Oyirad Terms for the Manchus
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This article examines how the Oyirads denominated the Manchus and what the Oyirad terms for the Manchus meant. The Oyirads employed both “China” and “Manchu” to denote the Manchus and their empire. Before the Manchus conquered China, the Oyirads identified them and their state simply as the Jurchens and the Jin. After the Manchus successfully occupied Beijing and China proper, the Oyirads began to refer to a Manchu emperor as the khan of China who took over the state of Dayiming. As opposed to the Manchus, who considered the ethnic label “Chinese” pejorative, the Oyirads did not mean to denigrate the Manchus with the new nomenclature. Instead, by calling them Chinese, the Oyirads recognized the great achievement of the Manchu rulers and acknowledged their elevated title and political status. In other words, it was a significant promotion of the Manchus that the Oyirads altered the title of their ruler from khan of the Jurchens to khan of China. Since then, the Oyirads continued to call the Qing Empire and the Manchu court “China” or “Chinese.” By the early eighteenth century, however, the ethnonym Manchu entered Zungharia. Although usage of this new word grew among the Oyirads over time, the Oyirads never abandoned their custom of referring to the Qing and the Manchus as China or Chinese. Therefore, in later Oyirad writings, the terms China and Manchu were used simultaneously.
Hosung Shim 沈昊成
Hosung Shim 沈昊成
In Dayi juemi lu 大義覺迷錄, the Yongzheng emperor made a mysterious statement concerning the way that the Zunghars termed the Manchus. It reads
Moreover, all the Manchus would feel ashamed to be appended to the ranks of the Han Chinese. The Zunghars call the Manchus “Manzi 蠻子.” All the Manchus who hear this get furious and resent this.
This passage clearly states that during the Yongzheng reign, the Zunghars infuriated the Manchus by denominating them “Manzi.” From the context, it is manifest that the Manchus were offended by the term Manzi because they considered the appellation to designate Han Chinese. Here, two interesting questions arise. Did the Zunghars really deem the Manchus to be Chinese? What did they mean by using the term Manzi?
To answer these questions, it is necessary to delve into Zunghar terms for the Manchus and the Qing Empire. To unveil the Zunghar perspective on the Manchus and the Qing, it is crucial to investigate various Oyirad language sources written in the Clear Script (i.e., todorxoi üǰüq, or todo bichig). Unfortunately, there is no surviving Oyirad Clear Script source composed by the Zunghars themselves during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, except for a few remaining pieces of diplomatic correspondence. Therefore, this research will consult not only the Oyirad language chronicles written by other groups of Oyirad peoples, such as the Khoshuuds, the Torghuuds, and the Dörböds, but also several Clear Script diplomatic letters written by the Zunghars and now preserved in the Qing archives.
Evidence from The Biography of Zaya Pandita
One of the earliest known historical sources written in the Clear Script is The Biography of Zaya Pandita (composed probably in 1691 by Radnaabadraa, a disciple of Zaya Pandita). This biography provides several interesting passages concerning the Manchu court and the Qing Empire.
 At that time [in the spring of 1647], Targhun Erdeni Khung-tayiji decided to go to Tibet (baroun tala). [To this end,] he himself gathered many animals and sent the units of his livestock to China (kitadtu). Moreover, he offered six thousand sheep to Zaya Pandita.
 At that time [in the summer of 1647], [Tsetsen Khan] went back to his pavilion and then convened jayisangs and demüchis of every otog. [Then, he] said: “I intend to go to Tibet (baroun tala)! I will assemble ten thousand geldings and send [them] to China (kitadtu)!” After that, he gathered ten thousand geldings and dispatched one hundred people [to China] with Khonjin Lama of the Mongols as their head.
 At that time [in the autumn of 1650], [Zaya Pandita] came, without delay, quickly to [Tsetsen] Khan’s pavilion which was then in [a place called] Küürgeyin Khōl. At that time, traders of ten thousand geldings came back from China (kitad- ēče).
 In the winter of that year of the dog (1658), [Zaya Pandita] wintered in [a place called] Shara Tokhoi. In the autumn of the [same] year, Chagzodba Tsorji came from China (kitadāsa).
What does China (kitad) mean in these passages? In this regard, Qing sources offer several interesting clues. First, according to The Veritable Records of the Qing Dynasty, it seems that an envoy named Ubashi 吳巴什 sent by Erdeni 額爾德尼 arrived in Beijing by November 3, 1647 (Shunzhi 4/10/7). It is highly probable that this Erdeni is the same person as Targhun Erdeni Khung-tayiji in the first quotation. “Targhun” should be an epithet of this person, meaning fat, and “Khung-tayiji” is unquestionably a title given to him. Therefore, it is plausible that the real name of Targhun Erdeni Khung-tayiji was simply Erdeni. According to The Biography of Zaya Pandita, this Erdeni sent his large units of livestock to China in the spring of 1647, and the Veritable Records stated that Erdeni’s tribute envoy named Ubashi arrived in Beijing by November 1647. Therefore, it is convincing that China (kitad) means the Qing Empire in the first excerpt above.
According to the second quotation, Tsetsen Khan (i.e., Ochirtu Tayiji at the time) sent ten thousand geldings and one hundred people to China in the summer of 1647. A couple of Qing sources clarified that Ochirtu Tayiji’s tribute mission arrived in Beijing by December 16, 1647 (Shunzhi 4/11/21). The Veritable Records stated that Ochirtu Tayiji of the Ūlet (厄魯特部落鄂濟爾圖台吉) offered horses as tribute, and a Mongolian document of the Inner Secretariat of the Qing Empire (i.e., Čing ulus-un dotuγadu narin bičig-ün yamun or Qing neimishuyuan 清内秘書院) testified that Ochirtu Tayiji of the Ögeled (ögeled wčir-tu tayiǰi) sent a document along with fifty horses as a gift. Therefore, it is probable that the envoys Ochirtu Tayiji sent to China with a large number of geldings in the summer of 1647 arrived at the Qing court by December of the same year.
The third excerpt indicates that in the autumn of 1650, traders of ten thousand geldings came back from China to Tsetsen Khan’s pavilion in Küürgeyin Khōl. Again, Qing sources confirmed the arrival of Ochirtu Tayiji’s tribute mission in Beijing in the summer of 1650. According to the Veritable Records, Ochirtu Tayiji of the Ūlet, Sonam of the Khalkha, and others (厄魯特部落鄂齊爾圖台吉, 喀爾喀部落索那穆等) presented horses and other things as tribute on May 12, 1650 (Shunzhi 7/4/12). Furthermore, two Mongolian documents of the Inner Secretariat revealed that Ochirtu Tayiji (wčir-tu tayiǰi) presented documents and gifts to both the Shunzhi emperor (qamuγ-un eǰen yeke qaγan) and the Regent Dorgon (ama wang) on May 22, 1650 (Shunzhi 7/4/22). Thus, the traders who came back from China to Tsetsen Khan’s pavilion in the autumn of 1650 should be Ochirtu Tayiji’s tribute mission that arrived at the Qing court in Beijing in May 1650.
Lastly, the fourth passage above shows that a high lama named Chagzodba Tsorji came from China to the land of the Oyirads in the autumn of 1658. According to the Veritable Records, Rabjamba Khutughtu and Changzodba Darkhan Tsorji of the Ūlet (厄魯特部落喇木占霸胡土克圖, 單儲特霸達爾漢綽爾濟) arrived at the Qing court along with two other Khalkha envoys by December 16, 1647 (Shunzhi 4/11/21). Therefore, it is possible to see that Changzodba Tsorji came back to the land of the Oyirads in 1658 after his long stay in the Qing Empire. To sum up, throughout The Biography of Zaya Pandita, the term China (kitad) designates the Qing Empire or, more specifically, the Manchu court in Beijing.
Evidence from The History of the Four Oyirads
The second source to consider is Emchi Ghabang Sharab’s The History of the Four Oyirads (Dörbön Oyirodiyin Töüke; composed in 1737 by Ghabang Sharab, a Torghuud literatus). This work also provides several interesting cues regarding the Oyirad view of the Manchus and the Qing.
 [The word of] Tsetsen Khan: “when I examine the Four Oyirads, the Barghus and Buriyads are going to become Russians (oros). The Khoyids are going to become Turkestanis (xoton). My brothers are going to become Tibetans and Chinese (töböd kitad). Moreover, the near Zunghars of mine are going to plunder me. It is not known whether the Zunghars are going to become Chinese (kitad) or Turkestanis (xoton).”
 The word of Dalai Khun-tayiji: “After encamping on [our] father’s warm damp place (ötöq), we are going to become the number of someone else. After I die, it is a pity, my land (nutuq)!” By saying so, [he] reinforced the truth that [his people] became Chinese (kitad).
 In Tibet, six great armies appeared, and when it was impossible to subdue and remove obstacles in the religion of the Buddha, [the six great armies] undertook to suppress and get rid of three great khans [in Tibet]. Beginning with his own very famous sons and nephews, it was Güüshi Khan, having good and great merits, the protector of the religion of the Buddha, that shook Ü-Tsang (üüzang), K’aras [i.e., Khara-usu? Kham?], Mg’omok’o [i.e., Mgo-log?], Dam, Amdo (anduu), the Four Foreigners and Five Colors (dörbön xari tabun önggü), China (kitad), Mongol, and Oyirad.
 Dalai Tayishi of the Dörböd lost [his own land] by letting his wife rule [it]. Some people say that [he] lost it because he killed his son Manǰou (küböügēn manǰougi). Some people [say that he] lost it by disease.
In the first excerpt, Ghabang Sharab depicted the political situations of the Four Oyirads of his time through the mouth of Ochir Tsetsen Khan of the Khoshuud. In other words, when Ghabang Sharab wrote this passage in 1737, it was widely perceived that the Barghus and Buriyads had already become part of the Russian Empire; the Khoyids had become almost assimilated to the sedentary people in Altï-shahr; the Khoshuuds settled in Tibet and Qinghai had become Tibetans and Chinese; the Zunghars had crushed the Khoshuuds under Ochir Tsetsen Khan and become the lord of all Oyirads in Central Asian steppe; and at that time, the Zunghars were in conflict with Chinese and Turkestanis. Here, the word China/Chinese (kitad) appears twice. Apparently, Ochir Tsetsen Khan’s brothers mentioned above were the Khoshuud princes who moved to Qinghai and Tibet following Güüshi in the late 1630s. It is well-known that Güüshi was enthroned by the Dalai Lama as khan of Tibet in 1642, and the Khoshuud Khanate in Tibet was established as a result of integration and cooperation between the Khoshuud and Tibetan (esp. Gelugpa) nobles. In addition, during the time of the Khoshuud Khanate (1642-1717), the Khoshuuds and the Tibetans continued to interact with each other intensively and then were integrated in many aspects. Therefore, it is understandable that Ghabang Sharab considered the Khoshuuds in Tibet and Qinghai to have already become Tibetans.
What about the Khoshuuds becoming Chinese? First of all, with Galdan Boshugtu Khan’s downfall in 1697, the Qinghai Khoshuud nobility led by Dashi Baatur submitted to the Kangxi emperor in a personal audience at Xi’an, receiving rich titles and gifts. Later, the Khoshuud Khanate in Tibet collapsed due to the invasion of the Zunghars in 1716-1717, and after the Zunghar forces were finally expelled from Tibet by the Qing armies in 1720, all of Tibet officially became subordinate to the Qing Empire. Moreover, after Lubsang Danzin’s rebellion was repressed by the Qing troops in 1724, the Qing government, following the recommendations of Nian Gengyao 年羹堯, divided the Qinghai Mongols into twenty-nine banners in 1725, each under the direct supervision of the Manchu amban in Xining. Therefore, it is manifest that Ghabang Sharab regarded the Khoshuuds in Qinghai and Tibet to have become Chinese when describing their submission to the Qing Empire. In addition, the second quotation also leads to the same conclusion. Dalai Khung-tayiji was the second or sixth son of Güüshi Khan and dominated the Qinghai region. Therefore, in this passage, Ghabang Sharab again elucidated the fact that the Qinghai Khoshuuds submitted to the Qing Empire by putting words in the mouth of Dalai Khung-tayiji. Again, to Ghabang Sharab, submitting to the Qing meant becoming Chinese.
In the third passage, Ghabang Sharab described the Oyirad campaign to Qinghai and Tibet led by Güüshi Khan, and he praised it as an enormously meritorious feat for Tibetan Buddhism. Here, Ghabang Sharab also enumerated the names of the places deemed to have been heavily influenced by Güüshi’s enterprise. That being so, the place names should represent the regions in which Tibetan Buddhism was practiced at the time of Ghabang Sharab. In light of this, it is odd that China was included in the list of place names because, at that time, China was not a region where Tibetan Buddhism was widely venerated. The only possible explanation for this anomaly is that Ghabang Sharab actually meant China here in the sense of the Qing Empire or the Manchu court. Around 1737, the Qing or Manchu court (not China per se) was considered not only the seat of Manjushri Bodhisattva but also the biggest patron of Tibetan Buddhism.
The fourth quotation is quite important because here we can find the only word reminiscent of the Manchus (i.e., manǰou) in Ghabang Sharab’s The History of the Four Oyirads. However, there is little possibility that the term manǰou represented the Manchu people here. First of all, the Dörböd lands of Dalai Tayishi and his sons were located extensively between the north of Lake Balkhash and the Ural River, and some of them even reached up to the lower Ishim and Tobol Rivers in Siberia. Given the distance between the Dörböd and the Qing, it hardly makes sense that Dalai Tayishi of the Dörböd would have killed Manchu people. Moreover, it was only after 1688, when Galdan Boshugtu Khan of the Zunghar began to attack the Khalkha Mongols, that the Oyirads had their first military clash with the Manchus. Considering that Dalai Tayishi died around 1637, it was impossible for him to fight the Manchus after 1688 in support of Galdan Boshugtu Khan. Therefore, the word manǰou must have meant something other than the Manchus in this passage.
What then did it mean? According to the Xiyu tongwen zhi 西域同文志, the eldest son of Dalai Tayishi was called “Minju.” Considering the phonetic similarity, it is highly probable that minju in the Xiyu tongwen zhi actually signified manǰou in The History of the Four Oyirads. That is to say, the term manǰou in the fourth excerpt was the name of the eldest son of Dalai Tayishi, not the ethnonym Manchu. In conclusion, the author of The History of the Four Oyirads only utilized the term China (kitad) to designate the Qing Empire and the Manchu court.
Evidence from Galdan Boshugtu Khan’s Letters
In the document collection of the Mongolian Office of the Grand Secretariat of the Qing Dynasty (Dayičing gürün-ü dotuγadu yamun-u mongγol bičig-ün ger-ün dangsa or Qing neige Menggutang dang 淸內閣蒙古堂檔), there are numerous diplomatic letters written in the Clear Script by the Zunghar rulers, such as Galdan Boshugtu Khan and Tsewang Rabdan. It is interesting to note that the Zunghar rulers did not use the term Manchu in their letters when they needed to mention the Qing Empire. Instead, a couple of Zunghar letters did employ the term China (kitad) to signify the Kangxi emperor and his empire.
 The eighteenth year of Kangxi (1679). A response to the ministries’ document which was based on the khan’s edict. The person who reported that the state of the Oyirads and the Mongols (oyirod mongγoliyin törö) broke down probably delivered false information. The state of the Oyirads and the Mongols is firm with the blessing of the Dalai Lama. [Other than this,] your edict and instruction are generally very correct. Except for only the Oyirads and the Mongols, aren’t Russia (oros), Turkestan (xoton), Kazakh (tongmoq), and China (kitad) all in conflict? We also think that if all those countries follow the decree of the Dalai Lama, [all of them] will become peaceful. I was very pleased that [your] edict and instruction corresponded to our thinking. I wrote [this letter] from the Irtysh on a good day of complete auspiciousness.
 The twenty-fifth year of Kangxi (1686). A letter submitted by Galdan Boshugtu Khan of the Ögeled. To Amughulang Khan the Serene Holiness, who completely and peacefully gives protection to the country of vast great China (kitad) by the power of the initial good merit . . . .”
 A letter submitted by Galdan Boshugtu Khan of the Ögeled. To the Serene Holiness who is famous as the great Amughulang Khan, the jewel like [a great] mind who generally holds the work of the two customs (xoyor yosoni üyilesi) well and greatly satisfies all general [beings] with feasts of benefit and peace . . . . Now [I] understand this circumstance and think that it is good for everyone that the Four Oyirads and China (kitad) also conduct trade by following their own previous custom. [I] wrote [this letter] on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year of the fire tiger (1686).
