Buddhist Rituals, Holidays and Pilgrimage

This collection hosts videos of Buddhist rituals, holidays, pilgrimages as well as interviews with both monks and the laity.

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Dalai Lama in Riga, 2017: Preparation
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira
    The Dalai Lama gave teachings on “Stages of Meditation” and “Concise Lamrim” in Riga, Latvia, from 23 to 25 September 2017. This video features preparation works carried out at the Skonto stadium, the venue for the teachings, and the arrival of the Dalai Lama in Riga on 22 September.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dalai Lama in Riga, 2017: Day 3
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira
    The Dalai Lama gave teachings on “Stages of Meditation” and “Concise Lamrim” in Riga, Latvia, from 23 to 25 September 2017. This video shows extracts from the third day of the teachings at the Skonto stadium. With the Baltic states and Russia being the target audiences, the teachings were translated into several languages, including Russian.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dalai Lama in Riga, 2017: Day 2
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira
    The Dalai Lama gave teachings on “Stages of Meditation” and “Concise Lamrim” in Riga, Latvia, from 23 to 25 September 2017. This video shows extracts from the second day of the teachings at the Skonto stadium. With the Baltic states and Russia being the target audiences, the teachings were translated into several languages, including Russian.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dalai Lama in Riga, 2017: Day 1
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira
    The Dalai Lama gave teachings on “Stages of Meditation” and “Concise Lamrim” in Riga, Latvia, from 23 to 25 September 2017. This video shows the first day of the teachings at the Skonto stadium. With the Baltic states and Russia being the target audiences, the teachings were translated into several languages, including Russian.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Boris Shurganov, About the Dalai Lama's Teachings
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav
    In 2012 Boris travelled to India with the aim to attend the Dalai Lama’s teachings in Bodh Gaya and visit sacred sites. Following the trip, he started to understand the importance of pilgrimages. Boris also set out working on his imperfections and mind. After a while he noticed some positive improvements in himself. Today he tries to read mantras regularly, meditate and read more literature on Buddhism. He says he follows the Dalai Lama’s advice to work on one’s body, speech and mind.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Baterdene Muchkaev, About the Dalai Lama's Teachings in Riga
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav
    Baterdene is a volunteer at the charitable fund Buyn based at the Central Temple in Elista, Kalmykia. In Riga, during the Dalai Lama’s teachings, he helped the Kalmyk pilgrims with accommodation and assisted the monks to prepare the Dalai Lama’s throne on the stage. He says that it is important for people to listen to the Dalai Lama’s teachings in order to establish a karmic link with this great teacher.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Baira Armanova, About the Dalai Lama's Teachings
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav
    Baira has been to the Dalai Lama’s teachings in Riga twice. She says that these teachings are a joyful event for every Buddhist. Although she did not understand the previous teachings very well, this time she understands them better. She says that people should improve their knowledge of Buddhism and try to practice the teachings on a daily basis.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Aysa Okonova, About the Dalai Lama's Teachings in Riga
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav
    Aysa is a volunteer at the Central Temple in Elista, Kalmykia, and works for the charitable fund Buyn which helps poor families with many children. Aysa participated in the organization of the Dalai Lama’s teachings in Riga by doing paperwork, accompanying the Kalmyk pilgrims to Riga, finding them accommodation and attending to their needs in the city. It is her first time at the Dalai Lama’s teachings. She expresses her gratitude to the Central Temple in Elista for the opportunity to participate in this event.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Pilgrimage to Bogdo Uul, 2017
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumov, Anton; Zumaev, Valeriy
    This video is shot at the Bogdo Uul Mountain in Astrakhan oblast. The Kalmyk pilgrims perform a ritual for the local spirits, followed by a ceremony of the opening of a statue of Tsagan Aav. The statue has an inscription saying that ‘the Mount Bogdo Uul was a place of worship of Tsagan Aav, who is the Head of the spirits of Earth and locality. This Mount was venerated as a place that cures illnesses, bestows wisdom, faith and bravery on people’. In the beginning, a group of Kalmyk pilgrims get on a mini bus in Elista, and the next morning they arrive at the mountain site. At the foot of the mountain they put out offerings and light a fire. The lama who came with them starts to read prayers. All the people sit down around the fire, and the lama asks them to pray. The offerings to deities include ‘three white’ and ‘three sweet’ foodstuff. The lama asks not to throw the following items into the fire: sheep fat, pork fat, meat, and plastic. The ritual consists of the following rituals: (1) An offering. A woman sprinkles milk with her right hand three times in order to invite luck and happiness. Flour and butter (referred to as ‘white offerings’) are put on the fire. The pilgrims read prayers to their ancestors, Okn Tengri, Tsagan Aav, Makhakala, Ochir Vani, and other gods. Afterwards, biscuits, sweets, honey, nuts and other offerings are put into the fire. Those who include vodka in their offering, should first sprinkle the vodka in the direction of the mountain, and the rest offer to the fire, while calling out the names of their ancestors and thanking the spirits of land and water. (2) Removing obstacles. The lama asks the pilgrims to think about their misfortunes and other negative things, and then mentally destroy these memories and feelings in the fire. Then the pilgrims stand up and clap their hands after the lama utters special words. This is to chase away all the bad from their lives. (3) Blessing and the consecration of ki morn (‘wind horse’) flags and olkts (colorful tapes representing Kalmyk clans). During this ritual, the pilgrims are asked to make a wish. During the consecration, the pilgrims hold the ki morn flags and olkts in their hands. Afterwards, incenses are thrown into the fire, and the pilgrims hold their ki morn flags over the fire. The lama continues reading prayers. After the rituals, the pilgrims walk around the fire three times, while warming up their hands and feeling the blessing coming from their ancestors. While the pilgrims are performing the ritual, another delegation, consisting of local Russians, Kalmyks and a Mongolian lama, prepare for the ceremony of the opening of the statue of Tsagan Aav. After the pilgrims finish their ritual, they join the ceremony.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Klavdia Dordzhieva, About the Dalai Lama's Teachings in Riga
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav
    Klavdia talks about the Dalai Lama's teachings held in Riga in September 2017 that she had the opportunity to attend.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Irina Nardaeva, About the Dalai Lama's teachings in Riga
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav
    Irina talks about her experience of attending the Dalai Lama's teachings in Riga in September 2017.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Galina Ochirova, About the Dalai Lama's Teachings
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav
    Galina came from Kalmykia to the Dalai Lama’s teachings in Riga. She first attended His Holiness’ teaching in 2006 in India, not having a good understanding of Buddhist philosophy. As a medical doctor, in the past she was more interested in the biological side of the human body, but could not find answers to her questions. Her road to Buddhism was long, and as she deepened her study of Buddhism she was confronted with new questions. The aspect of Buddhism that touched Galina most is the teaching about compassion. She also says that the light of Dharma will reach the heart of every person on the planet. All people want to be happy, and it is Dharma that can provide it. It is thanks to Telo Tulku Rinpoche (Head Lama of Kalmykia) and the Dalai Lama’s teachings that are organized in different locations that Galina opened new countries for herself. She says that the city of Bodh Gaya in India feels as if it has a special energy and closeness to the teachings of Buddhism. Galina points out that one’s physical health depends on that person’s spirituality and mind, because many diseases originate from one’s state of mind. People who do good deeds tend to have better health. Many long-livers are religious people. Finally, Galina says that the number of Kalmyk pilgrims is growing by the year.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Erentsen and Baina Tyurbeevs, About the Dalai Lama's Teachings
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav
    Erentsen and Baina are a couple. They came to the Dalai Lama’s teachings in Riga from St Petersburg. Erentsen grew up in the Far East, but went to university in St Petersburg. In 2014 Erentsen and his Kalmyk friends went to Tibet to visit sacred Buddhist sites. Soon he became interested in Buddhism, and decided to go on a pilgrimage to India in 2017 where he met his future wife Baina who was also on a pilgrimage. Erentsen says that, ‘the Dalai Lama is a deity in human flesh’. Baina came to the Dalai Lama’s teachings in Riga in 2014 and 2016. She also went to India, a country she was dreaming of visiting since her student years. A medical doctor, Baina says that in her profession it is important to try to help others and have compassion. The Dalai Lama’s teachings help her in her work.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ekaterina Molokova, About the Dalai Lama's Teachings in Riga
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav
    Ekaterina is a volunteer at the Central Temple in Elista, Kalmykia. She came to Riga to work as a volunteer during the teachings, which is her first experience of participating in such an event. Ekaterina talks about how she and other volunteers met the Dalai Lama. Every person has his/her own path to Buddhism. Ekaterina’s path started when she fell ill, thought about her behavior and life, and came to the Central Temple. She found answers to her questions in Buddhism, which today is an important part of her life.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dmitriy Nakhaev, About the Dalai Lama's Teachings in Riga
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav
    Dmitriy came to Riga from New York, US, where he lives. He says that seeing the Dalai Lama and listening to his teachings feels like a holiday to him.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dela Leybovich, About the Dalai Lama's Teachings in Riga
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav
    Dela is originally from Kalmykia. Today she lives in New Jersey. She works on a project called Blue Book. After moving to the United States, she had the opportunity to attend the Dalai Lama’s teachings and learn more about the philosophy of Buddhism. She also travelled to India. She says that such events give people the opportunity to develop their spirituality.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Andrei Terentev, About Buddhism in Russia
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2018-03-31) Terbish, Baasanjav; Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav
    Andrei Terentev, a prominent Russian historian of Buddhism, talks about Buddhism in the Soviet Union and its revival in today’s Russia. He is the editor of the journal Buddhism in Russia and the Buddhist publication house Nartang. When he was asked to talk about Buddhism in the post-Soviet period he replied as follows: It is difficult to start from the post-Soviet period, because it is a continuation of Buddhism that survived in the Soviet Union. Legally speaking, Buddhism existed only in Buryatia. The Kalmyks were not given permission to set up a Buddhist community. After the Second World War, two temples were opened in Buryatia, including the Aginskiy and Ivolginskiy temples. As early as the 1960s Buddhism began to spread in places such as Moscow, Leningrad (today St Petersburg) and the Baltic states where Buddhism had not existed before. There Buddhism was known mainly among intellectuals, some of whom adopted this religion. The most well-known among them was a group run by the Buryat lama Bidii Dandaron who had disciples in all of these places. After the war, there were still some educated lamas left in Buryatia, who had been released from prison. Almost all lamas were repressed in the Soviet period, their number being around 13,000. Those lamas who survived the repression, several hundred of them remained to live in villages, and around 30 lamas managed to return to the temples when they were re-opened. However, it was forbidden to pass religious knowledge. It was only allowed to perform rituals at the temples. Buddhism existed but it could neither replenish itself nor spread its teachings. It became apparent soon that the Buddhist tradition had to be supported before all of the old lamas died. The main idea of the Soviet leadership was politically motivated in that they wanted to present the Soviet Union as a country with free religions. That is why a Buddhist religious school was allowed to open in Mongolia where Buryat lamas were sent to pursue studies. With the beginning of perestroika these young people took leading roles within the Central Spiritual Board of Buddhists of the USSR. When it became clear that people would no longer be sent to prison, or laid off from their work for their Buddhist belief, attempts to set up Buddhist communities were undertaken in many places, including Kalmykia, Tuva and Moscow, where Buddhism had existed before. In particular, in St Petersburg the local Buddhist community received the temple back that was built by Agvan Dordzhiev in 1915. The revival of Buddhism was quick. Buddhist literature appeared on book shelves and Buddhist centers appeared in many cities and towns of Central Russia where this religion had not been known before. In the traditional Buddhist regions temples were built. In the past 25 years the main temples have been either re-built or restored. The problem was not in building temples but in educating the clergy that had been destroyed in the Soviet period. It is not difficult to erect a building but it requires decades to educate qualified clergy, for a full Buddhist education takes around 20 years. In the past two decades, it was the most talented and dedicated young people who completed the full education. Dozens of young Kalmyks, Buryats and Tuvans set off for India to receive religious education. With the help of his Holiness the Dalai Lama these young people were accepted into Tibetan monasteries, but not all managed to complete their education. Having said this, today there is a new generation of educated lamas in Buryatia and Kalmykia. Apart from traditional regions, in many parts of Russia Buddhist communities sprang up that invited Buddhist teachers and translated key Buddhist texts. Many books have been translated, including the Lamrim Chenmo by Tsongkapa. The Dalai Lama’s visits to Russia in 1991 and 1992 gave impetus to the development of Tibetan Buddhism. After it became impossible for the Dalai Lama to travel to Russia any more, Russian pilgrims started to travel to India, and recently to Riga. In Riga, today we are present at one such teaching by the Dalai Lama.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Inna Baltyreva, About the Dalai Lama's teachings in Riga
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2019-09-01) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav
  • ItemOpen Access
    Gerel Nurova, About the Dalai Lama's teachings
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2019-09-01) Terbish, Baasanjav; Churyumova, Elvira; Terbish, Baasanjav
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dordzhi-Tseren bagshi, About pilgrimages
    (Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge, 2017-11-01) Terbish, Baasanjav; Bembeev, Aleksandr; Korneev, Gennadiy; Churyumov, Anton