Countries and Peoples of the East. Vol. XXXVI. Religions of the East. Ed. by I.F.Popova, T.D.Skrynnikova.Moscow: Nauka - Vostochnaya literatura 2015. 431 p. ISBN 978-5-02-039952-5.
I. The State, Religion and Church
D.D. Amogolonova. Buddhism in Buryatia: The Russian State and Religious Competition — 5
The paper discusses the problem of interaction of religious institutions
in a multiethnic community based on the data of Buryatia. Using various materials
(archival, academic, and journalistic), the author examines the history of the
competition between Orthodoxy and Buddhism in imperial times as well as the relationship
between these two religious traditions at present. The author argues that,
despite recourse to administrative resources, Orthodox clergy failed to achieve significant
success in suppressing Buddhism in Transbaikalia, which was due to two
factors, namely the adaptive capacity of Buddhism and the motives of the state that,
for political reasons was interested in the institutionalization of the Buddhist religion
and control over it rather then in Christianization of Buryats. In today’s desecularization
of socio-cultural practices, freedom of conscience in Russia has become a
reality, and the Buddhist-Shamanic complex, having pushed back Orthodoxy, became
the most important characteristic of the region and its “brand”. Simultaneously,
adaptive traditions of loyalty to the authorities, inherited from the imperial
period, promote the significance of Buddhist organizations, primarily the Buddhist
Traditional Sangha of Russia, in many aspects of social life in Buryatia.
Key words: Buryats, Buddhism in Buryatia, Russian Orthodoxy in Buryatia,
the Russian Empire, religious competition, desecularization, Buddhist Traditional
Sangha of Russia, Hambo Lama Damba Ayusheev.
I.D. Bogdanov. The Role of the Royal Pyramid in the Mythological Consciousness of Egyptian Officials in the Old Kingdom — 42
Despite the ingrained view that special troops of “builders of the
pyramids” existed in the Old Kingdom Egypt, this occupation is not attested among
the administrative titles. We know only one Old Kingdom title with the “pyramid”
element: jmj-rȝ ḳdw mr “overseer of the pyramid builders”, it is twice attested in the
Wadi Hammamat inscriptions (М 103 and G 21). The concept of “pyramid” in the
officials’ title is syntactically emphasized and represents not a building but an administrative
department sending working groups to the expedition. However, such
“department of the pyramid” never existed in the Old Kingdom administrative structure,
so the term “pyramid” can be considered a fictitious addition to the title. Therefore,
the officials tried to label their workplace as the new cult space to include it
into the pyramid and its necropolis cult space, where their own funerary domains
Special attention is paid to the study of the title jmj-rȝ wpwt mn-nfr-ppj m s‘ḥ‘
njwt “overseer of the pyramid commissions mn-nfr-ppj (during) the erection of the
city”, mentioned in the cylinder seal inscription from Tell el-Maskhuta. The article
delivers an overview of the titles with a special emphasis on the major part jmj-rȝ wpwt “overseer of the commissions” in the cult of the pyramid mn-nfr-ppj. In particular,
a hypothesis as to the identities of nj-‘nḫ.j-snfrw / ffj (False-door in the North
Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh 2006-15) and ffj / ṯȝjt(j) (False-door in the
G. Sinopoli Coll.) has been put forward.
Key words: Old Kingdom Egypt, pyramid, mythological consciousness, administrative
history, titles, work organization.
N.V. Grigoryeva. The Vietnamese Cult of Hùng Kings: From an “Invented Tradition” to the Intangible Cultural Heritage — 58
The paper analyzes the evolution of the Hùng kings’ cult in medieval,
colonial and independent Vietnam. Applying the conceptual term of “invented
tradition”, the author examines two components of the cult (Confucian cult of the
previous dynasties and worship of tutelary spirits) and connects the periods of the
cult’s growth with the major points in Vietnamese history. Finally, the paper defines
the role of the cult in contemporary Vietnam and views its recognition as intangible
Key words: Vietnam, Hùng kings, Confucianism, the cult of the rulers of
previous dynasties, worship of tutelary spirits, “invented tradition”, intangible cultural
Y.A. Ioannesyan. Baha’is in the Russian Empire: The First Organized Community outside Iran — 72
Baha’is, who moved to the Ashkhabad area from Persia soon after
that territory had been incorporated into the Russian Empire, formed a fully organized
religious community there, which was the first of its kind in the history of this
religion. It reached a high level of development in a region which was then characterized
by an almost absolute illiteracy of the local population. The community went
down in history also as the site of the first Baha’i temple in the world. The article
provides data about other Baha’i communities and groups in prerevolutionary Russia
too. It considers the policy of the Russian government and the attitude of Russia’s
academic and literary circles towards the Baha’i religion and its communities on the
basis of some recently discovered archival materials.
