Golden Urn

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Golden Urn
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese金瓶掣籤
Simplified Chinese金瓶掣签
Literal meaningDrawing Lots From a Golden Vase Ceremony
Tibetan name
Tibetanགསེར་བུམ་སྐྲུག་པ

The Golden Urn refers to a method introduced by the Qing dynasty of China in 1793[1] to prevent the occurring cheating and corruption in the selection process of rinpoches or lamas including the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama, and other high offices within Tibetan Buddhism. The process includes drawing a lot from names held inside Golden Urn.[2][3] It was institutionalized in the 29-Article Ordinance for the More Effective Governing of Tibet (Chinese: 钦定藏内善后章程二十九条).[4] Article 1 states that the purpose of Golden Urn is to ensure prosperity of Gelug, and to prevent cheating and corruption in the selection process.[5] In 1792, the Qianlong Emperor published the article The Discourse of Lama[6] to explain the history of lamas and the cases of cheating and corruption in the reincarnation system, while also explaining why he thought the Golden Urn would be a fair system of choosing reincarnated rinpoches or lamas, as opposed to choosing reincarnated rinpoches or lamas based on private designation, or based on one person's decision[7] and to stop a single family with multiple reincarnated rinpoches or lamas.[8][9][10][11]

On 12 August 1927, the Central Government mandated that before the publication of new laws, all laws in history regarding Tibetan Buddhism should continue unless there were conflicts with new doctrine or new laws of the Central Government. [12]

In August 1929, the Supreme Court of the Central Government stated that before the publication of new laws, laws in history regarding Tibet, regarding reincarnation of rinpoches or lamas were applicable[13]

In 1935, the Ordinance of Lama Temple Management (Chinese: 管理喇嘛寺廟條例)[14][15] was published by the Central Government of China. Article 2 states that reincarnated lamas are limited to those were reincarnated previously in history, unless it's approved by the Central Government. Article 5 state that all monasteries/temples and lamas must be registered with Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission. Article 7 states that the methods for reincarnation, appointment, rewards and punishments, registration, etc. of lamas shall be drafted by the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission and submitted to the Executive Yuan for approval.

In 1936, based on articles 2 and 7 of the Ordinance of Lama Temple Management (Chinese: 管理喇嘛寺廟條例), the Method of Reincarnation of Lamas (Chinese: 喇嘛轉世辦法)[16][17] was published by the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission of the Central Government. Article 3 states that death of lamas including the Dalai Lama, the Panchen Lama should be reported to Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission, soul boys should be found, reported to and checked by Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission, lot-drawing ceremony with Golden Urn system should be held separately. Article 6 states that local governments should invite official from the Central Government to take care of the sitting-in-the-bed ceremony. Article 7 states that soul boys should not be searched from the current lama families.

In 2007, the State Religious Affairs Bureau Order No. 5 (Chinese: 国家宗教事务局令第5号) was published by the Central Government. Article 7 states that no group or individual may carry out activities related to searching for and identifying the reincarnated soul boy of the Living Buddha without authorization. [18]Article 8 states that lot-drawing ceremony with Golden Urn is applicable to those rinpoches, or lamas who were reincarnated previously in history. Request of exemption is handled by State Administration for Religious Affairs, for those with great impact, request of exemption is handled by State Council.[19]

History[edit]

The Golden Urn originated in a decree issued by the Qianlong Emperor in 1792, after the Qing victory in the Second Invasion of the Sino-Nepalese War. Article One of the decree, the 29-Article Ordinance for the More Effective Governing of Tibet, was designed to be used in the selection of rinpoches or lamas and other high offices within Tibetan Buddhism, including the Dalai Lamas, Panchen Lamas and Mongolian lamas.[20][3][21] In Qianlong Emperor's article The Discourse of Lama (Chinese: 喇嘛说)[9] which was published also in 1792, he explained the history of lamas and the reincarnation system, he inferred that the reincarnation system is only man-made,[22] and creating rules is only to facilitate those monks,[23] and to eliminate drawbacks associated with the man-made reincarnation.[24][25]

