Some from T.LOBSANG RAMPA's book:


More from the same book from Rampa






As for all of his books - he claims they are absolutely true -and the people who KNOWS IN THEMSELVES - can recognise the wisdom…

HERE extract from chapter 5 (life as a chela)/page 60 in one of the WISDOMSBOOKS from Rampa. Some headlines added.


The harsh and discipline life in the monastery for the young Lobsang

Our release came at nine o'clock when we had the last meal of the day. Again this was buttered tea and tsampa. Sometimes - only sometimes - we had vegetables. Usually that meant sliced turnips, or some very small beans. They were raw, but to hungry boys they were very acceptable. On one unforgettable occasion, when I was eight, we had some pickled walnuts. I was particularly fond of them, having had them often at home. Now, foolishly, I tried to work an exchange with another boy: he to have my spare robe in exchange for his pickled walnuts. The Disciplinarian heard, and I was called to the middle of the hall and made to confess my sin. As a punishment for "greediness" I had to remain without food or drink for twenty-four hours. My spare robe was taken from me as it was said that I had no use for it, "having been willing to barter it for that which was not essential".

At nine-thirty we went to our sleeping-cushions, "bed" to us. No one was late for bed! I thought the long hours would kill me, I thought that I should drop dead at any moment, or that I would fall asleep and never again awaken. At first I, and the other new boys, used to hide in corners for a good doze. After quite a short time I became used to the long hours and took no notice at all of the length of the day.

It was just before six in the morning when, with the help of the boy who had awakened me, I found myself in front of the Lama Mingyar Dondup's door. Although I had not knocked, he called for me to enter. His room was a very pleasant one and there were wonderful wall paintings, some of them actually painted on the walls and others painted on silk and hanging. A few small statuettes were on low tables, they were of gods and goddesses and were made of jade, gold, and cloisonné'. A large Wheel of Life also hung upon the wall. The lama was sitting in the lotus attitude on his cushion and before him, on a low table, he had a number of books, one of which he was studying as I entered.

"Sit here with me, Lobsang," he said, "we have a lot of things to discuss together, but first an important question to a growing man:

Have you had enough to eat and drink?" I assured him that I had. "The Lord Abbot has said that we can work together. We have traced your previous incarnation and it was a good one. Now we want to redevelop certain powers and abilities you then had. In the space of a very few years we want you to have more knowledge than a lama has in a very long life." He paused, and looked at me long and hard. His eyes were very piercing. "All men must be free to choose their own path," he continued, "your way will be hard for forty years, if you take the right path, but it will lead to great benefits in the next life. The wrong path now will give you comforts, softness, and riches in this life, but you will not develop. You and you alone can choose." He stopped, and looked at me.

"Sir," I replied, "my father told me that if I failed at the lamasery I was not to return home. How then would l have softness and comfort if I had no home to which to return? And who would show me the right path if I choose it?" He smiled at me and answered: "Have you already forgotten? We have traced your previous incarnation. If you choose the wrong path, the path of softness, you will be installed in a lamasery as a Living Incarnation, and in a very few years will be an abbot in charge. Your father would not call that failure!"

Something in the way he spoke made me ask a further question:

"Would you consider it a failure?"

"Yes," he replied, "knowing what I know, I would call it a failure."

"And who will show me the way?"

"I will be your guide if you take the right path, but you are the one to choose, no one can influence your decision."

I looked at him, stared at him. And liked what I saw. A big man, with keen black eyes. A broad open face, and a high forehead. Yes, I liked what I saw. Although only seven years of age, I had had a hard life, and met many people, and really could judge if a man was good.

"Sir," I said, "I would like to be your pupil and take the right path." I added somewhat ruefully, I suppose, "But I still don't like hard work!"

He laughed, and his laugh was deep and warming. "Lobsang, Lobsang, none of us really like hard work, but few of us are truthful enough to admit it." He looked through his papers. We shall need to do a little operation to your head soon to force clairvoyance, and then we will speed your studies hypnotically. We are going to take you far in metaphysics, as well as in medicine!"

