QUERY> Mysterious Buddhist Chinese transcription

Matthew Kapstein's picture

Dear friends,

I am puzzled by a string of characters I find in a Chinese transcription of a Sanskrit mantra: tuo he ti 陀呵啼 . On the basis of the materials at my disposal, I am unable to identify this phrase. Suggestions would be most welcome.

陀 of course occurs in 陀罗尼, the Chinese transcription of dhāraṇī and so perhaps represents dh- here as well.

with thanks in advance,


Matthew Kapstein

EPHE, Paris


Categories: Query

Dear Professor Kapstein,

陀 sometimes represents ta or da in Chinese transcription. If the punctuation is correct, one possible reading of it could be dahati / dāhati/ dahate/ dāhate. I don't know if the context of the mantra is related to cremation. Maybe this idea can help.

Mingyuan Gao
The University of Hong Kong

The Digital Dictionary of Buddhism inclines toward Prof. Gao's idea, related to "burning":



Basic Meaning: dāha

Burning. 〔翻譯名義集 T 2131.54.1137c28, 翻梵語 T 2130.54.992c1〕 [Charles Muller; source(s): Soothill]

David Gardiner
Colorado College

Thanks to all who replied on and off list.
There seems to be a consensus that the phrase 陀呵啼 tuo he ti
can be interpreted as derived in some way from Skt. √dah, “to burn.”
Though it is by no means certain in the context, it is a very helpful suggestion.

Thanks again!

Matthew Kapstein
EPHE, Paris