shamannism
shamannism

Shamanism is the earliest religious practice in Mongolia. There has not been clear definition of shamanism whether it is religion. However, nowadays, it is formulated as religion as it includes religious components. Researcher O. Purev wrote a book on this topic and named his book as Shamanist Religion of Mongolia (2006). Researchers tend to accept this term. Shamanism was widely spread in different comers of the world particularly in the regions of America, Africa and Eurasia. The common feature of shamanism is worship of heaven, and spirit or spirits of ancestor shamans and help people by calling them and contacting with them. B. Rinchen, S. Badamhatan and Sh.Bold have expressed their opinion about origin of the shamanism. They agreed that shamanism was originated in primitive community particularly during Paleolithic period. Korean researchers say that shamanism appeared in their territory in upper Neolithic period. However shamanist rituals are different in different countries depending on nation’s specificity, its essence is the same everywhere. Shamans are considered to be messengers of heaven and they help to fulfill people’s wishes on the earth connecting them with the spirits in the heaven. Tev Tenger written in Secret History of Mongolia said he flied. Furthermore it is said that there were 7 flying shamans in Khuvsgul. Shamans entrust people to 44 black heavens and 55 white heavens a total of 99 heavens. They call the mental powers which help them, as spirit. Even they materialize the spirit giving it human or animal shape and worship. It is said that at the time when Avtai Sain Khaan brought Buddhism in to Mongolia and invited 3rd Dalai Lama, materialized spirits of all households were collected and destroyed. Before the spread of Buddhism in Mongolia all families worshipped spirits. Researcher of Inner Mongolia H. Buyanbat wrote in his book Shamanist Religion of Mongolia that “shaman and shamans were the first doctors in the history of Mongolia”. We do not completely believe that all shamans are capable to heal. Shamanist therapy might be explained by outstanding skills of specific shamans. According to shamanist concept, illnesses are not given specific names (typhoid, mange) but named as impureness and supernatural hindrance. Impureness is classified into 3 categories: physical impureness, mental impureness and food impureness. Illnesses occurred due to impureness. Shamanist therapy is wholly natural (based on spirits of previous shamans and nature) and conducted in explicit and implicit ways. Implicit way is a kind of psychotherapy. This means it creates faith based on reality.

shamannism
shamannism

Quackery (Sorcery or Magic Remedy). The earliest medical art of Mongolians is quackery. Our ancestors have developed unique treatment methods to cure injury and pathogenic changes of body and passed it through generation to generation. In the beginning the method was inherited orally until 13th century when its main content was started to be written as manuscript in old Mongolian or Clear script. Small sized books containing quackery abraxas, rituals and treatment methods are called Folk Magic Remedy Sutra. Sh.Bold (2005) wrote that “its treatment method is similar to shamanism and shamanist rituals. It assumes illness is an effect of evil spirit. So they use object which contradicts or connects with the evil spirit”. Content and therapeutic principle of Folk Magic Remedy Sutras is absolutely unique and clearly reflected nomadic lifestyle and custom. For instance, in sutra Quackery with Blue Ram treatment methods of 13 types of diseases using horn, liver, bile, heart, brain, bone and fat of blue ram was described. Another sutra explained benefits of milk, and therapeutic quality of hare, fox, black or blue cattle. It also stated that treatment with animal originated medications will be incredibly fruitful. Books or writings about magic remedy of the period after establishment of Great Mongolian Empire are rarely found. Some treatment methods and an order by Chinggis Khaan relevant to quackery were found in Uriankhai Magic Remedy sutra. Front pages of this sutra were missing. This is 15×11 cm and written in Clear script (Mongolian Magic Remedy, B. Purevsuren, 2005). 87 magic remedies were written in pages of 25-30 of the sutra under the heading of “When Chinggis ordered to send medication if Tsagaadai Khaan has some there, Khaan sent medication”. It was written “confidential” on the back of the sutra. This sutra contains interesting facts about Traditional Mongolian treatment methods and magic remedy and it will be an important source to clarify history of medicine of 13th century.

LEAVE A REPLY