Rakshasa wrote:I think China holds great significance for the transmission of Dzogchen lineage. Sri Simha, one of the patriarchs, was known to have made Mt. Wutai Shan his abode.
Its interesting though that the Chinese viewed Tibetan Tantric practices as psychic Qi Gong and nothing more.
Historians studying the Qing period have traditionally argued that the completely sinicized Manchu Qing emperors had no personal commitment to Buddhism, and that their lavish patronage of Tibetan Buddhism was mere political expediency, in what was essentially an attempt to create a new stronghold of Tibetan Buddhism in the Chinese interior in order to orient the Mongols towards China and away from Tibet. Lately, however, some scholars, such as Patricia Berger, have offered evidence which renders this argument questionable.
Assessing the motivations and effects of Qing (1644-1911) patronage of Tibetan Buddhism is a task complicated by the many biases and layers of historical analysis that surround the topic. Rather than trying to summarize the entire range of Qing patronage of Wutai shan (Riwo Tsenga) from a state policy perspective, this study will attempt to look closely at Qing editions of the primary sources involved with the Buddhist pilgrimage and cultic site of Wutai shan in order to question past assumptions and suggest new directions of research.1 Focusing on the relative minutia of the social history of Qing patronage at one particular site yields a very different story than that portrayed in a few general anti-Tibetan Buddhist statements
preserved in the Confucian-dominated historiography of the imperial court.2 I will describe the social history of Qing patronage of Wutai shan based largely on imperially endorsed gazetteers in a tradition of Buddhist-dominated historiography.3 Although this different (Buddhist) perspective remains only that – one representation of a place and events among many – the imperial support for this alternative view indicates that it was something the Qing court wished to encourage. However, unlike the Confucian-dominated historiography whose audience is fairly obvious, it is unclear at first for whom exactly the Chinese-language materials associated with Wutai shan were produced.
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