Monument to Zaya Pandita


Monument to Zaya Pandita

Zaya Pandita or Namkhaijamts (1599–1662) was a Buddhist missionary priest and scholar of Oirat origin who is the most prominent Oirat Buddhist scholar.

Zaya Pandita was the fifth son of Babakhan, a minor Khoshut-Oirat prince. After Babakhan converted to Buddhism in the early 17th century, he, like many of the other Oirat princes, wished for one of his sons to enter the Buddhist clergy. In pursuit of his wish, Babakhan chose Zaya to become a bandi (“novice”) monk. In 1615, Zaya journeyed to Lhasa, Tibet where he would study and practice Buddhism, including study under the guidance of the 4th Panchen Lama.


Zaya Pandita

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Republic of Kalmykia

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