Prof. Georgios T. Halkias

Notes on the Earliest Tibetan Buddhist Canons

During the times of the Tibetan empire, the earliest records that catalogued Buddhist scriptures, predominantly translated from Sanskrit to Tibetan, played a crucial role in preserving and classifying many of the texts currently found in the Tibetan Buddhist canons. The empire’s adoptation of Buddhism was inseparable from the project of religious conversion and the bureaucratic mechanisms that were established to monitor the registration, classification and standardization of Buddhist texts, doctrines, and practices. This talk will draw from the contents of the last imperial catalogue of Buddhist works in Tibetan translation, the dkar chag ’phang thang ma, to shed light on the formation and contents of the earliest Tibetan canons, as well as their role in facilitating the transmission and dissemination of Buddhist teachings across the Tibetan Empire.