|T. LOBSANG RAMPA
DOCTOR FROM LHASA
Doctor from Lhasa - (Originally published in 1959) the story continues with Lobsang leaving Lhasa and living in Chungking, China. Here he furthered his medical studies, learns to fly a plane and finally getting captured and tortured by the Japanese. Lobsang spent much time living in concentration camps as the official medical officer until the day he escaped. Lobsang was one of the very few people to survive the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. How to use a crystal ball and exercise in breathing to improve one’s wellbeing.
It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
Table of contents
Table of contents 2
PUBLISHERS’ NOTE 2
Author's Foreword 3
Into the Unknown 7
Medical Days 29
The Other Side of Death 55
Mercy Flight 78
When the World was Very Young 90
Prisoner of the Japanese 103
How to Breathe 113
The Bomb 126
When Lobsang Rampa’s first book The Third Eye was published, a very heated controversy arose which is still continuing. The contention of the author that a Tibetan lama was writing of his life “through” him, and had in fact fully occupied his body following a slight concussive accident, was not one to which many readers in the West were likely to give credence. Some, remembering similar cases in the past, although not from Tibet, preferred to keep an open mind. Others, and it is likely that they formed the majority, were openly sceptical. Many of them, however, whether they were specialists on the Far East or ordinary readers who enjoy an unusual book, were confounded by the author’s obvious mastery of his subject, opening wide a door on a fascinating and little-known part of the world, and by the absence of any record of previous literary ability. Certainly no one was able to disprove his facts.
The present Publishers believe that, whatever the truth of the matter should be (if it is ever ascertainable), it is right that The Third Eye and now Doctor from Lhasa should be available to the public, if only because they are highly enjoyable books on their own merit. On the larger, fundamental issues which they raise, every reader must come to a personal decision. Doctor from Lhasa is as Lobsang Rampa wrote it. It must speak for itself.
WHEN I was in England I wrote The Third Eye, a book which is true, but which has caused much comment. Letters came in from all over the world, and in answer to requests I wrote this book, Doctor from Lhasa.
My experiences, as will be told in a third book, have been far beyond that which most people have to endure, experiences which are paralleled only in a few cases in history. That, though, is not the object of this book which deals with a continuation of my autobiography.
I am a Tibetan lama who came to the western world in pursuance of his destiny, came as was foretold, and endured all the hardships as foretold. Unfortunately, western people looked upon me as a curio, as a specimen who should be put in a cage and shown off as a freak from the unknown. It made me wonder what would happen to my old friends, the Yetis, if the westerners got hold of them—as they are trying to do.
Undoubtedly the Yeti would be shot, stuffed, and put in some museum. Even then people would argue and say that there were no such things as Yetis! To me it is strange beyond belief that western people can believe in television, and in space rockets that may circle the Moon and return and yet not credit Yetis or “Unknown Flying Objects,” or, in fact, anything which they cannot hold in their hands and pull to pieces to see what makes it work.
But now I have the formidable task of putting into just a few pages that which before took a whole book, the details of my early childhood. I came of a very high-ranking family, one of the leading families in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. My parents had much to say in the control of the country, and because I was of high rank I was given severe training so that, it was considered, I should be fit to take my place. Then, before I was seven years of age, in accordance with our established custom, the Astrologer Priests of Tibet were consulted to see what type of career would be open to me. For days before these preparations went forward, preparations for an immense party at which all the leading citizens, all the notabilities of Lhasa would come to hear my fate. Eventually the Day of Prophecy arrived. Our estate was thronged with people. The Astrologers came armed with their sheets of paper, with their charts, and with all the essentials of their profession. Then, at the appropriate time, when everyone had been built up to a high pitch of excitement, the Chief Astrologer pronounced his findings. It was solemnly proclaimed that I should enter a lamasery at the age of seven, and be trained as a priest, and as a priest surgeon. Many predictions were made about my life; in fact the whole of my life was outlined. To my great sorrow everything they said has come true. I say “sorrow” because most of it has been misfortune, and hardship, and suffering, and it does not make it any easier when one knows all that one is to suffer.
