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Linnart Mäll (7 June 1938 – 14 February 2010) was an Estonian historian, orientalist, translator and politician.
Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland with Finland on the other side, to the west by the Baltic Sea with Sweden on the other side, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia (338.6 km). The territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea, covering a total area of 45,227 km2 (17,462 sq mi), water 2,839 km2 (1,096 sq mi), land area 42,388 km2 (16,366 sq mi), and is influenced by a humid continental climate. The official language of the country, Estonian, is the third most spoken Finno-Ugric language.
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past, and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of prehistory. Some historians are recognized by publications or training and experience. "Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere.
Oriental studies is the academic field of study that embraces Near Eastern and Far Eastern societies and cultures, languages, peoples, history and archaeology; in recent years the subject has often been turned into the newer terms of Middle Eastern studies and Asian studies. Traditional Oriental studies in Europe is today generally focused on the discipline of Islamic studies, while the study of China, especially traditional China, is often called Sinology. The study of East Asia in general, especially in the United States, is often called East Asian studies, while the study of Israel and Jews are called Israel studies and Jewish studies respectively, although they are often considered the same field.
Born in Tallinn, Estonia, Mäll graduated from the University of Tartu in 1962 with a major in general history. He followed graduation with postgraduate studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences at the USSR Academy of Sciences (1964–1966) and Department of History, University of Tartu (1966–1969); 1985 Cand. Hist. (Ph.D.) in history, Ph.D. thesis "Ashtasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā as a Historical Source".
Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It is on the northern coast of the country, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland in Harju County. From the 13th century until 1918, the city was known as Reval. Tallinn occupies an area of 159.2 km2 (61.5 sq mi) and has a population of 440,776.
The University of Tartu is a classical university in the city of Tartu, Estonia. It is the national university of Estonia. The University of Tartu is the only classical university in the country and also the biggest and most prestigious university in Estonia. It was established by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden in 1632.
The Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, formerly Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences, is a Russian research institution for the study of the countries and cultures of Asia and North Africa. The institute is located in Moscow, and formerly in Saint Petersburg, but in 2007 the Saint Petersburg branch was reorganized into a separate Institute of Oriental Manuscripts.
Since 1994 he was Head of the Centre for Oriental Studies, senior research fellow, Department of History, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Tartu. From 1969 to 1973 he served as lecturer of the Chair of General History at Tartu State University. Later he was dismissed for anti-communist views and subsequently worked for ten years as engineer of the Cabinet for Oriental Studies. He was partly rehabilitated in 1983 and promoted to head of the Laboratory for History and Semiotics (1983–1991). He later served as head of the Laboratory for Oriental Studies (1991–1994).
Lecturer is an academic rank within many universities, though the meaning of the term varies somewhat from country to country. It generally denotes an academic expert who is hired to teach on a full- or part-time basis. They may also conduct research.
One of the basic pieces of furniture, a chair is a type of seat. Its primary features are two pieces of a durable material, attached as back and seat to one another at a 90° or slightly greater angle, with usually the four corners of the horizontal seat attached in turn to four legs—or other parts of the seat's underside attached to three legs or to a shaft about which a four-arm turnstile on rollers can turn—strong enough to support the weight of a person who sits on the seat and leans against the vertical back. The legs are typically high enough for the seated person's thighs and knees to form a 90° or lesser angle. Used in a number of rooms in homes, in schools and offices, and in various other workplaces, chairs may be made of wood, metal, or synthetic materials, and either the seat alone or the entire chair may be padded or upholstered in various colors and fabrics.
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and it reached global dimensions during the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in an intense rivalry. Anti-communism has been an element of movements holding many different political positions, including nationalist, social democratic, liberal, libertarian, conservative, fascist, capitalist, anarchist and even socialist viewpoints.
His main research fields included: Buddhist Mahāyāna texts, Buddhist mythology, classical Indian literature and culture, classical Chinese texts, Tibetan Buddhist texts and the history of small nations and peoples.
India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.
Literature, most generically, is any body of written works. More restrictively, literature refers to writing considered to be an art form or any single writing deemed to have artistic or intellectual value, often due to deploying language in ways that differ from ordinary usage.
He was one of the first who applied the methods of semiotic analysis for investigation of Buddhist texts and other texts of classical Oriental thought. Mäll was one of the central figures of the branch of oriental studies in the Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School in 1960–70s. In the 1990s he worked on the elaboration of the conception of humanistic base texts; since 1998 the initiator and head of the research project "Humanistic base texts in the history of mankind"; and author of ten books and over one hundred academic articles.
