Friday, May 31, 2013

Padampa's Rosary Divination



Every Tibetan knows about divination, and of all the systems used to predict uncertain outcomes, rosary divination is probably the most popular. No doubt one reason for this is that so many Tibetans never go anywhere without their beads, their trengwa (འཕྲེང་བ་).

The simplest form of rosary divination results in very simple yes-or-no answers. Since the equipment is already at hand, it’s easy to get a grasp with thumbs and fingers of both hands on beads on either side of the loop. Then you start counting toward the center moving three beads at a time until you are left with one (positive), two (negative) or three (negative, but possible to change). At this level, it is a lot like flipping a coin.

But here’s where things can get complicated enough you might want to think about keeping a small text to keep track of the larger number of possible answers. What you do is you just repeat the process again, yielding a pair of numbers. It is said that some people even go on to do it a third time to get yet another number. Today’s text attributed to Padampa is for the two-timers only.

‘But wait a minute,’ some of you are thinking, ‘what does divination have to do with Buddhism, and what would it have to do with Padampa?’ both of them valid and related questions that deserve some answer, even if only partial. I recently planted a comment at the blog of Mountain Phoenix (link in the list of readings below), the most sparkling literary jewel of all the Tibet blogs.  Let me go over there and quote it for you (emending a few things here and there as is my right).
I see divinations as just one type of manifestation of human sign-consciousness. Humans have been seeking signs in nature since time began, it seems. It's what doctors do when they make a diagnosis, for example. So to dismiss it as superstitious all of a sudden without giving the problem considerable thought seems a little extreme. It's been said that divination was the first professional specialty, even that it was the first of sciences (so if you appreciate the sciences, you ought to respect their origins...). You know the Tibetan term tendril - རྟེན་འབྲེལ་ - is just a shortened version of "interdependent origination" - རྟེན་ཅིང་འབྲེལ་བར་འབྱུང་བ་ - which is all about cause and effect. It's the cause and effect Buddha found out about when reaching Enlightenment. And in a universe of mutually caused (or mutually emergent) phenomena, perhaps 'choice' isn't quite what moderns make it out to be after all, you think? Moderns like to imagine that they can make the best choice completely on their own without contingencies impinging on their much-valued freedoms. Of course this ideal sense of free choice is constantly frustrated — by such things as sickness or injury, for example. And these are just the sorts of things that drive us to do divinations. Anyway, reflecting on this is a good thing, I think.
Well, the more I reflect about it the more I think it’s entirely fair and natural to find a place for divination in Buddhist communities, perhaps even more so than in other religions, where co-emergent synchronicity is not situated at the doctrinal core as it is in Buddhism. Of course the diviner may not be too likely to comprehend in one fell swoop the full sweep of the Dharma Realm, but to sense one of its corners off to one side isn't necessarily counterproductive to Awakening. Why, in any case, did the Buddha include psychic powers (the མངོན་ཤེས་ལྔ) among the possible outcomes of following his way if he was the rationalist he’s sometimes made out to be?


Then again, it’s true that too much is too much. If like me you’ve had the opportunity to visit Chinese Buddhist temples, it would appear that divination has taken over the central field of Buddhist practice. One of the most obvious of these practices is the dropping of the divination blocks. The shaking of the bamboo sticks before drawing one of them out is also a very noisy business.  The rattling and clacking divination sounds of the Chinese Buddhist temple could make it difficult to concentrate on other matters, I’d think. But this makes Chinese quite different from Tibetan temples. Tibetans go to lay specialists called mopa (མོ་པ་ or མོ་མ་) or to high Rinpoches for tukdam (ཐུགས་དམ་), but in either case, it’s done with a degree of privacy, and likely not happening inside the shrine hall.

It is true that, as in Chinese Buddhism, in Tibetan Buddhism there are a large number of possible ways of doing divinations, just that the set is a different set, with only partial intersection. Barbara Gerke, in her recent book Long Lives and Untimely Deaths, one I would very much like to read free of the impediments (བར་ཆད་) placed on it in Googlebooks, has a footnote swiftly and nicely outlining both the types and the studies done about them, so it ought to be quoted:
“Ekvall (1963: 34-35) describes various types of mo using dice, rosaries, songs, pebbles, butter lamps, or scapulas of sheep; Chime Radha Rinpoche (1981: 3-37) mentions Tibetan divinations employing visions, arrows, rosaries, dice, butter-lamps, and bird behavior. There are several studies on Tibetan divination, for example, Laufer (1914) on Tibetan bird divinations, Mortensen (2003) on raven augury, Orofino (1994) on divination with mirrors, and Rona-Tas (1956) on divination with dice.”