I felt a bit gloomy, more hard work. It seemed to me that I had had to work hard all my seven years, and there seemed to be little play, or kite flying. The lama seemed to know my thoughts. "Oh yes, young man. There will be much kite flying later, the real thing: man-lifters. But first we must map out how best to arrange these studies."

He turned to his papers, and riffled through them. "Let me see, nine o'clock until one. Yes, that will do for a start. Come here every day at nine, instead of attending service, and we will see what interesting things we can discuss. Starting from tomorrow. Have you any message for your father and mother? I'm seeing them today. Giving them your pigtail!"

I was quite overcome. When a boy was accepted by a lamasery his pigtail was cut off and his head shaved, the pigtail would be sent to the parents, carried by a small acolyte, as a symbol that their son had been accepted. Now the Lama Mingyar Dondup was taking my pigtail to deliver in person. That meant that he had accepted me as his own personal charge, as his "spiritual son". This lama was a very important man, a very clever man, one who had a most enviable reputation throughout Tibet. I knew that I could not fail under such a man.

That morning, back in the classroom, I was a most inattentive pupil. My thoughts were elsewhere, and the teacher had ample time and opportunity to satisfy his joy in punishing at least one small boy!

It all seemed very hard, the severity of the teachers. But then, I consoled myself, that is why I came, to learn. That is why I reincarnated, although then I did not remember what it was that I had to relearn. We firmly believe in reincarnation, in Tibet. We believe that when one reaches a certain advanced stage of evolution, one can choose to go on to another plane of existence, or return to earth to learn something more, or to help others. It may be that a wise man had a certain mission in life, but died before he could complete his work. In that case, so we believe, he can return to complete his task, providing that the result will be of benefit to others. Very few people could have their previous incarnations traced back, there had to be certain signs and the cost and time would prohibit it. Those who had those signs, as I had, were termed "Living Incarnations". They were subjected to the sternest of stern treatment when they were young - as I had been - but became objects of reverence when they became older. In my case I was going to have special treatment to "force-feed" my occult knowledge. Why, I did not know, then!

A rain of blows on my shoulders brought me back to the reality of the classroom with a violent jerk. "Fool, dolt, imbecile! Have the mind demons penetrated your thick skull? It is more than I could do. You are fortunate that it is now time to attend service. With that remark, the enraged teacher gave me a final hearty blow, for good measure, and stalked out of the room. The boy next to me said, "Don't forget, it's our turn to work in the kitchens this afternoon. Hope we get a chance to fill our tsampa bags." Kitchen work was hard, the "regulars" there used to treat us boys as slaves. There was no hour of rest for us after kitchen hour. Two solid hours of hard labour, then straight to the classroom again. Some-times we would be kept later in the kitchens, and so be late for class. A fuming teacher would be waiting for us, and would lay about him with his stick without giving us any opportunity of explaining the reason.

My first day of work in the kitchens was nearly my last. We trooped reluctantly along the stone-flagged corridors towards the kitchens. At the door we were met by an angry monk: "Come on, you lazy, useless rascals," he shouted. "The first ten of you, get in there and stoke the fires." I was the tenth. Down another flight of steps we went. The heat was overpowering. In front of us we saw a ruddy light, the light of roaring fires. Huge piles of yak-dung lay about, this was fuel for the furnaces. "Get those iron scoops and stoke for your lives," the monk in charge yelled. I was just a poor seven-year-old among the others of my class, among whom was none younger than seventeen. I could scarcely lift the scoop, and in straining to put the fuel in the fire I tipped it over the monk's feet. With a roar of rage he seized me by the throat, swung me round - and tripped. I was sent flying backwards. A terrible pain shot through me, and there was the sickening smell of burning flesh. I had fallen against the red-hot end of a bar protruding from the furnace. I fell with a scream to the floor, among the hot ashes. At the top of my left leg, almost at the leg joint, the bar had burned its way in until stopped by the bone. I still have the dead-white scar, which even now causes me some trouble. By this scar I was in later years to be identified by the Japanese.