In the first article of 29-Article Ordinance for the More Effective Governing of Tibet, it states that the purpose of Golden Urn is to ensure prosperity of Gelug, and to eliminate cheating and corruption in the selection process.[26] Mike Dash argued that the Urn's real purpose was to allow the Qing Emperors of China to control the selection process.[27]

Two Golden Urns were issued by the Qianlong Emperor: one is enshrined in Jokhang Temple in Lhasa and is to be used for choosing Dalai and Panchen Lama reincarnations; the other is in Yonghe Temple in Beijing for choosing Mongolian Lama, known as Jebtsundamba Khutughtu, reincarnations.[28]

The specific ritual to be followed when using the Golden Urn was written by the 8th Dalai Lama, Jamphel Gyatso.[20] The names and dates of birth of each candidate were to be written in the Manchu, Han, and Tibetan languages on metal or ivory slips and placed in the golden urn.[3] After prayers before the statue of the Jowo in the Jokhang temple in Lhasa, a slip was drawn. The 7th Panchen Lama, Palden Tenpai Nyima, used the Golden Urn for the first time in 1822 to choose the 10th Dalai Lama, Tsultrim Gyatso.

Usage[edit]

The Dalai Lamas

Name Golden Urn Used? Approval process from the Central Government
9 Lungtok Gyatso No Exemption from using Golden Urn was approved by the Emperor. [29]
10 Tsultrim Gyatso Yes Lot-drawing result was reported and approved by emperor. [29][20]
11 Khendrup Gyatso Yes Request to proceed with the lot-drawing ceremony was approved in December 1840. [29]
12 Trinley Gyatso Yes Lot-drawing ceremony was approved by the Emperor [30]
13 Thubten Gyatso No In 1877, request to exempt the 13th Dalai Lama from using lot-drawing process was approved by the Central Government.[31]
14 Tenzin Gyatso No On 26 January 1940, the Regent Reting Rinpoche requested the Central Government to exempt Lhamo Dhondup from lot-drawing process using Golden Urn to become the 14th Dalai Lama.[32][33] The request was approved by the Central Government.[34]

The Panchen Lamas

Name Golden Urn Used? Approval process from the Central Government
8 Tenpai Wangchuk Yes Lot-drawing result was reported and approved by Xianfeng Emperor in October 1860. [35]
9 Thupten ChokyiNyima Yes Lot-drawing process was approved by Guangxu Emperor on 14 January 1888.[36]
10 Choekyi Gyaltsen No Exemption of using lot-drawing process was approved on 3 June 1949 by the Central Government.[37]
11 Gyaincain Norbu Yes Lot-drawing ceremony was held on 29 November 1995, and Gyaincain Norbu was approved by the Central Government on 8 December 1995 to become the 11th Panchen Lama.[38]

