« The Ladakhi Pre-Buddhist Marriage Ritual»

FRANCKE A. H. « The Ladakhi Pre-Buddhist Marriage Ritual ». Indian Antiquary. 1901. n°30, p. 131-149.

Francke, August Hermann. “The Ladakhi Pre-Buddhist Marriage Ritual.” Indian Antiquary, no. 30, 1901, pp. 131–49, https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.206685/2015.206685.The-Indian#page/n149/mode/2up. FRA 1901 a1.

THE LADAKHI PRE-BUDDHIST MARRIAGE RITUAL.

(Translation and Notes.)

BY A. H. FRANCKE, LADAKH.

Some time ago I published in Mémoires de la Société Finno-ougrienne, Helsingfors, some translations in German of folktales and of extracts from a Tibetan MS. relating to the Kêsar-Myths of Western Tibet. The publication of the Marriage Songs of the Ladâkhis now undertaken is another step in the same direction. My object in these publications is to present means to the scientific world for unveiling the hitherto hidden treasures of the Pre-Buddhist Religion of Tibet. I was fortunate indeed to get hold of these wedding songs, just before they had vanished altogether. In Central and Upper Ladakh only mere reminiscences, are left of them, although the gorgeous dress of the Nyopas and the scene before the house are still in vogue. In Lower Ladakh the songs have been preserved much better, but a large portion of them have ceased to be intelligible to the people. Thus whilst the first nine of the songs I collected were, certain passages excepted, generally understood by the ordinary man, the latter half of the collection consists more or less of a succession of unintelligible sounds. The reason may be, that the wedding ritual proved too hard a trial on the patience of the party and was cut short in many cases.
The method of reading has been as follows. All the songs were dictated slowly by the leader of the Nyopas to the village Munshi of Khalatse, Yeshes Rig ‘adzin, who wrote them down according to the actual sound. This copy proved to be very useful as far as Yeshes Rig ‘adzin himself had understood the words. For disentangling the more obscure passages, however, the assistance of the mission schoolmaster of Leh, Shamuel aByorldan, and of other Ladakhis, possessed of common sense, had to be requisitioned. In this way, the first half of the collection has become fairly intelligible, whilst the latter half is still full of obscure passages.

It is necessary for the proper comprehension of these songs to direct the attention of the readers to the fact that the four points of the compass play a rather important rôle in the wedding songs, as well as in other Pre-Buddhist literature (vide Ladakhi Songs No. XV.). This

132 THE INDIAN ANTIQUARY. [APRIL, 1901.

is very natural, for as has been pointed out in the paper on the Kêsar-Myths, the Pre-Buddhist Religion must have been a system of sun and nature worship. Now it is the sun who creates the four points of the compass. All of them are different manifestations of the sun and hence the importance attached to them in a physiological religion. This fact suggests a solution to the difficu1t problem of explaining the ancient mystic emblem of the Bon Religion, yungdrung 卐, This emblem was in my view invented to represent the sun as the creator of East, South, West and North, the little mark at the end of each line indicating the inclination of the sun to proceed from one point to the other.

It is not an easy matter to give a satisfactory explanation of the word γyungdrung, but I dare to offer one, in favor of which there is at least some probability. In the Kêsar-Myths an old name of the sun, bya Khyung dkrung nyima, occurs. This means literally « the bird Khyung, the disc, the sun. » In course of time the name Khyung dkrung may have degenerated to become γyungdrung, especially at a time when the idea of the emblem had ceased to be generally understood. Laws of sound cannot be of much avail here, because we are dealing with a proper noun. A few suggestions, however, might be made in favor of this derivation :- (1) a word γyung is absolutely non-existing and cannot be found in any dictionary; (2) there exist a few cases of k being dropped when preceding y, thus kyang = yang, kyi = yi, kyin = yin; (3) there is only a very slight, hardly perceptible, difference in the pronunciation of dkrung and drung. Of course, this explanation of the emblem rests on the theory, that it is always the same sun, which appears in the East every morning, and is in opposition to the theory shown in Song No. I. B. 7, post, p. 135. However, the study of other physiological religions has proved plainly that the most contradictory theories may dwell in them side by side.

While on the point of derivation ; in regard to the change from khyung to γyung, it may be compared also to the following corresponding words in Jäschke’s Tibetan Dictionary: khyabpa- yabpa, both ‘cover’ in Ladakhi; ‘akhyarba-yarba, both ‘go astray;’ ‘akhyampa-yamyom, both ‘be unsteady;’ akhyigspa, ‘to fetter;’ γyigspa, ‘to be hindered;’ ‘akhyurba, ‘to be separated;’ yurba or yurma, ‘pull out’ (weeds, etc,); ‘akhyompa, ‘to wave;’ yompa, ‘be swinging,’ swing. The γ of γyunq and γyigspa is a silent prefixed letter and is often omitted in writing.

In the figures a and b below is shown the γyungdrung in both positions: the natural and the reversed. The Rev. A. W. Heyde of Ghûm tells me that the γyungdrung as a monogram is said to be composed of the two syllabes and ti, suti = svati.

 

According to Waddell, Lamaism in Tibet, both the established Buddhist church and the adherents to the Bon Religion have a γyungdrung of their own, the one under a being the emblem of Lamaism, that under b of the Bon Religion. It is most natural that a alone should correspond to the actual course of the sun, for it is probably the older one. Indian Buddhist missionaries may have fought in vain against the use of the symbol, and finally agreed to introduce it into their own system by regarding it as a monogram, containing the three syllables su asti in Indian characters. Afterwards in opposition to Buddhism and at a time when the leading ideas of the once physiological religion had vanished, Bon priests made the emblem turn the other way; just as the custom of circumambulation was altered by the Bonpas from right to left.

[APRIL, 1901. THE LADAKHI PRE-BUDDHIST MARRIAGE RITUAL. 133

In the drawings below showing the γyungdrung as an ornament in Native houses in Khalatse, Lower Ladakh, it will be seen turned both ways.

