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The reign of the Bogd khaan: the autonomous period (1911-1921)

The 8th jewtsьndamba khutagt, Agwaan luwsan choiji nyima danzan wanchug (Tib. ngag-dbang blo-bzang chos-kyi nyi-ma bstan-'dzin dbang-phyug, 1870-1924) or the Bogd khaan had a very significant role in the Mongolian history. The revolution in China in 1911 resulted in the fall of the Manchu dynasty (Quing, China’s last dynasty). The 8th jewtsьndamba khutagt declared independence for Mongolia on 28 December 1911 and became the religious and political leader of Mongolia, bearing the title of Bogd khaan, which was the honorific rank of the Manchu emperor until this time. (The Chinese government did not recognize Mongolian independence, but, at the time, it was preoccupied with its own domestic problems. On 25 May 1915 in the Treaty of Khyakhta limited authority was granted to Mongolia (signed by Mongolia, China and Russia).) The Bogd khaan established a monarchy with a government of five ministers at the beginning. The Bogd and his ministers proclaimed Ikh Khьree as the capital of the newly established Mongolia. This period is called ‘the period of Bogd khaan’ or ‘the period of autonomy’ (Bogd khaant ьye, Awtonomit ьye). The Oirads in the West also agreed to the independence. However, it can be described as relative independence as Chinese authorities still wished Mongolia to be a subordinate to China and stationed troops in the country. Taking advantage of Russia’s weakness the Gamin, the Chinese Nationalist army of the Kuo-min-tang or Chinese Nationalist Party, which was set-up in 1912 an lead by Sun Yat Sen, came to Mongolia in 1919 where it occupied Khьree. Meanwhile in the north, in the revolution in Russia in October 1917 the power of the Tsar was overthrown and the ‘White’ Russian army defeated. At the end of 1920, a putative White Russian (anti-communist) army, under the leadership of the defeated Baron Ungern von Sternberg, who aspired to restore the monarchy in Russia, came to ‘liberate’ Mongolia by expelling the Chinese Gamin army, which fled northwards. Ungern occupied Ikh Khьree in February 1921 and forced the Bogd khaan to move to Manzshir monastery (46 km to the south of Ulaanbaatar). According to Jambal (English text p. 57., Mongolian text p. 739.) Ungern’s troops occupied Urga and killed many Chinese both Gamin soldiers or merchants. Jambal also recounts how, on the 15th day of the Mongol new year in 1921, Ungern went to Manzshir monastery with lamas and nobles and brought the Bogd khaan back to Urga. A Danshig (Tib. brtan-bzhugs, ceremony for longevity) ceremony was performed the next day in the Tsogchin temple to honour the Bogd who once again took his place on the throne. In fact, Ungern ruled Mongolia under the blessing of the Bogd khaan for a short period. However, Ungern’s activity began to be very aggressive as he executed not only the Chinese, but also many Jewish and Russian people, such as the dean of the Orthodox temple. The brutality of these White Russian forces pushed the emerging Mongol revolutionaries to make a personal visit to Lenin and ask for help in ridding the country of these troops. They are said to have visited Lenin personally. The new Russian government agreed and sent its Red army, already advancing in Siberia, to defeat the Ungern troops. The Red army and Mongol army recaptured Khьree in July 1921, chasing out Ungern. After this revolution, on 11 July, the People’s Government of Mongolia was declared. A new government sympathizing with the Communists, was formed by members of the Mongolian People’s Party led by Bodoo, Danzan and Sьkhbaatar. The Bogd khaan remained the titular leader of the country but without any power or rights. 27 Thousands of Russian troops poured into Mongolia from Russia, which resulted in the white Russian forces being finally defeated in 1922. Mongolian independence and the People’s Republic were declared in 1924, after the Bogd khaan had passed away. All in all, the reign of the Bogd khaan (though he was ill-famed for his dissipated way of life and lax morals) was a flourishing period in Mongolian religious history. Numerous monasteries were founded in the countryside and many temples were built in Ikh Khьree, such as Idgaachoinzinlin datsan, Janraisegiin sьm and the Green . The Bogd khaan issued many commands (lьnden, Tib. lung-ston) to preserve the pure life of lamas, and to keep disciple purer. He forbid lamas to go in parade robes to lay districts, to flirt with women, to do business or act as merchants, to play games such as cards and shagai (lamb’s anklebone), and to fight. The treasury of the Bogd and the treasuries of clericals and financial units of temples became much richer than ever before due to donations and high taxes.

