Buddhism in Mongolia is essentially Tibetan Buddhism of the Gelugpa school. Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including The Gelug or Gelug-pa, also known as the Yellow Hat sect, is a school of Buddhism founded by Tsongkhapa (1357–1419 a Philosopher Traditionally, Mongols worshiped heaven (the "clear blue sky") and their ancestors, and they followed ancient northern Asian practices of shamanism, in which human intermediaries went into trance and spoke to and for some of the numberless infinities of spirits responsible for human luck or misfortune. Heaven may refer to the physical heavens the sky or the seemingly endless expanse of the Universe beyond Trance denotes a variety of processes techniques modalities and states of mind awareness and consciousness Although the emperors of the Yuan Dynasty in the 14th and 15th century had already converted to Tibetan buddhism, the Mongols returned to their old shamanist ways after the collapse of their empire. The Yuan Dynasty ( Pinyin: Yuáncháo Dai Ön Ulus (Дай Юан Улс was a ruling Dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai In 1578 Altan Khan, a Mongol military leader with ambitions to unite the Mongols and to emulate the career of Chinggis, invited the head of the rising Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism to a summit. Altan Khan (1507-1582 Mongolian Алтан хан whose given name was Anda, was the ruler of the Tumed Mongols and de facto ruler of the Right Wing or western Genghis Khan ( or;, Chinggis Khaan, ʧiŋgɪs χaːŋ Činggis Qaɣan; 1162–1227 born (meaning "ironworker" was the Mongol founder The Gelug or Gelug-pa, also known as the Yellow Hat sect, is a school of Buddhism founded by Tsongkhapa (1357–1419 a Philosopher They formed an alliance that gave Altan Khan legitimacy and religious sanction for his imperial pretensions and that provided the Buddhist school with protection and patronage. Altan khan gave the Tibetan leader the title of Dalai Lama (Ocean Lama), which his successors still hold. The Dalai Lama is the spiritual and political leader of the Tibetan people according to Tibetan Buddhism. Lama ( is a title for a Tibetan teacher Altan Khan died soon after, but in the next century the Yellow Sect spread throughout Mongolia, aided in part by the efforts of contending Mongol aristocrats to win religious sanction and mass support for their ultimately unsuccessful efforts to unite all Mongols in a single state. Aristocracy is a form of Government, where rule is established through an internal struggle over who has the most status and influence over society and internal relations Monasteries (momg. This article concerns the buildings occupied by monastics. For the life inside monasteries and its historical roots see Monasticism. datsan) were built across Mongolia, often sited at the juncture of trade and migration routes or at summer pastures, where large numbers of herders would congregate for shamanistic rituals and sacrifices. Buddhist monks carried out a protracted struggle with the indigenous shamans and succeeded, to some extent, in taking over their functions and fees as healers and diviners, and in pushing the shamans to the fringes of Mongolian culture and religion.
