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Ksenia Kardonova, About the Lama Sandzhi Ulanov

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Terbish, Baasanjav 


Sandzhi Ulanov was a respected gelyung, he was well educated. He cured children of various illnesses, he read prayers for the deceased, he removed spells, he conducted rituals of prolonging one’s life and helped people with advice. I met him in 1957 after I married a man from Dogzmakin village. To honour this gelyung we built a stupa in Dogzmakin. One day my granddaughter had a fever and ended up in a hospital. No medication helped. Then I went to see Sandzhi Ulanov. He read a prayer over a bowl of water and told me to give this water to the ailing girl to drink. When she drank it the girl recovered. I would not have believed it if I had not witnessed it myself. This is how he cured, he would open his books, read them and said what and should be done and how. The time came when he passed away. He did not die in his homeland, Dogzmakin, although people wanted to bring and bury his ashes in Dogzmakin, they eventually decided not to. He was an outstanding gelyung. He told us that he was in a Gulag labour camp in Kolyma. In those days, gelyungs were not welcomed. He witnessed many bad things there. He did not drink milk tea after being in camps, he loved strong black tea, almost chifir’. He gave us a lot of advice. In general, gelyungs do not have wives, so he had no one left, no children, no descendants.



Lama, Sandzhi Ulanov

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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