1921-1940: The Gradual Suppression of the Church and the Purges

In English three great classical works give details about the stormy events of the 20th century of Mongolia (Rupen, R. A., Mongols of the 20th Century, Uralic and Altaic Series, Vol. 37. Indiana University, Bloomington and Mouton and Co., The Hague, 1964 (new edition: Curzon, Richmond 1997); Bawden, Ch. R., The Modern History of Mongolia. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. London 1968 (revised edition: KPI, London 1989); and Moses, L. W., The Political Role of Mongol Buddhism. Indiana University Uralic Altaic Series. Vol. 133. Bloomington, 1977). Other publications on the period include the works of Baabar (Baabar B., Twentieth century Mongolia. White Horse Press, Cambridge 1999), an other book of Rupen (Rupen, R. A., How Mongolia is really ruled. Hoover Institution, Stanford, California 1978) and the History of the Mongolian People’s Republic. (Translated by William B. and Urgunge Onon. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1976). Other more recent books such as that of Ewing, T. E., Onon, Urgunge, Derrick P.; Stephen K., Bruce A. E. (ed.); or Morozova, I. Yu. are listed in the bibliography (none of them was available for the researchers). Recently, Mongol researchers have started to publish books about the events during the Soviet era (Sandag, Shagdariin, Kendall H. H., Poisoned arrows- the Stalin-Choibalsan Mongolian massacres, 1921-1941. Westview,Boulder, Col. 2000; Soni, S. K., Dashpьrev, D., Reign of terror in Mongolia, 1920-1990. South Asian Publishers, New Delhi 1995). The work of Őlziibaatar is based on extensive archive materials (Цlziibaatar, D., Yaagaad 1937 on? [Why 1937?] Ulaanbaatar 2004); and the book of Rinchin was published by the State Committee of Political Rehabilitation (Rinchin, M., Uls tцriin khelmegdььlelt ba tsagaatgal [Political Persecution and Rehabilitation], Tsagaatgakh ajiliig udirdan zokhion baiguulakh Ulsiin komiss, Ulaanbaatar 2000). What follows is a short sketch of the events of the period known as khelmegdььleltiin ьye (‘the era of political persecution’). It aims to provide some background information to enable easier interpretation of the references to historical data that appear in the separate entries. The above books can be consulted for a more thorough study of this period. After the the revolution of 1921, which brought the communists to power, though more specifically, after the death of the 8th jewtsьndamba khutagt, the government, the administration of the city and the whole country were totally reformed. After the revolution, a small group of revolutionaries governed the country without broadbased support among the people. Nor did they, at this time, have any plans to annihilate the Buddhist faith: for a while peace was maintained between the monastics and the government. In 1921 one-third of the male population lived in the about 1,000 monasteries; 28 that was more than 100 thousand men who were lamas (including young boys as novices). This could not be changed at once. In 1924, when the 8th jewtsьndamba khutagt, the Bogd khaan died, the communist government prevented a successor from being found. A prophecy which forecast that the jewtsьndamba khutagts would be reborn in Mongolia only eight times gave an apparent justification to the Party’s decision to forbid the search for the 9th incarnation. On 26 November 1924, the Mongolian People’s Republic was declared. The Mongolian People’s Party was renamed as the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (Mongol Ardiin Khuw’sgalt Nam). The newly formed Republic had close connections to the Soviet Union, but Mongolian communism remained independent of Moscow until Stalin came to power in 1928. Afterwards, the political path of Mongolia, as in all other states within the Soviet Block, was determined by the Stalinist principles as well as ComIntern and its Mongolian representative, the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party. Kh. Choibalsan came to power in 1928. Following Stalin’s order, forced collectivisation began, i.e. the seizure and redistribution of land and herds. It was at this time that religion and the religious community began to be oppressed as the representatives of the “perverted view” were pursued. Under the ComIntern pressure, it was determined that the total extermination of Buddhism was to be undertaken in Mongolia. It began with political and economic sanctions introduced during 1924-1937 and ended with the total confiscation of all monastic property The suppression was well planned and carefully executed. From the early 1920’s onwards the authority and power of high-ranking lamas and nobles was restricted and they had to pay taxes. Collections were made from their treasuries (san) and the