Much resarch has been carried out on the three Combined Pacification Commissions and Chief Military Commands, and on the Commission for Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs (3)since publication of the essay, How the Than Central Government Managed Tibetan LocalAffairs written by Han Rulin some forty years ago. However, owing to the areas inhabited by Tibetans having being large, due to the great differences in social customs, history, and religious activities, that existed , and because many Yuan Dynasty historical events lack systematic records, questions pertaining to the three Combined Pacification Commissions and the Chief Military Commands remain unanswered. In this essay, an alysis will be made of the year of establishment and of the naming of the "Domed (mdo smad) Pacification Commission"for the benefit of academic circles on the history of Tibetan areas in Gansu and Qinghai provinces during the Yuan Dynasty.
1. The Year of Establishment of the Domed Pacification Commission
On reading the records of the Commission for Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs, and of the Three Commbined Pacification Commissions and Chief Military Commands under its command in the History of the Tuan Dynasty,the reader may be befuddled by the long and unwieldy names that were given to these agencies. For instance, the official name for the Domed Pacification Commission is the "Combined Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command for Tubo and Other Regions," the official name for the Do kham ( mdo khams) Pacification Commission is the "Combined Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command for Tubo and Other Routes"; and the official name for the U-Tsang (dBus gTsang) Pacification Commission is the "Combined Pacification Commission and Chief Military command for the Three Routes ofU- Tsang and Ngari Korsum."
These names are difficult to remember and easily confused. There must, nevertheless, have been reasons for the Yuan court to have so named the three pacification commissions, but no Yuan Dynasty historical records elaborate on them.
My opinion, formed according to my observations, is that the names of these three pacification commissions show that they were established at different times. Moreover, the Yuan court had no clear idea of how to name Pacification Commissions in areas inhabited by Tibetans when it began to set them up.
During the reign ofOgodai (1229-41), Guyuk (1246-48) and Mongka Khan (1251-59),the Mongol Khans demanded the Tibetan secular and monastic leaders offer allegiance and tribute, assigned them to appropriate posts, and designated them social levels according to their original place in the political and religious hierarchy. For instance, Mongka Khan granted the main part of U-Tsang to his brother as a fief, and a number of their trusted persons were sent there to work as Darkhache (overseer) to supervise administration and taxation in the fief.
Yet the Mongols had not set up official administrative management organs in Tibetan areas before Kublai ascended the throne. In April 1260, Kublai was proclaimed the Great Khan at Kaiping. Soon afterwards he established the Secretariat, the core unit of the central government, and set up ten Pacification Commissions (Yanjing, Yidu Jinan, Henan, Beijing, Pingyang, Taiyuan, Zhending Route, Dongping Route, Darning Zhangde Route, Xijing Route andJingzhao Route) as local administrative agencies directly under the central government. In addition: "Wang Weizheng was appointed as Acting Chief Commander of Gongchang and Other Regions,"and Hulanqi was appointed "Chief Military Commander of the Gong chang Route."'From this it may be inferred that the administative division under the Secretariat was known as a "Route".
A pacification commission might be set up for a big route or for several small routes. In the latter case, the words "and Other Routes" were added to the relevant name. The Chief Command of Gongchang and Other Regions was also an administrative agency on the Pacification-Commission level. Moreover, in areas where battles were still going on, such as Sichuan, Jiangsu and Anhui, branch secretariats were set up to manage administative and military affairs. This administrative system lasted for about two years. In the eleventh month of the second year of the Zhongtong period:
The Pacification Commissions of the ten Routes were canceled, and only the Kaiyuan Route remained.2 In the twelfth month of the same year, Kublai appointed Prince Chin-gen Chief of the Secretariat. In the fourth month of the third year of the Zhongtong period: "The Secretaiat, Pacification Commission, all the Darkhache and local officials were ordered to persuade the commoners to open up wasteland and turn it intofarmland..."3 It is thus clear that the Yuan central government had divided the administrative division into provinces, routes, prefectures, and counties. In the border areas, Pacification Commissions were set up between the province and route levels to take charge of the local military and civil affairs. In the third year of the Zhongtong period (1262), the Shaanxi-Sichuan Branch Secretariat was established, and the Acting Chief Command of Gongchang and Other Regions was assigned to it. This was why several members of the Wang family of Gongchang were appointed to high posts in the Shaanxi-Sichuan branch Secretariat. At that time, the Domed Route was established in the Gansu-Qinghai Tibetan areas near Gongchang. So in the section "Geography"of the "History of the Tuan Dynasty" it is recorded: "In the fifth year ofZhiyuan (1268) the Anxi Prefecture was placed under the administation of the Pacification Office of the Domed Route. The following year, i.e. the sixth year ofZhiyuan (1296), Hezhou Prefecture was placed under the Tubo Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command." From this record, it may be inferred that the Domed Pacification Commission was established, at the latest, during the fifth or sixth year of the Zhiyuan period.
