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LITERARY GENRE

Genre: A literary form; examples of literary genres are tragedy, comedy, epic, and novel. Generic classifications may appear
simple on the surface, but one faces serious practical problems when one tries to define terms such as comedy and tragedy
with reference to an actual corpus of literary works. One solution is to place spatio-temporal constraints on generic definitions
(for example, the 'early Victorian novel', or 'Wordsworth's conception of the lyric poem'). It may be useful for students of
linguistics to compare the literary use of the term with its use in linguistics and discourse analysis: for a comprehensive
treatment, see David Chandler's An Introduction to Genre Theory. You may also be interested to look at the entry for genre in the
University of Victoria's electronic list of Literary and Rhetorical Terms.

ETIC

LITERARY GENRES

Familial histories
Legendary works
Political histories
Regional histories
Specialized subject matter histories
Religious histories
Academic
Research essays
Administrative and Legal Literature (gzhung yig dang khrims yig)
(chab shog) (perhaps double entered also under snyan ngag.
Census documents
Tax records
Government edicts
Military documents
Parking tickets
Government regulations
Pillar inscriptions (rdo ring gi yi ge)
Monastic regulations (bca' yig)
Monastic administrative documents (yig cha): documents the monastery produces. For example, if a donor gives money to sponsor a ceremony, there are documents
produced to read at the ceremony which are then filed away; or accounting documents.

Biography (rnam thar)


Autobiography (rang gi rnam thar)
Hagiography (rnam thar)

(rtogs brjod)
Past lives narratives (skye rabs; Skt. jataka/khrung rabs)
Diaries (nyin deb)
Return from Death Narratives (das log)
Records of (Teachings) Recived (thob yig/gsan yig)
Compilations and Anthologies (phyogs bsdebs)
Treasure cycles (gter skor): note that says for individual texts drawn from geter ma cycles, please see under the appropriate
genre.
Single author collected works (gsung bum)
Multi-author anathologies
Selected works (bka bum):
Miscellaneous works (gsung thor bu): these can also be a separate volume within a Collected Works (gsung thor bu)
Historical and Legendary (lha sgrungs) Narratives (chos byung, rgyal rabs sogs, lo rgyus skor): see martin HIstory bilbio 13\
Histories (lo rgyus):
Religious histories (chos 'byung):
Annals (deb ther): this entered the Tibetan from the Mongolian debter (see Tibetan Literature, p. 44).
Monastic chronicles (gdan rabs):
Royal genealogy (rgyal rabs):
Family lineage (gdung rabs):
Clan records (rus yig/rus mdzod):
Notes on lineages (brgyud yig)
Histories of Teachings (bstan byung): only used in titles of Bon religious histories.
Histories of Treasures (gter byung)
Chronology of Teachings (bstan rtsis)
(khog dbub/khog bugs/khog bubs): mostly used in titles of medical histories.
Literary arts (sgrung yig dang snyan ngag)
Epic (sgrung)
Letters
(chab shog):
Letters (phrin yig)
Poetry
Aphoristic verse/Gnomic verse (legs bshad)
(mgur)
Song (glu, Skt. doh)
Adamantine songs (rdo rjeI glu)
Experiential melodies (nyams dbyangs)
Alphabet verses (ka bshad)
Poetics (snyan ngag, kavya)

poetic examples [dper brjod ]. usually snyang snagg examples. exemplications of tropes classified in snyan sngags.
Synonymics (mngon brjod)
Story and Drama
Short stories (sgrung gtam, sgrung thung)
Humorous stories [dgod gtam ]
Folk stories (dmangs sgrung)
Novels (sgrung deb ring po)
Comic books (ris mo deb picture books?)
Proverbs (gtam dpe)
Verses of praises (bstod pa, Skt. stotra)
Last testaments (bka chems)
Journalism
Newspapers
Magazines
Newsletters
Pamphlets: information, educational, broadsides.
Posters
Graffiti (?)
Notes (mchan)
Music: Ter Ellingson go over them.
Music notations
Songbooks
Philosophical/Doctrinal literature (lta grub skor)
Monastic textbooks (rigs lam dpe cha)
Stages and paths (sa lam): theoretical presentation of the classic five path description of the Buddhist path in
Mahyna, and is not practical. Look at jules book
Stages and paths of mantra (ngag gi sa lam)
Introductory philosophic textbook (bsdus grwa): bsdus has sense of collected in sense of condensed for beginningers.
Grwa? Means Collected for beginning manuals. George and Jeffrey
Introductory logic textbook (rtag rigs): literally, correct reasons.
Introductory psychology textbook (blo rig): literally, mind and awareness.
Doxography (grub mtha)
Stages of the vehicles (theg rim)
(yig cha): specific types of commentaries meant to either give concise summaries of specific texts in the curriculum of
study, or else prepare students for debates about them. There are two types: generic overviews (spyi don) and definitive
analyses (mtha spyod).
Path systematics:

Stages of the path (lam rim)


Stages of the teachings (bstan rim)
Doxographical ()
Doctrinal commentarial texts (): all of these should go under Religious LIterature as well. See Cy Stearns
Commentary (grel pa; Skt. ika)
Word by word commentary (tshig grel)
Syllable by syllable commentary (bru grel): difference is that brel grel follows syllabic order and goes word by word,
whereas tshig grel may include summaries of entire phrases without commenting syllable by syllable.
Annotation commentary (mchan grel)
Commentary on difficult points (dka grel)
Synthetic commentaries (dgongs grel)
Content commentary (don grel, don tsam grel pa): explains the meaning without citing every word.
Dummys commentary (go sla baI grel pa)
Overview (spyi don)
Outline (sa bcad)
rgya cher grel pa
Synoptic commentary (bsdus don grel pa)
Notes (zin bris)
MIscellaneous
Reference Works
Catalogs
Bibliographies (dpe tho)
Notice of contents (dkar chag)
Cookbooks
Geographical works: martin 16
Place guide (gnas bshad)
Travel log (lam yig)
Sacred site guide(skor tshad): literally circumambulation measure, in effect descriptions of monasteries, temples and
their environs.
Pilgrimage guide (gnas yig)
Dictionary (tshig mdzod)
Encyclopedia (bshad mdzod)
Non-Philosophical Religious Literature
Canonical?
rgyud
mdo
Compilations and Cycles
snying thig
Conscreatory labels and formulae
thang ka'i kha byang: thangka labels & inscriptions
mantra rolls you put in a stupa.

gzungs
inscriptions on statues

Sermons and discourses


tshogs gtam
khrom bshad
Ritual and liturgical texts (cho ga phyag len)
Initiation in the maala (dkyil 'khor dbang chog, dkyil chog, mandala-abhiseka-vidhi [sanskrit]
Prayers for long life (brtan bzhugs)
Evocation rituals (grub thabs)
Prosperity riddle rituals g.yang 'gugs
tshe sgrub
bum sgrub
mandala bshad pa
bla ma'i rnal 'byor
fire offering (sbyin sreg,Skt. homavidhi)
gsol debs
bla ma brgyud paI gsol debs
bsngo ba
rim byon gsol debs/skyes rab gsol debs/khrung rab gsol debs: martin 15
gtor chog
bsangs mchod snang
'pho ba
Permissions to invoke (rjes gnang, Skt. anujna)
las (ritual actions)
tshogs kyi khor lo
prayer (smon lam)
Ritual of fasting and silencing (smyung gnas)
Consecration ritual (rab gnas cho ga)
Guru Worship (bla ma mchod pa (guru puja)
(yang srid mgyur byon
(par byang smon tshig)
regular propitiation (bskang gso)
method of invoking (bskang chog)
confessions (bshags pa)

Contemplative guide books and instructional manuals (gdams ngag skor)


(gdams ngag)
(man ngag): man ngag and gdams ngag varies textually. In some cases are synonymous, and in some traditions there
is a well thematized discintion between the two, and in some cases implicit distinction.
Guidance text (khrid yig)
Stages of the path (lam rim)
Purification of the mind (blo sbyong)
Preliminary practices (sngon gro)
Exegetical guidance (bshad khrid)

Ostensive guidance (dmar khrid): a master rather than explaining each word separately explains essential teachings in
a plain and open fashion. It literally means red teaching based on the medical practice of opening a corpse and showing
its essential organs for anatomical instructions.
Experential guidance (nyams khrid): in this the masters explanation is founded upon his own experiential realization.
Experience-driven guidance (smyong khrid): the master teaches the topics one at a time, and sends his/her students to
meditate upon that topic until they realize it, after which the next topic taught.
Translations
Canon
(rnying ma rgyud bum)
(bka gyur)
(bstan gyur)
(bon po brten gyur)
(bon po bka gyur)
Collected Spells (gzungs bsdus)
Modern
Scientific and Technical Literature (rig gnas skor)
lo tho
Art
Illustrations (dpeu ris)
graphic description [bris yig ]

astrology
calligraphy and graphology: also under reference.`
bstan rtsis
medicine (gso ba rig pa)
textbooks (klog deb)
Textbooks (klog deb)
***************************************8
Canonical literature
Gter ma
Byang Bu - the certificate genre
bka thang: quasi-historical narrative
snying thig ritual-yogic
,
Things to classify

btsod pa gsol 'debs zhabs brtan sogs,


bca' yig,
brtan bzhugs,
gser skyems,
mngon rtogs,
dris lan,
bris yig,

LITERARY

FORM

Verse
Syllabic verse
Prose
Narrative
Expository
Mixed verse/prose

Genre Tibetan

Translation

bka'
mdo
Skt. stra
rgyud
Skt. tantra
rtsom rig

Buddha voiced
discourse

mgur

poetic songs

Etymology

Definition

thread
Literary

Literally,
Is this too broad of a
composecategory? If we use it,
science,
this should there be a
translates as the separate category of
science
of "narrative" literature?
composition.
Where should "epics"
be?
Another very large nonnarrative genre linked to
Tibetan
autobiography
are the mGur, the poetic
songs
about
one's

History

Exemplar
s

visions
and
religious
insights.
These reflect
the
autobiographical
impulse
of
the
expression of personal
realizations.
Songs of
this types are often
found inserted in Tibetan
autobiographies. There
are also many separate
collections that consist
exclusively
of
such
songs. The mGur has a
long history in Tibetan
literature, one of the
strands of which may be
traced to certain Indian
Buddhist genres, such as
the gth, especially as
exemplified
by
the
autobiographical Therand Theragth which
recount
events
and
realizations leading up to
enlightenment in the
early disciples of the
Buddha. Other related
genres
in
Indian
literature are the Doha
and Carygiti of late
Indian tantric Buddhism
which represent esoteric
yogic
experience
in
coded or metaphorical
songs.
Second 28 of
The Dancing Moon is
especially reminiscent of
the Carygiti.

