TENNISONS, Kārlis Alexis

TENNISONS, Kārlis Alexis (Estonian Karl Tõnisson, Russian Karl Mihailovič Tynisson, Pseudonym Vend Vahindra). Umbusi, Põltsamaa, Estonia 8.(20.)8.1873 (not Laura, Latvian Livonia and not 1883) — Rangoon 9.5.1962. Estonian (not Latvian) Bauddha. Born in a landowning family, studied philosophy at St.Petersburg and became interested in Buddhism. He visited Buryatia in 1893 and was active in the Buddhist temple of St.Petersburg, in 1920-23 its director. Fleeing the Bolsheviks, Estonian Embassy did not give a visa. Instead he went to Latvia and took Latvian citizenship. As Latvian citizen he lived later inTartu, Estonia. His pupil was Friedrich V. Lustig, whith whom he moved in 1930 to Bangkok. In 1949 they were expelled from Thailand and went to Burma. In 1954 they appeared in the Sixth Buddhist Council in Burma. They lived then in Rangoon, Lustig dying a while later than his master. Wild rumours about his career are often repeated and perhaps based on his own stories.

Part of the sources insist that he was only born in 1883, but then state that in 1893 he went to Buryatia after university studies.

Publications: About 10 books on Buddhism, 1909-30 (one in Russian, one in Latvia, the rest in Estonian), also wrote against Christianity and fanciful historical and political speculation about Baltic countries.

Sources: Peiris repeats misinformation with poor photo, better accounts in German, Estonian and Russian Wikipedias (R. with photo).

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