Over the millennia and ages past many human traditions and policies have institutionalised violence and brutality. From cruelty toward animals, mass-slaughter of humans, to destructive pillaging of the planet, human ignorance and greed have created dogmata and laws that are bringing the world to the brink of self-destruction. In this eleventh hour, Nepal is generating a new way of life in a quiet grassroots reform. The new messengers of peace called Maatma Marga Gurus, are directing this groundswell as part of the 21st Century Maitreyan phenomenon.
For more than five weeks continuously at the mountainous Maitri Dharma Centre in Todhkebari, Badegaun in the Spring of 2016, an intense synergy of solemnity mixed with celebration affected everyone there as over a hundred Maatma Marga Gurus gathered from many regions of Nepal for their initial studies and preparation under the Maha Sambodhi Dharma Sangha Guru (the Boy With Divine Powers, subject of the 2006 BBC Documentary that had brought the world to Halkhoria.)
Fomerly local lamas, many of the new Maatma Marga Gurus had been those originally in careful attendance as the then-young meditating Guru sat in the Pipal tree for his historic meditation, surviving alone in the jungle without food, water, movement or sleep for six years uninterrupted, taking on the suffering of all mankind for their liberation. From those early days to this, these devotees had been yearning for Guru’s direct teaching in order to be well qualified to serve mankind. Now wearing robes of Maitri blue brightened with Maatma Marga stripes, this their greatest life wish is being fulfilled, and far beyond their original imaginings.
The term Maatma (Maa+aatma) means Earth’s Soul, and by extension it may be perceived as Light of the Earth; Marga means path, and theirs is the first spiritual practice of its kind in the world. Following the Earth-Light Path, the newly trained and initiated gurus will disseminate loving compassion of Maitri-bhav or the Maitreyan way of being throughout their life. They shall have the ability to be gurus to all people. Having renounced former allegiances to all Old Paths and practices, they now live in Maitri universal compassion and equality, never to cause the slightest harm, to love all living beings equally without bias or separation based on cast, gender, nationality, position, ability or the like. They will teach people to serve the planet, retrieving the binding love of primordial oneness that had once existed before differentiation caused schisms. The aim is for people to gain greater ecological awareness, to experience their unique role on Earth, become familiar with the Earth’s many natural resources, especially the herbs to potent and so abundant in the wildernesses here, to coexist with all other beings living on it and in it in symbiotic harmony.
Maatma Marga Gurus are the first messengers to spread Maitri Dharma in Nepal and, eventually, throughout the countless other countries in the world from many of which truth-seekers have already begun to congregate here. Including both householders and single persons (men and women are equally welcome), the new gurus will serve in towns and villages to perform different functions, abiding strictly by Maitri guidelines: they will not demand exorbitant fees, they will teach people not to eat or sacrifice any living being from the sky, land or waters; nor will they be cutting down trees in acquisitive greed, but cull selectively and sparingly only as needed. They will launch reforestation wherever and whenever possible, planting trees in all devastated areas of this ancient land so wounded by the recent earthquakes. In rituals and ceremonies the new gurus will abolish wrong, wasteful or harmful beliefs and practices accumulated over past millennia, whether in mourning or in celebration. The aim of their ministry is for this planet, beginning with Nepal, to regain her health and wholeness, and for humans to reactivate their symbiotic oneness with the world.
For instance, the traditional forty-nine-day mourning period following a funeral will now continue for seventy-five days punctuated by praying sessions between five AM and five PM on certain days. Throughout these months the family will conscientiously work for the purity of their Maitri-bhav, the Maitreyan ways of being. There will be no consumption of alcohol or tobacco, meat, fish or seafood, nor performances of harmful drum-dancing or soul-snatching. Instead, energies will be drawn upwards to steep in Maitri compassion for the pure and peaceful passage of the departing soul. Family members pray for its total liberation from any further rebirths and to enter the realm of eternal bliss. At the same time they pray for the liberation of all other living beings in the whole universe. To help a beloved soul in its Journey of ascension, family members themselves must attain the greatest purity possible, as any tears or intention of holding on to the beloved will only obstruct their passage to heaven, in fact any defilement will impede the soul’s journey in harmful ways. Family accordingly will live in watchful purity and compassion, growing ever more in Maitri-bhav.
