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On the Date of the Tibetan Translation of Asvaghosa's Buddhacarita

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David P. Jackson


The Buddhacarita of Asvaghosa (fl. 1st century C.E.) is important in Indian literature as one of the earliest examples of Sanskrit ornate poetry (kavya). The poem tells the life story of the Buddha Sakyamuni, and it is quite long, running as it does to some twenty-eight chapters or sargas. Yet only about the first half of the poem survives in the original Sanskrit. For the remaining half, one must rely on the Chinese or Tibetan translation.

As is well known, a Tibetan translation such as this can often be a very valuable aid for understanding the original Indian Buddhist text. The translators typically tried to follow a literal, “calque” style of rendering the Sanskrit into Tibetan, and thus their translations sometimes closely mirror even the phraseology of the original. But in the case of the Buddhacarita, the quality of the Tibetan translation is uneven and in places disappointingly poor. From the fifteenth chapter on, where there is no Sanskrit to compare it with, the sense of the Tibetan is highly obscure in many places. What could account for the poor quality of that translation? This question cannot yet be answered in any detail, but there do exist a few clues at least about how and when the Tibetan translation was executed. The present paper is therefore an attempt to determine more precisely the chronology and circumstances of that translation. The basic source for dating the translation is the colophon to the translation that is preserved in all four printed editions of the Tanjur. This is what it says:

By order of the Noble Guru, King of Religion, highest lord of the Doctrine [everywhere] on the earth, as far as the ends of the ocean, matchless in virtues of wisdom, great treasure of numerous perfections, guru of scholars, glorious wealth of all beings, [and] Because of the pure intention to attain the realization of enlightened activities of that best of men, matchless in all the world, and because of the patronage of the noble religious ones, such as the lord of men, the divine [[[Wikipedia:royal|royal]]] son, queen [and prince] of Gung-thang-mother and son-the princess Kun-dga'-'bum, who is single[-minded]ly devoted to Dharma, and bZo-mo Yon-tan-skyed of Mang-yul sKyi-rong, this Ca¬reer of the Sage composed by Arya Asvaghosa was translated by Sa- dbang-bzang-po and Blo-gros-rgyal-po.

By that king of merit [resulting from] translating this, may father, mother, and [all] beings enter into this [[[noble]]] king of paths, and having vanquished all wrongs and evils, and also the King of the four Maras, may they become [[[noble]]] kings of religion! By that virtue may the Doctrine of the Sage long endure!

1 Patronage

The colophon of course does not specify the date of translation, but it does reveal some details about its patronage, and it also mentions the names of the translators. Though almost none of the people mentioned are well known, more can be learned about them if one searches through the available historical sources.

The main geographical focus indicated by the colophon is Mang-yul, a princi¬pality in the western Tibetan borderlands between gTsang and mNga'-ris whose capital was Gung-thang rDzong-dkar and which was the Tibetan region closest to the Kathmandu Valley. This region is also indicated by the mention of one of the patrons, a certain bZo-mo (or bZang-mo?) Yon-tan- skyid of Mang-yul sKyi[d]- grong. Mang-yul sKyid-grong, the location of the 'Phags-pa Wa-ti Jo-bo statue, was incidentally also the cite of another important kaavya translation project, namely the translation of Ksemendra's Bodhisattvavadanakalpalata in 1270.

A precise dating of the Buddhacarita translation is more difficult because in order to determine it, one must also be able to identify the patrons and translators. Still, one can establish at least a preliminary terminus ad quem for the translation based on external evidence. It must have been completed before ca. 1322 because Bu-ston Rin-chen-grub (1290-1364) lists this translation of the Buddhacarita in the catalogue section of his great history of Buddhism (completed 1322) as the last item in the Jataka (sKyes rubs) section. He also listed the work in his later catalogue to the Tanjur, which is dated 1335.

The earliest possible date of translation cannot be so easily arrived at. For although the major introduction of kavya studies and translation in Tibet took place under the patronage of 'Phags-pa Blo-gros-rgyal-mtshan (1235-1280), i.e. not before the 1260s, this does not guarantee that a given poetical work was not translated before then. The systematic, formal teaching and learning of Sanskrit poetics is usually said to have begun in Tibet with 'Phags-pa's uncle, Sa-skya Pan. d. ita (1182-1251), who began his studies in ca. 1205 and who about twenty-five or thirty years later presented a partial translation of Dandin's Kavyadarsa in the first chapter of his mKhas 'jug treatise. But a full translation and transmission of the basic texts such as the Kaavyaadarssa had to wait for the contributions of 'Phags-pa's contemporary Shong rDo-rje-rgyal- mtshan.

1.1 Gung-thang rgyal-mo yum-sras

According to the colophon, the main patrons who provided material support seem to have been a queen of Gung-thang and her son (gung thang rgyal mo yum sras). The line mentioning them begins “ruler, divine prince” (mi rje lha sras)-titles that together normally applied only to male descendants of the old Yar-klung dynasty. But here they seem to refer collectively to the queen and crown prince, and the word yum (“mother”) apparently refers again to the queen in her capacity as mother.

