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The Dalai Lama and the Emperor of ChinaA Political History of the Tibetan Institution of Reincarnation$
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Peter Schwieger

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231168526

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231168526.001.0001

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Imperial Authority Over the Trülku Institution

Imperial Authority Over the Trülku Institution

(p.185) 6 Imperial Authority Over the Trülku Institution
The Dalai Lama and the Emperor of China

Peter Schwieger

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the Qianlong Emperor's efforts to control the trülku institution. Among these was finding a method for identifying reincarnations that was less prone to corruption. To this end, he manufactured two golden urns for drawing lots. One he sent to the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa in September 1792 and one he displayed in the Yonghegong in Beijing. The urn in Beijing was intended for reincarnations among the Mongols. The idea was that eminent Gelukpa trülkus would draw lots from it under the supervision of officials from the Lifan Yuan. In this way, the Gelukpa elite in Central Tibet were prevented from exerting their influence over the Mongolian procedure for selecting and identifying young trülkus. The procedure for drawing lots was laid down in the first of a total of twenty-nine articles of a decree to improve Tibetan administration.

Keywords:   Qianlong emperor, trülkus, Tibet, reincarnations, golden urns

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