Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Puzzle Solved! Another Padampa Metaphor for Counterintuitive Klesha Therapeutics Identified

The White Cliffs of Dover


“[There is something that] thoroughly dries out when placed in water.”   

Sometimes when all your efforts fail, with time and patience the answer can come knocking on your door, dropping by unexpectedly without calling first. If you doubt this could happen, read on...


I could easily count the number of times a bit of chemical knowledge has actually helped me in life and in Tibetology on fewer fingers than I have on one hand. If I’m exaggerating, it isn’t by much. Once I was excited to discover that some kinds of adhesives used to glue labels on bottles, bottles that you would like to reuse, can be removed with ease if you rub them with oil. For this knowledge, and of course for a lot more, I am indebted to the love of my life, who once did a master’s thesis in Chemistry before turning to more worthy pursuits in the humanities.  

Another time I was surprised to find out that a verse in a very famous work by Sakya Pandita, in order to achieve the most basic understand of it, requires knowledge of one remarkable chemical reaction marked by a dramaticly unexpected change of color. I talked about that earlier (reference below). 

This time let’s talk about a different example, drawn from a similar genre of Tibetan and Indian Buddhist literature. Somehow the two (or 3) chemistry experiments have a surprising connector running between them that we might someday understand better, if you decide to go into it more deeply. A rougher understanding may suffice for now.

This may beg for a little background. Padampa himself and the Zhijé Collection were frequent subjects of these Tibeto-logic blogs, so I assume you know of them. There is a particular one among the minor dialogues (zhu-lan) of the ZC that never received any attention during the first 36 years after its publication.* Like the others it is supposed to serve as a record of Kunga’s dialogues with Padampa in Tingri in the earliest decades of the 12th century. If it doesn’t truly have the form of a dialogue as many of the others do, it may be due to the reorganization of Kunga’s notes according to subject, done by Kunga’s student Patsab. 

(*We might say that not even in Tibetan sources is it ever mentioned to the best of my ways of knowing, if it were not for one commentarial passage of ca. 1200 by Tenné in the ZC, its content paraphrased in Martin's essay, p. 205).

This minor dialogue was devoted to an immensely intriguing subject: a counterintuitive method employed by Padampa, incidentally making use of an equally intriguing Tibetan term gya-log that can be defined, understood and translated only with difficulty, as it occurs in medical and Dzogchen contexts (with the spelling ja-log) as well.  At the time the article came out, only one version of the text had been made available in published form. However, just a few weeks ago an alternative manuscript version (unpublished!) showed up in BDRC, so now we can at least check and verify the readings in a way that could not be done before (the edited text is appended below).

So let’s go back to those mysterious words of Padampa we opened with:

“[There is something that] thoroughly dries out when placed in water.”


Without stalling for dramatic effect, right away I can tell you, and even try to demonstrate my claim, that Padampa is talking about lime, and by lime I mean the mineral, not the fruit. This occurred to me for the first time ever only a few days ago, when my eyes fell on an article by Jürgen Hanneder in the Indo-Iranian Journal (listed below). I am myself 100% sure of it, but since I assume you are not convinced I would first ask you to watch a free online video. It will make you a believer in a minute and a half. Before we are done I expect we will all gain a new respect for the meaning of sub-lime-ation.

Just go here and watch the video entitled 

Quicklime and Water Reaction.” 

If the link doesn’t work for you do a video search using these or similar words.

The website will immediately suggest more videos about lime, and you might want to watch some of those, too.

Trying to bring this blog to an quick end, I will just give my translations of two verses that may or may not directly foreground Padampa’s mysterious line about counterintuitive methods he calls gya-log. For the first of them, from a work put together by Ravigupta, I’d like to ask you to read Hanneder’s excellent essay. I have no arguments with it worth mentioning, and I much recommend its arguments and translations. If only to avoid the remote possibility of copyright infringement, I give my own very differently sounding translation, emphasizing its Buddhist technical terms as understood in Tibetan Buddhist sources. As a Tibeto-centric eccentric I am unlikely to know better.


It is just like the quicklime that becomes slaked lime,

when you sprinkle it with water it bursts into pieces.

So it is when the water of contemplative absorption is sprinkled on

the afflictive emotional states (kleshas) in their latent forms,

incinerated in the fire of transcendent insight.

I’m not very attached to my hasty paraphrase/translation of what has to be regarded as a rather technical (on both Buddhist and industrial sides of the equation) verse, and invite corrections. I was no doubt too much influenced by the Tibetan. I attempt to achieve greater clarity in separating out the object of comparison (my lines 1-2) from the thing to be compared (my lines 3-5). I take the entire verse to be an example of what Indian poetics (kāvya) knows as sahokti (ལྷནཅིག་བརྗོད་པ་) something like two coordinated paralleled passages (A, B and C individually bear comparison with X, Y and Z; i.e., A=X, B=Y, and C=Z). I turned the original order on its head. The quicklime is made by fire to begin with (this part of the process seems to be as missing in the verse as it is presupposed), and fire reappears at the end of the process after mixing with water, although here it is the explosiveness and not the heat that is emphasized in the first place. I take the rdo-bsregs, literally burnt [lime-]stone, to mean the quicklime (calcium oxide), while rdo-thal (Skt. sudhā) means slaked lime (calcium hydroxide), if I’m not entirely confused, if I’ve only succeeded in fomenting confusion in the world, as if that would be a worthy accomplishment in a world so full of it.

Where was I? Not to pretend to do any thinking for you, here is the other verse I promised to supply, one by Āryadeva, although it was supplied already long ago (Martin’s essay, p. 208, with refs. to other translations):

When mustard is mixed with mineral powders

a different color is produced.

In a similar way the wise know the Dharma Realm

through the workings of wisdom and means.

Actually, instead of mustard the translation ought to read curcumin, and in place of mineral powders, slaked lime (or a dilution of the same known as lime water. And do notice that another verse here makes reference to the alchemical aim of aurifaction).

To explain this verse, go to the link by clicking on this title:

Why does turmeric water turn red after adding slaked lime ?

Hint: If the link doesn't work try doing your own video search using some kind of wording like “calcium hydroxide” (or slaked lime) combined with “curcumin” (or turmeric). That should work. If you prefer to read about it, go to Karthikeyan’s article, listed below.

Despite some differences, this chemistry experiment more closely resembles the one in Sakya Pandita’s verse. So arguably we can now point out three distinct chemical processes or experiments used in Buddhist spirituality as symbols or metaphors, call them whichever you like. This ought to carry meaning for Buddhism and science interchanges that are taking place today, you think? What I suppose I mean is, we ought to find out more about how material transformational processes of various kinds — physics, chemistry, you name it — may or may not track with internal psycho-spiritual transformations. The results of such studies ought to be enlightening. 

On the other hand, Padampa in the same text promises, on the premise that internal fixes of the meditative kinds result in “objective” change out there in the world (and vice versa, too; external applications may provoke inner changes):

རིག་པ་དུམ་བུར་མཐུད་ན། ཐ་མལ་སྣང་བ་འགྱུར།


which is to say, 


“If you piece together the puzzle of awareness,

ordinary everyday appearances are transformed.”


§  §  §

Publication Alerts

Dorn Carran, John Hughes, Alick Leslie, & Craig Kennedy, “A Short History of the Use of Lime as a Building Material beyond Europe and North America,” International Journal of Architectural Heritage, vol. 6, no. 2 (2011), pp. 117-146. This is cited in Hanneder's essay, but notice it is available online without payment as a PDF, all you have to do is Schmoogle it.

Michael Hahn, Ravigupta's Āryākoṣa: A Contribution to the Early History of Indian Niti Literature, ed. by Lata Mahesh Deokar & Johannes Schneider, Aditya Prakashan (New Delhi 2019). I haven’t actually seen this yet, although I’ve seen the set of articles that were published during the author’s lifetime and this posthumously published work was based on them.

Jürgen Hanneder, “Lime Burning as a Religious Metaphor in Buddhist India,” Indo-Iranian Journal, vol. 64 (2021), pp. 1-9.  This may be available online through a subscribing institution.

T. Karthikeyan, “Why Does Turmeric Water Mixed with Quicklime Turn Red?” The Hindu (September 9, 2010):

Quicklime is chemically a strong alkali (base). Hence, exposure of turmeric powder or turmeric water to quick lime neutralizes any of the two phenolic protons and triggers the conversion of the original benzenoid structure with yellow appearance into a quinonoid structure with red colour. Red colour has higher wavelength than yellow. That is why turmeric water, when mixed with quicklime, turns red.”

