Buddhism in Russia is one of the most widespread religious traditions in the country. Traditional areas where Buddhism is practiced are Buryatia , Tuva , Kalmykia , Altai Territory and Trans-Baikal Territory . Buddhist communities also exist in St. Petersburg , Moscow and other cities. Most of the adherents of Buddhism in Russia belong to the Gelug school, and a significant number of Russian Buddhists belong to the Karma Kagyu school .
The first evidence of the existence of Buddhism in the territory of modern Russia dates back to the 8th century. er They are associated with the state of Bohai , which in 698 - 926 occupied a part of today's Primorye and Amur. The Bohai, whose spiritual culture was greatly influenced by neighboring China , Korea and Manchuria , practiced Buddhism in one of the Mahayana movements.
As a living tradition, Buddhism in its Tibetan form has existed in Russia since the beginning of the 17th century , when some Kalmyk tribes accepted Russian citizenship.
From the 17th century, the Tibetan-Mongolian form of Buddhism spreads in Buryatia , where Mongolian and Tibetan lamas brought it, apparently fleeing from political events in their homeland. It is known that only in 1712 one hundred Mongolian and fifty Tibetan lamas arrived in the settlements of Selenga Buryat  .
By the time the Russian-Chinese border was established by the Kyakhta Treaty of 1727, Buddhism played a prominent role in the life of Buryat society. Russian Ambassador to China S. L. Raguzinsky-Vladislavich approved a border instruction prohibiting the passage of Mongolian lamas from Mongolia to Buryat uluses , and an order to begin preparations in the Buryat clans of their lamas, loyal subjects of the Russian emperor .
In 1741, Buddhism in the Russian Empire received indirect recognition thanks to a decree issued by the local Siberian government on behalf of the supreme monarch. The decree itself was mostly restrictive (it recorded the number of Buddhist monasteries and lamas) and was not an official recognition of Buddhism in the Russian Empire, but at the same time gave some privileges to lamas and “actually legitimized the Buddhist clergy”. As historian N.V. Tsyrempilov notes , it seems most likely that the decree was written during the regency period of Anna Leopoldovna , and the information that the decree was issued on behalf of Elizaveta Petrovna is “either erroneous or due to the political situation”  .
In 1764, Catherine II established the post of Pandita Hambo Lama - the head of the Buddhists of Eastern Siberia and Transbaikalia . This event is considered the recognition of Buddhism by one of the state religions of Russia.
In 1766, the Buryat lamas, in turn, recognized Catherine the Great as the embodiment of White Tara on Earth.
The manifesto of Emperor Pavel Petrovich of March 18, 1797 and the decree of Emperor Alexander Pavlovich of July 22, 1822 again confirmed the permission of free worship and the spread of Buddhism.
In 1914, Uryankhaysky Krai (now the Republic of Tuva ), where there were long-standing Buddhist traditions, passed under the protectorate of Russia. The spread of Buddhism in Tuva began in the XIII century, after the region was annexed by Russia, the authorities did not intervene in the spiritual affairs of the territory, in 1917 about three thousand lamas and novices lived in Tuva.
In 1917, Buddhism occupied one of the dominant places in the spiritual life of the peoples of Transbaikalia. He was confessed by almost all the Buryat population living here (about 160 thousand people). There were 44 datsan , 144 small temples, in which there were about 16 thousand monks-lamas.
In the 1930s, after several anti-Soviet uprisings of Buddhist monasteries, the USSR government took measures aimed at fighting Buddhism. By the beginning of 1941, not a single active datsan remained in the country, most of the clergy were repressed. The reason for the repressions was the fight against the Japanese intelligence and subversive network  , which had been active in Russia since the Russian-Japanese war of 1904-1905 and the Japanese military intervention in Soviet Russia of 1918-1922, which militaristic Japan (which at the time was aggressive The expansionist policy of the " Great East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere ") launched on the territory of the USSR in order to prepare for the subsequent occupation of the Soviet Far East and Siberia . In particular, the Japanese did a lot of undercover work among their co-religionists - the Buddhist peoples of the USSR; the Japanese intelligence network existed among the Buddhist clergy. Pravda wrote that “... Japanese intelligence is sometimes dressed as religious preachers, Buddhist and other priests. Establishing temples and monasteries, Japanese agents create well-disguised strong points for organizing espionage and sabotage  . Japan positioned itself as the patron saint of Buddhist peoples and, in order to attract Soviet Buddhists, especially Mongols and Buryats, offered to form a puppet Pan-Mongolian Buddhist state in the territories of the former USSR and transfer the power to the Jetsun dam , the traditional secular and spiritual head of the Mongols. In their efforts to attract the Buddhist peoples to their side, the Japanese went so far as to declare Japan Shambhala . Many Buddhist monks dissatisfied with the Soviet government participated in the spread of Japanese propaganda and collaborated with the Japanese intelligence and army  . In 1930–1932, part of the Mongolian Buddhist clergy participated in Mongolia in major popular uprisings against the authority of the MPRP (the Khubsugul uprising , the uprising of the Tugsbuyantsky, Ulangomsky and Budanchi monasteries). In 1932, Stalin was forced to stop in the MPR the pro-communist "left course", which caused discontent among the people in order to stop the uprisings  . An important factor was geopolitical: the desire to prevent the expansion of Japan to the west.