Mäll was inspired to become a Buddhist and buddhologist by well-known Estonian theologian and philosopher Uku Masing in the early 1960s. He later studied under and worked together with several Buddhist and non-Buddhist teachers and scholars including Nikolai Konrad, Alexander Piatigorsky, Oktiabrina Volkova, Youri Parfionovich, Lev Menshikov and Lama Bidia Dandaron. He was a teacher and spiritual master for many Estonian Buddhists and orientalists of the younger generation. In the 1990s he established close ties with The Dalai Lama and served as the main organizer of both of the visits of His Holiness in Estonia (1991 and 2001). Mäll was the founder and director of the first Mahāyāna Institute (which existed from 1991 to 1994).
A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term "philosopher" comes from the Ancient Greek, φιλόσοφος (philosophos), meaning "lover of wisdom". The coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras.
Uku Masing was an Estonian philosopher. He was a significant figure in Estonian religious philosophy. Masing also wrote poetry, mostly on religious issues. Masing authored one novel, Rapanui vabastamine ehk Kajakad jumalate kalmistul in the late 1930s, which was published posthumously in 1989. As a folklorist, he was a distinguished researcher of fairy tales, contributing to the international Encyclopedia of the Folktale. He was awarded the Righteous Among The Nations by Yad Vashem and the Israeli Supreme Court for his participation during the Holocaust in helping a Jew in Estonia escape capture from 1941 until the end of the war. His actions exposed him to great danger during this period requiring him to meet with his friend as well as lying to the Gestapo.
Alexander Moiseyevich Piatigorsky was a Soviet dissident, Russian philosopher, scholar of South Asian philosophy and culture, historian, philologist, semiotician, writer. Well-versed in the study of language, he knew Sanskrit, Tamil, Pali, Tibetan, German, Russian, French, Italian and English. In an obituary appearing in the English-language newspaper The Guardian, he was cited as "a man who was widely considered to be one of the more significant thinkers of the age and Russia's greatest philosopher." On Russian television stations he was mourned as "the greatest Russian philosopher."
He was awarded the Order of the White Star, IV degree in 2001.
Mäll died of cancer in Tartu on 14 February 2010.
His membership in the academic associations is as follows:
Tibetan Buddhism is the form of Buddhism named after the lands of Tibet where it is the dominant religion. It is also found in the regions surrounding the Himalayas, much of Chinese Central Asia, the Southern Siberian regions such as Tuva, as well as in Mongolia.
The Gelug is the newest of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded by Je Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), a philosopher and Tibetan religious leader. The first monastery he established was named Ganden, and to this day the Ganden Tripa is the nominal head of the school, though its most influential figure is the Dalai Lama. Allying themselves with the Mongols as a powerful patron, the Gelug emerged as the pre-eminent Buddhist school in Tibet and Mongolia since the end of the 16th century.
Atiśa Dīpaṃkara Śrījñāna was a Bengali Buddhist religious leader and master from the Indian subcontinent. He was one of the major figures in the spread of 11th-century Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism in Asia and inspired Buddhist thought from Tibet to Sumatra. In 1013 CE, he traveled to the Srivijaya kingdom and stayed there for 12 years and came back to India. He is recognised as one of the greatest figures of classical Buddhism, and Atisa's chief disciple Dromtön was the founder of the Kadam School, one of the New Translation schools of Tibetan Buddhism, later supplanted by the Geluk tradition in the fourteenth century, adopting its teaching and absorbing its monasteries.
Buddhism in the West broadly encompasses the knowledge and practice of Buddhism outside of Asia in the Western world. Occasional intersections between Western civilization and the Buddhist world have been occurring for thousands of years. The first Westerners to become Buddhists were Greeks who settled in Bactria and India during the Hellenistic period. They became influential figures during the reigns of the Indo-Greek kings, whose patronage of Buddhism led to the emergence of Greco-Buddhism and Greco-Buddhist art. There was little contact between the Western and Buddhist cultures during most of the Middle Ages but the early modern rise of global trade and mercantilism, improved navigation technology and the European colonization of Asian Buddhist countries led to increased knowledge of Buddhism among Westerners. This increased contact led to various responses from Buddhists and Westerners throughout the modern era. These include religious proselytism, religious polemics and debates, Buddhist modernism, Western convert Buddhists and the rise of Buddhist studies in Western academia. During the 20th century there was a growth in Western Buddhism due to various factors such as immigration, globalization, the decline of Christianity and increased interest among Westerners. The various schools of Buddhism are now established in all major Western countries making up a small minority in the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Robert Alexander Farrar Thurman is an American Buddhist author and academic who has written, edited, and translated several books on Tibetan Buddhism. He is the father of actress Uma Thurman. He is the Je Tsongkhapa Professor of Indo- Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, holding the first endowed chair in this field of study in the United States. He also is the co-founder and president of the Tibet House New York. He translated the Vimalakirti Sutra from the Tibetan Kanjur into English.
