Date: Fire Monkey year, 9th month, 28th day
1. sham gsal rgan mdon tshig ngos brtan yin pa’i thags su ’ba’ la li sman gis phyags rtags |
2. me spre zla 9 pa’i tshes 28 nyin | phan lde ’byung gnas lugs gnyis dgong ma khrims bdag
(rin po che) bzhabs (bdrung du) | bzhu pa | gus ming stag khod bsham gsal glo slang mi
’gyur pa’i mchod tshig (yi ge) bris bdon la | bdon rtsa |
3. sdol mchog gru bzhis spyi khyabs nyi ma tshes ring brtsor bzhug | shes sman dkarma
dbang rgyal | ting rgyu’i skun rgyal | spo dad dkon mchog | rtag rgyu’i spyi khyabs bdon
sgrubs | mdo yi spyi khyabs dar rgyas | bar tong ’go ba
4. tshes brtan | mtshar gis bla ma nyis ma | tshar gi bres po nyi ma tshe brtan bcas la gsen
zhes zhu kyu | spu rang bsam sgrubs ’khor bcas la | mtshar ka yul spyi sngon du sha rus
skor la labs gling bcung bzhis byung nas |
5. rgan rgya len gsum bar bzhag nas | rgan rgya nang gsal spu rang bsam sgrubs ’khor bcas
la shar rus thog ra khung ma khyol brten | bral rgan bzhon dang kha so so bya gyu’i
mchod don yod kyang | da cha tshar ka thus mi tshe
6. ring chos phel dang dbang drags | tshar ka bsam sgrubs | bsod nam (g.yung drung) | dkarma
dbang ’dus | bdon sgrubs bcas | ’di bar blo smon thang du thag su ’ba’ slar li sman
sku mdun lcar nas bzhu skabs | blo po nyam grogs padma
7. nor bu dang | spu rang ’khor bcas sngon nas da bar rus rgyud cig yin khung | kha cig lus
cig ma rtogs che chung til ’bru brtsam med pa’i ’di kha blo sman thang du nyam grogs
padma nor bu dang spu rang bsam sgrubs pho rgyu cig
8. gi kha bsres byas nas thag brtsang mchod pa ngos brten dang | nyam grogs padma nor bu
zer pa blo po mtsho mdun nang shar rus khung bdag yin pa’i dkor | rna ma | mag pa | gter
slong sogs dang
9. kha lus kyang | blo po nang sngon nas da bar kha dang lus kun sha rus brtsang ma | kun
la ’bres bas labs til ’bru brtsam med pa’i blo po’i spyi khyabs dkarma rabs rgyas phyags
rtags | do bdas nyam grogs padma nor bu rtags |
10. cha spang blo smon thang nga dbang chos phel rtags | blo po shar ris dkarma dgra ’dul
rtags | ’tsho nub bsri gnon rtags | tsho shar nya nyol dgra ’dul rtags | shar ris das rtang
nas (bsod nams) rtags |
11. rga mi brags dmar gnyis nas ’tsho phyed bsam grubs rtags | rtsa rang rgan (dngos grub)
(bzang po) rtags | yig bris dger lung brtsis bdrung ka mi sahi | chos ’khor gzur bsam
grubs rtags | dang brdzong ngag tshes
12. rtags | klu brags padma dbang ’dus rtags | rkags dkarma rtags | sa dmar bsam grubs
1. gan don tshig dngos brtan; subba laliman? gyi phyag 2. phan bde byung; gong ma zhabs drung;
ming rtags bkod sham; blos blang; chod tshig ’bri don; don rtsa; gru bzhi; spyi khyab; tshe ring;
gtsor bzhugs; karma dbang rgyal; kun rgyal; spyi khyab don grub 4. tshe brtan; bla ma nyi ma;
’bres po nyi ma; gsan zhes zhu rgyu; bsam grub; sha rus lab gleng cung tsam? 5. gan rgya lan
gsum; gan rgya; bsam grub; sha rus; ra [sprod] khungs; ’khyol; gral rgan gzhon; bya rgyu’i chod
don 6. chos ’phel; dbang drag; bsam grub; bsod nams; karma dbang ’dus; don grub; subba laliman?;
bcar nas zhu 7. gcig yin khungs; kha gcig lus gcig ma gtogs; ’bru tsam; bsam grub; pho
rgyud gcig; gtsang chod; dngos brtan 8. tsho bdun; sha rus khungs dag yin pa’i skor; mna’ ma;
ster slong 9. gtsang ma; bsres pas; lab til ’bru tsam; spyi khyab; phyag rtags; do zlas 10. cha
dpang; ngag dbang chos ’phel; karma dgra ’dul; tsho nub srid gnon; ’tsho phyed? bsam grub; rtsis
drung kami sahi; zur [khang] bsam grub; ngag tshe? 12. karma rtags; sa dmar bsam grubs rtags
1. The Thak Subba Lalitman sets his signature in confirmation of the truth of the content of
the following document.
