Abai Geser: The First Branch


The War among the Tenger

In the earliest of early times,
In the most ancient of periods,
In the first of first times,
In the time of the beginning;
When the highest bright heaven
Was swirling with fog,
When the earth below
Was covered with dirt and dust;
When the grass had not yet begun to grow,
When the broad long rivers had not begun to flow,
When the great Milk Sea was but a small puddle,
When the world mountain Humber Ula was a hillock,
When the sandalwood tree at the forest’s edge
Had not yet put out branches,
When the greyish deer was but a fawn;
When the giant yellow snake was but a little worm,
Whe the giant fish were only little minnows;
When the earth did not have any continents,
When the center of the universe was not yet finished;
When the great giant bird was small as a crow,
When the first horse was the size of a foal;
When the khan’s many roads were not built,
When the people’s many roads were not laid out;
This was a good age,
This was a beautiful time
It has been said!..

When the many gods of the heaven did not compete with each other,
When the many tenger of the skies did not quarrel with each other;
When the many tenger of the west were not arrogant,
When black and white were not different from each other;
When the many tenger of the east did not argue,
When appearance and color were not differentiated;
When Esege Malaan Tenger was not an old man,
When Ekhe Yuuren Ibii was not an old woman;
When Han Hormasta Tengeri did not brag of his strength,
When black and white were not estranged;
When Atai Ulaan Tengeri did not boast of his greatness,
When hatred and jealousy did not sow discord;
When those of Oyodol Sagaan Tengeri had not yet gathered,
When those of Oyor Sagaan Tengeri had not yet flowed over;
It was a time of beautiful things!
So it is written on the thin paper!

Han Hormasta Tengeri of the western tribe
Was the leader of fifty five tenger.
He who dandled Han Hormasta on his knee,
The father who had laid him in the cradle,
He who was the highest of nine serene tenger,
He who controlled the history of the world,
Father Esege Malaan Tenger.

When Han Hormasta Tenger was a swaddled child,
In the very beginning, when the thousand white gods
were being rocked in the warmth of their cradles,
Ten thousand white tenger were raised by Mother Ekhe Yuuren Ibii.

When fifty-five tenger were born from the Milky Way,
When many rich tenger began in the evening time,
A thousand gods and protector spirits and ten thousand tenger were supported by
Grandmother Manzan Gurme Toodei with her silver cup.

She who joined together with Han Hormasta Tenger,
Who made clothes for her family,
Who led her sons and held her daughters’ hands,
Whose house was full of happiness,
Was the goddess Gere Sesen, with a face of bright light.

Han Hormasta Tenger had three beautiful sons,
Three beautiful daughters,
Three younger brothers who were khans,
Thirty three warriors,
Three hundred leaders of his army,
And three thousand soldiers.

Han Hormasta Tenger’s white oldest son,
Master of the peak of a high jutting mountain,
With the power of the tornado,
With a horse brown as a hawk,
He who poisons the poisonous and has revenge on evil,
Who sees good and stops evil,
Was Zasa Mergen Baatar.

His red middle son,
Master of a white mirror-like mountain peak,
With a neck like a hub, hair like a bull, and powerful sinews,
Never to be overcome by evil and never to be defeated by the powerful,
Was Bukhe Beligte Baatar.

The runty young son,
With the profound mind of the mountains,
Brave as an eagle,
Riding a fat yellow horse,
Striving against hard things, attacking the difficult,
Bright and spirited Habata Gerel Baatar.

The oldest white maiden daughter of Han Hormasta,
Capable of raising the dead back to life,
Bringing riches to those who have nothing,
Maker of man and his steed,
With healing power in her thumb and magic in her fingers,
Jewel to men, best of women,
Was the maiden Erjen Goohon.

The middle red daughter,
Who steals the love of those who are in love,
Who takes away the thoughts of those thinking of their beloved,
Who flies in the still high heavens,
She who is said to be the most beautiful in our world,
Was the maiden Duran Goohon.

The little runt daughter,
who wraps infants in their swaddling,
Who causes children to be born,
Walking evenly on all places she causes plants to grow,
Trampling the same on all places she causes lambs to be born,
Of beautiful thoughts and beautiful face,
Was the maiden Sebel Goohon.

According to their duty to watch the earth below,
The three younger brothers of Han Hormasta
Are said to have ruled as khans on earth.

The eldest brother was the master of a white river,
With a yellow horse as big as an elephant,
With a head of white hair,
Following a white path,
With a white bow of rule,
He had the name Sargal Noyon.

The middle brother was the master of a black river,
With a strong blue black stallion as a mount,
With merciless black thoughts,
A path of black clouds,
With a black bow of rule,
He had the name Hara Zutan.

The youngest brother was a master of a river in the middle,
Riding a buckskin colored horse,
With beautiful and honest thoughts,
A path of blue clouds,
With a clean bow of rule,
He had the name Sengelen Noyon.

