Batyr Elistaev, About the Bogdo Dalai Lamyn Rashi Lunpo Temple
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Okonov, A., & Seleeva, T. (2015). Batyr Elistaev, About the Bogdo Dalai Lamyn Rashi Lunpo Temple [Video file]. https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/271459
Batyr’s monastic name is Gonbo Dordzhe. He was born in 1965 in a cattle farm in Orgakin and spent his childhood with his grandparents. From his grandmother Batyr learnt about a temple that stood in the past in their native place. At 24 Batyr studied at the Buddhist Temple (Datsan) in St Petersburg. Later he continued his religious education in temples and dharma centres in Mongolia, India and France. In 2000 the local people of Orgakin began to revive their old temple. The temple was originally established in 1681 and given as a present to the Kalmyk Ayuka Khan through prince Menke Tundutov. At that time the temple was situated in the southern part of Manychskiy ulus. The three clans that belonged to the temple were the Orgakhn, the Bogdakhn and the Kelket clans. In the beginning, the temple was nomadically organized and moved from one place to another. In 1861, it finally settled and did not move anymore. In 1931 it was closed and all the lamas (about 30) were disrobed and many of them were sent to exile. The abbot of the temple, Nim bagshi, was sent to gulag in 1935 and released in 1941. When in 1942 Buddhism was temporarily permitted in Kalmykia, Nim bagshi was elected the Head Lama of Kalmykia. Later he fled Russia. He retained his title until 1962. Some relics and archival material that belonged to the temple are now kept at the Nitsan Temple, New Jersey, USA. In Orgakin, Batyr says, the re-built temple has a house for its abbot, built on the same spot as it was in the past. The temple has a prayer hall. Around the temple there are 8 stupas, built by the clans of the Orgakin aimak, Buddhists from Rostov and Kalmyks from the former stanitsa of Don’s Platovskiy Regiment. Yudra Rinpoche from Nepal consecrated the stupas. Later a ritual of cleansing the vicinity was carried out, during which the people chanted the mantra ‘Om mani padme khum’ for a week. Recently Batyr started the construction of the 9th stupa (that of Kalachakra) and an adjacent prayer house. Batyr says that in the vicinity there are another three stupas dedicated to famous lamas and pilgrims. In 2006, 100 volumes of Gandzhur and 226 volumes Dandzhur were brought to the Orgakin Temple from India. In Orgakin there is a local NGO called Orgakin Aimak which is headed by Erdni Pashnanov. In spring, all the 7 local clans celebrate Ur Sar and in autumn they perform a ritual of gal tyalgn (fire sacrifice). Batyr also says that the local people rebuilt a sacred hill called Kermen Tolga which was destroyed by archaeologists in the 1950s. On top of the hill is an ova (a pile made from stones) where local people carry out rituals to worship the spiritual masters of the locality.
temples, stupas, ova, Orgakin, clan
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.18444