On the day of their departure from Guru’s Dharma Centre they came first of all, more than a hundred strong, to the city of Kathmandu where well wishers lined the streets happily shouting Maitri Mangalam and offering kathas, water, refreshments in happy welcome. Throughout Nepal towns and villages have opened doors and hearts to receive their Maatma Marga gurus, proudly celebrating with feasts reflective of the new order. Among the new gurus are former Sangha Presidents like Suk Bahadur Tamang of Chitwan District who just handed over his gavel to new incoming President, Mansubbha Tamang. In many ways fundamental change is underway as families and friends undergo shifts in lifestyle starting from simple daily practices. Gone are traditional ingredients of garlic, onions, chives and turmeric along with all flesh of hot and cold-blooded animals, milk, or honey. In clothing, silk will be renounced to protect the silkworms in their cocoons. Gone are tears of wailing or crying, genuine or commercially performed, as crying would affect the departing soul in a harmful, negative way, blocking if not preventing altogether its progress in ascension. Mourners learn instead to nurture the purity of heart needed to bless the departing soul with unconditional love, to send it onto higher realms in calm, in peace and joy. Now people will gently accept death with gratitude, as physical death is indeed Gateway to the soul’s release from suffering in this mortal body. Deep calm is gained and spread from better understanding of the soul’s eternal journey. Family members will replace the sadness and wailing with peaceful parting, stressing love and purity to create a beautiful warm sendoff for the beloved departing.
Death is now understood as the important beginning of the soul’s journey to eternal liberation and bliss, and our lifetime on Earth (in human form or that of any living being, be it elephant or flea) but a tiny blip on the eternal life of the soul. Many Maatma Marga gurus remember their first Maitreyan funeral some years back, and the profound calm that had surrounded the Dharma Sangha Guru as he conducted the rites, lit the flames of the pyre and blessed the departing soul now headed toward Mukti and Moksha (final liberation from cycles of rebirths, ignorance and suffering). Everyone present had felt drawn inwards, flooded in an ocean of peace and benevolence as a giant gentle light of blessing descended from the skies, warming the hearts of all those witnessing the uplift as the loved one moved from death into eternal life.
Marriages become Maitri Unions where couples are joined not only legally and socially, but spiritually, as they become one single love energy surpassing the sum total of the two parties combined. Their paths will be unified, empowered as they gain responsibility one for the other, and their lives in Maitri will blaze like a beacon in the community. From birth through death, many Nepali families will experience a leap in ecological and spiritual growth.
More than hundred new Maatma Marga Gurus arrived in Kathmandhu after completing their five-week intensive training under Maha Sambodhi Dharma Sangha Guru at the Maitri Dharma Centre in Badegaun, Sindupalchowk last spring. The streets in Kathmandu were lined with well-wishers cheering their achievement. Offering khatas, water and biscuits, families, friends and devotees were on hand to express their shining joy now that Maitribhav has been launched in these embodied gurus who will uplift and transform towns and villages throughout Nepal, practicing and teaching compassionate love and Maitri Peace.
Way back when… we started from unrequited yearning that flowed wordlessly in the undercurrents of our heart’s breath longing for unspoken union, for love we knew was infinite and would be eternal once found, searching in despair for Truth so deeply hidden that we no longer knew its name…
Remember that soul-searing beginning?
Now, believe it or not, this lost key to true peace has been found! The Pathfinder was born in 1990. Raised in rural farming Nepal, He started searching as a child, single-mindedly seeking the sure Path to eternal bliss not for himself alone, but for all beings in the universe. At age 15 he stole away from home. Walking deep into the wild jungles of Halkhoriya, He plunged into extreme austerities sitting first inside a large banyan tree and, for the next six years, staying locked in meditation without motion, without food, without drink and without sleep, undaunted by extreme weather, wild fauna, or even the many human attempts to break His quest. By the time He completed this legendary tapasya at age twenty-one (2011), He had found the lost treasure of our deepest longing! Maitreyan Dharma: original essential oneness, liberation leading straight to Heaven!
