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The Universe and Its Continents

The Origin of the World

The least adequately studied aspect of Mongolian Shamanism has long been Shamanist beliefs concerning the creation and development of the earth and water, or world, as the three major spirits of Shamanism. These spirits are “queen” Earth, king “Heaven” and “prince” Water.

     Dorje Banzarov wrote than in ancient times, Heaven and Earth were a single entity. As a result of their separation, a fire was created. Heaven became a masculine force that animated life, while the earth was a female force that gave all things their form. Therefore, the Mongols called then “Heaven-Father” and “Earth-Mother” respectively. Subsequent generations of researchers repeated this conclusion until J.Bor of Kiyan origin, who reached the conclusion: 

It is considered that the universe was formed by the separation of a fiery body. In other words the Shamans thought that in ancient times both Heaven and Earth were separated from a common incandescent mass. this is remarkably sismilar to a recent scientific theory which suggests that the universe was a buring mass which gradually separated a few billion years ago thereby creating the Earth.

     This is considered in the shaman invocation known as “Fire praying”, the asserted. Moreover, in The legends of world nations concerning the foundation of the Earth, it is written that:

Once upon a time, both the earth and Heaven were a single thing of disordered structure, from which fire and all the unierse were formed. During this formation, the force which created everything with its own form was the feminine creator Earth and the one which animated, or gave them aa spirit, was the male creator or Heaven.

     Thus, one hypothesis says that “The earth was formed by the separation of or disintegration of a fiery body”, while the other considers that “the fire and the entire universe, including Heaven and Earth, originated from the disintegration of their common body within a disordered structure…” Thus, fire, the universe, and all living things were created during the disintegration of the primordial mass. in this process, the Earth played the role of a “feminine creator”, which gave everything its physical form and the Heavens, which as “masculine creator” animated those forms. In seems that Mongolian Shamanism’s belief in the creation of the universe by “Mother-Earth” and “Father-Heaven” is remarkably similar to the traditions and legends of other peoples. Above all, there is the common concept of male |arag| and female |bileg| creators.

     The Mongolian Shamans considered that in the beginning the earth was smaller and by its stratifying with dust it gradually became larger. During this process mountains, water, plants, and animals were also formed. This Shaman conception of the formation and development of the Earth was provided in the invocation of the “Fire praying” ceremony, in which said:

To the up tended Fire-Father,

Which we fortunately possessed,

Since that time, when,

The Eternal sky above was as a through,

The Earth-Mother below was soil, 

The Great Sun Oceans was a pool,

Butter and fat were sacred…

     This means that since ancient times the Fire-Mother was given offerings of all kinds of butter and fats. The Hotgoid shamans of the banners of Erdene Duuregch Wan and Tsogtoy Gun, Zasagt Han aimag during their worship of “Agaryn Hairhan”, a Black Darhad Ongon of Baglaan Udgan, which was established in the seventeenth century, used a similar invocation:

When the Great Sun Oceans was a pool,

When the Great Sumber Mountain was a hill, 

When the first tree was sapling,

When the Adult Lord was baby,

When the dayan Deerh was an oblate…

     Thus, the Sumber |the highest| mountain, and the “Sun” |the largest and deepest| ocean were traditional terms of them which were later taken and developed by Lamaism. Thus, lamas created an idol of a Burhan called “Bund Horol”, which is considered as a symbol of the creation of the universe. 

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