Key w o rds : politics of imperial Russia towards religious minorities, religious
tolerance, Buha’i faith in Russia.
R.Yu. Pochekaev. Islam, Taxes and the Empire: The Tax Institution of Zaket in Bukhara and Khiva During the Russian Protectorate — 97
This article deals with the problem of taxation policy of the Russian
Empire in Central Asia in the second half of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th
century. The author analyses the specific features of relations between imperial authorities
and both secular rulers of Bukhara and Khiva and Mohammedan clergy, as
well as methods and instruments of modernization used by the Russian Empire in its Central Asian regions and protectorates. The analysis is based on the example of the
attitude of the Russian administration of Turkistan region to the Islamic tax institution
zaket in the Emirate of Bukhara and Khivan Khanate.
Key words: Russian Empire, Emirate of Bukhara, Khivan Khanate, Islam,
Shariat, zaket, taxation policy, modernization.
T.D. Skrynnikova. Buryat Shamanism Today — 113
The paper is aimed at the analysis of the functions of shamanism in
the modern Buryat society: on the one hand, how the traditional ritual mechanisms
are being restored and, on the other hand, how they are modified. The author marks
the increasing role of shamanism in explaining and justifying the modern world order:
the typical feature of the post-soviet shamanism is modifying cosmogonic and
sociogonic functions of the rituals when communication between the community
and deities is established by means of constructing a cult object, and the participation
of different Buryat clans delineates the borders of a new community that is confirmed
by the ritual and is thus manifested. Analysis of the system of ideas and specific
ritual practices enabled us to show how the cultic shaping of the social ties between
ethnic groups and natural resource based livelihood actualizes the interrelation
between man and nature in the traditional culture of the Buryats. The paper also focuses on the fact that nowadays, in contrast to the early twentieth century, shamanism
along with Buddhism becomes the most important factor in the consolidation
of the Buryats as a cohesive ethnic group.
Key words: shamanism, restoration, modification, ritual practitioners, functions,
A.D. Tsendina. The Buddhist Institute of Reincarnations as a Field for Political Speculations (in Written and Oral Sources of the Mongols of the 17th to early 20th Century) — 141
The article describes how certain peculiarities of the institute of reincarnations
were used in Mongolia for political purposes ― to elect the “right”
person, to remove authoritative Lamas from the historical arena, to establish local
lines of rebirth. As an example, two historical episodes of such manipulations are analyzed: the appointment of a grandson of Tushetu Khan as a reincarnation of
Taranatha and the emergence of the cult of the Sixth Dalai Lama in Alashan. How
these episodes are reflected in traditional Mongolian historiography and oral tradition
of the Mongols is also shown.
Key words: reincarnations, Mongolian traditional historiography, historical
II. Doctrines: Texts and Practices
M.S.-G. Albogachieva. The Influence of the Socio-Philosophical Ideas of the Hanbali Preacher Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani on the Islamic Culture of the Caucasus Peoples — 160
The text deals with the influence of social and philosophical ideas
of Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani on the formation of the new trend in Islam, called Qadiri
tariqat. A brief historical reference on spreading of the tariqat in the world is given.
Particular attention is paid to the functioning of Qadiri tariqat in the North-Eastern Caucasus. Ethnographical specifics of Qadiri religious practices in Dagestan, Chechnya,
Ingushetia are emphasized. Detailed description of preparation and course of
the loud zikr-jakhr ritual in the Caucasian variation of these Sufi practices is given,
with the usage of tambourine, violin and psychotechnics such as motion expression,
breathing exercises, melodeclamation, etc. The area of Qadiri tariqat functioning in
the Caucasus, other regions of Russia and abroad, in the regions where its followers
live compactly, is defined.
Key words: Qadiri tariqat, Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani, Kunta-Haji, Islam, sermon,
zikr-jakhr, adepts, Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Ossetia, the wird (the brotherhood),
K.V. Alekseev. The Mongolian Kanjur: Genesis and Structure — 190
The article gives an overview of the Mongolian Kanjur enshrining
translations of a large and diverse body of texts traditionally ascribed to the Buddha.
It describes the sources and genesis of the Kanjur, and expounds new data that
allows us to reconsider the established notions of its structure and correlation between
Key words: the Kanjur, Buddhist canon, Mongolian translated literature.
