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Binding Buddhas and Demons to Text: The Mongol Invention of the Dorjé Shukden and Trülku Drakpa Gyeltsen Literary Corpus (1913–1919)

Matthew William King EMAIL logo

Abstract

This article examines previously unstudied historical sources from seventeenth–twentieth century Khalkha, Mongolia concerning the controversial Dorjé Shukden tradition (Tib. Rdo rje shugs ldan; Kh. Mong. Dorjshüg). In the last quarter-century, the current Dalai Lama has imposed a controversial global ban on the practice that has cleaved Tibetan and Mongolian communities from one another, led to much bloodshed, and the splitting of the institutional base of the transnational Géluk (Tib. Dge lugs) tradition. Anti-Shukden polemicists and the small body of contemporary secondary scholarship on the schism attribute the rise of Shukden traditions to a hyper-conservative faction of monks based in Lhasa during the early twentieth century. They are credited with elevating Shukden, a violent regional spirit, to the high position of an enlightened protector of the Dharma. This article troubles that historical position, showing how developed Shukden traditions existed in Khalkha a century before the Lhasa movement. It then advances a new working hypothesis on the origins and enduring appeal of the Shukden tradition, which is that it is a long-running expression of the trans-Asian (and now, transnational) expansion of Géluk scholasticism far beyond the political dominions of the Dalai Lamas over the course of the Qing and Tsarist empires, the rise of nationalist and socialist government in Inner Asia, the exercise of profound socialist state violence, and the experience of global diaspora.

Appendix: List of Texts Compiled in Zava Damdin’s Dorjé Shukden Bé-bum

[400] -Kha che paṇ chen sha kya srī bha dra’i rnam thar gsol bdebs.

[401]-Tshigs bcad sum cu rtsa bdun pa khro phu lo tsā pa (sic) byams pa’i dpal gyis mdzad pa ‘grel pa rnam thar gsal pa’i me long dang bcas pa.

-‘Jam dbyangs bla ma smra ba’i se ng+ge paṇ chen bsod nams grags pa’i dpal rnam dpyod mchog gi sde’i rnam thar ngo mtshar rmad byung dad pa’i rol rtsed bya bral lha dbang rgya mtshos mdzad pa.

-Mkhas shing grub pa’i dbang phyug chen po paṇ chen bsod nams grags pa’i rnam thar gsol ‘debs dad pa’i rol mtsho rgyas byed ngag gi char sprin tā khu ral gyi mkhan chen ngag dbang mkhas grub kyis mdzad pa.

-Paṇ chen bsod nams grags pa la bstod pa’i rab tu byed pa mkhas pa’i mgrin rgyan mdo smad kīrti sprul sku blo bzang ‘phrin las kyis mdzad pa.

-Mchog gi sprul sku grags pa rgyal mtshan la skyes pa’i rabs kyi sgo nas gsol ba ‘debs pa’i rim pa paṇ chen kun zigs blo bzang chos kyi rgyal mtshan gyis mdzad pa.

-Sprul sku grags pa rgyal mtshan gyi sku bstod dang ‘brel ba’i zhabs brtan gsol ‘debs paṇ chen thams cad mkhyen pa blo bzang ye shes kyis mdzad pa.

-Sprul sku grags pa rgyal mtshan gyi ‘khrungs rab gsol ‘debs blo bzang rgyal kun ma rgyal bstan bsrung byed ba+dzra shugs ldan rtsal gyis gnas mchog chos gling du bka’ rtsom gnang ba.

-Bstan ‘gro’i dpal mgon mnga’ ris mchog sprul rin po che’i ‘khrungs rabs zhabs brtan gsol ‘debs skyor lung mkhan po bskal bzang sprul skus mdzad pa.

-Sprul sku grags pa rgyal mtshan sngon byung ‘khrungs rabs dang bcas pa’i rnam thar dza ya paṇḍita blo bzang ‘phrin las kyi gsan yig nag nas du bkod.

-Sprul sku grags pa rgyal mtshan gyi thun mong ma yin pa’i rtogs brjod [402] rin chen za ma tog rje rang nyid kyis chos rje snying stobs rgya mtsho sogs la gnang ba.

-Sprul sku grags pa rgyal mtshan gyi ma ‘ongs lung bstan gyi rim pa gsang mdzod zur bkod nang gses le tshan bcu yod pa.

