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Gandantegchinlen Monastery

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Gandan Monastery 26.JPG
Stupa and other buildings at Gandan Monastery



The Gandantegchinlen Monastery (Mongolian: Гандантэгчинлэн хийд, Gandantegchinlen Khiid short Name: Gandan Mongolian: Гандан, Chinese: 甘丹寺, Gāndān Temple), is a Tibetan-style Monastery in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar that has been restored and revitalized since 1990.

The Tibetan Name translates to the "Great Place of Complete Joy."

It currently has over 150 Monks in residence. It features a 26.5-meter-high statue of Migjid Janraisig, a Buddhist Bodhisattva also known as Avalokitesvara. It came under state protection in 1994.

History

The Monastery was constructed by Order of the 5th Jebtsundampa in 1809. The first temple was the Gungaachoilin Datsan.

Only one wooden pillar remains from this temple.

In 1838 the Gandantegchenlin Temple was built along with the private residence of the Jebtsundamba.

The 13th Dalai Lama stayed in this residence in 1904.

In 1840 the Vajradhara Temple was built. In 1869 the Zuu Temple was built.

In 1913 the tall Megjid Janraisig temple was built. In 1925 the temple for keeping the remains of the 8th Jebtsundamba was built. It is now the Monastery library.

In the 1930s, the Communist government of Mongolia, under the Leadership of Khorloogiin Choibalsan and under the influence of Joseph Stalin, destroyed all but a few Monasteries and killed more than 15,000 lamas.

Gandantegchinlen Khiid Monastery, having escaped this mass destruction, was closed in 1938, but then reopened in 1944 and allowed to continue as the only functioning Buddhist Monastery, under a skeleton Staff, as a token homage to traditional Mongolian culture and Religion. With the end of Marxism in Mongolia in 1990, restrictions on worship were lifted.

Statue

The original statue, made of copper, was built after appeals to the Mongolian public; its intent was to restore the sight of Bogd Javzandamba (or the eighth Jebtsundamba, also known as Bogd Khan), who had claimed the title of Emperor of Mongolia.

The statue was built by Bogd Javzandamba's principal minister, Chin Wan Khanddorj.

Russian troops dismantled the original statue in 1938.

After the end of the Soviet era, the statue of Migjid Janraisig was rebuilt in 1996, funded by donations by the Mongolian people. It features 2,286 precious stones and is gilded with gold leaf.

Since 1992 Supreme Leader of the Centre of All Mongolian Buddhists and Abbot Lama of Gandantegchenling Monastery is Lama Gabju Choijamts Demberel.

The Monastery is surrounded by the Gandan ger suburb.

Source

Wikipedia:Gandantegchinlen Monastery