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Origins of the national idea ‘Mangi-kol’

07 September 2016
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Origins of the national idea ‘Mangi-kol’
Genghis Khan spent two-thirds of his life to think, explain, popularize and implement a strategy of unity, national idea ‘Mangi-kol’.

The unifying idea was necessary to build great unity and consolidation of noble persons. A fervent supporter of that idea was the tenth ancestor of Genghis Khan — Shora, who was named as Mangi-kol. However, the idea of eternal battle required, in turn, the spiritual and moral justification, not in the form of slogans, but in the form of ideological system integrity, appropriate to the aspirations of many compatriots and centuries-old traditions, way of life and system of values of the nomadic society. 

 Such historical-philosophical study as ‘Zhasau izi’ or ‘Yassy’, as well as moral-legal and military-political studies ‘Bilik’, ‘Zhasak’ (Yasak), and ‘Torelik’ (‘Torelik’) known as ‘Ulyk Zhasak’ (‘Great Yasa’) were dedicated to achieve this goal. The ancient study ‘Bilik’ about morality and law was revived and reformed in order to implement ‘Mangi-kol’ strategy. All these studies lied at the heart of philosophical-utopian theory, which was called ‘Genghisism’ by Benjamin Yudin. 

 Genghis Khan was convinced that Ten Commandments were sent down from above to ensure that they were done on earth and not in heaven in the afterlife. In his opinion, that aim could be achieved by revival of ancient court of biys, during the reign of which a society of nomads flourished constantly. No wonder that he had acted as a great reformer of the ancient Arian study ‘Bilik’. 

 Genghis Khan returned territories to several Turkic-Mongol tribes, where they were born in full compliance with that doctrine and in accordance with the legends ‘Zhasau izi’ (‘Yassy’). He considered unfair that those tribes were forced to crowd on the territory affined tribes for centuries, feeling dissatisfaction at first and then enmity from the last ones. Overcoming this injustice was the objective of young Genghis Khan. Sharing that goal with him, best of contemporaries gathered near Genghis Khan, who represented the most part of Turkic-Mongol tribes. In the period since 1206 to 1223, that aim had been achieved. 

The idea of ‘mangi-kol’ is the idea of eternal military brotherhood, the idea of ‘eternal invincible ratification’. It is based on such notions as military duty, military honor, military glory, military valor, loyalty to the oath. The idea involved the creation of the unified Mongol nation, each representative of which would become soldier in the best meaning of this word, combining great intelligence, highly developed sense of duty, responsibility to the nation, strong discipline, and loyalty to the word honor, dignity and pride. 

 But why it took ten generations of descendants of author of the idea to metralize the idea ‘mangi-kol’? Why that idea came to life after 200 years after its proclamation by Bodonchar (‘Butin Shora’) in the form of slogan-ethnonym ‘Mangi-kol’? 

 As it stated above, this idea was updated due to deterioration of economic crisis effects resulted from negative climatic factors, on the one hand and increase of large-scale aggression threat of neighboring superpowers of that time from another. Disastrous shortage of pastures and the hostile policy of neighboring empires on the principle ‘divide and conquer’ together led to the endless inter-tribal collision. As a result, anarchy and tyranny, basically ‘steppe terrorism’ established in Tatar-Mongol steppes, when gang of robbers stole the cattle with impunity owned by families and entire clan, condemning them to hungry existence. 

Rampancy of crime and lawlessness became extent after the death of Genghis Khan’s great-grandfather Kabyl Khan, who could concentrate power in his hands and control it. He was respected by Turkic-Mongol tribal elders and everyone was afraid of him, but after his death the fight for precedence began. The unity was lost. 

 Various adventure seekers and steppe bandits used that opportunity. It is known that criminal elements combine very quickly and easily. Permissiveness, lack of morality, ethnics and law, complete dismissive attitude to the universal values make them like-minded. They always find reasons to justify their anti-social actions. During ‘time of troubles’, after Kabyl Khan’s death to the approval of Genghis Khan’s authority, steppe bandits justified their ‘chaos’ by the reason that the tribes of West Turkic origin should ‘go away’. 

There was lack of pastures in Tatar-Mongol steppes. At the age of 19 or 20, Genghis Khan shared his desire with agemates — to unite the tribes in order to return Karatau and Semirechye to Tyurgesh and Ongut descendants, the Irtysh Region to Kok-Kipchak descendants, Syrdarya valleys to Kara-Kipchak descendants, Aral and Caspian lands to Niruns. Generally speaking, the dream to return the tribes in the places where they were born and considered it as native land was everlasting for those tribes. For four and half centuries, longing for the Chu and the Syr-darya, the Irtysh and the Yaik rivers, Karatau and Tarbagatai, Altay and Mangystau mountains was formed in children from cradle. For instance, children of Dulats and Zhalairs sang during for over four centuries: ‘ Karataudy zhailasam, Shudyn boiyn kystasam’, which means ‘Would like to live in the mountains of Karatau and to winter on the Shu coasts’. Merkits teased them with the mockery of the dream and considering it unachievable: ‘Karatauga baraiyk, tabynshyga pana bar, Shy manyna baraiyk, malshylarga tamak bar’ (We will go to Karatau, there will be shelter for herdsmen, we will go to Chu, and there will be food for shepherds). 

