Observations placeholder

Tibetan Buddhism - The Naljorpa

Identifier

003585

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A Naljorpa is defined as ‘one who has attained perfect serenity’, but in more general usage is a Tibetan ascetic possessing magic powers

A description of the experience

With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet – Alexandra David-Neel

In the lha khang we found the naljorpa seated upon a cushion in front of a low table finishing his meal… It was difficult to begin a conversation with the ascetic, as his mouth appeared to be full of rice; he had only answered our polite greetings by a kind of grunt.  I was trying to find a phrase to break the ice, when the strange fellow began to laugh and muttered a few words. Dawasandup seemed embarrassed

"What does he say?" I asked.

'Excuse me," answered the interpreter, "these naljorpas sometimes speak roughly. I do not know if I should translate."

"Please do," I replied. "I am here to take notes; especially of anything at all curious and original."

"Well, then - excuse me - he said, 'What is this idiot here for'? "

Such rudeness did not greatly astonish me as, in India also, certain yogins have a habit of  insulting anyone who approaches them……….

….’Insects fluttering in the dung," muttered the naljorpa between his teeth.  This was vague, but the kind of language one expects from such men…………  He laughed noisily. ….

" I am only a humble disciple, and yet"… It appeared to me that the "humble disciple" was maybe a little mad and certainly very conceited, for his "and yet" had been accompanied by a glance that suggested many things.

My interpreter meanwhile was visibly uneasy. …., the man who could "create stars out of dog dung" inspired him with a superstitious fear.  I proposed to leave, but as I understood that the lama was going away the next morning, I handed Dawasandup a few rupees for the traveller to help him on his way.

This present displeased the naljorpa. He refused it, saying he had already received more provisions than he could carry.

Dawasandup thought it right to insist. He took a few steps forward, intending to place the money on a table near the lama. Then I saw him stagger, fall backward and strike his back against the wall as if he had been violently pushed. He uttered a cry and clutched at his stomach.

The naljorpa got up and, sneering, left the room.

The source of the experience

Tibetan Buddhism

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References