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A Manuscript containing Chapter 2 of the Dharani Sutra of Great Splendor (Daweide tuoluoni jing)
Place of Origin: China, Yenshengyuan Monastery, Suzhou, Jiangsu province
Date: 1231-1322
Historical Period: Song dynasty (960-1279) or Yuan dynasty (1271-1368)
Object Name: Buddhist Sutra
Materials: Ink on paper
Dimensions: H. 1 1/2 in x W. 12 1/2 in x D. 5 in, H. 3.8 cm x W. 31.1 cm x D. 12.7 cm
Credit Line: Gift of the Walter H. and Phyllis J. Shorenstein Foundation
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Books And Manuscripts
Object Number: 1991.208
On Display: No

Description

Label:

This manuscript contains one chapter from a Buddhist sutra (scripture) included in the Jisha edition of the Chinese Buddhist Canon. The Dharani (Magical Charm) Sutra of Great Splendor (Mahatejas Dharani Sutra) was translated from Sanskrit into Chinese during the sixth century.

The earliest complete printed edition of the Chinese Buddhist Canon was produced by imperial decree in the late tenth century. In the following centuries, other printed editions were undertaken by various Buddhist establishments including the Yenshengyuan monastery. Printing of the Jisha edition, named for the island on which the monastery was located, began in 1231 but was halted by a fire in 1258. By the time printing resumed in 1299, the ruling Song dynasty had been replaced by the Yuan dynasty, which proclaimed Tibetan Buddhism the official state religion.

This frontispiece reveals Tibetan and Nepalese influences in the figural styles of the Buddha, his audience, and the bodhisattva seated on a lotus throne at the left. The image is unusual in its incorporation of landscape elements into the background.
The complete Jisha edition consisted of 6,362 printed volumes containing 1,532 texts and would have required the carving of more than 150,000 woodblocks. The entire edition had been considered lost until some volumes were discovered in 1931 in Xian, Shaanxi province. About 80 percent of the original edition now survives in two monastic libraries in Xian and in collections worldwide.


Label:

This manuscript contains one chapter from a Buddhist sutra (scripture) included in the Jisha edition of the Chinese Buddhist Canon. The Dharani (Magical Charm) Sutra of Great Splendor (Mahatejas Dharani Sutra) was translated from Sanskrit into Chinese during the sixth century.

The earliest complete printed edition of the Chinese Buddhist Canon was produced by imperial decree in the late tenth century. In the following centuries, other printed editions were undertaken by various Buddhist establishments including the Yenshengyuan monastery. Printing of the Jisha edition, named for the island on which the monastery was located, began in 1231 but was halted by a fire in 1258. By the time printing resumed in 1299, the ruling Song dynasty had been replaced by the Yuan dynasty, which proclaimed Tibetan Buddhism the official state religion.

This frontispiece reveals Tibetan and Nepalese influences in the figural styles of the Buddha, his audience, and the bodhisattva seated on a lotus throne at the left. The image is unusual in its incorporation of landscape elements into the background.
The complete Jisha edition consisted of 6,362 printed volumes containing 1,532 texts and would have required the carving of more than 150,000 woodblocks. The entire edition had been considered lost until some volumes were discovered in 1931 in Xian, Shaanxi province. About 80 percent of the original edition now survives in two monastic libraries in Xian and in collections worldwide.