Dharma wheel
home news council teaching texts terms links photo gallery

An Interdisciplinary Conference:

Process and Development of Buddhism
in Baltic Sea Area

The conference is dedicated to the 75th birth anniversary of Linnart Mäll (1938–2010),
a founder of Buddhist Studies and promoter of Buddhism in Estonia

23 and 24 May, 2013
Venue: University of Tartu Library (1 W. Struve Str.), room 243
Beginning of sessions 10:00 A.M. each day


A Keynote Speech by
Chipamong Chowdhury
University of Tartu, Centre for Oriental Studies
Topic: Buddhism Transformed: Exploring Baltic Buddhist Identities and Traditions

Alpo Ratia, Anita Stasulane, Lauri Liiders, Leho Rubis, Mait Talts, Marika Laudere,
Marko Lepik, Märt Läänemets, Natalja Munatajeva, Teet Toome, Terje Toomistu

Organizers: Centre for Oriental Studies, University of Tartu, supported by
Estonian Oriental Society and Estonian Institute of Buddhism

(download conference poster)



Buddhism has been in the countries and regions of the Baltic Sea Area already for many years and it is considered to be a part of the larger European and Global networks. Indic Buddhist concepts and its integration such as “mindfulness,” “meditation,” “non-violence”, “mental wellness,” “spiritual healing”, etc. have become common practices among the people of these countries.

Could we call Buddhism in Baltic regions distinctively as Baltic Buddhism or Buddhism, for example, in Estonia as Estonian Buddhism? What, then, is distinctive about European Buddhism or Baltic Buddhism, Estonian Buddhism etc.? Who speaks for Baltic Buddhism, Estonian Buddhism, Finnish, Latvian and Lithuanian Buddhism etc.? What are the relations of Buddhists of the Baltic Sea Area to those in Asia? What roles are left for Buddhism to play in Baltic regions?

With the aim of defining and redefining Baltic Buddhism, the Centre for Oriental Studies, University of Tartu, in cooperation with Estonian Oriental Society and Institute of Buddhism will hold an academic conference on “Buddhism in Baltic Sea Area.” The conference aims to study and review critically history of Buddhism, Buddhist practices, individuals, and institutions, and diverse Buddhist traditions as well as academic Studies of Buddhism in Baltic regions to date, which make uniquely Baltic Buddhism.


Märt Läänemets

Chipamong Chowdhury



Thursday, 23 May

9:30–10:00 Registration (University of Tartu Library Lobby Hall)

10:00–10:10 Opening speech by Märt Läänemets

10:10–10:45 Key note speech by Chipamong Chowdhury (Bhikkhu Revata Dhamma), University of Tartu, Centre for Oriental Studies
Buddhism Transformed: Exploring Baltic Buddhist Identities and Traditions

11:00–12:30 First Panel: Historical Dimensions, moderator Märt Läänemets

11:00–11:20 Alpo Ratia, University of Helsinki, Department of World Culture
M. A. Castrén’s Notices on Buryat Buddhism. A Finnish linguist and ethnographer in the Transbaikal (1847–1848)

11:20–11:40 Mait Talts, Tallinn University of Technology
Karlis A. M. Tennisons and Friedrich V. Lustig – first ‘practicing’ Buddhists in Estonia

11:40-12:00 Terje Toomistu, Doctoral Candidate, University of Tartu
Hippie Dharma in Soviet Estonia

12:00–12:30 Discussion

12:30–12:50 Coffee break

12:50–14:00 Second Panel: Buddhism in Practice: Teachers, Groups and Congregations, moderator Anita Stasulane

12:50–13:10 Marika Laudere, Daugavpils University
Buddhism in Modern Latvia

13:10–13:30 Lauri Liiders, Doctoral Candidate, University of Tartu
Triratna Buddist Community: a case study of a Buddhist congregation in Estonia

13:30–13:50 Natalia Munatajeva, Society of Himalayan Cultures/Tallinn University
Improvisation within Traditional Frames: Visiting Teachers Experiences of Transmitting Meditation Practice for Non-Buddhists

