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Next meeting I had with
Swami Shantam Dheeraj, was with a friend. She came
to India to track down the history of an artifact she had bought on the
Amsterdam flee market. It had the size of a brick, but was hollow, made of a
metal, and had a picture of Garuda (An
ancient Indian mythological bird that hatches full-grown from the egg and thus
symbolizes the awakened state of mind.) on one
On the other side a man's torso, with a snake underbody on the other. On the sides there was a
writing, in Tibetan, as we later discovered, and on the top and bottom, the 8
Trigrams of the I Ching. Something was inside the artifact, and when shaken, it
was moving. She used it when healing people.
She was looking for someone who knew something about
Buddhism, in the Poona OSHO Ashram. I told her of my experience with Dheeraj,
and took her to the hotel (Sunderban) he was staying at, at that time. We came
to his room, and knocked. Dheeraj opened. For me, looking at the whole situation
from aside, it looked they came both from the same space. The same marked faces,
the same energy/ atmosphere. She showed the pictures to him (She didn't have the
original artifact with her, afraid she couldn't take it back out of India). he
asked her to wait, went inside and came back with the picture of his teacher
Kyentse ( Khyentse ) Rinpoche, also the teacher of the Dalai Lama. He didn't tell us his name)). The
features of the man on this picture, and the figure on the 'stone' had
a amazing resemblance. Dheeraj told us, that if we wanted to know more about the
stone, we had to go to Kathmandu. Then he turned to me, and told me to keep my
hands in a certain way, in a hand mudra, and that, when in Kathmandu, I should
meditate with this handmudra, and he (Dilgo Kyentse (
Khyentse ) Rinpoche) would find us....
Swami Shantam Dheeraj
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Next day we left for Kathmandu. My friend and her 11 year old sun.
The train stopped in Varanasi,
the holy city of India (some beautiful pictures here; http://tsunami.mg-soft.com/holycow.html
) . We decided to get out and stay for some days. It was the
strangest place I have ever been in my life. It was as if I had
landed on a different planet. The Ghats, with the praying Sadhu's,
the temples and the people, it seemed not real, not from this time.
The atmosphere was influenced by the ancient history and buildings,
the religious extremities, but moreover by the allover use of drugs,
like Bang, something like Marihuana, with some additives, chewing tobacco
leaves, with some times a little opium inside, and the kind. I got
'stoned' just by walking around.
We did our tour around, visiting temples, and
boating on the Ganges. One of the Temples was the 'Monkey Temple',
an old 'Kali' temple in which, as I was being told, the last human
sacrifice was made some 60 years ago. It seemed the dried blood was
still on the stones. Before we went in, we had to take off our shoes, and take a bamboo stick with us, to keep the monkeys away from
us. Surprised as we were, we soon found out why. These monkeys were
baboons, with mouths like dogs, four grabbing hands, and an attitude
like a dog with rabies! I had to actually keep them off with a
ferocious look and the threat of whipping their ass, if they would
come any closer. Just as I thought they would back off, one of them
would appear behind us, as he climbed on the outside of the temple
wall to pass us. The whole scenario was overwhelming, and I couldn't
help to think about 'the temple of doom'.
Sadhu, a Sadhu and me at the 'Monkey Temple'.
Later that day, we decided to take a boat trip on the Ganges. This
was great! The sight on all those temples and castles, the Ghats
(Stairs going to the water) and the people praying and bathing, was
immense. We floated along, being happy there were no half burned
corpses in the vicinity. My friend was taking pictures of the sight,
but were warned not to take any of the 'Monkey Temple'. As my friend
didn't take this as such, she tried to make pictures anyway. The
strangest thing happened! Every time she would point her camera
towards the temple, it would refuse to take a picture! She tried
several times, but it didn't work! We were troubled, to say the
least. Then I saw this thing in the water. It was as if the monster
of Loch Ness was swimming around, and I had just seen its neck or
body, just curving back under. It was big, no fins or anything.
Imagination taking a roll with me, or what was this? When a second
time it appeared, the guy on the boat told me it was a dolphin. A
big fish in the Ganges... I didn't see no fin on its back, and it
was black. We left the boat, happy to be back.
We decided to leave as soon as we could. The city seemed to have a
magnetic pull, but felt threatening. We had to leave as soon as
possible! It seemed we were glued into the atmosphere. It was hard
to move or get anything done, and it took a lot of persistence to
get our train tickets arranged and our backpacks packed. We left for
Lucknow, the last stop before taking the bus into Nepal.
The bus trip was an adventure in itself. Inside the bus it was hot.
Very hot. The lowlands around Lucknow were desert like, and the
Young Sadhu had a terrible time. I wanted to sit on top of the bus,
but wasn't allowed. This didn't stop me, as I climbed out of the
window on top of the bus, as soon as we started driving. It was a
tourist bus, where no locals were allowed. Still some of them
managed to get on top of the bus, climbing the ladder on the back. I
laid down between the backpacks, enjoying the view, and keeping an
eye on our luggage. At one point a local managed to climb on top of
the bus. He settled on the opposite side, eating some cherries. This
didn't become him well. I saw him getting sick in minutes, and at
the point he started to look like throwing up, he held it in for a
moment, throwing himself to the side, to let the cherry vomit go.
Just at this point I realized Sadhu was sitting at the back, window
side, with the window wide open. I moved towards the guy, to move
him to the back, but I came too late. A scream emerged from the bus,
as the cherry-vomit splashed in Sadhu's face. The kid had it all
straight smack in the middle of his face and chest. He was a mess!!
