The biography of Zaya paṇḍita Nam mkha’i rGya mtsho (1599-1662) titled “The Moonlight”
(Oir. sarayin gerel) lists the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā sūtra as one of the 186 texts translated
by the great Oirat scholar. His biographer and disciple Ratnabhadra does not specify which of
these scriptures were written down in the Mongolian script, and which in the Clear Script (Oir.
todo bičiq). There has been some controversy as to the time period when these translations took
place, because the list of Zaya paṇḍita’s works is introduced as the texts translated “from the tiger
year to the tiger year” (Oir. haras ǰil-ēсе baras ǰil kürtele). As Ratnabharda does not indicate the
elements of these tiger years, there are three possible ways to understand these dates: 1638–1650
(1638 being the year when Zaya paṇḍita returned from Tibet), 1650–1662 (after he created the
Clear Script in 1648 and until he passed away), or 1638–1662. The latter version has been argued
as the most believable one: it covers the period starting from Zaya paṇḍita’s return from Tibet,
when he was actively travelling and teaching in the Mongolian and Dzungar lands...