Issue 29 – 5 July 2017 – rattuos
The hidden masters may be anywhere or nowhere. She could be the old lady sweeping the bit of pavement outside her house with a twinkle in her eye, he or she could be the postman, the support worker or the old priest. What they all have in common is a degree of enlightenment hidden from the world at large. If you travel the path to enlightenment you will start to meet and see them and they you. It just happens and they will teach you sometimes without you knowing that, or only discovering that when it is too late and they have gone.
Perhaps the classic enlightened, wandering holy man of the last century was Sai Baba who died 99 years ago. He taught a bit of Islam with a bit of Hindu and might have passed unnoticed like most of the masters. He did not attract a massive following in his life and if you look at his Wikipedia page you will see the photographs of him showing a very humble man that you might mistake for a beggar. But fate was to ensure that he was not forgotten. His temple is visited every day by 25,000 people and on some days up to a million. Following his instructions they are fed. Its roofs are gold and outside carved in pure white Italian marble is a statue of him wearing a gold crown. It is said he gave a devotee one rupee to build it. What is for sure is that he was a very powerful, spiritual man – part Sufi, part Saddhu. My father was born in India while he still lived but in my lifetime another Sai Baba, Sathya, claiming to be his reincarnation became one of the most famous gurus of all and should probably be remembered for the billions of pounds that he raised for India’s poor. He was also a master magician but by no means hidden. I have written about both here previously. Western eyes tend to focus on the enlightenment of such masters while ignoring the one on their doorstep.
Today I am putting here some notes against renowned but deceased masters for your possible interest.
“Her name was Djecunma Ani Rigdzin Chonyi Zangmo, she was a yogini and dakini (wisdom being). Djecunma is a title for female lamas, it means Highly Respected Mother. She was also called Dzogchen Rinpoche. Rinpoche means Precious Teacher. I first met djecunma yogini when I was eight and I wanted to stay with her. Later she gave me my first ordination. She was one of the most well-known masters in Tibet. She lived up to one-hundred and thirteen”
“A great buddhist practioner, an embodiment of compassion and loving kindness, a Sherpa Buddhist nun ANI NGAWANG PEMA passed away into Parinirvana. She is remaining in “Thugdam” with peace and radiance. Thugdam (samadhi) is a final stage of meditation. It is a state of deep meditation, resting in the nature of mind.
During her teenage Ani Ngawang Pema was the most beautiful girl in Khumbu region. Determined to be a nun, she rejected marriage proposals from a lot of rich and famous families and escaped away from her hometown. She went to Tibet, crossing high Himalayan passes in order to take a refuge in Guru, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. In Tibet she studied budddhism, learned the meaning of life, recognized the true nature of mind and became a perfect buddhist nun. After returning back to Khumbu she stayed in solitary retreat (meditation) to benefit all sentient beings of six realms of Samsara. Following a long illness on Friday, November 19, 2010 she withdrew her consciousness into the expanse of Dharmata. A crowd of faithfuls are gathering in front of her retreat house in order to pay her a respect. As per her last wish no one except Tyangboche lama, her personal attendant and another monk is allowed go inside the retreat house. His Holiness Trulshik Rinpoche ordered no one to touch her holy body for at least seven days. As soon as Thugdam is complete, general public will be informed and may allowed to pay their respects.”
Ani Ngawang Pema. Ani Pema was a well-known Buddhist practitioner who spent some 51 years in solitary retreat.
Krishnamurti aged 90 died 1986 from pancreatic cancer. He was life long sufferer of “A word is needed to explain one of the terms used in it—“the process”. In 1922, at the age of twenty-eight, Krishnamurti underwent a spiritual experience that changed his life and which was followed by years of acute and almost continuous pain in his head and spine. The manuscript shows that “the process”, as he called this mysterious pain, was still going on nearly forty years later….”
