Khadro-la — Interview with a Dakini
Thursday 10 June 2010, by
Can you tell me why you left Tibet?
“It happened at the last minute. I didn’t have the intention, and I didn’t have the money to travel. I followed a sign that came in my dreams. There was a bus blowing its horn indicating its departure, and until I got on the bus I was unaware of where I was heading. I learnt from the other people on that bus that they were going to Lhasa and thence to Shigatse. A couple of days into the journey I learnt that they were also planning to go to Mount Kailash.
“One day, while we had stopped our journey at Shigatse, I was circumambulating Tashi Lhunpo Monastery when I came across an elderly man dressed in an Indian cloth doti. This complete stranger gave me 2000 gormo. He asked me to sit beside him, and begun to tell me many unusual stories. He told me that India was just beyond this mountain, and that I should be meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and many other lamas. He kept urging me to head for India – and at the time it didn’t feel at all strange, although when I recall it now it seems amazing to me.”
Was it very difficult to make your way to India?
“Oh yes! There was much hardship. I had no mission of my own and was just following the pilgrims. I don’t remember very clearly how long the journey was, but I did fifteen koras round Mount Kailash and due to my unusual actions and the words that I was speaking, rumors were going around that I was a dakini. People began to line up to see me, even seeking blessings from me. It was very tiring for me to deal with the crowds, but a very kind monk from a nearby monastery took good care of me with food and drink. He even organized a better system for the people who came to see me for blessings, etc. Many of those people expressed their wish to go to India with me. One night, quite suddenly and without any discussion, I made up my mind to leave for India and so a man who was our guide led seventeen of us from the bus along the trail that leads to the border. He wasn’t very experienced and it took seventeen days to reach Kathmandu in Nepal. It should have taken only seven days. We were in no man’s land, and as there were no real paths or people to ask, it was impossible to tell whether we were even out of Tibet. We had to just follow the signs I got in my dreams. When we were confused about the way, I was instructed to go in the direction where there appeared a circle of light. Maybe this was the blessing of the Dalai Lama or Palden Lhamo.
“Sometimes we had to walk all day without any food or drink, and sometimes we had to walk all through the night. We were not prepared for such a long journey.
“When I arrived in Nepal, I fell seriously ill with food poisoning and could not continue with my companions towards India. I had to stay at the reception center in Kathmandu, vomiting blood, which made the staff suspicious that I had a contagious disease. I was left to sleep outside the building in a field. I was so weak that I couldn’t change position. When I needed to move, they used long sticks to push me back and forth because they were afraid to touch me with their hands. As my condition worsened, the staff thought I wouldn’t survive, and so asked me if I wanted to leave a last message for my family and asked for the address to deliver it.
“So I made a request for monks from a monastery to do prayers after I died and to take my body for cremation to a peak which I later found out is the holy Nagarjuna hill where Buddha had spoken the sutra called Langru Lungten.
“I asked them to take my urine in a bottle and give it to whomever they met first at the Boudhanath Stupa entrance. By now I was semi-conscious, but they were kind enough to do this favor for me. The person who took my urine met a man at the gate who turned out to be a Tibetan physician. He tested my urine and diagnosed that I had been poisoned with meat, prescribed some medicine and even sent me some blessing pills. My health improved dramatically and I had many good dreams. When I recovered, I was sent to the Dharamsala reception center, together with some other newly-arrived people.
“I arrived in Dharamsala not long after some monks from my village had quarreled with the staff of the center – and so they had a negative impression of anyone who came from the same area. Consequently I, too, became the victim. Since I was quite young I was asked whether I would like to join school or did I want to have some skills training. My reply was quite straightforward and honest. I said I had no interest in going to school and neither did I want to learn something else. When I was back at home I always had the very strong will to serve good meditators, and so I used to collect firewood and deliver water for the meditators who lived around my village. I didn’t even know that Tibet was occupied by the Chinese and that that was why Tibetans went into exile. I was not tortured by the Chinese and I didn’t have any lack of food or clothing. My only wish was to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and as I have a problem of going into craziness sometimes, I merely wanted to know from His Holiness whether that was good or bad. That was all I wanted, otherwise I just wanted to return to my own home…”