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Observations placeholder

David-Neel, Alexandra - Padmasambhava strikes back



Type of Spiritual Experience


This is very complicated.  The invisible presence may indeed have been an unwanted spirit. 

But the words may have been the thoughts this provoked in the man she was with.  They both felt the presence and the other man was frightened enough to think the words she heard.  As such I have had to put two options on the type of communication.

A description of the experience

With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet – Alexandra David-Neel

 Sidkeong tulku having become maharajah, wished to make his subjects renounce their superstitions in favour of orthodox Buddhism. For this purpose, he had invited an Indian monk, who belonged to the Theravadin philosophic school, to preach in his country.

The missionary had to fight against such anti-buddhistic customs as  sorcery, the cult of the spirits and the habit of drinking fermented drinks. This monk, Kali Kumar by name, was already at work.

The maharaja-lama, as abbot of Podang, had an apartment in the monastery where he stayed on the rare occasions when he officiated at the head of his monks. He came for two days, during my stay in the gompa. 

We were taking tea together late in the afternoon, and talking of Kali Kumar‘s mission and the way in which he might hope to free the hillmen from their inveterate superstitions.

"It is impossible," I said, "to know exactly what the historical Padmasambhava, who preached in Tibet centuries ago, was like. But it is certain that his followers have made him the hero of legends that encourage drunkenness and absurd, pernicious practices. Under his name, they worship an evil spirit - even as you do," I added laughingly, pointing out an image of the great magician standing at the far end of the room with an altar lamp burning at its feet.

" It is necessary," I continued, when, suddenly, I could say no more.

A third invisible presence had interrupted me. Yet no one had spoken, there was complete silence in the room, but I keenly felt the influence of some occult force.

"Nothing you can do will succeed," said a soundless voice. "The people of this country are mine. I am more powerful than you."

I listened in amazement to these silent words, and I had almost decided that they were only the expression of my own doubts regarding the success of the proposed reforms, when the maharajah replied.

He replied to that which I had not said, arguing with the invisible adversary of his plans.

“Why should I not succeed," he went on to say.  " Possibly it will take some time to change the ideas of the peasants and the lower clergy. The demons which they feed will not easily become resigned to die of hunger, but, nevertheless, I shall get the better of them."

He was mockingly alluding to the animal sacrifices offered to the evil spirits by the sorcerers.

‘But I have not said’ I began and stopped short, for I thought that, in spite of the brave declaration of war the prince had made on the demons, he was not entirely free from superstition and consequently it was better not to tell him what had happened.

The source of the experience

David-Neel, Alexandra

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