Outstanding examples Milarepa,


Zhabkarpa,
Jamyang
Khyentse,
Pema Karpo.
Some1 have suggested a
classification of three
main types in the songs
of siddhas:
(i) Doh:
short songs
expressing the siddha's
realization,
often
in
enigmatic or paradoxical
manner.
They were
intended primarily as a
means of teaching.
(ii) Vajra-gti:
songs
sung and danced to in
ritual performance at the
Gana-cakra,
feastgatherings of yogins at
which
the
Tantric
understanding of the
absolute reality of the
senses was celebrated.
(iii) Cary: they originate
from a group of siddhas
who lived in what is now
Bengal.
sgrung deb

novels

snyan ngag

poetry

rtsom yig

Literally,
book.

storyDoes this refer to all


poetry, or a particularly
poetic genre? Kavya

Literally,
compositionletters.

David Templeman; cited in Civilized Shamanism 424.

tshig rgyan

Literally,
wordornament.

poetics theory
chos? grub mtha'I doctrinal
skor?
blo rig

grub mtha

lam rim

tenet systems

the stages of the path

(types
awareness
knowledge

of) get from betsy book. lo


and rik with sa lam represent
studies of issues from
Kosha,
along
with
mahayana spins. Lo Rig
is
a
systematic
presentation
of
the
psychological
and
cognitive dynamics of
the
mind,
and
is
concerned with defining
the various types of
mind and mental factors.
Understanding
the
nature of the mind is
fundamental
to
its
transformation
and
development, which is
the essence of Buddhist
meditation practice. bLo
Rig supposedly based on
Dharmakriti,
Literally,
this is doxography,
establishmentlooking
at
various
limits, signifying varieties
of
Indian
this
genre
of Buddhism focused on
literature
preciely
that,
those
delineates
the varieties existence as
boundaries
or such.
lineaments
of
particular systems
of thought.
In gneral, Lam Rim Stages

of

the

("graduated path") refers


to
a
system
that
integrates
all
the
principles
of
the
Mahayana into a logical,
graduated pathway to
enlightenment, in a way
that
facilitates
their
cultivation. This genre
of literature was found in
all the various sects of
Tibetan Budhism. Refer
to Higgins work.
One of the most famous
was
developed
by
Tsongkhapa
in
the
tradition of the Indian
master Atisha, and was
formulated in his Lam
Rim Chen Mo. A firm
grounding in Lam Rim is
important in itself and is
essential as a basis for
other Buddhist practice
in this tradition.
Sources
in
Atisha's
classic work.
Std. Geluk Lam rim - TKP.
Ngags Rim Chen Po is
Tantric Varation.
Nyingma Lam Rim - 2
types - Ngal gSo Types,
and Dzokchen technical
type.
though
name
might
make you think more like
sa lam, this is more
experiential
than

path
literature
traces its roots
back
to
the
eleventh century
Indian
saint
Atias
XXXXX.
Composed
in
Tibet, it provides
an overview of
the path from
sasra
to
nirva.
While
this
was
the
explicit model of
later literature, it
clearly goes back
in inspiration to
much
earlier
Indian exemplars
such
as
the
chapter(s?) in the
Abhidharma
Koa,
and
??.
Atias work was
almost
immediately
followed by sGam
po pas famous
thar paI rgyan.

scholastic in nature, and


covers topics for actual
meditation
on
the
ground. Also comes in
Sutric
and
Tantric
varieties..
More about
meditation.
sngon gro
sa lam

bsdus grwa
rtag rigs
bstan rim
theg pa rim pa dgu

the preliminaries
levels and paths

mdo
and
sngags
variants. get from jules
bookSa Lam - sutra and
tantra. The sutric sa lam
is basically a distillation
of
the
Hinayana/Mahayana
presentations of a 5 path
structure
and
10
Bodhisattva bhumis as
found
in
the
Abhidharma, kosha, etc.
It simply goes through
each in a very analytical
way attempting to clarify
and
simply
a
vast
amount
of
messy
material. "Treatises on
grounds and paths are
composed
as
supplements
to
the
great and central texts
rather
than
as
centerpieces
of
the
Buddhist tradition" (Jules
109).s
kathleen book

the stages of the teachings


the nine stages of vehicles

yig cha
cho ga?

monastic textbooks
ritual

chab

shog,

tshe

sgrub

gtor

chog

bsangs

'pho

ba

g.yang

'gugs,

sbyin

sreg,

sgrub
bum

thabs,
sgrub,

mandala
pa,

bshad

dkyil 'khor dbang


chog,
bla
'byor
rjes

Admittedly
a
quite
artificial
category,
it
nonetheless
has
its
utility. It is clear in
conversations
with
Tibetans, who use the
rubric to refer to texts
whose primarily utiliy is
for ritual practices, such
as liturgical texts.

ma'i

rnal

gnang

Literally,
actualize.

life-

rnal 'byor

contemplative

Differentiating
contemplative
from
ritual is admittedly a
construct, but is one that
has roots in the use and
classification of texts
within Tibetan society,
and hence has a utility.
Should we just combine
ritual/contemplative?
Practically speaking I
think we could make a
meaningful devision in
many cases - rtsa rlung
would go here, but then
what about grub thabs?
Books about Religous
practice fall into three
categories:
1) Cho Ga: instructions
for single rituals.
A
person
performing
a
ritual normally has at
most the Cho Ga in front
of him, but keeps in
mind such information of
the kind found in works
of the other types. Thus
an account of these
practices based solely on
Cho
Ga
would
be
unintelligible by itself.
2) Khrid Yig: manuals
on related cycles of
rituals.
3) More general works
dealing
with
the

theoretical background
of a whole class of
practices.
man ngag
gdams ngag
cho ga
khrid yig
dmar khrid

