Eighth Kamby Lama Enthroned to Lead Buddhist Sangha in Tuva

By Lyudmila Klasanova
Buddhistdoor Global | 2019-12-27 |
The Eighth Kamby Lama of Tuva, Jampel Lodoy. From savetibet.ruThe Eighth Kamby Lama of Tuva, Jampel Lodoy. From

The Eighth Kamby Lama, the most senior Buddhist monastic in the Tuva Republic, was enthroned on 19 December at the House of Folk Art, home of the Ministry of Culture in the Tuvan capital, Kyzyl. Jampel Lodoy, abbot of the legendary temple Ustuu-Khuree, was elected as the supreme lama of the Russian republic on 29 November at Tsechenling Buddhist temple, taking this high position for the second time for a period of five years.

The institution of the kamby lama was revived as the highest religious authority in Tuva in 1997. The supreme lama of the Buddhist republic is elected on a democratic basis for a term of five years. The Seventh Kamby Lama, Lobsan Chamzy (Bayir-ool Serenovich Shyyrap), also participated in the election.

The enthronement was attended by political leaders of the republic, representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, the society of shamans, lamas from neighboring Mongolia, and Buddhist followers from across Tuva. The ceremony began with prayer, followed by bestowal of the main attributes of the spiritual authority of the most senior lama of Tuva: the lotus crown, sutra, Buddha statue, stupa, and mandala.

Sholban Kara-ool, chairman of the Tuvan government, was also in attendance and expressed his hope that the new kamby lama would awaken compassion, mercy, and mutual understanding in the souls of the Tuvan people. Kara-ool described Jampel Lodoy as a person with sufficient experience, education, and aspirations to spread the teachings of the Buddha throughout Tuva and also as one who understands the significance of the profound mission assigned to him.

Sholban Kara-ool, chairman of the Tuvan government, gives a speech during the enthronement ceremony. From savetibet.ruSholban Kara-ool, chairman of the Tuvan government, gives a speech during the enthronement ceremony. From

Kara-ool called the Kamby Lama “the guardian of the covenants of Buddhism, who has a mission to take care of the spiritual enlightenment of believers,” and expressed his perspective on collaborative spiritual undertakings: “I think that the management of the Kamby Lama will start his activities with renewed energy and new perspective. The leadership of the republic is always ready for collaboration. We are carrying out our work to complete the construction of a Buddhist complex consecrated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We need unity to complete this important task.” (В Центре Азии)

Jampel Lodoy (Apysh-ool Sat) was born on 21 August 1975 in the village of Hondergey, Dzun-Khemchiksky District, in the autonomous republic, to a family of livestock farmers. In 1992, he began his Buddhist education at Gandan Puntsogling, a monastery in Kyzyl—the same year that His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited Tuva. From 1993–96 he studied at Gunzechoinei Datsan in St. Petersburg, and subsequently continued his training at Drepung Gomang Monastery in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka. While in India, Jampel Lodoy completed a nine-year course of study and received the title candidate of philosophical sciences. He then returned to Tuva and served as kamby lama from 2005–10. During this period, the Tuvan lama began actively working to establish ties with the spiritual leaders of the sanghas in the republics of Kalmykia and Buryatia, and also initiated the construction of new large monastic complexes and cooperation with the local republican and federal authorities.

Jampel Lodoy later became the abbot of Ustuu-Khuree, a temple in the town of Chadan. Ustuu-Khuree was built in 1905 in the Tibetan architectural style, but was shut down in 1930, and in 1937 the structure was destroyed. In 1999, the Russian government, recognizing its historical and architectural value, decided to reconstruct the temple. During the same year, the Ustuu-Khuree Ethno Music Festival was initiated within the idea of reconstructing the ruined monument. The festival became a major cultural event for modern Tuva.

Jampel Lodoy and Sholban Kara-ool during the enthronement ceremony. From savetibet.ruJampel Lodoy and Sholban Kara-ool during the enthronement ceremony. From
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