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Title: Indigenous efforts and dimensions of Mongolian Buddhism exemplified by the Mergen Tradition
Author: Ujeed, Uranchimeg Borjigin
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis investigates the indigenous efforts and dimensions of Mongolian Buddhism on the local and practical levels exemplified by the Mergen Tradition of Inner Mongolia, China. The Mergen Tradition is a set of local Buddhist practices centred in Mergen Monastery, in which Buddhism was practised purely in the Mongolian language. The Mergen Tradition of Mongolian Buddhism has survived until the present and its influence has been disseminating to other parts of both Inner Mongolia and Mongolia. The thesis proceeds from general discussion to specific studies, as follows: Chapter 1 provides a historical overview of the influence and development of Buddhism in Mongolia. It proceeds from Mongols' different levels of interaction with Buddhism to their two national conversions to Tibetan Buddhism. Chapter 2 examines the most common overarching features of Mongolian Buddhism from two main perspectives: single school Gelukpa Buddhism established under Manchu political control and Tibetan spiritual dominance, and the Mongolisation of Buddhist doctrine through Mongolian literary works. Chapter 3 describes the initiation of the Neichi Toyin Line in eastern Mongolia and its use of the Mongolian language instead of Tibetan. Chapter 4 explores the origin, formation and institutionalisation of the Mergen Tradition. Chapter 5 investigates the reasons why such a unique tradition was able to form and persevere under Manchu political control and Tibetan religious dominance. Chapter 6 introduces the practices of the Mergen Tradition by examining Mergen Gegen's publications, including the monastic services he regulated, his liturgical texts, and his works on Vajrabhairava Tantra. Chapter 7 investigates Mergen Gegen's popularisation of Buddhism in the lay community, which became an important element in the Mergen Tradition. This thesis illustrates the Mongols' efforts and achievements in indigenising Buddhism while not corrupting it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral