THE DISCOURSE ON THE ORIGINS THE DISCOURSE ON THE ORIGINS OF THE TEACHERS OF PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF THE TEACHERS OF PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE DUS GSUM STON PA ’BYUNG KHUNGS KYI MDO DUS GSUM STON PA ’BYUNG KHUNGS KYI MDO
by HENK BLEZER
(LIAS, Leiden University)
We have not yet been able to date satisfactorily the earliest so-called hagiographies of sTon pa gShen rab mi bo, the founder of Bon. The mDo ’dus is the shorter version, in one volume. Samten Karmay (1975:176f) presumes that parts of the mDo ’dus may date back to the 10th c. AD or before (this paper will support that date). Many follow Karmay’s estimates, but not everyone agrees. Dan Martin (2001:45), for instance, puts it in the 11th c. AD. Another early
source is the gZer myig, usually considered the middle-length version and published in two volumes. According to Karmay (1975:177) the gZer myig is to be dated around the 11th c. AD or earlier. We will not discuss a later and longer version, the gZi brjid, which usually comes in twelve volumes. It is a treasure texts or gter ma, attributed to Blo ldan snying po (b.1360 AD). The mDo ’dus is a crucial source for our understanding of Bon, as it emerges in history at the turn of the ﬁ rst millennium AD. The ‘location’ of origin and other important issues in nascent organised Bon are closely entwined with early narratives on the founder. Establishing reliable dates for the mDo ’dus is therefore very important. For instance, an early date, in the 10th c. AD,
might make it one of the earliest self-consciously Bon sources, while a slightly later date, in the late 11th c. AD, might give precedence to other sources. Considering the scarcity of genuinely early sources, such a difference in dating may affect our ideas about early organised Bon signiﬁ cantly. 1 This is a lightly reworked part of a published article (Blezer 2010). It is the fruit of labour in Ph.D supervision of Kalsang Norbu Gurung. Many of the ideas were developed in conjunction, by systematic attempts to mutually challenge our theses. His excellent forthcoming publication on the subject therefore complements this one.
A reﬂ ection of an early layer of narratives, the earliest that we presently have,2 has been preserved in Dunhuang, Eastern Turkestan. Dunhuang gShen rab(s) narratives show a simple paradigm of crisis management; notably narratives about death and ritual service, and about illness and healing. This story paradigm is also common to the wider stock of Dunhuang narratives that relates of activities of gshen and bon (po) ritual specialists. A similar gShen rab
story para digm also appears in the Klu ’bum collections, which may partly be contemporane ous with Dunhuang sources, but perhaps also with the mDo ’dus.3 Dunhuang references to a gShen rab(s) character may be off-centre4 reﬂ ections of wider narrative tradition, which formed the point of origin of later sTon pa gShen rab mi bo legends.5 In forthcoming publication of the Three Pillars of Bon research programme (see bibliography), I will argue that based on
available sources we can establish that a quantum leap into self-consciously Bon narratives most likely took place at the turn of the ﬁ rst millennium AD. This is the period of the early Buddhist phyi dar, in which nascent bonpos were challenged to show to their world a suitable founder of Bon that could outshine the historical Buddha of successfully emerging Buddhist sects. From that point onward, stories not only gained narrative weight and complexity,
but also started acquiring a distinct identity vector. The narratives evolved and were incorporated into the type of teaching hagiography and identity discourse that we ﬁ nd reﬂ ected in extant recensions of the mDo ’dus and in a more elaborate and developed manner in the gZer myig (and gZi brjid); see Blezer (2008). A workable starting hypothesis is that the mDo ’dus and gZer myig live from a similar matrix of, earlier oral and written traditions of narratives regarding a gShen rab ﬁ gure (early phyi dar and before), the earliest written conﬁ rmation of which we receive from Dunhuang sources.
Unfortunately, the mDo ’dus and gZer myig have not yet been securely dated: textual transmission, especially of the mDo ’dus, is too problematic: data in the colophons are sparse and later (historical) sources are not very consistent. In a contribution to the Emerging Bon panel at the eleventh seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies in Bonn, Kalsang Norbu, who collaborated on the Three Pillars of 2 These are to be dated before the early 11th c. AD, in any case, but probably mostly to the 9th– 10th c. AD. 3 Going by traditional narratives of discovery, Klu ’bum rituals and narratives might even start to coagulate and to be compiled as early as in the beginning of the 10th c. AD (913 AD)? 4 North-eastern Buddhist Dunhuang as opposed to a presumed South-western heartland of Bon (cf. Blezer). 5 See Stein 1988, cf. Karmay 1975 and Spanien/MacDonald 1978–79.
Bon project,6 made a major stride toward dating the mDo ’dus and tentatively dates it in the late 11th c. AD (1081 or 1070). Yet, starting from his assumptions, it proves difﬁ cult to cover all the evidence in one straight forward theory. In order to account also for the contradicting data, we may need to make extra assumptions and start from a different set of working hypotheses. But alas, textual evidence is far from compelling: lack of articulated feedback from surviving colophons and later references renders it very difﬁ cult to choose between competing theories. What follows is an attempt to recommend a choice purely on methodological grounds. I shall not restate or reproduce in detail the arguments of Kalsang Norbu Gurung and refer the reader to his well-documented and carefully executed study (forthcoming in the proceedings of the 2006 Bonn IATS seminar). We developed our articles in close dialogue. Here I shall merely supplement or discuss his ﬁ ndings, wherever that seems illuminating or necessary.
In extant sources, both the gZer myig and mDo ’dus are in various ways associated with a Dus gsum [[[enlightened one]]] ’byung khungs kyi mdo or “Discourse on the Origins of the ... of Past, Present and Future”. Varying indications appear for “enlightened one”: gshen rab (gShen rab mi bo); sangs rgyas (Awakened One); ston pa (Teacher); bde gshegs (Sugata, in Shar rdza).7 Most frequently we here of course ﬁ nd gshen rab. Note that the names do not necessarily always explicitly refer to bonpo ﬁ gures. Alas, that mdo has not survived with that title or in its earliest form. The ’Byung khungs kyi mdo is said to be part of a collection of Four Great Sūtra-s or mDo chen po bzhi. Only three of the four sūtra-s are still extant in the Bon bKa’ ’gyur and we do not know whether they presently still are in their original form.8 The ’Byung khungs kyi mdo is usually said to be the ﬁ rst discourse of these four great discourses or mDo chen po bzhi. For instance, according to the colophon of the sNod rten ’byung ba chags ’jig pa’i mdo, one of the mDo chen po bzhi, the Dus gsum ston pa ’byung khungs kyi mdo, is the ﬁ rst.
6 This project is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), at CNWS/LIAS, Leiden University, 2005–10. 7 Shar rdza bKra shis rgyal mtshan, Legs bshad rin po che’i mdzod (1985), p.216.6 and 288.18f. 8 To wit, the sNod rten ’byung ba ’jig rten chags ’jig mdo, Bla med gong [go] ’phang sgrub pa thabs kyi mdo, and Khams sum sems can skye ’chi mdo; detailed discussion of these sources in Kalsang Norbu (IATS 2006).
Early sources tend to identify the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo as the gZer myig. The earliest references to a ’Byung khungs kyi mdo appear in the colophon to one of those four discourses, the sNod rten ’byung ba chags ’jig pa’i mdo: dus gsum ston pa ’byung khung mdo las snga rabs ’das dang ldan pa [=chpt.1] nas slad kyi (ston pa ji ltar ’byon pa’i ) bar le’u [=chpt.18] ni bco brgyad yod par ston/9
In this quote, the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo, indeed like the gZer myig, is said to have eighteen chapters and it correctly identiﬁ es the ﬁ rst and last titles of present editions of the gZer myig. The sNod rten ’byung ba chags ’jig pa’i mdo therefore suggests that the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo is the gZer myig (in whatever form it then had), period.10 The colophon of the gZer myig also explicitly connects the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo to the gZer myig.11
9 Colophon sNod rten ’byung ba chags ’jig pa’i mdo, bKa’ ’gyur III edition, Vol.32, f.112v6ff. (Appendix Ia) and cf. : Colophon Bla med go ’phang sgrub thabs kyi mdo and gTor bzlog, see end of the Bla med go ’phang bsgrub thabs mdo ’jug gi gtor bzlog sogs kyi mdo skor, bKa’ ’gyur III edition, Vol.33, fol.126r2ff. (Appendix Ib) 10 But see later discussion about the order and number of chapters in the gZer myig and mDo ’dus, 11 The gZer m[y]ig (Tsering Thar, Beijing 1998 (1991)), p.810.12 (Appendix II). See also the ‘Francke’ gZer myig from the Waddell Collection. It is kept at the Orientabteilung, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin—Preussischer Kulturbesitz; shelf numbers: Wadd 1 and Wadd 1a (see also: Dieter Schuh, Verzeichnis der orientalischen
Handschriften in Deutschland, Vol.XI.8, pp.89-90: numbers 35 and 36). There is no colophon at the end of Wadd 1a. Toward the end of that volume, on the penultimate folio (f.288v), there is an interesting miniature depicting the performance of a ritual, with two ofﬁ ciating bonpo priests to the left of a temple like structure and two devoted female ﬁ gures (hands in devotion or offering) to the right. Samten Karmay will publish on these images and the identity of that ritual soon. What immediately follows, is a dkar chag-like page. Immediately preceding we ﬁ nd the sober ending of chapter 18. But there
is a three-folio-page-long colophon at the end of Wadd 1, which we (and the cataloguers) presume is volume one of this set (it ends with chapter 9). But I am not completely sure yet, whether these two Waddell volumes 1 & 1a originally really belonged together; even though it does look like they do. The sizes of the dpe cha are slightly different and I also noticed some other unusual things (with the chapter headings and their descriptions). In any case the colophon of Wadd 1, ff.274r-275r, leaves no doubt about the authors opinion on identity of the Dus gsum gshen rabs byung khungs kyi mdo, f.274v, l.1: ston pa mu cho ldem drug g<y>is kyang bon sgo bzhI mdzod dang lnga’i don bstan pa’o/ /’di la yang mdo’ rnam pa bzhi ste/ dus gsum gshen rabs byung khungs kyi mdo dang / ’khams gsum sems can skye shi’i mdo dang / snod rten ’byung ba chags ’jIg g<y>i mdo dang / bla myed go ’phang bsgrub thabs kyi mdo dang bzhi la/ ’di ni dus gsu[m] gshen rabs byung khungs kyi mdo’o
