U469  Mongolia:  Theocracy, Communism, Democracy
(formerly Mongols of the 20th Century)

Week 2:  Tuesday

Foundations of the Qing/Ch’ing social order in Mongolia


Pillars of the Qing order: the nobility

  1. The Chinggisid nobility: history
    1. Yuan/Yüan dynasty (1260-1368): Descendants of Chinggis (& Qubilai) rule
    2. Latter Yuan dynasty (1368-1634/6): descendants of Qubilai continue dynasty
    3. About 1420-1500: prolonged civil war between Mongols and Oirads
      1. 1388:  rival Chinggisid lines try to seize power, Oirats become powerful
        1. Kingmakers titled taishi
        2. and quda (marriage allies) of khan
      2. 1423 on, Oirat taishi Toghoon and sone Esen try to usurp Yuan power
        1. In legend, Toghoon dies before tent of Chinggis Khan
      3. c. 1490, Mandukhai Setsen Khatun, Dayun Khaan reunite Mongols
  2. The Dayan Khanid constitution
    1. Mongol divided into six/seven tümens (myriads), in two wings
      1. Eastern: Chakhar, Khalkha, Uriyangkhan (or Khorchin)
        1. Dai Yuwan Khan’s personal appanage was Chakhar
      2. Western: Ordos, Tümed, Yüngshiyebü: ruled by Jinong (viceroy)
        1. Eight white tents in Ordos, Dai Yuwan Khan crowned there
    2. Tümens distributed to children, who distributed otogs ("camp") to their children, etc.
    3. Result: radiating nobility, Dai Yuwan emperor has only titular supremacy
      1. All other lineages under Dayan Khan nobility become subjects
      2. No commoner without a noble, no noble without a commoner
      3. Khalkha tümen divided in two: northern and southern
      4. Northern otogs go to Dayan’s youngest son, Geresenje Jalair Khungtaiji
      5. Ancestors of Khalkha nobility
    4. Period of successful expansion against China, Oirats, Turkestan, Tibet
  3. The Chinggisid nobility: the cult of Chinggis Khan
    1. Chronicles present justification of Chinggisid supremacy
      1. Only Chinggis has supremacy, not his brothers: "Holy Lord"/Bogd Ezen
      2. Marriage ties should never replace blood ties (Oirat stories)
      3. If commoners try to become emperor, Chinggis will take vengeance
      4. The jade seal was handed down to the Dai Yuwan emperors
    2. Chinggis’s eight white tents, saddles, standards contain his presence
      1. Often taken to battle with emperors
      2. On death Dai Yuwan emperors become tenggeri (gods)
      3. Sacrifices to Chinggis, congregants eat the meat and drink the liquor
    3. Chinggis’s sovereignty partible, shared by his descendants (taiji)
      1. Local Chinggis cults have nobility as those with rights to approach
      2. "Taijis are Chinggis Khan’s descendants, commoners are his blue soldiers"


Second pillar: the Buddhist church

  1. Tibetan Buddhism introduced under Khubilai (1260-1294)
    1. Khubilai and Phagpa, and so on: alms-owner (patron) and offering-site (priest)
      1. Alms owner (householder): gives alms, builds merit for self, realm
      2. Offering site (monk): teaches liberation, karmic influences help realm
      3. Alms may include people as well; monks need support
    2. Cooperation of church and state: khoyar yosu "two customs"
      1. Inherited from Tibet, from India
      2. Emperor called "wheel-turning Kha’an" chakravartin
      3. Cleric called guoshi "state preceptor," dishi "imperial preceptor"
  2. Second Conversion
    1. In Latter Yuan, Buddhism weak, not entirely disappeared
      1. Tibetan Buddhism actively preserved in Ming court
    2. 1570's, jinong and nobles of Ordos, Tümed war in Tibet, contact lamas
    3. 1577: Altan, Tümed nobleman, meets Tibetan cleric revives khoyar yosu
      1. Altan receives title of kha’an (not Dai Yuwan), cakravartin
      2. Sönam-Gyamtsho receives title Dalai Lama ("Ocean Guru")
      3. Sönam-Gyamtsho says: I am Phagpa reincarnate, you are Khubilai
      4. Gives Altan status against Dai Yuwan Kha’an, Ordos jinong
    4. This new model widely followed by local rulers: Buddhist khanates
      1. 1586: Khalkha ruler, Abtai invites Dalai Lama, receives also title Kha’an
      2. Two other Khalkhas also receives title: 3 khans of Khalkha
        1. Tüshiyetü Khan (Abtai’s), Setsen Khan, Zasagtu Khan
      3. Jebdzundamba Khutugtu: offering site of Khalkha: Aru bogda "N. Holy one"
        1. 1639: Zanabazar, 1st one found, son of Gombodorji, Tüshiyetü Khan
      4. Khalkha is thus self-contained political-religious confederation
  3. Buddhist culture: 1577-1691
    1. Ancestral spirit dolls (onggod) destroyed, Tibetan law codes promulgated
    2. Temples built in Chinese and Tibetan style (Erdeni Zuu, etc.)
      1. Zanabazar: famous Buddhist sculptor, artist
    3. Translation of Buddhist scriptures from Tibetan to Mongolia
    4. Chronicles written down, Buddhist and Chinggisid themes stitched together
      1. Erdeni tunumal "Jewel Transluscent" (bio of Altan Khaan)
      2. Erdeni-yin tobchi "Jeweled Chronicle" (Sagang Sechen, Ordos)
      3. Altan tobchi "Gold Chronicle" (two version, from Chakhar)