"meditation
manuals" Literally,
red(literally, "red guidance")
guidance,
this
apparently signifies
the red blood of
the heart, since
such manuals are
understood to limit
themselves to the
essential practices
and
instructions
relevatn

dMar Khrid the earliest


Tibetan
traditions
of
meditation
on
Avalokitevara
were
these texts, systems
based
on
personal
experience and vision.
thus they are manuals
primarily concerned with
expounding
practically
the
principles
of
meditation on the Path
of Awakening. They were
codified by the Tibetans
but drawn from Indian
canonical sources. The
various examples are
similar, the differences
being in minor detail and
in
the
lineages
of
transmitters. The list of
them varies, but the
main traditions seems to
have been current by
the beginning of the
12th century. The Blue
Annals
(14th
C)
discusses the major X,
and the major dMar
Khrid, and the Khrid ??
(sixteenth C), which is

based on earlier sources,


presents them in much
the same form as they
exist today. A modern
analysis
lists
those
formulated by:
1. Bhiksuni Sri Laksmi
2. Srong bTsan sGam
Po
3 Tshem Pu
4
Zla
rGyal
(Candravaja)
5 sKyer sGang Pa
smon lam
ritual: prayer
la ma brgyud pa'i
gsol 'debs
bsgno ba
yang srid mgyur
byon
par byang smon
tshig
dkar chag dang Catalogues and guides
gnas yig?

gnas yig
dkar chag
Lo rgyus skor?
rnam thar

These
represent
catalogs
and
guides, such as to
canons,
monasteries, and
places.
Literally,
placeletters.
Literally,
white-??.

Historical/
(auto)biographical
Hagiography or religious Literally,
biography.
"liberation
(thar
pa) in detail (rnam
par)",
or
full
liberation; hence,

rNam
Thar:
'hagiography'
or
'religious
biography'.
rNam Thar translates the
Sanskrit Vimoka, which

"a
tale
liberation".

of did not label a literary


genre,
but
rather
referred to the Buddhist
notion of liberation from
samsara. Karma Chags
Med makes a literary
connection between the
notion of rNam Thar with
divisions of the Buddhist
canon: the rNam Thar of
the
Dharmakya
buddhas is the tantras of
the 3 yogas; the rNam
Thar
of
the
Sambhogakya Buddhas
is the Tantras of the
three Kriyyogas; and
the rNam Thar of the
Nirmakya Buddhas is
the Tripiaka. According
to Edgerton, thte term
Bodhisattva Vimoka in
Gaavyha 261.5 refers
to a means to obtain the
liberation
of
a
Bodhisattva, which may
mark a shift in meaning
that
eventually
associates the term with
a kind of Narrative. Also
see the Chinsese phrase,
Nan hsn, "record of a
quest",
that
Sung
commentators used to
describe its content.
The
biographies
of
Tibetan
saints
are
writtten in three distinct

styles.
The 'external
biography'
gives
us
factual
information
about the saint's life:
where he was born; his
youth; how the change
in his mind took place;
how he renounced the
eight
worldly
preoccupations (praise &
blame, loss and gain,
pleasure and pain and
notorieity and fame);
how
he
gained
an
understanding of karma;
how he met his teacher
and took refuge in the
Lama; how he practised
his
moral
precepts,
study, and meditation, to
gain both relative and
absolute
compassion;
how
through
the
maintenance
of
his
Samaya vows and his
accomplishment of the
two stages of Tantric
practice, he brought his
body, speech, and mind
to full enlightenment.
The
external
stories
embody his teachings to
common disciples and
beginners, and show the
events of his life in terms
of ordinary perception.
The 'internal biography'
emphasizes the inner

life,
describing
the
universe in terms of
meditation experience,
stages of realization,
Deities, Dakinis, Yidam,
and Buddhas and their
Pure Lands. It describes
spiritaul
evolution
in
terms of veins, subtle
energies,
and
the
essential,
elemental
body (rTsa rLung Thig
Le).
In the 'secret biography',
the Lama's life is fully
revealed in terms of his
perfect
activity,
adn
there is no distinction
made between external
events and the inner life.
The path of devolpment
has ended, and with
complete abandon, the
Master is seen fulfilling
the highest goal.
He
works
without
any
discrimination, inhibition,
or selfish motivation, to
give meaning to other
people's lives.
It is
called 'secret' because
without having realized
the Lama's state of
mind,
we
cannot
understand
it,
and
because
traditionally
such literature is kept
hidden
away
from

people following a pure


Hinayana discipline or
the path of Mahayana
altruism. An uncensored
account of the Lama's
activity is likely to raise
all sorts of doubts and
fears in the minds of
devotees.
Also, it is
secret,
a
mystery,
because
a
Buddha's
existence resolves the
paradoxes and dualities
of being. The way the
Saint acts makes us
understand
how
the
Three Precepts of the
Three
Vehicles
(Hinayana, Mahayana, &
Vajrayana)
can
be
combined without any
contradiction.
rang gi rnam thar
gsang ba'i rnam
thar

rtogs brjod

Autobiography
Secret biography

The
secret
autobiography,
gSang
Ba'i Rang Gi rNam Thar,
has
had
a
long
association
with
the
Treasure Tradition.
According to Gyatso, the
earliest are back in the
12th century, while the
genre virtually explodes
by the 16th century
following
the
Dalai
Lama's prolific output.
Literally,
realization-

lo rgyus
chos 'byung

History
Ecclesiastical
histories

or

gdan rabs
gdung rabs

family pedigrees

rgyal rabs

royal genealogies

rus
mdzod,
mtho

rus Clan genealogy

religious

expression.
Literally, year-?.
Literally,
teachingsemergence.
Literally,
bonegeneration.
Literally,
royalgeneration.