D. Martin, “Crazy Wisdom in Moderation: Padampa Sangyé”s Use of Counterintuitive Methods in Dealing with Negative Mental States,” contained in: Y. Bentor and M. Shahar, eds, Chinese and Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism, Brill (Leiden 2017), pp. 193-214. Maybe available online.

Negi dictionary — J.S. Negi, Tibetan Sanskrit Dictionary (Bod skad dang legs sbyar gyi tshig mdzod chen mo), Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (Sarnath 1993-2005), in 16 volumes.

ZCK — Zhi-byed-kyi Chos-skor. TBRC no. W3CN25705, posted in 2021.

Zhijé Collection (ZC) —   Kun-dga', et al., The Tradition of Pha Dampa Sangyas:  A Treasured Collection of His Teachings Transmitted by T[h]ug[s]-sras Kun-dga', Kunsang Tobgey (Thimphu, Bhutan 1979), in 5 volumes, with English preface by Barbara N. Aziz.

On the other chemistry experiment found in a Sakya Pandita verse (verse 15 or 17 depending on the edition), see an earlier blog with the title “Tantra's Ineluctible Logic,” posted November 8, 2013.

You can find an even earlier discussion of the same Sakya Pandita verse in “Monkey Paw, Salty River,” posted August 1, 2009, but do pay attention to the comments section.  

The original verse (there really aren’t textual variants worth mentioning) reads like this:





On removing stubborn adhesives with ease, see this:


There are two refs. listed under "rdo-thal" in the Negi dictionary, but both use it in the meaning of ‘plaster’.  I have a funny story to tell about plaster from the Gunla month ‘birthday of all the caityas’ celebration in Nepal. We were with our best Newar friend, a real scholar of Buddhism named S.R.S., when a European, another real scholar guaranteed to know a lot about caityas came along. He was there with his Newar assistant. I thought to introduce the two of them, knowing they had interests in common. But that idea was forever abandoned when the European shouted to his assistant, “Stop them! Beat them!” There was really only one person he could have meant, a rather old ethnically Tibetan man was hopping from one stone caitya to the next, anointing each of them with a dollop of whitewash. I assure you, no beating took place, and the old man disappeared as quickly as he had appeared. The European turned to us apologetically, telling us that the Newars take such good care of their stone caityas, but then Tibetans come along and make them dirty. My search for slaked lime (read further on below) turned up one interesting passage that justifies the whitewashing of caityas as an act of reverence, in fact, as a way of keeping them clean. (Tibeto-logicians can check for themselves the Vinaya passage I’ve paste in later, located with the help of a BDRC search, of course.) You can see the whitewash all around the great Stūpa of Swayambhunath in our frontispiece. For such giant stūpas wealthy donors from time to time put up the necessary funding to have this whitewashing done. But if you’ve visited the Newar Bahals in Kathmandu you would also know that some of the smaller sized stone caityas have become like white ghosts, irregularly rounded blobs of white stuff so unrecognizable that some mistake them for Shiva lingams. Since many of these caityas have Buddha Images in niches on their sides, often a lot of trouble is taken to keep them, and only them, from being covered over by the plaster. But I have seen cases where you would need a flashlight, or most of your forearm inserted into the hole, to know anything was there at all. 


And another interesting use of plaster for purposes of spirituality is the practice of voluntary solitary confinement. In this form of retreat, the door is supposed to be plastered shut, and only opened when the set period of time for mantra repetition and visualizations of divine forms of Buddha  is completed, often a period of 3 or even 9 years. This has a distinctly different meaning than the English expression ‘getting plastered’ has today.


Which reminds me, if you are in an experimental mood, you might try a search of Kanjur and Tanjur texts for “rdo-thal.” When I did this using the Vienna site it revealed about 16 results in the Kanjur, one of them from the Vinaya* passage just mentioned, with lime plaster being used on stūpas as an adornment (Newars apparently still practice this, not just Tibetans). 

(*The Vinaya text is this one:  Vinayottaragrantha ('Dul ba gzhung bla ma).  Tôh. no. 7, vol. NA, folios 1v.1-92r.7; vol. PA, folios 1v.1-313r.5.)

