Datsan 'Gunzechoinei'.

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Datsan - Buddhist monastery-university.

Gunzechoinei, translated from Tibetan ཀུན་བརྩེ་ཆོས་གནས་གྲྭ་ཚང, is the source of the holy teachings of the All-Compassionate [Hermit Lord], refers to the Buddhist traditional sangha of Russia, the Gelugpa school.

According to the chroniclers of St. Petersburg, the first Buddhists appeared on the banks of the Neva during the construction of the Peter and Paul Fortress, from which the new capital of Russia began. These were the Volga Kalmyks (subjects of the Kalmyk Khanate, which became part of Russia in 1609), who worked together with other working people on the construction of the stone ramparts of the fortress after 1706. They lived nearby, in the Tatar settlement.
The Buddhist community in St. Petersburg began to take shape only at the very end of the 19th century.

According to the census of 1869, only one Buddhist lived in the city, who registered himself as a commoner. In 1897 there were already 75 Buddhists, and in 1910 - 184 (163 men and 21 women). Ethnically, these were mainly Trans-Baikal Buryats and Volga-Don Kalmyks.

In 1900, the representative of the XIII Dalai Lama in Russia, Aghvan Dorzhiev, received permission to build a temple in St. Petersburg. The construction of the temple began after the words of the emperor: 'Buddhists of Russia are under the protection of a two-headed eagle'.

Construction lasted from 1909 to 1915. The first Buddhist service took place on February 21, 1913 in honor of the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. The statue of Buddha for the newly opened temple was donated by King Rama VI of Siam. The consecration of the temple took place on August 10, 1915. The first abbot (shireete) was Lama Aghvan Lobsan Dorzhiev himself.

Architecturally, this is one of the most expensive Buddhist temples built in Europe. While wooden and brick churches were being erected in Buryatia, the datsan in St. Petersburg was built of chipped granite.

Gilding, a combination of bright colors, cladding and the architectural project itself as a whole required significant material investments. This monumental work of art is also famous for the stained glass windows made by the famous artist Nicholas Roerich, who depicted eight good Buddhist symbols on them.

Until recently, Datsan Gunzechoinei was the northernmost Buddhist temple in the world, but after the construction of the datsan in Yakutia began, it became the northernmost in Europe.

Sound is the Mantra of love and tenderness.

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Jararaka (736.90)

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