Filed in Community, History

The Trials of Dandaron

Buddhist Perseverance in RussiaStephen Batchelor

Article Preview

To access this entire article and all other member-supported
content, join Tricycle as a Supporting or Sustaining Member

Shortly after his birth the young Dandaron was recognized as the reincarnation of Tsedunov's teacher, Hambo Lama Jayagsy Gegen, a former abbot of Kumbum Monastery in eastern Tibet. But when, according to tradition, a delegation arrived from Tibet to take him back to Kumbum, Tsedunov refused to let him go. Then in 1917 the revolution broke out. The following year, taking the Bolshevik policy of land redistribution literally, Tsedunov's followers declared him dharmaraja (dharma king) of a Buddhist state comprising 400 farmsteads on the steppe of the Kizhinginski Valley. Such action was the policy of the Balagat (Nomadic) Movement, of which Tsedunov was cofounder. One of the movement's central aims was to remove the focus of spiritual authority from the monasteries by establishing lay communities based on Buddhist practices such as mahamudra and dzogchen. The Bolsheviks, however, did not share their ideals, and Tsedunov was quickly imprisoned.

Share with a Friend

Email to a Friend

Already a member? Log in to share this content.

You must be a Tricycle Community member to use this feature.

1. Join as a Basic Member

Signing up to Tricycle newsletters will enroll you as a free Tricycle Basic Member.You can opt out of our emails at any time from your account screen.

2. Enter Your Message Details

Enter multiple email addresses on separate lines or separate them with commas.

Become a Supporting Member

*With Autorenew

  • You Get
  • Tricycle | The Magazine - a one-year subscription to premier Buddhist quarterly
  • Tricycle Retreats - a new online video teaching every every week by a contemporary Buddhist teacher
  • Tricycle | The Digital Edition - web based edition of the magazine
  • The Wisdom Collection - nearly two decades of teachings by the world's most compelling teachers, from the pages of Tricycle
  • Tricycle Gallery - the best in Buddhist art to download and share with friends
  • Tricycle Book Club - online discussions with leading Buddhist authors
  • Tricycle Discussions - teacher-led explorations of dharma in daily life
  • The Tricycle Blog - our diary of the global Buddhist movement
  • Daily Dharma - heart advice delivered direct to your inbox
  • The Tricycle Newsletter - the latest news, teachings, events, and more, every Monday

Become a Supporting Member

Become a Sustaining Member

*With Autorenew

  • You Get
  • Tricycle | The Magazine - a one-year subscription to premier Buddhist quarterly
  • Tricycle Retreats - a new online video teaching every every week by a contemporary Buddhist teacher
  • Tricycle | The Digital Edition - web based edition of the magazine
  • The Wisdom Collection - nearly two decades of teachings by the world's most compelling teachers, from the pages of Tricycle
  • Tricycle Gallery - the best in Buddhist art to download and share with friends
  • Tricycle Book Club - online discussions with leading Buddhist authors
  • Tricycle Discussions - teacher-led explorations of dharma in daily life
  • The Tricycle Blog - our diary of the global Buddhist movement
  • Daily Dharma - heart advice delivered direct to your inbox
  • The Tricycle Newsletter - the latest news, teachings, events, and more, every Monday

Become a Sustaining Member