In general, the Kanjur materials seem to know rdo-thal primarily as a substance to be smeared on something as part of the building process, whether on walls, artificial ponds, or stūpas. The Blessed One himself had advice about construction materials used in making stūpas.

Turning to the Tanjur, matters get more complicated as there are 70 results.  So if you are ready to deal with all of that information have an enjoyable time with it.

Note: For what I call the Vienna site (rKTs), check our sidebar under the section entitled "Scriptural Searches." I send you there because it links alternative search sites, and not just the one from Vienna.

rKTs n°: - D3995


mdo 'grel (mdo), chi 1b-61a (vol. 115), page. 25B

དེའི་དབང་གིས་ཀྱང་བྱ་བ་དག་ལ་འཇུག་གོ། །དེ་མེད་པར་ཡང་རིས་མཐུན་པ་བཞིན་དུ་མངོན་པར་འགྲུབ་པ་མ་ཡིན་གྱི། གཟུགས་མེད་པར་ཡང་གཟུགས་མེད་པ་དག་ཏུ་མི་མངོན་པར་འགྲུབ་པར་འགྱུར་རོ། །མིང་གི་རྒྱུན་ལ་བརྟེན་ནས་རིས་མཐུན་པ་གཞན་དག་ཏུ་སྔོན་མ་བྱུང་བའི་གཟུགས་ཀྱི་རྒྱུན་ལེན་་པར་བྱེད་ཀྱི། གཟུགས་ཀྱི་རྒྱུན་ནི་སྔོན་མ་བྱུང་བའི་མིང་གི་རྒྱུན་ལེན་པར་བྱེད་པ་མ་ཡིན་ནོ། །གང་ཡང་འབྱུང་བ་རྒྱུར་བྱས་པའི་གཟུགས་སྐྱེས་པ་དག་ཇི་ལྟར་རྣམ་པར་ཤེས་པའི་རྐྱེན་གྱིས་ཡིན་ཞེ་ན། གལ་ཏེ་འབྱུང་བ་དང་འབྱུང་བ་ལ་བརྟེན་པའི་གཟུགས་རྣམས་ལས་ཀྱིས་ཡོངས་སུ་བསྒོས་པའི་་རྣམ་པར་ཤེས་པ་ལ་བརྟེན་ནས་སྐྱེ་ན། འདིར་འགལ་བ་ཅི་ཡོད། འབྱུང་བ་དང་ཐ་དད་པ་མེད་པར་དེ་སྐྱེ་བ་ན་འབྱུང་བ་ལས་གྱུར་པ་ཞེས་བྱ་སྟེ། དེ་འཛིན་པ་དང ། འཕྲོག་པ་དང ། ཡོངས་སུ་གྱུར་ན་དེ་འཛིན་པ་ལ་སོགས་པ་ཡོད་པའི་ཕྱིར་རོ། །རྣམ་པར་ཤེས་པའི་རྐྱེན་གྱིས་མིང་ནི་རེ་ཞིག་རིགས་གྲང་ན། མཚན་ཉིད་མི་མཐུན་པ་དག་རྣམ་པར་ཤེས་པ་ལས་ཇི་ལྟར་སྐྱེ་ཞེ་ན། འདི་ནི་བརྒལ་དུ་མེད་པ་ལ་རྒོལ་བ་ཡིན་ཏེ། འཇིག་རྟེན་དང་བསྟན་བཅོས་ལས་ཀྱང་མཚན་ཉིད་མི་མཐུན་པའི་རྒྱུ་ལས་ཀྱང་འབྲས་བུ་འབྱུང་བ་དེ་དག་གྲུབ་པ་ཡིན་ནོ། །རེ་ཞིག་འཇིག་རྟེན་ན་དབང་པོ་དང་དོན་གཉིས་ལས་བདེ་བ་དང ། སྡུག་་བསྔལ་སྐྱེ་བ་དང ། བརྡབས་པ་ལས་སྒྲ་དང ། རཝ་ལས་འདམ་བུ་དང ། མེ་དང་ཤིང་ལས་དུ་བ་དང ། རྡོ་ཐལ་དང་ཆུ་ལས་མེ་དང ། ཀླུའི་སེམས་ཀྱི་མཐུས་ཆུ་དང་དེ་ལ་སོགས་པའོ། །

