Wednesday, December 21, 2005


OK, let's start on the four-line Sakya (sa skya) blo sbyong text. The name of this text is zhenpa bzhi bral, this advice was given to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo by Manjushri himself.

zhen is is a verb, to grasp, desire, and when making it a noun, zhen pa, it becomes attachment.

bzhi is number four in Tibetan.

bral is a verb, to be free, parted from, separated from. bral ba is the noun of this verb, separation, freedom.

Another good thing know about nouns and their qualifiers is the order, noun-qualifier; thus zhen pa bzhi is attachments four, or four attachments. It's also very common to not include any plural statements such as rnams, as zhen pa bzhi indicates that the noun is plural.

The verb is at the end (see earlier article about sentence ordering). So, one translation of this title is To Be Free From the Four Attachments, even if it's quite OK to rephrase free to Freedom -- Freedom From the Four Attachments. I've also seen other translations such as Parting from the Four Attachments. If the meaning is clear and does not distort the original title, the translator has some liberties to change the words so it is easier for the reader to understand the main meaning. This is also the reason translators should take commentaries from qualified lineage teachers to learn the topic if possible inside out.

Try to do web searches to find commentaries and translations, including original texts around this blo sbyong text.

Next, we will talk about the history of this blo sbyong, and then go through each of the four attachments and how to be free of them.

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