Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Grammar - Negations, MA, MI, MIN, MED

In Tibetan you have two tiny words placed in front of the verb that will be negated, ma and mi. ma is used for past and imperative verbs; mi for present and future verbs. As for adjectives, sometimes ma is used, sometimes mi!

When looking for negations, you need to make you you don't mix it with a word that uses a ma syllable -- for example bla ma (lama, teacher) is where ma is part of the word, not a negation with the next word.

ma rig pa - ignorance, or not understanding
mi skye ba - not arising
mi rtag pa - changing, this is sometimes translated as impermanent, but rtag pa means not changing. This is especially tricky with the definition of a changing thing.
mi bden pa - not true, bden pa - true

Two special forms of negations -- is not -- are ma yin, is not, that is shortened to min, and med that is the negation of yod. You will see min and med used in various places, especially verses, and in zhen pa bzhi bral.

Homework, find examples of negations in Jetsun Drakpa Gyeltsen's zhen pa bzhi bral commentary.

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