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About Kangyur (Ganjur)

Kangyur or Translations of Words

     The term Kangyur (Tib. bka' 'gyur) means literally "Word Translation. At the same time, it should be noted that here we are talking about the Words or instructions of a certain high-ranking person, an enlightened person or a saint. In the context of Buddhism, this collection refers, therefore, to the words or instructions of the Buddha, the Enlightened One. There is another version of such a collection, which is distributed in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. This variant is called Kama, which can be translated literally as "Words". However, in this work, the main collection under consideration is the canonical translation, which is called Kangyur. The texts of the collection presented here occupy an important place in the life of the practitioner, helping him to understand the essence of the state that he is trying to achieve while performing practices, rituals, and studying texts that deal with the view, behavior, and meditation.

     Currently, there are several editions of Kangyur, a brief description of which will be given later. It should be added that the main purpose of this work is not to be able to give a comparative description of text sources, but to catalog the texts themselves of one of them, based on the available version of the Derge edition. I also note that this work is not a translation of the volume, which indicates the entire content of the collection, but is a work that was carried out by checking for compliance with various catalogs and visual verification of the collection itself. The materials presented in this work show the content of the texts by chapter (which is useful for searching), the names of the texts, and the names of the translators. There are also some comments on the texts, since not all of them are actual Words spoken by the Shakyamuni Buddha.
     Before we begin to describe the collection of Kangyur editions of the Derge, let us turn to the description of the various editions of Kangyur.

Editions of Kangyur

     As mentioned above, Kangyur is practically a Canon of Tibetan Buddhism. It includes more than a thousand different texts, which can be attributed to different sections. Most of these texts were translated into Tibetan from Sanskrit, although some texts, as indicated in their description, were supplemented with Kashmiri and Chinese translations. There are also texts that were translated not from Sanskrit, but from other languages.
     As already mentioned, the term Kangyur refers to all these texts to the Buddha, the Enlightened One, which shows the importance of these works. In fact, the versions of the Canon may differ in each of the monasteries, and it is possible that there are some versions that are transmitted in small, family traditions, since many traditions and relatively small schools of Tibetan Buddhism are based on small sections of the scriptures that have their own line of transmission and are not always included in the" classical " Canon. Many of the versions of the Canon are not in the form of printed publications, but in handwritten form. There are also already versions of the Canon, which are presented in the form of an electronic version (Kangyur edition of Derge), which is posted on some sites in the public domain and is also available for purchase.
     It is generally believed that there are two main lines of transmission of Kangyur, which became the basis for most of the other editions. These are the lines: tshal pa and them spangs ma. However, in addition to them, you can find editorial offices that do not belong to them, being independent.
     It is known about the existence of more than ten variants of the collection of the Canon. All these variants differ to some extent in the texts presented in them. In general, they can be divided into five groups:
     1. Independent editions of Kangyur that do not belong to the two main lines;
     2. Tshalpa line Kangyur Line (tshal pa) - Beijing branch;
     3. The Kangyur branch of the Tshalpa line (tshal pa) – the Chhingwa Tagtse branch ( 'phying ba stag rtse);
     4. Editions of the Kangyur line of Them Pangma (them spang ma);
     5. Mixed editions.

Independent versions of Kangyur

     There are five versions of Kangyur that fall into this category. This:
1. A fragment of the Tabo manuscript. In fact, it represents texts that are prototypes of Kangyur. This collection is kept in the Tabo Monastery in western Tibet. It was compiled in the 13th century. It also contains texts, copies of which were found in the Dong Huang cave.
2. The Newark Meeting. This collection is located in Batang in Eastern Tibet and consists of only 23 volumes. Compiled in the 15th or 16th century.
3. The Orgyenling or Tawang Collection, which is located in the Tawang Monastery in Aruna Chal Pradesh, north-eastern India. Two copies of this collection are located in Tawang. Written in two types of ink. The first copy was made in the 16th century and is executed in gold and silver ink and is considered incomplete. The second copy was completed in 1699-1700. But this collection includes more Nyingma tantra texts than other Kangyur publications (60 vs. 18-19).
4. Phug-drag collection. A collection of the Canon compiled in Western Tibet in 1696-1706. A copy of this revision can now be found in the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala, India.
5. Gonghla collection. This collection dates from the second half of the 13th, the first half of the 14th centuries. Originally compiled in Gondhla, Lahul, Himachal Pradesh, India. It consists of 35 volumes of sutra texts, from which all texts related to the Perfection of Wisdom or Prajna Paramita are excluded. Only a small number of tantras are included in the collection.