Completely absorbing all divine wisdom, He has returned as the Omniscient One, the Maha Sambodhi Guru Dharma Sangha, the Divine Interface that closed the gap between gods and humans, between heaven and earth. Glowing in the light of peace, radiating loving compassion equally onto all, He has launched the Golden Age. He will remain in human form to guide us to freedom and bliss as we learn to retrieve our primordial state of being in Maitribhav.
Not here to build marble temples, golden shrines or multi-national corporations, the “Green” Guru remains in pristine uncompromised Nature to bestow the true bonding dharma that had sparked Creation itself and that is so desperately needed now to hold the universe together as it was in the beginning.
Guru will be giving personal blessings non-stop at His last public MaitriPuja in Nepal next Spring, 21 March – 2 April. To this historic event all Rainbows, Indigos, Crystals, Truth-seekers and all children of the Golden Age are joyfully invited to report for duty to join in maitrifying the whole world even as we merge into one another in Divine Maitribhav.
Check it out for yourself at www.Maitriya.info
Welcome one and all! See you in March!
Tribute to My Lilbro George Stephan Hsu, COL
(17 May 1943 – 20 Sep 2015)
It was to be a happy, honeymoon-like trip for Kathy and sister Joyce Bless, this time to be just with their husbands George and Rick to enjoy a romantic visit to Key West Florida in a well deserved celebration of themselves, and of staying together as couple. But on Sunday the 20th September, when they were snorkeling some ways off Key West in eight feet of water watching stunning sea creatures and corals, God gently and silently scooped George up to Heaven. As if lost in a starless night sky, the world darkened around George’s beam, becoming suddenly pitch black for everyone else.
Stunned as if hit by a huge lightning thunderbolt, all became speechless, uncomprehending. People vehemently refused to accept the idea that they no longer have George on call. For here on earth still, each one of us in his or her own way had taken for granted that we would meet and hug and joke and laugh together, sharing our love for many, many long years to come. Dearest God in Heaven, forgive us, we are simply not ready to accept this loss. But we do thank Thee for sparing our George the agony of protracted hospitalization. He left earth during one of the happiest times of his life. Bless you, Happy Georgie, you lucky lad.
To myriad others beyond the Hsu clan, George was their best friend, college schoolmate, football team quarterback or tailback, drinking buddy, fellow prankster, chief story teller, unbeatable mechanic, brilliant physician, respected counselor, most trusted and beloved Captain – Colonel, and Community Leader. No one was ready to let him go, as if one had any say in the matter. Dear God, help us heal.
Our early family history
When he was six, Mother took us three children to America away from China’s Civil War. There we lived with the large and loving family of Stephan Kuttner, Father’s best friend during their Jurisprudence School years in Berlin in the late 1920s. The Hsu children were quickly assimilated into the family, becoming part of the dinner table that pivotal year (1949-1950), where children of the two families fell secretly in love unbeknownst to one another.
When he was twelve, he became a step-uncle to my two young step-sons boys and told them, “Don’t be afraid of your step-mother. She’s only my sister. You don’t have to eat the spinach if you don’t like it.” On our trip to Europe when my baby daughter was found dead in the crib high up in the Alps, it was little George who bent over his infant niece, trying to breathe air into her lifeless body, tears streaming down his agonized face without letup. That was his first encounter with the profound urge to heal, to save, to protect life.
A most caring and insightful gentle man
Nearly thirty years later, in order to protect his own adopted and natural children in a State without public health care, he decided during an outbreak of equine encephalitis in the area, to study Medicine and become a local doctor. Almost forty years old, George was able to enter medical school on an Army grant, becoming the oldest student around.
But his doctor-teachers soon discovered that this Haverford mechanics graduate who designed car-crunching machines for the wide-open countryside, who turned Honda Preludes into super racing cars, who alone appeared in the OR with black fingernails, etc. turned out to be the only man in the cardiac ward to remain cool and calm when they discovered that the bulky pacemaker they were placing in the patient’s gaping cavity was dysfunctional. Sweat poured down the face of doctors and nurses alike as time ticked loudly away.