Tibetan Buddhism, which combines elements of the Mahayana and the Tantric schools of Buddhism with traditional Tibetan rituals of curing and exorcism, shares the common Buddhist goal of individual release from suffering and the cycles of rebirth. Mahayana ( Sanskrit: mahāyāna, Devanagari: महायान 'Great Vehicle' is one of the two main existing schools of Buddhism and a term for Tantra ( Sanskrit: तन्त्र; " Weave " denoting continuity) tantricism or tantrism is any of several esoteric Exorcism (from Late Latin exorcismus, from Greek exorkizein - to adjure is the practice of evicting Demons or other evil The religion holds that salvation, in the sense of release from the cycle of rebirth, can be achieved through the intercession of compassionate Buddhas (enlightened ones) who have delayed their own entry to the state of selfless bliss (nirvana) to save others. In Buddhism, buddhahood ( Sanskrit: buddhatva. Pali: buddhatta. Bodhi (बोधि is both the Pāli and Sanskrit word traditionally translated into English as "enlightenment In sramanic philosophy Nirvana (निर्वाण| Nirvāṇa; निब्बान Nibbāna; Prakrit: णिव्वाण Such Buddhas, also termed Bodhisattvas, are in practice treated more as deities than as enlightened humans and occupy the center of a richly polytheistic universe of subordinate deities, opposing demons, converted and reformed demons, wandering ghosts, and saintly humans that reflects the folk religions of the regions into which Buddhism expanded. Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple Gods (usually assembled in a pantheon) together with associated Mythology and Rituals Tantrism contributed esoteric techniques of meditation and a repertoire of sacred icons, phrases, and gestures that easily lent themselves to pragmatic (rather than transcendental) and magical interpretation. A mudrā ( Sanskrit: मुद्रा lit "seal" is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism. The religion posits progressive stages of enlightenment and comprehension of the reality underlying the illusions that hamper the understanding and perceptions of those not trained in meditation or Buddhist doctrine, with sacred symbols interpreted in increasingly abstract terms. Maya ( Sanskrit sa माया māyā) in Indian religions, has multiple meanings Buddhist meditation encompasses a variety of Meditation techniques that develop Mindfulness, concentration, tranquility and insight Thus, a ritual that appears to a common yak herder as a straightforward exorcism of disease demons will be interpreted by a senior monk as a representation of conflicting tendencies in the mind of a meditating ascetic.
In Tibet Buddhism thus became an amalgam, combining colorful popular ceremonies and curing rituals for the masses with the study of esoteric doctrine for the monastic elite. Syncretism consists of the attempt to reconcile disparate or contradictory beliefs often while melding practices of various schools of thought The Yellow Sect, in contrast to competing sects, stressed monastic discipline and the use of logic and formal debates as aids to enlightenment. The basic Buddhist tenet of reincarnation was combined with the Tantric idea that buddhahood could be achieved within a person's lifetime to produce a category of leaders who were considered to have achieved buddhahood and to be the reincarnations of previous leaders. These leaders, referred to as incarnate or living buddhas, held secular power and supervised a body of ordinary monks, or lamas (from a Tibetan title bla-ma, meaning "the revered one)". A tulku ( also tülku, trulku) is a Tibetan Buddhist Lama who has through Phowa and Siddhi, consciously The monks were supported by the laity, who thereby gained merit and who received from the monks instructions in the rudiments of the faith and monastic services in healing, divination, and funerals.
The indigenous religion of Mongolia prior to Buddhism was shamanism, which focused specifically on rituals and nature deities.  There are still elements of modern Mongolian Buddhism that display the early amalgam between Buddhism and local shamanistic practices, such as the Mongolian Buddhist dance, the tsam. In addition to this dimension, Tibetan Buddhist monasticism made an important impact on the early development of Mongolian Buddhism.  The Buddhist monkhood always have played significant political roles in Central and Southeast Asia, and the Buddhist sangha in Mongolia was no exception. Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices Church and state supported each other, and the doctrine of reincarnation made it possible for the reincarnations of living Buddhas to be discovered conveniently in the families of powerful Mongol nobles, until this practice was outlawed by the Qianlong Emperor. Mongol Empire Nobility titles Ihe Khaan ( Khagan) - Great Khaan Emperor Guo Wang - State Wang Emperor Qianlong (Chinese 乾隆 Qiánlóng, Wade-Giles' Ch'ien-Lung', Mongolian Tengeriig Tetgesen Khaan, born Hongli (弘历 September
By the beginning of the twentieth century, Outer Mongolia had 583 monasteries and temple complexes, which controlled an estimated 20 percent of the country's wealth. Almost all Mongolian cities have grown up on the sites of monasteries. Yihe Huree, as Ulaanbaatar was then known, was the seat of the preeminent living Buddha of Mongolia (the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, also known as the Bogdo Gegen and later as Bogd Khan), who ranked third in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. Ulan Bator, or Ulaanbaatar (Улаанбаатар is the Capital and largest city of Mongolia. The Khalkha Jebtsundamba Khutuktu (Жавзандамба хутагт Javzandamba Khutagt; Tibetan: རྗེ་བཙུན་དམ་པ་ Jetsun Dampa The Bogd Khan ( Mongolian mn Богд хаан 1869-1924 was enthroned as the Emperor ( Khan) of Mongolia on 29 December 1911 when the country declared The Panchen Lama ( Tibetan: པན་ཆེན་བླ་མ་ Chinese: 班禪喇嘛 is the second highest ranking Lama after the Dalai Lama Two monasteries there contained approximately 13,000 and 7,000 monks, and the prerevolutionary Mongol name of the settlement known to outsiders as Urga, Yihe Huree, means "big monastery".