To tell another truth, to the best of my knowledge it doesn’t seem especially likely that Padampa actually initiated or even used any of the divination practices attributed to him. He had other preoccupations. Of course, I’m working with a picture of his life and person that comes primarily from the Peacemaking Collection that I’ve spoken about before, in the form of a 1245 CE manuscript. Even if not impossible, it doesn’t seem probable, and there seems to be little direct evidence as far as I have seen.* But then it wasn’t Raymond Moody, author of Life after Life that finally convinced me that there is indeed life after life, but rather it was Jan Assmann in his book Moses the Egyptian. Assmann shows very nicely the directions a person’s life can take after their death, particularly if they are destined, like Moses, to become a bigger-than-life cultural figure. I’ve been thinking for quite a long time now that what I ought to be thinking about doing in the study of the life of Padampa is to consider him as a cultural figure with a life that had a life of its own. That would mean not rejecting anything at all that is connected to his name. That would mean including the divination and magical medical texts.  In effect, I would be relinquishing the search for the historical Padampa, and pursuing instead the life of Padampa throughout history. Several divination texts have been attributed to Padampa. I don’t pretend to have traced them all, but apart from the rosary divination, copied from the manuscript kept in the Johan van Manen Collection in the Leiden University Library, I have also typed in (but in Wylie-style Romanization) a brief text devoted to finger divination and, even more curious and still briefer, another on stone divination.
(*There is in fact a little evidence, so I keep an open mind, hoping to look more closely at these things some other day.  The Blue Annals does make a reference to Padampa's pebble divination.)
So, down below you will find the incomplete Padampa text on rosary divination typed out for you in unicode Tibetan script.  (I tried to do it without introducing any corrections of my own, what is sometimes called texto style. I even follow its nonstandard punctuation standards. I did this because I was not granted permission to supply the original scans of the manuscript.) You will notice one thing right away if you are a person who reads Tibetan, which is that it is very oddly spelled. I have to admit I also have a lot of problem with that, but I’m afraid when you are dealing with popular subjects like this is, eccentric spellings are inevitable. Just try to make your peace with it and do your best. I don’t want to spoil the fun for you, so I will only do a quick and creaky translation of the beginning only (I cheat about something right away, reading ‘three’ as ‘two’... I think where you see cha you ought to read phywa...). The rest is up to you. So for now, I’ll just say, like the Italians, Buon auguri! and like the Tibetans, བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས་!


The Rosary Divination of Padampa


In this practice of the rosary divination of Padampa, you must first of all do the Refuge Taking.  Then repeat as many times as you can the mantras Oṃ shakya mu ne ye svāhāḥ.  Oṃ hra hra mu ne svāhāḥ.  Oṃ ha sha mu ne svā hā.  Then breathe on your rosary.  Imagine that your right hand is Sha-ri-bu and that your left hand is Me'u-'gal-bu.*  [1v]

Divide the rosary in two (not three) halves at some point, and stack the beads three by three.  If the result is that one is on top of one, it means that xxxxx (something cut off [or punished?] will continue?), it means that the dry mountain has water bursting out of it.  It means that the dried up tree has leaves sprouting on it.  It means that running away will result in freedom.  It means that an issueless woman will bear a child.  [2v]

It means the poor man will find wealth....
(*That means Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyaṇa, the two disciples of Buddha, often depicted on either side of Him.)

།།ཕ་དམ་པ་སངས་རྒྱས་ཀྱི་འཕྲུངས་མོ་བཞུགྶོ།།

[1v]འདིར་ཕ་དམ་པའི་འཕྲེངས་མོ་འདི་ལ་ཐེག་མར་སྐྱབས་འགྲོ་བྱས་ནས་།།ཨོཾ་ཤཀྱ་མུ་ནེ་ཡེ་སྭཱ་ཧཱཿ།ཨོཾཧྲ་ཧྲ་མུ་ནེ་སྭཱ་ཧཱཿ།ཿཨོཾ་ཧ་ཤ་མུ་ནེ་སྭཱ་ཧཱཿ།ཅི་མང་དུ་བཟླས་།།དེ་ནས་འཕྲེངས་བ་ལ་ཕུ་བཏབ་ནས་ལག་པ་གཡས་ཤ་རི་བུ་དང་།གཡོན་མེའུ་འགལ་བུ་རུ་སྒོམ་།

