Sokendai Review of Cultural and Social Studies


A Secular Example of Tulku:
Shariwan Gegen XIV in Hoboksair Society


(SOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies),
School of Cultural and Social Studies,
Department of Regional Studies)

Key words:

Hoboksair Mongolian, Shariwan Gegen, Tulku

In this paper I examine how the Hoboksair Mongolian people, who are a minority in Xinjiang Province of China, maintain their belief in Tibetan Buddhism under the multi-ethnic and multi-religious conditions. Especially, I focus on the activities and social roles of Shariwan Gegen XIV, who lives in the Hoboksair region and is one of the prominent Tulkus of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Hoboksair Mongolians are generally surrounded by Kazakhs and Uighurs, who are mostly Muslims. Under such conditions, Shariwan Gegen XIV still exercises a certain degree of influence and authority over the Hoboksair Mongolians and other Buddhists in both China and Russia. By analyzing personal activities, secular moral teachings, and his presence in the Xinjiang province, it mainly reveals scenarios regarding to the religious life, worldview of the Hoboksair Mongolians, and some essential workings of the religion policy of Chinese government. Moreover, it demonstrates an important linkage to a current world-scale problem: the existence of a minority religion in a multi-religious region.