ABOUT 1.5 KILOMETRES NORTH OF DEMUL VILLAGE IN SPITI, where I was born, is a very old cave named Khabsa. Over thousands of years, in this very cave, many dedicated men from Demul and other regions of the Himalaya have achieved wisdom and enlightenment through extreme penance.
One wise man among them is Tenzin Lundup, also known as the ‘Yogi of the Himalaya’.
On April 20, 1962, in a Gongma home in the village of Pooh in Kinnaur district, a baby boy named Govind Singh was born. While pregnant, his mother Sonam Chhodon felt a divine presence and had a vivid dream — that an enlightened being is going to be born to her. So, when the baby arrived, the family visited the local Guru in the area and asked about what’s in store for his future.
The Guru stated that in his previous birth, Govind Singh was a devoted yogi. He predicted that even in this birth, the boy would renounce his household responsibilities and travel in search of truth and knowledge. The boy’s father, Gelek Pasang (alias Gurdayal Singh), was disappointed to learn this. He wanted his son to follow in his footsteps and become a farmer and businessman.
A few months after he was born, a prominent Ladakhi lama (monk), through his meditative power, realised that the child born in Pooh village, on the full moon day of April, is the reincarnation of a great yogi. He sent a search team of lamas and representatives to the village. However, his father, who did not want his only son to renounce the world and become a lama, told the Ladakhi team that no child had been born in their home!
GOVIND HAD three sisters and a younger brother, and his childhood was full of love and affection. As a young boy, he was compassionate, loved music and felt eager to serve others. He pursued his graduation in Chandigarh and returned to his village with an increased interest in spirituality. He would discuss the teachings of the Buddha with his grandfather, and go to Ta-Lang Temple, to Mani Dung Gyur, for circumambulation. There he would sit among the elderly to enhance his Buddhist learnings.
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