“Om mani padme hum.”
Bodhin’s soft voice reverberated in the cave. Breathing in the crisp, morning air he tried to find a sound to focus on. The fluttering of the lung ta prayer flags, the murmurs of the dawn competed for his attention. He retracted his aural faculty and turned it inwards within the cave. A familiar hum of Lama Yeshe’s whispered prayers captivated his attention and he relaxed in a trance.
The teacher and the disciple, spent most mornings meditating in the Tabo caves overlooking the ancient monastery, nestled amidst the cold, arid Spiti valley. Bodhin was at peace, his breathing the only conduit between his inner and outer world. He suddenly felt a change in the atmosphere. A hush descended across the valley. He opened his eyes gingerly, only to find himself alone in the cave.
Arriving at the mouth of the cave, Bodhin called out “Geshe-la?” But his teacher was nowhere to be found. Baffled, he turned around spying an unusual formation of rocks near the cave. Of a bright celestial blue, the rocks pulsed with an energy. Stacked vertically, they formed a cairn of the brightest hue, a royal shade of blue.
Bodhin’s hands stretched of their own accord towards the cairn. No sooner did his fingertips brush against the stones than a magnetic force fused his hands to it. A blinding light covered his vision, turning his pupils white. Bodhin tried to close his eyes but faltered when he saw the sudden flash of images.
Bodhin standing on the same hillside looking at the monastery.
The monastery in ruins and plundered, overrun by feral beings.
The cold, desert mountain burning with heat.
Vultures, hungry and skeletal, circling overhead, screeching hoarsely.
A few terrified monks, kneeling before him, beseeching “Bodhin Gyatso, save us!”
Bodhin stumbled backwards as his vision cleared. The cairn shimmered intensely before fading out. He touched the empty space where the cairn had been. Only a tiny shard of the blue rock remained.
Upon hearing his teacher’s chants begin again, Bodhin ran inside the cave.
“Geshe-la!” He shook him out of his trance and described the frightful vision he had witnessed.
Lama Yeshe was horrified to hear the details. He looked at the shard closely and whispered, “Lapis Lazuli!”
He looked at Bodhin with renewed interest.
“Son, this is not a rock. It is a Lapis Lazuli stone. It is said that they activate psychic abilities, guiding your spiritual self. They hone your intuitive and visionary qualities. And you touched an entire cairn of these stones. Imagine the magnitude of power transferred unto you.”
“So, the images I saw may come true in the future? Why did the cairn appear before me and no one else?”
Lama Yeshe took a deep breath. “Yes, it showed you a dystopian future. And you are the key to divert it or save us from it. Because ‘you’ are the future – Bodhin Gyatso, the fifteenth!”
Saying this, he bowed down to Bodhin.
Om mani padme hum – A Sanskrit mantra, used as a meditation chant.
Lung ta – A Tibetan prayer flag
Lama, Geshe-la – Tibetan titles for a teacher/ ‘guru’.
Gyatso – means ‘ocean’ in Mongolian. It is added to the name of each Dalai Lama (except for the 1st).
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