The Treasury of Lives

A Biographical Encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalaya

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Agvan Dorjiev

b.1854 - d.1938

Agvan Dorjiev, a Buryat Mongol who received a Geshe Lharampa degree from Drepung, was debating partner and close confidant of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. Dispatched by the Dalai Lama to forge diplomatic links with the Russian Empire, Dorjiev's greatest achievement was the 1913 Tibet-Mongol Treaty with Mongolia of which he himself was the Tibetan signatory. Accused by many as having been a Russian spy, he appears to have genuinely served the wishes of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and, in later years, endeavored to protect Buddhism in the USSR from destruction.

The Empress Trimalo was the consort of Emperor Manglon Mangsten, the grandson of Songtsen Gampo. After her husband's death, she successfully planned the overthrow of the Gar clan, whose position as influential ministers in Songtsen Gampo's court led to their complete control of civil and military affairs. She was the regent of the Tibetan empire when her son, Tri Dusong, was engaged in warfare on the Tibetan frontier. When he died, his heir, Tri Detsuktsen, was too young to rule himself, and she continued to act as regent. She ruled continuously from 704 until 712, when her grandson was formally enthroned. She died in the same year.

Surkhang Wangchen Gelek, from a prominent Lhasa family, ascended to the highest ranks of Tibetan government by becoming a Kalon at age thirty-three. He distinguished himself as a far-sighted statesman in the political upheavals that rocked Tibet in the 1950s.

Tendzin Rinchen was the Fourteenth Chone Sakyong, who ruled over the Chone Kingdom in Amdo. He was rewarded substantially by the Emperor Qianlong when he participated in the suppression of a rebellion against the Qing led by Salar Muslims. During his reign the territory of the Chone Kingdom expanded to include Zungchu.

Tensung Tsering was the Thirteenth Chone Sakyong in Amdo. During his administration, he and his grandmother, Rinchen Peldzom, completed production on wood blocks for the printing of the Chone Tengyur. He received teachings from the Second Jamyang Zhepa, who completed the catalog of the Chone Tengyur.