However all this may really be, on the whole I feel obliged to say, that my explanation of the γyungdrung must not be taken for more than a mere guess at its interpretation from a Tibetan point of view. I have no means in this remote land of collating these speculation, with the mass of literature on the svastika.

The γyungdrung is thought to be of great importance at the wedding ceremony, and both bride and bridegroom have to sit on carpets showing the emblem. It is indeed in universal use in this connection, for in a copy of the wedding songs, which I received a few days ago from Phyang the γyungdrung is used for punctuation instead of the full stop.

Song No. I.1

bagma btangtsana nyopas sgola btangcessi glu’i2 dpecha yin.

This is the book of the songs, which are sung at the door by the Nyopas, when the bride is given.

134 THE INDIAN ANTIQUARY. [APRIL, 1901.

om bkrashispar gyurcig, bkrashis bdeblags dang ldanpar gyurcig.

nangmas btang ‘adug.

Om, may you be blessed ! May the blessing come unto you speedily !

The people of the house say :

A.

I. A. 1. duba sngonmo de

stengdu rgyugpa ci’i don.

2. duba sngonmo de

bardu rgyugpa ci’i don.

3. duba sngonmo de

‘ogtu rgyugpa ci’i don.

4. duba sngonmo de

sharla rgyugpa ci’i don.

5. duba sngonmo de

lhoru rgyugpa ci’i don.

6. duba sngonmo de

Byangdu rgyugpa ci’i don.

7. duba sngonmo de

nubtu rgyugpa ci’i don.

8. duba sngonmo de

mkhardu rgyugpa ci’i don.

9. duba sngonmo de

yulla rgyugpa ci’i don.

10. duba sngonmo de

grongdu rgyugpa ci’i don.

I. A. 1. That blue smoke,

Rising upwards, what does it mean ?

2. The blue smoke,

Hanging over the ground, what does it mean?

3. The blue smoke,

Falling to the ground, what does it mean?

4. The blue smoke,

Spreading towards East, what does it mean ?

5. The blue smoke,

Spreading towards South, what does it mean?

6. The blue smoke,

Spreading towards North, what does it mean?

7. The blue smoke,

Spreading towards West, what does it mean?

8. The blue smoke,

Rising to the castle, what does it mean?

9. The blue smoke,

Spreading over the country, what does it mean?

10. The blue smoke,

Spreading over the village, what does it mean?

B

I. B. phyimas landu.

1. duba sngonmo de

stengdu rgyugpa de

lhai dbangpo rgya bshinla rgolba ma zhus sam

bsangshug phulba’i don.

2. duba sngonmo de

bardu rgyugpa de

btsan ama skyabs bdunla rgolba ma zhus sam

bsang shug phulba’i don.

I. B. People outside [the Nyopas] answer :

1. The blue smoke

Rises upwards,

I think, that the Lord of Heaven, Bangpo rgyabzhin’s anger may not be provoked,

It is an offering to him.

2. The blue smoke,

Is hanging over the earth,

I think, that the Earth-Mother, skyabsbdun’s anger may not be provoked,

It is an offering to her.

[APRIL, 1901. THE LADAKHI PRE-BUDDHIST MARRIAGE RITUAL. 135

3. duba sngonma de

‘ogtu rgyugpa de

klurgyal lcogpola rgolba ma zhus sam

bsang shug phulba’i don.

4. duba sngonmo de

shardu rgyugpa de

shar rdorje sems dp’ala rgolba ma zhus sam

bsang shug phulba’i don.

5. duba sngonmo de

lhoru rgyugpa de

lho rinchen byung ldanla rgolba ma zhus sam

sang shug phulba’i don.

6. duba sngonmo de

byangdu rgyugpa de

byang donyod grubpala rgolb ma zhus sam

bsang shug phulba’i don.

7. duba sngonmo de

nubtu rgyugpa de

nub snangba mth’ayasla rgolba ma zhus sam

bsang shug phulba’i don.

8. duba sngonmo de

mkhardu rgyugpa de

rtselha snyanpola rgolba ma zhus sam

bsang shug phulba’i don.

9. duba sngonmo de

yulla rgyugpa de

yulthsa snyanpola rgolba ma zhus sam

bsang shug phulba’i don.

10. duba sngonmo de

grongla rgyugpa de

phalha snyanpola rgolba ma zhus sam

bsang shug phulba’i don.

3. The blue smoke

Is falling to the ground,

I think, that the Water-King, lCogpo’s anger may not be provoked,

It is an offering to him.

4. The blue smoke

Is spreading towards East,

I think, that the eastern rDorje sems dp’a’s anger may not be provoked,

It is an offering to him.

5. The blue smoke

Is spreading towards South,

I think, that the southern Rin-chen byungldan’s anger may not be provoked,

It is an offering to him.

6. The blue smoke

Is spreading towards North,

I think, that the northern Don-yod grubpa’s anger may not be provoked,

It is an offering to him.

7. The blue smoke

Is spreading towards West,

I think, that the western sNangba mthayas’ anger may not be provoked,

It is an offering to him.

8. The blue smoke

Is rising to the castle,

I think, that rTselha snyanpo’s anger may not be provoked,

It is an offering to him.

9. The blue smoke

Is spreading over the country,

I think, that Yulthsa snyanpo’s anger may not be provoked,

It is an offering to him,

10. The blue smoke

Is spreading over the peasants’ [houses],

I think, that Phalha snyanpo’s anger may not be provoked,

It is an offering to him.

136 THE INDIAN ANTIQUARY. [APRIL, 1901.

Notes on the Tibetan Text.

Nyopa, buyer, because the bride was bought in ancient times. The salutation in classical language Om bkrashipar, etc., is exchanged after each strophe, but will not bo repeated in these pages.

I. A. In all verses ci’i don means literally : it is the meaning of what? II. B. As regards the meaning of names and general position of the heads of the Pre-Buddhist cosmology, see my paper·on the Kêsar-Myth in Mémoires de la Société Finno-ougrienne, 1900, No. XV. The syllabe sam I was first inclined to translate by « or », but people told me, that they understood it to mean « think », in favour of which might be pointed to the people’s response: Well thought, you mighty friends. In v. 4, 5, 6, and 7 the gods, who govern the four directions, are mentioned.

They are the properly Tibetan Lôkapâlas. In Lamaism three of them have become Dhyânibuddhas, whilst rDorje sems dp’a has become their president. That their relationship to the four points of the globe has not yet quite been lost in Lamaism, is shown by the Padmathanyig, see Grünwedel, Mythologie des Buddhismus, pp. 98, 99.

The names in literal translation mean : – 4. ‘The thunderbolt with the courageous soul.’ 5, ‘The producer of great price.’ 6. ‘Fulfiller of the aim, he has.’ 7. ‘Eternal light.’ With the exception of 6, all the names point plainly to the different manifestations of the sun. 7 in particular goes back to the idea, that the West is the receptacle of all the suns, which have been born up to the present day. This idea is too natural a one to have been imported from Persia. Instead of ma zhus the original rendering was probably ma zhu, the imperative being used for the optative. 8. rTselha,god of the summit. 9. Yulthsa, village idol. 10. Phalha, god of the fathers, i. e., family.

Notes on the English Translation.

It might be well to say a few words about the scene, which forms the background of the songs. The Nyopas (i. e., friends of the bride-groom, who were sent to buy the bride) come on horseback and clad in gorgeous dress (vide Plate) before the house of the bride and ask for entrance. This is refused to them unless they are able to answer certain questions. All the people of the house are armed with sticks and the Nyopas are beaten unmercifully as soon as they fail to prove their respectable origin by answering the questions satisfactorily. The people of the house light a fire of the wood of the pencil cedar and concerning the smoke of this the first questions are asked.

After the questions regarding the principal deities have been settled, in 8, 9, and 10 the local deities come in. Though in ancient times idols do not seem to have had a place in the Bon Religion, we can see how the idea gradually crept in. As we know from the Kêsar-Myths, the lha’s or gods used to visit the earth frequently. High hills became known as places of the gods’ descent, and to honour them properly, white altars were erected. By and by these altars or lhatho’s were considered as being tho dwelling places of certain lha’s and at last the idea was developed, that wherever a lhatho was erected, a lha would soon take his seat. So we have a lha on the hill (near the castle) in 8, and the family (father) lha in 10. In 9 the word thsa might point to a rough idol, compare Jaschke’s Dict. Thsathsa. All of them have the epithet snyanpo = well sounding.

Song N°. II.

II. A. legs bsams dbangi nyebo.

nangmas.

1. phuru yar γzigs ‘ang

gangs chu dkarpo de

su dang ganggi chang.

II. A. Well thought, you mighty friends.

Peoples of the house say :

l. Look over there to the upper valley!

That white glacier water,

What and whose beer is it?

[APRIL, 1901. THE LADAKHI PRE-BUDDHIST MARRIAGE RITUAL. 137

2. γyasla yar γzigs ‘ang

γy’a chu khral khrol de

su dang ganggi chang.

3. mdoru yar γzigs ‘ang

γtsang chab sngonmo de

su dang ganggi chang.

4. γyonla yar γzigs ‘ang

chumig kyal kyil de

su dang ganggi chang.

5. sbrulmgo ma chabrkyan nangdu

yang dkar naskyi chang

su dang ganggi chang.

2. Look over there to the right !

That foaming water among the stones.

What and whose beer is it!

3. Look over there below !

That blue river water,

What and whose beer is it ?

4. Look over there to the left !

Those wells here and there,

What and whose beer are they?

5. And in this large jar with the snake’s head

The beer [made] of white barley,

What and whose beer is this?

B.

Nyopas landu.

II. B. 1. phuru yar γzig ‘ang

gangs chu dkarpo de

dar sing γsoba’i chang.

2. γyasla yar γzigs ‘ang

γy’a chu khral khrol de

shaphran γsoba’i chang.

3. mdoru yar γzigs ‘ang

γtsang chab sngonmo de

nyaphran γsoba’i chang

4. γyonla yar γzigs ‘ang

chumig kyal kyil de

ma zhing γsoba’i chang

5. sbrulmgo ma chab rkyanla

yang dkar naskyi khuba de

nyo ‘am spun bdungyi chang.

The Nyopas answer:

II. B. 1. Look over there to the upper valley !

That white glacier water

Is the beer, nourishing the ice-lion.

2. Look over there to the right !

That foaming water among the stones

Is the beer, nourishing the young deer.

3. Look over there below !

That blue river water

Is the beer, nourishing the little fishes.

4. Look over there to the left !

Those wells here and there

Are the beer, nourishing the mother-fields,

5. And in this large jar with the snake’s head,

The fluid [made] of white barley

Is the beer of the Nyopas or the seven brethren.

Notes.

A. 2. γyachu, this word is used here, so people tell me, for water with stones, not for stagnant water, khralhhrol; noisy. 4. kyal-kyil scattered about. 5. ma, mother, used for everything large, here the large jar.

B. 4. ma zhing, motherfield, a very fertile field. Instead of kyalkyil-parpur is also used in the same sense.

Notes.

A. 5. The mouth of the jar is formed like a snake’s head. B. 1. The ice-lion with the blue locks [or mane] was originally the glacier itself, later on it developed into a fabulous being, which was thought to live there. 5. The number of the Nyopas ought to be seven.

 

138 THE INDIAN ANTIQUARY. [APRIL, 1901.

Song N°. III.

A.

III. A. snyan γsanpar mdzodcig.

1. dgung dang dbyibskyi mjalthsul de

su dang ganggis byas.

2. shar dang nubkyi mjalthsul de

su dang ganggis byas.

3. lho dang byanggi mjalthsul de

su dang ganggis byas.

4. steng dang ‘oggi mjalthsul de

su dang ganggis byas.

5. phu dang mdoyi mjalthsul de

su dang ganggis byas.

6. mkhar dang yulgyi mjalthsul de

su dang ganggis byas.

7. γzhis dang γnaskyi mjalthsul de

su dang ganggis byas.

8. phyi dang nanggi mjalthsul de

su dang ganggis byas.

III. A. Now listen with your ears!

1. The existence of the high heaven and of the forms [plants, animals],

By whom and how was it created ?

2. The existence of East and West,

By whom and how was it created ?

3. The existence of South and North,

By whom and how was it created?

4. The existence of height and depth,

By whom and how was it created ?

5. The existence of an upper and a lower valley,

By whom and how was it created ?

6. The existence of castle and village,

By whom and how was it created ?

7. The existence of hearth and home,

By whom and how was it created ?

8. The fact, that some people are outside and some inside,

By whom and how was it created ?

B.

phyimas landu.

III. B. 1. dgung dang dbyibskyi mjalthsul de

nyi zla γnyiskyis byas.

2. shar dang nubkyi mjalthsul de

khri γdugs nyimas byas.

3. lho dang byanggi mjalthsul de

zla mthsan dkarpos byas.

The Nyopas answer :

III. B. 1. The existence of the high heaven and of the forms

Was created by sun and moon.

2. The existence of East and West

Was created by the sun, the umbrella of the throne.

3. The existence of South and North

Was created by the Moon, the whitener of the night.

[APRIL, 1901. THE LADAKHI PRE-BUDDHIST MARRIAGE RITUAL. 139

4. steng dang ‘oggi mjalthsul de

sbang char zilbus byas.

5. phu dang mdoyi mjalthsul de 

skyeser3 rlungpos byas.

6. mkhar dang yulgyi mjalthsul de

rgyal dang blongyis byas.

7. γzhis dang γnaskyi mjalthsul de

γnyendrung rnamskyis byas.

8. phyi dang nanggi mjalthsul de

nyo’am spun bdungyis byas.

4. The existence of height and depth

Was created by the dewy soaking rain.

5. The existence of an upper and a lower valley

Was created by skyeser, the wind.

6. The existence of castle and village

Was created by the king and the ministers.

7. The existence of hearth and home

Was created by you, our friends.

8. The fact, that some people are outside and some inside,

Was created by the Nyopas, the seven brethren.

Notes.

In the original mjalthso is given instead of mjalthsul, which is unintelligible. See more examples for elision of l at the end of a syllable in my Ladâkhî Grammar, laws of sound 4. dbyibs is a word, not so easily understood, two kinds of dbyibs are mentioned in XIII., they are nammkha, sky, heaven, and chos, religion. B. 5. skyeser, name of the wind god. May be either skyegsar, the reborn one, see Kêsar-Myth, or skyebser, producer of coolness.

Notes.

A. 8. This question refers to the scene created by the arrival of the Nyopas. B. 2. The sun is often called an umbrella on account of his circular shape. 3. Though the moon as representative of the night can be made to account for the North, it is difficult to see her relation to the South.

B. 4. Perhaps on account of the fact, that clouds show great varieties of altitude. 5. A strong draught is felt in every valley.

Song N°. IV.

A.

byonrabs yin.

IV. A. 1. ‘adir byon roams sbargyi gling, nas yongstsana

shar phyogs rgyalpo suzhig bzhngs

bran dang ‘akhor γyog cila dkar

dbyibs dang chalugs cinda ‘adra.

2. lhoyi phyogsnas yongstsana

lho phyogs rgyalpo su zhig bzhugs

bran dang ‘akhor γyog cila dkar

dbyibs dang chalugs cinda ‘adra.

This is about the origin [of the Nyopas].

IV. A. l. When you came here from the eastern country,

Who was king there in the East ?

Why may we call his subjects and servants white ?

What is their shape and custom like ?

2. When you came here from the southern country,

Who was king there in the South ?

Why may we call his subjects and servants white ?

What is their shape and custom like?

140 THE INDIAN ANTIQUARY. [APRIL, 1901.

3. kyed rnams nubkyi glingna.e yongstsana.

nubphyogs rgyalpo su zhig bzhugs

bran dang ‘akhor γyog cila dkar

dbyibs dang chalugs cinda ‘adra.

4. kyed rnams byanggi glingnas yongstsana.

byangphyogs rgyalpo su zhig bzhugs

bran dang ‘akhor γyog cila dkar

dbyibs dang chalugs cinda ‘adra.

3. When you came here from the Western country,

Who was king there in the West ?

Why may we call his subjects and servants white?

What is their shape and custom like ?

4. When you came here from the northern country,

Who was king there in the North ?

Why may we call his subjects and servants white ?

What is their shape and custom like ?

B.

phimas landu.

1V. B. 1. ngacag nyebo rnams shargyi glingnas yongstsana

sharphyogs rgyalpo yul ‘akhor srung

bran dang ‘akhor γyog chosla dkar

dbyibs dang chalugs bdelegs ‘adug

sharna khri γdugs nyima mchis

skad cig ‘adrina dela dris.

2. nga nyebo lhoyi glingnas yongstsana

lho phyogs rgyalpo ‘aphags skyed bzhugs

bran dang ‘akhor γyog chosla dkar

dbyibs dang chalugs bdelegs ‘adug

lhona ‘abru sna ‘adzommo dg’a

skad cig ‘adrina dela dris.

3. nga nyebo nubkhyi glingnas yongstsana

nub phyogs rgyalpo spyan mig bzang bzhugs

bran dang ‘akhor γyog chosla dkar

dyibs dang chalugs bdelegs ‘adug

nubna sman sna ‘adzommo ‘adug

skad cig ‘adrina dela dris.

The Nyopas answer :

IV. B. l. When we came here from the eastern country,

Yul ‘akhor srung was king there in the East.

For the sake of their religion we may call his subjects and servants white.

Their shape and custom are good,

In the East there dwells the sun, the umbrella of the throne,

If you want to hear some news, ask him !

2. When we came here from the southern country,

‘aPhagsskyed was king there in the South.

For the sake of their religion we may call his subjects and servants white.

Their shape and custom are good.

In the South they enjoy all kinds of grain,

If you wish to hear some news, ask that !

3. When we came here from the western country,

sPyanmig bzang was king there in the West.

For the sake of their religion we may call his subjects and servants white,

Their shape and custom are good.

In the West there are all kinds of medicines,

If you wish to hear some news, ask them!

