About a Manuscript by D. Ravjaa

About a Manuscript by D. Ravjaa

Maria Petrova

(53rd Annual Meeting of the PIAC, St. Petersburg 2010)

In 1985, being a special student at Mongolian State University in Ulan-Bator I went to an old market, called zah and bought a manuscript for 20 tugrugs.

It is written in old Mongolian script with black and red inks on Chinese paper. It is 32,5 cm x 7 cm and consists of 12 two-sided sheets. On the face sheet one can easily read the following Cag-un Jim-a yi Todorhaulugci Cagasun Sibagau hemegdehu Sastir orosiba. Cug sayin Amugulang boltugai”. That means “Here is a Piece of Advice called ‘The Kite which Explains the Laws at this Times’”. There are also some Tibetan script letters in black ink, used mostly like a decoration, on the face sheet of this manuscript. There are neither any seal or stamp, no sign of the author’s name. There is even no colophone at the end of the composition.

But later I’ve read this text very attentively and compared it with the text of a well-known didactic composition by the XIX century author D. Ravjaa under the same name (Равжаа Д. Цагийн жамыг тодруулагч цаасан шувуу. Үлэмжийн чанар. Сайншанд хот, 1991. X. 114–137.).

I’ve found out that both texts – in old Mongolian script and in Modern Cyrillic script are similar. That’s why I assume the right to consider D.Ravjaa the author of the manuscript which I’ve bought for 20 tugrugs.

Dulduitun Ravjaa (1803-1856) was a famous buddhist monk, poet and enlightener of the XIX century. He was bom in Gobi desert, where he spent most of his life and wrote most of his works. Nowadays about 20 didactic compositions, approximately 200 poems in Mongolian, 200 poems in Tibetan and one play, named “Life of a Moon Cuckoo Bird” are found. Among them this very didactic piece of advice or surgaal “The Kite which Explains the Laws at this Times”.