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I'm ll CHARIST hi 1:1 DDHISM 









F.L.S. , F.R.G.S., 






[All rights reserved.] 

W\ MAN W l> SONS) I 1MI III'. 

PBUi rase, 




in admiration of his noble character, 

philosophic teaching, wide culture, and 

m any labours devoted with exemplary fidelity to 

the interpretation of nature and the service of man. 

this book 

is. respectfully dedicated 

by The Author. 


NO apology is needed for the production at the pre- 
sent time of a work on the Buddhism of Tibet, 
or " Lamaism " as it has been called, after its priests. 
Notwithstanding the increased atteution which in recent 
years has been directed to Buddhism by the speculations 
of Schopenhauer and Hartmann, and the widely felt 
desire for fuller information as to the conditions and 
sources of Eastern religion, there exists no European 
book giving much insight into the jealously guarded 
religion of Tibet, where Buddhism wreathed in romance 
has now its chief stronghold. 

The only treatise on the subject in English, is Emil 
Schlagintweit's Buddhism in Tibet l published over thirty 
years ago, and now out of print. A work which, however 
admirable with respect to the time of its appearance, was 
admittedly fragmentary, as its author had never been in 
contact with Tibetans. And the only other European 
book on Lamaism, excepting Giorgi's curious compilation 
of last century, is Koppen's Die Lamaische Hierarchie 

1 Leipzig and London, 1863. That there is no lack of miscellaneous litera- 
ture on Tibet and Lamaism may be seen from the bibliographical list in the 
appendix ; but it is all of a fragmentary and often conflicting character. 

}• ill: FACE. 

und Kirche ' published thirty-five years ago,and also a com- 
pilation and out of print. Since the publication of these 
two works much new information has been gained, though 
scattered through more or less inaccessible Russian, 
German, French, and Asiatic journals. And this, com- 
bined with the existing opportunities for a closer study of 
Tibet and its customs, renders a fuller and more syste- 
matic work now possible. 

Some reference seems needed to my special facilities for 
undertaking this task. In addition to having personally 
studied "southern Buddhism" in Burma and Ceylon ; and 
"northern Buddhism" in Sikhim, Bhotan and Japan; 
and exploring Indian Buddhism in its remains in " the 
Buddhist Holy Land," and the ethnology of Tibet and its 
border tribes in Sikhim, Asam, and upper Burma ; and 
being one of the few Europeans who have entered the 
territory of the Grand Lama, I have spent several years in 
studying the actualities of Lamaism as explained by its 
priests, at points much nearer Lhasa than any utilized for 
such a purpose, and where I could feel the pulse of the 
sacred city itself beating in the large communities of its 
natives, many of whom had left Lhasa only ten or twelve 
days previously. 

On commencing my enquiry I found it necessary to 
learn the language, which is peculiarly difficult, and known 
to \«t\ few Europeans. And afterwards, realizing the 
rigid secrecj maintained by the Lamas in regard to their 
Beemingly chaotic rites and symbolism, I felt compelled to 
purchases Lamaisl temple with its fittings ; and prevailed 
on the officiating priests to explain to me in full detail 
the symbolism and the rites as they proceeded. Perceiv- 
ing how much I was interested, the Lamas were so oblig- 

Berlin, 1859. 


ing as to interpret in my favour a prophetic account 
which exists in their scriptures regarding a Buddhist in- 
carnation in the West. They convinced themselves that 
I was a reflex of the Western Buddha, Amitabha, and 
thus they overcame their conscientious scruples, and im- 
parted information freely. AVith the knowledge thus 
gained, I visited other temples and monasteries critically, 
amplifying my information, and engaging a small staff of 
Lamas in the work of copying manuscripts, and searching 
for texts bearing upon my researches. Enjoying in these 
ways special facilities for penetrating the reserve of 
Tibetan ritual, and obtaining direct from Lhasa and 
Tashi-lhunpo most . of the objects and explanatory 
material needed, I have elicited much information on 
Lamaist theory and practice which is altogether new. 

The present work, while embodying much original 
research, brings to a focus most of the information on 
Lamaism scattered through former publications. And 
bearing in mind the increasing number of general readers 
interested in old world ethics, custom and myth, and in the 
ceaseless effort of the human heart in its insatiable craving 
for absolute truth ; as well as the more serious students of 
Lamaism amongst orientalists, travellers, missionaries and 
others, I have endeavoured to give a clear insight into 
the structure, prominent features and cults of this system, 
and have relegated to smaller type and footnotes the more 
technical details and references required by specialists. 

The special characteristics of the book are its detailed 
accounts of the external facts and curious symbolism of 
Buddhism, and its analyses of the internal movements 
leading to Lamaism and its sects and cults. It provides 
material culled from hoary Tibetan tradition and explained 
to me by Lamas for elucidating many obscure points in 
primitive Indian Buddhism and its later symbolism. Thus 


a clue is supplied to several disputed doctriual points of 
fundamental importance, as for example the formula of 
the Causal Nexus. And it interprets much of the inter- 
esting Mahayana and Tantrik developments in the later 
Indian Buddhism of Magadha. 

It attempts to disentangle the early history of Lamaism 
from the chaotic growth of fable which has invested it. 
AVith this view the nebulous Tibetan " history " so-called 
of the earlier periods has been somewhat critically 
examined in the light afforded by some scholarly Lamas 
and contemporary history ; and all fictitious chronicles, 
such as the Mani-kah-'bum, hitherto treated usually as 
historical, are rejected' as authoritative for events which 
happened a thousand years before they were written and 
for a time when writing was admittedly unknown in 
Tibet. If, after rejecting these manifestly fictitious 
"histories" and whatever is supernatural, the residue 
cannot be accepted as altogether trustworthy history, it 
at least affords a fairly probable historical basis, which 
Beems consistent and in harmony with known facts and 
unwritten tradition. 

It will be seen that I consider the founder of Lama- 
ism to be Padma-sambhava — a person to whom previous 
writers arc wont to refer in too incidental a manner. 
Indeed, some careful writers 1 omit all mention of his 
name, although he is considered by the Lamas of all sects 
to be the founder of their order, and by the majority of 
them to be greater and more deserving of worship than 
Buddha himself. 

Most of the chief internal movements of Lamaism are 
now for the first time presented in an intelligible and 
systematic form. Thus, for example, my accouut of its 

■ E.g. W. R. s. Ralston in hie Tibetan Tales. 


sects may be compared with that given by Schlagintweit, 1 
to which nothing practically had been added. 2 

As Lamaism lives mainly by the senses and spends its 
strength in sacerdotal functions, it is particularly rich in 
ritual. Special prominence, therefore, has been given to 
its ceremonial, all the more so as ritual preserves many 
interesting vestiges of archaic times. My special facilities 
for acquiring such information has enabled me to supply 
details of the principal rites, mystic and other, most of 
which were previously undescribed. Many of these 
exhibit in combination ancient Indian and pre-Buddhist 
Tibetan cults. The higher ritual, as already known, 
invites comparison with much in the Roman Church ; 
and the fuller details now afforded facilitate this com- 
parison and contrast. 

But the bulk of the Lamaist cults comprise much 
deep-rooted devil-worship and sorcery, which I describe 
with some fulness. For Lamaism is only thinly and im- 
perfectly varnished over with Buddhist symbolism, beneath 
which the sinister growth of poly-demonist superstition 
darkly appears. 

The religious plays and festivals are also described. 
And a chapter is added on popular and domestic Lama- 
ism to show the actual working of the religion in every- 
day life as a system of ethical belief and practice. 

The advantages of the very numerous illustrations — 
about two hundred in number, mostly from originals 
brought from Lhasa, and from photographs by the author 
—must be obvious. 3 Mr. Rockhill and Mr. Knight have 
kindly permitted the use of a few of their illustrations. 

1 Op. cit. , 72. - But see note on p. 69. 

3 A few of the drawings are by Mr. A. D. McCormick from photographs, or 
original objects ; and some have been taken from Giorgi, Hue, Pander, and others. 


A full index lias beeo provided, also a chronological 
table and bibliography . 

I have to acknowledge the special aid afforded me by 
the learned Tibetan Lama, Ladma Chho Phel ; by that 
venerable scholar the Mongolian Lama She-rab Gya-ts'6; 
1»\ the Sin-ma Lama, Ur-gyao Gya-ts'6, head of the 
YaDg-gang monastery of Sikhim and a noted explorer of 
Tibet; by Tun-yig Wang-dan and Mr. Dor-je Ts'e-ring; 
b\ S'ad-sgra S'ab-pe, one of the Tibetan governors of 
Lhasa, who supplied some useful information, and a few 
manuscripts; and by Mr. AAV. Paul, CLE., when pursuing 
my researches in Sikhim. 

And I am deeply indebted to the kind courtesy of 
Professor C. Bendall for much special assistance and 
advice ; and also generally to my friend Dr. Islay 

Of previous writers to whose books I am specially 
under obligation, foremost must be mentioned ('soma 
Korosi, the enthusiastic Hungarian scholar and pioneer 
of Tibetan studies, who first rendered the Lamaist stores 
of information accessible to Europeans. 1 Though to 
Brian Boughton Hodgson, the father of modern critical 
study of Buddhisl doctrine, belongs the credit of dis- 
covering 8 the Indian nature of the bulk of the Lamaist 
literature and of procuring the material for the detailed 
analyses 1>\ Csoma and Burnouf. My indebtedness to 
Koppen and Schlagfntweil has already been mentioned. 

Alexander Cs aof K s, in the Transylvanian circle of Hungary, \\V.<- 

in"-i of the subsequent vrritera on Lftmaism, studied iliat system in Ladak. 
\ i t . ■ i publishing lii- Dictionary ^ fframmar, an be proceeded t>> 

Darjiling in the ho] f penetrating thence to Tibet, but * I i « -* I at Darjiling on 

the Mill April, 1842, a few days after arrival there, where 1 1 i — tomb no* bean 
a suitable monument, erected by the Government of India. For details of \\\- 
lifeaad labours, see his biography by Dr. Duka. 

i /.' a ■■".-. w i 


Jaeschke's great dictionary is a mine of information on 
technical and doctrinal definitions. The works of Giorgi, 
Vasiliev, Schiefner, Foucaux, Rockhill, Eitel, and Pander, 
have also proved most helpful. The Narrative of Travels 
in Tibet by Babu Saratcandra Das, and his translations 
from the vernacular literature, have afforded some use- 
ful details. The Indian Survey reports and Markham's 
Tibet have been of service ; and the systematic treatises 
of Professors Rhys Davids, Oldenberg and Beal have 
supplied several useful indications. 

The vastness of this many-sided subject, far bevond the 
scope of individual experience, the backward state of 
our knowledge on many points, the peculiar difficulties 
that beset the research, and the conditions under which 
the greater part of the book was written — in the scant 
leisure of a busy official life — these considerations may, I 
trust, excuse the frequent crudeness of treatment, as well 
as any errors which may be present, for I cannot fail to 
have missed the meaning occasionally, though sparing 
no pains to ensure accuracy. But, if my book, not- 
withstanding its shortcomings, proves of real use to 
those seeking information on the Buddhism of Tibet, 
as well as on the later Indian developments of Buddhism, 
and to future workers in these fields, I shall feel amply 
rewarded for all my labours. 

L. AusnwE Waddell. 

olst October, 1894. 



Note on Pronunciation 

List of Abbreviations ... 

I. Introductory — Division of Subject 

V. Metaphysical Sources of the Doctrine 
VI. The Doctrine and its Morality 


VIII. The Order of Lamas 

IX. Daily Life and Routine ... 
X. Hierarchy and Re-incarnate Lamas 





II. Chances in Primitive Buddhism leading to 

Lamaism ... ... ... ... ... ... 5-17 

III. Rise, Development, and Spread of Lxmaism ... 18-53 

IV. The Sects <>k Lamaism ... ... ... .. 54-7.") 

XL Monasteries 






XI 1 



X V I . 




'I'l.Mli.l- \M> ( ' LTHBDBALS ... 

Panthboh lkd [mages 

S\, ki.Ii 8l KBOLS \M> < 'll kBMS 



Soboery and Nbcromanc* . 


Festivals and Holidays ... 

Sacked Dramas. Mystic Plays wd M u» 





I >OHBSTIC amp POPI LAB I . \ \1 \i^\i 

< !hronologica] Table 








I m.i 1 

. 585-S9& 


The general reader should remember as a rough rule that in the 
oriental names the vowels are pronounced as in German, and the con- 
sonants as in English, except c which is pronounced as " ch," n as " ng " 
and n as " ny." In particular, words like Buddha are pronounced as if 
spelt in English " Bood-dha," Sakya Muni as " Sha-kya Moo-nee," and 
Karma as " Kur-ma." 

The spelling of Tibetan names is peculiarly uncouth and startling to 
the English reader. Indeed, many of the names as transcribed from 
the vernacular seem unpronounceable, and the difficulty is not diminished 
by the spoken form often differing widely from the written, owing chiefly 
to consonants having changed their sound or dropped out of speech 
altogether, the so-called " silent consonants." ' Thus the Tibetan word 
tor the border-country which we, following the Nepalese, call Sikhim is 
spelt 'bras-ljous, and pronounced " Den-jong," and bl-ra-s'is is "Ta-shi." 
When, however, I have found it necessary to give the full form of these 
names, especially the more important words translated from the Sans 
krit, in order to recover their original Indian form and meaning, I have 
referred them as far as possible to footnotes. 

The transcription of the Tibetan letters follows the system adopted by 
Jaeschke in his Dictionary, with the exceptions noted below,- and cor- 
responds closely with the analogous system for Sanskritic words given 
over the page. The Tibetan pronunciation is spelt phonetically in the 
dialect of Lhasa. 

i Somewhat analogous to tlie French Us parlent. 

2 The exceptions mainly are those requiring very specialized diacritical 
marks, the letters which are there (Jaeschke's Diet. , p. viii.), pronounced ga 
as a prefix, cha, »>/". the ha in several forms as the basis for vowels ; these I 
have rendered by g, ch\ ft and ' respectively. In several cases I have spelt words 
according to Csnma's system, by which the silent consonants are italicized. 


For the use of readers who are conversant with the [ndian alphabets, 

and the system popularly known in India as "the Hunterian," the 
following table, in the order in which the sounds are physiologically 
produced — an order also followed by the Tibetans — will show the 
system of spelling Sanskritic words, which La here adopted, and which 

it will be observed, is almost identical with that of the widely used 
dictionaries <>t' Monier- Williams and Ohilders. The different forms 
used in the Tibetan for aspirates and palato-sibilante are placed within 
brackets : — 







(cert fovi ■■ i 
































(z A- ds) 





B. Ac. Ptsbg. = Bulletin de la Classe Hist. Philol. de l'Academie de St. Petci 

Burn. I. — Bumoufs Introd. au Budd.vndien. 
Burn. IT. = „ Lotusdt bonne Lot. 
cf. = confer, compare. 

Csoma An. = Csoma Korosi Analysis in Asiatic Researches Vol. xx 
Csoma Gr. = „ „ Tibetan Grammar. 

Davids = Rhys Davids' Buddhism. 
Desg. = Desgodins' Le Tibet, etc. 
Eitel = Eitel's Handbook of Okitu s< Buddhism, 
Jaesch. D. = Jaeschkr's Tibetan Dictionary. 
J.A.S.B. = Jour, of the Asiatic Soc. of Bengal. 
J.R.A.S. = Journal of the Royal Asiatic Soc, London. 
Hodgs. = Hodgson's Essays on Lang., Lit., etc. 
Hue = Travels in. Tartar y, Tibet, etc., Hazlitt's trans. 
K6pf n = Koppen's Lamaische !!<■ r. 
Markham = Markham's Tibet. 
Marco P. = Marco Polo, Yule's edition. 

O.M. = Original Mitt. Ethnolog. Konigl. Museum fur Volkerkunde Berlin. 
Pandeb = Pander's Das Pantheon, etc. 
pr. = pronounced. 

Rock. L. = Rockhill's Land of the Lamas. 
Hock. B. = „ Infe of the Buddha, etc. 

Sarat = Saratcandra Das. 
8.B.E. = Sacred Books of the East. 
Schi-ag. = E. Schlagintwcit's Buddhism in Tibet. 
Skt. = Sanskrit. 
S.R. = Survey of India Report. 
T. = Tibetan. 

TAra. = Tdrandtha's Geschichte, etc., Schiefner's trans. 
Vasil. = Vasiliev's or Wassiljew's Der Buddhismus. 




entered Tibei ; and none for I 

[BET, the mystic 

Land of I he < i land 
Lama, joinl God 
and King of many mil- 
lions. Ls still the mosl 
Lmpenel rable country in 
the world. Behind its 
icy barriers, reared round [| by 
Nat me herself, and almosl un- 
surmountable, it- priests guard 
it- passes jealously against 

Few Europeans have ever 
alf a century have reached the 



Bacred city. Of the travellers of later times who have dared to 
enter this dark land, after scaling its frontiers and piercing 

Vikw into S.W. Tibet 
(from Tang-kar La Pass, 16,600ft.). 

its passes, and thrusting themselves into its Bnow-swepl deserts, 
even the most intrepid have failed to penetrate farther than the 
outskirts of its central province. 1 And the information, thus 
perilously gained, has, with the exception of Mr. Rockhill's, been 

1 The Few Europeans who have penetrated Central Tibel have mostly been Roman 
missionaries. The first European to reach Lhasa seems to have been Friar Odoric, of 
Pordenne, about 1330 a.d. on his return from Cathay (Col. Y\ i b's Cathay and tin ll<><"i 
Thdther,i., I i:'. ; ad C. Mabkham's Tibet, slvi.). The capital citj of Tibet referred to 
by liim with its •• Ahatsi " or Pope is believed to have been Lhasa. In 1661 the Jesuits 
Albert Dorville and Johann Gruher visited Lhasa on their way from China to India. 
In 1706 the Capuchine Fathers Josepho de Asculi andFranci co Marie de Toun i" ae- 

trated to Lhasa i> Bengal, in L716 the Jesuit Desideri reached it From Kashmir and 

Ladak. in 1741 ■ < Capuchine mission under Boracio de la Penna also succeeded in 

getting there, and th( large ai mi of information collected by them supplied Father 

\. i Horgi wiiii tlir materia] for his Alphabetum Tibetanum, published at Rome in 1 7 • "> li . 
The friendly reception a, corded this party created hopes of Lhasa becoming a centre 

ui. in missionaries; and a Vieai apostolicm for Lhasa is Btill n mated and 

appears in tht \ Uficio," though of course he cannot reside within Tibet. 

in l-ll Lhasa was reached by Manning, a Friend of Charles Lamb, and theonlj English- 
man wl 'in- ever t" have gol there; For most authorities are agreed that M or- 

milt, despite the story told t" M, Hue, aever reached it. Km Manning unfortunately 

left onlj .i whimsical diary, scare Ij i vcu descriptive ol hi- fascinating adw otures. 

'I'n. subsequent, and the last, Europeans to reach Lhasa were the Lazarist mission- 

. Hue an. I Gabet, in 1845. Hue's entertaining account ol his journej i.- will 

known. Hi was soon expelled, ami Bince then China has aided Tibet in opposing 

strengthening it- political ami military barriers, a- recent ex* 

plorers : Prejivalskj , Elockhill, Bonvalot, Bow< r, Miss Taj lor, etc, have found t" their 

inguine that the Sikhim Trade Convention of this year) l $94 i 

i- probablj the thin edge • •! the wedge t" open up tin- country, ami thai at do distant 

il.ii. Tibet will be pie\ ailed on t.. relax it- jealous exclusiveness, so that, 'ere 1900, 

l iok's tourists may \ isit the Lamalsl Val 



almost entirely geographical, leaving the customs of this forbidden 
land still a field for fiction and romance. 

Thus we are told that, amidst the solitudes of this " Land of the 
Supernatural " repose the spirits of " The Masters," the Mahdtmas, 

Captain 01 Guakd <>i Oo\<;-\ya PASS. 

(S.-Western Tibet.) ; 

whose astral bodies slumber in unbroken peace, save when they 
condescend to work some petty miracle in the world below. 

In presenting here the actualities of the cults and customs of 
Tibet ; and lifting higher than before the veil which still hides its 

B 2 


mysteries from European eyes, the subject may be viewed under 
the following sections: — 

<i. Historical. The changes in primitive Buddhism leading to 
Lamaism, and I he origins of Lamaism and ii s sects. 

b. Doctrinal. The metaphysical sources of the doctrine. The 
doctrine and its molality and literature. 

c. Monastic. The Lamaisi order. Its curriculum, daily life, 

dress, etc., discipline, hierarchy and incarnale-deit tes and re- 
embodied saints. 

(/. Buildings. Monasteries, temples, monuments, and shrines. 

e. Pantheon and Mythology, including saints, image-. 
fetishes, and other sacred objects and symbols. 

/'. Ritual and Sorcery, comprising sacerdotal services for the 
laity astrology, oracles and divination, charms and necromancy. 

(j. Festivals and Sacred Plays, with the mystic plays and 

It. Popular and Domestic Lamaism in every-day life, customs, 
and folk-lore. 

Such an exposition will afford us a fairly full and complete 
survey of one of the most active, and leasl known, forms of exist- 
ing Buddhism; and will presenl incidentally numerous other 
i »pics of wide and varied human interest. 

I',,, Lamaism is, indeed, a microcosm of the growth of religion 
;il ,l myth among primitive people; and in large degree an object - 
I j8on of their advance from barbarism towards civilization. And 
(I preserves for us much of t he old-world lore and petrified beliefs 
of our Aryan ancestors. 



" All ! Constantine, of how much ill was cause, 
Not thy conversion, but those rich domains 
That the first wealthy Pope received of thee." 1 

JO understand the origin of Lamaism and its place in the 
Buddhist system, we must recall the leading features 
of primitive Buddhism, and 
glance at its growth, to see 

the points at which the strange creeds 

and cults crept in, and the gradual 

crystallization of these into a religion 

differing widely from the parent system, 

and opposed in so many ways to the 

teaching of Buddha. 

No one now doubts the historic 

character of Siddhfirta Gautama, or 

Sakya Muni, the founder of Buddhism ; 

though it is clear the canonical ac- 
counts regarding him are overlaid with 

legend, the fabulous addition of after 

days. 2 Divested of its embellishment, 

the simple narrative of the Buddha's 

life is strikingly noble and human. 

Some time before the epoch of Alex- 
ander the Great, between the fourth and 

fifth centuries before Christ, 3 Prince 

Siddhfirta appeared in India as an original thinker and teacher, 

deeply conscious of the degrading thraldom of caste and the 

Sakya Mini. 

i Dante, Paradiso, xx. (Milton's trans.) 

s See Chapter v. for details of the gradual growth of the legends. 

:i See Chronological Table, Appendix i. 



priestly tyranny of the Brahman s, ] and profoundly impressed with 
the pathos and straggle of Life, and earnest in the search of 
some method of escaping from existence which was clearly in- 
volved with sorrow. 

His touching renunciation of his high estate, 8 of his beloved 
wife, and child. and borne, to become an ascetic, in order to master 
the secrets <>f deliverance from sorrow; his unsatisfying search for 
t ruth amongsl I be teacher- of his t ime ; his Bubsequenl austeril ies 
and severe penance, a much-vaunted means of gaining Bpiril nal in- 
sightj his retiremeni into solitude and self-communion; his last 
struggle and final triumph — latterly represented as a real material 
combat, the so-called "Temptation of Buddha": — 

Tkmi'i a i kin in Saki a Mi m 
(from a sixth century ojanta freeco, after Raj. Mitral. 

[nfernal ghosts and Hellish furies round 

Environ'a thee ; Borne howl dj some yell'd, -nine Bhriek'd, 

Some benl ut thee their fiery darts, while thou -t unappall'd in calm and Binless peace " : 

' Thi treatises on Vedic ritual, called the Brahmanas, had existed Cor about three 
centuries previous to Buddha's • i"" b, according to Max Dialler's Chronology i Hibbtri 
i .1891,] i8 the initial dates there given are Rig Veda, tenth century b.c. ; 

Brahmanas, eighth century b.c; Sutra Bixth, and Buddhism fifth centnrj ac. 

irehes ol vasiliev, etc., render it probable thai Siddharta's father was 
only a petty lord or chiei . Appendix), and thai Sakya'a 

pessimisti view oi Life maj have been forced upon nun by the loss ol his territoriea 
through conquesl by a neighbouring king, 
ok iv 


his reappearance, confident that he had discovered the secrets of 
deliverance ; his carrying the good tidings of the truth from town 
to town; his effective protest against the cruel sacrifices of the 
Brahmans, and his relief of much of the suffering inflicted upon 
helpless animals and often human beings, in the name of religion ; 
his death, full of years and honours, and the subsequent 

Buddha's Death 
(from a Tibetan picture, after Griinwedel). 

burial of his relics,— all these episodes in Buddha's life are familiar 
to English readers in the pages of Sir Edwin Arnold's Light of 
Asia, and other works. 

His system, which arose as a revolt against the one-sided de- 
velopment of contemporary religion and ethics, the caste-debase- 
ment of man and the materializing of God, took the form, as 
we shall see, of an agnostic idealism, which threw away ritual 
and sacerdotalism altogether. 

Its tolerant creed of universal benevolence, quickened by the 
bright example of a pure and noble life, appealed to the feelings 


of tli«' people with irresistible force and directness, and soon 
gained for the new religion many converts in the Ganges Valley. 

And it gradually gathered a brotherhood of monks, which after 
feuddha's death became subject to a succession of "Patriarchs," 1 
who, however, possessed little or no centralized hierarchal power, 
nor, had at least the earlier of them, any fixed abode. 

About 250 B.C. it was vigorously propagated by the great 
Emperor Asoka, the Constantine of Buddhism, who, adopting it 
;i< his State-religion, zealously spread it throughout his own \a>t 
empire, and sent many missionaries into the adjoining lands to 
diffuse the faith. Thus was it transported to Burma, 2 Siam, 
Ceylon,and otherislands on the south, to Nepal 3 and thecountries 
to the north of India, Kashmir, Bactria, Afghanistan, etc. 

In 151 A.D. it spread to China, 4 and through China, to Corea,and, 

l The greatestof all Buddha's disciples, gariputra ami Maudgalyayana, who from 
their prominence in the system seem to have contributed materially to its success, 
their master, the first of the patriarchs was the senior surviving 
disciple, Mahakasyapa. As Beveral of these Patriarchs are intimately associated 
with the Lamaist developments, I subjoin a lisl of their names, taken From the 
Tibetan canon and Taranatha's history, supplemented by some .laics from modern 
After Nagarjuna, the thirteenth (or according to some the fourteenth) 
patriarch, the succession is uncertain. 

List oi the 

Patei Ma HS. 


Mahakasyapa, Buddha's Benior 

12. Masipala (Kapimala). 


13. Nagarjuna, circa 150 \.t>. 


Ananda, Buddha's cousin and 

1 i. Deva or Kanadeva. 

favourite attendant. 

15. Rahulata (?). 



16. Sanghanandi. 


Dpagupta, the spiritual adviser 

17. Sankhayaseta 

..t Lsoka, 250 b.c. 

18. Kumarada. 



If). Jayata. 


Micchaka or Bibhakala. 

20. Vasubandhu, circa 4oO a.d. 



21. Manura. 


Buddhamitra i PVasumitra, re- 

22. Baklenayasas. 

ferred i" as president of Kan- 

23. Sinhalaputra. 

ishka'a Council I. 

24. Vasasuta. 


Parsva, contemporary of Kanishka, 

25. Punyaxnitra. 

r- \.i.. 

26. Prajfiatara. 


: Punyayasas), 

27. Bodhidharma, who \ isited China 


Asvaghosha, also contemporary of 
Kani I0a.d. 

by sea in 526 .\.i>. 

- By Sow and Uttaro (Mahavai ■■■ p. 71). 
■ Bi i n in ln-B \mii ros i .1- t. of Nepal, p. 1 
probably this was it - re-introduction. 
1 During the reign of the Emperor Ming 

71 \.k 

90) gives date of introduction as a.d. 33; 
Fi. Bbai i Budd. in China, p 58) gives 


in the sixth century A.D., to Japan, taking strong hold on all of the 
people of these countries, though they were very different from 
those among whom it arose, and exerting on all the wilder tribes 
among them a very sensible civilizing influence. It is believed to 
have established itself at Alexandria. 1 And it penetrated to 
Europe, where the early Christians had to pay tribute to the 
Tartar Buddhist Lords of the Golden Horde ; and to the present 
day it still survives in European Russia among the Kalmaks on 
the Volga, who are professed Buddhists of the Lamaist order. 

Tibet, at the beginning of the seventh century, though now 
surrounded by Buddhist countries, knew nothing of that religion, 
and was still buried in barbaric darkness. Not until about the 
year 640 a.d. did it first receive its Buddhism, and through it 
some beginnings of civilization among its people. 

But here it is necessary to refer to the changes in Form which 
Buddhism meanwhile had undergone in India. 

Buddha, as the central figure of the system, soon became invested 
with supernatural and legendary attributes. And as the religion 
extended its range and influence, and enjoyed princely patronage 
and ease, it became more metaphysical and ritualistic, so that 
heresies and discords constantly cropped up, tending to schisms, 
for the suppression of which it was found necessary to hold great 

Of these councils the one held at Jalandhar, in Northern India, 
towards the end of the flirt century a.d., under the auspices of the 
Scythian King Kanishka, of Northern India, was epoch-making, 
for it established a permanent schism into what European writers 
have termed the " Northern " and " Southern " Schools : the 
Southern being now represented by Ceylon, Burma, and Siam ; 
and the Northern by Tibet, Sikhim, Bhotan, Nepal, Ladak, 
China, Mongolia, Tartary, and Japan. This division, however, 
it must be remembered, is unknown to the Buddhists them- 
selves, and is only useful to denote in a rough sort of way the 
relatively primitive as distinguished from the developed or mixed 
forms of the faith, with especial reference to their present-day 

1 The Bfahdvanso (Tuknour's ed., p. 171) notes that 30,000 Bhikshus, or Buddhist 
monks, came from "Alasadda," considered to he Alexandria. 


The point of divergence of these so-called "Northern" and 
k> Southern'' Schools was the 1 hoist ic- M<ih<T i/d ,,<i doctrine, which 
substituted for the agnostic idealism and simple morality of 
Buddha, a speculative theistic system with a mysticism of sophis- 
tic nihilism in the background. Primitive Buddhism practically 
confined its salvation to a select few; but the Mahayana extended 
salvation to the entire universe. Thus, from its large capacity as 
a " Vehicle " for easy, speedy, and certain attainment of the state 
of a Bodhisat <>r potential Buddha, and conveyance across the sea 
of life (samsdra) to Nirvana, the haven of the Buddhists, its 
adherents called it "The Great Vehicle" or Mahdydna ; l while 
they contemptuously called the system of the others— the Primi- 
tive Buddhists, who did not join this innovation — " The Little. 
or Imperfect Vehicle," the ffinaydna f a which could carry so 
lew to Nirvana, and which they alleged was only tit for low 

intellect -. 

This doctrinal division into the Mahayana and Hinavana, how- 
ever, does not quite coincide with the distinction into the so-called 
Northern and Southern Schools; for the Southern School shows 
a considerable leavening with Mahayana principles, 8 and Indian 
Buddhism during its most popular period was very largely of the 
.Mahayana type. 

Who the real author of the Mahayana was is not yet known. 
The doctrine seems to have developed within the Maha-sanghika 
or "Great Congregation" — a heretical sect which arose among 
the monk- of Vaisali, one hundred years after Buddha's death, 
and at the council named after that place. 4 Asvaghosha, who 
appears to have lived about the latter end of the first century A. P., 

is credited with the authorship <»f a work entitled On raising 
Faith in i/k' Mahayana. 6 But its chief expounder and developer 
was Nagarjuna, who was probably a pupil of Asvaghosha, as he 

' The word Y<h,« (Tib., Teg-fa ch'en-po) or "Vehicle"is parallel t.> tin- Platonic 
<>xw*< ;is noted by Bbal in i;,/,,,,!, p. r_M. 
i Tib., Teg-pa dman-pa. 

in, is rsiANo's 8 A' (Bbal's), ii., p.188; Ettbl, p. 90; Dhabmapaia in 

Mahubodhi /our., 1892; Taw Sein Ko, Tnd. Antiquary, June, 1892. 

i The orthodox members of this council formed the Beet called Sthavirat "r "elders." 

Be also wrote a biography ol Buddha, entitled B I fi a, translated 

bj Cowbll, in 8.B.E. n closely resembles the Lalita Vistara, and b Bimilar epic 

was brought to China as earlj as70Aj> (Bbal's Ch ■ Buddhitm, p. 90). Beis also 

credited with the authorship of s clever confutation of Brahmanism, which was latterly 

led V S Bonos., III., I27)i 


1 1 

followed the successor of the latter in the patriarchate. He could 
not, however, have taken any active part in Kanishka's Council, 
as the Lamas believe. Indeed, it is doubtful even whether he had 
then been born. 1 

Nagarjuna claimed and secured orthodoxy for the Mahayana 
doctrine by producing an apocalyptic treatise which he attributed 
to Sakya Muni, entitled the 
J^-djud-pdramitd, or " the 
means of arriving at the other 
side of wisdom," a treatise 
Which he alleged the Buddha 
had himself composed, and 
had hid away in the custody 
of the Nfiga demigods until 
men were sufficiently enlight- 
ened to comprehend so ab- 
struse a system. And, as his 
method claims to be a com- 
promise between the extreme 
views then held on the nature 
of Nirvana, it was named the 
Mddhyamika,or the system "of the Middle Path." 2 

This Mahayana doctrine was essentially a sophistic nihilism ; 
and under it the goal Nirvana, or rather Pari-Nirvana, while 
ceasing to be extinction of Life, was considered a mystical state 
which admitted of no definition. By developing the supernatural 
side of Buddhism and its objective symbolism, by rendering its 

Z^Wdi^-W 3)2* 


1 Nagarjuna (T., kLu-grub.) appears to belong to the second century ad. He was a 
native of Vidarbha dinar) and a monk of Nalanda, the headquarters of several of 
tin' later patriarchs. He is credited by the Lamas (J.A.S.B., 1882, 115) with having 
erected the stone railing round the great Gandhola Temple of "Budh Gaya," though 
the style of the lithic inscriptions on these rails would place their date earlier. 
For a biographical note from the Tibetan by II. Wknzkl, see ./. Pali Text Soc., 
1880, p. 1, also by Sakat, J.A.S./;., 51, pp. l and 115. The vernacular history of 
Kashmir (Rajatarangini) makes him a contemporary and chief monk of Kanishka's 
successor, King Abhimanyu (cf. also Eitel, p. 103; Schl., 21, 301-3; Kopf., ii., 11 ; 
O.M., 107, 2; Csoma, Or., xii., 182). 

2 It seems to have been a common practice for sectaries to call their own system 
by this title, implying that it only was the true or reasonable belief. Sakya Muni 
also called his system "the Middle Path*' (Davids, p. 17). daiming in his defence of 
truth tp avoid the two extremes (if superstition on the one side, and worldliness or 
infidelity on the ether. Comp. the I'/.- media •>( the Anglican Oxford movement. 



salvation more accessible and universal, and by substituting g 1 

words for the good deeds of the earlier Buddhists, the Mahayana 

appealed more powerfully to the multitude and secured ready 

About the end of the first century of our era, then, Kariishka's 
Council affirmed the superiority of the Mahayana system, and 
published in the Sanskrit language inflated versions of the Bud- 
dhist ( anon, from sources for the most part independent of the 
Pali versions of the southern Buddhists, though exhibiting a re- 
markable agreement with them. 3 

And this new doctrine supported by Kanishka, who almost 
rivalled Asoka in his Buddhist zeal and munificence, became 
a dominanl form of Buddhism throughout the greater part of 
India ; and it was the form which first penetrated, it would seem, 
to ( Ihina and Nort hern Asia. 

Its idealization of Buddha and his attributes Led to the creation 
of metaphysical Buddhas and celestial Bodhisats, actively willing 
and able to save, and to the introduction of innumerable demons 
and deities a~ objects of worship, with their attendant idolatry and 

Bacerdotalism, both of 
which depart nres Buddha 
had expressly condemned. 
The gradual growth of 
myth and legend, and of 
the various theistic de- 
velopments which DOW 
set in, are sketched in 
detail in another chapter, 
As early as about the 
first cent nry a.i>., Buddha 

is made to be exi-teiit 

from all eternity and 

wit hoin beginning 

And one of t he earliest 

forms given to the great- 
est ^\' t hese metaphysical 
Buddhas — Amitabha, t he 
Buddhaof Boundless bight 

M \\.n -1:1 

(the li." <;. ..I, holding the Book of Wisdom 
hikI wielding the Sword <•( Knowledge). 

ral ••! the Chinese and Japanese Scriptures are translated from tli<> Pi 
Bi m - /; i p , ;, ,:,., ; few! ib< tan cl Chap, rii 



— evidently incorporated a Sun-myth, as was indeed to be ex- 
pected where the chief patrons of this early Mahayana Buddhism, 
the Scythians and Lndo-Persians, were a race of Sun-worshippers. 

The worship of Buddha's own image seems to date from this 
period, the first century of our era, and about four or five 
centuries after Buddha's death ; l and it was followed by a variety 
of polytheistic forms, the creation of which was probably facili- 
tate! by the Grecian Art influences then prevalent in Northern 




India.- Diflfereni forms 
of Buddha's image, origin- 
ally intended to represent 
differeni epochs in his life, 
were afterwards idealized 
into various Celestial Bud- 
dhas, from whom the hu- 
man Buddhas were held H 
to be derived as material (^ ' 

About .300 a.d. :{ arose 
the next great develop- 
ment in Indian Buddhism 
with the importat ion into 
it of t he pantheistic cult 
of Yoga, or the ecstatic 
union of the individual 
w it h the Universal Spirit, 
a cult which had been in- 
troduced into Hinduism 
by Patanjali about 150 B.C. 
Buddha himself had attached inueh importance to the practice of 

(the Wielder of the Thunderbolt 

1 ct'. statue of Buddha found at Sravasti, Cunningham's Stupa ofBarhut, p. vii. So 
also in Christianity, archdeacon Farrar, in his recent lecture on "The Development oi 
Christian Art.'' states that for three centuries there were iM pictures of Christ, but 
only symbols, such as the fish, the Iamb, the dove. 'Hi'' catacombs of st. Callistus 
contained the first picture of Christ, the date being 313. Not even a cross existed 
in the early catacombs, and still less a crucifix. The eighth century saw the first picture 
(1 f the dead Christ. Rabulas in f>8<> first depicted the crucifixion in a Syriac Gospel. 

i Smi m's Graco-Boman vnfi.on Civilization of Ancient India, J. A. S.B., 58 etseq.. 1889, 
and (iiu'-NWEDKi's Buddh. Kunst. 

*The date of the author of this innovation, Asanga, the brother of Vasubandhu, 

1 1 


abstract meditation amongst bis followers; and Buch practices 
under the mystical and later theistic developments of bis Bystem, 
readily Led to the adoption of the Brahmanical cull of Yoga, 
which was grafted on to the theistic Mahayana by Asanga, a 
Buddhisi monk of Grandhara (Peshawar), in Northern India. 
Those who mastered this Bystem were called Yogdcarya Bud- 

The Ybgacarya mysticism seems to have leavened the mass of 
the Mahayana followers, and even somealso of the Hinayana; for 

distinct traces of Yoga are to be 
found in modern Burmese and 
» V\ lonese Buddhism. And t Ids 
Yoga parasit e, containing wit hin 
it self t he germs of Tantrism, 
seized Btrong hold of its host 
and soon developed its monster 
outgrowths, which crushed and 

cankered most of the little life 
of purely Buddhist stock yet 
Left in the Mahayana. 

About i he end of the sixth 
century a.i>., Tcmtri&m or Sivaic 
in v-t icism, wit h its worship of 
female energies, Bpouses of t he 
llindn god Siva, began to tinge 
both Buddhism ami Hinduism. 
Consorts were allotted to the 
Beveral Celestial Bodhisats and 
most of t ho ot hn gods ami de- 
mons, and most of i bem were 
given forms wild ami terrible, 
and often monst ion-, according 

to the supposed i Is of each 

divinit \ at different I Lines. Ami 
a- 1 bese goddesses and Gendesses 

9AM V\ I \ -llll M.K \ 

Dm- twentieth patriarch, has no1 yel been Bxed with any precision it seems to be 
somewhere between » « ►* ► i.o. and 500 a.o. Of. Vasil., B., p. 78; ScHmrvn / 

p 126 : j\ i n n // \a - 1 // ft 3 ■■ \' 1 '''- LM. 



were bestowers of supernatural power, and were especially ma- 
lignant, they were especially worshipped. 

By the middle of the seventh century a.d., India contained 
many images of Divine Buddhas and Bodhisats with their female 
energies and other Buddhist gods and demons, as we know 
from Hiuen Tsiang's narrative and the lithic remains in India; 1 
and the growth of myth and ceremony had invested the 
dominant form of Indian Buddhism with organised litanies and 
i'n 11 ritual. 

Such was the distorted form of Buddhism introduced into Tibel 
about 6-10 a.d. ; and during the three or four succeeding centuries 
Indian Buddhism became still more debased. Its mysticism 
became a silly mummery of unmeaning jargon and " magic 
circles," dignified by the title of Mantraydna or "The Spell- 
Vehicle"; and this so-called 
" esoteric," but properly " exoteric," 
cult was given a respectable an- 
tiquity by alleging that its real 
founder was Nagarjuna, who had 
received it from the Celestial Buddha 
Vairocana through the divine Bod- 
hisat Vajrasattva at " the iron tower " 
in Southern India. 

In the tenth century a.d.,' 2 the 
Tantrik phase developed in Northern 
India, Kashmir, and Nepal, into the 
monstrous and polydemonist doc- 
trine, the Kalacakra, 3 with its de- 
moniacal Buddhas, which incor- 
porated the Mantrayana practices, 
and called itself the V<ijr<i-;/'hni, 
or "The Thunderbolt-Vehicle," and 
its followers were named Vajrd- 
cdrya, or " Followers of the Thundertx 



1 See my article on Uren, J.A.S.B., 1891, and on Indian Buddhist Cult, etc., in 
J.R.A.S., 1894, p. 51 et seq. 

2 About 965 \.i>. (C80MA, i,'r., p. 192). 

:! Tib., 'D'x-Kt/i-'K'or-lo, or Circle of Timt , see Chap. vi. It is ascribed to the fabu- 
lous country of Sambhala iT., De-jun) to the North of India, a mythical country prob- 
ably founded upon the Northern land of St. Padma-JumMaw, to w it Udyana, 



In these declining days of Indian Buddhism, when its spiritual 
and regenerating influences were almost dead, the Muhammadau 
invasion swept over India, in the latter end of the twelfth century 
A.D., and effectually stamped Buddhism out of the country. The 
fanatical idol-hating Afghan soldiery 1 especially attacked the 
Buddhist monasteries, with their teeming idols, and they mas- 

(an Indian Buddhist VajracSrya Monk of the Eleventh Century a.d.). 

sacred the monks wholesale ; 2 and as the Buddhist religion, un- 
like the more domestic Brahmanism, is dependent on its priests 
and monks for its vitality, it soon disappeared in the absence* of 
these latter. It lingered only for a short rime longer in the more 
remote parts of the peninsula, to which the fiercely fanatical 
Muhammadans could not readily penetrate. 8 

But it has now been extinct in India for several centuries, 
leaving, however, all over that country, a legacy of gorgeous 
architectural remains and monuments of decorative art. and it> 

l See article by me in J.A.S.B., lxvi., 1892, p. 20 et seg., illustrating this fanaticism 
and massacre with reference to Magadha and &sam. 

■-• Tabaqat-i-Ndriri, Elliot's trans., ii., 306, etc. 
Daranatha - iya it -till existed in Bengal till the middle of the fifteenth century a d., 

under the " Chagala " Raja, whose kingd ixtended to Delhi and who was converted 

to Buddhism by his wife Be died in 1448 A.n., and Prof. Bendall fin h.Skt. 

&TS8. intr.Q. iv)that Buddhist MSS. were copied in Bengal up to the middle ol the 

fifteenth century, di sly, to 1 146. Cf. also his note in. /.A'../.. v. N>« Ser., xx., 552, and 

mine in J A 8JB. (Proc), February, 1898 



living effect upon its apparent offshoot Jainism, and upon Brah- 
manism, which it profoundly influenced for good. 

Although the form of Buddhism prevalent in Tibet, and which 
has been called after its priests " Lamaism," is mainly that of 
the mystical type, the Vajra-yana, curiously incorporated with 
Tibetan mythology and spirit-worship, still it preserves there, 
as we shall see, much of the loftier philosophy and ethics of the 
system taught by Buddha himself. And the Lamas have the keys 
to unlock the meaning of much of Buddha's doctrine, which has 
been almost inacessible to Europeans. 

IBBSSI— * — - 





LBET emerges from barbaric darkness only with the 
dawn of its Buddhism, in the seventh century of our 

Tibetan history, such as there is — and there is 
none at all before its Buddhisi era, nor little worthy of the 
name till about the eleventh century A..D. — is fairly clear on the 

1 From a photograph by Mr. Hoffman 


point that previous to King Sron Tsan Grampo's marriage in 
638-641 a.d., Buddhism was quite unknown in Tibet. 1 And it 
is also fairly clear on the point that Lamaism did not arise till 
a century later than this epoch. 

Up till the seventh century Tibet was inaccessible even to the 
Chinese. The Tibetans of this prehistoric period are seen, from 
the few glimpses that we have of them in Chinese history about 
the end of the sixth century, 2 to have been rapacious savages 
and reputed cannibals, without a written language, 3 and followers 
of an animistic and devil-dancing or Shamanist religion, the Bon, 
resembling in many ways the Taoism of China. 

Early in the seventh century, when Muhammad (" Mahomet ") 

1 The historians so-called of Tibet wrote mostly inflated bombast, almost valueless 
for historical purposes. As the current accounts of the rise of Buddhism in Tibet are 
so overloaded with Legend, and often inconsistent, I have endeavoured to sift out the 
more positive data from the mass of less trustworthy materials. I have looked into 
the more disputed historical points in the Tibetan originals, and, assisted by the 
living traditions of the Lamas, and the translations provided by Rockhill and lmshell 
especially, but also by Schlagintweit, Sarat, and others, 1 feel tolerably confident that 
as regards the questions of the mode and date of the introduction of Buddhism into 
Tibet, and the founding of Lamaism, the opinions now expressed are in the main 

The accounts of the alleged Buddhist events in prehistoric Tibet given in the 
Mani-Kdh-'bwm, Gyal-rabs, and other legendary books, are clearly clumsy fictions. 
Following the example of Burma and other Buddhist nations (cf. Hiuen Tsiang, 
Juliens trans., i., 179 ; ii., 107, etc.) who claim for their King an ancestry from the 
Sakya stock, we find the Lamas foisting upon their King a similar descent. A 
mythical exiled prince, h2med gJSTah-K'ri-b Tsan-po, alleged to be the son of King 
Prasenjit, Buddha's first royal patron, and a member of the Licchavi branch of 
the Sakya tribe, is made to enter Tibet in the fifth century b.c. as the progenitor 
of a millennium of Sron Tsan (Jampo's ancestors; and an absurd story is invented 
to account for the etymology of his name, which means "the back chair"; while 
the Tibetan people are given as progenitors a monkey (" Hilumandju," evidently in- 
tended for Hanumanji, the Hindu monkey god, cf. Rock., LL., 355) sent by Avalo- 
kiteswara and a rakshasi fiendess. Again, in the year 331 a.d., there fell from heaven 
several sacred objects (conf. Rock., B., p. 210), including the Om mani formula, 
which in reality was not invented till many hundred (probably a thousand) years 
later. And similarly the subsequent appearance of five foreigners before a King, said 
to have been named T'o-t'ori Syan-tsan, in order to declare the sacred nature of the 
above symbols, without, however, expiainvng than, so that the people continued in 
ignorance of their meaning. And it only tends still further to obscure the points 
at issue to import into the question, as Lassen does (Ind. Alt., ii., 1072), the alleged 
erection on Mt, Kailas, in 137 b.c, of a temporary Buddhist monastery, for such a 
monastery must have belonged to Kashmir Buddhism, and could have nothing to do 
with Tibet, 

- Bushell, loe. oit, p. 435. 
They used knotched wood and knotted cords (Rbmttsat's Researches, p. 38 1 1, 



was founding his religion in Arabia, there arose in Tibet a warlike 
king, who established his authority over the other wild clans of 
central Tibet, and latterly his son, Sron Tsan Grampo, 1 harassed the 
western borders of China; so that the Chinese Emperor T'aitsung, 
of the T'ang Dynasty, was glad to come to terms with this young 
prince, known to the Chinese as Ch'itsung-luntsan, and gave him 
in G41 a.d. 2 the Princess 3 Wench'eng, of the imperial house, in 
marriage. 4 

Two years previously Sron Tsan Grampo had married Bhi-ikuti, 
a daughter of the Nepal King, Amsuvarman ; 5 and both of 
these wives being bigoted Buddhists, they speedily effected 
the conversion of their young husband, who was then, according 

1 Culled also, prim- to his accession (says Rockhill, Life, p. 211) Khri-ldan Sron- 
btsan (in Chinese, Ki-tsung hm-tsan). His father, g'Nam-ri Sron-tsan, and his an- 
cestors had their headquarters at Yar-lun, or "the Upper Valley," below the Yar- 
lha sam-po, a mountain on the southern confines of Tibet, near the Bhotan frontier. 
The Yar-lun river flows northwards into the Tsang-po, below Lhasa and near Samye. 
This Yar-lun is to be distinguished from that of the same name in the Kham pro- 
vince, east of Bathang, and a tributary of the Yangtse Kiang. The chronology by 
Bu-ton (t'am-c'ad K'an-po) is considered the most reliable, ami Sum-pa K'an-po 
accepted it in preference to the Baidyur Kar-po, composed by the Dalai Lama's orders, 
by De-Srid San-gyas Gya-mts'o, in 16S6. According to Bu-ton, the date of Sron Tsan 
Gampo's birth was 617 a.d. (which agrees with that given by the Mongol historian, 
Sasnang Setzen), and he built the palace Pho-dah-Marpo on the Lhasa hill when 
aged nineteen, and the Lhasa Temple when aged twenty-three. Be married the 
Chinese princess when he was aged nineteen, and he died aged eighty-two. The 
Chinese records, translated by Bushell, make him die early. Csoma's date of iii;7 
{Grammar, p. 183) for his birth appears to be a clerical error for (il7. His l'n>t 
mission to China was in 634 (Bushell, J.R.A.S., New Ser., xii., p. 140). 

- According to Chinese annals (Bushell, 435), the Tibetan date for, the marriage is 
639 (C, fr'.,p.l83), that is, two years after his marriage with the Xepalese prince.-,-. 

:; Kong-jo = "princess" in Chinese. 

4 The Tibetan tradition has it that there were three other suitors for this princess's 

hand, namely, the three greatest kings they knew of outside China, the Kings of Mag- 
adha,of Persia (sTag-zig), and of the Bor (Turin,) tribes. See also Hodgson's Ess. and 
Rockhill's B., 213 ; ("soma's <;,-., 196; Bodhimur, 338. 

•'■ Amsuvarman, or "Glowing Armour," is mentioned by Biuen Tsiang (Beal's Ed. 
Si-yu-ki, ii-. p. SI I as reigning about 6:57. and he appears as a grantee in Fleet's Corpus 
Intern. I ml- (iii., p. 190) in several inscriptions ranging from 635 to 650 a.d., from 
Which it appears that he was of the Thakuri dynasty and a feudatory of King of 
Harshavardhana of Kanauj, and on the death of die latter seems to have bee. me 
independent. The inscriptions show that devi was ; , title of his royal ladies, and his 
635 a.d. inscription recording a gifl to his oephew,a svdmin (an officer), renders it prob- 
able thai he had then an adult daughter. One of his inscriptions relates to Sivaisl 
lingas, but none are expressedly Buddhist. The inscription "i 635 was discovered by 
c. Bbndai i. and published iii Tnd. Ant for 1885, and in his Journey, pp. 13 and 73. Cf. 
also I,,<i. A, it., i\., 170, and his description of din- in /■ itchr. dt >■ Deutoch. 


to Tibetan annals, only about sixteen years of age, 1 and who, 
under their advice, sent to India, Nepal, and China for Buddhist 
books and teachers. 2 

It seems a perversion of the real order of events to state, as is 
usually done in European books, that Sron Tsan Grampo first adopted 
Buddhism, and then married two Buddhist wives. Even the 
vernacular chronicle, 3 which presents the subject in its most 
nattering form, puts into the mouth of Sron Tsan Grampo, when 
he sues for the hand of his first wife, the Nepalese princess, the 
following words : " I, the King of barbarous 4 Tibet, do not practise 
the ten virtues, but should you be pleased to bestow on me your 
daughter, and wish me to have the Law, 5 I shall practise the ten 
virtues with a five-thousand-fold body . . , though I have 
not the arts . . . if you so desire . . . I shall build 5,000 
temples." Again, the more reliable Chinese history records that 
the princess said "there is no religion in Tibet"; and the 
glimpse got of Sron Tsan in Chinese history shows him actively 
engaged throughout his life in the very un-Buddhist pursuit of 
bloody wars with neighbouring states. 

The messenger sent by this Tibetan king to India, at the 
instance of his wives, to bring Buddhist books was called Thon- 
mi Sam-bhota. 6 The exact date of his departure and return are un- 
certain, 7 and although his Indian visit seems to have been within 
the period covered by Hiuen Tsiang's account, this history makes 
no mention even of the country of Tibet, After a stay in India 8 
of several years, during which Sam-bhota studied under the 

i The Gyal-rabs Sel-wai Melon states that S. was aged sixteen on his marriage 
with the Nepalese princess, who was then aged eighteen, and three years later' he 
built his Pho-dan-Marpo Palace on the Red Hill at Lhasa. 

2 The monks who came to Tibet during Sron Tsan Gampo's reign were Kusara 
(? Kumara) and Sahkara Brahmana, from India ; Sila Manju, from Nepal • Hwa 
Bhang Maha-ts'e, from China, and (E.Schlaut., GyaWabs, p. 49) Tabuta and Ganuta" 
from Kashmir. ' 

3 Mirror of Royal pedigree, Gyal-rabs Sel-wai Meloti. 

4 mT'ah-'k'ob. 

5 K'rims. 

6 Sambhota is the Sanskrit title for " The good Bhotiya or Tibetan." His proper name 
is Thon-mi, son of Anu. 

7 632 a.d. is sometimes stated as date of departure, and 650 as the return ; but on this 
latter date Sron Tsan Gampo died according to the Chinese accounts, although lie 
should survive for many (48) years longer, according to the conflicting Tibetan record, 

8 " Southern India " (Bod/iimio; p. 327). 


Brahman Livikara or Lipidatta 1 and the pandit Devavid Siriha (or 
Sinlia Ghosha), he returned to Tibet, bringing several Buddhist 
books and the so-called "Tibetan" alphabet, by means of which he 
now reduced the Tibetan language to writing and composed for 
this purpose a grammar. 2 

This so-called "Tibetan" character, however, was merely a 
somewhat fantastic reproduction of the north Indian alphabet 
current in India at the time of Sam-bhota's visit. It exaggerates 
the nourishing curves of the " Kutila" which was then coming 
into vogue in India, and it very slightly modified a few letters to 
adapt them to the peculiarities of Tibetan phonetics. 3 Thonmi 
translated into this new character several small Buddhist texts, 4 
hut he does not appear to have become a monk or to have 
attempted any religious teaching. 

Sroii Tsan Gainpo, being one of the. greatest kings of Tibet and 
the first patron of learning and civilization in that country, and 
having with the aid of his wives first planted the germs of Buddh- 
ism in Tibetan soil, he is justly the most famous and popular 
king of the country, and latterly he was canonized as an incarna- 
tion of the most popular of the celestial Bodhisats, Avalokita ; and 
in keeping with this legend he is figured with his hair dressed 
up into a high conical chignon after the fashion of the Indian 
images of this Buddhist god, " The Looking-down-Lord." 

His two wives were canonized as incarnations of Avalokita's 
consort, Tara, "the Saviouress," or Goddess of Mercy; and the 
fact that they bore him no children is pointed to as evidence of 
their divine nature. 5 The Chinese princess Wench'eng was deified 

i Li-byin = Li + "to give." 

■- tOrahi bsfawi bch'os sum ch'u-pa. 

;; Tin- cerebrals and aspirates nol being Deeded for Tibetan sounds were rejected. 
An.l when afterwards the full expression of Sanskrit names in Tibetan demanded 
these letters, the live cerebrals were formed by reversing the dentals and the aspirates 
obtained by suffixing an A, -while the palato-sibilants ts, tsh, and ds were formed by 
adding a surmounting cresl to the palatals ch, ckh, and j. it is customary to saj that 
the cursive style, the "headless" or U-med (as distinguished from the lull form with 
the head the U-ch'en) was adapted from the BO-called "Wartu" form of Devanagri— 
Hodgson, As. Ret., Kvi.,420; Schmidt, Mem. del'Acde Pet., i., 41 ; Csoma.Gt., 204 ; 
Sabat, J.A.S.B., 1888, 12. 

4 The first book translated Beems to have been the Karartda-vyvM mtra,n favourite 
in Nepal ; and a lew other translations still extant in the Tan-gyur are ascribed to 

Inm (CSOMA, .1.. ami ROCK., />'., 212. 

■ iii^ issue proceeded from I wo or four Tibetan wives. 



as " The white Tara," 1 as in the annexed figure ; while the Nepa- 
lese princess "Bri- 
bsun" said to be a cor- 
ruption of Bhri-kuti, 
was apotheosised as the 
green Bhri-kuti Tara, 2 
as figured in the chap- 
ter on the pantheon. 

But he was not the 
saintly person the grate- 
ful Lamas picture, for 
he is seen from re- 
liable Chinese history 
to have been engaged 
all his life in bloody 
wars, and more at home 
in the battlefield than 
the temple. And he cer- 
tainly did little in the 
way of Buddhist propa- 
ganda, beyond perhaps 
translating a few tracts 
into Tibetan, and build- 
ing a few temples to 
shrine the images re* 
ceived by him in dower, 3 
and others which he constructed. He built no monasteries. 

Tara, the White. 
The Deified Chinese Princess Wench'eng. 4 

1 E. Schlagintweit (p. 66) transposes the forms of the two princesses, and most sub- 
sequent writers repeat his confusion. 

2 She is represented to have been of a fiery temper, and the cause of frequent 
brawls on account of the precedence given to the Chinese princess. 

» He received as dower with the Nepalese princess, according to the Gyal-rabs, 
the images of Akshobhya Buddha, Maitreya and a sandal-wood image of Tara ; and 
from his Chinese wife a figure of Sakya Muni as a young prince. To shrine the 
images of Akshobhya and the Chinese Sakya he built respectively the temples of 
Ramoch'e and another at Rasa, now occupied by the Jo-wo K'an at Lhasa(soe Chaps, xii. 
and xiii.). The latter temple was called Rasa-'p'rul snaii gigtsug-lha-K 'an, and was built 
in his twenty-third year, and four years after the arrival of the Chinese princess 
(in 644 a.d., Bushell). The name of its site, Ba-sa, is said to have suggested the 
name by which it latterly became more widely known, namely, as Lha-sa, or "God's 
place." The one hundred and eight temples accredited to him in the Mani-Kdh-'him 
are of course legendary, and not even their sites are known to the Lamas themselves. 

i After Pander. 


After Srofi Tsan Grarnpo's death, about 650 a.d., 1 Buddhism 
made little headway against the prevailing Shamanist superstitions, 
and seems to have been resisted by the people until about a 
century later in the reign of his powerful descendant Thi -Srofi 
Detsan, 2 who extended his rule over the 
greater part of Yunnan and Si-Chuen, and 
even took Changan, the then capital of 

This king was the son of a Chinese 
princess, 3 and inherited through his mother 
a strong prejudice in favour of Buddhism. 
He succeeded to the throne when only 
^OT^Srl' thirteen years old, and a few years later 4 he 
sent to India for a celebrated Buddhist priest 
King Thi-Sron Detsan. to es t a blish an order in Tibet; and he was 
advised, it is said, by his family priest, the Indian monk Santa- 
rakshita, to secure if possible the services of his brother-in- 
law, 5 Guru Padma-sambhava, a clever member of the then 
popular Tantrik Yogacarya school, and at that time, it is said, 
a resident of the great college of Nalanda, the Oxford of Buddhist 


This Buddhist wizard, Guru Padma-sambhava, promptly re- 
sponded to the invitation of the Tibetan king, and accompanied 
the messengers back to Tibet in 747 a.d. 6 

As Guru Padma-sambhava was the founder of Lamaism, and is 
now deified and as celebrated in Lamaism as Buddha himself, 
than whom, indeed, he receives among several sects more worship, 
he demands detailed notice. 

The founder of Lamaism, Saint Padma-sambhava or "the Lotus- 

i He was succeeded in 650 by his grandson Mang-Sroh-Mang-tsan under the 
regency of Sroh Tsan's Buddhist minister, Gar (mfc'ew), known to the Chinese as 
Chiishih (Bushell, loc. cit., 446). 

2 K'ri-Sroii Idcu-btsan. (Of. Kopp., ii., 67-72 ; Schlag., 67 ; J.A.S.B., 1881, p. 224.) 
Rock., B., quotes p. 221 contemporary record mbsTan-gyw (xciv., f. 387-391), proving 
that i'l Thi-Sroh Dets;ufs reign in the middle of the eighth century, Tibet was hardly 
recognized as a Buddhist country. 

3 Named Chin cheng (Tib., Kyim Shah), adopted daughter of the Emperor Tchang 
tsong (Bushell, 456). 

> I n 747 (Csoma, Or., 183) ; but the Chinese date would give 755 (Bushell). 
5 The legendary life of the Guru states that he married the Princess Mandiiravfi, a 
sister of ganta-rakshita. 
o Another account makes the Gum arrive in Tibet in ant Lcipatii >n of the king's wishes. 

The Founder of Lamaism, St. Padma-sambhava, 
in his Eight Forms. 


born one," 1 is usually called by the Tibetans Guru Rm-po-ch'e, or 
" the precious Guru " ; or simply L6-pdn, 2 the Tibetan equivalent 
of the Sanskrit " Guru " or « teacher." He is also called " Ugyan" 
or " Urgyan," as he was a native of Udyana or Urgyan, correspond- 
ing to the country about Grhazni 3 to the north-west of Kashmir. 

Udyana, his native land, was famed for the proficiency of its 
priests in sorcery, exorcism, and magic. Hiuen Tsiang, writing a 
century previously, says regarding Udyana : " The people are in 
disposition somewhat sly and crafty. They practise the art of using 
charms. The employment of magical sentences is with them an 
art and a study." 4 And in regard to the adjoining country of Kash- 
mir also intimately related to Lamaism, Marco Polo a few centuries 
later says : " Keshimur is a province inhabited by people who are 

idolaters (i.e., Buddhists). . . . 
They have an astonishing ac- 
quaintance with the devilries of 
enchantment, insomuch as they 
can make their idols speak. They 
can also by their sorceries bring on 
changes of weather, and produce 
darkness, and do a number of 
things so extraordinary that no one 
without seeing them would believe 
them. Indeed, this country is the 
very original source from which 
idolatry has spread abroad." "' 

The Tibetans, steeped in super- 
stition which beset them on every 
side by malignant devils, warmly 
welcomed the Guru as he brought 
them deliverance from their terrible tormentors. Arriving in Tibet 

v"\ "V 

Doe-JE Legs. 

A fiend (-priest) subjected by St. Padma- 


i For legend of his birth from a lotus see p. 380. - sLob-dpon. 

s The Tibetans state that it is now named Ghazni, but Sir H. Yule, the great 
geographer, writes (Mabco P., i.,155) : " Udydna lay to the north of Peshawar, on the 
Swal river, bul from the extent assigned to it by Bwen Thsang, the name probably 
covered a large part of the whole hill region south of the Hindu Kush, from Chitral 
to the Indus, as indeed it is represented in the Map of Vivien de St Martin 
! pklerins Bouddfvistes, ii.)." It is regarded by FaHian as the most northerly Province 
of India, and in his time the food and clothing of the people were similar to those of 

Gangetic India. 

1 r,i. u 's Si- Yu-Ki, i., 120. « Mabco P., i., 155. 



in 747 a.d., he vanquished all the chief devils of the land, 
sparing most of them on their consenting to become defenders of 
his religion, while he on his part guaranteed that in return for such 
services they would be duly worshipped and fed. Thus, just as the 
Buddhists in India, in order to secure the support of the semi- 
aborigines of Bengal admitted into their system the bloody Durga 
and other aboriginal demons, so on extending their doctrines 
throughout Asia they pandered to the popular taste by admitting 
within the pale of Buddhism the pantheon of those new nations 
they sought to 
convert. And 
similarly in 
Japan, where 
Buddhism was 
introduced in 
the sixth cen- 
tury a.d., it 
made little 
progress till 
the ninth cen- 
tury, when 
Kobo Daishi 
incorporated it 
with the local 
Shintoism, by 
alleging that 
the Shinto dei- 
ties were em- 
bodiments of 
the Buddhist, 

The Guru's 
most powerful 
weapons in 
warring with 
the demons 
were the Vajra 

(Tibetan, dor-je), symbolic of the thunderbolt of India (Jupiter), 
and spells extracted from the Mahayana gospels, by which he 
shattered his supernatural adversaries. 

The Twelve Tax-ma She-devils. 
Subjected by St. Padma. 



As the leading events of his march through Tibet and his 
subjugation of the local devils are of some interest, as indicating 
the original habitats of several of the pre-Lamaist demons, I 
have given a condensed account of these in the chapter on the 
pantheon at page 382. 

Under the zealous patronage of King Thi-Sron Detsan he built 
at Sam-yas in 749 a.d. the first Tibetan monastery. The ortho- 
dox account of the miraculous creation of that building is referred 
to in our description of that monastery. 

On the building of Sam-yas, 1 said to be modelled after the Indian 
Odantapura of Magadha, the Crura, assisted by the Indian monk 

Santa - rakshita, instituted 
there the order of the Lamas. 
Santa- rakshita was made the 
first abbot and laboured there 
for thirteen years. He now is 
entitled Acarya Bodhisat. 2 

La-ma 3 is a Tibetan word 
meaning the " Superior One," 
and corresponds to the San- 
skrit Uttara. It was restricted 
to the head of the monastery, 
and still is strictly applicable 
only to abbots and the highest 
monks; though out of courtesy 
the title is now given to 
almost all Lamaist monks and 
priests. The Lamas have no 
special term for their form of 
Buddhism. They simply call it " The religion " or "Buddha's 
religion"; and its professors are "Insiders," or "within the fold" 
(n<m-pa), in contradistinction to the non-Buddhists or "Out- 



Indian Buddhist monk of the Eighth 
( 'cut ury A.D. 

1 The title of the temple is Zan-yad Mi-gyur Lhun-gyi dub-pahi tsug-lha-Ksan, 
orthe "Self-sprung immovable shrine," and it is believed to be based on immovable 
foundations of adamantine laid by the Guru. 

- And is said to have been of theSvatantra scl I, fullowing Sariputra, Ananda, 

Nagarjuna, Subhankara, Sri Gupta, and Jnana-garbha (cf. Schl., 67; Korr., ii., 68; 
./.j.n./;., L881, p. 226; Pand., No. 25. 

: bLa-ma. The Dighurs (?Hor) call their Lamas "twin " (Yi lb's, Cathay, p. 241, 
//e/i ). 


siders " (chi-pa or pyi-'liii), the so-called " pe-ling " or foreigners 
of English writers. And the European term « Lamaism " finds no 
counterpart in Tibetan. 

The first Lama may be said to be Pal- bans, who succeeded the 
Indian abbot Santa-rakshita ; though the first ordained member 
of this Tibetan order of monks was Bya-Khri-gzigs. 1 The most 
learned of these young Lamas was Vairocana, who translated many 
Sanskrit works into Tibetan, though his usefulness was interrupted 
for a while by the Tibetan wife of Thi-Sron Detsan ; who in her 
bitter opposition to the King's reforms, and instigated by the Bon- 
pa priests, secured the banishment of Vairocana to the eastern 
province of Kham by a scheme similar to that practised by Poti- 
phar's wife. But, on her being forthwith afflicted with leprosy, she 
relented, and the young « Bairo-tsana " was recalled and effected 
her cure. She is still, however, handed down to history as the " Eed 
Rahula she-devil," 2 while Vairocana is made an incarnation of 
Buddha's faithful attendant and cousin Ananda ; and on account 
of his having translated many orthodox scriptures, he is credited 
with the composition or translation and hiding away of many of 
the fictitious scriptures of the unreformed Lamas, which were 
afterwards " discovered" as revelations. 

It is not easy now to ascertain the exact details of the creed 

the primitive Lamaism— taught by the Guru, for all the extant 
works attributed to him "were composed several centuries later 
by followers of his twenty-five Tibetan disciples. But judging 
from the intimate association of his name with the essentials 
of Lamaist sorceries, and the special creeds of the old unreformed 
section of the Lamas— the Nin-ma-pa— who profess and are ac- 
knowledged to be his immediate followers, and whose older scrip- 
tures date back to within two centuries of the Guru's time, it is 
ident that his teaching was of that extremely Tantrik and 
agical type of Mahayana Buddhism which was then prevalent 
his native country of Udyan and Kashmir. And to this highly 
impure form of Buddhism, already covered by so many foreign 
accretions and saturated with so much demonolatry, was added a 

1 The first seven no vices (Sad-mi mi) who formed the nucleus of the order were 
ABah dpai dbaris, rtauw-devendra and Branka Mutik, 'K'on Nagendra, Sagor Vairo- 
cana, \'Ma Acdrya rin-cKm mch'og, gLan-Ka Tanana, of whom the first three were 

2 gZa-mar gyal. The legend is given in the T'ah-yik Ser-t'en. 






portion of the ritual and most of the demons of the indigenous 
Bon-pa religion, and each of the demons was assigned its proper 
place in the Lamaist pantheon. 

Primitive Lamaism may therefore be defined as a priestly mix- 
ture of Sivaite mysticism, magic, and Indo- Tibetan deinonolatry, 
overlaid by a thin varnish of Mahayana Buddhism. And to 
the present day Lamaism still retains this character. 

In this form, as shaped by 
the Guru, Buddhism proved more 
attractive to the people, and soon 
became popular. Its doctrine 
of Ka/rma, or ethical retribution, 
appealed to the fatalism which 
the Tibetans share with most 
eastern races. And the zealous 
King, Thi-Sroh Detsan, founded 
other monasteries freely and 
initiated a period of great liter- 
ary activity by procuring many 
talented Indian and Kashmiri 
scholars for the work of translat- 
ing the Indian canonical works 
and commentaries into Tibetan. 1 
The now religion was actively 
opposed by the priests of the native religion, called Bon, 3 and 
these were sii| >| >oii ei 1 by one of the most powerful ministers. ' 

1 The chief translators < • 1 1 1 j >1 . -\ < •< 1 at this time were the Indian monks, Vimala Mitra, 
Buddha Guhya, Santigarbha, Visuddhi Sinha, tffe Tantrik Acharya Dharma-klrti (who 

translated the VajradliMu Yoga works). The Kashmiri oks, Jina-Mitra, Dana-$Ila 

and An.uiila, assisted by the Tibetan novices, chief of whom was Vairocana. No 
translations it works ascribed to Padma-sambhava himself occur in the Tibetan 

Tripit.aka canon. 

'-' After Giorgi. 

:i The word is derived by Gen. Cunningham i Marco P., i.. 287) From Punya, one of 
tlic names, if the Svastikas, or worshippers of the mystic fly-fool cross, called in Tibetan 
</yun druh, though Punya i> simply "a holy man," ami seems original of the Burmese 
title for monk, Pongyl. The Bon religion resembles the Taoism of China (see Vi i i, 
/.„■. ,//. .• Ro< k., /;.. p. 206 </ seq., ami his /../... p. 217 n., ami ././,'. Geog. Soc., May, 
1894). ii ifi esp dally associated with the worship of dragons, or ndgds, and its 
reputed founder is gS \£i-bo, \- \\<>\\ practised, it is deeplj impregnated by 

Buddhism. For a list of some of it> deities aee Sarat, Jour. Indian Buddhist Text 
Soc., Vol. i. 

1 Named NamMa-Shanrom-pa-skyes. The ministers who aided the King were Go 
Shafi-S/ii, and Da-gyab-ts'an. 


Some of the so-called devils which are traditionally alleged to 
have been overcome by the Guru were probably such human ad- 
versaries. It is also stated that the B6n-pa were now prohibited 
making human and other bloody sacrifice as was their wont ; and 
hence is said to have arisen the practice of offering images of 
men and animals made of dough. 

Lamaism was also opposed by some Chinese Buddhists, one of 
whom, entitled the Mahayana Hwa-shang, 1 protested against the 
kind of Buddhism which Santa-rakshita and Padma-sambhava 
were teaching.' 2 But he is reported to have been defeated in argu- 
ment and expelled from the country by the Indian monk Kamala- 
sila, 3 who, like Santa-rakshita, is alleged to be of the Sva-tantra 
Madhyamika school, and the author of many treatises still extant 
in the great commentary (Tan-gyur). The excellent Sanskrit- 
Tibetan dictionaries (Vyutpatti) date from this literary epoch. 

Padma-sambhava had twenty-five disciples, each of whom is 
credited with magical power, mostly of a grotesque character. 4 

1 A Chinese term for a Buddhist monk corresponding to Skt. Upddhydya or 
"master." (See Edkin's Diet, and Mayer's Hdbi.) 

'-' Two works by Hioa-shang zab-mo are found in the Tan-gyur (mDo, xxx., xxxiii. 
(Rockhill's B., p. 220). 

■ ! Kamala-slla was author of an Endianwork | Tarka) expounding the various philo- 
sophic systems of India. (Prof. Gr. Buehler, J. Bvddhist Text Soc. tf India, i., pt. ii., 
p. x.) 

4 1. Nam-k'a fiih-po mounted the sunbeams. 
2. Sah-gye-ye-se drove iron holts into rucks. 
:j. Gyal-wa-ch'og-yan changed his head into a horses, and neighed thrice. 

4. K'ar-ch'en Ch'o-gyal revived the slain. 

5. Pal-ki-ye-se overcame three fiendesses. 

(1 Pal-ki-Sen-ge enslaved demons, nymphs, and genii. 

7. Vairocana obtained the five heavenly eyes of knowledge. 

8. Sah-dag-gyalpo attained Samadhi. 

9. Yu-drun-Nih-po acquired divine knowledge. 

10. Jnana-kumara worked miracles. 

11. Dorje-Dun Jem travelled invisibly as the wind. 

12. Ye-se-Nan visited the fairy world. 

13. Sog-pu-Lha-pal (a Mongol ) ensnared ferocious beasts. 

14. Na-nam-yese soared in the sky. 

15. Pal-ki-Wan-p'yug killed his enemies by signs, 
lti. Den-ma-tse-Wah had perfect memory. 

17. Ka-Wa-pal-tseg perceived the thoughts of others. 

18. Shu-bu-pal-seh made water run upwards. 

19. Khe-hu-c'ug-lo caught flying birds. 

20. Gyal-Wai-Lodoi raised ghosts and converted the corpse into gold. 

21. Ten-pai-nam-k'a tamed wild yaks of the northern desert. 

22. "Odau-AVah-pVug dived into water like a fish. 


And these disciples he instructed in the way of making magic 
circles for coercing the demons and for exorcism. 

The Guru's departure from Tibet was as miraculous in char- 
acter as his life, and in keeping with the divine attributes with 
which he has been invested as " Saviour of a suffering world. 

» 1 

23. Ma-t'og rin-ch'en crushed adamant to powder and ate it like meal. 

24. Pal-kyj Dor-je passed through rocks and mountains. 

25. Lah-dod Kon-ch'og wielded and repelled thunderbolts. 

And a twenty-sixth is added : Gyal-wai-Ch'an c'ub sat cross-legged in the air. 

1 After residing in Tibet- ('or about fifty years (say the chronicles, though it is 
probable he only remained a few years), and founding Lamaism securely, the Guru, 
in 802 a.d., much to the grief of the Tibetans, announced his approaching departure 
for fresh religious triumphs in other lands. Addressing the King, he said: "In 
Jambudvip are live Raksha countries with 500 towns apiece. The Central Kaksha 
country is named Sah-do-pal-ri (zahs-mdog-dpal-ri), the king of which is named 
Langka of the ten necks (? the ten-headed Kavan). To its east lies Lankapuri, to it> 
south dGa-bu-c'an, or "The happy" (Skt., Sukhavati or Nandavati), to its wot Ko-sha 
t'ang-dmar-gling, to its north is Byan-lag fort, to its south-east is Bam-ril-t*od-pa- 
mk'ar, to its north-west is Mada-gnam-lchags-rtse, to its north-east is Nal-byih 
cemetery, and in the south-east is the lake of Phuri. These Raksha countries are 
crowded with men-eating devils, who if not conquered will depopulate the whole 
world of Jambudvip, and except me none other can subdue them. I therefore 
must go to the stronghold of the Raksha at Sah-do-pal-ri in the country of rS'a- 
yab-glin or 'The Yak-tail continent,' which lies to the south-west of Tibet. Thither 
must I now go." 

Then, accompanied by the King and nobles and his two fairy wives (the Tibetan 
one of which, named Jfes'e-ts'o-gyaJ was to be left behind), he went to the Gung- 
thang ha in Mang-yul on the northern confines of Tibet, and there, after giving 
farewell advice to the king, priests, and the assembled multitude to keep the doctrine 

he had taught them, and the revelations he had hidden in caves throughout the land. 

he was enveloped in a glorious rainbow-halo, within which appeared the four great 
heroes (dPa-bo) of t he world, who assisted him in mounting the celestial horse-car 
i named " balaha " <<v Chang-sal) in which he was now borne away through the sky in 
a SOUth-westerly direction, attended by the four heroes and a host of fairies amid 

heavenly music and showers of flowers. On his departure the assembled multitude 
were distracted with grief and remained transfixed as if dead. Ultimatelj thej 

retired below the pass to Sr.i ng-Adah-shu-yt sane-dor and the plain Thang-</pal-in<>- 
dpal-thang, where they remained for twenty-five days and nights, and were able to 
Bee the Guru's celestial party, like a shooting star, sailing away through the sky 
towards the horizon till lost to sight. After much prayer and worship they Bad!) 
departed on Kin- Thi-Sron Detsan telling them of the Guru's safe arrival at San- 
do-pal-ri, which event he -tin- king) was able t,, see through the magical insight 
he had acquired from the Guru, it appeared that the Guru reached Singala after 

about two days 1 journey, and penetrating the iron palace, he entered the body of the 
Kaksha kin- named "He of the Skull rosary," and preached the doctrine to the 

thousand daughters of the Kaksha and the folk of that country, a few days after- 
wards he departed for S'a-yab-^lih, and reached the capital Sah-do-pal-ri, where 
instantly abstracting the life of the demon-king named Vaksha Me-wal, and entering 

his body, the Guru reigns there supreme over the Rakshas, even up till the present 
day. and in perpetual youth is preaching there the doctrine of Lamaism in a para- 
dise Which rivals that of Amitabha's Western heaven of SukkdvaH. 


And notwithstanding his grotesque charlatanism and uncelibate 
life, he is deified and worshipped as the " second Buddha," and 
his image under "The eight worshipful Forms" 1 is found in 
every Tibetan temple of the old sect, as figured at page 25. 

Thus established, and lavishly endowed, Lamaism made steady 
progress, and was actively patronized by Thi-Sron Detsan's succes- 
sors for two generations. 2 

The eras of Lamaism may be divided into (1) primitive or 
"Augustine" (from King Thi-Sron Detsan's reign to the per- 
secution), (2) mediaeval, including the reformation, (3) modern 
Lamaism, from the priest-kingship of the Dalai Lama in the 
seventeenth century. 

An interesting glimpse into the professed religion of the earlier 
period is given in the bilingual edict pillars " do-ring," erected at 
Lhasa in 822 a.d., 3 in treaty with the Chinese. In the text of 
these edicts, which has been translated by Dr. Bushell, 4 occurs the 
following sentence : " They [? the Fan (Tibetan) and the Han 
(Chinese)] have looked up to the three precious ones, to all the 
holy saints, to the sun, moon, stars, and planets, and begged them 
to be their witnesses." 

In the latter half of the ninth century 5 under king Ralpachan, 
the grandson of Thi-Sron Detsan, the work of the translation of 
scriptures and the commentaries of Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Vasu- 
bandhu, etc., was actively prosecuted. Among the Indian trans- 
lators employed by him were Jina Mitra, Silendrabodhi, 6 Suren- 
drabodhi, Prajna-varman, Dana-sila, and Bodhimitra, assisted by 
the Tibetans Pal-brtsegs, Ye-s'e-sde, Ch'os-kyi-G-yal-ts'an, and 
at least half of the two collections as we know them is the work 

1 Guru ts'an gye. For description of those see p. 379. 

a Thi-Sron Detsan died in 786 (Csojia, Gr., 183), and was succeeded by his son, 
Mu-thi tsan-po, who, on being poisoned by his mother soon after his accession, was 
succeeded by his brother (Sad-na-legs) under the same name (Rockhli j ., Life, 222), and 
he induced Kamalaslla to return to Tibet and permanently reside in that country. 
This latter was succeeded by his son Ralpachan. 

s These monoliths are assigned by Tibetan tradition (as translated by Sarat.,J.A. SJi., 
1881, p. 228) to Thi-Sron Detsan's grandson, Ralpachan. 

* Op. at., 521. 

■According to Tibetan chronology; but the Chinese make Ralpachan's accession 
816 a.d. (Rockhili/s B., 223). 

,; These two were pupils of Sthiramati (Vastubt, Tdrandtha, 320) 




of their hands. 1 And he endowed most of the monasteries with 
state-lands and the right to collect tithes and taxes. He seems 
to have been the first Tibetan sovereign who started a regular 
record of the annals of his country, for which purpose he adopted 
the Chinese system of chronology. 

His devotion to Buddhism appears to have led to his murder 
about 899, 2 at the instigation of his younger brother Lan Darma, 
— the so-called Julian of Lamaism — who then ascended the throne, 
and at once commenced to persecute the Lamas and did his 
i tmost 3 to uproot the religion. He desecrated the temples and 
several monasteries, burned many of their books, and treated 
the Lamas with the grossest indignity, forcing many to become 

But Lah Darma's persecution wKs very mild for a religious 
one, and very short-lived. He was assassinated in the third year 

of his reign by a Lama of Lha- 
luri named Pal-dorje, who has 
since been canonized by his grate- 
ful church, and this murderous 
incident forms a part of the modern 
Lamaist masquerade. 4 This Lama, 
to effect his purpose, assumed the 
guise of a strolling black-hat devil- 
dancer, and hid in his ample sleeves 
a bow and arrow. His dancing 
below the king's palace, which 
stood near the north end of the 
present cathedral of Lhasa, 5 at- 
tracted the attention of the king, 
who summoned the dancer to his 
presence, where the disguised 
Lama seized an opportunity while 
near the king to shoot him with 
the arrow, which proved almost immediately fatal. In the re- 

i Rock., Ji., 225. 

- The date is variously given, ranging from s:;s , Bushj i i , 139 and 522) to 899 a.d. 
(Csoma, Or., 1$3); 902(Sanan.. Setsbn, 19); 91 l Koph n. ii., 72 
:; Actively aided by his minister, alku-Btay-SnaB. 

4 Seo Chap. xx. 

5 And nut on the Red Hill latterly named •• /'„/„/,;." 


suiting tumult the Lama sped away on a black horse, which 
was tethered near at hand, and riding on, plunged through the 
Kyi river on the outskirts of Lhasa, whence his horse emerged 
in its natural white colour, as it had been merely blackened by 
soot, and he himself turned outside the white lining of his coat, 
an 1 by this stratagem escaped his pursuers. 1 The dying words 
of the king were : "Oh, why was I not killed three years ago 
to save me committing so much sin, or three years hence, that I 
might have rooted Buddhism out of the land ? " 

On the assassination of Lan Darma the Lamas were not long 
in regaining their lost ground. 2 Their party assumed the regency 
during the minority of Lan Darma's sons, and although Tibet 
now became divided into petty principalities, the persecution 
seems to have imparted fresh vigour to the movement, for 
from this time forth the Lamaist church steadily grew in size 
and influence until it reached its present vast dimensions, culminat- 
ing in the priest-kings at Lhasa. 

By the beginning of the eleventh century a.d., numerous Indian 
and Kashmiri monks were again frequenting Tibet. 3 And in 
1038 a.d. arrived Atisa, the great reformer of Lamaisra, 4 whose 
biography is sketched in outline below, as he figures con- 
spicuously in Lamaism, and especially in its sects. 

i He hid in a cave near the monastery of Brag-Yal-pa, about one day's journey east 
of Lhasa. 

2 Sanang Setsen says (p. 51) that Lan Darma's son reigned without the Law. 

3 Amoag whom were Smriti, who wrote a Tibetan vocabulary named " The Weapon 
of Speech"; Dharmapala, who arrived in 1013 a.d., accompanied by Siddhapala, 
Uunapala,andPrajna-pala from Eastern India; and Sublmti Sri Santi, who translated 
some of the Prajfia-paramita. 

4 His legendary biography, attributed to his pupil Brom-ton, but apparently of 
later date (and probably written by the Dalai in the sixteenth century, as it credits 
Brom-ton with being Avalokita's incarnation), has been translated by Sarat in 
Jour. lad. Budd. Text Soc, 1893. I have also consulted the original. (Cf. also Taea. 
241, 243; K6pp.,ii., 78, 79, 117,127, 295; Schl., 69, 136; Pand.,No. 29.) Atisa's proper 
Indian name is Dlpahkara Sri-jiiana, but he is usually called by the Lamas Jo-vo- 
rje-dpal-ldan Atisa, or "The Illustrious Noble Lord Atisha." And he is held to be 
an incarnation of Manjusri, the Celestial Bodhisat of Wisdom ; though tins seems 
merely a pious way of stating that Atisa was the Manjusri of Tibet, or the most 
learned in scholastic and astrological lore of all the monks who had previously 
visited Tibet ; as India, Nepal, and China already possessed their especial apotheosized 
wise man as a Manjusri incarnation. He was born in 980 a.d. (according to his 
Tibetan chronicles), of the royal family of Gaur at Vikramanipur (?), in Bengal, his 
father being named Kalyana-srl, and his mother Prabhavati, and was ordained at 

D 2 



Atisa was nearly sixty years of age when he visited Tibet. 1 
He at once started a movement which may be called the Lamaist 

Reformation, and he wrote many 
treatises. 2 

His chief disciple was pom- 
ton, 3 the first hierarch of 
the new reformed sect, the 
Kadam-pa, which, three-and-a- 
half centuries later, became the 
Gre-lug-pa, now the dominant 
sect of Tibet, and the estab- 
lished church of the country. 

Atisa's reformation resulted 

not only in the new sect, 

Kadam-pa, with which he most 

intimately identified himself, 

but it also initiated, more or 

less directly, the semi-reformed 

sects of Kar-gyu-pa and Sakya-pa, as detailed in the chapter on 


The latter end of the eleventh century saw Lamaism firmly 


tlic Qdaatapuri Vihara. He underwent training under both Mahayana teachers 
and the Mah5 Siddhi (grub-ch'en) or wizard-priests, his most notable masters being 
Chandrakirti, the Abbot of Suvarnauvfp, or Sudharmanagar, the "Chryse" of the 
ancients, near "Thaton" in Pegu, Mativitara of the Mahabodhi Vihara, and the Maha- 
siddhi Naro, who is especially related to the Kar-gyu-pa Sect. On starting for Tibet, 
he was a professor of the Vikramasila monastery in Magadha, and a contemporary 
of Nayapala, son of King Mahipala. 

1 He visited Tibet by way of \ari K'or-sum in 103S a.d. in tin- companj of the Lama 
Nag-tsho, and after starting what may be called the Reformed Lamaism, died in 
tie' sKe-t'ari monastery, aear Lhasa, in lo5"2. It is stated that he came from 
Vikramasila at the invitation f the Tibetan Kin-, uamed Lha Lama Ve-shes-'od, hut 
liis route vi& Sari renders this unlikely, and this Lha Lama seems to have been a petty 
Chief of N.W. Tibet, who was raptured about that time by the .Wpalese. 

-' The follow in- works by atisa occur in mDo of bsTan 'gyur: 1, Bodhipatha pradipa ; 
•j, Carya sangraha pradipa; 3, Satya dvayavatara; 4. Madhyamopadesa ; 5, Sangraha 
garbha; *!, Eridaya oischita; 7, Bodhisattva manyavaU; 8, Bodhisattva karmadi- 
margavatara; 9, Saranagatadesa ; 10, Mahayanapatha sadhana vama sangraha; 
11. Mahayanapatha sadhana sangraha; 12,Sutrartha samuchhayopadesa ; 13, Dasaku- 
sala karmopadesa ; 1 1. Karma Vibhanga ; 15, Samadhi sambhara parivarta : 16, Lokot- 
tarasaptaka vidhi ; 17, Guru Kriyakrama ; 18, Chittotpada 3amvara vidlii krama; 1!'. 
s ik-h;i samucchaya ablii samaya, delivered by s rl Dharmapala, Bang of Suvarnad- 
vipa to Dlpahkara and Kamala; 20, Vimala ratna lekhana, an epistle by Dipankara 
to Naya Pala, King of Magadha by atisa on his departure for Tibet. 

'■■ Brom-ston. 


rooted, and its rival sects, favoured by their growing popularity and 
the isolation of Tibet, were beginning to form at Sakya and 
elsewhere strong hierarchies, which took much of the power out 
of the hands of the petty chiefs amongst whom Tibet was now 
parcelled out, and tended to still further open the country to 
Chinese and Mongol invasion. 

There seems no evidence to support the assertion that this 
Lfunaist revival was determined by any great influx of Indian 
monks fleeing from persecution in India, as there is no record of 
any such influx about the time of the Muhammadan invasion of 

In the second half of the thirteenth century, Lamaism received 
a mighty accession of strength at the hands of the great Chinese 
emperor, Khubilai Khan. Tibet had been conquered by his 
ancestor, Jenghiz Khan, 1 about 1206 a.d., and Khubilai was thus 
brought into contact with Lamaism. This emperor we know, 
from the accounts of Marco Polo and others, was a most en- 
lightened ruler; and in searching about for a religion to weld 
together the more uncivilized portions of his mighty empire he 
called to his court the most powerful of the Lilmaist hierarchs, 
namely, the Saskya Grand Lama, as well as representatives of the 
Christian and several other faiths, and he ultimately fixed upon 
Lamaism, as having more in common with the Shamanist faiths 
already prevalent in China and Mongolia than had Confucianism, 
Muhammadanism, or Christianity. 

His conversion to Buddhism is made miraculous. He is said to 
have demanded from the Christian missionaries, who had been 
sent to him by the pope, the performance of a miracle as a 
proof to him of the superiority of the Christian religion, while 
if they failed and the Lamas succeeded in showing him a miracle, 
then he would adopt Buddhism. In the presence of the mission- 
aries, who were unable to comply with Khubilai's demands, the 
Lamas caused the emperor's wine-cup to rise miraculously to his 
lips, whereat the emperor adopted Buddhism ; and the dis- 
comfited missionaries declared that the cup had been lifted by 
the devil himself, into whose clutches the king now had fallen. 

Just as Charlemagne created the first Christian pope, so the 

1 The Tibetan accounts state that he was born in 1182 a.d., and was the son of the 
Mongol God (? deified ancestor) "The White Gnam-fe." 


emperor Khubilai recognized 1 the Lama of Saskya, or the Sakya 
Pandita, as head of the Lamaist church, and conferred upon him 
temporary power as the tributary ruler of Tibet, in return for 
which favour he was required to consecrate or crown the Chinese 
emperors. And the succession in this hereditary primacy was 
secured to the Pandit's nephew, Lodoi G-yal-ts'an (or Mati- 
dhvaja), a young and able Lama, who was given the title of 
Highness or Sublimity (p'ags-pa). Khubilai actively promoted 
Lamaism and built many monasteries in Mongolia, and a large 
one at Pekin. Chinese history 2 attributes to him the organisa- 
tion of civil administration in Tibet, though it would appear 
that he exerted his authority only by diplomacy through these 
spiritual potentates without any actual conquest by arms. 

The Sakya pope, assisted by a staff of scholars, achieved the 
great work of translating the bulky Lamaist canon (Kah-gyur) 
into Mongolian after its revision and collation with the Chinese 
texts. Indeed, the Lamaist accounts claim for the Sakya Pope 
the invention of the Mongolian character, though it is clearly 
modelled upon the Syrian ; and Syriac and nestorian missionaries 
are known to have worked in Mongolia long prior to this epoch. 

Under the succeeding Mongol emperors, the Sakya primacy 
seems to have maintained much of its political supremacy, and to 
have used its power as a church-militant to oppress its rival sects. 
Thus it burned the great Kar-gyu-pa monastery of Dikung about 
1320 a.d. But on the accession of the Ming dynasty in 1368 a.d. 
the Chinese emperors deemed it politic, while conciliating the 
Lamas, as a body, by gifts and titles, to strike at the Sakya 
power by raising the heads of two other monasteries 3 to equal 
rank with it, and encouraged strife amongst them. 

At the beginning of the fifteenth century a Lama named 
Tson-K'a-pa re-organized Atisa's reformed sect, and altered it > 
title to "The virtuous order," or Ge-I ug->pa. This sect soon 
eclipsed all the others; and in five generations it obtained the 
priest-kingship of Tibet, which it still retains to this day. Its 
first Grand Lama was Tson-K'a-pa's nephew, Geden-dnb, with 
his succession based on the idea of re-incarnation, a theory 

1 III lL'7U A.D. 

- Mai;, u 1'.. ii.. 88. 

; Tli- Ka-gyupa, Dikung, ami the Ka-dam-pa Ts'al. 

UNI) Eli GE-L UG-PA . 


which was afterwards, apparently in the reign of the fifth 
Grand Lama, developed into the fiction of re-incarnated reflexes 
of the divine Bodhisat Avalokita, as detailed in the chapter on the 

In 1640, the Ge-lug-pa leapt into temporal power under the 
fifth Grand Lama, the crafty Nag-wan L6-zang. At the request 
of this ambitious man, a Mon- 
gol prince, Gusri Khan, con- 
quered Tibet, and made a pre- 
sent of it to this Grand Lama, 
who in 1650 was confirmed in 
his sovereignty by the Chinese 
emperor, and given the Mon- 
gol title of Dalai, or "(vast 
as) the Ocean." And on ac- 
count of this title he and his 
successors are called by some 
Europeans "the Dalai (or 
Tale) Lama" though this 
title is almost unknown to 
Tibetans, who call these Grand 
Lamas " the great gem of 
majesty " (Gyal-wa Kin-po- 
ch'e). 1 

This daring Dalai Lama, high-handed and resourceful, lost no 
time in consolidating his rule as priest-king and the extension of 
his sect by the forcible appropriation of many monasteries of the 
other sects, and by inventing legends magnifying the powers of 
the Bodhisat Avalokita and posing himself as the incarnation of 
this divinity, the presiding Bodhisat of each world of re-birth, 
whom he also identified with the controller of metempsychosis, the 
dread Judge of the Dead before whose tribunal all mortals must 

Posing in this way as God-incarnate, he built 3 himself the 
huge palace-temple on the hill near Lhasa, which he called 
Potala, after the mythic Indian residence of his divine prototype 




^ Ik ' Hit? 

The First Dalai Lama. 
Lo-zaii Gya-ts'o or Gyal-wa na-pa. 

i Cf. Csoma, Gr., 192 and 198; Kopp., ii., 168, 235; J.A.S.B., 1882, p. 27 
- After Pander. •* In 1643, Csoma, Gi\, p. 190 


Avalokita, "The Lord who looks down from on high," whose sym- 
bols he now invested himself with. He also tampered unscrupu- 


""*■" BKEMlflV^, , , nC£ 

"TT - " ;^™ »V»M, - : .l't.; ll '"Vs-£ 



^^"^r^f=-'^ r 


(From a native drawing.) 

ously with Tibetan history in order to lend colour to his divine 
pretensions, and he succeeded perfectly. All the other sects of 
Lamas acknowledged him and his successors to be of divine 
descent, the veritable Avalokita-in-the-flesh. And they also 
adopted the plan of succession by re-incarnate Lamas and by 
divine reflexes. As for the credulous populace, they recognized 
the Dalai Lama to be the rightful ruler and the existing govern- 
ment as a theocracy, for it flattered their vanity to have a deity 
incarnate as their king. 

The declining years of this great Grand Lama, Nag-wan, were 
troibled by the cares and obligations of the temporal rule, and his 
ambitious schemes, and by the intrigues of the Manchus, who 
sought the temporal sovereignty. On account of these political 
troubles his death was concealed for twelve years by the minister 
De-Si, 1 who is believed to have been his natural son. And the 
succeeding Grand Lama, the sixth, proving hopelessly dissolute, 
he was executed at the instigation of the Chinese government, 

i sDe-srid. Csoma's Gram., 191 ; Giobgi's Alph. 


which then assumed the suzerainty, and which has since con- 
tinued to control in a general way the temporal affairs, especially 
its foreign policy, 1 and also to regulate more or less the hierarchal 
succession,- as will be referred to presently. 

But the Ge-lug-pa sect, or the established church, going on 
the lines laid down for it by the fifth Grand Lama, continued to 
prosper, and his successors, despite the presence of a few Chinese 
officials, are now, each in turn, the de facto ruler of Tibet, and 
recognized by the Lamas of all denominations as the supreme 
head of the Lamaist church. 

In its spread beyond Tibet, Lamaism almost everywhere exhibits 
the same tendency to dominate both king and people and to repress 
the national life. It seems now to have ceased extending, but 
shows no sign of losing hold upon its votaries in Tibet. 

The present day distribution of Lamaism extends through states 
stretching more or less continuously from the European Caucasus 
to near Kamschatka; and from Buriat Siberia down to Sikhim 
and Yun-nan. But although the area of its prevalence is so vast, 
the population is extremely sparse, and so little is known of their 
numbers over the greater part of the area that no trustworthy figures 
can be given in regard to the total number of professing Lamaists. 

The population of Tibet itself is probably not more than 
4,000,000, 3 but almost all of these may be classed as Lamaists, for 
although a considerable proportion of the people in eastern Tibet 
are adherents of the Bon. many of these are said to patronize the 
Lamas as well, and the Bon religion has become assimilated in 
great part to un-reformed Lamaism. 4 

1 Thus it procured for Tibet satisfaction from the Gorkhas under Prithivi-narayan 
for their invasion of Western Tibet and sack of Tashi-lhunpo in 1768 (Kikkpatrick's 
Aa-t. of Nepal, p. 268 ; Buchaxax-Hamiltox, Nepal, p. 244), and the present seclusion 
of Tibet against Europeans is mainly due to Chinese policy. 

2 An interesting glimpse into the country of that period is got in the contemporary 
record of the friar Horace della Penna, translated into English by Markham (op. cit., 
p. 320 et seq.) 

3 Rockhill, L., p. 296, estimates it at 3,500,000. 

* Though it must be remembered that Mr. Rockhill found a large tract of N.E. Tibet 
exclusively occupied by B6n-pa. In the north-eastern province of Gya-de, with about 
50,000 people, between the Dang River and Chamdo, Mr. Rockhill found that the 
B6n-pa religion reigns supreme, and in order to save these people from persecution at 
the hands of the Lamaist Government at Lhasa, China itself supervises the adminis- 
tration of this province. And "all along the eastern borderland of Tibet from the 


The European outpost of the Lamaist Church, situated amid the 
Kalmuk Tartars on the banks of the Volga, has been described in 
some detail by Koppen. 1 

After the flight of the Torgots, about 12,000 cottages of the 
Kalmuk Tartars still remained in Eussian territory, between the 
Don and the Yaik. Now they number at least 20,000, and con- 
tain more than 100,000 souls, of which by far the great majority 
retain the Lamaist faith. Of course, since the flight, all inter- 
course with the priest-god at Lhasa is strictly forbidden, nor 
are they allowed to accept from him any orders or patents, nor to 
send him any ambassadors or presents. Nevertheless, he gives 
them secret advice by oracle and otherwise, and maintains their 
religious enthusiasm. Thus, even now, he exercises an important 
influence on his pious flock on the Volga, so that they can be 
considered of the Lamaist church, although the head Lama (for 
the Kalmuks still call their head priest " Lama ") is sanctioned at 
present by the Eussian government, and no longer by the Dalai 

Altogether, evidently for a reason not far to seek, the number 
of priests has greatly increased since their connection with Lhasa 
has been cut off. Formerly the Dalai Lama had also on the Volga 
a quite disproportionate number of bondsmen or Schabinaren, 
whose contributions (taxes) went to Lhasa ; but since the flight of 
the Torgots the money remains there, and the Schabinars of the 
remaining Ulusse have been divided amongst the several Churulls. 
These clergy also would appear to have developed extraordinary 
zeal, for in the year 1803 it was reported that the Kalmuk priests 
formed a tenth part of the whole population, that they perpetually 
enriched themselves at the expense of the people, that they 
meddled in everything, and received all the young men who were 
averse to labour at their proper calling, etc., etc. 

Since 1838 the Eussian government has succeeded, through 
the head Lama Jambo Namka, in preventing in some measure 
these abuses, and severer laws were issued, especially against the 

Kokonor to Yun-nan, it (the B6n-pa religion) flourishes side by side with the Lamaist 
faith .... and in all the southern portions of Tibet, not under the direct rule 
of Lhasa, its Lamaseries may be found. So it seems that this faith obtains in over 
two-thirds of Tibet, and that it is popular with at least a fifth of the Tibetan-speaking 
tribes."— Geographical Jour., May, 1894. 
1 Op. cit., ii., 385 et seq. 


priests interfering in civil affairs ; also several hundred worthless 
priests were expelled. 

A more precise census of the Russian empire gives the number 
of Lamaist people at 82,000 Kirghis, and 119,162 Kalmuks ; while 
the Buriats in Siberia, near the Baikal lake, are estimated at 
about 190,000.! 

Pallas' 2 calculated when he visited the Kalmuk country last cen- 
tury that there was one Lama to every one hundred and fifty or 
two hundred tents. 

In China, except for a few monasteries at Pekin, etc., and these 
mostly of Mongol monks, the Lamaist section of Chinese Budd- 
hists seems confined to the extreme western frontier, especially 
the former Tibetan province of Amdo. Probably the Lamaists 
in China number no more than about 1,000,000. 

Mongolia may be considered almost wholly Lamaist, and its popu- 
lation is about 2,000,000. Its Buddhism became extinct on the ex- 
pulsion of the race from China in 1368 ; and its reconversion to 
Lamaism did not occur till 1577, as detailed in the Mongol history 
by Sanang Setzen, 3 who was a great grandson of one of the chief 
agents in this movement. Some details of its history are cited in 
connection with the Taranatha Grand Lama in the chapter on 
hierarchy. The number of Lamas are estimated 4 at 10,000 in 
Urgya in north Mongolia, 2,000 in Tchaitschi in south Mongolia, 
2,000 in Altan Ziima, and 2,000 in Kukukhotum. 

Manchuria is largely" Lamaist, with a population of about 

Ladak, to which Asoka missionaries are believed to have pene- 
trated, is now entirely Lamaist in its form of Buddhism, and this 
is the popular religion. Its history is given by Cunningham 5 and 
Marx. 6 The population was estimated by Cunningham 7 at 158,000 
and the Lamas at 12,000, giving one Lama to thirty laity. 

1 Koppen, Bulletin Hist. Phil, cle VAcad. de St. Petersburg, ix., p. 335 ; Keith John- 
ston's Atlas, p. 34. Schlagintweit says, op. cit, p. 12, that among the Buriats Buddhism 
is still extending. 

2 Reisen, i., 557 (French ed.). 

3 Op. cit. 

4 Koppen, i., p. 381, chiefly based on Hue's data. 

5 Ladiik, p. 357, ct. scq. 

6 J.A.S.B.,loc.cit. 
Op. cit., p. 287. 


Becent estimates place the population at about 178,000. Spiti 
in 1845 had a population of 1,414, and the Lamas were one 
hundred and ninety-three, or about one to seven. 1 

The vernacular history of its introduction into eastern Tur- 
kestan or Khoten (Tib., Li-yid) has been translated by Rockhill. 2 

In Nepal, the number of Buddhists grows every year less under 
the active proselytizing Hindu influences of the Grhorka Govern- 
ment, which places disabilities upon professing Buddhists. But 
the majority of the Nepalese Buddhists are now Lamaist. 

Bhotan 3 is wholly Lamaist, both in its religion and temporal 
government. Its population has been given at about 40,000 to 
50,000 families, or a total of 145,200. 4 But although it is believed 
to be almost as priest-ridden as Sikhim, the number of its priests 
is estimated 5 only at about 5,000, distributed in the six districts 
as follows : In Tassisudon 500, in Punakha also 500, in Paro 300, 
in Tongso also 300, in Tagna 250, and in Andipur (or Wandipur) 
250, in round sum 2,000. Then come 3,000 Lamas who do not 
reside in cloisters, but are employed as officers, making a total of 
5,000, besides which there are a lot of hermits and nuns. 

In regard to Sikhim, where Lamaism is the state religion, I 
have elicited from original documents and local Lamas full details 
of the mode in which Lamaism was introduced into that country. 
Some of these are worth recording as showing in a credible manner 
the mode in which Lamaism was propagated there, and it was 
probably introduced in a similar manner into several of the other 
areas in which it is now prevalent. 

The Lamas and laity of Sikhim 6 and Tibet implicitly believe that 
St. Padma-sambhava (Gruru Eim-bo-ch'e), the founder of Lamaism, 
visited Sikhim during his journeyings in Tibet and its western 
borderlands ; and although he left no converts and erected no 
buildings, he is said to have hid away in caves many holy books for 
the use of posterity, and to have personally consecrated every 
sacred spot in Sikhim. 

1 Major Hay, J.A.S.B., xix., 437. 

2 Life, etc., p. 230, et. seq. See also Dr. Huth's German translation of the Hor 

:i The word is Sanskritie, and its full form is " Bhotanta," or " the end of Bhot or 
Tibet" (cf. Hor>GS.,i., i., p. 30). 

4 Pemberton's Mission, p. 151. 

5 Kuppen, ii., p. 363. 

6 The annexed illustration is from a photograph by Mr. Hoffmann. 



The authorities for such beliefs are, however, merely the ac- 
counts given in the works of the patron saint of Sikhim, Lha-tsiin 
Ch'em-bo, and the fictitious " hidden revelations " of the Tertons, 
all of which are unreliable. And Lha-tsiin rather overdoes it by 
asserting that the Gruru visited Sikhim a hundred times. 

Sikhim seems to have been unknown to Tibetans previous to the 
latter half of the sixteenth century A.D., and Lha-tsiin Ch'em-bo's 
own account of his attempts to enter Sikhim testify to the pre- 
vailing ignorance in regard to it, owing to its almost impenetrable 

Mongol Lama She-rab, 
Lama Ugyen G3-a-ts'o. 

Some Sikhim Lamas. 

A Kar-gyu Lam 

A Karma Lama. 

mountain and icy barriers. And the Tan-yik Ser-fen, which gives 
the fullest account of St, Padma's wanderings, and considered the 
most reliable authority, seems to make no mention of Sikhim. It 
is extremely improbable that the Guru ever entered Sikhim, 
especially as, as we have seen, he certainly did not pass through 
that country either when going to or returning from Tibet. 

In keeping, however, with the legendary accounts of his visit, it 
is alleged by Sikhimite Lamas that their Lord St. Padma entered 
the country by the " Lordly pass " Jo-la {Aug., Cho-la) and on the 


east side of the pass is pointed out a rock on which he sat down, 
called Z'u-ti, or throne, 1 and near the pass. a spot named Sinmoi 
gyip-tsu, 2 where he surprised a party of female devils preparing to 
cook their food : here are pointed oat two masses of columnar rock 
alleged to be two of the stones of the tripod used to support the 
cooking-pot of these demons. And he is said to have returned to 
Tibet by way of the Je-lep pass, resting en route on the Ku-phu 
and creating the Tuko La by " tearing " up the rock to crush an 
obnoxious demon. 

The introduction of Lamaism into Sikhim certainly dates from 
the time of Lha-tsiin's arrival there about the middle of the 
seventeenth century a.d. By this time Lamaism had become a 
most powerful hierarchy in Tibet, and was actively extending its 
creed among the Himalayan and central Asian tribes. 

Three generations of Tibetan colonists from the adjoining 
Chumbi valley had settled on the eastern border of Sikhim, near 
G-ang-tok. And it is highly probable that these Tibetan settlers 
were privy to the entry of the Lamas; as it is traditionally reported 
that the ancestor of that Sikhimite-Tibetan, who was promptly 
elected king of Sikhim, by Lha-tsiin, was a protege and kinsman of 
the Sakya Grand Lama. And Lha-tsiin Ch'em-bo seems to have 
approached Sikhim via Sakya, and his incarnations subsequently 
appeared in the neighbourhood of Sakya, and even now his spirit 
is believed to be incarnate in the body of the present Sakya Lama. 

Lha-tsiin was a native of Kongbu, in the lower valley of the 
Tsang-po (Brahmaputra), which has a climate and physical appear- 
ance very similar to Sikhim, and teems with traces of St. Padma- 
sambhava, "discovered" by celebrated Lamas, and it had been a 
happy hunting ground for the Tertons, or discoverers of the 
fictitious treatises called " hidden revelations." Arriving, then, 
in a country so like his own, and having the virgin soil of Sikhim 
to work upon, Lha-tsiin seems to have selected the most romantic 
spots and clothed them in suitable legendary dress in keeping 
with his ingenious discovery of St. Padma's previous visits. And 
to support his statements he also discovered that his own advent 
as the apostle of Sikhim had been foretold in detail, nine hundred 
years before, by the Guru himself, in the revelation entitled 

1 bz'ugs khri. 2 Srin-mohi rgyib gtsuc 



" The prophetic mirror of Sikhim." 1 He seems to have been a 
man of considerable genius, with a lively sense of the picturesque ; 
and he certainly left his mark on his adopted country of Sikhim, 
where his name is now a household word. 

The traditional account of his entry to Sikhim associates with 
him two other Lamas, to wit, a Kar-tok-pa and a Na-dak-pa ; but 
they play an inconspicuous part in the work of introducing 
Lamaism, and it is extremely doubtful whether any representative 
of these STin-ma sub-sects arrived in Sikhim at so early a 

As Lha-tsiin is so intimately identified with Sikhim Lamaism, 
being its de facto founder, it is desirable here to give a summary 
of his life as extracted from the local histories. 


Lha-tsiin Ch'em-bo 2 is a title meaning " The great Eeverend God." 
His ordinary religious name is Kun-zan nam-gye? or " The entirely 
victorious Essence of Goodness." He is also known by the title of 
Lha-tsiin nam-hha Jig-med, 4 or " The Reverend God who fears not the 
sky," with reference to his alleged power of flying. And he is some- 
times called Kusho Dsog-ch'en Ctiemho, or " The great Honourable 
Dsog-c'en "—Dsog-ch'en, literally " The Great End," being the techni- 
cal name for the system of mystical insight of the Niii-mapa, and 
Kusho means " the honourable." 

He was born in the fire-bird year of the tenth of the sixty-year cycles 
corresponding to 1595 a.d., in the district of Kongbu, in south- 
eastern Tibet. Having spent many years in various monasteries and 
in travelling throughout Tibet and Sikhim, he ultimately, in the year 
1648, arrived in Lhasa, and obtained such great repute by his learning 
that he attracted the favourable notice of IsTag-wan, the greatest of the 
Grand Lamas, who shortly afterwards became the first Dalai Lama. 
Indeed, it is alleged that it was mainly through the special instruction 
given by Lha-tsiin to the Grand Lama that the latter was so favourably 
treated by the Chinese emperor and confirmed in the temporal rule of 

The detailed account of the saint's meeting with the Grand Lama is 
worth citing in illustration of the curious mixture of the crude and the 
marvellous which make up the bulk of these indigenous narratives. In 

i Den-joh Lungten Sel-wai Melon. 

2 Chhem-bo is the Sikhimite mode of pronouncing " Ch'en-po." 

3 Kun-bzan-rnani-rffi/a I. 

4 lha-btsun nam mk'ah 'jigs-mid. 



the year previous to that on which the fifth Grand Lama went to 
China, which Csoma gives 1 as 1649 a.d., the Grand Lama, while in 
his palace at Potala told his attendants, by inspiration, that a sage 
would that day visit him, and should be admitted to his presence. 
Lha-tsun, arriving at the site now named Pargo-K'aliii, immediately 
below Potala — the Lamaist Vatican — blew loudly a k'tilin, or trumpet 
of human thigh-bone;- but the castle guard, in ignorance of who the 

Mendicant Lama blowing Thigh-bone Tkvmpet. 

man really was, seized him and tied him to the Do-ring monolith 
in the neighbourhood, as a punishment for daring to trumpet so 
close to the' castle. The saint, bound in this way, shook the whole hill 
of Potala, and so his arrival was brought to the notice of the Grand 

i Or., p. 190. 

2 The illustration is from a photo by Mr. Hoffi 


Lama, who ordered his instant release and admission. On coming into 
the presence of the Grand Lama he walked boldly np and struck the 
latter with his fist and then vomited before him, much to the astonish- 
ment of the courtier Lamas. The Saint then explained : " You are 
shortly going to China ; on the way a great danger besets you, but my 
striking you has rid you of that danger. In China you will find your- 
self in great peril some clay ; then consult this paper I now give you, 
and you will be relieved. My vomiting in your presence means that 
you will ultimately be invested with great power and riches through 
me." The dilemma here prophesied was a query by the Chinese 
emperor regarding the " essence of the rainbow colour," ' which quite 
confounded the Grand Lama, till he, remembering the episode with the 
Saint, consulted the paper and found full information noted therein, 
and having completely satisfied the emperor, he received great honour 
and riches. The Grand Lama, on his return from China, in gratitude 
for services rendered, offered Lha-tsiin much treasure, which the Saint, 
however, refused. 

Previous to his visit to Lhasa, it is said that the Saint, accompanied 
by a few disciples, journeyed to the south-west of Tibet, saying : " Ac- 
cording to the prophecy of Guru Rim-bo-ch'e, I must go and open the 
northern gate of the hidden country of the rice- valleys — De-mo-jong, a 
i.e., Sikhim, and I must develop that country religiously." He then 
proceeded by way of Tashi-lhunpo and Sakya to Zar, a short distance 
to the north of Tashi-rabkha near the Nepal frontier, where he then, or 
afterwards, founded a monastery. 

He then attempted to enter Sikhim by way of Dsong-ri (Jongri), 
but could find no path, and remained many days in a cave named Nam- 
gah ts'al, 3 " the very pleasant grove," near Kan-la nan-ma. There " the 
everlasting summit of the five repositories (of snow)," the mountain 
god, Kah-ch'en dso-na 4 transformed himself into a wild goose and con- 
versed with the sage ; and here, " according to the prophecy of Guru 
Rim-boch'e," he composed" the book named " the complete Book of 
Worship and offerings for Kan ch'en dso-na. 6 

At this time another Lama of the Kar-tok-pa sub-sect came by Kangla 
ISTangma searching for a path into Sikhim, and also tried without 
success the sPreu-gyab-tak (i.e., " Monkey-back rock," with reference 
to its semblance to a monkey sitting with hands behind back), and 
Dsong-ri, and the western shoulder of sKam-pa Khab-rag — a ridge of 
" Kabru," which runs down to the Ptathong river. He then arrived at 
the cave of " the very pleasant grove," and met the Saint, who told him 
that as he was not destined to open the northern gate, he should go 
round and try the western. 

Then Lha-tsiin, traversing the Kangla Nangma and finding no road 
beyond the cave of Skam-pa Kha-bruk, flew miraculously to the upper 

1 'Dsah ts'on snin po. 4 mdsod-ltia rtag-rtse. 

2 hius-hmo-\jom. 5 '• vtsom " is the word used. 

3 mnam dgah-ts'al. 6 gam-cKcn mdsod-lna mch'od sp-in las gnas-y<yA dsog. 



part of " Kabru " (24,000 feet), and there blew his kang-ling, and 
after an absence of two weeks flew down to where his servants were 
collected and guided them by a road via Dsongri to Norbu-gang, in 

Here soon after arrived two other Nin-ma Lamas. By " the western 
gate " of Single La came the Kar-tok-pa Lama above mentioned, 
named "The Great Soul," 1 and a Lama of the Na-dak-pa sub-sect, 
named The Great Sage, 2 who had opened ' ; the southern gate" by way 
of Darjiling and Namchi respectively. The place where these three 
Lamas met was then called by the Lepchas Yok-sam, which means " the 
three superior ones or noblemen," a literal translation of "the three 

The three Lamas held here a council at which Lha-tsiin said : "We 
three Lamas are in a new and irreligious country. We must have a 
' dispenser of gifts ' :j (i.e., a king) to rule the country on our behalf." 
Then the Na-dak-pa Lama said : "lam descended from the celebrated 
Terton Na-dak Nan-rel, who was a king; I should therefore be the 
king." While the Kar-tok-pa Lama declared : " As I too am of royal 
lineage I have the right to rule." Then Lha-tsiin said : " In the 
prophecy of Guru Rim-bo-ch'e it is written that four noble brothers 
shall meet in Sikhim and arrange for its government. We are three of 
these come from the north, west, and south. Towards the east, it is 
written, there is at this epoch a man named P'iin-ts'ok, a descendant 
of brave ancestors of Kham in Eastern Tibet. According, therefore, to 
the prophecy of the Guru we should invite him." Two messengers were 
then dispatched to search for this P'iin-ts'ok. Going towards the 
extreme east near Gangtok they met a man churning milk and asked 
him his name. He, without replying, invited them to sit down, and 
gave them milk to drink. After they were refreshed, he said his name 
was P'iin-ts'ok. He was then conducted to the Lamas, who coronated 
him by placing the holy water-vase on his head and anointed him with 
the water ; and exhorting him to rule the country religiously, they gave 
him Lha-tsiin's own surname of Nam-gye 4 and the title of " religious 
king." P'iin-ts'ok Nam-gye was at this time aged thirty-eight years, 
and he became a Lama in the same year, which is said to have been 
1641 A.D. 

