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0660 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 660 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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7. Although there are many pleasant friends, relations, and friendly companions,   8. with whom is admonition

to virtue, he is his highest friend, whoever he be.   9. Connected with hatred and all lust is inattention,

10. on account of coveting the goodly fruits of the six lands 8.   II. [But] at the steep shores, abysses,

and sea of misfortune   12. be there no fear ! For him who wishes to migrate,   13. this bridle [of

the passions] for advantage and welfare   14. was pronounced by the Teacher, the greatest in religion,

the conqueror of the three times.   15. ` Filled to the brim with the purity of the powerful moral law,

16. behave in your passage [through life] according to the descended wisdom.   17. On this road of

misery, unhappiness, and rebirths,   18. the wisest of the earth, who has means and wisdom,   19. shows

a short and straight way [wherever there is] a steep place.   2o. [Then] there is joy, and through faith

the misery of rebirth does not exist.   21. On the journey over the sea [of rebirth] and the endless river,

22. being furnished with holiness and wisdom of soul,   23. take heed, and you will be quickly freed

from birth !'

Written [or made] by Gnam-c`ed-p`o. It is [written] for the glory of the High One, thus I think. Mr. Francke adds the following remarks

V. 3 may refer to Buddhacarita, XV. 73, and Lalitavistara, XXIV. Although this scene does not appear to be of great importance, it was represented in ancient art. It may not yet have been discovered in the Gandhâra art ; but the Sanskrit original of the song may go back to earlier times. In vv. 2, 6, 8 " whatever " and " whoever " may refer to the fact that Buddha tried at first all sorts of teachers in order to be taught the truth.'

The following General Note on the language of the two poems is added by Mr. Francke :-

`Instances of archaic (pre-classical) orthography are (i) the occurrence of the drag 9 ; (2) the frequent occurrence of y joined to m before i and e1° ; (3) the frequent use of p`a instead of pa for the article. I can imagine that the modern p was preceded by p`. In this case the change of p` to b between two vowels and in similar cases would simply become an instance of No. 6 of the Laws of Sound in Ladakhi Grammar. A remnant of the tenuis aspirata in the article we probably have still in the occasional occurrence of p`o, for instance bya p`o, rta p`o, &c. ; (4) in the words bts`an (for bstan), gc`ugs (for gcugs), gts`ain (for gtsain po), bc`as (for bcas), we notice that the tenuis aspirata suffers a g or b p`ul to be written before it. At the present time the tenuis aspirata can only be furnished with m or n, p`ul. It is not improbable that in these cases the tenuis aspirata is older than the modern tenuis. But one thing would then have to be conceded. The b and g p`ul must then be allowed to form a short syllable with a perhaps indistinct vowel. Later, when the pronunciation of the p`ul became interchanged with the prefixed s or r (compare Song ii. line 16, rtsan for gtsain or gts`aiz), the ancient tenuis aspirata had to become tenuis, because the pronunciation rthsa or rcha is impossible according to Tibetan phonetics.

`Instances of modern dialectal orthography.—(i) In Song i. 14-16 we have specimens of present tenses as modern as possible. The p and r of the syllable par have entirely disappeared ; so has the d of red. (2) In No. i. 17 we find the modern ,zes instead of classical des. (3) In the postscript we find the modern pronunciation c'ed in a place where p`yed must almost necessarily be expected. Gnam p`yed po is a house or family name. It is given to houses and families which would receive only the midday sun in winter. (4) The words bslus, brdzis, btain, brten, bsgoins, bstan are perfect tenses used as presents ; the modern dialects of Central Tibet as well as of Western Tibet make use of perfect tenses to express the present.

In conclusion, what shall we say ? There can be no doubt that in the eighth century A. D. the modern pronunciation of Central Tibet was already developed, at least to a very far degree. But what shall we do then with Tonmi-sambhota, who is the supposed inventor of the Tibetan alphabet as well as of the Tibetan orthography ?

8 [The six visayas; see Jaeschke, p. 5r3.L. D. B.]   '0 As observed in the Preliminary Notice, in the Journal of

g [See above, p. 549.]

the Royal Asiatic Society, i903, pp. x 1 o f.