Buddhism

Replica of Boudhanath Stupa at Kizhinginsky Datsan – Buddhistdoor Global

The Great Jarun Khashor Stupa. At baikaltravel.ru

The Kizhinginsky Datsan Monastery “Dechen Dashi Lhumboling” (from Tibetan: Dechen Tashi Lhunpo Ling, “Auspicious Mountain Place of Great Bliss”) is located in Kizhinginsky District in the south of the Republic of Buryatia. As in most Buddhist monasteries in the republic, the datsanone of the largest temple complexes in Buryatia, is affiliated with the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism and is a member of the Traditional Buddhist Sangha of Russia.

Kizhinginsky Datsan was founded in 1758 and was originally located in a felt yurt on the slopes of Shilsan Mountain. In 1773, a wood dugan (temple) was built. This then burned down and a new temple was built in 1782, called Kodunsky Datsan, in a remote area which proved difficult to reach. In 1853, a new datsan was built on the northern bank of the Kizhinga River – Kizhinginsky Datsan, which became one of the main centers of Buddhist education in Buryatia. In the beginning, there was only one temple, Dzogchen Dugan, with the monastic school of Choira. Over the next few years, three more dugans were built, as well as Maydarin Sume (Maitreya Temple) and eight suburban (stupas).

Kizhinginsky Datsan monastic complex. At livetraveling.ru
Prayer ceremony at Kizhinsky Datsan. At gordburyatia.ru

The Grand Jarun Khashor Stupa was built in 1919 and enshrined in the Kizhinga River Valley as part of Kizhinginsky Datsan, as an analogue of Boudhanath, the iconic stupa near Kathmandu in Nepal. 36 meters high, Boudhanath is the largest stupa in Nepal and one of the largest in the world. Its Tibetan name, Jarung Khashor (Jarun: “it can be done”; Khashor: “slipped from the mouth”), is linked to the legend of its origin. The stupa is also known as Lhundrup Tsek (“spontaneous mound”), as well as “global stupa” because during devotees’ prayers all Buddhas and bodhisattvas are absorbed in the stupa, and “wish-fulfilling stupa” because that the wishes of anyone who prays in front of the stupa are said to be granted.

The worship of the Nepalese stupa of Boudhanath was very popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries in Mongolia and Buryatia. In her article “The Cult of the Boudhanath Stupa/Jarung Khashar Suvraga in Mongolia: Texts, Images and Architectural Replicas”, Isabelle Charleux explores this cult from a historical and symbolic perspective, stating: “The replicas of the Boudhanath stupa apparently functioned as surrogate pilgrimage sites linking Mongolia to South Asia. This direct connection between Mongolia and South Asia is also found in the recognition of the great Mongol lamas as being reincarnations of Tibetan saints and, ultimately, of Indian kings in the Mongol Buddhist chronicles.

Jarun Khashor with two smaller stupas. At livetraveling.ru
Milarepa Cave From livetraveling.ru

Jarun Khashor Suburgan in Buryatia was destroyed together with Kizhinginsky Datsan in 1937 after the October Revolution. ** The revival of Kizhinsky Datsan began in 1990 with the revival of Buddhism in Russia. Dzogchen Dugan was restored and three more temples were erected – Devaazhin Dugan (Dewachen Temple), Sakhyusan Dugan (Dharma Protector or Dharmapala Temple) and Maani Dugan (Avalokiteshvara Temple). Large statues have been installed in the monastery complex – the eight-meter Shakyamuni Buddha and the three-meter Bodhisattva Maitreya. Also, about 20 meters from the datsanin the shape of a cave dugan was built dedicated to the enlightened Tibetan yogi and poet Milarepa.

Amitabha Buddha with stupas From livetraveling.ru
Kizhinsky Datsan and Maydarin Sume (Maitreya Temple). From anonim03.ru

The Jaron Khashor Suburgan reconstruction project also began in 1990, when His Holiness Drukpa Rinpoche came from Nepal and dedicated the site. Construction began in 1991, but work was halted due to financial difficulties. The stupa was completed in 2001 at a height of 33 meters and occupying an area of ​​44 square meters. In the center of the stupa is the Temple of the Masters. On the south side, to the right of the main entrance, is a small temple for the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. On the left is the Temple of the Twenty-One Taras. To the west is a dakini temple. The inner shrine of the stupa contains the complete collected works of the Vajrayana Buddhist canon, the Kanjur and Tenjur (Tib: Kangyur and Tengyur), gifted by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, as well as a large number of other sacred texts and mantras. A statue of Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light, and the mantra Om Mani Padmé Hum*** eight-meter-high metal pipes have been added to the complex in recent years. The latest addition to the complex is a statue of Burhan Ayusha (Buddha Amitayus – an aspect of Amitabha associated with longevity), with the mantra Om Amarani Dzivandie Suha written on protective construction. The statue was dedicated on October 2, 2021 by Did-Khambo Lama Sanghi Dagba Ochirov.

The great stupa of Jarun Khashor and the sacred mantra of Avalokiteshvara radiate light in the night, and for Buryat devotees they stand like a beacon, illuminating their lives and bringing hope and faith to their hearts.

Amitabha Buddha statue. At facebook.com
Jarun Khashor and the mantra Om Mani Badme Hum the night. From russia.travel

* The cult of Boudhanath Stupa/Jarung Khashar Suvraga in Mongolia: texts, images and architectural replicas (Cross-Currents: Examination of East Asian History and Culture)

** The October Revolution or Great October Socialist Revolution, in Russia, was led by the Bolshevik Party (far left radical Marxist faction) of Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) which was instrumental in the greatest Russian Revolution of 1917–23. As the revolution was not universally recognized, the country descended into a civil war which would last until 1923 and eventually lead to the creation of the Soviet Union at the end of 1922.

*** The mantra of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, is the most popular mantra in Tibetan Buddhism. The Sanskrit word for lotus, padmais written padme Where peme in Tibetan and bad me in the Buryat language.

**** Amitayus’ mantra, Om Amarani Jiwantiye Soha.

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