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Observations placeholder

Stabbed lama, the



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet – Alexandra David-Neel

One day a pious benefactor came to see the ascetic and left him a sum of money to purchase winter provisions. His disciple, urged on by covetousness, stabbed him and ran off with the silver.

The aged lama was still alive, and came to his senses soon after the murderer had gone. His wounds caused him excruciating suffering, and to escape this torture he sank into meditation.

Concentration of thought is carried so far by Tibetan mystics that it becomes anaesthetic and they do not feel anything; or at a lower degree of power they can thus greatly lessen their pains.

When another disciple of the lama went to visit him a few days later he found him rolled up in a blanket and motionless. The smell from the festering wounds and the blood-stained blanket  caught his attention. He questioned his master. The hermit then told him what had happened, but when the man wished to get a doctor from the nearest monastery he was forbidden to do so.

"If the lamas and villagers happen to hear about my condition they will search for the culprit," said the ascetic. "He cannot have got far. They would find him and, probably, condemn him to death. I cannot permit this. I wish to give him more time to escape. One day he will, perhaps, return to the right path, and in any case, I shall not have been the cause of his death.  So do not tell anyone what you have seen here. Now go, leave me alone. While I meditate, I do not suffer, but when I become conscious of my body my pain is unbearable."

An Oriental disciple does not discuss an order of this kind. The man prostrated himself at his guru's feet and left. A few days later the hermit, all alone in his hut, passed away.

The source of the experience

Tibetan Buddhism

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps