Digital Himalaya Journals

Short Reviews Tibet Society 1984

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 Book Reviews
A. David-Neel, Magic and Mystery in Tibet (London, Allen & Unwin,
1984), 224 pp.
One can question reviewing a surprisingly clumsy though extremely
popular translation of a book first issued in England in 1931. The only
thing really new about it is the suppression of Professor d'Arsonval's original short preface, and its replacement by one from Aaron Sussman, the editor and advertising manager for the first American edition.
The new preface is a bit misleading. It implies that the change of title,
originally With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet, was somehow involved
with improving originally poor book sales. However, the English edition
with that title, far from being "packed off to limbo," was frequently reprinted, even going into a number of Penguin Books reissues.
The first editions were the best. If one can find them on the second hand
market, they are surely preferable. That first American edition published
by Claude Kendall has much to recommend it. Not only is it easier on the
eyes, but it includes, as this edition does not, 15 valuable though fuzzy pictures. These pictures have not been reprinted in Librairie Plon's 1979 edition of photographs, titled Le Tibet d'Alexandra David-Neel.
A question to answer is the value for serious Tibetologists of this admittedly popular presentation. Evidently, many Tibetan terms suffer from peculiar transcriptions. A scholar's edition ought to include an index plus a
correct glossary. On the other hand, ADN has carefully defined every term
she uses. She does not pretend to be more than an involved and sympathetic reporter, one who has done her best to make a study in depth.
She succeeds in her efforts to give not only newcomers to Tibetan and
Buddhist studies an insight into "psychic phenomena" as viewed by many
Tibetans. Young students especially can be grateful that the popularity of
her book has enabled them to find, at a moderate price, a wide ranging and
essentially accurate picture of what was going on.
Whether or not one believes in the validity of the "magic" does not affect
the interest in a study of its practices. A purely scholarly approach to this
study is far less likely to be available at a reasonable price. Moreover,
ADN's treatment of personalities and the social mulch add elements of significant value often missed in more pretentious publications.
The uses of enchantment were treated by Bruno Bettelheim to justify the
fairy tale, once a part of every child's first reading. He noted how it enabled
children to have strength in a hope to overcome what seemed, and probably were, not just solvable problems, but enduring, permanent difficulties.
Bettelheim did not adequately explore the continuing value of such enchantments. In this world of unresolvable troubles, they evidently also
help many adults to cope.
Alexandra David-Neel views this area of studies with honesty, insight,
and sympathy. She has made contributions of value for a wide gamut of
specialists, the linguists, social scientists, medical specialists, folklorists, art
enthusiasts and comparative religion investigators. While she stresses
events implying mystic interpretations, she doesn't neglect alternate explanations. She gives details as they related to the actual lives of real and interesting people. Her story of Dawasandup is not just interesting. She sees
that guns and faith seem stronger than either alone. She notes her Tibetan
studies, but frequently admits her need to resort to interpreters.
For those who have for one reason or another not yet read her books and
articles, this is surely a good one with which to begin.
Braham Norwick
New York City
Karma-pa VIII Mi-bskyod-rdo-rje, et al., ed., (Translated by the Nalanda
Translation Committee under the direction of Chogyam Trungpa), The
Rain of Wisdom: The Essence of the Ocean of True Meaning (Boulder,
Shambhala Press, 1980), xxiii + 384 pp.
The Rain of Wisdom is the first major translation project completed by a
group of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's American disciples, the Nalanda
Translation Committee. Known generally by the abbreviated title Ocean of
Songs of the Bka'-brgyud (Bka'-brgyud mgur-mtsho), The Rain of Wisdom
is one of a very small number of published Tibetan compilations that may
be properly described as poetry anthologies. (Another is the Sahs-pa
bka'-brgyud mgur-mtsho compiled by 'Jam-mgon Kori-sprul Blo-gros-
mtha'-yas, 1813-1899.) The relative discouragement of secular poetry and
the standard practice of issuing complete editions of the collected poems of
particular religious writers (i.e. the mgur-'bums) perhaps account for the
comparatively poor development of this genre in Tibet, despite the copious
production of anthologies in India and China, the nations which most influenced Tibetan literature. Edited originally by Karma-pa VIII Mi-bskyod-
rdo-rje (1507-1554), The Rain of Wisdom has grown with additional contributions by successive generations of Bka'-brgyud-pa masters. In its present
form it embodies the quintessence of the Bka'-brgyud tradition of Buddhist
verse practiced from the 11th century down to the present day, as represented by the work of some 35 poets. The English translation should thus
interest students of the Buddhist religion as well as of traditional Asian
It is evident that the Nalanda Committee has made every effort to produce a translation that represents the original text to a very high degree of
accuracy, but which also is written in an easy and natural English style, eschewing the cramped conventions which render much translation from Tibetan virtually inaccessible to all but the most patient of readers. An example is in order. These extracts come from "The Song of Konchok Yenlak"
(pp. 49-53):
He saw that all the petty goals and activities of oneself and others, and the
circumstances of happiness and misery in all places and times were like a
swirling illusion or dream . . . Therefore, the experience of things as they
are was born in him like summer heat—unfabricated, innate, ordinary,
free of fixation, free of bondage, free of liberation. He summed this up as
an oral instruction for his worthy disciples, and when he intended to
teach, he sang this vajra song . . .
When I was young, I attended spiritual friends.
But now that my youth is past, my goal is
I pedantically analyzed the texts again and again.
But when experience arose in my being, I saw the
main point.
I have corruptly lived off the donations to my guru,
But this turned into a multitude of virtue completely
freeing myself and others.
I have had constant companionship for a long time.
But they have now become permanent spiritual friends.
A comparison of select passages with the Rum-btegs xylographic edition
of the text reveals only minor faults, mostly with respect to the interpretation of some more or less obscure terms and idiomatic expressions, e.g.:
For Nalanda.-
. . . without being consumed by obstacles, (p. 7)
Read "certainly" Tib. gdon mi za bar]
For Nalanda:
The Buddha, the Victorious One, also taught his sons the dharma of the
Avatamsaka from the Aryasamantabhadracaryapranidhanaraja, (p. 7)
[As is said] in the Jinaputrasamantabhadracaryapranidhanardja ("The
Kingly Prayer of Conduct of the Victorious One's Son Samantabhadra"),
which is numbered among the doctrines of the Buddhavatamsaka [Tib.
saiis rgyas phal po che'i chos kyi rnam grans rgyal sras kun tu bzah po'i
spyod pa'i smon lam gyi rgyal po las.]