In 2018, historian Max Oidtmann compiled various sources and concluded that between 1793 and 1825 the Golden Urn was used for approximately half the major reincarnation searches in Tibet and Mongolia, and overall it was used 79 times for 52 different major lineages.[2]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "【边疆时空】喜饶尼玛 李双|国民政府管理藏传佛教活佛措施评析_蒙藏".
  2. ^ a b Oidtmann, Max (2018). Forging the Golden Urn: The Qing Empire and the Politics of Reincarnation in Tibet. Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231184069.
  3. ^ a b c "Origin of "drawing lots from the golden urn"". Tibet News. Archived from the original on May 8, 2018. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  4. ^ https://zh.wikisource.org/wiki/%E6%AC%BD%E5%AE%9A%E8%97%8F%E5%85%A7%E5%96%84%E5%BE%8C%E7%AB%A0%E7%A8%8B
  5. ^ 皇帝為了黃教的興隆,和不使護法弄假作弊
  6. ^ https://zh.wikisource.org/zh-hant/%E5%96%87%E5%98%9B%E8%AA%AA
  7. ^ 虽不能尽除其弊,而较之从前,各任私意指定者,大有间矣。..一人之授意者,或略公矣。
  8. ^ 去转生一族之私
  9. ^ a b 乾隆帝 (1792). 喇嘛說  [Lama said] (in Chinese) – via Wikisource.
  10. ^ 御制《喇嘛说》碑 [The stele of "Lama Saying"]. The Reincarnation of Living Buddhas. Museum of Tibetan Culture of China Tibetology Research Center.
  11. ^ 宇の航 (2016-09-04). 乾隆皇帝的《喇嘛说》碑文 [The inscription of Emperor Qianlong's "Lama Saying"]. Douban.
  12. ^ https://www.sohu.com/a/461098896_523177 南京国民政府成立之初,在处理藏传佛教问题上采取援引相关法规的原则。1927年8月12日,南京国民政府“援用以前法律之决议案”,规定一切法律在未颁布以前,继续援引不与国民党党纲或主义,或与国民政府法令相抵触的法律。
  13. ^ https://www.sohu.com/a/461098896_523177 929年8月,国民政府最高法院认定清《理藩部则例》为特别法,“在未经颁布新特别法令以前,得酌予援用”。这说明国民政府承认了前清的对藏治理办法,以保证治藏法规的延续性,并将《理藩部则例》等作为国民政府早期处理藏传佛教活佛转世的重要依据。
  14. ^ 管理喇嘛寺廟條例  [Regulations on the Management of Lama Temples] (in Chinese). 1935 – via Wikisource.
  15. ^ 廢 管理喇嘛寺廟條例 [Abolish the Regulations on Management of Lama Temples]. Laws & Regulations Database of The Republic of China. June 11, 1992.
  16. ^ 喇嘛轉世辦法  [Lama reincarnation method] (in Chinese). 1936 – via Wikisource.
  17. ^ 廢 喇嘛轉世辦法 [Abolish the method of reincarnation]. Laws & Regulations Database of The Republic of China. February 20, 1993.
  18. ^ 第七条 活佛转世申请获得批准后,根据活佛影响大小,由相应的佛教协会成立转世指导小组;由拟转世活佛僧籍所在寺庙管理组织或者相应的佛教协会组建转世灵童寻访小组,在指导小组的指导下实施寻访事宜。转世灵童由省、自治区佛教协会或者中国佛教协会根据宗教仪轨和历史定制认定。任何团体或者个人不得擅自开展有关活佛转世灵童的寻访及认定活动。 Article 7 After the application for the reincarnation of a living Buddha is approved, according to the influence of the living Buddha, the corresponding Buddhist association will establish a reincarnation steering group; the management organization of the temple where the living Buddha is intended to be reincarnated or the corresponding Buddhist association will form a reincarnated soul child search group, and guide the group The implementation of the search matters. The reincarnated soul boy is recognized by the Buddhist Association of the Province, Autonomous Region or the Chinese Buddhist Association according to religious rituals and history. No group or individual may carry out activities related to searching for and identifying the reincarnated soul boy of the Living Buddha without authorization.
