September 5, 2009

The incredible story of a monk in Thyangboche

All of the guest house owners are very colourful...and chatty. I would like to share one of the best stories I heard from one owner in Thyangboche during our time in the Himalayas. There is a huge monastery in this town...a 70 year old monk who has lived there for over 50 years recently got sick. He had to go to Kathmandu and they performed stomach surgery on him...but it was too late and they told him that he was going to die...SO, they flew him back on a chartered helicopter to the monastery because it was his dying wish. He died four hours later after arriving back at the monastery in his Buddhist meditation position. The catch here is that he remained in this position for 29 DAYS...when we arrived it was at 29 and counting! The guest house owner had been to see him twice...apparently his body does not smell and his neck is just slightly bent. His family has been waiting all of this time for him to fall over so that they can cremate him. The people of the area are very proud of him. They believe he is waiting for something or someone. The second catch...on our way back down on day 9 of our trek...I had Surya ask if he was still sitting there in the monastery...and the answer was that he had fallen only hours before we arrived back there in that village on the day we came back through! I think he was making sure we made it back safely. I'd like to believe that. Anyways, interesting story...I hope the monk is resting now...must have been tough to sit for over 30 days like that.