1.2 The Princess Kun-dga'-'bum

The colophon itself does not give the personal names of this queen and prince. But with the next person mentioned we are perhaps luckier. A princess with the name Kun-dga'-'bum is known from other sources, and if she is the one mentioned in the colophon, this helps narrow down the possibilities of who the others were. At least two Tibetan historical sources mention a “princess” by this name: she was a daughter of the Sa-skya-pa hierarch bDag-nid-chen-po bZang-po-dpal (1262¬1324), being the second of three children given birth to by his sixth wife, Lha-cig Ni-ma-rin-chen. Kun-dga'-'bum was born sometime between the time of her father's return to Sa-skya in 1298 and the birth in 1308 of her younger brother Kun-dga'-legs-pa'i-'byung-gnas (1308-1336).

According to the detailed genealogical history of the Sa-skya 'Khon family (Sa skya gdung rabs chen mo) by A-mes-zhabs Ngag-dbang-kun-dga'-bsod- nams (1597-1659), Kun-dga'-'bum was a female religious teacher (slob dpon ma) from the 'Khon lineage. She was born at Khabs-so bKra-shis. When she was young, she became the consort of the mNga'-ris Gung-thang ruler who had the Mongol rank tu-dben-sha (“regional commander”). She is said by this source to have given birth to two sons: one the royal monk and religious master Slob-dpon Lha-btsun Phun-tshogs-dpal and the other the ruler mNga'-bdag bZang-po-lde. The former is said to have given religious teachings at Sa-skya for many years. At a later period in her life, Kun-dga'-'bum reportedly returned to Sa-skya, where the chief administrators (dpon chen) gZhon-dbang-pa and his son offered her the religious palace Bla-brang Seng-ge-sgang. She is said to have died there, immersed in her profound meditative practices.

The same Kun-dga'-'bum is mentioned not only in the Sa skya gdung rabs chen mo but also in the genealogical history of the Gung-thang kings compiled by Tshe-dbang-nor-bu (1698-1755), for as stated above, she married one of the kings of Gung-thang. The account about her in the latter source is shorter. There only one son is mentioned, and he is called by a different name. But this source does specify the name and death date of her husband: he was the king Chos-skyong-lde, who reportedly died in the water-dragon year (1352). He and Kun-dga'-'bum are said not to have enjoyed harmonious relations at first, but their differences were smoothed out through the intervention of her fa¬ther bDag-nid-chen-po (bZang-po-dpal, 1262-1324) and his son (her younger half¬brother bSod-nams-rgyal-mtshan?). If this information is accurate, the marriage thus must have taken place before the death of bZang-po-dpal in 1324. The son who resulted from their union is said to have been the ruler Khri bKra-shis-lde. He married his cousin bSod-nams-'bum, the daughter of dBang Kun-dga'-legs-pa. bKra-shis-lde himself is said to have died in the wood-snake year (1365).

Now, if the patrons included a queen of Gung-thang, her son, and the above¬mentioned princess Kun-dga'-'bum, then this “queen of Gung-thang” was probably the consort of Khri Rin-chen-bzang-po, and her son was probably Chos-skyong-lde, husband of the princess Kun-dga'-'bum. A possible problem with this identifica¬tion is that the mother of Chos-skyong-lde, the lady Lha-mo-'bum of the Shar-pa bla-brang in Sa-skya, is not recorded to have acted as “queen” in Gung-thang. She is said to have conceived Chos-skyong-lde in Sa-skya during a brief union with Khri Rin-chen-bzang-po just before his departure for China where he died soon

16 Tshe-dbang-nor-bu f. 10a. In an earlier article “The Early History of Lo (Mustang) and Ngari,” Contributions to Nepalese Studies, vol. 4, no. 1 (Dec. 1976), p. 46, I confused the succession of these generations as well as their relation to Kun-dga'-'bum. The correct genealogy as given by Tshe-dbang-nor-bu, ff. 9a-11b, is:

'Bum-lde-mgon (1253-1280) afterward. I have not yet found any reference to another queen of Gung-thang in the early 1300s who had a son. Chos-skyong-lde's uncle Khri-lde-'bum (b. 1268), who was the main ruler in his generation, apparently died without male issue, so his consort could not have been this queen. But whoever these patrons may have been, they were no doubt members of the Gung-thang royalty who lived in the late-13th or early-14th century.

The last patron who contributed material support seems to have been a lady of wealth and perhaps of nobility: bZo-mo Yon-tan-skyid of Mang-yul sKyi[d]-rong, but she is otherwise unknown to me, as is her name or title bZo mo (“Female Crafts-worker”?), which some texts give as bZang mo (“Kind Lady”?).

