Chinese Almanac - T'ung Shu


A friend called from England last night to announce a good news. She is getting married and her family has picked an auspicious day for the wedding. Well, most probably, the T'ung Su or The Book of Myriad Things has been consulted. The T'ung Shu is one of the oldest books in the world and is said to have originated more than 4000 years ago and has been a best-seller every year for more than a thousand years.Used to be termed superstitious this book plays a significant role in Chinese life. The ordinary Chinese may not understand the book but it is an indispensable diviner and when the need arises, a specialist will be sought and he will after analyzing the T'ung Shu, determines the auspicious date for marriage, travel, opening new premises, choosing or moving into a house etc. T'ung Shu however, is not merely for divination. Originally, it gives details of the lunar calendar and seasons to aid farmers but around this calendar now is a collection of other materials like fortune-telling, divination, geomancy, herbal medicine, physiognomy, palmistry, charms and talismans, moral codes, dictionaries, predictions, legends, planets, auspicious and inauspicious days, numerology, astronomical details, telegram and telex charts, pregnancy charts and stories. It is not a fossilized collection of folk wisdom but a book that is constantly changing and adapting even today. Indeed this revered and spiritually powerful book has been worked upon by shamans,Taoists, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians at various stages over the centuries.

Comments

Liudmila said…
Maybe it's right to see that it's a good day for this or that. And who knows, maybe this book really knows what to do.

(but I ... don't believe in good and bad days. Maybe I don't understand)
footiam said…
I think a good day means if you pick that day, good luck will follow. If a bad day is picked, bad luck will follow. Not all Chinese believe that but many do consult temples for instance or the almanac to do important things like starting a business, moving houses etc. My niece once asked me if I want to see an astrologer and I asked if I should. She said if everything is running smoothly, then I shouldn't. I think people need to consult others when at a cross road and thinking that you have pick a good day will boost your self-confidence. By the way, the Tung Shu is a book often ridiculed by westerners for being superstitious and in ancient time by Confucians too. During my younger days, I don't really care but as I grow older, I just ask: What's there to lose in picking a good day?
Liudmila said…
I think you are right.

Could you write some sentences of translations here? It's interesting -nothing more. Or a link to a translation (better if in russian ;)))
Liudmila said…
Some sentences from this book. To have an example.

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