April 24, 2012

འགྱུར་ཕྱག འགྱུར་བྱང་། བམ་པོ།

Tshe-tan-zhabs-drung thinks that putting Sanskrit titles (in scriptures and treatises in translation) and obeisance by the translator ('gyur phyag), mentioning number of bam pos, and so on, are specific to the Tibetan tradition, not found in the Chinese tradition. See his Thon mi’i zhal lung (p. 35). One needs to check with the bam po indication. In Tibet too, it was introduced later during the time of Khri-srong-lde-btsan. Also putting translation colophon ('gyur byang) at the end is a Tibetan tradition. Chinese put it in the beginning.    

1 comment:

  1. I think it's generally agreed among the Tibetanists that Indians did not calculate the sizes of works in terms of bam-po, but simply used the shloka-verse for this purpose (of size calculation).

    I've sometimes thought China would be an obvious place for the idea, since they often divided long works into 'fascicles' of accordion-like endless pages. I'm fuzzy on the history of Chinese book formats. I've often worried, though, that the Tibetan word bam-po may have something to do with corpses (in a speculative etymological way, of course!).

    I wonder if it has to do with scribal practices, though. A way of keeping track of how much work the scribes did so they can be remunerated appropriately? Perhaps the amount a scribe could do in a good day's work? (These are questions, *meant* as questions)