Manuscripts Found in the Abode of the Venerable Abbot Phra Khamchan Virachitto Vat Saen Sukharam, Luang Prabang, Laos
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/11837
First published on GoeScholar 2014
DORISEA working paper; 14
For Laos, like for other countries of Buddhist Southeast Asia, manuscripts can be considered as an important primary source for the reconstruction of the intellectual history of this culturally rich region. Manuscripts with texts pertaining to Buddhist teachings have been stored in monastic libraries or in the abodes of eminent abbots for centuries. One of the most influential abbots who took a very personal interest in manuscripts was Venerable Phra Khamchan Virachitto (Sathu Nyai Khamchan) (1920–2007). After his death, a variety of manuscripts were found in his abode (Pāli: kuti). A great number of these manuscripts state that he had written or scribed them himself to commemorate important events in his life. He kept some of these manuscripts for his private use. These manuscripts also reflect the relationship between Lao Buddhism and manuscripts. First of all, a monastery functions as a centre of knowledge, which is recorded in various types of manuscripts. Monks, novices and unordained Buddhist scholars have access to these manuscripts. In various religious ceremonies, monks and novices read the Buddhist texts (Lao: thet – ເທດ), written as manuscripts, to laypeople. Thus, manuscripts are one of the main components of a monastery.