It was on 1 January 2012 when I watched some videos on YouTube. To start the new year with Babaji and some Indian bhajans appeared to me to be a good beginning for 2012. But even in another way it should become a beginning…
Over the past years I certainly had watched videos a hundred times about the same subject on YouTube, however, this time something was different. Among the video proposals of the same and/or similar subjects I saw a small photo of a young human being with long hair, but I could not at all determine whether this person was a boy or a girl. I was intrigued by this androgynous face, so that finally I couldn’t resist and opened the offered video.
This way I saw Guruji for the very first time
Well, and then I couldn’t stop anymore… I watched all the videos and in the coming days I read everything on the internet I only could find of this wonderful boy, who was born as Ram Bahadur Bomjan but was named Maha Sambodhi Dharma Sangha in the meantime. Weeks passed by, but my interest in him was not decreasing, quite the contrary, I was more and more spellbound by him. So I tried to find out, what is going on here, but the only answer I got from inside was the word “fisher of men”. But this was the correct indication, I thought of the situation when Jesus said to his disciples: “… and I will make you fishers of men.” That was exactly what was happening to me… Maha Sambodhi Dharma Sangha had “cast the fishing rod” and the hook was stuck in my heart. What I experienced now was only that by pulling the fishing line he was pulling me closer and closer to himself. Never before had I felt the meaning of this bible verse so intensely.
In the process of my internet search it also happened that I came to “eTapasvi.com”; here, year after year everything of Maha Sambodhi Dharma Sangha had been and still is being put together in a magnificent way on a voluntary basis (thank you and be blessed developer for initiating this website!). And in this way, people from all over the world can always get the latest news of Guruji in different languages – I think this is wonderful. However, the German language was missing… after I translated some articles of the website for some friends of mine, the following idea was planted into my brain: from now on, the translations into German will be my “sadhana”… and I realized that the joy inside myself increased just for the reason that I also could add something, so that people hear of Maha Sambodhi Dharma Sangha and of the penance he is doing for all sentient beings. Sometime later I became aware of the fact, that my own words, which I had said three or four years ago, thus had turned into realization. I had said: “When I don’t have to continue my job anymore, because I can retire, then I will do something for other people on a voluntary basis. I don’t know yet what it will be, but I know that God will give me the right task at the right time.” Well, only the point of time was brought forward by “heaven”, since my retirement started only in October 2012 and with the translations I started already in May.
Months went by and my longing for Dharma Sangha Guru was even increasing, so that I planned to travel to see him quite soon. Then there was the announcement that a blessing program would be held in Sindhuli from 10 thru 12 September. How would I’ve loved to pack my bags… but it was impossible. September was the last month I had to work and it was my task to familiarize my replacement quickly with her new tasks, to hand everything over to her in a proper manner, so that the entire department would continue to run smoothly and without any disturbances after my departure. It would have been not acceptable at all for me to act egoistically in this moment just for the reason to fulfill my own heart’s desire right away. So I had to be patient, but inside myself I knew: next time I would be there, and I was hoping for 9 April 2013, Guruji’s birthday…
On 19 February I received the long awaited message, Guruji was inviting to come to Patharkot for the next blessing program from 9 thru 14 April 2013. On 22 February I had already received my visa and could now book the flight. All preparations which needed to be done went just smoothly almost by themselves – I could feel it – in Patharkot I not only wanted to attend, but I also should attend… the fishing line was completely pulled in…
What a joy… sitting in the airplane I was floating over the hills down into the valley to Kathmandu. I think I smiled at everybody, because suddenly everybody smiled at me… landed… and deep inside I said, “thank you Guruji, now I’m here.”
Then, there was another special moment, Dawaji stood in front of me and picked me up at the airport. How familiar I felt seeing him… we never met before (at least not in this life), but nevertheless I had the feeling to know him already for a long time. And he welcomed me with such a loving kindness and warmth… that must have been Maitri… and this feeling became part of myself within the coming days… it simply was always there… but why did I really wonder about it? Finally Guruji started already long ago to spread the Maitri seeds and now they are growing under his blessings. He is the one who’ll lead us into the Golden Age of Maitriya, and he doesn’t only want us to grow but he wants us to blossom. He himself said this not only on 18 July 2011, but also in the prayer of Maitri Guru he recorded: “…by the grace of this prayer, the plant of the True Dharma having now grown, entering the True Way with loving faith and devotion, may all living beings swiftly benefit from the Way of the Bodhisattva”. And Dawaji really has this loving faith and devotion, I could see and feel it, also especially by hearing of many very hard hours when he told me a bit of his life.