At the very late end of the spectrum we ﬁ nd various dKar chag (catalogues) and brGyud rim (lines of transmission), which identify the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo as the mDo ’dus. See for instance the dKar chag by: Rig 'dzin Kun grol grags pa (b.1701 AD); see Appendix IIIa; mKhan chen Nyi ma bstan 'dzin (b.1813 AD) is very explicit: p.3: ’dir kha gcig gis mdo bzhi’i nang tshan byung khungs kyi mdo gzer mig la ngos ’dzin pa ni mi ’thad de mdo bzhi’i ni dbus gter li shus rtag gzigs nas bskur bar bshad pa’i phyir ro// /; see Appendix IIIb. Bla ming g-Yung drung tshul khrims dbang grags (b.1868 AD); see Appendix IIIc;
But one could also refer to Khod spungs pa’s brGyud rim (1929).12 The Srid pa rgyud kyi kha byang chen mo (here abbreviated to Kha byang) also clearly associates the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo with Drang rje btsun pa gSer mig, who traditionally is believed to be the gter ston of the gZer myig. The Kha byang is said to have been discovered in 1310 AD, by Khod po Blo gros thogs med, aka dBra rigs Gyer thogs med (b.1280/92 AD?). The passage on Drang rje btsun pa gser mig’s discoveries in the Kha byang, however, begs to differ on important details and provides a most intriguing deviating classiﬁ cation. While the passage might be read such as to suggest that a ’dus gsum gshen rabs du ’byung khungs mdo consists of six parts and here means the gZer myig (this is how
Kalsang Norbu reads it), that identiﬁ cation in fact is an inference based on later understandings. Reading the datum from its own context, would rather suggest that the ’dus gsum gshen rabs du ’byung khungs mdo consists of the six titles listed, which here include the other three mDo chen po bzhi. Moreover, the intriguing title mDo phran nyi shu rtsa cig mdo ’dus also appears as one of them (see Kalsang Norbu for possible identiﬁ cations).13 12 The sKu gsum ston pa’i gsung rab bka’ ’gyur rin po che’i lung rgyun ji snyed pa phyogs gcig tu bsdus pa’i bzhugs byang brgyud rim bcas pa dri med shel
gyi phreng ba, also known as brgyud rim or sngags rim, written by Khod spungs dBra ston Ngag dbang skal bzang bstan pa’i rgyal mtshan, who may be identical to Su la rGyal mtshan, in 1929, bKa’ ’gyur I/II edition, Vol.103 (henceforth Khod spungs pa’s brGyud rim): p.83: bsam yas la a tsar mi gnyis kyis gter byon mdo bzhi la/ dang po mdzad mdo bsdus pa mdo ’dus zhes grags pa/ dus gsum sangs rgyas byung khung mdo le’u nyer bzhi/ gnyis pa khams gsum sems can skye ’chi mdo le’u bco lnga pa/ gsum pa snod rten ’byung ba chags ’jig mdo le’u bcu gcig/ bzhi pa bla med go ’phang sgrub thabs mdo le’u nyer gcig/ rin chen gter zlog chen po’i lha bdud ’chi bdag bdud zlog gi mdo le’u gsum pa /. Information on the gZi brjid appears on p.67ff. and the gZer myig on pp.80ff. 13 See bKa’ brten ‘III’ edition, Vol.142.8, pp.491.5ff.: yang dmu tsa gyer med gyis sprul pa/ drang rje btsun pa gser mig gis/ khri tang dur khrod kyis gter sgo ’byed ste/ de’i nang nas bon gyis rtsis byang ci yod ston pa ni/ phyir mdor rgyud dum pa bzhi bcu rtsa gnyis yod ste/ dus gsum gshen rab du ’byung khungs mdo la dum pa drug-
However, alternatively, one might also argue that the ﬁ rst ﬁ ve chapters of the mDo ’dus are later additions: mainly preludes of a cosmological nature, and that it thus consists of nineteen chapters, or eighteen, if one leaves another late-looking one out (e.g., chapter 16: mDzod gnas le’u). The eighteen-chapter ’Byung khungs kyi mdo and sGa ston’s elusive ‘mDo rgyud’ thus might also refer to an earlier version of the mDo ’dus, in eighteen chapters.
The narratives of discovery for the mDo chen po bzhi at some point were called Ca ti ma, which derives from Sanskrit caitya (stūpa; phonetically Tib.: ca ti): it signiﬁ es the red mchod rten at bSam yas where the gter ma or treasure is said to have been found by two a tsa ra. Kalsang Norbu notes that this name appears only relatively late in our sources. The ﬁ rst known occurrence is recorded in sGa ston Tshul khrims rgyal mtshan’s gTer gyi kha sbyang. sGa ston Tshul khrims rgyal mtshan is probably to be dated roughly to the 12/1300s.14
The discovery narratives for the gZer myig at some point were styled Drang nga ma, a name that derives from the family name (Drang nga) of the discoverer of the treasure text. Judging by appearances, the name Drang nga ma has been around somewhat longer. Karmay (1998:169) refers to the biography of the treasure discoverer (gter ston) gZhod ston dNgos grub grags pa, who made his discoveries at the end of the 11th c. AD (e.g. 1088). In the gZhod ston gyi rnam thar (SHB, p.323) it is said that gZhod ston studied bka’ drang nga ma’i bon.
We should note that the Ca ti ma and Drang nga ma narratives are remarkably similar (see Kalsang Norbu’s translations, forthcoming in the Bonn PIATS). We should furthermore compare Ca ti ma narratives to those of the discovery of the Klu ’bum, which is also said to have been revealed at bSam yas, this time not by two but three
1. /khams gsum sems can skye shi ’bros ded mdo rgyud dang / 2. snod bcud ’byung pa chags ’jigs mdo rgyud dang /  3. bla med go ’phang bsgrub thabs mdo rgyud dang / 4. mdo phran nyi shu rtsa cig mdo ’dus dang / 5. drin len bsab pa’i bon mdo dang / 6. gsas mkhar sdig sbyong bar ti kha’i mdo dang / de rnams kho bos kha yig btab nas yod//; cf. pp.487.6ff. 14 See Martin (2001).
ācārya-s (a tsa ra mi gsum).15 We may be dealing with one cluster of related but diversiﬁ ed origin narratives of stories on a ‘gShen rab’. The Ca ti ma narratives of the earliest colophons suggest that the hagiography or a hypot hetical fount of narratives goes back to the early 10th c. AD. Later historical sources imp ly the late 11th c. AD. This wide margin of uncertainty I am concerned to narrow down.
Kalsang Norbu shows that the ﬁ nal separat ion of the gZer myig from the mDo chen po bzhi has been accomplished by sPa bsTan rgyal dpal bzang po (14th–15th c. AD?) in his bsTan pa’i rnam bshad dar rgyas gsal ba’i sgron ma, when he ﬁ rst explicitly distinguished a gZer myig Drang nga ma narrative of discovery from a Ca ti ma one for the mDo chen po bzhi. But, already some time before, sGa ston Tshul khrims rgyal mtshan (13/14th c. AD?)16, in his gTer gyi kha
sbyang,17 distinguished a Drang nga ma narrative of discovery from a Ca ti ma one for the mDo chen po bzhi. For the Drang nga ma, he mentions discovery of a mDo rgyud le’u bco brgyad pa, by someone called Drang btsun (2005:43), but he does not specify the gZer myig. It was indeed sPa bsTan rgyal dpal bzang po who made that bit explicit in his bsTan pa’i rnam bshad dar rgyas gsal ba’i sgron ma. For the rest, in his narratives of discovery, sPa ston mostly follows
sGa ston Tshul khrims rgyal mtshan in his gTer gyi kha sbyang very closely. The late accounts in sGa ston Tshul khrims rgyal mtshan’s gTer gyi kha sbyang and in sPa bsTan rgyal dpal bzang po’s bsTan pa’i rnam bshad assume that the (re)discoverers Tre rgyal ra tsa and Sad gu rin chen grags pa, caretakers of bSam yas temple, are contemporary with later ﬁ gures that are also mentioned in these stories: Tir gyi U ston (a student of Zhu yas legs po, 1002–1081), Sum pa gTo ston (a student of Gur zhog lHa ri gnyen po, 1024–1091) and rGya Khri rje Phur ba ’bar (undated).
15 Khod spungs pa’s brGyud rim, p.216: ... klu ’bum skor la / bsam yas nas a tsar mi gsum gyis gter las thon pa’i klu ’bum la / gtsang ma’i klu ’bum dkar chen le’u mang du yod pa pod gcig / gtsang ma’i klu ’bum nag khra zhes pa le’u sum cu nas le’u  lnga bcu nga gnyis bar yod pa pod gcig / klu ’bum khra bo’i stod dum le’u re bdun nas brgyad cu bar yod pa / smad dum le’u so lnga nas le’u drug cu re brgyad bar yod pa bcas klu ’bum pod bzhi’i brgyud rim ni / rnam mkhyen ston pa gshen rab kyis / mtshan ldan drang srong rgyal ba la brgyud / des tshangs pa gtsug phud / klu grub ye shes snying po / gnyan bon thang
thang khrol ba / gtod bon pa ti gsung snyan / sa bdag gi bon po gser thub rgyal ba dang bzhi la brgyud / des gdung brgyud bcu gsum / mkhas pa mi bzhi / de’i ring la bstan pa gter du gshegs / phyis su bsam yas lha khang nas a tsar mi gsum gyis gter du drangs te las can skyes bu rnams la  brgyud de dar / ... 16 Cf. Kalsang Norbu (PIATS 2006), who rather convincingly argues for a date in the 13th c. AD. 17 gTer gyi kha sbyang by sGa ston Tshul khrims rgyal mtshan (a recent Kathmandu computer typeset edition without extensive colophon; a manuscript in 45 folios is extant in the LTWA, Acc.no.17765), p.49.4 (App. IV).
Kalsang Norbu convincingly argues that if we follow the gTer gyi kha byang and dependents, the date of the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo of the mDo chen po bzhi has to be pushed up to 1081 or 1070 AD;18 and thus perhaps likewise the date of the mDo ’dus—but that is of course by no means certain. Karmay (1988:169f.) shows that quotes that probably are from the gZer myig already appear in Me ston Shes rab ’od zer’s (1058–1132 AD) work. In a very informative note, Karmay
discusses early gZer myig quotes in the ’Dul ba kun las btus pa’i gzhung, one of ﬁ ve works from the bKa’ brten sde lnga, which mKhan chen Nyi ma bstan ’dzin attributes to Me ston Shes rab ’od zer. The Yar ’brog pa Me ston does not in fact mention the gZer myig by name but quotes the text as “spoken by the teacher”. A late date for the mDo chen po bzhi—and thus, perhaps, for the mDo ’dus—would then put the mDo ’dus roughl y in the same time or possibly even
after ‘the’ gZer myig or Drang nga ma discovery. Karmay also found numerous quotes in works by A zha Blo gros rgyal mtshan (1198–1236 AD), again quoted from an unnamed mdo or sūtra. Karmay speculates whether those gZer myig chapters that neither Me ston nor A zha quote from, to wit chapters x and xii, and chapter xi, which A zha only quotes once, might perhaps be later additions. This could point to an older, leaner, ritualistic gZer myig core. Karmay rightly notes that it are precisely these three missing chapters that have parallels in the lHa ’dre and bTsun mo bKa’ thang (Blondeau 1971:34–39) of the
Old (rNying ma) Sect and that moreover are narrative in character. In my opinion, these are very important considerations that ought to be followed up. In that same long note, Karmay also shows that sGa ston Tshul khrims rgyal mtshan already mentions the name gZer myig in his bsTan pa bon gyi klad don. sGa
ston there in fact appears surprisingly critical of the text.19 Kalsang Norbu moreover found earlier quotes, by name, of both the mDo ’dus and gZer myig, in the biography (12th c. AD) of Tshul khrims dpal chen (1052–1106 AD), by his student ’Od gsal rgyal mtshan (11th–12th c. AD), and in another work, possibly also 12th c. AD, the Byang chub sgrubs thabs kyi bon tshigs su bcad pa sum brgya nyi shu pa’i rnam bshad gzhan phan snying po, which is attributed to gShen ston Nam mkha’ rgyal mtshan (1088-1163 AD);20 see Kalsang Norbu (ib.) for citations in later sources.
