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Antonina Kookueva, about lama Zodva Natyrov

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Terbish, Baasanjav 


Antonina talks about the famous Kalmyk lama Zodva Natyrov whom she knew personally:In 1969, I came to the village of Peschanyi (sovkhoz Volodarskiy) to work as a teacher. Zodva Natyrov lived there. He had graduated from Cheerya Khurul (Buddhist Academy), about which I only learnt later. The whole of Kalmykia used to come to him for treatment and rituals. He also had a gift of clairvoyance. The officials controlled him, and the KGB worked on him. Nevertheless, people came to see him. My father was friends with him, and they met up during holidays. Several years ago, in that village people built a beautiful stupa dedicated to lama Zodva. The person who initiated it is Denis Yegorov. We all raised money for the construction. Although I sent an announcement about the opening of the stupa to the newspaper only a day prior to the event, a lot of people came. Everyone in Kalmykia knew lama Zodva. My son served in the army in Leninakan, when there was an earthquake. He was immediately dispatched to the place of the earthquake. I went to lama Zodva, who was in a hospital. He saw me and said, ‘Do not be afraid. He’s alive, everything will be fine’. Zodva already knew what I had come for. He read a prayer. My son told me later that when he was warming himself up in the evening by a fire, he suddenly felt a circle around him which emanated a smell of cattle manure as if he was at home on the farm. I think that lama Zodva must have conducted a protective ritual so that my son felt it there. Zodva helped many people. There are many stories about him. People, who have a good knowledge of Buddhism and correctly use its teachings have tremendous power. One of such people is Shajin Lama of Kalmykia, Telo Tulku Rinpoche, thanks to whom Buddhism not only develops in Kalmykia and Russia but beyond. Even at the present time of decline and economic hardships, Buddhism is developing in Kalmykia.



Lama, Zodva Natyrov

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Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin