Sunday, February 05, 2006

THAMS CAD NI





This is the whole first sentence. The last words are thams cad ni. We have talked about these words before, but it does not hurt to repeat words. thams cad means everything, all, the entire. For example, thams cad mkhyen pa means all-knowing, mkhyen pa means to know. This is an honorific title for a Buddha.

Going back to the earlier words, thams cad points at yan lag 'di dag, all those branches.

We have also talked about ni before, it's an emphatic particle, joining a left side statement with something to follow later, in this case in the next line. Sometimes you could translate ni as 'this is', 'as for', or something similar, or just leave it out, and bind together the sentence using other English constructs.

As this is verse, seven-syllable one, sometimes ni and other words are used as a filler, it's not always needed, but thanks to the flexibility of the Tibetan language it is OK to sometimes add words (such as multiple words defining plural), or omitting them (it is assume that that noun is plural) in order to get the same amount of syllables. The amount is important, as then the verses could be used with singing, or easy memorization -- hmm, there should be one more word so the verse is complete...

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