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The Sadak are perhaps for some types of mind the hardest area of Tibetan astrology to understand as a westerner. To the Tibetans there are a vast number of 'spirits' dwelling in the earth realms and these control the energies within the earth, living beings, and natural phenomena for example. It is a vast subject and what follows is some translation from the ‘byung ba rin chen kun 'dus The Collected Gems of the Elements. basically the Sadak have their cycles according to astrological cycles which are valuable if not important to know. For example, at certain times of the year the Sadak in the earth make water drawn from springs 'like nectar' and at other times 'like poisonn avoided area of astrology. The lotus is the representation of the physical world, and the various classes of beings are described as living on or under or outside its petals. The 8 Classes of Spirits and Ogres found there, including yakshas [ Tib.: sadag,] nagas (lu) and rakshasas nyen vary only in details according to the different Tibetan Buddhist authorities.

there are the 1. lha who are white, 2. deu who are black, 3. tsen who are red, 4. za who are multi-coloured, 5. mu who are brown, 6. sinpo who are flesh-eaters, 7. jepo, treasure protectors and 8. mamo who bring disease.

According to the Five Precepts of Padmasambhava, we have another list:

1. gongpo 2. teurang, 3. ngayam 4. sadag 5. yulha 6. men 7. tsen 8. lhu.

A different list consists of:

1. sogdag 2. mamo 3. shinje 4. deu 5. neujin 6. mu 7. dralha 8. gongpo.

Beyer found a Tara Sadhana of Anupamarakshita's that asks protection from "evil spirits above, planets and constellations, evil spirits below, and the sadag, lu and nyen, and harm from evil spirits upon the surface of the earth, the ghosts, kings and tsen."

In fact, there is not much contradiction here for in the main, the Tibetan classification follows the traditional Indian one.

According to the ‘byung ba rin chen kun 'dus The Collected Gems of the Elements, a famous astrological text.

Spirit types are vast in number
Sadak full 1000
meduim 150
brief 91

The classes of Spirits (sadak) are NINE [?]



this list seems to be the YEARLY SADAK [loi sa bdag)
[the se] is a Sadak king, yellowish red,
-avoid sending corpse, kings work, all work related to life and death, constructing buildings, REMEDY- recite brgyad stong, snang brgyad, sher snying, also make clay stat having five colours, also do the Puja of Ransom gtor ma

the (khyim)] dark brownish black, he carries a vase and a melong in his right and left hands respectively. During this time bad for moving corpse, constructing buildings, work related to dead bodies, brides, if you send corpse in this period the atrologer may die, REMEDY- recite snang brgyad, nyi khri, rnamjoms, mtshan brjod, or rtsug tor.

hang ne is a queen, white, she carries gold vase , bride and work related with dead body especially the female corpse of the owner of the house, bad for war and constructing building.

REMEDY-gdugs dkar, nyi khri or recite shes rab brgyad stong .

rgyal poi’ sras po te so Red, carries gold box in his right hand and whip in left hand, aviod doing work related with infant, sending corpse of the infant, constructing building. REMEDY-brgyad stong, grtsug tor, nyi khri, ser ‘od'' and write a mantra of khor bo in the wood which is having thorn and tie flags on it

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rgyal poi’ blon po rtsang kun seated on a tortoise, reddish white and shining, wears a red flag, carries a glass rod in his right hand, a vase made of gemstone in the left hand. Avoid putting prayer flags, dealing with corpse and brides, and constructing buildings. Remedies, puja of klu gtor, and make an effigy of a man from wheat flour and put a cuckoo feather on his head.

se ba bla mkhyen yellowish red, he is an astrologer, wears a hat and carries a melong and a mda’ dar astro symbol, and he moves anti clockwise from the current year. Avoid going to market, constructing buildings, sending dead bodies, finding a new residence, remedy- grdsug gtor snang brgyad, mtshan brgod, zungs bsdus, tog gzungs, send a ransom to the particular direction.

hang phan sar po reddish yellow colour and shining, carries a butter lamp, and wears blue coloured prayer flags, moves clockwise. Avoid constructing buildings, getting a dog, sending corpse, or bride,
Remedy, snang brgyad, mtshan brgod, zungs bsdus, tsha mdo.

rgyal poi’ nor bsrung se khyi kings guard dog, white with the body of a human being and the head of a tiger and a lions tail, carries the Victory Banner, moves clockwise. Avoid repaying loans, bad for war, corpse, constructing buidings or bride, avoid business dealings, also bad for sending and recieving dogs and byi bla (sort of rat like/size creature pet). remedies- gsum bdsus, rab ‘joms, or do the klu bcos puja, show the statue of any Tara and stamp clay.

sku bsrung mi gsod se shar dark brown carries a blade ral gri- like Manjushri moves clockwise, bad for war, consrtcuting buildings, surgical operations, specially bad for sending corpse of youth, remedy- nyi khri, snang sa, snang brgyad, grtsug tor.

se ba rang rta rgyal po having body of a horse and a human head, yellow in colour and shining, carries a serving spoon [ladell] of gold and turquoise,
moves anti clockwise, bad for dead bodies and brides, bad for dead bodies of horse, Remedies- ‘bum, snang brgyad, tshe dpag med, or send klu ransom.


(sa bdag se ‘u rta khrid sat on a horse, yellow, moves anticlock wisse, avoid sending corpse, work related with horse.

dus ‘zin se bya sku mdog reddish yellow and shining, bird head with human body and having copper and metal wings, carries ritual dagger and conch shell, avoid constructing building, work related with dead body, sending corpse, burnt offering, war, dead body of the infants. Remedy-gtsug tor, snang brgyad , dgugs dkar, rnam joms, gser ‘od.

sa bdag se ba gdan ‘ding greenish white, carry throne, moves anticlock, work related with king’s throne, corpse war, bride, Remedy-gtsug tor, snang brgyad, gser sdud sdong rgyan,

sa lo sa ‘chag kungs myul complexion red, carries a red conch shell, and a banner of victory, avoid drawing mandala, constructing buildings, going to war. Rem. dkar chos, tog gzungs, klu ‘bum, do chab gtor puja.

(sa bdag se lo sa ‘phyag] blue in colour, carries a peice of wood like a stick, moves anticlockwise, bad for horseriding, going for war, constructing buildings, corpse, rem. tog gzungs, brgya bzhi, gtor ma brgya rtsa,

[hal khyi nag po) the kings dog, body of a human with a dogs head, a snakes tail, and metal wings, black in colour, moves clockwise, aviod receiving dogs, bad for brides, corpse, war, constructing buildings, Rem. snang brgyad, gzumgs bsdus, gtsug tor, brgyad stong, Also show statue of Vajrapani,

[rgyal poi’ bu mo dkar sham]white in colour with a beautful human figure, carries white silver melong, moves anticlockwise, avoid birde, corpse an constructing builidngs meeting relatives, digging in the earth, rem. snang brgyad, gstug tor, chu gtor, ‘dra glud,

[de yi mag pa spal te]husband of previous, youthful, whitish yellow and shining, carries a gold bow and a silver arrow, his body is covered with blue prayer flags, avoid corpse and war, and acts of robbery, No remedie

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[dnag gi wang gong dmar po] carries a bow and arrow, jealous by nature, avoid robbery and war and conflicts, no remedy.