In the first quotation, Galdan Boshugtu Khan denied the claim that the state of the Oyirads and the Mongols had broken down. To make a counter-claim, Galdan articulated that the criteria for a state to be firm and peaceful were whether or not a country followed the Dalai Lama’s decree and whether the Dalai Lama blessed the state. Based on this principle, Galdan argued that for now, only the state of the Oyirads and the Mongols was firm, whereas the countries of non-believers, such as Russia, Turkestan, Kazakh, and China, were in distress. Here, Galdan Boshugtu Khan enumerated the names of the countries around the Zunghars. It is noticeable that the term Manchu was not included in this list of the countries. Therefore, it is possible to see that Galdan Boshugtu Khan and his people did not recognize Manchu as a separate ethnic or geographical unit. As seen in the previous chapters, the Manchus were probably identified as China or Chinese (kitad) in this letter as well.
The second passage also provides a very important insight. In this letter, Galdan Boshugtu Khan addressed the Kangxi emperor as “the protector (or supporter; tedküqči) of the country of China (kitadi-yin oron).” That is to say, from the perspective of Galdan Boshugtu Khan, the Manchu emperor was the lord of China regardless of his ethnicity. In the third citation, Galdan Boshugtu Khan discussed the trade relationship through the tributary system and perceived the trade between the Zunghars and the Qing Dynasty as being practiced between the Four Oyirads and China (kitad). From these examples, it can be once again confirmed that the Oyirad people, including the Zunghars, referred to the Qing Empire and the Manchu court as China or Chinese. Also, these two passages indicate another crucial point. The Manchu translations of these documents invariably interpreted the Mongolian word “kitad” by the Manchu word “nikan.” Therefore, the Manchu emperor and his Manchu entourage must have known that the Zunghars identified the imperially privileged ethnic group (i.e., the Manchus) with their subjects (i.e. nikan, Chinese).
The Manchus as Chinese: A Pejorative?
Why did the Oyirads consider the Manchus to be Chinese? In this regard, there are several crucial documents worth investigating within the Mongolian document collection of the Inner Secretariat of the Qing Empire.
 April 28, 1645 (Shunzhi 2/4/3): To the holy khan (boγda qaγan-a), Dorji Dalai Baatur sent [this] letter: “[You] seem to have been healthy and peaceful ever since [you] took the state of Great Ming (Da Ming 大明, dayiming-un törü). Here we are healthy.”
 April 28, 1645 (Shunzhi 2/4/3): A letter of two queens, Khung-tayiji, Danjin, and Erdeni Dayiching. [We] sent [this letter] to the king of the Jin (Jin Wang 金王, ǰinwang): “Your letter and envoy arrived here. Formerly the letter of the khan of the Jurchens and later the letter of [his] child (urida ǰurčid-un qaγan-u bičig, qoyin-a kegüken-ü bičig) said: ‘I will enter the religion of the Buddha with piety! I will unite [deviants] who do not improve the harmony and peace of the world!’ The word of the current envoy’s letter seems to be unsatisfying to people’s minds. A person who sends emissaries in the direction of the Three Jewels (γurban erdini) after obtaining what he wished and a figure who abandons arrogant mind after accomplishing what he intended will have the state of people who have good customs.”
 November 12, 1646 (Shunzhi 3/10/6): [I] presented [this letter] to the khan, the Serene Holiness of the Dayiching Ulus (dayičing ulus-un qaγan-u gegen-e), the lord of all of his directions, who clearly had a plethora of splendor of great merits. [I,] the Dharma King and the Protector of the Religion (šasin bariγči nom-un qaγan), say with a respectful mind: “Now, like the spirit of a hermit obtaining firm pleasure, happiness increased in [my] mind by hearing of the good reputation that the country of the Wheel-turning King (Chakravartin; kördün orčiγuluγči-yin qan) came to splendidly materialize after [you] had waged war with and then sorted out [all] the directions that would not conform to the jewel body that originated from the splendor of countless merits; [after you] had sat on the secure lion throne of the khan of China (kitad-un qaγan-u ayul-ügei arslan-tu tabčang-dur saγuǰu); [after you] had venerated and worshipped the jewel of the religion of the Buddha; [after you] had raised all the commoners by taking care of and showing mercy to [them]; and [after you] had reduced groups of bad adversaries to dust.”
 November–December 1647 (Shunzhi 4/11): To the great khan, the Serene Holiness complete with the power having authority over people, Mergen Jinong presented [this] letter: “I was very happy to hear that the brightness of the khan (i.e., the Shunzhi emperor) was marvelous and that the sign of the religion and the great state (yeke törü) was peaceful. We are healthy here by the blessing of the high and holy Three Jewels. The incarnation of powerful Manjushri took the state of the great Dayiming khan (erketü manǰusiri-yin qubilγan yeke dayiming qaγan-u törü-yi abun), and you the khan possessed the Chinese Ulus (nanggiyas ulus). After our khan (i.e., Güüshi Khan) owned the Tibetan Ulus, as well as the religion and the state of the Chakravartin Dharma King, the incarnation of merciful Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, when you two khans united your religion and state, all of us were very happy.”
The passages above, all of which were composed by the Oyirad princes in Qinghai and Tibet, clearly indicate that the Oyirad people who had the earliest contacts with the Qing Empire thought that the Qing took over the state or rulership of the Ming Dynasty (dayiming-un törü) in 1644.
The second excerpt is quite interesting in that the Oyirad nobles who sent the letter to the Qing court in 1645 called the Qing rulers ǰinwang (i.e., king of the Later Jin Dynasty; referring here to the Shunzhi emperor) and khan of the Jurchens. It seems that in this passage, the “khan of the Jurchens” who had formerly sent a missive was Hong Taiji (i.e., the Chongde emperor), and his “child” who sent an epistle later represented the Shunzhi emperor. In fact, Hong Taiji sent a letter to Güüshi Khan on May 22, 1643 (Chongde 8/4/5) to inform the new ruler of Tibet that he had exchanged envoys with high lamas in Tibet and supported both the Yellow and the Red sects of Tibetan Buddhism. In this letter, moreover, Hong Taiji addressed himself as “the holy khan of the Dayiching Ulus who shows vast mercy and is in harmonious relationships (dayičing ulus-un aγuda örüsiyegči nayiramdaqu boγda qaγan).”
In light of these circumstances, it is possible to conclude that the Oyirads already knew the Qing Dynasty and its rulers were originally not Chinese. They were undoubtedly aware of the facts that the Manchus were previously called Jurchens (ǰurčid), and the state of the Jurchens was earlier known as Jin 金. Therefore, the Oyirad nobles who wrote this letter considered Hong Taiji, who died before the Qing conquered China, to be just a khan of the Jurchens (not China), although Hong Taiji previously called himself the holy khan of the Dayiching Ulus.
In the third passage, Güüshi Khan demonstrated that the Shunzhi emperor established the country of the Chakravartin by means of quelling nonconformists, sitting on the throne of the khan of China (kitad-un qaγan-u . . . tabčang), and worshipping the religion of the Buddha. Likewise, the fourth quotation states that the Manchu emperor, as an incarnation of Manjushri, assumed the state or rulership of the great Dayiming khan (yeke dayiming qaγan-u törü) and thus possessed the country of China (nanggiyas ulus). Given the passages above, it is plausible that the Oyirad view of the rulers of the Jurchens or the Manchus changed around 1644 when Manchu forces broke through Shanhai Pass and occupied Beijing. In other words, prior to 1644, the khans of the Qing Empire (dayičing ulus-un qaγan) were simply deemed khan of the Jurchens by the Oyirads. When the Shunzhi emperor became the unquestioned lord of Beijing and most of China proper from 1644 on, however, the Oyirads acknowledged that the Qing emperor successfully assumed rule of the state of Dayiming, and then elevated the Qing ruler from khan of Jurchens to khan of China.