rKTs n°: - D3996
mdo 'grel (mdo), chi 61b-234a (vol. 115)
page. 140B
འདི་ལ་ཡང་རིགས་ཐ་དད་པ་ཡོད་པ་ཡིན་ཏེ། མེ་ནི་དྲོ་བའི་བདག་ཉིད་ཀྱི་མེ་ཡིན་ནོ། །ཤིང་ནི་དུ་བ་མ་ཡིན་གྱི་དུ་བའི་རིགས་ཡིན་ནོ། རྡོ་ཐལ་དང་ཆུ་ལས་མེ་དང་ཞེས་བྱ་བ་ཅི་ཞེ་ན། སྐྱེ་ཞེས་བྱ་བའི་སྐབས་དང་སྦྱར་རོ། །འདི་ལ་ཡང་འབྱུང་བའི་རིགས་ཐ་དད་པའི་ཕྱིར་མཚན་ཉིད་མི་་མཐུན་པ་ཉིད་གྲུབ་པ་ཡིན་ཏེ། །རྡོ་ཐལ་དང་ཆུ་གཉིས་འབྱུང་བ་གཞན་ཡིན་པའི་ཕྱིར་རོ། །ཀླུའི་སེམས་ཀྱི་མཐུས་ཆུ་དང་ཞེས་བྱ་བ་ཅི་ཞེ་ན་སྐྱེ་ཞེས་བྱ་བའི་སྐབས་དང་སྦྱར་ཏེ། །ཆུ་ནི་ཀླུ་ལ་སློང་ངོ་ཞེས་བྱ་བར་གྲུབ་པ་ཡིན་ནོ། །

rKTs n°: - D4069


mdo 'grel (sems tsam), si 139b-301a (vol. 137), page. 287B

ཞེས་བྱ་བ་རྒྱ་ཆེར་བསྟན་པ་ཡིན་ནོ། །གདུལ་བ་བག་མེད་པ་རྣམས་ནི་སྐྱོ་བར་བྱེད་པས་གདུང་བར་བྱེད་པ་ཡིན་ནོ། །རྡོ་ཐལ་གྱི་རྡོ་མེས་བསྲེགས་པ་ནི་ཇི་ལྟར་རྡོ་ཐལ་གྱི་རྡོ་མེས་བསྲེགས་པ་ཆོས་འཇིག་པར་བྱེད་པ་དེ་བཞིན་དུ། ཉོན་མོངས་པའི་བག་ལ་ཉལ་གྱི་རྡོ་ཞེས་བྱ་བ་ལོག་པའི་ལས་ཀྱི་མཐའ་་དང་རྒྱ་ཆེར་འབྱུང་བ་ཡིན་ནོ། །དེ་བཞིན་དུ་མེལ་ཚེ་བ་སོ་སོར་མི་རྟོག་པ་དང ། རོལ་མོ་མཁན་ཞེས་བྱ་བ་རྒྱ་ཆེར་འབྱུང་བ་ཡིན་ནོ། །འཆོས་པ་ནི་ཚར་གཅོད་པ་ཞེས་བྱ་བའི་ཐ་ཚིག་གོ། །

rKTs n°: - D1180


rgyud 'grel, ka 1b1-126a7 (vol. 2), page. 30A

དེ་ལྟར་འཇིག་རྟེན་པའི་ཀུན་རྫོབ་ཀྱིས་རྟེན་ཅིང་འབྲེལ་བར་འབྱུང་བའི་ཚུལ་གྱིས་འདི་ཐོབ་ནས་འདི་འབྱུང་སྟེ།ཡུང་བ་དང་རྡོ་ཐལ་གྱི་སྦྱོར་བ་ལས་དམར་བ་ཉིད་བཞིན་དུ་ལས་ཐམས་ཅད་བསྒྲུབ་པ་ལ་རིག་པར་བྱའོ།།རྣལ་འབྱོར་པ་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་སངས་རྒྱས་སོ་ཞེས་པའི་ང་རྒྱལ་གྱིས་ནི་མ་ཡིན་ནོ་ཞེས་པ་ལས་སྒྲུབ་པའི་ངེས་པའོ་ཞེས་པ་ཀྱེའི་རྡོ་རྗེའི་འགྲེལ་པ་དྲུག་སྟོང་པར་སྔགས་ཀྱི་རིགས་ཀྱི་ལེའུ་ལས་རབ་འབྱམ་སྒྲུབ་པའི་ཡོངས་སུ་བཅད་པ་སྟེ་དྲུག་པའོ།། །། 

