Tibetan script of Buddha’s teaching restored
A trove of more than 600 pages of rare Tibetan manuscripts with his teachings written in gold letters has been restored at a 100-year-old monastery in Alubari in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district.
The restoration work is being done by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). “It was while assessing the damage that our experts came across the manuscripts.
They were in a very bad condition and required urgent attention, The trust has provided over Rs. 10 lakh for the project.
Experts who worked on the restoration said that while one volume contained 322 pages, the other had 296 pages.
Each volume contains 8,000 verses.
A manuscript (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) was, traditionally, any document written by hand — or, once practical typewriters became available, typewritten — as opposed to being mechanically printed or reproduced in some indirect or automated way. More recently, the term has come to be understood to further include any written, typed, or word-processed copy of an author’s work, as distinguished from its rendition as a printed version of the same. Before the arrival of printing, all documents and books were manuscripts. Manuscripts are not defined by their contents, which may combine writing with mathematical calculations, maps, explanatory figures or illustrations. Manuscripts may be in book form, scrolls or in codex format. Illuminated manuscripts are enriched with pictures, border decorations, elaborately embossed initial letters or full-page illustrations.
The traditional abbreviations are MS for manuscript and MSS for manuscripts, while the forms MS., ms or ms. for singular, and MSS., mss or mss. for plural (with or without the full stop, all uppercase or all lowercase) are also accepted. The second s is not simply the plural; by an old convention, it doubles the last letter of the abbreviation to express the plural, just as pp. means “pages”.
Before the invention of woodblock printing in China or by moveable type in a printing press in Europe, all written documents had to be both produced and reproduced by hand. Historically, manuscripts were produced in form of scrolls (volumen in Latin) or books (codex, plural codices). Manuscripts were produced on vellum and other parchment, on papyrus, and on paper. In Russia birch bark documents as old as from the 11th century have survived. In India, the palm leaf manuscript, with a distinctive long rectangular shape, was used from ancient times until the 19th century. Paper spread from China via the Islamic world to Europe by the 14th century, and by the late 15th century had largely replaced parchment for many purposes.