Ulrich T. Kragh utkragh at HUM.KU.DK
Sat Oct 7 14:54:31 UTC 2000

Nanda Chandran wrote:
> But do Tibetans and Burmese name themselves as Gautama
> or Siddhartha?

Tibetan monks and nuns receive at their ordination Indian religious names in Tibetan translation. I do not think the names Gautama or Siddhartha are used, but the Buddha's clan name zAkya is commonly used in translitteration (instead of translation) in several of the Tibetan traditions. Common people also receive such Indian Buddhist dharma-names in Tibetan translation when accepted as lay-persons into the Buddhist community through the zaraNa-ritual.

Moreover, the Tibetan aristocracy commonly claim genealogical histories back to the Indian licchavi or zAkya tribes, which mainly seems to be for the sake of (religious) status. Legends abound about how these links were established, but the historical facts seem rather doubtful.

Ulrich T. Kragh
University of Copenhagen

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