November 12, 2012


Locus: sNye-thang (Central Tibet)

Atiśa to rNgog: “O Legs-pa’i-shes-rab, you should construct a monastery on the slope (phu) of this region. Study of logic and epistemology will flourish” (legs pa’i shes rab khyod kyis lung pa ’di’i phur dgon pa zhig thob dang | tshad ma’i ’chad nyan dar bar ’ong). 

rNgog to Atiśa: “Well then, [I] request you to keep it a secret for a while” (’o na re zhig gsang bar zhu).

That is why the place/monastery is called gSang-phu. See the Bla brang gdan rabs (p. 272).

1 comment:

  1. Dear D,

    We were going to visit Gsang-phu Ne'u-thog several years back, but then we heard there was nothing much to see there so we didn't go. We did visit some places nearby. Gsang-phu is just the name of the location of Ne'u-thog (whatever *that* means, maybe that there was a little meadow at the top?), and it's in the upper part of the valley (just as Mtshur-phu is in the upper part of a valley, although the valley is called Stod-lung, I think).

    In the case of Gsang-phu we also have a corresponding area in the lower part of the valley called Gsang-mda' (where are remains of the old imperial period temple Dkar-chung/Skar-cung). In my experience, the -phu endings are very often working this way in geographic names, and likewise the -mda'. I see this -phu as belonging to a larger group of words that tend to meanings like 'inner recess' including the verb 'bigs-pa/'bug-pa... A brag-phug is an inner recess in the rock... So I'd rather interpret -phu to mean the high part of the valley. Did we talk about this before? I forgot. Did Everding say something about the meaning of Gsang-phu Ne'u-thog in a recent article of his on the place?

    (It's here:, but I haven't seen it yet.) Well, goodnite for now! My fingers are tired and I have to prove to myself that I am not a robot.

    Yours, D