Item ID: 8341 SUKHAVATIVYUHASUTRA (in Sanskrit); [Ch. Fo shuo wuliang shou jing; K.: Pulsol muryangsu kyong; The Larger Sukhavativyuha Sutra].
SUKHAVATIVYUHASUTRA (in Sanskrit); [Ch. Fo shuo wuliang shou jing; K.: Pulsol muryangsu kyong; The Larger Sukhavativyuha Sutra].

SUKHAVATIVYUHASUTRA (in Sanskrit); [Ch. Fo shuo wuliang shou jing; K.: Pulsol muryangsu kyong; The Larger Sukhavativyuha Sutra].

Trans. by Samghavarman (?). Two full-page woodcuts at beginning. 43; 46 folding leaves. Two parts in one vol. Large 8vo, orig. yellow-brown patterned wrappers, new stitching. Konbong-sa (or Geonbongsa) Temple: 1861.

A rare edition of The Larger Sukhavativyuha Sutra, one of the three most important Mahayana sutras of the Pure Land tradition. Our book was printed at the Geonbongsa Temple in northeastern South Korea. The temple was founded in 520 CE and has remained a major center of Korean Buddhism.

In the Preface, Monk Naun Pouk mentions that he met Venerated Monk Pohyo at Konbong Temple in 1860. The Venerated Monk emphasized that this sutra is extremely important and valuable and pledged to disseminate it. With the completion of this edition the following year, he kept his word. The book lists donors who financed the publication as well as the names of proofreaders and even the carvers of the woodblocks.

This edition contains two fine full-page woodcuts illustrating the Buddhist sutras; the first one depicts Sakyamuni preaching the Lotus Sutra on Mt. Gradrakuta, and the second one is Amitabha seated between two bodhisattvas.

The Larger Sukhavativyuha Sutra talks about the Amitabha Buddha and the rebirth in the Western Paradise (see Buswell & Lopez, The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, pp. 867-68, for a long account of the sutra and its contents). The sutra was apparently translated into Chinese by Samghavarman (fl. c. 5th century), an Indian monk, who in 433 presided over the first ordination of nuns in China. However, other sources give different translators.

The text contains manuscript kugyol glosses. These glosses have a long history going back many hundreds of years. They are graphic marks derived from Chinese characters (somewhat similarly to Japanese kana), and are used to aid Korean speakers to read texts in literary Chinese (that is, they function much like Japanese kunten marks). The marks represent Korean case particles and verbal endings that are attached to the Chinese vocables and help the reader parse the text.

Fine and fresh copy. Final three leaves with an unimportant stain.

❧ With thanks to Prof. Marten Soderblom Saarela of the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.

Price: $5,500.00

Item ID: 8341

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