Chinese scholars will soon have collected and cleaned up all the ancient lections of Sagya, one of the four leading sects of Tibetan Buddhism, as part of an effort to protect and learn more about the precious cultural legacy in the area.
All the lections were piled up in a huge wall that is 60 meters long and 10 meters high at the Sagya Monastery in Sagya County, roughly 400 kilometers from Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in southwestern China.
It is said that as many as 84,000 scrolls of the ancient holy writings were stored in the wall. Nevertheless, no one knows any further details about them since they remained in place untouched for the past hundreds of years.
Buddhism scholars believe that the majority of the huge collection may be mainly Buddhism scripture and probably also covers a wide variety of realms including literature, history, philosophy, astronomy, mathematics and art.
Experts with the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences are expected to check and categorize for the first time the lections, which will provide a chance to learn more about the whole collection, said Cewang Junmei, president of the academy, on Friday.
The Sagya Monastery, a divine site of the sect from the very beginning, is made up of two parts: the northern part was built in 1073 and the southern part in 1268, according to Bandian Toinyu, director with the management committee of the monastery.
The monastery is also on the list of the cultural heritages to be repaired. The entire restoration project will cost approximately 80 million yuan (US$9.6 million) and so far 12.3 million yuan (US$1.5 million) has been materialized.
(Xinhua News Agency November 15, 2003)