To show respect to the Mongols’ Tibetan Buddhism, the Tibetans would send their lamas (monks) to Manchu for retreat. During the summer of 1780, their sixth Panchen Lama visited Chengde along with Dalai Lama to attend seventieth birthday celebration of the emperor. Historical records indicate that the event was highly organized as the records contain the details of orders of horses, robes, fodder hats and images of Buddha used during the event. Sources show that the Qin emperor had even built a Xumifushou temple in Chengde that resembled Panchen Lama’s Tashilunpo temple in Tibet. Qianlong’s temple was filled with Tibetan scroll paintings, ritual objects, and sculptures of Buddha.
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The Manchu Qing emperor formulated a court policy whereby Gelug Sect was practiced to honor the Mongols. The court received several eminent figures of Tibetan Buddhism to maintain and to manage the various Mongol tribes in encompassed in the empire. Panchen Lama and Dalai Lama were appointed the custodians of the Gelug Sect which was vital in the teaching of Tibetan Buddhism. They organized how clerics would be sent to the Qing court to pay tribute, and after several years, different tribute items had been assembled in the court. Assembling of the tribute items acted as a manifestation of Qinghai, Mongolian and Tibetan inclusion in the empire to ensure coexistence and hence strengthen the Qing dynasty. Most of the testimonial items in thecourt records have been together with the names of their presenters in various Chinese historical documents. More detailed information has also been documented in a collection of thirty-three Buddhist implements currently preserved in the National PalaceMuseum. The Buddhist implements are said to have been brought as gifts by prominent Tibetan government and Gelug officials except for the Gurkha artifact which was returned. The tributes were presented during birthday celebrations of emperors or whenmourning departed emperors. Buddhism implements already preserved Buddhist implements also give details about the arrival of Panchen Lama in Qing dynasty’s capital in 2780, the burial of Doguang emperor in 1852 at the imperial mausoleum and the presentation of an imperial Buddhist plaque to Kumbum Monastery in Qinghai (1748). All these evidence show that Buddhism played an integral part in the unification of the Qing dynasty and its vassal states.The religion influences the daily life of Tibetans impacting heavily on their sculpture designs, painting styles, architecture, literature, and music. However pure Buddhism was forbidden at around 845 BC for socio-economic reasons. More than four thousand Buddhist temples were destroyed and over five hundred Buddhist monks and nuns forced to denounce the religion. From then, Buddhism was to be combined with Confucianism to form Li Xue School where idealist philosophy of Qing, Ming and Song dynasties was taught. The upcoming dynasties adopted this philosophy and traditions.
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