• Переводчик 13, 2013
    Переводчик 13, 2013

  • Переводчик 12, 2012
    Переводчик 12, 2012

  • Сборник стихов.
    Сборник стихов.

  • О. Элрад. Мой зачарованный мираж...
    О. Элрад. Мой зачарованный мираж...

Земля Даурская
Виктор Балабанов. Иргень – место святое издревле Тайны святого озера. Перевод на английский Татьяны Сухановой

Переводчик: Татьяна Суханова

Иргень место святое издревле

Тайны святого озера


Перевод на английский Татьяны Сухановой


Lake Irgen Has Long Been a Sacred Place

Secrets of the Sacred Lake


          Lake Irgen is the only place in Transbaikalia which has long been known as a holy place for the people of Transbaikal region, thus it has been a pilgrimage shrine from times immemorial. From the second half of the 17th century rumors about the holy lake have been travelling fast both within Transbaikal region and well beyond it.

          In their brochures “In Memory of Irgen” and “Irgen is a Holy Place”, archimandrites Pavel and Yefrem tell the story of Irgen, as well as popular legends which have been cherished by the local families year in year out. Archimandrite Yefrem specifies that “only those data and stories were subject for publication which had been submitted by the local old residents whose religious and moral standing had never been questioned. Historical considerations were also reckoned with”.

          It is doubtful if the Irgen Ostrog has ever been a reality. And though Lake Irgen was not mentioned as a holy place within the church boundaries from the year of 1653 through 1726, legends have it a lot of palmers from both nearby and quite remote places found their way to the lake never making distinction between either religious beliefs or nationalities. There public prayers and icon-bearing processions towards the waters of the lake were held. “Not only Orthodox Christians were walking there, but also old-believers, Buddhists-lamaists and shamans were not uncommon on the pathways leading to Lake Irgen. Especially crowded the place looked after the Week of All Saints and on the Ninth Friday”, recalls Archimandrite Yefrem.

          During public prayers and other church services one could observe quite an unusual sight: an Orthodox believer from Siberia saying his prayers and crossing himself next to an old-believer “vigorously making the sign of the cross with two fingers”, and a Buddhist counting his beads while whispering “om-mani-padmehum”, and a shamanist “reverently taking his palm-to-palm hands to his forehead”.

          Amazing totality of worship and ancience of tradition makes one wonder at the reason of the reverence. Why did Lake Irgen draw religious people like a magnet? What was this “holy” place famous for?

          Evidently, local legends kept up stories about unusual phenomena and miraculous signs that had taken place in the immediate vicinity of the lake. There in the 50s of the 17th century voivode Afanasiy Pashkov tortured to death Orthodox warriors Simeon, Kiprian, Iosif and Vassily with their druzhina (comrades-in-arms of the medieval Russian princes). Their burial place is said to be somewhere close to the lake. A miracle-working icon named after a revered great woman martyr Paraskeva Pyatnitsa has always been held sacred there. Lake Irgen is famed as holy land aspersed with blood and sufferings of Orthodox martyrs who suffered for their faith and piety and also as a place shrouded by the great woman martyr Paraskeva Pyatnitsa and hallowed by some special signs of God’s divine grace. There were no more places of the kind in Transbaikalia.

          In 1861 the first Orthodox antipagan ecclesiastical mission, also known as Daurskaya mission, was established, it was located in Posolsky monastery near Lake Baikal. One of its goals was to spread Christian religion among yasachnye people (people of Siberia and the Far East who were made to pay a tax – yasak - in the form of natural products). To christen the indigenous people of Transbaikalia Bishop Veniamin, Head of Transbaikalian Ecclesiastical mission of the time, established the first ten missionary stations during the period from 1862 till 1868. Irgensky Stan (Station), founded in 1866, was one of them. Before that time, in the first half of the 17th century, there used to be “a monastery residence” or “Monastery” there which part of Uspensky Monastery near Nerchinsk. I. G. Gmelin, a researcher of that time, stayed there for a while.

          In the early 17th century the Holy Synod forbade religious pilgrimage to Lake Irgen, but the prohibition was of no avail. According to Archimandrite Yefrem “a great number of people used come to Irgen either on foot or by horses.”

          Irgensky Stan was made up of a small church and a house for a missionary and a psalmist. There was also a dilapidated wooden chapel to mark the burial place of the warriors Simeon, Kiprian, Iosif and Vassily. Hiermonach Gerasim, later promoted to Hegumen, did a lot to transform a common wooden house into a chapel. According to Archimandrite Yefrem: “The house was moved by the villagers of Shaksha located near Lake Shaksha to the shore of Lake Irgen, for this they had to cover 17 versts (old Russian measure of distance equal to 1.6 km). Legend has it that Metropolite Arseny lived in this house during the reign of Empress Anna Ioannovna (17th century) and Biron’s time. He had been exiled and then was sent back after his case had been reconsidered. His burial place was in a town cemetery in Verchneudinsk”. Thus the house was not chosen randomly and then moved to Lake Irgen thanks to the believers’ efforts. It was done because a high-ranking churchman had lived there sending his prayers to God.

          For a long time the chapel towered above the grave of the tortured warriors and in 1862 it was converted into a church. In written documents it is referred to as ‘the old church”. But in 1877 on the day of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin the church was burned down while the revered remains of the warriors were not touched by the fire. A new small church was then built to replace the one that had been destroyed by fire in honor of the saints whose names happened to bear the warriors Simeon, Kiprian and Iosif. The warriors might be not only Christians but old-believers too. It can somehow account for the fact that both Orthodox believers and old-believers worshipped these shrines.

          Later by June 12, 1881 “a big wooden church with a stone foundation had been built in the name of The Holy Sign and other saints” which was often referred to as the cathedral.