In July 1999, a Japanese research team accidentally located a 9th century Sanskrit manuscript of the Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra in the Potala at Lhasa. Having heard nothing since, I wonder if anyone knows what has become of this?
Ooops! Answered my own question. The work has been published in three volumes by Taisho University (for 13,000 Yen, plus shipping). Want to buy a set? Click here.
This is roughly $111.65, for three paperbacks in a slipcase. There are two ways to think about this. One, the Japanese exploited a Buddhist treasure, or two, at least the text is now available to a wide audience. As for me, I would love to have this (Vimalakirtinirdesa is a lifelong study for me), but I do not have $111.65.
I really respect Robert Thurman. The text of his English translation of the Vimalakirti-nirdesa-sutra is freely available on the Web, or if you like, you can purchase a copy of the published work in the conventional manner.