The very greatest warrior of Han Hormasta,
With a strong and stiff bow and hot and swift arrows,
With a strong back and a powerful broad chest,
Traveling between heaven and earth
On his camel-colored pacer horse,
The eldest son of Booluur Sagaan Tenger,
Buidan Ulaan Baatar.

The greatest warrior after him,
Always shooting down evil things,
Sending his arrows after hostile and ruinous things,
Practiced and powerful as an archer,
With a yellow horse that could fly above the sun,
Was the youngest son of Zayaan Sagaan Tenger--
Burgii Shuumar Baatar.

The second greatest warrior,
With thick and powerful muscles and strong great tendons,
He who could kick the mountains and attack the peaks,
He who could swoop down and hit his target,
He riding a blue steed and shooting arrows as white as the stars,
Was the white oldest son of Oyodol Sagaan Tenger--
Erjen Shuumar Baatar.

The third greatest warrior,
Who would crush that which is evil and pulverize that which is bad,
Measuring what can be measured, counting what can be counted,
Controlling the right side of his mouth and watching the left,
Large as the cliffs and bulky as the mountains,
Was the youngest son of Budargy Sagaan Tenger--
Baga Builen Baatar.

The fourth greatest warrior,
He who could cure what is injured and heal what is infected,
He who had healing power in his thumb and magic in his fingers,
Beautiful in his walk and creative in his thoughts,
He who had fame as a warrior and renown for his skill,
Was Neeher Emshen Baatar.

The fifth greatest warrior,
With a chest as broad as the sea and armor of pounded iron,
Thick muscles and a powerful spine,
A bow-case of pure silver...

The red middle daughter
Who had ten magic powers in her palm
And twenty types of magic in her fingers,
Who goes with hatred and anger in the serene golden sky,
Who shows resentment and jealousy in the high silver heavens,
Was the lady Mungen Hurabsha.

The youngest daughter,
With her steps going much within the house,
With a face full of light,
With a humble disposition,
A clear bright mind and wise and intelligent words,
With a good and beautiful heart,
Was the lady Uyen Sesen.

Where the realms of the western 55 tenger
And eastern 44 tenger came together,
There was a land of great joy,
Where the subjects lived with blessing and abundance,
Where there were three satisfying meals a day,
And every year there were three celebrations,
A realm that had not allied itself with the western tenger,
And which had not declared itself for the eastern tenger,
This was the land of Segeen Sebdeg Tenger
And his queen Sesen Uugan.

The several gods of the western direction
Were trying to confirm their place of control,
The several tenger of the eastern direction
Fought and argued among themselves.
At the time when this was happening,
Segeen Sebdeg’s wife Sesen Uugan
Gave birth to their daughter Seseg Nogoon.

Han Hormasta tenger began praising and bragging about his strength,
Atai Ulaan Tenger very quickly became very angry.
Two gods taking power from each other,
Two tenger tried magic on each other.
For ten years struggling with each other,
Watching the signs from each other’s mouth for ten years,
They watched the signs of each other’s face for twenty years.
Making a path around the world three times,
They traveled around the earth four times.

Atai Ulaan Tenger summoned twelve magicks on his palm,
Twenty three spells upon his fingers.
This was done against the most crucial of the 55 western tenger,
The daughter of Naran Dulaan Tenger, Naran Goohon,
Suffered from cold and fever for three years.

It was written in the book of fate
That the death or immortality of Naran Goohon
Would determine whether the 44 tenger of the east
Would conquer the 55 tenger of the west.

The 55 tenger of the west,
Being able to only partly heal the illness of Naran Goohon,
A thousand gods and protector spirits and ten thousand tenger
Went to Manzan Gurme Toodei grandmother of the silver cup
Coming into her house, sitting and asking her.
Manzan Gurme Toodei, looking in her book wrapped in silk, said,
“In the northwest part of the serene high heavens,
Singing in the light of the dawn,
With golden writing on its back and silver writing on its breast,
There is a giant lark, which when taken alive
If the breast is laid against Naran Goohon’s chest,
And the back against her back,
In this way she can be healed.”

When the middle son of Han Hormasta Tenger, Bukhe Beligte,
Had the order to come to the house of Manzan Gurme Toodei,
He came to the house of Manzan Gurme Toodei of the silver cup.
She greeted him and asked him to sit, then told him,
“It is known that the life or death of Naran Goohon of the western 55 tenger
Will determine if the 44 tenger of the east can conquer the 55 tenger of the
west.
If Naran Goohon, the daughter of Naran Dulaan Tenger
Can be healed and return to her original condition,
The 55 tenger of the west can prosper forever under their own rule.
We have tried to find a way to cure the daughter of Naran Dulaan Tenger,
Naran Goohon, but, having failed it is a difficult time for us,
Hard times have come.
In the serene high heavens in the northwest direction,
Singing in the light of the dawn,
With golden writing on its back,
And silver writing on its breast there is a giant lark;
If it is taken alive,
If its back is placed against the back of Naran Goohon
And its breast placed against her breast,
If she is treated in this way she can be healed.
It must be caught alive,
Shot down to earth without killing it,
Catch it by shooting it through the hole of the wing bone!”