Lha-tsiin then spent the greater part of the rest of his life in 
Sikhim, exploring its caves and mountain recesses, composing its 
Lamaist legends, and fixing sites for temples and monasteries. He 
6rst of all built a hut at Dub-de, which afterwards became the 
monastery of that name. And he is believed to have built rude 
shrines at Tashiding, Pemiongchi, and Sang-na-ch'o-ling ; though 
others assert that Tashiding was first occupied by the original 
Na-dak-pa Lama. 

In appearance Lha-tsiin is usually represented as seated on a leo- 

1 Sons dgah eh'en-po. a sbyin-dag. 

- Rig-'dsin ch'en-po. * mam-xyyal. 


pard-skin mat with the right leg hanging down and his body almost 
bare — one of his titles is He-ru-ka-pa, which means "unclad." His 
complexion is of a dark blue hue. Otherwise he is somewhat like 
his prototype Guru Rim-bo-ch'e. A chaplet of skulls encircles his 
brow. In his left hand is a skull cup filled with blood, and a trident 
topped with human heads rests in front of the left shoulder. The 
right hand is in a teaching attitude. 

He is believed to be the incarnation of the great Indian teacher 
Bhlma Mitra. And he himself is held to have been subsequently in- 
carnated twice as a Sikhim Lama, the last re-incarnation being Jik 
mi Pa-ivo, born at Ok-ja-ling near Sakya, who built the present monas- 
tery of Pemiongchi. 

I cannot ascertain the place of his death or what became of his bod v, 
but he is currently reported to have died in Sikhim of fever contracted 
during a visit to India. The dark livid hue of his skin is said to refer 
to his death from malignant fever. His chief object in visiting India 
was, according to a popular saying, to obtain a rare variety of ruddy 
leopard-skin (the sola leopard) which is highly prized by ascetics as a 
mat. 1 

All his clothing and personal effects are carefully treasured in 
Sikhim and worshipped as most sacred relics. They were all stored 
at Pemiongchi monastery until the Gorkha invasion of last century, 
when, for greater safety, most of them were taken to the remote To- 
lling monastery. At Pemiongchi are kept one set of his full dress 
robes after the style of Guru Rim-bo-ch'e, including hat and boots, his 
hand-drum, bell, and clorje, and a miraculous p'urbu dagger for stab- 
bing the demons. These objects are only shown at Pemiongchi ou 
special occasions to wealthy worshippers, and they are highly celebrated 
as a certain cure for barrenness. Couples afflicted in this way, and who 
can afford the necessary expense, have a preliminary worship conducted 
in the Pemiongchi chapel-,. lasting one or two days. Then the box con- 
taining the holy relics is brought forth and ceremoniously opened, and 
each article is placed on the heads of the suppliant pair, the officiating 
priest repeating meanwhile the charm of his own tutelary deity. Of the 
marvellous efficacy of this procedure numerous stories are told. And 
should two sons result, one of them is certainly dedicated to the 

Subsequent to Lha-tsiin Ch'em-bo's death in the latter end of the 
seventeenth century, Lamaism steadily progressed in Sikhim till 
latterly monks and monasteries filled the country. The list and 
detailed descripiton of these are given in the next chapter under 
the heading of Monasteries. What civilization and literature the 
Sikhimites now possess they owe to Lamaism, and the Lepcha 
alphabet too was derived from the Tibetan. 

1 Set gya-cjar-tu p'yin ba, don-gsah lai pags-pa. 

E 2 


The religions displaced by Lamaism were the Pon (Bon), which 
is usually identified with Taouism, and the earlier animistic and 
fairy worship of the Lepchas, which can scarcely be called a re- 
ligion. Numerous traces of both of these primitive faiths are to 
be found incorporated m Sikhim Lamaism, which owes any special 
features that it possesses to the preponderance of these two 

Only two sects of Lamas are established in Sikhim, namely, 
the Nih-ma-pa and the Kar-gyu-pa as represented by the Kar- 
ma-pa. There are no Duk-pa monasteries in Sikhim, nor does there 
seem ever to have been any. 

The Lamas number nearly one thousand, and are very numer- 
ous in proportion to the Buddhist population of the country. In 
1840 ! the Lepchas and Bhotiyas of Sikhim were estimated at 
3,000 and 2,000 respectively, but Mr. White, in his census of 
Sikhim in March, 1891, gives the population roughly as : — 

Lepchas ... ... ... 5,800 

Bhotiyas ... ..'. ... 4,700 

Nepalese, etc. ... ... ... 19,500 


As the Nepalese, who are of very recent immigration, are all 
professing Hindus, the Lamas are now dependent on the Bhotiyas 
and Lepchas for support ; and we thus get a proportion of one 
Lamaist priest to every tenor eleven of the indigenous population. 
But this does not represent the full priest-force of those two races, 
as it takes no count of the numerous devil-dancers and Lepcha 
priests patronized both by Bhotiyas and Lepchas. 

In British Sikhim and the Kalim-pong section of British 
Bhotan, the Lamaists numbered in the census of 1891 40,520, 
of which 3,657 were resident in the town of Darjiling. 2 

There is no sign of any decrease of Lamaism in Sikhim, 
although large numbers of Hindiiized Nepalese have lately been 
introduced into the country, and the government is no longer in 

i Dr. Campbell in The Oriental, p. 13. 

2 " Census of 1891 Kept.," p. 47. The total Buddhists in Bengal, including a few 
thousands of Burmese convicts in Bengal jails, numbered 189,122. 



the hands of Lamas. Its Lamaism is so deeply rooted that, in the 
absence of any actively anti-Buddhist policy such as has operated 
in Nepal, it is unlikely to be much affected by the recent political 
changes, at least for many years to come. 

Tashidikg Monastery 
(in Sikhim). 




HE light shed by the lamp of Larnaism, like that of 
most other religions, has been broken into variegated 
fragments by the prisms of later priests. 

No sects appear to have existed prior to Lan-Darma's 
persecution, nor till more than a century and a half later. The 
sectarial movement seems to date from the Information started 
by the Indian Buddhist monk Atisa, who, as we have seen, visited 
Tibet in 1038 a.d. 1 

Atisa, while clinging to Yoga and Tantrism, at once began a 
reformation on the lines of the purer Mahayana system, by en- 
forcing celibacy and high morality, and by deprecating the general 
practice of the diabolic arts. Perhaps the time was now ripe for 
the reform, as the Lamas had become a large and influential body, 
and possessed a fairly full and scholarly translation of the bulky 
Mahayana Canon and its Commentaries, which taught a doctrine 
very different from that then practised in Tibet. 

A glance at the annexed " Genealogical Tree of Lamaist 
Sects " will show that Atisa was the only profound reformer of 

The first of the reformed sects and the one with which Atisa 
most intimately identified himself was called the Kah -dam-pa, 2 or 
" those bound by the orders (commandments)"; and it ultimately, 
three and a half centuries later, in Tson K'apa's hands, became 
less ascetic and more highly ritualistic under the title of " The 
Virtuous Style," Ge-lug-pa, now the dominant sect in Tibet, and 
the Established Church of Larnaism. 

1 Part of this chapter appeared in the Asiatic Quarterly for January, 1894. 

2 /jKah-^dam.s-pa. 





or-Unre formed 

J 650 

•Z ZOO o 

NlNMa Ter 1062 

1640 AD 

angdarma 899 A D 


Atlsa's chief Tibetan disciple was Dom-ton, 1 or "Pom Bakshi," 2 
to whom he taught the mystic Mahayana and Tantrik doctrines 
which he himself had learned in India and Pegu. Two 
other noted pupils were K'u and Nak; but I)om-ton was the 
recognized head of the Kah-dam-pa, and he built, in 1058, the 
Ra-Beng 3 monastery to the north-east of Lhasa, which was the 
first lamasery of the new sect, though the monastery of T'o-din, 4 in 
Pu-rang, built in 1025, is considered to have become a Kah-dam- 
pa institution by Atlsa's residence therein. Dom-ton's successor 
was Potova. 

The rise of the Kah-dam-pa (Ge-lug-pa) sect was soon followed 
by the semi-reformed movements of Kar-gyu-pa and Sakya-pa, 
which were directly based in great measure on Atlsa's teaching. 
The founders of those two sects had been his pupils, and their 
new sects may be regarded as semi-reformations adapted for those 
individuals who found his high standard too irksome, and too free 
from their familiar demonolatry. 

The residue who remained wholly unreformed and weakened by 
the loss of their best members, were now called the Niu-ma-pa 
or " the old ones," as they adhered to the old practices. And now, 
to legitimize many of their unorthodox practices which had crept 
into use, and to admit of further laxity, the Nin-ma-pa resorted 
to the fiction of Ter-ma or hidden revelations. 

Just as the Indian monk Nagarjuna in order to secure an orthodox 
reception for his new creed had alleged that the Mahayana doctrine 
was entirely the composition of Sakya Muni, who had written it 
during his lifetime and entrusted the volumes to the Naga demi- 
gods for preservation until men were sufficiently enlightened to 
comprehend so abstruse a system, so in the same way several 
Nih-ma Lamas now began to discover new gospels, in caves and 

1 'Brom-ston rGyal-wahi 'Byuii-<mas. 

2 Bafohi is a general term in Central Asia for those monks called in Tibetan Lob-pon, 
or Teacher ; and it is used by Marco Polo (Yuh, i., 305). Pallas says it is Mongolian for 
sTon, which means "Guide," and is applied only to the oldest and most learned priest 
of a community. But the title sTon (-pa) is usually reserved for Buddha. Yule and 
others believe it to be probably a corruption of " BMkhsku," a Buddhist mendicant 
monk, and Yule shows it to be used as an eauivalent for Lama by Rashiduddin, and 
in the Ain-i-Akbari. Possibly it is also related to the " Abassi " of Friar Odoric (Mark- 
ham, p. xlvi.). Gonf. also Koppen, ii., 105. 

3 Rm-sgren. 
* mT'oAdiu. 



elsewhere, which they alleged were hidden gospels of the Guru, 
Saint Padma. And these so-called " revealers," but really the 
composers of these Ter-ma treatises, also alleged as a reason for 
their ability to discover these hidden gospels, that each of them 
had been, in a former birth, one or other of the twenty-five disciples 
of St. Padma. 

Table Showing 
Descent and Inter-relations 



Ultimate Inspirer. 
Adi-Buddha Vajradhara. 

Proximate Inspirer, 

Human Teachers. 


(about 500 a.d.) 







J'antra — rGyach'en spyod, 

Meditative Doctrine.— 
Lam-rim. (= FKramamarga) 

Human Teachers. 

(about 975 a.d.) 

Proximate Inspire} 

Human Teachers. 

(about 100 a.d.) 



Lama 'Brom-ston 





Lama Tson-K'apa 

founder of 
GE-LUG-PA Sect. 

Mixed Tantra.—gsum. 
Kar-bsdus na. 

editative Doctrine.— Maha- 

mudra or P'yagch'en. 

Tuntra.— Gambhira darsana, or the 
deep theory or doctrine. T., zab-mo61ta. 
Meditative Doctrine.— Lam-'bras. 

Lama Mar- pa, 

Lama Dwag-po lha-rje 

founder of 


Lama K'ug-po-lha-btsas 

founder of 
8ASKYA-PA Sect. 

These " Eevelations " treat mainly of Shamanist B6n-pa and 
other demoniacal rites which are permissible in Lamaist practice ; 
and they prescribed the forms for such worship. About thirty of 


these revelations have been discovered; but as the number has 
been oracularly fixed at one hundred and eight, future contin- 
gencies are well provided for. These " Bevelations," relaxing still 
further the Lamaist obligations, were eagerly accepted by most 
Lamas, and they play an important part in the schisms which 
subsequently occurred in both old and reformed sects. Indeed, 
many of the sub-sects differ from their parent sects merely in 
having adopted a different Ter-ma work as an ordinary code of 
demoniacal worship. 

The sectarian distinctions are of a creedal character, entailing 
different ritualistic and other practices, and expressed by a dif- 
ference in dress and symbols. The creedal differences may be 
categorically classed under the heads of — 

1. The personality of the primordial deity or Adi-Buddha ; 

2. Special source of divine inspiration ; 

3. The saintly transmitters of this inspiration ; 

4. Meditative doctrine or system of mystical insight ; 1 

5. Special Tantra-revelation. 

6. Personal Tutelary— a Tantrik demoniacal Buddha of Sivaist 

type J 

7. Religious " Guardian "-demon, usually of Tibetan type. 

In considering the sects individually, let us look first at the 
sect forming the Established Church — the Ge-lug-pa — as it repre- 
sents the oldest of the sects, the Kah-dam-pa, and is the purest 
and most powerful of all, having now the temporal government 
of Tibet in its hands. 

The G-e-lug-pa Sect, or Established Church. 
The G-e-lug-pa arose at the beginning of the fifteenth century 
a.d. as a regeneration of the Kah-dam-pa by Tsoh-K'a-pa or L6- 
zan-tak-pa 2 or Je-Kim-po-ch'e, though he is better known to Euro- 
peans by his territorial title of Tson-K'a-pa, that is, " Native of 
the Onion Country," the district of his birth, in the province of 
Amdo, now within the border of China. 3 

1 /Ta-wa. Skt., Darfana. 

2 bLo-bzan tak-po (Cf. Koppen, ii., 18). O.M., 115 ; J.A.S.B., 1882, p. 53-57; Pand., 
No. 41 ; Howokth, op. cit. 

3 He was born in 1355-57 at Kum-bum (see its photograph at page 280). 



He was probably, as Hue notes, 1 influenced by the Roman 
Catholic priests, who seem to have been settled near the place of 
his birth. Hue's tradition runs that Tson K'a-pa had inter- 
course with a stranger from the West with a long nose and 
piercing eyes, who is 
believed to have 
been a Christian 
missionary. He 
studied at Zhar- 
Ch'uh, in Amdo, and 
thereafter at Saskya, 
DiKung, and Lhasa. 
He wrote many 
books, 2 and most of 
the extant sacerdotal 
manuals of the Grc- 
lug-pa sect are at- 
tributed to him. He 
died (or, as is popu- 
larly believed, as- 
cended to Heaven 3 ) 
in 1417, and was 
canonized as an in- 
carnation of Man- 
jusri (or, 


rje (disciple). mK's 

rGgyal-ts' (disciple). niK'as-gmb-rje (disciple). 
Vajra-bhairava (tutelary). A votary. 


say, Amitabha, or Vajrapani). And by the Ge-lug-pa he is con- 
sidered superior even to St. Padma and Atlsa, and is given 
the chief place in most of their temples. His image is placed 
above, and usually between, those of the dual Grand Lamas — the 
Dalai and Pan-ch'en — and, like these, he is given the title of 
Gyal-wa, or The Jina or Victor. His image is also worn as 
a charm in amulet boxes. 

Tson-K'a-pa received the traditions of the Kah-dam-pa sect 
from the Lama Ch'os skyabs-frzan-po, the seventy-eighth abbot 
in succession from Dom-ton. 

Unlike Atlsa, Tson-K'a-pa was an ardent proselytizer, and 

1 Travels in Tartan/, etc., Hazlett's trans., ii., 48. 

2 Chief of which was The Gradual Way (Ldm-rim). 

:! His ascension is celebrated during the Lamaist festival of Lamps. 



spent most of his strength in organization. He collected the 
scattered members of the Kah-dam-pa from their retreats, and 
housed them in monasteries, together with his new followers, 
under rigid discipline, setting them to keep the two hundred and 
thirty-five Vinaya rules, 1 and hence obtaining for them the title 

Ge-lug-pa Monk and Attendant. 

of Vinaya-keeipers or " Dul-wa Lamas:'' He also made them 
carry a begging-bowl, anardha-chuna, 2 pray ei -carpet, 3 and wear 
patched robes 4 of a yellow colour, after the fashion of the Indian 
mendicant monks. And he attracted followers by instituting a 

Including retirement during Lent for meditation, etc. 
: The zla-gam or crescentic cope or cape. 

1 dras-drubs. See detailed description at p. 200. 



highly ritualistic service, in part apparently borrowed from the 
Christian missionaries, who undoubtedly were settled at that time 
in Tson-K'a, the province of his early boyhood in Western China. 
He gave the hat named pdn-ssa-sne-ria, or the "Pandit's long- 
tailed cap " ; and as it was of a yellow colour like their dress, and 
the old Lamaist body adhered to their red hat, the new sect came 
to be popularly called the S'a-ser or " Yellow-cap," in contradis- 
tinction to the S'a-mar or " Eed-cap " and their more aboriginal 
B6n-pa co-religionists the S'a-nak or "Black-caps." 1 

This seems to be the origin of the sect-titles depending on the 
colour of the cap. The Kah-dam-pa are said to have worn red 
caps, and certainly the extant pictures of Atisa and other Kah- 
dam-pa Lamas give them red caps. 

Tson-K'a-pa named his own monastery, which he built in 1409 
about thirty miles east of Lhasa, Gah-dan 2 or Paradise, and it is 
said that his followers at first 
went by the name of Gah-lug- 
pa or " Followers of the Gah- 
dan fashion " ; but as this name 
was ill-sounding it was changed 
to the more euphonic 6re-lug- 
pa or " Followers of the Virtu- 
ous order." 

The special sectarian dis- 
tinctions of the Ge-lug-pa, 
which represent the earlier 
Kah-dam-pa sect, are that this 
sect has the mythical Vajra- 
dhara as its Adi-Buddha ; and 
derives its divine inspiration 
from Maitreya — "the coming 
Buddha," through the Indian Saints ranging from Asanga down 
to Atisa, and through the Tibetan Saints from his disciple 
Brom-ton to Tson-K'a-pa (Je-Eim-po-ch'e). The Ge-lug-pa mys- 
tical insight (Ta-wa) is termed the Lam-rim or "the Graded 
Path," and their Tantra is the "Vast Doer" (rgya-ch'en spyod). 


i See page 196 for pictures of the caps. 
2 Skt., "Tushita" or the Happy place. 



Its tutelary demoniacal Buddha is Vajra-bhairava (Dorje-'jig-je). 
supported by Sam vara (Dem-ch'og) and Gmhya-kala (Sang-dii)! 
And its Guardian demons are "The Six-armed Gon-po or Lord " 

The Tutelary Tam-din's Charm. 

and the Great horse-necked Hayagriva (Tam-din), or the Red 

But, through Atisa, the Ge-lug-pa sect, as is graphically shown 
in the foregoing table, claims also to have received the essence of 
Mahjusri's doctrine, which is the leading light of the Sakya-pa 
sect. For Atisa is held to be an incarnation of Maiijusri, the 
Bodhisat of Wisdom : which is merely a way of stating that 
he was the greatest embodiment of Buddhist Wisdom that 
ever visited Tibet. An din the person of Atisa were also united 
the essentials of the Kar-gyu-pa sect by his pupilage to the Indian 
sage Naro. 


Thus the Ge-lug-pa sect claims that through Atisa it has 
received the special inspiration of Maitreya, and in addition all 
that is best in the special systems professed by the other two re- 
formed sects. 

The purer morality practised by the Ge-lug monks gained 
them general respect. So, despite their internecine feuds with 
the Sakya-pa and other rival sects, its Church grew in size and 
influence, and became a powerful hierarchy with the succession 
of its chief abbot based upon the theory of Re-incarnation, 
namely, that the spirit of the dead chief after his death is re-born 
in a child, who was forthwith found by oracular presage, and in- 
stalled in the vacant chair. 

Tsoh-K'a-pa's nephew, Ge-dun-dub, was installed in 1439 as 
the first Grand Lama of the Ge-lug-pa Church, and he built 
the monastery of Tashi-lhunpo, in 1445, while his fellow workers 
Je-She-rabSen-age Gyal-Ts'ab-je and Khas-grub-je had built re- 
spectively De-p'ung (in 1414), and Se-ra (in 1417), the other 
great monasteries of this sect. 

Under the fourth of these Grand Lamas, the Ge-lug-pa Church 
was vigorously struggling for supreme power and was patronized by 
the Mongol minister of the Chinese Government named Chong- 
Kar, who, coming to Lhasa as an ambassador, usurped most of the 
power of the then king of Tibet, and forced several of the Kar-gyu 
and ISTih-ma monasteries to join the Ge-lug-pa sect, and to wear 
the yellow caps. 

And, as we have seen in the previous chapter, the Ge-lug-pa 
sect in 1640, under its fifth Grand Lama, leapt into temporal 
power as the dominant sect in Tibet, and has ever since remained 
the Established Church of the country. 

Since then, however, the Ge-lug-pa sect has gradually retro- 
graded in its tenets and practice, till now, with the exception of 
its distinctive dress and symbols, celibacy and greater abstinence, 
and a slightly more restricted devil-worship, it differs little from 
the other Lamaist sects, which in the pride of political power it 
so openly despises. 

The Kar-gyu-pa Sect. 
The Kar-gyu-pa, the next great reformed sect after the Ge-lug- 
pa, was founded in the latter half of the eleventh century A.D. by 



Lama Marpa 1 of Lha-brag, who had visited India and obtained 
special instructions from the Indian Pandit Atisa and his 
teacher P'am-thih and Naro, the janitor of Nalanda University, 
who never visited Tibet. But as Marpa and his successor Mila- 

ra-pa, while nominally having 
a monastery at Grro-bu-lun and 
sG-rub - p'ug - matogs, respect- 
ively, led hermit lives, the 
real organizer of this sect was 
the Kah-dam-pa Lama, Dvag- 
po lha-rje, 2 who founded the 
monastery of Ts'ur-lha about 

The name Kar-gyu-pa 3 
means a " follower of the suc- 
cessive orders," expressive of 
the fact that the sect believes 
that the rulings of its later 
sages are inspired. Naro's 
teacher, the monk Tilo or Telo 
(about 950 a.d.) 4 is held to have been directly inspired by the 
metaphysical Buddha Vajra-dhara. 

Its distinctive features are its hermit practices, meditation in 
caves and other retired places, and the following speciali- 
ties : — 

Its inspiration was attributed by their saint Tilo directly to 
the Adi-Buddha Vajra-dhara. Its mode of mystic insight (Ta-wa) 
is named Mahdmudra 5 or " the Great Attitude," also called 
U-mahi Lam or " the Middle Path," and its Tantra is " Sum- 


i Marpa, according to Sum-pa K'an-po's Ch'os-'byun, was born at Gro-bu-lun 
po psar, as the second son of dbAh-p'yug-'ocl, his mother being sKal-ldan sKyd 
</nis. His son when riding to Talung monastery to witness a Lama's dance was 
thrown down the cliff and fearfully mangled owing to his horse in a rocky defile 
taking fright at the flight of some rock pigeons. This scene is pictured often in 
Kar-gyu-pa temples. (Cf. also Pand., No. 32.) 

- Also called rJe sGam-po- Va with title mnam- 
beyond Kongbu ; died 1152. (Cf . Pand., No. 33.) 

3 bKah-brgyvd-pa. 

4 Cf. Tara., 226, Pand., No. 17. 
s P'yag-rgya-ch'en usually contracted to " ch'ag-ch'en." 

He was a native of E. Tibet 

I -^.a...-. ! 



St. Mila-ra-pa. 

[To /toe p. 64, 


kar-fesuds-sum. 1 Its tutelary demon is Sam vara. Its guardian 
deity "The Lord of the Black Cloak. 2 Its hat is "the medita- 
tion hat with the cross-knees," bearing on its front this emblem as 
a badge like a St. Andrew's cross (X)> and a conical centre-piece 
representing a cave elsewhere. And with these technicalities was 
associated a stricter observance of the monastic rules and discipline. 

The most popular Kar-gyu-pa saint, and one who, while found- 
ing no monastery, did more even than Marpa, to establish the sect, 
was Marpa's pupil, Mila-ra-pa. 3 He never visited India, but led a 
wandering ascetic life among the mountains of Tibet, and his 
100,000 songs 4 containing much Tibetan colouring are popular 
amongst all the sects of Lamas, and his name is now a household 
word throughout Tibet. 

He is pictured, as seen in the annexed illustration, as a thinly- 
clad ascetic almost on the Indian model, enduring great hardships 
of climate and exposure, and a great magician conquering many 
demons. His picture is surrounded by scenes illustrative of the 
leading events of his life. 

His biography is sketched here in a footnote, 5 as he is a person 
of importance in Lamaism. It is contained in a bulky volume 

1 Marpa's scripture was based upi in the " mfiam-len byin rlabs," which he diluted and 
mixed with more mystic Tantras; hence his Tantra is called "the mixed" (zuh-'jug). 
The so-called esoteric is the " mdo lugs-stong-pa-nyid," and the esoteric" shags lugs Z»de 
ston dhyer med, which are referred to in the chapter on Doctrine. For some technical 
details regarding; several sects, see transl. by Sarat, J.A.S.B., 1883 ; also Ramsay's Diet. 

2 ;/iGon-po bar-nag. 

3 Mi-la-ras-pa or " the Cotton-clad." (Cf. Csoma, Gr., 181; Tara., 328 ; Pand., No. 31.) 

4 glu-'bum. 

5 He was born at Kya-nan-tsa in the year 1038 a.d., on the 28th day of the month, 
under the planet phur-bu, and named Thos-pa-dgal. His father, Mila-shes-rab-rgyai- 
mts'an, was a wealthy merchant of the K'un-po clan of Uru-chan-ch'og, and his 
mother was Gyan-tsa dkar-rgyan. The father died when Thos-pa-dgal (the young 
Mila) was only seven years old, leaving his property in his brother's charge till his 
son reached his majority at fifteen. This uncle, however, appropriated everything to 
himself, and left young Mila and his mother destitute, and even persecuted them. 
Young Mila's mother, therefore, sent her son to become a Lama in order to learn the 
/»/'»-art of destroying people by sorcery. So he started off for Lhun-grub grong 
K'ah in Gun-t'on-stod, and there joined a party of monks on their way from 
Upper Nari to U (or Central Tibet). Passing Yag-sde, and crossing Mar-tsan, he 
reached T'on-lun-raga in t), and found at Yar-lun skyo-mo-Krun a learned 
" mt'u " teacher named Yuri sTon-p'ro-rgyal, who taught him sorcery for several 
years, until he obtained the power to destroy his cruel uncle's house and gear. After 
being instructed in the mode of compelling hailstorms, he went to Magon (or gTsan- 
ron-gi-nari, and then to Ch'os-la sgang, whore he became a pupil of Lama Marpa, who 
had visited India. Here he was set many tiresome tasks by Marpa, such as building 




ascribed to his disciple Ras-ch'un, and dated from the hermitage 
of the latter. 


a Tibetan and Pupil of Naropa. 
b. 1010. 


Ras-ch'un DorjeGrags-pa. 
b. 1083. d. 

d. 1152. 

Nin ma rev , 
Las- prod- 
lin found 
in Kongbu. 



ts'og or Bkris- 


■' prev. to 1106. 



gyalpo founded 
.sTasr-idung Mon. 
in 1179. 

" Karma Bakshi" 

Dorje or Dus-gsum 


b.1109 | d. 1192 





vangpo, founded 

Ralung monastery 

prev. to 1150 

Upper DUK-PA 




dban-rnam-rgyal , 

Middle and 






-ma rev. , 




-ma rev., 



forts and pulling them to pieces again, and the pictures of these tasks are favourite 
subjects for frescoes in Kar-gyu-pa monasteries. As the tasks seemed endless and 
Marpa still withheld instruction, the young Mila fled, taking with him the Indian 
saint Naropa's six-bone ornaments and padma-raga-Tos&ry, which had been in 
Marpa's keeping as relics ; and which young Mila obtained possession of by the con- 
nivance of Marpa's wife, bDag-med-ma. These relics he offered to Lama rftog-pa, who 
in return gave him instruction and the meditation of Groh-ldan p'ug-pa. Then 
Marpa recalled him and initiated him into the mysteries of the magic circles, and 
gave him the esoteric name of dPal-s'es-pa and the common name of Mila-rdo-rje 
rgyal mts'an, and set him severe ascetic exercises. Meanwhile Marpa went to India, 
and met the monk Naropa at the monastery of Bula-hari, and was taught 'p'o-wa- 
gtoil-'jug, and returned to Tibet by Ch'oS-la gaii. When Mila returned home, he 
found his mother dead, so he dwelt in a cave near by named Kai'i-mdsod phug. 
Then his uncle and aunt assaulted him on his begging excursions, but though possess- 
ing the power of destroying them, he preferred to tlee fruni them to Brag Kar-rta-so, 
near Kyi-roh, where he remained in meditation for eighteen years, living solely on 


Mila-ra-pa's chief pupils were Dvag-po-lha-rje, 1 who continued 
the succession of the orthodox Kar-gyu-pa doctrine, and Rii- 
ch'uh Dor-je Tag-pa, 2 who did not interest himself in organization. 

The hermit-feature of this sect rendered it so unattractive, 
that several sub-sects soon arose which dispensed with the neces- 
sity for hermitage. Thus appeared the sub-sects Kar-ma-pa, 
Di-kung-pa, Ta-lung-pa, and Duk-pa (the form dominant in Bho- 
tan), which differ from each other merely in having each adopted a 
different revelation from the Nin-ma sect as a code of demoniacal 
worship, and so relaxing the purity of the former Kar-gyu-pa 

These differences are shown in the foregoing table. 

And the image of the particular founder of the sub-sect shares 
with that of their Adi-Buddha, Vajradhara, the chief place in their 

The Kar-ma-pa sub-sect was founded in the middle of the twelfth 
century by Kar-ma-pa Ran-ch'un Dor-je, also named Dii-sum 
K'yen-po, 3 a pupil of the aforesaid Dvag-po-lha-rje. His monas- 
tery of S'u-Ts'ur Lha-luh, 4 built in 1154, at Ts'ur-p'u, about 
one day's journey to the north of Lhasa beyond Sera, is still the 
headquarters of this, the most powerful of all the Kar-gyu-pa sub- 
sects. 5 This Kar-ma Lama does not appear to be identical with 
the famous " Kar-ma-Bakshi," 6 whose image is the central one in 
all Kar-ma-pa temples, for "his birth is placed by Csoma later. 7 The 
ninth head Kar-ma-pa Lama was named dGru-pa-bar Phyug Dor-je, 
and was alive in 1725 A.D., when the then raja of Sikhim visited 
him in Tibet and was prevailed on by him to establish some 
Kar-ma-pa monasteries in Sikhim. 

The so-called monastery, though it is only a temple, in the 
" Bhotiya-basti " at Darjiling belongs to this sect. 

vegetables, and performing many miracles. Then he went to Dig-ri plain, where he 
met Pari, the translator, and his pupils. Thereafter he went to 'Brin-yul, and after- 
wards to a cave in Lab-ci-cu-gar (? Mount Everest), where he died. His favourite 
god was Kuvera, the King of the Yaksha genii. 

i Also called rJe-Tsun sUam-po. See Pander, No. 33. 

2 Ras-ch'uh rdo-rje grags-pa, born 1083, founded Ras-ch'un p'ug monastery. 

3 Rih-'byuu-rdo-rje dus-gsum-mk'yen-po, born 1109, ordained 1124, died 1192. 

4 Ts'u-mts'ur. 

5 It was zealously patronized by De-si Zah-po, a King of Western Tibet, with his 
capital at Shigatse. 

« Cf. Csoma, Gr., 180 ; J.A.S.B., 51, p. 53 ; Pand. No. 39. 
7 In Gram., 185, Kar-ma-Bakshi's birth is given as 1177 a.d. 

F 2 


It differs from its parent sect in having retrograded towards the 
Nin-ma-pa practices by adopting the ISJiri-ma revelation found 
in Kong-bo and entitled Le-to Lin-pa, 1 or " the locally revealed 
merit," and some also have 'Jah-ts'on-pa. Few of the Kar-ma 
Lamas are celibate, and Marpa, the founder of the parent sect 
(Kar-gyu-pa), was married. 

The next great sub-sect is the Dug-pa, 2 which also arose with a 
pupil of Mila-ra-pa's disciple, Dvag-po. Its founder was Pag-Sam- 
Wang-po, 3 and it originated in the #Nam province of Tibet about 
the middle of the twelfth century, at the Ralung monastery, near 
Gryan-tse, in Tod or Upper Tibet, To emphasize the change the 
monastery was called Z)H#-Raiung, and a legend of the thunder- 
dragon or Dug is related in connection therewith, and gives the 
sectarian title. It adopted the same revelation as the Di-kung- 
pa, but there seems some other distinctive tenet which I have not 
yet elicited. 

Much confusion has been caused in European books by mis- 
using the name Dug-pa, employing it as a synonym for the 
" red-hat " sect, which properly is the ISTin-ma. 

The Middle Dug-pa and the Lower Dug-pa arose soon after- 
wards. The Middle Dug-pa adopted the revelation of San-gyas- 
lin-pa. This is the form of Kar-gyu-pa which now prevails in 
Bhotan under the name of Lho Dug-pa or " Southern " Dug-pa. 
Its chief Lama is Z'ab-drun Nag-ban-nam-gyal, 4 a pupil of Padma 
rZkar-po" or "The omniscient white lotus," who leaving Southern 
Tibet in the seventeenth century a.d., 5 settled at " lChags-ri rta 
mgo " in Bhotan, and soon displaced the Karthok-pa and other 
forms of Nin-ma Lamaism then existing in that country, and 
which are reputed to have been founded there directly by St. 
Padma himself, who entered Bhotan via gZ'as-ma gah and left 
it by mDufi tsan, and at rfGron-ts'al p'u are still shown his foot- 
prints on a rock, and at the sPa-te tak-ts'ah or tiger's den. <! 

i Las-'prod-lin-pa. 

2 'brug-pa. It is Sanskritised in the Chronicle of Nag-wan Nam-gyal as Megha 
Svara or " Cloud-voice," thunder being regarded as the dragon's roar. 

3 c£Pag-&sam </bah-po, who seems to be identical with, or patronized by, 'Gro- 
mgon rtsan-pa rgyal ras, " The Victory-clad Patron of Animals " (? born 11(50 a.d.). 

° 4 His title is 5dud-'jom-rdorje, or "the Vajra which Softened the Devils." 
5 Csoma, J.A.S.B., 1832, 126. 

e According to the Thah-yig sde-^iia. some historic notes on the history of Lamaism 
in Bhotan are to be found in the book Lho-Ch'os 'byuh. 


In Bhotan the Dug-pa sect possesses the temporal as well as the 
spiritual power, and has suppressed all other sects there. Some 
details of its chief monasteries and hierarchs are given in the 
special chapters on these two subjects. 

The Dl-kung-pa^- another large sub-sect, also originated with a 
pupil of Dvag-po. It takes its title from the Dl-kung monastery 
founded by Rinch'en-p'iin-ts'og and Je-spyau-sha-wa, in 1177 A.D. 2 
Its revelation is ^fin-ma the Padma-lih-pa. 

The Ta-lung-pa 3 issued from the Dl-kung-pa and takes its title 
from the Ta-lung monastery founded by Nag-cZban-ch'os-gyalpo 
in 1178. They differ from their parent Dl-kung-pa in admitting 
also the revelation work adopted by the Kar-ma-pa, namely, the 
Le-to liii-pa. 

The Sa-kya-pa Sect. 

The last great reformed sect is the Sa-skya-pa 4 or Sakya, taking 
its name from the yellow colour of the scanty soil at the site of 
its first monastery in western Tibet, founded in 1071 A.D. It 
grew into a most powerful hierarchy, and attained for. a time the 
temporal sovereignty over the greater part of Tibet before it was 
eclipsed by its Ge-lug-pa rival. 

Its founder was K'on-dkon-mch'og rgyal-po, 5 a pupil of K'ug- 
pa lha-btsas, who claimed inspiration from the celestial Bodhisat 
of wisdom, Manjusri, through the Indian sages ranging from 
Nagarjuna 6 to Vasuputra, 7 and he mixed together the "old" and 
the "new" Tantras, calling his doctrine the "new-old occult 
mystery " s of "The deep sight." 9 Its mystic insight is called 
" The fruitful path." 10 Its special gospels are Nagarjuna's Ava- 
tansaka, Vasubandhu's Paramartha. Its tutelary demon is Vajra 

1 'Bri-guh. 

2 Csoma, Gram., 185. 
'■'■ sTag-lun. 

4 Sa-skya-pa, from Sa-shya = "tawny earth." 

5 Born 1033. Details of the sect are found in its records, The Sa-skya Yig-ts'an. 

6 These are given as Candra-Kirti, Rig-pahi-K'u-p'yug, Buddha "ergons "-pala. 

7 Yab-sras. — Vasuputra seems a title of the great Indian monk Vasubandhu, the 
brother of Asanga, and the special transmitter of Nagarjuna's purer Sautrantika 
doctrines, inspired by Manjusri. 

8 gsar-nin. 

: ' zab-mo-blta — Gambhira dar§ana. 
111 //'gon-po gur. 



phurpa, for whose and other demonist worship it borrowed the 
Nin-ma books, Dorje phurpach'i ch'oga ; and from the newer 
school were taken Dem-ch'ok, Dorje-kando, Den-z'i, Maha-maha- 

ma-yab, Sarigya t'opa, and Dorje- 
dutsi. Its demoniacal Guardians 
are " the Guardian of the Tent," x 
and " The Face-Lord." 2 Its Hat 
is sa-z'u. But now except in a 
few externals it is practically un- 
distinguishable from the ^iii- 

The Sa-kya-pa has two re- 
formed sub-sects, namely, the 
Nor-pa and the Jonan-pa. 
These differ from one another 
only in founders. 

The J6-naii-po issued from the 
Sa-kya-pa in the person of Je- 
Kun-gah-dol-ch'og 3 in the be- 
ginning of the fourteenth century. To this sect belonged the 
illustrious historiographer, Lama-Taranatha. 

Taranatha, son of Nam-gyal P'iin-ts'ogs, was born in Tsang on 
the 8th day of the pig-male-tree year, corresponding to 1573 
A.D., and was called Kun-t/gah slSIyin-po, 4 or " The essence of 
happiness." He studied in the Jonang monastery, north of Sakya 
under the religious name of Taranatha, and in his forty-first year 
built himself a monastery in the neighbourhood, which he named 
rTag-6rten, and filled it with many images, books, and caityas. 
He latterly proceeded to Mongolia at the invitation of the people 
of that country, and founded there several monasteries under the 
auspices of the Chinese Emperor. He died in Mongolia, and was 
canonized under the title of "The Reverend Holiness "Je-tsun dam- 
pa. 5 And his "re-incarnate" successors are now installed with 
great magnificence as Grand Lamas at Urgya in the Kalkha 

The Lord (-fiend) Our. 

mGon-po gur. 

Who seems also to be called Dol-bu sher-rgyan. Horn 1290, and died 1353. 
SkL, Anandagarbha. Another account gives the name as yri-gcod /dorje. 
rje-^tsun dam-pa. 



province of Mongolia, to the east of Lob-Nor. Shortly after his 
death, both Urgya and his old monastery — which was renamed — 

A Sa-skya Lama. 

" P un-ts'o-lin," were forcibly converted into Ge-lug-pa institu- 
tions, by the aggressive Dalai Lama on his becoming priest-king. 
The Nor-pa 9 founded by Kun-gah Zan-po in 1427, issued from 
the Sa-kya-pa at the time of Tsoh-K'apa. Its founder discarded 
the Nih-ma element in its Tantrik system, retaining only the 
" new." It has many monasteries in eastern Tibet. 



The Kin-ma-pa Sects. 

The wholly unreformed section of the Lamas was, as we have 

seen, named Nin-ma-pa, or " the old school. It is more freely 

than any other tinged with the native Bon or pre-Buddhist 

practices ; and celibacy and abstinence are rarely practised. This 

Nin-ma Lamas. 

is the real " red-hat " sect of Lamas, and not the Dug-pa as is 
stated in European books. 

It regards the metaphysical Buddha Samanta-bhadra as its 
primordial deity or Adi-Buddha. Its mystic insight is Maha- 
utpanna (Dsog-ch'en) or "the great ultimate perfection." Its 
tutelages are " The fearful Vajra" (Vajra-"phurba") and Dub-pa- 
kah-gye. 1 Its guardian demon is " The Lord Gur" 2 It worships 

1 sGrub-pa ftkah-brgyad— the tutelary of the Guru St. Padma. 

- Gur-gon, a two-handed demon, the highest of the live " Pal^gon." 


the Gruru Padma-sambhava, the founder of Lamaism, in a variety 
of forms, both divine and demoniacal, expressive of his different 
moods at different times, and also his favourite Kashmiri teacher, 
Sri Sihba, and the Indian teacher of the latter, Grah-rab Dorje, 
who derived his inspiration from the celestial Buddha, Vajra- 
satwa, who in turn was inspired by the primordial deity, Saman- 
ta-bhadra Buddha. 

Its peculiar red cap is named after the Gruru " Urgyen-pan- 
z'u," and with these characteristics it exhibits a greater laxity 
in living than any other sect of Lamas. 

But even the Niii-ma-pa, too, has its sub-sects, based on the 
adoption of different revelations. Its chief sub-sects are the 
Dorje-tak-pa, Mindol-liii, Kar-tok-pa, and Na-dak-pa, named after 
their respective founders or parent monastery. But their differ- 
ences are very trifling. 

The Dorje-tak-pa 1 is named after the greatest of the existent 
Nin-ma monasteries, to wit, Dorje-tak, near Sam-yas. It follows 
the revelation "found" by rGrod-ldem in Zan-Zan Lha brag, 
and its chief branches seem to be at Hug-pa-gliri, Tsa-ngi Lha- 
ri zim-p'ug, and T'eg-mc'og glin. 

An offshoot of it is the Nah-dag-pa, 2 taking its name from its 
founder, Nah-dag, " the owner of dominion," and of royal lineage, 
and represented in several Sikhim monasteries. 

Scarcely inferior in extent and repute to the Dorje-tak-pa is 
the Min-dol-lih-pa, 3 also named after its chief monastery, Min- 
clol-lin. Its revelation was found by bDag-ling-pa, and its chief 
branches are at sLe-lun, P'uii-po ri-wo-ch'e. And in Sikhim 
it is represented by the large Pemiongchi monastery, which until 
a few years ago was in the habit of sending to Min-dol-lin batches 
of its young monks for instruction in the higher discipline and 

The Kar-tok-pa, 4 named after Lama Kar-tok, " The under- 
stander of the precepts," adopt the revelation of kLon-ch'en 
Kab-A/byuh found in the lake of sCfra-mdah. Its chief monas- 
teries are at Byan-ch'ub-glifi and sDe-dge (" Der-ge ") in the 
extreme east of Tibet, and the seat of a large printing establish- 
ment and township famous for its inlaid metal work. 

1 rdo-rje-brag-pa. - /«.Xali-6dag-pa. 3 *Min-^/rol Glin. 4 bK&h-rlog-pa,. 


Lho-brag-lha-lun-pa follow the revelation of Padma-lih-pa like 
the Di-kung-pa sub-sect of the Kar-gyu-pa. 

The Lha-t sun-pa, named after the "founder of Sikhirn Lamaism, 
adopt the revelation of 'Jah-ts'on-pa, found in Kong-bu, named 
the La-t'6-lih-pa. 

The Z'i-jed-pa. 
The Z'i-jed-pa (" the mild doer"), or passionless Ascetic, is a 
homeless mendicant of the Yogi class, and belonging to no sect 
in particular, though having most affinity with the Kar-gyu-pa. 
They are now almost extinct, and all are regarded as saints, who in 
their next birth must certainly attain Nirvana. They carry thigh- 
bone trumpets, skull-drums, etc., and in the preparation of these 
instruments from human bones, they are required to eat a morsel 
of the bone or a shred of the corpse's skin. The founder of the order 
was P'a-dam-pa Sans-rgyas ( ? Jnanaka- or Pita-Buddha), born at 
Jara Sin(d)ha, in India, his father being named brTson-'grus-go- 
ch'a and his mother Rasha. He visited Tibet, via Kashmir and 
Na-ri, about the beginning of the twelfth century A.D., his final 
visit being in 1112 a.d. As this order is highly esteemed in 
Tibet, I subjoin some details of its chief saints. 1 

Summary of Sects. 

It will thus be seen that Lamaist sects seem to have arisen 
in Tibet, for the first time, in the latter part of the eleventh 
century a.d., in what may be called the Lamaist Reformation, 
about three centuries after the foundation of Lamaism itself. 

They arose in revolt against the depraved Lamaism then pre- 
valent, which was little else than a priestly mixture of demonolatry 

1 In Tibet P'a-dam-pa taught his doctrines to Zhan-zkun-glin-Hawa and bSn po k'ra- 
ch'un-bruh. Meeting vMan gra-Serpo, of Yar-kluns, he accompanied him to Tsang, 
where he gave instruction to Lama sKyo-bstid-nam, who succeeded him. 

The second successor was the hermit rMa-sgom, born at Yar-stod-skyer-snar, in 
1054 a.d., and forming the cMa order. His pupil was So-ch'un-pa, a dwarf. 

The Yogini Ma-gci'g-lab-sgron, born at the southern Ph'a-druk, in 1054 a.d., was 
the devoted pupil of rMa. 

s/fam, another great z'i-jed-pa, was a pupil of dge-s'es-gra-pa, and suffering injury 
from a sa-r/don demon, he burned its effigy. The demon afflicted him with dropsy 
and leprosy ; but by his zhi-c]ed rites he recovered. He died 1119 a.d. 

Z'an-dgah-ldan, also a pupil of rMa, was born at Yar-stod-gtsan-z'al, in the tribe 
nt /,/I'sliims zan. His pupils were gftal-ston-dyah ch'un-'bor, sKyog-sgom bsam-tan, 
K'u-sgoni jo-dgah, rUya-dar-sen, aud Ch'us-pa-dar brtson. 



and witchcraft. Abandoning the grosser charlatanism, the new 
sects returned to celibacy and many of the purer Mahayana rules. 

In the four centuries succeeding the Keformation, various 
sub-sects formed, mostly as relapses towards the old familiar 

And since the fifteenth century A.D., the several sects and sub- 
sects, while rigidly preserving their identity and exclusiveness, 
have drifted clown towards a common level where the sectarian 
distinctions tend to become almost nominal. 

Bat neither in the essentials of Lamaism itself, nor in its sec- 
tarian aspects do the truly Buddhist doctrines, as taught by Sakya 
Muni, play a leading part. 

Sash of Carved Human Bones 
worn by Lamas in Necromancy. 
{Reduced §, see also figure, p. 18.) 




S Buddhism is a highly philosophical religion, and 
Lamaism, though deeply tinged with non-Buddhist 
beliefs, still retains much of the loftier philosophy 
and doctrines of Primitive Buddhism and its earlier 
developments, we must, in considering the metaphysical basis of 
the Lamaist doctrine, glance at the metaphysics of Buddha him- 
self, as well as that of the Mahayana and the later "develop- 
ments." And as Buddha's philosophy is based upon his working 
theory of the Universe, our subject will fall conveniently under 
the heads of (a) Buddha's Theory of the Universe, 1 (b) his Meta- 
physics, and (c) the Metaphysics of the Lamas. 

However inconsistent materialism and theistic theories may 
appear, with a system avowedly idealistic and practically atheistic, 
it certainly seems that Buddha, himself a Hindu and a teacher 
of Hindus, did adopt the Hindu mythology and cosmic notions 
current in his day, with slight modifications, which were directed 
merely towards depriving the gods of their creative functions 
and rendering them finite and subject to death and the general 
law of metempsychosis. 2 

divinities, and the earliest of all authentic Buddhist records 
extant, namely, the Asoka edict pillars of the third century B.C., 
show a model Buddhist delighting in calling himself "the beloved 
of the Gods"; and in the Barhut Stupa of the second century B.C. 

i General mythology forms'a special chapter (x\\), but it is necessary at this stage 
to sketch the mythology which bears directly upon the doctrinal developments. 

'-' Even in Brahmanic mythology the hosts of the gods, including India, the greatest 
god in Vedic times, are subject to the universal law of dissolution at the end of a 
Kalpa, or cycle of time, when the Triad god-head A.IJ.M. becomes simple soul 


the gods and genii are represented with functions identical with 
those now allotted to them in the latter-day Buddhism of both 
Burma and Tibet, where, as in the orthodox scriptures of both 
schools, the gods receive more or less worship on account of the 
power which they are believed to possess of bestowing temporal 
blessings. And the coming Buddha is believed by all Buddhists 
to be even now resident in the Tushita heavens of the gods. 

So intimately have these mythological figures been woven into 
the texture of Buddism, and especially of Lamaism, which peoples 
the world with gorgons and hydras and other dire chimeras, that 
without having gained a general idea of their nature and position, 
it is impossible to understand the allusions to them which con- 
stantly crop out in Buddhist rites and dogma. And, indeed, many 
of these fantastic beliefs with their deified heroes and Nature- 
worship are in reality petrified survivals of the archaic beliefs of 
our Indo-Germanic ancestors. 

Buddhist Theory of the Universe. 

In sketching the Buddhist world-system, with its " antres vast 
and deserts idle," existing mostly on the map of the imagination, 
it is deemed advisable, in order to avoid needless repetition, to give 
at once the Lamaist version, even though this is slightly more 
" developed " than the cosmogony of Buddha's day ; although it 
cannot be very different after all, for the Lamaist accounts of it 
are in close keeping with the Barhut lithic remains, and almost 
identical with the versions found among the Ceylonese and other 
Buddhists of the south, and the Chinese and Japanese Buddhists. 1 

This, our human, world is only one of a series (the others being 
fabulous) which together form a universe or chiliocosm, 2 of which 
there are many. 

Each universe, set in unfathomable space, rests upon a warp and 
woof of " blue air "or wind, liked crossed thunderbolts (vajra), 
hard and imperishable as diamonds (vajra?), upon which is set 
" the body of the waters," upon which is a foundation of gold, on 
which is set the earth, from the axis of which towers up the great 

1 Cf. also Gioegi, whose figure is attached ; and summary by Burnouf, ii., 599. 

2 Skt., Sarva-loka-dhatu. 


Olympus— Mt. Meru * (Su-meru, Tib., Ri-rab) 84,000 miles a high, 
surmounted by the heavens, and overlying the hills. 

In the ocean around this central mountain, the axis of the uni- 
verse, are set (see figures) the four great continental worlds with 
their satellites, all with bases of solid gold in the form of a tortoise 
— as this is a familiar instance to the Hindi! mind of a solid floating 
on the waters. And the continents are separated from Mt. Meru 
by seven concentric rings of golden mountains, the inmost being 
40,000 miles high, 3 and named " The Yoke " (Yugandara), 1 alter- 
nating with seven oceans, of fragrant milk, 5 curds, butter, blood or 
sugar-cane juice, poison or wine, fresh water and salt water. These 
oceans diminish in width and depth from within outwards from 
20,000 to 625 miles, and in the outer ocean lie the so-called con- 
tinental worlds. And the whole system is girdled externally by a 
double iron-wall (Cakravdla) 312^ miles high and 3,602,625 
miles in circumference, — for the oriental mythologist is nothing if 
not precise. This wall shuts out the light of the sun and moon, 
whose orbit is the summit of the inmost ring of mountains, along 
which the sun, composed of "glazed fire" enshrined in a crystal 
palace, is driven in a chariot with ten (seven) horses ; and the moon, 
of " glazed water," in a silver shrine drawn by seven horses, and 
between these two hang«the jewelled umbrella of royalty and the 
banner of victory, as shown in the figure. And inhabiting the air, 
on a level with these, are the eight angelic or fairy mothers. 
Outside the investing wall of the universe all is void and in per- 
petual darkness until another universe is reached. 

1 Its prototype, as with the Greek Olympus, is terrestrial, namely, Mt. Kailas, 
22,000ft., directly north of Lake Manasarovara in the Himalayas (cf. Markham. xxiv.). 

^ The 84,001) is a mathematical figure expressing multitude. The Tibetan measure 
is a " dpag-tshad," which, according to Csoma (Diet.), equals 4,000 fathoms, ami hence 
a geographical mile, but it is used as the equivalent of the Indian unit of measure 
which is translated in the Ceylonese scriptures as a Yojana, i.e., a unit of about 4 kos, 
about five or six geographical miles. 

:! These mountains are severally named the Ox Yoke-holder, Plough-holder, Sandal- 
holder, Tleasing Mount, Horse-ear Hill, Demon or Assembly Mount, and Circle or 

4 The names of the others are Isadara, Karavika. Sudarsana, Asvakarna, Yinayaka. 
and Nemindhara. 

5 This ocean of milk was churned by the Brahmanical gods for the recovery of theii; 
elixir vita' and the thirteen precious objects. And tin- churning produced the beauti- 
ful goddess LakshmL— Compare with Aphrodite from the froth of the ocean, and the 
proverbial beauty of the Naga water nymphs— the Hindu mermaids. 

■^ ~ "H] '-'%ir '^:i^!t^V| r^iskJ 1 ' '" - v ■ ^.Z 



Of the four "continents" all excepl " Jambudvipa ,,] are 
fabulous. They are placed exactly one in each of the four 

directions, and each has a 
smaller satellite on either side, 
thus bringing the total up to 
twelve. And the shapes given 
to these continents, namely, 
crescentic, triangular, round, 
and square, are evidently sym- 
bolic of the four element-. 

These continents, shown in 
the annexed figure, are thus 
described: — 

On the Ens/ is Videha* or " vast 
body " (P). This is shaped like 
the crescent moon, and is white 
in colour. It is 9,000 miles in 
diameter, and the inhabitants are 
described as tranquil and mild, and of excellent conduct, and with 
Faces of same shape as this continent, i.e., crescentic like the moon. 

( >n the South is Jamudvlp* ( F), or our own world, and it- cenl re is I he 
Bodhi-tree at Budh Gaya. It is shaped like the shoulder-blade of a 
sheep, this idea being evidently suggested by the shape of the Indian 

peninsula which was the prototy] I Jambudvipa, as Mi. ECailas in 

the Himalayas and N.E. of [ndia was thai of Bit. fiieru. It is blue 
in colour; audit is the smallest of all. being only 7. mm miles in 
diameter. Here abound riches and sin as well as virtue. The in- 
habitants have face- of similar shape to that of their continent, ''.-.. 
simiew hat triangular. 

On the West is Qodhanya' or " wealth of oxen " (I), which in shape is 
like the sun and red in colour. It is 8,000 miles in diameter. It- 
inhabitants are extremely powerful, and (as the nana' literally means. 
cow + ox + action) the) are believed to be specially addicted to eating 
cattle, and their faces are round like the sun. 

On the North is Uttotra-Kuruf or "northern Kuru " 1 1 ibe (M), of 
square shape and green in colour, and the largesl of all the continents, 

A Faiby. 8 

' T., Jambu-lin. 

/ ■' /«/./.-• . 

i Pander. 
* Some Lamas thai this name is derived from the Jambu tree (Bugtma 
Jambolant), while others believe that the name i- onomatopoetic for the Bound 
"Jamb," emitted when the world \\.i- thrown by tin- ■;■•■!- into the outer ocean. 
■• ba-glan Bpyod. 


being 10,000 miles in diameter. Its inhabitants are extremely fierce 
and noisy. They have square faces like horses ; and live on trees, 
which supply all their wants. They become tree-spirits on their death ; 
and these trees afterwards emit "had sounds " (this is evidently, like 
many of the other legends, due to a puerile and false interpretation of 
the etymology of the word). 

The satellite continents resemble their parent one in shape, and each 
is half its size. The left satellite of Jambudvlp, namely, "The ox- 
tail-whisk continent," is the fabulous country of the Kakshas, to which 
PadmaHSambhava is believed to have gone and to be still reigning there. 
And each of the latter presents towards Mount Meru one of the follow- 
ing divine objects respectively, 1 viz., on the east (? south) the mountain 
of jewels, named Amo-likha, shaped like an elephant's head, 3 and on 
the south, the wish-granting tree, 8 on the west the wish-granting 
cow, 1 and on the north the self-sprung crops. 

In the very centre of this cosmic system stands ''The king of 
mountains," Mount Meru, towering erect " like the handle of a 
mill-stone," while half-way up its side is the great wishing tree," 
the prototype of our " Christmas tree," and the object of conten- 
tion between ihe gods and the Titans. Meru has square sides of 
gold and jewels. Its eastern face is crystal (or silver), the south 
is sapphire or la/pis lazuli ( vaidurya ) stone, the west is ruby 
(padmaraga), and the north is gold, and it is clothed with 
fragrant flowers and shrubs. It has four lower compartments 
before the heavens are reached. The lowest of these is inhabited 
by the Yaksha genii — holding wooden plates. Above this is " the 
region of the wreath-holders" (Skt., Srag-dhard), which seems 
to be a title of the bird-like, or angelic winged Garudas. Above 
this dwell the "eternally exalted ones,*' 7 above whom are the 

The Titans. 

The Titans [Aswra s ) or "ungodly spirit.-." 

These are pictured in the " Wheel of Life " (at page 108), in the upper 
right section. Their leading trait is pride, and thi> is the world of re- 

1 Tins.', according to other accounts, arc situate on the Banks of Meru itself. 

-' The Yama rocks are on the south. ; ' Tib., Fond-'dus-sa-gtol. 

■i 'dod-'zo-i-ba. 

s ma-smos-pi lo-t'og. 

6 The Ri-wo fia-s'in. 

i rtag myos, here the rta may represent "horse"— the horse-headed musicians. 

- T., Lha-ma-yin. 


birth for those who, during their human career, have boasted of being 
more pious than their neighbours. The Titans were originally gods ; 
but, through their pride, they were, like Satan, expelled from heaven; 
hence their name, which means " not a god." ' And their position at 
the base of the Mount M.eru is intermediate between heaven and 

The duration of their life is infinitely greater than the human, and 
they have great luxury and enjoyment; but in pride they envy the 
greater bliss of the gods, and die prematurely, fighting vainly against 
the gods for the fruits of the heavenly tree and the divine nectar. 

Their region is represented in the picture, of an almost colourless 
atmosphere. They live in fortified houses. The ground, both inside 
and outside the fort, is carpeted with flowers of which the inhabitants, 
male and female, make the wreaths and garlands which they wear. 
They are dressed in silk ; and when the heroes are not engaged in 
fighting they spend their time in all sorts of gaiety with their wives. 
In the right-hand corner is shown their birth from a lotus-flower 
and their obtaining a wish-granting tree and cow. The rest of the 
picture is devoted to their misery, which consists in their hopeless 
struggle and fatal conflict with the gods. The commander of the forces 
is seen in conclave with his leaders, 2 horses are being saddled and the 
" heroes " are arming themselves with coats of mail and weapons. 
Another scene shows the battle raging along the border separating 
their county from heaven, and the general mounted with his staff as 
spectators in the background. The warriors of the first line are all 
killed or horribly mangled by the thunderbolts and adamantine weapons 
hurled at them by the gods. One of the weapons possessed alike by 
gods and Titans is a spiked disc. 

The ultimate fate of every Titan is to die painfully warring against 
the gods with whom they are in constant conflict, and they have no ac- 
cess to the ambrosia with which a wounded god obtains instant recovery. 
Another scene (see picture on page 102) depicts the womenfolk gathered 
round " The Reflecting Lake of Perfect Clearness " after the departure 
of their lords to the battle. In this lake are mirrored forth all the 
doings and ultimate fate of their absent spouses, and there is also shown 
the region of re-birth of themselves, which is nearly always hell, owing 
to the passionate life which they lead in the Asura world. And while 
their lovers die painful and passionate deaths, the misery of the woman- 
folk of this world is to look into this fascinating lake and experience 
the horror of such hideous spectacles. In the picture some women are 
shown peering into the lake, and others on the banks are giving vent 
to their ^rief. 

i Analogous to this is the common colloquial term mi-ma-yin or "not a man 
applied to those who lead vicious and dissolute lives. 
2 Note that greatness of rank is shown in pictures by enlarged bodily dimensions. 



The Heavens and the Gods. 
Above the region of the Titans, at a distance of 168,000 miles, 
are the bright realms of the gods. In the lowest compartment 

of the heavens are the four " great guardian kings of the 
quarters" (Tib.,rgyal-c'en de-z'i ; Skt., Cdtur-Mahdrdja), namely:— 

G 2 


1. Dhritardshtra (Yul-k'or-sruii '), the white guardian of the 
east, and king of the Gandharvas 2 (see figure over page). 

2. Virudhaka (P'ag-kye-po 3 ), the green 4 guardian of the south, 
and king of the K'umbhandas 5 (see figure page 330). 

3. Virupdksha (Ja-mi-zan 6 ), the red guardian of the west and 
king of the Nagas 7 (see figure page 289). 

4. Vaisravana (Nam-t'6-sra 8 ), the yellow guardian of the north 
and king of the Yakshas. 9 He is an especial favourite, as he is also, 
in another aspect, the god of Riches (see figure on page 370). 
Indeed, it would seem that all of the gods, even Indra (Jupiter) 
himself, were originally considered to be Yaksha genii. 

The subjects of these kings are members of the eight great 
classes of supernatural beings. 10 

These great celestial kings guard the heavens from the attacks 
of the outer demons; and have to be distinguished from a more 
extended category of guardian gods, the ten Lohpals who guard 
the world from its ten directions ; namely, Indra on the east, Agni 
(the fire-god) on the south-east, Yama (the death-god) on the south, 
Rakshas (? Sura) on the south-west, Varuna (the water-god) on 
the west, Vayu (the wind-god) on the north-west, Yakshas on 
the north, Soma (the moon) on the north-east, Brfihma, above; 
Bhupati, below. 

The Buddhists divide every universe into three regions, in imita- 
tion, apparently, of the Brahmanic Bhavanatraya, substituting 
for the physical categories (Bhu earth, Bhuva heaven, and Svar 
space) of the Brahmans, the ethical categories of Desire {Kama), 
Form Rupa and Formlessness (Arupa), which collectively are 
known as " The Three Regions " (Trailokya n ), and mostly placed 
in heaven. They are : — 

I. The region of Desire, Kdmadhdtu (Tib., Dod-pahi K'ams), 
is the lowest of the three, and comprises the six Beva- 
lohas (Tib., Lha-Yul) or heavens of the gods, as well as 
the enrth. 

i yul-'k'or bsrun. 6 spyan mig-bzah. 

2 Dri-za " the Small-eaters." 7 *Lu. 

s 'p'ags skyes-pa, 8 rnamt 'os sras. 

4 Sometimes the colours of the North and Sl ^Nod-sbyin or " the injurers." 

South Guardians are transposed. Ul See chapter on Mythology. 

3 Grul-bum. ' L " K'ams gsum." 


II. The region of Form, Rdpadhdtu (Tib., grZugs kyi k'ams) 
is in the purer heavens of Brahma where form is free 
from sensuality. It comprises the sixteen Brahmalokas ; 
which are divided into four regions of contemplation 
III. The region of Formlessness, Ardpadhdtu (Tib., gZugs 
med-pahi k'ams) comprises the four highest of the 
Brahma heavens and near to Nirvana. 
The heavens are thus diagrammatically shown in the form of the 
funereal monument or eaitya; though in other pictures, as in 
the foregoing chart of the universe, they form an inverted 
pyramid, increasing in size from below upwards. 

The celestial Buddhas therein shown are, it is needless to say, 
additions of later days. 1 

Diagram of 
The Heavens of the Buddhists. 

The Six Devalokas are in series from below upwards : — 

1. Cdtur-mcdidrajal-aijikas. — The abode of the four guardian kings 
of the quarters, already mentioned. 

2. Trayastrinsds (Tib., Sum-cu tsa sum) or " The 33 " Vedic gods with 
Indra or Sakra (Jupiter) or the Yaksha spirit Vajrapaui as chief. 

1 Compare with Mr. Hodgsox's account {Lang, and Lit., p. 43) of the heavens 
according to the Nepalese Buddhists. 


This heaven is the svarya of Brahnianisrn, and is shown in the upper 
compartment of the Wheel of Life. 

3. Yama, the Hindu Pluto, the king and judge of the dead. 

4. Tushita. (Tib., dGah Man) or "Joyful place" — the paradise of the 
Bodhisats prior to their final descent to the human world as Buddhas. 
Maitreya, the coming Buddha, dwells at present in this heaven. 

5. Nirmanarati (Tib., 'p'rul c/gah). 

6. Faranirmita Vasavartin (Tib., grz'an 'p'rul dbaix byed) — the 
highest of the heavens of the gods and the abode of Mara. 

The Bralimaloka worlds are subject to the God Brahma, and exist- 
ence ranges from intellectual tranquillity to unconsciousness. These 
worlds of meditation (dhyana) are accounted eighteen in number, and 
arranged in five groups (3, 3, 3, 2, and 5) corresponding to the five-fold 
division of Brahma's world, and are usually named from below upwards 
as follows : (1) Brahma parsaclya, (2) Brahma purohita, (3) Maha 
Brahmana, (4) Paritabha, (5) Apramana, (6) Abhasvara, (7) Parita- 
subha, (8) Apramanasubha, (9) Subhakrishna, (10) Utpala, (11) Asa- 
hasatya, (12) Avriha or Vrihatpala, (13) Atapa, (14) Sudasa, (15) 
Sudasi, (16) Punyaprasava, (17) Anabhraka, (18) Akanishtba (Tib., 
Og-min) or " The Highest " — the abode of the Primordial Buddha-God, 
the Adi-Buddha of the Lamas, viz., Samantabhadra (T., Kuntu-zanpo). 
This last, together with the next subjacent Bralimaloka, are according 
to the Lamaists eternal, and are placed above the Arupa Brahmalokas. 

The Four Arupa Brahmalokas are 1. Akasanantayatana, 2. Vijhanan- 
tayatana, 3. Akincahayatana, 4. Naivasanjnana Sahjhayatana. 

The duration of existence in each of those states is for vastly 
increasing periods from below upwards, till beyond the sixteenth 
immortality itself is reached; and according to some of the later 
Buddhists, each Bodhisat must traverse each of these stages (Bhum) 
before he attains Buddhahood. 

The typical heaven of the gods — Indra's paradise — is pictured 
in the Wheel of Life at page 108. Its atmosphere is yellow, 
and in it are portrayed the four states of godly birth, bliss, pas- 
sion and misery and death. 

Godly Birth. The god is born at once fully developed within a halo 
of glory from a lotus-flower, — the oriental symbol of immaterial birth 
and is provided with the special attributes of a god,— viz., (1) a lotus- 
footstool, (2) splendid dress and ornaments, (3) goddess-companions, 1 
(4) a wish-granting tree, or pag-sam-shin (Skt., Kalpadaru) ~ which in- 
stantly yields any fruit or food wished for, and bends to the hand of 
the gatherer, its leaves yielding luscious food, its juice nectar, and its 

i Apsaras, celestial nymphs — the "houris" awarded to heroes. 

2 The wish-grauting tree of Indra's heaven is described in the 45th Section of the 
S'ilpa S'dstra. 



fruit jewels, (5) a wish-granting cow (Kdma-dhenu or Surabha 1 ) which 
yields any drink wished for, (6) self-sprung crops (usually painted as 
Indian corn or maize), (7) in a golden stall a jewelled horse-of-fore- 
knowledge which Pegasus-like carries his rider wherever wished, through- 
out the worlds of the past, present, and future, (8) a lake of perfumed 
nectar or ambrosia (Skt., Amrita) which is the elixir vitce and the source 
of the divine lustre. 2 Shining is a peculiarly divine attribute, and the 

Heavenly Birth. 

etymology of the word "divinity," is the root Div, "to shine," the parent 
of the Skt. Deva and Latin Deus. 

Godly Bliss. The bliss of the gods is depicted by an assembly of be- 
jewelled gods and goddesses basking in sensuous enjoyment in splendid 
palaces in the midst of a charming garden enamelled with flowers, of 
which they make their wreaths. Gay birds warble in the foliage, and 
noble animals peacefully roam together there. Amongst the cpiadrupeds 
are deer, lions, and elephants with jewelled heads. Amongst the birds 
are the peacock, parrot, cuckoo, and the " Kccla-inn/cd," which repeats the 

mystic ' Om mani padme, Hi 

for the language of the gods is the 

Images of these are sold in the Indian bazaars as toys for children. Compare this 
myth of the wishing-cow with the parallels related by Professor Weber in Sitzwujsbe- 
richte der hcenig Preuss., Acad, zu Berlin., xxvii., 1890. 
2 The cup-bearer is Dhanwantari, the Indian Ganymede. 


Deva-nagari or sacred language of India. One of the blissful conditions 
of godly life especially dwelt upon, is that the most dainty morsels may 
be eaten without sense of repletion, the last morsel being as much 
relished as the first. 

In the centre of this paradise is the great city of Kelle-vue 
(Sudarsana), within which is the celestial palace of Vaijayanta 
(Amaravati) the residence of Indra (Jupiter), the king of the 
gods. It is invested by a wall and pierced by four gates, which 
are guarded by the four divine kings of the quarters. It is a 
three-storied building ; Indra occupying the basement, BrFihma 
the middle, and the indigenous Tibetan war-god — the dGra-lha 
— as a gross form of Mara, the god of Desire, the uppermost 
story. This curious perversion of the old Buddhist order of the 
heavens is typical of the more sordid devil-worship of the Lamas 
who, as victory was the chief object of the Tibetans, elevated 
the war-god to the highest rank in their pantheon, as did the 
Vikings with Odin where Thor, the thunder-god, had reigned 
supreme. The passionate war-god of the Tibetans is held to be 
superior even to the divinely meditative state of the Brahma. 

War with the Titans. The gods wage war with the Titans, 
who, as we have seen, are constantly trying to seize some of 
the precious fruit of the great Yoii-du sa-tol (Skt., Pdrijdta 1 ) 
tree, or " tree of the concentrated essence of earth's products," 
whose branches are in heaven, but whose roots are in their 
country. The climber which encircles this tree is called the 
Jambuti tree, and is the medium by which the quintessence 
of the most rare delicacies of JambudvTp are instilled into the 
Larger lice And the war-god directs the divine army. 

To account for the high position thus given to the war-god, it is 
related that he owes it to the signal assistance rendered by him 
to the gods in opposing the Asuras.- 

The misery of the gods. The god enjoys bliss for almost incal- 
culable time ; but when his merit is exhausted then his lake of 

1 [dentified with the beautiful Indian Coral Tree I Erythrina I^i:,,, ,. 

2 It is related in former times the gods were defeated by the Asurasin fighting 
fur the fruits of the greal wishing-tree of Paradise; and the defeated ^"ds under 
hell-. i besoughi £Sah-bahi-(dag-po for council. This divinity advised the gods to 
call to their aid the war-god dQra-lha, and also t<> obtain from .the depths of the 
central ocean the invisible armour and the nine self-created weapons, viz. : — (1) 
rMog~bya khyung-keng~riix, a helmet of the skeleton bones of the Garuda bird; (2) 
Kkrab-fii-shar~lto-rgyab, the coal of mail shining like the Bun; (3) U^-klubi-nlorje- 


nectar dries up ; his wish-granting tree, cow and horse die ; his 
splendid dress and ornaments grow dim and disappear ; his palace 
gets dilapidated; his flowers and garden fade; his body, no longer 
bathed by nectar, loses its lustre and sweats like mortals, so that 
his person becomes loathsome to his goddess-companions and the 
other gods, who shun him, and so the poor god dies miserably. 1 If 
he has led a virtuous life during his existence as a god then he may 
be re-born in heaven, otherwise he goes to a lower region and may 
even be sent to hell. Buddha was born twenty times as the 
god Sakra or Indra (Jupiter) and four times as Brahma. 2 

The Buddhist Hell. 
The antithesis to heaven is hell, which with its awful lessons 
looms large on the horizon of the Buddhists. For according to 
their ethical doctrine of retribution, and in the case of the more 
theistic developments, their conception of God as the supreme 
type of right-doing, they picture him like a human judge trying 
and punishing the evil-doers; 3 although, with truly Buddhist 
idealism, these tortures are believed by the more philosophical 
Lamas to be morbid creations of the individual's own ideas, a sort 
of hellish nightmare. The majority of the Lamas, however, and 

(jo-c'a, necklet; (4) Lak-hay-mCsOn-c'd-lam-lok, a weapon resisting and returning 
glove; (5) sNin-khebs-mdah-mts , 8n-kun thub, a breast-plate entirely able to with- 
stand arrows and other weapons; (6) Pus-khcbs-ms-pa-skyobs-c'ed, a knee-cap which 
defends against destruction; (7) Phulm-sba-dmar-gling-drug, a six-embossed shield 
The nine sorts of weapons are:— (1) a 'K'or/o or spiked-disc which completely 
routes the enemy; (2) a dGra-sta or an axe which chops the enemy; (3) a ral-gri 
or sword which slices the enemy; (4) a ,/Zhu or bow which scatters' the brains of 
the enemy; (5) a "mZ>«A" or arrow that pierces the vitals; (6) a Zhagsna or 
noose which ensnares the enemy; (7) a mlJung or spear which pierces the hearts 
of the foe ; ( 8 ) a Vr-rdo, a Avhirring sling-stone that produces the " ur-r-r " 
sound of a thunder-dragon; and (9) a Dorje or thunder-bolt which demolishes 
the enemy. The story seems founded on the Brahmanical legend of Indra 
(Jupiter) obtaining from the sea the talismanic banner which conferred victory 
over his enemies ; cf. Brihai Sanhita, translated by Dr. Kerx, J.R.A.S., vi., p. 44. 

The gods having obtained these weapons and armour, invited the war-god, who 
came enveloped in thunder-clouds and attended by his nine sons, and receiving 
worship from Indra and the other gods as the price of his assistance, they assailed 
and utterly routed the Titans. 

1 Compare Hahdy, Man, 143. 

- K.D. Buddhist Birth Stvries Ci. 

3 Cf. Maine's works on Early Law. 


the laity, believe in the real material character of these hells and 
their torture. 

The Buddhist hell (Naraka 1 ) is a true inferno situated in the 
bowels of the human earth like Hades, and presided over by the 
Indian Pluto, Yama, the king and judge of the dead, who 
however is himself finite and periodically tortured. Every day 
he is forced to swallow molten metal. So, as the shade of Achilles 
says, " it is better to live on earth as the poorest peasant than to 
rule as a prince of the dead." 2 

The Great Judgment is determined solely by the person's own 
deeds, and it is concretely pictured by the ordeal of scales, where 
the good deeds, as white pebbles, are weighed against the sins, as 
black counters, in balances, and the judge holds a mirror which 
reveals the soul in all its nakedness. " Not in the heavens, not in 
the midst of the sea, not if thou hidest thyself in the clefts of the 
mountains wilt thou find a place where thou canst escape the force 
resulting from thy evil actions." 3 " Through the six states of 
transmigration does the power of our actions lead us. A life in 
heaven awaits the good. The warders of hell drag the wicked 
before the king of hell, Yama, who says to them : — 

" ' Did you not when on earth see the five divine messengers sent to 
warn you — the child, the old man, the sick, the criminal Buffering 
punishment, and the dead corpse 1 ' And the wicked man answers — 
' I did see them.' 

" ' And didst thou not think within thyself : " I also am subject to 
birth, old age, and death. Let me be careful to do good works " ? ' And 
the wicked man answers : ' 1 did not, sire ; I neglected in my folly to 
think of these things.' 

" Then the king, Yama, pronounces his doom : ' These thy evil deeds 
are not the work of thy mother, father, relatives, friends, advisers. 
Thou alone hast done them all ; thou alone must gather the fruit.' 
And the warders of hell drag him to the place of torment, rivet him to 
red hot iron, plunge him in glowing seas of blood, torture him on 
burning coals, and he dies not till the last residue of his guilt has been 
expiated."' 1 

Nor is hell a complete expiation of offences, for Buddha is 

credited with saving, "A harsh word uttered in past lime- i- 
not lost, but returns again," and the Jataka tales are full of 
incidenl s in illn.-t rat ion. 

1 dmyal-k'ams, or "the region of torment." Compare with Chinese version ii 
Bi m 's Oatena, p. 56, se<j. - Odyssey, x '-> 4 $1. 

8 Dhammarpada, 127. ' Deva-dutta-ruita, transl, bj ll. I >l di m.i.i,... 





Hell is divided into numerous compartments, each with a 
special sort of torture devised to suit the sins to be expiated. 
Only eight hells are mentioned in the older Buddhist books, but 
the Lamas and other '* northern " Buddhists describe and figure 
eight hot and eight cold hells and also an outer hell (Pratyeka 
naraka), through which all those escaping from hell must pass 
without a guide. The Brahmanical hells are multiples of seven 
instead of eight ; some of them bear the same names as the 
Buddhists, but they are not systematically arranged, and as the 
extant lists date no earlier than Manu, about 400 a.d., they 
are probably in great part borrowed from the Buddhists. 1 

The foregoing figure 2 shows the 
Lamaist hells, but they are seen 
in greater detail in " The Wheel of 
Life," at page 109. 

At the entrance to the great hell 
on the bank of the Hindu Styx — the 
Baitarani 8 or "three path" river — 
sits, according to one version, an old 
hag, a sort of Prosperine, who strips 
off the clothes from the new arrivals, 
and hangs them on a tree behind 
her. 4 She is 1(50 feet in stature, with 
eyes like burning wheels, and she 
despatches the condemned souls along 
/'// /// W/" their respective roads in accordance 

lllJSi--?^/// //, / with the judgment, but sometimes 
she delays them with endless tasks 
of heaping up stones on the banks of 
Styx, and so prolongs their agony, 
tiers, one upon another, beginning at a 

The Bui 

(T Pbosperine. 

The hot hells stand in 
depth of 11,9()() miles below the surface of the earth, and reach 
to a depth of 40,000 miles; each hell has four gates, outside 
each of which are four owife-hells, thus making altogether 136 hot 

1 See an article by M. Leon Feer, "L'Enfer indien," in the Journal Asiatiqut 
8 1 1 1892), and i. I New Series l v '.>:;>, for lists and description ol the Brahmanist hells. 
a For the tracing of w bich I am indebted to Mr. J. C. White. 
;i ="The Bedent queen." 
' Her picture is given from the Japani 



The atmosphere of the hells is of the deepest black : 

" Light was absent all. Bellowing there groan 'd 
A noise, as of a sea in tempest torn 
J>y warring winds, the stormy blast of hell." 

Dante, Canto v., 29. 

Each hell is enveloped by a wall of fire, and the horrible tor- 
ments are fit to illustrate Dante's Inferno. Indeed, it has been 

suggested that Dante 
must have seen a 
Buddhist picture of 
these hells before 
writing his famous 
classic, so remark- 
able is the agree- 
ment between 
them. The lk-tors 
(s'in-je) are sav- 
age flame-en- 
veloped monsters 
with heads of 
Hot Hell No. 1. various animals, 

and all their pin- 
cers, and other instruments of torture, are red-hot. 
The following are the eight great hot hells. 

1. Savjlva l = "agaih revived." Here the wretches are cut and torn 
to pieces and then re-united and revived only to suffer the same process 
repeated ad infinitum throughout the period spent in this hell. 

' ' Because our wounds heal ever and anon 
Ere we appear before the fiend again." 

Dante, Canto xxviii., 36. 

This restoration of the body, in order to subject it to fresh torture, 
is an essential part of the process in all the hells. The body when 
thoroughly mangled is restored and the racking torture applied afresh, 
so that the agony never ceases. This is the special hell for suicides' 
murderers, ignorant physicians who killed their patients, fraudulent 
trustees, and tyrants. 

2. Kalasutra * = " black lines." Here the victims are nailed down and 
eight or sixteen black lines drawn by the lictors along the body, which 
is then sawn asunder along these lines by a burning hot saw. Another 


2 fig-nag. 



punishment here is the especial one of the slanderer, or busy-body, who 
has his or her tongue enlarged and pegged out and constantly harrowed 
by spikes ploughing through it. To this hell are assigned those who 
during life were disrespectful to their parents, or to Buddha, or the 

3. Samghdta, ' = " concentrated oppression." Here the guilty are 

KIIoTillKI.T, NO. 3. 

squeezed and crushed between animal-headed mountains, or monster 
iron books. This last is an especial punishment for monks, laymen and 
infidels who have disregarded or profaned the scriptures, and also for 
priests who have taken money for masses which they have not performed. 
Others here are pounded in iron mortars and beaten on anvils. Here 
are tortured thieves, those who indulged in hatred, envy, passion, the 
users of light weights and measures, and those who cast refuse or dead 
animals on the public roads. 

4. Eaurava, 2 = " weeping and screaming." The torture here is to have 
molten iron poured down the throat. Thosewho were prisoners, obstructed 
watercourses, or grumbled against the weather (? clearly the English 
hell ! ), or wasted food, are here tortured. 

ilus 'joms. 


5. Mahdraurava, 1 = " greater weeping and screaming." Here they are 
cooked in seething cauldrons of molten iron. This is the hell for 

6. Tdpana* = " heat." The condemned is enclosed in a red-hot fiery 
chamber. In this hell are punished those who roasted or baked animals 
for their food. 

7. Pratdpana? = " highest heat." A three-spiked burning spear is 
thrust into the wretch's body, which is then rolled up within red-hot 
iron plates. It is the special torture for apostates and those who reject 
the truth. 

8. Amchi* = " endless torture." This is the most severe and longest of 
all the infernal torments. The guilty is perpetually kept in flames, 
though never consumed. This is the hell for those who have reviled 
Buddha, and others who have harmed or attempted to harm Lamaism 
or shed the blood of a Lama or holy-man. 

The Cold Hells, apparently an invention of the northern Buddhists, 
as cold was an idea rather foreign to the Indian mind, are situated on 
the edge of the universe below its encircling wall (Cakravala). 
They are encircled by icy mountains (see plate, page 109), and have 
attendants of appalling aspect, as in the hot hells. They are thus 
described : — 

1. Arbuda? = u blistered or chapped." The torture here is constant 
immersion of the naked person in ice and glacier water, under which 
the body becomes covered with chilblains (which torture may be com- 
pared with the curse invented by a scribe in the reign of Athelstan for 
anyone who should break the terms of his charters : " May he be 
tortured by the bitter blasts of glaciers and the Pennine army of evil 
spirits." °) 

2. Xirarbuda." The chilblains are rudely scarified, producing raw 

3. Atata, 9 " Ach'u " or " A-ta-ta" an exclamation of anguish beyond 
articulate expression — which resounds through this hell. 

4. Hahava? A worse degree of cold in which the tongue is paralyzed 
and the exclamation Kyi-il or Ha-ha alone possible. 

5. Ahaha. 10 Here both jaws and teeth are spasmodically clenched 
through cold. 

G. Utpala. 11 Livid sores which become everted like blue Ut-pal 

1 Xu-bod Ch'en-po. 
a Ts'a-ba. 

3 Rab-tu t'sa-wa. 

4 mnar-med. 

5 Ch'u-bur ch'en. Arht sounds suspiciously like Mount Aim 1 1: 
s Quoted by Mr. D. \\ . Freshfield in /. R. Geog. 8., 1894. 

7 Ch'u-bur-brol-wa. 
s A-ch'u. 
9 Kyi-'ud. 

10 So-t'am-pa. 

11 Ut-pal-ltar gas-pa. 


7. Pad-ma.' The raw sores become like red Lotus-flowers. 

8. Pundarika. 2 Raw sores where the flesh falls away from the bones 
like the petals of the great Lotus ; and which are continually pecked 
and gnawed by birds and insects with iron beaks. 

The frontier or anterior hells at the exit from the great hell are 
called "The near (to re-birth) cycle," 3 and are divided into four 
sections. 4 The first bordering hell consists of hot suffocating 
ashes with foul dead bodies and all kinds of offal. Then is 
reached a vast quagmire, beyond which is a forest of spears and 
spikes, which must be traversed like the razor-bridge in Muhamma- 
danism and in Banyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Then succeeds a 
great river of freezing water; on the further shore of which the 
ground is thickly set with short squat tree-trunks, each sur- 
mounted by three spiked leaves which impale the unwary grop- 
ing fugitives. Reference to these last two localities occurs in 
the ordinary litany for the dead, which says "may his c'hu-wo- 
rab-med ocean become a small rivulet, and the ts'al-ma-ri tree a 
divine wish-granting tree." 

In addition to the hot and cold hells are eighty-four thousand 
external hells (ISTe-ts'e-wa, Skt. ? Lokfintarika) situated mostly on 
the earth, in mountains, deserts, hot springs, and lakes. 

Another state of existence, little better than that of hell, is 
the Preta (Tib., Yi-dag) or Manes, a sort of tantalized ghoul or 
ghost. This world is placed above hell and below the Sitavan 
forest, near Rajgriha, in the modern district of Patna in Bengal. 

These wretched starvelings are in constant distress through the 
pangs of hunger and thirst. 5 This is pictured in the Wheel of 

i Padma-ltar-gas-pa. 

- Padma ch'en-po-ltar-gas pa. 

■■■ nc-'k'or (=? Skt., PrateyJca naraka) meaning near to re-birth. 

4 Named Agni-khadd (me^na-mur gyi 'ob«) or the fiery pit, Kunapanka (Ro-myags 
Kyi 'dams) or quagmire of carcases, (spu-gri gtanu ts'al) or f"ivst of 
spikes, and Asidhdravana (ral-gri loma nays-ts'al) or foresl of sword-leaves. 

•'' Thirty-six species arc described in five groups, namely : (1) p'yti sgrib-pa chan or 
"the foreign or gentile horrid beings," (2) Nang-gi sgrib-pa 'Inn, or the Buddhist horrid 
beings, (.''.) Zas-skom-gyi sgrib-pa chan or the eating and drinking horrid beings — these 
are they who on eating and drinking have the ingested material converted into lacerat- 
ing weapons, (4) and (5) kha-thor or free Yi-dags. The latter are nol confined 

in the /Veto-prison, but are free to roam about in die human world— in graveyards, 
etc.,— and injure man. These are < Beai 's Catena, 67)1, Flat-bodied; S, Needle-mouthed; 
3, Vomit-eaters ; 1, Filth-eaters; .">, Mist-eaters: 6. Water-feeders; 7. Scarcely sen: 
8, Spittle-feeders; 9, Hair-eaters ; It), Blood-suckers ; 11, Notion-feeders; 12, Flesh- 



Life, also in the annexed figure. This is the special torment 
for those who, in their earthly career, were miserly, covetous, 
uncharitable, or gluttonous. Jewels, food, and drink are found 
in plenty, hut the Pretas have mouths no bigger than the eye 
of a needle, and gullets no thicker in diameter than a hair, 
through which they can never ingest a satisfying amount of 

Tantalized Spikits. 

food for their huge bodies. And when any food is taken it 
becomes burning hot, and changes in the stomach into sharp 
knives, saws, and other weapons, which lacerate their way out 
from the bowels to the surface, making large painful wounds. 
They are constantly crying "water, water, give water!" And the 
thirst is expressed in the picture by a name which is seen to issue 
from their parched mouths, and whenever they attempt to touch 

eaters; 13, Incense-feeders ; 14, Fever-makers ; 15, Secret piyers; 1G, Earth lurkers- 
1 i , Spirit-rappers ; 18, Flame-burners ; 19, Baby-snatchers ; 20, Sea-dwellers ■ 21 
22 King Yama's club-holders; 23, Starvelings ; 24, Baby-eaters ; 25, Vital-eaters" 26 ' 
Rakshas; 27, Smoke-eaters; 28, Marsh-dwellers; 29, Wind-eaters; 30, Ash-feeders' 
31, Poison-eaters ; 32, Desert-livers; 33, Spark-feeders; 34, Tree-dwellers; 35, Road- 
dwellers; 36, Body-killers. ' 


water it changes to liquid fire. Avalokita is frequently figured 
in the act of giving water to these Pretas to relieve their misery. 1 
And a famous story of Buddha credits the great Maudgalya- 
yana, the right-hand disciple of " the Blessed One," with having 
descended into the Preta-world to relieve his mother. As this 
story, the Avalambana Sutra, dating to before the third century 
a.d., gives a very vivid picture of this tantalizing purgatory, and 
also illustrates the rites for extricating the starveling ghosts, 2 it 
is here appended. 

Maudgalyayana's descent into the PRETA purgatory. 

Thus have I heard. Buddha at one time was residing in the country 
of Sravasti, in the garden of Jeta, the friend of the orphans. At this 
time Mugalan, having begun to acquire the six supernatural powers 
(irrdhi), desiring above all things, from a motive of piety, to deliver 
his father and mother, forthwith called into use his power of super- 
natural sight, and looking throughout the world he beheld his unhappy 
mother existing without food or drink in the world of Pretas (hungry 
ghosts), nothing but skin and bone. Mugalan, moved with filial pity, 
immediately presented to her his alms-bowl filled with rice. His mother 
then taking the bowl in her left hand, endeavoured with her right to 
convey the rice to her mouth, but before it came near to her lips, lo ! 
the rice was converted into fiery ashes, so that she could not eat thereof. 
At the sight of this Mugalan uttered a piteous cry, and wept many 
tears as he bent his way to the place where Buddha was located. 
Arrived there, he explained what had happened, and awaited Buddha's 
instruction. On this the Master opened his mouth, and said, "The sin 
which binds your mother to this unhappy fate is a very grievous one ; 
from it you can never by your own strength rescue her, no ! nor yet 
all the powers of earth or heaven, men or divine beings : not all these 
are equal to the task of deliverance. But by assembling the priests of 
the ten quarters, through their spiritual energy, deliverance may be 
had. I will now recount to you the method of rescue from this and 
all similar calamities." Then Buddha continued: " On the 15th day 
of the seventh month, the priests of the ten quarters being gathered 
together ought to present an offering for the rescue of ancestors 
during seven generations past, as well as those of the present genera- 
tion, every kind of choice food and drink, as well as sleeping materials 
and beds. These should be offered \xp by the assembled priesthood as 
though the ancestors themselves were present, by which they shall 
obtain deliverance from the pains, and be born at once in a condition 
of happiness in heaven." And, moreover, the "World-honoured One 

1 See my " Indian Cult ..t' ^valokita," ./. R. A.S., p. l, and plates ii, and Hi., L894. 

2 Translated by S. Bbax in The Oriental, November Gth, 1875. A dramatized version 
is common in China. — Cf. Les Fites annuellemerU cilibris <' Emoim, J. J. M. de Gboot. 



taught his followers certain words to be repeated at the offering of < 
sacrifices, by which the virtue thereof would be certainly secured 

On this Mugalan with joy accepted the instruction, and by means of 
tins institution rescued his mother from her sufferings. 

And so for all future time this means of deliverance shall be effectual 
tor the purpose designed as year by year the offerings are presented 
according to the form delivered by Buddha. 

Having heard these words, Mugalan and the rest departed to then- 
several places, with joyous hearts and glad thoughts. 

Eelated apparently to this story is the Lamaist account of « The 
queen of the Pretas with the fiery mouth," whom the Lamas 
identify with the celebrated Yakshini fiendess Hariti, for whom 
and ner five hundred sons they daily reserve some of their food 
relating in support of this practice the following story, evidently 
borrowed from the story of Hariti in the RatnaMda Sutra :— " 

Hariti, the child-eating yakshini, and « queen of pretas." 
Haritiqueenof the hungry ghouls with the burning mouths, had 

BudahT* M l Md r\ Wh r She fed on ] ™g children. The great 
Buddha, "Mohugalaputra" coming to her dwelling, hid away Pingala 
the youngest and most beloved of her sons, in his begging^ fun 
known to the gods or demons. The mother, on her returnfw£ drowned 
n sorrow at the loss of her favourite son, and in her distress appealed 
to the omniscient Mohugalaputra for aid to recover him. The Buddha 
then showed her Pingala within his bowl, yet all the efforts of Hariti 
and her demons failed to release him. So she besought Buddha for a7d 
c V hn°di:fof ' Y °k' T th ^1 hUndr6d ° hM ™> mercilessly devour the 

of onlv one™ " Th ' *7 ^ ^ °? **?* ** ^ ^ at the *- 

ot only one ! The Preta-queen declared that this one was the most 

precious ot all and she vowed that were he released she never again 
would devour human children. The Buddha, consenting, res ored^her 

the f aT f r " th 5 £"*. ¥ "** and the five P ^epts, and <£ 
the Lamas) he promised that in future all Buddhist monks would iive 
her a handful of their daily food. 1 S 

This practice is probably derived from the Hindu offering of 
food and drink to the manes of departed relatives, the Sraddha 

Flying visits of mortals to Hades, having their parallels 


by Sir A wTTn^rslw ***?**' P^al illustration are published 
informed '., h \ « v ' T' ** Ant '^^ Vol. liii., 1892. Buddha further 
n im ed I hei that "You *ere the ninth daughter of King Chia-ye at the time of 

vou di? n t ? r Pa ;, and Perf ° rmed nmny great and Morions acti L. But because 
you did not keep the precepts you received the form of a demon " 

H 2 


Odysseu's and Dante's visits to purgatory, are found in Lamaism, 
where they are known as De-lok, or "the ghostly returning,'' 
and are used for stirring the people to good behaviour. 

Buddhist Metaphysics. 

Buddha, being a Hindu, accepted the Hindu theory of the 
universe and its fantastic world-system, with the modifications 
above indicated, and he started also with the current notions of 
metempsychosis and Karma as part of his mental furniture. 

According to the theory of metempsychosis, or more properly 
palingenesis, which was not unknown to the ancient Hellenic 
and even Jewish literature, and western fairy-tales, 

" The soul that rises with us, our life's star 
Hath had elsewhere its setting." — Wordsworth. 

Death merely alters the form, but does not break the continuity of 
the life, which proceeds from death to re-birth, and fresh deaths 
to fresh re-births in constant succession of changing states, dis- 
solving and evolving until the breaking up of the universe after 
a kalpa, or almost an eternity of ages. How Buddha modified 
this doctrine will be referred to present 1 v. 

Karma, 1 or the ethical doctrine of retribution, is accepted as 
regards its general principle, even by such modern men of science 
as Huxley." It explains all the acts and events of one's life as 

1 Tibetan, las and ]>*rin-la-. 

- Professor Huxley in his Lecture on Evolution and Ethics says:— 

"Everydaj experience familiarizes us with the facts which are grouped under, the 
name of heredity. Every one <>t us bears upon liim obvious marks of his parentage, 
perhaps oi remoter relationships. More particularly the sum of tendencies to art in a 
certain way, which we call * character ' is of ten to be traced through a long series of 
progenitors and collaterals. So we may justly say that this 'character,' this moral 
and intellects ii a man does veritably pasB over from one fleshy tabernacle 

to another and does really transmigrate from generation to generation, in the new- 
born infant the character oi ii,,. stock lies latent, ami the Ego is little more than a 
i nine Hi- of potentialities, hut, very early, these becomi actualities: from childhood to 
age they manifest themselves in dulness or brightness, weakness or strength, vicious- 
aess or uprightness: ami with each feature modified by confluence with another 
character, if by uothing else, the character passes on to it-, incarnation in new 

"The Indian philosophers called character, a- thus defined, 'Karma.' It isthis 

Karma which passed Iron, In,, t,, lit.- ami linked t hem in l he chain of transmigrations ; 

and they held thai it is dified in each lite, not merely by confluence of parentage 

hut by it- i'H n acts * * » * • • 

"In the theory of evoluti the tendency of a germ to develop according tea 


the results of deeds done in previous existences, and it creates a 
system of rewards and punishments, sinking the wicked through 
the lower stages of human and animal existence, and even to hell, 
and lifting the good to the level of mighty kings, and even to the 

In this way Buddha explained all the acts and events of his life, his 
joys and sorrows, his success and failures, his virtues and weak- 
nesses, as results of things done by him in previous states of life, 
which he recalled to mind as occasion arose for teaching purposes. 
And thus those anecdotes of the antecedent lives of the Buddha, 
— the so-called " Jdtaka tales" — with the moral lessons derived 
from them, came to be among the most cherished items of 
-Buddhist belief. 1 

The various regions of re-birth or " ways " of life, the so-called 
Gatif are pictorially represented in the accompanying drawing 
called " The Wheel of Life." They are given as six (or five, as with 
the primitive Buddhists when the Titans were not separately 
represented), and are thus enumerated in the order of their su- 
periority : — 

1st. The Gods (Sura or Deva, Tibetan, Lha). 

2nd. Titans (Asura, T., Lha-ma-yin). 

3rd. Man (Nara, T., Mi). 

4th. Beasts (Tiryak, T., Du-do 3 ). 

5th. Tantalized Ghosts (Preta, T., Yi-dvag). 

6th. Hell (Naraka, T., Nal-k'am). 

Bournouf 4 writing from Chinese and Ceylonese sources, classes 
man above the Titans, but the order now given is that adopted by 

, ertain specific type, e.g., of the kidney-bean seed t" grow into ;i plan! having all the 
characters of Phaseolus vulgaris, ia its ' Karma.' It is the 'last inheritor and the last 
result of all the conditions that have effected a line of ancestry which goes hack for 
many millions of years to the time when life first appeared on earth." As Professor 
Rhys Davids aptly says, the snowdrop ' is a snowdrop and not an oak, and just that 
kind of a snowdrop, because it is the outcome of the Karma of an endless series of 
past existences.'" 

1 Buddha's births are usually numbered at 550, of which the latter and more im- 
portant arc called "the Great Births." For list of differenl forms of existence ascribed 
to Buddha in his previous births sec Rhys DAVEDS' Jdtaba Tales. ('!'. also CoWBLl/s 
edition of the Jatakas translated from the Pali, and Rai.ston's Tales from the 

- -skt., CfdH ; Till., gro-bahi rig*." ■'• Literally " the bent goers." 

4 Lot an dt /a hi, nth Lot. p. 377. 



the Lamas. 1 Existence in the first three worlds is considered 
superior or good, and in the last three inferior or bad. And these 


mirnerab im>U<o-U, ij\e .Vr/A/ '/< *.. Th{ int'rurr Ccrri/XLrtmts*/* 

Key to Wheel of Life. 
(See p. 109.) 

worlds are shown in this relation in the picture, the highest being 
heaven, and the lowest hell. 

The six regions of re-birth are shown in the middle whorl. 

1 Conf., Bakdt's Man. of Buddhism, p. 37. The Lamaist account is contained in the 
"mnon-pa-i mdsod," translated by Lotsawa Bande-rfpal rtsegs from the work of the 
Indian Pandit Vasubandhu, etc. 


They are demarcated from each other by rainbow-coloured cordons 
representing the atmospheric zones that separate the different 
worlds. No place is allotted to the other phases of existence be- 
lieved in by the Lamas, namely, the everlasting existence in the 
western paradise of Sukhdvati and of the celestial Buddhas and 
demoniacal protectors of Lamaism, and the expressed absence of 
such expressions of the current modern beliefs favours the claim of 
this picture to considerable antiquity. 

Of these six states all have already been described except the 
third and fourth, namely, the state of being a man or a beast, a 
reference to the Buddhist conception of which is necessary to 
understand the picture of The Wheel of Life. 

The most pessimistic view is of course taken of human life. 
It is made to be almost unalloyed misery, its striving, it perenni- 
ally unsatisfied desire, its sensations of heat and cold, thirst and 
hunger, depression even by surfeiting with food, anxiety of the 
poor for their daily bread, of the farmer for his crops and cattle, 
unfulfilled desires, separation from relatives, subjection to temporal 
laws, infirmities of old age and disease, and accidents are amongst 
the chief miseries referred to. The miseries of human existence 
are classed into eight sections, viz.: The miseries of (1) birth; 
(2) old age; (3) sickness; (4) death; (5) un gratified wishes and* 
struggle for existence ; (6) misfortunes and punishments for law- 
breaking ; (7) separation from relatives and cherished objects; (8) 
offensive objects and sensations. 

In the picture the following phases of life are depicted amongst 
others : — 

1st. Birth in a cottage. 

2nd. Children at play. 

3rd. Manhood, village scenes, people drinking wine under shade 

of a tree, a man playing a flute, women spinning and 

weaving, a borrower, two traders, a drunken man. 
4th. Labour by sweat of brow, men tilling a field, gathering fuel 

in a forest, carrying a heavy load. 
5th. Accident, a man and horse falling into a river. 
6th. Crime, two men fighting, one under trial before the judge, 

and one undergoing corporal punishment. 
7th. Temporal government : the king and his ministers. 


8th. Old age — decrepit old people. 
9th. Disease, a physician feeling the pulse of a patient. 
10th. Death, a corpse with a Lama feeling whether breath be 
extinct, and a Lama at the head doing worship, and a 
woman and other relatives weeping. 
11th. Funeral ceremonies. A corpse being carried off to the 
funeral pyre on the top of a hill, preceded by a Lama 
blowing a thigh-bone trumpet and rattling a hand 
drum : he also has hold of the end of a white scarf which 
is affixed to the corpse. The object of this scarf is to 
guide the soul by the white path to the pyre so that it 
may be disposed of in the orthodox manner, and have 
the best chance of a good re-birth, and may not stray 
and get caught by outside demons. Behind the corpse- 
bearer is a porter with food and drink offerings, and last 
of all a mourning relative. 
12th. Religion is represented by a temple placed above all other 
habitations with a Lama and monk performing worship ; 
and a hermit in his cell with bell, wyra-sceptre, and 
thigh-bone trumpet; and a stupa or caitya (ch'orten) 
circumambulated by a devotee. 
The state of the beasts is one of greater misery even than the 
human. In the picture are shown land and aquatic animals of 
various kinds devouring one another, the larger preying on the 
small ; and also small ones combining to catch and kill the larger 
ones. Human hunters also are setting nets for, and others are 
shooting game. Domestic animals are shown laden with burdens, 
or ploughing and being goaded ; some are being milked and shorn 
of their wool, others are being branded or castrated or having their 
nostrils bored, others killed for their flesh or skin, etc. All are 
suffering great misery through the anxiety and pains of preying 
or being preyed upon. In the water is shown a Ndga or merman's 
house, with its inmates in grief at being preyed upon by the 
Garuda, a monster bird, like the fabled roc, which by the rush of 
air from its wings cleaves the sea to its depths in its search for 
Nag as. 

We are now in a position to consider Buddha's conception of 
Human Life — 


Buddha's Conception of the Cause of Life 
and of Misery. 1 

Apart from its importance as an illustration of the earlier intel- 
lectual life of humanity, the Buddhist ontology, the most won- 
derful, perhaps, the world has seen, possesses a paramount interest 
for all who would arrive at a right understanding of the religion 
and ethics with which it is associated. 

Buddha formulated his view of life into a twelve-linked closed 
chain called "the Wheel of Life or of 'Becoming'" (Bhavacakra), 
or the Causal Nexus (Pratitya Samutpdda) ; which he is repre- 
sented, in the Vinaya scripture itself, to have thought out under 
the Tree of Wisdom. 2 The way in which the narrative is couched, 
leads, indeed, to the impression that it was precisely the insight 
into this " Wheel of Life " which constituted his Buddhahood, and 
distinguished him from the other Arhats. However this may 
be, he gave it a very leading place in his philosophy, so that the 
stanza recounting its utterance, Ye dhavma hetu, 3 etc., termed 
by English writers " The Buddhist Creed," is the most frequent of 
all Buddhist inscriptions, and was certainly in olden days familiar 
to every lay Buddhist ; and it is practically identical with " The 
four noble Truths," omitting only the initial expression of 
" suffering." 4 

1 The bulk of this articl&.appeared in the J.R.A.S. (1894), pp. 367, etc. 

2 Vinaya Texts, Vol. i., pp. 74-84. 

3 " Of all objects which proceed from a Cause 

The Tathagatha has explained the cause, 

And he has explained their cessation also ; 

This is the doctrine of the great Sama/<a.*' 

Vinaya Texts, i., 146. 
4 This famous stanza, says Professor Rhys Davids ( Vinaya Texts, i., 146), doubtless 
alludes to the formula of the twelve Nidanas. " The Chain of Causation, or the doc- 
trine of the twelve Nidanas (causes of existence) contains, as has often been observed 
in a more developed form, an answer to the same problem to which the second and 
third of the four Noble Truths (Ariya Sacca) also try to give a solution, viz., the prob- 
lem of the origin and destruction of suffering. The Noble Truths simply reduce the 
origin of suffering to thirst or desire (Tawha) in its threefold form, thirst for pleasure, 
thirst for existence, thirst for prosperity (see i., 6, 20). In the system of the twelve 
nidanas Thirst also has found its place among the causes of suffering, but it is not 
considered as the immediate cause. A concatenation of other categories is inserted 
between taroha and its ultimate effect ; and, on the other hand, the investigation of causes 
is carried on further beyond tanha. The question is here asked, what does tanha come 
from ? and thus the series of causes and effects is led back to Aviggd (Ignorance) as 
its deepest root. We may add that the redactors of the Pitakas who, of course, could 
not but observe this parallelity between the second and third Ariya Saccas and the 


Yet though this chain forms the chief corner-stone of Bud- 
dhism, it is remarkable that scarcely any two European scholars 
are agreed upon the exact nature and signification of some of its 
chief links, while the sequence of several links is deemed self- 
contradictory and impossible; and even the alleged continuity of 
the whole is doubted. The best western authorities who have 
attempted its interpretation, Childers 1 and Prof. H. Oldenberg, 
have practically given up the problem in despair ; the latter ex- 
claiming, " it is utterly impossible for anyone who seeks to find 
out its meaning, to trace from beginning to end a connected 
meaning in this formula." 2 

Such conflict of opinion in regard to this " chain" is mainly 
due to the circumstance that no commentary on its subtle formula 
has ever been published ; and that the only means hitherto avail- 
able for its interpretation have been the ambiguous Pali and San- 
skrit terminology for the links themselves. Thus, for one only 
of these links, namely, Sanskdra, the following are some of the 
many renderings which have been attempted : — 

" Constructing, preparing, perfecting, embellishing, aggregation ; 
matter ; Karma, the Skandhas. — ('As a technical term, Sankaro has 
several decided shades of meaning ... in fact, Sankharo includes 
everything of which impermanence may be predicated, or, what is 
the same thing, everything which springs from a cause ' — Childers.) 3 
Les Concepts. — (Burnouf ) J ; Composition notion (Csoma) ; Widen 
(Schmidt) ; Discrimination (Hardy) ; Les idees (Foucaux) B ; Ten- 
dencies, potentialities, confections (Rhys Davids) ; G Gestaltungen : 
shapes and forms (H. Oldenberg) ; Conformations (W. Hoey). 

This bewildering obscurity of its terminology has somewhat 

system of the twelve Nidanas go so far in one instance (Anguttara Nikaya, Tika 
Nipata, fol. ke of the Phayre MS.) as to directly replace in giving the text of the four 
Ariya Saccas the second and third of these by the twelve Nidanas in direct and reverse 
order respectively." — Vinaya Texts, i., 75. 

1 Coleiirookk's Mis. Essays 2nd ed., ii., 453 seq. 

2 Buddha, etc., Eng. trans, by Dr. W. Hoey, p. 226. Recently Mr. H. C. Warren, of 
Cambridge, Mass. (Proc. American Oriental Society, Ap. 6-8, 1893, p. xxvii), has ad- 
vocated a looser meaning for the word paccaya, usually translated "cause," without, 
however, getting rid of the more serious difficulties which beset the interpretation of 
the chain. 

a Pali Did., p. 453. 

4 P. 503. 

5 These last four authors are quoted through Koppen, i., 604. 

1 Buddhism, p. 91, where the fifty-two divisions are enumerated. 


displaced the chain from its due prominence in the European 
books on the system, notwithstanding the importance claimed for 
it by Buddhists. 

Now I have lately discovered among the frescoes of the ancient 
Buddhist caves of Ajanta, in central India, a picture, over thirteen 
centuries old, which supplies a valuable commentary on this sub- 
ject. It portrays in concrete form those metaphysical conceptions 
— the so-called Nidtina — which, in their Pali and Sanskrit termi- 
nology, have proved so puzzling to European scholars. And, as 
this picture, supplemented by its Tibetan versions and its detailed 
explanation as given me by learned Lamas, who are thoroughly 
familiar with it, and possess its traditional interpretation, 1 affords 
a clue to much that is imperfectly understood," and helps to settle 
disputed points of fundamental importance, these advantages seem 
to justify my bringing it to notice, and may also, I hope, justify 
my attempt, however crude, at exhibiting its continuity as a com- 
plete authentic account of human life from the absolute stand- 
point of the earliest Buddhist philosophy. 

One important result of this new interpretation of the ancient 
formula will be to show that it seems to possess more in common 
with modern philosophic methods and speculations than is usually 
suspected. Indeed, it would scarcely be going too far to say that 
at a period before the epoch of Alexander the Grreat, in the valley 
of the Granges, and at a time when writing was still unknown in 
India, an Indian anchorite evolved in the main by private study 
and meditation an ontological system which, while having much in 
common with the philosophy of Plato and of Kant, 2 and the most 
profound and celebrated speculations of modern times (such as 
those of Bishop Berkeley, and Schopenhauer, and Hartmann), yet 
far surpassed these in elaborateness. And as this bold system 
formed the basis of Buddhist ethics, its formulas came to be re- 
presented for teaching purposes in concrete pictorial form in the 
vestibules of the Indian monasteries and temples, as they still are 
in Tibet and China ; and although the impermanence of the 

1 As current in mediaeval Indian Buddhism. 

2 Buddha seems to have propounded the same truth which Plato and latterly Kant 
were never tired of repeating, that " this world which appears to the senses has no 
true Being, but only ceaseless Becoming ; it is and it is not, and its comprehension is 
not so much knowledge as illusion." 


The Tibetan form of the picture 1 here given should be studied 
with its Key (p. 102). It is a disc or wheel, symbolizing the end- 
less cycle of Life (samsdra), of which each re-birth is a revolution. 
The wheel is held in the clutches of a monster, who represents the 
hideousness of the Clinging to Life. The broad tire is occupied 
by the Causal Nexus, and the nave by the three vices or delu- 
sions, " The Daughters of Desire," the three vices — Rdga, Dvesa, 
Moha. Lust, ill-will, stupidity, which lie at the core of re-birth, 
and are figured here, as in the other Indian picture on page 6, as 
a dove, serpent, and pig, appropriately coloured red, green, and 
black ; while the body of the wheel, which is considered to be in 
continuous revolution, is filled with pictorial details of Life in its 
several forms, or " The Whirling on the Wheel " of Life. And 
outside the wheel is a figure of Buddha, showing that he has es- 
caped from the cycle, to which he is represented as pointing the 
way of escape. 

The ancient conception of Life under the figure of a wheel of 
which each re-birth is a revolution is not confined to Buddhism 
and Brahmanism. This fancy finds an echo more than once in 
Hellenic literature. 2 

1 Skt., Bhavacakramudra ; T., Srid-pahi 'K'or-lohi p'yag-rgya, or shortly " Si-pa K' or ■- 
16." The Tibetan form of the picture is of two styles, the "old" and "new." The 
latter is given in the attached plate, and it differs from the " old " only in the intro- 
duction of a figure of Avalokita or the God of Mercy, in the form of a Sage or Muni, 
into each of the six worlds of re-birth, and in one or two different pictorial symbols 
for the causes of re-birth. 

2 Cf. note by Prof. C. Bendall on "Platonic Teaching in Ancient India.'" — Athenaeum, 
10th January, 1891. Mrs. Rhys Davids, commenting on my article (J R.A.S., 1894, 
p. 338), writes: " In the Orphic theogony we come across the notion of re-birth considered 
as a weary unending cycle of fate or necessity — kvkXos ttjs yeveaeoos, 6 rrjs /xoipas 
rpox^s, etc. — from which the soul longs to escape, and entreats the gods, especially 
Dionysos (Aiovvaos Avffioi Oefil Xvaiov), for release, — kvk\ov re A.7}£a< Kal avanvevaai 
ko.k6tt)tos. In the verses inscribed on one of three golden funereal tablets dug up near 
the site of Sybaris the line occurs: 'And thus I escaped from the cycle, the painful, 
misery-laden' ( Sicil. et Ital.ftil). These allusions may be referred to at 
second-hand in Herr Erwin Rohde's study of Hellenic ideas respecting the soul and 
immortality, entitled Psyche (4to. Halfte, pp. 416 et sea.; 509), recently completed. 
Pindar, Empedocles, and Plato, as is well known, all entertained the notion of repeated 
re-birth in this world at intervals ranging from nine to one thousand years, repeated 
twice, thrice, or an indefinite number of times, and, according to the two latter writers, 
often including in its phases incarnation as an animal, or even as a vegetable. And 
throughout there runs the Orphic ideas of each re-birth being a stage in a course of 
moral evolution and effort after purification. But I do not know whether the actual 
image of the wheel occurs in other instances besides those I have quoted. Empedocles, 



In the pictorial diagram of human life, as conceived by 
Buddhist philosophy, the causal nexus begins at the left-hand 
side of the top partition. The twelve links round the rim follow 
in the usual order and in evolutionary fashion as follows : — 

Causal Category. 

Evolutionary Stage. 



Unconscious Will 

A vidya 

Stage of passing from Death to 




Shaping of formless physical 
and mental materials (in the 




Rise of Conscious Experience. 


Self -consciousness 


Rise of Individuality — distinc- 
tion between self and not-self. 


Sense - surfaces and 



Realizes possession of Sense- 
Surfaces and Understanding 
with reference to outside 




Exercise of Sense - organs on 
outer world. 




Mental and physical sensations. 




Desire, as experience of pain or 
delusive pleasure. 




Grasping greed, as satisfying 
Desire, inducing clinging to 
Worldly Wealth and desire of 

heir to it. 


Fuller Life 


Life in fuller form, as enriched 
by satisfying desire of married 
life and as means of obtaining 


Birth (of heir) 


Maturity by birth of heir (which 
affords re-birth to another 


Decay and Death. 


Maturity leads to Decay and to 

Passing from Death to Re-birth. 


Unconscious Will. 


The key-note to Buddha's system is that Life in any form must 
necessarily, and not merely accidentally, be accompanied by suffer- 

for instance sees rather a toilsome road or roads of life — apya\eas Piotow KeAev9ovs. 
With Plato, again, we more readily associate his simile of a re-birth as a fall of the 
soul from heaven to earth, as it drives its chariot after the procession of the gods, 
through the steed of Epithumia being dragged down by its craving for carnal things 
— or, as the Buddhist might say, the steed of Chandarago overcome by Upadana for 
the skaudhas. 

"The question of a genetic connection between oriental and Hellenic notions as to 
iv-birtli is of the greatest interest, Prof. Leopold von Schrceder's opinion that such a 
connection exists ( Pythagoras und die Inder, especially pp. 25-31) seems <m the whole 
to be well founded." 


ing as others had taught. Anityam Duhkham Andtmakam I 1 All 
is transitory, painful, and unreal ! 

Buddha, therefore, set himself the task of solving the mystery 
of Life in order to find the way of escape from continual Be- 
comings, which was clearly involved in misery. Being a Hindu, 
he adopted the then, as now, current Hindu notion of metem- 
psychosis or palingenesis, the doctrine, namely, that death merely 
alters the form, but does not break the continuity of life 2 which 
proceeds from Death to Re-birth, and fresh Deaths to fresh Re- 
births in constant succession of changing states dissolving and 
evolving until the breaking up of the universe after a Kalpa, 
or almost an eternity of countless ages ; though it would appear 
probable that Buddha and the primitive Buddhists denied the 
real existence of the material and physical world as well as the 

In his ontological scheme, while adopting an agnostic attitude 
towards the Hindu gods and their creative functions, Buddha does 
not begin by attempting to account for the first life. He accepts 
the world as a working system on met em psychological lines, and he 
evades the necessity for a supernatural creator by interpreting the 
Universe, as Will and Idea, and by placing the Karma or ethical 
doctrine of retribution in the position of the Supernatural Con- 
trolling Intelligence or Creator. Perceiving the relativity of 
knowledge and that nature furnishes presumptive evidence that 
some evolution has taken place in her methods, he throws his 
theory of the vital process into a synthetical or developmental 
form, showing a gradual transition from the simple to the com- 
plex, and proceeding .from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous 
by an ever-changing cosmic order in which everything is dominated 
by causality. 

The starting point in Buddha's theory of Life is the connecting 
link between the old life and the new. Unfortunately, however, 
even on so elementary a point as this, there exists no consensus of 
opinion as to what Buddha's view of this link precisely was, for 
he concerned himself less with the metaphysical aspects of his 
philosophy than with the practical alleviation and removal of 

1 Pali, Aniccam Dv.hham Anattam ; in Tibetan, Mi-rtag-pa sdug-bsnal-ba, bdag- 

2 But see hereafter. 


sorrow. He expressly avoided the use of the term " Soul " 
(Atman), as this word was already in use in Brahmanism with the 
implication of supernatural and theistic creation. Some say that 
he taught there is no continuity between the old life and the new, 
that the Karma attaches itself to any spirit which may chance to 
be re-born at the time of the person's death. But if this be so. 
where is the justice of the Karma doctrine? It is said by some 
that the sole-surviving thing is Karma, yet this term is used so 
elastically as to include products which belong rather to the 
category of the Will-to-live. Others say that Vijndna, or con- 
sciousness alone, survives ; and so on. 1 

The view adopted in this paper is based upon that held by one 
of the Lamas who explained to me the pictorial Niddnas; and it 
has the advantages of being not only intelligible, but consistent, 
and seems as reasonable as any ontological theory well can be 
which postulates a metaphysical absolute. 

Our view holds that there is actual continuity of the Individual 
life (or Sattva) between death and re-birth. And this identity of 
being is supported by the doctrine of Ekotibkdva, which word, 
according to its Tibetan etymology, means " to become one un- 
interruptedly." 2 

The Surviving Thing, which is carried on into the new career of 
the individual, would indeed seem to be identical with what is now 
generally known to occidentals as Hartmann's absolute, " the 

1 See J.R.A.S., 1892, p. 1 seq., for a tabular abstract by Prof. Rhys Davids on the 
authorities for such conflicting views. 

2 Ekotlbhava is another crux of Buddhism. Childers, in quoting; Thero Subhuti's 
etymology from eko udeti, writes : " Ekodibhavo, the second Jhana, is said to be cetaso 
ekodibhavo, which Burnouf renders ' Unity of the mind ' ; but that this is its true 
meaning is very doubtful, as will be seen from the full extract sent me. ... In 
accordance with this gloss I would be inclined to render ekodibhavo by ' predomin- 
ance,' rather than by unity, but I do not feel competent to give a decided opinion as 
to its meaning."— Z><W., p. 134. Dr. Morris (in the Academy, 27th March, 1886, p. 222) 
has a note on the subject, followed by Prof. Max Miiller {Academy, 3rd April, 1886, p. 
241), who would derive it from eka+kodi; and Professor Eggeling has a supple- 
mentary note in the Pali Text Soc. Jour. (p. 32, 1885), in which it is considered a 
mental state, and rendered by Prof. Rhys Davids as "exaltation." Prof. Kern 
(Introd. to his translation of the Saddkarma Pundarika, xvii.) in noting the occurrence 
of the word ekotibhdva in the Lalita Vistara (p. 147, 8, and 439, 6), rejects Subhuti's 
etymology of the word, without assigning any rea sons. The Tibetan etymology, how- 
ever, entirely supports Subhuti. It is translated rGyud-gch'ig-tu-gyur-pa, which 
means "to become or to be transformed -f-one+a thread continuous, uninterrupted " ; 
and my Manuscript Tibeto-Sanskrit Dictionary restores the word to Eka+urthanan+ 


Unconscious Will"; and to this is attached the Karma or retribu- 
tion of deeds done in former lives. 