A few interestingly relevant vocabulary items to watch out for

སྐྱང་ནུལ་—SKYANG NUL  plaster.  Blaṅ 298.3. zhal ba. Btsan-lha.  gyang sogs la zhal ba byugs pa lta bu.  Utpal 30.4.  Skt. lepa.  Mvy. 6671 (where there are a number of Tibetan equivalents for lepa).  phyags brdar dang bskyang nul legs par byas te.  Zhi-byed Coll. I 115.4.  zhal zhal.  Dbus-pa no. 561.  Lcang-skya.  See rkyang nul, etc.  See rnyeng.

འདག་པ་འབྱར་བ་—'DAG PA 'BYAR BA  to apply plaster, to go into a solitary retreat. Also, 'dag 'byar.  immured.  It literally means that 'plaster' ('dag[ pa]) has been 'applied' to the apertures of the chamber in order to hold a sealed retreat.

ཞལ་ཞལ་—ZHAL ZHAL  zhal ba.  Btsan-lha.  kun la snyoms pa'i zhal zhal bya.  'Jig-rten-mgon-po, Bka'-'bum (2001) I 35.1. Frequent in canonical texts for 'plaster' (presumably of the kind that makes use of slaked lime). The bi-syllabic form zha-la also occurs.

Appendix - Text of the Gya log gnad kyi skor.

Gya log gnad kyi skor.  Marked as belonging to the Covering Leaves section.  

A note of explanation: This complete transcription has been corrected against the original cursive manuscript of ZCK as well as against ZC (ZC has two unique lines missing in ZCK). If there are square-bracketed single letters within a syllable, that means you can accept or reject it according to what makes better sense to you. If a full syllable or more appears in square brackets and is marked with "~" ('alternative'), that means one of the two versions of the text has this different reading, which again may be accepted or rejected according to what makes better sense to you. There are no special philological aims in this type of text edition apart from helping the reader understand it better; I do not care to establish which is earlier or better (ZC is no doubt earlier, as the manuscript behind the publication was inscribed in ca. 1245. While pending further investigation my best guess is that the ZCK is 14th century). For present purposes it doesn’t matter which reading belongs to which text. The punctuation has been regularized, with a shad punctuation coming after every conditional clause as I believe this will assist the reader. The “xxx” stands in place of a missing or illegible syllable.

bla ma dam pa rnams la phyag 'tshal lo // 

gya log gnad kyi gd[am]s pa la / 

nad gzhi lus zungs su bsgyur ba la / bskam thag chu nang du gcad pa / 

gsal lo khas [~gsol ba mas] kyi[s] btab na / byin brlabs yas kyi[s] 'jug / 

rang don sngon la byas nas [~pas] / gzhan don rjes la 'byung / 

ma yengs nyams su blang na / yengs med rgyud la 'char / 

rig pa phyi ru brgyang na / gnyis 'dzin nang du 'jig / 

sel rgyu la ma zhugs na / 'bras bu rjes la mi bslu / 

nyon mongs nang du bsal na[s] / sdug bsngal phyi ru skam[s] / 

snang ba sgyu ma[r] go na / bya[r] m[y]ed rgyud las skye / 

rig pa phyi ru gcun [~chun] na / 'du ba nang du sel / 

rang xxx [~bsags] phyi ru bkye [~skye] na / gzhan bsag nang du [b]sdud [~'du] / 

gdam[s] ngag rang la yod na / dam chos gzhan gyi[s] 'char  [~'chad] / 

smra brjod nang du bskung [~skyungs] na / phyi ru skyon dang bral / 

rten 'brel lus la [b]sgrigs na / nyams myong sems la skye / 

phyi ru bden m[y]ed go na / nang du 'dzin byed 'jig / 

rig pa dum bur mthud na / tha mal snang ba 'gyur / 

zhen pa phyi nas log na / rig pa nang nas 'char / 

[following line in ZC only:]

