Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

19th Century Statue of the Buddha under Reconstruction in Zabaikalye Krai

00 Agin Datsan. Buddha. Chita RUSSIA 01. 23.12.14


00 Agin Datsan. Buddha. Chita RUSSIA 02. 23.12.14


00 Agin Datsan. Buddha. Chita RUSSIA 03. 23.12.14


On Monday, Tatyana Zherebtsova, Deputy Minister of Culture of Zabaikalsky Krai, told TASS that restoration began of a statue 16-metres-(53-feet) in height of Maitreya (Mongolian Maidari)… a future incarnation of the Buddha. Craftsmen are restoring the sculpture, kept since 1940 at the Leningrad Museum of the History of Religion, with them making the missing elements. The entire project will cost 51.4 million Roubles (5.9 million Renminbi. 60 million INR. 946,000 USD. 1.1 million CAD. 1.17 million AUD. 774,000 Euros. 610,000 UK Pounds). She said, “The statue is in the Agin Datsan “Choyde Chenbo Decheng Lhundubling” (Abode of Spontaneous Realisation of Great Bliss) in Amitkhasha near Chita… the largest Buddhist monastery in modern Zabaikalsky. Federal Target Programme (FTsP) “Culture of Russia” (2012-18) funds the repair work, with a planned completion in 2015. This year, the plan allots 25.7 million Roubles (2.95 million Renminbi. 30 million INR. 473,000 USD. 550,000 CAD. 585,000 AUD 387,000 Euros. 305,000 UK Pounds). In 2015, we’ve budgeted the same amount”.

Sources at Agin Datsan clarified that, simultaneously with the restoration, Buddhist lamas would perform sacred rituals to animate the Buddha statues. They’ll place “Shun” inside the sculpture… sacred objects endowed, according to believers, with special spiritual power. As a rule, these objects include prayer-mantras, various grasses, herbs, juniper branches, and “Satsa”… small clay offerings in the form of stupa-suburgans. The monks pay particular attention to “Srogshin”… a cedar bar decorated with Buddhist prayers. As canonical texts state, without such blessings, the whole procedure is useless. The quadrangular pillar has a sacred significance, for the Tibetan word “Srogshin” means “tree of life” or “world tree”. Buddhists say that this particular Shun animates the statue. Bair Tsympilov, the rector of the datsan, said, “The Srogshin is ready. It’s made of Alkhanai Cedar; it’s about 16-metres-tall”.

Some Details of the Buddha Statue at Agin Datsan

Agin Datsan bought the Maidari statue in 1889, Chinese masters made it. In 1940, the Leningrad Museum of the History of Religion acquired the statue. By the time that scholars arrived in the datsan, the figure was in a bad state, damaged, apparently, in a search for valuables stored inside. In the 1990s, the state returned the fragments of the unassembled sculpture to the Buddhist community, and in 2008, the Agin Datsan built a separate shrine for it. A source at the datsan said, “At the same time we built the shrine, we invited masters to engrave the surface of the statue, but a detailed study found that we only had about 15 percent of the fragments. As far as we can tell, most of the original statue is irretrievably lost”.

All over the world, Buddhists revere Maitreya as the successor of Śākyamuni Buddha. The faithful believe that he would incarnate in a very difficult period for mankind and the light of his teachings would pull them out of the darkness of error and vile passions. In the sacred sutras, Maitreya Buddha’s advent would usher in a reign on earth of happiness and joy, life expectancy would reach 84,000 years, and the world would be under the rule of a Chakravartin… a Buddhist just ruler.

24 November 2014




Saturday, 21 December 2013

21 December 2013. A Photo Essay. Our Great Russian Motherland… A Buddhist Datsan in Sverdlovsk Oblast in Winter

00 Russian Buddhist datsan. Sverdlovsk Oblast. Image A. 21.12.13


00 Russian Buddhist datsan. Sverdlovsk Oblast. Image B. 21.12.13


00 Russian Buddhist datsan. Sverdlovsk Oblast. Image C. 21.12.13


00 Russian Buddhist datsan. Sverdlovsk Oblast. Image D. 21.12.13


00 Russian Buddhist datsan. Sverdlovsk Oblast. Image E. 21.12.13


00 Russian Buddhist datsan. Sverdlovsk Oblast. Image F. 21.12.13


00 Russian Buddhist datsan. Sverdlovsk Oblast. Image G. 21.12.13


It’s the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, so, here’s some appropriate imagery. Shad Tchup Ling is the only Buddhist datsan in Sverdlovsk Oblast. It’s on Mt Kachkanar in the northern Ural Mountains (the mountain is 888 metres (2,914 feet) above sea level). The place is amazingly beautiful, especially in winter. Buddhism is one of the Big Four Traditional Religions in RussiaOrthodox ChristianityIslam… Buddhism… Judaism. It’s all Russian… it’s all ours… or, none of it’s ours… that’s that.


Monday, 25 February 2013

A First in Russian History: The Head of State Gave a State Decoration to an Old Ritualist Leader

00 Metropolitan Kornely Titov. RPSTs. Old Ritualist. Russia. 25.02.13


President Vladimir Putin awarded the Order of Friendship to Metropolitan Kornely Titov of the Russian Orthodox Old Ritualist Church (RPSTs). Vladyki Kornely said at the award ceremony, “I sincerely thank you for this high award, which I had the honour to receive today. This is a historic event. For the first time in 350 years of our history, the Russian head of state presented a state decoration to a leader of the Russian Orthodox Old Ritualist Church”. Damba Ayusheyev, the 24th Pandit Hambo Lama, the head of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia, also received the same award. Metropolitan Vladimir Kotlyarov of St Petersburg and Ladoga received the Order of St Aleksandr Nevsky. Putin awarded the Order of St Yekaterina to Natalia Sarganova, who raised 35 foster children over 30 years. Also amongst those decorated was Mikhail Komissar, the CEO of Interfax, who received the Order “For Services to the Fatherland” (Third Class).

22 February 2013



Friday, 15 January 2010

Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia Organise a Folk Boxing Tournament

Buddhist Folk Boxers in Russia… doesn’t look like there’s much PC in Russia, after seeing these guys, the Cossacks, and the Chechens… wanna rumble? “All comers are welcome…” betcha that no one from SVS is going to be part of the festivities.


On 24 January in Ulan-Ude (Republic of Buryatiya. Siberian Federal District) a city championship in folk boxing, dedicated to Pandit Khambo Lama Galsan Legden Arzhagarov and Agvan-Nime Tsydypdorzhiev, will take place. The Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia and the city administration organised the event. According a source in the Ulan-Ude mayor’s office, all comers are welcome to take part in the tournament. On the day of the tournament, the lamas will lead a prayer service and participants will cheer the mayor and the head of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha Pandit Khambo Lama Damba Ayusheyev. The organisers told us that the competition would serve to encourage spiritual and physical development amongst the population, the strengthening of friendly ties between the regions, and promote healthy living.

15 January 2010



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