fbpx
64.3 F
Spokane
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomeCommentaryAskAsk a Buddhist: What Exactly Is the 'Bogd' and His Role?

Ask a Buddhist: What Exactly Is the ‘Bogd’ and His Role?

Date:

Related stories

God loves all: Dispelling the myth that God hates the LGBTQ+ community

Discover the truth about God's love for the LGBTQ+ community. A thought-provoking commentary that challenges misconceptions.

Should Memorial Day be observed in church?

Examining the role of Memorial Day in evangelical churches. Explore the controversy surrounding its observance in sanctuaries.

Chiefs Kicker Butker’s speech at trad-Catholic college sparks outrage and support

Uncover the controversy surrounding Harrison Butker's commencement speech at Benedictine College and the support he has received despite it.

Get mad, be sad and get busy: Navigating life’s unexpected turns

Navigating life's unexpected turns: A personal journey of growth and resilience in the face of challenges and disappointments.

Pope Francis calls all people to care for the earth

Discover the impact of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si', which emphasizes the importance of earth care and urges action against climate change.

Our Sponsors

spot_img
spot_img

Ask a Buddhist: What Exactly Is the ‘Bogd’ and His Role?

What do you want to ask a Buddhist? Fill out the form below or submit your question online.

Please consider donating to the FāVS Fund for Social Justice Reporting

Commentary by Tenzin Tsepal | FāVS News

ask a buddhist

Bogd (pronounced bogged) is a Mongolian word with several meanings — saint, holy, sacred, and has also referred to places such as districts, mountains and volcanoes. Today the title is found on banks, Cashmere shops and auto dealerships throughout Mongolia. I suspect this question arises from the recent The New York Times article, “An 8-Year Old is at the Heart of a Fight Over Tibetan Buddhism.” Last March, the Dalai Lama identified a young Mongolian boy as the Bogd, the 10th incarnation of the spiritual leader of Mongolian Buddhism.

In a nutshell, Buddhism teaches that our body and mind separate at death, and the mind is propelled by karmic influences to take another rebirth. It is said that we’ve all had beginningless rebirths and will take endless rebirths until we can overcome their causes, namely afflictions like anger, greed and ignorance that motivate negative actions such as killing, stealing lying, and so forth.

Identifying Reincarnations of High Lamas

In Tibet and Mongolia, it is common to search for the reincarnations of high lamas, primarily to support their religious education so they can quickly resume their beneficial work. One way potential children are identified is by showing them an array of religious articles that belonged to the precious incarnation, such as prayer beads, bells and dorjes, eyeglasses and so forth. These are placed among similar looking items to see if the child recognizes them. Those assessing the young candidates also observe whether a young child recognizes people who were especially close to the previous incarnation. These are considered special signs.

As you can read in The New York Times article, there are many political ramifications of the Dalai Lama officially recognizing this young Mongolian boy as the 10th Bogd. Naming a Mongolian reincarnate draws this boy and his family into the long-standing political drama between China and the Dalai Lama. Since overtaking Tibet in 1959, the Chinese Communist Party has sought to assert its authority over the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism. Although the party is atheist, it has declared that only it can name the reincarnation of the current Dalai Lama and other high lamas, even outside of China.

Meanwhile, the 8-year-old boy is continuing with his normal education and childhood, but also receives regular religious instruction at Ganden Monastery in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city. When he turns 18, it will be up to the young boy whether he wants to remain as the Bogd. If he chooses to continue as the 10th Bogd of Mongolia, his future roles and responsibilities as a leader of Mongolian Buddhism will be shaped by countless personal, political and spiritual forces that remain to influence his position.


Ask a Buddhist

What questions do you have about Buddhism? Fill out the form below and our writer will get back to you by writing a column in response.

Name
Optional
Optional
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Ven. Tenzin Tsepal
Ven. Tenzin Tsepal
Venerable Tenzin Tsepal met Venerable Thubten Chodron, founder of Sravasti Abbey, in Seattle and studied Buddhism with her from 1995 to 1999. During that time, Venerable Tsepal attended the Life as a Western Buddhist Nun conference in Bodhgaya, India in 1996 as a lay supporter. An interest in ordination surfaced after she completed a three-month meditation retreat in 1998. She lived in India for two years while continuing to explore monastic life. In 2001, she received sramanerika (novice) ordination from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. While Venerable Tsepal was in India, some Australians friends introduced her to the 5 year Buddhist Studies Program at Chenrezig Institute (CI) north of Brisbane, Queensland, where she subsequently lived and engaged in intensive residential study from 2002-2015. As the Western Teacher at CI, she tutored weekend teachings and retreats, and taught the Discovering Buddhism courses. Prior to ordaining, Venerable Tsepal completed a degree in Dental Hygiene, and then pursued graduate school in hospital administration at the University of Washington. Not finding happiness in 60 hour work weeks, she was self-employed for 10 years as a Reiki teacher and practitioner. Now a member of the resident community at Sravasti Abbey, Venerable Tsepal is compiling and editing the many years of Venerable Chodron’s teachings on monastic training as well as leading a review on the Buddhist philosophical tenets for the residents.

Our Sponsors

spot_img
spot_img
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x