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Philosophical Thought
Reference:

Reception of the Ecological Ethics of Buddhism in the Works of Scientists from Buryatia, Kalmykia, Tuva

Lenkhoboeva Tatiana Robertovna

PhD in Philology

Associate Professor, Department of Media Communications, East Siberia State University of Technology and Management

670013, Russia, respublika Buryatiya, g. Ulan-Ude, ul. Klyuchevskaya, 40v

ltr_1@mail.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8728.2022.10.38933

EDN:

EJOCDE

Received:

12-10-2022


Published:

27-10-2022


Abstract: The article presents an overview of research on the ecological ethics of Buddhism. The author examines the works of scientists from the main Buddhist regions of Russia (Buryatia, Kalmykia and Tuva), gives a description of the main methodological directions, and also offers a classification of approaches to the study of environmental ethics of Buddhism. The first scientific approach is historical and philosophical, within which the history of the emergence of Buddhist philosophy is presented, the second scientific approach, social and philosophical, is associated with the basic concepts of the philosophy of Buddhism and the substantiation of solutions to environmental problems offered by Buddhism. This is followed by a sociological one, within the framework of this research vector, an attempt was made to interpret the ritual behavior of the inhabitants of Ulan-Ude within the framework of the ecological ethics of Buddhism. The next research vector can be characterized as historical and literary. Other areas of research are also described. The novelty of the review of studies on environmental ethics in the Buddhist republics of Russia lies in the fact that this is the first attempt to systematize the diversity of the listed scientific approaches, which, in turn, will allow a deeper understanding of the value of Buddhist teaching in the formation of ecological consciousness among the population and identify specific, practical ways to solve the existing environmental problems. The review presents the main names of scientists involved in the environmental ethics of Buddhism, the main works are indicated.


Keywords:

Buddhism, ecology, environmental ethics, ecological culture, socio-philosophical approach, sociological approach, historical-literary approach, comparative approach, Buryatia, Kalmykia

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Introduction The topic of ecology in modern realities sounds especially acute.

Environmental ethics is a kind of symbiosis of modern ideas and traditional values. It is based on the theory of systems and the theory of sustainable development. From the point of view of spiritual fulfillment, it tends to the traditions of the idea of nonviolence, tolerance and respect for all living things. Environmentalists argue that positivism, utilitarianism and the pursuit of maximum satisfaction of material needs have led human civilization to a deep crisis. Therefore, it is necessary to reconsider the spiritual baggage of humanity and return to understanding the integrity of the world and the inner interconnection of all beings. In this context, the ecological potential of Christianity is studied as a religion of moral improvement of a person and the achievement of a special state (holiness), including mercy, love and forgiveness. The ecological ethics of Islam emphasizes a careful attitude to nature as a perfect creation of the Almighty. Regarding the value of Buddhist ecological ethics, we can quote the words of the famous researcher of Buddhist civilization S. Lepekhov that twenty-five centuries of the existence of Buddhist civilization convincingly prove to us that it is possible to live in balance with the environment, in peace with a foreign cultural environment, in accordance with scientific progress, maintaining stable moral guidelines and moral norms, maintaining a high educational level. standard [17, p. 170].

 Buddhism has original and effective means of solving environmental problems, and it is also able to have a significant impact on the formation of ecological consciousness among the population.

By the beginning of the XXI century, Buddhist studies had become one of the important directions in Russian science and philosophy. It seems important to us to describe and evaluate the perception of the ecological ethics of Buddhism in the works of scientists, but special interest is focused on the interpretation of the ecological ethics of Buddhism by scientists from the main Buddhist regions of Russia – Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia. It should be noted that many researchers emphasize the influence of Buddhist philosophy on the ethnic identity of the peoples of Buddhist republics [6], and also claim that ethnoecology was formed under the influence of Buddhist teaching [5].

