Sunday, 8 April 2012

Further on Srid pa rgyud manuscripts @ Bod & BnF

     To continue from the February 2012 posting on the H.E.Richardson Srid pa rgyud manuscript...
With kind assistance from, firstly, 
Jenny Ferreux (librarian at the Institut d'études tibétaines at the Collège de France) 
and subsequently from 
Dr. Nathalie Monnet (Conservateur en chef, Chargée des fonds chinois, Bibliothèque nationale de France)
we eventually identified the manuscript R.A.Stein had referred to as Tibétain n° 493. 
Many thanks - merci beaucoup! - for their patient and apposite responses.

The catalogue for the BnF Tibetan manuscripts is in the Asia texts reading room at 5 rue Vivienne, a temporary entrance while building works go on...

The reference in the BnF catalogue is presented below:
BnF Catalogue du fonds tibétain, 1936 
(photos enlarge if left-clicked on once)
ms. Tibétain n° 493 entry
ms. Tibétain n° 493 entry, in detail
Here are a few sample photographs of the Srid pa rgyud text:

Title page, Srid pa rgyud, ms. Tibétain n° 493, BnF
Folios 1v & 2r, Srid pa rgyudms. Tibétain n° 493, BnF

and the final pages:
Folios 198v & 199r, Srid pa rgyudms. Tibétain n° 493, BnF

*  *  *  *  *

Some samples of the second text catalogued as Tibétain n° 493:
Title page
Folios 1v & 2r
final page:

The third text of Tibétain n° 493 is a single folio:

C'est tout pour l'instant.


  1. Dear Charles,

    Thank you. That's great, especially to see the photograph of the physical book! I assumed (and stated in "Tibetan Histories," no. 68) wrongly that the Paris ms. (199 fols.) was the same as the one published in India (200 fols.). Now I can see clearly that they are different. My copy of the Indian reprint is missing its English title page (I see from your earlier blog that this says it reproduces a western Tibetan manuscript) and preface, so perhaps it says something there about the Paris ms. that could have led me astray?

    I have a photocopy of an old photocopy of a manuscript in 216 fols. that has on the first sheet an added ballpoint pen scribble saying it [the xerox] was made for someone named "dran dbang pher mchog" with a date that seems to be 1988. The text ends on fol. 216 with the end of chapter 12. (That means no hope of unique useful colophon information.) The cursive script is OK, but not as beautiful as the Paris.

    I just thought I would add information on this further manuscript, since it may be useful to someone.



  2. PS: If you don't mind I'll add a note on the two recently published versions of this history. Are there others? ——

    [a] Srid-pa Rgyud-kyi Kha-byang, contained in: Tibetan Bonpo Tanjur, Tempai Nyima (Chengdu 1998), vol. 142, pp. 295-533 (and see Katen, p. 934, which clarifies that there are 12 chaps., and that it was excavated by Dbra-rigs Gyer Thogs-med at Rta-gnyan Pha-bang Bon-mdzod, according to Shar-rdza's history). [b] Srid-pa Rgyud-kyi Kha-byang Rnam-thar Chen-mo, contained in: Bon-gyi Lo-rgyus Yig-cha Phyogs-sgrig, ed. by Don-grub-lha-rgyal, Bod-ljongs Bod-yig Dpe-rnying Dpe-skrun-khang (Lhasa 2010), pp. 190-360.

  3. Many thanks, Dan.
    Please do add comments and info when they occur to you, always welcome.

    The Preface page to the 1976 Lopon Tenzin Namdak edition has the following (as is):

    "The Srid pa rgyud kyi kha byang chen mo is already known to western students of Tibetology.
    Prof. R.A.Stein has often used Tibetan manuscript 493. Another example is found in the collection of Mr. Hugh Richardson of St. Andrews in Scotland.
    This is a gter-ma work revealed by Khod-spo Gter-ston Blo-gros-thogs-med in 1301 according to Bonpo tradition.
    The second text reproduced here is an astrological work reflecting the work of Dbyangs-can-grub-pa'i-rdo-rje."

    Best wishes,


  4. Dear Charles,

    Photos of new pages keep popping up here every time I come back! That final single-folio text may be very important for learning more about the circumstances of finding the text. The Bon-tsa Rgyal-ba-['od-zer] mentioned more than once on this folio must be Ban-tsa Rgyal-ba-'od-zer, who at least is datable even if I don't know more about him. He was born in 1587. I hesitate to say more without a closer study, however.


  5. Dear Chas,

    Sorry, in my haste I misread Ben-tsa as Bon-tsa. All of that appended folio can be understood as prophecies and praises of Ben-tsa [Ban-tsa] Rgyal-ba-'od-zer. I think it's independent & complete in itself, and should not be understood as containing any kind of colophon information. Not really. Although... It does take a quote from the text of the "Srid-pa Rgyud-kyi Kha-byang," which it says was extracted from the treasures by "Khod-spo Blo-gros-thog[s]-med" at the place called Sbas-zhabs Brag-dkar (?). But this is just one of several prophetic quotes that refer to Ben-tsa. Some of Ban-tsa's songs have been published, which seems to me to be one of the few sources for finding information about him.

    On the verso you get a praise detailing how Ban-tsa received blessings of bodily marks from the eight rigdzin. As I understand it, doing this means marking him as being one of them.

    So anyway, disregarding what it says on this folio, I would say there is hope of knowing more about the finding of this (14th century?) history book since there seems at be at least one account of Khod-spo's termas that may make an appearance one day.


  6. Sorry Charles,

    Maybe I spoke too soon again. I see that there are in the single-folio appendix two quotes from a text[s] named Srid-pa Rgyud-kyi Kha-byang. One it says was extracted at "gsang gter bsnol brag rgya bo" (no terton named here, although Gsang-brag Rgya-bo was a Rma family terma site) and the other at "sbas [~sbar?] zhabs brag dkar" with the terton named as Khod-spo Blo-gros-thog-med. Maybe this is significant, maybe it's the secret key that will reveal everything... although I'm scratching my head about it.


    1. Hi Dan,
      I see that Kvaerne references ms. no.493, see

      on p 27, note 48(c), where he states that the Srid pa rgyud was discovered by Gyer Thogs-med in 1310. Kvaerne has taken this from Karmay's Treasury of Good Sayings, p.339 line 31.



  7. Hi Dan,
    Re your earlier query about other published editions, I've seen a listing from Tibetanbookstore (2011 - 10th update) which I copy verbatim here:
    "gTer bton pa Khod po Blo gros thogs med. Srid pa rgyud kyi kha byang. Bon gyi lo rgyus dpyad gzhi’i yig tshang rnying gras. Cang ha’o glog rdul dpe skrun khang, 221 pp., 2011. ISBN 978-7-900736-39-0."
    Neither Worldcat nor LoC has this listed.
    Best wishes,

  8. Dear Charles,

    Thanks, I hadn't noticed that one. Someone told me Vajra Books in Kathmandu had reprinted it, but I haven't found a good reference to this yet. In my opinion the manuscripts are so much more useful than any of these computer-typeset publications. And what are we supposed to do? Do text editions that will tell us about what 21st century editors in Tibet think is correct? Well, OK, I imagine we could do that and consider it worthwhile for some reason or another.