DALAI LAMA STUDIES OLDEST BUDDHIST MANUSCRIPTS

Following a personal invitation from Martin Schøyen to view all the Buddhist manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection, the Dalai Lama visited Oslo and was able to study five of the most historically significant Buddhist manuscripts in existence.

Included in the five taken to the Dalai Lama for a private viewing in Oslo was the Boundless Life Mahayana Sutra (MS 2100), one of the earliest texts in Tibetan Buddhism preserved in the Dunhuang caves along the Silk Road in Central Asia. The manuscript itself was composed in Sanskrit around 500 AD and translated into Tibetan in the 7th century. It was written a few years after the beginning of Tibetan Buddhist literary production and is one of the earliest Tibetan Buddhist texts.

In the Schøyen Collection visitor book, the Dalai Lama wrote (translated from the Tibetan):

"The manuscript materials you have on the study of the Dharma is very important, and I am grateful for your efforts in preserving these -"

The Dalai Lama also studied MS 2373/1, an early commentary on the Abidharma probably from the now destroyed Bamiyan caves.

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The Dalai Lama examining a Buddhist manuscript with Martin Schøyen
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The Boundless Life Mahayana Sutra
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A message of thanks and appreciation

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