Reincarnated lama, the
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet – Alexandra David-Neel
Now it happened that in the course of a trading tour, he felt tired and thirsty and entered a farm to rest and drink. While the housewife made tea the nierpa (steward) drew a jade snuff-box from his pocket and was about to take a pinch of snuff when a little boy who had been playing in a corner of the room stopped him and putting his small hand on the box asked reproachfully:
"Why do you use my snuff-box?"
The steward was thunderstruck. Truly, the precious snuff-box was not his, but belonged to the departed Agnai tsang, and though he had not perhaps exactly intended to steal it, yet he had taken possession of it. He remained there trembling while the boy looked at him as his face suddenly became grave and stern, with no longer anything childish about it.
" Give it back to me at once, it is mine," he said again.
Stung with remorse, and at the same time terrified and bewildered, the superstitious monk could only fall on his knees and prostrate himself before his reincarnated master. A few days later, I saw the boy coming in state to his mansion. He wore a yellow brocade robe and rode a beautiful black pony, the nierpa holding the bridle.
When the procession entered the house the boy remarked: " Why do we turn to the left to reach the second courtyard? The gate is on our right side."
Now, for some reason, the gate on the right side had been walled up after the death of the lama and another one opened instead. The monks marvelled at this new proof of the authenticity of their lama and all proceeded to his private apartment where tea was to be served.
The boy, seated on a pile of large hard cushions, looked at the cup with silver-gilt saucer and jewelled cover placed on the table before him.
"Give me the larger china cup," he commanded.
And he described one, mentioning the very pattern that decorated it. Nobody knew about such a cup, not even the steward, and the monks respectfully endeavoured to convince their young master that there was no cup of that kind in the house. It was at that moment that, taking advantage of an already long acquaintance with the nierpa, I entered the room. I had heard the snuff-box story and wished to see for myself , my remarkable little new neighbour.
I offered him the customary complimentary scarf and a few presents. These he received with a gracious smile, but, apparently following the trend of his thoughts regarding the cup, he said:
"Look better, you will find it."
And suddenly, as if a flash of memory had dashed through his mind, he added explanation about a box painted in such a colour, which was in such a place in the store-room. The monks had briefly informed me of what was going on and I waited with interest to see how things would turn out.
Less than half an hour later, the set, cup, saucer and cover, was discovered in a casket that was at the bottom of the very box described by the boy. "I did not know of the existence of that cup”, the steward told me later on. "The lama himself or my predecessor, must have put it in that box which did not contain anything else precious and had not been opened for years."