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Images of Tibet in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Volume I

tudes thmatiques 22

Images of Tibet in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Volume I

Edited by Monica ESPOSITO

Paris EFEO


Images of Tibet in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Textes runis et prsents par Monica Esposito, Paris : cole franaise dExtrme-Orient, collection tudes thmatiques , 22, vol. I, 2008. 427 + xxiv p. ; 27,5 18,5 cm. Notes en bas de page. Illustrations. Rsums en anglais et en franais. ISBN : 9782855396736 ISSN : 1269-8067 Mots-cls : Reception of Buddhism, Tibet, Japan, China, West, Sino-Tibetan relations, Orientalism, Tibetology, Esoteric Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhist Art, Anthropology of Religion, History of Ideas

Ralisation : KOBAYASHI Tsuneyoshi

2008, cole franaise dExtrme-Orient. 22, avenue du Prsident Wilson, 75116 Paris, France


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List of illustrations Introduction by Monica ESPOSITO Conventions Map of Tibet



Urs APP The Tibet of the Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer Isrun ENGELHARDT The Nazis of Tibet: A Twentieth Century Myth Elena DE ROSSI FILIBECK Tibet: The Ancient Island of Giuseppe Tucci Lionel OBADIA Esprit(s) du Tibet Le bouddhisme tibtain en France : topographies paradoxales, territorialisation et conomie de limaginaire tibtophile Hartmut WALRAVENS Some Notes on Early Tibetan Studies in Europe Donald S. LOPEZ, Jr. Tibetology in the United States of America: A Brief History






JAPAN 203-222

OKUYAMA Naoji The Tibet Fever among Japanese Buddhists of the Meiji Era
translated by Rolf Giebel


ONODA Shunz The Meiji Suppression of Buddhism and Its Impact on the Spirit of Exploration and Academism of Buddhist Monks
translated by Monica Esposito


FUKUDA Yichi The Philosophical Reception of Tibetan Buddhism in Japan

translated by Rolf Giebel

CHINA Part 1 267-300

SHEN Weirong & WANG Liping Background Books and a Books Background: Images of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism in Chinese Literature Gray TUTTLE Tibet as the Source of Messianic Teachings to Save Republican China Ester BIANCHI Protecting Beijing: The Tibetan Image of YamntakaVajrabhairava in Late Imperial and Republican China Franoise WANG-TOUTAIN Comment Asaga rencontra Maitreya : contact entre bouddhisme chinois et tibtain au XXe sicle CHEN Bing The Tantric Revival and Its Reception in Modern China
translated by Monica Esposito






CHINA 433-471

Part 2

LUO Tongbing The Reformist Monk Taixu and the Controversy about Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism in Republican China Monica ESPOSITO rDzogs chen in China: From Chan to Tibetan Tantrism in Fahai Lamas (1920-1991) Footsteps Henry C. H. SHIU Tibetan Buddhism in Hong Kong: The Polarity of Two Trends of Practice YAO Lixiang The Development and Evolution of Tibetan Buddhism in Taiwan
translated by Liu Jingguo





CHEN Qingying and WANG Xiangyun Tibetology in China: A Survey

TIBET 687-704

Erberto LO BUE Tibetan Aesthetics versus Western Aesthetics in the Appreciation of Religious Art Karnina KOLLMAR-PAULENZ Uncivilized Nomads and Buddhist Clerics: Tibetan Images of the Mongols in the 19th and 20th Centuries



Patricia BERGER Reincarnation in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction: The Career of the Narthang Panchen Lama Portraits Antonio TERRONE Tibetan Buddhism beyond the Monastery: Revelation and Identity in rNying ma Communities of Present-day Kham Sabina RAGAINI Life and Teachings of Tashi Dorje: A Dzogchen Tulku in 20th Century Kham Matthew T. KAPSTEIN Tibetan Tibetology? Sketches of an Emerging Discipline Index of Proper Names List of Contributors




819-856 858-859

xxii Map of Tibet (CHGIS version 2, China in Time and Space, August 2003, DEM)

19 44 59 101

Pallas: Sammlungen historischer Nachrichten vol. 1 (1771): Plate 10 Pallas, Sammlungen historischer Nachrichten vol. 2 (1801): Plate 14 Schopenhauers Buddha statue. (Schopenhauer Archiv, Frankfurt am Main) Giuseppe Tucci with a local dignitary. (Negative stored [Istituto Italiano per lAfrica e lOriente, Rome] 6027/21)


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Kawaguchi Ekai (1866-1945) The departure of Kawaguchi Ekai from Lhasa for India. (Scroll of Kawaguchi Ekai, no. 24: courtesy of Miyata Emi )

CHINA Part 1

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The ninth Panchen Lama. (Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art) Ritual implements used by the Ninth Panchen Lama in Hangzhou, China 1930s. (Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art) Peace Mandala of Shambhala on floor of Temple, Oct. 1932. (Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art) Kyil Khor of Shambhala, Oct. 1932, Back of inside Throne. (Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art) The Living God of Asia, 1934. (Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art) The Panchen Lama during the retreat, 1934. (Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art) Sign in front of Shanyindian, Beihai. (Photo by E. Bianchi) Mandala on the vault of Shanyindian, Beihai. (Photo by E. Bianchi) Statue of Vajrabhairava in Shanyindian, Beihai. (Photo by E. Bianchi) Nine niches on the ceiling of the Taihedian, Forbidden City. (Photo by E. Bianchi) Detail of Shanyindian, in front of the Baita, Beihai. (Photo by E. Bianchi) x

343 343 343 367

Statue of Vajrabhairava in Mizongdian, Yonghegong. (Photo by E. Bianchi) Statue of Vajrabhairava in Dongpeidian, Yonghegong. (Photo by E. Bianchi) Statue of Vajrabhairava in Yamandagalou, Yonghegong. (Photo by E. Bianchi) Asaga. (Collection of M. Donald Rubin)

CHINA Part 2

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Venerable Master Taixu. (Source: Yinshun Cultural and Educational Foundation, Xinzhu County, Taiwan) Fahai Lama at Qianfo chansi. (Gift of Fahai Lama) Miaokong, the young Fahai Lama. (Gift of Fahai Lama) Gangs dkar rin po che. (Source: Yangdui , Hong Kong/Taibei: Tantrayana Publications, 1981-1985, vol. 3) Gangs dkar monastery, Mi nyag region [Khams]. (Photo by M. Esposito) Qianfo chansi , the Thousand Buddhas Monastery. (Photo by M. Esposito) Taijidong , the Great Ultimate cave. (Photo by M. Esposito) Fahai Lama and his disciples in front of Taijidong. (Source: Mianhuai Fahai shangshi , Hong Kong, 1995) Nuns practicing koutou at Qianfo chansi. (Photo by M. Esposito) Rev. Folian practicing the sixfold yoga of Nropa at Qianfo chansi. (Photo by M. Esposito) Fahai Lamas teaching session at Qianfo chansi. (Photo by M. Esposito) Dayuanman guanding yiji quanji Fahai lama [Complete collection of the explicative commentaries on Great Perfection initiations]. (Photo by M. Esposito) The Lamp of the Pure Space. (Source: Dayuanman guanding , Fahai Lama's manuscript) Adamantine strands. (Source: Dayuanman guanding , Fahai Lama's manuscript) Adamantine strands like a string of pearls. (Source: The Collected Rediscovered Teachings [gter ma] of Gter-chen Mchog-gyur-gli-pa)

513 517 517


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Adamantine strands like knots tied into a horses tail. (Source: The Collected Rediscovered Teachings [gter ma] of Gter-chen Mchog-gyur-gli-pa) The manifestation of forms of deities. (Source: The Collected Rediscovered Teachings [gter ma] of Gter-chen Mchog-gyur-gli-pa) Guanyin. (Gift of Rev. Folian) Vajrayogin. (Gift of Rev. Folian)


729 729 730 733 733 735 738 741 753 757 762 775

Gyaltsen Norbu in the Sunlight Hall, Tashilhunpo Monastery. (Source: Fomen shengshi: The Confirmation and Enthronement of the 11th Bainqen Erdeni, 1996, 103) Sakya Paita, sixth portrait in the Narthang Panchen Lama series. (Theos Bernard Collection, Gift of G. Eleanor Murray) Sakya Paita, sixth portrait in the silk textile series of the Panchen Lamas. (Source: Xizang tangka, pl. 60) The 4th Panchen Lama, eleventh in the Narthang Panchen Lama series. (Theos Bernard Collection, Gift of G. Eleanor Murray) The 6th Panchen Lama, thirteenth in the Narthang Panchen Lama series. (Theos Bernard Collection, Gift of G. Eleanor Murray) The 4th Panchen Lama, eleventh in the series sent to the Qing court by the 6th Panchen Lama. (Palace Museum, Beijing) rya Lokevara, sent by Polhanay in 1745 to the Yonghegong, Beijing. (Source: Precious Deposits, vol. 4, no. 13) The 9th Panchen Lama, silk textile portrait made in Hangzhou. (Source: Xizang tangka, pl. 81) The Buddhist teacher and Treasure revealer Grub dbang lung rtogs rgyal mtshan. (Photo by A. Terrone) Monks outside the main assembly hall of Bla rung sgar in gSer rta (Sichuan). (Photo by A. Terrone) A view of the Buddhist center Thub bstan chos khor gling in mGo log (Qinghai). (Photo by A. Terrone) A group of Chinese lay Buddhist devotees enjoy sacred dances at Ya chen sgar. (Photo by A. Terrone)


These two volumes were conceived as an attempt to capture various images of Tibet from Western and Eastern perspectives. How did these various images take form? What were their sources of inspiration? How do they relate to the real Tibet? And what do these images tell us about the people who created them? Whilst a certain number of publications on the images of Tibet from the perspective of the Westits dreams and projectionshave appeared in recent years,1 a study on the image of Tibet in Far-Eastern countries during the 19th and 20th centuries was still missing. The present work represents the first attempt to explore various manifestations of the images of Tibet from a more global point of view, one that includes religious, aesthetic, and intellectual-historical dimensions. It is divided into four sections: the West, Japan, China, and Tibet. The China and Tibet sections do not strictly correspond to geographical or political entities but rather to cultural areas. While the China section includes contributions on the reception of Tibetan Buddhism in Hong Kong and Taiwan,2 the Tibet section features both studies related to Tibetan areas today assimilated within Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and to Tibets religious and cultural interaction with Mongolia, India, Himalayan regions, and the West.3 Each section ends with a history of the Tibetology of the respective areas. To facilitate use of these two volumes, I added an index of proper names at the end of the second volume. The twenty-five contributions by scholars from all over the world offer case studies spanning more than two centuries, beginning with the image of Tibet of the Western philosophersKant, Hegel, and Schopenhauerand ending with the question of whether a Tibetan Tibetology can exist in todays China. In between, images of Tibet from Western and Eastern travelogues, myths, religious literature and artworks offer pertinent examples of cultural intersections between Tibet, Japan, China, and the West. These studies are based on extensive original research and field-work, and analyses and translations of numerous primary sources are presented here for the first time. Instead of summarizing their content in this introduction, I decided to include an abstract in English and French at the beginning of each contribution. The case studies in these two volumes reveal not only a variety of images of Tibet but also mirror the changing world views and motivations of observers in both East and West.
See among the others: Peter Bishop, Dreams of Power. Tibetan Buddhism and the Western Imagination (London: Athlone Press, 1993); Donald S. Lopez, Prisoners of Shangri-La, Tibetan Buddhism and the West (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1998); Thierry Dodin and Heinz Rther (eds.), Imagining Tibet: Perceptions, Projections & Fantasies (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2001); and Martin Brauen, Dreamworld Tibet: Western Illusions (Bangkok: Orchid Press, 2004; orig. Traumwelt Tibet Westliche Trugbilder, Zurich: Haupt, 2000). 2 See the contributions by Henry Shiu and Yao Lixiang in the second volume. 3 See the contribution by Erberto Lo Bue, Tibetan Aesthetics versus Western Aesthetics in the Appreciation of Religious Art, in the second volume.


At the end of the 19th century, with the opening of China to the Western world, a violent process of re-evaluation of the Chinese empire and its political and religious structures took place. The confrontation between West and East led to a clash of civilizations that shook the foundations of their respective world views. The discovery of the other and its different history, language, culture, and religion elicited the need to define ones own identity. The search for origins, the race to track down the roots of civilization, language, and religion was launched. At the same time as the tradition of Noahs Ark began to founder as Biblical authority waned in the West,4 Buddhist countries experienced a movement of modernization and transformation triggered by the contact with the Wests science and its religious and philosophical systems. Through the influence of missions from and to the West, they became aware that survival in the modern world required better education and training for the spreading of their teachings and that there was a need to unite within each country and worldwide through the creation of national and international Buddhist associations. One of the aims of such associations was to promote selfawareness among believers of their religious identity and, at the same time, to join with other Buddhist countries of Asia in advocating international solidarity based on Pan-Asian Buddhism.5 In the context of a certain colonial frustration fueled by Western imperialistic and nationalistic desires, a new generation of Buddhist monks and lay devotees dreamed of building a strong Orient to counter the dominance of the Christian world. Stimulated by Oriental studies in the West and their 19th-century obsession with Sanskrit sources, a call for Buddhist revival and a return to its primitive spirit were discussed with fervor, thanks in part to the philological investigation of its origins. This had a strong impact on the establishment of modern Buddhist studies in Japan and the Meiji movement to reform Japanese Buddhism. It was among such circles that a phenomenon known as Tibet fever arose as the most radical manifestation of this investigation. In the face of doubts of Western Orientalists, Japanese reformistsas representatives of Mahayanawanted to prove that Mahayana Buddhism was an original teaching taught by the historical Buddha. The investigation of Tibetan Buddhism was supposed to help in fulfilling such a hope. The quest for acquiring the Tibetan canon and the original Sanskrit texts transmitted in Tibetan translation was set up among Japanese explorers. In 1901 Kawaguchi Ekai (1866-1945) was the first Japanese to reach the Forbidden City of Lhasa with this aim in mind. 6
4 The interrelation of the Western biblical world view and the discovery of Buddhism and Tibet are explored in the opening study of this volume, the one by Urs App on The Tibet of the Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer. 5 See the contributions by Onoda Shunz, The Meiji Suppression of Buddhism and its Influence on the Exploration Spirit and Academicism of Buddhist Monks, and Luo Tongbing, The Reformist Monk Taixu and the Controversy among Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism in Republican China. 6 On Tibet fever and the role of Kawaguchi Ekai in the Japanese discovery of Tibet see Okuyama Naoji, Tibet Fever among Japanese Buddhists of the Meiji period. For the development of Buddhist studies in todays Japan see the contribution by Fukuda Yichi, The Philosophical Reception of Tibetan Buddhism in Japan.


The renewal of Buddhism in Japan and its Tibet fever came also to influence China, its pedagogical activity, and the formation of Buddhist educational institutions that took the nascent Japanese Buddhist universities as model.7 China also discovered Buddhist traditions and texts lost to them but still preserved in Japan. This incited a generation of Chinese monks and laymen to go study in Japan. They hoped to reestablish via the living Japanese Buddhist esoteric tradition the lost Chinese esoteric tradition of the Tang. By the late 1920s Chinese turned progressively to the esoteric tradition of Tibet, and Chinese monks went for the first time to study in Tibet at the feet of Tibetan lamas.8 Like the first Japanese explorers they were also searching for Indian Buddhist original teachings that were reputedly preserved in the Tibetan Tripitaka. Thanks to these monks Tibetan scriptures came to be translated into Chinese, and this in turn led to a gradual assimilation and popularization of Tibetan wisdom.9 At the same time, the arrival of Tibetan high-ranking lamas in China proper stimulated a stronger interest in Tibetan Buddhism as a living tradition.10 The sense of mystery and secrecy embodied in Tibetan esoteric rituals and its paraphernalia not only fascinated those who were looking for new religious paths of salvation but also provoked strong debates within Chinese circles advocating the preservation of Chinese Buddhist traditional forms of practice.11 In spite of this revived interest, Tibetan Buddhism had in fact remained since immemorial times a source of cultural and historical misunderstanding. Though it enjoyed great popularity among the ruling class as early as the Yuan dynasty (1206-1368) and was an important part of the cultural and religious lore of the Qing (1644-1912),12 it was
As Onoda Shunz (The Meiji Suppression of Buddhism) shows in his contribution, the Chinese monk Taixu (1890-1947) was inspired by Bukky University (present-day Rykoku University) to reform his Wuchang Buddhist Institute, and his observation of the Buddhist universities in Kyoto made him feel necessity of training Buddhist priests academically. 8 More on this in the contribution of Chen Bing, The Tantric Revival and Its Reception in Modern China. An important source documenting the shift of interest in Chinese Buddhist circles from the esoteric tradition of Japan to Tibet is illustrated by the articles published in the monthly Haichaoyin or Sound of the Tide, a review founded and edited by the reformist monk Taixu. In 1920, a special issue was devoted to Shingon; see the contribution by Luo Tongbing, The Reformist Monk Taixu. 9 This process of popularization of Tibetan teachings is well illustrated in the contribution by Franoise Wang-Toutain, Comment Asaga rencontra Maitreya: Contact entre bouddhisme chinois et tibtain au XXe sicle. 10 Tibetan esoteric traditions and practices like rDzogs chen or Great Perfection came to be transmitted and translated for the first time into Chinese; see Monica Esposito, rDzogs chen in China: From Chan to Tibetan Tantrism in Fahai Lamas (1920-1991) footsteps. For the transmission of rDzogs chen among Tibetans and Chinese by a living Tibetan master from Kham see the contribution by Sabina Ragaini, Life and Teachings of Tashi Dorje, a Dzogchen Tulku in 20th century Kham. 11 This is exemplified by the work of the reformist monk Taixu and his changing strategy in integrating both exoteric and esoteric teachings into a new unified and modernized Chinese Buddhism. See the contribution by Luo Tongbing, The Reformist Monk Taixu. 12 See the contribution of Ester Bianchi, Protecting Beijing: The Tibetan Image of Yamntaka-Vajrabhairava in Late Imperial and Republican China, on the worship of the Tantric deity Yamntaka-Vajrabhairava (Tib. rDo rje jigs byed) at the Imperial Court.


always the target of sharp criticism by Chinese literati. Negative images of Tibetan monks and their religion abound in Chinese background books from the 11th century until today.13 Yet Tibet was also a subject of Japanese and Western background books that produced countless fantastic and conflicting images as well as fascinating hypotheses and speculations. Among Western historians and philosophers of the 18th century an image of Tibet arose that identified it as the cradle of humanity, the place where the original human race had survived the great flood.14 Ever since, Tibet has continued to haunt the imagination of academics, as well as novelists and seekers after concealed truths fascinated with the alleged powers of its Himalayan yogis and the mysteries of its hidden kingdoms of Shambhala and Agarti.15 Tibet and its image were also involved in the construction of international relations and the shaping of new political alliances and imperialistic dreams. Parallel to the creation of an image of Tibet which, as product of the British agenda, had a distinct Indo-Tibetan face, others images of Tibet emerged, for instance, as products of Far-Eastern agendas.16 While the Japanese were dreaming of a political and religious cooperation between Japan and the sphere of Lamaism encompassing Tibet, Manchuria, and Inner Mongolia, Chinese reformers had already been working since the end of the Qing on the foundation of a new Chinese modern state that would include Tibet. At the beginning of the republican era, as profound distress and severe famine ravaged the country, Tibetan Buddhism was called on to overcome the crisis. Massive dharma assemblies and rites for averting national calamities were organized and sponsored by Chinese lay Buddhists and political leaders alike. As the new re13 Through the analysis of Emptiness (a collection of modern short stories of Ma Jian), Shen Weirong and Wang Liping (Background Books and a Books Background: Images of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism in Chinese Literature) trace the long history of misrepresentation of Tibetan culture rooted in Chinese background books. It is under the influence of these background booksan expression taken from the Italian writer Umberto Ecothat the traveler or explorer, irrespectively of what he discovers and sees, interprets the other world. In her contribution, Uncivilized Nomads and Buddhist Clerics: Tibetan Images of the Mongols in the 19th and 20th centuries, Karnina Kollmar-Paulenz examines instead the representations of the Mongols in Tibetan background books. 14 Interesting cases of Japanese and Western representations of Tibet are presented in the contributions by Okuyama Naoji, Tibet Fever, and Urs App, The Tibet of the Philosophers. 15 The development of popular perceptions of Tibet in the West as the land of the occult and the home of such powers is discussed in the contribution of Isrun Engelhardt, The Nazis of Tibet: A Twentieth Century Myth. She presents in detail the growth of myths about the occult and Nazism as exemplified by the Ernst Schfer Tibet expedition of 193839. On Tibets representation of the Italian Tibetologist Giuseppe Tucci see Elena De Rossi Filibeck, Tibet: The Ancient Island of Giuseppe Tucci. 16 On the British construction of the Indo-Tibetan image see the study by Alex C. McKay, Truth Perception and Politics: The British Construction of an Image of Tibet, in Imagining Tibet, 67-89.


publican politicians became increasingly aware of the advantages of using Tibetan Buddhism for solving the Sino-Tibetan conflict, they followed their Qing imperial predecessors steps in promoting the performance of Tibetan state-protecting rites and conferring prestigious titles, like protectors of the country, on Tibetan lamas. As a result, first the Chinese republicans and later the communists came to form an image of Tibet linked with China and to promote a distinct Sino-Tibetan identity. This identity gradually gained a profile by the use of Tibetan religion as a fundamental link between China and Tibet.17 Whereas a whole generation of Tibetologists studied Tibet primarily in connection with India and its culture because of political restrictions from the foundation of the PRC in 1949 until the end of the Cultural Revolution, they could not enter Tibet but were instead obliged to study in the Himalayan regions and Tibetan refugee communities of South Asia, it has more recently become possible for a new generation of scholars to pursue their Tibetan studies in Tibet itself and turn their attention also to Tibeto-Chinese relations. In the 1980s, Tibetological research in China gradually began to emerge and the term zangxue or Tibetology also came into use. This produced a dramatic increase in publications on Tibetan studies and the opening of two important establishments: the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences in Lhasa (1980) and Chinas Tibetology Center in Beijing (1986).18 Riding the wave of the religious revival and reenergized religious research in academia that occurred after the Cultural Revolution years (1966-1976), there was a constant flow of publications on Chinese and Tibetan religions and their esoteric techniques, modern Buddhism, and religious texts.19 Among them were reprints of materials on Tibetan Buddhism from the republican period, local histories and biographies, studies on Tibeto-Chinese and Tibeto-Japanese relations, works of Chinese monks who went for the first time to study in Tibet, etc. Thanks to the availability of such materials and under these new circumstances it became possible to consider, for instance, how a Sino-Tibetan identity could be built in those eastern Tibetan areas which, while aspiring to autonomy, seemed to accept closer ties with China. Important figures like the Panchen Lama (1883-1937), who had served in diplomatic relations
17 See the contributions by Chen Bing, The Tantric Revival, Luo Tongbing, The Reformist Monk Taixu, and Gray Tuttle, Tibet as the Source of Messianic Teachings to Save Republican China: The Ninth Panchen, Shambhala and the Klacakra Tantra. Tuttle, in particular focuses on the Panchen Lamas religious and political role in linking Tibet to China. 18 See the contribution by Chen Qingying and Wang Xiangyun, Tibetology in China: A Survey. 19 Antonio Terrones contribution, Tibetan Buddhism beyond Monastery: Revelation and Identity in rNying ma Communities of Present-day Kham, emphasizes how and why the relative freedom that was inaugurated after the Cultural Revolution by the new religious policy of Deng Xiaoping had an impact on the revitalization of Tibetan Buddhist practices in todays Kham. As shown in the contributions by Chen Bing, The Tantric Revival, and Monica Esposito, rDzogs chen in China, Tibetan Buddhism also gained new momentum in the wave of religious revival and increase in publications fueled by the so-called qigong fever phenomenon in China during the 1980s and 1990s.


between China and Tibet since the Qing Empire, came to be at the center of this new construct.20 Presenting such phenomena from a Far-Eastern perspective and in its religious, cultural, and political terms through case studies is one of the purposes of the present book. While observing the progress of Tibetological research in these two last centuries,21 this study wants to provide a moment of reflection about past and present ways of seeing Tibet in order to gain a better understanding of outlooks colored by historical misunderstandings and of current tensions. Although these two volumes document some little-known trends of modern Tibetan studies, particularly in Tibetological research in China and Japan, they also show that the examination of Tibets cultural and historical image is only at its beginning. 22 Difficulties in evaluating Tibetan society and its history critically, in particular when it comes to religious issues, persist for all parties. Nonetheless, they become more pressing for ethnic Tibetans and Han Chinese involved in the Tibet-China conflict.23 In this volume this is illustrated by the study of Chen Bing and his Sino-centric and nationalistic way of reviewing the assimilation of Tibetan Buddhism in the PRC24 and, above all, by this books lack of contributions by ethnic Tibetan scholars or Tibetan religious figures living in todays PRC. Without any doubt the Tibet section should

This is well illustrated by Tuttles discussion in Tibet as the Source of Messianic Tea-chings, of the role of the Panchen Lama and his Kalacakra Tantra transmission in republican China. The Chinese Communist government is continuing to work on this construction in order to shape Tibetan Buddhism to suit its political requirements. An image of the dilemma facing Chinese religious policy in contemporary Tibet is captured by the contribution of Patricia Berger (Reincarnation in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction: The Career of the Narthang Panchen Lama Portraits) on the controversy over the selection of the 11th Panchen Lama. 21 While Lionel Obadia presents the assimilation of Tibetan Buddhism in France (Esprit(s) du TibetLe bouddhisme tibtain en France: territorialisation et conomie de limaginaire tibtophile), Harmut Walravens (Some Notes on Tibetan Studies in Europe), and Donald S. Lopez (Tibetology in the United States of America: A Brief History) offer an overview on the development of Tibetan studies in Europe and America. 22 See the first introduction in a Western language to the status of Tibetan studies in China by Chen Qingying and Wang Xiangyun, Tibetology in China, as well as the contributions by Fukuda Yichi, The Philosophical Reception on Tibetan studies in Japan, and by Matthew T. Kapstein, Tibetan Tibetology? Sketches of an Emerging Discipline. 23 On this issue see, for instance, the study by Elliot Sperling, The Tibet-China Conflict: History and Polemics, Policy Studies 7 (East-West Center Washington, 2004): 1-48, and Melvyn C. Goldstein, Tibet and China in the Twentieth Century, in Governing Chinas Multiethnic Frontiers, ed. Morris Rossabi (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2004): 186-229. See also the volume edited by Anne-Marie Blondeau and Katia Buffetrille, Le Tibet est-il chinois? (Paris: Albin Michel, 2002) and its English edition: Authenticating Tibet. Answers to Chinas 100 Questions (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008). 24 See in particular the section entitled Difficulties and Problems of the Reception of Tantrism in the PRC where Chen Bing presents nave and simplistic views on Tibetan Buddhism emphasizing the lack of a critical evaluation of Tibetan religion that still persists in certain Han Chinese academies and Chinese Buddhist circles.



have included contributions by ethnic Tibetans who, as men on the spot, could have reflected on their own self-image; but the present situation in the PRC has not allowed the realization of such a project.25 We cannot but hope that this new century may fulfill this expectation. ., The present two-volume work would not have been possible without the help of several people and institutions. First of all, I want to express my gratitude to all the members of the scientific committee who were in charge of reading at least one of its twenty-five contributions: Ester Bianchi, Anne-Marie Blondeau, Anne Chayet, Hubert Durt, Donald Lopez, Okuyama Naoji, Donatella Rossi, and Shen Weirong. Among them, my special thanks go to Anne-Marie Blondeau not only for having checked the Tibetan transcription of this volume but also for her incisive reading of almost all contributions. Her precious advice was of primary importance for the completion of this book. As main consultants for the sections West, Japan, and China, Donald Lopez, Okuyama Naoji, Shen Weirong, and Ester Bianchi equally deserve a special mention for their valuable suggestions and helpful criticisms. I am also grateful to Hubert Durt who, as member of the scientific committee, read a substantial number of contributions and checked their Sanskrit transcription. A special, heartfelt thank you goes to Phyllis Brooks and Cate Pearce who copyedited the book with exceptional dedication and turned the articles written by contributors speaking about seven different native languages into readable English. I am also indebted to Karnina Kollmar-Paulenz for supervising the simplified transcription of Mongolian letters (see Conventions below), and to Chen Qingying, Donatella Rossi, Onoda Shunz, and Jay Goldberg for their help in identifying Tibetan masters, places, and Sino-Tibetan texts. I am grateful as well for the precious suggestions I received during the preparatory phase from Funayama Tru, Toni Huber, Roberto Gimello, David Germano, Nagano Yasuhiko, and Samten Karmay. I wish to thank the ex-director of the cole franaise dExtrme-Orient, JeanPierre Drge, for having accepted this project, and the present director, Franciscus Verellen, for offering the necessary institutional and financial support for its accomplishment. I owe a great debt of gratitude to my Institute, the Jinbun Kagaku Kenkyjo at Kyoto University, and its members, in particular director Kin Bunky and Mugitani Kunio for giving me the opportunity to devote myself to research and realThis does not mean that ethnic Tibetans are not involved in critical debates about this issue; but due to restrictions in the PRC, available studies on this topic are often confined to specialist circles of Tibetologists or intellectuals living abroad (for example the well-known studies of Tsering Shakya or Jamyang Norbu, or of religious figures and members from the Tibetan community-in-exile). However, as Toni Huber has noted, the publications from the Tibetan exile community are not necessarily free from propaganda and censorship. See Toni Huber, Shangri-la in Exile: Representations of Tibetan Identity and Transnational Culture, in Imagining Tibet, 357-371.


ize this project. I extend my gratitude to Zio Pio of the Magic Mountain for his generosity and support; to Evelyne Mesnil for revising and translating the majority of the English abstracts into French; to Sandra Bessis for her help in revising my French translations; to Benot Jacquet for his reading of French contributions and abstracts; to Fabienne Jagou, Wang Xiangyun, and Gray Tuttle for their kindness in answering to my inquiries; to David Riggs for his help in finding translators; to Rolf Giebel and Liu Jingguo for their translations from Japanese and Chinese into English; to the Tucci Institute and Francesco DArelli for sending me a photo of Giuseppe Tucci; and to Merrick Lex Berman for the base map of Tibet.26 Finally I wish to thank Kobayashi Tsuneyoshi for having not abandoned the work of layout in spite of the throes of multiple drafts and last-moment revisions, and my husband Urs App for his constant companionship, his unstinting support and encouragement of all my projects, for his help with this two-volume work and for his willingness to prepare the book cover.27

26 The base map is available at Please note that it includes territory disputed by the Tibetan-government-in-exile and the India government (territory on the northwest frontiers). The boundaries for the Tibetan cultural world (and autonomous political units under the PRC) are drawn from the county boundaries in 1990 on the CHGIS version 2, China in Time and Space, August 2003, DEM. 27 The base image for the book cover is from Peter Simon Pallas, Sammlungen historischer Nachrichten ber die mongolischen Vlkerschaften (St. Petersburg: Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1801): vol. 2, pl. 15.



Systems of transcription Chinese: The pinyin system of alphabetic transcription from Chinese is used throughout the book, except for names better known in the vVade-Giles, Taiwanese, or Cantonese transcription systems. In this case, pinyin followed by Chinese characters has been put into brackets (ex. Chiang Kai-shek Uiang Jieshi Jlff1r;p D. Traditional Chinese characters have been privileged. In references, however, some authors have chosen to use either simplified or traditional characters depending on where works referred to were published, the People's Republic or Taiwan. Japanese: The book adopts the Hepburn system. Mongolian: The book generally adopts the simplified transcription of Mongolian letters adjusted to common usage (though in few cases a different transcription has been used according to the sources utilized by the authors):
Standard transcription Simplified transcription


gorkh kh

Sanskrit: The book generally adopts the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) system. The diacritics have not been used for Sanskrit terms that are part of the common usage and included in English dictionaries like MerriamWebster or the Oxford dictionary. Examples of such words are Mahayana, Hinayana, Vajrayana, Tripitaka, tantra, sutra, prajna, mandal~, stupa, dharani, vinaya, shastra, deva, etc. Tibetan: The book generally adopts the Wylie system, with capitalization of the radical letter (ex. Klong chen, sNgags chen, etc.). When the authors in their contributions have used the Tibetan phonetic as adopted in their country (Chinese phonetic adopted in the People's Republic of China or in Taiwan; Japanese phonetic according to the katakana system; etc.), the Wylie transcription has been put into parentheses by the editor, except in the case of common terms like lama, rinpoche, thangka, etc. Abbreviations


Before Common Era Common Era Taish6 Buddhist Canon



Basemap from CHGIS version 30 Underlayer: DEM images by USGSo


* .6

Site of Tibetan Buddhist activities Tibetan Town

The Tibet of the Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer The manifold discussions in the wake of Edward Said's 1978 book on "Orientalism" and pioneer attempts to portray the history of the Western discovery of Buddhism showed that there is a dire need for case studies that throw light on the views of specific persons about specific Asian phenomena at specific points in time. Here, the views of three well-read philosophers from Germany, a nation without any colonial interest in Tibet or neighboring regions, are explored. The views of all three men are well documented through their own writings or through lecture notes by students. What kind of information were they gathering, and from what sources? What did they focus on, and what did they come up with? What motivated them to read about Tibet, and to what extent did their world view, their religion, their philosophY, and particular interests shape their ideas of the mysterious country in the Himalayas? The views expressed by Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) from the 1750s to the turn of the gentury reflect a rapidly changing breakdown of the biblical view of history and the philosopher's pronounced interest in the history of the earth and of humanity. To Kant Tibet appeared as the first country to emerge from the latest great flood. He ignored the Bible in viewing Tibet as the cradle of humanity and the seat of mankind's most ancient culture and religion. G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831) also adopted an Asian origin of history and a gradual progress from a primitive state to perfection, but in contrast to Kant he still clung to a strictly biblical timeframe. Unlike Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) showed a pronounced philosophical interest in Asia. He is the first European philosopher to be influenced by Asian philosophy and religion at an early stage in his career. He became convinced that the Kangyur was the oldest and most complete repository of Buddhist texts and admired early translations of some of its texts. In 1850s the philosopher . became the first Westerner to refer to himself as a Buddhist.

Le Tibet des philosophes : Kant, Hegel et Schopenhauer Les discussions apres la publication du livre "Orientalisme" d'Edward Said, ainsi qu'un nombre d'esquisses pionnieres de I'histoire de la decouverte du bouddhisme par les occidentaux ont montre la necess.ite d'etudier des cas .parliculiers mettant en lumiere les points de vue de personnes distinctes concernant des phenomenes orientaux specifiques dans un cadre historique defini. Cette contribution presente les opinions de trois philosophes erudits originaires d'Allemagne, un pays sans interets coloniaux au Tibet ou dans les regions voisines. Ces points de vue sont relativement bien documentes tant par les ecrits de ces trois philosophes que par les notes de leurs etudiants. Quelle sorte d'information ont-ils cherche et quelles etaient leurs sources? Quels phenomenes ont attire leur attention et quel etait Ie resultat de leurs recherches ? Quels motifs animaient leur lecture sur Ie Tibet et comment leur vision du monde, leur religion, leur philosophie et leurs interets particuliers ont determine leurs idees sur ce pays mysterieux de I'Himalaya ? Telles sont les questions posees. Le point de vue exprime par Emmanuel Kant (1724-1804) entre 1750 et la fin du siecle reflete I'affaiblissement' progressif de la conception biblique de I'histoire, ainsi que I'interet prononce du philosophe pour I'histoire de la terre et de I'homme. Pour Kant, Ie Tibet est Ie premier pays iL emerger des oceans du deluge. Abandonnant I'approche biblique, Kant voit Ie Tibet comme Ie berceau de I'humauite et par consequent de toutes culture et religion. G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831) situe, lui aussi, I'origine de I'histoire de I'homme en Asie. A ses yeux, cette histoire se presente comme un progres graduel vers la perfection iL partir d'un etat primitif mais, iL la difference de Kant, il ne parvient pas iL abandonner Ie cadre chronologique de I'histoire biblique. Contrairement a Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) montre un interet prononce pour les religions et les philosophies de I'Asie. II est Ie premier philosophe europeen iL s'etre laisse autant influencer par elles au cours de sa periode formative. II etait persuade que Ie Kangyur representait la collection la plus ancienne et complete des textes bouddhiques et "tait un ardent admirateur des premieres traductions de certains de ses textes. Dans les annees 1850 ce philosophe fut Ie premier occidental iL se dire bouddhiste . . .



he 1757 announcement of Kant's pioneering course on "physical geography"-by far his most popular lecture series which ended only in 1796- signals his interest in theories of our earth's formation. For example, the presence of sea shells and maritime fossils on high mountains indicated that "all firm land once formed the bottom of the sea"i but how did animals and plants of the tropics end up petrified or frozen in faraway lands? Had there been a drastic climate change due to a changing inclination of the 'earth's a;j:is?' Kant had little sympathy for the likes ofvVoodward l and Whiston4 who, in the wake of Father Athanasius Kircher, had ended up using science to prop up the Old Testament narrative. Already in his General Theory ofNature and The01J1 of the Heavens of 1755 Kant had outlined an earth formation process in which an initial liquid state was followed by the gradual formation of a crust. Subsequently, the familiar features of the earth gradually took form primarily through erosion by the receding sea and by mighty rivers which carried water from higher plains to lower regions.' At this early stage

Immanuel Kant, Kants Worke (Akademie-Textausgabe; Berlin: "Valter de Gruyter, 1968): voL 2 (Vorkritische Schriften II), 8. Note: All translations from non-English materials in this contribution are by the author. 2 Kant, Werke, vol. 2, 8. Louville D'Allonville had proposed in 1714 that over the unheard-of period of 200,000 years a drastic climate change had occurred. See Manfred Petri, Die Urvolkhypothese - ein Beitrag zum Geschichtsdenken der Spiitaufilikzmg ztnd des deutschelz Idealismus (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1990): 31. 3 John Woodward, An Essay towa/d a Natural History of the Emoth: and Te1restrial Bodies,
especially iVIinertt!s: As also of the Sea, Riven, and Spzoings. With an Account of the Univezosal Deluge: and ofthe Effects that it had upon the Earth (London: R. Wilkin, 1695). 4 William Whiston, A New Theory of the Earth from its Original to the Consummation of All Things. ~VheZ"ein The Czoeation of the Wodd in Six Days, The Universal Deluge, And the General Conflagzoation, As laid down in the Holy Sc,oiptzl1"es, A,oe sbown to be perfectly agTeeable to Reason and Philosophy (London: Tooke, 1696).

Kant, Worke, voL 1, 199.

Images afTibet in the 19 111 and 20 1/; Centuries Paris, EFEO, coIL Etudes thematiques" (22.1), 2008, p. 5-60


in his career Kant still used the biblical number of around 6,000 years for the age of the earth6 but guessed that it "may have existed a thousand or more years before it was in a condition to support humans, animals, and plants.'" He soon agreed with the naturalist Buffon that it was wiser to separate the history of the earth altogether from that of humanity. Buffon was convinced that Asia had been the first part of the earth to get dry; it therefore had to be substantially older than Europe, Africa, and of course also the region that was home to the Old Testament. 8 Kant also concluded that "humans first inhabited the most elevated regions of the globe; only at a late stage did they descend to the plains.'" The cradle of humanity was thus likely to be located in the high plains of Asia rather than the alluvial lowlands around the Eastern Mediterranean. This new birthplace of the human race is just one symptom of the profound change of world view that took place between Kant's first writings in the 1750s and Schopenhauer's death in 1860 (a year after the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species). Just as the earth and entire galaxies had, in Kant's eyes, become mere specks of dust floating in an immense universe,'o so the "crown of creation," the human being, appeared to him like a louse on someone's head which harbors the delusion of being the center and goal of every thing. 11 Such insight by the young Kant already points in the direction of his immortal philosophical achievement: the demonstration that our perception determines our reality rather than the other way around. Naturally, this fundamental change in Europe's view of the world's and mankind's origin and history is also reflected in the prism of the European image of Tibet and its religion; here, too, the reigning world views had a way of determining reality. Most of Kant's views on Tibet were aired in his Physical Geography lectures, but he only published the short announcement of these lectures mentioned above. The bulk of information is found in a complex set of materials comprising Kant's own lecture blueprint (the so-called "Diktattext" redacted before 1760); several printed compilations by other authors based on these notes as well as student notes; and finally heaps of lecture notes by Kant's students which for the most part were redacted, revised and combined with other student notes or with the "Diktattext" at some later pointY Quite a number of important manuscripts disappeared at some point or were destroyed during World War II, but luckily Helmuth von Glasenapp had before the war studied some of them and proceeded to cite or summarize relevant bits and pieces in his book Kant and the Religions of the East. A thorough
Kant, vVerke, vol. 1,204. Kant, We7-ke, vol. 1, 352-353. g Erich Adickes, Kants Ansichten iiber Geschichte zmd Bau der Erde (Tubingen: J. c. B. Mohr, 1911): 37. 9 Kant, vVerke, vol. 1, 200. 10 Kant, Wer!", vol. 1, 352. II Kant, Werke, vol. 1, 353. 12 See Erich Adickes's detailed source studies in Untersuchungen ZZI Kants physischer Geogmphie (Tubingen: J. B. Mohr, 1911); Helmuth von Glasenapp, Kant und die Religionen des Ostens (Kitzingen, am Main: Holzner, 1954); and the web pages by Werner Starke on Kant's physical geography and its forthcoming critical edition.

The Tibet of the Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer

study would obviously necessitate a comprehensive review of all extant manuscript sources. However, the currently available printed materials permit gaining an idea of the development and content of Kant's view of Tibet and its religion. Tibet first appears in a part of the "Diktattext" which can be reliably dated to before 1760.lJ Kant began his discussion of Chinese religion as follows: Here [in China], the religion is treated rather indifferently. Many do not believe in a God; others who adhere to a religion do not bother much about [God]. The sect ofFo is most numerous. They conceive this Fo as an incarnated deity which in particular inhabits today the great Lama in Barantola14 in Tibet. It is venerated in him, but after his death it goes into another Lama. The Tartar priests are called Lamas, the Chinese ones Bonzes. ls In preparation for his lectures Kant had read La Croze's essay on the idolatry of the Indies!6 which gives the lie to modern assertions to the effect that the European discovery of Buddhism began "by the mid-1830s" when" 'Buddhism' came to define the religious beliefs and practices of most of Asia,"17 or that the "joint birth of the word and the object" began effectively around 1820."18 Along this line, Almond boldly states: Throughout the preceding discussion, I have tried carefully to avoid giving the impression that Buddhism existed prior to the end of the eighteenth century: that it was waiting in the wings, so to say, to be discovered; that it was floating in some ethereal Oriental limbo expecting its objective embodiment. On the contrary, what we are witnessing in the period from the later part of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the Victorian period in the latter half of the 183 Os is the creation of Buddhism. 19 But La Croze's 1724 discussion of the religion of the "Samaneens" whose founder is "Budda"-a religion of Indian origin which after its disappearance from India survived in Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Japan and probably also in Tibet-shows just how baseless such assertions are. Using information from a wide variety of sources La Croze came to the conclusion that this religion

Adickes, Unte1"suchzmgen, 7-44. According to Kircher Barantola was the Saracen name for Lhasa. Athanasius Kircher, China Illustrata withSaC1"ed and Seculm" Monuments, Vi".ious Spectacles of Nature and Art and OtheT Nlemombilia, trans. Charles van Tuyl (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University, 1987): 46. Sometimes it is also used for the Potala palace. IS Kant, We1:ke, vol. 9, 381 (Physical Geography). 16 Mathurin Veyssiere de la Craze, Histoire du Christianisme des Indes (The Hague: Vaillant & N. Prevost, 1724). 17 Philip C. Almond, Tbe British Discovery of Buddhism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988): 11. 18 Roger-Pol Droit, Le culte du neant. Les pbilosophes et Ie Bouddha (Paris: Seuil, 1997): 36; similarly also Bernard Faure, Bouddhisnzes, philosophies et TeZigions (Paris: Flammarion, 1998): 17; Frederic Lenoir, La rencontre du Bouddhisme et de l'occident (Paris: Fayard, 1999): 90; and others. 19 Almond, The B1"itish Discovery ofBuddhism, 12.



had been opposed to the Indian caste system20 and to the cults of Vishnu and Shiva, did not recognize a God,21 and had a founder called "Boudda" who was identical with the Chinese Xe-kia, the Sino-Japanese Xaca, the Siamese Sonznzona-codonz, etc.: "Boudda, Sommona-Codom, & Xaca refer to the same person. This is all the more probable as the inhabitants of the kingdom of Laos, where the Siamese Talapoins study, use all these names interchangeably to denominate their idol of which the cult has been established in China and Japan under the name of Xaca."" According to La Croze, "Boudda" had lived "several centuries before the Christian era" and likely came "from a kingdom in central India"23 or from Ceylon. 24 Since the Ceylonese monks wear the same yellow robes, follow similar customs, and have the same sacred language "Bali" as the Siamese, La Croze also concluded that the "Budu" of the Ceylonese must refer to the same founder. Thus "one may surmise that this Boudan, who apparently is in no way different from the Boutta of Clement of Alexandria and the Boudda of St. Jerome, is none other than the SommonaCodom of the Siamese who also call him Pouti-Sat, and consequently the Xaca of the Indians."" To La Croze this meant that the religion in question "which, apart from China and Japan, has infected the kingdoms of Siam, Cambodia, Laos, Cochin China, Tonkin, and several other countries to the North and South of India, "is much larger than Islam,,26-the religion which for some time had been regarded as the world's largest. vVhile' the world's religious geography, one step behind its physical cousin, showed its approximate outlines in the 16,h and 17'h centuries, these proportions only really sunk in during the 18,h century with its profusion of travel accounts and syntheses of the world's customs and religions. By far the most important collection for Kant was Astley'S New Geneml Collection of Voyages and Ti-avels.27 The relevant

20 La Croze, Histoire, 498. This is the earliest printed assertion I have so far found in the ,Vest of Buddhist opposition to the Indian caste system. La Craze drew this information from his careful study of the fifth chapter of the Halle manuscript of Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg's Genealogie de>' malaba17schen GO"tte1' (manuscript of 1713) which was only published in 1867 by vVilhelm Germann with many alterations; cf. Daniel Jeyaraj, Bartholomitus Ziegenbalgs 'Genealogie dermalabarischen Gotter' (Halle: Francke, 2003): 14. 21 La Croze, Histoire, 498. La Croze bases much of his atheism argument on Simon de la Loubere, Du Royaume de Siam (Amsterdam: Abraham Wolfgang, 1691). " La Croze, Histoire, 502. La Craze uses various spellings for the name of the founder of Buddhism. 23 La Croze, Histoire, 502. 24 La Craze, Histoire, 505. 25 La Craze, Histoire, 513. Earlier identifications of the common referent of such diverse names which were not yet published in 1724 include Fernao de Queyroz's detailed comparison of Chinese and Ceylonese biographical data about the Buddha in the The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon (Colombo: A: C. Richards, 1930): 118-141; and Engelbert Kaempfer's chapter on "Budsdo" (Buddhism) in The History of Japan (London: Thomas Woodward, 1727): vol. 1,241-243. 26 La Croze, Histoire, 504-505. 21 Thomas Astley, A new general collection of voyages and travels: consisting of the most esteemed relations, which have been hitheno published in any language, comp"ebending every thing

Tbe Tibet of tbe Pbilosopben: lVint, Hegel, and Scbopenbazie7~

portions of the German translation which Kant relied upon had been published just a few years before he launched his geography lecture series." It was an exceedingly rich source of information consisting both of original sources and critical surveys and expositions. For example, Kant's major source about Tibet, volume 7 of Schwabe's German version of Astley, contained not only comprehensive descriptions of Tartary and Tibet but also many major travel accounts about these regions, from the 13 m century reports of Carpini, Ruysbroek and Marco Polo to materials from 17'h and 18,h century travelers and missionaries such as Johannes Grueber, Ippolito Desideri, and Francesco Orazio della Penna. Thus Kant was familiar with the view of Tibetan religion as a kind of degenerated Christianity communicated or implied by Andrade, Desideri and other missionaries featured in Astley/Schwabe's collection: The catholic missionaries describe the doctrines regarding Fo in such a way that they appear as nothing other than Christianity degenerated into great heathendom. Reportedly they [of the doctrine of Fo] posit three persons in the Godhead, the second of which had furnished the law and had shed his blood for humankind. The great Lama is also said to administer a kind of sacrament using bread and wine.29 Since Kant offered this description in his treatment of Chinese religion and immediately afterwards went on to describe other living religions of China (such as the veneration of Confucius), it is clear that for him the dominant religion of China, the "sect of Fo" which we today call Chinese Buddhism, formed the essence of the religion of Tibet: Fo (Buddha) is the divinity incarnated in the great Lama. Unlike Hegel who, more than 60 years later, was still wondering whether Lamaism was connected with the religion of Fo, Kant had, thanks to his study of La Croze and Astley/Schwabe, grasped this connection from the outset. Furthermore, Joseph de Guignes (1721-1800), another important source of Kant, had also identified a very widespread religion with an Indian founder that reigned in many Asian countries including China, Japan, Siam, Tartary, and Tibet. 3D In his works de Guignes portrayed this pan-Asian religion as a mixture of Egyptian idolatry (in Indian guise and propagated by a mighty impostor called Buddha) and early Christian teachings, with Christian heresies and Manichean doctrines thrown into the mix. We will see below that this potent brew inspired the fertile imagination of one of Kant's later sources, Father Agostino Giorgi, and formed a root of the two-Buddha theory that confused Hegel.
Te77ZaTkable in its kind, in Emope, Asia, Africa, and A71Ze,~ica, wit" Tespect to t"e sev,,al E77Zpi,~es, Kingdoms, and P,~ovinces (London: Thomas Astley, 1745 -1747). 28 Johann Joachim Schwabe (ed.), Allgemeine Histo,.ie d,,~ Reisen ZZt 1-Vasser ad,, zZt Lande; odeT Sa77Z11Zlzmg alle,. ReisebeschTeibungen, 21 vols. (Leipzig: Arkstee & Merkus, 1747-1774). For

information on China and Tibet Kant mainly relied on vols. 6 and 7 (both published in 1750). 29 Kant, vVe,.ke, vol. 9, 381-382 (Physical Geography). )0 Joseph de Guignes, Histoi1~e ginrh~ale des Huns, des TuTCs, des NIogols, et des autl~es ta1~ tates occidental/X, & c. avant ]eSZts-Cb,ist jl/squ'a present, 5 vols. (Paris: Desaint & Saillant, 1756-1758): vol. 2, 234.



The impression that Asian religions with monks, rosaries, statuary, etc. (religions that we today identify as forms of Buddhism) resemble Catholicism had already been reported for centuries; but such reports gained in exposure when 18 th century protestants such as La Croze, Astley, and Schwabe were thrilled to fill pages with parallels between "heathen" customs and those of the Roman Catholic "papists."ll After Tartary and Japan etc. it was now Tibet's turn to exemplify that the degeneration of Christianity had not stopped in Rome, In the words of the protestant Kant: This Lama does not die, his soul soon inhabits a body that totally resembles the former one, Some subordinate priests also pretend to be animated [beseelt] by this divinity, and the Chinese call such a person a living Fo, What was said above [about similarities to catholic Christianity] and the fact that the great Lama, whom they also call Father, is in effect the pope of the heathens and could be said to have the patrimony ofPeter' in Barantola: this all confirms the guess mentioned above [that it seems to be a degenerated form of Catholicism],l2 Regarding the doctrine of this "sect" Kant also reproduced the dominant opinion of the time, namely, that it focuses on metempsychosis and karmic retribution and can be divided into an inner and an outer teaching. De Guignes had explained that the outer teaching varied depending on time and place, which explained the "considerable differences between the heathens of India and those of Tibet and Tartary.'>ll This was a very handy way of gathering the whole herd of Asian paganisms under a common roof, but it also meant that "transmigration" and the "secret teaching" had to provide a measure of unity to the "sect," Thus Kant wrote: The sect of Fo believes in the transmigration of souls. There is a notion among them that nothingness is the origin and end of all things, wherefore an insensibility [Fiihllosigkeit] and a temporary renunciation of all work are godly thoughts [gottselige Gedanken].34 Kant thus boiled the teaching ofFo down to three main features: L transmigration; 2. nothingness as the origin and end of everything; and 3. torpor and inactivity. These were the teachings of the Chinese "sect of the false contemplators [Secte de1' folschen BetmchterJ" about which Kant had read in volume 6 of his trusty collection of travel accounts. This sect reportedly aims at "ceasing to be and being engulfed by nothingness" and, "becoming like a rock or a stick." Its contemplators want to attain a state of happiness consisting in a "total insensibility and motionlessness, the ceasing of all desires [.,.J and annihilation of all forces of the soul, and in a total


Schwabe's Allgemeine Hist01'ie devotes an entire section to such parallels (vol. 7, Kant, We,'ke, voL 9, 404-405 (Physical Geography). De Guignes, Histoi,.e, voL 2, 225. Kant, We,'ke, vol. 9, 382 (Physical Geography).

JJ 34

The Tibet of the Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer


quietude of thoughts.,,)5 Like many other 18'h-century intellectuals Kant was an avid reader of Pierre Bayle's dictionary, and this is exactly how Bayle, in his article on Spinoza, had portrayed "quietism": The sectarians ofFo teach quietism since they say that all those who seek for genuine beatitude must let themselves be absorbed in profound meditations to such a degree that they make no use whatsoever of their intellect and, in consummate insensibility, plunge into the quietude and inaction of the First Principle; this they hold to be the true method of resembling it perfectly and to participate in happiness.)6 The associatiol;l of Chinese quietism, pantheism, and Spinozism with Tibet was still evoked by Kant a decade before his death in The End ofAll Things of 1794: From this [mysticism] arises the monstrous system of Laohun [Laozi] of the highest good which is supposed to consist in nothingness: i.e., in the consciousness of feeling oneself engulfed in the abyss of the divinity through confluence with it and thus through annihilation of one's personality. Chinese philosophers, in order to anticipate such a state, strive in dark rooms with closed eyes to think and feel this nothingness of theirs. Hence the pantheism (of the Tibetans and other Eastern peoples); and the Spinozism which subsequently arose through metaphysical sublimation of the same. Both are closely related to the extremely old system of emanation of allliuman souls from the divinity (and its eventual resorption in the same).) vVhile Kant believed that it was Fa who was repeatedly incarnated in the Tibetan' lamas, he apparently was not yet able to link the lamas to other pieces of the mosaic such as the Siamese and Burmese Talapoins who venerate an erstwhile Talapoin called Sommona Cada71z,l8 Ceylonese monks who visit the footprint of their "God Budda,")9 and so on. But he was fascinated by the religion of the Siberian Kalmylcs and Mongols and its center in "Barantola"40: In Barantola, or as others call it, in the Potala resides the great supreme priest of the MongolTartars, the very image of the pope. The priests of this religion, who have spread from this region of Tartary to the Chinese sea, are called Lamas; this religion seems to be catholic Christianity degenerated into the blindest heathendom. They maintain that God has a son who came into the world as a man and lived as a beggar but was solely preoccupied with' making people blissful [selig]. In the end he reportedly was raised to heaven.

l5 Schwabe (ed.), Allgemeine Histo";e del' Reisen zu Wasse,' zmd zu Lande; od,,' Sa11Z71,izmg all,,' Reisebescb,'eibungen (Leipzig: Arkstee & Merleus, 1750): vol. 6, 368-369. 36 Pierre Bayle, Dictionnaire histohque et c)'itique (Rotterdam: R. Leers, 1702): 2769, s.v.

"Spinoza." 17 Kant, W"'ke, voL 8, 335 (Das Ende all,,' Dinge, first published 1794). )S Kant, We,'ke, voL 9, 385-386 (Physical Geography). )9. Kant, We"ke, vol. 9, 394 (Physical Geography) .. 40 See note 14 above.


Gmelin41 himself heard this from a Lama. They also have a mother ';f this savior and make likenesses of her. They also have the rosary. The missionaries also report that they.posit a threefoldness in the divine essence and that the Dalai Lama administers a certain sacrament with bread and wine enjoyed only by him."

Though Kant reported some of this in a skeptical tone and thought that "what some travelers report, namely that the adherents of this creed carry the excrements of the Lama on them as a fine powder in boxes which they spread on their food" was probably no more than "simple slander,''''' there is not much evidence of a personal opinion at this point. But it must be emphasized that the "Diktattext" simply represents a basis of notes for Kant's lectures. In the lectures themselves he often introduced more recent information and contrasting viewpoints. Herder's notes from Kant's 1763-1764 lectures 44 are a case in point; they show that near the beginning of his career Kant already had a less confused picture of the religious geography of Asia than Hegel in the early 1820s: The [Chinese] national religion is that of the Fo or the Lamas; Xaca in Japan; Fo in Tartary; Brama in Ceylon; Sommonacodom in Siam probably is a man who had formerly lived and still animates the Lamma in Tartary, and as Sommonacadom in Siam a Talepoin. The supreme priest in Tibet (Daleylamma) is a living Fo, sits in the dark like God, underneath lamps; the Lammas are subordinated to him as the eternal father; they have a rite with bread and wine; also incarnation, or more properly enthusiasm [Begeisterung] of the Lamma. They believe in transmigration of souls [Seelenwanderung]; (so also Fo) = sect which approaches nothingness [Sekte, die sich dem Nichts ntfhen] 45 Herder's hasty notes are not without ambiguity, but Kant's overall view was dearly , influenced by La Croze, Astley/Schwabe, and de Guignes: 46 A Talepoin (Sommonacodom) seems to be one with many others: the Fo of China; Xaca ofJapan; Budda of Ceylon; and the Daleylamma is a living Fo:'
41 Kant refers to Johann Georg Gmelin (1709-1755), the German botanist and explorer of Siberia. 42 Kant, vV;".ke, vol. 9, 404 (Physical Geography). 43 Kant, vVerke, vol. 9, 405 (Physical Geography), 44 These notes form part of Herder's manuscript remains at the Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin (Kapsel XXv, no. 44): Notes from Kant's lectures' on physical geography. See Hans Dietrich Irmscher & Emil Adler, Der handschriftliche Nachlass Johann Gottfried Herders: Katalog CWiesbaden: Harassowitz, 1979): 195. 45 Herder, Kant lecture notes, Kapsel XXv, no. 44: 5v. Thanks to vVerner Starke for sharing his German draft transcription from the microfilms on which this translation is based, Abbreviations and punctuation were adapted to increase legibility. 46 In the Herder notes (Kapsel XXv, no, 44: 51) Kant also mentioned de Guignes's book on the Egyptian origin of the Chinese: lVIemoir'e dans lequel on p,'ouve, que les Chinois sont une colonie egyptienne (Paris: Desaint & Saillant, 1760). 47 Herder, Kant lecture notes, Kapsel XXv, no. 44: 6r.

The Tibet of the Philosophers: Kant; Hegel, and SchopenhaueT


Tibet as Mankind's Al'k

Reports that Tibet was the destination of pilgrims from various surrounding countries were numerous; Andrade, for example, had written in 1626 that he accompanied Indians on their pilgrimage toward Tibet.4B For Kant this was an important confirmation of Tibet's antiquity.
It is the most elevated land, was also probably inhabited earlier than any other, and could even be the original seat [Stammsitz] of all culture and science. The learning of the Indians, in particular, stems with great likelihood from Tibet, as on the other hand all our arts seem to have come from India, for example agriculture, numbers, the game of chess, etc. It is believed that Abraham hailed from the frontiers ofHindustan. 49

Already in the 16,h century Guillaume Postel had suggested that Abraham was the ancestor of the Brahmins or Abrahamins and that some Indian books were older than the deluge;50 but like Martino Martini a century later51 and the Jesuit figurists in his wake,s' Postel did not want to undermine the validity of the Old Testament but rather defend it. Though such defense became increasingly costly, the basic course of history from a golden age (paradise) via degeneration (the fall, etc.) to regeneration remained unchanged, and the geographical center of the whole enterprise was naturally Israel. But during the 17'h and the first half of tlle 18'h centuries, in the run-up to Kant's trailblazing lectures on physical geography, the situation took an ominous turn. 53 This change of outlook was not only due to travelers who were exploring the customs and religions of foreign lands but also to scientists like Buffon who gave increasing importance to the "book of nature." Furthermore, in Kant's time the traditional view was frontally attacked by Burne's Natu1'al Hist017 of Religion (1757) and its persuasive argument that religion had not begun with pure monotheism and god-given wisdom somewhere near Jerusalem but rather with primitive cults everywhere that were mainly driven by fear of accidents and natural

48 Hugues Didier, Les pom'gais au Tibet. Les pTemi'TeS 1'elations jesuites (1624-1635) (Paris: Chandeigne, 1996): 42. 49 Kant, We,ke, va!. 9, 228. For sources on Abraham and India see Glasenapp, Kant, 73 and Adickes, Untemtebungen, 189. The Indian origin of chess was first argued by Freret in 1719; see the references in Wilhelm Halbfass, India and Emope (New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1990): 472 note 25. 50 Guillaume Postel, De 01"iginibus seu de va7'ia et potissimum o1"bi Latino ad bane diem

incognita, aut inconsydeTata bistoria, quztrlz totius 07"-ientis, tum nUl,;'Cime Tat"tarorunt, Penan177t, TzwCaTZtnZ, &' OmniU17t Abl1tbami &' Noacbi alzmznont1lt oTigines, &' myste1-ia Bracbmanunt rete-

gente: Quod ad gentium, litenmtn'que quib.

utzmtu1~ Tationes attinet (Basel: J. Oporin, 1553): 70. See also Daniel Georg Morhof, Po1yhist01~ iiteTfl1'ius, pbilosopbieus et pmeticus (Lubeck: Peter Boeckmann, 1708): va!. 1, 50-51. 51 Ivlariino Martini, Sinicae bist01'ia decas p"ima (Munich: Lucas Straub, 1658). 52 See for example Claudia von Collani, Die Figzwisten in del' Cbinilmission (Frankfurt a. M.I Bern: Lang, 1981). 53 See my forthcoming monograph on Europe's IS rl'-century discovery of Asian religions.



disasters, Instead of a golden age followed by degeneration and marked by decadent plagiarism, a model of gradual progress from primitive beginnings gained adherents-a model, incidentally, that had prominent forerunners in pagan Greece and Rome. Kant, the avid reader of Hamann's translation ofHume's treatise, was among them;54 and Tibet as the nursery of mankind was about to take on some of the vibrant hues of Eden, With the shift of the world's center of historical gravity from the Mediterranean region to the mountains of Asia, Hebrew also gradually lost its status of being mankind's original language. 55 If all of the arts and even Abraham had come from the mountains north ofIndia, why not also language? For Kant this was only logical: China, Persia and India received their inhabitants from there. Here and nowhere else one ought to look for the trunk-roots of all primal languages [Ui'spmchenJ of Asia and Europe .... Abraham probably lived in the environs ofIndia, and his parentage with Brahma might not just be one of name. 56 Of course Sanskrit offered itself as an attractive candidate; long before vVilliamJones, the Italian Sassetti,57 the German Benjamin Schulze" and Father Cceurdom: from France s9 had detected a relationship between Sanskrit and European languages, and Kant had read in de la Loubere's travel account that Sanskrit could be the mother of all living Indian languages. 60 Thus it is hardly surprising that Kant thought that "Sanskrit has a quite definite quality and seems to be related to alllanguages."61 Another facet of this momentous shift concerned the traditional view of the origin of human races. How was it possible that in just a few thousand years the descendants of three sons of Noah could have acquired such diverse features and multiplied so much? Characteristically, Kant's 1775 treatise About the dif!emzt Races of iVlankind starts out with Buffon and seems to ignore the biblical narrative completely. However, underneath the scientific and speculative surface the remnants of the traditional worldview still show through: mankind's monogenetic origin (Kant's "original species" [Stmnmgattzmg]); a region warm enough for the naked first couple; and a catastrophic universal flood. 62 Kant, Wedee, voL 18, 428, See the brief overview of this process in Maurice Olender, The Languages of Pm'adise (New York: Other Press, 1992): 1-11. 56 Cited in Glasenapp, Kant, 73 from Vollmer's 1816 edition of Kant's physical geography lectures (see Adickes, Unte1"Suchzmgen, 11-12). See note 50 for the source of this idea. 57 Theodor Benfey, Geschichte de1' Spl'achwissenschaft und del' o1"ientalischen Philologie in Deutschland (Munich: Cotta, 1861): 222-223 and 333. Sassetti had been in India from 1583 to

58 Benfey, Geschichte der Spmchwissenschaft, 261 and 336-338. In 1741 Schulze published the first Hindi grammar in Madras. 59 Benfey, Geschichte del' Spmchwissenschaft, 341. Coeurdoux's treatise comparing Sanskrit with Latin and Greek was read before the French Academy in 1768. 60 Glasenapp, Kant, 29-30. 61 Ms. 2599: 327 (Adickes Ms. Q); cited after Glasenapp, Kant, 29.' 62 Kant, Wel'ke, vol. 2, 440 (Von den vel'schiedenen Racen de," IVIensche,,). Kant here situated this region between the 31" and 52 nd degree of latitude.

The Tibet of tbe Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer

The native of Hindustan can be seen as originating from one of the oldest human races. His land, which to the north borders on a high mountain range ... (and to which I add to the north Tibet, possibly the general shelter of the human race during the last great revolution affecting our earth, and its nursery thereafter) features, in a temperate region, the most perfect watershed (drainage to two seas) " .. In the remotest antiquity it thus could be dry and habitable .... So it was here that over long periods of time a solid human race could be formed. 6J


Kant's speculations were soon boosted by those of Jean-Sylvain Bailly, a renowned historian of science who later became mayor of Paris. Published in the same year as Kant's treatise on human races, Bailly's multi-volume Hist01J1 of Ancient Astronomy'4 created quite a stir through its claim that the cradle of humankind was situated around the 49,h degree of latitude in Siberia. Though he seemed to have thrown the Old Testament overboard, Bailly's edifice rested on the old idea of a period of great wisdom at a very early time in human history; traces of this wisdom, he claimed, had survived in the form of the surprisingly advanced astronomical knowledge of antiquity. Bailly's enterprise shows some similarity to 20 th-century fantasies about extraterrestrials,65 which hold that mankind's supposedly very advanced ancient knowledge can only be explained by the influence of a "teacher" group. In Bailly's case these teachers were not extraterrestrials but rather the divinely inspired original human race hailing from Siberia. Like his modern successors, Bailly found "proofs" of his hypothesis just about everywhere; but in his case the data did not point to outer space but rather to North Asia whose celestiil phenomena appeared to match ancient observations. According to Buffon's theory the earth's poles had cooled first and could provide shelter to our naked ancestors. Bailly held that in mankind's Siberian cradle surprisingly advanced observational knowledge had accumulated and that later this knowledge had taken refuge in Tibet, where it survived the great flood and subsequently made its way to India and China-a scenario supported by the pilgrimages by Indians and Chinese to Tibet. 66 Tibet thus became, to put it provocatively, the enlightened European's Ark of Noah. Bailly's stunning theories seemed to confirm Kant's view of this region's "white-skinned yet brunette inhabitants"67 as the remnants of the original human species from which all known pure and~mixed races stem. 68

63 Kant, We1ke,vo!. 2, 439. Jean Sylvain Bailly, Histoire dd'astrononzie ancienne (Paris: Debure, 1775). 65 See for example Erich von Daniken, In Seal'cb of tbe Gods (New York: Avenel Books,

66 Preface by translator C. E. Wunsch to Jean Sylvain Bailly, Des Herr" Bailly Aufsebers iibeT den kO'niglichen Bildersaal wie auch deT kO'niglichen Akadenzie del' vVissenscbaften ZZl Pm'is Zlnd des Instituts ZZl Bologlle Nlitgliedes Gescbicbte deT Sternlamde des Altel'tbunts his auf die E1'7'icbtlmg del' Sol"tle zuAlexand1'ie1l (Leipzig: Schwickert, 1777); see Glasenapp, Kant, 27-28. 67 Kant, Werke, vo!' 2, 441. 68 Kant, We,'ke, voL 2, 432-434 and 440-441. For changes in Kant's view of races see Adickes, UmersZtcbu1lgen, 194-197.



Bible-based chronology had long been under discussion and sometimes attack, but Chinese historical records-which, according to some Jesuit experts, predated the deluge-had shocked many l7 th -century Europeans. It is in this context that astronomical information gained in importance as a tool for nailing down dates in the dawn of time. This is why Bailly's well-documented claims regarding the character and accuracy of ancient astronomical data attracted much attention in Kant's time and beyond. 69 When Kant lent his copy of Bailly's History of Astronomy to a friend in the summer of 1777 he urged him to take note of the North-Asian origin of science and to return the book expeditiously.?O His interest is understandable since Bailly's History of Astronomy appeared to confirm Kant's long-held view that the human race had survived the latest global catastrophe in the highest plains of Asia, which thus had to be the homeland not only of the Chinese, Persians, and Indians but of all humankind: Nowhere else than here ought one to locate the genetic roots of all original languages of Asia and Europe. It is from here that the Indian [religion] and all our religions came, learning, agriculture, numbers, chess, etc.... Pilgrimages are always made to the place of origin of a religion. The Europeans make pilgrimages to Jerusalem, the muslims to Mecca, the old Egyptians formerly to Abessinia ... and the Indians to Tibet, to the temple in the center of the city of Lhassa.71 Instead of India, which Voltaire in 1761 had famously declared to be the home of the most ancient and purest religion and the cradle of all civilizations,?' Kant in the 1780s came to regard Tibet as the mother of all homelands since it had given birth to the "pure basis and fundamental conception" of the Brahmanic religion. 7) Spurious texts like the EZOll1'Veda77Z 74 and Holwell's Cbm7:ab Bbade of Bmlmw75 were

69 Bailly followed up his Hist01j with his Lew'es sm' l'origine des sciences, et sur celle des peuples de l'Asie (Paris: Debure, 1777) and the Lettres sttl" l'Atlantide de Platon et S7". l'ancienne bistoire de l'Asie (London: E. Elmesly, 1779). In the latter the whole edifice is linked to Plato's Atlantis legend. 70 Kant, vVe"ke, vol. 10,209; letter to A. J. Penzel of August 12, 1777. 71 This passage is from Vollmer's 1816 edition of Kant's physical geography lectures which in general is a source of little value (see Adickes, Untenuchungen, 11-12). However, this line of argument is supported by various other sources; see Glasenapp, Kant, 72-77. In 1773, Voltaire expressed a similar opinion about the Indian origin of numbers, chess, the first principles of geometry, etc.; see Halhfass, India and Em'ope, 59. n Halbfass, India and EZl7'ope, 57-58. 7J Ms. 1296: 314 (Adickes Ms. 0); cited after Glasenapp, Kant, 38. 74 Guillaume Emmanuel Sainte-Croix (ed.), L'Ezozw-Vedam on Ancien C071lmentaire du Vedal", contenant l'exposition des opinions religieuses & pbilosopbiques des Indiens (Yverdon: De Felice, 1778). 75 John Zephaniah Holwell, Interesting hist01'ical events, "elative to tbe provinces of Bengal, and the emph'e of Indostan (London: Becket & De Hondt, 1767, part 2). A German translation appeared in 1778: Holwells merkwiinlige tmd bisto"isc"e Nacb1'ichten von Hindostan Zlnd Bengalen, nebst ehw- BeschTeibung de?' Religionslehren, det Nlythologie, etc. (Leipzig: Weygandsche Buchhandlung, 1778).

The Tibet of the Philosoph en: Kam, Hegel, and Scbopenbazte7


earnestly discussed by men like Voltaire, Bailly, Raynal, and Herder as expressions of ancient monotheism; but what had happened to this creed? And what relation did it have to the present religion of the Lamas in Tibet which, according to La Croze, was "a veritable paganism so similar in many respects to that of the Indies that there are authors who do not distinguish them at all"? 76 In Kant's view, the pure ancient religion of Tibet had made its way to India where it had become "mixed with many superstitious things several hundred years before Christ's birth, things which were in part supposed to be symbolic but ended up being objects of devotion."n The instigator of this mLx-up was none other than "Buda" who 300 years before Christ brought about in India a change of religion which almost immediately propagated itself back to Tibet." As a close reader of La Croze and de Guignes, Kant knew well that this "Buda" was identical with the Gotama of Burma, Samana Gotama of Siam, Butso and Shaka of Japan, Fo of China, and the Burchan of Tibet and Tartary.79 But how did Tibetan religion end up as the strange pseudo-Christian mishmash of which Kant got the latest news in the travel accounts of Pallas and Bogle?SO Had there been, after the Buddhist' conquest of Tibet in pre-Christian times, a second religious invasion of mankind's originally pure cradle-this tim~ by Catholics or by Christian heretics? At this stage, "the Lamaist religion" seemed to Kant "one of the strangest phenomena on this globe" and a showcase "that with regard to religion man has tried out just about any absurdity one could think of"" Although few details of such "absurdities" are mentioned it is clear that Kant was actually rather well informed about religious practices of the Tibetans which were not mentioned in the usual travel accounts. vVbat was his source of information? In student notes as well as Kant's own writings the name of the German scientist Peter Simon Pallas occasionally pops up. Pallas (1741-1811) was famous for his 1777 study on the formation of mountains in which he wrote that the granite peaks of the Himalayas had never been touched by any flood and that the southern slopes of the Himalayas were likely to be "the first homeland of the human race and of the white

La Croze, Histo;"e du cbTistianimze des Indes, 518. Ms. 2599: 237 (Adickes Ms. Q); approx. from 1781. Cited after Glasenapp, Kant, 33. 78 Ms. 1296: 310 (Adickes Ms. 0); after Glasenapp, Kant, 58. 79 Ms. 1729: 156 (Adickes Ms. S); Ms. 2599: 310, 329 (Adiclees Q); see Glasenapp, Kant, 59. Regarding Burchan see also Ms 2599: 309 (Adiclees Q); Glasenapp, Kant, 75. 80 Peter Simon Pallas, Sammlungen bistoTiscber NacbTicbten iih,,' die nzongoliscben VolkeTschaften (St. Petersburg: Kaiserliche Akademie der vVissenschaften, 1776): voL 1. For Bogle-related sources see Adickes, Untenucbungen, 121. In such reports Kant learned about the three head Lamas (Dalai, Taisha, and Bogdo Lama), etc. See Ms. 2582a: 63b and Ms. Dohna: 216 cited in Glasenapp, Kant, 76. 81 Ms. 2599: 309 (Adiclees Ms. Q); approx. from 1781. Cited after Glasenapp, Kant, 75. Kant might have been thinldng of the Tibetan prayer wheels which he described as similar to Christian pilgrimages to Loretto or Jerusalem. Immanuel Kant, Die Religion inne1'halh der' Grenzen deT bloflen Vennmft (Stuttgart: Reclam, 1974): 228-229. The original edition was published in 1793.
76 77



humans."" But he was also the author of a three-volume illustrated travel account of his explorations of the Russian East S) and a two-volume study of the history and culture of Mongolia which contains some of the earliest accurate depictions of Tibetan Buddhist statuary (see pI. 10).84 Kant certainly read the former, which confirmed that pea-sized black "holy pills (Schalirr)" were imported from Tibet and given by Lamaist clergy to the rich and noble suffering from very grave illnesses." This information formed part of Pallas's pioneering 33-page survey of Tibetan Buddhism as practiced by the Kalmyks which included not only accounts of Tibetan cosmogony, apocalypse, and doctrine (as relayed by a Christian Kalmyk) but also a wealth of first-hand observations by Pallas and his collaborators on clergy, rituals, and religious customs 86

Tibet at tbe Crossroads

Toward the end of his lecturing years Kant came across a worthy successor to Kircher's China Illustmta: Father Antonio Giorgi's Alphabetzmz Tibetammz." This is' not just a book about Tibetan letters but rather an ABC of all things Tibetan, a very rich' source of information, disinformation and speculation that exerted a great influence on the Tibet image of the aging philosopher. In particular, Giorgi addressed the mystery of Tibetan religion, which to Kant appeared so exceedingly strange. Struggling with the discrepancy between Asian sources (which held that Shakyamuni Buddha lived six or even ten centuries before Christ's birth) and the views of de Guignes (which regarded even the reputedly most fundamental text of Buddhism, the Forty-Two-Cbaptel' Sutm, as a concoction 'of early Christian times),88 Giorgi came up with an ingenious theory powerful enough to confuse some of the

82 Pallas, Ubel' die Bescbaffenbeit del' Gebi1-ge ztnd die Vel'iindemngen del' vVeltkztgel (Leipzig: Geest & Portig, 1986): 32. 8J Pallas, Reise dul'cb verscbiedene P,'ovinzen des Russiscben Reichs in den Jabl'en 1768-74 (St. Petersburg: Kaiserliche Akademie der vVissenschaften, 1771-1776). Reprint Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1967. 84 Pallas, Sa11Z11Zizt71gen bistol'iscbel' NaclJ1-icbten iiber die mongoliscben Viilkerscbaften (St. Petersburg: Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1776 and 1801). Reprint Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1980. 85 Pallas, Reise, vol. 1,358; Kant Ms. Ub 9: 187a (Adickes Ms. T); summer of 1793. Cited after Glasenapp, Kant, 75. Kircher had reported that Tibetans wear pellets of the excrement of the Dalai Lama as talismans around their necks and mi." his urine with their food. Kircher, Cbina Illustrata, 67. 86 Pallas, Reise, vol. 1, 333-364. 87 Augustinus Antonius Giorgi, Alpbabetwn Tibetanzt111 missiontlm apostolicant,n c011Zmodo editzmz. p1~ae11tissa est disquisitio qua de Va1~io litteraru'm ac regionis nomine, gentis oTigine 71t01~i bus, s'ltperstitione, ac lVlanichaeis71Zo fuse disse1~itzw: Beausobrii calu7nniae in sanctu77Z Augustinu7n, aliosque ecclesiae patl'es refutantuT (Rome: Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, 1762). Latin reprint edition by Rudolf Kaschewsky (Cologne: Editiones Una Voce, 1987) and German translation by Peter Lindegger (Rikon: Tibet-Institut; 2001). 88 De Guignes, Risto;,'e gthu!mle des Runs, vol. 2, 233-234.

The Tibet of the Philosoph en: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenbauel'


Fig. 1: Pallas: Sm1Z7"lzmgen bistorisclm' Nacbricbten vol. 1 (1771): Plate 10

brightest minds of the age: the two-Buddha theory. Faced with the danger that malevolent Europeans or Asians could portray Christianity as a plagiarism of the far older Buddhist religion,S9 Father Giorgi decided that he needed "to conclusively pulverize and eradicate" this "heresy which has extended widely across the lands of the Scythians, India, Tartary and Tibet, from the riverbeds of the Indus to the Chinese and Japanese at the extremity of world.,,90 Ieis with this ambitious purpose in mind that Giorgi ,established the thesis that "there are two Buttas or Xacas and that the Tibetans mixed up the first with the second."9! Giorgi's thesis, proposed in 1762, was a courageous attempt to shore up once more the centrality of the Eastern Mediterranean: the "old" Buddha is linked, mostly by hilarious etymological contortions, to the Egyptian Osiris, whereas the "younger" Buddha is none other than a distorted image of Jesus Christ." While the "old" Buddha was an amalgam of the worst paganism Egypt and Greece had to offer, including the ridiculous idea of transmigration, the "younger" Buddha was a parody of the Son of God from Israel. Word of him had reached India and China "around 60 A.D.," and without delay "his name and fame came to the ear of the Tibetans" who "soon afterwards received images brought to Lhasa from both India
go See for example Simon de la Loubere, Du Ro)'au17le de Sia11Z, vol. 1, 413; and Astley, Collection, vol. 4, 220-221. 90 Giorgi, Alpbabetu11Z Tibetanzmz, x..'C (Lindegger trans., xxv). 9! Giorgi, Alpbabetzt17l Tibetanu11Z, xx (Lindegger trans., x..wi). As mentioned above, de

Guignes inspired this theory; but a different two-Buddha scheme was already proposed by Kaempfer (The Hist01Y ofJapan, 37). 92 Giorgi, AlphabetZt11Z Tibetanzmz, xxii (Lindegger trans'., 1Lwii'xxviii).



Genesis only to show (among others to his erstwhile pupil Herder) that one eQuId just as well do without it; and his Religion vVithin tbe Li77Zits ofiWere Reason presents a view of religion which, in Kant's pointed phrase, "makes use of everything including the Bible ... or also some other book if there is a better one of the kind."lOl The word of God had become one source among others and could, just like other sacred texts, be dispensed with. Religion had become "reified," an object of detached study; thus different religions could be studied just like different languages. 102 One outcome of this comparative perspective was that Christian customs could appear just as strange as Tibetan ones:

vVhether the bigot performs his statutory visit to the cburch or goes on pilgrimage to the sanctuaries of Loretto or Palestine; whether he offers his prayer formulas to the heavenly authorities with his lips or, like the Tibetan (who believes that these wishes do their job just as well in written form if they are written on something and moved, for example on flags by the wind or enclosed in a box by hand as a whirling machine) with a prayer wheel: whatever the surrogate of moral service to God it may be, it all comes to the same and has the same value.lOl Humankind's Tibetan cradle, it would seem, was no more than a step away from Jerusalem and Loretto.

HEGEL In the 1820s when G.WF. Hegel (1770-1831) prepared his courses on the philosophy of world history and the philosophy of religion (student notes of which constitute our main sources for his view of Tibet and its religion) the search for origins was still in full swing. Hegel's friend Friedrich Creuzer (1771-1858), for example, continued tracing the roots of Greek mythology to some ancient monotheism of Indian origin,I04 and the geographer Carl Ritter processed massive amounts of source material to support his related thesis that a prehistoric monotheism whose God was called "Buddha" had spread from India to other parts of Asia and even to Europe. lOS Ritter's ideas were inspired by Giorgi's two-Buddha theory, but under the geographer's pen Giorgi's idolatrous old Buddha of Egyptian origin 106 had mor101 Kant, Die Religion innerbalb de,' Grenzen d,,' blofen Vennmft (Stuttgart: Reclam, 1974): 12-13 (first publis.hed 1793). 102 Kant, Die Religion, 163. 10) Kant, Die Religion, 228-229. 104 Georg Friedrich Creuzer, Symbolik zmd Mytbologie del' aften Volker, besondeTS d,," G,"iecben, 4 vols. (Leipzig & Darmstadt: Heyer & Leske, 1810-1812). Hegel was using the revised and substantially enlarged edition of 1819-1825. 105 Carl Ritter, Die Vo,"halle ezwopiiisch,," VoJleezgeschicbten vo," Herodotus, 1tm den Kaukasus zmd an den Gestaden des Pont"s [Ante-chamber of the histories of European peoples before Herodotus, around the Caucasus and on the shores of the Pontus] (Berlin: G. Reimer, 1820). 106 Giorgi, Alpbabetzmz Tibetanzt1n, xxii (Lindegger trans., xxviii).

The Tibet of the Pbilosophen' Kant, Hegel, and Scbopenbaue1"


phed into God Himself, the creator and protagonist of the world's original monotheism. This monotheistic "old Buddha-teaching," so Ritter proposed, formed the root of all ancient religions. It thus constituted the first of Ritter's three periods of Buddha: "the Central Asian teaching of the One God, the Old Buddha." Reaching "back to the oldest prehistoric times" it was "preserved or mentioned in the dogmas of the oldest legal and religious documents of the Indians, Persians, and Hebrews, partly in accord and partly in contrast with each other, as for example regarding the dogma of the great deluge."107 vVhile few monuments apart from stupas, myths (the deluge etc.), and words (Buddha = Bod = Sur = Koros, etc.) remained of the monotheistic Buddha cult of this first period, Ritter's second stag'e is amply documented in Greek texts which already mention two kinds of adherents, Sanzanaeans and Bmchnzans. This second phase was characterized by a growing cult of idols and a gradual decline of original monotheism triggered by the "flowering of Brahminical and Zoroastrian wisdom."108 Ritter's third period of Buddhism took place in the "centuries around the birth of Christ when Manichaeans, Arrians, and Greek philosophical sects mingled with it and put a new cloak on the 0Id.",o9 This periodization attempted to overcome some of the problems posed by the various datings of Buddha, different branches of his religion, and their relation to India's living religions. In Ritter's eyes the original monotheistic cult of Buddha had thus undergone profound changes; and the (in his view) more recent Brahmanism was a major reason for its degeneration. Nevertheless, elements of original monotheistic Buddhism had survived in Indian folk beliefs. But rather than in India itself, primeval monotheism "was preserved purer and longer in certain mountainous asylums on the continent or on islands."llo For Ritter, Tibet and Ceylon were thus also a kind of Ark-but the God of this Ark was, interestingly enough, a monotheistic version of Giorgi's "old Buddha." As it happened, Ritter's wild associations of names 'll and the resulting "Buddhisms" became a major factor in Hegel's classification troubles during the early 1820s. Under the influence of his precocious friend Schelling, Hegel had at the beginning of the 19,h century developed a blueprint for his philosophical system. Spurred on by his friend's system enthusiasm, and inspired by Kant and Fichte, he wanted to trace the unfolding of the absolute which he called "spirit." From the outset Hegel's narrative was a fundamentally optimistic tale of progress from primitive beginnings to a lofty goal, a tale which combined Greek optimism, the Humean perspective on 107 Ritter, Vorballe, 26-27. On the background of monotheistic interpretation of Buddhism see my forthcoming monograph on the 18'h-centnry discovery of Asian religions. 108 Ritter, Vol"halle, 27. 109 Ritter, Vorhalle, 27. IlO Ritter, Vorhalle, 84-85. III Hegel was well aware of the dangers of this method; see G.WF. Hegel, Vodeszmgen. Ausgewiihlte Nachsch1iften und NlanZts!eripte, voL 12: Vodesungen iiber die Pbilosophie der Weltgescbicbte (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 1996): 222 where Hegel praises Ritter's Vorhalle while acknowledging that "this is a very shaky field, very treacherous, little attested, since often kinships are established solely on the basis of sounds."



primitive religion, and an outlook on history that acknowledged God's i~carnation in Bethlehem as the pivotal event. All of this was cast in the terminology of German idealism. In his Phenomenology Hegel showed "the route that consciousness needs to travel in order to rise from the lowest level to the highest," a journey which appears like a "complete passage from the ABC of sensory certainty to the wisdom of absolute knowledge" in which "all way stations, classes, and lessons" are neatlrlined up.ll2 The lessons of sensory perception engendered discernment (Verstand); discernment led to self-consciousness and to Feason (Vernunft); this opened up the rich life of "spirit" (Geist) that blossomed in art and religion; and finally the paradise of "absolute knowledge" (absolutes l/Vissen) is reached: the lofty aim of the journey both of individual humans and the universe as a whole.ll3 Already in Hegel's Phenomenology such stages of consciousness had a tendency to suddenly incarnate themselves as concrete patterns of world history; self-consciousness, for example, made an appearance as oriental despotism. Oi:her works by Hegel such as his Logic show the same kind of linkage:1l4 somehow the events of world history find a way to form neat patterns that fit Hegel's philosophical constructs like a glove. As the examination of Hegel's views of Buddhism will show, this tendency of adjusting world history and religions or philosophies to fit the changing needs of his system became even more dominant in the professor's last decade. In the 1820s, when he held his Berlin lectures on the philosophy of world history and the philosophy of religion, the history of our planet and of its religions formed a neat series of way stations and lessons on the Spirit's trajectory. While their sequence could be rearranged if the need arose, the general geographical direction of this journey pointed, as with most romantics, from East to West, though Hegel's compass was firmly locked onto Prussia and its "perfect religion." But even the most accomplished adult had once been a messy child and was likely to remember some of the lessons that needed to be digested on the way to maturity and wisdom. For Hegel, Asia and its religions were such early stations on the highway to perfection: snapshots of mankind's childhood and monuments of the Spirit's dialectic progress. Asia was, so to speak, the grade school of humanity, and Hegel set out to present its curriculum to his students. "While preparing for the lectures-which kept him busy during much of the last decade of his life-he worked through great amounts of material in order to understand the lessons of Asia, condense them into a series of "principles," and thus define the Oriental way stations of the Spirit.ll5 With regard to Tibet and Buddhism Hegel relied on the collections of missionary and' travel accounts1l6 which Kant had so much used; but he also studied Abbe Grosier's
RudolfHaym, Hegel und seine Zeit (Berlin: R. Gaermer, 1857): 236. Haym, Hegel, 236. 114 Haym, Hegel, 321-322. 1I5 See the bibliographies of Hegel's sources on Asia in Michel Hulin, Hegel et l'Orient (Paris: Vrin,c 1979): '218-221; Reinhard Leuze, Die aufler6hristlichen Religionen hei Hegel (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1975): 247-249; Ignatius Viyagappa, G, w: F. Hegel's concept o[Indian Philosophy (Rome: Universita Gregoriana, 1980): 266-274; and the editions of student notes of Hegel's lectures cited below. 116 Schwabe, Allgemeine Historie, vols. 6 & 7.

The Tibet of the PhilosopheTs: Kant, Hegel, and SchopenhaueT


General Desc1'iption of China, 117 collections of recent news from China missionaries,1I8 arid more recent articles and reviews from the Asiatick Reseanhes, the Journal des Savants, and the Jozwnal Asiatique. So: INhere in mankind's education did Tibet and its religion fit in, what were the lessons, and how did Hegel's view of them evolve? These questions will be addressed based on student notes from Hegel's lectures on the philosophy of world history and the philosophy of religion given between 1822 and 1831. 119

The Religion ofFa, "Buddhismus," and Lamaism

Though Hegel had earlier expressed scattered opinions about Asia and its religions, it is in his lectures on the philosophy of world history of 1822/23 that a first image of Tibet emerges. He began the cycle by proclaiming "general world history, not reflections about it" (3)120 as the object of his lectures. But it immediately became clear that the professor's world view and system needs were determining history rather than the other way around. Thus the Christians were from the outset assigned a very special role in Hegel's enterprise: The Christians are thus initiated into the mysteries' of God; since the essence [vVesen1of God is revealed by the Christian religion, the key to world history is also given to us because it is the unfolding of his nature into a particular element. (23) The "final goal of history" (24) was thus fixed from the beginning, and it comes as no surprise that the starting shot of Hegel's world history rang out when the planks of Noah's Ark creaked on l'vlount Ararat as the waters receded just a few thousmi.d years ago (123-4). From China to Egypt all ancient cultures had to dance to the traditional timetable: China's history began in 2201 BeE, Egypt's in 2207, Assyria's in 2221, India's in 2204 ... (129). Though the philosopher informed his audience that "as one looks at history and the world, so history looks back at one," (21) he appears not to have grasped the deep implications of this insight for his own enterprise. Looking at world history as the course of a day, its birth appeared in the East where Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Grosier, DesC1'iption gem!",le de la Cbine, 2 vols. (Paris: Moutard,


118 Charles Batteux & Louis George Brequigny (eds.), Nlbnoires concenzant !'bistoi,'e, les sciences, les a1'ts, les "'lEurs, les usages ... des Cbinois (Paris: Nyon aine, 1776-1791). 119 Though some sets of student notes from Hegel's last decade have recently been critically compiled and published, much work remains to be done. In particular, the detailed study of Hegel's developing view of Buddhism would necessitate research on many unpublished note manuscripts, for example those used by Lassen for the compilation of Hegel's remarks about the "Mongolian Principle" (see below). 120 G.W.F. Hegel, Vorleszmgen. Aztsgewiiblte NacbscbTiften zmd iVlanztskTipte, vol. 12: Vo"lesungen tiber die Pbilosopbie deT Weltgeschichte, eds. Karl Heinz Dting, Karl Brehmer & Hoo Nam Seelmann (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 1996). Page numbers in parentheses in the text of this section refer to this book.



the sun rises ("The dawn of Spirit is in the East" [121]) and its goal in Berlin where the sun sets. INhen looking at history as a human lifespan, history revealed its babyhood in East Asia, its childhood in Central Asia, its youth in Greece, its manhood in Rome, and its ripe old age-where else?-in the German Reich (114-117). Fashioning such a custom-made world history and fitting it into an almost medieval time frame required intensive reading about Asia, an area which Hegel had hitherto neglected as he had focused on phenomena closer to history's "final purpose" (24). On December 22 of 1822 he wrote in a letter to a friend in Hamburg: My lectures about philosophy cause much work for me. In quarto and octavo volumes, I am still dealing with the Indian and Chinese character. But it is 'for me an interesting and pleasurable business to let the peoples of this world parade before me; but I do not yet quite know how to manage to treat them all up to the present age until Easter. l2l Although Hegel's history began with Asia, he paid less attention to ~mountains and high plains than had Kant and Bailly: It is possible that on the slopes of mountains leading to the valley plains one could historically show an earlier existence of peoples; but only moral existence [das sittlicbe Dasein] is historical, and thus only a moral people first elicits our interest. Such a one is first found in the valleys and river plains. (121) Hegel's "parade of peoples" was tightly bound to his concept of history heading toward a final purpose ("what God wanted with this world" [24]) and stages with particular meanings. vVhat he had in mind was not a random sequence of events but rather, to put it in a modern term, "intelligent design": an ascending line of actualizations of Spirit in which "each world-historic people is apportioned a necessary principle. These principles have a necessary temporal sequence and also a concrete spatial definition, a geographical position" (91). In Hegel's "geography of world history" (91), each country with its people and religion represents such a "necessary principle": a well-defined step on a staircase to the near-perfect actualization of Spirit in Christianity and Prussia. Primitive mountain people without an organized state were of course excluded from this scheme: for Hegel, moral existence was inextricably bound to statehood. No wonder that he chose China and Confucianism as the first step of history: it was the country where "the rise of self-consciousness as a state" (101), the "childhood of history" (114), had taken place shortly after the landing of Noah's ark. First we go to the Chinese river valleys, and from there to India, to the twin streams of the Ganges and Indus. To [India] we link information about the Tibetans and Mongols. The third is the mid-eastern life in the river valley of theTigris and Euphrates. (121)

121 G.W.F. Hegel, VoTleszmgen iiber die Pbilasaphie del' Weltgeschichte, ed. Georg Lasson (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 1988): vii.

The Tibet of the Philosopher'S: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer


Tibet was thus not in a position to play the "culture cradle" role. Bailly's theories and the romantics' dreams of a cultured golden age in the dawn of time were incompatible with Hegel's neat dialectical progress from primitivity to perfection, and his view of history made speculation about times predating Noah's flood a vain exercise. Hegel needed a nation state to begin with, which is why in 1822 he spent so much of his time explaining the Chinese state religion, By contrast, the "sect of Lao-Tse" which marks "the beginning of man's elevation to the divine" was mentioned only in passing, as was the religion ofFo, which we today would call Chinese Buddhism: The private religion of the emperor is the lamaic one, that a living man is regarded as if the divinity were presently existing in him. This is connected with the religion of the Buddha. The religion of the Fo is very famous; [but] whether it [is] identical with that of the Buddha is still doubtful. (163-164) One must be careful not to read such statements with a modern mindset. It has been stated that "until about 1820 the absence of the word [Buddhism] corresponds to the absence of the object.,,122 This suggests that in the 1820s "the word" and "the object" of Buddhism appeared at the flip of a switch. We have seen how little truth there is to this; already in the l7th and 18th centuries some authors, including Kant, had realized that the religion of Fo, Lamaism, and the dominant religion of Southeast Asia were all forms of a single religion founded by Gautama = Shakya = Fo = Buddha. For some this religion was very ancient; for others it encompassed not only our Buddhism but also what we today call Hinduism; and for others again it coagulated around similar monasticisms, doctrines, imagery, practices, or founder's legends. The emergence of the object was tlms gradual and its boundaries unclear and fluctuating. The fate of the word Buddhism, however, was rather different. Hegel is a particularly interesting case study for this because his fame incited many students to take careful lecture notes and safeguard them. Their examination shows how during the 1820s he came to gradually perceive the object which we identify as Buddhism while Hegel's w07-d "Buddhismus" maintained throughout the limited sense of "religion of Ceylon, Burma, and Southeast Asia." To understand Hegel's view of Tibet and its religion we must now examine the development of his religious geography of Asia and in particular the domains which we today associate with the term Buddhism.

The Chinese Thesis

Having gained a fair amount of information about the "very famous" religion of Fo, especially in Grosier's synthesis of missionary reports,123 Hegel's doubts about the relation between "the religion of the Buddha," "Lamaism," and "the religion
122 Droit, Le culte du neant, 26, See similar arguments by several modern authors critical of overly text-based, orientalist "constructions" of Buddhism in the West who paradoxically cling to the view that Buddhism could only be "discovered" once Europeans learned to read Sanskrit texts; for example Almond in The Bl'itisb Discovery o!Buddbism, 12. 123 Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Grosier, Description gb1l!mle de la Cbine (Paris: lVloutard, 1787): vol. 2, 147-246.



of Fo" (which Kant had already recognized as forms of a single religion) are somewhat puzzling. Abbe Grosier (1743-1823), Hegel's main source in these matters, left no doubt that Fo is simply the Chinese appellation of Buddha whose teachings had been brought from India to all parts of Asia.'"4 Just as "Gotama," "Fo," or "Shaka" all designate the single Indian founder of the religion, different names are in use for its clergy depending on the country, as Grosier explains: These priests attached to the cult of Po are called Talapoins by the Siamese, Lamas by the Tartars, Ro-chang in China, and Bonzes in Japan: by this last name that the Europeans designate them.125 Other sources, for example the collection of travel accounts used by both Kant and Hegel, also stated unambiguously that Lamaism and tbe religion of Fo "are identical and differ only in a few superstitious customs."126 If tbe relationship between Lamaism and the religion of Fo was unclear in Hegel's mind, there was at least the fixed date of 65 eE for tbe introduction of Foism to China, a date noted throughout missionary and secular literature. I27 Apart from Foism's journey from India to China at the time of the first apostles there was another ubiquitous story which not only clearly showed that the founder was human rather than divine but also provided a handy classification scheme for manifold doctrines and practices. Hegel had encountered a concise version of this story at the end of Grosier's biography of Fo: When he had attained the age of 79 years he felt by the weakening of his forces that his borrowed divinity would not prevent his having to pay tribute to nature like other men. He did not want to leave his disciples without revealing the secret to them along with all hidden profundities of his doctrine. Having gathered them he declared that until this moment he had always believed that he should use only parables in his discourses; that for forty years he had hidden the truth under figurative and metaphorical expressions; and that on the verge of disappearing from their gaze he wanted to finally manifest his real feelings and reveal to them the mystery of his wisdom. You must Tealize, he said to them, that theTe is no othe,- pTinciple of all things than emptiness [Ie vuide] and nothingness [Ie neant]; it is from nothingness that eveTything arose, and it i~ to nothingness that eVe7J1thing must nturn; this is where all our hopes end up.12B Variations of this story had for centuries been the mainstay of doctrinal descriptions of religions which we today put under the umbrella of Buddhism. This is one reason why it is hardly appropriate to portray Hegel, who for tbe most part just repeated to

Grosier, Description gbufrale, vol. 2, 204.

Crosier, Description genl1-aie, voL 2, 204.

126 127

Schwabe, Allgemeine Risto,.ie, vol. 6, 38l. Grosier, Desaiptio12 generale, vol. 2, 202-203 presents the legend in its usual form with an I8-member embassy to India and its return to China with images "of the God Po or Boudba" and the F01-ty-Two-Cbapte,- Sut1-a on a white horse. The preface of this Chinese text is the original source for the date 65 CK

Grosier, Description geniTaie, voL 2, 205-206. "Le vuide" is Grosier's spelling.

The Tibet ofthe Philosophers: Kant,


and Schopenhazter


students what he had read aboJlt this, as the instigator of a "cult of nothingness."129 In Grosier's account the dramatic story of the Buddha's deathbed confession forms the basis of a fundamental classification of the religion's adherents and teachings: These last words ~f the dying Po were the source of much trouble and divisions among his disciples. Some continued to adhere to his first doctrine while' others, who embraced the second, formed a sect of atheists. A third party wanted to reconcile the two and brought forth the famous distinction of exte1'ior doctrine and inte1'ior doctrine, the first of which had naturally to precede the second and prepare the minds for receiving itYo In addition to this fundamental distinction between exoteric and esoteric doctrine Grosier mentioned the dogma of metempsychosis as a central teaching of which Fo = Buddha "appears to be the inventor."1lI Before the 18th century it was often Pythagoras who had supposedly learned this doctrine in Egypt and passed it on to India where an Indian impostor named Buda used it to infect large parts of Asia; but in the course of the 18 th century's gravity shift toward Asia, the direction of transmigration's transmission became reversed. Egypt's rotten contributions to history-transmigration, idolatry, animal worship-were now the fruits of the Indian founder of the cult ofFo and helped explain a whole variety of Asian cults:Since he [FoJli-ved five hundred years before pythagoras, and as it is known that the Greek philosopher had traveled through Egypt and several parts of India, one can hardly doubt that he had borrowed this dogma from some disciples of the Indian philosopher. This doctrine of the transmigration of souls forms the origin of this multitude of idols which are revered wherever the cult of Po was established. Quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, and the most vile animals had temples and became objects of public veneration because the God, in his rebirths and metamorphoses, could inhabit individuals of all these species. ll2 But such "outer" beliefs as transmigration were also intimately linked with the core of "inner" teachings, i.e., "nothingness" viewed as a kind of mate1'ia prima: Nothingness [Ie neantJ is the principle and end of all that exists; it is from nothingness that our first parents took their origin, and to nothingness did they return after their death. All beings differ from each other only by their shapes and qualities. One can from the same metal fashion a man, a lion, or any other animal: if one then melts all these different pieces they forthwith lose their shapes and respective qualities and form a single and identical substance. The same holds true for all animate or inanimate beings: though

129 Droit, Le wlte du neant, now also in English: Droit, The Cult of Nothingness: The Pbilosopbm and the Buddha (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003). 130. Grosier, DeSC1-iption geni1-ale, vol. 2, 207-208. See below for the fate of these atheists in Hegel's hands. 131 Grosier, Description generale, vo!' 2, 205. m Grosier, Description gine11lle, vo!' 2, 205.


UnApp different in shape and qualities, they are all but one single thing which originates from the same principle which is nothingness. III

Hegel's sources descrihed this universal principle as very pure and subtle, eternally at rest, and-in the manner of negative theology-as free from virtue, power, action, intelligence, and desire. As explained by Abbe Grosier and numerous other authors, the aim of Fo's "inner" doctrine was to achieve union with this principle: To be happy one must, by continuous meditations and by frequent victories over oneself, make an effort to become similar to this principle, and to achieve this, to get used to doing nothing, wanting nothing, feeling nothing, and desiring nothing. As soon as one reaches this happy state of insensibility there is no more question of virtues, punishments and rewards, providence, and immortality of souls. All holiness consists in ceasing to exist in order to become merged into nothingness [se confond,"e avec Ie neant]; the more man approaches the nature of a stone or a tree trunk, the more he becomes perfect, and finally it is in indolence and immobility, in cessation of all desire and all bodily movement, in the annihilation and the suspension of all faculties of soul and mind [esp'"it] that virtue and happiness consist."4 This state-which Hegel subsequently linked to the "Buddhist" Nirvana-renders man perfectly similar to the God Fo: from the moment he achieves this degree of perfection there is no more transmigration "because he has ceased to be and has become perfectly similar to the God Fo."ll5 In the light of such sources Hegel's brief portrayal of the religion of Fo in his 1822123 lecture has a very familiar ring: The religion of Fo is very famous; whether it is identical with that of Buddha is still doubtful: One main idea in the Foist religion is metempsychosis, i.e., that all shapes [such as] man, stars, etc., are only forms, revelations of the One, of the Absolute. Furthermore, the adherents of this religion posit the ultimate in nothingness [das Nicbts]; man is thus said to elevate himself to God when he renounces all notions of particularity [E71Zpfindungen des Besondenn], turns himself into abstract contemplation [Anstbauung] and reaches a point where good and evil along with all distinctions have vanished and where he immerses himself totally in emptiness, in the motionless. Thus the utterly empty must be sought. (164)

The Indian Antithesis

After this brief portrayal of the religion ofFo which nonchalantly equates immersion in nothingness with "elevation to God," Hegel's lecture moved straight to India where he detected two forms of pantheism. The first is a dispersed kind of pantheism where "everything sensual is [...] deified" (170); this corresponds to Hinduism ("BrahGrosier, Desct"iption gene",le, vol. 2, 208-209. Grosier, Desc,"iption generale, vol. 2, 209-210. Grosier, DeSC7"iption genemle, vol. 2, 210.



