May 03, 2014


The phenomenon of lines or verses of obeisance (phyag ’tshal ba’i tshig) in scriptures and treatises in Tibetan translation has been a recurring issue in commentarial and exegetical literature. The authorship or provence of such lines is disputable and disputed. Some of them could be by the author of the original work, some by compilers (sdud pa po), some by the scribe (of the Sanskrit manuscript), some by the translators, and some by scribe (yi ge pa) of the text in Tibetan translation. Because these are often attributed to translators (lo tsā ba) they are  called “[lines of] translation obeisance” (’gyur phyag). But not all scriptures and treatises in Tibetan translation would have ’gyur phyag. The issue is very much related to the bka’ bcas and the authenticity of the work in question. It can be in one language or even in two. Often the obeisance are analyzed by trying to answer (a) by whom, (b) to whom, (c) why or for what, and so on. Some sources that I need consult are: commentaries of the *Guhyagarbhatantra (e.g. rGyud don gsal byed, p. 37; Zhal lung) and also writing of Bod-mkhas-pa (pp. 28); Khams-sprul (pp. 23–24), Si-tu (pp. 18–19), dGe-chos, Tse-tan-zhabs-drung, and so on.

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