vostrokov book

Includes
origins
of
particular clans.
Begin with narrtives of
the Yarlung dynasty as
early as the material
found in the chronicle
foundat Tun-huang.
rGyal Rabs gSal Ba'i
Me Long:
The Clear
Mirror
of
Royal
Genealogies by Sa sKya
Pa bSod Nams rGyal
mTshan
(1312-1375).
Deals
with
Avalokiteshvara,
early
Tibetan royal dynasties.
Literally,
bone- Presents
geneaologies
repository
and and/or histories of the
bone-list.
deeds of clan members
and is sued for a
varietyof purposes, for
exsample
in
legal
disputes concerning land
owndership,
and
to
establish kinship status
so as to avoid marriage
with relatives closer than
seventh cousins.
The
outstanding
accomplishments
and
vital statistics of family
groups
are
often

thob yig

Record
received.

nyin theb

diary

of

recorded in a "bone list"


(Rus
mTho);
family
history is also commonly
related orally by parents
to their children.
teachings Literally, "written One genre of self-record(yig) (record
of keeping are the lists of
teachings) attained teachers, lineages, and
(thob)".
teachings
received,
called Thob-Yig or gSan
Yig, "written (record of
teachings) obtained" or
"heard"
(honorific),
which can come to
comprise a substantial
texts.
Jigme Lingpa's
own Thob Yig is 25
pages long.
Although
not autobiography in the
Western
sense
of
providing a narrative of
an individual's life, the
Thob Yig almost does
suffice as a Tibetan
Buddhist's
autobiography, as the
fifth Dalai Lama once
commented, and it was
considered as a variation
of
the
"inner
autobiography" by some.
According to Gyatso, the
Tibetan
diary
proper
(Nyin Theb, "book of
days" or Nyin Tho, "day
list"), which is a fairly
widespread
practice
among literate Tibetans,

both clerical and lay, is


an informal record of the
day's
events
and
thoughts,
sometimes
kept on scraps of paper,
or in bound notebooks in
the modern period, not
unlike
the
modern
Western diary. She has
observed and discused
this
practice
with
cotemporary
Tibetans,
and we know that it goes
back at least a few
hundred years. One of
the
outstanding
examples is the one we
have by the same Situ
Panchen, whose diary,
eventually edited by his
disciple and added on to
his autobiography, was
written as brief notes in
a calendar (Lo Tho),
which is a common
practice for personal
record keeping among
Tibetans.
Both these
notes, and the more
lengthy diary entries are
often used for reference
when
writing
autobiography.
tshig bshad?
tshig mdzod
mngon brjod

lexicographical
dictionary
synonymics
Cycles
compilations

and

snying thig
yang tig
gter ma
bshad mdzod

encyclopedia

Literally,
explanationtreasury.

"A
Treasury
of
Explanations" is basically
the
encyclopedic
tradition in Tibet.
It is
often compiled for pious
laymen,
its
purpose
being to serve as a key
or outline to help the
layman understand the
often abstruse concepts
and
categories
of
Tibetan
Buddhism.
Often these compilations
are written for kings and
princes; in many cases
they contain historical
material
since
the
knowledge
of
royal
pedigrees and religious
history is appropriate for
a king.
We must
however
keep
ecclesiastical or religious
histories (Chos 'Byung)
&
family
pedigrees
(gDung Rabs) distinct
from compendia like the
bShad mDzod.
For
example, dPa' Bo gTsug
Lag 'Phreng Ba's Lho
Brag Chos 'Byung is a
religious history even
though it contains some
material that one might
normally
find
in
a

compendium,
whereas
sTag
Tshang
Pa
rbhutibhdra's rGya
Bod Yig Tshang is a
compendium
even
though it is largely made
up of historical material.
The
1st
known
compendium of this type
is the Shes Bya Rab gSal
by 'Phags Pa bLo Gros
rGyal mTshan (12351280).
This work was
written by that great
Imperial Ti Shih in 1278
for Prince Cinggim. The
Shes Bya Rab gSal is the
best example of the
genre and has been
translated into Chinese,
Mongolian, & English.
We know of several
compendia
written
during the 14th century.
These are sometimes
quoted in biographies;
the majority of these
documents are propably
lost, however, since they
only
circulated
in
manuscript. During the
last half and the first half
of the 15th centuries,
two
fo
the
most
remarkable
scholastic
collections in the Tibetan
tradition ;made their
appearance: the Thar Pa

sKor gSum of 'Ba' Ra Ba


rGyal
mTshan
dPal
bZang (1310-1391) and
the four redactions (in
110, 20, 2, & 1 volumes
respectively) of the De
Nyid 'Dus Pa of Bo Dong
Pan Chen Phyogs Las
rNam rGyal (1376-1451).
The Thar Pa sKor gSum
is at once explanatory
and analytical.
In the
largest version of the De
Nyid 'Dus Pa, Bo Dong
attempted
to
give
commentaries for all of
the important works that
had been translated into
Tibetan.
The medium
length redaction and the
two shortened versions
are
analytical
and
approximate the Western
concept
of
the
encyclopaedic approach.
During the late 18th
century. kLong rDol Ngag
dBang
bLo
bZang's
gSung 'Bum appeared.
This incredible piece of
scholarship is in reality a
series of notes that the
author had made on the
terminology
and
concepts of Buddhist
scholasticism.
The
gSung 'Bum contains
bibliographies,

