The ideas of Mongolian Shamanism concerning the formation and structure of the Earth are explained in two ways. The belief in the Three Worlds has attracted the attention of most researchers. Based on the world conception of the shamans from Mongolian Hovd province, the area surrounding Ulaanbaatar and Inner Mongolia, Ch.dalay wrote:
Shamanism divides the world into three levels: Upper, Middle and Bottom. The Upper world is the holiest and is engaged in a constant struggle against the Bottom to protect the Middle from misfortune and calamity. The Middle world belongs to man and beast. In the Bottom are gathered all mannesr of devils and demons, who spread all evils, illnesses and plagues. In effect it is Hell.
H.Buyanbat also directly quoted this definition in his work. Afterward, the Chinese academic Mr.Yonsog concluded:
According to Shamanist conception, the universe is divided into upper, middle, and bottom worlds. The upper world, where there are many spirits, is Paradise. In its turn it is divided into seven strata, the topmost of which is home to the most powerful spirits. In the Middle world are people, animals and plants. The Bottom is a dark world, which also has several strata.
After long consideration, A.P.Potapov and T.N.Mihailov wrote:
The shamans of tuva and Buriad divided the universe in three parts: Earth; Underworld; and Upper world, or Sky, All of these worlds are populated, but the dwellers of the Upper and Middle worlds have the ability to lead others.
However, A.V.Smolyak wrote:
The shamans of the Nanay and other nationalities, who dwell near the mouth of Amar River and Japanese Sea consider that the Universe consists of our Earth, Heaven, and the Upper Heaven or Golden Strata. mankind lives on the Earth.
A number of scholars have related the conclusion that the main part of the world-conception of the Mongolian, and other Central and East Asian Shamans is a common belief in the “Three Worlds” and “Three Strata”. According to A.P.Potarov, the Tuvans, like the Mongolian Shamans, consider that the middle stratum is our Earth, while according to A.V.Smolyak, the lowest of the three strata is Earth. In other words, the existence of mankind is related to the first or bottom stratum by the Nanays, yet according to the beliefs of the Tuvan shamanist is related to all three.
This illustrates the similarity of the Tuvans’ world-conception with the neighboring Mongols of Lake Hovsgol. However, Ch.Dalay, H.Buyanbat, and Mr.Yonsog considered that the Middle world was the one for men, animals, and plants, the Bottom, Hell, was the home of devils and demons and the Upper one, Paradise, home of the Burhans and Deities. It is clear that the Shamanist conception of the Three Worlds was considered in detail by the researchers of Inner Mongolia, particularly Mr.Yonsog, who subdivided the three levels into a more subtle arrangement. This reveals the powerful influence of Buddhist ideology upon southern Mongolia and its interaction with Shamanism.
In contract, Siberian Shamanism had a greater influence in Outer Mongolia, which dramatically slowed down and reduced the assimilation of Buddhist ideology into Shamanism. Consequently, it is evident that the original ideology of Shamanism survived more or less unscathed in Outer Mongolia, especially in the remote northern regions.
However, the conception of the “Three Worlds” is most likely linked to Yellow Shamanism, upon which Lamaism had the greatest influence. In other words, it is a belief of Mongolian Lamaism. In this respect, Mr.Yonsog reached the conclusion that “The idea of the Three Worlds is present in both Shamanist and Buddhist philosophy.