  19. ^ 《藏传佛教活佛转世管理办法》第八条 历史上经金瓶掣签认定的活佛,其转世灵童认定实行金瓶掣签。请求免予金瓶掣签的,由省、自治区人民政府宗教事务部门报国家宗教事务局批准,有特别重大影响的,报国务院批准。 ["Administrative Measures for the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas of Tibetan Buddhism" Article 8 For the living Buddhas recognized by the golden bottle lottery in history, the reincarnated soul boy is recognized as the golden bottle lottery. Requests for exemption from lottery drawing for the golden bottle shall be submitted to the State Administration of Religious Affairs for approval by the religious affairs department of the people's government of the province or autonomous region, and approved by the State Council if it has a particularly significant impact.]
  20. ^ a b c "Reincarnation". 14th Dalai Lama. September 24, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  21. ^ Smith 1997, p. 135.
  22. ^ 《喇嘛说》盖佛本无生,岂有转世?["The Lama's Saying" covers the Buddha's original lifelessness. Is there any reincarnation?]
  23. ^ 《喇嘛说》但使今无转世之呼图克图,则数万番僧,无所皈依,不得不如此耳。["The Lama's Talk", however, there is no reincarnation of Hutuktu, and there are tens of thousands of monks who have no refuge, and they have to be like this.]
  24. ^ 《喇嘛说》虽不能尽除其弊,较之从前各任私意指定者,大有间矣。[Although "The Lama's Saying" cannot eliminate all its disadvantages, it is quite different from the previous private appointments.]
  25. ^ 北京雍和宫御制《喇嘛说》碑文校录考诠 [A Textual Research and Annotation of the Proofreading Records of the Inscription on "Lama's Talk" made by Beijing Lama Temple]. www.tibet.cn. 1991-09-19.
  26. ^ 皇帝為了黃教的興隆,和不使護法弄假作弊
  27. ^ Dash, Mike (April 10, 2012). "Murder in Tibet's High Places". Smithsonian. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  28. ^ Foster 2008, p. 171.
  29. ^ a b c ChenQingying (2005). The System of the Dalai Lama Reincarnation. 五洲传播出版社. pp. 80–. ISBN 978-7-5085-0745-3.
  30. ^ Biography of the 12th Dalai Lama
  31. ^ 光绪三年(一八七七年),由八世班禅丹白旺秀和摄政王公德林呼图克图、三大寺和扎什伦布寺的全体僧俗官员,联名要求驻藏大臣转奏朝廷,以只选定了一名灵童,且经各方公认,请免予金瓶制签。当年三月,光绪帝谕旨∶“贡噶仁钦之子罗布藏塔布开甲木措,即作为达赖喇嘛之呼毕勒罕,毋庸制签,钦此。” [In the third year of Guangxu (1877), the eighth Panchen Lama Danbai Wangxiu and the regent Delin Hutuktu, all monks and lay officials from the Three Great Temples and Tashilhunpo Monastery jointly asked the Minister in Tibet to transfer to the court. Since only one soul boy has been selected, and it has been recognized by all parties, please be exempt from signing the golden bottle. In March of that year, Emperor Guangxu issued a decree: "Lob Zangtab, son of Gongga Rinqin, opened Jiamucuo, that is, as the call of the Dalai Lama, Bielehan, there is no need to make a lottery."]
  32. ^ Goldstein 1991, p. 328–.
  33. ^ "Report to Wu Zhongxin from the Regent Reting Rinpoche Regarding the Process of Searching and Recognizing the Thirteenth Dalai lama's Reincarnated Soul Boy as well as the Request for an Exemption to Drawing Lots". The Reincarnation of Living Buddhas. Museum of Tibetan Culture of China Tibetology Research Center. 1940.
  34. ^ "Executive Yuan's Report to the National Government Regarding the Request to Approve Lhamo Thondup to Succeed the Fourteenth Dalai lama and to Appropriate Expenditure for His Enthronement". The Reincarnation of Living Buddhas. Museum of Tibetan Culture of China Tibetology Research Center. 1940.
  35. ^ http://m.tibet.cn/cn/index/religion/201910/t20191009_6690371.html
  36. ^ 《名僧录》经过光绪帝批准,定于 1888 年正月十四日举行九世班禅灵童金瓶掣签仪式
  37. ^ 《历代班禅与雍和宫》黄崇文著, "1949年6月3日聪明睿智、灵异显著的贡布慈丹经国民政府批准,并由代总统李宗仁颁布命令,成为第十世班禅额尔德尼,免于金瓶掣签"
  38. ^ http://www.people.com.cn/item/20years/newfiles/a1370.html

References[edit]