18 Cf. Dondrup Lhagyal (2002), who argues for 1021 AD. 19 See the bsTan pa bon gyi klad don kyi rang ’grel, f.3r.: de yang mdo ni cung zad shes rab zhan pa gcig gi sdeb par mngon te/ (MS belonging to the Menri Abbot). See further discussion by Kalsang Norbu in PIATS 2006. 20 See the Byang chub sgrubs thabs kyi bon tshigs su bcad pa sum brgya nyi shu pa’i rnam bshad gzhan phan snying po (Sarnath: Yung-drung Bon Students’ Committee 2002), p.51; but this attribution seems problematic, what we have, may in fact be a much later text, composed by a student of sGa ston. See Kalsang Norbu ibidem.
But a late 11th c. AD date will only hold if we choose to accept the entourage as it appears in late versions of the Ca ti ma narrative. In the earliest colophon of one of the mDo chen po bzhi, the Bla med go phang, f.126r, the discovery at the red mchod rten (tsa ti dmar po), at the site of the throne and cemetery (khri thang dur khrod gyi tsar), of Samye temple (bsam yas gling gyi), is euqally attributed to tre rgya gar ra tsa. Discoveries at the site of the throne and cemetery by Tre rgya gar ra tsa and Sad ku rin chen are mentioned in colophons to other chapters. But, those later ﬁ gures do not appear here, except for the undated dBu’i mChod ston Phur ba ’bar. The latter, incidentally, receives the mdo here as a dngos grub (perhaps some special revelation?) and not necessarily as a fee for treatment (but that may also be implied). Signiﬁ cantly, in sGa ston’s story, Phur ba ’bar moreover appears an unknown outsider.21
MORE CRACKS APPEARING
For his Bonn IATS paper, Kalsang Norbu decided on a parsimonious model of transmission, but also one that remains inconclusive: either the mDo ’dus, the gZer myig, or perhaps both (cf. alternative hypothesis below) are the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo; it is simply not sure yet. But, apart from the apparent confusion regarding the identity of the ﬁ rst of the mDo chen po bzhi, some other cracks are visible in this simple model of transmission and identiﬁ cation as well. I will identify four main fault lines: 1. The possibility of a delay in transmission. 2. Additional data from the colophon of the gZer myig. 3. Additional data from the [Dran pa’i] bsGrags byang [[[chen]] mo]. 4. An alternative hypothesis: ’Byung khungs kyi mdo as a larger collection of texts.
Considering the many uncertainties in the discovery narratives, we cannot afford to overlook that both the Ca ti ma and the Drang nga ma narratives appear to have preserved traces of a gradual revelation or some kind of delay in transmission. In sGa ston Tshul khrims’ Cat ti ma narrative we read that the mDo chen po bzhi were (re)concealed for 49 years after ﬁ rst discovery. Eventually they ended up with a ‘discoverer’, the doctor Phur ba ’bar, who did not discover them at all, but received them as a fee for medical services, and thus is only formally credited with the discovery (cf. in the discovery
narrative of the gZer myig the role of Mar pa Stag la dbang). In the Drang nga ma narrative the texts are said to have been passed down through the Khri srong royal family for a while before they fell into the hands of Drang nga dPal gyi yon tan etc. (cf. the story by Shar rdza in his Legs bshad mdzod, ed. Beijing 1985). While one has to be very careful not to take tradi tion al narratives on face value, to my knowledge it is also ill-advised to dismiss such narrative elements as entirely groundless. This narrative turn may be a ﬂ ashing warning sign, indicating that the earliest possible date of discovery has to be taken more seriously and that both texts were believed or even remembered to have developed over an extended period of time.
Considering the consistent discrepancies between the earliest and later sources in their identiﬁ cation of the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo as the gZer myig or mDo ’dus, we should also pay attention to the fact that in one colophon to the gZer myig (see Appendix II), the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo is characterised as one of the mDo sde chen po (bzhi): as a major section of literature rather than a single text.22 Also note that the gZer myig is styled ’dus pa rin po che’i rgyud here, a phrase also frequently used in titles of the mDo ’dus.23 It is said to have been included in or drawn from (gtogs) the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo section (sde). Obviously, if the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo really was a whole section, more than one text could have been drawn from it. It is not at all unlikely that all of those might somehow have been remembered by the name of the original collection. The Kha byang (14th c. AD), in a somewhat confused-looking passage (or not?), refers to the six parts of the ’dus gsum gshen rabs du ’byung khungs mdo.24 This also seems to
22 See also the later characterisation in the Yang rtse klong chen gyi ’grel ba nyi zer sgron ma by sTag tsha bla ma rGyal mtshan (15th c. AD), included in Bla med rdzogs pa chen po yongs rtse klong chen gyi ’grel ba, published by the TBMC, on p.90.6ff.: gnyis pa mdo sde bzhi ste/ snod bcud ’byung ba chag ’jig gis mdo’/ dus gsum gshen rab byung khung gis mdo’/ khams gsum sems can skye ’chi’i mdo’/ bla med go ’phang sgrub thabs gyis mdo’ ’o/ de la ’byung ba chag ’jig mdo’i nang nas/ phyi snod nang bcud thams cad mi rtag pa’i mtshan nyid shas cher ston/ dus gsum gshen rab byung khung gi nang nas/ sangs rgyas kyis
mtshan dpe dang sku tshe’i tshad dang ’dul zhing dang mdzad pa’i ’phrin las la sog ston pa’o/ khams gsum sems can skye ’chi’i mdo’ nang nas/ las mtha’ kar nag dang skye rgas na ’chi bzhi’i mtshan nyid shas cher ston[/]  bla med gong ’phang sgrub thab gyis mdo’ nang nas/ dge sdig gis yang blang dang gzhan phan gyis spyod pa gtso cher ston pa’o/. NB, gnyis pa refers to p.90.4, where a division into four: gzung, mdo, shes rab, and sngag[s] is listed; the second is: mdo’i ’bum. 23 mDo ’dus pa rin po che’i rgyud thams cad mkhyen pa’i bka’ tshad ma (Dolanji & bKa’ ’gyur ‘III’ ed.); ’dus pa rin po che’i rgyud
sangs rgyas rnam thar (mKhar rdzes list, Karmay 1998:206); g-Yung drung lha yi bon mdo ’dus pa rin po che’i rgyud (in Lhagyal, in Blezer 2002); lHa’i bon mdo ’dus pa rin po che’i rgyud (copy dBal khyung MS, Karmay 1985mission); Dus gsum sangs rgyas byung khungs kyi mdo (KGKC & NTKC). 24 See above at n.13.
underline the notion that it is a whole section of mdo rather than a single text. Cf. also the reference to more elaborate content of the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo in the [Dran pa’i] bsGrags byang [[[chen]] mo], discussed in the next item.
Somewhat confusing evidence emerges from a stray reference in the ‘bsGrags byang’,25 a text of uncertain date that traditionally (v. Kha byang, p.493.1f) has been attributed to mTha’ bzhi (’phrul gsas) Ye shes blo ’gros (10th–11th c. AD?), but may have to be dated later, but probably no later than the 12th c. AD.26
25 The short title [Dran pa’i] bsGrags byang [[[chen]] mo] here refers to the Bon chos dar nub kyi lo rgyus bsgrags pa rin chen gling grags zhes bya ba rmongs pa blo’i gsal byed, Dolanji edition by Khedup Gyatso (see also g-Yung drung bon gyi sgra bsgrags pa rin po che’i gling grags, in bKa brten ‘III’, Vol.72). N.B. the issue of the exact identity of the “bsGrags byang” mentioned in sources still needs to be looked into and is not settled here. 26 There have been
several proposals for dating this text. Most follow an attribution in the Srid pa rgyud kyi kha byang, p.493.1f, where a bsGrag byang rin po che’i rgyud sde is said to have been discovered by a mTha’ bzhi ’phrul gsas, supposedly mTha’ bzhi Ye shes blo ’gros (10th– 11th c. AD?). The ’Dul ba gling grags has been at tri buted to the 12th c. AD rMa Shes rab seng ge (bKa brten ‘III’, Vol.72, p.189.1). dGe bsod ’tshams pa in his ’Dul brgyud (p.19) associates names mentioned toward the end (SHB.136) with fourteenth-century ﬁ gures. Tradi tion ally, a lot points to ﬁ rst composition in the 12th c. AD or earlier and possibly later redactions (in the rMa family). Namgyal Nyima disagrees and attributes the ’Dul ba gling grags (Bon sgo 9 (1996), p.17) and bsGrags byang
(1997) to Khod po Blo gros thogs med, aka dBra rigs Gyer thogs med (b.1280/92 AD?). That is the gter ston who also discovered the Srid pa rgyud kyi kha byang. His life story and discoveries (several in the early 14th c. AD) were added to the same Kha byang, (p.498.4). A Srid pa rgyud kyi sgrag byang chen mo is mentioned among them. Kalsang Norbu suggests that “sgrag byang” in the title may well have caused the confu sion. Anne-Marie Blondeau (1990:41f), following Shar rdza bKra shis rgyal mtshan’s Legs bshad mdzod (Karmay 1972:338), proposes to read the kha byang version of the title as a complementary discovery (yan lag gi gter) to the sgrag byang one. She speculates that both, plausibly, are generic designations for types of gter ma literature. But
Kalsang Norbu himself, be it for different reasons, also argues that what here is called the bsGrags byang is a 14th c. AD text. He assumes it is even later than the Srid pa rgyud kyi kha byang. The reason for this is that in the bKa’ brten ‘III’ version of the bsGrags byang appears a reference to the Kha byang (Vol.72, g-Yung drung bon gyi sgra bsgrags pa rin po che’i gling grags, p.105.4f.). The context is yet another account of the offspring and
succession of Khri Srong lde’u btsan. As is usual for these accounts, it deviates from other sources. Khri Srong lde’u btsan and Tshe spong za sTong dkar (ma; Kha byang 437.5: rMa rgyal stod skar ma) are said to have had three sons, che ba: Khri Mu khri btsan po, ’bring po: Mu ne btsan po, and chung ba: Mu dug/drug (rug) btsan po. The Kha byang (p.437.5f) begs to differ on the order and names. The ‘junior’ queen Pho yongs za remained childless (is that the ’Brom za dkar mo of the Kha byang?). According to the rGyal rabs gsal ba’i me long, Pho yongs za later also had a relationship with Mu ne btsan po (Sørensen 1994:405). She was (later, ibid.) considered an incarnation of the old Queen Kong jo, i.e., Khri Srong lde’u btsan’s mother. The bsGrags byang
This part of the argument needs more attention than this article allows. Kalsang Norbu noticed that the mDo chen po bzhi feature groups of deities and passages that also appear in the gZer myig and its presumed dependent, the Klong rgyas,27 but that
then dwells at some length on problems regarding ‘Mu rug’ btsan po, who apparently was exiled after murdering a nephew or grandson of minister [Zhang] rGyal tsha (tshan/mtshan) lha snang, of the powerful mNa’ (sNa) nam clan. Elsewhere the victim is known as the latter’s son ’U rings. The murderous ‘Mu rug’ btsan po may well have been deranged and considered unﬁ t for rule (cf. Haarh 1969:339). The exile of her beloved son seems to have caused resentment in the ‘senior’ queen (the available bsGrags byang editions disagree about who is junior and senior, occasionally also in one text). There may also have been bad relations between the queens. The differences in readings between the two bsGrags byang editions available to me are signiﬁ cant (I presently lack
access to the Oslo MS and the three other editions known to me). Upon mentioning that the middle son, Mu ne btsan po, was installed on the throne and after three years of (very) prosperous rule passed away, the bKa’ brten text adds—apparently based on the Srid pa rgyud kyi kha byang—that he passed away ‘by accident’ or by sword: srid pa rgyud kyi kha byang nas: gri ru ’grongs/ ces pa ... In the Kha byang a passage discussing comparable events appears, starting p.437. On p.439.4 we can indeed read that Mu ne btsan po is killed by his impetuous and irritable younger brother Mu rug btsan po, who apparently cut him into pieces by sword (gri ru ’grongs). I am not convinced that the note on the mode of demise pertains to the bsGrags byang itself. The text
otherwise is extremely concise, it does not usually share this type of detail, does not quote any other sources in this passage, does not refer to the Kha byang anywhere else, and the passage moreover is absent Khedup Gyatso’s text (p.173, l.4). It looks like someone remembered the longer, colourful and partly deviating story in the Kha byang, and added a note regarding that. I strongly suspect this unique occurrence to be a mchan copied into the main text. Note that the handwriting in that section of the bKa’ brten edition apparently was so unclear that it had to be traced before allowing it to be reproduced in facsimile. Moreover, following Blondeau (1990) and Martin (e-mail), I presume that the bsGrags byang and Gling grags type of historical
literature has been in custody of the rMa family for quite some time, similarly the Kha byang, and these, collectively, seem to have grown and changed in that family environment. There also seem to be close links between Gyer thogs med and the rMa lineage (Blondeau 1990:51ff). dPal ldan tshul khrims (ibid.:43) also connects phyi nang gsang bon gyi bsgrags byang with a rMa teacher: lCam me, son of Srid ’dzin (b.1092 AD). In conclusion, we may have to extend the date of rMa Shes rab seng ge (12th c. AD)—in view of mTha’ bzhi ’phrul gsas and earlier rMa teachers and gter ston perhaps as an upper limit—to other Gling grags texts also. The former is the only attribution that appears natively in a colophon. Weight and nature of the evidence recom mend a
connection to the rMa family above various more tenuous speculations, exercised by several learned Tibetans, such as, dBra rigs Gyer thogs med, rNam rgyal Nyi ma Brag dkar and Gu rung sKal bzang Nor bu. 27 Chapter 14, but also 5 (klong chen po lnga’i lha gshen brgya), 6 (’das pa ma ’byon pa dang da ltar byung ba’i lha mo sum brgya), 9 (bder gshegs thugs rje can rnams mtshan (total 1000 names are listed): shar, byang, nub, lho phyogs kyi bde bar gshegs pa brgya; steng phyogs kyi bde bar gshegs pa brgya; byang shar, byang nub, lho nub, lho shar gyi phyogs kyi bde bar gshegs pa brgya; ’og phyogs kyi bde bar gshegs pa brgya) and 13, see Karmay (1998:169f, n.2); all the deities are invoked there in the context of cleansing sin. Cf. particularly the listing of chapter 9 to that in the gShen rab kyis phrin las bco brgyad kyi don bstan pa’i mdo g-yung drung klong rgyas cho ga, bKa brten ‘III’, Vol.265.10; pp.269–353, esp. pp.275ff.
are absent from the mDo ’dus. Klong rgyas ritual has been around for a while. Karmay (1998.169f) shows that, according to his biography, Me ston Shes rab ’od zer (1058– 1132) used some kind of Klong rgyas ritual in funerary rites for Me nyag sTag la me ’bar.28 The bsGrags byang, for further information on the 1000/1002 deities that also appear in the Klong rgyas refers to the Dus gsum gshen rab ’byung khungs kyi mdo.29 That would indeed suggest that not the
mDo ’dus, but something more like the gZer myig would relate to the other mDo chen po bzhi and be intended by the bsGrags byang. But the fact remains that the bsGrags byang does not mention the gZer myig by name, but only the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo. At the end of chapter nine of the gZer myig the deities are indeed listed in full, exactly as they appear in the Klong rgyas. Does this imply that only the name gZer myig did not yet exist in an early time, but that
the text was already extant in some form, under the name ’Byung khungs kyi mdo? And in what form exactly did it exist? Much will depend on a more secure dating of the bsGrags byang. If dated later than traditionally assumed, the bsGrags byang may simply pollute the argument by introducing late perceptions of the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo section of the mDo chen po bzhi. Dating the bsGrags byang and cognates has to await publication by Kværne and Martin. The bsGrags byang-reference strongly suggests that the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo was at that point understood to mean something like the gZer myig and certainly not anything like the mDo ’dus, but is not compelling as to its identity. It merely refers to content that is exc lusively extant in the gZer myig and related, Drang ga ma-derived, Klong rgyas literature. The bsGrags byang-passage allows or even encourages the notion that an extensive early collection of hagio graphical origin narratives existed in its day, whenever that may have been.
28 See SHB, text 16, p.353; compiled by his disciple gShen ston Nam mkha’ rgyal mtshan (see above, n.20). 29 bsGrags byang, pp.21.3ff: de ni gnyis pa ’dren ston sangs rgyas ji ltar byon- de yang sangs rgyas rabs bdun pa rim kyis [gyis] mdzad ces pas/ da lta’i bskal ba ’di sgron me’i bskal ba [pa] yin no/ ming ni bskal ba [pa] bzang po zhes bya’o/ de ltar bskal ba [pa] bzang po ’di la/ lha’i rgyal po rtogs ldan zhes bya ba dang / btsun  mo nam mkha’ yid kyi bu mo [yid kyi me tog mo] zhes bya ba gnyis/ chags pa med pa’i thugs rjes rol pa la/ sras mchod [mched] dgu brgya dang dgu bcu rtsa brgyad bltams/ yab yum gnyis te stong yod/ ’khor zhu ba po dang sdud pa po gnyis te/ sangs rgyas stong rtsa gnyis byung ngo / yab yum de gnyis kun bzang yab yum gyi thugs kyi sprul pa’o/ stong rtsa gnyis po’i yab yum yul dang dus dang rigs dang ’khor dang gdul bya’i zhing dang tshe tshad dang bsod nams ’phel ’grib dang ’phrin las sku gdung dang / sprul pa bstan pa dar rgyas rnams ji ltar byung ba ni/ ji ltar dus gsum gshen rab byung khungs mdo las zhib cing rgyas so/ (emendation according to bKa brten ‘III’, Vol.72, p.13.6–14.4; counter my general impression, the passage appears clearer in that version).
Let us now consider an alternative working hypothesis: the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo is a different and more extensive source, from which the gZer myig and perhaps also the mDo ’dus were drawn. Such a hierarchy may explain the confusion in extant sources regarding varying identiﬁ cations of the gZer myig and mDo ’dus with the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo. It is entirely possible that an early developing collection of narratives, as a whole, was loosely referred to by the descriptive nomer Dus gsum [Founder] ’byung khungs kyi mdo. The old mDo collection under that name in any case seems lost. We only have the gZer myig, probably an expanded text drawn from it—and a brief version, the mDo ’dus. Taking the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo as the source of both the gZer myig and mDo ’dus, rather than identifying it with one or the other (or both), allows us to take more seriously the possibility of surviving memory traces of early
tenth-century beginnings, with the discovery of hagiography in a ’Byung khungs kyi mdo fount of narratives. The traditional date of 961 AD for the ﬁ re bird year (mKhan chen Nyi ma bstan ’dzin’s bsTan rtsis; Kværne 1971:228) and even 901 would then become entirely plausible. If we look at the identiﬁ cation in Shar rdza’s Legs bshad rin po che’i mdzod30 of the three great ācārya-s that discovered the Klu ’bum in 913 AD: a tsa ra dKon mchog grags pa, Nya mo mgon po, and Sad kun ratna (gsum), the name of the last of these ﬁ gures appears confusingly similar to the second ācārya in the Ca ti ma discovery,
there called Sad gu rin chen (Tibetan for Skt. ratna) grags pa (for some name variants, see Kalsang Norbu’s PIATS 2006 article). Thus there even is a fair chance that we may have to prefer 901 (cf. 913 of the Klu ’bum) rather than the traditional date of 961 AD. This can have far-reaching consequences for the content of the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo and its relation to the gZer myig and mDo ’dus. The narrative paradigms of the earlier ’Byung khungs kyi mdo, time-wise, will thus come much closer to those of the Klu ’bum and also to certain non-Buddhist ritualistic Dunhuang sources; how close exactly is difﬁ cult to say at this point. Depending on the starting hypotheses, the dates for the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo and the mDo ’dus in these two divergent analyses are
pulled apart from perhaps as early as 901 till 1070 or 1081 AD. Another important insight yielded by this alternative hypothesis is that the nomer Dus gsum [founder] ’byung khungs kyi mdo, with its usual variation of sangs rgyas (buddha), ston pa (teacher), (bde gshegs) and gshen rab as “enlightened one”, may in the ﬁ rst variants well preserve memories of inﬂ uences from Buddha (and Padmasambhava?) legends, and may thus reveal an early point of entry and exchange with translated Buddhist narratives. 30 Legs bshad rin po che’i mdzod (1985), p.240.4f; cf. Karmay (1972), pp.281.20f and 118ff.
Below ﬁ nd a tentative schematic arrangement of the main early sources pertinent to early gShen rab narratives, based on the said alternative working hypothesis. The main sources are grouped in relative positions around a broadly conceived ‘turn’ of the ﬁ rst millennium AD. ritualistic narratives (here separated from Dunhuang historical sources); the Klu ’bum (arranged provisionally by way of working hypo thesis); the mDo chen po bzhi (including the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo) and the closely related mDo ’dus & gZer myig.
