lamas-and-emperors



Nurghaci / Nurhaci-Qing Taizu

Nurhaci 努爾哈赤 (1558-1626), a member of the Gioro clan of the Suksuhu River tribe, became the national founder after he consolidated the Manchu tribes, declared himself Khan in 1616 and founded the Jin dynasty, which later ruled China as the Qing dynasty.

Starting from 1583, Nurhaci began unifying the Jurchen bands. He beheaded Nikan Wailan, the Jurchen chieftain who killed his father and grandfather. In 1618, Nurhaci commissioned a document, the Seven Great Vexations, enumerating seven grievances against the Ming. It acted as a pretext for his rebelling against the Ming dynasty. Throughout his life, he led many successful military campaigns against the Ming dynasty, the Koreans, the Mongols and the Jurchen clans.

Sometime before 1621, due to the growing influence of Buddhism, Nurhaci appointed his lama, the Olug Darhan Nagso, as Dharma master of the Manchu realm. This instance marked the beginning of the Manchu imperial patronage of the Tibetan Buddhism. His most important achievement was probably the creation and organization of the Eight Banners system, which formed the strong military backbone throughout the Qing dynasty.

In 1625, just a year before his death, Nurhaci moved the capital to Shenyang and depended on the help of his Chinese officials to develop a civil administration. In 1626, he was seriously wounded during the battle against the Ming general Yuan Chonghuan in Ningyuan. He died 2 days later.

Sources:
· The Columbia Encyclopedia, Six Edition. 2001-05. Samuel M. Grupper. 1984. Manchu Patronage and Tibetan Buddhism during the First Half of the Ch'ing ‘
Dynasty: a review article. The Journal of the Tibet Society 4:47-74. pp.27

Entry by Agnes Lin. 3/6/07