Author Topic: Nechung warns of natural calamity in northwest India this summer  (Read 20888 times)


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Re: Nechung warns of natural calamity in northwest India this summer
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2013, 04:59:30 AM »
Dear All,

I have a question... We know of many mistakes, or inaccuracies, with the predicaments by Nechung who was subdued by the powerful enlightened Guru Rinpoche. Based on this I would like to believe that Nechung is powerful. I have also read that other spirits can also enter the Nechung oracle giving very detrimental results. How is this possible? Is the oracle contaminated? If so, then is it the fault of Nechung or the corrupted oracle that many predictions have gone wrong?

What are your views?

Hi Diamond Girl,

there has been a story that has been going around that it is not Nechung himself but the spirit of a high lama who wants to harm the Dalai Lama impersonating Nechung:

Nechung’s Follies, Nyagtru’s Revenge
Omitted so far from this essay is Bell’s account of a scapegoat for the Nechung oracle’s mistaken actions and advice. First, it is necessary to understand a rather unfortunate political intrigue earlier in the life of the 13th Dalai Lama that has been recounted in various books; the account also has been active orally with older monks and lamas. Although it could be dismissed as superstition, any Tibetan history book of that era would be incomplete without it. Melvin Goldstein’s History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951 (pages 42-43) summarizes this incident, this account being more sympathetic to Demo Rimpoche’s motivation than others:

No sooner had the 13th Dalai Lama become the ruler of Tibet than Demo Rimpoche, the regent of the 13th Dalai Lama’s minority, attempted to regain power by killing him through Buddhist black magic. It appears that after Demo Rimpoche relinquished power to the 13th Dalai Lama, his enemies began to exact revenge on him by harming his supporters and friends. Helpless to protect them, the ex-regent and his brother and manager, Norbu Tsering, became increasingly frustrated and bitter. Norbu Tsering enlisted the help of a lama known as Nyagtru, from Nyarong in Eastern Tibet, who used the deity Shinje Tsheda in his black magic rites and ultimately prepared a particularly powerful mantra which consisted of the figure of a man with outstretched arms and legs. Surrounding this figure were various written mantras, and inside its body the words Thubten Gyatso and chiwa were written: Thubten Gyatso was the personal name of the 13th Dalai Lama, and chiwa was his birth year. This black mantra was put inside the sole of a beautiful pair of new boots which Demo Rinpoche sent as a gift to Sogya, another Khamba lama who had achieved a high level of spiritual development through the diety Shinje Tsheda and whose own spiritual development, it was believed would synergistically increase the power of the black magic and end the Dalai Lama’s life.

But this plot was perhaps successfully foiled by the Nechung Oracle, per Goldstein:
The official version of the incident reports that the state oracle, Nechung, prophesied that the Dalai Lama’s life was in danger and that the boots recently given to a Sogya Lama should be investigated. Sogya was summoned and he confirmed that he had received the boots; he added that the boots were strange, for when he put them on his nose started to bleed. The boots were immediately sent for and taken apart in front of everybody, and the mantra was found in the inner sole. It appears more likely, however, that Sogya Lama discovered the plot and informed the Dalai Lama or his officials and that Nechung then opened the soles and found the black magic mantra.

Goldstein’s account states that as a result Demo Rimpoche, Norbu Tsering, Nyagtru and others were arrested. Demo Rimpoche died while under house arrest, while Nyagtru and Norbu Tsering died later or were perhaps killed. Sir Charles Bell relates the same previous story in brief, but continues where the previous account ends. In particular, he writes that Nyagtru’s death was indeed violent (page 437):

The tulku was arrested, put in prison, and given many severe floggings with the usual leather thongs on his bare skin, so that his flesh hung in strips after each flogging. But he was a Lama of great learning and ability, and he used to meditate on ‘the void.’ So it was noticed that during each flogging, severe though it was, he uttered no exclamation of pain, not even the smallest sound. And what was still more remarkable, by the next day his flesh had entirely healed.

And, per Bell’s account, the monk escapes this situation through suicide. Yet another source states that he died after vivisection at the hands of his captors:

At length, however, angry in this treatment, the Nyarong tulku asked the warder in charge of him for a small knife to cut a lump out of his boot. The warder gave it. When the lama went to pay a call of nature, he used the opportunity to cut his throat. The warder rushed up to seize him, so the lama jumped out of the window of his cell, which was two floors above the ground. The fall killed him.

Although Nyagtru dies here, the import of the story is only beginning. Bell continues:
Passing from this life thus, in anger at the treatment he had received, he reincarnated as a devil, and being of great learning and ability, as a powerful devil. So a high lama of eastern Tibet was engaged to catch the tulku’s mind, put it in the ground, and build a choten over it. This was done; the choten was strongly built, and the necessary articles - religious books and the like were placed inside of it. But a day or two afterwards a great vertical crack was seen in the choten. There had been no earthquake or thunderstorm, and it was clear that the devil was one of great power, and so the mind was able to crack the choten and escape through it.

And this “devil,” according to Bell’s account was responsible for interfering with the Nechung Oracle:
This and other evil counsels were not the true utterances of the Oracle, but were put into the mind of the prophet by this evil. And it was this devil who instigated the prophet to give this deadly medicine.

I first heard of Nyagtru’s tale from an old Shugden lama. Given its superstitious nature, I was naturally skeptical about it. Yet upon seeing this in Bell’s account, written not long after Dalai Lama’s death, it legitimized its historical provenance, whether it is actually true or not. Finally, regarding the so-called devil Nyagtru, Bell states, “This is the only instance which I heard that a tulku had been reborn as a devil.” The implications of this statement are great, namely that if the 13th Dalai Lama considered Dorje Shugden as a demon or devil—as the 14th Dalai Lama suggests he did—then certainly the 13th would have recounted to Bell the allegation of Tulku Dragpa Gyaltsen also having been reborn as a devil.


It sounds odd that someone who has realized emptiness would want to commit misdeeds....but