Context: The Ministry of Culture has taken up the project of reprinting 108 volumes of Mongolian Kanjur under the National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM). 

More on the news:

  • Recently, the first set of five volumes of Mongolian Kanjur published under the NMM was presented to the President of India on the occasion of Guru Purnima, also known as Dharma Chakra Day (on 4th July 2020). 
  • It is expected that all the 108 volumes of the Mongolian Kanjur will be published by 2022.

About NMM: 

  • The National Mission for Manuscripts was launched in 2003 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
  • Mandate: Documenting, conserving and disseminating the knowledge preserved in the manuscripts. 
  • Objective: 
    • To publish rare and unpublished manuscripts so that the knowledge enshrined in them is spread to researchers, scholars and the general public at large. 
    • Under this scheme, reprinting of 108 volumes of Mongolian Kanjur has been taken up by the Mission. 

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 in almost 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.

India and Mongolia:

  • 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.
    • Since then, the overwhelming relationship between both the countries has now reached a new height. 

The publication of Mongolian Kanjur by the Government of India for the Government of Mongolia will act as a symbol of cultural symphony between India and Mongolia and will contribute to furtherance of bilateral relations during the coming years.


Image Source: PIB