The red middle son of Han Hormasta Tenger Bukhe Beligte
Was very amazed, very surprised, saying:
“My grandmother Manzan Gurme Toodei of the silver cup,
I have never seen such a giant lark while hunting.
Where and how will I find and pursue it?”
Having been asked,
Manzan Gurme Toodei of the silver cup said,
“Ask your father Han Hormasta Tenger,
He will tell you.”

The red middle son of Han Hormasta Tenger--
Bukhe Beligte Baatar
Returned quickly to his home.
When his father Han Hormasta
Greeted him he asked,
“Where and how does the giant white lark travel?”
Han Hormasta replied:
“When I was young I used to read poetry.
It is said that in the northwest part of the high serene heavens,
It goes forever singing where day and night come together.
It sings and chirps the golden writing on its back,
It sings and recites the silver writing on its breast while it flies.
While the bird of the heavens sings it flies upward,
While the bird of the skies sings it flies downward.”

The red middle son of Han Hormasta Tenger--
Bukhe Beligte Baatar,
Made great preparations for his quest.
Finally he took his bow and quiver and went out.
Taking the horse best fitted for the task
He rode Beligen the bay horse.

Beligen the bay horse went exactly between heaven and earth.
He leaped up like a squirrel and soared like an eagle.
Reaching the northwest part of the heavens
He went skillfully on his way.

Having reached that place,
Bukhe Beligte came to the
Place where day and night come together,
Taking his yellow bow he aimed at his target.
The giant white lark,
Beginning on its flight,
Sang the words of its golden writing...

The middle red son of Han Hormasta--
Bukhe Beligte Baatar,
First nocked a dark black arrow,
He said these magic words,
The power of the magic appearing on the bowstring like fire--
“Hit your target without mistake,
Catch it by sticking in the hole of the bone!”
Having done this Bukhe Beligte
Loosed his arrow,
The giant white lark was shot while it was singing.
The first black arrow to be loosed
Had power from the thumb that released it,
It sang from the fingers that it left,
The singing bird of the heavens fled from it.
The bird said, “Is the arrow that has been shot fast,
Or is the horse pursuing after fast?”
While Bukhe Beligte waited for it
The arrow returned.
It brought back the giant bird,
Shot through the hole in its bones.
The middle son of Han Hormasta,
Bukhe Beligte, said,
“The task for which we traveled is complete,
The goal for which we came is accomplished!”
They went on the way back and came home.
They came to the golden hitching post of
Manzan Gurme Toodei of the silver cup
And gave the giant white lark which they brought.

Grandmother Manzan Gurme Toodei of the silver cup
Was greatly excited and pleased.
This became great healing and curing
For the maiden Naran Goohon.
She put the back of the white giant lark
To the back of Naran Goohon.
She put the breast of the giant white lark
To the breast of Naran Goohon.
The giant white lark healed and cured
The injury and illness of Naran Goohon,
Taking away the fever and cold she became healthy again.

Manzan Gurme Toodei of the silver cup
Took the giant white lark
And let it fly again,
Giving it her blessing,
She took it outside and let it fly away.

The daughter of Naran Dulaan Tenger
Naran Goohon, became stronger with each day,
Standing up she became healthier.
Daily, having become healed,
Being cured she constantly improved.
Her disease being taken away she returned to her old self.
Her sickness being gone she took on her old appearance.
The fifty five tenger of the west were excited and rejoiced,
The eastern forty four tenger argued and fought among themselves.

After this happened, Han Hormasta Tenger said,
“I am tired of eating meat from my herds,
I am missing the taste of wild game.
I will look at the overseers of my herds,
I will see the watchers of my horses,
Then I will go on the hunt!”
He then went to his horse,
Who had a body as great as a mountain,
Ears like a rabbit,
Who had a powerful body
And bones full of wisdom.
He went about preparing him,
Placing on his head a halter of pure silver,
He put on a bit of silver.
He led him over gravel to make his hoofs resistant to stone,
He led him over ice to make his hoofs resistant to cold,
He tied him to a low place and fed him the food of falcons,
He tied him in the mountains and fed him the food of hawks,
He offered him a drink of black water from a cup,
He offered him a handful of white hay.
He laid on his back a saddle blanket edged with silk,
A saddle gleaming with silver.
He pulled and adjusted thirteen silver girths.
He laid two silver cruppers over his flanks,
And two silver breast straps over his shoulders.
He tied his reins onto the saddle horn,
And hung his quirt on the right side of the saddle.
He lightly fastened his horse to the
Hitching post with eighty hitching rings.

