From the Editor: Prophecy in Buddhism takes many forms, from descriptions of Maitreya's coming, to Tulkus returning and things to come. Let me tackle the easiest first, Tulkus.
Tulkus and Karmapas
From the Editor: Tulkus are reembodied Lamas. After a Lama passes, other Lamas look for signs for his reincarnation. They actually call the returning soul an emanation since they don't quite believe in the concept of a 'soul'. This is all fine and good, except there is one flaw in the practice. We have all lived thousands of lifetimes and usually not all in one geographic area. We have karma in other areas and with other souls and groups of souls. After several embodiments it might be time for a Lama to learn or balance some new tests on the Path. Maybe the cosmic timing is right for balancing ancient Atlantean karma so he needs to re-embody in America. By the way, if the parents decide to get rid of the soul in the womb then that Divine plan is thrown in the trash. Or maybe he's gone as far as he needs to in Tibet but needs to learn some tests or bring the Light and his knowledge to another culture. He'll have to reincarnate on the other side of the globe in some instances. The Tulku search committee probably won't know this. They'll end up picking a different soul. If they do pick the wrong reincarnating soul then they'll be picking that same wrong soul the next time too, even if they get it right, the original lama has already moved on.
Here is an indication of this phenomena from Nicholas Roerich's book, "Shambhala," 1930, p.5.
"Lama, you know the truth. Then tell me why there are so many unworthy priests." "Certainly this is not an excuse: but if the Teaching must move to the South then it is not surprising that many learned lamas have left Tibet. In the West, do they know that Pan-chen-rinpoche (the Tashi Lama) is connected with Shambahla?" p.5
The same loophole in picking Dalai Lamas, Karmapas, Panchen Lamas, etc. applies. This is not to say that the new Lamas or Tulkus will not rise to the occasion. After all, the Buddha is within them as well.
One last thought, Padma Sambhava prophesied the return of tulkus at an important time in the future, maybe now. But things aren't always what they seem, the returning tulkus may not be Tibetan nor even Buddhists and maybe some of them aren't even wearing a physical body.
Maitreya, The Coming Buddha
From the Editor: Humanity always seems to be either looking to the past or future for its prophets. Hardly ever do they recognize them when they're in the "now." It's just easier that way. If they acknowledged their presence then they would have to become the message. Maitreya is here now but not as a continuous physical presence as some have claimed and not so readily available on spiritual planes as others have professed. He may yet take a physical incarnation once the planet is ready. A golden age will have to be firmly established before this happens however. Here is an excerpt from Edward Conze regarding Maitreya.
1. Translation by Edward Conze, in his Buddhist Scriptures (Penguin Books, 1959), pp. 238-42.
"Sariputra, the great general of the doctrine, most wise and resplendent, from compassion for the world asked the Lord: 'Some time ago you have spoken to us of the future Buddha, who will lead the world at a future period, and who will bear the name of Maitreya. I would now wish to hear more about his powers and miraculous gifts. Tell me, 0 best of men, about them !'
The Lord replied: 'At that time, the ocean 'will lose much of its water, and there will be much less of it than now. In consequence a world-ruler will have no difficulties in passing across it. India, this island of Jambu, will be quite flat everywhere, it will measure ten thousand leagues, and all men will have the privilege of living on it. It will have innumerable inhabitants, who will commit no crimes or evil deeds, but will take pleasure in doing good. The soil will then be free from thorns, even, and covered with a fresh green growth of grass; when one jumps on it, it gives way, and becomes soft like the leaves of the cotton tree. It has a delicious scent, and tasty rice grows on it, without any work. Rich silken, and other, fabrics of various colours shoot forth from the trees. The trees will bear leaves, flowers, and fruits simultaneously; they are as high as the voice can reach and they last for eight myriads of years. Human beings are then without any blemishes, moral offences are unknown among them, and they are full of zest and joy. Their bodies are very large and their skin has a fine hue. Their strength is quite extraordinary. Three kinds of illness only are known-people must relieve their bowels, they must eat, they must get old. Only when five hundred years old do the women marry.
