Tibetan MO Dice Divination Explained

  • Newest update 11/30/2019, originally first compiled on 09/2016.
  • Vietnamese translation available from པདྨ་ཆོས་སྒྲོན Pema Choedon.

Tibetan MO dice divination is an ancient predictive technique. Considered to be the voice and Wisdom of the Mañjuśrī also known as the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, visualized as a male figure wielding a flaming sword in his right hand and in his left hand, he holds the Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra as shown in the picture below. The advice given is taken seriously.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and many high lamas either practice or consult the MO dice for important decisions, like when faced with a difficult decision, including the selection of tulkus. One way that the MO may be used is to cast a MO for each possible course of action. If there is any ambiguity, additional MOs may be cast until the matter is clarified. The MO has a reputation in Tibet as being a very clear and decisive method for resolving confusion and making decisions. (more…)

Today is ལྷ་བབས་དུས་ཆེན་ Lha Bab Düchen: Anniversary when Shakyamuni Buddha returned to Earth from Trāyastriṃśa (Heaven of the Thirty-Three)

Today is Lha bab Düchen, one of the four Great Occasions commemorating events in the life of the Buddha.

Lhabab Duchen celebrates Buddha’s descent from “The Heaven of Thirty-Three” back to earth.

Buddha had left for “The Heaven Of Thirty-Three” (Trayastrimsa) at the age of 41, in order to give teachings to benefit the gods in that desire realm, and to repay the kindness of his mother by teaching her and liberating her from Samsara.

Maudgalyāyana requested that the Buddha return to earth, and after a long debate under a Full Moon the Buddha agreed.

The Buddha returned to earth a week later by a special triple ladder prepared by Vishwakarma, the god of machines, in an event considered to be one of the eight great deeds of the Buddha.

On Lha bab Duchen, the effects of positive or negative actions are multiplied ten million times. It is part of Tibetan Buddhist tradition to engage in virtuous activities and prayer on this day.

Chapter Twenty-Six of The Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra: On the Action of the Child

Chapter Twenty-Six of The Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra: On the Action of the Child
Translated Vietnamese title of Sūtra and chapter:
Kinh Đại Bát Niết Bàn: Phẩm Anh Nhi Hạnh

Page 281
Chapter Twenty-Six: On the Action of the Child

“O good man! Why do we speak of a “child’s action.” ‘O good man! A child cannot stand up, stay, come and go, or speak. This is the state of a child. It is the same with the Tathagata. We say “unable to stand up”. The Tathagata does not raise any aspect of a thing. We say “unable to stay. The Tathagata does not adhere to anything. We say “unable to come. In the bodily action of the Tathagata, there is no shaking. We say “unable to go”. The Tathagata already enters Great Nirvana. We say “unable to talk”. He talks, but he does not speak. Why not? If spoken, that would be something of the category of the created. The Tathagata is an Uncreate. So he speaks not. Also, we say “no word”. For what a child says cannot be well understood. Though there are words, they are almost no words. The case is the same with the Tathagata. The words’ not being clear is the secret word of all Buddhas. Though uttered, beings do not understand. That is why we say “worldless”.

“And also, with a child the name and the thing are not one. Though the child does not know the right word, it is not the case that it cannot know things. It is the same with the Tathagata. All beings differ from one another. What they say is the same. The Tathagata enacts expedients and speaks. And through this, he makes people understand. Also, a child speaks of a big letter. The same is the case with the Tathagata. He talks of a big word. This is “vaba”. “Va”1 corresponds to “created”, and “ba”2 to the “non-created”. This is the child. “Va” is “non-eternal”, and “ba” is “eternal”. Beings hear this and take it as eternal. This is the action of the child.

“Also, the child does not know suffering or bliss, day or night, father or mother. It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva. For the sake of beings, he does not see suffering or bliss. There is no difference between day and night. His mind is equal towards all beings. Hence, there is no distinction of father or mother, friendly or not friendly.

