Two Letters from the Correspondence of V.E. Sesemann and B.D. Dandaron

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This work presents the two surviving letters preserved from the extensive correspondence of V.E. Sesemann, a professor of philosophy at Vilnius University at the time (1961), and B.D. Dandaron, a Buddhist teacher who was a researcher at the Buryat Integrated Research Institute at that time. The letters discuss the authors’ current work and creative plans, as well as everyday life and resettling after release from prison in 1956. In his letter, B.D. Dandaron devotes significant attention to a list of literature that he was using in writing a study on aesthetics and/or that was mentioned in the records of the lectures of V.E. Sesemann in the prison camp. The letters give some idea of the nature of the relations between the correspondents and the areas of their research interests. The publication is preceded by a preface, which offers reflections on the context of the appearance of lectures on aesthetics that formed the basis of B.D. Dandaron’s research interest in this issue. The preface also provides context on the prison camp “seminar” on philosophy, in which the correspondents were active participants. V.E. Sesemann lectured on a wide range of areas in Western philosophy, including aesthetics, the history of philosophy, and philosophical anthropology. B.D. Dandaron lectured on the philosophy and practice of Buddhism. B.D. Dandaron’s particular interest in aesthetic issues was due to the fact that in the system of Buddhist teachings he developed, he paid great attention to the development of emotional intuition (associated with aesthetic perception) as an intermediate link between the rational intuition inherent in every person and the emotional-mystical intuition developed during yogic practice.

About the authors

Sergei P. Nesterkin

Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3055-5026

Doctor of Philosophical Science, Leading Researcher

6 Sakhyanovoi St, 670047, Ulan-Ude, Russian Federation


  1. Dandaron BD. Selected articles: Black Notebook. Materials for the biography. History of Kokunor. Sumpa Kenpo. Saint Petersburg: Eurasia; 2006. (In Russian).
  2. Dandaron BD. Letters on Buddhist Ethics. Saint Petersburg: Aleteyya; 1997. (In Russian).
  3. Dandaron BD. Thoughts of a Buddhist. Saint Petersburg: Eurasia; 2022. (In Russian).
  4. Sesemann V. Aesthetics. Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi; 2007.

Copyright (c) 2023 Nesterkin S.P.

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