spyod pa btsan dod byas na / nyams myong thog babs 'char /

spros pa phyi ru bcad na / gzung 'dzin nang du grol / 

'du 'dzi phyi ru bsk[y]ung[s] na / dge sbyor nang du 'phel / 

'dod pa yid la zhig na / bde ba rgyud la skye / 

lta rtog[s] phyi ru byas na / go ba nang du [~nas] 'char / 

rig pa rten dang bral na / tshogs drug rang sar grol / 

nyon mongs nang du bcoms na / phyi ru dgra dang bral / 

go cha sems la gon na / brtson 'grus lus la skye / 

rig pa nang du dangs na / rten 'brel phyi ru 'char / 

[the following line in ZC only:]

nyon mongs nang du bcom na phyi ru dgra dang bral /

'khor ba'i mtshang phyi ru go na / zhen pa nang du ldog [~bzlog] / 

byar med rgyud la [b]rten na / snang ba sgyu ma 'char / 

mngon zhen nang du zhig na / dgos m[y]ed phyi ru 'char / 

gnas pa'i 'phro la gshig [~bzhig] na / rjes thob nyam[s] myong[s] bzang / 

dam bca' [~bcwa] phyi ru bsring na / dgos grub nang du [~na] nye / 

rtog pa dum [1v] bur bcad na / dngos grub rims kyi skye / 

nyams myong nang na yod na / gsal rtag[s] phyi ru 'char / 

rigs pa dum bur mthud [~'thud] na / phyi ru snang ba 'jig / 

chos brgyad nang du [b]snyoms na / gnyis bsdus phyi ru 'jig / 

nang du rnam rtog 'gag[s] na / smra ru [~smrar rgyu] phyir mi snyed [~rnyed] / 

nang du 'dzin pa zhig na / bden m[y]ed phyi nas 'char / 

nang du rang bzhin m[y]ed par go na / spang blang[s] phyir mi skye'o //

gya log gnad kyi gdams pa / [b]skam xxx [~thag] chu nang du bcad pa'i

man ngag [~gdam[s] ngag go] /  ithi //

Postscript - June 24, 2021

I just today noticed a new journal of Tibetan Studies field coming out of Columbia University in New York City.  Just go to the sidebar under “Journal Portals” and locate the words “Waxing Moon.” Tap on those words and go there to see what you can find.

Postscript - January 15, 2023

I found two amazing discussions about Roman cement. It was so magical cracks and breaks in it could heal themselves quite quickly, which explains why, for instance, the dome of the Pantheon in Rome could remain standing today. By contrast, modern concrete, when it starts to crack, sucks up more and more liquid leading to more and more degradation.Vitruvius, the Roman architectural writer of the first century BCE, had this to say about it in the context of making the floor for a triclinium, a dining and drinking hall found in homes of the well-to-do for entertaining guests:

The floor of the triclinium is excavated to the depth of about two feet; and after the bottom is well rammed, a pavement of rubbish or potsherds is spread over it, with a declivity towards the holes of the drain. A composition of pounded coals, lime, sand, and ashes, is mixed up and spread there-over, half a foot in thickness, perfectly smooth and level. The surface being then rubbed with stone, it has the appearance of a black pavement. Thus, at their banquets, the liquor that is spilt, and the expectoration which falls on it, immediately dry up; and the persons who wait on the guests, though barefooted, do not suffer from cold on this sort of pavement.” [added emphasis is my own]

See Markus Vitruvius Pollio: De Architectura, Book VII, chapter 4, paragraph 5 at the end of ch. 4, translation and Latin version in: 

https://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Vitruvius/7*.html (access: 2023-01-15).

That I could find this quote at all was thanks to a technical yet fascinating book on Himalayan building materials: Hubert Feiglstorfer, Mineral Building Traditions in the Himalayas: The Mineralogical Impact on the Use of Clay as Building Material, De Gruyter, (Berlin 2019), footnote 45 on p. 163.

And, if you can get past the paywall, you might learn about an experimental scientific way of accounting for the durability of Roman cement, a secret that is not just in the lime, but in the volcanic ash.

Ariel David, “Researchers Reveal Why Ancient Roman Monuments Still Stand After Millennia,” Haaretz (January 6, 2023).  “What did the Romans ever do for us? They created a concrete that self-repairs, which today could reduce the massive emissions caused by modern cement production, study finds.”

Or, if that one is unattainable, try this: 

Melanie Lidman, “Still Standing: Researchers Crack the Secret of Ancient Rome's Self-Healing Concrete,” posted on January 12, 2023.

What does this all have to do with counterintuitive therapeutics? You tell me.

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