Date: Wood Dragon year, 5th month, 10th day (1904)
Lines: 6
Script: ’khyug

An agreement between Lama Rangjung Dorje of Tshognam and a group of herders in upper Mustang. In violation of an earlier agreement, the nomads have not been making regular payments of butter to the priestly estate. This document appears to mark the renewal of these payments.


1. shing sbrul zla 5 tshe 10 zang po’i nyin | chod tshigs yig bris don | la don rtsa | sngon blo bo chos rgyal chen po a yuṃ dpal gyis gdung rgyud kyis dbu lha tshogs rnam me mi chos nyid rang grol nas

2. zhu ba dus su slabs rang bsnggs (bsang sngags) chos gling gis mchod me rgyur brten la snang bas skye med ’chi med bris gnyis snang pa shar grogs dbang po dang bsaṃ sgrubs dkon mchog gnyis grong par zhag bas lo re

3. la mar zo drug drug tshogs rnams blang (bla brang) du phul ba la | ’bar skabs su shes mar ma byung bar brtan | tshogs rnaṃ bla ma ming rang byung rdoe (rdo rje) nas ’dzin sbyang bye skabs | shar grogs oyan (o rgyan) tshe ring nas bri mo

4. che ba gnyis dang {zla ba don sgrubs nas ’bri che pa gcig dang ja ma dung {du} ngu gcig bcas yod bc |} grong pa gnyis nas bris ’che pa gnyis skye med ’chi med yin zhing | lo re la mar zo

5. ba gsuṃ gsuṃ yong rgyu dang | bris gzhan rnaṃ skye ’phel rgyu ’di yod bas don ’di la mi gyur ba (rdoe) rdo rje sridr (srid thar) {zla ba don don sgrub} gnyis lag bskor bas rtags thong thos phya spang tshugs bon po

6. dang | grogs tshe ring bcas yod |


1. bzang po’i; chod tshig yig ’bri; kyi dbu 2. zhu ba’i; bla brang gsang; rgyu rten la gnang; ’bri gnyis gnang ba shar ’brog 3. bar rten; ’dzin ’chang byed; shar ’brog; ’bri mo 4. ’bri gzhan; mi ’gyur; mthong thos cha dpang 6. ’brog tshe

A document of agreement (chod tshigs). In the past our ancestor, Chönyi Rangdrol of Tshognam, the spiritual advisor to the descendants of Ayumpal, the dharmarāja of Lo, requested, and was given, two yak cows in perpetuity (skye med ’chi med) as the basis (rgyu rten) of the votive lamps in the priestly estate of Sang-ngag Chöling. These were kept among the herds of the eastern nomads Angpo Samdrub and Könchog, who annually gave 3 zo ba of butter to Tshognam temple. In the meantime, for unknown reasons (su shes), because no more butter came to Tshognam, Lama Rangjung Dorje took to task the two nomads, as well as the nomad Orgyan Tshering. Then the nomads—two households —provided two large yak cows for the provision of 3 zo ba of butter per year. The witnesses are Dorje and Hrithar, with Bonpo (? sic) of Tshug and the nomad Tshering as witnesses.

Ayumpal (Tib. A yum dpal) is a name that appears to have been invented by an enthusiastic scribe to dignify Amepal/Amapal, the first king in the dynasty of Lo (yum being the honorific form for ma, “mother”). The Tibetan expression glossed here as “in perpetuity”—the condition on which the two yaks were given to Tshognam—might be translated more literally as “irrespective of birth or death” (see also Dargyay, cited in Martin Vocab.). This meant that the Eastern Nomads were given custody of the two animals; when they died they would have to be replaced by the nomads, while they were entitled to keep any calves that might be born. The two yaks were effectively the non-repayable principal of an investment with a fixed annual interest of 3 zo ba of butter that would have been used to fuel the lamps in Tshognam temple. At some point, however, the nomads seem to have ceased to honour their commitment, until they were reminded of it by one of the lamas of Tshognam. The deleted passages suggest that even as the document was being written, it was not clear what the nomads were giving: the deleted term dung ngu, for example, denotes a yak calf in its first year.

The identity of Lama Rangjung Dorje remains unknown, since the name does not appear in any other documents. The date suggests that he belongs to the same generation as Tshewang Angyal.