Tibetan Elemental Divination Paintings

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Tibetan Elemental Divination Paintings

White Beryl

A magnificently produced rare manuscript with exquisite paintings, this is a remarkable translation of Sangye Gyatso's renowned treatise on astrology and divination. The illuminated manuscripts from the White Beryl are accompanied by Lochen Dharmasri`s treatise, Moonbeams: An Esoteric Instruction on Elemental Divination, both translated with commentary by Gyurme Dorje.

The regent Sangye Gyatso was a great polymath - he was an astute politician, builder of the red palace of the Potala, and a prolific scholar, his important works on Tibetan medicine and religious history fill 26 volumes, including the Blue Beryl (published as Tibetan Medical Paintings).

This present work, a unique 18th century colour manuscript, contains the finest and most detailed extant set of illuminated manuscripts depicting the full system of elemental divination - describing the intricate system of tabular calculations based on the five elements - wood, fire, earth, iron, and water. The Tibetan system of elemental divination and geomancy has both Chinese Buddhist and Taoist antecedents. It was integrated in Tibet with Indian astrology and Nepalese martial conquest and this is the transmission which eventually fell to Sangye Gyatso.

In Tibetan society a clear distinction is made between high Buddhist culture and the so-called lesser sciences, which include astrology and divination. Yet, divinatory techniques are frequently applied in order to obtain sagacious pronouncements on all aspects of secular life - birth, marriage, obstacles, success in business, disease, and death - as well as spiritual progress.

This wonderful monumental book with the manuscript's 94 illustrated folios come especially bound in a large box case.

Hardback, 438pp pages, 450 x 320mm, John Eskenazi, 2001

ISBN 0953994104