A.V. Zorin. Harihariharivāhana Avalokiteśvara (Avalokiteśvara Riding Viṣṇu, Garuḍa and Lion) in the Tibetan Buddhist Canon and in the Interpretation by Tāranātha — 229
The paper deals with a special form of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara,
— the one Riding the God Viṣṇu, the bird Garuḍa and the Lion (all the three
can be named with the same Sanskrit word, hari, hence the deity’s complex name Harihariharivāhana). The analysis and translation of two texts from the Tibetan
Buddhist Canon that describe this deity’s Tantric practice are presented. They are
compared, too with a later text by the Tibetan author Tāranātha in whose interpretation
not only Viṣṇu but also the Garuḍa and the Lion appear as embodiments of the
great Hindu Gods, Rudra and Brahma, which serves the idea of Buddhism’s superiority
Key words: the Tibetan Buddhist Canon, Avalokiteśvara, sādhana, Tāranātha,
D.G. Kiknadze. The Meaning of Sutras and Statues in Vulgar Japanese Buddhism of the Heian Period (Based on the Data of the Setsuwa Story-book Uji Shui Monogatari, 13th Century) — 241
The author of this article based on the data of Japanese narrative
setsuwa prose as exemplified by the Uji Shui Monogatari (宇治拾遺物語,
“A Collection of Tales in Uji”, 13th century) considers the peculiarities of usage of
popular sacred objects in Japanese Buddhism, such as sutras and self-made statues
among the commoners.
>Key words: setsuwa literature, Heian period, Uji Shui Monogatari, Buddhism,
Boddhisattva Kannon, statues, Boddhisattva Jizo.
K.G. Marandjian. Relationship between Buddhism and Confucianism in the Tokugawa Period — 260
The article deals with the relationship between Buddhism and
Confucianism in the Tokugawa period. It shows that attempts to prove the “religiosity” of Confucianism can hardly provide an adequate explanation of Buddhism-
Confucianism interaction, while the traditional concept of the “three teachings” allows
one to understand why the framework of their relations varied from syncretism
to differentiation, not to say open confrontation.
Key words: Buddhism and Confucianism, the triad of learning, religion, heresy,
Tokugawa period (1603–1868).
S.L. Neveleva. The Ethnographical Substratum of the Ancient Indian Epics — 275
The article deals with the major folklore theory as applied to Indian
epics, which, like the others, constitutes a generalized version of its concrete
antecedents. In the process of its evolution from a heroic epos to a religious-didactic
work, the Mahābhārata had become the great monument of Sanskrit epic literature.
The main focus of modern scientific research of the epic contents is on theoretical
conclusions about connection between ancient ritual and epic text.
Key words: ancient, Indian, Epics, Mahābhārata, ethnographical, substratum,
tradition, epic, oral, genesis, incorporation, monument, historical-typological, plot.
V.M. Rybakov. Law and Order as Tang China’s Means of Communication with World on High — 298
It is difficult to overestimate the significance of Confucianism for
traditional China. The theory and practice of ruling, management, education and
selection of personnel for the state bureaucracy completely relied on principles formulated
by Confucius. These principles were firm, but rather flexible. For example,
Confucians, following their teacher, demonstrated a very negative attitude to mysticism
and the supernatural world in general. On the other hand, imperial ideology,
negative monopolized the form and content of state rituals, directly appealed to the
support of supernatural forces in the governance of the country. Paradoxically, Confucian-
educated officials were responsible for organizing public rituals, for all
preparations for them, for their legal support. And they did it with their thoroughness
and efficiency, as if it was a common matter like farm or factory administering.
Key words: Traditional China, Confucianism, imperial ideology, Chinese
criminal law, state rituals.
III. Teachers: Saints, Reformers and Apostates
E.V. Gusarova. Joasaph II, the Metropolitan of Ethiopia, at the Initial Stage of its Political Disintegration (Late 18th — Early 19th Century AD) — 324
The present article is based on rather scarce data on the Metropolitan
Joasaph II (III) who was at the head of the Ethiopian Church during 33 years at
the beginning of one of the most complicated periods in its history marked with the
almost complete collapse of the Christian kingdom in the Horn of Africa. All the
mentions of that high-ranking clergyman extracted from the royal chronicle of the
King Täklä Giyorgis I were thoroughly examined; moreover, a previously unknown
list of the Metropolitans of Ethiopia, which contains the unique data about Joasaph II,
was for the first time taken from an unpublished manuscript of the monastery Däbrä
Damo and translated into Russian with commentary. As a result, the author succeeded
in making a consistent sketch of that ambitious person who was unable to put
an end to the long-standing theological schism in the Ethiopian Church, but left fond
memories of himself among his flock.
