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Review: [untitled] Author(s): Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol.

105, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1985), pp. 321322 Published by: American Oriental Society Stable URL: Accessed: 13/07/2010 12:22
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Mi-dhang rtogs-hrjod hi' Mdo-nmkharTshe-ring. Edited by ZHllANG JING. Pp. 861. Chengdu: SICHItAN PEOPLE'S PITBLISIING HOISE. 1981. Rmb 2.43.

The name Mdo-mkhar Tshe-ring dbang-rgyal (hereafter Mdo-mkhar-ba) should be a familiar one to anyone who is tihbtisant, whether he or she be a historian or lover of lexemes. His important Sanskrit-Tibetan dictionary was published by J. Bacot in Paris in 1930, and L. Petech's magistral analysis of the Sino-Tibetan interface of the first half of the eighteenth century (see the second edition of his China and Tibet in the Earl' X Vlllth Centur.y,Monographies du T'oung Pao, Volume I [Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972]) contains a great deal of information on this fine scholar, statesman, and outstanding poet. In addition, Petech's work was the first to describe briefly the work under review, being the biography of Pho-lha-nas Bsod-nams stobs-rgyas (hereafter Pho-lha-nas) (1689-1747), ruler of Tibet from 1728 to 1747, and was the first to have made extensive use of it. A brief survey of "The House of Mdo-mkhar" as well as a short biographical note on Mdo-mkhar-ba can be found in L. Petech's Aristocracy and in Tibet 1728-1959 (Serie Orientale Roma XLV Gov'ern7ment [Roma: Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1973] pp. 70-79). This biographical note is based on the thirty-sixth chapter (of some fifty-five folia) of the history of the Stag-lung rulers, that is the Mdo-mkhar family, which was compiled at the order of 'Gyur-med tshe-dbang dpal'byor (1804-1842) of the house of Mdo-mkhar. I suspect that this group of fifty-five folia, added to the history by 'Gyurmed himself, was nothing other than Mdo-mkhar-ba's autobiography, the Bka'-hlon rtogs-hr/ol (Beijing: People's Publishing House, 1981), or a paraphrase therefrom. This work was completed in 1762, one year before his death. Yet another resum&of his life together with a summary appraisal of the contents of the Mi-dhang rtogs-hr/od (hereafter MDRB) is given in the introduction to the latter by Dung-dkar Blobzang 'phrin-las. Along with Dmu-dge Bsam-gtan, Dungdkar dge-bshes, formerly of Se-ra monastery, is one of the most learned and prolific scholars of Tibetan culture active in the People's Republic of China. He is at present a professor at the Central Institute for Minorities, Beijing. Mdo-mkhar-ba was born in 1697 and as Petech (1973:71, n. 1) has stated "his career (was) intertwined with that of Pho-lha-nas." From the age of twenty-six onwards, Mdomkhar-ba's career was directly dependent on that of Pho-lhanas. But they had more in common. Both were born into the 321

landed aristocracy, and both had had Lo-chen Dharmasri of Smin-grol-gling monastery as their teacher. As such Mdomkhar-ba did what every young scion of his time was supposed to be doing: studying linguistics, poetics, astrology, and literary composition. From the age of thirteen to sixteen, Mdo-mkhar-ba stayed at Smin-grol-gling where upon the successful completion of his term, Lo-chen Dharmasir bestowed upon him the name of Tshangs-sras dgyes-pa'i rdorje. This name bears witness to his expertise in especially the linguistic sciences (including poetics). During his two-year stay at Lcags-rtse gri-gu-he had been sent to this district situated on the periphery of central Tibet by the regent of Tibet, Stag-rtse Lha-rgyab rab-brtan, in 1718-Mdo-mkharba began his celebrated "novel" the Gzhon-nu zla-med-k'i gtam-rgyud, which he completed in Mdo-mkhar at around 1720. This work has been published several times in India (see M. Tachikawa et al., A Catalogue of the United States Lihrary of Congress Collection of Tihetan Literature in Microfiche, Bibliographia Philologica Buddhica, Series Maior III [Tokyo: The International Institute for Buddhist Studies, 1983], pp. 195-196) and the People's Republic of China (Lhasa: Tibetan People's Publishing House, 1979). As is the case with this "novel," so also the MDRB belongs to the literary genre known as campu, defined by Dandin in his 1:31 as a mixture of prose and verse. This point is stressed by Dung-dkar Blo-bzang 'phrin-las' Snyan-ngag-la 'jug-tshul tshig-rgyan rig-pa'i sgo- 'hyedl (Xining: Qinghai People's Publishing House, 1982, p. 68). Aside from these "experimental" writings, Mdo-mkhar-ba also was responsible for a bilingual edition of Buddha's birth stories ( jataka, skyes-rahs), commentaries on the grammatical treatises of the Sum-cu-pa and Rtags-'jug-pa (Petech 1973:71, n. 3 "a commentary on the . . ." is an oversight), and a little grammatical work Sumn-rtags work on the arguments between the goddesses of tea and chang. His most significant work is no doubt the MDRB, the full title of which is the Dpal ni'i dlang-po 'i rtogs-par hrjocd-pa 'jig-rten kun-tu cga'-ha 'i'gtam,and, aside from Zhuang Jing's edition, the only version yet published is the Stog Palace (Ladakh) manuscript which was brought out in Darjeeling in 1974. Petech (1972:3-4) does not make clear whether his text was a print or a handwritten manuscript. Zhuang Jing's edition of the MDRB is primarily based on the only known print of this text which derives from the blocks of the printing house of Ltag-rgyab, Lhasa. This print consists of 395 folia and since Petech's text has the same number of folia, I assume these to be one and the same print. The blocks were carved at


