Tsevelee


Basic information
Interviewee ID: 990910
Name: Tsevelee
Parent's name: [blank]
Ovog: [blank]
Sex: f
Year of Birth: 1972
Ethnicity: [unknown]

Additional Information
Education: [unknown]
Notes on education:
Work:
Belief:
Born in: sum, Uvs aimag
Lives in: sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession:
Father's profession:


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Translation:



The Oral History of Twentieth Century Mongolia

Byambajav -

I am very glad that you have received my inter…invitation and are taking part in this interview.

Tsevelee -

Thank you very much.

Byambajav -

Well, I am very glad that you have received my inter…invitation and taking part in this interview.

Tsevelee -

I am also glad.

Byambajav -

Before we start the interview I should ask and clarify from you certain points.

Tsevelee -

Ok

Byambajav -

This is the following all the information contained in your interview will be used by scholars and scientists after ten years or hundred years from now in their research as well as for broadcasts on radio and television, newspapers and journals basically as source of reference in all forms of public media by us as well. Would you allow us to do that?

Tsevelee -

I’ll allow.

Byambajav -

Well, thank you. One more question. If you so wish you can keep your name in secret or else you can say it openly without concealing.

Tsevelee -

No concealing leave as it is…

Byambajav -

Well, thank you. Let’s now start the interview.

Tsevelee -

ok

Byambajav -

Аа, will you first of all introduce yourself and then tell in some details about your life.