financial units (jas) of monasteries. The Party started to force the lamas to become laymen and tried to hold back a new generation arising. An age limit of becoming a lama was set to more than 18 years of age and young novices were sent to state schools instead of monasteries. According to the documents kept in the National Archive, during the 1930’s information was recorded on the names and number of monasteries and temples in the countryside with a careful population census being conducted with an emphasis on lamas and their ranks. Lamas in the capital city, Ikh Khuree, were also enlisted mainly into military registers according to their names, age, home area, previous ranks, positions and activities, their incomes and literacy. High taxes were levied especially to lamas and also to all inhabitants throughout the country. The lamas of military age were sent to army or had to pay twice as much tax as others as a way of forcing them to leave their monasteries. According to the State Party Archive’s documents the religious activities, festivals, ceremonies and rituals, and all the requests of individuals for readings in temples became supervised and gradually repressed. However, these measures of the Party could not divert people from joining to monasteries and from supporting lamahood. After 1929 the first wave of repressions started, with more than 700 people, mostly lamas imprisoned or executed, their property seized and collectivized. Many monasteries were forced to close. However, the government was forced to back off for a time because of the rebellions that broke out in different parts of the country. According to Цlziibaatar, the first revolts against the monastic repression was in 1924-25 in Bayantьmen, Namnangiin Khьree (p. 288.). In the following years there were upsrisings in the biggest monastic cities such as Zayaaiin gegeen, Tцgsbuyant, Ulaangom, Bodonch, Lamiin gegeen, Bayanzьrkhiin Khьree (p. 291.). By the year of 1932 disapproval of party policy against the monastics spread all over the country. But the revolts were cruelly suppressed. Measures against the monasteries and clerics continued to be taken: new novices were not allowed to join monasteries; young lamas were made to join the army instead; it was forbidden to build new monasteries. However, according to Bawden (p. 352., p. 358.), ‘The New Turn Policy’ was 29 introduced in 1932, and, for a while, people were once again free to practice religion. The emptying out and destruction of temples was stopped along with the collectivization of livestock. Bawden states that over 300 monasteries and temples were re-activated between 1932 and 1936 and the number of lamas increased. However, this policy turned out to be only a short break in a long-term plan. Soon after this period the government began a merciless campaign against religion with the arrest of high-ranking lamas starting again in 1935, and leading to the bloody purges in 1937. The former Prime Minister P. Genden (1895-1937) was executed in Moscow by the KGB in 1937 for refusing Stalin’s orders to carry out the purges. Soon after Genden’s death, Choibalsan consolidated his power launching a reign of terror against the monasteries in which thousands of lamas were arrested and executed. The mass executions started after a decision was made by the Revolutionary Party’s Central Commission at Party’s 7th congress, which was issued on the 27th of December, 1937. In pursuance of the classless and non-religious ideals of the communist authorities, more than 30,000 people were killed. Throughout the country about 900 monasteries and many smaller assemblies were closed most of them being completely destroyed between 1932 and 1940. In the two years between 1937 and 1938 approximately 17,000 lamas were arrested and executed. Several show trials of high ranking lamas were held with the charge of ’counterrevolutionary activities’ being levelled against them. However, many of the victims were arrested and shot without a trial. All high ranking lamas, such as heads of monasteries, khutagts (’saints’) and khuwilgaans (’reincarnations’) and those having theological degrees were executed. The medium-ranked lamas were jailed for 10 to 15 years or forced to go to labour camps in Siberia or to the army whilst the lowest ranked lamas, mainly young novices, were forced to disrobe and became laypeople. Communal handicraft co-operatives (artel’) were established where ex-lamas were ordered to do “beneficial work for the society”. Others worked in agricultural co-operatives (negdel) in the countryside. During the period between 1924 and 1938 many other lamas left their monasteries and escaped to the countryside to survive the terror, where they became animal herders, workers and drivers. In this way, all the lamas who escaped