Divining with Achi and Tārā

Comparative Remarks on Tibetan Dice and Mālā Divination: Tools, Poetry, Structures, and Ritual Dimensions

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Jan-Ulrich Sobisch

Divining with Achi and Tārā is a book on Tibetan methods of prognostics with dice and prayer beads ( mālā). Jan-Ulrich Sobisch offers a thorough discussion of Chinese, Indian, Turkic, and Tibetan traditions of divination, its techniques, rituals, tools, and poetic language. Interviews with Tibetan masters of divination introduce the main part with a translation of a dice divination manual of the deity Achi that is still part of a living tradition. Solvej Nielsen contributes further interviews, a mālā divination of Tārā and its oral tradition, and very useful glossaries of the terminology of Tibetan divination and fortune telling. Appendices provide lists of deities and spirits and of numerous identified ritual remedies and supports that are an essential element of a still vibrant Tibetan culture.

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Edited by Yael Bentor and Meir Shahar

Bringing together leading authorities in the fields of Chinese and Tibetan Studies alike, Chinese and Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism engages cutting-edge research on the fertile tradition of Esoteric Buddhism (also known as Tantric Buddhism). This state of the art volume unfolds the sweeping impact of esoteric Buddhism on Tibetan and Chinese cultures, and the movement's role in forging distinct political, ethnical, and religious identities across Asia at large.
Deciphering the oftentimes bewildering richness of esoteric Buddhism, this broadly conceived work exposes the common ground it shares with other Buddhist schools, as well as its intersection with non-Buddhist faiths. As such, the book is a major contribution to the study of Asian religions and cultures.
Contributors are: Yael Bentor, Ester Bianchi, Megan Bryson, Jacob P. Dalton, Hou Chong, Hou Haoran, Eran Laish, Li Ling, Lin Pei-ying, Lü Jianfu, Ma De, Dan Martin, Charles D. Orzech, Meir Shahar, Robert H. Sharf, Shen Weirong, Henrik H. Sørensen, and Yang Fuxue and Zhang Haijuan.