Books of the Perfection of Wisdom were worshiped as sacred objects and personified as the Goddess of Wisdom, Prajnaparamita, the mother of all Buddhas.
The colophon at the end of the manuscript indicates that a monk from Nepal named Aryashrimittra traveled to a monastic university in India, where he commissioned this copy of a sacred Buddhist philosophical text. He then brought it with him back to Nepal, where Nepalese artists added paintings of Buddhist goddesses and bodhisattvas. The movement of monks and manuscripts between India and Nepal was the primary mechanism for the transmission of Buddhism to the Himalayas. This manuscript was an object of worship, once venerated alongside sacred Buddhist images. Devotional materials applied during ritual worship remain on the top of the book cover.
Manuscript of the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines (Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita-sutra)
Sunday, September 14, 1119 (year 239 of the Newar Samvat in the month of Ashvina)
Eastern India, Bihar, Vikramashila Monastery. Paintings: Nepal, Kathmandu
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