Tsevelee -

I am called Tsevelee. I was born in 72, one thousand nine hundred. I was born in centre (capital town)of Uvs aimag. I am the second of 9 children. My father is a repairman. My mother was a herder. I married in 96 and moved to Ulaanbaatar in 99. My life is more or less satisfactory. Of course, there is always ups and downs in one’s life. My first child was born in ninety sev… 93, then in 2000 my husband married another and left me. So my life was truly hard, very difficult indeed. My life was really hard, I was suffering together with my 4 children, so at times even the thought to commit suicide came to my mind. It was terribly difficult then later after a while when I moved to this sub-district then this Asral centre was established. So I heard that it was receiving children of the poorest families in kindergarten. Review lessons are organized for children. Food is served. (0-02-43) So after hearing that I came to this monastery in October 2004. And I gave my children to the kindergarten, I myself started attending the explanatory lessons of Gevsh teacher, hence I began to understand what represents the meaning of an individual’s life. So then on 30 July 2005 I got an employment here. I work as a cook. So I came to the understanding that the teachings of Buddha are truly essential for one’s life. Because when you are unfamiliar with the teachings of Buddha, you encounter a lot of discouraging moments of life. You are depressed when for some reason your did not succeed, and feel miserable. Now, hence I am immersed in the scriptures (under the influence of the teachings) even moments of fear, anger and resentment happen I can restrain myself and never wish to be angry. I do not wish bad for any one, no harbour bad wish. If things are bad it is because of me, therefore I think only about good things and if I continue to nurture good intentions in my mind then things become indeed very nice. Yeah. A person who enjoyed true happiness, luxury and comfort in the care of one’s mother and father after marriage when the life becomes unbearably hard, loses courage and think of suicide and moments of discourage occurs. What you really need at that moment is the teachings of Buddha. That is why I am trying not miss a lesson of my teacher and wish as many people as possible attend the lessons. I wish those children who are drifting outside, just playing or people loitering around to attend the lesson, and to improve the livelihood of at least a single person. ??? (0-04-42) I told you before there are 9 of us. The eldest sister is living in the countryside. Five, six of us are here (in Ulaanbaatar). Two of my younger siblings, three in all are in a sense are students. Yes??? Though they are students they also attend the lessons (on Buddhist teachings), my fifth younger brother is a terribly aggressive child. His temper flares up suddenly. Then since last Autumn he has been attending the teacher’s lessons. Now, he has become different. He says sister Tsevelee I am changing myself. (0-05-12) Previously I used to be very angry, quick tempered and whenever I saw your four children I became angry, scolded and beat them. Now I hold back myself, now I always tell them you are my younger brothers you should not do this or that. So as you can see Buddhist religion is really useful in men’s life. And now my children also attend the lessons for the children. Two of them receive meals, one is attending the school, he also attended English language course last summer. In the evening we all sit down and I recite in the evening hymn to Buddha…we all pray and recite the hymns. I recite “Itgel” (refuge), hymns of goddess Green Tara all of them. After that all children sit in meditation. Occasionally some of them do disturb, then I would say to the one “You are not going to grow up as a good man. For what previous deed of mine you were born to me. You are indeed the fruit of my actions (in previous life)” then the child will calm down. Therefore, I think it (teaching) is very important for that very reason I say it to them. My son came back saying mother I defended my friend and fought with child of a stranger. So I said how it happened sonny you are attending lessons of Buddha. Why did you enter into fight? When that boy was teasing your friend that “he is bowlegged, his hair is cut and it was impossible to say whether he was a boy or girl. Why did you not explain and tell him, can’t you see who is he, a boy or girl, have you good eye sight. Why did you fight that boy. You should have explained him.” Yesterday my son said: yes, I should have explained, I must have done that. I tell him my son you should avoid as much as possible from fight and brawls and try to reason your friends. Otherwise what is use of you going to the lessons of the teacher. He says, yes I must have done that. (laughs) Yeah. It is useful. Since my husband left us in the beginning when we have not yet became devotees of Buddhist teaching, we all terribly hated him. You have left me with my four children. (0-07-16) You brought upon us these sufferings you will…also suffer. We’ll see how you will suffer and hated him awfully. This was the thought I had in my mind. Now, since I became a devotee I stopped that. Because, the poor man is born as a human in this world why should he be suffering together with us, let him pursue his happiness, at least a person finds his happiness. If all living beings which is the six beginning (causes) of everything should enjoy happiness let him enjoy that happiness I thought. We now do not suffer and experience difficulties at all. Because after we started attending the lessons (on scriptures) every one is enjoying peace of mind and tranquillity. We all have been able to change for the better. My children hated their father, I also hated my husband but now the hatred is a thing of the past. So we wish him good and if we are able help him, if not what can we do. So I think if he can take care of himself and is content let it be. My children want to become lamas. My child (laughs) a daughter also thinks that way. After we met our teachers the children’s thinking have changed, it has become very nice. My 9 old child, he will reach 9…yesterday, we had no coal, it was over. Even during day the ger was very cold, I instructed him to copy down a subject five times and learn it by heart beforte I come back and sent home. He said: “It was very cold and I copied the lesson only once. Because of the cold I couldn’t finish my lesson….???” (0-08-44) Since it was very cold in the ger we all went into our beds and recited the book, It was cold. After recital we meditated, but he continued to sit alone in meditation. I asked what happened he said I’ll meditate for five days until the start of new term and wearing warm clothes he continued to sit in meditation. What can I do we are all in the bed because it was too cold why are you sitting like this I said. He said when you meditate this way you don’t feel cold at all (laughs) so he continued. Therefore, human spirit is truly marvellous. In such a cold ger a nine old boy was sitting in this manner meditating. (0-09-13) I said because of cold we are all in bed, sonny get into your bed. He said I don’t feel cold, I am meditating. I’ll meditate in this manner for five days. The reason why he did that was the following I told him my son you are not learning the books (not doing good at his studies). He was saying why I am not learning, shall I try meditating for a few days. Then I said if you do that you will become an excellent student. So he decided to meditate. He meditated day before yesterday, yesterday…two days before that. And apparently some intention came to his mind. Yesterday, he said that he will meditate every evening. Even I said it was cold in the ger get into bed he was still meditating. So Buddhist learning is really different. That is how we are doing under the protection of our teachers, before this our life was very difficult. We had no food. My husband used to come back once in two three days, he would give a thousand tugrugs and he leaves. In the mid of winter frost we had no firewood nor coal. I was still carrying my youngest child. In that extremely difficult situation I was unable to go out and work. Even so I was herding the sheep of others on pasture, milked cows in Shadavlin. I was pregnant my belly got huge but still looked after sheep herd, riding horse travelled up and down mountains, when I came back home in the evening my 7 year old daughter have meals prepared and swept clean the home. Imagine how we can have enough to eat for three days spending just one thousand tugrugs, how about firewood and coal. We had to look after something to burn in the cold of the winter so we living in a very difficult situation. Then I started attending lessons on Buddha that changed my mind set if your fate is…right what do they say. If your intentions are right then the fate will be right they say. Though I have been through sufferings and difficulties I did not complain against my husband. At times I thought probably I was a fool. Because when this man was doing such bad things to me I harboured no grudge against him. But since I was person with right intention, in turn I met my teacher, came to the scripts and my live has been completely changed.(0-11-09) Living in such difficult condition if my hatred was getting deeper and deeper I would not have been like this today. Even sometimes I thought about him what can I do this poor man is suffering more than me. ??? (0-11-23) What will happen to those without a cover over their heads, those living in under ground canalization systems without food and drink, and who are suffering more than me. I am much better off than they are. I have a shelter, then food. At least I have my children with me. I should make them equals to men, make them men. That will be enough. That time I was terribly ill so, I wanted to remain alive until my youngest child to reach 18. If I could put on their feet the elder sisters of her they will take care of the younger siblings. I shall make out of my only son a lama. Otherwise, since his father is such a person, he might follow his footsteps was my thought. That is why I am trying to bring them closer to the teachings of Buddha, now my 4 year old daughter knows by heart the prayers “megzem” and constantly recites them. She can not count how many times she recited, when we recite the tarni (dharani, mantra) of the God Janraisag “Om mani badme hum”, I recite ??? (0-12-15),and my daughter recites after me. Then she recites sometimes too rapidly or very slowly so my younger brother keep the count, when it reaches 108 we say that is enough. But she recites (laughs) again.???(0-12-26) so I would let her continue for it is the scripture of Buddha…in general our life good. Now, I don’t have much worries. People say that te salary I receive is more or less enough. As for me my salary is exactly what I need. Last autumn I received a loan from the centre and erected the fence, received firewood and coal in assistance. And then I receive assistance from various…. organizations and with my salary I can manage, I am determined that my children receive good education, one child is attending IQ courses, the other participated in Olympiads, thus things are running more or less smoothly. (0-13-03) That is why I am content and in high spirits, in addition to it there is the support of my teachers. When the teachers praise my children “Oh your children are excellent students. How wonderful it is, children-you are doing good” they are also encouraged. One is attending IQ course, another one in the first grade is not doing that well. But lately he is meditating so forth and so on, most importantly he is receiving moral support. My child always prays for the wellbeing of all living beings he apparently can not learn by heart the words “эх болсон зургаан зүйлийн хамаг амьтан” (Six beginnings /causes/ and all living beings?). So I told to my children to pray for the wellbeing of all living beings and they pray for that. Even we live in the city it was only before this lunar new year that we received the electricity. We have no TV set. I gave to sister Badmaa for repair the TV set, she brought it back today. Then since we don’t have TV we pray and chant scriptures of Buddha. Children do their lessons. Then they occasionally play. If they become too noisy I scold them but they don’t run after one another and raise a lot of noise. After playing 5 to 10 minutes they sit and do their lessons, if they want to sing we all sing prayers (megzem) together instead of singing various other songs, we think singing these prayers will relieve many other people from their sufferings. We believe that instead of singing various songs it is better for all of us to chant or sing prayers this way at least a person will be saved from the suffering. My 4 year old daughter until she learned prayer by heart terribly mixed it. So one day I reproached her. And I said if you don’t learn this prayer in three days you will never again sleep together with me and she soon learned it by heart. Then I told about it to sister Otgoo. I made her to learn by heart the prayer by saying so and so. Then she said “You should not make the child to learn out of fear. She was afraid that is why she learned it quickly.” I don’t think so. If they do not obey ??? (0-14-43) my words, then I have sometimes use strong expressions. Such as well, if you do not do this my children you will never become a good person etc., they would quickly grasp the idea.(0-14-53) So she was probably not frightened. Day before yesterday she again did not listen me, when all of us were meditating and reciting the book she was giggling. So I scolded her and said well, well, you are not going to be a good person. One thing that really frightens her, as she the youngest one, when I say that I’ll never sleep together with her. She immediately obeys me. Yesterday I noticed that she was behaving very good and stopped giggling. She was saying I’ll now never giggle (during prayer). I understood she said. (laughs) That is why I think that my way of educating is probably right. I am trying to give them as good as possible education. The dream of my eldest daughter is to become a model (mannequin) or person of that kind. Or she wants to become …??? (0-15-34). The second one wanted to be a doctor. Then we met the teacher, she saw him… But now she says I would like to be a nun. (laughs) I tell them my children you can try either of them, but when grow up gradually you have to choose your profession. The third one wanted to be a lama. In the beginning when he was not attending religious lessons and did not understand the meaning of Buddhist religion he thought that lamas go around, visit different families recite and chant books and receive donations or alms for that (not book as in the text). This was what he thought. I’ll become a very rich lama, visit families and receive money he used to tell. I would say no my son, you should not talk like this, don’t you see my teacher, he chants books, teaches children thus he is saving many people from their sufferings. Why don’t you do the same thing however, now he understands. At first he used to say “I’ll become a lama go around and recite books” (laughs) If I had not attended lessons on scriptures probably I would also have the same mentality just like the child that ??? (0-16-35 ) and probably send him to Gandan and he’d become a lama who would be going around chanting prayers without comprehending deeply the religion…Only after working here I came to know that there is the philosophy Buddhist religion and how thanks to it man’s life can be changed for the good, before I had no idea about it. (0-16-55) Now, our Mongols say I visited one monastery and ordered recital of a book. Well, now my wind horse and spirit will soar up high. The god of profit of my trade will do this or that. My fortune will come, they say. I was also one of them. Then I came here attended the lessons of my teacher, took note of everything he said and carefully read them. So by attending the lessons of the teacher you understands the meaning of the Buddhist religion, therefore I recite the books. If did not come here, if I did not meet my teacher and the scriptures here, I would have trained a lama who recites the books only and would be content with that. But when you attend the lessons here you see the difference. So I intend to send my children to these lessons without interruption. I can’t bring here my child who is only 4 years old, she is too young, isn’t she? When she will be 5, 6 may be 7 or 8… I’ll bring her to attend the lessons of my teacher. Until then I’ll be attending the congregation of the fifteenth and reciting prayers. My children are fond of religious books (scriptures). So my children are the children of scriptures, the teacher has left in December. Recently the children came to their lessons. And… they were all asking when the teachers were coming back. They attended the lessons and got some understanding, therefore they missed their teacher, asked why the teacher was not coming. The children are very interested in these lessons. Children of our sub-district, children from other sub-districts, as well as children of my son-in-laws come to the lessons. They all attend Saturday lesson and the Sunday lessons, all them run around here. I consider that meeting the scriptures was my great luck. First sister Otgoo visited families in ger district and told that there is a nice kindergarten. And asked whether I want to give my child, and told me that she wanted to enlist my youngest child in the kindergarten. But my child has liver problem. So she attended the kindergarten for sometime last year and had to leave, this year she went but also had to take leave unable continue to attend the kindergarten. I hope she will be better by next year. If she is better I’ll send her (to kindergarten). She bleeds from her nose and therefore she can’t attend the kindergarten. (0-18-52) Because she has become too active and lively. She says it was wonderful in the kindergarten. Asked why she told me they have statue of Buddha, seated on the special platform for the Buddha. My son who is the third child elder brother of the daughter attended the kindergarten last spring for three or four months. He told me that in the morning when they gather they all pray to the Buddha before taking their seats. Then during the day they play in Buddha and pray to each other and they enjoy that immensely. So even in the kindergarten a number of children are studying teachings of Buddha and getting some knowledge. I know that they have seen our folders and are learning all the maani and megzem (prayers). Yes. So my son told me, it is wonderful Mammy. We in the morning all pray to the Buddha and play Buddha and his disciples. So the activities of our centre ??? (0-19-41) penetrate deeply into life of people, and we do that, we seek and find ourselves, provide assistance to the poor, may be not very poor but families with limited possibilities, such as families with many children, in coal and firewood, food and clothing. For example sister Otgoo tells me see what families are living in your vicinity and study their life. And when you watch it is clearly seen who is short of something, who has many children or many people live in one ger. So we try to be of genuine help to those who are working hard for their livelihood, to enlist them into the rank believers of Buddha, explain them meaning of the teachings. But as people say that the time has not arrived, some people would not come to the lessons on teachings that is the difficulty we encounter. My husband is the eldest of eight children so I implore my father and mother in-laws as well as brothers and sisters in-laws, there will be chanting of such nice book, please come once. And plead them, will you. Apparently the time has not arrived and some of the do not come. Some do attend. My younger siblings attended the congregation of “Goddess Green Tara” and spent the night in congregation and they were marvelled. It is so wonderful they said. Yeah. People who had the real taste of scriptures are completely different. (0-20-51) I would like to mention one thing last year we rented a ger from one family. A year before I gave an application to the chairman of the sub-district requesting to give me a ger, a whole year has passed. I had no ger at all. It was just like that. Two months passed since I started attending the lessons on scriptures. The time of congregation of the Goddess Green Tara came, I was told that we’ll spend the night in congregation, so came and spent the night there. Apparently at that time I displayed deep devotion and faith. After spending the night in of congregation of Goddess Green Tara I came back home and was resting when sister Otgoo came running told me to take 20 bag of coal, so we received it. After they gave us the coal the next day was the 25th of the first winter month (зулын 25). Then suddenly people with vehicles came in and they brought us two bags of flour, rice, coal and firewood, awfully lot of them. They said they were coming from “Oyuny Undraa” (Source of wisdom) company. We are giving assistance to families with hard life, your name was given to us from your sub-district. What can I do, how wonderful it is. And I prayed to my teacher the Buddha. Oh, how wonderful is the scriptures of Buddha. I am, the one who attended lessons on scriptures only for a month or two. I was happy how nice it is to have genuine faith and devotion and keep your mind right, then another surprise was to come. Suddenly I was told that I was summoned at the office of the sub-district. I came running to the office then they told me to go the welfare centre. When I came there I was told you will receive a ger, come tomorrow. Then what do I do, it was only two months after I began attending lessons on scriptures, apparently my faith and devotion were so strong. I was waiting for the ger a for whole year, so only after 2 months since I started studying scriptures I got a ger and was overjoyed. They gave me a beautiful ger with double layer of covering and wooden floor. So my children are snow living a very warm ger. We now don’t feel the cold and feeling very good. Before whenever, I had some pain or illness at such times I was thinking only about myself… I was such a person but recently for a few days I had terrible tooth ache. So I thought well, my tooth ache is nothing. There are many who are suffering much more than me, there are awfully many people lying on hospital beds or somewhere else suffering from pain. (0-22-54) Yeah. I was praying to my god let the pains of those people come to me, I was thinking about it even during my recitals. I am not alone, numerous people are suffering let the their sufferings come to me and prayed for them. And when I finished reciting the book the terrible pain that was tormenting had subsided. And I was high in spirit and peaceful at mind. I was surprised. Can it be that I prayed and therefore I was feeling good, completely cured. Then the tooth pain comes again, when it happened I prayed and in praying I was not thinking only of myself, it is not myself alone who had this suffering. Isn’t it? There are people without shelter, without food in addition to that who are ill and suffering from pain but because they don’t have money are unable to get treatment and I said to myself I pray for them. A person understands anguish of others only when that person encounters it personally. Otherwise no one will understand it. So when I experience suffering, I think well, now I am suffering. Except me who else, who have no parents or sisters and brothers to take care of them are encountering great sufferings? I’ll pray for that person. So I pray to my Buddha, recite my books, and seek the salvage of my teachers, after performing these rites I feel much better and mentally pacified, it happens. I also pray that let the causes ripen and let the people come to the scriptures. ??? (0-24-16) So we all pray to the Buddha every morning, sister Otgoo and me …we all pray. We 35 times perform kow tow. In doing so we pray for the good of every living being, in my prayers I wish that by performing this ritual I help at least one person to get rid of the sufferings. I hope they are getting rid of their sufferings.(laughs) As for me when I have awful pain I sit down, pray and recite scriptures and when get up I feel complete difference. And when you think that this also happened to others you feel the real difference. This happens when you pray and prostrate before Buddha, recite scriptures, maani and tarni. Unfortunately, previously I got angry and beat my children, but now never again this happens. (0-24-58) I tell them, what shall I do with my children, because of what fruit of my deeds you are behaving like this? Apparently this is the fruit of my deed because of that you do not let me… recite the book. Or when we are now living much better due to what fruit of my action you are not doing your lessons, and make your mother to scream at you or you are fighting each other. There is something and when you explain them this way the children get it very seriously. Then when I was reciting the book if some of them wrestle behind me the other would come and say why are your tormenting the mother. What harm did the mother do to you. Then the other would become silent. Therefore, I sometimes think how I would have behaved if I did not attend lessons on scriptures. Before that I would have rushed to them beat or scolded them, they would weep and what a scream and yells would have risen. Now, I’ll never do that. I’ll say well, you are really testing my patience and sit back immediately. This is very nice, yeah, there is nothing better for a family than being together. Our three children all go to schools…in fourth, third and first grades. So my three children all come and sit together so they understand very well my explanations. My son is awfully energetic and he had never obeyed anyone, it was before but now since he attended lessons on scripture he has calmed down. He sits calmly and make his lessons and listens carefully to the words of others, now he is rather keen on his meditation. I told him that he will see its result after ten years, when the time of his graduation exams comes if he will meditate a few days before the exams, all the lessons he learnt from September first will be embedded in his mind (head). So you can pass your exams with excellence. Then he said I’ll do it, from now on I’ll meditate, mediate and pray to the Buddha, if I attend my class during day and back home, in evening, I will meditate over the days events then they will be stored in my mind and will never disappear. (0-26-53) So when he said this I encouraged him and was very happy. And then even a child he from now sits in a manner of Buddha, in cross legged position. Child’s legs are very nice and flexible and he can sit exactly the same manner (as the Buddha). They all sit in this manner. The soles their feet are turned upward. I tell them my children sit this way from now on, if not when you grow up it will be impossible for you to sit this way. That is why they are sitting in this manner from now. If they do not do it…once they grow up their legs will never be so flexible. Basically if he learns to sit this way, when he grows up and becomes a lama it will be easy for him to sit freely in way. When they sit cross legged the soles of their feet are beautifully turned upwards (in lotus position). So while still their legs are flexible it is better to teach them as early as possible to sit cross legged, and when meditate at least they can sit steadily. My son was awfully naughty child. My son, who was a dangerous child, has now become very calm. So that evening not knowing (laughs) how to call Monday, what he could think of and said, was Mummy I’ll meditate and then go to the school. Recently he got a chicken pox and spent 5 days at home. So he was saying Mummy I will meditate for 5 days and then go to the school. If I do that certainly I’ll become an excellent student he was saying. The child will attend the lessons on scriptures tomorrow. On every Sunday at 2 p.m. he comes to the lesson on scriptures. Children always hurry and run to the lesson. Even I before taking up the job here and was engaged in various odd jobs, I took up different jobs at the market and was also engaged in trading activities, so when Saturday and Sunday arrived I was always in hurry and panicked not to be late for the scripture lesson…a person becomes such a devotee. Yeah.