The source basis for writing this article was the work of researchers on the ecological ethics of Buddhism. The material of the article is a consistent and structured attempt to solve a single scientific, social and moral problem, which is environmental issues

The purpose of this work is the analysis, ordering, generalization of available data, analysis of articles with the identification of the originality of the study under consideration. It is not so much about comparison as about the mutual enrichment and complementarity of scientific knowledge. We believe that the systematization of scientific approaches will allow us to better understand the most striking research vectors in the formation of ecological consciousness among the population through Buddhist philosophy. The sequence of research practices presented in the work goes from large-scale scientific approaches to the latest methodological guidelines. Thus, the socio-philosophical, sociological, historical-literary, structural-functional and comparative, ethnopedagogical, etc. were considered. methods.

 

Interpretative models of ecological ethics of Buddhism by foreign researchersMany foreign scientists have addressed the problem of studying the ecological ethics of Buddhism, but most of their works, starting with the famous book by Martina Batchelor and Kerry Brown "Buddhism and Ecology" [32], as well as the anthology of Stephanie Kaz and Kenneth Kraft "Rain of Dharma" [38], are anthologies and collections of Buddhist texts dealing with the topic of human relations and nature.

 

For example, "The Rain of Dharma" is a collection of selected fragments on environmental topics of both classical texts, Dhammapada, Jatak, etc., and works of Buddhist teachers of the twentieth century, for example, His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIU-go, Thit Nath Han, Chogyama Trungpa, etc. We find a theoretical understanding of early Buddhist texts in P. Sahni's book "Ecological Ethics in Buddhism". In this work, the researcher analyzes the jatakas, Buddhist parables of the early Indian period, in the context of ecology. According to P. Sahni, the idea of simplicity and humility is important for Buddhism, and this is its significance for environmental ethics. She also focuses the reader's attention on the fact that Buddhists do not consider man to be the master of nature [39, pp. 122-126].

Among foreign studies, we can single out the work of S.P. James "Zen Buddhism and environmental Ethics". Based on the principles of the comparative approach, the scientist compares Zen philosophy with European philosophy, and the researcher expanded the time frame of the objects compared from the philosophical positions of Aristotle to the postulates of Kant and Heidegger. The work of S.P. James received controversial assessments, the author was accused of quietism, that he did not describe the practical value of environmental ethics, but, as we understand, the author did not set himself such a task.

 

Historical and philosophical approachOne of the most significant research vectors, in our opinion, is the historical and philosophical one.

Most of the research within this approach describes the history of the emergence of Buddhist philosophy, the features of syncretism of Buddhism and shamanism, the influence of Buddhism on the formation of ecological culture of the population.

In the monograph of Abaev N.V., Opey-ool U.P. "Tengrianism, Buddhism and ecological cults in Central Asia and Trans-Sayania" it is noted that Buddhism, along with archaic beliefs, Tengrianism and shamanism, had a strong influence on the development of the ecological culture of the peoples of the Sayano-Altai region. According to the authors, due to close contamination with traditional beliefs and cults of Tuvans and Buryat Mongols, Mahayana Buddhism in a relatively short historical period turns into a truly folk religion, which over time organically intertwined with traditional culture [2, p. 87].In general, Buddhism as a system of worldview contributes to the formation of a high level of ecological consciousness, since it considers a person as a microcosm, a particle of the Universe, its micromodel, therefore, focuses on the interdependent relationship of people and the surrounding world.

Buddhist philosophy is also characterized by the concepts of karma, according to which each person is responsible for his actions; ahimsa, that is, non-harm to living beings and general humanistic principles.

The value of the work lies in the historical and philosophical description of the development of Buddhism in the Republic of Tyva, the syncretism of Buddhism and traditional beliefs, the actualization of environmental principles characteristic of confessions. Thus, in the process of spreading in the region of Central Asia and Southern Siberia, Buddhism managed to attract shamanists to its side by the fact that its canons did not deny their main gods and spirits, but "converted" them to their faith. The spirits-owners of the area received an animistic layer and Buddhist names were given to them, Buddhist legends were attributed [2, 97-98]. Buddhism has also preserved the very popular and archaic cult of obo (ovaa), a cult place of worship, which was included in the Buddhist system, but instead of shamanic invocations, Buddhist prayers were recited during the performance of rituals.

