Visio conference by Dr Magdalena Szpindler, Assistant Professor, Department of Turkic Studies and Inner Asian Peoples (Mongolian and Tibetan studies). Faculty of Oriental Studies, Warsaw University/Université de Varsovie.
Considering the importance of storytelling in Mongolian Buddhist culture and Mongolian storytelling in general, it is surprising how little attention is paid to it in today’s studies on Mongolian literature. In my research, I would like to contribute to filling in this gap, by looking closely at chosen Buddhist and non-Buddhist narratives and the role they played in Mongolian culture. For the purpose of the SEECHAC lecture series, I will focus on a story of Molon Toyin descending to hells in search of his mother, a story of Indian ancestry that reached Mongolia from Tibet and China and became known in various disguises. Each such disguise was probably meant for a specific audience and had a specific role to play. I would like to discuss the story’s history, the various forms it took, and the possible reasons that made it a bestseller of Buddhist Mongolian literature in the era of the Qing dynasty.