Employees of Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, work on the translation and digitisation of the Tibetan manuscripts, which were brought by Rahul Sankrityayan in the last century, in Patna on Wednesday. Picture by Ashok Sinha
Bihar Research Society, the research and publication wing of Patna Museum, is working on translation and digitisation of around 7,000 Tibetan manuscripts noted scholar Rahul Sankrityayan had brought from Tibet.
Central University of Tibetan Studies (CUTS), Sarnath, recently signed a memorandum of understanding for this. Around Rs 24 lakh is being spent on the work.
"Lobsang Norbu, the vice-chancellor of CUTS, inked the deal with Bihar Research Society (BRS) on March 4. At Bihar Research Society, we have around 7,000 Tibetan manuscripts, around 500-700 years old, that Sankrityayanji had brought. Work regarding digitisation of the manuscripts is on. There would also be translations. As per the deal, all Tibetan manuscripts would be translated into Hindi," a BRS official said on condition of anonymity.
Sources said monks of the Nalanda mutt in Tibet gifted the manuscripts to the scholar during his visits there between 1929 and 1938. Sankrityayan, in turn, donated a large number of rare Tibetan manuscripts and other items to BRS. It is a prized collection for Patna Museum.
"The manuscripts' importance can be gauged from the fact that Budhhists from around the world come to see the collection. "Recently, a Harvard-based research scholar had come and was thrilled," the official said.
"There are rare manuscripts written with silver and gold ink on thick handmade paper. Experts at CUTS, Sarnath, discovered it while cataloguing and classifying the manuscripts a few years ago. Suvarna Prabhash Sutra, a collection of Buddha's teachings and one of the rarest Tibetan manuscripts written with gold and silver ink and around 400-500 years old, is in our collection," said the official. Sources said a Tokyo-based Institute had earlier translated and published the collection but this would be the first time the collection would be translated into Hindi and digitised.