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Early Indo-European Texts

Tocharian A

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Tocharian A with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Tocharian Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Tocharian A language and its speakers' culture.

Exerpt from the Buddhist Pun.yavanta-Ja:taka

1 ka:su n'om-klyu's'i s'äk kälymentwam. sätkatär.
        yärk yna:n'mune nam poto tsras.s.uneya: p(u)käs. kälpna:l;
        yukna:l yma:räk yäslun'cäs, kälpna:l yma:räk ya:tlune.

2's'i ma:k nis.palntu's'i ma:k s'kam. s.n'as.s.en'.
        nämsen'c yäslus. tsras.isac, kunsen'c yärkant tsras.isac.' waste wrasas's'i,'s'i ma: praski nas..

3 tämyo ka:su tsras.s.une p(u)kam. pruccamo n'i pälskam..

4 tsras.s.uneyo tämne nes. pras.tam. Siddha:rthes la:nt se Sarva:rthasiddhe bodhisattu sa:mudram. ka:rp, n' pran`ka: yes.. 5 n'emintuyo ypic olyiyam. sa:rth Jambudvipac pe ya:muräs., s.pät kn'ukac wram. kälk, s.pät pokena: kälk, s.pät lyomam. kälk. 6 s.pät wälts pältwa:yo opla:syo wram. opläs. opla: ka:rnma:m. kälkoräs., pän' kursärwa: rarkusa:m. tkana: kälk. 7 tmäs. ra:ks.tsa:s's'i dvipam. yes., tmäs. yaks.a:s's'i, tmäs. Baladvipam. yes.. 8 tmäs. s'twar-wäkna: rarkun'cäs is.anäs kcäk. s'twar-wäkna: spes.inäs klum.tsäsyo sopis Sa:gares la:nt la:n'ci was.t pa:s.änta:s s'a:wes empeles na:ka:s a:suk kätkoräs., Sa:garem. la:ntäs. cinda:man.i wma:r torim. kälpa:t, pon'cäm. Jambudvipis ekrorn'e wawik. 9 s'lak s'kam. -- S.a:mnernam.

ma:ski kätka:läm. ktän`ken'c' sa:muddrä,
        traidha:tuk tsras.s.uneyo ktän`ken'c kram.s'.
        kälpna:ntär torim. puttis'paräm. wärs.s.ältse.
        ma:=pärma:t tsru-yärm ya:tal yatsi tsras.s.une.

10 ma: täprem. sam. pon'cäm. ka:ripac sa:spärtwu a:lak wram nas. kosne a:la:sune. 11 kyalte nes. wrasas's'i sne-wa:wles.u sne-psäl klu s'wa:tsi, kalpavr.ks.äntwam. a:rwar papyätkunt wsa:lu yetweyntu was.lam. s.en'c-äm.. 12 a:la:sa:p klu kropluneya: kalpavr.ks.äntu nakäntäm, kappa:n' pa:kär ta:karäm. 13 sne-wa:wles.u sne-psäl klu naktäm, s'a:wam. wlesam.tyo psälas's'äl pa:kär ta:kam. cami a:la:suneyis nu tsras.s.une pratipaks. na:m.tsu. tämyo tsras.s.une n'i a:rkis'os.yam. p(u)kam. pruccamo pälskam..


1 "The good fame of the strong spreads in the ten directions.
Reverence, respect, obeisance, (and) honor (are) to be attained through strength from everyone.
To be conquered quickly (are) enemies. To be obtained quickly (is) prosperity.
2 Of the strong (there are) great riches; of the strong (are) also many relatives.
Enemies bow down before the strong; to the strong come honors.
The strong (are) the protection of creatures; of the strong there is no fear.
3 Therefore strength (is) good (and) in every way the best (thing) in my opinion.
4 "By means of strength thus, at an earlier time, the son of king Siddhartha, the Bodhisattva Sarvarthasiddha descended upon the ocean. He went to the island of jewels. 5 With a caravan to Jambudvipa also having been made in a ship filled with jewels, for seven days he walked up to the neck in water; for seven days with the arms he walked; for seven days in mud he walked; 6 for seven days in water with lotuses with a thousand leaves, ascending from lotus to lotus he went; five leagues he walked though a place covered by snakes. 7 Thereupon he went to the island of the Raksasas, then to the island of the Yaksas, to Baladvipa, he went. 8 Thereupon he traversed the moats covered by four sorts of snakes. Nets with four sorts of Sphatika thread guarding the royal house of king Sagara, the great, awful Nagas having traversed completely, he obtained the Cintamani-stone, the precious, from king Sagara. Of all Jambudvipa the sickness he caused to disappear. 9 And so (in samner-meter):
"The ocean difficult to cross the strong cross.
The threefold world (of) existence by strength the good cross.
The superior obtain precious Buddhahood.
Strength is not capable of performing a disgrace (even) to a small degree.
10 "There is not another thing (which has) become (lit. turned) so for the injury of the entire world as (has) sloth. 11 For formerly of men without work (there) was chaffless rice to eat. In the kalpa-trees ready prepared for them to wear were clothing and ornaments. 12 The rice of the slothful (man) (to be had) by gathering and the kalpa-trees disappeared for them. Miseries (?) were plainly before them. 13 Without work (and) without chaff the rice disappeared for them. By great labor and with chaff a store of grain was for them. 14 Indeed of this, sloth being the opposite, therefore, strength (is) in the world in my opinion altogether the best thing."