Manuscripts at Wat Ratchasittharam

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A handlist of manuscripts at Wat Ratchasittaram is now available [PDF, 257kb]

The libraries of Wat Ratchasittaram in Thonburi Bangkok contain historically significant materials. While the main temple library has been surveyed by Shimizu Yohei (2009), a small but in part highly significant collection of manuscripts, some brought to Wat Ratchasittharam by Suk Kaitheun after the sack of Ayutthaya in 1767, is preserved in the private library of Venerable Phrakhrusangharak Veera Thanaveero, the head monk of Division 5. The significance of some of the manuscripts in his collection, apart from their age and historical role, is that they record evidence for the pre-reform, borān kammatthāna, meditation tradition of Thailand (and much of the remainder of the Theravada world). Aware of this, a small team of scholars visited Ven. Veera in 2011 and sought permission to photograph some of these manuscripts. In the event, Ven Veera offered a total of 73 mss to be recorded by the visitors and subsequently asked them to take responsibility for making the resulting digital images accessible to academic scholarship. For this reason a handlist of these manuscripts is available here. Digital images of the mss are held by the project members and can be obtained from them for the purposes of research.

These manuscripts were photographed as part of the umbrella project Traditional Theravada by a team of researchers from the Revealing Hidden Collections project based at Bodleian Library, the University of Oxford. The research team is indebted to the generous permission and support given by Venerable Phrakhrusangharak Veera Thanaveero. He has studied the kammathān manuscripts in his care for the last 20 years and has shared with the research team his knowledge and enthusiasm for these materials.

The 73 manuscripts recorded in this list were photographed with the permission of Venerable Phrakhrusangharak Veera Thanaveero at Division 5, Wat Ratchasittharam, Soi Issaraphab 23, Wat Arun Sub District, Bangkok Yai District, Bangkok 10600, Thailand between 1st and 17th September 2011. This is a provisional handlist of this digital record (September 2011) and will be subject to revision before final deposit. This handlist was compiled by Dr Phibul Choompolpaisal, with the assistance of Dr Andrew Skilton.

Shimizu, Yohei. 2009. ‘Wat Ratchasittharamが所蔵する貝葉写本 :

Phra Pariyatti School内の写本調査から A Report on the Palm-leaf

Manuscript Collection at Phra Pariyatti School of Wat Ratchasittharam

Temple, Thailand’. Journal of Pali and Buddhist Studies (23), 93-114.

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