[dmag dpon rtsang kun] red in colour, carries red knot tied to a stick and a banner of victory, moves anti clockwise, avoid work related with war, sending corpse, cross thread ritual, ransom work, Rem. recite, klu ‘bum dkar po,

[rtsang kun ‘phye bo mthing nag] dark blue, moves anti clockwise, bad for bride, rem. none

[rtsang kun khyi mgo] human body with a dogs head, carries a gem, moves anti clockwise, bad for constructig buildings and corpse, Rem. gzungs bsdus, snang brgyad,

[bla mkhyen phe ‘u] moves clockwise, avoid constrcutios, bride work and corpse work, rem. gzungs bsdus, snang brgyad,

(sa bdag zin ‘phung nag po) human body with scorpion head, carries a blade and rides upon an ox, avoid all kinds of work, especially bride, contrdution, corpse. rem. gzungs bsdus, snang brgyad, klu gtor,

Garudab564 z.jpg

[pi ling] has human body naked and has a crippled hand and a tail, carries a black flag, avoid corpse, war ,c onstruction, bride, and all wrathful activities, rem. khram bzlog ru rgyas, bdud kyi zhal bsgyur,

[sa rgyal rje blon gcug cag ngo bo) rides on a horse, carrying a knife, bad for brides, rem. gser ‘od, ‘jam dpal mtsham brjod, gzug gtor,

(sme ba sa bdag)

White 1.
sa yi lha mor brtan ma
Sa Yi Lhamo - The Earth Goddess.
White having the radiance of glass, carries a model of Mt. Meru, in the other a Nectar vase, has white flags on her body, and a golden brog zhu on her head, Bad for sending infant’s and women’s and astrologer’s corpses, bad for brides, doing incence burnng ceremony and going to war in this direction.
Rem. make nine effigies of women from roasted tsampa flour , as well a face of a male bound together by a white coloured flag and placed in her direction.


Black 2.
bdud kyi rgyal po
Duki Gyalpo
The King of Evil Forces
Black and corries a khram shing [a club like implement, carved with lines representing the atricbutes of a god and containing squares with mystic figures in them whihc serve a a means to make attmepts of witchcraft to injure a person ineffectual] and a zhags pa [a sling rope with a noose for catching birds, wild horses and antelopes, etc] His body is covered in a black flag, and wears a hat (brog zhu] Avoid all kinds of work related with dead bodies, construction, brides, khrom skyas and sgra ‘ubs.
Remedies: make an effigy of the human body with nine dog heads from barley flour covered by black flag and throw it into the water.

Blue 3.
sa bsen gdug byed
Sasen Dukje (not poison like Cornu sounds the same but spell is different)
The Mischievious (gdug?)
Sky blue-black in colour [like the night sky?] carries in his right hand a mala made of infants skulls, in his left hand he carries a lcag lcig thod khrag [which is something like a rod of skull blood] wears a blackish flag. Avoid construction, diging wells and irrigation channels, and cutting certain types of tree [shing gnya - type of tree inhabited by nagas), digging the earth, sending corpse, Rem. klu mchod, sa tsha [stamp clay], chu gtor, klu bsen, klu yi mdos chog.

Green 4.
klu rgyal wa ru [or] dal byad
Lugyal Waru (the Naga queen) or Goddess Talje
Her colour is green with radiance like burning green, in her right hand she carries a gem vase, her body covered with a green flag, on her head she wears a golden hat (brog zhu]. Avoid dead bodies caused by epidemics and naga diseases, female corpse, brides, and digging at or near spring water, rem. klu mdos, klu ‘bum, and perform white wash to stupas which have no owners [ie do not belong to manasteries, households, etc.],


Yellow 5.
sa bdag rgyal po ‘jig rten bdag
Sadak Gyalpo Jigten Dak
The Sadak King of the Universe.
Yellow-gold in colour, he carries a gem vase in his right hand, in his left a white conch shell, on his body he wears yellow flag, on his head he wears a golden hat (brog zhu]. Avoid construction, making mandalas, building temples, burnt offering ceremony, avoid dead bodies caused by mkhris skran [type of disease called dropsy], Rem. recite gzungs bsdus.

White 6. rgyal po skye ‘groi’ dpal
Gyalpo Kyedo
King of Human Beings.
White in colour radiant like white fire, in his right hand he holds a Vajra staff, in his left a Precious Victory Banner, his body covered by white flag, Avoid dead bodies caused by small pox, dead bodies of Bonpo’s. Rem. gzungs bsdus.


