LATE MING DYNASTY SUTRA

MS 2601
Text
  1. LING MENGCHU: A PRAISE TO VIMALAKIRTI
  2. WEIMOJIE SUOSHUO JING; VIMALAKIRTI-NIRDESA-SUTRA. TRANSLATED BY KUMARAJIVA
Description Blockprint and MS (5 pp.) in Chinese on paper, China, 17th c., 4 vols. (complete), 27x17 cm, up to 17 columns, (19x14 cm), 18+3 characters in Chinese book script, additions in red on top of every page, Gongchi notation of music in red; MS: 10 columns, (26x12 cm), 26 characters in Chinese script; 1 full-page frontispiece depicting an arhat, probably Bodhidharma a famous Chan master from India, with curly hair seated next to his bag under a pine tree, painted by Wang Wenhen. Binding: China, 18th c., stitched on 4 stations (xiang zhuang), dark blue paper covers.




Binding China, 18th c., stitched on 4 stations (xiang zhuang), dark blue paper covers.
Context Another translation of the same sutra is MS 2488/3. MS 2597/5 is a fragment from the same sutra in the same translation.
Provenance 1. Ekky Chung collection, Indonesia/Beverly Hills, California (-1997); 2. Sam Fogg, London.
Commentary The sutra is an apocryphal account of conversations between Sakyamuni and some residents of Vaisali, and a debate between Manjusri and Vimalakirti, telling the story of Vimalakirti, a well-known lay Buddhist philosopher, who was unwell one day. Sakyamuni requested one of his disciples to comfort this wise man. Everyone declined because in the past they had all been reproached by him for their faults, and the thought of facing him again filled them with dread. Eventually, this task was bestowed upon Manjusri, who was the most eloquent and erudite Bodhisattva. The contents of these conversations are both philosophical and highly regarded for their literary content. Particularly it creates a rich and enlightened lay Buddhist image that had boosted the popularity of the Mahayana Buddhism among the upper class in China. – Ling Mengchu, a famous novelist from the late Ming Dynasty.
Place of origin China
Dates 17c AD

Location