Ngor Mandala Collection
Scholars of the Ngor Monastery belonging to the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism started to compose a systematic work of theories and practices of Indian and Tibetan mandalas in 1870 and finished its publication by 1894. The title of this work is the rgyud sde kun btus (Collection of the Tantras), which consists of thirty-two volumes. The work was reprinted in India during 1971 and 1972.
Probably shortly after the completion of the compilation of texts at the Ngor Monastery, Tibetan artists began to draw mandala pictures according to the description given in those texts. Rev. bSod nams rgya mtsho, a former abbot of the Ngor Monastery, told once that three sets of the mandala pictures of the rGyud sde kun btus were painted. One of the three sets was reprinted by
Rev. bSod nams rgya mtsho from Kobansha in 1983.
Dr. Lokesh Chandra published a set of line drawings of the Ngor Maˆd.ala Collection in 1967. The set of mandala collection used for the line drawings has been reproduced in this volume. This set seems to be the second set out of the three sets. As for the third set, nothing clear is known.
No one can deny that the Ngor Mandala Collection is one of the most authoritative Tibetan mandala collections.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Prof. Lokesh Chandra is a renowned scholar of Tibetan, Mongolian and Sino-Japanese Buddhism. He has to his credit over 400 works and text editions. Among them are classics like his Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary, Materials for a History of Tibetan Literature, Buddhist Iconography of Tibet, and the present Dictionary of Buddhist Iconography in 15 volumes. Prof. Lokesh Chandra was nominated by the President of the Republic of India to the Parliament in 1974-80 and again in 1980-86. He has been a Vice-President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relation, and Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research. Presently he is Director, International Academy of Indian Culture.
Musashi Tachikawa is Professor Emeritus at the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan, and Professor at Aichi Gakuin University, Nagoya, (Ph.D). His publications include the Structure of the World of Udayana’s Realism (Reidel, 1980), Introduction to the Philosophy of Nagarjuna (Motilal, 1997), Five Hundred Buddhist Deities (Adroit, 2000), Three Hundred Sixty Buddhist Deities (Adro, 2001).
Sumie Watanabe is graduate student of Aichi Gakuin University, Nagoya, Japan, M.A. Aichi Gakuin University (1975).