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 The first in modern history khurul was opened in Kalmykia 20 years ago

The first in modern history khurul was opened in Kalmykia 20 years ago

One of the largest Buddhist temples in Europe "The Geden Sheddup Choi Korlingen" (the holy monastery of enlightened monks), for first time since the October Revolution, was opened with a huge crowd of people exactly 20 years ago in Elista. The erected high in the desert temple is a real embodiment of dreams of every Kalmyk, a dream came true. That great event took place thanks to the first President of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

The Buddhist khurul, to which he donated a huge amount of personal funds and was personally in charge of its construction, was built in less than a year and a half.
The first stone in the foundation of the temple was laid on June 22, 1995. The opening was held on October 5, 1996. This date would be forever entered in the history of Kalmykia and Kalmyk steppes as a starting point of modern times, a symbol of rebirth, strength of spirit and fortitude of the people. The people who have borne the most severe tests of the Civil War and the Great Patriotic War: the Siberian exile that lasted for 13 years, years of persecution for their faith, destruction of the temples, trampling and demolition of sacred relics... The old men, who thanked the head of the republic, did not hide the tears.
"If the President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov did nothing during his presidency but built and opened that magnificent and majestic Buddhist temple in Elista, even then his name would be worthy of the grateful memory of not only the present but also of many future generations of Kalmyk people," wrote "News of Kalmykia" in those days.
At that time no one knew that in less than 10 years, in December 2005, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov would build and open even more magnificent temple in the centre of Elista - the "Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni", which became the hallmark of Kalmykia, the pride of all Buddhists of Russia.
Back ago on the 5th of October 1996, the President of Kalmykia noted in his speech to the audience: "The road to our temple is paved with suffering and aspirations of many generations of the Kalmyks, who had never given up the hope to worship native shrines during the grim years of totalitarianism and the era of stagnation... Kalmykia can be proud of the acquisition of this priceless treasure in its land. The temple was built thanks to the goodwill of all the believers, every family, every citizen and all the people of Kalmykia."
The opening of the first Buddhist temple in Kalmykia, the place of which had been consecrated by the 14th Dalai Lama in 1992, gathered about 30 thousand people. The heads of denominations, religious leaders from many Russian regions and foreign countries arrived there.
"It will manifest the revival of Kalmyk spiritual traditions," said the head of the Buddhist of Kalmykia Telo Tulku Rinpoche. "People will meditate, read prayers, contemplate and be able to appeal to their souls here…"
"This is certainly a historic event that we all expected for years," assessed the event the spiritual representative of the Dalai Lama in Russia, the CIS countries and Mongolia Geshe Jampa Thinley. "Revolution and the period of Communist rule brought cruel suffering to the Kalmyk people. They have been deprived of the spiritual life for many years. The whole culture was destroyed. Starting from today, there is a new opportunity for each of you to improve yourselves and to learn the spiritual things. The wonderful Syakyusn Syume would contribute to it in many ways".
Syakyusn Syume, popularly known as Arshansky khurul, has become a favorite place for the spiritual retreat of not only believers but also of all those who wish to enjoy the peace and appreciate the colorfully painted walls of khurul.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave teachings in the temple and at its walls in November 2004. The President of Russia Vladimir Putin visited Kalmyk khurul during his visit to the republic of Kalmykia on June 17, 2005.
Today, thanks to Ilyumzhinov, there are Buddhist temples, stupas and other religious buildings in all 13 regions and in many remote areas. However, the first one was "The Geden Sheddup Choi Korlingen", which opened a new page in the history of the spiritual revival of the people.