Re: passage re: who adepts are
Sep 28, 1995 02:42 AM
by K. Paul Johnson
According to Brenda S. Tucker:
> Wasn't this story written about in the last section of your book IN SEARCH
> OF THE MASTERS and isn't it some unfortunate mistake with a small pox
> vaccine that kills the Panchen Lama and then the Sengchen Tulku is executed
> for allowing foreigners to enter the country and initiate trade? In the
> meantime though important literary works did leave the country
> with the traders.
> Do you write the story again in THE MASTERS REVEALED?
Actually I discovered this info well after ISM and just in time
to include in TMR. Congratulations for making a connection
that I did not. It's true that Das and Gyatso imported vaccine
on their second voyage at the request of the Sengchen Tulku,
who was fascinated by Western science and technology. (He also
asked for science books in Hindi, a magic lantern, and so on.)
Also true that the Panchen died of smallpox. None of my
sources indicate that this was the result of misguided use of
the vaccine by the Sengchen, and I never thought of that. But
your intuition may well be right-- makes a lot of sense in
light of how horribly he was later executed.
The reasons alleged for his being beaten in the public square
and then thrown into the Tsangpo to drown, was that word got
out after Das and Gyatso returned to India that they had really
been spies and not just spiritual seekers. For his hospitality
to them, which included giving them 200+ Buddhist manuscripts
to take back to India, he paid with his life.
Some evidence cited in TMR suggests that Das, Gyatso and the
Sengchen were feeding information to HPB for use in her
writings. Most strikingly, her references to the Chohan Lama
of the Tashilhunpo library corresponding with her. The
Sengchen was the lama in charge of said library.
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