A Story of destiny by Gurmukh Khalsa . Part 1
Perhaps it was 14 or 15 years ago. A Buddhist Rinpoche whom we had met in our travels to a Temple in the far reaches of Northeastern India invited Gurushabd and myself. We set the date for our visit. We were very excited, for the Rinpoche was a Dear Soul. We flew from Delhi, India, to the ancient city of Guwahati, situated in Assam, in Northeastern India. We had arranged to be collected at the airport by one of the Rinpoche’s Monks. As night was falling, come to find out no one was there to greet us or to drive us! In fact we did not have any idea of where to go. In that very aged Indian airport, we just stood there… wondering.
Then my eye caught sight of a Buddhist Monk’s red robe in the far corner of the airport. I ran quickly, thinking that he must be the Monk who was coming to transport us to the Temple; however upon reaching him, I discovered he was not The One. The name of this Monk who was standing there was Lama Thupten Phuntsok. Later we found out he has an Orphanage on the Tibet-India border. Lama Sir was so kind. He said he would drive us to where we were going, for he was familiar with that Temple. He didn’t tell us that the drive was three hours out of his way up to the Orphanage.
In those three hours Destiny unfolded. We all fell in love with each other, realizing there are no mistakes. We found out Lama Sir’s Manjushree Orphanage children were in dire need of medical attention, dental care, education, clothing, and food. They were so poor. Lama Sir left us off at the Temple, and there we were informed that the senior Rinpoche whom we had come to see had passed. Perhaps the Rinpoche was guiding our whole experience.
Within six months we returned to India and found our way up to the Manjushree Orphanage, traveling for two and a half days on very rough, uncarved mountain roads up to 8,757 feet. Upon our arrival both Gurushabd and myself stood in awe… astonished, humbled, and happy. The children greeted us in long lines as they were chanting, hugging, and smiling. We had never in our lives experienced such an Amazing Grace! Their smiles were even bigger. In that first visit to Manjushree, more was learned about love, kindness, humility, and devotion than ever before in my life.
Thusly the story began and continues. Lama Sir came from a very poor family, as do all the children in that region. The life expectancy is about 40 years due to the hard labor for both the women and the men, the harsh winters, and the lack of nutritional food.
Lama Sir as a Monk and then school teacher had worked for seven years, saving every penny to buy the piece of land upon which Manjushree stands today. Initially one very small building housed eight children and Lama Sir. There they slept, ate, and schooled. That was the beginning.
Now there are buildings to house 300 students, better nutritional food, and a higher caliber of education. Now at least 15 graduates from Manjushree are attending Universities throughout India. They all return to help with the school and with their brothers and sisters, whether through becoming school teachers, house mothers, house fathers, or helping wherever they can.
Manjushree’s story of how one Monk is caring for 300 children inspires everyone. These children have taught me more about happiness than any other peoples and places in the world. Perhaps these children are blind or without limbs or without parents, and yet they find the deepest happiness within themselves and with each other. Every morning they rise at 5:00 am for their Prayers, and now Kundalini Yoga. Just last year two of Manjushree’s teachers graduated from our Kundalini Yoga Level One Teachers’ Training Immersion Course in Rishikesh, India.
Lama Sir loves Kundalini Yoga, which blends so beautifully with the Tibetan way. Lama Sir is so appreciative, so humble, so grateful. Day in and day out Lama Sir is with the children, always with time for each child. The Manjushree Staff adore Lama Sir who envelops everyone in kindness. I have been in the presence of His Holiness The Dalai Lama a few times. We are blessed with the best of the best in Lama Thupten Phuntsok who exudes the kindness and the consciousness of His Holiness The Dalai Lama. If you are able to journey with us in our Manjushree Yatra on March 26th, 2019, you, too, will receive this elevated experience. This is a Promise.
Without our help through generous donations Lama Sir has nothing. He is supported totally by donations. He is a Monk. He cannot solicit. He cannot beg. Day in and day out he prays for help. Lama Sir is putting out the Prayers to each one of you.