. 54. In the notes I have added the dates given by Ssanang Ssetsen and Klaproth.]

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of Tibet four objects, which, in the year 331 A.D.,[1] had fallen from heaven, enclosed in a precious chest, but of' the intrinsic value of which no one had hitherto entertained any adequate idea. These instructions being given, the five foreigners at once disappeared. The four precious objects were:--

1. Two hands folded in prayer.

2. A small Chorten.[2]

3. A gem with an inscription of the prayer: Om mani padme hum.[3]

4. The religious work Zamatog, "constructed vessel," a work on moral subjects forming part of the Kanjur.

The king Thothori strictly obeyed the advice received from the five foreigners,. and paid great reverence to the said four objects; by their blessing and powerful influence he contrived to live one hundred and nineteen years, during which time universal prosperity and welfare prevailed throughout the kingdom.

Ssanang Ssetsen connects the introduction of Buddhism with the date of this event; but according to Tibetan historians "the earliest period of the propagation of Buddhism," which reached down till the end of the tenth

[1. Ssanang Ssetsen, anno 367, calls this king Lhatotori; Csoma's authorities have Thothori Nyan tsan. The above is the version according to Ssanang Ssetsen; Csoma, p. 194, relates 'that a voice was heard from heaven, saying, that after so, many generations (in the seventh century), the contents of the book should be made known'.--It is not stated whence these five men proceeded, but I believe them, for reasons which will hereafter become apparent, to have been Chinese Buddhist priests. See p. 68.

2 About Chortens, see Chapter XIII.

3 See Chapter X.]

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century A.D., begins with King Srongtsan Gampo, who was born in the year 617 A.D. and died 698.[1] This king is highly extolled by them on account of his successful efforts in propagating Buddhism. He even went so far as to send to India, in the year 632 A.D., his prime-minister, Thumi Sambhota, with sixteen companions, who had orders to study carefully the sacred Buddhist books and the Indian language; the members of this mission were also instructed to bring back to Tibet a complete system of the alphabet as used in India, with a view to its being hereafter adapted to the Tibetan language.[2] After the safe return of the party from a journey which is described as fraught with incredible difficulties, Thumi Sambhota constructed the Tibetan letters from the Devanâgari alphabet; whereupon King Srongtsan Gampo ordered the sacred Indian books treating on Buddhists doctrines to the translated into Tibetan.[3] At the same time he

[1. Respecting this distinction of the two periods see Csoma's Grammar, p. 196, Note 18.--The year of Srongtsan's death is given on the authority of Ssanang and Klaproth; in Csoma's list it is not mentioned.

2 A previous mission is said to have been compelled by the malignant spirits to return after reaching the frontier. For Tibetan accounts of the attempts of Srongtsan to form a Tibetan alphabet, see Schmidt's notes to "Ssanang Ssetsen," p. 326.

3. Respecting the striking resemblance of the Tibetan capital letters to the ancient Devanâgari characters much interesting information is furnished in the comparative tables given by Hodgson in his "Notices," As. Res., Vol. XVI., p. 420. Schmidt, "Ueber den Ursprung der tib. Schrift," Mém. de l'Acad. de Pet., Vol. I., p. 41. Csoma, "Grammar," p. 204.--Thumi Sambhota is said to be an incarnation of the Bodhisattva Manjusrî. This divine person, in Tibetan called Jamjang, is to be viewed in a double sense. He appears to be an historical personage who taught Buddhist doctrines in Népal in the 8th or 9th century A.D.; but he is also worshipped as a mythological person of the divine nature of a Bôdhisattva (his Sakti is Sarasvatî, Tib. Ngagi lhamo), who is believed to have inspired with his divine intelligence many a person who has much contributed to the propagation of Buddhist theories. He is {footnote p. 66} the God of wisdom, swinging the "sword of wisdom" (Tib. Shesrab ralgri) with a famed point to dissipate the darkness among men. Chinese books say of his faculties: "When he preaches the great law, every demon is subjugated, every error that may deceive man is dissipated, and there is not a heretic but returns to his duty." Manjusrî is also "the ruler of the Year," which epithet refers to the first day of the year being consecrated to him. Foe koue ki, p. 116. Compare Hodgson, "Classification of the Nevars," in Journ. As. Soc. Beng., Vol. XII., p. 216. Burnouf, "Le Lotus," pp. 496-511. Lassen, "Indische Alterthumskunde," Vol. III., p, 777.]

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issued severe laws with the intent of abolishing once and for ever some of the rude manners of his subjects.

