Worshipping the Heavens
One of the main aspects of Mongolian Shamanist belief is the idea of “Blue Heaven”, which was just as important as beliefs about the creation of the world. After Dorje Banzarov, a number of foreign and native scholars have analyzed the belief in Blue Heaven. Among them, D.Mansan made a thorough analysis of the subject. He considered that “Shamanist belief in Heaven has developed and changed as a result not only of social development but also according to changing international relations”.
Mongolian shamans considered that there are six Great Kings, who rule over the entire universe. One of these is Heaven Lord and the remaining five of them are on the earth beginning from human haan, to the masters of Lus, wild animals, birds, and reptiles. Consequently, the Heaven Lord givers water to the Earthly Lords in the form of rain and snow. In other words, the shamans consider that there could be one life on earth without water from Heaven. Therefore, Heaven Lord, who created water and life, nurtures the Earth and watches over it to make sure that everything runs as it should. There are about forty references to the Heaven in the Secret History, with about ten nothing the inseparable relationship between earth and Heaven.
In 1185 Chinggis was enthroned as the King of all Mongolia and he appointed Boorchi and Zelme to the important posts of his Government saying, “Being protected by the Heaven, being cared for by earth, having deserved Jamuh, my friends came to me. Therefore, to show my respect to my good friends, I promote each of you to your rightful posts. Chinggis once sent an army under four of his marshals- Orlogs |Paladins of heroes| to relieve the Hereid when the Naimans beset them. In 1202, Hereid’s Wan Han thanked Chinggis for this intervention. “May you be under the protection of Heaven and Earth. Heaven and Earth is one of the oldest concepts in Mongolian Shamanism, which was emphasized in the Secret History. During the period of Chinggis, Ogoodei and Gueg Haans, Mongolian soldiers had never attacked the religions of other nations, because they considered that their fundamental belief in Heaven was the same as their Shaman beliefs.
Since the establishment of the Mongolian nomadic civilization, Mongolian Shamanism was one of its component parts, a driving force, and main ideology, which connected every Mongol with Heaven. in other words, belief in Heaven was the cornerstone of Mongolian religion. Dorje Banzarov wrote that the Mongols, as people of other nations, had considered Heaven as supreme. As a result, people who believed in Heaven had an equal right to judgment before it.
With the emergence of social stratification and the distinction between elites and inferiors, the Shaman concept of the Blue Heavens also changed. For instance, the invention of Heavenly origins for elites raised them to a higher level. Chinggis Haan’s origins are described as follows in the Secret History: “Being born of the Borte Chinua |Gray Wolf| and Gua Maral |Beautiful Siberian Stag|, he is different from an ordinary man or women”. However, Khugselbuu-Baatar |hero| said about Tayan Han of Naiman, “Where I was an old man and my wife was still young, thanks to the Mighty Heaven’s blessing Tayan was born, according to Inanchi Bilggee Haan”. in the autumn of 1204, Khulan, a daughter of Uvas Merged’s chieftain Dair Usun, introduced herself to Chinggis Haan, “Please, check my mortal body, which has been graced by Heaven and given birth by my parents”. All of these aristocrats believed that they were of blessed or divine origin: Chinggis Haan was originated from the Highest Heaven or Supreme deity, Tavan Han was born thanks to Mighty Heaven’s favor and so on. Apparently, the masses believed this too.
Thus, the Mongols respected these aristocrats as the sons of Heaven Lord, a son of Sky, a Heaven Messenger, who were sent to earth that all men should kneel down before them.
This concept was, therefore, of huge importance in the creation of Mongolian unity and establishing popular respect for the Mongolian state leaders.