The Biography of Rangjung Neljorma Khadro Namsel Drolma

(Excerpted from an interview with Khadro-la conducted by Ven Roger Kunsang, and featured in Mandala magazine, August 2008)

Ven. Roger Kunsang: “Can you tell me why you left Tibet?”

Khadro-la: “I didn’t have the intention, and I didn’t have the money to travel. I followed a sign that came in my dreams. There was a bus blowing its horn indicating its departure, and until I got on the bus I was unaware of where I was heading. I learnt from the other people on that bus that they were going to Lhasa and thence to Shigatse. A couple of days into the journey I learnt that they were also planning to go to Mount Kailash.”

Rangjung Neljorma Khadro Namsel Drolma, @ Ven Tenzin Namgyal“One day, while we had stopped our journey at Shigatse, I was circumambulating Tashi Lhunpo Monastery when I came across an elderly man dressed in an Indian cloth doti. This complete stranger gave me 2000 gormo. He asked me to sit beside him, and begun to tell me many unusual stories. He told me that India was just beyond this mountain, and that I should be meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and many other lamas. He kept urging me to head for India – and at the time it didn’t feel at all strange, although when I recall it now it seems amazing to me.”

“There was much hardship. I had no mission of my own and was just following the pilgrims. I don’t remember very clearly how long the journey was, but I did fifteen koras round Mount Kailash and due to my unusual actions and the words that I was speaking, rumors were going around that I was a dakini. People began to line up to see me, even seeking blessings from me. It was very tiring for me to deal with the crowds, but a very kind monk from a nearby monastery took good care of me with food and drink. He even organized a better system for the people who came to see me for blessings, etc. Many of those people expressed their wish to go to India with me. One night, quite suddenly and without any discussion, I made up my mind to leave for India and so a man who was our guide led seventeen of us from the bus along the trail that leads to the border.”

“He wasn’t very experienced and it took seventeen days to reach Kathmandu in Nepal. It should have taken only seven days. We were in no man’s land, and as there were no real paths or people to ask, it was impossible to tell whether we were even out of Tibet. We had to just follow the signs I got in my dreams. When we were confused about the way, I was instructed to go in the direction where there appeared a circle of light. Maybe this was the blessing of the Dalai Lama or Palden Lhamo. Sometimes we had to walk all day without any food or drink, and sometimes we had to walk all through the night. We were not prepared for such a long journey.”