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Full text of "A hermit in the Himalayas"

A   HERMIT   IN   THE   HIMALAYAS

country, they should mix some common sense and wise discrimina-
tion with their rules forbidding the entry of foreigners. On the
contrary, if they can get foreigners of the best type and finest
character or with expert abilities and technical knowledge to enter
their frozen and unattractive land, whose valleys alone are higher
than the highest of Switzerland's Alps, whose bleak plains are
shelterless and treeless and whose length and breadth are swept
nightly by Arctic gales, the latter should be made welcome and not
driven away. Let the undesirable trouble-makers and the unsym-
pathetic possessors of superiority-complexes and the unscrupulous
exploiters be ruthlessly kept out by all means, but let the country
be opened up to useful Europeans who are sympathetic and sincere
well-wishers.

It is because I fully believe in the basic truths taught by the
Buddha, and am therefore sympathetic to every Buddhist people,
that I always suggest to them the advisability of adapting themselves
voluntarily to modern knowledge and modern ways. Thus they can
save their ancient wisdom and yet progress with the progressive
twentieth century. It is not that I suffer from the vanity of time and
always imagine that the substitution of the twentieth century for the
seventeenth is necessarily the substitution of a higher for a lower
form of civilization; it is because although our use of scientific
inventions is conscienceless, the inventions themselves are not
therefore to be despised.

But alas, today the real followers of Buddha are becoming
almost as rare in their own lands as the real followers of Christ in
Christian lands. That is one reason why the gods are now tearing
down the barriers which divide peoples and races and countries.

The future is foreseeable. In the unified world which shall arise,
in the welded East-West civilization which is corning to birth, the
path will be clear and ready for the message of the universal higher
spiritual awakening that is yet to come. No creed exists but stands
in dire need of a fresh impulse of divine life. And it shall come
because it must come.

A shaven-headed imperturbable Buddhist monk once told me
of an old prophecy which is current in Tibet and known to the
higher lamas and which is curiously appropriate to present con-
ditions. He said that the prediction, made two or three centuries
ago, concerned the Dalai Lama (or Grand Lama), Tibet's King and
Pope combined. It was foretold that the thirteenth Grand Lama
would be the last of his line and that some time after his death
Tibet would be thrown open to the white "barbarians", whose
"materialistic" civilization would thenceforth penetrate the country.
According to the old belief, the next king will be a reincarnation

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