Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs

Last updated
The region under the administration of the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs (Xuanzheng Yuan) within the Yuan dynasty. Yuan dynasty and Tibet.jpg
The region under the administration of the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs (Xuanzheng Yuan) within the Yuan dynasty.

The Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs, or Xuanzheng Yuan [lower-alpha 1] (Chinese :宣政院; pinyin :Xuānzhèngyuàn; lit. 'Court for the Spread of Governance') was a government agency during the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty (1271-1368) of China to handle Buddhist affairs across the Yuan Empire in addition to managing the territory of Tibet. [2] It was originally set up by Kublai Khan in 1264 under the name Zongzhi Yuan [lower-alpha 2] (simplified Chinese :总制院; traditional Chinese :總制院; pinyin :Zǒngzhìyuàn) or the "Bureau of General Regulation", before it was renamed in 1288, [4]

Contents

The bureau was set up in Khanbaliq (modern Beijing) and was named after the Xuanzheng Hall where Tibetan envoys were received in the Tang dynasty. In the Yuan dynasty, Tibet was managed by the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs, separate from the other Yuan provinces such as those established in the former territories of the Song dynasty. While no modern equivalents remain, the political functions of the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs might have been analogous to the India Office in London during the British Raj. Besides holding the title of Imperial Preceptor or Dishi, Drogön Chögyal Phagpa, the fifth leader of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism, was concurrently named the director of the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs.[ citation needed ]

One of the department's purposes was to select a dpon-chen ('great administrator', a civilian administrator who governed Tibet when Sakya Lama was away), usually appointed by the lama and confirmed by the Yuan emperor in Beijing. [5] Tibetan Buddhism was not only practiced within the capital Beijing but throughout the country. [6] Apart from Tibetan affairs, the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs managed the entire Buddhist clergy throughout the realm (whether they were Han Chinese, Tibetan or Korean etc.), and supervised all temples, monasteries, and other Buddhist properties in the empire, at least in name. [7] According to scholar Evelyn Rawski, it supervised 360 Buddhist monasteries. [8] To emphasize its importance for Hangzhou, capital of the former Southern Song dynasty and the largest city in the Yuan realm, a branch (行, Xing, "acting") Xuanzheng Yuan was established in that city in 1291, [9] although Tibetan Buddhism took public or official precedence over Han Buddhism. [6]

The Lifan Yuan (also known as the Board for the Administration of Outlying Regions and Office of Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs etc.) was roughly a Qing dynasty equivalent of the Xuanzheng Yuan, instituted by the Qing Empire for administering affairs beyond the borders of China proper. [10]

See also

Similar government agencies

Notes

  1. Alternative spellings include Hsüan-cheng yüan. [1]
  2. Alternative spellings include Tsung-chih yüan. [3]

Related Research Articles

Tibet Plateau region in Asia

Tibet is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about 2,500,000 km2 (970,000 sq mi). It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa, Tamang, Qiang, Sherpa, and Lhoba peoples and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han Chinese and Hui people. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 4,380 m (14,000 ft). Located in the Himalayas, the highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, Earth's highest mountain, rising 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level.

The last great emperor of Tibet, Tri Ralpachen, was murdered in 841 by his older brother Lang Dharma, who himself was murdered in 846. After his death the empire disintegrated, and the whole of the Tibetan plateau became overlaid by petty principalities. Each tried to gain national dominance. Tibet was divided for more than 300 years.

Drogön Chögyal Phagpa

Drogön Chogyal Phagpa, was the fifth leader of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was also the first Imperial Preceptor of Kublai Khan's Yuan dynasty, division of the Mongol Empire, and was concurrently named the director of the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs. Historical tradition remembers him as the first vice-ruler of Tibet under the Mongol Khagan as well as one of the Five Sakya patriarchs. Although this is historically disputed, he played a very important political role.

