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Sku, Bla, Lha, Etc.: The Language And Phraseology Of Early Tibetan Politics And Religion

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses three important Old Tibetan religio-political terms, sku, bla, and lha. Only the first is formally from the honorific vocabulary. The others seem not to be honorifics per se, although they have been used as prefixing elements in certain situation. There was also a mythological justification for the office of btsan-po and the hierarchy of the Imperium, and bla and lha were its most important concepts from the earliest written language on. The chapter treats these terms as political terminology as well as social markers. The most important religio-political agents in whose care the Imperium rested, aside from the btsan-pos, seems to have been an obscure group known as the sku bla. One of the most significant terms in Tibetan Buddhism is bla ma. The chapter explains the bivalence of terms such as sku, bla, and lha.

Keywords: Bla; Early Tibetan politics; Lha; Sku; Tibetan Buddhism; Tibetan religio-political thinking; Tibetan religion



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