[APRIL, 1901. THE LADAKHI PRE-BUDDHIST MARRIAGE RITUAL. 141

4. ngacag nyebo rnams byanggi glingnas byongstsana

byang phyogs rgyalpo ‘aphags skyed bzhugs

bran dang ‘akhor γyog chosla dkar

dbyibs dang chalugs bdelegs ‘adug

byangna thsos sna ‘adzommo ‘adug

skad cig ‘adrina dela dris.

4. When we came here from the northern country,

‘a.Phagsskyed was king t.here in the North.

For the sake of their religion we may call his subjects and servants white.

Their shape and custom are good.

In the North there are all kinds of dyes,

If you wish to hear some news, ask them.

Notes.

A. 1, etc. cin da, ought to be spelt according to the views of Ladakhis ci mda, mda (or perhaps ‘ada) meaning ‘about.’ The names of the kings mean B. 1. protector ol the country. 2 and 4. the high-born one. 3. good eye. Verylikely the original name of 4 had been lost and that of 2 was inserted instead. Each verse may also have a seventh concluding line : ngacag nyebo rnamsla skadcha bshadrgyu med, we friends do not know any news; ‘adzommo = ‘adzompo, plentiful. Instead of bdeleqs the original has bdelags.

Notes.

A. 1, etc. White is the colour of the lhas and of all good things. B. As regards the products of the different countries, they are mentioned in about the same manner in Ladakhi Songs No. XV. Harvest festival at Skyurbuchan. They are perhaps more of a practical than of a mythological interest.

The three names, given in this song, do not seem to be of Tibetan origin. They are probably the Tibetan names of the Indian lôkapâlas. Though there can be no doubt as to the pre-buddhist origin of this song us a whole, the names of the kings may be later Lamaist interpolations. I am rather inclined to believe, that an ancient version of this song had the names of those kings, who actually reigned in the respective regions many years ago. In this connection it may be added, that in Song No. X., where the four points of the compass come in again, actual geographical kingdoms, for instance China and India, are mentioned. Regarding the names, given in IV., compare Grünwedel, Mythologie des Buddhismus, p. 181 ; spyanmig bzang, instead of mig mi bzang, is probably a corruption, as it does not correspond to the Indian virûpâksha.

Song N°. V.

A.

berrabs yin.

phyimas.

V. A. 1. shing stagpa kyerpa shugpa γsum

2. de γsum shing dang ma rdung shig

This is about the sticks.

The Nyopas say :

V. A. 1. The birch, the alp-willow and the cedar,

2. With sticks of tbese three kinds of wood do not beat us!

142 THE INDIAN ANTIQUARY. [APRIL, 1901.

3. de γsum shing dang rdung zerna

4. mgoyi ldem ‘achagna ldem ‘achag stong dang len

5. luskyi phe ralna pheral stong dang len

6. snyangyi γyu ‘achagna γyu ‘achag stong dang len

7. ‘oggi sga ‘achagna sga ‘achag stong dang len.

legs bsams dbanggi nyebo.

3. If you beat us with these three kinds of wood,

4. Breaking our helmets, you must return them a thousandfold,

5. Hurting our body, we shall return it a thousandfold,

6. Breaking our earrings, you must return them a thousandfold,

7. Breaking our saddles, you must return them a thousandfold !

Well thought, you miglity friends!

B.

nangmas landu

V. B. 1. bdaggi lagtu yodpai shing γyu lcang ldempa ‘adi

2. ‘akhrungsa rgyagar yuldu ‘akhrungs

3. thsarsa bodyul dbussu thsar

4. lcugstod serpo γserla yod

5. rtsemo sngonmo γyula byas

6. lhayi dbangpo rgya bzhinnas

7. lcags rgyabpai bk’a khrol cig

8. ‘adila bk’alung yang dagpa zhig γnang zerna

9. nyi zlai buzhig ‘abrangs

10. zla skar mdundu mchis

11. don ngan phugssu ‘akhrugs

12. phu ngan duba che

13. mgron ngan ringdu mchis

14. rinchen dbyugpas char cig phob

15. nam bz’a rincangyi ldurcig phob.

People of the house say :

V. B. 1. This elastic stick of the turquoise willow, which is in my hand,

2. Arose in India, its birth-place.

3. It grew in dBus in Tibet, its growing place.

4. Its flexible yellow upper half looks like gold.

5. Its blue tip was made of turquoise.

6. By the king of the gods, rGya bzhin,

7. [There was issued] an order to beat [with it].

8. If you ask, what holy prophecy he gave regarding it,

9. ‘A son of sun and moon may follow [you] !

10. The moon and the stars may be before [you] !

11. Bad speech ought lo be blamed.

12. If [the fire] is badly blown, there is much smoke.

13. A bad guest be far away !’

14. Now let go down a rain [of blows] with the costly sticks.

15. Beat them on their costly dress !

APRIL, 1901.] THE LADAKHI PRE-BUDDHIST MARRIAGE RITUAL. 143

Notes.

A. 4. ldem, said to be the golden hat of the Nyopas, is called ldem either on account of its stiff shape or because of its being an emblem (allegory) of the sun. As will have been noticed in the preceding songs, the Nyopas have to play the part of the sun god. 5. phe= phye, perf. tense, of ‘abyedpa, to open, thus ‘if you beat an opening of the body, « a wound,’ the verb being used as a noun.

B. 3. thsarsa, finishing place, when applied to men, it is the country, where maturity is attained. 4. γserla yod, it belongs to gold. 5. γyula byas, it was made [turned] into turquoise. 9. ‘abrangs = ‘abrengs, imperative tense. 10. instead of mdundu the original has dondu,instead of mchis it has ches and che ; the same must be said of mchis in B.13. nambz’a, Ladakhi for nabz’a. ldur perhaps the same as ldur ldur in Jäschke’s Dictionary.

Notes.

Because at the end of each verse in IV. the Nyopas failed to give a satisfactory account of the four countries, this is taken as a sufficient, cause to beat them. For their defence they recite V. A., VI. A., and VII. A., and find fault with the sticks. On the other hand the bride’s party praise their sticks as having been approved of by the king of heaven V. B., a king of the earth VI. B., and the king of the underworld [waters] in VII. B.

