Mongolian President Enkhbayar's Spiritual Outlook

The Indian Express, June 17, 2008

Ulan Bator, Mongolia -- The Indian Express newspaper features an interview with President Enkhbayar by Nadine Kreisberger, former foreign affairs officer of Mrs. Oyun.

<< Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar

The article explores the spiritual path of the president through a set list of questions inspired on the Proust Questionnaire.

Mr. Enkhbayar is known as a devout Buddhist and even translated several Buddhist texts into Mongolian. He traces his spiritual beginnings to his student days in Moscow.

While still under communist regime at the time, Enkhbayar indicates the Russian tendency to ask metaphysical questions as the trigger to explore his spiritual path in the Mongolian Buddhist traditions.

Excerpts of the article:

In Mahayana Buddhism, which prevails in Mongolia, there is the ideal of Bodhisattva, a being who achieved enlightenment and yet incarnates again in order to help others.

.....As the eldest child in the family, my parents always implied I had to take care of my youngest sisters and of the house, that I had to be actively responsible without their asking. By extension, it helped me feel responsible for my friends, then for society and for my country. Entering politics, becoming a statesman was the way to fulfil that mission.

...I do pray though, in mornings and evenings. It is more like a routine most of the time. But at times of pain, it becomes very real and powerful. I experienced it once for instance, when prayer prompted me to throw up, as if it enabled a deep cleansing of the body and mind. Then it definitely is not a routine! When facing some real difficulty or physical pain, or psychological issue, prayer may make you feel the pain even more acutely --- but then it is the most cleansing experience.