Training program today at Men Tsee Khang is a five year course of study followed by one year of intern practice. This program is run alongside the training programs for Tibetan medical doctors.
Entrance requirements are the same for both and
both specialisations must have basics of the other.
entrance examination of topics in four areas
tibetan grammar -gsum bchu pa and rtags ‘jug
general knowledge -
and final selection is by interview.
The study then proceeds over 5 years as follows:
a. Preliminary teaching on Tibetan astronomy
b. five inclusive calculations of the siddhanta (byed pa- full tenet system) and Karana (grub pa- precise system) 1st year the lunar aspects of this system. rig den snying thig - by Lodoe Samdup
c. Elemental astrology - preliminary teaching on elemental astrology of
gzug lag sgo ‘byed (a text- the key to open the door ) by Dharmashri
d. Prelim on ‘byung rtsis man ngag zla bai ‘od zer which is the text of elemental astrology - the moon rays text - by Dharmashri.
a. Rapid calculation of both byed pa and drup pa
b. calculation of lunar day dachen and solar and lunar eclipses
c. the calculation of five planets of solar day
d. Elemental astrology - lesson number 3rd and 4th - natal chart or horoscope and marital combinations
e. Yangchar - the calcualtion of the dasas - gza‘ dgu - nine planetary periods
a. Rapid calculation of the five planets of solar day
b. Calculation of Zodiac day of five planets
c. Callculation of Earth Ox, Dus zer(The nail of a time), rtsis phran(calculation of the king,etc)
d. Elemental Astrology-Illnesses Astrology.
e. One year horoscope or Astrological prediction of misfortunes(sKeg rtsis)
a. Calculation of Lunar day of five planets
b. Elemental Astrology-The seventh and second chapter of the Moon rays-Death Calcualtion and the thirty calculation of Tibet and china respectively.
a. Measurements of the Gola(Epi cycle).
Revision of all the astronomical calculation
b. Elemental Astrology-Death Calculation.
During this 5 year course each student calculates one year almanac as part of the training.
Supervised practicum with senior astrologers.
After examinations at the end of the fifth year the students are awarded the degree of rTsis pa Kachupa
a. The preliminary teaching of the Elemental Astrology” ‘byung rtsis zla zer”
b. The preliminary teaching of the Astronomy and the tibetan grammar texts of both Sum chu pa and rtag ‘jug pa
c. Calculation of both Dub pa and byed pa system.
a. lNga pa ‘phrod
b. The third and fourth lesson of the Elemental Astrology.
c. Astronomy calculation.
a. The fifth and sixth lessons of the Elemental Astrology i.e. zLa zer.
b. Calculation of the Zodiac day of five planets and rapid calculation of the five planets of solar day.
After this the Astrologers can continue studying
for higher degrees . These are
rTsis ram chung ba
rTsis ram ‘bring ba
rTsis ram cheba
these advanced studies are by private arrangements and then examination taken after intervals of appromimately five years. by the time that the astrologer has progreswsed through all these degrees s/he shouLd have studied texts such as the root tantras of Kalacakra and Yangchar.
However today there are very few indeed who have attained these higher degrees.
Less than 30 astrologers have taken the kachuba
degree. A group of under 10 are about to graduate in 2002.
Only six astrologers have taken the examinations for rTsis ram chung ba
Only three have taken the degree of rTsis ram ‘bring ba. Only two have taken the degree of rTsis ram cheba, one of whom was the late Prof. Jhampa Gyaltsen Dagthon, former astrological director Men Tsee Khang.
Traditional and today-
In ancient times astrology and medicine was studied mainly monks and sometimnes nuns, and Whilst medical practice was often passed on in family lineages, astrology was not. However since the times of the XIII Dalai Lama, who created the Insitute of Men Tsee Khang in Lhasa lay people could undertake the study of Tibetan astrological and medical systems. This tradition is still carried on today at Men Tsee Khang at the main Institute in D’sala H P India. There is also astrology taught at the Palpung Institute, and Varanasi University.
The main texts are
Bekar, Moon rays, rig den snying thig, (Cheiftan Heart Drop text- astron calc no interp) rig den zum pai zla ‘od (cheiftan collection moon rays text- astron calc no interp)
secondary texts are
Mangura (melong), horoscope book - tses rtsis ‘bras bu glo sel dga’ skyed,
the practical day to day work- tasks of the astrologer
a. calculation and interpretation of the birth chart
b. marital calculations for harmony of marriage partners
c. medical calulations
d. yearly horoscope
e. the production of the tibetan calendar and almanac
f. making general and special astrologicl amulets
g. consultation upon a large variety of questions such as starting a business, travel, agriculture, etc.
h. diagnosing remedies (gtor chod) for astroligcal imbalance
i. making books
j. death calculations, i.e. see Tserings article - tommorrow