For Nalanda:
The higher and higher virtues of the path arise effortlessly ... (p. 9)
The virtues of higher and higher paths arise effortlessly [Tib. lam gon ma
goh ma'i yon tan 'bad med du skye].
This refers, incidentally, to the familiar Abhidharmic doctrine of five
paths, which is adhered to by the Vajrayana schools as well.
For Nalanda:
... the minds of the faithful gathering of listeners are transformed into
dharma. (p. 9)
... the faithful gathering of listeners too (finds that) appearance (i.e.
one's vision of reality) turns to (i.e. inclines towards) the dharma [Tib.
dad 'dus nan pa po rnams kyah snah ba chos su bsgyur pa].
For Nalanda:
... a way of exposing his faults, (p. 91)
... a way of rebuking his own faults [Tib. rah mtshahs sun 'byin gyi
For Nalanda:
inconceivable compassion (p. 91)
unqualified compassion [Tib. dmigs med kyi smh rje].
Dmigs med in this case refers to the subject's exercise of compassion being
unqualified by any objective referrent beyond the very exercise of that
compassion (dmigs pa de las med pa).
That problems more severe than these are virtually absent attests, I
think, to the overall excellence of the translation.
Tibetan religious poetry is, of course, a translator's nightmare. It is expressive of a system of values, a Weltanschauung, which is far distant from
that in which the contemporary Western reader has been nurtured. Its conventions are alien, its formal characteristics incapable of straightforward
transposition into modem English. The Nalanda translators have approached their task as Western Buddhists, who have partially adopted the
value-system of the poets they are translating. In order to introduce their
readers to the world of their poets, they have appended to their translation
an informative afterword (pp. 293-333), which introduces the spiritual
milieu of the poems, and which provides much valuable data regarding the
text and the identities of the poets themselves. A detailed glossary (pp.
340-376) is also appended.
Concerning the afterword, a few remarks on the section entitled The
Lineage and Its Teachings (pp. 293-303) are perhaps in order here. These
pages represent, to all intents and purposes, the popular style of teaching
Tibetan Buddhism for which Chogyam Trungpa is well known. While I do
not wish to question either the insights underlying this approach, or its applicability to the requirements of interested Westerners who are not specialists in Tibetan Buddhist Studies, it may be somewhat misleading here. For
example, the description of the Kagyii path follows, in points of detail, the
program of Trungpa Rinpoche's Dharmadhatu centers rather than traditional accounts. Thus, it is asserted that "[t]he first step is samatha meditation . . . the first stage of hlnayana practice" (p. 296). Certainly this applies
to Trungpa Rinpoche's students and a great many other Western Buddhists
too. But it does not accurately reflect the sequence of study and practice
undertaken by neophytes in a traditional setting. Does this small exercise in
pedagogical expedience really matter in the present context? To see that it
does, consider that the poets anthologized here represent their hlnayana
background not with reference to samatha and vipasyana, but with their
frequent allusions to the main themes of actual hlnayana study in Tibet:
impermanence, suffering, moral causation and the discipline of the
The Kagyii poetic tradition is rightly traced by the translators back to the
doha tradition of the Indian Mahasiddhas (p. 300). There are, however, at
least two other traditions of verse composition from which they drew,
namely, the indigenous Tibetan traditions of folksong, verse oratory and
bardic chant, and the verse translations of Sanskrit formal poetry and
sastraic verse. The full relation of the Kagyii poets to their cultural and educational background unfortunately has not been explored here, as well it
might have been. For to have done so would to some extent have revealed
the manner in which these wonderful poets give expression not only to the
enlightenment of a specific spiritual tradition, but also to an intricate nexus
of not particularly religious cultural values, and to the cultivated erudition
of a uniquely Tibetan style of formal scholastic education.
The glossary, though generally quite useful, does occasionally substitute
Trungpaesque definitions for traditional ones. E.g., maitr! (byams-pa) is
defined as "friendliness to oneself, the prerequisite for compassion for others" (p. 355), in flat opposition to the standard definition, which is "the attitude which desires that all sentient beings have happiness and the causes
thereof (sems can thams cad bde ba dan bde ba'i rgyu dan ldan par 'dod
pa'i sems). Another example is found under "grasping and fixation" (p.
349), where the explanation is tailored to support this altogether eccentric
translation of the phase gzuh ba dan 'dzin pa, which simply means "apprehended (object) and apprehending (subject)."
These points aside, I must reaffirm that The Rain of Wisdom is a fine
contribution to the body of Tibetan literature in translation. Delightful to
read, it evidences also some of the potential for scholarly work that is to be
found in the group of disciples who have gathered around Chogyam
Trungpa. As the Nalanda Translation Committee's first, it bodes well for
their future undertakings and merits this Tibetan characterization: thog
mar dge ba.
Matthew Kapstein
Brown University
A.W. Macdonald, ed., Les Royaumes de ['Himalaya (Paris, Imprimerie
Nationale, 1982), 250 pp., plates.
This volume, which is the first in the oriental collection of the French National Press on the history and civilisation of Central Asia, sets out a cultural history of four of the Himalayan Kingdoms, namely Ladakh, Nepal,
Sikkim and Bhutan.
With the exception of a general introduction and the notable section on
the Limbu of Nepal by Phillipe Sagant, the sources are secondary and the
method, if not the viewpoint, essentially archaeological and archival. The
editor himself is of the view, which perhaps applies to all matters of cultural history and reconstruction, that the general task is premature and our
knowledge a definite patchwork.
Ladakh and Sikkim are today part of the State of India. Nepal and
Bhutan still have an independent existence; the first has Hinduism and the
second Mahayana Buddhism as state religion;\hese are the two great religions that in part define the traditional civilisations of the area.
In the introduction MacDonald moves from general features of topography and ecology of the Himalayan region to the sequence of settlement of
the peoples, seen as from valley to hillside. He sketches the general movement of ethnic groups, that is of indo-aryan speakers from west to east in
the 'middle-hills', who have a rice-based economy, and Tibetan-speaking
peoples southwards. Here he provides an overview of a vast and fragmented literature, one that dates at least from Hodgson's writings in the Journal
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1847, up to and beyond the more recent
reconstructions, such as those of S.K. Chatterji (1950) in the same periodical.