“Anyone have a screw-driver?” finally came George’s soft voice. And in no time the pacemaker too, began to tick away, in the fortunate patient’s chest. From the beginning, George had excelled at tying good knots with hand in pocket. But when his supervisor suggested he become a heart surgeon, George remarked, “That is a Craft. I wish to become a GP (General Practitioner) for that, Sir, is an Art.”
Eventually George became the most widely respected GP around, and people would drive hundreds of miles to get the opinion of Dr. Hsu. George dedicated his life and skills to medicine out of love of his fellow beings. He refused to prescribe unnecessary medication or order costly lab tests and exams for the many patients in his hard-working but also hard up farming community.
But this was to run squarely against vested interest, not only of private physicians, but of the State whose Board of Medical Examiners comprised of doctors with vested interests. A small group of Bismarck doctors had invested in just such an expensive lab-test service center, and in time came to resent the fact that they were missing out on George’s many patients who did not go for their costly tests and scans. Together they sued the country doctor George Hsu, for “Inappropriate Care” that is, for not doing everything possible for his patients. Our Family had thought nothing of the matter, since each of the city plaintiffs had serious lawsuits against them from mistreated patients whereas George had not a single complaint by any patient in all his more-than-twenty-years’ practice.
But to our dismay, the State of North Dakota Board of Medical Examiners comprising these disgruntled physician-investors, together with the Surgeon General and the State Supreme Court, seemed adamant that Dr Hsu’s Medical License be revoked, and the citizens of North Dakota deprived forever of their favorite country doctor. George’s patients were in shock, and in different areas held fund-raisers to hire a lawyer for George. They wrote to the government and to the newspapers – but all to no avail.
When asked once, “Without taking an MRI, how can you tell if your patient is bleeding in the brain or not?” he replied, “I have known my patients for three generations. You can tell simply by watching them walk.” To George, his patients were like his children. He lived to protect them, to heal them and nurture them, and to share his life and his joy with them. When a patient once let on that he no longer had a particular type of harvester, George drove his own over to that farmer’s ranch the next day. The startled patient found his favorite doc driving up and down in the morning sun working his fields, finishing all his chores by noon. George’s positive, giving nature and contagious good humor brought out the best in all those he met. the best in humanity, and that is Love. Love radiates outward; it is sharing in compassion.
At the funeral, one of George’s nurse practitioners came up the pulpit and told us she had been working with all kinds of doctors on all kinds of jobs for over thirty years. “Never in my entire career have I ever met a doctor who knew more about medicine than George. George cared more for his patients, had such common sense when treating illnesses and wounds. No one was more skilled in diagnostics. He was simply one of a kind, a brilliant, unique man all around. He will be sorely missed.” The legendary Doc Hsu lived in a decaying society during a decadent age. His memorable medical career was sabotaged out of envy and greed, but continues to shine as a beacon of hope for all his patients, his friends and for young medics as an exemplar for the coming Age.
George’s idea of a good life was to be able to devote as much time as possible to the people and activities he loved, in as creative and productive a mode as possible. First came the idea of farming. Farming land that the US Government paid farmers to let lie fallow. He amassed 1500 acres in North Dakota, mostly raising hay for horses and beef cattle. He also planted delicious chokecherries, buffalo berries, plums and currants that he would brew into a heavenly wine. To be sure, he grew the shrubs not only as windbreak, but in particular to entice the scrumptious North Dakota pheasants and grouse who would come to fatten themselves in Autumn, and adorn his dinner table in Winter.
On the farm, George did everything from plowing, sowing to harvesting, cutting and bailing, he was also a masterful fence-builder, agile horse-rider able to make his mount shimmy straight down the vertical side of a steep mountain. All the animals loved him, as do his children, making each their happy sounds whenever he’d come near. George was one of the very few people around who could fix tractors, twenty-ton trucks, highway line-painting machines, racing cars, sowing machines, snow-blowers, food blenders or pacemakers but also produces hay-bales on even square fields, keeps his cattle immunized and healthy, hand-delivering their calves. George was cheerful and helpful to anyone who ever came in need of healing, fixing, repairing, lending or feeding, and became a great friend to the farming families as well as the Sioux Indians miles around. If this sounds too good to be true, George indeed was to all of us not only incredible, but indispensable. He loved being admired – but admiring George was always a natural result of knowing him.