This being done, Han Hormasta said,
“My horse being ready, I will prepare myself!”
He started putting on his clothes.
He pulled on a shirt of fine silk,
Then he put on top of it a shirt of finer silk.
He put on black pants sewn from the skins of eighty deer,
Then pulled on black sealskin boots.
He then put on a summertime deel and fastened in strongly,
He buttoned it with seventy copper buttons.
He then bound it around his waist with
A sash decorated with silver and gold.
He then put on an ebony black armored shirt on his back
That seven days of rain could not penetrate,
That neither war nor battle had ever been able to hurt.
He then put on his head a mink hat as big as a haystack.
He then girded on a sword eighty ells long and eight ells wide,
Having magic on its blade and a spell on its grip,
Having never been scratched by the hardest bone,
Having never been melted by the hottest blood,
Made of silvery hard steel,
He girt it onto his left side.
He bound onto his left side a bowcase,
It was of silver, decorated with symbols of honor,
The bow was of mountain goat horn,
Layered together a hundred times,
Its bowstring made of silk.

When this was done Han Hormasta said,
“It is time to leave!” and went outside.
Opening the strong pearly door,
He stepped over the pure granite threshold.
Stepping quickly like a mare after its colt,
Without mistake he left,
Like a mare after its offspring
He stepped smoothly over the silvery threshold without stumbling.
He came and leaned on the silver hitching post with eighty eight rings,
He made a spell over the flanks against falling,
He made a spell over the shoulder for conquering.
He took and pulled on the beautiful reins,
He held them in his left hand while holding his quirt in his right,
He mounted on his massive silver stirrups and
Sat on his silver decorated saddle.
The bay horse Beligen,
Went in the direction of the sun with all his might.
At the base of the hitching post all that was left was a puff of dust.
Han Hormasta went powerfully toward his destination,
With all his steps he went toward his goal.
He went to a place in the north where a hundred thousand of his horses were grazing.
He met with his herdsman Agsagaldai Hara Baatar.
He said that in watching the herds not one kid goat had wandered,
Not one lamb had been lost,
The herds were ever increasing, better than before.
Han Hormasta said, “It is time to water the flocks,”
And ordered that they be brought down to the black lake to drink.
They yelled “Namtai, namtai,” and brought them down,
They yelled “ Bugtiin, bugtiin,” and the herds went before them.
In that way they called the herds down to earth.
The animals that went in front drank pure water,
Those that followed licked water off the stones.

Han Hormasta Tenger departed from there,
Going to see his ten thousand cattle he traveled over his pastures,
Going south he saw his cattleherd, Uher Hara Baatar and greeted him.
The condition of his cattle was better than before.

Han Hormasta said,
“It is time to water the flocks,”
So they herded the animals toward the yellow lake.
They shouted “Namtai, namtai,” to bring them down,
They yelled “Bugtiin, bugtiin,” and the herds went before them.
In that way the herds were brought to the yellow lake.
The animals that went in front drank pure water,
Those that followed licked water off the stones.

Han Hormasta Tenger went further from there,
He went hunting in the dark taiga.
On the edge of the forest he took the leanest animals,
He shot the darkest otters with his arrows.
He took the brownest minks.
In front Beligen the bay horse was loaded up to his cropped ears,
On his overloaded flanks he was balancing game.
Walking gently he was like a full cup,
Like a loaded platter he trotted back home.
When the had reached home the reins were
Tied lightly to the golden hitching post,
Han Hormasta entered the doorway gently.
He commanded that the game be taken,
“Take those animals that are needed for skins,
Cook the animals that are edible!”
Having said this he went into his house.

His wife Gere Sesen brought up a golden table laden with good food,
She brought up another silver table laden with beautiful food,
Han Hormasta took out a pipe as big as his forearm,
Loaded it with smoke from a pouch of velvety black sheepskin,
He smoked the bundled tobacco thoughtfully.
He lighted it from a silvery flint with bright sparks,
Smoking a pile of tobacco as big as a moose’s ear.
The smoke was like that of a campfire,
When he inhaled it made a noise like a flute.
Having done this he said:
“I have seen my livestock,
I will go off hunting and seeing what is interesting!”
Thus he went out and rode off on his horse.

He went to visit his subjects in the north as their guest.
He gave the best wishes and greetings to their leaders as their khan.
He extended his hands to them and gave them good words,
“My people of the north are better than before, you are doing well!”
This was his message to their leaders.

Han Hormasta went riding onward,
He went to his subjects in the southern lands,
He greeted the leaders of his southern realm.
Reaching his right hand to them he offered strong words.
After greeting each other they exchanged good words.
Han Hormasta said,
“The people of the south are better than before, you are doing well!”
These were his words to their elders.

Han Hormasta Tenger rejoiced greatly and was very excited,
Having seen how everything was
He set out for the land between the 55 western tenger and 44 eastern tenger,
A happy land blessed with wealth,
Where its citizens prospered,
Eating satisfying food three times a day,
Having celebrations three times a year,
Where there was no allegiance to the western tenger
And no declaration to the eastern tenger,
He looked upon the realm of Segeen Sebdeg Tenger.