The Tibet of the Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhazte7'


manism"). In the second, the sensualization of God is concentrated and "reduced to a center which is immediately present." This second kind of pantheism reigns in regions that Hegel closely linked to India: Ceylon and Southeast Asia with its "Buddhismus," and of course also Tibet and Tartary with their "Lamaism." The general fragmentation belongs to brahmanical India, the second [concentrated] form to the Buddhist principle or Lamaism. The people of this [second] principle are mainly the Tibetans, Mongols, and Kalmyks, furthermore the Ceylonese and those on the eastern peninsula beyond the Ganges [i.e., the Burmese and Thais]. Of all religions, Lamaism is the most widespread. (170-171) It is interesting that Hegel made no mention of the "religion of Fo" here. Constrained by his geographical framework he contrasted the Chinese principle with an Indian one. Their relationship remained as hazy as that between the Chinese "religion of Fo," Southeast Asian "Buddhismus," and "Lamaism." Hegel's remark about Lamaism as the world's largest religion would indicate that he included the immense population of China among its adherents. Hegel learned that Indian places are regarded as sacred both in Tibet and in Ceylon (226), and this led him to regard "the religion of Buddha" as a remnant of ancient Indian religion: Thus also the Buddhists and the Tibetans point to India. Earlier on, both [Brahmanism and Buddhism] were united. This simple religion [Buddhism] may have originated through a reform of Brahmanism. More likely, however, is the older age of the Buddhistic [religion]. (226) Such guesswork by Hegel was obviously influenced by Carl Ritter's theories which peek through many formulations of the philosopher. But they contradicted most other sources and left Hegel full of doubts about the historical sequence of Brahmanism and "Buddhismus" as preserved in Ceylon and Southeast Asia: There is a great controversy as to which of these two religions is older and more simple. For both [views] there are reasons, but one cannot commit oneself with assurance. It appears that the Buddhist religion is simpler; as such, it could either be the oldest [religion] or the result of a reformation of an earlier one. (225)'36 As he continued to study in preparation for his lectures Hegel managed to somewhat clarify his ideas with respect to the founder figure. In the spring of 1823 he spoke of the "Buddha whom one believes to be identical with the Chinese Fo and who in Ceylon is mostly called Gautama" (225). This founder "is not somehow a phenomenon of nature, not heaven, not the sun, but he was substantially human" (227) and his creed "forms the counterpart of Brahma" (225) and Brahmanism: This religion [of Buddha] is in all respects more human [than Brahmanism]. With regard to its view of God this is so much the case that, on one hand,
116 Cf. Vorleszmgen, vol. 12, 225: "Already regarding India it was noted that India proper can be called brahmanical, to which the buddhisric can be opposed."


for them their highest God has been a man, and on the other hand, their God is still alive as a man, so that they venerate a living person as God. (227)

The two elements of former humanity and living presence present the framework of Hegel's view of the "Buddhist religion" and of Lamaism in a nutshell. Though both appear to be linked to the same figure ("Gautama is the God of Ceylon but extends through Tibet up to the ice sea" [227]), the first is characterized by the "portrayal of God as a former man whose death forms an aspect of their veneration" (227), and the second by the worship of Lamas, i.e., "humans who are worshiped as the incarnated God" (228). In the "Buddhismus" of Ceylon and Southeast Asia "God as a former man" and the ideal of "Nirvana" (227) are central: Of his life on earth they have tales as extravagant as we have found with the other Indians. [He] is an incarnation, the ninth one, and is to be venerated as God. He has arrived at Nirvana, i.e., at the state of supreme abstraction, where the spirit [is] immersed in itself and does not hold on to anything, has become free of everything; in this respect we can call it bliss [Seligkeit]. The attainment of this state comes after death. He who attains Nirvana has become Buddha. This Gautama therefore is the true God. (227) Though Gautama had been "essentially human" [wesentlicb Nlenscb] (227), the Buddhists also "say of him that he is eternal, immortal" and "attribute to him all the characteristics that we use for the supreme being" (227). In this religion, both the Buddha who is "imagined as king, as teacher, as God" and his last disciples are venerated (226). They venerate him as image in temples where he is portrayed sometimes sitting, sometimes standing, and seemingly also together with his disciples. On the one hand, the Buddhists have temples where [his image] is installed; [on the other hand] in addition to these temples dedicated to him there are pyramidal buildings, for example in Java, which are completely solid and where relics of him are stored, some of them from his body, although it is said that his body was cremated after death on a heap of sandalwood. (227) This "Buddhist religion" of Ceylon and Southeast Asia is thus characterized by a classic euhemerist elevation of an eminent mortal to the status of God, and nirvana is a posthumous state. "They portray God as a former man whose death forms an aspect of their veneration" (227). In Hegel's "Lamaism," by contrast, worship entails the "veneration of a living man, the highest lama (priest) in whom God is present for them" (228)y7 vVhile such incarnations are a1so found in India, this cult is more prominent in Tibet behind the Himalayas and Tartary (228). There are three such Lamas. First the Dalai Lama in Lhasa, second the Tashi Lama in Taschi-Lumpo, and third, beyond the Himalayas and to the south of
137 Hegel drew much of this information from Samuel Turner, Samuel Tzm",-'s, Capitains in Diensten del- ostind. Compagnie, GesandtscbaftS1"eise an den Hof des Tesboo Lama dunb Bootan ",zd einen Tbeil von Tibet (Hamburg: B. G. Hoffmann, 1801).

The Tibet of the Philosoph en: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer

Lake Baikal on the slope of the high plain where Dschingis Khan came from, the Taranant Lama, also called Buddhista (sic) Lama, in Urga in Karim. (228)


Though Hegel found that "the details here show great confusion" (228) he thought that the Lamaistic cult which regards "men as the present [gegenwartige] God" does "link itself with the Buddhist religion, with the idea that Buddha here has a living presence" (228). Nevertheless, in 1822/23 Hegel was not yet sure how the veneration of these Tibetan and Mongol living Gods relates to that of a long-dead Buddha and other divinities: "However, apart from the Lama there are indeed also many other Gods, Buddha, or Gautama, etc." (229). With regard to the actual state of this religion Hegel was better informed. He knew that "these Lamas are both worldly and spiritual leaders, but worldly ones only in Tibet proper" (228-229). "They are venerated by the Mongol people as spiritual heads, asked for advice in political affairs, and spiritually venerated as God." Having read Turner's account of his meeting with the two-year-old Taschi Lama (Panchen Lama),llB Hegel was impressed both by the character and the government of the Lamas (229): One could imagine of such highest Lamas that they are the proudest men and would in their folly fall into supreme arrogance, but this is not at all the case [...] The priests choose excellent characters to be Lamas. The former Lama has been praised as the most noble and humble man. He was learned and far removed from pride and arrogance, lenient toward his subjects and aiming at their advantage in every possible way, as the government of the Lama is one of the most fatherly that is to be found. (22 9) However, Lamaism as a religion did not fare so well in his judgment. A Lama as one "through whom God is present to the peoples so that God may care for them" constituted for Hegel "a relationship that is very close to pantheism as such" (229). Rather than being an Indian pantheism where everything is seen as divine, the Lamas contract "dissipated [Indian] pantheism into the One" (229). This "contraction into one" was also reflected in the lives of the Buddhist and Lamaist people; with the partial exception of Ceylon no caste system is known, ~nd people thus enjoy "a freer, more courageous, friendlier existence" than the poor Indians (230). These people are benevolent, openhearted, servile, and "far removed from the tendency of the Indians to lie, from their cowardice, and their vileness" (231). The lYlongols and Tibetans, "trustworthy and friendly" as they are, "lead a quiet life," and "the laypeople go quietly and without worry about their business" because "the priests are devout" in their stead (231). On the whole, though they also have strange customs such as polyandry (188), they are peace-loving (231). Apart from their nonviolent lifestyle Hegel saw additional links between Lamaism and the religion of Buddha of Southeast Asia: Priests come from among the people; and especially in Tibet and in the Burmese empire they live together in large monasteries. Io Tibet the monks

See previous note.


in one monastery number more than 2,000. The priests do not form a separate caste but are individuals chosen among the entire people. In Tibet there is a rule that, of four sons, one must be trained as a priest. In Tibet, these priests draw an income from land holdings and subsist on gifts. In the Burmese empire they live predominantly from voluntary gifts; early in the morning, the priests wander through the streets seeking gifts from the populace. (230)

In contrast to the Indian Brahmans, the priests of Burma ("Rahans") and Tibet ("Gylongs") are humble, learned, and friendly (230-231). The Tibetan priests even distribute goods tothe poor and offer shelter to travelers (231). There are two sects, one of which marries and the other not. The latter is the most widespread. They are distinguished by their dress, red or yellow, and are opposed to each other to the extent of the bloodiest battles. They are pious, learned, and hold services both in temples and in monasteries. Their main service consists of chanting which they carry to the loudest shouting. The ambassadors were living in a monastery and could not stop marveling at these tremendously strong voices. (231) In his 1822123 lecture Hegel had thus in various ways linked Lamaism and Ceylonese/ Southeast Asian "Buddhismus" to India. But in spite of his study of the Asiatick Researches and other sources on Asiall9-many of which Kant could not yet consult-he conveyed little information about the doctrines of this alternative to Brahmanism. Compared with the lengthy discussions of Indian religion Hegel's remarks on Buddhism and Lamaism are very brief. But a major objective was nevertheless achieved: Hegel's "Indian principle" was erected, characterized by a dynamic juxtaposition of the Indian "diffuse" pantheism and the "focused" pantheism as exemplified by the "Buddhists" and Tibetans. This had to suffice as a stepping stone to the more advanced realizations of Spirit further West.

The Mongolian Synthesis

As Hegel read more widely, the confusing influence of Carl Ritter's theories gradually waned. The limits of Creuzer's Symbolics, a major guide for Hegel's initial conception of India and for secondary literature about its religions,14O also became
Il9 See the good survey of Hegel's sources on India in Viyagappa, G. W. F. Hegel's Concept ofIndian Philosophy, 11-60. Viyagappa focused too narrowly on sources of Europe's burgeoning indology (i.e., information which today is considered to be more or less scientific) and overlooked the importance of German authors of more general scope such as Carl Ritter and Joseph Garres. 140 In a letter to Creuzer translated by Viyagappa (Hegel's Concept ofIndian Philosophy, 54) Hegel wrote: "I lived much in your company il). the winter of the past year. It is so again this summer. My lectures on The Philosophy of World History, last year, and the resumption of the lectures on. Aesthetics as well, for this summer, have to depend upon your Symbolics, so much so that I draw from it the richest inspiration for materials as well as for thought. It is a reason for me to be much indebted to you."

The Tibet of the Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhaue7'


ever more apparent in the light of the erudite articles contained in the Asiatick Reseanhes, the Journal des Savants, Schlegel's Indische Bibliothek,and numerous other recent sources at Hegel's disposal. Vlhen Hegel gave his Philosophy of History lectures for the second time in the winter of 1824125 he acknowledged the difficulty of geographical categorization: how was he, for example, to categorize a religion that "partly belongs to China-where it was only imported later-and partly falls outside of what is characteristically Chinese" (333)? 141 Indeed, the geographical structure of Hegel's earlier scheme which somehow linked Ceylon, Burma, Tibet, Tartary, and China to India was not exactly ideal for a streamlined progress story based on "principles" bound to nation states. In 1824125 Hegel thus decided to focus' on doctrine rather than historical origin and fashioned a principle which could serve as a bridge between China and India: the Mongolian principle. Hegel's geographical description is exceedingly vague; for him, "the term .Mongols serves in general to refer to Far Eastern peoples" (j1intemsiatische Volker; 332). What is common to them all is "that they are nomads and recognize the Buddha and the Lama as their God." Such initial statements are immediately contradicted by Hegel's own explanations which make clear that this "principle" in fact simply encompasses everything which . we today associate with Buddhism. The title "Mongolian Principle," whether chosen by Hegel or his editors, should thus not be taken literally. vVe have seen that in 1822/23 Hegel was still not sure whether Buddha and Fo refer to the same person; but two years later he was certain that the "religion of F 0" in China is simply "another shading". (eine andere Schattierung) of the religion of "Buddha, Gautama, or Sakjamuni" (333-334). In the first lecture cycle (1822123) Hegel had portrayed the "Indian principle" as a juxtaposition of a diffuse brahmanical pantheism with a more focused pantheism which either worshiped the dead Buddha (Buddhism) or a living Lama (Lamaism). The religion of Fo was left out of that first scheme. Now, two years later, Hegel proposed a new configuration, namely, a "NIongolian principle" in which a negative transcendence (religion of Fo and religion of Buddha) stands against a positive transcendence (Lamaism). The elements have not changed ("religion of Buddha" still refers to the religion of Ceylon and Southeast Asia), but now Hegel had found an umbrella under which to unite the different "shadings" of the religion of "Buddha, Gautama or Sakjamuni." The facets of Chinese, Siberian, Tibetan, Ceylonese, and Southeast Asian religion which Hegel discussed under this label leave no doubt that his "Mongolian principle" corresponds more or less to our "Buddhism." Hegel's Lamaism, the religion of Fo, and his "religion of Buddha" had finally found a home in a greater whole that covered large parts of Asia; and even though the name was a bit lopsided the object now revealed its vast contours.
141 Page numbers in this section refer to the Anhang (Appendix) entitled "Das mongolische Prinzip" (The Mongolian Principle) in G.W.F. Hegel, Vodeszmgen iibeT die Philosophie d,," Weltgeschichte, ed. Georg Lasson (no. 171 b-d): 332-342. It is not clear which student notes were used for this edition, and the dating is therefore' doubtful. Hegel read about this principle a total of three times (1824125, 1826127, and 1828129), but according to Lasson's introduction (p. x) he omitted this section in the last lecture cycle (1830/31).



The coagulation of Buddha, Gautama, Shakyamuni, and Fo "in historical form as teacher" rather than as God was one of the results of contemporary. scholarship, for example an article by the sinologist Abel-Remusat on the names of the Buddha which Hegel had read. [42 But Hegel continued to have doubts about this and tended to see Gautama, Shakyamuni and Buddha as different persons or incarnations. Furthermore, in spite of articles that portrayed Buddhism as unambiguously atheist (a fact immediately remarked and emphasized by Schopenhauer), Hegel kept bringing God into play. He obviously knew where history was heading; the question was just how to have it go there. As one would expect, Hegel's Mongolian principle also had two dialectical poles. Both are characterized by the term "Erhebung" (raising; transcendence) as, in contrast to fetishism and magic, both Hegel's FoismlBuddhism and his Lamaism "rise beyond" the immediate object. Foism does so negatively, i.e., by striving through meditation toward the elimination of all desire, will, and feeling, and toward union with a kind of Spinozan God: The conception which mainly concerns us here is that nothingness is the principle and goal, the aim of all things. From nothingness our first parents arose, and into nothingness they returned. All things are different by virtue of their forms and qualities; they are modifications of substance as in Spinoza. (334) Hegel's "negative transcendence" thus corresponds to the "inner" teaching which the Buddha had supposedly revealed to his closest disciples on his deathbed, as presented above in Abbe Grosier's words. It is deeply linked to transmigration: They see the connection with metempsychosis as follows: everything is change of form; it always stays one and the same.... This principle is complete, pure, simple, an eternal quiescence wherein God does not appear to man, without movement: its. essence consists in being without activity, intelligence, soul, without will. (334) Happiness then consists in "uniting oneself with nothingness. The more man approaches 'passivity and becomes like a rock or tree, the more he approaches perfection" (334). Hegel could read such things in numerous sources, but the link of this "nothingness" to the nirvana of Ceylon and Burma (where Hegel located his "Buddhism") was based on his study of a seminal article by Buchanan in the Asiatick ' Researches,t43 which the Berlin professor summarized for his students as follows:


Jean-Pierre Abel-Remusat, "Note sur quelques epithetes descriptives de Bouddha,"

Jou1"12al des Savants (1819): 625-633. Reprinted in Abel-Remusat, Melanges asiatiques (Paris: Dondey-Dupre, 1825): 100-112. Hegel mentions this article in Lasson ed., Vo1"lmmgen (no. 171 b-d): 339.. _ 143 Claudius Buchanan, "On the Religion and Literature of the Burmas," AsiatickResearches

6 (1799): 163-308. The passage containing "weight, old age, disease, and death" is found on p. 266; it was also crucial for Schopenhauer (see below).

The Tibet of the Philosopbe1'S: Kant, Hegel, and Scbopenbauer

This is approximately what also occurs in Buddhism, in Ceylon and in the empire of the Burmese; in Ceylon the divine teacher is still called Buddha, on the Eastern peninsula Gautama, and the described state is called Nirvana. An Englishman who had many discussions with the Burmese priests, the Ragunas, cannot praise them too highly; he has noted down many questions and answers from these talks. A main topic was Nirvana, which is described as follows: vVhen a man is no longer subjected to the following troubles: weight, old age, illness, and death, then he has reached Nirvana. Through meditation, i.e., abstraction of the human spirit in himself, does he reach this bliss, and the God Gautama is in essence [wesentlicb] in Nirvana. (335)


Based on the work of the Italian priest Vincentius Sangermano, Buchanan explained in the article used by Hegel that Nirvana (Nieban) signifies by no means a state of annihilation but rather one of "being exempted from all the miseries incident to hnmanity." In contrast to Hegel; Buchanan resolutely rejected the interpretation of Nirvana as an "absorption into the divine essence"l44 and questioned the doctrinal identity of the inner teaching ofFo and Burmese Buddhism. I45 In Hegel's 1824125 lectures, however, this "inner teaching"-which two years earlier was only briefly mentioned in the context of the Chinese "religion of Fa"-now made a gala appearance as the uniting link between Chinese "Foism" and Southeast Asian "Buddhism." The deep connection of this "negative transcendence" with Indian pantheism and Chinese Daoism also made it a good candidate for the fundamental characteristic of the "oriental character" in generaJ146 and ofIndian philosophy in particular that Hegel studied in the mid-IS20s.I4? But what about the positive transcendence of the Mongolian principle? vVhereas Hegel's Foists and Buddhists thought that "the absolute is Spirit" yet "imagined God only as a yonder" (das Jenseitige, 335) to be approached through "annihilation" and "abstraction" (i.e., negative transcendence), the Tibetan and Mongolian Lamaists by contrast grasped the absolute in its sensual, "immediate" form. This "affirmative transcendence" was necessarily a step closer to Hegel's perfection where "absolute Spirit" is "in Christ only through itself" (335).

If we now ask: what is the natural form of Spirit, the immediacy [Unmittelbarkeit], then it is nothing other than the human form .... Thus we arrive in the domain of the Dalai Lama where man is revered as God-something which is completely contrary to abstract reason, also in Christianity. Certainly, the modification must proceed until it eventually forms the core of Christian religion. (336)
l44 Buchanan, "On the Religion and Literature of the Burmas," 180. Buchanan, "On the Religion and Literature of the Burmas," 267 (note on Grosier's account of the Chinese religion). 146 G.vV:F. Hegel, Vo,lesztngen. Ausgewiiblte Nachschriften und iVlanttskripte, vol. 6: Vorlesungen iiber die Geschichte del" Philosopbie, Part 1, eds. Pierre Garniron and vValter Jaeschke (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 1994); 267 (lectures on the history of philosophy of 1825/26). 147 See the detailed study by Ignatius Viyagappa, G. Wop. Hegel's concept ofIndian Philosophy, which can now be revised based on the newly published materials mentioned in the previous




The affirmative pole of Hegel's Mongolian Principle thus points toward the goal of history where Spirit forms a unique Son of God. Though obviously still far from the ideal incarnation of Christianity, for Hegel the "religion of the Dalai Lama" now represented a crucial phase of the Spirit's self-revelation, a phase which was all the more significant in view of the huge geographical reach: This is the religion of the Dalai Lama; of all religions it is the most widely spread. The Ivlongols, Tibetans, Kalmyks adhere to it. It reaches from all Mongols subject to the Chinese empire to the Himalayas, Hindukush, across Central Asia, and also to the Mongols in Siberia under the dominance of the Russians. The Manchus venerate all of the supreme Lamas; the Mongols also venerate the Dalai Lama. (336) If for Kant Tibet had been a crucial sanctuary of humanity during the earth's last upheavals and a way-station for trade and cultural exchange between China and Europe, Hegel zeroed in on Tibet's religion as a stepping stone to Christianity. Thanks to his study of recent French and English journals Hegel was now much better informed than Kant about the history of Tibetan religion, and the wild fantasies of Giorgi had given way to a much more modern perspective: The worship of Lamas, the cult of the spirit domain and generally of the spiritual has supplanted the religion of the Shamans, the magicians who intoxicate and benumb themselves through drink and dance, move, fall down in exhaustion, utter words, and are regarded as oracles. Buddhism and Lamaism have taken the place of this religion. (341-342) But for Hegel such origins were far less interesting than Lamaism's position as a springboard from Indian pantheism and Foist/Buddhist abstraction to the more advanced "incarnation" conceptions in the vicinity of Jerusalem. Far from finding the figure of the Dalai Lama "paradoxical and revolting," as has been asserted,148 Hegel actually defended Lama worship as a significant step in the right direction when compared with Indian pantheism: The Lama is thus the one through whom God is present to the people in order to care for them. The relationship is one that is very close to pantheism proper. But it is not the Indian pantheism where all mountains, all rivers, all Brahmans are divine so that Brahma [is] immediately present in him. Rather, the limitlessly encompassing [Indian] pantheism has in Lama worship contracted into the One. These peoples distinguish themselves from the Indians proper by their higher degree of freedom. They recognize themselves in

14B Lopez, Prisonen of Shang";-la, 23. The quote given by Lopez may be based on the passage in the 1824 appendix on the Mongolian principle translated above in which Hegel significantly includes Christianity: "vVe have thus come to the realm of the Dalai Lama where man is revered as God, which is entirely contrary to abstract reaSOll, also in Christianity" [was dem abstrakten Verstande ganz zuwider ist, auch am Christentum]. G.vV.F. Hegel, Vodesungen iib,, die Philosophie de,. vVeltgeschichte, ed. Georg Lasson, 336.

Tbe Tibet of tbe Pbilosopbers: Kant, Hegel, and Scbopenbauer

God by positing him as man, have a friendly view of their God, and have thus attained a freer God. 149


As the lectures on the Philosophy of Religions of 1824 also show, Hegel had now gained a more distinct picture of the world's religious geography and Buddhism's position therein: It is the religion of the Chinese, Mongols, Tibetans, furthermore of the Burmese and Ceylonese. However, what the Chinese call F 0 is there called Buddha; but both mean the same thing, and it is the religion which we lmow under the form of the Lamaist religion. The slight difference between the religion of Fo and Lamaism is only superficial. ... It can be stated that this religion is the most widespread and that which counts most adherents; those who venerate it are more numerous than those of Mohammedanism, which in turn has more faithful than the Christian religion yo After many centuries of delusions of grandeur, Christianity had once again become a minority religion and a relative newcomer on the stage of world history; so much more reason to portray it, as Eusebius l51 and the church fathers had in the old days, as the promised goal of other religions and philosophies. This tactic turned other creeds into preludes to Christianity: everything could become a pmepamtio evangelica. Hegel's lectures on the Philosophy of Religions, which will be briefly examine.d in the next section, form patt of this time-honored tradition of pious hijacking.

Buddha the Baptist

In his 1822123 lectures on the Philosopby of Histmy Hegel had tried to establish a streamlined religious geography of Asia by inserting the India-related "Buddhism" and "Lamaism" between India and Persia. This placed them on the ascending line leading from the more primitive creeds of China and India toward the Middle East. But two years later, when "Foism," "Lamaism" and "Buddhism" were congealing into Hegel's "Nlongolian Principle," it was more convenient to-place this principle somewhere between China and India. This meant, however, that the neat East to West progression was messed up: diffuse Indian pantheism appeared too close to Jerusalem for comfort, and the historical progression from older to more recent was quite obviously murley. A complex multi-national religion such as Buddhism was bound to cause problems in such simple historical and geographical schemes. Categories such as "magic"

149 Hegel, Vodestmgen tiber die Philosophie det Weltgeschichte (eds. Ilting, Brehmer and Seelmann): 229-230. Cf. the similar passage on p. 339 of the Lasson edition. 150 Jaeschke (ed.), G.W.F. Hegel, Vodeszmgen. Aztsgewablte Nachscl,,iften zmd il1anZtskTipte, vol. 4a: Vodesungen iib,,' die Philosophie del' Religion, part 2: Die besti77Z",te Religion (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 1985): 211. 151 Eusebius of Caesarea, Die Pmeparatio Evangelica, ed. Karl Mras (Berlin: AkademieVerlag, 1954-1956).



or "spirituality" which Hegel employed in his Pbilosopby of Religion lectures seemed more adequate to his attempt to trace religion as the self-consciousness of absolute Spirit from childish-concrete forms ("natural" or "determined religion") to the adulthood of Christianity, the "perfect" or "accomplished" religion ("die vollendete Religion").152 Hegel was shooting for a classification of "religion" that encompasses all of its forms from the remote past to the present; and, as with his world history, this classification could be likened to a human lifespan. The magic of primitive mankind corresponded. to childhood and was as difficult to intuit: vVe can thus certainly unde7stand natural religion [NaturreligionJ, but we cannot put ourselves in that position, cannot empathize and feel it inside, just as we can well understand a dog but are unable to empathize with it. (176),53 Hegel called the religion of magic "the oldest mode of religion, its most savage and crude form" (177). In contrast to fetishism and other primitive magic where power is located in some object, Lamaism (which in 1824 still formed part of the "religion of magic") appeared slightly more advanced because it locates power in man himself. If this power does not depend on status or "outer existence" but rather on "inner spirituality" we have "that which we call Lama" (196). The religion of the Lama is the form, the aspect of reality, this self-consciousness, a real, living man, but there are several such highest lamas, especially three-the Lama in Northern Tibet, the Lama in Southern Tibet, and then back there in Russian Mongolia, in Siberia, there is also such a leaderall of whom are venerated as Gods. (211) For Hegel, reincarnation of the Lamaist kind became the key to understanding the confusing variety of Buddhas such as the thousand-fold incarnations of Fo (216), the Gautama of the Buddhists who is also the seventh incarnation of Vishnu (217), and the Lamas of Greater and Lesser Tibet (218). "Here the insignificance of form extends also to the objective, the eternal, to God. Buddha exists in several shapes, just like Lama; as soon as a Lama dies, another arises so that both have the same substance" (213). In Buddhism and Lamaism, death thus only happens "to the accidental exterior form in which the God shows himself" (271); the human form "is just an imagined form, as with Buddha" (274). Such Spinozan equations of substance with God indicate th~ direction in which Hegel's views developed when he lectured again on the Philosophy of Religion in 1827. The category of magic had been stretched beyond recognition by Buddhismrelated phenomena and it made more sense to reserve it for Daoism and Chinese

152 Jaeschke, Die Ve172zmft in de,. Religion. Studien zur Gmndlegung de,. Religionsphilosophie Hegels (Stuttgart! Bad Cannstatt: Fromrnann-Holzboog, 1986). ISJ Jaeschke (ed.), G.vV.F. Hegel, Vodeszmgen. Attsgewahlte Nachscl,,iften zmd 1VIanuskripte, vol. 4 a: Vodeszmgen iibez die Philosophie de7 Religion, part 2: Die besti77Z77Zte Religion (Hamburg: Felix.lVleiner, 1985). Numbers in parentheses in the text of this section all refer to this book.

The Tibet of the Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauel'


state religion with its ghosts, gods, and talismans. Thus Hegel created a new category for the phenomena associated with his Mongolian Principle: "Being-withinself" (Insichsein). The progression of Spirit in Asia thus presented itself as an ascent from the "religion of magic" (Daoism and Chinese state religion) to the "religion of being-within-self" (religion of Fo, Ceylonese and Southeast-Asian Buddhism, Lamaism) to "Indian religion." The introspective tendency (Insichgehen) present in Daoism is intensified in the religion of "Being-within-self" in which "the absolute is not grasped in the immediacy of self-consciousness but as a substance, as an essence (H7esen)" (459). The icon of this "most widespread religion on the face of the earth" (460) is "the image of Buddha in this thinking posture, feet and arms .intertwined so that one toe reaches into the mouth-this withdrawal into oneself, this sucking on oneself" (461). But in Hegel's protestant hands the goal of Foist, Buddhist, and Lamaist meditators soon revealed itself as union with God: The holiness of man is that by this annihilation he has united with nothingness [NichtsJ and so with God, with the absolute. Having reached this holiness, this highest level, a human is indistinguishable from God, eternally identical with God, and all change ceases; the soul must fear no further transmigration. (462) The Nirvana of the Buddhists (defined as in 1824 following Buchanan as the liberation from "weight, old age, sickness, and death") was now explained as follows by Hegel: "One is then identical with God, is regarded as God himself, has become Buddha" (464). Hegel was aware that this interpretation could raise eyebrows but defended it: At first glance it must be surprising that humans conceive of God as nothingness [NichtsJ; this must appear extremely strange. But considered more closely this definition means nothing other than that God is nothing determinate whatsoever, that he is the indeterminate; that there is no determinacy of any kind that applies to God; that he is the infinite. For when we say that God is the infinite we mean that God is the negation of everything particular. (464) "Being-within-self" is thus a "crucial stage in the progression from immediate empirical particularity to the determination of essence" which is seen as "a substance, a substantial power that governs the world, causing everything to come into being and to be produced according to a rationally coherent design [ZusammenhangJ" (467). In this elegant manner Hegel arrived at an interpretation of Buddhist nothingness that l"rads to the Christian creator God. He even called for tolerant underc standing of "the most revolting, shocking and unbelievable tenet" (467) that a man with all his deficiencies could be regarded as a God. Thus the Buddhist majority was unexpectedly defended by the Berlin philosopher: God is grasped as nothingness [NichtsJ, as essence overall; this calls for more explanation, especially also regarding the fact that this essential God is nevertheless known as a particular human being, as Fo, Buddha, Dalai Lama.... We must learn to understand this view, and in understanding it we justify it. (467)



Hegel's call for understanding echoes that of Church fathers portraying Egyptian religion, Judaism, or Greek philosophy as necessary steps toward Christianity, or by Jesuit figurists attempting to turn ancient Chinese religion and history into an episode of their Christian narrative. But Hegel went a step further: he in effect turned Buddha, the Jesuits' reviled impostor, into a kind of John the Baptist who prepared the way for the incarnated God of Christianity. Hegel's final conception of Asian religion, as summarized by D. F. Strauss (618) on the basis of the 1831 lectures, restores the "lamaist-buddhist religion" once more to its original place after India:
1. Chinese religion. Here the substance is known, but as inwardly determined foundation, as measun. 2. Indian religion. The substance as abstract unity, akin to spirit; man raises

himself to this abstract unity. 3. Lamaist-Buddhist religion, finds in a particular individual this concretization of substance to which other human beings also raise themselves, which then is annihilation. (618) This final scheme shows Hegel's "lamaisch-buddhistische Religion" as the peak of religion in Asia before the Spirit's momentous move to the Middle East. All three Oriental religions were described as "pantheist," but Hegel's Buddhism (the religion of Fo, Ceylon, and Southeast Asia) and Lamaism produced "concretized substance" in the form of particular individuals, i.e. the Buddha and the Lamas. Thus a traditional core accusation against idolatrous Buddhism, namely, that of mixing up Godthe-creator with man-the-created, turned into an auspicious foreshadowing of perfect religion and its divine incarnation. The ancient art of typology had portrayed Adam as the promise oEJesus and Noah's Ark as the prototype of the saving church; but who would have dreamed that, in a curious twist of fate, the impostor Buddha, the cheating Lamas, and their nihilistic atheism would take on similar prototype roles in a German philosopher's mind? At the peak of Hegel's career, Tibet and its Lamas had thus become an all-important stepping stone to Christianity, a ray from the peaks of the Himalayas pointing directly to that humble crib in Bethlehem where the Spirit's promise was finally going to be fulfilled.


vVhen Schopenhauer was born in 1788 the French, British, and Russian colonialist and scientific enterprises were gradually closing in on Tibet and its religion from several angles. On the Western front (Persia, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Caucasus) the likes of Anquetil-Duperron, William Jones, and Herder were approaching the Himalayas in their search for the cradle of mankind and older testaments than the Old Testament. On the Southern front the first volume of the Asiatick Researches with a report on Tibetl54 appeared in Calcutta and opened a steady stream of British

Samuel Turner, "An Account of a Journey to Tibet," Asiatick Researches 1 (1788).

The Tibet ofthe Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhazte1'


information on Asia with sensational impact across Europe. On the Eastern and Southeastern front news about Chinese and Southeast Asian religions and customs continued to amaze European readers. But it is the northern front which furnished some of the most interesting early information about Tibet and its religion. Several Russian expeditions exploring the outer reaches of Siberia had stopped with the Kalmyks among whom they were confronted with an old tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Much of this research was done by Germans employed by the Czar and published in German, which may be one reason why it has been almost totally ignored by 20,h-century historians of the Western discovery of Buddhism. At the time, however, the detailed reports of Pallas!55 (who also relied on data from Gerhard F. Muller [1705-1783] and others) were much read. Ah-eady in 1771 Pallas had, as mentioned above, furnished -a rather detailed description of the religion of the Kalmyks with its cosmogony, rituals, customs, and doctrine "which is the so-called lamaic one that for the most part they share with their brothers, the lVlongols."156 He had also included some of the earliest accurate drawings of Buddhist images ("Giitzenbilder"), for example statues of the founder "DshakDshimuni," "Abida," "Maidarin,"!57 and the Dalai Lama. By the year 1803, when fifteen-year-old Schopenhauer (1788-1860) stood fascinated in front of a Buddha statue in an Amsterdam shop, Pallas had also published a book which I regard as the first Western book-length study on Buddhism l58 On 440 pages with many excellent illustrations the "Tibetan fable doctrine," its origin, its cosmogony and myths, its major divinities, doctrines, rituals, precepts, clergy, altars and much else is presented in great detail and for the most part based on direct observation and interviews with Buddhists conducted with the help of Pallas' interpreter ]ahrig. The following illustration from this 1801 volume (pI. 14) may suffice to indicate once more how wrong it is to state categorically that Buddhism was "created" or "invented" by Westerners after the 1820s and that this happened primarily on the basis of texts rather than the ~bservation of actual practices. Given the international fame of Pallas it was hardly surprising that his results very soon found their way into other publications, for example the Gene1-al Mythological Lexicon of 1803 by Friedrich Majer who ten years later was to become Schopenhauer's
See above, p. 17. Pallas, Reise, vol. 1, 332-364, here 332-333. Pallas, Reise, voL 1, Fig. 1,2, and 3. Maidarin is lvIaitreya. See the reproduction above



on p. 19. 158 Pallas, Sanz11Zlungen bistorische1" Nacbl'icbten iiber die 11Zongolischen V611"1"Scbaften, vol. 2 (St. Petersburg: Kaiserliche Akademie der vVissenschaften, 1801). Pallas's title at the beginning of the text reflects more accurately the content of this book: "Samlungen (sic) iiber den
G6tzendienst, die Geistlicbkeit, Tempel zmd ab"-gliiubische Gebriiuche der nzongolischen V01k"'schaften; hauptsiicblicb die aus dem Tybet abstam77Zende Fabelleln'e zmd damit v"'kniipfte Hiemrchie"

[Collection about the idol worship, the clergy, temples, and superstitious customs of the Mongol peoples; mainly the fable doctrine of Tibetan origin and the hierarchy connected therewith]. An earlier publication, though of only 54 pages length, also deals with TibetanBuddhism: Karl Dietrich Hiillmann, Historisch-k1-itische Abhandlzmg "b,," die Lamaische Religion (Berlin: Carl Ludwig Hartmann, 1795).



India mentorY' Pallas was, of course, also studied by Benjamin Bergmann and Isaak Jakob Schmidt who lived among the Kalmyks between 1802-3 and 1804-6 respectively and continued the tradition of Germano-Russian research there. From the 1820s onward Schmidt was to become Schopenhauer's most trusted source on Tibet and on Buddhism.

Fig. 2: Pallas, Sanmzlungen bistoriscber Nacb17cbten vol. 2 (1801): Plate 14

Early Tibet-Related Notes

Peter Simon Pallas and Benjamin Bergmann were adduced as the best sources on the Kalmyks and Mongols in Schopenhauer's earliest Central Asia-related notes from the year 18ll,'60 i.e., just around the time when the 23-year-old Gottingen University student took his first courses in philosophy.l6l These notes stem from the ethnography lectures of Professor Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeren (1761-1842),
159 Friedrich Majer, Allgemeines lVlytbologiscbes Lexicon (Weimar: Landes-IndustrieComtoir, 1803). For an appraisal of Majer's role in the birth of Schopenhauer's interest in India see Drs App, "Schopenhauer's Initial Encounter with Indian Thought" Scbopenbau.,,Jal,,'bucb 87 (2006): 35-76, here 40-44 and 52-59. 160 See the German transcription of these notes discovered i;' 1996 in App, "Notizen Schopenhauers zu Ost-, Nord- und Sudostasien vom Sommersemester 1811," SchopenhauerJahrbucb 84 (2003): 13-39, here 35. Heeren referred to Pallas' Sammlungen historisch,,' Nachrichten and to Benjamin Bergmann, Nomadiscbe Streife1'eien unter den Kalmiiken in den Jalmn 1802 zmd 1803 (Riga, 1804-5). 161 Schopenhauer took his first philosophy course in the winter of 1810-11 (Seminar on metaphysics by Prof. Gottlob Ernst Schulze [1761-1833]).

Tbe Tibet of tbe Pbilosopber's: Kant, Hegel, and ScbopenbaueT


a man of very broad interests who was extraordinarily well informed about Asia. Because mistaken ideas about the timing of Schopenhauer's acquaintance with Asia and with Buddhism persist I here include my English translation of the student's 1811 Tibet notes in their entirety.l62 Tibet. It is among the least well known countries, though missionaries had made their way there. The southern part is called Butan, has its own regent; the northern [part] or Tibet proper is under Chinese dominion. 16 ] Tibet is identified as the most elevated mountain country and can be compared to Switzerland. Many mountains rise beyond the snow line even though Tibet is next to the northern tropic. Due to the elevation winter is thus very cold, and products and animals of hot countries are no more present; but in exchange [there are] many native ones, for example the Yak (Bas grunniens of Linn[aeus]) whose white tails are a trade product; the angora goat; the musk ox, etc. There is much gold and silver which is why they are of low value. Tibet is well irrigated. The mountains are said to be considerably higher than the Alps, which is doubtful. Tibet has much trade as the low price of precious metals attracts many, from China, Kashmir, India, etc. There are also many lamaic pilgrims who make their way there. The ruler of Bhutan belongs to the clergy. The residence of the Dalai Lama is in Northern Tibet or Tibet proper. 164 The Tibetans are tall and strong, gende, and the nobles have knowledge and education. Their religion is said to be a branch of the Indian one, they themselves say that the Brahmins had been their teachers. On his death the soul of the Dalai Lama enters a child. He inhabits a monastery whose entire council of monks forms the government. The order lives in chastity, with prayers and spiritual exercises. The novices enter at age 10, receive instruction, are called Tuppas until age 15 when they are named Tobahs, and at age 24 they become Giilon monks and can take over monastic and state functions. Those in such positions are called Lamas; the first is the Dalai, the second the Teschu-Lama. There is dispute among them; they are divided into Geluppas with yellow hats and Lamas widl red hats. In Tibet tbe1'e is p09,and1Y: The wife of the elder brother is simultaneously that of the younger. The Tibetans not only eat cooked but also raw meat. Tibet has long been dependent on China and remains that way because of the Chinese protection. The Nepalese once invaded, and on the Lamas' request the Chinese drove d,em out. Since then they keep the country under


For the author's transcription of German text as well as Schopenhauer's notes related Next to these notes Schopenhauer wrote in the margin: "Georgi Alphabetum Tibeta-

to adjacent regions see App, "Notizen."


nUID, contains information about Tibet, also about its language and religion; is written very

confusedly and fuzzily." 164 Here Schopenhauer wrote in the margin: "The letters of the missionary Gruber of 1661 in the collection of voyages." This refers to Schwabe's Allgemeine Histo";e, vol. 7, 554561.



occupation: among the Nepalese some claimed to have seen Englishmen. Therefore Macartney was received coldly in China. Like Hegel a decade later, Professor Heeren was confused about the identity and origin of the "religion of Budda"; according to Schopenhauer's notes he felt that "the religion of Budda is a branch of that ofBrama,"165 and while he correctly mentioned its presence in Mongolia, Burma, and Japan166 it is not quite clear how this relates to the Chinese religion ofFo and to Lamaism. About Chinese religion Schopenhauer noted: The present religion of the empire is the lamaic one because this is the religion oLthe Manchu Tatars. The Dalai Lama came to Peking almost at the same time that Pope Pius VI visited Joseph II; he died there of small-pox. The Chinese themselves have the religion ofFo: their cult is said to be similar to that of the catholics; it is thus the most widespread. I67 Schopenhauer's good attendance record at Heeren's ethnography course and his careful notes indicate ~ certain interest in such exotic matters but not much more; there is no sign of independent reflection, reading, or reaction in 1811. Almost fifty years later, when Schopenhauer died on his couch in 1860, a "Tibetan" Buddha figure, which the philosopher had ordered from Paris and gilded in Frankfurt, was gleaming on a special console in his study, and a handwritten note in his major work equated the goal of his philosophy with pmjfiii piimmitii as explained in Isaak Jakob Schmidt's translation of the Diamond Sutra from Tibetan. What had happened in these five decades?

Empirical and Better Consciousness

vVhile Kant's interest in Tibet focused on its role in the history of mankind and Hegel was trying to fit its strange religion into his grand theology of the Spirit's universal march to perfection, the roots of Schopenhauer's interest were more existential and stretch deep into his youth. In one of his philosophical notebooks Schopenhauer reminisced: In my 17m year, without any learned school training, I was so gripped by the misery oflife, like the Buddha in his youth when he saw illness, old age, pain, and death [...J and for me the result was that this world could not be the work of an all-good being but rather that of a devil who brought creatures into existence in order to enjoy their agony: the data pointed to this, and the belief that this was so gained the upper hand. I6s It is this experience of life's misery and the early loss of faith in God which lie at the bottom of Schopenhauer's "pessimism" which stands opposed to theistic "opti165 App, "Notizen," 22 and 33. 166 App, "Notizen," 22 (Burma); Mongolia and Kalmyks (35); Japan (39).
167 lOB

ApPl "Notizen," 3l.

Arthur Schopenhauer, Der bandscbriftlicbe Nt/cblafl, ed. Arthur Hiibscher (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1985): vol. 4/I, 96.

The Tibet of tbe Philosophen: Kant, Hegel, and ScbopenhaueT


mism" marked by faith in an all-good creator God as well as polytheism and pantheism. 169 In view of his later pronouncements on Buddhism and his own philosophy it is important not to misunderstand Schopenhauer's "pessimism" as some kind of depressive world view or dark mood: for him it is a philosophical term and forms an antithesis to religious or philosophical optimism, for example the optimism of "and God saw that it was good" of Genesis 1 or of Leibniz's TheodicyYo Schopenhauer's decision to study philosophy was driven by the same experience. vVhen old Wieland advised him against pursuing this plan the young man reportedly explained: "Life is a miserable affair, and I have set myself as aim to spend it thinking about this.,,17! Such thinking of course involved contemplating ways to alleviate or eliminate suffering, and Rudolf Malter was right to regard the whole trend of Schopenhauer's philosophy as soteriological: He who suffers from the world and wants to flee its misery has to know what the world is and how he can escape it. The soteriology-as which Schopenhauer's thinking sees itself right from the outset-is in need of a metaphysics which furnishes an answer to its question about 'what' [the world is]; and metaphysics in turn presupposes the self-reflection of cognition [E,.kemzen] which seeks that essence. A philosophy whose aim it is to elucidate the origin and cessation of existence-as-suffering [Leidensexistenz] thus requires a complicated and lengthy exposition.172 Already around the time of Schopenhauer's 1811 notes about Tibet he compares life with a "long dream that often turns into a oppressing' nightmare,,17) (no. 23) and associates everything issuing from selfhood with "illusion and night" (no. 28). Religion is said to show "the connection between the world of illusion and the real world" (no. 32). These two worlds form the matrix of Schopenhauer's entire philoso169 In his 1836 Essay on "Sinology" Schopenhauer praised Buddhism for being neither monotheistic nor polytheistic or pantheistic "because Buddha did not regard a world immersed in sin and suffering, whose creatures are all destined to die and who subsist for a short while by eating one another, as a theophany." Schopenhauer, Ube,. die vieifacbe 'WiLTzel des Satzes Vom zZLTeicbenden Gnmde. Ubel' den vVillen in de,. Nat"z' (Zurich: Diogenes Verlag, 1977): 328. 170 In his monograph on Schopenhauer's use of the word pessimism Andreas Dorpinghaus rightly states: "Schopenhauer uses the concept of pessimism exclusively in a philosopbical sense; it is related to cognition [E1'kemztnisj and forms the antithesis to the concept of 'optimism' as coined by Leibniz. The rarity of his use of the word 'pessimism' is striking;
even in later years he often- circumscribes pessimism as the antithesis to optimism." j1,lIundus pessimus. Untenucbzmgen zzt7n pbilosopbiscben PessimisntZts Arthur Scbopenbauen (Wiirzburg: Konigshausen & Neumann, 1997): 44. !71 Arthur Hiibscher (ed.), Az,th",' Scbopenhauez': Gesp"iicbe (Stuttgart: Friedrich Frommann Verlag, 1971): 23. 172 Rudolf lvlalter, Del' eine Gedanke. HinfiibTZt1Zg zztr' Pbilosophie Art/JUT Schopenbauen (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1988): 2. 173 Schopenhauer, Del' bandscb1,iftlicbe Nachlafl, voL 1, no. 23. Translations are based on the German original version; the English translation by E.F.]. Payne (Schopenhauer, lYlanltSC1'ipt Remains, Oxford/New York: Berg, 1988) is unreliable. In the following section numbers are inserted into the text.



phy, and from 1812 onward they gradually gain profile in the young philosopher's mind. Schopenhauer soon associates the "real world" with "better consciousness": it is "beyond all experience and thus all reason" (no. 35). The world of illusion, on the other hand, "our world," is the domain of "our empirical, sensual, rational consciousness in space and time" from which we can only be liberated "by virtue and asceticism" (no. 79).

Virtue is the affirmation of the extra-temporal existence [AufleTzeitlichen Se)'ns] , indeed it is the unmediated expression of the consciousness of such [an existence]: pure affirmation.-However, with asceticism an intentional negation is added, the formal negation and rejection of all that is temporal as such (no. 72).
God does not form part of this fundamental matrix unless one understands him as a symbol of better consciousness: But I say: in this temporal, sensual, rational world there certainly is personality and causality; they are even necessary.-But the better consciousness in me elevates me to a world where there is neither personality and causality nor subject and object. My hope and my belief is that this better (suprasensuous extra temporal) consciousness can become my only one: which is why I hope that it is no God.-But if one wishes to employ the concept God in a symbolic manner for that better consciousness itself, or for sundry things one is u;'able to distinguish or name: so be it; yet not among philosophers, I should think (no. 81). Schopenhauer's dissertation On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason (1813) was a philosophical analysis of the world of reason: the world of subject and object in space, time, and causality. But in his philosophical journal Schopenhauer kept thinking about that "better consciousness which lies for above alll~easo7Z, expresses itself in conduct as holiness, and is the true salvation of the world" (no. 85). In this realm, "when we become conscious of ourselves as not in time and space,-then we rightly call that which is [in time and space] nothing" (no. 35). This passage, written in 1812 when Schopenhauer's system existed only as a bud and before any of his readings on Buddhism, prefigures the gloss he added before his death to the concluding word "nothing" at the end of his magnu77Z opus: Just this is also the Pratschna-Paramita of the Buddhists, the "Yonder of all cognition" [das Jenseit aller ETkenntnifl], i.e., the point where subject and object are no more. (See].]. Schmidt, Uebel~ das Nlahajana zl11d PradschnaPara17Zita.j114


Compare Schopenhauer, Tbe WiJdd as vVili and Rep,esentation (vol. 1), trans. E. F.

J. Payne (New York: Dover Publications, 1969): 412. See App, "Nichts. Das letzte Wort
in Schopenhauer's Hauptwerk" in Das Tiel; das du jetzt totest, bist du selbst .... ArtlJ!w ScbopenbaueT li11d Indien, ed. Jochen Stollberg (Frankfurt: Vittorio Klostermann, 2006): 51-60.

Tbe Tibet of tbe PbilosoplJe7'S: Kant, Hegel, and Scbopenbaue1'


This quick sketch indicates that even before Schopenhauer's Asia-related readings began (and thus before he came to identify his two worlds with maya/samsara and with nirvana) there was a. basic affinity of outlook which may help explain Schopenhauer's curiosity and growing interest in Indian philosophy and Buddhism whose first traces go back to the winter of 1813/14.175

First Readings
Schopenhauer's first reading on Buddhism was an article in Klaproth's Asiatiscbes lVIagazin entitled "About the Fo-Religion in China" which reflected the 18,h cenmry views of de Guignes about the "religion of the Samaneens," "one of the most widespread of the world since all people from Mustag to the East coast of Japan adopted it with more or less modifications."l76 Of Kashrnirian origin and almost extinct in India it was preserved most purely in Siam. Further north however, in Tibet and Tartary where Fo is called "Lab," his servants "Lalmza," and their chief resident in Lhasa "Dalai-Labnza," this religion was "extremely disfigured and changed."177 Two years after reading such opinions, Schopenhauer's careful study of the first nine volumes of the Asiatic1e Reseanbes in 1815-1816 resulted in numerous notes and excerpts l7B which for the most part concern Indian philosophy and hardly touch Tibet. But it is in these notes and excerpts that we can catch a glimpse of Schopenhauer's incipient interest in Buddhism, which a decade later was to focus increasingly on Tibet. In contrast to Hegel, the former student of theology eighteen years his senior, Schopenhauer's interest was from the outset philosophical: it is clear that he was the first European philosopher to take Asian philosophy seriously and to acknowledge this influence as central to his system. l79 Schopenhauer's notes relating to volume 6 of the Asiatick Reseanbe/ 80 already show some of the themes
175 Schopenhauer's first documented reading on Indian philosophy was a German tran-slation of the Bbagavadgztii (see App, "Schopenhauer's Initial Encounter with Indian Philosophy"); on Buddhism it was the article "Ueber die Fo-Religion in China," Asiatiscbes Nlagazin 1.3 (1802): 149-169. It contained a German re-translation of the F01ty-Two-Cbapter Sutra. See App, "Schopenhauers Begegnung mit dem Buddhismus," ScbopenbaueT-Jabrbucb 79 (1998): 42-45. 176 H. Julius Klaproth (plagiarizing Joseph de Guignes), "Ueber die Fo-Religion in China," 149-169, here 169. l77 Klaproth (de Guignes), "Ueber die Fo-Religion in China," 166. For more information on Schopenhauer's early readings on Buddhism and a general timeline see App, "Schopenhauers Begegnung," 35-58. 178 These notes are transcribed (and when necessary translated into English) in App, "Notes and Excerpts by Schopenhauer Related to Volumes 1-9 of the Asiatick Researches," Scbopenbatte7-JabTbucb 79 (1998): 11-33. 179 The latter cannot be said of Buddhism, as Schopenhauer rightly noted; he named the Latin Upanishads, Kant, and Plato as his most important influences. See App, "Schopenhauers Begegnung mit dem Buddhismus," 39-42 and App, "Schopenhauer's Initial Encounter witb Indian Thought." 180 App, "Notes," 20-21. These notes and excerpts date from the first half of April of 1816.



that were to dominate his views regarding Buddhism and Tibet: transmigration and karma; the absence of a creator God; a strictly atheistic religion with highly developed morality; the ideal of humans who reach supreme happiness through their virtue; life as an affliction marked by aging, illness, and death; nirvana as freedom from such suffering; and the existence of numerous valuable books containing Buddhist doctrine. In the first edition of Schopenhauer's W07'ld as Will and Repnsentation (1818) he addressed several of these themes and particularly stressed the ideas of nirvana!S! and transmigration, the "non plus ultra of all myths."!" But it is clear that, in contrast to the Bhagavadgftii!B3 and especially Anquetil-Duperron's Latin Upanishads,I84 Buddhism played only a minor role in the formation of Schopenhauer's philosophical system. In fact, he expressed his surprise at discovering, years after Pllblication of his major work, how closely they matched: Were I to take the results of my philosophy as the measure of truth, I would have to prefer Buddhism to all other [religions]. At any rate, I cannot but be pleased to see such great agreement between my teaching and the majority religion on earth, the religion that has more adherents than any other. This harmony must be all the more pleasing to me as in my philosophizing I have certainly not been under its influence. Until 1818, when my work appeared, only very few, highly imperfect and poor reports about Buddhism were to be found in Europe; they were almost entirely limited to a few papers in the early volumes of the Asiatick Reseanhes and dealt mainly with the Buddhism of the Burmese. Since then more knowledge about this religion has gradually reached us, mainly in form of the well-founded and instructive treatises of the meritorious academician of St. Petersburg, 1. ]. Schmidt, in the memoin of his academy, and in addition through several English and French scholars. So I was able to furnish, under the heading "Sinology" of my book On the Will in Natzm, a rather long list of the best publications about this religion.!B5 Whether Schopenhauer's claim of "great agreement" was criticized!B6 or confirmed/ 87 the reference point was always a Buddhism which Schopenhauer did not yet know, namely, Buddhism as it came to be known at the end of the 19 i1i and in the 20,h

Schopenhauer, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, 443 ( 63). Schopenhauer, Die vVelt als vVilie und Vo1"Steilung, 443 ( 63). 18J See App, "Schopenhauer's Initial Encounter with Indian Thought." 184 Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron, Oupnek 'hat (id est, secretum tegendum) (Argentorati: Levrault, 1801). See my forthcoming monograph on the discovery of the Upanishads. 185 Schopenhauer, Die vVelt als Wille zmd Vorstellztng, vo!' 2, 197 ( 17). 186 See for example Droit, "Schopenhauer et Ie bouddhisme: une 'admirable concordance'?" in Schopenhauer, Ne1v Essays in Honor of his 200th Bi1'1:hday, ed. Eric von der Luft (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1988): 123-138. 187 See for.example Glasenapp, Das Indienbild deutsche1' Denker' (Stuttgart: Koehler, 1960): 100 where the well-known indologist states: "No need to explain further that what was presented here as the core of Buddhism is in complete harmony with the core of Schopenhauer's



The Tibet of the Pbilosophe1"s: Kant, Hegel, and Scbopenhaue1"


century. But Schopenhauer did not claim agreement with Hermann Oldenberg, D. T. Suzuki, or vValpola Rahula, as some modern critics seem to assume. So it may be time to examine what kind of Buddhism he was actually familiar with and primarily referring to. Roughly ten years after his first encounter with the Chinese Forty-Twa-Chapter Sutra and the Nieban of Burmese monks, Schopenhauer from the mid-1820s began to discover Mahayana teachings through his study of the first volumes of the Jounzal Asiatique l88 and Abel-Remusat's Melanges asiatiques. Deshauterayes's translation of a Chinese biography of the Buddha had a particularly deep impact on him and may well have whetted Schopenhauer's appetite for Mahayana doctrine, as the following passage from Deshauterayes's translation which he copied in his notebook indicates: With my eyes of Fa I consider all sentient beings of the three worlds; nature is in me, yet by itself disengaged and free of all bonds; I look for something real in all the worlds but cannot find anything; and as I have put my root in nothing also the trunk, the branches and the leaves are completely annihilated; so when someone is liberated or freed from ignorance he is at once liberated from old age and death. l8 ' Schopenhauer mused that one could classify all religions into two types: 1) an optimist, theist, and realist type that is exemplified by Persian, Judaic, and Mohammedan religion; and 2) a pessimist, atheist, and idealist type exemplified by ideal Christianity and actual Buddhism: The other world-religion is that of the Vedas or the Samanaeism from which Buddhism (the teaching of Fo, Gotama, Shigemuni) and Christianity of the New Testament in the narrowest sense stem: it has the Avatar and is characterized by recognition of the world as mere appearance [ErscheinungJ, of existence as an evil, of liberation from it as goal, of total resignation as way, and of Avatar as master of the way.190

The Mecca ofBuddhism

Inspired by Deshauterayes and Abel-Remusat, Schopenhauer began to seek and read publications on Buddhism systematically. The doubts that had been raised about the genuineness and reliability of his most revered Asian scripture, Anquetil-Duperron's Latin rendering of a Persian translation of the Sanskrit Upanishads, strengthened his determination to get information about Buddhism

1S8 Of particular importance was NIichel-Ange-Andre Leroux Deshauterayes, "Recherches sur ]a religion de Fa, professee par les bonzes Ho-chang de la Chine," Journal Asiatique 7 (1825): 150-173. 189 Schopenhauer, Del' handschriftliche NachlajJ, vol. 3, no. 161 (1826): 305. Schopenhauer omitted an explanatory comment in the French original and underlined the words as in this translation. 190 Schopenhauer, Del" handschriftliche NachlajJ, vol. 3, no. 162 (1826): 308.



only from trustworthy sources, i.e., European researchers who had proved their skill in handling Oriental-sources in their original languages by publishing grammars, dictionaries, or scientific studies of those languages. Hegel-who during the 1820s lived in the same city of Berlin as Schopenhauer and read the same journalswas still to a considerable extent relying on information from missionaries and travel report compilations. By contrast, Schopenhauer wanted to seek his information, as Abel-Remusat suggested, "in the writings of the Buddhists themselves whose testimony, needless to say, is vastly superior to that of European specialists.,,191 Having no command of Asian languages he could at least inform himself about the major original sou;rces. In 1827 he jotted in his notebook: The Chinese translation of the extract of the main source [Haupt-U7-kzmde] of the Buddhaic religion is called San-tsang fa sou and is attributed to the Buddha himself. A copy of this is in the Bibliotheque de l'amnal in Paris. Abel Remusat, Melanges-asiatiques Vol. 1, p. 103.192 Jean-Pierre Abel-Remusat, Europe's famous first professor of Sinology who at that point still enjoyed Schopenhauer's trust/"' claimed in the article cited by Schopenhauer that the sacred scriptures of the Buddhists, which they attribute to the founder of their religion; were composed close to the lifetime of the Buddha in Sanskrit, exist "as originals" in the countries where the religion is dominant, and were "conserved with scrupulous care," so much so that tfte versions made in more recent times in Chinese, Mongolian or Tibetan "were redacted with that almost servile fidelity which characterizes- the Orientals and represents the texts so exactly that, even apart from Sanskrit words which were retained, one recognizes in them the Indian genius down to the old-style phraseology."194 In addition, inspired by a genealogy of Zen patriarchs going back to the Buddha that he found in the SinoJapanese encyclopedia Wakan sansai zlte ~lJ:.::::.::t~1t, Abel-Remusat had cooked up a theory of transmission of Buddhism's original teaching which had, similar to Zen lore, the Indian monk Bodhidharma introduce the genuine teaching from India to China in the fifth century. In China, according to Abel-Remusat, this original teaching"had survived for eight centuries only to be transmitted once more, during Genghis Khan's reign in the thirteenth century, to Tibet where it was preserved in a continuous transmission of Lamas ever since. 19S

191 Abel-Remusat, "Sur quelques epithetes descriptives de Bouddha, qui font voir que Bouddha n'appartenait pas a la race negre," Melanges asiatiques vol. 1 (Paris: Dondey-Dupre, 1825): 100-112, here 102. 192 Schopenhauer, D,,- handsch,-iftliche NachlafJ, vol. 3, no. 209 (1827): 339. See AbelRemusat, "Sur quelques epithetes," note on page 103. Sanzang refers to the Chmese Buddhist canon (Tripi,aka). 193 His IvWanges asiatiques figure in the first version of Schopenhauer's list of recommended readings on Buddhism (see below) but were eliminated in the second version of 1854_ 194 Abel-Remusat, "Sur quelques epithetes," 103. 195 Jean-Pierre Abel-Remusat, "Sur la succession des trente-trois premiers patriarches," Melanges Asiatiqu~s, vol. 1 (Paris: Dondey-Dupre, 1825): 113-128.

The Tibet of the Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer


Such good news seemed to be backed up in an informative article by Eugene Burnouf ("On the literature of Tibet") which summarized some of Hodgson's and Csoma de Koras's discoveries in Nepal a~d Tibet. Apart from confirming the ancient presence of Sanskrit original texts in Tibet and the older age of Sanskrit compared to Pali, Burnouf related Csoma de Koras's information about "two very extensive compilations named Kah-gyur and Stan-gyur" which, though probably compiled rather recently, "are in effect translations from. Sanskrit originals.,,196 Schopenhauer's notes from the year 1829 about The History and Doctrine ofBuddhism by Upham 197 show that such informatioIi about "the teaching of Buddha proper" and about the best source that ought to be consulted in such matters had an effect: This book contains only a littIe of the teaching of Buddha proper, neither the life nor the doctrine of Buddha, does not mention the Gandschur; instead ,it tells mainly about the popular mythology connected with Buddhism in Ceylon [...] Of Buddhism it furnishes the scaffolding and body rather than tile spirit and is furthermore not well written but rather confused: the author exhibits litrle insight and esprit. I98 It is clear that around 1830 Schopenhauer already thought that Tibet was the land where original Buddhism had survived and was thriving, and it is at this juncture that he encountered the writings of the man who was to become, even more than Csoma de Koras, his hero and most trusted source on Buddhism: Isaac]akob Schmidt. I99 Schmidt's History of the East Mongols is a translation of an original Mongolian source thoroughly annotated by the knowledgeable translator. From its notes Schopenhauer immediately picked up bits and pieces that interested him and wrote, for example, in his notebook: The Gandschur is really called hka-aGjttr. p. 411. The Dalai-Lama is an emanation' of Awalokita-Iswara, or Arja Palo, or Chongschim Bodisatwa; p. 412: he is not Buddha because [Buddha] has become Nirwana while that [AwalokitaIswara] is an enduring incarnation of one of the Buddha's first disciples. p. 424: The beginning of the history of the Mongols translated by Schmidt tells about the origin of the world from elements, without any Deus creator; then the origin of mankind tIlI:ough sinful degeneration of higher spirits; and the origin of animals tluough metempsychosis of sinful humans. zoo
196, Eugene Burnouf, "Sur la litterature du Tibet, e..'{trait du no. VII du QUal"terly Oriental Magazine, Calcutta 1826," JournalASiatique 10 (1827): 129-146, here 138-139. This article appeared in the same year and journal as Deshauterayes's biography of the Buddha that ScllOpenhauer so highly recommended. 197 Edward Upham, The History and Doctrine of Budbism [sic], Popularly Illustrated (London: R. Ackermann, 1829). 198 ScllOpenhauerr Der bandscbriftlicbe NachlajJ, vol. 3, no. 242 (1829): 622. 199 IsaacJakob Schmidt flrst appears in Scl1openhauer's notes in 1830: Der handschriftliche NachlajJ, vol. 4/1, no. 60 (1830): 33. Scl10penhauer made notes about Schmidt, Geschichte der Ost-lvlongolen und ibres FiJ,-stenhauses verfojJt von Ssanang Ssetsen Chungtaidschi der Ordurs (St. Petersburg/Leipzig: N. Gretsch/Carl Cnoblocl1, 1829). On Schmidt see also the contribution by Walravens in this volume, 200 Schopenhauer, Der handschriftliche NachlajJ, vol. 4/1, no. 60 (1830): 34.



Schopenhauer's enthusiasm found its first printed expression in On Will in Nattm of 1836 where he included a substantial section on Buddhism in his essay on "Sinology" that included a list of recommended readings "for the general study of the life and teaching of the Buddha." Schopenhauer excluded most of what he had read on this subject in the past decade, and this first edition of his list consisted of only three recommendations: For general knowledge about his [the Buddha's] life and teaching I especially recommend the beautiful biography of him, as it were the gospel of the Buddhists, by Deshauterayes in French in vol. 7 of the Journal Asiatique Parris] 1825.-Likewise one finds much valuable information about Buddhaism in the Melanges Asiatiques by Abel-Remusat Vol. 1 1825-as well as in J. J. Schmidt's History of the East Mongols 1829.-And now that the Asiatic Society of Paris finally has taken possession of the Gandschur or Kaghiour we can with joyful expectation look forward to a presentation of Buddhaism on the basis of these canonical books themselves. 201 Such presentation was to take considerably longer; but in the meantime Schopenhauer eagerly read about Buddhism in whatever publications he could lay his hands on. He placed orders for valuable foreign books such as Burnouf's Introduction Ii l'histoin du Buddhisme Indien 202 and part 2 of volume 20 of the Asiatic Reseanhes with Csoma de Koras's groundbreaking research on Tibetan Buddhist literature. 203 The second edition of On Will in Natm"e from 1854 contains a much longer list of recommended readings which reflects the explosion of Buddhism-related publications from the 1830s.204 Ten of twenty-six sources are about South and Southeast Asian Buddhism (Burmese Buddhism, Ceylonese Buddhism, etc.); three about Chinese Buddhism; two about Indian Buddhism and Buddhist history in general (Burnouf, Koeppen); and the entire rest of eleven publications plus several additional papers about Tibet. Notably, the first seven entries on Schopenhauer's list of recommendations are all about Tibet and begin with Schmidt's most famous translation: For the benefit of those who would like to acquire a more detailed knowledge of Buddhism I will here list out of the literature about it in European languages those which, since I own them and am familiar with them, I can really recommend; some others, for example. by Hodgson and A; Remusat, I leave out on purpose. 1) Dsanglun, or the Wise [Man] and the Fool, Tibetan and German, by I. J. Schmidt, Petersburg 1843, 2 vols., 4., contains in the preface to the first, Tibetan volume from p. XK.,'C[ to XL'{V[II a very short but 201 Schopenhauer, Sii771tlicbe We1i,e, ed. Arthur Hiibscher (Mannheim: Brockhaus, 1988): vol. 7, 125. 202 Schopenhauer acquired this volume in November of 1845, barely one year after its publication, in the auction of August Wilhelm Schlegel's library; see Arthur Hiibscher (ed.), A"tbur Scbopenba!m": Gesa77171Zelte Briefe (Bonn: Bouvier, 1987): 224 (no. 208). 203 Schopenhauer, D,," bandscbriftlicbe Nachlajl, vol. 5, 320. 204 The printed edition of 1854 contains 23 carefully chosen titles; see also Schopenhauer, Kleinere SchTiften (Zurich: Haffmans, 1988): 307. Modern printed editions usually add three more titles based on Schopenhauer's handwritten notes.

The Tibet, oftbe Pbilosophers: Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer

excellent summary of the whole teaching, very well suited for, a first acquaintance with it; and the whole book, as part of the Kandschur (canonical scriptures), is to be recommended.


It is significant that Schopenhauer's first recommendation concerns one of the earliest integral translations of a Kangyur Buddhist text into a Western language. Schopenhauer continues: 2) By the same excellent author the respective volumes of the Academy's Memoirs contain several German papers about Buddhism read from 1829-1832 and later. Since they are exceedingly valuable for knowledge about this religion it would be'most desirable to have them published together in Germany. - 3) By the same: Researches about the Tibetans and Mongols, Petersburg 1824. - 4) By the same: On the parentage of gnostic-theosophic doctrines and Buddhism. - 5) By the same: History of the East Mongols, Petersburg, 1829. 40 (is very instructive, especially in the notes and the appendix which contain long extracts from the religious scriptures, many passages of which clearly present the profound meaning of Buddhism and breathe the genuine spirit thereof~ - 6) Two papers by Schiefner, German, in the Melanges Asiatiques ti,es du Bulletin historico-philologique de l'academie de St. Petersbourg vol. 1. 1851. - 7) Samuel Turner's voyage to .the court of the Teshoo Lama, from the English, 1801. In addition, Schopenhauer proposed the following Tibet-related publications:

11) Rgya Tsher Rolpa, transl. from the Tibetan by Foucaztx. 1848, 4. This is the Lalitavistara, i.e., the life of Buddha, the gospel of the Buddhists. [...] - 13) Description du Tztbet, trans. from the Chinese to Russian by Bitchourin, and from Russian into French' by Klaprotb. 1831. [...] - 18) Asiatic researches, [...] Vol. 20, Calcutta 1839, part 2, contains three very important papers by Csoma Kiirosi which contain analyses of the books of the Kandschur.
For Schopenhauer Tibet clearly was the Mecca of Buddhism where his trinity (atheism, pessimism, and idealism) appeared to be fully realized and where Buddhism's authentic scriptures and original teachings were best safeguarded. The enthusiasm which he expressed both orally and in writing led to accusations of his being a Buddhist/OS and in this respect too Schopenhauer was ahead of his time. In his eyes Europeans had trouble understanding this religion because of their upbringing: There, by contrast, existence itself is seen as an evil and the world as a scene of misery in which one would rather not be; furthermore [Europeans have. difficulty understanding] because of the unmistakable idealism essential to Hinduism and Buddhism-a view which in Europe is only known as a paradox of certain abnormal philosophers that can hardly be taken seriously, whereas in Asia it forms even part of popular belief. In India it is generally accepted as the teaching of Maja, and in Tibet, the main seat of the Buddhist church, it is even presented in very popular ways: on the occasion of a great festival a religious comedy is performed that shows the Dalai Lama in dispute with the chief

Arthur Hiibscher (ed.), A,"1;hur Schopenbauer: Gesammelte Briefe, 390 (no. 388).


devil, the former defending the position of idealism and the latter that of realism. Among other things he [the devil] says: 'vVhat can be perceived through the five sources of all cognition (the senses) is not an illusion, and what you teach is not true.' After a long dispute the case is decided by throwing dice: the realist, i.e., the devil, loses and is chased away to the sneers of the public.'06

Thus Buddhism became for Schopenhauer the best of all possible religions and Tibet the Ark of its original content. vVhile Schopenhauer continued purchasing and reading the latest publications such as Spence-Hardy's works'07 and Koeppen's synthesis,08 he remained convinced that Schmidt's portrayal of Buddhist philosophy and its copfirmation in his translations from Kangyur texts were the best expression of genuine Buddhist teaching. Schmidt stressed that the teaching ofPrajfia-pararnita "must be regarded as the peak of the whole edifice of Buddhism",o9 and summarized the content of its exposition in the Diamond sutra as follows:

It thus becomes clear ... that Mahayana ... aims at the recognition that
everything in namre, each single being or entity thereof, everything that has a form or a name-in one word, everything that represents the idea of an I-ness [Ichheit]-must be regarded as empty, and that only the encompassing unity beyond all limits of namre, that into which every I disappears, the Beyond-any-cognition, is genuine and true being.2IO The highest wisdom (praj71it-piira7nitii) of Mahayana Buddhism is therefore, according to Schmidt, the "beyond" of any representation or thinking: Here, in this Beyond, nothing is mirrored, and there is nothing to cognize; there is no relation to any object, and thus there is also no I, no subject. Here is the true unchanging being, as opposed to the illusory being of forms and shapes in the world of appearances.2l1 Schmidt's preface to The vVise and the Fool-which Schopenhauer found "very apt as a first introduction" to Buddhism212 -describes prajiiii-piiTmnitit or "Being in Non206 Schopenhauer, Ube,. die vieTfoche Wiwzel des Satzes V07n zZlTeichenden GTlmde. Ube7' den Willen in deT Natzw (Zurich: Diogenes Verlag, 1977): 329-330. 207 Robert Spence Hardy's Eastem Nlonachism (London: Partridge and Oakey, 1850) and A NIanual of Budhism [sic] in its modern development; t7'anslated from Singhalese mss. (London: Partridge and Oakey, 1853) were both lauded by Schopenhauer as useful for getting insight into Buddhist dogma. Schopenhauer, UbeT die vie7fache Wll1'zel, 327. 208 Carl Friedrich Koeppen, Die Religion des Buddha und ib,'e Entstehung (Berlin: Schneider, 1857-9). Koeppen's second volume attempted to gather all information about "the lamaic hierarchy and church." 209 Schmidt, "Uber das lVIahajana and Pradschna-Paramita der Bauddhen," 125. 210 Schmidt, "Dber das iVlahajana and Pradschna-Paramita der Bauddhen," 212-214. m Schmidt, "Dber das iVIahajana and Pradschna-Paramita der Bauddhen," 220. m Schopenhauer, Ub,,' die vie,-focbe Wurzel des Satzes va'" zzt7"eichenden Gnmde. Ub,,' den Willen in deT Nat!i1; 327.

The Tibet ofthe Philosophe1,: Kant, Hegel, and Sehopenhauer


Being [S<:Jm i7lt Niehtseyn]" and contrasts it with "seeming, false Being" which strik- . ingly resembles young Schopenhauer's "empirical consciousness": . ... all that which impacts both the senses and reason and also concerns one's own self [das eigene Ieh] in its character as cognizing and judgmental subject [wah1"1,ehmendes und u1,theilendes Subject] by vIrtue of which it enters into relation and contact with objects outside of itself. As this is all subject to incessant change of being [Weebsel des Daseym] and form it is recognized as thoroughly void [niehtig] and as not belonging to the realization [Erkenntniss] of the true and unchanging. 1IJ In a manner unequalled by other researchers of his time, Schmidt then goes on to explain the non-duality of nirvana and sarnsara: Since in this 'yonder' [Jenseits] all that has name is regarded as void and nonbeing [niebtig und niehtseyenaj, it follows that all concepts and relations bound to name are equally void, without signification,214 and empty [niebtig, bedeut/mgslos zmd Ie,,']. This extends to all objects and concepts, be they high or low and noble or base, simply because they have a name. Thus, for example, because Buddha is named Buddha he is not Buddha; because virtue is called virtue it is not virtue, and vice for the same reason is not vice; yes even Sansiira-i.e., the entire world as it appears to our cognition and perception in its ceaseless change and infinite variety of physical, organic, physiological, and moral characteristics-and Niz"Wiina, i.e. the egress and complete release from this boundless and endless change and from these c<:;aseless transfigurations, are not-two [ttnversebieden] since they have names and therewith relationships.215 For Schopenhauer this typical Mahayana teaching was in a sense a dream come true: his youthful dream of a better consciousness. Unlike Hegel and Schelling he had always recognized the limits of philosophy: though it could better analyze the world of subject and object-sa7ltSiira-thm any religion, it shoUld and could never transcend its rational limits. Though common mortals could get a taste of the "beyond," for example through ecstasy in art,216 it was permanently realised only by mystics, saints, and buddhas able to cross the ultimate frontier and to see the world
2lJ I.]. Schmidt, Dsanglztn, ode,. del' Weise ztnd derThor (St. Petersburg/Leipzig: W. Graffs Erben/Leopold Voil, 1843): xxxiv. 214 This is exactly the (very positive) meaning of the same' word "bedeutungsleer" in Schopenhauer's final passage of Tbe Wodd as Will and Rep"esentation which is usually completely misunderstood as a critique of nirvana and Buddhism: "[...llike the Indians through myths and words that are empty of signification [bedeutungsleere Wortel such as absorption "into Bmhm or the Nirwana of the Buddhists:' Schopenhauer, Die Welt ali Wille und Vo"stellttng, vol. 1, 508. An example of such misunderstanding is the essay by Moira Nicholls, "The Influences of Eastern Thought on Schopenhauer's Doctrine of the Thing-in-Itself," in The Camb";dge Companion to Sehopenhazte1; ed. Christopher ]anaway (Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999): 171-212. 215 Schmidt, Dsanglztn, xxxiv. 216 This is the subject of book 3 of Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation.



as the "npthing" which shines at the end of the last book of The World" as Will and Representation. It is this goal that Schopenhauer, shortly before his death, identified in a handwritten note with the Buddhist perfection of wisdom (prajfiii-piiramitif).217 Toward the end of his life Schopenhauer'sadmiriiltion for Buddhism and Tibet found expression not only in a steadily increasing stteam of notes and remarks but also in references to himself as "Buddhist." Whether this was meant as a provocation or not, he was to my knowledge the first Westerner to call himself by that name. 218 In 1826 he had already noted the "marvelous match" ("wundervolle Ubereinstimmung") of the Buddha's teaching with his own philosophy,219 but three decades later he urged Eduard Criiger to purchase for him a genuine Buddha statue in Paris. Afraid of getting a fat Chinese Buddha, the philosopher was elated to find a slim bronze figure in Cruger's parcel. He quickly had the black coating of the statue removed and was so pleased with what he saw that he forgot his famous parsimony and had it plated in gold to grace his study.220 At the time little was known about Buddhist art but Schopenhauer's idea of Tibetan orthodoxy made him conclude: It is totally genuine and presented entirely in the orthodox manner: I guess that it comes from the great foundry in Tibet; but it is already old. It will grace a console in the corner of my living room, and yisitors-who at any rate enter the room with holy shivers and considerably dressed up-will immediately know where they are, in these hallowed halls. If only Reverend Kalb from Sachsenhausen showed up, he who panted from the pulpit 'that even Buddhism gets inttoduced in Christian lanc!s'!221 Some weeks later it was already "probable" that the statue "stems from the great foundry in Tibet" and Schopenhauer remarked with satisfaction that it "fulfilled a long-held desire": "it has all the canonical characteristics, and there it sits: ready for private worship.,,222 It took another month for Schopenhauer to reach certainty about the statue's origin: My Buddha is now galvanically gold-plated and will gleam splendidly on his console in the corner. The Burmese, according to the Times, have recently gold-plated an entire pagoda: there I must not be trumped. Another Buddha is here [in Frankfurt], the property of a rich Englishman. Though of lifesize, it is not made of bronze like mine but of papier mltchi, a cast probably from China, entirely gold-plated and similar to mine to a T. I prefer mine: it is genuine, Tibetan!22l
217 Most editions feature this handwritten note as part of the printed text or as a footnote to the concluding word "nothing." "8 App, "Schopenhauers Begegnung," 53-56. 219 Schopenhauer, Der handschriftliche Nachlafl, vol. 3: 305; App, "Schopenhauers Begegnung," 46. 220 Schopenhauer, Gespriiche, 197; App, "Schopenhauers Begegnung," 54. m Schopenhauer, Gesammelte Bdeft, 390. 221 Schopenhauer, Gesammelte Brieft, 39l. 12l Schppenhauer, Gesammelte BI'iefe, 394. For additional information about this statue and

Tbe Tibet oftbe Pbilosopbel's: Kant, Hegel, and Scbopenbaue7'


Fig. 3: Schopenhauer's Buddha statue. (Schopenhauer Archiv, Frankfurt am Main)

Shortly before Schopenhauer's death in 1860 the first Buddha statues thus made their way into central European cities. The philosopher's ignorance about their origin was to be expected. More surprising is that of modern researchers who still repeat the philosopher's enthusiastic guess and identify the statue as "Tibetan"214 in spite Schopenhauer's descriptions and a photograph in the Schopenhauer Archive which indicate that the philosopher's beloved figure was probably of Thai origin.

Rather than an overall "disenchantment" with Asia225 and an orientalist "creation" of Buddhism driven primarily by national egoism and colonial rapacity,'26
the photo in Fig. 3 see Stollberg, "Arthur Schopenhauer uber seinen Buddha in Gesprachen und Briefen," in Das Tiel; das du jetzt tOtest, bist du selbst. Artb,,," Scbopenbauer und Indien, ed.]. Stollberg (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 2006): 163-172. 224 See for example Droit, "Une statue tibetaine sur la cheminee," in Pnfsences de Scbopenbatw', ed. Droit (Paris: Grasset, 1989): 201; and Hugo Busch, Das Testament A"thuT Schopenbaum (Wiesbaden: Brockhaus, 1950): 134. m Jurgen Osterhammel, Die Entzaubenmg Asiens. Europa zmd die asiatischen Reiche im 18. ]ahdJZmd,,t (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1998). This interesting study largely ignores the religious sphere,

Almond, Tbe B1 itish DiSCOVe1J' ofBuddhism.




our three case studies show a gradually increasing interest in Asian philosophy and religion fueled by a variety of different motives, from Kant's interest in the origins of humanity to Hegel's desire to maintain Christianity as the goal of history and Schopenhauer's youthful intuition of samsara and nirvana. Instead of a clean break between "pre-nineteenth-century commentators" whose ideas had "not been widely circulated" and a new age of "scientific Buddhist studies" beginning with Colebrooke, Hodgson, Csoma de Koras and Burnouf,227 we have seen that the transition was very gradual and that the supposedly forgotten earlier commentators were in fact widely published in travel accounts and letter collections and exerted a dominating influence well into the 19 th century.228 Instead of the purported sudden revelation of Buddhism by virtue of the colonialist mindset and the study of Sanskrit texts, our case studies show the gradual emergence of a religion over a number of centuries, an emergence which took place in the context of the slow breakdown of the medieval world view, the rise of the scientific study of our earth and its inhabitants, the search for origins and the explosion of the length of history, coupled with an ever-growing awareness of the history, limits, and relativity of Christianity and its sacred scriptures. It is this change of awareness that helped open the door to a reified vision of religion permitting less biased examination and comparison of various creeds. To Kant, as we have seen, Noah and the deluge revealed themselves as myths and were replaced by an almost secular narrative of origin in which Tibet played a pivotal role. Hegel, by contrast, held on to the time-honored deluge and biblical chronology while trying to turn secular history into a universal march to salvation in which the Tibetan lamas were" accorded a privileged place as prototypes of (and springboards to) the Christian savior. In Schopenhauer's writings Noah and the deluge are notably absent: sacred and secular history dwindled to insignificance together with man, revealing themselves as mere chance products of a blind universal force that the philosopher called "will." Annihilating what the German mystics had called "Eigenwille" [own-will] or "the realm of 'I' and 'mine'," and banishing once and for all the mirage of samsara-this was Schopenhauer's ideal since his youth, an ideal whose realization he perceived in faraway Tibet as the peak of Buddhist doctrine: pmjiiii-piiramitii.

227 Guy R. vVelbon, The B'lIddbist Nirva1za and Its Westen, Intel'preters (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968): 23; numerous more recent studies basically make the same

228 We have seen that Hegel's views on the content of Buddhist doctrine were still mainly based oli the "esoteric" teaching detected by the missionaries. Indeed, Pope John Paul II's opinions on Buddhism demonstrate that despite two centuries of so-called scientific study of Buddhism such influence is alive and well. See Pope John Paul II, Crossing the Th1'eshold of Hope (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995): 84-90.

The Nazis of Tibet: A Twentieth Century Myth

A long, multilayered, and complex process lies behind an alleged Nazi-Tibetan connection, most recently widely promulgated via the Internet. The kinds of distorted historiography exhibited in this process are exemplified in the oft-repeated claim that the Ernst Schafer Tibet expedition of 1938-1939 had some occult purpose and intended to enlist mysterious powers in Tibet on the side of the Nazis in their search for world domination, The development of the popular perception of Tibet as the land of the occult and the home of such powers is taken up in this article, along with its contribution to the growth of myths about the occult and Nazism, Since the Schafer expedition constitutes the main piece of "evidence" adduced to prove concealed links between National Socialism and Tibet, the author describes how the false attribution of occult purposes to the Schafer expedition grew from a variety of unrelated elements to become eventually an object exploited by later speculative historiographers, After seeking to separate the fact and fiction as they appear in the most influential works of the Nazi-Tibet genre, the author proposes an explanation for this kind of occult historiography based on the concept of conspiracy myths, The prevailing and persistent occult perception of the Schafer mission has retained far-reaching consequences to the present day, with the result that the Tibetans and the Dalai Lama are both unjustly co-opted by the right wing and neo-Nazis, or demonized by the Left as agents of a Tibeto-Buddhist global conspiracy,

Les Nazis du Tibet: un my the du xx' siecie L'allegation d'une connection nazi-tibetaine, largement divulguee recelnment via internet,

sous-tend un processus long en multiples strates etcomplexe, Les historiographies manipulees qui se ",volent dans ce processus, s'illustrent en pretendant, de fa,on repetee, que l'expedition de Ernst Schafer au Tibet en 1938-1939 avait un but occulte : celui de gagner des pouvoirs mysterieux au Tibet it la cause des nazis en quete de domination du monde, Le developpement de la perception populaire du Tibet comme terre de l'occulte et foyer de certains pouvoirs est aborde dans cet article, conjointement a sa contribution a la creation des mythes concernant l'occulte et Ie nazisme. Dans la mesure au l'expedition Schafer constitue la preuve maitresse fourllie pour etayer l'existence de liens secrets entre Ie National-Socialisme et Ie Tibet, I'autem decrit comment I'attribution erronee des buts occultes de I'expedition Schafer s'est Mveloppee it partir de differents elements independants pour devenir, finalement, un objet exploite par les speculations d'historiographes ult6rieurs, Apres avoir tente de faire la part entre les faits et la fiction tels qu'ils apparaissent dans Ies ouvrages Ies plus influents du genre Nazi-Tibet , I'auteur propose une explication pour une telle historiographie de I'occulte, reposant sur Ie concept des mythes de la conspiration, La perception occulte prevalante et persistante de la mission Schafer a eu des consequences durables jusqu'it nos jours, avec pour resultats que les Tibetains et Ie Dalai-Lama sont soit recuperos injustement par
l'extreme-droite et les nea-nazis, sait diabolises par la gauche et presentes comme les agents d'une

conspiration globale tibetaine-bouddhique,




Our brains grew accustomed to connecting, connecting everything with everything else. "The refuge: It's Tibet." "Why Tibet?" "The refuge is Agartha. You gentlemen must have heard talk of Agartha, seat of the King of the ~World, the underground city from which the masters of the World control and direct the developments of human history. You must be aware of the connection between the realm of Agartha and the Synarchy." "... but anti-German documents circulated that prove synarchy [rule by secret societies] was a Nazi plot: Hitler was a Rosicrucian influenced by the Masolls." "vVhen did we ever invent anything? We've always started with objective data, with information in the public domain.'" Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum

nJuly 2000, a large poster in shades of red and brown caught my eye, announcing a nationwide conference entitled "Irrationalism-Esotericism-AntiSemitism" to be held at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich. At the upper right corner of the poster was a picture of the Dalai Lama, surrounded by pictures of authors with right-wing and esoteric tendencies, and at the lower left-opposite the Dalai Lama-was a picture of Hitler. 2 Since that time, I have endeavored to trace how a connection could be construed between the Dalai Lama and Hitler.]
Umbeno Eco, Foucault's Pendulum (New York: Random, 1989): 386, 122, 265, 420. Admittedly the president of the University of Munich received a number of letters of
protest and promised to investigate the matter.

] For many ideas I am indebted to lvIartin Brauen, Dreamworld Tibet: Western Illusions (Bangkok: Orchid Press, 2004): 46-81 (orig. Ti'flumwelt Tibet - Westlicbe Ti-ugbilde1; Zurich: Haupt, 2000, 53-92), who already addressed the subject with many detailed examples in a different context; Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esote1'ic Nazism and the Politics of Identity (New York: New York University Press, 2002), and The Occult Roots of Nazism (New York: New York University Press, 1992); Hans Thomas Hakl, Unknown Som'ces: National Socialism and the Ocwlt, trans. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (Edmonds, WA: Holmes 2000); Joscelyn Godwin, Arktos: the Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism, and Nazi

Images of Tibet in the 19 tb and 20 rlJ CentltTies Paris, EFEO, coIl. Etudes thematiques (22.1), 2008, p. 63-96


ISrim Engelhm'dt

Searching the Internet for explanations of this confusing, and indeed ~hocking, association by entering the words "Tibet" and "Nazi" in the Google search engine, one is rapidly confronted with both the immediacy and the frisson associated with this topic in the electronic age; a search for these terms returns around a hundred > thousand entries, with a further twenty thousand for "Nazi-Tibet connection," rp.ost of them involving a "creative" reshaping of history. Occult- or crypto-historians, those who are writing such speculative history, skillfully blur the borders between fiction and fact, illusion and reality. They document a speculative and crypto-history of occult forces and powers that invisibly govern or control history-facts that have hitherto remained hidden to serious historians, including the fact that the homeland of these powers, including the masters who direct the pattern of world affairs, is often identified as Tibet. But what is the point of occupying oneself with this spurious historiography? Up to now, the genre has been largely ignored by serious historians. However, the danger of such lack of concern has been pointed out by John Roberts, who has argued that the power of this literature should not be underestimated: "Because the historian passed by, the charlatan, the axe-grinder and the paranoiac lOIig >had the field to themselves. In due course, the assertions of terrifying conspiracy and demoniacal subversions which they produced made historians even less inclined to take the subject seriously.'>4 But historians must respond to simplified interpretations of history and attempt to uncover and correct popular myths, since simplifications and dramatizations of history continue to be a theme with relevance today and can spread like wildfire, particularly in the medium of the Internet. The theoretical inferiority of these ideas and publications, from an academic point of view, must not be permitted to obscure or belie their attraction, and their potential danger. s The growth of the mythology of the occult inspiration of the Nazis and its dependence in part on a distorted view of an "occult" Tibet provides an instructive example of the way such patterns of thought can influence judgments far beyond the absolute scope of the matters at hand, and occult Tibet provided an ideal setting for the emergence of European conspiracy myths.

The Invention of "Unknown Superiors" and "Hidden Masten" in Tibet

Views of Tibet as the occult land pm' excellence were not derived from any actual experience of the land and its people. Remarkably, the "occultization" of Tibet was not set in motion by those who had actually been there; instead, it was attributed to sources who never set foot in that country and who may not even have existed.
Survival (Grand Rapids: Phanes, 1993). As a number of books of the occult historians were not available in Germany, I am grateful to Bianca Horlemann and Giinter Schiitz for providing me with copies from the Library of Congress, Washington and the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. 4 John Roberts, The Mythology ojSemt Societies (London: Seeker & Warburg, 1972): 9. S Armin Pfahl-Traughber, Der antise71zitisch-antifreima",'erische Ve"schwbi'1tngsmythos in de1' Weima1'e1' Q.epublik und im NS-Staat (Vienna: Braumiiller, 1993): 121.

The Nazis afTibet


One group seen as possible world-controlling hidden masters was the mysterious secret society of the Rosicrucians. As early as 1618, Heinrich Neuhaus, in his critique of the Rosicrucians, allegedly commented that one would seek them in vain in Germany since they had emigrated to India shortly after the society's foundation and were living in the high plains of Tibet. This statement has been repeated by a number of scholars, but without a scrap of evidence. 6 I have been unable to find any mention of Tibet by Neuhaus, even after repeated readings of his book. He merely writes that the Rosicrucians could not be seen because their whereabouts were unknown.' However, the mere inference of a retreat to Tibet by the Rosicrucians is interesting in itself. In 1710 Samuel Richter, writing under the pseudonym of Renatus Sincerus, did write that the Rosicrucians were no longer in Europe since they had retreated to India to live in peace thore easily.' (From 1782 an offshoot of the Rosicrucians was formed that even took tl,e name "Asiatic Brethren.") Their destination was pr~bably later shifted to Tibet since India was apparently not mysterious enough.' vVhen Gottlieb Baron von Hund founded the Masonry of the Strict Observance in the middle of the eighteenth century, he doubtless had in mind the Rosicrucians of the early seventeenth century.IO Its founder claimed to derive his knowledge and authority from "Unknown Superiors," who at the proper time and in the proper place would make themselves known and to whom implicit obedience was dueY

6 Paul Arnold, HistaiTe des Rase-Ooix et les O1'igines de la Fmnc-NIaronne1ie (Paris: Nlercure de France, 1955): 150; Arthur Edward "Vaite, The B,otheThaod of tbe Ras), Cross (London: Rider, 1924): 244; Rene Guenon, Le Roi du lVIo17de (Paris: Bosse, 1927): 97-98; cf. also Bruno Hapel, Rene Guinan et Ie ,oi.du ",onde (Paris: Editions Tredaniel, 2001): 204; Frans "Vittemans, HistoiTe des Rose-Ooix, 3,d ed. (Paris: Adyar, 1925): 51; Christopher McIntosh, Tbe Rosicnleians: Tbe Hist01)" Nlytbolog)" and Rituals of an Esot,,ie O,-cieT (York Beach, Maine: Samuel "Veiser,

1997): 5l 7 "Videri possent non esse, quia de nulla certo loco constat, ubi habitent." Heinrich Neuhaus (Henricus Neuhl~sius), Pia et utilissima admollitio de fratribus Tosae-cTucis, ni77Zirlt11t an sint? Quales sim? Unde nomen ille ascive1"int? Et quo sine eius modi jil1Jla7n spm"SeTinr? (Frankfurt: Vetterus, 1622): 5; (French translation: He",i Neube"s de Dantzig: Advertissement pieZlx et tres utile des p,e,es de la Rose-C,oix, Paris, 1623). Peter "Vashington (lVIadame Blavatsk)"s Baboon, New York: Schocken Books, 1995) quotes on p. 39: ""Vhen Heinrich Neuhaus mischievous-

ly suggested that these brothers could not be found because they had all retreated to India and Tibet, he neatly made their existence or non-existence impossible to prove either way, entrenching yet further popular belief in the reality of the brothers." , Renatus Sincerus, Die 7vabrbafte zl7ld vollkozmnene Bereitung des pbilosophiscben Steins de) Briide7"Sehaffi aus dmz O,den des Gulden wzd Rosen K,'eutzes [The true and complete preparation of the philosopher's stone of the brotherhood, from the Order of the Golden Rosy Cross; translation of the title, McIntosh] (Breslau: Fellgiebel, 1710), preface, no pagination, ca. p. 10. , See for example the polemical work: Anonym, Der Asiate in seiner BIOfle. Oder gTiindlieber Beweis: daft die Ritt" und B,iider Eingeweihten aus Asien debte Rosenk7'eZlz,,' sind. [The Asian revealed. Or: Detailed evidence that the knights and brethren of Asia are true Rosicrucians], Asien [sic] 1790. 10 ]. Godwin, Arktos, 85. II Paul K. Johnson, The NIasters Revealed: NIadame Blavatsl'J' and tbe NJ)'tb of the G,'eat Wbite Lodge (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994): 20.




The myth of the imaginary retreat of the Rosicrucians and the "Unknown Superiors" certainly influenced the conception of the "Hidden iVIasters"l2 propounded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891), the Russian founder of modern Theosophy, Her chief source of inspiration was her great-grandfather, Prince Pavel Dolgurukii, a member of the Strict Observance 10dge,1J Thus eventually "the Russian Rosicrucianism's legend of a worldwide network of iVIasters and a secret link with Tibet was a profound influence on HPB's development."14 Late in the summer of 1875, shortly before founding the Theosophical Society, she noted in her first notebook that she had received the order "to form a society-a secret society like the Rosicrucian Lodge,"15 She made the preposterous claim that she had spent seven years in Tibet, working with her mysterious hidden masters, who lived there but were not Tibetans, Tibet was their refuge from civilization, In 1906 an anonymous article even appeared in the Theosophical Review by ''A Russian," which referred to an anonymous manuscript supposedly from 1784, where a Rosicrucian from Berlin, Simson, "said he had heard that the true Masonry will arise once more from the kingdom ofTibet.,,16 The myth of the retreat of the Rosicrucians to Tibet was also taken up at the end of the 1920s by representatives of the Polaires, a group of French intellectuals, who were interested in occultism and orientated themselves on the PolestarY Jean Marques-Riviere, a student ofJacques Bacot, in his popular fictional autobiography A l'ombn des 77zonastens thibitains,18 contributed to the further "occultization" of Tibet by positing once again the existence there of mysterious power figures. (It was not until 1982, in an epilogue to a new edition, that Marques-Riviere admitted that the texts he presented were accounts of his nightly dreams as a young student, intellectually stretched to the limits of his capacity during his waking hours.Y9
On the "Hidden ~Masters" of Blavatsky see p, K. Johnson, The NIasters Revealed. P. K, Johnson, The NIasten Revealed, 4. 14 p, K,Johnson, TheNIasten Revectled, 22, 15 Cited in Sylvia Cranston, HPB: The ExtmordinU1J' Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsk)', Founder of the NIodem TheosophicalNIove77Zent (New York: Tarcher-Putnam, 1993): 132, 16 A Russian, "The Rosy Cross in Russia: Russian ]\iIasonry and Novikoff," The Theosophical Revi,," 38 (1906): 489-501, here 495-496; 39 (1906/07): 9-20, 138-144,201-211, 304-306. 17 Zam Bhotiva [i.e., Cesar AccomaniJ, Asia m),steriosa (Paris 1929, repro Combronde: Editions Janvier, 1995): 68 and 148. Rene Guenon in his withdrawn foreword to Asia 77Z),steriosa, see Bruno Hapel, Rene Guenon et Ie 1~oi du monde, 204-206; Maurice Magre, La clef des choses cacbees (Paris: Fasquelle, 1935); I had access only to the German translation: Die Kraft dezfrzjhen Himmel (Bad Miinstereifel: Edition Tramontane, 1986): llS. Later Ambelain wrote that Magre had implied the lamas had come from Tibet to become politically active in Europe by using Tantric magic (Robert Ambelain, Les arcanes noi1'5 de l'hitlez~isnze, Paris: Robert Laffont, 1990, 114), For more on the Polaires, see Arnaud d'Apremont, "La fratemite des Polaires: Une epopee Romantico-Rosicrucienne du x,'{eme siecle," in Asia nt)'stez~iosa, ed. Z. Bhotiva, 8-41; J Godwin, A,-ktos, 87-92; Victor and Victoria Trimondi [i.e., Herbert and Maria RtittgenJ, Hitlez; Buddha, K,-ishna (Vienna: Ueberreuter, 2002): 271-288. 18 Jean Marques-Riviere, A 1'01nbz~e des 7lzonasth~es thiMtains (Paris: Attinger, 192 9), 19 J. M. Riviere, A l'onzbre des monasth'es tibitains (Milan: ArcM, 1982): 209-213.
I2 Il

The Nazis of Tibet


In his "autobiography" he describes a supreme, mighty King of the World, superior in status even to the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, and a "Council of the Twelve Nom'-Kan," an organization that extends throughout the Orient and unites it in both a spiritual and political sense.'o Alexandra David-Neel also reinforced the myth of Tibet as a country full of occult sciences and magicians, principally in

lWystiques et magiciens du Tibet. 21 By the time of the rise to power of the founders of the Nazi movement, the supposed existence of hidden world masters in Tibet was thus widely known, and often believed in, throughout Western Europe.

Creation of Western iWyths of Shambhala and Agarthi as Subte7'ranean Theocracies

The vVestern myths of the lands of Shambhala and Agarthi were created in parallel to the "Hidden Masters" myth, and also had wide popularity. Shambhala was indeed part of the belief system in Asia, a land from which a great king would emerge to bring peace to the world, but Agarthi was created from whole cloth to fill a need for a further mysterious realm beyond ordinary human knowledge. . In addition to popularizing the idea of Hidden Masters, Madame Blavatsky was the first to gain a large audience in the West for ideas of a hidden abode of spirituality in the East, and Tibet as a secret site of ancient spiritual knowledge. In The Secret Doctrine of 1888, based on a mysterious ancient text called the Book ofDzyan (probably created by Blavatsky herself), she popularized the first Western version of the Shambhala myth, linking the original Indian myth of Shambhala to other myths of legendary sunken islands (Lemuria, Atlantis) to produce a creation myth marked by esoteric and racist elements in which chosen survivors "had taken shelter on the sacred Island (72070 the 'fabled'Shamballah, in the Gobi Desen)."" The other popular hidden center of spirituality in the East had no source in history or Asian mythology. Louis Jacolliot created the myth of Agartha and mentioned it for the first time in the 1873 work Le fils de diezt. 2l This spurious legend of Agarthi or Agartha, was taken up and developed by French occultists from the end of the nineteenth century. In 1886 the holy city of Agartha was described in detail by Joseph-Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre in Mission de !'Inde en Ezwope. 24 This subterranean theocracy was apparently located under the Himalayas, from where its rulers directed global events. Its ruler, the Supreme Pontiff, presided over a spiritually and technologically advanced population many millions strong. The Polish
20 ].

Nlarqnes-Riviere, A I'omb,'e des monasteres tbibitains, 154-156; see also R. Guenon, Le

Rai d" Monde, 46-47.

Alexandra David-Neel, lVlystiques et magiciens du Tibet (Paris: PIon, 1929). See Helena Petrovna Elavatsky, The SeC1'et Doct1'ine, 2 vols. (London: Theosophical Publishing Co., 1888): vol. 2,319. 2l Louis Jacolliot, Le fils de dieu (Paris: Lacroix, 1873): 237. 24 Joseph-Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, Mission de l'Inde en Europe. Originally published in 1886 by Paris: Calmann-Levy. It was deleted except for two copies and republished in 1909 in Paris; and as facsimile repro Nice: Edisane, 1981,49-54.


Isnm Engelhardt

explorer Ferdinand Ossendowski presented a further version of the Agarthi myth in his 1922 best seller Beasts, Men and Gods. 2s In his account, he claims that Agarthi is an actual kingdom lying under Central Asia. Its ruler, the King of the World, knows all powers of the world and can read the souls of men and the Book of " Destiny. Although claiming that the history of Agarthi could be traced to an ancient Mongolian legend, he actually adapted the key elements of his account from SaintYves d'Alveydre. 26 While the Agartha or Agarthi myth has no Indian or Tibetan roots whatsoever, it still influenced the French traditionalist Rene Guenon in his widely read work Le Roi dzt Monde, published in 1927 and translated into many languages, in which he supported Ossendowski's claims. The topos of both a subterranean kingd~m and an occult brotherhood in Tibet was also addressed by Theodore Illion in his popular Dark1iess over Tibet, although the work has no factual connection with Tibet.27 He tells of an alleged visit to the "Secret City in the Valley of Mystery," to a powerful "Occult Fraternity," in "the Underground City of the Initiates." Although their ruler pretended to be a "Prince of Light," he "was really the Prince of Darkness in disguise." The "City of Great Light Power" turned out to be the "City of the Evil One." This "Occult Hierarchy" planned to cmitrol the world through telepathy and astral projection.28 It may be worth noting that the Gestapo ordered Illion to furnish documentary evidence of his alleged visits to Tibet when he returned to Germany in 1941,29 "since he was under suspicion of being a liar, who claimed he had visited Tibet although he had never been there."3o

Ferdinand Ossendowski, Beasts, lYlen and Gods (New York: Dutton, 1922): 314.