The "Biography ofYeshena (l^TO)" in the "History of the Xuan Dynasty" records that: "After quelling the rebellion staged by Li Tan in Shandong in the third year of Zhongtong (1262), Yeshenawas appointed Chief Military Commander of the Western Regions and Tubo Pacification Commissioner, and awarded a gold tiger-shaped tally, by the emperor. Yeshena was a capable governor and all the aboriginals pledged allegiance to him. For this he was greatly rewarded by the central government.
He stayed on in the post of Pacification Commissioner for twenty-four years before becoming the Manager of Governmental Affairs in Yunnan Province. Soon afterwards he was transferred to Jiangxi Province to work as Manager of Governmental Affairs. There he routed a notorious band of bandits headed by Zhong Mingliang and captured their leaders."4 Another record in the "History of the Juan Dynasty" states: "In the 26th year of Zhiyuan (1289) Zhong Mingliang and his band raided Ganzhou, looted Ningdu and captured Xiuling. The Emperor ordered that five thousand troops be sent to fight them. In the second month of the next year, i.e. the 2yth year of Zhiyuan (1290) theJiangxi bandits headed by Zhong Mingliang offered their surrender. The central government ordred that the bandit chiefs be sent to the capital, and the others were set free."5 Assuming that Yeshena arrived inJiangxi to assume the post of Manager of Governmental Affairs in the 27th year of Zhiyuan, the date of his taking up of the post of Tubo Pacification Commissioner must have been between the third and fifth year of Zhiyuan.
In an essay entitled "The Year of Establishment of the U-Tsang Pacification Commissioner of the Yuan Dynasty" by Prof. Chen Dezhi of the History Department of Nanjing University, published in 1984, the conclusion drawn, which accords with the historical data already mentioned, is that the Combined Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command for Tubo and Other Regions was established in the first years of the Zhiyuan period. Prof. Chen also states that the establishment of the Do-kham Pacification Commission could not have been as early as the Zhiyuan reign period of Emperor Shi Zu (Kublai), and that establishment of the U-Tsang Pacification Commission must have been around the time of Phagpa's death, i.e. between A.D. 1279 and 1281.6 Although this viewpoint is generally accepted by scholars specializing in the Tibetan history of the Yuan Dynasty, to date no one has made any further study or expressed views on the sequence of the years of establishment of the three Pacification Commissions.
The Tibetan language Rgya-bod yig tshang (The Analects on the HistoricalRelations Between the Hans and Tibetans;) does, however, contain a record that is quite similar to that in the "Biography of Yeshena "from the "History of the Juan Dynasty." The section entitled "The Establishment of Postal Relay Stations in the Tubo Areas"in the u Analects on the Historical Relations Between the Hans and Tibetans" contains a record as follows: 'After ascending the throne, Kublai sent a minister named Dasmed Ct) to the Tibetan areas to set up Postal Relay Stations, so that Phagpa might conveniently return to Sakya. Bringing with him Kublai's decree and Phagpa's order, in addition to a large nmuber of attendants and gifts, Dasmed proceeded from the Tanduk Monastery in Domed, passed through Do-kham, U-Tsang, and arrived at the Sakya Monastery He set up twenty seven large Postal Relay Stations on the route".
Judging from the fact that the purpose ofDasmed's setting up of Postal Relay Stations was specifically for the return of Phagpa to Sakya in 1264, the setting up of the stations must have been accomplished before the first year of the Zhiyuan period (1264). The Analects on the Historical Relations Between the Han and Tibetans" continues:"As the Postal Relay Stations were newly established, it was requested that a capable man be sent to manage them. Therefore, a minister named Ijilak was appointed Prefect and sent to Tubo with a decree stating that all Tubo Postal Relay Stations were under his command. From then on, he worked as a liaison officer between the Mongol patrons and the Sakyapa lamas, kept the twenty seven Postal Relay Stations running peacefully and smoothly, guaranteed the safety of the Supreme Masters, Ponchen (dpon chen), Mongol and Tubo high officials on the road, and broght happiness to the Tibetan people.
