SUTRA ON THE NAMES OF THE BUDDHA

MS 2153
MS Short Title SUTRA ON THE NAMES OF THE BUDDHA
Text SUTRA ON THE NAMES OF THE BUDDHA, BUDDHANAMA SUTRA, FO MING JING, CH. 10 OF A 30-CHAPTER APOCRYPHAL SUTRA, COMPRISING THE 7,712TH TO THE 8,600TH NAME OF THE BUDDHA
Description MS in Chinese on paper, Sinkiang, China, ca. 920, 1 scroll of 33 sheets (complete), 32x1511 cm, 627 columns, (each sheet: 19 columns, up to 26,7x2,4 cm), 6-7 or 17-21 characters per column, in a large strong kaishu calligraphy of Chinese book script, 11 miniatures of seated Buddhas, ca. 3,5 cm high, in colours.
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. 10th c. - ca. 1900); 2. Wang Yuanlu, Taoist priest and guardian, Dunhuang (ca. 1900); 3. 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 in the period ca. 500-1000 AD by the Tibetan and Chinese occupants of the town. The caves were sealed at the beginnin of the 11th c., and left undisturbed for almost 900 years. The text has been recorded and listed in Tang library catalogues but was lost; the present MS is the only surviving witness.
Place of origin Dunhuang, Sinkiang
Dates ca. 920

Location