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Contributions to the Cultural History of Early Tibet by Matthew T. Kapstein, Brandon Dotson

By Matthew T. Kapstein, Brandon Dotson

Early medieval Tibet is still essentially the most hard fields in Tibetan reviews total, in which a variety of mysteries stay. The six contributions comprising the current assortment make clear significant issues in historical past, literature and faith.

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Sample text

As in the case of each of these examples, every prognosis (mo) in the text ends with a short statement declaring the quality of the prognosis. This is usually either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but sometimes ‘very good’, ‘very bad’ or ‘average’ (’bring). The balance is tipped well in favour of a good prognosis, however, with 36 ‘good’ prognoses against only thirteen ‘bad’ prognoses. This is evident from the following table, which presents the text in a simplified form. Though numerous entries name divine beings, the only such beings listed in the table below are those from whose mouths the prognoses come.

The text explicitly mentions bon-po four times (ll. 14, 54, 111, 206). In one example, the prognosis states ‘it is inappropriate for one skilled in bon not to perform bon; this is a bad prognosis’ (phon mkhas pas bon ma byas na myi rung te mo nganto/, l. 54). This does not necessarily identify the author(s) of this divination text as bon-po, but at least suggests that it came from a 29 For the brtan-ma bcu-gnyis, see NEBESKY-WOJKOWITZ 1998 [1956]: 181-98. According to Nebesky-Wojkowitz’s lists, Sha-med Gangs-dkar is located either at Lha-phu gangs, Rdo-rje Brag-dkar, or Rdo-rje Brag-dmar.

In any case, both ‘red notch’ and ‘red dot’, though ostensibly names of the types of wooden slips themselves, appear to be used metonymically to refer to the information the slips contain and perhaps even to the offices that issue them. Turning to an analysis of the clauses themselves, since the document is rather long and unwieldy, it will be preferable to summarize the document’s more interesting aspects by theme rather than offering here a full translation. Loans, Interest, Debt and Corvée Labour Many of the clauses in the document deal with loans and interest and whether or not they are subject to a decision by dice.

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