While roaming around the streets of Rewalsar, one’s surroundings are often occupied by Lamas. I was eager to know about them as I have seen pictures of them and the positive and notable personality they have. For the first time in my life, it was a personal encounter with them.
I wanted to have a conversation with them and as I tried to approach one, I saw that most of them were busy chanting Om Mani Padme on their Buddhist beads. Others were walking around with work to do. No one was interested in talking or even listening which made me feel a bit sad for a moment.
I saw one lama seated next to a jacket sellers shop. She was smiling beautifully which reflected kindness on her face. This lama was talking to another lady constantly in her own language which was a bit hard for me to understand. I approached her, greeted her with namaste and asked her well-being. At first, she was unable to understand my native language Hindi but then the woman with whom she was talking helped her by translating it to her.
She replied ‘yes’ with a pleasant smile and asked me how I am and what I was doing there in her language. This time it was hard for me to understand so the lady next to her translated for us. I told the lady that I want to ask a few questions to the monk if she won’t mind answering. While the lady was translating this to her, I was waiting for a yes from her. Without a second thought she agreed to it.
I was happy and excited at the same time. My mind was exploding with dozens of questions to ask. Of course there shouldn’t be so many questions and it should be precise enough so that she would be able to answer everything at once at ease. I asked her very general questions like, “How you became a monk?” “What brought you here and would you mind telling me a little about your life from the very beginning?” After asking I realised that I’ve asked a lot in one go but she started replying to my questions once it was translated to her. I noticed her pale skin with wrinkles on her face and the smile on her face.
As soon as she completed talking the lady told me that her name is Rajkumari and she is in her 60’s. She then told me that she’s from Kinnaur, Himachal Pardesh and every winter she comes to Rewalsar to stay. She was practicing Buddhism since the last 45 years. I then told her that I am Hindu and what if I also want to be like her someday then what shall I do? She replied that, to become a lama one must learn their language first i.e. Tibetan.
I then asked her does she gets angry sometimes? And if yes then what she does to overcome it? At first she laughed at my question a little then said by adding ‘son’ to her words ‘this anger emotion is far away from us and even if we get angry due to some factors then we know how to calm ourselves. That is Buddhism all about’.
I was pretty satisfied by her answer as it was very unexpected to have long conversation with a monk after my last experience. Throughout our conversation she was spreading positive vibes by giving so much expressions and gestures while talking. Then on her own, she started telling me about the garlands they hold that comprises of 108 beads and to every bead they chant Om Mani Padme hum.
The 108 beads keep a count on the number of times they have chanted and it is believed that every chant washes away our bad karmas and wrongdoings we have done. I asked her, “Is it same as Om Namah Shivay? ” so she said, ‘yes’ by saying that Om itself is the most powerful word on earth and comes in every religion and it spreads positivity and takes out the negativity from whenever we say it and I should do it too. I said yes to her as I was in peace after having such a peaceful conversation and at last, I said thanks and I bid them with a smile.
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