We all have questions. The answer to which do you seek?
550 years old…
A piece of cloth belonging to the Mummy has been carbon-dated to about 550 years ago. Unlike the common perception of a chemically treated, bandage wrapped sarcophagus, this one is sitting in an upright pose. This indicates a voluntary meditative practice.
The mummy itself is a wonder to behold. Sitting upright, the chin is resting on the knee. An arm coming out from between the tucked legs is held in a pensive manner. The head is held straight and the face looks ahead; whether it’s right at you or beyond to infinity, is something that your beliefs will tell you.
The Mummy of Gue!
Mine are challenged by this miracle sitting in front me. The forces of logic and belief are in battle. I look around and Science comes skidding down the dusty slopes like a snowboarder from my school days. He says,
“Do you know where you are? These are the frozen dry lands of Spiti.
What decomposes organic matter?
In the extreme cold, buried under soil and rock, the Mummy might’ve been protected from bacteria and other decomposition microbes. Moisture and oxygen, essential to decay, probably didn’t get to it.
The dark soils of the Gue valley turn the milky water black
Anything else unusual?
The uncharacteristic black soil of the surrounding mountains may contain minerals with preservation capabilities. There is such a high concentration of silt in the water that it turns milky white glacial streams in to a black river.
These theories might require confirmation by chemical testing, but they’re grounded in me. I’m Science in this daydream, remember? “, he smiles.
The gompa at Gue
As I stand up and dust my butt, I turn around to see Spirituality sailing in, atop a cloud. A swan like grace she has. I smile. She says,
“Do you know where you are? These are the magical lands of Spiti.
What gives this place life?
The will to be, the perseverance to do and the belief in good. It is Nature that keeps checks and balances. If the vices of the world had come to breed here and engulf this place so close to it, then Nature must’ve sent forth its insight and energy to stop them. What better way to manifest than in the form of man. The very creature which personifies this conflict of good and evil.
The blessed village
What does this mean?
The intent of one man, one soul to grow so large that it may shield the village, all its people. To be so strong that it may feed the strength of generations to come. That resolve and dedication is what gave the meditative powers and spiritual energies to this one lama. Tulku Sangaa Tenzin personifies the power of compassion over mortality. The body is a vessel for the soul. The vessel has been vacated but the spirit survives and looks after the village and valley. “
I stir from this sobering reverie and Wisdom dawns upon me from behind a towering peak. It is mellow and it is beautiful. It says,
“Do you know where you are? These are the frozen magic midlands of Spiti. The land that lies between India and Tibet, the origin and the epicenter; Buddhism straddles across this valley.
Faith, belief and gratitude
What is the answer?
The battle of logic and belief, of Science and Spirituality is merely that of fact and faith. They are the parallel rivers of man and nature, they live together and shape each other. One unfulfilled without the other. They are the balance of yin and yang. The balance of being, the balance of Nature.
Spiti, thrives in balance. ”
Say “Ciao” to Wisdom!
The severe exterior combined with the humility in his posture reflects how nurturing care can be wrapped in resolute determination. To stare into the hollow eyes of one who would accept the burden of his fellows and devote his existence to their well-being, is an awe-inspiring experience.