Monthly Archive for June, 2017

The Divine Madman: “My friend …”

(excerpted from “The Divine Madman: The Sublime Life and Songs of Drukpa Kunley “, translated by Geshey Chapu, Sonam Paljor & Keith Dowman).Drukpa Kunley - My friend with a good voice.One day Drukpa Kunley visited the monastery of Drepung. Sitting with the monks he thought he should play a joke on the Moral Guard.

‘I would like to become a novice,’ he told them.
‘Where do you come from?’ he was asked.
‘I am a Drukpa,’ he said.
‘Do the Drukpas have good voices?’
‘I don’t have such a good voice,’ he told them innocently, but I have a friend who is an excellent chanter.’
‘Bring your friend with you tomorrow,’ they told him. The next day when the monks had assembled, the Lama brought a donkey by the ear, covered him with a red robe and sat him down at the end of the line of monks.
‘What is this!’ exclaimed the Moral Guard in wrath.
‘This is my friend with the good voice,’ Kunley told them, kicking the donkey to make it bray. The Guard chased him away with sticks, with the Lama shouting over his shoulder to them, ‘You people care more about chanting than meditation!’
While returning to Lhasa, two monks from the assembly caught up with him and asked him where he was bound.
‘Drukpa Kunley has no home and no destination,’ he replied. ‘I have no place at Drepung and no place in hell.’
‘What crime did you commit that hell wasn’t deep enough for you?’ they asked, laughing.
‘In this human world,’ said the Lama, ‘I did whatever came into my mind, but I came into conflict with other men’s desires, so I thought that I should spend a couple of days in hell. But the road was blocked by monks from Sera Monastery.’ Then I returned and decided to become a monk at Drepung, but the monastery was filled with Jealousy, Lust, and Anger, and I could find no place.’ And so saying, he returned to Lhasa.


Amar Chitra Katha.

Sita in the Amar Chitra Kath.
The Trailer of Amar Chitra Katha’s Saraswati graphic novel.

Amar Chitra Katha (“Immortal Captivating (or Picture) Stories“) is one of India’s largest selling comic book series, with more than 90 million copies sold in 20 Indian languages. Founded in 1967, the imprint has more than 400 titles that retell stories from the great Indian epics, mythology, history, folklore, and fables in a comic book format. It was created by Anant Pai, and published by India Book House. In 2007, the imprint and all its titles were acquired by a new venture called ACK Media. On 17 September 2008, a new website by ACK-media was launched. [Wikipedia].

A list of titles in the Indian Amar Chitra Katha comic book series shows how “Uncle Pai” began with traditional [mostly] classic Hindu mythology & how over the years the franchise has metamorphosed into a broader scope. [Wikipedia].

I learnt much of my knowledge of Hindu mythology from Amar Chitra Kath. And I’m not the only one.

A Tribute to Uncle Pai. Family, friends, colleagues & children.

I collected, read, absorbed, titles ranging from the Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, Shiva, Nehru, Jataka tales, many more. Subliminal education. When my children started to read I gave them ACK titles. They gave some of these to their children. All loved the books. Now I have none left. Last week I posted the DVD of Gatochkata to my grandson Dylan, My daughter says he loves it.

Thank you Uncle Pai.

Amar Chitra Kath.


Arthur Mandelbaum – A Life in Buddhism.

Terris Temple ( ) recorded Arthur Mandelbaum (2016) in Thailand. This is a moving account of a lifelong journey into Tibetan Buddhism:

Arthur Mandelbaum - A Life in Buddhism.

A tour de force. Arthur covers his life in Buddhism, from arriving in India (1965), via The Sanskrit University (Varanasi 1965/1968) to his later work in NYC with Geshe Jamspal, translating Tibetan & Sanskrit texts. For thirty years he taught English in the New York public school system. Arthur died in NYC, 2016.

Jay, Turina & Arthur.

Arthur wrote: I believe that was ’66. I was taking the Sanskrit Pramana Patriya course of studies and the Tibetan Diploma with Lama Jamspal. Where did that suit come from though?




Tagore Tuesday – Josie reciting Gitanjali.


Josie Large first recites from Tagore’s Gitanjali & then a poem of her own, summarising our afternoon & evening. I could not stop giggling was sooo good.