In all these praiseworthy actions King Srongtsan Gampo was most energetically supported by his two wives, one of whom was a Nepalese the other a Chinese princess; both of them, who throughout their life-time proved most faithful votaries to the faith of Buddha, are worshipped either under the general name of Dolma (in Sanskrit Târâ), or under the respective names of Dolkar and Doljang. These princesses are said to have brought with them to Tibet a variety of valuable religious books, with wonderful miracle-working images, and relies of Sâkyamuni, besides building numerous temples and colleges.[1] Attracted by these acts of benevolence, which soon became widely known, many foreign priests settled in Tibet during the lifetime of these

[1. In pictures they are both represented in identical attitudes, the right foot hanging down over the throne, the right hand holding the blue lotus Utpala (Nelumbium speciosum, "Encyclopaedia of India," by Balfour, p. 1291, a plant which occurs in Kashmir and Persia). But the complexion is different; Dolkar is of white colour, Doljang of green colour. Doljang is also implored by women for fecundity, and it is in allusion to this virtue that in a picture of ours a flat dish in which apples are heaped up, is drawn at their feet, The fullest Tibetan account of the legends concerning these deities is found in the Mani Kambum (see p. 84) and in a book mentioned to Adolph to be entitled, "a clear mirror of royal pedigree." A hymn addressed to Doljang is given by Klaproth, "Reise in den Kaukasus," Vol. I., p. 215.]

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princesses, and thus contributed to a more general knowledge of Buddhism.

Under the successors of King Srongtsan Gampo the religion did not greatly flourish, but under one of them, Thisrong de tsan, who lived in the years 728-786 A.D.[1] Buddhism began to revive, owing to the useful regulations proclaimed by this king. He it was who successfully crushed an attempt made by the chiefs during his minority to suppress the new creed, and it is principally due to him that the Buddhist faith became henceforth permanently established. He induced the learned Pandit Santa Rakshita (tib. Zhiva tso), commonly called Bôdhisattva, to leave Bengál and settle in Tibet; and at his recommendation the great Guru Padma Sambhava (in Tibetan Padma jungue, or Urgyen) from Kafiristán (Udyâna), who was famed far and wide for his extraordinary knowledge of Dhârânîs and their application and rites, also changed his residence to become a Tibetan subject. The Indian sages who were now induced to settle in Tibet for ever superseded the influence of the Chinese priests and the doctrines propounded by them. The latter had been the first Buddhist missionaries in Tibet,. and seem to have taught the principles of Nâgârjuna with. the modifications established by the Yogâchârya school; for we learn from the history of Buddhism of the Tibetan Puton or Buston, who wrote in the fourteenth century, that in their system man is not allowed to make any notion the object of his meditation. Padma

[1. Ssanang Ssetsen, 787-845. Klaproth, 778.]

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Sambhava and subsequent Indian priests, however, explained the law in the sense of the Madhyamika school, which in India at this period had just gained influence over the Yogâchârya system; they insisted upon assiduity in undisturbed meditation. But King Thisrong de tsan, who did not wish two opposing doctrines to be taught, ordered a disputation to take place between the Chinese Mahâyâna (a name evidently symbolical of the system he defended) and the Hindu Kamalasîla. Mahâyâna was defeated and obliged to leave Tibet, and since this period Indian priests only were called and Madhyamika doctrines taught.[1] King Thisrong built the large monastery and temple of Bima at Samyé, and ordered the translation of the sacred books into the Tibetan language to be carried on energetically.

A later ruler of the name of Langdar, or Langdharma, again tried to abolish Buddhist doctrines. He commanded all temples and monasteries to be demolished, the images to be destroyed, and the sacred books to be burnt; but so intense was the indignation excited by these acts of sacrilege, that he was murdered, in the year 900 A.D.[2] Langdar's son and successor is also said to have died in his 64th year "without religion." Bilamgur Tsan, Langhdarma's grandson, proved, on the other hand,

[1. See p. 54.--Wassiljew, "Der Buddhismus," p. 350; comp. pp. 324, 355. Rémusat, Nouv. Journ. As. 1832, p. 44. The Bhodimör designates the two doctrines sTonmin and Tsemin; Georgi, "Alphab. Tibet," p. 222, by Dote (from the mDo or Sûtras) and Gyute (from the Gyut or Tantras); these names imply that Tantrika principles had gradually crept into the Madhyamika systems.

2. Ssanang Ssetsen post-dates this event to the year 925. Langdharma was born, according to Csoma, in 861; Ssanang Ssetsen says 863 and Klaproth 901.]

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favourably inclined to Buddhism; he re-built eight temples, and died after a glorious reign of eighteen years. With this period we have to connect "the second propagation of Buddhism;" it received, especially from the year 971, a powerful impetus from the joint endeavours of the returned Tibetan priests (who had fled the country under the preceding kings), and of the learned Indian priest Pandita Atisha and his pupil Bromston. Shortly before Atisha came to Tibet, 1041 A.D., the Kâla Chakra doctrine, or Tantrika mysticism, was introduced into Tibet, and in the twelth and thirteenth centuries, many Indian refugees settled in the country, who greatly assisted the Tibetans in the translation of Sanskrit books.

