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Recherches préliminaires sur les biographies des maîtres tibétains et mongols ayant vécu en Chine à l'époque moderne

Cahiers d Extrême-Asie
PERSEE Program
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3406/asie.2005.1229
  • Literature


The autobiographies written by Tibetan masters who had spent most of their lives between China and Tibet in the beginning of the 20th century are singular documents. They tend to show how literary productions made in connection with those masters depart from tradition in some aspects (authorship, biographical organization) while retaining the main features of the genre in some others (biographies remain an example of spiritual accomplishment). A few autobiographies allow us to distinguish some particular features pertaining to a new literary genre, born under the peculiar circumstances in which Tibetan masters belonging to the prestigious lineage of the dGe lugs pa school had been living. One of these autobiographies, the one of the 9th Panchen Lama (1883-1937), raises many questions concerning both its conception (two volumes exist: one written in 1943, the second one in 1996), and its diffusion (the 1943 version had been missing for a long time until the 1996 version). Other examples such as the autobiography of lCang skya khutugtu, written in Chinese in 1957, complete this study devoted to autobiographies of Tibetan masters in modern times.

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