The ecological culture of traditional society in its organic connection with religion is considered by Abaev N.V. and Feldman V.R. in the textbook "Ethno-confessional traditions and ecological culture of the peoples of Central Asia and the Altai-Baikal region". The depth of the research within the framework of the historical and philosophical approach allows scientists to describe not only the change of religious beliefs of the Turkic-Mongolian peoples from traditional beliefs to Buddhism, but also to identify a certain model of human behavior in relations with nature. In the Altai-Baikal region, due to many objective reasons, such as the harsh climate, the influence of cultural traditions, a person aspired to harmonious coexistence with nature; not conquering it, but maintaining a fragile ecological balance becomes his central line of behavior. Buddhism largely corresponded to such a way of life, therefore, in addition to the religious and mythological representations of the Turkic-Mongolian peoples - Tengrianism, "Ak–Chayan", "Burgan-Chayan" and shamanism - Buddhist philosophy with its humanistic principles of nonviolence and equality of all living beings had a strong influence on the development of ecological culture.

The first textbook on Buddhist philosophy and culture, published in Tuva, belongs to a team of authors – N.V. Abaev, O.M. Khomushka and U.P. Bicheldey "Buddhism in Central Asia: history, fundamentals of teaching and culture" [3]. This work is based on a comprehensive study of Tuvan Buddhism as a complex philosophical system, the basis of which is the ecological culture of the Turkic-Mongolian peoples.

The manual examines the process of spreading Buddhism, describes the main monuments of Buddhist culture, actualizes the issue of forming a conscious human attitude to the natural environment. Ecological concepts are characterized by moral regulation of practical attitude to the natural environment, their subject content includes not only knowledge and production skills, but also norms of everyday behavior that ensure the protection of the source of life.

 

A socio-philosophical approach to the ecological ethics of BuddhismWe can consider the socio-philosophical vector as a major scientific vector, where the focus of scientists' attention is on the processes of the influence of Buddhism on society.

Researchers agree that Buddhist philosophy is capable of influencing the ecological consciousness of a person, as well as offering a set of measures to solve global environmental problems.

M.S. Ulanov's research "Buddhist culture and ecological consciousness", carried out in a socio-philosophical way, examines the issue of the influence of Buddhist culture on ecology and the formation of ecological consciousness [28, p. 161]. The task set by M.S. Ulanov turned out to be connected with the comprehension of the original means and methods of Buddhism, which, according to the scientist, may be in demand for the formation of a model of a new sustainable development. The innovative nature of the work is to find ways to solve specific environmental problems of our time: environmental pollution, overpopulation of the planet, etc. According to the scientist, the role of Buddhism in nature conservation lies in the fact that the denomination defines strict moral requirements for human behavior. "The environmental friendliness of Buddhist culture is also connected with the sacralization of various natural objects" [28, p. 161], thus, the definition of some natural objects as sacred, and the prohibition of aggressive influence on nature will prevent environmental pollution. Another environmental problem of our time is associated with the overpopulation of the planet, which, in turn, threatens to accelerate the consumption of natural resources. Ulanov M.S. notes that some areas of Buddhism promote the idea of celibacy, and the decision to take this vow will help mitigate the negative effect of overpopulation. Following the basic principle of the ahimsa religion, the prohibition of violence against living beings, will prevent the destruction of animals beyond measure for the sake of eating. Thus, M.S. Ulanov focuses on the systematic solution of environmental problems. This, in our opinion, is the indisputable advantage of this article.Another work written in a socio-philosophical way, "Environmental Ethics of Buddhism" belongs to O.V. Dorzhigushaeva and A.V. Kiplux [37].

This article systematized the main categories of Buddhist ethics that influence the education of ecological consciousness among the population. The authors note that an important role for understanding Buddhism is played by the law of karma, awareness of the kinship of man and animals, tolerance not only for people of another faith, but also for nature. The researchers emphasize that "Today people represent natural objects in the form of an enemy to be conquered, transfer anthropomorphic relationships to relationships with nature. A person practicing tolerance treats living beings with compassion, understands their problems, mental state and level of consciousness development" [37, pp. 154-158].