1.3 Bla-ma-dam-pa Chos-kyi-rgyal-po

The one remaining major patron in the colophon who requires discussion is the “Noble Guru, King of Religion” (bla ma dam pa chos kyi rgyal po), who is men¬tioned very prominently at the beginning of the colophon. He was a crucial figure in the pro ject; he is said to have been the ultimate sponsor, for he is the one who ordered the others to undertake it. G. Tucci in his Tibetan Painted Scrol ls identified this main patron as 'Phags-pa [Blo-gros-rgyal-mtshan] (1235-1280), probably because “King of Religion” (chos kyi rgyal po) is one of 'Phags-pa's stan¬dard titles and because 'Phags-pa was the first major patron of kavya translations in Tibet, supporting as he did the activities of Shong-ston rDo-rje-rgyal-mtshan. Tucci may have based himself on Cordier's Tanjur catalogue (part 3, 1915), where the “bla-ma dam-pa chos-kyi-rgyal-po” of the colophons had already been identified as “Matidhvajacribhadra de Sa-skya.”

But in light of the possible identity of the princess Kun-dga'-'bum suggested above, that would now seem to require further verification. Can it be confirmed, for instance, by the more detailed historical sources of Sa-skya and Gung-thang? There was indeed another Sa-skya-pa teacher who was a prominent political and religious leader of the mid-14th century and who had the fixed epithetNoble Guru” (bla ma dam pa). He was Kun-dga'-'bum's half-brother, the outstanding teacher Bla-ma-dam-pa bSod-nams-rgyal-mtshan (1312-1375). But this master would have been only eleven years old in 1322, which was the date of Bu-ston's mention of the translation in his history of Buddhism. A great religious leader who might have sponsored the project in the period ca. 1315-1322 was bSod- nams-rgyal-mtshan's (and Kun-dga'-'bum's) father bDag-nid-chen-po bZang-po- dpal (1262-1324) who according to one source occupied the Sa-skya see from about 1298 to 1324. Or just possibly it might have been one of the latter's older sons, such as the Ti-shri Kun-dga'-blo-gros-rgyal-mtshan-dpal-bzang-po (1299-1327), an imperial preceptor at the Yuan court who received his full ordination in Central Tibet in 1322.

Nevertheless, these later candidates seem unlikely since none of the masters af¬ter 'Phags-pa were normally referred to as “Chos-kyi-rgyal-po.” 'Phags-pa, more¬over, is referred to in other translation colophons precisely as “Bla ma dam pa chos kyi rgyal po.” The pandita Laksmikara even composed Sanskrit verses in 'Phags- pa's honor (a Tibetan translation of which is preserved in the Tanjur), the title to which referred to him with this very same epithet (Skt. sadgurudharmaraja).

2 The Translators

These doubts about the identity of the great religious and noble patrons cannot be settled without turning to a detailed investigation of the translators. In the trans¬lation colophon, the names of the two persons responsible for the translation are preserved: Sa-dbang-bzang-po and Blo-gros-rgyal-po. Previously almost nothing was known about these two. As mentioned above, Bu-ston Rin-chen-grub (1290¬1364) listed the Buddhacarita in the catalogue section of his history of Buddhism (1322) as the last item in the Jaataka (sKyes rabs) section. There as translator he mentions only Blo-gros-rgyal-po. But he adds there the information that Blo-gros- rgyal-po was a monk who was a native of Khams (khams pa dge slong). And in Bu-ston's later catalogue to the Tanjur (1335), both the names Sa-dbang-bzang-po and Blo-gros-rgyal-po appear-but the former is listed as “pandita” and the latter as “translator” (lo tsaa ba).

That is all that is known about Blo-gros-rgyal-po. But the information that Sa-dbang-bzang-po was a pan. d. ita and not a Tibetan translator is a vital clue that must be followed further. Indeed there exists another work in the Tanjur that had been translated through the assistance of the Pan. d. ita Sa-dbang-bzang-po. This was the grammatical treatise Rab dbye'i tshig le'ur byas pa (Vibhaktikaarikaa). The translation colophon as preserved in the Peking edition runs as follows:

By order of the Noble Guru, King of Religion, who possesses infinite virtues of wisdom, [and] in accordance with the urging of the Tibetan Pan. d. ita, this was translated by the Newar Pan. d. ita Sa-dbang-bzang- po [and] the Tibetan translator dGe-slong Shong Blo-brtan at Bal-po mThil [a central settlement of Nepal].

The Pan. d. ita Sa-dbang-bzang-po is here clearly identified as a Newar (bal po), and he was active in a main center of the Kathmandu valley (bal po'i mthil, Patan?). Perhaps he had a Sanskrit name such as Mahmdrabhadra. He worked with the Tibetan translator dge-slong Shong Blo-gros-brtan-pa, who flourished in the late 1200s and possibly in the early 1300s. Shong Blo-gros-brtan-pa was the younger brother (gcung) of the famous Shong-ston rDo-rje-rgyal-mtshan, who under the encouragement and patronage of 'Phags-pa Blo-gros-rgyal-mtshan had introduced the study of Sanskrit grammar and poetics in Tibet in a big way.

