December 26, 2011


klan ka ’tshol ba:

It is neither the meaning of klan (ka) (“censure” or “blame”) nor of klan (ka) ’tshol ba (“to seek brawls”) nor the etymology of the corresponding Sanskrit word (such as upālambha) as such that is of interest here but the etymology of klan (ka). According to dGe-chos, klan ka ’tshol ba (etymologically) means bu ga ’tshol ba (“to seek holes”). See the dGe chos gsung ’bum (vol. 5, p. 73). To some, the etymology may be obvious but may not be to others. Let us consider the Tibetan verb klan pa or klon pa, which means “to mend” or “to patch.” As nouns both klan pa and lhan pa mean “patch” and perhaps by extension “spot, speck, blot.” See Jäschke 1881: s.vv. klan/klon pa & lhan pa. Etymologically, therefore, klan ka ’tshol ba is obviously to be understood as “to seek patches,” or as dGe-chos puts it, “to seek holes” (as in a new dress). Seeking a patch or a hole thus means finding defect, flaw, or blemish (in something or someone).

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