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The History of the Zahchin Buddhist Monastery.  (Pref., Transl., Comment., Manuscript in Facsimile) The History of the Zahchin Buddhist Monastery. (Pref., Transl., Comment., Manuscript in Facsimile)

Keemia Orlova

The History of the Zahchin Buddhist Monastery. (Pref., Transl., Comment., Manuscript in Facsimile)

Institut vostokovedeniya RAN

Moskva, 2012, 202 pages

ISBN: 978-5-89282-468-2

This Oirat manuscript is a unique monument of the early XX century that describes the history of Buddhism in India, Tibet and Mongolia as well as the history of foundation of one of the monasteries in Western Mongolia. Nowadays the manuscript is kept in the Clear script collection of the Institute of Language and Literature of Mongolian Academy of Sciences. No references are mentioned in other known directories or catalogues. The manuscript has not been translated into Russian or other languages. The writing covers the long period of Manchu rule over the Northern Mongolia (Khalkha) and Dzungaria. It was written in last year (1911) of the Manchu rule in Mongolia. The manuscript can be divided into two parts. The first part is devoted to the expansion of Buddhism in India, Tibet and Mongolia. In the text of the manuscript these countries are mentioned as Shambhala which was ruled by different Kings/Khans. The second part describes the monastery itself. The Buddhist Church had always played an important role in the life of nomads. On the example of local and small Buddhist monastery, the role of religious institutions is shown as centers of spiritual and political life in the history of Western Mongols. The inclusion of this manuscript in the academic circulation will undoubtedly enrich the history of Buddhism expansion in Western Mongolia.

RUS