He outlines the contrasts not just between the two religious cultures per
se, Hindu and Buddhist, but also the mode of action of the two states, India
and China ("La Chine s'impose; llnde s'infiltre"), and of their two institutionalised religious forms, the Brahmanical and monastic. There is also a
social history of monasteries in India, followed by a section on the growth
of Buddhism as revealed in art and sculpture, and a socio-political history
of Tibet. The broad scope and clarity of this introduction more than make
up for any theoretical or particular factual criticism that many, including
MacDonald, could make. This is a valuable introduction, not just to this
book but to the field as a whole.
The section by Sagant is a first-hand account of the life of the Limbu, a
people of eastern Nepal who, like many others, have a legend of descent
from kings. The inclusion of this ethnography of traditional local organisation and the effects of political indianisation gives an entirely different window onto the Kingdoms of the Himalaya, one in which culture as lived in
ritual, and history as social process, rather than cultural particulars in and
of themselves, come to the fore.
The chapters of Ladakh, Bhutan, Sikkim and the Kathmandu Valley
Kingdoms of Nepal all follow roughly the same format, namely that of a
gazetteer. The sequence is geography, trade and commerce, origins of people, history (century by century), ethnic groups today, languages, costumes, customs, state and administration, religion, monks and monasteries, festivals and pilgrimages, architecture, sculpture and painting and literature. These chapters are all amply illustrated, and the emphasis is on time,
place and source rather than on any more general abstraction; but these do
not necessarily appear in the form of a technical debate with other scholars.
Though the sources are not fully treated and listed, and indeed in a single
volume they could not be, much of the work is a useful compendium for
the professional, as well as being attractive to the general reader who is prepared to support fully an interest in the Kingdoms of the Himalaya.
G.E. Clarke
University of Sussex
Tsang Nyon Heruka [= Gtsang-smyon He-ru-ka], The Life of Marpa the
Translator—Seeing Accomplishes All (— Sgra-bsgyur Mar-pa Lo-tsa'i
Rnam-thar Mthong-ba Don-yod). Translated by the Nalanda Translation
Committee under the direction of Chogyam Trungpa. (Boulder, Prajna
Press 1982) 1 + 267 pp.
The biography of Marpa in English? Something to celebrate! A translation which serves scholar and Dharma practitioner alike? Difficult to
In the West, many scholars would agree that either you become a practitioner or a scholar; you can't be both. If you are a practitioner, you lose
your "objective" viewpoint, and if you are a scholar, you lose your heartfelt magic. From that point of view, there is no hope of combining the
—Vajracarya Trungpa (preface)
Believeable or not, the Nalanda Translation Committee (NTC) has succeeded to a large degree in combining the two. The translation is readable
enough (for anyone who will not be intimidated by unnaturalized Sanskrit
and Tibetan words) and basically accurate. The scholarly apparatus is in
good order. The footnotes on pages 141, 176-7, and 199-201 will be of some
interest to critical scholars as they deal with chronological problems, textual criticism and the little-studied history of some especially esoteric
Cakrasamvara teachings.
The critical side of the presentation could have been considerably enhanced by comparing this biography, written in 1505, with some earlier biographies of Mar-pa Chos-kyi-blo-gros (1012-1097? A.D.) that are readily
available in major American libraries. In chronological order, they are:
1) Eleventh through twelfth centuries—
A) Milarepa's (1040-1123 A.D.) biography of Marpa contained
in: Bde-mchog Mkha'-'gro Snyan-brgyud (Delhi: 1973). Library of Congress Accession no. 73-902914, pp. 63-96.
B) Gampopa's ( = Sgam-po-pa, 1079-1153 A.D.) biography of
Marpa together with that of Milarepa contained in all the several reprinted editions of his Collected Works.
C) Zhang G.yu-brag-pa Brtson-'grus-grags-pa (1123-1193 A.D.),
Writings ( = Gsung Thor-bu), Tashi Jong Monastery (Palam-
pur: 1972). LC Ace. no. 72-900813, pp. 327 ff.
II) Thirteenth century—
A) Rgyal-thang-pa Bde-chen-rdo-rje, Dkar-brgyud Gser-'phreng,
Tashi Jong Monastery (Palampur: 1973). LC Ace. no.
73-904146. pp. 137-187. (This is in dbu-med script.)
B) O-rgyan-pa Rin-chen-dpal (1230-1309), Bka'-brgyud Yid-
bzhin-nor-bu-yi Phreng-ba, Smanrtsis Shesrig Spendzod Series no. 38 (Leh: 1972). LC Ace. no. 72-904180, pp. 106-174.
III)        Fourteenth through sixteenth centuries—
A) Zhwa-dmar II Mkha'-spyod-dbang-po (1350-1405), The Collected Writings (Gsung-'bum) of the Second Zhwa-dmar
Mkha'-spyod-dbang-po (Gangtok: 1978). LC Ace. no.
78-903290. NOTE: This reprint of the Gsung-'bum is unfortunately lacking the biography of Marpa, which is otherwise
available in the following publication: Bde-mchog Snyan-
brgyud Biographies—Reproduction of a Collection of Rare
Manuscripts from the Stag-sna Monastery in Ladakh,
Kargyud Sungrab Nyamso Khang (Darjeeling: 1983). LC Ace.
no. 84-900297, pp. 1-131.
B) Mon-rtse-pa Kun-dga'-dpai-ldan (1408-1475?), Dkar-brgyud
Gser'-phreng, Sonam W. Tashigang (Leh: 1970). LC Ace. no.
73-912149, pp. 83-103. (This is in dbu-med script.)
C) 'Bri-gung-chos-rje Kun-dga'-rin-chen (1475-1527), Miscellane-
ous Writings (Bka'-'bum Thor bu) (Leh: 1972). LC Ace. no.
72-901803, pp. 34-41.
This treasure trove of early sources of Kargyudpa biography has been so
far almost universally neglected, unfortunately. A study of them must precede any attempt at critical scholarship in the Kargyudpa studies of the future. This is a mere 'sin of omission,' and should not be taken as a criticism
of the publication in question, a remarkable achievement for what it is.
The NTC may likewise be forgiven for a few in-house references in the
introduction and notes. In a book such as this, coming as it does from the
half-California 'hidden country' (sbas yul) of Boulder, Colorado, one
would have expected much more of it. As it is, we can only applaud and
encourage their evident restraint, particularly with regard to Marpa, a figure of singular and universal inspiration to Tibetans and Buddhists, not only the Kargyudpa.