George met Kathy in Medical School when they became a valued team, especially in national emergencies. During the Gulf War when George was called to active duty for the second time after Viet Nam, now to the Middle East, Kathy was summoned as well as Army Nurse, and they left their eight children, their fields and cattle behind in Elgin to run the medical unit in what we the family believed was a chemical warfare zone. Our aged parents from urban Washington DC came over in their high seventies to look after George and Kathy’s virtual orphans, ready to remain indefinitely should the field doctor-and-nurse fail to come back. But these Medics eventually returned home to a Hero’s welcome when all Elgin and neighboring towns came out with flowers and flying banners, creating a memorable day near and far.
As an army doctor in mobile hospital under extreme conditions, or from his quiet clinic in Elgin, North Dakota, George’s priority was always to do the job well. He didn’t care too much for all the formalities and protocol that calcify around institutions as they age, making it hard to distinguish what is more important: to heal or bandage the patient, or to fill out the form. George invariable chose the former, often to the neglect of the latter. For this neglect he was driven out of the medical profession by his peers who felt that failing to fill out all forms was more of a detriment than George’s unusual ability to heal, his pure record of complete trust from all his patients, some who had asked not to be put on tubes and costly equipment. They would rather North Dakota be deprived of one of their best physicians, in order to ensure everyone towed the line and filled out all formal requirements purely administrative in nature.
But this only freed George to turn his attention to his other beloved activities, Mechanics. Together with son Stevie a company was formed to do road-striping, providing the white, yellow, red, solid and broken lines we see on the highways – a rather lucrative job under Union Pay. This does not deprive any patient of their wherewithal, but brought in surprising income, and challenged George’s ingenuity to his great delight. He designed and put together from spare parts by hand, an entire truck-cum-device that mixed and spread paint on the road, and so began happy outdoor days working together with his beloved family. When the State approached him saying they would give him back his license to practice medicine provided he signed a paper admitting to “inadequate care of his patients” and/or paid the Board a fee of $50,000, George gave his wry smile and declined. He refused to cooperate with a world that cared more for protocol than for the practice of medicine.
George did not consider himself to have lost any self, aside from his Colonel’s uniform, to be shifting from a white gown to the proverbial blue collar – because to him all jobs carried out with his whole heart and mind bring satisfaction and joy. And the blue collar he had come to know harbored less hypocrisy or hidden greed. In time he opened up Doc’s Saloon in Glen Ullen that served all his favorite foods and drinks, delighting one and all. When we entered the place the local people immediately recognized us as George’s family; staff from Chef to waitresses came to us to hug us, one after the other each weeping tears of deep personal loss. George had given them the sense of self-worth, had appreciated and admired each of them for their special contributions. Their love for George was no less than that of nurse practitioners.
For George, no one was ever unimportant. He never entertained sentiments like, “Wait, I have something more urgent to do first.” He helped his kids with home-work, his grandchildren with kite-flying or buggy rides. He adopted and reared the children born to his wives from their former marriages, never saying to any child, “You are not of my blood. You are not my family.” He adopted them all, giving them the Hsu name, and cared for them with the same love and pride with which he reared all his own progeny. Later he took in our mother and step-father, caring them for years through their dying days. He took in and gave employment to his nephew, offered permanent shelter to his oldest retired sister and opened his home to his nieces each time any should face homelessness. George helped all who came to him, laughingly solving problems academic, chemical, emotional, financial, mechanical, medical, military or psychological.
In the Armed service, he earned the love of all his men as their platoon leader, captain or colonel, since he cared more about his men than anyone else. Throughout all the years in the Army rising from rank to rank, George never, ever had a gun in the house. He did not believe problems are solved by killing others. He even gave his mind to politics in the hope that this great nation to which he’d dedicated his life energies, would one day rise above mediocrity and fill its potential for genuine world leadership.
To this end, George gave tirelessly to the National Democratic Committee, even trying once for a seat in the State Senate to fight the growing corruption then directly harming ND’s own people. But he never let defeat of any sort dampen his own Spirit. There was always burning inside his heart a huge and compassionate store of love and of service. It is with this selfless spirit that he sailed through his colorful and multilayered life, earning the love of countless people of different persuasions and from all walks of life. He was always there for us. For anyone, actually.
