Emperor Kangxi / 康熙皇帝

Resource: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/emperor-kangxi-%E5%BA%B7%E7%86%99%E7%9A%87%E5%B8%9D.html

[Kangxi was known to be a benevolent emperor who ruled fairly and with compassion. During his reign, which was marked by peace and prosperity, the fields of literature, arts, dance, culture and religion would flourish throughout the empire.]

I have always held a deep appreciation for Chinese culture. I find it fascinating that one nation can have such a large influence in the world and that until today, it has given rise to so many powerful leaders and thinkers. If you look at its neighbouring countries like Korea, Japan and Vietnam, you will see there is a strong Chinese influence in their food, architecture, clothing and even their language. When Chinese migrate all over the world, they carry their beautiful Chinese culture with them and they keep the traditions alive no matter where they are. To me this is an indication of a strong group of people who are very proud of their history and traditions.

Chinese history itself is very vast, complex and interesting. To study it can take a whole lifetime because it spans thousands of years. As a result, many dynasties and different types of emperors have emerged over the years to rule this vast empire. Some have faded into obscurity, some were tyrants, some had reigns which were rocked by scandal or other less-than-positive reasons. But one of the most famous emperors in Chinese history is Emperor Kangxi whose reign was characterised by stability, progress and development.

Emperor Kangxi (or K’ang-hsi) is known as one of China’s most benevolent rulers who is known and loved by the Chinese people until today. Unlike other emperors who are usually painted in military uniform, Kangxi is usually depicted as a scholar with a gentle expression and surrounded by books, or at a desk or holding a pen. Kangxi sponsored many literary works, monasteries, monks and teachers all over China, Tibet and Mongolia and he was considered extremely modern for his day because he also gave religious freedom to all religions. Kangxi is known to have given permission for Christian missionaries to carry out their activities in China. Given the scope of his works, I dare say he can be considered a kind of Dharma king.

I had my students do some research into Emperor Kangxi’s life which I wish to share with all of you here. As you can see, many of the monasteries that Kangxi built continue to exist today. Have you visited these places? Do you wish to go in the future? What do you think about Kangxi’s life? Please do let me know in the comments below.

Tsem Rinpoche

我一向来对中国文化都有着浓厚的兴趣。一个国家在这个世界上能有如此大的影响力,对我来说非常引人注目。它曾创造了无数强大的领导人和思想家。如果 你看其邻近国家,如韩国、日本和越南,你会看到他们的饮食、建筑、服装、甚至他们的语言都显示中华文化强大的影响力。当中国人迁移到世界各地时,他们携带 着他们美丽的中国文化,他们不管在哪里都继续保留这个文化传统。对我来说,这个是一群为自己的历史和传统感到自豪的人们的象征。

中国历史本身博大精深、令人感兴趣。要认真学习它,可以花一辈子,因为它跨越了几千年的时间。因此,许多朝代和不同的皇帝在史上统治这个庞大的帝 国。有些在人们的记忆中消失了,有些是暴君,有些是因丑闻或其他不太正面的原因而被绊倒。然而,中国历史上最著名的帝王之一,就是康熙皇帝的朝代,其特点 是稳定、进步和发展。

康熙皇帝被称为中国的一个最仁慈的统治者,直到今天仍深受中国人民的爱戴。不像其他在肖像中身穿军事制服的的皇帝,康熙通常被描绘为拥有温和的表 情,周围都是书籍,或在书桌,或持着笔的学者。康熙在中国、西藏和蒙古赞助了许多文学作品、寺院、僧侣和老师,他在当代被认为是非常摩登的,因为所有的宗 教他都给了宗教自由。大众皆知,康熙允许基督教传教士在其帝国开展活动。鉴于他的事业的范围,我敢说,他可以被认为是佛法皇帝之一。





Born to Emperor Shunzhi, Emperor Kangxi was the second and longest reigning emperor of China’s Qing Dynasty. He was instrumental in developing China after the war against the Ming Dynasty, and was very well known by all his subjects to be a humble and hardworking emperor. It was recorded that Emperor Kangxi would spend many hours during the day dispatching orders to his subjects to further improve the country and would work into the late hours of the night to make sure that the documents which needed his approval could be dispatched the next morning. As Emperor Kangxi spent less time on himself, he had fewer concubines compared with the other Qing Emperors.

Although not recorded in history, Emperor Kangxi’s father, Emperor Shunzhi had deep inclinations for the Dharma and planned to leave his throne shortly after Emperor Kangxi’s birth. He wanted to become a monk in Wutaishan to make up for the wrong deeds he did in the past. Fearing disgrace would befall the young Qing Dynasty, the Empress announced the sudden and unfortunate death of her husband. Thereafter it was announced that Emperor Kangxi was to take over Emperor Shunzhi’s throne at the tender age of six. As the second Qing monarch was still young, a regent helped rule the country until the young emperor came of age.