Theoretically, at least, Tibetologists do not need translations. So it is only fitting that in reviewing a translation of the life of a translator it should
be asked how well the translation serves its primary audience, meaning, in
particular, human beings with English as their native language. The answer
is, "Very well indeed!" This despite some reservations which should not be
allowed to overshadow this basic assessment. Some of these reservations
have to do with specific translation policies of the NTC. I have my own
feelings about the advisability of using a large number of Sanskrit and Tibetan terms in the main body of an English translation, and of using overly-
literal translations when the context alters the tone of meaning in English.
Example: p. xlv, "The Taming of Milarepa" where the translation of the Tibetan word dul-ba would have better conveyed the real coloration of the
original with something like 'training,' 'discipline' or even 'spiritual transformation.' I believe strongly in the ability of the English language to trans-
mit everything Tibetan literature has to say, a faith that is admittedly easily
conceived and only with difficulty given birth,
If  I  may  use  the  phrase   "heart-felt   magic"   to   apply   to  literary
rather than religious communion, it is precisely here that the translators fall
short of their primary goal: communication. There are short flashes of true
brilliance, but particularly in the longer passages, the NTC has often failed
to carry the 'narrative thrust' in a natural, flowing way. I am tempted to see
this as a result of 'many cooks." But then, Lobsang Lhalungpa's Life of
Milarepa (E.P. Dutton, NY: 1977) was also a committee translation, and
nevertheless remarkably readable. My own ideal translation? The only
way to do it is to let the original speak for itself. Express what you hear in
English. If the original is instructive, communicative, or inspiring, the
translation will be likewise, naturally. Translation is the art of re-creation,
not a craft. Least of all should it be an assembly-line process.
To illustrate the points made above, I would ask anyone with a copy of
The Life of Marpa to refer to the passage beginning on the last line of page
44 and ending on page 48. For the sake of everyone else, 1 quote the entire
I dreamt that I arrived at Sri Parvata in the South.
In the cool shade of a grove of plaksa trees,
On a tira corpse seat
Sat Lord Saraha, the Great Brahman.
I had never before seen such majestic brilliance.
He was flanked by two queens.
His body was adorned with charnel ground ornaments.
His joyous face was beaming.
"Welcome, my son!" he said.
Seeing the lord, I was overwhelmed with joy.
the hairs of my body stood on end, and I was moved to tears.
I circumambulated him seven times and 1 offered a full prostration.
I received the soles of his feet on the top of my head.
"Father, accept me with kindness," I supplicated.
He blessed my body with his.
The moment he touched his hand to the top of my head.
My body was intoxicated with undefiled bliss.
Like an elephant drunk with liquor,
There dawned an experience of immovability.
He blessed my speech with his. \
With the lion's roar of emptiness.
He spoke "that without letter."
Like a dream dreamt by a mute.
There dawned an experience beyond words.
He blessed my mind with his.
I realized the coemergent dharmakaya,
That which neither comes nor goes.
Like a human corpse left in a charnel ground,
There dawned an experience of nonthought.
Then the pure speech of great bliss arose
From the vase of his precious throat.
With sign speech in the melody of Brahma,
He sang this vajra song which points out things as they are,
The meaning of an empty sky free from clouds.
Thus I heard this unborn self-utterance:
"NAMO Compassion and emptiness are inseparable.
This uninterrupted flowing innate mind
Is suchness, primordially pure.
Space is seen in intercourse with space.
Because the root resides at home.
Mind consciousness is imprisoned.
Meditating on this, subsequent thoughts
Are not patched together in the mind.
Knowing the phenomenal world is the nature of mind.
Meditation requires no further antidote.
The nature of mind cannot be thought.
Rest in this natural state.
When you see this truth, you will be liberated.
Just as a child would, watch the behavior of barbarians.
Be carefree; eat flesh; be a madman.
"Just like a fearless lion.
Let your elephant mind wander free.
See the bees hovering among the flowers
Not viewing samsara as wrong.
There is no such thing as attaining nirvana.
This is the way of ordinary mind.
Rest in natural freshness.
Do not think of activities.
Do not cling to one side or one direction.
Look into the midst of the space of simplicity."
Going beyond the exhausting of dharrnata is the essential truth.
The summit of views, mahamudra.
This sign meaning, which pierces to the pith of mind,
I heard from the mouth of the Great Brahman.
At that instant, I awoke.
I was caught by the iron hook of this unforgettable memory.
Within the dungeon of ignorant sleep,
The vision of insight-wisdom opened up
And the sun dawned in a cloudless sky.
Clearing the darkness of confusion,
I thought, "Even if I met the buddhas of the three times.
From now on, I would have nothing to ask them."
This was a decisive experience.
Discursive thoughts were exhausted, what a wonder!
E ma! The prophecies of yidams and dakinis
And the profound truth spoken by the guru,
Although I have been told not to speak of these things.
Tonight I cannot help but speak them.
Except for this very occasion,
1 have never said this before.
Listen with your ears and repeat it at a later time.
i am a man who has traveled a long way
Without intimate friends and relatives.
Now, when my body becomes tired and hungry,
Son, what you have done will be in my mind.
I will not forget this; it is impressed deeply in my mind.
My heart friend, your kindness is repaid.
The lords who dwell above, the gurus.
The divine yidams who bestow siddhis,
And the dharmapalas who clear obstacles,
May all these please not scold me.
Please forgive me if there is any confusion in what I have said.
Even those who know not a single word of Tibetan will have noticed several logically obvious mistakes, that is, assuming that the original is intelligible. These do not concern me so much as that the overall feeling of the Tibetan is lost. 1 offer my own translation with no special claims to its superiority (Tibetan readers should go directly to the Tibetan text printed in the
Addendum at the end of this review), but yet without apologies. Marpa is
singing one of those spontaneous songs (for which Milarepa is most famous) on the subject of his dream meeting with Saraha. This dream he
obviously viewed as being symbolic of a decisive phase in his spiritual
development. In Tibet, Saraha is remembered as the grandfather of the
tantric sages and one of the very few persons in Buddhist history capable of
instant (cig-car) Buddhahood. Bear this in mind. The tone should be, in
English as it is in Tibetan, deeply and sincerely devotional; also, very
I dreamed I went south to Shree Parvata
where in the shade of a lagsha tree
using a human corpse for his seat
was the Great Brahmin Saraha,
his face of a brilliance such as I had never "seen.
Two ladies were seated to either side.
Dressed in the stuff of graveyards,
he smiled a bright smile and asked me,
"Have you had a pleasant journey, my son?"
It was difficult, impossible, to look at him.
