There is at least one way in which the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is demonstrating an inclusive spirit: allowing the American-born Mongolian Buddhist lama Erdni Ombadykov to carry the Olympic torch on a leg through Elista, capital of the majority-Buddhist state of Kalmykia.
“‘When I carried the flame, I prayed that in my hands was “zul,”’ said Ombadykov in this r-sport item, ‘the lamp that symbolizes light in our religion, and I want it to light up the hearts and souls of all living creatures.’”
The Voice of Russia tells us Ombadnykov and the flame were greeted in Elista “with [Buddhist] rituals and ceremonial dances.”
Ombadykov is better known to the 300,000 Kalmykians as Diluv Khutagt, an incarnation of the great Indian saint Tilopa. Time published a profile of him in 2012, using his Westernized name of Telo Tulku, chronicling the unusual journey from his Philadelphia birthplace to being recognized as the Diluv incarnation by the Dalai Lama and installed as the spiritual head of Russia’s Mongolian Buddhists.
Elsewhere in dharma-meets-sports, an ABC News copywriter scrambles and throws deep with this headline referencing the meditation regimen football coach Pete Carrol recommends for his Super Bowl-bound players: “Seattle Seahawks will have ‘ohm’ team advantage.”