Such a philosophical and ethical approach to the interpretation of the foundations of Buddhism expands the idea of the inseparable connection of the teaching and careful attitude to the surrounding world.

 

Sociological approach in the research of ecological ethics of BuddhismThe next direction in the study of the ecological ethics of Buddhism, which we would like to focus on, is related to the sociological approach.

It is most vividly presented in the work of O.V. Dorzhigushayeva and N.C. Khanturgaeva "Religious consciousness and environmental ethics of the Buddhists of Ulan-Ude (based on the materials of sociological research)" [14]. This study is devoted to the influence of Buddhist ethics on the behavior and actions of residents of the capital of Buryatia. The designated goal was realized by the method of a survey of residents of Ulan-Ude, which was conducted in the monitoring mode from 2009 to 2015. The result of the scientific search were the following conclusions. Firstly, Buddhist citizens in their daily lives are not always guided by the norms of religious ethics, but they have the basics of knowledge about the unity of nature and man, about the interdependence of all phenomena in the Universe. Secondly, as the results of the study show, in Buryatia, the external ceremonial part of Buddhist teaching dominates the interest in the philosophical component of Buddhism. At the same time, there is a certain percentage of people who strive to realize the Buddhist ideal of caring for the welfare of all living beings. Thirdly, the practice of the Dharma of the Ulan-Ude people was also of research interest: it turned out that Buddhist citizens more often perform rituals to solve specific personal problems, and less often resort to meditation, fasting, following the instructions of a spiritual teacher, etc.

As a result of the research, scientists have reached a deeper, philosophical and ethical level, concluding that the practice of observing rituals, following the basics of the Buddhist worldview allow practicing laypeople to develop compassion for all living beings, therefore, the study of the values and worldview of Buddhism, the use of moral imperatives by residents of Buryatia in everyday practice should contribute to the harmonization of social relations and the improvement of environmental the situation in the region.

 

Comparative analysis of environmental initiatives of Buddhist and shamanic societiesA comparative approach can be singled out separately.

The value of this direction is to identify common and different in the ecological consciousness of representatives of Buddhism and shamanism. 

Of particular interest within the framework of the topic under study is the work of Dorzhigushaeva O.V. and Zhanaeva A.T. "Values of traditional cultures as a resource of environmental ethics". The article presents the results of a field expedition in Mongolia, the purpose of which was to present the opinion of practicing shamans about environmentalism, a current that puts forward the values of traditional cultures as one of the main resources of environmental ethics, and about Buddhism as a competing religion.

The problem of environmental pollution has been acute in Mongolia for the past few years. The deterioration of the environment is facilitated by mining, desertification and the difficulties of pasture farming, coal heating in cities.

The increased attention of researchers is focused on three aspects. The first is that both lamas and shamans feel responsible for the preservation of the environment, this is manifested not only in the recognition that social and political problems are the cause of many environmental problems, but also in an attempt to contribute to the solution of these problems. So, the Buddhist center "Zhavzandamba" to facilitate this
environmental and social problems is engaged in raising funds for the purchase of high-quality coal for the population, supports forest planting projects, and conducts information activities among the population, in accordance with the Buddhist ethics of interdependence [13, p. 129].

Among representatives of shamanism, environmental protection is manifested, first of all, through a system of prohibitions on visiting certain sacred places, a special ritual attitude to landscape elements and other objects of nature, through ritual actions. In these attempts to solve environmental problems through concrete actions – helping the population to buy good quality coal, a ban on visiting holy places, a ban on leaving garbage after rituals – we can identify the second similarity between Buddhists and shamanists of Mongolia.

The third aspect to which the attention of researchers is directed is the difference between confessions. The opinions of practicing shamans interviewed by scientists in relation to Buddhism are divided. Some treat with respect and emphasize the similarity in basic environmental principles, others criticize Buddhism, in particular due to the fact that some lamas bless work in the mining industry that harm the environment. For a complete picture of the relationship between representatives of religions, in our opinion, the lamas' opinion on shamanism is not enough, but we note that researchers treat the answers of all respondents quite correctly and with respect, without criticizing them.

