Unusual mantra?

Looking for translations, or for help with translations and transliterations? This is the place.
Post Reply
Sile
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:01 pm

Unusual mantra?

Post by Sile » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:16 pm

Hello folks,

Someone found this mantra (?) inside a pendant (sadly, I don't have a photo of the pendant or access to it):

Image

It seems to be sort-of Sanskrit (possibly another Indian language altogether?), but I found myself wondering whether it was actually code; maybe to get a message past Chinese censors, disguised as a mantra?

The less exciting alternative is that the non-Tibetan pendant seller simply wanted to sell the pendant and scribbled this out, lol, but it looks a little too competent in some ways for that.

Very curious - would love to hear what you think, and thank you!

pemachophel
Posts: 977
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:19 pm
Location: Lafayette, CO

Re: Unusual mantra?

Post by pemachophel » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:38 pm

Just Tibetanized Sanskrit. Definitely mantra. Also terma. What's called a zung roll for placing inside statues, amulets, and stupas.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

Sile
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:01 pm

Re: Unusual mantra?

Post by Sile » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:59 pm

pemachophel wrote:Just Tibetanized Sanskrit. Definitely mantra. Also terma. What's called a zung roll for placing inside statues, amulets, and stupas.
It seems to have way too many "b," tho, doesn't it?

For the first part, I'm getting:

Om thunk'a thhubba' bba' thbarth'a bbaha tha tṛṣā thha bbaod thurga thha bb[X] tsge med.

Someone else read it:

Om thunk'a thhubba' bba' thbarth'a bbaha tha ṭ.hya-śa thha bbaod thurga thha gbo-ta tsge med.

The "b" phenomenon continues throughout the text; does this seem normal? And what about the very unusual symbols at the very end?

Thanks so much to you all for your thoughts!

Sile
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:01 pm

Re: Unusual mantra?

Post by Sile » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:33 pm

pemachophel wrote:Just Tibetanized Sanskrit. Definitely mantra. Also terma. What's called a zung roll for placing inside statues, amulets, and stupas.
Forgot to mention: On the other side of this paper (that the mantra is printed on) there are 5 stripes: violet, white, red, green and yellow.

pemachophel
Posts: 977
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:19 pm
Location: Lafayette, CO

Re: Unusual mantra?

Post by pemachophel » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:58 pm

Sorry, the print was small and I didn't really take the time to actually try to read the text once I saw that it was just Tibetan alphabet. You're right -- the transliteration you've posted is neither Tibetan nor Sanskrit. Shangshug maybe? I don't know. But I stand by my opinion that this is a zung roll. The arrows at the top are indications of how the strip is to be rolled and also help indicate which way is up when the roll is placed inside the statue or stupa. The five colors on the back represent the five elements. Violet in this case is probably faded or otherwise degraded blue.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

pemachophel
Posts: 977
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:19 pm
Location: Lafayette, CO

Re: Unusual mantra?

Post by pemachophel » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:01 pm

At the end of each line, I read "Phet" followed by a stylized phurba followed by a ter-shad, the end marking for terma. I have never seen a phurba symbol used like this before, but I feel confident that's what it is.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

Sile
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:01 pm

Re: Unusual mantra?

Post by Sile » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:12 pm

That's excellent additional info pemachopel-la, thank you so much! All those extra (?) "b" and "bb" - had me scratching my head.

And then it seems as if Tibetan words are mixed in.

What would the difference between a regular mantra and a terma mantra be? This is something I'm not familiar with.

Thank you again!

pemachophel
Posts: 977
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:19 pm
Location: Lafayette, CO

Re: Unusual mantra?

Post by pemachophel » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:59 pm

It's not a difference between terma mantras and other mantras. It's a difference between terma texts and non-terma texts. I just meant that the ter-shad indicated that this mantra came from a terma as its textual source.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

ItsRaining
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 7:45 am

Re: Unusual mantra?

Post by ItsRaining » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:25 am

Are you sure this isn't just some tourist souvenir where someone mixed a bunch of random Sanskrit looking letters?

Sile
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:01 pm

Re: Unusual mantra?

Post by Sile » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:12 pm

I did consider that; however, the text was originally hand-written by someone who was adept not only at Tibetan penmanship, but the kind of punctuation marks that go along with mantras, and in this case the specific markings for a terma, as pemachopel pointed out. On top of that, they used the very specific, more complex kind of Tibetan spelling that marks Sanskrit-origin texts as opposed to native Tibetan texts.

Really the only thing for me (and maybe this just reflects my own ignorance) is that the words themselves are very unusual. "Pranking" a mantra (unless they wanted to do it to bring bad luck to the Chinese pendant-seller lol) doesn't seem like a very karma-forward move; so I'm more inclined to think it was purposeful.

I just have to think that the overabundance of "b" gives a clue; there's even a "b" incorporated oddly into the initial "aum" syllable: Image

This next syllable, as a possible crypto-spelling of "bod," also jumped out as odd--it looks as if someone has added extra elements (or put them there in the first place), and once again, we have a superfluous tiny "b."

Image

Very intriguing - I continue to appreciate all thoughts on this!

tingdzin
Posts: 923
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:19 am

Re: Unusual mantra?

Post by tingdzin » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:52 am

No, not Zhang zhung either. Looks like gibberish.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 8 guests