Special Collections

NTI Library’s collection houses a number of special items that have been received through generous donations. On request, both the special items and the archive can be viewed within the library space under staff supervision.

Tibetan Dragon Sutra

Also known as the Tibetan Kanjur (bKa’-‘gyur), the Dragon Sutra contains 1,100 individual texts in Classical Tibetan, and is a complete collection of all canonical texts in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

A few editions of the Dragon Sutra exist. This set is a reproduction of an edition commissioned by Emperor Kangxi in 1669. The original was written in gold ink on dark blue paper and took 70 years to complete. It is currently housed in the Taiwan National Palace Museum.

This reproduction is one of only 210 copies produced by the museum and is made up of 108 volumes. This set was generously donated to Nan Tien Institute. It’s one of very few complete sets of the Dragon Sutra in Australia, and the only copy of this edition.

Sanskrit Lotus Sutra Manuscript from the National Archives of Nepal (No. 4-21), Facsimile Edition (1998)

The Lotus Sutra is one of the most popular sutras from the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, a school of Buddhism that developed in East Asia. It’s considered one of the key texts containing the teachings of the Buddha.

This is a facsimile reproduction of the palm leaf Sanskrit Lotus Sutra manuscript, held in the National Archives of Nepal. Like the original, this reproduction is loose leaf with each leaf reproduced on 190 separate sheets. The reproduction was created in Tokyo in 1998, and was generously donated to Nan Tien Institute.

Xia Jing Shan’s Collection of Buddhist Images

This set was donated to Nan Tien Institute by the Abbess of Nan Tien Temple after one of her visits to China. The 80 volumes contain reproductions of artist Xia Jing Shan’s Buddhist figures and calligraphy.

Xia Jing Shan is largely known for his innovative take on the traditional Taoist and Buddhist style. He studied under artist Guo Weiqu in the early 20th Century before embracing Buddhism and spending parts of his life in Taiwan, the US and China. Each volume of this set is an accordion book; between the wooden covers is a single sheet of paper that unfolds to reveal the paintings inside.

Gift (Offering) of Incense Cloud

This book was produced by the Chengguan Art Museum in Chengguan, China, and contains the museum’s vast collection of works by contemporary artist Yinsheng Zhan.

Traditional Chinese artists mastered four elements: painting, calligraphy, poetry and the red seal, which acts as a signature in traditional Chinese artwork. Zhan uses all four elements in his work, in the hope of bringing history back into the present. Zhan’s poetry covers Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism. He is also a master of Chinese mountain-water paintings, many of which can be found within this book.

Humanistic Buddhism Collection

Humanistic Buddhism, as taught by Master Hsing Yun, is a key area of interest for Nan Tien Institute. Visit the Humanistic Buddhism Centre to learn more about Humanistic Buddhism.

The Humanistic Buddhism collection has been generously donated by Fo Guang Shan, and is made up of hundreds of volumes including sutras, histories, commentaries, research journals, translated texts and more. The larger sets are held in Library Storage, but are searchable in the Library Catalogue and can be accessed via staff request. The cornerstone of this collection is the collected works of Master Hsing Yun, head of the Fo Guang Shan order.

NTI Library’s is the largest collection of Humanistic Buddhism texts in Australia.

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