The following article is from the Spring, 2000 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

By Jamgon Mipham

Foreword by
His Holiness Sakya Trizin

Translated and edited by Jay Goldberg

From the Introduction

In Tibet, the use of the Mo, or predictive technique, has been heavily relied upon throughout the centuries, as it has been the general practice of Tibetans to consult some method of prognostication when questions arise concerning various occurrences in their lives, bad dreams, the arising of an illness, the undertaking of some work or travel, or even the wish to engage in spiritual disciplines or practices.

A great variety of methods have been used to extract omens for the future. The use of dice, as presented in this book, is only one of those methods, one coming down to us from ancient times.

the great Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri, whose blessings and advice are sought in order to ascertain an answer for one's problems or inquiry. . . . his guidance would eventually lead them to the state of ultimate peace and enlightenment.

Statuette of Manjushri brandishing sword of wisdom on a white background. Manjushri, Still a Youth. Vajrayana deity.

Statuette of Manjushri brandishing sword of wisdom; a Vajrayana deity.

The various predictive techniques which employ the use of dice are related to different deities within the tantric tradition generally, the Protectors of the Dharma are the type of deity most relied upon. In this specific case, however, it is the great Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri, whose blessings and advice are sought in order to ascertain an answer for one's problems or inquiry.

Since Manjushri is recognized as the embodiment of the wisdom of all the Buddhas of the past, present and future, people have been confident over the centuries that he would properly guide them through the vicissitudes of worldly existence and lead them through his transcendent wisdom to accept what was most beneficial and to abandon all that would be of harm. Furthermore, they trusted that his guidance would eventually lead them to the state of ultimate peace and enlightenment.

Based primarily upon the Kalachakra Tantraand with supplementary explanations from The Ocean of Dakinis and other texts, this prediction manual of the mantra AH RA PA TSA NA DHI was composed by Jamgon Mipham (Jamyang Namgyal Gyatso), 1846-1912, a great saint and scholar of the Nyingmapa tradition.

Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche

Know as Ju Mipam Gyatso, Jamgön Ju Mipham, or Mipham Jamyang Namgyal Gyamtso (1846–1912)

Jamgon Mipham is considered one of the great luminaries of Tibet during this past century, due primarily to his scholarship and continual practice of the Buddha's teaching. Born in eastern Tibet, his principal teachers were Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Patrul Rinpoche. With them and others, he studied the doctrines of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism as well as the five major and five minor subjects of scholarship, such as poetry, astrology, medicine, grammar, logic and philosophy.

"Mipham the Great" was renowned for his lucid explanations of the Sutras and Tantras found within the teachings of the Buddha, though within the more than thirty-two volumes of his writings are found works concerning the architectural methods for constructing temples and houses, astrology, methods of casting predictions (with an entire volume dedicated to the explanation of a Bonpo method for revealing future events through the tying of various knots), poetry, and a vast array of other subjects.

In brief, he was a consummate scholar as well as a great practitioner of the path of Dharma.

Manjushri is recognized as the embodiment of the wisdom of all the Buddhas of the past, present and future

Following is a sample prognistieaticm from the book:

Mo: Tibetan Divination System, sample prognistieaticm3. NECTAR RAYS OF THE MOON

If AH PA—the good moon—appears, then just as the rays of nectar, the moon, illumine the sky, so the accomplishment of peaceful, increasing and virtuous activities is assured.


The sign of this divination is called "the enjoyment of sense-desire objects where there is no assemblage of obstacles."

Family, property and life

If you perform the rituals of cleansing pollutions and of washing, then you will be able to increase the number of your children.

Intentions and aims

There are no obstacles in regards to your intentions and aims. It is especially good to perform gentle, peaceful activities; a strong effect will not arise through power or violent activities.

Friends and wealth

All white colored objects, food and drink will increase.


There are no enemies.


Your guests' journeys will be comfortable, and they will arrive soon.


You will quickly recover from cold and digestive diseases.

Evil spirits

There are no evil spirits bothering you whatsoever.

Spiritual practice

The virtuous mind is good and virtues will increase.

Lost article

If you request a woman to investigate in a southern or northern direction, then the object will be found.

Will they come, and will the task be accomplished

It will be accomplished.

All remaining matters

It is predicted that works involving women and any easy, non-strenuous activities are good. Any activity involving fire is slightly bad. Little things and happiness will increase by relying upon female deities such as White Tara and Ushnisha Vijaya. You should recite any sutra in which predictions for enlightenment are given to women.

Perform the water-giving ritual and water-washing ritual to avoid punishment. It is very good if you perform offerings to nagas. Also, through relying upon any guru yoga practice, good results will arise.

This prediction is known as "dense, good clouds."

For more information:

Jamgon MiphamJamgon Mipham (1846–1912), one of the great luminaries of Tibetan Buddhism in modern times, has had a dominant and vitalizing influence on the Nyingma School and beyond. He was an important member of the Rimé, or nonsectarian movement, which did much to strengthen and preserve the entire tradition. A scholar of outstanding brilliance and versatility, his translated works are eagerly anticipated by English-language readers.


Taught by: Jamgon Mipham

$24.95 - Paperback

Tibetan Astrology

Taught by: Philippe Cornu

$34.95 - Paperback

The Emanated Scripture of Manjushri

Taught by: Sean Price & Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol

$24.95 - Paperback

The Nectar of Manjushri's Speech

Taught by: Kunzang Pelden & Padmakara Translation Group

$39.95 - Paperback

The Three Principal Aspects of the Path

Taught by: Geshe Sonam Rinchen & Ruth Sonam

$17.95 - Paperback

The Golden Letters

Taught by: Dudjom Rinpoche & Chogyal Namkhai Norbu & John Myrdhin Reynolds

$39.95 - Paperback

Wonders of the Natural Mind

Taught by: Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

$24.95 - Paperback

The Practice of Kalachakra

Taught by: H.H. the Fourteenth Dalai Lama & Glenn H. Mullin

$34.95 - Paperback

The Art of Buddhism

Taught by: Denise Patry Leidy

$34.95 - Paperback

Treasures of the Sakya Lineage

Taught by: Migmar Tseten

$24.95 - Paperback

Buton’s History of Buddhism in India and Its Spread to Tibet

Taught by: Buton Rinchen Drup & Lisa Stein & Ngawang Zangpo

$34.95 - Hardcover

Treasury of Esoteric Instructions

Taught by: Lama Dampa Sonam Gyaltsen & Cyrus Stearns & Virupa

$100.00 - Hardcover