After years of war and chaos, Kangxi’s reign brought long-term stability and wealth throughout China. Masterful in uniting the Court to minimize plotting and unrest, Emperor Kangxi encouraged the Mandarins to focus on literary works, for example compiling information into vast encyclopedias and into the Kangxi Chinese dictionary. When dealing with his army, Emperor Kangxi was said to have shown care to his rank soldiers and yet exhibited masterful command of his generals in his self-reflection during his military campaigns.

Emperor Kangxi was known to be a great patron of the Buddhadharma and was not only a sponsor of the teachings, but had a personal interest in them too. Due to his early exposure to Buddhism from his elders, Emperor Kangxi was fascinated with the Buddha’s teachings especially that of the Tibetan Buddhist faith. He exhibited an instinctual compassion for all living beings he encountered and when interacting with his subjects, never carried himself with the arrogance of an emperor. As a result, he became the emperor of all of China both in position and in spirit.

It is said that Kangxi visited Wu Tai Shan and its Gelug temples for a record six times. He sponsored the writing of the Dragon Sutra using gold ink, which documented the concise Prajnaparamita teachings and which is still preserved today. Emperor Kangxi was also a sponsor of H.H. the 7th Dalai Lama Kelzang Gyatso’s entrance into Kumbum Monastery and bestowed the golden seal of authority upon him.

Given his benevolent nature, generous sponsorship, unceasing patronage and personal interest in Buddhism, it is no surprise that many luminaries and Buddhist masters recognised Kangxi to be more than just a secular Emperor. It was Lobsang Tamdin who first determined Kangxi’s connection with Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen and Manjushri when he wrote in his bebum (collected works on a subject) about a vision he had of Jamgon Sakya Pandita, Lama Tsongkhapa and Panchen Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen.

In the vision, Panchen Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen made a prophecy which Lobsang Tamdin took to mean that as soon as Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen passed away, the Emperor of China would be born. This was later confirmed by an entry in Sumpa Khenpo’s Chronology of Tibet for the Wood Sheep year (1655-1656). The entry, which is preceded by a symbol denoting an entry for a person’s birth, states that “The Kangxi Emperor [is born and] becomes famous as the reincarnation of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen.

Lobsang Tamdin believed Kangxi to be the reincarnation of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen and an emanation of Manjushri, something which has been confirmed by many other masters. In the preface of one of the largest projects sponsored by Kangxi, the Mongolian Red Kangyur (1718-1720), it is stated: “The Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri, transformed himself into the occupant of the “Fearless Lion Throne of Gold” to appear as none other than the sublime ‘Kangxi-Manjushri.’


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Chinese Translation


顺治皇帝之子 ,康熙是中国清朝第二位皇帝,并为清皇中统治中国最久的一位皇帝。他对中国在明朝战后的发展和建设贡献甚大,人民百姓皆知他是一位谦虚和勤奋的皇帝。据记 载,康熙皇帝日理万机,白天大部分时间上朝理政,慎重决策关系国计民生的大事,晚上又连夜批奏,以确保硃批的檔案可以在隔天早上被发送。

虽然历史上没有记载,康熙的父亲顺治皇帝对佛法有很大的兴趣,并计划在康熙出生后不久就卸下他的王位。他想到五台山出家,以弥补过去所做的伤天害理 的事迹。由于担心创朝初期的清朝会失势,皇后宣布了皇上突然不幸驾崩的消息。之后,并宣布帝位由年仅6岁的康熙接管。由于这位清入关后的第二位皇帝还年 轻,顺治在遗诏中已作安排四臣辅政,直到年轻的皇帝年长亲政。

经过多年的战争和混乱,康熙的统治带给了中国长期的安稳和财富。康熙皇帝励精图治,使得朝廷内部减少斗争动荡。康熙皇帝也鼓励臣子们关注文学作品, 例如编译浩瀚的百科全书和康熙词典。在处理他的军队,皇帝康熙以宽仁、真挚关爱和呵护他的士兵, 以德服人令名将顺服来经营他的军事活动。

康熙皇帝是伟大的佛法的护法,不仅是赞助弘法的功德主,但在他个人对佛法也相当感兴趣。由于他早年接触佛教,皇帝对佛陀的教导,特别是藏传佛教的信 仰非常感兴趣。他对他所有遇见的众生和臣民都表现出本能的同情,从来没有一位皇帝的傲慢。结果,他在地位和精神上都成了中国的皇帝。




洛桑丹玎相信康熙是活佛扎巴坚赞、文殊菩萨的化身,这已被许多其他高僧大德证实。在康熙皇帝赞助的其中一个项目,蒙古红甘珠尔(1718-1720),序文中提到:“智慧文殊菩萨转化为“无畏狮子金宝座”的主人, 化现为崇高的‘康熙-文殊菩萨’。



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