“The key of mind”: the Wise words of Genghis Khan

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A decrypted one of the earliest manuscripts of the Sutra, “the Key of mind” (Oyuun tlhr) on old Mongolian language, stored in the collections of the National Museum of the Altai Republic.

In 2018, the national Museum of the Altai Republic named after A. V. Anokhin celebrates its century anniversary, the Museum’s biography this year added another amazing fact: the decoded one of the earliest manuscripts of the Sutra, “the Key of mind” (Oyuun tlhr ) on old Mongolian language. In this regard, we focus on what really matters: without conducting research the cultural and historical values is not possible. And it is the study and the new understanding of the collections and activities of the Museum eliminates the possibility of false attributions and interpretations, and, consequently, enhances the cognitive and educational value of the Museum’s collections and allows them to enter into a cultural revolution. Otherwise, museums will fulfil the role of a warehouse, and even rarities. And scientific staff will become ordinary keepers or storekeepers. At the National Museum of the Altai Republic named after A. V. Anokhin has a long experience of cooperation with scientists and researchers not only in Russia. So many years in the Museum’s collections were stored manuscripts on old Mongolian chart. They are accessed by many researchers, but only recently one of the texts was deciphered, and philological and linguistically treated in a bachelor thesis done by a student Heerlen, the Bold under the guidance of doctor of Philology, Professor I. A. Nevskaya University of Frankfurt am main (Germany).

Nevskaya, Irina Anatolievna – chief researcher of the Institute of Philology SB RAS, as well as lecturer at the University of Frankfurt am main (Germany) and assotsiirovannye Professor at the Institute of Turkology of the Berlin independent University. In a joint research project of the German research society and the Russian humanitarian scientific Fund “Returned heritage. Publication archive N. P. Dyrenkova” she transcribed the ethnographic and folklore recordings. GN P. Dyrenkova the early twentieth century. She was the coordinator and other joint Russian-German research projects: “Documentation calcasola language” (Frankfurt – Novosibirsk) and “Runes of Altai” http://www.altay.uni-frankfurt.de/ (Frankfurt Gorno-Altaisk). She is member of editorial Board of international refereed journals “Turkic languages” and “Ural-Altaic studies” (CHEMISTRY) and the Russian journal “Russian Turkology”.

R. Erkenov, PhD

Heerlen, The Bold, I. A. Nevskaya
The manuscript Sutra “Key reason” in old Mongolian script language
from the collection of the National Museum named after A. V. Anokhin Gorno-Altaysk

The manuscript preserved in the National Museum named after A. V. Anokhin Gorno-Altaisk, is a list of famous and popular works of Mongolian literature – Sutra “Key of reason” (“Oyuun thr”), whose authorship is attributed to Genghis Khan and which dates back to the XIII-XIV centuries. Partially it was written by Genghis Khan, partly he was doing adding his followers. It passed from mouth to mouth, and was well known around the Mongolian population.This work belongs to the genre of Surganov, i.e., sermons, teachings. It praised the diligence and courage. It was used in the education of children in order to instill moral norms and rules of conduct. It was copied many times and, of course, been altered.

Numerous manuscripts of this work in many conferences on old Mongolian script language, only in the Institute of Oriental manuscripts ( St. Petersburg branch of the Institute of Oriental studies, RAS) has more than two dozen, and Euratom (old Kalmyk) language in the record “clear letter”, the Institute of Oriental studies it is there represented by only one manuscript. In Ulan Bator there are four manuscripts, one of them is full. In Ulaanbaatar at the National library of Mongolia contains 8 manuscripts of the Sutra on the old Mongolian script language, of which only 2 are dated XVIII and XIX centuries, others more recent.

Found in the Altai Republic, the text was transcribed and philological and linguistically treated in a bachelor thesis done by a student Heerlen, the Bold under the guidance of Professor. I. A. Nevskaya University of Frankfurt am main (Germany).The study showed that the manuscript can be dated to the first half of the XVIII century, i.e. it is one of the oldest known to science. The manuscript represents only fragments of the Sutra, many of the pages lost. The manuscript begins with 4 pages that do not pertain to the Sutra text. The first page is entitled “Classical Mongolian script” in the name, which literally means “Thirty white letters”. Page 2 shows the old Mongolian alphabet. Page 3 and 4 represent tracing exercises to the letter. It can be assumed that this list of sutras was an exercise in old Mongolian writing. This is followed by itself in the morning. The beginning of the Sutra, about 11 lines are missing, apparently, there is lost 1 page. Further, missing a few fragments.The text is written, apparently, 3 people with different styles – one is very beautiful, apparently, teacher or already a skilled scribe, and 2 handwriting belong to the less skilled scribes. They wrote partly bamboo, partly with a brush. Classic Mongolian letter written from top to bottom, the rows located from left to right.

An excerpt of the Sutra. Page 4 of Sutra text (corresponding to page 5 of the text, as the first page is lost).

The man who can’t be trusted, you can never tell of the unseen.

Do not give in to the persuasion of a bad person.

Don’t take the woman too seriously.

Do not exhort his son through the servant.

Not check with insidious (envious) person.

Do not break, approved by many people.

To sin (do not endorse other people) actions not get cravings.

Virtuous deeds do not fix the obstacles.

To death do not forget the right words to your best friend.

Don’t say bad words to his inseparable friend (page 5: not forgotten).

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