Indian Buddhism: Birch-Bark Treasures

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plwk
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Indian Buddhism: Birch-Bark Treasures

Post by plwk » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:54 pm

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Experts in Indological Studies at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich are in the process of analyzing 2000-year-old Indian Buddhist documents that have only recently come to light. The precious manuscripts have already yielded some surprising findings.

The oldest surviving Buddhist texts, preserved on long rolls of birch-tree bark, are written in Gandhari, an early regional Indic language that is long extinct. The scrolls originate from the region known in ancient times as Gandhara, which lies in what is now Northwestern Pakistan.


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Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Re: Indian Buddhism: Birch-Bark Treasures

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:50 pm

Wow.
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deepbluehum
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Re: Indian Buddhism: Birch-Bark Treasures

Post by deepbluehum » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:56 pm

Do they know what's in them yet?

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Re: Indian Buddhism: Birch-Bark Treasures

Post by Yudron » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:33 pm

Well, sounds like we have 21 years to wait for them to be translated. From the phrase "come to light" and the information that fragments are in collections all over the world, including the British Museum, it sounds like a complicated tale of discovery.

First century BC! Wow! We should print all our texts on birch bark.
Author of Buddhist young adult fiction. http://www.YudronWangmo.com Vlogger at Wisdom and Compassion: Grandma Yudron's Totally Chill Vlog on Meditation and Tibetan Wisdom https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRsrq0 ... jk39DmN_Ag Blogger at http://yudronwangmo.com/blog/ Very active on Twitter.

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conebeckham
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Re: Indian Buddhism: Birch-Bark Treasures

Post by conebeckham » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:39 pm

Oh, I've translated it. Basically, it says that Goenka's Vipassana is the only true method taught by Sakyamuni, and Sutra Mahamudra does, indeed, come from Dzogchen texts, but only very special ones........Buddha's teaching was actually more of a socialist, anti-caste movement, reincarnation is false and was only taught for those who needed expedient means to spur them to practice. All that Mahayana and Vajrayana stuff isn't Dharma, and by the way, the Nagas want their children's fairytale books back!











:tongue:
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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conebeckham
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Re: Indian Buddhism: Birch-Bark Treasures

Post by conebeckham » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:52 pm

Wow, no responses? :smile: M'kay, then.....
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Indian Buddhism: Birch-Bark Treasures

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:12 am

These Gandhari texts were partially published over 10 years ago. Whether these being worked on in Germany are part of that original find or new ones is not clear.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandhāran_Buddhist_texts
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Yudron
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Re: Indian Buddhism: Birch-Bark Treasures

Post by Yudron » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:10 am

conebeckham wrote:Oh, I've translated it. Basically, it says that Goenka's Vipassana is the only true method taught by Sakyamuni, and Sutra Mahamudra does, indeed, come from Dzogchen texts, but only very special ones........Buddha's teaching was actually more of a socialist, anti-caste movement, reincarnation is false and was only taught for those who needed expedient means to spur them to practice. All that Mahayana and Vajrayana stuff isn't Dharma, and by the way, the Nagas want their children's fairytale books back

:tongue:
It's really good to have all that settled once and for all.
Author of Buddhist young adult fiction. http://www.YudronWangmo.com Vlogger at Wisdom and Compassion: Grandma Yudron's Totally Chill Vlog on Meditation and Tibetan Wisdom https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRsrq0 ... jk39DmN_Ag Blogger at http://yudronwangmo.com/blog/ Very active on Twitter.

deepbluehum
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Re: Indian Buddhism: Birch-Bark Treasures

Post by deepbluehum » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:36 am

From what I can see it says something to the effect of "the best way to get a big house is..."

Jinzang
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Re: Indian Buddhism: Birch-Bark Treasures

Post by Jinzang » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:29 am

If I recall correctly, they are abhidharma texts. Probably a dull discussion of how many yojanas tall gods are in the Heaven of the Thirty Three.
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Indrajala
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Re: Indian Buddhism: Birch-Bark Treasures

Post by Indrajala » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:31 am

Gāndhārī studies are ongoing and developing. In due time the language might be as well understood as other Indic languages, though probably never so widely studied unless a huge cache is unearthed revealing a complete or near-complete early canon.

We can only hope...

See the following:

http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/gandhari-language
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