Home > Products > All products >

The Great Living Tree Tibetan Grammars

The Great Living Tree Tibetan Grammars

: $20.00

Availability: Paper usually shipped in 2 to 3 business days, eBooks by immediate download

type of book*:

Description Table of Contents
Title The Great Living Tree Grammars
Sub-title Beginner’s Level Tibetan Grammar Texts by Yangchen Drubpay Dorje
Author Tony Duff
Details 134 pages, 6" X 9", US$20, available in paper and PDF e-book formats
ISBN paper book 978-9937-572-32-3, e-book 978-9937-572-31-6
Texts Tibetan texts in Tibetan script included (see listing below)
In the seventh century C.E. the Tibetan man Thumi Sambhota wrote eight treatises that defined Tibetan grammar and lettering, but only two of them still exist, the others have been lost about two centuries after they were composed. Of the eight treatises, the first one, called The Root of Grammar, The Thirty Verses, and the sixth one, called The Application of Gender Signs, still exist.

The eighth Situ, Chokyi Jungnay, who is regarded as one of the best Tibetan grammarians who has lived, wrote a very large commentary to Tibetan grammar that became a standard amongst learned Tibetans. However, it is very complicated and not at all easy to understand. Ngulchu Dharmabhadra was another master grammarian who lived at the same time as Situ Chokyi Jungnay. He fully accepted Situ Chokyi Jungnay’s approach to grammar, however he saw that a text with the meaning of Situ’s commentary but without all the difficult argument contained in it was needed. Therefore, he wrote a text called Words of the Great Expert Situ or just Situ’s Words which rapidly became the standard text in Tibet for studying Tibetan grammar at a medium to advanced level.

After Ngulchu Dharmabhadra had completed “Situ’s Words”, he told his nephew cum student named Yangchen Drubpay Dorje that there was a need for a beginner’s level Tibetan grammar text that anyone could start to learn from, and told him to write such a text. The result was a pair of texts called The Great Living Tree grammars. The first of the two texts is a short form meant for easy memorization. The second of the two is a longer text that explains the verses of the first text. The author of this book, himself an accomplished Tibetan grammarian, has written a third commentary in the Great Living Tree series to explain the first two texts even further. All three texts together with an extensive introduction and ample footnotes and an extensive glossary are contained in this book. In addition, the Tibetan texts in Tibetan script have been included in the book for those who would like to study grammar in more depth. Note again that the Great Living Tree grammar texts are beginner’s texts and, unlike Situ’s Words and other medium-to-advanced Tibetan grammars, do not contain an explanation of the more difficult points of Tibetan grammar.

This book is one of several books on Tibetan grammar that feature native Tibetan grammar texts that present an understanding of Tibetan grammar the way that Tibetans themselves understand it. Go here for a complete listing of all of our works on Tibetan grammar.

The author of this book, who is well-known as an exceptionally capable translator of Tibetan Buddhism, has been concerned for many years at the mistaken translations of Tibetan Buddhism that arise because of a lack of understanding of the details of Tibetan grammar that exists amongst western translators. Therefore, he has published this and the other books on native Tibetan grammar in this series with a strong desire to make the Tibetan understanding of Tibetan grammar readily available. The end aim of course is that the western students studying Tibetan Buddhism will be able to gain a complete and correct understanding of the system through better translations of Tibetan works.

The book contains translations of the following texts:
“The Great Living Tree”, The Essence of Thonmi’s Fine Explanation The Thir­ty
“The Fine Explanation Great Living Tree”, The Clarifier of the Meaning of The Essence of “The Thirty”

An additional text written for the series by Tony Duff is included:
“The Guidance Great Living Tree”, A Guide to Yangchen Drubpay Dorje’s Great Living Tree Texts

Download Tibetan texts in TibetD format: not available yet.

Average Rating: Average Rating: 5 of 5 5 of 5 Total Reviews: 1 Write a review »

  1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 Extraordinary grammar book July 19, 2019
Reviewer: Geronimo Buggiani  
I've been using this book for the Tibetan Grammar classes at Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Shedra and it has proven to be an invaluable aid. Not only does it contain a translation of Yangchen Drubpe Dorje's root text "The Great Living Tree", which is the book traditionally studied as an introduction to Tibetan grammar (for it is quite a comprehensive short text arranged in verse, making it easier to memorize, something every Tibetan student does) but it also comes with Yangchen Drubpe Dorje's auto-commentary entitled "The Fine Explanation Great Living Tree" which expands on the root text, giving more in-depth explanations and providing examples. Finally, "The Guidance-Giving Great Living Tree, A Guide to Yangchen Drubpay Dorje’s Great Living Tree Texts" by Tony Duff is itself a commentary on the root text, mainly intended for students whose mother tongues are Western languages, providing further explanations on the unique characteristics of the Tibetan Language, showing similarities and fundamental differences that are sometimes confused. It is worth mentioning that the texts in Tibetan are included at the back. All in all, a solid and in-depth book, invaluable for anyone interested in studying the language.

Was this review helpful to you?