Monday, April 10, 2006

The Mongolian Legend of Molon Toyin









From the paucity of information around online about Yeke riti qubilγan tu molon toyin-u eke-yin ači-yi qariγuluγsan tuγuji bölüge ('Tale how the very miraculous Bodhisattva Molon toyin repaid to his mother good actions') it seems Molon Toyin was one of Buddha's 10 known disciples.

The classic Molon Toyin (Maudgalyāyana) legend has the pious monk making a descent into the underworld to rescue his mother. During his journey he encounters 8 hot and 8 cold versions of hell in which the damned are seen suffering their punishments. I gather the legend originates in Tibet with the first Mongolian translation/rendering in about the 16th century.

The above simplistic 19th century lithographs are part of a 90 page manuscript at the Royal Danish Library. It's not quite clear but they seem to have 2 other Molon Toyin manuscripts (and from another copy). The colour and some of the figures remind me of the comic-like illustrations in Mayan/Aztec codices.

1 comment :

Darren Reece said...

Thanks for the post - I'm currently staying in Korea and am really beginning to appreciate the pace and spacing of traditional Oriental prints

Post a Comment

Comments are all moderated so don't waste your time spamming: they will never show up.

If you include ANY links that aren't pertinent to the blog post or discussion they will be deleted and a rash will break out in your underwear.

Also: please play the ball and not the person.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

 
Creative Commons License