Sanskrit manuscripts from Tibet a ‘treasure’

By: Palden Nyima and Daqiong,
Updated: July 22, 2020

Sanskrit manuscripts from the Tibetan autonomous region are properly identified as "one of humanity's greatest treasures", an expert said at a cultural heritage event in Beijing last week.

During the time when Buddhism spread to the Tibetan highlands between the 8th and 14th centuries, manuscripts written in various Indian languages taken from a variety of regional scripts were brought from neighboring India in large numbers, said Birgit Kellner, director of Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia, the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Kellner gave an online presentation at the event — the International Webinar on Tibetan Cultural Heritage and Religious Belief, held at the China Tibetology Research Center.
She said these manuscripts reflected the entire range of Buddhist literary culture throughout its long and varied history.
The texts also include works by philosophers and masters whose names had not been recorded before, Kellner said.
She noted that the manuscripts from Tibet, mainly written in Sanskrit, are invaluable resources for understanding the cultural, intellectual and religious history of Buddhism in the context of its place of origin.
Sanskrit manuscripts in the Tibet autonomous region today enjoy the status of cultural relics in China.