Desi Sangye Gyatso (1653-1705), the heart disciple of the Fifth Dalai Lama, became the ruler of Tibet at age twenty-six and held sway over the country for over twenty-five years before his tragic death in a power struggle with the Mongol chieftain Lhasang Khan. A layman his entire life, he was a thorough administrator, overhauling the structure and regulations of the major Geluk monasteries and setting up many new institutions, such as the renowned Tibetan Medical Institute in Lhasa. He famously commissioned a set of seventy-nine medical paintings, and he composed White Beryl, an authoritative work on all aspects of astronomical calculation and divination practiced in Tibet at his time.
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