mkhas 'jug

scholastic compendia

biographical sketches of
famous teachers and lay
patrons and a number of
minor works of the
author. It was during the
19th century that the
finest flower of the
Tibetan
encyclopedic
tradition bloomed: the
Shes Bya Kun Khyab of
Kong sPrul bLo Gros
mTha' Yas (1813-1899)
in 3 volumes.
Literally, learned- mKhas 'Jug: these differ
entrance
in one major aspect from
another group called
'bShad
mDzod'
whereas the mKhas 'Jug
are largely meant for
monks, One of the
earliest
scholastic
compendia is the mKhas
'Jug of Sa sKya Pandita
Kun dGa' rGyal mTshan
(1182-1251) which was a
work intended to serve
as
a
manual
for
instructing the beginning
monk in the concepts
and
methods
of
Mahyna scholarship. It
is an introduction to the
three functions of the
scholar:
teaching,
philosophical refutation,
and literary composition.
As such, it is designed
primarily for the full time

religious practitioner, the


monk. The mKhas 'Jug
of 'Jam mGon 'Ju Mi
Pham rGya mTsho (18461912)
now
shares
popularity with that of
the Sa sKya Pandita.
These are only two
examples of the genre
that are well-known.
gsung 'bum

collected works

Literally, speechone
hundred
thousand.

gsung thor bu
bka' 'bum
bka' 'gyur

miscellaneous works
selected works
translations
of
Buddhaauthored texts

bstan 'gyur

translations
commentaries

Literally, (Buddhavoiced) preceptstranslations.


of Literally,
treatisestranslations.

rnying ma brgyud
'bum
gsang 'gyur

Periodicals and newspapers


newspaper

dus deb

journals

?
tshig 'grel

magazines
Written commentaries
word commentary

don 'grel

synoptic commentary

Literally,
secrethappening.
Literally,
timebook, or periodbook.

Literally,
wordexplicate.
Literally, meanngexplicate.

It comments on every
word of a text.
Does not comment on
every word but expands
on
a
text's
central
issues.
Often called
"spyi don".

dka grel

a commentary on difficult
points

chan grel

annotation commentary

mtha' spyod

definitive analysis

grel bshad

explanatory commentary

bshad khrid

explanatory guide

rang 'grel

auto-commentary

Literally, difficult- Narrower than either a


explicate.
word commentary (tshig
grel) or a synoptic
commentary (don grel),
it focuses only on the
most complex points of a
text.
Literally,
notes- a form that provides
explicate.
either interlinear notes
with the text itself, or
comprises a separate
discussion (zur mchan)
of the text, often moving
between a narrow focus
on particular issues and
a broader perspective on
their import.
Literally,
"analysis"
is
like
a
end/finalmeaning commentary in
analysis.
the form of a debate.
Literally,
'Grel bShad and bShad
explicateKhrid:
"explanatory
explain.
commentory"
and
"insructions
on
the
explanation",
the
broadest
genres
of
written
commentary.
They
can
be
quite
detailed but maintain an
interest in the text as a
whole. Both rubrics can
also be applied to oral
commentary
with
similiar characteristics.
Literally, explain- See grel bshad.
guide.
A brilliant example is in
Longchenpa's
corpus,

elsewhere
is
often
verses devoid of any real
aesthetic value.
rtsa ba

root texts

gzhung khrid

Oral genres of commentary


"textual commentary",

smar/dmar khrid

essential instructions.

myong khrid

experiential guide

Literally,
root.
Literally,
scriptureguidance.

the

This involves a work


serving as a basis for
lectures by a teacher, or
a series of discussions
between student and
teacher. See Ann Klein's
introduction to Path to
the Middle (p. 2ff).
Literally,
red- This
oral
form
is
guide/pointing
considered
especially
out,
thus lucid and is often more
instructions
condensed than other
getting to the red, genres.
or
naked
instructions. It is
glossed as "getting
behind the flesh,
naked,
getting
inside
the
meaning",
suggesting
that
like a surgeon's
knife
these
instructions open
into the red blood
at the heart of a
text.
Literally,
This
oral
genre
is
experienceespecially
associated
guide.
with meditation texts,
and incorporates the
meditation
of
both

students and teachers


into the discussion. A
form of gdams ngag
unique to meditation
texts (klein 21).
The
structure is that teacher
discusses a portion of
text and then student
meditates on it before
next session; teacher
opens up next session
with re-summarization,
then moves on into new
material.
nyams khrid

experience guide

gdam ngag

upadea

Literally,
instructionspeech.

(Words of My Perfect
Teacher
386):
"...guidance according to
experience is a method
of teaching in which the
teacher first gives just a
little instruction.
The
student puts it into
practice
and
then
presents his experience
of the practice to the
teacher,
who
then
advises him or gives
further instruction on
that basis, and so on in a
continuous interaction.
"advisor speech". Oral
textual
instruction
(zhung khrid) can be
considered a form of
advisory speech, though
advisory speech also
includes discussions not

man ngag

lung
`): an oral practice
of
"scriptural
transmission".
Most
textual
encounteres begin
with it. The Lung is

directly
linked
with
textual
explication.
Advisory
speech
is
associated with a wide
range of philosophical,
ritual and meditational
texts,
and
includes
extemporaneous
relfection independent of
specific texts. A defining
characteristic
of
advisiory speech is its
simple effectiveness. In
its
most
specialized
sense, it is something
the
Lama
holds as
secret, revealing only to
a heart-disciple who, on
hearing it, can develop
an understanding not
previously accessed.
This is an important subgenre of gDams Ngag.
This
is
glossed
as
"something
easy
to
understand and capable
of taking you through to
complete understanding
of a particular topic". It
often involves something
usually held secret.

the scriptural text


itself
in
oral
presentation, read
aloud by a teacher
to a student in
order
to
create
connection with the
entire
vocal,
scholarly, and ritual
lineage of the text.
It is most significant
for works directly
related to practice,
such as meditation
texts or specific
rituals.
Chanting

the
focus
on
the
musicality and rhythm of
vocalized texts, as well
as the repetive chanting
of mantras during a
ritual performance by a
group or individual, or
during a session of
meditation.