2. Cf. Sven Hedin, Ossendawski ,md die Wah,"heit (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1925): 78-109.
Although Sven Hedin was quick to reveal Ossendowski's sources by applying a synoptic comparison with Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, as did lVIarco Pallis later in "Ossendowski's Sources," Studies in Campamtive Religion 15 (1983): 30-41, Ossendowski's work was widely disseminated in several translations. 27 Theodore Hlion, Dmkness OVeI" Tibet (London: Rider, 1938). Various claims are made about lilian's nationality: Canadian (Bundesarchiv Berlin, R 43/4107, fo!' 193), Italian (Bundesarchiv Berlin 135/46, fa!. 164604), or American (Bundesarchiv Berlin R 135/46, fa!. 164600). Jiirgen Aschoff (Annotated Bibliography afTibetan Medicine, 1789-1995, Ulm: Fabri, 1996, 195) cites Hubert Novak, who knew mion personally, to the effect that he was born in Canada and was a scion of the great Plantagenet family. 28 Johannes Schubert, the Leipzig Tibetologist, reported of his meeting with Illion in 1941: "I am not familiar with another book of his, Dmkness OVeI Tibet; in it, he speaks-as he told me-of a Tibetan secret society assembled in a 'subterranean city' and closely aligned to the Freemasons. A reason why the book had been translated into Swedish, but not into German!! Mr Illion, like Alexandra David-Neel, places more value on the occult and parapsychological phenomena which Tibet evinces than on other things." However, in Schubert's view his excellent knowledge of the Tibetan language, both written and spoken, proved a "glaring contrast" to the content of Illion's first book Secret Tibet (Bundesarchiv Berlin, R 135/46, fa!. 164600-164601). See now also Hartmut Walravens, "BriefWechsel Johannes Schuberts mit Bruno Beger und Ernst Schafer," Nachrichten der Gesellschnft ft, Natztr- U1,d VOlke1"l",nde Ostasims"74 (2004): 165-224, here 173-174. '9 Bundesarchiv Berlin, R 43/4107, fo!' 20l. 30 Bundesarchiv Berlin, R 135/46, fo!' 164604.

The Nazis of Tibet


Thus two crucial concepts-that of a set of hidden masters and the existence of two possible realms where they dwelt, both of them in Tibet-were in place' to influence interpretations of the purpose of the 1939 Schafer expedition to Tibet.

Constr'Zlction of tbe Mytbology of tbe Nazis and tbe Occult

Careful study of the evidence does not support, however, the idea that National Socialism was inspired by and permeated with occult ideas and purposes, especially to the extent of seeking an alliance with secret powers in Tibet. This lack of evidence has not, however, prevented the growth of a large literature-both contemporary and later-on the subject. Speculative historiography by French authors]! in the genre "Nazis and the Occult"" and the influence of occult forces on Hitler paved the way for an assumed connection between occultism and National Socialism. "The lightning successes of the Nazis, both electorally and later militarily, together with their manifest evil, stimulated notions of their demonic inspirations" and "represented the Nazi phenomenon as the product of arcane and demonic influences."J] As early as 1933, a text of primary importance in this regard was published by Teddy Legrand,Je who propounded an initial indirect connection between National Socialism and Tibet. However, it was not until more than a quarter of a century later that a part of this work received widespread attention and further elaboration by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, who included a passage from it, without attribution, in their "key work" The Morning of the JIIiagicians, a best seller ttanslated into many languages that opened the floodgates for similar publications. However, the authors, who were addicted to a fantastic realism, had themselves downplayed the importance of their work and warned that many of their claims were as fantastic and

II A reference to Hitler as being under the guidance of occult forces appeared as early as 1934 in Rene Kopp, "Le secret psychique des maitres du monde: Bonaparte, lVlussolini, Hitler," Le Cbm'iot 54 aune 1934): 85-89, which regards Hitler as a reincarnation of Luther (p. 86). Further French books consulted on the Nazis and the Occult: R. Ambelain, Les arcanes noit'S de I'bittel'is"te; Elisabeth Antebi, Ave Lucifer (Paris: Calmann-Levy, 1970); Jean Robin, HitleT l'ilu du dragon (Paris: Tredaniel, 1987); Roger Faligot and Remi Kauffer, Le marcbi du diable (Paris: Fayard, 1995); Adolphe D. Grad, Le temps kabbaliste (Neuchiitel: Baconniere, 1967); Fran,ois Ribadeau Dumas, Hitler et la somlleTie (Paris: Pion, 1975); JeanMichel Angebert, HitleT et la tmdition catbm'e (Paris: Robert Laffont, 1971); Jean-Claude Frere, Nazisme et societes Seel'etes (Paris: Grasset, 1974); Andre Brissaud, Hitl,, et l'oTdre nair: Histo;"e SW'ete du National-Socialisme (Paris: Perrin, 1969); ,Nemer Gerson, Le Nazisme, societe secrete (Paris: Pierre Belfond, 1969); Rene Alleau, Hitler et les societes sw'hes (Paris: Grasset, 1969); Serge Hutin, GOUVe1'11ants invisibles et societes sw'etes (Paris: Editions J'ai lu, 1971). Jl H. T. Hald, Unknown Soul'ces; Michael Rissman, Hitlen Gott (Zurich: Pendo, 2001): 145-161; N. Goodrick-Clarke, Black Sun, 106-127; N. Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism, 217-225. II N. Goodrick-Clarke, Black Sun, 108 and 127. J4 Teddy Legrand [i.e., Frederic Causse? (1892-1951)], Les sept tetes du dl'agon vert (Paris: Editions Berger-Levrault, 1933). See below for further discussion of his identity.


Isntn Engelhardt

exaggerated as Marco Polo's accounts of his travels.)S A direct comparison between the texts of Legrand and Pauwels and Bergier is included below in the section titled The Legends of "Vril". Hitler himself has been represented as an 'occult figure, despite his own stated scorn for interest in the occult. The most influential publication for the "occultization" of Hitler was Hermann Rauschning's 1939 publication of a forged collection of talks with Hitler, Hitlez" Speaks,'6 intended to present Hitler as an infernally-inspired foe. In the spring of 1939, Edouard Saby published Hitler et les jones occultes, in which he depicts Hitler "as the sorcerer's apprentice" and manufactures occult connections between Hitler and Tibet: "vVasn't it Trebitsch-Lincoln, the friend of the Tibetan Badmaiev, who initiated Hitler, by revealing to him the doctrine of Ostara, a secret school of India, where the lamas teach' the supremacy of the Aryan?,,)7 C. Kerneiz's work La Chute d'Hitler, published in 1940, attempts to analyze Hitler "cosmo-biologically" and claims that the group around General Ludendorff of all people, with whom Hitler was in fact almost unconnected, had subjected Hitler to a course of training of a type practiced in India and Tibet since time immemoria).l8 Some Nazi party leaders, principally Himmler and Rosenberg did have strong mystical leanings, but these were falsely extrapolated to apply to the entire Nazi ruling elite, including Hitler. According to today's standards of historical research,'9 however, Hitler himself dismissed occultism and was skeptical of others' otcult ambitions, mocking the mystical interests of Himmler and Rosenberg40 in a speech at a Kulturtagung on September 6, 1938:

Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, The j'yloming oj the j'ylagicians (New York: Stein

& Day, 1964): xvi; (orig. Le matin des magiciens: Int1"odllction au realisme Jantastique, Paris:

Gallimard, 1960). 36 Hermann Rauschning, Hitlez" Speaks (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1939). However, as Theodor Schieder (Hermann Rausdmings Gespriiche mit Hitler als Gescbichtsquelle, Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1972) remarks on p. 80, the relevant chapter on Hitler's occultism appears only in the French and English edition, not in the German one. See also EckhardJesse, "Hermann Rauschning-Der fragwiirdige Kronzeuge," in Die b7YIune Elite, ed. Ronald Smelser (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1999): 193-205; vVolfgang Ranel, Her71zcmn Rausc/mings "Gespr'iiche mit Hitle1""-Eine GeschichtsJiilschzmg (Ingolstadt: Zeitgeschichtliche ForschungssteIIe, 1984); Fritz Tobias, "Auch Falschungen haben lange Beine: Des Senatsprasidenten Rauschnings "Gesprache mit Hitler," in GeJiilscht! Betz"ug in Kunst, Litemtz,,; j'yIttsii<, Wissenschaft llnd Politik, ed. Karl Corino (Frankfurt: Eichborn, 1990): 91-105. 37 Edouard Saby, Hitler' et les forces occultes: La magie noire en Allemagne. La vie occwlte du Pub-er (Paris: Societe d'Editions Litteraires et de Vulgarisation, 1939): 131, trans. N. GoodrickClarke in H. T. Hald, Unknown Sounes, 26. 38 C. Kerneiz [i. e., Felix Guyot], La chute d'Hitler' (Paris: Editions Jules Tallandier, 1940): 45. For more details on the publications of Kopp, Sabry, and Kerneiz, see Hald, Unknown SOUlTes, 22-27. iVlore information on Ludendorff's ideas and publications is given below. 19 Cf. for example, Ian Kershaw, Hitler; 2 vols. (London: Allen Lane / Penguin, 19982000); Michael Burleigh, Tbe Thiz"d Reicb; A Ne7v History (New York: Hill & Wang, 2000); N. Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots oJNazisnz; Corinna Treitel, A Science fo,. tbe Soul: Occultisnz and tbe Genesis oj the Ge777tan 1Ylodez"." (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 2004). 40 On Himmler see also Albert Speer (Inside the Tbi,.d Reich, London: Phoenix, 1998,

Tbe Nazis of Tibet

National Socialism is a cool and highly reasoned approach to reality based upon the greatest scientific knowledge and its spiritual expression .... Above all, National Socialism is a VolT, lVlovement in essence and under no circumstances a cult movement! ... For this reason, the infiltration of the movement by mystically inclined researchers into the otherworldly cannot be tolerated. They are not National Socialists, but something else-certainly something with which we have nothing to do .... Cult-like acts are not our responsibility, but that of the churches. 41


Hitler also scoffed at astrology and horoscopes. 42 All of this is supported by the fascinating new book by Corinna Treitel, A Science for tbe Soul,43 whose "approach to the history of German occnlt contrasts strongly with the prevalent view among historians," and challenges the view of the early and highly influential book by Hugh Trevor-Roper, Tbe Last Days of Hitle7;44 about the connection between Nazism and the occnlt. She writes that "as a careful examination of printed and archival sources shows, the larger story of the Nazi regime and the occult movement is one of escalating hostility," and state officials "did not hesitate to oppress the occult movement brutally."45 And "an official decree in July 1937 dissolved Freemasonic lodges, Theosophical circles and related groups throughout

147-148): "What nonsense' Here we have at least reached an age that has all mysticism behind it, and now he wants to start all over again. We might just as well ha';'e stayed with the church. At least it had tradition." And Speer goes on to report that Hitler also regarded Himmler's ideas of the ur-Gerrnanic peoples as equally absurd: ""Vhen for example, the Japanese presented [Himmler] with a samurai sword, he at once discovered kinships between Japanese and Teutonic cults and called upon scientists to help him trace these similarities to
-a racial common denominator."
41 Nlax Domarus, Hitler', Reden zind P,'okla77Zationen, 1932-1945 (Munich: Suddeutscher Verlag 1965): voL 1, bk 2, 893-894. Translation partly taken from M. Burleigh, The Tbiz'd Reich, 253. (If not stated otherwise, all translations are mine). Burleigh comments that Hitler regarded the "ideologue Rosenb~rg as an obscurantist and Himmler as a loyal crank" and that the speech was a "coded warning for Rosenberg and Himmler." See also M. Domarus, Hitler', voL 1, 223. 42 See Adolf Hitler (Hitler's Table Tall, 1941-1944, ed. Hugh R. Trevor-Roper, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988, first published 1953), July 19, 1942,583: "The horoscope, in which the Anglo-Saxons in particular have great faith, is another swindle whose significance must not be under-estimated." Hitler's attitude here is confirmed by Walter Langer, former officer of the Office of Strategic Services (055) in Germany during the last years of World War II ("Valter Langer, Tbe Nlind ofAdoJfHitlez; New York: Basic Books, 1972, 31-32): "All of our informants who have known Hitler rather intimately discard the idea [of Hitler's belief in astrology] as absurd. They all agree that nothing is more foreign to Hitler's personality than to seek help from outside sources of this type. Not only has the Fuhrer never had his horoscope cast, but he is in principle against horoscopes because he feels he might be unconsciously influenced by them. It is also indicative that Hitler, some time before the war, forbade the practice of fortune-telling and star-reading in Germany." 43 C. Treitel, A Science fo1' tbe Soul; see also Anson Rabinbach in Times Litera7) Supplement (November 12, 2004): 36. 44 Hugh R. Trevor-Roper, The Last Days ofHitIe,. (London: Nlacmillan, 1947; 6"' ed., 1987). 45 C. Treitel, A Science f01' tbe Soul, 211.


Imm Engelhardt

Germany. Occult action now became illegal. Then in 1941, in the wake of Hess's flight to Britain, police action against occultists rose to fever pitch."'6 Furthermore, the subject of Tibet and its religion appeared alien and irrelevant to Hitler. He did say that in his youth the figure of Sven Hedin had been of great interest to him,47 so he must have had at least some vague knowledge of Tibet. But the following remark made about Hitler in his vVolfsschanze headquarters on May 14, 1942, demonstrates his later lack of concern for Tibet: "At lunch, the boss [Hitler] was told about the film about Tibet made by the SS Schafer expedition. The boss said that if anyone tried to criticize a Tibetan priest, the whole of the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church too would scream blue murder."'8 This statement also clearly shows that the content of tl1e film Geheimnis Tibet was not presented to Hitler as a Nazi propaganda film. It is noteworthy that Hitler made this comment in connection with Schafer's visit to the FUhrer's headquarters. However, Schafer neither met Hitler personally, nor was the disappointed Hitler able to grasp the significance of the gifts from the Tibetan regent which Schafer was finally able to present to him, via Hitler's adjutants, three years after his return from Tibet:9

The Legends of"Vril" and the Thule Society linleing Nazism 7vith Tibet
But how did Nazi occultism become linked, however falsely, to secretcenters of knowledge in Central Asia? This connection is attributed to the Vril Society and the Thule Society. As early as 1871, in his novel The Coming Race,'o which also inspired Blavatsky,'l Edward Bulwer-Lytton described a subterranean race of Uberme1Zschen, the Vril-ya. These "superbeings" were far in advance of humanity in every respect, due to their ability to tap a mysterious force or energy to which Bulwer-Lytton gave the name "Vril." From these roots, the Vril Society emerged in Germany. The association's existence is corroborated by nothing more than a single reference in a brief essay written in 1947 by rocket engineer vVilly Ley, who emigrated to the USA in 1935: "The next group was literally founded upon a novel." This Berlin group called itself Society for Truth and "devoted its spare time to looking for Vril .... The secret ofVril could be found by contemplating the structure of an apple, sliced in halves.""

C. Treitel, A Science for the Soul, 224. Henry Picker, Tischgesplil"che i71Z Fiib1"eThauptquaTtie1" (Munich: Propylaen, 2003, first published 1951): 460, May 21, 1942. 4S H. Picker, Tischgespriiche, 421, JVlay 14, 1942. 49 Cf. Isrun Engelhardt, "Mishandled Mail: The Strange Case of the Reting Regent's Letters to Hitler," PlATS 2003: Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the Intemational Association f01" Tibetan Studies, Oxford (in press). 50 Edward Bulwer-Lytton, The Coming Race (London: Routledge, 1871). 51 Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled (New York: Bouton, 1877): vol. 1, 64, 115. 52 Willy Ley, "Pseudoscience in Naziland," Astounding Science-Fiction 39 (1947): 90-98, here 92.

The Nazis of Tibet


This brief report was taken up by Pauwels and Bergier in The Morning of the Magicians to inflate the significance of this unknown group and to insinuate th~ determination of the Nazi ruling elite to make contact with an omnipotent subterranean theocracy, thus enabling Germany, armed with the knowledge of this power, to conquer the world. The group was known as the Vril Society or the Luminous . Lodge, and the geo-politician Karl Haushofer was said to have been a member.53 An influential role as' an occult center of the National Socialist elite was also attributed to the Thule Society, founded in Munich in 1918. According to Pauwels and I;lergier it was said to be part of a network of occult groups and associations, some with origins dating back to far-distant times and places. The society not only functioned as an organization of occult adepts, but primarily served as a direct point of contact to supernamral powers or as a link to the "Hidden Masters," chiefly in Tibet, to whom secret knowledge, superhuman abilities and occult powers were attributed. With Karl Haushofer having been identified already by Pauwels and Bergier as Hitler's occult mentor,s4 the Thule Society was said to have played a key role in the development of National Socialism. Pauwels, himself a disciple of the holistic master George lvanovich Gurdjieff, claimed that Haushofer, who traveled through India, Burma, Korea and China from 1908-1910, was Military Attache at the German Embassy in Tokyo, and had a lifelong interest in the Far East and Japan in particular, met Gurdjieff several times in Tibet55 between 1903 and 1908: In 1923 Haushofer founded an esoteric group modeled on similar groups in Tibet .... The group was called the "Thule Group" and its philosophy was founded on the famous book of magic of the Dzyan, which belonged to certain Tibetan sages; according to this book there were two sources of power in the world: the right-hand source, which comes from a subterranean monastery, a fortress of meditation, situated in a town called, symbolically, Agarthi. This is the source of the contemplative power. The left-hand source' is the source of physical power, and comes from a town on the surface called Shampullah. This is the city of violence and is ruled by the "King of Fear." Those who succeed in making an alliance with him can dominate the world. Through a large Tibetan colony in Berlin which kept constantly in touch with Haushofer, the "Thule Group" formed this "alliance" in 1928 .... The following men were members of the group at this time: Hitler, Himmler, Goering, Rosemberg [sic] under Haushofer's direction. The members communicated in two ways with Shampullah and the "King of Fear": firstly, by electronic transmitters and receivers which put them in contact with a so called "Tibetan" information centre through which they obtained valuable comments on India andJapan ... 53 L. Pauwels and]. Bergier, The 1'IIorning of the NIagicians, 147-148. However, Peter Bahn and Heiner Gehring (Der Vri!-NIytbos: Eine geheimnisvot!e Energieform in Esoterik, Technik und Th"'apie, Dusseldorf: Omega, 1997) have succeeded in casting some light on the darkness of this myth and have discovered the actual background to the organizational history of the small Berlin group. 54 L. Pauwels and]. Bergier, The Morning afthe Magicians, 194-195. 55 See on Gurdjieffs reputed stays in Tibet, M. Brauen, Dreamworld Tibet, 41-46.


Isrun Engelhm-dt

The treacherous insinuations were further magnified: "They [my informants] affirm, too, that one of the conditions of the pact made between the 'Thule group' and the Tibetan 'authorities' was the extermination of Gypsies."56 However, this sensationalized picture of the Thule Society and its members is a complete fabrication. As in later works, Pauwels inverted the Theosophists' positive concept of Shambhala into its opposite. Hitler never took part in a single meeting of the Thule Society, nor was Goring a member. Among those Nazi leaders known to hold esoteric beliefs, Himmler was never associated with the Thule Society. Wbile Alfred Rosenberg had contact with the society, the esoterically influenced Rudolf Hess was the sole leading Nazi who was a member. But what was the Thule Society actually? It was certainly not an occult group. During the rise of Nazism the Thule Society took on certain significance as a racist, anti-Semitic and viilkisch, albeit not an occult group, particularly in the crushing of the Munich Rlitmpublik (Republic of Councils). After 1919 the group's political influence dwindled. 57 The claims concerning Haushofer's contacts with and membership in the Thule Society and Vril Society have no foundation whatsoever, and Pauwels's allegations of meetings between Haushofer and Gurdjieff in Tibet do not withstand critical examination. Haushofer did not travel outside Europe prior to 1908, and his precisely documented schedule through Asia allowed no time for a visit to TibetS8 or for a meeting with Gurdjieff. S9 Thus it can be seen that Nazi concern with occult beliefs and mysterious powers available to them in tlle East have been greatly exaggerated, to say the least.

Facts about the Schafer Expedition

Let us now turn to the project in which the myths and legends described above appear to culminate: "No expedition to Tibet so captured public attention with its plans than a group of five German researchers shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War."6Q This expedition constitutes the main piece of "evidence" used by crypto-historians in their construction of a Nazi-Tibet connection. Here only
Louis Pauwels, Gurdjieff(Douglas, Isle of Man: Times Press, 1964): 62-65 (orig. conz77Zentai7~es S'll1" 'ltne societi initiatique C01ltempomine, Paris: Editions du Seul, 1954, 59-61). 57 Detlev Rose, Die Thule-Gesellschaft: Legende - Ntythos - Wirklicbkeit (Tiibingen: Grabert 1994; 2nd ed., 2000); Reginald Phelps, "Before Hitler came: Thule Society and Germanen Orden," Joumal ofNIodem HistmJ' 25 (1963): 245-261. Although this serious article has been available in English for a long time, none of the occult historians has made use of it. 58 Hans-Adolf Jacobson, Km-l Haushoft7: Leben u71d J;Verk, 2 vols. (Boppard: Boldt, 1979): voL 1,47,86-89,224-258,451. 59 Apparently Gurdjieff was mistaken for the Mongolian monk Agvan Dordjiev, see, for example, James Webb, Tbe Hm'monioZts Circle: Tbe LivesofG. L GzwdjiefJ, P. D. Ouspensky, and tbe;,- Followers (New York: Putman, 1980): 45, 49-50. 60 Ernesto Mila, Nazisme et esotbisme (Puiseaux: Pardes, 1990, orig. Nazis77zo y esoteZ'is71lo, 1989): 83. Hpwever, the sentence continued with the fiction, "accompanied by twenty SS men."

lvlonsiezt1" GUTdjieff: Documents, trinzoignages textes et

The Nazis of Tibet


the main points of the expedition, those bearing on later insinuations, since a more detailed account is available elsewhere. 61 This 1938/39 Tibet expedition, although planned by its members as a purely scientific venture, actually fell between the two stools of politics and science from the very outset of its planning stage. Heinrich Himmler and the "Ahnenerbe" (the SS Ancestral Heritage Society) wanted to influence and determine the venture from a political, esoteric, and pseudo-scientific viewpoint. The expedition then fell into the area of foreign affairs conflicts when official permits were required from the English. National Socialist foreign policy, political affiliations, fll1d propaganda ultimately damaged the completion of the expedition's goals and created enormous obstacles for it. Ernst Schafer, born in 1910 in Cologne, had just started to study zoology and geology in Gottingen when Brooke Dolan, a wealthy young American, came to Germany in 1930 to recruit scientists for a zoological expedition. Schafer, a mere twenty years old at the time, participated in the first Brooke-Dolan expedition to Western China and Tibet. 6 In 1932 he returned to Germany to resume his studies ' and joined the SS in 1934. From 1934 to 1936 Schafer took part in a further scientific expedition with Brooke Dolan, this time as scientific leader, to Eastern Tibet and China. 63 After his return to Germany, Schafer continued his studies in Berlin and received his doctoral degree in zoology in 1937. Meanwhile, the success of the expeditions Schafer had participated in had attracted Heinrich Himmler's attention. Despite his ambivalence towards Asia as a whole, Himmler, who was fascinated by.lurid, fantastic ideas of Asian mysticism and believed in karma, had a genuine interest in Tibet. 64 vVhen he heard about Schafer's plans to lead an independent expedition to Tibet, he was immediately keen on launching this expedition under the auspices of the SS "Ahnenerbe." A memorandum from the "Almenerbe," dated August 1937, finally stated that the Reichsfuhrer wished "the 'Ahnenerbe' to equip a new expedition to Tibet. The expedition is to be organized officially by the 'Ahnenerbe'."65 The "Ahnenerbe,"66 founded in 1935 in Berlin by Himmler and others, initially occupied itself with subjects such as early Germanic history, runic research, and fringe subjects like the Atlantis myth. However, it was increasingly endeavoring to
61 Isrun Engelhardt, "Tibetan Triangle: German, Tibetan and British Relations in the Context of Ernst Schafer's Expedition, 1938-1939," Asiatisebe Studien 58.1 (2004): 57-113. Some of the material in the essay appeared in a preliminary form in "The Ernst-SchaeferTibet-Expedition (1938-1939)," in Tibet and he,. Neighboun, ed. Alex McKay (London: Hansjiirg Mayer, 2003): 187-195. 62 Ernst Schafer, Berge, Buddbas, Bih'en (Berlin: Parey, 1933). 6J Ernst Schafer, Unbekanntes Tibet: DUTCh die Wildnisse Gsttibets ZU71! Daeh de,. E"de, Tibetexpedition 1934136 (Berlin: Parey, 1937). 64 See I. Engelhardt, "Tibetan Triangle," 65-66. 65 Memo Sievers, 6 August 1937, Bundesarchiv Berlin, NS 21/682. 66 The standard work on the "Ahnenerbe": NIichael Kater, Das ''Ahnener'be'' de,. SS 1935-1945: Ein Beitrag ZlW Kultu,-politik des D,.itten Reiebes, 3. unveranderte Aufl. mit einem Nachwort zur 2. Auf]. 1997 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2001).


lsrtm Engelhardt

gain a foothold in the field of serious science, to extend its scope of study to focus on natural sciences, and to attract first-class scientists, so that it was concerned with both areas in paralleL Himmler constantly attempted to influence the work of scientists when he dis-. covered a topic that interested him.67 Indulging his mystical bent, he wanted Schafer and his e..'l:pedition to conduct research based on Horbiger's "World Ice Theory," which claimed that Atlantis was destroyed by a great flood caused by the collision of an ice moon with the Earth. "Himmler b~lieved that ancient emigrants from Atlantis had founded a great civilization in Central Asia, the capital of which was a city called Urbe."68 However, as a scientist Schafer had more legitimate purposes in mind, and several times declined-eventually with success-to include on his team the pseudoscientist Edniund Kiss, whose task would have been to furnish proof of this theory. The primary objective of Schafer's research was the creation of a complete scientific record of Tibet, through a synthesis of geology, botany, zoology, and ethnology, referred to in the German science of the day as "holism." 69 The difficulties of travel to Tibet and the hardships facing the expedition were dwarfed by the problems Schafer faced in organizing and financing the project. Although he had succeeded in asserting his scientific freedom over Rimmler's wild plans,7 his objectives and those of Rimmler and the "Ahnenerbe" apparently diverged more and more widely until iNolfram Sievers, the head of the "Ahnenerbe," declared in January 1938 that "In the meantime the task of the expedition has diverged too far from the goals of the Reichsfuhrer-SS and does not serve his ideas of cultural studies"71 "because it would lie outside the scope of his work.'>72 "The Reichsfuhrer complied with Dr. Schafer's request to be permitted to conduct negotiations himself concerning the expedition's financing and organization. The ''Ahnenerbe'' subsequently transferred the file to Dr. Schafer."73 And later: "At the request of the Reichsfuhrer SS, SS Obersturmfuhrer Schafer's expedition was not conducted by the 'Ahnenerbe,.,,74 Doubtless financial factors also played a key role in this decision. Thus, in the end, the expedition was not sponsored or financed by the SS or the "Ahnenerbe." However, Schafer continued to receive political help from .the 67 Helmut Heiber, Reichsfiihrer! .:. Briefe an Zlnd van Himmler (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1970). 68 Final Intelligence Report (OI-FIR/32), "The Activities of Dr. Ernst Schaefer, Tibet Explorer and Scientist with SS-Sponsored Institutes," 12 February 1946,. National Archives, Washington, RG 238, M-1270, roll 27, fol. 3-4. 69 Ernst Schafer, Geheimnis Tibet (Munich: Bruckmann, 1943): 7-16. 70 Schafer in undated letter to Beger from the end of December 1937: "And I set the yardstick for our coming expedition quite independently of other people or explorations ... This independence awarded to me by the Reichsfuhrer-and without which I would never have taken 011 the charge ...." Bundesarchiv Berlin, R 135/43 fols. 163367-163370. 7! Bundesarchiv Berlin, NS 21/682, 23 January 1938; and NS 211165 from 27 May 1938. 72 Sievers to Wolff, 23 January 1938, Bundesarchiv Berlin, NS 21/682. 13 Memo Sievers, 9 March 1938, Bundesarchiv Berlin, NS 21/165. 74 27 May 1938, Bundesarchiv Berlin, NS 21/682.

Tbe Nazis afTibet


"Ahnenerbe" and Himmler. He was well aware of the fact that he was dependent on Himmler's goodwill, and was forced to compromise on some points in order to retain his support with the English and obtain passports. Himmler gave his consent to the expedition on the condition that all of its members join the SS. Himmler's meddling was not always helpful in dealings with the English, however. In preparation for the expedition, Schafer had had "Schafer Expedition 1938/39" letterheads printed and applied for sponsorship from businessmen. Schafer was forced to yield on the matter of the expedition's official title. In February 1938 Himmler decreed that on the orders of the "Ahnenerbe" the expedition's name would have to be changed and letterheads were ordered with the new text "German TibetExpedition Ernst Schafer [in large print], under the patronage of the ReichsfuehrerSS Rimmler and in cOlmection with the 'Ahnenerbe'" [in small printJ.75 This letterhead, in large Gothic type, caused Schafer considerable difficulties with the British authorities after his arrival in India. The consequence was that Schafer ordered new, discreet letterheads in Antiqua typeface, apparently while still in Calcutta, which stated simply "Deutsche Tibet Expedition Ernst Schafer." During the expedition he used only this and his original "Schafer Expedition" paper. Schafer continued his efforts to establish the financing of the expedition and carry through his research objectives. He actually raised the funds of his expedition by his own efforts, albeit with the support of the "Ahnenerbe." He received the sum of 30,000 Reichsmark (RM) from the DFG. 76 The final statement dated November 15, 1940, shows that the Public Relations and Advertising Council of German Business (Werberat der deutschen Wirtschaft) made the largest contribution, of RM 46,000. In return for supplying reports for the newspapers Viilkiscbe1~ BeobacbteT and the IllustTie1'te1' Beabacbte1~ their publisher Eher Verlag paid the sum of RM 20,000; Ri\1 7,000 came from the Foreign Office, and a further RM 6,500 from private donors including BrooIce Dolan. The costs totaled RiVI 112,111, of which the greatest expenditure, RM 12,119, was to be for the ethnographic collection. 77 Only a part of the hasty return flight from India-from Bagdad to Berlin- as the outbreak of war became imminent was financed by Himmler's "circle of friends.,,78 One of the greatest problems in those years was the procuring of foreign currency, which was only possible through Hermann Goring. Goring was a great hunting enthusiast/' and Schafer, also a hunter, was introduced to him through the agency of Himrnler at the Munich International Hunting Exhibition at the beginning of November 1937. 80 The meeting between the two hunters was successful, and the problem of foreign currency was solved.

75 Memo Sievers, 9 March 1938, Bundesarchiv Berlin, NS 211165. 76 Rudolf Mentzel, President of the DFG to Schafer, 8 March 1938, Bundesarchiv Koblenz, R 73/1498 and Bundesarchiv Berlin, NS 21/682. '77 Bundesarchiv Berlin, R l35/5, fo1. 150165. 78 For Rimmler's circle of friends, see Reinhard Vogelsang, Del' F"ezmdeskreis Himmle1' (Giittingen: Musterschmidt, 1972). 79 Schafer to Galke, 14 October 1937, Bundesarchiv Berlin, NS 21/682. 80 Memo Sievers, 4 October 1937, Bundesarchiv Berlin, NS 211165.


Isnm Engelhm-dt

The expedition was finally ready. It comprised five members: Schafer as mammologist and ornithologist; Ernst Krause as entomologist, photographer, and camera operator; Bruno Beger as ethnologist; Karl Wienert as geophysicist; and Edmund Geer as technical caravan manager. They set off in the spring of 1938, heading first to Calcutta. However, political reality caught up with them on their arrival. vVhen they left, the National Socialist propaganda newspaper Viilkischer Beobachter had printed an article headlined "SS Expedition Leaves for Uncharted Regions ofTibet.,,81 The. Indian Statesman immediately reprinted the article, but under the headline "Nazi invasion-Blackguards in India." This would cause Schafer enormous problems during negotiations with the English over entry permits for Sikkim and Tibet. The German Consul-General in Calcutta, Count Podewils, expressed unusually open and direct criticism to the Foreign Office: I attribute the refusal [of the entry permits] primarily to the fact that the expedition was overly presented as an 55 enterprise. The known fact that the English consider the SS to be a police and espionage organization could not do otherwise but cause the expedition's scientific goals to be regarded as a mere pretext and scent political objectives in the background. The detailed article in the Viilkischer Beobachte,' of 20 April, "Expedition into the Uncharted Regions of Tibet, Research Expedition with the Support of the SS Reichsfiihrer and Volkischer Beobachter" was as unhelpful in this context as the letterhead "Deutsche Expedition Ernst Schafer, Unter der Schirmherrschaft des Reichsfiihrers der SS Himmler und in Verbindung mit dem Ahnenerbe e.v. Berlin," which was used prior to the expedition's deparmre. Namrally, the English learnt of all this immediately and became suspicious, so that not only the London Times, but also the local press published notes pointing out the expedition's connection to the SS." In support of Schafer and his expedition, Himmler himself wrote a letter to his friend Admiral Sir Barry Domvile, a fact that also came to the attention of the India Office. s3 While Himmler's intervention helped to get the required permits, the suspicion of the English had now been awakened in earnest. Even though Schafer appeared to be successful in convincing the British of the exclusively scientific purpose of his mission, British suspicions of espionage clung to the expedition throughout its duration and imputed to it a far greater importance than was warranted. Although the Tibetan government refused entry to the expedition several times, some months later Schafer and his crew were admitted to Lhasa, where they stayed a full two months. The members of the expedition established official contact with the Kashag ministers and the Reting Regent, and friendly contact with many aristocratic families;
81 82

OIOe, LlP&S/12/4343, fo!' 333. Podewils to Foreign Office, 11 June 1938, Bundesarchiv Berlin, ZM 1457 AS, fols.

83 Himmler to Domvile, 18 May 1938, OlOe, LlP&S!12!4343, fals. 264-265; Bundesarchiv Berli~, ZM 1457 AS, foIs. 78-79.

The Nazis o[Tibet


Given the myths surrounding the expedition's alleged secret political aims, let us now focus on the contact with the Reting Regent and perhaps the most famous outcome of the expedition, the letter the Regent wrote to Hitler. 84 Schafer convinced Reting to write a letter to Hitler, although Reting probably had little idea of who Hitler was. The letter, in the official accompanying English translation, reads: To his Majesty Fuhrer Adolph Hitler, Berlin, Germany. From The Regent of Tibet. On the 18'" day of the first month of Sand-Hare Year. Your Majesty, I trust your Highness is in best of health and in every progress with your goodly affairs. Here I am well and doing my best in our religious and Government affairs. I have the pleasure to let Your Majesty know that Dr. Schaefer and his party, who are the first Germans to visit Tibet have been permitted without any objection, and every necessary assist is rendered on their arrival. Further, I am in desirous to do anything that will help to improve the friendly tie of relationship between the two Nations, and I trust your lVIajestywill also consider it essential as before. Please take care of Your good self, and let me know if Your Majesty desire anything. I am sending under separate parcel a Tibetan silver lid and saucer with a red designed tea cup, and a native dog as a small remembrance. Sincerely Yours, Reting Ho-Thok-Thu. Although this letter is no more than an example of the noncommittal polite correspondence typical of Tibet, it gave rise to much speculation and is nowadays often cited as proof of the Tibetans' friendly attitude toward Nazi Germany. In 1995 Reinhard Greve published the German translation of the Tibetan original by the TibetologistJohannes Schubert. Schubert may have thought it advantageous to try to translate this letter in a Nazi style, and may thus have falsified the translation deliberately to flatter Hitler. But his translation is quite simply inaccurate. He even added remarles that are not found in the original document, the most egregious interpolation being the substitution of "At present you [Hitler] are making all efforts in creating a lasting empire in peaceful prosperity based on a racial foundation," for the correct translation of the common Tibetan phrase: "Here I [Reting] am well and doing my best in our religious and Government affairs."85 Schubert's inaccurate translation
84 However, Claudio lVIutti ("Le SS in Tibet," claims that "the Panchen Lama received the expedition and issued a document of friendship with the Third Reich." See also next section. 85 Reinhard Greve, "Tibetforschung im SS-Ahnenerbe," in Lebenslust und Fremde71fzmht: Ethnologie im Dritten Reich, ed. Thomas Hauschild (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1995): 168-199, here 175, note 25; and recently v: and v: Trimondi, Hitler, Buddha, Krishna, 130.


Isrun Engelhardt

has since been used to demonstrate Tibetan sympathy for racist ideas and to ascribe to the Tibetan ruler an uncritical friendship toward the Nazis. S6 The expedition completed its projected work and was from a scholarly point of view highly successful, collecting an amazing amount of scientific material about Tibet that continues to be of great value even today. It ended, however, in a hasty and dispiriting return to Europe: some weeks after the return of its members the Second World War broke out. These, then are the facts-the history-of this expedition, as far they can be reconstructed on the basis of the sources available at present.

Myths a~d Fictions about the Schafer Expedition

The mere fact that a scientific expedition of SS members visited the mysterious land of Tibet at this time, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, has been enough to add weight to the fictitious occult links between Nazism, Hitler, and the "Hidden Masters" in Agarthi und Shambhala. But what of the distortions of fact and stories concocted on the basis of this history? And how was the expedition exploited to support myths of occult connections between Hitler, Nazism and Oriental theocracies? . Although Pauwels and Bergier were the most influential creators of the myth of a Nazi-Tibetan connection, they were not the first to do so; they used and expanded a story mentioned earlier in this article, one from a French spy novel of 1933, Les sept tetes du dragon vert, in which connections between the Tibetans and Hitler were fabricated. s7 Its author was allegedly a French secret agent writing under the pseudonym Teddy Legrand who was later said to have died under mysterious circumstances. The novel, which describes a powerful secret organization responsible for the rise of National Socialism and Communism, adroitly interweaves fact and fiction. ss In the novel, two British secret agents in 1933 visited an Asian magician in Berlin described by the Berliner Zeitzmg as "the man with green gloves." He had three times accurately predicted the number of Hitler's supporters who wo~ld be elected to the Reichstag. s9 The Tibetan 11Zala (rosary) with which the two British agents were presented-with 110 beads instead of 108, for occult reasons-implied that he was Tibetan, although


On the Reting letter to Hitler see 1. Engelhardt, "Mishandled Mail." T. Legrand, Les sept tetes dzt dmgon veTt, chapitre 4, "L'homme aux gants verts," 225-

8B However, I doubt that the author was a mere secret agent. There are too many details pointing to inside information concerning the French occult, and the Buddhist and Tibetan scenes of the day. In fact, whatever the true identity of Legrand himself may be, the authors are said to have been two experts on the occult, Pierre Mariel and Arnaud de Vogue. According to E. Antebi (Ave Lztcife'; 137) and]. Robin (HitZ,,'l'tZzt dzt d,-agon, 141), the Editions Berger-Levrault issued this book in a series of army books because the secret service was shocked by the rise of Nazism and gave them the form of briJZant dossiers to increase their success. See http://tessa-quayle.joueb.comlnews/52.shtml. S9 E. Antebi (Ave Lztcif"; 140) mentions the possibility that "L'homme aux gants verts" might have been the famous magician Erik Hanussen.

Tbe Nazis of Tibet


this is not specifically mentioned. His fluorescent gloves gleamed like glow-worms. His gaze was cruel, penetrating and sly; he had perfect control over his reflexes. Be addressed the British agents in perfect Oxford English: "Gentlemen, although you belong to a race other than mine, the green hand will be extended to you, since you bear the keys that open the 110 locks of the secret kingdom of Aggharti."90 Let us examine what Pauwels and Bergier made of this in their Tbe Morning of

tbe lVlagicians:
In Berlin there was a Tibetan monk, nicknamed "the man with the green gloves," who had correctly foretold in the Press, on three occasions, the number of Hitlerian deputies elected to the Reichstag, and who was regularly visited by Hitler. He was said by the Initiates to possess the keys to the kingdom of Agarthi .... It was in 1926 that a small Hindu and Tibetan colony settled in Berlin and Munich. vVhen the Russians entered Berlin, they found among the corpses a thousand volunteers for death in German uniform without any papers or badges, of Himalayan origin. As soon as the [Nazi] movement began to acquire extensive funds, it organised a number of expeditions to Tibet, which succeeded one another practically without interruption until 1943 .. ,,91 In Tibet, acting on orders from Dr. Sievers, Dr. Scheffer [sic] was in contact with a number of lamas" in various monasteries and he brought back with him to Munich, for scientific examination, some "Aryan" horses and "Aryan" bees, whose honey had special qualities. 93 Here we find further occult details added to Teddy Legrand's fictional story, but none of them have any basis in fact. No green-gloved Tibetan monk lived in Berlin to advise Hitler. Furthermore, far from a constant succession of German expeditions to Tibet from 1926-1943, only a single German expedition went to that country, that of 1938-1939.94 There were also no Tibetan colonies in Munich, Berlin or other cities, no Tibetan monks, and no troop of uniformed Tibetans in Germany. In fact, in the first half of the twentieth century only a single Tibetan lived in Germany: he was Albert Tafel's interpreter, whom Tafel had brought with him after his expedition in 1907.95 There is also no proof at all for the claim of a thousand uniformed Tibetan corpses. This story may be a legend arising from the fact
90 91

T. Legrand, Les sept tetes du d1'agon ver't, 243-244. L. Pauwels and]. Bergier, The iVI07'ningofthe Magicians, 197-198. According to R. Ambelain (Les arcanes noiTS de !'hitle,'isme, 122), they are "the Tibetan

instructors of the Nazis."

L. Pauwels and]. Bergier, The NIoming of the NIagicians, 207. Plans for a second, military expedition in 1939-1940 failed, e.g. Final Intelligence Report (OI-FIR/32), "The Activities of Dr. Ernst Schaefer, Tibet Explorer and Scientist with 5S-Sponsored Institutes," February 12, 1946, National Archives, Washington, RG 238, lVI-1270, Roll 27, fols. 7-9; Bundesarchiv Berlin, NS 1912709, fa!. 35-41. 95 His name was Bordjal (Tib. spu rgyal i). However, his integration into German life was so complete that he could be traced only with difficulty at the beginning of the 19405 near Stuttgart. In 1920 he had married Tafel's cook and taken a German name. Bundesarchiv Berlin, R135/46, fa!. 162120, 162123, 164458, 164522, 164527.



Isnm Engelhardt

that in the Second vVorld vVar Mongolian Kalmyks had fought on the side of the Germans, although at the end of the war there were almost no Kalmyks in Berlin.?6 Nonetheless, it was thus that the myth arose. Once "Pauwels and Bergier had provided this basic stock of myths relating to the occult inspiration of Nazism, further authors were tempted into a sensational field."97 Trevor Ravenscroft added to this repertoire of myths in his widely read work, also translated into several languages, The Spem' ofDestiny: It was largely through the initiative of Professor Karl Haushofer and other members of the Vril Society in Berlin and Munich that exploratory teams were sent out to Tibet. The succession of German expeditions to Tibet, which took place annually from 1926 to 1942, sought to establish contact with Cave Communities and persuade them to enlist the aid of Luciferic and Ahrimanic Powers in the furtherance of the Nazi cause and in the projected mutation which would herald the new race of Superman. Three years after the first contact had been made with the Adepts of Agarthi and Shamballah, a Tibetan community was established in Germany with branches in Berlin, Nlunich, and Nuremberg. But only the adepts of Agarthi, the servants of Lucifer, were willing to support the Nazi cause. The Initiates of Shamballah, who were concerned with the advent of materialism and the furtherance of the machine age, flatly refused to co-operate. Serving Ahriman, they had already made contact with the vVest and were working in affiliation with certain lodges in England and America! The adepts of Agarthi were known in Germany as "The Society of Green Men" and strong measures were taken to keep silence about their real significance. They were joined by seven members of the "Green Dragon Society" of Japan, with whom they had been in astral communication for hundreds of years .... During the final months of the war the lamas from Tibet were utterly neglected by the Nazis. They had failed in their mission to harness the powers of Lucifer to the Nazi cause. To show his personal disfavour Hitler ordered that they should live on the same reduced rations as the inmates of the Concentration Camps. vVhen the Russians reached their quarters in the suburbs of Berlin, they discovered their naked bodies lying in orderly rows, each with a ceremonial knife piercing the abdomen." This freely invented fantasy obviously incorporated dualist ideas taken from the anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner. However, I was unable to discover any reliable information about the "Green Dragon Society" or the "The Society of Green Nlen." In the first book on this general topic in the German-speaking world, Dietrich Bronder's 1975 Bevo1' Hitler kanz, we read: In 1928 the Thule Society, via the strong Tibetan colony in Berlin with which Haushofer was in permanent contact, is said to have resu~ed the links to Tibet's secret societies of monks, which were even maintained during the Joachim Hoffmann, Deutsche und Kalnzyken, 1942-1945 (Freiburg: Rombach, 1974). N. Goodrick-Clarke, The Black Sun, 117. 98 Trevor Ravenscroft, The Spear of Destiny: The Occult Power Behind the Spear, which Piened the Side ofCh6st (New York: McGraw-HilI, 1972): 255-257.
96 97

The Nazis a/Tibet

Second vVorld vVar. The key used in radio communication between Berlin and the Tibetan capital of Lhasa at this time was the book Dz)'an, a secret book of magic of Tibetan sages. . The links to Tibetan Buddhism forged by Trebitsch, Haushofer, and Hess were represented by Karo Nichi, an emissary of the Tibetan Agartha in Berlin; he wore the brush-shaped moustache that indicated an adept. On the evening before the outbreak of the Second World vVar Schafer's SS expedition departed from Germany for Tibet, guided by Karo Nichi and Eva Speimiiller, bringing the Dalai Lama radio equipment with which to set up links between Lhasa and Berlin. Schafer's SS men were permitted to enter the holy city of Lhasa, otherwise barred to Europeans and Christians-and even the lamas' magnificent temple, containing one single enormous object, the holiest symbol of the Mongolian empire: the swastika.'9


Of course, the expedition was neither led by the unknown Karo Nichi, supposed emissary of Tibetan Agartha in Berlin, nor did it have the aim of supplying the Dalai Lama with radio equipment to pass messages between Lhasa and Berlin and establish an axis of the occult, as claimed by Dietrich Bronder. It is, however, correct that the expedition brought gramophones and a radio, which were presented to the Regent and the Kashag; however, these objects, which were part of the equipment of the expedition, were only converted into gifts during the course of the expedition. lOo The myth would be recycled and reconstituted in works in English, German, and French. Although the members of the Schafer expedition had no knowledge of Illion's Darlmess ove7' Tibet before 1941, the introduction to the currentlyavailable edition states: "It is believed that Illion's accounts of Tibet were instrumental in persuading the Nazi government of Germany to send yearly expeditions into Tibet,"IOI which "tried to find fossilized remains of giants. Anyone who attacked Horbiger was promptly suppressed by the 'Ahnenerbe'."I02 It is evidently of no importance that, as natural scientists, all members of the expedition categorically rejected the vVorld-Ice Theory and specifically refused to allow it to be included as part of the expedition's goals. The sources continued to be equally creative, stating that there were "persistent rumors that the Nazi interest in Tibet was actually inspired by a desire to contact the black adepts of Shambhala and/or Agartha and to enlist their aid in the conquest of the world."JOJ Rudolf Hess is said to have cried in a moment of euphoria, "The secret powers of Tibet are fighting on the side of the Axis powers."I04 And the German Tibet


Dietrich Bronder, Bevor Hitler kam: Eine histo1-iscbe Studie, 2"d ed. (Geneva: lVlarva,

1975): 248-251.

Bundesarchiv Koblenz, R 73/1498, fo1. 25. Theodore Illion, Dadmess over Tibet (Kempton, Illinois: Adventure Unlimited Press, 1997): v. Similarly David Hatcher Childress, Lost Continents and the Hollow Eartb (Stelle, Illinois: Adventure Unlimited Press, 1999): 325 as mentioned in Alan Baker, Invisible Eagle: Tbe Histo1J' OfNazi Occultism (London: Virgin, 2000): 121. 102 Dusty Sklar, Gods and Beasts: The Nazis and the Occult (New York: Crowell, 1977): 77. !OJ A. Baker, Invisible Eagle, 121. 104 R. Faligot and R. Kauffer,Le nzarchi dzt diable, 244.
100 101


Imtn Engelhardt

expedition was said to be an attempt by tbe Nazis to establish communications witb true "supermen.,,105 In an American book, it is explained that tbese SS men "were the warrior elite of a new civilization, immeasurably superior to the old, tbe high priesthood of the New Age, the standard bearer of the corning Superman. Their leaders were magicians, who had formed alliances witb the mystic Tibetan cities of Agarthi and Schamballah and had mastered the forces of the living universe."106 vVe read in a French work that "there was continuous contact between National Socialist Germany and Tibet and it is known that orders were issued directly by tbe imaginary fatherland of the Germans tbat concerned tbe material conquest of the world by the Seven Initiates of the Society of Thule. v'iTe know today tbat our merciless sectarians were magically 'protected' by their Tibetan masters under the sign of the swastika."107 The letter to Hitler from the Tibetan Regent also triggered speculations: There were also claims that Schafer had brought tbe Fuhrer a document of inestimable value and tbat tbe Fuhrer locked it away in a dark corner of the bunker at Rastenberg where he was said to meditate. However, this docu-. ment was nothing more tban a parchment on which the Dalai Lama had signed a pact of friendship with Nazi Germany, where Hitler was known to him as head of the Aryans. vVhile it is possible tbat Schafer brought such a document with him, it is not possible to estimate tlle value ascribed to it by all sides. Was it a declaration of principles, or merely a document of diplomatic value? ... One item out of all those brought back by Schafer deserves particular attention: the Tantra ritual Kalachakra and a detailed dossier concerning this Tantric initiation ... the first document on this subject to reach the vVest.108 Once again, however, reality is less mysterious. Of course, at tbis time the threeyear-old Dalai Lama had not arrived in Lhasa yet. And, as Bruno Beger confirmed to me, the expedition members were not even aware of the term Kiilachakra 109 and brought no such documents back with themYo Perhaps the authors had confused the term Kiilacha/,ra with tbe Kanjur (bKa' 'gyur), a copy of which had been presented to the expedition in exchange for medical assistance. Yet even this fact galJames H. Brennan, Tbe Occult Reicb (London: Futura, 1974): 82. Gerald Suster, Hitler; tbe Occult NIessiab (New York: St. Martin's, 1981): 191-192. 107 Adolphe D. Grad, Le temps kabbaliste, 12-13. 108 E. iVIila, Nazisme et esoterimze, 86-87. 109 Interview on December 6, 2003. However, it was presumably Johannes Schubert, who had written a list "Desiderata der Tibetforschung," in which he did list a question as to whether there were special places in Tibet, where the Kalacbak1"a cult was still practiced. (Bundesarchiv Berlin, R 135/57 fo!' 151363). It is unknown whether the expedition received this list in time and took it to Tibet. Bruno Beger has no recollection of it. 110 Cf. Gunter Griinbold, Die tibetiscben Blockdmcke de,. BaYe1'iscben Staatsbibliotbek: Eine Titelliste (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1989),in which all blockprints brought to Germany by the Schafer expedition are listed. After having also checked all Tibetan manuscripts from the expedition with the kind help of Namgyal Nyima, I found absolutely nothing of an occult
105 106

nature-rather, they concern mundane matters such as brawls in a restaurant, problems with

the hay harvest, and some prayers.

The Nazis of Tibet .


vanized other authors' imagination and inspired speculations such as those of Dietrich Bronder: "Finally the [Panchen] Lama presented the SS expedition With the Lamaist bible Kanjur in over a hundred volumes, as a gift for his friend Hitler, or Hsi Tale."lll This last "fact," however, would have exceeded the framework of space and time, since the Panchen Lama spent the last 15 years of his life outside Tibet and had died two years prior to the expedition's arrival. A mystery has even been concocted about the fate of this copy of the Kanjur. Peter Levenda speculated: "I have been unable to discover what has happened to it after the war, though I suspect it wound up in a- museum in Vienna."112 Peter Moon even added: "I have been informed by others that they [the documents] ended up in Russian hands and that they were copies of original sacred texts from the inner caves of Tibet. Monks would spend entire lifetimes dutifully copying sacred scriptures and depositing them in secret Ibcations.'>l1l In fact, this impressive hundred volume edition of the new Lhasa Kanjur, initiated by the 13 m Dalai Lama, has spent the last several decades in the Bavarian State Library in Munich. 114 A greater problem, and a murkier one, than that of the work of occult or cryptohistorians, sensationalist writers, or conspiracists are publications by those journalists and self-styled "agents of enlightenment" who, while purporting to bring light into darkness and to demythologize Tibet, actually construct new myths by skillfully mixing fact and fiction-deliberately or not. For example, the American historian Lee Feigon explains: "In the late 1930s Hitler and Himmler went so far as to send an expedition to Tibet to measure Tibetan head sizes and ascertain that the Tibetans were .not Jews but true Aryans. Hitler even is reputed to have brought a group of monks back to Germany, instructing them to perform special chants to alter weather patterns in preparation for his ill-fated Russian invasion."115 Orville Schell, an American professor of journalism, reports: "Indeed, as early as 1926, long before they were a force to be reckoned with, future Nazi supporters managed to send the first of several 'anthropological' expeditions to the area under the leadership of zoologist Ernst Schafer."ll6 The occult insinuations surrounding the expedition reappeared in 1997, when the release of the film Seven Years in Tibet, based in large part on his 1952 book,117 prompted research into Heinrich Harrer's Nazi past. Among statements published at that time we find things like this:
111 D. Bronder, Bevor Hitler kam, 2S0-251. However, of course, in Tibetan "Hitler" was not spelled "Hsi Tale" but "he ti lar." 112 Peter Levenda; Unholy Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement with the OCCZtlt, 2nd ed. (New York: Continuum, 2002): 196. 11l Peter Moon, The Black Sun: Montauk's Nazi-Tibet Connection (New York: Sky Books, 1997): 211. 114 Cf. Gunter Gronbold, The Words of the Buddha in the Languages of the World (Munich: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 2005): 128-129. 115. Lee Feigon, Demystifying Tibet (Chicago: Elephant, 1996): 15. 116 Orville Schell, Virtual Tibet: Searchingfor Shangri-La from the Himalayas to Hollywood (New York: Holt, 2000): 289. 117 Heinrich Harrer, Sieben Jahre i'; Tibet; mein Leben am Hoft des Dalai Lama (Vienna: Ullstein, 1952).


Imm Engelhardt
In 1938,Schafer left for Tibet with 30 men and a large cache of weapons, arriving'in Lhasa in early 1939.... The SS storm troops were on a mission to persuade the Tibetan army, by giving them gifts, to wean it away'from British influence .... The plan was ... that it was the Tibetans who would teach the Germans how to survive in the harsh environmentYs

And even more of a falsification: Himmler believed that the Tibetans were fellow Aryans. Schafer's mandate was to turn the Tibetans against the British with the ultimate end of forming a German-Tibetan Aryan alliance that would eventually conquer Asia. Tibet would be then settled by colonies of Germans seeking the precious Nazi ideal of Lebensraum-"living space.'H!9 However, even if individual authors were forced to admit, after conscientious research and, for example, after searching all files in the National Archives in Washington, that they could fmd nothing "about the occult activities and interests of the Third Reich concerning Tibet,"120 they often conclude with innuendo along the lines of this: "Thus we cannot rule out the hypothesis that Schafer was involved in something more than butterfly gathering in this historic (and official) trek to the Himalayas at that time of great international crisis and global tensions."!2!

An Attempt at Explanation, based on Considerations of Conspiracy Theories

What is it that compels authors to write such things? The root causes, the methods of representation ahd the conventions of the genre may be approached from the perspective of conspiracy theories,122 where events are interpreted from the viewpoint of the occult, and groups are identified as "secret societies."
lIB Gerald Lehner and Tilman Miiller, "Dalai Lama's Friend: Hitler's Champion," Rimal Ouly/August 1997): 42-44, here 44. This is the English translation of the article in the German magazine Stern from May 28, 1997, which triggered an avalanche of "revelations." '119 David Roberts, "The Nazi Shadow in Tibet," Men's Journal 6.8 (1997): 61-62, 119120, here 62. !10 P. Levenda, Unholy Alliance, 191. III P. Levenda, Unholy Alliance, 192-193. Despite Levenda's frequently quoted comparison of Schafer to a "Nazi Indiana Jones" (p. 194), he never had anything to do with the search for any Ark of the Covenant, Holy Grail, etc. III This section on conspiracy theories and myths is drawn from the following literature: Geoffrey T. Cubitt, "Conspiracy Myths and Conspiracy Theories," Journal of the Anthropological SoCiety ofO:iford 20 (1989): 12-26; Dieter Groh, "The Temptation of Conspiracy Theory, or: Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People? 'Preliminary Draft of a Theory of Conspiracy ;Theories," in Changing Conceptions of Conspiracy, eds. Carl F. Graumann and Serge Mbscovici (Berlin: Springer, 1987): 1-11; Daniel Pipes, Conspi1YlCY: Row the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where it Comes p"om (New York: Free Press, 1997); John Roberts, The Mythology ofSecret Sodeties (London: Seeker & Warburg, 1972); Armin Pfahl-Traughber, Der antisemitisch-antifreimaurerische Verschwbrungsmythos in de1" Weima1"er Republik zmd im NS-Staat (Vienna: Braumtiller, 1993): 115; Armin Pfahl-Traughber, '''Bausteine' zu einer Theorie tiber 'Verschworungstheorien': Definitionen, Erscheinungsformen, Funktionen und Urs.chen,"

The Nazis of Tibet


According to Geoffrey Cubitt, "A conspiracy myth tells the supposedly true and supposedly historical story of a conspiracy and of the events and disastrous effects to which it has given rise."l2l Daniel Pipes observes that "a conspiracy theory is the fear of a non-existent conspiracy. The German term Verschworungsmytbos ('myth of conspiracy') serves better than the English conspi7Y1cy tbe07Y, for it points more directly to the imaginary nature of the content."124 Conspiracy myths arise in times of radical social upheaval and sustained agitation. In this situation of insecurity and problems of orientation, conspiracy myths are a method of mastering crises and a simple cognitive tool, which "makes it easier to reduce dissonant perceptions, and allows one to reduce complexity," and there is a great "power of attraction resulting from the unburdening and reducing function in a dualist view of the world."125 Even though the act of revelation itself does not contain actual blueprints for solutions, it is an unburdeningl26 Thus in an effort to give a comprehensible explanation of the threatening situation of the rise to power of Hitler and National Socialism, the pivotal emotional experience of a superpower, and the need to exonerate one's own failure, Hitler and the Nazi ruling elite are demonized~since one is powerless against demons.127 However, the mysterious and secret nature of the alleged activities is one of the reasons for the attraction and power of conspiracy myths. The characteristic features of conspiracy myths are a dualistic world view and occultism: nothing is accidental and appearances deceive. Conspiracists adopt the role of champions of a duped public. l28 "Any conspiracy theory involves a claim to provide access to a realiin Verscbwo'T7mgstbeorien: Them'ie - Gescbicbte - Wir'kzmg, ed. Helmut Reinalter (Innsbruck: Studien Verlag, 2002): 30-44; Michael Hagemeister, "Die hotokolle del' FVeisen von Zion - eine Anti-Utopie oder der groBe Plan in der Geschichte?" in VeTscbwonmgstheoTien, 45-57; D. Rose, Die Tbule-GeselischaJt. The following articles are in Ute Caumanns and lvIathias Niendorf (eds.), VencbwoTUngstbemoien: AntbTopologiscbe Konstanten - HistoTiscbe Viwianten (Osnabriick: fibre, 2001); Rudolf, "Verschworungstheorien aus pSYchologischer und historischer Sicht," 11-30; Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein, "Die These von der Verschworung der Freimaurer," 75-88; Michael Hagemeister, "Die PTotokolle deT Weisen von Zion - eine AntiUtopie oder der grosse Plan ... ," 89-100; Dieter Groh, "Verschworungstheorien revisited," 187-196; Ute Caumanns and Mathias Niendorf, "Ra11m und Zeit, Mensch und Methode: Uberlegungen zum Phiinomen der Verschworungstheorie," 197-210. 12l G. Cubitt, "Conspiracy Myths," 130 124 D. Pipes, Conspiracy, 21. 125 D. Groh, "The Temptation of Conspiracy Theory," 5. 126 R.Jaworsky, "Verschworungstheorien," 22. 127 No Goodrick-Clarke, Black Sun, 108, 109, 113: "All writers in this genre document a secret history of the Third Reich, unknown to conventional historians, as the instrument of dark powers for the achievement of satanic ends" and "dehistoricize the facts of dictatorship, terror, war and oppression into a mythical tableau of demonic mission." The claim is made that "Hitler's rise to power is directly linked to supernatural, secret power that supported and controlled Hitler and his entourage" and "that the Nazi leadership was determined to establish contact with an omnipotent subterranean theocracy in the East, mainly Tibet, and gain knowledge of its power. It was supposed that this power would enable Germany to conquer the whole world."

R.Jaworsky, "Verschworungstheorien," 27.




ty which is. by its nature, hidden,,129 and there is an occult force operating behind the seemingly real outward forms of political life. Such myths primarily tend to be triggered by groups and organizations that appear impenetrable, and that give rise to the wildest speculations on the grounds of their obscure organizational structure and mysterious rituals and symbols. Thus, according to the crypto-historians, the occult connection with Tibet in the era of National Socialism is supposed to have operated via the SS. A specific technique is used to establish causality and plausibility: the gap in one conspiracy myth is explained by yet another conspiracy mythY o Narrative techniques are also used in the attempt to create plausibility, when details are scattered throughout the text to convey insider knowledge or feign authenticity concerning insider knowledge. l3l A rational method is applied, although not immediately recognizable as such: the generation of calculated insecurity by means of manipulative elements of style,ll2 vague formulations such as passive verbs and indeterminate pronouns ("they"), allusions and references to long-lost printed sources and so-called secret dossiers. vVe have seen all these techniques at work in the specific case of the Schafer expedition. Despite the dubious treatment given to scientific and pseudoscientific speculative literature alike by these crypto-historians, they nonetheless view themselves as genuine historians, often making efforts to imitate the forms of genuine researchYJ Furthermore, occult historians and conspiracy theorists commonly slight traditional historians, promising to reveal secrets that they imply would have been avoided by these historians out of prejudice, cowardice or even a deliberate intention to conceal,u4 They dismiss contradictory evidence as a sign of a conspiracy. However, conspiracy myths must contain a kernel of truth and reasonableness to make them plausibleP5 Schafer did, after all, lead an expedition to Tibet at a time of great worldwide tension. Further, to make an organization appear more historical and weighty, the allegedly conspiratorial groups are depicted as a homogeneous block, even if totally unconnected with each other;1l6 this gives the impression of a united power operating its conspiracies in secret at not only a national, but a globallevelY7 Its leaders 129 G. Cubitt, "Conspiracy JVlytbs," 16.
D. Pipes, Conspimcy, 41. U. Caumanns and M. Niendorf, "Raum und Zeit," 205. ll2 D. Rose, Die TbulegesellschaJt, 197. lJJ D. Pipes, Conspiracy, 34. 134 For example, the cover blurb of a book by James H. Brennan states: "This is the strangest book ever written about Nazi Germany. It deals with facts-but facts that orthodox historians ignore." James Herbert Brennan, Occult Reich, 2"d ed. (London, 1976), cited in D. Rose, Die Tbule-GesellschaJt, 166. Brennan went on to publish Occult Tibet: Secret P'Ylct;ces ofHimalayan Magic (St. Paul, Minnesota: Llewellyn, 2002). lJ5 Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein, "Die These von der Verschworung der Freimaurer,"

136 D. Pipes, Conspimcy, 133: "Time and place hardly matter," Conspirators "are blithely located where they do not live," secret societies "blamed for conspiracies occurring long before either group came into existence." 137 A. Pfahl-Traughber, Der antisemitisch-antifreimaul''''iscbe Verschwb'rzmgsmythos, 117.

The Nazis of Tibet


commonly invent long histories of connections to other groups. However, "conspiracism turns some of history's most powerless and abused peoples into the most pmverful,"1l8like the Tibeta:rs in our case.

Ironic Pamdox: Nazi Construction of Tibetan Wodd Conspimcy

Is there any evidence among writings by the Nazis themselves concerning a Tibetan connection? Here an ironic paradox emerges, one which devastatingly demonstrates the absurdity of the myths, attributions, and imputations of an occult collaboration with secret Tibetan world commanders. Beginning in the early 1930s, a number of National Socialist writings, all of which achieved widespread circulation, painted a diametrically opposed scene of a Tibetan world conspiracy directed against Germany and Europe, a topos that was developed by another group of crypc to-historians, using the same techniques we have seen coming into play in the creation of the Tibetan connection myth. As noted earlier, Hitler's attitude towards Tibet was characterized by his lack of interest and understanding of Asia and Tibet. "His thoughts and actions essentially fell into European categories at all times. To Hitler, Asia remained a foreign and misunderstood world."1l9 However, Alfred Rosenberg, the "chief ideologist" of National Socialism, already held decidedly different opinions as early as 1930. In his main work, The ~Myth of the 20';' Century, he expressed his understanding of "'history' as the struggle of antagonistically interrelated powers" and designated the Roman Catholic Church to be the principal enemy seeking world domination, claiming that its sole aim was the subjugation of the faithful to the claims of power and mastery represented by its exclusive caste of priests. 140 Thus all eras of Germany's history were assigned "without exception to the primary antithesis of 'Germanic struggles against Rome' and interpreted accordingly."141 Although Rosenberg was fascinated by ancient India142 and in general interpreted Buddhism in a positive light,'43 he was evidently influenced by Albert GrlinwedeP44 in his rejection of Tibetan Buddhism,'45 to which his conspiracy-based views ascribed
D. Pipes, Conspi1'acy, 48. Johannes H. Voigt, "Hitler und Indien," Vie17:eljabTesbefte fiir Zeitgescbicbte 19 (1971): 33-63, here 33. 140 Cf. Frank-Leithar Kroll, Utopie als Ideologie: Gescbichtsdenken und politisches Handeln im Dritten Reich: Hitl,, - Rosenberg - Dam! - Himmle,- - Goebbels (Paderborn: Schoningh, 1998): 134-135. 141 F. Kroll, Utopie als Ideologie, 146. 142 Alfred Rosenberg, De,. iVlythus des 20. Jabdntnderts (Munich: Hoheneichen, 1940, first published 1930): 28-32,147-150,265-273,389-390,660-664. 143 A. Rosenberg, Mythzzs, 265, 341. 144 Rosenberg had obviously discovered the leading German Orientalist, philologist and archaeologist Albert Grunwedel through the inaccurate decipherings and strange interpretations of Etruscan texts that the elderly and already sick Griinwedel had attempted; cf. Reinhard Bollmus, Das Arm Rosenb"'g ztnd seine Gegner: Studi"z ZZim iVlacbtkampf im nationalsozialistischen He17'schaftssystem (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, 1970): 23, 257. 145 A. Rosenberg, iVlythus, 65. Grunwedel had viewed the Etruscan texts as "new testimolJB lJ9


Isrun Engelhardt

negative influences on the Roman Catholic Church such as "the rosary still in use today in Tibet, the mechanism of which has been perfected in the prayer wheel" and the custom 'of "kissing the Pope's foot; the Dalai Lama demands the same honor today .... Lamaism had, in the form of the Roman priestly caste, completed its invac sion and continued the Oriental policies of the Babylonians and Egyptians and Etruscans." Furthermore, we learn from Rosenberg, that'it was Martin Luther who had halted "the progress of that magical monster that had come to us from Central Asia" and had "marched into battle against this spiritual totality, remaining as the victor." Had Martin Luther not saved the Western world, "Europe today would have attained the state of the filth-encrusted holy men of India and Tibet, a state of the utter imbecility, the most dreadful superstition, poverty and misery-as its caste of priests grew steadily richer.,,146 The most absurd conspiracy myths, however, were developed by the retired general Erich Ludendorff and his wife Mathilde and their circle. After this brilliant commander of the First World War47 had lost his position of military and political power with the 1918 Armistice, "the frustrated manwho had been the virtual master of G~many's destimes, General Erich Ludendorff, sought an outlet for his bitterness,,148 and attempted to carve ,out an image for himself as a populist politician. The Ludendorffs were constantly at loggerheads with everyone, including Hitler.149 The anti-Semitic attitude they held, however, was even more radical than that of the National Socialists. 150 Ludendorff had developed a belief in the activities of "supranational powers"~worldJewry, the Roman Catholic Church, Freemasonryand believed it his historic task to uncover "global conspiracies" and "supranational powers" and to attack the imaginary foes who were supposed to have deprived him and Germany of victory. Around 1931 151 they discovered Tibet and the "Asian priests" as a further power in the global conspiracy, and began to denounce Tibetan monasteries as centers of a new, Judeo-Freemason, global conspiracy with the aim of installing the Dalai Lama as ruler of the world. In 1938 they put together their attacks on the "Tibetan priestly caste," recycling their collected articles for publication in their joint work Europa den Asienpriestern?
ny to the original home of witchcraft and Satanism as 'being on European soil" and perceived a "close relationship with the Tibetan Tantras oflamaism." 146 A. Rosenberg, lvIytbus, 184-186. 147 "He possessed outstanding military talent, .. , and he must be ranked as one of the very greatest military organizers of all time," Donald James Goodspeed, Ludendo7if: Soldier: Dictator: Revolutionary (London: Hart-Davis, 1966): 248. 148 TbeAme7'icanMerczl1'Y 52 (February 1941), No. 206. 149 However, the allegedly prophetic letter written by Ludendorff to Reich President Hindenburg at the end ofJanuary 1933, in which he expressed a warning concerning Hitler, is pure fiction. Cf. Lothar Gruchmann, "Ludendorffs 'prophetischer' Brief an Hindenburg vom Januar/Februar 1933. Eine Legende," Vimeljabrsbefte for Zeitgescbichte 47 (1999): 559-562. 150 Winfried Martini, Die Legende vorn Haztse Ludendorff(Rosenheim, ca. 1949): 72; cf. also Gert Borst, Die LudertdorffBewegung 1919-1961: Eine Anatjse monologer Kammunikationsformen in der' sozialen Kamnzzmikation (PhD diss., University of Munich, 1969): 261-264. 151 Erich Ludendorff, Vom Feldberm zum Welt1'evolutioniir und Wegbereiter Deutscber Volksscbopftmg: Lebenserinnerungen II (Stuttgart: Hohe Warte, 1951): 343.

Tbe JVazis of Tibet


Although both Mathilde LudendorffI52 and Hermann Rehwaldt lS' frequently pointed out that at the time Tibet had neither a Panchen Lama nor a Dalai Larin and that civil war was imminent in the country, the specter of a global conspiracy originating in Tibet was conjured, as the following passages from Ezwopa den Asienpriestern? demonstrate: The General [Ludendorff] wisely let the situation develop until he directed the eyes of the people-initially a few years ago, and since then repeatedlyto the Roof of the 'World, Tibet, and to the desire for world power held by Asiatic priests,E4 With good reason, we refrained for a long time from informing the people of the danger emanating from the Tibetan priestly caste, for we were aware of the shoulder-shrugging and wanton indifference with which the Germans treat occultism, as if it were a mere game for semi-lunatics that could never hope to shape global history, to say nothing of that global history that portends such calamity for the freedom of the German people. In the past few years we have begun to reveal the goals of political world dominance held by the Asiatic priests to the people in all their detail. This aspect of our struggle has also achieved successYs In fact the spread of Central Asian occultism in tlle Western world, i.e., in Europe and the United States, to a previously unheard of extent is one of the strangest phenomena of the twentieth century. It was associated with the spread of certain secret orders that are inseparable froIll "mysteries." And yet today it does not seem so strange. The Buddhist caste of priests at the "Roof of the World" is the oldest priestly caste still in existence in the world. 'so Authors close to the circle of Ludendorff, whose writings had already triggered a renaissance in conspiracy theory in Germany beginning at the end of the 1920s,157 denigrated the Tibetans as a people greedy for spiritual power in Europe "and working for the purpose of the 'great plan' of the occult ruler of the world.,,'58 S. Ipares, Fritz vVilhelmy, Josef Strunk, and Hermann Rehwaldt published further writings concerning the Tibetan global conspiracy-and all, with but one exception, were published by Ludendorff's own press. Ipares explains that "this is by no means the start of the Eastern world's preparations for an unimaginably sweeping global attack on the white races' plans for world dominance .... However, behind these masses from the Middle and Far East

152 Nlathilde Ludendorff, "Es rumort im 'Dache der Welt'," Am heilige?! Quell deutsche?' Kmft 9 (November 5, 1938): 460-464. 153 Hermann Rehwaldt, "Gotter, Priester, Politik: Der Buddhismus als weltpolitischer Faktor," Am heilige?! Quell deutsche?' Kmft 8 (February 5,1938): 831-839. 154 Erich and Mathilde Ludendorff, Europa den AsienpTiestem? (Munich: Ludendorffs Verlag 1938): 27. 155 E. and M. Ludendorff, Ew'opa den AsienpTiestem?, 2L 156 E. and M. Ludendorff, Ezt1'opa den AsienpTiestem?, 5. 157 A. Pfahl-Traughber, De,. antisemitisch-antifreimmwerische Ve1'SChWo71mgsmythos, 64. 158 Hermann Rehwaldt, vVeissagungen (Munich: Ludendorffs Verlag, 1939): 133.


Isrun Engelhardt

pressing onto the great stage of world politics, there watches an invisible power that influences and guides them, the occult hiemnhia ordinis of the lamaist theocracy."159 vVilhelmy was troubled by the fact that the Dalai Lama is alleged to bear "the presumptuous sounding, pompous title of 'Secret Ruler of the vVorld'."160 Josef Strunk warns: "NIay the people therefore recognize the great danger threatening them more than ever before from the 'Roof of the vVorld.' May they be vigilant that their striving for freedom be not abused by these, for the spirit of Asia is already among them."161 Hermann Rehwaldt was one of the most active publicists of the Ludendorff movement during the Third Reich, and he continued to address the subject in his manifesto and several articles. Rehwaldt belonged to a new group of propagandists trained in this role by the Ludendorffs from 1935. 162 He argued: The occasional influence on the Occident by ideas from the Orient was not sufficient for Tibet's sages. Like all priestly hierarchies, they derive their power over men directly from heaven. Like all propagators of world religions, they take this as the orientation of their claim to world domination. However noble their motivation~world domination to world sublimation~ it is this that they strive for, conceiving ways and means to speed the achievement of this, their goal. And despite ali the sweet and seductive words of a world movement of love, peace and general global joy, the "Sages of Tibet" are prepared to use any methods in championing their claim to world domination~including monstrous genocide. 16] In 1939, he wrote that "Europe is currently undergoing a period of invasion by the third, previously little-known supranational power, the full form of which was only revealed by the General~'Tibet'!"164 And further on he added: "From there, the secret supreme priestly caste of all Asia extended its tentacles into every country in the Far East, Central and Northern Asia, India, the Near East, and even beyond to America, Africa, Australia and Europe."165 As late as 1955, writing under the pseudonym German Pinning, Rehwaldt mentioned that the Ludendorffs had reported on Tibet's supranational power and invas'ion of the vVest in EztTopa den Asienpl~iestern.2, and concluded by actually claiming: "Today, after some twenty years, they are suddenly 'topical' as if they had been written specifically for our age. At the time, in 1937, people still laughed at the idea that
159 S. Ipares [i.e., Harry DorflerJ, Geheime vVeltmiichte: Bine Abhandlzmg iiber die "ln1ZelT Regierung" del' Welt (Munich: Ludendorffs Verlag, 1936): 45. 160 Fritz Wilhelmy, Asekha, del' Meistez, aus Femost: Der Kreztzzug del' Bettelmonche! (Dusseldorf: Verlag "Deutsche Revolution," 1937): 25. 161 ]. Strunk, Z" Juda - Rom - Tibet: 1hz' Ringen zan die vVelthez7'Scbaft (Munich: Ludendorffs Verlag, 1937): 51. 162 Helmut Neuberger, vVinkelnzass und Haken/,,-euz: Die F,-eimazwer zmd das D,'itte Reich (Munich: Herbig, 2001): 341. 163 Hermann Rehwaldt, Vom Dacb der vVelt: UbeT die "Syntbese aller Geisteskultur" in Ost zmd West (Munich: Ludendorffs Verlag, 1938): 16,57. 164 H. Rehwaldt, vVeissagzmgen, 14. 165 H. Rehwaldt, vVeissagzmgen, 48.

Tbe Nazis a/Tibet


some 'heathen,' 'savage,' idolatrous priests in the remote monasteries of impenetr!lble Tibet could influence the highly civilized political and cultural life of Europe and America. No one could believe that the religious and philosophical ideas of Asia, springing up everywhere and propagated on all sides, could be directed centrally from a specific location."166 . In the 1930s the reputation enjoyed by the retired general still sufficed to promote these claims, which evidently reached a broad public. In addition, the Ludendorffs could rely on their own publishing house, several periodicals, and, at one time, forty bookshops under their ownership. On lecture tours, the Ludendorffs succeeded in filling halls holding well over a thousand people.167 All this contributed significantly to the high sales figures of their writings. Even though the serious press refused to have anything to do with their publications,168 the Ludendor:ffs increasingly isolated themselves and the public prestige of the retired general crumbled. Yet, the Ludendorff's works were not without effect.169 For example, Ludendorff's fortnightly publication Am beiligen Quell deZttscher Kraft even reported on the adoption of their beliefs in Holland 170 and Italy.l71 A news report in the New York Journal from April 27, 1938, in which Henry Ford had stated in an interview that he was an adherent of the Indian doctrine of reincarnation concluded that "Ford [appeared to be] the spiritual representative of the 'Wise Men ofTibet'.,,172 Thus it is the ironic paradox of these Nazi writings that they not only do not provide any evidence to support the claim of the existence of any Nazi-Tibetan conspiracy for world domination, but rather corroborate our debunking of the claims of the above mentioned authors and crypto-historians.

Neo-Nazi Constructions ofa Nazi-Tibet Connection

In tile past; allegations that Hitler and National Socialist policy were controlled from afar by the supernatural and occult powers of Tibetan "Hidden Masters" were exploited to lend comprehensibility to the horror of Hitler and Nazi rule; by elevating them to a plane of magic. However, since the 1990s new trends have begun to emerge. These trends emerge from the right-wing neo-Nazi sector. On the one hand Neo-Nazi apologists employ the conspiracy myths about the Tibetans as supposed friends of the Nazis in order to exculpate Hitler and the Nazi regime and portray part of the National Socialist ruling elite as innocently ensnared victims, while
166 German Pinning, "Tibet vor den Toren," De,. Quell, Zeitscb.-ift fli' Geistesfreiheit 7 (1955): 797-801, here 797. 167 G. Borst, Die Ludend01ff-Bewegtmg 1919-1961, 204. 168 Mathilde Ludendorff, "Tibet macht Weltgeschichte," De,. Quell, ZeitschriJt fur Geistesji-eiheit 7 (1955): 481-486, here 481. 169 A. Pfahl-Traughber, Der antisemitisch-antiji-eimaurerische Verschwii,.,.ngsmythos, 68. 170 Am heiligen Quell dentscher Kraft 9 (March 20, 1939): 775. 171 Am heiligen Quell deutscher Kraft 10 Uuly 14, 1939): 331. 172 Am heiligen Quell detttscher K,aft 9 Uune 20, 1938): 194. This was probably also an allusion to the "Protocols of the Elders [Wise Men] of Zion."


Imm Engelhardt

on the other hand assimilating the Tibetans and the Dalai Lama as their comrades in National Socialism. In this vein, an astonishing article was published in 1995 in a US neo-Nazi publication by A. V Schaerffenberg, entitled "The Fuhrer and the Buddha." Although the article itself is extremely diffici:!lt to locate, an abridged version of its content is widely available on the Internet as "Germany and Tibet," and it has been translated into severallanguages.173 Schaerffenberg writes: The Tibetans' relationship with National Socialism began even, while Adolf Hitler was batrling the Jewish strangle-hold on Germany. During the 1920's Thupten Gyatso was the 13 th Dalai Lama, or religious-political leader of Tibet. He was a scholar of deep learning and wide intelligence who sought to strike a balance between technical innovations from the West and the spirimal heritage of the East. He had many books translated from European languages into Tibetan. One of these was Mein Kampf Even in the distant Himalayas, Thupten Gyatso had heard something about this man of humble origins who inspired almost religious admiration from millions of his followers. The Dalai Lama was more than impressed by the written eloquence of this uneducated ex-soldier. The inji, a Tibetan term for "honorable foreigner," is assisted by God for some high purpose in his life. He filled his copy of the FUhrer's masterpiece with pithy annotations of enthusiastic agreement and underlined numerous favorite passages in yellow ink, virmally on every page. So much of what he read mirrored the ancient,wisdom of his own Tibetan heritage .... He was likewise surprised to find several important comparisons between National Socialism and Buddhism, especially the belief both held in common regarding service to one's people as the highest dharma, or purpose in one's life. Hitler, of course, was familiar with Buddhist principles, but it seems more likely that both he and Buddha drew upon the same font of Aryan genius to come to similar conclusions. Accordingly, after the FUhrer was elected Chancellor, in 1933 he received warm congratulations all the way from Tibet .... Harrer was part of the National Socialist influences already at work in Tibet for twenty years, but it was his personal contact with Tenzin that formed the 14th Dalai Lama's world-view. It seems strange, and then again, not so strange, that the great spokesman of Tibetan Buddhism is today's only world-class leader who embraced National Socialism, however subtlyY' Schaerffenberg even styles himself as the champion of the Tibetans, who "were being ground under the heel of Chinese Communist executioners" and accuses the Western public of indifference to the fate of the Tibetans. Such assimilations of the Tibetans and the Dalai Lama by neo-Nazis are naturally grist for the mill of those who charge the current Dalai Lama with friendship with the Nazis and with having been influenced during his youth by National Socialism. These charges appeared in the wake of the publicity surrounding Heinrich Harrer's membership of the SS in connection with the 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet; for exam-



w: Grimwald, "Germany and Tibet," first published in NEXUS 4 (May 1996). A.V. Schaerffenberg, "The Fiihrer and the Buddha," The New Order 119 (1995): 2,11.

The Nazis of Tibet .


pIe, Tom Korsky says that "The Dalai Lama has been branded as a Nazi dupe who fell prey to certain influences of the Hitler regime as schoolboy."175 Fascist influences on the Dalai Lama have been inferred from his audiences with lVIiguel Serrano and Shoko Asahara. 176 Even the fictions of Pauwels and Bergier, such as that of the thousand dead Tibetans in German uniform in Berlin at the end of the war, are laid at the Dalai Lama's door: "One wonders what today's Dalai Lama might be conveniently forgetting in relation to his community's Nazi affIliations, each time he proclaims the . Tibetan Buddhist's identification with the suffering of the Jews.,,177

Recent Constructions ofa Tibetan World Conspiracy Myth

Another trend has originated from German authors,in whose books the idealized image of Tibet is being turned into its dark, but equally distorted, mirror image. Here the alleged connections to National Socialism and neo-Fascism are linked to a literal interpretation of the final victory of the armies of Shambhala, with Tibetan Tantric Buddhism being seen as a tool for world dominance by the Tibetans.178 In describing the most strident proponents of such claims, Martin Brauen writes: Like Ipares, Strunk, Ludendorff, Wilhelmy and Rosenberg some sixty years earlier, the Rattg-ens construct a conspiracy theory according to which the Dalai Lama i~ a world ruler and wants to establish a global 'Buddhocracy' by infiltrating the vVest with his omnipotent lamas ... and in sublime way making Western people ... part of his world-wide Kalachakra project. 179 And this wave has already spilled over to fundamentalist evangelical groups in the United States, which are now conjuring up images of an impending TibetoBuddhist global conspiracy. Quite apart from the monstrous nature of these claims, it should be pointed out once again that "conspiracism turns some of history's most powerless and abused peoples into the most powerful."

To conclude, and return to our starting point of the poster at the University of Munich, what actual basis is there for the belief in a Tibetan-Nazi connection? There was no collaboration of any kind whatsoever between the Tibetans and

Tom Korsky, "Dalai Lama a 'Nazi Dupe'," China Morning Post (October 3, 1997). 176 Victor and Victoria Trimondi [i.e., Herbert and Maria RattgenJ, Der Scbatten des Dalai Lama: Se:cualitiit, Magie und Politik in. tibetischen Budhismus (Dusseldorf: Patmos, 1999), and Hitler, Buddha, Krishna; Colin Goldner, Dalai Lama: Fall eines Gottkiinigs (Aschaffenburg: Alibri, 1999). Instead, these audiences were apparently the result of poor planning of either poorly informed advisers, naivete or a lack of inmition with regard to the simation. See for example Helmut Clemens, "1st der Dalai Lama ein Nazifreund? Die Protokolle der Weisen von Munchen," Tibet-Forum 2 (2000): 6-S. 177 Hannah Newman, "The Rainbow Swastika: Nazism and the New Age," http:// 178 V. and V. Trimondi, Der Schatten des Dalai Lama, and Hitler, Buddha, Krishna. 179 lV1. Brauen, Dreamworld Tibet, SO.


Isrztn Engelhardt

Germany in the Second World War. From the outset, the tenor was that "Tibetan opinion appears to expect an Allied victory in the EUFopean War, but the official attitude is one of careful neutrality.,,180 A statement rriade by Minister Surkhang in conversation with the young Tibetan revolutionary Phuntsog Wangyal in 1943 in Lhasa does make plain why certain hopes arose in some circles of the Tibetan aristocracy that Japan and Germany might be victorious, but for strictly domestic reasons: "If Germany and Japan win, the Council of .Ministers feels that we don't have to worry much. The British will eventually withdraw from India and their power will no longer be a direct threat to Tibet. And when Japan conquers China, they will leave Tibet alone. They are a Buddhist country.,,1.1 There is no indication in this statement, however, of any connection with or support of Nazi Germany. Thus, apart from the misrepresented scientific expedition to Tibet of five scholars associated with the SS and the non-committal letter from the Tibetan Regent to Hitler, the only evidence that can be adduced for a Nazi-Tibet connection consists of a host of unproven sensationalist best-selling stories. The occult Nazi-Tibet connection was first concocted by the French in the 1930s as a method to either exonerate or discredit the Nazis, drawing a direct line from Blavatsky's Theosophy to Nazi occultism, and alleging that there had been occult and esoteric connections between the Nazis and Tibet since that period. This same myth has been resurrected today to blacken Tibetan Buddhism and Tibet's exiled representatives, with the claim that the Dalai Lama was influenced by Nazi ideology and insinuating a Tibetan conspiracy to conquer the world. However, in the age of the Internet these conspiracy myths seem to spread with breathtaking rapidity and take root in the minds of those predisposed to such beliefs. Tibet, once a dream world, now a nightmare? The Western imagination appears to be inexhaustible when it comes to inventing new roles for Tibet. Written in May 2005

180 London, British Library, Oriental and India Office Collections (OIOC), LlP&S7121 4165, fa!. 68, Political Department, Secret, note from March 1, 1940. 181 Melvyn C. Goldstein, Dawei Sherap, William R. Siebenschuh, A Tibetan Revolutionary; The Political Life and Times of Bapa Phiintso Wangye (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004): 77-78.

Tibet: The "Ancient Island" of Giuseppe Tucci "Down to our day and age ... Tibet remains an ancient island floating above a world ravaged by new ideas. An island of great culture and of the innate artistic sensitivity of delicate humanity " .. I love the medieval spirit that still lives in Tibet and that, despite outward appearances, leaves a man more in control of himself than he could ever be in the West." These are the words of Giuseppe Tucci and they illustrate his vision of the country that he loved most of all those he had visited: Tibet. Thcci's work was directed towards both geographic exploration and scientific research; this resulted in both scholarly publications and more widely read popular ones. The study presented here tries to describ!, how Tucci's vision of the snow-covered country, which he described from various perspectives (especially the religious), was received by twentieth- century culture and influenced subsequent studies, always taking into consideration the overriding vision that motivated him: that the entire cultural history of Europe and Asia can be written as the history of only one continent: Eurasia.

Tibet: 1' ancienne lIe de Giuseppe Tucci

Encore de nos jours et a notre .opaque ... Ie Tibet reste cette ancienne lIe qui semble flatter sur un monde ravage par de nouvelles idees. Une lIe de grande culture et d'une sensibilite artistique innee d'une humanite delicate ... J'adore cet esprit medieval qui vit encore au Tibet et qui, audela de toute apparence, laisse un homme sous contrOle de lui-meme, bien plus qu'i1 ne pourrait jamais I'etre en Occident . C'est en ces termes que s'exprime Tucci. Ceux-ci m;ntrent clairement Ie regard qu'i1 portait sur Ie Tibet, Ie pays qui, de toutes les contrees qu'i1 a visitees, lui tenait Ie plus a creur. Le travail de ce savant pionnier a eu pour objet autant l'exploration geographique que la recherche scientifique. II s'est consacre non seulement a des publications a caractere scientifique mais aussi a des Ceuvres pour grand public. La presente etude tente de cerner et d'analyser comment la vision de Tucci du pays couvert de neige, qu'i1 decrit selon diverses perspectives (en particulier du point de vue religieux) a ete peryue par la culture' du xx' siecle, et comment elle a influence les etudes ulerieures. Elle prend en compte I'approche globale qui I'a auime, faisant de l'histoire de la culture de I'Europe et de l'Asie I'histoire d'un seul et meme continent: I'Eurasie.



iuseppe Tucci's vision of the "ancient island" of Tibet may serve as a valid metaphor to define the difference between the way of life of the "other" and western concepts prevalent in his times. But first, let us recall briefly some biographical data on the great scholar of Asia. Tucci was born inNIacerata on June 5,1894 and died at S. Polo dei Cavalieri on April 5, 1984. He had a long and active life inspired by a strong humanistic motivation that pushed him to study Asian religion from what we might today consider a global perspective, holding that the entire cultural history of Europe and Asia can be written as the history of only one continent: Eurasia.! He taught Italian language and literature at the Indian universities of Shantiniketan and Calcutta before becoming, in 1932, Professor of "Religion and Philosophy ofIndia and the Far East" at the University of Rome, where he taught until 1964. In 1933, with Giovanni Gentile, he founded the Institute for the Middle and Far East (Istituto per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente - IsMEO), which is today the Institute for Africa and the East (Istituto per I'Africa e I'Oriente - IsIAO), and remained its president until the end of the seventies. It was through this institute in particular that he promoted and developed cultural relations between Italy and East Asian, cultures and developed Italy'S knowledge of East Asian languages and culture. Between 1928 and 1956 he uaveled many times to Tibet and Nepal, absorbing the background and gathering data for his many works on those countries' religions, art, literature, and history. He then directed his attention to other paths and other cultures. He studied Hinduism, Buddhism, and Daoism, in each case basing his religious and philosophical research on a thorough knowledge of philology and linguistics. His interest, I would even say love, for Tibet, which arose from his studies of

For a bibliography of Giuseppe Tucci's scholarly work see Raniero Gnoli, Ric01'do di Giuseppe Tucci (with contributions by Luciano Petech, Fabio Scialpi, Giovanna Galluppi Vallauri) Serie Orientale Roma LV (Rome: IsMEO, 1985) and the contributions in Beniamino Melasecchi (ed.), Giuseppe Tucci-Net centena1"io della nascita (Rome: IsMEO, 1995). See also the newly open website on Tucci:

Images of Tibet in the 19 rb and 20 rb Centuries Paris, EFEO, coll. Etudes thematiques" (22.1), 2008, p. 99-111


Elena De Rossi Filibeck

Buddhism,2 gave to the study of Tibetan culture a special identity, separating it from many other academic studies concerned with the Asian world. The image of "the ancient island'" is, among the many devised by the great Italian scholar, the one that best describes his view of Tibet, the most meaningful in relation to his vision of the snow-covered country. In many passages in his writings Tibet is presented as a place of unspoiled nature that inspires magical visions, a land that is mystical because it is unknown and because it is imbued with a strong religious faith: The Tibetans' almost exclusively religious culture was deepened by the isolation imposed by the belt of mountains that encloses the country' He continues: Few know the tragic beauty of those roads, the brilliant prayer of the land, and the dangers of the paths, and the storms in the sky-all so interrelated that a man walks almost dreamily there, caught between the admiration of a prodigy and the expectation of death.' As we reflect on the meaning of this "image" passed down through generations of readers and scholars, we cannot ignore the fact that Tucci the man was a product of his time, influenced by the culture of his time, especially during his academic formative years. Recent articles 6 on Giuseppe Tucci have ignored this aspect, for essentially two reasons: the first is that there are not as yet any documented studies that examine

See the Introduction to Giuseppe Tucci, Tibet, Paese delle nevi (Novara: De Agostini,
1967): 12. 2nd ed, Rome: Newton Compton Editori, 1980) on p. 116 says: "Fino ad oggi ... il Tibet e restato COIne un'isola antica galleggiante suI manda sconquassato dalle idee nuove. Un'isola di grande cultura, di una sensibilid artistica innata, di umanita delicatissima .... 10 arna

G. Tucci (A Lhasa e olwe, l'ultima esplomzione italiana alla scoperta dei seg"eti del Tibet,

questa aura medievale che anc,?ra spira nel Tibet e che in fondo malgrado Ie apparenze, las cia I'uomo pili padrone di se medesimo di quello che non sia in Occidente." [Down to our day and age ... Tibet remains an ancient island floating above a world ravaged by new ideas. An island of great culture and of the innate artistic sensitivity of delicate humanity .... I love the medieval spirit that still lives in Tibet and that, despite outward appearances, leaves a man more in control of himself than he could ever be in the West.] Unless otherwise noted, all translations are by the anthor. 4 G. Tucci (Italia e O"iente, Rome: IsIAO, 2005) on p. 150 tells us that "Ia cultura quasi unicamente religiosa dei tibetani si approfondiva nell'isolamento cui la cintura delle montagne castringe iI paese .... " , G. Tucci (Italia e Oriente, 154): " ... pochi sanno la tragica bellezza di quelle strade, la scintillante preghiera della terra e Ie insidie dei sentieri, e Ie tempeste del cie10 COS1 congiunte
che Puomo vi cammina quasi trasognato tra l'ammirazione di un prodigio e l'aspettazione

della morte ...." See Gustavo Bonavides, "Giuseppe Tucci, or Buddhology in the Age of Fascism," in Cumto,-s of Buddba, The study of Buddhism 1/uder- Colonialism, ed. Donald S. Lopez (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995): 161-196, and Per Kvaerne, "Tibet images among

Tibet: Tbe ''Ancient Island" of Giuseppe Tucci


sPu rang rdzong (Taklakot), vVeste~n Tibet, June 29, 1935. Giuseppe Tucci with a local dignitary. (Negative stored [Istituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente, Rome] 6027/21)

all aspects of the life of the scholar and thinker that we can refer to/ and the second is that the authors of these articles have tried to interpret Tucci's adherence to fascism as spiritual and intellectual, without considering the cultural climate of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, therefore reading in certain passages of Tucci's work a tout COU7't reflection of fascist ideology. vVe must not forget that within Fascist ideology and culture "one can find everything and its opposite ... since it was

researchers on Tibet," in Imagining Tibet, PeTCeptions, pTojections, and fantasies, eds. Thierry Dodin & Heinz Rather (Boston: vVisdom Publications, 2001): 47-63. These authors did not accept that Tucci subscribed to Fascism in the same way that eighty percent of all Italians at the time did; a man of such great culture and of such great vision could never be a doctrinaire fascist. This was clear to his close friends such as the palaeontologist Ruggero Schiff Giorgini (1882-1949), who was himself arrested by the Nazis for his antifascist views (see the newspaper II NlessaggeTo for lvlay 23, 1950). On Tucci's activities during the fascist regime, the only serious documented study on the subject is Valdo Ferretti, "Politic a e cultura: origini e attivitil dell'IsMEO durante il regime fascist,a," St07'ia Conte7"p07'anea 17.5 (1986): 779-819. Here, Tucci's great cultural work for the Institute is recollected through a careful examination of documents. Raniero Gnoli has left us the best definition of Tucci's position: "His thoughts were elsewhere, somewhere in the past, and if he ever did follow the events of the present it was only because this was necessary for the achievement of his plans and projects; the events of his own time were always secondary to his scholarship." See R. Gnoli, "Giuseppe Tucci e l'India," in Giuseppe Tucci nel centenaTio della nascita, ed. B. lvlelasecchi, 287-295, here 295. 7 These were the words of prof. Giuseppe Parlato during his speech on the Day of Asia 2006 (February 16, 2006) at the IsIAO of Rome.


Elena De Rossi Filibeck

formed by many different ideological blocks of a non-homogeneous nature,'" thereby answering Fascism's desperate need for support and cultural backing. Fascism borrowed extensively from late nineteenth and early twentieth century thought, but this appropriation does not make that thought itself in any way "pre-fascist." Rereading Tucci's works and his actions while positioning them in their correct historical cultural context, we can try to understand which intellectual influences conditioned those images of Tibet that flowed from his pen. Yet we must distinguish between Tucci's scholarly works, which published the scientific results of his travels, and his more popular publications, the latter accompanying the former in a travelogue or travel diary form, or as articles that illustrated special aspects of the expeditions. The "ancient island" image is more common in his popular works, those in which we often find a romantic, late-eighteenth century spirit. According to this spirit, in the travel diary form he allowed himself to give way to emotion and to abandon curiosity about the different in favor of a sensitivity to the remote and the ancient in Tibet, a kind of space-time detachment vis avis modern Europe and elsewhere. Thus Tucci tells us this in another of his written works recalling his travels in Tibet: To enter Tibet not only meant finding oneself in a country where nature isolates and protects, but it was also like traveling through time, immersing oneself in a far off medieval age when religion dominated human thoughts and human actions, as if the events that elsewhere changed and transformed conditions, that caused empires to crumble, and that gave birth to new balances [of power] had not been able to penetrate the snow covered country and overcome the resistance posed by traditions and millennia-old superstitions.' He continues: To travel at a time when the world becomes more and more uniform is to wander in a hospital full of dying people. Flashes of ancient traditions dissolve into a flurry of fading sparks and all we can do is try to bring the dead back to life. There is nowhere left to explore on Earth. With Tibet and Nepal I have ended my travels, and even there all is changing now that the East is absorbing our poison. All that we can do now is to travel back into the

Giovanni Battista Ferri, Filippo Vassalli 0 il diTitto civile come opem d'ane (Padua; Cedam 2002); 4-5. I introduce the example of the great Italian jurist Filippo Vassalli (1885-1955) here because, after the war, he fell upon the same fate as Giuseppe Tucci, i.e., in his appearance before the Investigative Committee (Commissione d'epurazione) for his collaboration in the writing of the Italian Civil Code in 1942. 9 G. Tucci, "II Tibet ne! momento attuale," Rassegna Italiana di politica e di cultzl1'o 18 (1951); 99-108, here 100; "Entrare nel Tibet non significava soltanto trovarsi nel mezzo di
un paese dove la' natura isola e protegge, rna era come andare a ritroso, immergersi in un

medioevo nel quale la religione dominava il pensiero e Ie azioni umane, come se gli avvenimenti che intorno cambiano e trasformano Ie situazioni, fanna crollare imperi e creano altri

equilibri non avessero potmo penetrare nel paese delle nevi e vincere Ia resistenza di tradizioni e superstizioni millenarie."

Tibet: Tbe "Ancient Island" of Giuseppe Tucci

past and, as we deal with shadows and images, the soul finds peace. The rest does not matter. lO


It is important to recall what the late Maurizio Taddei (1936-2000) pointed out, that Tucci avoids the typical late-eighteenth century habit of the narrator's description of small and unimportant incidents at the onset of his travels. Tucci, on the contrary, begins his recollection as if already on location and with his journey from Italy very far away.ll In his popular publications there is a great feeling of melancholy and regret for a disappearing world, and for a nature that "isolates and protects." These impressions are strongly influenced by the cultural tenets of romanticism, but that is not their only source. Between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth the great current of idealism generated ramifications like the romantic idealism of Benedetto Croce and Giovanni Gentile. Te07~ia della spi7~ito conze un atto puro (1916), Gentile's most important work, is undeniably inspired by Fichte's romantic concept of the infinite. In romantic culture, art and religion found new strength: the former as the expression of sentiment, and the latter as the sentiment of the infinite. Artistic experience is thus the only effective way to touch the absolute. The cult and exaltation of the infinite brings with it intolerance for the finite.!' Many passages from Tucci's works show this leaning towards the infinite springing from the experience of uncontaminated nature, as in the following passage: It was already late November. Under a pure sky of crystal transparency the jagged peaks of the Himalayas smiled in all the whiteness and luster of their virgin ice and snow. lVlounts Gaurisankar and Everest seemed lost, giants amongst giants, within the infinite succession of the mountain range and pinnacles. Dazzled by these fantastic sights it almost seems that the religious experiences of whole generations are facing our conscience and giving rise to ineffable feelings of nostalgia that push us inexorably towards God. lJ

10 G. Tucci (La via dello Swat, Rome: Newton Compton Editori, 1978) on p. 92 says: "Non c'" pili nulla da esplorare sulla terra; con il Tibet e il Nepal io ho finito Ie mie esplorazioni; anche II tutto cambia. Ora che l'Oriente sta assorbendo il nostro veleno non c'" altro da fare che scendere nel passato; e siccome abbiamo a che fare con ombre ed immagini, I'anima

e in pace. Tutta il Testa non canta."

11 1vlaurizio Taddei, "Giuseppe Tucci narratore/' in Giuseppe Tucci nel centenoTio della nascita, ed. B. Melasecchi, 113-126, here 113. II On the philosophical tendencies of the early twentieth century see Ludovico Geymonat, Storia del pensie,'o filosofico e scientifico, vol. 7, II Novecento (1) (Milan: Aldo Garzanti Editori, 1976); SIAE (Societii Italiana degli Autori ed Editori) and Nicola Abbagnano, Dizionm-io di filosofia (Milan: UTET, 1971): s.v. "Idealismo," 454-455, and s.v. "Romanticismo," 760. B G. Tucci, "L'ultima mia spedizione sull'Hymalaya," in Nuova Antologia (1933), reprinted as "Himalaya," in G. Tucci, Il paese delle donne dai ntofti 7nal'iti, ed. Stefano lVIalatesta (Vicenza: Neri Pozza Editori, 2005): 19-34, here 34: "Era gia novembre inoltrato: suI cielo purissimo, di una trasparenza cristallina, sorridevano Ie cime dentate dell'Himalaya in tutto il candore e 10 scintillio delle nevi e dei ghiacciai inviolati. II Gaurisankar e rEverest sembravane perdersi, giganti fra giganti, nell'infinita fuga delle giogaie e dei pinnacoli. Destate da queste visioni fantastiche par quasi che Ie esperienze religiose di generazioni intere si affac-

And also:

Elena De Rossi Filibeck

These late-Buddhist schools carefully examined the Self and found in it the image and symbol of the microcosm and taught how to free from our imperfect nature a perfect being, beyond all restraints and all pain. 14 It would almost seem that these are the words of a romantic spirit, yet Tucci himself moves away from romanticism when he writes: Romanticism is always a contradiction between reality and fantasy: The romantic dreams of imaginary escapes while he sits safely at his desk: I, on the other hand, have lived this life and hope to live it even more as long as my years or my body, even more than my will, will permit. l5 The creation of a mythic image of Tibet, a process already widespread in twentieth century culture, was based on some of the same considerations that we can fmd in Tucci's works, especially with regard to the sense of mystery that surrounded Tibetan culture and religion;16 Tucci realized that Tibet's pull on western culture was due to its mysterious and alien nature; in fact even those who have dedicated themselves to the study of Tibetan culture and religi~n still find many shadowy areas "because the science of Tibetan culture is stilI in its infancy ... and Tibetan religion is still a mystery [to us] in its details and liturgy.,,17 Another typical aspect ofIate-nineteenth, early-twentieth century culture is the worry that industrial development and the ensuing uniformity of mass production could somehow destroy the aesthetic ideal of life and therefore destroy the exaltation of the beauty of nature. It is therefore typical of the literary and artistic philosophical culture of the time to see'in the East a world still dominated by natural beauty.'8 This intolerance for the trappings of civilization is very common in Tucci's works when he speaks, for instance, of "these cities of sounds and shrieks and shots,

eino insieme alIa nostra coscienza e suscitando nostalgie ineffabili ci risospingano con forza irresistibile verso Dio." 14 G. Tucci, "Nel Tibet occidentale, Splendori di un mondo che scompare," Le vie d'Italia e del mondo 8 (1935): 911-938, here 918: "... queste seuole del tardo b.uddismo sottoponendo ad acuta analisi il nostro io scoprivano in esso I'immagine e il simbolo del microeosmo ed insegnavano ad enucleare da questa imperfetta natura che noi siamo un essere perfetto al di 1.. di ogni contingenza e di ogni dolore." 15 G. Tucci, Vita nomade (Club Campeggiatori Romani, 1956), reprinted in G. Tucci, II paese delle don17e dai molti mariti, 191-203, here 194: "II romanticismo e sempre una contraddizione fra la realta e la fantasia: il romantico sogna evasioni immaginarie restando seduto a tavolino: rna io questa vita I'ho vissuta e spero di viverla ancora finche gli anni 0 il corpo piu del mio volere potranno." 16 T. Dodin and H. Rather (eds.), Imagining Tibet, Perceptions, projections,. and fantasies, 6. 17 G. Tucci, "Berretti Rossi e Berretti gialli," Asiatica 4 (1938): 255-262, here 225 (reprinted in G. Tucci, II paese delle donne dai molti mariti, 131-139, here 131): "... poiche la scienza delle eose tibetane e ai suoi inizi ... e la religione a volerla esaminare nei particolari e nel signifieato della sua liturgia e aneora un mistero." 18 An interesting presentation on this theme can be found in Rossana Bossaglia (ed.), Gli Orientalisti Italiani, Cento anni di esotUmo, 1830-1940 (Turin: Marsilio, 1998): 13.

Tibet: The ''Ancient Island" of Giuseppe Tucci


the forced race between walls and tracks, the necessity to bow one's head when entering long corridors which slice the skies."l9 He also writes: . Perhaps in no land other than Tibet does one feel the contrast between the tiresome doing and undoing that they call history and the impassive majesty of nature, which is almost a reflection of eternity, watching remotely and detachedly such a useless acting out of passions .... 20 Only there can one find and enjoy [true] freedom-not the freedom that so many rant on about today and that is always uneasiness because freedom in social life means only to bend before routines, or before the opinion of the many, or before brute strength, or before that consensus of common opinion that, in truth, means having no opinion of your own- ... because [true] freedom is that of the man who speaks with the stars and contemplates the mountains that blossom in the smile of dawn or dusk. 21 Tucci's academic development took place during the early twentieth century, therefore within a culture that strongly sought innovation in a11 areas, and was especially in need of a new approach towards science. This is certainly not the place to discuss the many philosophical currents of the time, some of which would soon give a voice and a meaning to the monstrosity of Fascism and Nazism, especially those that endorsed an irrational tendency towards violence, towards the total freedom of instinct, and towards unproven myths of race." Giuseppe Tucci's personal philosophy and works have very little in commmi with all this, I had become one with them (i.e., the Tibetans): The only European at their presence, in their country, I lived their life, I spoke their language, I nurtured myself on the same experiences, I shared their enthusiasms and their fears. 23 but very much in common with a new approach towards scientific studies.

G. Tucci, Vita 12071wde, 194: "Queste citti rimbombanti di rumori e stridori e scopCOf-

piettii, la corsa obbligata fra mura e fotaie, 11 necessaria incedere a testa china nei lunghi

ridoi che tagliano il cielo a fette." 20 G. Tucci, A Lhasa e oltre, 134: "Forse in nessun altra luogo come nel Tibet senti il contrasto fra l'affannoso fare e disfare che chiamano storia e l'impassibile maestositi della natura: e come un riflesso delle cose eterne, che guardano remote ed assenti tanto inutile giacD di passioni .... " 21 G. Tucci, Vita nomade, 195: "Soltanto allora trovate e godete la liberti, non quella di cui tutti oggi cancionano ed e sempre soggezione, perche liberta nel vivere consociato vuol dire soltanto piegarsi alle consuetudini a alia volonti della maggioranza e della forza, 0 quel consensa con I'opinione comune che significa di fatto non avere la propria ... perche libert' e quella dell'uomo che parla can Ie stelle e contempla Ie montagne che si aprono al sorriso dell'alba 0
del tramonto."
22 In Christopher Hale, Rimmler's Crusade (London: Bantam Press, Transword Publishers Ltd, 2003) one can find documentation on the spirit with which Nazi's travelled to Tibet. On this see also the contribution by Isrun Engelhardt in this volume.

G. Tucci, "Himalaya," 21: "10 era diventato tutt'uno con essi (i.e., i tibetani): solo

europeo aHa lora merce, nelioTo stesso paese, vivevo Ia lora stessa vita, parlavo Ia medesima lingua, mi nutrivo delle medesime esperienze, condividevo Ie lora ansie ed i lora enwsiasmi."


Elena De Rossi Filibeck

To recall that context, and we can only recall it, means to try to understand which of these new philosophies Tucci made his own and which he refused during his life as a scholar. In a small volume on the men of the twentieth century, Geminello Alvi24 presents the figure of T~cci as that of "a pilgrim," and therefore grasps a truly essential aspect of his personality. Tucci's pilgrimage took place on a double level, one physical and the other spiritual. While the former is striking for the strong feeling of adventure-one has simply to think of the means of transport of the time!-that makes him one of the great e.-'{plorers of the modern age, as one of his most famous students, professor Raniero Gnoli, once called him,25 the latter is demonstrated by Tucci himself, when in a study on his journey through Swat he says: To study is an adventure that lasts a lifetime, a continuous and careful pilgrimage, made by an ever curious and never satisfied intelligence. 26 He adds, in a lyrical passage that ends with a statement of his scholarly intent: As you can see, I have already confessed that science has pushed me towards the difficult and perilous roads of Asia. There is also no doubt that the pull of science has fostered in me an inborn desire for escape, an instinctive love for freedom and for space, the whim of imagination and of dreams that is satisfied only far away from human society-when one is alone between the earth and the sky, here today, there tomorrow in a landscape new every day, in the company of people who are new, but strongly rooted everywhere in this ancient land where even the men of today are the unconscious creation of a millennia-old tradition and the images of the past can tell those who look into them, the drama of past events, vain dreams, and eternal hopes. 27 The emeritus professor Luciano Petech, another of Tucci's great students, clearly states what he believes to be the two basic principles on whicll Tucci based his studies: First, the common heritage of today's modern historical science is that of the unity of the cultural phenomenon of a country in its diachronic vision, in its many components and political, institutional,. literary, artistic and religious aspects. Therefore, iri his works of synthesis, popula; or academic, the history Geminel!o Alvi, Uomini det Novecento (Milan: Adelphi, 1995): 162-166. 25 R. Gnoli, RieDldo di Giuseppe Tucci (Rome: IslVIEO, 1985): 20. 26 G. Tucci, La via della Swat, 16: "Anche gli studi sono un'avventura che dura tutta la vita, un pellegrinaggio continuo ed attento, compiuto dall'intelligenza sempre curiosa e mai soddisfatta." 27 G. Tucci, Vita nomade, 192: "Voi vedete che con questa confessione vi ho gia detto che se la scienza m; ha sospinto sulle ardue e faticose vie dell'Asia, non c'e dubbio che 10 sprone della scienza secondava in me una nativa volonta d'evasione, un istintivo amore della liberta e dello spazio, il capriccio del fantasticare e del sognare che 10 si soddisfa lontano dal!'umano consorzio, quando si e soli fra 1a terra e il cielo, oggi qui domani la in un paesaggio quotidianamente nuovo, tra gente nuova, rna radicata dappertutto su questa terra antica dove anche gli uomini d'oggi sono 1a creazione inconsapevole di una tradizione millenaria e Ie vestigia del passato narrano a chi sappia interrogarle, i drammi delle vicende trascorse, i sogni vani 0
Ie speranze eterne."



Tibet: The ''Ancient Island" of Giuseppe Tucci


of politics is never treated as such. The other principle behind his work is that of the inconsistency and artificiality of the Europe-Asia antithesis. For him the Euro-Asiatic continent was indivisible and should be studied as such." A conference has been dedicated to this subject, but here it is more important that rather than repeat the opinions presented there, we recall a summary of Tucci's position on this matter, the position that impelled him both to study and to travel in his effort to understand the Eastern world: I believe that he felt Asia and Europe as two different moments of hllman thought, divided but not incompatible, in need of each other, as if they were two poles needing to meet each other in order once again to be one, as in Plato's Symposium.'

As a man of great culture and science Tucci based his research on Tibet on scientific principles. We must keep in mind other reasons for such travels to Tibet: on the one hand, from Antonio de Andrade (1580-1634) to August Hermann Francke (1870-1930),30 the interest in Tibet was aroused by the hope of finding an ancient Christian community, and on the other, the few westerners who had earlier walked upon the high Tibetan plateau before Tucci were interested in mapping and natural sciences. Tucci, however, was interested in searching for a link between Tibet and India as the birthplace of Buddhism. 31 Therefore, during his travels, he dedicated himself to the human sciences and to historical geography, as well as to studying artistic productions and epigraphic manuscripts from the Country of Snows. Sabatino Moscati (1923-1997) points out that Tucci succeeded in introducing a new form of scholarship and a new scientific approach through his long and adventurous journeys that included fascinating investigations of the customs and traditions of the land as well as archaeological research. Before Tucci, Italy's position in the field of oriental studies was secondary and marginal if compared to what was being done abroad. Tucci changed this in part by his use of "the English language at the same level as the Italian language in speech and writing, [which] gives a final touch to his international dimension as a scientist."" Sabatino Moscati published others of Tucci's non-scholarly works in his very popular series of books, and these contributed greatly towards the knowledge of Tibet and Nepal in Italy. Although these publications were popular successes33 as were others such as Tibet paese delle nevi, Italy's interest in Tibet was still confined
" Luciano Petech, "II contributo di Giuseppe Tucci alia storia dei Paese Himalayani," in Gittseppe Tucci net centenario della nascita, 7-19, here 16. ,. M. Taddei, "Giuseppe Tucci narratore," 125. 30 Giuseppe M. Toscano, Alla scoperta del Tibet, relazioni dei missionari del secolo XVII (Bologna: E.M1. Editori, 1977): 75-78. 31 Ramon N. Prats, "Giuseppe Tucci e il Tibet," in Le Marche e l'Onente. Una tradizione inint"'1'otta da Matteo Ricci a Gittseppe Tucci, ed. Francesco D'Arelli (Rome: IsIAO, 1998): 303315, here 308. 12 See the preface by Sabatino Moscati to G. Tucci, La via della Swat, 7-8. 13 L. Petech, "II contributo di Giuseppe Tucci alIa storia dei Paesi Himalayani," 14.


Elena De Rossi Fitibeck

to .a limited public and, for example, did not echo into Italian art and literature. 34 Nevertheless, it is to note that Tucci was always mentioned in connection with the Tibetan literature, as EIemire Zolla (1926-2002) pointed out. J5 Tucci's influence on the twentieth century's scientific culture, namely on scholars of Asia, was far greater. The history of Buddhist studies in Italy appears to be divided into two stages, separated from one another by a phase of transition that lays the foundation for a later, more scientific stage in Buddhological research. Giuseppe Tucci is unanimously given recognition for the switch from simple and subjective cultural analysis to scientific and critical objectivity.J6 Even in his scientific studies on Tibetan Buddhism, however, one can recognize Tucci's recurring image of Tibet as a civilization deeply steeped in religion. In Tucci's opinion the rituals of the esoteric and initiatory schools exist to erase the innate spiritual ignorance in the human mind and make him capable of embracing the redeeming light in order to understand the liberating truth in the symbolism of religious action and divine images: a truth that frees and grants salvation. 37 Many Tibetan doctrines and ideas are imbued with personal and mystical experiences that tend to abolish the barder between imagination and the physical being, thereby creating a slender line of links between the limits of the body and the threshold of the soul, and thus awakening psychophysical forces that may appear to be miraculous." God is absolute life, but with the withering of the flesh that has given temporary lodging to the divine spark He reminds man of the destiny of all that which is born and created so that man turns his thoughts toward the eternal. J9 A constant image in Tucci's works is that of the Tibetan monks who seek only to' unite themselves with the absolute, an image that both explains and goes beyond the esoteric aspects of Tibetan art and religion. The esoteric aspects were favored, however, by a western cultural tendency that, at the time, reached towards the exotic and the mysterious,40 a tendency that was common in European culture from the figurative arts to operatic music.4! Tucci's pllllosophical position, which I alluded to earlier, was too strong, however, to be defeated by any demons of Tibet: 34 We must go as far back as Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) to find even the word "Tibet" in Italian literature, in his Discorso sulta poesia romantica, Zibaldone (October 13, 1821), Paralipomeni alla Batracomiomachia (canto 8/43). J5 Grazia Marchiano, EUmire Zolla - II Conoscitore di segreti - Una biografia intellettuale (Milan: Rizzoli; 2006): 429. J6 Oscar Botto, "Appunti per una storia degli studi buddisti in Italia,'" in Orientalia Iosephi Tucci memoriae dicata, eds. Gherardo Gnoli and Lionello Lanciotti (Rome: IsMEO, 1985-1988): 175-190, here 180. J7 G. Tucci, A Lhasa e oltre, 30, and 113. J8 G. Tucci; "Metapsichica tibetana," Asiatica 1 (1946): 1-13, here 12. J9 G. Tucci, A Lhasa e'oltre, 95: "Dio evita assoluta, ma col disfacimento della carne che ha dato provvisorio albergo alla divina scintilla egli ricorda all'uomo il destino di ogni cosa nata e creata perche l'uomo volga il pensiero all'eterno." 40 Martin Baumann, "ll buddismo in Occidente," in Storia delle Religioni 4. Storin dell'India e dell'Estremo Oriente, ed. Giovanni Filoramo (Rome: Laterza Editori, 1996): 484-497, here 487. 41 See R.Bossaglia (ed.), Gli Orientalisti Italiani, 7.

Tibet: The ''Ancient Island" ofGiuxeppe Tucci

The monks took me down into the most secret and. hidden place in the convent (they call it gonkhan), they themselves reluctantly and quite nervous. In those hidden subterranean corridors without windows or lights live the guardian deities, the defensores fidei .... The carcass of animals stuffed with hay hangJrom the ceiling and mummified heads of slain enemies smile with the blank white of their teeth. By night the sight would later return and wake me from my weary slumber .... It thus seems that the East can find no peace, that a demoniac terror shakes it, and everywhere lift; is threatened by hostile forces. This is a first impression, the same that made many travelers and writers turn away from such an Asia so troublesome and spiritually void. But appearances are always deceptive ... if we look closer we realize that things are quite different.42 Regarding this subject Tucci also writes: But you must be strong, talk to the monks, read the holy writings and you shall see those images disappear, those deities dissolve, and like magic you shall see this religion that seemed desperately poly-demonic magically rid itself of its idols, the phantasmagoria of sacred figures vanish, like the mists of the night before the first light of the day, and the polychromes of dancing monsters fade away into a faint and pale emptinessY


He notices that, within the lamaist temples, which contain images of thousands of deities and of demons that multiply themselves indefinitely, the Tibetan soul with all its visions and its ecstasies is reflected in all the colors anp. all the images. The crowded multicolored effigies painted on the walls of these temples represent the infinite forces that stir the physical universe and shake the depths of our souls.44 This art of which we were almost completely unaware ... is more than simple art: it is the symbol of spiritual vision and it is the method to achieve it; it is
42 G. Tucci, "II demoniaco in Oriente," Quaderni dell'Associazione Cultural. Italiana (1952), reprinted as "L'abisso delle madri," in G. Tucci, II paese delle donne iai 11!olti 11!ariti, 241-255, here 241~242: "I monaci mi conducevano, essi stessi riluttanti e spauriti, nei pill secreti sacrati del convento (Ii chiamano gonkhan); in quei Iuoghi appartati e sotterranei senza fmestre e luci abitano Ie deita protettrici, i deftns01es fidei ... . Carcasse di animali imbottite di paglia pendono dal soffitto e teste mummificate di nemici uccisi sorridono con I'ebete biancore dei denti intatti. Lo spettacolo di notte risorgendo turbava il mio sonno stanco ... par dunque che l'Oriente non abbia pace, che un terrore demoniaco 10 scuota, e sulla vita incomba d'ogni parte Ia minaccia di potenze ostili. E' la prima impressione, quella che a molti viaggiatori e scrittori ha reso I'Asia cosl fastidiosa e spiritualmente remota. L'apparenza esempre ingannevole .... Approfondiamo e vedremo che Ie cose vanno altrimenti." 43 G. Tucci, "Gli dei di burro," La Letut1"a (1943), reprinted in G.Tucci, II paese delle donne dai 11!olti 11!01"iti, 179-187, here 185: "Ma fatti animo, interroga i monaci, Ieggi Ie seritture sacre e vedrai quelle inunagini svanire, quegli dei dissolversi e questa religione che sembrava un polidemonismo esasperato svuotarsi per incanto dei suoi idoli; Ia fantasmagoria di figure saere sparire, come Ie nebbie della notte alIa prima Iuce dell'alba, e Ia policromia dei mostri danzanti dileguare in un vuoto incolore e scialbo." 44 G. Tucci, "Nel Tibet occidentale, Splendori di un mondo che scompare," Le Vie d'Italia e del Mondo 8 (Milan: Italian Touring club, 1935): 911-938, here 918.


Elena De Rossi Filibeck

the necessary stimulus to meditation, a translation of interior ecstasy into an allegory of color and lines." \Vith his definition of Tibetan art as liturgy, Giuseppe Tucci was one of the few of his time to understand its true meaning although it was very far from a European vision of art. In Tucci's words:
It almost appears as if the Tibetans understand the raptures of religion, but as yet have no experience of the divine rapture that raises lVIan into the free kingdoms of art."

Yet again Tucci's image of Tibet, described through his attentive examination of religious art, once again recalls "the medieval spirit of the ancient island." In the words of Heather Stoddard:

An essential component, no doubt the essential component, is, as Giuseppe Tucci well described it, the 771),ste7'ium magnum. The art of Tibet is its visual, tangible expression."
From art to literature, Tibetan and especially' Buddhist religion, because of its great social value, modeled and directed all of Tibetan culture, just as in medieval Europe.48 From this point of view the image that Tucci projects in his Tibetological studies is a traditional image commonly associated with the Lhasa ruling class:9 but not completely. Erik Haarh writes that only a handful of scholars, such as Tucci, Petech, Hoffmann, and Stein, fought against the common historical opinion according to which the Tibetan people had lived in barbaric darkness until Buddhism was introduced. For this reason the study of Tibet's ancient history, including its mythological and historical tradition, had been up to then neglected. 50 Popular religion, along with the B~n religion, with its mythology and tradition, are included among the subjects of Tucci's later volume Le religioni del Tibet. 51

G. Tucci, "Nel Tibet occidentale, Splendori di un mondo che scompare," 918: e altra cos a che semplice arte: e simbolo di visione spirituale e il metodo per realizzarla, stimolo necessario alIa meditazione, traduzione nell'allegoria del colore e delle linee di estasi interiori." 46 G. Tucci, "Gli dei di burro/' 184: "... appare che se i tibetani conoscono i rapimenti

"Questa arte di cui non S1 conosceva quasi neppure l'esistenza ... questa arte

della religione, non hanna anear esperienza del divino entusiasmo che solleva l'uomo nei

liberi regni dell'arte." On the subject of nature and art and poetry's synthesis see Joachim Ritter, Paesaggio, Uomo e natura nell'eta mode1'1za, translated from German by Gabriella Catalano (Milan: Edizioni Angelo Guerini e Associati, 1994): 42-45. " Heather Stoddard, "The development in perceptions of Tibetan art," in Imagining Tibet, 223-253, here 223. See also 231 on Tucci's monumental work: Tibetan Painted SC1'olls. 48 G. Tucci, "La letteratura del Tibet," in Ie lettemture dell'India, Con un profilo della lettemtuTa del Tibet di Giuseppe TIleci, eds. Vittore Pisani and Laxman Prasad Mishra (Florence: Sansoni Accademia, 1970): 533-544, here 535 and G. Tucci, Tibet, Paese delle nevi, 14. 49 Alex McKay (ed.), The History of Tibet, The EaTly Period: to c. AD 8S0, The YaTl'llng Dynasty (London: Routledge Curzon, 2003): 12. 50 Erik Haarh, The YaTlung Dynasty (Copenhagen: G.E.c. Gad, 1969): 11. 51 G. Tucci and Walter Heissig, Ies religions du Tibet et de la iVIongolie (Paris: Payot, 1973).

Tibet: The "Ancient Island" of Giuseppe Tucci


This volume is the final expression of Tucci's take on this vast subject52 and its preface clearly proves that he realized how contemporary events were swiftly changing the land of snows. vVhile describing Tibetan religion he constantly switches from the present to the past tense. He claims that such a discrepancy is a result of Tibet's unique situation: the crisis there is not only political but also religious-a centuries-old institution has fallen and is making way for something completely different. But in fact this kind of transformation is common to societies when exposed to new ideas and new concepts. It is something that tries the strength and resistance of religions all over the world. Tucci's contribution to our understanding of Tibet was deep. His image of Tibet as "an ancient island," whose customs can put to shame those of the west turns. out, however, not to be his alone. Let us close with a quote from the Lazarist Father Hue (1813-1860), a missionary in Lhasa during the nineteenth century: There is a very touching tradition in Lhasa, a tradition that has created in us a sort of envy especially because it is also practiced by non-believers. Towards the end of the day all Tibetans cease their activities and come together-men, women, and children-in the main neighborhoods of the city and in the public squares. As soon as these groups have formed they all kneel to the ground and begin to sing a prayer slowly and quietly. The religious concert generates a great soul-soothing harmony in the city. The first time that we witnessed such a display we could not help but draw a painful parallel between this pagan city, where all pray together, and the cities of Europe where many are embarrassed even to make the sign of the cross in public. 53 I am sure that Tucci had read these words and that this vision of Lhasa moved him.

L. Petech, "II contributo di Giuseppe Tucci alia storia dei Paesi Himalayaui," 16. Evariste Regis Hue, Sottvenin d'nn voyage dans Ie Thibet (Paris: Librairie Generale Franpise, 1962): 333.

Spirit(s) of Tibet-Tibetan Buddhism in France: paradoxical topographies, territorialization, and the economy of the tibetophile imagination In the last decade, a number of influential scholarly works have been devoted to the idealization of Tibet (and_ its fantasizing corollaries) in the Orientalist imagination, suggesting at the same time the key role of Western images in the active reception of Tibetan Buddhism by devotees in Western nations. However, the establishment in the West of Tibetan religious traditions, as well as other Buddhist schools or other national traditions, cannot be attributed solely to idealistic causes. They do represent a primary feature (on an historical level) but are far from exclusive (on an analytic level). Other much more materialistic aspects account for the expansion of Tibetan Buddhism, i.e., the agents, channels and means of diffusion for the Tibetan "message," the processes of implanting Buddhism in the religious, cultural and social landscape of its host countries, and the modes of transposition of effective cultic forms. Rather than a global account of the transplantation of Tibetan traditions in the West, this paper considers the role of Tibetophilia in the diffusion and the establishment of Tibetan Buddhism (mainly) in Western Europe in the last three decades (focusing largely on France) through the detailed study of the conditions and processes of its implantation and its organization, i.e., the translation of Tibetan doctrines and ideas, the attempts to legitimize them in Western cultural frameworks, the modes of communalization, social and sYmbolic territorialization by means of the establishment of "high places," and lastly the processes of r~ligious affiliation.

Esprit(s) dn Tibet - Le bouddhisme tibetain en France: topographies paradoxales, territorialisation et oconomie de l'imaginaire tibetophile Ces dernieres annees de 110lnhreux travaux universitaires importants ont porte sur l'idealisation du Tibet (procedant parfois de la fantasmagorie) dans l'imaginaire orientaliste, suggerant par la-meme qu'elle joua un role essentiel dans la reception du bouddhisme tibetain dans les nations occidentales. Cependant, l'etablissement en Occident des traditions religieuses tibetaines, ainsi que d'autres ecoles bouddhiques ou bien d'autres traditions propres it ces nations, ne peut toutefois etre atbbue aces seules raisons idealistes. Celles-ci representent certes une caracteristique premiere (sur Ie plan genealogique) mais loin d'etre exclusive (sur Ie plan analytique). D'autres aspects plus materiels sont egalement a prendre en compte dans l'expansion du bouddhisme : les agents, les voies et les mecanismes de diffusion du message tibetain, les moda!ites de l'etablissement du bouddhisme dans Ie paysage religieux et culturel de ses pays d'accueil, et les modalites de transposition des conditions de l'exercice du culte. Plutot qu'une simple description des modes de transplantation religieuse, cette contribution se propose d'examiner Ie role effectif de l'imaginaire tibetophile dans la diffusion et l'enracinenient du bouddhisme en Europe occidentale durant les trois dernieres decennies atravers l'etude detaillee des circonstances et des mecanismes d'implantation et d'organisation : la traduction des contenus religieux etdes concepts, les tentatives de legitimation de ces derniers dans Ie cadre culture! occidental, les modes de communalisation, de territorialisation sociale et symbolique par la constitution de hauts lieux , ou enfin d'affiliation confessionnelle.


Tibetains d'Occident
u cceur de la Bourgogne, une region agricole fran~aise d'une grande notoriete sur Ie plan viticole, les natifs du cru sont manifestement assez peu troubles de vivre a proximite d'un inattendu voisinage : un vaste complexe monastique, comprenant un batiment de forme carree surplombe d'un imposant toit pointu, decore de couleurs vives, entoure de rangees de poteaux supportant des drapeaux barioles ainsi que de curieux monuments en forme de feuille d'arbre, eux aussi richement decores. Ces symboles chatoyants tranchent avec l'austere architecture et la pierre grise ternie par les siecles des eglises catholiques locales - et de l'antique batisse qui se trouve au cceur meme du complexe monastiqlie. En deambulant dans Ie bocage, il n'est pas rare de rencontrer les residents de cette etrange congregation, deambulant Ie crane rase, vetus de robes d'or et de pOUlpre. Les moines tibetains (puis que c'est d'eux dont il s'agit) qui se sont etablis et officient en France, donnent a cette verdoyante region rurale de la pointe occidentale de l'Europe, un air de petit Tibet . Fondee en 1974, cette congregation monastique, du nom de Dashang KagyuLing, est, au debut des annees 2000, nne remarquable replique des (grands) monasteres que 1'on trouve dans les regions de culture et de religion tibetaine. Compose d'unensemble de batiments respectant, avec rigueur, les canons esthetiques de la tradition de 1'architecture religieuse tibetaine, il regroupe un sanctuaire (gonzpa) d'irnposantes dimensions, entoure de monuments votifs (ch6"1-ten), ainsi que des logements reserves au personnel religieux, des moines (lanza) ou des nonnes (anila), Ie tout decore de drapeaux apriere (Jzmgta), et de quantites d'autres symboles de la religion tibetaine, tout comme l'est l'interieur du sanctuaire au centre duquel tronent d'imposantes statues du pantheon bouddhiste. Ses dimensions et sa demographie en font l'une des plus larges communautes d'obedience tibetaine d'Europe : il est d'ailleurs plus connu sous Ie nom de Temple des mille Bouddhas . Des dizaines de religieux d'origine fran~aise y resident en permanence et y suivent une formation monastique sous l'autorite de leurs maitres (dits tibetains mais princi-

171IogesofTibet in the 19 and 20 111 Celltllnoes Paris, EFEO, call." Etudes thematiques" (22.1), 2008, p. 113-147


Lionel Obadia

paIement bhoutanais, une subtilite qui n'apparait pas de prime abord). Quotidiennement, des centaines de hics penetrent I'enceinte du monastere. Un premier examen de la composition et des attitudes de ce public revele que la plupart d'entre eux sont de simples promeneurs attires par l'exotisme de l'architecture et des pratiques des residents: ils se conduisent en observateurs curieux des lieux (et de leurs occupants) comme Ie feraient les visiteurs d'un musee a ciel ouvert. D'autres, moins nombreux, font partie de cette categorie statistique dite des sympathisants ou plus generalement de ceux qui s'affirment interesses par Ie bouddhisme : certains prennent sporadiquement part aux activites cultuelles, comme les enseignements religieux ou les meditations. Un troisieme sous-groupe, encore plus reduit, est constitue d'adeptes (hics et moines) du bouddhisme tiberain, qui frequentent avec (plus ou moins) d'assiduite Ie sanctuaire et sont investis dans des pratiques organisees selon un calendrier de pratiques collectives et rituelles. Tous expriment, d'une maniere directe ou detournee, par la parole ou par leurs actes, un interet vif a I'endroit des lieux qu'ils traversent ou occupent, des pratiques qu'ils observent ou ont adoptees, une attitude qui confirme, s'ille fallait encore, l'idee que Ie bouddhisme a gagne (sMuir et atteint) I'Occident. Depuis une vingtaine d'annees, il est courant de voir les specialistes et les medias de masse souligner la montee en puissance du bouddhisme - notamment de tradition tibetaine - en France et dans les nations occidentales : une affirmation dont Ie bien-fonde se justifie d'une part, en vertu d'un succes d'estime ou d'une popularite que connaissent les traditions bouddhistes depuis un siecle sur un plan ideologique, des Etats-Unis jusqu'en Australie, en passant evidemment par l'Europe occidentale, et d'autre part, au moyen d'evaluations statistiques des sympathisants et des pratiquants (occasionnels ou reguliers) du bouddhisme d'Occident, dont Ie poids demographique ne cesse de c~oltrel. Ces donnees, dont la valeur scientifique est d'ailleurs parfois difficile a etabEr', n'offrent pourtant a la sagacite des observateurs que la plus apparente des manifestations d'un mouvement de vaste ampleur : des temples et des monuments votifs, dans des environnements charges de symboles OU des rites sont conduits a I'attention de communautes de pratiquants recrutes dans la population locale, sont autant d'elements qui confirment a l'evidence que Ie bouddhisme (tibetain ou d'autres traditions monastiques) a veritablement pris Tacine en France. Au debut des annees 2000, entre cent trente et cent quarante lielL",{ de culte tibetains, pour la plupart de modestes dimensions, sont en effet dissemines it travers Ie territoire national : ils regroupent, en totalite, des milliers de pratiquants (occasionnels ou reguliers). Si les grands temples - les plus visibles mais aussi les moins nombreux - sont locali-

Je refere ici aux donnees statistiques recueillies et analysees par Martin Bal.)mann : "Creating a European Path to Nirvana. Historical and Contemporary Developments of Buddhism in Europe", JoZtT1Jal ofContenzpora7Y Religion 10.1 (1995) : 55-70, "The Dharma has Come vVest: A Survey of Recent Studies and Sources", C,-itical Review of Books in Religion 10 (1997): 1-14, "Buddhism in Europe. Past, Present, Prospects", in Westwm-d Dha17na. Buddhism be),ond Asia, ed. M. Baumann et Charles S. Prebish (Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002) : 85-105. 2 Lionel Obadia, "Tibetan Buddhism in France: A Missionary Religion?", Journal of Global Buddbimz 2 (2001) : 92-105.

Esprit(s) du Tibet


ses dans les zones rurales, qui se pretent plus a leur reconstitution, les espaces urbains sont pour leur part tres largement investis : c'est la que se concentre la grande majorite des petits centres d'etude et de meditation de tradition tibetaine, fondus dans Ie paysage des metropoles fran~aises, ou se retrouvent a intervalles reguliers, de petits groupes de pratiquants ou de sympathisants. Enfin, si Dashang KagyuLing est (comme son nom l'indique)de tradition kagyzt - l'une des ecoles tibetaihes les mieux representees en France -Ies autres grandes branches historiques du bouddhisme tibetain (gelztg, nyingma ou sakya) sont egalement tres largement implantees en Occident, OU de nouvelles mouvances religieuses secessionnistes (comme la New Kadampa Tradition) ont beneficie de conditions favorables a leur transplantation. De memes signes se manifestent depuis trois decennies dans toute l'Europe occidentale : en Grande-Bretagne\ en Allemagne" en Italie, en Espagne, en Suisse5 ou encore Hollande et en Belgique,. mais aussi bien au-dela, dans un processus de mondialisation du bouddhisme qui touche l'Europe de l'Est, l'Amerique du Nord6 et l'Amerique du Sud, l'Asie Australe7, la Russie et l'Afrique du Suds. Le bouddhisme tibepin n'est certes pas l'unique forme historique de l'antique religion asiatique a avoir .gagne l'Occident et d'autres regions hors d'Asie, dans un processus de vaste ampleur qui peut aisement etre qualifie de mondialisation du bouddhisme . L'explication de sa presence hors d'Asie oscille entre deux theses complementaires : la premiere l'inscrit dans ce mouvement general qui a porte, par des voies differentes, Ie bouddhisme - toutes traditions confondues - a s'implanter en Occident et dans bien d'autres regions hors d'Asie. La seconde se restreint au seul bouddhisme tibetain et se rapporte en premiere instance aux conditions' geopolitiques particulieres qui caracterisent Ie destin historique du Tibet: l'invasion par les forces communistes parvenues au pouvoir a Pekin (1949) et l'exil de son leader politique et religieux, Ie XIV' Dalal-lama, et d'une partie de sa population depuis 1959. Sans jamais nier Ie role joue par la diaspora tibetaine, Ie sens de la presence du bouddhisme tibetain en Occident s'epuise dans cette reduction de l'explication aces seuls elements localises a la source historique et geographique de ce phenomene : car ce meme Tibet est sans doute l'une des plus captivantes icones de ce continent dans l'imagiStephen Batchelor, The Awakening of the West, The Encounter ofBuddhism and Western Culture (London: Thorsons, 1994). . 4 M. Baumann, Deutsche Buddhisten: Geschichte und Gemeinschaften (Marburg: DiagonalVerlag, 1993). 5 Mary Van Dyke, "Grids and Serpents. A Tibetan Foundation Ritual in Switzerland", in Const:rllcting Tibetan Culture: Contempormy Perspective, ed. Frank Korom (St-Hyacinthe: World Heritage Press, 1997) : 178-227. 6 En particulier : Rick Fields, Haw the Swans Came to the Lake. A Nm'rative History of Buddhism in America, 3' ed. (Boston: Shambala, 1992) ;. C. Prebish, et Kenneth K. Tanaka (ed.), The Faces of Buddhism in America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998); Richard Seager, Buddhism in America (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999); Duncan Ryiiken Williams et Christopher S. Queen (ed.), American Buddhism. Methods and Findings in Recent Scholarship (Richmond: Curzon Press, 1999). 7 Michelle Spuler, "Characteristics of Buddhism in Australia", JoZt171al of Contemp01oary Religion 15.1 (2000): 29-44. S Michel Clasquin etlS. KrUger (ed.), Buddhism and Africa (Pretoria: Unisa, 1999).


Lionel Obadia

naire occidental, et la presence de ces monasteres releve de bien d'autres processus qu'un simple deplacement de population. Plus que Ie resultat d'une influence derivee de I'exil des seuls maitres de religion, I'enracinement du bouddhisme tibetain en Occident participe it la fois de cette fascination orientaliste et de processus de diffu. sion clairement identifies. La publication de ce volume offre ainsi une contribution supplementaire aux explorations recentes et fort a propos qui ont degage les contenus et les modalites historiques de construction d'un imaginaire tibetophile qui a saisi les nations occidentales depuis plusieurs decennies 9 Pour de nombreux chercheurs actuels, I'existence meme de cette vogue tibetophile justifierait a elle seule les progres du bouddhisme tibetain en Occident: I'explication se fonde alars a l'exclusive sur une fascination a l'endroit d'une religion partiellement ou totalement moulee dans des figurations fantasmagoriques occidentales lO Pour interessante qu'elle soit, cette demarche revient it inverser Ie modele d'analyse fonde sur I'histoire asiatique recente et it ne situer cette fois I'explication que sur Ie versant occidentaL En explorant les modalites de construction ideologique de I'imaginaire du Tibet, ces travaux poursuivent en fait une voie ouverte par la publication de l'Orientalisme d'Edward Said 11 et par I'analyse critique de l'idealisation (negative ou positive) de l'Orient en reflet des changements ideologiques de I'Occident 12 ou derives de rapports internationaux de nature geopolitique13 Nlais dans un cas comme dans I'autre, 11 trop y voir Ie jeu d'une fantasmagorie issue du creuset ideologique de figurations fantasmatiques de l'alterite culturelle, Ie risque est grand d'exclure de l'analyse d'autres types de phenomenes et d'autres processus a l'ceuvre dans l'expansion occidentale du bouddhisme, tibetain. Si on ne saurait nier l'importance que jouent ou qu'ont joue les idees dans I'adoption, dans quantites de nations occidentales, des croyances et des pratiques tibetaines, cette perspective souleve un certain nombre de problemes. La predominance de la these de la fascination tend en effet it la constituer en facteur exclusif de I'analyse, mais son role est plus souvent postule que demontre. Elle procede en outre d'une analyse en termes strictement idealistes qui fait inopportunement l'economie des processus effectifs de diffusion et d'implantation du bouddhisme. Le role des Tibetains se limite alars a celui d'une diaspora qui aurait introduit ses pratiques religieuses au cceur d'un Occident deja ideologiquement gagne par la ferveur tibetophile. Elle occulte surtout les dimensions materialistes de l'expansion religieuse tibetaine laquelle ne se laisse saisir en totalite qu'au prix d'un reexamen du role effectif de l'imaginaire orientaliste et de la tibetophilie, de son impact et de ses relais. Peter Bishop, DTearlZS ofPmv,,. Tibetan Buddbisnz and tbe vVestem Imagination (London: Athlone Press, 1993) ; F. Korom, "Introduction", in Const77tcting Tibetan Culture, 1~ 17. Donald S. Lopez, Prison,,'s of Shangri-La. Tibetan Buddbism and tbe vVest (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998). 10 Par exemple, chez Frederic Lenoir, Le bouddbisnze en France (Paris: Fayard, 1999). 11 Edward Said, L'01"ientalis77Ze. L'Orient mil! pm'I'Occident (Paris: Le Seuil, 1980). 12 Roger-Pol Droit, Le culte du n<ant : les philosophes et Ie bouddbis77Ze (Paris: Le Seuil,

Plus proches du propos de Said, Pascal Bruckner, Le sanglot de l'bo77Zme blanc. Tien-

monde, culpabilite, baine de soi(Paris: Le Seuil, 1983).

Esprit(s) du Tibet


En degageant tout d'abord quelques traits saillants de la tibetophilie occidentale, cette section s'interrogera ainsi moins sur son contenu que sur son impact dans la reception du bouddhisme tibetain en Occident. En second lieu, elle offrira quelques pistes pour l'analyse de l'expansion du bouddhisme tibetain en Europe (et plus generalement en Occident). La reflexion presentee ici privilegiera la question fondamentale des topographies reelles et imaginaires du Tibet, dans la perspective d'une anthropologie des imaginaires territoriaux et des territoires de l'imaginaire14 laquelle permet d'examiner les rapports entre les developpements de la tibetophilie occidentale et la recomposition de te1Titoi1'es bouddhistes en Occident, plus particulierement en Europe, autrement dit les liens qu'il est possible de degager entre les formes de la tibetophilie et la transplantation des traditions religieuses tibetaines dans Ie contexte occidental.

Imaginaires en flux
Pour nombre d'Occidentaux contemporains, Ie Tibet figure grosso modo trois images: en premier lieu, celle d'un pays attache ason independance mais sous domination chinoise depuis son annexion par Ie gouvernement de Pekin en 1959, en second lieu, Ie toit du monde , dont la reputation repose sur les descriptions de hautes montagnes battues par Ie vent et de paysages rocailleux, et enfin, un monde enchante peuple de mysterieux habitants dont les martres religieux s'illustrent par Ie contrale et l'usage de pouvoirs surnaturels inconnus ailleurs. Les dimensions politique et ecologique ont depuis longtemps ete des ingredients fondamentaux de l'imaginaire occidental sur Ie Tibet, et ils Ie demeurent actuellement plus que jamais. En depit de l'importanceque revetissent a ce jour les enjeux strictement politiques autour de la question du Tibet ", c'est l'ultime dimension, encore souvent qualifiee inopportunement de mystique ou, plus a propos, de magique , et qui, des trois, confine Ie plus au feerique, qui semble avoir colonise la majeure partie de l'imaginaire orientaliste, De tous les pays d'Asie, Ie Tibet est celui qui semble avoir eu Ie privilege ambigu d'incarner Ie plus de fantasmes dans l'imagination occidentale affirme ainsi Ie tibetologue Georges Dreyfus l5 , ratifiant les demonstrations de Peter Bishop (1993), Frank Korom (1997) ou Donald Lopez (1998). Si, pour tous ces auteurs, Ie Tibet occupe une place centrale dans la fantasmagorie orientaliste d'Occident, celle-ci associe parfois des regions tres differentes en les unifiant au double plan religieux et culturel dans une meme categorie generique. Dans un ouvrage populaire publie en France et traitant de I'occultisme - desormais date - on trouve par exemple la definition suivante du Tibet: comme l'Inde, Ie pays duo surnaturel par excellence 16 Cet amalgame entre deux pays, l'un a majorite hindouiste et

14 Arjun Appadurai, "Grassroots Globalization and the Research Imagination", in Globalisation, ed. ArjunAppadurai (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001): 1-21.


Georges Dreyfus, "Le nationalisme. Entre minorites glorifiees et identite collective",

in Tibitains, 1959-1999, 40 ans de colonisation, ed. Katia Buffetrille et Charles Ramble (Paris: Autrement, 1998, collection" Monde , Hors Serie nO 108) : 21-57, ici 21. 16 Julien Tondriau, L'occultisme (Verviers: Editions Marabout, 1974) : 254.


Lionel Obadia

l'autre repute d'obedience bouddhiste, est evidemment errone au plan anthropologique, mais persiste encore et beaucoup d'Occidentaux portent encore peu d'attention a ces differences: la distance physique avec l'Asie est proportionnelle ala fascination que ce continent exerce chez les Occidentaux, et, en vertu d'un imaginaire topographique differencie, certains de ses peuples, au premier rang desquels se situent les Tibetains, cristallisent plus que d'autres cette fascination. La mythification du Tibet dans l'imaginaire occidental ne saurait etre disqualifiee en vertu des erreurs geographiques et anthropologiques qu'elle charrie, pas plus qu'elle ne saurait etre analysee comme la simple conclusion d'une transfiguration dont Ie pays des neiges a fait I'objet independamment des voies que ses images ont empruntees a destination de l'Occident, des supports physiques par lesquels cette diffusion s'est operee. A l'heure d'un contexte general dit de mondialisation , Ie Tibet, comme beaucoup d'autres regions du monde, est engage dans un de ces processus de mise en flux - de ses habitants, de leurs representations culturelles et de leurs pratiques religieuses - qu'Arjun Appadurai a decrit comme I'un des traits parmi les plus saillants de la situation mondiale contemporaine17 , La diaspora tibetaine est en effet disseminee de I'Asie a I'Amerique, en passant par l'Europe, Les rares vieux maitres religieux qui ont echappe au sort funeste que leur reservait l'armee chinoise parcourent Ie monde de part en part pour transmettre les enseignements fondamenta1LY du Vajrayana tibetain, desormais secondes et supplees dans leur tache par de nouvelles generations de moines dont beaucoup n'ont plus de tibetain que leur heritage cultureL Dans les nations occidentales, Ie Tibet est parallelement devenu l'objet d'une vogue dont les manifestations s'observent en effet tant au plan des croyances religieuses qu'a ceux des modes musicales, des opinions politiques ou philosophiques, de la culture populaire (notamment cinematographique et audiovisuelle), d'une litterature spiritualiste ou plus academique, des habitudes vestimentaires", pour ne citer que les domaines de manifestation les plus couramment evoques parce que les plus visibles 18. Tracer les contours et Ie contenu exacts de I'imaginaire occidental contemporain sur Ie Tibet n'est neanmoins pas chose aisee : son extension et sa diversite semantique et semiotique sont proportionnelles a son antiquite et aux transformations perpetuelles auxquelles il est soumis, Differentes strates de sens lui ant ete assignees et se sont progressivement sedimentees dans Ie temps, parmi lesquelles se retrouvent des conceptions primitivistes, une fantasmagorie feerique, des traits esoteriques au encore un universalisme humaniste. Plus que son contenu, largement explore par ailleurs, c'est son architecture qui retiendra ici notre attention: il repose en effet sur des amalgames (associations d'idees et allocations topographiques a ce qui touche de pres au
17 Arjun Appadurai, "Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy", in Global Culture. Nationalism, Globalization and N[odemity, ed, Mike Featherstone, 8' ed. (London: Sage Publications, 1999) : 295-310. lB D, Lopez, Prison en of Shangri-La; C. Prebish et K. Tanaka (ed.), The Faces of Buddhism in A71teTiea; C. Prebish, Luminous Passage. The P"aetiee and Study of Buddhism in.Ame7'iea (Berkeley: The University of California Press, 1999),

Esprit(s) Ju Tibet


de loin au Tibet) et des transfigurations (la reduction ou l'amplification de traits attribues au Tibet et en particulier it ses formes religieuses). L'analyse ne retiendra ici que deux dimensions particulierement signifiantes derivees de cette matrice de l'imaginaire : la reduction du Tibet au bouddhisme et son inscription dans une topographie d'un imaginaire du monde magique , deja largement associe a bien d'autres societes que l'Occident a longtemps considerees comme primitives 1'. Pour nombre d'Occidentaux, Ie Tibet se confond en effet avec une tradition religieuse unique supposee Ie figurer - Ie bouddhisme. Malgre un role politique dont il ne s'est jamais affranchi, Ie XIV' Dalal-lama Tenzin Gyatso, de p~rt ses efforts d'universalisation du message bouddhiste, contribue de la sorte a conforter cet amalgame. On comprend mieux, des lors, que si elle se manifeste de maniere germinale a la fin du XIX' siecle avant de se deployer massivement les annees 1960 et 1970, la tibetophilie n'est pas un phenomene autonome : elle s'inscrit dans Ie cadre d'une bouddhamania (expression recemment consacree par la presse occidentale), et a un mveau plus general, d'une vogue orientaliste, dont elle ne represente qu'une facette parmi d'autres". Les travaux pionniers d'Henri de Lubac (1952) avaient deja largement mis en lumiere les strates historiques de cette transfiguration occidentale du bouddhisme, filtre .au fil du temps a travers les cadres de references ideologiques ou culturels de 1'0ccident et traduits dans des termes culturels acceptables pm~ 1'0ccident21. Dans ce processus de traduction culturelle deja amplement analyse", la reception du bouddhisme est tributaire de sa textualisation21 . C'est en effet sous la forme de textes, en premier lieu des legendes, puis des recits de voyages, et enfin plus tardivement, d'un corpus religieux que Ie bouddhisme s'est manifeste aux Occidentaux. C'est encore de cette maniere que nombre d'entre elL,{ etablissent un rapport singulier (mediatise) qu'entretiennent les categories de sympathisants et les se!fconve1~ted24 mais aussi par ce biais que nombrede pratiquants assidus se sont initialement connectes au bouddhisme tibetain".
19 En particulier celles dont les pratiques religieuses sont vues comme relevant du magisme . Ernesto de Martino, Le monde magique (Paris: Marabout Universite, 1971). 20 Comme par exemple l'indophilie, Mcrite notamment par Regis Airault, Fous de l'Inde : dili,-es d'Occidentaz~v et sentiment odanique (Paris: Payot, 2000). 2J L. Obadia, Bouddbisme et Occident. La diffusion du bouddbis17Ze tibetain en p"ance (Paris: L'Harmattan, 1999). 2Z Henti de Lubac, La ,-encontre du bouddhis77Ze et de ['Occident (Paris: Aubier, 1952) ; Brian 'Nilson, "The vVestward Path of Buddhism", Tbe Jozmzal of O,-iental Studies 2 (1989) : 1-8; Ninian Smart, "vVestern Society and Buddhism", The JouTnal of Or-iental Studies 2 (1989) : 43-49; Thomas Tweed, The Ame1-ican Encounter- "vith Buddhism, 1844-1912 (Chapel Hill, London: University of North Carolina Press, 1992) ; M. Baumann, "Creating a European Path to Nirvana". 23 Argument developpe par Phillip C. Almond, The British Discove,-y of Buddbism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988). 24 Selon l'expression de Thomas Tweed, "Night-Stand Buddhists and Other Creatures: Sympathizers, Adherents and the Study of Religion", in Am"'ican Buddbism. lYletbods and Findings in Recent Scbolanhip, ed. Duncan Ryiiken Williams et Christopher S. Queen (Richmond: Curzon Press, 1999) : 71-90. 25 L. Obadia, Bouddbis77Ze et Occident, 202.


Lionel Obadia

Historiquement, Ie Tibet apparait aussi a l'Occident sous la forme d'informations disparates, filtnes par des modalites narratives particulieres, elles-memes nourries aux sources indirectes des legendes 26 ou plus directe des recits de voyageurs", et un flux d'informations qui devait se concentrer dans un premier temps dans les spheres academiques, au sein des Etudes bouddhiques28 et de 1a tibetologie29, pour n'y demeurer que de maniere tres temporaire, avant que les intellectuels europeens, americains ou sud-africains ne s'en saisissent et ne les popularisent aupres d'un public plus large tout au long du XL,,' et du X);:' siecles. Dans la seconde moitie du xx' siecle, les technologies de diffusion de masse (comme la television, Ie cinema ou !'Internet) ont encore accru la popularite du Tibet et du bouddhisme en l'etendant a de plus vastes secteurs des societes occidentales. Le developpement et I'elargissement recents de la tibetophilie suivent ainsi tres precisement les contours de la vogue orientaliste, l'intensification des contacts culturels entre l'Asie et l'Occident, et les developpements des technologies de la communication, sans oublier Ie role des acteurs humains qui s'avere fondamental pour l'enracinement de la religion tibetaine hors d'Asie. Dans cette perspective, individus et reseaux socialL,{, litterature et productions mediatiques forment les agents et canalL,{ d'un processus de diffusion dont les racines plongent au plus profond de l'histoire des contacts culturels 11 I'origine de l'expansion occidentale du bouddhisme.

Topographies histo1-iques et geographiques de l'imaginain orientaliste

La bouddhamania n'est, dans cette perspective historiciste, que]'expression contemporaine d'un orientalisme enthousiaste et positif, qui resulte d'une inversion progressive de l'image du Bouddha (et de sa doctrine) dans l'imaginaire occidental. Elle s'est deroulee en un siecle (Ie XL,,'), tout au long de ce que l'on a nomme la question bouddhique qui a mobilise des philosophes et savants de tous horizons en Europe occidentale, aux Etats-Unis ou en Afrique du Sud. La mena~ante figure du primitivisme, de la subversion et du nihilisme incarne~ dans Ie saint indien fondateur d'une religion delL,{ fois et demi millenaire, s'est transformee en I'avenante icone du progressisme, de la tolerance et de la liberteJo C'est de ce cadre de reference imaginaire dontbeneficient la majorite des traditions ou des mouvances bouddhistes qui ont atteint l'Occident'l, meme si chacune d'entre elles s'inscrit dans sa propre trajectoire historique, suit ses propres modalites d'enracinement et est ancree dans un ima-


Qu'aborde longuement Michael Taylor, Le Tibet, de Ma1TO Polo a Alexandm David-

Neel (Paris: Payot, 1985).

27 IVIichelJan (ed.), Le voyage en Asie centmle et au Tibet: anthologie des voyagezlTs occidentaux, du l'l1oyen age a fa pZ'emiere 71Zoitie du xx' sied, (Paris: Robert Laffon, 1992) ; Cornelius Wessels, Earo' Jesuit Travellen in Central Asia, 1603-1721 (Delhi: Book Faith India, 1998). 28 H. de Lubac, La nncontre du bouddhis71Ze et de I'Occident. Z9 D. Lopez, Pzisonen of Shangri-La, 15-45. 30 R.-P. Droit, Le culte du nlfant.


Al'exception de cenes qui ne s'inscrivent pas dans cette filiation orientaliste, et

a ce

titre, la Soka Gakkal japonaise est exemplaire.

ESp7'it(s) du Tibet


ginaire singulier : les traditions religieuses duJapon, de l'Asie du Sud-Est ou du Tibet offrant evidemment des images differentes, donnant lieu a des perceptions et des projections culturelles dissemblables de la part des OccidentauJ{" ou plus generalement des pays qui ont accueilli Ie bouddhisme hors d'Asiell . Le bouddhisme tibetain est assujetti it une identique inversion dans l'orientalisme occidental. Avec ceci de particulier qu'il s'inscrit dans une figuration singuliere de l'alterite marquee par un ancrage historique et topographique paradoxa!. En premier lieu, Ie bouddhisme du Tibet fait l'objet d'assignations contradictoires, apparues dans l'ordre chronologique, qui stigmatisent d'un cote son caractere de degenerescence , et qui flattent de l'autre sa purete originelle 34. L'imaginaire tibetologique se divise de plus initialement en deux representations diametralement opposees : l'une, fascinante est ancree dans une imagerie romantique d'un lieu mythique, et I'autre, repoussante, de la rudesse du pays et de ses habitants, que les recits de missionnaires et d'explorateurs donnaient amieux connaitre en Occident's. La localisation du Tibet dans une topographie imaginaire renvoie en outre a l'idee d'une alterite qui situe Ie pays des neiges sur un plan historique : c'est un vieux TibetJ6 ou un Tibet immemorial qui aurait ete brutalement arrache de sa condition medievale pour etre projete dans Ie xx' siecleJ7 , autrement dit, un Tibet primitif brutalement projete dans Ie monde moderne 38 -l'un des plus recurrents narratives de la tibetophilie contemporaine. Si la pertinence de la denomination medieval it propos de l'histoire du Tibet a deja ete mise en questionJ9 , ce n'est ni l'exactitude terminologique, ni la portee du comparatisme historique' qui retiennent ici I'attention, mais la traduction, sur Ie plan de l'imaginaire et de la fascination, de cette projection. Car sous cet angle, ces projections primitivistes s'inscrivent moins dans 1a pejoration que dans l'idealisation positive et Ie Tibet devient par-la meme Ie lieu de I'authenticite en reference it une historicite longue: l'apologie de ses techniques religieuses, de ses philosophies ou encore sa medecine sous nos latitudes reflete en creux la vision d'un Occident qui se voit lui-meme prive, en vertu de son histoire recente (designe comme modernisation et comme secularisation), de ces formes traditionnelles - une nostalgie qui renvoie it un imaginaire edenique de l'alterite

J2 Pour un panorama diversifie de ces projections: D. Lopez (ed.), CU1'atOTS of the Buddha. The Study of Buddhism unde7- Colonialism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995). Voir aussi sur ce theme la contribution de Urs App dans ce volume. 33 En mirair d'un Jesus blanc en Europe mais sous la figure d'un Black Buddha >; en Afrique, Darrel Wratten, "The Buddha of Suburbia. A nineteenth-century South African imagining", in Buddhism and Africa, ed. Michel Clasquin et ].S. Kruger (Pretoria: Unisa, 1999) : 13-30, ici 21-22. 34 D. Lopez, P7'isoneTs ofShangri-La, 4. 35 F. Koroffi, "Introduction", Const1-ucting Tibetan Cu/tm-e. J6 Qu'Alexandra David-Neel oppose par exemple ala nouvelle Chine . A. DavidNeel, Le vieux Tibet face ala Chine nouvelle (Paris: PIon, 1953). 37 Tom Dummer, Tibetan }\IIedicine and otlm' Holistic Health Cm'e Systems (New Delhi: Paljor Publications, 1994) : xxi. 38 R. Fields, Hmo the Swans Came to the Lake, 274. J9 Rolf A. Stein, La civilisation tibetaine (Paris: Le Sycamore / L'Asiatheque, 1972).



qui se revele dans les motifs qui president it l'adoption du bouddhisme tibetain ou a la formulation d'une sympathie a I'endroit du Tibet en Occident meme 4D . Au prisme de ]a pensee occidentale, Ie bouddhisme tibetain, auparavant forme degeneree d'un bouddhisme ancien, se metamorphose ainsi en forme pure , non pas, it I'image du bouddhisme zen, comme pure experience ,,41 mais comme une sagesse utopique amarn3e a des temps immemoriaux, une image que certains considerent comme la reponse des orientalistes tibetologues - comme Giuseppe Tucci - it l'emprise des temps perturbes de la modernite occidentale 42. L'un des innombrables paradoxes de cet imaginaire est que Ie bouddhisme en general et celui des ecoles tibetaines en particulier trouvent simultanement des affinites et des proximites avec Ie cadre ideologique antithetique au premier, en l'occurrence du rationalisme Ie plus strict, comme Ie positivisme ou Ie scientisme, asavoir des ideologies qualifiees de modernes. L' etonnante modernite que les contenus du bouddhisme tibetain se voient assigner par ses adeptes ou panegyristes d'Occident (un bouddhisme devenu psychologie , ethique moderne ou encore spiritualite du X,'(I' siecle ) les localise alors virtuellement non plus sur Ie plan d'une idealisation d'inspiration passeiste mais sur celui, inverse, d'une imagination ancree dans ]a contemporaneite. Cette ambigulte fondamentale que Ie succes de la diffusion et de I'implantation du bouddhisme tibetain dans les nations occidentales - en particulier en France - repose, outre d'efficaces moyens de diffusions, sur les images opposees d'une tradition ancienne , d'un cote, et d'une rare modernite sur Ie plan ideologique, de I'autre, situe les traditions tibetaines sur Ie versant des nouvelles religiosites occidentales et explique, entre autres facteurs, la recusation du vocable religion applique it cette forme de bouddhisme, et la preference accordee it I'idee de sagesse 43. Le bouddhisme pro cede enfin d'une zttopie dans les deux acceptions du terme, sur Ie double plan du tapas et du logos: par un processus de desincarnation sociale et culturelle, il figure desormais l'ideal d'une sagesse universelle, laquelle est par definition transculturelle et metasociale. Paralle1ement, et encore une fois paradoxalement, l'imaginaire occidental se refere au Tibet et it la tradition religieuse qui lui est attribuee it l'exclusive (Ie bouddhisme), sur Ie plan d'une topographie imaginaire des lieux recules (<< pays des neiges ou toit du monde ), et mystiques ou mysterieux qui nourrit en particulier les ideologies New Age occidentales. Selon Schell, les topographies imaginaires sont neanmoins d'autant plus puissantes qU'elles sont ancn3es dans des geographies concretes 44. Car Ie Tibet est depuis longtemps un formidable pole d'attraction pour des generations d'explorateurs dont
L. Obadia, Bouddhisnze et Occident. Robert H. Sharf, "The Zen of Japanese Nationalism" (in Czwaton of the Buddha, ed. D. Lopez) : 107-160. 41 Gustavo Benavides, "Giuseppe Tucci, or Tibetology in the Age of Fascism" (in CzwatolS of the Buddha, ed. D. Lopez) : 182. Voir aussi dans ce volume la contribution de Elena De Rossi Filibeck. 43 L. Obadia, "Une tradition au-dela de la modernite : l'institutionnalisation du bouddhisme tibetain en France", Rech,,ches Sociologiques 3 (2000) : 67-88. 44 Orville Schell, VizUtal Tibet. Seaz-ching FOl' Shangz'i-La Fom the Himalayas (New York: Metropolitan Books, Henry holt and Co, 2000) : 16.


Esprit(s) du Tibet


l'histoire a retenu Ie nom ou d'autres moins renommes, qui sont tous d'autant plus fascines par Ie plateau tibetain que sa localisation et les politiques de cloture l'ont fait apparaitre comme un pays ferme et interdit 45 et que nombre d'entre eux se sont penses - et certains se pensent encore - comme de veritables decouvreurs de sagesses prinlordiales 46, pares de l'herolsme ingenu qui inspire les explorateurs de terres sacn!es 47 ou demeurees inaccessibles 48. Si l'inlage magnifiee du Tibet ~ exemplifiee par Ie Shangri-La de James Hilton49 - comme lieu du mysticisme paisible a finalement remplace les antiques visions teratologiques ou l'imaginaire d'une hostile sauvagerie qui ont un temps prevalu - celle d'un pays de fourmis geantes >,so ou plus tardivement d'une region barbare peuplee de magiciens dangereux manipulant les forces sombres de la surnature51 - Ie caractere secret dont Ie Tibet se voit affuble l'associe evidemment a l'esoterisme - dont c'est egalement Ie principal trait distinctif52 Un vaste corpus litteraire continue d'alimenter un insatiable imaginaire tibetophile, regulierement nourri a la source de recits fantastiques (comme Ie celebre troisieme rEil de Lobsang Rangpa) ou colores d'esoterisme (les Mystiques et magiciens du Tibet, d'A. David-Neel), d'un erotisme spirituel (sous la forme d'un tantrisme resolument sexue5J), d'une magie occulte, d'une geomancie naturaliste ou encore de pratiques hygienistes : aujourd'hui, et plus que jamais, Ie rayon esoterisme des librairies de France et d'ailleurs se trouve encombre d'une litterature diversifiee OU Ie celebre Bardo-Thadol (ou livre des morts ) cotoie les dernieres productions de l'occultisme occidental sur Ie versant psycho-spiritualiste d'un New Age friand de traditions necromanciennes - ou vues comme telles. Depuis les annees 1980, cette fiction d'un Tibet magique ; secret et inaccessible a deborde de la litterature pour trouver dans l'industrie cinematographique (notamment nord-americaine) un nouveau relais de diffusion54 Ce brouillage de la topographie et de l'historicite du Tibet et de ses expressions religieuses a et6 un des principaux facteurs ideologiques qui ont conduit au deni de ses incorporations culturelles et sociales, ainsi que de son enracinement (sur un plan strictement materiel) dans Ie contexte occidental. Articulee ideologiquement autour des poles opposes de la fantaisie romantique de l'orientalisme populaire et d'un rationalisme conquerant en Occident, la tibetophilie se range de la sorte au nombre des facteurs qui ont contribu6 ala reception du bouddhisme dans deux types d'analyse : l'une privilegie une explication en termes de transformations ideologiEnond; comme tel par Landon, McGovernou David-Nee!, au debut du xx' siecle. Par exemple : Peter Matthiessen, TheSnow Leopm"d (New York: Viking, 1978). 47 Decrypte dans Ia stimulante critique de Vincanne Adams, "Dreams of a Final Sherpa", A11ZericanAnthropologist 99.1 (1997) : 85-98. 48 M. Jan, Le voyage en Asie centrale et au Tibet, iv. 49 James Hilton, Lost Horizon (New York: Pocket Books / W. Morrow and Co., 1939). 50 M. Taylor, Le Tibet, de Marco Polo it Alexandl"a David-Neel. . 51 F. Karam, "Introduction", Constructing Tibetan Culture, 2. 52 Antoine Faivre, L'isotmS11!e (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1992). 53 Francis King, EsotmS11!e et se>."'Ualiti (Lausanne: Payot & Rivages, 2004) : 49-59. 54 Largement explore par D. Lopez in P1'isone1"S of Sbangri-La et O. Schell in Virtual




Lionel Obadia

ques qui ont affecte les nations occidentales55 , i'autre se fonde sur une analyse de la transmission du bouddhisme a partir de l'Asie56 Nul n'est sans doute besoin de rappeler dans d'abondants details les grandes theses qui expliquent habituellement la presence du bouddhisme en Occident: la lai'cisation progressive de l'Occident (conc secutive d'une secularisation actuellement tres discutee), qui, loin de voir s'essouffler Ie sentiment religieux ouetre combles d'hypothetiques besoins spirituels par les ideologies rationalistes, aurait profite a des religions moins deIegitimees socialement et ideologiquement que Ie christianisme. Le bouddhisme, 'qui devait susciter un vaste debat tout au long du XL,{' siecle, finira par beneficier de la vogue orientaliste pour se constituer en tant que rival des religions occidentales, d'autant moins menacant qu'il presentait les traits du quietisme et de la serenite, et offrait a l'Occident des alternatives spirituelles et pratiques conformes a des aspirations proprement occidentales 57 Une ligne d'argumentation par ailleurs similaire au discours des bouddhistes eu.""{-memes58 La presence du bouddhisme n'est toutefois pas exclusivement Ie fruit de cette importation par des Occidentaux d'un bouddhisme fa90nne a l'image de leurs propres attentes et conceptions: elle est aussi Ie resultat d'une exportation par les Asiatiques59, laquelle contribue a un vaste mouvement d'expansion du bouddhisme vers l'Ouest depuis un siecle et demi. L'etude (emergente) de cette mondialisation du bouddhisme a pourtant jusqu'ici privilegie son inscription dans les espaces ideologiques de ses societes d'accueil : son enracinement dans des espaces physiques, si elle est souvent mentionnee et parfois decrite, n'a toutefois pas donne lieu a des developpements theoriques subsequents, comme si la delocalisation, et meme la deterritorialisation du bouddhisme (une consequence couramment attribuee a la mondialisation) ne s'accompagnaient pas - ou dans des circonstances tres particulieres, comme dans les situations de migration - d'une relocalisation et d'une re-territorialisati6n.

La principale these de F. Lenoir in Le bouddhisme en" France. C. Prebish et K. Tanaka (ed.), The Faces of Buddhism in America; L. Obadia, Bouddhisme et Occident; D. Williams and C. Queen (ed.), Ame'rican Buddhism; C. Prebish et M. Baumann (ed.), Westward Dharma. 57 Chronologiquement et parmi d'autres references: Edward Conze, Le bouddhisme (Paris: Payot, 1951) ; H. de Lubac, La rencontre du bouddhisme et de l'Occident (1952) ; R. Fields, How the Swans Came to the Lake (1981) ; P. Almond, The British Discovery afBuddhism (1988) ; B. Wilson, "The Westward Path of Buddhism" (1989) ; N. Smart, "Western Society and Buddhism" (1989) ; T. Tweed, The American Encounter with Buddhism, (1992) ; S. Batchelor, The Awakening of the West (1994) ; M. Baumann, "Creating a European Path to Nirvana" (1995) ; Bruno Etienne et Raphael Liogier, Etre bouddhiste en France aztjourd'hui (Paris: Albin Michel, 1997) ; C. Prebish, "Introduction" in The Faces of Buddhism in America (1988) ; L. Obadia, Bouddhisme et Occident (1999) ; F. Lenoir, Le bouddhisme en France (1999). 58 Pour les Tibetains : Ch5gyam Trungpa, Pratique de la voie tibetaine. Au-de/a dumaterialisme spirituel (Paris: Le Seuil, 1976) ouJean-Fran~ois Revel et Matthieu Ricard, Le moine et Ie philosophe (Paris: Ed. Nil, 1997). De maniere recurrente, tous les ouvrages de Tenzin Gyatso, Ie Dalal-lama actue!, abordent ces questions. 59 Jan Nattier, "Who is a Buddhist ?" Charting the Landscape of Buddhist America", The Faces ofBuddhism in America, 183-195.


Esp7'it(s) du Tibet


La fascination occidentale pour Ie bouddhisme tibetain procede ainsi de deux processus apparemment contradictoires. Celui, deja evoque, cle l'inscription dans une geographie fantasmee de l'Orient, et celui, tout aussi repandu, de la constitution d'une atopie - en l'occurrence, de l'inscription dans une abstraction qui Ie situe a un plan metaculturel et metageographique : Ie bouddhisme ne serait virtuellement attache a aucun territoire, ni a aucune culture particuliere, conformement, d'ailleurs, a certains des principes fondamentaux de ses doctrines, et surtout, a son caractere universaliste. De la, l'etonnement cle Kobus Kriiger pour qui Ie bouddhisme, religion de la non-corporeite et du rejet de la materialite mondaine par excellence, trouve etonnamment moyen de s'incorporer ou de s'enraciner en Occident60 Loin d'etre disqualifie par les faits, cet imaginaire paradoxal d'un Tibet ala fois atopique et anhistorique d'un cote, topographique et seculaire, de I'autre, est precisement I'un des pivots les plus actifs de son enracinement et de sa transposition.

Topographies en 77ZOZlvement : l'expansion du boztddhisme vers !'Ouest

Par-dela une metaphore botanique d'ailleurs contrajre a une vision desincarnee du bouddhisme, la notion d' enracinement signale l'importance de I'inscription des traditions tibetaines dans des espaces physiques et sociaux en Occident: carau-dela de l'idealisation du Tibet, dont l'histoire et les mecanismes ont deja largement ete explores, c'est un veritable processus de territorialisation de ses traditions religieuses qui est a l'ceuvre en terres d'Occident. Des temples ou sanctuaires; cle taille variable, ont depuis pres d'un siecle ete fondes dans quantite de nations occidentales, en particulier en Europe OU debute historiquement l'implantation d'un bouddhisme a destination d'une audience locale. Au debut des annees 2000, Ie bouddhisme tibetain represente, sur un plan statistique, l'une des branches les mieux implantees en Occident, avec Ie zen japonais et Ie theravada cinghalo-birman61 L'invasion du Tibet et son annexion par les forces armees d'un gouvernement chinois fraichement rallie a l'ideologie communiste reste l'un des pivots majeurs de l'explication de cette relocalisation du bouddhisme tibetain a l'Ouest. S'il est vrai que l'arrivee massive clu bouddhisme clu Tibet en Occident est simultanee de l'invasion et des persecutions qui ont conduit a la fuite du 1.W Dalal-lama et a la diaspora tibetaine, une cOIncidence historique n'est pas une explication tant que les liens de causalite exacts entre les deux phenomenes n'ont pas ete etablis. II est generalement admis dans les BuddbiS77z in tbe livest Studies que la diffusion du bouddhisme a emprunte deux voies differentes : les deplacements de population (les flux migratoires ou la dispersion d'exiles) et la diffusion. Le bouddhisme tibetain ne participe apparemment que tres partiellement du premier processus: peu de pays d'Occident ont accueilli de veritables communautes de migrants a I'exception de la Suisse, en
60 Kobus Kruger, "Buddhism in Africa, some strategic issues", in BZlddhism and Africa, ed. M. Clasquin etJ,S. Kruger, 13-30. 61 N1. Baumann, "Creating a European Path to Nirvana" ; ('The Dharma has Come

vVese' ; "Buddhism in Europe. Past, Present, Prospects".


Lionel Obadia

1963, et du Canada, en 1968 62 Si Ie drame du rattachement politique du Tibet par la Chine a effectivement ere un facteur important de la dispersion des moines porteurs d'une tradition seculaire qu'ils allaient transmettre, la presence du bouddhisme tibetain en Occident ne doit cependant que partiellement sa presence it cet accident historique. Certes, on s'accordera, avec Charles Ramble, que Ie desastre de I'invasion chinoise aura ete contrebalance par I'expansion occidentale du bouddhisme 63 , et avec Rick Fields 64, Amy Lavine 65 0u Richard Seager66 que les Tibetains ont explicitement opte pour une strategie de diffusion et de recomposition extranationale de leurs traditions religieuses comme moyen d'enrayer la disparition programmee de la civilisation tibetaine. L'action des moines a en effet grandement contribue it la popularite, en Occident, des themes religieux du Tibet, de son iconographie et de ses symboles, bien au-dela d'une diaspora it la consistance fragile (parce que disseminee, fragmentee et parfois as simile e) mais aux objectifs de survie vigoureusement defendus. Mais cela ne permet pas d'expliquer integralement les raisons pour lesquelles Ie bouddhisme tibetain s'adresse hors d'Asie it une audience principalement occidentale, ni encore la rapidite avec laquelle il s'est repandu et enracine en Occident. Cette transmission it l'externe du bouddhisme tibetain distingue en effet ce dernier d'un bouddhisme qualifie d' ethnique (transporte par les migrants et it l'usage des migrants) et ne lui confere parallelement pas totalement non plus Ie -statut de bouddhisme de cQnvertis (it destination des seuls Occidentaux) - une opposition largement adoptee au sein des Buddhism in the vVest Studies 67 mais aux fortdements ideologiques equivoques". L'explication de la presence du bouddhisme tibetain au cceur de l'Occident consecutive it l'invasion chinoise releve d'une Common 7visdom : car la tibetophilie est anter'ieure a ce phenomene et des Ie XIX' siecle,les theosophes avaient fait du Tibet un lieu mysterieux , source d'une inepuisable fascination qui devait susciter, chez les Occidentaux, des vocations d'explorateurs et tres rapidement, de convertis qui devaient par la suite contribuer it l'importation des traditions religieuses tibetaines. Mais leur massification et suttout leur enracinement est aussi Ie resultat tres direct d'un elan missionnaire, caracteristique des religions universelles, dont I'efficacite ressortit dans ce contexte it des conditions ideologiques et sociologiques qui se sont averees propices it la reception du bouddhisme en general, et du bouddhisme tibetain en particulier69 lequel a donc ete it la fois importe par l'Occident et exporte par l'Asie.
62 Janet MacLellan, !v[any Petals of the Lotus. Five Asian Buddbist Communities in Toronto (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999). 6J Charles Ramble, "Prologue", in Tibitains, 1959-1999, 40 ans de colonisation, 7-17, ici 10.


How tbe Swans Came to Lake, 277.

Ami Lavine, "Tibetan Buddhism in America", in The Faces of Buddbism in Amel"ica,

Buddhism in Ame1'ica, 113-135.

100-115, ici 100.



Depuis C. Prebish, "Two Buddhisms Reconsidered", Buddhist Studies Review 10.2 R. F;ields, "Divided Dharma: vVhite Buddhists, Ethnic Buddhist, and Racism", in The La these que je defends dans: L. Obadia, Bouddbisme et Occident.

(1993): 187-206.

Faces of Buddhism in Artm'ica, 196-206.


Esprit(s) du Tibet


Si l'on s'autorisait a regrouper dans un meme processus general l'ensemble des contextes culturels, geographiques et historiques OU Ie bouddhisme s'est diffuse et enracine en Occideneo, c'est une serie de transitions qui en eclairent les mecanismes et la dynamique : un glissement du narratif au concret, de l'etude a la foi, de cercles informels aux lieux de culte, d'une elite restreinte a de larges portions de la population des societes occidentales, enfin, sur un plan plus large, de l'Asie a l'Occident. L'impulsion originale vient en effet de societes savantes consacrees au bouddhi~me, lesquelles etaient d'abord localisees en terre asiatique avant de trouver une terre d'election au cceur de l'Europe (co=e la Buddhist Society of Great Britain tl1Zd Ireland fondee en 1907) mais Ie bouddhisme - de tradition theravadin - y demeure un objet esthetique 71. Ce sont les mouvances esoteriques influentes au toumant des XIX' et xx' siecles (la Societe Theosophique, l'Anthroposophie ou l'ecole Arcane d'Alice Bailey) qui etablissent Ie Tibet co=e Ie lieu par e."'{cellence OU sont dispenses, par des maitres aux pouvoirs extraordinaires, des enseignements secrets . Mais il faut attendre la fondation de la Societe des Amis du Bouddhisme (a Paris en 1926) pour que se popularise en France - et plus largement en Europe -Ie bouddhisme tibetain sous l'influence notable des theosophes. Au depart consacrees a des activites strictement academiques, ces cercles savants voient s'operer en leur sein un glissement progressif de l'etude a la pratique alors que parallelement se constituent localement, en Europe et en Amerique du Nord, les premiers groupes informels de pratiquants generalement, reunis autour d'une figure charismatique dont les velleites a fonder de veritables co=unautes - ou sangha -, se trouve a la source de l'implantation des formes cultuelles du bouddhisme7Z. Cette importation initiale etait d'abord Ie fait exclusif des O<;cidentaux : elle se transforme par la suite en une exportation concomitante de l'inversion du sens des flux humains. Alors qu'a la fin du XIX' siecle, les premiers Occidentaux rallies au bouddhisme se rendent individuellement en Asie afin d'y revetir la robe et suivre une formation monastique, confirmant ainsi Ie pouvoir d'attraction de l'Asie co=e terre sacree , apparaissent conjointement les premieres lezardes dans l'image d'un continent que l'imaginaire occidental avait designe comme Ie lieu par excellence

70 Dans une conception et~ndue de cette notion, a l'image de celle defendue par S. Batchelor qui inclut I'Asie Australe, meme si son analyse porte principalement sur les contacts entre l'Asie bouddhiste et I'Europe, in The Awakening ofthe West. 71 Une analyse developpee chez P. Almond en termes de textualisation (Tbe British Discovery of Bztddbism) ou de perception philosophique par R.-P. Droit (Le eztlte dzt ntfant), traitee sous l'angle de la nature des contacts culturels pour S. Batchelor (Tbe Awakening of the West), reprise par M. Baumann danS la reconstitution historique du bouddhisme en Occident ("Creating a European Path to Nirvana" et "Le bouddhisme theravada en Europe : histoire, typologie et rencontre entre un bouddhisme moderniste et traditionaliste", Recherthes sociologi'fUes 3, 2000, 7-31) et enfin consider6e par moi-meme comme prealable ideologique al'adoption pratique du bouddhisme (Boztddhisme et Occident). 72 Phenomene qui se retrouve rapidement dans differents contextes d'implantation du bouddhisme : en Europe (M. Baumann, "Creating a European Path to Nirvana") et plus particulierement en Allemagne (M. Baumann, Dezttsche Bztddbisten), ainsi qu'aux Etats-Unis : R. Fields, How the Swans Came to the Lake, 146-166.


Lionel Obadia

de la sacralite : des intellectuels (camme Henry S. Olcott ou Paul Carus) n'hesiteront pas it formuler ulterieurement I'idee que la lumiere de l'Asie louee par Edwin Anl0ld se serait eteinte et que les Occidentaux etaient desormais plus aptes que les Asiatiques it recevoir Ie Dharma'3. Au tournant des XL'C' et xx' siecles, I'Asie, auparavant aboutissement de I'itineraire spirituel pour les premieres generations de spi1-itual seekers Occidentaux, en devient l'origine : des Ie debut du :A'X' siecle, les premiers maitres bouddhistes commencent it parcaurir I'Europe et a dispenser leur enseignement dans une relation directe it une audience occidentale qui n'a alors plus obligation it rejoindre physiquement les sites sacres du bouddhisme en Asie. Depuis cette epoque, si Ie bouddhisme apparait depuis longtemps et pour beaucoup d'Occidentaux resolument marque du sceau de I'individualisme, c'est neanmoins aussi sous la forme de communautes - la presence vivante du renoncement du Bouddha precise Stephen Batchelor'4 - qu'il se manifeste, a la fois dans Ie contexte d'un bouddhisme dit ethnique (celui des migrants) et d'un bouddhisme dit de convertis '5.

La te7~ritorialisatio7Z du bouddbisme tibhain

Les ecoles mahayanistes ne sont neanmoins parvenues qu'assez tardivement a l'Ouest, et un peu partout, Ie bouddhisme tibetain est l'une des dernieres traditions bouddhistes a avoir atteint les societes occidentales. Le theravada de tradition cingalo-birmane s'etait deja implante en Europe dans les annees 1910-1920 76 , en Suisse et en Allemagne, alors que, porte par Ie mouvement beat, Ie bouddhisme zen s'enracine aux :Ftats-Unis dans les annees 1950-196077 . Le boom tibetain ne debute pour sa part qu'it partir des annees 1960-1970, ala faveur d'un mouvement de contre-culture toujours plus inspire d'influences asiatiques. C'est au debut des annees 1970 que les grandes figures du bouddhisme tibetain (Ie Dalal-lama et Ie Karmapa) entreprennent leurs premiers grands tours de I'Europe, suscitant une premiere vague de conversions massives. Paradoxalement, alors que Ie bouddhisme est vu comme une utopie spirituelle et transculturelle, ses traditions s'enracinent d'emblee sous une forme eminemment materielle. La premiere implantation tibetaine en France est Ie fruit d'une initiative isolee lorsque Alexandra David-Neel, de retour de ses peregrinations asiatiques, cree, en 1928, sa forteresse de meditation it Digne (Sud de la France) avant que celle-ci ne se transforme ulterieurement en un veritable temple. C'est seulement en 1958 que Ie premier moine tibetain (d'origine mongole), Geshe Wangyal, de I'ecole Gelug s'installe aux :Ftats-Unis7S Mais c'est avec Ie celebre Chogyam Trungpa,

R. Fields, How tbe S,utl1iS Came to tbe Lake, 141. Tbe A,vaieening of tbe }Vest, 45. 75 C. Prebish, Luminous Passage. 76 M. Baumann, "Le bouddhisme theravada en Europe". 77 Stephen Prothero, "Introduction", in Big Sky jHind, Buddbism and tbe Beat Genemtion, ed. Carole Tonkinson (New York: Riverhead, 1995) : 1-20. 7B A. Lavine, "Tibetan Buddhism in America", 101.

'3 '4

Esp6t(s) du Tibet


de tradition Kagyu, que Ie bouddhisme tibetain s'implante en Europe a la fin des annees 1960", et que vont fleurir les communautes et se mUltiplier les temples. Alors que les routes de Benares et de Katmandou - plus difficilement celles de Lhassa - demeurent, depuis les annees 1960, largement ouvertes nombre des tibetophiles sont depuis lors des voyageurs immobiles : a la difference des aventuriers de la premiere heure, ils ne sont pas alles a la rencontre physique de ce Tibet magi que des aventuriers et des explorateurs de l'etrange, mais l'ont laisse venir a eux, beneficiant d'un contexte de tibetomania , de la circulation reguliere (mais de la residence intermittente) des moines et maitres de religion tibetains, ainsi que de la proximite geographique de veritables sanctuaires, pour se laisser tenter par des experiences spirituelles . II ne saurait, certes, etre question d'eluder la variete des modalites d'appropriation du Tibet - comme objet fantasmagorique ou non - et du bouddhisme dans Ie contexte occidental qui decoulent d'une telle situation de proximite physique. L'accent mis ici sur des faits qui eclairent les aspects communautaires, institutionnels et materiels de l'expansion du bouddhisme tibetain (les dimensions privilegiees par une analyse de la transposition religieuse) ne revoque en aucun cas l'existence d'approches individualistes et non-communautaires, celle des Night-Stand Buddhists qui ne s'inscrivent ni dans des institutions, ni dans une tradition particuliere, et etablissent une connexion au bouddhisme mediatisee par la seule litterature 80 NIais dans la mesure ou Ie fait communautaire s'impose avec force it l'observation81 et represente une perspective indispensable a la comprehension du bouddhisme d'Occident82 , et qu'enfin Ie rapport au bouddhisme tibetain se constitue sur une oscillation entre les poles individuel et communautaires 83 , ces derniers representent moins des approches differentes qu'un continuu77Z des modalites d'appropriationde la religion tibetaine : une religion q;"i se pratique aussi bien dans des communautes ou han de celles-ci, dans des circonstances privees comme dans des contextes publics, dans un cadre institutionnel comme d'une maniere emancipee de tout contrale ecclesiastique. Sur Ie versant communautaire (celui qui nous interesse ici), cette relocalisation du bouddhisme tibetain s'accompagne neanmoins de strategies d'accommodation aux societes d'accueil et repose sur une territorialisation sociale et symbolique - deux volets d'une transposition culturelle et Leligieuse, melant, dans un entrelacs complexe, les imaginaires collectifs (pour les Tibetains, comme pour les Occidentaux) et les conduites sociales. NIalgre la multiplication des travaux sur Ie bouddhisme d'Occident, notamment de tradition tibetaine, la question de la transposition du bouddhisme n'a donne lieu qu'a peu de veritables developpements : elle demeure subsidiaire dans des analyses qui privilegient I'optique d'uneacculturation sur Ie plan des doctrines, des pra79


S. Batchelor, Tbe Awakening of tbe West, 104. T. Tweed, "Night-Stand Buddhists and Other Creatures", 76. C'est la raison pour laquelle C. Prebish en fait Ie point de depart et Ie fil rouge de son

opus Luminous Passage. S1 C'est sous une forme communautaire que les pratiques se donnent a observer pour I'enqueteur, B. Etienne et R. Liogier, EU'e bouddbiste en FrTlnce, aujoltrd'bui. 8J L. Obadia, "L'adhesion au bouddhisme en France", in ViVl'e de plnsieurs religions: pl'omesse on illusion ?, ed. Dennis Gira er Jacques Scheuer (Paris: Editions de l'Atelier, 2000) : 32-43.


Lionel Obadia

tiques B4 ou de la composition sociale des communautes 85 La oil Baumann, l'un des rares specialistes it s'etre penches sur la question, privilegie une analyse de la transposition en termes d'ajustements ideologiques et pratiques S6 , d'autres, comme Numrichs7 , Van Dyke" ou Saalfrank89 reintegrent une dimension materielle (la fondation des temples et leur fonctions sociales), encore trop souvent negligee, dans l'analyse du processus global de la diffusion du bouddhisme. Car plus que la deambulation ordinaire des moines dans les rues des grandes cites ou des campagnes d'Occident - souvent pris comme illustration par excellence de la presence du bouddhisme 90 - ce sont surtout les temples qui assurent sa visibilite dans l'espace social et culturel des nations occidentales, en particulier pour Ie bouddhisme de la diaspora91 Les etudes consacrees aux lieux de culte tibetains en Franceet aux pratiques qui s'y deroulent renoncent neanmoins encore trop souvent it une quelconque analyse, et ne rendent compte, de maniere souvent superficielle et autoreferentielle, que des seuls aspects textuels des traditions religieuses92 comme si, du texte it la pratique, les croyances doctrinales s'incarnaient en l'etat dans Ie domaine empirique, par un effet de transparence trompeur. Pour eviter l'ecueil de cette simplification, il faut porter son regard sur les processus effectifs et reintroduire la complexite de la vie sociale : car si les temples apparaissent comme les principalL"'l: points d'ancrage de la diffusion tibetaine", l'examen de leur configuration materielle et sociale offre cependant une lecture encore peu exploitee des mecanismes de la transposition religieuse94 et des ethnographies plus approfondies devoilant des dimensions actuellement inexplorees sur Ie plan de l'analyse font encore defaut.
84 John Snelling, The Buddhist Handbook. A Complete Guide to Buddhist Teaching and Pmctice (London: Rider, 1987) ; C. Prebish et K. Tanaka, The Faces ofBuddhism in Ame7ica. S5 Elements que l'on retrouve chez R. Seager, Buddhism in AmeTica. D. vVilliams et C. Queen (ed.), American Buddhism; C. Prebish, Luminous Passage; C. Prebish et.LVi. Baumann (ed.), Westwm'd Dharma. 86 M. Baumann, "The transplantation of Buddhism to Germany: Processive .LVlodes and Strategies of Adaptation", Method and ThemJ' in the Study ofReligio" 6.1 (1994) : 35-61. B7 Paul D. Numrich, Old vVisdom in the Ne7D Wadd. Ame1'icanization in Two Immigrant Themvada Buddhist Temples (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1996). 88 "Grids and Serpents", in Constructing Tibetan Culture. S9 Eva Sabine Saalfrank, Geistige Heimat hn Buddhismus allS Tibet: Eine empirische Studie am Beispiel der Kag),uepas in Deutschland (Ulm: Fabri Verlag, 1997). 90 E. Conze, Le bouddhisme, 245. H. de Lubac, La ,"encont,"e du bouddhisme et de I'Occident, 274. 91 Catherine Choron-Baix, "De forets en banlieues. La transplantation du bouddhisme lao en France", Archives de sciences sociales des religions 73 (1991) : 17-33. Diana Eck, "Foreword", in Ame,"ican Buddbism (ed. D. R. vVilliams et C: Queen) : ix-xi; Douglas M. Padget, "The Translating Temple. Diasporic Buddhism in Florida", in West7vaTd Dhamw (ed. M. Baumann et C. Prebish): 201-217. 92 Une demarche qu'illustrent par exemple les deux ouvrages de Corinne Butigieg : Les bOllddbismes en Fmnce (Paris: Ie Grand livre du mois, 2001) et Le lotus et la roue, l'brte7"gence dll bouddbisme fi'an,ais (Rodez: Ed. du Rouergue, 2003). . 9J L. Obadia, "Des monasteres tibetains al'usage des Fran,ais", Hommes & Nligratio77s 1171 (1993) : 17-20. 94 L. Obadia, "Transplantation religieuse et amenagement de l'espace : l'exemple du

Esprit(s) du Tibet .


Pour revenir a la territorialisation, Ie tout premier (et plus connu) des temples tibetains eriges sur Ie sol occidental porte Ie. nom de Samye Ling: il a ete fonde par Chiigyam Trungpa et Akong Rinpocbe en ]968 en Ecosse, et est toujours en activite. D'autres temples allaient etre fondes peu de temps apres en Europe occidentale et a la fin des annees 1960, on en comptait au miell.,{ une dizaine sur Ie vieux continent. Au debut des annees 2000, c'est par centaines qu'ils apparaissent dans les guides et autres directories, dissemines principalement en Allemagne, en Grande Bretagne ou en France, et par dizaines ailleurs (Italie, Hollande, Espagne, Belgique ...). Cette multiplication ne correspond pas aune evenmelle efflorescence independante de toute autre logique que celle des appropriations localisees et individuelles : c'est bien un veritable processus d'essaimage initie par les maitres et mis en oeuvre par les disciples qui preside a cette croissance exponentielle des lieux de culte tibetains95 Cette dynamique expansionniste ne dit neanmoins rien de la maniere dont se forme une communaute, pas plus qu'elle n'informe sur ses processus qui la constituent ulterieurement (ou pas) en temple. C'est tout d'abord Ie facteur humain qui se trouve a l'origine de la fondati9n des sancmaires : un temple est toujours peu ou prou la manifestation de la constimtion d'une communaute et de son installation dans la duree. Le fait n'a rien d'etonnant : que Ie bouddhisme suive la voie des flux migratoires ou celle de la circulation des maitres, dans les deux cas, elle s'accompagne de la fondation de lieux de culte, dont Ie role est evidemment tres different selon qu'ils s'adressent a des migrants ou a des convertis. Partout a 6te degage un lien fort entre la reconstimtion des temples bouddhistes et Ie degre de consolidation des communautes de pratiquants (en particulier pour Ie bouddhisme de l'irnmigration96). On dispose d'assez peu d'informations precises sur la maniere dont les temples tibetains ont ete fondes - a l'exception de l'histoire officielle que livre la narration collective et quelque peu mythique des communautes sur elles-memes. Selon leurs propres recits - collectes aupres de leurs membres - les communautes d'obedience tibetaine se sont d'abord fondees a partir du charisme des maitres tibetains : mais malgre l'importance ,du maitre. (guru ou lama) comme lien (samaya) pour la realisation spirituelle (bodht) du pratiquant, Ie charisme ne saurait pourtant representer l'unique facteur agissant, d'autant plus pour des communautes dont les maitres sont en permanente itinerance. L'explicatiOl:< gagne a etre enrichie d'un examen des conditions (notamment economiques) et des processus particuliers qui president ala constitution des communautes, leur etablissement dans Ie temps et dans la materialite physique. Pour les acteurs memes de ce processus, la fOlldation des temples semble s'inscrire simplement dans la continuite naturelle de la communaute. Mais si les tem-

bouddhisme en Occident", in Perception et organisation de I'espace twbain : tme confrontation Orient - Occident, ed. Paul Servais et Roger Hagelstein (Louvain-Ia-Neuve: AcademiaBi.-uylant, Serie Reocontre Orient-Occident, 2001) : 301-324. 95 Pour une description plus precise de ces phenomenes, voir L. Obadia, Bouddhisme et Occident et "Tibetan Buddhism in France: A Missionary Religion?" " C. Choron-Baix, "De Forets en Banlieues" ; P. Numrich, Old Wisdom in the New Wodd ; J. McLellan, Many Petals ofthe Lotus.


Lionel Obadia

pIes sont toujours fondes par des communautes et a leur destination, toutes les communautes n'ont pas donne lieu a la fondation d'un temple, ou en d'autres termes, n'ont pu s'inscrire dans une territorialite. La transition de la communaute au temple depend des possibilites locales de reunir un certain nombre de conditions economiques et humaines, qui ne sont pas systematiquement satisfaites : des ressources financieres suffisantes et une certaine consistance sociale de la communaute semblent, sur ce point, des parametres essentiels, et supposent l'inscription de la communaute dans Ie temps via un processus d'institutionnalisation. Les communautes favorisent ainsi la cristallisation des flux humains", elles sont egalement des lieux privilegies de la dynamique de transplantation: la reconstitution des formes originales de la pratique cultuelle y est visiblement it l'oeuvre en tant qu'elles representent les espaces sociaux reunissant les conditions d'exercice les plus traditionnellement devolues it la ritualite98 Autrement dit (mais la conclusion parait logique) les temples reconstituent toujours plus les conditions cultuelles initiales que les espaces prives de la pratique. C'est par un processus d'institutionnalisation, auquel contribuent les moines tibetains tout autant que leurs disciples occidentaux99 que ce qui etait de simples petits groupes informels reunis sporadiquement pour verser dans une pratique meditative sont devenus des communautes aux usages et aux normes codifiees, it l'origine de la fondation des temples tibetains, et agents actifs de leur essaimagelOO La territorialisation du bouddhisme tibetain passe par des phenomenes de stabilisation physique et topographique des flux humains, sous les formes les plus cristallisees que sont les communautes, mais egalement par des modalites de legitimation qui supposent une consecration officielle de lieux specialement devolus it la pratique religieuse. Des rituels de fondation president en effet it 1'officialisation des grands temples ou des instituts (comme 1'a montre Mary Van Dyke en SuisselOl ). Ces ceremonies marquent en outre 1'identite et les limites de l'espace dela transposition et ouvrent la voie it une appropriation symbolique du sol et meme du soussol: au depart simples espaces prives (generalement domestiques), les lieux se transforment alors en lieux de culte ou sanctuaires 102 et se voient conferer une dimension publique et des usages collectifs it portee symbolique. On y penetre en se dechaussant, certains comportements (langagiers, alimentaires ou toxicomaniaques) y sont prohibes, les attitudes y sont codifiees en vertu du caractere religieux de 1'espace - et des conduites qui lui sont subsequemment suspendues : performance individuelle ou collective de rites, apprentissages des doctrines, exegese des symboles,

L. 'Obadia, "Une tradition au-dela de Ia modernite", 86.

Pour I'analyse de phenomenes identiques dans Ie theravada d'Europe, voir Sandra Bell, "Being Creative with Tradition: Rooting Theravada Buddhism in Britain", Jozmzal of Global Buddhism 1 (2000) : 1-23. 99 L. Obadia, "Une tradition au-deE, de Ia modernite", 80-82. 100 L. Obadia, "Tibetan Buddhism in France: A Missionary Religion?", 98-99.

"Grids and Serpents", in COllstTZlcting Tibetan ellltU7'e.

Cette terminologie, conceptuelle et descriptive releve d'un choix de perspective et se retrouve surtout dans Ies analyses de transplantation du bouddhisme de convertis (E. S. Saalfrank, Geistige Heimat im Buddhismus aus Tibet et L. Obadia, Bouddhis11le et Occident).

Esprit(s) du Tibet


pratiques a visee ataraxique et/ou soteriologique. Ces memes ceremonies ont aussi pour effet de circonscrire les sanctuaires dans une toponymie cultureIIe et religieuse qui leur confere une identite non seulement topographique, mais egalement genealogique : ce qu'indiquent I'usage regulier d'un suffixe nominal ling (<< lieu ) et/ou d'un prefixe nominatif (Kagyu, Nyingma, Gelug, Sakya) dans les denominations des temples, lesquels informent tout aurant de leur localisation que de leur affiliation a une ecole tibetaine particuliere. Les degres de transplantation sont neanmoins variables, notamment sur Ie plan de Ia culture materieIIe. Si les grands temples sont effectivement les espaces les plus visibles de reconstitution des formes architecturales et des structures monastiques, la tres grande majorite des sites ou se pratique Ie bouddhisme tibetain sont de petits centres d'etudes et de meditation (comme c'est d'ailleurs egalement Ie cas pour les autres branches du bouddhisme monastique implantees en OccidentIOJ ). Pour autant que Ie potentiel economique et humain local Ie permet, ces petites communautes, 10rsqu'eIIes sont ins crites dans des traditions monastiques, s'efforcent neanmoins de creer des conditions de pratique religieuse qui s'alignent tendancieIIement sur les canons traditionnels. Les normes architecturales des grands temples ne pouvant etre systematiquement reproduites dans ces conditions, c'est sur Ie plan de I'organisation $patiale interieure que se deroule cette recomposition microscopique des formes de Ia pratique religieuse tibetaine : les murs sont peints aux couleurs traditionneIIes (jaune, rouge et bleu), agrementes de peintures traditionneIIes (tbangka), des autels sont reconstitues, ainsi qu'un ensemble d'objets liturgiques a la disposition et it I'usage des maitres et des pratiquants (dOI]e, cloches, tambours ...). L'organisation meme du mobilier interieur reflete Ie degre d'institutionnalisation des pratiques religieuses : des trones richement decores sont par exemple disposes en vis-a-vis de coussins, et des rangees de sieges it la hauteur echelonnee sont amenages sur un plan perpendiculaire, signalant Ia disposition respective des officiants (Ie maitre, face a I'auditoire, les moines de rang inferieur, it ses cotes) et de I'assistance (qui leur font face) lors des enseignements et des ritesl04 . fA cette materialite inerte mais socialement structurante s'adjoint une materialite relationneIIe a travers Ia circulation entre les maitres et leurs disciples, ou entre les membres des communautes, d'objets les plus divers relevant generalement d'un usage prive pour les autels personnels que composent les pratiquants dans leurs domiciles (tbangkas, photographies de maitres renommes, effigies ritueIIes symboliques ou tormas, encens, statuettes ...). Cette culture materieIIe mobiliere et circulatoire a deja ete decrite comme relevant d'une economie religieuse constitutive de la dynamique adaptative des cornmunautes bouddhistes d'OccidentJ05 On peut lui adjoindre les dimensions imaginaires et topographiques qui font l'objet de cette secIOJ Pour les :ftats-Unis : Don lvIorreale (od.), Buddhist America: Centen, Retreats, Pmctices (Sante Fe: John Muir Publications, 1988). Pour la France: Philippe Rance, Guide des Celm'es bouddhistes en France (Paris: Noesis, 1998). 104 L. Obadia, "Transplantation religieuse et amenagement de l'espace", 318. 105 Douglas Padget, "Americans need something to sit on, a Zen lvIeditation lvIaterials and Buddhist diversity in North America", Jozmzal of Global Buddhism 1 (2000) : 61-81.


Lionel Obadia

tion : car l'origine geographique et l'histoire de ces objets circulants sont particulierement importantes. Venus d'Asie et en particulier du Tibet lui-meme, ils se voient octroyer une charge symbolique particuliere et ici joue it plein l'imaginaire topographique de I'Orient. L'echange des objets liturgiques ou de decoration religieuse du Tibet est un puissant mecanisme de formation et de maintien du lien socioreligieux entre les pratiquants d'une meme communaute. De meme que cette origine est, dans les genealogies spirituelles qui se tissent entre maltres et disciples, un pivot fondamental de l'autorite morale conferee aux maltres et de la confiance que vont leur accorder leurs adeptes : la dimension biographique du pouvoir spirituel des lamas est l'une des bases de leur autorite, en particulier lorsque leur curriculum revele une parente ou une residence (meme temporaire) au Tibet106 Neanmoins, l'essor demographique de maltres occidentaux sans aucun lien ni physique, ni culturel avec Ie pays sacre est en retour susceptible d'ebranler cette base symbolique107. II pourrait resulter de ce processus de territorialisation un changement dans la distribution topographique des lieux sacres du bouddhisme tibetain. Les temples sont d'abord des lieux de culte et it ce titre, meme s'ils se voient peu ou prou attribuer un caractere de sacralite, ils ne possedent pas toutes les caracteristiques des Hauts Lieux . Parce qu'elles ont conserve un ancrage fort dans leurs racines culturelles (i.e., que leur legitimite repose partiellement mais indubitablement sur l'image d'un Tibet sacre ), les traditions religieuses tibetaines d'Occident ont su maintenir leurs Hauts Lieux en Asie. Les Hauts Lieux du bouddhisme en general (lieux de naissance et de disparition - paTiniTvana - du Bouddha historique, les temples qui ont conserve ses reliques) et ceux des traditions tibetaines en particuliers (residences historiques de grands maltres tibetains de chaque ecole, et notamment hors du Tibet: au Bhoutan, au Nepal, au Sikkim, au Ladakh) sont inscrits dans une histoire ancienne conservent de facto la charge symbolique devolue au.'{ lieux consacres par la tradition: des pelerinages organises it partir de la France (ou plus largement de l'Europe) y sont regulierement effectues. Et c'est sur ce plan, majore au processus de diffusion initial qui l'a amene d'Asie, que Ie bouddhisme tibetain revet - une fois de plus - un caractere transnational. Les sanctuaires de France et d'Occident ne sont toutefois pas, dans cette perspective, de simples espaces de pratique it la valeur symbolique negligeable face aux Hauts Lieux d'Asie. Ils assument en effet, it une autre echelle, une fonction de lieux de memoire pour leurs adeptes : c'est encore l'ethnographie de longue duree qui revele que les temples!centres tibetains de France offrent une memoire identificatoire dans laquelle s'inscrit l'histoire personnelle des pratiquants, celle de l'institution du temple ou de la figure charismatique de son fon,dateur, de la lignee de transmission ou de l'ecole tibetaine it laquelle il se rattache, et, en derniere instance, au bouddhisme dans sa totalite - les differentes matrices d'identification des


Sur ce point, l'importancE: de ce trait est manifeste dans 1a presentation des commu-

nautes bouddhistes par elIes-memes. P. Rance, Guide des centres bouddhistes en Piance. 107 A. Lavine, "Tibetan Buddhism in America", 104.

Esp"it(s) du Tibet


pratiquants occidentaux du bouddhisme tibetain qui constituent les niveaux d'appartenance dans lesquels ils peuvent se reconnaitre l08 Certains sites (les grands temples tibetains de France) possedent neanmoins une place particuliere dans la topographie et la memoire collective des communautes : des pelerinages y sont organises par les petits centres pour des visites regulieres, it une echelle nationale, cette fois, moins comme substitut a des sites sacres inaccessibles au Tibet lui-meme, que comme autant de sites memoriels " renvoyant a l'histoire de l'implantation du bouddhisme dans la nation franc;:aise.

