Thousands of ancient Indian manuscripts preserved in Tibet

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Tibet has preserved more than 50,000 ‘pages’ of ancient palm-leaf manuscripts originating in India, including some precious and rare editions written in Sanskrit.

Chinese officials said since 2006, the registration, sorting and photocopying of the ancient palm-leaf manuscripts written in Tibetan and other ancient Indian languages, has been completed.

Tsewang Jigme, director of the region’s palm-leaf manuscripts protection office said among the pages found are some precious and rare editions written on palm leafs, while some others written on paper.

Palm-leaf manuscripts, which originated in India, refer to the Sanskrit classics, including Buddhist scriptures, ancient Indian literature and codes, inscribed on the leaves of palm trees.

Tibet is now among the regions of the world that have the most complete Sanskrit palm-leaf manuscripts registered, Tsewang said.

According to the contents and written style, it is believed that most palm-leaf manuscripts preserved in Tibet were from the eighth to 14th century, he said.

And the earlier ones could date back to before the seventh century and the most recent ones to the 17th century.

A large number of palm-leaf manuscripts in India have been damaged in conflicts, war and humid weather, but those brought to Tibet were mostly in good condition, the state-run Xinhua news agency said



  • cooljayzes

    This confirms the inference that Tibetan buddhist monasteries are the repository of surviving hindu/buddhist religious scriptures after the massive destruction of cultural artifacts undertaken by the muslim invaders from middle-east/central asia.There is an urgent need for colloboration with the chinese authorities at the diplomatic level to facilitate the transmission/revival of spiritual literature from tibet, back to india , the tibetan diaspora in india can play a significant role in this endeavour

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