Arts and crafts


Musical scores
art stuff?
Narrative literature
Gesar epic
other bardic literature
sgrung
gtam
gtam dpe
epics?
Institutional

Ramayana, Mahabharata
Covers
govt.
monasteries, etc.

Inscriptions
rdo ring

Literally,
long.

Things to classify
btsod pa gsol 'debs
zhabs brtan sogs
bca'
yig
brtan

bzhugs

gser

skyems

mngon
thang
byang

rtogs
ka'i

kha

dris lan
bris yig
thog srung [tibetan]

protection from lightning

'bel gtam [tibetan]

narrative [english]

'bru

gsum

rdor

bzlas

[tibetan]
'chad

thabs

[tibetan]

'chi

bslu

[tibetan]

'dod

gsol

[tibetan]

stone-

'don thabs [tibetan]

recitation method [english]

'gugs 'dren [tibetan]


dgug

gzhug

[tibetan]

'jam dbyangs chos skor


[tibetan]
'jigs byed ro langs brgyad
skor dang phyag mtshan 32
gyis bskor ba rwa lugs
[tibetan]
'khor

lo

[tibetan]

'khor lo bri thabs [tibetan]


'pho ba [tibetan]

'phrin

bcol

transferrence [english]

[tibetan]

bar chad zlog pa [tibetan]


bcos thabs [tibetan]

bcud
bdag

len
bskyed

method of treatment [english]

[tibetan]
[tibetan]

be bum [tibetan]
be'u

bum

[tibetan]

bka' 'gyur [tibetan]

canonical works [english]

bka' brgyad bde gshegs


'dus pa (nyang ral nyi ma
'od

zer)

[tibetan]

bla bslu [tibetan]


bla

slu

[tibetan]

bla ma brgyud pa'i gsol

prayers to teachers of the lineage

'debs [tibetan]

[english]

bla ma rgyang 'bod

calling upon the lama from afar

[tibetan]

[english]

bla

ma'i

rnal

'byor

[tibetan]
guruyoga [sanskrit]
bla sgrub [tibetan]
gurusadhana

[sanskrit]

blo

[tibetan]

sbyong

brgal lan [tibetan]

polemic [english]

dgag lan [tibetan]

brgyud

yig

[tibetan]

[tibetan]

brjed

byang

icono

[tibetan]

brtag

thabs

[tibetan]

bsangs gsur [tibetan]

fragrant burnt offerings [english]

bsangs mchod [tibetan]


bsdus don [tibetan]

summaries [english]

bshad pa [tibetan]

explanation [english]

bskrad pa [tibetan]
bskyed rim [tibetan]
utpattikrama [sanskrit]
bslab bya [tibetan]

instruction [english]

zhal gdams [tibetan]

bsngags pa [tibetan]
turning the merit [english]
bsngo ba [tibetan]
bsngo smon [tibetan]

prayers turning the merit [english]

method for invoking [english]


bsnyen thabs [tibetan]
bsnyen sgrub [tibetan]

seva-vidhi [sanskrit]

bum sgrub [tibetan]

byabs

khrus

byad

'grol

[tibetan]

byin

'bebs

[tibetan]

byin

rlabs

[tibetan]

vessel burial ritual [english]

[tibetan]

bzlas pa [tibetan]
bzo rig [tibetan]

fine arts [english]

silpasastra [sanskrit]

cha

tshad

[tibetan]
rain-making rituals [english]

char

'bebs

cho

ga

[tibetan]
byis sgrung [tibetan]

cho

ga

[tibetan]

chos

spyod

[tibetan]

chu

sbyin

[tibetan]

children's stories [english]

dag snang [tibetan]

visionary experiences [english]

dbang
[tibetan]

[english]

bshad explanation of the empowerment

dbang chog [tibetan]

initiation method [english]

abhisekavidhi [sanskrit]

dga' ldan lha brgya ma


[tibetan]
dgag

gzhi

[tibetan]

dge slong gi bslab bya


[tibetan]
rno mthong [tibetan]

dice
[english]

prognostication

dkar gtor [tibetan]


gtor ma (dkar po) [tibetan]
dkyil 'khor [tibetan]
mandala
dmigs

[sanskrit]
rim

[tibetan]

don

dbang

[tibetan]

drag

po'i

sbyin

sreg

[tibetan]
dris lan [tibetan]

drug

cu

pa'i

gtor

questions and responses [english]

ma

[tibetan]
gab tshig [tibetan]

gdan bzhi [tibetan]


rnal 'byor nam mkha'
[tibetan]
catuhpitha
gdon

[sanskrit]

sgrol

[tibetan]

gdugs dkar po can ma


lha 27 [tibetan]
sitatapatra 27 devatmaka
[tibetan]
gdung

rten

[tibetan]

ge sar (sgrung) [tibetan]


glu [tibetan]

songs [english]

glu [tibetan]

songs [english]

gnas lung [tibetan]

funeral rites [english]

gshin

po

rjes

'dzin

[tibetan]

gsang sgrub [tibetan]

guhyasadhana [sanskrit]

gser skyems [tibetan]

gshegs

gtor

golden water offerings [english]