In Dawa’s guesthouse I was lovingly received by his wife Hiu Maya and all the others. It really was like being in a family and I actually had the feeling to be “at home”. The first cup of Nepali tea was delicious… Dawaji had been on the phone, when he stopped the call he turned to me and said: “Guruji knows, that you arrived safely”. Wow, somehow I was a little bit amazed…
Some time later I met Semyon, Olga and Jyampa Lhashang (Catherine)… I was so happy… Also with them I could feel immediately a most cordial relation… but Maitri probably connects all of us, so that we can feel and experience our oneness.
The next days I spent a little quiet, so that I could get along pretty good with the climate change (from winter into summer). Dundu, Dawa’s son, went with me to Boudhanath. Although I knew this great stupa from photos and television, it was completely impressing to stand there personally and directly in front of it… very, very beautiful. Dundu explained to me how to behave correctly by entering and leaving the site and that it is important to first walk around the stupa at least one time. I felt happy like a little child to do so and to turn the prayer wheels, and each time I touched a prayer wheel I repeated the mantra.
The next day we went for a picnic with all the children of Dawa’s orphanage. Ongmu, one of Dawa’s daughters, together with the young volunteers from Denmark created a nice entertaining program, so that all participants – of course, especially the children – had much fun; there were many different games to play and each child had the opportunity to show one of his/her talents in an entertaining manner. When we returned to the guesthouse in the evening, not only Karin and her Guru Purna Yogi arrived from Switzerland, but also Kiran from Bangalore and Andy and her friend Yuri from Japan. However, Andy and Yuri left for Patharkot shortly thereafter, since Guruji wanted to see Andy as soon as possible.
Since there was “bandha” (an organized strike) in Kathmandu the next day, our onward travel was postponed for another day. But instead, I had the chance – as already several times on the previous days — of a very nice conversation with Catherine. I loved to listen to her and felt that there was something special between us. She told me already of her “dream”, her “Pureland”, and I could understand her decision so well, since Guruji’s words did also touch my heart very deeply. I felt so happy for her that Guru had already blessed her land due to a handful of soil which she brought to him for blessing. After lunch she told me that he himself apparently expressed, that the “Westerners” coming to him at present had already been together with him spiritually in former lifes… I was happy to hear this, but after a while I had the feeling that this would be very natural, as if it couldn’t be different… strange… could it be that there was something like a memory somewhere deep in my unconsciousness…?
8 April – the moment had finally arrived: after breakfast at about 09:00 a.m. we started with dear Ganesh as our driver, Dawaji, Kiran, Catherine, Karin, Purna Yogi and myself. Almost half of the way led us up the hills and around hills, serpentine after serpentine; but this offered us beautiful views over the land and we admired the beautiful terrace-shaped fields, where many trees were still blossoming. On the way we also did our last shopping in Hetauda (yellow cloth for Guruji’s seat) and Lalbandi (fresh fruits) and finally arrived in Patharkot directly at sunset. What a warm welcome! Several people came to meet us, among them Jyampa Lhaden and the Japanese monk Junsei Terasawa – what a charisma!
We were directly brought to our tents and shown where we could find the toilets, shower etc., then it became dark. Good that we had our flashlights ready to hand.
Jyampa Lhaden is full of love. She said to me: „Oh, you are Gabriela… Guru knows you… you must have a special connection with him”. I was astonished about her words, but there was also a feeling of a quiet happiness inside… “I only just love him”, I answered. And Jyampa Lhaden said with her beautiful bright smile, “yes, we all love him!”
The next morning I awoke early. It was Guruji’s birthday and in my mind I said “Happy Birthday” to him. After the morning shower we met at 06:15 a.m. in the large festival tent for chanting the prayers together. Here, I could also meet Joan, who immediately was so kind to share the prayer text with me – unfortunately, I forgot mine at home. Afterwards, Jyampa Lhaden provided us with some dishes. It’s really unbelievable how much Guru cares for the international sangha – he initiated that every foreign devotee received a plate and a cup made of chinaware and a spoon. Due to experiences in my own life I know, that exactly such little gestures show, how much somebody loves you… What shall I say – the breakfast tea out of Guruji’s china cup was of course especially delicious!
