– globalbihari bureau
New Delhi: Mongolian Kanjur, the Buddhist canonical text in 108 volumes is considered to be the most important religious text in Mongolia. In the Mongolian language ‘Kanjur’ means ‘Concise Orders’- the words of Lord Buddha in particular. It is held in high esteem by the Mongolian Buddhists and they worship the Kanjur at temples and recite the lines of Kanjur in daily life as a sacred ritual. The Kanjur are kept almost in every monastery in Mongolia.Mongolian Kanjur has been translated from Tibetan. The language of the Kanjur is Classical Mongolian.The Mongolian Kanjur is a source of providing a cultural identity to Mongolia.
During the socialist period, xylographs were consigned to flames and monasteries were bereft of their sacred scriptures.During 1956-58, Professor Raghu Vira obtained a microfilm copy of the rare Kanjur manuscripts and brought them to India. And, the Mongolian Kanjur in 108 volumes was published in India in 1970s by Prof. Lokesh Chandra, former Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha).
Now, the Indian Ministry of Culture has taken up the project of reprinting of 108 volumes of Mongolian Kanjur under the National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM). The first set of five volumes of Mongolian Kanjur published under the NMM was presented to the President of India Ram Nath Kovind on the occasion of Guru Purnima, also known as Dharma Chakra Day, on July 4, 2020. Another such set was then handed over to Gonching Ganbold, Ambassador of Mongolia to India by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Ministry of Culture and Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Ministry of Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel.
All the 108 volumes of the Mongolian Kanjur are expected to be published by March, 2022, the Ministry stated on Thursday.
It may be mentioned that historical interaction between India and Mongolia goes back centuries. Buddhism was carried to Mongolia by Indian cultural and religious ambassadors during the early Christian era. As a result, today, Buddhists form the single largest religious denomination in Mongolia.
India established formal diplomatic relations with Mongolia in 1955. The publication of Mongolian Kanjur by the Government of India for the Government of Mongolia would act as a symbol of cultural symphony between India and Mongolia and would also contribute to furtherance of bilateral relations during the coming years, the ministry stated.