The smallest sutra of Mongolia ‘Sutra of Great Deity Tara’

2018-11-17 14:53:47

The Sutra of Great Deity Tara is considered one of the smallest sutra in the world, containing the most characters on a single page.

The sutra has a total of 79 lines of text on the 5x4.7 cm of 5x5 cm paper and is handwritten in Tibetan script. It contains the Praise of the Green and White Tara wholly, with first four and middle seven lines written in red and the rest in black ink.

It was written in 1914 by Shagj Sangajav, one of the founders of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, the former Institute of Sutra Book and Chronicles, renowned scholar and lexicographer. S.Shagj wrote it on Russian paper in a good style and small print and presented it to the Jebtsundamba Khutugtu on the 8th lunar day of last autumn  month.

In early 80’s, academician Ts.Damdinsuren handed over the sutra to the National Library and placed it in a glass case in a shady room with sealed window.

With naked eyes, the sutra looks like a particolored paper. However, it is possible to read it with the help of double lens glass or microscope. The book is a special piece of masterpiece, and it is said that Shagj wrote it with a single animal hair on a sunny summer day, sealing the skylight (rooftop) of his yurt and leaving a small space to let the bright sunlight stream through it.

The Sutra of the Great Deity Tara, inscribed in the Asia-Pacific Register of the UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme in 2014, is kept in the Museum of Precious Rare Books at the National Library of Mongolia.