|Khamba Lama D.Natsagdorj, a state merited doctor and head of the Mamba Datsan Temple, spoke about the new lunar year, the Year of the Fire Rooster with Altan Unjlaga (golden tassel), which was welcomed on February 27.
The Mamba Datsan is a Buddhist university monastery specialized in medicine and medical science.
Mongolia expected the Year of the Monkey to be harsh as astrologers described it as “evil faced”. Can you review the Year of the Monkey? How has it impacted the people?
The Year of the Fire Monkey was a good year for Mongolians. We spent an additional month during the winter. People expected last year to be very difficult but it was a relatively good year because the public worked hard, prepared for the year well, and got their spiritual readings done in advance.
All the bad fortune can be fixed and turned into good things with good deeds and spiritual readings for good fortune. We, Mongolians, have in depth knowledge in Buddhism. We must learn and expand our knowledge in this area, which corrects the bad and flourishes the good.
…it’s important for everyone to think of the long run and try to maintain their anger and refrain from arguments…
What’s in store for the Year of the Fire Rooster?
Everyone needs to wish for their wellbeing and peacefulness for the Year of the Fire Rooster. Good wishes will bring good and positive energy, eliminating bad outcomes and spreading goodwill. In general, spring and fall will be windy and the summer will be rainy. However, predictions say that there will be frequent lightning and thunder in some areas while others will suffer droughts and that we should expect considerable snowfall this year.
Dignitaries and the public are likely to face conflicts and not see eye to eye so it’s important for everyone to think of the long run and try to maintain their anger and refrain from arguments. Since we got the chance to become humans in this life, we must have the intelligence, knowledge and ability to overcome any struggles. We must use that knowledge to resolve our own and other people’s problems.
What is the meaning of “golden tassel”, the description astrologers gave to the New Year of the Fire Rooster?
A long time ago, families whose children died at a young age or at birth used to give names such as Nokhoijav to protect them from bad things and bless them with a long life. Like so, the descriptions given to lunar years have a deep meaning that conceal or prevent certain things from happening and encourage other things to happen.
The description for this year is “with golden tassel” which hopes to make the public cautious about all kinds of issues related to food and diseases. It will be a good year for trade if people put in effort (in this matter).
Is it important to worship deities and the earth just as it is important to get spiritual readings every year?
While getting spiritual readings every year, everyone should worship deities in their surroundings, and hold a ritual to ensure peacefulness and prevent natural disasters from occurring. Deities want to be worshiped and want people to take action in lessening their worries. They want to listen to spiritual readings for the gods and deities. In this sense, we must give them what they want and demand whether it’s spiritual readings or rituals.
It’s wrong to entrust one’s life and wellbeing to deities of land, water and mountains. You can’t worship them as some kind of rescuer. Our great teacher reminded us to avoid harming the earth, and soothe deities. By meeting their needs, we make them happy and by making them happy, they prevent bad things from happening and bless good harvest. We must act ourselves to prevent natural disasters. We have to make deities of land, water, air, space, and those in various forms happy through Dharma sutra. Dharma enable people to influence nature, soothe deities and maintain good relations between people and gods. It’s important for monks to carry out this duty correctly.
…If you can’t look after yourself and get sick, many people will worry and suffer financially, including your parents and relatives. Don’t try to deny the power of spiritual readings because it’ll only be your loss…
Some people don’t get spiritual readings. Is there any bad consequences from not getting spiritual readings?
It’s a miracle to be born as humans. However, many good and bad things can happen in life when a person hasn’t been enlightened. The sun, moon, 28 stars, 1,080 obstacles, 360 evils, 15 devils that try to harm children until the age of 16, and the years, months, days and time can impact us negatively. People get spiritual readings based on astrological theories and concepts to protect themselves from dangers. If you’re harmed by one of the evils because you avoided spiritual readings, there can be many bad subsequent consequences. It could affect a person’s health, life, property, peacefulness, and spirit. There’s always something that causes people to get entangled in arguments, fights and accidents. Therefore, I advise everyone to get spiritual readings.
Some people think it is okay to skip an annual spiritual reading but bad things always harm them in big or small forms and they could be unnoticeable depending on how strong the evil or obstacle is and how strong a person is. It might seem okay for that particular year but it comes back in a more significant and noticeable form several years later. You bring bad fortune to yourself and those around you by avoiding spiritual readings. So look after yourself and prevent bad things from happening to your dearest. If you can’t look after yourself and get sick, many people will worry and suffer financially, starting from your parents and relatives. Don’t try to deny the power of spiritual readings because it’ll only be your loss.
Who should get spiritual readings this year?
This year, people born in the Year of the Ox will be affected by ominous stars like Guimig (Guanfu) so they need to get spiritual readings with Janaggagdog, Manla, Tsend-Ayush and Ayushiin Chogo sutras. It’s a bad year for those aged 13, 25, 37, 49, 61, 73, and 85 so they should also get spiritual readings for protection. Children face a lot of physical changes and become weak at the age of 13. Hence, parents should worship Dashzeveg, Naiman Gegeen, Zagdjusum, Bumchin and Goviin Lkha gods and get related sutras read.
In fact, it’s really beneficial to get spiritual readings done well for those aged of 13 because it affects positively in their life, career and education in the future. It’s good to have Altangerel and Tsagaan Shukhert sutras read for children.
People born in the Year of the Rabbit should get Dashzeveg, Naiman Gegeen and Zantsanzemubujin sutras read. Those born in animal zodiac signs of metal element (Monkey and Rooster) are prone to accidents, injuries, surgeries, disputes, rumors, and theft this year so be careful. People born in the Years of the Rat and Horse clash with Tai Sui (Grand Duke of Jupiter) so it’s better to get Green Tara mantra recited to remove obstacles, fears and worries.
Why do certain people have to get spiritual readings before Tsagaan Sar?
I learned that it’s essential to get spiritual readings on December 22 and June 22 by studying Kalachakra (a very complex Buddhist teaching related to the wheel of time or time-cycles), astrology and black zodiac. Some people are greatly spiritually affected on December 22 as their prophecy changes for the next year. Through spiritual readings, they can protect their life, health, property, and spirit from harm. This builds your good deeds and reduces your bad karma. Dharma sutras will benefit you in many ways.
In recent years, more and more Mongolians have started to wear traditional deels and gift domestically produced products during Tsagaan Sar to support domestic production. Slowly, Mongolia is recovering old traditions. Is there any particular tradition or custom we should recover now?
The first moon of spring is very sacred and important. During Tsagaan Sar, everyone should feel grateful to their parents and be proud of being born human. Mongolians need to take pride in being Mongolian and being born in Mongolia, a country like heaven. We should also be proud to have preserved the great teachings of Buddhism for so many years. I recommend that everyone clear and purify their thoughts and wish for good fortunes during Tsagaan Sar. I hope you all start the New Year by showing respect to your parents and elders, doing good deeds and opening your minds.
In general, it’s important to rid oneself from the 84,000 defilements and impurities and cultivate a purer and more loving mindset during Tsagaan Sar. Paying respect to our ancestors, respecting our customs and traditions, and caring for children are one of Mongolia’s many cultures. We must keep this in mind and welcome the New Year joyfully. A splendid year with good health and full of new knowledge and good fortune is ahead of you all. I hope everyone stays happy and healthy and continue to smile this year. May good fortune bless us all!
Through spiritual readings, they can protect their life, health, property, and spirit from harm. This builds your good deeds and reduces your bad karma. Dharma sutras will benefit you in many ways.