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A Mirror of Jewels which Clears Away Errors- A Critical Guide to the Buddhist Sacred Sites of the Nepal Valley

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Item Code: UAO746
Author: Franz Karl Ehrhard
Publisher: Lumbini International Research Institute, Nepal
Language: English
Edition: 2020
ISBN: 9789937078764
Pages: 220
Other Details 9.50 X 7.00 inch
Weight 530 gm
Book Description
After translations description religious geography the Mang-yul Gung-thang region of the southern part of South-western Tibet and investi gation into the history a little-known bKa'-brgyud-pa school from the Hima layan borderlands, the translation a third work by Brag-dkar rta-so sPrul-sku Chos-kyi dbang-phyug (1775-1837) is being offered in the following pages Originally only available as an incomplete dbu med manuscript in the author's collected writings, the text exists now in a second version, in the new typeset edition published by mKhan-po bShad-sgrub bstan-"dzin, Kathmandu. The text a pilgrimage guide various Buddhist sites of the two most prominent ones being the stupas of Svayambhünäth and Bodhnäth. Simi larly to what was done in the case of the guidebook to the 'Phags-pa lha-khang skyid-grong, early printed guidebooks are critically evaluated, while the lore surrounding other individual sites is assessed based on various literary sources. In several respects, the present work can be compared to another such pilgrim age guide composed by the Fourth Khams-sprul bsTan-'dzin Chos-kyi nyi-ma (1730-1779), who cites the epigraph quoted above in it.

A critical edition, an annotated translation and photographic reproduction of the original dbu med manuscript are presented here. gratefully acknowledge the interest in the text taken by students during reading classes at the Ludwig Maximilians-Universität in Munich (Institute of Indology and Tibetology) and the Ruprecht-Karls-Universitäit in Heidelberg (Centre for Asian and Transcul tural Studies) in the winter terms 2018/19 and 2019/20. Special words of thanks to Philip Pierce, South Asia Institute, Patan, who not only checked the Eng lish but also corrected the translation with great care and patience; and Ralf Kramer, Bavarian State Library, Munich, who assisted with the final editing The indices were prepared by Dr. Michael Pahlke, and through the kind help of Dr. Christoph Cüppers the study has been included in the publications of the Lumbini International Research Institute.

Of all the Tibetan works dealing with geographical knowledge, not only in the sense of the Buddhist canonical description of Jambudvipa, but of descriptions of lands like India and Nepal, two texts come immediately to mind: the 'Gen eral Description of the World' ('dzam gling spyl bshad) of Sum-pa mkhan-po Ye-shes dpal-"byor (1704-1788) and the 'Extensive Description of the World' (dzam gling rgyas bshad) of the Fourth bTsan-po No-min-han bsTan-'dzin "phrin-las (1789-1839). The first work was written in the year 1777 and focuses on India and its peoples and regions, together with details of the major tantric places of pilgrimage; it then goes on to Nepal, pauses over Tibet, provides information on Manchuria, Korea and Japan, and leads finally to China and Rus sia. It has been observed that, while the author was by no means ready to aban don the authority of traditional book learning, he also recognized the need to supplement texts with eyewitness accounts. It is thus an important source for understanding the geographical conception of 18-century Tibetan intellec tuals, The section of the text dealing with Nepal follows the one on India and guides the reader after this passage from India to Nepal on to 'Snowland Tibet' (bod kha ba can) and further lands. It contains the following passage:

Bal-yul, [or] Nepal, is a great country [consisting] of three royal domains, which are known as Yam-bu (i.e. Kathmandu), Ye-rang (i.e. Patan) and Kho-khom (i.e. Bhaktapur). Among these, in the territory of Yam-bu: [1] on the peak of a dense forest is an elevated dome called the 'Self-Arisen Caitya 'Phags-pa shing-kun': [2] the teaching thrones of the first four Buddhas of the Fortunate Acon (ie. Vipasyin, Sikhi, Viśvabhu and Krakucchanda); [3] the Bya rung kha-shor Stupa, close to a thousand cubits [in circumference], which is said to be one of the eight caityas known to have been erected by the Ma-mos in eight countries when once they were pacified by Heruka and his fierce entourage; [4] the Five Rocks site, where Häriti, the gtor-ma mistress, was pacified together with her five hundred sons; [5] the skull of Sariputra in the royal palace of Yam-bu. [All this] is said to exist. Many [other] unique sacred sites are located [there in Nepal], including [6] Pham-[m]thing, the site of a nine-hooded serpent, and [7] the five great towns [as well].

Concerning the work of Ye-shes dpal-'byor, including a description of its contents and a full translation of the section on the Mongol domains, see Kapstein (2011:343-350). Consult Kim (2013:166-173) on the ethnic identity of Ye-shes dpal-'byor, a learned dGe-lugs-pa teacher of Mongolian origin from Amdo, and his works relating to history and geography.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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