In addition, there exists still other references to Sa-dbang-bzang-po that make his importance and historical position even clearer. According to the records of teachings received (gsan yig) of the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682) and Zhu- chen Tshul-khrims-rin-chen (1700-1769), the Pan. d. ita Sa-dbang-bzang-po was the main teacher of Sanskrit metrics (sdeb sbyor: chandas) to the Shong brothers; in particular he taught them the basic work of Ratnakarasanti, the Chandoratnakara (sDeb sbyor rin chen 'byung gnas). The lineage given in those gsan yig for the study of this work begins:

Pan. d. i-ta chen-po Rin-chen-'byung-gnas

Pan. -chen Sa-dbang-bzang-po

Shong-lo mched-gnis [= the two Shong brothers]


[= Lo-chen mChog-ldan-legs-pa'i-blo-gros-dpung-rgyan-mdzes-pa'i-tog]

dPang-lo chen-po [Blo-gros-brtan-pa]

Sa-dbang-bzang-po and Shong Blo-brtan's translation of the above-mentioned grammatical work Rab dbye'i tshig le'ur byas pa (Vibhaktikaarikaa) was also under¬taken at the command of a “Bla-ma-dam-pa Chos-kyi-rgyal-po,” who in this con¬text can hardly be anyone but 'Phags-pa Blo-gros-rgyal-mtshan, given the latter's well-known relations with the elder Shong. In addition, the work was encouraged by a certain “Tibetan pan. d. ita” (bho .ta pan. d. i ta), probably the elder Shong him¬self, rDo-rje-rgyal-mtshan, since he was one of very few-if not the only-Tibetan in that period who could claim that title.

3 Conclusions

These references to Sa-dbang-bzang-po enable a somewhat firmer dating of the Buddhacarita translation. Two possibilities were suggested by the historical sources. The first was that the project was undertaken during the earliest period of kaavya translation, more or less contemporaneously with (though perhaps slightly later than) the work of Shong-ston rDo-rje-rgyal-mtshan, i.e. probably in the 1260s or 1270s. 'Phags-pa would then have been the “Noble Guru, King of Religion” who provided the main impetus. The poor quality of the work would have been due not only to the inferior skills of the translator, but also to the elementary level

of Sanskrit kaavya studies existing among Tibetans in that period (though other factors such as a corrupt Sanskrit text and even an imperfect later transmission of the Tibetan text may also have played their parts). Perhaps a translation had been ordered by the Tibetan ruler, but the other patrons simply could not find a translator who was equal to the task. The pan. d. ita at least can be assumed to have been competent, since he was a main transmitter of the study of Sanskrit metrics to the most eminent Tibetan scholars of the day. In this case, the queen of Gung-thang could have been the mother of the king 'Bum-lde-mgon (1253-1280), another Sa-skyaprincess” Ni-ma-’bum, and in this case the princess Kun-dga'- 'bum is not otherwise identifiable at present, though she may have been a so-far unknown sister or aunt of that king, who had the same name. In that period, too, the Gung-thang royal line had matrimonial alliances with the Sa-skya 'Khon. According to Tshe-dbang-nor-bu, the de facto ruler then (i.e. in ca. the 1250s and 1260s) was the nun Lha Rin-chen-mtsho, who was 'Bum-lde-mgon's youngest pa¬ternal great aunt. That nun's older sister Lha-cig mDzes-ma had married Sa-skya Pan.d.ita's younger brother Zangs-tsha bSod-nams-rgyal-mtshan (1184-1239). The princess Ni-ma-'bum was one of the offspring from this union.

The second interpretation suggested by the sources was that Sa-dbang-bzang- po flourished considerably later than Shong-ston's main teacher, the pandita Laksmikara. This would account for Shong-ston's having studied only a little with him, and with Sa-dbang-bang-po's (later) collaboration with Shong-ston's younger brother as well as with the presumably later Blo-gros-rgyal-po. It is not impossible that this pan. d. ita could have been still active ca. 1310-1315. In that case his collabora¬tor Blo-gros-rgyal-po would have been a contemporary of Shong Blo-brtan and of the latter's disciple Lo-chen mChog-ldan-pa, and even of dPang-lo Blo-gros-brtan- pa. Again, the inferior skills of Blo-gros-rgyal-po would have been mainly to blame for the poor work, though in this later period one might have expected better. In this second case, the princess Kun-dga'-'bum would be the known Sa-skya princess by that name, and her patronage could be dated to about the time of her marriage (ca. 1315-1320?) to the Gung-thang king Chos-skyong-lde.

These two possibilities are, however, irreconcilable. The Sa-skya princess Kun- dga'-'bum's birth cannot be pushed back much beyond 1300, and her marriage, even if it happened when she was quite young, can hardly be placed much earlier than 1310. That would still have been thirty years after 'Phags-pa's death. The period ca. 1315-1320, the likely time of the Sa-skya princess Kun-dga'-'bum's coming to Gung-thang, would probably have been too late for the continuation of 'Phags-pa's patronage, even as a sort of funeral memorial. Therefore a choice is necessary, and to me the first possibility—which places the translation in the earlier period—seems much more plausible. This mainly hinges upon the association of Sa-dbang-bzang-po with both Shong brothers, and the mention of “Bla-ma-dam-pa Chos-kyi-rgyal-po” in both colophons of the two works that Sa-dbang-bzang-po helped translate. Taking everything into account, that “Noble Guru, King of Religion” in the translation colophon of the Buddhacarita was probably none other than the famous 'Phags-pa Blo-gros-rgyal-mtshan, just as Tucci (and even Cordier) proposed long ago, and the translation work was thus probably done in the 1260s or 1270s.


