[INDOLOGY] help with inscription

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at uchicago.edu
Fri Jan 10 12:14:14 UTC 2020

Thank you,Camillo,

I am quite certain that Nataliya’s reading is precisely what was intended in the text, though the su is badly formed and the i in kirtaye partly obliterated.


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From: Camillo Formigatti <camillo.formigatti at bodleian.ox.ac.uk>
Sent: Friday, January 10, 2020 12:41:56 PM
To: Matthew Kapstein <mkapstei at uchicago.edu>; Nataliya Yanchevskaya <markandeia at gmail.com>; indology at list.indology.info <indology at list.indology.info>
Subject: RE: [INDOLOGY] help with inscription

Dear Matthew,

I believe it reads as follows:

[siddham] namaḥ kalki [for kalkī?] vijayat [for vijayet?] ]kīrttaye ||

Best wishes,



Dr Camillo A. Formigatti

John Clay Sanskrit Librarian

Bodleian Libraries

The Weston Library

Broad Street, Oxford


Email: camillo.formigatti at bodleian.ox.ac.uk<mailto:camillo.formigatti at bodleian.ox.ac.uk>

Tel. (office): 01865 (2)77208


in Oxford University’s

Gardens, Libraries and Museums


From: Matthew Kapstein <mkapstei at uchicago.edu>
Sent: 09 January 2020 13:32
To: Nataliya Yanchevskaya <markandeia at gmail.com>; indology at list.indology.info
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] help with inscription

Thank you, Nataliya,

Your suggestion seems plausible to me on both paleographical and contextual grounds. Let’s see what others think.



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From: Nataliya Yanchevskaya <markandeia at gmail.com<mailto:markandeia at gmail.com>>
Sent: Thursday, January 9, 2020 1:49:39 PM
To: Matthew Kapstein <mkapstei at uchicago.edu<mailto:mkapstei at uchicago.edu>>; indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info> <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] help with inscription

Dear Matthew,

It seems that the first syllable with a ligature is -lki; the part after "vijaya" is probably "sa" (but "su" would make more sense – hard to see though).

The whole thing looks like: namaḥ kalki-vijaya-sukīrtaye ("sa" and "ta" are written almost like in Bengali, as well as "e" in "ye").

Is it possible in this case?

Just my two cents, I hope a specialist in paleography will do better.

Best wishes,


On Thu, Jan 9, 2020 at 6:29 AM Matthew Kapstein via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>> wrote:

Dear friends,

I am wondering if some of those who are better paleographers than I might help me to read this. It comes from a Tibetan manuscript and so may not make coherent sense, as it is a Tibetan attempt to write Sanskrit.

What I see is:

na maḥ ka? chche? vi ja ya bhā? [or tā?] pā dā ya//

The three syllables marked with interrogation are the ones that are giving me trouble. It is a line of homage addressed perhaps to a teacher named lha mthong lo tsA ba bshes gnyen rnam rgyal, whose proper name, in a calque back translation into Sanskrit, would be

mitra-vijaya. His title lha mthong lo tsA ba ("translator from Lha mthong") would not normally be put into Sanskrit, but there's no fixed rule that it should not. However, the identification is not certain and, in any case, Tibetan teachers typically had several variant names.

thanks in advance for your suggestions,


Matthew Kapstein
Directeur d'études,
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes

Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
The University of Chicago

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