Sam of earlytibet fame posted a very interesting article
recently. In the comments thereon I suggested that the text was defaced in order to 'recycle' the text. Today however this interesting little inscription came to my attention which should perhaps be added to the argument, although this defacement (if it is one) is of an entirely different nature.
It has been some years that Precious Deposits
has been published and shame on me for not browsing through its five volumes earlier. Volume one (amongst many other fascinating things) has a picture of this Avalokiteśvara statue (p. 173, sorry about the quality; I could not take out the book from the library so a bad photocopy-scan will have to do). According to the caption the statue was found in Zhi bde village in Spu hreng county.
Then there is this dedicatory inscription (p. 172) with all kinds of good wishes from the donor. I will not transcribe it since it is quite legible in the book.
But here is the interesting part: who is the donor? The right side says Seng ge zhang chen po 'Bro(?) khri(?) brtsan sgra||(!) mgon po rgyal
, (?) meaning that you can barely make out the letters. The other side has a slight variant for the name: zhang 'Bro(?) khri(?) brtsan sgra mgon po rgyal
. Notice how the clan name 'Bro
and the khri
are almost illegible in both cases. Furthermore, is khri
some kind of pretense of royalty (at any rate, is that what the vandal thought)? But then why is he calling himself zhang
and zhang chen po
Below you will find the names. I might just be paranoid, but it is highly unlikely that someone vandalizes two sides of an inscription in exactly the same places where the donor identifies his clan and possibly arrogates to himself the royal khri
. Quite clearly, this guy had a problem with the 'Bros. And who would those be? Well, who did not have a problem with them?
Suggestions/comments are highly welcome.
Labels: 'Bro clan, Avalokiteśvara, epigraphy, imperial period, tibetan studies