The Treasure of the Ancestral Clans of Tibet Translation of Bod mibu gdong drug fir us mdzod me tog skied zhes bya ba bzhugs so somposed jointly by Gyilung Tashi Gyatso and Gyilung Thugchok Dorji Tibetan scholars in Tibet and published by the Religious Affairs Committee of Qinghai Prefecture. Based on various old Tibetan records folksongs biographies oral stories etc. this book discusses the origin of Tibetan People supporting the traditional Tibetan theory that Tibetans originated form a monkey father an emanation of Avalikiteshvara and a mother rock dwelling ogress. It tells us how the ancestral Tibetan clans or tribes got their names and how they branched out and spread through out Tibet with a special focus on Kham and its environs. It gives examples of many eminent personalities such as king’s high lamas siddhis chieftains etc. born to various clans. The authors skillfully draw a connection between Chinese astrology and identification of a person’s clan depending on the movement of his or her lips manner of breathing and body gesture while talking.
This rus mdzod or genealogical account of Tibetan people is one of the most important sources of reference of study and research on the Tibetan race and ancient Tibetan tribes. This book contains both the English translation as well as the Tibetan text for the benefit of the readers.
I am happy that the Library of Tibetan Works and Achieves is able to bring out this new translation of the genealogical account of Tibetan people titled The Treasure of Ancestral Clans of Tibet. Tibetan People highly regard the importance of fully understanding their ancestral clan dot tribes as the history of the Tibetan tribes is the actual history of the Tibetan people. Unfortunately writers often reduce the history of the tribes to a few lines and quickly pass on to the arrival of the Chojung are some well-know texts that may clarify the tribal histories. Names of the original tribes can be founding many histories: Se (bse) Dong (Idong), Mu (rmu), Tong (stong) etc. the se tribe is led by the clan known as se-chung dra and is famous for grast wealth. The Dong tribe connected with Mi-nyag is led by the clan known as Apo Dong and is famous for its great leaders. The Mu tribe is led by the clan of mu tsha ga and is famous for its great learnedness. The Tong tribe so led by the clan of Achag dru and is famous for its great heroes. Old histories give various explanations about the division into the four great tribes (ru-chen-zhil) and into the six tribes (mi’u dung drug). Rus refers to the father side of the family called the bone line while the mother’s side is known as the blood line.
I trust that the publication of this English translation will help many research and students who are interested in knowing more about Tibetan clans and tribes but who are unable to have access due to language barriers. I would like to thank our translator Yeshi Dhondup for having successfully translated this text into English.
The Treasure of the Ancestral Tribes of Tibet is a translation of the Bod mi bu gslng drug gi rus mdzod me tog skied tshal zhes bya ba bzhugs so composed jointly buy Gyilung Tashi Gyatso and Gyilung Thugchok Dorji and Printed at Qinghai Nationality Publishing House published by the Religious Affairs committee of Qinghai.
Based on various old Tibetan records folksongs biographic oral stories etc. this book discuss the origin of the Tibetan People supporting the traditional Tibetan theory that Tibetans originated from a monkey father an emanation of Avalokiteshvara and a mother rock-dwelling ogress. It tells us how the branched out and spread throughout Tibet with a special focus on Kham and its environs. It gives examples of many eminent personalities as kings high larmas, siddhis chieftains etc. born to various clans. The authors skillfully draw a connection between on the movement of his or her lips manner of breathing and body gesture while talking.
This rus mdzod or genealogical account of Tibetan people is one of the moist important sources of reference for study and research on the Tibetan race and ancient Tibetan tribes. Though I do not have special knowledge on the subject of rus mdzod I took the risk and ventures upon the translation of this work with the noble aim that my translation would at least lay a foundation for further improvement of the translation. Notwithstanding my great efforts to make this translation close to the source and readable to the readers. I am sure that I have made many errors and discrepancies in the translation for which I apologize to all the end of the English translation so that the readers in general and scholars in particular can consult the original sources whenever doubts and ambiguities arise in the translation. I hope all the readers both Tibetan and non- Tibetan will find this book useful at the same time I earnestly request the readers and scholars to kindly give suggestion comments corrections directly to the translator for the improvement of the translation.
In conclusion I would like to acknowledgement the help of the following people who assisted me during the preparation of this work.
Ven. Damchoe Palsang (Library of Tibetan Works and Archives) who explained to me many difficulty points in the Tibetan texts.
Mrs. Daya and Katrina Moxey for checking and improving the English of my final draft translation.
Tenzin Gyalten (Library of Tibetan Works and Archives) for helping me in proofreading the Tibetan text.
Mr. Lobsang Shadtri Head of the Manuscript Department to the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives who readily gave advice to me whenever I approached him for help.
Finally Venerable Geshe Lhakor Director of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives for rechecking my translation and giving me an enthusiastic push thereby making this publication possible.
Though I sought help form the above people to prepare in translation I am solely responsible for all the errors and mistakes in this work.
The literature traces the origin of the Tibetan race reflects in my view the transformation of the vision of Tibetan antiquity owing to the passing of the centuries and the firm establishment of Buddhism as the main cultural factor. The idea that one gleans is that a drastic reform of the origins was undertaken by the post bstan pa phyi dar scholasticism.