The ’Byung khungs kyi mdo is tentatively arranged at some distance from the mDo ’dus and gZer myig, approximately on a par with the Klu ’bum. The latter probably has a long history of formation, which may extend from the Dunhuang period into the beginning of the formation of the mDo ’dus. More texts could have been included, but that would not have served clarity.
Dunhuang Historical Sources
If we assume that later, more elaborate and clearer accounts by sGa ston Tshul khrims rgyal mtshan (12/1300s?) and sPa bsTan rgyal dpal bzang po (13/1400s) are reliable, we will also have to take their refere nces to eleventh-century ﬁ gures seriously. If you then do your math properly, a late date of 1081 or 1070 for the mDo chen po bzhi and the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo will emerge. If, and only if, we accept that the ﬁ rst section of the mDo chen po bzhi is the mDo ’dus, the same date will also emerge for the mDo ’dus, which then comes confusingly close to early traces of the gZer myig, from Me ston Shes rab ’od zer’s time (late 11th to early 12th c. AD), or might possibly even be
later. Kalsang Norbu in his Bonn IATS paper decided on an elegantly parsimonious model of transmission, but also one that remains inconclusive: the mDo ’dus, gZer myig, or perhaps both (cf. present thesis) are the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo.
If we feel inclined to follow this elegantly parsimonious line of reasoning, we should perhaps state a clearer preference. For does not the earliest evidence univocally favour identifying the gZer myig, perhaps in an early redaction, with the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo? Also note that chapter 1 of the gZer myig (sNga rabs ’das pa) corresponds to chapter 6 of the mDo ’dus (Dus gsum ston pa ci ltar byung ba). The gZer myig, as the title promises, tackles the Dus gsum ston pa ’byung khungs topic head on. Overall, identiﬁ cation with the mDo ’dus looks tenuous; based on the extant evidence, that possibility,
provisionally, ought to be abandoned; unless we should rearrange the mDo ’dus chapters as outlined above, where we discussed that option. We should note, however, that the identiﬁ cation of a (proto-)gZer myig with the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo creates serious dating problems for the mDo ’dus, because in that case both the Drang nga ma and the Ca ti ma narratives would point to a gZer myig-like text. Thanks to Kalsang Norbu’s research we can now trace the transition of contradictory identiﬁ cations with the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo from the gZer myig to the mDo ’dus to the inﬂ uential sGa and sPa teachers, in
the middle of the second millennium. The motives for this change in preference remain unaccounted for. The interpretative shift could relate to the ment ioned dating problem. The mDo ’dus is shorter and also must look older to most observers. Diversiﬁ cation of the origin narratives allows accommodating the orphaned mDo ’dus plausibly early in a transmission history. Such a scenario appears even more acceptable if we consider the similarities in name of the mDo ’dus and mDo gzer myig: (mDo) ’dus pa rin po che’i rgyud (see note 23 above), which suggest that they were basically believed to refer to the same or a very similar entity. In this light, we should also consider the possibility that was argued above: an earlier mDo ’dus may equally have had eighteen chapters. This may further explain extant confusion about the identity of an eighteenchapter ’Byung khungs kyi mdo.
The explanatory power of the simple and parsimonious model, however elegant, clearly is not completely satisfactory. What I therefore have been mainly concerned to point out is that among the surviving data disconcertingly numerous traces survive that are not satisfactorily covered by a simple model of transmission. There seem to be persistent recollections of earlier origins (colophon gZer myig, etc.) and delays in transmission (point 1), which resist the simpler theoretical model, or of broader content, which at least suggests other possibilities.
If we doubt the reliability of late and more complete narratives of the sGa and sPa teachers and question those names that the earliest colophons lack, or even remove those from the picture altogether, as later additions, then the evidence for dating the mDo chen po bzhi and ’Byung khungs kyi mdo (and perhaps some kind of a precursor of the gZer myig or, less likely, the mDo ’dus) to 1081 or 1070 erodes quickly. Several of the above points (to wit, points 2–3) reveal inner alignment. That alignment moreover appears scattered over various sources and seems to be without purposeful design. They strongly or gently recommend hypostasising a more extensive collection (’Byung khungs kyi mdo), as an extra layer in transmission. The delay in transmission also at least supports and perhaps even suggests adopting an earlier layer in transmission. Indeed, the newest dating efforts show cracks and must appear less than compelling.
Then again, the early colophons do not look completely reliable either; when exactly were they added to some of the mDo chen po bzhi or the gZer myig? Are they of the same date as the ﬁ rst redaction of the texts? Are those three texts that presently are classiﬁ ed as mDo chen po bzhi (close to) the original mDo chen po bzhi, for should not they too rather represent large sūtra collections, mdo sde chen po, as we also presumed for the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo? Does it make sense to be very sceptical about consistent data in late historical narratives and invest a lot of faith in fragile and contradictory early colophons? For a trained philologist, pending further evidence, methodologically, the right thing to do is indeed to work from the presumed bottom up and be sceptical about later, polished narrative constructs. But then, what about the consistent early pointers to the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo being a gZer myig?
A DIFFUSE CLUSTER OF NARRATIVES?
In any case, there is resonance between the Klu ’bum and mDo chen po bzhi (and gZer myig and mDo ’dus) in terms of: Content (gShen rab stories), Traditional dating (10/11th c. AD), And narratives of discovery (bSam yas, the a tsa ra, etc.); and furthermore: The suggestion of gradual revelation of the mDo chen po bzhi and gZer myig; A considerable conceptual gap between Dunhuang-type narratives and mDo ’dus- and gZer myig-type narratives; And similarities in name of the mDo ’dus and gZer myig.
All this points to an early fount of stories regarding a gShen rab ﬁ gure, which developed over time and was wider and more continuous with Dunhuang narratives than the presently extant mDo ’dus and gZer myig editions. In fact, given the possibility
of an early tenth-century date, the Klu ’bum might well be the closest extant cognate for what that hypothetical early ’Byung khungs kyi mdo may have looked like in terms of content, with the notable distinction that the Klu ’bum gShen rab narratives obviously focus on nāga-s or klu. The discussion therefore should not focus exclusively on whether the ’Byung khungs kyi mdo is the gZer myig or the mDo ’dus, or which texts the confusingly similar origin narratives actually pertain to. We should also try to understand the texture of this cluster of narratives on The Origins of the Buddha(, Teacher, or gShen rab) of the Three Times and appreciate the struggle of early and later authors to capture, in a satisfactory way, this ﬂ uid and developing fount of stories in time, somehow.
bsGrags byang : Bon chos dar nub kyi lo rgyus bsgrags pa rin chen gling grags zhes bya ba rmongs pa blo’i gsal byed attributed to mTha’ bzhi Ye shes blo ’gros (10th–11th c. AD?); TBMC edition by Khedup Gyatso. N. B. this edition corresponds to g-Yung drung bon gyi sgra bsgrags pa rin po che’i gling grags, in bKa brten ‘III’, Vol.72, but not to the text with similar title in bKa’ brten ‘III’, Vol.215, and not to the ﬁ rst part of (pp.1–140) in Three Sources for a History of Bon). brGyud rim : sKu gsum ston pa’i gsung rab bka’ ’gyur rin po che’i lung rgyun ji snyed pa phyogs gcig tu bsdus pa’i bzhugs byang brgyud rim bcas pa dri med shel gyi phreng ba, also known as brgyud rim or sngangs rim, written by Khod spungs pa dBra ston Ngag dbang skal bzang bstan pa’i rgyal mtshan, who may be identical with Su la rGyal mtshan, in 1929, bKa’ ’gyur I/II edition, Vol.103 KGKC : g-Yung drung bon gyi bka’ ’gyur dkar chag, by Kun grol grags pa, Rig ’dzin. This work, in 13 chapters, was completed in 1751. It is a catalogue of a manuscript Kanjur made under the patronage of the Khro chen King Kun dga’ nor bu. Edition by Tsering Thar, Beijing 1993. Kha byang : Srid pa rgyud kyi kha byang chen mo, bKa’ brten ‘III’, Vol.142.8 and Dolanji 1977. LTWA : (Library of Tibetan Works and Archives) in Dharmasala. NTKC : bKa’ ’gyur brten ’gyur gyi sde tshan sgrig tshul bstan pa’i me ro spar ba’i g-yab bon gyi pad mo rgyas byed nyi ’od ces bya ba’i dbu phyogs, by Nyi ma bstan ’dzin (b.1813 AD), published by Lokesh Chandra & Tenzin Namdak in Indo-Asian Studies, Śatapiṭaka Series, Vol.37, Pt.2, Delhi 1965; see Kværne (1971).
TBMC : Tibetan Bon Monastic Centre, sMan ri Monastery, main seat of Bon traditions in Dolanji, H.P. India. SHB : Sources for a History of Bon, TBMC Dolanji 1972 YTKC: rGyal ba’i bka’ dang bka’ rten rmad ’byung dgos ’dod bzhin gter gyi bang mdzod la dkar chags blo’i tha ram ’grol byed ’phrul gyi lde mig go, Palace of National Minorities, Beijing, 1995. This work was composed in the years 1876–1880 by g-Yung drung tshul khrims dbang drag.