Fonction des temples et echelles d'organisation

Cette premiere mise en lumiere de la territorialisation du bouddhisme tibetain en Occident s'est jusqu'ici limitee it l'examen des modalites d'ancrage physique et de recomposition de la culture materielle. II reste it explorer Ie rapport entre les temples et les communautes, et l'impact de cette territorialisation dans les formes d'organisation sociale du bouddhisme tibetain de France et d'ailleurs. Au dela de la simple topographie, elle reflete en effet une morphologie complexe it l'echelle des espaces localises (les temples) ou supralocaux (les reseaux nationaux et transnationaux), et devoile une dynamique de transmission et d'ajustement qui n'est pas moins complexe. Pour des raisons deja evoquees precedemment, les specialistes ont jusqu'ici principalement porte leur attention sur la fondation de temples dans Ie contexte des flux migratoires, a savoir dans Ie cadre d'un bouddhisme ethnique " dans Ie sens OU les enjeux de continuite culturelle et religieuse sont les plus patents. De l'Amerique it l'Australie, en passant par l'Europe, les temples bouddhistes ont ete fondes peu de temps apres l'<~tablissement des diasporas asiatiques 109 C'est notamment en reponse aux perils de deracinement culturel et d'apostasie que les organisations religieuses asiatiques (au depart, japonaises et chinoises) ont depeche des moines missionnaires pour reintroduire et renforcer les pratiques bouddhistes au cceur des oversea communities dans Ie but explicite de leur fournir une direction spirituelle "llO. II incombait aces emissaires un role officiel comme support pour des institutions ethniques lll, un trait distinctif habituellement attribue en priorite au bouddhisme asiatique par un discours savant qui a homologue l'idee de dynamiques sociales et culturelles divergentes entre les flux migratoi-

lOB L. Obadia, "Becoming a 'vVestern Buddhist: conversion, adherence and belonging", s.d., unpublished paper. 109 R. Fields, How tbe Swans Came to tbe Lal" ; Alfred Bloom, "Shin Buddhism in America: ASocial Perspective", in The Faces of Buddbisnz in AmeTica, 32-47 ; Stuart Chandler, "Chinese Buddhism in America: Identity and Practice", in Tbe Faces of Buddbism in Anze7'ica, 13-30 ; K. Tanaka, "Issues of Ethnicity in the Buddhist Churches of America", in Ame,'ican Buddbisnz, 3-19 ; J. MacLellan, Nlany Petals in tbe Lotus. llO A. Bloom, "Shin Buddhism in America", 35 ; S. Chandler, "Chinese Buddhism in America", 25 ; K. Tanaka, "Issues of Ethnicity in the Buddhist Churches of America", 5. III K. Tanaka, "Issues of Ethnicity in the Buddhist ChUl'ches of America", 8-9.


Lionel Obadia

res et l'expansion missionnaire du bouddhisme, une posture inteUectuelle qui disjoint un bouddhisme ethnique d'un bouddhisme blanc 112 IT a ete note que, pour les diasporas asiatiques, les temples assument un role substantiel dans la structuration socialelll mais ce sont egalement des lieux OU s'opere une traduction ou une redefinition des identites ethniques, par l'intermediaire des pratiques rituelles 114, la capitalisation communautairell5 , l'economie diasporique!16 entre autres activites designees comme ethniques , au point que certains n'hesitent pas a qualifier leur role de culturel plus que religieux 117 meme si les pratiques et croyances religieuses des diasporas, parfois lethargiques avant leur deplacement, ont ete massivement reactivees dans Ie contexte migratoire 118 . Ces temples bouddhistes diasporiques sont inscrits dans une topographie duelle : ils sont ala fois d'Asie .et d'Oceident, en vertu des connections transnationales qu'ont etablies les diasporas asiatiques avec leurs pays d'origine et de la circulation des maitres entre les differentes aires geographiques 119. Dans certaines perspectives theoriques contemporaines, Ie bouddhisme blanc ou de convertis a savoir, Ie bouddhisme des traditions japonaise, cinghalaise ou tibetaine telles qu'elles sont pratiquees en France, est principalement vu comme ressortissant de formes individualistes-modernes de la religion!20 : c'est la raison pour laquelle la question de la transplantion religieuse et des fonctions sociales des institutions transposees est absente de la recherche franpise l2l a l'exception notable des travaux pionniers de Dennis Gira, Ie premier auteur it avoir cartographie les temples bouddhistes de France et a avoir note la surrepresentation statistique des temples/centres de convertis 122 En se prevenant de tout comparatisme abusif, il faut bien reconnaitre que, sous bien des aspects, ces temples, et notamment ceux des traditions tibetaines assument des fonctions en tous points identiques it celles qui incombent aux temples diasporiques . La premiere echelle soumise a l'analyse est celIe de la transmission au niveau des acteurs (les pratiquants) et des communautes. Sous un angle fonctionnaliste, les communautes bouddhistes, en particulier lorsqu'elles sont engagees dans un processus d'institutionnalisation, representent un element essentiel (mais encore une fois,

R. Fields, "Divided Dharma", 196. MacLellan, !VIany Petals in the Lotus. 114 Chez les Laotiens de France et des Etats-Unis : C. Choron-Baix, "De forets en banlieues" ; Penny Van Esterik, "Ritual and the Performance of Buddhist Identity among Lao Buddhists in North America", in A7ne1'ican Buddhism, 57-68. 115 Stuart Chandler, "Placing Palms Together: Religious and Cultural Dimensions of the Hsi Lai Temple Political Donation Controversy", in Ante1'ican Buddhism, 36-56. ii' Senryo Asai et D. vVilliams, "Japanese American Zen Temples: Cultural Identity and Economics", in Anzerican Buddhism, 20-35. 117 K. Tanaka, "Issues of Ethnicity in the Buddhist Churches of America", 10. 118 S. Chandler, "Chinese Buddhism in America", 23-24. il9 J. MacLellan, NIany Petals of the Lotus ; D. Padget, "The Translating Temple". 120 F. Lenoir, Le bouddhisme en France.
112 113 ].
III 122

L. Obudia, "Transplantation religieuse et amenagement de l'espace", 306-309.

Dennis Gira, Comp,-end"e Ie Bouddbisme (Paris: Le Centurion, 1989).

Esprit(s) du Tibet


pas exclusif) it la transmission du Dharma hors d'Asiel2l. Si l'on suit cette ligne d'interpretation fonctionnelle - qui situe l'analyse sur Ie plan des enjeux de transmission culturelle plus qu'it celui de la morphologie sociale - on peut ajouter it cet argumentaire elementaire d'autres fonctions : les temples tibetains servent it reproduire les structures memes du monachisme tibetain via la formation religieuse et la reproduction d'un systeme fonde sur des modalites de transmission codifiees et un rapport singulier entre maitre et disciple!24. Ce rapport ne saurait etre considere comme exclusif dans l'analyse : ce serait faire peu de cas d'une sociabilite ordinaire (Ies interactions ordinaires des pratiquants entre eux) qui est fondamentalement comple_mentaire dans Ie sens OU elle fait Ie coeur meme de la vie religieuse : si elIe garantit les interactions entre les maitres et leurs disciples, elle sert aussi de fondement it des activites collectives non hierarchisees qui constituent l'autre versant du support des liens communautaires. Etre engage dans une communaute d'obedience tibetaine, revient avivre ala fois une relation au maitre et un rapport - tout aussi fondamental pour l'apprentissage religieux - aux autres disciples. Une fois fondes, les temples operent d'ailleurs un renforcement de la communaute : de la meme maniere que Ie maitre est aussi un moine (jama), rouage de l'architecture sociale du bouddhisme tibetain dont il garantit, par son activite rituelle et meditative, la perennite, les temples pourvoient les communautes en bases sociales et en ancrages physiques dans un meme objectif. Ces fonctions structurantes des temples se manifestent it d'autres echelIes : celIe des modes de structuration au niveau des organisations elles-memes, qui refletent d'autres dimensions de la dynamique de transplantation du bouddhisme tibetain. La fondation d'organisations d'extension nationale, particulieres ou federatives (sous la forme d' Unions bouddhistes ), mais egalement d'extension internationale (it travers des organisations transnationales comme la Federation pour fa Pdse1'vation de fa Tradition lVlabayana ou Ie Vajradbatu fonde originellement par Trungpa), ainsi que la reconnaissance du statut par les administrations des nations d'accueil du bouddhisme comme religion it part entiere125 acheve d'illustrer les consequences de cette institutionnalisation au plan supra-communautaire et macrosocial. A l'organisation bureaucratique unificatrice des federations ou Unions , repond une structuration en reseau it une double echelle. A celIe des communautes, correspond une structura C tion en paroisses , une analogie avec Ie modele chretien qui se justifie par l'existence d'un reseau social (de pratiquants ou de sympathisants) etendu dans l'espace mais pour lequelle point d'ancrage de la sociabilite religieuse et de l'activite rituelle . est Ie temple local126. Autrement dit, une topographie de la pratique religieuse revele Ie role federateur du temple pour les pratiquants qui resident dans une proximite physique plus ou moins grande: on se rapproche souvent du temple Ie plus proche du domicile, avant eventuellement d'en frequenter d'autres. Les guides et

Alison Smith, "The Role of Buddhist Groups in South Africa", in Buddhism and L. Obadia, "Une tradition au-de!:; de la modernite", SO. Pour la France, D. Gira, "Les bouddhistes franpis", Espz'it 233 (1997) : 130-l48. L. Obadia, Bouddhimze et Occident, 211.

Africa, 77 -S4.



Lionel Obadia

directories ont d'ailleurs pour utilite de faciliter l'acces a des temples, pour les individus potentiellement interesses par Ie bouddhisme, mais qui, contraints par les exigences de la vie ordinaire, privilegient souvent la frequentation de temples locaux a celle d'autres sanctuaires. A l'echelle des nations et de l'international, c'est encore un reseau qui configure Ie pays age bouddhiste dans ses pays d'accueil : tous les centres alignes (sur des ecoles tibetaines) sont rattaches a des grands temples par des liens d'affiliation doctrinale, sous la forme d'un nseau tout a la fois humain et imaginaire, qui ancre les cornmunautes d'Occident dans une filiation his torique a l'une des ecoles du bouddhisme tibetain et offre un rattachement concret it un reseau transnational qui s'articule de l'Asie (lnde, Nepal ou Bhoutan) a ses pays d'accueil (d'Occident) et au sein desquels s'effectue la circulation des hommes (moines ou pratiquants), des representations (culturelles et religieuses) et des biens (objets). On retrouve ici, sous une forme presque identique, ces topographies duelles qui caracterisent les temples diasporiques .

Bouddbis77Ze ou religion tibetaine ?

II convient encore d'examiner les effets d'une transplantation qui a jusqu'a present ete essentiellement considere comme celIe des traditions bouddhistes. L'anthropologie a etabli depuis bien longtemps que la diffusion et la transplantation des religions dans de nouveaux substrats socioculturels entrainait des processus d'acculturation. Et nombrelL",{ sont les auteurs it avoir insiste sur cette dimension en pronostiquant l'eclosion de nouvelles formes de bouddhisme, largement influencees par les cultures nationales ou supranationales. Mais pour qu'il y ait acculturation, encore faut-il savoir qu'est-ce qui est susceptible de s'acculturer. Qu'estcce que l'arrivee des Tibetains et la recomposition des lieux de culte a finalement amene a transposer dans Ie contexte occidental? La reponse la plus commune demeure: Ie bouddhisme. L'image d'un bouddhisme comme principal reflet des croyances et des pratiques religieuses du Tibet s'avere ainsi persistante dans l'imaginaire occidental: pour la grande majorite des Occidentaux, Ie Tibet demeure une nation bouddhiste quand ce n'est pas purement et simplement la patrie du bouddhisme. Cenes, Ie bouddhisme y a joue un role fondamental, en envahissant tous les companiments de la societe 127 Or, ce qui fait l'unite du Tibet, c'est sa civilisation affirme Rolf Stein l28 en invitant it la prudence face au risque de reduire l'histoire du Tibet a celle d'une seule et unique religion. Si cette histoire s'ecrit a partir de materiaux textuels, c'est parce que ceux-ci representent une source fondamentale a la comprehension du role de la religion dans l'organisation sociale et politique du Tibet. Mais Ie recours a des sources essentiellement religieuses fait encourir Ie risque d'une histoire religieuse du Tibet, reconstituee, qui plus est, a partir de sources essentiellement bouddhistes129 , ou qui reflete des pro127

R. Stein, La civilisation tibetaine, 108.

La civilisation tibitaine, 6.


David Snellgrove et Hugh Richardson, A Cultuml Histo,y of Tibet (London: VVeidenfeld and Nicolson, 1968) ; Anne-Marie Blondeau, "Les religions du Tibet", in Encyclopidie fa Plerade, Histoire des ,'efigio1ls, III (Paris: Gallimard, 1976) : 233- 249 ; Per Kvaeme, "Le Tibet: grandeur

Esprit(s) du Tibet


jections occidentales qui confondent sous Ie vocable bouddhiste des valeurs culturelles et religieuses tres diversifiees130 Les autres formes de religion sont certes, rarement oubliees dans la litterature specialisee, mais elles ne sont generalement signalees qu'ii partir du moment ou elles interagissent avec Ie bouddhisme, pour etre generalement absorbees par lui ou lui etre assujetties : c'est Ie cas du bon, du chamanisme, et des autres formes de croyances non-bouddhistes. Pour ne pas limiter la transposition au seul bouddhisme, il faudiait alars evoquer une religion tibetaine en Occident. Cette expression recouvre un vaste complexe d'elements que les puristes divisent en bouddhistes et non-bouddhistes , comprenant egalement des croyances ayant pour objet les esprits de la nature (comme les nagas - serpents mythiques des rivieres), des sols, Ie culte des excllvations et des montagnes (inscrits dans une cosmologie tihetaine centree autour du mont Kailash), des traits chamaniques, des formes de divination et de geomancie, et bien evidemment, des rites de sorcellerie et de contre-sorcellerie ... la liste pourrait encore s'allonger. Les recherches conduites sur la pratique du bouddhisme en Francelll (et ailleurs) tendraient a confirmer que la transplantation s'aligne sur un modele simplifie de la religion tihetaine resultant d'une double reduction : sous la forme generique du seul bouddhisme, et qui plus est du bouddhisme savant, celui des textes et de la pratique monastique, excluant par Iii meme tous les aspects populaires observables dans les pays d'origine. Il est indiscutable - et n'importe quel observateur pe!1t en faire l'experience en ce debut de XXI' siecle - que les pratiques conduites dans les temples tibetains de France semblent s'aligner sur des canons orthodoxes . Cette normalisation s'explique aisement par la presence continue d'un ordre monastique en situation monopolistique (car unique representant des expressions religieuses tibetaines en France et ailleurs), et d'une institutionnalisation progressive des activites religieuses depuis la formation de la communaute jusqu'a sa consecration officielle : des pratiques telles que l'etude des textes et des fondements doctrinaux de la religion,' des chants et des prieres (mantras), la pratique des mudras (gestes symboliques), des initiations a des divinites particulieres du pantheon tibetain, mais aussi la pratique des visualisations , des preliminaires purificatoires (ngondro), ainsi que des enseignements specifiques des maitres de religion .... Autant d'elements dont la presence va dans Ie sens d'une confirmation de l'hypothese initiale, qui tend, pour les ecoles du theravada132 comme pour celles mahayana presentes en Occident, a attester
et decadence d'une tradition monastique", in Le monde dtl boztddhisme, ed. Heinz Bechert et Richard Gombrich (Paris: Bordas, 1984) : 247-263 ; David Snellgro":e, Indo-Tibetan Buddhism: Indian Bztddhists and their Tibetan successors (London: Serindia, 1987). 130 Beatrice D. Miller, "Is there Tibetan Culture(s) without Buddhism?" in Ploeeedings of the E'temational Seminar on the Anthropology of the Tibet and the Himalaya, ed. Charles Ramble et Martin Brauen (Zurich: Ethnological Museum of the University of Zurich, 1993) : 222-228. 131 B. Etienne et R. Liogier, Etre boztddhiste en P,canee aztjolt1"d'hzti ; F. Lenoir, Le boztddhisme en Pmnee. 132 M. Baumann, "Protective Amulets and Awarness Techniques, or How to Make Sense of Buddhism in the West", in Westward Dhal"11Za. Buddhism beyond Asia, 51-65.


Lionel Obadia

que les aspects proprement bouddhistes s'averent plus transposables (~'est Ie propre des religions universelles) que les croyances asiatiques locales, trop enracinees dans leur substrat culturel pour beneficier d'une meme relocalisation . Ainsi semble se canfirmer une standardisation de l'imaginaire religieux tibetain doublement aligne sur ses propres criteres d'orthodoxie ainsi que sur les conceptions occidentales qui l'ont rationalise. Un examen plus pre~is et detaille de ces memes pratiques, dans Ie cadre d'une ethnographie de la transposition, invite toutefois it relativiser ce constat, en particulier pour les traditions tibetaines de France et d'Europe. Non qu'il est faux d'affirmer que les traits du bouddhisme se sont averes plus rapidement transpos;lbles que d'autres croyances asiatiques charriees en Occident par les voies de la migration et de la diffusion. On assiste neanmoins progressivement it une reintegration, dans Ie domaine des pratiques, des formes concn:;tionnees au bouddhisme - que l'on peut considerer comme bouddhistes mais peripheriques (en vertu de leur integration dans un systeme camplet domine par Ie bouddhismelJ3 ) ou comme nonbouddhistes (si l'on adhere it l'idee que seuls les elements de la tradition scripturaire meritent cette qualification) - mais neanmoins tibetaines. L'ethnographie montre que ces elements, moins visibles que ceux attribues au bouddhisme, gagnent furtivement l'espace des pratiques transplantees et qu'ils beneficient precisement de certaines dispositions sur Ie versant des pratiquants (chez lesquels une emphase sur les aspects les plus irrationnels du bouddhisme tibetain est perceptible) de meme que du cote des moines. Ces derniers ont par exemple introduit les principes d'une geomancie qui preside, selon la tradition, it la fondation des temples et qui confere un aspect propitiatoire it la localisation geographique en injectant dans les croyances potentiellement adoptees par les pratiquants occidentaux les esprits chtoniens ou ceux qui resident dans l'environnement ecologique, qu'une approche par trop textuelle avait auparavant exclus. On est bien loin de la simple meditation, attachee it la vision d'un bouddhisme philosophique conforme it la rationalisation que promeuvent les nombreux apologistes du bouddhisme d'Occident. C'est loin d'etre un phenomene contingent. Car la pression qu'exercent en retour les laics sur les moines presse ~es derniers it introduire toujours plus de complexite : ils se plient, de maniere discrete et peripherique aux enseignements et rites habituels, it des pratiques de divination (ou parfois it l'astrologie), a de rites propitiatoires, ou, avec encore plus de regularite, a des actes paramedicau.'C. Au cours d'une enquete ethnographique qui a dure pres de sept annees, l'auteur de ces lignes a ere a de multiples reprises Ie temoin de ces echanges : aux demandes de soins pour pathologies lourdes, de resolution de conflits familiaux, de troubles psychoaffectifs, mais aussi de reus site universitaire, de choix professionnels, voire de recherche de pouvoirs surnaturels, les moines offrent des reponses en termes scolastiques et magiques . NIediter et prier s'avere aussi puissant et efficace que de pratiquer de micro-rituels destines par exemple aux esprits des fleuves et des montagnes, auxquels des offrandes sont sporadiquement adressees.
lJJ Tel que propose dans la modelisation theorique de vVinston King, A Thousand Lives Away, Buddhism in Contemporary Burma (Oxford: Bruno Cassirer Ltd, 1964) : 67-68.

Esprit(s) du Tibet


La confection et la distribution de tsatsa (petits objets votifs constitues de cendres de moines) ou encore d'amulettes consacrees acheve la liste de pratiques qui reI event, selon les categories conceptuelles occidentales, bien plus de la magie populaire que de la religion codifiee1l4 , Pour l'anthropologue, l'opposition entre ces de1L,{ categories s'estompe evidemment au regard des faits: car les deux types de pratiques et de croyances participent d'un meme ensemble religieux, Et la comparaison avec les pratiques religieuses de l'aire de religion tibetaine denote une remarquable identite de fonction pour les moines de ces regions reculees et sous nos latitudes, qui combinent sans incompatibilite majeure la soteriologie du monachisme savant et les pratiques propitiatoires de la religion populaire. Apartir de ces quelques exemples, que Ie manque de place interdit de developper plus avant, la these d'une epuration des concretions culturelles 135 d'un bouddhisme vu comme universel dont l'Occident aurait conserve Ie meilleur [sicJll6, a savoir, les aspects les plus philosophiques autrement dit les plus susceptibles de faire l'objet d'une transposition dans des societes secularisees comme la France, trouve ici un dementi formel a travers, au contraire, la presence de ces memes concretion:s au cceur du bouddhisme d'Occident. Sur la base de l'essor massif de tendances modernistes au sein des groupements bouddhistes d'Occident, lesquels s'efforcent de promouvoir une rationalisation des representations et des pratiques religieuses, Martin Baumann voit dans Ie bouddhisme tibetain un contreexemple a cette orientation ideologique et pratique: alors que latendance est a une lai:cisation du bouddhisme, pour certains, conforme au contenu philosophique originel de l'enseignement du Bouddha, l'accent perpetuellement mis sur les aspects les plus devotionnels de la religiosite et magiques par les ecoles tibetaines les fait apparaitre comme des exceptions dans Ie paysage bouddhiste d'Occident137. Si elles sont en effet historiquement Ie fruit d'agregations d'e!ements culturels et religieux au bouddhisme, les croyances dont il est ici question ne sont neanmoins pas residuelles : leur presence signale au contraire la recomposition des liens organiques entre certains elements constitutifs d'une religion tibetaine qui deborde largement du seul bouddhisme savant. II ne saurait evidemment etre question d'une recomposition integrale des formes de pratique culturelles, sociales et religieuses du pays d'origine : a l'image de la dynamique des formes migratoires ou ethniques du bouddhisme138 , ce sont des traditions tibetaines resolument adaptees a l'Occident qui s'y installent. Mais la constance des elements les plus surnaturels (fetichisme, divination, magie therapeutique, etc.), c'est-a-dire, les plus eloignes d'une vision de la religion tibetaine passee au filtre du rationalisme occidental invite a repenser l'etendue et la profondeur de ce processus de rationalisation .
134 Une grande partie des donnees empiriques qui servent iei al'analyse, ainsi que certaines conclusions auquel leur traitement amene sont regroupees et presentees dans l'ouvrage' :

L. Obadia, Globalized Buddhism, Global Tibetans (it paraitre),

135 ].

Snelling, The Buddhist Handbook, 265.


F. Lenoir, Le bouddhis71Ze en P,'ance.

M. Baumann, "Protective Amulets and Awareness Techniques", 59.


S. Asai, D. R. Williams, "Japanese American Zen Temples". D. Padget, "The Trans-

lating Temple".


Lionel Obadia

Economies de l'imaginaire orientaliste : patrimonialisation de la tradition et exotisme nligieu.x

II reste desormais aincorporer it l'analyse Ie r61e des ultimes acteurs du jeu complexe de la transplantation religieuse : les Tibetains. La theorie d'un alignement rationaliste sur Ie plan des idees et des pratiques religieuses tibetaines se donne en effet principalement a observer dans Ie cadre des strategies d'adaptation du bouddhisme a ses societes d'accueil : une standardisation ideologique et pratique telle qu'on peut l'observer au cceur meme des organisations bouddhistes1l9 sur un plan formel, mais dont la profondeur, on vient de Ie voir, est discutable. Problematique egalement est la question d'un eventuel alignement de la religion tibetaine sur des representations idealisees produites par l'imaginaire occidental, toujours pensee a partir d'une perspective occidentalocentree. La these de l'alignement des pratiques et des croyances tibetaines sur l'imaginaire orientaliste ne saurait erre simplement refutee a pri01'" : elle conserve toute sa pertinence si l'analyse derive vers les modalites d'instrumentalisation dont ces ressources symboliques font l'objet par et pour les Tibetains d'Occident et d'ailleurs. Engages en effet dans un mouvement de promotion de leur culture et de leur religion, les lamas ont depuis longtemps incorpore des !ignes d'argumentation tirees du registre occidental a leurs propres discours dans Ie cadre d'une activite de transmission: on retrouve, en l'occurrence, un accent mis sur Ie bien-erre, l'individualisme ou encore Ie caractere rationnel des pratiques qu'ils proposent it leurs disciples potentiels140 . Est-ce pour autant que toutes les strategies d'adaptation se resument it cette rationalisation, par ailleurs dementie par les faits ethnographiques ? Certes, non. Car dans ces memes strategies, se confrontent l'imaginaire historique des tibetains et celui de la tibetophilie occidentale. La place que Ie Tibet et les Tibetaihs occupent dans l'imaginaire tibetophile occidental, et les caracteristiques qu'ils se voient attribuer se retrouvent en effet transposees dans de veritables strategies d'exhibition culturelle. Les evenements de 1950 et de 1959 sont consideres comme marquants dans l'histoire du Tibet. Les vifs conflits d'interpretations sur l'identite historique et l'etendue geographique d'un Tibet it geometrie variable 141 s'inscrivent surtout dans des enjeux politiques qui opposent la ligne ideologique des autorites de Pekin it celie du gouvernement tibetain en exip42. Sans entrer dans les details d'un debat eminemment complexe, il a ete note que les essentialisations (occidentales) d'un Tibet mythique
Depeinte par M. Baumann, in "The Transplantation of Buddhism to Germany",


"Buddhism in Europe. Past, Present, Prospects", ou encore "Protective Amulets and Awareness Techniques". 140 L. Obadia, Bouddbisnze et Occident, 148-150. 141 C. Ramble, "Prologue", in Tibitains, 1959-1999, 40 ans de colonisation; Nlelvyn C. Goldstein "Introduction", in Buddbisnz in Contenzp01 my Tibet: Religious Revival and Cultural Identity, ed. Melvyn C. Goldstein et Matthew T. Kapstein (Berkeley: University of California

Press, 1998): 1-14. 142 A.-M. Blondeau et K. Buffetrille (ed.), Le Tibet est-it cbinois ? (Paris: Albin Michel, 2002).

Esprit(s) du Tibet


servent des fins de mobilisation politique pour rallier l'Occident a la cause tibetaine 14l , et que les Tibetains entretiennent ce double imaginaire constitue autour, d'un c6te, de l'image paradisiaque d'un monde enchante (figure par la metaphore de Shangri-La) et de celle, t:i:-agique, d'une civilisation martyre144 L'enjeu de l'exil et de la cause tibetaine ne se joue pas seulement au plan de l'imaginaire : la questiori de la survie du peuple tibetain a par exemple amene Ie DalaY-lama ~ s'enquerir aupres d'interlocuteurs de confession juive des moyens de preserver conjointement la culture et la religion dans une situation de diaspora accidentelle, mais durable145 Les enjeux de preservation culturelle et religieuse, qui se situent en general du c6te des strategies deployees par ies migrants face au peril de l'acculturation dans de nouveaux enviFonnements sociaux, s'observent dans les contextes OU existe une veritable diaspora tibetaine : la fondation du Rikon Institute en Suisse, sert precisement cette finalite 146 Contrairement, encore, al'idee que seules les diasporas s'engagent dans de tell~s strategies, dans la plupart des autres sites tibetains, fondes if, l'attention et if, l'usage des Occidentaux, de memes processus de valorisation culturelle sont 11 l'ceuvre. Par une mimesis inversee, en renvoyant aux Occidentaux les images qu'ils ont etabli d'eux, les Tibetains d'Occident ont entrepris (ou accompagne) un veritable processus de patrimonialisation de leurs traditions. Les pratiques des centres et temples ne se limitent en effet pas a la formation monastique ou 11 la meditation pour les lai:cs. Bien d'autres activites qui s'y deroulent (qui trouvent d'ailleurs egalement une audience bien au-dela du cercle des pratiquants et des sympathisants) relevent bien plus d'expressions eulturelles tibetaines que de rites religieux. La visite organisee du complexe de Dashang KagyuLing n'est qu'un exemple parmi d'autres. En 2003, Ie Temple des mille Bouddhas devait organiser un festival de l'Himalaya qui melait des expressions d'un folklore local et de manifestations culturelles issues de l'Himalaya (en particulier, des danses tibetaines). En Allemagne, l'Exposition Universelle de Hanovre (2000) a donne lieu 11 la construction d'un pavillon du Bhoutan (qui n'est pas sans rappeler les pavilIons des cultures primitives de'l'Exposition coloniale de Paris en 1931) que la France entend acquerir et reconstituer sur son propre sol dans Ie cadre d'une politique de valorisation du patrimoine culturel . Les organismes ou associations de promotion culturelle d'Europe (mais aussi d'auci:-es contrees) invitent de leur c6te les moines tibetains 11 des performances rituelles - comme la realisation de mandalas - a l'attention d'un auditoire moins reuni pour des raisons religieuses, que par une curiosite exotique. Les chants sacres tibetains sont pour leur part mixes par les programmateurs les plus en vue de la World Music. Sans comptet la participation active des moines les plus reputes d'Occident (comme Sogyal Rinpoche de la tradition Dzogchen) aux projets cinematographiques d'Hollywood (Ie Little Buddha, de Bertolucci). Dans Ie jeu complexe des constructions imaginaires et de ses appropria14l 144 145

F. Korom, "lritroduction", in Constructing Tibetan Culture, 3. O. Schell, Virtttal Tibet, 9. Roger Kamenetz, Le juiJ dans Ie lotus. Des rabbins chez les lamas (Paris: Calmann-Levy, M. Van Dyke, "Grids and Serpents", in Constructing Tibetan Cultttre.




tions, les strategies deployees par les Tibetains se situent resolument du cote d'une exposition des aspects les plus exotiques d'une culture riche (voire satzm!e) en elements symboliques, entretenant par la meme l'imaginaire topographique d'un Tibet comme lieu des traditions authentiques .

Conclusion: Fragments de Tibet?

Au terme de ce parcours, il est enfin temps de reintroduire l'interrogation initiale sur les rapports entre les territoires de l'imaginaire et l'imaginaire des territoires, que ce bref panorama des interactions entre l'orientalisme occidental et la transplantation du bouddhisme tibetain devait s'efforcer de mettre en lumiere. Au debut de ce nouveau 'siecle, les opinions divergent sur les consequences des phenomenes evoques au long de ces pages. II n'est en premier lieu pas interdit de penser une eventuelle dilution d'un Tibet imagine dans un Occident bien reel : mais une telle conjecture repose encore sur une bien sterile disjonction entre l'ideel et Ie materiel. Plus probable est I'hypothese qui voudrait que l'imaginaire du bouddhisme en general, et des traditions tibetaines en particulier, puisse se resorber en vertu de la p7~esence continue, au coeur de l'Occident, des traditions religieuses asiatiques comme Ie laisse it penser l'exemple presente en introduction de ce texte : certains conjecturent alars qu'une meilleure connaissance de ces traditions est susceptible de reduire les projections imaginaires dont elles font l'objet en Occident, et done Ie caractere d'etrangete du Tibet I4'. Nlais la coexistence n'est jamais la garantie d'une rectification de l'imaginaire au plan de la connaissance : dans d'autres contextes, des ecarts considerables entre la proximite physique entre les groupes humains et les imaginaires culturels qu'ils constituent respectivement les uns sur les autres s'averent durables 148 . Et c'est bien l'imaginaire occidental du Tibet qui oeuvre ici it plein dans la transplantation de ses traditions religieuses. Pour ramener Ie propos sur Ie plan de la topographie, la presence effective du bouddhisme tibetain est-elle, en effet, contradictoire avec la representation atopique de cette religion ? La recomposition de conditions de pratiques religieuses en tous points similaires a celles qui prevalent dans les pays de tradition religieuse tibetaine n'etait pas l'objectif affiche des moines qui devaient rejoindre l'Occident. Quand bien meme cela aurait ete Ie cas, la France, comme d'autres nations d'Occident, n'offre pas de conditions geographiques ni ecologiques comparables aux environnements himalayens - en particulier lorsque l'implantation du bouddhisme tibetain s'inscrit dans des espaces urbains. La transposition des formes materielles des traditions religieuses du Tibet procede-t-elle alars moins d'une dissolution que d'une nouvelle localisation des lieux du mystere ou du mystique ? II est certes concevable qu'un deplacement du territoire sacre du Tibet vers l'Ouest (s'il est possible de qualifier de cette maniere les processus de territorialisation reli-

A. Lavine, "Tibetan Buddhism in America", 114. Comme I'a montre Philippe Deseola pour les Aehuar d'Amerique. Philippe Deseola, Les lances du c'ripuscule : ,.elationsjivaTos. Haute-Amazonie (Paris: PIon, 1993).

Esp,.it(s) du Tibet


gieuse) serait de nature a estomper les lignes d'une cartographie imaginaire entre un Occident qui se voit secularise et un Tibet qui est pare a I'inverse d'un surplus ode religiosite. La reconstitution d'un reseau de temples et Ie marquage symbolique des espaces interieurs (par I'intermediaire d'un mobilier religielLx) ou exterieurs (par un art monumentaire a fonction culturelle) devolus a la pratique du bouddhisme tibetain semble confirmer partiellement cette hypothese : les sanctuaires sont bien des espaces de sacralite mais la encore, il s'agit d'une appropriation partielle - parce que morcelee - de la spatialite religieuse, laquelle ne s'est pas entierement accompagnee d'une transformation suffisante de I'environnement (ecologique, social et culturel) pour faire ressembler ces temples it de veritables miniatures du Tibet. S'il est incongru de conclure que se creent de veritables fragments de Tibet recomposes au coeur de l'Occident, tant les conditions environnementales - sociales, culturelles, politiques, mais aussi ecologiques - sont differentes de celles qui prevalaient dans les pays de depart, les mecanismes de la transplantation du bouddhisme tibetain laissent neanmoins it penser qu'il n'est pas interdit de croire qu'une implantation profonde, tant, au moins sur Ie plan des structures, a ete effective, et qu'il s'agit donc Iii bien plus qu'un simple effet de mode 149. C'est en effet it travers la recomposition des conditions de pratique du culte que se donne a voir, a partir d'elles, la reconstitution du systeme social sur lequel s'est fonde et s'est perpetue Ie bouddhisme tibetain : Ie complexe monastique incluant l'existence d'un corps de specialistes (les moines) et de hics. S'il s'agit bien d'une territorialisation - de I'enracinement social et materiel des institutions religieuses transposees - celle-ci ne se laisse pas reduire a des conceptions politiques des territoires. Ce n'est pas une nation tibetaine qui se cree au coeur de I'Occident, mais l'Occident offre en revanche a la religion tibetaine des territoires dans Ie sens anthropologique du terme : des 6tendues physiques traversees de processus d'appropriation sociales et de marquage symbolique de I'espace (monumental, topographique et attitudinal ...). Dans ce processus de territorialisation, Ie Tibet reste encore, malgre la proximite physique qu'offre la presence des temples, un lieu lointain pour les Occidentaux - au moins sur Ie plan de I'imaginaire et sans qu'il s'agisse la d'un reliquat d'exotisme que I'on se piait parfois a considerer comme un facteur explicatif a son succes. IIhis comme ill'a deja ete suggere, que The East soit in the West 150 ou que 1' Orient se trouve desormais a domicile I5l n'enleve en effet rien it la capacite de creativite fantasmagorique que Ie Tibet suscite dans I'imaginaire occidental. Si la tibetophilie est - en partie - a I'origine de la diffusion du bouddhisme tibetain en Europe de !'Ouest et plus generalement en Occident, elle s'y trouve aussi a la conclusion: elle en est facteur de sa reception et de son importation, agent paradoxal de sa transposition (puis que en de9a de la physionomie ideologiquement 149 Ce que je me suis efforce de mettre en lumiere a plusieurs reprises dans L. Obadia, Bouddbisme et Occident, "Tibetan Buddhism in France: A Missionary Religion" et "Une tradition au-del. de la modernite". 150 Pour reprendre la terminologie d'Harvey Cox, Tbe p"omise and Peril of tbe New O,"ientalis77Z (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1977). 151 B. Etielme et R. Liogier, Bt"e bouddbiste aujourd'bui, 14.


Lionel Obadia

constituee d'un bouddhisme rationalise refleurissent des elements non-rationnels ), et enfin objet de strategies de patrimonialisation. Et c'est ce role fondamental qui lui incombe, qui semble garantir sa perennite. Car au final, les effets de l'imaginaire demeurent plus que jamais effectifs et c'est encore et toujours au filtre des conceptions occidentales que les traditions religieuses tibetaines offrent it l'Occident une image transfiguree, que les Tibetains instrumentalisent it leur tour: derriere la rencontre effective entre Ie Tibet et l'Occident au sein des temples et sanctuaires, c'est bien un jeu d'imaginaires croises qui se profile en filigrane et qui donne it cette rencontre sa signification et son impulsion. Dans Ie sens ou. les cadres mentaux et sociaux de l'imaginaire operent en definitive comme des matrices productives et fertiles, 11 l'origine d'une creativite culturelle sur Ie versant occidental comIlle sur Ie versant tibetain, il convient de reexaminer les standards theoriques de I'acculturation formulees dans les Buddhism in the West Studies sous la forme' des continuites et ruptures , des adaptations et changements 152, des accommodations 153, d'une occidentalisationl54 et de leurs variantes nationales : fran9aise155, americaine l56 , africainel57 ou encore bresiliennel5S Les traductions universalistes (metaculturelles) du bouddhisme, en particulier tibetain, n'ont it l'evidence pas entrame une deculturation de celui-ci, qui conserve, au moins au plan des pratiques localement adoptees, des formes erninemment culturelles : du moins est-ce Ie cas dans les temples tibetains de France. Si des transformations sont it l'ceuvre, au regard des faits degages ici, la these d'une denaturation du Tibet et de ses religions au prisme d'une appropriation occidentale (imaginaire et pratique) ne semble ni totalement appropriee ni incongrue. L'imaginaire tibetophile s'est, certes, bel et bien revele comme contribuant de maniere directe et effective it la diffusion et la recomposition mutatis mutandis des traditions religieuses tibetaines dans la materialite et - partant - dans la territorialite. Mais la contribution - si minime soit-elle - de ces quelques pages it la comprehension des transformations de la religion tibetaine en Occident, reside dans la prise en consideration des interferences et des intrications complexes des imaginaires et des logiques socioreligieuses : car Ie champ d'observation est traverse de toutes parts par un jeu de mir~ir entre les images occidentales du Tibet, les reponses tibetaines it ces images, et un mouvement ondulatoire entre la visibilite et I'invisibilite des pratiques et des croyances
152 Kenneth K. Tanaka, "Epilogue: The Colors and Contours of American Buddhism", in The Faces ofBuddhism in America, 287-298. 153 Philip Hammond et David NIachacek, Soka Ga/,kai in AmeTica, Accommodation and Convenion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999). 154 J. Snelling, The Buddhist Handbook, 267. 155 Formulee en France par D. Gira, in Comprendn Ie bouddhisme et "Les bouddhistes

156 P. Numrich, Old "Visdom in the New Win-Id ; C. Queen, "Introduction", in Ame7'ican Buddhism, xiv-'GL"{vii ; C. Prebish, Luminous Passage, 233-269. 157 NEchel Clasquin, "Ubuntu Dharma. Buddhism and African thought", in Buddhism and Africa, 111-122. 158 Cristina Moriera Da Rocha, "Zen Buddhism in Brazil: Japanese or Brazilian?", Jozmzal of Global Buddhism I (2000) : 31-55.

Esprit(s) dzt Tibet


effectives, lesquelles oscillent entre la domination de la norme orthodoxe et la permanence de substrats qualifies de magico-religieux populaires, entre la surface app~ rente du modernisme et la presence fugace de 1' archalsme - deux qualifications bien mal nommees de pratiques qui ne se reduisent 11 aucune des deux categories. C'est dans cette perspective que se justifie l'idee initiale de l'existence, au cceur de nos societes, d' esprits du Tibet: l'esprit d'un temps propice 11 l'utopie tibetophile accompagnant la presence concrete des esprits, entites spirituelles (majeures ou mineures) du culte tibetain.

Some Notes on Early Tibetan Stndies in Europe The article. gives a survey of the development of Tibetan Studies and its forerunners on the basis of sources and tries to lay the foundation for an evaluation and appreciation of early explorers and researchers. Tibetan studies in the scholarly sense start in Europe with the Hungarian Alexander Csoma de Karas (1784-1842) who not only provided the first grammar and the first dictionary of the Tibetan language that deserve these names, but also published a number of studies on Tibetan literature and culture. Before that we are mainly indebted to missionaries for serious information on Tibet, even if we do not call them "Tibetologists." Especially worth mentioning are the Jesuits Antonio de Andrade (whose report was published in 1626) and Ippolito Desideri (1684-1733; his Relazione e notizie historiche del Thibet were written in 1712-1733). There was also an encyclopaedia of Tibet by Antonio Georgi, the Alphabetum Tibetanum (Rome, 1763), which offered a cornucopia of material but whose compiler was ignorant of Tibetan. Among the "Proto-Tibetologists" are also the brothers Fourmont who claimed to have deciphered a text found in the ruins of Ablai-kit; instead of receiving recognition for their work, tradition has it that they made up a translation as they did not understand the text. Worth mentioning are also works by Francesco Orazio della Penna di Billi (1730) and Julius Klaproth (1783-1835). Csoma's achievements were publicized in Europe by Isaak Jakob Schmidt (1779-1847), Schilling von Canstadt (1786-1837), Philippe Foucaux (1811-1894), the Moravian missionaries in Ladakh, especially Heinrich August J.schke (1817-1883), August Hermann Francke (1870-1930), Georg Huth (1867-1906), Albert Griinwedel (1856-1935), and Berthold Laufer (1874-1934). In Russia V. P. Vasil'ev (1818-1900) established a tradition of East and Central Asian Studies that focused on the study of source material in Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan, and Manchu, along with a good command of Sanskrit; this tradition was continued by his students in Russia and in Germany (Wilhelm Grube, 1855-1908).

Notes sur les premieres etudes tibetaines en Europe S'appuyant sur l'analyse de documents, cet article donne un aper,u du developpement des etudes tibetaines et de ses precurseurs, et tente d'etablir les bases d'une evaluation et d'une appreciation de ses premiers explorateurs et chercheurs. Les etudes tibetaines au sens academique du

terme commencerent en Europe avec les travaux du Hongrois Csoma de Karas (1784-1842). Celuici proposa non seulement la premiere etude grammaticale et Ie premier dictionnaire de la langue tibetaine proprement dit mais aussi de nombreuses publications d'etudes de la litterature et de la
culture tibetaine. Auparavant nous etions essentiellement redevables aux infornlations serieuses des missionnaires su[ Ie Tibet, sans pour autant les considerer COlnme tibetologues . Parmi

eux, les jesuites Antonio de Andrade (dont Ie recit fut publie en 1626) et Ippolito Desideri (16841733 ; sa Relazione e l10tizie historiche del Thibet fut redigee en 1712-1733) meritent d'Olre cites. Ii y eut aussi l'encyclopedie du Tibet d'Antonio Georgi, 1'Alphabetum Tibetaimln (Rome, 1763), qui rassembla beaucoup de materiaux differents mais dont Ie compilateur etait ignorant en tiMtain. Parmi les proto-tiMtologues figurent les freres Founnont qui deelarerent avoir dechiffre un texte trouve dans les ruines d'Ablai-lcit, mais dont Ie travail, guere apprecie, fut considere comme la traduction d'un texte qu'ils n'auraient pas compris. Ii convient de citer aussi les travaux de Francesco Orazio della Penna di Billi (1730) et de Julius Klaproth (1783-1835). Les travaux de Csoma trouverent leur aboutissement en Europe dans les publications d']saalc Jakob Schmidt (1779-1847), Schilling von Canstadt (1786-1837), Philippe Foucaux (1811-1894), et des missionaires moraviens au Ladakh, notamment Heinrich August Iaschke (1817-1883), August Hermann Francke (18701930), Georg Ruth (1867-1906), Albert Griinwedel (1856-1935), et Berthold Laufer (1874-1934). En Russie, V. P. Vasil'ev (1818-1900) fonda la tradition des etudes de l'Asie orientale et centrale qui
se centrerent sur l'etude des materiaux en chinois, lTIongol, tibetain et mandchou, incluant aussi

une grande partie de sanskrit. Ce travail fut poursuivi par ses etudiants en Russie et en AHemagne (Wilhelm Grube, 1855-1908).


o the best of my knowledge, there is no comprehensive history, or even sketch, of Tibetan studies in Europe, or the West in generaL Dodin's and Rather's Imagining Tibet! is useful as it presents some facets of vVestern views and opinions of Tibet. In that volume Rudolf Kaschewsky's paper' (pp. 3-20) and that of John Bray' (pp. 21-45) contribute to a better understanding of early research on Tibet, but the overall aim of the volume is to analyze individual images and imaging of Tibet rather than give a history of Tibetology. N. v: Kiihner 4 provides some information on explorers and scholars, but again no history of the discipline was intended. Sketches limited to work done in France during the twentieth century have been published by J. Bacot and A.-lVI. Blondeau. s Popular works like Taylor'S Le Tibet 6 provide glimpses of the history of the exploration of Tibet but only sidelight scholars' works. The history of a whole discipline cannot be squeezed into a few pages; and the existing research on the subject does not allow a comprehensive in-depth history of Tibetology. For this reason, the follmving survey is more of a documented outline than even a preliminary historical sketch.

Traditionally, references to the development of Western Tibetology start with Alexander Csoma (1784-1832) whose Tibetan grammar and dictionary became the
Imagining Tibet. PeTCeptions, projections and fantasies, eds. Thierry Dodin and Heinz Rather (Boston: Wisdom, 2001). 2 Rudolf Kaschewsky, "The image of Tibet in the West before the nineteenth century," in Imagining Tibet, 3-20. l John Bray, "Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century missionary images of Tibet," in Imagining Tibet, 21-45. 4 N. v: Kuhner (Kjuner) (1877-1955), Opisanie Tibeta (Vladivostok, 1907-8): XXXIX, 262, 129; XVIII, 182, 90; l.'VIII, 118, 11 p. 5 Jacques Bacot, "Etudes tibetaines," Bulletin de la Societe des etudes indochinoises, N.S. 26 (1951): 483-491; Anne-Marie Blondeau, "Les etudes tibetaines," J02t1"nal Asiatique 261, 1-4 (1973): 153-174. 6 Michael Taylor, Le Tibet. De lVIm'co Polo II Alexandra David-Nee! (Fribourg: Office du Livre, 1985).

Images of Tibet in the 19 III and 20 ,/; Centuries Paris, EFEO, coli. "Etudes thematiques (22.1), 2008, p. 149-176


Hartmut vValravens

basis for Tibetan philology in Europe. More recently, interesting material has become available that allows us to examine the period before Csoma, which we might dub Proto-Tibetology in analogy to the already existing term Proto-Sinology. In this discussion of Tibetan Studies, we shall limit the term to research on the language and connected issues and leave aside the exploration of the country. vVe will first focus on some scholars and issues of the 18,h and 19m centuries, which may be less known, at least in the Tibetan context. vVhile modern exploration of Tibet started with Ant6nio de Andrade (15801634)' who established a Jesuit mission in Tsaparang (rTsa brang), 8 the Capuchines took over from him and continued mission work in Central Tibet leaving us valuable works that fostered Tibetan Studies in Europe. Domenico da Fano (secular name: Francesco Magnanini, 1674-1728)' was responsible for a Latin-Tibetan dictionary that was initially compiled by his confreres Giuseppe da Ascoli (1673-1710) and Francesco Maria da Tours (t 1709) in 1708. Father Domenico took this manuscript with him to Italy in 1713, and when passing through Paris in December 1714 or January 1715, on his way to embarkation at St. Malo, he prepared a condensed version for a scholar (studioso) there.lO This abridged vocabulary is preserved at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (Fonds Tibetain 542, formerly Fonds chinois 996); it comprises 41 folios and starts with a Tibetan AlphabetY This humble dictionary played a role in a major issue that put the Tibetan language in the limelight of European scholarship. Czar Peter the Great (1672-1725) had given orders in 1718 and 1720 for the collection of old documents,l' and among the finds were Mongolian and Tibetan manuscripts from the ruins of Ablaikit (Ablai-yin keyid) near the Irtysh springs (today in

7 Antonio de Andrade, Histo;,'e de ce qui s'est passe au royawne du Tibet. Tiree des lettres escriptes en l'annee 1626 adressee au R. P. Mutio Vitelleschi, General de la Compagnie de Iesus. Traduicte d'italien en fran<;ois par un Pere de la mesme Compagnie (Paris: Sebastien Cramoisy, 1629, 3, 1, 104 p.) - 0 descob7imento do Tibet, pelo Pe. Ant6nio de Andrade (1624), Noticias da China e do Tibete (Lisboa: Alfa, 1989): 65-131 (modernized text; Biblioteca da expansao portuguesa, 8); Les Portugais au Tibet. Les premieres relations jesuites (1624-1635), traduites et presentees par Hugues Didier (Paris: Chandeigne, 2002); Benjamim Videira Pires, S.]., Portugal no tecto do nzundo (Macao: Instituto Cultural, 1988); the classic work for the Jesuit mission is still: Cornelius "Vessels, Eady Jesuit tr-avellm in Centml Asia, 1603-1721 (The Hague, 1924, X, 233 p.; reprint Delhi: Book Faith India, 1998). 8 Jiirgen C. Aschoff, Tsapamng. KO'nigsstadt in vVesttibet. Die vollstandigen Berichte des Jesuitenpaters Ant6nio de Andrade und eine Beschreibung vom heutigen Zustand der Kloster (Munchen: MC Verlag, 1989). 9 Cf. Clemente da Terzorio, "L'esplorazione del Tibet di P. Domenico Magnanini da Fano," Studia Picena 8 (1932): 81-101. 10 Luciano Petech, I nzissiona17 italiani nel Tibet e nel Nepal, vols. 1-7 (Rome: IsMEO 19521956), (II nuovo Ramusio), vol. 1, XCI, identifies rum "facile" with the Fourmont brothers but it is evident from another source that it was actually Nicolas Freret. 11 L. Petech, I missiol1a17, vol. 1, XCI-XCII, describes the manuscript and mentions that the library also has an incomplete copy of it, prepared by Etienne Fourmont. 12 Walther Heissig, "Die erste mongolische Handschrift in Deutschland," Zentralasiatiscbe Studien 13 (1979): 191-214, here 194.

Some Notes on EarIy, Tibetan Studies in Europe


Kazakhstan). The Czar asked his librarian to provide more information about them, and so 1. D. Schumacher sent a sample to his colleague in Paris, Jean-Paul Bigncin (1662-1743), Royal Librarian since 1717. This seems to have happened in 1722. Already by February 1, 1723, the abbe Bignon was able to respondll and provide a transcription and translation of the text, which had been published immediately in the Leipzig scholarly journal Acta erztditorum, unfortunately upside down as nobody had any knowledge of the Tibetan script.!4 This seems to be one of the first publications of a Tibetan text in Europe.!S When the Tibetan manuscript arrived in Paris, both the historian Nicolas Freret (1688-1749) and Etienne Fourmont (1683-1745), Professor of Arabic at the College de France, had recognized it as being written in Tibetan, and Fourmont and his brother Michel, Professor of Syriac at the College, took on the task of trying to decipher it. This was, only possible as Freret!6 handed over the Latin-Tibetan dictionary which he had been given by Domenico da Fano, to the Fourmonts. They did not have an easy job as they first had to recopy the dictionary in reverse order, i.e., turning it into a Tibetan-Latin vocabulary. 'On this basis they transcribed the text and tried a translation. It was these results that the abbe Bignon sent to St. Petersburg as mentioned. Gottlieb Siegfried Bayer (1694-1738), historian at the new Petersburg Academy of Sciences and interested in Central and East Asia, included this remarkable decipherment in the introduction to his Museum sinicztm, a Chinese dictionary and grammar. 17 ,', He quoted the document as being signed: Interpretati ex lingua Thibetica Stephanus et Michael Fourmont fratres, alter Arabicae alter Syriacae linguae in collegio regiae Professor. Scripsit Schier interpres regius Russicae linguae (Translated from the Tibetan language by the brothers Etienne and Michel Fourmont, one Professor of Arabic, the other of Syriac at the College royal. Written by Schier, royal interpreter of the Russian language). While Bayer considered this a triumph of scholarship there was soon criticism. Rumour had it that the Fourmonts had no idea about the language and had just concocted a tall tale. This evaluation of the Fourmonts' work was later published by Jacob von Stahlin who claimed to have the facts from Schumacher himself.!' Czar Peter had replied to this in the vein of Se non i! vero, i! ben trovato. Later, The letter is reproduced and transcribed by Heissig, Die erste mongolisehe,. 192-193, ill.



!4 1722, 376, plate V; the short article is called: "Nova literaria de msptis codicibus in' Tartaria repertis," 374-376. IS There is, however, a document in cursive script, a passport, reproduced as plate xvn in Thomas Hyde, Historia ,-eligionis veterZtm Persaru"" eorumque ",agontm: ubi etia", nova Abrahami, & Mithrae, & Vestae, & Manetis, &c. historia (Oxonii: Theatrum Sheldonianum, 1700, 556 p.). This is repeated inthe second edition (Oxonii: Clarendon, 1760,580 p.). 16 Cf. Danielle Elisseeff-Poisle, Nicolas Prem (1688-1749). Riflexions d'un humaniste du XVIll' siede stlr la Chine (Paris: n.d.; Memoires de l'Institut des Hautes Etudes Chinoises, 11); Freret was a member of the Academie des inscriptions et belles-lettres and wrote several articles on China. 17 (petropoli: Academia, 1730): vol. 1, 108-124. 18 O,-iginalaneedoten von Peter den, Gn)jJen, aus den, Munde angesehener Personen zu Moskazt 'ind Petersburgverno",men und der Vergessenheit entrissen (Leipzig: Breitkopf, 1785): 160.


Hartmut Walravens

some Russians who were very familiar with Chinese and Manchu had supposedly recognized the script as "Manchu." However, the historian Gerhard Friedrich Muller (1705-1783), member of the Petersburg Academy and well-known for his studies of Russian and Siberian history approached a Lama named "Zordshi" who gave a reading not far from the Fourmonts' transliteration. I9 Still, for a long time there was disbelief in the Fourmonts' scholarship, until Julius Klaproth (1783-1835), the most severe critic of the time, spoke out in favor of the two scholars after he had an opportunity to examine the respective documents in St. Petersburg himself He confirmed that the Fourmonts did a fair job in reading the Tibetan text but that the translation was neces~arily unsatisfactory considering the poor tools they had at their disposal. 20 The Tibetan text was taken up again by Giorgi in his Alphabetum Tibetanum, where he tried an improved interpretation, without much success, however. It was not until Csoma made the document subject of a thorough study that the controversy was brought to an end,21 a dispute that started as "a lively sensation amongst the learned men of Europe" and turned out "an amusing instance of the vanity of literary pretensions."" Fourmont'snephew, Michel Ange Le Roux Deshauterayes (1724-1795) studied with his uncle and became an Orientalist himself. He prepared the article on Tibet for abbe Jean Raymond de Petity's Encyclopidie etimentaire. 23 The article is dedicated mainly to the alphabet as it is part of the section "Imprimerie" (on printing) of this work; the Tibetan characters on the plate (p. 584 bis) are, according to the author's statement, derived from the document that Czar Peter had sent to Paris, and this was an opportunity for him to retell the story of its decipherment. He gives only a few details on Tibetan orthography before spending another few pages on the Tibetan religion.

19 .Miilier, "Comment. de scriptis tanguticis in Sibiria repertis," Commentarii Academiae

Pm-opollO (1747): 422-499.
20 Julius Klaproth, "Ehrenrettung Stephan Fourmonts," Ftmdgruben des Orients 3 (1813): 41-46. See also H. vValravens, "Die erste mongolische Handschrift in Qeutschland. Eine Nachbemerkung," Zentralasiatiscbe Studien 27(1997): 93-98. It is surprising that this event is only mentioned in one sentence by Fourmont's biographer Cecile Leung (Etienne Fourmont (1683-1745). Oriental and Chinese lang;uages in eighteenth-century France, Leuven: University Press, 2002, 27): "In 1722 Fourmont would present to Louis XV his translation of a rare

Tibetan document sent by Peter, the Czar of Russia." 21 "Translation of a Tibetan fragment," Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengali (1832):

" Some leaves of the Ablaikit manuscripts also found their way to the British Museum. Cf. A. Schiefner, "Bericht tiber eine Reise nach England im Sommer 1863," Bulletin de PAcademie imperiale des sciences de St. Petersbourg 6 (1863): col. 481-485, reprinted in Melanges
asiatiques 5(1868): 44. 23 ou introduction it !'fwdes des lettres, des sciences et des arts. OZlvrage utile it la jeztnesse & a'UX personnes de tout age, enrichi d'amples notices des meilleztrs autettrs dans chaqtte Jaculte (paris: Herissant fils, 1767): vol. 2, 584-600 (Thibetan ouBoutan).

Some Notes on Em'0,Tibetan Studies in Ezwope


Francesco Orazio della Penna di Billi Another Capuchin missionary, Francesco Orazio della Penna di Billi (16801747), was also author of a Tibetan dictionary, in this case Tibetan-Italian, of35,OOO lemmata. He had spent 16 years in Lhasa and studied at the famous Sera monastery. In 1815 the British major Barre Latter found the dictionary at Patna and let Friedrich Christian Gotthelf Schroter, a Saxonian missionary in the service of the East India Company, copy it. After Schroter had passed away in 1820, Joshua Marshman translated the Italian into English and saw it through the press, and the dictionary was published at Serampore in 1826. 24 The manuscript has been preserved in Calcutta but in the meantime both the beginning and the end have been lost. Schroter's attempt at a Tibetan grammar was edited by vVilliam Carey and served as the introduction to the dictionary." The rather difficult translation and editing process did not lead to the best results; nevertheless this dictionary might have become an important tool for studying Tibetan if a few years later Csoma Sandor had not published his dictionary and grammar. Julius Klaproth reviewed the dictionary carefully and pointed out a number of its shortcomings. He expressed his surprise at a number of missing words and added a glossary apparently taken from the Chinese polyglot mirrors (Qingwenjian / buleku bitbe).26 Giorgi There is a third extant important work stemming from the Capuchin mission, namely Cassiano da Macerata's (1708-1791) Alpbabetzlnz Tangutanz177z sive Tibetanzmz (Romae: Propaganda Fide, 1772, XVI, 178 p.), which is largely the same as the corresponding part of Antonio Giorgi's (1708-1791) Alpbabetzt17z Tibetanum. 27 Cassiano2S (secular name: Giovanni Beligatti) had accompanied Father Orazio to Tibet and wrote a journal discovered in the city library of Macerata and published by Alberto Magnaghi.29 Both Cassiano and Orazio made further contributions to Giorgi's work,
Z4 Robert Streit, Johannes Dindinger, Bibliotheca Missionz177z 6 (1931): 99; cf. Felice d'Anversa, "Remarks on the Tibetan manuscript vocabularies in Bishop'S College," Jozmzal and Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 8 (1912): 379-397. Giovanni da Reifenberg, "De vocabulario thibetano a P. Francisco Horatio de Pennabilli compilato," Analecta 01'dinis

Nlino,-zzm Capucino,-zn" 47 (1931): 303-312. 25 Eustache Carey, Memo;" ofvViliiam Ca1'e), D. D. (London, 1906): 550.

Julius Klaproth, "Observations sur Ie dictionnaire tubetain imprime

a Serampore,"

Nouveau Jozmzal asiatique 1 (1828): 401-423. 27. Antonio Giorgi, Alphabetu'm Tibetq,nZl71t missionu11t apostoliwTZf.17t cOrJZ77zodo editu11Z. Praemissa est disquisitio qua de. varia litterarum ac regionis nomine, gentis origine moribus,
superstitione, ac maruchaeismo fuse disseritur. Beausobrii calumniae in Sanctum Augustinum,

aliosque Ecclesiae Patres refutantur (Romae: Propaganda Fide, 1752, XCIV, 820 p.; reprint Kiiln: Una Voce, 1987, with useful introduction by R. Kaschewsky) - Criticism: Paulinus a S. Bartholomaeo Dohann Philipp "Verdin, 1748-1806], De vete1'ibus Indis disser-tatio in qua eavillationes auet01'is Alpbabeti Tibetani castigantzZ1' (Romae, 1795,54 p.), 28 Cf. M. Milanesi, "Beligatti, Cassiano," Dizionm-io biog1;afico degli Italiani 21 (1978): 477478.

"Relazione inedita di un viaggio al Tibet del Padre Cassiano Beligatti da Macerata,"

Rivista geogmfica italiana 8 (1901): 545-554 and 9 (1902): 39-5l. The second part of Cassiano's


Ha77:l1ZUt Wah-aVe7zs

which fits into a whole series of Alphabets designed to support the mission efforts of the Propaganda Fide. Giorgi's Alphabetlt172 is much more than information about the script and the system of writing-it is a compendium of everything connected with Tibet that the compiler found noteworthy, especially the Tibetan religion in which he detected the influence of Manichaeism wherever he looked. He relied on a huge amount of classical and theological scholarship to prove his point. This effort has been ridiculed occasionally as the author's idee fixe but R. Kaschewsky has shown that from a theological point of view the author's arguments are not completely off the mark. 30 The book is now easily accessible, both through a handy (reduced) reprint as well as a complete annotated translation into German by Peter Lindegger (1933-2004).31 This makes it easier to distinguish between valuable and erroneous statements and to permit an appraisal of the book's merits, which has been criticized as having scarcely any value at alL Among the positive features of the Alpbabetu77t are the many contributions by experts like Fathers Cassiano and Orazio, and the use of the Tibetan script throughout, using a font designed by Father Orazio. 31 A condensed version of the Alpbabetzmz had already been prepared by Jeremias Nicolaus Eyring (17391803) and published in the famous historian Johann Christoph Gatterer's collection Allgemeine Hist07"iscbe Bibliotbek 33 in volumes 5-7 (1768). A brief extract was also made available by Johann Ernst Fabri (1755-1825) in his Samlung von Stadt- Land- zmd ReisebeSchTeibungen (Halle: Gebauer, 1783).34 The second part of the Alpbabetz177z, the alphabet proper, is an introduction to the Tibetan script, writing, printing, and the Tibetan book. Much attention is paid to Tibetan orthography and pronunciation. An appendix comprises several prayers
report seems to be lost. The extant first part covers the period autumn 1738 - January 1741. A new edition was prepared by L. Petech, I missionari italiani, voL 4,1-142. 30 "Die 'Drei I<ostbarkeiten' in Georgius' Alpbabetll7n Tibetanu1Jt," in VicitrakusumdiiJali. Volume presented to Richard Othon lVleisezahl on the occasion of his eightieth birthday (Bonn: Indica etTibetica Verlag, 1986): 125-130. 31 Antonio Giorgi, Alpbabetum Tibetanu71Z, voL 1: Der manichaische Einflufl auf den tibetisch-buddhistischen Glauben in gegenreformatorischer vVertung; Kosmologie, Kulturgeschichte und Kalendarium; Kloster- und Alltagsleben der Tibeter; Landeskunde mit Itinerarien, Ubersetzungs- & Deutungsversuchen tibetischer Gebetstexte nach den Berichten der markischen Kapuziner Tibetmissionare aus der ersten Halfte des 18. Jahrhunderts .... (Rome, 1762). Aus dem Lateinischen iibersetzt & mit Anmerkungen versehen von Peter Lindegger (Zurich: Tibet-Institut Rikon, 2001). Antonio Giorgi, Alphabetu"z Tibetanzz71Z, vol. 2: Schreibgerat, Beschreibmaterial, Druck- und Buchwesen, eine Dar~tellung der Schrift & der Orthographie der Tibeter in Texten samt den friihen Ubersetzungsversuchen aus dem 18. J ahrhundert ... (Rome, 1759). Aus dem Lateinischen iibersetzt & mit Anmerkungen versehen von Peter Lindegger (Zurich: Tibet-Institut Rikon, 1999). 32 Cf. Johannes Schubert, "Typographia Tibetana," Gutenbez"g Jabz"bucb 25 (1950): 280298. 33 V, 236-274; VI, 272-299; VII, 156-238. These parts were republished by Jiirgen C. Aschoff, Das Alpbabetu77Z Tibetaizzmz in Ausziigen. Aus dem Lateinischen iibersetzt und bearbeitet von Jeremias Nicolaus Eyring (1768) (Ulm: Fabri Verlag, 1989). P. S. Pallas praised this
excerpt because it was put "in a better order."

VoL 1,205-318: "Nachrichten von Tibet aus Georgis tibetanischem Alphabete."

Some Notes on Earl:y, Tibetan Studies in Europe


etc., like the Pater, Hail Mary, and'the decalogue with a few documents from the Capuchin mission to follow. As mentioned the Ablaikit text is also examined arid followed by a very extensive commentary. As all Tibetan words are accompanied by Tibetan script versions, it is a useful book, in spite of its limitations, and it is surprising to see how little use Johann Christoph Adelung made of it for his section on the Tibetan language in his Mithridates.

Another early Tibetan expert was Ippolito Desideri S.]. (1684-1733)35 from Pistoia. He arrived at Lhasa in 1716, studied Tibetan and Buddhist literature, texts from the Kandjur (bKa' gyur) and Tandjur (bsTan 'gyllr), and focused on the work of Padmasambhava and of Tsong kha pa. He was called back, however, as the Propaganda Fide decided to assign, or confirm, the Tibet mission to the Capuchins. Desideri went to Rome but was unable to influence the decision. He was a productive author and besides his reports and letters, edited by L. Petech,l6 he wrote several works in Tibetan that have been edited and translated by Giuseppe Toscano. J7 The manuscripts were found in the Jesuit archives: Tho rangs (Dawn) (publ. 1981); sNying po (Essence of Christianity, publ. 1982); Byzmg khzmgs and nges legs. 38 His translation of Tsong kha pa's Lam rim chen po, his Tibetan grammar, and a dictionary of religious and philosophical terms are lost. Roy Andrew Miller has given examples of Desideri's careful observation; so he described a linguistic phenomenon in Tibetan that has been confirmed only by modern scholarship.39

The standard work on China and India in the I? century, Athanasius Kircher's (1601-1680) China Illllstrata,40 gives little information on Tibet, in spite of the fact that Kircher personally knew missionaries, like Heinrich Grueber (1623-1680),41 who furnished reports. Book II, chapter 4 deals with "De vario habitu, moribus & consuetudinibus hominum illorum regnorum, per quae dicti Patres, Albertus Dorville &
J5 Cf. Giuseppe Toscano, "Desideri, Ippolito," Dizionm-io biografico degli Italiani 39 (1991): 369-372. 36 L. Petech, I missionari italiani, vols. 5-7; L. Petech, "Ippolito Desideri," Geographiscbes Taschenbuch 65 (1964): 285-290. 37 Op,,-e tibetane di Ippolito Desideri. Introduzione, traduzione e note di Giuseppe Toscano, vols. 1-4 (Rome: IsMEO 1981-1989). , 38 See also Richard F. Sherburne, ''A Christian-Buddhist dialog? Some notes on Desideri's Tibetan manuscripts," in Reflections on Tibetan cultzwe: essays in me11!OIY of Turrell V. U'jtlie, eds. Lawrence Epstein and Richard F. Sherburne (Lewiston, Queenstown, Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1990): 295-305. 39 Roy A, Miller, "Notes on the Relazione ofIppolito Desideri, SJ.," Monumenta Seriea 22 (1963): 446-469., 40 Athanasius Kircher, China monumentis, qua saC11s qua p1Ylfonis, nee non variis natzwae & a7"tis speetaculis, alim'umqtte rerum me11!orabilium argumentis illurtrata (Amstelodami: Jacob a Meurs, 1667,237 p.): 66-77 (Tibet, according to Albert Dorville and H. Grueber). 41 Cf. Johannes Grueber, Als Kundschafter des Papstes naeh China, 1656-1664. Die ,,-ste Durehqu,,-ung Tibets (Stuttgart: Thienemann, 1985).


Hart:mut Walravens

P. Gruberus transeuntes observarunt, depinxeruntque" where he gives several plates showing the missionaries' portrayal of Tangut dress and idols, mentions Barantola (Lhasa), and mistakes the formula "Om maJ;li padme hiiIiJ." for the numen itself. There is no detail regarding the language or other specifics of the "Tanguts."

Bayer Gottlieb Siegfried Bayer (1694-1738)42 whose role in publicizing the Fourmonts' decipherment was mentioned above, had a genuine interest in Tibet. He published two articles on the alphabet: "Elementa litteraturae brahmanicae, tangutanae, mungalicae," and "Elementa brahmanica, tangutana, mungalica."43 He also dealt with the Dalai Lama's seal a print of which Count Ostermann (1686-1747), the Russian minister of foreign affairs, made available to him. He was able to read it with the help of the Peking Jesuit Dominique Parrenin (1665-1741) with whom he corresponded. A Tibetan alphabet is also given in a notebook that belonged to Bayer and is now in the Herzog August Bibliothek (Wolfenbiittel).44
Pallas and Hakmann

In the 18th century two reports are noteworthy: P. S. Pallas's "Nachrichten von Tybet, aus Erzahlungen tangutischer Lamen unter den Selenginskischen Mongolen'>45 and Hakmann's "Nachrichten betreffend die"Erdbeschreibung, Geschichte und natiirliche Beschaffenheit von Tybet.'>46 Pallas points out that he, or his informants, disagree somewhat with Giorgi but he will not try to harmonize things-he will simply reproduce the data he has collected. So he gives a description of the country, the monasteries, the role of the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, the Khutukhtus, monks, weddings, births; and funerals, and closes with the translation of a patent by the Dalai Lama in 1754, issued in three languages (Chinese, Manchu, and Tibetan). Peter Simon Pallas (1741-1811) explored the Russian Empire on several research trips; in his Samlungen historischer Nachrichten iiber die Nlongolischen Volkerschaften 47 he included some Tibetan material from his collections (pp. 386-395): ''ArschanahRom oder Weyhe-Gebet bey Zubereitung des heiligen Wassers Arschan (Nach

42 On Bayer see Knud Lundbaek, T. S. Bayer (1694-1738), pioneer sinologist (London, Malmo: Curzon Press, 1986); M. V. Lomonosova, Gotlib Zigfrid Bajer - akademik Peterburgskoj Akademii nauk [G. S. Bayer - academic of the St. Petersburg Academy] (St. Petersburg: Evropejskij Dom, 1996). 43" Commentarii Academiae scientiarum imperialis Petropolitanae 3, 1728 (1732): 389-422, and 4, 1729 (1735): 289-301, 9 pI., respectively. 44 vValter Fuchs, Chinesische und mandjurische Handschriften und seltene Drucke (vViesbaden: Steiner, 1966): no. 184 (call no. Cod. Guelph. 115.1 Extrav.) 45 Neue Nordische Beytriige 1 (1781): 201-222. 46 Neue.Nordische Beytriige 4 (1783): 271-308. 47 Vol. 1: Samlungen zur politischen, physikalischen und moralischen Geschichte der mongolischen Volkerschaften (St. Pete.r;sburg: Akademie, 1776, XIv, 232 p., ilL); Vol. 2: Samlungen tiber den Gotzendienst, die Geistlichkeit, Tempel und aberglaubische Gebrauche der mongolischen Volkerschaften; hauptsachlich die aus dem Tybet abstammende Fabellehre und damitverkntipfte Hierarchie (St. Petersburg: Akademie, 1801,438, X p., ill.).

Some Notes on Early Tibetan Studies in Europe


einem Tangutischen Original)" and (pp. 396-409): "Auszug eines groJ3en tangutischen Werkes Mani Gambo, welches die Legenden vor den groJ3en Burchan~n Abida, Chondschin-boddi-saddo [AvalokitesvaraJ und Schaktschamunih enthalt." Both texts are given only in translation. Hakmarin, "Adjunkt" of the Petersburg Academy, starts his report with a brief history of the exploration of Tibet. He criticizes Giorgi for including "a lot of useless theological research." Then he gives a description of the countly, the habits, customs, religion, geography and history. There is no information regarding the Tibetan language and literature. Adelung The 18th century is brought to a close by the article on Tibetan by Johann Christoph Adelung (1732-1806), librarian in Dresden, in his Mithridates. 48 The work comprises four volumes and was continued and finished by Johann Severin Vater (17711826), Professor at the University of Halle.49 The main entry on the Tibetan language is found in vol. 1, while vol. 4 (1817) contains a number of short additions and corrections provided by Friedrich Adelung, the author's nephew and a linguist himself. The' Tibetan Pater noster was taken from Cassiano's work, and the linguistic comments are limited, probably all extracted from theAlphabetllm Tibetammz. This article has recently been studied as part of a research project on Wilhehn von Humboldt. sO Klaproth The two major scholars of Asia of the early 19 th century, Jnlius Klaproth S1 (17831835) and Jean-Pierre Abel-RemusatS2 (1788-1832) were interested in Tibet and its language. As there were no collections of Tibetan texts available in Paris at that time, both had to rely on the work of their predecessors and current news from Asian informants. Klaproth's talent as a linguist lay m~inly in collection and collation of materials, not in their analysis; his strenghts are in the fields of history and geography. Nevertheless, in a literary feud with Isaak Jakob Schmidt (see below, p. 163) he proved that the Uighurs spoke a Turkic language while the celebrated Tibetologist Schmidt insisted that they were "Tanguts."s3 Klaproth established the
48 Odel' allgemeine Sp1"tlcbenktmde, mit dem Vatf1' Unser als Spracbpl"Obe in be)' nabe fUn! hundert Sprachen tlndMundarten (Berlin: Voss, 1806-1817): vol. 1, 64-72. "49 E. Kuhn, "Vater, Johann Severin," Allgemeine Detttscbe Biographie 39 (1895): 503-508.

" Ralf Vollmann, "Der Beitrag tiber Tibetisch in Adelungs Mithridates 1806" (http:// 51 Cf. H. Walravens, Julius Klaproth (1783-1835). Leben und Wel'k (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1999). 52 C E.A.X. aerc de Landresse, "Notice sur la vie etles travaux de M Abel-Remusat, Joumal Asiatique 14 (1834): 205-231, 296-316; H. Walravens, Zur Geschicbte dfl' Ostasienwissenschaften in"Europa. Abel Ril1ZftSat (1788-1832) 'lind das Ul1ifeld Julius KJaprotbs (1783-1835) (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1999). 53 Julius Klaproth, Beleucbtung 'lind Widerlegung dfl' Forschungen iJbfl' die Geschicbte del' mittelasiatischen Viilker des HfI"1"12 J.-J. Schmidt, in St. Petersburg. Mit einer Charte und zwei Schrifttafeln (Paris: Dondey-Dupre, Vater und Sohn, September 1824, 115 p.).


HmT17Zut Walravens

proper course of the Brahmaputra on the basis of Chinese maps54 and translated part of the yVei Zang tuzhi, an authoritative description of Tibet (1792), as well as related parts of the Da Qing yitong zhi :krn-#Ji;Jll;; . As early as 1826 he reported on Csoma's travels in Central Asia55 and reviewed Schroeter's Tibetan dictionary.56 Klaproth devoted some pages to Tibet in his Asia po0,glotta57 where he gave samples of the vocabulary, confirmed often identical roots of Tibetan and Chinese words and therefore presented a comparative Tibetan-Chinese listing. A major contribution is Klaproth's edition of Iakinf58 (Bicurin)'s translation of the Wei-Zang tuzhi; he had stopped his own translation efforts when he heard that the Russian sinologist had already done the work,s9 then added his own copious notes. He used Tibetan script and identified a number of Tibetan terms which had suffered from the Chinese transcription. 60 He also added a Tibetan glossary according to subjects. 61 Also useful is his description of Lhasa" but he did not follow Desideri in his correct interpretation of the formula "Om mani padme hum.,,6J He became interested in the subject because his mentor Alexander von Humboldt had given a woodblock with a trilingual inscription to the Royal Library in Berlin. He published a few notes by Desideri assembled by N. Delisle in the Jo1tmal asiatiq1te,64 and he has the merit of being the first to present to the scholarly world the Breve notizia dell'egno del Thibet dal Fra Francesco Orazio della Penna di Billi of 1730. 65 Possibly the edition
54 Klaproth, "Memoire sur Ie cours du Yarou Dzangbo Tchou, au du grand fleuve du Tubet; suivi de notices sur la source du Burrampouter," iVlagasin asiatique, ou Revue geographique et historique de l'Asie centmle et septentl'ionale, vol. 1 (Paris, 1825): 302-329; also "Vber den Lauf des Yaru Dsangbo Tschu oder des groflen Stromes von Tibet, nebst Nachrichten uber die Quelle des Burramputer," Hertha 7 (1826): 155-171. 55 Klaproth, "Voyage de lvi. Csoma de Koros dans la Haute-Asie," Jounzal Asiatique 8 (1826): 224-227. 56 NouveauJotmzalAsiatique 1 (1828): 401-423. 57 "XVlII. Tubeter," in Asia polyglotta (Paris: Heideloff & Campe, 1831): 343-353. 58 H. Walravens, lakin! Bii'zwin, rltssische1' Monch und Sinologe. Eine Biobibliogmphie (Berlin: Bell, 1988). 59 Opisanie Tibeta v nyiffnem ego sostojanii (Sanktpeterburg: Imp. Vosp. Dom 1828, XX:vr, 223 p.). 60 Description du Tubet, traduite partiellement du chinois en russe par Ie P. Hyacinthe Bitchourin, et du russe en franc;als par 1\11.***; soigneusement revue et corrigee sur l'original chinois, completee et accompagnee de notes par lvi. Klaproth (Paris: Imp. Royale, 1831,280 p., 1 map). 61 Description du Tubet, 142-162. 62 Klaproth, "Der Buddhismus. I.H'lassa, der Sitz des Dalai Lama," Das Aus/and 3 (1830): 271-272,280-2820 63 Klaproth, "Explication et origine de la formule bouddhique Om mani padme houm," Nouveau Journal Asiatique 7 (1831): 185-206; Donald S. Lopez, "The spell [Om Mani padme hum]," in Prisoners ofShangr'i-La. Tibetan Buddbis17Z and tbe vVest, ed. Donald So Lopez (Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press, 1998): 114-134. 64 N. Delisle, "Notes sur Ie Tibet par Ie P. Hippolyte Desideri," Nouveau Jozwnal Asiatique 8 (1831): 117-121. 65 IUaproth, Breve notizia del ngrzo del Thibet dal Fra Francesco O,'azio della Penna di BiIIi, 1730. Ouvrage publie d'apres Ie manuscrit autographe de l'auteur, accompagne de notes (Paris: Impr~ Royale, 1835). Extl'ait du Nouveau Jozmzal asiatique ([NJA] 14, 1834, 177-204, 273-296,

Some Notes on Early Tibetan Studies in Europe


of another Chinese description of Tibet, which was published by Erich Haenisch, may be traced to Klaproth (1822).66 Klaproth certainly was not an expert on the Tibetan language but his contributions were valuable mosaic stones in the evolution of Tibetan Studies. The same may be said for his friend Abel-Remusat's involvement in research on Tibet. He was the first to translate from the Mahavyzttpatti, for which he used a polyglot edition in the French Royal Library.67 An essay on the Tibetan language, which neatly compiles the available data, concludes a volume on the Tartar languages where one does not expect to find it. 68 The papers on the various tribes of Tibet and lamaist hierarchy are based on Chinese sources. 69

As is well known, the proper beginning of scholarly Tibetan studies is connected with the name of Alexander Csoma (1784-1832) froin Koros, in Transylvania (Korosi Csoma Sandor). Csoma was eager to find the homeland of the Hungarians, which he suspected to be situated in the neighborhood of Tibet. He learned Tibetan . in India and Tibet, prepared a dictionarY and a grammar71 of the Tibetan language, both rriilestones of Tibetan Studies, and a number of articles which he published mostly in the Journal ofthe Asiatic Society ofBengal.72 Csoma's role in the devel-

406-432). While it is to Klaproth's credit to have published this text in the original language, it is often overlooked that Father Orazio's Rappresentanza de' Pad7'i Capucini missionan sopra la missione del Gran Tbibet was published already in 1740: Missio Apostolica, Tbibetan07Serapbica. Das ist: Neue durch Pabstliche Gewalt in dem Grossen Thibetanischen Reich von denen P.P. Capucineren aufgerichtete Mission und iiber solche ,.. beschehene Vorstellung (Munchen: Witter, 1740): 128,224. 66 Erich Haenisch, "Eine chinesische Beschreibung von Tibet, vermutlich von Julius Klaproth. Nach Amiot's Ubersetzung bearbeitet," in Southern Tibet IX.4, ed. Sven Hedin (Stockholm, 1922): 1-66. The original translation may be connected with Jean Joseph Marie Amiot SJ. (1718-1793). 67 Abel-Remusat, "Fan, si-fan, man, meng, han, han tsi yao ou Recueil necessaire des mots Sanskrits, Tangutains, Mandchous, Mongols et Chinois," Ftmdgruben des Orients 4 (1814): 183201; the call no. of the text is FM 228 (Bibliotheque nationale de France). 68 "De la langue tibetaine," chapter 7 in Abel-Remusat, Recbercbes sur les langues ttmares,

ott Memoins sur difft!1'ens points de la grammaire et de la litteratzwe des Mandcbo,ts, des Mongols, des Ouigoun et des Tibttains, vol. 1 (Paris: Imprimerie royale, 1820, LI, 398 p.).'
69 Abel-Remusat, "Notice sur quelques peuplades du Tibet et des pays voisins, tiree de l'ouvrage du Ma-touan-lin et traduit du chinois," Nouvelles Annales des Voyages 15 (1822): 289-302; "Aper~u d'un memoire intitule: Recherches chronologiques sur l'origine de la hierarchie lamaique," JournalAsiatilj'ue 4 (1824): 257-274. 70 Essay towards a dictionary, Tibetan and Englisb; prepared with the assistance of Bande Sangs-Rgyas Phun-Tshogs, a learned lama of Zangskar, during a residence at Kanam, in the Himalaya Mountains, on the confines of India and Tibet, 1827-1830 (Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press, 1834, XXII, 351 p.). . 71 A grammar ofthe Tibetan language, in English (Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press, 1834, XII, 204 p., 40 pI. 4). 72 Csoma, Tibetan studies: being a reprint of the articles contributed to the Journal of the Asiatic Society ofBengal, ed. E. Denison Ross (Calcutta: BaptistiVIission Press, 1912,585 p.).


Hartmztt Walravens

opment of Tibetology can hardly be overrated. An extensive literature on him and his work is available.73 We shall therefore simply provide bibliographic references in the footnotes and focus on some of the less known experts of the 19th century.74 Schott Wilhelm Schott (1803-1889),15 an Orientalist from Mainz, specialized in East Asian languages. But interest in East Asia at the universities was small; therefore Schott, a remarkable linguist, learned and taught additional languages - Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, Turkish, Persian, Mongolian and Tibetan. He wrote scholarly reviews on current publications, like Csoma's grammar6 and Schmidt's dictionary,77 Schiefner?s and Jaschke's monographs. In addition he published on the Gesar saga.18 Ewald and Schilling von Canstadt Heinrich Ewald (1803-1875)79 was one of the major scholars in Biblical and Oriental Studies in the 19th century and Professor at the University of Gottingen. One would not readily connect him with Tibetan language studies but he wrote in a letter: "I have the honour of returning the Fourmont leaf to you, which you were kind enough to communicate to me. These weeks I have studied Tibetan

13 Theodo<e Duka, Lifo and "vorks ofAlexander Csoma de Kiiros (London: Triibner & Co., 1885; reprint New Delhi: Maiijusri, 1972). The reprint contains in addition: -Vv. -Vv. Hunter, "Csoma de Koras: A pilgrim scholar," [originally published in The Pioneer, Allahabad, 1885]; J. Terjek, '~e."ander Csoma de Karas. A short biography," in Tibetan-English dictionary, ed. Csoma (Budapest: Akademiai Kiad6, 1984): VII-XXXVI; Alexande,. Csoma de Kaios (17841842), pioneer of O,iental Hungary. Seminars at the University of Delhi and the Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre in memoriam of the 150th anniversary of his death ... (New Delhi, 1992); Janos Kubassek, Hungarian hermit of the Himalaya. The lifo ofSandor J(D,osi Csoma against a contemporary historical and geographical backd,op (Budapest; Hungarian Ancient History Research and Publishing, 1999). 74 Cf. e.g. "Bernard Le Calloc'h, "La litterature orientaliste en langue franpise et Alexandre Csoma de Karas, essai de bibliographie," JournalAsiati'Jue 276 (1988): 189-200. 75 Cf. H Walravens, Wilhelm Schott (1802-1889). Leben und Wi,ken des Orientalisten (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2001; Orientalistik Bibliographien und Dokumentationen, 13). 76 Schott, "Csoma de Koros: A grammar of the Tibetan language in English. Calcutta 1834. gr. 4," Jahrbilcherfii1wissenschaftliche KJ"itil, (1837): Il, 345-349, 353-358. 77 Schott, "]. J. Schmidt: Tibetisch-deutsches Worterbuch nebst deutschem Wortregister. St. Petersburg, Leipzig 1841. xi, 784 p. 4," Jahlbilcher filr""vissenschaftliche KJitik (1842): I, 401405. 7B "Schott, "Gesser Khan," in Allgemeine Encyklopiidie der Wissenschaften und Kilnste (eds. Ersch and Gruber), I, 64 (1857): 340-344. Schott also reviewed 1. J. Schmidt's edition and translation of the Mongolian te."t in "Uber die Sage von Geser-Chan," (Gelesen in der Akademie der Wissenschaften am 10. April 1851) Abhandlztngen der P1"CztSsischen Akadernie der Wissenschaftelz, Phil.-bist. KJasse (1851): 263-295. See also his "Kosmogonie, Mythologie und Religions-Philosophie der Tibetaner und Mongolen," Magazin fiir die Litemtz,, des AZlSlandes (1832): 423-424. 79 Neue Deutsche Biogrrlphie 3 (1957): 696-697; T. Witton Davies, Hei1l1ich Ewald; olientalist and theologian 1803-1903 (London: T. Fisher, 1903, Xl, 146 p.).

Some Notes on Em-l)' Tibetan Studies in EUTope


from the books of Korosi [Csoma Sandor] and can now, more or less, understand Tibetan books" (Oct. 24, 1835). Unfortunately, Ewald did not make much use of his newly acquired command of the language but he wrote reviews for the renowned Go-ttingiscbe Geleb,-te Anzeigen, for example, on Csoma's grammar and dictionary,80 copies of which Csoma had donated to his former alma mater. In this context Ewald briefly presented two Tibetan texts printed by Karl Tauchnitz in Leipzig, books that look like blockprints but were more likely lithographed:
II ~ <>'Ill&r~li>1&r1i9",~r;~1!r~<>,-~::i~r/:l~~tT]" II

Smon-lam-btschu-tham-abyor-bai-[lhag]-smon-bsngo-ba [Mugs] Ein tiibetisches GebetbuchS1 (Leipzig: Karl Tauchnitz, 1835, 6 fols.)
II ~~!r~<>"Ii"\"-&;'''I''-'''~-~',"'-:(1ll'28<>,-Qr;-~h:tJ"~~tT]''';; II

Btschom-Idan-adas-ma-sches-rab-kyi-pha-rol-tu-phyin-pai-sfiing-po [bzugs-so] Das Herz (die Quintessenz) der zum jenseitigen Ufer des vVissens gelangten Allerherrlichst-Vollendeten. 82 Eine tiibetische Religionsschrift. (Leipzig: Karl Tauchnitz, 1835,7 fals.) If we discount the quotations in Giorgi's Alpbabetzmz Tibetanum, and the aforementioned single reproductions by Thomas Hyde and in the Acta eTZtdito,-um, these are the first Tibetan books published in Europe. And they are printed very well. This is amazing as at that time, with the exception of Heinrich Ewald and vVilhelm Schott, there was nobody in Germany who had any knowledge of Tibetan. The person behind these publications was a German-Russian engineer and Orientalist, Councillor of State Paul Schilling von Canstadt (1786-1837),83 the inventor of the electromagnetic telegraph. He had introduc~d lithography into Russia, had been appointed director of the first lithographic printing shop there, and applied the new technique_ to the printing of Oriental texts-Chinese, Manchu, Tibetan, and Turkish. In addition he amassed two major collections of Chinese, Manchu, Mongolian and Tibetan books which are now part of the holdings of the Institut Vostokovedenija in St. Petersburg and which contributed to the development of Tibetan Studies in that city. Mongolian and Tibetan duplicates he donated to the Institut de France. B4 He was a member of the Societe asiatique in Paris and supported

1835, 1881-1884.


Listed in Allgemeines Deutsches Biic/Je7--Lexilwn 9,1 (1846): 300. Bhagavatf-pTfljliiipiiTamitii-hr daya. Listed in Allgemeines Deutsches BiicheT-Lexikon 9,1

(1846): 403.
83 H. Walravens, Zll1" Geschicbte del- Ostasiemvissenscbaften in E7l1"Opa. Abel Re;,tusat (17881832) und das U771feld Julius Klap"otbs (1783-1835) (vViesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1999) and H. Walravens, "Konnte der Drucker und Verleger Karl Tauchnitz Tibetisch?" Am de771 AntiquaTiat 2 (2004): 83-9l.

Jacques Bacot, "La collection tibetaine Schilling von Canstadt a la bibliotheque de


Hartmut Walra7Je71S

it by donating books and missing types for the Manchu font. In additioIl we read: "lV1. de Schilling se propose de joindre incessament a tous ces presents, dont il a deja comble la typographie orientale, celui d'un corps de tibetain, langue dont l'ecriture et l'orthographe ont ete pour lui l'objet d'une etude particuliere; si, comme tout Ie fait presager, il execute ce nouveau dessein avec la meme superiorite qui distingue ses autres travaux en ce genre, on sera en droit d'attendre de lui quelque chose de plus precieux encore."S5 Schilling is responsible for three posthumously published works in the Tibetan field:
Buddhistische Triglotte d. h. Sanskrit-tibetisch-mongolisches rVo'Tterverzeichnis;

gedruckt mit den aus' dem Nachlasse des Barons Schilling von Canstadt stammenden Holztafeln und mit einem kurzen Vorwort versehen von A. Schiefner. (St. Petersburg, 1859, [2], IV; 37 p.)

d.i. Das ehrwiirdige Mahiijilnasutra mit Namen: das unermessliche Lebensalter und die unermessliche Erkenntniss (Lithographischer Abdruck, besorgt durch den verstorbenen Baron Schilling von Canstadt). (St. Petersburg: Akademie der vVissenschaften, 1845, [50 p.]). vVhile these two, an excerpt from the Mahiivyutpatti and the sutra, were printed from woodblocks, either directly or stereotyped, the Kandjur index which had been compiled according to his wish by Buriats for the Narthang Kandjur acquired during his travels near the Russian-Chinese border (1830-1832), was reproduced from handwriting in an edition of 100 copies by Schilling; the later publication just added Schmidt's preface: 86

Kandjm oder der Index des KandjU7~ hrsg. von der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften und bevorwortet von I. J. Schmidt. (St. Petersburg, 1845, [4], 215 p.).

The woodblocks for the Triglot were probably cut by Buriats; Schilling himself seems to have distributed a number of prints as J. Kowalewski mentions the book among the I'Institut," JounzalAsiatique 205 (1924): 321-348; Louis Ligeti, "La collection mongo1e Schilling von Canstadt a1a bib1iotheque de l'Institut," T'oung pao 27 (1930): 119-178. 85 Abe1-Remusat, "Sur 1es editions chinoises de NI. Ie baron de Schilling de Canstadt," Jozt17zalAsiatique 4 (1824): 165-170. 86 Cf. also "Bib1iotheque bouddhique ou Index du Gandjour de Nartang, compose sous la direction du baron Schilling de Canstadt. Avant-propos," Bulletin de la clam histol'ico-philologiqzte de l'Academie imperiale des sciences de St.Petersbozwg 4 (1847): 321-336, 337-339, 1 pI.

Some Notes on Em-!)' Tibetan Studies in Europe


sources of his Dictionnaire mongol-russe-franrais (Kazan: Imprimerie de l'Universite, 1844, 1846, 1849). The Indologist Christian Lassen wrote: "He is the most ingenio~s man I know, and definitively a master in everything relating to printing."87

It seems surprising that such a busy man as the Pomeranian missionary Karl Friedrich August Giitzlaff (1803-1851)88 could take time to deal with Tibet. He was a prolific writer, an ardent missionary, earned his living as a Chinese Secretary for the Hong Kong government, and supervised native helpers who went on mission trips into the interior of China which was off limits for foreigners. "God's Thunderstorm" as he was nicknamed for his hectic mission trips and his inspiring sermons also managed to translate the Bible into Chinese and start on a Japanese translation, a pioneering effort_ He published several papers on Tibet, mainly from the geographical point of view; one of them was presented to the Royal Geographic Society by no less than Sir George Thomas Staunton, the celebrated sinologist and Member of Parliament. 89

After Csoma it was certainly Isaak Jakob Schmidt (1779-1847)90 who did most to advance Tibetan Studies in Europe. Schmidt was born into a pietist (Moravian Brethren) family in Amsterdam and received his primary education in Neuwied. When his father lost his fortune owing to the Napoleonic wars Schmidt took up a position with the Moravian settlement in Sarepta on the Volga river. For three years he lived mainly among the Kalmucks as part of his duties, and this led him to translate the Bible into Kalmuck and into Mongolian. He became the founder of Mongolian studies in Europe and was elected member of the Peters burg Academy_ The close relationship of Mongolian and Tibetan Lamaist texts aroused his interest in Tibetan. His first publication in this field seems to have been his research into the development of the Tibetan script." He points out that it cannot have been derived from the much later Lantsa script but from earlier forms of devaniigari as found in certain cave inscriptions. He demonstrated this by a comparative table of the alphabets.

Nov. 11, 1824, letter to A_ W. Schlegel, his teacher at Bonn University. H. Walravens, KiI'-! F,-iedTich Neumann [1793-1870J zmd Kild FTiedrich August Giitzlaf[ [1803-1851J CWiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2001). 89 Karl Giitzlaff, "Tibet and Sefan. Communicated by Sir George Staunton, Bart, M. P. (Read Feb.l2 and 26, 1849)," Jozmzal of the Royal Geogmphical Society 20 (1850): 191-227; also Giitzlaff, "JiVei Tsang too sheib [j&!Ji\iI~ 101- Tibet in a series ofmaps and descriptions: fozw volumes. Reviewed by a Correspondent," Chinese Reposit01J' 9 (1840): 26-46. 90 H. Walravens, Isaak Jakob Scbmidt (1779-1847). Leben und Wez-k des Pioniers der mongoliseben und tibetiseben Studien (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2005). 91 1. J. Schmidt, "Uber den Ursprung der tibetischen Schrift," JVUmoires de l'Academie imperiale des sciences de St Pfte1'Sbozwg. Sciences politiques, histoire et philologie, 1 (1832): 41-54.



Hart:mut Walravens

A major work is his Tibetan grammar,92 which was published in 1839 but its first part was submitted to the Petersburg Academy already in 1836, i.e., two years after Csoma's grammar. He dedicated this work to Sergej Semenovic Uvarov, lVIinister of Public Education and President of the Academy, who had always had a lively interest in Oriental Studies and had lieen among Klaproth's supporters in St. Petersburg. Schmidt emphasized the improved situation for the study of Tibetan and other Asian languages at his time, in contrast to earlier decades where the main informatiori available was the "monstrose" compilation of Father Georgi who himself did not know any Tibetan. Therefore it was difficult even for linguists like Abel-Remusat to extract the valuable data from a heap of theories and idiosyncrasies ("seine eigenen Grillen") of the learned Augustinian monk. Schmidt then justly criticized the shortcomings of Schr6ter's compilation (1826) and went on to praise Csoma's two books which he c\tlled "an infinitely more beautiful result of his travel." He characterized them as "the only useful tools for the study of the Tibetan language .... These works give somebody who has dealt with the subject for an extended period of time the full conviction that their author did not only learn the Tibetan language thoroughly, but has also penetrated into the spirit 6f the language." Schmidt had collected much information on the Tibetan language especially from Chinese polyglot dictionaries but many obscurities and doubts preven~ed him from publishing it. Csoma's grammar was of the greatest use to him. In his own grammar he preferred to give two chapters from the Dsanglun(,Dzangs blzm) as exercise material instead of Csoma's appendices. And he had a new font of Tibetan type cut, "after the best examples of Tibetan calligraphy" in order to avoid the "monstrose ~pes of the Propaganda.,,93 The next major work did not take long in following, the Tibetan-German Dictionary.94 Again, it was dedicated to Uvarov. He merged his collection of words, extracted from Ming gi rgya mtsho, Bod kyi brda yig rtogs par sla ba and sKad bzhi shan sbyar ba'i melong gi yi ge, three Mongolian-Tibetan, or polyglot, dictionaries, with Csoma's dictionary, and as a result his own publication had about 5,000 entries

92 Schmidt, Grammatik del tibetiscben Spmche, verfafit von J. J. Schmidt, Kaiserlich RussiSchen Staatsrathe und Ritter des S. Stanislausordens dritter sowi'; des St. Wladimirordens vierter Classe, Doctor der Philosophie, ordentlichem Mitgliede der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, auswartigem Mitgliede der Asiatischen Gesellschaften in Paris und London u.s.w. Herausgegeben von der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften (St. Petersburg: W: Graff; Leipzig: Leopold Voss, 1839, XV; 318 p. 4). . OJ Cf. J. Schubert, Typographia tibetana. There is no proof for it but the rype may owe something to the expertise of Schilling von Canstadt, Schmidt's colleague at the Academy. It is true, Schilling passed away in 1837 but as we have seen the first part of the grammar was submitted already in 1836 .. 94 1. J. Schmidt, Tibetiscb-detttsches Worterbucb, nebst dezLtscbem Wortregister. Von J. J. Schmidt, Kaisetlich-Russischem Staatsrathe und Ritter des St. Annenordens zweiter, des St. StanislauSordens zweiter und des St. Wladimirordens vierter Classe, Doctor der Philosophie, ordentlichem Mitgliede der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Ehrenmitgliede der Kaiserlichen Universitat Kasan, auswartig= Mitgliede der Asiatischen Gesellschaften in Paris und London u.s.v.[!] - Herausgegeben von der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften (St. Petersburg: W. Graffs Erben; Leipzig: Leopold Voss, 1841, xi, 784 p., 2 p. Corrigenda).

Some Notes on Ear1:y Tibetan Studies in EU1"Ope


more than Csoma's. His editing also led to many corrections, and last not least, he changed the filing of the entries, following the Tibetan practice, i.e., he did not enter "brda t:l,\" under b, but under d, thus keeping related words and roots together. The dictionary is printed very well, and there is a German (and in the parallel Tibetan"Russian dictionary, a Russian) word index. Schmidt deplored the lack of Tibetan works in Europe as one of the reasons for the slow progress of Tibetan Studies; for this reason he worked hard to fill the gap by publishing a Tibetan edition of the Dsanglun, The Wise Man and the Fool, with a German translation.95 This would give students an idea of the language as the dictionary did not give phrases or quotations. Schmidt's last work on a Tibetan subject was a catalogue of the Tibetan manuscripts and blockprints of the Asiatic Museum of the St. Petersburg Academy (now Institut Vostokovedenija);96 the descriptions were done in cooperation with Otto Bi:ihtlingk(1815-1904),97 the later famous author of the Petersburg [Sanskrit] Dictionary; Schmidt's eyesight was failing, and he was hardly able to work any more.

The first professor of Tibetan in Europe was Philippe-Edouard Foucaux (18111894),98 who studied Sanskrit with Eugene Burnouf (1801-1852),99 the celebrated Indologist. When Csoma's books arrived and Burnouf could not read them he suggested to his disciple that he study them and learn Tibetan-which he did. In 1842 he was able to start his Tibetan courses at the Ecole des langues orientales on a preliminary basis. For years he had to teach on a very meager salary, even free of charge, until finally he was appointed to the chair of Sanskrit at the College de

95 ~e:,,~'~'i, Dsanglttn oder der rYeise ttnd de'r Tho" Aus dem Tibetischen iibersetzt und mit dem Originaltexte herausgegeben von 1. ]. Schmidt; Kaiserlich-Russischem Staatsrathe und Ritter des St. Annenordens zweiter Classe mit der kaiserlichen Krone, des St. Stanislausordens zweiter und des St. Wladimirordens vierter Classe, Doctor der Philosophie, ordentlichem Mitgliede der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Ehrenmitgliede der Kaiserlichen Universitat Kasan, auswartigem Mitgliede der Asiatlschen Gesellschaften in Paris und London, correspondirendem Mitgliede der Gesellschaft der Kiinst,; und Wissenschaften in Batavia u.s.w. Th.1-2. AufVerfiigung der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften (St. Petersburg: Graffs Erben; Leipzig: Leopold Voss, 1843, xxxviii, 326; iv, 404 p.). 96 1. J. Schmidt and O[ttol Bohtlingk,"Verzeichniss der tibetischen Handschriften und Holzdrucke im Asiatischen Museum der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften," Bttlletin de la classe historico-philologique de l'Academie imperiale des sciences de St.-Fetersbourg 4 (1848): 81-125. 97 Berthold Delbriick, "Otto Bohtlingk," Indogermanische Forschttngen 17 (1904/05): 131-



98 B. Le Calloc'h, "Philippe-Edouard Foucaux, first Tibetan teacher in Europe," Tibet' Jottrnal 12 (1987): 39-49, and "Foucaux, Philippe-Edouard," Dett."C siecles d'histoire de l'Ecole des langues (Paris: Hervas, 1995): 269-270; Leon Feer, "Philippe-Edouard Foucaux," Journal Asiatiqz.. (1894): 560-563. 99 Burnouf was interested in Tibet as we know, e.g., from an article "Sur la litterature du Tibet" (journal Asiatique 10, 1827, 129-146) extracted from the Qttarterry Oriental magazine (Calcutta, 1826).