Key words: Ethiopian Church, Metropolitan of Ethiopia, Church hierarchy,
King of Ethiopia Täklä Giyorgis I, political disintegration in the Horn of Africa.
E.P. Ostrovskaya. The Image of Vasubandhu in Buddhist Tradition and Oriental Studies — 342
Written heritage of Vasubandhu (4th–5th centuries AD), one of
the most prominent Buddhist teachers of medieval India, is the source for studying
the philosophy of Northern Hināyāna schools of Vaibhāṣika and Sautrantika and of
Mahāyāna school of Yogācāra. Traditional notions concerning his philosophical
evolution, formed in Chinese and Tibetan cultures, were determined by the features
peculiar to the development of Buddhist philosophical thought in Tibet and China.
Marking the milestones of scholarly discussion on Vasubandhu, the author concentrates
upon new outcomes of the study of his philosophical conception correcting
the hagiographical legend about his transition to Mahāyāna.
Key words: Buddhist philosophy of early medieval India, Vaibhāṣika,
Vasubandhu, Yogācāra, Mahāyāna, Sautrantika, Northern Hināyāna.
L.D. Simonian. The Popular Cult of Hovhannes of Odzun — 362
A church and political figure of the 8th century, Hovhannes of Odzun
is known as a legislator who composed the code of the church’s canons that
turned the politically dependent Armenian population into a “state within the state”.
Among common people, stories about his miracles were distributed and written
down since the 10th century, telling about the witnessing newborn child, the marvelous
sword, the immersing of the saint’s hand in boiling water, the cure of a Byzantine prince who brought the Holy Sign apt to turn rivers around to Armenia. The
most popular of those narrations is the story of the huge snake turned to stone by the
saint, which may be observed not far from the monastery Srbanes in the village of
Ardvi where St. Hovhannes is buried. Srbanes and the half-ruined monastery Horomayr,
connected with the saint’s stories, remain the places of mass pilgrimage, sacrifice
offers and worship. It is believed that the spring called Navel of the Snake provides
cure for many diseases, and the grave of the saint can deliver sufferers from
many maladies and give children.
The cult of the saint exists without clergymen and includes several folk innovations
such as wishes which come true through striking the monastery bell, bringing
flowers to the grave of the saint.
Key words: Saint Hovhannes of Odzun, Holy Sign, Ardvi, Horomayr, pilgrimage,
A.A. Turanskaya. Milarepa’s gurbum in the Context of Tibeto-Mongolian Hagiography — 378
Being a sort of a supplement to Milarepa’s biography, the “Collected
Songs”, also known under the short name Gurbum, had a profound impact on
the development of Tibetan and Mongolian medieval literature, especially hagiography
and poetry. Compiled in 1488 by a famous Tibetan scholar Tsang Nyon Heruka
(tib. gTsang smyon he ru ka, 1452–1507), this text arose as the result of the development
of an extensive biographical tradition of Milarepa, gradually absorbing a
multitude of texts and narratives extending back for some four hundred years. The
article is aimed at compensating the deficiency of data on the development and existence
of the hagiographic tradition of this Tibetan yogin and poet in Tibet and Mongolia.
The article presents a brief description of nine texts, histories and fragments of
which were subsequently included in the Gurbum, compiled by Tsang Nyon Heruka,
and also a description of original Mongolian texts dedicated to Milarepa.
Key words: Tibetan and Mongolian hagiography, Gurbum, Milarepa, Tsang
Nyon Heruka, Shiregetu Gushi Corji.
A.L. Khosroev. Two Early Christian “Heretics”, Cerinthus and Cerdo, on the Road to Marcion (Materials Relevant to the History of Early Christianity) — 403
On the basis of an analysis of ancient sources the author views two
early Christian “heretics”, namely Cerinthus and Cerdo, not as forerunners of the philosophical
Christian Gnosticism, but as those who paved the way for that kind of a radical
Christianity which found its fulfillment in the theological system of Marcion.
Key words: early Christianity, Judeo-Christianity, Gnosticism, heresiology,
The Authors Published in This Issue — 427
Random news: Announcements
On April 20–22, 2022, the First All-Russian Academic Conference “The Written Heritage of the Orient” in memory of M. I. Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya (1933–2021) will be held at the IOM RAS. The conference program is now available.