Papers and Leaves —
Legacy of Indian Buddhists in Tibet and Tibetan Translators in India
March 2, 2017
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jackman Humanities Building, Rm 317
170 St George St
Hardly any Sanskrit manuscripts of Buddhist scriptures remain in India today, even though such manuscripts have been discovered in surrounding regions. Tibet in particular is one of the richest treasuries of precious Sanskrit manuscripts from as early as the 8th century. In order to clarify the history of the reception and transmission of Sanskrit manuscripts in Tibet, one needed task is to identify previous owners of the manuscripts. The manuscripts that were brought by individuals must for the most part have originally been part of private collections before being integrated into monastery libraries. The present talk is a case study undertaken with this assumption. The issue in question can be cleared up by investigating examples dealing with other Sanskrit manuscript owners, whose names sometimes appear in Tibetan remarks written on Sanskrit manuscripts in Norbulingka and the Potala. Furthermore, in the course of researching these manuscripts, I came across rare examples which vividly show cross-cultural religious activities between Indian and Tibetan Buddhists: Sanskrit manuscripts around 11–13th century are normally written on palm leaves or birch bark, but there are some exceptions, i.e., Sanskrit manuscripts written on paper are found from the 13th century Tibet, which were written in Tibet by Buddhists from India. On the contrary, there are Tibetan texts written on palm leaves, which were written in India by Tibetan Buddhists. I shall show these particular examples to clarify how Indian and Tibetan Buddhists were active in transmitting Buddhist tradition from both directions.
Kanō Kazuo is an associate professor at Koyasan University.
A related reading group of Two Sanskrit Formulas of Buddha-nature — Reconsidering the Background of the Term tathǟgatagarbha will take place at McMaster (University Hall 122) on Friday, March 3rd from 4-6pm.