Ha1TllZut Wah'avens

France when Theodore Pavie stepped down. Among his students were Auguste Desgodins, later author of a Tibetan grammar and dictionary, William vVoodville Rockhill, Sylvain Levi, and the explorer Alexandra David-Nee!. Among Foucaux's publications are a translation of the Lalitavistam from the Tibetan: TGya TcheT Rol Pa, ou developpement des jeux, 100 an extract (chapter 4) from the Saddha177zapuzzq,aTzkaszUm: Pambole de l'e11fant egaTe 101 and extracts from the Subhii,itamtnanidbr of the Saskya Pal).Qita (Sa skya Kun dga' rgyal mtshan)/02 Le tTes07' de belles pmoles. He also published a Tibetan grammar. 103

Foucaux tried to prepare the way to a Tibetan professorship for his disciple Leon Feer (1830-1902). Despite Feer's qualifications and publications, the government did not give enough support, and when Feer finally got a position with the national library he gave up teaching but continued his scholarly publications 104 Among his publications are Le Sztt7'a en quamnte-deux a1,tides. Textes chinois, tibetain, mongol autogmphies (Paris, 1868) :with a translation to follow ten years later/OS and Fmgments extmits du Kandjozw tmduits du tibetain. 106 Feer's work was evaluated by lVlarcelle Lalou. 107

Schmidt in Petersburg did not have any disciples as he did not teach at the university. But eventually he was succeeded at the Academy by an able linguist: Franz Anton Schiefner (1817-1879) who had studied law in St. Petersburg and Indology in Berlin. During a visit to Paris he met Foucaux who was just starting his Tibetan courses; this motivated him to learn Tibetan. During 1843-1852 he taught classical languages at the First Petersburg Gymnasium. In 1852 he became Adjunkt for Tibetan at the Academy, and thus succeeded I. J. Schmidt. Schiefner was an industrious scholar, a prolific writer and an astounding linguist. He is known as an expert in Caucasian languages, a specialist in Estonian, and the first translator of the Kalevala into German, a work which is still in print. 108
100 Paris: Impr. nationale, 1848, LXV, 425 p.; cf. the long review by Schiefner, "Vber das vVerk Rgya tch'er ral pa au Developpement des jelL", traduit sur la version tibetaine et revu sur l'original sanserit par Ph. Ed. Foucaux. P. 1-2. Paris 1847-1848 ," Bulletin histo";cophilologiqzte de l'Academie impb'iale des scie17ces de St.-Pftersbourg 5 (1848): 10, col. 152-160; 11, col. 173-176; 7 (1850):15, col. 225-232; 16-17, col. 261-272. 101 Paris, 1854, 55 p., 50 lithogr. pI. 102 Cboix de sentences composees en tibrftain par Ie Lama Saskya Pandita, suivies d'zme eNgie tiree du Kanjozt1' (Paris, 1858, 46 p.) (Tibetan & French). 103 Grammili1'e de la ImzlS"e tibetaine (Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1858, x.uii, 231 p.). 104 Le Calloc'h, "Feer, Leon/' Deux steeles d'bistoire, 270-271; Henri Cordier, "Leon Feer," T'ozl17gpao 3 (1902): 249-250. 105 Le sltt1'a en 42 mtieles. Traduit du tibetain avec introduction et notes (Paris: Leroux, 1878, LIX, 82 p.). 106 Paris, 1883, XIII, 577 p. 4 (Annales du Musee Guimet 5). 107 Marcelle Lalou, "L'ceuvre de Leon Feer," Bibliographie bouddhique 2 (1931): ix, 97 p. 108 On Schiefner see F. vViedemann, "Zum Gedachtniss an F. A. Schiefner. Rede gehalten am 1L Dezember 1879 in der Sitzung der Kaiserlichen Alcademie der vVissenschaften," Bulletin

Some Notes on Em-ly Tibetan Studies in EU1'ope


Schiefner's earliest Tibetan contributions were Addenda to Schmidt's and Bohtlingk's catalogue of Indian and Tibetan manuscripts and blockprints in the . Asiatic Museum,109 A major work was the abstract and translation in part of a life .of Buddha, similar to the Lalitavistara, printed in Peking in 1776 (391 ols,).11 o In his Tibetische St1tdien (4 articles: 1851-1865) he deals with linguistic aspects of Tibetan -the "mute" letters, phonetics, the so-called article, and cases. lll He also discUssed Tibetan composites.ll2 His corrections and additions to Schmidt's Dsanglztn are the result of his comparison of the Kandjur text with the manuscript copy that Schmidt had used, and the printed edition.lll The emendations clear up many obscurities in Schmidt's edition. A major achievement is his edition of the Tibetan text of Taranatha's History of Buddhism,1l4 which was prepared on the basis of four manuscripts, two from the University Library, one from the Asiatic Museum and one from V. P. Vasil'ev who translated the text into Russian while Schiefner translated the Russian into' German, comparing the Tibetan text. ll5
de l'Academie i",periale des sciences de St. Petersbom'g 26 (1880): col. 30-44. Also in Russische Revue
16 (1880): 105-118; all the other biographical sketcbes and evaluations are more or less copied from Wiedemann. A bibliography of Schiefner's publications (187 entries) is scbeduled to be published in Zentralasiatische Smdien (2006). More easily available than Wiedemann's obituary may be B. Le Calloc'h, "Franz Anton Scbiefner: maitre des etudes finno-ougriennes, caucasiennes et tibetaines," Sztomalais-ugrilaisen seztran ilikakattski1ja 84 (1992): 31-52. 109 Schiefner, "Nachtrage zu den von O. Bohtlingk und 1. J. Scbmidt verfassten Verzeicbnissen der auf Indien und Tibet beziiglicben Handschriften und Holzdrucke im Asiatiscben Museum der Kais. Akademie der Wissenscbaften," Bulletin historico-philologiq'Uf de l'Academie impi1iale des sciences de St.-Petersbourg 5 (1848):10, col. 145-151. 110 Schiefner, "Eine tibetische Lebensbeschreibung <;:akjamuni's, des Begriinders des Buddhatums, im Auszuge deutscb mitgetheilt," Memoires presentes l'Academie i1nperiale des sciencesde St. Petmbozwgpardivers savants (Memoires des savants etrangers) 6 (1851): 3, 231-333,1 p. Corrigenda. m Schiefner, "Tibetische Studien 1-4: 1. Einleitung. Dber die stummen Bucbstaben," Bulletin hist01ico-pbilologique de l'Academie impb-iale des sciences de St.-Petersbourg 8 (1851): 13-14, col. 212-222; 15-17, col. 259-267. Melanges asiatiques 1 (1852): 324-349; "II. Beitrage zur tibetiscben Lautlehre," Bulletin bistorico-pbilologique de l'Academie imperiale des sciences de St.-Petersbaurg 8 (1851): 15-17, col. 267-272; 18-19, col. 292-304; 20-21, col. 333-334; 22, col. 337-340. Melanges asiatiques 1 (1852): 349-377; "ill. Dber den sogenannten tibetiscben Artikel," Bulletin historieopbilologitflte de l'Academie imph'iale des sciences de St.-Petersbourg 8 (1851): 22, col. 341-352. Melanges asiatitfltes 1 (1852): 377-394; "IV: Beitrage zur Casuslehre," Bulletin de l'Academie imperiale des sciences de St.-Pttersbozwg 8 (1865): col. 9-21. Also Melanges asiatiques 5 (1868): 178-194. 112 Schiefner, "Dber eine eigenthiimliche Ar; tibetischer Composita," Bulletin bist01icopbilokgitflte de l'Academie r"'phiale des sciences de St.-Pefersbourg 14 (1857): 7-8, col. 125-128. Also Melanges asiatiques 3 (1859): 12-16.

113 Schiefner, Ergiinzzmgen und Berichtigztngen zu Scbmidt~ Ausgabe des Dsanglun ~E';c:'niil'i (St. Petersburg: Kaiserlicbe Akademie der WlSsenscbaften, 1852,94 p., 1 p. Corrigenda). 114 Schiefner, Tiiraniitbae de doctri:nae Buddbicae in India p,'opagation. na1~'atio. Contextum tibeticUID e codicibus Petropolitanis edidit Antonius Scbiefner (Petropoli: [Akademia nauk], 1868). Parallel title: Istorija Buddizma v Indi~ soemenie Taranaty: Po tibetskim rukopisjam izdal ftkad. A. Sifner. [Tibetskij tekst.] Addition see note 127. 115 Schiefner, Tiiraniitba~ Geschicbte des Buddhismus in Indien. Azts dent Tibetiscben iibersetzt (St. Petersburg: Akademie der Wissenscbaften, 1869, xi~ 346 p.).


Hartrmtt Walravens

,Schiefner also translated a number of stories from the Kandjur. "The story of the son of the Pantschala king and the daughter of the Kinnara king" is hidden in the preface to his Awarische Te::.:'te. 1l6 It was followed by "Mahakatjajana and King TshaI.1<;la-Pradjota. A cycle of Buddhist tales,,,1l7 "Indian anecdotes on artists,,,1!8 and "Indian tales.,,1l9 The latter have becorrie quite popular in the English-speaking community through the translation Tibetan tales derived from Indian sources, translated by W. R. S. RalstonYo The English version of the Tales have been reprinted several times, while the originals are little known in Germany. Schiefner's last contribution to Tibetan Studies was "The White Naga Hundred Thousand," which was edited after his death by Wilhelm Grube.I'I This was the first important text on the Bon religion, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet, that later became known internationallyY' Grube's disciple Berthold Laufer returned to the subject later on and analyzed a text of a similar title (Klu 'bum bsdus pa'i mying po) which, however, was a Buddhist revision, or, as Laufer put it, an outright Lamaist forgery.I'3


Clos'ely connected with Schiefner's work was Vasilij Pavlovic Vasil'ev (18181900) who spent ten years in Peking with the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission. There he laid the foundation for his command of Chinese, Manchu, Tibetan, and Mongolian, and he also collected books, not only for himself but also for the libraries in Kazan and St. Petersburg. Vasil'ev was considered Russia's outstanding Sinologist, after Iakinf (Bicurin)Y4
116 Schiefner, Awm-ische Te:rte (St. Petersburg: Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1873; Membires de I'Academie imperiale des Sciences de St.-petersbourg, VII ser., t. XIX, Nr 6): XXVI-XLV. 117 Schiefner, Mahiikiitjiijana ttnd Konig Tshm:uJa-Pradjota. Ein Cyclus buddhistischer Erziihlungen (St. Petersburg: Academie Imperiakdes Sciences, 1875, viii, 67 p.; Memoires de l'Academie imperiale des Sciences de St.-Petersbourg, VII ser., t. XXII, Nr 7). 118 'Schiefner, "Indische Kiinstleranekdoten," Bulletin de l'Academie 'imperiale des sciences de St.-Petersbourg 21 (1876): col. 193-197. Also Melanges asiatiques 7 (1873176): 519-525. 119 Schiefner, "Indische Erziihlungen," Bulletin de l'Academie imperiale des sciences de St.Petersbourg 21 (1876): col. 433-493; 22 (1877): col. 123-138; 23 (1877): col. 1-70, 529-565; 24 (1878): col. 449-508. Also Melanges asiatiques 7 (1876): 673-760, 773-795; 8 (1876/81): 89-188, ' 281-333,449-534. 120 Schiefner, Tibetan tales derived from Indian sources. Translated from the Tibetan of the Kangyur by F. Anton von Schiefner, and from the German into English by W R. S. Ralston, M.A. With an introduction. New edition with a preface by C. A. F. Rhys Davids, D. Litt., lVI.A (London: Triibner, 1882, LXV; 368 p.). 121 Schiefner, Uber das Bonpo-Siitra: "Das weisse Niiga-Httnderttausend" (St. Petersbourg: Academie Imperiale des Sciences, 1880, LV; 86 p.; Memoires de l'Academie Imperiale des Sciences de St.,petersbourg VII ser., XXVIII, no. 1).

gTsangma kltt 'bum dkarpo bon rin po che 'phruldagbden pa thegpa chen po'imdo. Berthold Laufer, Klu 'bum bsdus pai min po. Eine verkurzte Ven'ion des Workes von den Htmderttausend Niigas. Ein Beittag zur Kenntnis der tibetischen Volksreligion. Einleitung,

Text, Ubersetzung und'Glossar. (Helsingfors, 1898, V; 20, 119 p.). 124 Henri CQrdier, "V. P. Vasiliev," T'ozmg pao 1 (1900): 258-260; Z. 1. Gorbaceva, N. A.

Some Notes on Early Tibetan Studies in Europe


While most of Vasil'ev's work concerns Chinese studies, he produced a few important items on Tibet: Geografija Tibeta is the translation of a work by sMin grof sprul sku 'Jam dpal chos kyi bstan 'dzin 'phrin-las, 'Dzam gling spyi bshad me long, which was written about 1820. Vasil'ev took a copy of the text when in Peking where he personally met the -author who died in 1838. 125 Vasil'ev's main work on Buddhism, planned originally as a multi-volume work is Buddizm, ego dogmaty, istorija i literatztra;126 the first volume was translated into German by Theodor Benfey. Vol. 3 was translated by A. Schiefner hirri.self, after the attempt at a competent French translation had failed. Vasil'ev's preface had been left out, perhaps because of Schiefner's modesty to see himself praised. At Vasil'ev's insistence, he published tlllS preface separately in 1869.127 Schiefner had indeed done much to make his colleague's work known internationally. His "Report on the scholarly activity of Prof. Wassiljew,,128 as well as his translation of "The works related to Buddhism in the Kazan university library, by Prof. Wassiljew"129 and a review of Vasil'ev's Buddizmp o a work that he had seen through the press, were very helpful in this respect. In his Bztddizm Vasil'ev indicated that he intended to discuss the Buddhist dogmas in an interpretation of the Mahitvyutpatti, provide a survey of Buddhist literature, give a history of Buddhism in Tibet and translate the travelogue of Xuimzang the famous Buddhist monk. Of these projects only Taranatha's History of Buddhism in India was published. Among his manuscripts is an excerpt from Sum pa mkhan po Ye shes dpal 'byor (1704-1776), History of Buddhism in Tibet (,Phags yztl rgya nag chen po bod dang sog yul_du dam pa'i chos byung tshul dpag bsam /jon bzang, 1748); there are also translations of a number of philosophical Buddhist treatises, translated from Chinese and Tibetan, material for a biography of Tsong kha pa and further material for a survey of Buddhist dogmatic literature according to Tibetan and Mongolian sources. Vasil'ev's tradition was continued by his disciple A. O. Ivanovskij.lll Petrov, G. F. Smykalov, B. 1. Pankratov, "Russkij kitaeved akademik V. P. Vasil'ev," OCe1iei po iszorii l'USskogo kitaevedenija 2 (1956): 232-340. 125 Vasil'ev, Geografija Tibeta. Perevod iz tibetskago soCinenija Minczul-Khutukty (St. Peterburg: Akademija, 1895, II, 95 p.). On the te.'{t see A. 1. Vostrikov, Tibetan historical literature (Calcutta, 1970): 230-231; also Turrell V. Wylie, The geog;raphy of Tibet according to the 'Dzam-gling-rgyas-bshad. Text and English translation (Rome: IsMEO, 1962). 126 Vol. 1 comprises the General overview (1857); vol. 3 contains the History ofBuddhism in India, by laranatha (1869). 127 Schiefner, Herrn Professol' Wassiljew's Vorrede zu seine,. rztssischen Ubersetzung von Tilraniltha's Geschichte des Buddhismus in Indien. Nachtrag zu der deutschen Ubersetzung Taranathas's (St. Petersburg: Kaiserlicbe Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1869, 32 p.). 128 Schiefner, "Bericht iiber die wissenschaftlicbe Thiitigkeit des Herrn Prof. Wassiljew," Melanges asiatiques 2 (1856): 345-346. 129 Schiefner (trans.), "Die auf den Buddhismus beziiglichen Werke der UniversitiitsBibliothek z;u Kasan. Von Prof. Wassiljew," Bulletin hist01-ico-philologique de l'Academie imperiale des sciences de St.-Petersbourg 11 (1854): col. 337-365. Also Melanges asiatiques 2 (1856): 347-386. 110 Schiefner, "Bericht iiber Herrn Professor vVassiljew's Werk iiber den Buddhismus, seine Dogmen, Geschicbte und Litteratur," Bulletin historico-philologique de l'Academie imperiale des sciencesde St.-PetersboU1g 13 (1856): 22, co1.348-352.AlsoMelangesasiatiques 2 (1856): 612-616. 13I Cf. H. Walravens, A. O. Ivanovskij - a hiobibliographical sketch. Including a romanised reprint


Hartmut Walravens

Wenzel Heinrich Wenzel (1855-1893/ 32 is among the little known Tibetologists. He took his doctorate in Indian. Studies at Tiibingen University. The Oxford Indologist Max Miiller (1823-1900) got him interested in Tibetan, and forthwith he devoted all his energy to this field. He gave his introductory lecture as Privatdozent at Leipzig University in 1886 on Tibetan literature but preferred to move to London where he remained until his death, as a private scholar.1JJ Among his publications are Suhrillekha. Brief des Niigii1-juna an Konig Udayana,134 Bfes pai phrin yig (friendly epistle), lJ5 and the second edition of]iischke's Tibetan GrammarY6

Very little is known about Eugen Pander (1854-1894). He was born in Livonia (Baltic territory, then under Russian rule), studied economy at the Polytechnic in Riga, established himself in business in Moscow, and in between apparently took his PhD. In 1881 he became pr:ofessor of economy and lecturer in German and Russian at the "College for Foreign Studies" (Tongwenguan lmJtnf) in Peking. He be.came interested in Lamaism and assembled an excellent collection that he sold to the Museum of Ethnology in B.erlin. As so little is known about Pander a quote from Albert Griinwedel's letter of March 16, 1889, may be appropriate: The aforementioned Professor Pander deposited a Lamaist collection here which is beyond comparison. It comprises old bronzes from the Summer Palace, old Tibetan bronzes (often portraits of la,mas), even an old Indian tribute item (Maitreya). In addition there are a few hundred books: parts of the Kanjur, the works of the lCang skya Rol pa'i rdo rje, Mongolian-Tibetan dictionaries, the complete works of the holy Tsong kha pa, The History of Buddhism in Mongolia started by Babu Chandra Das etc. etc. He owes this magnificent acquisition to his personal connection with the Khutukhtu of Peking. Also the gorgeous manuscript Kanjur which, together with the aforementioned Tanjur, is now offered to the Royal Library [of Berlin] is a result of his mediation. It originates from a huge prayer-wheel which turned rusty on account of the sacrilege. A xylograph replaced the booty; and as it is ten times more meritorious to chant handwritten than printed. prayers, the Lama ruled that all prayers offered in the respective temple shall have tenfold value.1l7
of the orally transmitted lvlanchZl texts from the Iii area, collected by Wilhelm Radloff (Hamburg: C. Bell, 1983). 132 B. Liebich, "Heinrich Wenzel," Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie 41 (1896): 736-738.
113 Cf. Franz Babinger, "H. C. F. vVenzel, Forscher auf dem Gebiet der tibetischen Sprache und buddhistischen Literatur, 1855-1893," Hessische Biographien 1 (1918): 304-309. 114 Translated from the Tibetan (Leipzig: Voil, 1886, 27 p.). 135 Jott1"'nalofthe Pali Te.\"tSociety (1886): 1-32. 116 London: Triibner, 1883, VIII, 80 p. (Trubner's Collection of Simplified Grammars, 7). ll7 "Der genannte Professor Pander hat hier eine lamaistische Sammlung stehen, die ihresgleichen nicht hat. Darunter sind alte Broncen aus dem Sommerpalast, alttibetische

Some Notes on Early Tibetan Studies in Europe


Griinwedel edited Pander's notes on Das Pantheon des Tscbangtscba Hutuktu which deals mainly with one album; Griinwedel added further information and parallels and an index, and thus the paper became a classic on Lamaist iconography.!l8 There are only two other contributions by Pander on Lamaism to be found: Gescbicbte des Lamais77Zus,139 and Das lmnaische Pantheon. I40 Pander seems to have been not only a knowledgeable collector but also a good scholar and his premature death is to be highly regretted. Pander's book collection in the Berlin Royal Library was lost owing to vVorld War II. Schlagintweit The Schlagintweit brothers Hermann, Adolph and Robert, are known as eminent travelers in Central Asia. I4l The youngest brother, Emil (1835-1904),'42 who did not participate in their explorations, took his LL.D, learned Tibetan with Anton Schiefner and earned his living as an administrator in the Bavarian service. His scholarly ambitions-Tibetan studies and work on his brothers' collections-were not supported by his superiors, and remained his private pastime. His Buddhis77Z in Tibet I43 was translated into French (1881);'44 Die Kiinige von Tibet,145 based on the

Broncen (vielfach Lamenportrats), sogar ein altes indisches Tributstiick (Maitreja) ist darunter. Dazu kommen einige hundert Bucher: Theile des Kandschur, die Werke des Tschangkja ' Rolpa'i Dordsche, Mongolisch-tibetische Worterbucher, sammtliche Werke des gottseligen Tsonkhapa, die von Babu Tschandra Das angefangene Geschichte des Buddhismus in del' Mongolei etc.etc. Er verdanlet diese grossartige Erwerbung seiner personlichen Bekanntschaft mit dem Chutuktu von Peking. Auch del' prachtvolle handschriftliche Kandschur, del' jetzt mit dem erwahnten Tandschur del' kg!. Bibliothek angeboten ist, ist seiner Vermittlung zu verdanken. Er stammt aus einer colossalen Gebetmuhle, die jetzt in Folge des Frevels eingerostet ist. Ein Holzdruck ersetzte die Stelle del' Beute: und da Geschriebenes zu beten lOx wertvoller ist, als Gedtucletes, verfiigte der Lama, dass alle Gebete, in dem bezuglichen Tempel verrichtet, jetzt den zehnfachen INert haben sollen." 118 Berlin: VV Spemann, 1890, 45-116 (Veroffentlichungen aus dem Koniglichen Museum fur Volkerkunde, 1,2/3). 139 V,,'handlzmgen del' Bediner Gesellscbaft fiil' Anthropologie, Etbnologie Zlnd UI-gescbichte, 1889, 199-210. 140 Zeitscbl-iftfiir Ethnologie 21 (1889): 44-78. 141 Cf. Hans Korner, "Die Bruder Schlagintweit," in Del' H7eg ZZlm Dacb del' Welt, eds. Claudius C. Millier and Walter Raunig (Innsbruclc Pinguin; Frankfurt a.lvI.: Umschau, 1982): 62-75, and several other contributions in the same volume. 142 Cf. vVilhelm v'iTolkenhauer, "Schlagi(1tweit, Emil," Allgemeine Deutscbe Biogl'apbie 31 (1890): 337-347; Hessische Biograpbien 1 (1918): 388-393. 143 Emil Schlagintweit, Buddbism in Tibet. Illustrated by literary documents and objects of religious worship, with an account of the Buddhist systems preceding it in India (Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus; London: Trubner, 1863, XXIV; 403 p., 20 p. of Tibetan text; with an atlas in folio). 144 Le bouddbisme au Tibet; precede d'un resume des precedents systemes bouddhiques dans !'Inde. Traduit de l'anglais par L. de lvIilloue (Lyon: Pitrat aine, 1881, L'OCVIII, 292 p.; Annales duNIusee Guimet, 3). 145 E. Schlagintweit, "Die Konige von Tibet von del' Entstehung ktiniglicher lvIacht in Yarlung bis zum Erloschen in Ladak," Abhandlztngen de1 KO'niglicb bayel'iscben Akademie del' Wissenscbaften I. Classe, 10 (1866): III, 797-879, Tib. text 1-19.


Hartmut vVa7mvens

La dwags l"gyal mbs, "Die Berechnung der Lehre"146 and "Lebensbeschreibung von Padma Sambhava dem Begriinder des Lamaismus 747 n. Chr."147 are his major works in the Tibetan field.

Tibetan Studies received a major stimulus through the work of 1VIoravian missionaries (Herrnhuter Briidergemeinde, United Brethren) in Ladakh and LahouJ.148 . Motivated by K. F. A. Giitzlaff they were interested in continuing their missionary work among the Mongols (which had some tradition in Sarepta on the Volga) in Central Asia. As the Russian government did not permit their passage through Russia they tried the Southern approach but were stopped in Ladakh. Accepting this as the will of the Lord, they started mission work there, which resulted in a very small number of converts but rich educational and literary achievements. As one primary goal of the mission was the translation of the Bible, or parts of it, an excellent command of the language(s) was important. ~While August Wilhehn Heyde (1825-1907) was a pioneer who collaborated in the revision of Sarat Chandra Das's Tibetan-English dictionary149 the main linguist was Heinrich August Jaschke (1817-1883YsO who spent the
146 E. Schlagintweit, "Die Berechnung der Lehre. Eine Streitschrift zur Berichtigung der buddhistischen Chronologie verfasst im Jahre 1591 von Surepmatibhadra. Aus dem Tibetischen iibersetzt," Abbandlungen del' Koniglieh bayerischen Akade17Zie der vVissensehaften I. Classe, 20 (1897): 589-670. 147 E. Schlagintweit, "Die Lebensbeschreibung von Padma Sambhava dem Begriinder des Lamaismus 747 n. Chr.," Abbandlungen de>' Koniglieb BaYe1"iseben Akade17Zie del" vVissensehaften I, Classe, 21 (1898/99): II, 417-444; 22 (1903/04): III, 517-576. (0 rgyan gu ru Padma 'byung gnas kyi skyes rabs rnam par thar pa rgyas par bkod pa'i Padma bka'i thang yig). Reprint Ulm: Fabri Verlag, 1990. 148 H. Walravens and iVlanfred Taube, August He177wnn Francke lt11d die WesthinzalayalvIission der Hermhute1" Briidergemeine. Eine Bibliographie mit Standortnachweisen der tibetischen Drucke. Mit einem Beitrag von Michael Hahn (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1992, 531 p., 281 ill. on pl.; Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. Suppl. 34); H. vValravens, "The iVloravian mission and its research on the language and culture of Western Tibet," OTiens Extl"e17Z1IS 35 (1992): 159-169; Wissenschaftsgescbicbte lmd gegenwartige FOTschzmgen in Nordwest-Indien. Internationales Kolloquium vom 9. bis 13. iVIarz 1987 in Herrnhut (Dresden: Staatliches Museum fur Vblkerkurtde, 1990; Dresdner Tagungsberichte, 2). The latter volume contains also Gudrun Meier, "Heinrich August Jaschke -Person und wissenschaftliche vVirksamkeit," 15-27; iVIanfred Taube, "Zu den altesten tibetischen Ubersetzungen der Herrnhuter Briider," 60-65; John Bray, "A history of the iVloravian Church's Tibetan Bible translations," 66-79. 149 A Tibetan-English dietionazy with Sansk'7t synonyms. By Sarat Chandra Das, Rai Bahadur, C.I.E., author of A journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet. Revised and edited under the orders of the Government of Bengal by Graham Sandberg, B. A., chaplain, H. M. Indian Service; author of A hand-book of colloquial Tibetan, Manual of the Sikkim-Bhutia language, Milaraspa, Tibetan poet and mystic, etc. etc. and William Heyde, one of the revisors of the Tibetan New Testament, Moravian missionary on the Tibetan frontier (Calcutta: Bengal Secretariat, 1902, XXXIV, 1353 p.). On Heyde, see Gerhard Heyde, SO Jahre 'mt"'" Tibetern. Lebensbild des Wilhelm und der Maria Heyde (Herrnhut: Missionsbuchhandlung, 1921, 78 p.). 150 Theodor Bechler, Heim'ich August Jasehke, del' geniale Spmchforseher del" iYlission deT Bl"iide1-genzeine 11m,," den Tibetern inz west/iehen Hinzalaya (Herrnhut: Missionsbuchhandlung,

Some Notes on Early Tibetan Studies in Elwope


years 1856-1868 in Lahoul (Kye-lang). During this time he prepared A short pmcticaJ gramma7' of tbe Tibetan language l51 and a first version of a Tibetan-English dictiona7JI. 152 After his return he produced a handwritten Himdwo'1'terbucb del' tibetiscben Spmcbe. 153 Because of these achievements the British Indian government commissioned Jaschke to prepare an English version of his dictionary, and this was published in London in 1881. 154 This work contains quotations and references and has been one of the standard dictionaries to this day. For his dictionary}iischke had new types cut which are among the most satisfactory; they are usually called "Jaschke type." ISS Jaschke's scholarly work was continued in a way by August Hermann Francke (1870-1930) who published widely and became Professor of Tibetan at Berlin University in 1922. Especially noteworthy are his publications on the Gesar saga, Ladakhi songs, the Doghra War, foxlore, the history of Ladakh, Ladakh epigraphy, the Bon religion, and documents found in Turfan and Eastern Turkestan. He was one of the main translators of the Bible into Tibetan (with Yoseb Gergan),I5' Dam pa'i gsung mb ces bya ba. 157

Ruth Georg Huth (1867-1906) studied Sanskrit under Albrecht vVeber, learnt Tibetan on his own, and in 1892 he took his "Habilitation" in Tibetan and Mongolian at Berlin University. His main interests were Tibetan, Central Asian history and epigraphy. In 1896 he undertook a study trip to Siberia, backed by the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences to study Tungus dialects. In 1902-1903 he accompanied Albert Griinwedel on the Turfan Expedition and collected Turbc folklore, Among his students was Berthold Laufer (1874-1934) who wrote his obituaryYs Huth's major work in the Tibetan field is Gescbicbte des Buddbismus in deT Mongolei. 159 It consists of the Tibetan text and a volume containing the German trans1930,67 p.; Herrnhuter Missionsmdien, 25); G. Th. Reichelt, Heinrich August Jaschke, "Auf Grund der Aufzeichnungen eines seiner fruheren Schuler," Litemtzwblatt fit,. o1'ientalische Philologie (1884): 245-252. See also Josef Kolmas, "Jaschkeana," Anbiv oTientdlni 60 (1992): 113127. 151 with special reftTence to the spoken dialects (Kye-Iang, 1865, II, 56 p.). 152 Romanized Tibetan and English dictional)', each word being reproduced in the Tibetan as well as in the Roman character (Kye-lang, 1866, II, 156 p.). 153 Gnadau: Unitatsbuchhandlung, 1871-1876, 6, x,'C, 671 p. 4". 154 Tibetan-English dictionaTY, with special reference to the prevailing dialects. To which is added an English-Tibetan vocabulary, XXII, 671 p. 155 J. Schubert, "Typographia tibetana," GzttenbezgJal,,'bucb (1950): 280-298. 156 Lahore: Bible Society ofIndia, 1948, 926, 454; 420 p., reproduced from Gergan's handwriting.
157 A biography and full bibliography is to be found in "Valravens and Taube, August He177W12n Fmncke .... This volume contains also the full translation of the Lower Ladakhi versi9n of the Gesar saga into German. ISS B. Laufer, "Georg Huth," T'oung pao 67 (1905): 702-706. With comprehensive list of publications. 159 Georg Huth, Gescbichte des Buddbis71ZZIS in dellvlongolei. Mit einer Einleimng: Politische Geschichte der iVlongolen. Aus dem Tibetischen des 'Jigs-med nam-mkha' herausgegeben, ubersetztund erlautert. Vols. 1-2 (Strassburg: Karl Trubner, 1893, 1896, X, 296; XXXII, 456 p.).


Hartmut Walravens

lation. Die Inschriften von Tsaghan Baifi1i are explained and translated' from the Mongolian and the Tibetan textS. '60 To the vVeber Festschrift Huth contributed Eine tibetische Quelle zur Kenntnis der Geographie Indiens. '6' Its basis is a Tibetan text by Sum pa mkhan po (1743-1776), formerly owned by Anton Schiefner. Rockhill William Woodville Rockhill (1854-1914),62 has attracted attention mainly as a diplomat. '63 Without diminishing Rockhill's political exploits it seems that his achievements as an explorer and scholar are of longer lasting importance. Besides the description of his travels'64 the translations of the Uditnavarga from the Kandjur'65 and the Life ofthe Buddha (from Kandjur and Tandjur)'66 are particularly noteworthy. Zach Erwin von Zach (1872-1942), the eminent expert on Chinese poetry,'67 would never have considered himself a Tibetologist. But as a lexicographer working with polyglot texts he included Tibetan among his studies. In the present context two papers are noteworthy and might prove useful in dealing with Chinese sources on . Tibet: "Tibetische Ortsnamen",68 and "Tibetische Oro- und Hydrographie."'69 Both are based on the polyglot dictionary Xiyzt tongwen zhi iW~filJJt~ .

160 Georg Huth, Die Insch,iften von Tsaghan Baisin. Tibetisch-mongolischer Text. NIit einer Ubersetzung sowie sprachlichen und historischen Erlauterungen herausgegeben (Leipzig: Brockhaus in Comm., 1894, 63 p., 1 pl.). 161 Georg Huth, "Eine tibetische Quelle zur Kenntnis der Geographie Indiens," Gurupujakaumudf. Festgabe zum 50jahrigen Doctorjubilaum Albrecht 'Weber dargebracht (Leipzig, 1896): 89-92. 162 Henri Cordier, "w. W. Rockhill," T'oung pao 15 (1915): 160-164; Benhold Laufer, "William Woodville Rockhill," T'oztngpao 16 (1915): 289-290. 163 Paul A. Varg, Open door diplomat. The life of W. W. Rockhill (Urbana: Univ. of illinois Press, 1952, IX, 141 p.; new edition: Westpon CT, 1974); Kenneth Wunmel, William Woodville Rockhill. Scholar-diplomat of the Tibetan highlands (Bangkok: Orchid Press, 2003). On Rockhill, see also the contribution by Lopez in this volume (pp. 180-181). 164 William W. Rockhill, The land of the Lamas. Notes of a journey through China, Mongolia and Tibet, with maps and illustrations (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1891, VIII, 399 p.). 165 W. W. Rockhill, Udiinavaz-ga. A collection verses from the Buddhist Canon. Compiled by Dharmatriita. Being the Northern Buddhist version of Dhammapada. Translated from the Tibetan of the Bkah-hgyur. With notes and extracts from the commentary of Pradjniivarman (London: Triibner, 1883, XVI, 224 p.; Triibner's Oriental Series). From Kandjur, vol. 26 (mDo). 166 W. W. Rockhill, The life of the Buddha and the eady history of his order. Derived from Tibetan works in the Bkah-hgyur and Bstan-hgyur. Followed by notices on the early history of Tibet and Khoten (London: Triibner, 1884, XII+ 273 p.; Triibner's Oriental Series). 161 'See Alfred Hoffmann, "Erwin Ritter von Zach," O,-iens e:r:tremus 10 (1963): 1-60; Berrihard Fiihrer, Vergessen und ver/oren (Bochum: Projekt Verlag, 2001): 157-187. 16' Zach, Le.~icographische Beitrage 1 (Peking, 1902): 83-98. 169 Zach, Lexicographiscbe Beitriige3 (Peking, 1905): 108-135.

Some Notes on Early Tibetan Studies in Ew'ope



Let us close this brief survey with a look at Berthold Laufer's early work. Laufer (1874-1934)'70 was a native of Cologne, and studied with vVilhelm Grube,l71 Huth and Georg von der Gabelentz (1840-1893),172 son of the famous linguist Hans Conon von der Gabelentz (1807-1874).173 Among his early contributions to Tibetan Studies there is an analysis of the linguistic work Za ma tog by a Zha lu pa, a monk of the Zha lu monastery; it was completed in 1513 and intends to serve as a practical handbook of orthography and grammar174 Another linguistic paper deals with the wa zur, the underwritten triangular lettel' wa. 175 Ein Siihngedicht der Bonpo '76 gives the Bon poem in transcription and translation with an extensive analysis and glossary; Schiefner had already seen this text in the Schlagintweit collection in Oxford, Ober ein tibetisches Geschichtswerle del' Bonpo 177 analyzes a manuscript sent to Laufer by Sarat Chandra Das and gives a translation of chapters 21-23 of the rGyal rabs bon gyi 'byung gnas, Laufer's further Tibetan studies cover translations from .LVIi la ras pa's Hundl'ed Thousand Songs (rJe btszm NJi fa ms pa'i nzam thar rgyas par phye ba mgur 'bum),178 "The Bru-za language and the historical position of Padmasambhava,,,'79

170 Cf. B. Laufer, Kleinel'e Scbriften, voL 1: lvEt Vorwort von J. Needham (vViesbaden: Steiner, 1976); Kieinere Scbriften, voL 2 (Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1979); Kleinel'e Scbriften, voL 3: Nachtrage und Briefwechsel (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1985; Sinologica Coloniensia, 13); H. Walravens, "Laufer, Berthold," Neue Detttscbe Biogmpbie 13 (1982): 710-711. On the figure of Laufer, see also the contribution by Lopez in this volume (pp. 184-185). 171 Cf. Herbert Mueller, In 71zemoriam Wilbelnz Grube (17. August 1855 bis 1. Juli 1908) (Berlin: O. von Holten, 1908, 15 p.); H. Walravens, "Verzeichnis der Schriften von vVilhelm Grube (17.8.1855-2.7.1908)," Uralaltaiscbe Jab1-biiebe7' NF 1 (1981): 241-254; Grube, by the way, offered Tibetan courses at Berlin University, and he also continued his teacher Vasil'ev's style of advising serious young sinologists to take up lvianchu, lvlongolian, and Tibetan (besides, of course, Japanese). 17l Cf. Eberhardt Richter and Manfred Reichardt (eds.), Hans Geol'g Conon von der Gabelentz, El'be lind Velpjlichtzmg (Berlin, 1979; Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR, Zentralinstitut fur Sprachwissenschaft, Linguistische Studien. Reihe A: Arbeitsberichte, 53). 173 Cf. H. vValravens, Die Gescbichte von Kama Chan. Ein mongolischer ErzahlzykIus. Nach einer nun verschollenen Handschrift iibersetzt von Hans Conan von der Gabelentz CWiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2004): 181-194. 174 Berthold Laufer, "Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft der Tibeter. Zamatog," Sitztt1Zgsb"'icbte deT Kb"niglicb Bayel'iscl"n Alwdenzie de7' yVissensehaften, Pbilosophiscb-pbilologiscbe ttnd bistorisehe Classe 1 (1898): 519-594.


Laufer, "Uber das va


Ein Beitrag zur Phonetik der tibetischen Sprache," ]/Viener

Zeitscbriftfiirdie Kunde des lVIorgenlandes 12 (1898): 289-307; 13 (1899): 95-109, 199-226. 176 Laufer, Ein Siibngedicht del' Bonpo. Aus einer Handschl,ift de,. Oxfm'der Bodleiana (Vienna: Carl Gerold in Comm., 1900, 60 p.; Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der vVissenschaften in vVien, Philophisch-historische Klasse, 47,7). ' 177 Laufer, "Dber ein tibetisches Geschichtswerk der Bonpo," T'oungpao 2 (1901): 24-44. 178 Laufer, Aus den Gescbichten und LiedeT1J des lVIilm'aspa (Vienna: Gerold in Comm, 1902, 62 p.; Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Philophischhistorische Klasse, 48, 2). 179 Laufer, "Die Bru-za Sprache und die historische Stellung des Padmasambhava," T'otmg pao 9 (1908): 1-46.


Hm1:77Z11t Walravens

the "Story of a Tibetan Queen,"!BO Loan-words in Tibetan,!" Bi1-d divination among tbe Tibetans IS2 and many more which would deserve a detailed analysis. The same is true for the works of Albert Griinwedel (1856-1935).'"3

By the turn of the twentieth century it is no longer justifiable to speak of "early" Tibetan studies, and therefore this brief survey of the development of early Tibetan studies comes to an end. Although the study of Tibetan had not secured a firm position in European academia by 1900, there was a solid basis to build on. The new century showed an unprecedented expansion of Tibetan Studies. IS4 On one hand the growing interest in Buddhism promoted the study of Tibetan-for the scholars, it had become evident that lost Sanskrit texts were still extant in the form of Tibetan translations; for a larger audience the forceful integration of Tibet into the People's Republic of China and the emigration of a large number of Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama, created worldwide interest. This coincided with a strong popular. demand for spiritual guidance after vVorld vVar II, and Buddhist monasteries sprouted in North America and Europe.!SS Translations of Tibetan texts are available in popular editions, and while Tibet is nowadays less of a country of mystery, for many it is still a Shangri-la.

ISO Laufer, bTszm-77Zo Ma'j tbmi-yig. Del' Roman einer tibetiscben Konigin. Tibetischer Text und Ubersetzung. NEt 8 lamaistischen Abbildungen nach den Originalen gezeichnet von Prof. Griinwedel (Leipzig: Harrassowitz 1911, X, 264 p.). ISL Laufer, "Loan-words in Tibetan," T'ozmgpao 17 (1916): 403-552. L82 Laufer, "Bird divination among the Tibetans (notes on document Pelliot no. 3530, with a study of Tibetan phonology of the ninth century)," T'oung pao 15 (1914): 1-110. 183 Cf. J. Schubert, "Albert Gliinwedel und sein Werk," Artibus Asiae 6 (1936): 124-142; H. vValravens, Albe1-t Griimvedel: Briefe und Dokumente (vViesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2001; Asienund Afrika-Studien der Humboldt-Universitiit zu Berlin, 9). 184 Just one criterion may be the proliferation of Tibetan dictionaries: More than 300 dictionaries, vocabularies and word lists are presented in a current survey: BibliogTaphies of lvIongolian, NIancbu-Tungus, and Tibetan Dictionmies. Compiled by Larry V Clark, John R. Krueger, M. Taube, H. vValravens, Michael L. vValter (vViesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2006; Orientalistik Bibliographien und Dokumentationen, 20). 185 For a pr~sentation on the implantation of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in Europe, and more particularly in France, see the contribution by Lionel Obadia in this volume.

Tibetology in the United States of America: A Brief History This essay offers a historical survey of the development of Tibetology in the United . States of America during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For purposes of organization, the development of Tibetan Studies in the US is presented here in tWo periods: the period prior to the flight of the fourteenth Dalai Lama into exile in 1959 and the period from 1959 to the present. The first period includes the work of such notable figures as William W. Rockhill, the first American scholar of Tibet, and Walter Y. Evans-Wentz, the Theosophist who brought The Tibetan Book a/the Dead to the world. The second. period saw the arrival of a number of prominent Tibetan lamas and scholars in the United States, several of whom played important roles not only in the dissemination of Tibetan Buddhism but in the development of American Tibetology as an academic discipline. .

La tibetologie aux Etats-Unis : aper\;u historique Cette etude propose un apef((u historique du developpementde la tibetologie aux EtatsUnis durant les XIX' et xx' siecles. Dans un souei de clarete, Ie developpement des etudes tibetaines est presente, ici, en deux p6riodes : la periode anterieure au depart en exil du 14' Dalai Lama en 1959 et la periode de 1959 it nos jours. La premiere periode inclut les travaux de figures remarquables. telles que William W. Rockhill, Ie premier chercheur americain it avoir etudie Ie Tibet, et Walter Y. Evans-Wentz, Ie theosophe qui revel a au monde Le livre des morts tibetain. La seconde periode vit l'arrivee aux Etats-Unis d'un certain nombre d'eminents lamas tibetains et de chercheurs, dont plusieurs jouerent un rOle important non seulement dans Ie rayonnement du bouddhisme tibetain mais aussi dans Ie developpement de la tibetologie americaine en tant que discipline academique.



Donald S. LOPEZ, Jr:

Vix enim credibile mihi videbatur tantam esse Tangutanorum gloriam, & vetustatem, ut vel ipsa litterarum elementa haberent, quae a se primum Americanis tradita ostentare possent. (Of course, it appeared to me hardly credible that the glory and antiquity of the Tanguts [Tibetans] would be so great that they would even have their own letters, which they would have revealed to the Americans of all people.) Antonio Agostino Giorgi, 1762

n the 1714 issue of the scholarly journal Philosophical Transactions, Giving Some Accozmt of the Present Undertakings, Studies, and Labours of the Ingenious in Many Considerable Parts of the World, there is a summary of letters sent by the famous

Puritan clergyman of Boston, Cotton Mather (1663-1728), to the Royal Society in London on the flora and fauna of the New World, letters that Mather referred to collectivelyas "Curiosa Americana." A letter to one Richard Waller, apparently written in 1712, describes a large rock along the river at Taunton, Massachusetts, "on the perpendic-

ular side ofwhich, ne..ti: to the Stream, are 7 or 8 Lines, about 7 or 8 Foot long, and about a Foot wide, each of them ingrcwen with unaccountable Characters, not like any known Character." 1
Mather provided a sketch of these characters, which was published in the journaL Philosophical Transactions was apparently widely read. On October 31, 1724, the French historian and linguist Mathurin Veyssiere de la Croze (1661-1739) wrote from Berlin, in Latin, to Gottlieb Siegfried Bayer (1694-1738), an Orientalist in St. PetersDurg: Before long I will receive something absolutely wondrous, an epigraph found near Boston, New England. It has been already printed in the Philosophical Transactions in 1714, whic.h however, I have not yet seen. A friend of mine, a I am grateful to Isrun Engelhardt, Janet Gyatso, and David Jackson for their comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this essay. I Philosophical Transactions 29 (covering the years 1714-1716), no. 339, 70-71. Italics in the original.

I",ages o[Tibet in the 19" and 20" Cmt,,,,;es Paris,EFEO, coll. Etudes them.riques (22.1), 2008, p. 179-198


Donald S. Lopez, Jr.

scholar, informed me that he observed Tangut [Tibetan] letters in it. If this would be true, it would open an immense field to reveal the origins of the Americans. By the way, the characters are engraved in natural stone. I am surprised by the inaction of scholars, who have either neglected or scorned the inscription, although it has been published for some years.' It seems that, for reasons that remain unclear, some time after the publication in 1714 of the sketch of the characters described by Mather, the script came to be identified as "Tanguticas," Tangut, at that time, a synonym for Tibetan. La Craze's letter was in turn read by the Augustinian friar Antonio Agostino Giorgi, compiler of the massive Latin Alphabetum Tibetanzmz, a summary of the records of the Capuchin mission to Lhasa (1708-1745), published in 1762. In the preface to this work, he cites la Croze's letter, expressing his astonishment, and incredulity, as the epigraph above testifies.] Unfortunately, the identification of the letters was wrong. The script looks nothing like Tibetan, or Tangut for that matter. Thus, despite the hopes offered by this obscure reference, Tibetology did not begin in the United States in the early eighteenth century, but rather later. In the eighteenth century, there was no American equivalent of George Bogle, British Envoy to the Lama of Tibet. In the nineteenth century; there was no American equivalent of Alexander Csoma de K6ros. Significant American travel into the Tibetan plateau began only in the late nineteenth century, and the reports and scholarship from that period, with some notable exceptions, largely form footnotes in the history of Tibetology. The American contribution to this history, sometimes significant, has also at times had unexpected effects, as Cotton NIather's letter somehow portends. The American encounter with Tibet has occurred, roughly speaking, in two periods, which for purposes of organization may be divided by the year 1959, the date of the Dalai Lama's flight into exile and thus the generally accepted date for the beginning of the Tibetan diaspora. It was only after 1959 that a significant number of Americans began to study Tibet, its language, and especially its religions, in earnest and in an academic setting, an opportunity made possible in many ways by the presence of Tibetan lamas in the United States. This is not to suggest that there was no important scholarship prior to this year. The brief history presented below will consider the development of American Tibetology in these two periods, before and after 1959.
"Propediem accipiam rem prorsus mirabilem; inSCTiptio17em plzt1"i771oTll7lz
venll7Jt p1~ope

Bastonem ,'ep,,'tam in Nova Anglia. lam typis expressa est in T'ransactionibus Pbilosopbicis Anglorztm anni MCCXrv; at mihi nondum visa. Retulit mihi amicus quidam meus, eruditus vir, se in ea litteras Tanguticas observasse, quod si verum est, ingens campus aperitur

detegendis originibus Americanorum. Ceterum hae litterae in lapide vivo inscultptae sunt.
Nliror eruditorum socordiam, qui hanc inscriptionem iam ante aliquod annos editam, aut neglexerunt, aut contemserunt. Be1"olini, pridie Caiendas Novemb1"eS 1724." lvlathurin Veyssiere de la Croze, Thesazwus Epistolicus Lac7'ozianus (Leipzig, 1746): vol. 3, 62. I am grateful to Isrun

Engelhardt for both bringing this obscure reference to my attention and for providing the translation from the Latin.
See Antonio Agostino Giorgi, Alphabetum tibetan'ltm missio7Z'lt77Z apostolicaru77Z c077t77todo

editu", (Cologne: Editiones Una Voce, 1987): VII.

Tibetology in the United States ofAmez'ica


Amez'ican Tibetology pZ'ior to 1959

Perhaps the first scholarly discussion of Tibetan Buddhism in the United States took place in Boston on May 28, 1844 at the first meeting of the American Oriental Society. There, Edward Eldridge Salisbury (1814-1901), Sanskrit instructor at Yale University and Congregationalist minister, presented a paper entitled "Memoir on the History of Buddhism." Salisbury had recently returned from studying with Eugene Burnouf in Paris, and much of his long paper (55 pages of small print) was drawn from Burnouf's Introduction it l'histoin du Buddhimze indien. While in Paris, Salisbury had become acquainted with the work of the great Orientalists of the day: he cites the work ofTurnour, Abel-Remusat, Ritter, Hodgson, and Csoma de Koras, among others. He devotes five pages to the history of Buddhism in Tibet, drawing from IsaakJakob Schmidt's 1829 Geschichte deT Ost-il1ongolen zmd ihz'es Fii7'Stenhauses,
vezfasst von Ssanang Ssetsen Chungtaidschi dez' On/us

In part because of the influence of Burnouf's monumental Intl'oduction, in part because of the great interest in Sanskrit studies, much of the scholarly American interest in Buddhism was directed toward India and thus away from the lands to which Buddhism spread, including Tibet. Later in the nineteenth century, American interest would be directed to Tibet, but through an unlikely route. The Theosophical Society was founded in New York in 1875 by Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891), a Russian emigre, and Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1907), a journalist and veteran of the Union Army during the American Civil vVar. The goals of tlleir Society were "to diffuse among men a knowledge of the laws inherent in the universe; to promulgate the knowledge of the essential unity of all that is, and to determine that this unity is fundamental in nature; to form an active brotherhood among men; to study ancient and modern religion, science, and philosophy; and to investigate the powers innate in man." Madame Blavatsky claimed to have spent seven years in Tibet as a initiate of a secret order of enlightened masters called the Great White Brotherhood. These masters, whom she called Mahatmas ("great souls"), lived in Tibet but were not themselves Tibetan. In fact, the very presence of the Mahatmas in Tibet was unknown to ordinary Tibetans. These masters had once lived throughout the world, but had congregated in Tibet to escape the onslaught of civilization. Throughout her career, she (and later, other members of the society) claimed to be in esoteric communication with the ~Mahatmas, sometimes through dreams and visions, but most commonly through letters that either materialized in a cabinet in Madame Blavatsky's room or that she transcribed through automatic writing. Blavatsky and Olcott sailed to India in 1879. There they would eventually meet Sarat Chandra Das and U rgyan rgya mtsho (Ugyen Gyatso), a Sikkimese lama who was the Tibetan language instructor at the Bhutia Boarding School in Darjeeling.
See Edward Eldridge Salisbury, "Memoir on the History of Buddhism, read before the American Oriental Society, at their Annual Meeting, in Boston, May 28, 1844," Journal of the A77ze1'ican OZ'iental Society 1 (1849): 120-125.


Donald S. Lopez, J'~.

Das and U rgyan rgya mtsho had traveled together to bKra shis lhun po, arid Olcott describes their journey, as recounted to him by Das and in Das's Na7'Tative of a JouTney to Lhasa in 1881-82, in his Old DiaTY Leaves. s The Theosophists' interest in the dGe lugs, in bKra shis lhun po, and in the "Teshu Lama," may derive from their contact with Sarat Chandra Das and U rgyan rgya mtsho. 6 The Theosophical Society enjoyed great popularity in America, Europe, and India (despite repeated scandals and a report by the Society of Psychical Research that denounced Madame Blavatsky as a fraud), playing an important but ambiguous role in the Hindu renaissance in India and the Buddhist renaissance in Sri Lanka (where Henry Olcott was particularly active). Its popularity continued after the death of the founders and into the twentieth century. Although no longer as famous as it once had been, the society remains active, with its international headquarters in Pasadena, California. The Theosophical Society has had a profound effect on the reception of Asian religions, especially Hinduism and Buddhism, in Europe and America during the twentieth century, inspiring, among other works, the EvansvVentz tetralogy (discussed below). The fanciful images of Tibet presented in the works of the Theosophists were not, however, the only reports of Tibet flowing from American pens in the nineteenth century. The most serious and important work on Tibet produced by an American during the nineteenth century was certainly that of vVilliam Woodville Rockhill (1854-1914). Although born in Philadelphia, Rockhill was raised and educated in France, graduating with honors from the .Ecole Speciale Militaire de St. Cyr. While in Paris, he studied Tibetan with Philippe-Edouard Foucaux. After serving three years in the French Foreign Legion in Algeria, he returned to the United States in 1876. Failing as a rancher in New Mexico, he joined the American diplomatic corps, where he enjoyed a distinguished career, serving in succession as Second Secretary and then Secretary of the American legation in Peking (1884-1888), Charge d'Mfaires ad interim in Seoul (1886-1887), Chief Clerk in the Department of State (1893-1894), Third Assistant Secretary of State (1894-1895), Assistant Secretary of State (1896-1897), and Minister to Greece, Romania, and Serbia (1897-1899). He played a central role in formulating the American response to the Boxer Rebellion, the "Open Door" policy, while seeking to preserve the integrity of China. He served as chief American negotiator of the Boxer Protocols and was appointed Minister to China (1905-1909).1 In the midst of this active diplomatic; career, Rockhill produced a number of important works on Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. Perhaps the most famous of these is his 1891 The Land of the Lamas: Notes on a Journey th1'ough China, lWongolia Henry Steel Olcott, Old Dim) Leaves (Adyar, India: Theosophical Publishing House,
1974-75): vol. 4, 4-6.
6 See Donald S. Lopez, Jr. P"isoners of Sbang"i-La: Tibetan Bnddbis7JZ and tbe }Vest (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1998): 234-236, note 12. 7 For biographies of Rockhill, see Paul A. Varg, Open Doo,. Diplomat: Tbe Life of W. W. Rockbill (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1952) and Kenneth vVimmel, William Woodville Rockhill (Bangkok: Orchid Press, 2003).

Tibetology in the United States ofAmerica


and Tibet, a work that begins, "Tibet has been my life hobby." In these and other works, Rockhill was able to combine observations from his extensive travels in the Tibetan cultural domain with his ability to both read and speak Tibetan, interspersing eyewitness accounts with translations of passages from important Tibetan texts. Rockhill was particularly interested in the institution of the Dalai Lama, and in 1910 published in T'oung Pao a lengthy article entitled "The Dalai Lamas of Lhasa and their Relations with the Manchu Emperors of China, 1644-1908." Rockhill made important contributions to Buddhist Studies from Tibetan sources, publishing in 1883 a translation of the Udiinavarga and, in 1884, drawing on the Mruasarvastivada vinaya, The Life of the Buddha and the Earl:y History of His Order, Derived from Tibetan works in the Bkah-hgyur and Bstan-hgyur, Followed by Notices on the Earl:y History of Tibet and Khoten. He was also interested in the history of European travel in the region, publishing in 1900 his translation from the Latin, The Journey of William of Rubntck to the Eastern Parts of the Wodd, 1253-55, as narmted by himself, with two accounts ofthe earlier journey ofJohn ofPian de Carpine. Perhaps the most far-reaching contribution to popular interest in Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism in the first half of the twentieth century was made by an American who lacked Rockhill's Tibetological skills. Walter Wentz was born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1878, the son of a German immigrant and an American Quaker. He took an early interest in the books on spiritualism in his father's library, reading as a teen both Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine by Madame Blavatsky.. These works were to have a profound effect on Walter Wentz. vVentz moved to California at the turn of the century, where he joined the American Section of the Theosophical Society in 1901 at its headquarters in Point Loma, headed by Katherip,e Tingley, who had established there the Raja-Yoga School and College, Theosophical University, and the School for the Revival of the Lost Mysteries of Antiquity. At Tingley's urging, Wentz enrolled at Stanford University, where he studied with William James and William Butler Yeats. Upon his graduation, Wentz went to Jesus College at Oxford in 1907, where he studied Celtic folklore. It was there that he added a family name from his mother's side to his surname and became Walter Evans-Wentz. After completing his thesis, later published as The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries (1911), he began a world tour financed' by the income he received from rental properties in Florida. He was in Greece when the First World vVar broke out, and spent most of the war in Egypt. From Egypt, he traveled to Sri Lanka and then on to India. Evans-Wentz visited the Theosophical Society headquarters at Adyar and met with Annie Besant. In north India, he studied with various Hindu gurus, especially Swami Satyananda. In 1919 he arrived in Darjeeling, where he acquired a worn manuscript of a Tib~tan text from a monk (some sources mdicate that he acquired it in the bazaar). It was a portion of The Profound Doctrine of Self-Liberation of the Mind [through Encountering] the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities (Zab chos zhi khro dgongs pa rang grot) said to have been discovered in the fourteenth century by Karma gling pa (1352-1405). The text is also known as the Kar gling zhi khro or the Peaceful and Wi-athfol Deities According to Ka1'1nalingpa and as the Bar do thos grol chen mo, The Great Liberation in


Donald S. Lopez, Jr.

the Intermediate State through Hearing. Provided with a letter of introduction from the local superintendent of police, Sardar Bahadur Laden La (with whom he would later collaborate), Evans-Wentz, who could not read Tibetan, took the text to the English teacher at the Maharaja's Boy's School in Gangtok, named Ga zi Zla ba bsam grub, rendered in English as Kazi Dawa Samdup (1868-1922). Kazi Dawa Samdup agreed to provide a translation, and over the course of the next two months he met with Evans-Wentz each morning before his school day began. The translations that Kazi Dawa Samdup made for Evans-Wentz would eventually appear in three books: The Tibetan Book of the Dead (1927), Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines (1935), and The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation (1954). Their time together was brief, however, with Evans-vVentz soon moving back to the ashram of Swami Satyananda to practice yoga. He returned to Gangtok to visit Kazi Dawa Samdup in 1920, shortly before Dawa Samdup's appointment to the post of Lecturer iIi Tibetan at the University of Calcutta. This was to be their last meeting; Kazi Dawa Samdup died in 1922. In 1924, Evans-Wentz visited Kazi Dawa Samdup's family in Kalimpong, from whom he received a manuscript translation of the rJe btsun bka' 'bum (The Hundred Thousand Words of the Master [Mi la ras pal), which EvansvVentz subsequen"tly edited and published as Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa (1928).8 There is little testimony as to precisely how their collaboration took place. Kazi Dawa Samdup's English was presumably adequate to the task of producing rough translations. Evans-Wentz describes himself as having served as the lama's "living English dictionary." One can thus assume that much of the terminology derived from Evans-Wentz. And Evans-vVentz provided the lengthy introductions and copious annotations, which together provide the four books with his unmistakable stamp. He did not claim that they were scholarly works; he noted presciently that a critical study of the texts from the perspectives of philology, history, and philosophy was a task for scholars of the future. Instead, he described his works as "anthropological," taking anthropology to mean, "the Knowing, or Knowledge, of Man." Evans-Wentz made several trips to India in the 1920s and 30s, studying yoga with several prominent neo-Vedantin teachers of the day, including Sri Yuketswar and Ramana Maharshi. He returned to Darjeeling in 1935 and employed two Sikkimese monks to translate another work from the same cycle of texts as the Bar do thos grol, entitled Self Liberation through Naked Vision Recognizing Awareness (Rig pa ngo sprod gce"P mthong rang groT). During the same visit, he received a summary of a famous biography of Padmasambhava, prepared by Sardar Bahadur Laden La, who had introduced him to Kazi Dawa Samdup some sixteen years before. These works would form. the last work in the series, The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, eventually published in 1954. Evans-Wentz returned to the United States in 1941, and spent the fmal twentythree years of his life at the Keystone Hotel in San Diego. He spent his final months at the Self-Realization Fellowship of Swami Yogananda (a disciple of Sri Yuketswar
For a biography of Evans-Wentz, see Ken Winkler, Pilgrim ofthe Clear Light (Berkeley, CA: Dawnfire Books, 1982): 44. See also John Myrdhin Reynolds in Self-Liberation Through Seeing with NakedAwareness (Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press, 1989): 71-78.

Tibetolog), in tbe United States ofAme7'ica


and author of the popular Azttobiognlphy of a Yogi) in Encinitas, California. Walter Evans-VVentz died in 1965. . The four books of Evans-VVentz were ground-breaking works, the first-beginning in 1927 with The Tibetan Book of the Dead-to bring translations of Tibetan Buddhist texts to the English-speaking public. Evans-Wentz was also prescient in his method, collaborating closely with Tibetan scholars, a practice that would not become common for another four decades, after 1959. Yet, few of the concerns of scholars-concerns of language or culture or history-are to be found in the books. Instead, they 'are presented as repositories of a timeless wisdom preserved by the East (which Evans-VVentz seems to identify with Theosophy), a wisdom that will someday save the vVest, ultimately overcoming the duality of the hemispheres to culminate in the Unity of Mankind. This apparently beatific vision has since been shown to be the product of a romantic Orientalism that viewed the traditions of Asia as a natural resource to be extracted and refined for the consumption of the West. Yet the four books of Evans-vVentz, especially the first, Tbe Tibetan Book of the Dead, represent an important moment in the history of Tibetology. The products of a chance encounter between a Sikkimese school teacher and an American eccentric traveling in British India in 1919, the books have proved to be among the most durable products of the century's romance of Tibet, radiating their influence far beyond what might be expected from such an unlikely beginning.' There were also Americans during this period who, unlike Evans-vVentz, lived in the Tibetan cultural domain. During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries, reports of Tibet, or about Tibetan border regions, were generated by Christian missionaries to the region. Although far fewer than the British, there were also American missionaries to these areas. One of the most well-known of these was the medical missionary Albert L. Shelton (1875-1922) of the Disciples of Christ, who established a mission hospital in the town of 'Ba' thang in Khams. He was murdered by bandits in 1922 while enroute to Lhasa, where he hoped also to establish a medical mission.!O The various paintings, images, books, and artifacts collected by Dr. Shelton provided the foundation of the Tibetan collection of the Newark Museum, still one of the leading collections of Tibetan artifacts in North America. Dr. Shelton was succeeded at the 'Ba' thang mission by Marion Herbert Duncan (1896-1977), who served in Khams from 1921 to 1935. Duncan produced a significant body of scholarship on the region, which remains of interest today, including
9 For a brief study and analysis of each of the four booles (from which the preceding is summarized), see the forewords (and in the case of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, also the afterword) by D. Lopez, to the new editions of the four books by Evans-Wentz, published by Oxford University Press in 2000. On The Tibetan Boo!e of the Dead, see also, D. Lopez, P1'IS01Ze7T of Shang7'i-La, 46-85. !O For a biography of Shelton, see Douglas A. Wissing, Pionee,. in Tibet: The Life and P"'ils of D1: AlbeTt Shelton (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004). For an overview of the publications of American missionaries in Tibet, see ~William S. Martin, "A Bibliographic Essay on American Missionaries to the Tibetans prior to 1950," in Jamyang Norbu, ed., Christian Missionaries and Tibet, Lungta Uournal of the Amnye Machen Institute, McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala], 11 (Winter 1998).


Donald S. Lopez, J1'.

such books as The JlIlountain of Silve1' Snow (192 9), Love Songs and P1'overbs of Tibet (1961), and Customs and Supentitions of tbe Tibetans (1964). Perhaps the most important of the American missionary contributions to Tibetology was made by Robert B. Ekvall (1898-1983). Ekvall was born in Gansu Province, the son of American missionaries of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (an evangelical Protestant group founded in 1887). He returned to the United States in 1912 for his education, attending Wheaton College in Illinois and the Nyack Missionary Institute in New York state. He returned to western China in 1922, where he would spend most of the next two decades, interrupted by a home furlough and a year of study of anthropology at the University of Chicago, where he wrote his 1940 Oultzwal Relations on tbe Kansu-Tibetan Emde1e He spoke several dialects of Chinese and the nomad dialect of A mdo fluently. Ekvallleft A mdo in 1941 to visit his son in French Indochina, and was interned by the Japanese when the United States entered the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in D~cember. He returned to the United States in 1943 and joined the US Army (he had also briefly served during INorld "Var I). He returned to Asia with the rank of captain, serving with the 5307,h Composite Unit (better Imown as "Merrill's Marauders") who fought the Japanese in the jungles of Burma. He was seriously wounded while serving with Chinese troops at the end of the war. After his recovery, he served on the staff of General George Marshall in Peking in 1946-1947. He left the army after the Communist victory in China, but was recalled to service in the Korean "Var. In 1954 he was invited to join the Inner Asia Research Project at the University of Washington in Seattle. There he renewed his scholarship on Tibet, producing Religious Obse1'vances in Tibet: Patte17Zs and Function (1964) and, with C. W Cassinelli, A Tibetan Principality: Tbe Political System of Sa Skya (1969). Both works relied on information drawn from interviews witll a Sa skya family living in Seattle (see below). Ekvall also wrote novels, including Tents Against tbe Sky (1954) and Tbe Lama Knows (1979). His ethnographic articles appeared in some of the leading anthropological journals, including lWan and American Anth'opologist. l1 The American academy has benefited like none other in the world from the presence of foreign scholars who have emigrated to the United States. In the field of Tibetology in the pre-1959 period, at least three deserve mention. The first is the renowned Berthold Laufer (1874-1934). Educated at the University of Leipzig, he made four major expeditions to the Himalayas, and spent most of his career as curator of Asiatic Etlmology and Anthropology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Among the expeditions in which he took part was the 1908 Blackburn Expedition (1908-1910), during which he was able to travel into Khams as far as sDe
11 This sketch of Ekvall's career is drawn from David P. Jackson, A Saint in Seattle: Tbe Life of tbe Tibetan j\/fystic Desbung Rinpocbe (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2003): 260264. David Jackson has provided a more detailed biography, together with a bibliography of Ekvall's many publications, in "The Life and vVritings of Robert B. Ekvall (1898-1983): Missionary, Soldier-Interpreter and Observer of Tibetan Nomadic Life," in Th,-ee lvIountains and Seven Rivers: Prof NI1iSasbi Tacbi"awa~ Felicitation Volume, eds. Shoun Hino and Toshihiro Wada (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2004): 609-635.

Tibetology in the United States ofAmerica


dge. Laufer collected hundreds of volumes of Tibetan texts as well as Tibetan art and artifacts, which today are held at the Field Museum. He published some 150 monographs over the course of his career, mostly dealing with diverse aspects of Chinese technology and material cult]lre, but, in the realm of Tibetology, a translation of a text on nagar and a study of Mi la ras pa. Some of his papers on Tibet were published posthumously in two volumes under the editorship of Hartmut Walravens, as Sino-

Tibetan Studies: Selected Papers on the Art, Folklore, History, Linguistics and PI'ehistory of Sciences in China and Tibet (1976 and 1985).
The second emigre scholar who might be mentioned is the botanist and explorer Joseph F. C. Rock (1884-1962).12 Born in Vienna, the son of a servant, Rock sailed to the United States in 1905, traveling on to Hawaii, at that time an American territory, in 1907. A remarkable autodidact, Rock trained himself in botany and in the following year was appointed Botanical Collector of the Division of Forestry for the territory of Hawaii. In 1911 he was appointed to the faculty of the College of Hawaii and was promoted to the rank of Professor of Systematic Biology in 1919. He published extensively on the flora of Hawaii, in such works as The Arborescent Indigenous.

Legumes ofHawaii.
After several trips to Southeast Asia, Rock went to China in 1922, with furi.ding provided by the Office of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction of the United States Department of Agriculture. He would spend much of the next twenty-seven years working asa botanist and ethnographer in the western borderlands of the Tibetan cultural region, with funds provided by the National Geographic Society, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, and the University of California at Berkeley. Based in Lijiang in Yunnan, he traveled extensively in the region, with expeditions to Co ne, Bla brang, and into the dangerous mGo log regions of A mdo. His most extensive ethnographic work was among tli:e Naxi people of Yunnan; he documented thelr rituals and studied their language (a two-volume dictionary of Naxi was published posthumously). He left China permanently in 1949 as PLA troops advanced on Lijiang. He spent his last years in Hawaii. Rock's most important contribution to Tibetan Studies was his The AmnyeMa-chhen Range and Adjacent Regions: A Monographic Study, published in Rome in 1956 as part ofT~cci's Serie Orientale. Rock also wrote for a more general audience, however, describing his adventures in numerous articles in National Geographic magazine, with such titles as "Land of the Yellow Lama: National Geographic Society Explorer Visits the Strange Kingdom of Muli, Beyond the Likiang Snow Range of Yiinnan Province, China" (April 1925), "Seeking the Mountains of Mystery: An Expedition on the China-Tibet Frontier to the Unexplored Amnyi Machen Range, One of Whose Peaks Rivals Everest" (February 1930), and "Life Among the Lamas of Choni: Describing the Mystery Plays and Butter Festival in the lVlonastery of an Almost Unknown Tibetan Principality in Kansu" (November 1928).
I2 On the life and work of Rock, see Stephanie B. Sutton, In China's B01"der Provinces: The Tur'bzdent Career ofJoseph Rock, Botanist-ee"plorer" (New York: Hastings House, 1974) and Hartmut vValravens (ed.), Joseph Franz Rock (1884-1962): Berichte, B"ieje ttnd Dokztmente des Botaniker"S, Sinologen und Nakbi-Fo1"SCbers; mit einern Scb,.;jterzverzeichnis (Stuttgart: Steiner, 2002).


Donald S. Lopez, J".

The third of the foreign scholars whom one might mention is Ferdinand D. Lessing (1882-1961). Born in Essen, Germany, he studied under F. VV K. Muller at the Berlin Ethnographical Museum before going to China in 1907, where he taught languages at several Chinese and Japanese colleges during the next seventeen years. He returned to Germany in 1925 to complete his doctorate, and shortly thereafter succeeded Muller as curator of the Berlin Ethnographical Museum. In the 1930s, he joined Sven Hedin's Sino-Swedish Expedition to North China and Mongolia. It was during this period that he undertook the extensive research for his unfinished study of the Yonghegong, the so called "Lama Temple" in Beijing. The only volume to appear from this research was a masterful study, published in Stockholm in 1942 as Yung-ho-kung: An Iconograpby of the Lmnaist Catbedml in Peking 7vitb Notes on Lamaist Mytbology and Cult. In 1935 he was invited to join the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, as head of the Department of Oriental Languages and Literature, where he taught Chinese, Japanese, Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, Mongol, and Manchu. His offerings in Tibetan language were perhaps the first regular university course of instruction in the United States. During the 1950s, he collaborated with his student Alex Wayman in the translation of an important dGe lugs text on tantra, the TGyud sde spyi rnam of mKhas grub rje (1385-1438), published in 1968 as mKbas gntb 77e's Fundamentals of tbe Buddbist Tantms (subsequently reprinted as Int7-oduction to tbe Buddhist Tmzt1-ica Systems)Y The first American to visit Lhasa was William Montgomery McGovern (18971964). During his youth he studied at the Jodo Shinshillii-bi'l:* temple, Nishi Honganji W;js::II,ll;!f, in Kyoto. Returning to Europe, he received a doctorate at Oxford (studying also in Paris and Berlin) and taught Chinese and Japanese at the School of Oriental Studies (later to become the School of Oriental and African Studies) at the University of London from 1918-1924. During this period, he published Introduction to Mabiiyana Bztddbism witb Especial ReJeTe1zces to Cbinese and Japanese Pbmses (1922) and Nlanual of Buddbist Pbilosopby (1923), both based on his studies in Japan. In 1922, he served as "scientific officer" of the British Buddhist Mission, which sought permission to enter Lhasa, but was turned back at rGyal rtse. Mter returning to Darjeeling, lVlcGovern (who read and spoke Tibetan), now disguised as a servant, returned to Tibet with a small party of Sikkimese. After a harrowing journey, the party reached Lhasa in February 1923. Upon revealing his identity, McGovern was held under house arrest, but met with Tsha rang zhabs pad and (secretly) with the 13 ,h Dalai Lama, before being allowed to return to Darjeeling. His detailed and still fascinating account of his journey was published in 1924 as To Lbasa in Disguise: A Secret Expedition tbTOUgb NIyste1 ious Tibet. Several British officials, notably F. lVI. Bailey, political officer in Sikkim, were angered by McGovern's success in reaching Lhasa.and sought to discredit his account. 14 In 1929, McGovern joined the faculty of the Department of

13 On the life and work of Lessing, see H. vValravens, FeTdinand Lessing (1882-1961): Sinologe, JVIongolist zmd Ken"e,. des Lmnais77ZZls (Osnabriick: Zeller, 2000). 14 See John Shipman, "From Undeserved Oblivion: A Young American in Tibet-vVilliam Montgomery McGovern," Asian Affizirs 35.11 Guly 2004): 162-171.

Tifjetology in the United States ofAmelica


Political Science at Northwestern University, where he taught (interrupted by service in the US Navy during the Second World War) until his death in 1964. America also had its share of more eccentric travelers. Among these, one might name Theos Bernard (1908-1947), who, according to the dust jacket of his 1949 Land ofa Th01tsand Buddhas (the British reprint of his 1939 Penthouse of the Gods: A Pilgrimage into the Hem-t of Tibet and the Sacred City of Lhasa) "was accepted as a Tibetan saint, became the first white lama, was initiated into secret rites, saw and photographed secret shrines, had unparalleled Tibetan adventures." Bernard spent several months in Lhasa in 1937, accompanied from Kalirnpong by the noted Tibetan editor of iYlelong, Babu Tharchin (1890-1976). In Lhasa, Bernard resided at the home of the by then former government minister Tsha rong (whom McGovern had also met) and had audiences with Rwa sgreng rin po che (then regent) and the dGa' ldan khri pa. In the course of his stay, in addition to having an elaborate set of monastic robes made for himself (which he regularly wore), he acquired several hundred volumes of Tibetan texts, some of which were posthumously sold by his father to Yale University and some of which are today owned, together with many of his papers, by the University of California, Berkeley. He seems to have misconstrued a polite Tibetan comment that his transportation of the Tibetan c.mon to hmerica was akin to Padmasambhava bringing Buddhism to Tibet, taking it to mean that he was an incarnation of Padmasambhava. He hence styled himself, "the white lama." His extravagant reports in the press of his time in Lhasa angered both Tibetan and officials, and his subsequent ~equest to return to Lhasa was denied. Upon his return to America, he received both an MA and PhD from Columbia University,submitting a dissertation entitled "Tantric Yoga" in 1943. Evans-Wentz served on the review committee. The dissertation was published in the following year as Hatha Yoga by Columbia University Press. Although the degree of his competence in Tibetan is unclear, in 1946 he published A Simplified Grammar of the Literary Tibetan Language. He sought to return to Tibet, via Spiti in 1947 but died enroute, apparently killed in communal violence in LahulY A somewhat more conventional American traveler was C[harles]. Suydam Cutting (1889-1972),'a national tennis champion, and engineer by training, whose interests included ethnology and botany. Cutting visited Lhasa twice, first with Arthur Vernay in 1935 (sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, for which they collected materials) and again in 1937, with his wife Helen McMahon Cutting. This second trip is documented in his 1940 Tbe Fire Ox and . Otber Years. The five Lhasa Apsos he received as gifts during his first visit formed the basis for his Hamilton Farm Kennel in New]ersey. In the immediate afrermath of the Second World War there was a substantial growth in the Asian Studies curriculum at American universities. Although much of the attention was focused on China and]apan, American scholars of Tibet began
IS On the life of Theos Bernard and the possibility that he is the unidentified "American Tibetologist" reported to have invited dGe 'dun chos 'phel (1903-1951) to America, see David Jackson, "The Elusive American Tibetologist in Gendun Chiiphel's Life: 'The First White Lama' (Theos Bernard) and Their Dream ofTibetland, California," Lttngta, forthcoming.


Donald S. Lopez, Jr.

to emerge from American universities in the 1950s. Among these was Alex 'iNayman (1921-2004), educated at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received his doctorate in 1959. He joined the faculty of Columbia University in New York in 1966, where he spent his career as professor of Sanskrit in the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures, until his retirement in 1991. Wayman published numerous books and articles on Indian and Tibetan Buddhism over the course of his long career, including a translation of the zbi gnas and lbag mtbong sections of Tsong kha pa's Lam rim eben mo, under the title Calming tbe iVIind and Disce7"ning tbe Real (1978). Mention should also be made of Turrell vVylie (1927-1984), who received his doctorate at the University of vVashington in Seattle and conducted dissertation research under the direction of Giuseppe Tucci while on a fellowship in Rome. vVylie was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Far Eastern and Slavic Languages at his alma mater after receiving his PhD there in 1958. The focus of vVylie's dissertation and early research was Tibetan geography, especially the famous work from the early nineteenth century, the 'Dza71Z gling rgyas bsbad. He went on, however, to write numerous articles on various elements of Tibetan history and religion, and collaborated (anonymously) with Tsepon W D. Shakabpa in writing Tibet: A Political Hist01JI (1967). His name is best known, however, for the so called "vVylie system" of transliterating Tibetan into the Roman alphabet, set forth in his 1959 article in the Harvard J07117zal ofAsiatic Studies, "A Standard System for Transcribing Tibetan." This system (already in use by several scholars prior to Wylie'S article) has been widely adopted, with occasional variations, in Englishlanguage scholarship on Tibet. 16

AmeTican Tibetology afteT 1959

The post-1959 period in American Tibetology in fact began prior to 1959. The effects of the invasion of Tibet by the People's Liberation Army in 1950 were felt in the United States as early as 1951. In that year, sTag tsher rin po che (Thub bstan 'jigs med nor bu, 1922-2008), the eldest brother of the 14'h Dalai Lama, fled Tibet in an effort to win American support for the Tibetan cause. vVith support of the Committee for Free Asia, Thubten Jigme Norbu (as he was referred to in English) flew to New York in 1951. After stays in Japan and then India, he returned to the United States to work at the Inner Asian Project in Seattle (see below), before serving as an assistant curator at the ~Museum of Natural History in New York, where he assisted the art historian Antoinette Gordon in cataloguing Tibetan artifacts. In 1965, he was invited to join the Department of Uralic and Altaic Studies at Indiana University, where he spent a fruitful academic career until his retirement in 1987Y
16 For a bibliography of Turrell vVylie's scholarship, see Lawrence Epstein and Richard F. Sherburne (eds.), Reflections on Tibetan Culture: Essays in iVlem01"y of TUrTell V. Wj,zie (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1990): xi-xiii. 17 For his autobiography covering the early part of his life, see Thupten Norbu, Tibet Is iVIy Count1"y (London: Dutton'and Company, 1961).

Tibetology in tbe United States ofAmerica


Numerous Tibetans would follow sTag tsher rin po che to America, two of whom played particularly significant roles in the development of Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the United States. The first of these was Ngag dbang dbang rgyal, known as Geshe,itVangyal (1901-1983). He was born in what is today Kalmykia, the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea populated by the Kalmyks, a Mongol people who are Tibetan Buddhists. Geshe Wangyal was born there in 1901 and was ordained as a dGe lugs monk at the age of six. He excelled at his studies and was chosen by the prominent Buryat Mongol lama Agvan Dorjieff (also spelled Dorzhiev, the Russianization of Ngag dbang rdo rje, 1854-1938) to travel to Tibet to enroll at sGo mang college of 'Bras spungs monastery. He arrived in Lhasa in 1922 and remained for nine years, completing the dge bsbes curriculum. He intended to return to Kalmykia to teach, but en route learned of the Bolshevik persecutions of Buddhist institutions. He lived in Beijing for some years, serving as translator for Sir Charles Bell (1870-1945, British Political Officer for Sikkim, Bhutan, and Tibet) during his travels in China and Manchuria. He later traveled to India where he met Theos Bernard as well as the British mountaineer Marco Pallis, with whom he spent four months in England in 1937. During the Second World itVar, he divided his time between India and Tibet. With the first news of the Chinese invasion of Tibet, he left Tibet permanently and moved to Kalimpong in West BengaL 18 By that time, a community of Kalmyk immigrants-had been established in Freewood Acres, New Jersey. During the Second World War, the Kalmyks, who had been brutally persecuted under Stalin, had sided with the Germans. One group followed German troops in their retreat from the Soviet Union, finding themselves in Austria when the war ended. This group was allowed to emigrate to New Jersey rather than be repatriated to the Soviet Union to suffer Stalids revenge. itVith their community established, they sought monks to perform religious functions. They turned first to the Mongolian lama Tilowa Khutukhtu (1883-1965), who came to the United States in 1947. The Kalmyk community subsequently invited Geshe Wangyal, who arrived 1955. In 1958 he founded the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America in Freewood Acres, New Jersey. Like so many Buddhist monks before and after him who first came to the United States to serve a refugee community" Geshe Wangyal soon attracted the attention of Americans interested in Buddhism. It became known to enthusiasts of Asian religions in Manhattan and Boston that there was a Tibetan lama living in New Jersey. Among the most enthusiastic of these was Robert A. F. Thurman (b. 1941), who came from Harvard University to live at Geshe Wangyal's monastery in 1963. In 1965, Thurman, accompanied by Geshe Wangyal, traveled to India, where he was ordained by the' Dalai Lama, becoming the first American to recf:ive the vows of a Tibetan Buddhist monk. After studies in India, he returned to the United States and to lay life. itVith the encouragement of Geshe Wangyal, he returned to Harvard, where he completed his BA and PhD, under the direction of Masatoshi Nagatomi (1926-2000), a scholar of DharmakIrti. Thurman has gone on to a prominent career,

For a brief biography of Geshe vVangyal, see the "Preface to the New Edition" of his

The Door ofLiberation, rev. ed. (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1995): x..--a-xxvii.


Donald S. Lopez, J7.

both as a scholar and as an advocate for Tibetan culture, first at Amherst College and then at Columbia University, where he is currently the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Buddhist Studies. His numerous publications include Tsong Khapa's Speech of Gold in the "Essence of True Eloquence" (1984), a translation and study of Tsong kha pa's Legs bshad S7Zying po; with art historian Marilyn Rhie, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred A7't of Tibet (1991); and Essential Tibetan Buddbism (1996). Also arriving at the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America in 1963 was another Harvard undergraduate, Paul Jeffrey Hopkins (b. 1940). After five years of study with Geshe Wangyal in New Jersey, Hopkins enrolled in the graduate program at the University ofvVisconsin. In 1961, the first graduate program in Buddhist Studies had been established at the University of vVisconsin at Madison, by Richard Robinson, an American scholar of Chinese Buddhism who had received his doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. Robinson invited two monks that Geshe Wangyal had brought to America to teach at Madison, and Hopkins studied with both of them. The first was the Se ra byes dge bshes, Lhun grub bzod pa (b. 1923) (lmown in English as Geshe Sopa) who was invited to University of vVisconsin in Madison by Richard Robinson in 1967. He remained at Wisconsin throughout his career, where he became the first Tibetan monk to hold a tenured professorship at an American university. Geshe Sopa trained numerous scholars, including Jose Cabez6n and Roger Jackson. The second was sGo mang dge bshes and rGyud smad mkhan zur Ngag dbang legs ldan (1900-1971), whom Robinson and Hopkins invited to Tibet House, which tlley founded in vVisconsin in 1969 as a place for students of Tibetan Buddhism to study with visiting refugee Tibetan lamas. After Robinson's untimely death in 1971, the Tibetan Buddhist Studies program at Wisconsin continued under the direction of Geshe Sopa and another of Robinson's students, Stephan Beyer, who published the important study The Cult of Tara: Magic and Ritual in Tibet in 1973. Another scholar who received his doctorate at the University of vVisconsin is David Germano, CUrrently on the faculty of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, where he has founded the Tibetan and Hin1alayan Digital Library. In 1971, Hopkins went to India to conduct his dissertation research. Living in Dharamsala, he soon attracted the attention of the Dalai Lama, who was impressed both by Hopkins's fluent Tibetan as well as his substantial knowledge of Madhyamaka philosophy. Hopkins returned to the US in 1972 where he completed his doctorate at Madison. In 1973, he was hired as a member of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, where he spent his career, retiring in 2005. Over the course of that career, Hopkins invited many prominent Tibetan scholars to teach at the University of Virginia, and he trained a significant number of students who have gone on to academic careers, including Georges Dreyfus, a Swiss scholar who, prior to receiving his doctorate at Virginia, was a dGe lugs monk and the first vVesterner to be awarded the dge bsbes degree. Among Hopkins's numerous publications, perhaps the most famous is his 1983 iVIeditation on Emptiness, a detailed study of the Prasangika section of 'Jam dbyangs bzhad pa's G7'Zlb mtba' eben mo. He also published extensively on Buddhist tantra in

Tibetology in tbe United States ofAme17ca


such works as Tantm in Tibet (1977), a translation of the first section of Tsong kha pa's sNgags l'im cben mo. In more recent years he has focused on Tsong kha pa's L~gs bshad sn)'ing po in Emptiness in the NIind Only Scbool (1999) and Reflections on Realit),: The ThTee Natzwes and Non-natures in the NIind Onl), School (2002). The second prominent Tibetan scholar to have a significant impact on the development of Tibetology in the United States was the great Sa skya monk, sDe gzhung sprul sku Kun dga' bstan pa'i nyi rna (1906-1987), known in English as Dezhung Rinpoche. In September 1959, shortly after the Dalai Lama's escape into exile the previous March, the Rockefeller Foundation hosted a Tibetan Studies conference in New York City. This was followed by a meeting at the Rockefeller conference center in Bellagio in northern Italy. Based on the results of these meetings, attended by such American scholars as Turrell Wylie and Robert Ekvall, the Rockefeller Foundation provided three-year grants to bring Tibetan refugee scholars to academic institutions in Copenhagen, Leiden, London, Munich, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, and Seattle (the only site selected in the United States) in order to promote understanding of Tibetan culture. In order to identify a Tibetan scholar for the Seattle project, Wylie was dispatched to India in 1960 where, with the assistance of the Tibetologists Alexander and Ariane Macdonald of Paris, he invited the head lama of the Sa sleya Phun tshogs pho brang, 'Jigs bral bdag chen and his family (a party of eight) to come to the University of vVashington to participate in the Rockefeller Foundation project. The party included Dezhung Rinpoche, tlle uncle of 'Jigs bral bdag chen's spouse. They accepted the invitation and arrived in Seattle in October 1960. With his encyclopedic knowledge of Tibetan Buddhist doctrine and history, Dezhung Rinpoche proved an invaluable resource for the active group of scholars at the University of Washington during the 1960s, including Turrell Wylie, Robert Ekvall, and the distinguished Buddhologist Leon Hurvitz (1923 -1992), with extended visits by sTag tsher rin po che (Thubten Jigme Norbu), the Indologist Agehananda Bharati (1923-1981), Hugh Richardson (1905-2000), and Edward Conze (1904-1979). After the expiration of the three-year grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1963, Dezhung Rinpoche was appointed as a research assistant to the Inner Asia Project in the Far Eastern and Russia Institute at the University of Washington, a position he held until his retirement in 1972. 19 In addition to the scholars whom he assisted, Dezhung Rinpoche gathered an impressive circle of students and disciples in Seattle. The most consequential of these was E[llis]. Gene Smith (b. 1936). Smith had come to the University of vVashington as a graduate student in 1956 and had begun to study Tibetan with Turrell vVylie in 1958. Upon tlle arrival of the Sa skya family in Seattle in 1960, Smith was asked to live with them and assist them with their various needs in America. He lived with the family for five years and studied with Dezhung Rinpoche on an. almost daily basis. In 1965, on the advice of Dezhung Rinpoche, he traveled to India to study with many of the leading refugee lamas and to collect
19 This account of Dezhung Rinpoche's activities in Seattle is drawn from David Jackson's biography of him, A Saint in Seattle: The Life of the Tibetan NJystic Dezhung Rinpocbe (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2003).


Donald S. Lopez, Jr.

Tibetan texts. In 1968 he joined the United States Library of Congress Field Office in New Delhi as a consultant for Tibetan and Indic languages. Smith's work for the Library of Congress coincided with Public Law 480 (PL ,480). Under this law, the Government of India agreed that the huge debts owed to the United States for shipments of American wheat that had been provided for famine relief would be repaid in the form of non-convertible rupees that could be spent only in India. Specifically, beginning in 1961, the Library of Congress was given access to large sums that could be used to purchase a designated number of copies of every book published in India, Nepal, and Bhutan, which would then be distributed free of charge to selected depository libraries across the United States. The Library of Congress, by guaranteeing the purchase of a fixed number of copies at a generous price, encouraged the publication of many rare and previously unpublished works. The implementation of the program coincided with the arrival into India, Nepal, and Bhutan of tens of thousands of Tibetan refugees, many of whom were carrying texts. There were also already substantial libraries of Tibetan texts in the region. Over the course of the program, over 4,000 Tibetan bibliographic titles were produced, using photo offset printing to produce books in both codex and xylograph form. Because a "bibliographic title" often represented the collected works of a single author or a particular collection of texts (some of which numbering more than two hundred volumes, with dozens of texts in each volume), millions of Tibetan works were published under the program, most of these under the direction of Gene Smith. In this way, a huge archive of largely unknown Tibetan texts appeared on the shelves of American university libraries, to be read, stqdied, and translated by a new generation ofTibetologists. The PL 480 collection of Tibetan texts wasmicrofilmed and thus made available to scholars around the world through the support of the philanthropist Dr. Chia Theng Shen(b. 1913), founder of the Institute for the Advanced Study of World Religions in Stony Brook, New York. The progress of Tibetan Studies, both in the United States and in Europe, would have been very different without the efforts and insights of Gene Smith in New Delhi during these crucial years; the publication of these texts reshaped the contours of Tibetology in the second half of the twentieth century. In addition to overseeing this massive project, Smith wrote trenchant introductions to many of these collections, a selection of which was published in 2001 as Among Tibetan Texts:

History and Literature of the Himalayan Plateau. Gene Smith remained at the Field Office in New Delhi until 1985 and retired from the Library of Congress in 1997. His personal library of Tibetan texts is considered the largest in existence. He has made it available to the world through the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, founded in 1999 and currently based in New York City. Other students of the University of Washington have made important contributions to Tibetology. Melvyn C. Goldstein (b. 1938) received his doctorate in Anthropology there in 1968. Since joining the Department of Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University in that same year, he has become the leading social anthropologist as well as the leading historian of modern Tibet in the United States. In addition to numerous articles on a remarkable range of subjects in Tibetan society and history, his books include A History of Modern Tibet: The Demise of the

Tibetology in the United States ofAme1'ica


Lamaist State (1989) and (with Cynthia Bell) Nomads of Western Tibet: Survival of a Way of Life (1990). His grammars and dictionaries have also provided essential

pedagogical and research tools for the study of modern Tibetan. Other American anthropologists of Tibet include Nancy Levine at the University of California, Los Angeles and Lawrence Epstein at the University of Washington. The most distinguished scholar of Tibetan Buddhism at the University of vVashington during this period was David Seyfort Ruegg (b. 1931). Born in New York, Ruegg received his diploma in Sanskrit from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Section des sciences historiques et philologiques) in 1957. He received his doctorate from the University of Paris in 1969. In 1967, he was appointed to the Chair of Indian Philosophy, Buddhist Studies and Tibetan at the University of Leiden. In 1969, he published what remains the definitive work on the topic of the buddha nature in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, La tbi01'ie du tathiigatagm-bha et du gotra: etudes sur la soteriologie et la gnoseologie du bouddhisme, In connection with this project he also published a translation of Bu ston's treatise on the topic, as well as a translation and study of Bu ston's biography some years earlier. In 1972, he joined the faculty of the University of Washington, where he remained until 1984. His work there focused especially on the central philosophical problems raised in Madhyamaka and various Tibetan responses to them, published in such volumes as Tbe Litemture of the NIadhyama7w School of Pbilosophy in India (1981) and'Tbree Studies in tbe History ofIndian and Tibetan NIadbyamaka Pbilosopby (2000), which contains expanded versions of some earlier essays. His work has not been limited only to Buddhist philosophy. In 1995, he published Onh'e spi6tuel et 01-d1'e temp01'el dans la pensee bouddhique de l'Inde et du Tibet. He left the University of Washington in 1984 to accept a position at the University of Hamburg where he taught until 1990, before moving to London, where he is Professorial Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Among the many students at the University of Washington during this period, perhaps the most distinguished was David P. Jackson, a student of both Dezhung Rinpoche and David Seyfort Ruegg. He has published important studies on a wide range of subjects, including the literature of the Sa skya school and Tibetan painting. Traditional histories of Tibetan Buddhism are often cast in terms of lineage, the careful tracing of who received which teachings from whom, A lineage, not of lamas, but of Tibetologists could also be described for American Tibetology in postdiaspora period. As suggested above, much of the scholarship and many of the institutional structures of the study of Tibet in the United States as it exists today can be traced back to the influence of Dezhung Rinpoche and Geshe Wangyal. These two monks, however, were not the only Tibetan teachers to effect the direction of Tibetology in the United States. Other lamas to have an influence on the development of American Tibetology include the Sa skya lama Thar rtse Zhabs drimg Kun dga' 'gyur med (b. 1935), known as Lama Kunga, who founded the Ewam Choden center in Kensington, California. His students included Janet Gyatso and Matthew T. Kapstein. Lama Kunga was subsequently joined in California by his brother, Thar rtse mlchan po bSod nams rgya mtsho (1933-1987), also known from his time spent in Japan as Hiroshi Sonami. His students included Ronald Davidson.


Donald S. Lopez, J1.

Chos rgyam Drung pa rin po che (1939-1987), known in English as Chi:igyam Trungpa, generated a great deal of interest in Tibetan Buddhism among intellectual and artistic circles in America, and established the Nalanda Translation Committee and the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. He collaborated on several projects with the distinguished Austrian Tibetologist, Herbert V. Guenther (b. 1917), who spent much of his prolific career at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. The rNying rna pa lama Dar thang sprul sku Kun dga' dge legs ye shes rdo rje (b. 1935), known as Tarthang Tulku, founded the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, California and founded Dharma Publishing (see below). Despite the influence of Dezhung Rinpoche and Geshe vVangyal, not all of the graduate programs in Tibetan Studies have direct links to them. One of the most important centers of Tibetan Studies over the past decades has been the Department of Uralic and Altaic Studies (now the Department of Central Eurasian Studies) at Indiana University. As mentioned above, Thubten Jigme Norbu joined the faculty there in 1965. The Tibet Society was founded at Indiana University in 1967, with Professor John Krueger, Thubten Jigme Norbu, and John G. Hangin serving on the first board of directors. The first general meeting was held on August 17, 1967 at the University of Michigan in conjunction with the XXVII International Congress of Orientalists. Some fifty people attended this first meeting. The Tibet Society published the Tibet Society NewsletteT from 1967-1984 and the Jozmzal of the Tibet Society from 1981-1988. 20 With regard to other professional societies, a short-lived organization called the North American Tibetological Society, composed of scholars from California, vVashington state, and Canada, held conferences in 1979 and 1980, with the papers published as )/Vind Horse (1979) and Tibetan Buddhism: Reason and Revelation (1992). In 1994, the American Academy of Religion (AAR), the largest scholarly association for the study of religion in North America, approved the establishment of the Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group, providing a venue for two panels at the annual meeting of the AAR. Indiana was also the site of the later career of one of the most important emigre Tibetologists of the post-1959 period, Helmut Hoffmann (1912-1992). He began his studies of Indology at Freiburg and at Berlin, where he also studied Tibetan with Ferdinand Lessing. He continued his Tibetan studies with Giuseppe Tucci in Rome.
20 The first issue of the Tibet Society Newslette1; published in 1967, contained: A vVelcoming Letter from Thubten Jigme Norbu; a Letter to the Tibet Society by His Holiness the Dalai Lama; A Translation of the Letter of His Holiness. the Dalai Lama; the Articles of Incorporation of the Tibet Society; An Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by Herbert V. Guenther; The Role of Tibet in History by F. A. Bischoff; A Selective Bibliography on Tibetan History and Culture by Turrell V. vVylie; The Tibetan Refugees, 1959-1967 by Thubten Jigme Norbu; and Tibetan Studies in the United States by Turrell V. Wylie. This last article listed the American institutions where Tibetan language instruction was being offered in 1967, with the names of the instructors, the titles of the courses, and the number of students. Instruction was offered at the University of California, Berkeley; the University of California, Los Angeles, Harvard University, Indiana University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin, and the University ofvVashington, to a total of forty-seven students.

Tibetology in the United States ofAmerica


During the war, he was affiliated with the Sven Hedin Institute and completed his habilitation on Bon, After the war, he taught at Hamburg, and then Munich, whei'e from 1948 to 1968 he was Professor of Indology and Iranian Studies. In 1969, he accepted a professorship in the Department of Uralic and Altaic Studies at Indiana University, where he spent the remainder of his career, retiring in 1980, Although his research centered primarily on the Kalacaknt Tantnt and on Bon, he wrote on a wide range of topics. His publications in English include The Religions of Tibet (1961) and (in collaboration with others) Tibet: A Handbook (1975),21 Among the distinguished students of the Indiana program are Christopher Beckwith, Elliot Sperling, Tsugohito Takeuchi, and Dan Martin, In 1997, Dan Martin published an important reference work, Tibetan Histol-ies: A BibliogntphJI ofTibetan-language Hist01-ical vVo'-!?s. By the 1980s, the confluence of a huge number of Tibetan texts in the libraries of American universities, the popularity of many Tibetan lamas in the United States (including the Dalai Lama, who made his first visit in 1979 and has visited frequently since then), and the growth of Tibetan Studies as an academic discipline in the American academy (typically within departments of Religious Studies) created a market for a large number of books on Tibet and especially on Tibetan Buddhism, books of both a more scholarly and more popular nature, The major academic and commercial presses in the United States were initially slow to identify this trend, and several commercial presses devoted to publishing works on Tibetan Buddhism appeared to fill this need, Because these presses were generally more interested in the dissemination of Tibetan Buddhist teachings than in Tibetology per se, they were sometimes referred to as "dharma presses," However, they have also provided and continue to provide a venue for Tibetological research of a high academic standard, Dharma Publications, based in Berkeley, California, was founded in 1971, Its original and continuing purpose have been to publish the works produced by the Nyingma Institute under the direction of Tarthang Tulku, Dharma's publishing program has included works by Tarthang Tulku himself as well as the work of his largely anonymous group of disciples who, under his direction, have brought out the multi-volume traditional history of Buddhism called C1-ystal MirTO'-, Several of Herbert Guenther's works, including his three-volume Kindly Bent to Ease Us, were also published by Dharma, By far the most ambitious venture undertaken by Dharma was the publication of the sDe sge (Derge) edition of the Tibetan canon, beautifully bound in 120 volumes, The next press to appear was vVisdom Publications, founded in 1975 and now headquartered in Boston, It began as a publishing organ for the teachings of the dGe lugs lama Thubbstan ye shes (1935-1984, known as Lama Yeshe) who, along with Thub bstan bzod pa, founded centers around the world under the umbrella of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), Wisdom Publications has published works by the Dalai Lama, as well as Jeffrey Hopkins's
21 For a bibliography of Helmut Hoffmann's scholarship, a list of the dissertations he supervised, a brief biography, as well as appreciations by colleagues and students, see NIichael vValter, Helmut Hoffmann: Bibliog1Ylpby (Bloomington, Indiana: Eurolingua, 1982),


Donald S. Lopez, Jr.

Meditation on Emptiness. One of its most important contributions to Tibetology was its publication of Gyurme Dorje and Matthew T. Kapstein's translation in two volumes of two works by bDud 'joms 'jigs bral ye shes rdo rje (1904-1987), the bsTan pa'i rnam gzhag and the rNying ma'i chos 'byzmg, which appeared in 1991 as The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and Hist01J1. The most recent such press to be established was Snow Lion Publications (originally Gabriel/Snow Lion), established in 1980 in Ithaca, New York. It has gone on to become the largest press devoted to Tibetan Buddhism, having published hundreds of titles on Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism, both popular and scholarly. In 1996, it published an edited volume, Tibetan Literature: Studies in Genre (edited by Jose Cabez6n and Roger Jackson), which included essays from many American Tibetologists of the current generation. Among Snow Lion's most ambitious projecrs was the publication in three volumes of The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path' to Enlightenment, an annotated translation of Tsong kha pa's Lam rim chen mo. The translation was supervised by Joshua Cutler, a smdent of Geshe Wangyal. Although much of American Tibetology in the post-1959 period has focused on Tibetan Buddhism, there has been significant work in history, linguistics, and anthropology, especially by scholars trained at Indiana University and the University of Washington. In more recent years, scholarship has begun to focus on contemporary Tibetan culmre. The Trace Foundation, founded in 1993 to promote cultural continuity and sustainable development of Tibetan communities in China, has established the Latse Contemporary Tibetan Culmral Library in New York, under the direction of Perna Bhum, a scholar from A mdo who has helped to generate interest in modern Tibetan literature. In 2004, the Henry Luce Foundation provided funds to establish a chair in Contemporary Tibetan Smdies at Columbia University. At the time of this writing (January 2007), the following scholars hold tenured professorships in Tibetan Smdies at American research universities; the instimtion , where each received his or her doctorate is given in parentheses. Anne Klein at Rice University (University of Virginia), Elliot Sperling at Indiana University (Indiana University), Christopher Beckwith at Indiana University (Indiana University), Robert Thurman at Columbia Universitjr (Harvard University), Matthew T. Kapstein at the University of Chicago (Brown University), David Germano at the University of Virginia (University of Wisconsin), Jose Cabez6n at the University of California, Santa Barbara (University of Wisconsin), Kurtis Schaeffer at the University of Virginia (Harvard University), Nancy Levine at the University of California, Los Angeles (University of Rochester), Melvyn C. Goldstein at Case Western Reserve University (University of Washington), and Donald S. Lopez at the University of Michigan (University of Virginia). Janet Gyatso (University of California, Berkeley) and Leonard van der Kuijp (University of Hamburg) both teach at Harvard University, not far from where Cotton Mather saw the mysterious inscriptions on a large rock almost three hundred years ago.


The Tibet Fever among Japanese Buddhists of the Meiji Era The decisive role in the formation of the Japanese image of Tibet from the Meiji Period onward was played by Kawaguchi Ekai iiiT~~ij;j; (1866-1945). In March of 1901 he was the first Japaneseto enter Lhasa by crossing over the Himalayas. He entered the Great Monastery of Sera bnt could stay only one year because his fame as physician made the authorities aware of his presence. After a thrilling escape from Lhasa in July of 1902 he managed to anive at D31jeeling where he obtained the protection of Sarat Chandra Das, a famous scholar of Tibetan studies. On his retum to Japan in May of 1903, Kawaguchi immediately became a favorite subject in the mass media, and was severely attacked by Japanese press. Although it was probably more difficult for him to deal with the press than to make his first visit to Tibet, it was in pmt thanks to his notes and impressions of Tibet that the Japanese people started to shape their image of this remote land. Tibet attracted attention because of the strange customs repmted by Kawaguchi, such as the polyandry system, the existence of Living Buddhas, the exposme of corpses to be eaten by birds, and so on. After Kawaguchi's encounter with Tibet, other explorers took the road to discover the secrets of this land. 11,e author gives a historical overview of the most important figures responsible for transmitting and at the same time changing the Japmese perception of Tibet over the last centulY, limn the missionary role played by the Higashi Honganji JI[;$:IlLij'if branch ofthe J6do Shinshu i Jl;* and the development of the so-called Tibet fever at the hlm of the century to the post-war "cooling period. "

La nevre ponr Ie Tibet parmi les bouddhistes japonais de l' epoque Meiji Kawaguchi Ekai iiiT ~ ~ij;j; (1866-1945) a joue un r61e decisif dans la formation de l'image du Tibet chez les Japonais it partir de l'epoque Meiji. II fut Ie premier Japonais it entrer en mars 1901 dans Lhasa en travers ant la chaine himalayenne. En raison de sa renommee en tant que medecin qui Ie fit remarquer des autorites, il ne put rester qu'une annee au grand monastere de Sera il etait entre. Une fuite mouvementee de Lhasa, en juillet 1902, Ie mena it Darjeeling Oil il obtint la protection du fameux tibetologue Sarat Chandra Das. Lorsqu'il revint au Japan en mai 1903, Kawaguchi devint soudainement Ie sujet favori des medias et fut pris it partie par la presse japonaise. Bien que s'occuper de la presse presentait pour lui probablement plus de difficultes que d'entreprendre sa premiere expedition, ce fut en partie grace a ses notes et a ses impressions sur Ie Tibet que les Japonais eommeneerent a se forger une idee de cette terre, lointaine et secrete. Le Tibet retint l'attention pour ses coutumes etranges relatees par Kawaguchi, telles que la polyandrie, l'existence de Buddhas vivants, I'exposition des cadavres en pature aux oiseaux, etc. Apres la rencontre de Kawaguchi avec Ie Tibet, d'autres explorateurs s'y rendirent afin de decouvrir les secrets de cette terre. L'auteur donne, iei, un apen;u historique de ces personnages importants respons abIes de la transmission mais aussi du changement de la perception du Tibet par les Japonais durant Ie sieele demier, depuis Ie r61e missionnaire joue par Ie Higashi Honganji, branche du JOdo Shinshu, Ie developpement de la [iovre pour Ie Tibet au toumant de ce sieele jusqu'it la periode de refroidissement de l'apres-guerre.