There was uproar. Monks came rushing from everywhere. I was still among the hot ashes but was soon lifted out. Quite a lot of my body had superficial burns, but the leg burn really was serious. Quickly I was carried upstairs to a lama. He was a medical lama, and applied himself to the task of saving my leg. The iron had been rusty, and when it entered my leg, flakes of rust had remained behind. He had to probe round and scoop out the pieces until the wound was clean. Then it was tightly packed with a powdered herb compress. The rest of my body was dabbed with a herbal lotion which certainly eased the pain of the fire. My leg was throbbing and throbbing and I was sure that I would never walk again. When he had finished, the lama called a monk to carry me to a small side-room, where I was put to bed on cushions.



more from LIFE IN THE LAMASERY - chapter 6, page 70

There was a lot to be studied in the classrooms. We sat in rows on the floor. When the teacher was lecturing to us, or writing on his wall-board, he stood in front of us. But when we were working at our lessons, he walked about at the back of us and we had to work hard all the time as we did not know which of us was being watched! He carried a very substantial stick and did not hesitate to use it on any part of us within immediate reach. Shoulders, arms, backs, or the more othodox place - it did not matter at all to the teachers, one place was as good as another.


Astrology & herbs

We studied a lot of mathematics, because that was a subject which was essential for astrological work. Our astrology was no mere hit-or-miss affair, but was worked out according to scientific principles. I had a lot of astrology drummed into me because it was necessary to use it in medical work. It is better to treat a person according to their astrological type than to prescribe something quite haphazardly in the hope that as it once cured a person, it may again. There were large wall charts dealing with astrology, and others showing pictures of various herbs. These latter were changed every week and we were expected to be entirely familiar with the appearance of all the plants. Later we would be taken on excursions to gather and prepare these herbs, but we were not allowed to go on these until we had a far better knowledge and could be trusted to pick the right varieties. These "herb-gathering" expeditions, which were in the fall of the year, were a very popular relaxation from the strict routine of the lamastic life. Sometimes such a visit would last for three months, and would take one to the highlands, an area of ice-bound land, twenty to twenty-five thousand feet (8000m) above the sea, where the vast ice sheets were interrupted by green valleys heated by hot springs. Here one could have an experience matched perhaps nowhere else in the world. In moving fifty yards one could range from a temperature of forty below zero to a hundred or more, Fahrenheit, above. This area was quite unexplored except by a few of us monks.

Our religious instruction was quite intensive; every morning we had to recite the Laws and Steps of the Middle Way. These Laws were:

1. Have faith in the leaders of the lamasery and country.

2. Perform religious observances, and study hard.

3. Pay honour to the parents.

4. Respect the virtuous.

5. Honour elders and those of high birth.

6. Help one's country.

7. Be honest and truthful in all things.

8. Pay heed to friends and relatives.

9. Make the best use of food and wealth.

10. Follow the example of those who are good.

11. Show gratitude and return kindness.

12. Give fair measure in all things.

13. Be free from jealousy and envy.

14. Refrain from scandaL

15. Be gentle in speech and in action and harm none.

16. Bear suffering and distress with patience and meekness.

We were constantly told that if everyone obeyed those Laws, there would be no strife or disharmony. Our lamasery was noted for its austerity and rigorous training. Quite a number of monks came from other lamaseries and then left in search of softer conditions. We looked upon them as failures and upon ourselves as of the elite. Many other lamaseries had no night services; the monks went to bed at dark and stayed there until dawn. To us they seemed soft and effete, and although we grumbled to ourselves, we would have grumbled still more if our schedule had been altered to bring us to the inefficient level of the others. The first year was particularly hard. Then was the time to weed out those who were failures. Only the strongest could survive on visits to the frozen highlands in search of herbs, and we of Chakpori were the only men to go there. Wisely our leaders decided to eliminate the unsuitable before they could in any way endanger others. During the first year we had almost no relaxation, no amusements and games. Study and work occupied every waking moment.


