Crow lore

Paul G. Hackett ph2046 at COLUMBIA.EDU
Fri Apr 16 13:16:19 UTC 2010

A follow-up to Matthew's observation: although 
Laufer wrote his article based on a Dunhuang 
manuscript (Pelliot 3530), the text (bya rog gi 
skad brtag par bya ba; kAkacaritra) is actually 
contained in some recensions of the Tibetan canon 
(Peking: P5831, vol.144, p.25-27, vol. GO fol. 
202b7-204b6; and Snar-thang: thun mong ba lugs 
kyi bstan bcos, vol. GO, fol. 221a1-222b7, to 
name two).

[BTW, the citation for the Laufer article is: 
Berthold Laufer, "Bird Divination Among the 
Tibetans," T'oung Pao (II) 15 [1914]: 1-110. The 
article is available from JSTOR.]

A more up-to-date study however, can be found in Eric Mortensen's dissertation:

"Raven Augury in Tibet, Northwest Yunnan, Inner 
Asia, and Circumpolar Regions" Harvard (2003).

There are several more texts related to "bird 
divination" in both the Bka'-'gyur and 
Bstan-'gyur sections of the Tibetan Buddhist 
canon.  If you are interest in references to 
those, feel free to contact me off-list.


Paul Hackett
Associate Editor
Tengyur Translation Initiative
Columbia University

At 7:24 AM -0500 4/16/10, mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU wrote:
>though not properly indological, berhold laufer wrote an excellent article
>concerning a tibetan dunhuang crow divination manual. if you write to me off
>list i will dig up the precise reference
>---- Original message ----
>>Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 14:48:57 +0300
>>From: Klaus Karttunen <klaus.karttunen at HELSINKI.FI> 
>>Subject: Re: Crow lore 
>>For crow and bird omens see AgnipurÇ?a  231f.,  M¥narÇja, YavanajÇtaka
>68,  B?hatsa?hitÇ 46 & 86-88 & 95,  ÂivatattvaratnÇkara 5, 8, 
>VasantarÇjaÊakuna (esp. 12),  ÂÇrd•lakar?ÇvadÇna p. 175-180.
>>Klaus Karttunen
>>Professor of South Asian and Indoeuropean Studies
>>Asian and African Studies, Department of World Cultures
>>PL 59 (Unioninkatu 38 B)
>>00014 University of Helsinki, FINLAND
>>Tel +358-(0)9-191 22674
>>Fax +358-(0)9-191 22094
>>Klaus.Karttunen at
>>On Apr 16, 2010, at 2:30 PM, Jan Filipsky wrote:
>>>  Dear List,
>>>  a student of mine is preparing an essay on vayasavidya, with special
>>>  to omens,  longevity, creation and hell.
>>>  Could you kindly suggest some relevant literature?
>>>  Regards, Jan Filipsky
>Matthew T. Kapstein
>Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies
>The University of Chicago Divinity School
>Directeur d'études
>Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris

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