Buddhism of Russia (Narthang Bulletin) -5 (1992)



Narthang Bulletin

No.5 November 1992



NB is the only Buddhist monthly on the territory of the former USSR. It is published by the Russian branch of the Narthang Publications, belonging to the Department of Information and International Relations of H.H. the Dalai Lama.

Any communications (up to 100 words) of Buddhist groups and organizations subscribed to the Bulletin are published by NB free. The same applies to information on new publications on Buddhism sent to the Bulletin. Full responsibility for the accuracy of information rests with its authors.

Buddhist groups of all denominations are welcome to inform about themselves, their achievements and problems.

Editor-in-chief Dr.A.A.Terentyev, Managing editor Dr.A.A.Diuranov. Address: Dr.A.A.Diuranov, P.O. Box 627, St-Petersburg, Russia, 190000; Tel: (812)-312-04-71, Fax: (812)-272-79-68 (A.A.Terentyev.) (c) Narthang publications. Price $ 2 for oversea subscribers includes air mail. Subscription applications for 1993 are accepted.

I. H.H. the Dalai Lama

1. In October His Holiness attended scientific conference in Dharamsala, dedicated to study of problems of sleep, dreams & death. About 30 experts, Western scientists & Buddhists participated in this conference. The neurobiologists, philosophers, psychoanalysts & anthropologists discussed problems of Unconscious, clinical death experiences & so-called "lucid dreaming": the state, wherein it is possible to control dreams.

After these talks His Holiness presented Buddhist approach to these problems.

Next scientific conference - among the number of those, patronized by His Holiness - is planned to take place in 2 years. It will be dedicated to problems of altruism, and it is proposed to consider there structure of biological mechanisms, causing bees & other insects to act for the good of entire community.

Also there will be discussed evolutionary role of these processes and various sociological, antropological & philosophical views on problems of communal co-operation, - and influence of love & care (or their absence) on developmental processes.

2. In the first week of April His Holiness is planning to give Kalachakra Initiation in Gangtok (Sikkim).

II. Visits.

1. On the 3. of November Dr.Navang Rabgyal, a representative of H.H. left Moscow for India.

2. During period from August 9 until Aug. 20 '92 Tibetan Center of Hamburg City kindly offered the opportunity to several St.Petersburg Buddhists to listen to teachings, receive initiations and study literature on important problems of Buddhist philosophy & practice.

Spiritual preceptor of this Center is Tibetan Lama Geshe Thubten Ngawang, who resides in Hamburg  now for over 13 years, and who is considered to be one of most authoritative Teachers of Buddhism in modern Germany. In The Center, which enjoys spiritual guidance of H.H. the Dalai Lama, there are residing also 6 Germans: 3 monks & 3 nuns, and one young Tibetan monk.

From Aug. 9 to Sept. 16 in Tibetan Center of Hamburg were present two women colleagues from St.Petersburg Datsan: Ms. E.Kharkova & Ms. Z.Munkuyeva, who had been invited to attend female seminar/retreat (attempt to organize which, however, failed).

From Aug. 9 to Sept. 20 this Center was visited by Mr. Alexander Pubants - one of translators of Geshe's precepts in St.Petersburg Datsan. Besides participating in studies, he worked there on transcription of Geshe's precepts, translating a course of his teaching & initiations from German into Russian.

On Sept. 1-20 in Tibetan Center also liveed & participated in its activities long-time friends of this Center Mr. Oleg Borisov - coordinator of St.Petersburg "The Buddhist House" union, and his wife Svetlana.

Sojourn in Tibetan Center produced best impressions in all visitors. The Center does function on a very advanced creative level, providing highly efficient & versatile instruction & guidance for all its members, numbering over 300.

All Center's members from a single creative organism, whose directive principle is full openness of participation for everybody - to the extent, determined by each participant's capacity & willingness.

St.Petersburgers, who'd been fortunate to be Center's guests, expressed their sincere hearty thanks to all Center's members, - and especially to its Spiritual Head Geshe Thubten Ngawang, - for generously offered possibility to listen to Teaching and gifts of valuable materials on Buddhist philosophy & practice, culture & modern situation in Tibet; - and, in general, for friendly care & cooperation.

We've invited Geshe to visit St.Petersburg again, and he'd agreed to come to our city - and also Buryatia - in August-September of the next year. He'd be welcomed everywhere.


III. News from Communities.

1. Tilopa is with us!

As we have communicated already, Telo Rinpoche has recently become Spiritual Head of Kalmyks (Sharjin Lama). He was born on 27 October 1972 in USA under the name of Erdni Ombadykoff. During Dalai Lama's visit to USA in 1978 His Holiness has personally recognized this 6-year old boy as reincarnation of famous Indian Yogi Tilopa - the founder of Kagyu tradition. His previous incarnation took place in Mongolia.

Young Telo Tulku was accepted as a pupil into Goman Datsan of Drepung monastery, reconstructed in India by Tibetan refugees instead of original one in Tibet, destroyed by Chinese communists. He has taken His monastic vows there.

Telo Rinpoche has kindly agreed to answer some questions, proposed by our correspondent.

2. The new Chairman of Central Buddhist Board of Russia.

In September of this year there was elected the new Chairman of CBB (see about CBB in No2 of NB) - Zhamyang Mytypovich Shagdarov. He was born on 5 October 1949 in Ust-Eghituy: a village in Yeravnin Aimak (region) of Buryatia and was raised in foresteer's populous family. After finishing school he did job of manual worker, then served in the Army.

Yet the young Shagdarov couldn't find in secular life real meaning, in search of which he turned to Dharma. In 1971 he went to Mongolia to study in Gandan Buddhist Institute. In 1976 he returned home, becoming a lama of Ivolginsky Datsan, - and from 1978 to 1980 again resumes study: this time in Nepal, in Ananda Puta Buddhist college in Kathmandu.

In 80s Mr.Shagdarov becomes a Deputy of CBB Chairman - Did-Hambo Lama. Now, being the head of CBB, Bandido Hambo Lama Zh.M.

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