Article
Article name Administrative Hierarchy of the Gandan Monastery According to the “Regulations of 1840”
Authors Tsyrenova N.D. Junior Researcher, nomin_n@mail.ru
Bibliographic description Tsyrenova N. D. Administrative Hierarchy of the Gandan Monastery According to the “Regulations of 1840” // Humanitarian Vector. 2024. Vol. 19, no. 2. P. 104–112. DOI: 10.21209/1996-7853-2024-19-2-104-112.
Section History of religion
UDK 930.253
DOI 10.21209/1996-7853-2024-19-2-104-112
Article type Original article
Annotation The article is devoted to the analysis of the system of administrative positions in the Gandan Monastery of Mongolia during the Qing era in the context of the distribution of material wealth based on the author’s translation of an archival document entitled “Regulations of the Gandan Monastery”, compiled in 1840. During the study, the author relied on source studies, historical and sociological methods, and also a method of historical and ethnographic reconstruction. The use of these methods made it possible to restore the administrative structure of the Gandan monastery, as well as to identify the specifics of the everyday life and economic structure of the Buddhist clergy of the mid-19th century. As a result of the source study and historical-ethnographic analysis of the text of the “Regulations” and the identification of the main contexts for the mention of Buddhist monastic positions in the “Regulations”, the author came to the following conclusions: most of the cases of mentioning positions are related to the range of administrative and economic responsibilities (control, accounting and distribution of material wealth monastery), while the greatest attention of the drafters of the “Regulations” was paid to organizational aspects of preparing and conducting calendar Buddhist prayers, as well as issues of subordination between lamas. According to the text of the “Regulations”, the material assets that came under the jurisdiction of the Gandan monastery consisted mainly of cattle, food products (meat, pressed tea), pieces of silk fabric (Mong. mangnuγ), as well as various types of ritual hadaks (Mong. sonom-hadak, sambai-khadak), etc. The economic structure of the Gandan monastery was based on regular offerings (Mong. bar’ts) from the rich patrons of the monastery, princes and their closest relatives, as well as on the material support of the aimags-communities located at the monastery. It was also revealed that food surpluses from the offerings were sold, which indicates significant food reserves and, accordingly, the presence of large funds among the monastery leadership. In general, we can say that monastic everyday life in the context of the administrative hierarchy of Buddhist positions and statuses has its own eastern characteristics, it can be considered as a separate type of organization of everyday life of the eastern steppe society, which gradually moved to a semi-nomadic and sedentary way of life.
Key words Mongolia, Buddhist monastery, Gandantegchenlin, archival documents, Regulations, Buddhist clergy, economic structure
Article information
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