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A letter to the editors of the Buddhist canon in fourteenth-century Tibet: the yig mkhan rnams la gdams pa of Bu ston Rin chen grub.

In the summer of 1364, at the monastery of Zhwa lu in midwestern Tibet, Bu ston Rin chen grub, scholar, artist, teacher, abbot, and zealous collector of manuscripts containing the word of the Buddha, died at the age of seventy-four. (1) During the elaborate rituals of homage and mourning, the Bka' 'gyur, that part of the Tibetan Buddhist canon which contains the Buddha's word in translation, was recited three times. There could have been no more appropriate act of devotion toward Bu ston, for he had dedicated a large part of his life to the compilation and production of Buddhist canonical collections and had designed the temple at Zhwa lu Monastery in which the Bka' 'gyur was housed. (2) While his physical remains were distributed as relics throughout Tibet, India, China, and Nepal, the physical manifestations of his religiously motivated scholarly efforts were eventually to spread as far (farther even) in the form of the Tibetan Buddhist canons.

Bu ston's love of learning and his desire to propagate the teachings of the Buddha and the Buddhist masters through textual scholarship--just one facet of his contributions to the spread of Buddhist culture in Tibet--are discussed by his biographer and close disciple Sgra tshad pa Rin chen rnam rgyal (1318-88) in A Handful of Flowers. Sgra tshad pa repeatedly stresses his master's passion for and expertise in such matters. We are told that at the age of four or five, he learned to read perfectly the Tibetan printed script under the tutelage of his mother, not by using a speller as it seems was the norm, but through copying out and there-upon immediately reciting the Atajna Sutra. (3) The five-year-old Bu ston then strove to learn the cursive script, and was so distraught when he could not do so that his patron deity, Manjughosa, showed him favor and blessed him with the ability to read this version of the Tibetan script. (4)

Sgra tshad pa elaborates on the theme of textual learning and scholarship in Bu ston's life in a number of ways. He evokes visions of a scholar at work in the center of his entourage: "Even surrounded by all the scribes and creating many different types of translations and compositions. [Bu ston] dictated without faltering so that the hand of each [scribe] was not empty." (5) In particular, he focuses on the increasing importance of editorial activities for Bu ston. In 1332 Bu ston was called upon in a vision by the Sa skya pa master, Rje bstun Grags pa rgyal mtshan (1147-1216). Grags pa rgyal mtshan urged Bu ston not only to compose commentaries on the sutras and tantras, but also to edit: "Edit the word of the Buddha and the treatises in general, and the tantras in particular. Earlier I thought to edit my own works, but I did not finish. Now you must edit them." (6) Bu ston took his Sa skya pa ancestor's injunction to heart, placing editorial work at the center of his scholarly activities.

Sgra tshad pa later praises his master's work as a mature scholar in his fifties, writing: "Through translation and editorial work he has grown the magnificent life-giving tree, the foundation of the Buddhist teachings." (7) Indeed, references to books, editing, translating, and textual scholarship abound not only in Bu ston's life story by Sgra tshad pa, but in songs of praise by later Tibetans as well. Writing in 1485, Sakya mchog Idan (1428-1507) praises Bu ston for editing the words of the Buddha anew, and for setting the Himalayas ablaze with the light of the Buddha's kindness by producing canonical volumes. (8)

Just three years prior to his death, Bu ston exhorted his close student, Sgra tshad pa, to take up the editorial revision of several of his own manuscripts, with a concern that the work he had initiated at Zhwa lu Monastery continue, and, it sounds, with an almost manic concern that his reputation as a textual scholar not be tarnished after his death. Sgra tshad pa relates how, in a short-tempered mood, his mentor issued these words of warning to him:
 My own collection of manuscripts--the grammatical and tantric
 works--must be brought to completion, [for] if I should die, when
 scholars and peers look at them they will say, "These manuscripts of
 his were not even edited once!" and they will scoff. When the
 ignorant look at them, they will scurry about as if their bladders
 are filled with urine! (9)


It is perhaps fitting, then, that the earliest and most detailed work that describes the process of editing and copying Buddhist manuscripts in Tibet currently known to us is a small letter written by Bu ston. That Bu ston was instrumental in the formation of the Tibetan canonical collections is now well known; during the first half of the fourteenth century, in the wake of nearly six centuries of translation and transmission of Buddhist literature from India and elsewhere to Tibet, the intertwining processes of collation, authentication, and canonization were in full swing. Recent scholarship has drawn a complex picture of the proliferation of canonical collections in Tibet, a picture based primarily on the text-critical study of the relationship between the various recensions of the collections. (10) One scholar has recently likened the passage of the multitude of Buddhist manuscripts through Zhwa lu and other monasteries to the shape of an hourglass; (11) to these centers of learning were gathered copies of sutras, tantras, poetic songs, and treatises on logic and epistemology from all around Tibet, and through the efforts of scholars like Bu ston, they were transformed into a highly organized body of literature which could then, in a manner of speaking, be mass-produced and reintroduced into the region at large.

We have as yet made far less progress in the study of the actual events, the day-to-day activities that went into the creation of such an enormous body of Buddhist literature. (12) The economic, social, political, or institutional realities that constituted the making of a canon are still only poorly known. Who paid for the work? What sorts of laborers were involved and how many, and how might the systems of management that were no doubt necessary for the successful completion of such a large project have been organized? Further, what range of religious significance did the making of a canon hold, either for its patrons, its readers, its editors and scribes, or for the manual laborer who delivered the paper to the monastery? (13) More specifically, what steps did the actual work of editing, copying, or proofreading involve? (14) Bu ston was renowned for his textual scholarship, which included making fundamental translations (gzhi 'gyur), revising or editing translated works (zhu chen), and filling in gaps in faulty texts (hor khong/kong gsob pa). (15) Under what social circumstances and with what material resources did he go about these activities?

It is to these sorts of questions that the letter written by Bu ston to editors of Buddhist texts provides the beginnings of an answer. The two-page letter, containing detailed instructions to the virtuous friends, or kalyanamitras, and distinguished scholars overseeing a manuscript-copying project, is undated and contains no proper names. Though it is thus impossible to say with certainty to whom Bu ston was addressing his instructions, it is quite likely that he was in correspondence with the managers in charge of copying the reorganized Bstan 'gyur at Zhwa lu monastery. In the catalogue to his Bstan 'gyur, Bu ston tells us that in mid-1334 the secular ruler of the Zhwa lu region, the nobleman Sku zhang Kun dga' don grub, (16) funded the project, and "invited the most learned scribes in the regions of central and midwestern Tibet." Three kalyanamitras, Sakya seng ge, Dar ma byang chub, and Gzhon nu 'phel, came to Zhwa lu to oversee the endeavor. (17) It is in all likelihood that these same scholar-craftsmen, in charge of instructing and managing the workers involved in the production of this manuscript version of the Bstan 'gyur, were the initial recipients of Bu ston's letter.

It is certainly possible that this letter was sent to some other editors, perhaps those in charge of the production of a Bka' 'gyur at Tshal Gung thang, the consecration of which Bu ston oversaw at Gung thang in 1351 at the invitation of Tshal pa Kun dga' rdo rje, alias Dge ba'i blo gros (1309-64). (18) I believe, however, that it is more likely that Bu ston was writing to the scholars working on the Bstan 'gyur at his home institution of Zhwa lu for the following--admittedly tenuous--reasons. First of all, arguing from negative evidence, we have no definite statement at our disposal that Bu ston actually played a role in the making of the Bka' 'gyur of 1347-49 at Tshal Gung thang; the scribal colophons of the Tshal Bka' 'gyur preserved in the Li thang block-print Bka' 'gyur list the names of many scholars, and Bu ston is not among them. (19) Secondly, Bu ston employs similar terms for his scholarly audience in both his letter to editors and his Bstan 'guyr dkar chag, including yon tan mkhan po, "distinguished scholar," (20) and dge ba'i bshes gnyen. (21) These scholars are also said to have received gifts (rdzong) in both the letter and the Bstan 'gyur dkar chag. (22) Finally, passages in the letter itself referring to common phrases in sutras make it clear that Bu ston was giving instructions for canonical literature.

This small correspondence provides us a window into the workshop of the creators of a collection of Buddhist literature that would exert a profound impact on the history of Buddhism in Tibet for the next six hundred years. In what follows I will translate this letter and provide a brief commentary upon it. Bu ston opens his letter thus:
 Homage to the Virtuous Friends of All People:
 An appeal to the ear of virtuous friends, the religious stewards
 and distinguished scholars who are producing the great treatises,
 and a request that you work in accordance with the instructions I
 have given: through looking them over sufficiently, the guidelines
 of my advice will come fully to distinguished scholars. Take them
 to heart; it is extremely important that those distinguished
 scholars listen. (23)


After these firm yet conciliatory remarks, Bu ston moves quickly to a detailed description of the process of emending problematic passages in the manuscripts the scribes and proofreaders were copying and editing. Here, as in the rest of the letter, he is giving polite instructions to the kalyanamitras--the editors-in-chief, if you will--on how to direct the workforce of scribes and proofreaders. As we move through the letter we must imagine the many types of manuscripts that had been gathered to the scriptorium at Zhwa lu: some old and brittle, some abounding in spelling mistakes, some in barely legible scribal hands, and some perhaps exquisitely penned in gold ink upon black paper. From the following passage it is clear that Bu ston upheld a strict set of aesthetic guidelines concerning the look of the written page. He continues:
 Have [the scribes] insert missing words to be added in [their]
 original place; affix a paper patch right upon that [spot] on the
 thin paper [of the original manuscript, and] write upon that
 [patch]. Do not write contractions; even those [contractions]
 present in the original [manuscript] should be expanded. In spots
 where insertions of missing words are needed, repeatedly look over
 each small passage [of text] previous [to those spots] when you
 proofread.
 See whether or not the small marginal numbers and notations are
 legible, and have [the workers] insert [them] so as to make those
 that are illegible or unintelligible, intelligible. See whether or
 not the size of the letters and the slash and dot [punctuation
 marks] are consistently spaced, and whether or not each line
 contains one hundred and fifteen to one hundred and twenty letters.
 Please instruct [the scribes] that incomplete [lines] must be
 written out completely. (24)


Bu ston then touches on several points quickly, all having to do with the copying and checking of the newly created manuscripts:
 Please instruct the writers of printing style letters to make [them]
 small, complete, joined, and firmly printed, and [instruct] the
 writers of cursive letters to make [them] such that they don't
 exceed proper orthographic dimensions, [to make them] smooth,
 generally even, and correctly spelled.
 During proofreading, [the text] should be read out loud slowly and
 with clarity by the reciter, and the scribes should certify that
 reading with the certifier in between work [periods]. At the end of
 completed texts [the scribes] should write a full [record of
 certification]. Please instruct [the workers] to make no omissions
 or additions. (25)


At this point Bu ston enters into a fairly technical discussion regarding the proper punctuation of the new manuscripts. Here he is primarily concerned with employing punctuation marks to divide either major divisions of a given work, or to separate clearly commentarial passages from primary text, or sutra passages:
 [The text division called] bam po marks the beginning [of a
 section], and the [text division called] le'u marks the end [of a
 section], and therefore [these cases] require a blank space.
 Please instruct [the workers] to make a detailed analysis of the
 [punctuation marks:] the single slash, double slash, quadruple
 slash, and the dot-and-slash. Add a double slash after such phrases
 as "In the sutra ..." and after the completion of root-verses [within
 a commentary]. Add them in between commentary and a second [quote
 from the root-verses], [after] phrases such as "So it is said ...,"
 [and after] reduplicated letters. Add a dot-and-slash in between
 commentarial words following those [root-verses]. (26)


At this point Bu ston devotes just one sentence to the hermeneutics of textual emendation, hinting to us that an editorial process known in classical scholarship as conjectural emendation was in use in fourteenth-century Tibet as well. He writes:
 Since an understanding of the word and the meaning are dependent
 upon one another, when some doubt arises, understand the meaning
 from the word by looking at [the word] analytically, and the
 [correct] graph will be understood from the meaning. (27)


In other words, the text should make sense, and if it does not the editor is encouraged to emend it in accordance with his reasoned understanding of what the text should say. The act of editing was, at least in part, an act of personal interpretation. This method of editing no doubt led to many problems, and not a few anonymous editors have been accused of fabricating meanings on their own in their attempts at conjectural emendation.

Next he addresses the proper writing of Sanskrit mantras in the Tibetan script:
 Distinguish the orthography of [Sanskrit] mantras from that of
 Tibetan. Also, write the long and short [vowels] and the aspirated
 and unaspirated [consonants] in mantras with no mistakes, according
 to manner adhered to in each individual sadhana evocation ritual.
 Don't make the mistake of patterning your hat after your boot! (28)


Here it seems that Bu ston was concerned that each tradition of sadhana, or the ritual of deity evocation, retain the proper pronunciation of its unique mantra, so as not to vitiate the efficacy of the ritual. As on paper, so in the spoken word of the ritual performance; for Bu ston it was vital that the scribes write down these "words of power" according to exacting traditional specifications, the intricacies of which he was no doubt well versed in, having himself compiled nearly three hundred and fifty mantras. (29) "Don't pattern your hat after your boot" stresses by analogy the importance to the scribe of not just taking any sadhana (a boot) as the model for the mantra at hand (the hat). (30)

Bu ston then dispenses some advice on spelling manuals, in which he shows a fairly ecumenical distrust for all manuals but his own:
 Since there are many different manuals on spelling, work according
 to the correct [manuals] I have composed as well as the Imperial
 Decree and Rgyab bzang (31) [linguistic guides]. Though there are
 correct [instructions] in all manuals, since there is the
 possibility for incorrect [points] in even the best spellers, [they]
 are not reliable. (32)


"Imperial decree" (bka' bcad or bkas bcad) refers to both the Bye brag tu rtogs par byed pa (Mahavyutpatti) and its commentary, the Sgra sbyor bam po gnyis pa (Madhyavyutpatti). The term bkas bcad occurs in the introduction and conclusion of Sgra sbyor bam po gnyis pa (completed 814/15), where it denotes the edicts of Khri lde srong btsan ordering the translation and revision of sutras and sastras. (33) Bu ston quotes from the Sgra sbyor in his Chos 'byung in reference to the bkas bcad issued by Ral pa can. (34) He also lists three bkas bcad works in the catalogue of scripture and treatises in chapter four of the Chos 'byung. (35)

The term "imperial decree" also has a wider definition that includes three periods of translation and revision. As noted by both Simonsson and Stein, (36) the Li shi'i gur khang of Skyogs ston Rin chen bkra shis (ca. 1495-after 1577) (37) divided Tibetan translation history into three periods of imperial patronage and direction: (1) that of Khri srong Ide btsan, (2) that of Khri Ral pa can, and (3) that of Lha bla ma Ye shes 'od. (38) We can trace this scheme--and indeed the entire passage devoted to the three bkas bcad in the Li shi'i gur khang--to the end of the thirteenth century; writing a generation before Bu ston, Bcom ldan ral gri (1227-1305) (39) describes the three bkas bcad in his Sgra'i bstan bcos smra ba rgyan gyi me tog. (40) It is possible that bu ston also had this wider sense of bkas bcad as the major historiographic periods of translation in mind when he used the term in his instructions.

The term continued to have significance in literature in the centuries following Bu ston. Writing in 1514, Bu ston's scholarly descendant, Zhwa lu Lo tsa ba Chos skyong bzang po (1441-1527), also makes reference to the imperial decree in the concluding verses of his linguistic survey, the Za ma tog, where he appears to mix both senses of the term. (41) Klong rdol Bla ma Ngag dbang blo bzang (1719-94) uses the term with yet a different implication, though still related to book production. He refers to an imperial decree by the "Dharma Kings" of Tibet stating that large scriptural volumes should be written in large headed letters (dbu can), Indian treatises in a mid-sized script, and Tibetan treatises in a small script. (42)

Bu ston then takes a step back from the intricacies of the copying and proofreading process, and addresses the realities of managing a work team, a team in which there was a definite hierarchy of labor, and in which schedules were firmly enforced. He warns:
 Again, for every single letter have [the workers] make a detailed
 inspection. Please instruct [them] to write new writer's colophons,
 and not to write the old [colophons], even if patrons wrote them.
 If [the scribes] are not producing letters both distinct and
 complete, or if they are not listening to instructions, the
 religious steward must have a word [with them]. Kindly inform the
 scribes and proofreaders of the scriptorium that the fine will be
 half an ounce of tea if [they] do not come in when the break-time
 bell has sounded. (43)


Finally, Bu ston once again stresses the importance of their task, as well as the magnitude of the undertaking. He concludes the letter, writing:
 In short: this is not just writing down some village family's
 little sutra. These are the manuscripts of the nobleman [of Zhwa
 lu], and therefore care is vital for everyone. Great efforts should
 go into attaining provisions [for the workers]. Since we will
 handsomely provide wages and bonuses afterwards as befits the
 qualifications [of the different workers], care is vital for
 everyone, so very vital. Be well. (44)


Clearly for Bu ston the production of a manuscript version of the Buddhist canon was not a domestic affair; this was big business, and everyone must act accordingly. Once again the letter provides a unique glimpse into the social aspects of book production, for from these last passages we can infer several things; first, the craftsmen were generally respected, at least to the extent that they were paid well upon the completion of their duties. This accords with other accounts we have of the treatment of scribes and craftsmen involved in producing canonical literature. (45) Disciplinary problems were not unknown in the scriptorium, however, and one wonders to what extent such reprimands as the docking of tea were enforced. Secondly, Bu ston clearly considered this manuscript canon to be the property of Sku zhang Kun dga' don grub, the ruler of the Zhwa lu region, and not that of the monastery or its abbot. The canon was the property of the patron. Finally, we can infer that in addition to large-scale manuscript copying enterprises such as this, there was also an economy of local, household book production, in which the "little sutras of village families" were copied. It is likely that many of the scribes in the scriptorium at Zhwa lu were employed in such small-scale ventures when not working on canonical projects backed by heavy patronage.