Here, it is noteworthy that the terms related to China (e.g., kitad and dayiming) do not necessarily have negative connotations in the Mongolian chronicles of the seventeenth century. First, when it comes to the word China, the Mongolian sources written in western Inner Mongolia, such as The Precious Summary and The Jewel Translucent Sutra, often depicted China as something desirable, although they sometimes described China also as the opponent in military conflicts. For example, in The Precious Summary, the Dalai Lama considered Ming China (kitad-un dayiming) as a great country equivalent to the Mongol Ulus (kitad mongγol qoyar yeke ulus). In the same chronicle, China was deemed a counterpart ulus with which the Mongol ulus united to form a greater state (yeke törü) after Altan Khan made peace with the Ming in 1571. The same view on China is witnessed in The Jewel Translucent Sutra as well. Moreover, almost all the Mongolian chronicles recognized emperors of the Ming Dynasty (dayiming qaγan) as someone auspicious and having great fortune and fate. For instance, the founder of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, was described as being born with a rainbow over his house; the Yongle emperor was considered the son of Toghon Temür Ukhaatu Khan, the last emperor of the Mongol Empire, and his Khonggirad empress; and the Ming emperor who was captured by Esen Tayishi of the Oyirad in 1449, reportedly, emanated yellow and red lights when he fell asleep and also caused cattle-plague, starvation, pestilence, and calamity among the Mongols. Lastly, The Precious Summary associated even Chinggis Khan’s supreme status with China (e.g., kitad and dayiming) by stating as follows: “Chinggis Khan of the Mongols expelled the Manchu Golden Khan of China (kitad-un manzu altan qaγan), took over his state, and . . . after subjugating the thirteen provinces of the Eighty Tümen China (nayan tümen kitad-un arban γurban muǰi), the red ulus, became renowned as Chinggis Khan the Divine Majesty of Dayiming (dayiming sutu boγda činggis qaγan).”
In light of these factors, it is cogent to argue that the Oyirads did not mean to disparage a Manchu emperor and his Manchu people when they called the Manchus Chinese. Rather, the Oyirads actually intended to exalt the Manchu emperor by acknowledging him as the khan of China because the Oyirad people regarded khan of China as a prestigious title and bearing elevated status. In other words, for the Oyirads, calling a Manchu ruler and his people Chinese was an acknowledgment and glorification. A very similar viewpoint is also found in The Precious Summary: it reads, the Shunzhi emperor, “having been seated on the golden throne of the Dayiming khan of China (kitad-un dayiming qaγan-u altan siregen degere saγuǰu) in 1644, became famous as the ruler of harmony (eyeber ǰasaγči) in all directions . . . . And then [he] put in order the entire great country (gür yeke ulus) from its foundation and made the great state of jade (qas yeke törü) peaceful.” In sum, the Oyirads began to call the Manchu ruler and his people not Jurchens but Chinese to appreciate their great achievement of conquering China in the mid-seventeenth century. Once this way of naming the Manchus was established among the Oyirads, they probably continued to stick to the term China or Chinese to refer to the Manchus.
In this respect, The Biography of Zaya Pandita also provides an interesting example. On his way back to the land of the Oyirads from his pilgrimage to Tibet, Zaya Pandita had an audience with the Dalai Lama, who was then on his way to Beijing, in Qinghai in 1651.
And then, after [Zaya Pandita] came to Kökö-nour (i.e., Köke-naγur = Qinghai) in advance, he waited for one month. At that time, the great and lesser princes led by Dalai Khun-tayiji [received] the lama the Serene Holiness (i.e., the Dalai Lama), built a platform in [a place called] Shabartai which was on the edge of Kökö-nour, and made all the people prostrate themselves [before the Dalai Lama]. At that time, [Zaya Pandita] also greeted the lama the Serene Holiness and spoke respectfully to him for the sake of benefit of the religion and living beings: “In general, among the people speaking Mongolian languages, there is no [person] greater than the holy khan of the Jurchens (ǰürčidiyin boqdo xān). Because [the khan] does not transgress your word, if [you] say to the khan, ‘Spread Mongolian letters and other Mongolian teachings!’ it would be good.” Then, the lama the Serene Holiness made a smile and said “Although you are right, [he] is a haughty khan (omoqtoi xān amui). When I reach [him], I will deal with [it]!” [Later, Zaya Pandita] said to us, “It is true that he [i.e., the Dalai Lama] clearly said he would also not venerate the khan, (xāni ülü süǰülküi).’”
In this passage, Zaya Pandita, his disciples, and the Dalai Lama characterized the Qing emperor in a rather negative way. It is doubtful, however, that Zaya Pandita and the Dalai Lama really said such words as “the holy khan of the Jurchens,” “a haughty khan,” and "he would also not venerate the khan,” because the author of this biography manifestly revealed a specific intention in this excerpt. In other words, Radnaabadraa, while writing this biography of his deceased master around 1691, in order to secure the survival of his order, needed to rebuff the suspicion that his guru previously had not only a close relationship with, but also a submissive attitude toward, the Qing emperor. As a matter of fact, from 1688 on, the Zunghar ruling elites continuously suspected the order of Zaya Pandita’s disciples of treason, and eventually they were severely persecuted by a Zunghar noble as known as Noyon Gelong.
In this situation, one of the main reasons for Radnaabadraa to compose this biography of the great Oyirad lama was to legitimate and thus secure the survival of Zaya Pandita’s order in an unfavorable atmosphere under the Zunghars. Moreover, in 1691, the Zunghars led by Galdan Boshugtu Khan continued to be in a hostile relationship––if not an actual war––with the Qing Empire. In light of these circumstances of the time, one of the effective strategies Radnaabadraa could employ in his writing was to deny the existence of any close or submissive relationships between his order and the Qing Empire. For this reason, Radnaabadraa disapproved of the Qing emperor in this section by putting the words “the Qing emperor is a haughty khan” and “the Dalai Lama would also not venerate the khan” into the mouths of the Dalai Lama and Zaya Pandita respectively. Although it is the Dalai Lama that depicted the Qing emperor as an arrogant khan and declared he would not revere the emperor in the passage, Radnaabadraa’s real aim hidden between the lines was to claim that Zaya Pandita and his order had neither a friendly relationship with (due to the arrogance of the emperor) nor an obedient attitude toward him (since both Zaya Pandita and the Dalai Lama did not venerate the emperor).
Given the negative tone toward the Qing emperor in this excerpt, it is noteworthy that Zaya Pandita reportedly addressed the emperor as “the holy khan of the Jurchens (ǰürčidiyin boqdo xān),” while depicting the emperor as a greater lord than any other Mongol rulers. It is possible that Zaya Pandita, who visited the Qing court as a head of the Oyirad tribute mission and met the Qing emperor in person in 1647, did magnify the Qing emperor as a greater ruler than all Mongol khans and princes when he asked the Dalai Lama to deliver his words to the emperor in 1651. Recording this event, however, Radnaabadraa may have subtly changed Zaya Pandita’s exact wording to achieve his purpose of de-emphasizing the close and favorable relationship that Zaya Pandita once cultivated with the Qing emperor. In other words, the author of the biography probably inserted the word “of the Jurchens (ǰürčidiyin)” into Zaya Pandita’s actual utterance to make Zaya Pandita depreciate the magnitude of the Qing emperor. If this analysis of the passage is tenable, it is plausible to conclude that for the Oyirad people, calling a Manchu ruler a “khan of the Jurchens (not khan of China)” was pejorative toward the Manchus around 1691.
The Term Manchu among the Oyirads
The ethnonym Manchu began to appear in Oyirad Clear Script sources written after the collapse of the Zunghar state in 1755. The earliest Clear Script material which utilized the term Manchu is The Tale of the History of the Four Oyirads by an anonymous Dörböd author (probably written at the end of the 1750s). In this work, the term Manchu was written in various ways; for example, “manzuu or manzu,” “manǰu,” and “manǰi.”
Why was the word Manchu written in such different spellings here? To begin with, Oyirad writings are notoriously inconsistent in their orthography because, first, the Clear Script was devised to reflect the actual pronunciation of the Mongolian language and its various dialects of the seventeenth century; second, most Oyirad writers used the script in that spirit, writing words as spoken; and, third, in terms of spelling, colloquial forms were mixed with bookish forms in Oyirad written sources. As a result, a lot of different spellings for a single word occur in Oyirad writings. Moreover, generally speaking, the orthography of Oyirad Clear Script writings can be located somewhere between classical written Mongolian and modern Khalkha Mongolian. The word for Manchu is written “manǰu” in classical written Mongolian, while it is written and pronounced “manji” in modern Khalkha Mongolian (e.g., “Манж” in Cyrillic). Lastly, although there was no distinction between “j” and “z” sounds (likewise between “ch” and “ts”) in the regular letters of the Clear Script in the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, it is likely that such phonetic differentiations began to take place as early as the seventeenth century in the Oyirad language. Therefore, it is possible to see that the Dörböd people, who had lived in Zunghar territory before they defected to the Qing domain in 1752-1753, pronounced the word manǰu sometimes with the “ǰ” sound and other times with the “z” sound, to wit, “manǰu/manǰi” and “manzu,” respectively. In addition, the unknown Dörböd author of The Tale of the History of the Four Oyirads was knowledgeable enough to employ an Oyirad Galig (i.e., transcription) letter to denote the phonetic difference between “j” and “z.” For these reasons, the Dörböd chronicle contained all of the different spellings for the term Manchu. The numerous renderings of the word, however, had only one meaning, the Manchus.