(0-28-24) So I would come running in a hurry. And if it happens that due to unforeseen engagement I can’t attend the lesson…I thought how difficult it was and that it was my unlucky fate, I had no fortune to attend the scripture lesson. But sister Otgoo told me that I should not say such things.(laughs) You should not think that you don’t have the fortune. Simply you should have the determination to attend the lessons, strongly wish then by itself your attendance will be secured. I consider my working here as the greatest luck of mine. Because in spring I was standing at market receiving fifty tugrugs only, yes, I did that for some time. I also sold vegetables. But when you are trading you have to lie. For example in order to sell your vegetables and if some of it are of poor quality you say the vegetables are good and blend them with good ones and sell them as good vegetables. This means you are actually committing a sin. So I gave the slips of 50 tugrugs to the buyers, if someone will not take the slip I’d be happy and collect them. That was also a sin. There is no difference between stealing and taking the slip. So it was an awful sin. So I thought, though, I attend lessons on Buddhist scriptures I was taking these 50 tugrugs. And I suffered awfully for doing that. What shall I do, I am committing too much sins however, I continued to receive and consume. (0-29-30) Then I fell ill and quit the job. And getting employment here was truly a great luck. (laughs) If I continued to stand at the market and collected that very 50 tugrugs then the 50 will be accumulated and will reach a frightening amount. Then my sin will become really unbearable burden thus I would have become an immeasurable sinner. I came here because the fruits of my bad actions in previous life were exhausted…I met good deeds such as the scriptures and the teacher and thanks to their blessings I am now coking foods for my teachers and feeding (disadvantaged) children. This is the blessings of this opportunity and the scriptures. If I did not come to the scriptures I would have been at the market and selling something lying and cheating. Yeah. And I would have been happy if someone gave extra money stealing in that way…that would mean stealing in fact. And I would have been stingy about that money. It would have been going on like this. I don’t know by what luck I left that job after only two, three months…So I was always in hurry and rushing to attend the lessons on scriptures. We live almost on the top of a hill (mountain in the text). Sister Otgoo was coming to me and met me on her way she said Munguu wants to see you. I was going to you and when I came running I was told to be the cook.(0-30-34) I thought what will happen can I do it. Actually I am a cook by profession as well as an accountant. Well, can I be a cook, can I prepare the meals of the teachers…and most importantly, I was very afraid. Therefore, I did err a lot. That is why I was afraid very much from the teachers. Then people told me that a person is frightened because of the bad deeds of one’s previous life, fright emanates from there. Even I prepared very a nice meal I was afraid what the teachers will say about it. And when the teacher eats the prepared meal and seems to be happy, if he smiles and talks then I felt really good at heart. If the teacher kept silence and looked not that satisfied I was afraid and thought what shall I now do. However, I am getting over it now. When you do something from the bottom of heart you usually get a very good result. Isn’t it? In the beginning I was afraid, and trembled on the thought what might happen. Now I earnestly try to cook something very nice for the meal. And I am also very happy that I met my teachers.(laughs) Life is truly wonderful. Oh, there is nothing better than meeting with the teacher. (laughs) My children all attend the lessons…When there is the lesson for all age groups, grand mothers come in the morning in a hurry asking am I late, in general they all come almost running. During the congregation of Goddess Green Tara we chant books from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. or until the dawn. Grand mothers who are over seventy and eighty sit in congregation through all the recital. They sit there no matter what some of them even dose off , wake up and then resume reciting…all of them pray, the power of scriptures is indeed magnificent. They say you are indeed a blessed child. We…the grandmothers will rejoice together with you in this congregation. So we spend the whole night chanting the book (scripture). Last year when I was busy I did miss once or twice the congregation of Green Tara. So from this year I am attending the lessons on scriptures without interruption to salvage at least a person from suffering, and after all human beings are not eternal, aren’t they? That is why I think while I am alive today, I should do something for the others, do at least good deed for the rest. So if I’ll have time I am going to attend the lessons without interruption. In the morning when I come to my work I always recite Itgel (refuge), then there is the Yazguuryn three, 7 Buddha (the original 3 or 7 Buddha?) I recite all the tarnis (daharani or mantra) of them, at the end I recite zoriulgaa and Bazjarsad until I arrive at the office. I awfully resent walking together with others. Because if I were to walk with somebody I can’t recite those tarnis of mine and can’t perform that small bit of merit. So as much as possible I walk alone and recite the tarnis and recite them in evening as well. During the day while I am washing dishes, I sang and chant at least a bit of the megzem (prayers) (0-33-00) In the evening I read the scriptures. If I can’t perform these rituals, I am mentally upset and think what will happen I couldn’t recite the books. At times I am overcome by laziness. Then I think if due to my laziness I’ll go into my bed without reciting maani or tarnis and if in the morning they find me dead what will happen. I can’t do a single good merit. Therefore, today I should recite at least something before sleep. So when you go to bed after reciting the books I sleep calmly without any worries. Even if I die if I could salvage a person from sufferings then I could fulfil at least a bit of my whish… After all human sufferings are hard, aren’t they? ???? (0-33-49) When you feel that you did something to relieve that suffering (of others), it is highly satisfying. (laughs) I feel mentally upbeat whenever I see my teachers and my feelings of reverence upsurge. Yeah. It is wonderful. When you look at Rinbouchi teacher, the appearance of this learned man is so serene and peaceful, yeah, he looks around in a terribly magnificent way. So you venerate and pray as he passes by. When I see the Gevsh teacher I am somewhat intimidated by him.(laughs) Bit afraid of him, otherwise I am a rather cheerful person, evidently I am still not a very experienced cook. Therefore, whenever, I cook meal I am afraid that I might prepare something bad. But our teacher is not a very strict and demanding person. I am afraid of the meals which I prepared myself, afraid what if I cooked a nasty food. Otherwise, there is nothing to be afraid of. When the teacher is delivering his sermons or conducting his lessons it is truly breathtaking and admirable. In March of 2005, oh no in January 2001 teacher has left just after the Tsagaan sar (Lunar new year) He went to attend to a discourse by the Dalai lama, teacher Dalai lama. So when he returned in March those grandmothers who were present at his lessons were looking at our teacher and tears were running down their faces. (0-34-57) How wonderful, it is to see our teacher they were saying. Probably, the same will happen when he comes back. When the teacher is not here we all miss him, everyone asks when he is coming back, isn’t it the time the teacher should arrive. This is how people revere and worship him. With a goal set before you, in general, life by itself improves and thrives, I have seen it. If I had not set that goal and if I had worshipped Buddha, or met my teacher and the scriptures my life would have been truly hard. Probably I could not get rid of it hardship. Yeah. That was real hard. When I recollect back that period, I think what a hard life it was and marvel how I managed to stay alive. I was striving hard to bring up my four children to be equals of men and with this thought in mind I met the scriptures. Now, I have no concerns. If I repay the kindness of my teachers, have faith in scriptures and worship then no matter what we can carry on our livelihood further. I receive a salary of 50,000. In addition, there comes children’s allowance of 12,000. So I can anyway take care of my children, Yeah. My children attend lessons on scriptures. They are happy, during the summer there is the English language training course. Two of them will attend the English language training. Probably, my youngest will also attend the English language class. Learning foreign language is important. We have constant contacts in winter and summer with our teachers, this means it is the fruits of good merits in my pervious life, otherwise there is nothing special I did. So I read and chant the books that my teacher taught and know what I should do, so it is nice…in general my life is flourishing as much as it could flourish. I have no concerns at all. Sometimes my husband comes drunk. When it happened… even before I didn’t get angry. I am actually such a strange person who has no anger. Even if I was angry I always found some convenient excuses to see him off amicably. When he comes angry, on such occasions if I were to utter a word he demolishes everything in the ger. (0-36-51) So generally I try to let him go without saying anything. On the first day of Tsagaan sar (Lunar new year) he came to our ger and smashed all the frames for photographs, threw on the floor the TV set, overturned the platter (decorated for the new with fried pastries and dairy products), tore into pieces all the photographs of my father and mother, brothers and sisters. So after that he left. I don’t remember now what I thought at that moment. I was silent hoping that he would leave soon at last. So I wish him the end of his bad deeds and let him enjoy good life and live happily. If I were to hate that man that hatred will come back to me, and my life will never improve. My children had found out that he was not really suffering very much and tell me about it sometimes. The grandparents of my children (on father’s side) live nearby. They tell the children your father did that or this. If he hears something that hurts his feelings towards us at times…terrifying…he, I don’t know what, apparently becomes rather scornful or something else. Yeah. This is what he does. So I plead them don’t say anything like that, my children you should only wish good to your father they agree and say yes, yes we’ll do that. No matter how much you want to subdue there is always the seeds of bad intention in human mind ready to sprout. At such times to follow the dictum that a person who attended lessons on scriptures should restrain yourself. You should wish everything good to that person (who hurts you) and even knowing it to wish that person good is truly difficult for small children. However, they do wish good to him. Then they say father did this, why he should do that. I would plead don’t my children, you shouldn’t they agree yes Mammy. 12, 13 years old children feel really very fragile and easily hurt. If their grand parents tell them your father doing really good and he is happy and joyful over there then the children would say when we have no clothes no wear and no food to eat our father did not bring us anything at all. The reason they think that way is that their father gives awfully lot of promises. He came before the children’s holiday and said during the holiday your father will take you to children’s park. I’ll dress up you so that the eyes of people around you pop up(0-39-02) and I’ll take you to the park he said so and left. Then nothing happens. On national holiday he comes and repeats that promise. On the eve of the new year he repeats it again. But he never showed up on those occasions. When such thing happens after all a person makes certain conclusions. Recently, before the new year he came and repeated the same thing so my daughter said father any way we are not going to celebrate the new year. He said your father will come and buy you…plenty of nice things. I’ll bring you beautiful clothes at that time my daughter was very ill. She was in bed with high temperature. She said: “Father, any way we are not going to celebrate the new year. Don’t be bothered. You can just leave without uttering a word.” Then he said, no, no your father will bring presents for you. Then, after all, there is such a thing as losing the confidence of children. I tried to comfort them saying well, well, your father, in any way, can not succeed, but when he becomes rich he will, probably, bring you what he promised.(laughs) Thus I tried to comfort and raise their spirits. Otherwise, children are children after all. Yeah. They trust him awfully. When he comes, he kisses, displays affection towards them your father will do this and that for you so the children awfully trust him. Then the day comes but he disappears without a word, so it is very difficult for them. Now, I tell them I was told that your father in debt. My children your father will come when gets rich. So don’t think anything bad about him. Even so they would say father himself told so and wait for him, that is awfully difficult. Then comes the day and they wait for him, they wait for him for whole day hoping that he will show up. Even a day before he promised they’ll expect him to come. Therefore, we usually decide celebrate the occasions with whatever small things we have and pass the time in smiles and friendly noises. No matter how much you learn scriptures enlightenment comes very hard, it is said that a man enlightens only after forty years of study of scriptures. Since we are attending lessons on book only for one or two years, enlightenment would not come so easily. So what I do is try to embed in their mind a certain attitude little by little, that is to say teach them to see the good even in bad things and think about it in such way. Of course, I can’t say we’ll become enlightened overnight. My children should be thinking only about good, no matter what bad deeds their father committed, however, my children are now already not blaming him. (0-41-09) If we succeed in doing this some time in future everything will be nice. We’ll become good persons. My prime aim is to make them all well educated and intelligent people. Then I’ll pursue my studies of the scriptures, at the end I’ll think only of myself ??? (0-41-26) (laughs) Two of my children want to be lamas, if they become lamas let it be. I’ll make my only son a lama, it is certain. When the teacher comes back I’ll talk to him about my will to make the only son of mine a lama. So the teacher will decide the future of my son. Then since the other three are girls, they will somehow can make their own living. Now, I observe that many people are coming to our centre. They give us moral, substantial material and in general, all around support. However, there is a drawback among our people, there are those with feed-me mentality and with the desire to receive assistance all the time. With regard to this aspect our staff explain them and try to infuse the understanding, we’ll help you but you should yourself have the determination to succeed. That will lift you up and carry on further. There are many people who have succeeded, which is really wonderful. When people are only receiving assistance… it is not that pleasing. So our teacher tell them, sister Otgoo and others tell them, you should change your frame of mind a little bit and attend the lessons on scriptures, at least several times. We even plead them to attend the lessons, bring them to the lessons. Then those who are wise and whose time to meet the scriptures have come, become devotees and attend the lessons and their life improve, there are many such people. The most important thing is…to spread among the people…I now think…We are from far away western aimag, yeah, Uvs. I want to establish contacts with the lamas of the monastery in aimag centre and inform them that there is such a nice centre of ours. Please come and meet our teachers and conduct exactly the same activities, organize explanatory lessons on Buddhism in your aimag centre. This is what I wanted to tell them but until now I was not able to establish a contact them. I am busy at my work and have no time. If that could be done at least at one other place and lessons on living skills were taught it would be of great help in improving the living standards of people, I even wish that such lessons were taught not just in our sub-districts for the residents living in the vicinity but everywhere. Yeah. (0-42-17) If we could make such a change of mind nationwide the life every body will become much better. Yes. This is what I keep in my mind. Well, at least at one place to begin the lesson…(laughs) It would have been wonderful if there were centres like ours in every aimag. I was thinking about this since last year, a year passed but I was unable realize it. Recently I told about it to one person. I work for such an organization, our centre conducts such activities. Will you find out who is the Khamba lama of our aimag monastery, I need the telephone number of that lama. The man said that on return he will tell about it to him and asked for my address. If he (the khamba) comes it would be great to have at least one more centre established in a place and spread the blessings(of scriptures). I dream that it would have been wonderful if such explanatory lessons on Buddhist religion were taught everywhere, and everyone understand, appreciate and implement the teachings in their life. As for us since we are now connected with them we shall continue in this manner nicely. That is why it would have been satisfying if we could conduct such activities in every aimag. This is my dream. So I harbour the desire to conduct these lessons.