My hair stood on end as the tears came out.
I circled seven times and bowed down before him.
As I took the soles of his feet on my head
I prayed, "Father, accept me with compassion."
Then my body was blessed by his Buddhabody,
The mere touch of his hand on the top of my head
made my body pure and drunk with bliss.
Like an elephant drunk with wine,
an unshakeable inner experience arose.
My speech was blessed by his Buddhaspeech.
With the lion's roar of Voidness,
he explained the meaning of the Wordless.
Like a mute man dreaming a dream,
an unspeakable inner experience arose.
My mind was blessed by his Buddhamind.
I realized the meaning of the Dharmabody
that was there all along, without coming or going
and, like an insensate corpse in the cemetary,
an unthinkable inner experience arose.
Then his voice made of pure Great Bliss
made the symbolic sounds of celestrial music
emerge from the vase of jewelled song,
a Vajra Song pointing to Reality
(the meaning of Voidness? — a cloudless sky).
I heard these words, unborn sounds produced by sound:
"Praise to Voidness and Compassion inseparable!
I see in a ceaseless stream the primordial Mind,
the eternally pure actuality—
Space embracing space.
"Though it stays in a house of grass,*
the thoughts confine consciousness to prison walls.
Outward knowledge and meditation
have no way to settle down together in Mind.
Know the world of appearances as of the nature of Mind.
Fixing up antidotes is no meditation.
The nature of Mind is no way of thinking.
So settle in in the unfixed sphere.
"If you divine the significance of that, you are free.
So consider the activities of children and laundrymen.
Look to the cannibals and crazy people, as you like.
"Like a lion lacking in pride,
put the elephant of Mind above you.
Consider the bees among the flowers.
* This apparently alludes to the sutra image of the vicious circle of sangsara as a
"house of reeds,' something much less stable and substantial than it initially appears
to be. The reading is, however, unsure.
Don't look for what's wrong with the vicious circle.
Nirvana is not something to be obtained.
As for the usual patterns of everyday thoughts,
settle them into the unfixed Mind in itself.
You won't find it in the business world.
It doesn't stay in parts or particular directions.
Look to the centre of self-contained space.
Your essential purpose is to be brought to the place
where the dharmas are exhausted,
the height beyond al! heights of vision—
The Supreme Seal.
"Unravel these intentional, symbolic words
piercing the vital points of Mind."
These words 1 heard from the Great Brahmin's lips.
Then I awakened immediately from sleep
and hooked his words securely in my memory.
In the dark cave of ignorant sleep
the skylight of knowing Total Knowledge opened up
and, like the sun rising in a cloudless sky,
the pitch dark of confusion dissolved and went clear.
"If 1 met the Buddhas of all eternity,
there would be nothing to ask them," I thought.
An inner experience of spiritual determination arose.
The courses of Buddhamind are good! Incredible!
The meaning of prophecies of Tutelaries and Skywalkers
and the profound pronouncements of the Guru
are said to be incapable of expression.
Yet, tonight there was no way not to speak.
This one time only excepted,
1 have never known such things to be told in words.
Listen, if they be repeated in the future.
1 am a man far away, a trace from the past.
I have no close acquaintances, no friends . . .
When the body is tired and hungry, do not forget
that whatever is done, my sons, is in Mind.
Impress this firmly on your thoughts:
It is the grace of the Guru that pierces sangsara,
my heart-close friends!
The Lord Guru who abides above me,
the divine Tutelaries who grant the achievements,
the Dharma Protectors who clear away obstructions . . .
I pray they will not punish me, a human being,
but have patience if I have caused any confusion.
I must confess in closing a certain amount of jealousy in the fact that the
NTC has accomplished something I would like to have done myself, so per-
haps I am just suffering from 'sour grapes." Three new and potentially very
valuable translations are promised for the near future. They are:
1) Dbang-phyug-rgyal-mtshan's biography of Tilopa.
2) Padma-dkar-po's History of Buddhism (Chos-'byung).
3) Taranatha's History of the 'Seven Injunctions' (Bka'-babs-bdun-ldan).
I can only sit in awe and wish them the best in the very difficult tasks they
have undertaken. I hope that this translation of Marpa's biography, acceptable as it may be, will find a more polished second edition. Marpa the
Translator deserves it.
Dan Martin
Indiana University
Please note that a very similar version of the passage translated by the
NTC, which I have quoted above, had previously appeared in Rain of Wisdom (Boulder: 1980), pp. 134-7.
The Tibetan text as reproduced below is from a separately published extract included in the Gdams-ngag Mdzod as it was published by Lama
Ngodrup & Sherab Drimey (Paro: 1979), vol. VII, pp. 64.2 to 66.2. Kong-
sprul gives the words spoken by Saraha to Marpa an added title:
Phyag-rgya-chen-po Yid-la Mi Byed-pa Snying-po Don-gyi Gdams-ngag
Yi-ge Bzhi-pa'i Don Rdo-rje'i Mgur-du Bzhengs-pa
This is further explained in the added colophon and I render freely:
The Meaning of the 'Four Statements,' Precepts of the Authentic Innermost Significance of the Great Seal (Mahamudra) Put into Vajra Song.
The 'Four Statements' by the dream Saraha are considered to be a summation of Mahamudra teachings. Kong-sprul, in his colophon, gives the following correspondences for these 'Four Statements.'
First—Dharmabody (Chos-kyi Sku). Determining the basic facts of
Mind (Sems-kyi gzhi-rtsa bead).
Second—Complete Assets Body (Longs-spyod Rdzogs Sku). Demonstrating the methods of laying Mind to rest {Sems-kyi bzhag
thabs bstan).
Third—Emanation Body (Sprul-pa'i Sku). Avoiding the turnoffs (from
the Path) of Mind (Sems-kyi gol-sa spong).
Fourth—Substantial Identity Body (Ngo-bo-nyid Sku). Demonstrating
the expedients of Mind (Sems-kyi lam-khyer bstan).
Although this is not the place for a full study on the subject, 1 would at
least like to point out for those interested two short texts concerned with
the Four Statements."