It is clear that Bu ston does not mention every type of craftsman who would have been involved in this enterprise. Fortunately we have a longer list of workers from a Bstan 'gyur catalogue composed twenty-eight years after Bu ston completed his own project. Beginning June 8, 1362 and finishing November 4 of the same year, three scholars directed a group of craftsmen at Zhwa lu under the patronage of the Phag mo gru leader Ta'i Si tu Byang chub rgyal mtshan (1304-64). The catalogue mentions the following craftsmen: directors (zhal ta ba), scribal managers (yig gnyer ba), proofreaders (zhus dag pa), chief scribes (gtso bo yig mkhan) (also known as "distinguished scholars," the same appellation given to the recipients of Bu ston's letter), paper makers (shog bzo ba), engravers (rkos mkhan), goldsmiths who worked on the book covers (gdong rkos kyi gser bzo mkhan), page-numberers (grangs yig pa), collators (gras mkhan), book-strap makers (sku rags mkhan), and blacksmiths who made the buckles for the straps (sku rags kyi chab ma'i mgar ba). (46) No specific number of workers is listed in Bu ston's letter, but based upon other projects at the time it seems likely that the workforce ran into the hundreds. To cite one example from the fourteenth century: sometime between 1354 and 1363, Chos kyi rgyal po (1335-1407), the tenth abbot of 'Bri gung Gdan sa thel, employed four hundred scribes to create a Bka' 'gyur for his establishment. (47)

Nor does Bu ston reveal much about the primary materials used to make these volumes of scripture--the paper and ink that were to embody the word of the Buddha. From other sources we see that throughout the fourteenth century in Dbus and Gtsang Bka' 'gyur and Bstan 'gyur manuscripts were made both with black ink on white paper and with gold or silver ink on blue-black paper. Bu ston himself had three Prajnaparamita works made with gold lettering sometime between 1332 and 1344. (48) According to Tshal pa Kun dga' rdo rje, in the winter of 1335 Karma pa III Rang byung rdo rje (1284-1339) donated the materials for, commissioned, and consecrated a "golden Bstan 'gyur" (gser gyi bstan 'gyur)--presumably a manuscript with gold lettering--at Tshal. (49) This would have been just one year after Bu ston completed the Bstan 'gyur at Zhwa lu. Between 1314 and 1334 the ninth abbot of 'Bri gung mthil monastery, Rdo rje rgyal po (1284-1351), is said to have produced many sutra and vinaya collections in gold ink on blue-black paper. (50) During a three-month period in 1389 the tenth abbot of 'Bri gung, Chos kyi rgyal po, completed a Bstan 'gyur and a set of Bka' brgyud pa hagiographies written in black ink on white paper. (51) A colophon from the Tshal pa Bka' 'gyur (as preserved in the Li thang Bka' 'gyur), completed in 1349, just fourteen years after Bu ston's Bstan 'gyur, provides a brief vivid description of the materials used; the paper was soft and white like the base of a conch, and the bright and clear ink from China was the color of a blue lotus. (52) Finally, in the verse catalog of the Bka' 'gyur completed in 1431 at Rgyal rtse under the sponsorship of Si tu Rab brtan Kun bzang 'phags (1389-1442), we are told that Kun bzang 'phags commissioned black-on-white and gold-on-black Bka' 'gyurs as well as a black-on-white Bstan 'gyur. (53) Clearly the aesthetic qualities of such volumes were important to their makers and patrons, as well as to later historians who saw fit to include such details in accounts of their Buddhist past.

Although it is difficult to trace the specific influence of this letter on later editors, a few examples from biographical literature will suffice to show that the influence of Bu ston as a model textual scholar and bibliophile was great. We may look, for example, to Bo dong Pan chen Phyogs las rnam rgyal (1375-1451), who is said to have received a visionary exhortation by Bu ston to compose his massive Compendium of Knowledge (De kho na nyid 'dus pa). (54) Two sections of the Compendium, the "Introduction for Novices" (Byis pa 'jug pa'i sgo) and the "Explanation on Creating the Three Supports [of the Dharma] according to the Sastras" (Rten gsum bzhengs tshul bstan bcos lugs bshad pa), contain brief but detailed descriptions of the scribe's craft and his materials. (55)

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the great editor and textual scholar of Zhwa lu and Dpal 'khor bde chen, Zhwa lu Lo tsa ba Chos skyong bzang po, carried on the tradition of Bu ston, both as abbot of Zhwa lu and as a well-known editor and translator of scripture. Writing in 1517 his student and biographer, Skyogs ston Lo tsa ba Rin chen bkra shis blo gros, tells us that he performed the duties of the abbatial see just as described in Bu ston's Testament of Instructions to Abbots (Mkhan po gdan sa pa la gdams pa'i bka 'chems). He frequently read Bu ston's testaments (bka' chems) to the community at Zhwa lu. (56) Though I have been able to find no reference to Bu ston's letter to editors in Zhwa lu Lo tsa ba's biography, these small testaments are located in Bu ston's collected works very close to the letter to editors (at least in the Lhasa edition), suggesting that Zhwa lu Lo tsa ba in all likelihood knew of and read this letter as well. In a touching aside Rin chen bkra shis blo gros reveals that his master wept when reading of the death of Bu ston in Sgra tshad pa's biography. (57) It is thus clear that both the teachings and the life story of Bu ston had enormous impact on Zhwa lu Lo tsa ba's development as both a scholar and religious leader. (58)

It is also clear that the letter at least caught the eye of later scholars such as Yongs 'dzin Ye shes rgyal mtshan (1713-93), (59) who in 1779 made specific reference to the letter in his catalogue of the edition of Bu ston's collected works kept at Bkra shis bsam gtan gling monastery in Skyid grong. The specific mention of the letter is significant, for Ye shes rgyal mtshan does not list the rest of Bu ston's many letters separately. This suggests that Ye shes rgyal mtshan held the letter to be of particular importance in relation to the other letters in this section. (60) The fact that he refers explicitly to this letter is all the more significant in light of the fact that earlier catalogs of Bu ston's collected works by Sgra tshad pa and Bu ston himself do not mention the letter. (61)

We find further evidence that Ye shes rgyal mtshan relied explicitly upon Bu ston's scholarly efforts in a fascinating passage from the biography of Ye shes rgyal mtshan by the Eighth Dalai Lama, 'Jam dpal rgyal mtsho (1758-1804). (62) In 1792, during his last year as tutor to the Dalai Lama (and the last year of his life), Ye shes rgyal mtshan undertook the editing of Tsong kha pa Blo bzang grags pa's (1357-1419) commentary on the difficult points in the Pradipodyotana commentary of the Guhyasamaja Tantra. (63) According to 'Jam dpal rgya mtsho, copies of Tsong kha pa's commentary existed at both Bkra shis lhun po and 'Bras spungs monasteries. Unfortunately, these copies had many orthographic errors introduced by bad practices. These errors included broken verses, commentarial annotations confused with lines of the basic text, faulty punctuation, and unclear word separation.

Ye shes rgyal mtshan set about creating a corrected edition of Tsong kha pa's work with methods comparable to those of Bu ston. First he collected a number of witnesses, including many old prints of both the Guhyasamaja Tantra itself as well as old xylograph prints of the Pradipodyotana from 'Bras spungs, Bkra shis lhun po, Ri bo mdangs chen, and Snar thang. He utilized a number of Tibetan commentaries, including one by Bu ston. (64) He also used a manuscript copy of the Guhyasamaja Tantra believed to be the actual manuscript of Tsong kha pa himself, as well as a manuscript belonging to the Seventh Dalai Lama, Skal bzang rgya mtsho (1708-57). To correct grammatical errors Ye shes rgyal mtshan used the Sum rtags and unidentified commentaries upon it. He "eliminated the orthographic errors that had been mixed in with and corrupted the Buddha's teachings." He also edited the tantra itself, as well as Tsong kha pa's smaller commentary. (65)

As in the case of Bu ston's efforts at Zhwa lu, the textual production of Ye shes rgyal mtshan went beyond purely editorial concerns to the physical qualities of the finished volume, though where Bu ston created finely crafted books for the nobleman of Zhwa lu, Ye shes rgyal mtshan created them for his pupil and leader, the Eighth Dalai Lama. "As a visual aid and meditation support" for the Dalai Lama himself, Ye shes rgyal mtshan had the Tantra itself, the Pradipodyotana, and Tsong kha pa's two commentaries bound in a single ornate volume written in gold ink on good black paper This "specially produced" volume was covered in silk brocade, had a title flap of old material, book boards with the eight auspicious symbols written upon them in gold ink, and was bound by a silk strap with a silver buckle. In a clear link between editorial activity, book production, patronage, and the power attributed to finely crafted volumes of scripture, the Eighth Dalai Lama states that Ye shes rgyal mtshan's finished volume is "a visual aid for us, aglow with the luster of blessings." Ye shes rgyal mtshan's choice to reproduce Tsong kha pa's commentaries is interesting in light of the fact that the earliest known printed works in Central Tibet were prepared by Tsong kha pa himself between 1418 and 1419, and these were none other than the Guhyasamaja Tantra and the Pradipodyotana. (66) Could these have been among the prints at 'Bras spungs? And yet, even in the "golden age" of Tibetan xylograph printing during the eighteenth century, Ye shes rgyal mtshan produced a handwritten manuscript of his editions of these works. This four-part volume was not, after all, intended for mass dissemination, but as an ornate and unique offering to the Eighth Dalai Lama. Again we find the close link between the aesthetics of book production and patronage first encountered in Bu ston's letter to editors.