I entered the Chakpori lamasery when I was seven years of age, making my lonely way along the path. At the entrance I was kept, and had to undergo an ordeal to see if I was hard enough, tough enough to undergo the training. This I passed, and then I was allowed to enter. I went through all the stages from an absolutely raw beginner, and in the end I became a lama, and an abbot. Medicine and surgery were my particular strong points. I studied these with avidity, and I was given every facility to study dead bodies. It is a belief in the west that the lamas of Tibet never do anything to bodies if it means making an opening. The belief is, apparently, that Tibetan medical science is rudimentary, because the medical lamas treat only the exterior and not the interior. That is not correct. The ordinary lama, I agree, never opens a body, it is against his own form of belief. But there was a special nucleus of lamas, of whom I was one, who were trained to do operations, and to do operations which were possibly even beyond the scope of western science.
In passing there is also a belief in the west that Tibetan medicine teaches that the man has his heart on one side, and the woman has her heart on the other side. Nothing could be more ridiculous. Information such as this has been passed on to the western people by those who have no real knowledge of what they are writing about, because some of the charts to which they refer deal with astral bodies instead, a very different matter. However, that has nothing to do with this book.
My training was very intensive indeed, because I had to know not only my specialized subjects of medicine and surgery, but all the Scriptures as well because, as well as being a medical lama, I also had to pass as a religious one, as a fully trained priest. So it was necessary to study for two branches at once, and that meant studying twice as hard as the average. I did not look upon that with any great favour!
But it was not all hardship, of course. I took many trips to the higher parts of Tibet—Lhasa is 12,000 feet above sea level—gathering herbs, because we based our medical training upon herbal treatment, and at Chakpori we always had at least 6,000 different types of herb in stock. We Tibetans believe that we know more about herbal treatment than people in any other part of the world. Now that I have been around the world several times that belief is strengthened.
On several of my trips to the higher parts of Tibet I flew in man-lifting kites, soaring above the jagged peaks of the high mountain ranges, and looking for miles, and miles, over the countryside. I also took part in a memorable expedition to the almost inaccessible part of Tibet, to the highest part of the Chang Tang Highlands. Here, we of the expedition found a deeply secluded valley between clefts in the rock, and warmed, warmed by the eternal fires of the earth, which caused hot waters to bubble out and flow into the river. We found, too, a mighty city, half of it exposed in the hot air of the hidden valley, and the other half buried in the clear ice of a glacier. Ice so clear that the other part of the city was visible as if through the very clearest water. That part of the city which has been thawed out was almost intact. The years had dealt gently indeed with the buildings. The still air, the absence of wind, had saved the buildings from damage by attrition. We walked along the streets, the first people to tread those streets for thousands and thousands of years. We wandered at will through houses which looked as if they were awaiting their owners, until we looked a little more closely and saw strange skeletons, petrified skeletons, and then we realized that here was a dead city. There were many fantastic devices which indicated that this hidden valley had once been the home of a civilization far greater than any now upon the face of the earth. It proved conclusively to us that we were now as savages compared to the people of that bygone age. But in this, the second book, I write more of that city.