Byambajav -

Aan hm. How many times do you prepare meals in a day, as usual?

Tsevelee -

In a day? I serve two meals in a day. At 12 noon I serve the meal for the children. I prepare meals for 25, if someone will not come for 23, 24 children, the number fluctuates. I serve them tea, meals, steamed or ordinary bread. Meals are different. The menu of the meals…is different from day to day. At 1 o’clock those attending tailoring course take their meal. Then I prepare the food of our staff. In summer from July to September Rinbouchi teacher is present. Foreigners also come. During this period I serve luncheon at one o’clock and supper at six. At one I serve one second course (fried or steamed dish)luncheon. At six I serve the supper. On Sundays I have a day off. Lately, I am unable to attend the Sunday lessons. I feel very leisurely because I am resting. (0-45-16) Earlier when I was not working here, I earnestly tried not to miss a single lesson but now that is not the case. I am saying to myself let’s have a nice rest. But now I think that even it is the day off I shall come to lessons of my teacher and leave for my home. Otherwise it is not very polite as if I now understand all those nice books or behaving badly and with disrespect. I feel ashamed(laughs) for not attending the lessons. It is disgusting, to rest at home because that is the day off. In fact I have a lot of wok at home. But I should find an hour or two to attend the lesson before I go home. It is nothing. Yeah. At that 2 o’clock I would be engaged in washing at home. Instead of that if I come to the lessons of my teacher I would understand something new over here. Then I could do the washing in the evening. I am thinking about it. I missed quite a few lessons given by my teacher. Now, I’ll make every effort not to skip the lessons.(laughs) I was skipping the lessons as if I am a perfect person. Now, I’ll never skip a lesson. It is wonderful when a person becomes a devotee of Buddhist scriptures. My younger brother told me I’ll give you money, trade at the market or else you can open a grocery shop. I told him that I‘ll never again take up that job. That trading is really a job of sinners(laughs) and refused. When a person sees (has) money he becomes addicted to it. So in order to get some extra money that person will sell products of inferior quality as the good one. If someone inadvertently gives more money, instead of saying that he is paying extra he just puts it into his pocket. This is an awful sin. Oh my god. I am so happy that I work here. I have no intention of getting into that business of trade again. It was really a sinful occupation. Oh my god (laughs) now I am repaying the kindness my teachers and doing this nice job of good merits, I am improving my skills, in coming April I’ll go to an canteen of vegetarian food. I already told about it to sister Mungoo. I would like to gain some experience there. When my teachers come back, when the foreigners arrive I would like to prepare truly nice vegetarian foods along with meat based dishes like soups and fried foods. I want to be able to prepare either of these kinds of foods nicely.(0-47 18) I am insisting to go to the eatery as soon as possible. Otherwise, when the days are short, I can’t work here and there simultaneously. Then of course I have to do this work very good…most importantly improve my skills. Keep my spirit high and pure. Wishing every possible wellbeing to others is truly nice. Even if a person…does wrongs to you, you must take it calmly in a positive manner. In general, if somebody scolds you, demands to do something this means that you were wrong, and he who does this is doing it to remedy that wrongs. But a person without knowing that and enters into quarrels or something else. I think such occasions over again afterwards. Why this person is saying this to me there must be some omissions or something wrong on my part. So without understanding what that the person is saying to remedy or redress you resent or argue with him. I do sometimes display such a character. The most important thing is for a person to understand that. So when someone says something to me I think what I did wrong. Aa, this was my mistake. It is very kind of that person to point out and correct it. So you must express your thanks to that person very nicely. I used to say thank you very much very often. But lately, at times I started to forget to say my thank you. When a person… says something it corrects the mistakes and put right the wrongs. At such occasions you must say thank you…or some other words of encouragement and appreciation. And one should be grateful to that very person. If you don’t do it and take the remarks as if that person hates you or are envious of you. And defend yourself the outcome could be disastrous. I’ll never do that. I’ll weigh things carefully…and make conclusions regarding what I did. Even if I was not wrong there must have been something that the person did not like. And when you think it over again and again what was wrong becomes clear.(laughs) If you look at a person look and smile broadly and speak clearly, it is completely different from throwing an angry glance. (0-49-15) In addressing others I try to smile as broadly as possible. Even if you are indignant…inside, if you do this the spirit of other person you are contacting changes to the right direction. And no matter what how bad that person may have been he or she, there is the change for the better. Even if you resent internally, you always address and contact a person with smile then gradually both become good natured and become good friends. That I know. This is the most important thing. Aa, human being, after all …??? (0-49-47) Now my life has become very nice. It is so nice and calm. Together with them, with our staff we were going with smile on our faces. It is beautiful. If I were standing at market selling and buying I am not calm at heart. One day I am content and in smile that sold a lot of goods the next day nothing, no earnings at all. It is what the traders tell. But I have no worry. I come to my work prepare the meals and feel this a beautiful day. I am really content. I am doing a nice job in a nice warm place. When you finish your job all the children say thank you to me. In response of their thanks I say my children I wish you to get excellent marks in your studies and they reply yes, we’ll do. It is awfully optimistic and nice. When the meal is ready we all sat and recite megzem (prayers), and when I serve the dishes they make their offerings and also chant books. After they finish eating those who want more receive additional offers and they express their thanks to me. In response I wish them to receive excellent marks in their studies, this is really nice. When I wish them to learn more and be good children, they try…if you take into account what was the level of their knowledge in autumn. They now have receive review lessons at the centre. At first when I wished them good success they did not pay much attention but now they seem to give some thought to it. May be they are thinking this sister always wishes us to get excellent marks. And it seems to me they do not simply say thank you but are making progress in their studies. I have good relations with the staff and with the children, there is a warm friendly atmosphere among us. When you come to the centre, and when you enter through the gates of the fence ??? (0-51-16) you feel completely different atmosphere. So before entering I make a circumambulation along the path of sun (clock wise) pray at the entrance and enter the compound. (0-51-22) Then…afterwards when you enter the hall of prayers it is beautiful, you truly revere. In entering when you look at (the portrait of)Dalai bagsh…wherever you go it would seem that the eyes of Dalai bagsh follow you. I told about it to sister Mungoo, yesterday I told to sister Naraa and the sister receptionist, after prayer when three of us got up. How wonderful it is, it seems to me that wherever I go the eyes of Dalai bagsh follow me and he is smiling. Then they said yes, it is. They all said it looks like that. And then the hall of prayer is distinctly different and beautiful place. Even the energy is different. When you enter it involuntarily and spontaneously you have that inside feeling, feeling of reverence and veneration. A person entering the hall of prayer never thinks of something bad or sinister. Such a thought would never come in mind. A person would wish only good, even more good but nothing bad. So every morning I would pray to the Buddha. If on some day I was too busy and can’t perform the morning rites the next morning I make up that skip and pray. If I found that I’ll too busy tomorrow then pray today. Now I am spiritually very calm, I was very fat but now my weight came to normal and feel very good, while I am praying to the Buddha.(laughs) Being a cook I thought that probably, will gain a lot of weight but now I am keeping my optimal weight. This is the fruit of my prayers to the Buddha, of course I pray to Buddha for freeing all those sufferers from their sufferings and I am confident that Buddha is salvaging them when I think about spirituality I feel at extreme ease. I am always happy and feel elated. My colleagues say ah being young is wonderful. She goes all the time with smile on her face. I make all of them to smile, sister Badmaa, sister Mungoo, sister Otgoo they all smile, that is why it is very nice. I grin involuntarily, it is very nice. I don’t have any reason…to get angry at my work. (0-53-14) At home I am also happy. The children laugh, do their lessons, being children they sometimes wrestle and fight. This does not matter. They are after all children, in general, they don’t fight very much and almost forget about it. If they rarely have some misunderstanding with children of other households I just draw their attention calling “hey” and they immediately stop squabbling. We have become very calm and are now accustomed to the peace and tranquillity. I recruited all of my younger siblings into the religion. Only one of the young siblings who lives at Hillock of 1000 households came once or twice. The rest of them almost frequently attend congregations. One of my brothers wants to go to Korea to work. He once came here to attend the congregation of Goddess Green Tara and spent the night, and on the second day he was hesitant saying that he has no time to learn his lessons but when I said you should attend the congregation of Goddess Green Tara then he agreed. When we say scriptures it sounds very close to us. My father was, for certain, a lama. The father of my father was also a well-known lama in our area. Therefore scriptures are very close to them as well. That is why they are coming to congregations. Yeah.

