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Leader of Mongolia’s Buddhism installed
07 Nov 2011

On November 2, the Eighth Bogd Jevzundamba Khutughtu was installed as the Spiritual leader of Mongolia’s Buddhism at the Gandantegchinlin monastery, the center for Mongolian
Buddhists. Heads of Gandantegchinlin and Mongolian monasteries and temples agreed to realize this spiritual and historical event and many of them came to attend the event from local areas.

Bogd Jevzundamba Khutughtu confirmation at Gandantegchinlin Monestary in Mongolia

From the 17th century until 1924,the Bogd Jebtsundamba Khutughtus were the spiritual heads of the Gelug lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia and the top-ranked lama
in Mongolia. After the eighth Bogd died in 1924, the reincarnation of the eighth Jebtsundamba Khutughtu was prohibited to be discovered and proclaimed because Mongolia became a communist country in 1921 and government discouraged religion and the spiritual beliefs of people.

However in 1936, Reting Rinpoche, who was the Regent of Tibet after the death of the thirteenth Dalai Lama, recognized four year old Jampal Namdol Choiji Jantsan as the reincarnation of the eighth Jebtsundamba Khutughtu. The boy was born in 1932 to a Tibetan family near Lhasa, Tibet. Due to the complex political situation, his existence was kept a secret. When the 14th Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet in 1959, so did Jampal Namdol. In 1990, the Dalai Lama issued a statement revealing the identity of the ninth Bogd. In 1991, the Dalai Lama performed an installation ceremony and in 1992,an enthronement ceremony was held in India for the ninth Jebtsundamba Khutughtu.

The ninth Bogd made his first visit to Mongolia in 1999, but he continued to live in exile in India. In 2010, he came to Mongolia at the invitation of the Gandantegchinlin monastery and received Mongolian citizenship.

The khamba lama (head) of Gandantegchinlin D.Choijamts said, ‘Even since the reopening of Gandantegchinlin Monastery in 1944,we have not used the title ‘Leader of Mongolia’s Buddhism’. It is proof that Mongolians have much respect to preserve the title. Mongolians had, have, and will have Bogd Gegeen. Whoever was discovered as Bogd, whether or not Mongolian,devotes their life to Mongolia and the Mongolian people. History shows it. It is Mongolia’s great destiny for the 9th Bogd Gegeen to return to Mongolia. His spirit for Mongolia and Mongolians was obvious from his first arrival to Mongolia. He said ‘I am old now, not successful in good deeds for Mongolia and Buddhism in Mongolia.

The 10th Bogd will be reborn in Mongolia and fulfill his religious duties perfectly”.In his brief speech, the 9th Bogd noted that installing him officially as spiritual leader of Mongolian Buddhism, is an indication of the revival of Mongolian customs and traditions. ‘I will pray for the peace of Mongolians. I wish all Mongolians be in harmony and peace’. During the ceremony, the 9th Bogd was presented the golden seal of religion and confirmation papers while lamas and believers performed prayers for the Bogd.The first Bogd, Undur Geghen Zanabazar (1635–1723) was recognized by the Panchen Lama and the Dalai Lama as being Jebtsundamba Khutuktu in 1640. The 8th Bogd was not only the head of Buddhism, but also the last king of Mongolia. The Bogd Khaan (1869–1924) was enthroned as the Khaan of Mongolia on December 29, 1911 when Mongolia declared independence from the Qing Dynasty after the Xinhai Revolution.


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