To memorize

One of the things for which I am still grateful is the way in which we were taught to memorize. Most Tibetans have good memories, but we who were training to be medical monks had to know the names and exact descriptions of a very large number of herbs, as well as knowing how they could be combined and used. We had to know much about astrology, and be able to recite the whole of our sacred books. A method of memory training had been evolved throughout the centuries. We imagined that we were in a room lined with thousands and thousands of drawers. Each drawer was clearly labelled, and the writing on all the labels could be read with ease from where we stood. Every fact we were told had to be classified, and we were instructed to imagine that we opened the appropriate drawer and put the fact inside. We had to visualize it very clearly as we did it, visualize the "fact" and the exact location of the "drawer". With little practice it was amazingly easy to - in imagination - enter the room, open the correct drawer, and extract the fact required as well as all related facts.

Our teachers went to great pains to ram home the need for good memories. They would shoot questions at us merely to test our memories. The questions would be quite unrelated to each other so that we could not follow a trend and take an easy path. Often it would be questions on obscure pages of the sacred books interspersed with queries about herbs. The punishment for forgetfulness was most severe; forgetting was the unforgivable crime and was punished with a severe beating. We were not given a long time in which to try to remember. The teacher would perhaps say: "You, boy, I want to know the fifth line of the eighteenth page of the seventh volume of the Kan-gyur, open the drawer, now, what is it?" Unless one could answer within about ten seconds it was as well not to answer, because the punishment would be even worse if there was any mistake, no matter how slight. It is a good system, though, and does train the memory. We could not carry books of facts. Our books were usually about three feet wide by about eighteen inches long, loose sheets of paper held unbound between wooden covers. Certainly I found a good memory to be of the utmost value in later years.

During the first twelve months we were not allowed out of the lamasery grounds. Those who did leave were not permitted to return. This was a rule peculiar to Chakpori, because the discipline was so strict it was feared that if we were allowed out we should not return. I admit that I should have "run for it" if I had had anywhere to run. After the first year we were used to it.

The first year we were not permitted to play any games at all, we were kept hard at work the whole time and this most effectively weeded out those who were weak and unable to stand the strain. After these first hard months we found that we had almost forgotten how to play. Our sports and exercises were designed to toughen us and be of some practical use in later life. I retained my earlier fondness for stilt walking, and now I was able to devote some time to it. We started with stilts, which lifted our feet and our own height above ground. As we became more adept we used longer stilts, usually about ten feet high. On those we strutted about the courtyards, peering into windows and generally making a nuisance of ourselves. No balancing pole was used; when we desired to stay in one place we rocked from foot to foot as if we were marking time. That enabled us to maintain our balance and position. There was no risk of falling off if one was reasonably alert. We fought battles on stilts. Two teams of us, usually ten a side, would line up about thirty yards apart, and then on a given signal we would charge each other, uttering wild whoops calculated to frighten off the sky demons. As I have said, I was in a class of boys much older and bigger than myself. This gave me an advantage when it came to stilt fights. The others lumbered along heavily, and I could nip in among them and pull a stilt here and push one there and so send the riders toppling. On horseback I was not so good, but when I had to stand or fall on my own resources, I could make my way.

Another use for stilts, for us boys, was when we crossed streams. We could wade carefully across and save a long detour to the nearest ford. I remember once I was ambling along on six-foot stilts. A stream was in the way and I wanted to cross. The water was deep right from the banks, there was no shallow part at all. I sat on the bank and lowered my stilted legs in. The water came to my knees, as I walked out in midstream it rose to nearly my waist. Just then I heard running footsteps. A man hurried along the path and gave the merest glance at the small boy crossing the water. Apparently, seeing that the stream did not reach my waist, he thought: "Ah! Here is a shallow spot." There was a sudden splash, and the man disappeared completely. Then there was a flurry of water, and the man's head came above the surface, his clutching hands reached the bank, and he hauled himself to the land. His language was truly horrible, and the threats of what he was going to do to me almost curdled my blood. I hurried off to the far bank and when I, too, reached shore, I think that never before had I travelled so fast on stilts.