The Account on Kun-dga'-'bum
in A-mes-zhabs's Sa skya gdung rabs chen mo
A-mes-zhabs Ngag-dbang-kun-dga'-bsod-nams, 'Dzam gling byang phyogs kyi thub pa'i rgyal tshab chen po dpal ldan sa skya pa'i gdung rabs rin po che ji ltar byon pa'i tshul gyi rnam par thar pa ngo mtshar rin po che'i bang mdzod dgos 'dod kun 'byung (New Delhi: Tashi Dorje, 1975), p. 449 (225a):

bla ma bdag hid chen po'i btsun mo spyi grangs kyi drug pa | gdung brgyud spel cig pa'i lung phud nas khab tu bzhes pa'i btsun mo lnga pa yul red mda' ma | pha ming re mda' ba'i rtsed po | ming lha cig ni ma rin chen zhes bya ba la sras lcam sring gsum 'khrungs pa de'i nang nas gcen slob dpon chen po ni ma dpal zhes bya ba dus mchod bla brang du sku 'khrungs mod kyang gzhon nu la gshegs nas bstan pa la phan pa zhig ma byung | bar ma slob dpon ma kun dga' 'bum zhes bya ba ste 'di ni khab so bkra shis su 'khrungs nas sku nar son pa na mnga' ris gung thang du mnga' bdag tu dben sha'i jo mo mdzad cing | sras slob dpon lha btsun phun tshogs dpal dang | mnga' bdag bzang po lde gnis byung ba'i lha btsun phun tshogs dpal gyis gdan sa chen po dpal ldan sa skyar lo mang po'i bar du chos 'chad mdzad ces grags shing | de nas dus phyis slob dpon ma des gdan sa chen por phebs pa na dpon chen gzhon dbang pa yab sras kyis bla brang seng ge sgang phyag tu phul nas | gnas der thugs dam zab mo'i ngang nas sku gshegs so |.


The Account of Kun-dga'-'bum
in Rig-'dzin Tshe-dbang-nor-bu's Gung thang rgyal rabs
Kah. -thog rig-'dzin Tshe-dbang-nor-bu, Bod rje lha btsad po'i gdung rabs mnga' ri [sic] smad mang yul gung thang du ji ltar byung ba'i tshul deb gter dwangs shel 'phrul gyi me long, cursive manuscript copy (library of Mr. E. G. Smith) made from an original 22-folio manuscript in the library of Barmiok Athing, f. 10a:

lha sras chos skyong Ide yi btsun mor sa skya nas bdag nid chen po bzang po dpal ba'i sras mo kun dga' 'bum zhes lha gcig red mda' ma la bltams pa dbang kun dga' legs pa'i gcen mo de khabs su bsus | bdag mo pha ming gi reg sde [?] thog mar rgyal po dang thugs mi mthun pa'i rnam pa byung yang bdag nid chen po yab sras thugs brling zhing byams pa'i zhal dang bzang pos khyab pa yis phyis thugs mdza' shing gshim pa'i sras spyod [?] gu ru gter kha du ma dang | khyad par rig 'dzin rgod Idem can gyi rtsa ba'i chos bdag gter [10b] ston nid dang mnam par lung bstan pa khri bkra shis lde sku bltams | de yang ji skad du | khyad par mang yul sku lha'i byang shar du || sa khar dung gi so mang 'ar ba 'byung || de ru rgyal rigs bong thung byang sems can || chos rgyal bkra shis lde zhes bya ba dang || gter 'di 'phrad na bod yul bstan pa ni || mi lo lnga bcu rtsa gsum bsdings [?] nus so || zhes pa mtshon mang du 'byung ba nnid do | khri chos skyong lde chu 'brug gi lo la sku gshegs nas bkra shis lde la cod pan bcings nas rgyal thabs kyi bdag por mnga' gsol ba'i btsun mo dbang kun dga' legs pa'i sras mo bsod nams 'bum khabs su bsus | lo shas rings yab yum ha cang thugs gshim ma byung yang nang blon rgyam chen po dang sa gtso ba dkar po dpal sogs 'dzangs pa rnams kyi legs par bsdum nas shin tu mthun gshim su gyur | khri bkra shis lde yab kyi dgongs rdzogs su ston mchog shaakya senge'i sku brnnan dang yum gyi ched du 'phags ma sgrol ma'i sku brnnan gnnis mi tshad las ches mtho zhing g.yu rnning khyad par can sogs rin po che'i 'phra rgyan gyis shin tu mdzes par byas pa dang | gzhan yang rdzong dkar gyi lcags ri .


