MOSCOW: Former Kalon Tripa Ven. Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche visited Russian Federation from 26-May – 7 June at the invitation extended by the Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, a branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Kalmyk Buddhist Temple and Save Tibet Foundation in Moscow.
The first leg of his visit took place in Ulan Ude, the capital of Buryat Republic, where Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche participated in the ” International Conference on Buddhism in the Changing World,” which was held from 28 – 31 May and organised by the Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences. On the opening day of the conference, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message to the International Conference on Buddhism was read by Ven. Samdhong Rinpoche. Prof. S. Rinpoche gave a talk on “The Challenges Faced by Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan Community in the Modern World”.
The next day Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche gave a talk on the topic ” Scientific Evidence of the Theory and Practice of Buddhist Meditation”. He co-chaired the panels on “Buddhism, Philosophy, Science and Comparative Studies”. And participated in the round-table discussion on “Buddhism in the West” and ” Russian-Mongolian Cooperation in Studying Buddhism”.
At the public presentation by Prof. Robert Thurman of his book “WHY THE DALAI LAMA MATTERS?”, which was published in Russian, Ven. Samdhong Rinpoche spoke about the “Role and Activities of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for the Modern World. Prof. S. Rinpoche and Prof. Robert Thurman visited several Buddhist temples and had meeting with public figures and organisations in Buryat Republic. And they had a luncheon meeting with members of Tibetan community in Ulan Ude.
After the successful visit of Buryat Republic, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche visited Elista, the capital of Kalmyk Republic, from 3 – 6 June at the invitation extended by Shadjin (Head) Lama of Kalmykia and President of Kalmyk Buddhist Union, Rev. Telo Tulku Rinpoche, and former Prime Minster of Kalmyk Republic, Mr.Vladimir Sengleev. He was warmly received at airport by Kalmyk Buddhists, Tibetans and members of Tibet Support Group. Ven. S. Rinpoche visited the main temple of Kalmykia “Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni” and had meeting with resident monks headed by Rev. Telo Tulku Rinpoche. And he was warmly received by President and Culture Minister of Kalmyk Republic.
Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche gave public teachings on “Commentary on Nagarjuna’s Letter to a Friend” in the main temple hall on two evenings. He had meeting with members of Tibet Support Group, which is legally registered as Friends of Tibet Society.
In Moscow on 7 June Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche gave public talk on “Meditation as Tool for Inner Transformation: How to deepen one’s Spiritual Practice and Avoid Mistakes”. It was organised by Save Tibet Foundation in Moscow. Prof. S. Rinpoche’ s talks and teachings during Russia visit were translated by Mrs. Julia Jironkina, Director of Save Tibet Foundation, who had been translating His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings into Russian since 2009.
Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche was warmly welcomed and received during the recent visit to Moscow, Ulan Ude and Elista. This is his first visit to Russian Federation after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The recent visit to Russia was coordinated by the Tibet Culture and Information Center, which is an official agency of the Central Tibetan Administration. Earlier in 1980s Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche visited Soviet Union, as a member of Tibetan delegation to the conference on peace organised by Russian Orthodox Church.
Buddhism is recognised in Russia as one of the four state religions along with Russian Orthodox Church, Islam and Judaism.