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bod kyi deb ther dpyid kyi rgyal mo'i glu dbyangs
Format: Miscellaneous
Publication Date: 2004
Publisher: Tibetan and Himalayan Library
Place of Publication: Charlottesville, VA
Sources ID: 120059
Visibility: Private
Abstract: (Show)
In 1643, one year after he took the throne as ruler of Central Tibet, the Fifth Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lozang Gyatso (rgyal dbang lnga pa ngag dbang blo bzang rgya mtsho, 1617-1682), composed a history of Tibetan political institutions entitled Song of the Spring Queen. This influential history begins with a short life of the Buddha and a brief discussion of the Kālacakra Tantra, then moves quickly to the history of imperial Tibetan rulers. The central chapters of the work detail the political institutions of Ü (dbus) and Tsang (gtsang) in Central Tibet from the twelfth to the beginning of the seventeenth centuries, including sections on the Sakyapa, Phakmodrupa, and Rinpungpa hegemonies. The concluding chapter lauds the Fifth Dalai Lama's Mongolian patron, Gushri Khan. The Fifth Dalai Lama is occasionally critical of other historians, stating in the conclusion that his work is meant to correct "the foolish and baseless words of proud and haughty 'learned men'." Throughout the book are interspersed examples of ornate poetry, giving the work a tone of both formal eloquence and rhetorical authority. In both style and content, the Song of the Spring Queen is one of the most important historical works dedicated to Central Tibet that we possess. The Fifth Dalai Lama's history has been translated into English in its entirety by Zahiruddin Ahmad, A History of Tibet by the Fifth Dalai Lama of Tibet (Bloomington: Indiana University Research Center for Inner Asian Studies, 1995). (Kurtis Schaeffer 2004-07-16)