17 December 2012

Yet Another Heart Sutra Ms.

Click to Embiggen

This is the Heart Sutra manuscript I'm currently working on: Cambridge Ms. No ADD 1680 - part of a large bundle of leaves. It's probably from the 13th century which makes it one of the oldest Heart Sutra ms. still extant. It's written in black ink which is faded in places, on a talipot palm leaf. The writing is one the Nepalese 'hooked' scripts (probably Bhujimol I think).

Unfortunately the first page is missing, but it is still an interesting specimen. It's been very difficult to decipher at times - one has to look for familiar landmarks like 'evaṃ' or 'prajñāpāramitā' and then deduce from there, though in the end I wasn't guessing most of the syllables.

This is not one of the basic mss. that Conze used in his 1948 Critical edition, but he does cite it in the 1967 versions - albeit somewhat speculatively at times. He refers to it as Nk.

12 December 2012

Another Heart Sutra

Another Heart Sutra - 20th century, Newāri script. Black in on paper, with red ink decorations. The image in the centre is a four-armed Prajñāpāramitā.

I'll be leading a day of study on the Heart Sutra on 30 Dec at the Cambridge Buddhist Centre. 10-4. All welcome.

06 December 2012

Heart Sutra.

ADD 1485 open. Heart Sutra. by jayarava
ADD 1485 open. Heart Sutra., a photo by jayarava on Flickr.

I spent the day transcribing the Heart Sutra found in this manuscript. There really are more than one Heart Sutra - and more than the long and short text as well. This is a variant on the long text.

Ca. 1677 CE. Gold ink on black. Ranjana script. Approx 24 x 7.6 cm. No title. Contains the Heart Sutra along with other dhāraṇī texts (which is where we mostly find the HS in these ms.s). This ms is unusual in that it expands the contractions we normally associate with the HS.