A Startling Encozmte7'
t was Kawaguchi Ekai rjiJolrliU (1866-1945) who played a decisive role in molding the Japanese image of Tibet.! A Buddhist monk of the Gbaku tradition ~~*, Kawaguchi set out from Kobe on his first journey to Tibet in June 1897. His aim was to study Tibetan and Sanskrit and to collect Buddhist scriptures written in these languages with a view to producing a readable and accurate Japanese translation of the Buddhist canon and thereby clarify the true teachings of the Buddha Sa!cyamuni. He also had a dream of Japan and Tibet, both countries where Mahayana Buddhism prevailed, joining hands to spread the teachings of Buddhism throughout the world to counter the predominance of Christianity. In July 1900, three years after he had left Kobe, Kawaguchi crossed unaided a pass' in the Himalayas and secretly entered Tibet, which was at the time closed to foreigners. In March of the following year, he became the first Japanese to reach

For details on the life and thought of Kawaguchi Ekai, see Okuyama Naoji ~fDiJ1[ ~f12mr::l'liilit [A critical biography of Kawaguchi Ekai] (Tokyo: Chuo Koron Shinsha cp*0,;(i;Jit, 2003). In addition, Takayama Ryilzo iilifDll~:=:: (ed.), Tenbo Kawagucbi Ekai ~~iiiJr::l'liilit [Kawaguchi Ekai: A review] (Kyoto: Hozokan iti'ilUiJ, 2002) describes how Kawaguchi has been treated in both Japanese and non-Japanese literature as well as providing a list of publications alluding to Kawaguchi, a list of Kawaguchi's own writings, and a chronological record of his life. 2 It must have been one of the 5,000-meter passes on the border between Dolpo in northwestern Nepal and Tibet. Kawaguchi deliberately gives no details about the route he took from Dolpo into Tibet. Various views regarding the location of the pass have been put forward by Japanese mountaineers who have explored the area. However, in 2004 the niece of Kawaguchi, Miyata Emi gSlz~, discovered in her house the journal of Kawaguchi which was composed between 1900 and 1901. Thanks to this discovery a substantial part of the route has become clear: Kawaguchi entered Western Tibet via Dolpo, toured .iVlount Kailas, and turned East from there. The pass Kawaguchi crossed was the Kbung pass ('Kbrungs la, 5,411 meters). This journal was recently published with my detailed annotation and revisions under the title: Kawaguchi Ekai, Kawagucbi Ekai nikki: HimaTa)'a, Chibettono tabi iiiJr::l'liilitl31lC-t? '71" . 'j-""'-:;; ~O)Jj* [The journal of Kawaguchi Ekai: Journey to Himalaya and Tibet] (Tokyo: Kodansha ~iWH, 2007).

"l, HyMen Kawagucbi Ekai

Images of Tibet in the 19 th and 20 rh Centlwies Paris, EFEO, coIl. Etudes thematiques" (22.1), 2008, p. 203-222


Oku:yama Naoji

Fig. 1: Kawaguchi Ekai iPJ 1=1 ~m (1866-1945).

Fig. 2: The departure of Kawaguchi Ekai from Lhasa for India. (Scroll of Kawaguchi Ekai, no. 24: courtesy of Miyata Erni ' 1Il~~)

The Tibet Fever among Japanese Buddhists ofthe Meiji Era


the Forbidden City of Lhasa. He then gained admission to one of the colleges at Sera Monastery, where he gained a reputation as a physician. But some time later he was exposed as a Japanese and forced to leave Lhasa after a stay of a year or so. InJuly 1902, after an exciting escape from Tibet, he reached Darjeeling and Lhasa Villa, belonging to Sarat Chandra Das (1848-1917), an Indian Tibetologist and Kawaguchi's former teacher. It was around 1:00 p.m. on May 20'li of the following year (1903) that Kawaguchi arrived in the rain back at the port of Kobe after SL,{ years of travelling in India and Nepal as well as Tibet. For some months prior to his return newspapers and magazines had been stirring up interest in his travels by carrying frequent reports of his movements. Kaw"guchi Ekai of the Obaku tradition, who had been in Tibet for three years, was recently discovered to be a Japanese, but managed to escape safely to India. What a fine fellow he is! (Tiilryii Nichinichi Shinb,m Jit:$:I3I3Jij), 24 Jan. 1903) In one of a series of poems writren while in Tibet, the extraordinary monk Kawaguchi Ekai, who has been exploring Tibet, writes: On my way at last! Through the snows of the Himalayas, Along the path of the Teachings, And quickly to the border of Bhota (Tibet). What a bold and daring man he is! This exemplifies a true state of mind of which degenerate monks can have no inkling. (Kobe Shinbun :)$pl!TJl,'l, 20 March 1903) In addition to acquaintances and followe):s, there was also a crowd of reporters waiting for Kawaguchi on the Kobe docks. The Osaka Mainichi Shinbzm *~~4l'f,I3Jij)TOO had even put a reporter on Kawaguchi's ship at Moji F~'il] so as to be able to interview him aboard the ship and steal a march on other newspapers. That evening the reporters converged on the inn in Kobe where he was staying and continued plying him with questions far into the night. So began a media circus that quickly turned Kawaguchi, who had until then been a mere wandering monk, into the man of the moment. But once the story of his travels began to be exclusively serialized shortly afterwards by the Osaka Mainichi Shinbun and the Jiji Shinpii ~.*H~ in Tokyo, he was assailed by a storm of both praise and censure. Because Kawaguchi's stories about his journey evoked such a massive response from readers, it was perhaps only natural that the newspapers whicll had been left OUt in the cold on account of the exclusive serialization by the Osaka lV1ainichi Shinbzm and Jiji Shinpii should have suddenly started picking holes in his "admirable tale." It would be a shame if Kawaguchi Ekai, who went to Tibet for the purpose of compiling popular Buddhist scriptures, should end up becoming a professional storyreller of tales about Tibet on account of his being excessively lionized by the public. (Tikyii Nichinichi Shinbun, 28 May 1903)


Okuyama Naoji
The Osaka lVIainicbi Sbinbzt7Z states that lVIr. Kawaguchi Ekai gave it permission to transcribe the unusual story of his expedition to Tibet, while the Jiji Sbinpii in Tokyo has announced that it alone has an exclusive contract with him. If what the Osaka Nlainicbi Sbinbztn says is true, then the Jiji Sbinpii must be wrong, and if what the Jiji Sbinpii says is true, then the Osaka Nlainicbi Shinbzm must be wrong. vVe cannot tell which is telling the truth, but surely Ekai is not trying to have it both ways. One has to admit, though, that this is a rather interesting question. (Chiigai Nippii 'P:7~I3R, 3 June 1903, letter to the editor)

But there also appeared reports of a different kind, namely, newsRaper articles suggesting that Kawaguchi's journey to Tibet may itself be a fabrication. There exists a report by an Indian called Sarat Chandra [Das] which describes in detail how he went to Lhasa in strict secrecy under orders of the British government. Although it has not been made public, a number of copies were printed by the British government, three of which currently remain in India. Apparently Ekai's story is too similar to this to be true. It is quite incredible that Ekai, who knew no foreign languages when he was in Japan, should have studied Hindi, English and Tibetan during the three years he was in India and then, after entering Tibet, should have had such a good command of the Tibetan language, from the refined to the vulgar, that he was indistinguishable from Tibetans. One must take what he says with a grain of salt. (Yoz'ozu Chiihii 7JiilJlR, 29 June 1903) Seemingly spurred by such reports, the satirical newspaper Kokkei Sbinbu1Z 11!f'fiJJiOO, published by Miyatake Gaikotsu 'Jt(;:7}w (1867-1955), treated Kawaguchi as a great braggart and charlatan monic through and through, and used every possible means to promulgate malicious satire and parody about him.] The Nlammaru Cbinbzm EB EBJl2:00, another comic and satirical newspaper of long standing, also busied itself with nonsense such as suggesting that if Kawaguchi had, for instance, brought back a Tibetan version of the Abodtwa-k),ii ~iiJm.l~UjH,I: he would have been one up on See for instance "Yamashi bozu Kawaguchi Ekai" UJ~i!i:I)J3=[iiJo"llilii' [The charlatan monk Kawaguchi Ekai] , Kokkei Sbinbzm 54 (5 Aug. 1903): 18; "Meika seika hiketsu (4) Kawaguchi Ekai" 1',*filt;s,"lf,bil!c@ iiiJo"lli'ill: [Secrets of success of famous people (4): Kawaguchi Ekai], Kokkei Sbinbzt1l 55 (20 Aug. 1903): 4; "Daihimitsu tanken Chobitto keireki dan: Yamaguchi Deikai shi kojutsu" *fb!$~ffriTililmI~W~-UJ oIFeIiil'~i!iTIli:izt [Tales of petty experiences in a great secret expedition to Tibet: As told by Master Yamaguchi Deikai], 1-3, KoHei Sbinbun 55 (20 Aug. 1903),56 (5 Sept. 1903),57 (20 Sept. 1903) (repr., Kokkei Sbinbun [Tokyo: Chikuma Shabo 5'jL)lj!'iim, 1985] 3, 309, 322, 336). Cbobitto in the title of the last series of articles, meaning "a little," is here intended as a pun on Chibetto, or "Tibet," while "Yamaguchi Deikai," "With "Deikai" meaning "sea of mud/' is a play on Kawaguchi Ekai's name. 4 A popular type of song about worldly affairs in octosyllabic lines, starting with the words "Bussetm Ahodaz-a-kyo" {L~~ibIU:::GmI [The stupid sutra taught by the Buddha]. Sung by mendicant monks beating two small wooden gongs (mokugyo *ffi.,) or marking time with a folding fan; they emerged in the mid-Edo iIF period (1603-1867) as a form of street performance and in the Meiji IlJllii era (1868-1912) began to be performed on the stage as well. They represented parodies of Buddhist scriptures, with the word abodm'a, meaning "stupid"

The Tibet Feve1~ among Japanese Buddhists of the iVleiji Era


Takakusu Junjiro il'iJffijJI[lji'Jzli~ (1866-1945/ and the late Max Miiller (1823-1900).' The newspaper serials continued and there was a constant stream of requests for public talks, but the public's view of Kawaguchi changed rapidly, from unreserved admiration to misunderstanding and vilification. If Kawaguchi was in any way to blame for this turn of events, it may have been that his tale was just too interesting. Not only had his journey been one of hair-raising adventure, but Tibet, the scene of his story, was also novel, and the way in which he passed scathing judgment on it from the standpoint of contemporary Japanese morals carne across as quite refreshing? Kawaguchi was a strict monk who even during the course of a journey fraught with difficulties had observed the precept of not taking any solid food between midday and the following morning, and he himself was probably oblivious to the fact that he might be catering to the public's love of the bizarre. But owing in part to a desire to please, so characteristic of people from Osaka, he did indeed sometimes sound like a "professional storyteller of tales about Tibet." There was a growing feeling that war with Russia was inevitable, and in such circumstances Kawaguchi's journey was also generally regarded as a magnificent achievement of a global scale by a Japanese. Yet at the same time there would have been not a few people who considered his story too good to be true. The following passage is taken from a transcript of a speech given by Kawaguchi in 1915 soon after his return from his second journey to Tibet. The public talks given after his first journey presumably differed little from this in their tone. The most remarkable characteristic of the Tibetans is their filthiness .... Let me tell you a disgusting story to dispel your drowsiness .... In the interior of Tibet people never once take a bath during their entire life. In the first place, there is no word for "bath" in their dictionary. No one, high or low, ever takes a bath or rubs himself down. They consider it a matter of honour . not to bathe, and they believe that if they remove their grime they will lose their good luck. '" Japanese are good at blowing their nose with their fingers by closing each nostril in turn, but the Tibetans, being all thumbs, end up with a stream of blue snot hanging from their nose. vVhat makes it worse is that they produce an enormous amount of mucus, four or five times as much as the Japanese, which they remove with their fingers and dispose of by smearing on something. Then they blithely wipe their dirty fingers on their sleeves or on the front of their dothes. In addition, they feel not the least in the Kansai dialect, suggesting Buddhist terms such as damni WloiilV't. (dhitra,zi) and nzandam !jl\;"tll (77law/ala). S A professor in the Faculty of Letters at Tokyo Imperial University and a contemporary authority on Indian and Buddhist studies who had studied in Europe under Max Muller and others. 6 "Ekai hoshi 0 chosu" ~iWl;t'gijj:!i:~)lijT [Investigating Master Ekai], IVIm'zmzarzt Cbinbull 1441 (12 Sept. 1903): 2. . 7 That the story of his travels as serialized in the Osaka Nlainicbi Sbinbun and Jiji Sbinpo was based on transcripts of his spoken words was also an important factor in its popularity. It is likely that had Kawaguchi written these accounts himself, much of his distinctive humor would have been lost.


Okuya771a Naoji
compunction in wiping butter, oil or whatever on their clothes, and so, what with mucus, butter and oil, their clothes are jet-black, as if they had been lacquered. One might say something like, "That monk is wearing rather smart robes. They have a black lustre!'"

One has to' marvel at the comparisan af how the Japanese and the Tibetans blmv their noses, and the successian af weird and wanderful tales related by the articulate Kawaguchi must have had the audience canvulsed with innacent laughter. At any rate, the picmre afTibet as canveyed by Kawaguchi through the medium of newspaper and magazine articles, lectures, and his well-known Chibetto lJ1oko ki j!Ef iIl:lilf1iilc or An Account oflhlVelS in Tibet (Tokyo': Hakubunkan tW:Jtffii, 1904), published in twa volumes an the basis of the account of his travels serialized in the Jiji Shinpo,9 could be said to have determined subsequent Japanese images of Tibet. The Tibetan saciety that he described was full af "strange custams," such as filthy habits, variaus superstitians, palyandry, sky burials, and living Buddhas, which were more than enaugh to excite the interest in the bizarre af the cantemporary Japanese. As these customs were talked abaut among the public, they were transformed, gathered frills and embellishments, and develaped a life af their awn. vVarst of all seems to have been the practice of palyandry, which Kawaguchi did nat hesitate to' call immaral. For example, in a series of staries called "Geisha shakai" 1j'1;' L~ L~ b 1;' (Geisha society), which started appearing an 4 August 1903 in the NiTOku Shinpo .=:;';;JMll., there figures a Shinbashi JVrtili geisha called Hanaka 1t'lli' and nicknamed "the Tibetan geisha." The reasan for this nickname was merely that she was much in demand and had several patrans, but the writer added the fallawing camment:


Far strange tales of several men sharing a single woman there is no need to go an an expeditian all the way to' distant Tibet, for they can be found in the geisha saciety of our fine city. What is astonishing is that people entertain no suspicious on hearing about this. lO The writer also puts the fallowing remarks about Kawaguchi into the mouth of a character by the name afUwaki 'f'fiiii*: Though he set out very much like a monk of high standing and says that he mastered Buddhism in the world's most secret country, he makes no scruple abaut telling dirty stories which even worldly people are seldom capable af telling. Common sense would make anyone think it odd, and so naturally
there are some strange rumors.l!
8 Kawaguchi Ekai, "Chibetto no Mikkyo (2)" l"f~G')!$;~ (=) [Esoteric Buddhism in Tibet (2)], KoyasanJibo i1ii!llf~aHll. 56 (1915): 3. 9 The English version of this work is Th1"ee Yean in Tibet (Madras: The Theosophical Office, 1909), the publication of which made Kawaguchi world-famous. See Takayama (ed.), TenbO: Kawagucbi Ekai, 273-289. \0 "Geisha shakai: Chibetto geigi" If,' l/"~ L-IC' < b, '-i1'lili<:~!1!:: [Geisha society: The Tibetan geisha]; Ni,.oku Shinpo 1717 (4 Aug., 1903), repr., Niroku Shinpo 20 (Tokyo: Fuji Shuppan T=Il!t!i:, 1993): 15l. 11 "Geisha shakai: ni shinshi no wanryoku zata" If"L-IC'L-?<b"-=~$G')Hjjj7Jlylk

The Tibet Fever among Japanese Buddbists of tbe Meiji Em


In this fashian, the furar created by Kawaguchi's return to. Japan, tagether with the insalubriaus rumars abaut Kawaguchi himself, had ti,e effect af impressing upan the minds af the Japanese far years to. came the image af Tibet as a strange land.l2 While embrailed in this cantroversy, immediately after his return Kawaguchi began preparatians for a secand trip to. Tibet. Thaugh his first trip had been an autstanding achievement that wauld go. dawn in the annals af warld explaratian, he himself had been nat in the least satisfied with the results, especially in regard to. the acquisitian af Buddhist scriptures in Tibetan and Sanslait. In Octaber 1904 he set aff ance again, baund far Nepal and Tibet. But he was farced to. spend mare than nine years in India and Nepal befare he managed to. reenter Tibet in January 1914. During this time he callected Buddhist Sanslait manuscripts in the Kathmandu Valley, studied Sanslait in Benares, and made frequent pilgrimages to Buddhist sites in India and Nepal. The Hanganji *!i/Jj~ branch af the Joda Shinshu rt;!!l;* under Otani Kozui :;k:;fr)\'Jffil (1876-1948), the twenty-secand abbat af the Nishi Hanganji 1ffi*~~, strengthened Japanese ties with Tibet during this periad. But because the interchange between the Hanganji branch and the Tibetan gavernment, headed by the thirteenth Dalai Lama (Thub bstan rgya mtsha, 1876-1933), was carried aut in absalute secrecy aut af deference to. Qing China and Great Britain, it was nat widely knawn abaut." Otani sent twa students to. Tibet-Aaki Bunkyo i'l',;f:y:jlj: (18861956), who. stayed with a family af the nability in Lhasa far three years from 1912, studying Tibetan grammar, rhetaric and history, and Tada Tokan $E81ii'.Jl. (18901967), who. studied Tibet.m Buddhism at Sera Manastery fram 1913 to. 1923-and after their return to. Japan they bath wrote baaks abaut Tibet that were far mare scientific than Kawaguchi's but also. less generally interesting. '4 They did nat have [Geisha saciety: Two gentlemen resort to violence], NiTol", Shinpo 1747 (3 Sept. 1903), repr., Ni"ol", Shinpo 20, 277. The "strange rumors" claimed that there was some sort of relationship between Kawaguchi and Hanaka. 12 There were of course quite a number of people who defended Kawaguchi. For (1857-1934) of Keio Gijuku, wrote instance, one of his supporters, Kamata Eikichi a piece entitled "Kawaguchi shi nyiizo ni tsuite no shokan" iPJw ~ifi}..Jiii1I:::.11tv '-CO)ffl~ [My thoughts on tl,e Rev. Kawaguchi's visit to Tibet] (in Tenbo: Kawagucbi Ekai, ed. Takayama, 122-128), in which he displayed a high level of sound judgment. II The Honganji branch's contacts with the Dalai Lama began when Otani Son'yii :;Iel," ~1iI paid a visit on behalf of his elder brollier Kozui in August 1908 to the thirteenth Dalai Lama, who had fled to China on account of Younghusband's invasion of Tibet and was residing at vVutaishan 1i~i1I. In May 1911 Tsawa Tritrul (rTsa ba khri sprul), a high incarnate lama from the Sera Monastery, visited Japan with two attendants and spent almost ninth months under Kozui's wing. It is to be surmised that Kozui, who had been conducting expeditions in Central Asia, first developed an interest in Tibet following an encounter at Gay" in December 1902 with Kawaguchi, who was travelling in the company ofInoue Enryo frJ:J'l T (1858-1919), his former teacher at the Tetsugakukan 11J'J':J!il in Tokyo. 14 Aoki Bunkyo, HimitSlt no /ami: Chibetto yiiki fi>itO)li'j-ii!'iJiii1jQfgC [An account of travels in the secret land of Tibet] (Tokyo: Naigai Shupp an i:kJ:7~tf:l~&, 1920, repr., Tokyo: Chilo Koronsha 'P:9'!:2::~iilit, 1990). This book was also included together with Cbibetto bzmka no shin kenkyzi ii!'iJiii1X{I::O)l'Ji1ilfJE [A new study of Tibetan culture] in Aoki Bunkyo, Cbibetto ii!'iJiii1 [Tibet] (Tokyo: Fuyo Shobo :J!i'l1iim, 1969). Tada Tokan, Cbibetto "J-.AC.-y ~ [Tibet] (Tokyo:



Okuyanza Naoji

the power to ,rectify the entrenched Japanese image of Tibet that had been molded by the first shock occasione,d by Kawaguchi's journey. Kawaguchi's idiosyncratic behavior made the general public in Japan aware of Tibet for the first time, but it also had the effect of constraining the direction of the public's interests. In Japanese, the phrase "the Tibet of ..." is a discriminatory expression referring to a locality within a particular area that is especially backward in transport and communications, and it is probably peculiar to Japan. While it is seldom heard nowadays and is not recorded in the voluminous Nihon kokugo daijiten I=l*OO~*li4' A or Comprehensive Dictionmy of the Japanese Language, it is by no means completely obsoletelS and remains deeply ingrained even today when Tibet has come to be spoken of by the Japanese with a certain degree of nostalgia. The origins of this must be sought in the words and deeds of Kawaguchi, even though this would have been a result unintended by Kawaguchi himself.l6

Tbe Route ofInfection

Kawaguchi's adventures and Otani's dispatch of Aoki and Tada should, however, be regarded not so much as the cause but rather as a result of the "Tibet fever" (Pytlzif netsu )\jGw'\ or Chibetto netsu '7-""';/ }-w,\) that infected MeijiJapanY In the nineteenth century Tibet, wary of other countries, especially Gr~at Britain, . closed its borders and placed strict restrictions on the entry of foreigners. For this reason ~irtually nothing was known in the outside world about conditions inside Tibet, which came to be known as the "secret country," the "forbidden land," or the

Iwanami Shoten :!f;'lBi::I'Ji5, 1942); Tada Tekan and Makino Fumiko iI"lc!l!f::>C=r (eds.), Cbibetto taizai ki 7""':Y f-l1Il':t:E~ [An account of a sojourn in Tibet] (Tokyo: Hakusuisha S7l<t, 1984). 15 Nihon kok"go daijiten ~*@>lilll'*li'f$!.. [Comprehensive dictionary of the Japanese language], 2nd ed. (Tokyo: Shegakukan tl,"jt!'i[, 2000). For example, according to "Hatena: Diary-Hazure nikki" /'A"v~~ (!200401), there are localities throughout Japan referred to as "Tibet." Surprisingly, even Adachi ,!Eft vVard and Machida lIlTs:! City in Tokyo are sometimes referred to as "(the) Tibet (of Tokyo)." In other words, the locality considered to be the most backward in a particular area is deemed to be the "Tibet" of that area. What is more, in many instances the local residents themselves use this expression to refer self-mockingly to where they live. 16 The reassessment of Kawaguchi has made rapid progress since World War II, starting with scientific expeditions to northwestern Nepal by the cultural anthropologist Kawakita Jire )Ii:.s:!=Jl~ and others in the 1950s. Kawaguchi's five-volume Chibetto ryoM ki 7""':Y H~ 1T~ [An account of travels in Tibet] (Tokyo: Kodansha ~fiI'~t, 1978) has become a longs eller, while his voluminous collected works have recently been published (Kawaguchi Ekai chosakushit jiiJJ:1 :ttilii''i1'F~, 1-7 vols. + 3 sep. vols. [lzumozaki-machi 1:f:jg;~IIIT, Niigata: Ushio Shoten ? \.., :lO'I'Ji5, 1998-2004]), and several academic studies of him have also appeared (cf. note 1 above). 17 The term nyitzo netsu is taken from Hatani Ryetai 3J)Ji~Til1i, "Meiji Bukkyo gakusha no kaigai shinshutsu" ~iil{J,~"jt'ltO)m?'~iil:f:j [The overseas forays of Buddhist scholars of the Meiji era], Gendai Bukk)'o m1"(;{J,~ 105 (1933): 103. However, while Hatani dates the rise of Tibet fever to Meiji 26-27(1893-94), it should be considered to have started several years earlier, as mll,be seen below,

The Tibet Feve7- among Japanese Buddhists of the NIeiji Em


"land of mystery," and the interest of explorers, adventurers, scholars, surveyors and also religious figures and dreamers was therefore drawn all the more strongly to Tibet. In late nineteenth-century Japan this interest manifested itself in the form of a "Tibet fever" among Buddhists. There can be little doubt that this fever had its genesis in the fact that two St\ldent-monks by the name of NanjiS Bun'yu ii~j(tt (Bunyiu Nanjio, 1849-1927) and Kasawara Kenju S'tJ)j(liJf~ (1852-83) were sent to England by the Otani ::k:;;S~ branch of the Shin tradition in 1876 and began studying under Max Miiller at Oxford from 1879. Miiller had for some time been convinced that there existed early Sanskrit manuscripts in some of Japan's old temples, and he asked NanjiS and Kasawara to seek them out. NanjiS in turn asked Kurihara Shigefuyu *J)j(:m~ (dates unknown), who was teaching Sanskrit independently at the Otani branch's Ilcuei KyiSkiS 1f~!i&ty, to investigate the matter. In 1877 Kurihara, an assistant translator of the third grade at Higashi Honganji **ffii.Ij'lf, had translated Monier Monier-Williams's Sanskrit NIanual (London, 1868) under the title of Sansllku shifbllnten fzM:l'1>j,j(~, 3 vols. (Kyoto: ShinshU TiSha Honganji KyiSikuka ~**IJR*Jli,lj'lfifk1f~). Together with two collaborators-Kanematsu Kuken ilif0@';{ and Ota Yukei :XSO:f,fi!t-Kurihara visited various ancient temples in Yamato ::k:Ofp, Kawachi iiiJl"l and elsewhere and discovered a Sanskrit manuscript of the Vajracchedikii Pmjiiiipiimmitii written in Shittan ~;I; script at KiSkiji i'iiJJt'lf, palm-leaf manuscripts of the Pmjiiiipiimmitiihrdaya-sz7tm and Unzfeavijayii-niima-dbiim(lf at HiSryliji lti:~~'If, and other manuscripts which he then copied and sent to England. ls On the basis of these valuable materials, Miiller was able to advance the textual study of Buddhist scriptures, and with the collaboration of NanjiS he published in quick succession the Sanskrit texts of the Vajmccbedikii, Larger and Smaller Sllkbiivativyz7ba, Pmjiiiipiimmitiibrdaya-st7tra, and Unzfeavijayii.19 It was only natural that, after his success in Japan, Miiller should have turned his attention to Tibet, and he seems to have conveyed to NanjiS the importance of searching for Sanskrit manuscripts of Buddhist scriptures in Tibet. NanjiS consequently drew up plans to stop off in India on his way home from England, visit Buddhist holy sites, and then cross the Himalayas into Tibet and return to Japan via China. But he was unable to carry out this plan because he hastily returned home via the United States after hearing of his father's death and his foster mother's illness.'o This happened in May 1884, and thereafter Miiller would every now and
18 Cf. F. Max Muller (ed.), Buddhist Texts frOnt Japan (Anecdota Oxoniensia, Texts, Documents, and Extracts chiefly from manuscripts in the Bodleian and other Oxford libraries. Aryan Series, vol. 1, part 1; Oxford: Clarendon Press,1881): 1-12; Batani, "Meiji Buklcy6

gakusha no kaigai shinshutsu," 99.



Because his pulmonary tuberculosis was getting progressively worse, in 1882 Kasawara returned to Japan and died the following year. Cf. F. Max Muller, "The Late Kenju Kasawara," The Jozt17JaI oftbe Pali Text Society (1889): 69-75 20 Cf. Nanj6 Bun'yii, "N6mi Yutalca shi yukeri" !jg{iij:1I:A;Jli[lt ~ [N6mi Yutaka passes away], Sbin Bulekyo If!f{Lil'J( 6-9 (1905): 664 and Kai"yzIToleu: Sansulwz-itto "otobajime 't\%IB*lZ-Y /77 Y v rli'fti1it.J [Reminiscences: The beginnings of Sanskrit studies] (Tokyo: Beibonsha 1JLJ1A, 1979): 170-172; N6mi Yutalca Tsuiokukai ~~{iij:1I:iilt~~ (ed.), Nomi Yutaka iko ~~{iij:1I: iiHIii [Posthumous writings of N6mi Yutaka] (Kyoto: Shinshii Otani Daigaku 1917, repr., Tokyo: Satsuki Shob6 ]iJl~m, 1998): 239-240.



Olcuyama Nao)i

again in his letters to Nanja urge him to undertake an expedition to Tibet. 21 Nanja forever regretted the fact that he had been unable to fulfill his former teacher's fervent wish, and whenever the opportunity arose he expounded on the importance of sending an expedition to Tibet. From among those who were directly or indirectly influenced by his exhortations there emerged a succession of people who aspired to go to Tibet, thereby creating a situation that came to be lmown as "Tibet fever."" In January 1887 Nanja suddenly departed on a trip to India, and after visiting various places in Ceylon and India, he went on to Shanghai, from where he made a visit to Mount Tiantai 3C#rli, returning to Japan in May. His account of this voyage includes the following passage: The one matter for regret was that my plan to go from Shanghai via Tianjin and Beijing to Mount Wutai, and then finally enter Tibet [from Sichuan], study in Lhasa, look for Sanskrit scriptures, cross the Himalayas to Darjeeling, and come out once again in Calcutta carne to nothing. 23

21 This was pointed out on the basis of Miiller's correspondence with Nanja contained in Nan}o sensei ibo if~'d'C:i:m'5 [vVritings of Professor Nanja] (Kyoto: Otani Daigaku *'b~ *"i':, 1942) by Murakami Mamoru HJ:~I, Kaze no U7na: Cbibetto guM den J!\O).~-i!'li1i!l*it.; Ii'< [Rlung rta: Tales of searching for the Dharma in Tibet] (Tokyo: Kosei Shuppansha IXM tI:J),/l(1'i, 1998): 75-78, and Emoto Yoshinobu iI;$:J!l;i$, Nomi Yutaka: Cbibetto ni kieta tabibito ~~,ljij'Jt-TA:,y Hclll;tt;::!il'iA [Nomi Yutaka: The traveller who vanished in Tibet] (Tokyo: Kyuryuda *il!I1it, 1999): 54-60. 22 The first installment of the anonymous "Chiberto jijo" ID'ii1i!l:;Jl=HI' [The situation in Tibet], published in fourteen installments in the Yimlill1'i Sbinbzt1l Wt;'iCjfJiIl!l from 3 June 1903 commented on Nanjo's role in this area in the following terms: "The Rev. Nanja Bun'yii, the leading Buddhist scholar in Japan, studied under Dr. Max 1vliiller and learnt of the great value of the Tibetan Tripipka, and after returning to Japan he vigorously propounded this view, whereupon all of a sudden there were many in monastic society who craved for knowledge about Tibet and eventually aspired to knock at that gate and gain a glimpse of the secret truth. [... ] They were all monlcs who had been directly or indirectly inspired by the Rev. Nanjo." Nanjo also heads the list ofJapanese planning to go to Tibet mentioned by Senda Gaknnin Ii 1it"i':A (otherwise known as Furukawa Rosen ti"Mog) II), "Chibetto Buldtyo no tanken" IDli1i!l{L l\'l(O)~jfri [The exploration of Tibetan Buddhism], in Rosen ileo ~) IIJtflii [Posthumous writings of (Furukawa) Rasen], ed. Sugimura Kotaro t'-HJ1:*~~ (Tokyo: Bukkyo Seito Doshikai {Ll\'l( jlfjiEl1ilJ0"i'::, 1901): 185-186, and by Takashima Beiho ~',*i*" "Nomi Yutaka lmn 0 itamu" !~iJjfJU!""'I'$'tr [Mourning Nomi Yutaka], Sbin Bukk)'o ::fiJi{Ll\'l( 6-9 (1905): 668. But Nanja himself was later to emphasize rather tlle role of the Temperance Association in the interest in going to Tibet: "Around that time there was at the Bungakuryo Jt"i':~ [actually Futsu Kyako w;l!j(tJi'] a dub called the Temperance Association (Hanseikai B:1!l'''i'::), which promoted teetotalism and also greatly encouraged the study of Buddhist Sanskrit texts, and it was probably because of this that there arose a great groundswell of interest in Buddhist sites in India and the exploration of Tibet. Nomi already had at that time a great ambition to explore Tibet." (Nomi Yutaka ikif, 239). 2l "Orukotto shi no shokan" ;!"Jl..':c1,y ~B;;O)ti'* [Olcott's letters], Reicbikai Zassbi %fP "i'::1tilZ 46 (1887): 53-54. On Nanjo's plan to enter Tibet via Sichuan and on the reasons for the abandonment of his trip, see "Nanja Bun'yii shi kicho" if5f,Jt4l~i!i'Jiil\!.Il [The Ven. Nanjo Bun'yii returns, to Japan], Reicbileai Zassbi 38 (1887): 163.

The Tibet Fever among Japanese Buddhists ofthe Meiji Era


Nanja had not lost his desire to carry out the mission of going to Tibet via China to look for Sanskrit manuscripts, bequeathed to him by his mentor Miiller.24 But this trip of his had been impulsive and lacked proper planning, and had he attempted to enter Tibet Nanja might never have returned; fourteen years before his pupil Nami Yutaka lii:l#!f:Jt (1868-1901?) disappeared without trace in the interior of China's Yunnan province. It was just as well that Nanja's plan came to nothing.

A Periad afFeverishness
With Nanja acting as the pyrogen, Tibet fever broke out in Japanese Buddhist circles from around the start of the third decade of the Meiji era (1887).25 Shortly. after his return to Japan, Nanja became professor at Otani College in Tokyo and part-time lecturer in Sanskrit at Tokyo Imperial University, and because he was regarded as a new authority on Sanskrit and Buddhist studies in Japan, he wielded considerable influence. Another fact that cannot be overlooked is that many of those who went on to make plans for visiting Tibet under the direct or indirect influence ofNanja also had links to either or both of two new private Buddhist colleges, namely, the Futsii Ky6ka 'lflffifY:13l in Kyoto run by Nishi Honganji (established in 1885 and closed in 1888) and the Tetsugakukan rg'lti'ir in Tokyo founded by Inoue Enrya it..I:fIlT in 1887 (and now known as Toyo University), For example, Kawaguchi was one of the first batch of students at the Tetsugakukan (though he joined midway through the year), while Nami spent one year at the Futsii Kyaka and then entered the Tetsugakukan after a period at Keia Gijuku. Both of these colleges possessed a progressive ethos, and they attracted many Buddhists who were passionate about reviving and reforming Buddhism. In addition, the Temperance Association (Hanseikai J.)(:1!j'~) formed within the Futsii Kyaka, in 1886 and its journal Hanseikai Zasshi J.)(:~~~i!i1i continued to act as opinion leaders in Buddhist circles even after the closing of the Futsii Kyaka. One subject that was discussed with particular fervour in these circles was the investigation of the true life and teachings of Sa:kyamuni, the starting point of Buddhism. This was a new issue that had arisen under the stimulus of Oriental studies in the West. In the history of Buddhism in modern Japan, the thirty years from about
24 A letter from Millier to Nanjo dated 30 July 1884 contains the following passage: "I hear that Mr. Bendall [Cecil Bendall, 1856-1907] is going to Nepal and possibly to Tibet to look for Sanskrit MSS. Do not forget that at some later time you might do something useful by going to Tibet through China. I do not mean at present, but after some years." (Na17jo sen-

sei ibo, 25-26).

25 An early example was Shaku Unsho J!R~1!l\ (1827-1909) of the Shingon tradition. In a letter dated 30 Nov. 1886 and addressed to his disciple Shaku Kozen J!R~?t., whom he had sent to Ceylon for study, he describes plans for a journey to Ceylon, India and Tibet; se~ Kusanagi Zengi :1jI:~::1i: (ed.), Shaku Umbo J!R~~1l (Tokyo: Tokukyokai {iIlIffi;Si, 1914): vo!' 2, 33. Although this plan was not put into practice, it was the same as Nanja's earlier plan and als9 similar to the travel plans oflater Japanese students in Ceylon and India, to be touched on below. Unsho had close contact with Nanjo, and the latter's influence on his plans is undeniable.


Okuyama Naoji

1887 to 1917 can in one respect be defined as a period of study and explor~tion in Asia by Buddhists. This Zeitgeist was linked to the establishment of modern Buddhist studies in Japan, and it also constituted part of the movement to reform Japanese Buddhism. Buddhist studies in Japan underwent a great transformation through the adoption of the methods ofIndian and Buddhist studies in the West, and this opened the way for Japanese Buddhists to explore the teachings of Sakyamuni, which represented the starting point of Buddhism. As is the case with many other religions, for Buddhism the return to its origins and the reform of current conditions were two sides of the same coin. This is why the establishment of modern Buddhist studies did not just represent the reform of a single academic discipline, but was able to turn into a Buddhist reform movement, and it was an important element in a struggle in which the revitalization of Buddhism, regardless of sectarian differences, was at stake. It was for this reason, it could be said, that promising young Buddhists threw themselves one after another into this task At the same time, as adherents of Mahayana Buddhism, they hoped to discover, in some part of Asia where Buddhism had formerly flourished, evidence to disprove the thesis, propounded by Eugene Burnouf and other European Orientalists, that the Mahayana had not been taught by the historical Buddha. The Tibet fever was the most radical manifestation of this, and for Japanese Buddhism the investigation of Tibetan Buddhism held the hope that it might become a trump card in helping it regain its former position. 26 In addition, many of these people, reflecting the current of the times, were nationalists, and when they betook themselves to other Buddhist countries in Asia they became pan-Asianists, advocating international solidarity founded on Buddhism. Although these people left their mark in both the West and the Orient, of prime importance in connection with Tibet were the movements of those who went to Ceylon and India to learn Sanskrit and Pali and to study the precepts ofTheravada Buddhism. Known at the time as "students in India," they regularly provided Japan with information about South Asia, and by doing so they became one of the sources not only of the craze for studying in Ceylon and India but also of Tibet fever. The first Japanese Buddhist to go to Ceylon for the purpose of study was Shaku K6zen ~~?t.i (1849-1924) of the Shingon tradition, who left Japan in September 1886. In March of the following year Shaku S6en ~*iJi[ (1859-1919) of the Rinzai tradition 1li\i;jj1f* also arrived in Ceylon. They were followed in 1888-89 by monl{.5 from various branches of the Shin tradition, namely, Yoshitsura H6gen n:!i;~ (1865-1893) of the Bukk6ji {b.;Jt~ branch, Higashi Onj6 Jll:1.! (1867~1893), and Tokuzawa Chiez6 jt\R.~~~ (1871-1908) of the Honganji branch, Koizumi Ry6tai Ih~T~* (1851-1938) of the J6sh6ji ~jffi~ branch, Asakura Ry6sh6 fJlkTi (18561910; Koizumi's younger brother) of the Otani branch, and Kawakami Teishin )11
26 Okuyama Naoji, "Dogi Horyu to Chibetto" 1l:1tll~cT""v I- [Dogi Horyu and Tibet], KztmoguSlt Kenk:J~t l!~liJf~ 3 (2001): 206-211. Cf. Furukawa Rosen E!liiiJ~) II, "Chibetto Bukkyo no tanlcen," in Rosen iko, ed. Sugimura Kotaro, 168-180; id., "Daijo hibussetsu mondai" **~F{b.iill.rR~~ [The issue concerning whether or not Mahayana was taught by the historical Buddha], in Rosen iko, 168-180.

The Tibet Fevez' among Japanese Buddhists of the iVleiji Em


J:.tH~ (1864-1922) of the Honganji branch. Tokuzawa, Koizumi, Asakura, and Kawakami accompanied Henry S. Olcott (1832-1907) and Dharmapala Hewavitarana (1864-1933) of the Theosophical Society on their return to Ceylon after their first visitto Japan in 1889.27 There is evidence that the monks of the Shin tradition discussed amongst themselves, as their next objective, plans to cross over to India and from there go on to explore Tibet. This can be inferred from the fact that Yoshitsura, Koizumi, Higashi, and Kawakami, who are known to have had a definite desire to go to Tibet, all had very similar plans, as will be seen below. There can at least be little doubt that they shared information and views about Tibet. They began to take concrete steps towards entering Tibet in 1890. An editorial in Hanseikai Zassbi 5.7 (pp. 1-7), published on 10 July of this year and entitled "vVhat We Wish of Those Studying in India," called upon these students in Ceylon to find and gather as many of the original texts of the Mahayana scriptures as possible, and, as if acting in response to this, they began to move away from the tropical island of Ceylon in the direction of the Himalayas and beyond." In his diary (held by Busshoji {b~\l4', Fukui t~fr City) Yoshitsura had already noted in an entry for 29 January 1889 that "in the evening I went to Vidyodaya Pirivel).a and discussed going to Tibet," and it is evident that he was from quite an early stage intent on going there. Koizumi fell in with Yoshitsura's ideas, although it is not known when, and plans were made to "set out from Ceylon at the end of this year (1890) and on the way home enter deep into the interior ofIndia, pass through Nepal, Kashmir and Tibet, and arrive in Japan in Mayor June of next year.,,29 But in November 1890 the Japanese Navy's training ships Hiei J:ttz and Kongo iE[l/,]1j called at Colombo en route to Istanbul to repatriate the survivors of the Ottoman

27 On the circumstances of these monks who went to Ceylon, see Okuyama Naoji, "Rank. no hasso: Meiji nijunendai zenhan no Indo ryiigakuso no jiseki" 7/jJ-(7))\.(j;i-1jJj It=+{~i\fJ'F(7)~PIJ!'1ll''Jt(j;i(7)**J' [The eight monks of Lailka: The achievements of studentmonks in India in the first half of the third decade of the Meiji era], in Buk/')'o Bzmlea Galelwi jussbztnen, Hiijo Kenzo habsbi leoki kinen Z"onbnnsbzt: Indogakn shosbiso to sana slnten iL!l'&y{r:'Jt *+Ji'D"f' . ~U~';f:=:.m1J$rilc~'iliY:ll>-.-( /F'Jtil1f!/"!j;l",i::{-(7)Ji'D31f [Collected articles in commemoration of the lO'h anniversary of the Society for the Study of Buddhist Culture and the 70,h birthday of Dr. Hojo Kenzo: The philosophies ofIndology and their periphery], ed. Bukkyo Bunka Gakkai jusshUnen, Hojo Kenzo hakushi koki kinen ronbunshu kankokai ijjl!l'& Y{r:'Jt*+Ji'D"f'~t(,!fiJEt1\t1J$;~~,iliy:ll>fiJ1T* (Tokyo: Sankibo Busshorin 0J~m{jjl.;j;f:, 2004): 89-106. 28 Their initial purpose in going to Tibet was thus to look for and collect Buddhist Sanskrit manuscripts, and later the collection of Tibetan scriptures, centered on the Tibetan canon, was added to this. 29 "Ryoryiigakusei no kicho" iffil1ll''J!:1:(7)11i\Ji!Jj [The return home of two students], HanseiIwi Zassbi 5.11 (1890): 34. On their travels plans, see also "Zai-Indo Nihon ryugakuso no kirrkyo ippan" 1'E~PIJ!'S*1ll''Jtij;i(7)JlIiJ/.-liII [Recent news of Japanese student-monks in India], Dento ii<~ 9 (1890): 15; Oyama Takanosuke ;k:0J1\!I:;;:>:)l-, Tonlko kaleai kiji JfJl;;~il:fflj"ilc* [An account of a voyage to Turkey] (Tokyo: Oyama Takanosuke, 1892): 33 (repr., NIeiji Sbi1"!de" TOdo tanken kikObun sbzlsei IjJjltC/!v) 0 - F~i1i*21TY:lI>J1l(; [Collected travel writings on the exploration of the Silk Road during the iVIeiji era], vol. 10, Tokyo: Yumani Shobo og,;:H==ii'm, 1988).


Oku:ya71la Naoji

battleship Ertztgntl, which had in September been wrecked in the vicinity of Cape Kashino tJl'l!llf of Oshima Island ;kJ!, (Wakayama Prefecture), and the fate of these two Japanese monks was irreversibly changed. Following negotiations with crew members, permission was granted for two Buddhist missionaries to accompany the ships as far as Istanbul, and Yoshitsura and Koizumi were chosen for this mission. They promptly changed their plans, boarded the ships and, after reaching Istanbul, went via Paris to London and as far as Oxford. Then, on returning to Paris, at the request of Emile Guimet they performed the Shin tradition's Manko 1l.\'iI,~l1!' service at the Musee Guimet, after which they boarded a passenger vessel at Marseilles and arrived back in Ceylon at the end of NIarch 1891.30 Yoshitsura then joined the Kango, which had called once again at Colombo on its return voyage, and arrived back in Japan in May, while Koizumi, after visiting Buddhagaya together with Asakura, returned to Japan in June. Perhaps because he had overexerted himself while overseas, Yoshitsura died of illness two years later. In April 1891 Higashi moved from Ceylon to the headquarters of the Theosophical Society at Adyar on the outskirts of Madras (present-day Chennai), where he studied Sanslait. He later moved on to Bombay (present-day Mumbai), where he too died of illness in September 1893, two months after Yoshitsura's death in Japan. Consequently he was unable to carry out his plans to set out in September or October of the same year on a journey to collect ancient Buddhist Sanslait manuscripts, during the course of which he intended to reside in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata) until late February or March of the following year to copy Sanslait manuscripts held by the library of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and then, having waited for the snows to thaw, smuggle himself into Kathmandu, where he would wait for the right opportunity to cross the Himalayas into Tibet, examine the Buddhist Sanslait manuscripts held by the Dalai Lama in Lhasa, and return to Japan via Mongolia and China.3l Kawakami, meanwhile, left Ceylon in January 1893 and, passing through Adyar, went to Calcutta University. He too cherished a desire to go to Lhasa and there study the religion of Tibet under the Dalai Lama.12 After having attended Higashi's

)0 For details of their journey, see Chiba Joryii T**'!!', "1891 nen, Pari no hoonko" 18914'. /'V O)~.\'i!.mI' [The Hoonko service in Paris, 1891], in Shinran no Bukkyo: Nalwnishi Chikai sensei leannlei kinen l"onbunsbii m:iii'O){L~-'Pi1!f,,Iiii'5'ciii!Mil~~~ili;Jt:ll; [Shinran's Buddhism: Collected articles in commemoration of the 60,h birthday of Professor Nakanishi Chikai], ed. Nakanishi Chikai sensei kanreki kinen ronbunshii kankokai (Kyoto: Nagata Bunshodo 7kS3JtI:llt, 1994): 799-817; Okuyama, "Rank. no hasso.," 95-98. )1 Cf. Furukawa Rosen, "Boyii Higashi Onjo kun seizen no keikaku" t:ioIUlililtsiltr O)iltilID [The plans of my late friend Higashi Onjo], Bnld')'o {L~ 94 (1894): 20-22. 32 "Butsumon no Fukushima chiisa" {LF~G'Ytj.l'.\'P1E:: [A Buddhist Lieutenant Colonel Fukushima], Hanseikai Zassbi 8.3 (1893): 1-2. Even prior to this there had been reports of his "resolve" to conduct research on Buddhist scriptures and religion in Bhutan, Nepal, and Kashmir and return home after having undertaken further investigations in Tibet, Manchuria, Mongolia, and Beijing; see "Kaigai Bukkyoto no shosoku" ~7HL~1iEO)IJ!j,!l!, [News of Buddhists abroad], Honseikai Zasshi 6.4 (1891): 31. For these two references I am indebted to Komoto Yasuko ~*mt'i'-, "Nomi Yutaka Sekai ni okent BuHyoto ni miru Chibetto kan" ~~Iiii'1:!:

The Tibet Fever among Japanese Buddhists of the Meiji Era


deathbed in September and conducted the funeral service, Kawakami went to Darjeeling to make preparations for a trip to Tibet, and while in Darjeeling he was looked after by S. C. Das. Owing to a lack of source materials, there is much about Kawakami's overseas movements that is unclear, and almost nothing is known of his activities around this time. But it is to be surmised that he studied Tibetan, probably at the monastery Yigah Choling (Yid dga' chos gling) in Ghum near Darjeeling, while waiting for an opportunity to enter Tibet, as Kawaguchi was to do some years later. Kawaguchi may in fact be described as a second Kawakami. After persevering for more than three years,'l Kawakami eventually gave up any thoughts of entering Tibet from this direction and returned to Japan in 1897, the same year in which Kawaguchi embarked on his journey. Thus, the attempts made by Japanese students in Ceylon and India to _enter Tibet during the 1890s all ended in failure, and_ it was Nami Yutaka of the Otani branch of the Shin tradition who, in view of this poor outcome, set out to enter Tibet from China. l4 He was probably one of the first to aspire to go to Tibet, but was slow in making a start, and fmally managed to set out in November 1898, one year and five months after Kawaguchi's departure. In Dajianlu fTW1lt (Dar rtse mdo; present-day Kangding ~:lE in Ganzi ttT5: Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan) he met up with Teramoto Enga ~*~~ (1872-1940), also oithe Otani branch, who had with similar intentions been studying Tibetan at the Tibetan temple Yonghegong ~f.~'8 in Beijing, and they proceeded to Litang ~:IJ1f (Li
Ii'i!tJ'l-f;:;bH)r.,{l.~fiEJJ f;:J\l.r.,'T":Y Hill. [The view of Tibet to be seen in Nami Yutaka, Buddhists around the wodd], Sekibii 1'11 9 (2003): 60-62.
J3 It is to be surmised, however, that he did not remain in Darjeeling all this time, but moved back and forth between Darjeeling and Calcutta depending on the seas-on, as well as conducting field trips to other parts of India. He is known to have visited Burma (Myanmar) and Kashmir, and in June-July 1896 he appears to have gone as far as Istanbul. C Shirasu Jashin s~lt~, "Shin Saiikiki mishiirokn shirya no shutsngen ni tsuite: Ito Dogetsu, Ashikaga Zuigi, Watanabe Tesshin no Uehara Yoshitara e no henshin" Ii'tfiWl:!lG~cJJ *liJ(~5I:**O)Il~j!K -::lit Yl-fJriiiiJiil~ . .lE:fJjJffii~ . i~illt&~O)J:Jjj()'5';;t$!~"O)il&{~ [On the emergence of historical sources not included in New reC01m of tbe Westem real",s: The replies of Ito Dogetsu, Ashikaga Znigi and Watanabe Tesshin to Uehara Yoshitaro], Honganji ShilyO Kenkyztjoho *1ll!~5I:**liJf~ mlt 7.8 (1994): 11-12. 34 In a memoir written in 1897 and entitled "Yo to Chibetto" Tr-Wjt [Tibet and I], Nami wrote that because not one of the students in India had achieved their goal of entering Tibet, "I finally decided to make an attempt vi.a the route from Sichuan province in China out of a desire to resolve in the field the question of whether or not I could actually manage to enter Tibet." Cf. Okuyama, Hyiiden, 109. As background factors in Nomi's decision to head for Tibet via China mention must also be made of the influence of Nanja, who had himself considered entering Tibet from Sichuan, and of the fact that the Otani branch had since the time of Ogurusu Kocho 1j'*fl'iWlJ[ (1831-1905), a pioneer in this field, been actively engaged in proselytizing activities in China and had a high level of interest in Tibetan Buddhism that was being practised there. Cf. Suwa Gijo WiW~~, "Hikyo no hozo ni idonda Higashi Honganji no Chibetto tanken" ~l!!J!tO)$jtf;::jjJslvt~JIt*Ill!~O)Wjt~~ [The expeditions to Tibet by Higashi Honganji in search of a Dharma-treasury in a secret land], Chligai Nippo (21 Jan. 1958) and "Higashi Honganji-ha no Chibetto tanken ni tsnite" Ji[*Ill!~IffiO)Wjt~~f;:JM:1t 'c [On the Higashi Honganji branch's expeditions to Tibet], Tokai Bukkyo Ji[m{f,.~ 4 (1958): 17-18.


0lw:yama Naoji

thang) and Batang c~ (,Ba' thang), where the local official refused to cooperate. As a result they were forced to make their way back to Dajianlu. Shortly afterwards Teramoto left for Chongqing and returned to Japan the following year. Nomi spent the winter in Dajianlu and from the following spring made two unsuccessful attempts to enter Tibet via Qinghai and Yunnan. In April 1901 he sent his last letter from Dali while attempting to enter Eastern Tibet by following the Jinshajiang ~lYiI upstream from Lijiang ,iij;iI, and nothing more was heard ofhim. 35 One year after Nomi's departure from Japan, Kawakami went into action once again. Since his return to Japan he had been teaching Sanskrit at Nishi Honganji's Bungakuryo :lC:~, but in 1899 he resigned and became an overseas student of Nishi Honganji, going this time to Beijing in December of the same year in order to make another attempt at entering Tibet. It may be assumed that his aim was to follow the same course as Nomi and Teramoto and try to enter Tibet from the Chinese interior. But once again he failed to achieve his long-cherished goal, for he was caught up in the Boxer Uprising that broke out the following summer and was confined to the Japanese Legation in Beijing during the siege of foreign legations. His plans to go to Tibet would seem to have been abandoned. 36 Meanwhile, after having parted with Nomi in Dajianlu, Teramoto had returned to Japan in April 1900. Then in August, during the Boxer Uprising, he was appointed interpreter for the headquarters of the 5'h Hiroshima Division at the recommendation of Higashi Honganji and accompanied the troops to Beijing. In September he visited the monasteries of Huangsi Jil''i'f and Zifuyuan ~t1i\m, still bearing the scars of tlle uprising, and discovered in their pillaged ruins a copy of the Tibetan canon and other works, which he purchased and brought back to Japan with the army's assistance, thereby accomplishing something that no one had previously managed to do. l7 In September 1901 the A kya Khutukhtu (Blo bzang bstan pa'i dbang phyug bsod nams rgya mtsho, 1871-1909), the greatest living Buddha of Kumbum Monastery (Ta'ersi fi\'f:f:f'i'f) in Qinghai 1ifiilf, and one of the Khutukhtu's residing at Yonghegong, arrived in Japan with seven attendants under the guidance of Teramoto and Okochi


35 At this time Batang was under the direct jurisdiction of the Dalai Lama, which means that Nomi and Teramoto were the first Japanese to enter Tibet. But since their goal was Lhasa, this would have been little consolation to them, especially in the case of Nomi, who disappeared without trace. J6 . There is circulating among Kawakami's relatives a story that prior to the Boxer Uprising Kawakami, disguised as a Chinese merchant, managed to travel some distance inland but was exposed and came close to being attacked, whereupon he hurried back to Beijing. So far no evidence to corroborate this testimony has been discovered. 37 This copy of the Tibetan canon was first discovered by Kawakami, but it appears that because he returned to Japan after the Boxer Uprising, Teramoto gained all the credit. Cf. a letter from Nanjo to Teramoto postmarked 3 Sept., Meiji 34 (1901) in Teramoto Enga and Yokochi Shogen ;fJi<{!Jt'f-JJj( (eds.), Z077Z0 tabi nikki Jill1~JJiHl\G Uournals of travels in Tibet and Mongolia] (Tokyo: Fuyo Shabo, 1974): 336-337. The Tibetan canon and other works were sent to Japan in 1901, and a photo facsimile version of the Tibetan canon donated to Shinshu University (present-day Otani University) was subsequently published under the title Eiin Pellin-ban Chibetto daizokyo j!;I'P:ltffiItRWJill1:kJill1;\l [The Peking edition of the Tibetan Tripi,aka] (Suzuki Gakujutsu Zaidan ~j';*"ltj,WI!1IJl, 1955-61).

The Tibet Fever among Japanese Buddbists of tbe kIeiji Em


Shilyii :kmfkJ3lJtt, a missionary of the Otani branch stationed in Beijing. This visit was the result of considerable efforts on the part of Teramoto and Okochi, and its purpose was reportedly to express thanks for the protection that the Yonghegong had received from Japanese troops during the Boxer Uprising the previous year and to do some sightseeing.JS During the course of about twenty days the party visited Kyoto and Tokyo and was received by the Otani branch and other Buddhist traditions and organizations. Their reception in Tokyo was hosted by the East Asia Buddhist Society (Toa Bukkyolcai ~ijlH.L~~), a pan-Asian Buddhist organization that had been established only that same year by Tanaka Hiroyuki ~CP5Lz (Shashin Koji *~ J,5, 1862-1934) and others. The arrival of a high-ranking incarnate lama of Tibetan Buddhism created a Tibet boom among Buddhists in Japan. But this invitation also embodied a thinly veiled intention, largely political in nature, to look for ways in which Japan, with Buddhism serving as a basis, might form a partnership with China, Inner Mongolia, Manchuria (present-day northeastern China), and Tibet, and this drew criticism as well: "There are some who say that it is ridiculous for Buddhists to run around making a great fuss as if they were diplomats.,,39 It was during this period that there surfaced another form of involvement by the Japanese with Tibet, that is, political and religious cooperation between Japan and the sphere of Lamaism, encompassing Tibet, Manchuria, and Inner Mongolia. In fact, Teramoto was a central figure in this type of scheming, and there was a similar element in Otani Kozui's subsequent relations with the Dalai Lama's administration. The A kya Khutukhtu and his party left for home at the start of August, and they were accompanied as far as Beijing by Oda Tokuno ~llIt~11}il[j (1860-1911) and Matsue Kentetsu ti:iIWTi! (dates unknown) of the Otani branch. Oda in particular is said to have had plans to enter Tibet for the purpose of studying Buddhist scriptures, and this would seem to have been something to which he had aspired ever since going to Bangkok in Siam (Thailand) to study in 1888 to 1890, when he still went by the name ofIkuta 1:~.40 But after little more than a month, Oda and Matsue returned to Japan. According to Oda, this was because the A kya Khutulchtu's visit to Japan had attracted the attention of other countries, leading to speculation that it might have been politically or diplomatically motivated, and they were advised by a Japanese politician to return to Japan for the time being.'!

38 "Akya futokuto (3)" 'iiJJ!!;IIIEl:l':':1El (:=:) [The A kya Khutukhtu (3)], Ya71Zato Shinbzt72 CI i:Jj Il'IfJir.ll15 Ouly 1901); "Ramakyi5 ihi5" ,*IJn.!i&~R [News of Lamaism], DentiJ242 (1901): 32. J9 DentiJ243 (1901): 28. See also the critical views ofIkeda Tsunetari51t!lrE1tA~B, special correspondent for the Jiji SbinpiJ in Beijing, quoted in "Gaiki5gan ni eizuru Buklcyi5 no gokai" 7~3ZiIlU::I!9cT~{b!i&0)~~~ [Buddhism's misunderstanding as it appears to the eyes of diplomats], DentiJ246 (1901): 3.1-33. 40 There is a passage hinting at this in Ni5mi's "Yo to Chibetto"; see Okuyama, HyiJden,


"Yi5walcyiiri no seikatsu (1) (Oda Tokuni5 shi danpen)" fitfp't1l!0)1'15 (-) (l~rE1~~5~ijj [Life in Yonghegong (1) (Conversations with the Rev. Oda Tokuni5)], Yamato Sbinbzt1Z (12 Sept. 1901). Oda and Matsue bronght back with them to Japan a lama by the name of Boerjie tw: jjj',T/f (a.k.a. INang Ciyun :E~:l!lt), the younger brother of the Rambo Lama ofYonghegong, who stayed at Oda's temple in Tokyo and studied Japanese untilJune of the following year.



Okztyama Naoji

As can be seen in the above, up until the start of the twentieth century a considerable nuritber of Japanese had announced their intention to participate in the race to reach the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.4' Among contemporary Buddhists, visiting Tibet was regarded as "a long-cherished aspiration of the Japanese," 43 and there was an air of expectancy as they waited to see who would be the first to succeed. It was in these circumstances that news arrived of Kawaguchi's entry into Tibet,44 and we have already seen how his stories of his journey created a Tibet fever in Japanese society that went well beyond the confines of Buddhism. After Kawaguchi's "great achievement" Japan's enthusiasm for Tibet abated somewhat. But this did not put an end to the steady stream of people aiming to visit Tibet,45 and'Teramoto, too, continued with his scheming. In 1905, claiming to be a Mongol disciple of the A kya Khutnkhtn, he reached Lhasa via Qinghai and after a brief stay went on to India. In December 1933, on hearing news of the thirteenth Dalai Lama's death, he recalled his own maneuverings in the following manner:
I made various efforts, thinking that I would like to have the Dalai Lama see Japan and bring about the start of diplo'matic relations between Japan and Tibet, and entertaining this goal I made a detour through Mongolia and entered Tibet from the hinterlands of Kokonor, during which time I made approaches to the Dalai Lama and had him annul the X-Tibet Treaty.46 Then in Meiji 40 (1907) I led the Dalai Lama from the shores of Kokonor to Wutaishan in Shanxi province, China, and in the summer of [Meiji] 41 (1908) brought him to Beijing, where he had an audience with the Empress Dowager. In accorda'nce with our earlier secret agreement it had been arranged to have him see Japan, but because the then Uapanese] Minister [in China], Ijmn [Hikokichi] "~)\;[f,ts] (1864-1924), disregarded the agree42 As of August 1901, the following people were, according to SaW Dokusha ~,l'iJ!l! (Kaha J't*l<, dates unknown), planning to go to Tibet but had yet to set forth: Okachi Shiiyii, Teramoto Enga, Kawaguchi Ekai, Nami Yutaka, Matsue Kentetsu, Shirao Giyii S ~~:!c and Oda Tokuna. SaW also touches on their precursors Higashi Onja and Kawakami Teishin, and considers Tibet to have been a secondary objective of Ura Keiichi im'\JJI:-, who disappeared without trace after setting out alone on an expedition to Xinjiang in 1889. See SaW Dokusha, "Chibetto jija no jo" WillG:jJl:'[WO))'f: [An introduction to the situation in Tibet], Dentii247 (1901): 17. '3 Fujishima Tangaku ,l'i,Jll,n!l.ffi, "Ramakyo ni tsuite" JJiIlJU.~f~~-C [About Lamaism], Dent0243 (1901): 7. 44 ~fter he succeeded in entering Tibet, Kawaguchi often entrusted merchants going to India with letters for His family and friends in Japan, and it is likely that the first of these letters to reach Japan was one written in West Tibet and dated 17 Aug. 1900, which reached Japan via S. C. Das. It was printed in the Meikyii Shinshi 1J!l~f.liWci 4579 (8 Jan, 1901), under the title "Chibetto ni okeru nihon saryo no raikan" WillGf~;OHTQa*{(!j{:SO)*~ [A letter from a Japanese monk in Tibet]. 45 Forinstance, in 1901 the Shingon monk SaW Kabo (or Dokusha) went to China with the aim of going to Tibet, and after having studied Tibetan Buddhism at the Yonghegong he went as far as Darjeeling in 1903 via Ceylon, but he did not succeed in entering Tibet. On the interest in Tibet among Shingon monks, see Okuyama, "Dogi Haryii to Chibetto," which discusses the case ofDogi (Toki) Haryii (1854-1923) . 6 The ce'lsored word was most probably "Russia."

The Tibet Feve1- among Japanese Buddhists ofthe Meiji Era

ment with the Dalai Lama out of apprehensions about diplomatic relations with Great Britain and Russia, the sightseeing in Japan ended up being cancelled. This Japanese sightseeing was to be no mere pleasure tour of Japan as an extension of our past friendly relations, but had diplomatic implications of profound siguificance. Because I had plans for the everlasting growth of East and West in addition to achieving friendship and happiness for both countries, it was truly a matter of immense regret that my intense efforts over ten years, that through these international relations the Japanese people as world saviors might raise their national flag-the Rising Sun of their ideals-on the summit of the Himalayas, should have come completely to naught, and at . the time I even made an attempt to stab the Minister.47


Careful cOlToborative investigations will be necessary to determine the extent to which these words, which one might be tempted to describe as mere bombast, are actually true, but there can be little doubt that they include some intriguing information regarding the inside history of modern Japan's relations with Asia.48

The Fever Cools'

In September 1912 and August 1913 Aoki Bunkyo and Tada Tokan, at the behest of Otani Kozui and with the consent of the Dalai Lama, violated the Frontier Rule established by the Indian government and entered Tibet from India. Otani is said to have had plans to form a Buddhist alliance between Japan and Tibet.49 Around the same time Kawaguchi, who had since November 1904 been living in India and Nepal, also got into action again. In January 1914 he reached Shigatse (gZhis ka rtse), where he was received by the sixth (or ninth) Panchen Lama (Blo bzang chos kyi nyi rna, 1883-1937), and in August he arrived in Lhasa, where he met Aoki, Tada, and Yajima Yasujiro 5c!;f?-&~~ (1882-1963), who had entered Tibet from India inJune 1912 and was training Tibetan During this second visit to Tibet Kawaguchi received a manuscript copy of tlle Kangyur section of the Tibetan canon from the Dalai Lama,sl and in July 1916 a "Darai rama no shi 0 itamu: Tanidai, Teramoto kyoju kaikyUdan" liJlilim/ilJ.O)9E~'I:\itp [Mourning the death of the Dalai Lama: Reminiscences of Professor Teramoto of Otani University], Chiigai Nippii (22 Dec. 1933). 48 See the project of Dalai Lama's visit to Japan, KokuryUkai ,\i}~~ (ed.), Toa Senkaku shishi kiden Jil:!lR5GJtit~fZi; [Chronicles of Oriental pioneers and loyalists) 3 vols. (Tokyo: Kokuryiikai shuppanbu ~~~ilJl&$, 1933-36): vol. 2, 270-271. 49 Cf. "Nichizo Bukkyo domei: Otani Kozui shi no jigyo" Siiil{A~FiiJM-*~:l't3'ffij~O) [A Japan-Tibet Buddhist alliance: The activities of Otani Kozui], parts 1 & 2, Chiigai Nippo(29 & 30June 1917). 50 This was not Yajima's first visit to Tibet, for in 1911 he had taken the route from Sichuan into Eastern Tibet and reached Lhasa, where he had made a brief stay, and had then gone on to Kalimpong. 51 This Kangyur came from the large monastery Palkor Chode (dPal 'khor chos sde) in Gyantse (rGyal rtse) in Central Tibet, and in 1940 it was donated together with the rest of Kawaguchi's books to the Toyo Bunko Jil:l!FJt. (Oriental Library) in Komagome !If!ii6, Tokyo, where it remains to this day.




Okuyanza Naoji

dispute broke out between Kawaguchi and Aoki regarding where it should be kept. Kawaguchi considered it to have been intended for Tokyo Imperial University, whereas Aoki claimed that it had been meant for Otani Kozui. Sakaki Ryozaburo jP11i:=J!~ (1872-1946), a professor at Kyoto Imperial University, took Aoki's side in this dispute, which came to be known as the "Tibetan Tripitaka affair" and was covered in detail by the Buddhist newspaper Chztgai Nippo CP7f.S~, giving rise to much scandalous titlk.s' There can be no denying that, unlike Kawaguchi's public talks about his experiences during his first trip to Tibet, the more obsessed the concerned parties became with this affair, the more the public's interest in Tibet waned. Takashima Beiho made the following comment on this :ifair:

As regards the dispute between Kawaguchi and Aoki, not only is the dispute itself mbst unseemly, but their attitude in the dispute has been distasteful to me, and therefore I have not once made public my views on this matter.53
The feeling that both parties were acting in an unseemly manner could not have been confined to Takashima alone, and it was no doubt shared by many disinterested observers. The Otani expeditions that had been sent to Central Asia three times between 1902 and 1914 also came to an end at about the same time owing to Otani Kozui's fall from grace. 54 Just as this major incident consigned the very significance of the Otani expeditions themselves to oblivion, so too did the "unseemly" course taken by the Tibetan Tripitaka affair have a rapidly cooling effect on Japan's Tibet fever. These two incidents also drew the curtain on the period of Asian exploration by Japanese Buddhists. From about this time Japanese interest in Tibet lost the animation of its initial stages, characterized by a desire to seek out the original teachings of Buddhism, and instead importance was given only to strongly politicized aspects directly related to the interests of Japan rather than to those of remote Tibet proper, such as missionary activities in Manchuria and Mongolia and measures for dealing with Lamaists, in which Teramoto had been a pioneer. These moves were of course linked to Japan's advances into mainland Asia. Perhaps in reaction to this, in postwar Japan the achievements of earlier Japanese explorers and students in Tibet have, notwithstanding the spectacular growth of Tibetan studies, been long neglected and have failed to receive due recognition. 55 Translated by Rolf Giebel

52 On the course taken by this affair and the presumed facts of the matter, see Okuyama, HyMen, 308-322. 53 Takashima Beiho, "Sakaki Ryozaburo kun ni atau" j;jIjJ1f::::&~~f;:.g.b [To Sakaki Ryozaburo]; Chiigai Nippo(12 Aug. 1917). 54 In February 1914 there was a scandal involving the finances of the Nishi Honganji, and Otani, taking responsibility, resigned as head of the Honganji branch and left Japan on an overseas journey. The full details of this incident are still not clear. " On this issue, see the contribution by Fukuda Yoichi in this volume.

The Meiji Suppression of Buddhism and its Impact on the Spirit of Exploration and Academism of Buddhist Monks Buddhist studies developed in Japan through the efforts of Japanese monks such as Kawaguchi Ekai jiifplaf.Ji; (1866-1945), Teramoto Eilga ~*~m (1872-1940), and Tada Tokan ~ m~i!! (1890-1967). In the initial stage these pioneering monks were not motivated by a particular interest in Tibet or a revival of Buddhism but by academic concerns. They were influenced through figures like Takakusu Junjiro jl!1j1lfiJIWi1'7z~~ (1866-1900) and Nanjo Bun'yu ii(~Jtt$ (1849-1927), in turn influenced by Max MUller (1823-1900) and other European scholars. This academic movement was triggered by the recognition ofthe hnportance of the scholarly education of monks. The need was felt for specialized educational institutions where the monks could be trained. At the same time there was a confrontation with the Meiji-government's pro-Shinto policy which severely constrained Buddhism. This movement affected not only Japanese monks but also Chinese monks such as Taixu :;!eli: (1890-1947) and Dayong *~ (1893-1929) during their stays in Japan.

La repression du bouddhisme a l'epoque Meiji et son impact sur l'esprit de recherche et l'academisme des moines bouddhiques Les etudes bouddhiques se developperent au Japon grace a des moines japonais tels que Kawaguchi Ekai jiifp;f;f,Ji; (1866-1945), Teramoto Enga ~*~m (1872-1940) et Tada TOkan ~ m~i!! (1890-1967). Au debut, ces moines pionniers n'etaient pas tant motives par un quelconque interet pour Ie Tibet ou potIT une renaissance du bouddhisme que par un interet academique. I1s etaient influences par des personnages tels que Takakusu Junjiro jl!1j;flYjjlWil:?z~~ (1866-1900), Nanjo Bun'yu ii(~Jtt$ (1849-1927), influences eux-memes par Max Muller (1823-1900) et d'autres chercheurs europeens. Ce mouvement academique fut provo que par la reconnaissance du niveau d'erudition des moines. Le besoin d'institutions educatives specialisees ou les moines pouvaient recevoir un enseignement se fit sentir. Simultanement eut lieu une confrontation avec la politique pro-Shinto du g6uvernement Meiji qui reprhna severement Ie bouddhisme. Les moines japonais ne furent pas les setils a etre touches par ces changements : des moines chinois tels que Taixu :;!eli: (1890-1947) et Dayong *~ (1893-1929) furent egalement influences pendant leur sejour au Japon par Ie nouveau mouvement des etudes bouddhiques.


ONODA Shunz6

he Meiji Restoration, which advocated the reestablishment of imperial authority (osei fukko :::EJII:1l<'J), led to the formation of the Meiji government. On March 28, 1868 (April 20 of the Gregorian calendar), six months before the official starting date of the Meiji iJI'lra (Enlightened Rule) era on September 8 (October 23 of the Gregorian calendar), an edict to dissociate Shintoism from Buddhism (shinbutsu banzen ni t${J,.i!lJft~) was issued.! It reflected the aim of the Meiji government to achieve its own brand of modernization by reorganizing the Japanese nation and its imperial system. In essence, this act ordered the elimination of all non-Shinto "imported" religions, including Buddhism, and the establishment of a branch of scholarship lmown as kokugaku OO'it (literally, National Studies). This policy resulted in the anti-Buddhist movement of haibittslt kisbaku ~{J,.:"1~ (abolishing the Buddha, smashing Sakyamuni),2 which caused panic among the Japanese Buddhist clergy. Witnessing this, Fukuzawa Yukichi Wi ~~s (1834/S?-1901) lamented:'
1 "Shinbutsu hanzen rei" 'lIf'{f.,.'I'IJi\!\1\' [Order to distinguish Shintoism from Buddhism], Dajiikan tatsu *i!l;:~~ [Promulgation of the Cabinet], no. 196, issued on March 28, the rust year of Meiji (i.e., 1868). Following that, on April 28 of the same year, the "Shinbutsu bumi jisshi 0 shincho ni subeki rei" tIf!{f.,.:)j-Jllft~1ifii=li:m:m:f;:T~~1\' [The executive order of distinguishing Shintoism from Buddhism], Dajiikan iise *i!l;:~{CjJ [Remarks on Cabinet], no. 226, was issued. See lVIeiji igo shiikyii kan"ei hii"ei ruisan Jjlji'ilj;(1Hi~i\&M~i't1\'!F,i!;j; [The collection of laws and ordinances on religion issued from the Meiji period] (Tokyo: Daiichi heki ~-i't 1968): 737. 2 Murata Yasuho HfE'iC1\!:, "Meiji ishin haibutsu kishaku no chihe teki tenkai to sono tokushitsu ni tsuite" Jjljiil*fEM~{M.9'$10)J.i!l:l1il9~1lil !::-t:-0)*j~J::0\' Y"( [Regional development and characteristics of the Meiji Restoration in abolishing Buddhism and smashing Sakyamuni], in Ronshu nihon bukkyiishi-lVIeiji jidai iiIil.1=l *{f.,.i\&5Io-Jjljiilllif{-t [Essays on the history of Japanese religion-the Meiji period], ed. Ikeda Eishun it!lfE;!R;{;l1: (Tokyo: Yiizankaku ;ij;W-lIill, 1987): vol. 8, 69-87. , Fukuzawa Yukichi m.-iRiiJlli-s, "Seryo ron" {!!I18ii1il [On Buddhist monks], in Pukuzawa Yukic"i zenshii 1iiRiiJlli-S3!:. [Complete works by Fukuzawa Yukichi], ed. Keie Gijuku !IJJ!~ ~ (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten !ilHBt'l'm, 1928, repro 1967): vol. 8, 31.


[",ages of Tibet in the 19" o11d 20" Centuries Paris, EFEO, colI. Etudes thematiques (22.1), 2008, p. 225-242


01Zoda SbU1ZZ0

At the beginning of the Restoration, when the Buddhist clergy heard of the proposals about abolishing Buddhism, their distress was enormous.

However, before the baibutsu kisbaku movement began in earnest, no religious community that could be clearly identified as a "Buddhist order" had ever existed as such in Japan. Faith in botoke it- (Buddha) and in the kmni 1'$ (gods) was for the most part blended-which is exactly why the government felt the need to distinguish them. All that can really be asserted is that faith in the Buddha existed and that there were groups who shared this faith. Conversely, strictly speaking, there was also no community that could be categorized by the label "Shinto.'" Among the immediate countermeasures adopted by established groups of Buddhist believers, the earliest ones were taken by the temples of Higashi Honganji ** Jm~ and the Nishi Honganji W*lIJi'i'f, which are both branches of the Jodo Shinshii w~* denomination. They attempted to maintain their influence by offering monetary support to the financially strapped Meiji government. 6 Meanwhile, the government was troubled by strong resistance movements among peasants who opposed their anti-Buddhism policy and attempted to find a solution to this problem. It was in such circumstances that monks like Fukuda Gyokai t,\l1331TWtll (1806-1888) and Shaku Unsho ~~~\l. (1827-1909) initiated a movement for the protection of Buddhism by establishing the Shoshii Dotoku Kaimei ~*[jjJjiil.':~llil. (Organization of United Buddhist Sects). Their main objective was the promotion of stronger selfawareness among believers of their identity as Buddhists. In the meantime, the Meiji government gave the authority to establish or revoke the authorization of Shinto shrines and Buddhist monasteries to the Kyobusho fl!l. lfB11i' (Ministry of Doctrine), which was established in 1872 as a replacement for the Jingikan 1'$fftB;'l1r (Ministry of Rites).' Moreover, the government set up the post of

4 For Fukuzawa's view of Buddhism, see Koizumi Takashi 'J'7'Rirp, "Fukuzawa Yulcichi -Hyalwv.,a ni okeru bukkyo e no sekkin" miRl1.r6-s~(;::toltg{LI:~G')~iiI [Yulcichi Fukuzawa-Approach to Buddhism in his HZl7ld,"ed Tales], in Kindai nihon no shiso to bukleyo iiI j-~I'PFG'),~,l!:',i::{LI: [Buddhism and modern Japanese thought], ed. Minejima Akio W!1<s,:Ii1Ut (Tokyo: Tokyo Shoselci JRH:i!<:1i, 1982): 234-249. 5 In 1877 the prewar Ministry of Home Affairs established the Department of Shrines and Monasteries arid entrusted each chief abbot with the supervision of the branch systems of all Buddhist sects. It is considered that from that moment the consciousness of belonging to a religious sect arose, although the consciousness of adherence to a religious group in its strict senseis said to have manifested itself only after the abolition of the post of doctrinal instructor (that is, after the Daijokan fittatstt :t:i17'Thif [Promulgation of the Cabinet], no. 196, issued on August 11, 1884). 6 The two monasteries each provided over 30,000 'J'o almost immediately to the government for its pressing debts from the Boshin 'vVar. The Nishi Honganji contributed also significant qnantities of cash for the colonization of Hokkaido and set its gold "as collateral to help shore up the flagging status of the paper currency issued by the new government in the summer of 1868." See James Edward Ketelaar, Of H,,-etics and j\IJa,-ty1"S in iYleiji Japan (Princeton: Princeton University, 1990): 72-73. , On this issue see]. E. Ketelaar, OfHeretics and 1vla,-IY1"S in iYleiji Japan, 70-71, 95-101.

The Meiji Suppression ofBuddhism


kyodoshokzt ~1!Jlil!i (doctrinal instructor) to which both Shinto and Buddhist prelates were appointed. Some scholars interpret this situation as a-temp'orary disappearance of the status of Shinto and Buddhist clergy,and their integration into the general clerical appointment of ky5.doshoku. The Daikyoin :k~1liG (Great Teaching Academy) for training priests and monks was then established at Zojoji J:i!ll:~, with Fukuda Gyokai as chief instructor (kyoto ~~). 8

Japan: Studies in the West and the Establishment ofBuddhist Educational Institutions
Those who were closely associated with Buddhism-that is, sections of the traditional Buddhist clergy-now began to send delegations and students to vVestern Europe. Their aim was to rescue Buddhism in Japan through a close analysis of the situation of religion in the West, which was regarded as the model of modernization. In other words they were trying to legitimize their existence as a modern religion, namely, "Buddhism." In 1872, on the basis of a recommendation from Kido Takayoshi *F~:ft.-a member of the Iwakura Mission :\S~~WI3B-the abbot of the Nishi Honganji, Otani Koson :k~J't~, decided to send Shimaji Mokurai I;{fj~g (1838-1911) as representative of the Nishi Honganji to western Europe: Similarly, Ishikawa Shuntai :t:i}II~ir (1842-1931) of the Higashi Honganji branch also recognized the necessity of studying in Europe and America and in 1873 made a journey to Europe together with Otani Koei *~J't'it, the new principaP His e.'qleriences during the visit led Ishikawa to see a ray of hope to save Buddhism by establishing modern Buddhology with the study of Sanskrit at its center. So, in 1876, he sent a young man named Okunenji Bun'yii it~~::lcQ$ to Britain for study. This young man was in fact Nanjo Bun'yii ~f~::lcQ$ (1849-1927), who was destined to become a world-renowned Buddhist scholar. Together with'Kasawara Kenju iI't!Jli: l!if5IT (1852-1883), Nanjo studied at Oxford University under Max Muller's supervision. While Kasawara soon passed away without having the time to accomplish his aspirations, Sawai Jun rR}J:l'Io (1866-1945), also known as Kobayashi Jun IH*l'Io or TakalcusuJunjiro ~;jjYj)lllijjzJl!~, was introduced to Miiller by Nanjo and achieved success after studying under him. As for Nanjo Bun'yii, he returned to Japan in 1884 and from 1887 on worked as a lecturer at Tokyo Teikoku Daigaku .H;'i'i\'I!l:k" (Tokyo Imperial University) while also teaching after October of 1884 English and C Sanskrit at Otani Kyoko :k~~~ (Otani College) in Tokyo.lO It was also at Otani
, See Yoshida Hisaichi am?!...-, "Daikyoin no setsuritsu to seikyo kankei no konran" ~ [The establishment of the Great Teaching Academy and the disorder in the relationship between politics and religion], Nihon rekishi a*lJltsi:, 111 (1957): 25-32. 9 Fukushima Hirotaka m;~~~[li, "Kaigai kyojo shisatsu no rekishiteki igi" m:ri-!j(:I*tJl.W! 0)~5I:.a9~~ [Historical siguificance of observing the situation of religion abroad], in Ronsh;; nibon bttkkyosbi-Meijijidai, vol. 8, 89-110. 10 According to the "Nanjo Bun'yii sensei nenpu" iJ{!i<:lC*,!Bt:~t!Pilt [Chronological tables of Professor Nanjo Bun'yii] (Otani Gakttbii*~~W., 1928, 19.1, 192-195), Nanjo Bun'yii left London in March of 1884 and arrived in Yokohama in May. In 1884, Otani College moved to Kyoto where it is now.


Onoda Sbunza

College that Ogurusu Kacha IJ,*tjl!j~JJf lectured on Buddhist denominations and movements. Ogurusu published the first Japanese work on Tibetan studies, Ramakya enkaku ~IJnJiilX1B$ (The development of Lamaism), in 1877.11 After their studies in Europe, researchers like Shimaji Mokurai and Iwakura Tomomi !EfilJl.-f:l1. (1825-1883) published numerous white papers and essays. Their efforts met with success as demands for freedom of religion gradually increased and the Meiji government in May 1875 decided to dissolve the Daikyain. In November of the same year, the government accepted the Buddhist demands and guaranteed freedom of religion in an edict on religious liberty, and in October 1877 the Kyabusha was finally abolished. These governmental measures relieved Buddhists but they also had another effect, namely, to trigger a sudden increase in the number of Christian missionaries. Consequently, Buddhists entered into direct opposition to Christianity. Inoue Enrya ;Jt:J::JIlT (1858-1919) played an important role in this anti-Christian movement. After graduating from the Otani College he pursued his studies at Tokyo University and wrote books such as Sbi1wi kinsbin ~J'!f!~lH (Compass of truth) and BuHya katsuron {LilX$~iiii (On the invigoration of Buddhism), in which he asserted that Buddhism had a stronger theoretical basis than Christianity. Although Sbim'i kinsbin was published as a book in 1882, it had previously appeared in serial form in the Buddhist newspaper lVIei!qa Sbinsbi ljFjilXJfJTiWY At that time Inoue was still a young philosopher in his twenties. His argument was not only directed against Christianity but also a harsh criticism of the way traditional Buddhism and Buddhists had acted until then and thus constituted a call for reflection. For him, Buddhism was a religion that conformed to scientific principles, which modern Buddhology, as well as the knowledge of Western-style natural science, could support. In 1887, Inoue established the Tetsugakukan 9":'jt~1l CHall of Philosophy), the precursor of today's Taya University .J1U.~*:'jtY Kawaguchi Ekai YiiTr:l~Y~ (1866-1945), the pioneer Japanese explorer of Tibet, studied at Inoue's Tetsugakukan during his twenties. l4

11 Ogurusu's knowledge concerning Tibet stems from the fifth chapter ("Fusui Xizang ji" JJ[llfF9iiNiIlfGllC [Record of pacifying Tibet]) and the postscript of the Sbeng'"" ji ~Ji\;llC [Record of the Holy Force] by vVei Yuan it'lli!\(, a Chinese thinker active during the middle of the nineteenth century. It seems very probable that Ogurusu discussed with Nanja the importance of studying Tibet on the basis of modern Buddhology. 12 Inoue Enrya fr J:fIlT, "Shinri kinshin shohen" ~:'I!iEjlH:JJ~fm [Compass of truth, first part], in lvleiji bz",!ea zens!J1t f!Illi;:'t{r::i:~ [Collection of Meiji culture], ed. Meiji Bunka Kenkyukai 1jFj1i1y:{r:liJf9i:~ (Tokyo: Nihon Hyaronsha 1'I;;js:,'I'Offilti, 1967): vol. 19,309-375. 13 Serikawa Hiromichi J'i')llt~im, "Meiji chuki no hiyaron-Inoue Enrya 0 chushin to shite" IjFjl:i1cpWlO)1JFJf~iffil-frJ:fIlT~CP'L'i:: ~-C [On the Mid-Meiji Christian controversy -Focusing on Inoue Enrya], in Ronslnt nibon buldeyosbi-iVleiji jidai, vol. 8, 163-188; Miyake Moritsune :==O,\,;9'1f,", "Bukkya no sezoku riron e no taia-Inoue EnryiS no shushin !cyakai setsuritsu 0 megutte" {L~O)i:!t{o1Hffii:'l!~O)xt;;t-fr J:PlTO){It~~~~Ji:s'z:~/I) <'-:o-C [The Buddhist attitude toward secular ethics-On Inoue Emya's establishment of the church for moral training), in Romlnt nibon bukkyosbi-2VIeiji jidai, vol. 8, 289-308. 14 See Okuyama Naoji J!i;!~[1[E], HyMen Kawagucbi Ekai ,'I'{iiiPJp:!lilii' [A critical biography of Kawaguchi Ekai] (Tokyo: Chua Karon Shinsha cp,*,~,ffilt'iti, 2003) and his contribution in this volume.

Tbe Meiji Suppression ofBuddb ism


In 1881, the Nishi Honganji established the Futsii Kyoko llffiffi~~ (General college), which is generally known as the Honpa Futsiiko *ViHl'iffi~ (General college for Honpa sect priests). The foundation of this school was an epoch-making event for the Buddhists of the time. Rather than just educating monks, it established the coeducation of clergy and laypeople. (Somewhat earlier, in 1875, Niijima Jo ~,IiI;. had already founded such a joint institution Doshisha Eigakko [PJi5t~<~ in Kyoto.) The standard curriculum was in itself revolutionary, but the Nishi Honganji's Futsii Kyoko also initiated an independent group composed mainly of students which was called the Hanseikai R1!i'~, or Temperance Association. Members of this association included the young Takakusu Junjiro and Nomi Yutaka ~~i'fiJ[ (1868-1901?), who later died during his exploration of Tibet. The association's journal, the Hanseikai Zassbi R1!i'~~, lists as publisher Kobayashi Jun (alias Takakusu Junjiro); it later changed its name to Cbzlo Koran <=P~0~,J5 and became one of the Japanese intelligentsia's most noted periodicals which is still published today. As for the Higashi Honganji, its Kanrenjo Jt~m- (Institute for religious training) was renamed Kanren Kyoko Jt**~13l: in 1879 and in 1896 became Shinshii University Jl;*:k<. Later, Shinshii University moved from Kyoto to Sugamo in Tokyo, and in 1903 Nanjo Bun'yii was appointed as its dean (gakkan <~). At a later point, Shinshii University-which was affiliated to another educational institution of the Kyoto branch, the Takakura Daigakuryo ;i1Ii:t:k<*-was renamed Shinshii Otani University Jl;*:k~:k<. In 1913 this university moved to Kamigamo Koyama J::1JUJJtlbl! in Kyoto where it is still located today. In a similar way, in i900, the Nishi Honganji's Futsii Kyoko reformed its educational system and divided itself into three separate institutions: Bukkyo University {b.~:k<, Bukkyo High School {b.~;i1Ii~<=P<, and Bukkyo Junior High School {b.~ <=P<. In 1902, Bukkyo University was in turn split into Bukkyo Technical College {b.~J\1j!:~~<~ ill Kyoto and Takanawa Bukkyo University ;i1Iiiiftll{b.~:k< in Tokyo. In 1904 these two institutions were reunited in the location where the Omiya campus of Ryiikoku University (Ryiikoku Daigaku Omiya Gakusha fl~:k<:kg-<1r) is located today. As Professor Okuyama (to whose paper in this volume I refer) would concur, it appears that the strong interest in Tibet expressed by Japanese Buddhists at the beginning of the twentieth century grew along the lines I have developed above, namelY, on the basis of a newfound self-awareness after the Meiji Restoration of a Buddhist identity transcending sectarian doctrine. It was on this soil that "Buddhists" took nieasures to deal with tne crisis of "Buddhism" and that a modern Buddhology, equipped with a philosophy able to withstand modern criticism, was developed. Throughout, a major aim was the collection of Sanskrit and Tibetan manuscripts that would provide textual support for research on a so-called Pan-Buddhism (tsz7bukkyo iffi{b.~).


IS Renaming this review Chuli. Koran "":9c-'.&~il; was Takakusu's idea. This fact is mentioned in the diary of Hokaku Zenkyo 3iM'1!i'~, dated December 20, 1899. See Saneto Keishii ~ni:m3'', Cbiigoku r)'tlgakusei shidan ""OOli?i'~9:~ [Anecdotes about the history of Chinese studying abroad] (Tokyo: Daiichi Shobo ~-.m, 1981): 64.


Onoda Shunzii

Repercussions in China and Chinese Students in Japan

The upheaval known as the Meiji Restoration also came to exert great influence in China. Since the foundation of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), the fundamental policy of the government was to unite the iVIanchus with the iVlongols, to rule over the Han Chinese, and to contain the Tibetans and the adherents of Islam. But this policy started to change gradually when Xinjiang province was established in 1884, with Han Chinese appointed as administrators and the Manchus choosing the Han Chinese as administrative partners. This alliance was the harbinger of a radical change in the policy toward Tibetan Buddhism. In the course of events, the Qing government was defeated by Japan in the SinoJapanese War (1894-1895) over control of the Korean Peninsula. After that defeat many Chinese students went to Japan to study Japanese and to search for the modern civilization of the "Vest that Japan had first absorbed and that the Chinese intellectuals identified as the reason for their defeat. In June 1896 thirteen Chinese students entered Japan, and subsequently the number of such students gradually increasedY Among the intellectuals supporting this increase in the number of Chinese overseas students in Japan was Liang Qichao ~Jgj@ (1827-1929) who, in his later years, wrote a book titled Foxue shiba pian ji)fl'j': +Ali (Eighteen chapters on the study of Buddhism). Originally he had come to Japan as a political refugee; however, on the basis of his experiences in Jap'an at this time, he developed a great enthusiasm for creating an educational system suitable for the new China. He continually emphasized the necessity of establishing schools for training men of talentY However, his project to establish an educational system like that experienced by his fellow foreign students in Japan did not receive sufficient financial support, and it was proposed that the worship halls of Buddhist monasteries and Daoist sanctuaries be converted into schools. This proposal was obviously of great import to the Buddhist communities.I'
16 Shimizu Minoru ili'*~, "Chugokujin ryugakusei to Nihon no kindai" 'Pi'ID}l.fIl'lt 1::1:: S*O)i!If~ [Overseas Chinese students and modern Japan], Bukkyo daigaku sogo kenkyiijo kiyo j;Jil~*'lt~.g.1i)f%pJi*2~ (Supplement of vol. 2, Ajia no naka no nibon TC/TO)tt7PO)S*

Uapan within Asia]) (1995): 120. See also the study by Kobayashi Tomoaki 'N*""~, "Ryiinichi gakuseishi kenkyU no genjo to kadai" fIl S 'lt1::5I:.1i)f%O)~lIA;k::l::mlt~ [Status quo and tasks in the study of the history of overseas students in Japan], in Cbztgoku Idndaisbi kenkY1l n)'zt771on 'P i'IDi!Ij~5I:.1i)f%}\.r~ [Introduction to the study of the history of modern China], ed. Shingai Kakumei Kenlcyiikai '$;!i(:;lj!i:frl1i)f%~ (Tokyo: Kyuko Shoin i&i5il:'IlJt, 1992): 221-241 17 Kuang Yarning g:2~ (ed.), Zhang Zhidong pingzbuan-Zbongguo sixiangjia pingzbuan congshu *;z:ii"l~'fJli:-'Pl'"I}i!!,lJ~Uj(~'1J1i::li!til:' [A critical biography of Zhang Zhidong-Collection of critical biographies of Chinese thinkers] (Nanjing: Nanjing daxue, 1991), especially the fourth chapter titled "Xinshi jiaoyu de chuangshe" lVi:t;iIt!(l'l'il0J!Ij~St [The establishment of the new educational system], 135-144. 18 On this issue see also the contribution by Luo Tongbing in the second volume (pp. 434-435), and the chapter 14 ("Shinmatsu igo ni okeru byosan kogaku" ili'*0fRI;::jOftg)\1jjijE ~'lt [The establishment of schools by means of temple property after the end of the Qing]) in Makita Tairyo !&~~*~, Cb!tgoku bukkyoshi kenky!t 'Pgjjb~5I:1i)f% [Studies on Chinese Buddhism], 3 vols. (Tokyo: Daito Shuppansha **IlAAt, 1981-1989): vol. 2, 290-318.

Tbe Nleiji Suppm"Sion ofBuddbism


In March 1898, Zhang Zhidong '*Z{[ii] (1873-1909), the governor-general of Huguang {IjJj~ (a region covering parts of Hunan, Hubei, Guangdong, and Guangxi) who was advocating vVesternization, wrote Quanxue pian iJJ~il (Encouraging learning).!9 This work revolves around the premiie of regarding "traditional Chinese knowledge as substance and Western knowledge as function," and its author emphasized the importance of sending students to study in Japan. Subsequently this book clearly had a great influence on the Qing policy regarding overseas students. Zhang even went so far as to propose requesting that "Buddhist monasteries and Daoist sanctuaries should offer seven tenths of their property income to provide school facilities and should employ the rest for the clergy and food."" As a result of Zhang Zhidong's proposal, in January 1899 forty Chinese students entered Japan as overseas students, with a further twenty in lVlarch and eighty in November. The humanities students among tllem studied at Nikka Gakuda 1'1 ~:1it (Sino-Japanese Hall of Learning), established in June 1898. vVe are already familiar with the school's founder Takakusu Junjira, professor at Tokyo Imperial University, alumnus of the Nishi Honganji's Futsii Kyaka, and formerly Nanja Bun'yii's successor as Max Miiller's Buddhology student. 21

Chinese Policy towa7,d Mongolia and Tibet

In 1905, the Qing government officially abolished China's civil service examination system. Through the reform of the official system that took place in 1906 after the Russo-Japanese vVar, the policy of favorable treatment of Buddhist monks changed due to the need to rethink government strategy towards Mongolia and Tibet. Until then the Qing government had dealt with Mongolian and Tibetan affairs via the Lifanyuan J:!I!fiP.iE; however, when Prince sum took charge as chief of the Lifanyuan a new government policy was proposed to the Icings and princes of Inner Mongolia." This included the deployment of a new army and the establishment of schools and sanitation facilities. vVhile most of them expressed their support, this new policy elicited strong opposition farther away, in Outer Mongolia. Among the series of new political measures, the most far-reaching was the total elimination of regulations that had restricted Han immigration. As a result, the number of Chinese immigrants who were allowed into Outer Mongolia increased, while the pastures available for Mongolians sharply decreased. Due to the increasing presence of Han Chinese, anti-Chinese feeling got stronger and stronger among the nobles and Buddhists in Outer Mongolia leading to the rise of the so-called mount19 Zhang Zhidong's book has also been translated into French by Jerome Tobar, K'iuenbio p'ien: Exbo1"tation it l'ritude paT S. Exc. Tcbang Tcbe-tong, Varietes sinologiques, no. 26 (Shanghai: Imprimerie de la mission catholique, Orphelinatde T'ou-se-we, 1906). 20 Ven. Dongchu 1'1'*i:!J, Zbongguo fojiao jindai sbi 9'~{1Il;j&ifl:1~5I: [History of modern Chinese Buddhism], 2 vols. (Taibei: Zhonghua fojiao wenhuaguan, 1974): voL 1,74. 21 SaneW Keishu, ClnIgoku 'J,zlgakusei sbitan, 35, 50-102. 22 On the Lifanyuan see Ning Chia, The Li-fon Yuan in the Early Cb'ing D)'nast)' (PhD diss.,John Hopkins University, 1992).


Onoda Sbunzo

ed brigand~, nomads deprived of their fields who attacked Han colonists arid traders. Some of their leaders, like the Togtokh Taiji and Babujab were later to take part in the Inner Mongolian Independence Movement. 23 Soon after the 1911 Revolution, the Mongolian Independence Movement emerged with, as its leader, the eighth Jebtsundampa Khutukhtu (also known as Bogdo lilian), who was born in 1869 in Lhasa. 24 At the end of 1911 the Mongolian Declaration of Independence was issued, but within a few months the enemy they were fighting, the Manchu dynasty, was dismantled and became the Republic of China. The Lifanyuan, which until then had managed the Tibetan and Mongolian affairs of the Qing government, was replaced in the first year of republican era (1912) by the Mongolian and Tibetan General Mfairs Office (Mengzang Shiwuchu liiJi*fj)ii!&), a bureau inside the Department of Interior of the republican government. The first home secretary was Prince Gunsen Norov, the right-flag Prince Xaracin (Iiliarachin) of Inner Mongolia. This Mongolian and Tibetan General Affairs Office later changed its name to Mengzang Shiwuju liiJi*fj)!i'D (Bureau of Mongolian and Tibetan Mfairs) and again into Mengzangyuan liiJi~3t (Office for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs) before being finally called Mengzang vVeiyuanhui liiJi~t~~ or Commission for Mongoliall and Tibetan Mfairs. 25 During this period, Agvan Dorjiev (1854-1938), a Buriat Mongolian monk, acted as political adviser for the thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thub bstan rgya mtsho (18761933), and it seems that the Dalai Lama felt some affinity with Russia through this connection. During his one-year stay in .LVlongolia in 1904, because of the British invasion to Lhasa, the thirteenth Dalai Lama dispatched Dorjiev to the Russian tsar to ask for military aid. 26 As a result, Tibet became a victim of the merciless diplomacy of Manchurian officials who were unable to rid themselves of the idea of the former tributary system, even when dealing with Russian and British strategic diplomacy. After leaving Mongolia, the Dalai Lama stayed at Kumbum (sKu 'bum) in Amdo (Ch. Qinghai 'firm), and there he heard about the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907. His original hope for aid was based on the Anglo-Russian confrontation but his expectation collapsed. He decided to visit Beijing. In October, he met the emperor Guangxu (r. 1875-1908) and the empress Dowager; he requested China to do something against foreign countries who were invading Tibet.'? However, because of the aforementioned
2l It is said that the provision of weapons from the Manchurian and Mongolian Independence Movement was planned by a Japanese, Kawashima Naniwa )11,I1l,i~ilii:, inside the movement. See Miyawaki Junko '1lt;,i.~'t-, lVlongont no ,"e/dshi ~/:iivO)JJltse [History of the Mongols] (Tokyo: Tosui Shabo 7J7k'l'm, 2002) 24 For a brief survey of his life and his role in the heritage of the ninth Jebtsundampa, see Fabien Sanders, "The Life and Lineage of the Ninth Khalkha Jetsun Dampa Klmtukhtu," Centml Asiatic Jou712aI45.2 (2001): 273-303, especially 289-292.


Strangely enough, these organizations existed within the Taiwanese government until

2005. On this see also the contribution by Yao Lixiang in the second volume. 26 On this occasion, Dorjiev brought some copies of Buddhist manuscripts, such as the Bhiivanii!emnza, to the Tsar Nicholas II in St. Petersburg as a present from the Dalai Lama. (I am grateful to Prof. Matsuda Kazunobu 1:L;fIl'fQ-(1 for this information.) 27 See chapter 8 of Laurent Deshayes, Histoi7"e du Tibet according to the Japanese trans-

Tbe Meiji Suppnssion ofBuddbism


sudden change in Qing policy towards Tibet, the Dalai Lama returned unsuccessful to Lhasa (December 25, 1909) before fleeing to India. In 1913, he returned to Lhasa and, following th~ Mongolian example, proclaimed Tibetan independence." After the Qing government had eliminated the immigration restrictions of Han Chinese in Mongolia in 1910, conflicts with the Chinese increased in Mongolian regions. Elsewhere, in November 1911 the vVuchang Uprising broke out in Hubei. Led by soldiers who had studied in Japan, this uprising triggered the beginning of the 1911 Revolution. As mentioned above, soon after the outbreak of this revolutionary movement, Mongolia proclaimed its independence under the leadership of the eighth Jebtsundampa Khutukhtu. Although the Mongols sought Russian support, Russia was bound by diplomatic constraints and backed only autonomy for Outer Mongolia while opposing the independence of Mongolia as a whole. In January 1913 Mongolia concluded a treaty of mutual recognition of independence with Tibet, which had also declared independence from the Qing. For a while there were frequent contacts between the leaders of Mongolia and Tibet. In 1917 the Russian Revolution broke out and in 1922 the Soviet Union was established. In 1924, Bogdo Khan (the eighth Jebtsundampa Khutukhtu) passed away. Around the same time, the seventh Mongolian Revolutionary Party's Congress was held in which the right wing was expelled and the Mongolian People's Republic was born. At first, however, the opposition to communism in Mongolia was tenacious because most of its educated people were at that time Buddhist monks. Even the indoctrination aimed at these monks had to employ Tibetan script, the very script used by the monks in reciting Buddhist scriptures! In order to break this strong opposition, the Mongolian government decided in 1930 to adopt an ultraleftist policy of expropriating livestock and other private property of the monasteries and of forcing lowerrank monks back into lay status. However, communism in Mongolia suffered from some fundamental contradictions, and it was natural that monks organized a resistance movement in association with Tibet. The Panchen Lama visited Mongolian regions many times during 1920s and 1930s and was much trusted by the Mongols, whose resistance movement adopted the Panchen Lama as its symbol, especially in Inner Mongolia. vVhen the Japanese Guangdong army established the Manchuguo il1fijJ+IOO state in 1932, much of the population is said to have supported anti-government activities by Buddhists. Meanwhile, the reincarnation of the lCang skya Khutukhtu (1891-1958) was beginning to playa political role as well. Although he was only a boy at the fall of the Qing dynasty, since then he had gained a wide range of followers including many in Inner Mongolia. His followers had a tendency to be strongly politicized, and the
lation by Imaeda Yoshir6 .!fv\JEJl~ (Chibetto shi HI.:, Tokyo: Shunjiisha 31H;l:1', 2005, 203-230). See also Premen Addy, Tibet on the I77Zpe,"ial Chessbom'd: The Making ofB1"itain Polic), Towm"ds Lhasa, 1899-1925 (Calcutta: Academic Publishers, 1984): 204-207 and the contribution by Okuyama Naoji in this volume (pp. 220-221). 28 Tom Grunfeld, The iVIaking of iVIodem Tibet (London: Zed Books, 1987), especially chap. 3 on the early foreign contacts (pp. 46-66). This study summarizes points of the hidden agenda of British officials during that period.



