March 2, 2024, Saturday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Renovation of golden letter Buddhist manuscript

The Nepal Weekly
August 8, 2023
Renovation is going on

Renovating of Buddhist manuscript with golden letter is going on in the courtyards of the Golden Temple located just the side of Patan Durbar Square in the Kathmandu Valley. Around half a dozen of artists are involved in the renovation Pargya Paramita, an eight century old Buddhist manuscript written by golden ink.All the scripts in the holy maunuscript are in the Ranjana script (the olderst form of Newar scripture).

The holy scripture is being renovated by artists by reinstating the faded letters and rewriting those damaged due to uses in past three years. The renovation work is carried out in every 3 years.

In this golden word manuscript, the eight thousand verses delivered by Gautam Buddha to one thousand three hundred and fifty disciples are recorded. It is believed that Buddha had delivered the verses around 2500 years back at his life time.

Pragya Paramita means ‘the perfection of wisdom or ‘Transcendental Knowledge’ in Mahayan and Therevada Buddhism.

The artists involved in the renovation of the antique Buddhist manuscript, expalin that some texts written by golden ink wear out or fade in daily reciting activities, they require renovation. Purushottam Maas, the extra month in every three years according to the Lunadan calendar as major cultural and religious activities are not conducted during this month. So this is an appropriate time to renovate it. This has been a tradition initiated since time imemorable.

Scripture written with golden ink preserved at Itumbahaa

Kept in the Golden Temple at other times and recited on a daily basis, the Purushottam Maas (also called Mala mass) gives a break to daily recitation. The artists within the core community linked to the vihara assemble to renovate the ancient manuscript.

Purushottam Maas comes in 32 months, 16 days and 6 hours.It is another fact that the Solar year is 365 days about six minutes. Lunar calendar the Lunar calendar 354 days. Thus, there is shorter by 11 days, one hour and 31 minutes and 12 seconds. The differences widen every year, it goes from three years to one month which is called Mala Mass. 

Hiranya Varna Mahavihar which is widely known as Kwaabahaa. This monastery has been believed to have been built in 11th century CE. It is an important religious site and has one of the largest Sangha of monk communities in the Kathmandu Valley and serves as a site of pilgrimage during important festivals and bearing testimony to the living heritage of the valley.

More to mention that similar scriptures are displayed in Itumbahaa and Bhagavaanbahaa in Kathmandu during the Period of Gaijatra festival (in August)