Aside from the provocative picture of life in a scriptorium sketched out in this small letter to editors from the fourteenth century, what strikes the reader in this letter is the vehemence with which Bu ston imparts his rather technical instructions on the details of working with texts, a vehemence that is motivated by, among other things, the importance of such craftsmanship for the preservation and propagation of Buddhist literature, of Buddhist doctrine, in Tibet. The work of editing, proofreading, and copying was for Bu ston religious work, work that was as important as the painting of mandalas or the construction of stupas, both of which he was involved in as well. We can parallel his planning of murals with his instructions to editors; in both cases he appears to have been a sort of executive producer more than a hands-on craftsman. (67) Manuscript production was a practical manifestation of the second of the triad of foundations for Buddhist religious life, the foundations for the enlightened body (sku rten), speech (gsung rten), and mind (thugs rten) of the Buddha himself, manifested in statues, scriptures, and stupas respectively, and for this reason, as Bu ston states at the close of his letter, in editing "care is vital for everyone, so very vital." The zeal evinced by Bu ston for developing rules for scriptoria under the patronage of the Zhwa lu Ska zhang bears comparison with the emphatically prescriptive verses in praise of the early medieval European scriptorium by Alcuin (ca. 735-804), central figure of the Carolingian renaissance under Charlemagne: "May those who copy the pronouncements of the holy law and the hallowed sayings of the saintly Fathers sit here. Here let them take care not to insert their vain words, lest their hands make mistakes through such foolishness. Let them resolutely strive to produce emended texts and may their pens fly along the correct path." (68)

In Bu ston's letter we also see another, and perhaps more immediate reason, for careful work, which is that the manuscripts, indeed the whole venture, were in fact the property of the Lord of the Manor at Zhwa lu. At the close of the letter, just where one might expect a call for treating the sacred word of the Buddha with respect, we find instead a call to treat the property of the one who is meting out the wages with all the respect that such an employer deserves! In broad terms, the importance Bu ston places on ownership resonates well with Kapstein's recent insight that for the rulers of Tibet "... possession of the canon signified the incorporation into the monarch's domain of the well-ordered empire of enlightened reason." (69) From this small letter we also learn that Bu ston did much more than add one thousand works to the emerging Bstan 'gyur, the achievement for which he has been primarily known; he developed, or at the very least clearly articulated, an aesthetic for canonical volumes. Moreover, this drive for aesthetic sophistication and symmetry was, the letter suggests, directly related to patronage. (70)

Here we see that economic, religious, and, as we noted previously, personal concerns about his reputation as a scholar--all these facets of living and working in the monastery of Zhwa lu--played a role in Bu ston's plea for fine and detailed work. In this fascinating undertaking of 1334, we thus find an interface between several spheres of Buddhist life: scholastic concerns, practical arts, devotional practice, and the economic and religious importance of the patron-patronized relationship. Beginning with the written letter on paper, and spiraling outward from there in expanding circles of religious practice and social life, Bu ston's letter provides a rare glimpse into the realities of Buddhist book production in premodern Tibet, and more broadly into Buddhist literature in its most physical sense.

It is clear that the scribal craft was a continuing topic of concern for Tibetan scholars in the centuries following Bu ston, as evidenced by works such as Sde srid Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho's (1653-1705) work of 1681, the Clear Crystal Mirror: A Guideline for Clarifying Regulations and Prohibitions in Twenty-One [Chapters], which contains instructions to scribes of the Dga' ldan pho brang government on the proper writing, editing, and rewriting of official documents. (71) The task remains to collect references to scribal work and book production from all periods and institutional settings in order to develop a more general understanding of the role of books in Tibetan social and cultural life.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Tibetan Works

Kun dga' rdo rje, Tshal pa (1309-1364). Deb ther dmar po rnams kyi dang po hu lan deb ther. Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, Beijing, 1981.

Bkra shis don grub (16th c.). Chos grwa chen po dpal zha lu gser khang gi bdag po jo bo lce'i gdung rabs. Unpublished manuscript, 55 fols.

Ngag dbang blo bzang, Klong rdol bla ma (1719-1794). Rig gnas che ba sgra rig pa / snyan ngag [/] sdeb sbyor / zlos gar / mngon brjod / brda gsar rnying gi khyad par rnams las byung ba'i ming gi grangs. Klong rdol ngag dbang blo bzang gi gsung 'bum. Bod ljongs bod yig dpe rnying dpe skrun khang, Lhasa, 1991. Gangs can rig mdzod 20. Vol. 1, pp. 657-86.

Bcom ldan ral gri (1227-1305). Sgra'i bstan bcos smra ba rgyan gyi me tog. Cultural Palace of Nationalities, Beijing. Ms. 22 fols.

Chos kyi 'byung gnas, Si tu Pan chen (1699/1700-1774). Thon mi'i legs bshad sum cu pa'i snying po ljon pa'i dbang po. Sum rtags rtsa ba dang de'i 'grel pa si tu'i zhal lung. Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, Beijing. Pp. 76-78.

Chos skyong bzang po, Zhwa lu Lo tsa ba (1441-1527). Bod kyi brda'i bstan bcos legs par bshad pa rin po che'i za ma tog bkod pa (1514). Dag yig skor gyi dpe rgyun dkon po 'ga' phyogs gcig tu bsgrigs pa mu tig tshom bu. Mtsho sngon mi rigs dpe skrun khang, Xining, 1998. Pp. 39-92.

'Jam dpal rgya mtsho, Dalai Lama VIII (1758-1804). Dpal ldan bla ma dam pa rigs dang dkyil 'khor rgya mtsho'i mnga' bdag bka' drin gsum ldan yongs 'dzin pandi ta chen po rje btsun ye shes rgyal mtshan dpal bzang po'i sku gsung thugs kyi rtogs pa brjod pa thub bstan padmo 'byed pa'i nyin byed. Biography of Tshe-gling Yongs-'dzin Ye-shes-rgyal-mtshan by Dalai Lama VIII. Ngawang Gelek Demo, Delhi, 1969.

'Jigs med grags pa (15th c.). Rgyal rtse chos rgyal gyi rnam par thar pa dad pa'i lo thog dngos grub kyi char 'bebs (1479-1481). Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang, Lhasa, 1987.

'Jigs med 'bangs (15th c.). Dpal ldan bla ma dam pa thams cad mkhyen pa phyogs thams cad las rnam par rgyal ba'i zhabs kyi rnam par thar pa ngo mtshar kyi dga' ston. Bod ljongs bod yig dpe rnying dpe skrun khang, Lhasa, 1991. Gangs can rig mdzod 15.

Taranatha (1575-1634) (Authorship uncertain). Myang yul stod smad bar gsum gyi ngo mtshar gtam legs bshad mkhas pa'i 'jug ngogs. Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang, Lhasa, 1983.

Bstan 'dzin padma'i rgyal mtshan, 'Bri gung Che tshang IV (1770-1826). Nges don bstan pa'i snying po mgon po 'bri gung pa chen po'i gdan rabs chos kyi byung tshul gser gyi phreng ba. Bod ljongs bod yig dpe rnying dpe skrun khang, Lhasa, 1989. Gangs can rig mdzod 8.

Dpa' ris sangs rgyas. Dpe chos rna ba'i bdud rtsi. Mtsho sngon mi rigs dpe skrun khang, Xining, 1985.

Phyogs las rnam rgyal, Bo don Pan chen (1375-1451). Rten gsum bzhengs tshul bstan bcos lugs bshad pa. Encyclopedia Tibetica: The Collected Works of Bo-dong pan-chen phyogs-las-rnam-rgyal. Tibet House, 1969. Vol. 2, pp. 265-342.

______. Byis pa 'jug pa'i sgo. Encyclopedia Tibetica: The Collected Works of Bo-dong pan-chen phyogs-las-rnam-rgyal. Tibet House, 1970. Vol. 9, pp. 12-188.

Blo gsal bstan skyong, Zhwa lu Ri phug Sprul sku (1804-c. 1874). Dpal ldan zhwa lu pa'i bstan pa la bka' drin che ba'i skyes bu dam pa rnams kyi rnam thar lo rgyus ngo mtshar dad pa'i 'jug ngogs. On the History of the Monastery of Zhwa-lu. Tashi Yangphel Tashigang, Leh, 1971. Pp. 1-471.

Rin chen bkra shis, Skyogs ston Lo tsa ba (16th c.). Bod kyi skad las gsar rnying gi brda'i khyad par ston pa legs par bshad pa li shi'i gur khang. Dag yig skor gyi dpe rgyun dkon po 'ga' phyogs gcig tu bsgrigs pa mu tig tshom bu. Mtsho sngon mi rigs dpe skrun khang, Xining, 1998. Pp. 397-424.

______. Rje btsun zhwa lu lo tsa ba'i rnam par thar pa brjed byang nor bu'i khri shing (1517). Unpublished manuscript, 42 folios.

Rin chen grub, Bu ston (1290-1364). Bstan 'gyur gyi dkar chag yin bzhin nor bu dbang gi rgyal po'i phreng ba. The Collected Works of Bu-ston. Edited by Lokesh Chandra. International Academy of Indian Culture, New Delhi, 1971. Vol. 26, pp. 401-644.

______. Bde bar gshegs pa'i bstan pa'i gsal byed chos kyi 'byung gnas gsung rab rin po che'i mdzod. Edited by Rdo rje rgyal po. Krung go'i bod kyi shes rig dpe skrun khang, Beijing, 1981. Pp. 1-317.

