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Sabrukova S. Examples of Buddhist Letters from A.M. Pozdneev Archive Collection // Written Monuments of the Orient, 2. Moscow: Vostochnaya literatura, 2015. P. 77-84.


Buddhist letters represent official documents that were issued by the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas to prominent political or religious figures as a sign of recognition of their achievements. They appeared at the end of the 16th c. when Buddhism was recognized as a state religion among Mongolian peoples. Three copies of such letters have been kept in the A.M. Pozdneev (1851–1920) collection in the Archives of the Orientalists at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, RAS. The earliest letter, which was written in Tibetan semi-uncial script and included a translation in the Oirat language, was given by the 5th Panchen Lama (Lobsang ye shes dpal bzang, 1663–1773) to a Torghut Yogochari Tsordji. Two other scrolls were written only in Tibetan semiuncial script and were given by the 13th Dalai Lama (1876–1933) and the 9th Panchen Lama (1883–1937) in 1903 to a Dörbet Lama Ngag dbang sangs rgyas. From a practical point of view, these letters can be seen as certificates of completed education and obtaining a title that enabled the holder to engage in teaching activities. Their language and style have a formal structure and are of scholarly interest to researchers as examples of Buddhist documents.

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Keywords


Buddhist letters
the Dalai Lamas
the Panchen Lamas
Tibetan manuscripts

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