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Dissertation zugänglich unter
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:18-80391
URL: http://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/volltexte/2016/8039/


Buddhist Monks and their Search for Knowledge : an examination of the personal collection of manuscripts of Phra Khamchan Virachitto (1920–2007), Abbot of Vat Saen Sukharam, Luang Prabang

Buddhistische Mönche und ihr Streben nach Erkenntnis : eine Untersuchung der persönlichen Manuskriptsammlung von Phra Khamchan Virachitto (1920–2007), Abt des Klosters Vat Saen Sukharam, Luang Prabang

Sengsoulin, Bounleuth

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 Dokument 1.pdf (9.424 KB) 


SWD-Schlagwörter: Laos , Luang Prabang
Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): Lao manuscript , Bai Lan , Chia Sa
Basisklassifikation: 11.93 , 17.54
Institut: Asien-Afrika-Institut
DDC-Sachgruppe: Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie, Anthropologie
Dokumentart: Dissertation
Hauptberichter: Grabowsky, Volker (Prof. Dr.)
Sprache: Englisch
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 10.06.2016
Erstellungsjahr: 2016
Publikationsdatum: 05.09.2016
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: Pha Khamchan Virachitto (Sathu Nyai Khamchan) was born in 1920 at Ban Lakkham of Luang Prabang. He was ordained as a novice in 1934 in his home town, and a year later he left Luang Prabang for Bangkok for higher Buddhist studies. He was ordained as a monk in Luang Prabang in 1941 and eight years later he was appointed an abbot of Vat Saen Sukharam. After that, he was appointed a chief of the Sangha Organization of Luang Prabang province in 1954, and he maintained this position until he passed away in 2007. During his monkhood (1941–2007), Sathu Nyai Khamchan collected large numbers of manuscripts, photographs, books, printed materials, and Buddhist objects – forming a knowledgeable collection (intellectual property) of the Buddhists in Luang Prabang. After his passing away 416 manuscripts (palm-leaf 330, paper 86) were found in is abode.
This thesis comprises six chapters. Apart from the first and the last chapters, which are an introduction and a conclusion, the four other chapters are summarized as following. Chapter 2 (overview) covers three main subject matters: Lao Buddhism, Lao Buddhist Shangha, and Lao manuscript culture. The last matter – Lao manuscript culture – is the core of this part. A number of topics concerning the Lao manuscript is presented and discussed – such as writing materals, script, language, tools, initiators (sponsor, donor, and scribe), manuscript production and owner, colophon and classification.
Chapter 3 (knowledge related to religious subjects) is one of the two most essential parts of this study. This chapter discusses both canonical and non-canonical texts. With regard to insertions, notes, passages left in the manuscripts containing these texts, Sathu Nyai Khamchan was very interested in making, collection and preservation of manuscripts. He regularly examined all types of manuscripts under his control to make sure they were in good condition, and the folios were put in the correct order. In addition, he paid much attention to Patimokkha text, a set of 227 rules that govern the daily activities of the monks. He was a main contributor to the compilation of this text in the late 1950s.
Chapter 4 (knowledge related to secular subjects) is also one of the two most essential parts of this study. This chapter discusses non-religious texts; and most these texts seem not to be recoded as a single manuscript, but as a short text(s) left in a manuscript containing any kind(s) of texts. Furthermore, some notes and passages concerning secular subject matters appear in some manuscripts containing religious texts. Therefore, some manuscripts are referred to more than one time in this study, depending on their contents.
Chapter 5 (modernity reflected in manuscripts) is based upon Chapter 3 and Chapter 4. This chapter discusses following topics: revisions and additions (insertions), corrections, styles of writing manuscripts, and tools; all of them are new – comparing with the tradition of manuscript-inscribing/writing. One manuscript, entitled Anisong het bun vankoet (merit gained from organizing birthday celebration), was made for Sathu Nyai Khamchan by applying a typewriter. In addition, some palm leaves which are used as writing support seem not to be arranged as hand-made products, but modern industrial products. Briefly, even though the manuscripts are still regarded as sacred, they seem to be opened and allowed for being studied scientifically.
The study of manuscripts found in the abode of the venerable Abbot Sathu Nyai Khamchan Virachitto had shed new light on transmission traditional knowledge in a Lao monastic environment and has provided new insights in Lao manuscript culture, two rather neglected fields of research.

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