______. Bu ston rin po che'i bka' 'bum gyi dkar chag chos rje nyid kyis mdzad pa. The Collected Works of Bu-ston. Ed. Lokesh Chandra. International Academy of Indian Culture, New Delhi, 1971. Vol. 26, pp. 645-56.

______. [Untitled, listed in table of contents as "Directions to the editors and publishers of the Buddhist Scriptures"]. The Collected Works of Bu-ston. Ed. Lokesh Chandra. International Academy of Indian Culture, New Delhi, 1971. Vol. 26, pp. 344-46.

Rin chen rnam rgyal, Sgra tshad pa (1318-88). Kun mkhyen bu ston gyi bka' 'bum dkar chag. The Collected Works of Bu-ston. Ed. Lokesh Chandra. International Academy of Indian Culture, New Delhi, 1971. Vol. 28, pp. 333-42.

______. Bka' 'bum gyi dkar chag rin chen lde mig. The Collected Works of Bu-ston. Ed. Lokesh Chandra. International Academy of Indian Culture, New Delhi, 1971. Vol. 28, pp. 319-32.

______. Chos rje thams cad mkhyen pa bu ston lo tsa ba'i rnam par thar pa snyim pa'i me tog. In Bde bar gshegs pa'i bstan pa'i gsal byed chos kyi 'byung gnas gsung rab rin po che'i mdzod. Ed. Rdo rje rgyal po. Krung go'i bod kyi shes rig dpe skrun khang, Beijing, 1981. Pp. 318-74.

Sakya mchog ldan (1428-1507). Dpal ldan a ti sha sras dang brgyud bar bcas pa'i ngo mtshar mdzad pa'i phreng ba spel legs. The Complete Works (gsun 'bum) of Gser-mdog Pan-chen Sakya-mchog-ldan. Kunzang Tobgey, Thimphu, 1975. Vol. 16, pp. 538.3-550.2.

Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho, Sde srid (1653-1705). Blang dor gsal bar ston pa'i drang thig dwangs shel me long nyer gcig pa (1681). Blan dor gsal bar ston pa'i dran thig dwans sel me lon: A Treatise on the Sixteen Fundamental Principles of Tibetan Administrative Law. Tibetan Bonpo Monastic Center, Dolanji, 1979. Pp. 1-83.

Bsam gtan bzang po. Bcom ldan ral gri'i rnam thar ldad pa'i ljong shing. Unpublished manuscript, 26 fols.

Bsod nams dpal bzang po; Sakya 'od; Byang chub rgyal mtshan. Bstan bcos 'gyur ro 'tshal gyi dkar chag yid bzhin nor bu rin po che'i za ma tog. The Collected Works of Bu-ston. Ed. Lokesh Chandra. International Academy of Indian Culture, New Delhi, 1971. Vol. 28, pp. 343-574. (Incorrectly attributed to Sgra tshad pa Rin chen rnam rgyal.)

Ye shes rgyal mtshan, Tshe mchog gling yongs 'dzin (1713-1793). Thams cad mkhyen pa bu ston rin chen grub kyi gsung 'bum gyi dkar chag bstan pa rin po che'i mdzes rgyan phul byung gser gyi phreng ba (1779). The Collected Works (Gsun-'bum) of Tshe-mchog-glin yons-'dzin ye-ses-rgyal-mtshan. Tibet House, New Delhi, 1975. Vol. 5, pp. 261-735.

Secondary Works

Ahmad, Z. 1995. A History of Tibet by Nag-dBan Blo-bZan rGya-mTSHo, Fifth Dalai Lama of Tibet. Bloomington: Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, Indiana Univ.

Briggs, Charles. 2000. Historiographical Essay: Literacy, Reading, and Writing in the Medieval West. Journal of Medieval History 26: 397-420.

Ehrhard, Franz-Karl. 2000. The Oldest Block Print of Klong-chen Rab-'byams-pa's Theg mchog mdzod: Facsimile Edition of Early Tibetan Block Prints. Lumbini: Lumbini International Research Institute.

Eimer, H. 1992. Ein Jahrzehnt Studien zur Uberlieferung des tibetischen Kanjur. Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde, vol. 28. Vienna: Arbeitskreis fur tibetische und buddhistische Studien Universitat Wien.

Ganz, David. 1995. Book Production in the Carolingian Empire and the Spread of the Caroline Miniscule. In The New Cambridge Medieval History, vol. 2: c. 700-c. 900, ed. Rosamond McKitterick. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. Pp. 786-807.

Gronbold, Gunter. 1982. De Schrift- und Buchkultur Tibets. In Der Weg zum Dach der Welt, ed. Claudius C. Muller and Walter Raunig. Innsbruck: Pinguin-Verlag. Pp. 363-80.

Gsang bdag. 1993. Skad gsar bcad rnam pa gsum gyi dus rim gyi dbye ba dang de'i dgos don skor bshad pa. Krung go'i bod kyi shes rig, 2: 33-40.

Harrison, P. 1994. In Search of the Tibetan Bka' 'gyur: A Reconnaissance Report. In Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the 6th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, ed. P. Kvaerne. Oslo: The Institute of Comparative Research in Human Culture. Vol. 1: 295-317.

______. 1996. A Brief History of the Tibetan bKa' 'gyur. In Tibetan Literature: Studies in Genre, ed. R. R. Jackson and J. I. Cabezon. Ithaca: Snow Lion Publications. Pp. 70-94.

Heller, Amy. 1999. Tibetan Art: Tracing the Development of Spiritual Ideals and Art in Tibet 600-2000 A.D. Milan: Jaca Book.

Ishikawa Mie. 1990. A Critical Edition of the Sgra sbyor bam po gnyis spa: An Old and Basic Commentary on the Mahavyutpatti. Tokyo: Toyo Bunko.

Jackson, David P. 1990. The Earliest Printings of Tsong-kha-pa's Works: The Old Dga'-ldan Editions. In Reflections on Tibetan Culture: Essays in Memory of Turrell V. Wylie, ed. Lawrence Epstein and Richard F. Sherbourne. Lewiston, Maine: Edwin Mellen Press. Pp. 107-16.

______. 1996. A History of Tibetan Painting: The Great Tibetan Painters and Their Traditions. Vienna: Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

Kanakura Ensho, ed. 1953. A Catalogue of the Tohoku University Collection of Tibetan Works on Buddhism. Sendai: Seminary of Indology, Tohoku Univ.

Kapstein, Matthew T. 2000. The Tibetan Assimilation of Buddhism: Conversion, Contestation, and Memory. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Martin, Dan. 1997. Tibetan Histories: A Bibliography of Tibetan-Language Historical Works. London: Serindia Publications.

McKitterick, Rosamond. 1989. The Carolingians and the Written Word. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Nishioka Soshu. Index to the Catalogue Section of Bu-ston's "History of Buddhism." Annual Report of the Institute for the Study of Cultural Exchange, The University of Tokyo. (I) No. 4, 1980, pp. 61-92; (II) No. 5, 1981. pp. 43-94; (III) No. 6, 1983, pp. 47-200.

Obermiller, E. 1932. The History of Buddhism in India and Tibet by Bu-Ston. Heidelberg: Harrassowitz.

Ruegg, D. S. 1966. The Life of Bu ston Rin po che. Rome: Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente.

Samten, J. S. 1987. Notes on the Lithang Edition of the Tibetan bKa'-'gyur. Tibet Journal 12: 17-40.

Sangs rgyas bstan dar, and Tsepak Rigzin. 1994. Bod dbyin shan sbyar gyi tshig tshogs dang gtam dpe: Tibetan Quadrisyllabics, Phrases and Idioms. Lhasa: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.

Schaeffer, Kurtis R. 1999. Printing the Words of the Master: Tibetan Editorial Practice in the Collected Works of 'Jam dbyangs bzhad pa'i rdo rje I (1648-1721). Acta Orientalia 60: 159-77.

______. Forthcoming. Editorial Perfection and Spiritual Failure: Creating the Bka' 'gyur and Bstan 'gyur at Sde dge. In Proceedings of the 8th Seminar of the International Association of Tibetan Studies. Bloomington: Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, Indiana Univ.

Simonsson, Nils. 1957. Indo-Tibetische Studien: Die Methoden der Tibetischen Ubersetzer, untersucht im Hinblink auf die Bedeutung ihrer Ubersetzungen fur die Sanskritphilologie. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells Boktryckeri AB.

Skilling, P. 1997. From bKa' bstan bcos to bKa' 'gyur and bsTan 'gyur. In Transmission of the Tibetan Canon: Proceedings of the 7th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Graz 1995, ed. H. Eimer. Vienna: Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Vol. 3: 87-111.

Smith, E. Gene. 2001. Among Tibetan Texts: History and Literature of the Himalayan Plateau, ed. Kurtis R. Schaeffer. Boston: Wisdom Publications.

Snellgrove, David. 1987. Indo-Tibetan Buddhism: Indian Buddhists and Their Tibetan Successors. Boston: Shambala Publications.

Stein, Rolf Alfred. 1983. Tibetica Antiqua I. Bulletin de l'Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient 72: 149-236.

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Uray, Geza. 1989. Contributions to the Date of the Vyutpatti-Treatises. Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientarium Hungaricae 43: 3-21.

Ur kho. 1995. Rkyen gyi yi ge dang de'i 'jug tshul la rdo tsam dpyad pa. Krung go'i bod kyi shes rig, 1: 136-41.

