August 22, 2012


The etymology of Tibetan ’jig rten, a standard translation of Sanskrit loka (“world” or “people”), seems to be “substrate of decomposition” or “substrate characterised by decomposition.” Something like: ’jig pa’i rten or ’jig pa’i rang bzhin can gyi rten. Of course there is nothing new here, for it has already been mentioned, for example, Michael Hahn. See Hahn 1985: 280 “Welt [‘Behälter des Vergänglichen’; die Tibeter führen skr. loka (fälschlich loka) auf die Wurzel luj, luñj zurück].”

Note that luc and luñc (forms in which these roots have been recorded in MW) are said to mean  respectively “plucking out or off” and “to pluck, pull out, tear off, to peel, husk.” To be pointed out is that the Tibetan verb ’jig pa is a heteronomous and intransitive verb meaning “to decay, fall apart,” that is, at least as I understand it.

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