He was the first Imperial Envoy sent by Emperor Sechen (Kublai Khan), and he was a devoutBuddhist and Sakyapa believer. He was a good official, so he deserves the following description:
Before Prefect Ijilak was ordered to come to take charge of the Tubo Postal Relay Stations, he was responsible for two Postal Relay Stations in Domed when the Mongol emperor was marching against Yunnan.
During the war to subdue Yunnan, two more stations, the Gare and Gope in Do-kham, came under his command. He rendered numerous acts of merits and virtue to U-Tsang. "7 The pronunciation of Ijilak is fundamentally the same as that of Yeshena. Moreover, he had also taken part in the war to conquer Yunnan and had rendered meritorious service. Therefore, to identify Ijilak as no other than Yeshena within the History of the Juan Dynasty should be a matter of course.
The intention of this essay is not, however, to make a textual study of the life ofYeshena. What is of interest is that the data cited indicate the true story of the establishment of the Pacification Commissions in Tibetan areas in the early years of the Zhiyuan period.
Firstly, note should be taken of the record within the "History of the Juan Dynasty" that Yeshena's title was that of "Chief Military Commander of the Western Regions" and "Tubo Pacification Commissioner,"which indicates that the name of the Pacification Commission set up in Hezhou by Kublai at that time should have been the "Tubo Pacification Commission." As the U Tsang Pacification Commission and the Do-kham Pacification Commission were set up one or two dozen years later, the Tubo Pacification Commission was therefore the only Pacification Commission that took the whole Tibetan area under its administration.
Consequently, the "Analects on the Historical Relations Between the Han and the Tibetans" states that Yeshena, the Tubo Pacification Commissioner, had the twenty-seven large Postal Relay Stations between the Tanduk Monastery in Domed and the Sakya Monastery under his control, and not only the seven large Postal Relay Station in Domed. Because of this, the History of the Juan Dynasty says: "In the sixth year of Zhiyuan, Hezhou was put under the jurisdiction of the Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command for tubo." 8 It is very likely that Hezhou was separated from the Acting Chief Command ofGongchang and Other Regions, and that the "Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command for Tubo" was set up with Hezhou as its seat. Therefore, the sixth year of the Zhiyuan period (1269) may be taken as being the year when the Yuan court began to set up the Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command in Tibetan areas, which is the year that the Domed Pacification Commission was established.
Evolution of the Name: Domed Pacification Commission It has now been established that the Domed Pacification Commission was established in 1269. In this year Phagpa returned to Dadu after going to Sakya to set up administrative systems for the U-Tsang regions; that is, he installed a Ponchen for U-Tsang and divided U-Tsang into thirteen myriarchies. Upon returning to Dadu, he proposed a new writing system for the Mongolian language, which was later called Phagspa's Script, to Kublai, and he held a Tantric consecration ceremony for Kublai on New Year's Day, 1270. In recognition of his services, Emperor Kublai granted Phagpa the title "Imperial Preceptor." 9 Phagpa having been appointed Imperial Preceptor, and the establishment of the Tubo Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command, marked the beginning of the Yuan court political system over Tibetan areas. At that time, the Yuan court supported the Sakya regime headed by Phagpa in governing U-Tsang, and it simultaneously authorized the Tubo Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command in Hezhou to take charge of military affairs, law-enforcement and postal relay stations in all areas inhabited by Tibetans. So, Hezhou was the most important base for the Yuan court to rule over Tibetan areas at the time.
Phagpa consequently moved to Lintao, near Hezhou, in 1271 after staying at Dadu for two years. He built a big Sakyapa monastery at Lintao and sent his disciples to build monasteries atJone, Rongwo, Wendu and other places near Hezhou.ro There are various reasons the Imperial Precptor Phagpa stayed at Lintao for three years. Some scholars say that Phagpa could not adapt to the weather in Dadu, and so went to Lintao to recuperate; others assert that he went to Lintao to deal with urgent business. It now appears, however, that the main reason was that, as chief of the Supreme Control Commission), he had to stay at Hezhou and Lintao to manage the official business of the newly established Tubo Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command, particularly that of appointing Tibetan secular and clerical leaders in Domed to official posts of various levels.