Three hundred years from the time of Atisha's death bring us to the period of Tsonkhapa, the extraordinary reformer, who was born in the year 1355 A.D., in the district of Amdo, where is now the famous monastery of Kunbum. Tsonkhapa had imposed upon himself the difficult task of uniting and reconciling the dialectical and mystical schools which Tibetan Buddhism had brought forth, and also of eradicating the abuses gradually introduced by the priests, who had returned to the ordinary tricks and pretended miracles of charlatanism, in order to prove to the crowd their extraordinary mission. Tsonkhapa strictly prohibited such proceedings, and enforced a rigid observance of the laws binding upon the priests; he also distinguished himself by publishing most comprehensive works, in which the principles of the faith of the Buddha are explained from his particular point of view.--Traditions

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report him to have had some intercourse with a stranger from the west who was remarkable for a long nose. Hue believes this stranger to have been a European missionary, and connects the resemblance of the religious service in Tíbet to the Roman Catholic ritual with the informations which Tsonkhapa might have received from this Roman Catholic priest. We are not yet able to decide the question as to how far Buddhism may have borrowed from Christianity; but the rites of the Buddhists enumerated by the French missionary can for the most part either be traced back to institutions peculiar to Buddhism, or they have sprung up in periods posterior to Tsonkhapa.[1]

Though all the innovations introduced by Tsonkhapa, were never universally acknowledged, yet he obtained numerous followers, whose numbers rapidly increased during the next two centuries, until they predominated in Tibet and High Asia. The rigour of his ordinances against the priests has been, however, considerably relaxed, and how widely the practice now differs from theory, we may infer from the fact, that the entrance into the clerical profession is an object of general ambition, and that a considerable part of the priestly revenues is derived from rites of an emphatically shaman character, performed at the request of the lay population to drive off the evil spirits.

[1. Csoma, Journ. As. Soc. Beng., Vol. VII., p. 145. Hue, "Christianity in China, Tartary and Thibet" Vol. II., p. 10. Wassiljew, "Notices sur les ouvrages on langue de l'Asie orientale," &c., Bull. hist.-phil. de St. Pet., Vol. XIII., pp. 233, 242. Köppen, "Die Religion des Buddha;' Vol. II, p. 117. About the miracles executed by Buddhist priests previous to Tsonkhapa, see Marsden "The travels of Marco Polo," p. 169.]

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With reference to the introduction of Buddhism into China proper, I will only add, that as early as the year 217 B.C. an Indian missionary is said to have preached in that country, but the Emperor sent him away, and Buddhism in China did not become fully established till the year 65 A.D., when it was received with universal pleasure.[1]

According to Cunningham,[2] Buddhism was introduced into Ladák about the year 240 B.C., but its final domestication in the country, seems not to have been anterior to the first century before the Christian era. The historical books concerning the early history of Ladák are said to have been destroyed. about at the end of the sixteenth century by the fanatic Mussalmans of Skárdo who invaded the country, burned the monasteries, temples, and religious monuments, and threw the contents of the various libraries into the river Indus. But the reign of the Mussalmans was of but short duration, and the Buddhists have not been oppressed since this period.

In the Eastern Himálaya, in Bhután and Sikkim, the conversion of the inhabitants to Buddhism was effected at a comparatively modern date, namely about the sixteenth century of the Christian era.[3] The circumstances

[1. Lassen, "Indische Alterthumskunde," Vol. II., p. 1078, Vol. IV., p. 741. W. Schott, "Ueber den Buddhaismus in Hochasien," p. 18. About the fate of Buddhism in China see "Nouveau Journal Asiatique," 1856, pp. 106, 137, 139. C. Gützlaff, R. As. Soc., Vol. XVI., p. 73.

2. Cunningham "Ladák," p. 317. When at Leh, my brothers came into possession of several large historical books. A particular value was laid upon two books entitled Gyelrap salvai melong "a true mirror of the Gyelrap," or the genealogy of the Râjas of Ladák, which were obtained from Chigmet Choiki Senge, a descendant of the former Râjas.

3. Hooker, "Himalayan Journals," Vol. I., p. 127. Köppen, "Die Religion des Buddha," Vol. II., p. 360.]

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attending the introduction of the new religion are well known to the lamas of these countries, who are still in possession of many historical books treating of this interesting subject. Of works of this class we have, in our own private library, a manuscript account of "The first arrival of the Lamas in Síkkim," in twelve leaves, written with small characters; besides a printed, "History of the Erection of Colleges," consisting of no less than three hundred and seventy-five leaves. Both of these books were originally contained in the library of Pemióngchi, and were obtained in Síkkim by my brother Hermann.