Such an approach to both religions and delicacy in the interpretation of empirical research materials led scientists to the conclusion that religion has an ecological mission, and representatives of the designated faiths are trying to preserve nature with concrete actions.

 

Ethnopedagogical approachThe value of Buddhist teaching and the application of the basic postulates of the ecological ethics of Buddhism in the education of young people is actualized in the ethnopedagogical approach.

This research practice is presented in the PhD thesis of S.I. Murgaeva "Folk traditions in environmental education of high school students (based on the material of the Republic of Kalmykia)" [24].  The researcher considers the ecological crisis as a worldview, philosophical and ideological, which can be overcome by the formation of a value system among the younger generation. Interest in the educational potential of Buddhism is due to its altruistic love for all living things, rejection of the exploitation of nature, principles of respect for the environment. The innovative approach of this study is that for the first time ethnopedagogy in Kalmykia was analyzed from the point of view of its ecological orientation. And an important result of the research was the development and testing of a system of environmental education of high school students during extracurricular time. The author of the study gradually proved that it is possible to solve modern environmental problems only comprehensively, using the potential of traditions and culture, including religious, of the Kalmyk people.The influence of Buddhism on the formation of environmental values of schoolchildren in Kalmykia was also considered by O.D. Mukaeva and E.A. Badma-Khalgaeva.

In the monograph "Pedagogy of Buddhism" [23], a separate chapter is devoted to the ecological potential of the religious culture of the Kalmyks. The scientists also tested the experience of studying the subject "Fundamentals of Buddhist culture" in the schools of the republic. Schoolchildren in the classroom organize debates, prepare research projects, write creative works in which they express independent judgments, so students form and develop moral ideals. Such pedagogical experience helps to develop the most effective methods for developing humanistic qualities of a person – compassion and mercy for all living things.

Researcher M.B. Marzayeva in her article "The activities of Buddhist organizations of Kalmykia on the formation of value orientations of youth" describes the work of the central huruul "Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni" with young people. The religious organization conducts a set of educational activities. The main activities include holding contests for children's drawings and essays, contests for the best national costume, for knowledge of the Kalmyk language and culture. In addition, in the Central Huruul there is a museum of the history of Buddhist culture, a library where schoolchildren can watch educational films and lectures by the Dalai Lama XIV. Meetings with poets and artists, with scientific and creative intelligentsia, with Buddhist teachers and guests from other regions, pilgrims to India and Nepal play a special role in the formation of ecological consciousness of schoolchildren through Buddhist philosophy [20].

The totality of the presented studies testifies to the positive influence of Buddhism on the formation of value orientations among young people.

 

Environmental initiatives of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of RussiaOne of the newest trends in the study of the ecological ethics of Buddhism are the works characterizing the activities of the Buddhist traditional Sangha of Russia.

This research vector is presented in the works of B.Ts. Dondukov "Ecological initiatives of Buddhist figures of Buryatia: actual problems and local solutions", B.Ts. Dondukova "Public Discourse of the Buddhist Leaders in the Context of Forest Fires in the Republic of Buryatia, Russia", B.Ts. Dondukova, O.V. Dorzhigushaeva, G.P. Dondukova "Socially engaged Buddhism: cattle-breeding initiative of the
Buryat Buddhist sangha and its ecological significance in the Baikal region, Russia». These studies, carried out within the framework of a structural and functional approach, are among the first attempts to analyze the environmental activities of the Buddhist traditional Sangha of Russia.

In Buryatia, deforestation and forest fires are among the main environmental problems of concern. Unfortunately, these problems are interrelated, since the main cause of forest fires is an anthropogenic factor, since people often arrange arson plots for their further felling.

 The authors of the study see the work of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia (BTSR – Author's note) with the population as a solution to these problems. In 2015, when a large number of forest fires were recorded in the region, Buddhist leaders – the head of the BTSD Pandito Hambo Lama Damba Ayusheev, the head of the religious organization "Je Tsongkhapa" Geshe Jampa Tinley Wangchen, Lama Dandar Bazarzhapov made appeals to the population of the republic. The texts of these appeals were distributed through the media, leaflets and banners were installed in problem areas.