Red 7.
brtsan dmar chen po
Tsenma chen po
The Great Red Mountain Dwelling Spirit.
Red in colour, in the right hand a trident with conch shell below and draped with prayer flags, in the left white and black pebbles of dice, red flag on body, on the head he wears a golden hat (brog zhu]. Avoid corpses killed by the knife, work related with red [eg red offering), Rem. recite- tse dpag mad mdo ‘don, make an preform the dmar gyi gtor ma and then send it to the meeting of three roads,

White 8.
lha chen dbang phyug che
Lha chen Wangchuk
Mahadeva- the Mighty God
Clear radiant white in colour, in his right hand he supports a trident, in the left a skull filled with blood, body covered in a white flag, on his head he wears a golden hat (brog zhu]. Good for almost all activities concerend with both the living and the dead, but bad for mdze, or dead bodies of widows. rem. perform lha gsol bskang bshags, lha chog, or gsel dang khrus kyi chog, or recite bkra shis brtsegs pa.


Red 9.
ma mo za mun ti
Mamo Zamunti
The Fierce Goddess Zamunti
Dark red in colour, in her right hand she carries a leather bag full of diseases [nad kyi rkyal ba], in the left a multicoloured ball of thread, o her head she wears a golden hat (brog zhu]. Avoid repaying money and reciving money, the corpses of the aged persons, REM. make an effigy of a sheep from tsampa and then colour it with a dark red brown and send to the particular direction.

MONTHLY SADAK [zla bai sa bdag)
gnan khyi nag po <male>
gnan khyi nag po <Female>
‘brug lha ga pa
the se grum bu
zla klungs
zla dngos


zla bai sa rgyal
gnan gyi bya la
spra lha sa dmag
sa sman
sa yi lha mo bstan ma
sa bdag rgan rgon
nang lha ....or.... ‘brug rje
byi lam phag mgo
byi lam sngon mo
sa bdag rnga zor dmar po
‘phar ba mgo dgu
srid gshed
pi ling
sa bdag pi ling


sa bdag zla bai’ rtsang kun
rngan pa phag ngo
be sna lag chen
rgyal mo bzhi
thab lha se shar
sa bdag wang khyi
lha lnga
sa bdag lto ‘phe
sa bdag se bdud
sa bdag mcha ba can
sa bdag dur len
sa bdag thab lha se shar
sa bdag ku ku

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From this group you will find five differetn coloured women each carrying the symbol of the elements. year month day and time . not much here at all except that ti says that when problems one must workship the diety of the element concerned. there is a nice picture here however.

gza’ chen lha rgod
sa yi ‘phung byed nang mo
gcer bu lag rdum

SADAK of the Day:
zhag gi sa bdag
gser mzod ser po
bla mkhyen
thab lha sa shar


tshes la rgyu bai sa bdag
nyi ma nag chen
nyi ma nag chung
zin ‘phung
phung po zor thog
ki kang
hal khyi nag po
gnam khyi nag po
gnam spyor byid gsum
gza’ rgod
dbul po lag stong
ngam shing
bar khyi
ka khung ki kang
dra chen sbrul
sprug ston
zhag nag
gyu mzod sngon mo

To calculate the movement of the sadak.
Yearly sadak
this is a yearly diagram found in the almanac and is taken from somehwere so we need to get six different almanacs to get the full picture. See from volume 1 pg. 158 on are the diagrams.

Monthly sadak, from Bekar Vol. 1. pg. 172 onward. these also remain constant throughtout each consecutive year. For doubled months the sadak appear and repeat itself exactly the same as the previous ie month 1a is the same as month 1b.

Day Sadak, and date Sadak have different meanings and patterns. According to Tsering they are simply taken from some table somewhere.

Some days have date sadak, and others do not but it still remains a bit of a mystery to me as to how this works.