Buddhist texts were initially passed on orally by monks, but were later written down and composed as manuscripts in various Indo-Aryan languages which were then translated into other local languages as Buddhism spread. They can be categorized in a number of ways. The Western terms "scripture" and "canonical" are applied to Buddhism in inconsistent ways by Western scholars: for example, one authority refers to "scriptures and other canonical texts", while another says that scriptures can be categorized into canonical, commentarial and pseudo-canonical. Buddhist traditions have generally divided these texts with their own categories and divisions, such as that between buddhavacana "word of the Buddha," many of which are known as "sutras," and other texts, such as shastras (treatises) or Abhidharma.
Yuri Mikhailovich Lotman was a prominent literary scholar, semiotician, and cultural historian, who worked at the University of Tartu. He was a member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. He was the founder of the Tartu–Moscow Semiotic School. The number of his printed works exceeds 800 titles. His archive which includes his correspondence with a number of Russian intellectuals, is immense.
The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) was founded in 1975 by Lamas Thubten Yeshe and Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, who began teaching Buddhism to Western students in Nepal. The FPMT has grown to encompass over 160 Dharma centers, projects, and services in 37 countries. Since the death of Lama Yeshe in 1984, the FPMT's spiritual director has been Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana.
Bhāviveka, also called Bhavya or Bhāvaviveka was a sixth century Madhyamaka Buddhist. In Tibetan Buddhism Bhāviveka is regarded as the founder of the Svātantrika tradition of the Mādhyamaka school of Buddhism, which is seen as antagonistic to Prāsaṅgika Madhyamaka.
Kalevi Kull is a biosemiotics professor at the University of Tartu, Estonia.
Dr. Donald Sewell Lopez Jr. is the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan, in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.
Alexander Wilhelm Freiherr Staël von Holstein ; was a German-baltic aristocrat, Russian and Estonian orientalist, sinologist, sanskritologist, specializing in Buddhist texts.
Herbert Vighnāntaka Günther was a German Buddhist philosopher and Professor and Head of the Department of Far Eastern Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada. He held this position from the time he left India in 1964.
Women in Buddhism is a topic that can be approached from varied perspectives including those of theology, history, anthropology and feminism. Topical interests include the theological status of women, the treatment of women in Buddhist societies at home and in public, the history of women in Buddhism, and a comparison of the experiences of women across different forms of Buddhism. As in other religions, the experiences of Buddhist women have varied considerably.
Bidia Dandaron was a major Buddhist author and teacher in the USSR. He also worked in academic Tibetology, contributed to the Tibetan-Russian Dictionary (1959) and made several translations from Tibetan into Russian. He is mostly remembered as a Buddhist teacher whose students in Russia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania continued both religious and scholarly work, and as an early Buddhist author who wrote on European philosophy, history, and science within a Buddhist framework. Among his students were Alexander Piatigorsky and Linnart Mäll.
Andres Herkel is an Estonian politician. He started his public activities in the late 1980s. From the very beginning of the independence movement in Estonia, he affiliated himself with pro-independence forces, which had close ties with Soviet-era dissidents. He played an active role in building up free media in then occupied Estonia, being among the founders of the Independent Info Centre in 1988. He was the leader of the Estonian Free Party.
Mart Nutt is an Estonian politician and historian.
Gyurme Dorje was born in 1950 in Edinburgh, where he studied classics at George Watson's College and developed an early interest in Buddhist philosophy. He holds a PhD in Tibetan Literature (SOAS) and an MA in Sanskrit with Oriental Studies (Edinburgh). In the 1970s he spent a decade living in Tibetan communities in India and Nepal where he received extensive teachings from Kangyur Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, Chatral Rinpoche, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. In 1971 Dudjom Rinpoche encouraged him to begin translating his recently completed History of the Nyingma School (རྙིང་མའི་སྟན་པའི་ཆོས་འབྱུང་) and in 1980 his Fundamentals of the Nyingma School (བསྟན་པའི་རྣམ་གཞག) - together this was an undertaking that was to take twenty years, only reaching completion in 1991. In the 1980s Gyurme returned to the UK and in 1987 completed his 3 volume doctoral dissertation on the Guhyagarbhatantra and Longchenpa's commentary on this text at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London.