Maharishi aged 90 died 2008 ‘natural causes in sleep’ “….I arrived at the house at 2:00 am, and when I entered the makeshift ICU I saw Maharishi lying unconscious in a bed with IV tubes and a respirator just as I had foreseen. My father informed me darkly that after drinking a glass of orange juice given to him by “a foreign disciple,” Maharishi had suffered severe abdominal pain and inflammation of the pancreas, along with kidney failure followed by a heart attack. Poisoning was suspected. Over the next few days Maharishi’s condition worsened. The pancreas and kidney functions continued to deteriorate, and his heart didn’t improve…..The attending physician felt that Maharishi was clinically dead. My father suggested that we keep him on life support, however, until the family gave permission to take him off. As fate would have it, after 24 to 36 hours the attending informed us that Maharishi was recovering miraculously. His kidney function was returning to normal, his heart was beating independent of the pacemaker, and he had started to breathe on his own. Within a few days he was sitting up in bed, drinking milk with honey. The doctor could not explain this recovery; everyone in the hospital, including his nurses, were awestruck….The dilemma I faced was more fundamental: Can a real guru be unfair, jealous, biased, and ultimately manipulative? For a devotee, the answer is unquestionably yes….Maharishi actually was a guru and great Rishi of the Vedic tradition, while I am a doctor who loved the philosophy of Vedanta and also loved articulating it for the man on the street. I said goodbye to Maharishi, took Rita’s hand, and walked away…..On January 12, 1994 I went back to Vlodrop for the annual New Year’s celebration and told Maharishi that I was leaving permanently….” Deepak Chopra (his son-in-law and one time physician)
“…Only then did I realise that the Maharishi would be addressing me only via closed-circuit TV from his chamber, presumably somewhere upstairs. “His Holiness never meets anyone because his doctor is concerned that he might catch germs,” Roth whispered. “He hasn’t been outside for years.” David Jones 2006 interview with Maharishi” Daily Mail 6/2/2008
Sathya Sai Baba aged 84 died 2011 “On 28 March 2011, Sai Baba was admitted to the Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital at Prashantigram at Puttaparthi, following respiration-related problems. After nearly a month of hospitalisation, during which his condition progressively deteriorated, Sai Baba died on Sunday, 24 April at 7:40 IST, aged 84. Sai Baba had predicted that he would die at age 96 and would remain healthy until then…..In 2003, Sai Baba suffered a fractured hip when a student standing on an iron stool slipped and the boy and stool both fell on him. After that he gave darshana from a car or his porte chair. After 2004, Sai Baba used a wheelchair and began to make fewer public appearances.” Wikipedia
Carlos Castaneda aged 72 died 1998 hepatic cellular cancer “Castaneda withdrew from public view in 1973 to work further on his inner development, living in a large house in Westwood, California with three colleagues whom he called “Fellow Travellers of Awareness.” Wikipedia
Carl Jung aged 84 died 1961 after short illness “His psychosis began when he was 38 years old, when he started finding himself haunted by visions in his head and started hearing voices. Jung himself worried about this “psychosis” — things that today we’d might say were consistent with symptoms of schizophrenia (a term he also used to describe himself during this period).”
