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Buddhism Across the Grasslands of Chinggis Khan

 
Lokesh Chandra (Author) Sata-Pitaka Series
Synopsis

This book is a survey of Buddhist art, literature, monasteries and general history of Mongolian lands, the transcreation of the 6000 plus works in the Kanjur and Tanjur, highlights of Lamaism across the centuries, the writing of 220 philosophical, ritual, hagiographical and historical works under the Manchu dynasty, and so on. The development continued till 1920s when the communists took over. It also relates the destruction of 750 large monasteries uprooted down to their foundations, burning of five million xylographs and manuscripts according to Prof. Rinchen, the desecration of Erdeni Dzu and Choijin Lamin Sum the major cathedrals of Buddhism, the heart-rending genocide of monks who were herded into trucks length-wise and crosswise as they do with wood (none ever saw them): the book is a moving record of the barbarous destruction by the communists. The role of iconic intellectuals like Prof. Rinchen, Lobsang Vandan, Damdin Suren in these lurid years can be read in their own words. The anguished letters of Rinchen on the annihilation of the Mongol persona and the substitution of the Mongol script by Cyrillic are recorded here for the first time.;The complete wiping out of monasteries, burning of books, millions of sacred images melted in furnaces in Kalmykia and Buryatia and now their renaissance are told in extenso. The discovery of the tales of Bhoja, Vikramaditya and Krsna unknown to modern research till then, the microfilming of the Tanjur, and the international networking of Mongolistics across Asia, Europe, USA and USSR by the efforts of Prof. Raghuvira has been narrated. The expeditions of Prof. RaghuVira and his son Lokesh Chandra were the silent hope of the Mongols that Maitreya would descend one day under the blue sky of the grasslands of Chinggis Khan. It is an absorbing and detailed account of these expeditions, of the admission of Mongolia to the UNO, the regeneration of the state, the renewal of life, the resurgence of culture and the renaissance of Mongol identity. The monastic boom, the return of colossi by Russia, the study of traditional medicine, return of the spring from the wounded winters, the celebration of 2220 years of the Mongol state, and personal experiences of the author for the last sixty years make the book a must for the study of Buddhism in Mongolia.

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About the author

Lokesh Chandra

Prof. Lokesh Chandra is a renowned scholar of Tibetan, Mongolian and Sino-Japanese Buddhism. He has to his credit over 400 works and text editions. Among them are classics like his Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary, Materials for a History of Tibetan Literature, Buddhist Iconography of Tibet, and the present Dictionary of Buddhist Art in about 20 volumes. Prof. Lokesh Chandra was nominated by the President of the Republic of India to the Parliament in 1974-80 and again in 1980-86. He has been a Vice-President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research. Presently he is Director, International Academy of Indian Culture.

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Bibliographic information

Title Buddhism Across the Grasslands of Chinggis Khan
Author Lokesh Chandra
Format Hardcover
Date published: 16.07.2013
Edition 1st.ed.
Publisher Aditya Prakashan
Language: English
isbn 9788177421286
length 568p., Illustrations; Some Colour; Map; 29cm.