When Han Hormasta Tenger looked upon these lands,
His heart broke within his mighty dark chest,
His poor heart was pounding within his body.
He thought, “I will go to Segeen Sebdeg Tenger,
I will go see his daughter Seseg Nogoon.”
He rode on the trail to the house of Segeen Sebdeg,
Tied his horse to his golden hitching post
And knocked gently on the door.

Having done this he stepped quickly over the silver threshold,
Like a mare going to her foal he did not stumble,
He stepped over the silver threshold with grace,
Like a mare going after her colt,
He opened the pearly door beautifully.
He gave his greetings to the lord Segeen Sebdeg Tenger,
He wished health to his wife Sesen Uugan.

Segeen Sebdeg sat down at his table,
He invited him to sit on the western side,
Saying, “Sit at the head of the table!”
Han Hormasta looked for a place to sit,
He took his place on the western side.

Segeen Sebdeg and his wife Sesen Uugan
Pulled up a golden table set with delicious food,
They pulled up a silver table set with beautiful food.
They poured out enough liquor to satisfy all of them,
They brought out enough meat to make them all full.
When Han Hormasta was eating Segeen Sebdeg’s delicious food,
His knife slipped, cutting his fingers,
He was very surprised and embarrassed.
His hosts Segeen Sebdeg and Sesen Uugan
Blurted out “Ai, nokhoil!” (Oh shit!)

Two great tenger talked about old and new things,
Two great gods told each other stories.
Remembering things that happened in the past,
They talked in a friendly and spirited way.
Talking about what happened since the world began,
Talking about ancient history,
Talking about what happened since water appeared,
Talking about all that happened since the world was formed,
They sat and told stories...

While this was happening Atai Ulaan Tenger was traveling,
Looking at his subjects and his herds,
Having done this he came to the door of Segeen Sebdeg Tenger,
Tying his horse to the golden hitching post
He tied his beautiful reins his saddle horn.
Opening the pearly door in a beautiful way,
Stepping over the pearly threshold without dirtying it,
He gave his greetings to Segeen Sebdeg,
He wished health to his wife Sesen Uugan.

Segeen Sebdeg Tenger and his wife Sesen Uugan
Invited Atai Ulaan to sit on the western side of their table,
Saying “Sit at the head of the table!”

Three great tenger greeted each other,
In reaching out the right arm they spoke proud words,
In reaching out the left arm they spoke beautiful words.
They made a feast that lasted for eight days.
On the ninth day they talked about important things,
On the tenth day they talked about even more important things.
The two visiting tenger began to sober up and talk about leaving.
Two great tenger,
Two great gods,
Knowing it was time to be leaving,
Felt it necessary to say these words:
Han Hormasta said, “If you would like to join with the 55 western tenger,
You will become one of my tenger.”
Atai Ulaan said, “If you would have good thoughts about
Joining the 44 eastern tenger, you will become one of my tenger.”

While the two tenger were speaking
Segeen Sebdeg Tenger listened to the words of the two gods.
He replied to them:
“Whose tenger I am to become,
Which party to which I will belong,
Is something that must be written in my book of fate.
Let us read it and find out.”

Two great tenger,
Two great gods,
Read in the yellow book of fate...

Han Hormasta Tenger said to Atai Ulaan Tenger:
“May the 44 eastern tenger be like younger brothers
To the 55 western tenger, give your loyalty to me!”
Atai Ulaan Tenger, hearing this demand,
Either did not hear those words because he did not like them,
Or he did not hear those words because he did not pay attention.
He said he would give Segeen Sebdeg Tenger to Han Hormasta.
He then invited Han Hormasta Tenger to visit his home.

Han Hormasta Tenger was very excited and rejoiced greatly.
He went as a guest to the home of Atai Ulaan Tenger.
After talking with Atai Ulaan Tenger for ten days,
He decided it was time to return home.
This having happened he invited Atai Ulaan to his home,
Saying, “Come to me on the tenth day of the new moon!”

Han Hormasta Tenger went on his way home,
Riding the bay horse Beligen at a trot.
When he came home he forgot his invitation to Atai Ulaan,
On the tenth day of the new moon,
He went to visit his wife’s relatives, the eight Hajarangi tenger.

Atai Ulaan Tenger, remembering the invitation,
Made great preparations for his visit,
On the tenth day of the new moon,
He arrived as a guest at the home of Han Hormasta Tenger.
When he arrived the door of the ger was barred,
The smokehole of the ger was covered.
When Atai Ulaan saw what had happened,
His mouth gaped wide in anger.
The white hairs on his crown bristled and he tore them out,
He gnashed together the white teeth in his mouth.
He rode around the ger for thirteen days,
He went around it for twenty three days.
He shouted passionately as loud as a thousand stags,
He shouted loudly with the voice of ten thousand stags.
Having done this his anger departed,
He was cleansed of his hatred and jealousy.
He rode to the home of Segeen Sebdeg Tenger,
Shouting from his horse, “You are mine!”

