From Tibet Confidentially - Secret Correspondence of 13th Dalai Lama to Agvan Dorzhiev, 1911-1925

From Tibet Confidentially - Secret Correspondence of 13th Dalai Lama to Agvan Dorzhiev, 1911-1925

Product ID: 32307

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Author: Jampa Samten
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Jampa Samten/Nikolay Tsyrempilov
Publisher: Library of Tibetan Works & Archives
Year: 2012
Language: Bi-Lingual
Pages: 183
ISBN/UPC (if available): 93-80359-49-7


The essence of this book is twenty four letters stored for decades on the shelves of the National Museum of Buriatia – reproduced here for the fist time both as facsimile copies and in English translation. The letters cover a pivotal period of modern Tibet’s history – 1911-1925 – when the Great Game entered its last dramatic stage. The British Raj and Russian emperor.

Bolsheviks and academic explorers, Chinese president and French travelers – all these personages are discussed in the letters penned by the most important figures in the history of modern Tibet – The 13th Dalai Lama Thupten Gyatso – and his well-known favorite officials, Sholkang Shappe and Tsarong Shappe.

From hand to hand, envoys and pilgrims passed these letters on their long journey from Lhasa to South Siberia. Arriving at their destination at last, they were presented to their addressee. This was Agvan Dorzhiev, a personal tutor of the Dalai Lama, key person in Tibet-Russia Relation and a man of outstanding significance in the snowy land’s modern history.

The letters reveal the intricacies and entanglements of hidden Tibetan politics and the desperate efforts of the Tibetan authorities of the time to maintain the independence of their country. The book certainly serves as a good first hand source for students of Tibet’s political history and the great game.


Note on transcription

1. Source base for study of Tibetan history between 1911-1925.
2. Description of the letters, problems of attribution and dates
3. Text peculiarities and translation problems
4. The Chinese intervention in Kham and the activities of Amban Lian Yu in Lhasa
5. Attempts of Tibetan officials to Provide recognition of the independence of their country
6. The flight of the Panchen Lama.
7. Soviet-Tibetan relations
8. Tsarong’s letter
9. Kozlov’s expedition to Tibet and Mongolia.
10. The Situation with Buddhism in Soviet Russia and the status of agvan dorzhiev
11. English Translation
12. Tibetan texts
13. Facsimiles
14. References
15. Index