2. The 28th day of the 9th month in a Fire Monkey year.
To the precious source of benefit and peace, pinnacle of the two traditions [sacred and secular],
master of the law. The subject of this letter, a document confirming the fixed decision
taken by those whose names are listed below, is as follows.
3. You, the foremost, the Warden (spyi khyabs) Nyi ma Tshe ring of excellent Dolpo the Four-
Sided; Karma dBang rgyal of Shimen; Kun rgyal of Tingkyu; dKon mchog of Polde; Don
grub, Warden of Tagkyu; Dargye, Warden of Do [Tarap];
4. Tshe brtan, chief of Bartong [= Barbung]; Nyi ma, lama of Tsharka; Nyi ma Tshe brtan,
headman of Tsharka—kindly attend!
Samdrub of Purang and his family have become embroiled in a minor dispute over ancestry
(sha rus) in the community of Tsharka.
5. Three documents have been drawn up in the meanwhile. Even though it was decided in
these documents (or, if this indistinct contraction signifies mi ’gyur ba’i: there was an irrevocable
decision in these documents) that as a result of Purang Samdrub’s failure to trace
(’khyol) his and his family’s ancestry to a demonstrable source, he should be [included in] the
row of seating that is organised by age but kept separate with regard to the ’mouth’, Since the
thus mi of Tsharka, Tshe ring
6. Chos ’phel and dBang drag, Tsharka bSam grub, bSod nams g.yung drung, Karma dbang
’dus and Don grub have come thus far and put the matter to the Thak subba Lalitman here in
Lo Monthang, it has been established that Padma
7. Nor bu of Nyamdrok in Lo and the family in Purang have belonged to the same patrilineal
clan from early times down to the present day. Not only are they of the same ’mouth’ and body,
but the difference in status between them is not so much as a grain of sesame. This purity was
definitively established here in Lo Mönthang, after Nyamdrok Padma Nor bu and Purang
8. ’mixed mouths’ as [members of] a single patrilineage.
As for the question of whether the ancestry of the one named Nyamdrok Padma Nor bu is
[regarded as] pure within the Seven Counties of Lo: in the matter of giving and receiving
brides and grooms in marriage and in
9. ’mouth and body, both his mother’s and his father’s side (sha rus, lit. ’flesh and bone’) have
been [accepted as] pure within Lo in ’mouth’, body and in every respect from past times down
to the present day. He mixes mouths with everyone [of suitable rank] without there being so
much discussion about it as a grain of sesame.
The Warden of Lo, Karma rab rgyas, sets his seal to this. Nyamdrog Padma nor bu, one of the
parties in this dispute,
10. sets his signature. The following set their signatures as witnesses: Ngag dbang chos ’phel
of Lo Monthang; Karma dgra ’dul of Shari in Lo; Srid mnan of Tshonub; dGra ’dul of Nyanyol
in Tshoshar; bSod nams from De-Tang;
11. bSam grub, [representing] the half-county constituted by Gemi and Drakmar; the headman
of Tsarang, Ngodrub Zangpo.
The writer of this document is the astrologer and scribe Kami of Gelung, who sets his signature.
Zur[khang] bSam grub of Chongkhor signs;. Ngag dbang tshe ring of Dangardzong
12. signs; Padma dbang ’dus of Lubra signs; Karma of Kag signs; bSam grub of Samar signs.
3. excellent (mchog): more likely to be an orthographic error for the homophonic phyogs,
which instead of ’excellent Dolpo’ would mean rather ’Dolpo area’.
?.’Dolpo the Four-Sided’. A common epithet for Dolpo. The name may derive from the fact
that the region is divided into four ru.
4. Elder (’bres po): gras po is the title of an official from Dolpo. This may, like bres po, turn
out to be a local orthographic variant of bgres po an honorific term for rgad po, “old man”.
5. ’He should be [included in] the row…’: ND’s reading. It may also be read as meaning that
he should be excluded from both categories (gral and kha).
8. ’mixed mouths’: i.e., publicly drank from the same cup.
10. De-Tang: a contraction of the two villages of De and Tangkya. Although they are several
hours apart, they are often conflated in this way in documents and other sources.
11. Scribe (rtsis drung): contraction for rtsis pa drung yig?
Signature: sahi, the Nepali equivalent of Tib. rtags, is perhaps preferred by the writer to the
Tibetan term as a means of indicating his cosmopolitan background.
Zurkhang here denotes not the small village of that name (usually Zur sgang) in Lo, but a
house on the edge (zur) of the Dzongchu in Chongkhor, near Muktinath.