13:50–14:20 Discussion

14:20–15:20 Lunch

15:20–16:50 Third Panel: Buddhism Transformed: Challenges and/or Compromises, moderator Mait Talts

15:20–15:40 Anita Stasulane, Daugavpils University, Faculty of Humanities
The Paradigm of Religious Conversion: Latvian Buddhists

15:40–16:00 Marko Lepik, Independent Researcher (MA Tartu, MSc London/LSE)
An agnostic treatment of Buddhism: The obligation and opportunity of the Nordic seculars

16:00–16:20 Leho Rubis, artist and art teacher
How the Buddha looks today?

16:20–16:50 Discussion

16:50–17:10 Coffee break

17:10–19:15 Film, “Enlightenment Guaranteed” (2002, 109 min), introduction by Chipamong Chowdhury


Friday, 24 May

10:00-11:00 Fourth Panel: Linnart Mäll’s contribution to Buddhism and Buddhology, moderator Alpo Ratia

10:00–10:20 Teet Toome, Doctoral Candidate, University of Tartu
Linnart Mäll’s Role in Forming of Estonian Buddhism

10:20–10:40 Märt Läänemets, University of Tartu, Centre for Oriental Studies
Semiotic approach to interpret the concept of dharma in Linnart Mäll’s academic works

10:40–11:00 Discussion

11:00 – 11:20 Coffee break

11:20–12:10 Round table discussion and making conclusions, moderators Märt Läänemets and Chipamong Chowdhury
How Buddhism is Buddhism and how Buddhism remains Buddhism in contemporary world (with emphasis on the situation in Baltics)

12:10–13:50 Film “Buddha’s Lost Children” (2006, 97 min), introduction by Chipamong Chowdhury

14:00–14:30 Opening the exhibition of the Linnart Mäll’s life and works

(download program)



His Holiness Dalai Lama visit to Estonia

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate
His Holiness XIV-th Dalai-Lama Tenzin Gyatso is visiting Estonia in 16.-18. August 2011


His Holiness has previously visited Estonia in 1991, 2001

During this visit His Holiness Dalai Lama have also an audience for members of the Estonian Institute of Buddhism, members of various Estonian buddhist centres and Tibetan culture related institutes and Tibet supporters.

His Holiness Dalai Lama have meeting with members of the Estonian Parliamentary Group for Tibet and other members of the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu) and also with Parliamentary supporters from Latvia and Lithuania.



Live webcast of His Holiness Dalai Lama's public talk "A Call for Universal Responsibilty"
on August 17th 2011 14:10-15:30 (Estonian time) at the Tallinn Liberty Square.




Live webcast of His Holiness Dalai Lama's meeting at the Estonian Academy of Sciences
''Buddhism and Science''

on August 17th 2011 14:10-15:30 (Estonian time)


(official corrected information about live webcast will be available soon)



Other events connected to His Holiness visit to Estonia

(regularly updated)



His Holiness XIV-th Dalai Lama books in Estonian

Vabadus paguluses: XIV Dalai-Laama Tendzin Gjatso autobiograafia, Tema Pühadus Dalai-Laama, inglise keelest tõlkinud Kai Vassiljeva, 240 lk, Elmatar 1999.

Kunst olla õnnelik: Elamisõpetus, Cutler, Howard C. ja Tema Pühadus Dalai-laama, inglise keelest tõlkinud Mae Hallistvee, 278 lk, K-Kirjastus 2000.

Iidne tarkus, moodne maailm: Uue aastatuhande eetika, Tema Pühadus Dalai-laama, inglise keelest tõlkinud Kai Vassiljeva, 144 lk, Elmatar 2001.

Avali süda: Kaastunne igapäevaelus, Tema Pühadus Dalai-laama, koostanud Nicholas Vreeland, inglise keelest tõlkinud Häli Kummel, 199 lk, Pegasus 2003, 2008.

XIV dalai-laama tarkuseõpetused, Matthew E. Bunson, inglise keelest tõlkinud Aime Kons, 267 lk, Pegasus 2004.