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______. 1996. Tibetan Expertise in Sanskrit Grammar: Ideology, Status, and Other Extra-Linguistic Factors. In Ideology and Status of Sanskrit: Contributions to the History of the Sanskrit Language, ed. Jan E. M. Houben. Leiden: Brill. Pp. 275-87.

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KURTIS R. SCHAEFFER

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

1. Rin chen rnam rgyal, Chos, p. 370. See Ruegg 1966: 164-65. Two beautiful images of Bu ston holding a manuscript can be found in Heller 1999, pls. 63 and 64.

2. See Ruegg 1966: 118, where it is stated that Bu ston collected the majority of the works in the Bka' 'gyur. See Rin chen rnam rgyal, Chos, pp. 345-46: nyid kyis bzhengs pa'i gtsug lag khang du yang rgyud 'bum dang 'dul ba lug la sogs pa'i bka' 'gyur ro cog phal che ba bzhengs. See Harrison 1996 on the problem of the Bka' 'gyur at Zhwa lu.

3. 'Phags pa 'da' ka ye shes shes bya ba theg pa chen po'i mdo (Aryatajna-nama-mahayana-sutra): Ui 1934, no. 112.

4. See Ruegg 1966: 66.

5. Rin chen rnam rgyal, Chos, p. 348.5-7: yi ge pa kun gyis mtha' bskor nas 'gyur dang rtsom pa'i rigs mi gcig pa mang po dus gcig pa la mdzad kyang / rang rang gi lag ma stongs par zhal thon du thang lhod med pa spobs /. See Ruegg 1966: 123.

6. Rin chen rnam rgyal, Chos, p. 343. 19-22: spyir bka' bstan bcos rnams dang khyad par gsang sngags kyi bstan bcos zhus dag mdzod / yang sgos su nga'i bstan bcos kun la nga rang gi zhus dag cig bya snyam na'ang ma grub / da nyid kyis zhus dag gyis shig ces lung bstan /. See Ruegg 1966: 112.

7. See Ruegg 1966: 118 and elsewhere. This image is also evoked in Taranatha, Myang, p. 176: sbyin bdag sku zhang kun dga' don grub kyis mdzad nas thams cad mkhyen pa bu ston lo tsa bas sngar ma bsgyur ba'i mdo rgyud bstan bcos mang du bsgyur zhing / chad pa rnams kyang hor khong bsabs / rgyun rdzus ma rnams sun phyung / bka' bstan bcos khag cig gzhi 'gyur / khag cig zhu chen / khag cig hor khong bsabs te bstan pa'i srog shing chen po mdzad /.

8. Sakya mchog Idan, Dpal, p. 548. 1-3: phyi mo'i go rim slar yang bsgrigs pa dang // sngon mas ma rnyed chos tshan stong phrag tsam // gsar du bsnan pa'i zhus chen dam pa mdzad//gangs can ljongs su bka' dang bstan bcos kyi // glegs bam ma nyams sgron ma 'bar ba yis // ston pa'i bstan pa nyi mor ltar gsal ba'i bka' drin mtshungs med gang las byung gyur ba // bcom ldan ral gri brgyud bar bcas pa dang // mkhyen rab dbang phyug bu ston lo tsa yi // legs mdzad kun la nges par yi rang zhing / sgo gsum kun nas gus pas phyag 'tshal lo //.

9. Rin chen rnama rgyal, Chos, p. 367 (Ruegg's edition: f. 37a.7-37b.1): de bas kyang byings dang rgyud la sogs rang re'i dpe skor 'di tsho la zhu dag bya dgos pa dang yig cha bya ba dam bca' ba 'dra yang yod de / rdzogs pa chen po'i ngang du rgyob / nga shi tsa na mkhas pa dang 'dun pa yod pas bltas na / kho'i dpe 'di tsho la zhus dag gcig kyang ma 'byor 'dug zer te 'phya / mi shes pas bltas tsa na / phugs cin gyis khengs pa bzhin myur po 'ong /. See Ruegg 1966: 159-60 for a paraphrase for this difficult passage. Writing in 1779, the Dge lugs pa scholar Ye shes rgyal mtshan (1713-93) concluded his summary of Bu ston's life with a paraphrased version of this scene. See Ye shes rgyal mtshan, Thams, p. 354: byings dang rgyud la sogs pa sgra skor 'di dag gis gtsos rang re'i brtsams chos 'di dag la zhus dag bya dgos pa mang du yod de da long ma byung / nga shi ba'i 'og tu mkhas pas bltas nas legs par dpyad na kho bo'i brtsams chos 'di dag la zhus dag legs po ma byung 'dug zer ba cig 'ong / rjes 'brang gi blun po tshig tsam gyi rjes su 'jug pa dag gis bltas nas rigs pas mi dpyod par tshig tsam la zhen pas chu ma thub par phugs rul ba zhig 'ong ste bya thabs med gsungs te /.

10. See Harrison 1996 as well as the other works listed in his bibliography. Most recently, see Skilling 1997. The essays collected in Eimer 1992 are foundational for the modern study of the Tibetan Buddhist canons.

11. Harrison 1994.

12. Gronbold 1982 provides a useful summary of the physical aspects of book production in Tibet. Briggs 2000 provides a useful summary of recent work on literacy, reading, writing, and book production more generally in medieval Europe.

13. For a study of these issues in connection with the printing of the Bka' 'gyur and Bstan 'gyur during the 1720s and 1730s at Sde dge, see Schaeffer forthcoming.

14. On this last question, see Schaeffer 1999. See also Samten 1987: 20-36 for passages describing the methods of the scribes and editors of the Tshal pa Bka' 'gyur of 1347-49.

15. See Ruegg 1966: 123 and Rin chen rnam rgyal. Chos, p. 348.3-4: de la sogs pa bka' bstan bcos kha cig gi gzhi 'gyur/kha cig gi zhu zhen/kha cig gi hor kong bsabs te /. These activities are also mentioned in the biographical summary of Bu ston in Bkra shis don grub's mid-sixteenth century history of Zhwa lu. See Bkra shis don grub, Chos, ff. 31a.4-5: bstan 'gyur lha khang du bcos bod du 'gyur ro cog rnams bzhengs / sngar ma 'gyur ba rnams bsgyur chad pa rnams hor khong bsab pa la sogs pa mdzad /. See Martin 1997, entry 171, for more information on this work. See also the history of the Myang valley, which recapitulates much of the phrasing of Sgra tshad pa's biography of Bu ston: Taranatha, Myang, pp. 176-77.

16. See Vitali 1990: 89-122 for the most detailed discussion to date on the early history of Zhwa lu, and pp. 98-103 for the Sku zhang rulers in particular.

17. Rin chen grub, Bstan, pp. 637.6-638.1: dkon mchog gsum legs par mchod pa'i sbyin bdag / sku zhang chen po kung dga' don grub kyis / dbus gtsang gi sa cha na yod pa'i yig mkhan gang mkhas mkhas rnams mkhas btus su spyan drangs te / lung dang rigs pa smra ba'i dge ba'i bshes gnyen sakya seng ge dang / dar ma byang chub dang / zhon [sic] nu 'phel rnams kyis zhal ta legs par bgyis te /. See Ruegg 1966: 32-33.

18. See Ahmad 1995: 109 and Ruegg 1966: 134.

19. See Samten 1987: 20-36. Harrison 1994: p. 315, n. 70 cautiously suggests only that "the Tshal pa Rgyud may have been influenced by Bu ston's work to some extent."

20. Rin chen grub, Bstan, p. 638.3.

21. Ibid., p. 637.7.

22. Ibid., p. 638.3.

23. Rin chen grub, Directions, pp. 344-45: yongs kyi dge ba'i bshes gnyen rnams la phyag 'tshal lo // bstan bcos chen po bzhengs pa'i chos gnyer ba dge ba'i bshes gnyen rnams dang / yon tan mkhan rnams kyi snyan du gsol ba / nged kyis kha ta byas pa'i lugs bzhin mdzad 'tshal ba / gzigs rtog 'them po mdzad nas / yon tan mkhan po rnams la zhal ta'i rim pa rnams ma lus par byon cing / yon tan mkhan po rnams kyis kyang sems la bzung nas nyan pa gal che'o //.

24. Ibid.: chad 'jug rnams dkyus su chug cing / shog bu srab pa rnams la de'i thad kar shog lhan gyis la / de'i steng du bris / bsdus yig ma byed cig / phyi mo na 'dug pa kun kyang khrol mdzod / chad 'jug dgos pa'i skabs su zhus dag byed tsa na / de'i gong nas dum [345] re skyor la mdzod / zur gyi ang chung rnams gsal mi gsal la bltas nas mi gsal ba dang mi go ba rnams go bar byed du chug mdzod / yi ge'i che phra dang /s had bar / tsheg bar rnams la dkar tshad ldan 'ong pa dang / phreng re la yig rdog brgya dang bco lnga nas nyi shu'i bar tshang bar 'dug mi 'dug gzigs la / ma tshang ba rnams la tshang bar bris gsung mdzod /.