Having forgotten about his invitation to Atai Ulaan,
Han Hormasta Tenger returned from visiting his wife’s relatives.
When they returned home his wife Sesen Uugan said,
“Who or what came here?
Who rode around our house gaping his mouth in anger?
Who went cursing around our house and then fled away?”
Han Hormasta, suddenly remembering what he had forgotten,
Said carelessly, “The person you are talking about
Was certainly Atai Ulaan Tenger.”
He urgently sent three swift messengers
To the home of Segeen Sebdeg Tenger.
His message: “You are mine!”

The three swift messenger of Han Hormasta Tenger
Encountered the three messengers of Atai Ulaan Tenger
At the household of Segeen Sebdeg Tenger.
Arguing with each other they punched each other in the nose.

Segeen Sebdeg Tenger sternly told the messengers of the two tenger khans,
“I belong to nobody!”
He then chased the messengers away from his house.
After this had happened
Han Hormasta’s grey spotted bull and Atai Ulaan’s red bull
Encountered each other at the center of the world.
They challenged each other, saying--
“Are you more skilled than me?
Are you stronger than me?”

They struggled and butted each other among the three worlds,
As they tossed their horns it shook the spine of the earth,
They scratched up the surface of the earth with their horns,
Their cold white horns locked together in battle,
They butted each other furiously with hot white horns.
For seven days they battled each other,
For nine days they attacked each other.
On the tenth day of battle Han Hormasta’s grey spotted bull was wounded,
The sight in his dark black eyes was dimmed,
His hot red blood became thick,
His thick neck was dislocated,
His handsome chest had been caved in.
This having happened the grey spotted bull
Fled into the forest,
Crashing through the trees,
He made his retreat.
Atai Ulaan’s red bull chased after
Han Hormasta’s grey spotted bull
Until they had reached the lands of the west.

When Han Hormasta Tenger saw what happened,
His mouth gaped open in anger,
He snatched up a bull whip nine ells long.
He used it to drive the bull before him,
He lashed the bull with his whip.
Chasing away Atai Ulaan’s red bull
He came to the land of Segeen Sebdeg.
When he came there he encountered Atai Ulaan Tenger.
Two leaders of the tenger greeted each other as equals,
Two great gods stood close, looking at each other.
They split apart a dried up tree with their cursing,
They bent and broke a living tree with their arguing.
A fight began, an event for all time,
A fight that would determine history.
In their struggling they kicked up clouds of black dust.

This having come to pass,
The two leaders of the tenger,
Two great gods,
Stopped their cursing and fighting.
Anger and fury dissipated.
They dismounted in a white clearing,
They sat down cross-legged beneath a white birch.
They talked long enough for foam to form on water,
Long enough for plants to start growing on a flat stone.
They were unable to agree on who would
Rule over Segeen Sebdeg Tenger,
They decided to go on the path of war,
They would follow the trail to battle.
They agreed to meet after a year’s time,
To battle over the fate of Segeen Sebdeg Tenger.

At this time the maiden Seseg Nogoon,
Daughter of Segeen Sebdeg Tenger and his wife Sesen Uugan,
Who had rocked her in a warm cradle since birth,
Who had swaddled her in warm swaddling from infancy,
Who had kissed her when she was sick,
Who had hugged her when she was hurt,
Who never let her play in a dirty place,
Who raised her up with clean hands,
Thus they did from the time she was an infant,
From the time the umbilical cord was cut.
Seseg Nogoon had grown up, come of age,
From the age of two she would sing and dance,
From the age of seven she could sing like a bird,
From the age of eight she could dance gracefully,
From the age of ten she started doing women’s work,
Showing a gentle temperament she never became angry.
Looking with her black left eye she threaded her needle,
She put the little polished bell of a thimble
On a finger of her lovely right hand,
From a piece of silk as big as her palm she made ten garments,
From a piece of silk as big as her finger she made twenty robes.

Segeen Sebdeg Tenger and his wife Sesen Uugan said to each other:
“Our pretty little daughter is learning to be of help,
She is putting her hands and feet to work!”
As so they were happy.
The maiden Seseg Nogoon, like flowers and plants,
Began to bloom like a flower,
Like a plant her body grew in strength.
Wherever she stood and walked the plants would sway and rock,
Wherever she danced the plants would roll like waves,
Wherever she went in the golden world,
Thirteen kinds of flowers would wave in her path,
When she would stand on the earth,
Colorful flowers would flow around her like waves.
The light reflected from her cheek
Outshone the glory of the western tenger,
The color of her left cheek
Exceeded the splendor of the eastern tenger.
Looking at her throat was like looking at the sun,
Looking at her neck was like looking at the moon.
With a round red face,
A square white forehead,
Deep black eyes,
Hair three ells long,
Thin black eyebrows,
Six armfuls of hair,
Lovely as the painting of a white goddess,
Like a fine work of art,
Like one of the stars of the heavens,
Like the full moon.
News of such a beautiful woman,
Such a lovely girl,
Went to the lands of the far west,
Where it was said there would be a celebration;
The news went to the lands of the distant east,
Where it was said there would be a meeting.
The news that Seseg Nogoon, the daughter of Segeen Sebdeg Tenger,
Was such a lovely, beautiful and pure maiden,
Was gossiped about and exaggerated,
And in that way her reputation spread.