Over the loudspeaker system we could hear in an infinite loop the Maitri Guru Mantra sung by Imee Ooi and Chai Yu: Om A Hung Mahen Yana Guru Pani Siddhi Hung. Andy had initiated the recording of this Mantra upon request of Guruji. So wonderful, gorgeous! Everybody and everything in the entire area was wrapped in this peaceful and loving atmosphere… everybody was touched by this harmonic vibration and all were in the same tune… I felt that Maitri is also being manifested in this way.
Many international devotees have come – approximately about forty. From the “core” of the international sangha 17 devotees were there. Usually, there were always some persons present in the common tent, where views were exchanged, work was done together and the group could talk about important things. Here, I heard that we would arrange a basket with fresh fruits as a birthday gift for Guru and I was happy that I could add my pack of cashew nuts, which I brought along for him.
The Maitri Puja with the blessing program would start at noontime. This time Maha Sambodhi Dharma Sangha scheduled the program himself. And Jyampa Lhaden said, that he even took care of most of the organization. She was in Patharkot already a while to help with the preparations and Guru had also made her the leader of the international sangha on the site.
A crew from a Russian TV channel had also arrived. They were working on a documentary about spiritual activities in Nepal and due to this they came here to report of Guru and this event.
Guruji had started with the blessings
Then the program started with the opening speech of Maha Sambodhi Dharma Sangha and immediately thereafter, the blessings began. Since the international sangha could sit directly in front on the left side, we had a perfect view to Guruji and could enjoy his darshan the entire time. One simply cannot take the eyes off of him, he looks just wonderful and has a really divine Maitri appearance. I could watch with how much loving kindness he treated each individual person and how patient he was if someone could not be as fast as others. Every single move of him seems to be perfect; whenever he gave his blessing by putting his hand onto a person’s head, it looked like an act of scooping (taking) and pouring out (giving), and I thought of a dream that one devotee told me, in which she had seen, that masses of diamonds and sapphires come from Guruji, so many diamonds and sapphires that one could not count them. Yes, even if we are not able to see it with our worldly eyes, I’m sure that Guru is giving uncountable treasures with each single blessing, but these are not earthly but heavenly treasures… Regarding this, two days later also Aadi Baba said, that Guru would give us so much with every blessing, that we could not even imagine it. (By the way, I just heard that the meaning of Guru’s ordained name “Palden Dorje” is not only “glorious thunderbolt” but also “magnificent diamond”. ☺)
And then Jyampa Lhaden came to me and asked, if I would be prepared to hand over to Guruji our birthday present, the fruit-basket; she said, she had the feeling that I should do it. Since nothing happens in life without a reason I gladly said “yes”, although my already existing slight excitement was even increasing. When I saw that – in opposite to the original condition — the fruits on the basket had increased “miraculously” to shape a little hill, I slowly realized that I never would be able to uplift the basket just by myself. But Dawaji, acting as a volunteer standing near to me, assured to help me. That really comforted me. Thank you dear brother!
The blessings went on for hours, at some point Guruji looked tired. Again and again he had to wipe the sweat off of his face with a white cloth, after noontime the temperature had raised up over 40 degrees C. But with infinite patience he continued the blessings in such a loving manner. I don’t know how many thousands of Nepali devotees came, but there seemed to be no end of the queue. (Later we heard that finally on all five days there should have come about 270.000 people for blessing.) At the end the international devotees had their turn. I was asked to go first to hand over our present and I was so happy and grateful for Dawaji’s help, because as expected, the basket was pretty heavy and it was difficult to hold it up above the head, so that Guruji could touch upon it. Then the basket was taken by one of the helping monks and I could make the last step forward and lower my head to receive Guru’s blessing. Afterwards, I could feel the touch of his hand quite long on my head – which was incredibly soft but also powerful and intensive.
Finally, when all blessings for the day were given Guruji stood up, gave us as a farewell one of his so delightful smiles and left then together with the musicians and close monks to go back to his house, which was located a little bit up the hill.
