17-19
AUGUST
2023
Ulan-Ude, Republic of Buryatia

exhibitions

The capital of Buryatia, the city of Ulan-Ude, which is the center of expertise for the field of Oriental studies, houses one of the world’s largest collections of ancient manuscripts in Oriental languages – Kangyur and Tengyur – and the pearl of Buddhist art and the world’s only complete copy of the Atlas of Tibetan Medicine.

The Forum will offer participants a range of exhibitions, which will introduce them to the rarest manuscripts. You will be able to plunge into the sacred atmosphere of Buddhism, Ivolginsky datsan, getting to know lamas, and experience unique culture of Buryatia.
All exhibitions are held at Physical Culture and Sports Complex (FSK)
All exhibitions are held at Physical Culture and Sports Complex (FSK)

ATLAS OF TIBETAN MEDICINE EXHIBITION

The exhibition will present to the participants of the Forum the rarest historical manuscript, one of the sacred artifacts of Buddhism in Russia and a unique piece of heritage of Oriental medicine – the only complete copy of the Atlas of Tibetan Medicine stored at the Khangalov Museum of the History of Buryatia.
The exhibition will present to the participants of the Forum the rarest historical manuscript, one of the sacred artifacts of Buddhism in Russia and a unique piece of heritage of Oriental medicine – the only complete copy of the Atlas of Tibetan Medicine stored at the Khangalov Museum of the History of Buryatia.

The original Atlas of Tibetan Medicine is a set of illustrations for the major medical treatises of Gyuzhi and Vaidurya-onbo. The Atlas was created in 1667-1688 at the same time as with Vaidurya-onbo and under the leadership of the author of this treatise Desi Sangye Gyatso (1653-1705) who was the largest Tibetan thinker, expert in the theory and practice of Tibetan medicine, politician, and regent of the Dalai Lama V.

Atlas is built according to the structure of Vaidurya-onbo and consists of 76 colorful illustrations to the key elements of the treatise. There are a total of about 10.000 illustrations that depict sacred images, diagrams, anatomical drawings, images of people, animals, plants, minerals, medical instruments, etc. The illustrations are made in the traditional Buddhist technique of thangka, and they share the same size and format, a common compositional solution, a technique, and a manner of execution.

The copy of the Atlas presented at the exhibition is the only complete copy of the Tibetan original attributed to the end of the XIX century. Just like the original, it consists of 76 sheets where the illustrations are machine-painted with mineral paints on a thin primed linen canvas. In addition, 2 Buddhist sculptures and 9 high-precision insurance copies of Atlas sheets (made in 2020 with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Buryatia) will be exhibited at the exhibition.
KHANGALOV MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF BURYATIA
This is one of the oldest museums in Siberia that was first opened on October 10, 1923 at the premises of the Museum of Antiquities at the Society for the Study of the Baikal Region, which itself was founded even earlier, in 1911. The collection of the Museum has no match in Russia and includes over 150.000 display items featuring unique archaeological heritage of the Hunnu era, Buddhist religious items, ethnographic collection, decorative arts items of Siberia, and a large photo documentary archive. A special pride of the Museum is the book collection, which not only features handwritten and woodcut Buddhist books, but also rare volumes of Cyrillic printed books among others including the Ostrog Bible, the first full Bible volume written in Church Slavonic language.

Contents of the Atlas:

Tantra of the basics. Illustrations 1 to 4 reflect the content of the first part of Vaidurya-onbo, which gives a brief description of the most basic features of the essence of medicine.

Tantra of explanations. Illustrations 5 to 37 reflect the chapters of the treatise outlining the main disciplines and sections of the subject of theoretical medicine.

Tantra of instructions. Illustrations 38 to 53 demonstrate materials of chapters outlining the basics of Tibetan clinical medicine such as places of acupuncture, practices of pediatrics, gynecology, treatment of infectious and dermatological diseases, and so on.

The final tantra. Illustrations 54 to 76 discuss neuropsychiatric illnesses, prognostics and diagnostics by the pulse, diagnostic urine tests, dosage forms, medical, and physical methods of treatment (including acupuncture, bloodletting, moxibustion). In addition, this part talks about the goals and objectives of medicine, the appearance of doctors, and the training of medical personnel.
The history of the copy of the Atlas of Tibetan Medicine
The end of the XIX century. With the assistance of the teacher of the XIII Dalai Lama Tsenyi Khempo Lama Agvan Dorzhiev, the Buryat lamas have produced a copy made from the original of the XVII century.

At the beginning of the XX century, the Buddhist monk Shirab Sunuyev took it from the Tibetan medical monastery of Sertog-mamba – to the Tsugol datsan in Russia. This is the oldest datsan of the Transbaikalia of the Russian Empire, which was founded back in 1801. In 1869, the first Medical Faculty was established here, which marked the beginning of the popularity of Tibetan medicine in wide circles, including those in St. Petersburg.

In 1926, Atlas was transferred to the Atsagat datsan of Buryatia. With the assistance of Tsenyi Khempo Agvan Dorzhiev (1853-1938) and XI Pandito Khambo Lama Choizon-Dorzhi Iroltuyev (1843-1918), the Atsagat Medical School was established here as the first attempt to combine modern European medicine with Oriental medicine. The school accepted emchi-lamas (medical students) for training from other parts of Russia, including Kalmykia and Tyva. Thanks to the work of the emchi-lamas who have practically adapted the theory of Tibetan medicine to local conditions, the Buryat branch of the unified tree of Oriental medicine was established in reality.

In 1936, during the persecution of the clergy and the destruction of religious temples, the Atlas was transferred to the Anti-Religious Museum, which is now known as the National Museum of the Republic of Buryatia. The work, which allowed the preservation of this unique book, was done under the mentorship of a researcher J.J. Zhabon (1899-1971).

EXHIBITION OF CANONICAL BUDDHIST TEXTS OF KANGYUR AND TENGYUR

The exhibition will feature rare texts from the collection of ancient manuscripts of the Center for Oriental Manuscripts and Woodcuts of the Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies including individual volumes of canonical Buddhist Kangyur and Tengyur texts composed in the Narthang Monastery in the XVIII century.
"Narthang Kangyur". The canonical collection of Kangyur texts also known as "The Words of the Buddha". The exhibition displays the Ka volume and the Tantra section composed between 1730 and 1732. It is made in the technique of woodcutting, meaning that it is an impression from an engraving carved on the piece of wood. Dimensions: 65*18 cm.

"Narthang Tengyur". Canonical collection of texts, a summary of Indian teachers' annotations to Kangyur. The exhibition presents the Se volume and the Tantra section composed between 1741 and 1742. It is also made with woodcutting technique. Dimensions: 65*12.5 cm.
In addition, organizers plan to reveal an interactive digital exposition of a unique illustrated edition of the Mongolian handwritten Kangyur and a rare Kangyur edition composed in the Chone Monastery (Northeast Tibet, Ando province). The exposition is based on high resolution scanned images of the originals. The exhibition will also display Buddhist publications of the Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies. (learn more).

Center for Oriental Manuscripts and Woodcuts of the the Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies

The Center for Oriental Manuscripts and Woodcuts of the Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences has one of the world's largest collections of ancient books in Tibetan and Mongolian languages along with archival documents and various recordings such as audios, photographs, and videos. The collection was created after the appearance of the Buryat-Mongolian Scientific Committee in 1922 and is now a treasure of the cultural heritage of Russia.

Now the collection fund of the Center features five main collections including the Tibetan fund of manuscripts and woodcuts totaling about 70,000 units, including about 6,500 units of the Mongolian fund of manuscripts and woodcuts, the general archival fund, personal archival materials, and the fund of folklore audio records.

  • The Tibetan fund of the Center is structured in accordance with traditional bibliographic approaches used in the Tibetan-Mongolian culture. Main sections:
Canonical Collection of Kangyur texts;
Canonical Collection of Tengyur texts;
Scattered canonical works – extracts from canonical publications;
Sumbums, collections of manuscripts of Buddhist authors of Tibet, Mongolia, Buryatia;

In addition, specialized thematic collections have been established inside the Tibetan collection:
Choira – texts on scholastics and logic underlying Buddhist education;
Manba – medical literature;
Torbu – scattered writings;
Garchag – bibliographic reference books.

In particular, the funds of the Center include 7 woodcuts and handwritten editions of Kangyur created in famous Buddhist centers of Tibet and China – in Derge (Eastern Tibet, Kham Province), in Narthang (Central Tibet), in Chone (Northeastern Tibet, Amdo Province), and in Beijing. Among the editions of Tengyur, 4 sets of Narthang and Derge are presented.

Partners

Supported by the Roskongress Foundation