Analyzing these appeals, the authors emphasize that, firstly, the appeals to the population deal with the fundamental ideas of the Buddhist worldview, such as reincarnation and karma. Secondly, scientists pay attention to the fact that the Buryats are characterized by faith in the owners of the area. It is believed that by polluting nature, it is possible to harm the sabdaks (guardians of the area – Author's note), thereby causing their anger and just punishment, therefore, in some appeals of spiritual leaders there is a motive of intimidation by spirits [35]. In this motive, in addition to the fear of punishment, we can trace the motive of the sacralization of natural objects.

It should be noted that researchers are moving from describing practical solutions to environmental problems (requests not to set fire to forests) to a metaphysical justification, in which, according to the researchers, the principles of the Buddhist worldview are actualized, for example, any human action can affect his samsaric existence.

Expanding the scope of research and not limited only to the analysis of text appeals of Buddhist leaders to the population, the researchers proceed to the analysis of a unique project of BTSD, which is called "Social flock" and has been implemented since 2012. The essence of the project is that 300 heads of sheep of the Buryat breed buubei are given free of charge to people who want to live in the village. After the increase of the herd, the participant of the program must give part of the flock to his fellow countrymen, thereby increasing the number of people engaged in cattle breeding. The goal of this project is to stop the outflow of rural population to cities, to improve people's lives [36].

Scientists emphasize that this project has a beneficial effect on the ecology of the region. In particular, residents of rural areas are starting to engage in cattle breeding, stopping illegally cutting down forests for the purpose of earning money. Also, this project has not only material, but also spiritual benefits – lay people develop the practice of giving and social responsibility.

The researchers found the contribution of BTSD to solving the main environmental problems of the republic allowed them to draw an important conclusion that meeting the practical needs of people can reduce the social causes of the main environmental problems in Buryatia, and the Buddhist sangha is able to contribute to solving environmental problems.

The degree of novelty of the research of a team of authors devoted to the environmental initiatives of a religious organization is determined not so much by the introduction into scientific circulation of original ways of solving environmental problems by the forces of BTSD, as by focusing on the interpretation of the results of the actions of the Buddhist sangha.

 

Ecological motives in literature One of the promising scientific studies is also the identification and actualization of the organic relationship between the ecological ethics of Buddhism and modern Buryat literature.

The traditions of the ecological movement are also reflected in the literature, in particular in the article by I.V. Bulgutova and G.P. Dondukova "Ecological Values of Traditional World View in the Contemporary Buryat Literature". The common motive of the works of modern Buryat literature is the awareness of nature as a living being, endowing it with human features. Anthropomorphism, the features of which the researchers found in the analyzed works, is conditioned by the mentality of the Buryats, their worldview, including religious, correlates with the basic ideas of the philosophy of Buddhism about the equal value of all living beings.

 The authors consider as examples of anthropomorphism, firstly, symbolic symbols for the Buryat worldview, in particular, toonto nyutag. Toonto is the place where the umbilical cord of a newborn was buried, a symbolic designation of the inseparable connection of a person with his native land. It is forbidden to desecrate this sacred place in any way [33]. Secondly, in the natural world, animals and birds become objects of symbolization. Thirdly, I.V. Bulgutova and G.P. Dondukova argue that in Buryat literature the idea of a special and sacred connection between man and nature is also expressed in the peculiarities of the writers' artistic worldview, and above all its contemplation is a look outside.  The authors admit that many ideas, such as the sacralization of natural objects, the belief in the reckoning for the desecration of sacred places, the anthropomorphism of nature, Buddhism borrowed from shamanism: "As we see, one of the most important themes of modern Buryat literature is the preservation of the tradition of living in harmony with the natural world.  Mythological and Buddhist views in the national literature of Buryatia are synthesized when it comes to the universal connection between the natural world and people" [33].

