Date: Earth Tiger year, 2nd month, 23rd day (1878 or 1938)
Lines: 20
Script: ’khyug


  1. sa pho stags lo’i zla ba 2 pa’i tshes 23 la | sted lung

  2. pa’i gan mi bdus rnams gyis mkhrim (bzhabs su) ngos rab

  3. ’byung ’phun tshog (rdo rje) nas bzhus ba | kha sngon ngos grong

  4. pa’i ra ma gnyis sad pa kyang ngos ma yin | byas sor

  5. ’phris las nyi ma yis khyims bdu phyin nas | a snyis

  6. jo mo yis ra ma lan bdus ’gro’ bdus | phris

  7. las nyi ma’i zer pa la | ra ma gnyis ra ga ru

  8. ’bor yod | khyod rang 1 khyer zer par rten | ngos nas

  9. kyang ra ma gyag gud bstas nas | gyag pa 1 a nis

  10. yis ra ga ru {’tshor} mkhyer nas ra ma ngos nas

  11. sad nas steng la mkhur nas ’gro bdus | byas sor

  12. a ma yis tshogs rnams gon pa’i tshes bcu mi rnams

  13. dkun song khyed rang song zer par (rten nas) | sha shus long ma byung

  14. ba | sri thar dbang bdus la spyol rogs byed zer nas bor nas

  15. song pa yin | byas sor gan mi bdus rnams kyis mkhrim kyis sdags

  16. shar mdzad nas | srid thar ang bdus kyis bzhus pa | kho

  17. pho (phun tshogs) (rdo rje) yi ra ma sad nas steng la mkhur nas kho

  18. la bcol pa ngos ma yin | byas sor jo mo yis ngos

  19. la shus nas ster rogs byas zer nas shu nas ster pa yin |

  20. sdon bya sde la mi gyur pa rab byung (’phun tshogs) (rdo rje) yis rtags ||

1. stag lo’i 2. rgan mi ’dus rnams kyis khrims zhabs su 3. phun tshogs; zhus pa 4. bsad kyang dngos ma; rjes sor 5. ’phrin las; ma’i khyim du; a ni 6. yi ra ma len du ’gro dus | ’phrin 7. ra {ga} ru 9. ra ma rgyags gud bltas; rgyags pa; a ni 10. ra {ga} ’khyer; ngos nas 11. bsad nas; ’khur nas ’gro dus | rjes su 12. dgon pa’i 13. kun | sha bshus longs 14. srid thar dbang ’dus; bcol rogs; bor nas 15 rjes sor rgan mi ’dus; khrims kyis 15–16. gdar sha; dbang ’dus kyis zhus pa 17. bo phun tshogs rdo rje yis; bsad nas; ’khur nas 18. rjes su 19. bshus nas; rogs byed; bshus nas 20. don {bya} de; mi ’gyur ba; phun tshogs rdo rje yi

Male Earth Tiger year, second month, 23rd day. I, the novice monk Phun tshogs rdo rje, have submitted this petition to the judicial assembly of Te, comprising the headmen and community. It is also true that I have, in the past, butchered two goats belonging to my household. I later went to the house of ’Phrin las nyi ma, and when I went to take a doe from the goat pen of A ni jo mo, ’Phrin las nyi ma said to me, “Two [of her] does have been put in [my] pen. Take one of them”. I therefore looked to see which were fat and which thin; I took a fat one to A ni jo mo’s goat-pen and butchered it, and then carried it to the roof of her house. But while I was on my way, my mother told me that everyone involved in the Tenth-Day ceremony of Tshognam temple had already departed. “You should go,” she said. And so I asked Srid thar dbang ’dus to take care of [the carcass] for me, and after leaving it with him I set off. Later, during the investigation of the case by the headmen and community, Srid thar dbang ’dus said that I, Phun tshogs rdo rje had indeed slaughtered the goat, taken it to the roof and entrusted it to him. Later, A ni jo mo told me to skin it and give it to her, and I therefore skinned it and gave it to her. The novice monk Phun tshogs rdo rje sets his thumbprint to confirm that he will not deviate from this account.

The subject of this document is confusing because it appears to concern a prosecution of the novice monk Phun tshogs rdo rje for slaughtering a goat. In this case the statement of Srid thar dbang ’dus must be understood as a testimony against him, and the document as a whole as a confession of his violation, now and in the past, of his monastic vows. A closer reading reveals that this is, in fact, the statement of a defendant in a case of theft: the novice has been accused by ’Phrin las nyi ma of stealing one of his goats. A ni jo mo—presumably a real or classificatory paternal aunt who happens to be a nun –asked the monk to butcher a goat for her. Two of her goats were being kept in the pen of a neighbour, ’Phrin las nyi ma, but when selecting an animal he accidentally—he claims— took the wrong one. In this case Srid thar dbang ’dus’ deposition should be seen as confirmation that the carcass was left in his house for safe keeping, and not for the purpose of concealing stolen property. The acknowledgement by Phun tshogs rdo rje that he has butchered animals in the past may be relevant as evidence that there is nothing unusual about him, even as a novice monk, being asked to carry out the task on behalf of a nun.