Now George has taken this rare but eternal harvest of universal Love with him to Heaven. For unlike earthly riches or power, Love is what we can take with us. The outpouring of overwhelming love for George we have heard in Church and in the Community Center these past three days will in turn spawn new streams of inspiring and uplifting memories, gratitude and emulation. Although these rare and precious gifts are invisible, they are divine.
Go in Peace, beloved Lilbro, I came to America this month because of your urging, and promise to come and visit. Maybe you had some inkling, Georgie, about playing this last prank to stun the world around you. Before going on this last vacation you’d called up all old friends for long chats and, for once, you’d paid all your bills, ahead of time. You shed your body without a moment’s illness or struggle doing a most enjoyable watersport, sparing your family the draining anguish of protracted hospitalization. What a beautiful and carefree way to live, George, and to die. You are very, very blessed indeed. Let us give thinks to your Guardian Angels who have even made the Funeral Gathering in Elgin, a most Memorable Three-day Family Blast.
Keeping him in their fondest loving memories are his wife, Kathy, Elgin, ND; 4 sons and daughters-in-law, Michael Hsu, in Texas, Stephen and Jody Hsu, Bismarck, ND; Anthony Hsu, Seattle, WA; Charles Hsu, Elgin, ND; 4 daughters and sons-in-law, Theresa Hsu, Elgin, ND; Jennifer and Casey Bettenhausen, Bismarck, ND; Sarah and John Bonvini, Gloucester, Virginia and Barbara Hsu, Mandan, ND; 8 grandchildren, two older sisters, Joan in Nepal, and Katherine in Annapolis, MD; step-mother Nancy Hsu, Seattle, WA; half-brother Alex Hsu and half-sister Barbara Hsu, both married and living in California. There is a still-growing number of nieces and nephews around the world as well as grandchildren to most of whom beloved Uncle George is already Legend.
February 22-27, 2014, Lamjung Maitri Puja for World Peace
From the village of Khudi at the foot of the Himalayas, the eye can reach directly onto the snowcapped peaks of Manasulu, towering 8163 metres above sea level, giving an illusion of being only three or four kilometres away.
This is the view from the site of the last puja of the Nepali year 2070, held in the District of Lamjung in northwest Nepal, on the border of Tibet. People had come from everywhere. Nepalese devotees had arrived from Manang, Pokhara Lake, Kaski, Gorkha, Tanau, Dading, Kathmandu, Kirtipur, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kavry, Nuwakot, Sindupalchowk, Ramechhap, Makwanpur, Chitwan, Parsa, Bara, Sarlahi, Sindhuli; and from the far distant mountain region of Mustang they had travelled across the great ranges, taking more than three days for the journey. There were also Indian devotees from Sikkim and Darjeeling, Europe, East Asia and the Americas.
The air throughout the highlands of Nepal is cold in the morning and evening, with sun during the day warming the breeze. But, here in Khudi, the air seems especially fresh, brushing down from the highest peaks of the world, and quickening the heart with a strong feeling of being in the presence of the divine. Devotees who have attended many of the Maitri Guru’s Pujas, agree that there was something rather special about the Lamjung Puja.
The Maitri Guru had left his mountain retreat in Thodkebar of Badegaun Township in Sindhupalchowk Disctrict, on the morning of February 19th, to travel with his immediate entourage for ten hours by jeep to Lamjung. From the very beginning atop the tiny mountain village, there were already twenty cars filled with neighbouring devotees waiting to follow Guru’s car and, when they reached the town of Sipaghad below, thirty more cars were there with motors running, along with untold numbers of motorcycles, ready to brave the long journey over the bumpy and dusty Nepali roads.
Along the way, motorcycles and private cars, seemingly out of nowhere, continued to join the motorcade, their numbers growing at an alarming rate, with offerings of flowers, candles and incense, khatas and fruit, waiting patiently for the Guru. At times, in certain populated towns, the road ahead became completely blocked by devotees to the point that nothing could pass, often requiring the gentle assistance of the local police. The vehicles continued to multiply as the day wore on. The roaring wheeled assemblage came to stretch long and wide for kilometers, creating a memorable sight along the roads leading to the large town of Chabel where an additional 700 devotees were waiting. There was a joyous celebratory mood among them, one and all. Whenever the caravan passed villages and towns, there were groups of devotees gathered along the road with flowers and other offerings to greet Guru’s passage, hoping for a glimpse of the beloved face, and possibly even a blessing.
