Tag Archives: Dalai Lama

Homage to Lord Kalachakra!

I recently received my Tibetan horoscope from Men-Tsee-Khang, the Tibetan medical and astrological institute based in Dharamsala, India, and set up by the Dalai Lama.

There were a lot of surprises in there. What principally surprised me was that the positions of the planets differed marginally from Indian sidereal astrology. This is the front page of the prognosis offered by Men-Tsee-Khang.

Homage to the Lord Kalachakra!

In contradistinction, here is the rashi chakra for the “seven planets” produced by the enormously wonderful Indian software, Jagganatha Horam.

Lagna 24 Libra 16; Sun 21 Scorpio 25; Moon 10 Gemini 28; Mars 28 Leo 31; Mercury 4 Sagittarius 24; Jupiter 9 Capricorn 20; Venus 6 Capricorn 04; Saturn 27 Leo 10.  These figures tally more or less with my own horoscope program, Astral Windows. Venus and Jupiter are in Capricorn, sidereally.

But not in the Dalai Lama’s mobs’ chart. There, Venus and Jupiter have ended up in Sagittarius, although the other positions are similar. I decided to ask the astrologer a question, to which she replied, quite promptly. She said that Tibetan astrology was, like Indian astrology, a sidereal system and quite occasionally discrepancies like this occurred.

This was not good enough for me. A colleague of mine, Professor Edward Henning, sent me his book a couple of years ago. Called Kaalachakra and the Tibetan Calendar (ISBN 978-0-9753734-9-1, New York 2007), this wonderful book points out the basic flaws in its calculations.

Indeed, Professor Henning was kind enough to explain the anomalies to me, in personal correspondence.  He told me that there was no equivalent to the ayanamsha in Tibetan astrology, and, indeed it is basically a tropical system, with the errors so great that it had somehow turned into a sidereal system – with anomalies as described above.

Of course, Hindu astrologers also have a kaalachakra system too, but it is kind of different and has various different ayanamshas. No one is quite clear what the starting point is. Some mention Spica at the end of sidereal Virgo, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn fixed on the star Regulus, while Varamihira, the “father” of Indic astrology based it on a star in Rohini which seems to have blanked out. And scholarship has shown that although Varahamihira’s astrology retains some Indian heritage, much of it seemed to based on astrologers attached to Alexander the Great’s invasion into the East. My own book on sidereal astrology – Tantrik Astrology – still appears to be extant.

Go figure!

Four against 4,000 demonstrate for Tibet

A BIG DEMONSTRATION in New Zealand had 4,000 pro-Chinese demonstrators turn out against four folk holding Tibetan flags.

In other news, the People’s Republic is sending someone to meet the envoy of the Dalai Lama, although what they’ll say to each other no one really knows.

Mr Dalai has long said he’d like Tibet to be an autonomous area of China – there are many Tibetan Buddhists in Taiwan now, don’t you know. And quite a few in India. And even quite a lot in Scotland.

Of course, in all the hoohah about the useless concept called the Olympics, everyone seems to have totally forgotten the British expedition to Tibet in 1904, headed by a man called Younghusband.  A few squaddies under the command of this geezer shot their way through to Lhasa, it appears.

This book, on page x of the foreword, has the telling statement: “The [British] Government of India, however, despite its perceived geopolitical requirements, was never able to persuade its masters in London that Tibet was not in some way or other a part of the Chinese world… When, soon after the British had departed the Subcontinent in 1947, the Government of independent India was not slow in acknowledging the fact of a Chinese Tibet.”

The problem, of course, is not suzerainty, but religion. The PRC in 1951 was hardly secular, and a form of Buddhism has long been prevalent in Greater China and still has many adherents. It is all very complicated. The PRC does get its knickers in a twist over this however – religion is not the “opium of the masses” any more, capitalism is. And the Opium Wars are long over. 

Perhaps if the new Kuomintang government in Ole Taipei gave back or at least started talking about the treasures held in the CKS museum to mainland China, a new era of rapprochement between “autonomous regions” could kick off again.  After all, even Scotland has its own “parliament” these days, apparently from an Old French verb “parler”. And as Winston Churchill is said to have said, “better jaw jaw, than war war”. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to think that…