“Also, a child cannot make big or small things. It is the same with the Bodhisattva- mahasattva. Also, he does not create birth or death. This is non-making. “Big things” refers to the five deadly sins. “Small thing” refers to the two-vehicle mind. The Bodhisattva does not, right to the end, retrogress from Bodhichitta and create sravaka and pratyekabuddha vehicles.

“Also, we say “child’s action”. When a child cries and weeps, the parents take up the yellow leaf of bitter willow and say to the child: “Don’t cry, don’t cry! I shall now give you some gold!” The child sees this, thinks it is true gold, and stops crying. But this yellow leaf is in actual fact not gold. The child sees wooden cows, horses, men and women, and thinks they are men, women, etc., and stops crying. But, truth to tell, these are not men or women. As it thinks thus about men and women, we say “child”. It is the same with the Tathagata. If beings are about to commit evil deeds, the Tathagata speaks about the Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure, rectitude, and the freedom one enjoys in Trayastrimsa Heaven, the pleasures of the five desires which one has there in beautiful palaces, about all that obtains there, which is none but the blisses of the six sense-organs. The beings, on hearing about all the pleasure that obtains there, stop doing evil from a greedy mind, to taste the bliss and do the good that will be worth Trayastrimsa Heaven for them. Actually, there [in Trayastrimsa Heaven] there are birth and death, impermanence, non-bliss, non-Self, non-purity. To lead beings, he puts into effect an expedient and speaks of the “Eternal, Bliss, Self, and the Pure”.

“Also, we say “child”. If beings abhor birth and death, the Tathagata speaks of the two vehicles. But, in truth, there are not two vehicles. By “two vehicles”, one sees the evils of birth and death and comes to see the bliss of Nirvana. Seeing thus, there are segregation and non-segregation, the true and the not-true, practice and non-practice, and gain and non-gain.

1 i.e. the 42nd letter of the Sanskrit alphabet
2 i.e. the 36th letter of the Sanskrit alphabet



The Twelve Yakṣa Generals

The Twelve Yakṣa Generals

Translated Vietnamese names: 12 Vị Đại Tướng Dược Xoa


In some Buddhist denominations, The Twelve Yakṣa Generals or Twelve Heavenly Generals are the protective deities, or Yakṣa, of Bhaiṣajyaguru also known as Medicine Buddha, the buddha of healing. They are introduced in the Bhaiṣajyaguruvaidūryaprabharāja Sūtra also commonly known as Medicine Buddha Sūtra.

Photo Source: kanagawabunkaken
Japanese style Medicine Buddha along with two attending Bodhisattva statues.

In sūtras it is said that by reciting Amitābha’s name, will one to be reborn in his Western Paradise the Land of Ultimate Bliss. But for others who become severely ill and have affinity with Bhaiṣajyaguru or the Medicine Buddha as he is often referred to, reciting his name while you are still alive, will help you recover and come to higher spiritual realization, to suffer less and will also help prepare you to be reborn in either Buddha realms of your choice, either Medicine Buddha’s Eastern realm of Vaiḍūrya Light or Amitābha Western realm of Sukhāvatī.

Medicine Buddha on achieving Buddhahood, became the Buddha of the Eastern pure land of Vaiḍūryanirbhāsa “Pure Lapis Lazuli”. There, he is attended to by two bodhisattvas symbolizing the light of the sun and the light of the moon respectively. Their names are:

1. Suryaprabha Bodhisattva (Sunlight)
Translated Vietnamese name: Nhật Quang Biến Chiếu Bồ Tát

2. Candraprabha Bodhisattva (Moonlight)
Translated Vietnamese name: Nguyệt Quang Biến Chiếu Bồ Tát


The Life and Liberation of Padmākara, the Second Buddha

Reposted from: lotsawahouse.org

Padmasambhava the manifestation of Amitābha sent to tame sentient beings:

The Life and Liberation of Padmākara, the Second Buddha

from A Precious Garland of Lapis Lazuli [1]

by Jamgön Kongtrul

Namo Guru-buddhādi-padmākara-pādāya

Padmasambhava, known as the ‘Second Buddha’, has influenced countless beings through the essential vajrayāna teachings of secret mantra, and especially through his profound terma-treasure activities here in Tibet. This great master was not an ordinary person on the path, nor merely a noble being on one of the bodhisattva levels. Guru Padmasambhava was an emanation of both Buddha Amitābha and the peerless Śākyamuni, and his purpose was to pacify human and spirit beings that were otherwise difficult to tame. Even the great bodhisattvas are incapable of fully telling the story of his life and liberation, yet I shall nonetheless give a brief outline in the pages that follow.


Movie: The Shurangama Righteousness (2017) with English Subtitles

A Dharma movie about the Śūraṅgama Sūtra (which contains the Sitātapatra Uṣṇīṣa Dhāraṇī {also known to Tibetans as the White Umbrella Canopy Mantra}). In order for it to be transmitted to China, the Indian elder monk, Master Paramiti, cut and opened up his own biceps to insert a micronized version of it and sewed the wound back shut, so that he could pass undetected through the highly guarded checkpoints at the Indian border. And because of such heroic efforts on his part, the sūtra was finally able to be transmitted to China, for all of us to be able to keep the dharma well and alive for many more generations to come. The rest of the movie contains the contents of the actual sūtra.

Official synopsis: The buddhist sutra educational film, ‘The Shurangama Righteousness’, was produced by the ShiFang Leng Yan Academy of Rui Ji Si Monastery in Fujian, China. Made in 2015 -2017, the film is based on the chinese Mahayana buddhist text, the ‘Sutra of the Foremost Shurangama’. It opens with the transmission of the Sutra from India to China by the Elder Monk, Master Paramiti, during the Tang Dynasty, and its translation from sanskrit to chinese at a monastery in Guangzhou, China. The translators’ dialogue in the film forms the narrative backdrop for unfolding the story of Ananda’s predicament involving a Matanga woman, how he was later rescued by the Buddha with the power of the Shurangama Mantra, and Buddha instructing on the way to ulimate enlightenment (First chapter of the Sutra). Besides presenting the essence of the Sutra, the film also unveils the historical and harmonious cultural and religious interactions between the people of the 2 advanced ancient civilisations. It also gives us a glimpse into the lives of the ordinary people and the monastics during Buddha’s time when India was under the rule of King Prasenajit. The film was presented at various in-house viewing sessions organised by the Buddhist community in China in 2017. The film has far-reaching influence and was well-received by both Buddhist devotees and other movie viewers.

The Number 13 Not So Unlucky But Instead Holy and Auspicious

This is a repost from our article back in 2016 and part of the continued process of manually transferring all the remaining previous posts from our old web server onto this new one.  It’s only fitting that we repost this as it coincides with today being Friday the 13’th in North America. Although the article cites Buddha’s birthday on the date we posted back then, the story about the number 13 within the Tibetan culture is the game changer here. We hope you enjoy it.


English Menu Section Added

A couple of days ago we made a few important changes to the site including reformatting long menu item names which were originally setup to be bi-lingual: being in both English and Vietnamese languages. As we re-evaluated, it looked as if we were trying to cram and fit everything together; as an example our About” section used to be setup as “About-Giới Thiệu” and when you had clicked on it, within the page itself once completely opened, would also show both languages combined with English on the top and Vietnamese on the bottom, which made the page look longer than it originally was intended to not be and provided an unsatisfying overall UX (User Experience).


Site Update And Official Announcement Of Site Relaunch

Image Source: flicker

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! To commemorate this holiday, I wanted to share news of our soft relaunch (if you haven’t already noticed the obvious front-end changes, I’ll explain more later in a bit) and what the rest of the team here has been up to for the past couple of years. In a nut shell, we all took a long break to focus on our spiritual dharma practices, tend to our normal daily lives and spend quality time with our families.