[2r]འཕྲེངས་བ་གསུམ་སུ་ཅད་གསུམ་དུས་རྩེགས་ལ་།།གཅིག་ཐོག་དུ་གཅིག་བྱུང་ན་།།ཐེབས་པ་ཆད་པ་ཐུང་པའི་ངོ་།།རི་སྐམ་པོ་ལ་ཆུ་སྡོལ་པའི་ངོ་།།ཤིང་སྐམ་པོ་ལ་ལོ་འདབས་སྐྱེས་པའི་ངོས་།།བྲོ་ནས་ཐར་པའི་ངོ་།།རབ་ཆད་མ་ལ་བུ་སྐྱེས་པའི་ངོ་།།

[2v]དབུལ་པོ་ལ་ནོར་སྙེད་པའི་ངོ་།།སྔ་ནས་ཟིན་པའི་ངོ་།།བཙལ་ནས་སྙེད་པའི་ངོ་།།ཁྱིམ་ཆ་ལ་གཡང་ཆག་པའི་ངོ་།།སྲོག་ཆ་ལ་སྲོག་མོ་ཚ་པའི་ངོ་།།མགྲོན་ཆ་ལ་མགྲོན་པོ་ཡོང་པའི་ངོས་།།གང་ལ་བཏབ་ཀྱང་མོ་བཟང་།།གཅིག་ཐོག་དུ་གཉིས་བྱུང་ན་།།མུན་ནག་དང་མྱ་ངན་ཡོད་།།ཐབས་བརྩོ་དང་འཁྲུག་པ་འོང་པའི་ངོ་།།མི་ཕྱུག་ཆུ་ལ་སྒྲོལ་དོན་བྱས་ན་རང་ཆུའི་ཁྱེར་གཉེན་ཡོད་།།བུ་མེད་ལ་མི་གཙང་པའི་ལྷ་གནོད་པ་ཉེ་ཕྱོག་ཕྱོག་ན་མོད་བྱེད་པ་དང་།་གླེག་བམ་འདོན་

[3r]ལྷ་མ་དགའ་པའི་ལྷ་ལ་གསོལ་ཁ་ཐོང་།།ནད་པ་ཡོད་ན་ཁྲུས་བྱེད་།།ཁ་སྨྲར་ཡོད་ན་མི་ཁ་ཐོང་།།གཏོར་བ་མི་རྙེད་།།དགྲ་ཆ་ལ་དགྲ་མིང་།།སྲོག་ཆ་ལ་དབང་ཐང་ཆུད་།།རིམ་འགྲོ་ལ་འབད་མོ་ངན་ནོ།༔།གཅིག་ཐོག་དུ་གསུམ་བྱུང་ན་།བྱེ་མེའི་རི་ལ་གསེར་གྱི་ལྗང་པ་སྐྱེས་།།ཡལ་གའི་རྩེ་ལ་ཁུ་ཡུག་གསུང་སྙན་རྒྱུར་།ཡུག་ས་མོ་ལ་ཁྱོ་བོ་སྙེད་།།དབུལ་པའི་བུ་ལ་ནོར་སྙེད་།།ཅི་ལ་བཏབ་ཀྱང་བཟང་།

[3v]གཉིས་ཐོག་དུ་གཅིག་བྱུང་ན་།།རི་བོ་རྩེ་ཤིང་ནག་འཚལ་རྒྱས་།།རྒྱལ་བློན་དབང་དུ་འདུས་།བསམས་པའི་དོན་འགྲུབ་།།གཏམ་སྙན་ཐོས་།འགྲོན་པོ་གྲོག་བཅས་འོང་།དོན་ཆ་འགྲུབ་།ནང་པ་ཡོང་ན་ཟས་མི་གཙང་པའི་ལེན་།།རྒྱལ་པོ་གནོད་།རྣམས་འཇོམས་ཀྱི་འཁྲུས་བྱེད་།།གསེར་འོད་འདོན་།།གཞན་གང་ལ་བཏབ་ཀྱང་བཟང་།།གཉིས་ཐོག་དུ་གཉིས་བྱུང་ན་།ཐབས་མོད་དང་གཏོར་ཀླགས་ཡོད་པའི་ངོ་།།ཀླུ་བུར་དུ་ནད་བྱུང་པའི་ངོ་།།དགྲ་འདུག་པ་

