Chapter 4: The Lama’s Visit
After waiting patiently to hear from the Lama, good news came to the village. The Lama had decided to pay a visit.
Yuramay was out in the field working at creating space for the crops. He spent the morning making some trades and returned home. Usually Dechen accompanied Yuramay on his journeys, but that morning Dechen wasn’t feeling too well. He never liked leaving Dechen home alone but he had no choice. He made a quick journey and returned, bringing some remedies to help Dechen, which he ended up not needing because he was back to normal by the time he returned.
After a while, Yuramay went into the house to spend some time with Dechen.
While playing with Dechen, Yuramay thought a lot about what the village had already gone through. They faced a hailstorm which destroyed many houses and crops, and even the village’s bridge. Also, a nearby village was under a naga epidemic which left the doctors and ritualists here with the decision of whether or not to go and provide their services.
But, in that time, the community was able to work together. Members teamed up, contributing many resources to getting the bridge reconstructed, and doctors and ritualists came together to journey to the next village to offer their healing services. Although the village was still recovering from the damages of the storm, Yuramay felt proud that he and his brother were a part of such a community and that under even difficult circumstances, despite some worries, that people were not discouraged, and strove to help one another out.
“Dechen,” Yuramay said as he watched his brother play with his one and only favourite toy.
“do you know what karma is?”
“Karma?” Dechen repeated. “I don’t know much about it.”
“Well, in Buddhist tradition, karma is action. It is the belief that what you do in this life determines how you are reborn into the next. They even say the life you have now is the result of the actions you did in the past.” Yuramay explained. “Good and bad action create karma.”
“Why did you ask me that, Brother?”
“Well, I was just thinking about the members of our community here. I was just happy that many of us worked together and in doing so we created good karma. I believe that the people here, when they pass away, they will be reborn into a good life because of how much they worked to help not only themselves but everyone else.”
“Do you think mom and dad are in a better life?”
Yuramay wasn’t expecting the conversation to lead to that. They never really talked about their parents’ passing, and Yuramay never coped too well with their deaths.
“I think they are in a good life now,” he replied. “They raised us well, and even father gave you that toy that you have there.”
“I know! He said that it was something precious and would give us protection.”
“Is that why you keep it around a lot?”
“Well… because it’s the only thing I have of dad’s before he passed away. It’s something I cherish, just like some people cherish certain objects because they believe it will bring them luck and good fortune. It’s my very own amulet. It protects both me and you.”
Yuramay was touched by his brother’s words. He was young but he seemed to understand many things so well. Death was a touchy subject, but it is something that iwas inevitable. Even the members of the villagers were prone to death, and whether few did or did not during the hailstorm, cannot stop the endless cycle that when humans are born, they are born to die.
The preparations that were made prior to the Lama visiting were now being put together.
Yuramay had the food offerings, the scarf, and an envelope filled with some coins prepared together, ready to carry at their departure. He also knew he wasn’t the only one anticipating the visit. Other villagers were looking forward to seeing the renowned Lama, anticipating his presence and the teachings he would be able to provide.
“Let’s go!” Yuramay exclaimed.
Yuramay and Dechen set out to receive the arrival of the Lama.
The procession was amazing. Upon the arrival of the lama, bsang mchod, also known as light smoke fire offerings were made at the gates of the temple. These were fueled by juniper branches that were kept throughout the visit.
As the Lama neared, horns sounded, and music started playing the closer he came. He was assisted to the throne and when he settled himself the chanting and offerings began. After, an offering of tea and sweet rice was offered to the Lama and then given to everyone else. He followed with a speech and a song commenced.
A line formed and everyone made their intended offerings. During the visit the food that was prepared was carried to the lama on trays to his private quarters. During the break some villagers became acquainted with one another, enjoying dances and songs.
At the lama’s departure, proper offerings were made and just like that the lama made his visit.
“Today was amazing, Brother,” Dechen said as he held close to his heart both his favourite toy and the blessed khata.
“I’m glad you enjoyed the lama’s visit.” Yuramay said, and in moments his brother was already sound asleep.