When I was quite young I had a special operation which was called the opening of the third eye. In it a sliver of hard wood, which had been soaked in special herbal solutions, was inserted in the centre of my forehead in order to stimulate a gland which gave me increased powers of clairvoyance. I was born markedly clairvoyant, but then, after the operation, I was really abnormally so, and I could see people with their aura around them as if they were wreathed in flames of fluctuating colours. From their auras I could divine their thoughts; what ailed them, what their hopes and fears were. Now that I have left Tibet I am trying to interest western doctors in a device which would enable any doctor and surgeon to see the human aura as it really is, in colour. I know that if doctors and surgeons can see the aura, they can see what really affects a person. So that by looking at the colours, and by the outline of the moving bands, the specialist can tell exactly what illnesses a person is suffering from. Moreover, this can be told before there is any visible sign in the physical body itself, because the aura shows evidence of cancer, TB (Tuberculosis, short for tubercle bacillus), and other complaints, many months before it attacks the physical body. Thus, by having such early warning of the onset of disease the doctor can treat the complaint, and cure it infallibly. To my horror, and very deep sorrow, western doctors are not at all interested. They appear to think it is something to do with magic, instead of being just ordinary common sense, as it is. Any engineer will know that high tension wires have a corona around them. So has the human body, and it is just an ordinary physical thing which I want to show to the specialists, and they reject it. That is a tragedy. But it will come in time. The tragedy is that so many people must suffer and die needlessly, until it does come.
The Dalai Lama, the thirteenth Dalai Lama, was my patron. He ordered that I should receive every possible assistance in training, and in experience. He directed that I should be taught everything that could be crammed into me, and as well as being taught by the ordinary oral system I was also instructed by hypnosis, and by various other forms which there is no need to mention here. Some of them are dealt with in this book, or in The Third Eye. Others are so novel, and so incredible that the time is not ripe for them to be discussed.
Because of my powers of clairvoyance I was able to be of a great assistance to the Inmost One on various occasions. I was hidden in his audience room so that I could interpret a person's real thoughts and intentions from the aura. This was done to see if the person's speech and thoughts tallied particularly when they were foreign statesmen visiting the Dalai Lama. I was an unseen observer when a Chinese delegation was received by the Great Thirteenth. I was an unseen observer, too, when an Englishman went to see the Dalai Lama, but on the latter occasion I nearly fell down in my duty because of my astonishment at the remarkable dress which the man wore, my first, very first sight of European dress!
The training was long and arduous. There were temple services to be attended throughout the night as well as throughout the day. Not for us the softness of beds. We rolled ourselves in our solitary blanket, and went to sleep on the floor. The teachers were strict indeed, and we had to study, and learn, and commit everything to memory. We did not keep notebooks, we committed everything to memory. I learned metaphysical subjects as well. I went deeply into it, clairvoyance, astral travelling, telepathy, I went through the whole lot. In one of my stages of initiation I visited the secret caverns and tunnels beneath the Potala, caverns and tunnels of which the average man knows nothing. They are the relics of an age-old civilization which is almost beyond memory, beyond racial memory almost, and on the walls were the records, pictorial records of things that flew in the air, and things that went beneath the earth. In another stage on initiation I saw the carefully preserved bodies of giants, ten feet, and fifteen feet long. I too, was sent to the other side of death, to know that there is no death, and when I returned I was a Recognised Incarnation, with a rank of an abbot. But I did not want to be an abbot, tied to a lamasery. I wanted to be a lama, free to move about, free to help others, as the Prediction said I would. So, I was confirmed in the rank of lama by the Dalai Lama himself, and by Him I was attached to the Potala in Lhasa. Even then my training continued, I was taught various forms of western science, optics, and other allied subjects. But, at last the time came when I was called once again to the Dalai Lama, and given instructions.
He told me that I had learned all that I could learn in Tibet, that the time had come for me to move on, to leave all that I loved, all that I cared for. He told me that special messengers had been sent out to Chungking to enroll me as a student of medicine and surgery in that Chinese city.
I was sick at heart when I left the presence of the Inmost one, and made my way to my Guide, the lama Mingyar Dondup, and told him what had been decided. Then I went to the home of my parents to tell them also what had happened, that I was to leave Lhasa. The days flew by, and the final day came when I left Chakpori, when for the last time I saw Mingyar Dondup in the flesh, and I made my way out of the city of Lhasa, the Holy City, on to the high mountain passes. And as I looked back the last thing I saw was a symbol. For from the golden roofs of the Potala a solitary kite was flying.