The Chronology of the Early Occupants of the Sa-skya See

(I) The following is drawn from the Sa skya'i gdung rabs found in A-mes-zhabs, as excerpted in Khetsun Sangpo, vol. 10, pp. 562-568. The only correc¬tion I have made is not to list Kun-dga'-smng-po twice. A preliminary study of this account can also be found in Jeffrey Schoening, “The Sa-skya Throne Holder Lineage,” unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Washing¬ton, 1983, pp. 13-21.

(1) 'Khon dKon-mchog-rgyal-po (1034-1102). Founds Sa-skya in chu¬glang (1073). [Tenure 1073-1102].
(2) Ba-ri lo-tsa-ba Rin-chen-grags (1040-1112). Tenure from 1102 until 1110 (lcags-stag).
(3) Sa-chen Kun-dga'-sning-po (1092-1158). Tenure from Icags-yos (1111), for forty-seven years until sa-stag (1158).
(4) bSod-nams-rtse-mo (1142-1182). Tenure from sa-stag (1158)? Or else he is to be omitted from the list.
(5) Grags-pa-rgyal-mtshan (1147-1216). Tenure from sa-yos (1159).
(6) Sa-pan. Kun-dga'-rgyal-mtshan (1182-1251). Tenure from me-byi (1216) until chu-yos (1243).
(7) The see held in common by Shar-pa Shes-rab-'byung-gnas, 'U- yug-pa Rigs-pa'i-seng-ge (d. 1253?), and Shakya-bzang-po? Or by Shakya-grags alone? Tenure from shing-'brug (1244) until shing- byi (1264).
(8A) 'Phags-pa Blo-gros-rgyal-mtshan (1235-1280). First tenure shing- glang to me-phag (1265-1266).
(9) Rin-chen-rgyal-mtshan (1238-1279). Tenure for nine years (1267¬1275?).
(8B) 'Phags-pa. Second tenure, from me-byi until lcags-'brug (1276-1280).
(10) Dharmapala (1268-1287). Tenure from Icags-sbrul (1281) until me- phag (1287).
(11) Shar-pa 'Jam-dbyangs-bzhi-thog-pa (1258-1306?). Tenure from sa-byi (1288) until me-bya (1297).
(12) bDag-nid-chen-po bZang-po-dpal (1262-1324). Tenure from sa- khyi (1298) until shing-byi (1324).
(13) mKhas-btsun-chen-po [Nam-mkha'-legs-pa] (1305-1343). Ten¬ure from shing-glang (1325) until chu-lug (1343).
(14) 'Jam-dbyangs-don-yod-rgyal-mtshan (1310-1344). Tenure “for about three years” (lo gsum tsam).
(15) Bla-ma-dam-pa bSod-nams-rgyal-mtshan (1312-1375).
Tenure from his “thirty-third” year (1344) for a short while (yun mi ring tsam zhig).
(16) Ta-dben Blo-gros-rgyal-mtshan (1332-1364). Tenure “for eighteen years” (ca. 1347-1364?).
(II) The following account is given by the Bod rgya..., p. 2891, in the article Sa skya'i gdan rabs:
(1) 'Khon dKon-mchog-rgyal-po (1034-1102). Founds Sa-skya in chu¬glang (1073). Tenure 1073-1102.
(2) Ba-ri lo-tsa-ba Rin-chen-grags (1040-1112). Tenure 1102-1111?
(3) Sa-chen Kun-dga'-sning-po (1092-1158). Tenure from lcags-yos (1111), for 47 years (until 1158).
(4) bSod-nams-rtse-mo (1142-1182). Tenure from sa-stag (1158).
(5) Grags-pa-rgyal-mtshan (1147-1216). Tenure from chu-'brug (1172).
(6) Sa-pan. Kun-dga'-rgyal-mtshan (1182-1251). Tenure from me-byi (1216).
(7) 'Phags-pa (1235-1280). Tenure from lcags-phag (1251).
(8) Younger brother (Rin-chen-rgyal-mtshan). When 'Phags-pa was at the capital.
(9) Dharmapala (1268-1287). Tenure from sa-'brug (1268!). [This is a mistake for his birth date. Better lcags-sbrul (1281)].
(10) Shar-pa 'Jam-dbyangs-bzhi-thog-pa (1258-1306?). Tenure from me-phag (1287).
(11) bDag-nid-chen-po bZang-po-dpal (1262-1324). Tenure from shing- 'brug (1304), for 19 years. The see was vacant for three years, from chu-phag (1323) onward.
(12) mKhas-btsun-chen-po [Nam-mkha'-legs-pa] (1305-1343). Ten¬ure from shing-glang (1325). [N.B.: 'Jam-dbyangs-don-yod-rgyal- mtshan omitted from list].
(13) Bla-ma-dam-pa bSod-nams-rgyal-mtshan (1312-1375).
Tenure from shing-sbrul [read: shing-sprel, 1344], for three years.
(14) Ta-dben Blo-gros-rgyal-mtshan (1332-1364?). Tenure from me- phag (1347). In the third year ofhis tenure, the Sa-skya-pa's power was eclipsed.

