Claim: An “Instructions for Life” chain mail mantra was written by the Dalai Lama.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2000]
This is what The Dalai Lama has to say on the millennium, all it takes is a few seconds to read and think. Do not keep this message. The mantra must leave your hands within
I N S T R U C T I O N S F O R L I F E
FORWARD THIS MANTRA E-MAIL TO AT LEAST 5 PEOPLE ANDYOUR LIFE WILL IMPROVE.
0- 4 people: Your life will improve slightly.
Origins: Much as we can’t help but grin at the thought of
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, head of state and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, pecking away at a computer keyboard as he sends a chain glurge advising people to “approach love and cooking with reckless abandon” winging its way around the Internet, we have to admit that this list has nothing to do with the Dalai Lama. (Some of the things His Holiness has actually said and written can be found here.)
Neither this chain message nor its “Instructions for Life” originated with His Holiness. The “Instructions for Life” are a truncated version of a much longer list that worked its way around the Internet in 1999 in conjunction with an ASCII art representation of a “Nepalese Good Luck Tantra Totem” (the list was also sometimes identified as being a “modern Japanese good luck tantra”):
[illustration removed] This tantra totem has been sent to you for good luck. It has been sent around the world ten times so far. You will receive good luck within four days of relaying this tantra totem. Send copies to people you think need good luck. Don’t send money as fate has no price. Do not keep this message. The tantra totem must leave your hands in INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE Now, here’s the FUN part ! See what happens when you pass it on.
The following is Nepali GOOD LUCK TANTRA TOTEM
Send this to at least 5 people and your life will improve.
0-4 people: Your life will improve slightly.
5-9 people: Your life will improve to your liking.
9-14 people: You will have at least 5 surprises in the next
15 and above: Your life will improve drastically and everything you ever dreamed of will begin to take shape.
This tantra totem has been sent to you for good luck. It has been sent around the world ten times so far. You will receive good luck within four days of relaying this tantra totem. Send copies to people you think need good luck. Don’t send money as fate has no price.
Do not keep this message. The tantra totem must leave your hands in
INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE
Now, here’s the FUN part !
See what happens when you pass it on.
The longer list is itself yet another truncation of an even larger work, which in this case is
Last updated: 31 March 2007
A Word to Our Loyal Readers
Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.
- David Mikkelson
- Doreen Marchionni
- David Emery
- Bond Huberman
- Jordan Liles
- Alex Kasprak
- Dan Evon
- Dan MacGuill
- Bethania Palma
- Liz Donaldson
- Vinny Green
- Ryan Miller
- Chris Reilly
- Chad Ort
- Elyssa Young
Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.
We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.
Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.