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The 73rd suburgan built in Tuva

The 73rd suburgan built in TuvaOn September 5 in Chedi-Khol district of Tuva, an opening of the 73rd Buddhist suburgan in the republic took place. These cultic structures are raised at the wish of many families and clans of Tuva with voluntary co0ntributions and offerings. The suburgans are raised in “pure places”, together with temples. It is a Buddhist holy structure, which symbolizes protection of all living creatures on earth.

In Mogai near the settlement Khonderge in Chedi-Khol district, in the early 20th century there was a Buddhist temple, where Tuvan lamas served according to Tibetan tradition. One of the abbots of the temple was Lama Lovun emchi (physician-lama Lovun), who is a great-great-grandfather in the maternal line of descent of the Premier of Tuva, Sholban Kara-ool.

The Buddhist temple in Khondergey, just like all the other monasteries of Tuva, was completely eradicated during the years of the repressions. After many decades, when Buddhism began to come back in the late 1990’s, local residents built a sacred altar Ovaa at the location of the destroyed temple. Even during the years of official atheism, people continued to perform religious rituals here. This summer, the great-great-grandsons of Lama Lovun emchi decided to build a suburgan. The means for raising the suburgan were collected by the entire clan of Tuvan premier.

“People did not simply invent this place for their worship, - Orlan Stpa, the builder says. – it is here where a Buddhist temple used to stand, where our venerated ancestors used to come to pray. For us this is a sacred place with special energetics.  We decided to build this cultic structure here so that our children would not forget their history and their descent, as well as their traditions and religious customs.”

As Orlan Sotpa explained, not just the descendants of Lama Lovun emchi took part in the construction, but also the residents of Khonderge, Ak-tal, Kholchuk. Everybody contributed money, building materials, or food products. Famous Buddhist teachers Lopsan Tupten and Tupten Ninche took part in the ceremony of sanctification and opening of the suburgan. In their words, now this holy structure is open for all believers.

“The purpose of a suburgan is to help people, that is why people build them, - says Lama Lopsan Tupten. – The suburgan pacifies obstructive forces and brings peace and harmony.”

 The building of the suburgan was performed while observing all the necessary pre-requisites. It is decorated with two stone lions, who are symbolically protecting the object. In Buddhism, the lion is a personification of bravery, nobility and constancy. It is believed that the Buddha spent one of his prior lives incarnated as a lion.

The suburgan is located at the foot of the mountain, and it is thought to one of those built at the highest altitude in the republic.

Not only the older residents of all the neighboring settlements, but all the young people came, as well as guests from other districts of the republic. Even grandmothers and grandfathers of venerable age showed up, who could hardly move without the help of their grandchildren.

After the ceremonial opening, Grandmother Enik Khorduulevna Dongak and other of her neighbors reminisced over tea about the history of the place Mogai, and shared the memories of their fathers and grandfathers about those far-away times, when a Buddhist temple still stood here.

The head of the republic, Sholban Kara-ool sincerely thanked all those who participated in the building of the suburgan and those who attended the ceremonial opening.

“ In several years, the citizens of the republic built with their own means and their own efforts 73 suburgans, - said Sholban Kara-ool. People are drawn to their religion, they strive to behave with respectful attitude to the past and to the memory of their ancestors. I am confident that all my compatriots have a great wish to bring back what was lost during the years of the repressions, and to bring about the rebirth of the spirituality of the nation. I am happy that my relatives have brought their small contribution into this holy work.”

tuvaonline.ru translated by Heda Jindrak
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