Beijing Branch

     This branch, which belongs to the tshal pa line, contains five variants of the Kangyur assembly. This:
1. Woodcut edition of Kangyur, compiled in the time of the Yongle Emperor. It can be dated to 1410. It contains 106 volumes and is the first woodcut edition of this collection.
2. The editorial board, compiled in the time of the Wanli Emperor. It dates from 1605. It consists of 106 main and 43 additional volumes.
3. The Berlin Assembly. This is a collection compiled in 1608 based on the Beijing woodcuts of 1605. It is currently located in the Museum of Taipei, Taiwan.
4. The Beijing edition, prepared in 1684-92 during the time of the Kangzhi Emperor. It consists of 106 volumes (the 106th volume is the table of contents). This collection is, in fact, a repetition of the Yongle collection with corrections based on the Kangyur of the Lithang edition. It was published twice and contained 106 volumes and a volume of contents
5. Beijing woodblock print, prepared in 1737 during the time of Emperor Kuanlong. It consists of 107 volumes and a volume of contents. It is a reprint edition of the Kanji collection.

Chingwa Tagtse Branch

     This branch contains three collections of Kangyur. This:
1. Kangyur, Lithang or ‘jang sat ham. It dates from 1609-1614. It consists of 108 volumes. The collection is named after the locality.
2. Kone woodcut. It is a complete copy of the Lithang collection. It dates from 1721-1731. It consists of 108 volumes.
3. Kangyur-Derge. Initially, it was based on the Lithang edition, but then it was supplemented with other materials. Therefore, it refers more to mixed versions of Kangyur.

Them Pangma Line

     This version contains four versions of Kangyur. This:
1. Collection of the edition of Ulaanbaatar. Compiled before 1671. Sometimes referred to as a mixed type of meeting (see Urge).
2. The London Manuscript. It is a copy of the Kangyur from the Shel Dkar monastery in southern Tibet. It dates from 1712.
3. A manuscript from the palace of Tog (stog). Compiled in Ladakh, northwest India. The Tog Palace has been located since 1729. It consists of 109 volumes.
4. The Kawaguchi Manuscript.

Mixed editions.

     This version contains five variants of Kangyur. This:
1. Woodcut editor Narthang. It is a combination of volumes of manuscripts of the Chhingwa Tagtse line, the shel dkar area and the Them-pangma line. Dated 1730-32. It consists of 100 volumes and a volume of content.
2. Woodcut edition of Derge. This assembly is mainly based on the Lithang assembly (Tshal-pa line). However, some inclusions are made here from the Kangyur locality of Lho (lho. Them Pangma line). This edition was compiled in 1733 and consisted of 102 volumes and a volume of contents. Currently, the Kangyur of this edition can be found on the Internet as a resource available for download, and can be ordered, i.e. purchased in the form of several CD-ROMs.
3. Woodcut of the Urga editorial office. It dates from 1908-1910. It consists of 104 volumes and a volume of contents. It is, in fact, a copy of the collection of the editorial board of Derge. Additionally, the texts of the Beijing edition are included there.
4. Woodcut edition of Lhasa. Based on the Narthang edition and some additions taken from the Derge edition. It dates back to 1934. It consists of 99 volumes and a volume of content.
5. Mixed edition. This edition, distributed by Dharma Publishing, is a combination of existing collections, which include texts that are not included in each of them. It consists of 120 volumes, as well as some supplements presented in Chinese (this is due to the fact that not all texts from the Words of the Enlightened One or from the Commentaries have been translated into Tibetan).

     This work does not specify the collections of Kangyur that were compiled in other countries or were translated into other languages (Mongolian, Russian, etc.).

Kangyur Structure

     Although initially the texts could not be divided into categories, but in the presented editions of Kangyur, such a division nevertheless exists. These categories are large sections where texts of a certain orientation are included. In general, all texts can be divided into the following groups: moral discipline, improvement of wisdom, paritta, assembly of the enlightened, accumulation (or mountain) of jewels, sutra, tantra, tantra of old translations, commentary on Kalachakra tantra, dharani, benevolence.

