|The meeting of the Buddha
with the Old White Man,
is celebrated in May. The Kalmyks worship the Old White Mana (Belii Staretz)
as the protector of the universe and the caretaker of the year. On that
day the Mantra of the Belii Staretz is to be read:
Om namo sulu tumu doka tulu tun
Om tulu tulu dnya cuuxa xa xa xa
In addition to specific shamanic rituals for the God of the Earth and water, there are also Buddhist rituals associated with theGod of the Spring and Festival for the Earth.
Serbian women with her child
at the Temple
ceremonies and holidays are scrupulously observed by the Kalmyks every
year. The cycle of these ceremonies is comprised of four major religious
dates: Tsagan Sar - New Year; Urus-Ova-the festival of Spring; Zul - festival
of light; and Gal Tjal'gan. (See
The Temple was also the
place where all Kalmyk
took the place, memorial services for the deceased were conducted etc.
The cohesiveness of the Kalmyk social structure, the high sharing of cultural
beliefs in religion, the maintenance of basic values all serve to perpetuate
the basic continuity of Kalmyk culture and social relations.
|Note: Benjamin Bergmann
(1772-1856) translated several Kalmyk
texts and noted his observations of Kalmyk customs. His "Nomadische
Streifereien unter den Kalmüken in den Jahren 1802 und 1803",
Riga 1804-5, is still an important source for the study of the Kalmyks
and Lamaism in general.
see also: E.P. Bakaeva: "Buddhism in Kalmykia" , Elista, 1994.(In Russian)