Diverse holy texts digitised by British Library


London, Sep 23 (IANS): The British Library on Monday launched ‘Discovering Sacred Texts, a digitised collection of sacred books, scrolls and scriptures belonging to diverse religions, including those with Indian origins.

The texts available online for the first time, feature the six most-practiced faiths in the UK - Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism - as well as a number of other faiths including the Baha'i Faith, Jainism and Zoroastrianism.

Available to all, the website includes over 250 digitised collection items, short films and articles written by academics, faith leaders and practitioners, library curators and cultural leaders, it said in a statement.

On the website are: The Ramayana, an epic poem ascribed to the sage Valmiki, composed in Sanskrit in the first millennium; the Prayer Book of Rani Jindan, a manuscript including three hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib, prepared in the early 19th century; and Adhai Dvipa, a traditional Jain cosmic diagram from the 18th-19th century.

Other highlights include a copy of the Lotus Sutra in a lavishly decorated scroll from Japan, written in gold and silver ink on indigo-dyed paper dating back to 1636; the earliest surviving copy of the complete New Testament, Codex Sinaiticus, which dates from the 4th century.

Parts of the Ma'il Qur'an, one of the very earliest Qur'ans in the world, dating back to the 8th century, and a manuscript of the Hebrew Bible from the 10th century can also be viewed online.

"This site gives free access to an incredible range of texts, videos and curated articles relating to some of the world's major faiths, which we hope will provide an invaluable tool for students, teachers and lifelong learners all over the world," the library said.

  

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