When Phagpa left the capital Dadu for Lintao, he entrusted administration of religious affairs in Dadu to his disciple Tenpa. The Yuan court did not appoint any acting Imperial Preceptor to work at Dadu on behalf of Phagpa the Imperial Preceptor. It appears that Kublai and Phagpa himself both hoped that Phagpa would return to Dadu after staying in Lintao and Hezhou for a few years, or that he would shuttle between Dadu, Lintao, Hezhou, and Sakya to perform his Imperial Preceptor's duty However, in March 1274, Phagpa left Lintao for Sakya under the escort of Prince Chin-gen. The reason for Phagpa's return to Tibet under the escort of Chin-gen still remains a mystery, although the fact that Phagpa did return to Tibet is not open to doubt, because it was recorded in Tibetan and Han literature, such as the History of the Tuan Dynasty," Sa skya gdung rabs (Sakya's Lineal Description), and Analects on the Historical Relations Between the Han and the Tibetans. But the allusion to Prince Chin gen's escort can be seen only in Tibetan and Mongolian-language historical materials. The Chinese edition of "An Exposition of What I Know'\shes bya rab gsal,) written by Phagpa and translated into Chinese in the Yuan Dynasty, was a collection of summonses given to Prince Chin-gen by Phagpa. The book may serve as an indirect proof of the fact that the prince accompanied Phagpa to Sakya. " Phagpa sponsored a Great Prayer Meeting at Chumik after he returned to Tibet. After Prince Chin-gen returned to the imperial court, a rebellion staged by Kunga Zangpo erupted-an internal struggle within the ruling class of the Sakyapa-after which Phagpa died while still at a young age. All this prompted Kublai to make new arrangements for the administraive system of U-Tsang soon after the death of Phagpa. That is to say, the Yuan court set up the U-Tsang Pacification Commission in the U-Tsang regions. The official name of the U-Tsang Pacification Commission was "The Combined Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command for the Three Routes of U-Tsang and Ngari Korsum."
In the 24th year of the Zhiyuan period, Kublai appointed Sengge, an ethnic Tibetan from Domed, to the post of Assistant Director in the Department of State Affairs. Sengge raised the Acting Chief Command ofGongchang to the level of Pacification Commission and appointed his brother Dhamarakita as Pacification Commissioner. During Sengge's time, therefore, there were three Pacification Commissions in Tibetan areas: the Tubo Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command, the Combined Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command for the Three Routes of U-Tsang and Ngari Korsum, and the Gongchang Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command. In the 28th year of the Zhiyuan period, Sengge was defeated in internal court strife, and was later arrested and put to death. As a result, the Gongchang Pacification Commission was renamed the Gongchang Acting Chief Command.12 During the reign of Emperor Shi Zu Kublai, in addition to the U Tsang Pacification Commission that was established in the lyth year of Zhiyuan (1280), the Tubo Pacification Commission set up at Hezhou was the main administrative agency established by the Yuan court for administering Tibetan areas.
The Yuan militrary and administrative agency in Do-kham must have been the Tubo Pacification Office. The anti-Yuan rebellion staged by the Senbrang tribe started in the Zhiyuan period (1264-1295) and lasted through to the reign of Emperor Ying Zong (Soodbal, r. 1320-23) and Emperor Tai Ding Di (Yesun Temur, r. 1323-28). The military importance of the Do-kham region was obvious because it was near to Yunnan, Sichuan, and the area under the jurisdiction of the U-Tsang Pacification Commission. When the chief of Senbrang offered his surrender in the second year of the Tai Ding reign period (1325), therefore, the Yuan court:
"Appointed Drakpa Palzanpo as Pacification Commissioner and Chief Miliary Commander for Tubo and Other Regions. He was also in control of the military Darkhache (Overseers) of Changheshi (present-day Luding County, Sichuan), Ponborgang, spom vbor sgang), Tsakyar (Tsha skyar), Do-ham, and Domed; he went with his subordinates to supervise and pacify the Senbrang Tribe."13
Evidently it was on this occasion that the Yuan court established the Do-kham Pacification Commission.
In official documents of the Yuan court both the Pacification Commissions of Hezhou and of Do-kham were called the Tubo Pacification Commission; in order to differentiate the two, the Yuan court added "for Tubo and Other Regions" to the name of the Hezhou Pacification Commission from then on. Since the Domed Pacification Commission was called "Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command for Tubo and Other Regions," the Pacification Commission for the Do-kham region might have been called "Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command for Tubo and Other Routes." In order to make a distinction between them, they were normally referred to by their place names, i.e. they were called Domed Pacification Commission and Do-kham Pacification Commission respectively.
We engaged in this heavy and complicated textual research not for the purpose of making clear the origin of the words "for Tubo and Other Regions," but to demonstrate that during the reign of Yuan Emperor Shi Zu Kublai, the Yuan court did not, at the begining, divide the areas inhabited by the Tibetans into three regions and establish three combined Pacification Commissions and Chief Military Commands. In fact, Kublai had planned to place U-Tsang under the adminitration of the Sakyapa local regime, which enjoyed the support of the Yuan royal house, and place all other areas inhabited by Tibetans under the control of the Tubo Pacification Comission and Chief Military Command set up at Hezhou. It was only after the rebellion staged by Kunga Sangpo broke out that the Yuan court established in U-Tsang the combined Pacification Commission and Chief Millitary Command for the Three Routes of U-Tsang and Ngari Korsum;and it was only many years after the death of Kublai when the Senbrang rebellion had erupted, that the Yuan court set up in Do-kham the Combined Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command for Tubo and Other Routes. In order to make it simple to differentiate one from the other, the Yuan court renamed the Tubo Pacification and Chief Military Command stationed at Hezhou "The Pacification Commission and Chief Military Command for Tubo and Other Regions." Therefore, it is incorrect to say that the Yuan court adopted the so called "divide and rule "policy as early as Kublai's reign.
Notes and Bibliography
1. Biography of Emperor Shi Zu, Part One, History of the Juan Dynasty, vol. 4.
2. Biography of Emperor Shi Zu, Part One, History of the Tuan Dynasty, vol. 4.
3. Biography of Emperor Shi Zu, Part Two, History of the 'Yuan Dynasty, vol. 5.
4. Biography ofYeshena, History of the Tuan Dynasty, vol. 133
5. Biography of Emperor Shi Zu, Part 12 and Part 13, History of the Tuan Dynasty, vol. 15 and vol. 16.
6. Chen Dezhi, The Date of the Establishment of the U-Tsang Pacification Commission of the Tuan Dynasty, Nanjing University Journal, May 1984.
7. Taktsangpa Paljor Zangpo, Analects on the Historical Relations. Between the Han and the Tibetans, pp. 276-277, Sichuan People's Publishing House, June 1986, Tibetan edition.
8. The History of the Tuan Dynasty, vol. 60, contains a record of the designation of places under the control of Gongchang Chief Military Command to the Tubo Pacification Commission. Judging
from the fact that, according to Tibetan historical records, Phagpa had lived in Lintao for more than three years and had fiefs in Lintao, at least a part of Lintao's territory had been incorporated into the Tubo Pacification Commission.
9. Chen Qingying, Phagpa, the Tuan Imperial Preceptor, pp. 149-151, China Tibetology Publishing House, June 1992.
10. Collected Works of Phagpa; Collected Works of the Five Forefathers ofSakya contains a number of poems and the formulae for practicing Buddhism written by Phagpa when he was in Lintao for Kublai and Chebi Temur (Godan's son). As to Phagpa's activities in Lintao, see also Political and Religious History ofAmdo, History of Buddhism inJone, and An Ancient Chanding Monastery in Amdo
11. An Exposition of What I Know is contained in the Collected Works of the Five Forefathers ofSakya, vol. 15.
12. See Rinchen Drashi, Sengge, A Tibetan Grand Councilor in the Tuan Court, in A Collection of Papers on Tibetan Studies,edited by the Institute of Tibetan Studies under the Central Institute for Nationalities, March 1984, Beijing.
13. Tai Ding Di, Part i, History of the Tuan Dynasty, vol. 29. About the author: Chen Qingying is a research fellow at the Institute of History and Religion affiliated with the China Tibetology Research Center.