Abbreviations and Bibliography

Modern Studies

Bira/ Sukhbaatar Shagdaryn Bira and O. Sukhbaatar, “On the Tibetan and Mongolian Translations of the Sanskrit Grammatical Works”, Sanskrit and World Culture (Schriften zur Geschichte und Kultur des alten Orients 18). Berlin, 1986, Akademie-Verlag.
Cordier 1915 P. Cordier, Catalogue du Fonds Tibetain de la Bib- liotheque Nationale, Part 3.
Hadano 1963 H. Hadano, “Chibetto Daizokyo Engi (1)” [“A History of the Compiling and Editing of the Tibetan Buddhist Scriptures, the Kanjur and Tanjur, Part 1”], Suzuki Gakujutsu Zaidan Kenkyao Nempo, vol. 3, 1963.
Hahn 1975 M. Hahn, “Buddhacarita I, 1-7 und 25-40”, Indo¬Iranian Journal, vol. 17, 1975, pp. 77-96.
Jackson 1976 D. Jackson, “The Early History of Lo (Mustang) and
Ngari”, Contributions to Nepalese Studies, vol. 4, no. 1, Dec. 1976, pp. 39-56.
Johnston 1936 E. H. Johnston, The Buddhacarita or Acts of the Buddha, Lahore. Reprinted: Delhi, Motilal Banarsi- dass, 1972.
Johnston 1937 E.H. Johnston, “The Buddha's Mission and Last Journey: Buddhacarita, xv to xxviii”, Acta Orientalia, vol. 15, pp. 26-111 and 231-292.

J.W. de Jong, “Notes a propos des colophons du Kan- jur”, Zentralasiatische Studien, vol. 6, pp. 505-559.
Leonard W.J. van der Kuijp, Contributions to the Development of Tibetan Buddhist Epistemology from the Eleventh to the Thirteenth Century, Alt- und Neu- Indische Studien, No. 26, Wiesbaden, 1983, Franz Steiner Verlag.
Leonard van der Kuijp, “Two Mongol Xylographs (Hor par ma) of the Tibetan Text of Sa skya Pan. d. ita's Work on Buddhist Logic and Epistemology”, Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, vol. 16-2, 1993, pp. 279-298.
Marek Mejor, K.semendra's Bodhisattviavadaina- kalpalatia: Studies and Materials, Studia Philologica Buddhica, Monograph Series VIII. Tokyo, 1992, The International Institute for Buddhist Studies.
S. Nishioka, “Index to the Catalogue Section of Bu¬ston's 'History of Buddhism' (II)”, Annual Report of the Institute for the Study of Cultural Exchange, The University of Tokyo, no. 5, 1981, pp. 43-94.
L. Petech, Central Tibet and the Mongols. The Yuan-Sa-skya Period of Tibetan History, Serie Orien- tale Roma, vol. 65, Rome, 1990, IsMEO.
G.N. Roerich, transl. The Blue Annals, Calcutta, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal 1949-53, Reprint: Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1976.
D. Seyfort Ruegg, The Life of Bu ston Rin po che, Serie Orientale Roma, vol. 34. Rome, 1966, IsMEO.
D. Seyfort Ruegg, “Some Reflections of Translat¬ing Buddhist Philosophical texts from Sanskrit and Ti¬betan”, Asiatische Studien, vol. 46-1, 1992, pp. 367¬391.

Tsepon W. D. Shakabpa, Tibet: A Political History. Yale University Press, Reprint: New York, Potala Pub¬lications, 1984.
Jeffrey Schoening, “The Sa-skya Throne Holder Lineage”, M.A. Thesis, 1983, University of Washington.
E. Gene Smith, “The Tradition of Philology & Liter¬ary Theory in Tibetan Scholasticism”, Unpublished pa¬per presented to the Inner Asia Colloquium, University of Washington, on February 6, 1964. U. W. Archives, acc. no. 85-42, box 6. 
Smith 1970 E. Gene Smith, Introduction to Encyclopedia Tibetica [Bo-dong Pan-chen's De nid 'dus pa], vol. 6, New Delhi, 1970, Tibet House.
S0rensen 1986 Per K. S0rensen, A Fourteenth Century Tibetan His¬torical Work: rGyal rabs gsal ba'i me lon. Author, Date and Sources. A Case Study. Copenhagen, 1986, Akademisk Forlag. [Published version of M.A. thesis of 1982, Copenhagen University.]
Szerb 1990 J. Szerb, Bu ston's History of Buddhism in Tibet, Wien, 1990, Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
Tucci 1949 G. Tucci, Tibetan Painted Scrolls, Rome, 1949.
Tucci 1971 G. Tucci, transl. and ed. Deb t'er dmar po gsar ma, Serie Orientale Roma, vol. 24, Rome, 1971, IsMEO.
Verhagen 1991 P. Verhagen, “Sanskrit grammatical literature in Ti¬bet: A Study of the Indo-Tibetan canonical literature on Sanskrit grammar and the development of Sanskrit studies in Tibet.” Doctoral dissertation, Leiden Uni¬versity.
Verhagen 1992 P. Verhagen, “'Royal' Patronage of Sanskrit Gram¬matical Studies in Tibet”, in A. W. van den Hoek, D. H. A. Kolff and M. S. Oort, eds., Ritual, State and History in South Asia: Essays in honour of J. C. Heesterman, Memoirs of the Kern Institute, n. 5, Leiden, 1992, E. J. Brill. pp. 375-392.