It seems that the term Manchu began to be in circulation among the Oyirads during the Zunghar period. First of all, The Tale of the History of the Four Oyirads, composed right after the collapse of the Zunghar state, indeed used the word Manchu, albeit in various forms. Moreover, the Yongzheng emperor demonstrated that the Zunghars called the Manchus Manzi in his Dayi juemi lu. Lastly, there are many depositions made by Zunghar fugitives to the Qing. In these reports, Zunghar refugees often differentiated the Manchus from the Khalkha Mongols and Chinese. Therefore, the Oyirads within the Zunghar state probably heard of the ethnonym Manchu and began to utilize the term by the time of the Yongzheng emperor (r. 1723-1735).
Although the term Manchu probably entered Oyirad vocabulary by the first half of the eighteenth century, this new word never completely replaced the term China (kitad) in reference to the Qing and the Manchus. Rather, Oyirad writers still utilized the word China more often than Manchu in discussing the Qing and the Manchus, even after the ethnonym Manchu was introduced to them. For instance, The History of the Four Oyirads composed by Baatur Ubashi Tümen in 1819-1820 never mentioned the word Manchu. Instead, the author only utilized the term China (kitad) for the events related to the Qing Empire. Likewise, The Tale of the Origin of the Mongols written in 1825 only employed the word China (kitad) with regard to the Manchus. Moreover, The History of the Origins of Holy Chinggis Khan, the Four Oyirads, and the Khoshuuds, written anonymously probably in the 1850s, only used the term China (kitad) to denote the Qing Empire and the Manchus as well.
In addition, The History of Kho Örlüg, which was probably written at the end of the eighteenth century, employed both the terms China and Manchu. This source is particularly interesting due to the way its author utilized the words under discussion. To be specific, in the section concerning Galdan Boshugtu Khan fighting the Qing Empire, this chronicle denoted the Kangxi emperor as “khan of China (kitad-un qaγan).” In another passage discussing the military situation between the Zunghars and the Qing during the first decade of the eighteenth century, Ayuki Khan of the Torghuud reportedly said: “Certainly, the Zunghars threaten the khan of Manchu China (manǰu kitad-un qaγan-i) on that side.” According to another section regarding the situation after the downfall of the Zunghars, the Dörböds remained peaceful and unharmed “after [they] submitted to the Manchus (manǰu-du oruǰu öggüged).” These examples reveal that in The History of Kho Örlüg, the terms for the Manchus and the Qing Empire changed according to the times the author was describing: that is, China (for the late seventeenth century) → Manchu China (for the early eighteenth century) → Manchu (for the mid-eighteenth century). This transition might reflect how the word Manchu was introduced and adopted among the Oyirad people during the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries. Lastly, The History of the Kalmyk Khans (written after 1819) also used both the terms China (kitad) and Manchu (mangzi, mangzu) for the Manchu emperors and the Qing Empire. In conclusion, the ethnonym Manchu was introduced to the Oyirad people in the Zunghar state probably by the early eighteenth century. Since then, usage of this word increased gradually among the Oyirads, and yet the word Manchu was never fully substituted for the term China, which Oyirad writers continued to use as before. For this reason, the Oyirads came to utilize both China and Manchu to refer to the Qing Empire and the Manchus.
As discussed above, the Oyirad people employed both of the words China (kitad) and Manchu (manǰu, manǰi, manzu, mangzu, mangzi) to denote the Manchus and their empire. Before the Manchus conquered China proper, the Oyirad people recognized the Manchus and their state simply as the Jurchens and the Jin 金. After the Manchus succeeded in occupying Beijing and then most of China proper, the Oyirads began to refer to the Manchu emperor as khan of China (kitad-un qaγan) who took over the state of Dayiming (dayiming-un törü, dayiming qaγan-un törü). By doing so, the Oyirads did not mean to disparage the Manchus and their empire. By contrast, the Oyirad people acknowledged the great achievement of the Manchu ruler and accepted his elevated title and political (and often religious) status. That is to say, it was actually a major elevation of the Manchus when the Oyirads changed the title of their ruler from khan of the Jurchens to khan of China. Since then, the Oyirad people continued to call the Qing Empire and the Manchu court China or Chinese, as witnessed in The Biography of Zaya Pandita, Galdan Boshugtu Khan’s Clear Script letters, and Ghabang Sharab’s The History of the Four Oyirads. By the early eighteenth century, however, the term Manchu likely entered the land of the Zunghars. Even though usage of this new word grew among the Oyirad people over time, the Oyirads never abandoned their custom of referring to the Qing and the Manchus as China or Chinese. Therefore, in later Oyirad writings, the terms China and Manchu were used at the same time.
From the perspective of the Oyirad people, there was no intention to disparage the Manchus when the Oyirads called the Manchus Chinese. The Manchus, however, misunderstood the Oyirads for their own reasons. As seen in the Manchu translation of Galdan’s letters, the Manchus surely knew that the Oyirads called their ruler khan of China and their empire China. From the early eighteenth century on, some of the Oyirad people began to call the Manchus “manǰi.” This new mode of representation on the part of the Oyirads must have confused the Manchus. Since the Manchus already knew that the Oyirads called them Chinese (kitad), it was natural for the Manchus to associate the new word manǰi with something Chinese when figuring out the meaning of the new term. Probably, for this reason, the Manchus, including the Yongzheng emperor, interpreted manǰi as the time-honored pejorative for southern Chinese (i.e., manzi 蠻子), which was once widely used by the Mongols of the Yuan Dynasty.
The translation of manǰi to southern Chinese, however, was a total misconception. The Oyirad expression manǰi had nothing to do with Chinese because the Oyirads pronounced the word Manchu (manǰu) in various ways, and manǰi was just one of the phonetic variants. Moreover, considering that more than three hundred years had already passed since the fall of the Yuan Dynasty, it is barely conceivable the Oyirad people of the eighteenth century had a clear understanding of what “manzi 蠻子” really meant. In other words, the Oyirads did not have any intention of deriding the Manchus when they called them manǰi. As in the case of the Oyirads calling the Manchus Chinese, the Oyirads probably also intended to give a positive meaning to the term manǰi. A passage of The Tale of the History of the Four Oyirads evidently associated the word manǰi with Manjushri Bodhisattva. It reads,
Afterward, at the time when the Four Oyirads have again come into being, then in the land of Black China, which is the seat of the Five Manjushris (tabun maņzuširiyin šire xaran kitidin orun-du), the self-forming white mound (or white fortress; čaγa kerim) is to manifest itself again. Thereupon, in the land of China, incarnations of the Five Manjushris take possession of this land and sit on the throne as great khans renowned as the khan of the Manǰi (manǰin xan kemen aldarte yeke xan).
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According to The Biography of Zaya Pandita, before becoming a monk, Zaya Pandita originally belonged to the Khoshuud group of the Oyirads. After finishing his religious degree in Tibet, he came back to the land of the Oyirads to propagate Buddhism. Even though he was widely revered both by the Khalkha Mongols and by all the groups of the Oyirads, his chief patron was Ochirtu Tayiji (later enthroned as Ochir Tsetsen Khan in 1666) of the Khoshuud. Moreover, Zaya Pandita’s order fell into an uneasy relationship with the Zunghar ruling elites especially after Galdan of the Zunghar defeated and then replaced Ochir Tsetsen Khan as the leader of all Oyirads in Central Asia. Therefore, it is reasonable to see that The Biography of Zaya Pandita is not a historical source composed by a Zunghar author. This biography, however, is still a critical historical source to understand the Zunghar viewpoint on the Qing and the Manchus. First of all, the Zunghars were an integral part of the Oyirad Confederation known as the Four Oyirads (dörbön oyirad). Furthermore, most of the Oyirad groups once under the leadership of Ochir Tsetsen Khan acknowledged Galdan of the Zunghar as their supreme ruler after the downfall of Ochir Tsetsen Khan, as did the disciples of Zaya Pandita. Therefore, it is cogent that the author of the biography shared a general worldview with the Zunghars.