The article actualizes the connection between modern literature and Buddhist philosophy. One of the main leitmotives of Buryat literature is the principle of preserving all living things, nature, and the idea of karmic responsibility of a person for his actions is also traced. As a result of the research, the following conclusion is natural, to which scientists come, the origins of the natural philosophy of Buryat poetry lie in the folk worldview, in the language picture of the Buryat world itself. It is this worldview based on the synthesis of traditional beliefs and Buddhism that promotes the ideas of nature conservation. The value of this work, in our opinion, lies in the systematization of ecological motives in modern Buryat literature, the identification of national mentality in literature, its connection with the main ideas of traditional and Buddhist philosophy.

 

ConclusionIn modern Buddhology, much attention is paid to the ecological ethics of Buddhism, its perception and evaluation in the light of various methodological guidelines.

Despite the fact that a number of studies have been devoted to the study of the stated topic, there has so far been no generalizing work that would allow us to systematize the main methodological directions, identify their specifics and current novelty. Within the framework of this article, an attempt was made to fill the existing deficit. We have analyzed a number of studies on the ecological ethics of Buddhism, attempted to identify the specifics of the main methodological directions and describe the innovative nature.

The considered vectors in the study of the ecological ethics of Buddhism indicate a systematic, integrated approach to the study of this problem. Buddhologists of Kalmykia, when analyzing environmental ethics, focus on socio-philosophical, ethnopedagogic approaches. In Tuva, in-depth research is carried out, which is based on historical-philosophical and socio-philosophical approaches. We can also note that the region has the largest number of monographs and textbooks devoted to the ecological culture of nomadic peoples. Buryatia is also characterized by a variety of research strategies on the ecological ethics of Buddhism: among the main ones are comparative, sociological, historical and literary, etc.

Modern domestic research on the ecological ethics of Buddhism, firstly, testifies to the diversity of approaches to solving the global environmental problem by means of Buddhist philosophy, the ability of religion to influence the formation of moral values and ecological thinking among the population, including young people. Secondly, Buddhology not only rethinks existing research practices, but also develops new strategies that allow analyzing the activities of specific religious organizations to solve environmental problems in the region, in particular, Buryatia; also, historical and literary, where the focus is on the organic connection of Buddhist philosophy and modern national literature.

The totality of the scientific approaches presented in the article, in our opinion, reflects effective and original ways of solving environmental problems by means of Buddhism and will contribute to the speedy resolution of the modern ecological crisis.

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First Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The reviewed article is a generalizing work, the author of which sets the task to describe and systematize the main approaches formulated in the process of understanding environmental issues in the publications of domestic researchers of Buddhism, with the greatest attention being paid to the authors representing Buryatia, Tuva, Kalmykia, that is, the regions of the Russian Federation whose peoples traditionally profess Buddhism. In this regard, the first problem that the author faces is what general designation should be proposed for these regions, since, according to the idea of the article, this general designation should be presented already in the title. The author dwells on the variant "Buddhist republics of Russia". For a number of reasons, it is difficult to recognize it as successful, and I would like to recommend that the author of the article return to this issue when finalizing its preparation for publication. The main part of the article provides a consistent description of the most significant, from the author's point of view, approaches to identifying and characterizing the ecological ethics of Buddhism. Undoubtedly, the text testifies to the great work done by the author in the process of collecting and systematizing this information. On the other hand, the "flip side" of this painstaking activity is also what could be called the main drawback of the article – it consists in a purely descriptive nature, the absence of problems in the presentation of the material. It is difficult to say whether the author paid attention to such a feature of the presentation, which manifests itself in the arbitrariness of the chosen order of approaches; little will change in the article if their order is changed. Of course, both review and even "descriptive" articles have the right to exist, they also play a certain role in modern scientific literature, however, and taking this into account, it would be advisable for the author to think about how the main storyline could be revealed in this material so that the mentioned approaches act as as consistent structured attempts to solve a single scientific, social and moral problem (environmental issues undoubtedly combine all these aspects). Let's pay attention to at least two more points, the continuation of work on which seems necessary to improve the text. Firstly, the material is presented unevenly already in terms of volume, if a lot of attention is paid to one approach, then others are catastrophically little; yes, this may be due to objective characteristics (namely, the developments in question may be richer or poorer in content), and yet the reader gets a strange impression when he He is faced with a similar disproportion in the presentation of the material. Secondly, I would like the article to end with a meaningful conclusion, and not with simple statements, it is in conclusion that we should try to formulate the conceptual quintessence of modern domestic research on the environmental ethics of Buddhism. To summarize, we can say that the article has good prospects for publication in a scientific journal, however, it would be highly desirable to amend it in accordance with the proposed comments. I recommend sending the article for revision.

