Qing dynasty AD1644-1911

Tibetan

Gold Mandala with Turquoise Inlay

Gallery106

Dates2014/08/01 ~

Exhibition name

Qing dynasty AD1644-1911

Tibetan

Gold Mandala with Turquoise Inlay

Diameter: 32 cm, height: 16.5 cm

This mandala comes with a finely worked leather box made in the Qianlong era (1736-1795). It includes a piece of white silk, on which is an inscription in four languages (Manchu, Chinese, Mongolian, and Tibetan) and a recording an important historical event. When this mandala was made in 1652, it was brought by the Fifth Dalai Lama from Tibet to Chinese soil via Xining and Inner Mongolia, and offered to the Xihuang Temple.
 
Early Qing dynasty emperors were gifted rulers and administrators, and they knew how to use the power of religion to win over other peoples. Before the 17th century, the Tibetan form of Buddhism had already become the dominant religious belief of the Tibetan people and had been propagated among the Mongol tribes. Starting from the 17th century, the Qing court, seeking to consolidate its influence, made Tibetan Buddhism the most widespread religious belief among the Tibetan, Mongol, and Manchu peoples, thereby holding them together in harmony. In this interaction between religion and politics, this mandala is of even greater landmark significance. On the one hand, the Qing court received the blessings of the Dalai Lama in Tibetan Buddhism, reconfirming their close ties and bringing the Mongols in even closer at the same time. The Dalai Lama was able to promote his Yellow Hat sect to the east and help popularize it. By receiving the confirmation of the Qing court, he stabilized his theocratic status in Tibet.
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