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Mergen Ulanov, Buddhism in Kalmyk Society

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Terbish, Baasanjav 


Without many ties with Mongolia and Tibet, in Kalmykia Buddhism has changed a lot. Not only did the Buddhist church have not much influence on society, but secular leaders, especially Ayuka Khan, kept the power of the church in check. As it happened whenever the secular power weakened, the Buddhist church grew stronger. Unlike in Mongolia, in Kalmykia there was no centralized sangha nor khubilgans (reincarnate lamas) able to oppose secular rulers. Part of the Kalmyk clergy moved away from the rules of monastic discipline, and stopped caring about Buddhist philosophy, meditation and began to accumulate wealth (cattle, houses). No wonder, the famous Boovan Badma called on the Kalmyks to return to the original purity of Buddhism.



Buddhism, Kalmykia, society

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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