Un édit du 5° Dalaï-Lama

Official regulations for the monks of the monastery of Gaden Rabgyeling,
 called "The Treasure House of Precious Jewels" 
(dGa'-ldan Rab-rgyas-gling gi dge-'dun-gi bca'-yig Nor-bu'i bang-mdzod)
issued from the Potala Palace, 
and bearing the seal of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, 
dated 1664.
dalai lama
dalai lama
dalai lama
dalai lama
dalai lama
dalai lama
dalai lama

This long yellow silk scroll (4.51m x 85cm.) is the original Cha-yig (bCa'-yig) created upon the demand made by the monks of the monastery of Gaden Rabgyeling to the Fifth Dalai Lama, who founded it in 1645. One of thirty Gelugpa monasteries founded by the Great Fifth during his reign, it is situated on the east bank of the Tsang-po River just below the Bonpo monastery of Men-ri (sMan-ri).

At the head of the scroll are represented the founder of the Gelugpa order, the Lord Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), with his two chief disciples Khedrup-Je and Gyeltshab-Je, and also the Tutelary deities (Yi-dam) - Bhairava in yab-yum embrace (top left), and Samvara with Vajravarahi (or Guhyasamaja?) in yab-yum (top right).
At the foot of the scroll, below the seal of the Dalai Lama, are the main protectors of the Gelugpa school : centre : the Six-armed Mahakala (mGon-po phyag-drug), emanating the flames of gnosis, with five attendant figures.
top left : Kubera, holding a mongoose and a banner, scated on lion 
centre left : Remati (a ferocious form of dPal-ldan Lha-mo) riding on her mule above the snowy mountains of Tibet.
Top right: Yama (gShin-rje , with is yum), the Lord of Death
Middle right : rDo-rje Legs-pa, and his  attendant ( bottom right)

Resumé of the contents of the regulations

Hommage to the Buddha, the Arhats, Bodhisattvas, to Santaraksita to the early Tibetan monks, such as Gongpa Rabsel (dGongs-pa Rab- gsaI), to Atisa, Tsongkhapa and his two disciples, and to the Fifth Dalai Lama, emanation of Avalokitesvara, of Compassion, who enjoys is dominion over Tibet.

These regulations were written at the behest of the monks of Gaden Rabgyeling and are called the "Treasure House of Precious Jewels". The Lord Tsongkhapa said: "In this short life, happiness disapears like a dream. Especially in this present degenerate age, rare are those Tibetans who practice virtue. The only means, in this life, short as a flash of lightening, and of little import - the only way to the cessation of suffering is to be without attachment in the world. Why should one take pleasure in this source of misery?

So in this samsaric existence, there is no way of escaping unless one makes the effort to attain Buddhahood. The Buddha said : "I have shown you the way by which you can extinguish suffering you should follow it ".  So, as the Buddha has shown us the way complete and correct, for leading all living beings to salvation we too must follow and practice it. 

It is further said: "A monk ought to be disciplined, enlightened in his attitude, disinterested ln the life of a laymnan, selfless, without desire, and resolve upon leading his monastic life. '' 
It i s also said : "One cannot be a monk just by shaving one's head; one cannot be a brahmnan just by reciting Om! " A monk that takes up monastic practice must resolve to think only of the life to come, and all his activities must be determined by an attitude of melancholy with the regard to this life.
Otherwise, if he but gives an outward impression of having subdued his thoughts, and wears the robes of monk, without actually having abandonned his former attitudes, he is no different from a layman.
Therefore, those who wish that the doctrine of the Buddha shall remain for a long time, and who wish for salvation for themselves and for others, must practice the root of the Dharma, which is the monastic  discipline of the Vinaya. Whether the doctrine of the Buddha exists or not is determined by the existence of the practice of the Vinaya. It is the basis of all teachings. 

The strict observance of the rule stated therein is the source of all virtue.

We, the Gelugpa, who follow the lama Tsongkhapa, must understand the essential doctrines expounded for practice in the Sutras an Tantras, and we should be sure to realise that all the sacred books contain precepts. Such is the special and good tradition (of the Gelugpa). 

In recent times, the Fifth Dalaï Lama, Lobzang Gyatsho gives immeasurable happiness to the people of Tibet, and Tenzin Chogyel (Gushri Khan ), manifestation of Vajrapani, these two, united  as priest and patron, like the Sun and Moon, defeated the opponents of the Gelugpa; like the sun removing darkness, and established the yellow doctrine all over the country. 

The monastery of Ganden Rabgyeling was founded by the Fifth Dalai lama in order to purify the sins commited in battles and elsewhere by the princes of Er-khe, who live in the region of the Koko Nor, and who only think of the Government and the Doctrine. 
The monks of the monastery must also observe strictly the detailed rules (given in the Vinaya texts) as follows :
A.  Concerning entering the establishment. 
B.   The observance of rules and studies.

A. Laymen, and monks from other monasteries.
The layman must be aided by a senior monk to go through the complete  ritual of ordination. Monks from other monasteries are qualified to enter without the ceremony of ordination, but it must be ascertained that they have not been banished from other establishments.

B.  A monk's time is occupied by two activities : studies and ritual performances. If a novice is young he must stay with his master in the same cell for three years. If a novice disobeys his master concerning his studies, he must be punished appropriately.

 Monks must gather together in an orderly manner for the assembly. If one is late, he must make salutations, from 3 to 100 times, in accord with the order given by the disciplinarian. When entering the assembly, one must be silent, must not wear inappropriate colours garments with sleeves, with animal skins, or those which are used at home. When chanting, everyone must follow the choir master, must not sleep, talk, lean against the wall, a pillar, bend forward, lie on the side, play with the hands, or lick one's bowl. Every one must be present at the assembly, except high-ranking lamas who have special work to do. If anyone is unable to attend the assembly, he must seek permission. 
 Cleanliness is required in the kitchen. Only those engaged in work in the kitchen are allowed to enter there. The head cook must make sure that the food given by a benefactor reaches the mouths of the monts. If there are monks in retreat they must accordingly be offered their share. In the case where extra money and salt are to be given to a  special person, this must be done, but not in excess. 
 During the confession period, all must come at the sounding of the gandi. Those who do not appear shall be punished. During the term time, apart from staff, and those who make a special request, so as to perform a ritual in a village, no-one is allowed to stay out more than ten nights. During the vacation, if need be, one is allowed to go out for ten days, collecting firewood, or for other purposes, but if he stays longer than the period allowed, he should be punished. When appointing someone to a new post, the lamas, choir-master and senior monks should be consulted. Partiality must be avoided at all costs; old and young, all must agree. If any case of partiality arises, it must be investigated and must not occur again New staff should be appointed according to the traditional ceremony. The administrators must remind the local dzong (rdzong), or district headquarters, to change the flag as is the custom. Unless it is for the monastery no monk is allowed to work in any field. Nobody is allowed to go around in the monastery without proper garments on. No gathering and talking of non-sense is allowed, nor playing with arrows, stones, jumping, fighting, or disputing. 
 If a monk breaks one of the four root rules, he must admit it himself first, and then distribute his money among the monks, after which he must be discharged. If there is strong evidence that someone has broken the "four roots or has been drinking chang, and he refuses to admit it, he must be banished and his belongings are given to the monastery. The belongings of a deceased monk are to be cared for by the monastery and used for his funeral purposes. The remainder shall be kept by the monastery. If anyone causes quarrels or criticies the lama or the disciplinarian, whoever it may be, must be punished and banished. No woman is allowed within the limits apart from the corvée required by the Labrang (monastic administration). If a layman criticises or is disrespectful to the monks, the disciplinarian must see to the matter. 
 When the monks perform the Gutor (dGu-gtor) at the district headquarters, the discip]inarian is in charge. All the rituals, monthly or annual, during which time there are distributions of alms or other offerings, must be performed as before. No-one is allowed to seize land or property or people who work on the land, in order to meet the costs of performing certain rituals in the monastery. 
 The establishement has the rights over the wood and grass in the vicinity. From the west, of Taudrok (rTa'u-grog) on the mountain behind the monastery, no wild animals or birds are allowed to be hunted. During the Gutor ceremony, when there is a great gathering, no monks or laymen are permitted to quarrel. This would undermine the general monastic discipline. Inside or outside the monastery, the officials, taking the Three Jewels as a witness, must never act in partiality (eg. punishing an innocent person, or protect the guilty).
 The monks must learn how to dance, chant and play musical instruments, how to make offering cakes (gtor-ma) etc. The lama must be able to perform the empowerment ceremony and other rituals. The disciplinarian must never act out of partiality. The administrators, whoever they are, must act according to this Cha-yig. The white-wash of the buildings, the monks' cells and the temple, must be under the responsibility of the sacristan, with the help of the labrang. The Lama, the treasurer, the choir-master and senior monks must take care of the common property of the monastery.

 There is no doubt that happiness will come if one practices the Dharma. Listen to this guide which tells you what to adopt and what to abandon.

 Thus this "Treasury of Jewels" is sealed, as requested, with the seal of the Fifth Dalai Lama. May the precious teachings of the lama Tsongkhapa spread and remain for a long time. Written from the Great Immeasurable Castle, the second residence of Avalokitesvara (i.e. the Potala Palace), on an auspicicus day, the 20th of the 10th month of the Female Wood Snake year, 1664.

Seal of the Fifth Dalai Lama.

- Samten G. Karmay, C.N.R.S. PARIS.
- Heather Stoddard, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales. PARIS.



Textes & Images : (c) marie-catherine daffos & jean-luc estournel /aaoarts.com 1997 / 2015