As part of his 2012 summer tour the Dalai Lama will visit Manchester on June 16, 17 and 18. During these three days he will address an audience of thousands, both Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike, at the Manchester Evening News Arena.
In anticipation of his visit I’ll be sharing with you some wonderful objects from our Tibetan collection and their associated stories. Over the next several weeks you’ll see a fascinating array of objects, and to begin with we have a stone upon which a six-syllable mantra, or spell, has been shallowly carved.
Stones like this were used as offerings at, and to build walls between, Buddhist shrines.The inscribed mantra could be invoking Tara, the female wisdom partner of the Bodhisattva of compassion Avalokitesvara.
The stone was purchased by the Museum in 1938 from Professor V B Meyer along with other objects in his possession from India, Burma and Sri Lanka. Each of the objects include examples of various scripts and it’s likely Meyer specialised in Asian languages. Whether he actually visited Tibet is not entirely clear.