Sun Jul 11 17:26:37 UTC 2004

Matthew Kapstein wrote:

> The entry in the Dung dkar tshig mdzod sub. bya gag, on p. 1465,
> makes clear that some confusion attends this term

Regretably, I'm not familiar with this dictionary.  Could you fill me in on
it, pls ?   Sounds like something I should have !

However, while the information you have relayed is interesting, it seems
more to relate to the Tibetan word per se rather than as a Tibetan
translation of a Skt term as in this case.  As you will know, "bya-gag" is
used in most translation situations as an equivalent for "kukku.ta" which
seems to have less ambivalence in its range of meanings and does not
apparently include "duck" among them.  As I have suggested in my reply to
Dominik Wujastyk, I now believe that the underlying term was "kukku.taahi"
miread as "kukku.taadi" -- though your "crawling/slithering after birds"
gloss could still be relevent, my text has only been partially revised to
gsar-skad and has a number of unusual words (with some loan words like
"beng-dpung" from Chinese ?) apparently unattested elsewhere.

As a supplementary request, I would be grateful if could you look in your
Dung-dkar tshig-mdzod and let me know if there is anything there for
"dug-sman-kyi sdong-po" or similar (= ?).  This is another term
that is puzzling me since it seems to be referring to a specific tree or
shrub that I have been unable to identify.  I have found some hints that it
could be aconite, but this seems unlikely in my textual context since the
text speaks of this tree as though it were fairly substantial and
noteworthy.  It is used several times, both in an obviously concrete sense
and also as a simile for the Buddha himself.

Best wishes,
Stephen Hodge

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