Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Mongolia | 24 Incarnations of Javzandamba

As you know, Zanabazar, the first Bogd Gegen of Mongolia, was the 16th Incarnation of Javzandamba. You may be aware of some but perhaps not all of the other 23 Incarnations of Javzandamba. Here’s the full list:
1. Lodoi-shindu-namdak — One of the Buddha’s original disciples
2. Barbizobo — head of the 500 pundits who dwelt at Nalanda Monastery in India, during the time of the Indian sage Nagarjuna (probably in the first century AD).
3. Narbujobdo — Born in India, biographical data lacking.
4. Radanchenbo — Born in India, biographical data lacking.
5. Ronsomchoisan — First incarnation to appear in Tibet, during the lifetime of the Bengal-born sage Atisha (982-1054 AD).
6. Dambabanchug — Born in Tibet, biographical data lacking.
7. Odserbal — Born in Tibet, biographical data lacking.
8. Brugdajantsan — Born in Tibet, biographical data lacking.
9. Sanjairaichen — Born in Tibet, biographical data lacking.
10. Samgabadra — Born in Tibet, biographical data lacking.
11. Jamyan Tsorj —Tashi Pelden in Tibetan; born in Tibet near Samye Monastery. A close disciple of Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelug sect, he established Drepung Monastery in 1416 and more than one hundred other monasteries and hermitages all over Tibet.
12. Choijininjed — Born in Ceylon during the latter part of the life of the First Dalai Lama, Gendun Drubpa (1391-1474).
13. Gungaadolchog — Born in the Tibetan province of “Nari” (Ngari?) during the time of the Second Dalai Lama, Gendun Gyatso (1475-1542).
14. Gajedsajon — Born in India, the son of a Indian king. Died at the age of fourteen.
15. Jonanjavzandaranata — Taranatha (1575–1634), member of the Jonang sect, founder of Puntsokling Monastery in Tibet; prolific author whose works include the History of Buddhism in India and Origins of Tara Tantra; died in Mongolia in 1634.

Eight Bogd Gegens of Mongolia


Image of Zanabazar in the Zanabazar Art Museum, Ulaan Baatar

16. (1) Zanabazar (1635-1723)
17. (2) Lusandanbidonme (1724–1757) Born in Mongolia, son of Dondub, himself the son of Zanabazar’s nephew.
18. (3) Ish├╝vdennyam (1758–1773) Born in Tibet.
19. (4) Luvsanbanchujigmedjamts (1775–1813) Born in Tibet,cousin of the 7th Dalai Lama.
20. (5) Luvsants├╝ltemjigmeddorj — (1815–1842) Born in Tibet.
21. (6) Luvsanbaldanbijantsan — (1842–1847?) Born in Tibet, died a young boy of small pox.
22. (7) Choijibanchugprinleijamts (1850–1868) Born in Tibet.


Portrait of the 8th Bogd Gegen in the Zanabazar Art Museum, Ulaan Baatar

23. (8) Luvsanchoijinimadanzinbanchug (1870–1924) Born in Tibet.

Current Incarnation of Javzandamba


Jampal Namdrol Chokye Gyaltsen

24. Jambalnamdolchoijijantsan — Jampal Namdrol Chokye Gyaltsen , born in Tibet, exactly date unknown; apparently in the late 1920s or early 1930s. Recognized as the incarnation of Javzandamba by the 14th Dalai Lama in 1991. Currently lives in India.

Since there were only fifteen incarnations of Javzandamba between the time of Buddha, generally recognized as about 2500 years ago, and the birth of Zanabazar, the first Bogd Gegen, in 1635, and given the average life span of human beings, there would appear to be long periods of time when there was no living representative of the line, and that it was in effect dormant. This is not precisely the case however. As learned lamas explained to the Russian ethnologist A, M. Podzneev in the 1890s, “during the rest of the time he [Javzandamba] was reborn in diverse parts of the universe with the purpose of benefit not only to people but to beings of other worlds; these reincarnations of him are unknown to anyone beside the Gegeen himself, and that is why there are no legends about them whatsoever.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tibetan monk Kun dga\\\' grol mchog wrote about the previous reincarnations of Rje btsun dam pa Hutuqtus - one can find these biographies in the first volume of his gsung \\\'bum. Besides Pozneev, S. Hummel and the very first P.S.Pallas (through Dzaya Pandita),Klong rdol bla ma,Taranatha are also authors about this subject. David Templeman from Australia knows many things about reincarnation-persons.
george somlai