The original is written entirely in gold -- pure gold -- on 50,000 leaves in 108 volumes. This year, a reproduction will be released in honor of the centennial of the Republic of China -- the culmination of a thirty year publishing project.
We are speaking of the so-called "Tibetan Dragon Sutra," actually the Kagyur, commissioned by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing dynasty in 1669, and now on display at Taiwan's magnificent National Palace Museum.
In 1992, while visiting Taiwan for the holidays, I was honored to be given a private tour of the museum by the director and his staff. During the tour, they showed me this collection, which was then in the process of being photographed -- a precise technical task that ultimately took seven years. I was awestruck. These are some of the most beautiful books ever produced in this world.
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