Buddhist sects in Tibet.

Sects did not exist in Tibet previous to the eleventh century; nine are still existing and are considered orthodox, we know, however, but few details about them. The sect founded by Tsonkhapa and its later subdivisions have chosen the yellow colour for their dress; the others wear in preference a red garb. The sects are:[1]

1. The Nyigmapa sect is the most ancient, to which the Lamas of Bhután, Gnári Khórsum and Ladák belong. This sect adheres Strictly to the ancient rites and ceremonies in the manner probably taught by the earliest Chinese priests, and possesses some peculiar

[1. See Csoma's Chronological table, Note 18 in his "Grammar," p. 197; Colloquial phrases, ibid. p. 175; Notices, Journ. As. Soc. Bengal., Vol. VII., p. 146; Cunningham, "Ladák," pp. 367-72; Köppen, "Die Religion des Buddha," Index.]

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symbolical works which have not been embodied in the large compilations of the Kanjur and Tanjur works.

2. The Urgyenpa sect (disciples of Urgyen, or Padma Sambhava) is also one of the most ancient, and has its adherents especially in those parts of Tibet which border on Nepál and the Himalayan provinces of India; but the principal monastery of this sect is at Samyé, in Eastern Tibet. The Urgyenpas differ from the Nyigmapas in the worship of the incarnation of Amitâbha as Padma Sambhava.

3. The Kadampa sect, founded by Bromston (born in the year 1002 A.D.), limits itself to the observance of the "precepts" (bka'), and does not care for the acquirement of the higher branches of transcendental wisdom. The followers of this sect wear red dresses.

4. Respecting the sect Sakyapa, nothing is known, except that its followers wear a red costume.

5. The Gelukpa, or Galdanpa and Geldanpa sect, a name derived from its principal monastery, called Gáldan, at Lhássa, which had been erected by Tsonkhapa: this sect adheres to his doctrines and institutions. Its members wear a yellow costume, and are now the most numerous sect in Tibet.

6. The adherents of the Kargyutpa sect, "the believers in the succession of precepts," are satisfied with the observance of the Do (Sûtras or aphorisms), and do not care either for the attainment of the esoteric doctrines of the Prâjna Pâramitâ, or for the transcendental wisdom.

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7. The Karmapa Sect, "the believers in the efficacy of works," seems to be nearly identical with the Karmika sect of Nepál.[1]

8. The Brikungpa sect derives its name from the monastery Brikung in Eastern Tibet. This sect, as well as the two preceding ones (the Kargyutpa and Karmapa), are offshoots of the Gelukpa sect, and also adhere to their rule of dressing in yellow.

9. The Brugpa (also Dugpa or Dad Dugpa) sect has established a particular worship of the Dorje (Vajra, or thunderbolt), which descended from heaven and fell upon the earth at Séra in Eastern Tibet. This sect seems, moreover, to be particularly addicted to the Tantrika mysticism, in which the Dorje is considered as a very important and powerful instrument.

To these nine sects must be still added the Bon religion, which has many followers called Bonpas, and numerous and wealthy monasteries in Eastern Tibet As yet little is known about the Bon religion. Judging from the way in which Tibetan books speak of the followers of this sect, it is probable that the name Bonpa was restricted to those who neglected to embrace Buddhism upon its first introduction. By degrees they have, however, adopted Buddhist principles, still rigorously preserving as far as we are able to infer from the meagre information hitherto known about them, the ancient superstitious ideas and rites of the primitive inhabitants of Tibet. This opinion is also that of Csoma, and is

[1. About these see Hodgson, "Illustrations," pp. 82, 112.]

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later supported by Hodgson, who has recently published several engravings of their deities; it is further corroborated by the important fact, that to the exorcists of some of the ruder Himálayan tribes, as the Murmis and Sunvars, the name of "Bonpa" is applied even to the present day.[1]

[1. The Bodhimör in Ssanang Ssetsen's history, pp. 351, 367. Csoma, "Geographical Notice of Tibet" in "Journ. As. Soc. Beng.," Vol. I., p. 124; "Dictionary of the Tibetan language," p. 94. B. H. Hodgson, "Notice on Buddhist symbols," in Royal As. Soc., Vol. XVIII., p. 396. The identity of these Bonpa images with those met with in the temples of the orthodox Buddhists (the only difference existing in the name) is a further corroboration of the close alliance (already examined p. 48) of the Buddhist faith with pagan rituals and ideals.]

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Next: Chapter VIII. The Sacred Literature