Amban Ranks of officials in the Qing dynasty

Amban is a Manchu language word meaning "high official," which corresponds to a number of different official titles in the Qing imperial government. For instance, members of the Grand Council were called Coohai nashūn-i amban in Manchu and Qing governor-generals were called Uheri kadalara amban.

The Lifan Yuan was an agency in the government of the Qing dynasty which supervised the Qing Empire's frontier Inner Asia regions such as Mongolia and oversaw the appointments of Ambans in Tibet.

This is a list of topics related to Tibet.

Mongolia under Qing rule

Mongolia under Qing rule was the rule of the Qing dynasty over the Mongolian steppe, including the Outer Mongolian 4 aimags and Inner Mongolian 6 leagues from the 17th century to the end of the dynasty. "Mongolia" here is understood in the broader historical sense. Ligdan saw much of his power weakened due to the disunity the Mongol tribes. He was subsequently defeated by the Later Jin dynasty and died soon afterwards. His son Ejei handed the Yuan imperial seal over to Hong Taiji, thus ending the rule of Northern Yuan dynasty then centered in Inner Mongolia by 1635. However, the Khalkha Mongols in Outer Mongolia continued to rule until they were overrun by the Dzungar Khanate in 1690, and they submitted to the Qing dynasty in 1691.

Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission

The Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission was a ministry-level commission of the Executive Yuan in the Republic of China (Taiwan). It was disbanded on September 15, 2017.

Katia Buffetrille is a French ethnologist and tibetologist. She works at the École pratique des hautes études. Her doctoral thesis is entitled Montagnes sacrées, lacs et grottes : lieux de pèlerinage dans le monde tibétain. Traditions écrites. Réalités vivantes. She has done fieldwork in Tibet and Nepal, researching pilgrimage, non-Buddhist beliefs, and sacred geography.

Outline of Tibet Overview of and topical guide to Tibet

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Tibet:

Ming–Tibet relations Relations between Ming-dynasty China and Tibet

The exact nature of relations between Tibet and the Ming dynasty of China (1368–1644) is unclear. Analysis of the relationship is further complicated by modern political conflicts and the application of Westphalian sovereignty to a time when the concept did not exist. The Historical Status of China's Tibet, a book published by the People's Republic of China, asserts that the Ming dynasty had unquestioned sovereignty over Tibet by pointing to the Ming court's issuing of various titles to Tibetan leaders, Tibetans' full acceptance of the titles, and a renewal process for successors of these titles that involved traveling to the Ming capital. Scholars in China also argue that Tibet has been an integral part of China since the 13th century and so it was a part of the Ming Empire. However, most scholars outside China, such as Turrell V. Wylie, Melvin C. Goldstein, and Helmut Hoffman, say that the relationship was one of suzerainty, Ming titles were only nominal, Tibet remained an independent region outside Ming control, and it simply paid tribute until the Jiajing Emperor (1521–1566), who ceased relations with Tibet.

Yuan dynasty Mongol-led imperial dynasty of China (1271-1368)

The Yuan dynasty, officially the Great Yuan, was a successor state to the Mongol Empire after its division and a ruling dynasty of China established by Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongol Borjigin clan, lasting from 1271 to 1368. In Chinese historiography, this dynasty followed the Song dynasty and preceded the Ming dynasty.

Mongol invasions of Tibet Invasions of 1206 — 1723

There were several Mongol invasions of Tibet. The earliest is the alleged plot to invade Tibet by Genghis Khan in 1206, which is considered anachronistic; there is no evidence of Mongol-Tibetan encounters prior to the military campaign in 1240. The first confirmed campaign is the invasion of Tibet by the Mongol general Doorda Darkhan in 1240, a campaign of 30,000 troops that resulted in 500 casualties. The campaign was smaller than the full-scale invasions used by the Mongols against large empires. The purpose of this attack is unclear, and is still in debate among Tibetologists. Then in the late 1240s Mongolian prince Godan invited Sakya lama Sakya Pandita, who urged other leading Tibetan figures to submit to Mongol authority. This is generally considered to have marked the beginning of Mongol rule over Tibet, as well as the establishment of patron and priest relationship between Mongols and Tibetans. These relations were continued by Kublai Khan, who founded the Mongol Yuan dynasty and granted authority over whole Tibet to Drogon Chogyal Phagpa, nephew of Sakya Pandita. The Sakya-Mongol administrative system and Yuan administrative rule over the region lasted until the mid-14th century, when the Yuan dynasty began to crumble.