-Rgyal ba’i bstan bsrung chen po rdo rje shugs ldan rtsal gyi byung tshul mdo tsam mrjod pa pad dkar chun po mchog sprul ma ti’i mtshan can gyis dpal ldan ‘bras spungs su mdzad pa.

-Rgyal chen rdo rje shugs ldan rtsal rta nag can gyi bskang ‘phrin log ‘dren tshang gcod sa skya bdag chen ngag dbang kun dga’ blo gros kyis mdzad pa.

-Rdo rje shugs ldan rtsal gyi gsol kha ‘phrin las ‘dod ‘jo mngon rtogs spyan ‘dren bskang bshags bstod pa tshogs ‘khor gser skyems mnga’ gsol cha tshang stod cha rnams dre’u ltas pa dang smad cha rnams rmor chen gyis mdzad pa.

-Rgyal pa’i (sic) bstan bsrung chen po rdo rje shugs ldan rtsal la mchod gtor ‘bul tshul dam can dgyes pa’i mchod sprin rgyal sras rdo rje ‘chang bskal bzang thub bstan ‘jig med bstan pa’i rgyal mtshan gyis mdzad pa.

-Bstan bsrung rdo rje shugs ldan rtsal gtso bor byas pa’i spyi’i bsangs mchod ‘dod dgur ‘khyil ba’i dga’ ston rgyal sras rdo rje ‘chang gis mdzad pa.

-Rgyal chen rdo rje shugs ldan gyi gtor ‘bul skyabs mgon rje btsun dam pa blo bzang thub bstan dbang phyug ‘jig med rgya mtshos mdzad pa.

-Rgyal ba’i bstan bsrung chen po rdo rje shugs ldan rtsal gyi gtor chog rgyas pa mchod bstod bskang bskul mnga’ gsol sogs cha tshang ba las bzhi’i dbang mdzod brag ri rdo rje ‘chang rgya mtsho mtha’ yas kyis mdzad pa.

-Bstan bsrung rdo rje shugs ldan rtsal gyi gtor chog bsdus pa dam can dgyes pa’i mchod sprin las bzhi lhun grub/ de’i cha lag tshogs mchod [403] ‘bul tshul rgyal chen dgyes pa’i ‘dzum zhal/ gser skyems ‘bul tshul/ gtang rag ‘bul tshul/ gshegs gtor ‘bul tshul/ gtor ‘bul ka dag bde chen ma dang bcas pa mkhas dbang rab ‘byams smra ba ngag dbang thub bstan gyis mdzad pa.

-‘Jam mgon rgyal ba’i bstan srung mthu ldan dgra lha’i rgyal chen yongs kyi gtso bo srid gsum skye ‘gro kun gyi srog bdag sprul pa’i chos skyong rgyal chen rdo rje shugs ldan rab ‘jigs drag po rtsal sku lnga’i skor bskang rgyas pa dga’ ldan bstan srung sdang dgra tshar gcod ma rnal ‘byor dbang phyug bzhi sde smyung gnas bla ma ye shes bzang pos mdzad pa.

-De’i gsung gras chos skyong chen rdo rje shugs ldan la ‘phrin las bcol ba mthu stobs drag rtsal gnas lcags thog ‘bebs/ rgyal chen rdo rje shugs ldan gyi rten mdos kyi cho ga/ rgyal chen rdo rje shugs ldan rtsal gyi ‘phrin bcol bstan srung dgyes byed tri bo skyab smgon blo bzang tshul khrims bstan pa’i rgyal mtshan gyis mdzad pa.

-Bstan srung chen po rdo rje shugs ldan ‘bar ba rtsal gyi bskang ‘phrin mdor bsdus bya tshul las bzhi’i ‘phrin las ‘gugs pa’i myur mgyogs ‘phrul gyi pho nya ser sngags mkhan chen ram mkha’ bstan skyong gis mdzad pa.

-Sprul pa’i chos skyong rgyal chen rdo rje shugs ldan rtsal chen po’i bskang ‘phrin sbyor dngos cha tshang dge ldan bstan pa’i dbu ‘phangs stod byed khams gsum zil gyis gnon pa’i dbyangs rnga lha sdings rgyal sras bskal bzang bstan ‘dzin mkhas grub kyis mdzad pa.

-Bstan srung rdo rje shugs ldan gyi rjes gnang bya tshul ‘phrin las lhun grub mdo smad kī+rti mchog sprul blo bzang ‘phrin las kyis mdzad pa

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Supplementary Material

The online version of this article offers supplementary material (https://doi.org/10.1515/asia-2019-0036).


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