1) A three folio beginning of a text with the title Phyag-rgya chen-po Yi-
ge Bzhi-pai Gdams-pa, reproduced in Rare Dkar-brgyud-pa Texts from the
Library of Ri-bo-che Rje-drung of Padma-bkod (Tibetan Nyingmapa Monastery, Tezu, Arunachal Pradesh, India: 1974), pp. 77 to 82. (Note that the
folio reproduced on pp. 83-84 is from an unidentified text and the folios reproduced on pp. 85-97 continue the text started on pp. 215-222). Even
though the colophon is missing, we know, thanks to the lineage of teachers
given on pp. 78-80, that this text is by a disciple of Rgod-tshang-ras-pa Sna-
tshogs-rang-grol (1494-1570 A.D.), and therefore roughly late sixteenth
2) A text entitled Phyag-rgya-chen-po Yi-ge Bzhi-pa'i Dgongs Don
Snying-por Dril-ba Byin-rlabs Bum Bzang by Rtse-le Rgod-tshang-pa
Padma-legs-grub, alias Sna-tshogs-rang-grol (born 1608 and died after
1678; he is not to be confused with the above-mentioned sixteenth-century
Sna-tshogs-rang-grol, despite the similarity of their names). Found in his
Complete Works (Mgon-po-tshe-brtan, Palace Monastery, Gangtok:
1979), vol. IV, pp. 139-154.
AH this is offered to explain the divergent reading yi-ge bzhi-pa in line 12
of the text, and as material toward the future interpretation of the words of
the dream Saraha.
1 have given variant readings which substantially alter the meaning from
four sources:
A: A woodblock print of 74 folios with no added colophon. Marginal title:
Mar-pa (page no.). Folios 17 verso (line 3) to 18 verso (line 3). Personal
B: Bka'-brgyud Gser-'phreng Rgyas-pa (Rdzong-khul Tradition), Kargyud
Sungrab Nyamso Khang (Darjeeling: 1982). Vol. 1, pp. 230.3-232.6.
This represents a manuscript copy from a very early woodblock print.
C: A modern Indian reprint in pothi style in 84 folios with no printing information given. Marginal title: nga (page no.). This represents a manuscript copy (or tracing) of a woodblock-printed original made in
Bzang-yul (in the G.yor-po area of Lho-kha in South Tibet) by a monk
named Sangs-rgyas-dbang-po. Pp. 41.4 to 43.7.
D: A retraced reproduction of the late nineteenth century Bstan-rgyas-
gling woodblock print (135 folios). From Bka'-brgyud-pa
Hagiographies compiled by the late Khams-sprul Don-brgyud-nyi-ma
(Sungrab Nyamso Gyunphel Parkhang; Tashijong, Falampur: 1972),
vol. 1, pp. 274.6 to 278.4.
Windisch-Graetz, Stephanie & Ghislaine zu, Himalayan Kingdoms: Gods,
People & the Arts, (Lucerne, Reich Verlag AG, 1981), pp. 184.
A Viennese mother-daughter writer-photographer team are the authors of
this large format book which probably should have been titled Jewels of the
Himalayas. Although the land, places and peoples of Kashmir, Ladakh, Tibet (represented by Tibetans living in Kathmandu, Nepal) and Nepal are
strikingly documented, it is the jewelry that is the primary focus of the
book. The full color photographs of the jewelry being worn 'in the field' are
not only fine documents of the total effect that the jewelry conveys in its
full context {as opposed to being set out in a case in a museum), but the
photographs are also very impressive artistic works in themselves. Often
there are several views of an ensemble, including extreme close-ups, which
allow a nearly complete view of not only the jewelry, but also how the jewelry and costume integrate to create a complete presentation of personal
identity, regional origin and cultural membership.
Tibetan cultural influence dominates, with the most striking sections of
the book being of Ladakh, its people, monasteries, deities, and incredible
landscape; and of the Tibetans as they appear in Kathmandu, Nepal. The
latter contains several pages of close-up views of gold ga'u (charm boxes)
set with carved turquoises, strung on necklaces of large red corals and gzz'
(gzi/dzi/tzi) beads interspersed with multi-strands of pearls. These are the
best depictions of the Lhasa style of jewelry in print.
This book also presents a wealth of other ethnic cultural traditions. It begins with Kashmir and shows Muslim influences in Bukawa and Ghujar
jewelry ensembles. The Ghujar silver necklaces shown contain distinctly
Muslim design elements such as triangular finials for multi-strand stringings
of spacer bars, each with pendant chain dangles and a large, round plaque
chased with intricate patterns, set with stones or glass jewels and fringed
with chain dangles, each ending in a small pendant (No. 15). Rings, bracelets, earrings, nose ornament, coin necklace, and glass bead multi-strand
choker with silver beads and spacers, complete the ensemble (No. 17).
Also pictured are women of Baltistan, the Baltis, with their large ornate
filigree crescent-shaped silver earrings (Nos. 24, 25). A mixture of influences can be seen in the ornaments of the Chigtani, a Shiite Muslim group
living in western Ladakh (Nos. 35-37). In addition to Ladakhi-style silver
filigree ga'u set with turquoises, the women also wear necklaces of coral,
turquoise and agate beads. The charm boxes are not worn in necklaces.
Instead, they are sewn to a head piece which trails down the back. They
also are sewn to cloth flaps which are attached to each shoulder and hang
down over the upper arm. Also attached to these flaps are Kashmir-style
amulet tubes of silver within which are held verses from the Koran, used
for their amuletic power. A Ladakhi-style brass incised disc is used as a fastener for the shoulder jewelry piece; traditions from Tibet, Ladakh, and
Kashmir are all combined in one distinctive costume.
One photograph of a woman from Karakorum on the Pakistani border is
quite extraordinary (Nos. 21-22). The woman is a Drukpa ("Brug-pa) Buddhist and is ". . . reported to be a sorceress" (p. 55). Her costume and jewelry are expressive of the amuletic powers of adornment. It features a leather
sign-board kind of arrangement, worn on the chest, which has a row of
four large discs of brass decorated with incised and sawn out open work
patterns, below which are double rows of brass British Army buttons. A
double row of white glass buttons completes the decoration of the flap.
Similar copper discs or plaques are fastened to each shoulder with cascades
of red glass (or possibly red coral) and yellow glass (or amber) beads
intermixed, each ending in a cowrie shell. Her hair is worn in many braids,
each finished off with a brass bell. She also wears many strands of red and
yellow beads as a choker. Very long pearl strands hang down from the ears
with amber, coral and turquoise beads (or their simulants) at the bottom of
the loop. This is a common style in Ladakh, but here it is done in an exaggerated length. A large copper-silver alloy disc protrudes from under the
chest ornament flap, a device and symbol of her oracular power. She also
wears rings, bracelets, a copper ga'u, and a cloth head-piece with red corals
and ambers sewn on in a manner similar to the Ladakhi perak. To the top
of this she has pinned some red flowers.
