« Another Version of the Dalai Lama’s Seal »

FRANCKE A. H. « Another Version of the Dalai Lama’s Seal ». Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. 1912. n°July, p. 746‑747.

Francke, August Hermann. “Another Version of the Dalai Lama’s Seal.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, no. July, 1912, pp. 746–47, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25190087. FRA 1912 a2.

Another Version of the Dalai Lama’s Seal

The other day, when examining an old set of lantern slides belonging to the Moravian Mission College at Niesky. Upper Lusatia, I discovered another version of the Dalai Lama’s seal. This old set of lantern slides was made from photographs collected by our missionary, F. Becker-Shawe of Leh, during the years 1891 to 1895. To serve as a specimen of Tibetan handwriting, Mr. Shawe

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seems to have photographed a letter from the Dalai Lama which he found preserved in the archives of one of the old noble families of Ladakh. Below the letter we find the Dalai Lama’s seal according to a different version from that published in this Journal, see 1910, p. 1205. The present new version has the great advantage of being quite clear, and no corrections of any kind are necessary. As regards the Dalai Lama’s letter, it refers to the old Government trade between Leh and Lhasa, called Lophyag, and I may still find time to prepare a translation of it.

The seal reads as follows : –

First column               rDo-rje-’achang

Second column          Ta-lai-bla-ma

Third column              yi-tham-ka-rgyal

Notes. The e vowel-sign in the syllable rje is different from all such signs as shown in the specimens of my previous article on pp. 1211-14. The i vowel-sign, however, agrees with the form of that sign as occurring in the word gcig on p. 1214. It is remarkable that the prefixed r in the syllable rdo is written in full.

As regards the title rDo-rje-’achang, Vajradhara, it was given to the Dalai Lama by Altan Khan, king of the Mongols, in 1575. (See Grünwedel’s Mythologie, pp. 81, 82.)

A. H. Francke.

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