Biography of Zaya Pandita, 95:7v.
Biography of Zaya Pandita, 96:8r-97:8v.
tende örgǖ=dȫn xarīd, otoq otogiyin ǰayisang demüči-noγoudi iröülēd, bi baroun tala odsu geǰi sananayibi. tümen aqta xurā=ǰi kitadtu orouluyin (sic. orouliya) kemēgēd tümen aqta čuqluulǰi mongγol xonǰin blama-bēr türüülüülǰi ǰoun kümü oroulbai.
Biography of Zaya Pandita, 97:8v.
Biography of Zaya Pandita, 119:19v.
Qing shilu 淸實錄 (hereafter Veritable Records; Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1985-1987), vol. 34, Shunzhi 4/10/7 (甲戌): “甲戌, 上御太和殿, 賜厄魯特部落貢使額爾德尼吳巴什等宴.” This passage is literally translated as follows: “On the jiaxu day, the emperor proceeded to the Hall of Supreme Harmony and bestowed a feast on Erdeni Ubashi and others who were the tribute envoys of the Ūlet.”
In this literal translation, however, it is unclear who Erdeni Ubashi would be. It could be the name of one person (i.e., Erdeni Ubashi) or the names of two people (i.e., Erdeni and Ubashi). Unfortunately, the translation does not explain anything about the Oyirad tribute mission and, moreover, is not adequate because the Veritable Records usually designate who (in most cases, nobilities or high lamas of the Mongols and the Oyirads at the time) sent envoys to the Qing court when recording tribute missions. Therefore, the passage should be translated differently for a better understanding. To be specific, the Chinese phrase “額爾德尼吳巴什” could also be translated as “Erdeni’s Ubashi” or “Ubashi of Erdeni.” In this revised translation, the meaning of the passage becomes much clearer: “the emperor . . . bestowed a feast on Erdeni’s Ubashi, the tribute envoy of the Ūlet, and others.” That is to say, the whole Oyirad tribute mission was headed by an envoy named Ubashi who belonged to Erdeni. In sum, an Oyirad noble called Erdeni sent his tribute mission to the Qing court with Ubashi as head in 1647.
According to the Xiyu tongwen zhi 西域同文志, Targhun Erdeni Khung-tayiji was the sixth son of Zasag Toyin, a younger brother of Bayibaghas and Güüshi of the Khoshuud. For details, see Qinding Xiyu tongwen zhi 欽定西域同文志 Hesei toktobuha wargi aiman i hergen be emu obuha ejetun i bithe (abbreviated XTZ; Tokyo: Toyo Bunko, 1964), vol. 4, table III, “Khoshot.”
Dumdadu ulus-un nigedüger teüke-yin dangsa ebkemel-ün sang, Öbür mongγol-un öbertegen jasaqu orun-u dangsa ebkemel-ün sang, and Öbür mongγol-un yeke surγaγuli-yin mongγol sudulul-un töb/Zhongguo diyi lishi dang’anguan 中国第一历史档案馆, Neimenggu zizhiqu dang’anguan 内蒙古自治区档案馆, and Neimenggu daxue Mengguxue yanjiu zhongxin 内蒙古大学蒙古学研究中心, eds., Čing ulus-un dotuγadu narin bičig-ün yamun-u mongγol dangsa ebkemel-ün emkidkel (Qing neimishuyuan Mengguwen dang’an huibian 清内秘书院蒙古文档案汇编; abbreviated CDME; Köke-qota: Öbür mongγol-un arad-un keblel-ün qoriy-a, Huhehaote: Neimenggu renmin chubanshe, 2003), 2: 364-65, no. 49; Veritable Records, vol. 35, Shunzhi 4/11/21 (丁巳).
CDME, 3: 117-19, nos. 8-9. Although there is a disagreement in the dates (i.e., Shunzhi 7/4/12 vs. Shunzhi 7/4/22), this record in CDME should be identical with that in the Veritable Records under Shunzhi 7/4/12 (乙未). First, there is no passage at the date Shunzhi 7/4/22 in the Veritable Records. Moreover, according to the Mongolian document in CDME, Ochirtu Tayiji presented the Shunzhi emperor with three hundred horses in addition to other things (e.g., one vulture, one black fox, and one white fox), as recorded in the Veritable Records.
As discussed in this chapter, The Biography of Zaya Pandita employed the word China (kitad) to refer to the Qing Empire and the Manchu court in most cases. In the biography, however, there are two other interesting cases worth considering in terms of Oyirad nomenclature for the Manchus. In the first case, the author of the biography utilized the ethnonym “Jurchens” (ǰürčid) to denote the Manchu emperor (Biography of Zaya Pandita, 109:14v). Although the meaning of this term is absolutely clear, it is likely that the ethnonym had an interesting connotation in the biography considering the context. The fourth section of this article will discuss it in detail.
On the second occasion, Radnaabadraa directly quoted a letter from the Dalai Lama sent to Zaya Pandita’s disciples. In the missive, two ambiguous terms appeared: “dayibung xān” and “altan xān” (Biography of Zaya Pandita, 159:39v-160:40r). The meaning of these two titles is so obscure that numerous scholars have put forward a variety of explanations, especially regarding the term “dayibung xān.” For instance, Cheng Chongde 成崇德 translated this dayibung xān as “khan of peace and tranquility” (taiping khan 太平汗) without further explanation. Si. Norbu took dayibung xān as Toghon Temür, the last great khan of the Mongol Empire, after arguing that this dayibung xān should be someone other than the emperors of the Qing and the Ming Dynasties (i.e., Kangxi and probably Wanli respectively). Sazykin also understood dayibung xān as “taiping khan” but added a note that this dayibung/taiping khan signified the Kangxi emperor of the Qing Dynasty. Lastly, Kh. Byambajaw considered dayibung xān to be the Shunzhi emperor of the Qing. For details, see Cheng Chongde, trans., “Zaya bandida zhuan” 咱雅班第达传, in Qingdai Menggu gaosengzhuan yiji: Zhongguo bianjiang shidi ziliao congkan Menggu juan 清代蒙古高僧传译辑: 中国边疆史地资料丛刊 蒙古卷, ed. Zhongguo shehui kexueyuan Zhongguo bianjiang shidi yanjiu zhongxin 中国社会科学院 中国边疆史地研究中心 (Beijing: Quanguo tushuguan wenxian suowei fuzhi zhongxin, 1990), 52; Radnabhadra, Zay-a bandida, ed. Si. Norbu (Köke-qota: Öbür mongγol-un arad-un keblel-ün qoriy-a, 1999), 291n2; Radnabkhadra, Lunnyĭ svet: Istoriia rabdzham Zaia-pandity, trans. G. H. Rumiantseva and A. G. Sazykina (Saint Petersburg: Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie, 1999), 116n111; Biography of Zaya Pandita, 71n227.
In light of current scholarship on The Biography of Zaya Pandita, it is impossible to draw a definite conclusion concerning the two terms. To make an educated guess, however, it seems likely that dayibung xān possibly meant the Wanli emperor of the Ming, Altan Khan of the Tümed, or the Shunzhi emperor of the Qing, while the term altan xān might have signified Altan Khan of the Tümed or the Shunzhi emperor. To fully understand this obscure section of The Biography of Zaya Pandita, more thorough philological research will be required. Such philological examination of the biography, however, is far beyond the scope of this article. After all, a meticulous investigation of the two titles dayibung xān and altan xān, even if they did refer to the Qing emperor, would not be conducive for understanding the Oyirad nomenclature for the Manchus, because the two terms were originally found in the Dalai Lama’s letter.
Ghabang Sharab, “Gharban sharawyn zokhioson tod üsgiĭn dörwön oĭradyn tüükh” (abbreviated DOT), National Library of Mongolia, Ms. no. 1407/96, ff. 10-11.
čečen xān[,] dörbön oyirodi šinǰileküdü mini. barγu burād oros bolxu. xoyid xoton bolxu. mini axa döü töböd kitad bolxu. mün namayigi oyiroki ǰöün γar mini idekü. ǰöün γar kitad bolum[,] xoton bolum ülü medeqdenei.
DOT, f. 12.
DOT, f. 8.
töbödtu ǰurγān yeke čereq bolǰi; burxani šaǰin-du ǰedker daruǰi, ügei ese čidaqsan, čaqtu[,] ekelen γurban yeke xāni daruǰi ügei bolγoqson. üüzang k’aras mg’omok’o dam anduu, dörbön xari tabun önggü, kitad mongγol oyirod dorgiloqsan[,] yeke neretei öböriyin küböün ǰēner ekilen burxani šaǰini bariqči sayin yeke ačitai güüši xān mün.