'The city of Ketumati will at that time be the capital. In it will reside the world-ruler, Shankha by name, who will rule over the earth up to the confines of the ocean; and he will make the Dharma prevail. He will be a great hero, raised to his station by the force of hundreds of meritorious deeds. His spiritual adviser will be a Brahmin, Subrahinana by name, a very learned man, well versed in the four Vedas, and steeped in all the lore of the Brahamins. And that Brahman will have a wife, called Brahmavati, beautiful, attractive, handsome, and renowned.
'Maitreya, the best of men, will then leave the Tushita heavens, and go for his last rebirth into the womb of that woman. For ten whole months she will carry about his radiant body. Then she will go to a grove full of beautiful flowers, and there, neither seated nor lying down, but standing up, holding on to the branch of a tree, she will give birth to Maitreya. He, supreme among men, will emerge from her right side, as the sun shines forth when it has prevailed over a bank of clouds. No more polluted by the impurities of the womb than a lotus by drops of water, he will fill this entire Triple world with his splendour. As soon as he is born he will walk seven steps forward, and where he puts down his feet a jewel or a lotus will spring up. He will raise his eyes to the ten directions, and ill speak these words: "This is my last birth. There will be no rebirth after this one. Never will I come back here, but, all pure, I shall win Nirvana!"
'And when his father sees that his son has the thirty-two marks of a superman, and considers their implications in the light of the holy mantras, he will be filled with joy, for he will know that, as the mantras show, two ways are open to his son: he will either be a universal monarch, or a supreme Buddha. But as Maitreya grows up, the Dharma will increasingly take possession of him, and he will reflect that all that lives is bound to suffer. He will have a heavenly voice which reaches far; his skin will have a golden hue, a great splendour will radiate from his body, his chest will be broad, his limbs well developed, and his eyes will be like lotus petals. His body is eighty cubits high, and twenty cubits broad. He will have a retinue of 84,000 persons, whom he will instruct in the mantras. With this retinue he Will one day go forth into the homeless life. A Dragon tree will then be the tree under which he will win enlightenment; its branches rise up to fifty leagues, and its foliage spreads far and wide over six Kos. Underneath it Maitreya, the best of men, will attain enlightenment- there can be no doubt on that. And he will win his enlightenment the very same day that he has gone forth into the homeless life.
'And then, a supreme sage, he will with a perfect voice preach the true Dharma, which is auspicious and removes all ill, i.e. the fact of ill, the origination of ill, the transcending of ill, and the holy eightfold path which brings security and leads to Nirvana. He will explain the four Truths, because he has seen that generation, in faith, ready for them, and those who have listened to his Dharma will thereupon make progress in the religion. They will be assembled in a park full of beautiful flowers, and his assembly will extend over a hundred leagues. Under Maitreya's guidance, hundreds of thousands of living beings shall enter upon a religious life.
'And thereupon Maitreya, the compassionate teacher, surveys those who have gathered around him, and speaks to them as follows: "Shakyamuni has seen all of you, he, the best of sages, the saviour, the world's true protector, the repository of the true Dharma. It was he who has set you on the path to deliverance, but before you could finally win it you have had to wait for my teaching. It is because you have worshipped Shakyamuni with parasols, banners, flags, perfumes, garlands, and unguents that you have arrived here to hear my teaching. It is because you have offered to the shrines of Shakyamuni unguents of sandalwood, or powdered saffron, that you have -arrived here to hear my teaching. It is because you have always gone for refuge to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Samgha, that you have arrived here to hear my teaching. It is because, in Shakyamuni's dispensation, you have undertaken to observe the moral precepts, and have actually done so, that you have arrived here to hear my teaching. It is because you have given gifts to the monks-robes, drink, food, and many kinds of medicines-that you have arrived here to hear my teaching. It is because you have always observed the sabbath days that you have arrived here to hear my teaching.". . .
'For 60,000 years Maitreya, the best of men, will preach the true Dharma, which is compassionate towards all living beings. And when he has disciplined in his true Dharma hundreds and hundreds of millions of living beings, then that leader will at last enter Nirvana. And after the great sage has entered Nirvana, his true Dharma still endures for another ten thousand years.
'Raise therefore your thoughts in faith to Shakyamuni, the Conqueror! For then you shall see Maitreya, the perfect Buddha, the best of men! Whose soul could be so dark that it would not be lit up with a serene faith when he hears these wonderful things, so potent of future good! Those therefore who long for spiritual greatness, let then, show respect to the true Dharma, let them be mindful of the religion of the Buddhas!'
