|Break of Dawn|
Today's is a guest blog by Rory Lindsay. Although I gave it a title and a frontispiece, everything else is in his words and not mine:
Many thanks to Dan for drawing our attention to the collected works of Grub chen Chos kyi rin chen (BDRC: W3CN2940) and for allowing me to be a guest blogger. This is a fascinating collection that I had not seen until now. It seems, however, that it was not authored by the banished Song emperor (as exciting as that would have been!), but rather by a later Sa skya pa scholar.
The first clue appeared while I was reading through volume three. This volume begins with a text titled Gzhan phan 'od zer gyi ngag 'don lag len gzhan phan gsal ba, which concerns Rje btsun Grags pa rgyal mtshan's (1147–1216) Kun rig gi cho ga gzhan phan 'od zer, an influential work detailing the funerary rites to be performed based on the Sarvadurgatipariśodhana Tantra. Given that my doctoral dissertation examines the Gzhan phan 'od zer and related texts, I started here. I soon discovered that it quotes Ngor chen Kun dga' bzang po's (1382–1456) Dpal kun rig gzhan phan mtha' yas on folio 12a: “gzhan phan mtha' yas las/ de nas phyag rgya bzhi'i rgyas gdab pa ni….” This passage appears (with some variants) on pg. 65 of the Sde dge edition of the Gzhan phan mtha' yas (see volume 4 of Ngor chen's collected works: BDRC: W11577). Since Ngor chen was born after the Gongdi Emperor’s passing, it would seem that we have another author on our hands.
After discussing this with Dan, I found references to a Grub chen Chos kyi rin chen in Jan-Ulrich Sobisch's “The 'Records of Teachings Received' in the Collected Works of A mes zhabs: An Untapped Source for the Study of Sa skya pa Biographies,” which is included in Tibet, Past and Present: Proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of the International Association of Tibetan Studies. Sobisch notes on pg. 176 that Chos kyi rin chen (aka Byams pa Chos kyi rin chen) was from Rdza zhul and was the founder of Lo phu dgon. He is included in a line that traces back to the Sa skya pa Rdzong pa Kun dga' rgyal mtshan (1382–1446), though his precise dates are not given.
After speaking further with Dan, he noted that some of the colophons in the collection reference the place name Lo phu, which would appear to confirm that this collection belongs not to the exiled emperor, but to the later Sa skya pa scholar Grub chen Chos kyi rin chen.
PhD Candidate, Department of South Asian Studies