In Tibetan Buddhism, books are the embodiment of the word of the Buddha, serving as his substitute after his passage into nirvana. They are therefore venerated and handled with the utmost respect. Elaborate book covers were commissioned to honor the Buddha, as well as to accrue good merit on the path to enlightenment. Protecting Wisdom features thirty-three book covers dating from the eleventh to the eighteenth century that represent the glorious iconographic array and non-figural decoration typical of these sacred items. Distinguished scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, Professor Donald Lopez will talk about the function, the meaning, and the artistry of these sacred objects that reflect an intense devotion to the Buddha and his teachings.
The program will begin in the Multipurpose Room.