VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Daebanggwangbul Avatamsaka Sutra Vol. 1
GPM-3483
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This scroll is National Treasure No. 256. It is the first of an 80-volume set translated by Shananda during the Tang Dynasty of China. It is produced in woodblock printing on mulberry paper. In this scroll, one stroke is deleted from the character, ‘respect’. Each page has 23 lines, and each line has 14 characters. This is unlike the Tripitaka Koreana that remains today at Haein-sa Temple in which each page has 24 lines of 17 characters. The character ‘stick’ is used to mark pages. There is no record of publication. These are typical characteristics of the Tripitaka. This is the only existing first volume of Daebanggwangbul Avatamsaka Sutra, printed as part of the Tripitaka. As such, it is valuable material for study of the Tripitaka, printed in the 11th century.

History of the Object
Daebanggwangbul Avatamsaka Sutra is also called by its short name - Avatamsaka Sutra. The main idea in this Buddhist scripture is that the Buddha and all other living things are not two, but one. Along with the Lotus Sutra, this principal scripture of the Avatamsaka Sutra is one of the books that has the greatest influence in the establishment of Korean Buddhist philosophy. It is a part of the Original Tripitaka which was made during the reign of King Hyeonjong (1011-1031) of the Goryeo Dynasty in an attempt to counter aggression by the barbarian Khitan tribe who lived in the North-east of China with the help of the power of Buddha. This book is produced by woodblock printing on mulberry papers. It is joined together in a row and designed to be stored in the form of a scroll. The scroll is 1223.5 cm long and 28.5 cm wide. There are several differences between the Tripitaka Original and the Tripitaka at Haeinsa Temple (also known as the Tripitaka Second or the Tripitaka Koreana), which were produced later. The former carved woodblocks are more sophisticated than the latter.

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Type
Print 
Materials
paper, ink 
Measurements
Width 28.5 Length 1223.5  
Creator name
unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Korea 
Geography
Korea 
Time period
AD 11th century ~ AD 11th century 
Creation date
11th Century; Goryeo Dynasty 
Function
Buddhist Scripture 
Acquisition
Acquired in 1997 by the Gyeonggi Provincial Museum from Gyeong-tae Ha, a collector. It is probably from an old temple. This is one of the National Treasures in the museum. It is expected to raise our museum's stature. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Gyeonggi Provincial Museum 
Museum
Gyeonggi Provincial Museum 
Credit line
 

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