The spirited and lively sons of ten thousand gods became agitated,
The proud and famous sons of many tenger of the skies became boastful.
For the sake of the beautiful and pure maiden Seseg Nogoon
The homes of ten thousand tenger were abandoned,
The courage of many white gods ran away.

At the home of Segeen Sebdeg Tenger
Throngs of western gods came to see the maiden Seseg Nogoon,
Groups of eastern tenger arrived and dismounted.
Segeen Sebdeg and his wife Sesen Uugan
Greeted and met many white gods,
They welcomed and spoke with ten thousand tenger.
Many young men renowned as heroes dismounted in throngs,
Many young men famous as archers sat down in groups.
Segeen Sebdeg Tenger and his wife Sesen Uugan
Announced a celebration every month,
The announced a great gathering for every year.

The proud and famous sons of many white gods,
The stupid sons of ten thousand white tenger,
Drinking liquor they became drunk,
Smoking their pipes they lost their sense.
When they saw the beauty of the maiden Seseg Nogoon
Strong brave young warriors were not able to stand,
Skillful young archers were not able to sit.
Many beautiful thoughts were in abundance,
Many brave red hearts were pounding.
Seseg Nogoon stole their hearts,
The green maiden became master of their thoughts.

Saying, “Strong warriors with their horses be on the north,
Archers with their skilled thumbs be on the south!”
Those with necks as thick as axles,
Those hairy as bulls,
Those with dark tanned bodies,
Those with bows as thick as a neck,
Those with chests as wide as the sea,
Those with armor of beaten iron,
Those with bulging muscles,
Those with powerful tendons,
Those with massive silver saddles,
Those with silk-edged saddle blankets,
Those with black arrows,
Those with buckskin horses,
Those with silver decorated bow cases,
Those with heroic yellow bows,
Those with hearts pounding in their chests,
Those with twitching necks,
Made demonstrations of their skill,
Showed their ability as warriors.

The gods of the west joined together their right hands,
Meeting together they spoke strong words to each other.
The gods of the east joined together their left hands,
Plotting together they spoke true words to each other.
Speaking strong words they rolled up their sleeves,
Speaking fierce words they cut away the skirts of their robes with their knives.
Han Hormasta Tenger came forth, putting on a hard face.
The three Hura tenger, drawing on their strength,
Rushed forward yelling and making a loud noise.
The three Buudal tenger, taking their power from lightning,
Drew their bows from their cases.
Oyor Sagaan Tenger,
Entered with pride and authority,
And stood among the many gods.
Oyodol Sagaan Tenger,
Grinding his teeth together,
Looked for his place,
Finding it he stood watching intently.
Budargy Sagaan Tenger,
Stealing himself a place,
Squeezed through many tight places,
Stopping when he found a seat.
Shudargy Sagaan Tenger,
Looking about silently,
Came up with a new idea,
And sat trembling on top of a stem.
Zayaan Sagaan Tenger,
Being short on time,
Tried to find a place,
And rudely rushed to the front.
Uhaa Solbon Tenger ,
Coming with his white eldest son,
Pushing in front and in back of them,
Neither were able to find a place.
Booluur Sagaan Tenger,
Having left and come back,
Pushed and squeezed his body through,
And found a place in front.
Sair Sagaan Tenger said,
“It is necessary to see from up close,
It is necessary to find a place in this crowd!”
Joining with Uhaa Solbon Tenger,
Protector of horses and herds,
Finding their way through openings,
Walking through in a curious way,
They found their places together.

Atai Ulaan Tenger rolled his many colored eyes,
Thinking jealous and hateful thoughts.
The Hara Balai tenger,
Drawing on dark powers,
Arrived shouting filthy words.
The Balar Hara tenger,
Speaking arrogant words,
Followed behind Atai Ulaan Tenger.
The Unyaar Hara tenger,
Veiled in a haze of dust,
Dancing back and forth,
Lost their intelligence and sense.
The three Shuhan Gurban tenger,
Making a great noise,
Were craving blood and meat.
Boro Soohor Tenger,
Bowing as low as his shins,
Stood at the right hand of Atai Ulaan Tenger.
The Shara Soohor tenger,
Being garrulous in nature,
Lacking any skills of their own,
Stopped and watched the skills of others.
The Gurban Halhin tenger,
Having frivolous thoughts,
Said to Hara Soohor Tenger,
“Let us go together!”
The Emeershin Gurban tenger,
Ever talking this and that,
Saying what to win and what to know,
Were running about here and there.
The Burtan Hara tenger,
Arriving together, said,
“Friends sit together as one,
The shadows of a standing tree are one!”
They stood at the side of Hara Soohor Tenger.
Booloor Hara Tenger,
Arriving shamanizing and singing,
Embraced and kissed Haira Hara Tenger,
They greeted each other saying,
“Friend and relative!”

