Schools of Buddhism

Many Kalmyks regard the Dalai Lama's visits to Kalmykia as one of the most important and auspicious events in the spiritual and social life of Kalmykia. Believers also feel blessed by the visits of other prominent Buddhist scholars and leaders to the steppe republic, including the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje (head of the Karma Kagyu lineage), Ole Nydahl (the founder of the Diamond Way Buddhism of Karma Kagyu), the 41st Sakya Trizin (head of the Sakya tradition), the 8th Arjia Rinpoche (reincarnation of Lumbum Gye, father of Tsong Khapa, the founder of Gelug), and others. Gelug now being the dominant school, all other traditional schools of Buddhism are currently represented in Kalmykia.

Among them the followers of Kagyu have been especially active. Apart from inviting teachers and organising popular seminars, the school has built a stupa, which houses a meditation venue, and a temple in Elista. The Nyingma and Sakya schools also each have a temple. In this collection, you can see not only interviews with teachers and lamas of various schools of Buddhism but also stories by lay people about their experiences and understanding of Buddhism.

Agvan Eshey, About Buddhism in Kalmykia


Anna Sangadzhi-Goryaeva, Kalmyk Lamas of the Past and the Present


Lidzhi Amikov, Buddhism as a Philosophy and Practice


Lidzhi Amikov, Building Stupas


Oleg Mandzhiev, Religion and Religious Dissidence in the Soviet Period


Sanal Mukubenov, Buddhism: History, Monasteries, Sacred Places and Monastic Dress