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Gyetongba, a compendium in Tibetan script, is being restored at a Darjeeling monastery

Discussion in 'Education & Research' started by Hindustani78, May 27, 2018.

  1. Hindustani78

    Hindustani78 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

    Nov 20, 2017
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    A full page of manuscript with Gold inlays.

    Gyetongba, a compendium in Tibetan script, is being restored at a Darjeeling monastery

    The Buddha said his teachings should be evaluated as rigorously as people would gold. Now, they can be read in gold. A trove of more than 600 pages of rare Tibetan manuscripts with his teachings written in gold letters has been restored at a 100-year-old monastery in Alubari in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district.

    Restoration of the gold-inlaid manuscripts in two volumes at the Mak Dhog Monastery started earlier this year. Mingyur T.L. Yolmo, general secretary of Yolmawa Buddhist Association of India, the body that runs the monastery, said that the manuscripts contain the ancient Tibetan text called Gyetongba, which contains teachings of Buddhism. The manuscripts are in the Tibetan script Sambhota, named after its inventor.

    Monastery shaken
    Mr. Yolmo said that while the Association could restore the damage suffered by the monastery in the 2011 Sikkim Earthquake, external help was required to restore the manuscripts, which are centuries older than the monastery itself.

    The restoration work is being done by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). “It was while assessing the damage that our experts came across the manuscripts. They were in a very bad condition and required urgent attention,” G.M. Kapoor, convenor, INTACH, West Bengal, said. The trust has provided over ₹10 lakh for the project.

    Experts who worked on the restoration said that while one volume contained 322 pages, the other had 296 pages. They fumigated using anti-fungal chemicals, stitched and used adhesives on the frayed pages.

    Phurba Thinley Yolmo, a priest, said that both the volumes are similar and a few pages are missing from the 296-page volume. Each volume contains 8,000 verses. “Our forefathers brought it to Darjeeling from Helambu in Nepal in the early 18th century. When the monastery was built in 1914 to foster peace, the manuscripts were kept here,” he said.

    Vandana Mukherjee, an expert on Tibetan Studies, said that Gyetongba is as important to Tibetans as the Gita is to Hindus.


    Songtsen Gampo] (Tibetan: སྲོང་བཙན་སྒམ་པོ, Wylie: srong btsan sgam po, 569–649?/605–649?) was the founder of the Tibetan Empire.

    Songtsen Gampo is traditionally credited with being the first to bring Buddhism to the Tibetan people. He is also said to have built many Buddhist temples, including the Jokhang in Lhasa, the city in which he is credited in one tradition with founding and establishing as his capital, and Tradruk Temple in Nêdong. During his reign, the translation of Buddhist texts from Sanskrit into Tibetan began.

    Songtsen Gampo is considered to be the first of the three Dharma Kings (Wylie: chos rgyal) — Songtsen Gampo, Trisong Detsen, and Ralpacan — who established Buddhism in Tibet.

    Born Songtsen between 557 and 617 Maizhokunggar, Tibet , Died 649

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