The Buddhist factor in Oirat legislation

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The legislative acts, adopted by the Oirad in the middle of the XVII - the middle of the XVIII centuries, proceeded from the real external and internal political situation, depended on the influence of religious and social conditions. Laws of 1640 should be recognized as the most universally recognized and authoritative ones, since they were supposed to strengthen the relations of the Oirad with the Eastern Mongols, the unity (mutual assistance and interaction) of the Oirad in the conditions of the collapse of their former (Middle) Confederation. But it was precisely the consequences of the disintegration that necessitated the development of new, more “local” versions of laws, that have been adopted in Jungar (Decrees of Galdan Boshogtu-khan), Qoshut (“Mongolian code” of Gushi-khan, “Basic code of Kukunor chuulgan”), and later in Kalmyk (“Togtol”) khanates. Despite the fact that the Buddhist factor is reflected in pointed legislative acts quite clearly, religion is represented on a larger scale especially in Qoshut ones, which should be explained by the proximity of Tibetan sacred authorities to Qoshut people (Kukunor region) and the role of Qoshut “kings” (rgyal po). “Togtol” laws, adopted by the Kalmyk ruler Donduk-Dashi, also supplemented Laws of 1640, and marked the formation of a special community grouped around certain sacred texts.

About the authors

Baatr Kitinov

Institute of Oriental Studies Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.

PhD, Associates Professor, Senior research fellow, Department of history of East

12, str.Rozhdestvenka str., Moscow, Russian Federation, 107031


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