Theses Master's

Doring Pandita and Khrims yig zhal lce gcod pa’I ral gri yan lag bchu sum (1747) Doring Pandita & Khrims yig zhal lce gcod pa’I ral gri yan lag bchu sum (1747)

Dolker, Tenzin

By reading against the historical sources and literature on mid-18th century Tibet, I examine Doring Pandita’s 1747 legal commentary, khrims yig zhal lce gcod pai’ ral gri yan lag bchu sum (The Thirteen Legal Codes). In 1751, Pandita was appointed as the key administrator in Ganden Phodrang, the dual secular and religious Tibetan government, by the Seventh Dalai Lama, Kalsang Gyatso. Pandita’s legal commentary then provides unexplored insights into understanding a historical moment when internal power struggles among the ruling elites as well as growing Manchu influence in Tibetan affairs threatened to permanently alter the political landscape of 18th century Tibet .

By placing Doring Pandita’s commentary in a broader political context of the time, we can see his attempts at securing the Tibetan native legal control and authority through reiterating a dominant historical narrative for the Tibetan legal system. This dominant Tibetan historical chronicle is evident in the introduction of his legal commentary where I discern Pandita’s support for the religious-secular and reestablishment of Ganden Phodrang rule. Consequently, Pandita simultaneously secures his own authority and legitimacy in the Tibetan political realm. I also translate and analyze three of the legal codes out of thirteen (on injury, property, and bureaucrats) to provide further insight on the Tibetan social history of the time.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
East Asian Languages and Cultures
Thesis Advisors
Tuttle, Gray
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
September 8, 2020