The 6th Daila Lama - Tsangyang Gyatso
Born at Urgelling Monastery on 1 March 1683, Tsangyang Gyatso was the 6th Daila Lama.
He was a playboy but he was good at composing poems and songs that many are still popular in Tibet today. On 15 November 1706, he disappeared on his way to Beijing, probably was murdered.
Life Before Becoming Dalai Lama
Many legends are about his birth. Some miracles happened to his mother before his birth. In the first month of the pregnancy, when she was husking paddy in the stone mortar, water began to accumulate on the mortar. Then, when Tsewang drank water at a near by place, milk flowed and replaced the water in the place. From that time, people called the place Oma-Tsikang, namely the milky water. After his birth, he was named Sanje Tenzin, with Tsangyang's grandfather and Nawang Norbu with his father, so he wouldn't drink milk form his mother according to the legend. One day, Tsangyang couldn't open his eye when his face began to swell because of an infection. People summoned two diviners and they prescribed purifactory rite and changed his name to Ngawang Gyamtso.
His recovery was confirmed by Dorje Dakpa, the regent to the intervention of the Dalai Lama's own guardian deity. His grandpa said that he often dreamed that his grandson was protected by heavenly beings. His mother dreamed that some great company took him off when she took her rest from weaving. His grandma dreamed that there wrer two suns shined simultaneously in the sky.
In order to keep the administration stable and gain time to complete the Potala Palace, the Regent Desi Sangye Gyatso kept the death of Lozang Gyatso, the 5th Dalai Lama a secret, though the Lama had died in 1682. The Regent also kept his reincarnation, the five-year-old boy, in Nankartse until 1697. It was only after a delegation had been sent to the Chinese in the year that they announced the death of the fifth Dalai Lama and the presence of his reincarnation.
The Fifth Panchen Lama, Lobsang Yeshi was invited to give the vows of a novice monk on the young man at Nankartse and name him Tsang Gyatso. The Sixth Dalai Lama was enthroned in October 1697.
The Regent, Sangye Gyatso was murdered by Lhasang Khan, a Mongol king and ally of the Chinese in 1701. His death upset the young Dalai Lama very much that he abandoned his study and visited the fifth Panchen Lama in Shigatse where he Renounced his novice monk vows.
Life After Becoming a Dalai Lama
He was most famous for his beautiful works of songs and poewms. However, he often composed them against the the principles of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism, for example, he wanted to give his Getsul vow to the Panchen Lama Lobsang Yeshi Palsangpo at eighteen, instead of taking the usual Gelong, but he was successfully persuaded by the Panchen Lama, the abbot of Tashilhupo monastery, and Prince Lhazang, the younger brother of the Po Gyalpo Wangyal.
He lived as a playboy and denied the lifestyle as a monk, but all his deeds equaled not to the abdication of his position as the Dalai Lama. Rather, it could be best regarded as the temporal prerogatives of the Dalai Lama. He wore layman's dresses and he liked to walk instead of riding horses or the state palanquin. Also, he drinked wine, went to the parks, spent nights in the streets, singing songs and even had affairs with many girls. Though he ordered the building of the Tromzikhang palace in Barkhor, he lived in a tent in the park near the northern escarpment of Potala. In 1702, he abandoned his responsibility to give his discourses in public parks and places.
Lhazang Khan, the king of Khoshut Mongols, and an ally of the Chinese Emperor, killed the Regent and kidnapped the Sixth Dalai Lama for the excuse of the absurd behaviours of the Lama. Then, on his way to China, he disappeared. It was believed that he was either killed or got Nirvana.
Tsangyang was deposed by Lhazang Khan on the 28 June 1706. And in 1707, Lhazang Khan also appointed a 25-year-old Lama, Ngawang Yeshe Gyatso, as the next Dalai Lama. He said the lama was the true reincarnation of Lobsang Gyatso. But he was rejected by the Gelukpa dignitaries and the Tibetan people. They still remained faithful to Tsangyang. In the late 1717, Lhazang Khan was killed by the Dzungar Mongols when they invaded Tibet.
Tsangyang composed a poem which was believed as his prophecy to reveal his next birth: "White crane lend me your wings. I will not fly far. From Lithang I shall return." On 15 November 1706, he died mysteriously near Kokonor. We can still see his tomb in Potala now. However, there was another story saying that he had successfully escaped and retreated to live somewhere between China and Mongolia.
His successor was Kelzang Gyatso, who was born in Lithang.
The 6th Dalai Lama
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!