March 31, 2013


People like me would—unnecessarily, one might say—wonder about the etymology of yang le shod, the Tibetan name of Pharping near Kathmandu in Nepal. It is reported in Wangdu & Diemberger 2000: 45, n. 102, that PT 44 reads yang la shod (referring to Bischoff & Hartmann 1971: 18, 21). So the implication or indication is that the name (etymologically) means “Spacious-and-Low.” Of course, “spacious” and “low” are relative terms. How do we explain le then? We know that vowels tend to be rather flexible or ambiguous (particularly when pronounced fast). 


  1. I think the Yang-le is the authentic reading, since it does occur, without the "shod," in the Sba-bzhed.*
    So then Yang-le Shod is a place below or at the side of Yang-le? I think chances are Yang-le is a local Newar name, but I can't really say that with any surety.

    (*Sam van Schaik & Kazushi Iwao, Fragments of the Testament of Ba from Dunhuang, Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 128, no. 3 (2008), pp. 477-487, at p. 485.)

  2. Dear Dan, thanks for your thought and reference. D.