[4r]ཚ་ཚ་ལོ་གྲང་ཐོབས་།།བཟུངས་སྡུས་དོན་།།གང་ལ་བཏབ་ཀྱང་མོ་ངན་ནོ་།།གཉིས་ཐོག་དུ་གསུམ་བྱུང་ན་།།གསེར་གྱི་སྤང་ལ་གཡུའི་ལོ་འདབས་རྒྱས་།།མི་ངན་གཏམ་སྙན་འཚོར་།།གླག་སྙེན་ཁྱམ་པོ་ལ་ཡུལ་སྙེད་།།གྲོག་མེད་གྲོག་སྙེད་།།ཟས་ནོར་གང་ལ་གཡང་ཆག་།།ནོར་རྒྱུན་འདོན་།།དགྲ་ཆ་ལ་ཡིད་ཆག་པ་དགྲ་ལ་སྙིང་རྗེས་སྒོམ་།།དོན་ཆ་གྲོགས་ཆ་སྲོག་ཆ་ཁྱིམ་ཆ་ཀུན་ལ་བཟང་།།འགྲོན་པོ་

[4v]ལམ་དུ་ཞུག་ཡིད་ལ་བསམ་པའི་དོན་འགྲུབ་ཉལ་མཆོག་མོ་བཟང་།།གསུམ་ཐོག་ཏུ་གཅིག་བྱུང་ན་།།ལྷ་བཟང་པོས་མགོས་ཞིང་།།དགྲ་ལ་ཕུར་འགལ་ཚུར་མི་ཚུགས་།།ཕྲལ་དུ་ལས་སེམས་བདེ་ཀྱང་།།ཕུག་སུ་རྒྱབ་བརྟེན་བཟུང་།།ནང་པ་ཡོད་ན་ལྷ་བསྲུངས་དང་ལྷ་མཆོད་བྱས་།།རྒྱས་སྟོད་པ་འདོན་།།སྲོག་ལ་ཉེས་སྐྱོན་མེད་།།སྲིད་ཆ་ལ་སྲིད་འཕེལ་།།གྲོག་ཆ་དགྲ་ཆ་འགྲོན་ཆ་ཀུན་ལ་བཟང་།།གསུམ་ཐོག་ཏུ་གཉིས་བྱུང་ན་།།བཞིས་ལྷ་བཟང་གཞན་དྲིན་མི་ཤེས་།།


[5r]ཤ་དམར་ཟ་མར་ལེན་།།ལག་དུ་གསེར་ལེན་ཀྱག་།ཟང་ཚོད་བྱེད་ན་རྒྱལ་།།ནད་པ་ཡོད་དགེ་འདུན་གཞི་སྡེ་།ཚ་ཚ་སྟོང་འདེབས་།གཤེགས་པ་བྱེད་།།དགྲ་ཆ་ལ་དགྲ་འོང་དགྲ་ཟོར་འཕངས་།།སློག་བཟུངས་འདོན་།།བདུད་བཟློག་བྱེད་།།དེ་ལྟར་བྱེས་ན་བཟང་།།གསུམ་ཐོག་དུ་གསུམ་བྱུང་ན་།།སྔར་འགྱོད་

[5v]ཀྱང་ཕྱི་རང་རྒྱལ་པའི་ངོ་།།ཕྲལ་དུ་སྦྲུལ་ཆེ་ཡང་།།ཕུག་སུ་བདེ་སྐྱིད་ཡོད་པའི་ངོ་།།འཚོངས་བྱས་ན་རང་རྒྱལོ་།།བྱ་བ་གང་བྱས་ལམ་དུ་འགྲོ་།།ནད་ཡོད་ན་དམ་སྲི་གནོད་།།ལྷ་སྐྱོབས་།།ཕོ་ལྷ་ལ་གསོལ་ཁ་མྱུར་དུ་ཐོང་།།ཚེ་བཟུངས་དང་ཚེ་དབང་ཞུས་།།ཕྲལ་ཕུག་གཉིས་ཁ་བཟཽང།། །།བཀྲ་ཤིས་།་དགེའོ༔




Complete transcription of the text and partial translation done with permission of the Leiden University Library, Collection Institute Kern, 2740/M 463. With heartfelt gratitude to the librarians who made this possible.


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Phadampa's Finger, Stone and Arrow Divinations

Source:  Mo Dpe Phyogs-bsdus Snang Srid Gsal-ba'i Me-long, Ngagyur Nyingma Institute (Mysore 2000/2001), in 316 pp. at pp. 38-39.  The identical two titles may be found in a small pecha volume entitled Bkra-shis-tshe-ring-ma'i 'Phrul Mos Gtsos-pa'i Mo Dpe Phan-bde'i 'Byung-gnas, no publisher, no date (ca. 1992?), in 206 pages, purchased in Kathmandu in 1993, at pp. 57-60. (This same volume has a brief rosary divination attributed to Atisha that seems to have been printed a number of times. It is quite different from our Padampa text, visualizing the right hand as the lunar disk, and the left hand as the solar disk, with a number of other differences. However, in its interpretations of the results, there is very much in common.  So it would be profitable to study it in conjunction with the Padampa text...)

