A 795-year-old Buddhist text is being written in gold letters
Many people think that the letter gold is a color that looks like gold. But, it is not only the golden letter, it is written with the dust of gold. Donors donate a lot of gold for this.
Here the question arises as to how gold dust is written. Let’s talk about that first.
Ledo is made by boiling lazy seeds in water. Called ‘Tisipu’, it is used as a lazy gum. The dye is then ground into a fine lump of gold.
In this way, the lump of gold turns into a liquid color and the letter is written by brushing it.
Sudan had a brush in one hand. He was sitting on the floor with his head bowed. There was a photocopy of Prajnaparamita in his lap. Looking at the pages of the same photocopy, he was painting in the dim letters of wisdom placed in front of him.
He was not alone in doing so. Other guthiyars of Hiranyavarna Mahavihar were also around. Out of them, Motiratna used to mix the remaining leaves to fill Shakya color. The torn place was torn. He was responsible for cleaning and painting the outside of the book, while others were responsible for darkening the letters with gold.
This work is being done for a period of one month as smoothly as the doctor operated on the patient. This work is done in the monastery every day from 8 to 11 in the morning. It involves five people, like Sudan, who paint letters and four people who mix the pages of a book.
Now let’s talk about wisdom.
In Prajnaparamita, Pragya means ‘wisdom’ and Parmita means ‘perfection’. In Mahayana Buddhism, Prajnaparamita is considered as an important scripture, which means – the perfection of the intellect.
In all the countries of the world where Mahayana Buddhism has spread, there is not only a philosophical significance, but also a cultural and practical significance among the Buddhists. It contains essential elements of the Bodhisattva path. The main purpose of its lessons and practice is to attain enlightenment.
The knowledge that Gautama Buddha gave discourses to 1,350 monks 2500 years ago is mentioned in 8,000 verses. This book was prepared by Ananda Bhikshu during the reign of King Abhay Malla. It mentions a place called ‘Tapit Nagar’. Guthiyars have speculated that this may be Kashmir, but they do not know exactly where it is from.
According to legend, the bride entered the house of a Brahmin in Tapit Nagar after getting married. He did not know much about the new place. It is unclear where to go to the toilet in the morning. She defecated in the shrine. It has turned into gold.
The word spread through one ear, two ears. Later, all the Brahmins started defecating their newlyweds in the Yajna. Gold was scattered from house to house. Texts were written in gold.
To a pious person, this work was not feeling well. When it was said that it was against the religion, he came out of the city carrying all the scriptures. As soon as he came out, the city caught fire.
Later, the Yashodhar Maha Vihar of Bubhal in Patan was brought there for security. Mahavihar’s daughter got married and brought him to the Golden Temple as a dowry. There is a statement that the same scripture is Prajnaparamita.
In most of the monasteries in the Kathmandu Valley, the manuscript of the Prajnaparamita Sutra is preserved, which is written in Ranjana or prevalent script. There is wisdom in Ukubahal, Bubhal and other places of Patan.
Sudanaratna has heard that there is wisdom written by gold in Ukubahal, but he has not seen it with his own eyes. He says there is no gold in Bubahal.
Similarly, places like Itumbahal, Bhagwan Bahal, Piganni in Kathmandu also have wisdom.
The wisdom in the Golden Temple is more special than anywhere else. Elsewhere, this book is displayed and recited only in the ninth month of Nepal Sambat, Gunla. The Golden Temple, on the other hand, has daily lessons except for a few hours.
Heritage and culture conservation engineer Alok Siddhi Tuladhar speculates that the practice of daily lessons may have continued in other places as well as in the Golden Temple, but may have been stopped.
‘Daily lessons are a challenging task in themselves. On top of that, from the point of view of security of the text, there may not be a daily text, ‘he said.
As it is a daily lesson, the sheets are damaged when touched and flipped by hand. Therefore, the text has been revised every three years at the time of Malmas.
It is not a rule that should be done in Malmas. But, Malmas is a time when good deeds and worship are not considered good. At this time, the gurus who read the scriptures and the guthiyars who protect them are at leisure. They say it’s a good time to renovate, since daily lessons are interrupted.
This year, there is one month of malmas from 2nd September. Guthiyars, meanwhile, say the text can be restored.
Although it is 795 years old than today, it is mentioned that it was renovated about 400 years ago during the reign of Siddhinar Singh Malla. It has been about 20 years since continuous renovation started. Sudanratna has been involved in the restoration of wisdom since that time.
He is a carpenter by profession. He says that he was called by the guthiyars after learning the skill of Ranjana script.
The difficulty of renovating in the early days is fresh to Sudan. Even though they knew the Ranjana script, the wisdom that had not been restored for a long time was new to them. The letters written in the text and the letters they knew were not easily understood. Due to the same confusion, it initially took two months to renovate.