Russian Tsar as Cakravartin: A Buriat Lama’s View of the Coronation of Nicholas II

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Based on Russian archival documents and hitherto poorly known primary sources, Nikolay Tsyrempilov’s paper is a study of the Buryat Buddhist perception and interpretation of the Russian emperors’ enthronement ceremonies. Buryat Buddhist hierarchs were among the many Central Asian elites invited to the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II in 1896. The paper argues that the Buddhists did not simply share their Orthodox counterparts’ understanding of the ceremony, but also gave new meaning to it within the frames of their own religious worldview and Buddhist conceptions of kingship. In this understanding, Moscow and St. Petersburg became Pure Lands made holy thanks to the presence of an enlightened deity, the Tsar.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Early 20th Century Resurgence of the Tibetan Buddhist World
Subtitle of host publicationStudies in Central Asian Buddhism
EditorsAlex McKay, Yumiko Ishihama
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9789463728645
ISBN (Print)9789463728645
Publication statusSubmitted - 2021


  • Tibet
  • Tibetan Buddhism


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