mdzub mo lnga yi mo bzhugs so //

mtheb chen shing gi khams /
mdzub mo me yi khams /
gung mo sa yi khams /
srin lag lcags kyi khams /
mthe'u chung chu yi khams so //

thog mar mtheb chen ston na / gdon phywa sa bdag dang rgyal po srin mos gnod / na tsha dpung pa dang kha thed pa og ma na / shes pa 'thibs pa'i na tsha yong / 'khon dang mi gtsang ba la gzab chu gtsang ster /  grib dang mi gtsang bas len / khrus dang bshags pa byas pas phan no //

mdzub mo ston na / gdon phywa btsan dang ma mos gnod / na tsha mig dang kha lce na / 'khor la mya ngan drag po cig yong nyen 'dug / sngar byung na des thub / ma byung na yong nyen yod / cho ga dang rim gro ci rig bya / klu bdud klu btsan gyi zhal bsgyur bya'o //

gung mo ston na / gdon phywa rgyal po dang bdud kyis gnod / nad glo bur du na / zing 'thab yong / bdud kyi zhal bsgyur dang dkar po drug mdos bya'o //

srin lag ston na / gdon phywa btsan dang 'dre mo sa srin dang shing srin gyis gnod / nad ni dmu chu yong / dmar ngo dang khrag ngo yong / 'khon dang 'thab sa'i bar du mi 'gro / klu dang bsen mo'i cho ga bya / skyes pa yin na btsan drag pos 'go ba yin no //

mthe'u chung ston na / gdon phywa mtsho sman dang ma mos gnod / bud med kyi phyir 'gron pa'i 'dres gnod / srin mo dang sa bdag gdong rtsub nas gnod / khyim du brag nag skyes na mi ston / sa bdag dang sa srin sdong bu'i cho ga bya'o //

pha dam pa sangs rgyas kyis mdzad pa mdzub lnga'i mo rdzogs so //

pha dam pa sangs rgyas kyis mdzad pa mdzub lnga'i mo rdzogs so //


pp. 40-41:

rdo mo'i mngon shes bzhugs so //

na mo gu ru pha dam pa rin po che la phyag 'tshal lo //

mkhyen pa rdo mo'i mngon shes gsal bar ston cig //

de la rang pha dam par sgom la /  mi gcig gi rdo gcig khyer la shog zer / de la dang po phyogs ston pa ni / rdo shar nas byung na / gdon du rgyal pos gnod rgyal po mchod / rdo lho nas 'byung na / gshin 'dre dang ma mos gnod / bsam pa grub grogs phywa bzang / rdo nub nas 'byung na / btsan dang klu yis gnod / srin mo yis mdos bya / mo 'bring tsam yin / rdo byang nas 'byung na / bdud dang rgyal pos gnod / bdud dang rgyal po mchod /

da ni kha dog ston pa ni / rang gis gsol ba'i lha yis gnod / mi gtsang ba'i sna len byed / rdo ser po 'byung na / rgyal po dang the'u rang gis gnod / rgyal don bya sgro thon / rdo dmar po 'byung na / btsan dang dkon mchog la mchod pa 'bul / rdo nag po 'byung na / bdud kyis gnod / rdo sngon po 'byung na / klus yis gnod klu mchod bya / spangs skongs dang klu bum thon gtor ma btang / rdo dkar po 'byung na / rgyal srin mo'i dgu mdos bya / rdo ser po 'byung dang phyed dmar 'byung na / btsan dang rgyal pos gnod / rdo dmar po dang sngon po 'byung na / klu dang bdud kyis gnod / rdo zlum po 'byung na / bsam pa grub / rdo dmar po 'byung na mo ci la btab pas bzang ngo // legs so //  //


°

I don’t have access to the arrow divination text yet.  I’ve noticed a title of a Stuttgart manuscript,* Dam-pa Sangs-rgyas-kyis mdzad-pa’i Mda’ Mo, with the mda’ mo evidently meaning ‘arrow divination.’  This text seems to employ feathers and arrows.  It may have actually been Phadampa's practice, to do divination with a bamboo in one hand and feather in the other, as we may note in one single passage of the Peacemaking Collection, unfortunately without the least indication of how the divination was performed. Chances are it was a form of rhabdomancy working on the same general principles as belomancy...
(*See Emil Schlagintweit, Verzeichnis der tibetischen Handschriften der Königlich Württembergischen Landesbibliothek zu Stuttgart, Sitzungsberichte der philosophisch-philologischen und historischen Klasse der königliche bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu MünchenJahrgang 1904 (1905), pp. 245-270, at pp. 262-263 (you may see this for yourself at Internet Archive).  The text ends with the words “dam pa'i mda' mo thong ba gdong gsal mngon shes me long.” Any information on its present whereabouts would be much appreciated.)


