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Sazykin A. The Message of the Three Sacred Mongol Lamas // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 7, No 4, December 2001. P. 5-11.


The genre of messages, which has a long history in Buddhist literature, was most popular among Mongolian Buddhists. The large number of manuscripts containing injunctions has survived in both foreign and Mongolian collections of manuscripts and xylographs. Rich material for the study of this genre of Mongolian literature is found in the collection of manuscripts and xylographs at the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies; at present, it holds some 200 items that contain no fewer than 50 different “orders”, “bequests”, “royal messages”, “edifications” and “prophecies”. In content, they can be divided into two main categories: prophetic messages and sermon messages. The majority of epistles identified in the collection contain prophecies by celestial beings or the upper echelons of the Buddhist Church in Tibet and Mongolia; they “usually foretell the coming of a difficult time and give instructions on deeds that please the gods”. Prophetic messages contain cither an exposition of the general requirements of Buddhist morality or a condemnation of specific inclinations unacceptable to the Buddhist Church such as unbridled drunkenness, smoking, games of chance, etc…

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Keywords


criticism of Shamanist beliefs
Manuscripta Orientalia, selected papers
Mongol Lamas
Mongolian manuscripts
sermon messages

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