B. 9 and 10 is said to refer to the procession of the wedding party.

Song N°. VI.

A.

phyimas.

VI. A. 1. shing grama glangma lcangrna γsum

2. de γsum shing dang ma rdung shig

3. de γsum shing dang rdung zerna

4. mgoyi ldem ‘achagna ldem ‘achag stong dang len

5. luskyi phe ralna pheral stong dang len

6. snyangyi γyu ‘achagna γyu ‘achag stong dang len

7. ‘oggi sga ‘achagna sga ‘achag stong dang len.

legs bsams dbanggi nyebo.

The Nyopas say:-

VI.A. 1. The furze, the hill willow and the house willow,

2. With sticks of these three kinds of wood do not beat us!

3. If you beat us with these three kinds of wood.

4. Breaking our helmets, you must return them a thousandfold,

5. Hurting our body, we shall return it a thousandfold,

6. Breaking our earrings, you must return them a thousandfold !

7. Breaking our saddles, you must return them a thousandfold!

Well thought, you mighty friends !

B.

nangmas landu

VI. B. 1. bdaggi lagtu yodpai shing γyu lcang sngonpoi

2. skyedpa sngonpo γyula byas

3. lo ‘adab ‘adzamgling mi yul khyab

People of the house answer :

VI. B. 1. Of this green stick of the turquoise willow, which is in my hand,

2. The blue middle was made of turquoise.

3. The leaves of the tree cover all ‘aDzamgling the country of men.

144 THE INDIAN ANTIQUARY. [APRIL, 1901.

4. rje sabdag rgyalpo bzhinnas

5. lcags rgyabpai bk’a khrol cig.

6. ‘adila bk’alung yang dagpa zhig γnang zerna

7. rgyalpoi bu zhig ‘abrang

8. zlaskar mdundu mchis

9. don ngan phugssu ‘akhrugs

10. phu ngan duba che

11. mgron ngan ringdu mchis

l2. rinchen dbyugpas char cig phob

13. nam bz’a rincangyi ldur cig phob.

4. By the king, the owner and lord of the earth

5. [There was issued] an order to beat [with it].

6. If you ask, what holy prophecy he gave regarding it,

7. ‘A son of the king may follow [you] !

8. The moon and the stars may be before [you] !

9. Bad speech ought to be blamed,

10. If [the fire] is badly blown there is much smoke.

11. A bad guest be far away ! ‘

12. Now let go down a rain [of blows] with the costly sticks,

13. Beat them on their costly dress.

Notes.

In B. two lines seem to have been lost, because for all the rest this song is in conformity with V. B. or perhaps V. B. 2, 3 are later additions. In 4 the king is mentioned as representative of the earth, an older version may have had Mother skyabs bdun, compare Song N°. I. B. 2, ante, p. 134.

Notes.

B. 3. ‘aDzamgling or ‘aDzambugling. comprised originally Tibet and India, later on all Asia or the whole earth, in the latter sense it is to be taken here. It is the Indian Jambudvîpa.

Song No. VII.

A.

phyimas

VII. A. 1. shing starbu ‘umbu thserbu γsum

2. de γsum shing dang ma rdung shig

3. de γsum shing dang rdung zerna

4. mgoyi ldem ‘achagna ldem ‘achag stong dang len

5. luskyi phe ralna pheral stong dang len

6. snyangyi γyu ‘achagna sga ‘achag stong dang len

7. ‘oggi sga ‘achagna sga ‘achag stong dang len,

The Nyopas say :

VII. B. 1. ‘The walnut-tree, the tamariskand the thorn,

2. With sticks of these three kinds of wood do not beat us !

3. If you beat us with these three kinds of wood,

4. Breaking our helmets, you must, return them a thousandfold.

5. Hurting our body, we shall return it a thousandfold,

6. Breaking our earrings, you must return them a thousandfold,

7. Breaking our saddles, you must return them a thousandfold !

B.

nangmas

VII. B. 1. bdaggi lagtu yodpai shing γyu lcang sngonpoi

People of the house say :

VII, B. 1. Of this green stick of the turquoise willow, which is in my hand,

APRIL, 1901.] THE LADAKHI PRE-BUDDHIST MARRIAGE RITUAL. 145

2. rtsaba dkarpo dungla byas.

3. sbathag ‘og phyogs kluyul khyab

4. klurgyal lcogpo m’a gros zilchennas

5. lcags rgyabpai bk’a khrol cig

6. ‘adila bk’alung yang dagpa zhig γnang zerna

7. klu phranbu zhig ‘abrangs

8. yul thsa mdundu mchis

9. don ngan phugssu ‘akhrugs

10. phu ngan duba che

11. mgron ngan ringdu mchis

12. rinchen dbyugpas char cig phob.

13. nambz’a rincangyi ldur cig phob.

2. The white root was made of a shell.

3. The roots [of the tree] cover all the lower underworld.

4. By the wise and glorious lCogpo, King of the Underworld,

5. [There was issued] an order to beat [with it].

6. If you ask, what holy prophecy he gave regarding it,

7. ‘A young kLu may follow [you] !

8. The village idol may be before [you] !

9. Bad speech ought to he blamed.

10. If [the fire] is badly blown, there is much smoke.

11. A bad guest be far away!’

12. Now let go down a rain [of blows] with the costly sticks,

13. Beat them on their costly dress!

Notes.

VII. A. 1. ‘umbu = ‘ombu, tamarisk, B. 7 phran is generally used only of young animals. In 11 the original has song, go, instead of mchis, be. This fact is perhaps the best justification for my putting mchis in the place of che and ches of the original.

Notes.

If we look at V. B. 4, VI. B. 2, and VII. B. 2, we see, that the stick of the turquoise willow is identified with the tree of the world, which we find in so many mythologies. The roots of this tree cover the underworld, VII. B. 3, the leaves cover the earth VI. B. 3, and the top reaches stanglha.

Song N°. VIII.