DOT, f. 15.
Christopher P. Atwood, Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire (New York: Facts on File, 2004), 574; Borjigidai Oyunbilig, “Heshuote hanting de jianli guocheng” 和碩特汗廷的建立過程, Neimenggu shehui kexue 內蒙古社會科學 1988.4: 72-73.
Ghabang Sharab recorded that Dalai Khung-tayiji was the second son of Güüshi Khan. According to Tibetan sources, however, Dalai Khung-tayiji was his sixth son. For details, see DOT, f. 4; Sperling, “Pho-lha-nas, Khang-chen-nas,” 199n8.
Borjigidai Oyunbilig, “17-shiji Weilate gebu youmudi yanjiu xu” 17世紀衛拉特各部游牧地硏究續, Xiyu yanjiu 西域硏究 2010.2: 64; Michael Khodarkovsky, Where Two Worlds Met: The Russian State and the Kalmyk Nomads, 1600-1771 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), 78, 89.
Mongol ulsyn ikh surguul’ ekh bichig altaĭ sudlalyn tenkhim, trans. and ed., Daĭchin gürniĭ dotood yaamny mongol bichgiĭn geriĭn dans (abbreviated DDMD; Ulaanbaatar: Soyombo printing, 2010), 2: 56, no. 2-27.
xāni ǰarligiyin esēr yāmunariyin bičigiyin xariu. oyirod mongγoliyin törö, ebderebe geǰi, medüülüqči kümün, xudal medüülǰi bolultai. oyirod mongγoliyin törö, dalai blamayin adistid-yēr batu[.] yerü tani ǰarliq surγāl yeke ǰöb. γaqča oyirod mongγol bisi, oros, xoton, tongmoq, kitad xa (sic. xā) čigi bese ebderel bei ülü bayinuu. tere ulus bügüdēr dalai blamayin ǰarliγār bolxuna, amur bolxuyigi bida čigi sananai. ǰarliq surγal mani sanānā, neyileqsen-dü yeke bayarlaba. beleq tögüsüqsen sayin ödür erčes-eče bičibe.
DDMD, 4: 132, no. 4-106.
DDMD, 6: 47, no. 6-26.
ögeled-ün g’aldan bošuγ-tu qan-i ayiladqaγsan bičig. yerüde xoyor yosoni üyilesi sayitur barin, yerüngkei bügüde-dü tusa amuγuulang-giyin xurim-yēr yekede xangγan üyiledüqči sedkel-metü maņi erdeni, yeke amuγuulang xān kemin duurisuqčiyin gegen-dü. … odōči ene učiri meden, dörbön oyirod, kitad, keǰē-nei yosōron, xudaldan čigi urdu yosōr boluqsan[,] ken ken i nurγundu sayin bu (sic. bui) geǰi sananai. γal bar ǰiliyin 11 sarayin 11 ödör bičebe.
According to the Manchu translation of this document, this letter was written on the twelfth day of the eleventh month of the year of the red tiger (fulgiyan tasha aniya omšon biyai juwan juwe), that is, December 26, 1686. See DDMD, 5: 144, no. 5-33.
This claim that the state of the Oyirads and the Mongols broke down probably originated from the fact that Galdan of the Zunghar overthrew Ochir Tsetsen Khan of the Khoshuud in 1676 and was then enthroned as Galdan Boshugtu Khan in 1678.
Here, it should be emphasized that when the Oyirad people utilized the term China (kitad) to signify the Qing Empire, the term did not include Tibet and Khalkha Mongolia even after those two lands became part of the empire. In Clear Script sources, Tibet and Khalkha Mongolia were always treated separately from China.
“ūlet i g’aldan bošogtu han i wesimburengge. colgoroko sain hūturi hūsun i onco amba nikan i oron de umesi elhe wehiyere elhe taifin han i genggiyen de” (DDMD, 4: 175, no. 4-149); “omšon biyai juwan duin de ūlet i g’aldan bošogtu han i wesimburengge. uheri juwe doroi baita be saikan jafame, gubci de tusa taifin i sarin i umesi elebure gūnin i gese mini erdeni amba elhe taifin han seme algika genggiyen de wesimbure … te bicibe ere turgun be safi, duin oirat, nikan julgei songkoi oho hūdašarangge inu nenehe songkoi ohongge, yaya de amba muru gemu sain dere seme gūnimbi” (DDMD, 5: 144, no. 5-33).
CDME, 2: 97, no. 30.
CDME, 2: 99, no. 31.
qoyar qatun kiged, qung tayiǰi, bsdanǰin, erdini dayičing, eden-ü bičig. ǰinwang-dur ilegebe. tan-u bičig elči ende kürčü irebe. urida ǰurčid-un qaγan-u bičig, qoyin-a kegüken-ü bičig, burqan-u šaǰin-dur süsüg-iyer oroy-a[,] yirtinčü-yin ey-e, eb-iyan ǰasadaγ-ügei-ber nigedduy-a gegsen bile. edügeki elči bičig-ün üge kümün-ü sedkil-dür ülü sanaγdaqu metü bayinam. küsegsen-iyen oluγad, γurban erdini-yin ǰüg-tür ǰaruγči, ǰoriγsan-iyan bütügeged, omuγ sedkil-i tebčigči, sayin yosutan-u törü bolai.
CDME, 2: 177-78, no. 32.
yeke buyan-u čoγ ǰibqulang-iyar ilete ülegsen, qamuγ ǰüg-degen-ü eǰen dayičing ulus-un qaγan-u gegen-e ergübe. šasin bariγči nom-un qaγan künduleküi sedkil-iyer öčir-ün, edüge külti buyan-u čoγ-iyar egüdügsen erdini bey-e-dü, ülü ǰokilduqui ǰüg-üüd-i dayin böged ilγaǰu, kitad-un qaγan-u ayul-ügei arslan-tu tabčang-dur saγuǰu, burqan-u šasin erdini-yi kündülen bisireged, qaračun bügüde-yi asaraqui örüsiyeküi-ber manduγulǰu, maγui esergülegčid-ün ayimaγ-i tobraγ bolγaγad, kördün orčiγuluγči-yin qan orun čoγtay-a bütübe kemekü sayin aldar-i sonusuγsan-iyar, arsi sedkil-ün nuta ǰirγalang-i oluγsan-metü, sedkil-dür bayasqulang nemebe.
CDME, 2: 417-18, no. 24
kümün-ü erketü küčün-luγ-a tegülder yeke qaγan-u gegegen-e, mergen ǰinong bičig ergübe. qaγan-u gegen γayiqamsiγ[,] šasin qas yeke törü-yin amuγulang töbsin-i sonusǰi masi bayasba. bida ende degedü boγdan γurban erdini-yin adistid-iyar mendü. erketü manǰusiri-yin qubilγan[,] yeke dayiming qaγan-u törü-yi abun[,] nanggiyas ulus-i qaγan či eǰelebe. nigülesügči qonsim bodisung-yin qubilγan chakra wardi nom-un qaγan-u šasin törü[,] töbed ulus-i mani qaγan eǰeleged, ta qoyar qaγan šasin törü-ben nigedügsen-dü bida bügüde masi bayasba.
Interestingly enough, the overall attitude of this letter toward the Qing rulers is negative and belittling, since the Shunzhi emperor here was referred to as Jinwang and as a child (kegüken), while Hong Taiji was called just the khan of the Jurchens. The reason why the Oyirad nobles showed such a depreciating tone could be inferred from the contents and context of this letter. In this document, the Oyirad princes pointed out that the content of the current missive from the Qing side was not satisfactory, and in order to have a state of good customs, a ruler should have delivered respect to the high lamas in Tibet and should not have been conceited after achieving great success. From this fact, it is possible to assume that the Oyirad nobles indirectly criticized the Qing court in this letter because, after the conquest of China, the Qing ruler did not send envoys to Tibet and instead acted arrogantly. For this reason, in this epistle, the Oyirad princes did not acknowledge the Qing emperor as the official holder of the state of Dayiming of China, and hence called him Jinwang and a child.
