The 13th Dalai Lama in Urga (Ulan Bator):
The lineage of the Dalai Lama has been linked with Mongolia for over four hundred years and the name Dalai (Great Ocean) is itself Mongolian, the title conferred by the powerful Mongolian chief Altan Khan (Who converted to Buddhism in 1578) to his Teacher Sonam Gyatso The 3rd.
The Great Game was one of shadows and feints, and for the most part did not get played out beyond the halls and palaces of government. However, occasionally there were flare-ups.
The most famous in Tibet was the 1904 invasion by a small British force, led by a young hothead, Francis Younghusband, egged on by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon (1859-1920), and yet restrained by the politicians at Whitehall.
The invasion resulted from the British misreading of Russian and Chinese activities and interests in Tibet. Younghusband and his modern forces decimated Tibetan opposition, but the feeling was that the victories were rather ignominious.
Younghusband, having attacked a nation without just cause, and massacred its ill-equipped army, then proceeded to enter the capital to negotiate with second-tier functionaries: The Dalai Lama and his entourage had already fled from the British to maintain exile in Mongolia.
The treaty that the English obtained from this was viewed almost immediately as worthless, with the home-based politicians downplaying these results. For the Tibetans, too, there was deep dissatisfaction with the invasion.
The government was unable to maintain borders and found its head of state in an odd exile in Urga that lasted some two years. While there, the Dalai Lama performed rituals for masses of people and met Buddhist scholars; he also maintained correspondence with the Tsar.
There was one very important historical figure at that time that cannot be ignored. He is Ngawang Lobsang Dorjee (Ngawang Lobsang Dorjee, 1854–1938), a Buryat Mongol, Drepung Geshe Lharampa Lama (Ngawang Lobsang Dorjee, 1854–1938), known as Agwang in Russian •Dorjiyev (Agvan Dorjiev), Chinese historical materials called him “Deer Zhi”, both Chinese and British insulted him as a “Russian spy”.
The Buryat Lama Ngawang Lobsang Dorje played a key role in the communication between the 13th Dalai Lama and the Tsar. In 1909, with the support of the 13th Dalai Lama and the Russian Tsar, he built the 13th Dalai Lama in St. Petersburg. A Tibetan Buddhist temple. He was also one of the main drafters of the “Tibet Mongolia Treaty” (Tibet Mongolia Treaty) signed on December 29, 1912, and the Tibetan signing representative.
Yet, the upshot was that he did not gain the support of the Tsar in any meaningful way, and his stay in Mongolia was concluded when the local religious potentate began to display discomfort with the religious leader’s continued presence and popularity.
While the Dalai Lama was in Mongolia, many influential persons came to visit, including explorers and Buddhist scholars of the day: Fyodor Stcherbatsky (1866-1942), Bazar Baradin (1878-1937), and Pyotr Kozlov (1863-1935). Tsybikov, too, came to see the Dalai Lama.
He had traveled a great distance by relay horse with his wife, Lkhama Norboevna (1881-1960). On seeing Tsybikov, the Dalai Lama asked “Who are you? Where have I seen you before?”
To which Tsybikov replied, “I am a Russian professor. I myself am a Buddhist and I saw you when you deigned to touch me with your rosary in your palace on the hill in Lhasa.”The conversation affected Tsybikov to a great degree and also began his dialogue with Stcherbatsky. When the journalist Markov visited Tsybikov’s widow thirty years later, she too recollected its effect upon him.
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama commented on Ngawang Lobsang Dorje: “In fact, he is an excellent scholar and a devout Buddhist monk, and he is loyal to the Thirteenth Dalai Lama.” He was imprisoned by Stalin in 1938 Died at the age of 85. The Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Petersburg became the stronghold of the Soviet Red Army radio station during the Battle of Leningrad, and was later occupied by the KGB and became a secret police station. Now it has been restored as a Tibetan Buddhist temple.
Supplement: Lama Ngawang Lobsang Dorje was also one of the main drafters of the “Tibet Mongolia Treaty” (Tibet Mongolia Treaty) signed on December 29, 1912, and the Tibetan signing representative. And this treaty aims to declare the complete independence of Tibet and Mongolia, break away from the rule of the Manchu Qing government, and sever all political ties with China, which has very important historical significance.
Research and Scholarly credits: 1) Tsering Woser, Author/Historian. 2) Tibet through the Eyes of a Buryat: Gombojab Tsybikov and his Tibetan relations by Ihor Pidhainy, AsiaNetwork Exchange.