The section on Ladakh contains many fine pictures of the distinctive jewelry of this region. The most spectacular is the perak, a cloth-covered
leather triangle which covers the head and comes to a point in the front,
shading the forehead. Onto the top are sewn rows of turquoise beads and
in the center a ga'u is attached. Many examples are pictured, from modest
ones with a single silver ga'u and only a few rows of turquoises (No. 31), to
full-blown versions with gold filigree ga'u set with gems and extending
down the back almost to the waist; an additional side panel has long lines
of coral beads with turquoises interspaced (Nos. 64-8). The richer ladies
wear large red coral and turquoise beads strung with multiple strands of
small baroque pearls, from which hangs a gold ga'u faced with filigree and
set with fine turquoises and red glass gems. The poorer women wear silver
ga'u, often five to ten smaller ones strung into orange coral strands and
worn with other coral strands interspaced with silver dangles and spacers
of a design peculiar to Ladakh (Nos. 59, 62). Also shown is the silver
chatelaine which is hooked onto the right front of the garment next to, and
partially overlapped by, the necklaces and charm boxes (No. 57). Originally, it was used to hold a set of tools such, as an ear spoon, nail cleaning
pick, tweezers, scissors, etc., probably originating in Central Asia, but this
has evolved into a purely decorative ornament, usually done now as multiple chains hung in three tiers (Nos. 61, 77).
The close-up pictures of Lhasa style ga'u as worn by the Tibetan women
living around Bodhnath, outside of Kathmandu, are next featured. This
style of charm box is characterized by its large size, with intricate gold fili-
gree or carved and chased gold floral motifs encrusting the face, which is
set with carved turquoise pieces representing flaming jewels. Only the most
intense blue stones are used. Imitation diamonds, rubies and emeralds and
sometimes rows of pearls set in as borders are utilized as well (Nos. 85,
88-91). The normally square shape of the box itself is often curved to give a
star-like appearance to the pointed corners, with the triangular tabs extending from the curved sides, each one also Faced with turquoises, set-in like
mosaic (Nos. 88, 90). The overall effect, when worn strung from a rope of
multi-strands of pearls interspaced with the large, round red corals and the
'tiger striped' round gzz' beads, is of an overwhelming richness. When it is
worn with an additional large necklace of pearls, gzz and red coral balls
which extends below the ga'u, and a shorter supporting strand strung into
the top of the ga'u in order to give the larger strand a rounded shape as it
hangs, the impression is redoubled. On top of all this, the chatelaine
(Tibetan: khru-khru), which is done in silver elsewhere, is made mostly of
pearls and gzz in Lhasa style, with tiers either hung from ornate gold pieces
set with stones (Nos. 85, 92), or from jade carvings from China with smaller
jade pieces interspersed, carved jade dangles ending the ropes of pearls
(No. 89). One can also infer from these pictures which gzi beads are most
esteemed by their owners by the position they take in these ornaments. The
round gzi with tiger stripes are given prime position in the main strands
which are strung through the suspension tube of the ga'u and the necklace
which extends below it (No. 88). If one does not possess a full set of round
gzi, the long oval beads with two, four and six 'eyes' (Tibetan: mig) are utilized on the main strand (No. 89), with the earth-door/sky-door (Tibetan:
sa-sgo gnam-sgo, a circle on one side, a square on the other) and the smaller
gzz with zig-zag patterns being used in the chatelaine (also, small two-eyed
and small three-eyed gzi) as well as in the smaller suspension strand (Nos.
88, 91, 92).
Also shown in this section are an ornamented saddle (No. 97), fire starting kit (No. 96), a bracelet of silver (No. 95), and a gold earring set with a
turquoise called a-long, the most common style of earring worn in Tibet.
Also in this section are shown Sherpa women with Nepali-influenced ornaments (No. 99), such as a large gold corolla earring set with a turquoise,
and a multi-strand silver chain belt showing both Nepali and Tibetan
nomadic influences in the design (No. 100). A Lhasa noblewoman's hair ornaments made of three tiers of carved turquoises set in gold, which are
worn suspended from a strap over the head (to sit at either side of the head
in front of the ears), are pictured modeled by a beautiful Nepali woman
(No. 101). This is the only posed shot in the book, but is nevertheless a
striking picture. These ornaments are rarely worn today, as they are part of
an ensemble that included a cloth-covered frame to which many braids of
hair were attached, causing the whole construction to extend out around
the head. The frames themselves were heavily encrusted with coral and turquoise beads sewn on in a row.
The last section on Nepal shows the intricately-worked gold ornaments
made by the Newaris of Kathmandu. Here the authors happened upon a
ceremony in which prepubescent girls are married to the god Narajan. The
daughters of rich families, these girls are shown dressed in rich silk brocades and adorned with gold jewelry, which are the treasured wealth of the
family. They wear collars of gold plates sewn to a velvet backing which are
pierced with open work and raised from the back to depict a wealth of floral motifs swirling in giddy profusion (Nos. 122, 123, 126). Similarly, gold
plates are sewn to a velvet backing to form a diadem with a central strip
which travels from the forehead across the top of the head to the back; a
crescent moon hangs from the juncture in front, down onto the forehead
(Nos. 121-123). Hair ornaments in the form of leaves and flowers, some set
with stones, adorn a young girl celebrating a ceremony marking her first
menstruation. She wears the tik-mah gold plaque collar which is fringed
with date-shaped green glass beads. A gold neck chain and gilded bronze
torque complete the outfit (No. 122). Also pictured in the Nepal section are
sadhu mendicants at Pashupatinath, the complex of shrines to Shiva on the
banks of the Bagmati, Nepal's Ganges. This site of pilgrimage also attracts
from all over India ascetics who, with their emaciated bodies covered in
ashes,  adorn themselves with the seed of Elaeocarpus janitus,  called
rudraksa. One of the sadhus pictured has made himself a kind of top hat by
twining together the coils of a long strand of rudraksa seeds (No. 120).
The writing of Himalayan Kingdoms was done by Ghislaine zu
Windisch-Graetz, and reflects her background in archaeological research.
She has done an admirable job of providing background information on
the history and religion of the region. The level of writing is high, considering the usual coffeetable-book glosses, and becomes especially interesting
when she gives impressionistic accounts of the authors' travels in collecting
the visual material for this book. Unfortunately, rarely do the text and the
photography mesh as they do where the initiation of the young Nepali girls
is described and the photos are used to illustrate the event. Often, one feels
that the author has been carried away by her own enthusiasms for the mysteries of the East and included material that is of only tangential interest.
