Buddhism in Mongolia

I saw an article from NY Times called “Dalai Lama’s Visit to Mongolia Could Fray Its Ties to China”.  It talks about how the Buddhism is a big tie between Mongolia and Tibet, having the Dalai Lama visit might be seen as controversial because he was exiled from China for wanting to separate Tibet from it. Mongolia is hoping to get a large loan from Beijing to help it get out of a recession, but the visit may just be for religious purposes only. Many Buddhist followers traveled far to hear him speak. According to “History of Buddhism in Mongolia”, Buddhism spread into the country along the Silk Road. In the article, many paintings show how much the Mongols care about Buddhism. It spread and strengthen through four waves, shaping its culture along the way. It also united Mongolia to other countries. The first wave was in the third century. It made it’s way from India during the time of emperor Ashoka, China when conquered by Mongolians, and Tibet. The emperor was a dedicated Buddhist and wanted many others to follow the religion. The second wave started under Chinggis Khan and his sons. Later, his grandson, Kublai Khan, had a Tibetan Buddhist script made to use in all of the territories he controlled. He wanted to use this script to replace Chinese scripts, which would have  better helped him control Chinese territories. However, Mongol presence in China fell. The third wave took place in the 1570s. The Dalai Lama at the time was the grandson of Altan Khan. He helped Buddhism flourish in the country. The last wave of Buddhism was spread by Zanabazar, a direct descendant of Chinggis Khan. He helped strengthen Buddhism until the Cultural Holocaust.


The issue I see from reading the articles is that the government is mixing their views on religion with how they choose to run the country or letting them influence how they deal with problems. This is seen in the first article with how China and Mongolia’s relationship might be damaged with the Dalai Lama’s visit. Because of how China dislikes the current Dalai Lama for his want to make Tibet an independent state, it may influence their decision on whether to help out Mongolia with their financial problems. What I find interesting is that although China has had relations with Mongolia for centuries, China may want to break it off just because of the Dalai Lama’s visit. They don’t know for sure what he’ll saw or do, so it may not affect them that much. To people in Minnesota today, it may affect them because they are a Buddhist so anything that the Dalai Lama will say during the visit can impact them. Also, Tibetan immigrants in Minnesota may want the Dalai Lama to say something that will gain support for them to have their own country.






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