This, the first link of the Ontological Chain, begins at the instant 
when the mortal envelope is thrown off or changed, that is at 
" death," and was termed by Buddha the stage of Avidyd, which 
literally means "Want of Knoivledge" and usually rendered into 
English as "Ignorance" or " Nescience." But the word Avidya is 
used in different senses. Its ordinary sense is thus defined in the 
Vinaya Texts, i., 76 : " Not to know Suffering, not to know the 
Cause of suffering, not to know the Cessation of suffering, not to 
know the Path which leads to the cessation of suffering, this is 
called Ignorance." But Avidyd, as the initial link of the Causal 
Nexus, is, according to our information, what may be termed the 
Ignorant Unconscious-Will-to-Live. 

The pictorial representation of this link is a blind she-camel 
(" Ignorant " Productive Unconscious Will) led by a driver (the 
Karma). 1 

The camel vividly suggests the long and trying journey of the 
Unconscious Will across the desert valley of the shadow of death, 
past death itself to the dawn of the new life beyond. The sex of 
the camel seems to indicate the potential productiveness of the 
Unconscious Will. The blindness of the beast represents the dark- 
ness of the passage and the blind ignorance of the Unconscious 
Will, which through spiritual ignorance or stupidity (Moha) be- 
lieves in the reality of external objects. And the ignorant animal 
is led blindly onwards by its Karma. 

In the body of the picture are given the details of the progress 
across this initial stage to the next link in the chain of casuality. 
The manner in which the Karma determines the kind of new life 
is concretely represented as a "judgment scene." Here the sins 
are figured as black pebbles, and the good deeds as white, which 
are weighed against each other in scales. And according to which- 
ever preponderates so is the place of re-birth in one or other of the 
six states. Thus the kind of new life is entirely determined by 
the individual's own deeds or Karma, which creates a system of 

1 The Tibetan picture usually depicts " a blind old woman " led by a man. This per- 
version of the Indian picture seems to me to be due to a mistranslation on the part of 
the Lamas, who appear to have constructed their picture from a written description 
in which the little known word nga-mo, a she-camel, is interpreted as ga-mo, an old 



rewards and punishments, sinking the wicked through the lower 
stages of human and animal existence and even to hell ; and lifting 
the good to the level of mighty kings and sages, and even to the 
gods. Here it may be noted that hell is an idealistic state, a sort 
of hellish nightmare, the product of the morbid sinful imagina- 

The ignorant Unconscious Will, as a homogeneous aggregate 
under the influence of the three fires of illusion (Trividagni, lust, 
ill-will, and stupidity), is thus led by its Karma to one or other 
of the six gati or forms of existence with which begins link num- 
ber II., namely, Conformations (Sahskdra). 

Here our picture and its Lamaist tradition have come to our 
aid, and rendered it certain that out of the manifold renderings of 
Sahskdra attempted by European scholars, as detailed on a pre- 
vious page, "Conformations " was the one intended by the primitive 
Buddhists ; and the Tibetan translation of the Sanskrit word gives 
" impression " or " formation " + " action." The picture is a potter 
modelling clay on his wheel, and is identical with the Egyptian 
image of the creator. It represents the shaping of the crude and 
formless physical and mental aggregates of the Unconscious Will 
by the Karma, in accordance with " The Judgment." 

" Our mind is but a lump of clay, 
Which Fate, grim Potter, holds 
On sorrow's wheel that rolls alway 
And, as he pleases, moulds." 

C. H. Tawney's trans. Vairugya §alakam. 

These so-called aggregates or Skandha (Pali, Khandha) require 
some notice. The Buddhists, in their theory of the nature of 
sentient beings, pre-suppose the existence of ideal atoms, external 
and internal, which, by aggregation, constitute man and the rest 
of the universe. These aggregates or Skandha are grouped into 
five classes, which are rendered by Professor Rhys Davids as (1) 
the Material Properties and Attributes (Rupa) ; (2) the Sensations 
(Vedand) ; (3) Abstract Ideas (Sahha); (4) Tendencies or Potenti- 
alities (Sankhdra) ; and (5) Reason (Vihndna). 1 Only the first 
of these sets, or the Rupa Skandha, appear to be operated on in 
link number II. or Conformations. 

Now the Unconscious Will, no longer amorphous, reaches its 

i Buddhism, p. 90. 


next stage of development with the rise of Consciousness, or Con- 
scious Experience (VijndTia), as the third link in the evolutionary 
process. This is figured by a monkey, which some learned Lamas 
explained to me as showing that the rudimentary man is becoming 
anthropoid, but still is an unreasoning automaton. From this it 
will be seen that however abstract its basis of metaphysical con- 
ceptions, or transcendental the causal machinery by which it is 
set in motion, Buddha's evolutionary scheme, in its practical 
aspects, must necessarily depend on a tolerably comprehensive and 
subtle interpretation of human nature. 

The rise of Self-Consciousness (Ndma-rwpa, literally " Name " 
4- " Form "), as a result of conscious experience, forms the fourth 
link or stage, and is represented by a physician feeling the pulse 
of a sick man. Here the pulse denotes the individuality or dis- 
tinction between " Self " and " Not Self." And its Sanskrit title of 
" Name and Form " expresses the commonest features of Individu- 
ality, " comes Ndmarupa, local form, and name and bodiment, 
bringing the man with senses naked to the sensible, a helpless 
mirror of all shows which pass across his heart." 1 A variant of 
this picture in some Lamaist temples is a man in the act of being 
ferried across an ocean. It is the Individual crossing the Ocean 
of Life. 

As a result of Self-Consciousness, the individual now realises his 
possession of The Sense-Surface and Understanding (Chaddya- 
tana). And here again the relatively low place given to the 
understanding is quite in keeping with modern philosophy. The 
picture represents this link by a mask of a human face, " The 
empty house of the Senses"; 2 and the understanding is indicated 
by a pair of extra eyes gleaming through the brow of the mask. 
At this stage seems to be effected the -full union of the hitherto 
passive will with the active co-efficients of a human nature as 
expressed by " The Three Fires, the Buddhist variant of our Devil, 
the World and the Flesh " (Rdga,Dvesa, Moha), though these have 
been present concurrently from the initial stage of " Ignorance." 3 

1 Arnold's Light of Asia. 

2 The Tibetan picture represents this literally as " an empty house." 

3 These Three Fires (Skt., Trividhagni) seem to have been substituted by Buddha 
for the Brahmanical "Three Guna," or moral qualities of animated beings — the "bind- 
ing qualities of matter " (Mon. Williams's Hind., p. 88) — namely, sattea (Goodness or 
Virtue), rajas (Activity), and tamas (Darkness or Stupidity), which in a mystical sense 

I 2 


The exercise of the sense organs and the understanding is Con- 
tact {Spar so) forming the sixth link or stage, bringing the indi- 
vidual into relation with the outside world. It is pictured by 
kissing, and in some Tibetan frescoes by a man grasping a plough. 
It illustrates the exercise of one of the senses. 

From Contact comes Feeling (Vecland), both physical and men- 
tal, including delusive pleasure, pain, and indifference. It is 
pictured by an arrow entering a man's eye, 1 evidently a symbolic 
of " Perception," but explained by the Lamas in such a way as to 
render it translatable by "Feeling." 

From the operation of Feeling comes Desire or thirst (Trishy a). 
This stage, dealing with the origin of Desire, perhaps the most 
psychologically interesting in Buddhism, is pictured by a man 
drinking wine, and the same metaphor, namely, thirst, which is 
the literal meming of the word for thi- link, and is adopted by Sir 
Edwin Arnold in his graceful lines — 

" Trishnd, that thirst which makes the living drink 
Deeper and deeper of the false salt waves 
Whereon they float, pleasures, ambitions, Avealth, 
Praise, fame, or domination Conquest, love, 
Rich meats and robes and fair abodes and pride 
Of ancient lines, and lust of days, and strife 
To live, and sins that flow from strife, some sweet; 
Some bitter. Thus Life's thirst quenches itself 
With draughts which double thirst." 2 

Thus the conquest of Desire is the greatest step towards Budd- 
hist salvation. 

The Satisfying of Greed, or Indulgence of Desire (Updddna) 
forms the next stage. It is pictured by a man grasping fruit and 
storing it up in big baskets. It appears to be, and is so explained 
by the Lamas, as a clinging or attachment to worldly objects, 
rather than to worldly " existence" as Oldenberg has interpreted 

With the next stage — the tenth link — namely, Becoming 

are interpreted as A, r, M (orOM), the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer. Those three 
fires which, according to the Buddhists, lie at the core of re-birth, arc Lust (T., 'dod- 

c'ags, cf. Jaesch., p. 281), Anger or Ill-will (T., z'e-sdan), and Stupidity (T., gti-mug or 
p'rag-sdog, cf. Jaesch., 207 ; Kopp., i., 33). 

1 In this particular Tibetan picture the sixth and seventh links have been trans- 

- The Li<jht of Asia, p. 165. 


(Bhava), we reach one of the alleged obstacles in the chain, 
an irreconcilable link which puzzles Oldenberg, and which, to- 
gether with the next link, is deemed inexplicable and altogether 
out of place. Up to the preceding link, the ninth, the evolution 
has clearly been that of the life history of a man. The tenth 
link is rendered by Oldenberg thus : " From ' Clinging to Ex- 
istence ' comes Ee-birth and the Continuance of Being for yet 
another existence." Very naturally he goes on to say that it is 
strange to find a man who has long ago " entered on real life " 
suddenly becoming a child again. And adds, " How can a man 
be born again when he is old," and before he dies ? for death only 
happens in the twelfth stage. 

But here it would seem as if Oldenberg has misled himself 
by introducing the term " Existence" into the previous link and 
by interpreting Bhava as " Ke-birth." 

For we find that Bhava is pictured by a married woman ; and 
the Lamas explain the picture by saying that she is the wife of 
the individual whose life-history is being traced. The word is 
thus given somewhat the sense of Bhavanan (Childers' Diet. : 
" a house-dwelling ") ; or, as it might be rendered, " husband- 
ship " ; it is the result of the previous link, namely, Greed or 
Indulgence in Worldliness. It is literally fuller " Becoming " 
(Bhava) — Life as enriched by satisfying the worldly desire of 
home, and as a means of obtaining an heir to the wealth amassed 
by Greed. 

The eleventh stage or link is another of the alleged stumbling- 
blocks, which, however, ceased to present any difficulty in the 
light of the picture and the Lamas' explanation of it. The picture 
shows a parent and child. It is the Maturing of the man's life 
by the Birth (Jdti) of an heir, and as a result of the married 
existence of the tenth stage. It must" be remembered that 
according to Buddhist belief there is no propagation of species. 
Life is held to be indivisible ; hence the child is no relation to his 
parents, as the wandering individual finds its family through its 
own inherent Karma. This dogma so opposed to experience and 
science carried with it its own refutation ; but it forms no 
essential part of the evolutionary chain. 

Maturity of Life then leads to Decay and Death (Jardmarana), 
the twelfth and final stage, which in turn leads on to link No. 1 — 


Re-birth — and so on as before. This stage is pictured as a corpse 
being carried off to cremation or burial. 

Let us now look at the Chain as a whole. Here we are met by 
the difficulty of finding a suitable expression for the word which 
connects the several links, the Pali paccaya, usually translated 
" cause " or " concurrent occasion." Prof. Rhys Davids writes 
(Vinaya Texts, i., 146): " Hetu and paccaya (the word so 
frequently used in the formula of the Nidanas) are nearly 
synonymous. Colebrooke {Life and Essays, Vol. ii., p. 419) says 
that the Bauddhas distinguish between hetu ' proximate cause,' 
and paccaya (pratyaya) ' concurrent occasion ' ; but in practical 
use this slight difference of meaning, if it really existed, has but 
little weight attached to it." 1 Mr. Warren believes 2 that the 
term " cause " should be used in a very loose and flexible way, and 
in different senses, in discussing different members of the series of 

links. But as Prof. Oldenberg's rendering — " From 

comes " — seems sufficient for our purpose, while it 

preserves uniformity and continuity, it is here adopted. The 
Chain then runs as follows : 

J This same difference is observed by Tibetan writers. Pratitya is rendered by 
rkyen, defined by Jaeschke (Lid., p. 17) as "a co-operating cause" of an event 
as distinguished from its proximate (or, rather, primary original) cause rgyu 
(Skt., hetu). 

2 Luc. cit. He writes: "Now a great deal of the difficulty experienced by 
scholars on this subject appears to me to arise from the too strict way in which 
they use the word ' cause,' and from the idea which they labour under that 
Time plays an important part here, whereas it would appear to have but a 
secondary role. 

" The term ' cause ' should be used in a very loose and flexible way, and in different 
senses, in discussing different members of this series. The native phrase, of which 
Chain of Causation is supposed to be a translation, is paticca-samuppdda. Paticca is a 
gerund, equivalent to the Sanskrit pratitya, from the verbal root i ' go,' with the pre- 
fix prati, 'back' ; and sam uppdda stands for the Sanskrit samutpdda, meaning a 'spring- 
ing up.' Therefore the whole phrase means a ' springing up ' [inter existence] with 
reference to something else, or, as I would render it, 'origination by dependence.' 
The word 'chain' is a gratuitous addition, the Buddhist calling it a wheel, and 
making Ignorance depend on Old Age, etc. Now it is to be noted that if a thing 
springs up — that is to say, comes into being — with reference to something else, or in 
dependence on something else, that dependence by no means needs to be a causal one. 
In the Pali, each of these members of the so-called Chain of Causation is said to be 
the paccaya of the one next following, and paccaya is rendered" 'cause.' But Buddha- 
ghosa, in the Visuddhi-Magga, enumerates twenty-four different kinds of paccaya, and 
in discussing each member of the jjaticca-samupjxida, states in which of these senses it 
is a paccaya of the succeeding one. 

" The Pali texts very well express the general relation meant to be conveyed by the 
word paccaya when they say ' If this one [member of the series] is not, then this 
[next following] one is not.' " 


" From the Ignorance (of the Unconscious Will) come Con- 
formations. From Conformations comes Consciousness. From 
Consciousness comes Self-Consciousness. From Self-Consciousness 
come The Senses and Understanding. From the Senses and 
Understanding comes Contact. From Contact come Feeling. 
From Feeling comes Desire. From Desire come Indulgence, 
Greed, or Clinging (to Worldly Objects). From Clinging (to 
Worldly Objects) comes (Married or Domestic) Life. From 
(married) Life comes Birth (of an heir and Maturity of Life). 
From Birth (of an heir and Maturity of Life) come Decay and 
Death. From Decay and Death comes Re-birth with its attend- 
ant Sufferings. Thus all existence and suffering spring from the 
Ignorance (of the Unconscious Will)." 

The varying nature and relationship of these formulae is note- 
worthy, some are resultants and some merely sequences ; char- 
acteristic of Eastern thought, its mingling of science and poetry ; 
its predominance of imagination and feeling over intellect ; its 
curiously easy and naive transition from Infinite to Finite, from 
absolute to relative point of view. 

But it would almost seem as if Buddha personally observed 
much of the order of this chain in his ethical habit of cutting the 
links which bound him to existence. Thus, starting from the 
link short of Decay and Death, he cut off his son (link 11), he cut 
off his wife (link 10), he cut off his worldly wealth and kingdom 
(link 9), then he cut off all Desire (link 8), with its "three fires." 
On this he attained Buddhahood, the Bodhi or " Perfect Know- 
ledge " dispelling the Ignorance (Avidya), which lay at the root 
of Desire and its Existence. Nirvana, or " going out," x thus seems 
to be the " going out " of the three Fires of Desire, which are still 
figured above him even at so late a stage as his " great tempta- 
tion"; 2 and this sinless calm, as believed by Professor Rhys 
Davids, 3 is reachable in this life. On the extinction of these 
three fires there result the sinless perfect peace of Purity, Good- 
will, and Wisdom, as the antitypes to the Three Fires, Lust, Ill- 
will, and Stupidity ; while Parinirvdna or Extinction of Life 

i In Tibetan it is translated " The Sorrowless State " (mya-nan-med). Cf . also 
Burnouf, i., 19 ; Bbal's Catena, 174, 183, etc. 

2 See Ajanta picture, p. 6. 

3 Buddhism, p. 14; also O. Frankfurter, Ph.D. (in J.R.A.S., 1880, p. 549), who shows 
that the three "fires" are also called the three "obstacles" (Kincana). 


(or Becoming) was reached only with the severing of the last 
fetter or physical " Death," and is the " going out " of every 
particle of the elements of " becoming." l 

Amongst the many curious perversions of the latter Buddhism 
of India was the belief that by mystical means, the Sattva or 
personal entity may, short of death, and whilst yet retaining a 
body, be liberated from the influence of Avidyd, and thus form 
the operation of the causal nexus, and so secure immortality. 
Upagupta and many other noted Buddhist sages are believed to 
be yet living through this happy exemption. 2 

Buddha's metaphysics appears in the light afforded by the chain, 
to borrow — like so many other world principles professing to solve 
the problem of existence — from the distinctions of psychology, 
and to be based on Will. Schopenhauer indeed admits the affinity 
of his theory with Buddhism. He writes : " If I were to take the 
results of my philosophy as the standard of truth I would be 
obliged to concede to Buddhism the pre-eminence over the rest. 
In any case it must be a satisfaction to me to see my teaching in 
such close agreement with a religion which the majority of men 
upon the earth hold as their own." 3 Hartmann's absolute or his 

1 These are the so-called Skandhas. 

2 Although it is a common belief amongst the Burmese that Upagupta still 
survives in this way, and, in consequence, is an object with them almost of 
worship, the monks cannot point to any ancient scripture in support of this 
popular belief. 

s The World as Will and Idea, by A. Schopenhauer, Eng. trans, by Halclane and 
Kemp, 1883, ii., p. 371. Schopenhauer indeed claims to have arrived at such agree- 
ment independently of Buddha's teaching. He writes : " This agreement, however, 
must be the more satisfactory to me because, in my philosophising, I have certainly 
not been under its influence ; for up till 1818, when my work appeared, there were 
very few exceedingly incomplete and scanty accounts of Buddhism to be found in 
Europe, which were almost entirely limited to a few essays in the earlier volumes of 
'Asiatic Researches,' and were principally concerned with the Buddhism of the 
Burmese" (Joe. cit., 371). It is, however, probable that Schopenhauer, such an omni- 
vorous reader, and withal so egotistic, minimizes his indebtedness to Buddha, For 
the Vedanta philosophy, to which Schopenhauer admits his indebtedness, is very 
deeply tinged by Buddhist beliefs, and Schopenhauer in his system generally 
follows the lines of Buddhism ; and in his later writings he frequently uses Buddhist 
works to illustrate his speculations. Thus: "We find the doctrine of metempsy- 
chosis .... in its most subtle form, however, and coming nearest to the truth 
.... in Buddhism " (loc. cit., Hi., 302). And illustrating his theme "of Denial 
of the Will to Live," he refers (loc. cit., iii., 445) to Fausboll's Dluimmapadam and 
Burnouf's Introduction; and (p. 303) Spence Hardy's Manual, Obry's Du Nirvana 
lndien (p. 308) ; Colebrooke, Sangermano, Transactions St. Petersburg Academy of 
Science ; and frequently to the Asiatic Researches. 


Unconscious includes Unconscious intelligence as well as Uncon- 
scious Will. In Buddhism intelligence is not denied to Will and 
accorded a secondary and derivate place as in German pessimism, 
and we may even infer, from what is set forth as to the directing 
function of the Karma, as well as from its pictorial representation, 
that Buddhism in some sense felt the necessity of attributing an 
intelligent quality to the unconscious principle in order that it 
might pass from the state of migratory abstractiveness to that of 
determinate being. But, on the other hand, there is not here as 
an essential feature of the system a deliberate ascription of intelli- 
gence to the unconscious as with Hartmann. The Unconscious 
Will-to-live maintains the changes of phenomena. " The world is 
the World's process." All " is becoming," nothing " is." It is 
indeed, as has been suggested to me, the Flux of Heraclitus, who 
also used the same simile of Fire and Burning. " The constant 
new-births (palingenesis) constitute," as Schopenhauer, a Neo- 
Buddhist says, " the succession of the life-dreams of a will, which 
in itself is indestructible until instructed and improved, by so 
much and such various successive knowledge in a constantly new 
form, it abolishes or abrogates itself." ' 

As a philosophy, Buddhism thus seems to be an Idealistic 
Nihilism ; an Idealism which, like that of Berkeley, holds that 
" the fruitful source of all error was the unfounded belief in the 
reality and existence of the external world"; and that man can 
perceive nothing but his feelings, and is the cause to himself 
of these. That all known or knowable objects are relative to a 
conscious subject, and merely a product of the ego, existing 
through the ego, for the ego, and in the ego, — though it must be 
remembered that Buddha, by a swinging kind of positive and 
negative mysticism, at times denies a place to the ego altogether. 
But, unlike Berkeley's Idealism, this recognition of the relativity 
and limitations of knowledge, and the consequent disappearance 
of the world as a reality, led directly to Nihilism^ by seeming to 
exclude the knowledge, and by implication the existence, not only 
of a Creator, but of an absolute being. 

As a Eeligion, Buddhism is often alleged to be theistic. But 
although Buddha gives no place to a First Cause in his system, 

1 S( -hopkniiauek's Will and Idea. Eng. trans., iii., 300. 


yet, as is well known, he nowhere expressly denies an infinite 
first cause or an unconditioned Being beyond the finite ; and he 
is even represented as refusing to answer such questions on the 
ground that their discussion was unprofitable. In view of this 
apparent hesitancy and indecision he may be called an agnostic. 

In the later developments, the agnostic idealism of primitive 
Buddhism swung round into a materialistic theism which verges 
on pantheism, and where the second link of the Causal Chain, 
namely, Sanskdra, comes closely to resemble the modi of 
Spinoza j 1 and Nirvana, or rather Pari-Nirvana, is not different 
practically from the Vedantic goal : assimilation with the great 
universal soul : 

" The dew-drop slips into the shining sea." 

And the latter developments generally have been directed 
towards minimizing the inveterate pessimism of Buddha's ethics 
which tends to bring the world to a standstill, by disparaging that 
optimistic bias which is commonly supposed to be an essential 
element in the due direction of all life-processes. 

Lamaist Metaphysics. 

After Buddha's death his personality soon became invested with 
supernatural attributes ; and as his church grew in power and wealth 
his simple system underwent academic development, at the hands 
of votaries now enjoying luxurious leisure, and who thickly over- 
laid it with rules and subtle metaphysical refinements and specu- 

Buddha ceases even to be the founder of Buddhism, and is 
made to appear as only one of a series of (four or seven) equally 
perfect Buddhas who had " similarly gone " before, and hence 
called Tathagata, 2 and implying the necessity for another " com- 
ing Buddha," who was called Maitreya, or " The Loving One." 

i "All Sentient beings exist in the essence (garbha) of the Tathagata."— Angulimaliya 
Siitra (Kah-gyur ; Do, xvi. f. 208, transl. by Rock., B., p. 196). 

2 This theory of multiple Buddhas and the introduction of the name Tathagata 
seems to have been introduced by the Sautrantika School (Wass., B., 314). This 
doctrine is held by the southern Buddhists. Rhys Davids (B., p. 179) writes : " It is 
not so necessarily implied in or closely connected with the most important parts of 
his scheme as to exclude the possibility of its having arisen after his death " (cf . 
also Davids, p. 13, Buddhist Birth Stories; Senart's La Legende du Buddha). 


Then these (four or seven) Buddhas or Tathagatas are extended 
into series of 24, 35 and 1 ,000 ; in addition to which there are also 
Pratyeka or solitary non-teaching Buddhas. 

In the second century after the Nirvana 1 arose the Mahasanghika 
sect (latterly grouped under Vaibhashika) which asserted that the 
Buddhas are illusory and metaphysical; that the traditions re- 
specting the Buddha having been born into the world as men 
are incorrect, that the law is Tathagata, 2 that the " Buddhas 
have passed beyond all worlds ( = Lokottaravadina); 3 that "Tatha- 
gata is infinitely extended immeasurably glorious, eternal in 
duration, that to his power *of recollection (ni-sniHti), his 
power of faith (sradhabala), his experience of joy, and his life 
there is no end ; he sleeps not, he speaks, asks, reflects not, they 
say that his existence is ever one, and uniform (one heart), that 
all things born may obtain deliverance by having his instruction." 4 

This theistic phase of Buddhism seems foreshadowed even in 
orthodox Hinayana scriptures. Thus in the Mahavagga (i., 6, 8) 
Sakya Muni is made to say of himself, " I am the all-subduer ; 
the all-wise ; I have no stains, through myself I possess know- 
ledge; I have no rival; I am the Chief Arhat — the highest 
teacher, I alone am the absolutely wise, I am the Conqueror 
(Jina). " And the Mahasanghika sect of the Hinayana discussed 
the eternity and omnipotence of the Buddha. While the Sau- 
trantika section asserted the plurality of the Buddhas. 

Indeed, even in southern Buddhism, the expressed deification of 
Buddha can scarcely be said to be altogether absent. For Ceylon 
monks, following an ancient ritual, chant : — 

" I worship continually 

The Buddhas of the ages that are past, 
I worship the Buddhas, the all-pitiful, 
I worship with bowed head. 

" I bow my head to the ground and worship 

1 Mahdwanso, 20-21. 116 years after Nirvana, Beal in bid. Antiq., p. 301. The Tibetan 
gives the date 110 years and also (Rockhill, B., p. 182) 160, which is probably a mis- 
take for the 116 of the Chinese. 

2 Beal, loc. cit. 

3 Rockhill, B., 183, where is given a detailed translation of the features of the 
eighteen Hinayana sects. 

4 Beal, loc. cit. 


The sacred dust of his holy feet, 

If in aught I have sinned against Buddha, 

May Buddha forgive me my sin." l 

Here Buddha seems prayed to as an existing and active divinity. 2 

About four centuries after Buddha's death the Mahayana doc- 
trine had evolved specialized celestial Buddhas and Bodhisatvas 
residing in worlds as fabulous as themselves; and the human 
Buddhas are made mere manifestations, and reflexes from celestial 

The Mahayana development seems an offshoot of the Maha- 
sanghika sect of primitive Buddhism. It assumed a concrete form 
about the end of the first century a.d. under Asvaghosha, who 
wrote the Mahayana Sraddhotanda Sastra; but its chief ex- 
pounder was, as we have already seen, Nagarjuna. 

Buddha, it will be remembered, appears to have denied existence 
altogether. In the metaphysical developments after his death, 
however, schools soon arose asserting that everything exists (Sar- 
vastivada 3 ), that nothing exists, or that nothing exists except the 
One great reality, a universally diffused essence of a pantheistic 
nature. The denial of the existence of the " Ego " thus forced the 
confession of the necessary existence of the Non-ego. And the 
author of the southern Pali text, the Milinda Paiiha, writing about 
150 a.d., puts into the mouth of the sage Nagasena the following 
words in reply to the King of Sagala's query, " Does the all-wise 
(Buddha) exist ?"* " He who is the most meritorious does exist," 
and again " Great King ! Nirwana is." s 

Thus, previous to Nagiirjuna's school, Buddhist doctors were 
divided into two extremes : into a belief in a real existence and 
in an illusory existence ; a perpetual duration of the Sattva and 
total annihilation. Nagarjuna chose a " middle way r " (Ma- 
dhydmika). He denied the possibility of our knowing that 

1 PdtimaWia, Dickson, p. 5. 

2 Though somejiold this to be merely a chant for luck and not real prayer. 

:i In the middle of the third century after the Nirvana (Beal, Ioc. ait.) arose the 
realistic Sarvastivada as a branch of the Sthaviras, " those who say all exists, the 
past, future and the present," and are called in consequence " they who say that 
all exists," or Sarvdstivriclbia (Rockuil.!,, B., 184). 

4 Eastern Mon., p. 300, and Rhys Davids' Questions of Milinda. 

5 East. Mon., p. 295. 


anything either exists or did not exist. By a sophistic nihilism 
he " dissolved every problem into thesis and antithesis and 
denied both." There is nothing either existent or non-existent, 
and the state of Being admits of no definition or formula. 

The Prajnd pdramitd 1 on which Nagarjuna based his teaching 
consist of mythical discourses attributed to Buddha and addressed 
mostly to supernatural hearers on the Vulture Peak, etc. It 
recognizes several grades of metaphysical Buddhas and numerous 
divine Bodhisats, who must be worshipped and to whom prayers 
should be addressed. And it consists of extravagant speculations 
and metaphysical subtleties, with a profusion of abstract termin- 

His chief apocalyptic treatises' 2 are the Buddhavatansaka, 
Samadhiraja and Ratnakiita Sutras. The gist of the Avatan- 
saka Sutra may be summarized 3 as " The one true essence 
is like a bright mirror, which is the basis of all phenomena, the 
basis itself is permanent and true, the phenomena are evanescent 
and unreal ; as the mirror, however, is capable of reflecting images, 
so the true essence embraces all phenomena and all things exist 
in and by it." 

An essential theory of the Mahayana is the Voidness or Nothing- 
ness of things, Sunyatd, 4 evidently an enlargement of the last 
term of the Trividyd formula, Andtma. Sakya Muni is said to 
have declared that " no existing object has a nature, 5 whence it 
follows that there is neither beginning nor end — that from time 
immemorial all has been perfect quietude 6 and is entirely im- 
mersed in Nirvana." But Sunyata, or, as it is usually translated, 
" nothingness " cannot be absolute nihilism for there are, as 
Mr. Hodgson tells us, " a Sunyata and a Maha-Sunyata. We are 
dead. You are a little Nothing ; but I am a big Nothing. Also 
there are eighteen degrees of Sunyata. 7 You are annihilated, 

i Prajnd begins with chaos. She produced all the Tathagatas, and is the mother 
of all Bodhisattvas Pratyeka-Buddhas and Disciples (Conf. Cowell and Eggeling's 
Catal, Skt. MS., J.R.A.S., N.S. viii., 3). 

2 For some details of these see Csoma's An., p. 400. 

3 Beal's Catena, 125. 

4 Tib., Tong-pa fiid. 
3 No-vo-fiid. 

6 Zod-manas Zi-ba — "nothing has manifested itself in any form " (Schl., 343). 
" Hodgson's Essays, etc., 59. 


but I am eighteen times as much annihilated as you." x And the 
Lamas extended the degrees of " Nothingness " to seventy. 

This nihilistic doctrine is demonstrated by The Three Marks and 
the Two Truths and has been summarized by Schlagintweit. The 
Three Marks are : 

1. Parikalpita (Tib., Kun-tag) the supposition or error ; unfounded 
belief in the reality of existence ; two-fold error in believing a thing 
to exist which does not exist, and asserting real existence when it is 
only ideal. 

2. Paratantra (T., Z'an-van) or whatever exists by a dependent or 
causal connexion, viz., the soul, sense, comprehension, and imperfect 
philosophical meditation. 

3. Parinishpanna (T., Yoh-grub) "completely perfect" is the un- 
changeable and unassignable true existence which is also the scope of 
the path, the summum bonum, the absolute. 

The two Truths are Samvritisatya (T., Kun-dsa-bch'i-den-pa) The 
relative truth ; the efficiency of a name or characteristic sign. And 
Paramarthasatya (Don-dam-pahi den-pa) the absolute truth obtained by 
the self-consciousness of the saint in self-meditations. 

The world (or Samsara), therefore, is to be renounced not for its 
sorrow and pain as the Hinayana say, but on account of its un- 
satisfying unreality. 

The idealization of Buddha's personality led, as we have just 
seen, to his deification as an omniscient and everlasting god ; and 
traces of this development are to be found even in southern 
Buddhism. And he soon came to be regarded as the omnipotent 
primordial god, and Universal Essence of a pantheistic nature. 

About the first century a.d. Buddha is made to be existent from 
all eternity ( Anada). Professor Kern, in his translation of The 
Lotus of the True Laiv, which dates from this time, 2 points out 
that although the theistic term Adi-Buddha or Primordial Buddha 
does not occur in that work, Sftkya Muni is identified with Adi- 
Buddha in the words, " From the very beginning (ddita eva) 
have I roused, brought to maturity, fully developed them (the 
innumerable Bodhisats) to be fit for their Bodhisattva position." 3 

And with respect to the modes of manifestations of the universal 
essence, " As there is no limit to the immensity of reason and 
measurement to the universe, so all the Buddhas are possessed of 

A. Lillie, J.R.A.S., xiv., 9. 3 Loc. cit., xxv. 

Saddharma Pundarlka, xxii. 


infinite wisdom and infinite mercy. There is no place throughout 
the universe where the essential body of Vairocana(or other supreme 
Buddha, varying with different sects) is not present. Far and wide 
through the fields of space he is present, and perpetually mani- 
fested. 1 

The modes in which this universal essence manifests itself are the 
three bodies (Tri-kaya), namely — (1) Dharma-kdya 2 or Law-body, 
Essential Bodhi, 3 formless and self-existent, the Dhyani Buddha, 
usually named Vairocana Buddha or the " Perfect Justification," 
or Adi-Buddha. (2) Sambhoga-kdya 1 or Compensation-body, 
Keflected Bodhi, the Dhyani Bodhisats, usually named Lochana or 
"glorious" 5 ; and (3) Nirmdiia-kdya 6 or Transform ed-body, 
Practical Bodhi, the human Buddhas, as Sakya Muni. 7 

Now these three bodies of the Buddhas, human and super- 
human, are all included in one substantial essence. The three 
are the same as one — not one, yet not different. When regarded 
as one the three persons are spoken of as Tathagata. But there 
is no real difference, these manifestations are only different 
views of the same unchanging substance. 8 

One of the earliest of these celestial Buddhas was given the 
title of " The Infinite Light " (Amitdbha), and his personality 
soon crystallized into a concrete theistic Buddha of that name, 
residing in a glorious paradise (tSukhavati) in the West, where 
the daily suns hasten and disappear in all their glory, and hence 
supposed by some to include a sun myth or to be related to sun- 
worship, probably due to Persian influence; for the chief patrons 
of the early Mahay ana, about the time of the invention of this 
myth, were Indo-Scyths, a race of sun-worshippers. 

After Nagarjuna,the chief expounder of the Mahayana philosophy 

1 Beal's Catena, 123. 

2 T., ch'os-sku. 
s Eit., p. 180. 

4 long-sku. 

s It is singular to find these Buddhist speculations bearing so close a resemblance 
to the later Greek theories on the same subject, especially in the plain resemblance of 
the a-u/xa avyoeiSh or luciform body, to the Lochana (Rajana) or " Glorious Body " of 
the Buddhists. Vide the whole subject of these " bodies " treated by Cudwokth 
Intellec. System, ii., 788; Beal's Cat., 123. 

« sprul-sku. 

7 On these bodies see also Vasiliev, B. (French ed.), p. 127, and Eitel, 179 sen. 

a Beal's Catena, 123. 


was Vasubandhu, who was less wildly speculative than many of his 
predecessors and composed many commentaries. 1 Previous to his 
day, the nihilism of the Mahayana had become almost mystic in 
its sophistry. 

This intense mysticism of the Mahayana led about the fifth 
century to the importation into Buddhism of the pantheistic idea 
of the soul (atman) and Yoga, or the ecstatic union of the in- 
dividual with the Universal Spirit, a doctrine which had been 
introduced into Hinduism about 150 B.C. by Patanjali. This inno- 
vation originated with Asanga, 2 a monk of Gandhara (Peshawar), 
whose system is known as the Yogacarya, or "contemplative" 
Mahayana. Asanga is credited with having been inspired directly 
by the celestial Bodhisat Maitreya, the coming Buddha, and it 
is believed that he was miraculously transferred to the Tushita 
heavens and there received from Maitreya's hands the gospels 
called "The Five Books of Maitreya," the leading scripture of 
this party. 

His school, the Yogacarya, and especially its later develop- 
ment (into which magic circles with mantras or spells were in- 
troduced about 700 a.d.), was entitled " Mantraydna " or " the 
mcm£ra-vehicle." And Yoga seems indeed to have influenced also 
the Ceylonese and other forms of southern Buddhism, among 
whom flying through the air and other supernatural powers (Irdhi) 
are obtainable by ecstatic meditation (though not expressedly 
pantheistic), and the recitation of dhdraiiis 3 ; and the ten " iddhis " 
or miraculous supernatural powers, are indeed regarded as the 
attribute of every perfected saint or Arhat. 4 " Rahats (Arhats) 
flying " is a frequent expression in the southern scriptures, and is 
illustrated by numerous paintings in the early caves of Ajanta, in 
central India. 

It is with this essentially un-Buddhistic school of pantheistic 
mysticism— which, with its charlatanism, contributed to the decline 
of Buddhism in India— that the Theosophists claim kinship. Its 

i Amitayus sutropedesa, Buddhagotra Sastra, on the Saddharma Pundarika, Vajra 
Ch'edika, Dasabhumika, etc. ; and also " the Treasury of Metaphysics" (Abidharma 
Kos-sa sastra), containing many Sautrantika principles. 

a' For his date conf. Vasil., 225, 230 and previous note. The works of his younger 
brother Vasubandhu, were translated into Chinese 557 a.d. 

3 Conf. Hardy's E.M., p., 252, and Ghimblot, Sept. Suttas pali, p. 323. 

4 Childers' Pali Diet. 


so-called " esoteric Buddhism " would better be termed exoteric, 
as Professor C. Bendall has suggested to me, for it is foreign 
to the principles of Buddha. Nor do the Lamas know anything 
about those spiritual mediums — the Mahatmas (" Koot Hoomi ") 
■ — which the Theosophists place in Tibet, and give an important 
place in Lamaist mysticism. As we shall presently see, the mysti- 
cism of the Lamas is a charlatanism of a mean necromantic order, 
and does not even comprise clever jugglery or such an interesting 
psychic phenomenon as mesmerism, and certainly nothing worthy 
of being dignified by the name of " natural secrets and forces." 

But with its adoption of Tantrism, 1 so-called, Buddhism entered 
on its most degenerate phase. Here the idolatrous cult of female 
energies was grafted upon the theistic Mahayana and the pan- 
theistic mysticism of Yoga. And this parasite seized strong hold 
of its host and soon developed its monstrous growths, which 
crushed and strangled most of the little life yet remaining of 
purely Buddhist stock. 

Tantrism, which began about the seventh century a.d. to 
tinge Buddhism, is based on the worship of the Active Pro- 
ducing Principle (Prakriti) as manifested in the goddess Kali 
or Durga, the female energy (Sakti) of the primordial male 
(Purusha or Siva), who is a gross presentation of The Supreme 
Soul of the universe. In this cult the various forces of nature 
— physical, physiological, moral and intellectual — were deified 
under separate personalities, and these presiding deities were 
grouped into Mdtri (divine mothers), Ddkkini and Yogini 
(goddesses with magical powers), etc. And all were made to 
be merely different manifestations of the one great central god- 
dess, Kali, Siva's- spouse. Wives were thus allotted to the 
several celestial Bodhisats, as well as to most of the other 
gods and demons ; and most of them were given a variety of 
forms, mild and terrible, according to the supposed moods of 
each divinity at different times. And as goddesses and 

1 Vasiliev designates this stage as "Mysticism" ; but surely the developed 
Mahayana and Yogacarya doctrines were already mystic in a high degree ; 
while the name Tuntrik expresses the kind of mysticism and also conveys a sense 
of Sivaist idolatry, although the word " Tdntra," according to its Tibetan etymology 
(?-gyud), literally means " a treatise," it is restricted both in Buddhism and Hinduism 
to the necromantic books on Sakta mysticism. 


she-devils were the bestowers of natural and supernatural 
powers and were especially malignant, they were especially 

About this time the theory of Adi-Buddha, 1 which, it has 
been seen, existed about the first century a.d., underwent more 
concrete theistic development. He becomes the primordial god 
and creator, and evolves, by meditation, five celestial Jinas or 
Buddhas of Meditation (Dhydni Buddhas), almost impassive, 
each of whom, through meditation, evolves an active celestial 
Bodhisat-son, who possesses creative functions, 2 and each human 
Buddha, though especially related to a particular one of the five 
celestial Buddhas of Meditation, is produced by a union of re- 
flexes from each of these latter. For pictures of these deities, see 
the chapter on the pantheon, where also I give a table present- 
ing the inter-relations of these various celestial Buddhas, Bodhi- 
sats, and human Buddhas, and also incorporate their mystic 
symbolism, although this was probably added in the later Mantra- 
yana stage. 

It will be seen that the five celestial Jinas are so distributed 
as to allot one to each of the four directions, 3 and the fifth is 
placed in the centre. And the central position thus given him, 
namely, Vairocana, is doubtless associated with his promotion to 
the Adi-Buddhaship amongst certain northern Buddhists; though 
the reformed and unreformed sects of Lamas, differ as regards 
the specific name which they give the Adi-Buddha, the former 
calling him Vajradhara, doubtless selected as bearing the title 

i Tib., mCh'og-hi dah-pohi Saiis-rgyas. 

2 "According to this system," says Mr. Hodgson, J.A.S.B., xii., 400, "from an 
eternal, infinite and immaterial Adi-Buddha proceeded divinely, and not gecera- 
tively, rive lesser Buddhas, who are considered the immediate sources (Adi-Buddha 
being the ultimate source) of the five elements of matter, and of the five organs 
and five faculties of sensation. The moulding of these materials into the shape 
of an actual world is not, however, the business of the five Buddhas, but it is de- 
volved by them upon lesser emanations from themselves denominated Bodhisattvas, 
who are thus the tertiary and active agents of the creation and government of 
the world, by virtue of powers derived immediately from the five Buddhas, 
ultimately from the one supreme Buddha. This system of five Buddhas provides 
for the origin of the material world and for that of immaterial existences. A 
sixth Buddha is declared to have emanated divinely from Adi-Buddha, and this 
sixth Buddha, Vajrasattva by name, is assigned the immediate organization of 
mind and its powers of thought and feeling." 

3 The five "wisdoms" which the human Buddha embodies are: Ch'o-ki byih ki 
ye-s'es, Melon ta-bahi, Nambar-ned-ki, Sosor tog-pahi, Gya-wa du-pahi ye-s'es. 


of " Vajra " so dear to Tantrik Buddhists, while the unreformed 
sects consider him to be Samantabhadra, that is, the celestial son of 
Vairocana. And the Adi-Buddha is not considered wholly inactive 
or impassive, for he is frequently addressed in prayers and hymns. 
Sakya Muni is the fourth of the Manushi or human Buddhas of 
this age, and his Dhyani Buddha is Amitabha, and his corres- 
ponding celestial Bodhisat is Avalokitesvara, the patron-god of 
Lamaism, who is held to be incarnate in the Grand Lama. 

The extreme development of the Tantrik phase was reached with 
the Kala-cakra, which, although unworthy of being considered 
a philosophy, must be referred to here as a doctrinal basis. 
It is merely a coarse Tantrik development of the Adi-Buddha 
theory combined with the puerile mysticisms of the Mantra- 
yana, and it attempts to explain creation and the secret powers of 
nature, by the union of the terrible Kali, not only with the 
Dhyani Buddhas, but even with Adi-Buddha himself. In this way 
Adi-Buddha, by meditation, evolves a procreative energy by which 
the awful Samvhara and other dreadful Dakkini-fiendesses, all 
of the Kali-type, obtain spouses as fearful as themselves, yet 
spouses who are regarded as reflexes of Adi-Buddha arid the 
Dhyani Buddhas. And these demoniacal "Buddhas," under the 
names of Kala-cakra, Heruka, Achala, Vajra- vairabha, 1 etc., are 
credited with powers not inferior to those of the celestial Buddhas 
themselves, and withal, ferocious and bloodthirsty; and only to 
be conciliated by constant worship of themselves and their female 
energies, with offerings and sacrifices, magic-circles, special 
ma?zira-charms, etc. 

These hideous creations of Tantrism were eagerly accepted by 
the Lamas in the tenth century, and since then have formed a 
most essential part of Lamaism; and their terrible images fill 
the country and figure prominently in the sectarian divisions. 

Afterwards was added the fiction of re-incarnate Lamas to 
ensure the political stability of the hierarchy. 

Yet, while such silly and debased beliefs, common to the Lamas 
of all sects, determine the character of the Tibetan form of the 
doctrine, the superior Lamas, on the other hand, retain much of 
the higher philosophy of the purer Buddhism. 

i Compare with the Pancha Rakshd, and see chapter on pantheon, pp. 353 and 363. 

K 2 

Lamas sending Paper-horses to Travei.leks. 1 


|HE simple creed and rule of conduct which won its 
way over myriads of Buddha's hearers is still to be 
found in Lamaism, though often obscured by the 
mystic and polydemonist accretions of later days. All 
the Lamas and most of the laity are familiar with the doctrinal 
elements taught by Sakya Muni and give them a high place in 
their religious and ethical code. 

A keen sense of human misery forms the starting-point of 
Buddha's Law or Dharma 2 the leading dogma of which is pro- 
pounded in " The Four noble Truths," 3 which may be thus sum- 
marized : — 

1. Existence in any form involves Suffering or Sorrow. 4 " 

i After Hue. 

2 Dharma is best rendered, says Rhys Davids {Buddh., p. 45), by "truth" cr 
righteousness, and no' by "Law," which suggests ceremonial observances and out- 
ward rules, which it was precisely the object of Buddha's teaching to do away with. 

3 Arya Batyani. T., 'p'ag.s-pa 6den-pa bz'i. 

* The word for Misery (Skt., Asram; T. 'zag-pa) means "drops," so-called because it 
oozes or drops (zag) from out the different regions of the six ayatanas (or scum -sur- 


2. The Cause of Suffering is Desire and Lust of Life. 

3. The Cessation of Suffering is effected by the complete con- 
quest over and destruction of Desire and Lust of Life. 

4. The Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering is " The 
noble Eight-fold Path," the parts l of which are : — 

1. Right Belief 5. Right Means of Livelihood 

2. „ Aims 6. „ Endeavour 

3. „ Speech 7. „ Mindfulness 

4. „ Actions 8. „ Meditation. 

Thus Ignorance (of the illusive idealism of Life) is made the 
source of all misery, and the right Knowledge of the nature of 
Life is the only true path to emancipation from re-birth or Arhat- 
ship ; and practically the same dogma is formulated in the well- 
known stanza called by Europeans " the Buddhist Creed." 2 And 

faces) as drops water through holes (Rockhill's Uddndmrga, 10). It seems to convey 
the idea of tears as expressive of misery. 

1 Auc/a. 

2 " The Buddhist Creed," found so frequently on votive images, is : — 

Ye dkarmd hetwprdbhavd 
Hetun teskan tathugatd 
Ili/anif/ata teshdu ca yo nirodha 
Ecam vtidi mahdsrama'nak. 
It has been translated by Rhys Davids ( V in. Texts., i., p. 146) as follows : — 
Of all objects which proceed from a Cause 
The Tathagata has explained the cause, 
And he has explained their Cessation also ; 
This is the doctrine of the great Samana. 
The Second Stanza, also found frequently on Buddhist votive images in India (see 
Buknouf's Lotus, p. 523, and Cunningham's Arch. Surv. Rep. 2nd., i., pi. xxxiv., fig. 
1, First Stanza), is according to its Tibetan form : — 
Sar-mpapasyd karanavy 
Kusa la syopasapradd m 
Svacitta in paridamanu 
Etad Buddha n iisasauam. 

Which has been translated by Csoma thus :— 

" No vice is to be committed ; 
Every virtue must be perfectly practised ; 
The mind must be brought under entire subjection. 
This is the commandment of Buddha." 
In Tibetan the first stanza of " the Creed " is widely known, and is : — 
Ch'os-nam t'am-c'ad rgyu-las byun 
De-rgyu de-z'in-gs'egs-pas gsuns 
rGyu-la 'gog-pa gan-yin-pa 
'Di-skad gsuh-ba dge-spyoh-ch'i. 



the bulk of the Buddhist scriptures is devoted to the proofs and 
illustrations of the above dogma. 

The Moral Code, as expressed in its most elementary form of 
rules for the external conduct, forms the well-known decalogue 
(dasa-sila) which enunciates its precepts in a negative and pro- 
hibitive form, namely : — 

1. Kill not. 

2. Steal not. 

3. Commit not Adultery. 

4. Lie not. 

5. Drink not Strong Drink. 

6. Eat no Food except at the 

stated times. 

7. Use no Wreaths, Ornaments 

or Perfumes. 

8. Use no High Mats or Thrones. 

9. Abstain from Dancing, Sing- 

ing, Music, and Worldly 
10. Own no Grold or Silver and 
accept none. 

Buddha preaching the Law 
(in the Deer-park [Mriga-dawa] at Benares). 

The first five (the panca-sila) are binding upon the laity ; the 
whole ten are binding only on the monks ; but the layman on cer- 
tain fast-days, in accordance with a pious vow, observes also one or 
more of the next four (Nos. 6 to 9). The more austere rules for 
monastic discipline are indicated in the chapter on the monkhood. 


Sakya Muni's sermons, as presented in the earlier and more 
authentic scriptures, have all the simple directness and force 
which belong to sayings of " the inspired." As an illustration of 
his moral teaching, his popular sermon on " What is the Greatest 
Blessing ? " (the Mangala Sutra) 1 is here appended : — 

Buddha's Sermon ok What is the Greatest Blessing ? 

Praise be to the Blessed One, the Holy One, the Author of all 
Truth I 

1. Thus I have heard. On a certain day dwelt the Blessed One 2 at 
Srivasta, at the Jetavana monastery, in the Garden of Anathapindaka. 
And when the night was far advanced, a certain radiant celestial 
being, illuminating the whole of Jetavana, approached the Blessed One 
ami saluted him, and stood aside, and standing aside addressed him 
with this verse : — 

Many gods and men yearning after good have held divers things to 
be blessings ; say thou what is the greatest blessing ? 

1. To serve wise men and not serve fools, to give honour to whom 
honour is due, this is the greatest blessing. 

2. To dwell in a pleasant land, to have done good deeds in a former 
existence, to have a soul filled with right desires, this is the greatest 

3. Much knowledge and much science, the discipline of a well- 
trained mind, and a word well spoken, this is the greatest blessing. 

4. To succour father and mother, to cherish wife and child, to follow 
a peaceful calling, this is the greatest blessing. 

5. To give alms, to live religiously, to give help to relatives, to do 
blameless deeds, this is the greatest blessing. 

6. To cease and abstain from sin, to eschew strong drink, to be 
diligent in good deeds, this is the greatest blessing. 

7. Reverence and lowliness and contentment and gratitude, to receive 
religious teaching at due seasons, this is the greatest blessing. 

8. To be long-suffering and meek, to associate with the priests of 
Buddha, to hold religious discourse at due seasons, this is the greatest 

9. Temperance and chastity, discernment of the four great truths, 
the prospect of Nirvana, this is the greatest blessing. 

10. The soul of one unshaken by the changes of this life, a soul 
inaccessible to sorrow, passionless, secure, this is the greatest blessing. 

11. They that do these things are invincible on every side, on every 
side they walk in safety, yea, theirs is the greatest blessing. 

Indeed, Buddha's teaching is not nearly so pessimistic as it is 

From Professor Childers' translation. 2 Bhagava. 


usually made to appear by its hostile critics. His sermon on 
Love (Mitra Sutra) shows that Buddhism has its glad tidings of 
great joy, and had it been wholly devoid of these, it could never 
have become popular amongst bright, joyous people like the Bur- 
mese and Japanese. 

The stages towards Arhatship 1 or emancipation from re-birth 
are graduated into a consecutive series of four (cattaro-marga) 
paths, a fourfold arrangement of " the eightfold paths "above men- 
tioned ; and these depend upon the doctrinal comprehension of the 
devotee, and his renunciation or not of the world, for the higher 
stages were only reachable by celibate monks (sramana) or nuns 
(sramanefd), and not by the ordinary laity or hearers (sravaka). 
Those who have not yet entered any of these stages or paths are 
"the ignorant and unwise ones." And Meditation (dhydna) is the 
chief means of entry. The first and lowest stage or step towards 
Arhatship is the Srottdpatti, or the entering the stream — the 
state of the new convert to Buddhism. He is called Sotapanno, 
" One who has entered the stream," inevitably carrying him on- 
ward — though not necessarily in the same body — to the calm ocean 
of Nirvana. 2 He, now, can only be re-born 3 as a god or man, and 
not in any lower births, though his metempsychoses may yet last 
countless ages. 4 

In the second stage the graduate is called Sakrid-agFimin, or 
" he who receives birth once more " on earth. He has freed him- 
self from the first five fetters. 

In the third stage he is called An-agami, or " one who will not 
come back " to earth. Such a person can only be re-born in a 
Brahma heaven, whence he reaches Nirvana. 

The fourth and highest stage is the attainment of Arhatship 
in this life. Such a graduate will at death experience no re- 

After Buddha's death seems to have arisen the division of 

i Arhant {Pali, Araha, Rahan, Rabat) as its Tibetan equivalent, dgra-bdom-pa, shows, 
is derived from Ari, an enemy, and turn, to extirpate, i.e., " he who has extirpated his 
passions." It seems to have been applied in primitive Buddhism to those who com- 
prehended the four Truths, and including Buddha himself, but lately it was restricted 
to the perfected Buddhist saint (Laidlay's FaHian Ki, 94 ; Burn., i., 295 ; ii., 297 ; 
Kopp., i., 400; Jaesch., 88). 

2 Hardy's Easta. Mon., Chap. xxii. 

:i Only seven more births yet remain for him. 

4 According to northern Buddhism for 80,000 kalpas, or cycles of time. 


Arhats into the three grades of Simple Arhat, Pratyeka-Buddha, 
and Supreme Buddha, which is now part of the creed of the 
southern school. 

Firstly, " the Simple Arhat who has attained perfection 
through his own efforts and the doctrine and example of a Supreme 
Buddha, but is not himself such a Buddha and cannot teach others 
how to attain Arhatship. 

" Secondly, and second in rank, but far above the Simple 
Arhat, the Pratyeka-Buddha or Solitary Saint, who has attained 
perfection himself and by himself alone and not . . . through 
the teaching of any Supreme Buddha. 

"Thirdly, the Supreme Buddha, or Buddha par excellence (once 
a Bodhisattva), who, having by his own self- enlightening insight 
attained perfect knowledge (sambodhi) . . . has yet delayed 
this consummation (parinirvana) that he may become the saviour 
of a suffering world ... by teaching men how to save 
themselves. 1 

The leading religious feature of the Mahayana doctrine was its 
more universal spirit. Its ideal was less monastic than the 
Hinayana, which confined its advantages practically to its 
cceobitical monks. The Mahayana endeavoured to save all beings 
by rendering Bodhisatship accessible to all, and thus saving all 
beings in the ages to come. It also called itself the " Vehicle of 
Bodisats," thus constituting three vehicles (Triyana) which it 
described as — (1) Of the hearers or disciples (Sravaka), whose 
vehicle was likened to a sheep crossing the surface of a river ; (2) 
of the Pratyeka-Buddhas, or solitary non-teaching Buddhas, whose 
vehicle was likened to a deer crossing a river; and (3) of the 
Bodhisats, whose vehicle is likened to a mighty elephant which 
in crossing a river grandly fathoms it to the bottom. These 
vehicles " are, in plain language, piety, philosophy, or rather 
Yogism, and striving for the enlightenment and weal of our fellow- 
creatures. . . . Higher than piety is true and self-acquired 
knowledge of eternal laws ; higher than knowledge is devoting 
oneself to the spiritual weal of others." 2 It thus gave itself the 
highest place. 

Its theory of Bodhisatship is, to use the words of Professor 

1 Summary by Mon. Williams's Buddhism, p. 134. - Kern, op. cit., p. xxxiv. 


Rhys Davids, "the keynote of the later school just as Arhatship 
is the keynote of early Buddhism. 1 The Arhats being dead cannot 
be active, the Bodhisattvas as living beings can : " the Bodhi- 
sattvas represent the ideal of spiritual activity ; the Arhats of 

But, as Professor Kern shows, one of the earliest of the Mahayana 
scriptures, the Saddharma pundarika, dating at least about the 
second century a.d., goes further than this. It teaches that every- 
one should try to become a Buddha. "It admits that from a prac- 
tical point of view one may distinguish three means, so-called 
Vehicles (ydncts), to attain summum bonum, Nirvana, although 
in a higher sense there is only one Vehicle — the Buddha Vehicle." 2 

To obtain the intelligence (Bodhi) of a Buddha, and as a Bodhi- 
sat to assist in the salvation of all living beings, the six Pdra- 
mitd or transcendental virtues must be assiduously practised. 
These cardinal virtues are : — 

1. Charity (Skt., ddna 3 ) 4. Industry (yirya 6 ) 

2. Morality (sila*) 5. Meditation (dhydna 7 ) 

3. Patience (Jcshdnti 5 ) 6. Wisdom (prajnd 8 ) 
To which four others sometimes are added, to wit : — 

7. Method (updya 9 ) 9. Fortitude (bala ") 

8. Prayer (pranidhdna 10 ) 10. Foreknowledge (? dhydna 12 ) 
Sakya Muni, in his last earthly life but one, is held to have satis- 
fied the Pdvamitd of Giving (No. 1 of the list) as prince Visvantara 
(" Vessantara ") as detailed in the Jataka of the same name. 
Asoka, in his gift of Jambudvipa; and Siladitya, in his gifts at 
Prayag (Allahabad), as described by Hiuen Tsiang, are cited as 
illustrations of this Pdramitd. 

Meditation, the fifth Paramita, was early given an important 
place in the doctrine, and it is insisted upon in the Vinaya. 13 
Through it one arrives at perfect tranquillity (samddhi), which is 
believed to be the highest condition of mind. And in the later 

1 Origin, p. 254. 2 Sao: Bks. East, xxi., p. xxxiv. 

3 sbyin-pa, Csoma, Analy., 399 ; Buknouf, Lotus, p. 544. 
* ts'ul-k'rims. s bzod-pa. 6 botson-'gru*. 

7 bsam-gtan. 8 s'es-rab. 9 t'abs. 

10 smon-lam. n stobs. 12 ye-s'es. 

13 For stages of meditation see Bigandet's Legends, etc., 446. Bodhidharma in the fifth 
century a.d. exalted meditation as the means of self-reformation. 


days of mysticism this led to the ecstatic meditation of Yoga, 
by which the individual becomes united with and rapt in the 

The ten stages through which a Bodhisat must pass in order 
to attain perfection. These stages are called " The Ten 1 Heavens " 
(dasa bhumigvara 2 ), and are objectively represented by the 
ten " umbrellas " surmounting the spire of a caitya, and one 
of the treatises of the "nine canons" is devoted to their de- 
scription. 3 

In the natural craving after something real and positive, " When 
the theory of a universal void became the leading feature of the 
Buddhist scholastic development, the question pressed upon the 
mind was this : If all things around us are unreal and unsub- 
stantial, is there anything in the universe real or any true ex- 
istence ? The answer to this question was that " on the other 
shore," that is, in that condition which admits of no birth or 
death, no change or suffering, there is absolute and imperish- 
able existence." 4 

The chief of these regions is the western paradise of Amitabha, 
named SukhavatI, or " the Happy Land," 5 a figure of which is here 
given, as it is the goal sought by the great body of the Buddhists 
of Tibet, as well as those of China and Japan. Its invention dates 
at least to 100 A.D., 6 and an entry to it is gained by worshipping 
Amitabha's son, Avalokita, which is a chief reason for the spell 
of the latter, the Om mani padme Hum, being so popular. 

In the seventh century a.d., under Buddha-palita, and in the 
eighth or ninth, under Candrakirti, a popular development arose 
named the Prasanga Madhyamika (Tib.,T'al gyur-va 7 ), which by a 
hair-splitting speculation deduces the absurdity and erroneousness 
of every esoteric opinion, and maintained that Buddha's doctrines 
establish two paths, one leading to the highest heaven of the 
universe, SukhavatI, where man enjoys perfect happiness, but con- 

1 They are sometimes accounted thirteen in Nepal (Hodgsox, Lang., 16) and also by 
the Nih-ma Lamas. 

2 See also Laidlay's FaHian,-p. 93; J.R.A.S.,x.i., 1,21. Sometimes they are extended 
to thirteen. 

Hodgs., supra cit. * Beal's Catena, 275. 

5 For its description see Beal's Catena, p. 117 seq.; Max Moi.lee's trans, of SukMvati- 
vyiiha, S.B.E., xlix. ; and Saeat, J.A.S.B., 1891. 

6 Max Muller, op. cit., supra ii., xxiii. Avalokita^s name also occurs here. 
i Vasii.iev, B., 327, 357 ; Csoma, J.A.S.B., vii., 141. 



nected with personal existence, the other conducting to entire 
emancipation from the world, namely, Nirvana. 1 

The Yoga doctrine of ecstatic union of the individual with the 
Universal Spirit had been introduced into Hinduism about 150 
B.C. by Patanjali, and is not unknown to western systems. 2 It 
taught spiritual advancement by means of a self-hypnotizing 
to be learned by rules. By moral consecration of the individual 
to Isvara or the Supreme Soul, and mental concentration 
upon one point with a view to annihilate thought, there resulted 
the eight great Siddhi or magical powers, namely (1) "the 
ability to make one's body lighter, or (2) heavier, or (3) smaller, 
(4) or larger than anything in the world, and (5) to reach 
any place, or (6) to assume any shape, and (7) control all natural 
laws, to 

' Hang like Mahomet in the air, 
Or St. Ignatius at his prayer,' 3 

and (8) to make everything depend upon oneself, all at pleasure 
of will — Iddhi or Riddi" On this basis Asanga, importing 
Patanjali's doctrine into Buddhism and abusing it, taught 4 that 
by means of mystic 
formulas — dhdranis 
(extracts from Maha- 
yana sutras and other 
scriptures) and mantra 
(short prayers to 
deities) — as spells, 
"the reciting of which 
should be accompanied 
by music and certain 
distortion of the fingers 
(mudrd), a state of 
mental fixity (samddhi) 
might be reached char- 
acterized by neither 
thought nor annihilation of thoughts, and consisting of sixfold 

Mystic Attitudes of Fingees. 

1 Schlagt., 41-42. 

2 Compare the remark of Beal, " the end to which Plotinus directed his thoughts was 
to unite himself to the Great God ; he attained it by the unitive method of the Quietists." 
— Critical Diet., art. Plotinus, quoted through Beal's Catena, 150. 

;; Hudibras, Gestn Roman, 326. 

* His doctrine is contained in the treatise entitled Yogiearya-bhumi Sdstra. 


bodily and mental happiness (Yogi), whence would result endow- 
ment with supernatural miracle-working power." These miracu- 
lous powers were alleged to be far more efficacious than mere moral 
virtue, and may be used for exorcism and sorcery, and for purely 
secular and selfish objects. Those who mastered these practices 
were called Yogacarya. 

But even in early Buddhism mantras seem to have been used 
as charms, 1 and southern Buddhism still so uses them in Paritta 
service for the sick, 2 and also resorts to mechanical contrivances for 
attaining Samadhi, somewhat similar to those of the Yogficarya. 3 
And many mystic spells for the supernatural power of exorcism 
are given in that first or second century a.d. work, Saddharma 
Pundarlka. 4 ' 

In the mystic nihilist sense, as the name of a thing was as 
real as the thing itself, the written spell was equally potent with 
the spoken, and for sacerdotal purposes even more so on account of 
the sacred character of letters, as expressing speech and so exciting 
the intense veneration of barbarians. No Tibetan will wantonly 
destroy any paper or other object bearing written characters. 

The general use of the mystic OM, symbolic of the Hindu 
Triad AUM, The Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer, probably dates 
from this era ; though in the Amaravati tope is figured a pillar of 
glory surmounted by OM proceeding from the throne supposed to 
be occupied by Buddha. 5 It is doubtful whether its occurrence in 
some copies of the Lalita Vistara and other early Mahayana works, 
as the first syllable of the Opening Salutation, may not have been 
an after addition of later scribes. The monogram figured on 
page 386 is entitled "The All-powerful ten," 6 and is in a form 
of the Indian character called Ranja or " Lantsa." 

The Tantrik cults 7 brought with them organized worship, 
litanies, and pompous ritual, offerings and sacrifice to the bizarre 

i Kullavagya, v., 6. - East. Mon. Ehys Davids' Milinda, 213. 

3 Hardy's E.M., chap. "Ascetic Kites." See also the mandala diagrams, p. -'<- ; and 
"The Contemplation Stone," J.R.A.S., 1894, p. 564. 

4 See also Beal's Catena, p. 284, etc. 

5 Fergusson's Tree and Ser/i. Worship, pi. lxxi., figs. 1 and 2. 

6 Nam-bc'u-dban-ldan ; cf. also Chinese name fur the Svastika. The letters are I >. 
U, H, K, S, M, L, V, K, Y. 

i Cf. my Indian- Buddhist ('"It <>f AvaloMta, etc., J.R.A.S., 1894 ; Buenotjf's Intro., 



or terrible gods and goddesses for favours, temporal and spiritual. 
A supreme primordial Buddha-god and superhuman Buddhas and 
Bodhisats, together with their female energies, mostly demoniacal, 

Magic-" Circle." 1 

demand propitiation by frequent worship and sacrificial offerings. 
This Tantrik ritual is illustrated in the chapters on worship. 

The excessive use of these mystic Mantras, consisting mostly of 
unmeaning gibberish, resulted in a new vehicle named the 
Mantra-ydna, which is a Tantrik development of the Yoga phase 

From Japan. 



of Buddhism. Charmed sentences (dfuirmu) supposed to have 

been composed by these 
several divinities them- 
selves, are used as 
incantations for pro- 
curing their assistance 
in peril as well as in 
ordinary temporal 
affairs. And by means 
of these spells and 
mummery the so-called 
" magic circles " are 
formed by which the 
divinities are coerced 
into assisting the vot- 
ary to reach "the other 
shore." And the 
authors of this so- 
called "esoteric" 
system gave it a re- 
spectable antiquity by 
alleging that its 
founder was really 
Nagaijuna, who had 
received it in two 
sections of vajra and 
cjarbha-dhatv from 
the celestial Buddha 
Vajra-sattva, within 
" the iron tower " in 
southern India. Its 
authorship is, as even 
Taranatha himself ad- 
mits, most obscure. 1 

The Mantra-ydna 
asserts that the state 
of the " Great en- 

Y.\\ 1 1. \ 01 M an.hsuT. 
(From Japanese.) 


ML&gic-Ciki 11. or Avalok 



lighted or perfected" 1 that is, Buddhaship, may be attained in 
the present body (composed of the six elements) by following the 
three great secret laws regarding the body, speech, and thought, 2 
as revealed by the fictitious Buddha, Vajrasattva. 

Its silly secrets so-called comprise the spells of the several 
divinities, and the mode of making the magic-circles (mandala) 
of the two sorts — the outer and inner (vajradhdtu and garbha- 
dhdtu) ; though something very like, or analogous to, magic-circles 
are also used in southern Buddhism. 3 

Some idea of its contemptible mummery and posturing and 
other physical means for spiritual advancement is to be gained 
from the following three exercises which every Lama should daily 
perform : — 

The " meditative posture of the seven attitudes " is daily assumed by 
the Lama with his associates, in order to subjugate the five senses. 
These attitudes are — (1) sitting with legs flexed in the well-known 
attitude of Buddha ; (2) the hands resting one above the other in the 
lap ; (3) head slightly bent forward j (4) eyes fixed on the tip of the 
nose ; (5) shoulders " expanded like the wings of a vulture ; " (6) spine 
erect and "straight like an arrow"; (7) tongue arching up to the 
palate like the curving petals of the eight-leaved lotus. While in this 
posture he must think that he is alone in a wilderness. And he now, 
by physical means, gets rid of Kaga, Moha, Dvesa— the three " original 
sins " of the body — and these are got rid of according to the humoral 
physiology of the ancients in the three series of dbumn, roma, and 
rkyah-ma. After taking a deep inspiration, the air of the roma veins 
is expelled three times, and thus " the white wind " is let out from the 
right nostril three times in short and forcible expiratory gusts. This 
expels all anger. Then from the left nostril is thrice expelled in a 
similar way "the red air" which rids from lust. The colourless 
central air is thrice expelled, which frees from ignorance. On con- 
cluding these processes, the monk must mentally conceive that all 

1 Maha-utpanna or " Atiyoga, Tib., dsog-ch', n. 

•-' sKu, Sun, T'ug. This doctrine seems almost identical with that of the Shin- 
gon-shu sect of Japan described by B. Nanjio in his Jap. Buddh. Secis, p. 78. 
Taranatha also mentions Nagarjuna's name in connection with its origin, which he 
admits is most obscure. It probably arose at the end of the seventh century a.d., as 
in 720 a.d. Vajrabodhi brought it with its magic-circles to China. 

3 These elaborate circles of coloured clay, etc., are described in detail by Hahdy, E. 
M., 252, etc., and I have seen diagrams of an apparently similar character in Burmese 
Buddhism. Compare also with the mechanical contrivance "the Octagon" (Tib., 
Dab-c'ad) used in the rite sGrub-byed, to concentrate the thoughts and coerce the she- 
devils (DakkinW who confer miraculous powers described. Schlai;., p. 247. Cf. also 
" Meditation-stone." 



ignorance, lust and anger — the three original sins — have "disappeared 
like frost before a scorching sun." 

He then says the " a-lia-ki," keeping his tongue curved like a lotus 
petal. This is followed by his chanting " the Yoga of the Lama," 
during which he must mentally couceive his Lama-guide as sitting over- 
head upon a lotus-flower. 

The mere recital of mystic words and sentences (mantra or 

Mystic Attitudes. 
(Lamas of Established Church.) 

dhdrani [T., Z'un]), and their essential syllable (the germs or 
seed, so-called vija) is held to be equivalent to the practice of the 
Paramitas, and subdues and coerces the gods and genii, and pro- 
cures long life and other temporal blessings, and obtains the 
assistance of the Buddhas and Bodhisats. Although these 




Dh'lranls 1 were likely introduced to supply the need for incanta- 
tions their use is alleged to be based upon the doctrine of un- 
reality of things. As existence is ideal, the name of a thing is 
equivalent to the thing itself, and of a like efficacy are the 
attitudes (mudra) of the fingers, symbolic of the attributes of 
the gods. Thus Om is an acceptable offering to the Buddhas, 
Hri dispels sorrow, and by uttering Ho, samddhi is entered. Of 
such an ideal nature also were 
the paper horses of Hue's 
amusing story, which the 
Lamas with easy charity be- 
stowed on belated and helpless 
travellers, as figured at the top 
of this chapter. 

These postures and parrot- 
like exercises, as practised by 
the unreformed and semi-re- 
formed sects, according to 
the book entitled The com- 
plete esoteric Tdntra 2 and the 
reputed work of Padma-sam- 
bhava, are as follows. The cor- 
responding Gre-lug-pa rites are 
not very much different : — 

1st. — The mode of placing the three mystic words, body, speech 
and thought (leu, sun and t'uk). 

2nd. — The nectar-commanding rosary. 

3rd.— The jewelled rosary-guide for ascending. 

ith. — Secret counsels of the four Yogas. 

5th. — The great root of the heart. 

6th. — The lamp of the three dwellings. 

7th. — The bright loosener of the illusion. 

8th. — The water-drawing " dorje." 

9th. — The secret guide to the fierce Dakkini. 
10th. — The drawing of the essence of the stony nectar. 
11th. — Counsel on the Dakkinl's habits. 
12th. — Fathoming the mystery of the Dakkinis 
13^/t. — Counsel for the Dakkini's heart-root. 
lith. — The four words for the path of Pardo (limbo). 
15th. — The Pardo of the angry demons. 


Lotus-petals of Heart. 

On meditating upon Celestial Buddhas. 

(A Stage in the Magic-Circle.— After Nanjio.) 

i Conf. Burnouf, i., 522-74 ; Vasiliev, 153, 

1 rjs&h-shgar/s /pyi rgyad 
L 2 


1 6fA. — To recognize theGyalwa Rig-na or the five celestial Buddhas. 
Then "Happiness" is reached — this goal is the sensuous 
happiness of the Jina's Paradise or of Sukhavati, that of 
Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light. 
The transcendental efficacy attributed to these spells fully ac- 
counts for their frequent repetition on rosaries and by mechanical 
means in the " prayer-wheel," flags, etc. 

Thus, the commonest mystic formula in Lamaism, the " Om- 
ma-ni pad-me Hum," — which literally means " Oml The Jewel in 
the Lotus ! Hum ! " — is addressed to the Bodhisat Padmapani 




w^sjgj' W^^^ a ^ If 


The Pbayee-Wheex Formula. 

Omma-iii pad-me Hum. 

who is represented like Buddha as seated or standing within a 
lotus-flower. He is the patron-god of Tibet and the controller of 
metempsychosis. And no wonder this formula is so popular and 
constantly repeated by both Lamas and laity, for its mere utter- 
ance is believed to stop the cycle of re-births and to convey the 
reciter directly to paradise. Thus it is stated in the Mani-kah- 
bum with extravagant rhapsody that this formula " is the essence 
of all happiness, prosperity, and knowledge, and the great means 
of deliverance " ; for the Om closes re-birth amongst the gods, 
ma, among the Titans ni, as a man, pad as a beast, me as a 
Tantalus, and Hum as an inhabitant of hell. And in keeping with 
this view each of these six syllables is given the distinctive colour 
of these six states of rebirth, namely Om, the godly white; ma, 


the Titanic blue ; ni, the human yellow ; pad, the animal green ; 

me, the " Tantalic " red; and 

Hum, the hellish black. 

But the actual articulation 

is not even needed. The mere 

inspection of this formula is 

equally effective, and so also is 

,7 . f ' . . . ,. The OM MANI Formula 

the passing of this inscription (inIndian «i^ a " characters of about the 

before the individual. And to seventh century). 

be effective it does not require to be actually visible, it is therefore 
printed thousands and millions l of times on long ribbons and 
coiled into cylinders and inserted into the " prayer-wheels " so- 
called, which are revolved everywhere in Tibet, in the hand (see 
pages' 45, 218, etc.), and as great barrels turned by hand or water 
or wind, 2 and also printed on stones and on cloth-flags which flutter 
from every house, so as to ensure the cessation of metempsychosis 
by re-birth in the western paradise. 

The origin of this formula is obscure. The earliest date for it 
yet found is the thirteenth century a.d. 3 

What seems to be a more expanded version of this spell is 
known to a few Lamas and is met with in Japanese Buddhism, 
namely, " 031! Amogha Vairocana Mahdmudra 3IANI PADMA 
Jvala-pravarthtaya HUM!" But this is addressed to the first 
of the Dhyani 4 Buddhas, namely, Vairocana, to whom also the 
Japanese Mantrayana sect ascribe their esoteric doctrine, but the 
ordinary Lamaist formula is unknown in Japan, where its place 
is taken by " Ndmo O-mi-to Fo," or " Hail to Amitabha, the 
Buddha of Boundless Light." 

1 In some of the larger prayer-wheels it is printed 100,000,000 times (Baron Schilling, 

Cf. SCHLAG., 121. 

2 For wind-prayer vanes, cf. Rock., L., p. 147 cf. ; also Giorgi, 508. 

11 Rockhill, in The Land of the Lamas, London, 1891, page 326, notes that Wilhelm de 
Rubruk, writing in the second half of the thirteenth century a.d. (Soc. de Geoff, de 
Pari*, iv., page 283) states regarding the Buddhist monks of Karakorum : "Habcnt 
etiam quocumque vadunt semper in manibus quandam testem centum vel ducent- 
orum nucleorum sicut nos portamus paternoster et dicunt semper hec verba on man 
baccam, hoc est Deus, tot nosti, secundum quod quidam coram interpretatus est michi, 
et totiens exspectat, remunerationem a Deo quotiens hoc dicendo memoratur." Mr. 
Rockhill also, I find, independently arrives at a similar conclusion to myself as regards 
the relatively modern composition of the Mani-6kah-sbum. Cf. also Hue, ii. ; Kopp., ii., 

4 W. Anderson, CataL Jap. Paintings Brit. Mus. 



From its mystic nature the Om Mani formula is interpreted 
in a great variety of ways, including amongst others the 
phallic, 1 though this latter sense is seldom accorded it. The 
heterodox B6n-pa followers repeat it in reverse fashion, thus 
making it mere gibberish. 2 


The repetition of the mystic formulas for the beads follows the 
prayer, properly so-called, and is believed to contain the essence 
of a formal prayer, as well as to act as a powerful spell. The 
formulas are of a Sanskritic nature, usually containing the name 
of the deity addressed, but are more or less wholly unintelligible 
to the worshipper. 

Different mantras are needed for different deities ; but the one 
most frequently used by the individual Lama is that of his own 
tutelary deity, which varies according to the sect to which the 
Lama belongs. 

The formulas most frequently used are shown in the following 
table : — 

Special kind of 

Name of Deity. 

The Spell. 

Rosary USED. 


Dor-je jik-je. 3 
Skt., Vajra- 

Om ! Ya-man-ta-taka hum 

Human skull or 

phat ! 

" stomach -stone." 



Cha-na dorje. l 

Om ! Vajrapani hum phat ! 


Skt. , Vajrapani. 

Om ! Vajra dsan-da maha 
ro-khana hum ! 


Tarn-din. s 

Om ! pad-ma ta krid hum 

Red sandal or coral. 

Skt., Hayagriva. 

phat ! 


Cha-ra-si or T'ug-je- 

Skt., Avalokita. 

Om ! mani pad-me hum ! 

Conch-shell or crystal. 


Dol-ma jari-k'u. 7 

Om ! Tfi-re tut-ta-re ture 

Bo-dhi-tse or tur- 

Skt,, ford. 

sva-ha ! 



DS-kav. 8 

Om ! Ta-re tut-ta-re mama 


Skfc. , Sitdtdrd. 

a - yur punye-dsanyana 

pusph-pi-ta ku-ru sva-ha ! 

Om ! sar-ha Bud-dha dakkin- 


Dor-je p'ag-mo. 9 


Skt., Vajra- 

nl hum phat ! 

vara hi. 


'O-zer-can-ma. 10 

Om ! Ma-ri-cye mam sva- 


Skb., Martci. 

ha ! 

i As noted by Hodgson. 

- The characteristic B6n-pa mantra is however: ' 
Jaesch., /'., 108; Desoodins, 242. 

rdo-rje-'jigs-byed. * p'yag-na rdo-rje. 

6 T'ugs-cje-c'en-po. " 8grol-ma jan-k'u. 

do-rje p'ag-mo. ■" r od-zer-c'an-ma. 

Ma-tri-mu-tri 8a-la dzu." Cf. 

"' rta-mgrin. 
» sgrol-dkar. 



Name of Deity. 

The Spell. 

Special kinds op 
Rosary used. 


Gon-po nag-po. 1 

Om ! Sri Ma-ha-ka-la hum 


Skt., Kalanatha. 

phat sva-ha ! 


Nam-se.' 2 

Om ! Vai-sra-va-na ye sva- 


Skt., Kiirrrn. 

ha ! 


Dsam-b'a-la. 3 

Om ! Jam-bha-la dsalen- 


Skt., Jambhala. 

dra ye sva-ha ! 


Sen-ge-da. ' 

Om ! a-hrih Siii-ha-nada 

Conch-shell or crystal. 

Skt., Sinhanada. 

hum phat ! 


Jam-yang. 5 
Skt. ,mafijughosha. 

Om ! a-ra-pa-ca-na-dhi ! 

Yellow rosary. 


Dem-ch'ok. 8 

Om ! hrih ha-ha hum hum 


Skt., Sam vara. 

phat ! 


Pad-ma jun-na. 7 

Om ! Vajra Gu-ru Padma 

Coral or bodhitse. 

Skt., Padina-sam- 

sid-dhi hum ! 


The concluding word johtit which follows the mystic hum in 
many of these spells is cognate with the current Hindustani word 
phat, and means " may the enemy be destroyed utterly ! " 

The laity through want of knowledge seldom use with their 
rosaries any other than the well-known " Jewel-Lotus " formula. 

Such mechanical means of spiritual advancement by promising 
immediate temporal benefits, have secured universal popularity ; 
and possess stronger attractions for gross and ignorant intellects 
over the moral methods of early Buddhism. The Chinese 
literati ridicule the repetition of these mantras by saying, 8 
" Suppose that you had committed some violation of the law, and 
that you were being led into the judgment-hall to receive sen- 
tence; if you were to take to crying out with all your might 
' Your Worship ' some thousands of times, do you imagine that 
the magistrate would let you off for that ? " 

On the evolution, in the tenth century, of the demoniacal Bud- 
dhas of the Kfilacakra, the " Mantra "-vehicle was developed into 
" The Thunderbolt -vehicle " or Vajrayana, the proficient in 
which is called Vajrdcdrya. According to this, the most depraved 
form of Buddhist doctrine, the devotee endeavours with the aid of 
the demoniacal Buddhas and of fiendesses (I)dkkini) and their 

1 mgon-po nag-po. " rnam-sras. 3 dsam b'a-la. 

4 sen-ge-sgra. 5 'jam-dbyangs. « bde-mch'og. 

7 pad-ma byun-gnas. 

8 Uemusat, As. Misc. Most conspicuous amongst the authors of diatribes against 

Buddhist worship was Han Yii in the eighth or ninth centuries a.d. Cf. Mayers. 


magic-circles to obtain the spiritual powers of Siddhi * or " The 
accomplishment of perfection or of one's wishes." Although the 
attainment of Siddhi is below the stage of Arhatship, the Lamas 
value it more highly than the latter on account of its power of 
witchcraft. Its mystic insight is classed as the external (Ch'ir- 
dub), internal (Nail-dub), and esoteric or hidden (San-dub), 
and correspond to the body, speech, and thought. Its followers 
are called Vajracarya and its rules are detailed by Tsoh K'hapa. 
Its recognized divisions'" are: — 


Lower Tantra Upper Tantra 

Kriya Tantra Carya Tantra Yoga Tantra Anuttara Tantra 

bya-rgyud spyod rnal-byor bla-na med-pahi-gyud 

In only the last, or Anuttara Tantra, have the tutelary demons 
spouses. 3 

The rampant demonolatry of the Tibetans seems to have 
developed the doctrine of tutelary deities far beyond what is 
found even in the latest phase of Indian Buddhism, although 
I find at many of the mediaeval Buddhist sites in Magadha, 
images of several of the. devils which are so well-known in Tibet 
as tutelaries. 

Each Lamaist sect has its own special tutelary fiend, which may 
or may not be the personal tutelary of all the individual Lamas of 
that particular sect; for each Lama has a tutelary of his own 
selection, somewhat after the manner of the ishtd devatd of the 
Hindus, who accompanies him wherever he goes and guards his 
footsteps from the minor fiends. Even the purest of all the 
Lamaist sects — the Gre-lug-pa — are thorough-paced devil-wor- 
shippers, and value Buddhism chiefly because it gives them the 
whip-hand over the devils which everywhere vex humanity with 
disease and disaster, and whose ferocity weighs heavily upon 
all. The purest Gre-lug-pa Lama on awaking every morning, 

i Siddhi, which seems (according to sir Mon. Wv i i \m-, Budd., 536 , to correspond to 
tin- stage below Arhatship. Eighty Siddhas (saints) arc Bometimea mentioned. And 
amongst their supernatural Inlhi powers they obtain "the Rainbow Body" fjsih- 
lusi, which vanishes like the rainbow, leaving no trace behind. 
Cf. Jakscii., />., 112. 
»The directions for these cults arc Found chiefly in the Sin-ma "revelations" or 


and before venturing outside his room, fortifies himself against 
assault by the demons by first of all assuming the spiritual guise 
of his fearful tutelary, the king of the demons, named Vajrabhairava 
or Sam vara, as figured in the chapter on the pantheon. The 
Lama, by uttering certain mantras culled from the legendary 
sayings of Buddha in the Mahayana Tantras, coerces this demon- 
king into investing the Lama's person with his own awful aspect. 1 
Thus when the Lama emerges from his room in the morning, and 
wherever he travels during the day, he presents spiritually the ap- 
pearance of the demon-king, and the smaller malignant demons, 
his would-be assailants, ever on the outlook to harm humanity, 
being deluded into the belief that the Lama is indeed their own 
vindictive king, they flee from his presence, leaving the Lama 

A notable feature of Lamaism throughout all its sects, and 
decidedly un-Buddhistic, is that the Lama is a priest rather than a 
monk. He assigns himself an indispensable place in the religion 
and has coined the current saying " Without a Lama in front there 
is no (approach to) God." He performs sacerdotal functions on 
every possible occasion ; and a large proportion of the order is 
almost entirely engaged in this work. And such services are in 
much demand ; for the people are in hopeless bondage to the 
demons, and not altogether unwilling slaves to their exacting 

The Chinese contempt for such rites is thus expressed in a 
sacred edict of the emperor Yung-Ching. 2 " If you neglect to 
burn paper in honour of Buddha, or to lay offerings on his altars, 
he will be displeased with you, and will let his judgments fall upon 
your heads. Your god Buddha, then, is a mean fellow. Take for 
a pattern the magistrate of your district. Even if you never go 
near him to compliment him or pay court to him, so long as you 

1 This process, called lha-sgrub-pa, implies (says Jaeschke, D., 52) not so much the 
making a deity propititious to man (Csoma's definition in his Diet.) as rendering a god 
subject to human power, forcing him to perform the will of man. This coercion of 
the god is affected by saints continuing their profound meditation (sgom-pa) for months 
and years until the deity, finally, overcome, stands before them visible and tangible; 
nay, until they have been personally united with and, as it were, incorporated into 
the invoked and subjected god. The method of effecting this coercion, of obliging 
a god to make his appearance, is also called sgrub-tabs. 

'-' Kkmusat, As. Miscell. 


are honest folk and attentive to your duty, he will be none the less 
ready to attend to you ; but if you transgress the law, if you 
commit violence, or trespass on the rights of others, it would be 
useless for you to try a thousand ways of flattering him ; you will 
always be subject to his displeasure." 

Thus had these various influences warped the Buddhist doctrine 
in India, ere it reached Tibet, and there the deep-rooted demon- 
worship made Liimaism what it is : a priestly mixture of Shamanist 
cults and poly-demonist superstitions, overlaid by quasi-Buddhist 
symbolism, relieved by universal charity and other truly Buddhist 
principles, and touched here and there by the brighter lights of 
the teaching of Buddha. 

But notwithstanding its glaring defects, Liimaism has exerted a 
considerable civilizing influence over the Tibetans. The people 
are profoundly affected by its benign ethics, and its maxim, " as a 
man sows he shall reap," has undoubtedly enforced the personal 
duty of mastery over self in spite of the easier physical aids to 
piety which are prevalent. 

And it is somewhat satisfactory to find that many of the 
superior Lamas breathe much of the spirit of the original 
system. They admit the essentially un-Buddhist nature of 
much of the prevalent demonolatry, and the impropriety of its 
being fostered by the church. They regard this unholy alliance 
with the devils as a pandering to popular prejudice. Indeed, 
there are many Lamas who, following the teaching of the 
earlier Buddhism, are inclined to contemn sacerdotalism al- 
together, although forced by custom to take part in it. 

Novice-Lama heading Scriptures. 



kjflHE sacred books embodying the "Word" of Buddha 
■at are regarded by the Lamas, in common with all other 
gai Buddhists, as forming the second member of the 
Trinity — "The Three precious Ones" — in whom the 
pious Buddhist daily takes his " refuge." 

The books themselves receive divine honours. They are held 


materially sacred, placed in high places, and worshipped with 
incense, lamps, etc. j 1 and even fragments of books or manu- 
scripts bearing holy words are treasured with the utmost rever- 
ence. It is deemed the grossest profanity for anyone to throw 
even a fragment of holy writ upon the ground or to tread 
upon it, and in this way the Tibetans, like the Chinese, not in- 
frequently express their contempt for Christianity by utilizing, 
as soles for their shoes, the bundles of tracts which our mission- 
aries supply to them. 

But Buddha, like "the Light of the World," and unlike 
Moses and Muhammad, wrote nothing himself; nor does it 
appear that his words were even reduced to writing until 
about 400 years or more after his death, 2 so it is unlikely 
that most of his sayings have preserved their original form, 
wholly unaltered, in the process of handing them down orally 
during several centuries. 

The Lamaist scriptures are faithful translations 3 from the 
Sanskrit texts, 4 and a few also from the Chinese, made mostly in 
the eighth and ninth, and the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries 

i The scriptures are actively worshipped even by southern Buddhists. " The books 
are usually wrapped in cloth, and when their names are mentioned an honorific is 
added equivalent to reverend or illustrious. Upon some occasions they are placed 
upon a kind of rude altar near the roadside, as I have seen the images of saints in 
Roman Catholic countries, that those who pass by may put money upon it in order to 
obtain merit " (Hardy's East Mon., 192). Compare also with Hindus paying respect to 
their ^u.stras with garlands and perfumes and grains of rice, and the Sikhs to their Gra n th . 

2 The words were at first transmitted down orally; their recital (bhana = to speak i 
is one of the duties of a monk even now. The southern (Pali) scriptures are stated 
to have been first reduced to writing in Ceylon in 88-76 B.C., in the reign of King 
Vartagamani (Tubnoue, Mahavanso, 207), and the northern by king Kanishka in 
the second half of the first century a.d. But as writing was certainly in use in Asoka's ' 
day— 250 B.C.— it is probable that some scriptures were committed to writing at an 
earlier period than here assigned to the complete collect, CL Olde.nbekg, Vinaya Trip. 

a The verbal accuracy of these translations has been testified by Max Muller, Rhys 
Davids, Cowell, Foucaux, Peer, Vasiliev, Rockhill, etc. 

4 Indian, Kashmiri and Nepalese scriptures. A few of the Tibetan translations were 
made from the Pali, e.g., vol. 30 of Sutras (Rockhill's Udvanamrga, x). Some very old 
Indian MSS. still exist in Tibet. His Excellency Shad-sgra Shab-pe, one of the Tibetan 
governors (bKah-blon) of Lhasa, while at Darjiling about a year ago, on political 
business, informed me that many ancient Buddhist manuscripts, which had been 
brought from India by mediaeval Indian and Tibetan monks, axe still preserved id 
Tib it, especially at the old monasteries of Sam-yas, Sakya, Nar-thang and Phiin-tsho- 
ling. These manuscripts, however, being worshipped as precious relics, and written 
in a character more or less unknown to the Lamas, are kept sealed up and rarely 
seen by the Lamas themselves. 


a.d. ; and a very few small volumes, those first translated into 
Tibetan, date to the epoch of Thon-mi Sambhota, about 645 a.d. 

None of these Tibetan translations, however, seem to have been 
printed until comparatively recent times, though the exact date 
of the introduction of printing into Tibet is as yet unknown. 

The Tibetan so-called "books" are, strictly speaking, only xylo- 
graphs, being printed from rudely carved wooden blocks. Mov- 
able type is unknown, and a large proportion of the books are still 
written in manuscript. The great canon, the Kah-gyur, was, it 
seems, only printed for the first time, at least in its collected 
form, about two hundred years ago. 

The paper, which is remarkably tough, is made from the inner 
bark of a shrub, 1 and comes mostly from Nepal and other parts of 
the sub -Himalayas, and the Chinese border-lands. The smaller 
abstracts from the scriptures, used by the more wealthy devotees, 
are sometimes written on ornate cardboard, consisting of several 
sheets of paper pasted together, and varnished over with a black 
pigment, upon which the letters are written in silver or gold; 
and occasionally they are illuminated like missals. 

Books now abound in Tibet, and nearly all are religious. The 
literature, however, is for the most part a dreary wilderness of 
words and antiquated rubbish, but the Lamas conceitedly be- 
lieve that all knowledge is locked up in their musty classics, out- 
side which nothing is worthy of serious notice. 

The Lamaist scriptures consist of two great collections, the 
canon and the commentaries, commonly called the " Kang-gyur, 
or properly the. Kah-gyur, 2 and Tah-gyur." 3 

The great code, the Kilh-gyur, or " The Translated Command- 
ment," is so called on account of its text having been translated 
from the ancient Indian language, 4 and in a few cases from the 
Chinese. The translators were learned Indian and Kashlmri Pan- 
dits and a few Chinese monks, assisted by Tibetan scholars. 5 

The code extends to one hundred or one hundred and eight 
volumes of about one thousand pages each, comprising one thou- 

1 The Daphne Cannabina. See Hodgson in J.A.S.B., 1832, i., p. 8, for an account of 
its manufacture. 

2 bkah-'gyur. 

3 bstah-'gyur. 

* rgya-gar-skad, or " Indian language," and usually employed as synonymous with 
5 L6-tsa-wa. 


sand and eighty-three distinct works. The bulk of this colossal 
bible may be imagined from the fact that each of its hundred or 
more volumes weighs about ten pounds, and forms a package 
measuring about twenty-six inches long by eight inches broad and 
about eight inches deep. Thus the code requires about a dozen 
yaks for its transport ; and the carved wooden blocks from which 
this bible is printed require, for their storage, rows of houses like, 
a good-sized village. 

The Kah-gyur is printed, I am informed, only at two places in 
Tibet : the older edition at Narthang, 1 about six miles from 
Tashi-lhunpo, the capital of western Tibet and headquarters of the 
Grand Panch'en-Lama. It fills one hundred volumes of about one 
thousand pages each. The later edition is printed at Der-ge 2 in 
eastern Tibet (Kham) and contains the same matter distributed in 
volumes to reach the mystic number of one hundred and eight. 
In Bhotan an edition is printed at Punakha ; 3 and I have heard 
of a Kumbum (Mongolian) edition, and of one printed at Pekin. 
The ordinary price at Narthang is about eight rupees per volume 
without the wooden boards. Most of the large monasteries even 
in Sikhim possess a full set of this code. The Pekin edition pub- 
lished by command of the emperor Khian-Lung, says Kdppen, sold 
for £600 ; and a copy was bartered for 7,000 oxen by the Buriats, 
and the same tribe paid 1,200 silver roubles for a complete 
copy of this bible and its commentaries. 4 The Kah-gyur was 
translated into Mongolian about 1310 a.d. by Saskya Lama 
Ch'os-Kyi 'Od-zer under the Saskya Pandita, who, assisted by a 
staff of twenty-nine learned Tibetan, Ugrian, Chinese and Sans- 
krit scholars, had previously revised the Tibetan canon by col- 
lating it with Chinese and Sanskrit texts, under the patronage of 
the emperor Kublai Khan. 

The contents of the Kah-gyur and Tah-gynr were briefly 
analyzed by Csoma, 5 whose valuable summary, translated and 

1 sN'ar-tan. 2 sDe-dge. 

3 So I have been told. 

* And a copy also of this edition seems to be in the St. Petersburg Academy of 
Sciences, obtained about 1830 by Baron Schilling de Canstadt, together with about 
2,000 Mongolian and Tibetan treatises. — Bulletin Historico-philologigue del 'AcadSmu de 
St. l'eta-boarij, torn, iv., 1848, pp. 321-329. 

3 Vol. xx., As. Researc/ies. 


indexed by Feer, 1 and supplemented in part by Schiefner and 
Rockkill, forms the basis of the following sketch. Hodgson's copy 
of the Kfih-gyur, on which Csoma worked at Calcutta, contained 
one hundred volumes, and appears to have been printed from the 
wooden types prepared in 1731, and which seem to be still in 
use at Narthang. 

The Kah-gyur is divisible into three 2 great sections, the Tripi- 
taka, 3 or three vessels or repositories, corresponding generally to 
the less inflated Pali version of the Tripitaka of the southern 
Buddhists, which has, however, no counterpart of the mystical 
Sivaist treatises, the Tantras. The three sections are : — 

I. The Dul-va {S'kt., Vinaya), or Discipline, the compilation of 
which is attributed to Upali, 4 in thirteen volumes. 

II. The D6 (Skt., Sutra), or Sermons (of theBuddhas), compiled 
by Ananda 5 in sixty-six volumes inclusive of Tantras. As these dis- 
courses profess to be the narrative of the disciple Ananda, 6 who is 
believed to have been present at the originals as uttered by Bud- 
dha, most of these Sutras commence with the formula : Evam 
mayd srutam, " Thus was it heard by me ; " but this formula now 
is almost regarded by many European scholars as indicating a 
fictitious sutra, so frequently is it prefixed to spurious sutras, e.g., 
the Amitabha, which could not have been spoken by Buddha or 
recited by Ananda. The Lamas, like the southern Buddhists, 
naively believe that when Buddha spoke, each individual of the 
assembled hosts of gods, demons, and men, as well as the various 
kinds of lower animals, 7 heard himself addressed in his own 

III. The Ch' os-non-pa (Skt. Abidharma), or Metaphysics, 

1 M. Leon Feer published in 1881 a translation of Csoma's Analysis under the 
title Analyse du Kandjour et du Taiidjour in the second volume of the "Annates du 
Musee Guimet," and appended a vocabulary giving all the names which occur in 
Csoma's Analysis, with an Index and Table Alphabetique de Ouwages das Kandjour. 
And he gave further extracts in Vol. v. of the same serial. 

2 Another classification of the canonical scriptures, especially amongst the Nepalese, 
is given by Hodgson {Lang. 13, 49) as " The nine scriptures (Dharmas)," namely : 
1. Prajna paramita. 2. Gandha-vyuha. 3. Dasa-bhumisvara. 4. Samadhi-raja. 5. 
Lahkavatara. 6. Saddharma Pundaiika. 7. Tathagatha guhyaka (containing the 
secret Tantrik doctrines). 8. Lalita Vistara. 9. Suvarna-prabhasa. 

:i sde-snod ysum. t Nye-var-'K'or. 5 'Kun-dgah-wo. 

13 At the first great council when Buddha's word was collated 

7 Cf. also Beal's Romantic Legend, 244-254, Gya Tscher Rol-pa, ch. 26. 


including Transcendental Wisdom (S'er-p'yin, Skt., Prajhd Pd- 
ramitd), attributed to Maha Kasyapa, in twenty-one volumes. 

These three sections are mystically considered to be the anti- 
dotes for the three original sins ; thus the discipline cleanses 
from lust (Rdga), the sermons from ill-will. (Dvesa), and the 
wisdom from stupidity (Moha). 

By subdividing the D6 or Sutra section into five portions, the 
following sevenfold division of the canon results : — 

" I. Discipline or Dul-va (Skt., Vinaya), in thirteen volumes, deals 
with the religious discipline and education of those adopting the 
religious life, and also contains Jdtakas, avadanas, vyakaranas, sutras, 
and ridanas." (It is the Vinaya of the Sarvastivadains, and its greater 
portion has been abstracted by Rockhill. 1 ) It is sub-divided into seven 
parts : 

1. "The Basis of Discipline or Education (clul-va-gz'i, Skt., Vinaya 
Vastu), in four volumes (K, K', G, and N), translated from the Sanskrit 
in the ninth century by the Pandits Sarvajiiyacleva and Dharmakara 
of Kashmir and Vidyakara-prabha of India, assisted by the Tibetan 
Bmdes dPal-gyi lhunpo and dPal-brtsegs. (The chief Jataka and other 
tales interspersed through these volumes form the bulk of Schiefner's 
collection of Tibetan tales, translated into English by Ralston.) 

2. " Sutra on Emancipation (So-vor-t'ar-pai-mdo, Skt., Pratimoksha 
Stitra), 2 in 30 leaves. 

3. " Explanation of Education (Dul-va nam-par-'byed-pa, Skt., 
Vinaya vibhdga) in four volumes. Enumerates the several rules 
(K'rims) of conduct, 253 in number, with examples of the particular 
transgression which led to the formation of these laws. Directions 
for dress and etiquette. 

4. " Emancipation for Nuns (dGe-slon mahi so-sor thar pai mod, Skt., 
Bhikshuni pratimoksha Stitra), 36 leaves in the ninth volume (T). 

5. "Explanation of the Discipline of the Nuns (Skt. , Bhik. Vinaya 
vibhdga) in preceding volume (T). 

6. " Miscellaneous Minutiae concerning Religious Discipline (Dul-va 
p'ran-ts'egs-kyi gz'i, Skt., Vinaya Kshudraka Vastu), in two volumes. 

7. " The highest text book on Education " (Dul-va gzuii bla-ma 
Vinaya Uttara Grantha), in two volumes (N and P), and when spoken 
of as " the four classes of precepts " (liii-de-zhi) the division comprises 
1, 2 and 3, 6 and 7. 

II. Transcendental Wisdom (" Ses-rab kyi p'a-rol-tu pyin-pa" or 
curtly, " Ser-ch'in " (Skt., Prajnd-pdramitd), in twenty-one volumes. 

1 The Life of the Buddha, etc. Also in part, but not directly for the Dulva, by 
Schiefner in his Tibetische Liebenbescriebung Sakra,, St. Petersburg, 1849. 

2 Cf. translation from the Tibetan by Rockhill, and from the Pali by Rhys Davids 
and Oldenberg, Vinaya Texts. 


They contain, in addition to the metaphysical terminology, those 
extravagantly speculative doctrines entitled Frajnorpdramitd, which 
the Mahayana school attributes to Buddha's latest revelations in his 
mythical discourses mostly to supernatural hearers at the Vultures' 
Peak at Rajgriha. 1 There is no historical matter, all is speculation, 
and a profusion of abstraction. 

The first twelve volumes, called 'Bum (Skt., Sata Sahasrika) or 
"the 100,000 (slokas of Transcendental Wisdom)," treat fully of 
the Prajna-parainita at large, and the remaining volumes are merely 
various abridgments of these twelve. Thus the three volumes called 
Ni-k'ri (pron. Niji-thi) or " the 20,000 (slokas)" is intended for those 
monasteries or individuals who cannot purchase or peruse the full text ; 
while the single volume, entitled the brgyad-stoii-pan (ashta sahasrika) 
or 8,000 (slokas), contains in one volume the gist of the Prajna-para- 
mita, and is intended for the average and junior monks. This is the 
volume which is figured on the lotus which MahjusrI, the Bodhisat 
of wisdom, holds in his left hand. And for the use of the schoolboys 
and the laity there is a recension of three or four leaves, entitled 
"Transcendental Wisdom in a few letters" or Yige-huh-du (Skt., 
Alpa akshara). 2 And mystically the whole is further condensed into 
u the letter A, which is considered " the mother of all wisdom," and 
therefore of all men of genius ; all Bodhisatvas and Buddhas are said 
to have been produced by "A" since this is the first element for 
forming syllables, words, sentences, and a whole discourse. 

One of the most favourite Sutras and a common booklet in the 
hands of the laity, is "the Diamond-cutter" (rDo-rje gc'od-pa, Skt., 
Vajrach'ediM) In it Bhagavati (Sakya) instructs Subhuti, one of his 
disciples, in the true meaning of the Prajna-paramita. 3 

The full text ('Bum) was translated from the Sanskrit in the ninth 
century by the Indian pandits Jina Mitra and Surendra Bodhi, and 
the Tibetan interpreter Ye-s'es-sde. 

III. " Association of Buddhas " (P'al-c'ar, Skt., Buddhctvatansalca), 
in six volumes. Description of several Tathagatas or Buddhas, their 
provinces, etc. Enumeration of several Bodhisats, the several degrees 
of their perfections, etc. 

This great Vaipulya (or developed Sutra) is alleged to have been 
preached by Buddha in the second week of his Buddhahood and before 
he turned the " Wheel of the Law " at Benares. And it is asserted to 
have been delivered in nine assemblies at seven different places, and is 
thus given pre-eminence over the first historic discourse at Sarnath. 

IV. " The Jewel-peak " (dkon-brtsegs, Skt., Batna-kuta). Enu- 

1 They are alleged to have been delivered in sixteen assemblies at the following 
sites : Gridhrakuta, Sravasti, Venuvana, and the abode of the Paranirmita-vasa- 
vartins. cf. Bun. Nanjio's Jap. Budd. Sects, p. xvii. 

2 This probably corresponds to the Mahaprajfia paramita hridaya Sutra, translated 
by Beal (Catena, 282), and perhaps the original of the more expanded treatises. 

3 It has been translated from the Sanskrit by Cowell, Mahayana Texts, ii., xii. 



meration of several qualities and perfections of Buddha and his 

V. The Aphorisms (Tib., mDo or mDo-sde Sutra or Sutrdnta). 
Ihe amplified or developed Sutras are called Vaipulya. In a general 
sense, when the whole Kha-gyur is divided into two parts, mDo and 
rGyud, all the other divisions except the rGyud are comprehended in 
the mDo class. But in a particular sense there are some treatises 
which have been arranged under this title. They amount to about 
270, and are contained in thirty volumes. The subject of the works 
is various. The greatest part of them consist of moral and meta- 
physical doctrine of the Buddhistic system, the legendary accounts of 
several individuals, with allusions to the sixty or sixty-four arts, to 
medicine, astronomy, and astrology. There are many stories to ex- 
emplify the consequences of actions in former transmigrations, descrip- 
tions of orthodox and heterodox theories, mural and civil laws, the sis 
kinds of animal beings, the places of their habitations, and the causes 
of their being born there, cosmogony and cosmography according to 
Buddhistic notions, the provinces of several Buddhas, exemplary 
conduct of life of any Bodhisat or saint, and in general all the twelve 
kinds of Buddhistic Scriptures x are to be found here. 

The second volume (K') contains the romantic biography of 
Buddha — the Lalita Vistara, translated by M. Foucaux. 2 The seventh 
volume (J) contains the Saddharma Puntfarika* or White Lotus of the 
Holy Law, translated from the Sanskrit into French by Burnouf, and 
into English by Prof. H. Kern, 4 and the most popular treatise with 
Japanese Buddhists. The eighth volume (N) contains "the Great 
Decease" (Mahdparinirvdna). The ninth volume has, amongst others, 
the Surangama Samddhi Sutra referred to by FaHian. The twenty- 
sixth volume (L), folios 329-400, or chapters of "joyous utterance" 
(Udanas), contains the Uddnavatr/a,' which Schiefner showed to be the 
Tibetan version of the Dhammapada ; and which has been translated into 

1 This twelve-fold division (gsuh rab yan-lay bc'u-giiis) I here extract from the 
Vyutpatti in the Tan-gyur: 1. Sutran (wdo-sdehi-sde) discourses. 2. geyam (dbyans 
kyhs Jsnad), mixed prose and verse. 3. Vyakaranah (lurj du-fetan), exposition. 4. 
Gdthd (Tshigs-su-bc'ad), verse. 5. Udanan (C'ed-du-irjod). 6. NiMnaA (glin-gzhi). 
7. AvadaiwM (rtogs-pa-brjod). 8. Itiwittahan (de-lta bw byuh). 9. Jdtaka iskyes-pa- 
rabs). in. Vaipulyan (shin-tu-rgyas), very expanded. 11. Atbhutdharmmah (rmad- 
du byun), mysteries. 12. Upadesah (gtun-la-dbab). This division, says Bdenottf 
(Introd., p. 45-60), writing of Nepalese Buddhism, is made up of the older nine angas 
mentioned by Buddhagosha, a.d. 450, to which were added at a later period Nidana, 
Avadana, and Upadesa. Conf. also Chtldeks' Diet., Burnouf's Lotus, 355, 356; 
Bardy's M.'„.; Bodgson's Ess., 15; Kins Davids' J;»<'<'., 214. 

'- Also summarised by Csoma (Aiial., 113) andVAsrx.,5.,3,4,176; Feek's Intro., p. 72. 
Also abstracted by Rockhill, B., ii. ; and in part from the Sanskrit by Raj. Mitra. 

:: Dam-pahi ch'os padma dkar-po. 

4 Vol. xxi., Sacred Books of tin East. 

6 Ch'ed-dubrjod pai ts'oms; see also Csoma's An., p. 477. Its commentary by Praj- 
navarmarj (a native of Bengal who lived in Kashmir in the ninth century— Tihvmltho, 
p. 204, Rockhill, xii.) is in Vol. lxxi. of Tan-gyur. 

THE CAN ON. 163 

English with copious notes by Mr. Rockhill. It contains three hundred 
verses, which " are nearly identical with verses of the Dhammapada , 
one hunched and fifty more resemble verses of that work." The varia- 
tions show that the northern translation was made from a different 
version than the Pali, 1 and from, as Mr. Rockhill believes, 2 a " Sanskrit 
version in the dialect prevalent in Kashmir in the first century B.C., at 
which period and in which place the compiler, Dharmatrata, 3 prob- 
ably lived." 

From this (Do) division of the Kah-gyur are culled out the Indian 
mystic formulas, mostly in unintelligible gibberish, which are 
deemed most potent as charms, and these form the volume named 
mDo-mah gzuti. 4 bsdus, or curtly, Dd-man or "assorted aphor- 
isms" — literally "many Sutras." These formulas are not used in 
the worship of the Buddhas and superior gods, but only as priestly 
incantations in the treatment of disease and ill-fortune. And as 
these spells enter into the worship of which the laity have most 
experience, small pocket editions of one or other of these mystic 
Siitras are to be found in the possession of all literate laymen, as 
the mere act of reading these charms suffices to ward off the demon- 
bred disease and misfortune. 

The remaining divisions of the canons are : — 

VI. Nirvana (Mya-naii-las-'das-pa), in two volumes. An extended 
version, part of the eighth volume of the mDo on " The Great Decease, 
or Entire deliverance from Pain." " Great lamentation of all sorts of 
animal beings on the approaching death of Shakya; their offerings or 
sacrifices presented to him ; his lessons, especially with regard to the 
soul. His last moments ; his funeral; how his relics were divided and 
where deposited." ' 

VII. Tantra (rgyud), in twenty-two volumes. " These volumes in 
general contain mystical theology. There are descriptions of several 
gods and goddesses. Instruction for preparing mandalas or circles 
for the reception of those divinities. Offerings or sacrifices presented 
to them for obtaining their favour. Prayers, hymns, charms, etc.. 
addressed to them. There are also some works on astronomy, as- 
trology, chronology, medicine, and natural philosophy." 

In the first volume (K) are found the Kalacakra doctrine 7 and 
Sambara. In the third the history of the divine mothers Vdrdhi, etc. 

1 Kockhii.i.'s Uddnavarga, ix. 

2 Lor cit., x. 

3 Tdrandtka, p. 54, lig. 8. 

4 gz'uns = skt. dharani, which is a mystic spell like the Hindu Mantra. 

5 Csoma, An., p. 487. 

6 Csoma, Ah., p. 487. 

- Csoma, Gram.,]?. 172: Diet., 488. 

M 2 


In the seventeenth volume (M) the expelling of devils and Naga- 
worship. The Tathagata-guhyaka contains a summary of the Sivaic 
esoteric doctrine. 

The word " Tantra" according to its Tibetan etymology, literally 
means 1 " treatise or dissertation," but in Buddhism as in Hinduism, it 
is restricted to the necromantic books of the later Sivaic or Sakti 

The Tantras are arranged into " The four classes" (gyucl sde bzhi) : 

1. Kriyd Tantra (bya-bai-rgyud). 

2. Cdryd T. (spyod-pai rgyud). 

3. Yoga T. (rual-'byor rgyud). 

4. Anuttara Toga T. (rnal-'byor bla-na med-pai rgyud) or "The 

peerless Yoga." 

The first two form together the lower division (og-ma), and the 
latter two the higher division (gon-ma). It is only in the Anuttara 
Yogatantras, including the Atiyoga (Ds og-ch'en), that the tutelary 
fiends and their Jinas have female energies or Matris. 

Those translated from the eighth to the eleventh centuries a.d. are 
called "the Old," while the latter are "the jSTew." Amongst those 
composed in Tibet are the Hayagriva, Vajraphurba and sKu-gsuii-t'ugs 
yon-tan 'p'rin las. 


The Buddhist commentators, like those of the Talmud, overlay 
a line or two with an enormous excrescence of exegesis. 

The Tibetan commentary or Tdk-gyur is a great cyclopedic 
compilation of all sorts of literary works, written mostly by 
ancient Indian scholars and some learned Tibetans in the first 
few centuries after the introduction of Buddhism into Tibet, 
commencing with the seventh century of our era. The whole 
makes two hundred and twenty-five volumes. It is divided into 
the classes — the rGyud and mDo (Tantra and Sutra, classes in 
Sanskrit). The rGyud, mostly on tantrika rituals and ceremonies, 
make eighty-seven volumes. The mDo on science and literature 
one hundred and thirty-six volumes. One separate volume con- 
tains hymns or praises on several deities and saints. And one 
volume is the index for the whole. 2 The first sixteen volumes 
of the mDo class are all commentaries on the Prajnd-pdramitd. 
Afterwards follow several volumes explanatory of the Madhyamika 
philosophy (of Nagarjuna) which is founded on the Prajha-paramita. 3 

1 Jaeschke, p. 112. 2 Csoma, An., 553. 

3 A few of the individual treatises have been translated, either in full or abstract, 
by Schiefner, Rockhill, etc. Nagarjuna's Friendly Epistle (bches-pahi p'rin yig), by 
Wenzel in J. Pall Text Soc., 1886 


One volume contains the Tibet o-Sanskrit dictionary of Buddhist 
terminology, the " bye-brag-tu rtogs byad (pron. je-tak-tu tog-je) 
— the Mahavyutpati. 1 Under this heading would also come the 
later commentaries, such as the Bodhi-patha(in Mongolian — Bodhi 
Mur). Its contents include rhetoric, grammar, prosody, mediaeval 
mechanics, and alchemy. But its contents have not yet been 
fully examined. 2 


The indigenous works composed in Tibet are for the most part 
devoted to sacred subjects. The secular books exist, as a rule, 
in manuscript, as the printing is in the hands of the monks. 3 

The sacred books may be divided into (a) apocryphal and 
(6) authentic or quasi-authentic. 

The apocryphal works are the most numerous and most popular. 
Chief amongst these are the fictitious "revelations" or Terma 
books, already referred to in describing the part which they played 
in the origin of the sects of Lamaism. These Terma books may 
be recognized by their style of caligraphy. For instead of the 
opening sentences and chapters commencing with the hook-like 
symbol for Om, duplicated or triplicated, as on the cover of this 
book, and the punctuation periods being vertical lines, as in 
ordinary orthodox books, the Terma books commence with the 
ordinary anusvdra (am), or a vertical stroke enshrined in a 
trefoil-like curve, and their periods are marked by two small 
circles one over the other, like the Devanagari visarga, but with 
a curved line with its concavity upwards, intervening. These 
" revelations," it will be remembered, pretend to be the composi- 
tion of St. Padma, the founder of Lamaism.' 1 

1 The Sanskrit text of which has been published by Maiyaneff ; and much of it is 
abstracted in the Buddhistische Triglotte, printed by Schiefner, St. Petersburg, 1859. 

2 The 2nd vol. of the Annates dn Musee Guimet contains some additional notes on 
the Tah-gyur by M. Leon Feer. 

3 Most of the printing-monastic establishments issue lists of the books which they 

* Amongst the better known are : The Golden Rosary, of Displayed Letters (T'ug- 
yig gser-'p'reh), found by Sang-gyas gling-pa ; The Displayed Lotus Orders (Padma 
bkah-t'an), found by O-rgyan gling-pa ; Ka-t'ang Zang-gling ma ; The Lamp En- 
lightener of Prophecy (Lung-brtan gsal-bal sgron-me). Also of this nature are .- 
The Directions for the Departed Soul to find its way to bliss (Pa-cha-to's-sgrol). 


To this revelation class belong also the fictitious works attri- 
buted to King Sroh Tsan Gampo. 1 

Of the other most common apocryphal works found in Sikhim 
are the Na-yik, or " Story of the Sacred Sites of Sikhim," and Lha- 
tsun's inspired manual of worship for the great mountain god 
Kanch'en-dso-ha (English, Kinchinjunga). Each monastery pos- 
sesses in manuscript a more or less legendary account of its own 
history (deb-t'er), although this is kept out of sight. In the 
Lepcha monasteries and in the possession of a few Lepcha laymen 
are found the following, mostly translations from the Tibetan : 
(1) TdshiSun, a fabulous history of St. Padma-sambhava; (2) Guru 
GK'6 Wah; (3) Sdkun de-lok, the narrative of a visit to Hades by 
a resuscitated man named Sakun; 2 (4) Ek-doshi man-lom — forms 
of worship. 

The large work on the Naga demigods — the Lu-'bum dkar-po — 
is regarded as a heterodox B6n-po book. 3 

As authentic works may be instanced, the religious chronologies 
(Ch'os-'byuh) and records (Deb-t'er) by Bu-ton, and Padma-kar- 
po ; the histories (Suh-'bum) of Zhva-lu L6-tsa, and Taranatha's 
well-known history of Buddhism in India, and a useful cyclo- 
pedia by an Amdo Lama entitled T'ub-dbah bstan-pahi Rima ; 
and as quasi-authentic the fifth Grand Lama's " royal pedigree.*' 4 
All begin with pious dedicatory sentences and usually end with 
the Buddhist wish that the writer may acquire merit through 
his literary work. 

But most of the autobiographies so-called (rNam-t'ar) and re- 
cords (Yig-tsah or deb-t'er) are legendary, especially of the earlier 
Lamas and Indian monks are transparently fictitious, not only on 
account of their prophetic tone, though always " discovered " after 
the occurrence of the events prophesied, but their almost total 
absence of any personal or historic details. Some of the later ones 

1 (1) Mani bKah-bum (already referred to), the legendary history of Avalokita and 
a maze of silly fables. (2) S'aleh'em or Sron Tsan (iampo's Honourable Will or 
Testament, and (3) an exoteric volume entitled " The Sealed Commands," bka-rgga- 
ma, which is kept carefully secreted in some of the larger monasteries. It belongs to 
the silly esoteric class of books called Sail-nak. 

-' Cf. also the play of Nansa, The Brilliant Light, Chap. xx. 

i A German translation by Schiefner of the smaller version has been published by 
the St. Petersburg Acad. (Das Weisse Naga 11 underh tavservd.) Cf. also Kockhili.. /.., 
p. 217, n. 

4 gyal-rabs [Skt., Rajvansa]. 


dealing with modern personages are of a somewhat more historical 
character, but are so overloaded by legends as to repel even en- 
thusiastic enquirers. 

The leading ritualistic manuals of the various sects are of a 
more or less authentic character, and small pocket editions of these 
prayer books (smon-lam) and hymns (bstod-tsogs) are very 
numerous. 1 Individual Lamas possess special books according to 
their private means and inclinations, such as the 100,000 songs 2 of 
the famous mendicant sage Mila-ra-pa on the worship of Tara 
and other favourite or tutelary deities, and the mode of making 
their magic-circles. Mongol Lamas have the Dsang-lun. The 
specialist in medicine has one or more fantastic medical works, 
such as Mannag-rgyud, S'ad-gyud; and the Tsi-pa or astrologer 
has the Baidyur harpo and other books on astrological calculations 
and sorcery, many of which are translated from the Chinese. 

Some further details of ritualistic books are found in the 
chapters on the monkhood and on ritual, where several abstracts 
are given. 

The secular works, through most of which runs a more or less 
Buddhistic current, are mainly annals or chronicles (16-rgyu). 

Good and clever sayings and reflections (rtogs-brjod), as " The 
precious rosary " (rin-ch'en-p'reh-wa), a collection of proverbs, and 
drinking songs. 

Tales more or less fabulous (sgruns). The best known of these is 
that of Ge-sav (==? Czar or Cesar), who is described as a mighty war-like 
king of northern Asia, and who is made to figure as a suitor for the 
hand of the Chinese princess before her marriage with Sron Tsan Gam- 
po, although it is evident the legendary accounts of him must be more 
ancient. Baber 3 refers to the story-book named Djriung-yi ' songs. 5 

i The Ge-lug-pa monk's manual is " The Bhikshu's Timely Memoranda (dGre-slon- 
gi-du-dran), and his other special books are the two volumes byTsoh K'apa entitled : 
The Gradual Path {Law rim c'«n-6o),a doctrinal commentary based on Atisa's version 
of the Bodi Patha Pradip, and The Gradual Path of Vajradhara (>-Dor-c'ah Lam- 
rim), a highly Tantrik book. (Cf. Csoma, Or., 197.) For Bodhi-mur (Bodhi-patha I, see 
Schmidt's S&anang Ssetsen. 

2 gLu-b'um. 

3 Op. tit., p. 88. 

4 Rock., B., p. 288, suggests this maybe rGyus-yi-dpe. 

s Amongst indigenous geographical works is " A Geography of the World " {Dsamrliii 
gye-she). The references to countries outside Tibet are mainly confined to India, and are 
even then very inexact. Its most useful section is that descriptive of Tibet, translated 
by Sarat, J.A.S.B., 1887, pp. 1 et seq. See also Wei-tshang thu ski, abstracted by 
Klaproth from the Chinese. Cf. also Csoma's enumeration of Tibetan works, J.A.S.B., 
vii., 147 ; ix., 905. 



The Lamaist library is usually situated within the temple. 
The large books are deposited in an open pigeon-holed rackwork. 
The sheets forming the volume are wrapped in a napkin ; and 
the bundle is then placed between two heavy wooden blocks, as 
covers, which bear on their front end the name of the book in 
letters graved in relief and gilt. The whole parcel is firmly bound 
by a broad tape and buckle tied across its middle. These ponderous 
tomes are most unwieldy and not easy of reference. When the 
book is read away from tables as is usually the case, it is held 
across the knees, and the upper board and the leaves as they are 
read are lifted towards the reader and repiled in order in his lap. 
Before 1 opening its fastenings, and also on retying the parcel, the 
monk places the book reverently on his head, saying, "May I 
obtain the blessing of thy holy word." 

Copyists of manuscript, as well as composers and translators, 
usually conclude their work with a short stanza expressing their 
pious hope that " this work here finished may benefit the (unsaved) 

An enormous mass of Lamaist literature is now available in 
Europe in the collections at St. Petersburg, mainly obtained from 
Pekin, Siberia, and Mongolia ; at Paris, and at the India Office, and 
Royal Asiatic Society 1 in London, and at Oxford, mostly gifted by 
Mr. Hodgson. 2 

The St. Petersburg collection is the largest, and extends to 
over 2,000 volumes. 3 

1 Catalogue of these, by Dr. H. Wexzel, in J.R.A.S., 1891. 

2 The India Office copy of the canon was presented to Mr. Hodgson by the Dalai 

Notices of these occur in various volumes of the Melang. Asiat. de St. Petersb. 

Lamaist PrOCES.SIOX.' 



" Without the Lama in front, 
God is not (approachable)." — Tibetan Proverb. 

S in primitive Buddhism, the monastic order or con- 
gregation of the Virtuous Ones 2 forms the third 
member of the Trinity, "The Three most Precious 
Ones" of Lamaism. But owing to the rampant 
sacerdotalism of Tibet, the order is in a much higher position 
there than it ever attained in Indian Mahayana Buddhism, accord- 
ing to the current Tibetan saying aboVe cited. 

The order is composed of Bodhisats both human and celestial. 
The latter occupy, of course, the highest rank, while the so-called 
incarnate Lamas, 3 who are believed to be incarnated reflexes from 

1 After Giorgi. 2 Skt., Saiigha ; Tib., AGe-dim. 

3 sprul-sku, or ku- 


a superhuman Buddha or Bodhisat or a reborn saint, are given an 
intermediate position, as is detailed in the chapter on the hier- 

The Lamas are " the Bodhisats who have renounced the world," l 
and thus are held to correspond to the Sangha of primitive 
Buddhism consisting of the Bhikshus (mendicants), Srdmxineras 
(ascetic) and Arhats. The nuns, excepting the so-called incar- 
nations of celestial Bodhisats (e.g., Dorje-p'agmo), are given an in- 
ferior position scarcely higher than lay devotees; 

While the laity, corresponding to " the pious householders and 
hearers " 2 of the primitive Buddhists, who under the Mahayana 
system should be " the Bodhisats who reside in their houses," are 
practically excluded from the title to Bodhisatship or early Buddha- 
hood like the Lamas, and are contemptuously called the " Owners of 
Alms," 3 those " bound by fear," 4 and the " benighted people ; " 5 
although the lay devotees are allowed the title of Updsaka and 
Updsikd 6 if keeping the five precepts, and those who are uncelibate 
are called " the pure doer " ; 7 while the Xen-fo or Nen-na 8 
keep four of the precepts. 

The supreme position which the Lamas occupy in Tibetan society, 
both as temporal and spiritual rulers, and the privileges which they 
enjoy, as well as the deep religious habit of the people, all combine 
to attract to the priestly ranks enormous numbers of recruits. At 
the same time it would appear that compulsion is also exercised 
by the despotic priestly government in the shape of a recognized 
tax of children to be made Lamas, named bTsun-gral Every 
family thus affords at least one of its sons to the church. The 
first-born or favourite son is usually so dedicated in Tibet. 9 The 
other son marries in order to continue the family name and in- 
heritance and to be the bread-winner ; and many families contribute 
more than one, as the youths are eager to join it. 

1 Pravrajya. 

2 Hodgs., Illus., p. 98; Hakdy, E.M., p. 12. 
: BbyiiiA>daff8 

i 'ji<ix-vt< /(-pa. • 

5 mi-nag-pa. 

■ ,p,y_l, s ,7, „. This title is also applied to a novice, probationer, or candidate. Cf. 
K6pp.,ii., 252; Schlag., 102: Jaeschk., D., 85. 

; mts'an-spyod. 

' gsfien-gnas. 

■ Cmit'. also Pandit, A. K. In Sikhim it is the second son ; and also in Ladak (Marx, 
for. cit.). 


Thus in Tibet, where children are relatively few, it is believed 
that one out of every six or eight of the population is a priest. In 
Sikhim the proportion is one to ten. 1 In Ladak one-sixth." In 
Bhotan one to about ten. 


In every monachism there are naturally three hierarchical 
seniorities or ranks, namely : the scholars or novices, the ordained, 
and the reverend fathers or the priests, just as in the common 
guilds or arts are the grades of the apprentice, the journeyman, 
and the master. Indian Buddhism had its grades of the Srama- 
nera (or the novice), of the expert Sramana or Bhikshu (the mode- 
rate one or beggar), and of the Sthavira or Updydhya (master or 

Lamaism has naturally these necessary degrees of clerical 
maturity and subordination, and by dividing the noviciate into 
two sections it counts four, thus : — 

1. The clerical apprentice or scholar. The customary title of 
this first beginner in holy orders is Ge-iien, which means " to 
live upon virtue," and is a translation of the Sanskrit word 
Updsahi or lay-brother. This word has a double meaning ; it 
shows firstly the simple lay believer, who has promised to avoid the 
five great sins; and secondly the monastic devotee or scholar, who 
keeps the ten precepts and is preparing for the holy orders to 
which he partly belongs through the clothes he wears and the official 
acknowledgment which he has received. He is also called Rab- 
byun or " excellent born." The Mongols call these " Schabi" 
and Bandi, Banda, or " Bante" z which latter word seems to be 
of Indian origin. The Kalmaks call them Manji. 4 

2. The Ge-tshd, the commencing, but not quite fully ordained 
monk, an under priest, or deacon, who keeps the thirty- six 

3. Ge-long or " virtuous or clerical beggar," the real monk, the 
priest, over twenty-five years of age, and who has been fully 
ordained, and keeps the two hundred and fifty-three rules. 

1 See my Lamaism in Si Bin,. 

2 Knight, op. cit., p. 130. 

3 Cf. Jaeschke, I)., Mi. 

* TheSantals of Bengal, who are believed to be of the so-called Turanian descent, 
call their chiefs Manji. 



4. The Ifan-po, which means the master or Abbot (Skt., 
Upddhyaya). He is the end, the true extremity of the Lamaist 

A Tibetan Doctou of Divinity. 
An Abbot. 

monachism, because he has under him all the scholars, novices 
and common monks. And although the regenerated or re-incar- 


nated monks, the Chutuktus, and sovereign priest-gods are above 
him, 1 their originals were essentially nothing else than abbots. 
He it is, who in the early time was probably the only one to be 
honoured by the title Lama (Guru or master), and to whom is 
given this title even to the present time; although he may be 
called a Grand Lama to distinguish him from the other cloister 
inhabitants. Only the larger cloisters have a K'an-po, who has 
the right to supervise several smaller Lamaseries and temples, 
and whose position seems to be such that he is compared as a rule 
with the catholic bishop. 2 


In sketching the details of the curriculum of the Lama, I give 
the outlines of the course followed in the greatest of the monastic 
colleges of the established church of Tibet — the Gre-lug-pa — as 
related to me by Lama-graduates of these institutions, namely, 
of De-pung, Sera, Gah-ldan, and Tashi-lhunpo, as these set the 
high standard which other monasteries of all sects try to follow, 
and marked departures from this standard are indicated in a 
subsequent note. 

The child who is the Lama-elect (btsan-ch'un) stays at home 
till about his eighth year (from six to twelve), wearing the red or 
yellow cap when he is sent to a monastery, and educated as in a 
sort of boarding-school or resident college, passing through the 
stages of pupil-probationer (da-pa), novice (ge-ts'ul), to fully- 
ordained monk (ge-loh), and, it may be, taking one or other of 
the degrees in divinity, or a special qualification in some particular 
academic department. 

As, however, the applicants for admission into these monastic 
colleges have usually passed the elementary stage and have already 
reached, or nearly reached, the stage of noviciate at some smaller 
monastery, I preface the account of the course in great mon- 
astic colleges by the preliminary stage as seen at the leading 
monastery in Sikhim, the Pemiongchi, which is modelled on that 
of the great Nin-ma monastery of Mindolling. 

Preliminary Examination — Physical. — When the boy-candi- 

1 Those K'an-pos who have gone through the Tantra or rgyud-pa course have a 
higher repute than the others. 

2 Koppen, ii., 254. 


date for admission is brought to the monastery his parentage is 
enquired into, as many monasteries admit only the more respect- 
able and wealthier class. 1 The boy is then physically examined 
to ascertain that he is free from deformity or defect in his limbs 
and faculties. If he stammers, or is a cripple in any way, or bent 
in body, he is rejected. When he has passed this physical exam- 
ination he is made over by his father or guardian to any senior 
relative he may have amongst the monks. Should he have no 
relative in the monastery, then, by consulting his horoscope, one 
of the elder monks is fixed upon as a tutor, who receives from the 
lad's father a present of money, 2 tea, eatables, and beer. 3 The 
tutor or elder (Grer-gan) 4 then takes the boy inside the great hall 
where the monks are assembled, and publicly stating the parentage 
of the boy and the other details, and offering presents of beer, he 
asks the permission of the elder monks ((/6U-ch'os) to take the 
boy as a pupil. On this being accorded the boy becomes a pro- 

As a probationer he is little more than a private schoolboy under 
the care of his tutor, and doing various menial services. His hair 
is cropped without any ceremony, and he may even wear his 
ordinary lay dress. He is taught by his tutor the alphabet (the 
" Ka, K'a, Gra," as it is called), 5 and Jafter wards to read and recite 
by heart the smaller of the sacred books, 6 such as : — 

Leu bdun ma, or ; ' The Seven Chapters " — A prayer-book of St. 

Bar-c'ad lam gsel or " Charms to clear the way from Danger and 
Injury " — A prayer to St. Padma in twelve stanzas. 

Sher-phyin — An abstract of transcendental wisdom in six leaves. 

sKu-rim — A sacrificial service for averting a calamity. 

Mon-lam — Prayers for general welfare. 

sDig sags, or "The Confession of Sins." ' The mere act of reading 

i At Pemiongchi only those candidates who are of relatively pure Tibetan descent 
by the father's side are ordinarily admitted. 

- [n Sikhim definite fees arc payable al the different ceremonies for admission to 
the order, as detailed in my Lamaism in Sikhim, amounting to aboul 150 Ks., in the 
case of the highest monastery Pemiongchi. in Bhotan it is stated (Pembebtos's 
Report, p. 118; Tusker's Embassy, 170) thai the fee is 100 Bhotanese rupees. 

:; This, of course, would not 1 ffered in a Ge-lug-pa monastery. 

1 dge-rgan, or "the Virtuous Elder." See p. xviii. 

■ Such small manuals arc about eight or ten inches long by two to three inches 
broad, and usually have the leaves stitched together. 


this holy booklet even as a school exercise cleanses from sin. Most of 
the monasteries possess their own blocks for printing this pamphlet. 
Both the text and its translation are given by Schlagintweit. 2 
tDov gchod— A Sutra from the book of transcendental wisdom. 

Pyogs-bc'ui-p'yogs-4ral, or description of the ten direc- 
tions ... • , ( j P a g es - 

Namo Guru—" Salutation to the Guru " 5 ,, 

mCW-'bul — To give offerings 6 „ 

gTorma — Sacred cake ... ... •■• . ■ ••• 8 

bSans bsur — Incense and butter-incense ... ... ... 5 

lTo-mc'od — Rice offering ... ... ... ■•• ••• 4 ., 

Rig-'dsin snon-'gro — The first essay of the sage 4 .. 

Drag-dinar snon-'gro — The primer of red fierce deity ... 4 ., 

bKabrgyed — " The eight commands " or precepts ... 4 ,, 

bDe gs'egs kun 'dus — The collection of the Tathagatas ... 4 

Yes'es sku mc'og — The best foreknowledge ... ... 5 ,, 

rTsa-gdun bs'ag-gsal — The root-pillar of clear confes- 
sion ... ... •■• ••■ •■• ■•• ••• 4 ,, 

The young probationer is also instructed in certain golden 
maxims of a moral kind, of which the following are examples : — 

Buddhist Proverbs: — 

Whatever is unpleasing to yourself do not to another. 

Whatever happiness is in the world has all arisen from a wish for 
the welfare of others. Whatever misery there is has arisen from 
indulging selfishness. 

There is no eye like the understanding, no blindness like ignorance, 
no enemy like sickness, nothing so dreaded as death. 

A king is honoured in his own dominions, but a talented man every- 

•• The four Precipices in Speech. — If speech be too long, it is te- 
dious ; if too short, its meaning is not appreciated ; if rough, it ruffles 
the temper of the hearers ; if soft, it is unsatisfying. 

" The Requirements of Speech. — Speech should be vigorous or it will 
not interest ; it must be bright or it will not enlighten ; it must be 
suitably ended, otherwise its effect is lost. 

' ; The Qualities of Speech. — Speech must be bold as a lion, gentle and 
soft as a hare, impressive as a serpent, pointed as an arrow, and evenly 
balanced as a dorje held by its middle (literally " waist "). 

'■ The Four Relations of Speech. — -The question should first be stated. 
The arguments should be duly connected, the later with the earlier. 
Essential points should be repeated. The meanings should be illus- 
trated by examples. 

1 Theword for tin is " scorpion," thus conveying the idea of a vile, venomous, claw- 
ing, acrid thing. 
- 0p t cit., pages 122 to 14:2. 


" The religious king Sroh-Tsan Gampo has said (in the Mani-kah- 
'bum) : " Speech should float freely forth like a bird into the sky, and 
be clothed in charming dress like a goddess. At the outset the object 
of the speech should be made clear like an unclouded sky. The speech 
should proceed like the excavation of treasure. The arguments should 
shoot forth nimbly like a deer chased by fresh hounds, without hesita- 
tion or pause." 

" Assemblies. — People assemble for three purposes, namely, for, (a) 
happiness, (6) sorrow, and (c) worldly gossip. The assemblies for happi- 
ness are three, namely, (1) for virtuous acts, (2) for worship in the temples, 
and (3) for erecting houses and for feasts. The assemblies for virtuous 
acts are four, viz., the gathering of the monks, the gathering of the laity 
for worship, writing and copying holy books, and giving away wealth 
in charity. There are six kinds of assemblies for worship, namely, the 
gathering of the rich, the gathering in a separate place of the common 
men, the gathering for thanksgiving of those who have escaped from 
their enemy's grasp, traders returned safely and successfully, sick men 
who have escaped from the devouring jaws of death, and youths on 
gaining a victory. 

" The eight acts of Low-born persons. — Using coarse language, im- 
politeness, talking with pride, want of foresight, harsh manners, star- 
ing, immoral conduct, and stealing. 

The ten Faults. — Unbelief in books, disrespect for teachers, render- 
ing one's self unpleasant, covetousness, speaking too much, ridicul- 
ing another's misfortune, using abusive language, being angry with 
old men or with women, borrowing what cannot be repaid, and 

Invoking " The Blessing of Eloquence " (hag-byin-rlabs). This is a 
Mantrayana rite instituted by the "great saint" K'yuh-po (Skt., 
Garuda or Puna, or Brika.) 1 

" I*go for refuge to the Three Holy Ones ! May I attain perfection 
and benefit the animal beings. The one who brought me to the light 
is at the tip of my tongue and the white Om made up of the words is 
above the moon : the white All (vowels) go by the right circle, the red 
Ka-li (consonants) go by the left and the blue Ktan-siiin by the right." 
I repeat them secretly after deep contemplation : 

" Om ! a, a, i, i, u, u, ri, ri, li, li, e, ai, o, ou, angah ! swaha ! (This 
is to be repeated thrice.) Om ! Ka, Kha, Ga, Gha, Na (and here follow 
all the letters of the alphabet). (Three times). Om ! ye dhorma 
(here follows 'The Buddhist Creed' thrice.) Through the rays of the 
seed of the mantra-rosary and the power of the blessings of speech, I 
summon the accomplishments of the seven precious rgyal-srid and 
' The eight glorious signs.'" By repeating the above one attains accom- 
plishment in speech. 

During this training the boy's relatives call about once a month 

1 Cf. also the "Garuda Charm," figured at p. 387. 


to enquire after his progress and health, and to pay the tutor his 
fees for the lad's board and education. 

After two or three years of such rudimentary teaching, when 
the boy has committed to memory the necessary texts (amounting 
to about one hundred and twenty-five leaves), his tutor sends in 
an application for his admission as a novice. 

The mode of admission to the noviciateship in the great De- 
pung monastery is as follows : — 


The tutor-Lama of the applicant for the noviciateship addresses 
the head monk (spyi-rgan) of his section for permission to admit 
the applicant, and at the same time offers a ceremonial scarf 1 and 
the fee of ten rupees. Then, if the applicant be found free from 
bodily defects and otherwise eligible, a written agreement is 
made out in the presence of the head monk and sealed by the 

To get his name registered in the books of that particular school 
of the monastery to which he is to be attached, the pupil and his 
tutor go to the abbot 2 or principal of that school and proffer their 
request through the butler or cup-bearer, 3 who conducts them to 
the abbot, before whom they offer a scarf and a silver coin (preferably 
an Indian rupee), and bowing thrice before him, pray for admis- 

Amongst the questions now put are : Does this boy come of 
his free will ? Is he a slave, debtor, or soldier ? Does anyone 
oppose his entry ? Is he free from deformity, contagious disease, 
or fits ? Has he neglected the first three commandments ? Has 
he committed theft, or thrown poison into water, or stones from a 
hillside so as to destroy animal life, etc. ? What is his family ? 
and what their occupation ? and where their residence ? On giving 
satisfactory replies, he is then required to recite by heart the texts 
he has learned ; and if approved, then the names of the pupil and 
his tutor are written down and duly sealed by the thumbs, and a 
scarf is thrown around their necks, and the boy, who has been 
dressed in princely finery, has his dress exchanged for the yellow 
or red robe in imitation of Sakya Muni's renunciation of the 
world ; while, if he is rejected, he is ejected from the monastery, 

1 Ika-Tdsas. 2 mk'an-po. J gsol. 


and his tutor receives a few strokes from a cane, and is fined 
several pounds of butter for the temple lamps. 

The approved pupil and his tutor then proceed to the head 
Lama (z'al-no) of the great cathedral (common to the colleges of 
the university), and, offering a scarf and a rupee, repeat their 
requests to him, and the names of the pupil and tutor and his 
sectional college or residentiary club are registered, so that should 
the pupil misconduct himself in the cathedral, his teachers, as well 
as himself, shall be fined. 

The neophyte is now a registered student (da-jxi), 1 and on 
returning to his club, he is, if rich, expected to entertain all the 
residents of the club to three cups of tea. If he has no relatives 
to cook for him, he is supplied from the club stores; and any 
allowance 2 he gets from his people is divided into three parts, 
one-third being appropriated by his club for messing expenses. 
Then he gets the following monkish robes and utensils, viz., a 
sTod-'gag, bs'am-t'abs, gzan, zla-gam, z'wa-ser, sgro-lugs, a cup, a 
bag for wheaten flour, and a rosary. 

Until his formal initiation as an ascetic, " the going forth from 
home" (pravrajyd-vrata), by which he becomes a novice (Gre-ts'ul, 
Skt., Sramana), the candidate is not allowed to join in the religious 
services in the monastery. So he now addresses a request to the 
presiding Grand Lama 3 to become a novice, accompanying his 
request with a scarf and as much money as he can offer. 

The ceremony of initiation is generally similar to that of the 
southern Buddhists. 4 

On the appointed day — usually on one of the fast clays (Upo 
satha), the candidate has his head shaven all but a small tuft on 
the crown 5 ; and he is conducted by his spiritual tutor (upadhyaya) 
before a chapter in the assembly hall, clad in the mendicant's 
robes, on putting on which he has muttered a formula to the 
effect that lie wears them only for modesty and as a protection 

1 grva-pa. 

2 'gyed. 

3 dGe-lden-K'ri-rin-po-c'he, or s'Kyabs-mgon-rin-poch'e. 

■* Cf. Mahavanso, i., 12. UpaSampudd-Kammavdka, translated by F. Spiegel, op. cit. 
Rhys Davids, B., p. 159. 

5 My friend, Mr. A. von Rosthorn, informs me that the Lamas of eastern Tibet 
usually pass through an ordeal i if initiation in which six marks arc seared in their 
crown with an iron lamp, and called Dipamkara, or "the burning lamp.*' 


against heat, cold, etc. The officiating head Lama, sometimes 
the Grand Lama, addressing the student by his secular name, 
asks, " Do you subject yourself to the tonsure cheerfully ? " On 
receiving a reply in the affirmative, the presiding Lama cuts off 
the remaining top tuft of hair from the head of the novice, who 
is like Chaucer's monk, 

"His lied was balled, and shone like any glas." 

The Lama also gives the kneeling novice a religious name, by 
which he is henceforth known, 1 and exhorting him to keep the 
thirty-six precepts and the thirty-six rules, and to look upon the 
Grand Lama as a living Buddha, he administers the vows to the 
novice, who repeats clearly three times the formula, "I take refuge 
in Buddha, in the Law, and in the Assembly." 

The ceremony concludes with the presentation of a scarf and 
ten silver coins. 2 

At the next mass, the boy is brought into the great assembly 
hall, carrying a bundle of incense sticks ; and is chaperoned by a 
monk named the " bride-companion " (ba-grags), as this ceremony 
is regarded as a marriage with the church. He sits down on 
an appointed seat by the side of the " bride-companion," who 
instructs him in the rules and etiquette (sGris) of the monkish 
manner of sitting, walking, etc. 

The initiation into the Tantrik Buddhist priesthood of the 
Vajracaryas is detailed below in a foot-note. 3 

i Extra titles are also bestowed, sa3's Sarat, on the descendants of the old 
nobility. Thus, Nag-tshang families are given title of Shab-dung; the sons of high 
officials and landowners Je-duh ; and the gentry and Sha-ngo family Choi-je. 

- Tanhas. 

:' The following account of the initiation of the Vajracarya priests, as given by 
Mr. Hodgson for Nepal {III., p. 139) :— 

" Early in the morning the following things, viz., the image of a Chaitya, those of 
the Tri Ratna or Triad, the Prajna Paramita scripture, and other sacred scriptures, a 
katas, or water-pot, filled with a few sacred articles, a platter of curds, four other 
water-pots filled with water only, a chivara, mendicants' upper and lower garments, a 
Pinda p&tra (alms-bowl) and a religious staff, a pair of wooden sandals, a small mixed 
metal plate spread over with pounded sandal-wood, in which the image of the moon is 
inscribed, a golden razor and a silver one, and lastly, a plate of dressed rice, are col- 
lected, and the aspirant is seated in the svastikdsana and made to perform worship to 
the Guru Mandala, and the Chaitya, and the Tri Ratna and the Prajna Paramita 
Sastra. Then the aspirant, kneeling with one knee on the ground with joined hands, 
entreats the Guru to make him a Bandya, and to teach him whatsoever it is needful 
'for him to know. The Guru answers, O ! disciple, if you desire to perform the Prav- 
rajya Vrata, first of all devote yourself to the worship of the Chaitya and of the Tri 

N 2 


The novice is now admitted to most of the privileges of a monk, 
and after a period of three years he passes out of the preliminary 
stage (rig-ch'uh), and is then entitled to have a small chamber or 
cell to himself, though he is still called a student (da-pa), and, in- 

Ratna : you must observe the five precepts or Pancha Siksha, the fastings and the 
vows prescribed ; nor speak or think evilly ; nor touch any intoxicating liquors or 
drugs ; nor be proud of heart in consequence of your observance of your religious and 
moral duties." 

" Then the aspirant pledges himself thrice to observe the whole of the above pre- 
cepts ; upon which the Guru tells him, ' If while you live you will keep the above 
rules, then will I make you a Bandya.' He assents, when the Guru, having again 
given the three Paikshtis above-mentioned to the Chela, delivers a cloth for the loins to 
him to put on. Then the Guru brings the aspirant out into the court-yard, and having 
seated him, touches his hair with rice and oil, and gives those articles to a barber. 
The Guru next puts on the ground a little pulse and desires a Chela to apply it to his 
own feet. Then the Guru gives the Chela a cloth of four fingers' breadth and one 
cubit in length, woven with threads of five colours, and which is especially manufac- 
tured for this purpose, to bind round his head. Then he causes the aspirant to per- 
form his ablutions, after which he makes pujd to the hands of the barber in the name 
of Visvakarma, and then causes the barber to shave all the hair, save the forelock, off 
the aspirant's head. Then the paternal or maternal aunt of the aspirant takes the 
vessel of mixed metal above noted and collects the hair into it. The aspirant is now 
bathed again and his nails pared, when the above party puts the parings into the pot 
with the hair. Another ablution of the aspirant follows, after which the aspirant is 
taken again within, and seated. Then the Guru causes him to eat, and also sprinkles 
upon him the Pancha Garbha, and says to him, ' Heretofore you have lived a house- 
holder, have you a real desire to abandon that state and assume the state of a monk ? ' 
The aspirant answers in the affirmative, when the Guru, or maternal uncle, cuts off 
with his own hand the aspirant's forelock. Then the Guru puts a tiara adorned with 
the images of the five Bdddhas on his own head, and taking the kalas or water- 
pot, sprinkles the aspirant with holy water, repeating prayers at the same time over 

" The neophyte is then again brought below, when four Nayakas or superiors of 
proximate Viharas and the aspirant's Guru perform the Pancha Abhisheka, i.e., the 
Guru takes water from the kalsa and pours it into a conch ; and then ringing a bell 
and repeating prayers, sprinkles the water from the conch on the aspirant's head ; 
whilst the four Nayakas taking water from the other four water-pots named above, 
severally baptize the aspirant. The musicians present then strike up, when the 
Nayakas and Guru invoke the following blessing on the neophyte : ' May you be 
happy as he who dwells in the hearts of all, who is the universal Atman, the lord of 
all, the Buddha called Ratnasambhava.' The aspirant is next led by the Nayakas and 
( hiru above stairs, and seated as before. He is then made to perform piijti to the 
Guru Mandal and to sprinkle rice on the images of the deities. The Guru next gives 
him the Chivara and Nivasa and golden earrings, when the aspirant thrice says to 
the Guru, 'O Guru, I, who am such an one, have abandoned the state of a householder 
for this whole birth, and have become a monk.' Upon which the aspirant's former 
name is relinquished and a new one given him, such as Ananda,Shari, Putra, Kasyapa, 
Dharma, Sri Mitra, Paramita Sagar. Then the Guru causes him to perform pujd to the 
Tri Ratna, after having given him a golden tiara, and repeated some prayers over 
him. The Guru then repeats the following praises of the Tri Ratna.- '1 salute that 


deed, all the monks, from the novice to the more senior (par-pa), 
and even the full monk (ge-lon) retain the same title in the 
chief monasteries of Tibet — the term "Lama" being reserved to 
the heads of the monastery. 

The novice now undergoes a severe course of instruction, during 
which corporal punishment is still, as heretofore, freely inflicted. 
The instruction is mainly in ritual and dogma, but crafts and 
some arts, such as painting, are also taught to those showing 
special aptitude. The spiritual adviser of the young monk is 
called "the radical Lama," 1 and as he initiates the novice into the 

Buddha who is the lord of the three worlds, whom gods and men alike worship, who 
is apart from the world, long-suffering, profound as the ocean, the quintessence of all 
good, the Dharma Raja and Munindra, the destroyer of desire and affection, and vice 
and darkness ; who is void of avarice and lust, who is the icon of wisdom. I ever in- 
voke him, placing my head on his feet. 

" ' I salute that Dharma, who is the Prajna Paramita, pointing out the way of perfect 
tranquillity to mortals, leading them into the paths of perfect wisdom ; who, by the 
testimony of all the sages, produced or created all things ; who is the mother of all 
Bodhisatwas and Sravakas. I salute that Sangha, who is Avalokitesvara and Mai- 
treya, and Gagan Ganja, and Samanta Bhadra, and Vajra Pani, and Manju Ghosha, 
and Sarvanivarana Vishkambhin, and Kshiti Garbha and Kha Garbha.' The aspirant 
then says to the Guru, ' I will devote my whole life to the Tri Ratna, nor ever desert 
them.' Then the Guru gives him the Dasa S'iksha or ten precepts observed by all the 
Buddhas and Bhikshukas, and commands his observance of them. They are: 1. Thou 
shalt not destroy life. 2. Thou shalt not steal. 3. Thou shalt not follow strange 
faiths. 4. Thou shalt not lie. 5. Thou shalt not touch intoxicating liquors or drugs. 
6. Thou shalt not be proud of heart. 7. Thou shalt avoid music, dancing, and all such 
idle toys. 8. Thou shalt not dress in fine clothes nor use perfumes or ornaments. 9. 
Thou shalt sit and sleep in lowly places. 10. Thou shalt not eat out of the presci'ibed 

" The Guru then says, ' All these things the Buddhas avoided. You are now become 
a Bhikshu and you must avoid them too ; ' which said, the Guru obliterates the Tri 
Ratna Mandala. Next, the aspirant asks from the Guru the Chivara and Nivasa, the 
Pinda Patra and Khikshari and Gandhar, equipments of a Buddha, a short staff sur- 
mounted by a Chaitya and a water-pot. Add thereto an umbrella and sandals to com- 
plete it. The aspirant proceeds to make a Mandal,. and places in it five flowers and 
five Drubakund, and some Khil, and some rice ; and assuming the Utkutak Asan, and 
joining his hands, he repeats the praises of the Tri Ratna above cited, and then again 
requests his Guru to give him suits of the Chivara and the like number of the Nivasa, 
one for occasions of ceremony as attending the palace, another for wearing at 
meals, and the third for ordinary wear. He also requests from his Guru the like 
number of Gandhar or drinking cups of Pinda Patra, and of Khikshari. One entire 
suit of these the aspirant then assumes, receiving them from the hands of the Guru, 
who, previously to giving them, consecrates them by prayers. The aspirant then 
says, ' Now I have received the Pravrajya Vrata, I will religiously observe the 
Sitla-Skandha and Samadhi-Skandha, the Prajna-Skandha and the Vimukti-Skand- 

1 visa wai blama. This is not, as Schlagintweit states {op. cit., 139), in any way 
restricted to particular " priests who originated a specific system of Buddhism." 


mysterious rites he is held by the latter in especial reverence all 
through life. 

Frequent examinations are held and also wrangling or public 

In every cloister is a teacher of the law, who, as a rule, takes 
the highest rank after the chief. But in the larger ones are 
regular schools or universities, in which the holy books are syste- 
matically explained, and theology, etc., is taught. The most 
celebrated ones of these are of course those near Lhasa and 
Tashi-lhunpo, which are visited by students from all provinces of 
the Lamaist church. In the countries of southern Buddhism the 
cloister schools are divided after tli3 three branches of the codes, 
into three sections, the Sutras, Vinayas and Abhidharmas. In 
Tibet the division practically is the same, though sometimes is 
added a medical one, and also a mystic faculty for magic and con- 
juration, which, however, seems to be united as a rule with the 
section for philosophy and metaphysics (Abhidharma), for which 
in some Lamaseries special schools are established. 

Every Lama belongs to one or other of these faculties, and the 
position which he occupies inside the brotherhood depends on the 
number and class of holy books which he has gone through and 
understands thoroughly. 

As soon as the bell sounds he has to go to his respective room or 
class, to start with his lection, to receive new ones, to listen to the 
explanations of the professor, etc., etc., and to prepare for examina- 
tions and disputations. 

Exa minations. — Within a year after his admission to the order 
he must attempt to pass the first professional examination, and in 
the following year or two the second examination for promotion. 
And until he passes these examinations he must perform for the 
first three years the menial offices of serving out tea, etc., to the 
elder monks in the assembly hall. 

The examinations are conducted in the presence of the heads of 
the monastery and the assembled monks, who observe a solemn 
silence, and the test is for the candidate to stand up in the assem- 
bly and recite by heart all the prescribed books. 1 The ordeal is a 

i An idea of the nature of this is got from the following list of text books for the 
t'n-st examination at Pemiongchi, which comprise the worship necessary for three 
" magic-circles," viz. : The first is the magic-circle of dKon-c'og spyi 'clus Rig-'dsin 


very trying one, so that the candidate is given a companion to 
prompt and encourage him. The first examination lasts for three 
days; and nine intervals are allowed daily during the examination, 

'dsah ms'an ning-poi c'os 'k'or (or " Banquet to the whole assembly of the Gods and 
Demons "). This book contains about sixty pages, and its recitation takes nearly one 
whole day. It comprises the chapters : — 

(1) Ts'e-sgrub or The obtaining of long life. 

(2) Z'i-k'ro — The mild and angry deities. 

(3) Guru-drag — The fierce form of Padma-sambhava. 

(4) Sen-gdonma — The lion-faced demoness. 

(5) Ch'osskyoh Mahakala Yes'es mgonpo. 

(6) T'ah-lha (Mt. Thang-lha with its spirit " Kiting " is a northern guardian of 

Sikhim), mDsod-lna, Lha-ch'en and sMan-bstiin — Local and mountain deities. 

(7) bsKah bs'ag^t, ts'ogs and Tas'i-smon-lam. 

The second comprises the magic-circle of the collection of the Tathagathas and " the 
powerful great pitj-ing one " (Avalokita) — bDe-gs'eg.^-kvin 'dus-gar-dbah, T'ugs-rje 
chen-po, of about 40 pages. 

Then follow the magic circles of the fierce and demoniacal deities Guru-drag-dmar, 
K'rowo-rol wai gtor-zlog and Drag poi las Gurul-gsol-'deb* len-bdun-ma, K'a 'don cli'os 

Tlie books for the second examination, requiring to be recited by heart, are the 
following :— 

(1) The worship of "The lake-born Vajra" (mTs'o-.tkye.s-rdorje) — i.e., St. Padma- 

sambhava — and "the sage Guru who has obtained understanding*' (Rig 
'dsin rtog sgrub-guru). . 

(2) The three roots of sagedom (Rig 'dsin rtsa-gsum) — 

(a) Rig 'dsin lhamai-las. 

(b) Ts'e-sgrub k'og dbug*-. 

(c) gSang sgrub dohyi sfhh-po. 

(3) The deeds of Dorje P'agmo (rDorje p'ag-mol-las), the great happiness of zag- 

med (zag-med Jde-ch'en), and the four classes of the fierce guardians— c'os 
sruh drag-po sde Jzhi. The names of these demons are — on the east, kLu- 
bdud Munpa nagpo ; on the south, Srinpo Lanka-mgrim-bchu ; on the west, 
Mamo S'a-za p'ra-gral nag-po ; on the north, gS'enpa sPu-gri-dmarpo. 

(4) The subjugation of the host of demons— The offering to the Dhyani Buddhas 

bdud dpuh zil non, Kun-bzah, mc'od-sprin. 

(5) The sacrificial ceremony bskang bshags, viz., Rig 'dsin bskang-bshags, Phagmai 

bskang bshags. 

(6) The prayer of the glorious " Tashi " — the Lepcha name for Padma-sambhava 

— Tashi smon-lam. 
The above books reach to about fifty-five pages. 

(7) The circle of the eight commanders of the collected Buddhas. bKah-bgyad 

bde gsegs 'duspai dkyil-'khor kyi las and Khrowo-rol wai gtor-zlog gyi 
skori bkali brgyad. This has about forty pages. [Tlie names of the eight 
commanders, bKah-bgyads, are — (1) C'e-mch'og, (2) Yah-dag, (3) gS'in-rje, 
(4) rTa-mgrin, (5) Phurpa, (6) Mamo, (7) 'Gad stoh, (8) Rig-'dsin.] 

When the young monk recites by heart all these books satisfactorily, and so passes 
this examination, lie is not subject to any further ordeal of examination : this being 
the final one. 


and these intervals are utilized by the candidates in revising the 
next exercise, in company with their teacher. 

Those who disgracefully fail to pass this examination are taken 
outside and chastized by the provost. 1 And repeated failure up to a 
limit of three years necessitates the rejection of the candidate from 
the order. Should, however, the boy be rich and wish re-entry, 
he may be re-admitted on paying presents and money on a higher 
scale than formerly, without which no re-admission is possible. If 
the rejected candidate be poor and he wishes to continue a religious 
life, he can only do so as a lay-devotee, doing drudgery about the 
monastery buildings. Or he may set up in some village as an un- 
orthodox Lama-priest. 

The majority fail to pass at the first attempt. And failure on 
the part of the candidate attaches a stigma to his teacher, while 
in the event of the boy chanting the exercises correctly and with 
pleasing voice in the orthodox oratorical manner, his teacher is 
highly complimented. 


The public disputations are much more attractive and favourite 
exercises for the students than the examinations. Indeed, the 
academic feature of the monastic universities of Tibet is perhaps 
seen at its best in the prominence given to dialectics and dispu- 
tations, thus following the speculative traditions of the earlier 
Indian Buddhists. In the great monastic universities of De-pung, 
Tashi-lhunpo, Serra and Grah-ldan, each with a teeming population 
of monks, ranging from about 4,000 to 8,000, public disputations 
are regularly held, and form a recognized institution, in which 
every divinity student or embryo Lama must take part. This 
exercise is called expressing " the true and innermost essence (of 
the doctrine)" (mTs'an-nid) , in which an endeavour is made to 
ascertain both the literal sense and the spirit of the doctrine, 2 
and it is held within a barred court. Some details of the 
manner in which these disputations are held are given below. 3 

1 Ch'os-k'rims-pa. 

2 Conf. also Jaeschke, Diet., p. 454, who is inclined to identify this " school " with 
the Vaiseshkas (or Atomists) Kopp, i., 691. 

3 Within the court-ch'os-ra where the disputations are held are seven grades 
('dsin-ra), namely : (1), Kha-dog-dkar-dmar ; (2), Tchedma ; (3), P'ar-jSi/ui, ; (4), mDsdd ; 
ib),'Dulwa; (6),dbUma; (7), bsLal-btub. 

At these disputations there are tree-trunks, called the Sal-tree trunk (Shugs-sdoh), 



After a course of such training for twelve years, each student is 
eligible for full ordination, the minimum age for which is twenty, 
and the ceremony is generally similar to that of the initiation! 
Those who prove their high capabilities by passing with excep- 
tional distinction through the disputations and examinations 
conducted by the assembled Lamaist literati and the heads of 
one or more cloisters, receive academic and theological degrees 

lchan-ma-sdohpo, and yubu ; and bounded by a wall, and inside the court is covered 
by pebbles (rdehu). In the middle there is a great high stone seat for the lord 
protector (sKyabs-mgon), and a smaller seat for the abbot (mk'anpo) of the school 
and one still smaller for the chief celebrant. 

On reaching the enclosure, the auditors take their respective seats in the seven 
grades, in each of which discussions are held. One of the most learned candidates 
volunteers for examination, or as it is called, to be vow-keeper (Dam-bchah) He 
takes his seat in the middle, and the others sit round him. Then the students stand 
up one by one, and dispute with him. 

The scholar who stands up wears the yellow hat, and, clapping his hands together 
says, Ka-ye ! and then puts his questions to the vow-keeper, who is questioned by 
every student who so desires ; and if he succeeds in answering all without excep- 
tion, then he is promoted to a higher grade. In any case, one is transferred to 
another grade after every three years. 

After twenty-one years of age the rank of dGe-'ses is obtained, though some clever 
students may get it even at eleven. The abbot of the college comes into the en- 
closure seven days every month, and supervises the disputations of the seven grades 
M lien a candidate has reached the bslab-btub grade, he is certain soon to become 
a dGe-s'es. 

The great disputation, however, is held four times a year, in spring, in summer, in 
autumn, and in winter, in a great paved courtyard, and lasts five or seven days. On 
these occasions, all the scholars and abbots of the four schools of the colleges of 
De-pung congregate there. And all the learned students of the four schools who 
belong to the grade of bslab-btub volunteer for examination, and each is questioned 
by the students who ply their questions, says my Lama, "just like flies on meat" 
When the voluntary examinee has successfully replied to all the questions he goes to 
the abbot of his own school, and, presenting a silver coin and a scarf, he requests 
permission to be examined on the Lhasa mass-day. If the abbot receives the coin 
and scarf, then the application is approved, and if not, the student is referred to 
his studies. In the great Lhasa mass all the monks of Serra, De-pung, and Gah-ldan 
congregate, and examinations are held every seventh day, and the dGe-s'es of the 
three monasteries of Serra, De-pung, and Gah-ldan act as examiners. If the volun- 
teer can answer them all, then the Lord Protector throws a scarf round his neck, 
and he thus receives the title of dGe-s'es— somewhat equivalent to our Bachelor of 

The newly-fledged dGe-s'es is now known as a sKya-ser-med-pa-dGe-bs'es or " The 
yellowless-pale Ge-s'e" (pale + yellow = " laymen and priests," says Jaeschke, D., 
p. 25). Then he must give soup (called dGe-bs'es T'ugpa) to all the students of 
his school and club, each student getting a cupful. The soup is made of rice, mixed 
with meat and butter, and different kinds of fruits. Then the abbot of the school 
and the Spyi-so of his club, and all his friends and relatives, each gives him a Kha- 
dag scarf and a money present, 


and honours, by which they become eligible for the highest and 
most privileged appointments. 

The chief degrees are Ge-s'e, corresponding to our Bachelor of 
Divinity; and Rab-jatn-pa, or Doctor of Divinity. 

The degree of Ge-s'e, 1 or " the learned virtuosi," may be 
called B.D. It is obtained, in ^the manner above detailed, by 
giving proof in open meeting of the Lamas ' 2 of his ability to trans- 
late and interpret perfectly at least ten of the chief books of his 
religion. The Gre-s'e is eligible to go in for the higher special 
departments, to which a non-graduate, even though he may be 
a ge-long, and as such senior to the young Gre-s'e, is not 
admitted. 3 Many of them become the head Lamas or lord 
protectors (skyabs-mgon) of the government monasteries of the 
established church, not only in Tibet, but in Mongolia, Amdo, 
and China. Others return to their own fatherland, while some 
pursue their studies in the higher Tantras, to qualify for the 
much coveted post of the Khri-pa of Gfah-ldan. 

The degree of Rab-jam-pa, 4 " verbally overflowing, endlessly," 
a doctor universalis, corresponds with our Doctor of Theology, or 
D.D., and is, it seems, the highest academical title of honour 
which can be earned in the Lamaist universities, and after a 
disputation over the whole doctrine of the church and faith. The 
diploma which he receives entitles him to teach the law publicly, 
and authorizes him to the highest church offices not specially 
reserved for the incarnate Lamas. And he is given a distinctive 
hat, as seen in the foregoing figure, at the head of this chapter. 
It is said that in Tibet there are only twelve cloisters who have 
the right to bestow this degree, and it is even more honourable 
than the titles bestowed by the Dalai Lama himself. But this 
is, as a matter of course, a very expensive affair. 

The titles of Gh'o-je 5 or " noble of the law," and Parocbita or 

1 dGe-s'e«\ It seems to be the same as the Tung-ram-pa of Tashi-lhunpo and the 
Kabs-bchu, Kofpex, ii. ; it also seems to be "p'al-ch'en-pa." 

- Apparently a joint board of representatives of the three great monasteries afore- 
said, De-pung, etc. Conf. also Pandit A. K. on " Gtisi." 

3 The Ge-s'e of the three great Ge-lug-pa monasteries may be admitted to one or 
other of the four Lings or royal monasteries : Tse-nam-gyal, sTan-gyal-ling, Kun-de- 
ling, and Gyud-sTod-smad, and he may become a rTse-drung of the Grand Dalai 
Lama's royal monastery at Potala. 

4 Rabs-'byams-pa, and seems to be the same as the Kah-c'au of Tashi-lhunpo. 
: ' Ch'os-rje. 


" learned," are bestowed by the sovereign Grand Lamas on those 
doctors who have distinguished themselves through blameless 
holiness and excellent wisdom. And between these two seems 
to lie the title of Lo-tsa-wa or " translator." The relative ranks 
of Kab-jam-pa and Ch'o-je may be seen from the fact that after 
the second installation of Buddhism in Mongolia, the former were 
put by law on the same footing as the Tai-jis or barons or 
counts ; and the latter as Chungtaijis or marquesses or dukes. 
Did the dignity of the Pandita allow a more exalted rank, the 
consequence would be that only the holy princes from K'an-po 
upwards, that is to say, the K'an-po, the Chubilghan, and the 
Chutukten, only could have it ; but of this nothing certain is 

Thus the K'an-po, the Ch'o-je, and the Rab-jam-pa form the 
three principal classes of the higher non-incarnate clergy, and 
they follow each other in the order described. The K'an-pos take 
amongst them the first place, and are, as a rule, elected out of the 
two other classes. As the K'an-po has been compared with a 
bishop, so could the C'ho-je perhaps be called " vicar-general " 
or " coadjutor." And often in the same cloister by the side of, or 
rather under, the K'an-po, are found a Ch'o-je as vice-abbot (a 
mitred abbot). In the smaller cloisters the chief Lama as a 
rule has only the grade of Ch'o-je or Rab-jam-pa. 

Special schools, expressly for the study of magic, are erected in 
the cloisters of Ramo-ch'e and Mo-ru. Those who receive here 
the doctor's diploma, and thereby acquire the right to carry on 
the mystery of science practically, especially conjuring, weather 
prophecy, sympathetical pharmacy, etc., etc., are called Nag- 
ram-pa, which means "master of conjuration." Their uniform is 
Sivaite, and they probably spring from the red religion, but their 
science follows strictly the prescribed formulas in the Kah-gyur, 
and is therefore quite orthodox. 1 Their practices as augurs are 
detailed under the head of sorcery, along with those of the 
ordinary illiterate Nag-pa fortune-teller. 


The huge cloisters, with several hundreds and occasionally 
several thousands of monks, necessarily possess an organized body 

1 K6ppen, ii., 290. 


of officials for the administration of affairs clerical and temporal, 
and for the enforcement of discipline. 

At the head of a monastery stands either a re-generated or re- 
incarnate Lama (Ku-s'o, Tul-ku, or in Mongolian "Khubilighan") 
or an installed abbot (K'an-po, Skt., Upadhdhaya), the latter 
being as a rule elected from the capital, and sanctioned by the 
Dalai Lama or the provincial head of the re-incarnate Lamas ; and 
he holds office only for seven years. 

He has under him the following administrative and executive 
officers, all of whom except the first are usually not ordained, and 
they are elected by and from among the brotherhood for a longer 
or shorter term of office : — 

1. The professor or master (Lob-pon 1 ), who proclaims the law 
and conducts the lessons of the brethren. 

2. The treasurer and cashier (C'ag-dso 2 ). 

3. The steward (Ner-pa 3 or Spyi-ner). 

4. Provost marshal (Ge-Ko 4 ), usually two who maintain order 
like police, hence also called vergers or censors, and they are 
assisted by two orderlies (hag-iier). 

5. The chief celebrant or leader of the choir or precentor 

6. Sacristan (Ku-iier). 

7. Water-giver (Ch'ab-dren). 

8. Tea waiters (Ja-ma). 

To these are to be added the secretaries, 5 cooks, 6 chamber- 
lain, 7 warden or entertainer of guests, 8 accountant, 9 bearer of 
benedictory emblem, 10 tax-collectors, medical monks, painters, 
merchant monks, exorcist, etc. 

The general rules of conduct and discipline are best illustrated 
at the great monastic universities. 

The De-pung monastery, with its 7,700 monks, is divided into four 
great colleges (grwa-ts'an), namely: (1) bLo-gsal-glin ; (2) sGo-man ; 
(3) bDe-yans ; and (4) sl^ags-pa, and each of these schools of the 

1 sLob-dpon. 2 p'yag mdsods. 3 gfier-pa. 

4 dge-bskos, also called Ch'ok'rims-pa or "religious judge," and the provost of the 
cathedral seems to be called Zhal-no. 

5 spyi-k'yab. 6 gsol-dpon. "• gzim-dpon. 

8 mgron-gfier ch'en. 9 Tsi-dpon. 10 p'yag-ts'ang or sku-b'c'ar-mkhan-po. 


monastery has its own abbot. The monks are accommodated accord- 
ing to their different nationalities and provinces, each having separate 
resident and messing sections, named K'ams ts'an or provincial messing 
clubs. The cathedral or great hall of the congregation, named T'sogs- 
ch'en lha-k'an, is common to the whole monastery. 

Sera monastery, with its 5,500 monks, divided into three collegiate 
schools named : (1) Bye-wa, (2) sRags-pa, and (3) sMad-pa, and each 
has its sectional club. 

Giih-ldan with its 3,300 monks is divided into two schools, namely, 
(1) Byaii-rtse, and (2) S'ar-tse, each with its club. 

Tashi-lhunpo has three collegiate schools. 1 

Each club has at least two Lama-officers, the elder of whom takes 
charge of the temple attached to the club, and teaches his pupils the 
mode of making offerings in the temple.^ The younger officer is a 
steward in charge of the storehouse (gNer-ts'ang), and the tea pre- 
sented by the public (Man-ja), or " tea-general," and the kitchen (Ruii- 
k'afi). These two Lamas are responsible for the conduct of the 
monks of their section, and in case their pupils do wrong, they — 
the masters — are fined. These two officers are changed every year. 

Entry of Pupil. — The applicant for admission goes to the great 
paved court (the rdo-chal) of the monastic club, the masters are called 
and ask him whence he has come, and whether he has any relatives or 

1 The grand monastery of Tashi-lhunpo is divided, says Saeat (Jour. Bud. Text 
Socrj. hid., iv., 1893, p. 14), into forty Kham-tshan or wards, which are placed under 
the jurisdiction of the three great Ta-tshang or theological colleges, viz. : — (a) Thoi- 
samling college exercises control over the following Kham-tshan : — 


Gya Kham-tshan. 


Ser-ling Kham-tshan. 


Tiso „ „ 


Je-pa, also called Sha-pa Ta-shang. 


Hamdong Kham-tshan. 


Chang-pa Kham-tshan. 


Chawa „ „ 


Leg-thug „ „ 


Tanag „ „ 


Norpugandan, the first house built 


Tang-moc'he Kham-tshan. 

when the monastery was established. 


Tinke „ „ 


<Srepa (Hrepa) Kham-tshan. 


Chunee „ ,, 


Pa-so Kham-tshan. 


Lhum-bu-tse „ „ 


Dong-tse Kham-tshan 

(b) The following belong to Shar-tse Ta- 



Thon-pa Kham-tshan. 


Potog-pa Kham-tshan. 


Gyal-tse-tse Kham-tshan 


Nefiiii „ „ 


Shine „ „ 




Lhopa „ „ 




Latoi (Ladak) „ „ 


Samlo Kham-tshan. 


Chang-pa „ „ 


Nenihnag-po Shara. 

(c) The following are under Kyi£-kl: 


: — 


Khogye Kham-tshan. 


Piling Kham-tshan. 


Tahgmo „ „ 


Khatea „ 


Rog-tsho „ „ 


Darpa „ „ 


Lakha „ „ 


Lhundub-tse Kham-tshan. 


Dodan „ „ 


Tsa-oo Kham-tshan, also called Tsa-oo 


acquaintances in the monastery. If any such there be he is called, and 
takes the applicant to his own private chamber. But if the applicant 
has no friend or relative there, tea and wheaten flour are given to him, 
and he is kept in the Ruh-khah for three days. After which period, 
should no one have come to claim him or search for him, one or other 
of the two masters of the section take him under their charge, the 
head master having the preference, and the proper application for 
his admission is then duly made. 

For the general assembly hall or cathedral there is a special staff" of 
officials. The great celebrant [Tsogs-ch'en dbu-mdsad) who leads the 
chant ; the two Z'al-no are the provosts ; the two Nan-ma are 
subordinate orderlies who look after the conduct of the students ; the 
two Oh'ab-rils go round the benches giving water to the monks to 
rinse out their mouths after reciting the mantras (as in Hindu rites of 
ceremonial purity), and at other times they help the orderlies to look 
after the pupils. The Lama dMig-rtse-ma 1 fixes the time for con- 
gregation and the "tea-general" of the same. The two orderlies 
must watch whether the pupils throw away tea or flour, and they 
also take general care of the temples. 

Early in the morning, about four o'clock, a junior pupil chants 
chhos-shad from the top of the temple of the cathedral. Then each of 
the clubs beat their stone bells (rdo-rting) to awake the occupants, who 
arise and wash and dress. They put on the cope (zla-gam), and carry 
the yellow hat over their shoulders, and take a cup and a bag for 
wheaten flour. Some bow down in the court, others circumambulate 
the temple, and others the temple of Mahjusrl, which is bebind the 
cathedral, repeating his mantra (Omah-ra-pa-tca-na-dhi). 

About one o'clock the Mi<j-rtse-ma Lama chants the " dmig-rtse-ma " in 
a load voice, and at once the pupils assemble near the two doors, and 
having put on their yellow hats, join in the chant. Then after an 
interval the ch'abril opens the door, and all enter in proper order 
and take their seats according to their rank in their club," The yellow 

1 Or "The highest idea or imagining" (Skt., Avalamfiana). 

- At Tashi-lhunpo, says Sarat (Jour. Budd. Text Sort/. Inrh, iv. ), the monks sit in 
nine rows one facing another. 

f 1st row is called Lotmg or Lob-zang bug tal. 
| 2nd Champa tal (the row opposite the gigantic image of 

„,, . ,. J Maftreya). 

inoisamnng ... -j 3 GoikVl ^ (the row opposite the satin tapestry). 

| 4. Shiithi tal (the row opposite the huge lamp of the 

t hall). 

i. ii f 5. Pong- tal (the front row opposite the sacerdotal 

Is common to all { throne of ^ ^^ L - ma) 

-chu tal (the row opposite the painted images of the 

.. , , o . sixteen Sthaviras (sages) on the wall). 

7 Ne-ning tal (the row opposite the old images of the 

sixteen Sthaviras). 
Do'-ma tal (the row opposite the image of the god- 

Shar-tse ... ■{ dess Do/ma, Tara). 

Go-gyab tal (the row opposite the door of the hall). 

Opposite Dong tal is the chapel or Tsang-hkang containing the image of Buddha, 



hat is thrown over the left shoulder, and the cup and the bag are 
placed under the knees, and all sit facing to their front. 

After the repetition of the refuge formula, headed by the chief 
celebrant, the younger provost arises and dons his yellow hat, " sOro- 
rtsem-ma," and with an iron rod strikes a pillar with it once, on which 
all the students will go into the refectory, where tea is distributed to 
each in series, each getting three cupfuls. On drinking it they return 
and resume their respective seats, and continue the celebration. 

When drinking the tea presented by the populace (mang-ja) all the 
pupils sit silent, and the two c'ab-rils spread a carpet and make a seat in 
the middle for the elder provost, who then steps forward and sits 
down, and, after having thrice bowed down, then he repeats the 
gkyabs-jug, in which the name of the Dispenser of the gifts, who has 
offered the tea, is called out, and blessings prayed for to extend the 
doctrines of Buddha, to secure long life to the two Grand Lamas, and 
absence of strife amongst the members of the monkhood, and that the 
rains may descend in due season, and the crops and cattle prosper, and 
disease, human and of animals, decrease, and that life be long with 
good luck. 

After this service in the cathedral, a lecture is given called Ts'ogs- 
gtam, in which the rules of etiquette for pupils are laid down, and the 
manner of walking and conduct at meetings explained, after which 
should there be any pupil who has infringed the rules of discipline, he 
is dealt with in an exemplary way, as will be described presently. 

The Refectory, or rather tea-kitchen, attached to the cathedrals and 
temples, has five regular officials: Two tea-masters (Ja-dpon), who look 
after the distribution of the government tea, and the other after the 
tea ordered by the provost of the cathedral ; also two menial Ja-ma, 
and the superintendent T'ab-gyog-gi dpon-po, who has twenty-five 
subordinates on fatigue duty. 

The service of general-tea (Maii-ja) is given three times daily from 
the stock supplied by the Chinese emperor as a subsidy amounting to 
about half-a-million bricks. On the 15th, 25th, and the last day of the 
month, general-tea is given three times and soup once by the governor 
of Gah-ldan palace. There are many dispensers of gifts who offer tea 
and a donation ('gyed) amounting to three, fifteen, seventeen silver 
srangs pieces ; and it is the custom that if one Tam-ga (about y\. of a 
rupee) be offered to the cathedral, then two Tarn-gas must be offered 
to the college-school, and four to the club. Offerings may be made 

which has accommodation for eighty monks. It is in charge of the Kvi/-khang 

The chapel of Maitreya (Chamkhang; which is three storeys high, and is spacious 
enough to contain eighty monks. It is under the charge of Thoisamling College. 

Opposite to Do?ma tal is Do/ma Lhakhang (the chapel of the goddess Tara). It 
can hold forty monks, and is in the charge of Shar-tse Ta-tshang. 

Opposite Lobug is the chapel of Paldan Lhamo. It is said that the image of 
Paldan Lhamo contained in it stands in space, i.e., without any support on any side. 


solely to the school without the cathedral, and may be made to the 
club independently of either. In any case, when offerings are made 
to the cathedral, then something must be offered both to the school 
and to the club. This custom has existed at De-pung at least from the 
time of the great Dalai Lama Nag-wah. 

The size of the tea-boilers of the larger monastery and at the Lhasa 
temple is said to be enormous, as can be well imagined when it is 
remembered that several thousands have to be catered for. The 
cauldron at the great Lhasa cathedral is said to hold about 1,200 

A very vigorous discipline is enforced. It is incumbent on 
every member of the monastery to report misdemeanours which 
come under his notice, and these are punished according to the 
Pratimoksha rules. Minor offences are met at first by simple 
remonstrance, but if persisted in are severely punished with 
sentences up to actual banishment. 

If anyone infringes the rules of discipline short of murder, or oath, 
or wine-drinking, or theft, within the club, the two club-masters 
punish him ; but if within the college or debating-hall, then he is 
amenable to the provost of the college. 

A member of De-pung who commits any of the ten kinds of " indul- 
gence " cannot be tried except in the cathedral. The elder provost calls 
on the breaker of the rules to stand up in the presence of the assembled 
students, and the transgressor rises with bent head and is censured by 
the younger provost and sentenced to a particular number of strokes. 
Then the two water-men bring in the dGe-rgan of the club and the tutor 
of the offending student. The dGe-rgan rises up to receive his censure, 
and so also the tutors. Then the offending pupil is seized by the head 
and feet, and soundly beaten by the lictors (T'ab-gyog). 

The punishment by cane or rod is fifty strokes for a small offence, 
one hundred for a middling, and one hundred and fifty for a grave 
offence. In the cathedral no more than one hundred and fifty strokes 
can be given, and no further punishment follows. 

For breach of etiquette in sitting, walking, eating, or drinking, the 
penalty is to bow down and apologize, or suffer ten strokes. 

The most severe punishment, called " Good or Bad Luck " (sKyid- 
sdug), so called it is said from its chance of proving fatal according to 
the luck of the sufferer, is inflicted in cases of murder and in expulsion 
from the order for persistent intemperance, or theft. After the con- 
gregation is over the teacher and club-master of the accused are called to 
the court, and the provost of the cathedral censures them. Then the 
accused is taken outside the temple and his feet are fastened by ropes, 
and two men, standing on his right and left, beat him to the number 
of about a thousand times, after which he is drawn, by a rope, outside 
the boundary Avail (Zchags-ri) and there abandoned ; while his teacher 
and club-master are each fined one scarf and three silver Srangs. 


The rule which is most broken is celibacy. The established 
church alone adheres strictly to this rule ; so that, on this account, 
many of its monks leave the order, as they are always free to do, 
though suffering social disgrace, as they are called ban-lok, or 
" turncoats." In the other sects many celibate monks are also 
found, especially in the larger monasteries of Tibet ; but the great 
majority of the members of the unreformed sects, for instance, 
the Nih-ma-pa, also the Sa-kya-pa, Duk-pa, etc., are married 
openly or clandestinely. 

The Lamas also extend their exercise of discipline outside 
the walls of the monastery. Mr. Rockhill witnessed at Kumbum 
the following fracas : " Suddenly the crowd scattered to right and 
left, the Lamas running for places of hiding, with cries of Gekor 
Lama, Gekor Lama ! and we saw, striding towards us, six or eight 
Lamas, with a black stripe painted across their foreheads, and 
another around their right arms — black Lamas (hei-ho-sang) the 
people call them — armed with heavy whips, with which they 
belaboured anyone who came within their reach. Behind them 
walked a stately Lama in robes of finest cloth, with head clean- 
shaved. He was a Grekor, a Lama-censor, or provost, whose duty 
it is to see that the rules of the Lamasery are strictly obeyed, and 
who, in conjunction with two colleagues, appointed like him by 
the abbot for a term of three years, tries all Lamas for whatever 
breach of the rules or crime they may have committed. This 
one had heard of the peep-shows, Punch and Judy shows, gambling 
tables, and other prohibited amusements on the fair-grounds, and 
was on his way with his lictors to put an end to the scandal. I 
followed in his wake, and saw the peep-show knocked down, Punch 
and Judy laid mangled beside it, the owners whipped and put to 
flight, and the majesty of ecclesiastical law and morality duly 
vindicated." 1 

As the Lama is comfortably clothed and housed, and fed on the 
best of food, he cannot be called a mendicant monk like the Budd- 
hist monks of old, nor is the vow of poverty strictly interpreted ; 
yet this character is not quite absent. For the order, as a body, 
is entirely dependent on the lay population for its support ; and 
the enormous proportion which the Lamas bear to the laity ren- 



ders the tax for the support of the clergy a heavy burden on the 

Most of the monasteries, even those of the sects other than the 
dominant Ge-lug-pa, are richly endowed with landed property and 
villages, from which they derive much revenue. All, however, 
rely mainly on the voluntary contributions of the worshippers 
amongst villagers and pilgrims. And to secure ample aid, large 
numbers of Lamas are deputed #t the harvest-time to beg and 
collect grain and other donations for their monasteries. Most of 
the contributions, even for sacerdotal services, are in kind, — grain, 
bricks of tea, butter, salt, meat, and live stock, — for money is not 
much used in Tibet. Other sources of revenue are the charms, 
pictures, images, which the Lamas manufacture, and which are in 
great demand; as well as the numerous horoscopes, supplied by the 
Lamas for births, marriages, sickness, death, accident, etc., and in 
which most extensive devil-worship is prescribed, entailing the 
employment of many Lamas. Of the less intellectually gifted 
Lamas, some are employed in menial duties, and others are en- 
gaged in mercantile traffic for the general benefit of their mother 
monastery. Most of the monasteries of the established church 
grow rich by trading and usury. Indeed, Lamas are the chief 
traders and capitalists of the country. 


The original dress of Buddha's order was adapted for the warm 
Indian climate. Later, when his religion extended to colder 
climes, he himself is said to have permitted warmer clothing, 
stockings, shoes, etc. The avowed object of the monk's dress 
was to cover the body decently and protect from cold, mosqui- 
toes, 1 and other sources of mental disturbance. 

The dress of a Tibetan monk 2 consists of a hat covering his 
closely-shaven crown, a gown and girdle, inner vest, cloak, plaid, 
trousers, and boots, rosary, and other minor equipments. 


No hat is mentioned in the Buddhist scriptures as part of the 
outfit of a monk, nor does it seem to have been introduced into 

1 Hardy, East. Mon., 122. 2 See figures on pages 45, 60, 172, etc. 


Indian Buddhism even in the later period, judging from its ap- 
parent absence in the Ajanta cave paintings. It is, however, a 
necessity for tonsured heads in a cold climate, 1 and it is usually 
made in Tibet of thick felt, flannel, or blanket. 

The conspicuousness of the cap lent itself readily to its hat 
being converted into a sectarial badge. We have seen how the 
colour of the cap afforded a rough distinction into yellow, red, 
and black hats. But the shape is also an important element 
in differentiating hats, both for sectarian and ceremonial pur- 

The majority of the hats are of an Indian type, a few only 
being Chinese or Mongolian. 

The two most typical hats are believed by the Lamas to have 
been brought from India by St. Padma-sambhava, the founder of 
Lamaism, and his coadjutor, Santa-rakshita, in the eighth cen- 
tury. And both of these hats are essentially Indian in pattern. 

To begin with, the hat, numbered j in the figure, named 
" The red hat, of the great Pandits " (pan-ch'en-z'wa-dmar). 
It is alleged to have been brought from India on the foundation of 
Lamaism by the abbot Santa-rakshita, and it is common to all 
sects in Tibet except the Ge-lug-pa. Its shape is essentially that 
of the ordinary cap used in the colder parts of India during the 
winter (see fig. n), with lappets coming over the ears and the 
nape of the neck, which lappets are folded up as an outer brim 
to the cap in the hotter part of the day. Such a cap is often 
worn by Indian ascetics when travelling in India in the winter 
time; and it is quite probable that Atlsa, as the Lamas 
allege, did arrive in Tibet in such a hat, and possibly of a red 
colour. The chief difference in the Lamaist form is that the 
crown has been raised into a peak, which gives it a more dis- 
tinguished look, and the lappets have been lengthened. 

Tson-K'apa altered the colour of this hat from red to yellow, 
and hence arose the title of " Yellow-hat " (S'a-ser), a synonym 
for his new sect, "the Gre-lug-pa," in contradistinction to the 
" Red-hat " (S'a-mar) of the Unreformed Lamas. He raised its 
peak still higher (see figures b and c in annexed illustration), 

1 In India the only need for a head-covering is as an occasional protection against 
the sun, but the Indian monk defends his shaven crown from the scorching sun by 
his palm-leaf fan. 

o 2 


and lengthened its lappets in proportion to the rank of the 
wearer. Thus he gave himself the longest lappets, forming tails 




a. rTse-z'va sgro 

b. Pan-ch'en sne-rin. 

c. Ditto, in profile. 

d. rTse-z'va sgro-rtse. 

e. dGon-'dus dbu. 
/. Ditto, in profile. 

g. T'an-z'va, for abbots and re- 

Lamas Hats. 

//. sXags z'va-nag. 
/. rTa z'va, for nTse-drung. 
/. Pan-ch'en z'va-dmar. 
k. Dag z'va-ri-'gra. 
/. dGun-z'va. 
7>i. Z'va-dkar skyed k'ra. 
11. Jo-z'va glin gsuni. 
o. Jo-z'va rgyun. 

p. Saks-z'u of Sakya. 

q. Gra-z a of Taranatha (red). 

r. Sakya k'ri z'va. 

s. sGom-z'va dbUus 'gyud. 

t. mKah-'grohi dbu-skra. 
v. Kar-ma snags z'va. 

r. sKar-ma za-z'va. 


down to the waist. The abbots were given shorter tails, and the 
ordinary monk shorter still, while the novices were deprived 
altogether of the tails. It can be used when walking and riding. 

Padma-sambhava's mitre-like hat is the " U-gyan-Pandit," the 
typical hat of the unreformed Hih-ma sect. It is on the 
same Indian model, with the lappets turned up, and divided so 
as to suggest the idea of a red lotus, with reference to the ety- 
mology of St. Padma-sambhava's name, to wit, " The Lotus- 
born," and his legendary birth from a red lotus-flower. His native 
c juntry was Udyana, between Afghanistan and Kashmir ; and the 
tall conical crown is still a feature of the caps of those regions. 
It is also called the Sahor (Lahore ?) Pandit's cap. It is worn by 
the Nih-ma sect in empowering (abisheka), and in offering 
oblations, and in sacred dances. The largest form of this hat, 
surmounted by a golden vajra, is called the " Devil subduer " 
(dreg-pa zil-non gyi cha lugs), and is figured in the foregoing- 
picture of St. Padma. It is only worn by the head Lamas when 
giving the king holy water, and at the highest festivals. 

Many of the hats are fall of symbolism, as, for example, Figs, a 
and d, as described in the footnote. 1 

1 rTse-zwa sgro-lugs (Fig. a). This helmet-like hat is common to all 
Ge-lug-pa Lamas. It was invented by (/Z'i-bdag ne-ser, and adopted by 
the first Grand Lama GedenDub. It is used along with the cope (zla- 
gam) when going to mass, and is taken off on entering the temple and 
thrown over the left shoulder, with the tails hanging down in front ; 
on emerging from the temple it is worn or not according to the monk's 
own wishes. Its long tails are stitched to imitate the beaded covers 
of a book, so that when the monk grasps the tails, he is to conceive 
that he has a grasp of the scriptures ; and again that he is draw- 
ing to salvation thousands of animals represented by the pile on 
the cap. The three lateral stitches in the tails typify the three 
classes of scriptures — the TripitaTca, as well as the three original sins 
or " fires " and the sin of body, speech and mind, for which the 
Tripitaka are the antidotes. The long tails also have to suggest to 
him that the doctrines may be extended and long remain. The 
marginal stitches represent " the twelve best commands." The inside is 
often white to suggest that the monk should keep his heart clean and 
pure. The crest represents the doctrinal insight (fta-wa, Skt., darsana) of 
the wearer. As he rises by taking a degree in divinity his crest is 
elevated by an extra stitch. 

rTse-zwa sked-bts'em differs from the foregoing in having an 
extra stitch in its crest (see p. 172). It is confined to the re-embodied 
mte'an-frid Lamas and those who have taken the degree of dr/e-s'e, or B.D. 


Nuns wear a skull-cap of woollen cloth or fur, coloured yellow or 
red, according to their sect. 

rTse-ewa sgro rts'e has the highest crest. It is confined to the dGe- 
bskul of De-pung monastic university and the degree of B.J). 

rTse-zwa sgro-rtse-ma (Fig. d) is confined to the Dalai Lama's chapel- 
royal of rTse-j-Nam-gyal, and to the four Lings. It is worn during 
the </tor-rgyab sacrifices and dances at these temples only. 

dGongs 'dus zwa zur-zur (Figs, e and/). Designed by Pan-ch'en 6Lo- 
bzsd\ ch'os-kyi rgyal mts'an after the shape of dBen-dgon hill. It is 
worn by the Grand Pan-ch'en Lama and the four abbots of Tashi-lhimpo 
on going to preside at the wrangling disputations. 

Pan-zwa sne-rid' ser-po (Figs, b and c). This is a yellow variety of the 
red one of the same name, with the tails much lengthened by Tson K'apa. 
It is only worn with these long tails by the Dalai Lama, the Pan-ch'en 
(Tashi) Lama, the Gah-ldan Khri-rinpo-ch'e, and the Tibetan Lama- 
king or regent, during the assembly (nal-k'u) mass and empowering. 
It is worn with the gos-ber robes. 

sNe-rin zur zwa is worn by the abbots of the colleges and the head 
Lamas of smaller monasteries. 

T'aii-zwa cZ&yar-zwa (Fig. g) is the summer hat when riding on horse- 
back, and is confined to the Dalai and Pan-ch'en Grand Lamas, the 
regent, or king, and the re-embodied Lamas, and those abbots who, 
having obtained highest honours in divinity, have received from the 
Grand Lama the diploma of bdag-rkyen. 

rTa-zwa zur ltas dgun-zwa. This is the winter riding hat, and is 
confined to the above privileged persons. 

Se-teb-rgyun zwa (Fig. o). The summer riding hat for the Tse-drung 
grade of Lamas, who are selected on account of their learning and good 
looks as personal attendants of the Grand Lama (sKyabs-mgon ch'en). 

rTa zwa rgyun-zwa (Fig. i). The winter riding hat of the Tse-drung. 

rTse-drung sga-p'ug is used only by the skyabs-7?*you ch'en-mo in 
ascending and descending (? Potala hill). 

Zwa-dkar skyid-ka (Fig. m). "Worn by the Tse-drung attendants in 
summer when accompanying the Grand Lama wearing preceding hat. 

,To-zwa-glin-gsum (Fig. n), " the lord's hat of the three continents." 
It is formed after the fashion of the Asura cave, and was worn by the 
Indian Jo-teo (Atlsa), the reformer of Lamaism, while on his way to Tibet, 
at the Nepalese shrine Svayambhunath (T., Rang-'byun) Chaitya ; 
afterwards it was the hat of his sect, the Kah-dam-pa. In hot weather 
its flaps are folded up, and in the cold let down. It was originally red, 
but changed to yellow by the Ge-lug-pa. Now it is worn only by the 
hermits (ri-k'rod-pa) of the Ge-lug-pa or established church, and is 
never worn within the monastery or in quarters. 

Sa-skya K'ri-zwa (Fig. /•). This hat of the Sa-kya sect is of later intro- 
duction. Originally all the Sa-kya Lamas wore the Urgyen-pen-zwa of 
the unreformed party. When they attained the temporal lordship over 


In the outer rainy districts of the Himalayas, in Bhotan and 
Sikhim, many Lamas wear straw hats during the summer, or 
go bare-headed. 

the thirteen provinces of Tibet, the Chinese king "Se-ch'en" presented 
this hat to the chief of the sect, his highness 'Phag-pa Rin-po-ch'e, 
and its central vajra upon the "unchangeable " crown is after the Chinese 
style. It is restricted to those of noble descent (^dung-pa), and is only 
worn when the gduii-brgynd Lama ascends the throne, or in empower- 
ing devotees, or in the gTov rgyab sacrificial offering. Cf. also p. 57. 

Sa-zu mt'oh grol (Fig. j>). This is a hat of the Sa-kya-pa. It is believed 
to confer spiritual insight, and to have been invented by the God of 
Wisdom (Manjusri). It is used when empowering the Khri-pa, and for 

Sa-skya grwa-zwa (Fig. q.) This is the hat of the Jonah-pa sub-sect, to 
which Taranatha belonged. It is worn by the junior Sa-kya monks 
during certain masses, at the beginning and the end, also in religious 
dances and in the Tor-gya sacrifice. 

Karma-pal zwa nag(Fig. t). " The black (fairy) hat of the Kar-ma-pa." 
This hat was conferred upon the reverend Rang-'byuh rDorje (Vajra 
Svayambhu) by the five classes of witches (Dakkini) when he coerced 
them into granting him the Siddhi — power of flying in the air. Each 
of the Dakkinls contributed a hair from their tresses, and plaited these 
to form this hat. Whoever wears it can fly through the air. It is 
kept as a relic at Sa-kya monastery, and only worn in state, or when a 
wealthy votary comes to the shrine. On such occasions a monk on 
either side holds the hat to prevent it from carrying off the wearer. 

Karma snags-zwa (Fig. u). "The enchanter's hat" of the K-arma- 
pa sect. It is shaped after the cake-oftering for the angry demons, and 
is worn during the dances and the grtor-rgyab sacrifice. 

Dwag-zwa ri-'gra (Fig. Tc). A hat of the Kar-gyu-pa sect, worn when 
empowering or preaching. It is shaped after the hill of Dwag-lha 
sgam-pa, and was invented by mNam-med-diwag-po lha rjes-ts'erin-ma. 

slSTags pal zwa nag (Fig. h). The black necromancer's hat. Worn by 
the sLob-r£pan Lama of the unreformed sect in their ^Tor-rgyab sacri- 
fice, and in the mystic play in all the sects. 

gZah-zwa (Fig. v). " The planet hat." This raven-crowned hat was 
designed by Lama Gyun-ston-k'ro-rgyal on seeing the planet Mercury. 
It is worn by the Di-kung-pa, Kar-rna-pa, and Nin-ma-pa sects during 
the ceremony of "circling the planets " (gzal-bskor) and the striking 
and injuring one's enemy (mtfu). 

The hat of the Grand Lama of Bhotan (head of the southern Dug-pa 
church), and figured at page 226, is called pad-ma-mfong or "the 
lotus-vision." It has a ya_/ra-spikelet which cannot be worn by any 
but the supreme Lama. And the hat is finely embroidered with the 
cross-thunderbolts, lotus-flower, and thunder dragons (Dag). 


The Tibetans follow the Chinese in the practice of saluting by 
taking off their hat, so in their temples no hats are worn except 
daring certain ceremonies, and then only a special kind. 


The robes, which the monks of the established church and the 
more celibate monks of the other sects wear during certain 
celebrations, are the three vestments of the shape prescribed in 
the primitive code of ritual, the Vinaya, with the addition of a 
brocaded collared under-vest 1 and trousers, as seen in the figures. 
The material of these robes is usually woollen cloth ; but silk, 
though against the precepts, 2 is sometimes worn by those who 
can afford the expense. 

The colour of these robes is yellow or red, according to the sect. 
Yellow or saffron 3 colour in Tibet is sacred to the clergy of the 
established church, the Gre-lug-pa ; and its use by others is penal. 
The only instance in which it is permitted is when a layman is 
bringing a present to the Ge-lug-pa priests. He then is permitted 
to wear during his visit a flat yellow hat like a Tam-o'-Shanter 

These three orthodox Buddhist raiments are : — 

1. The Lower patched robe, named "fz'dn" 4 ( = Sanghdti). The 
cloth is in several largish patches (about twenty-three) and sewn 
into seven divisions, and fastened by a girdle at the waist. 5 

1 stod 'jag. 

2 In common with most ascetics, Buddha decreed the monastic dress of his order 
to be of as mean a material and cost as possible, and the colour selected was sad 
saffron, which, while affording a useful wearable colour not readily soiled, gave 
uniformity to the wearer and afforded no scope for worldly vanity in fine dress. Yet 
nothing can be more dignified and becoming than the thin loose robe of the Buddhist 
monk, falling in graceful drapery, endlessly altering its elegant folds with every 
movement of the figure. And the ease with which it lends itself to artistic arrange- 
ment is seen not only in the Grecian and Indian sculptures of Buddha in a standing- 
posture, but is even retained somewhat in the thicker and relatively unelegant robes 
of the Lamaist monk, seen in the several figures. 

3 Literally nur-smrig or "Brahmani goose " (coloured). This sad-coloured bird, the 
ruddy shell-drake, has from its solitary habits and conjugal fidelity been long in 
India symbolic of recluseship and devotion, and figures in such capacity on the capitals 
of the Asoka pillars. 

4 gz'an or ? dras-drubs. 

5 The patched robe, which gives the idea of the tattered garments of poverty, is 
stated to have originated with Ananda dividing into thirty pieces the rich robe given 
to Buddha by the wealthy physician Jivaka, and that robe was sewn by Ananda 
into five divisions like this one. 



2. The Outer patched robe, named Nam-jar (P., ? Antarvd- 
saka). The cloth is cut into very numerous pieces, about one 
hundred and twenty-five, which are sewn together in twenty-five 

3. The Upper shawl, named bLd-gos (Uttardsanghdti) . Long 
and narrow, ten to twenty feet long and two to three feet broad. 
It is thrown over the left shoulder and passed under right arm, 
leaving the right shoulder bare, as in the Indian style, but the 
shoulders and chest are covered by an inner vest. It is adjusted 
all round the body, covering both shoulders, on entering the houses 
of laymen. And over all is thrown a plaited cloak or cope, cres- 
centic in shape. 1 

But the ordinary lower robe of Lamas of all sects is an ample 
plaited petticoat, named " S'am t'abs," 2 of a deep garnet-red colour, 
which encircles the figure from the waist to the ankles, and is 
fastened at the waist by a girdle, and with this is worn an un- 
sleeved vest, open in front like a deacon's dalmatia. On less 
ceremonial occasions a sleeved waistcoat is used ; and when travel- 
ling or visiting, is worn the ordinary Tibetan 
wide-sleeved red gown, gathered at the waist 
by a girdle ; and always trousers. The 
sleeves of this mantle are broad and long, 
and in hot weather, or on other occasions 
where greater freedom is wanted or the priest 
has to administer with bare arms, the arms 
are withdrawn from the sleeves, which latter 
then hang loose. 

A sash is also usually worn, several yards 
long and about three inches broad, thrown 
over the left shoulder, across breast, and tied 
in a bow over the right hip, and the re- 
mainder swung round the body. 3 

Thus it will be seen that Lamas of every 
sect, the established church included, ordi- 
narily wear red robes, and it is the colour of 
the girdles (sKe-rag) and the shape and 
colour of the hats which are the chief distinctive badges of the 

Water-bottle Wallet. 


or mt'an-gos. 

3 Koppen, ii., 268. 



sect, The holy-water bottle (Ch'ab-lug), figured on page 201, 
which hangs from the left side of the girdle, is also fringed by a 
flap of cloth coloured red or yellow according to the sect, 

The boots are of stiff red and particoloured felt, with soles of 
hide or Yak-hair. 

From the girdle hangs, in addition 
to the holy- water bottle, a pen-case, 
purse, with condiments, dice, etc., 
sometimes the rosary, when it is 
not in use or worn on the neck or 
wrist, and the amulet box. And in 
the upper flap of the coat, forming a 
breast pocket, are thrust his prayer- 
wheel, drinking-cup, booklets, 
charms, etc. 

The dress of the nuns generally 
resembles that of the monks. The 
head is shaved, and no ornaments 
are worn. 1 


The rosary is an essential part of 
a Lama's dress ; and taking, as it 
does, such a prominent part in the 
Lamaist ritual, it is remarkable that 
the Tibetan rosary does not appear 
to have attracted particular notice. 

As a Buddhist article the rosary 
appears only in the latest ritualistic 
stage when a belief had arisen in the 
potency of muttering mystic spells 
and other strange formulas. In 
the very complicated rosaries of 
Japan 2 it has attained its highest 
Amongst southern Buddhists 3 the rosary is not very conspicu- 

i Cf. Boyle, Mark., p. 109. 

- "Note on Buddhist Rosaries in Japan." By J. M. James, Trans. Jap. As. She, p. 
173, 1881. 

"' I have described Burmese Buddhist rosaries, as well as some of the Lamaist, in 
J. A. S. B., 1891. 

Pen-case, Ink-bottle and Seal. 

(The pen-case is silver-inlaid iron from 




ous, but amongst Tibetans it is everywhere visible. It is also 
held in the hand of the image of the patron god of Tibet — Cha- 
ra-si (Skt., Avalokitesvara). And its use is not confined to the 
Lamas. Nearly every lay man and woman is possessed of a rosary, 
on which at every opportunity they zealously store up merit ; and 
they also use it for secular purposes, 1 like the sliding balls of the 
Chinese to assist in ordinary calculations : the beads to the right 
of the centre-bead being f%n/r 

called ta-thaii and regis- 
tering units, while those 
to the left are called c\i- 
do and record tens, which 
numbers suffice for their 
ordinary wants. 

The Tibetan name for 
the rosary is " 'pren-ba" . 
pronounced feu-iva, or 
vulgarly t'en-na, and 
literally means "a string 
of beads." 

The rosary contains 
108 beads of uniform 
size. The reason for this 
special number is alleged 
to be merely a provision 
to ensure the repetition 
of the sacred spell a full 
hundred times, and the 
extra beads are added 
to make up for any 
omission of beads 

through absent-mindedness during the telling process or for actual 
loss of beads by breakage. Che-re-si and D6-ma have each 108 

1 The rosary has proved a useful instrument in the hands of our Lama surveying 
spies. Thus we find it reported with reference to Gyantse town, that a stone wall 
nearly two-and-a-half miles goes round the town, and the Lama estimated its length 
by means of his rosary at 4,500 paces. At each pace he dropped a bead and uttered 
the mystic " Om mam padm hm," while the good people who accompanied him in his 
Lin-k'or or religious perambulations little suspected the nature of the work he was 
really doing. 


names, but it is not usual to tell these on the rosary. And in 
the later Kham editions of the Lamaic scriptures — the " bka- 
'gyur," — the volumes have been extended from 100 to 108, And 
the Burmese foot-prints of Buddha sometimes contain 108 sub- 
divisions. This number is perhaps borrowed, like so many other 
Lamaist fashions, from the Hindus, of whom the Vaishnabs possess 
a rosary with 108 beads. 

The two ends of the string of beads, before being knotted, are 
passed through three extra beads, the centre one of which is the 
largest. These are collectively called " retaining or seizing beads," 
rdog-'dsin. The word is sometimes spelt mdo-'dsin, which means 
" the union holder." In either case the meaning is much the 
same. These beads keep the proper rosary beads in position and 
indicate to the teller the completion of a cycle of beads. 

This triad of beads symbolizes " the Three Holy Ones " of the 
Buddhist trinity, viz., Buddha, Dharma (the Word), and Sangha 
(the church, excluding the laity). The large central bead repre- 
sents Buddha, while the smaller one intervening between it and 
the rosary beads proper represents the church and is called " Our 
radical Lama " (or spiritual adviser), 1 the personal Lama-guide and 
confessor of the Tibetan Buddhist ; and his symbolic presence on 
the rosary immediately at the end of the bead-cycle is to ensure 
becoming gravity and care in the act of telling the beads, as if he 
were actually present. 

The Grelug-pa, or established church, usually has only two 
beads as dok-dsin, in which case the terminal one is of much 
smaller size, and the pair are considered emblematic of a vase from 
which the beads spring. In such cases the extra bead is sometimes 
strung with the other beads of the rosary, which latter then con-, 
tarns 109 beads; thus showing that the beads really number 111. 


Attached to the rosary is a pair of strings of ten small pendant 
metallic rings as counters. One of these strings is terminated by 
a miniature dorje (the thunderbolt of Indra) and the other by a 
small bell — in Tantric Buddhist figures the dorje is ususlly asso- 
ciated with a bell. The counters on the dorje-strmg register units 

tsK-irul bla-ma. 


of bead-cycles, while those on the bell-string mark tens of cycles. 
The counters and the ornaments of the strings are usually of silver, 
and inlaid with turquoise. These two strings of counters, called 
" count-keepers," x may be attached at any part of the rosary 
string, but are usually attached at the eighth and twenty-first 
bead on either side of the central bead. 

They are used in the following manner : When about to tell 
the beads, the counters on each string are slid up the string. On 
completing a circle of the beads, the lowest counter on the dorje- 
string is slid down into contact with the dorje. And on each fur- 
ther cycle of beads being told, a further counter is slid down. 
When the ten have been exhausted, they are then slid up again, 
and one counter is slipped down from the bell-string. The 
counters thus serve to register the utterance of 108 x 10 x 10 = 
10,800 prayers or mystic formulas. The number of these formulas 
daily repeated in this way is enormous. The average daily number 
of repetitions may, in the earlier stages of a Lama's career, amount 
to 5,000, but it depends somewhat on the zeal and leisure of the 
individual. A layman may repeat daily about five to twenty 
bead-cycles, but usually less. Old women are especially pious in 
this way, many telling over twenty bead-cycles daily. A middle- 
aged Lama friend of mine has repeated the spell of his tutelary 
deity alone over 2,000,000 times. It is not uncommon to find 
rosaries so worn away by the friction of so much handling that 
originally globular beads have become cylindrical. 

Affixed to the rosary are small odds and ends, such as a metal 
toothpick, tweezer, small keys, etc. 

Material of the Beads. 
The materials of which the Lamaist rosaries are composed 
may to a certain extent vary in costliness according to the wealth 
of the wearer. The abbot of a large and wealthy monastery may 
have rosaries of pearl and other precious stones, and even of gold. 
Turner relates 2 that the Or rand Tashi Lama possessed rosaries of 
pearls, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, coral, amber, crystal and lapis- 

1 grang-'dsin, but vulgarly they are known as chub-she (c'u-bs'ad) or "the ten 

2 Embassy to Tibet, p. 261, 1800. 



But the material of the rosary can only vary within rather 
narrow limits, its nature being determined by the particular sect 
to which the Lama belongs and the particular deity to whom wor- 
ship is to be paid. 

Kinds of Rosahies. 

Fig. 1. The yellow wooden rosary of Ge-lug-pa sect. 

„ 2. The red sandal- wood rosary for Tam-din's worship. 

,, 3. The white conch shell rosary for Cha-rasi's worship. 

,, 4. The liaksha rosary for the furies' worship. 

,, 5. A layman's rosary (beads of unequal size). 

„ 6. The human skull (discs) rosary. 

,. 7. The isnake-spine rosary. 

a = do-dsin. d=dorge-pendant. 

b = counters. 

;a tweezer and tooth-pick. 


Kinds of Rosaries. 

The yellow rosary or Ser-feii, Fig. 1 , is the special rosary of the 
Ge-lug-pa or " reformed school," also called " the yellow hat sect " 
(S'd-ser). The beads are formed from the ochrey yellow wood 
of the C'afi-chhib tree, literally " the Bodhi tree " or tree of 
supreme wisdom, which is said to grow in central China. The 
wood is so deeply yellow that it is doubtful whether it be really 
that of the Pipal (Ficus religiosa), of which was the Bodhi tree 
under which Grautama attained his Buddhahood. These beads 
are manufactured wholesale by machinery at the temple called by 
Tibetans Ri-wo tse-ka and by the Chinese U-tha Shan, or " The 
Five Peaks," about 200 miles south-west of Pekin. Hue gives a 
sketch 1 of this romantic place, but makes no mention of its 
rosaries. This rosary is of two kinds, viz., the usual form of 
spherical beads about the size of a pea, and a less common form 
of lozenge-shaped perforated discs about the size of a sixpence. 
This rosary may be used for all kinds of worship, including that of 
the furies. 

The Bo-dhi-tse rosary is the one chiefly in use among the 
]SIm-ma-pa, or " old (i.e., unreformed) school " of Lamas, also 
called the S'a-mar or " red-hat sect." It is remarkable that its 
name also seeks to associate it with the Bodhi tree, but its beads 
are certainly not derived from the Ficus family. Its beads are 
the rough brown seeds of a tree which grows in the outer Hima- 
layas. This rosary can be used for all kinds of worship, and 
may also be used by the Gre-luk-pa in the worship of the fiercer 

The white conch-shell rosary Titii-feii, 2 Fig. 3, consists of 
cylindrical perforated discs of the conch shell, and is specially used 
in the worship of Avalokita — the usual form of whose image holds 
a white rosary in the upper right hand. This is the special rosary 
of nuns. 

The rosary of plain crystal or uncoloured glass beads is also 
peculiar to Avalokita. 

The red sandal-wood rosary Tsdn-ddn-mar, Fig. 2, consists of 
perforated discs of reel sandal-wood (Adenanthera pavonina) or 

1 Travels in Tartary, Tibet, and China. By M. Hue (Hazlitt's trans.), i., p. 79, and 
figured under Shrines. 

2 Druii-tfreH. 


other wood of a similar appearance. It is used only in the worship 
of the fierce deity Tam-din (Skt., Hayagriva), a special protector 
of Lamaism. 

The coral rosary — CJCi-rii-Ven — is also used for the tutelary 
fiend, Tam-din, and by the unreformed sects for their wizard-saint 
Padma-sambhava. Coral being so expensive, red beads of glass 
or composition are in general use instead. With this rosary it is 
usual to have the counters of turquoise or blue beads. 

The rosary formed of discs of the human skull — the fod-feii, 
Fig. 6 — is especially used for the worship of the fearful tutelary 
fiend Vajra-bhairava as the slayer of the king of the Dead. It is 
usually inserted within the Bo-clhi-tse or other ordinary rosary ; 
and it frequently has its discs symmetrically divided by four large 
Raksha beads into four series, one of these beads forming the 
central bead. There is no rosary formed of finger-bones, as has 
been sometimes stated. 

The " elephant-stone " rosary — Lau-ch'en-grod-pa — is prepared 
from a porous bony-like concretion, which is sometimes found in 
the stomach (or brain) of the elephant. As it is suggestive of 
bone, it is used in worship of Yama. The real material being ex- 
tremely scarce and expensive, a substitute is usually found in 
beads made from the fibrous root of the bow-bambu (Z'u-shin), 
which shows on section a structure very like the stomach-stone, 
and its name also means " stomach or digestion " as well as 
" bow." 

The Raksha rosary, Fig. 4, formed of the large brown warty seeds 
of the Elceocarpus Janitrus, is specially used by the ^Tin-ma 
Lamas in the worship of the fierce deities and demons. The seeds of 
this tree are normally five-lobed and ridged, and it is interesting 
from a botanical point of view to find how relatively frequent is the 
occurrence of six lobes. Such abnormal seeds are highly prized by 
the Tibetans, who believe them to be the offspring of some seeds 
of Padma-sambhava's rosary, which, the legend states, broke 
at his Halashi hermitage in Nepal, and several of the detached 
beads remaining unpicked up, these were the parents of the 
six-lobed seeds. The demand for such uncommon seeds being 
great, it is astonishing how many of them are forthcoming 
to diligent search. This rosary is also commonly used by the 
indigenous Bon-po priests, and it is identical with the rosary 


of the Hindus — the rudraksha (Rudra's or the fierce god Siva's 
eyes, with reference to their red colour), from which the Tibetan 
name of Raksha is apparently derived. 

The Nak-ga pd-ni rosary is used only for the worship of 
Namsra, or Vaisravana, the god of wealth ; and by the wizards in 
their mystical incantations. It consists of glossy jet-black nuts 
about the size of a hazel, but of the shape of small horse chest- 
nuts. These are the seeds of the Luh-tfan tree which grows in 
the sub-tropical forests of the S.E. Himalayas. They are emble- 
matic of the eyes of the Garuda bird, a henchman of Vajra-pani (a 
form of Jupiter) and the great enemy of snakes, and hence is 
supposed to be derived the Sanskritic name of the beads, from 
ndga, a serpent. Its use in the worship of the god of wealth is 
interesting in associating snakes, as the mythological guardians 
of treasure, with the idea of wealth. 1 

The rosary of snake-spines (vertebrae), Fig. 7, is only used by 
the sorcerers in necromancy and divination. The string contains 
about fifty vertebrae. 

The complexion of the god or goddess to be worshipped also de- 
termines sometimes the colour of the rosary-beads. Thus a tur- 
quoise rosary is occasionally used in the worship of the popular 
goddess Tara, who is of a bluish-green complexion. A red rosary 
with red Tam-din, a yellow with yellow Mafijusri ; and Vaisravan, 
who is of a golden-yellow colour, is worshipped with an amber- 

The rosaries of the laity are composed of any sort of bead accord- 
ing to the taste and wealth of the owner. They are mostly 
glass beads of various colours, and the same rosary contains beads 
of a variety of sizes and colours interspersed with coral, amber, 
turquoise, etc. The number of beads is the same as with the 
Lamas, but each of the counter-strings is usually terminated by 
a vajra: both strings record only units of cycles, which suffice 
for the smaller amount of bead-telling done by the laity. 
Mode of telling the Beads. 

When not in use the rosary is wound round the right wrist like 
a bracelet, as in figure on page 172, or worn around the neck with 
the knotted end uppermost. 

See p. 308. 


The act of telling the beads is called tan-c'e, which literally 
means "to purr" like a cat, and the muttering of the prayers is 
rather suggestive of this sound. 

In telling the beads the right hand is passed through the 
rosary, which is allowed to hang freely down with the knotted 
end upwards. The hand, with the thumb upwards, is then 
usually carried to the breast and held there stationary during 
the recital. On pronouncing the initial word "Om" the first 
bead resting on the knuckle is grasped by raising the thumb 
and quickly depressing its tip to seize the bead against the 
outer part of the second joint of the index finger. During 
the rest of the sentence the bead, still grasped between the 
thumb and index finger, is gently revolved to the right, 
and on conclusion of the sentence is dropped down the palm- 
side of the string. Then with another "Om" the next bead 
is seized and treated in like manner, and so on throughout the 

On concluding each cycle of the beads, it is usual to finger each 
of the three "keeper-beads," saying respectively, "Om !" "Ah!" 

The mystic formulas for the beads have already been illustrated. 
They follow the prayer, properly so-called, and are believed to con- 
tain the essence of the formal prayer, and to act as powerful 
spells. They are of a Sanskritic nature, usually containing the 
name of the deity addressed, and even when not gibberish, as 
they generally are, they are more or less unintelligible to the 

The formula used at any particular time varies according to the 
particular deity being worshipped. But the one most frequently 
used by the individual Lama is that of his own tutelary deity, 
which varies according to the sect to which the Lama be- 

The other articles of equipment comprise, amongst other 
things, a prayer-wheel, vajra-sceptre and bell, skull-drum and 
smaller tambour, amulet, booklets. Some, even of the higher 
Lamas wear ornaments and jewellery. 1 

1 The Grand Lama of Tashi-lhunpo wore a jewelled necklace, which he presented to 
Mr. Bogle (Makkh., cxl.) 



A few possess a begging-bowl and the mendicant's staff, 1 but 
these are mostly for ritualistic displays, as the Lama is no longer 
a mendicant monk living on alms like the Indian Bhikshu of 


il ; Skt., the onomatopoetic ki-ki-le or klia-kha-rmn, the alarm-staff with 
jingling rings carried by the mendicant monk to drown out by its jingling worldly 
sounds from the ears of the monk and to warn off small animals lest they be trod 
upon and killed. Its use is explained in Kah-gyur Do, Vol. xxvi., Csoma, An., p. 479. 
The Tibetan form is usually tipped by a trident in place of the leaf-like loop. 


>f a mendicant monk. 

i' 2 




He who eats Lamas' food 

-Wants iron jaws. " — Tibetan Proverb. 1 

ILTHOUG-H the Lamas are enslaved in the bonds of ritual 
they are not all gloomy ascetics, wrapped up in con- 
templation, but most can be as blithe as their lay 
brothers. Their heavy round of observances, however, 
often lies wearily upon them, as may be seen from the frequent 
interruptions in the ordinary Lama's saintly flow of rhetoric to 
yawn, or take part in some passing conversation on mundane 

The daily routine of a Lama differs somewhat according to 
whether he is living in a monastery, or 
as a village priest apart from his clois- 
ter, or as a hermit. As with occidental 
friars, a considerable proportion of Lamas 
have trades and handicrafts, labouring 
diligently in the field, farm, and in the 
lower valleys in the forest. But scarcely 
ever is he a mendicant monk, like his 
prototype the Indian Bhikshu of old. 

The routine in the convents of the 
established church is seen at its best 
in the Grand Lama's private monastery 
or chapel-royal of Nam-gyal, on mount 
Potala, near Lhasa, and I am indebted to one of the monks 

Mendicant Lajia.- 

dkor zas sa-la \chag-gi pram-pa dgos 

After Giorgi. 


of that monastery for the following detailed account of the prac- 
tice followed there. 

Routine in a Monastery of the Established Church. 

Immediately on waking, the monk 1 must rise from his couch, 
even though it be midnight, and bow thrice before the altar in 
his cell, saying, with full and distinct enunciation : " Guide 
of great pity ! hear me ! merciful Guide ! Enable me to keep 
the two hundred and fifty-three rules, including abstinence from 
singing, dancing, and music, and thoughts of worldly wealth, 
eating luxuriously, or taking that which has not been given," 
etc., etc. 

Then follows this prayer 2 : "0 Buddhas and Bodhisats of 
the ten directions, hear my humble prayer. I am a pure- 
minded monk, and my earnest desire is to devote myself towards 
benefiting the animals; and having consecrated my body and 
wealth to virtue, I vow that my chief aim will be to benefit all 
living things." 

Then is repeated seven times the following mantra from the Sutra on 
''the wheel-blessing for the animal universe" 3 : li 0m! Sambhara, Sam- 
mahcl jaba hum ! " Followed also seven times by this extract from 
bharabi manaskar mahd jaba hum ! Om ! Smara Smarabi manaskara 
Norbu-rgyas-pahi-gzhal-med-k'aii : "Om! ruci ramini pravartya hum.'" 

This is followed by " Om ! Khrecara ganaya fori fori svaha ! " 
— a spell which if the monk thrice repeats and spits on the 
sole of his foot, all the animals which die under his feet during 
that day will be born as gods in the paradise of Indra (Jupiter). 

Having done this worship, the monk may retire again to sleep 
if the night is not far advanced. If, however, the dawn is near 
he must not sleep but employ the interval in repeating several 
mantras or forms of prayer (smon-lam) until the bell rings for 
the first assembly. 

The first assembly, or matin, called " the early gathering " (sna- 
tsogs), is held before sunrise. The great bell goes and awakens 
everyone hitherto slumbering, and it is soon followed by the great 
conch-shell trumpet-call, on which signal the monks adjust their 

1 I have translated by "monk" the word tfge-slon, which is literally "the virtuous 
beggar," corresponding to the Indian Buddhist word Bhikshu, or mendicant. 
- Composed by w'as-grub-hag-dbah-rdorje. 
:i 'gro-wa-yongs-su-bsngo-wai-'khor-loi-wdo. 


dress and go outside their cell or dormitory to the lavatory stone- 
flag or pavement (rdo-frchal) for ablution. 

Standing on these stones, and before washing, each monk chants 
the following mantra, and mentally conceives that all his sins, as 
well as the impurities of his body, are being washed away : " Oml 
argham tsargham bimanase! utsusma mahd krodh hiimphat /" 

Then with water brought in copper vessels, and with a pinch of 
saline earth as soap, 1 they perform ablutions usually of a very 
partial kind. 

After ablution each monk repeats, rosary in hand, the mantra 
of his favourite deity (usually Mahjusri or Tara), or his tutelary 
fiend, as many times as possible. 

On the second blast of the conch-shell, about fifteen minutes 
after the first, all the fully-ordained monks bow down before the 
door of the temple, while the novices bow upon the outer paved 
court. All then enter the temple and take their places according 
to their grade, the most junior being nearest the door; and during 
the ingress the provost -marshal stands rod in hand beside the 

The monks seat themselves in rows, each on his own mat, cross- 
legged in Buddha-fashion, and taking care not to allow his feet to 
project, or his upper vestments to touch the mat. They sit in 
solemn silence, facing straight to the front. The slightest breach 
of these rules is promptly punished by the rod of the provost- 
marshal, or in the case of the novices by the clerical sacristan. 

At the third blast of the conch-trumpet the following services 
are chanted : — 

Invoking the blessing of eloquence; the refuge-formula; Tson- 
K'apa's ritual of lha-brgya-ma. 

After which tea is served, but before it is drunk the presiding 
Lama says a grace in which all join. 


The Lamas always say grace before food or drink. Most of these 
graces are curiously blended with demonolatry, though they always are 
pervaded by universal charity and other truly Buddhist principles. 

1 This earth is called sug-pa, but the higher Lamas use soap : "The Lama minister 
of the Grand Lama," sa3's Sarat's narrative, " formerly used to wash his holiness's head 
with water and sug-pa powder, but now he uses a cake of P — — 's transparent soap." 



And they throw some light on the later Mahayana ritual of Indian 
Buddhism, from which they are alleged to have been borrowed. 

Before drinking, the Lamas, like the Romans, pour out some of the 
beverage as a libation to their Lares, and other orocls. A common 

Tea Service. 

grace before drinking tea (which is served out eight or ten times daily 
at the temples and cathedrals — the service being interrupted for this 
temporal refreshment) is :— 
" We humbly beseech thee ! that we and our relatives throughout all 

our life-cycles, may never be separated from the three holy ones ! 

May the blessing of the trinity enter into this drink ! " [Then, 


here sprinkling a few drops on the ground with the tips of the 

fore and middle fingers, the grace is continued : — ] 
"To all the dread locality, demons of this country, we offer this good 

Chinese tea ! Let us obtain our wishes ! And may the doctrines of 

Buddha be extended ! " 
The grace before food of the established church, the purest of all 
the Lamaist sects, is as follows: — 

"This luscious food 1 of a hundred tempting tastes, is here reverently offered by 

us — the animal beings— to the Jinas (the Dhyani Buddhas) and their 

princely sons (celestial Bodhisattvas). May rich blessings overspread this 

food ! Om-Ah Hum! 
" It is offered to the Lama— Om Guru vajra naividya-ah Hum! 
"It is offered to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas— Om sa'rva Buddha Bod- 

hisattva vajra naimdya-ah Hum ! 
"it is offered to the tutelaries, witches, and defcnsorcs Jidei^—Om Deva 

Dakini Sri dharmapdla saparivdra vajra naividya-ah Hum ! 
"One piece (is offered) to the powerful demon -lord (rfban-bahi-'byun-po ; 

Skt., Bhutesvara)—Om-Agra-Pinda-ashi bhya svahdf 
" One piece to Aprog-ma — Om-Harite 3 -svahd ! 
" One piece to ' the five hundred brothers or sisters ' 4 — Om Harite maha-vajra- 

yakshini hara-hara sarva papi-mokshi svaha ! 
"This food, of little virtue, is offered compassionately and without anger or 

pride, or as a return for past favours ; but solely in the hope that we — all 

the animal beings — may become holy and attain the rank of the most 

perfect Buddhahood." 

When any flesh-meat is in the diet, then the following grace is 
repeated seven times in order to cleanse from the sin of slaughter and 
of eating flesh: " Om abira Jche-ca-ra Hum /" And by the efficacy of 
this spell, the animal, whose flesh is eaten, will be reborn in heaven. 

The following grace is for the special benefit of the donors of pro- 
visions, tea, etc., to the monastery, and it is repeated before the monks 
partake of food so gifted : — 

" Salutation to the all-victorious Tathagata Arhat. The most perfect Buddha. 
The fiery and most illuminating king of precious light ! Namo ! Samanta- 
prabha-rdgdya Tathdgatdya Arhatesamayak- Buddha ya Namo Maiijusri- 
ye. Kumdra-Bkutdya Bodhisattvaya maha-sattvaya ! Tadyathd ! Om 

1 Z'a\-zas. 

2 Yidam /«K'ah-gro ch'os-*kyon. 

3 This is the celebrated man-eating Yakshini fiendess, with the 500 children, whose 
youngest and most beloved son, Pingala, was hid away by Buddha (or, as some Lamas 
say, by his chief disciple, Maudgalyayana) in his begging-bowl until she promised to 
cease cannibalism, and accept the Buddhist doctrine as detailed in the Batnakuta 
Sutra. See also the Japanese version of this legend, footnote p. 99. The Lamas assert 
that Buddha also promised Hariti that the monks of his order would hereafter feed 
both herself and her sons : hence their introduction into this grace ; and each Lama 
daily leaves on his plate a handful of his food expressly for these demons, and these 
leavings are ceremoniously gathered and thrown down outside the monastery gate to 
these pretas and other starveling demons. 

4 The children of the above Hariti. 


ralambke-nira-bhase jayc-jayelabdhe maha-matcrakshin a in me parisodhdyd 
svaha. (The efficacy of reciting this mantra is thus described, says 
the Ge-lug-pa manual of daily worship, in the Vinaya- Sutra : "When 
this is repeated once all sins will be cleansed, and the dispensers of the 
gifts will nave their desires fulfilled." Then here follow with : — ) 

" May I attain bliss by virtue of this gift ! 

" May I attain bliss by deep meditation, the ceremonial rites, reverence and 
the offerings ! 

"May I attain perfect bliss and the supreme perfection of the real end 
(Nirvana) ! 

" May I obtain the food of meditation of the hundred tastes, power, and bright- 
ness of countenance by virtue of this food-offering ! 

"May I obtain rebirths of wisdom, void of thirst, hunger, and disease, by 
virtue of this repentance-offering ! 

" May I obtain unalloyed happiness, free from worldly birth, old age, disease, 
and death ! 

" May the dispenser of these gifts attain perfection by virtue of these, his 
liberal gifts ! 

' ' May the human beings and all the other animals, obtain deliverance by 
virtue of this vast ottering ! 

" May all the Buddhists, Nanda, Upananda. etc., the gods of the natural dwell- 
ing, the king, this dispenser of gifts, and the populace generally, obtain 
everlasting happiness, long life, and freedom from disease. 

" May all the human beings, by virtue of this (gift), obtain luck in body and 

" May the hopes of animals be realized as by the wish-granting gem (Cintd- 
mani) and the wish-granting tree {Kalpataru), and may glory come on all ! 
mangalam ! " 

After the tea-refreshment, the following services are performed : 
The Great Compassionators liturgy, the praise of the disciples or 
JSthaviras, the offering of the magic-circle or maudala, though 
the great circle is not offered every day, Yon-ten-zhi-gyurma, 
and the worship of the awful Bhairava, or other tutelary, such 
as Sahdus, Dem-ch'og, or Tara. But as these latter liturgies are 
very long, they are interrupted for further tea-refreshment. And 
at this stage, that is, in the interval between the first and second 
portions of the tutelary's worship, is done any sacerdotal service 
needed on account of the laity, such as masses for the sick, 
or for the soul of a deceased person. In the latter case it is 
publicly announced that a person, named so-and-so, died on such 
a date, and his relatives have given tea and such-and-such present, 
in kind or money, to the Lamas for masses. Then the Lamas do 
-^the service for sending the soul to the western paradise. 1 Or, if 
the service is for a sick person, they will do the Ku-rim 2 ceremony. 

The tutelary's service is then resumed, and on its conclusion 
tea and soup are served. Then is chanted the S'es-rab sniri- 

See chapter on worship. - Not phonetic for " cure him." 



po, after which the assembly closes, and the monks file out singly, 
first from the extreme right bench, then from the extreme left, 
the youngest going first, and the most senior of the re-incarnated 
saintly Lamas last of all. 

The monks now retire to their cells, where they do*their 
private devotions, and offer food to their tutelary deities ; 
often marking the time to be oc- 
cupied by particular devotional exer- 
cises by twirling with the finger and 
thumb their table-prayer-wheel, and 
while it spins, the exercise lasts. 

The orisons are chanted to the 
clamour of noisy instruments when- 
ever the sun's disc is first seen in 
the morning. Then the hat is 
doffed, and the monk, facing the 
sun, and uplifting his right hand to 
a saluting posture, chants " It has 
arisen ! It has arisen ! The glorious 
one has arisen ! The sun of happi- 
ness has arisen ! The goddess Marici 
has arisen ! Om-Maricmam sva- 
ha ! " On repeating this mantra of 
Marici seven times, he continues 
with: "Whenever I recall your name 

Prayer-cylinder for Table. 

I am protected from all fear. I pray 
for the attainment of the great stainless bliss. I salute you, 
goddess Marici! Bless me, and fulfil my desires. Protect 
me, Goddess, from all the eight fears of foes, robbers, wild 
beasts, snakes, and poisons, weapons, firewater, and high preci- 

The second assembly, called "the After-heat" (t'sa-gtin) is 
held about 1 9 a.m., when the sun's heat is felt. On the first blast 
of the conch all retire to the latrine. At the second blast all 
gather on the pavement, or, if raining, retire to a covered court 
to read, etc. At the third blast — about fifteen minutes after the 

1 Time is only known approximately,~as it is usually, as the name for hour (ch'u- 
ts'al) implies, kept by water-clocks (Pee " C'u-ts'al," Ramsay's Dirt., -p. 63), and also by 
the burning of tapers. 


second — all re-asseinble in the temple and perform the service of 
" Inviting the religious guardian (-fiend)." During this worship 
tea is thrice served, and on its conclusion the monks all leave the 
temple. The younger monks now pore over their lessons, and 
receive instructions from their teachers. 

The third assembly, called " Noon-tide," is held at noon. On 
the first blast of the conch all prepare for the sitting. At the 
second they assemble on the pavement, and at the third they enter 
the temple and perform the worship of " bS'ags-pa " and " bSkah- 
wa," during which tea is served thrice, and the meeting dis- 

Each monk now retires to his cell or room, and discarding his 
boots, offers sacrifice to his favourite deities, arranging the first 
part of the rice-offering with scrupulous cleanliness, impressing it 
with the four marks, and surrounding it with four pieces bearing 
the impress of the four fingers. After this he recites the " Praise 
of the three holy ones." 1 

Then lay servants bring to the cells a meal consisting of tea, 
meat, and pdk (a cake of wheat or tsam-pa). Of this food, some 
must be left as a gift to the hungry manes, Hariti and her 
sons. The fragments for this purpose are carefully collected by 
the servants and thrown outside the temple buildings, where they 
are consumed by dogs and birds. The monks are now free to 
perform any personal business which they have to do. 

The fourth assembly, called " First (after-) noon tea " (cZguh- 
ja-dah-po) is held about 3 p.m. The monks, summoned by 
three blasts of the conch as before, perform a service somewhat 
similar to that at the third assembly, and offer cakes and praise 
to the gods and divine defenders, during which tea is thrice served, 
and the assembly dissolves. 

Then the junior monks revise their lessons, and the pdr-pa or 
middle-grade monks are instructed in rhetoric and in sounding 
the cymbals and horns. And occasionally public wranglings as 
a' ready described are held on set themes to stimulate theological 

The fifth assembly or vesper, called " The Second (after-) noon 
tea " is held about 7 p.m. The conch, as formerly, calls thrice to 

1 See chapter on worship. 


the temple, where is chanted the worship of Tan-rak and the 
prayers of glory (frkra-shis), during which tea is given thrice, 
and the assembly dissolves. After this the monks return to their 
rooms till the second night bell sounds, when the junior monks 
repeat from memory before their teachers certain scriptures and 
other texts ; and at the third bell all retire to their cells to 


The routine in the monasteries of the unreformed or Rih- 
ma sects departs considerably from the high standard above 
described, and introduces more demonolatry and the worship of 
the deified wizard Gruru Padma-sambhava. 

The practice followed at Pemiongchi monastry is here 
described : — 

In the morning, after offering the sacred food, incense, and 
butter-incense, a conch-shell is blown, on which all the monks 
must come out of their chambers. On the second blast all collect 
in the great assembly hall, and during this entry into the hall 
the provost-marshal stands beside the doo; with his rod in hand. 
All the monks seat themselves in Buddha-fashion, as before 

The slightest breach of the rules of etiquette and discipline is 
promptly punished by the rod of the provost-marshal, or, in the 
case of the younger novices, by the sacristan. 

When all have been properly seated, then two or three of the 
most inferior novices who have not passed their examination, and 
who occupy back seats, rise up and serve out tea to the assembly, 
as already described, each monk producing from his breast pocket 
his own cup, and having it filled up by these novices. 

The service of tea is succeeded by soup, named gSol-jam t'ugpa, 
and served by a new set of the novice underlings. When the cups 
are filled, the precentor, joined by all the monks, chants "the 
Sacrificial Offering of the Soup." Three or four cups of soup are 
supplied to each monk. The hall is then swept by junior monks. 

The precentor then inspects the magic circle l to see that it is 
correct, and, this ascertained, he commences the celebration, con- 

1 No layman is allowed to serve out the monks' food in the temple. The lay ser- 
vants bring it to the outside door of the building, and there deposit it. 


sisting of the sNon-gro and the refuge-formula, and Las-sbyah, 
on the conclusion of which the assembly disperses. 

About 8 A.M. the conch-shell blast again summons the monks to 
the assembly hall, where, after partaking of refreshments of tea 
and parched grain in the manner already described, a full celebra- 
tion is done. And on its conclusion the monks disperse. 

About 10 a.m. a Chinese drum is beaten to muster the monks 
in the assembly hall. At this meeting rice and meat and vege- 
tables are served out as before, and with this is also served beer 
called gSos-rgyab, the " food-sacrifice " (ITo-mch'od) being done as 
formerly. A full celebration is then performed, and the meeting 

In the afternoon a conch-shell is blown for tea, and a Chinese 
gong calls for beer, the monks assembling as before, and doing 
a full celebration of the worship of the lord (demon) Mahakala and 
the guardians of religion respectively. 

When sacerdotal celebrations on behalf of laymen have to be 
done, such are introduced within the latter celebration, which is 
interrupted for this purpose. And after each of these extra cele- 
brations the monks remain outside the assembly hall for a very 
short time and then re-assemble. On finishing the extra services, 
the worship of the religious guardians is then resumed and con- 

In the evening another assembly, preceded by tea as refresh- 
ment, conducts the celebration of sKa it-shags with one hundred 
and eight lamps. 

Another and final assembly for the day is made by beat of drum, 
and rice and flesh-meat is served out. 

The refreshments and meals usually number nine daily. 

The monk, immediately on waking, must rise from his couch, 
even though it be midnight, and commence to chant the Mi-rtak- 
rgyud-bskul, taking care to pronounce all the words fully and dis- 
tinctly. This contains the instructions of his special Lama-pre- 
ceptor, and in its recital the monk must recall vividly to mind his 
spiritual guide. This is followed by a prayer consisting of 
numerous requests for benefits of a temporal nature desired by 
the petitioner. 


Then he assumes the meditative posture of the seven attitudes, 1 
and gets rid by physical means of the " three original sins." 

Then, coercing his tutelary demon into conferring on him his 
fiendish guise, he chants " the four preliminary services " : — 

The sNon-gro hzi-byor. These are the refuge formula, which cleanses 
the darkness of the body ; the hundred letters, which cleanse all ob- 
scurity in speech, and the magic-circle of rice, the Mandala, which 
cleanses the mind ; and the prayer enumerating the Lamas up to the 
most perfect one, which confers perfection on the monk himself. 

This is followed by the chanting of bLa-grub, ^,the obtaining of the 
Lama," and " the obtaining of the ornaments, sNen-grub." 

The mild deity in this worship is called " The Placid One," 2 
and the demon " The Repulsive." 3 The demoniacal form must 
be recited the full number of times which the Lama bound him- 
self to do by vow before his spiritual tutor, namely, one hundred, 
one thousand, or ten thousand times daily. Those not bound in 
this way by vows repeat the charm as many times as they con- 
veniently can. 

Having done this, he may retire again to sleep, if the night be 
not very far advanced. But if the dawn is near, he must not 
go to sleep, but should employ the interval in several sorts of 

As soon as day dawns, he must wash his face and rinse his 
mouth and do the worship above noted, should he not have 
already done so ; also the following rites : — 

1st. Prepare sacred food for the six sorts of beings (Rigs-strii(/-<fi- 
gtorma) and send it to tantalized ghosts. 

2nd. Offer incense, butter-incense, and wine-oblation (gSer-sKyem). 
The incense is offered to the good spirits — firstly, to the chief god and 
the Lama; secondly, to the class of " king" gods; and thirdly to the 
mountain god " Kanchinjinga." Then offerings are made to the spirits 
of caves (who guarded and still guard the hidden revelations therein 
deposited), the " enemy-god of battle," the country gods, the local 
demigods, and " the eight classes of deities." The butter-incense is 
only given to the most malignant class of the demons and evil spirits. 

Some breakfast is now taken, consisting of weak soup, followed 
by tea with parched grain. Any especial work which has to be 
done will now be attended to, failing which some tantrik or other 

1 Seep. 145. - mt'un. ;i bzle-pa. 


service will be chanted. And if any temple or Caitya be at hand, 
these will be circumambulated with " prayer-wheel " revolving in 
hand, and chanting mantras. Then is done any priestly service 
required by the villagers. 

About two o'clock in the afternoon a meal of rice is taken 
followed by beer by those who like it, or by tea for non-beer 

About six o'clock p.m. is done the gtor-bshos service, in which, 
after assuming his tutelary dignity, he chants the snon-gro and 
refuge formula. Then is done a sacrificial worship * with bell 
and small drum, followed by an invocation to the hosts of Lamas, 
tutelaries, and the supernatural defensores fidei. 

About 9 or 10 p.m. he retires to sleep. 


Buddhism in common with most religions had its hermits 
who retired like John the Baptist into the wilderness. And such 


periodical retirement for a time, corresponding to the Buddhist 
Lent (the rainy season of India, or Varsha, colloq. " barsat "), when 
travelling was difficult and unhealthy, was an essential part of the 
routine of the Indian Buddhist. Tsoh K'apa enforced the obser- 

1 mCh'oga. 2 After Hue. 


vance of this practice, but it has now fallen much into abeyance. 
Probably the booths which are erected for the head Lamas in 
Sikhim during their visits to villages in the autumn, are vestiges 
of this ancient practice of retirement to the forest. 

Theoretically it is part of the training of every young Lama to 
spend in hermitage a period of three years, three months, and 
three days, in order to accustom himself to ascetic rites. But this 
practice is very rarely observed for any period, and when it is 
observed, a period of three months and three days is considered 
sufficient, During this seclusion he repeats the spell of his tutelary 
deity an incredible number of times. The Mula-yoga shgon-gro, 
complete in all its four sections, must be repeated 100,000 
times. In chanting the refuge-formula portion, he must prostrate 
himself to the ground 100,000 times. The repetition of the Yige- 
brgya-pa itself takes about two months ; and in addition must 
be chanted the following voluminous services : P'yi-'grub, nan- 
'grub, gsah-'grub, bla-'grub, shen-grub, 'prin-las, and bzi-'grub. 

Those who permanently adopt the hermit life are called " the 
packed-up ones " l and those of the highest rank are " the great 
recluses." 2 They are engaged in ascetic exercises and are usually 
followers of the Vajrayana system, seeking Sidclhi and its wizard 
powers by the aid of the Dakkinl she-devils and the king-devils 
who are their tutelaries. 


Like western friars, the Lamas have a considerable proportion 
of their number engaged in trades and handicrafts. The monks 
are practically divided into what may be called the spiritual and 
the temporal. The more intelligent are relieved of the drudgery 
of worldly work and devote themselves to ritual and meditation. 
The less intellectual labour diligently in field or farm and in 
trading for the benefit of their monastery ; or they collect the rents 
and travel from village to village begging for their parent monas- 
tery, or as tailors, cobblers, printers, etc. Others again of the 
more intellectual members are engaged as astrologers in casting- 
horoscopes, as painters or in image-making, and in other pursuits 
contributing to the general funds and comfort of the monastery. 

: mts'am-s-pa, - Bgom-ch'en. 




The diet of the Lamas is the ordinary rather Spartan fare of 
the country l consisting mainly of wheat, barley, or buck-wheat 
and occasionally rice, milk and butter, soup, tea and meat. The 
only flesh-meat allowed is sheep, goat, and yak ; fish and fowl are 
prohibited. The fully-ordained monks, the Ge-longs, are supposed 
to eat abstemiously and abstain totally from meat ; though even 
the Grand Lama of Tashi-lhunpo appears to eat flesh-food.' 2 

Neither the monks of the established church nor the holier 
Lamas of the other sects may drink any spirituous liquor. Yet 
they offer it as libations to the devils. 

1 For food of Tibetans, see Turner's Embassy, 24-48, etc.; Pemberton, 156; Moor- 
croft, i., 1S2, etc. ; Hue, ii., 258; Cunningham's Ladak, 305; Rock., L., passim. 
- Bogle in Markham, p. 100. 

Libation-jug and Chalice-cup 
(of silver). 

A Gkand Lama of Bhotai 



" Le roi est mort, vive le roi .' " 
" Adam . . . his soul passed by transmigration into David 
transmigrated into the Messiah." — The Talmud.^ 

his soul 

ARLY Buddhism had neither church nor ecclesiastical 
organization. It was merely a brotherhood of monks. 
Even after Buddha's death, as the order grew in size 
and atHueuce under the rich endowments from Asoka 
and other kingly patrons, it still remained free from anything like 

1 Beeshon's Treasures of tin- Talmud, p. 242. 


centralized government. The so-called patriarchs had only very 
nominal power and no generally recognized position or functions. 
And even the later Indian monasteries had each its own separate 
administration, and its own chief, independent of the others; a 
similar state of affairs seems to have prevailed in Tibet until the 
thirteenth century. 

The hierarchical system of Tibet seems to date from the thir- 
teenth century a. d., when the Lfima of the Sas-kya monastery was 
created a pope by the Great Mongol emperor of China, Kubilai 
Khan. This Sas-kya Lama, receiving also a certain amount of tem- 
poral power, soon formed a hierarchy, and some generations later 
we find the other sects forming rival hierarchies, which tended to 
take the power out of the hands of the petty chiefs who now 
parcelled out Tibet. In 1417, doctor Tson K'apa founded the 
Gre-lug-pa sect, which under his powerful organization soon de- 
veloped into the strongest of all the hierarchies, and five genera- 
tions later it leapt into the temporal government of Tibet, which 
it still retains, so that now its church is the established one of the 

Priest-kingship, a recognized stage in the earlier life of social 
institutions, still extends into later civilization, as in the case of 
the emperors of China and Japan, who fill the post of high-priest. 
It was the same in Burma, and many eastern princes who no 
longer enjoy " the divine right of kings," still bear the title of 
" god," and their wives of " goddess." 

The Grand Lama who thus became the priest-king of Tibet 
was a most ambitious and crafty prelate. He was named 
Nag-wah L6-zaii, and was head of the De-pung monastery. At 
his instigation a Mongol prince from Koko Nor, named Gusri 
Khan, conquered Tibet in 1640, and then made a present of it to 
this Grand Lama, together with the title of Dalai or " the vast " 
(literally "ocean") Lama, 1 and he was confirmed in this title 
and kingly possession in 1650 by the Chinese emperor. On 
account of this Mongol title, and these priest-kings being first 
made familiar to Europeans through the Mongols,' 2 he and his 

1 The Tibetan for this Mongol word is rGya-mts'o, and in the list of Grand Lamas 
some of his predecessors and successors bear this title as part of their personal 
name And the Mongolian for rin-po-ch'e is "Ertenni." 

- Through the works of Giorgi, Pallas, and Klaprotb. 

Q 2 


successors are called by some Europeans " Dalai (or Tale) Lama," 
though the first Dalai Lama was really the fifth Grand Lama of 
the established church ; but this title is practically unknown to 
Tibetans, who call the Lhasa Grand Lamas, Gryal-wa Rin-po-ch'e, 
or "The gem of majesty or victory." 

In order to consolidate his new-found rule, and that of his 
church in the priest-kingship, this prelate, as we have seen, posed 
as the deity Avalokita-in-the-flesh, and he invented legends 
magnifying the powers and attributes of that deity, and trans- 

Four-Handed Avalokita. 
(Incarnate in the Dalai Lama.) 

ferred his own residence from De-pung monastery to a palace 
which he built for himself on " the red hill " near Lhasa, the name 
of which hill he now altered to Mount Potala, after the mythic 
Indian residence of his divine prototype. He further forcibly 
seized many of the monasteries of the other sects and converted 
them into his own Gre-lug-pa institutions 1 ; and he developed the 

1 Amongst others he seized the monastery of the great Taranatha, and demolished 
many of that Lama's buildings and books, for such an honest historian was not at all 

t.i hi>; taste. 


fiction of succession by re-incarnate Lamas, and by divine re- 

The other sects accepted the situation, as they were indeed 
forced to do ; and all now, while still retaining each its own separate 
hierarchical system, acknowledge the Grand Lama of Lhasa to be 

Potala. The Palace of the Dalai Lama. 
(From Kirclier's China Illustrate.) 

the head of the Lamaist church, in that he is the incarnation of 
the powerful Buddhist deity Avalokita. And they too adopted 
the attractive theory of the re-incarnate succession and divine 

It is not easy to get at the real facts regarding the origin and 
development of the theory of re-incarnate Lamas, as the whole 
question has been purposely obscured, so as to give it the appear- 
ance of antiquity. 

It seems to me that it arose no earlier than the fifteenth century, 
and that at first it was simply a scheme to secure stability for the suc- 
cession to the headship of the sect against electioneering intrigues 
of crafty Lamas, and was, at first, a simple re-incarnation theory ; 
which, however, must not be confused with the orthodox Buddhist 
theory of re-birth as a result of Karma, for the latter is never con- 
fined in one channel. On the contrary, it holds that the spirit of the 
deceased head Lama is always reborn in a child, who has to be 
found by oracular signs, and duly installed in the vacant chair; and 
he on his death is similarly reborn, and so on ad infinitum, 


thus securing, on quasi-Buddhistic principles, continuous suc- 
cession by the same individual through successive re-embodiments. 

The first authentic instance of re-incarnate Lamas which I can 
find is the first of the Grand Lamas of the Ge-lug-pa, namely, Ge- 
den-dub. Had this theory been invented prior to Tson K'apa's death 
in 1417 A.D., it is practically certain that the succession to Tson 
K'apa would have begun with an infant re-incarnation. But we 
find the infant re-incarnationship only beginning with the death of 
Tson K'apa's successor, namely, his nephew and pupil, Ge-den-dub 
aforesaid ; and from this epoch the succession to the Ge-lug-pa Grand 
Lamaship has gone on according to this theory. As the practice 
worked well, it was soon adopted by the Lamas of other sects, and 
it has so extended that now nearly every great monastery has its 
own re-incarnate Lama as its chief, and some have several of these 
amongst their higher officials. 

The more developed or expanded theory, however, of celestial 
Lama-reflexes, which ascribes the spirit of the original Lama to an 
emanation (Nirmdna hay a, or, changeable body) 1 from a par- 
ticular celestial Buddha or divine Bodhisat, who thus becomes 
incarnate in the church, seems to me to have been of much later 
origin, and most probably the invention of the crafty Dalai Lama 
Nag-wah, or Gyal-wa Na-pa, 2 about 150 years later. For, previous 
to the time when this latter Grand Lama began to consolidate 
his newly-acquired temporal rule over Tibet, no authentic records 
seem to exist of any such celestial origin of any Lamas, and the 
theory seems unknown to Indian Buddhism. 3 And this Dalai 
Lama is known to have taken the greatest liberties with the tra- 
ditions and legends of Tibet, twisting them to fit in with his divine 
pretensions, and to have shaped the Lamaist hierarchy on the lines 
on which it now exists. 

This Dalai Lama, Gyal-wa Na-pa, is the first of these celestial 
incarnate Lamas which I can find. He was made, or, as I consider, 
made himself, to be the incarnation of the most popular Bud- 
dhist divinity possible, namely, Avalokita, and to the same rank- 
were promoted the four Grand Lamas who preceded him, and who, 

i Cf. ante. 

2 Literally ''The fifth Jina." Cf. also Paxd., //.. No. 16. 

3 None of the so-called biographies of Atisa and earlier Indian monks contain- 
ing any such references can certainly be placed earlier than this period. 


together with himself, were identified with the most famous king 
of Tibet, to wit, Sron Tsan Gampo, thus securing the loyalty of 
the people to his rule, and justifying his exercise of the divine 
right of kings ; and to ensure prophetic sanction for this scheme 
he wrote, or caused to be written, the mythical so-called history, 
Maui kah-'bum. It was then an easy task to adjust to this theory, 
with retrospective effect, the bygone and present saints who were 
now affiliated to one or other of the celestial Buddhas or Bodhisats, 
as best suited their position and the church. Thus, Tson K'apa, 
having been a contemporary of the first Grand Lama, could not 
be Avalokitesvara, so he was made to be an incarnation of Marl- 
jusri, or " the god of wisdom," on whom, also, Atisa was 
affiliated as the wisest and most learned of the Indian monks who 
had visited Tibet; and so also King Thi Sron Detsaa, for his aid 
in founding the order of the Lamas. 

It also seems to me that Na-pa was the author of the re -in- 
carnate Lama theory as regards Tashi-lhunpo monastery and the 
so-called double-hierarchy ; for an examination of the positive 
data on this subject shows that the first re-incarnate Lama of 
Tashi-lhunpo dates only from the reign of this Na-pa, and seven 
years after his accession to the kingship of Tibet. 

Tashi-lhunpo monastery was founded in 1445 by Greden-dub, 
the first Grand Gre-lug-pa Lama, who seems, however, to have 
mostly lived and to have died at De-pung. 

It will be noticed from the list of Tashi Grand Lamas 1 that 
Geden-dub, the founder of Tashi-lhunpo, contrary to the current 
opinion of European writers, does not appear as a Tashi Lama at 
all. This official list of Tashi-lhunpo, read in the light of the 
biographies of these Lamas, 2 clearly shows that previous to the 
Lama who is number two of the list, and who was born during 
the latter end of Dalai Lama Xa-pa's reign as aforesaid, none 
of the Tashi-lhunpo Lamas were regarded as re-incarnations at 
all. The first on this list, namely, Lo-zan Ch'o-kyi Gryal-ts'an, 
began as a private monk, and travelled about seeking instruction 
in the ordinary way, and not until his thirty-first year was he 
promoted to the abbotship, and then only by election and on 

Presently to be given. 

Some of which have been translated by Sarat (J.A.S.B., 1882, 26 seq.). 


account of distinguished ability. It is also interesting to note 
that on the death, in 1614, of the fourth Grand Lama of the 
Ge-lug-pa (named Yon- tan), whom he had ordained, he was 
installed in the abbotship at Gah-ldan monastery, and in 1622, at 
the age of 53, he initiated, as fifth Grand Lama, the infant Na- 
pa, who was then seven years old, and who afterwards became 
the great Dalai Lama. 

And he continued to be the spiritual father and close friend and 
adviser of Na-pa, and seems to have begun those political 
negotiations which culminated in the cession of Tibet to his 
protege. When he died, in 1662, his spiritual son Na-pa, who 
was 47 years old, and had been 22 years in the kingship, promptly 
re-incarnated him, and also made him out to be his own spiritual 
father, even as regards the divine emanation theory. Thus the 
new-born babe was alleged to be an incarnation of Avalokita's 
spiritual father, Amitabha, the Buddha of Boundless Light ; and 
he was given a considerable share in the management of the 
established church. This, however, merely perpetuated the rela- 
tions which had actually existed between these two Grand Lamas 
as father and son, and which had worked so well, and had such 
obvious political advantages in providing against interregnums. 

In the hierarchical scheme of succession by re-incarnate Lamas, 
the Lhasa Grand Lama, who wields the sovereign power, thus gave 
himself the highest place, but allotted the Tashi-lhunpo Grand 
Lama a position second only to his own. Below these come the 
other re-incarnate Lamas, ranking according to whether they are 
regarded to be re-embodiments of Indian or of Tibetan saints. The 
former class are called " the higher incarnations " or Tul-Ku, 1 and 
by the Mongols Khutuktu. They occupy the position of cardinals 
and archbishops. The lowest re-incarnate Lamas are regarded 
as re-embodiments of Tibetan saints, and are named ordinary 
Tul-ku or " ifu-s'o," 2 or by the Mongols Khublighan or Hobli- 
ghan ; these mostly fill the post of abbots, and rank one degree 
higher than an ordinary non-re-incarnate abbot, or JCan-po, 
who has been selected on account of his proved abilities. Most of 

1 sTrul-sku. 

2 sKu-tfogs. The use of the term for a re-incarnate Lama seems restricted to 
Ladak. In Tibet proper this title is applied to any superior Lama, and is even 
used in polite society to laymen of position. 



these so-called re-incarnate Lamas are by a polite fiction credited 
with knowing all the past life and deeds of individuals, not only in 
the present life, but also in former births. 

In the unreformed sects, where the priests are not celibate, the 
children succeed to the headship. The ordinary hierarchical dis- 
tinctions of grades and ranks have already been noted in describing 
the organization of the order. 

The greatest of the Lama hierarchs, after the Grand Lamas of 
Lhasa and Tashi-lhunpo, are the great Mongolian Lama at Urgya, 
the Sas-kya Lama, and the Dharma Eaja of Bhotan, this last 
being practically independent of Lhasa, and the temporal ruler of 
Bhotan. Here also may be mentioned the female incarnate 
goddess, " The diamond sow " of Yam-dok Lake monastery. 

The following list of Tibetan popes, the Grand Lamas of Lhasa, 
is taken from the printed list. 1 The birth-dates are given upon 
the authority of a reliable, trustworthy Lamaist calculator. 2 

List of Grand (Dalai) Lamas or Popes. 









dGe-'dun grub-pa 




dGe-'dun rGya-mts'o 





1589 3 




Nag-dban blo-bsan rGva- 

mts'o .- 



First " Dalai." 


Ts'ans-dbyans rGya-mts'o 

16S3 4 


Deposed & murdered. 


sKal-bzan ,, 




'Jam-dpal ,, 


1805 5 


Luii-rtogs ,, 

1S05 6 


Seen by Manning. 



1819 7 



mK'as-grub ,, 




'P'rin-las ,, 




T'ub-bstan ,, 


Present pope. 

The first Grand Lama, Gre-'dun-dub, was born near Sas-kya, and 

1 The modern list precedes the historical names by a series of fifty more or less 
mythic personages, headed by Avalokita himself. 
- Lama S'e-rab Gya-ts'o, of the Ge-lug-pa monastery, Darjiling. 
:i Desgodins {La Miss., etc., p. 218) gives 1588. 
* Desg. gives 1682. 

s Other accounts give 1798, 1803, 1808; cf. also Koppen's List, i., 235. 
,: Desg., and this corresponds with Manning's account (Markh., 265). 
7 Desg. gives 1815. 


not far from the site whereon he afterwards founded Tashi-lhunpo. 
His successors, up to and inclusive of the fifth, have already been 
referred to in some detail. 

On the deposition and death of the sixth Grand Lama for licen- 
tious living, the Tartar king, Gingkir Khan, appointed to Potala 
the Lama of C'ag-poh-ri, named Nagwah Yeshe Gya-mts'o, into 
whom the sorcerers alleged that, not the soul but the breath of 
the former Grand Lama had passed. It was soon announced, 
however, that the sixth Grand Lama was re-born in the town of 
Lit hang as Kal-zari, the son of a quondam monk of De-pun g 
monastery. This child was imprisoned by the Chinese emperor, 
who had confirmed the nominee of the Tartar king, until the war 
of 1 720, when he invested him with spiritual rule at Lhasa ; but 
again, in 1728, deposed him, as he was privy to the murder of the 
king of Tibet. So he set in his place the Lama " Kiesri " Rim- 
poch'e, of the Chotin monastery, four days' journey from Lhasa. 1 
He seems latterly to have returned to power, and during his reign 
in 1749, the Chinese put his temporal vice-regent to death, when 
the people flew to arms and massacred the Chinese. 2 

The ninth is the only Grand Lama of Lhasa ever seen by an 
Englishman. He was seen by Manning in 1811, while still 
a child of six years old. Manning relates that : " The Lama's 
beautiful and interesting face and manner engrossed almost all my 
attention. He was at that time about seven years old ; had the 
simple and unaffected manners of a well-educated princely child. 
His face was, I thought, poetically and affectingly beautiful. He 
was of a gay and cheerful disposition, his beautiful mouth perpetu- 
ally unbending into a graceful smile, which illuminated his whole 
countenance. Sometimes, particularly when he looked at me, his 
smile almost approached to a gentle laugh. No doubt my grim 
beard and spectacles somewhat excited his risibility. . . . He 
enquired whether I had not met with molestations and difficulties 
on the road," etc. 3 This child died a few years afterwards, assassi- 
nated, it is believed, by the regent, named Si-Fan. 

The tenth Grand Lama also dying* during his minority, and 

1 This latter Lama was in power at Totala in 1730 on the arrival of Horace Della- 
penna, from whose account (Makkh., p. 321) most of the latter details have been taken. 
•-' Ibid., lxv. 
:; I /•;,/., p. 266. 


suspicions being aroused of foul play on the part of the regent, 
the latter was deposed and banished by the Chinese iii 1844, at 
the instance of the Grand Lama of Tashi-lhunpo, and a rising of 
his confederates of the Sera monastery was suppressed. 1 

The eleventh also died prematurely before attaining his majority, 
and is believed to have been poisoned by the regent, the Lama of 
Teu-gye-ling. A young Lama of De-pung, named Ka-deng, 2 was 
appointed regent, and he banished his predecessor " Pe-chi," who 
had befriended Hue ; but proving unpopular, he had eventually to 
retire to Pekin, where he died. 3 Pe-chi died about 1869, and was 
succeeded by the abbot of Giih-ldan. 

The twelfth Grand Lama was seen in 1866 by one of our 
Indian secret surveyors, who styles him a child of about thirteen, 
and describes him as a fair and handsome boy, who, at the 
reception, was seated on a throne six feet high, attended on either 
side by two high rank officials, each swaying over the child's head 
bundles of peacock feathers. The Grand Lama himself put three 
questions to the spy and to each of the other devotees, namely : 
" Is your king well ? " " Does your country prosper ? " " Are 
you yourself in good health ? " He died in 1874, and his death is 
ascribed to poison administered by the regent, the Tengye-ling 
head Lama. 

The thirteenth is still (1894) alive. He was seen in 1882 by 
Sarat Candra Das, whose account of him is given elsewhere. 

The Tashi-lhunpo Grrand Lamas are considered to be, if possible, 
holier even than those of Lhasa, as they are less contaminated 
with temporal government and worldly politics, and more famous 
for their learning, hence they are entitled " The precious great 
doctor, or Great gem of learning " (Pan-ch'en Rin-po-c1ie)f or 
(if/'d-gon 5 Rin-po-ck'e, or "The precious lordly victor." The 
►Sa-kya Grand Lamas had been called " Pan-ch'en," or the "Great 
doctor " from the twelfth century, but have ceased to hold the 

1 Hue, ii., p. 166. This account is disbelieved by .Mr. Mayers, J.R.A .S., iv., 305. 

'-' rca-sgreyi, the " gyal-po Riting " of the Pandit, p. xxiv. 
Maekh., xcvii. 

4 Pan is a contraction for the Indian " Pandit," or learned scholar, and rin-po-ch'e = 
ratna or gem, or precious, or in Mongolian Irtini or Erdeni, hence he is called by 
Mongolians " Pan-ch'en Irtini." 

"' Vulgarly " gyan-gdn." 


title since the era of the Dalai Lamas, when the established 
church appropriated it to itself. 

The following list of " Tashi " Lamas is taken from that printed 
at the monastery itself. 1 

List of "Tashi' 

' Grand Lamas. 










bLo-bzah ch'os-kyi rgyal-mts'an 
bLo-bzah ye-she dpal bzan-po 
bLo-bzan dpal-ldan ye-s'es 

rJe-bstan pahi nima 
rJe-dpal-ldan cb'os-kyi grags-pa) 
bstan-pahi dban p'yug ) 


1738 2 






Bogle's friend, installed 

Seen by Turner. 

Died in August. 

Installed last week of 
February, 1888. 

The third Tashi Lama was the friend of Mr. Bogle, who seems 
to be the only European who had the advantage of close and 
friendly intercourse with one of the Grand Lamas. Mr. Bogle 
gives us a delightful glimpse into the amiable character of this 
holy man. 3 

" The Lama was upon his throne, formed of wood carved and gilt, 
with some cushions about it, upon which he sat cross-legged. He 
was dressed in a mitre-shaped cap of yellow broad-cloth with long- 
bars lined with red satin; a yellow cloth jacket, without sleeves ; 
and a satin mantle of the same colour thrown over his shoulders. 

1 The official list is entitled \>&n-sku-p'ren rim-pa \tar byon-pa-ni, and gives no dates. 
It ends with No. 3 of my list as above, and extends the list backwards to ten 
additional names, beginning with the somewhat mythical disciple of Buddha, Su-bhuti ; 
and including legendary Indian personages as re-incarnations, as -well as the following six 
Tibetans, the fourth of which is usually held to be the first of the Tashi-lhunpo Grand 
Lamas. As, however, Tashi-lhunpo was only built in 1445, only the latter two of this list 
could be contemporary with it, and as is noted in the text, their biographies show that 
they were ordinary monks who held no high post, if any at all, at Tashilhunpo. 


1. Hug-pa Ihas-htsas, of rTa-nag monastery. 

2. Sa-skya Pandita (1182-1252). 

3. gYtin-sto/i rdo-rje dpal (1284-1376). 

4. mK'as-sgrub dGe-le</s-dj>al zang-po (1385-1439). 

5. pa,n-ch'en-bSod-nams 2)'yot/s kj/i-rjhm-po (1439-1505) 

6. dben-sa-pa blo-bzah Don-grub (1505-1570). 

2 At " Tashi-tzay," N.E. of Tashi-lhunpo (M., p. 92). 

3 Lot: cit., p. 83. 


On one side of him stood his physician with a bundle of perfumed 
sandal-wood rods burning in his hand ; on the other stood his 
So-pon Chumbo l or cup-bearer. I laid the governor's presents 
before him, delivering the letter and pearl necklace into his own 
hands, together with a white Pelong handkerchief on my own part, 
according to the custom of the country. He received me in the 
most engaging manner. I was seated on a high stool covered with 
a carpet. Plates of boiled mutton, boiled rice, dried fruits, sweet- 
meats, sugar, bundles of tea, sheeps' carcasses dried, etc., were set 
before me and my companion, Mr. Hamilton. The Lama drank 
two or three dishes of tea along with us, asked us once or twice 
to eat, and threw white Pelong handkerchiefs on our necks at 

" After two or three visits, the Lama used (except on holidays) 
to receive me without any ceremony, his head uncovered, dressed 
only in the large red petticoat which is worn by all the gylongs, 
red Bulgar hide boots, a yellow cloth vest with his arms bare, and 
a piece of yellow cloth thrown around his shoulder. He sat some- 
times in a chair, sometimes on a bench covered with tiger skins, 
and nobody but So-pon Chumbo present. Sometimes he would 
walk with me about the room, explain to me the pictures, make 
remarks on the colour of my eyes, etc. For, although venerated 
as God's vicegerent through all the eastern countries of Asia, 
endowed with a portion of omniscience, and with many other 
divine attributes, he throws aside in conversation all the awful 
part of his character, accommodates himself to the weakness of 
mortals, endeavours to make himself loved rather than feared, and 
behaves with the greatest affability to everybody, especially to 

" Teshu Lama is about forty years of age, of low stature, and 
though not corpulent, rather inclining to be fat. His complexion 
is fairer than that of most of the Tibetans, and his arms are as 
white as those of a European ; his hair, which is jet black, is cut 
very short ; his beard and whiskers never above a month long ; 
his eyes are small and black. The expression of his countenance 
is smiling and good-humoured. His father was a Tibetan, his 

* He held, according to Turner (p. 246), the second rank in the court of the Tashi 
Lama, and was by birth a Manchu Tartar. He was then only about twenty-two 
years of age. 


mother a near relation of the Kajas of Ladak. From her he 
learned the Hindustani language, of which he has a moderate 
knowledge, and is fond of speaking it. His disposition is open, 
candid, and generous. He is extremely merry and entertaining 
in conversation, and tells a pleasant story with a great deal of 
humour and action. I endeavoured to find out in his character 
those defects which are inseparable from humanity, but he is so 
universally beloved that I had no success, and not a man could 
find in his heart to speak ill of him 

" Among the other good qualities which Teshu Lama possesses 
is that of charity, and he has plenty of opportunities of exercising 
it. The country swarms with beggars, and the Lama entertains 
besides a number of fakirs (religious mendicants), who resort 
hither from India. As he speaks their language tolerably well 
he every day converses with them from his windows, and picks up 
by this means a knowledge of the different countries and govern- 
ments of Hindustan. ... He gives them a monthly allowance 
of tea, butter, and flour, besides money, and often bestows some- 
thing considerable upon them at their departure. The Gosains 
who are thus supported at the Lama's expense may be in number 
about one hundred and fifty, besides about thirty Musulman fakirs. 
For although the genius of the religion of Muhamad is hostile to 
that of the Lama, yet he is possessed of much Christian charity, 
and is free from those narrow prejudices which, next to ambition 
and avarice, have opened the most copious source of human 
misery." And observing the universal esteem in which the 
Grand Lama is held by the monks and people, the looks of 
veneration mixed with joy with which he is always regarded, 
Mr. Bogle adds " one catches affection by sympathy, and I 
could not help, in some measure, feeling the same emotions 
with the Lama's votaries, 1 and I will confess I never knew a 
man whose manners pleased me so much, or for whom, upon 
so short an acquaintance, I had half the heart's liking." 2 

This Grand Lama, soon after Bogle's departure, died of small- 
pox. He had, in response to the invitation of the Chinese emperor, 
set out for Pekin, attended by 1,500 troops and followers, and 
sumptuous provision was made for his comfort during the whole 

1 Op. at., p. 95. - p. 133. 


of the long journey in Chinese territory. The emperor met him 
at Sinmg, several weeks' march from Pekin, and advanced about 
forty paces from his throne to receive him, and seated him on the 
topmost cushion with himself and at his right hand. To the ,reat 
gnef of the empress and the Chinese the Lama was seized wth 
small-pox, and died on November 12th, 1780. His bodv nl«^ ■ 
a golden coffin, was conveyed to the mausoleum ^ Sj 
Hi. successor, while still an infant of abont eighteen month, 
was seen by Captain Turner as the envoy of the Iritish go"™-' 
meut Th,s remarkable interview took place at the monas- 
tery of Terpa-hng.- He found the princely child, then aTed 
eighteen months seated on a throne of silk cushions a'nd hangT 
about four feet high, with his father and mother standing of the 
eft hand. Having been informed that although unable fo speak 
he could understand, Captain Turner said "fhat the govXr- 
general on receiving the news of his decease in Ctoa was 
overwhelmed With grief and sorrow, and continued to anient hi 
absence from the world until the cloud that had overcast the 
happiness of this nation was dispelled by his re-appearance 
The governor anxiously wished that he might long continue' to 
illumine the world by his presence, and L hopffoT that th^ 

"rhrimtstd^. fo ' meri V-tTnfa b fr f"^ 
at the British envoy, with' the ap^^t ^f 
and nodded with repeated but slow motions of the "ead "' 

himself with astonishing d^^^^^" 
the handsomest children Captain Turner had ever selnand he 
grew up to be an able and devout ruler, delighting the mf 

vi g ou r forh i6 advLe™ a ; ( ^:rh^r t ^r aiShing 

the heads of all the .nonastirj, i„ Tita! a tribrf a! p°' "" P™"" '«»*«'<'• ™d 
agent of the Warren Hastings, M Ixrv J *™W Gosai ". »e native 

4 ii., 157. 


The Mongolian hierarch at Urgya-Kuren, in the Khalka country, 
is called " His holy reverence," or Je-tsun Dam-pa" 1 and is re- 
garded as an incarnation of the celebrated historian Lama, Tara- 
natha, who, it will be remembered, was of the Sa-kya sect, which 
had identified itself with Mongolian Lamaism, having introduced 
the religion there and given the translations of the gospels. 
Urgya monastery was doubtless founded by the Sa-kya-pa. However 
this may be, on the development of the reincarnate Lama theory, 
the Khalka 2 Mongols fixed upon Taranatha as the source of the 
re-incarnations for their chief hierarch. And the Dalai Lama, 
Nag-pa, who had climbed into power on the shoulders of the 
Mongols, had to accept the high position thus accorded to Tara- 
natha, whom he detested, but he, or one of his early successors, 
converted the monastery into a Gre-lug-pa institution. 

The hierarch, Je-tsun Dam-pa, was the most powerful person in 
the whole of Mongolia 3 during the reign of the emperor Kang-hi 
(1662-1723), and had his headquarters at Koukou-Khoton, or 
" Blue town," beyond the bend of the Yellow river, when the 
Khalkas quarrelled with the Kalmuks or Sleuths and escaped into 
territory under Chinese protection. The Kalmuks demanded the 
delivery of Je-tsun Dam-pa and his brother, the prince Tuschetu- 
Khan, which of course the emperor refused, and sought the 
mediation of the Dalai Lama. But the latter, or, rather, his regent 
(Tis-ri), for he had been defunct for seven years, to the emperor's 
surprise, advised the delivering up of these two princes, and such 
a decision was, perhaps, the first sign to him of the great fraud 
which was being enacted as Lhasa. To make matters worse, when 
the emperor was warring with the Kalmuks " he paid a visit to 
Je-tsun Dam-pa, and owing to some, fancied want of respect on the 
part of the holy man, one of the emperor's officers drew his sword 
and killed him. This violence caused a tumult, and soon after- 
wards it was announced that Je-tsun Dam-pa had reappeared 
among the Khalkas, who threatened to avenge his former death. 
The emperor engaged the diplomatic interposition of the Dalai 

1 rJe-btsun-gdam-pa. 

- The Khalkas, so called after the Khalka. river, are the representatives of the 
Mongol or Yuen dynasty of China, founded by Jingis and Kubilai Khan, and driven 
from the throne in 1368. — Makkh., p. xlix. 

: ' Koppen, ii., 178. 


Lama, who succeeded in pacifying the Khalkas. But it was 
arranged that the future births of the Je-tsun Dam-pa should be 
found in Tibet, so that the Khalkas might not again have a sym- 
pathizing fellow-countryman as their high-priest." 1 

His " re-incarnation " is now always found in central or western 
Tibet. The present one is said to have been born in the bazaar 
(S'ol) of Lhasa city, and to be the eighth of the series. He is 
educated at the De-pung monastery as a Gre-lug-pa Lama; but the 
present one was carried off, when four or five years of age, to 
Urga, accompanied by a Lama of De-pung as tutor. A complete 
list of these hierarchs and fuller historical information in regard to 
them is much needed. 2 

The Sa-kya hierarchs, as we have seen, were once extremely 
powerful and almost de facto kings of Tibet. Although the 
Sa-kya hierarch is now eclipsed by the established church, he still 
retains the sympathy of the numerous adherents of the unre- 
formecl sects, and is now regarded by the Rih-ma-pa as their 
head and an incarnation of the Gruru himself, and as such scarcely 
inferior to the Grand Lama of Lhasa. Sa-kya was founded, as we 
saw, by Kungah Km-po, born in 1090 a.d., and became famous 
under Sa-kya Pandita, born 1180, and his nephew was the first of 
the great hierarchs. 

The list of the earlier Sa-kya hierarchs, whose most prosperous 
era was from 1270 to 1340, is as follows 3 : — 

1. Sas-kya bsan-po. 12. 'Od-ser-seh-ge. 

2; S'ah-btsun. 
3. Ban-dKar-po. 
. 4. Chyan-rin bsKyos-pa. 

5. Kun-gs'ah. 

6. gS'ah-dbah. 

7. Chan-rdor. 

8. An-len. 

9. Legs-pa-dpal. 

10. Seh-ge-dpal. 

11. 'Od-zer-dpal. 

Its head Lama is still called by the un reformed Lamas "Sa-kya 

1 Markham's Tibet, xlix. 

- For an account of the journey of the present hierarch from Lhasa to Urga, see 
Peking Gazette for 1874, pp. 68, 74 and 124 (Shanghai abstract 1875). The new incarna- 
tion met by the Abbe Hue in 1844, journeying from Urga to Lhasa appears to have 
been the seventh. 

3 Cf. also list by -Sanang Setsen, p. 121 ; Csoma, Gr., 186 ; Koppen, ii., 105 ; Sarat, 
J.A.S.B., 1881, p. 240. 


13. Kun-rin. 

14. Don-yod dpal. 

15. Yon-btsun. 

16. 'Od-ser Seh-ge II. 

17. rGyal-va Sah-po. 

18. Dbah-p'yng-dpal. 

19. bSod-Nam-dpal. 

20. rUyab-va-Tsan-po II. 

21. dBan-btsun. 


Pan-ch'en." 1 The succession is hereditary; but between father and 
son intervenes the brother of the reigning Lama and uncle of the 
successor, so as to secure an adult as holder of the headship. 

The Bhotan hierarchy is still a strong one and combines the 
temporal rule of the country. It ousted all rival sects from the 
land, so that now it has its own sect, namely, the southern Duk-pa 
form of the Kar-gyu-pa. According to Mr. (Sir Ashley) Eden, the 
Bhotan ese only overran the country about three centuries ago, 
displacing the then natives, who are said to have come originally 
from Koch Bihar. The invaders were Tibetan soldiers, over whom 
a Lama named "Dupgani Sheptun" acquired paramount influence 
as Dharma Raja. On his death the spirit of the Sheptun became 
incarnate in a child at Lhasa, who was conveyed to Bhotan. When 
this child grew up he appointed a regent for temporal concerns, 
called Deb Kaja, 2 but this latter office seems to have lapsed long 
ago, and the temporal power is in the hands of the lay governors 
(Pen-lo) of the country. 

The head Lama is held to be re-incarnate, and is named Lama 
Kin-po-ch'e, also " The religious king " or Dharma Kaja. His 
hat, as seen in the illustration at the head of this chapter, 3 bears 
the badge of cross thunderbolts, and is surmounted by a spiked 
thunderbolt, typical not only of his mystical creed, but also of the 
thunder dragon (Dug), which gives its name to his sect — the 
Dug-pa. His title, as engraved on his seal figured by Hooker, 4 
describes him as " Chief of the Kealm, Defender of the Faith, 
Equal to Sarasvati in learning, Chief of all the Buddhas, Head 
Expounder of the Sastras, Caster out of Devils, Most Learned 
in the Holy Laws, An Avatar of Gk>d, Absolver of Sins, and 
Head of the Best of all Religions." 


1. Nag-dban rnam rgyal bdud 'jom- 


2. „ „ 'jig-med rtags-pa. 

3. „ „ ch'os-kyi rgyal mtshan. 

4. „ „ 'jig med dbah po. 

5. „ „ Shakya sen go. 

0. „ „ 'jam dbyans rgyal mts'an. 

7. Nag-dban ch'os kyi dban p'ug. 

8. „ „ 'jig-med rtags-pa (second 


9. „ „ 'jig-med rtags norbu. 

10. „ „ „ „ ch'os-rgyal — 

the present Great Bho- 
tan Lama in 1892. 

1 He is entitled by Turner (op. cit., p. 315) " Gongoso Rimbochhe." 

2 Rept. cf. Markh., p. lv. 

3 The figure is from a photo of a Bhotan Lama, and the hat is that of the present 
(1893) Grand Lama of Bhotan. 

4 Hi Dial. Jours, i. 


Each of these Grand Lamas has a separate biography (or na/m- 
t'ar). The first, who was a contemporary of the Grand Lama 
Sonam Gya-tsho, seems to have been married ; the rest are celi- 
bate. A celebrated Lama of this Dug-pa sect was named Mi- 
pam ch'os-Kyi gyal-po. 

The Dharma Raja resides, at least in summer, at the fort of Ta- 
shi-ch'o. The palace is a large stone building, with the chief 
house seven storeys high, described and figured by Turner and 
others. Here live over five hundred monks. 

Bogle describes the Lama of his day as " a thin, sickly-looking 
man of about thirty-five years of age." 1 

He exercises, I am informed, some jurisdiction over Lamas in 
Nepal, where his authority is officially recognized by the Gorkha 

The number of the lesser spiritual chiefs held to be re-embodied 
Lama saints is stated 2 to be one hundred and sixty, of which 
thirty are in Tibet (twelve being "Shaburun"), nineteen in north 
Mongolia, fifty-seven in south Mongolia, thirty-five in Kokonor, 
five in Chiamdo and the Tibetan portion of Sze-ch'wan, and four- 
teen at Pekin. But this much under-estimates the number in 

Amongst the re-embodied Lamas in western Tibet or Tsang 
are Seh-c'en-Rin-po-ch'e, 3 Yanzin Lho-pa, Billuh, L6-ch'en, Kyi- 
zar, Tinki, De-ch'an Alig, Kahla, Koh (at Phagri). In Kham, Tu, 
Ch'amdo, Derge, etc. 

The Lamaist metropolitan at Pekin is called by the Tibetans 
" lC'an-skya," and is considered an incarnation of Rol-pahi Dorje. 
His portrait is given in the annexed figure. He dates his spiritual 
descent from a dignitary who was called to Pekin during the reign 

1 Maekh., p. 27. 

'-' In the Sheng Wu Ki, and registered by the Colonial Board at Pekin. (Mayer) 
J.R.A.S., vi., p. 307. 

;! The last re-incarnate Lama bearing this title, and the tutor of the Tashi Grand 
Lama, was beheaded about 1886 for harbouring surreptitiously Sarat C. Das, who is 
regarded as an English spy ; and although the bodies of his predecessors were con- 
sidered divine and are preserved in golden domes at Tashi-lhunpo, his headless trunk 
was thrown ignominiously into a river to the S.W. of Lhasa, near the fort where 
he had been imprisoned. On account of his violent death, and under such 
circumstances, this re-incarnation is said to have ceased. From the glimpse got of 
him in Sarat's narrative and in his great popularity, he seems to have been a most 
amiable man. 

R 2 


of K'ang Hi, probably about 1690-1700 a.d., and entrusted with 
the emperor's confidence as his religious vicegerent for inner 
Mongolia. 1 

In Ladak only four monasteries have resident re-incarnate 
Lamas or Ku-s'o. Although. they are of the red sect, these head 

Lamas are said to be 
educated at Lhasa. 
The present (1893) re- 
incarnate Lama of 
Spitak, the seventeenth 
of the series, is thus de- 
scribed by Captain 
Kamsay. 2 " A youth, 
26 years of age, who 
lately returned from 
Lhasa, where he had 
been for 14 years. He 
was handsomely dressed 
in a robe made of a 
particular kind of dark 
golden - coloured and 
yellow embroidered 
China silk, which none 
but great personages 
are allowed to wear, 
and he had on Chinese 
long boots, which he 
did not remove when he entered the house. His head and face 
were closely shaved, and one arm was bare. On entering 
the room he bowed, and then presented the customary ' scarf of 
salutation,' which I accepted. He impressed me very favourably ; 
his manner and general appearance was superior to anything I had 
seen among other Lamas or people of Ladak." 

In Sikhim, where few Lamas are celibate and where the La- 
brang Lama is the nominal head of the fraternity with the title 
of " Lord protector " (sKyab wGron), the fiction of re-incarnation 
was only practised in regard to the Pemiongchi and La-brang 

Head Lama of Pekin. : 

Z.K. 21, Pan-d., No. 53. 

Op. tit., p. 69. 

After Griinwedel. 


monasteries, but has ceased for several generations. In Sikhim, 
too, the same tendency to priest-kingship cropped out. Several 
of the Sikhim kings were also Lamas ; and when the king was 
not a monk, the Lamas retained most of the temporal power 
in their hands ; and the first king of Sikhim was nominated by 
the pioneer Lamas ; and the ancestor of the present dynasty, a 
descendant of the religious king, Thi-Srori Detsan, one of the 
founders of Lamaism, was canonized as an incarnation of the 
Buddhist god, Manjusri. 

The female re-incarnation, the abbess of the monastery of the 
Yamdok lake, who is considered an embodiment of the goddess 
Vajra vardhi, or " The diamond sow," is thus described by Mr. 
Bogle x : " The mother went with me into the apartment of Durjay 
Paumo, who was attired in a gylong's dress, her arms bare from the 
shoulders, and sitting cross-legged upon a low cushion. She is also 
the daughter of the Lama's (Tashi) brother, but by a different 
wife. She is about seven and twenty, with small Chinese features, 
delicate, though not regular fine eyes and teeth ; her complexion 
fair, but wan and sickly ; and an expression of languor and melan- 
choly in her countenance, which I believe is occasioned by the 
joyless life that she leads. She wears her hair, a privilege granted 
to no other vestal I have seen ; it is combed back without any 
ornament, and falls in tresses upon her shoulders. Her Cha-wa 
(touch),like the Lamas', is supposed to convey a blessing, and I did 
not fail to receive it. Durjay Paumo spoke little. Dr. Hamilton, 
who cured her of a complaint she had long been subject to, used to 
be there almost every day." 

Let us now look at the manner in which the new re-embodi- 
ments or re-births of the hierarchs are discovered. On the death 
of a re-incarnate Lama his spirit is believed to flit into the soul of 
some unknown infant who is born a few days after the death of the 
Lama. The mode of determining the child who has been so 
favoured is based upon the practice followed in regard to the Grand 
Lama of Lhasa, which we will now describe. 

Sometimes the pontiff, before he dies, indicates the particular 
place and even the family in which he will be re-born, but the 
usual practice is to ascertain the names of all the likely male 

Makkh., p. 109. 


infants who have been born under miraculous portents just after the 
death of the deceased Lama, and with prayer and worship to ballot 
a selected list of names, which are written by a committee of 
Lamas on slips of paper and put into a golden jug, and then amid 
constant prayer, usually by 117 selected pure Lamas, to draw by 
lot in relays, and extending over 31 to 71 days, one of these, which 
is the name of the new incarnation. As, however, the Pekin 

Testing a Claimant to the Grand Lamaship. i 

court is believed to influence the selection under such circum- 
stances, the state oracle of Na-ch'uh has latterly superseded the 
old practice, and the present Grand Lama was selected by this 
oracle. Lama Ugyen Gya-tsho relates 2 that the present Na-ch'uh 
oracle prophesied disaster in the shape of a monster appearing as 
the Dalai Lama, if the old practice were continued. On the other 
hand he foretold that the present Dalai would be found by a pious 
monk in person, and that his discovery would be accompanied with 
"horse neighings." The "pious monk "proved to be the head 
Lama of Gah-ldan monastery, who was sent by the oracle to Chukor- 

-' Loe. cit., para. 59 ; of. also Hue, ii., 197. 


gye, where he dreamed that he was to look in the lake called Lha- 
moi-lamtsho for the future Dalai. He looked, and it is said that, 
pictured in the bosom of the lake, he saw the infant Dalai Lama 
and his parents, with the house where he was born, and that at 
that instant his horse neighed. Then the monk went in search 
of the real child, and found him in Kongtoi, in the house of poor 
but respectable people, and recognized him as the child seen in 
the lake. After the boy (then a year old) had passed the usual 
ordeal required of infants to test their power to recognize the 
property of the previous Dalai Lama, he was elected as spiritual 
head of Tibet. 

These infant candidates, who, on account of their remarkable 
intelligence, or certain miraculous signs, 1 have been selected 
from among the many applicants put forward by parents for 
this, the highest position in the land, may be born anywhere 
in Tibet. 2 They are subjected to a solemn test by a court com- 
posed of the chief Tibetan re-incarnate Lamas, the great lay 
officers of state, and the Chinese minister or Amban. The in- 
fants are confronted with a duplicate collection of rosaries, dorjes, 
etc., and that one particular child who recognizes the properties 
of the deceased Lama is believed to be the real re-embodiment. 
To ensure accuracy the names are written as aforesaid, and each 
slip encased in a roll of paste and put in a vase, and, after prayer, 
they are formally drawn by lot in front of the image of the 
emperor of China, 3 and the Chinese minister, the Amban, unrolls 
the paste and reads out the name of the elect, who is then hailed, 
as the great God Avalokita incarnate, hence to rule over Tibet. 
An intimation of the event is sent to the emperor, and it is duly 
acknowledged by him with much formality, and the enthrone- 
ment and ordination are all duly recorded in like manner. 

Interesting details of the ceremonies as well as of the prominent 
part played by China in regulating the pontifical succession, have 

i Circumstantial stories are told of such applicants to the effect, that when only a 
few months old the infants have obtained the power of speech for a few moments and 
informed their parents that the Lamas have left Potala to come and claim them. 

2 The distant villages of Gada, south-west of Darchhendo (Ta-chhien Lu) and 
Lithang, have each produced a Dalai Lama. 

3 The emperor Pure Kien Lung, who died 1796, since his final subjugation of Tibet, 
has continued to receive homage even posthumously as sovereign of the country 
(Marco P., loc. tit., L., p. 290.) 


been supplied by Mr. Mayers 1 from the original Chinese docu- 
ment of Meng Pao, the senior Amban at Lhasa, and from which 
the following historic extract is made by way of illustration :— 

I. Memorial drawn up on the 9th day of the 12th month of the 20th 
year of Tao Kwang (January 30th, 1841), reporting that, on instituting 
an investigation among young children for the embodiment of Dalai 
Lania, miraculous signs, of undoubted authenticity, have been verified, 
which is laid in a respectful memorial before the Sacred Glance. 

In the matter of the appearance of the embodiment of the Dalai 
Lama, it has already been reported to your majesty that a communi- 
cation had been received from Ke-le-tan-si-leu-t'u-sa-ma-ti Bakhshi re- 
porting the dispatch of natives in positions of dignity to inquire into 
the circumstances with reference to four young children born of 
Tibetan parents, respectively at Sang-ang-k'iiih-tsung in Tibet, the 
tribalty of K'ung-sa within the jurisdiction of Ta-tsien-lu in Sze-ch'wan, 
and [two] other places. The chancellor has now made a further re- 
port, stating that in the case of each of the four children miraculous 
signs have been shown, and that bonds of attestation have been drawn 
up in due form on the part of members of both the priesthood and laity 
of the Tibetans. He annexes a detailed statement in relation to this 
matter ; and on receipt of this communication your Majesty's servants 
have to observe that on the previous occasion, when the embodiment of 
the tenth Dalai Lama entered the world, three children were discovered 
[whose names] were placed in the urn for decision by lot. As the 
chancellor now writes that each of the four children discovered by the 
Khan-pu on this occasion has been attended by auspicious and en- 
couraging omens, we do not presume to arrogate to ourselves the choice 
of any one of their number, but, as regards the whole four, have on the 
one hand communicated in a Tibetan dispatch with the chancellor re- 
specting the two children born within the territory of Tibet, and as re- 
gards the two children born within the jurisdiction of the province of 
Sze-ch'wan, have addressed a communication to the viceroy of that pro- 
vince calling upon them respectively to require the parents and tutors 
of the children in question to bring the latter to Anterior Tibet. On 
this being done, your majesty's servants, in accordance with the exist- 
ing rules, will institute a careful examination in person, conjointly with 
the Panshen Erdeni and the chancellor, and will call upon the children to 
recognize articles heretofore in use by the Dalai Lama ; after which your 
servants will proceed with scrupulous care to take measures for in- 
scribing their names on slips to be placed in the urn, and for the cele- 
bration of mass and drawing the lots in public. So soon as the indi- 
vidual shall have been ascertained by lot, your servants will forward a 
further report for your majesty's information and commands. They 
now present for imperial perusal a translation of the detailed state- 

i W. F. Mayer, Illustrationi of the Ldmaist System in Tibet, drawn from Chinese 
Sources, J.R.A.S., vi. (1872), p. 284 seq. 


ment of the miraculous signs attending the children that were dis- 
covered on inquiry. 

Detailed statement of the miraculous signs attending upon four 
children, drawn up for his majesty's perusal from the despatch of the 
chancellor reporting the same : — 

I. A-chu-cho-ma, the wife of the Tibetan named Kung-pu-tan-tseng, 
living at the Pan-je-chung post-station in Sang-ang-k'iiih-tsung, gave 
birth to a son on the 13th day of the 11th month of the year Ki-hai 
(19th December, 1839), upon a report concerning which having been re- 
ceived from the local headmen, the chancellor despatched Tsze-feng-cho- 
ni-'rh and others to make inquiry. It was thereupon ascertained that 
on the night before the said female gave birth to her child, a brilliant 
radiance of many colours was manifested in the air, subsequently to which 
the spring-water in the well of the temple court-yard changed to a milk- 
white colour. Seven days afterwards, there suddenly appeared upon 
the rock, behind the post-station, the light of a flame, which shone for 
a length of time. Crowds of people hastened to witness it, when, how- 
ever, no single trace of tire remained, but upon the rock there was 
manifested an image of Kwan Yin (Avalokita) and the characters of 
Na-mo O-mi-to-Fo (Amitabha), together with the imprint of footsteps. 
On the night when the child was born, the sound of music was heard, 
and milk dropped upon the pillars of the house. When the commis- 
sioners instituted their inquiry, they found the child sitting cross- 
legged in a dignified attitude, seeming able to recognize them, and 
showing not the slightest timidity. They placed a rosary in the child's 
hands, whereupon he appeared as though reciting sentences from the 
Sutra of Amita Buddha. In addressing his mother he pronounced the 
word A-md with perfect distinctness. His features were comely and well- 
formed, and his expression bright and intellectual, in a degree superior 
to that of ordinary children. 

In addition to the foregoing report, certificates by the local headmen 
and members of the pi'iesthood and laity, solemnly attesting personal 
knowledge of the facts therein set forth, were appended, and were 
transmitted after authentication by the chancellor to ourselves, etc., etc. 

II. Memorial drawn up on the 8th day of the 6th month of the 21st 
year of Tao Kwang (25th July, 1841), reporting the verification of the 
child in whom the re-embodiment of the Dalai Lama has appeared, the 
drawing of lots in accordance with the existing rule, and the fact that 
the entire population of Tibet, both clergy and laity, are penetrated 
with feelings of gratitude and satisfaction : upon the memorial bring- 
ing which to the imperial knowledge the Sacred Glance is reverently 

Your servants have already memorialized reporting that the em- 
bodiment of the Dalai Lama having made its appearance, a day had 
been fixed for the drawing of lots ; and they have now to state that 


they subsequently received a letter from the chancellor to the effect that 
the children had successively arrived and had all been lodged in the 
Sangha monastery at Te K'ing, to the eastward of Lassa, whereupon he 
had appointed the 21st day of the 5th month for proceeding to put 
them to the proof. On that day, accordingly, your servants proceeded 
to the Sangha monastery in company with the Panshen Erdeni, the 
chancellor, and all the kut'ukht'u, khan-pu, ko-pu-lun, etc., when it was 
ascertained by a careful inquiry into each individual case that the two 
children born respectively at Sang-ang-k'iiih-tsung and at La-kia-jih-wa 
in Tibet are both aged three years, and the two children born re- 
spectively in the tribalty of K'ung-sa in the district of Ta-tsien-lu and 
at the Tai Ning monastery are both aged four years — that their per- 
sonal appearance is uniformly symmetrical and proper, and that all alike 
display an elevated demeanour. Hereupon the Panshen Erdeni and 
his associates laid before them for recognition the image of Buddha 
worshipped by the late Dalai Lama, together with the bell-clapper, 
swinging drum, and other like articles used by him, all in duplicate, the 
genuine objects being accompanied by imitations. The children showed 
themselves capable of recognizing each individual article, without hesi- 
tation, in presence of the assembled clergy and people, who, as they 
crowded around to behold the sight, gave vent aloud to their admiration 
of the prodigy. 

A despatch was subsequently received from the . chancellor to the 
effect that the supernatural intelligence of the four children having 
been tested by joint investigation, and having been authenticated in 
the hearing and before the eyes of all, he would request that the names be 
placed in the urn and the lot be drawn on the 25th day of the 5th 
month ; in addition to which, he forwarded a list of the names bestowed 
in infancy on the four children and of the names of their fathers. 
Your servants having in reply assented to the proposed arrangement, 
masses were performed during seven days preceding the date in ques- 
tion by the hut'ukht'u and Lamas, of mount Potala and the various 
monasteries ; and, on the appointed day, the Panshen Erdeni, the 
chancellor, and their associates, followed by the entire body of Lamas, 
chanted a mass before the sacred effigy of your majesty's exalted 
ancestor, the emperor Pure, offering up prayers subsequently in devout 
silence. On the 25th day of the 5th month your servants reverently 
proceeded to mount Potala, and placed the golden vase with due devo- 
tion upon a yellow altar before the sacred effigy. After offering in- 
cense and performing homage with nine prostrations, they inscribed 
upon the slips, in Chinese and Tibetan characters, the infant-names of 
the children and the names of their fathers, which they exhibited for 
the inspection of the respective relatives and tutors, and of the 
assembled Lamas. This having been done, your servant, Haip'u, recited 
a chapter from the scriptures in unison with the Panshen Erdeni and 
the other [ecclesiastics], in presence of the multitude, and, reverently 
sealing up the inscribed slips, deposited them within the vase. The 
slips being small and the urn deep, nothing was wanting to secure per- 


feet inviolability. After the further recital of a chapter by the Pan- 
shen Erdeni and his associates, your servant, Meng Pao, inserting 
his hand within the urn upon the altar, turned the slips over and over, 
several times, and reverently proceeded to draw forth one of their 
number, which he inspected in concert with the children's relatives and 
tutors and the assembled Lamas. The inscription upon the slip was as 
follows: "The son of Tse-wang-teng-chu, Tibetan, from the Tai Ning 
monastery. Infant-name, Na-mu-kio-mu-to-urh-tsi. Present age, four 
years." The remaining slips having been drawn out and inspected 
publicly, the Penshen Erdeni, the chancellor, with the greater and 
lesser hut'ukht'u and all the attendant Lamas, exclaimed unanimously 
with unfeigned delight and gladsomeness that " by the favour of his 
imperial majesty, who has given advancement to the cause of the 
Yellow Church, the established rule has now been complied with for ascer- 
taining by lot the embodiment of the Dalai Lama, and the lot having 
now fallen upon this child — who, the son of a poor Tibetan fuel-seller, 
has manifested prodigies of intelligence, abundantly satisfying the 
aspirations of the multitude — it is placed beyond a doubt that the 
actual and genuine re-embodiment of the Dalai Lama has appeared in 
the world, and the Yellow Church has a ruler for its governance. The 
minds of the people are gladdened and at rest, and the reverential 
gratitude that inspires us humble priests is inexhaustible." After this 
they performed with the utmost devotion the homage of nine prostra- 
tions in the direction of your majesty's abode, expressing their reve- 
rential acknowledgments of the celestial favour. Your servants ob- 
served with careful attention that the gratitude not alone of the Pan- 
shen Erdeni and his attendant ecclesiastics proceeded from the most 
sincere feelings, but also that the entire population of Lessa, both clergy 
and laity, united in the demonstration by raising their hands to their 
foreheads in a universal feeling of profound satisfaction. 

The infant is taken to Lhasa at such an early age that his 
mother, who may belong to the poorest peasant class, 1 necessarily 
accompanies him in order to suckle him, but being debarred from 
the sacred precincts of Potala on account of her sex, she is lodged in 
the lay town in the vicinity, and her son temporarily at the 
monastic palace of Ri-gyal Phodan, 2 where she is permitted to 
visit her son only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. She, 
together with her husband, is given an official residence for life in 
a palace about a mile to the west of Potala and on the way to De- 
pung, and the father usually receives the rank of Kung, said to be 
the highest of the five ranks of Chinese nobility. 

1 As, for example, in the case of the eleventh Grand Lama, whose father was a 
poor fuel-seller. 

2 Another account (Mayer, loc. eit., p. 295) states that he is kept at the " Jih-kia " 
monastery to the east of Lhasa, or " Chih-ta-wang-pu." 


At the age of four the child assumes the monkish garb and ton- 
sure, and receives a religious name, and is duly enthroned at 
Potala in great state and under Chinese auspices, as shown from 
the annexed state paper : — 

" Memorial dated the 18th day of the 4th month of the 22nd year of 
Tao Kwang (27th May, 1842), reporting the conclusion of the ceremony 
of enthronement of the embodiment of the Dalai Lama 

" In obedience to these commands, Your servants proceeded on the 
13th day of the 4th month in company with the Chany-Chia Hut'uklitfu 
(the Pekin metropolitan) and the chancellor, followed by their subor- 
dinate functionaries, the hut'ukhtfu, Lamas, and Tibetan officials, to the 
monastery on mount Jih-kia, for the purpose of escorting the Dalai 
Lama's embodiment down the mountain to the town of Chih-ta-hwang- 
pu, on the east of Lassa, where his abode was temporarily established. 
Your servants, in respectful conformity with the rules for attendance 
upon the Dalai Lama, appointed detachments of the Chinese garrison 
troops to form an encampment, and to discharge the duty of body- 
guards during the two days he remained there. On the 15th, your 
servants escorted the embodiment to the monastery at mount Potala, 
where reverent prostrations were performed, and the ceremonial obser- 
vances were fulfilled before the sacred effigy of your majesty's ele- 
vated ancestor, the emperor Pure. On the 16th, your servants 
reverently took the golden scroll containing the mandate bestowed by 
your majesty upon the Dalai Lama's embodiment, together with the 
sable cape, the coral court rosary, etc., and the sum of ten thousand 
taels in silver, being your majesty's donations, which they caused to be 
conveyed upon yellow platforms to the monastery at mount Potala, and 
deposited with devout care in due order in the hall called Ta Tu Kang. 
The couch and pillows were then arranged upon the divan ; and on 
the arrival of the Dalai Lama's embodiment in the hall, your servants 
and the secretary of the Chang-chia Hut'ukht'u, reverently read out the 
golden scroll, embodying your majesty's mandate, to the perusal of 
which the embodiment listened in a kneeling posture, facing toward 
the east. After the reading was concluded, he received with venera- 
tion the imperial gifts, and performed the ceremonial of three genuflec- 
tions and nine prostrations in the direction of the imperial abode, thus 
testifying" his respectful gratitude for the celestial favours. Having 
been invested with the garments conferred by your majesty, the em- 
bodiment was supported to his seat upon the throne ; whereupon the 
chancellor, at the head of the Tibetan priesthood, intoned a chant of 
Dharani formulas, invoking auspicious fortune. All the hut'ukht'u and 
Lamas having performed obeisances, a great banquet was opened, and 
the ceremonial of enthronement was thus brought to a close. The day 
was attended by the utmost fine weather, and everything passed off 
auspiciously and well, to the universal delight of the entire body of 
clergy and laity of Lassa. This we accordingly bring to your majesty's 
knowledge ; and in addition we have to state, that as the embodiment 


of the Dalai Lama has now been enthroned, it is proper, in conformity 
with the existing rules, to cease henceforth from using the word ' em- 
bodiment.' This we accordingly append, and respectfully bring before 
your majesty's notice." * 

He is now admitted as a novice to the Nam-gyal monastery of 

Potala, and his education is entrusted to a special preceptor and 

assistants learned in the scriptures and of unblemished character. 2 

At the age of eight he is ordained a full monk and abbot of 

the Nam-gyal convent and head of the Lamaist church. 

The Dalai Lama is, as regards temporal rule, a minor till he 
reaches the age of eighteen, and during his minority a regent 
carries on the duties of temporal government. And the frequency 
with which the Dalai Lama has died before attaining his majority 
gives some support to the belief that the regents are privy to his 
premature death; and the Chinese government are usually credited 
with supporting such proceedings for political purposes. 

On the death of a re-incarnate Lama, his body is preserved. The 
tombs of the Dalai, and Pan-ch'en Lamas form conspicuous gilt 
monuments, sometimes as many as seven storeys high, named 
Ku-tuh, 3 at Potala and Tashi-lhunpo. The holiness of such a Lama 
is estimated in proportion to the shrinkage of his body after death. 
The temporal rule of Tibet is vested in a Lama who has the 
title of " king." For when Nag-waft acquired the temporal 
power he retained this title for one of his agents, also called " The 
regent," 4 and "Protector of the earth," 5 and « Governor," 6 and 
by the Mongols Nomen-Khan. 

A regent is necessary to conduct the temporal government, 
especially under the system of papal succession by re-births, where 
the new Dalai Lama does not reach his majority and nominal 
succession to temporal rule till his eighteenth yea/. In order to 
avoid plotting against the hierarchs, Nag-waft ruled that the regent 
must be a Lama, and he restricted this office to the head Lamas of 
the monastic palaces or Ling of Lhasa, named Tan-gye-ling, 7 Kun- 
de-ling, 8 Ts'e-ch'og-ling, 9 ancl Ts'amo-ling, 10 whom, he alleged, by a 

1 Mayeb, loc. cit., p, 296. 

2 The preceptor of the tenth and eleventh Grand Lamas was " Kia-mu-pa-le-i-hi-tan- 

pei'-gyam-tso." Mayer, loc cit. 
Sskumdun. * Gyal-tshab. » Sa-Kyon. e de-sid 

' bsTan-rgyas-glin. 8 Kun-'dus glin 9 Tse-mch'og gift. 

10 Ts'a-mo-glin. A Lama of this monastic palace and a member of Sera, became 
the celebrated regent Tsha-tur numa-hang ( ? "Nomen Khan "). 


polite fiction, to be re-embodiments of the spirits of the four most 
celebrated ministers of the monarchical period. Thus the spirit of 
king Sron Tsan Grampo's minister Lon-po Grar is believed to be 
incarnate in the Lama of Tan-gye-ling. The office when falling 
vacant through death (or deposition) passes cceteris paribus to the 
surviving senior of those Lings. The present regent (1893) is 
the Kun-de-ling Lama. The regent is assisted in the government l 
by four ministers called Kd-lon, 2 who were formerly all laymen, but 
now some of them are being replaced by Lamas ; also secretaries 
(Kd-dun) and district magistrates (Jon-pon). And the two 
Chinese political residents, or Am bans, 3 have administrative as well 
as consulting functions. 

With such large bodies of monks comprising so many fanatical 
elements, and not at all subject to the civil authorities, who, in- 
deed, possess almost no police, it is not surprising that fracas are 
frequent, and bloody feuds between rival monasteries occasionally 
happen. Every monastery has an armoury, and in the minor 
quarrels the lusty young monks wield their heavy iron pencases 
with serious and even fatal effect. 

Since the temporal power passed into the hands of the Lamas, 
the Tibetans who, in Sron Tsan Grampo's day, were a vigorous 
and aggressive nation, have steadily lost ground, and have been 
ousted from Yunnan and their vast possessions in eastern Tibet, 
Amdo, etc., and are now hemmed in by the Chinese into the more 
inhospitable tracts. 

1 " De-ba zhufi." 

2 bKah-blon. 

3 " Amban" is not Chinese. It is probably Manchu or Mongolian, cf. Rock., L., 51. 
The resident imperial minister of Tibet is colloquially called Chu-tsah tu-chon, and 
he is always a Manchu, that is, of the ruling race. 



SOLATIOX from the world has always been a desidera- 
tum of Buddhist monks ; not as penance, but merely 
to escape temptations, and favour meditation. The 
monastery is named in Tibetan Gon-pa, 2 vulgarly 
Gom-pa, or " a solitary place " or hermitage ; and most monas- 
teries are situated, if not actually in solitary places, at least some 
distance off from villages, while around others which were origi- 
nally hermitages villages have grown up later. 

The extreme isolation of some of the Tibetan cloisters has its 

1 After Hue. 

2 dgon-pa. The title C'og-sde, or Chol-de, a " religious place," is especially applied 
to temple-monasteries within a village or town. " Lin," or " continent," is applied to 
the four greatest monasteries of the established church especially associated with the 
temporal government, and is evidently suggested by the four great fabulous conti- 
nents of the world. gT'sug-lag-k'an' is an academy, though it is used for temples 


counterpart in Europe in the alpine monasteries amid the everlast- 
ing snows. Some of them are for the greater part of the year 
quite cut off from the outer world, and at favourable times only 
reachable by dangerous paths, so that their solitude is seldom 
broken by visitors. The monastery of Kye-lang in Little Tibet 
stands on an isolated spur about 12,000 feet above the sea, and is 
approached over glaciers, so that sometimes its votaries are buried 
under avalanches. And the site is usually commanding and pic- 
turesque. Shergol in Ladak, like so many monasteries in cen- 
tral Tibet, is set on the face of a cliff. It is " carved out of a 
honeycombed cliff, forming, with some other cliffs of the same 
description, a giant flight of stairs on the slope of a bleak moun- 
tain of loose stones. The Gompa itself is painted white, with- 
bands of bright colour on the projecting wooden gallery, so that it 
stands out distinctly against the darker rocks. There is not a 
sign of vegetation near — all round is a dreary waste of stone. 1 

Such remote and almost inaccessible sites for many of the 
convents renders mendicancy impossible ; but begging-with-the- 
bowl never seems to have been a feature of Lamaism, even when 
the monastery adjoined a town or village. 

Several monasteries, especially of the Kar-gyu sect, are called 
"caves" (hermitages) (or tah-p'u), although any caves which 
may exist accommodate only a very small proportion of the residents 
of the cloister so named. Yet many gompas, it is reported, passed 
through the state of cave-residence as a stage in their career. 
Firstly a solitary site with caves was selected, and when the monks 
by extra zeal and piety had acquired sufficient funds and influence, 
then they built a monastery in the neighbourhood. While, if the 
venture were not financially successful, the hermitage remained in 
the cave. One of these struggling cave-hermitages exists at Ri- 
kyi-sum near Pedong, in British Bhotan. Such caves, as a rule, 
are natural caverns, wholly unadorned by art, and are specially 
tenanted by the wandering ascetics named Yogacarya and Zi- 
jepa. 2 

i Mr. Knight, loe. cil., p. 127, where a picture of the monastery also is given. 

2 Under this heading come the four great caves of Sikhim hallowed as the traditii mal 
abodes of St. Padma and Lhatsiin Ch'embo, and now the objects of pilgrimage even to 
Lamas from Tibet. These four caves are distinguished according to the four cardinal 
points, viz. : — 

The North Lha-rifii&p'u, or "the old cave of God's hill." It is situated about 


The site occupied by the monastery is usually commanding and 
often picturesque. It should have a free outlook to the east to 
catch the first rays of the rising sun ; and it should be built in 
the long axis of the hill ; and it is desirable to have a lake in 
front, even though it be several miles distant. These latter two 
conditions are expressed in the couplet : — 

" Back to the hill-rock, 
And front to the tarn." 1 

The door of the assembly room and temple is cceteris paribus 
built to face eastwards. The next best direction is south-east, 
and then south. If a stream directly drains the site or is visible a 
short way below, then the site is considered bad, as the virtue of 
the place escapes by the stream. In such a case the chief entrance 
is made in another direction. A waterfall, however, is of very 
good omen, and if one is visible in the neighbourhoood, the en- 
trance is made in that direction, should it not be too far removed 
from the east. 

The name of the monastery is usually of a religious nature, 
ideal or mystic, or, like De-pung, borrowed from the name of a 
celebrated Indian monastery ; but others are merely place-names 
which are often descriptive of the site, 2 thus : — 

Tashi-Lhun-po, " The mass of glory.'' 
Sa-skya, the tawny soil. 

Min-pol-lin, " The place of perfect emancipation." 
The " HImis," monastery in Ladak is called " The support of the 
meaning of Buddha's precepts." 3 

throe days' journey to the north of Tashiding, along a most difficult path. 

This is the most holy of the series. 
The South Kah-do mil p'u, or "cave of the occult fairies.'' Here it is said is a 

hot spring, and on the rock are many footprints ascribed to the fairies. 
The East sBY/.« p'u, or "secret cave." It lies between the Tendong and Mamom 

mountains, about five miles from Yangang. It is a vast cavern reputed to 

extend by a bifurcation to both Tendong and Mainom. People go in with 

torches about a quater of a mile. Its height varies from five feet to one 

hundred or two hundred feet. 
The West bDe-ck'en p'ii, or "cave of Great Happiness." It is in the snow near 

Jongri, and only reachable in the autumn. 

1 rgyab ri brag dan mdun ri mts'o. 

2 See my "Place, River and Mountain Names of Sikhim," etc., J.A.S.B., 1891. 

3 Schlag., 179. 



San-na-cho-lin (Aug., Sangachiling) gsan, secret or occult, + snags, 
spell or magic + c'os religion + glin, a place. " The place of the 
occult mystic religion." A catholic Buddhist monastery open to all 
classes, including deformed persons, nuns, Lepchas and Limbus. 
PADMA-YAN-TSE(^4^.,Pemiongchi) = padma (pr. "pama")alotus + yah, 
perfect or pure + rise, the highest " the monastery of the sublime 
perfect lotus (-born one, i.e., Padma-sambhava) ." A monastery 
professing, we believe, only well-born, celibate, and undeformed 
monks, and especially associated with St. Padma, who is worshipped 

Ta-ka Tashi-mn {Any., Tashiding) = brag { = tag,) a rock + (Hear, white 
+ bkra-sis (pr. ta shi) glory + lding, a soaring up or elevation. 
The original name is likely to have been 'bring, pronounced " ding," 
and meaning the middle, with reference to its romantically 
elevated site between two great rivers at their junction. " The 
gompa of the elevated glorious white rock." The site, a bold high 
promontory at the junction of and between the Great Rangit and 
Katong rivers, is believed to have been miraculously raised up by 
St. Padma, and amongst other traces a broad longitudinal white 
streak in the rock is pointed out as being the shadow of that 

Pho-dan (Aug., Fadung) = p'o-ldah, a sloping ridge ; such is the site 
of this gompa and the usual spelling of the name. As, however, 
this is the " chapel royal " of the raja, it seems possible that the 
name may be p'o-bran (pr. p'o-dan) = palace, " the gompa of the 

La-bran = hla, a contraction of Lama or high-priest + bran, a dwelling. 
Here resides the hierarch or chief Lama. 

[N. B. — This is one of the very few words in which br is literally 
pronounced as spelt.] 

Dobje-lin (Ang., Darjeeling) = rdo-rje "the precious stone''* or eccles- 
iastical sceptre, emblematic of the thunder-bolt of Sakra (Indra or 
Jupiter) + glin, a place. The monastery from which DarjTling 
takes its name, and the ruins of which are still visible on observa- 
tory-hill, was a branch of the Dorjeling, usually curtailed into 
Do-ling {Ang., Dalling) monastery in native Sikhim; and to dis- 
tinguish it from its parent monastery, it was termed Ank-dii 
Dorje-ling (dhang, power + bdus, accumulated or concentrated) on 
account of its excellent situation, and powerful possibilities. 

De-t'an = De, a kind of tree (Daphne papyraceae, Wall.), from the bark 
of which x'opes and paper are made -f t'ah, a meadow = " the 
gompa of the De meadow." Here these trees are abundant. 

Ri-gon (Ang., Ringim = (rl + dgon, a hermitage = "the hermitage 
hill." It is situated near the top of the hill. 

T6-lun = rdo, a stone + lun, a valley. This valley is remarkably rocky, 
and avalanches of stones are frequent. 

Ejst-ce = dben {pr. en), a solitary place + lc'e, a tongue. A monastery 
on a tongue-shaped spur. 

THE NAMES. 2 59 

Dcjb-de = sgrub (pr. "dub"), a hermit's cell + sde, a place. "The place 
ot the nermits cell "—the oldest monastery in Sikhim, founded bv 
the pioneer missionary Lha-tsiin Ch en-bo. 

Pen-zan = p'an bliss or profit + hzan, excellent. The monastery of 
•' excellent bliss." J 

Ka-c6-pal-bi {Any. Ketsuperi) = mk% heaven + sjnjod (pr. cho) to 
accomplish or reach + dpal, noble + ri = the mona tery of "the 
noble mountain of the Garuda (a messenger of the gods) " or "of 
reaching heaven." 

MA ~W ma " nI ' a tablet inscii bed with "Om mani, etc," a Mendoh. 
• The gompa of the Mendoh "; here the gbmpa was erected near 
an old mendong. 

Se-non = Se , a sloping ridge + non, depressed. It is situated on a 
depressed sloping ridge ; and is also spelt gzigs (pr. zl), a see-er or 
behofder + mnon, to suppress ; and in this regard it is alleged that 
here St. Padma-sambhava beheld the local demons underneath and 
Kept them under. 

of "the luck ' ?id f e C " alS ° 1UCky + 8ffaii ' a ridge " " The monastei T 




= Viun, lofty + rise, summit. "The monastery of the lofty 

Xam-tse = mam, a division or district + vise. "Lofty division" one 
of the subdivisions of native Sikhim, on the flank of Tendon* It 
is probable that this is a Lepcha name from tsii = " Seat of govern- 
ment, as the site is a very old Lepcha one. 
1^-ta^ (Aug., Cheungtham)= btmn, a queen; also " respected one " 
i.e., a Lama or monk; also marriage + than, a meadow. This 
gompa is situated overlooking a meadow at the junction of the 
Lachhen and Lachhung rivers. It may mean "the meadow of 
marriage (of the two rivers)/' or " the meadow of the Lamas," or 
the meadow of Our Lady "-its full name as found in manuscript 
being btsun-mo rm-chen fan," implies that the Lamas derive its 
name from "the precious Lady (Dorje-p'ag-mo) " whose image is 
prominently displayed within the gompaf 

Kab-lin {Aug., Pawling) = rab, excellent or high + gUn, a place. This 
monastery is situated on a high cliffy ridge 

Nub-lix (Aug. Nobling) = nub, the west + gliu = "The gbmpa of the 

De kvt £?/ la ce or country." It lies on the western border of Sikhim. 

De-kyi-li. (Aug ,Dikihng) = b^-s%^d, happiness + gliu = " The place 

ctltivXn " a h araWe Slte With the beer - milIe t M 

The site chosen for a monastery must be consecrated before any 
building is begun. A chapter of Lamas is held, and the tutelary 
deity is invoked to protect the proposed building against all injury 
of men and demons. At the ceremony of laying the first stone 
prayers are recited, and charms, together with certain forms of 

s 2 


benediction (Tashi-tsig jod), together with relics, are deposited in 
a hollow stone. 1 And other rites are done. And in repairing a 
sacred building somewhat similar services are performed. 

The size of the Tibetan monasteries is sometimes immense, 
several containing from 3,000 to 10,000 monks, in this the most 
priest-ridden country in the world. The larger monasteries are 
like small towns, as seen in the original drawing of Tashi-lhunpo 
here given, with long streets of cells, two or three storeys high, 
and usually surrounding small courtyards which generally con- 
tain a shrine in the centre. The chief building is "The assembly 
hall," which, however, is practically a temple, and is considered 
under that head. 

There are always small halls for teaching purposes, as the 
monasteries serve also as colleges. But these colleges are for the 
clergy alone, as Lamas, unlike Burmese monks, are not the 
schoolmasters of the people. They teach only those who enter 
the order. And the lay populace have to be content with the 
poor tuition obtainable in a few schools (Lob-ta) conducted by 

The architecture seems to have preserved much of the mediaeval 
Indian style. Mr. Fergusson shows 2 that Nepal, in its architecture 
as well as ethnologically, presents us with a microcosm of India 
as it was in the seventh century, when Hiuen Tsiang visited 
it ; and that the Sikhim monasteries show a perseverance in the 
employment of sloping jambs (as in the Tashiding doorway), 3 
as used two thousand years ago in the Behar and early western 
caves ; and the porch of the temple at Pemiongchi shows the form 
of roof which we are familiar with in the rock examples of India. 

The architecture of the monastery resembles that of the houses 
of the wealthy Tibetans, and is often ostentatious. It has been 
described in some detail by Schlagintweit, Hue, Eockhill, 1 etc., 
as regards Tibet, and by General Cunningham and Mr. Conway as 
regards the large monasteries of Ladak. The monasteries in 
Sikhim are mean and almost devoid of any arti-ti.- interest. 

1 Schlaq., 178, who there translates the historical document on the founding of 
Bimis; Csoua's <4ra., p. 508; Cunningham's Laddi,309. 

-• Hist. L,,i. and Eastn. Arch., \>. 299, tt seq. 

■ : Figured by Hookbe, Htm. Jour. 

i See also detailed description of the bouses of the Lam. is of Eumbum in Land <</ 
1 1,, Ldmas, p. 05. 

Tashi-lhuntu Monastery. 
(From a native drawing.) 


As wood is scarce in Tibet most of the monasteries are built of 
stone or sun-dried bricks. Most have flat roofs, some are in the 
Chinese style, and -most are surmounted by the cylinders of yak- 
hair cloth crossed by a few white ribbons at right angles to each 
other, and topped by a crescent and spear, as in figures, and a 
curtain of yak-hair cloth bearing similar stripes in the form of a 
Latin cross closes the windows. In the outer Himalayas the cells 
and dormitories and other buildings cluster round the temple. 
And m the temple-monasteries, the ground floor is without win- 
dows and is generally used as a storehouse, and the upper storeys 
are reached by a staircase or an inclined beam on which notches 
are cut for steps ; and the scanty furniture is of the plainest. 

The well-known Indian name of a Buddhist monastery, namely 
Arama, or Sangharama ("the resting-place of the clergy") more 
strictly applied to the grove in which the monastery was situated 
is applied in Tibet, which is almost destitute of groves, to the' 
auditory or library of the monastery. 1 

Ch'oetex and Mendon ix Ladak.'- 

Lining the approaches to the monastery are rows of tall 

1 Cf - J^sch., D., 4. 2 After M r. Knight. 



" prayer "-flags, and several large funereal monuments — Ch'orten 
and long wall-like Mencloh monuments. 

The Ch'or- 
tens, 1 literally 
" receptacle for 
offerings," 2 are 
usually solid 
conical masonry 
structures, cor- 
responding to 
the Caityas and 
of Indian Budd- 
hism, and origi- 
nally intended 
as relic-holders; 
they are now 
mostly erected 
as cenotaphs in 
memoryof „ 

J Funereal Buddhist Monument 

Bllddha Or Of (A Ch'orten Stupa or " Tope "). 

canonized saints; and they present a suggestively funereal appear- 
ance. Some commemorate the visits of Lamaist saints ; and 
miniature ones of metal, wood, or clay often adorn 
the altar, and sometimes contain relics. 

The original form of the Caitya, or Stupa, 3 was 
a simple and massive hemisphere or solid dome 
(garbha, literally " womb " enclosing the relic) of 
masonry, with its convexity upwards and crowned 
by a square capital (tor an) surmounted by one or 
more umbrellas, symbols of royalty. Latterly they 
became more complex in form, with numerous 
plinths, and much elongated, especially in regard 
to their capitals, as seen in the small photograph 
here given. 4 

Medi.evai. Indian 

brazen Caitya. 

(from Tibet.) 

i mCh'od-r-ten. 2 Skt., Da-garbha. 

3 Cf . Hodgs., II., 30, e seq., for descriptions ; also his views about the respective 
meanings of " Caitya " a d " Stupa." 

4 In Mr. Hodgson's collection are nearly one hundred drawings of Caityas in Nepal ; 
Fehgusson's Hist. Lai. and East. Arch., 303; Feeg. and Burgess' Cavc-Ti-uijilm , 
Cunningham's Bhilsa T»/>rs, p. 12. 




The Lamaist Caityas, or Ch'ortens, are mainly of the two forms 
here shown. They generally adhere to the Indian type ; but differ 
most conspicuously in that the dome in the commonest form 
is inverted. Both have more or less elaborate plinths, and on the 
sides of the capital are often 
figured a pair of eyes, like the 
sacred eyes met with in ancient 
Egyptian, Greek, and Koman 
vases, etc., and believed to be 
connected with sun-worship. 
Above the tora/n is a bluntly 
conical or pyramidal spire, 
Cuddmani, of thirteen step- 
like segments, typical of the 
thirteen Bodhisat heavens of 
the Buddhists. This is sur- 
mounted by a bell-shaped sym- 
bol (usually copper-gilt) called 
the kcdsa, the handle of which 
forms a tapering pinnacle 
sometimes modelled after a 
small Caitya, but often 
moulded in the form of one or 
two or all of the following 
objects : a lotas - flower, a 
crescent moon, a globular sun, 
a triple canopy, which are 
finally surmounted by a 
tongue-shaped spike, repre- 
senting the jyoti or sacred light 
of Buddha. And sometimes 

round the base of the kcdsa is a gilt canopy or umbrella (catra). 1 
Many of the Lamaist Caityas are, like those of the Japanese, 
symbolic of the five elements into which a body is resolved upon 
death ; thus, as in the annexed figure, the lowest section, a solid 
rectangular block, typifies the solidity of the earth ; above it water 
is represented by a globe ; fire by a triangular tongue ; air by a 

Tibetan Ch'orten, common form. 

1 Cunningham's Bhilsa Topes, 12. 



Ch' often. 

crescent— the inverted vault of the sky, and ether by an acuminated 
circle, the tapering into space. 

A miniature Ch'orten, containing an enormous number of small 
images of Lilmaist deities, in niches and in several 
inner compartments within folding doors, is called 
"the glorious {ClrCorteri) of many doors." 1 It is 
carried about from village to village by itinerant 
Lamas for exhibition to the laity. 

In the wealthier monasteries the Ch'ortens are 
regularly white-washed. 

The Mendohs, as figured on page 261, are long 
wall-like erections sometimes over a mile in length, 
which divide the road into two lateral halves to 
allow of the respectful mode of passing it, namely, 
with the right hand to the wall. They are faced 
with blocks bearing in rudely cut characters the six- 
syllabled mystic sentence " Om mani padme hum " 
— the same which is revolved in the "prayer- 
wheels " and usually called Mani ; and its name is said to be 
derived from these, namely, Mani-don, or " The Mani-f&ced." It 
usually has a ctiorten terminating it at either end; and occa- 
sionally it contains niches to burn incense or to deposit the small 
clay funereal Caityas, 2 and also bears coarsely outlined figures of 
the three especial protecting divinities of Lamaism. 3 As it is 
a pious act to add to these " Mani " slabs, a mason is kept at the 
larger temples and places of special pilgrimage, who carves the 
necessary number of stones according to the order and at the 
expense of the donating pilgrim. 

The small cairns, surmounted by a few sticks, to which rags 
are attached by passers by as offerings to the genius loci, like 
the "rag-bushes " of India, are called Lab-ch'a, and figured at page 

As with all sacred objects, these monuments must always be 
passed on the right hand, 4 according to the ancient custom of 
showing respect. And thus, too, it is that the prayer-cylinders 
must always be turned in this direction. 

In addition to the foregoing objects, there is frequently found in 


dkarma-sarim. :; The Rig-sum gon-po. 



the vicinity of the monastery a stone seat called a " throne " for 
the head Lama, when he gives al-fresco instruction to his pupils. 
One of the reputed thrones of the founder of Sikhim Lamaism 
exists at the Pemiongchi Ch'orten, where the camp of visitors is 
usually pitched. 

There is no regular asylum for animals rescued from the 
butchers, to save some person from pending death ; but occasion- 
ally such ransomed cattle are to be found in the neighbourhood 
of monasteries where their pension-expenses have been covered by 
a donation from the party cured. The animals have their ears 
bored for a tuft of coloured rags as a distinctive and saving mark. 

In Sikhim not far from most monasteries are fertile fields of 
mumva (Eleushie corocana), from which is made the country beer, 
a beverage which the Sikhim and Bhotanese monks do not deny 

Over 3,000 monasteries are said to be in Tibet. But be- 
fore giving a short descriptive list of some of the chief monas- 
teries of Lamadom it seems desirable to indicate the chief pro- 
vinces into which Tibet is divided. 1 

Tibet is divided into three sections, namely : — 

1. Pod or "Tibet" proper, or the provinces of U and Tsang, 
hence the name " Weitsang " applied to Tibet by the Chinese. 

2. High (or Little) Tibet, or the northern provinces of Tod, 
Nari, and Khor-sum. 

3. Eastern Tibet, or the provinces of Kham, Do, and Gang. 

In Tibet proper the central province of U and the western one of 
Tsang have their capitals at Lhasa and Tashil-hunpo respectively. U 
contains the districts of Gryama (and Kongbu, including Pema- 
Koi), Di-gung, Tsal-pa, Tsang-po, Che'-va, Phag-du, Yah-sang, and 
Yaru-dag, including the great Yamdok lake. Tsang comprises 
the districts of north and south L6-stod, Grurmo, Ch'umig, S'ang, 
and S'alu. 

Little Tibet is divided into the three circles of sTag-mo Ladvags 
(" Ladak "), Mang-yul S'ang Shum, Gruge Burang ("Purang"), 

1 The best vernacular account of the geography of Tibet is contained in the 
Dsam-ling Gye-she of Lama, Tsan-po Noman Khan of Amdo, and translated by 
Saeat, J.A.S.B., 1887, p. 1, seq. ; Csoma, J.A.S.B., 1832, p. 123. For scientific 
geography, see Markham's Tibet, Indian Survey Reports, Prejvalsky, Rockhill, etc. 
D'Anvili.e's map of 1793, compiled on data supplied by Lamas, is still our chief 
authority for a large portion of Tibet. 


comprising the districts of Purang, Mang-yul Sangs-dKar, hCh'i- 
va, bLas'a, sBal-te, Shang-shung, upper and lower Khrig-se, 
East Nari includes Dok-t'al and lake Manasarovar. The Ladak 
and Balti districts of west Nari were conquered by Kashmir in 
1840 and are now British dependencies. Ka-che, sometimes used 
synonymously with Kashmir, includes the lofty northern steppes 
and the gold fields of Thog-Jalung. 

Eastern Tibet is the most populous- section of the country. The 
greater part of the low-lying Do province (Amdo) seems to have 
been detached from Tibet by the Chinese about 1720. The south- 
eastern province of Kham borders on Assam and upper Burma, 
and includes the districts of Po, Lhari-go. The Gang province 
consists mostly of high bleak ridges, Pombor, Tsawa, and 'Tsa- 
Ch'u. The northern Tsai-dam, comprising many marshes between 
Nan-sban and Altentagh mountains, is peopled by Tanguts and 

The chief monasteries of central Tibet are : — 

Sam-yas, which as the first monastery founded in Tibet, deserves first 

Its full title is " bSam-yas Mi-'gyur Lhun-gyis grub-pal Tsug-lug- 
K'aii " or " The academy for obtaining the heap of unchanging 

The explorer Nain Singh resided in this monastery in 1874 and has 
given a good account of it. It is situated (N. lat. 29° 20', E. long. 
91° 26, altitude about 11,430ft.) about thirty miles to the S.E. of 
Lhasa, near the north bank of the Tsang-po river amidst hillocks of 
deep sand, clothed with scanty herbage. It was built about 74 by 
Thi-Sroh Detsan with the aid of the Indian monks, Padma-sambhava 
and Santa-rakshita, after the model of the Udandapur, 1 temple- 
monastery of Bihar. But the building is believed to have been alto- 
gether miraculous, and an abstract of the legend is given underneath. 2 

1 For some details see Sarat, in J. Budd. Texts. Ind., i., p. 4, seq. 

2 To consecrate the ground and procure supernatural workers St. Padma made the 
magic-circle of rDo-r je-P'ur-pa with coloured stone-dust, and having the K'ro-wo of 
the five kinds, and all the necessary offerings arranged in his presence, he worshipped 
for seven days. Then the five Jinas (Dhyani Buddhas, Gyal-wa-rigs-lna) appeared 
to him, and the king, being empowered, also saw the faces of these five. Then the 
Guru created several incarnations of himself, some of whom entered the Mandala, 
while some flew up into the sky. These incarnations caused the Tibetan devils to 
bring stones and wood from the hills and rivers, and thus the foundation of bSam-yas 
academy was begun. Human beings built it by day, while the devils worked at it by 
night, and so the great work rapidly progressed. 

When the king saw the great piles of gathered wood he was surprised and was 

SAM-YAS. 267 

Part of the original building yet remains. The monastery, which 
contains a large temple, four large colleges, and several other buildings, 
is enclosed by a lofty circular wall about a mile and a half in circum- 
ference, with gates facing the cardinal points, and along the top of the 
wall are many votive brick chaityas, of which the explorer, Nain Singh, 
counted 1,030, and they seemed to be covered with inscriptions in 
ancient Indian characters. In the centre of the enclosure stands the 
assembly hall, with radiating cloisters leading to four chapels, facing 
at equal distances the four sides of the larger temple. This explorer 
notes that " the idols and images contained in these temples are of pure 
gold, richly ornamented with valuable cloths and jewels. The candle- 
sticks and vessels are nearly all made of gold and silver." And on 
the temple walls are many large inscriptions in Chinese and ancient 
Indian characters. In the vestibule of the chief temple, to the left of 
the door, is a colossal copy of the pictorial Wheel of Life. 

The large image of "Buddha," over ten feet high, seems to be called 
" the Sam-yjis Jing " (Samyas Gval-po). 

The library contains many Indian manuscripts, but a great number 
of these were destroyed at the great fire about 1810 a.d. 

In a temple close by among the sand is a celebrated chamber of 
horrors, built of large boulders, and containing gigantic figures of the 
twenty-five Gon-po demons. The images are made of incense, and are 
about twenty feet high, of the fiercest expression, and represented 
as dancing upon mangled human corpses, which they are also devour- 
ing. And great stains of blood are pointed out by the attendants as 

awestruck, and asked the Guru to explain. The Guru thereon made the Mandate of 
the " Five," and worshipping for seven days, the Five transformed themselves 
into five kinds of Garuda birds, which were visible to the king. And at that very time 
the Guru himself became invisible, and the king saw in his stead a great garuda hold- 
ing a snake in his clutches and beak ; but not seeing the Guru, the king cried out in 
fear. Then the garuda vanished and the Guru reappeared beside him. The country 
to the south of Samye was then, it is said, inhabited by the savage "kLa-klo " tribes, 
which the Tibetans, through their Indian pandits, termed Nagas (cognate with those 
of the Brahmaputra valley). The next day, a Naga, having transformed himself into 
a white man on a white horse, came into the presence of the king and said, " O king ! 
How much wood do you need for building Sam-yas ? as I will supply you with all you 
want." On being informed of the requirements, the Naga collected wood to an 
enormous extent. 

The building of the Sam-ye academy (gtsug-lag- k'an) swallowed up the wealth 
of the king. So the Guru, accompanied by the king and his ministers, went to the 
bank of Mal-gro lake, and keeping the ministers concealed in a small valley, the 
Guru began to make a Mandala of the "Five " and worshipped for seven days, after 
which Avalokita sinhada, with Amitabha on his head, stood at each of the four direc- 
tions, where dwell the four gods of the Five. On this the Nagas of the depths 
became powerless, and the Guru, addressing them, said, "The wealth of my kin a 
being exhausted, I have come to ask wealth." Next day the banks were found lined 
with glittering gold, which the Guru caused the ministers to carry off to the palace 
On this account all the images of gods at Sam-yas are made of solid gold, and of a 
quality unequalled in any part of our world of Jambudvip. 


the fresh stains of bodies which the demons have dragged to the place 
during the previous night. 

We have already referred to the miraculous account of the building 
of this monastery, which is said to rest upon Raksha fiends. On 
account of the peculiar safety imparted to the locality by the spells of 
the wizard priest, Padma-sambhava, the Tibetan government use the 
place as a bank for their reserved bullion and treasure, of which fabu- 
lous sums are said to be stored there. 

Although it is now presided over by a Sa-kya Lama, the majority of 
its members are Nih-ma. 

Gsh-ldan, the monastery founded by Tsoh-K'a-pa, is one of the four 
great Ge-lug-pa or established church monasteries, the others being 
De-pung, Sera and Tashi-lhunpo. 

Its full name is dGah-ldan rNam-par Gyal-wahi glin, or the Continent 
of completely victorious happiness. 

This monastery stands enthroned on the db An-K'or hill, about 
twenty-five miles E. N.E. of Lhasa. Its founder, Tsoh-K'a-pa, raised it 
to a high pitch of fame and filled it with costly images. The chief 
object of veneration is the grand tomb of Tson-K'a-pa, which is placed in 
the Tsug-la-k'ah. It is a lofty mausoleum-like structure of marble 
and malachite, with a gilded roof. Inside this outer shell is to be seen 
a beautiful Ch'orten, consisting of cube pyramid and surmounting cone, 
all said to be of solid gold. Within this golden casket, wrapped in fine 
cloths, inscribed with sacred Dharani syllables, are the embalmed 
remains of the great reformer, disposed in sitting attitude. Other 
notable objects here are a magnificent representation of Cham-pa, the 
Buddha to come, seated, European fashion, on a throne. Beside him 
stands a life-sized image of Tsoii-K'a-pa, in his character of Jam-pal 
Nin-po, which is supposed to be his name in the Galdan heavens. A 
rock-hewn cell, with impressions of hands and feet, is also shown as 
Tson-K'a-pa's. A very old statue of S'inje, the lord of Death, is much 
reverenced here ; every visitor presenting gifts and doing it infinite 
obeisance. The floor of the large central chamber appears to be 
covered with brilliant enamelled tiles, whilst another shrine holds an 
effigy of Tson-K'a-pa, with images of his five disciples (Shes-rab Sen-ge, 
K'a-grub Ch'os-rje, etc.) standing round him. The library contains 
manuscript copies of the saint's works in his own handwriting. 1 ' 

Unlike the other large Ge-lug-pa monasteries, the headship of Gah- 
ldan is not based on hereditary incarnation, and is not, therefore, a 
child when appointed. He is chosen by a conclave from among the 
most scholarly of the monks of Sera, De-pung, and this monastery. The 
late abbot became ultimately regent of all Tibet. The number of in- 
mates here is reckoned at about 3,300. 

De-puno ('bras-spuiis), the most powerful and populous of all the 
monasteries in Tibet, founded in and named after the great Indian- 
Tantrik monastery of "The rice-heap" (SrI-Dhanya Kataka) in 

i Abstract from Survey Reports, etc., by Rev. G. Sandberg. 


Kaliiiga and identified with the Kalacakra doctrine. It is situated 
about three miles west of Lhasa, and it contains nominally 7,000 l 
monks. It is divided into four sections clustering round the great 
cathedral, the resplendent golden roof of which is seen from afar. It 
contains a small palace for the Dalai Lama at his annual visit. Many- 
Mongolians study here. In front stands a stiipa, said to contain the body 
of the fourth Grand Lama, Yon-tenn, who was of Mongolian nationality. 

Its local genii are the Five nymphs of long Life (Ts'erin-ma), whose 
images, accompanied by that of Hayagriva, guard the entrance. And 
effigies of the sixteen Sthavira are placed outside the temple door. In 
its neighbourhood is the monastery of Na-Ch'uii, the residence of the 
state sorcerer, with a conspicuous gilt dome. 

Ser-ra, or " The Merciful Hail." 2 It is said to have been so named 
out of rivalry to its neighbour, " The rice-heap " (De-pung), as hail is 
destructive of rice, and the two monasteries have frequent feuds. In 
connection with this legend there is also exhibited here a miraculous 
" Phurbu," or thunderbolt sceptre of Jupiter Pluvius. 

It is romantically situated about a mile and a half to the north of 
Lhasa, on the lower slopes of a range of barren hills named Ta-ti-pu, 
famous for silver ore, and which surround the monastery like an 

Its monks number nominally 5,500, and have frequently engaged in 
bloody feuds against their more powerful rivals of De-pung. The Indian 
surveyor reported only on the idols of the temple. He says : " They 
differ in size and hideousness, some having horns, but the lower parts 
of the figures are generally those of men." Hue gives a fuller descrip- 
tion : " The temples and houses of Sera stand on a slope of the moun- 
tain-spur, planted with hollies and cypresses. At a distance these 
buildings, ranged in the form of an amphitheatre, one above the other, 
and standing out upon the green base of the hill, present an attractive 
and picturesque sight. Here and there, in the breaks of the mountain 
above this religious city, you see a great number of cells inhabited by 
contemplative Lamas, which you can reach only with difficulty. The 
monastery of Sera is remarkable for three large temples of several 
storeys in height, all the rooms of which are gilded throughout. 
Thence the name from ser, the Tibetan for 'gold.' In the chief of 
these three temples is preserved the famous tortche, which, having 
flown through the air from India, is the model from which all others, 
large and portable, are copied. The tortche of Sera is the object of great 
veneration, and is sometimes carried in procession to Lhasa to receive 
the adoration of the people." This " dorje," or rather "phurbu," is 
what is called a Tam-din-phurbu, and is said to have originally be- 
longed to an Indian sage named Grub-thob mdah-'phyar. It was 
found on the hill in the neighbourhood named P'urba-Ch'og, having 
flown from Indin. In the 12th month of every year (about the 27th 

Lama U.G., lot: eii, p. 34, says 10,000. 

This word is usually spelt ser, aud seems never to be spelt gSer, or ' 


day) it is taken out of its casket and carried in state to Potala, where 
the Dalai Lama puts it to his head. It is thereafter carried by a high 
official of Sera monastery to the Chinese Amban, the governors (Shape) 
and the regent, all of whom touch their heads with it. Afterwards 
thousands throng to Sera to receive its holy touch on their heads as a 
defence against all evil and spells. 

In the great assembly hall is a huge image of Avalokita with eleven 

Tashi-lhunpo (bkra-s'is Lhun-po), or the " Heap of Glory," the 
headquarters of the Pan-ch'en Grand Lama, who to some extent shares 
with the Lhasa Grand Lama the headship of the church. Its general 
appearance will be seen from the foregoing plate on page 260, from a 
native drawing. The monastery forms quite a small town, and not 
even Lamas other than established church can stay there over-night. 
It is well known through the descriptions of Bogle, Turner, etc. It is 
situated near the south bank of the Tsang-po, at the junction of the 
Nying river, in 89° 7 ' E. long., 29° 4' 20" N. lat., and altitude, 11,800 
feet (Markh., xxvii.). This celebrated establishment has been long 
known to European geographers as " Teeshoo Loombo." 

Mr. Bogle describes it l as being built on the lower slope of a steep 
hill (Dolmai Ri, or hill of the goddess Tara). The houses rise one over 
another ; four churches with gilt ornaments are mixed with them, and 
altogether it presents a princely appearance. Many of the courts are 
flagged with stone, and with galleries running round them. The alleys, 
which are likewise paved, are narrow. The palace is large, built of 
dark-coloured bricks, with a copper-gilt roof. It is appropriated to the 
Lama and his officers, to temples, granaries, warehouses, etc. The rest 
of the town is entirely inhabited by priests, who are in number about 
four thousand. Mr. Bogle also describes the interior of several of the 
state rooms and temples. On the top of mount Dolmai Ri is a stone 
cairn, where banners are always fluttering, and where, on high festivals, 
huge bonfires are set ablaze. The lay capital of the province, Shigatse, 
lies on the upper ridges to the N.E. of this hill, hardly a mile from 
this, the ecclesiastical capital. 

The lofty walls enclosing the monastic town are pierced by five gate- 
ways. Over the eastern gate has been placed, in large carved letters, 
a prohibition against smoking within the monastic precincts. The 
western gateway seems to be regarded as the main entrance. So, enter- 
ing the monastic premises there, you find yourself in a sort of town, 
with lanes lined by lofty houses, open squares, and temples. 

In the centre of the place is the grand cathedral or assembly hall. 
Its entrance faces the east. Its roof is supported by one hundred 
pillars, and the building accommodates two to three thousand monks 
seated in nine rows on rugs placed side by side on the floor. The four 
central pillars, called the Ka-ring, are higher than the rest, and support 
a detached roof to form the side skylights through which those seated 
in the upper gallery can witness the service. The rows of seats arranged 

Mark., p. 96. 



to the right side of the entrance are occupied by the senior monks, such 
as belong to the order of Kigch'en, Pharch'enpha, Torampa, Kah-c'an, 
etc. The seats to the left side are taken up by the junior monks, such 
as Oe-ts'ul and apprentice monks, etc., of the classes called Dura and 

The court around it is used by the monks for religious dances and 
other outdoor ceremonies. Round the space are reared the halls of the 
college, four storeys in 
height, provided with 
upper-floor balconies. 
North of these buildings 
are set up in a line the 
huge tombs of deceased 
Pan-ch'en Lamas. The 
body of each is em- 
balmed and placed with- 
in a gold-plated pyramid 
raised on a tall marble 
table, and this structure 
stands within a stone 
mausoleum, high and 
decorated with gilt 
k a nj i r a and small 
cylinder-shaped finials 
made of black felt. One 
of these tombs is much 
bigger than the rest. It 
is that of Pan-ch'en Er- 
teni, who died in 1779. 

There are four con- 
ventual colleges at- 
tached to Tashi-lhun- 
po, all of which receive 
students from every part 
of Tibet, who are in- 
structed in Tantrik rit- 
ual, and learn large 
portions of that divi- 
sion of the scriptures. 
The names of these 
colleges are Shar-tse 
Ta-ts'an, Nag-pa Ta- 
ts'an, Toi-sam Lin, and 

Kyil-k'ah Ta-ts'ah. Each of these institutions has an abbot, who is the 
tiil-iva, or avatar of some bygone saint ; and the four abbots have 
much to do with the discovery of the infant successor to a deceased 
Pan-ch'en, or head of the monastery. From these abbots, also, one 

Tomb of Tashi Lama. 1 

i After Turner. 


is selected to act as the prime minister, or chief ecclesiastical adviser 
in the government of Tsang. The most imposing building of the 
monastery is the temple and hall of the ISTag-pa Ta-ts'an, known as 
the " iSTagk'an," which is the chief college for mystic ritual in Tibet. 
Another college, the Toi-san-lih, stands at the extreme northern apex 
of the walls, some way up the slope of the Dolmai-Ri hill. 

Hard by the last-named premises, is to be observed a lofty building 
of rubble-stone, reared to the amazing height of nine storeys. This 
edifice, which forms a very remarkable object on the hill-side, was 
sketched by Turner, who visited Tashi-lhunpo one hundred years ago, 
and his drawing of it is here annexed on opposite page. It is called 
Go-Ku-pea, or " The Stored Silken Pictures," as it is used to exhibit 
at certain festivals the gigantic pictures of Maitreya and other Buddhist 
deities, which are brought out and hung high up as great sheets out- 
side the walls of the tall building. By the vulgar it is styled Kiku 
Tamsa. It is used as a storehouse for the dried carcases of sheep, 
goats, and yak, which are kept in stock for feeding the inmates of the 
monastery. A wide-walled yard fronts the Kiku Tamsa, and this space 
is thronged by a motley crowd when (as is the custom in June and 
November) the pictures are exhibited. 

The number of monks generally in residence at Tashi-lhunpo is said 
to be 3,800. The division into wards and clubs has already been re- 
ferred to. 

The head of the whole monastic establishment resides in the building 
called 6La-brang, or " The Lama's palace." 

Nam-gyal Ch'oi-de is the monastery-royal of the Grand Lama on the 
red hill of Potala, where the Dalai Lama holds his court and takes part 
in the service as a Bhikshu, or common monk. 

Bamo-ch'e and Karma kya monasteries, within Lhasa, are, as already 
noted, schools of sorcery, and the latter has a printing house. 

" Desherip-gay " (elevation 12,220 feet), a monastery two miles from 
the fort of Chamnam-ring in northern Tsang, is subordinate to Tashi- 
lhunpo, where the Grand Tashi Lama was resident at Bogle's visit on 
account of the smallpox plague at his headquarters. Bogle describes 
it as " situated in a narrow valley, and at the foot of an abrupt and 
rocky hill . . . two storeys high, and is surrounded on three 
sides by rows of small apartments with a wooden gallery running round 
them, which altogether form a small court flagged with stone. All the 
stairs are broad ladders. The roofs are adorned with copper-gilt orna- 
ments, and on the front of the house are three round brass plates, 
emblems of Om, Han (? Ah), Hoong. The Lama's apartment is at the 
top. It is small, and hung round with different coloured silks, views 
of Potala, Teshu Lumbo, etc." ' 

Jan-lache, a large monastery on the upper Tsang-po, in long. 87° 
38' E. ; elevation 13,580 feet. It is eighty-five miles above Tashi- 
lhunpo. 2 

i Markham, op. eit., p. 82. 2 Markham's Tib., p. xxvii. 



The "(to-Ku-i'ea " ou "Kiku-Tamsa." Tower at Tashi-lhcnpoj 

After Turner. 


Chamnamrix (Nam-lin), in the valley of the Shing river, a 
northern affluent of the Tsang-po, 12,220 feet, seen and visited by Mr. 

Dorkya LUGu-DON, on the bank of the great Tengri-nor lake. 

Ra-deng (Ra-sgren), north-east of Lhasa, a Ka-dam-pa monastery, 
founded in 1055 by Brom-ton, Atlsa's pupil. 

Sa-kya (Sa-skya) " Tawny-soil," is about 50 miles north of Mount 
Everest, 48 miles east from Shigatse,and 30 miles from Jang-lache; E.long. 
87° 54', lat. 28° 53' . This monastery gives its name to the Sakya sect, 
which has played an important part in the history of Tibet. A consider- 
able town nestles at the foot of the monastery. The foundation of the 
monastery and its future fame are related to have been foretold by the 
Indian sage, Atisa, when on his way to central Tibet, he passed a rock, 
on the present site of the monastery, on which he saw the mystic Om 
inscribed in " self -sprung," characters. Afterwards this establishment 
became famous as a seat of learning and for a time of the priest-king. 

It is said to contain the largest single building in Tibet, — though the 
cathedra] at Lhasa is said to be larger. It is seven 1 storeys in height, and 
has a spacious assembly hall known as " the White Hall of Worship." 
It is still famous for its magnificent library, containing numerous unique 
treasures of Sanskrit and Tibetan literature, unobtainable elsewhere. 
Some of these have enormous pages embossed throughout in letters of 
gold and silver. The monastery, though visited in 1872 by our ex- 
ploring Pandit No. 9, and in 1882 by Babu Sarat Candra Das, remains 
undescribed at present. The Sakya Lama is held to be an incarna- 
tion of the Bodhisat Manjusrl, and also to carry Karma, derivable 
from Sakya Pandita and St. Padma. 

The hall of the great temple, called 'P'rul-pahl Lha-k'an, has four 
enormous wooden pillars, Ka-wa-miii ches zhi, of which the first pillar 
is white, and called Kar-po-zum-lags, and is alleged to have come from 
Kongbu ; the second yellow, Ser-po zum-lags, from Mochu valley ; the 
third red, Marpo Tag dzag, from Nanam on Nepal frontier ; and the 
fourth pillar black, Nak-po K'un-shes, from Ladak. These pillars 
are said to have been erected by K'yed-'bum bsags, the ancestor of the 
Sikhim king. 

Ting-ge is a very large Ge-lug-pa monastery to the north of Sakya and 
west of Tashi-lhunpo. 

Phuntsholing (p'un-ts'ogs-gliii) monastery, formerly named ?-Tag- 
6rten by Taranatha, who built it in his forty-first year, was forcibly 
made a Ge-lug-pa institution by the fifth grand Lama, Nag-wan. 

It is situated on the Tsangpo, about a day's journey west of Tashi- 
lhunpo, and one mile to the south-west of it is Jonang, which has a very 
large temple said to be like Budh^Gaya, and, like it, of several'storeys 
and covered by images ; but both it and Phuntsholing are said to have 
been deserted by monks and now are occupied by nuns. 

Sam-ding (bsam-ldin ch'oinde). It lies in N. lat 28° 57' 15", and E. 

t De-pung and the larger monasteries in Tibet have several much smaller buildings 
distributed so as to form a town. 


long 90° 28 . Altitude, 14,512 feet. An important establishment, note- 
worthy as a monastery of monks as well as nuns, presided over by a 
female abbot— the so-called re-incarnate goddess already referred to ' 
Ihis august woman is known throughout Tibet as Dorje-Faq-mo, or 
the diamond sow' j the abbesses of Samding bein- held to be 
successive appearances in mortal form of the Indian goddess Vaira- 

Tw ,2S PreS ? nt f car ^ ation of this goddess is thirty-three years 
old (in 1889) ; and is described as being a clever and capable woman, 
with some claim to good looks, and of noble birth. She bears the name 
of JNjag-iban Punch en Kun-foah-mo cZbAh-mo, signifying « The most 
precious power of speech, the female energy of all good "). Under thi- 
lady the reputation which Samding has long enjoyed for the good morals 
ot both monks and nuns has been well maintained. Among other rules, 
the inmates are forbidden to lend out money or other valuables on interest 
to the rural folk, usurious dealings being commonly resorted to by the 
monastic orders. It is said to be of the Sfih-ma sect. The monastery 
was founded by one Je-tsun T'inle Ts'oma, a flower of the philosophy 
of Po-don Pyog Legs Nam-gyal, whose writings, to the amazing extent 
hbmi eighteen volumes, are treasured up in the monastic 

^I a T d ° k - lal ^ ei '! 1 rem f ka ? ef0r its SC( >rpionoid shape, the grotesque 
shaped semi-island anchored to the main shore by two necks of land. 
Samding is itself placed on the main shore at the juncture of the 
northern neck. Being built on a conical hill, it appears to be guarding 
the sacred island from intrusion. The monastery stands like a f ortress 
on the summit of the barren hill some 300 feet above the level of the 
surrounding country. Huge flags of stone are piled in ascending steps 
up this hill, and a long low wall mounts beside them like a balustrade. 
At the top of the steps, a narrow pathway conducts to the foot of the 
monastery which is circled by a high wall. Samding is finely 
placed. To the N E. it fronts the dark and precipitous mountain ■ 
spurs which radiate from the lofty central peak of the islands. To the 
B.B. it looks over the land towards the illimitable waters of the weird 
and mighty lamdok herself. To the S. it frowns down on the Dumo 
Tso the inner lake betwixt the connecting necks of land above- 
mentioned into which are cast the bodies of the defunct nuns and 
monks, as food for fishes. 

On entering the gates of the monastery, you find yourself in an 

Srfrr^'ttl 011 three SideS h ? the eventual buildings. 
Part of the fourth side of the parallelogram is occupied by a kind of 
grand-stand supported on pilasters of wood. Ladders with broad steps 
cased in brass, give admission to the first floor of the main building 
Here in a long room are ranged the tombs of celebrities connected in 
past times with Samding including that of the founder, T'inle Ts f omo 
Th .latter tomb is a richly ornamented piece of workmanship, plated 
with gold and studded with ewels. At the base, on a stone slab is 
marked the reputed footprint of the saint. In' a private ^strongl" 
1 See page 245. 

T 2 


barred chamber, hard by to which no one may be admitted, are laid the 
dried mortal remains of all the former incarnations of Dorje P'ag-mo. 
Here, in this melancholy apartment, will be one day placed the body of 
the present lady abbess, after undergoing some embalming process. To 
the grim charnel-house, it is considered the imperative duty of each 
incarnate abbess to repair once, while living, to gaze her fill on her 
predecessors, and to make formal obeisance to their mouldering forms. 
She must enter once, but only once, during her lifetime. 

Another hall in this monastery is the dus-k'an, the walls of which 
are frescoes illustrative of the career of the original Dorje P'ag-mo. 
There, also, have been put up inscriptions recording how the goddess 
miraculously defended Samding, when, in the year 1716, it was beset 
by a Mongol warrior, one Yung Gar. When the Mongol arrived in 
the vicinity of Yamdok, hearing that the lady abbess had a pig's head 
as an excrescence behind her ear, he mocked at her in public, sending 
word to her to come to him, that he might see the pig's head for him- 
self. Dorje P'ag-mo returned no angry reply, only beseeching him 
to abandon his designs on the monastery. Burning with wrath, the 
warrior invaded the place and destroyed the walls ; but, entering, he 
found the interior utterly deserted. He only observed eighty pigs and 
eighty sows grunting in the du-khang under the lead of a bigger sow. 
He was startled by this singular frustration of his project ; for he could 
hardly plunder a place guarded only by hogs. When it was evident 
that the Mongol was bent no longer on rapine, the pigs and sows were 
suddenly transformed into venerable-looking monks and nuns, headed 
by the most reverend Dorje P'ag-mo; as a consequence, Yung Gar, 
instead of plundering, enriched the place with costly presents. 

A certain amount of association is permitted between the male and 
female inmates of this convent, who together number less than 200. 
Dorje P'ag-mo retains one side of the monastic premises as her private 
residence. It is asserted by the inmates that the good woman never 
suffers herself to sleep in a reclining attitude. During the day she may 
doze in a chair, during the night she must sit, hour after hour, wrapt 
in profound meditation. Occasionally this lady makes a royal progress 
to Lhasa, where she is received with the deepest veneration. Up in 
northern Tibet is another sanctuary dedicated to Dorje P'ag-mo. This 
convent also stands on an islet situated off the west shore of the great 
lake, 70 miles N.W. of Lhasa, the Nam Ts'o Ch'yidmo, and is much 
akin to Samding, comprising a few monks and nuns under an abbess. 
At Markula, in Lahul, is a third shrine of the goddess. 1 

Di-kung ('bri-gun) about one hundred miles N.E. of Lhasa, is one 
of the largest Kar-gyu-pa monasteries. It is said to receive its name, 
the "she- Yak," from the ridge on which it is situated, which is shaped 
like the back of a yak. It was founded in 1166, by the son of the 
Sakya Lama, Koncho Yal-po. 

