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Two rare Nepali manuscripts in UNESCO list:

Two rare manuscripts — Nisvasattatvasamhita, the earliest surviving tantric manuscript, and Susrutasamhita, the oldest document in the field of Ayurveda — from Nepal have been added to the prestigious list recognising documentary heritage of outstanding value of the UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.

These are the maiden manuscripts from Nepal in the world-renowned register of UNESCO, UNESCO Kathmandu Office said. Axel Plathe, UNESCO representative to Nepal, in a press release today congratulated Nepal for the feat.

“I am confident that their inclusion in the register contributes to creating greater awareness of the need to preserve Nepal’s memory held in the country’s archives and libraries,” he said. The two manuscripts are among 54 new additions to the Memory of the World Register, approved yesterday by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

The Nisvasattatvasamhita, which is deposited at the National Archives, is said to be the earliest surviving tantric manuscript and as such it is an important source for the early history of tantrism. It has had a great influence in shaping other tantric texts. Tantrism has had impact on many major Asian religions and even influenced Islam practised in India. The Western World has been influenced by tantras through the practice of yoga, which has its roots in tantrism as well as through the New Age groups in America.

The 1,134-year-old palm leaf manuscript of the Susrutasamhita, held by the Keshar Library in Kathmandu, is considered the oldest document in the field of Ayurveda medicine, a systematic and formal tradition of healing that became South Asia’s principal medical system and has profoundly influenced all cultures surrounding South Asia, including Tibet, Central Asia, China, South-East Asia and the Middle East. The manuscript focuses especially on surgery and discusses diseases related to heart, skin and gynecology, among others. It also describes methods and use of herbs in curing diseases.

The Memory of the World Register now includes a total of 299 documents and document collections from the five continents, safeguarded on various supports from stone to celluloid and parchment to sound recordings. UNESCO established the Memory of the World Programme in 1992. The impetus came from a growing awareness of the parlous state of preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage in many parts of the world.

Source: The Himalayan Times

 

Susrutamhita (Sahottartantra) manuscript

Documentary heritage submitted by Nepal and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2013.

© Kaiser Library
Susrutamhita (Sahottartantra) manuscript.

A 1134 year old palm leaf manuscript, considered as the oldest document in the field of Ayurveda medicine, a systematic and formal tradition of healing that became South Asia's principal medical system and has profoundly influenced all cultures surrounding South Asia including Tibet, Central Asia, China, South-East Asia and the Middle East. The manuscript focuses especially on surgery and discusses various kinds of diseases related to heart, skin, gynecology, etc. It also describes various methods and use of herbs in curing diseases.

  • Year of submission: 2012
  • Year of inscription: 2013
  • Country: Nepal
  • Kaiser Library

Nomination Form

Niśvāsattatvasaṃhitā Manuscript

Documentary heritage submitted by Nepal and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2013.

© National Archives
Niśvāsattatvasaṃhitā Manuscript.

The earliest surviving tantric manuscript and as such it is important source for the early history of tantrism. It has had a great influence in shaping other tantric texts. Tantrism has had impact on many major Asian religions and even influenced Islam practiced in India. The Western World has been influenced by tantras through the practice of yoga, which has its roots in tantrism (Bjonnes) as well as through the New Age groups in America.

  • Year of submission: 2012
  • Year of inscription: 2013
  • Country: Nepal

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During the last days of the rana regime, Kaiser Shumshere was the lord saheb in-charge of the nepalese army. Right from his very young age of 15 or 16 Kaiser Shumshere was interested in buying and collecting different types of books and newspapers. In that very young age he also got a chance to visit England with his father Maharaja Chandra. He was very much impressed by the ruling system of England, as well as by the library system and the proper management of books there. Book collection was his hobby and his visit to Britain & British libraries led to increase the number of his books and change in the structure of his own library. From England, he bought & brought with him many books to Kathmandu. Even though the books in his library grew in number they were his personal property and ordinary people didn’t get chance to read them or to have an access to his library. the library was limited to the members of his family, special people of the nation and special visitors from abroad. it remained personal for many years even after the revolution of 2007 b.s. (1950 a.d.) which introduced democracy in Nepal. before his death in 2021 b.s. (1964 a.d.) he wished to hand over his library to the government, thereby making it a national property so that everybody could get the benefit out of it. according to her hiness krishna chandra devi rana was taken over by the government of nepal, and since the year 2026 b.s. (1969 a.d.) it is running under the name of kaiser library.

Location

The Kaiser library is situated in the Kaiser mahal a central city of kathmandu valley, and right in front of the western gate of the narayan hiti royal palace . kaiser mahal was the residence of late field marshal kaiser shamsher jung bahadur rana son of the late prime minister chandra shamsher jung bahadur rana.the kaiser library itself is unique in terms of art, architecture, cultural heritage, photographs, and paintings mingled at one place.