May 27, 2009
May 27, 2009
May 27, 2009

Manuscript of the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines (Ashta-sahasrika Prajnaparamita Shastra)

Manuscript of the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines (Ashta-sahasrika Prajnaparamita Shastra)


Part of a set. See all set records

Covers: Gum tempera, paper, and colors on wood; pages: gum tempera and ink on palm leaves

Overall: 6.5 x 57 x 1.5 cm (2 9/16 x 22 7/16 x 9/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1938.301



Text and Image in Southern Asia​ (Indian Painting and Himalayan rotation)

Did you know?

Books of the Perfection of Wisdom were worshiped as sacred objects and personified as the Goddess of Wisdom, Prajnaparamita, the mother of all Buddhas.


According to the inscription at the end of the manuscript, a monk from Nepal traveled to a monastic university in India, where he commissioned this copy of a sacred Buddhist philosophical text. He then brought it with him back to Nepal, where Nepalese artists added paintings of Buddhist goddesses and bodhisattvas. The movement of monks and manuscripts between India and Nepal was the primary mechanism for the transmission of Buddhism to the Himalayas.

This manuscript was an object of worship, once venerated alongside sacred Buddhist images. Devotional materials applied during ritual worship remain on the top of the book cover.

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