About this object

A manuscript of a Mongolian book. The pecha has a thin, yellow silk cover and the original envelope with the circular Dalai Lama's red wax seal still in tact. This is the Mongolian version of the, 'The Diamond Sutra' (Tibetan: ’phags pa shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa rdo rje gcod pa zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo). On the title page there is salutation to the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, with the Indian title written in Mongolian, giving a rendering of the Sanskrit title as, 'Arya-vajra-cchedika-nama-prajnya-paramita-mahayana-sutra'. On the very last page the title is given in Mongolian, 'Bilig-ün činadu kijaγar-a kürügsen oγtaluγči včir qutuγ-un mör toγulaqui neretü yeke kölgen sudur'.
There is no detail in the colophon on the translation or the printing, there is only information about the merits which will be acquired from the text. It therefore seems to be a xylograph from China, most probably from Beijing.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Asia: Eastern Asia: China: Beijing
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Ink; Paper Plant
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of Sir Charles Bell
  • Collector
    Charles Alfred Bell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Berkshire: Crowthorne
  • Date collected
    Before 1934
  • Measurements
    520 mm x 168 mm; x 20 1/2 in x 6 5/8 in
  • Note
    Curator's note: The inventory card notes that this book was, 'sent to Bell at his home at Edgecumbe by the XIIIth Dalai Lama (plus cover & envelope)'. Bell did make a trip to Mongolia in 1933-34 and so this manuscript may have been sent with this trip in mind.

    For further study see, Heissig's monograph on Mongolian books printed in Beijing ("Die Pekinger lamaistischen Blockdrucke in mongolischer Sprache", 1954). Three Mongolian versions of this sutra were studied by Nicholas Poppe and published in 1971 by Asiatische Forschungen, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden.

    Written by Emma Martin. Information kindly provided by Tashi Tsering, Director Amnye Machen Institute, Dharamsala, India. Translation generously provided by Dr. Agata Bareja-Starzyska.
  • Related people
    13th Dalai Lama (gifted by); Charles Alfred Bell (Collector)

Where is this object from?

Object view = Humanities
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