13th Dalai Lama aged 56 died 1933
The 13th Dalai Lama predicted before dying:
“Very soon in this land (with a harmonious blend of religion and politics) deceptive acts may occur from without and within. At that time, if we do not dare to protect our territory, our spiritual personalities including the Victorious Father and Son (Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama) may be exterminated without trace, the property and authority of our Lakangs (residences of reincarnated lamas) and monks may be taken away. Moreover, our political system, developed by the Three Great Dharma Kings (Tri Songtsen Gampo, Tri Songdetsen and Tri Ralpachen) will vanish without anything remaining. The property of all people, high and low, will be seized and the people forced to become slaves. All living beings will have to endure endless days of suffering and will be stricken with fear. Such a time will come.” Wikipedia
“…When the Dalai Lama reached the age of twenty-four, he began to have recurring and disturbing dreams which he noted down on paper….In 1900, when the Thirteenth Dalai Lama reached the age of twenty-five — a perilous year according to Tibetan astrology, which holds that every thirteenth year is “obstructed” (skyeg) — the Nechung Oracle repeated his prophecy that the Dalai Lama’s life was in danger. That year the Dalai Lama fell ill frequently, had a low appetite, and grew physically weak. According to one account of the incident, the Dalai Lama noticed that his health deteriorated whenever he wore boots presented to him by Terton Sogyel. When his attendants examined the boots carefully they found a harmful mantra hidden in the sole….In 1933, on the thirteenth day of the tenth Tibetan month in the water-bird year, the Dalai Lama became ill and began to suffer from a bout of coughing. A day later, he lost his appetite and became short of breath….He replied that the portentous sound of the owl indicated that the time had come for him to depart his earthly existence. On thirtieth day of tenth Tibetan month, at midday, the Dalai Lama lay down on his bed feeling weak. At 7:30 that evening the Dalai Lama sat up and placed himself in a meditation posture, he closed his eyes and departed from earthly existence”
“When the Twelfth Dalai Lama, Trinle Gyatso (ta la’i bla ma 13 ‘phrin la rgya mtsho, 1856-1875) died at the young age of twenty in 1875, his face is said to have turned toward the south-east, which was taken as a sign that the new incarnation would be born in that direction”
Bhagwan Rajneesh aged 58 died 1991 reportedly of heart failure. “….Rajneesh’s health collapsed in his early thirties. Even before reaching middle age, Rajneesh suffered reoccurring bouts of weakness. During his youthful college years, when he should have been at a peak of vigor, Rajneesh often had to sleep 12 to 14 hours a day due to an unexplained illness. Rajneesh suffered from what Europeans call Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), or what Americans call Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). His classic symptoms included the obvious fatigue, strange allergies, recurrent low grade fevers, photophobia, orthostatic intolerance (the inability to stand for a normal period of time), insomnia, body pain, and extreme sensitivity to smells and chemicals, a condition doctors now refer to as ‘multiple chemical sensitivity.’ [See new Australian medical study with possible physiological explanation for CFS based on ion channel dysfunction.]
Rajneesh’s trademark chemical sensitivity was so severe that he instructed his guards to sniff people for unpleasant odors before they were allowed to visit him in his quarters. People with Gulf War Syndrome, MS, and other neurological and immune system illnesses are also often highly sensitive to chemicals and smells. Rajneesh’s poor health and strange symptoms were a product of real neurological and immune system dysfunction, not some esoteric supersensitivity caused by his enlightenment. Rajneesh also had Type II diabetes, asthma, and severe back pain.
Rajneesh was constantly sick and frail from the time I first met him in 1970 until his death on January 19th, 1990. He thought he was getting a different cold or flu every week. In reality he suffered from a chronic neurological and immune system illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, with flu like symptoms that can last a lifetime. Rajneesh could not stand on his feet for long periods of time without becoming lightheaded because he suffered damage to his autonomic nervous system which controls blood pressure…”
Sai Baba (not his real name) age unknown (perhaps 80) died 1918 (he said he was in the army in 1858) “Sai Baba’s disciples and devotees claim that he performed many miracles such as bilocation, levitation, mindreading, materialisation, exorcisms, entering a state of Samādhi at will, lighting lamps with water, removing his limbs or intestines and sticking them back to his body (khandana yoga), curing the incurably sick, appearing beaten when another was beaten, preventing a mosque from falling down on people, and helping his devotees in other miraculous ways” Wikipedia
Muhammed aged 62 died 632 “A few months after the farewell pilgrimage, Muhammad fell ill and suffered for several days with fever, head pain, and weakness. He died on Monday, 8 June 632” Wikipedia
Gautama Buddha died in 483 BC aged 80 years in the city of Kusinara (present day Kushinagar). He is said to have died due to natural causes, most probably mesenteric infarction, a symptom of old age.
He is said to have had blue eyes.