One danger of stilts was the wind, which always seems to be blowing in Tibet. We would be playing in a courtyard, on stilts, and in the excitement of the game we would forget the wind and stride out beyond the sheltering wall. A gust of wind would billow out our robes and over we would go, a tangle of arms, legs and stilts. There were very few casualties. Our studies in judo taught us how to fall without harming ourselves. Often we would have bruises and scraped knees, but we ignored those trifles. Of course there were some who could almost trip over their shadow, some clumsy boys never learn breakfalls and they at times sustained a broken leg or arm.

There was one boy who would walk along on his stilts and then turn a somersault between the shafts. He seemed to hold on the end of the stilts, take his feet from the steps, and twist himself round in a complete circle. Up his feet would go, straight over his head, and down to find the steps every time. He did it time after time, almost never missing a step, or breaking the rhythm of his walk. I could jump on stilts, but the first time I did so I landed heavily, the two steps sheared right off and I made a hasty descent. After that I made sure that the stilt steps were well fastened….


Some from chapter 7- where the young Lobsang had got "the third eye" - the forehead chachra - opened, and then he was able to see a persons aura and the "invisible"/spiritual radiation, and this scared him in the beginning:

…for the past eighteen days (after the opening) I had been kept on a very small allowance, now I intended to make up for it. Out of the door I hurried, intent only on that thought. Approaching me was a figure smothered in blue smoke, shot through with flecks of angry red. I uttered a squeak of alarm and dashed back into the room. The others looked up at my horrified expression. "There's a man on fire in the corridor," I said. The Lama Mingyar Dondup hurried out and came back smiling. "Lobsang, that is a cleaner in a temper. His aura is smoky-blue as he is not evolved, and the flecks of red are the temper impulses showing. Now you can again go in search of that food you want so much."

It was fascinating meeting the boys I knew so well, yet had not known at all. Now I could look at them and get the impression of their true thoughts, the genuine liking for me, the jealousy from some, and the indifference from others. It was not just a matter of seeing colours and knowing all; I had to be trained to understand what those colours meant. My Guide and I sat in a secluded alcove where we could watch those who entered the main gates. The Lama Mingyar Dondup would say: "The one coming, Lobsang, do you see that thread of colour vibrating above his heart? That shade and vibration indicates that he has a pulmonary disease", or, perhaps at an approaching trader: "Look at this one, look at those shifting 'bands, those intermittent flecks. Our Brother of Business is thinking that he may be able to delude the stupid monks, Lobsang, he is remembering that he did so once before. To what petty meaunesses men will stoop for money!" As an aged monk approached, the Lama said: "Watch this one carefully, Lobsang. Here is a truly holy man, but one who believes in the literal word-for-word accuracy of our Scriptures. You observe those discolorations in the yellow of the nimbus? It indicates that he has not yet evolved far enough to reason for himself." So it went on, day after day. Particularly with the sick we used the power of the Third Eye, for those who were sick in the flesh or sick in the spirit. One evening the Lama said: "Later we shall show you how to shut the Third Eye at will, for you will not want to watch people's failings all the time, it would be an intolerable burden. For the moment use it all the time, as you do your physical eyes. Then we will train you to shut it and open it at will as you can the other eyes."

Many years ago, according to our legends, all men and women could use the Third Eye. In those days the gods (he uses the word GODS as the far extraterrestrials - higher developed - and also then REALLY BIG IN THEIR BODIES - people from "the stars". Rø-remark ) - walked upon the earth and mixed with men.

"they" was still here - more open - in the egyptian timeperiod. picture not from the rampabook.

