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Rare Buddhist

Manuscript
Preservation Project-
2009
(A joint venture with University of West)
By:
Min Bahadur Shakya
Director-
Nagarjuna Institute
Introduction
 NAGARJUNA Institute has initiated the digitizing the Rare
Buddhist Manuscript for Preservation purpose through scanning
the manuscripts and preserved in CDROM or DVDs.

 So far, Nepal Archive has preserved their collections through


microfilming the Mss. through Nepal German Manuscript
Preservation Project.

 However, these manuscripts have become inaccessible or very


difficult for the general scholars and practitioners getting the
manuscripts.
Contd...
 Now in the twenty first century, these microfilms
have been out of date. It is now time for viewing
these manuscripts online through internet and
with minimum costs for purchasing CDROM or
DVDs to facilitate the researchers.

 Sofar, Nagarjuna Institute has already input 65


sutras, 95 shastra texts and 108 stotras put it on
line in the web: www.uwest.edu/sanskritcanon

 Thescholars are expecting original Sanskrit


manuscripts for authenticity of the texts and
textual studies.
Contd.
 In Kathmandu valley, there are several Buddhist
Manuscripts in the private collections, which have
not yet digitized and microfilmed.
 If these Manuscripts could be scanned and put
online, it would be an enormous benefit for the
readers.
 A large number of texts have still not been
published in any form
 Before modern communications and digital
photography, access to manuscripts was limited
 It is now possible to input directly from digital scans
of manuscripts
Sources

The following are the possible sources for scanning the Mss., which
were hitherto not published or digitized.

1. The Aksayasvara Mahavihara library collections* -286 titles ------Complete


2. Late Pandit Ashakaji Vajracharya’s private collections------------- In progress
3. Pandit Ratnakaji Vajracharya’s private collections- ---------in progress
4. Mr. Pusparaj Vajracharya’s private collections ------------- in progress
5. Nagarjuna Institute Library collections ---------------------------------Complete
6. Dipak Vajracharya's collection-------------------------------------------in progress
7. Keshar Library collections
8. National Library collections
9. Tribhuvan University library collections
10. Svayambhu International Library collection
Contents of the manuscripts
1. Buddhist Sutras in Sanskrit
2. Avadana
3.Dharanis
4. Strotras
5. Ritual texts or Pujavidhi
6. Sadhana
7. Carya songs or Gita
8. Mahatmya or Stories
9. Jatakas
10. Buddhist Tantras and its commentaries
Census of Manuscripts
A census of manuscripts is needed to determine
the most important unpublished texts, and the most
reliable manuscripts.
 There are several catalogues of Manuscripts in
Nepal and abroad. More than twenty catalogues
have been already published so far.
 We have published a bibliography of catalogues
through a team of research scholars.
 Although it is not a complete catalogue but it helps
significantly getting a census of manuscripts.
Diplomatic Edition
 Texts input from manuscripts will be diplomatic transcriptions, not
editions
 Transcriptions provide useful data for future editions, and accurately
reflect manuscript traditions
 We have already produced diplomatic editions of following texts:
4. Amoghpasa hrdaya sutra
5. Pancaraksa sutra which includes
 Mahapratisara sutra
 Mahasitavati
 Mahamantranusarini
 Mahamayuri sutra
 Mahasahasra Pramardana sutra
13. Advayasatika Prajnaparamita sutra
14. Arya Anityata sutra
15. Svayambhu Purana-with 1750 verses
Contract Agreement
 This Agreement is made between Nagarjuna
Institute, Min Bahadur Shakya, at Nagarjuna
Institute, P.O.Box 100, Chakupat-10, Lalitpur,
Kathmandu, Nepal and
 The University of the West with Dr. Allen
Huang, President, The University of the West,
at 1409 N. Walnut Grove Avenue, Rosemead,
California, 91770, United States of America.
Scanning texts from AK Library
 Recently a contract has been signed between
UWEST and Nagarjuna Institute to produce the
scanning of Mss.
 Fresh manuscripts of more than 200 titles have
already scanned by NIEM and recorded in
CDROM or DVDs.
 NIEM has planned to create special website
with new manuscripts scanned recently.
 It will be put online for the benefit of researcher
and scholars.
Commitment
 According to agreement NIEM has to provide
200 titles of Sanskrit Buddhist manuscripts
scans to UWEST gathering from different local
resources and collections within the year 2009.
 Fortunately we have finished the scanning of
the 200 titles of manuscripts.
 Following is the sample copy of the
manuscripts
Classification of MANUScriptS
Our Goals
 As discussed earlier we planned to acquire
more than 1000 manuscripts from different
private collections within next two years.
 If UWEST or ECAI or some other organization
are willing to sponsor these projects , our
expectation can be a reality in time.
List of sample Manuscripts from
Aksesvara Library-Patan
 Vinayasutra with Newari translation
 Aryamanjusri namasangiti in Ranjana script
 Guhyalokottara tantra
 Guhyasamaja tantra
 Avadana sataka
 Mahamegha sutra
Vinaya sutra
Vinaya sutra colophon
Guhyasamaja Tantra
Beginning of the tantra
End of the text
Namasangiti in Ranjana script
Namasangiti begining and end
Avadana Sataka
Beginning and End
Mahamegha Sutra
Begining
Illustrated Manuscripts
 One of the most interesting part of the some
manuscript is the illustration or painting
engraved on it.
 In Nepal, one of the earliest manuscript
painting dated 1015.C.E is found in
Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita.
 In the Manuscript preserved in Hiranyavarna
Mahavihara there are many illustrations in the
manuscript dated 1215 C.E.They are given
here for the perusal.
Illustrated MSS-dated 1015C.E.
Plate I
Plate 2
Some pictures about the process of
Scanning in AK Library
Mss. Collection in ak Library
NIEM staff scanning Mss.
Scanning Mss
Scanning Mss.
Tibetan Mss. In AK Library
Website

Our website for these manuscripts will be


 www.uwest.edu/sanskritcanon

Our mirror website in Nepal


 www.niem.com.np
Conclusion
 Fresh manuscripts of more than 200 titles have
been scanned and recorded in CDROM or
DVDs.
 With the permission from sponsors, it will be
put online for the benefit of researcher and
scholars.
 It will be published in DVDs for lower price or
affordable price for scholars.
 There are more resources which are yet to
scan as discussed earlier.
 More funding are sought for digitizing of these
manuscripts