25. Ibid., p. 345: yi ge gzab ma pa rnams kyis / thung ba dang rdzogs pa dang / 'dril ba / thebs par 'ong pa dang / shar (read: gshar) ma pa rnams kyis / 'bru'i thig tshugs dang mi 'gal zhing / 'jam po 'ong ba dang / spyi khyab tu snyoms pa dang / dag po 'ong ba'i zhal ta mdzod / zhus dag mdzad dus 'don ba bos bul po mdzad cing nges po 'ong ba dang / babs sprigs pa la yig mkhan rnams kyis chos cha'i bar du skad de babs dang / yi ge rdzogs pa'i gsham rnams su khengs pa bris shing / chad dang lhag pa med pa gyis gsung mdzod /.

26. Ibid.: bam po mgo skya dang / le'u gsham skya bya ba lags pas / dkar thob pa dang / chig shad / nyis shad / bzhi shad tsheg shad rnams la'ang rtog dpyod zhib po mdzad cing / mdo las bya ba lta bu sogs dang / rtsa tshig rdzogs pa'i rjes nyis shad thob pa yin na'ang 'brel pa dang gnyis kyi bar dang / gsungs so bya ba lta bu sogs nyis shad thob pa yin na'ang / slar bsdus tshig nyis shad thob pa yin na'ang /de ma thag 'grel pa'i tshig 'ong ba rnams kyi bar du tsheg shad re byed du chug mdzod /.

The issue of punctuation was taken up later by Zhwa lu Lo tsa ba Chos skyong bzang po (Chos skyong bzang po, Bod, p. 88): de dag rnams dang tshig rkang mthar // nyis bshad le'u mtshams bzhi shad thob // ga yig rjes su chig shad bya // shad gong phal cher phyi tsheg spang // rkyang shad dang ni tsheg shad dag / thob tshul skabs dang sbyar la dpyad //. Si tu Pan chen Chos kyi 'byung gnas (1699/1700-74) also touches on punctuation in Chos kyi 'byung gnas, Thon, p. 78: lhug pa'i don mang ming mtshams dang // don 'bring 'byed dang don nyung rdzogs // tshigs bcad ga mthar chig shad bya // rdzogs tshig mtha' can lhug pa dang // tshigs bcad rkang mthar nyis shad 'thob // don tshan chen mo rdzogs pa dang // le'u mtshams su bzhi shad dgos // nga yig ma gtogs yig shad dbar // tsheg med de sogs zhib tu 'bad //. A recent essay in Tibetan by Ur kho (1995) presents the main features of Tibetan punctuation and compares older styles with those of contemporary writing.

27. Rin chen grub, Directions, p. 345: tshig don gnyis rtogs pa phar ltos tshur ltos lags pas / the tshom byung na lta rtog zhib po mdzad pas tshig las don rtogs shing / don las brda rtog pa lags so /.

28. Ibid., pp. 345-46: sngags brda dang / bod brda gnyis so sor phye ste mdzod / sngags la'ang sgrub thabs so so'i bzhed tshul gyis / ring thung dang drag zhan sogs ma 'khrul bar mdzad nas / lham dpe zhwa la bkab pa'i skyon [346] med par mdzod /.

29. See bu ston's Collected Works, vol. 16.

30. Dpa' ris sangs rgyas glosses the term zhwa dpe lham bkab in the following way (Dpa' ris. Dpe, pp. 323-24): zhwa gang zhes dris pa la lham 'di zhes ston pa ste / gzhug bya dang 'jug byed nor bu'i dpe'o /. See also Sangs rgyas bstan dar and Rigzin 1994: 205.

31. I have been unable as yet to identify the Rgyab bzang.

32. Rin chen grub, Directions, p. 346: dag byed kyi yig cha mi 'dra ba du ma bdog pas nged kyis byas pa'i nges pa can rnams de bzhin du mdzad cing/gzhan rnams bka' bcad dang / rgyab bzang rnams kyi rjes su mdzod / yig cha byung tshad la nges pa bcas kyang / dag yig rab la'ang ma dag pa srid pas yid mi rton lags so //.

33. For further information on bkas bcad in the context of the Sgra sbyor bam po gnyis pa, see esp. Uray 1989; also Ishikawa 1990: 2, 4; Verhagen 1996: 282-86; Snellgrove 1987: vol. 2, pp. 442-43; Simonsson 1957: 238-80, and in particular pp. 246, 259, 263. For recent Tibetan scholarship on this topic, see Gsang bdag 1993. For a detailed survey of the lexicographic and grammatical entries of the Sgra sbyor bam po gnyis pa, see Verhagen 1994: 15-45.

34. Compare Rin chen grub, Bde, p. 190.25 through p. 191.4, with Simonsson 1957: 241-42, sections 2 and 3. See also Obermiller 1932: 196-97. See Uray 1989 for an exhaustive discussion of the confusion between Khri Ide srong btsan and Ral pa can in Tibetan historiography dealing with the translation and revision.

35. See Rin chen grub, Bde, p. 310.21-22, and Nishioka 1983: 116.

36. See Simonsson 1957: 218 and Stein 1983: 151-52.

37. See Verhagen 1996 on this figure.

38. See Rin chen bkra shis, Bod, pp. 398-99.

39. Bcom Idan ral gri's hitherto unknown dates have been determined from the biography written at the request of his uncle by Bsam gtan bzang po: see Bsam gtan bzang po, Bcom, ff. 19a.5-19b.2. and f. 20a.5.

40. Cf. Rin chen bkra shis, Bod, pp. 398-99, with the following passage from Bcom Idan ral gri, Sgra'i, 4b.6-5b.7: bkas bcad la'ang dang po dang / bar pa tham gsum mi 'thun // chos sgyur ba na lo pan dang rgyal blon dang brda la mkhas pa rnam 'dus te / yul tha dad na ming du ma yod kyang 'di'i ming ni 'dir 'thad do zhes bcad pa ni bka' bcad de / de la yang gsum te / mthon mi sambho ta dang btsad po khri srong lde btsan gyi dus kyi dang po byas pa'i 'gyur rnams ni dang por byas pa'i bkas bcad kyis bsgyur te / sangs rgyas phal po che dang / lung sde bzhi dang mdo sde kha cig dang / sher phyin gyi mdo kha cig ste skad gsar bad kyi bstan la ma phab pa rnams so // .... [5b.4] gnyis pa skad bsar bcad la ni de dag gi zla bo ji skad bshad pa rnams dang gzhan yang deng sang gsung rab la grags pa'i ming phal che ba rnams yin no // bkas bcad pa gnyis po de ni mnga' bdag khri ral pa can yan chad du bka' cog zhang gsum la sogs pas byas pa yin no // skas bcad gsum pa ni lha bla ma ye shes 'od kyi dus kyi sgra bsgyur rin chen bzang po nas bzung ste kho bo'i bla ma chag lo che ba dge slong chos rje dpal yan chad kyi byas pa yin no //.

41. Chos skyong bzang po, Bod, p. 89: bka' srol de nyid la brten nas // lo pan skyes mchog du ma yis // rgya gar rgya nag kha che dang / li dang bal po'i yul sogs nas // thub pa'i gsung rab sna tshogs bsgyur // brda yang mi 'dra sna tshogs gyur // chos rgyal ral pa can gyi dus / ska cog zhang sogs mkhas mang gis // rgyal po'i bkas bskul gsar bcad kyi // skad kyis brda sbyar gtan la phab //.

42. Ngag dbang blo bzang, Rig, p. 684: bka' pod che ba rnams dbu can che bas bri / rgya gzhung bstan chos rnams dbu can 'bring pos bri / bod gzhung rnams dbu can chung ngus bri dgos pa bod chos rgyal rnams kyi bkas bcad yin /.

43. Rin chen grub, Directions, p. 346: yig rdog re re'i phyir yang rtog dpyod zhib po mdzod / sbyin bdag gis bris kyang rnying pa 'dug pa rnams ma 'bri / bris byang so ma 'bri ba zhal ta'i gsung bdog pas gzigs nas zhal bkod mdzod / 'bru chad 'them pa'i gnyis par mi gtong pa dang / zhal ta la mi nyan ba byung na / chos gnyer bas skad mdzod / gung seng gi 'khar rda byung nas ma sleb na / ja srang phyed re'i chad pa la yig tshang de'i yig mkhan rnams dang zhus dag pa gsol /.

44. Ibid.: mdor na grong pa sgo gcig gi mdo phran gcig 'bri bar mi gda' zhing / drung gi phyag dpe lags pas kun gyis gzab pa gal che'o // zhabs thog rnams kyang 'bad pa chen pos sgrub cing / phyis yon rdzong rnams kyang bzang por yon tan la ji ltar 'os pa bzhin zhu ba bgyid pa lags pas kun gyis gzab pa gal che'o // gal che'o // subham //.

45. Ehrhard (2000: xix) translates an account of a printing project of 1533 in which the craftsmen were said to be compensated well. The scribes who worked on the Bka' 'gyur at 'Bri gung were also apparently treated well: see Bstan 'dzin padma'i rgyal mtshan, Nges, p. 134: yig rig pa rnams la zang zing gi yon gyis tshim par mdzad /.

46. Bsod nams dpal bzang po, Bstan, p. 568: chu pho stag gi lo'i zla ba drug pa'i tshe brgyad la dbu btsugs nas lo de nyid kyi zla ba bcu pa'i tshes bcu bzhir rdzogs par grub ste / zhu dag mkhan po rnams kyi yongs su dag par byas te / zhal ta ba / yig gnyer ba / zhus dag pa / yon tan mkhan po'i gtso bo yig mkhan / shog bzo ba / rkos mkhan / gdong rkos kyi gser bzo mkhan / grangs yig pa / kag ta pa / gras mkhan / gdong kag pa / sku rags mkhan dang / sku rags kyi chab ma'i mgar ba / de rnams rang rang so so'i zhabs thos dang bcas pa rnams / ston mo dang / mdun 'jog dang / bskon dang / bskon spar dang / rdzong ba bzang pos legs par mnyes par byas te /. I have been unable to determine the meanings of kag ta pa and gdong kag pa. On the historical background of this project, see van der Kuijp 1994: 140-42.

