Ganden Phodrang: Government of the Dalai Lama in the 18th Century [Ганден Пходранг: правительство Далай-ламы в XVIII в.]

Introduction. The article examines the structure and features of Ganden Phodrang (Tib. dGa’-ldan pho-brang) — Tibetan traditional Government founded by the 5th Dalai Lama Lobsang Gyatso (1617–1682) in 1642 — in the context of interaction with institutions of the Qing administration in the 18th century. Diarchy based on the principles of unity of monastic and secular government (Tib. Сhos-srid) became the basis of the political and legal system of the Tibetan state and was reflected in some specifics of relations with Buddhist countries and peoples. The influence of the Qing Empire in the region by the end of the 18th century increased, and that was traced in formal characteristics but did not affect the functioning laws of Ganden Phodrang. Goals. The paper reviews and analyzes the origins, structure and features of the Dalai Lama’s traditional government Ganden Phodrang (1642–1959); identifies the main changes in the political structure of Tibet during the period of the greatest influence of the Qing government institutions in the 18th century; clarifies the position and role of the Dalai Lama as head of state, as well as the importance of regents and Qing ambans in governing the country. Materials and Methods. In addition to Qing sources, the article uses works by German and French Tibetan scholars (in English), as well as studies by Indian and Chinese Tibetologists. In Russian historiography, special attention is paid to the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas, their relations with the Qing emperors, as well as to such administrative institutions of the Qing as ambans, legislative acts, and the Golden urn lot. Methodologically, the study employs historical and comparative approaches, and the problem-chronological principle. Conclusions. The article concludes that the Dalai Lama’s Government was uniquely independent in the 18th century, and tulku regents possessed special ‘dual’ status and significance. It is necessary to emphasize the importance of studying the topic in the context of international polemics around classification of the socioeconomic structure of Tibet in the Middle Ages, and its status in relation to China. © KalmSC RAS, 2020

Kalmyk Scientific Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences
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  • 1 Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, 6, Miklouho-Maclay Str., Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 2 Institute of Oriental Studies of the RAS, (12, Rozhdestvenka Str., Moscow, 104031, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
Dalai Lama; Diarchy; Ganden Phodrang; Government structure; Qing Empire; Tibet; Tulku
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