execution or inprisonment became ordinary citizens. The monasteries were closed, emptied of their inhabitants and destroyed or burned to the ground. (It is estimated that there were about 1,000 monasteries in Mongolia before the purges , though the actual number may well be higher.) Countless holy books and manuscripts were burnt and numerous artifacts and objects of worship were destroyed. The most valuable items such as the golden, silver, copper and bronze statues, and precious stones were taken to the Soviet Union with the statues made from less precious materials often being melted down to be recast as bullets. This aggressive campaign against religion and lamas was part of the Communist authorities’ broader campaign to eliminate ‘counter-revolutionaries’, which was aimed not only at lamas but also at intellectuals (politicians, writers, thinkers, scientists, teachers) and others, hundreds of whom lost their lives. According to Pьrew (Mongoliin uls tцriin tцw, p 38.), and the outcomes of the present survey, there were about 100 temples and assemblies in the present Ulaanbaatar area. Most of them were destroyed especially those made of wood, which were burnt down. The few remaining temple buildings were nationalized and used for prosaic purposes, such as a prison, hospital, warehouse, circus or museum. The smaller temples on the outskirts of the city were not destroyed as such but were neglected with little remaining of them. Following the purges, monastic life effectively came to an end in the city, which was developed and reformed as the present day Ulaanbaatar was created. As Bawden says (p. 367.) ‘Practically nothing survives inUlaanbaatar to suggest that it lies on the site of the old Urga, the centre of Mongol Lamaism and once a rival in artistic splendour to Lhasa’. 30 The war with Japan in 1939 and the beginning of the Second World War put an end to the mass purges of the 1930’s. But the revolution and the purges resulted in everything being destroyed and cleared away, such as religion, the old economy based on monasteries, state institutions, and habits of people. The country was completely reorganized by the Soviets. In Ulaanbaatar new city planning was introduced, with Soviet-type concrete housing estates. Soviet schools opened, and the Soviet ideology was introduced to displace Buddhism. Simultaneously Cyrillic script was introduced which served as a foundation in state schools of ‘modern’ education. Medical centres were opened, religious representatives (shashnii tцlццlцgch) were appointed with the response to report to the Party and to participate in religious conferences to Moscow. It took a long time for peace to come to Mongolia: Choibalsan died in 1952 and was replaced by Tsedenbal, both of whom kept a tight and repressive grip on the country. It was only after Stalin’s death in 1953 that, by the mid 1960’s, Mongolia had relative peace. However, all religious worship and ceremonies remained prohibited until 1990, when the democratic change came at last.

City Structures, parts of the City and their Temples

The Rinchen map was compiled in 1979. His intention was to represent all the temples in the old capital that he could get information about. However, this does not mean that all of the temples he marked were active in the same time. The map marks the temple sites in a map of the city as it was in Rinchen’s lifetime. It reflects the temples existing during a more general time period of the early part of the 20th Century, as the suppression and the closing of temples was carried out gradually. It is known that not all of the marked temples were working immediately prior to the purges. Different political events also influenced these changes, such as the hounding out of the Chinese, which resulted in closing down the Chinese temples (some of them also marked on his map) in the 1920’s. Jьgder’s painting of the capital was painted in 1913 well before the repressions started, thus represents an earlier period. It shows the monasteries and temples active at the time. (Naturally, it does not mark the few temples founded after 1913.) The picture shows the structure of the capital city (Niislel Khьree) naming its main parts with Classical Mongolian inscriptions. For this section of the report, we used the above mentioned two primary sources, in addition to the descriptions given by our data providers and informants and the written evidence of other sources. Therefore our description of the city structure and its temples relates also to the general period from 1855 on to the early 20th century, during which the city gradually changed and developed. What follows is a detailed description of the capital city and its different areas, with all the monasteries and temples surveyed being indicated by an identifying number.