Tibet under Yuan rule Time period in Tibet from approximately 1270 to 1350

Tibet under Mongol rule refers to the Mongol Empire, and later the Yuan dynasty's rule over Tibet from 1244 to 1354. During the Yuan dynasty rule of Tibet, the region was structurally, militarily and administratively controlled by the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty of China. In the history of Tibet, Mongol rule was established after Sakya Pandita got power in Tibet from the Mongols in 1244, following the 1240 Mongol conquest of Tibet led by the Mongol general with the title doord darkhan. It is also called the Sakya dynasty after the favored Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Buddhism was first actively disseminated in Tibet from the 6th to the 9th century CE, predominantly from India. During the Era of Fragmentation, Buddhism waned in Tibet, only to rise again in the 11th century. With the Mongol invasion of Tibet in the 13th century and the establishment of the Mongol Yuan dynasty, Tibetan Buddhism spread beyond Tibet to Mongolia and China. From the 14th to the 20th century, Tibetan Buddhism was patronized by the Chinese Ming dynasty (1368–1644) and the Manchurian Qing dynasty (1644–1912).

Dharmapala Raksita was the head of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism, which was the most powerful school in Tibet under the Yuan dynasty from 1280-1282. He also held the title of Imperial Preceptor (Dishi), from 1282-1286.

Tibet under Qing rule Tibetian history from 1721 to 1912

Tibet under Qing rule refers to the Qing dynasty's relationship with Tibet from 1720 to 1912. During this period, Qing China regarded Tibet as a vassal state. Tibet considered itself an independent nation with only a "priest and patron" relationship with the Qing Dynasty. Scholars such as Melvyn Goldstein have considered Tibet to be a Qing protectorate.

Dpon-chen

The dpon-chen or pönchen, literally the "great authority" or "great administrator", was the chief administrator or governor of Tibet located at Sakya Monastery during the Yuan administrative rule of Tibet in the 13th and 14th centuries. In the Mongol Empire the office of the dpon-chen was established in the 1260s and functioned for all practical purposes as the Tibetan government at the pleasure of the Mongol emperors of the Yuan dynasty, unlike the Sakya Imperial Preceptors (Dishi) who were active at the Yuan court.

The Imperial Preceptor, or Dishi was a high title and powerful post created by Kublai Khan, founder of the Yuan dynasty. It was established as part of Mongol patronage of Tibetan Buddhism and Yuan administrative rule of Tibet.

Yuan dynasty in Inner Asia

The Yuan dynasty in Inner Asia was the domination of the Yuan dynasty in Inner Asia in the 13th and the 14th centuries. The Borjigin rulers of the Yuan came from the Mongolian steppe, and the Mongols under Kublai Khan established the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368) based in Khanbaliq. The Yuan was a Chinese dynasty that incorporated many aspects of Mongol and Inner Asian political and military institutions.

References

  1. Rossabi 2009, p. 194.
  2. Blondeau & Buffetrille 2008, p. 47.
  3. Rossabi 2009, p. 143.
  4. Rossabi 2009 , pp. 143, 194
  5. Norbu 2001, p. 139.
  6. 1 2 Charles Orzech, Henrik Sørensen, Richard Payne, Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East Asia, p.548
  7. F. W. Mote. Imperial China 900-1800. Harvard University Press, 1999. p.483
  8. Evelyn S. Rawski, The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions, p.244
  9. ars orientalis, p9
  10. Xiaolin Guo, State and Ethnicity in China's Southwest, p.29

Bibliography