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Just Happenig Encounter With Dalai Lama

Just Happenig Encounter With Dalai Lama

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Published by luvtop
Just Happenig Encounter With Dalai Lama
Just Happenig Encounter With Dalai Lama

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Published by: luvtop on Sep 24, 2009
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07/15/2010

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Just Happening: An Encounter with the Dalai Lama
The mind changing effects of a Hindu gathering in India and an encounter with the Dalai Lama unfold in this essay. {mosgoogle}by Janet AmaliaWeinbergPeople think differently in India, or so it seemed as I stood on the banks of the Ganges, surrounded by sixty million Hindupilgrims who had come to the river to bathe. I thought the water was polluted and could make me sick—I’dseen garbage, excrement, and three dead bodies in it. They thought it was holy and could cleanse them of sin.Such pilgrimages, called Kumbha Melas, occur periodically at various sacred bathing sites in India, but this was a MahaKumbha Mela, a particularly auspicious event that happens once every hundred and forty four years. According tolegend, the universal forces for good are so concentrated at this time that simply attending the Mela can purify manylifetimes. I was at a change point in life and had come, not to dip in the Ganges, but to immerse myself in this positiveconsensus reality.It was the largest gathering of people anywhere on the planet and a temporary city of perhaps a million army tents hadbeen erected for the month-long happening. I was camped just outside the Mela grounds in an enclave of 400 otherWesterners from the States.One day, a group of us from my camp got a ride to hear the Dalai Lama speak. A crowd of tens of thousands wasexpected so we left early. As our car entered the Mela, we were swept into a sensory tsunami. People were everywhere--riding rickshaws and Landrovers, camels and donkeys, walking, standing, cooking, praying, waiting, sleeping. Groupsfrom distant villages sat along the dusty roads. Vendors sold cabbages, peanuts, onions, potatoes, and eggplants.Women, drying freshly washed saris in the wind, unfurled eighteen-foot banners of color. Sadhus–holy men withflowing beards and penetrating eyes--hiked to and from the Ganges. Cows roamed. Competing public address systemsblasted chants and prayers. Smoke from a million dung cooking fires clogged the air and the smell of incense,sandalwood and curry sweetened it.The sixty square mile tent-city was divided into sectors. There were no street signs, but temples and religious groups hadtheir own encampments with identifying gateways. We were in such sensory overload that we probably had passed thesame gateways over and over before we noticed our driver was taking us in circles.Ordinarily, I would have thought: “We’re lost, we might miss the Dalai Lama, it’s all thedriver’s fault....” But I didn’t think what was happening was bad or wrong. In fact, I didn’tthink about it at all; it was just happening.As the driver wandered, I marveled at the sights. I had only explored the Mela on foot; seeing it by car was anunexpected bonus. Along the way, we met another lost car, packed with Westerners from our camp. While the driversconferred, we exchanged stares with a sadhu – he with his orange dhoti, glazed red eyes and Vishnu trident, wewith our sun hats, dark glasses and sneakers. Eventually, with reassuring nods, the drivers resumed their quest.When we finally reached our destination, we found a crowd, churning with rumors that the Dalai Lama would not appear.Again, I could have gotten disappointed, but my new and strange state of accepting and moving with the flow was stillwith me.Suddenly, a vehicle shot out of the compound. Someone yelled, “There goes the Dalai Lama!” and ourvehicles took off in hot pursuit. Now, it seemed we were lucky to have gotten lost. Otherwise, our drivers would havedropped us off earlier and we, like all those people we left behind, would have had no transportation.The chase ended at a small tent. There were eleven of us now, five from my car and six, including a two-man cameracrew, from the other. We removed our shoes and entered the tent. Menacing guards armed with uzi’s scrutinizedus but let us pass. Inside, the Dalai Lama was kneeling in prayer before an altar. Behind him, about fifty Indians, mostlysadhu’s in traditional orange and ochre robes, sat cross-legged on mats. Our two carloads clustered at the rear ofthe tent.After a few moments, His Holiness, speaking Tibetan, began addressing the gathering through a Hindi translator. Peopleasked questions he must have heard countless times, but he gave each person his full attention and responded withgenuine caring. When he finished talking with the Indians, he smiled and called to us in English, “Come onup.”
New Renaissance Magazine: Renaissance Universalhttp://www.ru.orgPowered by Joomla!Generated: 9 September, 2009, 10:38

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