Verhagen 1994 P. Verhagen, A History of Sanskrit Literature in Ti¬bet. Translations of the Canonical Literature, Leiden, 1994, E.J. Brill.
Vogel 1966 C. VOGEL, “On the First Canto of Asvaghosa's Bud- dhacarita”, Indo-Iranian Journal, vol. 9, 1966, pp. 266¬290.
Warder 1974 A. K. WardEr. Indian Kavya Literature, Vol. 2, Delhi, 1974, Motilal Banarsidass.
Weller 1926-28 F. WELLEr, Das Leben des Buddha von Asvaghosa,
Leipzig: Eduard Pfeiffer. 2 vols., [[[Tibetan text]] and
German translation of I-XVII, v. 41.]
Weller 1980 F. WELLEr, Untersuchung uber die textgeschichtliche Entwicklung des tibetischen Buddhacarita, Berlin, 1980.

Tibetan Sources

Tshe-dbang-nor-bu Kah. -thog rig-'dzin Tshe-dbang-nor-bu, Bod rje lha btsad po'i gdung rabs mnga' ri [sic] smad mang yul gung thang du ji ltar byung ba'i tshul deb gter dwangs shel 'phrul gyi me long. Cursive manuscript copy of an original 22-folio manuscript in the library of Barmiok Athing Densapa. Reprinted in: rGyal rabs phyogs sdebs (sNgon gyi gtam me tog gi phreng ba), Dharamsala, Li¬brary of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1985, pp. 627¬669. See also the modern Lhasa ed. Gangs can mig mdzod, vol. 9, (Bod ljongs bod yig dpe rning dpe skrun khang. 1990), pp.87-150.

Khetsun Sangpo Khetsun Sangpo (mKhas-btsun-bzang-po), Bio¬graphical Dictionary of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism, Dharamsala, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.

Kun-dga'-bzang-po Ngor-chen Kun-dga'-bzang-po, bsTan bcos 'gyur ro 'tshal gyi dkar chag thub bstan rgyas pa'i ni 'od [Cata¬logue to the Glo-bo Tanjur], Collected Works, Sa skya pa'i bka' 'bum, Toyo Bunko. vol. 10, pp. 357.4.3-366.4 (= a, f. 286a-304a).
Narthang dkar-chag bsTan bcos 'gyur ro cog gsung par du bsgrubs pa'i dkar chag tshangs pa'i dbyangs, [Catalogue to the Narthang Tanjur], Narthang Tanjur, Tibet House Library. vol. tso.
Dalai bla-ma V Dalai bla-ma V, Ngag-dbang-blo-bzang-rgya- mtsho, Zab pa dang rgya che ba'i dam pa'i chos kyi thob yig gang ga'i chu rgyun, 4 vols., Delhi, 1971.

Bu-ston, dkar-chag Bu-ston Rin-chen-grub, bsTan 'gyur gyi dkar chag yid bzhin nor bu dbang gi rgyal po'i phreng ba, Collected Works, vol. 26 (la), Satapitaka Series, New Delhi, 1971.

Bu-ston Bu-ston Rin-chen-grub, bDe bar gshegs pa'i bstan pa'i gsal byed chos kyi 'byung gnas gsung rab rin po che'i mdzod, Collected Works vol. 17 (ya), Satapitaka Series, vol. 64, New Delhi, 1971.

Bod rgya... Bod rgya tshig mdzod chen mo, Beijing, Mi-rigs-dpe- skrun-khang, 1985.
Mu-dge bSam-gtan Mu-dge bSam-gtan, Bod du rig gnas dar tshul mdor bsdus bshad pa, Chengdu, 1982.
Zhu-chen Tshul- khrims-rin-chen Zhu-chen Tshul-khrims-rin-chen, dPal ldan bla ma dam pa rnams las dam pa'i chos thos pa'i yi ge don gner gdengs can rol pa'i chu gter, Dehra Dun, D. Gyaltsan, 1970.

Sangs rgyas kyi spyod pa zhes bya ba'i snan ngag chen po, Tibetan Tripit. aka, Peking Edition (P no. 5656), bsTan 'gyur, mDo 'grel, sKyes rabs, vol. 129, pp. 121.1.1-172.1.8 (=nge 1a-124b).

A-mes-zhabs Ngag-dbang-kun- dga'-bsod-nams, 'Dzam gling byang phyogs kyi thub pa'i rgyal tshab chen po dpal ldan sa skya pa'i gdung rabs rin po che ji ltar byon pa'i tshul gyi rnam par thar pa ngo mtshar rin po che'i bang mdzod dgos 'dod kun 'byung, New Delhi, Tashi Dorje, 1975.