2. From Shambhala by Nicholas Roerich, 1930;
Editor: A question is asked of the lama relating this story. The student wants to know if Rigden-jyepo is Maitreya. The lama answers, "We must not pronounce this mystery. There is much which may not be revealed. There is much which may not be crystallized into sound. ..." He continues later on revealing more of Rigden-jyepo:
"Even Rigden-jyepo himself appears at times in human body. Suddenly he shows himself in holy places, in monasteries, and at a time predestined, pronounces his prophecies.
"By night or at early morning before sunrise, the Ruler of the World arrives in the Temple. He enters. All the lamps at once kindle themselves. Some already recognize the Great Stranger. In deep reverence the lamas gather. They listen with the greatest attention to the prophecies of the future.
"A great epoch approaches. The Ruler of the World is ready to fight. Many things are manifested. The cosmic fire is again approaching the new era. But many cataclysms will occur before the new era of prosperity. Again humanity will be tested, to see if the spirit has progressed sufficiently. The subterranean fire now seeks to find contact with the fiery element of the Akasa; if all good forces do not combine their power, the greatest cataclysms are inevitable. ..." p. 11
Editor: The Ruler of the World is most likely Gautama Buddha also know as The Lord of the World. The subterranean fire is probably the fire in our hearts or lack of it combined with the fiery element of Akasha or the etheric realm, i.e. those of the great Saints and Yogis who have broken the chains of time and space and ascended back to God.
3. Nicholas Roerich Russian Orientalist and painter.On a five-year expedition to the East, Roerich recorded the following predictions of Tibetan Lamas.
"First will begin an unprecedented war of all nations. Afterward, brother shall rise against brother. Oceans of blood shall flow. They shall forget the meaning of the word Teacher. But then shall the Teachers appear and in all corners of the world shall be heard the true teaching. To this word of truth shall the people be drawn, but those who are filled with darkness and ignorance shall set obstacles. As a diamond, glows the light on the tower of the Lord of Shambhala.One stone in his ring is worth more than all the world's treasures. Even those who by accident help the Teachings of Shambhala will receive in return a hundredfold. Already many warriors of the teaching or truth are reincarnated. Only a few years shall elapse before everyone shall hear the mighty steps of the Lord of the New Era. And one can already perceive unusual manifestations and encounter unusual people. Already they open the gates of knowledge and ripened fruits are falling from the trees. The banner of Shambhala shall encircle the central lands of the Blessed One. Those who accept him shall rejoice. And those who deny him shall tremble. The denier shall be given over to justice and shall be forgotten. And the warriors shall march under the banner of Maitreya."
4. From E. Zurcher; 'Prince Moonlight': Messianism and Exchatology in Early Medieval Chinese Buddhism, pp: 14, 39, 40. Information comes from sixth century texts:
Then the cosmic conflagration takes place: the whole world is burnt down by an Asura-king holding seven suns in his hands. Even the mountains melt and disappear; the earth has become a scorched plain. At the moment, Maitreya descends, seated in a splendid shrine that floats down from the Tushita heaven. ...
When Maitreya descends, the demon-kings with their armies will try to resist him, and they are defeated by a host of myriads of bodhisattvas, riding on supernatural elephantrs and lions, and armed to the teeth. ...
'the father willnot know his son, nor will the mother know her daughter.' The crowds of sinners and of the pious ones weem to be herded into two seperate groups; ... when Maitreya descends he will collect those who are destined to be saved 'east of the bridge,' and the sinners 'west of the bridge.' The chosen people constitute a small minority. ... Their salvation is the fruit of their religious piety, which [includes]: the confession of the Triple Refuge [the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha); the Five Rules to be observed by laymen [prohibiting killing, stealing, adultery, lying and intoxication); fasting, the practice of 'visualization', and reciting the Guanshiyin Scripture [the Kuan Yin Scripture).
In addition to these formal precepts and techniques, the practicants are constantly told to devote themselves whole-heartedly to religious works to repent, and to abstain from desire and evil intentions. They are ordered to 'change their hearts and change their thoughts,' to 'changetheir former ways and cultivate themselves for the future'; for soon a Lord of Darkness ... will come, and only those whoexert themselves to the utmost can be savved.