And when we passed the border of Nepal, all the Mongolian
faces of the Nepali and Tibetan people made me feelt as if I came home.
The sight was breathtaking as we entered the Himalayan's. On one
side the mountain, and on the other side this deep valley with the
rice fields, the rivers and the buffalo's; small people working on
the fields, and the Himalayan's on the background. It felt like I
was on a safari, in a movie.
Then we arrived in Kathmandu. What a beautiful place. We took a
small hotel room, and wondered around. Now we had to find the man we
were looking for. We had nothing but the hand mudra and the picture
of him, one we copied from Dheeraj's picture. So from there on I
started meditating with this hand mudra. It went on for about 5
days, when I suddenly saw a red phone during my meditation. I told
my friend immediately. Something was about to happen.
We walked around the city everyday, walking in and out of shops,
when I found this picture, between all the holy people, in a tray in
a shop. It was him! I bought it, and asked the owner who this was.
he didn't know. We walked out, trying to decide what to do next. We
still didn't know if he was a Buddhist, or what lineage he was from.
I decided to ask a few monks who were doing their shopping on a
square, next to the shop. We showed the picture, and sure, they knew
him. He was living in a monastery next to the big stupa outside of
That day there was a shortage of gasoline. It was hard to get a
taxi, but we got one. My friend wanted to leave straight away, and
so we did. It was exiting. Now we would find this man, who had such
a magical place in this story. It was a long trip, but finally we
got there. The stupa was big and exotic. Many people, mostly
Tibettans, walked around, praying, doing their things... My friend
took the picture and asked an old man, with a lot of necklaces with
big beats around his neck, whether he knew the man on the picture. I
remember this like yesterday. My friend had bought a necklace just
like one of his, a few days before. She looked different, almost
like that time I saw her with Dheeraj; ancient. He took the picture
pressing it to his forehead. And showing almost the same respect to
her! He told us we had to go behind the stupa, outside the walls.
There was a monastery, where we would find him. So we went.
Monastery, Nepal in 1989
Monastery, Nepal in 1989
We went inside, not knowing what to expect. Some monks were walking
around, but it was quiet. We asked one of the monks where we could
find the man on the picture, and he said we had to go through a door
on the back. As we walked in, we were told to sit down in a hall, to
wait until he was ready to meet us. A French monk came sitting next
to us, asking what we came to do. When he noticed that we were
totally unprepared to meet this lama, Dilgo Kyentse ( Khyentse )Rinpoche, he
told us we had to have a white shawl with us, which represented the
pure self, which we had to fold 7 times, and offer to him. He
arranged two of them, one I had to share with Sadhu. He told us
Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche was considered to have the same state of consciousness
as Gautama the Buddha, according to Tibetan Buddhism. I was
startled. In my meditations I had found Buddha in several occasions,
sometimes whishing I would have been alive, still there 2500 years
ago. And now I would walk into a mans sleeping room, who was an
enlightened being?! I was startled.
We came in, and saw a big Tibetan man sitting next to his bed on a
big cushion-chair, with next to him a table with a lot of jars with Tibetan
medicine. A French monk sat next to him. he was the translator. one
after the other we unfolded the white shawl and gave it to Dilgo
Kyentse. When it was my turn, he put his hand on my forehead, and
pushed me away, almost making me fall on my back. I felt very small,
and not ready at all to meet a man like him. I had a strong feeling
I wasn't the warrior, inner and outer, that I had to become. This
was a big influence in my life.
friend showed the pictures she had with her, from the artifact. Also
some other pictures from a jade cup, which was ones supposedly owned
by the Dalai Lama. He was interested, and made very low noises. They
had a small conversation, and we left. It was all a very impressive
experience. One I am not light to forget.
these experiences, I told my friend, I could see she was an
incarnation of a lama. Only 14 years later, she told me her visions,
and that it was true... Her ashes were in the stone, and she had
been this monk. Her feelings about this time were of devotion to
healing and a strong feeling of sorrow; she wanted to have had an
ordinary life, one she has now..... only she heals people now. From
glad to know her, share this story, and be her friend. i am honored.
this meeting, we left for Pokhara, a small village to the west of
Kathmandu. It lays next to a huge lake. I decided to put my mattress
on the roof of the hotel, and it was amazing waking up at the sight
of the mountains. Anapurna, 8 kilometers high. The village is quiet,
basically a starting point for tracking the Anapurna. We didn't go;
Sadhu, my friends sun, didn't want to go. So we stayed, and went
boating every day on the lake, and swimming.
day we decided to do something adventurous; we would go in the
evening to the other shore, where we had found something like a
cave, not very deep, and enough space in front of it, to put our
sleepingbeds down. We had just put our stuff down, when the night
fell. And it fell fast. We had barely enough time to get into our
beds. We had no torch, and the little path to the boat was steep.
Still awake we were enjoying the starry night, when suddenly we
heard a breathing. It was a heavy and slow breathing, something big
was standing very close to us. We were laying there, stiff of fear.
I was calculating the size of the creature, and our options to
defend ourselves, or our way of escape. It was for sure too dark, to
go running of the steep slope, without making some sort of accident,
and the only weapon I had, was a swiss knife. I opened it underneath
my as a cushion folded clothes, and waited. We all waited, afraid to
breathe. Then it left. We still have no idea what it has been....
The terrible snowman, the Yeti?
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