From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Mongolian Kanjur
Mains level : Buddhist literature
The Ministry of Culture has taken up the project of reprinting of 108 volumes of Mongolian Kanjur under the National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM). The first sets of five volumes were presented to the President of India.
Try this question from CSP 2011:
Q.India maintained its early cultural contacts and trade links with Southeast Asia across the Bay of Bengal. For this preeminence of early maritime history of Bay of Bengal, which of the following could be the most convincing explanation/explanations?
(a) As compared to other countries, India had a better ship-building technology in ancient and medieval times.
(b) The rulers of southern India always patronized traders, Brahmin priests and Buddhist monks in this context.
(c) Monsoon winds across the Bay of Bengal facilitated sea voyages.
(d) Both (a) and (b) are convincing explanations in this context.
- Mongolian Kanjur, the Buddhist canonical text in 108 volumes is considered to be the most important religious text in Mongolia.
- In the Mongolian language ‘Kanjur’ means ‘Concise Orders’- the words of Lord Buddha in particular. It has been translated from Tibetan.
- It is held in high esteem by the Mongolian Buddhists and they worship the Kanjur at temples and recite the lines of Kanjur in daily life as a sacred ritual.
- The Kanjur is kept almost in every monastery in Mongolia.
- The language of the Kanjur is Classical Mongolian and it is a source of providing a cultural identity to Mongolia.
About National Mission for Manuscripts
- The Mission was launched in February 2003 under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, with the mandate of documenting, conserving and disseminating the knowledge preserved in the manuscripts.
- One of the objectives of the mission is to publish rare and unpublished manuscripts so that the knowledge enshrined in them is spread to researchers, scholars and the general public at large.
- Under this scheme, reprinting of 108 volumes of Mongolian Kanjur has been taken up by the Mission.