Blezer, H.W.A. (2008), “sTon pa gShen rab, Six Marriages and Many More Funerals”, in Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines (RET) 15, pp.412–79, Paris 2008; ___ (2010), “William of Ockham, Jan van Gorp and Tibetan Studies: Some Notes on Dating the mDo ’dus”, in Études tibétaines en l’honneur d’Anne Chayet, edited by J.-L. Achard, in Hautes Etudes Orientales - Extrême Orient Vol.49, pp.1-50, Genève: Librairie Droz, 2010; ___ (forthc.), The Three Pillars of Bon: Doctrine, ‘Location’ & Founder, Volume II, Part I: Location of Origin and Part II: Apparatus, in Brill’s Tibetan Studies Library; volume two of a series of three, forthcoming Leiden; ___ (forthc.), The Three Pillars of Bon: Doctrine, ‘Location’ & Founder, Volume I: Doctrine, Part I: Antecedents of Bon Religion in Tibet and Part II: Tibetan Texts, in BTSL; volume one of three, forthcoming Leiden. Blondeau, A.M. (1971), “Le Lha-’dre bka’-thaṅ”, in Études tibétaines dédiées à la mémoire de Marcelle Lalou, pp.29–126, Paris 1971; ___ (1990), “Identiﬁ cation de la tradition appelée bsGrags pa Bon lugs”, in IndoTibetan Studies, Papers in Honour and Appreciation of Professor David L. Snellgrove’s Contribution to Indo-Tibetan Studies, edited by T. Skorupski, pp.37– 54 (=
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Freddoso, Alfred J., and Kelley, Francis E. (1988), trsl., Quodlibetal Questions: Volumes 1 and 2, Quodlibets 1-7, by William of Ockham, in the Yale Library of Medieval Philosophy Series, New Haven 1988. Gurung, Kalsang Norbu, (in press 2010), “The History and Antiquity of the mDo ’dus in Relation to the mDo chen po bzhi”, in Emerging Bon: The Formation of Bon Traditions in Tibet at the Turn of the First Millennium AD, in Henk Blezer ed. PIATS 2006: Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Halle 2011. Haarh, E. (1969), The Yar-lu¬ Dynasty, A study with special
regards to the contribution by myths and legends to the history of Ancient Tibet and the origin and nature of its kings, København 1969. Karmay, Samten G. (1972) ed. & trsl., The Treasury of Good Sayings: A Tibetan History of Bon, London Oriental Series, Vol.26, London 1972, reprint Kathmandu 2001; ___ (1975), “A General Introduction to the History and Doctrines of Bon”, Memoirs of the Toyo Bunko, 33, pp.172–218; ___ (1998), The Arrow and the Spindle: Studies in History, Myths, Rituals and Beliefs in Tibet, Kathmandu 1998. Loux, Michael J. (1974) trsl., Ockham’s Theory of Terms: Part I of the Summa
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Kretzmann, Norman (1983) trsl., Predestination, God’s Foreknowledge, and Future Contingents, by William of Ockham, Indianapolis 1983. McCord Adams, Marilyn, (1987),William Ockham (Publications in Medieval Studies), 2 Vols, Notre Dame, Indiana 1989 (1987); ___ and Wolter, Allan B. (1987) trsl., Philosophical Writings (by John Duns Scotus), A Selection, Indiana 1987. Martin, Dan, (2001), Unearthing Bon Treasures: Life and Contested Legacy of a Tibetan Scripture Revealer with a general Bibliography of Bon, in Brill Tibetan Studies Library, Vol.1, Leiden 2001. Maurer, C.S.B., A. (1978), “Method in Ockham’s Nominalism”, in The Monist, Vol.61, No.3 (July 1978). ___ (1984), “Ockham’s Razor and Chatton’s Anti-Razor”, in Mediaeval Studies, Vol.XLVI (1984).
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Colophon sNod rten ’byung ba chags ‘jig pa’i mdo, bKa’ ’gyur III edition, Vol.32: [f.112v6] snya li shug [shu] stag ring gis/ bod dang zhang zhung bru sha’i yul dang / stag gzigs gi yul du bon rin po che ’tshol nas bod kyi yul du bstan [f.113r] pa spel bar dgongs nas/ glang po che rta mchog grang ser khyer nas chas so/ bod dang zhang zhung dang stag gzig gis bar nas lam ’phrang shin tu rtsub pa dang / mi thar pa’i lam ’gags ni chu srid ma bu dgu ’drol ba dang / bdud khyab pas gshen ri la me bskyel ba’i sol ba’i ri la nyi ma bdun song bas/ rkang mgyog gi sgrub pa ldan pas mchod par rtag gzig gi yul du thon/ grub pa bsnyem pa’i bon po ni/ kha nas gser dzo ’phro ba/ lags [lag?] nas thog ’phong bas/ lha srin bran du ’khor [’khol] ba mchog thun mong gi grub rtags du mar dang ldan pa rnams la/ gser la sogs pa’i rin po che phul nas/ rgyu ’bras kyi bon la sogs thams cad zhus nas/ bod du yongs bsam nas/ bya rgod dang / bya glag khrung khrung dang / kang ka bzhi la[s] bkal nas ’ong pas/ kang ka la bka’ [bkal] pa’i bon ni/ rgya nag gi yul du ’phur te song ngo / rgya nag gi bon po legs rmong po tang rmang po’i phyag tu babs so/ phyis [f.113v] ma gsum po la bkal ba’i bon ni/ bod du thon nas de [da?] lta zhang zhung gis spyod pa’i bon rnams so/ li shu stag ring la spyod pa’i dbang med rje la phul/ lo tsa ba stag ring gis ye shes yi ge thams cad bon du bsgyur nas btsad po khri srong lde la [!] btsan la phul
to/ btsan pos zhus pa bon thams cad la rtsis byang dang yang byang re gdab par zhus byas pas/ li shus gsungs pa’i bon thams cad la rtsis byang brgyad re dang bcas nas ’dug/ de’i nang nas mdo chen po bzhi dang / gshen rab kyis gsungs pa’i bon rnams kyi nang nas kyang snying po ni ’di lta ste/ dus gsum ston pa ’byung khung mdo [a] las snga rabs ’das dang ldan pa nas slad kyi bar le’u ni bco brgyad yod par ston/ snod rten ’byung ba ’jig rten chags ’jig mdo [b] las/ ’jig rten chags dang mnyam par bzhugs/ bar du bcu gcig yod par ston/ bla med gong [go] ’phang sgrub pa thabs kyi mdo [c] las/ snga rabs ’das dang [f.114r] ’jig rten bzhugs/ bar du nyi shu rtsa drug go/ khams sum sems can skye ’chi mdo [d] las/ phun sum tshogs nas zlog/ gtor bar du drug cu yod par ston/ zhes rgyal po la phul nas/ bsam yas khri thar [[[thang]]] dur khrod mchod rten dmar po la sbas so/ bsam yas kyi lde mig thams cad spung bza’ dmar po rgyal gyis ’dzin to/ zhib tu le’u dang / rtsis ’byung chen mo’i nang nas gsal lo/ shad thams cad gnyis brtsegs yin no/ ’bru re chad pa ’dra ba yongs shog ser nang nas yang de ’dra yin no/ dpe btsan du byas pa yin no/ gshen rab kyis zhal nas gsungs pa’i snod rten ’byung ba’i chags ’jig gi mdo rdzogs so/ /.
Colophon Bla med go ’phang sgrub thabs kyi mdo and gTor bzlog, see end of the Bla med go ’phang bsgrub thabs mdo ’jug gi gtor bzlog sogs kyi mdo skor, bKa’ ’gyur III edition, Vol.33, (fol.126r2): stag gzigs gi yul ’ol mo lung ring na/ rang byung gi mchod rten gyi rtsa ba nas/ snya li shu stag ring gis ’ongs nas/ lo tsā ba stag ring gi[s] bod skad du sgyur nas/ btsad po khri s[r]ong lde’u btsan la phul nas/ bsam yas gling gi khri thang dur khrod kyi tsar tsa ti dmar por sbas pa’o// lcags mo bya’i lo la gter shog brtol nas/ tre rgya gar ra tsas bton pa lags so// de nas dbu’i mchod ston phur pa ’bar la/ dngos grub tu babs pa lags so// de la lto ba jo sras gshen rab rgyal gyis/ gter shog dngos la gtugs nas bris so// ’bru re chad pa ’dra ba kun/ shog ser rang la de bzhin snang ba’o// bkra shis dge’o//.
The gZer m[y]ig (Tsering Thar edition, Beijing 1998 (1991)), p.810.12: ’dus pa rin po che’i rgyud gzer mig gi le’u bco brgyad pa ’di ni/) ston pa’i zhal nas gsungs pa’i bon sgo bzhi mdzod dang lnga’i nang nas/ gtsang ma mtho thog spyir rgyug tu gtogs so/ bzhi bzhugs pa de gang zhe na/ dus gsum gshen rab byung khungs kyi mdo dang gcig- khams gsum sems can skye ’chi’i mdo dang gnyis/ snod rten ’byung ba chags ’jig gi mdo dang gsum/ bla med go phang bsgrub thabs kyi mdo dang bzhi’o/ ’dus pa rin po che’i rgyud ’di ni/ mdo sde31 chen po bzhi’i nang nas dus gsum gshen rab byung khungs kyi mdor gtogs so/ /de la yang snga rabs ’das  pa dang / slad kyis 31 ’sDe’, so far, I have only found in this edition.
’byon pa rnams ni/ zur tsam sgra ’phangs nas bstan pa’o/ /da lta’i ston pa gshen rab mi bo ci ltar byon zhing ’das pa’i lo rgyus zhib par ’di’i nang du bstan pa’o/ /’das dang ma byon pa gnyis ka’i gtan tshigs ni/ dus gsum gshen rab byung khungs kyi mdo’i nang na zhib bo/ ’dus pa ’di ni mdo’i nang nas btus kyin bkol pa’o/ bon ’di dang po gshen rab nyid kyis zhal nas gsungs/ gshen rab mya ngan mya ngan las ’das nas/ gdung ’tshob mu cho ldem drug gis/ bka’ la brten nas rig pas mang por phyes/ mu cho ’das nas mkhas pa rim par byung / ta zig la mkhas pa dmu tsha tra pe dang / khri thog par tsam dang / ’gu hi li sbar ya gsum byung ngo / de las rdzu ’phrul gyi rkang pa thob pa’i lo tsā ba gsum gyis bsgyur te/ rgya gar la mkhas pa lha bdag sngags dro dang / rgya nag la mkhas pa legs tang rmang po dang / phroms la mkhas pa gter thog lce ’byams dang de gsum gyis bsgyur ba la/ bod la mkhas pa lde gyim tsha rma chung dang / me nyag la mkhas pa lce tsha gar bu dang / sum pa la mkhas pa mu spungs gsal tang dang / zhang zhung la mkhas pa sha ri dbu chen dang / de rnams kyis zhus shing bsgyur ba mang zhing bod du bstan pa dar ba la/ bar du chos kyi ’phrag dog gis nub pas/ drang rje’i btsun pa gser mig gis / gling gi lho phugs kyi khri dang dur khrod kyi nang nas rnyed pas ’phel pa’o/ /mar pa stag la dbang la dngos grub tu babs pa lags so/ /slad kyi ston pa ci ltar ’byon pa’i le’u ste bco brgyad pa’o / bkra shis dpal ’bar ’dzam gling rgyan gyur cig- sngon tshogs stobs smin khro chen mi dbang gis/ /’gro kun mngon mtho nges legs bsgrub phyir du/ /gshen rab mchog gi mdzad pa mtha’ klas bcud/ /gzer mig le’u bco brgyad par ’di bskrun/ /’di la gyur pa’i las byed mchog dman ’bring / sgo gsum ’bad rtsol bskyed dang yi rang bcas/ /rang gzhan kun gyi rnam dkar ma lus pa/ /gcig tu bsdoms nas byang chub chen por bsngo / manga lam// //.
Kun grol grags pa (b.1701 AD) discusses the mDo ’dus in his KGKC (g-Yung drung bon gyi bka’ ’gyur dkar chag (see bibliography) also named Zab dang rgya che g-yung drung bon gyi bka’ ’gyur gyi dkar chag nyi ma ’bum gyi ’od zer) on pp.102.19f: bsam yas mchod rten dmar po nas pang ku rin chen dang dre rgya ra tsa ste bande mi gnyis kyi dngos grub tu rnyed pa’i mdo bzhi yod pa’i nang nas / dus gsum gshen rab  byung khyungs kyi mdo ’dus pa rin chen la/ dang po gleng phun gsum tshogs pa’i mdo’i le’u/ ... [listed are the twenty-four chapters of the mDo’ dus] ... ston pa mya ngan ’das pa’i le’u dang nyer bzhi yod/. The gZi brjid is discussed at pp.97.5ff: ja ldang chen dmu tsha gyer med kyis sprul sku blo ldan snying po’i snyan du brgyud pa’i ’dus pa rin po che’i rgyud dri ma med pa gzi brjid rab tu ’bar ba’i mdo las/ ston pa ’od gsal lha las babs pa’i le’u ... [listed are the 61 chapters of the gZi brjid] ... [p.99.21f] sangs rgyas kyi mtshan dpe yon tan ji lta bur brjod pa’i le’u/ bstan pa bon gyi gtad gnyer mdzad pa’i le’u ste drug cu rtsa gcig yod do//.
