G.Mend-Ooyo
Дэлхий ээж тандаа би хайртай
World Poetry Days in Mongolia
Works

Essays

The 15th of March is the birthday of my teacher Begzin Yavuuhulan, a great poet and enlightener of Mongolia. Here is my essay, through which I want to deliver his last words to our next generation. I am preparing a book of essays in English, in which this essay will be included.
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The famous Dariganga region of Mongolia took its name from two of its iconic landmarks -the Dara Mountain and Ganga Lake. The inhabitants, known as Darigangians, created a peculiar nomadic culture in the southeastern Mongolia. In this region, a large collection of ancient Indian stories, called the Ulgeriin Dalai (Ocean of Stories) is frequently heard. The collection is also placed on top a chest in the northern section of gers of some elders. The collection has a chapter about “Ganga and Dara, two sons of the heavens”, reminding me of the river or lake names in my homeland and in India.

When you lookout from top of the Dara Mountain, or better known as the Golden Hill, you have a beautiful view of sand dunes edging the foot of the mountain, red willow growing on the lake shores and thousands of birds flying in, as if it was the legendary land of Shambala. The lake is fed by twenty-one springs. The numbers also symbolize something special. Mother Tara has twenty one manifestations.
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Everyone was amazed, and from that time, the child's extraordinary talent and ability began to reveal itself. Atthe age of six, he took the vows of a monk, and at nine he was recognised as a the fifth incarnation of the Noyon Hutagt. Between eleven and fifteen, he studied Buddhist philosophy and tantric practise at Badgarcholin Monastery, in what is today Inner Mongolia, and great teachers such as Janjaa Hutagt, Ajaa Gegeen and Düinhor Pandit gave him the instructions and empowerments for secret mantra practises, and so his magical and spiritual genius became gradually more and more open. Although great scholars of religion study the Dharma for about ten years and so reach a high level, Danzanravjaa was amazing in that he took a short cut and penetrated the secrets of the Dharma after about five years. At sixteen he returned to the place of his birth and, as he perfected the practise of secret mantra, he began to build what is now Övörbayasgalant Hamriin Hiid. Two years later his father Dulduit died. After this time, he gave himself to building temples and monasteries and to magical practises such as bringing rain and spreading the Dharma, he wrote poetry and composed music and songs, and he choreographed dances, and so he spread magic and brought enlightenment to his homeland of the Govi.
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My father, who was a livestock herder in the countryside, first showed me the Mongol script by writing it in the snow, out in the sheep pastures, with a piece of feathergrass, he told me that I should learn the script.  Thus it was that I came to study in the department of Mongol Language and Literature at the Pedagogical University. I had had the chance to go to the University for Literary Studies in Moscow, but chose not to take that path.  Because of the political situation at that time, and because of the increased pay it would bring, as I read the classic texts of Marxism-Leninism, and commited some of them to memory, I began also to study the ancient Mongol texts.
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Looking back on my life in poetry and literary culture, the history of my work appears to have been a flight within, for indigenous Mongol knowledge, for its traditions, its nature and its culture. These four ancient matters are forever calling to me, forever disturbing me, they constitute the ancient writings, collected in the landscape and the language of my birthplace, the melodies of the horsehead fiddle, and traditional understanding. In the first few years, balancing Mongol script and traditional culture, I sought the possibility of expressing my own inner world, my own thoughts, through the combination of ink and brush, and so I began to make my first calligraphies on paper with ink and a brush. At first these calligraphies were modest, simple works, my own nature poems written in Mongol script. Later, I tried to show the melody of my poems through the movement of the brush. This period was important for me as the coming together of poetry and calligraphy.
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Near the ruins of the city around Mexico’s pyramid, they found a crystal human skull. The man who found this crystal skull dreamed that he saw what was happening a thousand years ago, as though in a movie. This skull produced unending amazement in anthropological circles and he explained what ancient peoples of our earth had done, and answered the scholars’ questions about how the ancients had used the skull and with what implements they had made it. There were noisy rumors that such crystal skulls had been found, not only in Mexico and America, but in Mongolia too.
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I wrote this poem, called "I am coming to you," in a large group of tents beneath a starry sky, one night, swimming in a deep sleep. At that moment, as I gazed at the peaks of the great hills, overcome by the feeling that the dark cranes were flying beyond those lofty, white mountains, the poem took birth. They came to me, the child of nomads, raised as the dark cranes of the saltmarshes had been raised, they came to the bright pages of my notebook, these dark cranes of desire, so many of them, flying in complex filigree.
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Some eight hundred years ago, the Mongolian haan Hubilai had the idea of sailing from his country to Japan. He thought to bring eight thousand boats across Korea, which was then under his juridiction, that he might on the boats transport his cavalry over to the islands of Japan. It was a very romantic and earnest desire, and it was never realised.
However, I have made a boat with poetry’s divine purity and fulfilled this thirteenth century desire, and made a link between the peaceful wishes of the people of Mongolia and Japan. Poetry cannot be grasped in the hand, it iss a magic rainbow. And so I have named this book of mine The Rainbow Vessel.
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They moved, then, nomadically, from the winter encampment in the kidney-red and stony desert, where the piebald goat pauses to stand, to the flat summit of the mountain, where saussurea flowers grow in pairs, and, as Yavuuhuman journeyed from this, the land of his father, who hunted on the ridges of the mountain, to Ulaanbaatar, he was moving among the elders’ tales and the long songs, and amidst the wonder of stories. In 1952, he finished school in Sanhüü and went to live in the capital. His father Begz, together with his two younger brothers, gathered a few cattle together and travelled to Ulaanbaatar, the many bells on their carts jangling. In 1949, as a student at the Financial Polytechnic, Yavuuhulan had assembled his first poems and these had been published as two books, What We Desire (1950) and Under the Blue Sky (1952). He went to Moscow to study at the famous A M Gorky University, which specialised in literature. The years 1954-1959, while Yavuuhulan was a student at this university, one of the principal schools of the arts in the world, resulted in a flowering of his poetic output. In 1959 his book Lyrics was published in Russia, and a second book, The Sound of a Silver Bridle, in Mongolian, and these announced the arrival on the poetry scene of a special, lyrical, voice. And while this poet, who had tasted the essence of Mongolia’s ancient epics, its long songs, stories and poetic tradition, was studying the finest literary traditions of the east, this was for him a great nomadic journey through poetry.
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Essays