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Lundysheva O. Fragments of dhāraṇī Blockprints from Khara-Khoto (Serindian Fund of IOM, RAS). With Appendix by A.Sizova // // Written Monuments of the Orient, 2. Moscow: Vostochnaya literatura, 2015. P. 31-47.


The paper focuses on a blockprinted dhāraṇī from Khara-Khoto belonging to the group of unidentified and unpublished fragments in the Serindian Fund of the IOM, RAS. The characters used in the text of the print have much in common with the pāla script that was widespread in the North-Eastern India and associated with the Pala Empire. The print exists in several fragments. Judging by the content, it comprised two independent parts. Their relationship to each other, as well as the total number of pages, remain unknown. The first block of text has survived in its entirety. It has five lines of text. The first four lines are a triple repetition of the Akṣobhya Buddha Dhāraṇī The fifth line consists of five bija mantras and the well-known “Buddhist creed”, the Ye dharmā mantra. Only half of the second block of text has survived but still it can be identified and is presumed to be the mūlamantra, hṛdaya and upahṛdaya from the Bodhigarbhālaṇkāralakṣa dhāraṇī. Part of the print is also half of an engraved image. Features of the image and its stylistic peculiarities make it very similar to the printed engravings in the Tangut and Dunhuang collections. It is assumed that the entire blockprint could have been a compilation of selected prayers used in common Buddhist ritual practice. The type of paper, image and script suggest a date for the blockprint around the 12th c.

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Keywords


Central Asia Buddhism
dhāraṇī
Indian paleography
Khara-Khoto
Sanskrit blockprints

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