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Buddhism in Siberia

Helen HundleyHelen Hundley
Assistant Professor: Russia, Soviet Union, Modern Britain 
Ph.D., University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, 1984

Professor Hundley teaches courses on Russian and Soviet History, Eastern Europe, modern English History and imperialism. Her article, "George Kennan and the Russian Empire: How America's Conscience became an Enemy of Tsarism," appeared in Kennan Institute Occasional Paper (Kennan Institute, 2000) and "The London Missionary Society's Mongolian Missions: British Insights into the 'Great Game' in Asia," was included in Splendidly Victorian, Essays in Honor of Walter l. Arnstein.


I. INTRODUCTION

DIFFERENT PATH--BUDDHISM--MISSIONARIES POST ANNEXATION TO RUSSIAN EMPIRE

SPECIFIC GROUP TARGETED:  MONGOLS ---BURIAT-MONGOLS IN THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE

SHAMANISM AND BURIATS

II. THE BEGINNINGS

A. MONGOLS AND BUDDHISM

  • 13TH C.  FROM GHENGHIS KHAN--BEGINNING OF MONGOLIAN CONVERSION TO TIBETAN BUDDHISM
  • 15TH C,   GELUGPA ORDER---YELLOW HAT, MAHAYANA BUDDHISM
  • 1617-1682---NGAWANG LOBSANG GYATSO--MONGOLS GAVE TITLE, DALAI LAMA, POST-DATED 5TH DALAI LAMA

B. MISSIONARIES TO THE BURIAT-MONGOLS--UP FROM MONGOLIA--YELLOW HAT

1741---OFFICIAL FOUNDING OF BUDDHISM IN THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE

IN FACT, MISSIONARIES IN TRANSBAIKAL FROM 1660S--IN THE TRANSBAIKAL 

FIRST NAMED MISSIONARY---LAMA SANJAYA-- KHALKHA MONGOLIA--1701 SELENGINSK

STUDENT--DAMBA DORZHA ZAYAYEV (1711- 1777) KNOWN AS LAMA JAYA

STUDIED IN URGA (ULAN BATAAR) AND LHASA, TIBET

1740--1777--IN SELENGINSK, TRANSBAIKAL

III. THE SPREAD OF BUDDHISM

1740--1777-----11 DATSANS BUILT BY LAMA JAYA

view example of Siberian Datsan click here

IV. RUSSIAN RESPONSE

FOR BETTER/CLOSER RUSSIAN CONTROL:

1.  CONTROL OF BUDDHISM IN SIBERIA

BANDIDO KHAMBO LAMA

2. LIMIT GROWTH OF BUDDHIS

  • LIMIT NUMBER OF BUILDING
  • LIMIT NUMBER OF LAMAS, ETC.

3. MORE CHRISTIANS--

a. LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY

b. FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR LUTHERANS AND CATHOLICS IN SIBERIA--ESP. EASTERN SIBERIA

c. RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MISSIONARIES

4. SPECIFIC LAWS:

18TH C.

1741--UKAZ, TSARINA ELIZABETH

1764--CATHERINE II CREATED POSITION OF BANDIDO KHAMBO LAMA

1. SEAT--AT SHIRETUI TSONGOL’SKII DATSAN-- LAMA JAYA FIRST BANDIDO KHAMBO LAMA

2.  ALL CANDIDATES FOR BANDIDO KHAMBO LAMA WOULD BE RUSSIAN SUBJECTS ELECTED BY LOCAL LAMAS AND TAISHAS

19TH CENTURY:

1808--SEAT OF BANDIDO KHAMBO LAMA MOVED TO GUSINOE OZERO--CLOSER TO SECURELY  HELD RUSSIAN TERRITORY

1853--“LAW ON THE LAMA CLERGY”--LIMITED NUMBER OF DATSANS--CLERGY

V. GROWTH OF BUDDHISM DESPITE RUSSIAN POLICIES:

1831------------85,000     OR 1/2 OF TRANSBAIKAL

1848-----------125,000     BOTH SIDES OF BAIKAL

1880S-------CISBAIKAL-----------13,000        TRANSBAIKAL-----147,000

1897--ALL RUSSIAN CENSUS

TOTAL BURIATS---61% OFFICIALLY BUDDHIST

CISBAIKAL------------10.58%  (11,489)

TRANSBAIKAL-------91.8%    (163,295)

VI. CONCLUSIONS--LATE RUSSIAN EMPIRE

A. ROLE OF BUDDHISM IN BAIKAL REGION--IRKUTSK GUBERNIIA AND TRANSBAIKAL

B. THEOSOPHISM--MADAME BLAGATSKAYA, MYSTICISM AND BUDDHISM

C. ROMANOV FAMILY

D. AGVAN DORJIEV AND 14TH DALAI LAMA