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More to read out on the world-wide web:

Learn Dalai Lama Karma in Buddhism, Tibetan Astrology, Dough Ball, Dreams & Butter Lamp Divination in Dharamsala!  The page, including a bit on rosary divination, is here.

Tibetan Bead Counting:  Teng Mo.  A webpage belonging to the website Serena's Guide to Divination.  Teng Mo is phonetic for འཕྲེང་མོ་.



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A select bibliography on divination in Tibet (omitting mediums/oracles and astrology):


Anonymous, Sgrol-ma Nyer-gcig-ma'i Gsal-ba'i Mgron Mo,  a 9-folio text purchased in Lhasa in 1996.  Printed by Par-pa Dpal-ldan.  This title seems to have been attributed, elsewhere, to Atisha.

Anonymous, Shar Phyogs Rgyal-khams Chen-po'i Sa-glang Brtags-thabs Don-gsal Nyams-kyi Dbyangs-chu.  A 9-folio text, evidently on geomancy.

Jacques Bacot (1877-1965), La table des présages signifiés par l'éclair, Journal Asiatique, 11th series vol. 1 (1913), pp. 445-449.

C.R. Bawden, A Tibetan-Mongol Bilingual Text of Popular Religion, contained in: Serta Tibet-Mongolica (Wiesbaden 1973), pp. 15-32.  On scapulimancy, divination.  O'u-rod Phyogs-su Dar-ba'i Lug-gi Sog-pa la Blta-ba'i Mo Phywa Sgyu-ma'i Lung-ston by Sum-pa Mkhan-po.

C.R. Bawden, Divination, contained in: W. Heissig & C. Müller, eds., Die Mongolen (Innsbruck), pp. 227-231.

C.R. Bawden, On the Practice of Scapulimancy among the Mongols, Central Asiatic Journal, vol. 4 (1958), pp. 1-44.

Per-Arne Berglie, To Tell the Future by Using Threads: and Some Reflections on Tibetan Divination, Acta Orientalia Hungarica, vol. 43 (1989), pp. 171-176.

Mark Caltonhill, Private Prayers and Public Parades: Exploring the Religious Life of Taipei, Department of Information, Taipei City Government (Taipei 2002). This illustrated book is much recommended for its treatment of popular religion in a Chinese community, especially for curious beginners in the field like myself. The chapter on divination is on pp. 70-86.

Brandon Dotson, Divination and Law in the Tibetan Empire: The Role of Dice in the Legislation of Loans, Interest, Marital Law and Troop Conscription, contained in: Matthew T. Kapstein & Brandon Dotson, eds., Contributions to the Cultural History of Early Tibet, Brill (Leiden 2007), pp. 3-77.

Robert Ekvall, Some Aspects of Divination in Tibetan Society, Ethnology, vol. 2, no. 1 (January 1963) pp. 31-39.  See also his book Religious Observances in Tibet, pp. 251-282.

August Francke, Drei weitere Blätter des tibetischen Losbuches von Turfan, Sitzungsberichte der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.Hist. Kl. (1924? 1928?), pp. 110-118.

Jay Goldberg & Lobsang Dakpa, trs., Mo: Tibetan Divination System, by Mipham; foreword by Sakya Trizin,  Snow Lion (Ithaca 1990).

Jay Goldberg, Mirrors in the Sky: Tibetan Methods of Divination, contained in: John Matthews, ed., The World Atlas of Divination, Headline Book Publishing (London 1994), pp. 161-170.

Roger Housden, The Tibetan Oracle: Ancient Wisdom for Everyday Guidance, Harmony (1998).  Not seen.

Jiangbian Jiacuo, An Investigation of Gesar's Arrow Divination (Gesar mDav-mo), contained in: Per Kvaerne, ed., Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the 6th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Fagernes 1992, The Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture (Oslo 1994), vol. 1, pp. 403-407. 

Khri-gtsug-rnam-dag, Dge-bshes, Bon-gyi Rno-mthong Mo-yi Lam-lugs Skor, a paper delivered (in Tibetan) at the 10th IATS conference (Oxford 2003), on divination practices of Bon.

Susan S. Landesman, Mirror Divination: Shamanistic & Non-Shamanistic Divinations, Central and Inner Asian Studies, vol. 6 (1992), pp. 16-35.

