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2 Nepali manuscripts added to UNESCO’s list

Khatmandu(PTI), 20th June, 2013: Two old Nepali manuscripts in the field of Ayurveda and Tantrism have been added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register, the UN body’s office here said.

Nepali manuscripts the ‘Nisvasattatvasamhita’ and the ‘Susrutasamhita’ that are, respectively, the earliest surviving tantric manuscript and the oldest document in the field of Ayurveda were added this week to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register, media reports said today.

Established in 1992, UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register is a list recognising documentary heritage of outstanding value. It now includes 299 documents and document collections from five continents.

The two manuscripts which are among 54 new additions to the register are the first inscriptions from Nepal in the register, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation added in a statement.

“I congratulate Nepal for the inscriptions of the two manuscripts in the Memory of the World Register.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,” Axel Plathe, UNESCO representative in Nepal was quoted as saying by Japanese news agency, Kyodo.

The 1,134 year-old palm leaf manuscript of the Susrutasamhita is considered the oldest document in the field of Ayurveda medicine, a healing tradition that became South Asia’s main medical system and also profoundly influenced cultures surrounding the region such as Tibet, Central Asia, China, South East Asia and the Middle East.

The Nisvasattatvasamhita, UNESCO said, 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 roots in tantrism (Bjonnes) as well as through the New Age groups in America,” the statement reads.

Other new documents that have got registered include The Life and Works of Ernesto Che Guevara presented by Bolivia and Cuba and Maha Lawkamarazein, or the Kuthodaw Inscription Shrines, presented by Myanmar.


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