Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mongolia | Övörkhangai Aimag | Erdene Zuu | Laviran Temple | Statues of Javsandamba

In addition to attending the Puja at the Larivan Temple at Erdene Zuu I also wanted to photograph the statues of the first sixteen incarnations of Javsandamba located on the second floor of the temple. As you probably know, Zanabazar (1635–1723) was the seventeenth incarnation of Javsandamba and the First Bogd Gegeen of Mongolia. The day I visited the temple was of course Zanabazar’s 376th birthday. 
Laviran Temple
Historical Consultant Saka and Davaa, who drove us to Kharkhorin. 
Saka with eight of the statues
The first incarnation of Javsandamba reportedly lived during the time of the Buddha Sakyamuni. Up to and including Taranatha, who died in 1634, there were sixteen incarnations of Javsandamba. Tarantha announced before he died that he would not be returning to Takten Damcho Ling, the monastery he had founded in Tibet, but would instead be reborn in a different land where he could do more to spread the Dharma. This turned out to be Mongolia. Zanabazar, the First Bogd Gegeen of Mongolia, was born in 1635. The Ninth Bogd Gegeen, who was born in Tibet, now lives in Ulaanbaatar and was recently recognized as the head of Buddhism in Mongolia. 
1. Taameddov
2. Lodoinamdag
3. Barbizobo

 4. Narbojodva
5. Radenchenbo
6. Ronsomchoison
7. Darmavanchig
8. Odserbal
 9. Brügdeijantsan
10. Sanjaaraichin
11. Sanrabadra
 12. Jamyam Tsorj. One of the more notable incarnations. He was born in Tibet near Samye Monastery. A close disciple of Zonkhov (Tsongkapa), founder of the Gelug Sect, Jamyam Tsorj established Drepung Monastery in Lhasa in 1416 and also built hundreds of temples and hermitages all over Tibet. He is shown here wearing the yellow hat of the Gelug Sect. 
13. Choijininjed
14. Gungaadolchog
15. Gajedsajon
16. Jonan Darnata (Taranatha)
Taranatha was a staggeringly prolific writer whose collected works amounted to sixteen hefty volumes. One of his most influential works was The Tara Tantra, perhaps the best-known text of the Tara Cult. His interest in Tara was passed on to his next incarnation, Zanabazar, whose Statues of Tara are among the greatest works of Buddhist art ever produced. Taranatha also claimed in his autobiography that he visited Shambhala in a dream state. Unlike other visitors, he reported that the fabled kingdom was inhabited mainly by women. 
Monk at Laviran Temple

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