SUTRA ON THE BUDDHA'S LIBERATION

MS 2152
MS Short Title SUTRA ON THE BUDDHA'S LIBERATION
Text SUTRA ON THE BUDDHA'S LIBERATION, MAHAPARINIRVANA, BOOK 4, CH. 7-8
Description MS in Chinese on undyed paper, Sinkiang, China, ca. 625-650, 1 scroll of 5 sheets (complete), 25x258 cm, 161 columns, each column: (20,0x1,5 cm), 16-18 characters in a neat kaishu calligraphy of Chinese book script by the workshop of the Tang imperial MSS.
Binding London, 1996, black cloth gilt case by Ruth Kirkby.
Context The Dunhuang hoard consisted of about 13,500 MSS; with printing and fragments included, 19,200 items. It is the largest and most important group of oriental MSS ever found. The present distribution is as follows: London, British Library, Stein collection 8080; Bejing, National Library 8000; Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Pelliot Collection ca. 3000; Shanghai Library 100; Shanghai Museum 4; Japan, museums and libraries 5; and The Schøyen Collection 4.
Provenance 1. Dunhuang cave 17, Gansu, China, (ca. 9th c. - ca. 1900); 2. Wang Yuanlu, Taoist priest and guardian, Dunhuang (ca. 1900); 3. Convent (house) of Jichuan; 4. Sam Fogg Rare Books Ltd., London.
Commentary The famous Mogao caves, over 1000 in number, located near the oasis town of Dunhuang on the Silk Road in Central Asia, were used as library repositories for a wide range of literary MSS for conservation purposes, ca. 500-1000 AD by the Tibetan and Chinese occupants of the town. The caves were sealed at the beginning of the 11th c., and left undisturbed for almost 900 years. One of the oldest witnesses to the Chinese translation. The oldest complete Chinese MS in private hands.
Place of origin Dunhuang, Sinkiang, China
Dates ca. 625-650

Location