Friday, November 11, 2005

Simple Words - PHYAG

OK, time to look at a verb. I could have taken yin or yod that means is depending on the context, but let's take another one that we will use later to build a complete structure based on the earlier words explained: phyag.

phyag, pronounced CHAK, means to prostrate, or salutate, or do homage, bow down, fold the hands. A longer version is phyag 'tshal, homage, an expression of reverence. In the Indian and Tibetan culture you do an expression that shows that the value another person of object has is incredible, so you bow down to this being or object, and by this expression you indicate how much you value it. In addition, in the Buddhist tradition, you also add in the concept that you want to obtain the same good qualities as the object or being as part of this expression.

Usually in complete sentences the verb is at the end of the sentence. To indicate it is indeed the last entry, and the next sentence starts something new, the verb is doubled with an -o ending, and depending on the last letter in the word, the -o ending might look different. In this case 'tshal ends with an l, so the ending is lo, or phyag 'tshal lo. By the way, in Sanskrit this is namo, such as in namo gurubye. In many translations namo is indeed translated as phyag 'tshal lo, for example in one of the first sentence of a text that is a homage. The homage sentence is used as a way to classify the commentary so you know what the text contains, but that's another story to be told later.

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