November 23, 2015


There are numerous Tibetan works that belong to the genre of chos kyi rnam grangs. Why this obsession, one would think. Tibetan scholars (I included) do not seem to like reference works in which entries are arranged in an alphabetical order. I still have no clear idea of the Tibetan alphabetical order, that is, owing to the several prescripts and superscripts. Ascending numerical order (followed in a chos kyi rnam grangs, i.e. the lists of twos, threes, and so on) is much better although the difficultly of Tibetan alphabetical order remains. One problem is that authors do not bother to give sources. Nor-brang’s is an exception although he does not always provide sources and those provided are not always good ones. But a poor source is better than no source! So be content, I tell myself. His is huge. It makes three huge volumes. And one would think we would find any list of enumeration in Tibetan that you are desperately looking for. One of the experiences that I have is that I always feel that I never find the list I am looking for. The other day, I was looking for dri med rnam gsum or gter ston dri med rnam gsum. I was sure it can be found in Nor-brang’s huge work. I looked under dri med rnam gsum. Fehlanzeige! I looked under gter ston dri med rnam gsum. Again Fehlanzeige! When shall we have a reference work that would contain all what we look for? It seems to be an illusion! At least for now. 

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