The gZer myig is discussed at p.101: ra gter ston chen po drangs rje btsun pa gser mig gis bsam yas gling gi lho phug khri thang dur khrod kyi nang nas rnyed pa’i mdo ’dus pa rin po che’i rgyud gzer mig le’u bco brgyad pa’i ’byung khyungs ni/ dang po ston pa nyid kyi zhal nas gsungs pa’i sgo bzhi mdzod lnga’i nang mtho thog spyi rgyug tu gtogs/ de yang dang po snga rabs ’das pa’i lo rgyus kyi le’u/ ... [listed are the eighteen chapters of the gZer myig] ... slad kyi ston pa ’byon pa’i le’u dang bco brgyad yod/.
mKhan chen Nyi ma bstan ’dzin (b.1813 AD) also discusses these texts in his NTKC (bKa’ ’gyur brten ’gyur gyi sde tshan sgrig tshul bstan pa’i me ro spar ba’i g-yab bon gyi pad mo rgyas byed nyi ’od ces bya ba’i dbu phyogs; see bibliography), p.3.17: de ’og tu khyad par ston pa ’di nyid kyi byon tshul ston pa’i mdzad mdo rgyas pa sprul sku blo ldan snying po la/ stang chen dmu tsha gyer med kyis snyan du brgyud pa mdo bzhi yod pa’i nang tshan dri med gzi brjid bstan pa’i mdo [A] la/ dum pa nyi ma’i grangs ldan la le’i drug cu re gcig bzhugs pa’o/ mdzad mdo ’bring po gter ston drang rje btsun pas bsam yas khri thang dur khrod nas rnyed pa’i gzer mig ces pa’i mdo dum pa gnyis la le’u bco brgyad yod pa dang / mdzad mdo bsdus pa bsam yas mchod rten dmar po nas a tsar a mi gnyis kyis rnyed pa’i mdo bzhi’i nang tshan/ dus gsum sangs rgyas byung khungs kyi mdo’am [a] mdo ’dus su grags pa le’u nyer bzhi pa dang </ de’i og tu rgyal ba gnyis pa blo ldan rin po che’i snyan brgyud mdo bzhi’i nang tshan/ sangs rgyas khri dang bdun stong gi mtshan yang dag par brjod pa dus msug [gsum] mi nub mtshan gyi mdo [B] la le’u bcu bdun bzhugs pa dang / de’i ’og tu blo ldan rin po che’i snyan brgyud mdo bzhi’i nang tshan snod rten chags gnas ’jig stong gsal ba- lhun po brtsegs pa rgyud kyi mdo [C] la le’u yod pa- khag kyi dpal ’bar sum brgya drug cu bzhes pa dang - gsas mkhar sum brgya ga curdru [ga curdru = drug cur]  mnga’ gsol ba’i rnam thar gsal ba bkra shis dpal ’bar khab kyi mdo [D] la le’u yod pa dang >/ dbus gter a tsa ra mi gnyis kyi rnyed pa’i mdo bzhi’i nang tshan dus sum sangs rgyas byung khungs kyi mdo [a] gong du song pa’i ’phro khams gsum sems can skye ’chi’i mdo [b] le’u bdun dang / snod rten ’byung ba chags ’jig gi mdo [c] le’u bcu gcig pa dang / bla med go ’phang sgrub thabs kyi mdo [d1] dang / rin chen gter zlog mdo [d2] bsdom le’u sum bcu so gcig pa bzhugs/ mchan/ ’dir kha gcig gis mdo bzhi’i nang tshan byung khungs kyi mdo gzer mig la ngos ’dzin pa ni mi ’thad de mdo bzhi’i ni dbus gter li shus rtag gzigs nas bskur bar bshad pa’i phyir ro// /. Note that mKhan chen Nyi ma bstan ’dzin (b.1813 AD) in his NTKC seems to mix into the discussion of the mDo chen po bzhi that of another collection of four texts, the sNyan brgyud mdo bzhi. Perhaps this insertion is triggered by the discussion of Blo ldan snying po’s snyan rgyud earlier on (at the gZi brjid), by the mention of the mDo chen po bzhi (cf. snyan brgyud mdo bzhi) and by the sNnod rten ’byung ba chags ’jig gi mdo (cf. sNod rten chags gnas ’jig stong gsal ba). The sNyan brgyud
mdo bzhi apparently are: the dri med gzi brjid bstan pa’i mdo; dus gsum mi nub mtshan gyi mdo; snod rten chags gnas ’jig stong gsal ba lhun po brtsegs pa rgyud kyi mdo; and the bkra shis dpal ’bar khab kyi mdo. The second is listed between the gZi brjid and gZer myig in the KGKC, on pp.100f. and after both in the YTKC (rGyal ba’i bka’ dang bka’ rten rmad ’byung dgos ’dod bzhin gter gyi bang mdzod la dkar chags blo’i tha ram ’grol byed ’phrul gyi lde mig), on pp.27ff. Cf. Khod spungs pa’s brGyud rim (see below) p.70: ... bla med theg chen yang gsang tshul/ dang po mdo la rnam pa bzhi/ dri med gzi brjid bstan pa’i mdo/ dus gsum mi nub mtshan gyi mdo/ lhun po brtsegs pa rgyan gyi mdo/ bkra shis dpal ’bar khab kyi mdo/ de ltar mdo chen bzhi ru bstan / ...
g-Yung drung tshul ’Khrims in his YTKC discusses the mDo ’dus on p.91: li shu’i [shus] ta zig nas bsgyur ba’i dbus gter bsam yas ca ti sgo mang mchod rten dmar po nas bad sku rin chen dang tre rgya ra tsa ste ban dhe mi gnyis kyi rin chen bse sgrom chu srin kha sprod can gcig ba’i gcig mtshar drug thon pa khams pa dbu mchod ’bar gyi lag tu son pa’i nang nas mdo bzhi yod pa’i nang tshan dang po mdzad mdo bsdus pa dus gsum sangs rgyas byung khung mdo/ gling gzhi phun sum ’thsogs pa’i le’u dang po ... [listed are the twenty-four chapters of the mDo’ dus] ...  ... ston pa mya ngan las ’das pa’i bon/ le’u nyi shu bzhi pa/ kun grol gyi mdzad pas mnyam med brgya pa’i mgon po rnam mkhyen rgyal ba gshen rab kyi mdzad pa rnam pa bcu gnyis kyi rnam bshad khams sum las rnam par rgyal ba’i nyi ’od ces bya ba’o/. The Gzi brjid is discussed at p.20: de ’og tu khyad par ston pa ’di nyid kyi byon tshul bstan pa’i mdzad mdo rgyas pa/ sprul sku blo ldan snying pa la/ stong chen dmu tsa gyer med kyis snyan du brgyud pa mdo bzhi yod pa’i nang tshan/ dri med gzi brjid bstan pa’i mdo la/ ’dus pa rin po che’i rgyud dri ma med pa gzi brjid rab tu ’bar ba’i mdo las/ sangs rgyas ston pa ’od gsal lha la bab pa’i le’u / ... [listed are the sixty-one chapters of the gZi brjid] ... [p.25] ... / sangs rgyas kyi mtshan dpe yon tan ji lta bar brjod pa’i le’u/ bstan pa bon gyi gtad gnyer mdzad pa’i le’u ste drug cu rtsa gcig /. The gZer myig is discussed at p.25: de ’og tu mdzad mdo ’bring po gter ston chen po drang rje btsun pa gser mig gis bsam yas gling gi lho phug khri thang dur khrod kyi nang nas rnyed pa’i mdo ’dus pa rin po che’i rgyud gzer mig le’u bco brgyad pa’i dpe rtsis ni/ dang po ston pa nyid kyi zhal nas gsungs pa’i sgo bzhi lnga nang mtho thog spyi rgyug tu gtogs / de yang dang po ston pa snga rab ’das pa’i lo rgyus le’u ... [listed are the eighteen chapters of the gZer myig] ... slad kyi ston pa byon pa’i le’u dang bco brgyad yod/.
