N. Yampolskaya

Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia

E‑mail: nataliayampolskaya@yandex.ru

THE OIRAT HEART SUTRA ON BIRCH BARK FROM ABLAIKIT

Abstract. The Clear Script was created in 1648, but most of the surviving manuscripts and xylographs written in this alphabet date back to a much later period, the 18th—19th centuries. Until recently the letter of Galdan Boshogtu Khan addressed to the Tsar of Russia in 1691 was considered to be the earliest surviving document in the Clear Script. In 2016—2018 new artefacts were discovered that date back to the first decades of writing in Oirat. These are fragments of manuscripts on birch bark, which adds to their value, as Oirat manuscripts on birch bark are extremely rare. This paper suggests a reading of the text of three fragments found in Ablaikit — the Heart Sutra translated by Zaya paṇḍita — and comments on several specific features of this text.

Keywords: Ablaikit, birch bark manuscripts, Heart Sutra, Oirat language, Clear Script, Zaya pandita

Acknowledgement. The author is grateful to Galina Kushch (Regional Museum of History and Local Lore, Oskemen, Kazakhstan) for providing access to the manuscript; to Yerlan Kazizov (Margulan Institute of Archeology, Kazakhstan) for providing archeological data; to Nikolay Tserempilov (Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan) for obtaining photographs for publication.

DOI: 10.31250/1238-5018-2022-28-1-49-59

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 Received by the Editorial Board: 08.01.2021

 


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