A.

phyimas

VIII. A.1. skyaba zanthsan dang ‘ulu thsigs bcad dang yogpa snanag dang

2. de γsum shing dang ma rdung shig

3. de γsum shing dang rdung zerna

4. mgoyi ldem ‘achagna ldem ‘achag stong dang len

5. luskyi phe ralna pheral stong dang len

6. synangyi γyu ‘achagna γyu ‘achag stong dang len

7. ‘oggi sga ‘achagna sga ‘achag stong dang len.

The Nyopas say:-

VIII. A.l. The soup-spoon, the gravy-spoon and the black-nosed poker,

2. With these three sticks do not beat us!

3. If you beat us with these three sticks,

4. Breaking our helmets, you must return them a thousandfold,

5. Hurting our body, we shall return it a thousandfold,

6. Breaking our earrings, you must return them a thousandfold,

7. Breaking our saddles, you must return them a thousandfold !

146 THE INDIAN ANTIQUARY. [APRIL, 1901.

B.

nangmas lan ma shespas yang phyimas

VIII. B.1. nged nyebo rnamsla rdungbai shing zhig yod

shing hala ldempai shing zhig yod

shing hula ldempai shing zhig yod

shing rtsa ba γcigla rtsemo γsum

rtsemo γsumla yalga drug.

2. yalga dangpora

bya chen khyunggi thsangs

γser sgong ma bcagpa

bya thsangs ma bshigpa

bya de ma ‘agrogspa

shing de snamnas byon

de dang rdung mdzod cig

de dang rgyob mdzod cig

de dang rdung mdzodna

mgoyi ldem ‘achagnayang

ldem ‘achag stong meddo

luskyi phe ralna

pheral stong meddo

snyangyi γyu ‘achagnayang

γyu ‘achag stong meddo

‘oggi sga ‘achagnayang

sga ‘achag stong yang med.

3. yalga γnyisparu

byargyal rgodpoi thsangs

γyu sgong ma bcagpa

bya de ma ‘agrogspa

bya thsang ma bshigpa

shing de snamnas byon

de dang rdung mdzod cig, etc. (see v. 2).

Because the people of the house do not know what to answer, the Nyopas say :

VIII. B.1. A wood to beat us, friends, docs exist.

It is a wonderfully elastic wood,

It is a marvellously elastic wood.

There is a tree, the root of which has three stems.

These three stems have [together] six boughs.

2. On the first bough

There is the nest of the huge bird khyung.

Not breaking the golden egg,

Not destroying the bird’s nest,

Not frightening the bird,

Take a stick and come !

With this stick do beat us !

With this stick do whip us !

If you beat us with this stick,

Breaking our helmets,

You need not return them thousandfold.

Hurting our body,

We shall not return it a thousandfold.

Breaking our earrings,

You need not return them thousandfold.

Breaking our saddles,

You need not return them a thousandfold !

3. On the second bough

There is the nest of the wild eagle.

Not breaking the turquoise egg,

Not frightening the bird,

Not destroying the bird’s nest,

Take a stick and come !

With this stick do beat us! etc (see 2).

APRIL, 1901.] THE LADAKHI PRE-BUDDHIST MARRIAGE RITUAL. 147

4. yalga γsumparu

mgobo ldad dkar thsangs

dung sgong ma bcagpa

bya thsangs ma bshigpa

bya de ma ‘agrogspa

shing de snamnas shog

de dang rdung mdzodcig, etc.

5. yalga bzhiparu

glagmo mkhal dkar thsangs

dngul sgong ma bcagpa

bya thsangs ma bshigpa

bya de ma ‘agrogspa

shing de snamnas byon

de dang rdung mdzod cig, etc.

6. yalga lngaparu

ribya gongmoi thsangs

byur sgong ma bcagpa

bya thsangs ma bshigpa

bya de ma ‘agrogspa

shing de snamnas byon

de dang rdung mdzod cig, etc.

7. yalga drugparu

khraskya dkarmoi thsangs

lcags sgong ma bcagpa

bya thsangs ma bshigpa

bya de ma ‘agropspa

shing de snamnas byon

de dang rdung mdzodcig, etc.

4. On the third bough

There is the nest of the bird ‘white head.’

Not breaking the pearl-white egg,

Not destroying the bird’s nest,

Not frightening the bird,

Take a stick and come !

With this stick do beat us! etc.

5. On the fourth bough

There is the nest of the eagle ‘white kidney.’

Not breaking the silver egg.

Not destroying the bird’s nest,

Not frightening the bird,

Take a stick and come!

With this stick do beat us! etc.

6. On the fifth bough

There is the nest of the snow partridge,

Not breaking the coral egg,

Not destroying the bird’s nest,

Not frightening the bird,

Take a stick and come!

With this stick do beat us! etc.

7. On the sixth bough

There is the nest of the white falcon.

Not breaking the iron egg.

Not destroying the bird’s nest,

Not frightening the bird,

Take a stick and come !

With this stick do beat us! etc.

Notes.

A. 1. The expressions given here are colloquial Lower Ladakhi for soup-spoon, table-spoon and poker. B. 1. hala = halas, hula the same as kala, rtsemo means originally ‘top.’ 2. sgong = sgonga, egg. The termination pa in bcagpa, bshigpa and ‘agrogspa is Ladakhi for par, the supine being used here in a gerundial sense. 5. mkhal dkar, white kidney, i. e., the feathers over the kidney are white, 6. ribya, another name of the same bird is lhabya.

Notes.

This song seems to contain a further description of the tree of the world. It is remarkable that the tree of the world is said to have six boughs, for I have not yet met with the number six in other books relating to Bonpa mythology. In this connection I should like to mention that according to the Edda there are six animals (a goat and five stags) feeding on the leaves of the tree of the world and that the Edda (not Simrock) speaks of six worlds.

148 THE INDIAN ANTIQUARY. [APRIL, 1901.

Song N°. IX.

A.

IX. A. 1. khyed nyebo me ma khrul

2. da nang yongba gangnas yongs

3. ‘agroba nyidcag gangdu ‘agro

4. sdodpai bde lce gangna yod

5. dgospai skudon sula yod

6. γzhungyul ‘adiru cila byon.

