Tuesday 14 February 2023

15 January, 2023
18.00 GMT (UTC)

recording of

Serendipitous Manuscripts: 

Karma Pakshi’s Memoirs, Past Lives, and Poetry

YouTube video link

 In researching the life/lives and writings of an acknowledged primary mover for the beginnings of the ‘Living Buddha’ reincarnate lamas tradition of Tibet – a tradition which famously culminated in the rule of the Dalai Lamas for 300 years – 3 manuscripts were crucial in informing the lives and writings of Karma Pakshi (1204-1283), accredited as the major influence in the early development of this tradition. The manuscripts were accessed by fortuitous circumstances. The three manuscripts – each of them has illustrations – are to be presented, described and discussed. 


Tuesday 26 April 2022


a collection of writings and translations 
by Tsering D. Gonkatsang,
the beloved Gen-la for Tibetan Studies 
students & scholars at Oxford University

2017:     Armlet of the Pinnacle of the Noble Victory Banner:

         Locating Traces of Imperial Tibet in a Dhāraṇī in the British Museum

         by Michael Willis and Tsering Gonkatsang

1965:    A Song of Lhasa Memories

             composed by H.E Shelkar Lingpa at Darjeeling in 1911

             translated by Tsering Gonkatsang

2010    A Letter from the Dalai Lama

            by John Bray and Tsering D. Gonkatsang 

2016    Tibetan Woodblock Printing: An Ancient Art and Craft

            by Dungkar Lobzang Trinlé

            translated by Tsering Dhundup Gonkatsang

2015    The 'Miracle Patient' and the Revival of the Bodong Tradition in Exile

            by Tsering D Gonkatsang

2015    Worship of a Mountain Deity in the Shadow of Shar-dungri:

            Adaptation and Survival of the Sakya Community in Shar-khog area of Amdo

            by Tsering D. Gonkatsang

2003    Life of Itinerant Monks

            by Gedun Choephel

            translated by Tsering D. Gonkatsang

2009    The Ra Mo Che Temple, Lhasa, 

                and the Image of Mi bsKyod rDo rJe: The Narrative of Ri 'Bur sPrul sKu

            by Tsering Gonkatsang & Michael Willis

2008    The Symbolism of Tibetan Prayer Flags and Banners

            by Tsering D. Gonkatsang

2009    Three 19th Century Documents from Tibet 

            and the Lo Phyag Mission from Leh to Lhasa

            by John Bray & Tsering D. Gonkatsang

2011    Materia Medica of Tibetan Medicine

            Identification, Quality Check and Protection Measures

            by Dr Dawa, translation by Tsering D. Gonkatsang

(more to follow as time permits...)



Sunday 3 January 2021


Law & the Tibetan Empire

an exploration of a Tibetan manuscript @ British Library

by Charles Manson
(Bodleian Libraries & British Library)

Wednesday 8 July 2020

Dr Camillo Formigatti presentation @ British Library

Last February, 7-8 (2020)

@ the British Library conference on Buddhism:

Unlocking Buddhist Written Heritage

Dr Camillo Formigatti, 

John Clay Sanskrit Librarian 

@ Bodleian Libraries,

gave a presentation entitled

Translating Manuscripts from Sanskrit 
to Tibet and Vice-versa

The link below has his presentation as a video - 
the PowerPoint file synchronised with the sound recording:

In the 13th century, parallel to the emergence of Sa skya power in Tibet, the southern kingdom of Mang yul Gung thang witnessed a flourishing cultural activity. Particularly fruitful was the cultural exchange with Nepal under the aegis of Kublai Khan’s advisor’s ’Phags-pa Blo-gros-rgyal mtshan. The activity of two translators stands out for its huge cultural impact in pre-modern and modern Tibet. The Tibetan lo tsā ba Shong ston Rdo rje rgyal mtshan and the (probably) Nepalese paṇḍit Lakmīkara translated together several Sanskrit works into Tibetan, creating a new literary language. After a very brief introduction delineating the historical contours of Tibetan translations, the paper will focus on the context of translations from Sanskrit into Tibetan and the cultural exchange between Tibet and Nepal during this period.

Monday 8 June 2020

11 June, on Zoom

Updated release

Dan Martin & Yael Bentor's very useful 

Tibetan Histories: 
a Bibliography of Tibetan-Language Historical Works

has been updated and put online,
dedicated to the memory of E. Gene Smith