Berthold Laufer, Bird Divination among the Tibetans, T'oung Pao, 2nd series vol. 15 (1914), pp. 1-110.

Peter Lindegger, Gute & Böse Tage: Aspekte des tibetischen Volksglaubens, Tibet-Institut Rikon Schriften nr. 16 (Rikon 1999), in 34 pp.  Mdzad-pa'i Kun-rdzob G.ya'-sel Me-long by Karma-chags-med.

Carole Morgan, Dog Divination from a Dunhuang Manuscript, Journal of the Hong-Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 23 (1983), pp. 184-93.

Carole Morgan, La divination d'après les croassements des corbeaux dans les manuscrits de Dunhuang, Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie, vol. 3 (1987), pp. 55-76.

Eric Mortensen, Raven Augury in Tibet, Northwest Yunnan, Inner Asia, and Circumpolar Regions: A Study in Comparative Folklore and Religion, PhD dissertation, Harvard University (September 2003).

Eric Mortensen, Raven Augury from Tibet to Alaska, contained in: Paul Waldau and Kimberly Patton, eds., A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, & Ethic, Columbia University Press (New York 2006), pp. 421-438.

Eric Mortensen, Raven Divination in the Eastern Himalaya: A Comparative Study of Tibetan and Naxi Sources.  8th IATS, abstract.

Eric Mortensen, Tibetan Scapulamancy: A Comparative Study of Divination.  9th IATS, abstract.

Mountain Phoenix, Kiss Mo & Co Goodbye!  a blogpage at the blogsite Mountain Phoenix Over Tibet, dated April 2, 2013. Go directly there here.

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, The Deutrul Divination, a section contained in:  Drung, deu and Bön: Narrations, Symbolic Languages and the Bön Tradition in Ancient Tibet, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (Dharamsala 1995), pp. 25-30.  Rde'u-'phrul, pebble divination.

R. Nebesky-Wojkowitz, Tibetan Drum Divination: "Ngamo,"  Ethnos, vol. 17 (1952), pp. 149-157.

Ai Nishida, An Old Tibetan Divination with Coins: IOL Tib J 742, contained in: Yoshiro Imaeda, Matthew Kapstein & Tsuguhito Takeuchi, eds., New Studies of the Old Tibetan Documents: Philology, History and Religion, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (Tokyo 2011), pp. 315-327.

Giacomella Orofino, Divination with Mirrors: Observations on a Simile Found in the Kâlacakra Literature, contained in: Per Kvaerne, ed., Tibetan Studies: Proceedings of the 6th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Fagernes 1992, The Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture (Oslo 1994), pp. 612-628.

Gedun Rabsal (Dge-'dun-rab-gsal), A Note on the Tun-huang Manuscript (P.t. 1045) on Signs of Raven's Voice. Tibet Journal, vol. 23, no. 4 (Winter 1998), pp. 144-148.

Lama Chime Radha Rinpoche, Tibet, contained in: Michael Loewe & Carmen Blacker, ed., Divination and Oracles, Shambhala (Boulder 1981), pp. 3-37.

András Róna-tas, Tally-Stick and Divination-Dice in the Iconography of Lha-mo, Acta Orientalia Hungarica, vol. 6 (1956), pp. 163-179.

Alexander Smith, Remarks Concerning the Methodology and Symbolism of Bon Pebble Divination, Études Mongoles & Sibériennes Centralasiatiques & Tibétaines, vol. 42 (2011).  The illustrated article, in HTML (or PDF, if you prefer), is here.

Snang-rgyal Shes-rab-dge-legs, Zhang-zhung Ju-thig Dpyad Gleng-gi Sa-bon, Bon-sgo, vol. 20 (2007), pp. 71-83. About string divination.

R.A. Stein, Trente-trois fiches de divination tibétaines, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies (1939), pp. 318-321.

Dorje Tseten (Rdo-rje-tshe-brtan), Looking into the Future, Chö Yang, vol. 6 (1994), pp. 111-118.

L.A. Waddell, Divination (Buddhist), Hasting's Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. 4 (Edinburgh 1911), pp. 786-787.

Michael Walter, Areal Religious Phenomena in Tibet and Central Eurasia, contained in: Michael Gervers and Wayne Schlepp, eds., Historical Themes and Current Change in Central and Inner Asia, Toronto Studies in Central & Inner Asia no. 3, Joint Centre for Asia Pacific Studies (Toronto 1998), pp. 122-133.

Michael Walter, Scapula Cosmography and Divination in Tibet, Kailash, vol. 18, nos. 3-4 (1996), pp. 107-114. 

