World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Bogdo Zanabazar

Article Id: WHEBN0014200533
Reproduction Date:

Title: Bogdo Zanabazar  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Mongolian alphabets, Index of Mongolia-related articles, Soyombo alphabet, List of inventors of writing systems, List of constructed scripts
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Bogdo Zanabazar

For the dinosaur, see Zanabazar (dinosaur). For the novel, see Zanabazar (novel).

Undur Geghen Zanabazar (Mongolian: Өндөр Гэгээн Занабазар, Öndör Gegeeṅ Zanabazar, "High Saint Zanabazar"; 1635–1723[1]), born Eshidorji (Ишдорж, Išdorj), was the first Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism for the Khalkha in Outer Mongolia. His name 'Zanabazar' is the Mongolian rendition of the Sanskrit 'Jnana-vajra' meaning thunderbolt (vajra) of wisdom (jnana).[2]


Zanabazar was born as a son of Tüsheet khan Gombodorj – at that time one of the three khans in Khalkha – and his wife, Khandojamtso. Zanabazar became a religious leader in eastern Mongolia. In that time western Mongolia had gained in power under Galdan Boshogtu Khan. Galdan Boshogtu, not descended from the Golden Lineage (Genghis Khan), tried to unite all the Mongolian states and take the throne for himself. Zanabazar declined all the western Mongols' proposals. Finally Galdan Khan decided to reunite the Mongol states by force and collaborated with rising power on the north Russia and in south Manchus against eastern Mongolia. Thousands of warriors from the western Mongol Empire went to war with eastern Mongolia. When Galdan Khan's army came to the area where today the city of Ulan Bator is located, conducting two wars in front, on the north with Russia on the west with Galdan Boshogtu, Zanabazar escaped to southern Mongolia. The Manchus were interested in defeating both Mongolian states, and this gave them an incredible chance to accomplish that goal. The Manchu army went to war with the Western (Oirad) Mongol Empire, Zanabazar's goal. After the battle at Zuun Mod (near present-day Ulan Bator) the Oirad Mongol warriors were defeated and went back to the west. Zanabazar became a religious leader in Mongolia while his native land (Eastern Mongolia) fell to and became a vessel of the Manchus.


In 1640 Zanabazar was recognized by the Panchen Lama and the Dalai Lama as being a "reincarnate lama", and he received his seat at Örgöö, then located in Övörkhangai – 400 miles from the present site of Ulaanbaatar – as head of the Gelug tradition in Mongolia. Miraculous occurrences allegedly took place during his youth, and in 1647 (aged 12) he founded the Shankh Monastery.

"He is said to have pioneered in such widely diverse fields as medicine, literature, philosophy, art and architecture" [3]

Contribution to arts

Zanabazar has been called the "Michelangelo of Asia" for bringing to the region a renaissance in matters related to spirituality (including theology), language, art, medicine, and astronomy.[4][5] He composed sacred music and mastered the sacred arts of bronze casting and painting. He created a new design for monastic robes, and he invented the Soyombo script in 1686- based on the Lantsa script of India, which served as the alphabet for Mongolian Buddhism.[6] He also created the Quadratic Script- based on the Tibetan and Phagspa scripts. Zanabazar personally created tankas and bronze statues of Buddha. His personal works are mostly kept in museums. He also founded a school of Buddhist art. The talented monks of his school created many figures of Buddha continuing well into the 19th and 20th centuries.

The scholar Ragchaagiin Byambaa has suggested that both of the scripts invented by Zanabazar were combined to write in a tripartite "Dharma" language composed of Tibetan, Mongolian and Sanskrit, because, he says, the two scripts were specifically designed to better accommodate the phonetics of all three languages. At present, they are mainly used for sacred and ornamental Buddhist inscriptions and among learned Buddhist scholars in Mongolia.



External links

  • Online biography of Zanabazar, the first Khalkha Jetsun Dampa
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.