Ikh Khьree

The city settled in its permanent place in 1855, though it can be said that, from 1778, it was situated in the present Ulaanbaatar basin. From 1855 onwards it was divided into the following main parts: the principal monastic districts of Zььn Khьree and Baruun Khьree (Gandan and the area behind Gandan); the quarters inhabited by lay people (kharchuud) Ikh shaw’, Zььn kharchuud, Zььn цmnцd khoroo and Baruun цmnцd khoroo; the trade quarters Zььn damnuurchin and Baruun damnuurchin; the Russian quarter Konsuliin denj; and the Chinese merchant quarter Maimaa khot (Maimaachen). There were significant changes in the life of the capital in the early part of the twentieth century: in 1911 when the Manchu empire collapsed and the 8th jewtsьndamba 31 khutagt came to power as a religious and political leader; in 1921 when Baron Ungern von Sternberg and his White Russians were chased out, the revolution was won and Mongolia become independent; in 1924 when Mongolia became a People’s Republic with a constitution after the 8th jewtsьndamba khutagt’s death, the name of the city became Ulaanbaatar, and the suppression of religion started; and in 1937-38 when, after more than a decade of gradual suppression, almost every active monastery was destroyed and thousands of lamas, nobles and laymen were purged. Thus it cannot be said that from 1855 onwards to the 1937/38 purges the capital always looked the same as it it described below, as it underwent continuous change. As temples and places of worship were gradually closed as a result of these changes, the city itself was reframed into a modern city from a monastic centre. However, the main parts or districts in the city remained in place until 1938.

Zььn Khьree

Zььn Khьree (‘eastern monastic district’) or Nomiin Ikh Khьree (Rebogejai Gandanshaddublin) as identified by Rinchen (Rinchen 910), was the biggest district in the city. This was the administrative centre as well as housing the fenced-off Yellow (Shar ordon, founded first by Цndцr gegeen in 1639 as his residence) of the jewtsьndamba khutagt. The main assembly hall (Tsogchin dugan), called Bat tsagaan temple, was in the centre. The whole of the Zььn Khьree area with its constituent buildings can be seen in the detail in Jьgder’s painting. In the Tsogchin temple readings were held every day, with the participation of the old lamas and young novices (while the other lamas pursued their studies in the monastic colleges of Gandan). History records that 10,000 gelen lamas (tьmen gelen) gathered here for the biggest ceremonies coming from all the temples in Zььn Khьree and in Gandan. There were special ceremonies on the 8th, 15th and 30th of the lunar month. The other ceremonies depended on the wishes of the sponsors or donors (jandag, Tib. sbyin-bdag). The Tsam religious dance was performed twice a year in front of Shar ordon (Yellow Palace): a smaller one in winter (according to Gangaa, it was on the 29th of the middle winter month); and on the 9th of the last summer month about 100 deities were represented, on which date a longevity ceremony (Bat-orshil цrgцkh, or Danshig, Tib. brtan-bzhugs) was also performed (Gangaa, Khьree tsam, p. 19.). The Maitreya procession (Maidar ergekh), where the statue of the future Buddha, Maitreya was processed through the city, attracted many people. Other great annual ceremonies were held as well, such as the celebration of the Lunar New Year (Tsagaan sar, ’white month’) with its ceremonies commemorating Buddha’s defeat of six masters, the holders of heretical doctrines for fifteen days on in the first spring month. The most imposing buildings of Zььn Khьree and, indeed, the whole capital, were the golden roofed Dechingalawiin khural (Rinchen 925) within one fenced area with Dorj powran, the octagonal temple of the 3rd jewtsьndamba khutagt, Ochirdariin sьm (Vajradhara temple) and other yurt-palaces, temples and yurts which served as a place for religious and political meetings inside the enclosure of Shar ordon. Other buildings, yurt palaces were also situated here: for example, Khцkh torgon tugdum/ Tцriin khцkh tugdum (‘the blue silken yurt palace/ the blue yurt palace of the state’), which was where the great political assembly was held once a year. The sites of other temples and shrines like Tьnlkhagiin khural, Namsrain khural cannot be determined exactly, but they surrounded the residence of the jewtsьndamba khutagt. On either side of the Tsogchin temple, there were the Noyon shьteenii sьm and the Mamba datsan (1760) for medical, Zurkhain datsan (1789) for astrological, and Jьd datsan (1759) for tantric studies. These temple buildings were settled here in 1855 after the move 32 from Tolgoit. A special place of worship was the Maidar temple housing the 16m high Maitreya statue. During the reign of the 5th jewtsьndamba khutagt the abbot (khamba, Tib. mkhan-po) of Ikh Khьree, Agwaan Luwsan Khaidьw (Tib. Ngag-dbang blo-bzang mkhasgrub, 1779-1838) established the statue in 1834. Behind the Maitreya temple was the open-air kitchen where food for the lamas was prepared in huge metal vessels. Baruun цrgцц or Awtai sain khanii цrgцц (‘Palace of Awtai Sain khan’ or ‘Palace on the west’) was situated on the left side of Shar ordon. Moreover, the central complex (described above) was surrounded by the 30 aimags where the lama and noble population lived. The arrangement of the buildings of the various monastic assemblies of Zььn Khьree and Gandan was the same. It followed the principle of khьree deg, that is the arrangement of the aimag temples and the lamas’ dwellings in a circle or, more exactly, a U-shape around the central area comprising the main assembly hall and the principal monastic institutions all of which faced south. Countryside monastic cities throughout Mongolia were arranged in the same way sometimes with seperate aimags (such as Daichin wangiin khьree, present Bulgan aimag or Sain noyon khanii khьree / Uyangiin khьree, present Цwцrkhangai aimag), but in every case the lama population and laymen lived in yurts or fenced-off yurts placed around the temples of monastic complexes. Every aimag in Zььn Khьree (described in entry NOT in Rinchen 942) had many hundreds of lamas and its own square or yurt-shaped wooden or felt temple. One of them was Ekh daginiin aimgiin khural (Rinchen 926), the only aimag temple of the 30, which, for unknown reasons, is marked on Rinchen’s map. There were several printing houses (barkhan, Tib. par-khang) in Zььn Khьree, each with about ten workers carving the printing blocks and printing the religious books, which were mainly ordered by monasteries of the countryside. During the daytime people were allowed to enter freely into the Zььn Khьree area but, after 6 pm. women, except the old and children, were forbidden to remain in any part of the the whole district. It is said that policemen secured this order. There was a police unit called arwan tawnii tsagdaa (‘the police of 15’), which, according to Bawden (English text: p. 47., Mongolian text: p. 728.) was appointed by the Manchus in the latter half of the 19th cetury to patrol the environs of Urga and other settlements for fifteen miles around. (Bawden quotes this data from Natsagdorj, p. 167.) On all sides of the boundary of Zььn Khьree there were rows of prayer wheels on the peripheral road (goroo, Tib. skor, ‘circumambulation, circumambulate’). That on the south were called Dashchoinkhoriin khьrd (цlzii khutag nomiin khьrd, Tib. bkra-shis chos-‘khor, ‘prayer wheels of auspiciousness’). There were also stupas throughout Zььn Khьree. Litter was thrown beyond the path encircling Zььn Khьree, as the entire Zььn Khьree area had to be kept clean. These litter heaps can be seen on the paintings of Ikh Khьree. Within Zььn Khьree the streets and lanes were narrow and twisting with only a few gardens and trees. The gates of the khashaas (courtyards) were painted red, crowned with a tablet with the OM syllable carved on them (Pozneyev, p. 64.). Within the courtyard fences there were usually two Mongol yurts, one used as a (winter) residence of the lamas with a wooden entranceway to protect it from wind and one for the kitchen. The better-off lamas also built wooden houses where they spent the summer. As it is traditional in Mongolia the entrance of all the buildings and yurts faced to the south. In Zььn Khьree as well as in Gandan yurts and sometimes small wooden residential buildings were arranged in large fenced-off courtyards next to the temple buildings, which were made of brick, wood or housed in a yurt. According to Pozdneev’s description (p. 64.), one saw hardly any signs of life in the streets of Zььn Khьree. The jewtsьndamba khutagt gave blessings in the morning and pilgrims wandered from one temple to another until 11am at which time the temple 33 ceremonies were finished for the day and the gate of the gegeen’s palace was closed. Then, the worshippers either gathered in their lama friends’ yurts or spent the whole day in the market place. This was where the majority of lamas, along with other residents of Khьree, passed their leisure time.


