THE FIRST HIGH SAINT OF MONGOLIA
THE HEAD OF MONGOLIAN BUDDHISM ZANABAZAR
The first religious leader and the most prominent figure in Renaissance art of Mongolia are Zanabazar. Undur Gegeen Zanabazar, born Eshidorji, was the sixteenth Jebtsundamba Khutuktu and the first Bogd Gegeen, or supreme spiritual authority, of the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) lineage of Buddhism in Mongolia.
The son of the central Mongolia Tusheet Khan, Zanabazar was declared spiritual leader of Khalkha Mongols by a convocation of nobles in 1639 when he was just four years old. The 5th Dalai Lama (1617–1682) later recognized him as the reincarnation of the Buddhist scholar Taranatha and bestowed on him the Zanabazar in Mongolian meaning "thunderbolt scepter of wisdom". Over the course of nearly 60 years, Zanabazar advanced the Gelugpa school of Buddhism among the Mongols, supplanting while strongly influencing social and political developments in 17th century Mongolia. His close ties with both Khalka Mongol leaders and the devout Kangxi Emperor facilitated the Khalkha's submission to Qing rule in 1691.
In addition to his spiritual and political roles, Zanabazar was a polymath – a prodigious sculptor, painter, architect, poet, costume designer, scholar, and linguist, who is credited with launching Mongolia's seventeenth-century cultural renaissance. He is best known for his intricate and elegant Buddhist sculptures created in the Nepali-derived style, two of the most famous being the White Tara and Varajradhara, sculpted in the 1680s. To aid translation of sacred Tibetan texts, he created the Soyombo script from which sprang the Soyombo that later became a national symbol of Mongolia. Zanabazar used his artistic output to promote Buddhism among all levels of Khalkha society and unify Khalkha Mongol tribes during a time of social and political turmoil.
The symbol which he has created became the Mongolian State symbol - emblem. And the preachment which he had written became Mongolian traditional religion. Also, sculptures made by him one considered to be precious not only in Mongolia but also in Orient. They also include the world cultural treasury in it. And his sculptures glorified him as a Micqiul Angello of the Orient. At the age of 13, he was sent to Tibet, where he was studied Buddhist philosophy, history, and craft under the Dalai Lama. He learned all five subtle intellect and came back to Mongolia a with the title which called Spirit of Zabzandarnat. Spirit of Zabzandarnat was one of the 84 most perfect Indian magicians in Buddhism. And he was born 6 times in India. 21 times in Tibet. Zanabazar was the first Spirit of Zabzandarnat which was born in Mongolia. After his arrival in Mongolia. Undur Gegeen Zanabazar has created all his great creation.
He died in 1723 in Beijing. His body was taken to what would be Ulaanbaatar and later was entombed in a stupa at Amarbayasgalant Monastery. Images of Zanabazar are seen throughout Mongolia.
The fine art museum is called after his name and displays his most famous works including the Green Tara, White Tara, Five Dhyani Buddhas, and his portraits, etc. The fine art museum has a good selection of Mongolian art starting from the period of the middle stone age, the new findings of the Shoroon Bumbagar burial, old paintings of Uighurs and 20th-century artworks. The second floor mainly exhibits Buddhist art from the early 1900s, including the longest silk appliques, Mandala, thangkas of the dharmas and the impressive Tsam dance masks. The last room displays the masterpiece of the museum, the most famous painting of Sharav, ‘One day of Mongolia’.