Journal of the American Oriental Society 105.2 (1985)

Tantric and Taoist Studies, in Honour of R. A. Stein; Volume One. Edited by MICHELSTRICKMANN. Pp. xix + 289. (Melanges Chinois et Bouddhiques, Vol. XX.) Brussels: 1981. N.p. ETUDES CHINOISES. DESHAUTES BELGE INSTITUT The enormous contributions of Rolf A. Stein to Tibetan cultural history and to texts of the Chinese Taoist Canon are well known to, and admired by, specialists in these topics. Michel Strickmann, a one-time student of Professor Stein (his photo in frontispiece), has been involved for some time at his Berkeley, California, base in organizing an appropriate honorary volume, which has grown to three! This accounts for lack of agreement of the Volume One contents with the overall title, since this volume does not have articles dealing with Taoism. However, at the time of writing this review, Volume Two has been released and does deal with Taoism. Fortunately, Melanges Chinois et Bouddhiques has handled in exemplary fashion the printing problems occasioned by the varied language sources which the contributors employ. The articles in this Volume One are of sufficient length to deserve individual mention, necessarily brief. Michel Strickmann's Introduction (vii-xv) on R. A. Stein's career is followed (xvii-xxi) by a list of Stein's works. Ronald M. Davidson, "The Litany of Names of Mafijusri" (1-69), deals with the ManjusrT-nama-samgfti,providing the Sanskrit text, English translation, introduction (stressing early Tibetan texts) and notes, plus an appendix: MaiijuSrimitra's Upadesa. He refers (p. 16) to "mistakes in Rin chen bzan po's translation." Since this Tibetan is called in Tibetan books "the great translator," I looked through Davidson's notes to find a verification of his charge. Davidson accepts the readings maundT in v. 93, maunfi in v. 94; but despite Davidson's claim (p. 56) of support from "all our commentators," in fact it is the great translator who was right. The way Davidson has it (p. 30), maund ("has a shaven head") occurs in a verse where Mafijusri has "a tuft of hair," "a crest of hair," "braided hair," "twisted locks," "five hair knots" (said twice). But maunfil("hasthe Mufija-grass cord") belongs here; and maundT belongs in the next verse where Gautama (i.e., Sakyamuni) of course is the one with the shaven head. Next is D. C. Bhattacharyya's "The VajravalT-namamandalopaZika of Abhayakaragupta"(70-95). He states that this work contains all twenty-six mandalas of the author's earlier NispannavogavalT(edited and introduced by B. Bhattacharyya, Oriental Institute, Baroda, 1949), but in altered and shortened form and has four extra mandalas. D. C. Bhattacharyya provides extracts and promises an edition of which should prove valuable to students the entire VajravalF, of the Buddhist Tantra. Some mandala figures are included. Helene Brunner contributes (96-104) "Un chapitre du Sarvadar.ianasamgraha: le SaivadarSana." This essay is a paragon among modern retranslationsof Indian philosophical

the initiative of Sri-gcod-tshe-brtan, a friend and fellow bka'blon of Mdo-mkhar-ba, and this took place shortly after the latter's death. In other words, Mdo-mkhar-ba never saw his biography in print and the reason for the some thirty years that lie between the date of its completion and printing should probably be sought in the sensitive nature of Mdo-mkhar-ba's subject. Only a detailed examination of the MDRB and the autobiography should enable one to illuminate this peculiar situation. Mdo-mkhar-ba explicitly dates his MDRB (p. 860) as follows: the first dkar-po'i phy'ogs-kyi rgyal-ba, of the smin-drug month, of the water-female-ox year. Zhuang takes this to be the eleventh hor month of 1733, and Petech, with more precision, gives as its equivalent November 7th, 1733. It can be expected that Mdo-mkhar-ba's system of dating is based on the revised phug-lugs calculation introduced by Sde-srid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho who died in 1705. Thus, following the Tabellen p. 179 of D. Schuh's Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Tibetischen Kalenderrechnung (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner, 1973), the exact equivalent would be November 10th, 1733. The Ltag-rgyab print is, as Zhuang (pp. 1-2) laments, not without its philological problems, and he calls the scribe and/or carver "thoughtless" (hol-rgvugs) and wilfull. Fortunately, Zhuang was able to collate this print (par-ma) with a handwritten manuscript (494 folia) (bris-ma) housed at the Beijing Library, and completed this important edition of one of the most extraordinary Tibetan historical texts under the tutelage of Dung-dkar dge-bshes. Zhuang himself is responsible for the extremely useful table of contents (dkar-chag) (pp. 11-14) of the MDRB which, in actuality, consists of one continuous narrative. Petech (1972:4) has drawn attention to the fact that the MDRB "is written in a highly ornate and long-winded style, sometimes quite difficult to understand; and occasionally use is made of the rules of Indian alahmkara, of various are inserted in the narrative." poems lengths freely Although this would hold not only for the first "hundred or so pages" as Petech suggests, but for the work as a whole, it means that a full understanding of Mdo-mkhar-ba's statements, their implications, and nuances presupposes at the minimum more than a passing acquaintance with Dandin's Kivia,darsa and lexicographical niceties. Zhuang's edition of the MDRB is an important contribution to Tibetan historiography. The printing and production is of the high standard that we have now come to expect from all the Tibetan publications issued in China. Dung-dkar dgebshes mentions on p. 7 the Rtogs-hrjod of Rdo-ring Pandita. Let us hope that he will bring out this important work for the history of seventeenth and eighteenth century Tibet as well. LEONARD W. J. VANDER KUIJP F. U. BERLIN