Throughout the day, devotees continued to appear along the 180 kilometers between the districts of Sindhupalchowk and Lamjung. In the darkness past sunset, they stood on the roads holding offerings of flowers, incense, khatas, and now also flickering candles. The reverent devotion shown by the tens of thousands of devotees was overwhelming to the observers. There were spontaneous local receptions all along the way during the ten hours of travel, giving the travellers an unforgettable sight. Guru’s journey was attended throughout by waiting devotees from town to town, and in between. There seemed to be more people, more new faces, and more crowds than ever before.
By nightfall when the convoy reached Besishsahar, the largest town at the foothills, devotees stood there still, holding lights or candles in the darkness, their hearts aglow like their flames, eyes glistening for a glimpse of the Maitri Guru.
Already for some years, he has ruled their hearts in loving compassion. But now was the chance for them to be there, even for a fleeting moment, close to Guru’s actual aura, to feel the Maitri Presence.
Ten hours after setting out, Guru’s party arrived at the Lamjung site where accommodations had been already prepared by the local Sangha. After a good night’s sleep, everyone rose to work on the preparations for the Puja itself. The great tarps were laid over the bamboo foundations, and flags in the Maitri order of blue, white, yellow, red and green were stretched in long strings in all eight directions from the pole-top, announcing the event. On the newly made platform, the Maitri Guru’s dais was placed, and on the surrounding fabric walls were hung thangkas of the Great Deities uniquely related to Maitreya. For two days feverish work joined all the fervent devotees in one large workforce, as people hitherto unknown to each other worked side by side for the same purpose. and with the same joyous dedication.
“Rain blesses the beginning and the end of the Maitri Guru’s every puja,” a long-time assistant of Guru said. It will always rain when Guru arrives, and again when Guru leaves. Sometimes the rain may be big, sometimes so subtle that people may not be aware of it, while at other times it is loud and wet. But for sure there will always be rain…. followed by the rainbow.” This time the rainbow was unmistakable for all to see and marvel. A huge ring of a rainbow appeared around the sun, glowing in the mid-heavens and forming a complete and perfect circle. There was a smaller ring immediately around the sun, a rim of red and yellow filaments surrounding a relatively bluish sun in the middle, much like the pupil of a huge round eye. This phenomenon hovered continuously, suspended exactly above the Puja mandala holding the tent and blessing program. The rainbow was so large, so clear, and so perfectly centered overhead that onlookers were awestruck with wonder at the surprising and inspiring manifestation.
For three days the haloed sun-eye hovered overhead, enveloping the sacred precinct. Passersby and devotees both were awed at the sight of such auspiciousness and benevolence. And for the last three days many devotees saw a bright light emanating from the middle of the Maitri Guru’s forehead, with a startlingly warm and gentle glow. Many such unforgettable manifestations around the Maitri Guru were recounted by eye-witnesses and spread across the world.
The Lamjung site is situated at the base of the famous trekking paths leading up to Annapurna in the Himalayas. It is a stop for mountaineers. During those days many hikers passing by were drawn irresistibly to the Puja. Here they received unexpected blessing of unbounded love and compassion that flowed unceasingly from the Maitri Guru for more than eight hours each day. It has been estimated that several hundred thousand people received Guru’s blessing during the six days.
There were many familiar faces among the foreign sangha, as well as new ones here for the first time, together representing more than thirty nations. There were two Italian couples, one having brought along their children. Many Buddhist and Chan monks came from monasteries in Korea and Thailand, among others. About seventy Nepali Buddhist monks from diverse monasteries, dressed in crimson and orange, came to join the chanting of prayers and mantras and to participate proactively in all proceedings.
When devotees saw the Maitri Guru in a white robe with blue trim coming with his monks in blue robes and white tops, there was a gasp of surprise and awe.