In the common tent Andy started immediately to write down and translate Guru’s speech, and I think Chaitanya and in the following days also little Prabin were a great help for her. But moreover, there were many others who supported her, even Guruji’s own dictionary was suddenly there… ☺
Working on the translations
The next day the blessings continued, and everybody was surrounded by this Maitri atmosphere, this feeling of love and peace, which cannot really be described by words. Again, Guruji was incredibly present, he constantly observed the entire festival tent. After we heard that we were allowed to ask for a blessing up to 3x per day, most of the international devotees went forward to Guru twice. Today, Guruji looked straight into my eyes when I was standing in front of him; even if it was only a short moment, I had the feeling that he would look directly deep into my soul… he looks in a different way than others…
In the evening, we again were sitting together in the common tent. Andy gave us a short insight into Guru’s speech, in which he apparently pointed out that even Buddha has a Guru, since salvation can only be obtained through a Guru. In the course of the evening she also confirmed again Guru’s words that we as sangha had been with him already in his past life, where he was killed during his meditation. I felt so deeply touched when she said, “this time we’ll better take care of him, at least by praying for him so that he might stay with us for a long time.”
By the way, there was a rumor that Guruji would have written the book about and/or with his teachings and that he presently would go over it again. But so far, there has been no confirmation to that.
Today, the blessings were again very intensive. Shortly before the day was over, I went forward for the second blessing; afterwards it happened that somebody pushed me aside in the sense of: Stay here. So I stopped and when Guru left the festival tent he directly walked by me. He looks so dainty and soft but nevertheless, at the same time there is such an energy radiating from him… But before he left, he again gave us his unbelievable smile. He simply has the most wonderful smile I’ve ever seen. I would never have thought that there can be so much love in a smile. And this love he gives to all of us. When he smiles I’m happy because then I think that he is happy. O God, please protect and guide him and give him the power, so that his penance and all his efforts will be crowned and his heart’s desire for the sentient beings of the world be fulfilled!
How fast time flies – the last day of the blessing program was there. But under no circumstances I want to have missed these days here in Patharkot – I’m very very grateful that Guru called me to come here and that I could experience all this and meet him and so many wonderful sisters and brothers. All medical items that I brought along I had given to Dawa to hand them over to the monks, and the last presents for Guruji I had wrapped in a kadah to hand them over at this last darshan. Again, Guru was unbelievable and nobody got tired to watch him continuously. Today, once again especially many devotees came. At the end, all monks and nuns as a group were called to Maha Sambodhi Dharma Sangha as well as all volunteers and then also the international sangha, since photos should be taken. After that Guruji again gave his blessing to each of them, everyone got a kadah. At about 06:15 p.m. the blessings were brought to an end and Guru left – giving us his wonderful smile for the last time – and all of us looked at him until he was out of sight. I went to his pedestal and put my hands onto his chair cushion… it was incredible, there was an extremely strong vibration… even in a distance of about 30 cm above the cushion I felt that the blood was extremely pulsating through my hands… what a power!
Later that evening Dawa came to us and said, that Guruji would invite us for a conversation in the evening of the next day, so everybody decided which question he/she would like to have answered.
The next day was pretty quiet. Guru’s diligent volunteers were already busy with the dismantling works on the site, it concerned especially the large puja tent and also the construction of the entrance area. Guru’s horse enjoyed his freedom on the large area and even lazed around backward in the sand. The beautiful white horse is a real pure thoroughbred. Nobody knows where he came from – one morning the horse was just there and hasn’t left Guru so far. But who really wants to leave Guru? I think nobody…
At about 09:00 p.m. Guruji was waiting for us in front of his house; when we came he was sitting there on a chair and it was wonderful to pranam directly at his feet and to receive his blessing. A blanket was placed on the floor, where we sat down in a semicircle around him, it was completely quiet. Then he talked to us with his soft, dark, warm voice… In the course of the conversation Jyampa Lhaden could also pose our questions and he answered them all. But in between there were every once in a while those minutes of complete silence… it was so wonderful just to sit there at his feet and once again I felt myself reminded of the scene when Jesus was sitting together with his followers in the garden of Gethsemane… one can feel when there is a holy moment.
Parting from Guruji, once again we could pranam in front of him and feel his hand on our head – then he stood up and went into the house – and we left silently and went back to our tents for the last night in Patharkot.
Although I still spent some days in Kathmandu after our return with Dawaji and many other devotees before I travelled back home, I want to bring my story about my way to Maha Sambodhi Dharma Sangha Guru to an end. But there was something I still would like to mention. When the airplane started in Kathmandu, I still felt myself pretty “normal” – but the more time went by and the more the distance between Nepal and myself sitting in the airplane increased, the sadder I became until I finally had tears in my eyes… my heart told me “I want to stay there”… but then I heard Guru’s words inside: “I’m always with you, everywhere”.