Gandan (Tib. dga’-ldan) was the place of monastic education and pure morality in Ikh Khьree. As for the origins of its formation in the 19th century as a district in the capital, Pozdneev claims (p.76.) that tsanid rites (Tib. mtshan-nyid, philosophical studies) were introduced to the Khьree by Tibetan lamas, who came during the time of the 2nd jewtsьndamba khutagt with the leadership of Namjal gawj (Tib. rnam-rgyal dka’-bcu) and Rinchin Dorj gawj (Tib. rin-chen rdo-rje dka’-bcu). When their number reached fifty, the jewtsьndamba khutagt established a separate aimag for them in Erdene zuu. In 1756 he founded a temple for the study of tsanid (philosophy) in the area of Khьree and ordained Dьinkhor Manjushri lama as its head. Those who completed the course and took the examinations could receive a degree, which only the jewtsьndamba khutagt had the right to grant. Pozdneev adds that as Urga began to become a government and trading centre, the life in the Khьree began to bear down on the learned lamas. After their request to the 4th jewtsьndamba khutagt he established in 1809 a large and a small temple for philosophical studies. The 5th jewtsьndamba khutagt enlarged the small temple and named the two philosophical temples, Dashchoimbel and Gьngaachoilin datsan. He also built his winter residence (Didipowran) on Gandan hill in 1838 on the terrace of Dalkh (Dalkhiin denj). The name of this district of the city became Baruun Khьree (Baraγun kьriyen in written Mongolian, ‘western monastic district’) or Gandan. The main assembly hall (Tsogchin) called Gandantegchenlin (Rinchen 912), which later became the name of the whole temple complex, was in a fenced area along with three temples built to house the stupas for the relics of the 5th, 7th and 8th jewtsьndamba khutagts. In 1838, when Zььn Khьree was moved to Tolgoit, some of the datsans were settled in Gandan (Pьrew, Mongol tцriin golomt, p 23-24.) behind the fenced area, namely Dashchoimbel datsan (originally founded in 1756), Gьngaachoilin datsan (1809) and Badma yogo datsan (1806). Later the temples of Lamrim datsan (1844), Idgaachoinzinlin datsan (1910) and Migjid Janraiseg (Rinchen 913, built in 1911) were also established in Gandan. It was usual for the lamas of the three philosophical monastic schools to participate in the ceremonies and lessons of their home-datsan. This Gandan became the educational area of the city with only lamas living there studying in one of the monastic schools (datsan). Women were not allowed to enter the whole area neither were laymen or merchants. The only date when devotees and laypeople could enter Gandan district was on one of the festival days of the Buddha - 15th of the first summer month - when they were allowed to visit the temples and datsans for worship and prayer. This day commemorates three events in his life on the same day: his birth; the day he reached enlightenment or became a Buddha; and the day when he died, his parinirvana. In the two principal monastic districts in Ikh Khьree, Zььn Khьree and Gandan, the lamas lived in aimags depending on from where they came. In Цndцr Gegeen’s time there were aimags named after monastic functions (originally housing lamas who carried them out), but later aimags were founded for different criteria: for nobles; high ranking lamas; for the worship of different deities. The distinctive feature of the aimag structure was that young men joining the temples lived in the aimag along with those from the same countryside area. As numerous people moved to the capital, the districts became crowded in Zььn Khьree and new districts with the same names as the Zььn Khьree aimags had to be formed around Gandan to admit more people. (In the new Gandan aimags, the practice of settling incomers in the aimag inhabited by lamas from their locality continued). 34 Four policemen stood on either side of the Gandan complex to enforce the law against woman or merchants entering this part of the city. If a woman relative came to visit a lama, she had to shout out his name or call him from the gate, as they could only meet outside the complex fence or, if inside, in the presence of the policeman. The area occupied by Gandan can be seen in Jьgder’s painting in detail. As Pozdneev claims (p. 76.), there were 28 stupas on the west and north sides of Gandan sponsored and built by devotees. According to Dendew (p. 11.), these stupas and prayer wheels surrounded Gandan with Jarankhashar stupa (see entry NOT in Rinchen 960, Tsagaan suwragiin khural) in its northwest and the eight types of Buddha stupas in its northeast.






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