Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Auspicious and inauspicious numbers in Tibetan Culture.

Numbers have different meanings in different cultures, especially the Chinese, the number of 3, 6, 8, 9 are always the most favorable numbers and the Chinese had embraced it, adopted it and even applying in their daily lives. The Chinese believed these numbers have the auspicious meanings that can bring favorable results for success, prosperity, wealth and good health.

What about the Tibetan culture and belief? Is there any auspicious or inauspicious numbers that had massively influenced the Tibetan ways of life, culture and religions?  Of course, they are. For instance, 13 is a lucky and holy number for Tibetan people.

In Tibetan culture, the odd numbers are always regarded as an auspicious number by local Tibetans. "6" may well be considered as a lucky number as number that multiple of "3". Tibetans would always deal with some important matters or travel to some place far from home on odd days, while even numbers are taboo. All these instances show that the principle of adoring odd numbers and regarding even numbers as taboo is always adhered to during any activities in Tibet.
As for the Tibetan people view odd numbers as lucky ones, herdsmen will choose a date with odd numbers in the first half of every month to assemble, set off on their journeys, and hold all other important events with the hope of safety.  Horse racing and archery have been popular for over a thousand years in Tibet. In the Tibetan horse racing, only thirteen runners in the front will can get a prize.

Losar is the Tibetan new year,  it is customary or commonly practiced by the local would present gifts for their love ones, and in the monasteries, would present gifts to the Rinpoches, Tulkus and lamas. According to the Tibetan culture, If anyone is buying or presenting gifts to the Tibetan people, the gifts will or should not be in an even number, but instead it should be the odd numbers.
Odd Numbers Symbolizes In The Tibetan Culture
No. 3   - Symbolize the sun, moon and star. 
            - The universe is divided into the celestial realm, the Human realm and the Hell                            realm. 
            -  Connecting to the three Longevity Amitayus Buddha, Ushnisha Vijaya and White                      Tara.
            -  Body, speech and mind in Tibetan Buddhism.

No. 9   - Literally means everlasting or endless.
             - Is customary of the Tibetan people would always clink their glasses and drink 9                        glasses of wine once a clinking is proposed. 
                 - Only the silver bowls or dragon bowls can be used as drinking vessels in Tibet. In                     addition, ghee must be dipped on three spots in the bowls for good luck.

No.13  - Is an auspicious and holy number for the Tibetan culture. 
             -13 desireless celestial realms or pure lands to be reborn according to the Gelupa                      lineage of Vajrayana Buddhism. 
            -  Prigrims will perform kola or walk 13 clockwise rounds the Sacred Mountains of                      Tibet for purification and removing of negativity and obstacles.
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Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migrators from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

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