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The Symposium on Suvarnaprabhasottamasutra Print E-mail

On November 20-22, 2006 at the National Library of China (Beijing) the first symposium under the Ford Foundation project Bringing Together Scholars, Scholarship and Scholarly Resources on the Silk Road 2006-2008 was held. It was an examination of Suvarnaprabhasottamasutra, its transmissions, translators, different versions, as well as its representation in art.

Scholars from China, Russia (a delegation, consisting of six of the IOM's researchers with Dr M.Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya as the head), India (headed by Dr Lokesh Chandra) and a Canadian researcher Natalie Gummer took part in the Symposium.

Here is the Official Program of the Simposium.

Silk Road documents: the transmission of the Suvarnaprabhasottamasutra

19 November

15:00 Delegates from overseas and outside Beijing register at Shenzhou shanglü (b&b inn) hotel

20 November

9:00-9:30 Group photograph outside NLC

9:30-10:00 Opening ceremony, NLC Audiovisual room 4

Chair: Dr Chen Li, Deputy Director of NLC,

Welcoming speeches: Zhan Furui, Director of NLC

Prof Andrew Watson, Ford Foundation representative in China

Prof Chai Jianhong, secretary-general of the Chinese Association of Dunhuang & Turfan studies

10:30-12:30 Session 1

Alastair Morrison (chair) - Introduction to Ford Foundation project and welcome

1. Dr Radha Banerjee & Deepak Sarkar: Presentation of web resource – Comments, questions, ideas

2. Katerina Karmanova: Buddhist studies in Russia

3. Dr Saren Gaowa: Different editions of the Suvarnaprabhāsottamasūtra, its transmission and evolution

14:00-15:30 Session 2

Chair: Prof Chai Jianhong; Alastair Morrison

1. Prof Duan Qing: Newly discovered fragments of the Suvarnaprabhāsottamasūtra

2. Lin Shitian: Introduction to the ancient conservation of Dunhuang manuscripts of the Suvarnaprabhāsottamasūtra held at the National Library of China

16:00-18:00 Session 3

Chair: Prof Geng Shimin

1. Dr Margarita Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya: “Sutra of Golden Light”: the history of study, content; the beginning of psychoanalysis

2. Prof Chai Jianhong: On ancient copies of the Suvarnaprabhāsottamasūtra from Dunhuang and Turfan in the Nakamura collection

3. Prof Lokesh Chandra: Suvarna-bhasottama and the defence of Serindic Khotan 

21 November 

9:00-10:30 Session 4

Chair: Prof Lokesh Chandra; Alastair Morrison

1. Dr Natalie Gummer: Rasa theory in the interpretation of the Suvarna(pra)bhāsottama-sūtra

2. Prof Tripathi: Suvarnaprabhasa as an excellent Vade-mecum for the laity of Mahayana Buddhism

3. Dr Shashibala: Role of Suvarnaprabhasa-sutra in the polity of East Asia

11:00-12:30 Session 5

Chair: Dr Margarita Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya; Dr Imre Galambos

1. Prof Geng Shimin: On the discovery and research of Uighur Buddhist documents

2. Natalia Terechina: Uighur version of Sutra of Golden Light at the Institute of Oriental Studies, St Petersburg

3. Dr Yang Fuxue: Uighur versions of the Sutra of Golden Light and confession

14:00-15.30 Session 6

Chair: Prof Duan Qing

1. Dr Sha Wutian: Some questions on Dunhuang Suvarnaprabhāsottamasūtra

2. Ms Manjushree Gupta: The strategic role of Sarasvati in the Suvarnabhasa

3. Dr Chakravarty: to be confirmed

16:00-17:30 Session 7

Chair: Dr Nie Hongyin; Dr Yang Fuxue

1. Dr Shen Weirong: New Tangut translations of Chinese Buddhist texts

2. Anastasia Kolosova: Tangut version of the Sutra of Golden Light

3. Dr Huang Yanjun: An examination of fragments of Tangut translations of the Northern Liang Sutra of Golden Light at the NLC

4. Dr Cui Hongfen: Introductory comments on faith in the Tangut Suvarnaprabhāsottamasūtra

22 November

9:00-10:30 Session 8

Chair: Dr Shen Weirong

1. Dr Chen Nan: An analysis of the origins and development of the Tibetan translation of the Suvarnaprabhāsottamasūtra

2. Alexander Zorin: Tibetan copies of the Sutra of Golden Light at the Institute of Oriental Studies, St Petersburg

3. Dr Natalia Yakhntova: The Mongolian and Oirat translations of the Sutra of Golden Light

11:00-12:00 Summing up

Chair: Zhang Zhiqing

Discussion of web resource (Dr Radha Banerjee to lead)

Discussion of scholarly links between China, Russia and India – what would scholars like to see, and what links already exist?


The group photo of all the symposium participants (taken by the organizers)

The Head of the Russian Delegation Dr M.Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya

Dr Lokesh Chandra (left) and Chairman Prof Geng Shimin (right).

Photos by A. Zorin

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