The many western gods said,
“Let the two strongest prove their skill!”
The many eastern tenger said,
“Let the two best oppose each other!”
The western gods felt proud,
The eastern tenger quarreled among each other...

The white oldest son of Han Hormasta Tenger,
Zasa Mergen Baatar, said,
“You took the golden words of advice with hostility,
You can test true words with your strength!”
He made his dark tanned body hard,
He made his white sinews strong.
Being the head among many he came out haughtily,
Being the head of ten thousand he pushed his way through to the front.

The white oldest son of Atai Ulaan Tenger,
Sagaan Hasar Buhe, said,
“Your great thoughts I will grab in my spread out hands!
With such power I will win,
With such force I will conquer!”
He spread out his broad chest,
He made his thick sinews strong.
The hair on the crown of his head was bristling,
The white teeth in his mouth were gnashing together.

Those who sat on the western side of the contest were engrossed,
Those with places on the southern side of the contest were watching.
Famous spirited men,
Renowned skillful archers,
Those with bow cases decorated in silver,
Those with yellow bows,
Those with quivers decorated in gold and silver,
Those with black arrows,
Those with the name of a warrior,
Those with the challenges of famous men,
Waited while the two wrestlers struggled,
Going in two directions they formed two groups.

While the two famous warriors showed off their strength,
While the two renowned wrestlers displayed their skill,
While the two celebrated brave men revealed their cleverness,
Coming out of her palace white as the stars,
Seseg Nogoon, daughter of Segeen Sebdeg Tenger,
Adding beauty upon beauty,
She wanted to see the contest of skills in archery.
Coming out she walked along one side,
The famous young warriors of the western tenger forgot where they stood,
The brave young warriors of the eastern tenger were intoxicated and confused.
Those with bow cases decorated in silver,
Those with powerful backs,
Those with broad chests,
Those with heroic yellow bows,
Those with steel-tipped spears,
Those with silver-decorated quivers,
Those with hard steel swords,
Coming together from all directions,
Crowding together from ten thousand directions,
Stood and wondered at the maiden Seseg Nogoon.

The daughter of Segeen Sebdeg Tenger,
The maiden Seseg Nogoon,
Like a fine piece of art,
Like a white star of the heavens,
Was beautiful and proud.
The famous young men looked at each other jealously,
The proud young warriors felt a blow to their pride.
Great strong warriors made their muscles strong,
Skillful young archers practiced the skill of their thumbs.

The oldest white son of the western tenger,
Zasa Mergen Baatar,
And the oldest white son of the eastern tenger,
Sagaan Hasar Buhe,
Entered the contest with the full courage of their hearts,
They entered the fight with the full strength of their blood,
They circled around each other in the direction of the sun,
Then grabbed on each other to wrestle.
Butting together like two stags,
Flying at each other like two hawks,
They entered into the fight,
They wrestled together.
This having been well begun,
Taking strength from heaven they wrestled each other,
They fought each other well.
Taking strength from earth they shouted at each other,
They went at each other quickly.
The noise of battle reached the high heavens,
The struggle made the earth to tremble.

The oldest white son of Han Hormasta Tenger,
Zasa Mergen Baatar,
Held on stubbornly to his place,
He never forgot his reason for entering.
He summoned his strength as a warrior,
He called upon his cunning as a marksman.
His powerful black body was straining,
His strong white sinews were tense.
He grabbed Sagaan Hasar under the arms,
Holding onto his body with a powerful grip.
Swinging around to the west he struck the western taiga,
Swinging around to the east he hit the trees of the eastern taiga.
This having happened,
He grabbed and shook the body of Sagaan Hasar,
Throwing him down to earth,
Where he became stuck in the ground!

The white oldest son of Atai Ulaan Tenger,
Sagaan Hasar Buhe,
Whistling through the air like an arrow,
Making a noise like a falling rock,
Fell from the high serene heavens to the broad earth.
At the very beginning of the east,
In an ugly looking land,
In a poor and meager country,
Dried up, withered, and full of grief,
In a place of three marshy rivers,
In a place of slippery slopes,
A land of evil spirits and demons,
In a scorching hot land,
In a dark sunless land,
He came back to life as the eldest of the Sharaidai khans,
His name became Sagaan Gerel Khan.

The white oldest son of Han Hormasta Tenger,
Zasa Mergen Baatar, said
“Defeating my enemy I am undefeated,
Conquering my opponent I am invincible!”
He proudly danced in victory.
The many western tenger shouted and rejoiced.

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This text is made available for religious and scholarly purposes only. This translation is pending publication, and reproduction of any part of the text without proper acknowledgement of Sarangerel Odigan as translator may result in legal action. Furthermore plagiarism of this sacred book is an offense to the spirits and the consequences of disrespectful behavior is something Sarangerel or the Golomt Center cannot be responsible for!