October 31, 2012


sGra’i-tsher-ma (“Grammar Thorn”) is considered by some to be a name of Smṛtijñānakīrti. Cf. Smith 2001: 315, n. 599; The Blue Annals, vol. 2, p. 252. See also Tshe-tan-zhabs-drung, Thon mi’i zhal lung (p. 36). But why was he called so? A nickname given by Tibetans? Or could it be a Tibetan translation of a name in Sanskrit?

But interestingly, the expression sgra’i tsher ma occurs also in Rong-zom-pa’s Dam tshig mdo rgyas (p. 294), where it, however, has nothing to do with sgra in the sense of “grammar” but in the sense of “noise,” and hence it is clearly understood there in the sense of “noises that are thorns [to the ears],” that is, so to speak, “sound/noise pollution.”


1 comment:

  1. Dear D-laa,
    I think Smith is just reporting that this is an identification some make. I don't think he believed it to be so. The Blue Annals, as well as Padma-dkar-po's history in the woodblock-printed version folio 185 verso, just give Pandi-ta Sgra'i Tsher-ma as the only name there is. I think in Las-chen's history it's also the case, or I could check to make sure. He has to be an Indian, and I imagine that Thorn could be in a real Indian name. Well, not necessary to imagine it, since there was an early Buddhist, a disciple of Upananda, who got caught in a kind of act that should not be described in a family-oriented blog such as your own. His name was Kaṇṭaka (Tsher-ma).
    Yours, D