4. El Morya from Agni Yoga Society:
They will ask, "Can the time of Maitreya create a New Era?" Answer, "If the Crusades brought a new age, then truly the Era of Maitreya is a thousandfold more significant." In such consciousness should one proceed. Agni Yoga (1929) p.7.
Understand once again that the time of changes of continents is approaching. Maitreya is coming, in the vanguard of science, addressing its new frontiers. All the problems of science and of the evolution of all that exists are of concern to the Teacher. Agni Yoga (1929) - 344.
You are correct in speaking of humanity's lack of insight. When we approach the ominous hour, all forces must be strained for the mighty step. It has already been told that the Epoch of Maitreya is approaching, and the signs are strewn as fiery seeds; hence, the ominous hour will be one of Light for those who are in step with the Cosmic Magnet. Hence, the ominous hour will be as a future Light for those who battle for the significance of the Epoch of Maitreya. Hence, cooperation with Us brings the predestined victory. Therefore, the co-workers who walk in self-denial will be victors. Proceeding in step with the Cosmic Magnet, you affirm victory! Yes, yes, yes! Infinity - Book 2 (1930) - 55.
Maitreya wishes to hasten all. Maitreya wishes that all should be successfully accomplished. Maitreya wishes you joy. Maitreya wishes to grant to humanity a gift through the fiery experience of Agni Yoga. Maitreya wishes to transform life on Earth in the radiance of the Mother of the World. Yes, yes, yes! The beauty of life is limitless! Hierarchy (1931) - 8.
Each Lord has his keynote. The Epoch of Maitreya proclaims woman. The manifestation of Maitreya is linked with the confirmation of the Mother of the World, in the past, present, and future. The "Book of Life" is so beautiful. Hierarchy (1931) - 13.
From the Editor: "The Legend of the Great Stupa," Dharma Publishing. Reportedly by Padma Sambhava (bringer of Buddhism to Tibet) transmitted to his disciples. The Great Stupa is a symbol of Buddhahood and has the inner geometry of the mysteries of the Buddha. Many regard the end of an age, the Kaliyuga, to be now. I get the feeling that Padma Sambhava is not just talking about Tibet. It's possible we are already in this phase and know it not.
1. Excerpts from "The Legend of the Great Stupa,"
"As the Kaliyuga progresses towards the final conflagration, life expectancy of man decreases and the weight of darkness becomes more intense, but these remain restraints on the downward path when the Voice of Buddha is heard and the Path of Dharma followed. Towards the end of the era, when the duration of man's life span has been reduced from sixty to fifty years and there has been no respite in man's increasing egoism, these conditions will prevail, portending the ruin to the Great Stupa: householders fill the monasteries and there is fighting before the altar; the temples are used as slaughterhouses. The ascetics of the caves return to the cultivated valleys and the Yogins become traders; thieves own the wealth and cattle; monks become householders while priests and spiritual leaders turn to robbery, brigandage and thievery. Disorder becomes chaos, turning to panic which rages like wildfire. Corrupt and selfish men become leaders ... the images of the Buddhas, the sacred icons, the scroll paintings and the stupas will be desecrated, stolen and bartered at the market price. ...
"When religious duties are forgotten, spirits of darkness, which had been controlled by ritual power, become unloosed and frenzied and govern the mind of whatever being they possess. Spirits of vindictive power possess monks; ... enchanting spirits causing disease possess men; grasping, quarreling spirits possess women; spirits of wantonness possess maidens; spirits of depravity possess nuns; spirits of rebellion and malice possess children; every man, woman and child in the country becomes possessed by uncontrollable forces of darkness. The signs of these times are new and fantastical modes of dressing-traditional styles forgotten; the monks wear fancy robes and the nuns dress up before a mirror. ...
"The Abbot and Master poison their pupil's minds and hearts; ... men become lewd and licentious; women become unchaste; monks ignore their discipline and moral code; ...
"Drunkards preach the Path to Salvation; the advice of sycophants is followed; fraudulent teachers give false initiations; guileful imposters claim pyschic powers; loquacity and eloquence pass as wisdom. The arrogant elevate profanity; ...