Over the centuries, the monasteries acquired riches and secular dependents; they gradually increased their wealth and power as those of the Mongol nobility declined. Some nobles donated a portion of their dependent families — people, rather than land, were the foundation of wealth and power in old Mongolia — to the monasteries; some herders dedicated themselves and their families to serve the monasteries either from piety or from the desire to escape the arbitrary exactions of the nobility. In some areas, the monasteries and their living buddhas (of whom there were a total of 140 in 1924) also were the secular authorities. In the 1920s, there were about 110,000 monks, including children, who made up about one-third of the male population, although many of these lived outside the monasteries and did not observe their vows. About 250,000 people, more than a third of the total population, either lived in territories administered by monasteries and living Buddhas or were hereditary dependents of the monasteries. With the end of Chinese rule in 1911, the Buddhist church and its clergy provided the only political structure available, and the autonomous state thus took the form of a weakly centralized theocracy, headed by the Jebtsundamba khutuktu in Yihe Huree.
By the twentieth century, Buddhism had penetrated deeply into Mongolian culture, and the populace willingly supported the lamas and the monasteries. Mongolian Culture has been heavily influenced by the Mongol nomadic way of life Foreign observers usually had a negative opinion of Mongolian monks, condemning them as lazy, ignorant, corrupt, and debauched, but the Mongolian people did not concur. Ordinary Mongolians apparently combined a cynical and realistic anticlericalism, sensitive to the faults and the human fallibility of individual monks or groups of monks, with a deep and unwavering concern for the transcendent values of the church.
When the revolutionaries — determined to modernize their country and to reform its society — took power, they confronted a massive ecclesiastical structure that enrolled a larger part of the population, monopolized education and medical services, administered justice in a part of the country, and controlled a great deal of the national wealth. The Buddhist church, moreover, had no interest in reforming itself or in modernizing the country. The result was a protracted political struggle that absorbed the energies and attention of the party and its Soviet advisers for nearly twenty years. The Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (Монгол Ардын Хувьсгалт Нам Mongol Ardyn Khuvisgalt Nam) is an ex-communist Political party in As late as 1934, the party counted 843 major Buddhist centers, about 3,000 temples of various sizes, and nearly 6,000 associated buildings, which usually were the only fixed structures in a world of yurts. A yurt is a portable Felt -covered wood lattice -framed dwelling structure used by Nomads in the Steppes of Central Asia. The annual income of the church was 31 million Tögrögs, while that of the state was 37. The tögrög (төгрөг (MNT Tugrik, ₮ is the official currency of Mongolia. 5 million tögrögs. A party source claimed that, in 1935, monks constituted 48 percent of the adult male population. In a campaign marked by shifts of tactics, alternating between conciliation and persecution, and a fe reported uprisings led by monks and abbots, the Buddhist church was removed progressively from public administration, was subjected to confiscatory taxes, was forbidden to teach children, and was prohibited from recruiting new monks or replacing living Buddhas. The campaign's timing matched the phases of Joseph Stalin's persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church. Joseph Stalin ( ნამდვილი გვარი ჯუღაშვილი|Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili; March 5 1953 was General Secretary of the Communist Party See also Eastern Orthodox Church Structure and organization The Slavic Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure Robert Rupen reports that in the 1920s there were over 112,000 Mongolian Buddhist monks, representing more than 13% of Mongolia's overall population. By the 1940s, nearly every monks was either dead or had apostatized.  In 1938 — amid accusations that the church and monasteries were trying to cooperate with the Japanese, who were promoting a pan-Mongol puppet state — the remaining monasteries were dissolved, their property was seized, and their monks were secularized, interned or executed. Those monastic buildings that had not been destroyed were taken over to serve as local government offices or schools. Only then was the ruling party, which since 1921 gradually had built a cadre of politically reliable and secularly educated administrators, able to destroy the church and to mobilize the country's wealth and population for its program of modernization and social change.
