DANDARON, Bidija Dandarovič. Kižinga, Buryatia 15.12.1914 — Vydrino, Buryatia 26.10.1974. Russian Buryat Lama, Tibetologist and Buddhist Scholar. Son of Dorji Badmaev, a Tantric practitioner. In 1921 he was declared the heir of Lobsang Samdan and in 1924 succeeded him as formal head of the Vajrayānic Balagat movement. In 1934 he came to Leningrad to study aeronautic engineering, but also attended Vostrikov’s lectures at the university. Both Vostrikov and Dandaron were arrested in 1937, and Dandaron was sentenced for ten years to prison camp. In 1943 he was released to internal exile, but went to Buryatia and was rearrested there in 1947. Again released in 1956 he obtained a post at Buryat Institute of Social Sciences in Ulan-Udé and soon became a popular teacher attracting students from Western Russia (e.g. A. Pjatigorskij and O. Volkova, also Estonian L. Mäll). In 1972 again arrested on charge of illegal religious activity and sent to Vydrino camp, where he died after having been forced to work in a poor state of health. In the 1950s he learned Western philosophy (esp. Kant) in camp and later interpreted it in Buddhist light.
Publications: With Ju. M. Parfionovič and B. V. Semičov: Kratkij tibetsko-russkij slovar’. M. 1959.
– Opisanie tibetskih rukopisej i ksilografov. 1-2. Ulan-Udè 1960-65.
– Translated: Sumba-Hambo. Istorija Kuku-nora, nazyvaemaja “Prekrasnye noty iz pesni Brahmy”. M. 1972; Černaja tetrad’, 1. Pis’ma o buddijskoj ètike. 2. Mysli buddista. 352+244 p. SPb. 1997
– Mysli buddista. 179 p. Vladivostok 1992; Černaja tetrad’. O četyreh blagorodnyh istinah Buddy. 96 p. SPb. 1995; Buddism. Sbornik statej. 142 p. SPb. 1996.
– Articles listed by Vasil’kov and Sorokina.
Sources: J. Snelling, Buddhism in Russia. Shaftesbury, Dorset 1993, 260-263; Vasil’kov & Sorokina 2003, 139-141 with photo and further references (but not in Miliband); Wikipedia with another photo, more details in *Russian version.
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