By John Snelling
A desirable tale of political and spiritual intrigue, Buddhism in Russia tells of Agvan Dorziev, a Mongolian Buddhist Lama, who was once instrumental within the founding of Buddhism in Russia. comprises an replace of the prestige of Buddhism in Russia when you consider that glasnost. photographs
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Additional info for Buddhism in Russia: the story of Agvan Dorzhiev, Lhasa's emissary to the tzar
In its heyday, it housed upwards of seven thousand monks divided between four constituent dratsang or colleges: Loseling, Ngag pa, Deyang and Gomang. All had courtyards, sutra halls and chapels, which were connected by narrow cobbled alleyways. Dominating the whole was the Tsokchen, the great assembly hall, which still houses an image of Jhampa Tongdrol, the Lord of Drepung. Sadly, there are only about four hundred monks at Drepung today, though of all the great monasteries of the Lhasa region it suffered least at the hands of the Red Guards who, between 1 966 and 1 976, conducted an enthusiastic orgy of destruction in Tibet with a view to inaugurating a brave new Marxist world.
He escaped arrest but his helper, Losang Palden, Sengchen Lama of Shigaue, was arrested and punitively drowned. The largest estate of the aristocratic Phala family was also seized, since one of Sengchen Lama's accomplices had been of that family. The other crucial event was the invasion of parts of Western Tibet in - The Thirteenth Dalai Lama 1 888-1 898 37 1 888 by the Gurkhas of Nepal demanding compensation for the looting of Nepalese shops in Lhasa following a quarrel between two Tibetan women and a Nepalese shopkeeper.
The overall aim of the course would have been to establish clearly in Dorzhiev's mind, through reasoning, the nature and goal of Tibet and Wu T'ai Shan 1 873-1 888 31 the Buddhist path. In practice he would have studied and memorized texts. He would also have tested his knowledge and understanding in actu�1 �ebate in the special debating courtyard at Gomang, perhaps connnumg until far into the night. But mere intellectual understanding does not transform a mere mortal into a buddha. That can only be brought about by special practices, notably meditation.