Abstract of Sarat's Report, by Rev. G. Sandberg. 


Mindolling (smin grol-glih), close to the S. of Samye, a great Nih-ma 
monastery, sharing with Dorje Dag, not far off, the honour of being 
the supreme monastery of that sect. It lies across the Tsangpo from 
Sam-yiis in the valley of the Mindolling river, the water of which turns 
numerous large prayer-wheels. Its chief temple is nine storeys high, 
with twenty minor temples with many " beautiful images " and books. 
A massive stone stairway forms the approach to the monastery. 

Its chief Lama is a direct descendant of the revelation-finder 
Dag-lin. The succession is by descent and not by re-incarnation. 
One of his sons is made a Lama and vowed to celibacy, another 
son marries and continues the descent, and in like manner the suc- 
cession proceeds, and has not yet been interrupted since its institu- 
tion seventeen generations ago ; but should the lay-brother die without 
issue the Lama is expected to marry the widow. The married one is 
called #Dun-pa or " the lineage." The body of the deceased Lama is 
salted and preserved. The discipline of this monastery is said to be 
strict, and its monks are celibate. A large branch of this monastery 
is Na-s'i, 1 not far distant from its parent. 

Dorje-dag, between Sam-yiis and Lhasa, is a headquarters of the 
Unreformed Lamas. It has had a chequered history, having been de- 
stroyed several times by the Mongols, etc., and periodically restored. 

Pal-ri (dpal-ri), a Nin-nia monastery between Shigatse and Gyangtse, 
where lives the pretended incarnation of the Indian wizard, L6-pon 

Shalu monastery, a few miles E. of Tashi-lhunpo. Here instruction 
is given in magical incantations, and devotees are immured for years in 
its cave-hermitages. Amongst the supernatural powers believed to be 
so acquired is the alleged ability to sit on a heap of barley without dis- 
placing a grain ; but no credible evidence is extant of anyone display- 
ing such feats. 

Gtxrct ch'o-wan, in Lhobrak, or southern Tibet, bordering on 
Bhotan. This monastery is said by Lama U. G. 2 to have been built 
after the model of the famous monastery of Nalanda in Magadha. 
The shrine is sui^rounded by groves of poplars, and contains some im- 
portant relics, amongst others a stuffed horse of great sanctity (belong- 
ing to the great Guru) which is called Jamlih-nin-k'or, or " the horse 
that can go round the world in one day." 3 Observing that the horse 
was bereft of his " left leg," U. G. enquired the cause, and was told 
how the leg had been stolen by a Khamba pilgrim with a view of 
" enchanting " the ponies of Kham. The thief became insane, and his 
friends took him to the high priest of the sanctuary for advice, who 
instantly divined that he had stolen some sacred thing. This so 
frightened the thief that the leg was secretly restored, and the thief 
and his friends vanished from the place and never were seen again. 

i U. G., he. cit., p. 26. 

2 Lac. cit., p. 23. 

3 Compare with the sacred horse of Shintoism, etc. 


The upper Lhobrak is well cultivated ; barley, pea, mustard, wheat, 
and crops of rape were noticed by U. G., surrounding the monastery of 
Lha Lung. With some difficulty he obtained permission to see the 
sacred objects of the monastery, whose saintly founder, Lha Lung, has 
three incarnations in Tibet. One of them is the present abbot of the 
monastery, who was born in Bhotan, and is a nephew of the Paro 
Penlo. The monastery is well endowed by the Tibetan government, 
and rituals are encouraged in it for the suppression of evil spirits and 

Sang-kar Gu-t'ok, also in the Lhobrak valley, has one hundred 
monks, and is a small printing establishment. 1 

Kar-ch'u, also in the Lhobrak valley, said 2 to be one of the richest 
monasteries in Tibet, and to contain many bronzes brought from 
Magadha in the Middle Ages. Pilgrims carry off from here the holy 
water which percolates into a sacred cave. 

Gyan-tse, on the Painom river, east of Tashi-lhunpo. Its monastery 
is named Palk'or Ch'oide. Its hall is reported by Lama Ugyan Gya-ts'o 
to be lit by 1,000 lamps. In lofty niches on the three sides, N., 
E., and W. (implying evidently that the entrance is on the S.), are 
placed "three huge images of Buddha — Jam-yang, Chanrassig, and 
Maitreya," copper-gilt. Here also he notes " stone images like those 
at Buddha Gaya. In the lobby is a collection of stuffed animals, 
including tigers." 

The foregoing are all in the U and Tsang provinces. In Kham, in 
eastern Tibet, are many large monasteries, the largest of which are 
perhaps Derge and Ch'ab-mdo (Chiamo), with about 2,000 monks and 
large printing press. 

Derge (sDe-sge), at the town of that name, and capital of one of the 
richest and most populous of Tibetan provinces, containing " many Lama- 
serais of 200 or 300 monks, some indeed of 2,000 or 3,000. Each family 
devotes a son to the priesthood. The king resides in a Lamaserai of 
300 monks." 3 

Other large monasteries of eastern Tibet are Karthok and (?) Ri- 
wochce on the I^ul river, under the joint government of two incar- 
nate abbots. 

In southern Tibet in the district of Pema Kod (map-name Pema- 
koi) are the monasteries of Dorje-yu (founded by Terton Dorje-thokmi), 
Mar-pun Lek-puh (built by Ugyen Dich'en-lin-pa), Mendeldem, 
Phu-pa-ron, Kon-dem, Bho-lun, C'am-nak, Kyon-sa, Narton, Rinc'h- 
ensun (built by Ugyen Doduliii-pa, the father of Dich'en-lih-pa), Tsen- 
c'uk, Gya-pun, Gilin, and Demu, which are all Nih-ma, except Chamnak 
and Demu, which are Ge-lug-pa, and all except the last are on the 
west or right bank of the Tsangpo river, and the number of monks in 
each is from ten to thirty. Amongst the chief shrines are Horasharki 
Ch'orten, Mendeldem's shrine, and " Buddu Tsip'ak." 

i Explorer R.N.'s account (S.R., 1889, p. 50). ~ Lama Ugyen Gya-ts'o, loc. rib, 25. 
3 Baber, Suppl. Papers, R. Geog. Socij. ; see also Rockhill, L., 184, etc., 96. 



In China proper there seem to be no truly Lamaist monasteries of 
any size except at Pekin and near the western frontier. The Pekin 
monastery is called "everlasting peace" (Yun-ho Rung), and is main- 
tained at the imperial expense. 1 Its monks, over 1,000 in number are 
almost entirely Mongolian, but the head Lama, a re-incarnate abbot, 
and Ins two chief assistants, are usually Tibetans of the De-pung, Sera 
and Gah-ldan monasteries, and appointed from Lhasa. The abbot' 
who is considered an incarnation of Rol-pa-dorje, already figured,' 
lives within the yellow wall of the city, and near by is the°grea 
printing house called "Sum-ju Si," where Lamaist books are printed 
in libetan, Chinese, and Mongolian. In the chief temple " the 


fnd c lo?hPd h if ° f BU(Wha ' SeVeU P fGet ^ ric % ornamented 
and clothed holding an enormous lotus in each hand, and with 
the traditional jewel on his breast. In each section of his huge gold 

Z°I? " T 1 ! Euddha ' aS Perfect and as ™ h ornamente^as g the 
peat one. His toe measured twenty-one inches. On each side of him 
hung a huge scroll seventy-five feet long, bearing Chine e character^ 
and a series of galleries, reached by several flights °of stai^su^dTd 

Net h™ T eSS1 ° n °i hlS g reat br ° DZe face was Angularly lofty. 
Neai by were two magnificent bronze lions and a wonderful bronze urn : 
many temples filled with strange idols hung with thou ands of ilk 
hangings, and laid with Tibetan carpets ; all sorts of bronze and 

Edkin's Relig. in China, 65. 

2 After Hue. 



enamel altar utensils, presented by different emperors, among them 
two elephants in cloisonne ware, said to be the best specimens of such 
work in China, and the great hall, with its prayer-benches for all the 
monks, where they worship every afternoon at five." 

Another celebrated monastery is the Wu-tai or U-tai-shan, "The 
five towers" in the north Chinese province of Shan-si, and a cele- 
brated shrine. 

The great monastery of Kubum (Kumbum), in Sifau. lies near the 
western frontiers of China. It is the birth-place of St. Tsoh-K'a-pa, 
and has been visited and described by Hue, Rockhill, etc. Its photo- 


graph by Mr. Rockhill is here by his kind permission given. Its 
Mongolian name is T'a-erh-ssu. 3 

Here is the celebrated tree, the so-called "white sandal" (Syringa 
Villosa, Vahl), which the legend alleges to have sprung up miracu- 
lously from the placental blood shed at Tson-K'a-pa's birth. Its leaves 
are said to bear 100,000 images, hence the etymology of the name of 
the place (sKu-'fann). The image markings on the leaves are said to 
represent " the-Tathagata of the Lion's Voice " (Sen-ge Na-ro), but Hue 
describes the markings as sacred letters. 4 

Newspaper Acct., 18i>0. 

After Rockhill. 

Rockhill, /., 57 said to mean " the Great Tent (Tabernacle) " 

Cf. also ibid., 58, etc. 


Hue's account of it is as follows : " At the foot of the mountain on 
which the Liimaserai stands, and not far from the principal Buddhist 
temple, is a great square enclosure, formed by brick walls. Upon 
entering this we were able to examine at leisure the marvellous tree, 
some of the branches of which had already manifested themselves above 
the wall. Our eyes were first directed with earnest curiosity to the 
leaves, and we were filled with absolute consternation of astonishment 
at finding that, in point of fact, there were upon each of the leaves 
well-formed Tibetan characters, all of a green colour, some darker, 
some lighter, than the leaf itself. Our first impression was suspicion 
of fraud on the part of the Lamas ; but, after a minute examination of 
every detail, we could not discover the least deception, the characters 
all appeared to us portions of the leaf itself, equally with its veins and 
nerves, the position was not the same in all ; in one leaf they would be 
at the top of the leaf ; in another, in the middle ; in a third, at the 
base, or at the side ; the younger leaves represented the characters 
only in a partial state of formation. The bark of the tree and its 
branches, which resemble those of the plane-tree, are also covered with 
these characters. When you remove a piece of old bark, the young 
bark under it exhibits the indistinct outlines of characters in a 
germinating state, and, what is very singular, these new characters are 
not unfrequently different from those which they replace. We 
examined everything with the closest attention, in order to detect some 
trace of trickery, but we could discern nothing of the sort, and the 
perspiration absolutely trickled down our faces under the influence of 
the sensations which this most amazing spectacle created. 

" More profound intellects than ours may, perhaps, be able to supply 
a satisfactory explanation of the mysteries of this singular tree ; but, 
as to us, we altogether give it up. Our readers possibly may smile at 
our ignorance ; but we care not so that the sincerity and truth of our 
statement be not suspected." J 

The large temple (Jo-wo-k'ah) is described by Rockhill. 2 


In Mongolia the chief monastery is at Urgya-Kuren, on the Tula 
river in the country of the Khalkas, about forty days' journey west of 
Pekin, and the seat of a Russian consul and two Chinese ambassadors. 
It is the seat of the Grand Lama, who is believed to be the incarnate 
historian, Lama Taranatha, and he is called Je-tsun Tamba, as detailed in 
the chapter on the hierarchy, and its monks are said to number over 
14,000, and during the great new year festival over 20,000 are present. 
It contains twenty-eight colleges (sGgra-ts'ah). 

The monastery is named Kurun or Kuren, and is described by Hue. 
The plain at the foot of the mountain is covered with tents for the use 
of the pilgrims. Viewed from a distance, the white cells of the Lamas, 

1 Hue, ii., p. 53. 2 Rockhiix, Z., 66. 


built on the declivity in horizontal lines one above the other, resemble 
the steps of an enormous altar, of which the temple of Taranatha 
Lama appears to constitute " the tabernacle." Hue says it contains 
30,000 monks ! 

Kuku Khotun, or " blue city," near the northern bend of the Yellow- 
river, is said by Hue to have formerly been the seat of Jetsun-Dam-pa. 
It contains five monasteries with about 20,000 Lamas. 


In south Siberia, amongst the Buriats, near the Baikal lake, a large 
monastery is on a lake thirty versts to the north-west of Selinginsk, 
and the presiding monk is called the K'an-po Pandita, and claims to be 
a re-incarnate Lama. 1 


The Kalmak Tartars on the Volga have only temporary, nomadic 
cloisters and temples, that is to say tents, in which they put up their 
holy pictures and images, and celebrate divine service. Such temporary 
cloisters are called " Churull," and consist of two different sorts of tents 
or Jurten (Oergo), the assembly hall of the clergy (Churullun-Oergo) 
and of the gods and image hall (Schitani or Burchaniin-Oergo). Some 
of these Ghurulls contain a hundred priests. 


He-mi (or " Himis " of survey map). This fine old monastery is 
situated about 11,000 feet above the sea-level, in a lateral ravine that 
joins the Indus, a day's journey (eighteen miles SSE.) above Leh, on 
the left bank of that river. From its secluded position this was one of 
the few monasteries which escaped destruction on the invasion of the 
country by the Dogras under Wazir Gerawar, who ruthlessly destroyed 
much Lamaist property, so that more interesting and curious objects, 
books, dresses, masks, etc., are found at Himis than in any other 
monastery in Ladak. It was built by sTag-stan-ras-ch'en, and its 
proper title is Ch'an-ch'ub sam-lin. 

The " Himis-fair,'' with its mask plays, as held on St. Padma-sam- 
bhava's day in summer, is the chief attraction to sight-seers in Ladak. 
This Lamasery is at present still the greatest landowner in Ladak, and 
its steward one of the most influential persons in the country. The 
Lamas seem to be of the Nin-rna sect (according to Marx 2 they are 
Dug-pa, but he appears to use Dug- pa as synonymous with Red cap 
sect). To the same sect also belongs Ts'en-re and sTag-na. A fine 
photograph of this monastery is given by Mr. Knight, 3 and one of its 
courts is shown in his illustration of the mystic play reproduced at p. 528 

" The principal entrance to the monastery is through a massive door, 
from which runs a gently sloping and paved covered way leading into a 

i Koppen, oj). cit. 2 Loc.eit., 133. 3 When Thy, Empires Meet. 

IN LADAK. 283 

courtyard about 30 x 40 yards square, having on the left hand a narrow 
verandah, in the centre of which stands the large prayer-cylinder 
above mentioned. The larger picturesque doorway, the entrance of one 
of the principal idol rooms, is in the extreme right hand corner, massive 
brass rings affixed to large bosses of brass are affixed on either door, the 
posts of which are of carved and coloured woodwork. The walls of the 
main building, with its bay windows of lattice work, enclose the court- 
yard along the right hand side, the roof is adorned with curious cylin- 
drical pendant devices made of cloth called " Thook " ; each surmounted 
with the Trisool or trident, painted black and red. On the side facing 
the main entrance the courtyard is open, leading away to the doorways 
of other idol rooms. In the centre space stand two high poles " Tur- 
poche," from which hang yaks' tails and white cotton streamers printed 
in the Tibetan character. Innumerable small prayer-wheels are fitted 
into a hitch that runs round the sides of the courtyard. A few large 
trees throw their shade on the building, and above them tower the 
rugged cliffs of the little valley, topped here and there by Lhatos, small 
square-built altars, surmounted by bundles of brushwood and wild sheep 
horns, the thin sticks of the brushwood being covered with offerings of 
coloured flags printed with some mantra or other. 1 

Lama-Yur-ru, elevation about 11,000 feet. 2 Said to be of the Di- 
kung sect, as also the monasteries of sGah-noh and Shan. 

The name Yur-ru is said to be a corruption of Yun-drun — the 
Svastika or mystic fly-foot cross. 

Tho-ling or Tho'lding (mt'o-glih), on the upper Sutlej (in map of 
Turkistan it is Totlingmat, " mat " = " the lower," i.e. lower part of the 
city). It has a celebrated temple in three storeys, said by some to be 
modelled after that of Budha Gaya, and the Sham-bha-la Lam-jjig con- 
tains a reference to this temple : " It had been built (a.d. 954, Schl.) by 
the Lo-tsa-wa Ein-zah-po. The Hor (Turks?) burnt it down, but at 
some later date it was rebuilt, and now, in its lowest compartment, it 
contains the ' cycle of the collection of secrets.' " Adolph von 
Schlagintweit visited it. 3 

Theg-Ch'og is a sister-Lamasery to He-mi, north of the Indus, in a 
valley which opens out opposite He-mi. Che-de, vulg. Chem-re (survey 
map : Chim-ray) is the name of the village to which the Lamasery 

Kor-dzogs in Ladak, 16,000 feet above the sea (J.D., 11). Tik-za 
(Thik-se) is said (Marx) to be a Ge-Man (?Ge-lug-pa) monastery, as also 
those of Sah-kar (a suburb of Leh), Likir and Bi-dzoh. It is pictured 
by Mr. Knight. 3 

Wam-le (or " Han-le ") in Rukshu, a fine Lamasery figured by 
Cunningham. It is about 14,000 feet above sea level. Its proper 
name is De-ch'en, and it was built by the founder of the one at Hemi. 

Masho is affiliated to Sa-skya. 

1 Godwin-Austen, he. cit., p. 72. 2 Marx, loc. cit. ; Cunningham, et. al. 

3 See Results of Scientific Mission. 


Spi-t'ug, Pe-tub, or " Pittuk " (sPe-t'ub), a Lamasery and village on 
the river Indus, five miles south-west of Leh. The Lamas belong to 
the " Ge-ldan-pa " order of Lamas. The Lamasery has an incarnated 

Sher-gal, figured by Knight, loc. cit., p. 127. 

Kilang (Kye-lan) in British Lahul, romantically situated near 
glaciers, at an elevation of about 12,000 feet. 

Gu-ge, where several translations were made over 800 years ago, and 
still of repute for printing and for its elegant manuscripts. 

Kanum, in Kunaor or Kanawar, where Csoma studied. Also Dub-lin, 
Poyi, and Pangi. 

In Nepal there appear to be no Lamaist monasteries of any size, 
at least in the lower valleys. At the principal Buddhist shrines in 
that country a few resident Lamas are to be found. 


In Bhotan the largest monasteries are Tashi-ch'o-dsong and Pun-t'an 
or 1 " Punakha" (spun-t'an bde-ch'en), each, it is usually said, with over 
1,000 monks, though according to other accounts, under 500. 

Tashi-ch'o-dson (bKra-shis ch'os rdson), or "The fortress of the 
glorious religion," forms the capital of Bhotan and the residence, at 
least in summer, of the Grand Laina of Bhotan — the Dharma Raja and 
Deb Raja. It has been visited and described by Manning, Bogle, 
Turner, 1 Pemberton, 2 etc. 

The other chief monasteries in Bhotan, all of the Duk-pa sect, the 
established church of the country, are : dbU-rgyan rtso, Ba-kro 
(Pato or Paro) 'Bah, rTa-mch'og rgan, Kra-ha-li, Sani-'jin, K'a Ch'ags- 
rgan-K'a, Ch'al-p'ug. Of these the first three were formerly Kart'og-pa. 
In British Bhotan there are a few small monasteries, at Kalimpong, 
Pedong, etc. 


In regard to Sikhim, as my information is complete, I give it in 
detail in tabular form on opposite page. 

In addition to the monasteries in this list are several religious build- 
ings called by the people yompas, but by the Lamas only " temples " 
(Lha-k'a/l), such as De-than, Ke-dum, etc. 

The oldest monastery in Sikhim is Dub-de, founded by the pioneer 
Lama, Lhatsiin Ch'embo. Soon afterwards shrines seem to have been 
erected at Tashiding, Pemiongchi, and Sang-na-ch'b-ling over spots conse- 
crated to the Guru, and these ultimately became the nuclei of monas- 

1 Bogle and Turner in 1774 and 1783. Markham,o/7. 

2 In ] 837-38. Op. cit. 



teries. As the last-named one is open to members of all classes of 
Sikhimites, Bhotiyas, Lepchas, Limbus, and also females and even 
deformed persons, it is said that the monastery of Pemiongchi was 

List of Monasteries in Sikhim. 


Map Name. 

"Vernacular Name. 

Meaning- of the Name. 

"a to 


■° 3 


Sanga Chelling 

gsan nags ch'os 

The place of secret spells .. 






Tlie hermit's cell 




Pemiongchi ... 

pad-ma yantse 
btsan-mk'ar ... 

The sublime perfect lotus.. 





The Tsen's house 





bkra-s'is-ld 11 

The elevated central glory 






The suppressor of intense 

f ear 




Rinchinpong . . . 

rin-ch'en spuns 

The precious knoll 














Ram thek 


A Lepcha village name . . . 






The chapel royal 




Cheungtong ... 

The meadow of marriage 

(of the two rivers) 




Ketsuperri . . . 

mk'a spyod 

The noble heaven-reach- 

dpal ri 

ing mountain 
The large plain 










The stony valley 






The high strong place 
The excellent banner, or 






good bliss 






The Kartok (founder of a 

■ ^ 







" The stony site," or the 
place of the " Dorjel- 

ing " revelation-finder .. 





gyan sgaii 

" The cliffy ridge," or "the 
lucky ridge " 






The Lama's dwelling 





pon-po sgah . . . 

The Bon's ridge 





The lofty summit 











Hermitage hill 






A Lepcha village name .. 








The big pass 











The uplifted limb 





'p'ags rgyal . . . 

The sublime victor 






The western place 






The sky-top 










A Lepcha village name .. 




designed, if not actually built, by Lha-tsiin as a high-class monastery 
for orthodox celibate monks of relatively pure Tibetan race. Pemiong- 
chi still retains this reputation for the professedly celibate character 
and good family of its monks ; and its monks alone in Sikhim enjoy 
the title of ta-san or " pure monk," and to its Lama is reserved the 
honour of anointing with holy water the reigning sovereign. 

The great majority of the monasteries in Sikhim belong to the Lha- 
tstin-pa sub-sect of the Jfm-ina, only Namchi, Tashiding, Sinon, and 
T'ah-moch'e belong to the ISTa-dak-pa sub-sect, and Kar-tok and Doling 
to the Kar-tok-pa sub-sect of the same. All the Nin-ma monasteries are 
practically subordinate to that of Pemiongchi, which also exercises 
supervision over the Lepcha convents of Ling-t'am, Zimik, and P'ag- 
gye. Lepchas are admissible to Rigon as well as Sang-na-ch'6ling. 

Nuns are admitted to a few monasteries in Sikhim, but their 
number is extremely small, and individually they are illiterate. 

The names of the monasteries, as will be seen from the transla- 
tions given in the second column of the table, are mostly Tibetan, 
and of an ideal or mystic nature ; but some are physically de- 
scriptive of the site, and a few are Lepcha place-names, which are 
also of a descriptive character. 

A Lamaist Cairn. 
Lab-ch'a, afterHue. 

\\ • --->—- -- ^p-^-j^ : -r - / 



N primitive Buddhism the temple had, of course, no place. 
It is the outcome of the theistic development with its 
relic-worship and idolatry, and dates from the later 
and impurer stage of Buddhism. The Lamaist temple 
is called " God's house" (Lha-Fah). 

It is usually the central and most conspicuous building in the 
monastery, and isolated from the other buildings, as seen in the 
foregoing illustrations. The roof is surmounted by one or two 
small bell-shaped domes of gilt copper ' ; if a pair, they are 
placed one on either end of the ridge, and called jira 2 ; if a solitary 
one in the middle of the ridge, it is called " the banner." 3 They 
are emblematic of the royal umbrella and banner of victory. At 
the corners of the roof are erected cloth cylinders called gebi.* The 
building is often two storeys in height, with an outside stair on 
one flank, generally the right, leading to the upper flat. In front is 
an upper wooden balcony, the beams of which are rudely carved, also 
the doors. The orientation of the door has already been noted. 

In approaching the temple-door the visitor must proceed with 
his right hand to the wall, in conformity with the respectful 
custom of pradakshina widely found amongst primitive people. 5 
In niches along the base of the building, about three feet above 
the level of the path, are sometimes inserted rows of prayer-barrels 

i See pp. 271 and 273. 

2 Spelt "kfijira," (?) from the Skt., kanca, golden. 

3 rgyal-mts'an. 

* Gebl— cylindrical erections from three feet high and about a foot wide to a greater 
size, covered by coiled ropes of black yak-hair and bearing a few white bands trans- 
verse and vertical, and when surmounted by a trident are called (Tub-Jar. 

5 The Romans in circumambulating temples kept them to their right. The Druids 
observed the contrary. To walk around in the lucky way was called Deasll by the 
Gaels, and the contrary or unlucky way withershins or widdersinnis by the lowland 
Scotch. See Jamieson's Scottish Did. ; R. A. Aemsteong's Gaelic Did., p. 18i; Ckooke's 
Xntrod. ; Rockhill. L., p. 67. 



which are turned by the visitor sweeping his hand over thern as 
he proceeds. 

The main door is approached by a short flight of steps ; on as- 
cending which, the entrance is found at times screened by a large 

curtain of yak-hair hung 
from the upper balcony, 
and which serves to keep 
out rain and snow from the 
frescoes in the vestibule. 

Entering the vestibule, 
we find its gateway 
guarded by several fear- 
ful figures. 1 These usually 
are — 

1. The tutelary demon 
of the ground, usually a 
red devil (Tsiin) a brawny- 
limbed creature of elabor- 
ate ugliness, clad in skins, 
and armed with various 
weapons, and differing in 
name according to the 
locality. 2 

2. Especially vicious de- 
mons or dii minores of a 
more or less local char- 
acter. Thus, at Pemi- 
ongchi is the Gyal-po 
S'uk-den with a brown 
face and seated on a white 
elephant. He was form- 
erly the learned Lama Sod-nams Grags-pa, who being falsely 
charged with licentious living and deposed, his spirit on his death 
took this actively malignant form and wreaks his wrath on all who 
do not worship him — inflicting disease and accident.' 1 

i Compare with description of Chinese Budd. temples by Errsx, Lects. on BvdMitm. 
» Thus the local devil of Ging temple near Darjiling is called" The Entirely Victorious 

Thus the Local devil of (xingtempl 
Soaring Religion" (Ch'os-ldin rnam-rgyal). 

» Compare with the malignant ghost 
Sarit Sugar a, .... 388, 511 

,f Brahmans in India. Cf . Tawnbt's Zatha 



3. A pair of hideous imps, one on either side, of a red and bluish- 
black colour, named S'em-ha Marnak? who butcher their victims. 


Guardian King of the West. 
( Virupaksha.) 

4. Here also are sometimes portrayed the twelve Tan-ma — the 
aerial fiendesses of Tibet, already figured, who sow disease and who 
were subjugated by St. Padma. 

Confronting the visitor in the vestibule are the four colossal 

i vKi-hafi. 


images (or frescoes) of the celestial kings of the Quarters, who 
guard the universe and the heavens against the attacks of the 
Titans and the outer demons, as described at page 84. They are 
clad in lull armour and are mostly of defianl mien, as seen in their 
figures over the page and at pages 83 and 330. Two are placed 
on each side of the doorway. 

Sometimes the guardian of the north is given a yellow, and the 
guardian of the south a green, complexion, thus suiting the com- 
plexion of the guardians to the mythic colours of the cardinal 
points. They are worshipped by the populace, who credit them 
with the power of conferring good luck and averting the calamities 
due to evil spirits. And in the vestibule or verandah are also 
sometimes displayed as frescoes the Wheel of Life and scenes 
from the Jatakas or former births of Buddha ; and here also 
may be figured the sixteen great saints or Sthavira (Arha/na or 
" Rahans " 

In the smaller temple- which possess no detached chapels for 
larger prayer-barrels, one or more huge prayer-barrels are >' j t at 
either end of the vestibule, and mechanically revolved by lav- 
devotees, each revolution being announced by a lever striking a 
bell. As the bells are of different tones and are -truck alternately, 
they form at times a not unpleasant chime. 

The dour Is of massive proportions, sometimes rudely carved 
and ornamented with brazen bosses. It opens in halves, giving 
entry .direct [y to 1 he temple. 

Such grand cathedrals as those of Lhasa will be described 
presently. Meanwhile let us look at a typical temple of ordinary 
size. The temple interior i- di\ [ded by colonnade- into B nave and 
aisles, and the nave is terminated by the altar — generally as in the 
diagram-plan here annexed. The whole oft lie interior, in which- 
ever direction the eye turn-, i- a ma-- of rich colour, the wall- to 

right and left being decorated by frescoes of deities, saints, and 

demon-, 1 1 1 . . - 1 1 \ of life-size, but in no regular order; and the 
Imams are mostly painted red. picked out with lotus rosettes and 

1 Kor their descriptions and titles se< p. 876 Amongst the common scenes also re* 

I here are "The Barmonious Four " (mt'un-pa mam b'ri), ;i happy family, 

of an elephant, monkey, rabbit, and parrol ; and the long-lived Bag< iin- 

»-'<•- rim u it 1 1 in- deer, comparable to the Japanese (P)«/it-rd, one of the seven genii •>( 

i Luck, .ma the long-lived hermit, & 



other emblems. The brightest of colours are used, but the general 
effect is softened in the deep gloom of the temple, which is dimly 
lit only by the entrance door. 

Above the altar are placed three colossal gilt images in a sitting . 
attitude, "The Three Rarest Ones," as the Lamas call their trinity; 
though none of the images are considered individually to represent 

Diagrammatic Ground-plan of a Temple in Sikhim. 

1. Fresco of local demon. 

2. Fresco of Ki-kang Mar-nak devils. 

3. Fresco of guardian kings of quarters. 
■4. Prayer-barrels. 

5. Station of orderlies. 

6. Table for tea and soup. 

7. Seat of the provost. 

8. Seat of the water-giver. 

9. Seats of monks 

10. Seat of abbot or professor. 

11. Seat of choir-leader. 

12. Seat of king or visitant head Lama. 

13. Site where lay-figure of corpse is laid for 


14. Head Lamas' tables. 

15. Idols. 

the two other members of the Tri-ratna or " Three Gems,'' 
namely Dharma or Sangha. The particular images of this triad 

u 2 


depend on the sect to which the temple belongs ; fjtdkya Muni is 

often given the central position and a saint (Tsoh K'a-pa or Padma- 

sambhava) to the left of the spectator and Avalokita to the right. 

Particulars and figures of the principal of these idols are given 

in the chapter on images. 

Sakya Muni is figured of a yellow colour with curly blue hair, 

and often attended by standing figures of his two chief disciples, 

Maugdalayana on his left and Sariputra on his right, each with an 

alarm-staff and begging-bowl in hand. In the temples of the 

unreformed sects, St. Padma-sambhava and his two wives are 

given special prominence, and many of these images are regarded 

as " self-sprung : " 

"No hammers fell, no ponderous axes rung ; 
Like some tall palm the mystic fabric sprung." 1 

But even this order of the images is seldom observed. Most 
frequently in the Ge-lug-pa temples Tsoh K'a-pa is given the 
chief place, while in Nih-ma it is given to the Guru, and this is 
justified by the statement put into his mouth that he was a second 
Buddha sent by Sakya Muni specially to Tibet and Sikhim, as 
Buddha himself had no leisure to go there. Sometimes Sakya's 
image is absent, in which case the third image is usually the 
fanciful Buddha of Infinite Light, Amitdbha, or Amitdyus, the 
Infinite Life. In many sectarian temples the chief place is 
given to the founder of the particular sect or sub-sect. 

Ranged on either side of this triad are the other large images 
of the temple. Though in the larger fanes the more demoniacal 
images, especially the fiendish " lords "and protectors of Lamaism, 
are relegated to a separate building, where they are worshipped 
wit li bloody sacrifices and oblations of wine and other demoniacal 
rites inadmissible in the more orthodox Buddhisi building. Some 
of such idol-rooms are chambers of horrors, and represent some of 
the tort uivs supposed to be employed in hell. 

The alleged existence of images of Grorakhnath in Tashiding, 
Tumlong, and other Sikhini temples 8 is quite a mistake. No such 
Lmage LB known. The name evidently intended was " Guru 

1 Bkbbr's Palutitu . 

i Cakpbi m. ./. i 8 /••., L849; Hookbb, Sim. Jours., i.. 823; ii., p. 195; SirR. Twcpi >-. 
212; Sir M. \\ m i iamb, BuddMsm, p. 190. 


The large images are generally of gilded clay, and in Sikhim the 
most artistic of these come from Pa-to or " Paro" in Bhotan. A 
few are of gilded copper and mostly made by Newaris in Nepal. 
All are consecrated by the introduction of pellets of paper inscribed 
with sacred texts as detailed in the chapter on the pantheon. 

Amongst the frescoes on the walls are displayed numerous 
Lamaist saints and the pictorial Wheel of Life, though this last is 
often in the vestibule. 

There are also a few oil-paintings of divinities framed, like 
Japanese Kakemonos, in silk of grotesque dragon-patterns with a 
border, arranged from within outwards, in " the primary " colours 
in their prismatic order of red, yellow, and blue. Some of these 
pictures are occasionally creditable specimens of art. 

The seats for the several grades of officials and the Lamaist 
congregation are arranged in definite order. The general plan of 
a small temple interior is shown in the foregoing diagram. Along 
each side of the nave is a long low cushion about three inches high, 
the seat for the monks and novices. At the further end of the 
right-hand cushion on a throne about 2h feet high sits the abbot 
or professor (Borje Lu-pon), 1 the spiritual head of the monastery. 
Immediately below him, on a cushion about one foot high, is his 
assistant, who plays the si-hen cymbals. Facing the professor, and 
seated on a similar throne at the farther end of the left-hand 
cushion, is the Um-dse 2 or chief chorister or celebrant, the 
temporal head of the monastery ; and below him, on a cushion 
about one foot high, is the deputy chorister, who plays the large 
ts'ogs-rol or assembly-cymbals at the command of the Um-dse, 
and officiates in the absence of the latter. At the door-end of the 
cushion on the right-hand side is a seat about one foot high for the 
provost-marshal, who enforces discipline, and on the pillar behind 
his seat hangs his bamboo rod for corporal chastisement. During 
the entry and exit of the congregation he stands by the right side 
of the door. Facing him at the end of the left-hand cushion, but 
merely seated on a mat, is the water-man. 

To the left of the door is a table, on which is set the tea and 
soup which is to be served out, by the unpassed boy-candidates, 
during the intervals of worship. 

1 rdo-rje slob-dpon. - dbU-mdsad. 



To the right front of the altar stands the chief Lama's table, 1 
about two-and-a-half feet in length, and one foot in height, and 
often elaborately carved and painted with lotuses and other sacred 
symbols, as figured at page 215. Behind it a cushion is placed, 
upon which is spread a yellow or blue woollen rug, or a piece of a 
tiger or leopard skin rug, as a seat. The table of the abbot or 
professor contains the following articles in the order and position 
shown in this diagram : — 

The other two monks who are 
allowed tables in the temple are 
the chief chorister or celebrant 
and the provost -marshal. The 
chief chorister's table faces that 

. . „ . of the abbot, and contains only a 

1. Magic rice-offering of universe. . * 

2. Saucer with loose rice (Ch'cn-chi holy water vase, bell, dor/e and 
or ne-sd) for throwing in sacrifice. the large cymbals. The table of 

3. Small hand-drum. the p rovos t stands in front of 

5. S^V-sceptre. the seat of that officer > near the 

6. Vase for holy-water. door, and contains an incense- 

goblet (sang-bur), a bell aaddorje. 

At the spot marked " 13" on the plan is placed the lay-figure 
of the corpse whose spirit is to be withdrawn by the abbot. At 
the point marked " 12" is set, in all the larger temples in Sikhim, 
the throne of the king, or of the re-incarnated Lama — the "pro- 
tecting lord"' 2 — when either of them visits the temple. 

On each pillar of the colonnade is hung a small silk banner with 
five flaps, 3 and others of the same shape, but differently named, 4 
are hung from the roof, and on each side of the altar is a large 
one of circular form."' 

5 4 3 2 1 


The altar occupies the upper end of the nave of the tempi.- ; 
and on its centre is placed, as already mentioned, the chief image. 

i m dum I '-' Kyab-mgon. Ka-'p'an. 

> Ba-dan ' p'ye-p'ur, ' mch'od s'ain. 



Above the altar is suspended a large silken parasol, 1 the 

ffifflnali i. 

.- ra 

ftpjWS^ ' 

Altar (domestic) of a S t in-ma Lama. 

oriental symbol of royalty, which slightly revolves in one or 

other direction by the ascending currents of the warm air from 

1 dug. 



the lamps. And over all is stretched a canopy, called the 
"sky" 1 on which are depicted the thunder dragons of the sky. 
The altar should have at least two tiers. On the lower and 
narrow outer ledge are placed the offerings of water, rice, cakes, 
flowers and lamps. On the higher platform extending up to the 

images are placed the 
m usical instrument s and 
certain other utensils 
lor worship, which will 
be enumerated pre- 

In front of the altar, 
or sometimes upon the 
altar itself, stands the 
temple-lamp, 2 a short 
pedestalled bowl, into 
a socket in the centre 
of which is thrust a 
cotton wick, and it is 
fed by melted butter. 
As the great mass of 
butter solidifies and re- 
mains mostly in this 
state, the lamp is prac- 
tically a candle. The 
size varies according to 
the means and the 
number of the temple 
votaries, as it is an act 
of piety to add butter 
to this lamp. One is 
necessary, but two or 
more are desirable, and 
on special occasions 108 or 1,000 small lamps are offered upon 
the altar. Sometimes a cluster of several lamps form a small 
candelabrum of the branching lotus-flower pattern. 

-Il,|| |;| V , i,| Till'' r 

The Rice-.l/«t< </"/". 

' „„„,-, i.<i : bul its more honorific titi< 
s mch'od-skon. 




Below the altar stand the spouted water-jug 1 for rilling the 
smaller water-vessels, a dish to hold grain for offerings, 2 an incense- 
holder, and a pair of flower-vases. And on the right (of the 
spectator) on a small stool or table is the magic rice-offering, 
with its three tiers, daily made up by the temple attendant, and 

symbolic of an offering of all the continents and associated islands 
of the world. 

The ordinary water and rice-offerings are set in shallow brazen 
bowls, 3 composed of a brittle alloy of brass, silver, gold and 
pounded precious stones. Their number is five or seven, usually 
the former. Two out of the five or seven bowls should be filled with 
rice heaped up into a small cone ; but as this must be daily re- 
newed by fresh rice, which in Tibet is 
somewhat expensive, fresh water is 
usually employed instead. 

Another food-offering is a high, 
conical cake of dough, butter and 
sugar, variously coloured, named tormd 
or z'al-ze, that is, "holy food." It 
is placed on a metal tray supported by 

a tripod. To save expense a painted \\\ \ (jjj) / (() \ ,J^ 
dummy cake is often substituted. 

Upon the top of the altar are also 
usually placed the following objects, 
though several of them are special to the more demoniacal worship : 

1. A miniature funereal monument. 4 

Sacred Cakes. 

1 ch'ab-bum. 2 nas bzed. a mch'od tin. 

1 ch'orten. In the room in which worship is done there must be present these three 
essential objects : sku-</sum (Skt., Trihhjd) (a) an image, (b) a ch'orten, and (c) a 
holy book, which are symbolic of " the Three Holy Ones." In the early Indian caves 
this triad seems to have been represented by (?) a Gaitya for Buddha, and a Wheel for 


2. One or more sacred books on each side of the altar. 

3. The Lamaist sceptre or Dorje, typical of the thunderbolt of India 
(Jupiter), and a bell. The dorje is the counterpart of the bell, and 
when applied to the shoulder of the latter should be of exactly the 
same length as the bell-handle. 

1. The holy-water vase 1 and a metal mirror hanging from its 
spout. The holy-water of the vase is tinged with saffron, and is 

s me Ai tab Objects. 
Lamp (inverted), caitya, holy-water jug. 

sprinkled by means of a long stopper-rod, which is surmounted by a 
fan of peacock's feathers and the holy ktua grass. Another form is 
surmounted by a chaplet, etc., as its frontispiece. 

;>. The divining-arrow bound with five coloured silks called dadar ' 
for demoniacal worship. 

i;. A large in. Mai mirror 8 to reflect the image of the spirits. 

7. Two pairs of cymbals. The pair used in the worship of Imddha 
and the higher divinities are called sri-nen,* and are of about twelve or 
more inches in diameter, with very small central bosses. They are held 
vertically when in use, one above the other, and are manipulated gently. 
The pair of cymbals used in the worship of the inferior deities and 

demons are called rol mo, and are of shorter diameter with very much 

broader bosses. Thej are held horizontally in the hands and forcibly 
clanged with great clamour. Chinese gongs also are used. 

B. Conch-shell trumpet (tun (.often mounted with bronze or silver, 
so as to prolong the valves of the shell and deepen its note— used with 
the si in' a cymbals. 

[ k'nu-bum See fig. Rock., L., 106 ih-dar me-long. 

1 Bil-nnyan. • I "" 



Devils' Altai 


9. Pair of copper flageolets. 1 

10. Pair of long telescopic copper horns in three pieces, 2 and often 
six feet long (see illustration on page 17). 

11. Pair of human thigh-bone trumpets. 1 These are sometimes 
encased in brass with a Avide copper flanged extremity, on which are 
figured the three eyes and nose of a demon, the oval open extremity 
being the demon's mouth. In the preparation of these thigh-bone trum- 
pets the bones of criminals or those who have died by violence are pre- 
ferred, and an elaborate incantation is done, part of which consists 
in the Lama eating a portion of the skin of the bone, otherwise its blast 
would not be sufficiently powerful to summon the demons. 

12. Pair of tiger thigh-bone trumpets. 1 These are not always 
present, and the last three instruments are only for the worship of 
the inferior gods and demons. 

13. Drums (ch'os riia) : — 

(a) A small rattle hand-drum or na-ctiun 5 or damaru, like a lai'ge 
double egg-cup. Between its two faces are attached a pair 
of pendant leather knobs and a long-beaded flap as a handle. 
When the drum is held by the upper part of the cloth handle 
and jerked alternately to right and left the knobs strike the 
faces of the drum. It is used daily to mark the pauses be- 
tween different forms of worship. 

(/>) The big drum,called ch'd-na, 6 or religious drum. These are of 
two kinds, one of which is suspended in a frame and beat only 
occasionally and in Buddha's worship. The other is carried 
in the hand by means of a stem thrust through its curved 
border. These are beaten by drum-sticks with straight or 
curved handles. 

(c) The human skull-drum made of skull-caps, and of the same 
style as the smaller drum (a) above described. 

14. Libation jugs, figured on page 225. 


The greatest of all the temples of Lamadom is the great cat h<>- 
dral of Lhasa, the St. Peter's of Lfunaism, the sketch of which, 
here given, was drawn for me by a Lama artist, who visited Lhasa 
with this object, and who deliberately sketched the sacred city and 
its great temple from the hillock about half a mile to the south 
of the city. And with the description of it 7 we will close our 
account of temples. 

This colossal temple, called "The Lord's House" (Jo-WO A'""/'). 

: rgye-ghh, '-' ragr-dun. s rkan-ylin. 

1 Btag dun. ' rna-ch'un. ■ ch'oe-rna. 

'■ Summarized Prom tin- accounts "t Hue, etc., and Erom Koppbn, ii.. 3:54. 


stands in the centre of the city of Lhasa, to which it gives its 
name, " (rod's place ; l and it is also considered the centre of the 
whole land. All the main roads, which cut through Tibet, run out 
of it and meet again in it. But it is also the centre of the united 
Lamaist church, as it is the first and oldest Buddhist temple of 
Tibet, the true metropolitan cathedral of Lamaism. Founded in 
the seventh century, on commencing the conversion of the gloomy 
snowland, by king Sron Tsan Gampo, for the preservation of 
those wondrous images brought to him by his two wives, as before 
mentioned, it has, no doubt, in the course of a millennium, received 
many additions and enlargements, and in the seventeenth century 
it was restored and rebuilt. 

Its entrance faces the east, and before it, in a square, stands a 
flagstaff, about forty feet high with yak's hair, and horns of yak 
and sheep, tied to its base. The main building is three storeys high, 
and roofed by golden plates. 2 The entrance is in the shape of 
a hall, which rests on six wooden pillars, very handsomely deco- 
rated with engravings, paintings, and gilding. The walls are 
covered with rough pictures out of the biography of the founder 
of the religion. In the centre of the hall is a swing door, which 
is decorated on the outside with bronze, and on the inside with 
iron reliefs. 

Through this you pass into the ante-court, which is covered by 
the first storey. In the wall, opposite the entrance, is a second 
door, which brings you inside, on both sides of which stands the 
colossal statues of the four great guardian kings ; two on the 
right and two on the left side. This brings us into a large pillared 
hall, which has the form of the basilica, and is divided by colon- 
nades into three long and two cross-aisles. The light comes from 
above in the middle or broadest aisle, where a transparent oilcloth 
serves instead of glass. Through this the whole temple is lighted, 
because there are no side windows. On the outside of the two 

1 The name Lhasa is properly restricted to the great temple. Sroh Tsan Gampo 
appears to have been the founder of the city now generally known to Europeans as 
Lhasa. It is recorded that he exchanged the wild Yarlung valley, which had been 
the home of his ancestors, for the more central position to the north of the Tsangpo, 
a village named Rasa, which, on account of the temple he erected, was altered to 
Lha-sa, or " God's place." An old form of the name is said to be /nga-Vdan. 

2 These plates are said to be of solid gold, and gifted by the son of the princeling 
Ananmal, about the end of the twelfth century a.d. 



side aisles, i.e., on the north and south side, as the entrance is 
towards the east, is a row of small cells or chapels, fourteen to the 
right and just as many to the left. The two cross-aisles form the 
background, and are separated from the long aisle by silver lattice- 
work. Here are the seats of the lower priests for common prayer- 

(iKOl-Mi-l I AN 

meetings. From the west cross-aisle a staircase Leads into the 
holy of holies. On the left of this we see, by ascending belli ml 
silver rods, fifteen plates of massive silver, which are covered with 
innumerable precious stones, and contain representations of the 
Buddhisl dogmatics and mysticism. We see there, for instance, 
the Buddhisl Bystem of I In- world, the circle of the metempsychosis 

Ait* i Giorgi. l have not reproduced the references ae thej are doI sufficiently 


with its different states. From the stairs above we come into a 
cross-aisle, which has just as many pillars as the two lower ones, 
and is also the inner front hall of the sanctuary. The latter has 
the form of a square, in which are six chapels, three on each of 
the north and south flanks. In the middle is the place for the 
offering altar, which, however, is only erected on certain occasions. 
On the other side of the altar, on the west side of the holy of 
holies, also in the lowest depth of the whole edifice, is the quad- 
rangular niche, with the image of Sakya Muni. Before the entrance 
in this, to the left, is raised the throne of Dalai Lama, very high, 
richly decorated, and covered with the customary five pillows of 
the Grand Lamas. Beside this stands the almost similar one of 
the Tashi Grand Lama; then follow those in rotation of the 
regenerated Lamas The abbots, and the whole non-incarnate 
higher priesthood have their seats in the cross-aisle of the sanc- 
tuary. Opposite the throne of Dalai Lama, on the right from 
the entrance of the niche, is the chair of the king of the Law, 
not quite so high as those of the regenerate Grand Lamas, but 
higher than those of the others. Behind him are the seats of the 
four ministers, which are not so high as those of the common 

On the west side of the niche stands the high altar, which is 
several steps high. Upon the top of the higher ones we see small 
statues of gods and saints made of massive gold and silver ; upon 
the lower ones, as usual on Buddhist altars, lamps, incensories, 
sacrifices, and so on ; upon the highest, behind a silver gilt screen, 
the gigantic richly-gilded image of Buddha Sakya Muni, wreathed 
with jewelled necklaces as native offerings. This image is named 
" The gem of majesty " (Jo-vo Bin-po-ch'e), and represents Buddha 
as a young prince in the sixteenth year of his age. It, according 
to the opinion of the believers, was made in Magadha during 
Buddha's lifetime, and afterwards gifted by the Magadha king to 
the Chinese emperor in return for assistance rendered against 
the Yavan invaders ; and given by the Chinese emperor to his 
daughter on her marriage with the king of Tibet, in the seventh 
century a.d. Flowers are daily showered upon it. Beside this 
one — the highest object of reverence — the temple has also in- 
numerable other idols ; for instance, in a special room, the 
images of the goddess Sri Devi (Pal-ldan Lha-mo). There is 


also a celebrated image of the Great Pitying Lord — Avalokita — 
named " the self-created pentad." l Also images of historical persons 
who have made themselves worthy of the church ; amongst whom 
one sees there the aforesaid pious king and his two wives, all three 
of whom are canonized ; also his ambassador, who was sent by him 
to India to fetch from there the holy books and pictures. 2 

In this large and oldest temple are lodged great numbers of 
other precious things and holy relics, consecrated presents, gold 
and silver vessels, which are openly exhibited at the beginning of 
the third Chinese month. 

Round about these stand many wooden or copper prayer- 
machines. The surrounding wings of the building contain the 
>t;ite-treasures, the magazines, in which are stored everything 
necessary for divine service, the monks' cells, the lecture-rooms ; 
in the higher storeys also the residences of the highest state officers, 
and special rooms for the Dalai Lama. The whole is surrounded 
with a wall, at which are several Buddhist towers, which, as in 
the case of the large temple, are covered with gilded plates. Xo 
women are allowed to remain within the walls during the night, 
a prohibition which extends to many Lamaist cloisters. 

i ran byun ma-fdan. So called because it is reputed to have formed itself by emana- 
tions from : Thug-je ch'enpo (Avalokita ), T'ul -ku-geylon— the artist, Sron Tsan Gampo, 
his Chinese wife, and his Newari wife. Ami the location of each of these in the 
image is pointed out. - Koppbm -ays an image of Ilium Tsiang is also there. 

Rbnbdictobi <ia\ Seai "i Grand Tashi Lama, 

,.i\ i.\ ro I'ii'.kim-. 

| Full 

Lama-Pope blessing Pilgrims. 1 





ILCtRIMAGtES are most popular in Tibet. The country 
contains an infinite number of sacred sites, reputed 
re-incarnated or supernatural Lamas, self-created 
images, relics of the Buddhas, holy footprints, sancti- 
fied trees, etc., to which the pious throng with gifts of gold and 
other precious offerings ; while many extend their pilgrimages to 
places outside Tibet, to China, Bhotan, Sikhim, Nepal, Kashmir, 
Turkestan, and India, to places hallowed by St. Padma-sam- 
■bhava, or by Buddha himself. 

The most holy of all sites, according to the Lamas, in common 
with all Buddhists — like Mecca to the Muhammadans — is the 
Tree of Wisdom at Buddh-Gayii, in India, with its temple known to 
Tibetans as (xandhola, 2 where Sakya Muni attained his Buddha- 

1 After Giorgi. 

- dri-gtsah-k'ah, or " The Untainted (pure) House." It was built in seven days by 
the high-priest " Virtue " (rfge-ba). See also Tabanatha, 16, 4, etc. At the Bodhi- 
manda (byah-ch'ub-sfiih-po) is the diamond-throne (vajrasana, Tib., Dorje-dan), 
so called on account of its stability, indestructibility, and capacity of resisting all 
worldly shocks. 




hood, and which is believed to be the hub of the world. After 
this come the site of Buddha's death, Kusinagara ; and the eight 
great Caityas which enshrined his bodily relics ; the mythical 
mount Potala 1 in the south; the mythical Shambhala in the 
north ; the Guru's Fairy-land 2 in Udyana in the west ; and 
" The three hills," or U-tai Shan, in northern China, the original 
seat of the God of Wisdom, Manjusri ; and Lhasa, the St. Peter's 
of the Lamas, and the seat of Buddha's vice-regent upon earth. 

The Indian shrines are seldom visited by Lamas and Tibetans 
on account of the great distance and expense. I have listened 
several times to the prayers of Lamas and Tibetan laity at the 
great Buddh-Gaya temple, which, strange to say, is still held by un- 
sympathetic Hindu priests who prey upon the Buddhist pilgrims. 

These prayers were divided 
between petitions for temporal 
prosperity and for "the great 
ultimate perfection," or Nir- 
vana. They make offerings to 
the Tree of Wisdom, but their 
oblations do not take the form 
of watering it with eau de 
Cologne and gilding it, as do 
some of the Burmese. 

At the shrines under Bud- 
dhist management, the pil- 
grims carry off, as relics, 
printed charms and fragments 
of the robes of re-incarnated 
Lamas and other holy men, 
leaves of sacred trees, etc., 
which are carefully treasured 
as amulets and fetishes. And 
these objects and holy water 
work most miraculous cures in 
a manner which is not un- 
known even in Christian Europe. 8 

1 ri-bo gru-'dsia - mk'S-'gro glin. 

■ ; Those Europeans who Bneer at the " pagan " superstitions of the East may find 


The fullest Tibetan account of Indian shrines is found in the 
book named Jambu-glih spyi bs'ad, a compilation containing a 
very confused abstract of Hiuen Tsiang's celebrated treatise. 1 

In regard to the site of Buddha's death, the Lamas have placed 
it in Asam. 

In conversations some years ago with Lamas and lay Buddhists 
at Darjiling, I was surprised to hear that Asam contained a most 
holy place of Buddhist pilgrimage called " Tsani-ch'd-dun," 2 which, 
it was alleged, next to the great temple at Buddh-Gaya, was the 
most holy spot a Buddhist could visit. Asam is usually regarded 
as being far beyond the limits of the Buddhist Holy Land, and 
the Chinese pilgrims, FaHian and Hiuen Tsiang in the fifth and 
seventh centuries of our era, to whom we are mainly indebted for 
our knowledge of ancient Buddhist geography, not only do not 
mention any holy site in Asam, but Hiuen Tsiang, who visited 
Gauhatl at the invitation of the king of Kamrup, positively notes 
the absence of Buddhist buildings in Asam. 3 

I therefore felt curious to learn further particulars of this 
important site in Asam, which had apparently been overlooked 
by geographers. 

amongst themselves equally grotesque beliefs. For example, the Holy Coat of Trees, 
and one of the most recent miracles, the Lachj of Lourdes. Lourdes, as a miracle place, 
dates from 1858, when a little girl had a vision of "a beautiful and radiant lady." 
Eighteen times the glorious apparition was seen by the girl ; then it was seen no more. 
Twenty thousand persons by that time had gathered to the rendezvous. On one of the 
last occasions the girl, as if obeying a sign from her visitant, went to a corner of the 
grotto where the appearances occurred, and scratched in the dry earth. The gapin^ 
crowd saw water rise and the girl drink. Then a little streamlet made its way°to the 
river. In a short time the spring gave 120,000 litres a clay. And the wonders of 
miraculous healing effected by this water are the theme of the learned and the 
ignorant alike. In 1872 the number of pilgrims amounted to 140,000, and this 
year the same number appeared at the health-giving spring. Over 12,000 brought 
1,100 sick. They had come from Paris and the north in seventeen pilgrimage 
trains, and this year (1894), according to the newspapers, two train-loads steamed 
out of London for the same convent. There is a band of trained attendants, who 
do good service, and the sick are dipped by experts and cared for. As the patient 
is immersed, some of the assistants, with arms uplifted, pray with him. Some 
of the sick quietly undergo the dip, as if resigned to whatever may befall thern^ 
Others beat the water in agony, and clutch at hands near, but all pray— these last 
with loud cries of despair to heaven: "Cure us, Holy Virgin. Holy Virgin, you 
mast cure us. - ' There is great ecclesiastical ceremonial, elevation of the hos£ priests 
with lighted tapers, and high dignitaries be-robed and be-mitred. " The cures " are 
duly certified— they are as marvellous as any by a well-advertised specific. 

1 For a translation of a smaller one see my article in I'm,-. A.S.B., Feb., 1893. 

2 rTsa-mch'og-groh. See J.A.S.B., lxi., pp.33 seq. 
a Sl-yu-ki, trans, by Beal, ii., p. 196. 

x 2 


In Jaschke's Tibetan dictionary l I found the name " rTsa- 
mch'og-groii " defined as a " town in west Asam where Buddha 
died," and this statement, it is noted, is given on the authority of 
the " Gryalrabs,'' a vernacular history of Tibet. Csoma de Koros 
also notes 2 that "the death of Shakya, as generally stated in the 
Tibetan books, happened in Asam near the city of Kusa or Cama- 
rupa (Kamriip)." 

Here, then, was a clue to the mystery. Buddha's death, it is 
well known, occurred between two sell trees near Kusinagara or 
K'usanagara, in the north-west provinces of India, thirty-five 
miles east of Grorakhpur, and about one hundred and twenty miles 
N.N.E. of Benares ; and the site has been fully identified by Sir 
A. Cunningham 3 and others from the very full descriptions given 
by Hiuen Tsiang and FaHian. The name Kusanagara means 
" the town of Kusa grass " ; 4 and as the early Lama missionaries 
in their translation of the Buddhist scriptures habitually trans- 
lated all the Sanskrit and Pali names literally into Tibetan, Ku- 
sanagara was rendered in the "Kah-'gyur" canon as "rTsa-mch'og- 
groii," from " ? tsa-mch'og," kusa grass, " grong, 1 ' a town ( = Sskt., 

Now, near the north bank of the Brahmaputra, almost opposite 
(iauhati, the ancient capital of Kamrup, is, I find, an old village 
named Sdl-Kusa, and it lies on the road between GrauhatI and 
Dewangiri, one of the most frequented passes into Bhotan and 
Tibet. With their extremely scanty knowledge of Indian geo- 
graphy, the Lamas evidently concluded that this " town of Sdl- 
Kum" was the "town of Kusa," where Buddha entered into 
Nirvana between the two sal trees — seeing that the word sal was 
also incorporated with the equivalent of " Tsam-ch'6-dun," and that 
in the neighbourhood was the holy hill of Hajo, where, as will be 
seen hereafter, there probably existed at that time some Buddhist 

i P. 437. 

- Asiatic Researches, x.v, \<. 295. 

s Arch. Surv. /»'/<'" Repts., i., 76; xvii., '>'>, etc. 

* Kusa grass (/'<»' cynosuroides), the sacrificial i,n'-' ss of the Hindus, is also prized l>y 
tin- liuiMliists (in account of its having formed the cushion on which the Boddhisattva 
aat under the Bodhi tree. It is also used as a broom in Lamaic templea and as 
mii altar decoration associated with peacock's feathers in the //»,,-y»' or holy water 


No description of this Buddhist site seems to be on record, 
except a very brief note by Col. Dalton x on the modern Hindu 
temple of Hajo, which shrines a Buddhist image. So as I have had 
an opportunity of visiting the site, and enjoyed the rare advantage 
of being conducted over it by a Lama of eastern Tibet who chanced 
to be on the spot, and who had previously visited the site several 
times, and possessed the traditional stories regarding it, I give 
the following brief description of it in illustration of how the 
Lamas, originally misled by an identity of name, have subse- 
quently clothed the neighbourhood with a legendary dress in 
keeping with the story of Buddha's death, and how this place, 
with its various associated holy spots, is now implicitly believed 
by the pilgrims to be the real site of Buddha's pari-nirvdna. 
And in this belief, undeterred by the intemperate heat of the 
plains, Buddhist pilgrims from all parts of Bhotan, Tibet, and 
even from Ladak and south-western China visit these spots and 
carry off scrapings of the rocks and the soil in the neighbourhood, 
treasuring up this precious dust in amulets, and for placing beside 
their dead body, as saving from dire calamities during life, and 
from transmigration into lower animals hereafter. Authentic 
specimens of this dust, I was informed, commanded in Tibet 
high prices from the more wealthy residents, who had personally 
been unable to undertake the pilgrimage. 

The Hajo hill, or rather group of hills, where is situated, according 
to the current tradition of the Lamas, the spot where Buddha " was de- 
livered from pain," lies to the north (right) bank of the Brahmaputra 
about nine miles north-west from Gauhati (Kamrup), north latitude 26° 
11' 18" and east long. 91° 47' 26", and four or rive miles north of Sdl- 
Kusa. The hill rises directly from the plain, forming a strikingly bold 
and picturesque mass ; and it is a testimony to its natural beauty to 
find that the hill has attracted the veneration of people of all religious 
denominations. The semi-aboriginal Mech and Koch worship it as a 
deity under the name of Hajo, which means in their vernacular " the 
hill." The Buddhists formerly occupied one of the hillocks, but are 
now displaced by the Brahmans, who restored the temple, which is now 
one of the most frequented Hindu temples in Asam. The Muham- 
rnadans also have crowned the summit of the highest peak with a 

The cluster of hills presents a very symmetrical appearance as seen 
from a distance, forming a bold swelling mass culminating in three 

1 J.A.S.B., 1855, lxxi., p. 8, 


trident-like peaks, the central one of which is pre-eminent, and is re- 
garded by the Buddhists as emblematic of Buddha. The high peaks 
on either side of this are identified with Buddha's two chief disciples, 
Sariputra and Maudgalyayana, This triad of peaks is seen from a 
great distance, and it is only on near approach that the smaller hillocks 
arc observed. These latter number about sixteen, and are called Ne- 
ten c'ti-du, or " the sixteen disciples " of Buddha. 

The most holy site, according to the Buddhists, is a bare flattish 
shoulder of rock, about eight yards in diameter, situated at the north- 
west base of the hill. This is stated to be the Sil-ica ts'al->/i tur-do, or 
" the pyre of the cool grove," where Buddha died, and where his body 
was cremated. The rock here bears several roughly-cut inscriptions in 
Tibetan characters of the mystic sentences, " Om mam padmt hum," 
" Om ah hum" " Om" etc., and coloured rags torn from the vestments 
of the pilgrims are tied to the bushes in the neighbourhood. The 
Hindus have carved here on the rock a figm-eof the four-armed Vishnu, 
which the Brahman priests call Dhubi, or " the washerwoman of the 
gods," and the rock they call "Letai dhupinir pat." 

It is worthy of note that the Lamas, for the benefit of the resident 
population of Tibet, have made copies of this spot in at least four places 
in Tibet, viz., at : — 

1. Ra-rgyab, in the south-east outskirts of Lhasa city. 

2. P'a-poii Jc'ar, in the north suburbs of Lhasa. 

3. Pur-mo c'he, about twelve miles to the north-east of Tashi-lhun- 

4. Sel-brag. 

These sites were consecrated by placing on them a piece of rock 
brought from this Asam site, now under report ; but the latter spot 
bears the distinctive prefix of Gya-gar, or Indian, implying that it is 
the original and genuine site. 

A high cliff, close to the west of this spot, is called " the vulture's 
mound hill," as in Tibet vultures usually frequent the neighbourhood 
of the tur-do cemeteries, and in belief that it is the Gridha Kuta Giri 
hermitage of Buddha. 1 

A short distance beyond this spot, in the jungle, is a roughly-hewn 
stone basin, about six feet in diameter, called by the Lamas San-gyama 
ko-l-o, or the pot in which the S in-je — the death-demons — boil the heads 
of the damned. The Brahmans, on the other hand, assert that it is the 
bowl in which Sira or Adi-purusha brewed his potion of lust-exciting 
Indian hemp, and they point to its green (confervoid) watery con- 
tents in proof of this. They also state that a snak<> inhabits the 
depths of the bowl; but it was certainly absent at the time <>!' mj 

Advancing along the pathway, Leading up-hill, we pass a few colum- 
nar masses of rock lying near the path, which are pointed to as frag- 
ments of Buddha's stall' with which he unearthed this monster bowl. 

bya-rgyod p'un ]>"I ri 


Climbing up the hill we reach the temple of Kedaranath, which is 
approached by a very steep roughly-paved causeway. At the entrance 
is a long inscription in granite in old Bengali characters, those being 
the characters adopted by the Asamese. Adjoining this temple is the 
shrine of Kamalesvar or " the lord of the Lotus." Here is a tank 
called by the Lamas " Tso mani bhadra," or " the lake of the notable 
gem " ; and they state that many water-sprites (Nag a, serpents or 
dragons) came out of this pond on the approach of Buddha and pre- 
sented him with jewels. A small cell by the side of this pond is said 
to be the place where Buddha set down a mass of butter which had 
been brought to him as a gift, and the stone linga and t/oni (phallus 
and its counterpart), now shrined here by the Hindus, are pointed to as 
being this petrified butter. 

Crowning the summit of the hill is a large masjid built by Lutfullah, 
a native of Shiraz, in the reign of the emperor Shah Jahan, in 1656 
a.d., with a Persian inscription. 1 

A detached conical hillock, about 300 feet above the plain, lying 
about half-a-mile to the north-east of the hill, and now crowned by the 
Hindu temple of Madhava, is identified with " the great caitya " 
which was erected over the cremated relics of the Tathagatha's body. 

The present shrine of the temple seems to be the original shrine of 
an older Buddhist temple, which, according to both Buddhist and 
Asamese tradition, formerly existed here — the upper portion only is 
modern. Col. Dalton has described the general details of this building, 
and he states^ "The Brahmans call the object of worship Madhab, the 
Buddhists calf it Mahamuni, the great sage. It is in fact simply a 
colossal image of Buddha in stone. Its modern votaries have, to con- 
ceal mutilation, given it a pair of silver goggle-eyes and a hooked gilt 
silvered nose and the form is concealed from view by cloths and chap- 
lets of flowers ; but remove these and there is no doubt of the image 
having been intended for the ' ruler of all, the propitious, the asylum 
of clemency, the all-wise, the lotus-eyed comprehensive Buddha.'" 

This large image of Buddha is called by the more learned Lama-visi- 
tors Munir Muni Mahamuni, i.e., "The Sage of Sages, The Great Sage." 
It is the original image of the shrine, and is stated by the Brahmanic 
priests, who call it Madhab, to be of divine origin and an actual embodi- 
ment or avatar of the god, in contradistinction to the other images 
which are called mere " murtis " or hand-fashioned copies of typical 
forms of the respective gods represented. This may merely mean that 
the Brahmans found this image here, while the others were brought 
from the neighbourhood or elsewhere. What seems to be the history 
of the mutilation of this image is found in the account of the invasion 
of the Koch kingdom of lower Asam by the Musalmans under Mir 
Jumlah in 1661 a.d. This chief issued " directions to destroy all the 

idolatrous temples and to erect mosques in their stead To 

evince his zeal for religion, the general himself, with a battle-axe, broke 
the celebrated image of Narain, the principal object of worship of the 

i, lxi., p. 37. 


Hindus of that province." 1 Narayana is one of the names of Madhab 
and a patronymic of the Koch raja's ; and Hajo was a seat of the Koch 
rajas. And it was at Hajo that Mir Jumlah took the Koch king 
prisoner. a 

The other images, not mentioned by Dalton, but which must have 
existed at the time of his visit, are also of stone and are placed on 
either side of the large image. They are four in number and are of 
considerable size. According to the Lama-pilgrims they are all Buddhist 
images ; but the crypt was so dimly lit, and the images so enveloped in 
clothes and wreaths of flowers that I could not distinguish their specific 
characters, with the exception of the head and peculiar trident of the 
first, and the head of the second, which were characteristic and justified 
their recognized names, viz. : — 

No. 1. — -Ugyan Guru to the left of Mahamuni. 

No. 2. — Dorje Dol'6 to the right of Mahamuni. 

No. 3. — Sakya Thuha to the right of No. 2. 

No. 4. — " Sencha " Muni to the right of No. 3. 

Although Hindu priests, as a rule, are not vezy methodical in their 
bestowal of names upon the images which they have appropriated from 
Buddhist ruins, still I here give the Brahmanical names as reported by 
the attendant priests, as, this being a wealthy temple, the priests were 
more learned than usual, and the names should give some idea of the 
nature of the images. After stating that the Buddhist pilgrims gave 
the above noted names to the images, these priests said that the Brah- 
manical names were as follows, which, it will be noticed, are Bengali. 
I give them in the order of the previous list : — 

No. 1. Dwitlya Madhaver murti. 

No. 2. Lai Kanaiya Bankat Viharer murti. 

No. 3. Basu Dever murti. 

No. 4. Hayagrlver murti. 

In the vestibule are lotus ornamentations and several articles of the 
usual paraphernalia of a Buddhist temple, including the following: 
A pyramidal framework or wheeless car like the Tibetan Ch'a/t-ga 
chutuk, with lion figures at the corners of each tier, such as is used to 
seal the image of a demon which is to be carried beyond the precincts 
of the temple and there thrown away. The present frame is used by 
the priests of this temple to parade in the open air one of the smaller 
images of the shrine C Hayagrlver), but the image is again returned to 
the shrine. Above this tin-one is stretched a canopy containing the 
figure of an eight-petalled lotus flower, and has, as is customary, a 
dependant red fringe. On either side is hung a huge closed umbrella. 
These articles have been in the temple from time immemorial. 

Of the external decoration of the temple, the row of sculptured 
elephants along the basement, evidently a portion of the old Buddhist 
temple, has been figured by Col. Dalton in the paper above referred to ; 

1 Sm w ubt's History of Bengal, p. 289. 
- Bbvbbidgb, Col. Review, July. 1890, p. L2. 


and is identical with the decorative style of the Kailas cave temple of 
Ellora figured by Fergusson in Plate xv. of his Cave Temples. The 
upper walls are covered with sculptured figures nearly life-size. The 
ten avatdras of Vishnu are represented with Buddha as the ninth. 
The remaining figures are of a rather nondescript character, but they 
are mostly male, and nearly every figure carries a trident (trisula) — the 
kliatam of the Buddhists. The Lamas state that these figures were for- 
merly inside the temple, but that Buddha ejected them. And it is 
stated that the temple was built in one night by Visvakarma, the 
Vulcan of the Hindus and Buddhists. 

Attached to the temple is a colony of Natl, or dancing girls, 1 who 
are supported out of the funds of the temple, and who on the numerous 
feast days dance naked in a room adjoining the shrine. These orgies 
are part of the Sakti worship so peculiar to Kamrup, but nowhere 
is it so grossly conducted as at this temple. 2 The Natl and the idol-car 
are also conspicuous at the degenerate Buddhist temple of Jagannath 
at Puri. 

At the eastern base of the hillock, on which this temple stands, is a 
fine large tank, called by the Lamas " the lake of excellent water.'' ' 
This pond, it is said, was made by Buddha with one prod of his staif*, 
when searching for the huge bowl already described which he unearthed 
here. This pond is also said to be tenanted by fearful monsters. 

I have been unable to ascertain positively whether any Buddhist 
building existed here previous to the Lamas fixing on the site as the 
Kusanagara of Buddha's death. Certainly no monastery existed here at 
the time of Hiuen Tsiang's visit to the Kamrup (GauhatI) court in the 
seventh century a.d., for he says of this country that "the people have 
no faith in Buddha, hence from the time when Buddha appeared in the 
world even down to the present time there never as yet has been built 
one Sanghcirama as a place for the priests to assemble." The refer- 
ence which Taranath 4 makes to the great stupa of Kusanagara as being 
situated here, in Kamrup, was taken from report, and thus would 
merely show that the present Lama-tradition was current during his 
time. Any chaitya or other Buddhist building would seem to have 
been subsequent to the seventh century ; and in all probability marked 
a site visited by the great founder of Lamaism, St. Padma-sambhava, 
or one of his disciples. The different accounts of this saint's wander- 
ings vary considerably, but he is generally credited with having 
traversed most of the country between lower Asam and Tibet. And 
in this view it is to be noted that the Bhotan Lamas call the chief 

1 " Asam, or at least the north-east of Bengal (i.e., Kamrup), seems to have been in 
a great degree the source from which the Tantrica and Sakta corruptions of the 
religion of the Vedas and Puranas proceeded" (H. H. Wilson, Preface to Vishnn 

2 They have their counterpart in the lepo8ov\oi of the Greek Strabo : viii., 6, p. 20. 

3 Yon-ch'ab-mts'o. 

4 Vassiliev's Le Bouddisme, trad, du Russe par M. G. A. Comme, p. 44. 


image of this shrine Namo Guru or •• the teacher,'' one of the epithets 
of St. Padma-sambhava. And the images on either >ide of it are also 
forms of that saint. 

The form of Buddhism here represented is of the highly Tantrik and 
demoniacal kind, propagated by Padma-sambhava and now existing 
in the adjoining country of Bhotan. Even this mild form of the image 
of Ogyan Guru has decapitated human heads strung on to his trident. 
The second image is of -a more demoniacal kind. The third image is, of 
course, Sakya Muni. The fourth image, from its Brahmanical name, 
is Tam-din Skt.. Hayagriva), one of the fiercest forms of demons and 
an especial protector of Lamaism. The trident is everywhere con- 
spicuous in the hands of the sculptured figures on the walls, and Shakti 
rites are more pronounced here than in any other place in northern 

It is also remarkable to find that the high-priest of the Hajo 
temple, in common with the other high-priests in Kamrilp, is called 
Dalai, — a title which is usually stated to have been conferred on the 
fifth Grand Lama of Lhasa by a Mongolian emperor in the seventeenth 
century a. d. ; though the Tibetan equivalent of this title, viz., Gya m-lsn, 
or " ocean," is known to have been used by Grand Lamas previously. As, 
however, the word is Mongolian, it is curious to find it naturalized here 
and spontaneously used by Brahmans. It seems also to be the title of 
village- headman in the adjoining Garo hills. The dalai of this temple 
is a married man, but the office is not hereditary. He is elected by the 
local priests from amongst their number, and holds Office till death. 
He resides at the foot of the hill, below the temple, in a large house, 
the exterior of which is pi'ofusely decorated with the skulls of wild 
buffalo, wild pig, deer, and other big game, etc., like the house of an 
Indo-Chinese chieftain. 

''There does not seem to be in Tibet," says Mr. Fergusson, 2 "a 
single relic-shrine remarkable either for sanctity or size, nor iln-> 
relic-worship seem to be expressed either in their architecture or 
their religious forms," and he supports this by saying that as their 
deity is considered to be still living, no relics are needed to recall 
his presence. 

Certainly no immense mounds of the colossal proportions com- 
mon in Indian Buddhism, and in Burma and Ceylon, appear to 
exisl in Tibet, but smaller stfipas are of very common occurrence; 
and the tombs of the departed < rrand Lamas at Tashi-lhunpo, etc., 
are special object- of worship. 

Ii i- -aid that Tibet possesses several large stupas as large as 

1 Dancing ^irl- appear to figure to some extent in certain Lamaist ceremonies in 
Bhotan, ■■■>■ Ti rnhb'8 Emhauyto Tibet, p. 32. 
//, | ,,< Ind. and Eastern Architecture, p. 311. 


the Maguta stupa of Nepal. This latter is one of the celebrated 
places of Lamaist pilgrimage outside Tibet. It is called the 
JdS-rwh tia-Qor ch'o-rtevi, and lies about two miles to the north- 
east of Khatmandu, and it is figured at page 262. Immense 
numbers of Tibetans, both Lamas and laity, visit the place every 
winter, and encamp in the surrounding field for making their 
worship and offerings, and circumambulating the sacred spot. It 
is the chief place of Lamaist pilgrimage in Nepal, attracting far 
more votaries than the Svayambhfinath stupa, 2 which is not far 
distant. Its special virtue is reputed to be its power of granting 
all prayers for worldly wealth, children, and everything else asked 
for. Dr. Buchanan-Hamilton, in his account of Nepal, written 
about the beginning of the present century, gives a drawing of 
the monument, which is of an almost simple hemispherical form, 
of the type of the earliest stupas ; and Wright, 3 under the title of 
" temple of Bodhnath," gives a rough chromo-lithograph of its 
more modern appearance, with its additional buildings and invest- 
ing wall. But no description or account of the monument seems 
to be on record. 

As I have obtained a copy of the printed booklet which is sold 
at the stupa to the pilgrims, I here give a short abstract of its 
contents, which are interesting as showing how the stupa is 
brought into intimate relation with the chief legendary and 
historic persons of early Lamaism. The print is a new revision by 
Punya-vajra and another disciple of " the great Lama Z'ab-tZkar." 
This latter Lama, I am informed, lived about thirty years ago, 
and gilded the short spire of the stupa and built the present 
investing wall. 

The book states as follows : — 

" This stupa enshrines the spirit of the Buddhas of the ten 
directions, and of the Buddhas of the three times (i.e., the present, 
past and future), and of all the Bodhisats, and it holds the Dharma- 

1 Spelt pya. 

2 Called by the Lamas 'P'ags-pa »SV« Kun (or ?Zan-bkod) ; cf. also Svayambhii purchia, 
transld., J.R.A.S., 1894, 297. Another stiipa not far off, namely, about ten miles S.E. 
of Bhatgaon, and twelve from Khat-mandu, is called sTags-mo-lus-sbyin, and identified 
as the site where Buddha in a former birth gave his body to a starving tiger, though 
the orthodox site for this story was really uorthern India, cf. FaHian, c. xi. 

3 Nepal, pp. 22, 100. 


"When king Thi-Srou Detsan ' asked the Guru, a at Samyas, 3 to 

tell him the history of the Ma-gu-ta stupa in Nepal, made by the four 
Bona of ' the bestower of gifts,' named 'the poor mother Pya-rdsi-ma 
(fowl-keeper),' then the Guru thus related (the story) : — 

"'In a former Kalpa — time beyond conception — the Bodhisattva 
Mahasattva Avalokitesvara, approached the Tathagatha Amitabha and 
prayed for the animals immersed in the miry slough, and after saving 
these he went to mount Potala. There he saw hosts of unsaved animals, 
innumerable like unto mounds of murwa 4 lees, and (seeing this he) 
wept. Two of his pitying tears were born into Indra's heaven as god's 
daughters, named respectively Kan-ma and the little Kan-ma or 
Kah-ch'uii-ma. This latter having stolen in heaven some flowers, 
was as a punishment reborn in earth, in a low pigherd's family in 
Maguta in Nepal, under the name of Samvara or " the Chief Happi- 
ness," her mother's name being Puma. On marriage she had four 
sons, and her husband's early death left her with the sole care of the 
family. She with her family undertook the herding and rearing of 
geese for the wealthy, and having in this pursuit amassed much wealth, 
, s he — Ma-pya-rdsi-ma (or mother fowl-keeper)— decided to build a large 
stupa in honour of the Tathagatha. She, thereon, went to the king 
and begged for a site, saying she wanted only so much ground as one 
hide could cover. The king assented, saying "Ja-ruit," which literally 
means" do " + " can," i.e., "you can do (so)." 5 Then she cutting a hide 
into thin thongs (forming a long rope), enclosed that very large space 
which now is occupied by this chaitya. And she, with her four sons, 
and a servant, and an elephant and an ass, as beasts of burden, brought 
earth and stones, and commenced to build this chaitya by their own 
persona] labour. 

" 'Then the king's ministers appealed to the king to stop such an 
ambitious building, as they asserted its magnificence put to shame the 
religious buildings of the king and the nobles. But the king answered 
" K'a-Sor" — which literally means " mouth + (has) spoken" and so 
refused to interfere. (Thus is the name of the stupa — ' Ja-run k'ti-s,*,-' 
— accounted for.) 

"' After four years, when only the base had been laid, the mother 
died, but her sons continued the building till its completion. And in 
i he receptacle was placed one Magadha measure (drona) of the relics of 
the Tathagatha Kasyapa. This event was celebrated by the manifesta- 
tion in the sky, above the stupa, of Kasyapa himself, and the circles of 
celestial I'.uddhas and BodhisatS, and their hosts of retinue, and 

' The king of Tibet who introduced Lamaism. 

■ J i.e., Padma-sambhava, or I 'gyan, tin- founder of Lamaism. 

s The ftrsl Lamaisl monastery in Tibel 

i The millet rocanum), abbul the size of mustard seed, from which 

made tin- Himalayan beer. 

Tin- story, and, indeed) the greater part "t the legend, seems t.. have it- "i-iL'in 
i false etj logj oi the proper names. 


amongst showers of flowers the gods contributed divine music and 
rained perfume. Earthquakes thrice occurred, and through the glory 
of the assembled divinities there was no darkness for five nights. 

" ' One of the sons then prayed, " May I in my next re-birth be born as 
a great scholar (to benefit mankind) " — and he was born as Thunmi 
Sambhota 1 (the introducer of the so-called " Tibetan " character, and 
the first translator of Indian Buddhist texts into Tibetan), circa 
650 a.d. 

'"The second son prayed in a similar manner, and was re-born as "The 
Bodhisattva" ~ (the abbot of the first monastery of Tibet). 

' ; ; Then the elephant or lan-po (hearing these prayers) said, " These 
two, neglecting me who contributed so much assistance, are asking all 
the good things for themselves, therefore let me be re-born in a form to 
destroy them or their work." And he was afterwards re-born as Lan- 
darma (the persecutor of Lamaism). 

" ' The third son, hearing the elephant's request, prayed that he 
might be re-born in a form to neutralize the evil of the elephant's incar- 
nation; and he was born as Lho-lun phel kyi /-dorje (the Lama who 
murdered Laii-darma, the Julian of Lamaism).' 

" This stupa is also worshipped by the Nepalese Buddhists, viz., the 
Newars — the semi-aborigines of the Nepal valley, and the Murmi, a 
cis-Himalayan branch of Tibetan stock. The name ' Maguta ' — pro- 
nounced ' Makuta ' — is doubtless a contraction for Makuta bandliana, 
the pre-Buddhist ' crested chaitya,' such as existed at Buddha's death 
at Kusinagara, in the country of theMallas." 

The Gyan-tse Caitya-temple is thus described 3 : — 

It is nine storeys high, and is about 100 to 120 feet high and capped 
by a gilt dome. A magnificent view of Gyantse town and monasteries 
from top storey. Numberless niches filled with images of Buddha and 
Bodhisatwas. In the first floor is an image of the religious king 
Rabtan. The base is fifty paces square. It is only open to public at 
the full and new moon. 

At those shrines holding or professing to hold relics the fiction 
of miraculous increase of the relics is frequently enacted. Thus 
at the Maguta stupa and Tashiding Ch'orten are sold small 
granules, 4 alleged to be obtained by miraculous efflorescence on 

1 Who introduced a written character to Tibet. 

2 The Indian monk Santa-rakshita, abbot of the first monastery of Tibet (Samyas). 

3 Sarat's Narrative. 

4 On the cremation of the body of a Buddha it is believed that no mere ash results, 
but, on the contrary, the body swells up and resolves into a mass of sago-like granules 
of two kinds, (a) Phe-dun, from the flesh as small white granules, and (b) ring-srd, 
yellowish larger nodules from the bones. It is the former sort which are believed to 
be preserved at the holiest Caitya of Sikhim, namely, Tah-wa rail grol, or " Saviour 
by mere sight." It owes its special sanctity to its reputedly containing some of the 
funereal granules of the mythical Buddha antecedent to Sakya Muni, namely 


the surface of the building from the legendary relics of the ficti- 
tious Buddha, Kasyapa, alleged to he enshrined therein. But 
this practice is common also to southern Buddhism. In the Bur- 
mese chronicles 1 it is stated that the tooth of Buddha, enshrined at 
Ceylon, yielded in the eleventh century A.D.,to the Burmese king, 
"a miraculous incarnation or mysterious growth of homogeneous 
substances from the holy tooth," and Col. Phayre adds " and a 
somewhat similar mission with alike result occurred about twenty 
years ago (about I860 a.d.). 

And in 1892 similar relics were sent from Ceylon to the Tibetan 
commissioner at Darjiling. But, after all, such relics are no more 
spurious than the innumerable "bits of the true cross/' holy 
coats, and keys of St. Peter, of Christendom ; nor is their worship 
more remarkable than the vestiges of relic-worship which still 
survive in the structural features of our chancels, and the black- 
letter day of the Holy Cross in the calendar. 

The temple of Buddha's tooth at Fu-chau in China is also a 
known place of Lamaist pilgrimage. The tooth is evidently an 
elephant's molar.' 2 That one also at the "Clear water P'u-hsein 
monastery" in western Ssu-ch'an seems to be somewhat similar. 
It is described by Mr. Baber as " dense fossil ivory," " about a 
foot long, and of a rudely triangular outline." 

The sacred mountain of Wu-t'ai or U-tai in northern China, 
and the alleged birth-place of Manjusri, now identified with 
the metaphysical Bodhisat of Wisdom, is a favourite place of pil- 
grimage. It has been visited and figured by Hue and others. 3 

On mount O in western Ssu-ch'an, at an elevation of about 
11,000 feet, is to be seen " The glory of Buddha" 4 — a mysterious 
apparition like the giant of the Brocken,"' which is seen occasion- 
ally by looking over the top of a cliff about 2,000 feet high into 
the terrible abyss below. It is a radiant halo of rain how tints and 
it i- deemed an emanation from the aureole of Buddha. The 

Tibetans v i-it t lie place. 

Od-srun, or Kasyapa, the relics having been deposited there by Jik-mi Pawo, the 
incarnation and successor "t St. Lha-tsun, 

1 Phayeb's History of Brit. Burma. 

- sir IIknky Vii.k's Marco /'"'■'. i".. ch. xv., where it is ftgured after Mr. Fortune. 
Visited and described also by Rev. .1. K.lkins (Religion in China), Qilmour, 
i;, i, bthofen, Rockhill, and more fully described by I'. Pokotiloff, St. Petersburg, 

1 in Chinese Fo-Kuang. Cf. Babi r's Suppl. Papert '■■■;/. Sbc.,p. 42. 

■ Bhkwstbb'8 Natural Magic, IS'.:'., ,,. 180. 


The sacred sites of Tibet are cited in considerable detail in the 
vernacular geography already mentioned. And stories abound 
of the miraculous efficacy of such pilgrimages, and even of the 
manifestations of the divine spirit to worthy worshippers. 

Thus a story is related regarding the great image of " the 
Lord" at Lhasa, which is a parallel to that of the widow's mite : 
A poor old widow, destitute of friends and of means, made a long 
pilgrimage to Lhasa, but had nothing left as an offering. By 
begging she ultimately obtained a morsel of butter, which she 
offered in a tiny lamp to the great idol. The god there- 
upon revealed himself through the idol, which thanked her for her 
gift, and spoke to her a few words of comfort. On this miracle 
getting noised abroad, a rich merchant set out for Lhasa, arguing 
that if the Lord appeared to a poor woman who presented only 
one tiny lamp, he wuuld certainly appear to the donor of a host. 
80 he offered many thousands of lamps with tons of butter, but 
the idol remained impassive and irresponsive. 

The circling of the great temple by prostrations on the ground is 
an essential part of the devotions, not only of the pilgrims but of 
the residents. The day's devotions begin at Lhasa with the gun- 
fire about 4 a.m. from the Chinese minister's house, and they close 
with another gun at 9 or 10 p.m. 

After the morning report the people are to be seen in dense 
crowds on the circular road, all moving in one and the same direc- 
tion, as with the hands of a watch. A similar circuit is made by 
the devout in the evening, to say nothing of smaller circuits around 
individual shrines : at least this is imperative on common folk ; as 
to the great and wealthy, 1 they urge that their presence would only 
interfere with the piety of the people, so they engage substitutes, 
who, however, are rigorously required to circumambulate for their 
masters. But whether clone in person or by proxy, a careful 
reckoning is kept of the number of circuits performed, and these, 
in occasional cases of excessive devotion, are even executed by the 
method of successive prostrations full length on the road, each 
prostration beginning where the preceding one ended, called 
" Kiang K'or." 

Of the places sacred to the Guru, the most celebrated is the 

1 .Says A. K. (Henessv'-s Abstract, p. 293). 


" Lotus lake " (Ts'o Padma-c'an), on which he is believed to 
have been born. It is usually stated to be in Udyana, but other 
accounts place it near Haridwar.' In Nepal at Halasi on the 
hank of the Dudh-Kusi is the famous hermitage of the Guru on 
a hill with many fossil remains, which from their description 
suggest the outlying Siwaliks range 

In the mountains, t wo days' journey south of Gyang-tse, near the 
unreformed monastery of Se-kar, is a celebrated rock-cut cave of 
St. Padma, called Kyil-k'or ta-dub. It is thus described' 2 : — 

" We took lighted lamps, and after going 120 paces inside the cavern 
we reached an open flat space about twenty feet square, from which a 
rock-cut ladder led us up to another open space about ten feet square ; 
thirty paces further brought us to a stone seat, said to be the seat of Guru 
Padma-sambhava. Behind the seat was a small hole drilled through 
the rock: through this hole a wooden spoon about two feet long was 
passed by the sister of the Lama Avho accompanied us, and a small 
amount of reddish dust was extracted which is said to be the refuse of 
the Guru's food. This we ate ami found very sweet to the taste. Then 
after lighting some sacred lamps and asking a blessing, we descended by 
another flight of steps to a place where a stream issues from the face of 
the rock. The total length of the cave from the entrance of the stream 
is about a quarter of a mile. There are ascents and descents, and many 
turn.'- and twists through narrow passages where only one man can go 
at a time, and many people are afraid to risk exploring the place, if 
the lamp were to go out there would be no finding the way back again." 

Colossal images of Jam-pa or " The Loving One" (the Buddha 
to come), and sometimes of Avalokita are occasionally carved on 
elift's. A monster image of the god Maitreya (Jam-pa), three 
Btoreys in height, is mentioned by explorer A. K. ; 3 the figure 
is internally of clay, and is well gilded externally; it is seated 
on a platform on the ground floor, and its body, passing succes- 

' one accounl given me says thai three days from the town in aorthern [ndia 
named Cfirdun (? Dehra Dun) lies Ramnagar, thence four days Baraduar, where there 
is ;. railway station, thence on i"<>t two days m Quruduar, whence Ts'o Padma i- 
eight days distant amongst Beven bills, like Mi. Meru. la regard to it. the Sham-bha- 
ia Lam-yig contains the following passage: "At the city of the king Da-ya-tee <•! 
Pu-rang, in consequence "t water striking against coal, .it night the coal is Been 
burning, it is Baid of this coal and water, thej have tin- peculiarity that the 
water, it introduced int.. the stomach of man or beast, turns into stone" 
i G.S I; .. loc. ></.. p. 20. 
Bsnbsst, S.R» loc. tit., para li». an image similar to this, thirtj feet high, but of 
gilt copper, is notedbj the Lama I . G., loc. tit., p. 22. Lake at Ronch'am Ch'en, near 
the crossing "t the Tangpo, near 5fam-dok. 


sively through the second and third floors, terminates in a. jewelled 
and capped colossal head above the latter floor ; in all, the figure 
and platform are said to be seventy or eighty feet high. Now, as an 
essential feature in Tibetan worship is the performance of circuits 
around an image, it will be seen that the pilgrim in circling 
this image of Jam-pa is compelled by circumstances to perform 
three different series of circumambulations on as many floors ; 
at first around the god's legs, next around his chest, and lastly 
around his head. 

But, after all, the greatest pilgrimage to which a Lamaist devotee 
looks is to the Buddhist-god incarnate at Lhasa, the Grand Dalai 

Accounts of the culmination of such a pilgrimage have been 
recorded by Manning and others. The infant Grand Lama, who 
received Manning, was altogether a prodigy. A reception by the 
Grand Tashi Lama, one of the many witnessed by Mr. Bogle, is 
thus described by that gentleman x (see figure, page 305) : — 

" On the 12th November, a vast crowd of people came to pay 
their respects, and to be blessed by the Lama. He was seated 
under a canopy in the court of the palace. They were all ranged 
in a circle. First came the lay folks. Everyone according to 
his circumstances brought some offering. One gave a horse, 
another a cow ; some gave dried sheep's carcasses, sacks of flour, 
pieces of cloth, etc. ; and those who had nothing else presented 
a white Pelong handkerchief. All these offerings were received 
by the Lama's servants, who put a bit of silk with a knot upon it 
tied, or supposed to be tied, with the Lama's own hands, about the 
necks of the votaries. After this they advanced up to the Lama, 
who sat cross-legged upon a throne formed with seven cushions, 
and he touched their head with his hands, or with a tassel hung 
from a stick, according to their rank and character. The cere- 
monial is this : upon the gy longs or laymen of very high rank he 
lays his palm, the nuns and inferior laymen have a cloth interposed 
between his hand and their heads ; and the lower class of people 
are touched as they pass by with the tassel which he holds in his 
hand There might be about three, thousand people 

Op. <//., p. 85. A grander reception is described by him at p. 98. 



— men, women, and children — at this ceremony. Such as had 
children on their backs were particularly solicitous that the child's 
head should also be touched with the tassel. There were a good 
many boys and some girls devoted to the monastic order by having 
a lock of hair on the crown of the head cropped by the Lama with 
a knife. This knife came down from heaven in a flash of lightning. 
. . . After the Lama retired, many people stayed behind 
that they might kiss the cushions upon which he had sat." 

The ordinary receptions by his holiness have been described by 
the survey spy A. K. 1 Since his worshippers are in thousands, and 
it is only to those who are wealthy or of high degree that he can 
afford to address even a brief sentence or two, this is always done 
in a deep hoarse voice, acquired by training in order to convey the 
idea that it emanates from maturity and wisdom. Seated cross- 
legged on a platform some six feet high, he is dressed to be 
worshipped in the usual colours of priesthood, i.e., red and yellow, 
and with bare arms, as required of all Buddhist priests, and holds 
a rod from the end of which hangs a tassal of silk, white, red, yellow, 
green, and blue. The pilgrim, coming in at the entrance door, 
advances with folded hands as if in prayer, and resting his head 
against the edge of the platform above him, mentally and hastily 
repeats the petitions he would have granted. These unuttered 
prayers the Dalai Lama is understood to comprehend intuitively ; 
he touches the pilgrim's head with the bunch of silk in token 
of his blessing, and the worshipper is hurried out at the east door 
by attendants, only too happy if he has passed say half a minute 
in the vicinity of the great priest. This is the common procedure. 
Persons of rank or substance are permitted to mount the platform 
and to perform obeisance there, receiving the required blessing 
by actual touch of the Dalai Lama's hand ; subsequently such 
worshipper may be allowed a seat below the platform where a few 
hoarse utterances of enquiry may be addressed to him by the 
Dalai Lama, and he may also be given some food. 

The account of one of these more select receptions, to which 
Baber Sarat gained admission in disguise, is here abridged from 
his narrative. 

" We are seated on rugs spread in about eight rows, my seat being in 

1 l.ur. ,//., edited by Benbsst, para. 20. 


the third row, at a distance of about ten feet from the Grand Lama's 
throne, and a little to his left. There was perfect silence in the grand 
hall. The state officials walked from left to right with serene gravity, 
as becoming their exalted rank in the presence of the supreme vice- 
regent of Buddha on eaiim. The carrier of the incense-bowl (suspended 
by three golden chains), the head steward, who carried the royal 
golden teapot, and other domestic officials then came into his holiness's 
presence, standing there motionless as pictures, fixing their eyes, as it 
were, on the tips of their respective noses. 

" The great altar, resembling an oriental throne, pillared on lions of 
carved wood, was covered with costly silk scarves ; and on this his 
holiness, a child of eight, was seated. A yellow mftre covered the 
child's head, his person was robed in a yellow mantle, and he sat cross- 
legged, with the palms of his hands joined together to bless us. In 
my turn I received his holiness's benediction and surveyed his divine 
face. I wanted to linger a few seconds in the sacred presence, but was 
not allowed to do so, others displacing me by pushing me gently. The 
princely child possessed a really bright and fair complexion with rosy 
cheeks. His eyes were large and penetrating. . . . The thinness of 
his person was probably owing to the fatigues of the ceremonies of the 
court, of his religious duties, and of ascetic observances to which he 
had been subjected since taking the vows of monkhood. . . . When 
all were seated after receiving benediction, the head steward poured 
tea into his holiness's golden cup from the golden teapot. Four assis- 
tant servers poured tea into the cups of the audience. Before the 
Grand Lama lifted his cup to his lips a grace was solemnly chanted. 
Without even stirring the air by the movements of our limbs or our 
clothes, we slowly lifted our cups to our lips and drank the tea, which 
was of delicious flavour. Thereafter the head butler placed a golden 
dish full of rice in front of his holiness, which he only touched ; and 
its contents were then distributed. I obtained a handful of this con- 
secrated rice, which I carefully tied in one corner of my handkerchief. 
After grace had been said, the holy child, in a low indistinct voice, 
chanted a hymn. Then a venerable gentleman rose from the middle 
of the first row of seats, and, addressing the Grand Lama as the Lord 
Avalokita Incarnate, recited the many deeds of mercy which that 
patron saint of Tibet had vouchsafed towards its benighted people. 
At the conclusion he thrice prostrated himself before his holiness, when 
a solemn pause followed ; after which the audience rose, and the Grand 
Lama retired. 

"One of the butler's assistants gave me two packets of pills, and the 
other tied a scrap of red silk round my neck. The pills, I was told, 
were Chinlab (blessings consecrated by Buddha-Kashyapa and other 
saints), and the silk scrap, called sungdu (knot of blessing), was the 
Grand Lama's usual consecrated return for presents made by pilgrims 
and devotees." 

Y 2 




" Since we left off to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and to pour out 
drink-offerings to her, we have wanted all things and have been consumed by 
the sword and famine." — Jeremiah xliv., 18. 1 

lAMAIST mythology is a fascinating field for explor- 
ing the primitive conceptions of life, and the way in 
which the great forces of nature become deified. It 
also shows the gradual growth of legend and idolatry, 
with its diagrams of the unknown and fetishes ; and how Buddhism 
with its creative touch bodied forth in concrete shape the abstract 
conceptions of the learned, and, while incorporating into its pan- 
theon the local gods of the country, it gave milder meanings to 
the popular myths and legends. 

The pantheon is perhaps the largest in the world. It is peopled 
by a bizarre crowd of aboriginal gods and hydra-headed demons, 
who are almost jostled off the stage by their still more numerous 
Buddhist rivals and counterfeits. The mythology, being largely of 
Buddhist authorship, is full of the awkward forms of Hindu fancy 
and lacks much of the point, force, and picturesqueness of the 
myths of Europe. Yet it still contains cruder forms of many of 
these western myths, 2 and a wealth of imagery. 

Primitive Buddhism, as we have seen, knows no god in the 
sense of a Creator or Absolute Being ; though Buddha himself 

1 Compare with the analogous Buddhist " Queen of Heaven, "Para or Kwan-yin, pp. 
435, etc 

2 CI. V. A. Smith " On the Graeco-Boman influence on the Civilization of Ancient 
India," J.A.S.B., 1891-9:2, p. 50, etc. Also Prof. Ukunwedel, loc. dt. 


seems to have been in this respect an agnostic rather than an 

But, however, this may be, the earliest Buddhist mythology 
known to us gives the gods of the Hindus a very prominent place 
in the system. And while rendering them finite and subject to the 
general law of metempsychosis, yet so far accepts or tolerates the 
current beliefs in regard to their influence over human affairs as to 
render these gods objects of fear and respect, if not of actual 
adoration by the primitive Buddhists. 

The earliest books purporting to reproduce the actual words 
spoken by the Buddha make frequent references to the gods and 
demons. And in the earliest of all authentic Indian records, the 
edict-pillars of Asoka, we find that model Buddhist delighting to 
call himself " the beloved of the gods." The earlier Buddhist 
monuments ,it Barhut, etc., also, are crowded with images of gods, 
Yakshas and other supernatural beings, who are there given attri- 
butes almost identical with those still accorded them by present- 
day Buddhists. Every Buddhist believes that the coming Buddha 
is at present in the Tushita heaven of the gods. And the 
Ceylonese Buddhists, who represent the purer form of the faith, 
still worship the chief Indian gods and are addicted to devil- 
worship and astrology. 1 

But the theistic phase of Buddhism carried objective worship 
much further than this. For as Buddha himself occupied in 
primitive Buddhism the highest central point which in other 
faiths is occupied by a deity, his popular deification was only 

In addition to the worship of Buddha, in a variety of forms, the 
Mahayana school created innumerable metaphysical Buddhas and 
Bodhisats whom it soon reduced from ideal abstractness to 
idolatrous form. And it promoted to immortal rank many of the 
demons of the Sivaist pantheon ; and others specially invented by 

1 Rhys Davids, B., p. 7. " In the courtyard of nearly all the wiharas (monasteries i in 
Ceylon there i- a small dewala (or god-templo in which the Brahmanical deities an' 
worshipped. Tin' persons who officiate in them an- called Kapavas. Tiny marry. 
The incantations they use are in Sanskrit {East. Hon., p. 201). The chief gods 
worshipped are Vishnu, Kataragaina, Nata who in the next Kalpa is to become 
Maitreya Buddha, and Pattini Deva. Other temples belong to tutelaries. e.g., Saman 
Deva, the tutelary of Buddha's foot-print, Sri-pade </:■,,/. Servia Tenures Commission, 
Ceylon, 1872, p. 62). It is probable that this Pattini i^ the tutelary goddess of 
Asoka's capital, Patna. Cf. my Discovery <>f ■ tad sitt of Pdtaliputm, etc., 1892." 


itself as defensoresfcdei; and to all of these it gave characteristic 
forms. It also incorporated most of the local deities and demons 
of those new nations it sought to convert. There is, however, as 
already noted, reason for believing that many of the current 
forms of Brahmanical gods were suggested to the Brahman s by 
antecedent Buddhist forms. And the images have come to be of 
the most idolatrous kind, for the majority of the Lamas and 
almost all the laity worship the image as a sort of fetish, holy in 
itself and not merely as a diagram or symbol of the infinite or 

The Lamaist pantheon, thus derived from so many different 
sources, is, as may be expected, extremely large and complex. 
Indeed, so chaotic is its crowd that even the Lamas themselves do 
not appear to have reduced its members to any generally recognized 
order, nor even to have attempted complete lists of their motley 
deities. Though this is probably in part owing to many gods 
being tacitly tolerated without being specially recognized by the 
more orthodox Lamas. 

The nearest approach to a systematic list which I have seen, is 
the Pekin Lama's list so admirably translated by the late Mr. 
Pander, 1 but this, as well as all the other extant lists, is 
defective in many ways and only fragmentary. 

The chief Tibetan treatises on the Lamaist pantheon according 
to my Lama informants, are : — 

(a) Z'a-lu L6-tsa-wa's, "The means of obtaining The Hundred (gods). 2 
This is said to be the oldest of the extant systematic works on Lamaist 
deities and seems to date from about 1436 a.d., when Z'a-lu succeeded 
to the great Pandit Atlsa's chair at Gah-ldan monastery. Zha-lu Lo- 
ch'en, "the great translator," states that he translated his description 
from one of the three great Indian works by Pandit Bhavaskanda 
entitled " Slokas on the means of obtaining (tutelary and other 
deities)." 3 The term " the hundred " which occurs in the title of this 
and the following treatises refers only to the chief divinities ; for the 
total number described is much greater. 

(b) Pari L6-tsa-was " The Hundred precious Manifestations of Nar- 
thang." l This work issuing from the great press at Narthang near 
Tashi-lhunpo is said to deal mainly, if not solely, with those omitted by 
Z'alu, and is placed about the sixteenth century a.d. 

1 Das Pantheon des Tschangtscha Hutuklu, etc. 

2 sGrubs-t'ub brgya-rtsa. 

■ Sgrub-t'ub ts'ig bc'ad, Skt. ? Sadwiwt/A sloka. 
4 rin-'liyui'i sNar-t'an brgya-rtsa. 


(c) Taranatha' s "The Hundred pi-ecious Appearances." x This work by 
the great historiographer Lama Taranatha contains mainly residual deities 
omitted by the two previous writers ; but it is chiefly devoted to the 
more demoniacal forms." This work dates from about 1600 a.d. and 
was, I think, printed at Phun-ts'o-ling near Narthang ; but I omitted 
to note this point specially while consulting the book at Darjiling." 

(d) The Dalai Lama Nag-wan Ld-zan Gya-ts'6's "autobiography," written 
in the latter half of the seventeenth century a.d. In its mythological 
portion it describes chiefly those aboriginal Tibetan deities which had 
become grafted upon orthodox Lamaism. 

All the foregoing works have been consulted by me except the second 
or Narthang text, which seems to be the same book referred to by 
Pander. 4 The Pekin work translated by Pander and dating from 1800 
a.d., seems to have been a compilation from the above sources in regard 
to those particular deities most favoured by the Chinese and Mongolian 
Larnas, though the descriptions with the Pekin list are often meagre and 
frequently different in many details compared with the earlier work of 
Z'a-lu.'' Another book, also, it would seem, printed in China, was ob- 
tained by Mr. Rockhill. 6 

I cannot attempt, at least at present, to give any satisfactory 
classification of such a disorderly mob, but I have compiled from 
the foregoing sources a rough general descriptive list, so as to give 
a somewhat orderly glimpse into this chaotic crowd of gods, 
demons, and deified saints. 

Arranged in what appears to be the order of their rank, from 
above downwards, the divinities seem to fall under the following 
seven classes : — 

1. Buddhas. — Celestial and human. 

2. Bodlilsats. — Celestial and human, including Indian saints 

and apotheosized Lamas. 

3. Tutelarles. — Mostly demoniacal. 

4. Defenders of the Faith, and Witches (Dakkini). 

5. Indian Brdhmanical gods, godlings, and genii. 

1 Rin-'byuri-brgya rtsa. 

3 (ion-po, Skt., Natha ; and Lha-mo, Skt., Kali. 

; It may probably be a version of this work which Pander (Zeitschriflfur Elhnologie, 
p. 54, Berlin, 1889) refers to as published at Drgya by a successor of Taranatha cJe-6tsuii 

•* Op. cit., p. 63. 

-. With these lists may also be compared the illustrated Buddhist pantheon of the 
Japanese, Butzu dso-dmi, reproduced in parts in Prof. J. Hoffman at Leyden in 
Siebold's Nippon Archiv sur Beschreibung tarn Japan, Vol. v., and by Dr. W. Anderson 
in his admirable Catalogue of Jap. Paintings in British M ".<,•>', „. 

6 It gives pictures of the gods and saints with their special mantras. 


6. Country gods (yul-lha) and guardians (sruh-ma), and Local 


7. Personal gods, or familiars. 

The tutelaries, however, overlap the classes above them as well as 
the next one below, and some of the " guardians " are superior to 
the Indian gods. The first four classes, excepting their human 
members, are mostly immortal, 1 while the remainder are within 
the cycle of re-births. 

Before giving the list of these various divinities, and descriptive 
details of the images of the more important ones, let us look at 
the typical forms and attitudes, the material, and methods of exe- 
cution of images in general. 

The immense numbers of images abounding in Tibet are not 
confined to the temples, but are common in the houses of the 
laity, in the open air, as talismans in amulet-boxes, and painted or 
printed as screens, and on the title-pages of books, and as charms, 

The artists are almost exclusively Lamas, though a few of the 
best idols in Lhasa are made by Newari artisans from Nepal, who 
are clever workers in metal and wood. Some also are painted by 
lay-artists, but such images must, be consecrated by Lamas in 
order to be duly efficacious as objects of worship, for most of the 
images are credited with being materially holy, like fetishes, and 
capable of hearing and answering prayers. The mode of executing 
the images, as regards the materials, the auspicious times to com- 
mence the image, and to form the most essential parts, such as 
the eyes, are all duly defined in the scriptures, whose details are 
more or less strictly observed. Many of the more celebrated idols 
are believed by the people and the more credulous Lamas to be 
altogether miraculous in origin— " self-formed," or fallen from 
heaven ready fashioned. 2 

The images are executed in various ways : as statues or bas- 
reliefs (sku) and medallions, and as pictures (sku-t'an or z'al-t'an). 3 
The statues are sometimes of colossal size, 4 especially those of 

i The Lamas do not generally, as do the Nepalese Buddhists, restrict immortality to 

' 2 The Hindus entertain the same belief as regards their dp-rupi idols, which are 
mostly ancient Buddhist ones. 

3 Lit. =flat + image. 

4 Schlagintweit describes (Bud, p. 220) one of these colossal images at Leh as "the 
Buddha in Meditation," and as higher than the temple itself, the head going through 



Maitreya, or "The coming Buddha," which are occasionally rock- 
cut ; but most are less than life-size. 

Of statues the most common form is the plastic, 1 all of which 
are gilt or coloured. They are often cast, as bas-retiefs, in 
moulds, and are formed of coarse papier-mache", or clay, bread- 
dough, 'compressed incense, or variously-tinted butter, 2 and the 
larger ones have a central framework of wood. The plastic image 
or moulded positive is then dried in the sun — excepting, of course, 
those made of butter, -and it i- afterwards painted or gilt. 

The gilt-copper images 8 are more prized. The costly ones are 
inlaid with rubies, turquoises, and other 
preciou- stones. Less common are those 
of bell-metal, 4 while the poorer people are 
content with images of brass or simple 
copper. Wooden images 8 are qoI com- 
mon, and stone images 4 are Leas! frequent 
of all, and are mostly confined to the 
shallow bas-reliefs on slabs, or rock-cut 
on cliffs. Internal organs of dough or 
clay are sometimes inserted into the bodies 
of the larger images, but the head is 
usually I'Tt empty; and into the more 
valued ones are put precious Btones and 
tilings of the noble metals, and a few grains 
of consecrated rice, a scroll bearing "the 
Buddhist creed," and occasionally other 

t ext s, booklets, and relics. These objed s arc Bomel imes mixed wit h 
the plastic material, but usually are placed in the central cavity, the 
entrance to which, called " the charm-place," ' is sealed op by the 
consecrating Lama. 8 And the image is usually veiled by a silken 
scarf. 9 

Here also may be mentioned the miniature funereal images or 

(( H11 copper 

the roof . "The body is .1 frame of w I, dressed with draperies of cloth and paper 1 

the head, the arms, and the Feet are the only parts of the body moulded of clay." 

1 'jim-gzugs. 

- 1 ] 1 < 'a Souv., ii.. i>. '.'5 : Km km 11 1 . Land, i.. p. 69. In Ceylon temporary imag 
said to be made of rice.- Babdy's East. .1/-.-.. I 

r-zahs-sku. 4 li-ma. "' S'in-sku, " rdo-sku. " zun-zhug. 

» This ceremony is called "rabs-gnas zhug-pa." Cf. Csoha, A., p. 103. 

b The images of the fierce gods and goddesses especially are veiled. The veil cover- 
ing the face of Devi is called " Lha-moi zhab-k'ebs. Itis a white silken scarf, about 



caityas, moulded of clay or dough, with or without the addition^of 
relics, 1 and corresponding to the dharma-sarira of the Indian 
stupas, and mentioned by Hiuen Tsiang in the seventh century 

a.d. Small consecrated 
medallions of clay are 
also given by the Dalai 
and Tashi Grand Lamas 
to donors of largess, in 
return for their gifts, 
one of which is figured 
as a tail-piece on page 

The pictures are 
mostly paintings, seldom 
uncoloured drawings, 
and many of them are 
of considerable artistic 
merit. The style and 
technique are, in the 
main, clearly of Chinese 
origin. This is 
especially seen in the 
conventional form of 
clouds, water, etc., 
though the costumes 
are usually Tibetan, 
when not Indian. The 
eye of the Buddhas and 
the more benign Bod- 
hisats is given a dreamy 
look by representing the 
upper eyelid as dented 
at its centre like a 
cupid's bow, but I have 
noticed this same pecu- 

Cjuakdian King oi 


iiarity in mediaeval Indian Buddhist sculptures. 

eighteen inches broad, with red bonier.-, aboul a fool wide. And on it are dr vra in 
colours several of the auspicious symbols, the swastika, elephants' tusks, conch, jewels, 
also the goad, etc., and the mystic spell Bhyt - >. 
1 Called sa-tsch'a. 


The paintings are usually done on cloth, frescoes 1 being mostly 
confined to the mural decoration of temples. The colours are very 
brilliant and violently contrasted, owing to the free use of crude 
garish pigments, but the general colour effect in the deep gloom 
of the temple, or when the painting is toned down by age, is often 

The cloth used is canvas or cotton — seldom silk. It is prepared 
by stretching it while damp over a wooden frame, to which the 
margin of the cloth is stitched ; and its surface is then smeared 
over with a paste of lime and flour, to which a little glue is some- 
times added. On drying, its surface is rubbed smooth and slightly 
polished by a stone, and the drawing is then outlined either by 
hand with a charcoal crayon, or, in the more technical subjects, by 
a stencil-plate consisting of a sheet of paper in which the pattern 
is perforated by pin-holes, through which charcoal dust is sifted. 

The lines are then painted in with Chinese ink, and the other 
colours, which are usually crude pigments imported from China or 
India. The colours are simply mixed with hot thin glue, and as 
the picture is unvarnished, Lamaist paintings are especially 
subject to injury by damp. 

On completion, the artist puts a miniature figure of himself in a 
corner at the bottom in an adoring attitude. The painting is then 
cut out of its rough easel-frame, and it has borders sewn on to 
it, consisting of strips of coloured silk or brocade, and it is mounted 
on rollers with brazen ends, somewhat after the manner of a map 
or a Japanese Kakemono. 2 But it is not so elongated as the latter, 
nor is it so artistically mounted or finished. 

The mounted Tibetan painting has a tricoloured cloth border of 
red, yellow, and blue from within outwards, which is alleged to 
represent the spectrum colours of the rainbow, which separates 
sacred objects from the material world. The outer border of blue 
is broader than the others, and broadest at its lowest border, where 
it is usually divided by a vertical patch of brocade embroidered 
with the dragons of the sky. 

A veil is usually added as a protection against the grimy smoke 
of incense, lamps and dust. The veil is of flimsy silk, often 

1 'dabs-ris. 

- Cf. W. Anderson's Catalogue Japanese Pictures; Nott and (Jliddon, Indiy. Races, 


or ln- 

adorned with sacred symbols, and it is hooked up when the 
picture is exhibited. 

Now we are in a position to consider the detailed description of 
the images. The various forms of images fall into characteristic 
types, which, while mainly anthropomorphic, differ in many ways 
as regards their general form, attitude, features, dress, emblems, 
etc., yet all are constructed, according to a special canon, so that 
there is no difficulty in distinguishing a Buddhist image from a 
Brahmanical or a Jain. 

The forms of images differ broadly, as regards the general type 
or mode of the image, the posture of the body (sedent or other- 
wise), and the attitude in which the hands are held, the number 
of arms, which are emblematic of power, and the symbols 
signia which they bear, as signifying their functi 

The general type of Buddha's image is well-known. It is that 
of a mendicant monk, without any ornaments and with tonsured 
hair, and it is also extended to most of the mythical Buddhas. It 
is called the Muni or saint-type, 1 and it is usually represented 
upon a lotus-flower, the symbol of divine birth. 

Extra to this type, the three others most common are: — 
1st. « The Mild " calm form (Z'i-wa 2 ) or Bodhisat type. 
2nd. k < The Angry " type (T'o-wo*), of the " Howler " (Rudra 

and Ma/rut), or Storm-deity of Yedic times. 

3rd. " The Fiercest " fiend type (Drarj-po or Drags'e')} 

a fiercer form of No. 2, and including the " lord "- 

fiends. 5 

These latter two types are confined mainly to Tantrik Buddhism, 

which, as with Tantrik Hinduism, gives each divinity a double or 

treble nature with corresponding aspects. In the quiescent state 

the deity is of the mild Bodhisat type; in the active he is of the 

Angry or Fiercest-fiend type. Thus the Bodhisat Mafijusri, the 

(rod of Wisdom, in his ordinary aspecl is a " Mild " deity (Z'i-wa ; 

as"The Fearful Thunderbolt"^ Bha/i/rava-vajra), he is an "Angry" 

1 b'ub-bzugs. 

« Tibeto-Sanskril dictionaries give "Siva" as well a* "Santi" as the Sanskrit 
equivalent of this word, bo it maj literally mean a mild form of the Sivaisl gods. 
:; ICxo-bo from the Skt. Krod/ut, anger. 
1 Drays-po i »r Draff s-(/s\ d. 
mGon-po Skt., Ni tha 



deity (T'o-iuo) ; and as " The six-faced dreadful King-demon," 1 he 
is of " The Fiercest Fiend " type (Drag-po). 2 

To avoid unnecessary repetition in the detailed descriptions, it 
seems desirable to give here a general note on these typical mild 
and demoniacal aspects, and also on the attitudes of the body and 
of the ringers. 

The "Mild" (Z'i-wa) deities are of what has been called by some Euro- 
pean writers "the Bod- 
hisat type." They are 
figured as young hand- 
some Indian princes and 
princesses, seated 
usually on lotus thrones, 
and are thus described 
by Z'fi-lu : The figure 
looks proud, youthful, 
beautiful, 3 and refined. 
The body emits a halo 
of innumerable rays of 
light, figured as radiat- 
ing wavy lines, with 
tremulous lines alter- 
nating. The dress is 
of the Indian style, 
with one silk shawl for 
the lower limbs, and 
one for the upper, a 
head ornament (or 
crown) of precious 
things, an ear-ring, a 
close - fitting necklace, 
and a doshal or garland 
reaching down to the 
thigh, and a Semondo 
or shorter garland reach- 
ing to the navel, an 
armlet, wristlet, brace- 
let, anklet, girdle (ok- 
pags), and a sash (dar- 
'p'yan) with fringes. The above 

The Buddha of Boundless Life. 

ornaments are accounted thirteen. 

i gdon-drug-ch'an. 'jig-byed bdud-las rnara rgyal. 
- According to the rhyme : 

rje-btsun 'jam dbyahs k'ros-pa-ni 
rdo-rje 'jigs byed 'jigs par byed, 
k'ro-bor rgyal-po gdon drug c'an. 
3 For the (30 or 81) secondary beauties, cf. Burnouf's Lotus, App., viii., Hardy's Man., 
367, Raj. L. Mitra's Lalita Vial. For description of Hindu Idols, see Brihat Samhita, 
translated by Dr. Kerk, J.R.A. .S'.,vi., 322. 



The hair of the gods is dressed up into a high cone named ral-pa'-t'or- 
tshugs, and the forehead usually bears the tilak or auspicious mark. 
The goddesses are given a graceful form with slender waist and swelling 
breasts, and their hair is dressed into plaits which lie on the hinder 
part of the neck, and they beam with smiles. 

The " Angry" type (To-ivo) is terrible in its elaborate ugliness, 

with disproportion- 
ately large head, 1 
scowling brows, and 
cruel, callous eyes, 
and usually with a 
third eye in the 
centre of the fore- 
head. 2 Z'a-lu de- 
scribes them as fat, 
brawny-limbed, and 
menacing in atti- 
tude, standing or 
half-seated upon some 
animal, their lips a- 
gape, showing their 
great canine fangs, 
and rolling tongue; 
their wolfish eyes 
are glaring, the 
beards, eyebrows, and 
hair are either 
yellow, red, reddish- 
yellow, or greyish- 
yellow, and the hair 
is erect, with occa- 
sionally a fringe of 
curls on the fore- 
head, believed by some to represent coiled snakes. The females, 
as in the annexed figure, 3 except for their full breasts and the 
absence of beards, do not differ in appearance from the males. 


T., Lha-mo. 

i Cf. a in \<;., B.,p. 222, for measurements of proportions of several of these images. 
2 Tril&cana, a character also of the Hindu Bhairavaand Kali and their demon troop 
of followers, the gana. 
■ after Pander. 




All these fiends have six ornaments of human bones, namely (1) 
ear ornament, (2) necklet, (3) armlet, (4) bracelet, (5) anklet (but some 
have snake-bracelets and anklets), and (6) a garland of circular bodies 
fixed to bone-heads (seralkha), and corresponding to the semodo of the 
Z'l-wa, and occasionally they have a doshal garland. The foregoing 
is according to the Indian canon, but the Tibetan style enumerates for 
them thirteen ornaments, namely : (1 ) the raw hide of an elephant, s 
an upper covering, (2) skins of human corpses as a lower garment, (2 
a tigerskm inside the latter, (4) Brahma's thread (ts'ah-skud), (5 to 10) 
the six bone ornaments above noted, (11) Tilak mark on forehead, of 
blood, (12) Grease (Z'ag) on either side of mouth, and (13) ashes 
smeared over body. 

The "Fiercest" Fiends— {Drag^po and Gon-po) closely re- 
semble the above "Angry Deities." Thpy have usually chaplets 
of skulls encircled by 
tongues of flames ; and they 
tread upon writhing victims 
and prostrate bodies. 

As regards the Postures of 
the images, the chief sedent 
postures, and especially char- 
acteristic of the several forms 
of Buddha himself, and 
secondarily of the celestial 
Buddhas and Bodhisats are 
as follows : — 

(1) "The adamantine, un- 
changeable, or fixed pose" 
(Skt., Vajra (?) Palana 1 ) sedent 
in the well-known cross-legged 
Buddha posture. The legs are 
locked firmly and the soles 
directed fully upwards. This 
is the pose of deepest meditath 

Sakya in Meditation. 

.., hence it is also called, when the 
hands he loosely in the lap, the " Dhyana or meditative mudra." - 

(2) "TheBodhisat-pose" (Skt.,Satva (?) pcdana*) differs from No. 1 in 
having the legs looser and unlocked. The soles are scarcely seen. This 
is the pose of first emergence from meditation. 

(3) « The sub-active pose " (Skt. (?) iViyampalana) 3 is emerged farther 
from meditation. It has the legs unlocked, the left being quite under 
the right, and the soles invisible. 

rdo-rje akyil-drun. 

^ems-dpa skyil drun. 

Skvil dkruii chuh zad. 



(■t) "The Enchanter's pose" (Skt., Lalita 1 ), i.e., after the manner of 
" The Enchanter " Mahjusri. Here the right leg hangs down with an 
inclination slightly inwards and the left is loosely bent. 

(5) Maitreya's pose. 2 Sedent in the European style with both legs 

The chief attitudes of the hands and fingers (mudras 3 ) are the 
following, and most are illustrated in the figures : — 

The Fim: ( m.mmi. Jinas (oh Buddhas). 

Vajroci na Bambhava, 


1. "Earth-touching,"' or (he so-called "Witness" attitude (Ski.. 
Bhufparsa 4 ). with reference to the episode under the Tree of Wis- 

rol-ba bzugs. 

■ byams bzugs. 



doin, when Sakya Muni called the Earth as his witness, in his tempta- 
tion by Mara. It affects only the right hand, which is pendant with 
the knuckles to the front. It is the commonest of all the forms of the 
sedent Buddha, and almost the only form found in Burma and Ceylon. 
It is also given to the celestial Buddha Akshobhya, as seen in the 
figure on the preceding page. 

2. "The Impartial" (Skt., Samahitan 1 ), or so-called "meditative 
posture " (Skt., Samadhi "). Resting one hand over the other in the 
lap in the middle line of the body, with the palms upwards, as in 
Amitabha Buddha (see the attached figure). 

3. "The best Perfection" (Skt., Uttara-bodhi 8 ). Index-finger and 
thumb of each hand are joined and held almost in contact with the 
breast at the level of the heart, as in the celestial Buddha Vairocana 
in the figure on the opposite page. 

4. "Turning the Wheel of the Law" (Skt., Dharma-cakra 4 ). 
Dogmatic attitude with right index-finger turning down fingers of 
left hand, figured at page 134. 

5. " The best Bestowing " (Skt., Varada 5 ). It signifies charity. The 
arm is fully extended, and the hand is directed downwards with the 
outstretched palm to the front, as in " the Jewel-born" Buddha Ratna- 
sambhava, who is figured on the opposite page. 

6. " The Protecting," or " Refuge-giving " (Skt., Saran c ). With arm 
bent and palm to front, and pendant with fingers directed downwards, 
as in No. 5. 

7. " The Blessing of Fearlessness " (Skt. 1 Ahhaija). The arm is 
elevated and slightly bent. The hand elevated with the palm to the 
front, and the fingers directed upwards, as in Amogha-siddha Buddha, 
figured over page. It is also the pose in the episode of the mad elephant. 

8. "The Preaching" 7 differs from No. 7 in having the thumb bent, 
and when the thumb touches the ring-finger it is called "The 
triangular 8 (pose), see figure on page 5. 

9. " The Pointing Finger." " A necromantic gesture in bewitching, 
peculiar to later Tantrism. 

The halo, or nimbus, around the head is subelliptical, and never 
acuminate like the leaf of the piped or Bodhi tree (Ficus 
religiosa). The tierce deities have their halo bordered by flames (see 
figure page 330). An additional halo is often represented as sur- 
rounding the whole body, as figured at pages 333 and 335. This con- 
sists of the six coloured rays of light, and it is conventionally repre- 
sented by wavy gilt lines with small tremulous lines alternating. 

Colour, too, is frequently an index to the mood. Thus, white 

1 mnam-bz'ag. - tiri-i'ie 'dsin. 3 byari-chub-mch'og. 

i ch'os 'k'or-bskor. •' mch'og-sbyin. 6 skyab-sbyin. 

7 ch'os 'c'ad. s pa-dan rtse gsum. 9 sdigs-dsub. 




and yellow complexions usually typify mild moods, while the red, 
blue and black belong to fierce forms, though sometimes light 
blue, as indicating the sky, means merely celestial. Generally the 
gods are pictured white, goblins red, and the devils black, like their 
European relative. 

The Buddhas and other divinities, as well as the superior 
devils, are figured upon a lotus-flower, a symbol of divinity. 
The lotus-flower, on which the Buddhas and mild divinities are 
figured, is the red lotus (Nelumbium speciosum) ; while the fiercer 
divinities, including frequently Avalokita, and all those demons 
who are entitled to lotus-cushions, should have a pinkish variety 
of the white lotus (Nymphcea esculenta), the petals of which are 
much notched or divided, so as to resemble somewhat the 
Acanthus in Corinthian capitals. The blue lotus is the special 
flower of Tara, but it is conventionally represented by the Lamas 
as different from the Utpal (Nymphcea sp.), as figured on the oppo- 
site page. 

A remarkable feature of most Tantrik Buddhist images is the 
frequent presence of a Buddha seated on the head of the image 


The Surmounting JINAS in Buddhist Images. 














Stir mounted 

? Samanta- 





Pita Jambhala 
Pita Vaisra- 

" Kan-wa- 







Sa - !inik:i 7ama 


jjyOB mar 
" linn mrisad " 



Krodha Avalo- 
kita Pita 
(?'. . .Kal- 


*• rTogs-pa las- 




Khroda raja 
•• Ran-nage rje 

'.|-in-nia " 




knlla •' 
" psilba tFal 
□b'en-mo " 



or amidst the hair. The existence of such surmounting images 
in the Tantrik Buddhist sculptures of India was noted by Dr. 
Buchanan-Hamilton in his survey of Bihar 1 at the beginning of 
this century, but since his time the subject has attracted only 


Blue Lotus. White Lotus. Asok. 

LOTUSES and other flowers of conventional form. 


the merest incidental notice of writers on Indian Buddhist an- 
tiquities, 2 who seem to have considered all such images to be 
figures only of Avalokita, because Hiuen Tsiang mentioned that a 
certain image of Avalokita had Amitabha seated in his hair. 

As the subject is interesting, and of some importance, I give 
in the table the results of my study of a large series of Lamaist 
pictures containing such figures, and descriptions of others ex- 
tracted from the works of Pandits " gZ'onnu " Gupta, Siitari, 
Kalamtara, Lhan-skyes rolwa-kun-rigs, and Bhavaskandha. 

The surmounting image represents the spiritual father of the 
particular Bodhisat or deity ; and he nearly always is one or other 
of the five Jinas, as the Tibetans term them, 3 or the Buddhas 
of Meditation (Bhydni-Buddha), as they are called by the 
Nepalese Buddhists. In a few cases the coming-Buddha Maitreya 
is figured with Sakya Muni on his head, as indicating spiritual 
succession rather than parental relationship, but it is the latter 
which is the rule. 

1 Eastern India, i. 

2 India Arch<eological Survey Repts.,hy Sir A. Cunningham ; West India Arch. S. 
Repts., by J. Bukgess; Catalogue of Archceolog. Collection in Indian Museum, by J. 

:t rgyal-ba rigs-lha — or "The Pentad Victors." No one seems to have noticed this 
constant use by the Lamas of the word Jina for the celestial Buddhas, whom the 
Nepalese term Dhyani-Buddha, though it is interesting in regard to Jainism in its 
relations to Buddhism. 

z 2 



Occasionally the surmounting Jinas are represented by their 
mystic emblems of a wheel, vajra, jewel, lotus, or visva-vajra, as 
will be described presently. Thus Eatnasambhava is usually 
represented by a jewel on the head of his spiritual reflex Jambhala, 
the god of wealth. And it is to be noted that when, as often 
happens, the image is surrounded by figures of the five Jinas in 
an arc outside the halo, then its own special surmounting parent 
occupies the central position in that arc, whilst the others are 
placed two on each side at a lower level. 

English Name. 




a pike 



a trident 

K'a- 'tvan- rtse-gsum 
















sNa-ts'ogs rdo- 








Lotus-flower (white or 



blue lotus J 



Asoka-rlower ' 

' ' Naga's tree " (cactus 





or coral) 1 





hikUe, or khakhara 



pa tra 


wish-granting gem 

(Yid bz'in) Noi 


(cinta-) mani 





snare 2 






1 3. 


















dirk or dagger 









parasu (?) 



T'o-ba mt'o-ba 



iron -goad 






thigh-bone trumpet 

r Kan-dun 


conch-shell trumpet 




iron -chain 



skeleton -staff 



See No. 1 («) 


anointing vase 









1 Sec figures on previous page. 

2 To rescue tho lost or to bind the opponents. 

A symbol of Siva, Yaruna, and 



The objects or insignia which the several figures hold in their 
hands refer to their functions. Thus, Manjusn, the god of 
wisdom, wields the sword of the truth in dissipating the dark- 
ness of ignorance, and in his left he carries the book of Wisdom 

^p^ "W* 


upon a Lotus-flower, thus symbolizing its supernatural origin ; and 
he rides upon a roaring lion to typify the powerfully penetrating 
voice of the Law. 


The chief of these insignia and other objects held in the hands 
of the images are shown in the foregoing illustration x and are 
as follows ; the numbers in this list correspond to those in the 

We now can look into the details of the principal members of 
the pantheon. 

The vast multitude of deities forming the Lamaist pantheon is, 
as already mentioned, largely created by embodying under differ- 
ent names the different aspects of a relatively small number of 
divinities with changing moods. Such expressed relationship, 
however, seems occasionally a gratuitous device of the Lamas in 
order to bring some of their indigenous Tibetan deities into rela- 
tionship with the earlier and more orthodox celestial Bodhisats of 
Indian Buddhism. But the various forms have now all become 
stereotyped, and even a trivial difference in title yields a different 
form of image. Thus the images of " Maitreya " and " Bhrikuti " 
differ much from those of " Bhadraka Maitreya " and "Arya Bhri- 
kuti." And different writers differ in some of the minor details 
in their description of some of these stereotyped forms. Thus we 
have images described as " in the fashion of Nagarjuna," or of some 
one or other celebrated Indian monk or Lama. 

First in our classification come the Buddhas, human and celes- 

I. The Buddhas. 

The innumerable forms of the Buddhas, the fabulous terrestrial, 
the celestial and metaphysical, are all, with a few exceptions, based 
upon the five conventional attitudes ascribed to the historical 
Buddha, as marking the chief episodes of his Buddhahood. And 
of these " the Witness attitude " is in Tibet, as in Indian and 
southern Buddhism, the most common. Additional varieties are 
obtained by giving to these images different colours, ornaments, 
and symbols. Almost all are sedent in the well-known cross-legged 
attitude of Buddha's image ; few are standing, and the recumbent 
or dying posture is very rarely seen in Tibet. 

The typical Buddha is conventionally represented as a man of 

1 After Pandbh, Pantk., p. 108. 


the most perfect form and beauty. 1 The face, usually of Aryan type 
and unbearded, wears a placid and benign expression. The head 
is bare, and the hair roughly tonsured and curly, 2 with a protu- 
berance ' on the crown or vertex upon which is sometimes repre- 
sented a diadem. 4 He is clad in mendicant's garb, without any 
jewellery. The shawl 5 usually leaves the right shoulder bare, ex- 
cept when representing him preaching or walking abroad in public. 
He sits under the pipal-tree, the " Tree of Wisdom," upon a 
cushion of lotus-flowers set upon a throne covered by a mat, 6 sup- 
ported by lions or other animals, as a sort of heraldic shield. And 
the throne is sometimes surmounted by a framework bearing at 
its sides the figures of a rampant lion trampling upon an elephant, 
and surmounted by a " water-lion," 7 topped by a garuda- bird as 
the centre-piece or keystone of the arch. 
1. Sdkya Muni Bhagavdn. 

T., S'akya-t'ub-pa bc'om-ldan 'das. 

This typical form of the Buddha is figured as at page 6, but 
the right hand should be in the pose of Akshobhya at page 336. It 
represents Sakya Muni at the greatest epoch of his life, namely, 
under the " Tree of Wisdom," at the instant of his attaining his 
Buddhahood. He has the general characters of a Buddha as 
already described. He has a golden complexion, with tonsured 
indigo -coloured hair, and wears the three robes of a religious 
mendicant, without any ornaments. He sits in " the indestructible " 
pose, with right hand in " witness attitude," and sometimes a 
begging-bowl rests on his lap. He is seated upon a cushion of 

1 Possessing " the thirty beauties" and "the eighty secondary beauties." These 
include a lotus mark on each palm and sole. 

2 The ragged contour of Sakya's cropped hair in his images is ascribed to his having 
on his great renunciation cut off his tresses with his sword. The cut locks of hair 
were carried to heaven, where the gods enshrined them in " the tomb of the Jewelled 
Tresses" (C'lulaiiuini Caiti/a), which is still a regular object of worship with Burmese 

3 Skt., Ushnislia ; Tib., Tsiuj-tor. 

4 Skt., Cuda. The peculiar flame-like process intended to represent a halo of 
rays of light issuing from the crown, so common in Ceylon images, is not distinctly 
represented by the Tibetans, and at most by a jewel. 

s Tib., Lagoi. e Tib., Ten-kab 

t Described by Hiuen Tsiang, Bkal's translation of Sl-Yu-Ki, ii., p. 122. 


_ 56, set upon a lion-supported lotus-throne at the 
- • at Buddh-Gaya, in (jangetic India, afterwards called " the 
adamantine throne."- In this, his final struggle for the Truth, 
the powers of darkness which assailed him are concretely repre- 
sented as Mara, the demon of Desire, and his minions, and the 
"three tires " of desire are still pictured as being above him. 

Mara denies the good deeds in this and former lives, which 
qualified Sakva Muni for the Buddhahood, and calls upon him to 
produce his witness. Whereupon the embryo Buddha touches 
the ground and instantly the old mother Earth, Dharitri or Dharti 
Mata, 3 appears riding upon a tortoise (symbolic of the earth;, 
bearing in her hand a "pantaa" garland, and she addresses the saint, 
saying, "I am your Witness," — hence the name of this attitude -.f 
Buddha, the "Earth-touching " or " Witness." The legend goes on 
to relate that the earth-spirit, wringing her hair, caused a huge 
river to issue therefrom, which swept away Mara and his hordes. 
This episode of wringing the hair and the destruction of Mara and 
his minions is frequently depicted in Burmese temples ; and the 
'ii amongst the Burmese of pouring water on the ground at 
the conclusion of a religious service i-, I am informed by a 
Burmese monk, an appeal to the earth-spirit to remember and 
-The particular good deed when men have forgotten 

In the larger images of this form of Buddha he is frequently 
figured with hi> two favourite disciples standing by Ins side, Sari- 
putra on his right, and Maudgalyayana on his left. 

This title of Bhagavdn, or " The Victorious,'* * is in Tibet the 
frequently used of all Buddha's title-, after Sakva Muni and 

_ ized forms of Sakya's image are : — 

(a) .Saky.t in the four other sedent attitudes, and the standing and 

- 1 >-wo Rin-pt _ Indian 

prince of sixl 

Kfuni (Tub-pa rdo-rje gdan tc g in). 

Of. Ta 

i.v. i., 71 : and Jak- D . 17 


(<l) Tub-pa dan. I \ . bkod (Pan. 

.'.aagavan ekajata (Cw»A T 8 Ah., p. 591). 
- Buddha-kapala (Saztf-rgyafl t'od-pa : Pa.vd., No. 69)— a very de- 
moniacal form. 

And here also seem to come the mythological series of " The 
Six Muni," the presidents of the six worlds of re-birth— see "Wheel 
of Life.'' These appear to be identical with " The Six Jizd " of 
the Japanese, though the "Jie& ; ' are usually alleged to be forms 
of Kakitigarbha. Here also should probably come "The King 
of the powerful Nagaa " 1 which seems to represent Buddha 
defended by the ff&ga Muchilinda, who seems to be a historic 
person, a helot 'that is Nags) villager of Muchilinda, a hamlet 
which adjoins Buddh-Gaya. 

2. The Se>:e,, Heroic Buddhas (of the Past) 1 or TaikdgatasJ 

This is a fabulous arrangement of human Buddhas, for none 
of them are historical except the last, to wit, Sakya Muni. Yet 
it was of early origin, as this series of images, and each of the 
number with his special tree of wisdom, is found in the Stupa 
of Barhut, which is assigned to about 150 B.C., and they are also 
enumerated in the southern scripture, the Digha-nikdya. 

In keeping with their imaginary character, all are given the most 
extravagant size and duration of earthly life. 4 

Their number is sometimes extended to nine. The most cele- 
brated of the antecedent Buddhas is Dvpamkara (Tib., Mar-me- 
mdsad), "The Luminous/' This imaginary Buddha is considered 
by some of the Lamas to be the first of the series of the seven 
earthly Buddhas preceding Sakya Muni, but by the Ceylonese he 
is placed as the twenty-fourth predecessor.' He u represented as 
the first teacher of Sakya in one of the former births of the latter, 
and a favourite Jataka-tale frequent in the Gfmdhara sculptures in 
the British Museum, and as a current picture in Burmah shows 

i kLu-dbah-gi-rgyal-po - - «a raja.— His face is white and his body blue ; 

-.-.ting in rdo-rje skyil-kruh. Symb.— His two hands are in the mudra of nan- 
• are-las-' don-par-mdsad-pa - or causing the animal beings to be delivered from mi 
and are held over the heart. He has no ornaments. Behind him is a screen and 
Bowez and a sevnn-hooded snake canopy. Cf. Pander, p. 71. 

..s-rgyas dpah-bohiduns. :: De-bz ? in gs'egs-pa. 

* Cf. Cs./.U. ; Turner, J.A.S.B.. viii.. 789 : Hardy's Mem., 94. 

' The NVpalese place him as the ninth predecessor of the historical Buddha Hodo-., 
/., p. 135). Cf. Hoffmann in Siebold's Nippon Pant&ean, v . 77. "The Twenty-four 
Buddhas" are Diparhkara, Kaundinya, Mahgala, Sumanas, Raivata, Sobhita, - 


the self-sacrifice of the embryo Sakya Muni in throwing himself 
over a puddle to form a stepping-stone for the Buddha Dipamkara 
(Sumeclh ?) — suggestive of Sir W. Raleigh's gallantry to Queen 
Elizabeth under somewhat similar circumstances. 

Dipamkara's image, which is figured in the Vajracedika, 1 is 
frequently perforated by innumerable sockets, into which small 
lamps are set. This practice is evidently suggested by the 
concrete rendering of his name as " the burning lamp." 

The Seven Buddhas are usually enumerated as: — 

1. Vipasyin(T., rNam-gzigs) ; hands "earth-touching" and "impartial." 

2. Sikhin (T., gTsug-gtor-c'an) ; hands " best-bestowing " and " im- 

3. Visvabhu (T., T'am-ch'ad-skyob) ; hands " meditative." 

4. Krakucandra (T., K'hor-wa hjigs) ; hands "protecting" and "im- 

5. Kanaka-muni (T., gSer-t'ub) ; hands "preaching" and "im- 

6. Kasyapa (T., 'Od-sruns) has his right hand in " best bestowing " ; 
and the left holds a piece of his robe resembling an animal's ear (see 
figure on page 5). Each is dressed in the three religious garments, and 
sits in the " unchangeable or adamantine " pose, or stands. 

7. Sakya Muni (T., S'akya t'ub-pa) in "the preaching attitude." 

" The Three Holy Ones " are seldom, if ever, concretely represented 
in Tibet by Buddha, Dharma, and Sahgha; nor have I found such 
a triad figured in Indian Buddhism, though many writers have 
alleged the existence of them, without, however, bringing forward 
any proofs. A triad of large images often occupies the centre of 
the Lamaist altar, the central one being usually the founder of the 
particular sect to which the temple belongs, and the other two 
varying with the whim of the local Lama. 


The ideal origin of the celestial Buddhas has already been 
referred to in the chapter on doctrine. The five celestial Bud- 
dhas were invented in the earlier theistic stage of Buddhism. 

The first of the series seems to have been Amitabha, or " the 
Boundless Light," a title somewhat analogous to the name of the 
oldest of the mythical human Buddhas, " the Luminous " (Dipaih- 
kara). This metaphysical creation first appears in works about the 

vama-darsin, Padma, jS'arada, Padmottara, Sumedhas, Sujata, Priya-darsin, Artha- 
darsin, Dharma-darsin, Siddharta, Tishya, Pushya, Vipasyin, Sikhin, Visvabhu, 
Krakucandra, Kanaka-muni (or Konagamana), and Kasyapa. 
1 I'soma, An. 


beginning of our era, and seems to embody a sun-myth and to 
show Persian influence. For be was given a paradise in the west, 
to which all the suns hasten, and his myth seems to have arisen 
among the northern Buddhists when under the patronage of 
Indo-ScythiaD converts belonging to a race of sun-worshippers. 
Indeed, he is believed by Eitel and others to be a form of the 
Persian sun-god ; and lie was made the spiritual father of the 
historical Buddha. 

Afterwards he was quintupled, apparently to adapt him to the 
theory of the five earthly Buddhas, the coming one and the four 
of the past, as well as to the other mystical groups of five — the five 
senses, the five ekandhas, the five virtues, five cardinal points 
where the centre makes the fifth. And each one of these five 
celestial Buddhas was made to preside overa particular direction, as 
already detailed. Images of this series of Buddhas are found 
amongst the lithic remains of India about the seventh century 
a.d., if not earlier. 

In the more developed theory, tending towards monotheism, a 
First Great Cause, under the title of the primordial or Adi-Buddha, 
is placed above these five celestial Buddhas as their spiritual 
father and creator. And to this rank was promoted the first and 
central one of the metaphysical Buddhas, namely, Vairocana, " The 
Omni-present " or his reflex Samantabhadra, "The All Good." 

These three series of Buddhas are arranged according to the 
mystical theory of the three bodies of Buddha {Tri kdya); 1 
namely, (a) the Dharma-kdya, or law-body, which has been 
termed "essential wisdom (Bodhi) " and is self-existent and ever- 
lasting, and represented by Adi-Buddha, (6) Sarnbhoga-Mya or 
adorned body, or reflected wisdom, represented by the celestial 
Jinas, and (c) Nwrmdna-kdya, or changeable body, or practical 
wisdom represented by Sakya Muni and the other human 
Buddhas. Though in a more mystic sense Sakya Muni is con- 
sidered to be an incarnate aggregate of the reflected wisdom of 
all the five celestial Jinas. 

But these five celestial Jinaswere latterly held to unite also within 
themselves both the forms of metaphysical bodies, both the Dharma- 
kaya and the Sambhoga-kaya. Hence arose two series of their 

1 Cf. Hovas., £ss., 27, 58,64; Koppen, ii., 25 ; Schlag., 51,210; Eitel, Handb., passim. 


The original series of these images of the strictly ascetic 
Buddha-type was by a materializing of the word called the religious 
(ascetic) or Dharma type — and such images may or may not 
hold begging-bowls; while the other is literally represented as 
"adorned bodies" (Sam bhoga-kaya) in the same postures as the 
foregoing, but adorned with silks and jewels, and wearing crowns, 
like kingly Bodhisats. In this latter series, " the five Jinas "bear 
individually the same names as their prototypes, except the 
second and fourth, who are named respectively Vajrasattva (or 
"the indestructible or adamantine-souled") and Amitdyus, or 
"the boundless life," instead of Akshobhya, "the immovable," 
and Amitdbha, " the boundless light." These alternative names, 
however, it will be seen, empress very similar and almost synony- 
mous ideas. 

Side by side with these developments arose the theory of celestial 
Bodhisat sons. The celestial Jinas absorbed in meditation in 
heaven could hold no contact with the sordid earth, so as agents for 
the salvation and protection of mortal men and animals they evolved 
sons, who, though celestial, were given active functions on the earth. 

As in the other developments, this new theory first and most 
firmly attached to those creations most intimately associated with 
the historical Buddha. His celestial father, Amitabha, evolved the 
celestial Bodhisat Avalokita or Padma-pani, who still remains the 
most popular of all the celestial Bodhisats. 

But the popular craving for creative functions in their gods led, 
in the Tantrik stage, to the allotment of female energies to these 
celestial Bodhisats. Thus Tara, the goddess of Mercy, was given to 
Avalokita. And the extreme Tantrik development under the Kala- 
cakra system * awarded female energies also to each of the celestial 
Buddhas, and even to the primordial Adi-Buddha himself. 

Thus we have celestial Buddhas and Bodhisats and their female 
energies. Of the celestial Buddhas there are the following series : 
— (1) The primordial Buddha-god, or Adi-Buddha. (2) The 
five celestial Victors {.Tina). (3) The adorned forms of these 
latter, like kingly Bodhisats. (4) The Tantrik forms with ener- 
gies, mostly demoniacal Buddhas. And from several of these were 
latterly evolved other forms with special attributes ; also medical 
and other Buddhas. 

1 In its Anuttara-yoga section. 


The Primordial Buddha-God. 1 

As found in Lamaism, he is most actively worshipped by the old 
or unreformed school, under the title of "The all-good religious 

Skt., Dharma-haya Samantabhadra ; Tib., Kun-tu bzan-po. 

He is figured of a blue colour, and often naked, sitting in 
Buddha fashion, with his hands in the meditative pose. 

The established Lamaisi church gives somewhat similar func- 
tions to Vajradhara, whom, however, they regard as a sort of celes- 
tial offshoot of Silky a Muni; while others of the semi-reforund 
sects seem, like the Nepalese, to credit Vajrasattva with supreme 
power as the primordial Buddha-god. 

The Five Celestial Victors or Jina. 

Skt., Pancajdti Jina ; T., rgyal-ba rigs-lna. 

These are figured on page 336 2 ; and for the sake of clearness 
and convenience of reference, I have tabulated (see following 
page) the objective characters and relationships of these divinities. 
All the forms sit in the same Buddha-like attitude, 3 hut the pose 
of the hands is characteristic. 

The technical description of their attitudes and colour is as 
follows : — 

Akshobhya (T., Mi-ikyod-pa), blue in colour, has his right hand in 
" witness" attitude and left in " impartial." 

Vairocana (T., rNam-snan), white with hands in "best perfection" 

Ratnasambhava (T., Rin-'byun), yellow, has bis right hand in 
" bestowing " attitude, and left in " impartial." 

Amitabha (T.,'Od-pag-rned), red, in " meditative " (Tin-ne-'dsin) atti- 

Amogha-siddhi (T., Don-yod-</rub-pa), green, has his right hand in 
" protecting " (skyabs-sbyin) Attitude, and left in " impartial." 

Each sits in the indestructible or 'adamantine" pose, and differs 
only from the images of the human Buddha in having no begging-bowl 
in the lap. 

In another and more common series, each is adorned with silks and 
jewels like a kingly Bodhisat, see page 333. 

Other Celestial Tdntrik Jin as. 
Another series of celestial Buddhas was formed by adorning the 
five Jinas with a crown, silks, and jewels, like a kingly Bodhisat, 

1 t'og-mahi Sans-rgya*. - Conf. also Hodgson's figures from NepaJ in Aeiatie 

Researches, xvi. : i.e., Vajra-palanga. See p. 335. 


The Objective 





Nani' - 


Animal a- 

( \'ahan.) 


(The in 

colours of 


Object* or 

111 -._•!!.. 1.- 

i i n 1 l: \i . 


\ I'n pai man- 
mdsad >. 

■■ Teaching," <»r, 
in oing the 
Wheel oi ill-- Law." 





•• Witness," — 
'• touching the 

Elephant. ' 


= air. 





(Rin-ch'en' bj uii- 


■■ Bestowing." 





A mitdbha 
\ an ba rnthaA- 
yas, "i . '< >d rfpag- 

•« Meditative." 

l'l'.n k. 


Red Lotuaj 

Nor i li. 

.1 moghasiddhi 
I ' pod yrub-pa) 

•• Blessing "i 1 • 

A h/iai/'t. 

•• Shanfl 

Bhang, ' 

a w inged 

- Km 

i rreen 



\ i; ii,. Banskrit namee are In italic* and thi Tibetan .•.juivul.nt* in i.r.i. k. t.s. 
In mag 

I ik vajra, and I" 11 i>l i 
■ M.n- temp) 
Being in the teaching attitude, Vairocana Buddha >- li.Ki to l-« ih, Buddl 
i u.ilU in. i'|i .in emanation from .ill "f the i el< itial .linos. 


Characters of 

Essential or 
V' Germ " 
I Spell. 
I IVija.) 



Pram (or 



" Adorned" 
Active Reflex. 

Female^ Reflex (? 
nayti) or Energy. 

Vawocana 2nd. VajradMtisvari 

j rf&yids-p'ug-me). 



A mitayns ? Pandard or Sita 

(Tse-dpag-med). (gos-dKar-mo). 




... Tara 



Bodhisat Reflex, 

Spiritual Sons. 






A valokita — the 
common title of 

(sbyan ras-zigs). 


(p'ag na-ts'og). 

Earthly Reflex, as, 

(Mamishi Btiddha.) 


Kanaka Muni 


Sakya Muni 


[andala is addressed occupies the centre. 

\nas and the colour of the vajra and bell are the same as that of the Jlna they symbolize. 

(pecially personifies Wisdom. 


of " the mild deity " type. Of these the best known are Amitayus, 
Vajradhara, and Vajrasattva. 

" The Buddha of Infinite or Eternal Life," Skt., Amitayus 
or Aparimitdyus ; Tib., Ts'e-rfpag-med. He is, as figured at 
pages 329 and 333, of the same form as his prototype Amitabha 
Buddha, but he is adorned with the thirteen ornaments, and he 
holds on his lap the vase of life-giving ambrosia. 

Other forms of Amitayus are the four-handed white A., the red 
A., the King A., Tantracarya A., and Ras-ch'uh's A. 

The following two divinities, esoteric so-called, are accorded by 
the Lamas the position of Buddhas, though they are Bodhisat- 
reflexes from or metamorphoses of Akshobhya, and they both 
resemble in many ways their relative and probable prototype 
Vajrapani : — 

" The Adamantine or Indestructible-souled." (Skt., Vajrasattva ; 
T., rDor-je dSems-pa), The Everlasting. 

" The Indestructible or Steadfast holder.'' Skt., Vajradhara ; 
T., rDorje 'Ch'aii). 

He is figured at page 61, and holds a vajra and a bell. In the 
exoteric cults he is called " the concealed lord " (Guhya-pati, T., San- 
bahi'dag-po). He is a metamorphosis of Indra, and, like him, presides 
over the eastern quarter, and he seems the prototype of most of those 
creatures which may be called demon-Buddhas. And though, as 
above noted, the established church regards this Buddha as a reflex 
from Sakya Muni himself, it also views him as the presiding celestial 
Buddha, analogous to the Adi-Buddha of the old school. 1 

Some Tantrik forms of Amogha-siddha, etc., are: — 
Don-yod z'ags-pa (Pa., 96). 

„ z'ags-pa sna-ts'ogs cZ&aii-po. 

„ lc'ags-kyu. 

,, mch'od-pa'i iior-bu. 

Other forms of celestial Buddhas and Bodhisats are : — 
>-Do-rje mi-k'rugs-pa (Pa., No. 87). 
V;i jiadhfttu : nloiwZbyiris (Pa., No. 77). 
?-Nam-snan mnon-byan (Pa., No. 83). 
Vajragarbha Jina : rGyal-ba rDo-rje snin-po. 

,, rin-c'hen-'oil-'p'ro. 
Surasena Jina : rGyal-ba dpa'bo'i-sde, etc., etc. 
(See Pa., p. 71 for about thirty more), and cf. Butsu dzo-dsui, p. 62, for 
"the Secret Buddhas of the 30 days." 

■ Cf. s, in ., mi : K6ppbn,u.,28,367 : Hodgs., 27, 16, 77, 83; Schihf., ram., 800 : Pand., 

No. 5(1. 


Demoniacal Buddhas. 
The later Tantrik forms include many demoniacal Buddhas : — 
Guhya-Kala (T., gSan-'dus). 

Buddha Kapala, Bans-rgya* t'od-pa (Pand., No. 69). 
Vajrasana-mula, rDo-rje //dan-izhi (Pand., No. 70), etc. 

The special relationships of the Buddhas to certain fiends is seen 
in the foregoing table of surmounting Jinas. 

The Thirty-five Buddhas of Confession. 
These imaginary Buddhas or Tathagatas are invoked in the so- 
called Confession of Sins. 1 Their images are evolved by giving 
different colours to the Buddhas in the five elementary sedent 
attitudes. And they, together with "the thousand Buddhas," 2 
may be considered as concrete representations of the titles of the 
historical human Buddha. 

The Highest Healers wind Medical Tathagatas. 
T., sMan-bla-bde-gs'egs brgyad. 

This is a very popular form of Buddha as "The supreme 
physician," or Buddhist ^Esculapius, and is probably founded upon 
the legend of the metaphysical Bodhisat, " The medicine-king " 
(Bhaisajyaraja), who figures prominently in several of the 
northern scriptures as the dispenser of spiritual medicine. The 
images are worshipped almost as fetishes, and cure by sympathetic 
magic. The first of the series, namely, the beryl, or Beduriya 
Buddha, is also extremely popular in Japan under the title of 
"The lord Binzuru " (Binzura Sama), a corruption evidently, it 
seems to me, of the Indian word " Beduriya," although the Japan- 
ese themselves 3 believe it to be derived from Bharadhvaja, one of 
the sixteen Arhats. 

These ^Esculapic Buddhas are much worshipped in Tibet, in 
ritual by pictures, seldom by images as in Japan, where, as the 
latter are so much consulted by the people, and also doubtless 
owing to their essentially un-Buddhist character, they are usually 

1 Dig-pa t'am-c'ad s'ag-par ter-choi, details in Schlau., p. 123 seg. It is not to 
be confused with the section of the Pratimoksha, properly so called. 

2 See list of Buddha's thousand nanus by Prof. Schmidt, B. Ac, St. Petersbg. 

3 Banyio Nanjio, Chamberlain's Handbook to Jap 


A A 


placed outside the central shrine. The supplicant, after bowing 
and praying, rubs his finger over the eye, ear, knee, or the particu- 
lar part of the image corresponding to the patient's own affected 
spot, and then applies the finger carrying this hallowed touch to 
the afflicted spot, The constant friction and rubbing of this rude 
worship is rather detrimental to the features of the god. 

This group of medical Buddhas is figured in Schlagintweit's 
atlas, but erroneously under fhe title of " Maitreya." They are : — 

1. Sans-rgyas sman-gyi Ma Bediirya'i 'Od-Kyi rgyal-po, or, " King of 
beryl-light, the supreme physician Buddha." Like all of the series, he 
is of Buddha-like form, garb, and sedent attitude. He is indigo- 
coloured ; his right hand is in mch'og-sbyin pose, and in his palm he 
holds the golden Arura fruit (myrobalans). His left hand is m mfiam- 
bzag pose, and holds a begging-bowl of Bai-dur-ya (beryl-stone). Cf. 
Butsu Yakushi in Butsu-dzo-dsui, p. 26 ; Schf., Leben, 84; Pand., No. 142. 

2. »iNon-?»k'yen-rgyal-po is red in colour, with hands in mch'og- 
sbyin and miiam-bz'ag pose. Cf. Pand., No. 141. 

3. Ch'os-sgrags-rgya-7nts'o'i-c£byahs is red in colour, with hands in 
mch'og-sbyin and mnam-bz'&g pose. Cf. Pand., No. 140. 

4. Mya-nan-med-mch'og-cipal is light red in colour, with both hands 
in mnam-6z'ag pose. Cf. Pand., No. 139. 

5. gfSer-izan-dri-med is yellowish-white in colour, with right hand in 
ch'os-'ch'ad mudra, and his left in ?m~iain~/;z'ag pose. Cf. Pand., No. 138. 

6. Rin-ch'en-zla-wa (or sgra-dbyahs) is yellow-red in colour ; his 
right hand is in ch'os-'ch'ad, and his left in mfiam-6z'ag pose. Cf. Pand., 
No. 137. 

7. mtsh'an-legs yohs-grags rfpal is yellow in colour. His right hand 
is in ch'os-'ch'ad, and his left in ?>mam-6z'ag pose. Cf. Pand., No. 136. 

And in the centre of the group is placed, as the eighth, the image 
of SfikyaMuni. 

In this relation it is rather curious to note that some cele- 
brated Europeans have come to be regarded as Buddhas. "The 
common dinner-plates of the Tibetans, when they use any, are of 
tin, stamped in the centre with an effigy of some European ce- 
lebrity. In those which I examined I recognized the third Napo- 
leon, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and Mr. Gladstone, all 
supposed by the natives to represent Buddhas of more or less 
sanctity." x 

II. Bodhisats (Celestial). 

These are the supernatural Bodhisats, the active reflexes from 
the relatively impassive celestial Buddhas. The human Bodhi- 

Babbe, Supp. Papers, Royal Geog. Soc.,p. 200. 


sats, or the saints, are referred by me to the end of the pantheon, 
though the Lamas usually place them above the dii minpres, and 
many of them next to the celestial Bodhisats themselves. 

The Lamas head the list with the metaphysical Bodhisat of 
wisdom, Manjusri ; but following what appears to be the order of 
development of these divinities, I commence with Maitreya, the 
coming Buddha, who, indeed, is the only Bodhisat known to 
primitive Buddhism and to the so-called " southern " Buddhists 
of the present day, the Burmese, Ceylonese, and Siamese ; though 
the Lamas place him fourth or later in their lists, giving priority 
to the especially active Bodhisats which the Mahayana created, the 
mythical Manjusri, Vajrapani, and Avalokita, whom they have 
made their defensores Jidei of Lamaism, with the title of " The 
three lords " 1 and given functions somewhat like the analogous 
triad of Brahmanism, Brahma, Siva and Vishnu. 

The female Bodhisats, Tara, etc., are given towards the end of the 
list, though they might more naturally have been placed beside 
their consorts. 

Maitreya, " The loving one," the coming Buddha or Buddh- 
ist Messiah. T., Byams-pa (pr. " Jam-pa " or " Cham-pa.") 

He is usually represented adorned like a prince, 2 and sitting on 
a chair in European fashion with legs down, teaching the law. 3 He 
is at present believed to be in the Tushita heaven. His image is 
frequently rock-carved or built in colossal form several storeys 
high in Tibet, as he is credited with gigantic size. 

Manjusri or Maiijughosha, " The sweet-voiced," the god of 
wisdom or Buddhist Apollo, and figured at page 12. T., 'Jam- 
pahi dbyaas (pr. Jam-yang). 

He is Wisdom deified, and seems a purely metaphysical creation 
unconnected with any of his later namesakes amongst the 
Buddhist monks in the fourth or fifth centuries of our era, or 
later. His chief function is the dispelling of ignorance. He 
presides over the law, and with his bright sword of divine know- 
ledge 4 cuts all knotty points, and carries in his left the bible of 
transcendental Wisdom, the Prajna-paramita, placed upon a lotus- 
flower. 5 He is the especial patron of astrology. In keeping with 
his pure character he is strictly celibate, one of the few of the 

1 Rig-sum mgon-po, the Lamaist Tmmnrti. 2 Of the mild, z'i-wa type. 

:i Cf. Pand., No. 151. * Ses-rab ral-gri 5 Cf. Koppen, ii., 21. 

A A 2 


Mahayana deities who is allotted no female energy. 1 He usually 
sits, as in the figure, in the Buddha attitude. He is given several 
other modes. 

Most of the countries where northern Buddhism prevails have 
their own special Marijusri. Thus China has a quasi-historical 
Manjusri of about the fifth century a.d., located near the U-tai 
Shan shrine; and Nepalese Buddhism has another of the same 
name as its tutelary saint. 2 

Vajrapani, " The wielder of the thunderbolt," a metamor- 
phosis of Jupiter (Indra) 3 as the spiritual son of the second celestial 
Buddha, Akshobhya. T., p'yag -na-rdo-rje (pronou'ced chana-dorje 
or chak-dor.) 

He is figured at page 13, and of the fierce fiend type, black or 
dark blue in colour, and wields a Vajra (rdo-rje) in his uplifted right 
hand, while in his left he holds a bell or snare or other implement 
according to his varying titles, of which there are fifteen or more. 4 

Hiuen Tsiang mentions his worship in India in the seventh 
century a.d. 5 

Avalokita (or Avalokitesvara or Mahdkaruua), " The keen 
seeing lord, the great pitier and lord of mercy." T., spyan-ras- 
gzigs (pr. Chd-rd-zi), T'ugs-rje-ch'en-po. 

His origin and various forms I have described in some detail 
elsewhere. The spiritual son of the celestial Buddha Amitabha, 
he is the most powerful and popular of all the Bodhisats, and the 
one which the Dalai Lamas pretend to be the incarnation of. 
Other forms of this deity are Padma-pdrii, the Lotus-handed 
Kh'isarpdni, Siuhanada (T., seh-ge-sgra), the Eoaring Lion, 
Hala-hala, Arya-pala (" Aryabolo "), etc. 

Avalokita, being a purely mythological creation, is seldom like 
Buddha represented as a mere man, but is invested usually with 
monstrous and supernatural forms and attributes. The earliest 
Indian images of Avalokita yet found by me, dating to about the 

i Though the Prajna must be somewhat of this character. 

-■ Cf. Archceol. WJnd., «.', xxvi., 18. Pa., No. 145. 

:i Dyaush-pitar, or heavenly lather of the Hindus, becomes "Jupiter" or*'Pies- 
piter " of the Romans, and " Zeus " of the Greeks. 

i Cf. for more common form, Arch. W.Ind., !*, xxvii., 23, and Pa., 84, 140, 169, 
170, 171. 

BSAL's trans., ii. 

e J.R.A.S., 1894, p. 51, et8eq., where twenty-two forms arc described. 


sixth century a.d., clearly show that Avalokita's image was 
modelled after that of the Hindu Creator Prajdpati or Brahma ; 
and the same type may be traced even in his monstrous images 
of the later Tantrik period, and his images usually bear Brahma's 
insignia, the lotus and rosary, and often the vase and book. His 
commonest forms found in Tibet are : 

The Four-handed form, see figure on page 228. This repre- 
sents him as a prince, with the thirteen ornaments, of white com- 
plexion, and sitting in the Buddha posture with the front pair of 
hands joined in devotional attitude (and often as clasping a jewel); 
while the upper hand holds a crystal rosary, and the left a long- 
stemmed lotus-flower, which opens on the level of his ear. 1 

His monstrous eleven-headed form is figured at page 15. It is 
usually standing. In addition to the double pair of hands, it has 
others carrying weapons to defend its votaries. It represents the 
wretched condition of Avalokita when his head split into pieces 
with grief at seeing the deplorable state of sunken humanity. 
But this form, too, seems based on the polycephalic Brahma.' 2 

The eleven heads are usually arranged, as in the figure, in the 
form of a cone, in five series from below upwards, of 3, 3, 3, 1 and 
1, and the topmost head is that of Amitabha, the spiritual fat her 
of Avalokita. Those looking forward wear an aspect of benevo- 
lence ; the left ones express anger at the faults of men; while the 
right faces smile graciously at the good deeds or in scorn at evil- 

This form is frequently given a thousand eyes, a concrete 
materialistic expression of the name Avalokita, " He who looks 
down" or SamantarWiukha, "He whose face looks every way." 3 The 
fixing of the number of eyes at one thousand is merely expressive 
of multitude, and has no precise numerical significance. And un- 
like the thousand-eyed god of Brahmanic mythology — Indra — 
Avalokita's extra eyes are on his extra hands, which are symbolic 
of power, and most of their hands are stretched forth to save the 
wretched and the lost. The eye, which is ever on the look-out to 

i Of. A.W.I., xxvi., p. 17; Pa., No. 147 and my Art. J.R.A.S., lor. eit. 

2 Cf. my art. above cited. The head-splitting is associated with the presence of an 
obstacle, in early Buddhist works. Thus in the Dialogues of Menander (Milinda, 
Rhys Davids' trans., p. 222), in regard to the raiser of an obstacle it is said, " then 
would his head split into a hundred or into a thousand pieces." 

3 Cf. Burnouf's Lotus, p. 428 ; Beal's Catena, 384. 


perceive distress, carries with it a helping hand — altogether a most 
poetic symbolism. Of this type there are many modes, differing 
mainly in colour and degrees of fierceness. 

The other supernatural male Bodhisats 1 are not so commonly 
met with. The chief are : 

Samantabhadra, "The all good." T., Kuntu-bzan-po. 
He is figured at page 14, 2 and is the son of the celestial Buddha 
Vairocana, and is to be distinguished from the Adi-Buddha of the 
same name. He is of the " mild " type, and usually mounted on 
an elephant, and he is frequently associated with Mahjusri 3 as 
attendant on Buddha. 

Kshitigarbha, " The matrix of the earth." 4 

T , Sa-yi snin-po. 
Akdsagarbha, " The matrix of the sky." 
T., Nam-k'ahi-niii-po. 
Sarva nivarcma vishkambhini. 

T., sgRib-pa mam sel." 
(? Jiidnaguru), Master of divine foreknowledge. 7 

T., Ye-s'es bla-ma. 
(? Prdbkdketu), The crown of light. 8 

T.. 'Ol-kyi-tog. 
Prti ii'nlli'l inimali. 

T., sMon-lain blo-gros." 
Sdntendra, The foundation of power. 10 
T., dbAii-po z'i. 


The chief and most active of the supernatural female Bodhisats 
or " energies" are Tara and Marici. 

TaRAj The saviour, or deliverer. T., sgRol-ma (pr. Dd-ma). 

She is the consort of Avalokita, who is now held to be incarnate 
in the Dalai Lamas, and she is the must popular deity in Tibet, 

i For description of some of these in the Aj.-mr.i caves, see art. bj me in Ind. 
Antiquary, L898. 

! Prom the Japanese Butzii Dzd-dsui, p. 127. The form figured, which is generally 
like in Lamaism, is entitled Samantabhadra- Yama. Of, also W. Anderson - Cat., 
p. 81, No. 57. 

[ro.,No 152, and No. 55. The Japanese call him Fugen. 
i Fig. Pand., No. I 18. I ig Pand., BTo. 150. 

e pig. Pand., No. L49. 7 Fig. Pand., No. 153. 

Fig. Pand., No. 154, ' Fig. Pand., No. 155. 

i" Fig. Pand., No. 156. 



both with Lamas and laity. She corresponds to the goddess 
of mercy and queen of heaven {Kwan-yin) ' of the Chinese, and 
has her literal analogy in biblical mythology (see the heading 
to this chapter), and she has several analogies with "the Virgin ; " - 
but she is essentially Indian in origin and form. 

Her most common form is " the green Tara," and much less 
common is " the white Tara," whose worship is almost confined to 
the Mongols. Her other numerous forms, of which the names of 
" the twenty-one " are daily on the lips of the people, are seldom 
pictured, except the fiendish form Bhrihiti? 

The green Tara. T., sgRol-ma ljan-k'u — pronounced Dol-jang. 

She is represented (see the figure) as a comely and bejewelled 
Indian lady with uncovered head, and of a green complexion, 
seated on a lotus, with her 
left leg pendant, and hold- 
ing in her left hand a long- 
stemmed lotus-flower. 

The white Tara. T., 
sgRol-ma dkar-po — or 
sgRol-dkar (pr. D6-kar). 

She is figured (see p. 23) 
as an adorned Indian lady 
with a white complexion, 
seated Buddha-like, and 
the left hand holding a 
long-stemmed lotus-flower. 
She has seven eyes, the 
eye of foreknowledge in 
the forehead, in addition 
to the ordinary facial pair, 
and also one in each 
palm and on each sole. 
Hence she is called " The 
seven-eyed white Tara." 

Tara, the Green. 

She is believed by the Mongols to be incarnate in the White Czar. 
Tara with the froivning brows— Bhrikuti Tara. T., kKo-gner- 
gyo-ba-hi sgRol-ma (pronounced T'o-nyer-chan). 

i Or in Japanese Kwan-rum, a translation of " Avalokita." 

2 For note on Tara's origin, see my article in J.R.A.8., 1894, pp. 63, etc. 

3 For detailed description of twenty-seven forms, see ibid. 



This Tara is dark indigo-coloured, and usually with three faces, 
all frowning. 

The Twenty-one Tab as. 

The list of the names of " the twenty-one Taras " given below, 1 
and known to almost all lay Tibetans, indicates many of her 

Titles of "The Twenty 

Tara, the supremely valiant (Pra- 
sura Tara). 
„ of white-moon brightness 
[Candrojata Sita Tara). 
the golden coloured (Gauri 

the victorious hair-crowned 
(Ushnishahiava T.\. 
„ the "Hun -shouter (Humda 

7' i. 
„ the three-world best worker, 
suppressor of strife, 
the bestower of supreme 
„ the besl providence. 

me Taras." 

Tara, the dispeller of grief. 
„ the cherisher of the poor. 
„ the brightly glorious. 

the universal mature worker. 
with the frowning brows 
(DLrikxti Tara), 
„ the giver of prosperity, 
the Bubduer of passion. 
„ the supplier of happiness 
(Sarsiddhi T.). 

the excessively vast. 

„ the dispeller of distress. 
„ the adveni or realization 
spiritual power (SiddMrtdTard). 
the completely perfect. 



Marici, The resplendent. T., ? Od-zer Van-ma. 

She was originally the qneen of heaven, a Buddhist Ushas, or 
goddess of the dawn, a metamorphosis of the sun as the centre 
of energy, curiously coupled with the oriental myth of the primaeval 
productive pig. In another aspect she is a sort of Prosperine, the 
spouse of Yama, the Hindu Pluto. 
While in her fiercest mood she is 
the consort of the demon-general, 
"The horse-necked Tamil in," a 
sort of demoniacal centaur. In 
another mode she is " The adam- 
antine sow" (Skt. 9 Vajra-vdrdhi; 
T., rDo-rje P'ag-mo), who is 
believed to be incarnate in the 
abbess of the convent on the 
great Palti lake, 1 as already de- 

In her ordinary form she has 
three faces and eight hands, of 
which the left face is that of a 
sow. The hands hold various 
weapons, including an wraju, axe, and snare. She sits in " the en- 
chanting pose " upon a lotus-throne drawn by seven swine, 2 as in 
the figure. 


Although the tutelaries (T., Yi-dam) belong to different classes 
of divinities, it is convenient to consider them together under one 

The important part played by tutelaries in every-day life, their 
worship, and the mode of coercing them, have already been 

The qualifications demanded in a tutelary are activity com- 
bined with power over the minor malignant devils. Thus most of 
the superior celestial Buddhas and Bodhisats may be, and are, 
tutelaries. But the favourite ones are the great demon-kings, 

\I \i;T( T, ok Vau'ahT. 
(or "The Diamond Sow."; 

1 Cf. Chapters x. and xi., and also Giorgi. 

-' Cf. Pand., No. 163, whose figure is reproduced above. 


and also some of the inferior fiends who have been promoted in 
diabolic rank for their adherence to the cause of Buddhism. 

All the five celestial Jinas are tutelaries, but it is their Tan- 
trik forms, such as Vajrasattva and Vajradhara, and Amitayus, 
which are especially utilized in this way ; and most common of all 
are those who have consorts (sakti), as these are considered to be 
most energetic. 

Of the Bodhisats, those most common as tutelaries are Ava- 
lokita and Manjusri, the demon Vajrapani, Tara, and Marici. 

The demon-kings, however, are the favourite ones. They are 
repulsive monsters of the type of the Hindu devil Siva. 1 These 
morbid creations of the later Tantrism may be considered a sort of 
fiendish metamorphoses of the supernatural Buddhas. Each of 
those demon-kings, who belong to the most popular section of 
Lamaist Tantrism — the Anuttara yoga — has a consort, 2 who is 
even more malignant than her spouse. 

There are several of these ferocious many-armed monsters, all 
of the fiercest fiend type already described, and all much alike in 
general appearance. But each sect has got its own particular 
tutelary-demon, whom it believes to be pre-eminently powerful. 

Thus the established church, the Ofe-lug-pa, has as its tutelary 
Vajra-bhairava, though several of the individual monks have Sam- 
bhara and Guhyakala as their personal tutelaries. 

Vajra-bhairava, or " The Fearful thunderbolt." (T., rDo-rje- 
'jigs-byed). See figure on opposite page. 

This is a form of Siva as the destroyer of the king of the dead, 
namely, as Yamdntaka. Yet with truly Lamaist ingenuousness this 
hideous creature is believed to be a metamorphosis of the mild and 
merciful Avalokita. His appearance will best be understood from 
his picture here attached." He has several heads, of which the 
lowest central one is that of a bull. His arms and legs are in- 
numerable, the former carrying weapons, and the latter trample 
upon the enemies of the established church. 

It will be noticed that these writhing victims are represented 

i As in the type also of the " Pancha Etaksha." 

2 Skt., JfirtnAd, or mother; T., Finland the pair are called "the father-mother," T. 
• After Pandbb, X". 61, which see for some details. 



of the four ancient classes of beings, namely, gods, men, quadru r 
peds, and birds. 

Others of these tutelary devils are : — 

Samvara (T., bDe-mch'og '), the chief of happiness, also called dpal- 

Quhyukala (T., gSan-'dus 2 ), "the secret time." 

Vajra-phurba, the phurba^thxiiiderbolt. 

Dub-pa-Jcah-gye (or ? dGyes-pa-dorje). 

These are the tutelary fiends of the Kar-gyu, Sa-kya, and the 
unreformed Niri-ma sects respectively. Others are He-vajra (Kve- 

(Tutelary fiend of established church.) 

rdorje), Buddhakapiila (Sans-gyas-t'od-pa), Yaina (gsin-rje), but they 
do not here require special description. 

IV. Defenders of the Faith. 
!Skt., Dharmapdla ; T., Ch'os-skyon. 
These are the demon-generals or commanders-in-chief who 
execute the will of the tutelaries — the demon-kings. In appear- 

1 I'axd., No. 63, and Csoma, An., p. 498. 

Pand., Nos. 62 and 



ance they are almost as hideous and fierce as their fiendish 
masters, and each commands a horde of demons. 

They are of the fiercest fiend type (the Drag-po and To-ivo) 
already described. The females are metamorphoses of the Hindu 
fiendess, Kali Devi. A few local country gods have also been pro- 
moted to the position of defenders of the faith. 

Of those of the Drag-po or To-wo type, the chief are : — 
"The horse-necked (fiend)," Skt., Hayagriva ; T., rTa-mgrin, 
pron. Tam-din. 

He is figured as shown here, 1 
with a horse's head and neck 
surmounting his other heads. 
There are many varieties of him*; 
see also his figure at p. 62. 

" The immoveable," Skt., 
Acala ; T., Mi-gyo-ba, 

He is also found in the Japanese 
Buddhist pantheon as "Fu-do." 3 
" The slayer of the death- 
king," Skt., Yamamdri, 4 T., 
yS'in-rje gs'ed, a form of Bhairava, 
and held to be incarnate in the 
Dalai Lama as the controller of 
" The Goddess or The queen of the warring weapons." 
Lha-mo (or pal-ldan-Lha-mo) ; Skt., Devi (or Sri-Devi). And 
also, in Tibetan, dMagzor rgyal-mo. 

This great she-devil, like her prototype the goddess Durga of 
Brahmanism, is, perhaps, the most malignant and powerful of all 
the demons, and the most dreaded. She is credited with letting 
loose the demons of disease, and her name is scarcely ever men- 
tioned, and only then with bated breath, and under the title of 
" The great queen " — Maha-rani. 

She is figured, as at page 334, 5 surrounded by flames, and riding 



(General tutelary of established church.) 

After Pander. 

Cf. Pa., No. 166, 167, 168, 213. 

Cf. Chamberlain's Handbook to Japan, Pand., No. 174. 

Cf. Pander, No. 212. 

Attn- Pander, No, 148. Cf. Schlag., 112. 


on a white-faced mule, upon a saddle of her own son's skin flayed 
by herself. She is clad in human skins and is eating human 
brains and blood from a skull ; and she wields in her right hand a 
trident-rod. She has several attendant " queens " riding upon 
different animals. 

She is publicly worshipped for seven days by the Lamas of all 
sects, especially at the end of the twelfth month, in connection with 
the prevention of disease for the incoming year. And in the cake 
offered to her are added amongst other ingredients the fat of a 
black goat, blood, wine, dough and butter, and these are placed in 
a bowl made from a human skull. 


T., mGon-po ; Skt., N'dtha. 1 

These form a class of demon-generals, of the fiercest Drag-po 
type. Each Lamaist sect has chosen one as its defender, whom it 
claims to be pre-eminently powerful, thus : — 

"The six-armed lord," 2 T., mGon-po p'yag-drug, is the chief 
minister of the tutelary fiend of the established church. 

"The lord of the black cloak," or "The four-armed lord," 
T., mGon-po Grur t is the general of the tutelary Sam vara of the 
Kar-gyu-pa sect. And he is the fiend-general of the old unre- 
formed sect — the Nih-ma-pa. He is figured at page 70. 

These "lords " are said to number seventy-five. Several of them 
are referred to in regard to their masks in the chapter on the 
mystic play. The highest is the bird-faced Garuda. Other 
important ones are : — 

" The lord of foreknowledge," T., ye-ses mGron-po ; Skt., 
.1 nn ii<< ndthaj and formerly called "The devil Mata-ruta." 

"The black lord." T., mGon-po Nag-po ; Skt., Kcttamdtha. 

"The great potent sage." T., bLo-c'an dban-p'ug-ch'en-po. 
Both of these latter bear titles of the Hindu Siva, Mahakala. 

1 This name suggests relationship with the " Nats " of the Burmese Buddists, though 
mosl of these Nats are clearly Hindu Vedic deities, and as their number is said to be 
37, probably they are the 33 Vedic gods of Indra's heaven pins the four-fold Brahma 
in- the four guardians of the quarter. For list of the Wats ef. App. by Col. Sladen in 
Anderson's Mandalay to Momein, p. 457. 

- Pand., No. 230. 


IUkkinis, or Furies. 

T., mkah-'gro-ma, or "Sky-goer"; Skt., Khecara. 

These Dakkinis are chiefly consorts of the demoniacal tutelaries, 
and the generals of the latter. Many of them seem to be of an 
indigenous nature like the Bon-pa deities. One of the most 
common is " The lion-faced " (Seh-gehi-#doh-c'an). Several others 
are described and figured by Pander. 1 

Here also may be placed the eight goddesses, who are probably 
metamorphoses of " the eight mothers." They encircle the 
heavens and are figured in many of the magic-circles, usually of 
beautiful aspect and with the following characters : — 

1. Lasyd (T., sGeg-mo-ma), of white complexion, holding a mirror 
and in a coquettish attitude. 

2. Mala (T., Pren-ba-ma), of yellow colour, holding a rosary. 

3. Glta (T., (/Lu-ina), of red colour, holding a lyre symbolizing 

4. T., Gar-ma, of green colour, in a dancing attitude. 

5. Pushpa (T., Me-tog-ma), of white colour, holding a flower. 

6. Dhupa (T., 6Dug-spbs ma), of yellow colour, holding an incense- 


7. Dipa (T., sNan-^sal-ma), of red colour, holding a lamp. 

8. Gandha (T., Dri-ch'a-ma), of green colour, holding a shell-vase of 


These Dii minwes are the gods and lesser divinities of Aryan 
and Hindu mythology, degraded to this low rank on account of 
their inclusion within the wheel of metempsychosis, and from their 
leading lives only partially devoted to Buddhist duties. The 
morality of these gods is, generally, of a higher order than their 
counterparts in the Greek or Roman mythology. 

Collectively they are called " The eight classes," and are made 
subordinate to the tutelary-fiends and their generals ; and in the 
order of their rank, are thus enumerated 2 : — 
1. The Gods— Skt., Deva ; T., Lha. 
'2. Serpent-demigo(h (mermaids) — Ndgd ; kLu. 

' Nob. L27, is?. L88, 189, L91, L92, 223, 224, 226, 227, 228. 
Of. BOI BMOl i,i. ST. 


3. Genii — Yaksha ; gNod-sbyin. 

4. Angels — Gandharva ; Dri-za. 
Titans — Asura j Lha-ma-yin. 


6. Phoenix — Garuda; Namk'ah-ldin. 

i . 

Celestial musicians — Kinnar<( ; Mi-'am-c'i. 

8 . The Great Reptiles (creepers ), Mahoraga ; ITo-'bye-ch'en-po. 
The Gods are the thirty-three Vedic gods, which have already 
been described as regards their general characters. 1 They are 
usually figured, like earthly kings of the " mild deity " type, on 
lotus-thrones. The chief gods are made regents or protectors of 
the quarters; though in the later legends they have delegated 
these duties to subordinates, the " kings of the quarters " ; see 
page 84. 

The great Indra (Jupiter, T., brGya-byin), on the east. 

Yama (Pluto, T., gSin-rje), on the south. 

Varuna (Uranus, T., Ch'a-'lha 2 ), on the west. 

Kuvera (Vulcan 3 , T., gNod-sbyin), on the north. 
The remainder of the ten directions are thus apportioned : — 

S.E. to Agni (Ignis, the fire-god ; T., Me-lha), or Soma the 
moon or Bacchus. 

S.W. to Nririti (the goblin; T., Srin-po). 

N.W. to Marut (the storm-god; T., rLuh-lha). 

N.E. to Isa (T., dbAng-ldan). 

Nadir to Ananta (or "mother-earth"; T., 'Og-gis-bdag). 

Zenith to Brahma (Ts'ahs-pa 4 ). 
The first and the last of the above, namely, Indra and Brahma, 
are represented as attendant on Buddha at all critical periods of 
his earthly life — the former with a third and horizontal eye in the 
forehead, acting as his umbrella-carrier, and the latter usually four- 
handed and headed, carrying the vase of life-giving ambrosia. The 
Brahmanical god Vishnu is called K'yab-'jug. 

Yama (T., S'in-rje), the Hindu Pluto, the judge of the dead 
and controller of metempsychosis, is the most dreaded of these 

1 They comprise eleven Rudras, eight Vasus, and twelve Adityas. 

2 The god of the Waters, formerly the god of the Sky. 

3 Kuvera or Vaisravana "the renowned" is identified by Genl. Cunningham with 
the (ireek Hephaestus, and the Homeric epithet Periklutos always applied to Vulcan. 

4 Also Me-mjad kyi bdag-po, or Master of the Universe. 


divinities. He is represented in the Wheel of Life as the central 
figure in hell; but he too has to suffer torment in his joyless 
realm. His special emblem is a bull; thus the great tutelary 
demon Vajra-bhairava, by having vanquished the dread Yama, is 
represented with the head of a bull under the title of Yamantaka 
or " the conqueror of Yama." 

The most favourite of the godlings is the god of wealth, 
Jambhala, a form of Kuvera or Vaisravana. He is of portly form 
like his relative or prototype, the Hindu Ganesa. In his right 
hand he holds a bag of jewels, or money, or graiD, symbolic of 
riches, and in his left an ichneumon or " mongoose," 1 which is the 
conqueror of snakes — the mythical guardians of treasure. 

The Nsga or Dragon-demigods are the mermen and mermaids 
of the Hindu myth and the demons of drought. They are of four 
kinds: (1) celestial, guarding the mansions of the gods; (2) 
aerial, causing winds to blow and rain to fall for human benefit ; (3) 
earthly, marking out the courses of the rivers and streams ; (4) 
guardians of hidden treasures, watching the wealth concealed 
from mortals. 

The Nagas are usually given the form of snakes, as these inhabit 
the bowels of the earth, the matrix of precious stones and metals; 
while in their character of rain-producers they are figured as 
dragons. From their fancied association with treasure they are 
often associated with the god of wealth, Vaisravana and his 
mode Jambhala. Indeed, the great Naga king Mahakala, the 
"Dai Koko" of the Japanese, seated on his rice-bales, like our 
chancellor of the exchequer on his wool-sack, and his attendant 
rats as symbols of prosperity, form almost a facsimile of the 
Buddhisl god Jambhala, who, like his prototype Ganesa, seems 
of Naga origin. Indeed, one of his titles is "lord of the water" 
(Jalendra).* The Naga community, like the human, is divided 
into kings, nobles, and commoners, Buddhists and non-Buddhists. 3 

1 Skt.,Nakulaj T.,Ne-'ule. Herpesles sp. \ Ppharaonis). It is figured vomiting jewels. 

- Cf. also Beal's ( 'at' mi, 417. 
rhe Naga Iringa Nanda, [Jpananda, Sagara, Dritarasa, and Anavataptu arc 
Buddhists and therefore exempl from attack by Garudas. Formany particulars 
regarding Nagas, cf. Meghar&utra, transl. l>y Prof. C. Bkndall, J.RA.S., 1880, pp. 1 
teq.\ Beal's Catena, 50, etc.; S< bibfneb's trans, of the kLu-Tjum dKar-po ; also my li-t 
of Naga kind's ami (cni ncrs, J.R.A.S., 1894. 


Of the remaining classes, the Yaksha and Asura have already 
been described. The female Yaksha— the Yakshini— are the 
" witch-women," the stealer of children of general myths. In 
addition there are also the malignant spirits and demons, 1 of 
whom among the Kakshas, the already mentioned she-devil Hariti, 
" the mother of the Daitya-Aemons" is the chief. 2 

VI. The Country-Gods. 

The country-gods (Yui-lha), and the country-guardians (Srun- 
ma) are of course all indigenous, though some of them have been 
given quasi-Buddhist characters. Ruling over a wider sphere, they 
occupy a higher rank than the more truly local genii, the locality- 
or foundation-owners— the Z'i-bdag of the Tibetans. 

These indigenous gods, godlings, and demons are divided after 
the Indian fashion, roughly into eight classes, namely :— 

1. Gods (Lha), all male, white in colour, and generally genial. 

2. Goblins or Ghosts (Tsan), all male, red in colour. These are 
usually the vindictive ghosts of Lamas, discontented priests; and 
they are vindictive. They especially haunt temples. 3 

3. Devils (bDud), all male, black in colour, and most malignant.* 
These are the ghosts of the persecutors of Lamaism, and cannot be 
appeased without the sacrifice of a pig. 5 

4. Planets (gZah), piebald in colour (Kra-bo). 

5. Bloated fiends (dMu), dark-purple colour (smug-po). 6 

6. Cannibal fiends (Srin-po), raw flesh-coloured (sa-za), and blood- 

7. King-fiends (rGyal-po), the wealth-masters (dkor-bclag), 
white (? always) in colour, the spirits of apotheosized heroes. 

1 The malignant spirits are also divided into : 
Preta (T., Yi-dvag). sianda (T., sKyem byed) 

humbhanda (Grul-bum). 
Pisacha (Sa-za). 
Bhuta ('Byuri-po). 
Putatui (»Srul-po). 
Katapiitana (Lus srul-po) 
Unmdda (sMyo Syed). 

Apsmdra (Brjed-byed). 
C'hdyd? (Gribynon). 
Raksha (Srin-po). 
Remtigraha (Nam gru bi^don) 
S'akuni grate (Bya hi //don). 

Brahma fiaJcshasa(Br<i m -zehi-svm-\i 
- On Hariti, cf. p. 99, and Eitel, Handbk., p. 62. 

3 Cf. Jaeschke, p. 423. 

4 The 'Dre are especially virulent. Cf. Jaeschke, p. 269 and 434. 

5 Cf. also Jaeschke, p. 423. 

6 Cf. also Jaeschke, p. 284. 

B B 



8. Mother-she-devils (Ma-mo), black coloured, the " disease mis- 
tresses" (nad-bdag). They are sometimes the spouses of the 
foregoing malignant demons, and cannot be very sharply de- 
marcated from the other she-devils. 

The greatest of the country-gods and guardians have been made 
defenders of Lamaism. They are chiefly the spirits of the larger 
mountains, and deified ghosts of heroes and ancestors. 

The former are figured either as fierce forms of Vaisravana, the 
god of wealth, but clad in Tibetan costume, and riding on lions, etc., 

and carrying banners of victory, 
such, for example, as mount Kan- 
chinjunga, mount Langch'enna, 
of western Tsang, etc., as in an- 
nexed figure; or they are figured 
as fiendesses, as for example, the 
Ta ii-nui, or as mild nymphs, as 
the five sisters of mount Everest. 1 
The mountain Kanchinjunga, 
on the western border of Tibet. 
is known to most visitors to Dar- 
jiling and northern Bengal. This 
graceful mountain, second in 
height only to Everest, was for- 
merly in itself an object of wor- 
ship, as it towers high above every 
other object in the country, and is the first to receive the rays 
of the rising sun and the last to part with the sun-set. Ka/n- 
chinjunga- literally means " the five repositories or ledges of the 
great sno\v>," and is physically descriptive of its five peaks — the 
name having been giving by the adjoining Tibetans of Tsang, who 
also worshipped the mountain. But the Sikhim saint, Lha-tsiiu 
Ch'enbo, gave (he name a mythological meaning, and the mountain 
was made to become merely the habitation of the god of that 
name, and the five " repositories" became real store-houses of the 
god's treasure. The peak which is most conspicuously gilded by 
the rising sun i- the treasury of gold; the peak which remains in 
cold -rc\ shade is the silver treasury, and the ether peaks are the 

The Red (Jod of Wealth. 

1 Tb( -i-in mc'ed-lna. They are higher in rank than the Tan-ma. 
Properly Kan-ch'en-radsod-lna, 


stores of gems and grain and holy books. This idea of treasure 
naturally led to the god being physically represented somewhat 
after the style of " the god of wealth," as figured on the opposite 
page. He is of a red colour, clad in armour, and carries a banner 
of victory, and is mounted on a white lion. He is on the whole 
a good-natured god, but rather impassive, and is therefore less 
worshipped than the more actively malignant deities. 

The four greatest deified mountains of Tibet are alleged to be 
T'an-lha on the north, Ha-bo-gahs-bzah or gNod-sbyin-gah-bza on 
the west, Yar-lha z'an-po on the east, and sKu-la k'a-ri on the 
south ; but mount Everest, called by the Tibetans Lap-c'i-gah, 
is not included here. 

The twelve furies called Tan-ma have already been referred 
to and figured in connection with St. Padma-sambhava's visit. 
They are divided into the three groups of the four great she- 
devils, the four great injurers, and the four great medicine- 
females, 1 of which the last are relatively mild, though all are 
placed under the control of Ekajati, a fiendess of the Indian Kali 
type, who rides on the thunder-clouds. 

The deified ghosts of heroes and defeated rivals are pictured 
usually of anthropomorphic form, and clad in Tibetan style, as for 
example, "The holy rDorje Legs-pa," figured at page 26, and 
others at page 385. Though some are pictured of monstrous 
aspect, and of the fiercest-fiend type already described, as for 
instance, Pe-har, 2 the especial patron of the sorcerers of the 
established church. 

Pe-har is a fiend of the " king " class, and seems to be an 
indigenous deified-hero, though European writers identify him with 
the somewhat similarly named Indian god, Veda (Chinese wei-to), 
who is regularly invoked by the Chinese Buddhists 3 for monastic 
supplies and as protector of monasteries ( — Vihar ; hence, it is 
believed, corrupted into Pe-har), and chief of the army of the four 
guardian kings of the quarters. 

VII. Local G-ods and GtEnii. 
The truly "local gods" or Genii loci, the "foundation owners" 4 

1 bdud-mo ch'en-mo bzhi, gnod-sbyin ch'en, etc.; sman-mo ch'en, etc. 

2 See his figure in Schlagintweit's Atlas. * 

3 Remusat's JVotes in Foe-Kouc-Ki ; Edkin, Chin. Bttddh., Sabat., J.A.S.B., 1882, 
page 67. 

4 (gZ'i-bdag). 

B B 2 


of the Tibetans, are located to a particular fixed place, and seldom 
conceived of as separate from their places. 

In appearance they are mostly Caliban-like sprites, ill-tem- 
pered and spiteful, or demoniacal, like the temple-door fiend 
figured at page 288 ; and, unlike the higher spirits, they have 
no third or " heavenly eye of second sight or omniscience." 

The majority are of the "earth owner" class (sa-6dag), 
occupying the soil and lakes like plebeian Niigas of the Hindus. 
Others more malignant, called " gjSTan," infest certain trees, rocks, 
and springs, which reputed haunts are avoided as far as possible, 
though they are sometimes daubed with red paint or other offer- 
ing to propitiate the spirit. 

In every monastery and temple the image of the genius loci, as 
an idol or fresco, is placed within the outer gateway, usually to 
the right of the door, and worshipped with wine, and occasionally 
with bloody sacrifice, and it is given a more or less honorific name. 
The local demon of the red hill near Lhasa, surnamed Potala, 
and the residence of the Grand Lama, is called gNan-ch'en Tan. 
The one at Darjiling is already referred to at page 288. 


The House-god of the Tibetans seems to be the same as the 
"Kitchen-god" (Tsan-kuin) of the Chinese, who is believed to 
be of Taoist origin, but adopted into the Chinese Buddhist pan- 
theon 1 as a presiding divinity of the monastic diet. He aiso 
has much in common with the Door-god of the Mongols." 

The Tibetan House-god, as shown in his figure at page 573. 

i Edkins, Chin. Bt'.ddh., 207. His official birthday is tin- twenty-fourth day of the 
sixth month. 

-> The Mongol Door-gods are thus described by (ialsang Czomboycf, a recent Kusso- 
Mongol writer, quoted by Yule (Marco P'olo,i., 250): "Among theBuryata (who retain 
to greatesl extent the old customs of the Mongols), in the middle of the hut, and 
place "I honour is the DsaiagacM,. or 'Chief Creator of Fortune.' At the door is the 
Emelgelji, the tutelary of tin- ln-n Is and young cattle, made of sheep-skins. Outside the 
hut is the ('l,tiinlo : il«ihi t ;i name implying that the idol was formed of a white hare-skin, 
the tutelary Of the Chase and perhaps (if war. All these have I n expelled by 

Buddhism except Dsaiagachi, who is called Tengri (=Heaven), and introduced 
among the Buddhist divinil ies " as a kind of Lndra. Those placed at side of den- .ire 
n. it prayed to, bul are offered a portion of the food or drink a1 meal times by greas- 
ing the mouths cf the fetishes, and sprinkling some <>i' the broth by them. 


is anthropomorphic, with a piggish head, and flowing robes. He 
is called " the inside god," 1 and is a, genius loci of the class called 
by the Tibetans " earth-masters " (Sab-dag). 

As he is of a roving disposition, occupying different parts of 
the house at different seasons, his presence is a constant source of 
anxiety to the householders ; for no objects may invade or occupy 
the place where he has taken up his position, nor may it be swept 
or in any way disturbed without incurring his deadly wrath. 
Thus it happens that an unsophisticated visitor, on entering a 
Tibetan house and seeing a vacant place near at hand, sets there 
his hat, only, however, to have it instantly snatched up by his 
host in holy horror, with the hurried explanation that the god is 
at present occupying that spot. 

It is some satisfaction, however, to find that all the house-gods 
of the land regulate their movements in the same definite and 
known order. Thus in the first and second months he occupies 
the centre of the house, and is then called " The Gel-thuk house- 

In the third and fourth months the god stands in the doorway 
and is called " the door-god of the horse and yak." 

In the fifth month he stands under the eaves, and is called 
" ya-ngas-pa." 

In the sixth month he stands at the south-west corner of the 

In the seventh and eighth months he stands under the eaves. 

In the ninth and tenth months he stands in the fire-tripod or 

In the eleventh and twelfth months he stands at the kitchen 
hearth, where a place is reserved for him. He is then called 
" the kitchen-god." 

His movements thus bear a certain relation to the season, as he 
is outside in the hottest weather, and at the fire in the coldest. 

Formerly his movements were somewhat different ; and accord- 
ing to the ancient style he used to circulate much more exten- 
sively and frequently." 2 

i Naii-lha. 

2 As detailed in my article on the subject in Jown, Anthropological Institvte,L(mdi 


The other precautions entailed by his presence, and the penal- 
ties for disturbing him, are these : — 

In the first and second months, when the god is in the middle of 
the house, the fire-grate must not be placed there, but removed to 
a corner of the room, and no dead body must be deposited there. 
While he is at the door, no bride or bridegroom may come or go, 
nor any corpse. Should, however, there be no other way of in- 
gress or egress, such as by a window or otherwise, and there be 
urgent necessity for the passage of a bride, bridegroom, or corpse, 
then the images of a horse and a yak must be made with wheat en 
flour, and on each of them is placed some skin and hair of each of 
the animals represented. Tea and beer are then offered to the 
god, who is invited to sit on the images thus provided for 
him. The door is then unhinged and carried outside, and the 
bride, bridegroom, or corpse passes, and the door is restored to its 

When he is at the kitchen fire, no part of the hearth can be re- 
moved or mended, and no corpse may be placed there, nor must 
any marriage then take place. And should any visitor arrive, he 
must be screened off from the fireplace by a blanket, and a scrip- 
ture (the " ch'os-mge-khri ") read to avert his wrath. 

When he is in the verandah he gives very little trouble. Only 
at that time no one may whitewash or repair the outside of the 

And as a general precautionary measure once every year, and 
at extra times, whenever any suspicion arises that the god may 
have been slighted or is offended, it is necessary to get the Lamas 
to propitiate him by doing " The water sacrifice for the eight 

VIII. Personal Gods or " Familiars." 

These are comparable to the daimon or familiar-spirits of the 
Greeks. But in Tibet the body of each individual is beset by a 
number of personal sprites. 1 

Each Tibetan carries the following familiar spirits extra to the I wo 
Buddhist angels, good and bad, which sit upon the right and left 
shoulder respectively and prompt to good deeds or to sins, namely, 

1 Cf. my Ldmaism in Sikhim. 


the p'o, ma, z'ah, da, or enemy (-defeating) god, vulgarly called 
dab-lha. This enemy-god sits on the right shoulder of every 

Worship of the p'o-lha secures long life and defence against 
accident ; by worshipping the da-Via enemies are overcome. 
Worship of the ma-Urn and z'an-lha procures physical strength ; 
worship of the yul-lha glory and dominion, and of the nor-lha 

The greatest of these gods is the Enemy (-defeating) god, a sort 
of Hercules, who resembles in many ways the war-god of the 
Chinese — Kwan-te, an apotheosized hero — though the Lamas 
endeavour to identify him with the Buddhist Mara, the god of 
passion. As seen from his figure, in the upper compartment of 
the Wheel of Life at page 102, he is of un-Indian aspect : — 

He is of a white colour clad in golden mail and flying on a white 
horse through the clouds. In his uplifted right hand he holds a whip 
with three knots and in his left hand a spear with a stream of the 
five-coloured silks. The blade of the spear is blue, bordered by flames, 
and at its base the two divine eyes, and below the blade is a ring of yak- 
hair-bristle. His bow-sheath is of a leopard hide and his quiver of 
tiger skin. A sword is thrust into his waist-belt, and from each 
shoulder springs a lion and a tiger. The mirror of fore-knowledge is 
suspended from his neck. He is accompanied by a hlack dog, a black 
bear, and a man-monkey; and birds circle around his head. 

Each class of these local and personal gods has its particular 
season for popular worship, thus : — 

The Earth-yods (sa-r/z'i mi-rig-gi lha) are worshipped especially in the 

The Ancestral gods (smra z'an ch'uii-gi Ilia) are worshipped in the 
summer season. 

The three Upper gods (.stod-sum pain lha) in the autumn; and 

The royal Ancestor of the Tibetan or SiJcMm liny (ston mi-hag-gi lha) 
in the winter. The first king of Mi-hag in eastern Tibet was a son of 
Thi-Sron Detsan, and the Sikhim king is alleged to be of the same 

It is beyond the scope of our present subject to refer to the 
heterodox duties of the aboriginal or Bon-pa order. But it maybe 
stated that this latter religion having existed for centuries side by 
side with the more favoured Lamaism, it has now come to model 
its deities generally on the Buddhist pattern. A reference to one 
of the Bon gods, namely, the Iled-Tiger devil, will be found in 
the chapter on the mystic play. 


The Saints. 

The saints of Lamaism may be divided into the Indian and the 
Tibetan, inclusive of a few Chinese and Mongolian. They are 
usually figured with a halo around their heads, and when attended 
by disciples they are always represented much larger in size than 
the latter ; and, in keeping with the later fiction of re-incarnate 
Lamas, they are usually surrounded by a few scenes of their so- 
called former births. 

Of the Indian saints the chief are : — 

I. The Ten Chief Discifles of Buddha. 
The highest of these is " the model pair," Sariputra and Mahfi- 
Maugdalayana, the right- and left-hand disciples of Buddha, and 
generally represented in a standing posture, carrying a begging- 
bowl and alarm-staff, or with the hands joined in adoration of 
Sakya Muni. 1 After these the best known are Maha-kasyapa, the 
president of the first council and the first "patriarch," Upali, 
Subhuti, and Buddha's cousin and favourite attendant, Auanda. 

II. The Sixteen STHAVIRA, or Chief Apostles or Missionaries. 
T., gNas-brtan = " The Steadfast Holders (of the Doctrine)." 

These are called by the Chinese and Japanese "the sixteen 
Kahan " (= Skt., Arhat), or " Lohan." 

Several of them lived after Buddha's day; and latterly two other 
saints were added to the list, namely, Dharmatrata and Hvashang, 
bringing the number up to eighteen. Other conventional groups 
of Arhats are the 108, 500, 1,000, etc. 2 

Each of these Sthavira or Arhats is figured in a fixed attitude, 
ami each has his distinctive symbol or badge, like our apostles, as 
Mark witli a lion, Luke with a book, etc. 

The descriptive list of these sixteen Sthavira is briefly 3 : — 

1. Angirctrja (T., Yandag 'byun), "the limb-born." Holds incense 
censer and cow tail fly-whisk fan. He went as missionary to the Te-Se 
mountains around Wtanasrovara lake (Jaesch., JJ., 203), or to mount 
Kailae B< bief., Lebt nsb.). 

-. .1/7/,/ T., ftla-p'am-pa), "the unconquered." Hands in the 

i ( r. \'s An., Is: Raj. Lai Mitba's trans. Lalita Via., 10. 
-' For descriptions of many of these see Taranatha's mDsad-bryya, and lii> Hitt. 
/„>/. Budd., trans, by Schiefner ; also Eitkl's Handbk.,aad Pandbb's Panth. 

their figures and some details cf. Pakdhb's Panth. (loc. cit), pp. 83 et seq. 


" impartial " attitude. A rishi, or sage, of mount Usira (Nos-se-la). 1 
His statue is one of the few which is prepared singly. 

3. Vana-vdsa (T., Nags-na-gnas), "forest-dweller." Right hand in 
sdigs-Me dsub attitude ; left holds a cow-tail fly- whisk. He went to 
" The seven-leaves mountain " (Loma-bdun). According to Schief., he 
remained at Sravasti. 

4. Kalika (T., Dus-ldan-rdorje), " timely." Wears a golden earring 
as a badge. He went to Tamradvipa ( = 1 Tamluk in S.W. Bengal). 

5. Vajraputra (T., rDo-rje-mo'-bu) " son of the thunderbolt." Right 
hand in sDigs-mdsub attitude, and left carries fly-whisk. He went to 

6. Bhadra (T., bZaii-po) "the noble." Right hand in preaching, 
and left in meditative attitude — the latter hand usually bearing a 
book. He went to Yamunadvlpa. 

7. Kanaka-vatsa (T., gSer-be'u), "golden calf." Carries a jewelled 
snare. He went to the Saffron-peak in Kashmir. 

8. Kanaka-bhara-dvaja. Hands in " impartial " attitude. He went 
to Apara-Godhanya (Nub-kyi-ba glah spyod-glin). 

9. Vakula, carries an ichneumon (Nakula) like the god of riches. 
On this account, Pander notes (p. 86) that the Tibetans probably knew 
this saint as " Nakula." He went to Uttarakuru (byah-gi-sgra-mi- 

10. RaJmla (T., sGra-c'an-zin [? 'dsin]). Holds a jewelled crown. 
Pander believes that this simile is probably suggested by interpreting 
the name as " sgra-rgyan-'dsin," or "holding a crown." He went to 
Pri-yan-gu-dvlpa ( = ? Prayag, or Allahabad). 

11. Cuda-panthaka (T., Lam-p'ran-bstan). Hands in "impartial" 
pose. He went to Gridrakuta hill in Magadha. 2 

12. Bharadvaja (T., Bha-ra-dva-dsa-bsod-shoms-len). Holds book and 
begging-bowl. Went to the eastern Videka. He is usually identified 
with the " Binzuru " of the Japanese. 

13. Panthaku (T., Lam-bstan). Hands in preaching attitude with 
a book. 

14. Nagasena (T., kLu'i-sde). Holds a vase, and an alarm-staff'. He 
went to " the king of mountains," Urumunda (Nos-yahs). This seems 
to be the Arhat who is known to southern Buddhists as the author of 
the celebrated dialogues with Menander (Milinda). 

15. Gopaka (T., shed-byed), holds a book. Went to Mt. Bi-hu. 

16 (T., Mi-p'yed) Holds " the caifya of perfection." He 

went to the Himalayas. 

The additional pair of saints who are usually associated with the 
above are : — 

Dharmatrata or Dharmatala (T., dGe-bsnen dharma). Holds a vase 
and fly-whisk and carries on his back a bundle of books, and he gazes at a 
small image of Buddha Amitabha. As he is only a lay-devotee he has 
long hair. He was born in Gandhara and seems to be the uncle of 

i Schief., Lebensb., 92. 2 Cf. Jaesch., D., 372. 


Vasumitra. Of his seven works the chief are the Udanavarga (trans- 
lated by Rockhill), and the Sainyuktabhidharina Sastra. 

Hvashcuuj corresponds to the Chinese "Huo-shang" or priest with the 
sack. 1 He is a sort of lay-patron or "dispenser of alms" to the 
disciples ; and is represented as a good-natured person of portly 
dimensions, in a sitting position. His attributes are a sack, a rosary 
in his right hand and a peach in his left, while little urchins or goblins 
play around him. The name in Chinese is said by Pander to be also 
rendered "the dense-smoke Maitreya Buddha," and he isexplained as the 
last incarnation of Maitreya who is at present enthroned in the Tushita 
heavens. In the entrance hall of all the larger temples in China we find 
the colossal statue of this big-bellied, laughing Maitreya surrounded by 
the four kings of the universe. 

111. Other MahayIna Saints. 
The other Indian saints of the Mahayana school who are most 
worshipped by the Lamas are : Asvaghosha, Nagarjuna (kLu-grub), 
Arya-deva (P'ags-pa-lha), Kumarala, Asanga (T'ogs-med), Vasu- 
bandhu (dByig-ghan), Dharma-kirti (Ch'os-grags), Candra-kirti 
(zla-wa-grags) ; and the more modern Santa-rakshita and Atisa- 
Dipamkara. Figures of most of these have already been given. 2 

IV. TAnteik Wizard-Priests. 

T.'Grub-t'ob ch'en or " grub-c'hen (Skt., Siddha or Mahasiddha). 

This degraded class of Indian Buddhist priest (see figure on 
page 16) is most popular with the Lamas. They are credited with 
supernatural powers, by being in league with the demons. They 
are usually figured with long untonsured locks, and almost naked. 

The chief of these Indian priests is St. Padma-sambhava, the 
founder of Lamaism. Others are 

Savari (Sa-pa-ri-pa), Rahulabhadra or Saraha (Sa-ra-ha-pa), Matsyo- 
dara (Lu-i-pa), Lalita-vajra, Krishncarin or Kalacarita (Na'g-po-spyod- 
pa) ; and more modern Telopa or Tila and Naro. 3 These latter two are 
apparently named after the Indian monasteries of Tilada and Nalanda. 

St. Padma-sambhava receives more active worship than any of 
l Ik- others. Indeed, he is deified. He is most commonly worshipped 
in the form shown in the centre of the plate on page 24. He sits 
dressed as a native of Udyana, holding a thunderbolt in his right 

i Of. Pandeb, Pavih., p. 89. 

• For additional details see Tabanatha's History (Schiefner's transl.), and Pandejb's 
PatUh., pp. 17, etc. TheBe first four, cf. Julibn's Hiuen Tsiang, ii., 214. 
; For some details and figures so- Pander, Panth., pp.50, etc. 


hand and a skull of blood in his left, and carrying in his left arm- 
pit the trident of the king of death. The top of this trident 
transfixes a freshly decapitated human head, a wizened head, 
and a skull. And the saint is attended by his two wives, 
offering him libations of blood and wine in skull-bowls, while 
before him are set offerings of portions of human corpses. 

He is given seven other forms, wild or demoniacal, which are 
shown surrounding him in that picture. 

These, his eight forms, together with their usual paraphrase, 
are here numerated: — 

I. — Guru Pad ma Jungnd, 1 " Born of a lotus " for the happiness of 
the three worlds, the central figure in the plate. 
II. — flWu Padmasambhava, " Saviour by the religious doctrine." 
III. — Guru Pddma Oyelpo, "The king of the three collections of 

scriptures" (Bkt., " Tripitaka "). 
IV. — Guru JJorje Dd-lo,' " The Dorje or diamond comforter of all." 

V. — Guru Nima Od-zer, 3 " The enlightening sun of darkness." 
VI. — Guru S'akya Sen-ge, "The second Sakya — the lion," who does 

the work of eight sages. 
VII. — Guru Seng-ge da dole* The propagator of religion in the six 
worlds — -with "the roaring lion's voice." 
VIII. — Guru Lo-ttn <'li(»j-Se,' "The conveyer of knowledge to all 
These paraphrases it will be noted are mostly fanciful, and not justi- 
fied by the title itself. 

As he is the founder of Lamaism, and of such prominence in the 
system, I give here a sketch of his legendary history : — 

The Guru's so-called history, though largely interwoven with 
supernatural fantasies is worth abstracting, 6 not only for the 

i guru,,,,1 'byim gnas. Of. Giohgi, p. 242, and figure p. 552. 

1 rdo-vj' gro-lod. 

■'■ nyi-ma 'od ~er. 

* S, „-■/, sgra sgrogs. 

s blo-hlcK mch'g-Sred ( or? Srid). 

,; The account here given is abstracted from the following Tibetan works, all of 
which are of the fictitious "revelation " order, and often conflicting, hut dating, prob- 
ably, to about six or seven hundred years ago, namely: Padma-hkah-t'an (or "The 
displayed Commands ,,f the Lotus-one";; Than-yig gser-'p'ren (or -The Golden 
Rosary of Displayed-letters ") ; Tlvaii-yig-sdeAaipv "The Five Classes of Displayed- 
lctters"), and a Lepcha version, entitled Tashi Sun, or "History of the Glorious 
One," written by the Sikhim king (? Gyur-mei Nami-gyal), who, about two centuries 
ago, invented the so-called Lepcha characters by modifying the Tibetan and Bengali 



historical texture that underlies the allegorical figures, but also 
for the insight it gives into the genesis and location of many of the 
demons of the Lamaist pantheon and the pre-Lamaist religion of 
Tibet. The story itself is somewhat romantic and has the widest 
currency in Tibet, where all its sites are now popular places of pil- 
grimage, sacred to this deified wizard-priest : — 

The Legendary History of the Founder of Lamaism. 

Once upon a time, in the great city of Jatumati ' in the Indian 
continent, there dwelt a blind king named Indrabodhi, 2 who ruled 
over the country of Udyana or Urgyan. The death of his only son 
plunges the palace in deepest sorrow, and this calamity is followed by 
famine and an exhausted treasury. In their distress the king and 
people cry unto the Buddhas with many offerings, and their appeal 
reaching unto the paradise of the great Buddha of Boundless Light 
— Amitabha — this divinity sends, instantly, like a lightning flash, a 
miraculous incarnation of himself in the form of a red ray of light to 
the sacred lake of that country. 

That same night the king dreamt a dream of good omen. He 
dreamt that a golden thunderbolt had come into his hand, and his 
body shone like the sun. In the morning the royal priest Trignadhara 3 
reports that a glorious light of the five rainbow-tints has settled in the 
lotus-lake of Dhanakosha, and is so dazzling as to illuminate the three 
"unreal" worlds. 

Then the king, whose sight has been miraculously restored, visits the 
lake, and, embarking in a boat, proceeds to see the shining wonder, and 
finds on the pure bosom of the lake a lotus-flower of matchless beauty, 
on whose petals sits a lovely boy of eight years old, sceptred and 
shining like a god. The king, falling on his knees, worships the 
infant prodigy, exclaiming : " Incomparable boy ! who art thou ? Who 
is thy father and what thy country?" To which the child made 
answer : " My Father /know ! I come in accordance with the prophecy 
of the great Sakya Muni, who said : 'Twelve hundred years after me, 
in the north-east of the Urgyan country, in the pure lake of Kosha, a 
person more famed than myself will be born from a lotus, and be known 
as Padma-sambhava, or " the Lotus-born," ' and he shall be the teacher 
of my esoteric Ma7itra-doctrine, and shall deliver all beings from 
misery.' " 

On this the king and his subjects acknowledge the supernatural 

1 mDses-ldan. 

- This is the form found in the text, while another MS. gives Indrabhuti ; but its 
Tibetan translation also given iBSpyan-med-'byor-ldan, or " The Eyeless Wealthy One," 

which could give an Indian form of Andhara-hasuti. 

3 THg-na-'dsin. 

4 Also an epithet of Brahma. 

tf r. PADMA-SAMBffA VA. 


nature of the Lotus-born boy, and naming him ' ; The Lake-born Vajra," ' 
conduct him to the palace with royal honours. And from thenceforth 
the country prospered, and the holy religion became vastly extended 
This event happened on the tenth day of the seventh Tibetan month. 
In the palace the wondrous boy took no pleasure in ordinary pur 
suits, but sat in Buddha fashion musing under the shade of a tree in 
the grove. To divert him from 
these habits they find for him 
a bride in p'Od-'c'aii-ma, 2 the 
daughter 3 of king Candra Goma- 
shi, of Singala.' And thus is he 
kept in the palace for five years 
longer, till a host of gods appear 
and declare him divine, and com- 
missioned as the Saviour of the 
world. But still the king does 
not permit him to renounce his 
princely life and become, as he 
desired, an ascetic. The youthful 
Padma-sambhava now kills several 
of the subjects, who, in their pre- 
sent or former lives, had injured 
Buddhism ; and on this the people 
complain of his misdeeds to the 
king, demanding his banishment, 
which sentence is duly carried out, 
to the great grief of the king and 
the royal family. 

The princely pilgrim travels to the Shitani cemetery of the cool 
grove,' where, dwelling in the presence of the dead as a Soscmiko* he 
seeks communion with the gods and demons, of whom he subjugates 
many Thence he was conducted by the Dakkinls or witches of the 
tour classes to the cave of Ajhapala, 7 where he received instruction 

Tick Lotus-born Babe. 

1 mWo-shyesTdo-Tje; Skt., Sarwuha-vajra. 
- skt., Bhasadhara or "The Light-holder." 

3 The text gives " wife." 

4 This is probably the Sinhapura of ffiuen Tsiang, which adjoined Udayana or 
Udyana ; or it may be Sagala. J 

i bsil-ba te'aL This is said to lie to the east of India and to be the abode of Muna- 
hira, the greatest of the eight great sages or rig-dsin. For a MahaySna Sutra 
delivered here by Buddha, see Csoma, A n,, p. 51 7 

• Sudiufaisane of the twelve observances of a Bhikshu, and conveys just ideas 
of the three great phenomena, impermanence, pain, and vacuity, by seeing the 
funerals, the grieving relatives, the stench of corruption, and the fighting of beasts of 
1-y or the remams. Buddha in the Dulva (Rock., B., p. 29) is also sUted tThave 
followed the ascetic practice of a Sosdnika, or frequenter of cemeteries, 
^ • bkah-skyon, or command + protector ; it may also be Sanskritized as pudarsand- 


in the Asvaratna abankara, after which he proceeded to the countries 
of Pancha, etc., where he received instruction in the arts and sciences 
direct from old world sages, who miraculously appeared to him for this 

Other places visited by him were the cemeteries of the Biddha 
(?Videha) country, where he was called "the sun's rays," the cemetery 
of bDe-cJi'en brdal in Kashmir, where he was called " the chief desire 
sage" (blo-\dan mcJiog-sred), the cemetery of Lhun-grub-brtsegs-pa in 
Nepal, subjugating the eight classes of Dam-sri at Yaksha fort, where he 
was named " the roaring voiced lion," arid to the cemetery of Lanka 
hrtsegs-pa in the country of Zahor, where he was named Padma-sambha. 

At Zahor (? Lahore), the king's daughter, a peerless princess who 
could find no partner worthy of her beauty and intellect, completely 
surrendered to the Guru — and this seems to be the " Indian" princess- 
wife named Mandarawa Kumari Devi, who was his constant companion 
throughout his Tibetan travels. At Zahor the rival suitors seize him 
and bind him to a pyre, but the flames play harmlessly round him, and 
he is seen within seated serenely on a lotus-flower. Another miracle 
attributed to him is thus related : Athirst one day he seeks a wine- 
shop, and, with companions, drinks deeply, till, recollecting that 
he has no money wherewith to pay his bill, he asks the merchant to 
delay settlement till sunset, to which the merchant agrees, and states 
that he and his comrades meanwhile may drink their fill. But the 
Guru arrests the sun's career, and plagues the country with full day- 
light for seven days. The wine-seller, now in despair, wipes off their 
debt, when welcome night revisits the sleepy world. 

The leading details of his defeat of the local devils of Tibet are 
given in the footnote. 1 

i When the Guru, after passing through Nepal, reached Ma.-h.-yul, the enemy-god 
{dgra-lha) of Z'an-zv.n, named Dsa-mun, tried to destroy him by squeezing him 
between two mountains, but he overcame her by his irdhi-pcrwer of soaring in the 
sky. He then received her submission and her promise to become a guardian of 
Lamaism under the religious name of rDo-rje Gyu-bun-ma. 

E-ka-dsarti.— When the Guru reached gJVam-t'an-mk'ar-naff, the white fiendess of that 
place showered thunderbolts upon him, without, however, harming him. The Guru 
retaliated by melting her snow-dwelling into a lake; and the discomfited fury fled 
into the lake T'an-dpal-mo-dpal, which the Guru then caused to boil. But though 
her flesh boiled off her bones, still she did not emerge; so the Guru threw in his 
thunderbolt, piercing her right eye. Then came she forth and offered up to him her 
life-essence, and was thereon named Qans-dkar-sha-med-rDo-rje-aPya7i-ffcig-ma,ot " The 
Snow-white, Fleshless, One-eyed Ogress of the Vajra."' 

77m twelvi Tan-ma Furies.— Then the Guru marched onward, and readied U-yuff-bre- 
mo-snar, where the twelve bstan-ma (see figure, page 27 furiefl hurled thunderbolts at 
him, and tried to crush him between mountains; but the Guru evaded them by 
flying into the sky, and with his "pointing-finger" charmed their thunderbolts into 
cinders. And by his pointing-finger he casl the hills and mountains upon their snowy 
dwellings. Thereupon the twelve bstan-ma, with all their retinue thwarted and sub- 
dued, offered him their life-essence, and so were brOUghl under his control. 

Dam-c'atirrDor-legs.— Then the Guru, pushing onward, reached the fort of U-yvg-bye- 


TheTibetan and other non-Indian canonized saints may generally 
be recognized by their nn-Indian style of dress, and even when 
they are bare-headed and clad in the orthodox Buddhist robes 
they always wear an inner garment extra to the Indian fashion. 

The various Tibetan saints, excluding the apotheosized heroes 
already referred to, are held in different estimation by the 
different sects, each of whom holds its own particular sectarian 

tshan'-rdsoa, where he was opposed by dGe-bsnen rDo-rje-legB-pa (see figure, p. 26) 

with his three hundred and sixty followers, who all were subjected and the leader 
appointed a guardian (bsrung-ma) of the Liimaist doctrine. 

Tar-lha-sham-po. — Then the Guru, going forward, reached Sham-po-lun, where the 
demon Tar-lha-sham-po transformed himself into a huge mountain-like white yak, 
whose breath belched forth like great clouds, and whose grunting sounded like thunder. 
Bu-yug gathered at his nose, and he rained thunderbolts and hail. Then the Guru 
caught the demon's nose by " the iron-hook gesture," bound his neck by " the rope 
gesture,'' bound his feet by "the fetter-gesture"; and the yak, maddened by the 
super-added " bell-gesture,*' transformed himself into a young boy dressed in white 
silk, who offered up to the Guru his life-essence; and so this adversary was sub- 

TaA'-lha tin great gffian. — Then the Guru proceeded to I J h : in-thti„-lo pass, where 
the demon gNan-cKen-fan-lha, transformed himself into a great white snake, with his 
head in the country of (fru-gu, and bis tail in gYer-mo-than country, drained by the 
Mongolian river Sok-Ch'u, and thus seeming like a chain of mountains he tried to bar 
the Guru's progress. But the Guru threw the lin-gyi over the snake. Then the 
T'an'-lha, in fury, rained thunderbolts, which the Guru turned to fishes, frogs, and 
snakes, which fled to a neighbouring lake. Then the Guru melted his snowy 
dwelling, and the god, transforming himself into a young boy dressed in white silk, 
with a turquoise diadem, offered up his life-essence, together with that of all his 
retinue, and so he was subjected. 

The Injun,-*. — Then the Guru, proceeding onwards, arrived at the northern Phan- 
yul-thang, where the three Injurers — sTing-lo-smaii of the north, sTing-sman-zor 
gdon-ma, and sTing-sman-ston— sent hurricanes to bar the Guru's progress. On which 
the Guru circled "the wheel of tire " with his pointing-finger, and thus arrested the wind, 
and melted the snowy mountains like butter before a red hot iron. Then the three 
gJYodsbyin, being discomfited, offered up their life-essence and so were subjected. 

The Black Devils.— Then the Guru, going onward, reached gNam-gyi-skug-mtkon- 
glang-sgrom, where he opened the magic circle or Mandate of the Five Families (of the 
Buddhas) for seven days, after which all the commanders of the host of bDud-Devil 
offered their life-essence and so were subjected. 

Tl<e-ii-rin,. — Then the Guru went to the country of gLarWa-rian-c'ig-ma, where he 
brought all the The-u-ran demons under subjection. 

Tlo- Mi-ma-yin Devils. — When the Guru was sitting in the cave of Senge-brag-phug, 
the demon Ma-sans-gyah-spang-skyeB-shig; desiring to destroy him, came into his 
presence in the form of an old woman with a turquoise cap, and rested her head on 
the Guru's lap and extended her feet towards Qye-wo-than and her hands towards 
the white snowy mountain Ti-si. Then many thousands of Mi-ma-yin surrounded 
the Guru menacingly; but he caused the Five Fierce Demons to appear, and so he 
subjected the Mi-ma-yin. 

Ma-mo, etc.— Then he subjected all the Ma-mo and bSemo of CKu-bc-ri and Kha-rak, 
and going to Sil-ma, in the province of Tsang, he subjected all the sMan-mo. And going 


founder to be pre-eminent. Thus the established church gives 
the chief place to Tsoh-K'a-pa and the chief pupils of Atisa ; the 
Kar-gyu sect to Mila-ras-pa, the Sa-kya-pa to Sa-kya Pandita, and 
so on. And each sub-sect has canonized its own particular chief. 
The innumerable Lamas who now pose as re-incarnations of 
deceased Lamas, also receive homage as saints, and on their decease 
have their images duly installed and worshipped. Some saints are 

to the country of Hon' he subjected all the Dam-sri, And going to Rong-lung-nag-p> 
he subjected all the Srin-po. And going to central Tibet (dbJTs) towards the country 
of the lake Manasarova (mal-dro), he subjected all the Ndgds of the mal-dro lake, 
who offered him seven thousand golden coins. And going to Gyu-'dsin-2>hug-mo,he 
subjected all the Pho-xgyvd. And going to Dung-mdog-brag-dmar, he subjected all 
the smell eating Driza (? Gandharva). And going to Gan-pa-cKu-miy, he subjected 
all the dGe-snen. And going to Bye-ma-rab-khar, he subjected all the eight classes 
of Lha-srin. And going to the snowy mountain Ti-si,he subjected all the twenty - 
eight Nakshetras. And going to Lha-xgod-gans, he subjected the eight planets. And 
going to Bu-le-gans, he subjected all the 'dre of the peaks, the country, and the 
dwelling-sites, all of whom offered him every sort of worldly wealth. And going to 
gLo-bor, he subjected all the nine IDan-ma-spun. Then he was met by Gans-rje-jo-wo 
at Pko-ma-gans, where he brought him under subjection. Then having gone to 
rTse-lha-gans, he subjected the xTse-sman. And going to sTod-limg, he subjected all 
thebT.scui. Then having gone to Zul-p'ul-xhya-h-gram-bu-fsal', he remained for one 
month, during which he subjugated gzah-bolud and three Dam-sri. 

And having concealed many scriptures as revelations, he caused each of these 
fiends to o-uard one apiece. With this he completed the subjection of the host of 
malignant devils of Tibet. 

Then the Guru proceeded to Lhasa, where he rested awhile, and then went 
towards sTod-lun. At that time mnah-bdag-rgyal-po sent his minister, Lha-bzaii- 
klu-dpal, with a letter and three golden Fata, silken clothes, horses, and divers good 
presents, accompanied by five hundred cavalry. These met him at sTod-lun-gehon-pa, 
where the minister off ered the presents to the Guru. At that time all were athirsf, but 
no water or tea was at hand, so the Guru touched the rock of sTod-luft-gzhon-pa, 
whence water sprung welling out; which he told the minister to draw in a vessel. 
Hence that place is called to this day gz'on-pai-lha-ch'ii or "The water of the God's 

From Hao-po-ri the Guru went to Zitu-k'ar, where he met King mNah-Mag- 
royal-po, who received him with honour and welcome. Now the Guru, remembering 
his own supernatural origin and the king's carnal birth, expected the king to salute 
him, so remained standing. But the king thought, " I am the king of the black- 
headed men of Tibet, so the Guru must first salute me." While the two were 
possessed by these thoughts, the Guru related how through the force of prayers done 
at BywrufirK'a-shor stiipa in Nepal (see p. 315) in former births, they two have 
come here together. The Guru then extended his right hand to salute the king, but 
fire darted forth from his finger-tips, and catching the dress of the king, set it on fire. 
And at the same time a greal thunder was heard in the sky , followed by an earthquake. 
Then the king and all his ministers in terror prostrated themselves at the feet of the 

Then the Guru spoke, saying, " As a penance for not having promptly saluted me, 
erect five stone stiipas." These the king immediately erected, and they were aamed 
£ufirm'kar-mch'od-rten, and exist up till the present day. 



entirely of local repute, and the ghosts of many deceased Lamas 
are worshipped in the belief that they have become malignant 
spirits who wreak their wrath on their former associates and 

Amongst the earlier Tibetans who are generally accorded the 
position of saints are king Sroh Tsan (lampo, his two wives 
and minister Ton-mi, who were associated with the introduction 
of Buddhism to Tibet, king Thi-Sron Detsan, who patronized 

Dehonieteo Tibetan Pbiests. 


the founding of Lamaisin, the earlier translators of the scriptures, 
and especially those associated with St. Atisa. 

One of the popular saints is* the famous engineer, T'ah-ton 
rGryal-po, whose image or picture is often found in Lamaist 
temples. He lived in the first half of the fifteenth century a.d., 
and is celebrated for having built eight iron-chain suspension- 
bridges over the great river of central Tibet, the Yam Tsah-po ; 
and several of these bridges still survive. 2 

1 After Pander. 

- Regarding his image in the cathedral of Lhasa, the sacristan related the following 
legend to Sarat: T'an-ton feared the miseries of this world very much, having 
inhabited it in former existences. Accordingly lie contrived to remain sixty years in 
his mother's womb. There lie sat in profound meditation, concentrating his mind 
most earnestly on the well-being of all living creatures. At the end of sixty years 
he began to realize that, while meditating for the good of others, he was neglecting 
the rather prolonged sufferings ,,f his mother. So he forthwith quitted tin- womb, 
and came into the world already provided with grey hair, and straightway com- 
menced preaching. 

C C 



Certain titles have come to be restricted to particular saints. 
Thus " (His) Precious Keverence " ( Je-rin-po-c'e) is St. Tson K'a-pa, 
" (His) Reverence "(Je-tsiin) is St. Mila-raspa, " (His) Holy Rever- 
ence " ( Je-tsun dam-pa) is Taranatha, " The Teacher " (sLob-dpon) 
is St. Padma-sambhava, and the Sakya Lama is " (His) High- 

Mtstic Monogram. 
See p. 142. f.-n. <i. 




JTyjTj • 'ST religions of the presenl day teem with symbolism. 
ivy/i U which is woven so closely into the texture of the 
creeds that it is customary to excuse its presence by 
alleging that it is impossible to convey to the people 
spiritual truths except in material forms. Yet we have only to 
look at Muhammadanism, one of the great religions of the world, 
and still actively advancing, to see that it appeals successfully to 
the most uneducated and fanatical people, although it is prac- 
tically devoid of symbolism, and its sanctuary is a severely empty 
building, wholly unadorned with images or pictures. People, 
however, who are endowed with artistic sense, tend to clothe their 
religion with symbolism. 

c c 2 


The symbols proper, extra to the symbolic representations of 
the deities dealt with in the preceding chapter, are conventional 
signs or diagrams, or pictures of animals, mythological or other- 
wise, or of plants and inanimate objects ; and in Tibet they are 
very widely met with. They are painted or carved on houses and 
furniture, and emblazoned on boxes and embroidery, and on 
personal ornaments, trinkets, charms, etc. 

The extremely rich symbolism found in Lamaism is largely of 
Indian and Chinese origin. Its emblems are mainly of a conven- 
tional Hindu kind, more or less modified to adapt them to their 
Buddhist setting. Others are derived from the Chinese, and a few 
only are of Tibetan origin. These latter are mostly of a very 
crude kind, like the rebuses common in mediaeval England for the 
use of the illiterate. 

In this place, also, we can most conveniently glance at the 
mystic value of numbers ; the " magic-circle " offering in effigy 
of the universe, etc., which enters into the daily worship of every 
Lama ; and the charms against sickness and accidents, ill-luck, 
etc., and the printed charms for luck which form the " prayer- 
flags," and the tufts of rags affixed to trees, bridges, etc. 

The Lotus. — Most of the sacred emblems, as well as the images 
of divinities, it will be noticed, are figured upon a lotus-flower. 
This expresses the Hindu idea of super-human origin. The lotus 
upon the lake seems to spring from the body of the waters without 
contact with the sordid earth, and, no matter how muddy the 
water may be, the lotus preserves its own purity undefiled. 

The various kinds of lotuses figured at page 339 are given 
special uses. The red lotus is common to most deities and divine 
symbols; the white lotus is special to Avalokita; the blue one to 
Tara ; and when a demon is figured upon a lotus the latter is a 
pinkish variety of the white form, with the petals much notched 
or divided. 

The Three Gems (Tri-ratna 1 ), symbolic of the Trinity : 
Buddha, his Word, and the Church. These are usually figured 
(as in No. 2 on next page) as three large egg-shaped gems, with 
the narrow ends directed downwards, and the central member is 
placed slightly above the other two, so as to give symmetry to the 
group, whirl i is usually surrounded by flames. 

1 Tib.j dKon-mch'og-gsum, or "The rarest ones." 


The Svastika, 1 or " fly-foot cross," is a cross with the free end 
of each arm bent at right angles to the limbs. It is one of the 
most widely diffused of archaic symbols, having been found at 
Troy by Schliemann, and among 
ancient Teutonic nations as the emblem 
of Thor. In Buddhism, the ends of 
the arms are always bent in the re- 
spectful attitude, that is, towards the 
left ; for the Lamas, while regarding 
the symbol as one of good augury, Svastika. 

also consider it to typify the con- £ SKS2?£n, 

tinuous moving, or f th e b ceaseless^ 

becoming," iwhich is commonly called, Life.j Sir A. Cunningham 
b'elievecllt-to be a monogram formed from the Asoka characters 
for the auspicious words Su + Asti, or "that which is good." J 
It was especially associated with the divinity of Fire, as represent- 
ing the two cross pieces of wood 3 which by friction produce fire. 
The Jains, who seem to be an Indian offshoot of Buddhism, 4 
appropriate it for the seventh of their mythical saints. 5 The 
heterodox Tibetans, the Bon, in adopting it have turned the 
ends in the reverse direction. 

The Seven Gems. These are the attributes of the universal 
monarch," such as prince Siddharta was to have been had he not 
become a Buddha. m They are very frequently figured on the base 
of his throne, and are : — 

1. The Wheel. 8 The victorious wheel of a thousand spokes. It 
also represents the symmetry and completeness of the Law. It is 
figured in the early Sanchi Tope. 9 

2. The Jewel. 10 The mother of all gems, a wish-procuring gem 

1 Yun-druri. Chinese, Chu'-Vang, or "The ten thousand character " ; cf. also Indian 
An/iqcar;/, ix., 65, etc., 135, etc., and numerous references in Dumoutiek, op. cit., 22-23. 

2 Su, meaning "good" or " excellent " (in Greek, eu), and Asti is the third person 
singular present indicative of the verb As, "to be," and Ka is an abstract suffix. 

3 Skt., Arani. 4 But see Jacobi's works. 
5 Namely, the Jina Su-parsva. 

e Skt., Sapta-rutna. T., Rin-ch'en sna-bdun ; cf. Hakdv's .)/<<», p. 130, and Ala- 
baster's Wheel of the Law, p. 81. 
' Cakra-rartin Raja. 

8 Skt,, Qakra; T., 'K'ar-lo. 

9 Fergusson, Tree andSerp. W<„:<.,]>\. xxix., Fig. 2. 
to Skt., Ralua ; T., Norbu. 



3. The jewel of a Wife. 1 " The Jasper-girl " who fans her lord 
to sleep, and attends him with the constancy of a slave. 

4. The gem of a Minister, 2 who regulates the business of the 

o. The (white) Elephant. 3 The earth-shaking beast, who as a 


The Seven Gems. 

symbol of universal sovereignty the Buddhist kings of Burma and 
Siam borrowed from Indian Buddhism. It seems to be Indra's 
elephant Airavata. 4 

6. The Horse. 5 It seems to symbolize the horse-chariot of the 
sun, implying a realm over which the sun never sets, as well as 
the celestial Pegasus-steed, 6 which carries its rider wherever the 
latter wishes. 7 

7. The gem of a General, 8 who conquers all enemies. 

i Skt., Stri; T., Tsun-mo. 

2 Skt., (?) Girti or Mahdjana ; T., bLon-po. 

3 Skt., Hast I ; T.,glaft-po. 

* This elephant is frequently represented as a miniature bronze ornament or flower- 
stand on the Lamaist altar. Mr. Baber records (R. G. Soc. Sugpl., paper, p. 33) a 
colossal elephant with six tusks, cast in silvery-bronze, in western Ssu-ch'uan. It is 
of artistic merit, and carries on its back, in place of a howdah, a lotus-flower, in 
which is enthroned an admirable image of Buddha. 

5 Skt., A?va ; T., rTa-mch'og. 

6 Aswin or Uchchaihsravas. 

7 Compare with the divine horse named " Might of a Cloud," from the thirty-thief 
heavens, which delivered the merchants from the island of lliikshasis. — See Hiuen 
Tsiano's ,Si-YwKi. 

• s Skt., Kshatri or Sena-pati ; T., d.Maj-d/.o,/. 



And to these the Lamas add an eighth, namely, the Vase, 1 for 
storing all the hidden riches of the three regions of life. 

The Sev 


(Royal) Badges 


1. The 

2- ., 

3. „ 

4. „ 

precious House (palace). 
„ royal Robes 
,, Boots (embroidered). 
,, Elephant's tusk. 

(Kan-san R 
(Lan-ch'en ch'em 

5. „ 

6. „ 
<■ „ 


Queen's earring. 
King's earring. 

(Tsumno na-ja 
(Gyalpo na-ja 


The above list seems somewhat confused with " The seven world- 


The Seven Wohld-ravishing Gems. 

ravishing Gems " here figured. 3 

The Seven Personal Gems. 4 

1. The Sword-jewel — confers invincibility. 

2. The Snake (i\«y«)-skin jewel. It is ten miles long by five broad; 
water cannot wet it, nor the wind shake it ; it warms in the cold 
weather and cools in the hot ; and shines brighter than the moon. 

3. The Palace-jewel. 

4. The Garden-jewel. 

5. The Robes. 

6. The Bed-jewel. 

7. The Shoe-jewel. Conveys the wearer one hundred miles without 
fatigue and across water without wetting the feet. 

1 Buiii-jM-ier ; Skt., Kala$a. 

- Gyal-ts'an sua bdun. 

:) 'Jigs-yoris-gyi rin-po-ch'e, namely, bSeru, conch-shell curd, king's earring, queen's 
earring, jewelled tiara, three-eyed gem, and the eight-limbed coral. Another enumer- 
ation gives Padmaraga, indranila, baidurya, margad, vajra, pearl, and coral. 

4 Xe-wai rin-poch'e sua bdun. 



A selection of four of these, with the addition of the royal 
umbrella, is termed « The five Royal Insignia," * namely :— 

The Seven Personal Gems. 

1. Ornamental cushion or throne. 

2. Umbrella. 

3. Sword— emblematic of power of life and death 

4. Cow-tail Fly-whisk with jewelled handle. 
5*. Parti-coloured embroidered shoes. 

The Eight Glorious Emblems. 2 
These auspicious symbols are figured in Buddha's footprints, 
and on innumerable articles, lay and clerical. 

T,l*\M i ~*' i * 

v'l'W.ijPfljfw.i^j" ?a,W!ffi* £ ,N 


The Eight Glorious Emblems. 

i Cf CSOMA'S An., p. 76; Jaeschke's Diet.,?. 454. 

*Skt.,Ashta- ^fl;T.,bkra-s'irtags-brgyad 

■ said to be symbols of tin- Vita-raga. Hodgson s L.L., p. 13b, also ...... , 

tfaiptUya Kaiydna" 






The Goldett Fish 1 




The Umbrella ("Lord of the 


Umbrella " a ) 




Conch-shell Trumpet— of Victory 




Lucky Diagram 3 

Victorious Banner 


d pal -he 







kalaa a 





k'or -lo 





The Eight Olorious Offerings. 4 

1. Mirror. — The light-holding goddess-form offered a looking-glass 
to Buddha Bhagavat when he was turning the wheel of religion, 

The Eight Glorious Offerings. 

and he blessed it and rendered it holy. (Compare with the mirror in 

the Shinto religion of Japan.; 

2. The intestinal concretion (yi-ham or gir'van found in the entrails 

1 The credulous Lamas of north-eastern Tibet credited Mr. Rockhil] with having 
captured the golden fish in the Tosu lake, "When I came back from Tosu-nor 
to Shang, the Khanpo (abbot), a Tibetan, asked me where I proposed going; 'To 
Lob-nor,' I replied, not wishing to discuss my plans. 'I supposed that was your 
intention,' he rejoined ; 'you have caught our horse and fish of gold in the Tosu-nor, 
and now you want to get the frog of gold of the Lob-nor. Bui it will be useless 
to try; there is in the whole world but the Panchen Rinpoche,of Tashi-lhunpo, who is 
able to catch it" ("A Journey in Mongolia andTibet," The Oeog. Journ., May, 1894, 
p. 376). The Japanese use a wooden fish as a gong. 

'- In Sanchi Tope. Fergus., '/'/•< and Serp. Worship, pi. xxxv., Fig. 2. 

: < Also the symbol of the tenth Jina (Sttala) of the Jains. Compare with 
" Buddha's entrails," see number 2 of next list, also on this page. 

4 bkras's-rdsas brgyad. These, together with the foregoing, may be compared 
with the Navdkota or Namnidhi, or nine treasures of Kuvera, the god of riches, 
namely, Padma, Mahapadma, Makara, Kacchapa, Mukunda, Nanda, Mia, Kharwa. 
And these are related to the so-called Naga kings, "the nine Nandas" of Magadha. 



of certain animals and on the neck of an elephant. The land-guard- 
ing elephant offered this to Buddha, and he blessed it. 

3. Curds (so). — The farmer's daughter (legs-skyes-ma) offered Buddha 
curdled milk, and he blessed it. 

4. Dariva grass. — Mangalam, the grass-seller, offered Buddha darwa 
grass, which he blessed. 

5. The Biliva fruit (iEgle marmelos). — Brahma offered him bilwa, 
which he blessed as the best of fruits. 

6. Conch-shell. — Indra offered him a white conch-shell, and he 
blessed it. 

7. Li-hhri. — The Brahman " King-star," offered him Li-khri, and he 
blessed it as the overpowering knowledge. 

8. The white turnip. — Vajrapani, " the Secret Lord," offered him a 
white turnip (yan-dkar), which he blessed as the demon-defeating 
turnip. * 

The Five Sensuous Qualities. 1 

These are figured at page 297. They seem to be a Buddhist 
adaptation of the Hindu " eight enjoyments " (Ashtabhoga), 
namely, a grand house, a bed, fine clothes, jewels, wives, flowers, 
perfumes, areca-nut and betel. They are offered on the altars and 
are : — 

1. Pleasing form (Rupa). 4. Luscious eatables (Naiivete). 

2. Sound (Saptta). 5. Pleasing-touch and feelings (Sp>arsa). 

3. Perfumes (Gandhe). 

Distinctly Chinese in origin are the Trigrams and the following 
symbolic animals. 

The Trigrams are especially used in astrology, and are de- 
scribed in the chapter on 

that subject. They are 

based upon the very 

ancient Chinese theory of 

the Yin- Yang or "the 

great extreme " (" Tai- 

Ky" 2 ), where two parallel 

lines, in a circle divided 

Tbigbams. spirally into two equal 

tadpole-like segments, 

represent, as in the doctrine of the Magi, the two First Causes and 

great principles, or contrary influences ( Yin + Yang) ; such as 

(bl Hob yio 

1 Skt., Kdmaguna, T., 'dod-yohs. 

2 Du.moutieh, Lis Symboles, etc., Annamitet 



light and darkness, good and evil, male and female, heat and 
cold, movement and repose, and so on. 

The circular diagram 1 is divided by the Lamas, like the 
Japanese, into three segments (as in the 
annexed figure a); and it will be noticed 
that the tails are given the direction of 
the orthodox fly-foot cross, for it too, 
according to the Lamas, signifies ceaseless 
change or " becoming." 

The LoNGEViTY-trigram or hexagram, 
in both its oblong and circular forms 
(fig. b and c), is a modification of the 
Chinese symbol for longevity called Thar 
The Lamas have also incorporated the 
four greatest amongst the Chinese sym- 
bolic animals, to wit, the Tortoise, the 
Phoenix, Dragon, and Horse-dragon, as 
well as the Chinese Tiger, and the Bats. 

The Tortoise symbolizes the universe 
to the Chinese as well as the Hindus. Its 
dome-shaped back represents the vault 
of the sky, its belly the earth, which 
moves upon the waters ; and its fabulous 
longevity leads to its being considered 

The Dragon 3 seems to perpetuate the 
tradition of primaeval flying saurian s of 
geologic times, now known only through 
their fossilized remains. The Lamas and 
Chinese Buddhists have assimilated them 
with the mythical serpents (Naga) of Indian myth. 

The Horse-dragon figures, as it seems to me, very promi- 
nently in the prayer-flags of Tibet, as we shall presently see 

The Phcenix (or "Garuda"). This mythical « sky-soarer " 4 
is the great enemy of the dragons, and has been assimilated to 

Trigrams as Charms. 

1 Called rGyan-'k'yil, probably a corruption of the Chinese name 

2 Cf. DUMOUTIEK, Op. n't., p. 21. 

3 Tib., 'drug ; Chinese Long. 

* Tib., nam-K'ah-ldin. The Chinese call it Con-phu'ong (Dumoutier, p. 48). 


the Indian Garuda, the arch-enemy of the Nagas. And anyone 
who has, like myself, seen the bird popularly called Garuda 
(namely the Adjutant or Stork) devouring snakes, must realize 
why the Indians fixed upon such a homely simile to represent 
their myth. It seems to be analogous to the Thunder-bird 
of the North American Indians. In a more mystic sense the 
Lamas, like the Chinese, believe it to symbolize the entire world ; 
its head is the heaven, its eyes the sun, its back the crescent 
moon, its wings the wind, its feet the earth, its tail the trees and 
plants. 1 

The Tiger is a deity of the pre-Lamaist religion of Tibet ; 
and the " Red-Tiger," as already noted, appears to me to be the 
prototype of the favourite Lamaist demon (Tam-din). The tiger is 
displayed on all the Tibetan prayer-flags in contest with the 
dragon,' 2 and the five tigers (see figure, page 519) are conspicuous 
in the Chinese symbolism prevalent in Annam. 3 

The group is mystically reputed to symbolize the rive elements : the 
central yellow tiger is the earth, the upper right blue one is wood, 
the lower right red one is fire (also the south), the upper left black 
one is water (also the north), and the lower left is metal (also the 

The Bats, five in number, have come by a confusion of homo- 
nyms to symbolize the five good Fortunes, 4 
namely, Luck, Wealth, Long life, Health, 
and Peace. They are embroidered on 
dresses of high Lamas, sorcerers, maskers, 
etc. 5 

Astrology also uses many other symbols, 
Tke Five Bats of Fortune. .hi t «. 

as will be seen hereatter. 

The symbolism of colours is referred to in the chapter on 

images and incidentally elsewhere. 

►Symbolic Words used as Numerals in Chronograms. 
In chronograms and astronomical and other works, symbolic 
names are often used instead of numerals. The rationale of the 

1 Cf. also Dumoutier, i>. is. 2 Ngu Ho, see figure, p. 413. 

:t Dumoutier, p. 55.. 4 Chinese Ngu Pku'cfc; cf. Dumoutier, p. 51. 

See also their l'< ii-in (iii ]i;ige 4. 


use of such names is generally obvious; thus the individual's body, 
the moon, the (one-horned) rhinoceros, express unity from their 
singleness. The hand, the eye, wings, twins, denote a pair. And 
many of the others are derived from the mythology of the Hindus. 
The following are some additional illustrations 1 : — 

3 = the world — i.e., the tln-ee Buddhist worlds of Kama Riipa, 

= quality — i.e., the three Quna. 

= fire — evidently from its triangular tongue. 

= top — probably from the Chinese ideograph of a hill. 
i = a lake or sea — i.e., the idea of fluid requiring to be hemmed in on 

all four Bides. 
•") = the senses — the five senses. 

= an element — the five elements. 

= an aggregate — the five Skandha. 

7 = a sage — the seven Jiis/ti. 

8 = a snake — the eight great Nagas. 

9 = a treasure — the nine treasures of Kuvera and the Nandas. 
10 = points — the ten points or directions. 

1 2 = the sun — with its twelve signs of the Zodiac. 
2i = Jina or victor — the twenty-four Jina and Tirthankara. 
82 = tooth — the human set of thirty-two teeth. 
= sky — the " empty " space. 

The " Mandala " or Magic Circle-offering of the Universe. 

It is almost a matter of history how the great emperor of Asoka 
thrice presented India to the Buddhist church, and thrice redeemed 
it with his treasure. But it seems to be little, if at all, known that 
the Lamas systematically ape Asoka in this particular gift; and 
they are much more magnificently generous than he. For every 
day, in every temple in Lamadom, the Lamas offer to the Buddhas 
(as well as to the saints and demons) not only the whole of India, 
but the whole universe of Jambudvip and the three other fabulous 
continents of Hindu cosmogony, together with all the heavens and 
their inhabitants and treasures. And although this offering is 
made in effigy, it is, according to the spirit of Lamaism, no less 
effective than Asoka's real gifts, upon which it seems to be based. 

The mode of making this microcosmic offering of the universe 
in effigy is as follows ; but to fully understand the rite, reference 

1 Taken mostly from Csoma's Ghwmmar, pp. 150, et seq. 


should be made to the illustrated description of the Buddhist 
universe, already given at page 79. 


Having wiped the tray with the right arm or sleeve, the Lama 
takes a handful of rice in either hand, and sprinkles some on the 
tray to lay the golden foundation of the universe. Then he sets 
down the large ring (see figure, p. 296), which is the iron girdle of 
the universe. Then in the middle is set down a dole of rice as 
mount Meru (Olympus), the axis of the system of worlds. Then 
in the order given in the attached diagram are set down a few 
grains of rice representing each of the thirty-eight component 
portions of the universe, each of which is named at the time of 
depositing its representative rice. The ritual for all sects of Lamas 
during this ceremony is practically the same. I here append the 
text as used by the Kar-gyu sect. 

During this ceremony it is specially insisted on that the per- 
former must mentally conceive that he is actually bestowing all 
this wealth of continents, gods, etc., etc., upon his Liimaist deities, 
who themselves are quite outside the system of the universe. 

The words employed during the offering of the Mandala are the 
following, and it should be noted that the figures in brackets 
correspond to those in the diagram and indicate the several 
points in the magic circle where the doles of rice are deposited 
during this celebration or service. 

" Oml Vajra bhummi ah. Hum ! " 

" On the entirely clear foundation of solid gold is Dm ! bajra-relhe 
ah Hum. 

" In the centre of the iron wall is Hum and Ri-rab (Meru), the kino 
of Movintains (1). 

" On the east is Liis-'p'ags-po (2), 

" On the south 'Jam-bu-glin (3), 

" On the west Ba-lan-spybd (4), and 

" On the north Gra-mi-snan (5). 

" On either side of the eastern continent are Liis (6) and Liis- 
'p'ags (7). 

" On either side of the southern continent are rNa-yab (8) and 
rNa-yab-gz'an (9). 

"On eitlur side of the western continent are Yonten (10) and 
Lam-mch'og-'gra (II). 








numbers are in the order of the procedure. 


Ri Gyalpo Ri-rabs. 





Shar Hi Phag-po\ . ] 




H14 Jam-bu-ling. 

The Great 



The Seven 


Nub Pa-lang Jo.. ..... 






Chang da-mi nyen. . 





Lu . - ..„! 

Hi pbag. 





Nga-yab ■■ . ' 


Ter chhen-po- 



Nga-yab zhia. „ , :-. 



Theng-wa ma 

_ y 


Yo-den' .. .- 




Tiam-chhog do 




pa-mi nyen 


Gar-ma. , . 

Thb8 Matri 


Da-mi nyen kyi d-i. 


Me-tog ma. 



'fg-aam Kyi 3hmg. . 


Dug-pS ma. 
Nang aol-ma. 


the 4 Worldly 


Dod jo-T-loo -» ... . 



D» chbab ma. 


Ma-mo pa-i 15 thog . 












Ham-par Gyal-wa-I Khang zang. 


li And on either side of the northern continent are sGra-mi-siian 
(12) and sGra-mi-shan-gyi-mda (13). 

" There are mountains of jewels (14), wish-granting trees (15), wish- 
granting cows (16), unploughed crops (17), the precious wheel (18), the 
precious Norbu jewel (19), the precious queen (20), the precjous minister 
(21), the precious elephant (22), the precious horse (23), the precious 
bittle-chief (24), the vase of the great treasure (25), the goddesses 
sgeg-pa-ma (26), 'P'reh-wa-ma (27), gLu-ma (28), Gar-ma (29), Me-tog-ma 
(30), bDug-spos-ma (31), sNan-gsal-ma (32),Dri-ch'al-ma (33), the sun (34), 
moon (35), jewelled umbrella (36), the ensign of victory (37), which is 
entirely victorious from all directions, and in the middle are the gods 
(38), the most accomplished and wealthy of the beings ! 

" I offer you all these constituent parts of the universe in their en- 
tirety, ! noble, kind, and holy Lama ! O ! tutelary gods of the magic- 
circle, and all the hosts of Buddhas and Bodhisats ! 

" I beg you all to receive these offerings for the benefit of the animal 
beings ! 

" I offer you ! Buddhas ! the four continents and mount Meru 
adorned with the sun and moon on a foundation of incense and flowers. 
Let all the animal beings enjoy happiness ! 

" I offer you ! assembly of all the accomplished supreme beings of 
the outside, inside, and hidden regions, the entire wealth and body of 
all these ideal regions. I beg you all to give us the best of all real 
gifts, and also the real gift of rDsogs-pa-ch'en-po (the mystic insight 
sought by the Nin-ma) ! 

" I offer up this fresh magic-circle, through the virtue of which let 
no injury beset the path of purity, but let us have the grace of the 
Jinas of the three times, and let us, the innumerable animal beings, be 
delivered from this illusive world ! 

" I offer up salutations, offerings, confessions of sins, and repent- 
ance. What virtue has been accumulated by myself and others, let it 
<'o to the attainment of our great end. Idam-ratna mandala Jcamnir- 
t/aiteydmi .' 

" I humbly prostrate myself three times to all who are worthy of 
worship, with my whole heart and body." Let glory come ! ' 

But the commonest use of sacred symbols is as talismans to ward 
off the evils of those malignant planets and demons who cause 
disease and disaster, as well as for inflicting harm on one's enemy. 
The symbols here are used in a mystical and magic sense as spells 
and as fetishes, and usually consist of formulas in corrupt and 
often unintelligible Sanskrit, extracted from the Mahayana and 
Tantrik Bcriptures, and called dhdraTii* as they are believed to 
"hold" divine powers, and are also used as incantations. Shorter 

i For details of the rest of this service, see my Ldmaism in Sikhim, p. 105. 



forms of these, consisting often of a single letter, are also 
used as representing the essence or " germ " of these spells or 
mantras, and hence named vlja. And the mystic diagram in 
which they are often arranged is named Ycmtra, as in Hindu 
Tantrism. 1 

The forms of these talismans and amulets are innumerable. 
The majority are luck-compelling, but different diseases, accidents 
and misfortune have each their special kinds. 

The eating of the paper on which a charm has been written is 

an ordinary way of curing disease, as indeed it had been in Europe 

till not so many centuries ago, for the mystic ljL heading our 

prescriptions is generally admitted to have had its origin in the 

symbol of Saturn, whom it invoked, and the paper on which the 

symbol and several other mystic signs were inscribed constituted 

the medicine, and was itself actually eaten by the patient. The 

spells which the Lamas use in this way as medicine are shown in 

the annexed print, and are called " the edible letters " (za-yig). 

A still more mystical way of applying these remedies is by the 

washings of the reflection of the 

writing in a mirror, a practice 

not without its parallels in other 

quarters of the globe. 2 Thus to 

cure the evil eye as shown by 

symptoms of mind-wandering and 

dementia condition — called 

"byad-'grol" — it is ordered as 

follows: Write with Chinese ink 

on a piece of wood the particular 

letters and smear the writing over 

with myrobalams and saffron as 

varnish, and every twenty-nine 

days reflect this inscribed wood in a mirror, and during reflection 

wash the face of the mirror with beer, and collect a cupful of 

such beer and drink it in nine sips. 

Edible Charm. 

1 Monier Williams's Hinduism, 127. 

2 "In Gambia," writes the colonial surgeon in his report for 1890 (quoted in Nature I 
" the treatment relied upon for cure, and much practised in the country, is tom]] 
in a man who is supposed to be a 'doctor,' who, after looking at the patient, sits 
down at his bedside and writes in Arabic characters on a wooden slate a long rig- 
marole, generally consisting of extracts from the Koran. The slate is then washed, 
and the dirty infusion is drunk by the patient." 

D D 


But most of the charms are worn on the person as amulets. 
Every individual always wears around the neck one or more of 
these amulets, which are folded up into little cloth-covered packets, 
bound with coloured threads in a geometrical pattern. Others 
are kept in small metallic cases of brass, silver, or gold, set with 
turquoise stones as amulets, and called " Ga-u" These amulets 
are fastened to the girdle or sash, and the smaller ones are worn 
as lockets, 1 and with each are put relics of holy men — a few 
threads or fragments of cast-off robes of saints or idols, peacock 
feathers, sacred Kusa grass, and occasionally images and holy pills. 
Other large charms are affixed overhead in the house or tent to 
ward off lightning, hail, etc., and for cattle special charms are 
chanted, or sometimes pasted on the walls of the stalls, etc. 2 

Most of these charms against accident, disease, and ill-fortune 
are in the form figured on the opposite page, which is called 
" The Assembly of all the Lamas' Hearts," as it is believed to 
contain the essence of all that is most j)Owerful in the Lamaist 

It consists of a series of concentric circles of spells surrounded 
by flames, amid which in the four corners are the symbols of the 
Buddhist trinity symbolized as three gems, a lotus-flower, a thun- 
der-bolt sceptre, and a flaming dagger with a vajra-hilt. In the 
interior is an eight-petalled lotus-flower, each petal of which bears 
mystic syllables, and in the centre of the flower is a circular space 
of about an inch in diameter, in which is placed the especial mystic 
charm, prepared as presently described, and varying according to 
the purpose for which the charm is wanted. The outer spells are : — 

In the Outmost Circle. — Guard the Body, Mind, and Speech of this 
charm-holder ! RaJchya rakhya Jcuruye svaha ! Angtadyaiha ! Om 
muni muni mahamuniye svaha. (Here follows " The Buddhist creed " 
already given ; followed by the Dhyani Buddhas : — ) Vairocana Om 
vajra AJcshobhya IF run, Rataa-sambhava Hri, Bargudhara Hri, Amoga- 
siddha Ah ! 

In Second Circle,— Om ! Nama Samanta Buddhanam, Ntima 
Samanta Dharmanam, nama Samant i Samghanam. Om Sititabatrai. 
Om Vimala, Om Shadkara, Om Brahyarigar Vajra ustsikhatsa 
krawarti sarvayana manta mula varma hana dhanamha. Namkil- 

i Figured on page 571. The kidney-shaped ones are called Ga-u ke-ri-ma. 
a Cf. also CsoMAand W. E. Caktb, J.A.S.B., Lx., 904. See figures of some of these 
charms at pages 568, 571, and 572. 



aniba makriayena keni chatkramtamtata sarban ratsin ratsin dakhinda 
bhinda tsiri tsiri giri giri mada mada hum hum phal phat. 

In Third Circle. — Guard the Body, Mind, and Speech of this charm- 
holder ! Mama ralcya rakhya leuruyt swdkd. Here follows the letters of 

the alphabet:—) Ang, a, a, i, I, u, u, ri, rl, li, U, e, ai, o. mi, ang, a, k, 
kh, g, gli, n, ts, tsh, ds, dsa, fi, ta, th, d, dh, n, p, ph, b, bh, in, y, r, 1, 
w, s, sh, s, h, am ! 

In Fourth ('irrb'. — Hum, Hum, etc. 

In Fifth Cirri. — ///•/, //,•/, etc. 

The General Charm Print. 

Entitled " The Assembly of Lamas' Hearts." 
(Reduced §.) 


Guru! !><ra! Daklcinl '. 

In Sixth Circle. — Om ! A! Hm 
Sarvasiddhipala Hum! A! 

The special charm, which occupies the centre of the diagram, 
varies according to the object for which the charm is required. It 

D d 2 


consists of a monogram or mystic letter (Sanskrit, vija, or seed), 
which represents the germ of a spell or mantra. This letter is 
often in the old Indian character of about the fourth or fifth 
century A.D., and is inscribed in cabalistic fashion with special 
materials as prescribed in the manual on the subject. 

As most of these specific charms are of the nature of sympa- 
thetic magic, and evidently derived from very ancient Indian 
sources, probably dating back to Vedic times when the ritual 
consisted largely of sympathetic magic, 1 I give here a few ex- 
amples : ' — 

Thus to make the 

Charm against Bullets and Weapons. — The directions are as 
these : With the blood of a wounded man draw the annexed 
monogram (D (i) and insert in the vacant space in the centre 
of the aforesaid print of "The Assembly of the Hearts of the 
Lamas." The sheet should then be folded and wrapped in a piece 
of red silk, and tie up with a piece of string 1 and wear around the 
neck or an unexposed part of your breast immediately next the skin, 
and never remove it. 

Charm for Clawing Animals (i.e., tigers, cats, bears, etc.). — 
On a miniature knife write with a mixture of myrobalans and 
musk-water the monogram (? ZAH) and tie up, etc. (Here the 
knife seems to represent the animal's claw.) 

For Domestic Broils. — Write the monogram (? EE) and insert 
in print and fold up and bind with a thread made of the mixed 
hairs of a dog, goat, sheep, and enclose in a mouse-skin, and tie, 
etc. (This seems to represent union of domestic elements.) 

For Kitchen Cooking Smells offensive to the House-Gods. — 
With the blood of a hybrid bull-calf write the monogram OfAU 
( = cow), and insert it in the print, and fold up in a piece of hedge- 
hog-skin. (Compare with the western Aryan myth of the Greek 
hearth-god Vulcan, whose mother Hera as Io is represented as a 

For Cholera (or "the vomiting, purging, and cramps" ). — With 

] Cf. Bergaigne's La religion vedique; also Fbazer. 

- For a fuller account, with illustrations, sec my article in Jour. Anthrqp, Institute, 


the dung of a black horse and black sulphur and musk-water write 
the monogram (? ZA), and insert in the print, and fold up in a piece 
of snake-skin, and wear, etc. (Here the dung seems to represent 
the purging, the horse the galloping course, the black colour the 
deadly character, and the snake the virulence of the disease.) 

Charm against Plagues. 

Tin's charm, figured at the head of this chapter, consists of a 

monster figure of the Garuda, the king of birds, with a snake in 

its mouth, and each of its outstretched plumes bears a text, and 

it also contains the " Buddhist creed." The inscription runs :— 

Om ! Bhrum satrirbad namkhamjamram. 

Om ! bisakhrilimili liala snllui { 

Om ! bisaJchrilimilihalayd skachig ! 

Guard the holder (i.e., the wearer) of this from all the host of diseases 
of evil spirits and injuries, including contagious diseases, sore-throat' 
cough, rheumatism, the black " rgyu-ghgyel," brum-bu, and all kinds' 
ot plague of the body, speech, and mind ! [Here follows the Buddhist 
creed.] Hahatse habatsehum sod. Suru suru hum sod. Sukarjuka 
My sod. Satikarur hum sod. KuUrakhyi hum sod. Merumthuntst 
hum sod. Maltakurum guru triga gurunam nagashara ramram duldul 
nagateita i>l,o naga chunglinga shag thumamnyogs sos. 

Guard the holder. 

Om I thamitharati sadunte dswaramghaye svaM ! 

Another charm for disease is given at page 62, where the 
fierce demon Tam-din, clad in human and animal skins, bears on 
his front a disc with concentric circles of spells. 

Scorpion-Charm against Injury ry Demons. 
This charm, figured at page 474, is in the form of a scorpion, 
whose mouth, tipped by flames, forms the apex of the picture. 
On its shoulder are seated the especial demons to be protected 
against. The inscription runs : — 

A>/ama durur cashana zhwmaya. 

Hum ! Om ! A ! Hum ! Artsicpurtsig ! 

Namo Bhagavati Hum ! Hum! Phat ! 

A guard against all the injuries of " rgyalpo," " drimo " (a malignant 
demon specially injuring women), " Jtsan " (or red demons), " sa-dag " 
(or earth-demons), k\\x (or naga), including " r/nan " (a plague-causing 
subordinate of the naga). 


Against injury by these preserve ! 

And the figures are hemmed in by the mystic syllables: Jsa ! 
Hum ! Hum ! Bam ! Ho ! 

The huge Tibetan mastiffs are let loose at night as watch-dogs, 
and roaming about in a ferocious state are a constant source of 
alarm to travellers, most of whom therefore carry the following 
charm against dog-bite. It consists of a picture of a dog fettered 
and muzzled by a chain, terminated by the mystic and all-power- 
ful jthunderbolt-sceptre ; and it contains the following inscribed 
Sanskrit mantras and statements : " The mouth of the blue 
dog is bound beforehand! Omrlti-sri-tl swdha ! Omriti-si-i-ti 

< iiakm AGAJ 

sivdha!" And this is repeated along the body of the dog, 
followed by : — 

Om Yajra ghana Icara hukuratsa sal sal nan marya smugs smugs 
leuhuratsa Jchathamtsa le tsa 1< mini mun sar ear rgyug him tha m« chhu 

chhinghchhang maraya rakJchya r<tkkh>i<i ! (It is) fixed ! tixed ! 

Charm against Eagles and Birds of Prey. 
Eagles play havoc with the young herds of the pastoral Bhotiyas 
of the Sikhiin uplands and Tibet. For this the people use the 
annexed charm, which they tie up near their huts. Tin- central 
figure is a manacled bird, representing the offending eagle or 
otle-r bird of prey ; and around it is the following text : — 

" A guard againfri all injuries of the covetous, sky soaring monarch 
bird. (It is) fixed I fixed I Om smegt smegi bhum bhummu f" 

Charm for KILLING One's Enemy. 
The necromantic charms for killing one's enemy are resorted to 



mostly in inter-tribal feuds and warring with foreigners. I have 
given details of these rites elsewhere. 1 They require the following 
objects : — 

1. An axe with three heads, the right of which is bull-headed, the 
left snake-headed, and the middle one pig-headed. 

2. On the middle head a lamp is to be kept. 

3. In the pig's mouth an image of a human being made of wheaten 
flour (a hnga). The upper part of the body is black and the lower part 
red. On the side of the upper 

part of the body draw the 
figure of the eight great 
planets, and on the lower part 
of the body the twenty-eight 
constellations of stars. Write 
also the eight parkha (tri- 
grams), the nine mewa, the 
claws of the Garuda in the 
hands, the wing of the eagles 
and the snake tail. 

4. Hang a bow and an 
arrow on the left and load 
him with provisions on the 
back. Hang an owl's feather on the right and a rook's on the left ; 
plant a piece of the poison-tree on the upper part of the body, and 
surround him with red swords on all sides. Then a red Rgyangbu 
wood on the right, a yellow one on the left, a black one in the middle, 
and many blue ones on divers places. 

5. Then, sitting in quiet meditation, recite the following :— 

" Hum ! This axe with a bull's head on the right will repel all the 
injuries of the Nag-pas and Bon-pos— sorcerers ; the snake on the left 
will repel all the classes of plagues ; the pig's head in the middle will 
repel the sa-dag and other earth-demons; the linga image in the mouth 
will repel all the evil spirits without remainder, and the lamp on the 
head will repel the evil spirits of the upper regions. ! the axe will 
cleave the heart of the angry enemy and also of the hosts of evil 
spirits ! ! ! etc., etc., etc., etc. 



A V 


5^f a? 

jy Tfr 

itfgT* tr 

i a^F 

f#w\^ _l 


During the Sikhim expedition of 1888, near Mt. Paul on the 
Tukola ridge, where the final attack of the Tibetans was made, 
there was found one of the mystic contrivances for the destruction 
of the enemy. It consisted of an obliquely carved piece of wood, 

My L 

aiiMisiii in -sV/,7,; 


about fourteen inches long, like a miniature screw-propeller of a 
steamer, and acted like the fan of a windmill. It was admittedly 
a charm for the destruction of the enemy by cleaving them to 
pieces, a device for which there are western parallels. And on it 
was written a long, unintelligible Bon spell of the kind called 
'.'a it-:' n it, followed by a call for the assistance of the tierce 
deities Tam-din, Vajrapani, and the Graruda, and concluding with 
k> phat, phat " — Break ! Destroy ! It may also be mentioned here 
that the bodies of all the Tibetans slain in these encounters were 
found to bear one or more charms against wounds, most of them 
being quite new; and some of the more elaborate ones, which con- 
tained in their centre figures of the other weapons charmed against, 
swords, muskets, etc., had cost their wearers as much as twenty-five 
rupees a-piece. 

And for torturing one's enemy short of death, there is the same 
popular practice which is found amongst occidentals, 1 namely, of 
making a little clay image of the enemy and thrusting pins into it. 

The directions for this procedure are : — 

Take some of the earth from his footprints ; or better from the house 
of some wrecked person, and mixing with dough prepare a small 
figure of a man. On its head put thorns. Through the heart's region 
thrust a copper needle. Then say following spell : Om Ghate Jam-mo 
Tictmo hadsam . during the recital of which move the needle briskly over 
the region of the heart. If this process is long continued then the 
bewitched person will surely die within the day; but if done only for a 
time, and the needle and thorns arc again withdrawn, and tic image- 
body and needles are washed, the enemy who is thus bewitched will only 
suffer temporary anguish, and will recover (for it is against Buddhist 
principles to take life). 

" Prayer-Flags." 

The tall flags inscribed with pious sentences, charms, and prayers, 
which flutter picturesquely around every Lamaisl settlement, 

curiously combine Indian with Chinese aud Tibetan symbolism. 

It seems u far civ from Asoka pillars to prayer-flags, but it i> 
not improbable that they are related, and that ''the Tree- of the 
Law," so conspicuous in Lamaism, are perverted emblems of Indian 
Buddhism, like bo much of the Lamaist Bymbolism. 

Everyone who has been in Burma is familiar with the tall masts 

1 Cf. Viboil. Bucol. \ iii. : TiO'iH i :u i -. /■ armacevtria. 


(tagini-daing), 1 with their streaming banners, as accessories of 
every Buddhist temple in that country. Each mast in Burma is 
surmounted by an image of one or more Brahmani geese, and the 
streamers are either flat or long cylinders of bamboo framework 
pasted over with paper, which is often inscribed with pious 
sentences. The monks whom I asked regarding the nature of 
this symbol believed that it was borrowed from Indian Buddhism. 

Xow, the resemblance which these posts bear to the Asoka 
pillars is certainly remarkable. Both are erected by Buddhists 
for the purposes of gaining merit and displaying aloft pious wishes 
or extracts from the law; and the surmounting geese form an 
essential feature of the abacus of several Asoka pillars. The change 
from pillar to post could be easily explained, as great monoliths 
were only possible to such a mighty emperor as Asoka ; but every- 
one could copy in wood the pious practice of that great and model 
Buddhist who had sent his missionaries to convert them. 

Such wooden standards may have been common in Indian 
Buddhism, as some Burmese believe, and yet, from their perish- 
able nature, have left no trace behind. At most of the old rocky 
Buddhist sites in Magadha I have seen sockets in the rock, some 
of which may have been used for such standards, although many 
of the smaller sockets were doubtless used for planting umbrellas 
to shelter the booth-keepers in their sale of flower and other offer- 
ings for the shrines. Most also of the clay models of Caityas in 
relief, dug out of the earlier Indian St upas, show streamers' tied to 
the top of the Caityas ; and in Ceylon the old Stupas are sur- 
rounded by what seems to be similar posts. 2 

Lamaism, which, more than any other section of Buddhism, has, 
as we have seen, substituted good words for the good works of the 
primitive Buddhists, eagerly seized upon all such symbolism, as for 
instance, Asoka's historic gifts in their daily rice-offerings. The 
decided resemblance of its " prayer-flags " to the tagurt-daing of 
the Burmese is 3 not more striking, perhaps, than the apparent 

i Mr. St. A. St. John kindly informs me that the etymology is ta, something long and 
straight + gun, bark or husk + doing, a post. 

2 See figures in Ferguson's History of India and Eastern Architecture. 

3 These instances seem something more than the simple cloths and banners as propitia- 
tory offerings, which, of course, are found in most animistic religions — from the " rag- 
bushes " of India to the shavings of the Upper Burmese and the Ainos. And the 
hypothetical relationship between the Burmese and the Tibetans, based on the affinity 



homology which they present to the Asoka pillars. They are 
called by the Lamas Da-cha, 1 evidently a corruption of the Indian 
Dhvaja, the name given by the earlier Indian Buddhists to the 
votive pillars offered by them as railings to Stupas. 2 

The planting of a Lamaist prayer-flag, while in itself a highly 
pious act, which everyone practises at some time or other, does not 
merely confer merit on the planter, but benefits the whole country- 
side. And the concluding sentence of the legend inscribed on the 
flag is usually " Let Buddha's doctrine prosper " — which is practi- 
cally the gist of the Asoka inscriptions. 3 

( Ihinkse LONQ-Hobsb. 

Or Horse-Dragon, " Long-ma. 

P.ut the Lamas have degraded much of their Indian symbolism, 
and perverted it to sordid and selfish objects. 

The prayer-flags are used by the Lamas as luck-commanding 
talismans ; and the commonest of them, the so-called " Airy 

of their languages, does not count for much, as no real racial relation has yet been 
proved. Probably related to these prayer-flags are the stone pillars called meutt or 
poles i wei-kan i, found in western Su-Ch'uan in China, ami Figured by Mr. Baber ("A 
Journey," etc., Roy. Geog. Soc. Suppl. Papers, i.. p. 19). 

1 dar-lch'og. 

- Cunningham's Stupa of Barhut. 
\- ill.- legend usually bears a lion and a tiger in its upper corners, while below 
are a Garuda-bird and dragon i Naga i, it seem-, qoI impossible that these may he re- 
lite, l to the surmounting lion ami the so-called geese of Aaoka'a pillars. The rites 
related »•> the erection of the Lamaist standard are somewhat suggestive "1 the Vedic 
rite of •• raising [ndra'a banner," \\ bich in its t urn is probably the' original of our M.,\ • 
pole, .hhI asoka's pillars seem t" have been Bomewhat of the nature of the Jaya - 



horse," seems to me to be clearly based upon and also bearing the 
same name as " The Horse-dragon " of the Chinese. 

This Horse-dragon or " Zcm^-horse " is one of the four great 
mythic animals of China, and it is the symbol for grandeur. It 
is represented, as in the figure on the opposite page, as a dragon- 
headed horse, carrying on its back the civilizing Book of the Law. 

The Tibetan LWVG-Horse. 

Now this is practically the same figure as " The Lung-horse " 
(literally "Wind-horse") of the Lamaist flag, which also is used for 
the expressed purpose of increasing the grandeur of the votary; 
indeed, this is the sole purpose for which the flag is used by the 
Tibetan laity, with whom these flags are extremely popular. 

And the conversion of " The Horse-dragon " of the Chinese into 


the Wind-horse of the Tibetans is easily accounted for by a con- 
fusion of homonyms. The Chinese word for " Horse-dragon " is 
Long-ma, 1 of which Long = Dragon, and ma= Horse. In Tibet, 
where Chinese is practically unknown, Long, being the radical 
word, would tend to be retained for a time, while the qualifying 
word, ma, translated into Tibetan, becomes " rta." Hence we get 
the form " Long-rta." But as the foreign word Long was unin- 
telligible in Tibet, and the symbolic animal is used almost solely 
for fluttering in the wind, the " Long " would naturally become 
changed after a time into Lung or " wind," in order to give it 
some meaning, hence, so it seems to me, arose the word Lung- 
rta, 2 or " Wind-horse." 

In appearance the Tibetan "Lung-horse" so closely resembles 
its evident prototype the " Horse-dragon," that it could easily be 
mistaken for it. On the animal's back, in place of the Chinese 
civilizing Book of the Law, the Lamas have substituted the Bud- 
dhist emblem of the civilizing Three Gems, which include the 
Buddhist Law. But the Tibetans, in their usual sordid way, view 
these objects as the material gems and wealth of good luck which 
this horse will bring to its votaries. The symbol is avowedly a 
luck-commanding talisman for enhancing the grandeur 3 of the 

Indian myth also lends itself to the association of the horse with 
luck; for the Jewel-horse of the universal monarch, such as 
Buddha was to have been had he cared for worldly grandeur, 
carries its rider, Pegasus-like, through the air in whatever direc- 
tion wished for, and thus it would become associated with 
the idea of realization of material wishes, and especially wealth 
;iik1 jewels. This horse alsoforni> the throne-support of the mythi- 
c;il celestial Buddha named Rat na-sambhava, or " the Jewel-bom 
One," who i- often represented symbolically by a jewel. And we 
find in many of these Kick-flags that the picture of a jewel takes 
the place of the horse. It is also notable that the mythical people 
of the northern continent, subjed to the god of wealth, Kuvera, 
or Vaisravana, are " horse-faced." 

The flags are printed on the unglazed tough country paper, 

I Itl'MDI TIKK, Op. ■•'<-. p. :; ". 

rLun-rta; another for f spelling sometimes, though rarely, met with, iskLun 

it. i. where JcLuH is said to mean " year of birth." 
■ T.. rgyas. 



and are obtainable on purchase from the Lamas, but no Lama is 
necessarily needed for the actual planting of the flag and its 
attendant rites. 

These luck-commanding or "prayer-flags" are of four kinds : — 

I. The Lung-ta proper, as above figured. It is almost square in 

form, about four to six inches long, and contains in the centre the 

figure of a horse with the mystic jewel Norbu on its back. It is 


War of the Tigeb and Dragon. 

hung upon the ridges of the houses, and in the vicinity of dwel- 
lings. The printed text of this sort of flag varies somewhat in 
the order in which the deified Lamas are addressed, some giving 
the first place to St. Padma, while others give it to the celestial 
Bodhisat, Manjursi ; but all have the same general form, with the 
horse bearing the jewel in the centre, and in the four corners 
the figures or the names of the tiger, lion, the monstrous garuda- 


bird, and the dragon — the tiger being opposed to the dragon, in 
accordance with Chinese mythology, as figured over the page. 
A translation of one of the prayer-flags is here given : — 

Hail! Vagishwari mum ! (i.e., yellow 
TIGER, Manjusrl's spell.) LION. 

Hail ! to the jewel in the Lotus ! Hum ! 
(i.e., Avalokita's spell). 
Hail ! to the holder of the Dorje ! Hum ! (i.e., Vajrapani's 

Hail ! to Vajrasattva (The Diauiond-souled one ! ) 
Hail ! Amarahnihdshvantiye swahd. 

[The above is in Sanskrit. Now follows in Tibetan : — ] 
Here ! May all of the above (deities whose spells have been 

given) prosper [here is inserted the year 

of birth of the individual], and also prosper — 
the Body (i.e., to save from sickness), 
the Speech (i.e., to give victory in disputations), 
and the Mind (i.e., to obtain all desires) ; 
GARUDA. of this year-holder [above specified] DRAGON, 

and may Buddha's doctrine prosper ! 

Here it will be noted that the three great celestial defensores 
fidei of Liimaism are invoked through their spells, namely : — 

1. Manjuyri, who conveys wisdom; 2. Avalokita, who saves 
from fear and hell ; and 3. Vajrapdni, who saves from accident 
and bodily injury. And in addition to the above are also given 
the spells of: 4. Vajrasattva, who purifies the soul from sin; 
and 5. Amitdyus, who confers long life. 

It is interesting to compare with these Tibetan luck-flags the 
somewhat similar prayer-flags 1 which the Burmese Buddhists 
offer at their shrines. "These," says Mr. Scott, 2 "are fancifully 
cut into figures of dragons and the like, and in the centre contain, 
in Pali or the vernacular, sentences like these : — 

" By means of this paper the offerer will become very strong. 

" By the merit of this paper Wednesday's children will be blessed 
by spirits and men. 

" May the man born on Friday gain reward for his pious offer- 

u May the man born on Monday be freed from Sicklies- and the 
Three Calamities." 

Min-. - 7'/,. Bunnan, 





The large Luck-flag "The Victorious Banner.' 
(Beduced ^.) 


The second form of the Tibetan luck-flag is called cho-pen. 1 
It is of a long, narrow, oblong shape, about eight to ten inches in 
length. This sort of flag is for tying to twigs of trees or to 
bridges, or to sticks for planting on the tops of hills. Its text has 
generally the same arrangement as form No. 1, but it wants the 
horse-picture in the centre. Its Tibetan portion usually closes 
with "May the entire collection (of the foregoing deities) prosper 
the power, airy horse, age and life of this year-holder and make 
them increase like the waxing new moon." 

Very poor people, who cannot afford the expense of the printed 
charms, merely write on a short slip of paper the name of the 
hirl 1 1- year of the individual, and add " May his /// luj-horse prosper." 

One limg-horseiox each member of a household must be planted 
on the third day of every month (lunar) on the top of any hill near 
at hand, or on the branch of a tree near a spring, or tied to the 
sides of a bridge; and on affixing the flag a stick of incense is 
burned. And a small quantity of flour, grain, flesh, and beer are 
offered to the genius loci of the hill-top by sprinkling them around, 
saying, So .' So ! Take ! Take ! 

A more expanded form of the luck-flag is the Gyal-tean dse- 
mo, <>r "Victorious banner," 2 which is generally of the same form 
as that first mentioned, but containing a much larger amount of 
holy texts, and also usually the eight glorious symbols, of which 
the lotus forms the base of the print. It prospers not only Luck 
in wealth, but also the life, body, and power of the individual, 
and seems to contain also spells addressed to the goddess Durga, 
Siva's spouse. 

The Vasl Luck-flag. This fourth form of Lung-ta is named 
"gLaii-po stob ryyas" or "That which makes vast like the Ele- 
phant." It i- pa-ted to the walls of the houses, or folded up ami 
worn around 'he neck as a charm for good luck. It consists of 
crossed vcyrae in the centre with a Garuda and a peacock, the 

jewelled elephant and the jewelled horse, earh hearing an eight- 
leaved lotus-disc on which are inscribed the following Sanskrit 

and Tibetan text-. The other Bymbols are -the eight glorious 
symbols '" already described. 

i ibyod-pan. 

i - .in.ii - rendered into Sanskrit •>- arya «lli\ .tj. 

eLaft-po stob 


And around the margin is the familiar legend " the Buddhist 
creed," repeated several times, also the letters of the alphabet, 
together with the words " May the life, body, power, and the 
' airy horse ' of the holder of this charm prosper his body, speech, 
and wishes, and cause them to increase like the growing new 
moon; may he be possessed of all wealth and riches, and be guarded 
against all kinds of injury." 

In the upper left hand disc : " May the life of this charm-holder be, 
raised sublimely (like the flight of the garuda here represented). Oml 
sal sal hobana sal sal ye swaha ! Om ! Om I sarba Jcata kata sata kata 
sala ya nata sah wa ye swaha ! Om ! kilt kill mill mill kuru kuru hum, 
hum ye swaha ! O ! May the life of this charm-holder be raised on 
high ! 

In the upper right-hand disc : " May the body of this charm-holder 
be raised sublimely (like the flight of the peacock here represented). 
Om ! yer yer hobana yer yer ye svdha ! Om I sarba Taihagata bkiri 
bhiri bata baia miri miri mill mill ae bata sarba gata-gata shramana 
sarba gata-gata shramana sarba ! ! May the body of this charm- 
holder be raised on high." 

In lower left-hand disc : " May the power of this charm-holder be 
raised sublimely (like the precious elephant here represented). Om ! 
Mer mer hobana mer mer ye swaha ! Om sarva dhara dhara barn dhara 
ghi kha ye swaha ! Sarva kill kill na hah kang li sarba bhara bhara 
sambhara sambhara ! O ! May the power and wealth of this charm- 
holder be increased and all the injuries be guarded against. 

In lower right-hand circle : "May the 'Airy horse' of this charm- 
holder be raised sublimely (with the celerity of ' the precious horse ' 
here represented). Om I lam lam hobana lam lam lam swaha I Om ! 
Sarva kara kara phat ! Sarbha dhuru dhuru na phat I Sarba kata 
kata kata na phat! Sarba kill kill na phat! Sarbha mala mala 
swaha ! O ! May the ' Lung-hovse ' of the charm-holder be raised 
on high and guarded against all injury." 

In the central disc over the junction of the cross Dor-je is written : 
" Om ! neh ya rani jhventi ye swaha ! O ! May this charm-holder 
be given the undying gift of soul everlasting (as the adamantine cross 
Dor-je herein pictured)." 

In planting these luck-flags a special form of worship is ob- 
served. And the planting of these flags with the due worship 
is advised to be done when ever anyone feels unhappy and down in 
luck, or injured by the earth-demons, etc. It is called " The 
great statue of the Lung-horse," and is as follows : — 

First of all is made a rice-oftering of the universe, under a yellow 
canopy, but screened on the four sides by curtains of different colours, 
blue on the east, red on the south, white on the west, and black on the 


north. The canopies are to be lixed in the ends of a perfect square 
set in the four directions, around which are the twelve-year cycle, the 
nine cakes (bs'os) representing the nine Me was, eight lamps represent- 
ing the eight parkha, eight planets, twenty-eight constellations of stars, 
five Tormas, five gJild (small balls of wheaten flour offered to demons as 
ransom), five arrows with silk streamers (mda-dar) of the five different 
colours, and many more mdd rgyan-bn and 'p'aii. The above must be 
arranged by a practical man, and then the ceremony begins with the 
fingers in the proper attitude of the twelve cycle of years, and recita- 
tion of the following in a raised and melodious voice : — 

" Rye ! Rye ! In the eastern horizon from where the sun rises, is 
a region of tigers, hares, an I trees. The enemy of the trees is the Iron, 
which is to be found in the western horizon, and where the enemy, the 
life-cutting bdiid-devil, is also to be found. In that place are the 
demons who injure the life, body, power, and the ' Lung-horse* The 
devil who commands them also lives in the occidental region : he is a 
white man with the heads of a bird and a monkey, and holds a white 
hawk on the right and a black <'emon-rod on the left. Oh ! Bird and 
monkey-headed demon ! Accept this ransom and call back all the in- 
juring demons. 

" Rye ! Rye ! In the southern horizon is a region of horses, snakes, 
and fire. The enemy of the fire is the water, etc., etc. O ! Rat and 
pig-headed demon ! Accept this ransom and call back all the injuring 
demons." .......... 

" Rye ! Rye ! In the boundary of the south-eastern horizon is a 
yellow dragon-headed demon. O ! Dragon-headed devil ! Accept this 
ransom and call back all the injuring devils. 

■• Kye! Kye! In the boundary of the south-western horizon is a 
yellow sheep-headed woman. ! Sheep-headed she-devil ! Accept 
this ransom and call back all the injuring demons. 

" Rye ! Rye .' In the boundary of the north-western horizon there 
is a yellow dog-headed demon. O ! Dog-headed devil ! Accept this 
ransom and call back all the injuring demons. 

" Kye ! Rye! In the boundary of the north-eastern horizon there 
is a yellow bull-headed demoness. ! Bull-headed she-devil ! Accept 
this ransom and call back all the injuring demons ! 

" O ! Upset all the injuring evil spirits, the ill-natured devils, the 
demons who injm^e the life, body, power, and the /-//////-horse, the 
wandering demons, the ill-luck of bad ' /.////./-horses,' the fearful 
goblins, the bad omens, the doors of the sky, and the earth, and 
the injuries of all malignant devils. 

•• May we be freed from all kinds of injuries and be ' favoured with 
the real gift, which we earnestly seek ! ' " 

" May virtue increase ! 
" CJ-loky ! " 



The "Vast" Luck-flag 
(Reduced J.) 

K E 2 

, *4flih0i***ii1?Xf-* , 4 


' f & & § v ******$** » '?-»■.« * s ., 

■W* i»* M £ * * 1 1« «HI 

-'Wm a in i i *t mn ma *m 

DouciH Sacrificial Effigies of the Tibetan Bon Religion. 
(Reduced i.) 


IORSHIP and priestcraft had no place in primitive 
Buddhism. Pious regard for admirable persons, such 
as Buddha and the elders, and for ancient cities and 
sacred sites, was limited to mere veneration, and 
usually took the form of respectful circumambulation (usually 
three times), with the right hand towards the admired object, 
as in western ceremonial, 1 and this veneration was extended to 
the other two members of the Buddhist trinity, namely, Buddha's 
Word or Dharma, and the Assembly of the Faithful. 

After Buddha's death such ceremonial, to satisfy the religious 
sense, seems soon to have crystallized into concrete worship and 
sacrifice as an act of affection and gratitude towards the Three 

1 For instance, as in the Scotch highlands, "to make the deazil" or walk thrice in 
the direction of the sun's course around those whom they wish well (Gobdon-Cuming, 
From the Hebrides to tht Himalayas, ii., 164); We also follow the same rule in passing 
decanters round our dinner-tables; and it is the direction in which cattle tread out 
the corn. — Cf. Pradakshina, p. 287 



Holy Ones; and it was soon extended so as to include the worship 
of three other .lasses of objects, namely (1), Bodily relics (ftar- 
lrika)\ (2), [mages of Buddha's person, etc. i Uddedka ; and | ft), 
Vestments, utensils, etc. (Paribhogika). And in justification of 
such worship the southern Buddhists quote the sanction of 
Buddha himself, 1 though of course without any proof for it. 

And we tiave seen how, in the objective phase of Buddhism, 
and especially in its Tantrik development, ritual is elevated to the 
front ianl< in importance, and binds 

the votaries in the bonds of sacerdo- 

talism and idolatry. Even in southern 

Buddhism there is a good deal of 

priestcraft. The monks draw .ait horo- 
scopes, fix auspicious days for weddings, 

'•tc. and are sent for in cases of sick- 
ness to recite the •scriptures, and the 

ywit as a charm againsi snakes, and 

evil spirits, and devil dances.' 

But in Lamaism the ritualistic cults 

are seen in their most developed form 

and many of these certainly hear a 

close resemblance outwardly to those 

found within the church of Kome, in 

the pompous services with celibate 

and tonsured monks and nuns, candles, 

bells, censers, rosaries, mitres, copes, 

pastoral crooks, worship of relics, confession, intercession of "the 

Mother of God," litanies and chants, holy water, triad divinity 

organized hierarchy, etc. 4 

It is still uncertain, however, how much of the Lamaist 

symbolism may have been borrowed from Koman Catholicism, or 


1 Hahdy's East. Moh., 216. 

« "After the conclusion of the perahera in the month of Ehala [July] in the Rod's 
temples) the .officers, etc., engaged in it, including the elephants, have ce^remoSes for 
the conciliation oi lesser divinities and evil spirits performed called B .lit, t o 
Garavakun^ethna, and WaliyaWnetfnia. The BalLt-n^a . v ,", ' 

formed for hve days after th, perahera by a .lass of persons, named Balibat G J, , 

Syi™W2^^ ° r devil " danCerS "- R ^ °fS«™ Te , ComnZ* rs, 

: « After Giorgi. 4 Cf . H „ 5(X 


vice versa. Large Christian communities certainly existed in 
western China, near the borders of Tibet, as early as the seventh 
century a.d. 1 

Thus has it happened, in a system which acknowledged no 
Creator, that the monks are in the anomalous position of priests to 
a host of exacting deities and demons, and hold the keys of hell 
and heaven, for they have invented the common saying, "'without 

1 At Si-ngan-fu, near the eastern border of Tibet, is an edict stone, erected by 
the Chinese emperor Tetsung, 780-783 a.d., which contains an account of the 
arrival of the missionary Olopan (probably a, Chinese form of Rabban-monk) trim 
Tat'sin (Roman empire), in the year equivalent to a.d. 635, bringing sacred books and 
images ; of the translation of the said books ; of the imperial approval of the doctrine, 
and permission to teach it publicly. There follows a decree of the emperor Taitsung, 
a very famous prince, issued in 638 in favour of the new doctrine, and ordering a 
church to be built in the square of Peace and Justice at the capital. The emperor's 
portrait was to be placed in the church (in the royal garden of Inifan). Kaotsung 
(650-683, the devout patron also of the Buddhist traveller lliuen Tsiang) continued to 
favour it. — See Yule in Marco Polo, ii., 23, where a photograph of the inscription is 
given. The edict also states (Kikcher's China Illustrata) that in the years 699 and 
713, the Bonzes, or Buddhist idolatrous priests, raised a tumult against the Christians, 
which was quelled by order of the emperor Yven-Sun-ci-tao. 

The Muhammadan traveller, Abu Zeid al Hassan, writing in the ninth century 
(Kknatdot's transl., Lond., 1733, p. 42), states that " thousands of Christians " were 
massacred in 8. W. China. 

In the twelfth century Jenghiz Shall and his successors were well inclined to 
Christianity; his principal wife was the daughter of king Ung Khan, who was a 

In the thirteenth century Marco Polo found in the north of Yunnan a few Nestorian 
Christians.— Yor^, M.P., ii., 52. 

" In 1246," writes Hue (Chines? Empirt . i., p. 141), " Plan-Carpin was sent to the great 
Khan of the Tartars by pope Innocent the Fourth. At Khara Khoroum,the capital of the 
Mongols, he saw, not far from the palace of the sovereign, an edifice on which was a 
little cross ; 'then,' says he, ' I was at the height of joy, and supposing thai there must 
be some Christians there, I entered, and found an altar magnificently adorned; there 
were represent at ions of tlie Saviour, the Holy Virgin, and John the Baptist, and a large 
silver cross, with pearls and other ornaments in the centre: and a lamp with eight 
jets of light burned before the altar. In the sand nary w as seated an Armenian monk 
of Bwarthy complexion, very thin, wearing nothing but a coarse tunic reaching only 
d"\\ n to the middle ofhis leg, and a black mantle fastened with iron clasps.' " 

And in 1886 letters readied pope benedict XII. from several Christian Alans holding 
high office at the court of Camhaluc, in which they conveyed their urgent request tor 
the nomination of an archbishop in succession tothe deceased John of Monte CorvinO. 
John Marignalli says of these Mans thai in his day there were 30,000 of them at the 
great Khan's service, and all at least nominally Christians. — Yri k, M.I'., ii , 164 

And in the fourteenth century, still before Tsong Khopa's era, not only were 

missionaries of the Roman church established in the chief cities of China, but a 

regular trade was carried on overland between Italy and China by way of Tana, 
Astracan, Otrar, and Kamul. — Yui Cs Marco Polo, i., 185; Conf. also The Nettoriaruand 
their Rituals, by Dr. Badgbb. 


a Lama in front (of the votary), there is (no approach to) Grod." 
And so instilled is such belief in the minds of the laity that no 
important business is undertakemwithout first offering worship 
or sacrifice. 

The necessity for offerings at the shrines of the images, etc., is 
now insisted on in all the forms of Buddhism. 

The regular offerings will be detailed presently. But there is 
no limit to the variety of things that are offered. Wealthy votaries 
offer art objects, rich tapestries, gold and silver vessels, jewels, and 
the plunders of war, including weapons.' In Burma, some of the 
earliest knitting and embroidery efforts of young girls are devoted 
to Buddha's shrine, along with American clocks and chandeliers, 
tins of jam and English biscuits, sardines, and Birmingham um- 
brellas. And most of these, and still more incongruous objects, 
are offered on Lamaist altars ; even eggs are sometimes given. 

We have already seen the general form of daily service as prac- 
tised at Potala and lesser cathedrals and temples, and by isolated 
monks in hermitage. Here we shall look at some details of par- 
ticular acts of worship and celebrations. 

Personal ablution is enjoined, as a sacerdotal rite preparatory to 
worship, on the principle of purity of body being emblematic of 
purity of heart. But this ceremonial purification seldom extends 
to more than dipping the tips of the fingers in water, and often 
even not that, for the Tibetans, like most mountaineers, are not 
remarkable for their love of water or soap. 

Before commencing any devotional exercise, the higher Lamas 
perforin or go through a manoeuvre bearing a close resemblance 
to " crossing oneself," as practised by Christians. The Lama 
gently touches his forehead either with the finger or with the bell, 
uttering the mystic Om, then he touches the top of his chest, utter- 
ing Ah, then the epigastrium (pit of stomach), uttering Hum. And 
some Lamas add Sva-ha, while others complete the cross by touch- 
ing the left shoulder, uttering Dam and then Yam. It is alleged 
that the object of these manipulations is to concentrate the parts 
of the Sattva, namely, the body, speech and mind, upon the image 
or divinity which he is about to commune with. 1 

1 The Svaha, etc., are held to mean knowledge (Yon-ton) and a kind of Karma 
('p'rin-las), and the five syllables are mystically given the following colours from 
above downwards : white, red, blue, yellow and green. 


In the worship of every Buddhist divinity there are seven recog- 
nized stages, 1 evidently framed on a Hindu model.' 2 The stages 
are 3 : — 

1. The Invocation — Calling to the feast or sacrifice. 

2. Inviting the deity to be seated. 

3. Presentation of offerings, sacred cake, rice, water, flowers, in- 

cense, lamps, music, and occasionally a mandala or magic- 
circle offering, for which there is a special manual. 

4. Hymns in praise. 

,5. Repetition of the special spell or mantra. 

6. Prayers for benefits present and to come. 

7. Benediction. 

Many of the Lamaist offerings are of the nature of real sacrifice. 
Some of the objects are destroyed at the time of offering. Cere- 
monies to propitiate demons are usually done after dark, and the 
objects are then commonly thrown down " delibare." Frequently 
the sacrifice is given the form of a banquet, and accompanied by 
games and sacred plays and dances. 

What are called " the Essential Offerings or Sacrifice " l seem to 
represent the earlier and purer offerings of Indian Buddhism, and 
are little more than the fresh-cut flowers and incense which were 

1 Tib., Yan-lag-bdun. 

- In thr Hindu worship of a deity there are sixteen stages of ceremonial adoration 
following on the Invocation to come (dvdhan ), and tin- Invitation to be seated (i'imn I, 
and in each stage mantras are chanted. I have italicized those stages which air 
found in the above Lamaist ritual :— 

1. Pddya, washing the idol's feet. 7. Akshat, offering rice. 

2. Azgha, washing the idol's hands. 8. Pushpa, offering flowers. 

3. Achmana, offering water to rinse 


4. Snana, bathing the \ The Lamas 



yastra, dressing the HheJEidols only 
idol. once or twice 

J a year. 

Ciiandan, offering sandal wood, saff- 

ron, "i- holt powder. 

9. Dhujxt, offering incense. 

10. Dipa, offering lamp. 

11. Naividya, offering food. 

12. Achmana, second offering of water 

to rinse mouth. 

13. Tambula, offering betel. 

14. Supari or puga, offering Areca nuts 

15. Dakshana, offering money. 

10. Nizajan, waving lights or camphor. 

It may also be compared with the Jaina ritual by Dr. J. Buhukss, Indian Antiquar>i, 
i., 357, etc. 
s Another enumeration gives: 1, Salutation ; 2, Offering; 3, Confession of sins 
(sdig-'s'agsi ; 4, Rejoicing (yid-rang*) ; .">, Exhortation ('skul-wa) j 0, Prayers for 
temporal and other blessings (gsol-gdeb) ; 7, Prayers for spiritual blessing (bsno-ba). 
4 Ner-spyod mch'od-pa. 



customary offerings even in the seventh century, at the time of 
Hiuen Tsiang. These offerings are set upon the altar already de- 
scribed, before the image worshipped, accompanied by the rhyth- 
mic recital of incantations and music. 

These " essential " or necessary offerings, which are needed 

Dough Sacrificial effigies 
of the Lamas. 

in every service of worship, are seven in number, and each bears a 
special Sanskritic name descriptive of its nature, 1 and must be 

1 1. Ar-gham (in Tibetan cd-ySn), or excellent drinking river water. 

2. Pa dyam (Tib., zdb-sel* I, or the cool water for washing feet. 

3. Pukh-pe (Tib., me-tokf), flower. 

4. Dhu-pi (Tib., du-p6), incense fumes. 
;>. A-loke (Tib., snan-^salj), lamp. 

6. Gan-dhe (Tib., U-chab), perfumed water for anointing body. 

7. tfai-vi-dya (Tib., :dl-ze\\), sacred food. 

8. Shabta (Tib., roJ-?»o§), cymbals. 

This order is reversed in established church and Kar-gyu-pa temples when doing a 
certain kind of tutelary deity's worship. The Lamaist account of the history of these 
offerings, is that each was offered to Buddha by some celestial or other person, 
namely :— 

Ar-gham.— Indra, the king- of gods, offered this, the water of eight-fold virtues, to 
the Buddha for general use. 

Pa dyam.— gTsug-na-rin-ch'en, the king of the Xagas, offered z'abs-gsil, the purify- 
ing water, to the Buddha for washing his feet. 

Pukh-pe — Ganga Devi, the fiendess, offered a flower-rosary to the Buddha for 
decorating his head. 

Dhu-pi. — " The glorious Kheu," the incense-seller, offered sweet-smelling incense to 
the Buddha. 

A-loki.— The gold-handed king offered the darkness-clearing light for invigorating his 

mch'od yon. 

t z'abs g-sil. 

\ dug-spos. 


§ zal-zas. 


placed in the bowls already described, 1 and in line in the above 
order. In the third and fourth bowls on the top of the rice heaps 
should be placed respectively a flower 2 and a stick of incense; and 
in the sixth bowl should be placed perfumed water ; and lastly a 
cake, into which have been incorporated a few filings of the precious 
metals 3 ; but these details are only observed on special occasions. 
Ordinarily all of the bowls are filled with plain water. On plac- 
ing the above offerings in position in the order noted, the benelit 
of a full service of worship is obtained by merely chanting the 
following hymn : — 

A-va-ta-ya, .A-va-td-ya. Om vajra! Argham, Pd-dyam, 
Pukh-pe, Dhu-pe, A-loke, Gan-dhe, Ndi-vi-dya, Shab-ta, Prdti- 
dsa-yi Swdhd ! Which being interpreted is : " Come ! Come ! 
Om ! The Thunderbolt ! Partake of these offerings : Excellent river 
water for drinking, cool water for washing your feet, flowers for 
decking your hair, pleasing incense fumes, lamps for lighting the 
darkness, perfumed water for anointing your body, sacred food, the 
music of cymbals ! (here the cymbals are sounded). Eat fully ! 

But the high-church Lama, or Cre-lug-pa monk, must chant a 
longer service, which is noted below. 4 

Gan-dhe. — Zur-phud-lnga-pa, the King of Gandarvas, offered Dri-ch'al, the soothing 
scent, to the Buddha for refreshing his body. 

Nai-a-i-dya. — Mgon-Anatha-med-danu athara data zas-sbyin (the lqrdless+food+ 
give) the house-owner, offered the food of hundred tastes to the Buddha for support- 
ing his health. 

Shapta. — The divine and Naga-smiths offered Gsil-snyan, the pleasant music, to the 
Buddha for cheering his ears. The Buddha blessed each of the offerings, and since 
then they are considered sacred. 

» Seep. 297. 

- The flowers most commonly used for this purpose at Lhasa and sold in booths near 
the temples, are the common marigold {Calendula — Tib., gur-Kum me-tog), and white 
and blue asters (skal-bzah), and hollyhocks. 

:t See annexed figure for the block containing these metals (named Rin-ch'en 
brdar-ru, [or p'yema]) ; the metals are usually gold, silver, copper, brass and iron. 

* Na-mo ratnatrayaya 1 Sumo Bhagawate vajra sara foramardv Tathagataya arhah 
tamayagam biidhhaya/ TadyatkaJ Om Vajra Vagra! MahabodhiUattva Vajre! 
Mahabodhimandop asam Kramana Vajra] Sarbo karma awarana bigodhana vajra twdM '. 

This mantra invites all the Jinas and their (celestial) sons). Om I Namo bhagawaU 
pvhpe ketu rajayai Tathagataya! Arhate tamayaka tan BudhayaJ Tadyathal OmJ 
■jiuhpe pnfijtr swdhd I ptthpesv puhpesu puhpe&itdbhawe I puhpe atoakarane swdhdl This 
should be repeated seven times, after which the magic-circle and food grains should 
be offered. When the lamp is offered, the following should be repeated 

"1 arrange this lamp with great reverence, and offer it to the Buddha, the Law. and 



It is customary for every votary on special occasions to offer 
one hundred and eight lamps, together with an equal number of 

Filing hik Five Precious Metals 
for the sacrifice. 

vessels of rice and of cake. These are placed in four rows, the 

the Order. Through the power of this virtuous deed, let me be possessed of illumi- 
nating knowledge, and let the animal beings be cleared of the misty impurities which 
surrounds them." 

Then he must rise up, and joining his hands in devotional attitude, chant " The 
Invitation ": — 

"I beg y.m O Patrons of the animal beings! Demon-vanquishing gods! Jinan 
and your retinues ! to approach this humble dwelling. I beg you, merciful owners of 
miracles, to approach this humble dwelling and receive these offerings." 

[Then holding hands horizontally, bow down and say.—] "I bow down before the 
Lamas of the three times and of the ten directions, and before the precious Three 
Holy Ones with greatest reverence and oceans of praise." Om I Namo Manjusriye! 
Namassee Shriyel Namo uttamshriyesloahal [bow down at once at each recitation of 
this mantra]. 

The Presentation of offerings: "I here offer up all the most excellent offerings of 



order of which from before backwards is rice, water, lamps, and 
cakes. And for the great demoniacal tutelary's service extra cakes 

used on a separate altar with five 
ledges (see also figure on page 299), 
on each of which are set a series 
of one hundred and eight of the 
offerings noted, and on special feasts 
great bas reliefs of coloured butter 
are offered, many of them of artistic- 
designs. 1 

A still more elaborate arrange- 
ment of food-offerings is seen in 
the banquet to the whole assembly 
of the gods and the demons, 
entitled Kon-ch'og - chi - dii, or 
" sacrifice to the whole assembly 
of Rare Ones," which is frequently 
held in the temples. This feast is 
sects, and is an interesting sample 
fashion is here detailed, but it 

Offerings to Tutelaky-fiend. 

1. Great cake. I 4. Cake. 

2. Wine or blood in a skull. 5. Butter. 
3- Rice. | e. Lamps. 

of devil- 

by Lamas of all 
worship. The old 

holy drinking water, foot-washing water, flowers, incense, lamp, scented toilet water, 
food and music, which 1 have here arranged in full, to you with all my heart. 

" I confess all my past sins and repent of all my sinful deeds. I beg you to bless 
me with mahabodhi, so that I may turn the wheel of the Law and be useful to all the 
animal beings. 

"I have here arranged tin' flowers on the pure soil of incense, and the Mt. Meru, 
decked with sun, moon, and the four continents, all of which I offer up to the Huddhas 
with my whole heart. 

" May all the animal beings be blessed with perfection and purity, and be born in 
brighter regions. Idaiu Gfufu ratna mtn^'uhi Team niryata yami! [Then offer up the 
magic-circle in suitable manner, for description of which see previous chapter, and 

"May my Lama, tutelary deity and the Holy Ones, and the potent Maha-Va jradhara 
remain inseparably with the Kumuda flower. 

"May all the animal beings be freed from re-births by being born into the pure 

"May I be endowed with firm resolve and ability to rescue animal beings from 
the worlds of woe. 

"May I be endowed with an unfailing ocean of knowledge to enable me to advance 

the holy religion among both orthodox and heterodox. 

" May my misty ignorance he cleared by the bright rays of Maiijusri from on high. 

" May my desires lie all realized through the grace of the Jinas and their celestial 
sons, and the auspicious breath of the Supreme Ones. 

1 C'f. Hue, ii.. 12; Rockhtll, /,., 70. 



differs from that of the reformed or high church only in provid- 
ing for a slightly larger party of demoniacal guests ; the Gre-lug-pa 
inviting only the following, to wit, their chief Lama, St. Tsori- 

o o 

K'a-pa, their tutelary deity Vajra-bbairava, Vajrasattva Buddha, the 
deified heroes, the fairies, the guardian demons of the Ge-lug-pa 
creed, the god of wealth, the guardian demons of the caves 
where the undiscovered revelations are deposited, the five sister 


sprites of mount Everest, the twelve aerial fiendesses (Tan-ma), 
who sow disease, and the more important local gods. 

This sacrifice should be done in the temples for the benefit of 
the Lamas on the 10th and loth of every month. On behalf of 
laymen it must be done once annually at the expense of every 
individual layman who can afford it ; and on extra occasions, as a 
thanksgiving for a successful undertaking, and as a propitiation in 
sickness, death, and disaster. 

The arrangement of the banquet is shown in the foregoing 
diagram : — 

In the inmost row are placed the large coloured and ornamented 
Haling cakes for (a) the chief La ma- saint, who in the case of 
the old school is St. Padma, (b) the tutelary deity, in this case 
Guru tak-jjo, a fierce demoniacal form of the saint, and (c) the 
she-devil with the lion-face. For the saint there is also placed on 
either side of his cake a skull-cap, the one to his right contain- 
ing country wine, here called "Ambrosia" (amrita), in Tibetan 
literally " devils' juice " ; and the contents of the other are called 
blood (rakta), though tea-infusion is usually offered instead. In 
the second row are the cakes for the guardians and protector of 
Lamaism, usually with Buddha's cake (No. 4) in centre. The 
order of the cakes for these guardian demons is as follows — the 
attached figures relate to the foregoing diagram : — 

No. 5. The Lion-faced demoness. No. 13. The Nun-fiendess of Di- 

„ 6. The four-armed " Lord," kung monastery. 

a form of Mahakala. ,, 14. The rive everlasting sis- 

,, 7. The god of wealth. ters of mount Ever- 

„ 8. The "Ruler of Tibet's est. 

guardian" (and in Sik- ,, 15. The spirits of the tank- 
him the special guar- drowned persons, 
dian of the Na-dMcpa ,. 16. The homestead demon- 
monasteries), owner. 

,, 9. The demon blacksmith ,, 17. The country-god Kang- 

(red and black colour, ehen-dsbnga (moun- 

rides a goat and carries tain). 

an anvil and a bellows, 
was made a protector 
of Lamaism by St. Pad- 

18. The black devil, red 
devil and Xaga of 
Darjiling or special 

locality of temple. 

10. The Lord of the Rak- ,, 19. The demons who cause 

shas devils. disease. 

11. The Locality protector. „ 20. The twelve aerial 6en- 

12. The Ndga demi-gods, desses of disease (Tan- 

white and black. /"" I 


No. 21. The demon owners of 
the "Ter" caves where 
the hidden revelations 

No. 22. The black and red devils 
and Naga of parent 
monastery of the 

are deposited. priests of this temple. 

"In the third row are placed the "essential offerings " already 
described, which are especially intended for the superior gods. 

In the fourth and outmost row are an indefinite number of 
T'sogr-cakes, which are especial dainties as an extra course for all. 
These cakes contain ordinary forma cake of cooked rice or barley, 
with the addition of some wine, and a mixture of cooked flesh and 
all sorts of eatables available. 

The stages of the worship in this feast are as follows: — 

1st. Invitation to the deities and demons to come to the 
feast (Skt., dvdhan). This is accompanied by great 
clamour of drums, cymbals, horns and fifes, so as to 
attract the attention of the gods and demons. 
2nd. Requesting the guests to be seated (Skt., dsam . 
Zrd. Begging them to partake of the food offered. 
■itli. Praises the goodness and admirable qualities of the 
guests. This is done while the guests are partaking of 
the essence of the food. 
.3/7/. Prayers for favours immediate and to come. 
6th. The especial delicacy, the 7"so(/-cake, is then offered to 
all, on four plates, a plate for each row of guests, and 
one plateful is reserved for the Lamas themselves. 
Then is done the ceremony of "Expiation for religious duties 
left undone," l which wipes off all arrears of religious duty. Here 
the sacristan throws skywards, amid great clamour of wind and 
brass instruments, several of the Tso<7-cakes to all the demi-gods 
and demons not specially included in the feast. One Tsog-cake 
is then given to each Lama in the order of his rank, from the 
highest to the lowest, as the food has been consecrated by the gods 
having partaken of it. 

Each Lama must, however, leave a portion, which is collected 
carefully, in a plate, in order, from the lowest to the head Lama. 
And on the top of these collected fragments is placed a whole 
cake. Then a celebration called Lhak-dor is done, and the whole 
of these crumbs — the leavings of the Lamas — are contemptuously 
thrown down on to the ground, outside the temple-door to the 

1 bsKan-gso. 


starveling ghosts and those evil-spirits who have not jet been sub- 
jected by St. Padma or subsequent Lamas. 

The efficacy of these cake-offerings is urged at length in the 
manual of the established church. 1 

The special rites and celebrations are usually detailed in separate 
manuals ; but each Gre-lug-pa monk has a general manual of worship, 
etc., entitled " the monk's timely Memoranda," " and seems to corre- 
spond in some measure to the Dina Chariyawa of the Ceylonese, 3 
in which are given directions for personal and general devotions 
as well as for monastic conduct, from which I have already made 
extracts in the chapter on the order. 

The service is mostly in Tibetan, which is like the Latin of 
the papal mass-books used throughout Mongolia and Lamaist 
temples in China, the only exception being the privileged temple 
at Pekin. 4 Music is much used, though it is in the main an ear- 
piercing din of drums, loud trumpets, horns, and clashing cymbals. 

The leaders of the choir also have a psalter or score in which the 
swelling, rising, and falling notes are curiously represented by 
curves, as shown in the annexed photograph ; and the points at 
which the several instruments join in the choir are also duly noted 
therein. The pauses are marked by bells and cymbals, and the 
effect at times of the noisy din and clamour suddenly lapsing into 
silence is most solemn, and even impressive in the larger cathedrals 
with their pious and sombre surroundings. 5 

i The Ue-lug-pa manual says :— 

The advantages to the chanter of the above service are that : His wishes will be all 
realized ; wealth and luck will increase according to his wishes ; he will obtain power, 
and all his sins will be blotted nut ; be will subject the evil spirits and will duly per- 
form charity, and the preta will obtain deliverance by being re-born in the heavens, 
and he himself will also obtain heaven, and it has been said that he will ultimately 
obtain Buddhahood. 

The burnt-offering of incense, analogous to the Vedic Homa, but specially in- 
tended for demons, includes by name the Tan-ma and other Tibetan fiends. It is 
,i mixture of incense and butter heated to ignition on coals. The celebration is 
detailed above. Cf. also Schlag., p. 249 ; Jabsch., p. '210, for kinds of cakes. 

a dGe-slon-gi dus dran. 

:i East Mm,., 24, and also " the Daily Manual of the Shaman" of the Chinese. Beal's 
Catena, 239. 

' Cf. KnlTKN, ii., 228. 

s Although the instruments are wielded with greal clamour, each is manipulated 
Strictlj according to rule. Thus with the cymbals, at the word Argham the cymbals 
:1|I . held horizontally and struck with mid-finger erect. On Pargham,he\6 below waist 
and the upper cymbal is made to revolve along the rim of the lowest, etc., etc. 




The daily celebrations of the high church monk, or the Ge-lug- 
pa Lama, comprise the following services : — 

1. The "Refuge-formula" (mT'un-moh). 

2. mT'uh-mon ma-yin-pa. 

3. The four-fold prayer for the Animals (Sems-bskyecl). 

4. Another prayer for Animals (K'yad-par gyi smes-bskyed). 

5. Prayer for the Earth (Sa-gz'i byin brlabs). 

6. Sacrificial offerings (mCh'ocl-pa byin brlabs). 

7. Invocation to the Jinas (Spyan-'dren). 

8. Offering of bathing water to the Gods and Jinas (K'rus-gsol. 

" Tui-SoZ)." 

9. Salutation to Buddhas, Saints and Lamas (P'yag-'t'sal). 

10. Offerings of " the necessary things " (mOh'od-pa). 

11. Offerings of " five sensuous things" ('Dod-yon-lha). 

12. Offerings of " seven precious things " (rgyal-sri sna bdun). 

13. Confession of Sins (bS'ags-pa). 

14. In praise of the Jinas and Buddha-putras (rJes-su yi-ram). 

15. Turning the Wheel of the Law (Ch'os-'k'or bskor-wa). 

1G. Prayer for attaining Nirvana (Mya-han las-mi 'das was gsol-wa 

17. Prayer for Blessing (bsho-wa). 
18 Magic-circle — Offering of the Universe. 

19. Prayer to Lama-tutor. 1 

20. The Tutelary's invocation — Yamantaka, etc. (for Ge-lug-pa) and 

Guru Tak-po Kah-gye, etc., for £fiii-ma. 

21. Sacrificial worship (ch'oga) to the demons, after dark with cake 

(torma), incense and wine with the libations (gSer-skyems) 
the Kang-so banquet." 

We will illustrate a few of these services by some abstracts and 
extracts : — 

A good sample of the worship of a Lamaist divinity is seen in 
that of Tara, the Virgin of northern Buddhism, and the "Goddess 
of Mercy." 

The manual of Tara's worship ! is one of the commonest booklets 
in Tibet, and is in the hands of nearly all laymen, most of whom 
can repeat her hymn and chief sendee by heart. 4 

i La-mai-gsol-'debs. - See |>. 129. 

:< Abstracted by me in considerable detail in J.R.A.S., 1894, p. 'is. etc. 

■« The I I< is entitled "sGrol-ma dkar shon-gyi bstod-pa gzuhs," or " The praise and 

spells (Dhdrani) of The Pure Original Tara." And in some editions she is termed "Mother 
of the Jinas" (rgyal-yum), also " Mother of the Tathagathas." Themanual extends 
to thirty-eight or forty pages of five lines each. The greater portion, including " The 
Exhortal ion" and "The Hymn," is alleged internally t<> have been composed by "The 
greal Vairocana-Buddha of the Dltimate Perfection" [dsog,-pai sans-rgyaa rnam 


Tara's Worship. 

Tarn's worship, like that of most of the Mahayana and Tantrik 
deities, is divided into the seven stages already mentioned. 

The service is chanted in chorus, and the measure used in chant- 
ing the hymn, namely trochaic in eight-syllabled lines, I have 
indicated in a footnote to the hymn. 

A portion of the manual is here translated — 
" If we worship this sublime and pure-souled goddess when we 
retire in the dusk and arise in the morning, then all our fears and 
worldly anxieties will disappear and our sins be forgiven. She— 
the conqueror of myriad hosts— will strengthen us. She will do 
more than this ! She will convey us directly to the end of our 
transmigration — to Buddha and Nirvana ! 

"She will expel the direst poisons, and relieve us from all 
anxieties as to food and drink, and all our wants will be satisfied; 
and all devils and plagues and poisons will be annihilated utterly ; 
and the burden of all animals will be lightened ! If you chant her 
hymn two or three or six or seven times, your desire for a son will 
be realized ! Or should you wish wealth, you will obtain it, and all 
other wishes will be gratified, and every sort of demon will be 
wholly overcome." 

"Ha;i! 0! verdant TarH! 
The Saviour of all beings ! 

Descend, we pray Thee, from Thy heavenly mansion, at Potala, 
Together with all Thy retinue of gods, titans, and deliverers ! ' 
We humbly prostrate ourselves at Thy lotus-feet ! 
Deliver us from all distress ! holy Mother ! " 

Presentation of Offerings (Sacrificial). 
" We hail Thee ! rever'd and sublime Tara ! 
Who art adored by all the kings and princes 
Of the ten directions and of the present, past and future. 

par snah-mdsad ch'en-po] and usually interpreted by the Lamas as referring to 
Vairochana, the first of the mythical Jina-Buddhas ; but it may probably be the Kash- 
mir Monk \ airocana, of the " Great Ultimate Perfection (Mafut-utpanna) " form of the 
Buddhist doctrine, who lived in the eighth century a.d., and a noted translator of 
Sansknt Scriptures into the Tibetan. An appendix is signed by Gedun Dub The 
Grand Lama, who built Tashi-lhunpo monastery tired 1445 a.d. 

F F 2 


We pray Thee to accept these offerings 

Of flowers, incense, .perfumed lamps, 

Precious food, the music of cymbals, 

And the other offerings ! 

We sincerely beg Thee in all Thy divine Forms ] 

To partake of the food now offered ! 

On confessing to Thee penitently their sins 

The most sinful hearts, yea ! even the committers of the 

Ten vices and the five boundless sins, 

Will obtain forgiveness and reach 

Perfection of soul — through Thee ! 

If we (human beings) have amassed any merit 

In the three states, 2 

We rejoice in this good fortune, when we consider 

The unfortunate lot of the poor (lower) animals 

Piteously engulphed in the ocean of misery. 

On their behalf, we now turn the wheel of religion ! 

We implore Thee by whatever merit we have accumulated 

To kindly regard all the animals. 

And for ourselves ! 

When our merit has reached perfection 

Let us not, we pray Thee, 

Linger longer in this world ! " 

Hymns in Tara's Praise. 

(The translation I have made almost literal. Each separate stanza 
is addressed to a special one of Tara's twenty-one forms — the name of 
which is given in the margin for reference.) 

(Tfuii, the Mother.) Arya Tara ! Hail to Thee ! 

Our Deliverers sublime ! 

i The polymorphism already referred to. - Kama, Rupa, and Arupa 

s As this hymn is so popular amongst LSmaist people in Tibet, Sikhim, etc., I give 

here in the Lhasa dialed it-, second stanza, which is the proper commencement of the 

hymn, in order to -how it -^ metre. 

ClTag ts'al | D6-ma | nur-ma | pa-in6 I 
Ch'cn-m | kd-c'ig | log-tan | tft-ma | 
Jls-ten | sum goo | c'u kye 1 z'al-gji I 
Kc-sar'| c'e-wa | le-ni | jiui-ma | . 



Avalok'ta's messenger 

Rich in power and pity's store. 

<1. Tarii, the Supremely 

Hail O Tara ! quick to Save ! 
Lotus-born of pitying tear 
Shed down by The Three- World-Lord, 
(Grieving sad for sunken souls.) 

<2. T&ra, of White-moon 


(3. Tara, the CioKleu- 

<4. Tara, the Grand 

{5. Tara, the " Him" 

(.6. Tara, the best Three- 
Worl.l Worker.) 

Hail ! to Thee with fulgent face, 
Brilliant as a hundred moons 
Of harvest gleaming in the light 
Of myriad dazzling stars. 

Hail ! to Thee whose hand is decked 
By the lotus, golden blue. 
Eager Soother of our woe, 
Ever tireless worker, Thou ! 

Hail ! to Thee with pii'd-up hair, 
Where Tathagata sits shrin'd, 
Victor 1 of the universe. 
Thou a saintly victor too ! 

Hail to thy " tut-tdrd-hun," ~ 
Piercing realms of earth and sky, 
Treading down the seven worlds, 
Bending prostrate everyone ! 

Hail ! adored by mighty gods, 
Tndra, Brahma, Fire and Wind, 
Ghostly hordes and Gandharvas 
Al unite in praising Thee ! 

<7. Tara, the Suppressor 
of Strife.) 

Tara, the Bee tower 
of SupremePower.) 

Hail ! with Thy dread " tre " and "j 
Thou destroyest all Thy foes : 
Striding out with Thy left foot 
Belching forth devouring fire ! 

Hail ! with fearful spell " tu-re" 
Banishing the bravest fiends, 
By the mere frown of Thy brows, 
Vanquishing whole hordes of foes ] 
etc., etc., etc., etc. 

rgyal-wa = Sanskrit Jina. 

This is a portion of Tara's spell, tor which see over page. 

Mystic spells used by wizards — phot means break or sm;ish ! 


Telling the Rosary. 

[Here is repeated on the rosary 108 times, or as often as possible, the 
spell or mantra of Tara, namely : Om ! Td-re-tu-td-re txi-re Sva ha ! 

The mantra of Sita Tara is Om ! Ta-re tu-td-re ma-ma d-yur-pun-ye jna- 
na-push-tin leu-ru Sva-ha ! 

The rosary used in Sita Tara's worship is a Bodhitse, while Tara re- 
quires either a Bodhitse or turquoise one. 1 ] 

Prayers for Blessings. 

We implore thee, O ! Revered Victorious Ehagavati " and Merciful 
One ! to purify us and all other beings of the universe thoroughly from 
the two evil thoughts ; and make us quickly attain the perfection of 
Buddhahood. If we cannot attain this perfection within a few life 
cycles, then grant us the highest earthly and heavenly happiness and 
all knowledge. And preserve us, we beseech Thee, from evil spirits, 
plague, disease, untimely death, bad dreams, bad omens, and all the 
eight fears and accidents. And in our passage through this world 
grant unto us the most perfect bliss, beyond possibility of increase, and 
may all our desires be realized without exertion on our part. 

Let the holy religion prosper. And in whatever place we dwell, we 
beg thee to soothe there disease and poverty, fighting and disputes, and 
increase the Holy Religion. 

And may Thy benign 3 face always beam on us and appear large like 
the waxing moon in forwarding our heart's desire of admission to the 
heavenly circle and Nirvana. 

Let us obtain the favourite gods 4 of our former lives and entry 
into the prophesied paradise of the Buddhas of the past, present and 
future ! 


Now ! ! Thou ! The Great Worker ! 
Thou Quick Soother and Gracious Mother, 
Holding the uptal flower ! 
Let Thy glory come. Mangalam ! ' 

The offering of the universe as a so-called " magic-circle " is an 
essential part of the daily service of the Lamas, and has been 
described in the previous chapter. 

The following hymn in praise of the Three Holy Ones is recited 
at noon with the presentation of the offering of rice. 

1 But sec page 206 for details on " Lamaist Rosaries." 

- bc'om-ldan-'dag-ma, pronounced "ehom-den-de-ma." 

3 In contradistinction to "fury-face" (khro-lio; Skt. Irodha). 

i sGrub-bahi-lha. 

5 bgra-shis shok, pronounced " Td-shi-sho." 



Hymn to the Three Holy Ones. 

OM ! Salutation to the Omniscient Ones! Buddha, The Law and 
The Church ! 

Salutation to Buddha Bhagavan, the Victorious and All-wise Tatha- 
gata Arhat, who has gone to happiness ! 

He is the guide of gods and men ! 

He is the root of virtue. 

He is the fountain of all treasure. 

He is adorned with perfect en- 

He is adorned with all-beauty. 

He is the greatest flower of all 
the race. 

He is admirable in all his actions. 

He is admirable in the eyes of all. 

He delights in the faithful ones. 

He is The Almighty Power. 

He is The Universal Guide. 

He is The Father of all the Bodhi- 

He is The King of all the revered 

He is The Leader of all the dead. 

He owns infinite knowledge. 

He owns immeasurable fortitude. 

His commands are all-perfect. 

His melodious voice isall-pleasing. 

He is without equal. 

He is without desires. 

He is without evil. 

He delivers all from sorrow. 

He delivers all from sin. 

He is free from world liness. 

His senses are the sharpest. 

He bravely cuts all knots. 

He delivers all from deepest 

He delivers all from this woeful 

He has crossed the ocean of misery. 
He is perfect in fore-knowledge. 
He knows the past, present and 

He lives far from death. 
He lives in the pure blissful land 

where, enthroned, he sees all 

beings ! 

Salutation to the Holy Law \ — (Dim mm) 

It was the virtue of the ancient 

It was the virtue of the middle 

It is the virtue of the present 

It has excellent sense. 
It has excellent words. 
It is unalloyed Law. 

The Law has been well ordered and taught in the Vinaya by Bha- 
gavan. It brings all to perfection ! It fulfils all desires ! It is an 
all-sufficient support, and it stops re-birth. 

Salutation to The Assembly or Clergy (Sangha) of the Mahayana ! 

It is all-perfect and illuminating. 

It is the all-pure Law. 

It is perfectly clear. 

It is free from disorder. 

It is everlasting. 

It points the direct path. 

It realizes the desires of all. 

It benefits the wisest men. 

They live in peace. 
They live in wisdom. 
They live in truth. 
They live in unison. 

They merit respect. 

They merit glory. 

They merit the grandest gifts. 


The goodness of Buddha is immeasurable ! 

The goodness of The Law is immeasurable ! 

And the goodness of The Clergy is immeasurable ! 

By planting our faith on The Immeasurable Ones we shall reap im- 
measurable fruit in the land of bliss. 

Salutation to the Tathagata ! The Merciful Patron, the omniscient 
Guide, the ocean of knowledge and glory. 

Salutation to the softening Dharma ! the pure gift of the heart, the 
deliverer from evil, and the best of Truth. 

Salutation to the Assembly ! the deliverer, and guide to the true 
faith, the teacher of pure wisdom, and the possessor of the holy know- 
ledge for cultivating the (human) soil. 

The " Refuge-Formula " of the Lamas. 

The " Refuge-formula " of the Lamas, which I here translate, 
well illustrates the very depraved form of Buddhism professed by 
the majority of Lamas ; for here we find that the original triple 
Refuge-formula (Skt., Trisarcma ; Pali, Sara/nagamcma) in the 
Three Holies, the Triratna— Buddha, The Word, and The As- 
sembly — has been extended so as to comprise the vast host of 
deities, demons and deified saints of Tibet, as well as many of 
the Indian Mahayaua and Yogacarya saints. 

The version here translated is that used by the Kar-ma-pa and 
Nih-ma sects of Lamas, but it is practically the same as that in 
general use in Tibet, except among the reformed Lamas of the 
established church — who address a less extensive circle of saints 
and demons, and who substitute St. Tson-K'a-pa for St. Padma- 
sambhava. It is extracted from the manual of worship entitled 
the sKyabs-'gro, commonly pronounced "Kyamdo," 1 which literally 
means "the going for protection or refuge"; and its text is as 
follows : — 

" We — all beings — through the intercession of the Liima, 2 go for 
refuge to Buddha ! 

" We go for refuge to Buddha's Doctrine {Dharma) ! 

" We go for refuge to the Assembly of the Lamas (Sangha) ! :f 

•• We go for refuge to the Host of the Gods and their retinue of 
tutelaries and she-devils, the defenders of the Religion, who people 
the sky ! 

i Contributed to I,,,/. .\„t;<j. 1893. 

- It is a Lamaist axiom, as already noted, thai no layman can address the Buddhas 
except through the medium of a Lama. 

:t The Ge-lug-pa formula begins thus: bdag Bogs nam-mkah dan mfiams-pai sems- 
c'an t'ams-c'ad bLa-ma la skyabs su mch'io, Sans-rgya»-kyi skyabs-sii mch'io Ch'os- 
kyj Bkyabs su mch'io, dGe-'dun-gyi skyabs su-mch'io. 


" We go for refuge to the victorious Lamas, who have descended 
from heaven, the holders of Wisdom and the Tantras ! 

" We go for refuge to the Buddhas of the Ten Directions, and to 
the primordial Samantabhadra. Buddha with his spouse!" 

Then the following deities and saints are addressed as refuges : 
The Incarnate Sambhoga-kaya, the Mild and Angry Loving One 
the Nirmana-kaya Mdha Vajradhara ; the Diamond-souled Guide — 
Vajra8atva; the Jina — the Victorious Sakya Muni ; the most plea;- 
ing Vajra Incarnate ; the Fierce Holder of the Thunderbolt — Vajra- 
panij the Goddess-Mother, Maria Devi ; the Learned Teacher, Acdrya- 
MaiiJHsrl ; the Great Pantfita Sri Siii/<<i ; the Jina Suda ; the Great 
Pandita Bimala Mitra ; the Incarnate Lotus-born Dharmakaya Padma- 
sambhava ; (his wife) the Fairy of the Ocean of Fore-knowledge ; the 
Religious King, Thi-Sroh-deu-Tsan ; the Noble Apocalypse-Finder, 
Myah-ban ; the Teacher's disciple, the Victorious Sthavira Dang ma : 
the Reverend Sister, the Lady Sinfu swara ; the Incarnate Jina " Zhang- 
ton "' ; the Guru, clever above thousands ; the Religious Lord {Dharma- 
natha) Guru Jo-Ber ; the Illusive Lion Gyaba ; the Great Siddhi, the 
Clearer of the Misty moon — grub-ch'en zla-wa-mun-sel ; the Sage 
Kumaraja; the Prince, Bimala Bhdskara ; the renowned Gandraklrti ; 
the Three Incarnate Kind Brothers ; the Bodhisat, The noble Ocean ; 
the Incarnate Sage, the Holder of the religious vajra ; the Entirely 
accomplished and renowned Speaker ; the Great Teacher Mdhagwru 
Dharmaraja ; the Revelation-Finder T'ig-po-lin ; the Religious King 
of Accomplished Knowledge l ; the Banner of Obtained Wisdom ; the 
Peerless active Vajra; the Radical (Skt.. Mula) Lama Asoka;" the 
Lama of the Mula Tantra of the Three Times; the Sage, the Accom- 
plished Soul ; the Religious Loving King, the Holder of the Doctrines'* ; 
the Reverend Abbot, the Sky Vajra ; the Noble Jewelled Soul — " Pal- 
zan " ; the Assembly of Mild and Angry tutelary Deities; the Holy 
Doctrine of the Great End — Mahotpanna .' 

a \y e g f 01 . re f U g e to the Male and Female Saints of the Country ! 

•' O ! Lama ! Bless us as You have been blessed. Bless us with the 
blessings of the Tantras! — 

•' We beg You to bless us with OM, which is the (secret) Body. We 
beg You to purify our sins and pollutions of the body. We beg You 
to increase our happiness without any sickness of the body. We beg 
You to give us the real undying gift of bodily life ! 

" We beg You to bless us with AH, which is the (secret of the) 
Speech. We beg You to purify the sins and pollution of our Speech. 

1 The first Bhotiya king of Sikhim, circ. 1(350 a.d. 

- This may be a reference to the great emperor Asoka, or his confessor Upagupta, 
the fourth patriarch of the early Buddhist church in India, or it may be only the 
title of a Lama. Several also of the foregoing titles which I have translated arc 
proper names. 

:f The sixth Bhotiya king of Sikhim, circ. 1770-90 a.d. 


We beg You to give us the power of Speech. We beg You to confer 
on us the gift of perfect and victorious Speech ! 

"We beg You to bless us with HUM (pronounced " hvm") which 
is the (secret) Thought. We beg You to purify the pollution and sins 
of our Mind. We beg You to give us good understanding. We beg 
you to give us the real gift of a pure heart. We beg You to em- 
power us with The Four Powers (of the heart) ! 

" We pray You to give us the gifts of the True Bod//, Speech, and 
Mind. 1 Om ! Ah ! Hum ! 

" O ! Give us such blessing as will clear away the sins and defilement 
of bad deeds ! 

" We beg You to soften the evils of bad causes ! 

" We beg You to bless us with the prosperity of our body (i.e., health) ! 

" Bless us with mental guidance ! 

" Bless us with Buddhahood soon ! 

" Bless us by cutting us off from (worldly) illusions ! 

" Bless us by putting us in the right path ! 

" Bless us by causing us to understand all things (religious) ! 

" Bless us to be useful to each other with kindliness ! 

" Bless us with the ability of doing good and delivering the animal 
beings (from misery) ! 

" Bless us to know ourselves thoroughly ! 

" Bless us to be mild from the depths of our heart ! 

" Bless us to be brave as Yourself ! 

" Bless us with the Tdntras as You Yourself are blessed ! " 

" Now ! we — the innumerable animal beings — conceiving that 
(through the efficacy of the above dharanls and prayers, we have become 
pure in thought like Buddha himself ; and that we are working for the 
welfare of the other animal beings ; we, therefore, having now acquired 
the qualities of the host of the Gods, and the roots of the Tdntras, the 
Z'i-wa, rGyas-pa, dBaii and PWin-las, we desire that all the other animal 
beings be possessed of happiness, and be freed from misery ! Let us — 
all animals ! — be freed from lust, anger, and attachment to worldly 
affairs, and let us perfectly understand the true nature of The 
Religion ! 

"Now! O! Father-Mother — Yab-yum — the Dharmahdya Samanta- 
bkadra ! The Sambhogakaya Sdnti Khrddaprasaraka, mild and angry 
Loving Ones ! The Nirmdna-kdya, Sages of the skull-rosary ! And 
the Mula-tdntra Lama ! I now beg You all to depart ! 

" O ! Ghosts of Heroes ! Witches ! Demoniacal Defenders of The 
Faith! The holy Guardians of the Commandments! And all those 
that we invited to this place ! I beg You all now to depart ! ! 

" ! most powerful King of the Angry Deities ! The powerful 
Tsvara, and the host of the Country Guardian Gods ! And all those 

i This triad refers to the mystic Yoga or union of "The khree secrets," which the 
Japanese call, San-mitsu-so-6. 



others that we invited to this place, with all their retinue ! I beg You 
all now to depart ! ! ! May glory come ! Tashi-shok ! and Virtue ! Ge-o ! 
Sarva-mangalam! " 

Confession of Sins. 

The Confession of Sins 1 is done twice a month in public 
assembly, in presence of the abbot and senior monks. It is no 
proper confession, only a stereotyped form chanted in chorus. 
The full form is practically the same as in southern Buddhism. 2 
The shortest form is here given : — 

" I here confess the sins which I may have committed by the body, 
speech and mind, and through lust, anger and stupidity. 

" Listen to me, O ! great Vajra-holdmg Lamas 3 and all the Buddhas 
and Bodhisats of the ten directions ! I repent of all the sinful acts 
which I have committed from the time of my birth up to the present, 
such as : committing the ten unvirtuous deeds and the five waverings, 
transgressing the vows of deliverance, the teachings of the Bodhisats, 
the vows of the secret mantras, irreverence, and want of faith in The 
Three Rarest Ones, irreverence and want of faith in the abbots and 
teachers ; separation from the holy religion and the best commands ; 
want of reverence to the revered clergy ; want of reverence to parents, 
and want of reverence to one's faithful fellow-mortals. In short, I 
here confess to all the Fo/ro-holding Lamas, the Buddhas and Bodh- 
isats of the ten directions, all the sins which hinder my reaching the 
heaven of deliverance; and I promise never again to commit these 

There are also numerous rites on the same lines or by magic- 

The Magic-Circlh Tabernacle. 

1. Chart or Mosaic. . Umbrella. 

2. Cakes. 4. Banners. 

circles, posturing and mummery, for obtaining supernatural powers 

1 gso-byoii. See pages 323 and 501 ; and cf. Schlagintaveit, p. 123. 

2 Cf . Pratirnoksha sntra, " The Book of Deliverance " and its Tibetan version, trans, 
by Rockhill. 3 Probably mythical Buddha, Vajradhara. 



.and for purposes of sorcery. Some of these latter I have abstracted 

in the chapter on necromancy. 

Of special celebrations it will suffice to refer only to one of 

the most interesting, which some Europeans who witnessed its 

pompous and solemn service, have 
compared to the Christian Eu- 

The " Eucharist " 


Lamaism. 1 

This Lamaist liturgy, the cele- 
bration of which is pictured 
as the frontispiece, on ac- 
count of its dispensation of 
consecrated wine and bread, 
has been compared by Hue 
and others to the Christian 
Eucharist, although it is in 
reality, as here shown, a 
ceremony for gratifying the 
rather un-Buddhistic crav- 
ing after long earthly life. Still, 
it nevertheless presents many 
parallels to the Christian rite 
for conferring on the worthy re- 
cipient " the life everlasting." 

It is entitled " The Obtaining 
of (long) Life," 2 and is a very 
good sample of the Lamaist blend- 
ing of Buddhists' ideas with 
demon- worship. It seems to in- 
corporate a good deal of the 
pre-Lamaist ritual, and its 
\ benedictions and sprinkling of 
holy water are suggestive of 
Nestorian or still later Chris- 
tian influences. 

This sacrament is celebrated 
with much pomp at stated 

1 In the Asiatic Qu rterly, 1891, pari of this article was published by me. 
a Tib. Ts'e-grub. 


periods, on a lucky day, about once a week in the larger temples, and 
attracts numerous votaries. Crowds throng to the temple to receive 
the coveted blessing. Its benefits arc more particularly sought in 
r.iso of actual illness, and when death seems imminent; but every 
village must have it performed at least once a year for the life of 
the general community, and after its performance any prolongation 
of life is credited to this service: while a fatal result i- attributed 
to the excessive misdeeds of the individual in his last life or in 
previous births. 

The chief god addressed is Buddha Amitdyus or Aparamita, : "The 
(god of) infinite Life," or "The Eternal." Unlike the Chinese Bud- 
dhists the Lamas never confuse Amitdbha the Buddha of infinite 
Light) with his reflex Amitdyus . they represent these differently, and 
credit them with different functions. The other gods specially idenl died 
with life-giving powers are "The five long-Life Sisters,'- mountain 
nymphs presiding over the everlasting snows, and to a less degree the 
white Tara, and Ushnlsharani ; and even Varna, the Lord of Death 
himself, may occasionally be propitiated into delaying the day of 

The priest who conducts this ceremony for propitiation of Amitdyus 
and the other gods of longevity must be of the purest morals, and usu- 
ally a total abstainer from meat and wine. He must have fasted during 
the greater part of the twenty four hours preceding the rite, have 
repeated the mantras of the life-giving gods many times, 1.00,000 times 
if possible, and he must have seemed ceremonial purity by bathing. 
The rite also entails a lot of other tasks tor the preparation of the con- 
secrated pills and the arrangement of utensils, etc., and extends over 
two or three days. 

The arrangements are as follow : — 

Upon an altar, under the brocaded dragon-canopy, within the temple 
or in a tent outside, are placed the following articles : — 

1. Las-bum, the ordinary altar water-vase. 

2. Ti-bum, the vase with pendant mirror and containing water tinged with saffron, 

3. dBui'i-lnnn. the "empowering vase" with the chaplet of the Five Jinas. 

4. Ts'e-bum, the "vase of Life," special to Amitdyus, with a banner of peacock's 
leathers and sacred Kusa-grass. 

5. Ts'e-cltan, or " the wine of Life," consisting of beer in a skull-bowl. 

6. Tx'e-ri/, or the "pills of Lite," made of Hour, sugar and butter. 

7. Chi-mar, or wafers of flour and butter and rice. 

8. mDahrdar, or sacred divining-dagger with silk tassels. 

9. rdor-jeki yzun faff, or the divining-bolt, a vajra or thunderbolt-sceptre with eight 
ridges to which a string i< attached. 

In the preliminary worship the pills are made from buttered dough, 
and the ambrosia or amrita (Tib., dud-tsi or "devil's juice") is brewed 
from spirit or beer, and offered in a skull-bowl to the great image of 

Tib., Ts'e-pag-med. -' Ts'e-rin-che- 


Buddha Amitayus. Everything being ready and the congregation 
assembled, the priest, ceremonially pure by the ascetic rites above 
noted, 1 and dressed as in the frontispiece, abstracts from the great 
image of Buddha Amitayus part of the divine essence of that deity, 
by placing the vajra of his rdor-jehi gzun-fag upon the nectar-vase 
which the image of Amitayus holds in his lap, and applying the 
other end to his own bosom, over his heart. Thus, through the 
string, as by a telegraph wire, passes the divine spirit, and the Lama 
must mentally conceive that his heart is in actual union with that of 
the god Amitayus, and that, for the time being, he is himself that god. 2 
Then he invokes his tutelary-fiend, and through him the fearful horse- 
necked Hayayrlva (Tamdin), the king of the demons. The Lama, with 
this divine triad (namely, the Buddha and the two demon kings) incor- 
porate in him, and exhibiting the forms of all three to spiritual eyes, 
now dispenses his divine favours. He takes up the and 
consecrates i£s contents, saying, 

" Om! namo Taihdgata Ablii-kkita samayasriri hum ! Wama candra vajra krodha 
Amrita hum phatJ " 

Then he sprinkles some of the water on the rice-offerings {gtor-ma) to 
the evil spirits, saying, "I have purified it with svabhava, and con- 
verted it into an ocean of nectar within a precious i?7ram-bowl. Om 
alcaromu-kham I Sarva dharma nantyanutpanna tatto ! Om ! A ! 
Hum ! pliat ! Svdhd ! I now desire to bestow the deepest life-power 
on these people before me ; therefore, I beg you demons to accept this 
cake-offering, and depart without doing further injury." 

Here the Lama, assuming the threatening aspect of the demon-kings, 
who are, for the time being, in his body, adds, " Should you refuse to 
go, then I, who am the most powerful Hayagriva and the king of the 
angry demons, will crush you — body, speech and mind — to dust ! Obey 
my mandate and begone, each to his abode, otherwise you shall suffer. 
Om sumbhani," etc. Now, the Lamas and the people, believing that all 
the evil spirits have been driven away by the demon-king himself, shout, 
" The gods have won ! the devils are defeated ! " 

The Lama then proceeds to secure for himself the benedictory power 
of life-conferring. He first meditates on "the guardian-deities," mur- 
muring thus : "The upper part (of the divine abode) is of thunderbolt 

1 He usually wearsa mantle (stod-gyog), on which are embroidered mystic Chinese 
emblems of luck, including the 2 Bat, etc. See pp. 394, 396. 

a In southern Buddhism is found a very similar instance of ceremonial union with a 
Buddhisl fetish. At the pint (paritta) celebration " a sacred thread, called the pirit 
nula, is fastened round the interior of the building, the end of which, after being 
fastened to the reading platform, is placed near the relic (of Buddha). At Mich times 
as the whole of the priests who are present engage in chanting in chorus, the cord is 
untwined, and each priest takes hold of it, thus making the communication complete 
between each of the officiating priests, the relic, and the interior walls of the building." 

Hardy's E. MonaeJiism, p. 241. 


tents and hangings; the lower part of earth-foundation and adamantine- 
seat ; and the walls are of thunderbolts. The entire building is a great 
tent, protected by precious charms, so that the evil spirits can neither 
destroy it, nor can they gain entry. Om! vajra rakhya rakhya sutra 
tikhtha vajraye gvaha/ n 

Then the magic-circle (mandala) is offered up, saying : — 
" If I fail to refer to the successive Lama-saints, my words and deeds will count 
for nothing. Therefore must I praise the holy Lamas to secure their blessing towards 
the realization of my plans, o holy PadmasambhavaJ in you are concentrated all the 
blessings of the present, past and future! You are the Buddha of the great final 
Perfection {Maha-utpanna) who beheld the Face of Lord Amitdyus. <> Saint possessed 
of the gift of undying life, of life lasting till the worlds of re-births are emptied '. You 
hid away from us, in the snowy regions, the revelation upon the true essence of the 
five hundred 'ObtainingB of Life.' The one which we now perform is 'the iron palace 
of the attainment of life' | Tie-grub Ic'ags-kyi-pho-braii), and is extracted from dKon- 
mcKog-spyi-dus, It was discovered by the saint 'Dsak-Ts'on-sfiin-po in the cave 
where you hid it ; and this mode of endowering a person with life has come down to 
me through many generations of saints. Now, O Lord Amitdyus and thehost of radiant 
gods ! I beg you to BUStain the animal beings, vast as the -tarry host, who now, with 
great reverence and praise, approach you. Om a hum! holj shrine of our refuge ! 
Hri." o Hosts of the Bright World of Light! Pad-ma fod-phreii-rtsal-vajrasa- 
mayaja siddhi phcia hum .' " 

Then here is repeated " We-'gug" or "The Invoking of Life," thus : 
"0 Lord Amitdyus, residing in the five shrines whence glittering lays shoot forth ' 
! Gandharva in the west ! Fama in the south '. Ndga raja in the west ! Yaksha in 
the north! Brahma and Indra in the upper regions! and Wanda and Taksha in the 
lower regions ! And especially all the Buddhas and Bodhisatwas ! I beg you all to 
bless me and to gratifj my wishes by giving me the gift of undying life and by soften- 
ing all the injuries of the harmful spirits. 1 entreat you to -rant life and implore you 

to cause it to come tome. Hri! I beg your blessing, Buddhas of the three times. 
(Dipankara, Sakya .Muni and Maitreya l. 

At this stage the celestial Buddhas, Bodhisats, and other gods are 
now supposed to have consecrated the fluid in the vase and transformed 
it into immortal ambrosia. Therefore the priest intones the following 
chant to the music of cymbals : "This Vase is idled with the immortal 
ambrosia which the Five celestial Classes have blessed with the best 
Life. May life be permanent as adamant, victorious as the kino- 
banner. May it be strong like the eagle (Gyun-drun) and last for 
ever. May I be favoured with the gift of undying life, and all rnv 
wishes be realized. 

"Buddha! Vajral Ratna! Padma! Karma, Kapalamala. Hri maharinisaayu 
siddhiphala i>~'nj .' "<« -1 Hum >;ij,-<t Ghiru l'n<lin<< siddhi ayuJcke Hum wijd!" 

The priest now bestows his blessing as the incarnate Amitdyus 
as well as the other gods of longevity, by laying-on of hands, and 

1 A Lama of the established church would usually invoke St. Tsoh-K'a-pa, and the 
subsequent prayer would be slightly different. 
■-• The Vija-mantra of AvaloJcita and Amitdiha. 


be distributes the consecrated water and food to the assembled multi- 
tude. When the crowd is great, the votaries tile past the holy Lama. 
In smaller congregations the Lama, with the Tvlmm vase in hand, 
walks along the rows of kneeling worshippers near the temple door, and 
pours a Few drops of the holy fluid into the hands of each votary. With 
the first Few drops the worshipper rinses his mouth, and with the next 
Few drops he anoints the crown of his head, and the third few drops 
are reverently swallowed. 

Then the Lama brings the vase of Life and places it for an instant 
<>n the bowed head of each of the kneeling votaries, reciting the spell 
of Amitayus (Om Amarani jivantiyi svahd), which all repeat. Then 
the Lama touches the head of each one with the power-conferring vase; 
and afterwards, in similar manner, with the divining-dagger, saying: 
'•The life which you now have obtained is unfailing like the vajra- 
armour. Receive it with reverence | As the vajra is unchangeable, so 
now is your lite. Vajra rakhya rakhya svahd J Worship Amitayus, 
the god of boundles- Life, the chief of all world-rulers ! May hi- glory 
come, with virtue and all happiness." And all the people shout. 
" Glory and all-happiness ! " 

Each worshipper now receives from the skull-bowl a drop of the 
sacred wine, which he piously .-wallows; and each also receives three of 
the holy pills, the plateful of which had been consecrated by the touch 
of t lie Lama. These pills must be swallowed on the spot. They are 
represented a- beads upon the vase which the image of the god 
of Infinite Life holds in his lap. 

The Lama then takes a seat on a low throne, and the votaries tile past 
him offering him a scarf and any money presents they may have 
to make : the majority pay in grain, which is piled up outside the door 
of the temple. Kaeh t hen receives a benediction from the Lama, who 
places his hand on their heads and repeats the spell of Amitayus , and 
mi, its conclusion he throws over their shoulder a knotted white scarf 
(Tsim-tu from a heap of consecrated scarves lying at his side. Tlie 
colours of the scarves are white for the laity and red for the priests. 

Other ceremonies for prolonging life, especially resorted t<> in severe 
sickness, are -'The Saving from Death " ('ck'irbslu) j the "Ransoming of 
another's Lite'' {srog-bslu) ; Siibstitution-offering to the devils of an 
effigy of the patient, or a- a sacrifice for Bin < Ku-rini 1 1 a- in the illustra- 
tion given on t he opposite page ; Libation of w ine to the demons (pSt r 
sky ems) \ gyal-gsol, etc. Allot' these services are more or Less mixed up 

with ry. 

Numerous other ceremonies have already been referred to in 
other chapter-, Mich as tin- -Water Baptism " ("Tiii-Sol "), s "The 

Calling lor Luck " (Yan-gUg , :i etc.. -The Continued Fa-t " (N'uh- 

' BKu-rim: <t. Jaw a., D., 22 i Giohoi's Alphab. T ■ ., i . 112; Roi kmii ,i 's / ... p. 114. 
"bKruB-gsol = ablution h to pray or entreat ; Bee Schlaointwbit, Bu<UL, p. 280 
147 : also a mi \a . p. *v.', ' & m \..., p. 240. 



The rites for the attainment of supernatural powers, and for 
downright demonolatry, are detailed in the chapter on sorcery 
and necromancy. And it is evident that the Lamas or professing 

A Guilt-Offering at Taxkak. 1 

Buddhists are conscious of the unorthodoxy of these practices, for 
the so-called reformed Lamas, the Gre-lug-pa, do their demoniacal 
worship mostly after dark. 

After Kockhill. 

G G 




"Thai mendicant does right to whom omens, planetary influences, dreams, 
and signs are things abolished; he is free from nil their evils." Samma 
Paribbdjaniya Sutta, '2. 

■IKE mosl primitive people, the Tibetans believe thai 
the planet- and spiritual powers, good and had, 
directly exercise a potent influence upon man's wel- 
fare and destiny, and that the portending machina- 
tions of these powers are only to be foreseen, discerned, and 
counteracted by the priests. 

Such beliefs have been zealously fostered by the Lamas, who 
have led the laity to understand that it Is accessary for each Indi- 
vidual tn have recourse to the astrologer-Lama or Tei-pa on each 
of t h»- three great epochs of life, to wit, birth, marriage, and death : 
and also at the beginning of each year to have a forecast <>f the 

year'- ill-fortune and it- remedies diawn oul for them. 

These remedies are all of the nature of rampant demonolatry 
for the appeasing or coercion of the demons of the air, the earth, 

the locality, house, the death-demon, etc. 

Indeed, the Lamas are themselves the real supporters of the 
demonolatry. They prescribe it wholesale, and derive from it 
their chief means of livelihood at the expense of the laity. 


Every large monastery has a Tsi-pa, 1 or astrologer-Lama, re- 
cruited from the cleverest of the monks. 

And the largest monasteries may have as astrologer a pupil of 
the great government oracle-Lama, the Ch'o-c'on. 

The astrologer- Lamas have always a constant stream of persons 
coming to them for prescriptions as to what deities and demons 
require appeasing and the remedies necessary to neutralize these 
portending evils. 

The nature of these prescriptions of worship will best be illus- 
trated by a concrete example. But to render this intelligible it is 
necessary to refer, first of all, to the chronological nomenclature 
current in Tibet, as it is used for indicating the lucky and unlucky 
times, as well as much of the worship. And it will be seen to be 
more Chinese than Indian in nature. The Chinese calendar is 
said to have been introduced by king Sroh Tsah's Chinese wife, 
but the first sixty-year cycle does not begin until 1026 a.d. 2 

The Tibetan system of reckoning time, derived from China 
and India, is based upon the twelve-year and sixty-year cycles 
of Jupiter. 3 The twelve-year cycle is used for short periods, and 
the particular year, as in the Chinese style, bears the name of one 
or other of the twelve cyclic animals : — 

1. Mouse. 5. Dragon. 

2. Ox. 6. Serpent. 

3. Tiger. 7. Horse. 

4. Hare. 8. Sheep. 

And in the case of the sixty-year cycle these animals are combined 
with the five elements (namely : Wood, Fire, Earth, Iron, and 
Water), and each element is given a pair of animals, the first being 
considered male and the second female. I append a detailed list 
of the years of the current cycle as an illustration, and for refer- 
ence in regard to the horoscopes which I shall translate pre- 

The Tibetan Chronological Table. 
The table here given differs from that of Schlagintweit (op. cit., p. 282) in 
making the initial year of the current sixty-year cycle, namely, the fif teentli 

1 rTsis-pa — the Chebu of Hookek's Himalayan J&urs. 

- Csoma, Gr., 148. The Chinese " Description of Tibet," translated by Klaphoth 
(Nouv. Jour., Asia!., iv., 138), states that the Chinese system was introduced by the 
Chinese wife of Sroh Tsan Gampo, in 642 a.d. 

:i There is also a cycle of 252 years seldom used. Conf . Giorgi, 464-69. Hue, ii., 
368, and Schlag , 284. 

G G 2 








cycle (Bab-jun), coincide with the year 1867 A.D., as this is alleged by the 
learned astrologer Lama of Darjiling to be the true epoch, and not the year 

Tibetan Era. 

V. at 

Tibetax Era. 





2 r' 












24 [ron-Tiger 




.. -Sheep 



25 .. -Hare 

kS( in 




,, -Bird 


26 Water-Dragon 

















.. -Hog 



.. -Sheep 








,, -Bird 




.» <)x 

IS! (7 








Earth-] tog 

1867 XV. 


,. -Hare 




„ -Hog 











.. -Serpent 




.. -Ox 




Iron Horse 




l.sT I 



.. -Sheep 




,, -Hare 




,, -Bird 








1 ill):. 













.. -Hog 



.. -Sheep 







Earth- Ape 
„ -Bird 




„ -Ox 














- Hare 



.. -Hoa 












., -Serpent 



,, Ox 










,, -Sheep 



,, -Hare 




,, -Bird 




Fire-1 h*agon 






.. -Serpent