Structure of collection of Derge Edition and record structure

     At present, several editions of the Kangyur collection are known, as shown above. What is surprising is not so much that they differ in size, but that they can even differ in translations or just the records of texts themselves, which can sometimes lead to misunderstandings. It should also be taken into account that, although this collection is called Word Translations, not all texts can be actually spoken by Shakyamuni. This can be seen from the fact that many texts have a completely different orientation, representing collections of various kinds of enumerations of matrices, etc., which cannot be attributed to the actual words of the Buddha.
     As mentioned earlier, only one collection will be presented in this work – the collection of the Derge editorial board. In general, it can be divided into the following categories:
     Vinaya or moral discipline. Volumes 1-13
     Prajna-paramita or Perfection of Wisdom. Volumes 14-34
     Paritta. Volume 34
     Avatamsaka. Volumes 35-38
     Ratnakuta or the Mountain of Jewels. Volumes 39-44
     Sutra. Volumes 45-76
     Tantra. Volumes 77-96
     Tantras of the Nyingma Tantra. Volumes 97-99
     Section of the dharani. Volumes 100-101
     Commentary on the Kalachakra Tantra. The Wheel of Time. Volume number 102
     Catalog. Volume 103

     The tantra section can also be divided into four parts:
     Annutara-yoga-tantra. Volumes 77-83
     Yoga-tantra. Volumes 84-86 (before text 493)
     Charya tantra. Volumes 86-87 (before text 501)
     Kriya tantra. Volumes 87-96

     Although this division of the collection may be acceptable in general, it is also somewhat conditional, since many texts are sometimes presented in different sections at the same time. And you can also find cases where the text is repeated repeatedly in one section.
     As for the translations of the texts themselves, the texts of the Sarma tradition or the New One are different from the texts of the Nyingma tradition or the Old One. As stated in the history of Buddhism compiled by Boutin, the texts of the Nyingma tradition cannot be reliably attributed to Buddhism, being more Hindu. Examples of such differences will be presented below.
     It should also be noted that there are significant discrepancies regarding the texts presented in the catalog and recorded in the volumes. The discrepancies in most cases relate to the arrangement of texts and the arrangement of sections of texts.
     Next, you will see a catalog of texts with an indication of the translator, the number of chapters and sections, and the names of some chapters. Everything will be grouped by the specified sections with pages, volumes, etc. The texts will be grouped not in alphabetical order, but by location in the collection. The numbering of the texts presented here will be end-to-end, i.e. it will represent the number of the text in the collection, except in some special cases.
     In some cases, the numbering will change, as for example in the description of the section "Mountain of jewels". This will be due to the fact that although the texts in the section itself may differ, they are considered chapters of one large text, and therefore will be numbered as its components. The second case when this is possible is when the text is included in the collection two or three times, as for example in the case of some spells-dharani, some sutras and tantras. In such cases, double numbering is possible. On the one hand, this will show the total number of the text in the collection, on the other hand, it can show just the number of the text in the section. In the appendix, at the end of the text, there will be a table of repeated texts, since many of them are repeated in a particular section.


И хотя в общем такое разделение собрания может быть приемлемым, но также в какой-то мере является условным, поскольку многие тексты представлены иногда в разных разделах одновременно. А также можно встретить и такие случаи, что текст повторяется неоднократно в одном разделе.

Что же касается переводов самих текстов, то тексты традиции Сарма или Новой отличаются от текстов традиции Ньингма или Старой. Как было сказано в истории буддизма, составленной Бутёном, тексты традиции Ньингма не могут быть достоверно приписанными буддизму, будучи в большей мере индуизмом. Примеры таких различий будут представлены далее.

Также следует отметить, что есть значительные расхождения относительно текстов, представленных в каталоге и записанных в томах. Расхождения в большинстве случаев касаются расположения текстов и расположения разделов текстов.

Далее будет представлен каталог текстов с указанием переводчика, количества глав и разделов, названий некоторых глав. Все будет сгруппировано по указанным разделам с указанием страниц, томов и пр. Тексты будут сгруппированы не в алфавитном порядке, а по местонахождению в собрании. Нумерация текстов, представленная здесь, будет сквозной, т.е. она будет представлять номер текста в собрании, кроме некоторых особенных случаев.



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