Buddhism as a factor in the history of the relations between Oirat-Kalmyks and Mongols

М. С. Уланов


The relations between Oirats and Mongols and then between Kalmyks and Mongols dealt with Buddhism have lasted for many centuries. The beginning of these relations probably dates back to the era of Genghis Khan. Having joined the Russian state, Oirat-Kalmyks did not lose their religion. However, due to the difficult communication with Mongolia and Tibet their contacts with the Buddhist centers of Central Asia became rare. After 1771 the influence of Buddhism in Kalmykia weakened because most lamas and khurul attendants emigrated together with Kalmyks. The religious relations with Mongolia and Tibet almost ceased. At the beginning of the 20th century there began a process of liberalization of the religious policy in Russia. The Russian government granted almost all the petitions presented by the Kalmyk clergy. Having taken advantage of it, the Kalmyk Buddhists intensified their contacts with the Buddhists from other regions, such as Buryatia, Mongolia, and Tibet. Unfortunately, after the Buddhist church in Kalmykia had been destroyed, the religious contacts between Kalmyks and Mongols were stopped. However, some Kalmyk emigrants which moved to the United States tried to maintain a relationship with some Mongolian lamas. Nowadays the religious relations between Kalmyks and Mongols are being revived again and have good prospects.


Buddhism; religious relations between Kalmyks and Mongols; Kalmyk emigrants


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