Since the late 1940s, one monastery, the Gandan Monastery, with a community of 100 monks, was open in Ulaanbaatar. The Gandantegchinlen Khiid Monastery, commonly known as Gandan Monastery, is a Tibetan -style Monastery in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar It was the country's sole monastery and was more for international display than functionality.  A few of the old monasteries survived as museums, and the Gandan Monastery served as a living museum and a tourist attraction. Its monks included a few young men who had undergone a five-year training period, but whose motives and mode of selection were unknown to Western observers. The party apparently thought that Buddhism no longer posed a challenge to its dominance and that — because Buddhism had played so large a part in the country's history, traditional arts and culture, total extirpation of knowledge about the religion and its practices would cut modern Mongols off from much of their past, to the detriment of their national identity. The area of what is now Mongolia has been ruled by various Nomadic empires, including the Xiongnu, the Rouran, the Xianbei, the Gökturks Mongolian Culture has been heavily influenced by the Mongol nomadic way of life A few aged former monks were employed to translate Tibetan-language handbooks on herbs and traditional medicine. Tibetan medicine is a centuries-old traditional medical system that employs a complex approach to diagnosis incorporating techniques such as pulse analysis and Urinalysis, and Government spokesmen described the monks of the Gandan Monastery as doing useful work. Today the monastery has been reinvigorated as the Gandantegchinlen Khiid Monastery by the post-Communist governments of the country. The Gandantegchinlen Khiid Monastery, commonly known as Gandan Monastery, is a Tibetan -style Monastery in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar
Buddhism, furthermore played a role in Mongolia's foreign policy by linking Mongolia with the communist and the noncommunist states of East and Southeast Asia. Ulaanbaatar was the headquarters of the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace, which has held conferences for Buddhists from such countries as Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan; published a journal for international circulation; and maintained contacts with such groups as the Christian Peace Conference, the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organization, and the Russian Orthodox Church. The history of Buddhism in Japan can be roughly divided into three periods namely the Nara period (up to 784 the Heian period (794–1185 and the post-Heian period Buddhism came to Vietnam in the first century CE By the end of the second century Vietnam developed a major Buddhist centre in the region commonly known as the Luy Lâu History See also History of Buddhism in Cambodia Unconfirmed Singhalese sources assert that missionaries of King Asohka introduced Buddhism into General Buddhism in Sri Lanka is primarily of the Theravada school and constitutes the religious faith of about 70% of the populationAccording to traditional Mahayana Buddhism is the State religion of Bhutan, and Buddhists comprise 98% of its population. It sponsored the visits of the Dalai Lama to Mongolia in 1979 and 1982. The organization, headed by the abbot of then-Gandan Monastery, advanced the foreign policy goals of the Mongolian government, which were in accord with those of the Soviet Union. In the wake of the former Soviet Union 's economic collapse Mongolia began to pursue an independent and nonaligned Foreign policy. At its founding the Soviet Union was considered a pariah by most countries and as such was denied Diplomatic recognition by most states
This article contains material from the Library of Congress Country Studies, which are United States government publications in the public domain. The Country Studies are works published by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress ( USA) freely available for use by researchers The federal government of the United States is the central United States Governmental body established by the United States Constitution. The public domain is a range of abstract materials &ndash commonly referred to as Intellectual property &ndash which are not owned or controlled by anyone
Documentation on Mongolian monasteries and temples (mainly in Mongolian)