Onoda Sbunzii

Khutukhtu came to establish a strong relationship with the Shanxi warlord Yan Xishan 1I;1;W,i1I (1883-1960). In January 1929, Yan Xishan was appointed chairman of the aforementioned Commission for Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs. Around that time, Han Chinese farmers in Shanxi province began to colonize Inner lVlongolia and the Mongols' authority gradually weakened. However, in August 1930, due to the split within the Guomindang, the position of chairman was taken over by the Uighur leader Ma Fuxiang ,\!:f;:f!f and the minority people's views began to be more respected again. In 1933, with its center in Beyile-yin stime (Ch. Bailingmiao s1!IiWl), the Inner Mongolian Independence Movement led by Prince Dewang 1Jil!::E surged ahead. 29 We have seen that the Panchen Lama, who had visited Inner Mongolia several times, had supported this movement. Though the Guomindang had for years regarded him as influential and had tried to conciliate him by conferring honorific titles in 1931 and 1932, its efforts turned out to be in vain as the Panchen Lama took the side of the independence movement. On the other hand, it appears that the ICang skya Khutukhtu had for a long time regarded the Panchen Lama as a rival, and with the support of Yan Xishan he informed the Nanjing government in a secret telegram that "monetary funds and weapons are being furnished by the Panchen Lama."JO

Cbinese Policy in Sicbuan and its Tibetan Bader

Around areas of Sichuan that are close to Tibet, anti-Chinese resentment similar to that of Inner and Outer Mongolia began to smolder. In 1930, at the invitation of the organization of Buddhist monasteries of Sichuan, the Buddhist reformist monk Taixu J;:.r;l[ (1890-1947), who is known as the founder of modern Chinese Buddhism, missionized that area.)! He became close to Liu Xiang ;uy,yg, the military leader of Sichuan, and his mother, who were both fervent Buddhists, and he was asked for advice on how to smother the anti-Chinese feelings tl1at were on the rise in the Tibetan areas of Sichuan such as Batang I:'.fflf (,Ba' thang) and Litang ~fflf (Li thang). In order to understand the situation of that area, one has to recall that Batang and Litang were originally regions where Tibetans spoke a dialect of Tibetan; these areas were parts of various kingdoms like Derge (sDe dge), Batang, Nyarong (Nyag rong), Chamdo (Chab mdo), and Markham (sMar kham), which at the end of the Qing dynasty were still controlled by a feudal hierarchy of l'gyal po (kings), dpon po (local leaders), bla rna, and so forth. The Nyarong invasion in 1860 of the western region of Derge was an excuse for the Lhasa government to use military force in order
29 See Uradyn E. Bulag, "Inner Mongolia. The Dialectics of Colonization and Ethnicity Building," in Goveming Cbina's Multietlmic Fl'ontiers, ed. 1Vlorris Rossabi (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2004): 84-116. JO See Yang Haiying t-#ii::9l= and Uradyn E. Bulag, Janggiy-a Quwghtu: A IVIongolian iVIissionm), foT Chinese National Identification (Cologne: International Society for the Study of the Culture and Economy of the Ordos Mongols, 2003), and Miyawaki Junko, Mongu17l no ,-ekisbi. )1 On this figure and his views on Buddhism, see the contribution by Luo Tongbing in the second volume.

The Meiji Suppression o[Buddhism


to suppress the rebellions and take control ofNyarong and the surrounding regions. In 1894, when Nyarong invaded Dajianlu tTWJJlt (Tib. Dar rtse mdo, present-day Kangding JJlt;iE), which waS located to the ea~t of Sichuan, Lu Chuanshuang 1&1"$3, the governor of Sichuan, sent in troops to take care of this problem. His Chinese army then advanced further west and invaded Derge, where they intervened in the dispute for the succession to the throne in that region.32 In 1904 Han Chinese ambans set up in Chamdo, Dajianlu became the prefecture capital, and Batang was proclaimed as a temporary base for the cabinet ministers. In 1905, monks in Batang, who oppos~d the Chinese government, raised a revolt but were soon subjugated. 33 In 1908, Zhao Erfeng il!m:l: (d. 1911), the minister of Border Mfairs, again invaded Derge and put some regions like Chamdo, Dragyab (Brag g.yab), and Markham under the control of Chinese provincial governors. He renamed them Changdu ~'I!Il, Chaya ~l, and Ningjing $~. Later in 1911, Zhao was appointed governor of Sichuan and returned to China proper in order to assume his newpost. 34 Meanwhile, a number of rebellions arose in various regions in response to the revolution in central China. In 1912 the new Chinese army renewed its military action against Tibetan regions. In 1914 the treaty between China and Tibet mediated by Britain, although not ratified, brought a temporary armistice. In 1917 Peng Risheng ~ S 7+, the military general of the Sichuan army, broke the cease-fire agreement and started advancing toward Lhasa. His army was, however, stopped by the Tibetan army, which in 1918 controlled almost the entire region including Dajianlu. Peace negotiations were then taken up again through British mediation and the partition of dominions was arranged: regions such as Batang, Litang, Nyarong, and Ganzi it[ (dKar mdzes) were apportioned to China, while others such as Chamdo, Markham, and Derge went to Tibet. In 1925 the Tibetan area close to Sichuan province became the Xikang Special Administrative Region (Xikang Tebie Xingzhengqu g"JJlt%'ll IJ:ffilclR) and in 192 8 Xikang province was established. This happened just in the period when, as mentioned above, the Buddhist master Taixu was asked for advice by Liu Xiang the military leader of Sichuan province. Around the same time, further north in Inner Mongolia the resistance movement around the monks and led by the Panchen Lama continued.

32 Eric Teichman, Travels of a Consular OffiC." in Easte,.." Tibet (Cambridge: University Press,-1922). _ 3l E. H. M. Cox (Plant-Hunting in China, London: Collins 1945) includes a record of a botanist who was involved in this uprising and passed away. See also Kaneko Tamio 1fi:'t-~l$, Higashi Chibetto no shokubutsu tankenka _7'"-",;; rO)ll!jWJ~;jt;* [Plant~hunters in eastern Tibet] (Tokyo: Kobayashi Shoten +Mr.!f, 1994). Many Christian missionaries entered Sichuan and Yunnan areas during that period, and many of them were involved in the fight and died. See for instance, F. Kingdon-Ward, F,"om China to Khamti Long (London, 1924), and The iWyste1J' Riv.,"s of Tibet (London, 1923). See also J. W. Gregory, To the Alps of Chinese Tibet (London, 1923). J4 See, for instance, E. Teichman, Travels of a Consula." Officer in Easte,.." Tibet, 19-58, and Elliot Sperling, "Chinese Ventnre in K'am 1904-1911 and the role of Zhao Erfeng," Tibet JOI,,nal1.2 (1976): 10-36.


Onoda ShU1ZZ0

Inspiration from Japan: Chinese Educational Reforms

In 1918 the project of the Buddhist master Taixu to reform monastic education began in earnest. Taixu published his essay on the "Reform of the Sangha System" (Zbengti sengqie zhidu lzm ~~1~fiJoillUNmili) and confirmed his agenda when he established the Wuchang Foxueyuan JEI;~1~Jji,~JG or Wuchang Buddhist Institute at Wuhan JEl;lJ; in 1924, where he began to train monks according to modern educational principles. Among his students there were both monks and laypeople. This institute was modeled on Ryiikoku University ll1:i"t::k" in Kyoto which he had visited in 1917, the year before he wrote his essay on the reform of the sangha system. In his autobiography, Taixu later revealed that even the reformist curriculum adopted by the Wuchang Buddhist Institute was inspired by that of Bukkya University (presentday Ryiikoku University).l5 In the year of Taixu's visit, Otani University had already moved to Kamigamo Koyama where it is still located today. The dean of Otani University was Max Muller's famous disciple, Nanja Bun'yii. It was on the basis of Taixu's observation of the Buddhist universities in Kyoto that he felt the necessity of training Buddhist priests through academic education. Returning now to 1930, when Liu Xiang the military leader of Sichuan province, consulted with Master Taixu, Taixu emphasized that the mutual understanding between Han and Tibetans based on Buddhism was of utmost importance. He told Liu Xiang of his intention to establish the Sino-Tibetan Buddhist Institute (Hanzang Jiaoliyuan lJ;ii~~~JG) and he succeeded in this project with the financial support of the governor. Taixu was appointed as the institute's honorary director and Liu Xiang as honorary chairman of the board. Taixu called on his former student Fazun (1902-1980), who was at the time studying in Tibet, to assume the acting associate director's position. 36 Fazun's study in Tibet took place as a member of the "Dharma study group residing in Tibet" (Liuzang xuefa roan fii'iiJji,$III).J7 This group was originally called Zangwen Xueyuan iiJtJji,Jlj'G or Institute of Tibetan Studies, and had been established on September 13, 1924, by Dayong ::k~ (1893-1929) at Ciyinsi ~12SJ ~ in Beijing, with Duojie gexi zunzhe ~~t&-W.;g- (rDo rje dge bshes, 1874-?) as


35 Taixu dashi m*~ijj, "Wode fojiao gaijin yundong liieshi" :JlI;1.J1iJ1lt!l:ilfl:l:!!Gl'tbiDl' [A brief history of my Buddhist reform movement], in Taixu dashi quanshu bianzuan weiyuanhui :;tm*~~.~J;~~1t (ed.), Tai.w dashi quanshzt (Wencong 6) :t:m*~~. Jt*' 6 [Complete works of Venerable Taixu, Literary collection 6] (Taibei: Shandaosi fojing liutongchu, 1998): vol. 29, 93. See also the contribution by Luo Tongbing in the second volume. 36 Luo Tongbing ffiilRlA, "Hanzang Jiaoliyuan shiliie" ~~t!l:J'!I!'i [Summary of the history of the Sino-Tibetan Buddhist Institute], Fayin i't:'Iif (August, 2001): 26-34. On Fazun, see the contribution by Chen Bing in this volume. 37 Ven. Dongchu, Zhonggzto fojiao jindai shi, in particular section 6 of Chap. 17 titled "Ruzang qiufa zhi' hanseng" AliiIi*l:t;z~1~ [Chinese monks entering Tibet in search of the Dharma] and the section 7 "Hanzang wenhua zhi goutong" ~liiIiJt{~zlji\:iiJi [Linking up Chinese and Tibetan culture], vol. 2, 441-457. See also the contribution by Chen Bing in this volume (pp. 4D1ADS).

The lVIeiji Suppression ofBuddhism


teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. 38 When Dayong, who had taken ordination in 1919 and was a disciple ofTaixu, established this new institute he invited Fazun to join it. Both Dayong and Fazun had been among the first alumni of the INuchang Buddhist Institute founded by Taixu. In addition to Fazun, Dayong also invited Guankong W!~ (1903-1989), Dagang ::IeI'JIJ, Chaoyi ~-, Yanding ~k, Huizhong it9=', and Fafang i'~fI!J to take part in this Institute of Tibetan Studies which, after one year, was reformed into the study group to Tibet. Some of these monks later became teachers along with Fazun at the Sino-Tibetan Buddhist Institute. Dayong, the organizer of the "Dharma study group residing in Tibet" had visited Japan in 1922-23 and had studied at Koyasan University ~!j!fcli** The objective of his studies in Japan was to use Japanese Shingon Buddhism to re-import the esoteric Buddhist tradition to China where it had ceased to exist since the Tang dynasty. It was for this same purpose that Chisong l'!t~ (who studied in Japan from 1922 to 1924), Xianyin *Jjg (in Japan 1923-24), and Ta=uan ~Jli:!Z: stayed in Japan before and after Dayong. J9 At the time when Dayong and his colleagues studied Shingon in Japan, Kawaguchi Ekai and Aoki Bunkyo 1f*)c~ (1886-1956) had already returned from Tibet; Aoki's SaizQ Yi7ki iffi~iB'jjG (Record of travels in Tibet) was finished in 1920. Although the so-called Tibetology, which was Aoki's specialty, was just beginning, the study of Buddhist sutras translated into Tibetan had already been considerably developed as one field of Buddhist studies. In Kyoto, Teramoto Enga~*frJii*- (1872-1940) had been professor of Tibetan and Buddhist studies at Otani University since 1915 and had guided young scholars in the Tibetan language and the study of Buddhism. After his return from Japan in 1923 to teach at his old school, the vVuchang Buddhist Institute, Dayong continued to study esoteric Buddhism and, thanks to the teachings of the Mongol lama Bai Puren s'i!'f= (1870-1927) and the aforementioned rDo rje dge bshes, became ever more aware of the importance of Tibetan Buddhism: This led to his establishment of the Institute for Tibetan Studies and his decision to go directly to Tibet for study..

Learning from Tibet and its Monastic System

The study group, which consisted of about twenty people, left Chengdu on June 4,1925. They stayed at Anjuesi 3'cjt~ (Tib.INga mchod dgon) in Dajianlu with the intention of learning Tibetan. The regulations of this group indicate that any readVen. Dongchu (Zbongguo fojiao jindai sbi, 447) mentions his name as Duojie geba gexi (rDo rje rgyal po dge bshes), whereas the "Putidao cidi liielun xu" {ft~ii'l:6zm mMffili'f [Preface on the summary to the stages of the path to enlightenment] (in TaLvu dasbi quanslm, vol. 30, 780) refers to his name as Duojie Jueba gexi ~ftHtfJJ:*,W (rDo rje gcod pa dge bshes). See also the contribution by Chen Bing in this volume. 39 Lou Yulie t~fi:'!! "Zhongri jiIu:iandai fojiao jiaoliu gaishu" crCliliJl;l.{-I(;f9ll:l&7j(iJfE1:Ilbit [Overview on modern and contemporary Buddhist exchanges between China and Japan], in Zbong,.i jinxiandai fojiao de jiaoliu )'1 bijiao )'anji1 cr CI iliJl;l.{-I(;{9Il:l&a'J7j(iJfElj: WI&liJf9'E [Modern and contemporary Buddhist exchanges between China and Japan and its comparative studies], ed. Lou Yulie (Beijing: Zongjiao wenhua chubanshe, 2000): 9-1 L On these figures see also the contribution by Chen Bing in this volume (pp. 401-403).



Onoda Shunzii

ing of Chinese journals and books unrelated to Buddhism was prohibited and that members were obliged to read exclusively Tibetan language materials, including Buddhist scriptures. After one year of language training they moved west to Ganzi. The group was initially supported by donations from lay believers in northern China, but in 1926, due to the political changes, the funds gradually dried up and the living conditions of this group took a turn for the worse. The final blow was the sudden death of its leader, Dayong, during his stay in Ganzi. He passed away on August 10, 1929 at Zhajiasi tLlil!!~ (Tib. Dar rgyas gling) in the vicinity of Ganzi. He was thirty-seven and had been a Buddhist monk for ten years. After his death, Fazun, Langchan ~)lffrlj!., and Changguang 'Ii\']\'; proceeded to Chamdo with the aim of reaching their original goal: Lhasa. They stayed in Chamdo for another year studying many aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. On March 29, 1929, they finally left for Lhasa and arrived on foot at their destination on April 24. Subsequently, they apparently spread to different local monasteries in the vicinity of the capital. Other members of the study group, namely, Guankong, Dagang, Chaoyi, Yanding, Mihong 1$ P'F-, Miyan J$~, Mihui J$:'1l, and Mizi 1$* remained in the Kham area (Ch. Xikang) and continued studying Tibetan Buddhism, staying in Tibet for almost a decade until 1935. Miyu J$~,' reportedly remained in Tibet even after the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibet. \iVhen Fazun (Tibetan name: rGya bla rna Blo bzang chos 'phags) arrived in Lhasa, he entered Loseling College (Blo gsal gling) at Drepung Monastery (,Bras spungs) near the capital. At the school there were more than twenty regional dormitories (khanzs tshan). Fazun probably stayed in one of them during the period when he attended classes ('dzin grwa) at the college (grwa tshang).40 According to Professor Wang Yao ::E~, who used to teach at the Central Minority Institute (Zhongyang Minzu Xueyuan r:p:'R:J"\'J~~~JG), Fazun gained the title of dge bshes from Loseling College, but there are other scholars like Liu Yutao ~uffiii who doubt this. According to Liu, Fazun had originally intended to obtain the dge bshes title but had later realized the importance of translations and abandoned the aim of earning the title. In Liu's opinion, Miyu was the only mer:'ber of the study group to obtain this title. His doubts on Fazun's acquisition of the title are apparently based on the brevity of Fazun's stay in Tibet. 41 Ten years before Fazun's sojourn a Japanese dge bshes is on record: Tada Takan?7 S3~1m (1890-1967). Tada had entered Tibet about a decade after Kawaguchi Ekai, Japan's pioneer visitor to Tibet. However, Tada's objective was very different from that of his precursors. Kawaguchi, Aoki Bunkya, and others concentrated mostly on collecting Buddhist scriptures, and it seems that Kawaguchi also had been interested in Sanskrit manuscripts that had survived in Tibet. All of them tried to accomplish what Nanj6 Bun'yu, the Japanese pioneer of modern Buddhist studies, had been
40 Onoda ShUIlZ5, j1,IIonastic Debate in Tibet (Vienna: Arbeitskreis fiir tibetische und buddhistische Studien, Universitat vVien, 1992): 16. 41 Liu Yutao ~tlifoili, "Taixu dashi yu zangchuan fojiao" .,,'C!j[*~iIi~itj~j?M& (Venerable Taixu and Tibetan Buddhism). A paper presented at the Taixu dansheng yibai zhounian guoji huiyi ;;\::jj[~'t-B)i'iJ~i"l~JRWrm [The international conference for the centenary of Taixu's birth], held in Hong Kong in 1988.

The Meiji Suppression ofBuddhism


advised to do by his teacher, Max Muller: "[Gol to Tibet to look for Sanskrit MSS. Do not forget that at some later time you might do something useful by going 'to Tibet through China."42 One could say that what was meaningful for Kawaguchi were the materials for the study of Buddhism that had survived in Tibet. Kawaguchi had first arrived at Lhasa in Apri11901, and his motives are thought to have been similar to those of Nami Yutaka who died soop after sending a letter to his teacher Nanja Bun'yii from Dali *~ (Yunnan).4J Teramoto Enga, who accompanied Nami to Batang, appears to have shared the aim of collecting texts and ended up obtaining what he was looking for: the Kangyur and Tengyur from Huangsi ~* and Zifusi jt :till* in Beijing, which he finally brought back to Japan.44 But it appears that for Tada the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism was significant in another way: he realized that in Tibet an educational system with proper Buddhist studies rivaling that of modern Buddhology already existed. Tada had s.tayed in Tibet for ten years from September 1913 to February 1923, studying at the Byes pa college of Sera monastery and at the Har gdong khams tshan. He finished the entire curriculum of the college in three years and passed the examination obtaining the title of chos mdzad. It seems that a foreign monk who had command of the basics was allowed to skip grades. . Returning now to Fazun's title of dge bshes, Taixu used this title for Fazun in his foreword to Fazun's Xiandai Xizang l'IU'(;Wiil (Modern Tibet).45 Taixu's knowl~dge about the educational system of Tibetan monasteries was accurate, proven by his mention of the dge bshes system in his "Xizang wenti zhi shidang jiejue" WiilFR~~;ziilfi 'ilit~~l'I<: (An appropriate solution for Tibetan problems) of 1943. In this work, before discussing its advantages, he explained the system as follows: Those who passed and obtained the first, second, and third dge bshes degrees are just like gongsheng Jt1:. [those who passed preliminary e.'{aminations], juren $,A. [regional examination] and jinshi i:! [final examination in the civil-service exainination system]."

In 1934, after his five-year stay in Lhasa, Fazun was asked byTaixu to assume the office of vice-president of the Sino-Tibetan Buddhist Institute which Taixu had established in Sichuan province. Thus Fazun returned to Sichuan along with Guankong and Yanding, whp had continued to study in Kham, and began teaching at the institute. It seems to have offered a two-year standard class (putong ban llff-imli!f) and a four42 A letter from Dr. Max MUller to Nanja, in Nanjo Bun'yii chosaku se12shii ~{~Jtj;ff;iI'1'F~ [Selected works ofNanja Bun'yii], vol. 10, Letter no. 76 (30 July 1884). See also the contribution by Okuyama Naoji in this volume (pp. 212-214). 4J Emoto Yoshinobu iI*~f$, Nomi Yutaka~Chibetto 12i kieta tabibito ~~m~-7-""7 H;:: lJil;Uc~,A. [Nami Yutaka-the traveler who disappeared in Tibet] (Tokyo: Kyiiryiida :;Jtli'i1:il:, 1999). 44 On this see also the contribution by Okuyama in this volume (p. 218). 45 "Xiandai Xizang xu" mf-1tWiiJf [Preface to modern Tibet], in Taixtt dashi quanshu, vol. 30, 875. 46 "Xizang wenti zhi shidang jiejue" Wjj(\;F"~Mziii!i$fli9< [An appropriate solution for Tibetan problems], in Tai."Cu dashi qtta12shu, vol. 24, 77.


Onoda Shzmzff

year specialized or intensive course (zhztanxiu ke W{liE'i't). They were organized in a way compamble to to day's undergraduate and graduate 'courses.7 For the purpose of instruction at this school, Fazun and his colleagues published numerous Chinese translations of works by Tibetan authors and of Tibetan Buddhist scriptures's such as Tsong kha pa's Lam rim chen mo as Puiidao cidi gttanglun :lf~ilJXm-Jl'ii'iilI or G1"eat Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment.'9 Dayong also translated the Lam rim bsdus don as Putidao cidi liielun :lf~ilJXm-mg. ii'iilI (Summary on the stages of the path to enlightenment),so the Ruzhong hm ,A"P ilffij (Madhyamakiivatara), the Xiangttan zhuangyan lun !ll.OiEiM' (Abhisamayiila7Jzkii1"aniima-p1"ajiiiipiiramitopadefa-fiistra), as well as other texts. Meanwhile, the institute staff also appear to have undertaken to translate Tibetan scriptures that survived only in Chinese translations such as, for instance, the Da pip osha lzm *m~rYii'iill (Sk. Abhidharnza-mahiivibhMii-fiistra, Tib. Bye brag bshad mdzod chen nto).51 Reportedly this institute also invited famous Tibetan scholar-monks as visiting professors in order to deepen the knowledge of Buddhism. For example, in 1938, Xirao Dashi]~~*~iji (sGo mang klu 'burn dge bshes Shes rab rgya mtsho, 19081968) was invited and taught at the schooU2 According to the information I received from Professor Wang Yao, the institute also invited sDom 'burn rin po che, Nor lha rin po che (known to the Chinese as Nuona shangshi *il~ Hiji, 1865-1936), and Thub bstan bla rna. The approach ofTaixu, Fazun, and their colleagues towards the study of Tibetan Buddhism was epoch making as they tried to understand the traditional system in its own terms while evaluating it critically and fairly as an academic system. Unfortunately, the times and the political situation prevented the continuation of their efforts. The school was active until 1950, but thereafter the approach of "learning from Tibet" vanished in China.

Taixu, "Hanzang Jiaoliyuan yu fojiao wenwu zhanlanhui" i#!.~>!I!1l1E~11Il~:lCiJw.JJlil [The Sino-Tibetan Institute and the exhibition of Buddhist cultural relics], in Tai.\"U dashi quanshu, vol. 27, 840. 48 Ven. Dongchu, Zhongguo fojiao jindai shi, vol. 2, 993-995 . 9 Fazun It:., Putidao cidi guanglun i'moJgi'X~lll(~ (Chongqing, 1936, repro Taibei, 1975); Taixu :;tEl[, "Putidao cidi guanglun xu" i'rJi!oJgi'X~lll(~~rf: [Preface to the G1'eat Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment], in Taixtt dashi quanshu, vol. 30, 777. For a complete translation of this work from Tibetan into English, see Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee, The G1'eat Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, 3 vols. (Ithaca: Snow Lion Publication, 2000-02). 50 Dayong *~ and Fazunlt:., Putidao cidi Weltm (Chongqing, 1936, repro Taibei, 1975); Taixu, "Putidao cidi liielun xu" i'moJg~~~e-~rf: [Introduction to the Summary on the stages of the path to enlightenment], in Taixu dashi quanshu, vol. 30, 780. 51 See the Zang-Han dacidian .~*;$JII> [Comprehensive Sino-Tibetan dictionary] which mentions on p. 1892 a Tibetan translation of the Da piposha Itm *m~&i~. 52 Taixu, "Cong goutong hanzang wenhua shuo dao ronghe hanzang minzu" {ii:l1i\:im ijjl;.:lCfr:~$I1i'ii~ili~.BO~ [From linking Chinese and Tibetan cultures to the assimilation of Chinese and, Tibetans], in TaL,"", dashi qUa1;Shu, vol. 24, 182. For a brief biography of sGo mang klu 'bum dge bshes Shes rab rgya mtsho, see the preface to his collected works: Ximo Jiaxi wenji *~;F.;:Jt:lC~ [Miscellany of sGo mang klu 'bum dge bshes Shes rab rgya mtsho], Tibetan version, vol. 1 (Qinghai: Minzu chubanshe, 1982).


Tbe j\![eiji Suppmsion ofBuddbism


Impact an lVIadem Buddhist Studies

January 2001 saw the publication in China of a set of books in six volumes entitled Zbongguo zangmi baodian op~liW'i'~ (Beijing: Minzu chubanshe). The books in this set are actually facsimile reproductions of old textbooks and ritual books originally produced for students in Chinese Buddhist institutions and schools. The books reproduced were published from the late 1920s to the 1930s. Most of them involve traditional Tibetan monastic educational manuals. Some of them are translations from Tibetan originals into Chinese; others are introductions or guidebooks to Tibetan Buddhism written in Chinese. A very similar series in facsimile publication was edited by Zhou Shaoliang )ilJ*BR and Lii Tiegang g;ii~[il;] entitled Zangmi xiufa midian liWjttIMt',~, 5 vols. (Beijing: Huaxia chubanshe, 1995).53 These two series duplicate a fair amount of the reproductions, but they also contain many titles unique to each series. It is thus now possible for Chinese scholars to appreciate the nature of Tibetan Buddhist thought and educational priorities. The basic approach which Taixu, Fazun, and their colleagues took towards Tibetan Buddhism in their time reflected a farsighted attitude within which they placed high value on Tibetan traditional monastic training and its academism as a forerunner of modern Buddhist research and, not as simply an object of investigation. They valued its methodology and guiding principles as well as its content. The times and the political situation, however, did not allow for the promotion of this approach in China. Ideas advocating the need to use traditional Tibetan Buddhology in researching Buddhist philosophy were already prevalent among vVestern scholars about a half century before Fazun's time. They considered Tibetan scholastic works as valuable academic opinions and not merely as objects of direct investigation. This kind of attitude had been slowly propagated among modern Western scholars by the efforts of scholars of the so-called Leningrad school such as vv. Wassiliew, Theodore Stcherbatsky, and Eugene Obermiller. 54 They publicly acknowledge their debt to the research done by 'Jam dbyangs bzhad pa (1648-1721?), rGyal tshab Dar rna rin chen (1364-1432), and other traditional Tibetan scholars. No one can deny the importance of Dr. David Seyfort Ruegg's results on Tathagatagarbha theory in 1970s. 55 Hisresearch was mainly guided by careful examinations of native scholastic works by traditional Tibetan researchers such as Bu ston Rin chen grub (1290-1364). It is also well known that the so-called GTub mtba' literature has played an important part in the Indian Buddhist studies done by Professor Katsumi Mimaki and others:"
53 For a presentation on this collection, see Gray Tuttle, "Translating Buddhism from Tibetan to Chinese in early 20,h Century China (1931-1951)," Buddbism Between Tibet and Cbina, ed. Matthew T. Kapstein (Boston: vVisdom Publications, 2008). 54 Eugene Obermiller, "The doctrine of Prajflaparamita as exposed in the Abhisa77Za),ii1a7!zkt/1'tl ofMaitreya," Acta 01ientafia 11 (1932): 1-355; Th. Stcherbatsky, Buddbist Logic, 2 vols. (Bibliotheca Buddhica 26, 1930-32). 55 David Seyfort Ruegg, Le tmite du tathiigatagm'bha de Bu stan Rin chen grub (Paris: Ecole franpise d'Extreme-Orient, 1973). 56 Katsumi Mimaki, La n!jatation bouddbique de la pe1'71ZalleJZce des cboses et fa p"elive de la


Onoda Shzmzif

Madhyamika studies have made rapid progress by the use of the native Buddhist literature of Tibet. For example, in recent years, results published by Dr. Leonard van der Kliijp and by Professor Tom Tillemans have shown that it is almost essential to use Tibetan Tshad ma litera=e in any research on Indian Buddhist 10gic.57

Thus, the shock that the Meiji Restoration inflicted on the Buddhist milieu in Japan was so strong that it even carried the risk of e.'l:terminating Buddhism in that country. However the result, as we have seen, was quite different. The sense of crisis and the serious reflection that it evoked, combined with a strong determination to reform actually resulted in a revival of Buddhism in Japan. Japanese attitudes and efforts exerted a great influence on the Buddhist milieu of China, which was facing a similar crisis, as native Mongolian and Tibetan institutes would at a later date. In both Japan and China a number of researchers of Buddhism began to realize early on that the study of Buddhist scriptures translated into Tibetan was important for the development of modern Buddhist studies. Moreover, some of them were also deeply interested in the educational system of Tibetan monasteries. Both these trends are active today throughout the world of East Asian Buddhist Studies. Translated by Monica Esposito

momentaneite des cboses (Paris: Institut de civilisation indienne, 1976), K.l\IIimaki, Blo gsal grub mtba' (Kyoto: Kyoto University, 1982). 57 Tom]. F. Tillemans, Scripture, Logic, Langztage (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1999).

The Philosophical Reception of Tibetan Buddhism in Japan This article deals with the three main stages that seem to characterize the study of Tibetan Buddhism in Japan: (1) the study of Indian Buddhism through the Tibetan tripitaka; (2) the study of Gelugpa's theories of Prama!)a and lYIadhyamika and (3) the contemporary studies based on a knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism in its own context. During the first stage, the most important studies were made by two scholars in Kyoto, Yamaguchi Susumu WJ wlil: (1895-1976) and Nagao Gajin (Gadjin) :!itfil!.)fftA (1907-2005), respectively master and pupil. Their methodology was accepted by many scholars in Japan, and the Kyoto school of Buddhist studies was formed. The second stage is characterized by a new insight into Indian Buddhism which was developed through Tibetan Buddhism. The disciples of Yamaguchi Zuiho WJ wfffij1l!\ (b. 1926) of Tokyo University began to study the Grub nztba' texts in order to understand the organized description of Tibetan Buddhism, and thus Indian Buddhism, especially Prama!)a and lYIadhyamika. Finally, the third stage concerns present-day young researchers who try t~ study living Tibetan Buddhism. Thanks to more frequent contact with Tibetan monks, they can learn how to read Tibetan texts clirectly from them. They also have the opportunity to spend time in Tibetan monasteries and assimilate the knowledge of Tibetan monks.

La reception philosophique du bouddhisme tibetain au Japon Cet article aborde les trois principales etapes qui marquerent les etudes du bouddhisme tihetain au Japon : (1) les etudes du bouddhisme indien sont abordees a partir du tripitaka tihetain ; (2) l'etude dogmatique des theories du Pramana et du lYIadhyamika chez les Gelugpa ; (3) les etudes contemporaines fondees sur I'approfondissement de la connaissance du bouddhisme tihetain dans son contexte. Pendant la premiere periode, les etudes les plus importantes furent celles de deux chercheurs de Kyoto, Yamaguchi Susumu WJwlil: (1895-1976) et Nagao Gajin (Gadjin) :!itfil!.)fftA (1907-2005), respectivement maitre et disciple. Leur methodologie fut adoptee par beaucoup de chercheurs japonais et I'ecole des etudes bouddhiques de Kyoto fut creee. La deuxieme etape se caracterise par une nouvelle approche du bouddhisme indien, qui s'est developpee a partir du bouddhisme tibetain. Les disciples de Yamaguchi Zuiho WJwfffij1l!\ (ne en 1926) de I'Universite de Tokyo commencerent a etudier les textes du Gn,b nztba' afin d'en degager la description systematique du bouddhisme tibetain, en particulier Ie Pramana et Ie Madhyamika. Enfin, la troisieme periode voit I'emergence de jeunes chercheurs actuels qui s'efforcent d'etudier Ie bouddhisme tibetain en activite. Grace a des
contacts plus frequents avec des moines tibetains, ils s'initient ala lecture de premiere main des textes tibetains. Ces nouveaux chercheurs ont aussi 1a chance de pouvoir sejourner dans des monas teres tibetains et de recevoir l'enseignement direct des moines tibetains.



Three Stages in Tibetan Buddhist Studies

he study of Tibetan Buddhism in Japan already has a history of more than a hundred years, going back to 1901 when Kawaguchi Ekai moll #ii (1866-1945) first entered Lhasa, and during this time a wide-ranging body of research has accumulated.! It is impossible to sketch in its entirety the history of research during these hundred years, but in the following I shall summarize the history of the philosophical study and philosophical reception of Tibetan Buddhism, a subject that until now caunotbe said to have widely accepted in the academic study of Buddhism. 2 There will Ilecessarily be much research on which I do not touch because I have set out to delineate changes in research trends rather than focus on individual studies, and the researchers whom I discuss are chiefly those who typify these trends. However, the distinguishing characteristics of each period are applicable to the majority of researchers of the time even if they are not mentioned by name. Tibetan Buddhist studies during the past hundred years can be divided into three periods. The first began at the time of the Great Gamel in central Asia during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when Japanese Buddhists entered Tibet in search of the original texts of Buddhism and brought back to Japan the Tibetan canon along with extracanonical writings by various Tibetan authors. Then,
On Kawaguchi, see the contribution by Okuyama Naoji in this volume. Although the periods are limited to 1984/5-1998, there are good surveys of Tibetan studies in Japan: "Japanese Research on Tibetan Buddhism: 1984-1998" by Fukuda Yoichi, "Japanese Research on Tibetan History: 1985-1998" by Ishihama Yumiko, and "Japanese Research on Tibetan Linguistics" by Nagano Yasuhiko in Asian Reseanb Ii-ends: A Humanities and Social Science Review 9 (The Centre for East Asian Cultural Studies for Unesco, 1999). ) The expression "Great Game" sometimes attributed to Rudyard Kipling and Kim was originated by a British intelligence officer, Arthur Conolly, in 1831 (see Peter Hopkirk, Tbe G,'eat Game: On Secret Se1'Vice in High Asia, London: John Murray, 1990, 123). It denotes the political and military rivalry carried out between Russia and Britain in the region between the Caucasus and India during the 19'" century. See Stanley Abe, "Inside the vVonder House: Buddhist Art and West," in CZl1'aton of the Buddba, ed. Donald S. Lopez, Jr. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995): 63-106, here note 103.

Images of Tibet in the 19 rb and 20 Ib CentuTies Paris, EFEO, coll. Etudes thematiques" (22.1), 2008, p. 245-262


Fukuda Yiiichi

as various people explored ways of utilizing these texts, there eventually developed an understanding, albeit hazy, of Tibetan Buddhism as a whole. This period lasted for about fifty years, and its high-water mark was the achievements of Nagao Gajin (Gadjin) f:t~Jfltl\ (1907-2005). Although Nagao himself did not visit Tibet, he undertook a survey of Tibetan monasteries in Inner Mongolia during World vVar II, and produced a partial translation of the La712 1~i712 chen 7120 by Tsongkhapa (Tsong kha pa) in which he revealed an understanding of Tibetan Madhyamika philosophy that was remarkably accurate for his time. The second period began after the war when in 1961 the Toyo Bunko ~l$::st Ii' invited to Japan a number of Tibetan scholar-monks who had fled to India. This was a time. during which younger researchers studying under Yamaguchi Zuiho 0J priffiJj,\, (b. 1926) at the Toyo Bunko and the University of Tokyo conducted research on Tibetan Buddhism as an extension of their study of Indian Buddhism. During this period there appeared three volumes of essays on Tibetan Buddhism written by Yamaguchi and researchers associated with him, a clear indication that research d':'ring this period was centered on Yamaguchi and those around him. The foremost achievement of this period was a series of studies on Tsongkhapa's lvladhyamika philosophy by Matsumoto Shiro t~*5t:JlJl (b. 1950). Beginning in the mid-1990s younger researchers, rather than study Tibetan Buddhism on the basis of methods and concerns deriving from Indian Buddhist studies, began to receive instruction directly from Tibetans and to conduct research within the context of Tibetan Buddhism itself. This constitutes the third of our periods. Research of this type has only just begun in the academic world of traditional Buddhist studies. Those engaged in this research are still postgraduate students or people who have only just completed their studies, and concrete results are still scant. But if one extends one's purview to religious studies and cultural anthropology, mention can be made of Nakazawa Shin'ichi 'P{RJiiJT- (b. 1950). In 1979 he began training in Tantric Buddhism under the Nyingmapa (rNying rna pa) lama Khetsun Sangpo (mI(has btsun bzang po, b. 1921), and on the basis of his experiences he has written about Tibetan Buddhism in a most engaging style that has found favor with the Japanese reading public, even though he has been almost completely ignored by academics in the fields of Buddhist and religious studies. The research methods of this third period differ most from those of the second period in their efforts to comprehend Tibetan Buddhism directly within the context of the Tibetans themselves, and in this respect Nakazawa's approach is representative of these newer research trends. The above three periods cannot necessarily be strictly differentiated chronologically, but they do represent a tripartite division of the characteristics of research methods and interests. It is interesting to note, however, that researchers belonging to one period can be seen to pass on the baton, as it were, to researchers of the next period, just aq if some karmic bond connected them. In the following, I shall give a brief outline of the history of each period, focusing on four researchers representative of thes~ periods, and thereby describe the course of the philosophical reception of Tibetan B~ddhism in Japan.


The Philosophical Reception of Tibetan Buddbis17Z in Japan


Tbe First PeTiod: Jozmzeys to Tibet and Nagao Gajin's NJadbya77Zilw Studies
At the turn of the twentieth century, when explorers from around the world were vying with each other to be the first foreigners to enter Tibet, the last forbidden land, attempts were also being made by the Japanese to enter Tibet 'and reach its capital Lhasa by various routes. But the objectives of those Japanese intent on entering Tibet differed from those of vVestern explorers, or at least they had an additional objective. In order to discover the true form of Buddhism, many of them were seeking in Tibet Buddhist scriptures (Sanskrit texts and the Tibetan canon) closer to the original texts of Buddhism than the Chinese scriptures with which they were familiar. This initial motivation is reflected in the fact that the greater part of Tibetan studies in Japan since then has been concerned with Buddhism. In this sense, the first achievement of this period must be credited to Teramoto Enga ~*ftJ'fflJl (1872-1947) who, though not the first to reach Lhasa, in the confusion that followed the Boxer Uprising in 1900 obtained a copy of the Peking edition of the Tibetan canon from a Tibetan monastery in Peking. This was subsequently donated to Otani University, and the Suzuki Research Foundation later brought out its photographic reprint. 4 This was an epochal event for the study of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, for it now became possible to refer readily to the voluminous Tibetan canon. In 1901, when Tibet was still maintaining a closed-door policy, Kawaguchi Ekai, disguised as a Chinese, succeeded in becoming the first foreigner to enter Lhasa. He was soon exposed as Japanese, but after a year or so he escaped to Darjeeling, in India, After the invasion of Tibet by British forces under Colonel Younghusband in 1904 and their entry into Lhasa, Tibet's seclusion in effect came to an end, and instead, with the help of other countries, it began to explore ways of modernizing. Thereafter several more Japanese managed to visit Lhasa, including Teramoto Enga (in Lhasa 1905-1906), Aoki Bunkyo 1r*Y:~ (1886-1956; in Lhasa 1913-1916), and Tada Tokan ?t1'B~iJ! (1890-1967; in Lhasa 1913-1923). On his first visit Kawaguchi had failed to accomplish his initial objective of acquiring a copy of the Tibetan canon, and so he revisited Lhasa in 1914 (returning to Japan the following year). Each relying on personal connections, these men all obtained copies of the Tibetan canon and other Tibetan works, which they then brought back to Japan. The Tibetan canon (including a valuable manuscript Kangyur) and extracanonical works brought back by Kawaguchi are held by the Toyo Bunko, while most of the texts brought back by Teramoto are held by Otani University, and those brought back by Tada are kept at Tohoku University and the University of Tokyo. Especially worthy of mention among these figures is Tada Tokan, who through a special dispensation from the 13'h Dalai Lama was able to study Tibetan Buddhism for ten years at Sera Monastery, following the traditional methods of monastic education. He was probably the Japanese most deeply versed in Tibetan Buddhism. The Tibetan works he collected include many that are important and valuable, and Tohoku University, which acquired them,
The Tibetan Ti-ipitaka, ed. Suzuki Daisetsu, 168 vols., Tokyo, 1955-61.


Fukuda Yiiichi

later invited him to join Ui Hakuju ''tl=1i3,ji, Kanakura Ensho ~.pjjffi, Hadano Hakuyu 5J)jIl3!BHi3~ (1911-1985)' and other Buddhist scholars on its staff in compiling A Complete Catalogue of the Tibetan Buddhist Canons (1934) and A Catalogue of tbe Tohoku University Collection of Tibetan Works on Buddhimz (1953). But apart from this, . Tada wrote only an introductory book on Tibet6 and a biography in English of the 13 th Dalai Lama, with whom. he had been on close terms.7 He never produced any research or other writings of a more substantial nature. B The exploitation of the Tibetan works brought back by these early travelers to Tibet in the study of Buddhism WaS left to the next generation of scholars. Yamaguchi Susumu ~Q~ (1895-1976) of Otani University, which held a copy of the Peking edition of the Tibetan canon, was one of the first to set about making use of the Tibetan canon in his research, and he undertook studies of the Madhyamaka and Yogaciira in which he made full use of texts for which there was no Sanskrit original or Chinese translation and which had survived only in Tibetan translation. After learning Tibetan from Teramoto Enga, Yamaguchi Susumu went to France to study under Sylvain Levi during 1927-1929, and he was the first researcher to introduce to Japan the philological method based on the comparative study of Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese texts. But he did not go so far as to engage in the study ot'Tibetan Buddhism itself. Under the direct and indirect influence of Yamaguchi there developed in Kyoto after vVorld War II a tradition of Buddhist studies making use of Tibetan texts, which was in marked contrast to the situation in Tokyo, where almost no research llsing Tibetan texts was being conducted at this time. Among the researchers in Kyoto, it was Nagao Gajin of Kyoto University who came squarely to grips with Tibetan Buddhism. While Nagao is famous around the world as a great scholar of Indian Buddhism, during and immediately after the war he devoted himself to the study of Tibetan Buddhism. He was taught by Yamaguchi among others and collaborated with him in a critical edition and annotated translation of the Madhyantavibhiigatfka. Then, with funds provided by the government-controlled South Manchuria Railway, in 1943 he conducted a field survey of Wudangzhao 3i~H:l and Beizimiao Jl.'TJWi, two leading Buddhist monasteries in Inner Mongolia. The record of his investigations (Miiko gakumonji ~il"jtFo~'ii= [1947]) and the account of his travels (Miiko ramabyii ki ~ilID1JJ.Jfjjjjc. [1947]) describe in great detail the distribution, form, organization, lifestyle, architecture, art, and so

Although Ui and Kanakura were researchers of Indian Philosophy and Buddhism, Hadano studied the history of Tibetan Buddhism and the esoteric Buddhism based upon non-canonical works brought by Tad . His pioneer works were published in two ";olumes of his collected edition (Chibetto indogaku shusei "f""~ l- .(~)<<'jt~pj(;, 1-2 vols., Kyoto: H6z6kan It;iIl!~, 1986-1987). His achievements are on a par with that of Nagao Gajin in the . second period of Tibetan studies inJapan. 6 Chibetto "f""-y l- (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten ;\!g-i!j[:;:m, 1942). The Thirteentb Dalai Lama (Tokyo: Centre for East Asian Cultural Studies for Unesco, The Toy6 Bunko, 1965). , For more detailed information on early study of Tibet in Japan, see the contribution by Okuyama Naoji in this volume. .

The Philosophical Reception of Tibetan Buddbism in Japan


on of traditional Tibetan monasteries in Mongolia, which were to disappear shortly afterwards with the advent of Communist rule 9 After his return to Japan, Nagao started working on an annotated translation of the "Vipasyana" chapter of Tsongkhapa's Lam Tim eben mo. He persevered with it between air raids, and his efforts bore fruit after the war in a study entitled Seizo bu/deyo kenkyzi Wi1:lil{L~1i]f'fE or Reseanh on Tibetan Buddhism. 'o vVhen considered from the more advanced level of today's research, his translations and interpretations of some of the more difficult passages are problematic, but he identified accurately Tsongkhapa's sources, and at a time when there existed neither adequate dictionaries nor general works on the subject there had suddenly appeared an outstanding translation of the most philosophical sections of one of the most important works of Tibetan Buddhism. On the basis of his understanding nurtured through his reading of the Lam 1'im eben 7no, Nagao also published his doctoral thesis, entitled Chllgan tetsugalw no konponte1ei tacbiba r:pW!B''O)t:El*S':l:s'z:~ (later translated into English under the title The Foundational Standpoint of NJiidhyamika Philosophyll) in Kyoto University's journal Tetsugalw kenkyzi B'''liif'fE (1947-48)." This represented the first fruit of the philosophical reception of Tibetan Buddhism in Japan. Dispensing with any philological apparatus, this thesis was written with the aim of elucidating the essence of Madhyarnika philosophy in philosophical terms (that is, in accordance with the flow of Nagao's own arguments). Theses written in this style are rarely seen in Buddhist academia today. At the time, the Department of Philosophy at Kyoto University was dominated by the so-called Kyoto school of philosophy propounded by students of Nishida Kitaro Ws=I%l\~J!i~ (1870-1945), Nishida, renowned as Japan's most original philosopher, constructed his own philosophical system in an attempt to solve the philosophical problems that concerned him. His philosophical system came to be known as "Nishida philosophy," and the issues he raised were discussed in Japanese philosophical circles using concepts created by him. Nagao's thesis would seem to have been written within this milieu. Nishida's writings make frequent use of expressions "must be," "must be so-called," "should be" and "unescapably" giving particular emphasis to inevitability, and they are also characterized by the free use of concepts such as "self-identity of absolute contradiction" which step outside the bounds of everyday logic. This tendency is also evident in Nagao's above-mentioned thesis and while expressions drawing on Nishida's philosophy are far too numerous to list here (almost all lines contain such expressions), some examples of Nishida-like terms and phraseology include the following (quoted here from his Japanese thesis included in Chzlgan to Yuishiki r:pW!i:Pjt~rather than from the English translation):


These two books have been reprinted and continue to be read today from Chiia


Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1954. II Trans. John P. Keenan (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989). 12 This article is included in his collected edition C1J1lgan to Yuisbiki 'i'li,U:::U1Ui& (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1978) with his other articles on Indian and Tibetan Buddhism.


Fukuda Yoicbi
For Nladhyamaka too, dependent arising must be its fundamental proposition (p. 6)." "There must be so-called dependently arisen thusness, that is, the dependent co-arising or arising of intrinsic nature of the Buddha (p. 8)." "That which realizes the supreme truth is not a mere 'means of knowledge' such as direct perception or inference, and as long as it possesses the character of investigating the true essence, it must be that which ought to be called 'true reasoning' .... Therefore, that which sees the supreme truth must ~ not a means of knowledge, but the wisdom of true reasoning (p. 130)." "Generally, solm (Ch. ji llP) refers to the identitv of absolutely contradictory things, and as a unity of contradictory notions such as one and many, self and other, it is interpenetrating (p. 18).

The writings of Nishida, who attempted to give expression to that which transcends ordinary verbal expression, are well-known for their abstruseness, and this thesis by Nagao, influenced as he was by Nishida, is also exceedingly difficult to understand when compared with other monographs in the field of Buddhist studies. Since Tsongldlapa's philosophy is itself extremely logical, it ought to have been possible for him to explain it quite lucidly, but Nagao's thesis is written in a manner that makes it impossible to follow his arguments in a single reading. This may be one reason why his pioneering achievements in the understanding of Tibetan Buddhism have been unfairly underrated. But even today the understanding attained by Nagao deserves to be reread, even if it means grappling with his abstruse turns of phrase, and by the same token his annotated translation of the Lam 7'im eben mo has remained perfectly serviceable to this day.

The Second Pe7-iod: Tibetan Buddbist Studies as an Extension ofIndian Buddbist Studies
In his later years Kawaguchi Ekai, the first Japanese to enter Tibet, decided to compile a Tibetan-Japanese dictionary. On the condition that he be provided with space and funds for this purpose, he donated tlle Tibetan texts he had collected to the Taya Bunko, where during the war he set about compiling the dictionary. But he died in the final year of the war (1945), his goal unfulfilled. However, the seeds sown at this time by Kawaguchi led to the subsequent development of the Taya Bunko into an important center for Tibetan studies in Japan. For a time after the war work continued on the compilation of the Tibetan-Japanese dictionary in accordance with Kawaguchi's wishes, and during this time Tada Tabn became a regular visitor to the Taya Bunko, where he instructed Kitamura Hajime ~tH* (19232003) and Yamaguchi Zuiha of the University of Tokyo in the Tibetan language and Tibetan culture. Tada, together with Kitamura and Yamaguchi, then went on to establish the infrastructure for Tibetan studies at the Taya Bunko. vVhen the 14'h Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959, large numbers of Tibetan monks followed him into exile, and in order to support these Tibetans in exile the Rockefeller Foundation provided funds to send prominent scholar-monks to institutes around the world engaged in Tibetan studies. InJapan the Taya Bunko acted as host institution, and

The Pbilosopbical Reception of Tibetan Buddbisl7Z in Japan


in 1956 the Center for Tibetan Studies was established, with Tada Tokan becoming the head researcher. Tada and Kitamura then went to India to select suitable people, and in 1961 it was decided to invite the Sakyapa (Sa skya pal incarnate lama Sonam Gyamtso (bSod nams rgya mtsho), the Nyingmapa lama Khetsun Sangpo, and Tsering Dolma (Tshe ring sgroI rna), the daughter of a nobleman. In 1958 Yamaguchi Zuiho had gone to France to study under Rolf A. Stein, who was the author of an authoritative survey of Tibetan culture, La civilisation tibetaine, which Yamaguchi translated into Japanese later (T~kyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1971), and after eight years' study he returned to Japan in 1966 and was reinstated as a researcher at the Toyo Bunko. In this fashion a new infrastructure for postwar Tibetan studies was established at the Toyo Bunko, and in collaboration with the Tibetan researchers invited to Japan the collected works of the Sakyapas, which had brought to Japan by Sonam Gyamtso, were published (1968-69), a catalog of the Kawaguchi collection was compiled,!] full set of Tibetan printing types was created, and a study of Thukan's (Thu'u bkwan, 1737-1802) G7"1tb mtba' was initiated. l4 In 1970 Yamaguchi moved to the University of Tokyo, where he taught literary Tibetan, and this marked the real start of the second period of Tibetan Buddhist studies. Yamaguchi retained his position as researcher at the Toyo Bunko, and together with younger researchers under his tutelage at the Uhiversity of Tokyo he pursued research projects at the Toyo Bunko. Initially his subject of research had been the study of the history of the ancient Tibetan kingdom through the critical use of Dunhuang manuscripts and later Tibetan historical sources, but in his class for reading Tibetan Buddhist literature at the University of Tokyo he read continuously over the years Changkya's (ICang skya, 1717-1786) Gnlb 77Ztba'.lS Among the students who took this class, there were several who chose Tibetan Buddhism as their research topic, and they were known as the "Yamaguchi group." By the time Yamaguchi retired from the University of Tokyo in 1986 he had edited three volumes of essays dealing with Tibet. The first was a special issue of the journal Toyo gakujutsu kenkyzI J![l$"f:lif''l'liJfi; (21-2 [1982]) on "Tibetan Buddhism," which summarized the history of the various schools of Tibetan Buddhism and serves as an introduction to the subject. This was followed by Tonka kogo bun/un $Y:~~t)j~li':)z:ii!\,!6 which formed
13 Catalog cards of the Kawaguchi collection were prepared by Khetsun Sangpo. The catalog of the historical works within the collection was published by Yamaguchi Zuiho from the Toyo Bunko in 1970. 14 As a genre of Tibetan literature, grub mtba' (doxography) generally describes the philosophical tenets of the four principal schools of Indian Buddhism. However the Gntb mtba' written by Thukan in 1801 mainly discusses the tenets of Tibetan Buddhism. This is a unique feature of Thukan's G1'ltb 77ttba', and it is also very useful in the study of Tibetan Buddhism itself. During the period 1974-1995, researchers from the Toyo Bunko engaged in this study published annotated translations of seven chapters of this Grub 71ltba': Sa skya pa, Zhi byed pa, rNying rna pa, Mongolian Buddhism, J0 nang pa, bKa' brgyud pa, and dGe lugs pa. 15 Changkya's Gmb 77ztba' is a most authoritative interpretation of four tenets of Indian Buddhism from the point of view of Gelugpa school and a very detailed introduction of philosophy ofTsongkhapa. 16 Vol. 6 ofKoza: T01ZkO~l(:J!i!. tiI:;t~ (Tokyo: Daito Shuppansha *JI:!:iJIlR1', 1985).


Fukuda Yoichi

part of a series on Dunhuang, and Chibetto no bukkyo to sbakai TA.y t-(1){L:j;&H~,17 a Festschrift volume published on the occasion of Yamaguchi's sixtieth birthday. In addition, although published after his retirement, Chibetto bukkyo TA.y HL~,I8 part of a series on Eastern thought, was for the most part written by Yamaguchi and researchers who had studied under him (with the introductory chapter being contributed by Nagao Gajin). No such collections of essays on Tibetan Buddhism had been compiled previously, nor have any appeared since; this is an indication of the thriving state of research among Yamaguchi's students at this time. After his retirement from the University of Tokyo Yamaguchi himself also began to concentrate on the study of Buddhism, following the path taken earlier by his own students. His research started with a close reading of Santarak~ita's iVIildbyamakiila1?zkiiTa, and he went on to formulate a thesis of dependent co-arising based on a distinctive theory of perception. He subsequently wrote many articles related to Buddhism, on the basis of which he developed his own original understanding of Buddhism in a chapter on Tibetan Buddhism in his two-volume opus on Tibet entitled Chibetto TA.y t-,19 This work was written for the general reader (which is why it has no notes, nor are any sources given), and it describes all aspects of Tibetan culture in great detail under various headings. No such introductory work had been previously available in Japanese, nor has any been written since, and partly because it was written by an emeritus professor of the University of Tokyo, it has met with wide acceptance among the general reading public. (It received the Mainichi Publishing Culture Award in 1988.) A distinctive feature of this work is that, rather than relying on past research, Yamaguchi has himself gone back to the original sources and write ten most of it on the basis of his own interpretations. 'o This also means of course that there are passages that pose problems in"a general work. The chapter on Buddhism in particular, premised on Yamaguchi's own distinctive understanding of Buddhism, treats of the views of the scholar-monks corresponding to the founders of the various schools of Tibetan Buddhism in a uniformly critical and negative manner, and a work which ought to provide an impartial introduction to the subject thus turned into a book of the' most radical content. A revised and enlarged version of the second volume, which includes the chapter on Buddhism, was published in 2004. The chapter on Buddhism in particular has been completely rewritten, and its content now deviates still further from what might be deemed appropriate for a general work. There are probably very few people who can understand what it says, and for this reason it is unlikely to have had much real effect. This means that it has failed completely to help spread an understanding of Tibetan Buddhism. Among Yamaguchi's students, it was Matsumoto Shiro who in the end produced the most substantial results, and his scholarly articles on Tibetan Buddhism have Tokyo: Shunjusha $fM, 1986. Vol. 11 of Iwa71ami koza: Toyo shiso :'6iBi~i\\'~' Jf[1'F,\lIJ~ (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1999). 19 2 vols. (Tokyo: Tokyo daigaku Shuppankai Jf[*::k:'jt!lJlR~, 1987-88). 20 I criticized his unique interpretation of Santaraksita's texts in my paper "Nihon no Chibettagaku 10 nen: Yamaguchi Zuiho hakushi no kenlcyu wa chushin ni" S;$:<D'f"rZ,y t-"lt
17 18

1O"F'-W,Jp.fffij@'tW0)1iJf'ie:a:-<jJ,tA;:,Bu""yogaku{LWl"lt36 (1994).

Tbe Pbilosopbical Retepti;n of Tibetan Buddbism in Japan


been brought together in a volume on the "philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism" entitled Cbibetto bulekyotetsugaku 7'--"'.;; r-fbWcB''J':.21 Matsumoto does not limit his studies to Tibetan Buddhism, and he has published voluminolls studies of Indian Buddhism and, more recently, also of ChanlZen and the Pure Land teachings in China and Japan. But while their subject matter is far-ranging, most of his books share an underlying negative criticism of Tathagatagarbha thought. Taking the view that Tathagatagarbha thought is not Buddhism, he has published a succession of studies in which he criticizes various currents of thought in the l:Ustory of Buddhism. Tathagatagarbha thought holds to the idea that sentient beings already have within them as their essential nature the potential for becoming Buddhas sometime in the future, and once that which is concealing this potential disappears, their original Buddhahood will spontaneously appear. Matsumoto, on tlle other hand, argues that this optimistic Tathagatagarbha thought, asserting as it does that something affirmative and substantial in the form of tatbiigotagm-bba represents the essence and basis of human existence, is in direct conflict with Buddhism's primary ideas of no-self (oniit77Zon) and emptiness (fz7nyotii). In Matsumoto's view, the history of Buddhism has been a history of the degeneration of the true philosophy of emptiness into a philosophy ofbeing exemplified by Tathagatagarbha thought. vVithin this body of research, Matsumoto's study of Tibetan Buddhism was initially conducted with the aim of elucidating objectively Tsongkhapa's Madhyamika philosophy (although later it was used in his criticism ofTathagatagarbha thought). In tlle course of his research, iVIatsumoto came to identify the essence of Tsongkhapa's Madhyamika philosophy in his criticism of the "theory of freedom from extremes as the middle view." The "theory of freedom from extremes as the middle view" is the view that "supreme trutll or true reality transcends all verbal expression," and "from this position every assertion and judgment must be negated as a conceptualization and attachment." Therefore, from tllis point of view "the establishment of dependent co-arising is impossible from the standpoint of the Madhyamikas themselves, and it is established from the standpoint of so-called '[ordinary people belonging to] everyday world,' who for Madhyamikas represent the other." In this fashion, the "theory of freedom from extremes as the middle view" does not recognize dependent co-arising as its own standpoint, and it maintains that dependent co-arising must be established on the basis of a standpoint other than its own. Tsongkhapa, on the other hand, criticizes this assertion-namely, the negation of all conceptualization-as being no different from the thought of the nihilist Mohoyan ~~'lllJ21 and as representing a denial of the doctrine of dependent co-arising. According to Matsumoto, the essence of Tsongkhapa's thought lies in the fact that he criticized the view equating the abandonment of all conceptualizations, all judgments, and all positions with the Madhyamika view, especially that of the Prasangikas, as being ultimately identical with the
Tokyo: Daizo Shuppan xiliW::l#R, 1997. lvIohoyan is a Zen Buddhist of the last half of 8'" century, who came to Tibet to propagate Chinese Zen Buddhism but he was rejected by Kamalasila, a prominent scholar-monk of Indian Buddhism in those days, who had come to Tibet to introduce the orthodoxy oflndian Buddhism, .
II . 22


Fukuda Yifichi

position of lVIohoyan, who taught that enlightenment means "not thinkingi' and that he upheld to the end the importance of "good conceptualizations." At the same time, Tsongkhapa's thought is also deemed to imply that the theory of dependent co-arising can be established on the basis ofTsongkhapa's own position. Matsumoto's book Chibetto buldeyif tetsugaleu is a detailed record of the process of trial and error whereby he pried these fundamental assertions from Tsongkhapa's writings. Rather than being based on an extensive reading of Tsongkhapa's works, it is a book that subjects a limited number of passages to deep analysis, and it is no easy matter to reassess lVlatsumoto's arguments. For this reason I am unable to evaluate his arguments on the basis of a thorough examination, but it would nonetheless seem to me that his assertions are overly one-sided. Though what Matsumoto refers to as criticism of the "theory of fi-eedom from extremes as the middle view" may appear in Tsongkhapa's writings, it is inconceivable that this could represent the essence of his philosophy. Rathe;, what Tsongkhapa himself identified as the essence of lYladhyamika thought was, depending on the context, the "unshared superior doctrine of the lYIadhyamikas" (dbu nza pa'i tbun 77Zong nza yin pa'i kbyad chos), the "eight difficult points" (dlea' gnad b,-gyad) of the Prasangikas, and so on, and when considered as a whole his thought may be positioned <It the intersection of the twin axes of dependent co-arising and emptiness on the one hand and worldly convention and supreme truth on the other. Anyone who follows the thread of Tsongkhapa's arguments will be naturally led to this summary of the essence of his philosophy. But while he also refers to these notions, ultimately lYIatsumoto draws a forced connection between all these ideas and the solutions to questions he himself has posed. Matsumoto has assigned the greater part of his Chibetto bukkyif tetsugaku to the elucidation of the "essence" ofTsonglchapa's Madhyamika philosophy, and he undertakes, moreover, deep analyses that reveal aspects of Tsonglchapa's thought that are overlooked in any cursory reading of his writings and ties the whole together with sound logic. Even though some of lYIatsumoto's conclusions and interpretations may be open to question, there can be no doubt that an examination of his arguments provides an excellent starting point for thinking more deeply about Tsongkhapa's philosophy.

The Tbird Period: Understanding Tibetan BuddbisllZ in a Tibetan Context

Regardless of how penetrating Matsumoto's analyses may be, there is no denying that his readings are on the whole unnatural. The reason for this lies in the fact that as a researcher belonging to the second period of Tibetan studies he was reading the Buddhist writings of Tibet as an extension of Indian Buddhist studies. We can understand Indian Buddhism only on the basis of the extant texts, but in the case of Tibetan Buddhism its traditions have continued down to the present day, and it is possible to receive direct instruction from Tibetan scholar-monks. Such instruction goes beyond simply having puzzling words and concepts explained. Direct instruction from Tibetans does of course have this benefit, but more important is the fact that one can gain from the very outset an insight into the perspective from which

The Pbilosophical Reception of Tibetan Buddhism in Japan


Tibetans themselves understand their own Buddhism as a whole. It is extremely difficult to develop such a perspective on the basis of books alone. This is apparent in the far greater variation that exists in the interpretations reached by individual researchers in the field of Indian Buddhist smdies when compared with Tibetan Buddhist smdies. In the case of Tibetan Buddhism, it is necessary to adopt the procedure of fIrst learning what Tibetans themselves take for granted in their understanding of . Tibetan Buddhism and then examine this objectively. My positing of a third period in the study of Tibetan Buddhism is in response to the fact that there have begun to appear researchers who, receiving instruction directly from Tibetans in a Tibetan context, are assimilating this information as they pursue their research inJapan. This third period actually overlaps with the second half of tlle second period, and, strictly speaking, it is not a question of periodization but one of differences in methodology. The first person that must be mentioned in connection with the philosophical reception of Tibetan Buddhism during this period is Nakazawa Shin'ichi. It is Nakazawa who has aroused great interest in Tibetan Buddhism among the general reading public in Japan, and he has considerable popular influence. In the academic world of Buddhist studies and Tibetan studies, however, he is completely ignored, and for this reason he is probably largely unknown among overseas researchers engaged in Tibetan studies . . Nakazawa did not start out in the field of Buddhist studies. As a young researcher in the wider area of religious smdies and cultural anthropology, and prior to entering the life of an academic, in 1979 at the age of twenty-nine he became a disciple ofKhetsun Sangpo, the Nyingmapa lama, at a Nyingmapa colleg'e that the latter was running in Nepal, and with the special permission of the Rinpoche he was able to study there the practices of Tibetan Buddhism, including the rudiments of rdzogs chen, for about two years. As was mentioned earlier, Khetsun Sangpo was one of the first three Tibetans invited to Japan by the Toyo Bunko in 1961. Mter spending about ten years helping with the study and cataloguing of Tibetan works at the Tayo Bunko, in 1970, but having trained no disciples in Japan, he moved to the library in Dharamsala in India. Then in 1974 he established a college for young Nyingmapa monks in northern India, which he relocated to Bodhnath in Nepal in 1977, and he was engaged in training them there when Nakazawa visited him. At the time, Nakazawa had no idea that Khetsun Sangpo had lived for many years in Japan and could speak Japanese. Though a coincidence, there must have been some deeper karmic bond between them, and already in this initial encounter one senses the start of a typically Tibetan relationship. After his return to Japan, Nakazawa published in rapid succession a number of essays in which he wrestled with how to interpret within the conceptual framework of modern French philosophy the experiences he had gained during these two years of practice. These essays were men brought together in his first book, Chibetto no Motsaruto =J-.rZ;; rO)"C~j17!v r or Moza7,t of Tibet (1983). vVhen describing the reality that he experienced (or that lies beyond what he experienced), Nakazawa always presents roughly the same schema. This is the contrast between the world of gross material mass to which our everyday lives belong


Fukuda Yijicbi

and the world of subtle movement that manifests in consciousness when it has been transformed by the various meditational techniques of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism. He sets forth what is in a way a commonsense understanding of Buddhism not through the medium of traditional conceptual terms, but in extremely sensual and literary language rich in images. In addition, though not strictly basing himself on original texts, he uses free and sensual modes of expression in providing explanations of the process of emanation (utpatti-km77Za) and the process of realization (niipanna-kmma) that hold for Tibetan Tantrism in general. When this book was reissued in paperback in 2003, Nakazawa wrote in the "Preface" that it bears the marks of the struggles of his youth, when he was unable to assimilate his experiences fully, and that he would write differently were he to write about the same subject matter today. It is true that since its initial publication Nakazawa has eschewed the interpretations and rewordings based on contemporary philosophy that he essayed in this book, and has come to write about Tibetan Buddhism in a more straightforward and traditional manner. This book was one of self-definition for Nakazawa as he molded himself into a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism around the age of thirty. In 1981, prior to the publication of Chibetto no iV1ijtsaruto, Nakazawa brought out Niji no kaitei !lrIO)fI"&t~, a translation of Khetsun Sangpo's lectures on Tbe SaC7'ed Wiwd of Lama Gun-sang by Jigme Lingpa (,Jigs med gling pa, 1729/30-1798) (also available in English as Tanto'ic Pmctice in Nying-ma). With the publication of these two books, the name Nakazawa Shin'ichi came to be associated with Tibetan Buddhism for Japanese reading public. In 1993 Niji no kaitei, this time more accurately translated, was republished with the addition of sections that had been omitted from the original lectures. In content, it is divided into the preparatory practices common to Buddhism in general and the preparatory practices peculiar to Tantric Buddhism, with the first half explaining the basic mental approach needed to practice Buddhism and the second half going on to describe the basics of Tantric meditation methods in the order of Vajrasattva meditation, mandala offering, cutting attachment (gcod), guru-yoga, and 'pho ba. A distinctive feature of this book is not the exposition of conventional teachings as suggested by the chapter titles, but the fact that the commentary is interspersed with tales and verses from Indian and Tibetan practitioners, which enable the reader to foster an awareness of belonging to the long current of Buddhist history as she or he practices in the present. The translation is fluent and natural, just as if a Tibetan were directly addressing the reader, and no use is made of the difficult terminology of modern French philosophy found in Nakazawa's own books. It is probably one of the best introductions to Buddhism (not just Tibetan Buddhism) published in recent years. More recently Nakazawa has also published a translation of Khetsun Sangpo's dictated account of his own life, entitled Chie no harulea naru itadaki :l;Q~O)~tpfJ: QUI (1997) ..For Japanese readers with few opportunities to come into direct contact with Tibetan monks, the biography of a Tibetan lama provides a good means of gaining a glimpse into the life and training of real Tibetan monks. About twothirds of this book is taken up with a detailed account of Khetsun Sangpo's training from the time of his birth in Central Tibet in 1921 until his flight to India in

The Philosophical Reception of Tibetan &lddhism in Japan


1959. It then describes his life in India and his life of research alone in Japan, and ends with Nakazawa's arrival at his lama college. vVhile Khetsun Sangpo's ext~r nal circumstances must often have been in a state of great upheaval, this biography is spiritual in content and focuses chiefly on his connections with Buddhism, and his experiences as a Tibetan Buddhist are related in full detail through the medium of Nakazawa's flowing translation. One of Nakazawa's unforgettable achievements has been his introduction of The Tibetan Book of the Dead to the Japanese public. The Tibetan Book of tbe Dead had been translated into English in 1927 by W Y. Evans-Wentz, and there already e;'{isted a Japanese translation of this English version, as well as an accurate annotated translation from the original brought out by Kawasaki Shinjo )1 lijff~~ (b. 1935), who is one of the research members of the Toyo Bunko Tibetan section, in 1989. Nakazawa, on the other hand, drew up plans for a special television production for NHK, the national public broadcasting station in Japan, and he produced a program that dramatized the reading of The Tibetan Book of the Dead to a dead person by a lama and his disciple. Nakazawa wrote the script himself and presented the world of Tbe Tibetan Book of the Dead in a way that was readily accessible to the general public. This program achieved a high audience rating, conveying to general viewers the way in which Tibetans conceive of the cycle of transmigration and afterdeath experiences. In 1993 Nakazawa published Sannzannen no sbi no osbie :::':Oip.O) :ff:0)~;t, in which he added to the program's script an e.'qlositionof the underlying thought of the Nyingmapa school. Unlike his early book Cbibetto no MiitsarZlto, this book explains parts of the rdzogs cben teachings of the Nyingmapa school in plain language. It is interesting that in his role as a disseminator of Tibetan Buddhism, Nakazawa is taking care to provide commentaries that are extremely faithful to the tradition, unlike his other writings, and is trying to transmit Tibetan Buddhism to Japan in as accurate a form as possible. As a result of his efforts, it has become widely known in Japan that Tibetan Buddhism is not simply an object of adventures in some remote and mysterious land, but is a form of Buddhism possessing outstanding traditions and doctrines rich in content that Japanese Buddhism has never experienced. Since then, Nakazawa has established an organization called the Dzogchen Institute, and he is putting effort into spreading Nyingmapa thought through study groups on Nyingmapa texts, public talks, and the publication of a journal called Senzs. He has recently written very little dealing with Tibetan Buddhism itself. Instead, he has been publishing on a regular basis books about diverse subjects such as the mycol()gist Minakata Kumakusu ii17~~;jWj, the philosopher Tanabe Hajime EEil!:7G (a contemporary of Nishida Kitaro), kingship in ancient Japan, Lenin, and theories of gift-giving. He has also brought out five volumes oflectures (2002-04) in which he comprehensively traverses the fields ofreligious studies and anthropology, but there are very few references to Tibetan Buddhism in these books. All during this time, however, he has been continuing to receive instruction from Khetsun Sangpo and has also undertaken &irk-chamber retreats, and while it is seldom mentioned in his more public writings, he continues to practice and disseminate Tibetan Tantrism.


Fuleuda Yoichi

After the televising of Nakazawa's television program on The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Matsumoto Shiro wrote the following critique: vVhenever mention is made of Tibetan Buddhism, there can be seen in present-day Japan a tendency to stress only its mystic and Tantric aspects and to glorify it uncritically.... [This] tendency, probably with Nakazawa Shin'ichi, one of the authors of Niji no kaitei, as a sort of leading theorist, would seem since then to have grown even stronger among young people .... By the time a television series called "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" was broadcast by NHK in autumn 1993, this Tibetan Tantrism boom could perhaps be said to have peaked .... The great majority of people way whatsoever of knowing that a leading Japanese Tibetologist (; Yamaguchi Zuiho [- Fukuda]) has commented on the fact that The Tibetan Book of the Dead is not a Buddhist scripture or that the Nyingmapa school, which upholds the r'dzogs chen teachings extolled by Nakazawa, has been looked upon as an unorthodox school in Tibet, and on seeing only figures of Tibetans prostrating themselves on the ground and strange-looking paintings of Tibetan Tantrism broadcast on television, they amplified their images of Tibet as a "land of mystery" or a "land ofTantrism.,,21 Yamaguchi Zuiho and Matsumoto Shiro; both researchers belonging to the second period of Tibetan Buddhist studies, regard Tantrism as a deviation from true Buddhism, reject the Tantric aspects of Tibetan Buddhism, and criticize Nakazawa Shin'ichi as being an unconditional admirer of Tibetan Tantrism. But it should be obvious how present-day Tibetans would feel on hearing their words when these are compared with the empathy evident in Nakazawa's writings, rooted in his eJ.:periences of Tibet and Tibetans extending over a long period of time. Neither Yamaguchi nor Matsumoto shows any signs whatsoever of the empathy for Tibet shared by people with an interest in Tibet today. While it is true that Nakazawa has been taught by a Tibetan lama, has encouraged people to turn their attention to Tibet, and is engaged in influential activities for introducing to Japan the Nyingmapa thought of Tibetan Tantrism, this alone is not of course sufficient to achieve a fully rounded picture of Tibetan Buddhism. Among his successors there need to emerge people who will study at an academic level, but in the same context as Tibetans themselves, the doctrines, practices and texts of individual currents of Buddhist thought. Though still inadequate, signs of such activities' are beginning to appear. In closing, I wish to mention some of these. One researcher who, like Nakazawa, has had contact with Tibetans from an early stage is Onoda Shunzo IHlffEWtilm (b. 1952). He began his research on Tibetan Buddhism through his study of Tibetan logic under Tibetans in Switzerland, and he is well-known for his pioneering studies of logic based on methods of monastic debate among the Gelugpas.'4 Matsumoto Shiro, Cbibetto bu1ekyotetsugakll, 403-406. He intro,duced some technical terms of Tibetan logic, such as ldog pa, ldog chos, ",tsban "yid, ",tsbon bya, spyi, bye bmg, 'brei ba, 'gal ba, ljes 'gl'O ldog kbyab, kbyod and so on. Because these terms are very peculiar for researchers of Indian Buddhist logic and there were no other expla2l

The Philosopbical Reception of Tibetan Buddbisrn in Japan


Ever since the invitation of the first tliree Tibetan refugees to Japan, the Taya Bunko has continued to invite Tibetans to Japan and conduct joint research with them, and the last scholar-monk to have been'invited in this fashion was Geshe Tenpa Gyaltshen (dGe bshes bsTan pa rgyal mtshan, b. 1932), who from 1979 to 1996 (except for a three-year return to India to serve as abbot of Drepung Gomang Monastic College) participated in research projects at the Taya Bunko as an overseas research fellow. During this time he conveyed the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism to a number of younger researchers, including myself, and as a researcher on the staff of the Taya Bunko I was able to receive instruction from him in the basics of Tibetan logic. Whereas Nakazawa studied Tantrism under :r Nyingmapa lama, Hiraoka Kaichi .lJZJ1Iil5.Z:- has similarly studied the Tantrism of the Gelugpa school for two years at Gyume Tantric College, rebuilt in the state of Karnataka in southern India. There he was taught personally by Geshe Lobsang Ngawang (dGe bshes Blo bzang ngag dbang, b. 1937), and since his return to Japan he has continued his study of Tsongkhapa's Tantric thought. He has published a translation, aimed at the general reader, of Tbe Tibetan Book of tbe Dead from a Gelugpa standpoint (1994), and he is also conducting research on the utpatti-kmma, niipanna-kmma and rainbow body in Tsongkhapa's Tantric writings. Hiraoka still visits Gyume Tantric College in India annually and continues to receive instruction from Lobsang Ngawang. In 1996, after he had resigned from his position as researcher at the Taya Bunko and returned to Drepung Gomang Mqnastic College in India, Geshe Tenpa Gyaltshen was visited by a young Japanese postgraduate student by the name of Nomura Shajira !l!ft-tlE(j;::Jli~. Nomura had originally encountered Tibetan Buddhism through his participation in my seminars qn Tibetan logic and grub 17ztba' at the Taya Bunko, and ,he was writing his master's thesis on Tsongkhapa's Madhyamika philosophy. He began to visit Tenpa Gyaltshen on a regular basis and received instruction from him as he continued his research, but he did not confine himself to a life of scholarship. In 1998 he established a religious organization called the MafijUri Mahayana Buddhist Association, headed by Tenpa Gyaltshen. In 2004 he invited three other monks from Drepung Gomang Monastic College and founded the first Tibetan temple in Japan, Ryilzain jJ~iI&llJt, in Hiroshima. In his later years, Yamaguchi Susumu had taught a number of students at Otani University with an interest in Tibet, and following on from this tradition in 1974 Tsultrim Kelzang (Tshul khrims skal bzang, b. 1942), who was visiting Japan at the time, was appointed to the university's teaching staff, becoming the only Tibetan in Japan t~ hold such a position. Under his tutelage, several researchers able to read Tibetan texts have emerged. In particular, Miyake Shin'ichira c::.!B{$-Jli~, who is studying Tibetan culture as a whole, speaks Tibetan like a native, and is pursuing his research by visiting Tibet annually and absorbing Tibetan culture in person. In the area of historical research, Ishihama Yumiko ;P8::m~T of Waseda University is engaged in the task of reinterpreting Tibetan history within the context
nations of these terms, his first studies were very useful for successors. Later Onoda published a English book on the same subject: Monastic Debate in Tibet: a Study on the Histo,)' and StructU7'eS ofbsdus grva logic (Vienna, 1992). See also Onoda's contribution in this volume.


Fukuda Y5ichi

of Tibetan Buddhism. During the second period of Tibetan studies, the study of Tibetan history was virtually monopolized by Yamaguchi Zuiho, but his approach was one that focused solely on clarifying in great detail the facts (as understood by Yamaguchi) concerning the relationships among people driven by desire that lay behind various political disputes. Ishihama, on the other hand, understands the triangular relationship between Tibet, China and Mongolia during the Yuan and Qing dynasties in terms of a spiritual community that she calls the "world of Tibetan Buddhism," and she has shown how the political behavior of leadersin each country was governed by a consistent Buddhist world view. 's Insofar that this represents a reinterpretation of the history of these three countries in a Tibetan context, her research reflects trends of the third period of research. In addition to her academic studies, Ishihama has translated two of the Dalai Lama's books on Buddhism, and these have become best-sellers among the Dalai Lama's books in Japanese. She was also one of those who were taught by Geshe Tenpa Gyaltshen at the Toyo Bunko. lVIore recently, Ishihama has supervised the compilation of a general introduction to Tibet called Chibetto 0 sbiru tame no gojussb5 'f-.r-Z;; J--:a:-ffi0t~1D0)50~.16 Ishihama herself wrote most of the sections on Tibetan history, the Tibet question today, and the Dalai Lama's thought, while other researchers of the third period mentioned above-Hiraoka Koichi, Nomura Shojiro, Miyake Shin'ichiro, and myself-wrote the remaining sections. Lastly, I wish to touch on the translation of the 14'h Dalai Lama's books in Japan. Japan is a Buddhist nation, and naturally the publication of books on Buddhism is thriving in its own way. As would be expected, there are many books on figures such as Dogen J1:!jI; and Shinran omil', but among books by a single person, those written by the Dalai Lama occupy the most space in the shelves devoted to Buddhism in bookstores. Among people already mentioned, Nakazawa Shin'ichi, Ishihama Yumiko, and myself have brought out translations, but it is interesting to note that the translators of most of the other books are not researchers in the areas of Buddhist studies or religious studies. The Dalai Lama's writings invariably include expositions of Madhyamika philosophy and also explain in a readily understandable manner what might be described as the basic facts about Tibetan Buddhism in general, and yet these translations are seldom taken up for discussion, referred to, or even read in the academic world of Buddhist studies and Tibetan studies. These books impart a basic knowledge and a rough overall understanding of Tibetan Buddhism, but are rarely considered in to day's academia. Thus there are even cases where members of the general public with an interest in Tibet are better informed about Buddhist practice than the "experts." But times are changing, and as the younger generation of researchers comes to train the next generation, this tendency should be gradually ameliorated.



Her doctoral thesis was published as Cbibetto bukl')'o se/eai no releisbiteh ken!,),!! 'f-~'/ r(Tokyo: ToM Shoten :iR::!J'i'r.5, 2001). Tokyo: Akashi Shoten Ilff6'i'r.5, 2004.

Tbe Pbilosopbical Reception of Tibetan Buddbism in Japan


In 1953 the Japanese Association for Tibetan Studies (Nihon Chibetto Gakkai ~
*jJil!<#~), the oldest such association in the world, was founded at Kansai Univer-

sity, and from the following year it began holding an annual conference and publishing an annual report. The articles carried in the annual report reflect to a large degree the shifts in research trends described above. The Japanese Association for Tibetan Studies was initially established with researchers from the final years of the first period of Tibetan studies, such as Yamaguchi Susumu and Nagao Gajin, as its central figures, and Tada Takan also contributed to early issues of the annual report. About ten years later, issue no. 11 (1964), as if to mark the start of the second period of research, carried articles by the Tibetans Sonam Gyamtso and Khetsun Sangpo invited to Japan by the Taya Bunko, while Yamaguchi Zuiha began contributing from no. 16 (1970) and researchers of the so-called Yamaguchi group from no. 21 (1975). Researchers of the third period have been making an appearance since no. 40 (1994). While research on Buddhism has predominated overall, in recent years the number of articles on subjects such as linguistics, history, and ethnology has been increasing. However, the research results are of mixed quality, and it is also regrettable that there has been an increase in papers dealing not with Tibetan studies per se, but with Indian Buddhism through the medium of the Tibetan canon. vVhile no hasty conclusions can be drawn as to the reasons for this, it is probably in part because, at a time of transition from the second period of research to the third period, the influence of researchers into Tibetan Buddhism proper is not yet sufficiently developed. 27
27 I would like to add some notes on the research of Tibetan history and linguistics. At the same time as the second stage of Tibetan studies, which I have mentioned in this paper, the Japanese academic sphere of historical research was led by two scholars, Yamaguchi Zuiha and Sata Hisashi fti:iillHit (b. 1914) of Kyoto University. They studied the same subjects; that is, the history of the ancient kingdom of Tibet based on Dunhuang manuscripts and the medieval political history of Tibet. SaW was a more orthodox researcher of oriental history and fully utilized Chinese historical documents. However, Yamaguchi significantly influenced his disciples (the so-called Yamaguchi group) and their studies of the Dunhuang manuscripts. One volume of the series Koza Ton/eo ~jIj'f'l!i ~:@l, Ton/,o kogo bt",ieen ~:@lli}lli!f xiliJ\ (1985), was published as the result of their studies (see above p. 251). But almost all the researchers in the Yamaguchi group later discontinued their studies in this field. Among the next generation of historical researchers, a well-balanced and most productive researcher is Ishihama Yumiko, who is mentioned in this paper. Although her education was in the research of oriental history, she now studies the more global international relationship between Tibet, Mongolia, and China, utilizing historical and religious documents written in Tibetan, Ivlongolian, Chinese, and IvIanchu. As for Tibetan linguistics, Kitamura Hajime, a research member of the Taya Bunko, had a special role in the education of the colloquial Tibetan. He has compiled a good textbook of spoken Tibetan (with Sonam Gyamtso) and educated many Japanese Tibetologists. Among them, Nagano Yasuhiko ~!I!f~& (b. 1946) and Hoshi Michio ~=f1i; deserve particular notice. Nagano organized a research project on the Bon religion at the National Ivluseum of Ethnology and edited ten volumes of the Bon Studies series (2000-2006), in collaboration with many scholars from Japan, Europe, and Tibet. Hoshi has studied the grammar of spoken Tibetan with many native Tibetans,


Fukuda Yiiicbi

The division of Tibetan studies into three periods to be seen in Japan is also evident in the West, though the timing has differed, and it would seem moreover that the West is ahead of Japan in this regard. 2B It is to be hoped that this fact will act as a form of outside pressure to further advance research of the third period in Japan. Translated by Rolf Giebel

especially with research fellows invited to the Tayo Bunko. However, she was not able to complete her research, which now continues with her daughter Hoshi Izumi :lR. Based on the considerably enlarged and rearranged sources that her mother collected, Hoshi Izumi edited Gendai Chibetto-go dashi jiten (Rasa hagen) ~1-'(;T""" H!fibIDi'JIi'FA (7-i}-jJ-g) (Research Institute for Language and Cultures of Asia and Mrica, 2003). A philological study on the Central Asian manuscripts (including Dunhuang manuscripts) is now led by Takeuchi Tsuguhito lltJi'JilBA (b. 1951) from the Kobe City University of Foreign Studies. He is a researcher ofTibeto-Burman language and studies old documents in Tibetan from the point of view of historical and social linguistics. Around him a group of young researchers on the old Tibetan manuscripts is being formed. 28 On this issue, see the two contributions on European and American Tibetology respectively by Walravens and Lopez in this volume.

Part 1

The Tantric Revival and Its Reception in Modern China Within the movement to reform Buddhism in China that began in the early twentieth century, the revival of esoteric Buddhism attracted great attention. At first, monks and lay devotees like Dayong AJi (1893-1929), Chisong 1~t1: (1894-1972), Wang Hongyuan I'lL-lJ]!; (1876-1937), and Gu Jingyuan llliJ~ (1889-1973) went to Japan to Shldy Shingon Buddhism, and their return to China engendered a growing interest in Tang-dynasty esoteric Buddhism. Soon after, even larger numbers of monks and laymen began to forn1 groups to go and study Tibetan Buddhism, especially Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, in Kham and Central Tibet. Tibetan lamas of various sects, including the ninth Panchen Lama (1883-1937), Bai Puren Blll'f= (1870-1927), Nuona ~Jl~ (Nor Iha, 1865-1936), and Gongga Jt~~ (Gangs dkar, 1893-1957), also came to China proper to teach Tibetan Buddhism. All the major Tibetan schools were introduced in the Han regions of China, and many books were translated into Chinese. After the 1980s, along with the rise in popularity of qigong ~JJJ, Tibetan Buddhism gained new momentum and experienced another revival, not only in mainland China but also in Taiwan and Hong Kong. As a consequence of the merging of esoteric Buddhism with traditional mainstream Chan and Pure Land Buddhism in Han regions, a particular form of Chinese Tantrism has emerged, within which many of the traditional rules, rituals, and even much of the content of various esoteric Buddhist traditions have been modified or reformed in order to adjust to the new environment. Whilst the resurrection of esoteric Buddhism in China has greatly enriched the Chinese Buddhist tradition and promoted its reform, it also faces a series of challenges ji'Olll Confucianism, normative Buddhism, and modern society, which may hinder its further development as amainstream tradition.

La renaissance dn tantrisme et sa reception dans la Chine moderne Dans Ie cadre dn mouvement de reforme du bouddhisme en Chine qui commen,a au debut du xx' sieele, la renaissance du bouddhisme esot6rique a beaucoup attire I'attention. Dans un premier temps, des moines et des laics comme Dayong AJi (1893-1929), Chisong t~t;,; (1894-1972), Wang Hongyuan I'lL~ (1876-1937) et Gu Jingyuan lili'iiJ-~ (1889-1973) se rendirent au Japon pour Hudier Ie bouddhisme esoterique et, de retour en Chine, ils engendrerent un interet croissant pour Ie bouddhisme esoterique de la dynastie des Tang. Peu apres, des moines et des laics en plus grand nombre formerent des groupes pour aller etndier Ie bouddhisme tibetain au Kham et au Tibet central. De plus, des lamas tibetains de differentes ecoles - dont Ie 9' Panchen Lama (1883-1937), Bai Puren Blll'1= (1870-1927), Nuona ~Jl~ (Nor Iha, 1865-1936) et Gongga JtD~ (Gangs dIm, 1893-1957) - arriverent en Chine proprement dite pour enseigner Ie bouddhisme tibetain. Toutes les ecoles principales tibetaines furent introduites dans les regions Han de Chine et de nombreux ouvrages furent traduits en chinois. Apres les annees 1980, conjointement it la popularite croissante du qigong ~J}], Ie bouddhisme tibetain acquit une nouvelle dimension et con nut une nouvelle renaissance, non seulement en Chine continentale mais aussi Taiwan et Hong Kong. Comme consequence de la rencontre du bouddhisme esoterique avec les courants traditionneis majeurs du Chan et du bouddhisme de la Terre Pure dans les regions Han, une forme particuli"re de tantrisme chinois apparut dans Iaquelle la plupart des regles traditionnelles, les rites, voire Ie contenu des differentes traditions du bouddhisme esoterique se trouverent transformes pour s'adapter leur nouvel environnement. Si elle enrichit grandement la tradition bouddhique chinoise et favorisa sa n~forme, la resurrection du bouddhisme esoterique en Chine doit aussi affronter une certaine resistance du confucianisme, du bouddhisll1e normatif et de la societe moderne qui paunait empecher son developpement ulterieur en tant que courant majeur.


CHEN Bing*
oon after Tantrism (71zijiao *~) became popular in India, it was transmitted to China. Around the eighth century, during the Tang dynasty, the so-called Mantrayana (zhenyanzong.1rlf.:;, "True Word" tradition) or esoteric tradition (mizong was introduced into China and was highly l:egarded during the reigns of Emperors Xuanzong (r. 712-756), Suzong (1'. 756-762), and Daizong +~* (r. i62-779). However, a hundred years later, its transmission almost came to an end when Emperor Wuzong )E!';* (r. 840-846) launched the nationwide persecution of Buddhism known as the "Suppression of the Dharma of the Huichang Reign'~ (hztichang mieja @J!d~l'!). From the end of the Tang dynasty until the Northern Song dynasty, a form of esoteric Buddhism known ?s Sichuan esoterica (chzummi )11*) was still taught and practiced by Liu Benzun j9p*~ and Zhao Zhifeng M~Jl in Sichuan, but it was quite different from the original Tang dynasty esoteric tradition and also soon




* This article has been revised and annotated by the translator after a personal meeting with the author Chen Bing in Chengdu in March 2006. The original article contained very few notes written by the author and limited to the explanation of few technical terms. More notes have been later added, in particular for the last section, by Luo Tongbing mlFiiJA, a former student of Chen Bing, under the mention of "author's note." The remaining notes have been added by the translator without any mention. The author told the translator that the majority of his sources are not available in China and that some of them stem from oral interviews that he had with disciples ofTantric masters, who are still alive in China today. A useful list of studies, on which the present article is based, is included in Appendix 2 of Chen Bing 1lJI!~ and Deng Zimei 'l1~T~, Ershi shiji Zhongguo fojiao =+t!t*~<f'Jj.!J1~~ [Chinese Buddhism in the 20 mcentury] (Taibei: Xiandai Chan, 2003): 643-650. For an English presentation mainly based on chapter 9 of this work, see Ester Bianchi, "The Tantric Rebirth Movement in Modern China. Esoteric Buddhism re-vivified by the Japanese and Tibetan Traditions," Acta Orientatia Academiae Scientia17lm Hungarica 57.1 (2004): 31-54. The translator is grateful to Okuyama Naoji for having read and improved parts of this article, and Luo Tongbing for having revised and annotated parts of the ol~ginal contribution in place of the author Chen Bing. In this article Chinese pinyin transcription has been used for Tibetan terms according to the Chinese characters furnished by the author. Tibetan vVylie transcription has been added by the translator in parentheses after the Chinese maracters, along with an appendix listing Chinese pinyin, Chinese characters, and Tibetan transcription for the names of Tibetan masters, places, and deities. [translator's note] 1 More on this term explained by Chinese masters in contemporary China in the contribution by Monica Esposito in the second volume.

Images of Tibet in the 19" and 20" Centm"ies Paris, EFEO, coll. Etudes themariques (22.1), 2008, p. 387-427


Chen Bing

disappeared. 2 vVhat remained after that were dharanis like the "Great Compassion Dharani" (Dabei zhu ;k;mJE) and "Cundi Dharani" (Zhunti zhu ii:JJtJE), and rituals such as the "Rites of the Yoga Teachings for Distributing Food to Burning Mouths" (Yztjia yankou shishi fit ftuWOril D))tHtt),' which are still recited in Chinese monasteries all over the country as pait of mainstream religious practice today. During the Yuan and Ming dynasties, Tibetan Buddhism was transmitted to China and exerted some influence over the upper class, but it failed to spread among the common people. Consequently, nothing but a few Tantric statues survived in areas . like Hangzhou (Zhejiang province). Another tradition of esoteric Buddhism known as "A.carya Teaching" (Atuolijiao ~iiJ1ftjFfJ:) or Yunnan esoterica (Dianmi 1l 1%'),' which came to the southwest Nanzhao Kingdom from Myanmar (Burma) in the eighth century, also declined quickly, surviving only in the area where the Bai S and other ethnic groups lived. However, beginning in the late nineteenth century, under more favorable historical conditions, Buddhism experienced a revival in China, in which Tibetan Buddhism played an especially important role in the reemergence of the esoteric Buddhist tradition.

Tbe Revival of tbe Tang D)'1Jast)' Esoteric Buddbist Tradition

Japanese esoteric Buddhism, which can be traced back to the esoteric tradition of Tang dynasty China, includes the Shingon ~ (Tomitsu 3Ii!:&)5 and the Tendai 7':;5- (Taimitsu ;5-1%') esoteric traditions. During the Heian period (794-1185), it became the most important Buddhist tradition in Japan and has kept its transmission uninterrupted until today. In the early twentieth century the study of this tradition, which was regarded as preserving the esoteric tradition of the great Tang dynasty, became an important element in cultural exchanges between China and Japan and many Chinese went to Japan to study esoteric Buddhism. In 1910, GUT BOHUA ttfs (1861-1915), known as one of the "three heroes" (sanjie :=:::{l'il') ofthe Buddhist community of Jiangxi province, was one of the first lay Buddhists to go to Japan. 6 He went to Mount Koya ~!J!fw to study its esoteric tradition but soon died in "the land of the rising sun.'" After him a monk named CffiJNlVlI ~'ll&, from Kaiyuansi 1llI:lG~
See Ven. Dongchu ~l<51Hfl, Zho1ZggZlo fojiao jindai shi cp[ii!lJI'~~iIT{1:;5:'. [History of modern Chinese Buddhism], 2 vols. (Taibei: Dongchu, 1974, repro 1992). J Charles Orzech, "Saving the Burning-iVlouth Hungry Ghosts," in Religion of China in Pmctice, ed. Donald S. Lopez (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996): 278-283. { As is well known, iiciilJ'a is a Sanskrit word for "Master." [author's note] On this Yunnan esoteric tradition see Yang Xuezheng fB~JE.!L (ed.), Yunnan zongjiao shi ~ii*jf!Z5:'. [History of Yunnan religion] (Kunming: Yunnan Renmin, 1999): 3-40. 5 T6mitsu, or Eastern Esoterica, is another nalne for Shingon. Its name comes from Toji *'i'f (Eastern Temple) in Kyoto. [author's note] 6 Zhou Guangrong mr-5i!, "Jindai hanchuan mijiao fuxing beijingxia xitan dianji de zhuanshu yu kanke" iIT{1:;iX:I'ifWjf!z:1iU~1!Io:j'1:T:iD%!i4JIlB~mJE]fljt.1j [Engraving and compiling works of siddham in the background of the Chinese Tantl"ic revival of modern times] (http:// [author's note] , On this figure see also Gabrielle Goldfuss, VeTS un bouddhisme du xx' siecle, ~Vang

The Tantl-ic Revivaland Its Reception in iVlodem Cbina


in Chaozhou i~M+1 (Guangzhou province), also went to Japan, but after his return to China he had no influence in the transmission of the Japanese esoteric Buddhist tr~ dition. In contrast, some other monks who successfully learned Shingon had a great impact on Chinese Buddhism, the most outstanding among these being Dayong jc ~, Chisong ttl, and Xianyin !:1i'iiii. DAYONG jc~ (1893-1929), whose lay name was LiJinzhang *~"il:, was born in Sichuan. s Having graduated from the Law and Politics College, he served as an official of the justice administration in the military department before being ordained as a monk by the well-known reformer Taixu;:tEl[ (1890-1947) in 1919.' Then in 1921, when he was attending Taixu's lecture on the Smm of Lotus at Guangjisi nlfl~~ in Beijing, he met the Japanese monk Kakuzui :WJi~, who had come to China to preach esoteric Buddhism, and was persuaded by him to go to Japan and study Shingon. Originally Kalcuzui's intention was to invite Taixu to Japan, but the latter showed little interest saying he "had no ambition of fulfilling buddhahood in this lifetime."lo In spite of this, Tai;m encouraged and supported Dayong in his plan to go to Japan. Dayong and his companion Chen Jibo ~trnt-l!l', an overseas student in Tokyo, traveled to Mount Kaya with the intention of studying esoteric Buddhism but because of financial difficulties Dayong returned to China to raise more funds in the spring of 1922 (after only one year), and Chen Jibo went back to his school in Tokyo. In the winter of 1922, Dayong and another companion named Chisong tcftl (also known as Milin 1't#, see below) returned to Mount Kaya, where they concentrated on studying Shingon practices under the guidance of Kanayama Bokusha iJcii1ya iT:W:f:llllB~iiJ M~. Kanayama Bolcushalater recalled, "Milin [alias ChisongJ, Dayong, and Chunmi came from China at about the same time to study on our mountain. Being their
TVenimi (1837-1911), n!jormatell7; lafque et imp7'imezw (Paris: College de France, Institut des Hautes Etudes Chinoises, 20Gl): 143, 155-160; and Gao Zhennong iiili!*;& and Liu Xinmei )(rjJi~, Zhongguo jin xiondai gaoseng yzt foxzte nzingren xiaozhztan 'i'1l'IiJ1J.mf1:iiiliili J';i'lJil"Ji:i;)vJ' ft [Short biographies of eminent Buddhists and monks of modern and contemporary time] (Shanghai: Huadong shifan daxue, 1990): 180. B On Dayong see Ven. Dongchu, Zhonggzto fojiao jindai sbi, vol. 1, 410-411; Gao Zhennong and Liu Xinmei, Zhongguo jin xiandai gaosengyu fox"e mingren xiaozhuan, 16-17; and Franl'oise "Vang-Toutain, "Quand les maitres chinois s'eveillent au bouddhisme tibetain. Fazun: Ie Xuanzang des temps modernes," Bulletin de !'l!'cole fra1lfaise d'Ext7"e77ze-OTient 87.2 (2000): 707-727, here 709-716. 9 On this master, see the contribution by Luo Tongbing in the second volume. 10 Many articles on Internet repeat the same quotation: "having no ambition of fulfilling buddhahood in this lifetime" (wu jisben cbengfO zbi )'exin X&P!ir )ixiI7ll:<:JlY{,'l without giving the source for this quotation. See for instance the article by Fori fJilEl (i.e., Chen Bing), "Jinjin mizong re zhi fansi" JlI4'lli'*!1.\z.llU!l, [Rethinking the Tantric fever up to today], Fa)'i1l i:1;i'1f [Tbe Voice ofDb anna] 137 (1996.1): 24 (available at php?tid=184&extra=page%3D15), but also the teachings by Hongyan fashi 5i;iJi!r$;iijl (available at is probably based on a lecture given by Taixu in 1937 when, by talking of his purpose to study Buddhism, Taixu mentioned "he had no greed for fulfilling buddhahood in this lifetime" (7Duqiu jisbi cbengfo .zbi tanxin :Ii\\*epIf,fMf?~z.1l:'L.'). See Taixu, "Xin yu rongguan" l'i!T9i!~<I!J!t [Innovation and comprehension], in Tai:>:u dashi quansb" *Ei[jclfrlj~1' [Collected works of the Venerable Master Taixu] (Taibei: Miaoyunji wenjiao jijinhui, Digital version, 1998): vol. 1,444.


Chen Bing

teacher, I should have taught them both doctrine and rituals .... According to gradual teachings of our lineage, students should study doctrines before learning rituals. However, due to their short period of study they all wanted me to teach them the rituals first ,with only a brief outline of the doctrines, which they could study by themselves."l1 One year later, in October 1923, after having received the denbo kanjo jjt.jU~ consecration and the title of iicii1'ya,12 Dayong returned to China. Although he had intended to enter a retreat, as soon as Dayong arrived in Shanghai he was asked by lay Buddhist groups led by Jiang vVeinong mwMo and vVu Bihua :'R:M to teach them Shingon, and so he went to Hangzhou instead, where he transmitted bis esoteric teachings for a month to a great number of followers. Later, he arrived in vVuhan where he performed ten consecrations while teaching at the Wuchang Buddhist Institute (vVuchang Foxueyuan Jl'I:I11r,"'fIlt), which was established by TaLxu in 1922 and had served until then as a base for Chinese reformist monks. He initiated two hundred and thirty-seven people into the esoteric Buddhist tradition, including students and important lay sponsors of the institute like Li Yinchen *~i Jgi and Zhao Nanshan !l'1i.liw. As a result, the board of directors and students of this institute developed a passionate enthusiasm for esoteric Buddhism. "Fascinated with mantras and seals, the board directors became unwilling to support the institute and, using inadequate finances as their excuse, nearly brought an end to the vVuchang Buddhist Institute."1l Later, when Dayong came to Beijing and transmitted Shingon teachings there, he met the Mongol lama Bai Puren EFllf1= at Yonghegong .m'i'Q;;. Having heard from Bai Puren that Tibetan Buddhism was far superior to Japanese esoteric Buddbism, he decided to turn to Tibet. This marked the end of Dayong's activity as a Shingon master. '4 CHISONG tH0 (Dharma name: MILIN wi*, 1894-1972), Dayong's companion in Japan, was born in Jingmen MF~ (Hubei province) and was ordained as a monk in 1911. Originally, as a disciple ofVen. Yuexia Ylil'l, he studied Huayan Buddhism and graduated from Huayan University (Huayan daxue Ji::k:"'), which had been estab-

11 Zhou Guangrong, "Jindai hanchuan mijiao fuxing beijingxia xitan dianji de zhuanshu yu kanke." [author's note] 12 The consecration or kanjo (Ch. guanding iiirn) is a rite inherited from India. In esoteric Buddhism it refers to a rite of initiation permitting the initiate to study esoteric teachings and practices. There are different kinds of consecrations. vVhat was conferred to Dayong as denbo kanji! (Ch. cbuanfa guanding fl\\ytiiirn) is an initiation allowing the transmission of the esoteric Dharma to others. [author's note] 13 Zheng Qunhui ~*l'i1I', "vVang Hongyuan yu dongmi" r'lL~J:o*1't [vVang Hongyuan and Shingon], Renbaideng A.~rr 2 (Chaozhou: Lingdong Foxueyuan ~~*11Il'$:1lJt, 1994): 78. On the foundation of vVuchang Buddhist Institute, see Don A. Pittman, Toward a lvlodenz Cbinese Buddhism - Taixu's Refo1"7ns (Honololu: University ofHawai'i Press, 2001): 96-99. 14 On this master see also below. It seems that it was during a retreat that Dayong made with Lama Bai Puren in 1924 in the Beijing's Shanyuan'an 'llf,*%<~ that Dayong decided to turn to Tibetan Buddhism. See F. Wang-Toutain, "Quand les maitres chinois s'eveillent au bouddhisme tibetain," 712.

The TantJic Revival and Its Reception in Nlodmz Cbina


lished by that master. After having studied in Japan, he received the esoteric transmission and became the fifty-first generation of iicii7J1a of the Chllin cp~ lineage of Mount K6yaY Back in China, he began teaching Shingon at Putisi :'m~ in Hangzhou and attracted a large number of followers. In 1924, when he was abbot at Baotongsi R"iM~ on Mount Hong lAw (Wuhan province), Xiao Yaonan Ji)\,iliJj, the military supervisor and governor of Hubei province, asked him to hold a seven-day "Great Dharma Assembly for Human Kings vVho Protect the State" (Renwang bugZto dafobui 1=.:E~~Altwr),16 while transmitting the "Initiation for the Dharma Connection" ap. kecbien kanjo, Ch. jieyuan guanding #,jlj#\lmJJl) at the same time. Every