 Genghis Khan’s mother Oiy-ulken and his wife Borte were the first people with whom he shared his dream. Both women supported the desire of twenty-year passionarian. A mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law were descended from the tribe ‘Ak Konyrat’, the lders of it dreamt to return the former grandeur of the West Turkic Khanate. The elders of Konyrat tribe never forget that they were direct descendants of the founder of West Turkic Khanate, Abylay Khan the Second and his first son — Kaiyrkhan the First. They often stated: ‘We are Abykaiyr’s people’, combining the names of Abylay and Kaiyr. 

 Tribal elders, who considered themselves ‘aristocrats of the spirit’ supported Genghis Khan and that was the evidence of the fact that he chose a strategy of unity correctly. Mindful people understood that there was no alternative to the strategic plans of Genghis Khan. He repeatedly argued that under existing climatic conditions, the number of cattle would be reduced annually to four or five times in a close circle of his associates. It caused the risk that in 30 years, the population would be reduced to five or six times because of famine and tribal wars. Jin and Tangut people looked forward for such a moment to put an end to their restless neighbors once and forever, who were the descendants of the Huns, Xianbei and Turks. ‘The pastures were only for cattle and a quarter of the population’, - Genghis Khan said. Three-quarters of people should move to their historical homeland, where no one was waiting for back settlers with open arms. 

 According to Genghis Khan’s plan, justice of returning the tribes to their historical homeland must be proved by righteous words of ambassadors, but in cases of unsuccessful termination of their peace mission, it would be better to use ‘peak of the edge’ wisely, which should be ‘gold’, i.e. always sharp, ready to piece the rock. All squads need to be assembling together and represent monolith — ‘mangi-kol’ (‘the eternal army’). The solidity should be created by the principle ‘Bir zherden soz, bir zhennen kol’, i.e. the orders must be given by one person, leadership of the troops should be concentrated in the one hand. The whole army must be represented as brotherhood, based on the principle ‘Agasy bardyn, zhagasy bar. Inisi bardyn, tynysy bar’ (Who has an elder brother that person has a reliable guardian, who has a younger brother, that person has a reliable performer). All batyrs — heads of military units should take care of soldiers as of their younger brothers. All soldiers must obey the orders of their commanders as the orders given by their elder brothers. Genghis Khan remembered the words of his great-grandfather Baur-Tanyr Batyr that, according to the ancient study ‘Yassy’, all nomads from sea to sea (from the Yellow to the Black seas) were the descendants of ancient people: the Aryans, Scythians, Huns, Xianbeis and Turks. They were all brothers. 

Genghis Khan remembered that his tenth ancestor ‘Mangi-kol’ made a will to unite all the nomads and to create a perpetual military brotherhood, which would protect the values of the nomadic lifestyle. The main value for nomads was and would remain ‘free Great steppe from sea to sea and freedom to roam in the steppe’. 

 The unifying idea of Genghis Khan was based on the assumption that if you provide full safety for everyone, create conditions for order, law and justice establishment, completely eradicate tribal egoism, tribalism and create the united nation of brothers and sisters, such a unity would be supported by an absolute majority and therefore would be strong. The main point of unity strategy of Genghis Khan was in it, which was accepted and practically supported by all minded people in the steppe.

 As usual, they amounted to no more than one thousandth of the total population as a whole, but each of them ‘worth thousand’ as Genghis Khan said. Lev Gumilyov called those passionaries ‘people of long will’. But what could do those thousand passionaries’ in the surrounding of millions? Genghis Khan believed that with the help of God — ‘Taniri’ and wise, flexible policy, he and his comrades-in-arms would achieve their goals. History showed that he right by believing in God, in himself and his supporters. His comrades-in-arms were right as well choosing him a leader. 

 Genghis Khan was a great political strategist. He had a highly developed sense of politics. Not by chance, describing his natural talent, associates called him ‘Tulki’ (‘Fox’). Such characteristic was the most flattering of all characteristics of political talent for ancient Huns and Turks. Their notions for ‘Great Statesman’ and ‘Great Commander’ coincided, as the ancient states of Huns and Turks were essentially military powers, therefore, there was no difference between ‘political strategy’ and ‘military strategy’. Genghis Khan repeatedly said and instructed his military commanders: ‘Power defeats one, Mind, cunning and tricks defeat thousands’. 

 For a quarter of century of continuous wars with strong compatriots he built a single military power ‘Yekei Mongol ulus’. ‘In that period Genghis Khan had to choose temporary allies from those representatives of tribal nobility, who, in essence, were the ideological opponents. He never revealed his long-range goals to them. 

 The words ‘Zhaman, shynyn aitamyn dep, syryn aitady’ belong to Genghis Khan. It means: ‘Incompetent politician showing off his frankness spits secrets out’. 

 Genghis Khan faithfully served the functions ‘a father of all Mongols’ and every Noyan became ‘a father of all Nukers’. In this regard, we recall the words by Mikhail Lermontov from his poem ‘Borodino’: ‘Colonel was holdfast — a servant to the king, a father to soldiers’. This fundamental principle of the Mongolian army, brilliantly presented by the Russian poet, centuries later courted military glory and valor of the Russian army — the successor of the heroic traditions of Genghis Khan’s ‘eternal warriors’. 


 Used material: 

 М.-Kh.Suleimanov. Genghis Khan’s era in the history of Kazakh nation (steppe dylogy), 2nd edition, Аlmaty, «Zerger Illyas», 2009

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