Research Project


Tibetan Geomancy (sa dpyad)

Prof. Dr. Petra Maurer

Tibetan Geomancy is one of the subjects that belong to Chinese calculation (nag rtsis), a field of knowledge that had and still has a great impact on Tibetan cultural life as it pervades almost any sphere of planned activity or predictable and unpredictable events in human life: Tibetans used to calculate for example, fortunate circumstances for childbirth, suitable time for a wedding (bag rtsis) or suitable time and place for the construction of a building (sa dpyad). The Bavarian State Library was able to acquire three illuminated manuscripts (Cod. Tibet. 895, 896, 897) on sa dpyad. Their content is most likely to be based on chapter 32 of the Vaiḍurya dkar po. These illuminated manuscripts that show the pictures used to compare a mountain, an area or rocks with a human being, various animals, objects from daily life and so on, lead to the idea, besides the translation of three illustrated manuscripts to give a survey on the most common and basic terms important in nag rtsis and especially in sa dpyad as a thorough understanding of the text requires an interpretation of those terms.

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