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A Descriptive Catalogue of The Tibetan Lhasa: Zhol Edition (Kangyur Rgyud Tantra

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Item Code: HAM359
Author: Compiled By Bhakti De
Language: English
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9789381574195
Pages: 523
Other Details 9X6 inch
Weight 760 gm
Book Description

The present Descriptive Tantric Catalogue of Tibetan Manuscripts, belonging to the latest group of Tibetan Manuscripts preserved in the Asiatic Society, has been compiled with a very informative Introduction by Sm. Bhakti De and edited and elucidated by renowned Tibetan scholar Professor Suniti Kumar Pathak. Towards the close of the elucidation, Professor Pathak has remarkably commented that the present Descriptive Catalogue targets to promote an understanding of the cross-cultural legacy between the Indian teachers and the eminent scholars of vast Trans-Himalayan peoples who did then developed their mind while searching the bliss or Ananda of lofty spiritual attainment. In recent years study on Tibetan manuscripts in Kolkata is not of high expectation and deep researches in Tibetology in our Asiatic Society is not very great excepting some good works carried on by a few serious students of Professor Pathak, one of whom is Sm. Bhakti De. She has made a thorough investigation into the Tantra collection of Tibetan manuscripts with which she has prepared the present Catalogue. Sm. De has opined that this Tantra section has a separate importance to the Tantra- practitioners.

The present Descriptive Catalogue contains names of more than four hundred Tantra texts which are categorized as Classical and non-Classical. Amongst these texts two separate doctrines are seen to have been discussed, i.e., method of an esoteric practice and of a cross-cultural society of Indian and Trans-Himalayan peoples. Sm. De is to be highly appreciated for discussing many knotty problems and for their subsequent solutions in the introductory part, and along with her I am also of the opinion that this Descriptive Catalogue would focus fresh light on Tibetan literary world.


The Tibetan Kanjur collections in the Asiatic Society have several background stories as follows.

The authorities of the Asiatic Society, Kolkata endeavoured in collecting the Oriental Manuscripts since 1801-1816 A.D. A large number of Manuscripts were received from Lt. Collins Mackenzie in between 1836 and 1841 A.D. The Manuscript Library now is a part of the Museum of the Asiatic Society. It is enriched by the transfer of the Manuscripts belonging to the Fort William College in twentieth century. Particularly the Tibetan collection of the Kanjur was included. That set of the Kanjur was probably procured by A. H. Francke from Western Tibet, when he was in Ladakh. Subsequently the said collection was shifted from the Fort William College when the then pioneer Tibetologist Alexander Csoma de Körös from Hungary was engaged in the Kanjur Studies in the Asiatic Society. He summarised some portions of Kanjur which were published in the Journals of the Asiatic Society. No exhaustive study regarding the Catalogues of Kanjur was undertaken up till now other than to prepare a complete inventory of the Tibetan collection of the Asiatic Society, Kolkata.

Tantra among the Buddhists.

Kanjur collections of the Buddhists Tripitaka (sde snad gsum) consists of Mdo (Sütra), Dul ba (Vinaya) and Rgyud and Gzuns (Tantra and Dharani). Those are traditionally the sayings of the Buddha (Buddhavacana). Regarding the growth of the Tibetan Buddhist Tripitaka the traditions refer to three instances for the deliberation of the Buddha's teachings i.e., "Dharma cakra pravartana". Such as, the first deliberation was held of the Mrgadava of Rsipattana, Sarnath near Varanasi in presence of the group of five monks (pañcavargiya bhiksu), who happened to be his previous colleagues in course of his penance life after Gautama's renunciation.

The second 'Dharma cakra pravartana' occurred at the peak of Grdhrakūta mount near Rajagrha. It was delivered in further clarification of two-fold impermanence, namely, that of the individual and the essencelessness of phenomena. Eminent Buddhist monks along with other ardent listeners were present. That Bodhisattvas, the elect persons for being the Buddha and the divinities, attended those subtle deliberations. The deliberations are usually named Mahāyāna or Bodhisattvayana.

The last one is said to be pronounced at 'Vaisali' for intensive application how to achieve the Bodhi in this life in respect of those who were mentally sharp (tiksnadhi). Another tradition mentions that the third Dharma cakra pravartana occurred at Śriparvata in South India. The Tantra (rgyud) is therefore regarded as Buddhavacana delivered among the illuminated persons with sharp intellect during the Third turning of the Dharma wheel.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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