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Tibetan Art of Divination

Tibetan Art of Divination

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Published by Dhammajoti Blakeman
A brief synopsis of the art of Tibetan Divination Methods!

Fifteen years ago, in the March-April 1995 edition of Tibetan Bulletin, Dorje Tseten published a work entitled "Tibetan art of divination," which we now reprint here in its entirety. For a time, this work was available on the web, and was even posted on H.H. Dalai Lama's official site. However, the editorial policies of these sites changed, or at least the editorial focus, and the article was removed. This is the Complete article.
A brief synopsis of the art of Tibetan Divination Methods!

Fifteen years ago, in the March-April 1995 edition of Tibetan Bulletin, Dorje Tseten published a work entitled "Tibetan art of divination," which we now reprint here in its entirety. For a time, this work was available on the web, and was even posted on H.H. Dalai Lama's official site. However, the editorial policies of these sites changed, or at least the editorial focus, and the article was removed. This is the Complete article.

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Published by: Dhammajoti Blakeman on Feb 24, 2011
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Courtesy of You-Buddha  http://you-buddha.blogspot.com | Mahabodhi Metta Mandala 
   
Tibetan art of divination 
By: Dorje Tseten
 
         
 
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Courtesy of You-Buddha  http://you-buddha.blogspot.com | Mahabodhi Metta Mandala 
Tibetan art of divinationBy: Dorje TsetenReprint from March-April 1995 edition of 
Tibetan Bulletin(No Copyright)
  Although means of telling the future were employed in Tibet, before the advent of Buddhism,they are not regarded as an alien remnant outside the Buddhist framework that it is occasionallyconvenient to call upon. Rather, they are used within the sphere of Buddhist concepts,functioning in accordance with Buddhist principles such as karma. There are no references todivination in the collections of sutras, but many can be found in the tantras. 
Purpose
 By looking into someone's future, the diviner or medium can assess the particular situation andrecommend how to respond or deal with it Remedial action, in the form of rituals, evokespositive forces and can result in a change in the person's fortune. Rituals will not change aperson's karma, and those requesting and performing a divination are aware of this. However,they can induce latent positive potential to take precedence over that which is perceived as thecause of an impending misfortune. The efficacy of a ritual involves the patron making offerings of food and money to the monks oradepts performing it. The merit acquired from this gift is used to trigger the forces of latentpositive potential in oneself or others. Thus, one is not transferring merit and stepping outside thelaws of cause and effect, but merely using merit to awaken the forces of one's own or other'sgood karma. If, for example, someone's relative is ill, or his business is deteriorating, an individual mayrequest a qualified practitioner's divination to discover what ritual would be most helpful insetting conditions right. The success of this ritual depends on the strength of one's own karma.However, if the karma or predisposition to be ill is stronger than the latent positive potential inthe sick person's continuum, the effects of the disease will not be overcome and the ritual willremain unsuccessful. Performing divination for the ill is often considered quite tedious. Khamtrul Rinpoche, a Tibetanlama, says, "If you tell a patient to take Tibetan medicine or Western medicine, and I have toconduct a divination for each question. I feel that whatever we do, it is important for us to makethe decision ourselves, because there is less cause for regret afterwards. If we are unable to dothat, or have tried, but still feel we need someone else's advice, the next step is to seek guidancethrough divination. It is said that the invasion of Tibet by the Chinese had been predicted through various means andaccordingly many rituals were performed. However, since the Tibetan people's negative karmawas too strong to be countered by rituals, they remained ineffectual. 
Divination In Tibetan Society
 Divination is very much a part of life in Tibet and continues to be so among the exiledcommunity. Major decisions concerning everyday life such as marriage or business agreements
 
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Courtesy of You-Buddha  http://you-buddha.blogspot.com | Mahabodhi Metta Mandala 
are made only after consulting some form of divination. In most cases, people have favoritelamas who they consult. In nomadic areas where the sparse population is subject to the whims of nature, divination, signs and omens are seriously examined. They generally interpret thesethemselves. 
Qualifications needed 
 When performing a divination, an individual is relying on the power vested in him by aparticular deity. This power may have been acquired through a connection with the deity in apast life, and reinforced through retreats involving recitation of a mantra as many as one milliontimes, identifying himself with the deity with clear concentration and the generation of divinepride. There are many ways of performing divination related to the practice of various deities.For example, there are divinations dependent on Manjushri, Tara, Vajrapani, the Five Dakinis,Palden Lhamo, Dorje Yudronma and Tsering Chenga (the Five Long Life Sisters) The motivation for performing divination must be pure. Although anyone can acquire arelationship with a deity through intensive mantra recitation and consequently acquire certainpowers, if they are used for unwholesome purposes, they will eventually rebound and bringabout an unfortunate rebirth. 
Varieties of Divination
  i) Doughball Divination: This method is practised mainly in the monasteries or by individuallamas when an important decisions needs to be made, such as in the search for the reincarnationof very high lamas. A number of possible answers to the enquiry, such as the names of likelycandidates for a reincarnation, are written on slips of paper. These are then encased in equalsized balls of dough. Great care is taken to weigh the dough balls to ensure that they are exactlythe same size. The doughballs are then placed in a bowl, which is carefully sealed and placed infront of a sacred object, such as the Jowo statue in the main temple in Lhasa, images of Dharmaprotectors or the funerary monuments of great lamas, requesting their inspiration in deciding theoutcome. For a period of three days monks remain in the temple reciting prayers day and night.During that time no one is allowed to touch the bowl. On the fourth day, before all those presentthe cover of the bowl is removed. A prominent lama rolls the doughballs round in the bowlbefore the sacred object until one of them falls out. That is the ball containing the answer. ii) Dice Divination: Palden Lhamo dice divination is conducted with three dice with a numberfrom one to six indicated by dots on each face. Divination associated with other deities can beconducted with dice marked with letters. The dice are made of bone, wood or conchshell.Khamtrul Rinpoche described his own procedure for doing dice divination as follows: For a divination to be successful, it is essential that the diviner should have a pure motivation andthe person who came for advice believe in the diviner. It is important that they both pray to theThree Jewels, their root and lineage lamas and their deities, chiefly Palden Lhamo and otherDharma protectors, for a clear answer. If I didn't hear the request clearly, I ask again. Then, Ivisualise myself as my personal deity Dorje Shonu or Vajra Kilaya and call on Palden Lhamo.Through my long familiarity with her, I can clearly visualise her before me and I request her togive a perfect answer to the person who came for advice. Then 1 throw the dice and according to

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