This was the first time that Guru’s Maitri colors were worn at a public event, and they presented a startling contrast to the traditional clerical colors of crimson and orange, brown, black or grey. Gradually, devotees began to realize that something was rather different about this timespace. They found themselves under a new banner, witnessing a new Order and, in their hearts, many knew that the world would be listening to a new language and hear a new Message.
Guru ascended his dais and dropped into lotus position in one graceful move. In due course, he gave his Teaching. Without quoting from the as yet unpublished Official Translation to be issued direct from Guru’s headquarters, a strictly personal interpretation follows here in the paragraph below:
As ever, Guru instructed humanity to abstain from harmful actions. Now he explained how in cosmic oneness in there being no separation whatever between the countless life cycles of all beings of all categories in all worlds or between the atma, paramatma and anatma: all seemingly disparate energies are in fact inseparably part of One. Rather than enquiring about religions or techniques of meditation, Guru asked us to reflect first of all on what we have gained from our habitual passions and worldly attachments. He seemed to be addressing humanity from a unique perspective of being in human form with feet on the earth yet with cosmic consciousness remaining in the sky, above and beyond the myriad illusions that since primordial times have imprisoned humanity inside illusions. From this cosmic perspective, the Maitri Guru pointed out that whilst all other life forms already thrive in Maitriyan Dharma, human beings alone remain in the ignorance and suffering created by the misdirected dogmata they have been perpetuating since primordial times. By simply surrendering in complete trust and faith to the GuruMarga – the Way of (all) Gurus – human beings, too, can quickly experience true Dharma. Bringing Maitri Dharma closer to home, Guru said that the drive and goal of all religions in their primordial stage had been to attain Maitri Dharma – the Way of Maitriya – ; that in the beginning, all religions had been on the same all comprehending Maitri Path. And now the GuruMarga has descended to bring all humanity, with all religions, back onto the Maitri Dharma of universal loving compassion that had been here since the beginning.
Marking the Fourth Year of Maitreya, the New Age following upon the long preceding Kali Yuga or Age of Darkness, the Maitri Guru in this way revealed yet a little more of the special attributes of the world to come, providing a hint of the peace and happiness that shall bloom forth once the basic precepts of universal respect, compassion, equality and true faith are revived in our hearts.
On the morning of departure, rain began to fall gently over the land, smiling on the convoy like a blessing. Again, villagers from nearby stood along the streets in the morning sprinkle to bid Guru farewell. But, once the motorcade left the district of Lamjung, the rain intensified, falling loudly, and soon filled the streets with small rivulets. By the time they reached the Naubisey highway going to Kathmandu, the road was congested for a full kilometer with cars that had been there for nearly ten hours. The passage became inundated and water covered the tires of Guru’s Jeep. Motorcyclists had water coming up to their waists. Miraculously, local sangha members appeared, and managed in groups to open up a pass way for Guru’s convoy of about thirty cars, busses and cyclists to go through. Curiously, throughout this stretch, the towns to the left or right of their journey remained dry, without the least rain. By this time, close followers have become used to certain manifestations of the unusual. ##
Jim has left the world. Yesterday on Valentine’s Day, it is reported today, James Cahill put aside his long ailing body, his ever proactive service to the world of Chinese art history, his huge legacy books, papers, online lectures, mountains of indexes, photographs, slides many of which he’d taken himself, for us, and the thousands of other blessings and gifts to his field, his friends and family too numerous to assess, a legacy that will continue to nourish the coming students of Chinese painting for generations. But his indefatigable energy, his unbounded passion for his work, his singular generosity will remain a standard hard to match.
At last free from disease and suffering, dear Jim, lift off in joy to explore the wonderous realms beyond our present ken to which we’ll all return. Good night, sweet Prince.
This link leads to a TV interview (part 1 of 2) with the Hong Kong HKSTV’s beautiful and talented hostess Ms Wang Mingqing, in Hangzhou late June. During interludes Ms Wang plays the ancient qin zither, with a clarity and force belying her gentle mien, bringing out a depth of feeling hidden from ages past. The visit took place in the just completed Visiting Faculty Lodge by Dean Wang Shu of the School of Architecture,China Academy of Arts, and 2012 winner of the distinguished Pritzker Prize. Link to Part 2 of 2.