47. See Bstan 'dzin padma'i rgyal mtshan, Nges, p. 134: yig mkhan bzhi brgya lhag nges kyis / rgyal ba'i bka' 'gyur ro cog gi glegs bam bzhengs nas / rab tu gnas pa'i dga' ston rgya chen po dang / yig rig pa rnams la zang zing gi yon gyis tshim par mdzad /.

48. See Ruegg 1966: 318.

49. Kun dga' rdo rje, Deb, p. 103.13.

50. Bstan 'dzin pad ma'i rgyal mtshan, Nges, p. 130.1-.3: mthing shog la gser gyi bris pa 'dul ba mdo sde sogs bde bar gshegs pa'i gsung rab mang du bzhengs. A century later, between 1435 and 1468, the thirteenth abbot of 'Bri gung mthil, Rin chen dpal bzang (1421-69), commissioned a gold-on-black Bka' 'gyur, which was completed in three months. See Bstan 'dzin pad ma'i rgyal mtshan, Nges, p. 150.10-.14.

51. See Bstan 'dzin pad ma'i rgyal mtshan, Nges, pp. 135-36.

52. See Samten 1987: 30: gzhi dung gi sa gzhi ltar dkar zhing 'jam la mkhregs pa'i steng rgyal po lha khang gi sho gu la dam che zhing mdangs gsal ba utpala sngon po lta bu'i rgya nag chen po las 'ong pa'i snag tshas 'bur dkyus tshugs la .... /.

53. See 'Jigs med grags pa, Rgyal, pp. 169 and 181. This biographical work on the rulers of Rgyal rtse is rich with details on the making of manuscripts during the fifteenth century. I hope to return to it for a full treatment in the near future.

54. See 'Jigs med 'bangs, Dpal, p. 223.

55. See Phyogs las rnam rgyal, Byis, pp. 128.5-132.7 and Phyogs las rnam rgyal, Rten, pp. 333.3-342.6. I think that the Rten gsum bzhengs tshul bstan bcos lugs bshad pa can be placed within Bo dong Pan chen's Introduction for Scholars (Mkhas pa 'jug pa'i sgo). According to his biographer, 'Jigs med 'bangs (fifteenth century), the De kho na nyid 'dus pa was divided into four parts, or "introductions" ('jug pa'i sgo): (1) Byis pa 'jug pa'i sgo, (2) Mkhas pa 'jug pa'i sgo, 3) Mdo la 'jug pa'i sgo, 4) Sngags la 'jug pa'i sgo. Reading and writing are included by 'Jigs med 'bangs in the Byis pa 'jug pa'i sgo, and practical arts (bzo rig pa) in the Mkhas pa 'jug pa'i sgo. The Rten gsum bzhengs tshul bstan bcos lugs bshad pa certainly fits within this category. See, 'Jigs med 'bangs Dpal, pp. 227.10-228.13. I am currently preparing a study of Bo dong Pan chen's comments on manuscript production and scribal craft.

56. See Rin chen bkra shis, Rje, f. 32a.2; also Blo gsal bstan skyong, Dpal, p. 236.2-.3. Blo gsal bstan skyong uses Rin chen bkra shis' biography of Zhwa lu Lo tsa ba in his work, as he tells us at Dpal, p. 241.1.

57. Rin chen bkra shis, Rje, f. 32b.4-.6.

58. I am currently preparing a study of Zhwa lu Lo tsa ba's career as a textual scholar as portrayed in Rin chen bkra shis, Rje.

59. See Smith 2001: 171-76, for more on this important eighteenth-century scholar.

60. See Ye shes rgyal mtshan, Thams, p. 367.5, where the letter is referred to as yig mkhan rnams la gdams pa, "instruction to scribes," and is listed in volume Za (22) of the twenty-two volume edition of Bu ston's works at Bkra shis bsam gtan gling.

61. See Rin chen rnam rygal, Kun, p. 341.5-.6; Rin chen rnam rgyal, Bka', pp. 331-32; Rin chen grub, Bu, p. 654.

62. I paraphrase from 'Jam dpal rgya mtsho, Dpal, pp. 298.3-300.1: gzhan yang dpal gsang ba 'dus pa'i rtsa rgyud kyi 'grel pa sgron ma gsal ba'i dka' gnas rnams rje tsong kha pa chen po'i mchan gyi sgo nas 'grol bar mdzad pa'i legs bshad rmad du byung ba sgron gsal mchan gyi yang 'grel 'di bzhin bkras lhun dang 'bras spungs gnyis kar bar du bzhugs kyang bris nor rgyun 'byams kyis gzhung gi tshig rkang chad pa dang / mchan dkyus dang dkyus mchan du shor ba dang / sbrul shad dang / gcod mtshams nor ba dang / yi ge'i sdebs sbyor nor ba sogs ma dag pa du ma zhig mchis pa rnams dpal gsang ba 'dus pa'i rtsa rgyud dang / 'grel pa sgron gsal gyi dpe rnying mang po dang / sgron gsal 'bras par dang / bkras par / ri bo mdangs chen gyi par rnying / snar thang gi par ma rnams dang / chos rje bu ston rin chen grub kyis mdzad pa'i sgron gsal gyi bshad sbyar mtha' drug gsal bar byed pa'i bsdus don zhes bya ba dang / kun mkhyen 'phags 'od kyis mdzad [299] pa'i sgron gsal rnam nges / rgyud chen sbyin pa dpal ba'i rgyud tik / rgyud stod smad kyi rgyud tik sogs gzhung mang po dang / khyad par sgron gsal mtshan ma'i gzhung gi phyi mo lta bu chos kyi rgyal po tsong kha pa chen po'i phyag dpe ngo mar grags pa da lta dpal ldan smad rgyud grwa tshang gi nang rten du bzhugs pa 'di dang / rgyal mchog blo bzang bskal bzang rgya mtsho'i gzigs dpe sngon gyi yig rnying pod gnyis 'dug pa rnams la zhib par gzigs te zhus dag legs par mdzad cing / yi ge'i spebs nor ba rnams sum rtags rtsa 'grel dang / bod kyi brda'i bye brag khungs ma mang po dang bstun te bris nor rgyu 'byams kyis bstan pa la bsre bslad tshud pa rnams legs par bsal nas dag pa'i phul du mdzad cing / de mtshungs rtsa rgyud dang mtha' gcod bsdus don rnams kyi tshig don la skyon 'jug pa'i bri nor rnams kyang 'chos par mdzad nas rje rang nyid kyi gzigs dpe thugs dam rten du gsang ba 'dus pa'i rtsa rgyud / sgron gsal mtshan ma / mtha' gcod myu gu / bsdus don dang bcas pa mthing shog bzang po la gser btsom 'ba' zhig gis bris pa zhig dang / skya pod gcig bcas gsar bzhengs mdzad de pod le tshan la mdzod gos tshos kha sum brtsegs kyi na bza' dang / gos rgyu rnying gi gdong dar / rin chen dang po'i khu bas bkra shis rtags brgyad sogs bris pa'i shing gi glegs bu la stong skud kyi glegs thag dngul gyi chab rtse 'byar ba yi ge [300] gzabs bris khyad thon gsar bzheng mdzad cing / de la ma phyi byas te bdag cag gi blta dper yang rje 'dis ljags zhus kyi 'grel pa bzhi sbrags kyi glegs bam byin rlabs gzi 'od 'bar ba zhig kyang yod do //.

63. Rgyud thams cad kyi rgyal po dpal gsang ba 'dus pa'i rgya cher bshad pa sgron ma gsal ba'i tshig don ji bzhin 'byed pa'i mchan gyi yang 'grel. 476ff. in vol. nga of the eighteen-volume New Zhol Par khang edition of the collected works of Tsong kha pa. Kanakura 1953, no. 5282.

64. Sgron ma gsal bar byed pa'i bshad sbyar mtha' drug rab tu gsal bar byed pa. 271ff. in vol. 9 of the Lha sa Zhol Gsar print of Bu ston's gsung 'bum. Kanakura 1953, no. 5077.

65. Rgyud kyi rgyal po dpal gsang ba 'dus pa'i rgya cher bshad pa sgron ma gsal ba'i dka' ba'i gnas kyi mtha' gcod rin po che'i myu gu. 138ff. in vol. ca of the New Zhol Par khang edition. Kanakura 1953, no. 5284.

66. See Jackson 1990: 106 and 114 n. 2.

67. See Jackson 1996: 76, 86, and nn. 169-70 for a clarification of Bu ston's role as a planner in the production of mandalas at Zhwa lu.

68. Quoted in Ganz 1995: 791.

69. Kapstein 2000: 56. See McKitterick 1989: 157-64 for a relevant discussion of book ownership in Carolingian Europe.

70. Harrison 1996: 85-86 touches on this issue.

71. See chapter seven of Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho, Blang, pp. 37.6-40.2.
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