Second Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
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The subject of the author's research is the interpretation of the ecological ethics of Buddhism by scientists from the main Buddhist regions of Russia – Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia. The methodology of the research is not quite clearly stated, but in general it boils down to reviewing the scientific works of Buddhist researchers working in Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia, highlighting the main theses of such works and classifying the latter according to the identified methodological approaches. The relevance of this study has not been explicitly formulated by the author, although given the global nature of environmental problems and the unflagging attention of the scientific community to various aspects of the environmental agenda, the interrelationships of Buddhism (in particular, Russian) and environmentalism seem to be an urgent problem. The scientific novelty is defined by the author as follows: "In modern Buddhology, much attention is paid to the ecological ethics of Buddhism, its perception and evaluation in the light of various methodological guidelines. Despite the fact that a number of studies have been devoted to the study of the stated topic, there has so far been no generalizing work that would allow us to systematize the main methodological directions, identify their specifics and current novelty. Within the framework of this article, an attempt has been made to fill the existing deficit. We have analyzed a number of studies on the environmental ethics of Buddhism, attempted to identify the specifics of the main methodological directions and describe the innovative nature." From the last sentence, it is not entirely clear what the innovative nature of what exactly the author tried to reveal. But in any case, the review of scientific literature that he carried out in his article has signs of scientific novelty. The style, structure and content of the article correspond to generally accepted scientific norms. The article is structured and has several sections. The text is internally connected, logical, well-read, and contains almost no typos (those that are do not make it difficult to understand what is stated). The bibliography is quite rich, it contains 40 items. The names of the sources used in writing the article are relevant to research tasks. The list of references reflects, among other things, recent publications published in recent years. Since we are dealing with a review article, the author does not polemize with opponents. One can argue with some of the author's conclusions and formulations. For example, his classification of those approaches that are observed in the research literature in relation to the topic of the relationship between Buddhism and environmentalism is not convincing enough. It is not formulated what exactly the author considers an approach, although, judging by the words, "The socio-philosophical, sociological, historical-literary, structural-functional and comparative, ethnopedagogic, etc. were considered in this way. methods", meaning precisely methodological approaches. But in this case, what, for example, does the "ethnopedagogic approach" mean, what is its essence? The works that the author lists and describes in the corresponding subsection of the article, as it appears from the text, are united not by any general approach, but only by a somewhat similar theme - the influence of Buddhist culture on the education of schoolchildren in Kalmykia. The final phrase is also unclear: "The totality of the scientific approaches presented in the article, in our opinion, reflects effective and original ways of solving environmental problems by means of Buddhism and will contribute to the early resolution of the modern environmental crisis." It is inherently contradictory, because the article deals with approaches to the study of the relationship between modern Buddhism in Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia and environmental problems, and not at all about approaches to solving pressing environmental problems. That is, the identification of these approaches is a logical operation when conducting a historiographical review, but no more. It is impossible to directly influence the solution of environmental problems in this way. And therefore it is not entirely clear what kind of readership the article is intended for. The Buddhologists? For environmentalists? The philosophers? The title of the article, "The reception of the ecological ethics of Buddhism in the works of scientists from Buryatia, Kalmykia, and Tuva," is also not entirely successful. Considering that reception is the borrowing and adaptation of certain socio-cultural, legal, religious, etc. norms and ideas that arose in another country or in another era, one might think that the article is about the enculturation (in the interpretation of M. Herskovitz) of these scientists, about the influence on them of the ecological ethics of Buddhism, although Of course, the article is not about this at all, but about their study of certain aspects of the ecological ethics of Buddhism. Such shortcomings reduce the analytical value of the article. Nevertheless, the historiographical review presented in it of works dealing with the problems of understanding environmental problems in Russian Buddhism may be of interest to religious scholars.