Monthly Archives: March 2024

Mongolian Poetry 13: Going

This is an interpretation into the English language of a poem by the scholar-poet Zava Damdin (1976- ). The title in the Mongolian language and its Mongolian Cyrillic script is,”Явж Байна”.



Going and going, going in the direction of great auspiciousness
Going and going, going in the direction of inner education
Going and going, going in the direction of cultural enlightenment
Going and going, going along this amazing way

Going and going, going along beneath the vastness of space
Going and going, going along cheerfully in the sun and moonlight
Going and going, going along such a wide-open steppe
Going and going, in three thousand countless universes! [1]

Going is not for just one life, going is for several
Going is not only for just one kalpa, going is for a hundred thousand kalpas
Going is not the coward’s way, going is for the courageous
Going is not a trivial matter, it is going on the path of the great gurus

If you find the right path, there’s no turning back
If you’ve made the decision, there’s no reason to get discouraged
Overcoming the many hindrances encountered, only serves to make one more formidable
Going this way, is like following a snow lion’s footprints

Going and going, one should arrive at the correct destination
Going and going, one develops complete realisation and method
Going and going, one will arrive at ultimate wisdom
Going and going, towards complete enlightenment

Delgertsogt Mountain

Zava Damdin

Translated by Zava Damdin and C.Pleteshner
English interpretation 20.03.2023 from the original Mongolian 12.03.2023


[1] According to this lineage of Gelugpa Buddhist teachings, there are 3000 countless universes in space: the first 1000 countless universes, the second 1000 countless universes and the third cluster of 1000 countless universes. The ‘1000’ is only the name, and not the meaning. So, how does one count 1000 such universes? One starts from the number one and continues right up until a 64-digit numeral. The 64-digit is the last number of all the universes. The first countless number of the 64-digit universe is considered as only the first, with the total number of universes of this first series again expanding in number to the 64-digit number. The second series of countless universes is calculated in a similar way up to the 64th digit. A similar pattern of expansion is applied to the third cluster of 1000 countless universes.

[Source: Zava Damdin Lama (1976- ). 2015 Green Wood Horse Year. The Great Nenchen (First Edition). Ulaanbaatar: Zava Damdin Scripture and Sutra Institute.  English language translation by Catherine Pleteshner and Erdenetsogtyn Sodontogos. ISBN 9778-99962-4-344-8. Footnote 24, p23.]


 Mongolian Cyrillic Text Version

Явж Байна

Явж байна, явж байна, сайн сайхны зүг явж байна
Явж байна, явж байна, эрдэм номын зүг явж байна
Явж байна, явж байна, соёл гэгээрлийн зүг явж байна
Явж байна, явж байна, гайхамшигт явдлын зүг явж байна

Явж байна, явж байна, уужимхан тэнгэрийн дор явж байна
Явж байна, явж байна, уйтгар үгүй наран саран дор явж байна
Явж байна, явж байна, уудам талын дээр явж байна
Явж байна, явж байна, тоолж томшгүй гурван мянган ертөнц дотор явж байна

Явж байгаа нь нэгэн төрөлдөө бус, нэлээн хэдэн төрөлдөө явж байна
Явж байгаа нь гагц галбад бус, мянга түмэн галбад явж байна
Явж байгаа нь хулчгар явдлаар бус эрэмгий явдлаар явж байна
Явж байгаа нь өчүүхэн явдлаар бус богд нарын замд явж байна

Явах зам мөрөө олсон болбаас ухрах зам үгүй
Явахаар шийдсэн бол шантрах шалтгаан үгүй
Явах мөрд саад тотгор олон ч хатангатгахуйн уг
Явдал мөр нь цагаан арслангийн мөрийг мөшгөмүй

Яван явсаар зорьсон газраа хүрэх нь лавтай
Яван явсаар арга, ухааны алсад хүрмүй
Яван явсаар билгийн чанад хязгаар одмуй
Яван явсаар бодийн дээд хутгийг олох болмуй

Дэлгэрцогт уул
Зава Дамдин




A Bilingual Collection of Zava Damdin (1976- ) Poetry. Vol. 1 (2021-2024). The Zava Damdin Sutra and Scripture Institute Library Archive, Manjushri Temple Soyombot Oron, Mongolia. Unpublished manuscript.  pp18-19.



Excluding the preparatory training and clarity of narrative structure and ideation required, the journey of such compositions tends to move through three phases, starting with: (i) the creation of the original composition with the vertical Mongol Bichig Script; (ii) the subsequent transfer and rendering of this transcript into the Mongolian Cyrillic Script; and then on to, (iii) a (British) English language interpretation, such as you see here. I bring to this interpretive exercise my own particular collection of English language narrative skills and their imagined audiences. From this perspective, a final English language version of a narrative emerges as a negotiated text.

Translation is always an interpretation into another culture.



In keeping with ethical scholarly research and publishing practices and the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, I anticipate that anyone using or translating into another language all or part of this article and submitting it for accreditation or other purpose under their own name, to acknowledge this URL and its author as the source. Not to do so, is contrary to the ethical principles of the Creative Commons license as it applies to the public domain.

end of transcript.

Refer to the INDEX for other articles that may be of interest.

© 2013-2024. CP in Mongolia. This post is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Documents linked from this page may be subject to other restrictions. Posted: 30 March 2024. Last updated: 30 March 2024.