Friday, May 29, 2009

On Holiday Contest

I'm on holiday today. Good day for it.

Maybe we should have some sort of "on holiday" sporting contest? One that doesn't involve throwing rice in rivers or speeding in boats. O.K., get ready for a Tibetan calligraphy contest. The first person who can correctly (1) identify, and (2) fluently translate the below exemplar wins the prize:

One more catch... you have to (3) identify the hand that wrote the above, and the answer may surprise you.

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6 reader comments:

Dan said...

Here goes:
3. Written by your own hand.
1. The letters were invented by Nubchen Sangye Yeshe in around 9th century CE.
2. The regular Tibetan letters are there, so it's not necessary to read the secret script. It's a prayer with a lot of very technical Nyingma school Dharma language (youthful vase body... etc.), which does make it hard to translate nicely, let alone fluently. So I won't try.
4. I guess I'll claim the prize anyway. ; )

TENPA said...

Entry number one, from the mysterious alleyways of ancient Jerusalem (cross-fade to Casablanca -- this is being read in America, where geography hasn't been instructed for some considerable time -- if it ever was)...

No, it was written by a hand that is as the hand of an angel to my own claw...

inkessential said...

ouffff Dans right its not an easy one to translate, in general a supplication of blessing prayer that originates from a tantric terma (script) of Guru Rinpoche.

I think its a form of sMar-chen script

Om Ho !! i dont know.... and for who actually wrote this particular calligraphy... please surprise us.


no prize for me then :o(

TENPA said...

The big guns are now weighing in, from the secret tunnels 'neath Limehouse...

where is Nayland Smith when we need him most?

We are getting warmer, though...

Andrew West said...

I'm not sure what it is either, but it's definitely neither smar-chen or smar-chung, although perhaps it is an example of the esoteric script known as lha-bab yi-ge which is often confused with smar-chen.
Come to think of it, I am sure I have seen this script somewhere before ... ah here it is (skip down to the bottom of the page, and click on the penultimate picture for a glorious full-sized image). Frustratingly Marcus gives no caption for the picture, but maybe it is one of the eight styles of Tibetan writing that he mentions above it; if so, my guess would be for the jumping fish style (nya mo chu nang nas phyung 'dra).

TENPA said...

"When the great sun rises, small animals shade their eyes."

I knew that if anybody could begin unraveling the mystery it would be Andrew West.