Pale sings in the literature document that the ancient vision of the origins was contained in monographs dedicated to the ancestral tribes of the little men of Tibet and the major clans branching form them dbu ang mi’u rigs dra chags (f.2a line 6-p.2b line 3) for one records the existence of a collection of texts called the scene documents of Tibet (i.e. Srid pa gung spel, the document of the se khyung dBra’s Tong dbra dmat the document of the Khri zi gru skyao mtha yas the document of the dmu tsha sga and khirm dang tshig yig nag the document of dBal and Inag plus Ya mtshan gyui mchig gy the document of the Shag) (also see S. Karmey). The Appearance of the Little Black headed men the same text adds that their authors were collectively knows as the Che dgu rings bcu (the teb remote authors with nine greatness) this literature has survived in minimal numbers Rlangs kyi po ti bye ru si a monographic rus mdzod but only in its first part for it is a grung rabs in the second.
The vision conveyed by this literature favored the understanding the proto-Tibetan were nomadic tribes gravitating around the world of the Central Asian steppes. They claimed descent form gods who were expression of the cult of the sky and other elements. One wonders how these disappeared and whether this was a deliberate attempt to remove a theory of the origins that did not match the subsequent tenets of the widely more refined Noble religion haling form the Nobel land.
This rus mdzod literature reflects the secularism of the ancient of Buddhism dbu nag Mi’u rigs chags defines these sources as michos and rgyal kharims. Their belonging to michos and rgyal khrims is justifies by pointing out they traced distant Tibetan ancestry for the benefit of their ancient successors.
What remains of them in the rus mdzod literature written during the centuries after Buddhism was firmly rooted on the plateau is a treatment of the ancestral tribes shows a vast array of variation in the structure but at the clans branching from them. The classifications of the clans that were formed from the ancestral tribes are so composite and contradictory that is a difficulty to make some order in them. The modern rus mdzod literature is not different from the previous texts of this genre.
Probably a key to decide the ample variations in the identification of clan kinship and physical location the territories of the platrau is the they reflect a gid dose of provincialism. This parochialism is also detectable in Bod kyi mi bug dong drug gi rus mdzod me tog skied teshal by gyi ling bKra shis rgya mtsho and Gyi lung thugs mchog rso rje published here in the translation by Yeshe Dhondrup namely. The Treasure of the Ancestral Tribes of Tibet entitled Garden of flowers but with one distinctive virtue it focuses deliberately in Khans and the people form various clans who settled in this region and tries to treat its topic with an exhaustive approach so in one can say that Bad kyi mi bug dong drug gi rus mdzod me tog skied tshal is at the antipodes of the monographic document on single clans describing their articulation in distant lands of the plateau mentioned in the sources but practically unavailable at present.
The secular approach of the rus mdzod possibly the only literary genre almost completely devoid of religious undertones is dropped by the origin of the Tibetan race that took shape quite late and was first expressed in works like bka chems ka khol ma and Mani Bka burn. Here as is well known conceptual reform aimed at attributing a noble origin to the Tibetan took place. In doing so the Buddhist theory of the origins paradoxically took the most secular shape one could envisage showing as it does an approach which can be defined Darwinian ante litteram. The idea that the Tibetan race originated form the ogress and the monkey is commonly recognized as one of several attempts to trace its roots back to India in the samw line as the legend of the escape of the shakya prince Iha Ru pa ti. To Tibet Behind the Darwinian idea of the monkey formulated a number of centuries before Darwin went to the Galapagos there could be Hanumanta as some sources indicate and one more attempt at connecting the legend to India.
There is a paradoxical reversal of terms in the antithetical conceptions the pre Buddhist and Buddhist version. On the one hand the secular version of the origin traces the beginning to the sky and a secular interpretation of the birth of the Tibetan race although behind it there is an attempt to celebrate the cult of spyan rea gzigs in the expedient of the bodhisattva monkey.
In the effort of eradicating a different theory of the origin in order to paint it in Buddhist terms a change of territorial focus was also introduced. This territorial shift can be attributed to the wish of the rNying ma pa school to celebrate the spu rgyal dynasty and to link this royal line with Buddhism. In the process the origin of the Tibetan race was transferred form the belt of northern territories of the plateau to the southern agriculturist land of Yar Lung and fixed at mGon po ri. Nomadism was drooped in favor of stantialism and the conquest of the plateau by the people form Yar lung and environs at the expanse of the nomads in the north was reflected in the theory that the Tibetans originated in the south Again parochialism was the dominant factor in these theories. Everyone claimed to be the centre of everything. This takes one back to Bod kyi mi bu gdong drug gi rus mdzod me tog skied and its focus on Khams. This work does not betray the ideological convolution of the two dominant theories on the origin of the Tibetan race. It solomoniaclly mentions both of them and sticks to its main point of focusing on its principal preoccupation the above mentioned articulate treatment of how the ancestral tribes in their branching settled in Khams and environs.
Art & Culture (732)
Emperor & Queen (480)
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend