Chinese : Juyongguan bei liu zhong shu, tian

Chinese

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This volume is the first part of a complete transcription of the famous 14th century inscriptions at Juyong Pass (Juyong guan 居庸關) north of Beijing, one of the passes where the Ming would later build their Great Wall. The creation of the original inscription was commissioned in 1342-1345 by the Mongol rulers of China. Buddhist sutras and ‘Records of Merit’ (related to the construction of this monument) were inscribed inside an enormous vaulted portal. These are written in Chinese, Mongolian (written in the Tibetan-based and Mongol-promoted universal Phagspa alphabet), Sanskrit (written in the Mongol-promoted Lantsa script), Tibetan, Tangut, and Uyghur. The fact that this multilingual masterpiece was restored during the Ming (1440s) and—as manifested by this item—copied in the Qing, suggests that later empires claimed authority over the Mongol heritage and incorporated it into their own tradition.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'><b>Contents</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The contents are divided into three "volumes" (in the sense of separate physical objects). "Volumes" 1 and 2 are equivalent to one ben 本 each: each of them is a zhe 摺 (document folded in accordion form). "Volume" 3, however, <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='https://www.digitalcollections.manchester.ac.uk/view/PR-CHCR-00415-003/197'>is one tao 套 (case) containing 4 ben in the form of thread-bound volumes</a>. Therefore the item contains all six "parts" of one set of Juyongguan inscriptions, each of these six "parts" (2 accordion-folded, 4 thread-bound) related to one language/script.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>It contains two different text genres which alternate in a specific fashion. Dharanis (Buddhist chants, or longer and more complex mantras) constitute the first text genre, namely, the 'Dharani of the Tathagata Heart' and the 'Dharani of the Victorious Buddha-Crown'. Each dharani text is written in large characters. ‘Record of Merits in the Construction of the Pagoda’ (in two parts) constitute the second text genre. Each Record of Merit is written in small characters.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'><div><br /><a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='https://www.digitalcollections.manchester.ac.uk/view/PR-CHCR-00415-001'>Juyongguan bei liu zhong shu, tian 居庸關碑六種書天 [Six Scripts of the Juyong Pass Inscription, Vol. 1]</a><br /><a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='https://www.digitalcollections.manchester.ac.uk/view/PR-CHCR-00415-002'>Juyongguan bei liu zhong shu, di 居庸關碑六種書地 [Six Scripts of the Juyong Pass Inscription, Vol. 2]</a><br /><a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='https://www.digitalcollections.manchester.ac.uk/view/PR-CHCR-00415-003'>Juyongguan bei liu zhong shu, ren 居庸關碑六種書人 [Six Scripts of the Juyong Pass Inscription, Vol. 3]</a><br /></div><br /></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Note that each front cover repeats the ‘work’ title and adds one character to specify the volume, namely tian 天, di 地, and ren 人, respectively (literally ‘Heaven, Earth, People’). These characters are used in the sense of ‘volume 1, 2, 3’, corresponding to the more regular volume-numbering style shang 上, zhong 中, xia 下 (literally ‘Above, Middle, Below’).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Regarding the actual physical structure of the monument, the Sanskrit and Tibetan texts (both read left to right) are placed together along the top of the walls (Sanskrit above and Tibetan below). The Uyghur and Phagspa texts (both read top-to-bottom, running left to right) were placed together on the left side of the walls, and the Chinese and Tangut texts (both read top-to-bottom, running right to left) were placed together on the right side of the walls, with the result that the texts read from the two edges going inwards and meeting in the middle. See the <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='https://www.digitalcollections.manchester.ac.uk/view/PR-CHCR-00415-003/193'>diagram inserted with volume 3</a> for the layout of all texts.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>For more information on the construction and history of the physical structure see this Wikipedia entry: <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_Platform_at_Juyong_Pass'>Cloud Platform at Juyong Pass</a> and 2011 blog post by Andrew West: <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='https://www.babelstone.co.uk/BabelDiary/2011/08/cloud-platform-at-juyongguan.html'>Cloud Platform at Juyongguan</a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'><b>Contents (Vol. 1)</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Two Sanskrit language dharanis, written in Lantsa script. The text is read from left to right one line at a time. The sheets are bound in reverse so that the cover with title label is at the end of the volume.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>In the second dharani sheet ten (<a dir='auto' href='' onclick='store.loadPage(21);return false;'>images 21 and 22</a>) is misbound between sheets six and seven. The Sanskrit letters have been numbered (Arabic numerals) in pencil to aid reading the misbound text.</p><div><a dir='auto' href='' onclick='store.loadPage(2);return false;'>Sanskrit language dharani (first part)</a><br /><a dir='auto' href='' onclick='store.loadPage(14);return false;'>Sanskrit language dharani (second part)</a><br /></div><br />


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