The 8th Dalai Lama - Jamphel Gyatso
Jamphel Gyatso, the 8th Dalai Lama (1758–1804), was born at Lhari Gang (Tob-rgyal Lha-ri Gang) in the Upper Ü-Tsang region of southwestern Tibet in 1785. Both his parents were originally from Kham, and they were the distant descendants of one of the major heroes in the Gesar epic.
When he was still in his mother's belly, miracles happened. The village which he belongs was given a major harvest with each stalk of barley bearing three, four and five ears, which has never been seen before in the history of Tibet. When his mother, Phuntosk Wangmo was having dinner with a relative in the garden, a beautiful rainbow fell down with each of the end standing on his mother's shoulder. This is regarded to be the key sign associated with the birth of the holy being.
In the 6th month of the Fire Bull Year(1758£©£¬not long after his birth, people perceived that the baby often tried to sit in a meditative posture looking up to the heavens. When this was heard by the Sixth Panchen Lama, he decided that he indeed was the authentic reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.
When he was two and a half years old, Jamphel was taken under a large contingent of lamas and officials to Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, and was given a ceremony as the reborn Dalai Lama.
In 1762(the Water Horse Year), when he was five years old, He was escorted to Lhasa and enthroned as the leader of the Tibetan people in the Potala Palace. The ceremony was held in the 'Beyond Mind Temple of the Second Potala' and was presided by Demo Tulku Jamphel Yeshi, the first of a series of Regents to represent the Dalai Lamas when they were minors.
The country was under the ruling of the regents from 1784( the Wood Dragon Year) to 1790, during which the regent was sent to China as an ambassador and the Dalai Lama took office. When he returned, he helped Jamphel Gyatso with national affairs.
In 1788, a skirmish with the Gurkhas was caused by a conflict with the Nepali wool traders. The Gurkhas invaded southern Tibet in 1790, and several province including Nya-nang and Kyi-drong was conquered. Though the city of Shigatse and Tashilhunpo Monastery were captured and looted , in 1791, the Gurkhas were driven back to Nepal. Five years later, a peace treaty between the two sides were signed.
Activities in his life time
During his reign, the Eighth Dalai Lama built the Norbulingka Park and Summer Palace in 1783. Both of them are located on the outskirt of Lhasa. He also commissioned an exquisite copper statue of the Buddha for the people of Southern Tibet. The statue was brought to India in the 1960s and now is preserved at the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, Dharamsala, India.
During most of his 45 [44 by Western reckoning] years life span, he was content to let the national affairs to be conducted by a Regent. Being a person of mild and contemplative disposition, he barely showed interest in temporal affairs.
He died in 1804 at the age of 47 (46 by Western reckoning)
More Information Related to Potala Palace
Our Featured Group Tours
Small Group Journeys are set date trips designed for travel with a small group, sharing the enjoyment,cost and expreience of the destinations. A 8 days Trip to Mt.Everest Base Camp or Overland to kathmandu from Lhasa only cost you 700USD. Tours dispatch weekly, do not miss the chance, join in now!