Kunst olla tööl õnnelik, Howard C. Cutler ja Tema Pühadus Dalai-laama, inglise keelest tõlkinud Kai Vassiljeva, 247 lk, Pegasus 2005.

Kuidas anda elule mõte, Tema Pühadus Dalai-laama, koostanud Jeffrey Hopkins, inglise keelest tõlkinud Teet Toome, 176 lk, Tänapäev 2005.

Tervendavad emotsioonid: Vestlused Dalai-Laamaga emotsioonidest, meelest ja tervisest, Tema Pühadus Dalai-laama, koostanud Daniel Goleman, inglise keelest tõlkinud Aime Kons, 304 lk, Pegasus 2006.

Tema Pühadus Dalai-Laama: Elulugu intervjuudes, Gerald S. Strober ja Deborah Hart Strober, inglise keelest tõlkinud Henn Käämbre, 300 lk, Pegasus 2007.

Kuidas näha enda tõelist olemust, Tema Pühadus Dalai-laama, koostanud Jeffrey Hopkins, inglise keelest tõlkinud Lauri Liiders, 240 lk, Tänapäev 2008.

Juhi tee, Laurens van den Muyzenberg ja Tema Pühadus dalai-laama, inglise keelest tõlkinud Mario Pulver, 224 lk, Tänapäev 2009.

Virgumine, Tema Pühadus dalai-laama, koostanud Jeffrey Hopkins, inglise keelest tõlkinud Ehte Puhang, 312 lk, Tänapäev 2010.

Hävitavad emotsioonid: teadlaste vestlus dalai-laamaga, Tema Pühadus dalai-laama, koostanud Daniel Goleman, inglise keelest tõlkinud Giia Weigel, 432 lk, Pegasus 2011.


VI-th Dalai Lama book in Estonian

Nukrad armastuslaulud, Tsangjang Gjatso, tiibeti keelest tõlkinud Linnart Mäll, 110 lk, Lux Orientis 2006.





Founder and President of the Estonian Institute of Buddhism
Prof. Linnart Mšll has passed away

Linnart Mšll

Linnart Mäll (7 June 1938 – 14 February 2010)

Born in Tallinn, Estonia, Dr. Mäll graduated from the Tartu State University in 1962 with a major in general history. He followed graduation with postgraduate studies at the Institute for Oriental Studies at the Academy of Sciences of USSR (1964-1966) and Department of History, Tartu State University (1966-1969); 1985 Cand. Hist. (Ph.D.) in history, Ph.D. thesis "Ashtas‚hasrik‚ Prajñ‚p‚ramit‚ as a Historical Source". Dr. Mäll died of cancer in Tartu, 2010.14.02.

His main research fields included: Buddhist Mah‚y‚na texts, Buddhist mythology, classical Indian literature and culture, classical Chinese texts, Tibetan Buddhist texts and the history and rights of small nations and peoples.

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 school of semiotics in 1960-70s. In the 1990s Mäll worked on the elaboration of the conception of humanistic base texts. Since 1994 he has been the Head of the Centre for Oriental Studies, at the University of Tartu. He later served as head of the Laboratory for Oriental Studies (1991-1994). In 1998 he expanded his work on humanistic based texts and he was the initiator and head of the research project "Humanistic base texts in the history of mankind". Mäll was also an author of ten books and over one hundred academic articles on the subject.

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. In the 1990s he established close ties with His Holiness 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 president of the Mah‚y‚na Institute (from 1991-1994, in Tartu), and president of the Estonian Buddhist Institute (from 2002 in Tallinn).

He was awarded the Order of the White Star, IV degree in 2001 and other awards.

Academic Associations

His membership in the academic associations is as follows:

Other Groups

Statement of President of the Republic of Estonia


vajra back to home back to top

Estonian Institute of Buddhism (MT‹ Budismi Instituut); registration code: 80157537
phone: +372 51 013 87; e-mail info@budismiinstituut.ee
Tallinn, Estonia; bank account no. EE982200221018598037 in Swedbank