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Sacred MandatesAsian International Relations since Chinggis Khan$
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Timothy Brook, Michael van Walt van Praag, and Miek Boltjes

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226562629

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226562933.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

The Tibetan Buddhist World

The Tibetan Buddhist World

(p.90) Chapter Four The Tibetan Buddhist World
Sacred Mandates
Timothy Brook, Michael van Walt van Praag, Miek Boltjes
University of Chicago Press

Buddhism and the authority of Tibetan hierarchs provided legitimacy of rule not only for Tibetans themselves, but for Mongol, Manchu, Bhutanese, Sikkimese, and Chinese rulers and their polities. The Buddhist relationship between a spiritual teacher and secular disciple formed the basis for the Teacher-Benefactor (or Priest-Patron) relations forged between powerful Tibetan lamas and Mongol and Manchu rulers who supported their religious institutions, and their state as well, financially, politically and militarily. Phagpa and Khubilai Khan build the model for this religio-political relationship, a model on which Manchu rulers subsequently drew. The financial impact of Teacher-Benefactor relations is revealed by the enormous value of the gifts Mongol pilgrims presented to Tibetan lamas and their monasteries. South of the Himalayas, the Tibetan Buddhist order shaped the political system as well, despite the at times strained relations between Tibet and Himalayan polities. The complexity and paradoxes of constructing relations to meet both religious and political imperatives became particularly pronounced between the Dalai Lamas of Tibet and Qing emperors after the latter asserted exclusive authority as chief benefactors and protectors in the mid-eighteenth century, and especially following the Qing intervention to help Tibet drive out invading Gorkha armies.

Keywords:   Bodhisattva, Bhutan, Buddhist patronage, Fifth Dalai Lama, Gushri Khan, legitimacy, priest-patron relationship, Mongol, pilgrimage, reincarnation

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