Activities of the Buddhist Brotherhood

The first Estonian Buddhist Brotherhood was established in Tallinn in Kadriorg and quickly became known as Taola (“Tao's place”), the members were called Taolased (followers of Tao) and Väärtnõu as their leader became known as VanemTaolane (Elder Tao).​

​The first Taolane was Arno Arrak, and later Jüri Saard and Tõnis Promet joined him. Each of them had his own living space and specialised in a particular area of Buddhism. At different times different members lived in Taola: Boris Saabas, Peep Paasian, Eke-Pärt Nõmm, Peeter Kaasik and others.

​Taola was divided into two kinds of members: those who lived and worked in Taola, and faith-followers who lived in their own homes. Tiina Hallik, Anu Rootalu, Enn Jaanson, Siim Jõesaar and Eve Pärnaste were involved in translation work, and Ants Luik and others provided a helping hand in many ways.

​Taola operated as a self-funding organisation, the members worked as boilermen, which was very common among the intelligentsia during the Soviet time. The money they earned was spent on materials to produce silk-printed thangkas, Buddha statues and incense. Väärtnõu’s artistic talent was put to use in the Buddhist thangkas and statues that were made by Taola dwellers under his guidance in his Kadriorg apartment.

​Taola was also a popular meeting place among Buddhists and cultural figures, as well as among guests from Russia, including Siberia.

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