Mankind had visions of replacing the gods and tried to kill them, forgetting that what Man could see the gods could see better. As a punishment, the Third Eye of Man was closed. Throughout the ages a few people have been born with the ability to see clairvoyantly; those who have it naturally can have its power increased a thousandfold by appropriate treatment, as I had. As a special talent it had to be treated with care and respect. The Lord Abbot sent for me one day and said: "My son, you now have this ability, an ability denied to most. Use if only for good, never for self-gain. As you wander in other countries you will meet those who would have you behave as a conjurer in a fair. 'Prove us this, prove us that', they will say. But I say, my son, that this must not be. The talent is to enable you to help others, not to enrich self. Whatever you see by clairvoyance - and you will see much ! - do not disclose it if it will harm others or affect their Path through Life. For Man must choose his own Path, my son, tell him what you will, he will still go his own way. Help in sickness, in suffering, yes, but do not say that which may alter a man's Path."

The Lord Abbot was a very learned man and was the physician who attended the Dalai Lama. Before concluding that interview he told me that within a few days I was going to be sent for by the Dalai Lama who wanted to see me. I was going to be a visitor at the Potala for a few weeks with the Lama Mingyar Dondup.


Some from chapter 8 - THE POTALA

It may be thought that Tibet was a peculiar country to be without glass, telescopes or mirrors, but people did not want such things. Nor did we want wheels. Wheels made for speed, and for so-called civilization. We have long realized that in the rush of commercial life there is no time for the things of the mind. Our physical world had proceeded at a leisurely pace, so that our esoteric knowledge could grow, and expand. We have for thousands of years known the truth of clairvoyance, telepathy, and other branches of metaphysics. While it is quite true that many lamas can sit naked in the snow, and by thought alone melt the snow around them, such things are not demonstrated for the delight of the mere sensation seeker. Some lamas, who are masters of the occult, definitely can levitate, but they do not display their powers to entertain naive onlookers. The teacher, in Tibet, always makes sure that his pupil is morally fit to be trusted with such powers. It follows from this, that as the teacher must be absolutely sure of the moral integrity of the student, metaphysical powers are never abused, as only the right people are taught. Those powers are in no way magical, they are merely the outcome of using natural laws.

The hermits

In Tibet there are some who can best develop in company, and others who have to retire to solitude. These latter men go to outlying lamaseries and enter a hermit's cell. It is a small room, usually built on the side of a mountain. The stone walls are thick, perhaps six feet thick so that no sound can penetrate. The hermit enters, at his own desire, and the entrance is walled up. There is no light whatever, no furnishings, nothing but the empty stone box. Food is passed in once a day through a lighttrapped, sound-proofed hatch. Here the hermit stays, first for three years, three months and three days. He meditates on the nature of Life, and on the nature of Man. For no reason whatever can he leave that cell in the physical body. During the last month of his stay a very small hole is made in the roof to allow a faint ray of light to enter. It is enlarged day by day so that the hermit's eyes become used to the light once again. Otherwise he would go blind as soon as he emerged. Very often these men return to their cell after only a few weeks, and stay there for life. It is not such a sterile, worthless existence as one might suppose.

Man is a spirit, a creature of another world, and once he can become free of the bonds of the flesh, he can roam the world as a spirit and can help by thought. Thoughts, as we in Tibet well know, are waves of energy. Matter is energy condensed. It is thought, carefully directed and partly condensed, which can cause an object to move "by thought". Thought, controlled in another way, can result in telepathy, and can cause a person at a distance to do a certain action. Is this so very difficult to believe, in a world which regards as commonplace the act of a man speaking into a microphone guiding a plane to land, in dense fog, when the pilot can see no ground at all? With a little training, and no scepticism, Man could do this by telepathy instead of making use of a fallible machine.

My own esoteric development did not entail this prolonged seclusion in total darkness. It took another form, which is not available to the larger number of men who want to become hermits. My training was directed towards a specific purpose, and by direct order of the Dalai Lama. I was taught such things by another method, as well as by hypnosis, which cannot be discussed in a book of this nature. It will suffice to state that I was given more enlightenment than the average hermit can obtain in a very long lifetime. My visit to the Potala was in connection with the first stages of this training, but more of that later.

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