Frequently, topics central to the understanding of the photos are excluded
as being outside the scope of the book (p. Ill): "Unfortunately, it is not
possible in a work of this scope to undertake a complete study of the ornaments worn by the men and women of Tibet. The country is immense, with
numerous ethnic groups and ornaments of a multiple variety." More on
this diversity of Tibetan ornaments couldhave been included, in lieu of a
complete description.
One of the more confused sections is on the 'mystical' properties of
stones. Most of the beliefs presented appear to be Islamic traditions, such
as the following (p. 29): "Turquoise has always been and continues to be,
much valued in the East as a talisman, a function for which is to be engraved with a text from the Koran. The clergy held it in particular esteem
since they believed it increased the faculty of premonitions." It would have
been more appropriate to cite the beliefs of the Buddhist traditions concerning turquoise, since most {almost all) of the peoples pictured wearing turquoise in this book are Buddhists. Other beliefs concerning precious stones
are described in a mixture of mystical, astrological and scientific terms. It is
difficult to tell if the author wishes us to interpret these statements in a literal and scientific sense or in a metaphorical or 'mystical' way. What are we
to make of claims for diamonds glowing in the dark after being rubbed
with wool or leather? What is the significance of different stones becoming
phosphorescent after heating or acquiring electro-static charges? (p. 29)
The author is excessively zealous in her presentation, appearing more interested in convincing the reader than in giving a coherent account of the different traditions. One feels that the author is a believer, trying to maintain
a Western, objective attitude and vocabulary, but failing to do so. One
would have preferred, instead, an account of the beliefs of those peoples
actually pictured concerning the stones they are wearing.
Serious inaccuracies in the text result from the lack of awareness of the
use of simulations in the jewelry. This is especially evident in the Tibetan
jewelry. The author asserts that the gold ga'u are set with diamonds, rubies
and sapphires. Actually, these are almost certainly glass imitations. This Is
also true of many of the pearls which are strung between the large red
corals and gzi beads. While many are genuine, many are a high quality imitation which used to sell in Lhasa for nearly as much as the real ones. The
hanging ornaments (based on the chatelaine), which are now frequently
strung with jade, pearls and gzz beads, also use red and green glass beads
which the author describes on page 129 as ". . . white pearls . . . mixed
with ruby or emerald balls . . ." This kind of error can be very misleading.
One might assume that the actual value of this jewelry lies in the 'precious'
stones, whereas the gzi and red coral of these necklaces are the really expensive components. Similarly, in the gold ga'u, the 'diamonds' and 'rubies'
and 'emeralds' are inexpensive simulations and they are the matched sets of
very intense blue turquoise pieces and, of course, the gold weight which
make up its principle value.
In only one photograph {No. 94) are the materials of a traditional coral
and amber necklace identified as plastic imitations. In a photo of a Sherpa
woman {No. 99), we are told that she has combined a gold and turquoise
ornament, "with refreshing nonchalance . . . with a necklace of plastic
pearls." In the same picture we can see that she has also combined real coral
and turquoise beads with what appear to be imitation (glass) gzz beads.
This points up a problem with methodology in making a book like this.
Even when one has obtained extremely interesting photographic documents in the field, one cannot always be sure of what one has captured
once one has returned to the West and cannot question the subjects further.
And, even if one could, often these reports will be inaccurate, especially if
the question is: "Are these pearls real? Are those diamonds set into your
ga'ul" The answer is likely to be in the affirmative regardless of the true
facts. And then there are the borderline cases, such as photograph No. 63.
"This beautiful pendant, a heart-shaped turquoise set in gold with small rubies, belongs to an emigre Tibetan woman from Lhasa, who brought the
piece with her from her homeland." (p. 96) One looks at the photograph
and notices that several of the rubies that surround the turquoise have
fallen out. One hopes that the lost rubies are glass; but the rubies could
very well be Burmese rubies that were traded into Lhasa. They were certainly available to the nobility. One simply cannot tell from the picture.
And then there is the case of a very interesting stone not being identified.
Although it is impossible to positively identify from the photograph alone,
it appears that there are sapphires from the Zanskar (Zangs-dkar) mine in
Ladakh that have been set into the gold ornaments of a Tara statue (No.
55), along with corals and turquoises. The shrine is in Simchung, the abbot
superior's residence of Spitug (Nos. 52-55).
Although the book Himalayan Kingdoms is a fascinating and beautiful
overview, and contains a wealth of general information, a second book
could be made from just the photographs with a new and more specific text
to accompany them. If the research could be limited to account simply for
the splendid jewelry, its uses and traditions, serious students of traditional
adornments would find it a truly priceless resource.
David Ebbinghouse
The Tibet Society
The Tibet Society's
Annual Membership Meeting
March 23, 1984
Monroe Room East, Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C.
March 23, 1984
The meeting was called to order by the President, Prof. Thubten Jigme
Norbu, at 8:20 p.m. Mr. Robert G. Service was appointed secretary for the
meeting. Prof. Norbu reported that the Secretary-Treasurer had resigned
and that Ms. Janet Olsen was now handling office work in Bloomington.
Drs. Elliot Sperling and Denys Voaden were appointed to count the ballots
for the Board of Director's election.
The financial report was presented by Dr. Christopher I. Beckwith. He
noted that the Society was in a sound financial position. Printing costs and
postage remained the largest items of expenditure. He pointed out that the
cost of Volume 2 of the Journal, about $3,000, would appear on the 1984
Following the financial report, Dr. Beckwith, in his capacity as editor of
the Journal, delivered the Report of the Publications Committee. He announced that Volume 2 of the Journal had just been published. The Newsletter continues to appear regularly. Volume 3 of the Journal is expected
out this summer. There is a backlog of good material. At present, the only
problems faced by the Journal are a lack of money for expansion and a
shortage of adequate editorial assistance. The Occasional Papers Series has
two manuscripts awaiting publication, both of them translations from the
Russian. These are Roerich's The Tibetan Language and a new, improved
translation of Vostrikov's Tibetan Historical Literature. Unfortunately,
there are no funds to cover the cost of publishing either work at present.
Prof. Beckwith called special attention to the inclusion of the Brief Communications feature in the Journal and expressed the hope that it would
grow into a lively forum for the exchange of information and ideas con-


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