Ka khol ma

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Jowo Jé Glorious Atisha

The Ka khol ma (Tib. བཀའ་ཆེམས་ཀ་ཁོལ་མ་, Wyl. bka' chems ka khol ma) or 'Pillar Testament' is a text attributed to King Songtsen Gampo, which was then concealed in a hole in a pillar at the Jokhang and later revealed by Atisha as a 'terma' in around 1049. Many of the later texts on Tibetan history, such as the Feast for the Learned (Tib. མཁས་པའི་དགའ་སྟོན་, Wyl. mkhas pa'i dga' ston) by Pawo Tsuglak Trengwa, are based on it.

It seems there are three different versions of the text. This is not surprising for a terma, since for several generations the transmission of these texts was often given to only one person (Tib. ཆིག་རྒྱུད་, Wyl. chig rgyud). New material was added each time and it is often very difficult to find the original text.

Tibetan Text

Further Reading

  • Leonard van der Kuijp, 'Tibetan Historiography' in Cabezón and Jackson, ed., Tibetan Literature: Studies in Genre, Snow Lion, 1996
  • Ronald M. Davidson, 'The Kingly Cosmogonic Narrative and Tibetan Histories: Indian Origins, Tibetan Space, and the bKa' 'chems ka khol ma Synthesis', in Cosmogony and the Origins, Lungta, 2004
  • Warner, Cameron. 'The Genesis of Tibet's First Buddha Images: An Annotated Translation from the Three Editions of The Vase [-shaped] Pillar Testament (Bka' chems ka khol ma)', in Light of Wisdom (Journal of the Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods), vol. 1

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