(Adapted from a version typed by Dan Martin)
gTer gyi kha sbyang by sGa ston Tshul khrims rgyal mtshan. Extant are a MS of 45 folios, kept at the LTWA, Acc.no.17765 (not accessible to me) and a recent Kathmandu computer edition without extensive publication data. I here follow the latter: p.49.4: bsam yas byang gter bcu [B: dbu] mchod ma’i lo rgyus dang thems la/  dang po lo tsas ji ltar bsgyur ba/  bar du ji ltar bsnubs pa/  mtha’ ma dar lugs dang gsum mo// 1. dang po slob dpon chen po gnyan li shu stag rings kyis/ mnga’ ris zhang zhung bon gyi yul na/ gser glang po’i rna ba gang khyer nas/ mi rnams la phan gdags par bya ba’i phyir/ stag gzig yul du byon te/ bod kyi chu ’go mtsho nag ’khyil pa na/ klu sdig pa glang mgo stobs chen rgya’i nyams sod byas/ ri bo pad ma ldan gyi brag phug nas chas nas/ gas kyis btsan ri dgu sgril la lam byung / rgya mtsho bdal mo ’khyil chen la ’byung rlung gi khri byas/ ge khod gnyan lung la zhag ’dug byas/ mtsho pha gir phyin tsam na/ bdud khyab pa lag ring gis/ bon ri g-yung drung la me btang bas/ sol ba’i ri yang ’dug skad/ bye ma’i ri la nyi ma dgu phyin/ chu’i chen po dgu brgal/ gangs ri dkar po’i rtsar phyin/ seng ge mang po byung bas za ma nus skad/ ri gsum brgal nas byon/ lha ma yin gyi dmag mang po byung / sgrib shing byas pas bar chod ma byung / de nas chu’o chen po si dhu la/ chu srin mang po sems can mthong tshad za yin ’dug pos [emend: dug pas] bar du ma chod/ bye ma’i mya ngams la byi ru’i gling ’dug- shing la nor bu’i ’phreng ba skyes ’dug- mtsho’i ’gram la nya phyis dang mu tig gi mchod pa ’dug- gsas mkhar ri rab dpe bzhag- sham po lha rtse dang / khong ma ne’u chung gi gsas mkhar ’dug- nub phyogs kyi gling la/ gsang sngags kyi grub thob dang / phyi rgyud kyi grub thob mang po ’dug- lag na thog ’phen pa/ kha nas ser ’phro ba/ rdzu ’phrul du ma dang ldan pa mang po ’dug skad/ dmu tso ting rums/ dmu slang don dang / dmu mtha’ lding  dang / dmu rje sprul sku dang la/ li shu stag ring gi bon sgo bsam gyis mi khyab pa zhus nas/ bod yul du sgra skad mang po bsgyur/ dbus kyi bsam yas su byon nas/ bon rin po cher spyod cing yod pa’i dus na/ nub phyogs u rgyan gyi yul nas/ padma sam bha ba de/ khri srong lde btsan gyi mchod gnas su spyan drangs yod pas/ de’i dus na/ yum mkhar chen za mtsho rgyal/ de’i blon po khri bzang yab lhag dang / zhang ldo za khroms skyes la sogs pas/ bon ’phrul ngag bden pa ’di bsnubs par byas te/ gnyan li shu stag ring dang / rgya nag gi slob dpon dpal ge zhes kyang bya/ ba gor bhe ro tsa na zhes kyang bya/ lo tsa legs btang rmang po zhes kyang bya ba de tshe ’phos gnyis kyis/ bon rin po cher sgo dgu ni/ btsad po yab yum dang / slob dpon pad ma gsum la phul bas/ 2. nub lugs ni/ bsam yas kyi gling lho nub/ khri dang dur khrod srin po’i mgo gnon/ lca ti sgo mangs/ mchod rten dmar por sbas te/ rin po che’i bse sgroms chu srin kha sprod bya ba’i nang du sbas/ tsan dan sol ba dang / dri bzang rgas med/ chu tshas gser skus sbas/ gsung rab gling skos dang / gling mtsho rgyud che chung / ’khor
ba la za’i rgyud la sogs pa gsum mo// rin po che’i bdud pho rtsi/ lha byang chub la gtad do// g-yung drung chab dkar sgo pa bar pa g-yung drung bde spyod dang / theg pa dgu’i lugs kyi bon la sogs pa/ gnam mtsho phyug mo’i gong pa bong chung rtse’i shar phyogs/ seng ge kha yel gyi zhabs su sbas/ de nub lugs so// 3. gter nas thon lugs ni/ mchod rten dmar po’i so phag gog pa nas/ shog dril mang po byung nas bltas pas/ bon du ’dug nas mer bsregs pas/ mi rung ba sna tshogs byung / lcags mo bya’i lo la/ so phag mang po gog pas/ shog dril mang po byung nas/ bltas pas bon du ’dug- de mi rung ba byung bas ma bsregs par/ bsam yas lha khang lder so’i ’og tu sbas/ lo bzhi bcu zhe dgu nas/ sad gu rin chen grags pa dang / tre rgyal ra tsa gnyis bkor gnyer byas pas/  lder so’i rgyab nas rnyed nas/ nub mo rta dang dre’u la bkal nas/ rkong po’i yul nas khams lhor byon/ khams pa dbus gtsang du slob gnyer snga shos tir gyi u ston bya ba/ zhu g-yas kyi slob ma zhig yod pa der phyin nas/ nged la shog ser yod pas byin nam byas pas/ khong ma na re/ ngas dbus gtsang du phyin pas/ bla ma gshen sgur gyis thon pa’i shog ser khyer du ma btub/ de min khyed la med las che zer/ za ma drangs nas gter shog yod na ’dod skad/ de’i dus na/ gur zhog dang rgya khri rje’i slob ma/ khams kyi grva pa la snga shos sum pa rta ston bya ba/ khams pa yul du byon pa zhig- lho ngos kyi yul shod/ g-yung drung klong chen gyi chu dkar bya lam dkar shol na/ mchod gnas byed kyin yod pa de la bon bstan nas/ sbyin nam byas pas/ rung na rung gsungs nas/ zhal zas drangs/ mi gzhan la ma ston cig- gned kyi pha yul du phyin na bon spel/ khyed gnyis kyang che sar bzhag gsungs/ rlang sum pa lho ston gyi phyag tu gtad pas/ gter shog sgro drug byung skad/ der lho ston gyis yon bdag gcig la bcol/ de’i dus na bre dang / sad ku gnyis par bu’i mo ’debs cing yul gzhan du song ba dang / dus de tsam na/ yul der tshong pa mang po byung bas yul pas bkag- skyel ma dang yul pa gnyis rdo ’thab byas pas/ rdo ston gyis bar du shugs ma byas pas/ rdo ston dbu la rdo phog nas grongs/ der sngar gter sgro bcol ba’i yon bdag mo skas la lhung nas mgo chag- der dbu mchod rten phur nag ’bar bya bas/ bon po sman shes pa zhig bos nas/ khrab ster bas mgo ’di ’chos par zhu byas pas/ dbu mchod na re/ yon bdag mgo drag par bya yis/ khyrab khyed rang gyis la/ slob dpon gyis gter sgro bcol ba rnams nga la slang zer/ yon bdag mo dga’ che nas/ khrab bzung nas/ gter sgro drug po byin skad/ dus de tsam na/ par bu sdebs pa gnyis po byung nas/ rdo ston grongs/ dpe cha’i rtsa ra bcad pas ma chod/ mo btab pas dbu  mchod gan [emend: gang] du byung ste/ khyod la yod pas ’dod zer/ nga la med byas pas cis kyang yod pas ’dod zer/ der za ma drangs nas/ nga la yod pa mi la ston cig- nga yang zhu/ khyed rang yang spyod du zhu gsungs/ dpe ’dra ba bstan/ zhal ’ga’ bsdad pas mo ma gnyis po med skad/ dus der dbu tir u ston chen po ’das/ de’i tsha’o// ting gi ston pa btsun bya ba yod pa/ u mchod gam du phyin nas/ khyod la gter shog yod par ’dug pas/ nged kyang zhu byas pas/ nga la med gsungs/ khyed la yod pa mi ster ba yin na/ khyod rang nga’i skor du ma sdod byas pas/ dbu mchog na re/ de skad ma gsung nga la yod pas/ rnal ’byor gnyis po yang ’ong du re nas des gsang ba yin zer/ der tir gyis ’jam skol nas/ mi bsogs rta bzang zhig la dar yug gis mthur mda’ byas nas dbu mchod la phul/ dus de ring nas ’di gter bdag
yin no// bon po rnams kyis dpon du khur cig zer/ rnal ’byor gnyis po ’di nas ’dug bya ba/ ’dir song bya ba yang ma byung / la la na re dbu mchod kyis bsad pa yin/ de’i rtags su dam tshig nyams pas/ bu yang lkugs pa sbal sbrul za pa zhig ’dug zer/ dbu mchod na re/ gte shog dril shing / gze snying dang mtshung rgya la bsgyur du song zer/ gnyis po ma log ro la thong pa yang gcig med/ phyis grags pa rgya yul na dmar bshal gyis grongs skad/ dbu mchod la/ snya li shu stag ring gi sgrib shing yod pas mi mthong ba dang / dpe cha gar bzhag kyang mi rnyed pa la sogs gda’ skad/ de’i bon sde la brgyad de/ 1. gsung rab kyi sde dang gcig2. mdo sde dang gnyis/ 3. sngags nang gi sde dang gsum/ 4. gso dpyad sman gyi sde dang bzhi/ 5. bsgrub thabs sngags kyi sde dang lnga/ 6. ngan sngags las sbyor gyi sde dang drug7. phan bya gson bon gyi sde dang bdun/ 8. pra thabs ltas ngan gyi sde dang brgyad do// de la gsung rab bye ma nyi khri chu rgyun gyi bon la/ dum bu sum cu so gnyis/ ’khor zhu ba po bcu drug gis zhus pa bzhugs so// gnyis pa mdo sde chen po  bzhi/ mdo ’phran nyi shu rtsa gnyis/ mdo chen po bzhi la/ dus gsum gshen rab byung khungs kyi mdo dang gcigkhams gsum sems can skye ’chi’i mdo dang gnyis/ snod rten ’byung ba chags ’jig gi mdo dang gsum/ bla med go ’phang sgrub thabs kyi mdo dang bzhi’o// de’i cha lag la zad pa med do/ mdo phran la gtso bo bzhi la bstod pa/ mdo gnyis gnyis brgyad/ thig le’i mdo/ yi ge brgya pa’i mdo/ ltung bzags kyi mdo/ sngags mdo/ ltas ngan bsgyur chog gi mdo/ sa dang lam gyi mdo las sogs pa rtsa gnyis so// gsum pa sngags nang la/ khro bo la rgyud sde lnga/ phur pa la rgyud sde dgu- ge khod la rgyud gsum/ khro bo rgyud lnga la/ khro gsas mkha’ ’gying ri rab g-yo ’gul gyi rgyud/ rngams gsas mkha’ ’gying rlung nag ’tshub ma’i rgyud/ dbal gsas mkha’ ’gying me dpur ’bar ba’i rgyud/ gtum gsas mkha’ ’gying chu bo rba klong gi rgyud/ gtso mchog mkha’ ’gying nam mkha’ gsal byed kyi rgyud/ de la bsgrub thabs re re gshams na yod/ phur pa rgyud dgu la bsgrub thabs re re byung / ge khod rgyud gsum la/ khro bo gnam lcags thog mda’i rgyud/ mu dmar gser btso zhun ma’i rgyud/ mnga’ bdag me lce ’phreng ba’i rgyud dang gsum mo// gnam lcags thog mda’ la/ khro bo dgu la/ ye shes kyi khro bo bdun/ ’jig rten pa’i khro bo gnyis te dgu/ mu mar gser btso la/ me ri dang ge khod dbang rgyal dang gsum mo// sngags bdag la a ti mu wer rtsa ’grel dang / gzhung gsum khungs dang bzhi byung ngo // bzhi pa gso dpyad la/ rtsa ’grel gnyis/ lag len la shing sbyor gnyis/ sngo sbyor ldum bcos gsum/ dpyad bu khri shes kyi sman mdo byung ngo //
lnga pa bsgrub pa ngan sngags kyi sde la gsum/ dgra lha mo dang / gas btsan bsgrub thabs spyi gsum mo// dgra lha mo la rgyud bzhi/ bsgrub thabs brgya dang brgyad cu rtsa gnyis/ dmag dpon gas btsan la rgyud sde dgu ste/ rgyud che ba gsum/ rgyud chung ba drug dang dgu’o// spyi bsgrub la lha ma srin sde brgyad kyi bsgrub  thabs dang dgu byung ngo // drug pa ngan thabs bca’ sbyor la/ skyogs lugs gsum/ chu skyogs thal skyogs gnyis te lnga’o// chu gyen la drang thabs dang drug go-/ bdun pa gson bon la/ rgyal phung das chad/ sha ru rang ’gros/ thod pa rang ’gros/ ’dos rang ’gros/ rje sku glud rang ’gros la sogs pa mang ngo // brgyad pa ltas ngan la/ khang pa tshig pa/ chu gal bsgyur/ mkhar bsgyil ba/ khang par bya nag dbab pa’o// bsam yas ca ti ma’i kha byang tshar ro//