By Michael Aris
A set of essays on Bhutan.
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This in itself need not be taken to discount their antiquity. It only affirms their later inclusion in the whole corpus. The problem, however, does not end there. eir inclusion the editor explains in another interlinear comment that it was most certainly the king's command that the following works should obtain to the 'Section on Siitras': 1) Me-tog rgyan-pa'i zhing-bkod 2) bKa'-chems mthon-mthing-ma 3) rGyal-bu 'jig-rten dbang-phyug-gi skyes-rabs 4) rGyal-po'i mdzad-pa nyi-shu-rtsa-gcig-pa 5) bKa-'-ehems ka-bkol-ma Alas, the list corresponds only partially to what we actually find in this or in any other surviving edition of the Ma-lJ-i bka'- 'bum known to us.
140a-167b. ('The Account [of Srong-btsan sGam-po's] Deeds in Regard to the Teachings of Other Buddhas'). LOCUS CLASSICUS 11 3) rGyal-bu 'iig-rten dbang-phyug-gi skye-rabs, ff. 167b - 183b. ('The lataka of Prince Lokesvara'). 4) rGyal-po'i mdzad-pa nyi-shu-rtsa-gcig-pa, ff. 183b - 211 a. ('The Twenty-one Deeds of the King'). The first two items are referred to as mDzad-pa lo-rgyus-kyi skor ('The Section Containing the Chronicle of Deeds') and the last two as gSung-gros man-ngag-gi skOr ('The Section Containing the Precepts on Counsels'), a somewhat arbitrary classification which bears little relevance, if any, to their actual content.
They are very close redactions of the same traditions which from here passed into the main stream of Tibetan historical writing. They deal firstly with the legendary arrival of Buddhist texts in the time of lHa-tho-tho-ri gNyan-btsan and a brief (but, in the case of A, well-founded) genc:alogy of the early kings; the conception and birth of Srong-btsan sGam-po; his youth and consecration; his introduction of religious laws; his collection of Buddhist images; his marriages to the Nepalese and Chinese princesses; the building of temples; the introduction of civil laws; the translation of scriptures and the concealment of gter-ma; and finally, the king's apotheosis.