Partial rebirth of Buddhism in the USSR began in 1945 , after the defeat of Japan in the Soviet-Japanese war , when, at the request of the believers, the Ivolginsky datsan was built and began to operate, and in 1946 the USSR Government adopted the " Regulations on the Buddhist clergy in the USSR ", in accordance with which this datsan became the residence of the head of the Buddhists of the USSR.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the community of Bidia Dandaron was formed and became known, in which, besides the Buryats, Buddhists of many nationalities were included. The confession of Buddhism in this community did not formally violate the principle of freedom of conscience of the USSR Constitution . But state bodies were ready to tolerate only Buddhists who were Tuvinians, Buryats and Kalmyks by nationality. The state bodies reacted negatively to the new Buddhists of other nationalities, seeing in them danger and harm, and such Buddhists were forced into the underground until the late 1980s  . In 1974, Dandaron died in a camp at the age of 60. After 30 years in Buryatia a memorial suburgan dedicated to Dandaron was created and consecrated. Dandaron’s slogan was “Tantra to the West!”, And Dandaron’s students who later formed their own schools were many Russians, Ukrainians and residents of the Baltic states   .
In June 1988 , the first meeting of underground Russian Buddhists with teacher Bakula Rinpoche took place in Leningrad. In the same month, in the Ivolginsky Datsan, he bestowed the dedication of the anuttara yoga tantra class, the jenang of the Secret Practice of Damdin , to Russian Buddhists, and in 1990 he conducted the first sermon in the Buddhist temple returned to Buddhists  .
The subsequent liberalization of the religious policies of the authorities of the USSR and the Russian Federation allowed Russian Buddhists of various origins to emerge from the underground and openly engage in religious activities. In 1990, over a short period, more than 10 datsans opened and several more were built.
In 1996, a new Charter was adopted, in accordance with which the Central Spiritual Board of Buddhists of the Russian Federation was renamed the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia (BTSD). BTSR is a member of the World Buddhist Fellowship . BTSR is one of the Buddhist communities in Russia, along with several others  . BTSR is also the successor of the Central Spiritual Board of Buddhists (CDBD) that existed during the USSR period  . A centralized religious organization, the Central Spiritual Board of Buddhists, was also created and operates, which is not the legal successor of the Central Security Organization in the USSR. It united some Buddhist religious organizations, communities and centers of Buryatia, Kalmykia, Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities. In addition to BTSR and TsDUB based in Buryatia, there are other territorial-oriented centralized Buddhist organizations in Russia - the Association of Buddhists of Kalmykia and the Association of Buddhists of Tuva . Currently, there is no centralized organization that would unite all Buddhists in Russia. In addition, there are centralized organizations of various Buddhist traditions - Theravada, Zen, schools of Tibetan Buddhism, etc.
The presence of three Buddhist regions within the empire and the close proximity of other countries with Buddhist culture contributed in large part to the fact that in the 19th and early 20th centuries Russia had one of the strongest Orientalist schools in the world.
At the universities of St. Petersburg , Moscow, Kazan, Kharkov , as well as other major research centers, departments of Sanskritology, Tibetology, Synology were opened, major Buddhist treatises were translated, expeditions to Asia were filled. The works of V.P. Vasilyev ( 1818 - 1900 ), F. I. Shcherbatsky ( 1866 - 1942 ), E. E. Obermiller ( 1901 - 1935 ) and other prominent Russian orientalists serve as a model for scientists from all over the world. With the active assistance of leading Buddhists and the support of the tsarist government, the Buryat Lama Aghvan Dorzhiev (spiritual mentor and ambassador of Dalai Lama XIII) in 1915 built a Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg .
In the 1930s, there was a period of persecution of both Buddhism and Buddhology. For almost two decades, Buddhist studies have ceased in Russia.
The partial revival of Buddhism and the Buddhist tradition began in the 1950s and 1960s , but at the official level they were rehabilitated only at the turn of the 80-90s. In the seventies, Bidia Dandaron organized among the Buddhist scholars a small Buddhist group, against which the trial began. In 1972, Dandaron was convicted, and the authorities began to treat Buddhology with great suspicion.
In 1989, a Buddhology group was created at the St. Petersburg branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences under the direction of V. I. Rudoy , the first officially registered Buddhological trend since Shcherbatsky. Since then, branches and departments of Buddhology have appeared in several universities, and the process of restoring oriental science goes faster.
In 1997, the BION SB RAS was renamed into the Institute of Mongolian Studies, Buddhology and Tibetology of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMBT SB RAS) .