Byambajav -

Who were they? Do you know … ?

Tsevelee -

I was told that my father was a well-known lama in our area. It is written in newspaper…his name was Jugnee. Father of mother was a man by the name of Baschuu. He was also a renown a lama. And there were many lamas on the side of my parents in-laws. Many of them were among those who had been repressed. Then an elder brother of my father’s father was an influential lama and he said to the khamba of that monastery (what was going to happen?) ??. When the arrests (of lamas) were taken place the father of my father was a young child lama of 15 or 16 years old. He told us that he remained behind sitting at the steps of the monastery looking (how the lamas were taken away). The father of my father before his death had hidden all his books and sutras in mountain cliffs. My father said that at that time he was too young, later even he looked for and searched could not find the books. Then there was an old man called Laduu who was an elder brother the mother of my father. He died in eighties. It was in eighty nine, may be almost in ninety. (0-55-20) That uncle of mine used to tell that in the year of white horse with bloody line of halter, may be in the year of pale white horse, in that year (сарьсан, сарьсан??) sarisan, sarisan (could be shashin sakhiusan-meaning religion and its guardians) will return. At that time the big bosses of our aimag used to visit our uncle and he performed various religious rites of the year for them. There are people from Russian academy of sciences, those who study Buddhist religion and Mongolia. They came to him made recordings of my uncle, Zodov was his name. The recordings of that uncle of mine should be there. He was also an epic teller (story-teller and reciter). He was an elder who was awarded with the gold medal of folk art. So when I was a small child people used to gather in our home. In evening after the supper he would tell his epic stories. He recited many interesting epics and stories. Yeah. At that time I was too small and I usually fell sleep listening to the story telling. Since there were so many such learned people (in our ancestry) our children also like very much the books (scriptures). In museum there is the portrait of Zodov from Uvs, Epic teller Dendeviin Zodov, a portrait of an old man with white beard. He continued to recite his books and sutras and perform rituals at the time of the revolution, now during the socialist period. Even the bosses of the aimag used to take him with them, he pursued his books(scriptures). So used tell about bloody…something, in the year of pale white what, of white horse year. And truly that same that very (revolution)??? (0-56-44) happened. So our people were saying that what uncle Zodov told was true. Anyway since childhood we had contacts with Buddhist religion. Later my father used to chant books and sutras at home. When we were small in the beginning he did not chant the books. But later when he recited books we wanted to laugh (laughs), listening to that strange chanting made us to laugh (laughs) but after a while we got accustomed.(laughs) So when father recited Buddhist scriptures we laughed. Our family have awfully many daughters, eight daughters and only one son. So several girls about my age laughed and giggled. Father’s reciting the books for us was funny. (0-57-21) But we gradually became attracted to the books. But at that time we laughed at our father when he read the books. Then that uncle of ours recited epic tales, told legends and stories…also he??? (0-57-36) performed rituals, then that Buriad…a scholar from Russia made recordings of our uncle’s performance. He made recordings that time he was an old man over seventy. The scholar said: “We would take you to Russia, you will work there in our Academy. There are many books we would like to learn from you.” So those recordings and other items of our uncle are in Ulan-Ude, or somewhere else, where exactly in Russia I don’t know. My father knows very well. Rarely his epics are broadcast by radio. He himself recites the epic tales. Yes. There was such an uncle. Therefore, we have learned forefathers, learned people on both sides. My relatives on both sides tell me your only son…will become a learned lama, including Father and mother of my husband and my father and mother. Therefore, I intend to make my son a lama. Then he will become a man helpful to the public. I dream making him a learned lama just like Gevsh teacher. It would be wonderful he would become a teacher. I believe that he will do more merits by being a lama than pursuing a secular life. When I tell people that when I grow old I’ll become a holy woman, some of them tease me. They say it is good, very good. But I do have a dream. After all I would like to do something which is beneficial to the people, something which is useful for the people. It is good if you could live without regret. I believe that now I am doing meritorious deeds. Yeah. I pray for every one.

Byambajav -

Are any other examples of people just like you, and people whom you know very well, whose life has been changed in this way? And who had been associated with Asral center …?

Tsevelee -

There are many people whose life has been improved. Now …

Byambajav -

Person whom you know personally? (0-59-25)

Tsevelee -

I don’t know exactly. However, watching the children who receive free meals you can see that livelihood of those households who follow the path of scriptures … definitely improves. It is evident from the appearance of the children. The clothes they wear, the learning aids and books they use. For example, the family of Davaabal, and there are other children. Their clothes are completely different. There are more of them… However, regrettably people don’t follow the scriptures. When one follows that it is really good. Though they receive a lot of assistance from the centre, they do not attend the scripture lessons. I know there are those who only consider that they should be receiving assistance. There is a child called Shinebayar. His father and mother are both just forty years old. Two elder sisters of him are over twenty and there are two more daughters over ten years old. They all do not work at all, I don’t know what kind of life it is. They are girls with street life, this was the path they followed. They had a very nice ger with an addition before the entrance but their life went downward. They never attend lessons, don’t understand and appreciate it. Therefore they are sliding downwards. There many who study and worship the scriptures (books). Most of them are grand moms. A grand mom who was attending the lessons with me, what was her name…it was Yunren. Then there was another sister from our province. She attended the lessons faithfully she was saying things were getting better and better. I don’t know her name. Not knowing their names for me they are all grand moms. The grand moms praised me that I was good at recitals and sat together with me. Grand moms are very active. So I befriended with them. When I started attending the lessons I knew nothing. So I would sit aside of them and recited looking at the book of the grand moms, later I bought myself the book, some of them I myself copied in handwriting, many people do that, their number is increasing. Take the students (of institutes), there were over thirty of them, now they number over sixty. (1-01-30) It is amazing, many of them are attending the lessons. So I know most of the children attending the lesson. I know them by face but do not know by names. So whenever we meet nod to each other and smile. However, there are many who ask what is the use of scriptures.

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Interviews, transcriptions and translations provided by The Oral History of Twentieth Century Mongolia, University of Cambridge. Please acknowledge the source of materials in any publications or presentations that use them.