Date: Fire Serpent year, (illegible) month, (illegible) day (1917)
Lines: 12
Script: ’khyug
Remarks: 2 seals, on of which, on line 11, is of sKu zhabs Khro rgya


An agreement according to which an aristocratic debtor agrees to repay the sum he owes by allows his creditor, a lama of Tshognam, to collect a rotating fund in his place. The lama had rescued the nobleman when he had previously been detained for failing to repay an overdue debt to a third party.


1. me’brul zla 11 nyin | sgan chod yi ge bri don | ngon mar spag phur pa mda’o’i sbun dngul 130 sku zhabs dge’ chen

2.[1S?] phog bi | sa’u nas ’dzin chang snang skab | byang med ’byung ste smi rtang pa’i nya ba tshog rnaṃ bka’ bcu pa

3. nas mdzad ste | slar bzhag dus nang | a sa mi spon dga’ chenas (chen nas) byang min byad ste | dngul gang phog

4. tshog snaṃ bka’ bcu pa nas byang ste | sa’u nas ’ang len ste | da rta nya pa bka’ bcu ba nas a sa mi sku

5. dga’ ’dzin chang snang kab | sku dga’ nas zhu nan gi slar ka bcu la zhu nan dzad ste | rtig rnan

6. su | dzar phur pa dbang mo ’zha’u nas slang pas sgrus khor gcigs dang | rtam kring nas slang bas

7. sgrus khor gcig bcas yod ba sde thad ’rgyan thob bdus sgrub byas nyin sngon la gang thob

8. ka bcu ba nas zhes dzod zhus pa yin | lhags na tshur glog bya brgyu | sma tshang na

9. kang nas krod gos zer pa | bsde don la mgal song med pa sku zhabs dga’ chen phyags

10. phyags rtags | cha dbang | shaṃ gsal —

11. sku zhabs phro rgyal phyags stags (seal) | tshug sgan phros sman stags (thumbprint and cross) | zhabs bras sridr (srid thar) rtags (thumbprint and cross)

12. bri mi dga’ rgyal spon rang sal sāhi (Devanāgari)

Left margin
1. (seal) spos rte^n (rte ’mgrin) nas slang bas sgrus ’khor tshog snaṃ sla krang du (seal)

2. [1S] ga nas [1S] rded tshog rnaṃ nas zhas pa yin | rtsi zhu nyi ba yin

3. [1S] sta dun nas byad rgyu chos |


1. me sbrul; gan chod; sngon mar; bun dngul 2. phog pas; sāu nas; gnang skabs; sbyangs med byung; mi gtang bas gnya’ 3. zhag dus; asāmi dpon; sbyangs (or sbyang) min 4. nas sbyangs; sāu nas kyang; da lta gnya’; asāmi sku 5. zhu nan mdzad; tig nan; bslang ba’i ’bru ’khor gcig 7. ’bru ’khor; de thad; rgyan thob; 8. bzhes mdzod zhus; lhag na; tshur slog bya rgyu; ma tshang 9. bskangs nas sprod dgos; de don la ’gal; phyag 10. {phyags} rtags; cha dpang; zhabs bgres

A day in the 11th month of a Fire Serpent year. The purpose of writing this document of agreement is as follows: in the past, the Kushog Gachen took a loan of 130 rupees from Phurba Dawo of Marpha. When the lender apprehended him, because he did not pay it the lender would not release him, and Kacuwa of Tshognam therefore acted as his guarantor. But because the debtor, Nobleman Gachen, did not repay the loan within the appointed time, Kacuwa of Tshognam paid the outstanding sum, and the lender took it. And now, when the guarantor Kacuwa apprehended the debtor Nobleman Ga[chen], the Nobleman Ga[chen] begged Kacuwa insistently, and [it was decided] that they would do exactly [as follows]: there were two rotating funds, the one that had been initiated by Phurba Angmo the Lame, of Dzar, and the one initiated by Tamdrin; [Gachen] should inform Kacuwa the day before the recipient of these funds was to be decided by lottery, and he [Kacuwa] should take howevermuch he [Gachen] would get. If the amount was in excess [of the sum owed] then [Kacuwa] would return [the additional amount to Gachen], whereas if it was insufficient, he [Gachen] should give it to him [Kacuwa] after adding a supplement. In confirmation that he will not transgress this agreement, Kushog Gachen sets his seal (seal). The witnesses, presented clearly below, are: Kushog Trogyal (seal); Trömen, the headman of Tshug (thumbprint and cross); Hrithar, the venerable henchman [of Gachen?] (thumbprint and cross). The scribe was Gagyal. The nobleman himself (?) signs.

Left margin

The rotating fund that was initiated by Tamdrin has been received…at the priestly estate of Tshognam…. (Meaning of remainder unclear due to illegibility of text.)  

bka’ bcu ba: although the Tshognam lamas were a lineage of Nyingmapa tantric priests, there is evidence to suggest that some of them may have spent some time as monks in the Sakyapa school. This is probably the case with the bearer of this Sakyapa clerical title, which he may have retained as a sort of nickname even though he was likely by this time to have abandoned his monastic career.

Line 2, nya ba: this word is almost certainly cognate with Tib. gnya’ bo, which is generally translated as “witness”. In this case it refers to the guarantor of a loan. In most documents from South Mustang the term for guarantor is usually a Tibetanised version of the Nepali word jamāni. The terms for “creditor” and “debtor” here are, however, derived from the Nepali terms, respectively sāhu and asāmi.

Line 6, phur pa dbang mo ’zha’u, “Phurba Angmo the Lame”: in Mustang, at least, the colloquial term for “lame”, zha kyog, systematically becomes a sobriquet of anyone with a permanent limp.

Lines 6, 7, sbrus khor (< ’bru ’khor), rotating fund: see notes to HMA/LTshognam/Tib/05. The confirmation of the payment of the debt—at some later, unspecified, date—is recorded in the left margin. The text is partly illegible, but it seems to indicate that the amount that the debtor collected from one of the funds, that of Tamdrin, was enough to clear his debt to the guarantor.