Buddhism in Russia: the story of Agvan Dorzhiev, Lhasa's by John Snelling

By John Snelling

A desirable tale of political and non secular intrigue, Buddhism in Russia tells of Agvan Dorziev, a Mongolian Buddhist Lama, who was once instrumental within the founding of Buddhism in Russia. contains an replace of the prestige of Buddhism in Russia due to the fact glasnost. images

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From this lama, one 'oceanically endowed with the virtues of scriptural knowledge and direct insight', he also received the precepts of an upasaka or Buddhist layman, by which he undertook to restrain himself from killing, stealing, indulR in irresponsible sexuality, lying, and blunting his awareness with intoxicants. Sonam seems to have laid particular emphasis on the last: 'Alcohol is the root of all evil,' he declared unequivocally. ' Dorzhiev took his preceptor's injunction to heart and on his own admission curtailed his drinking.

17 It was a position commanding great respect, and meant he had become a recognized member of the monastic elite of Lhasa. Then almost at once - and as if he had been prepared and groomed for it - an extremely auspicious door opened for him. C H A PT E R F O U R The Thirteenth Dalai Lama 1 8 8 8 - 1 8 98 Even towards the end of his life, Tubten Gyarso, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet (1876-1933), still possessed powerful presence. He was then old by contemporary Tibetan standards and two periods of exile as well as many stressful years of political struggle had taken their toll.

These usually consisted of several lamas, he records, who Set off from Wu T' ai Shan each spring with carts and tents to spend the summer soliciting alms all over Mongolia and even up into Buryat . terntory, where the people were richer and the pickings accordingly better. They would return before winter laden with food, tea, skins, mo�ey, and driving herds of cattle and flocks of sheep - 'all eagerly received'. In return, they would reward rheir benefactors by placing their names on a 'subscription list' that gave the good people the pleasure of .

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