Dharamshala: - Former Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche visited Russian Federation from 26-May – 7 June. He was there at the invitation extended by the Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, a branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Kalmyk Buddhist Temple and Save Tibet Foundation in Moscow.
The first leg of his visit had Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche participating in the " International Conference on Buddhism in the Changing World," which was held from 28 – 31 May and organised by the Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences. It was held at Ulan Ude, the capital of Buryat Republic. Prof. S. Rinpoche gave a talk on "The Challenges Faced by Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan Community in the Modern World".
The next day he gave a talk on "The Challenges Faced by Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan Community in the Modern World". He co-chaired the panels on "Buddhism, Philosophy, Science and Comparative Studies" and also participated in the round-table discussion on "Buddhism in the West" and " Russian-Mongolian Cooperation in Studying Buddhism".
Ven. Samdhong Rinpoche spoke about the "Role and Activities of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for the Modern World" at the public presentation of Prof. Robert Thurman's book "Why The Dalai Lama Matters". The two of them met several public figures and organizations and visited the Buddhist temples in Buryat Republic, before having lunch with members of the Tibetan community.
After that, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche visited Elista, the capital of Kalmyk Republic, from 3 – 6 June where he was invited by Shadjin (Head) Lama of Kalmykia and President of Kalmyk Buddhist Union, Rev. Telo Tulku Rinpoche, and former Prime Minster of Kalmyk Republic, Mr.Vladimir Sengleev. Following a warm reception at the airport by Kalmyk Buddhists, Tibetans and members of Tibet Support Group. Ven. S. Rinpoche visited the main temple of Kalmykia "Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni" and met with resident monks headed by Rev. Telo Tulku Rinpoche. He was warmly received by the President and Culture Minister of Kalmyk Republic.
Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche gave public teachings on "Commentary on Nagarjuna's Letter to a Friend" in the main temple hall. He also had meetings with members of Friends of Tibet Society.
On 7 June, the Professor gave a public talk in Moscow on the topic "Meditation as Tool for Inner Transformation: How to deepen one's Spiritual Practice and Avoid Mistakes". It was organized by theSave Tibet Foundation in Moscow.
Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche was warmly welcomed and received during the recent visit to Moscow, Ulan Ude and Elista, which was coordinated by the Tibet Culture and Information Center, an official agency of the Central Tibetan Administration.
This was his first visit to the Russian Federation. He had earlier visited the Soviet Union in the 1980s as a member of the Tibetan delegation to the conference on peace organized by Russian Orthodox Church.
Buddhism, alongwith Russian Orthodox Church, Islam and Judaism are recognized as the four state religions in Russia.