Moscow as Shambhala: The Buryat Deputation at the Coronation of Nicholas II

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Based on archival documents and hitherto poorly known primary sources, this paper analyzes the problem of perception and interpretation of the meaning of Russian emperors’ enthronement ceremonies by the Buriat Buddhists. The solemn coronation ritual was meant to impress representatives of the colonized peoples and convince them in the idea of superiority of the empire and the Orthodox Christianity which sanctified the enthronement. A Tibetan language poem by a Buriat Buddhist monk who was a member of the Buriat delegation to the coronation of Nicholas II in 1896 eloquently illustrates the idea that the enthronement ceremony as a political and cultural event was more complex than one might assume earlier.
Non-Orthodox and non-Christians might not simply share the pathetic sentiments and loyalist enthusiasm about the ceremony with their Orthodox counterparts but also give a new meaning to it within the frames of their religious worldview.
PeriodFeb 12 2020
Held atHigher School of Economics, Russian Federation
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Russia
  • Buddhism
  • Buryats
  • Coronation
  • Tibetan literature
  • Pure Land Buddhism