[tibetan]

gshor gsum [tibetan]


spyi

gshor

[tibetan]

gso

sbyong

[tibetan]

gsol 'debs [tibetan]

reverential petition [english]

gsol mchod [tibetan]

rituals for offering [english]

gtam

rgyud

[tibetan]

gter

gzhung

[tibetan]

gter ma [tibetan]

rediscovered teachings [english]

gter srung [tibetan]

gter ma protectors [english]

gtor

'bul

[tibetan]

gtor

bsngos

[tibetan]

gtor

bzlog

[tibetan]

gtor

chen

[tibetan]

gtor

chog

[tibetan]

gtor

dbang

[tibetan]

gtor ma [tibetan]

offering cakes [english]

bali [sanskrit]

gtor ma brgya rtsa [tibetan]


gzungs 'bul [tibetan]
gzungs sgrub [tibetan]
gzungs
lo

sngags

rgyus

[tibetan]

slob

sbyong

history [english]

dbyangs

[tibetan]

hymns [english]

[tibetan]
bstod
jo

nang

khrid

brgya

[Tibetan]
dus deb

journals
alphabetic verse

ka bshad
kha
khri

byang
'don

legs

khrus

'bul
tshul

purificatory methods through the use


of water

klog thabs

method of reading

bklag thabs
klu bum
klu'i bum gter
klu chog
klu gtor
klu'i

sbyin

sreg

Skt. nagahomavidhi
kun bzang 'khor lo
las

bzhi'i

kha

bsgyur

las

sbyor

las

tshogs

lha mo dud sol ma (rngog


lugs)
lhan

thabs

lo

rgyus

lta

khrid

ma

'ongs

lung

bstan

story

prophecy
prophesies

maNDal

bshad

pa

mandal

bzhi

pa

mchod

bshad

mchod

bstod

mchod

gtor

mchod

pa

explanation of the mandala offering

mchod chog
mdos
mdun
mgur

thread-cross rituals
bskyed
songs of realization

mgur

'bum

collection of spiritual songs

mig

'byed

mngon

rtogs

visualization

brjod

reciting the names

Skt. abhisamaya
mtshan
nA

ro

chos

drug

nang

sgrub

ngag

'don

nyams

len

par byang smon tshig

benedictory verses (books)

phan yon

benefits to be derived

phyag 'tshal

prostrations

phyag chen

mahamudra

phyag mchod
gsol ba gdab chog
phyag rgya
poetry
pra khrid
chos srung

protective deities

Skt. dharmapala
re'u mig

table
tabular presentation

rgab 'dre mnan pa


rgyal mtshan 'dzugs pa'i
cho ga
rgyun bshags
rgyun khyer
ri chos
rig gtad
rigs brgyud spel ba'i cho ga

retreat manuals

ril bu sgrub tshul

production of medicinal pellets

rlung khrid
rnal 'byor
Skt. yoga
rnam bshad

detailed commentary

Skt. vyakhya
ro snyoms
ro sreg
sa dpyad
sa chog
lto 'phye brtag pa
sa tstshA gdab chog
sad srung ba

frost prevention

sbyang chog

purification ritual

sbyor chos drug


sems bskyed
sems khrid
sems sde
sgom bzlas
sgrub dkyil
sgrub pa
sgrub skor
sgrub thabs

practice texts

las byang
Skt. sadhana
shes rab sgrub tshul
Skt. prajnasadhana
skad gnyis shan sbyar

dictionaries

skad gsum shan sbyar

bilingual and trilingual

skong chog
sku gdung dkar chag

funeral reliquary choten

skyabs 'gro

taking refuge

slob deb

textbook

sman bla mdo chog


sman mchod
sman sbyor
sman sgrub

medicinal preparation

smre ngag

lamentation

sngags btu
Skt. mantra
sngags phreng
spyi bshad

survey

sri mnan
srog 'khor
srung 'khor
srung zlog bsad gsum

rituals of protection
aversion
and slaughter

sta gon

preparation. sometimes in large ritual


cycles you get separate doument
about sta gon, though usually just
section.

stong mchod

those are formulate for


offering a 1000 butter
lamps, those kinds of
things.
translations into tibetan

tshe 'gugs
tshe dbang
tshe dpag med grub rgyal
lugs (sa lugs)
tshe khrid
tshe sgrub

longevity rituals

Skt. ayuhsadhana

long life rituals

tshigs bcad

versification. literary form.

tshogs gtam

in samg po pa makes
dinstniction between zhus
lan texts for one or a small
grup of disciplines. vs.
tshogs gtam for the full
group of disciples or public.
Congregational discourse.

tshogs kyi 'khor lo


Skt. ganacakra

tshogs mchod
yan lag bdun pa
yang srid myur byon

prayer for speedy rebirth

yon tan bkod pa


zhi ba'i sbyin sreg
Skt. santikahomavidhi

probably just sbyin sreg is


title.

zhus lan
zin tho
zlos gar

drama

Skt. nataka

zor las

type of ritual action not a


genre.

Tibetan cmpostions
with zls gar in title
are rarely dramas.
They arej ust using
drama
metaphorically.