January 31, 2014

Concerning the Lingering Question of Sde-srid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho’s Paternity

For some time the idea has circulated that Sde-srid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho, the Fifth Dalai Lama’s regent, was also the latter’s son. While a number of Western historians have accepted this story, recent scholarship, mostly from Tibet and China, has rejected it, based most conclusively on a sound analysis of the chronology of the Fifth Dalai Lama’s absence from Tibet and the time of birth of the regent. Almost all modern scholars have agreed that the rumor is unmentioned in contemporaneous Tibetan sources. However, with the publication of Sle-lung Bzhad-pa’i rdo-rje’s autobiography a source from the period in question that mentions the rumor has finally become accessible. Nevertheless, the context in which the story appears anchors it in the hostility and resentment over the recognition of Ngag-dbang blo-bzang rgya-mtsho as the Fifth Dalai Lama and places it with other allegations meant to impugn the hierarch’s legitimacy. As such, it doesn’t trump the solid chronological case for rejecting the rumor of the regent’s blood tie to the Dalai Lama.
August 7, 2013

Si tu pan chen chos kyi ’byung gnas in History: A Brief Note

Abstract Situ Chökyi Jungné’s (1699/1700-1774) history of the Karma Kagyüpa is a vital source for the history of his subsect and for Tibetan history from the […]
December 31, 2012

Conversations and Debates: Chinese and Tibetan Engagement with the Broader Discussion of Self-Immolation in Tibet

In a previous, short look at the phenomenon of self-immolation in Tibet.[1] I began by contrasting the early reactions of Tibetans in exile to the first […]
December 31, 2012

Pho-lha-nas, Khang-chen-nas, and the Last Era of Mongol Domination in Tibet

Abstract The lives of Pho-lha-nas and Khang-chen-nas are well known, most importantly from Luciano Petech’s seminal study of early 18th-century Tibet. Since the publication of that […]
December 31, 2012

Reincarnation and the Golden Urn in the 19th Century: The Recognition of the 8th Panchen Lama

Anachronistic elements abound in different aspects of the present-day Tibet issue and perhaps nowhere is this more strikingly obvious than with regard to the question of […]
March 8, 2009

Le Tibet et la Chine: l’interprétation de l’histoire depuis 1950

Résumé Cet article analyse la façon dont l’histoire du Tibet et ses relations avec la Chine ont été interprétées et décrites en Chine depuis 1950. La […]
December 31, 2001

»Orientalismus« und Aspekte der Gewalt in der tibetischen Tradition

In seiner Autobiographie beschrieb der 5. Dalai Lama das Drachenjahr 1640/41 als ein Jahr voller beunruhigender Ereignisse. Angesichts der noch ungesicherten politischen Stellung der Gelugpa-Sekte sah […]
December 31, 2001

“Orientalism” and Aspects of Violence in the Tibetan Tradition

The dragon year of 1640-41, as described by the Fifth Dalai Lama in his autobiography, was marked by some rather unsettling events. Problems the Gelugpa (dGe […]
December 31, 2000

The 1913 Tibeto-Mongol Treaty: its International Reception and Circulation

Alas, Compatriots! Mongolia and Tibet are surely lost! Dismemberment is now surely in front of our very eyes. It is surely the end of our 5,000 […]