THE BOGD JEVZUNDAMBAS OF MONGOLIA

His Holiness the first Jevzundamba Luvsandambiijantsan [Jentsung Tempa Lobsang Tenpai Gyaltsen 1635-1723], who is also formerly known as Undur Gegeen Zanabazar, was born to the royal family of Tusheet Khan Gombodorj, who was a descendent from the Golden Lineage of Chinggis Khaan, and his Queen Khandjamts in Yusun Zuil of Ilden Beil Khoshuu of Tusheet Khan Aimag [the current name is Zuil Soum of Uvurkhangai Province]. Since Undur Gegeen Zanabazar was an extraordinarily talented child, he recited by heart the entire text, the Singing the Names of Manzushiri, at the age of three. He also learned Indian and Tibetan scriptures at the age of four. At the age of five, in 1639, according to the Mongolian Traditional Calendar, he was recognized as the incarnation of Jetsung Taranatha by His Holiness, the Fifth Dalai Lama Ngagwang Lobsang Choegyi Gyaltsan, and Nechung Oracle of Tibet. He was enthroned as the First Bogd Jevzundamba of Mongolia on the shore of the Lake Shireet Tsagaan, located in front of Ikh Mongol Mountain. In 1649, he went to Tibet to study under the guidance of the Fifth Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama; and he received profound instructions. Upon his return from Tibet, Undur Gegeen Zanabazar began founding monasteries, specifically, Ikh Khuree in the Khentii Mountains in 1654 and Zuun Khuree in 1702.

In the meantime, he started sending Mongolian monks to Gaden, Sera, Drepung and Tashi Lhunpo monasteries in Tibet for advanced Buddhist studies in philosophy.

In the Mongolian Buddhist tradition he has been regarded as a living Buddha and as the highest saint of the Gelukpa Tradition in Mongolia, who made an enormous contribution to Mongolian Buddhism and its development. According to historical sources, he was an outstanding and farsighted politician, born in one of the most critical times of Mongolian history. Serving as a tutor of the Manchu invasion policy in Mongolia and secured the preservation of the Mongolian national identities, including the political borders, and traditional lifestyle.

During his stay in his Tuvkhan Khiid, he composed the Soyombo script and started translating the Kangyur into the Mongolian language. He also had block-prints of numerous Mahayana sutras produced for printing. While he was composing his famous collected works consisting of approximately one hundred texts, he also gained the mastery of creative arts. His masterpieces such as Vajradhara, Green Tara, Medicine Buddha, the Buddhas of the Five Families, Ayush and so forth gave him an international recognition.