The development of Buddhism since 1990
In Buryatia , Kalmykia , Tuva , St. Petersburg , surviving Buddhist temples are being restored and new temples are being opened, educational institutions are being created at monasteries, and Tibetan teachers are being invited.
In Russia, Buddhism is also gaining popularity among Russians and other nations.
At present, many Buddhist schools are represented in Russia: Theravada , several Mahayana areas, including Japanese Zen , Korean sleep, and almost all schools of Tibetan Buddhism .
Currently, the number of Zen followers in Russia is "very small", as is the number of Zen communities. At the same time, the impact of Zen in cultural and ideological spheres in some cases is “noticeable”. The Zen school with the largest number of followers in Russia is the Korean school, Kwan Um  .
Buddhism in the Russian Federation is proclaimed one of the four traditional religions for Russia, along with Orthodoxy, Sunni Islam and Judaism.
On May 18 - 19, 2009 in Moscow for the first time in Russia the forum “Days of traditional Russian Buddhism” was held. Representatives of Buryatia , Kalmykia and Tuva took part in this event. The forum hosted a dialogue between various schools of Buddhism , practicing Buddhists and representatives of the Russian Buddhist school. The forum was held at the N. Roerich International Center Museum   .
In Russia, Buddhism is traditionally practiced by residents of Buryatia , Trans-Baikal Territory, Kalmykia , Tuva , Altai . The number of ethnic Buddhists in these regions is about 900 thousand people  . In recent years, Buddhist communities have arisen in Moscow , St. Petersburg , Samara and some of the other largest Russian cities that are not associated with the traditional regions of Buddhism. The number of Buddhists in these cities, according to surveys, is about 1% of their inhabitants. The same percentage is the number of Buddhists nationwide  . The number of Russian Buddhists performing the practice is not more than 500 thousand people  .
The Russian authorities recognize the Buddhist clergy and in some cases assist it. As of January 1, 2011, 9 duhans and 6 prayer rooms for Buddhists officially operated in the FSIN system  .
Buddhist temples and monasteries in Russia
- Tupden Shedubling (built since 2015)
- Kunphenling (Kunsungar)
- Thubten Ling
- Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg
Republic of Kalmykia
- Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni Elista
- Hedden Shcheddup Choikorling
- Great Victory Temple Great Tsaryn
- Ketchenerovsky khurul
- Tsaganamansky Khurul
- Maloderbetovsky Khurul
- Lagansky Khurul
- Tsagan Atha Ulan-Khol
- Dzhalykovsky Khurul
- Syakyusn-Sume Arshan (Kalmykia)
- Yashkul Khurul
- Gorodovikovsky khurul
- Komsomol Khurul
- Ikiburulsky Khurul
- Yashaltinsky Khurul
- Priyutinsky Khurul
- Sadovsky Khurul
Republic of Buryatia
- Ivolginsky datsan (Khambyn Sume)
- Gusinoozersky (Tamchinsky) datsan
- Ulan-Ude datsan (Khambyn-Khure)
- Murochinsky datsan (Baldan Braybun)
- Kurumkansky datsan
- Sartul-Gegatu datsan
- Atagan-Dyrestuysky datsan
- Tabangut-Ichetuysky datsan
- Sartuul-Bulag datsan
- Egituysky datsan
- Sanaginsky datsan
- Kizhinginsky datsan
- Tugnui datsan
- Kyrensky datsan
- Khoymor datsan
- Aninsky datsan
- Chesan Datsan
Republic of Tuva
The names and places are written in their original form (Tuva dyl), with an emphasis on special pronunciation
- Tsechenliң (Office Kamby-Lama RT)
- Kөөp-Sөөk Hүrezi
- Shedup Darjaliң Hүreesi
- Tubten Choyliң Hүreesi
- Aldy-Khuree (Chadan)
- Tүbten Sheddupliң
- Өвүрнүң Dugans
- Gandan Doyoliң-Ulug-Hemniң Dugany
- Dashi Pandeliң (pgt. Kaa-Khem)
- Dolmali (Mgun-Taiga)
- Samagaltay Khurezi
- Erzinniң Hүrezi
- Kaa-Hemniң Dugan
- Bai Haaktyң Dugan
- Hovu-Aksynyk Dugans
- Стүү-Хүреэ (Chadan)
- Gandan Puntsogliң (Dharma Center of Kyzyl)
- Buddhist temple in Omsk (under construction)
- Ust-Orda (Abaganat) datsan
- Aginsky datsan
- Tsugolsky datsan
- Chita datsan
- Ugdan datsan
- Shedrub Ling - a temple on Mount Kachkanar , known in the media because of attempts by the authorities to demolish it, since it is located in the sanitary zone of the proposed quarry for the development of the Kachkanar deposit   .
- Buddhism by country
- Buddhism in Buryatia
- Buddhism in Kalmykia
- Buddhism in Tyva
- Buddhist temple in St. Petersburg
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