Charles Bawden, The Mongol Chronicle Altan Tobchi: Text, Translation, and Critical Notes (abbreviated AT; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1955), 149-50; ET, 147:46r; Jamba/Shamba, Asragch nertiĭn tüükh (asaraγči neretü-yin teüke) (abbreviated ANT; Ulaanbaatar: Bolor Sudar, 2011), 66:27a-27b; Ertniĭ mongolyn khaadyn ündesniĭ ikh shar tuuj (Erten-ü mongγol-un qad-un ündüsün-ü yeke sir-a tuγuǰi) (Ulaanbaatar: Bolor Sudar, 2011), 88:11b.
Biography of Zaya Pandita, 109:14v.
tegēd kökö nour-tu urid kürči irēd nigen sara külēbei. ten=de blamayin gegēgi dalai xong tayiǰi terigüülen yeke baγa noyon kökö nouriyin köbȫ šabartadu (sic. šabartaidu) yengder yasaǰi xamuq bügüdüi mörgüülbei. tende basa blamayin gegēn-dü ǰolγoǰi šaǰin amitan-ni tusayin tula dēre ayiladxaqsan-inu, yerü mongγol keleten-dü ǰürčidiyin boqdo xān-ēče yeke ügei. tani ǰarliγa=san ülü dabaxuyin tula, xān-du mongγol üǰüq terigüüten mongγol nom delgerüül kemēn ǰarliq bolxu=nan sayin aqsanǰi kemēn ayiladxaq=san-du, blamayin gegēn müšēn üyiled=či činei ǰöb bolbuču omoqtoi xān amui. kürči medeye kemēn ǰarliq bolboi. tere čü xāni ülü süǰülküi ilerkei ayiladuqsan mün amui kemēn mandu ǰarliq bolboi.
To this end, Radnaabadraa even fabricated a historical fact in the biography. According to The Biography of Zaya Pandita, in the summer of 1647, Tsetsen Khan gathered ten thousand geldings and then dispatched one hundred people to China with Khonjin Lama of the Mongols (mongγol xonǰin blama) as their head (see Biography of Zaya Pandita, 96:8r-97:8v). The Veritable Records, however, clearly indicated that Rabjamba Khutugtu (i.e., Zaya Pandita) and Changzodba Darkhan Tsorji led the Oyirad tribute envoys at that time (see Veritable Records, vol. 35, Shunzhi 4/11/21 [丁巳]). Furthermore, according to CDME, Khonjin Lama (erdini qonǰin blam-a) headed Ochitru Tayiji’s envoys to the Qing court not in 1647 but in 1650 (see CDME, 3: 117-19, no. 8-9). Therefore, it is logical to see that it was not Khonjin Lama but Zaya Pandita that actually led the Oyirad tribute mission and had an audience with the Qing emperor in Beijing in 1647, as opposed to the claim in The Biography of Zaya Pandita. Here, Radnaabadraa’s purpose is clear. In his writing, he replaced Zaya Pandita as a leader of the 1647 Oyirad envoys with Khonjin Lama, who in fact visited the Qing court three years later. By doing so, he attempted to conceal that his master visited the Qing court as head of Ochirtu Tayiji’s envoys, met the Qing emperor in person, and presented the emperor a memorial and horses in 1647. In sum, Radnaabadraa tried in the biography to erase the close relationship that once existed between Zaya Pandita and the Qing court.
In addition to the regular letters of the Clear Script for writing Mongolian and Oyirad words, Zaya Pandita devised two sets of the Galig (i.e., transcription) scripts to render all the different letters of Sanskrit and Tibetan. These Oyirad Galig letters were explained in such books as Tarni ungšixu arγa xurāqsan, Olon nomiyin ündüsün üǰügiyin ilγal, and Üǰügiyin nayirlaγ-a, which Zaya Pandita translated or composed. For details, see Luwsanbaldan, Tod üseg tüüniĭ dursgaluud, 32.
For example, see the following documents preserved in the First Historical Archives of China: “Zoubao guixiang Wulianghai Kuxige dengren zhi kougong zhe” 奏报归降乌梁海库希格等人之口供折 (Yongzheng 9/6/14, no. 03-0173-1107-004); “Baosong zi Zhunga’er lai toucheng zhi Wulianghai Wulumu deng kougong dan” 报送自准噶尔来投诚之乌梁海乌鲁木等口供单 (Yongzheng 10/12/12, no. 03-0173-1134-007); “Zou jiang toucheng zhi Elute Ha’erchahai shenming jiewang jingshi zhe” 奏将投诚之厄鲁特哈尔查海审明解往京师折 (Yongzheng 11/10/20, no. 03-0173-1150-014). There are far more documents than these three containing testimonies in which Zunghar runaways differentiated the Manchus from the Mongols and Chinese.
“Bogd chingis khaany ug, dörwön oĭradyn ug, khoshuudyn ugiĭn tüükh bichig,” in Oĭrad mongolyn tüükhend kholbogdokh surwalj bichgüüd III, ed. Na. Sükhbaatar (Ulaanbaatar: Soyombo printing, 2002), 54-68; “Boγda činggis-un törü-yi bariγad qaγan örgüge tedkügsen tuγuǰi,” in Mongγol kitad qarilčaγuluγsan todu üsüg-ün oyirad mongγol-un teüke-yin surbulǰi bičig-üüd 蒙汉对照托忒文字卫拉特蒙古历史文献译编, ed. Liǰei (Ürümchi: Sinǰiyang-un arad-un keblel-ün qoriy-a, 2009), 41-51.
“Kho örlögiĭn tüükh,” in Oĭrad mongolyn tüükhend kholbogdokh surwalj bichigüüd II, ed. Na. Sükhbaatar (abbreviated KOT/Sükhbaatar; Ulaanbaatar: Soyombo printing, 2001), 159; “Qo-örlüg-ün teüke,” in Mongγol kitad qarilčaγuluγsan todu üsüg-ün oyirad mongγol-un teüke-yin surbulǰi bičig-üüd (abbreviated KOT/Lijei), 53.
Some knowledgeable readers might find it somewhat striking that the Yongzheng emperor was probably so unfamiliar with Mongolian that he could not figure out what “manǰi” in the mouth of the Oyirads was referring to. To the best of my knowledge, however, there is no direct evidence indicating that the Yongzheng emperor had a good command of Mongolian. Moreover, it is noticeable that although he must have had plenty of dealings with various Mongolian peoples, almost all Mongolian affairs were actually processed using the Manchu language during the Yongzheng reign. Interestingly enough, down to the early Kangxi era, there was a considerable amount of Qing archival documents existing only in Mongolian versions (see CDME, vols. 1-7; and DDMD, vols. 1-2). Therefore, it is indubitable that Kangxi’s Mongolian was good enough to deal with various official affairs only in Mongolian. From about 1680 (Kangxi 20) on, however, almost all the Qing documents dealing with Mongolian and Tibetan affairs were written both in Mongolian and Manchu, and documents that existed only in Mongolian versions were very rare (see DDMD, vols. 2-21). That being so, it is reasonable to see that following 1680, Mongolian documents from Mongolia and Tibet were first translated into Manchu, and the Qing court then handled Mongolian and Tibetan matters using those Manchu translations. For this reason, it is probable that the Yongzheng emperor did not need to know Mongolian very well. Since the word for Manchu was written and pronounced strictly as “manju” in the Manchu language, Manchu people who did not know colloquial Mongolian of the time well probably could not understand clearly the Oyirads saying “manǰi.”
The word “čaγa kerim (< čaγan kerem)” usually means the Great Wall of China in Mongolian. The Great Wall, however, has nothing to do with Tibetan Buddhism and Manjushri Bodhisattva in terms of symbolism or metaphor. Therefore, čaγa kerim as the Great Wall makes less sense in this context. For this reason, I would prefer to make a literal translation of the term; that is, white mound or white fortress. In the regions where various Mongolian peoples have lived, as well as in Tibet, it is indeed possible for a white mound to have a religious meaning and function. For example, there are cairns all over in Mongolia and Tibet (i.e., obuγ-a, owoo, or obō in Mongolian). Moreover, if this is interpreted as a white fortress, it could represent a white stupa, which is very common in the entire regions in which Tibetan Buddhism has been practiced.
xoyino dakin dörbön oyirad boluqsen tere üye tere čaqtu[,] tabun maņzuširiyin šire xaran kitidin orun-du eberen büteqsen čaγa kerim basa eberen toqtuxu[.] teged kitidiyin oron-du tere širedü tabun maņzuširiyin xubilγan ene orodigi eǰelen manǰin xan kemen aldarte yeke xan suuǰi bi bui.