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Dordzhi Barkhaev, about the monks Maani and Lora

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Terbish, Baasanjav 


Dordzhi talks about two famous Kalmyk monks, Maani and Lora: Maani, who was older than Lora bagshi, studied in Tibet. Upon his return to Kalmykia, Maani served in our temple. In fact, he was in charge of three temples. I remember him as a bold, old man. I visited his house, which was a dugout near the Dondukov Bridge in Gozhur. During the Revolution he was arrested and sent to prison from where he was released after having cured the commandant’s child. Maani lived quietly, curing people at home. His healing methods included giving his patients consecrated water or oil. He told his patients what to eat and what not to eat. Sometimes he made a diagnosis by looking at the patient’s urine or excrement. He also gave his patients small pieces of paper with mantras written on them to swallow. His home was always full of people who came to see him from all parts of Kalmykia. Maani could cure mentally ill people. Maani bagshi died in March 1943, and was buried, as I learnt it later, in a sitting position. I know more about Lora bagshi, who was the abbot of a temple during the Revolution. He was jailed for three years. Afterwards he worked as a fuel carrier on a collective farm. He delivered fuel and kerosene on a horse and cart. In 1937 he was again sent to prison and released before the war. He died in 1958. Lora studied Buddhism in Kalmykia, but his brother received his monastic education in Tibet.



lamas, Buddhism

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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