"... the guidance of the Secret Guru execrated, the precepts of the Buddha ignored and the advice of Yogis and Sages unsought. ...
"The celestial order, disrupted, loosens plague, famine and war to terrorize terrestial life. The planets run wild, and the stars fall out of their constellations, great burning stars arise bringing unprecedented disaster. No rain falls in season, but out of season; the valleys are flooded. Famine, frost and hail govern many unproductive years."
It gets worse. Because man has lost contact with his true self, rather than seeing these things as karma and signs of falling of the Spiritual Path, the blame goes elsewhere. We sue everybody and don't take accountability. We blame another country for this or that. We blame fluorocarbons, aerosol cans, cars, whatever, when the greatest, most damaging pollution are the thoughts and words that come out of our own heads.
Guru Rinpoche's (Padma Sambhava) disciples were floored when they heard the dire predictions of the future, but he did leave them with one piece of heartening prophecy. The karma that is loosed to slow down man's evil doings eventually disgusts him and awakens him, so that " in his actions and governed by sympathy and compassion towards the sufferers, he will dedicate himself to the restoration of the Great Stupa. He will aspire to the highest human achievement and fulfill his wish to rebuild perfection."
He goes on to describe the reincarnation of a great lama, Pema Khungsten, to restore Buddhism, but if the work is postponed then a great war breaks out and Tibet is over run by Chinese hordes. But then if certain numbers of Yogins, adepts and Boddhisatvas both in embodiment and out, continue to hold the precepts, do the spiritual work, the mantras, etc., then there will be a victory over the forces of darkness.
2. Padmasambhava's Oral Instructions to Lady Tsogyal, from "Dakini Teachings", Shambhala Press.
Editor: Dakini Teachings date from the 9th century and are also know as "treasure teachings" or terma; Teachings that will be revealed for future generations. Padma Sambhava even described what lamas would reembody and when they would reveal the secret code called "dakini script." Why was there need for a secret code? Because there are forces working behind the scenes and ostensibly for the good of man who decide to change original teachings. Either they want to drag man down or want to legitimize their role and brand of false teachings. They also have been able to hide themselves through the editing of the Bible and taking out reincarnation.
This is a series of questions, answers and advice from Guru Rinpoche a.k.a. Padma Sambhava to his chief disciple, the dakini Yeshe Tsogyal, a princess, highly regarded in Buddhist history. I recommend the book. In nearly every discourse, Guru Rinpoche mentions that these teachings are for future generations. They were hidden in two places in Tibet and are to be revealed in the future by persons called "tertons."
"Master Padma said: In the future, when the dark age of degeneration arrives, some people who claim to be practitioners will desire to teach others without having received permission. Without having practised themselves they will instruct others in meditation. Without being liberated themselves they will pretend to give instructions for liberation. Without being devoid of self-interest they will instruct others to cast away their fetters of attachment and be generous. Without the slightest understanding of the good or evil of their own actions they will spout clairvoyant statements about good or evil fare of others. Having no stability themselves they will claim to be benefiting other beings. I think there will be many who will pretend, be hypocritical, cheat, and deceive in the name off the Dharma.
"All people of future generations who wish to practise the Dharma, read this written testament of the mendicant Padmakara and examine yourself! ..." p.150
Other Buddhist Prophecies
From the Editor: Just before he passed in 1933, the thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thupten Gyatso, saw the dangers facing Tibet. He was concerned for the future of the sangha and the dharma as he penned what is known as "The Prophecies of the Great Thirteenth." I regard this as a warning for the future as well. The takeover of Tibet was not about "reclaiming old territory" by the Chinese. It's about the battle of anti-Buddha and anti-Christ and against the Light of the Buddha and the Christ, in you, in me, in Tibet, India, Taiwan, etc., and the ultimate prize for the forces of darkness: America. The thirteenth Dalai Lama saw the evil arrayed against Tibet. He knew pacifism would not suffice. This was given long before the communists gained control of China. Here are some excerpts:
1. "The Prophecies of the Great Thirteenth."
"I am now almost fifty-eight years old, soon it will be impossible for me to serve you any longer. Everyone should realize this fact, and begin to look to what you will do in the future when I am gone...
"Our two most powerful neighbors are India and China, both of whom have very powerful armies. Therefore we must try to establish amicable relations with both of them.
"There are also a number of smaller countries near our borders [who] maintain an efficient army of young and well-trained soldiers, and are able to establish the security of the country. In the present age the five great degenerations seem to totally dominate life on earth, to the extent that fighting and conflict have become part of the very fabric of human society.
"If we do not make preparations to defend ourselves from the overflow of violence, we will have very little chance of survival. In particular, we must guard ourselves against the barbaric Red Communists, who carry terror and destruction with them wherever they go. They are the worst of the worst. Already they have consumed much of Mongolia, where they have outlawed the search for the reincarnation of Jetsun Dampa, the incarnate head of the country.
"They have robbed and destroyed the monasteries, forcing the monks to join their armies or else killing them outright. They have destroyed religion wherever they've encountered it, and not even the name of Buddhadharma is allowed to remain in their wake ... It will not be long before we find the Red onslaught at our own front door. It is only a matter of time before we come into a direct confrontation with it, either from within our own ranks or else as a threat from an external (Communist) nation. And when that happens we must be ready to defend ourselves. Otherwise our spiritual and cultural traditions will be completely eradicated. Even the names of the Dalai and Panchen Lamas will be erased, as will those of their lamas, lineage holders and holy beings.
"The monasteries will be looted and destroyed, and the monks and nuns killed or chased away. The great works of the noble Dharma kings of old will be undone, and all of our cultural and spiritual institutions persecuted, destroyed and forgotten. The birthrights and property of the people will be stolen. We will become like slaves to our conquerors, and will be made to wander helplessly like beggars. Everyone will be forced to live in misery, and the days and nights will pass slowly, and with great suffering and terror.
"Therefore, now, when the strength of peace and happiness is with us, while the power to do something about the situation is still in our hands, we should make every effort to safeguard against this impending disaster. Use peaceful methods where they are appropriate; but where they are not appropriate, do not hesitate to resort to more forceful means.
"Work diligently now, while there is time. Then there will be no regrets. ... One person alone cannot ward off the threat that faces us; but together we can win out in the end. Avoid rivalry and petty self-interests, and look instead to what is essential. We must strive together with positive motivation for the general welfare of all, while living in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha.
"If we do this, then there is not doubt that we will abide within the blessings of the national protective divinity Nechung, who was appointed by the Acharya (Padma Sambhava) to assist the line of Dalai Lamas in the task of caring for Tibet. ... Think carefully about what I have said, for the future is in your hands. It is extremely important to overcome what needs to be overcome, and to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. Do not confuse the two."
From The Way to Shambhala by Edwin Berbaum
...I told him [a lama) the story of Lost Horizon. After I had finished, he smiled and said, "Well, the old Tibetan books speak of a place like that--a land of great Kings and lamas called Shambhala. They say that the way there is long and difficult and that you can only go if you are an accomplished yogi."
While many Westerners have regarded Tibet as the mysterious hidden sanctuary, Tibetans themselves have looked elsewhere for such a place. Their sacred texts point to Shambhala, a mystical kingdom hidden behind snow peaks somewhere north of Tibet. There a line of enlightened kings is supposed to be guarding the most secret teachings of Buddhism for a time when all truth in the world outside is lost in war and the lust for power and wealth. Then, according to prophecy, a future King of Shambhala will come out with a great army to destroy the forces of evil and bring in a golden age. Under his enlightened rule, the world will become, at last, a place of peace and plenty, filled with the riches of wisdom and compassion. ... p.4
. Ancient Manuscript from Lhasa: from Future Verse: "The text below was found on the net supposedly taken from a French book which contained a translation of a manuscript approx. 4000 years old, found in the Buddhist temple of Lhasa, in Tibet...."
"When the star of Baal dropped to the right where there is nothing more than sky and sea, the seven cities trembled and worried with its gold towers and transparent (glasses?) temples, as the leaves of trees do during a storm. A torrent of fire fall over the palace. Cries from dying persons and moans in the crowd filled the airs. The people went to find a hiding place in the temples and in the castles. So the wise Mu, great priest of Ra-Mu stands up and says:
- Didn't I predict all this to come?
Men and women, dressed with their precious clothes, covered with precious stones, begged:
- Mu, save us! Mu answers:- You will die, with your slaves and your treasures. From your ashes new peoples will come. If these peoples forget they should dominate the material things not only to progress, but also not to be diminished, the same fate will surprise them. The flames and the fog choked the words of the wiseman. The country and its inhabitants were smashed and swallowed in the abysms (of the oceans)."
4. From: The People's Almanac #3 by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace
"The prophecy of Shambhala states that each of its kings will rule for 100 years. There will be 32 in all, and as their reigns pass, conditions in the outside world will deteriorate. Men will become more warlike and pursue power for its own sake, and an ideology of materialism will spread over the earth. When the "barbarians" who follow this ideology are united under an evil king and think there is nothing left to conquer, the mists will lift to reveal the icy mountains of Shambhala. The barbarians will attack Shambhala with a huge army equipped with terrible weapons. Then the 32nd king of Shambhala, Rudra Cakrin, will lead a mighty host against the invaders. In a last great battle, the evil king and his followers will be destroyed."
From the editor: Oracles are used to divine the incarnations of lamas and to tell the future. An Oracle can easily tap into the pyschic world and spiritualism instead of true inspiration from God. So their prophecies should be accepted guardedly. On the other hand, the more spiritual the culture, the greater the chance for true divination. Many Oracles have come from Nechung. Here is an excerpt from a very good term paper from Colgate Univ., on the history of Nechung Oracles. To go to the source, go here: Faith and the Nechung Oracle.
"The historical home of the State Oracle of Tibet was Nechung Monastery. Before the Tibetan diaspora in 1959, Nechung was located four miles west of Lhasa and had since the time of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama supported 115 monks. Nechung, however, was one of the approximately 6000 monasteries destroyed when the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1949. The Tibetan people have begun to partially rebuild the monastery in Chinese occupied Tibet, and fortunately,
"Of the approximately 70,000 Tibetans who successfully followed the Dalai Lama into exile in 1959 and 1960, an estimated 5,000-7,000 were monks, a tiny fraction of the monastic population of Tibet. But a disproportionate number of the monks who escaped (and remained monks in exile) were from the ranks of incarnate lamas and the scholarly elite, and they worked to reestablish their monastic institutions (of all sects) in exile." (Lopez, 1999 p151)
Six monks from Nechung Monastery survived its razing in the Chinese Cultural Revolution and preserved the monastery’s complex rituals and traditions (www.tibet.com/Buddhism/nechung_his.html). Nechung was rebuilt in Dharamsala, India and currently is home to about seventy monks including the present Medium of the State Oracle, Venerable Thupten Ngodup.
Nechung’s Oracle, or Kuten as he is called in Tibetan, has traditionally been one of the main advisors to the Dalai Lama and is also consulted during the search for his reincarnation. Upon the death of the Dalai Lama, the State Oracle is immediately consulted about where the Dalai Lama is going to reincarnate. He gives the search party their first indication of where to begin looking. Harrer says,
"Some time before his death, in 1933, the thirteenth Dalai Lama had given intimations regarding the manner of his rebirth. After his death, the body sat in state at the Potala in traditional Buddha posture, looking toward the south. One morning, it was noticed that his head was turned toward the east. The State Oracle was straightaway consulted, and while in his trance the monk threw a white scarf in the direction of the rising sun." (Harrer, 1953 p298)
In addition to participating in the search for the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and welcoming him to his capital, the Nechung Kuten is also often consulted by the Dalai Lama about important matters such as whether the Chinese were going to invade and whether he should then leave Tibet.
"As early as 1945,four years before the end of China’s civil war and with it the inevitable renewal of aggression against Tibet by the victor, the State Oracle had faced eastward in a trance, wildly shaking his head in warning. In 1947, he had prophesied that in the Year of the Iron Tiger—1950—Tibet would face "great difficulty." (Avedon, 1997 p25)
And as the Dalai Lama said,
"Nechung was asked a question about China. Rather than answering it directly, the Kuten turned towards the East and began bending forward violently. It was frightening to watch, knowing that this movement combined with the weight of the massive helmet he wore on his head would be enough to snap his neck. He did it at least fifteen times, leaving no one in any doubt about where the danger lay."