January 07, 2012


gor ma chag:

Tshe-tan-zhabs-drung, by citing Li shi’i gur khang, points out that the expression gor ma chag, an old synonym of the tshom med pa “indubitable,” literally means “broken stone” (rdo bcag pa / gor ma bkum/s pa). See his Thon mi’i dgongs rgyan (p. 58). Evidently ma in gor ma chag is understood to be a nominaliser (i.e. gor ma) and not as a negative particle (i.e. ma chag). This is also the case in Jäschke 1881: s.v. gor ma chag. I have no evidence but wonder if ma is here a negative particle and that the stone should be gor. Incidentally also in Kur-stod-pa dialect spoken in the upper valley of Ku-ri-chu in north-eastern Bhutan, the word for stone is simply gor. Besides indubitable seems to be always expressed negatively: the tshom med pa, yid gnyis med pa, yid gnyis dang bral ba, som nyi med pa, and som nyi dang bral ba, etc. Thus could gor ma chag mean “no stone is broken,” that is, no ominous sign is involved and hence no cause for consternation or doubt? But I seem to stand alone against all sources.

No comments:

Post a Comment