Alex Wayman, A Jotting on the Mirror: Those of Ladies, Mahfil, vol. 7 (Fall-Winter 1971), pp. 209-213.

Zhou Qi, Divination in Buddhist Theory and Practice.  Look here.

Van Manen helped his servant write his autobiography after teaching him to read and write—fascinating reading, whether or not you regard it as an early effort in the field of subaltern studies. It was published by The John Day Company (New York 1945, 1946, 1947).

After Word

Read what follows, about Padampa's arrow divination text that we've mentioned above, and prepare to be amazed!


R.K. of Munich wrote (June 4, 2013):
“I am referring to the Dam pa sangs rgyas kyis mdzad pa'i mda' mo by Pha dam pa sangs rgyas which came up in your latest blog.


“The manuscript of the text came to the Königliche Landesbibliothek (Royal State Library) of Württemberg (known as Württembergische Landesbibliothek today) by way of a present from the Empress of Russia Catherine II (or the Great, if you want, 1729-1796) to the court of the Duchy of Württemberg in Stuttgart (the Kingdom of Württemberg was only established thanks to Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806, not sure when exactly the manuscript actually reached Stuttgart). This provenance from Russia may hint at an origin of the manuscript in Mongolia, and Schlagintweit suspects that the items included in the gift may have reached St Petersburg thanks to the activities of Peter Simon Pallas (1741-1811) or Paul Ludwig Schilling von Cannstatt (1786-1837, well known in Buddhological circles simply as Baron Schilling von Cannstatt).


“In any case, as for the whereabouts, the manuscript still exists, so much I know. It is still kept by the Württembergische Landesbibliothek, where it sits along with all the other Tibetan items from Catherine's present under the shelfmark "Cod. orient. fol. Nr. 9". The exact reference to it would probably be Nr. 9 b 16 (assuming that Schlagintweits numbering occurs on the title page).”

8 comments:

  1. བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས།—An apropos sign off, as "bkra shis" may be translated "auspicious," and "auspicious" has its roots in "auspex"—divination by observing the flight of birds ;) Great post as always, thanks Dan!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dan and Dirk,

    Thanks for the blog and the observation, which seems right on target (Dan's link to http://www.serenapowers.com/tibetan.html). Poor raven, always the bad role. Except for Padampa: “About the view, ask the ship's crow.”

    Reassure me, ravens and crows are equally bad omens?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear D & J,

    I've often wondered about the origins of Bkra-shis. It may seem farfetched, but I'm imagining that the Bkra and the Khra ('falcon') may have some etymological connection. The falcon has variegated colors, doesn't it? And that's what Bkra means, too... Something splendidly multicolored. Something like a painting. I don't know why the falcon should be more auspicious than the crow. Falcons dive-bomb straight for their prey, and in that sense is right on target, it gets the job done...

    Some think the Shis of Bkra-shis is a disguised borrowing from Sanskrit. I wonder.

    Ravens and crows are indistinguishable for most people most of the time, I'd say. But I've often gotten in trouble with scientists for speaking like that.

    Yours,
    D

    ReplyDelete
  4. But surely Dan, us Lama Zhang fans know that the one getting the job done straighth away is the crow...

    Phyag rgya chen po rtogs par ‘dod pa’i gang zag ni kva ta lta bu dang, spre’u lta bu gnyis las, ‘di ni kva ta lta bu’i lugs te, thog babs bsam chig chod du ston pa’o.

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  5. Dear J,

    Of course you're right. I just wasn't thinking. Which is supposed to be a problem, isn't it? Did you see the new bit added at blog's end? I'm thinking the arrow divination might be doable.

    Yours,
    D

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  6. Dear Dan,

    Off to Stuttgart! If Dan Brown only knew you. We would have a Da Vinci Code every year! :-) Joking apart, it is amazing.

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  7. Yes, apparently it didn't get burnt to a crisp in WWII as it might have.

    That's when half the books at that library were lost, says the Wiki. But somehow the Tibetan books were miraculously kept out of harm's way.

    I sincerely hope throngs of Brownites won't descend on Stuttgart as they are doing in Istanbul these days. Is that the reason they're protesting in Taksim?

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  8. I doubt if anyone noticed, but I just now added a transcription of the 5th and final folio of the Padampa Rosary Divination text. The Leiden library very quickly sent me the scans of the text, but sans the final folio. Informed of this, they very quickly sent it, and it arrived just a few days ago. Anyway, there is nothing like a colophon at the end to tell us more about the text. Still, it's always good to serve up complete texts. Thanks again to the librarians of Leiden.

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