Former residences of sixth Dalai Lama discovered in Tibet




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LHASA  |  2015-01-08 22:06:27 


Former residences of

sixth Dalai Lama

discovered in Tibet



By Xu Wanhu, Zhang Chen and Bai Xu



Two former residences of the sixth Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso have been discovered in Tibet, greatly enhancing the study of life of the legendary monk.

The buildings are in Shannan Prefecture which borders India and Bhutan.

According to Pasang Norbu, former vice president of the Tibet regional academy of social sciences, Tsangyang Gyatso, born in 1683, lived in the city of Tsona Dzong before moving to the Potala Palace in 1697.

Before Tsangyang Gyatso was declared “soul boy”, the reincarnation of the fifth Dalai Lama, he lived with his family in a two-storey wood and stone building in downtown Tsona Dzong.

The building has been privately owned since the peaceful liberation in 1959. In the following decades however, it has fallen into disrepair. The government has added it to the regional heritage list.

The second building is in a village where, at the age of three, Tsangyang Gyatso moved after he was designated “soul boy” in 1686.

The building is in better condition than the first, and much larger. The people who lived there have repaired its broken pillars and repainted the walls.

“In that building, Tsangyang Gyatso began learning literature and the basic theory of Buddhism,” said Pasang Norbu. “Discovery of the two buildings will help us learn about his life.”

A famous poet, Tsangyang Gyatso is among the best-known Tibetans in China. His love poems, some of which many Chinese people can recite, show his ambivalence between religious and secular lives. In one poem he writes:


My love for you disrupts my meditation,

but I can’t leave you to chant sutra.

Who can give me inspiration,

to be with you while pleasing the Buddha?


Tsangyang Gyatso was regarded a victim of political struggle. He was deposed by the Qing emperor, with his end remaining a mystery. Some historians believe that he died, or was murdered, on the way to Beijing after being arrested, but there are anecdotes that he escaped and lived in freedom thereafter.









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