Forum for discussion of East Asian Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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Dr. Darui Long, recently made a fascinating contribution to world history by rediscovering a long-lost Buddhist manuscript of the Tangut Empire. Equipped with the knowledge of rare Chinese books and historical printing methods, last summer at the historic Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, Dr. Long set out to carefully examine and catalog thousands of dusty, unaccounted for documents.
On June 9th, 2017, he came upon a manuscript written in gold dust on indigo paper and, seeing that it was noticeably different from the others, documented the whole book. A month later in Beijing, after conferring with Professor, Shi Jinbo from the Institute of Minorities, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who is an expert and the foremost scholar in the field of Tangut language and culture, they were able to definitively conclude that this indeed was four chapters of the Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sutra, (or Miao Fa Lian Hua Jing, 妙法蓮華經, commonly referred to as the Lotus Sutra) in the extinct Xi Xia, or Tangut language, of the former empire of Western Xia.
https://uwestedu.wordpress.com/2018/04/ ... ow-poland/
For the manuscripts of Xi Xia, any paper or any fragment of paper would be considered [a Chinese] national treasure. For the Xi Xia people, their history remains a mystery. Because they disappeared, very few scholars understand their language. The Chinese claim they invented movable printing and the earliest artifacts we have printed by wood moveable-type are Buddhist scriptures in Xi Xia language.
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this was a fascinating read and I went over also to the linked article and read the interview. Thank you for posting this! The photos of the Lotus Sutra were beautiful as well as seeing again how important a sutra it is!
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
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Its always nice to hear that rare, old documents were found in musty archives. I hear about things like this happening in Japan quite often... many families and temples have these massive store houses that contain stuff people haven't looked at in decades, if not centuries. Sometimes they find art work of old masters or documents by important historical figures... Who knows how much stuff is out there?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.
-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter
I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
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Hope that Dr. Long get adequate support for such valuable work!