Dharmapala Thangka CentreTibetan Antiques

Sūtra of longevity boundlesss life and wisdom

Complete version with with twenty written double-sided pages

Full View Title page Two Tsaglis mit Avalokiteshvara und Vajrasattva Two Tsaglis with Amitabha and White Tara Content page [1] Content page [2] with page number »nga« = Five »Tshe mdo« = short title of the Sutra and Page no. »Five« [Tib. »Nga«] written vertically on the left edge of the page Content page [3] 1 - »Tshe mdo« = short title of the Sutra, 2 - »nyi shu thams pa« = page 20, 3 - byon = Vorderseite Textile cover

These twenty double-sided pages show a famous Mahayana text called »Aparimitāyurjñāna« Sūtra [Tibetan: »Tshe dang ye shes dpag tu med« ཚེ་དང་ཡེ་ཤེས་དཔག་ཏུ་མེད་པའི་མདོ།]. Since it is associated with longevity, this is one of the most widely read and recited texts in the Kangyur. The Sutra ["Immeasurable Longevity and Wisdom"] is read to acquire wisdom [»yeshe«] and to prolong one's life [»tshe«].

The Aparimitāyurjñāna Sūtra is among the many canonical works in which a particular Buddha is invoked along with the benefits of remembering his name. The Sūtra teaches that those who recite, write, listen to, or make offerings to it gain many benefits, such as long life, good rebirth, protection from harm, and liberation from suffering. The Sūtra also contains the praise of Aparimitāyurjñāna by countless Buddhas who recite its dhāraṇī.

In the Aparimitāyurjñāna, Amitabha is often depicted as a red Buddha holding a vase of long life. He is revered as a source of longevity and wisdom, and his dhāraṇī is recited as a practice for increasing one’s lifespan and merit. He is also invoked in rituals for healing, purification, and blessing.

It was particularly popular in Central Asia and Tibet. Thousands of copies were made in Tibet, most of which are now in collections of Dunhuang manuscripts in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the British Library and in smaller collections in Russia, China and Taiwan.

The manuscript is in excellent condition. The golden script on thick black paper is written in the Tibetan UMe script. Two miniature thangkas [»tsaglis"] are inserted on each of two pages: Buddha Amitabha and the White Tara and Avalokiteshvara [Tib.: »Tchenresi"] and Amitayus [»Buddha of Infinite Light«].

The relatively small size and the textile cover enabled the owner to carry it with him at all times like a pocket book. The cover is made of a thick old Chinese fabric with patterns.

From the inscription on the side of each odd-numbered page, one can see the page number of the leaf [see detail 6 of the photographs].

The »Content page 3« shown here is the last page of the text [page 20], of which only the front is labeled.

Complete translation and explanations

Source: Translated by Peter Alan Roberts and Emily Bower under the patronage and supervision of 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha

Measurements: 8.9 x 3.7" | 22.5 x 9.5 cm
Price: 373 $ | 345 €
Material: Thick Paper
Age: probably 20th cent.
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany
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