IX. A. 1. Now, friends, do not let the fire fall down !

2. Now, you, who enter, from where where do you come?

3. Then, where will you go to?

4. Where will you be pleased to sit down?

5. For whose sake do you come?

6. Why did you come here into the middle of the village?

B.

Phyimas.

IX. B. 1. yong da ngazha sharphyogs bdechen glingnas yongs.

2. ‘agro da ngazha nubphyogs urgyan glingdu ‘agro

3. sdodpai bdelce de sa γnas ‘adina yod

4. dgospai skudon ni γzhungyul ‘adina yod.

legs bsams dbanggi nyebo.

The Nyopas say:

IX. B. 1. We come from a happy country in the East,

2. We go to the country of the paradise in the West.

3. We shall be pleased to sit down here.

4. Our·aim is here in the middle of village.

Well thought, you mighty friends !

Notes.

A. l. me ma khrul, do not let the fire fall down, proverbial expression, for ‘do not break down now, show your ingenuity !’ 4. The original has sula instead of gangna, the lines 4 and 5 having been confounded. B. 2. urgyan, here in Lower Ladakh is understood to mean either Padmasambhava or the ‘Western Paradise.’ 1 and 2 again show, plainly, that the Nyopas have to play the part of the sun.

Notes.

This song IX. is generally the conclusion of the scene before the house, the Nyopas are invited to enter and tell the name of the girl. Then the bridal party, the Nyopas and the whole village sit down for a great feast, when the Chang glu (the continuation of the wedding song, given above) is sung. On the following morning a Buddhist Lama appears and reads a scripture portion from an orthodox Buddhist book. People tell me that he may read anything, he likes, because neither the Lama nor the bride are able to grasp the meaning, and the chief thing is the correct pronunciation. Then the bride and the Nyopas mount their horses and ride to the house of the bridegroom, where another feast is given.

Conclusion.

Having thus arrived at the end of the first intelligible half of the wedding ritual, it will be as well to add a few words about the other less intelligible half, though the latter is not yet ready for publication. After a study of the verses contained in it, which can be understood fairly well, I have come to the conclusion that the so-called second half of the ritual is not the continuation of the first ; but a composition apart. It is in reality a new ritual dating from the time of the introduction of Buddhism into Ladakh, and is an attempt to replace the ancient Bonpa ritual by another, which, though not entirely Lamaist, tries to introduce Buddhist ideas by placing them side by side with Bonpa ideas. That this

APRIL, 1901.] THE LADAKHI PRE-BUDDHIST MARRIAGE RITUAL. 149

compromise has proved a failure, is shown by the fact that people have never been able to grasp it in full and are now on the point of abandoning it altogether.

As might have been expected, my interpretation of the Kêsar-Myths has been criticised4 as being unscientific. There can be no doubt that there are no scientific means available to prove the solar origin of many a hero. It is so much easier to prove the descent of all of thorn from great ancestors. However, a certain amouut of commonsense, now and then speaks in favour of a solar descent. In my notes to Wedding Song N°. I., I said, that the name of the northern Lôka, pâlâ-Donyodgruba could not well be explained as a manifestation of the sun, but my critics have helped me to bring him into the system. From the Kêsar-Myths we learn, that Kêsar, the supposed spring-hero, had a different name before his birth on earth, that is, during winter. Then, whilst in heaven, he was called Dongrub. ‘the fulfiller of the aim.’ This name is, so to say, a prophecy, it indicates the future doings of the hero. There can be no doubt that the year and the day have certain parallels, and the winter of the year corresponds to the night of the day. Is it wonderful then, that the Lôkapâla of the north (i. e., the place where the sun is during night) should have the same name as the spring-god during winter? Donyodgrubpa means ‘the fulfiller of the aim, he has.’ The original name Dongrub was changed into a four-syllabled one simply to bring it into accordance with the four-syllabled names of the other Lôkapâlas. Thus we see, that the name of the supposed spring-hero Kêsar, before his entering into action, is in accordance with the name of the sun before his starting his day’s work. Does this fact not suggest a possible solar·origin of Kêsar ?

Hitherto certain schools especially have considered it scientific to compare the mythologies of certain nations only with those of such nations as are related to them by language. However, religion overleaps the barriers of linguistic relationship, and there is no necessity to believe that a solar mythology had been worked out by a single nation and was carried to others by her missionaries. On the coutrary, solar mythologies may have arisen in many countries and later on the different nations have borrowed one from the other.5 The existence of the Nibelungensage not only among the Uigurs, but also among the Tibetans is an established fact. Compare G. N. Potanin : Vostocnyje motivy v srednevekovym jevropejskim epose. Moskau, 1899.

Retour en haut

Notes :

1  The orthography of the songs has been brought into accordance with that of Ladakhi letter writing. In all doubtful cases, however, the spelling of the first MS. will be given.

2 A chungba Is indicated by an apostrophe.

3 Having been questioned meanwhile by Regierungsrat Dr. E. Schlagintweit about the equation Kesar = skyegsar, I wish to state the following facts: This equation was not worked out by myself, but received ready made from the natives, who explain the name in this way. According to a letter from Rev. Fr. Peter, Kyelang, the popular pronunciation of the same name is Kyesar in Lahoul. In a collection of popular songs which I received from Phyang three days ago, tho king’s name is invariably spelled Kyesar. In Leh ordinary people pronounce the name Kesar, but educated people, who know the myths from the epos, pronounce it Gesar. All the changes from Kyesar to Gesar can be accounted for, see my Ladâkhî Grammar, Introduction, Kyirmo=yirmo.

4 This remark refers only to private letters from certain professors ; if I had had the pleasure of seeing Prof. Dr. Grünwedel’s most interesting review of the Kesar Myth [published in the Globus, August, 1900], I should certainly have modified my expresions.

5 Just like the Wandermärchen.

 

   Envoyer l'article en PDF   

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse de messagerie ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Ce site utilise Akismet pour réduire les indésirables. En savoir plus sur comment les données de vos commentaires sont utilisées.