By Tenzin Choephel
Zodpa Namgyal pulling his metal cart on Chabahil Road, Kathmandu
Kathmandu, April 9 - "I came prostrating from Amchok Tsenyi Gonpa in Amdo and I am going to Dharamsala, my mission is to seek an audience with our leader of Tibet and an apostle of World peace, Gyalwa Tenzin Gyatso, I am prostrating for His long life, for World peace, for long life of all righteous people of Tibet and for the well being of all sentient beings"
Zodpa Namgyal, a lanky 33 years old monk from Amchok Tsenyi Monastery in Ngaba, Amdo, Tibet arrived here at Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu prostrating all the way from his monastery by himself without any fellow companion, it took him over two years and two months and he would continue his prostration to Dharamsala that might take another year. Since ages, there is a tradition in Tibet that religious people prostrate to holy places by measuring their body length that could take years and this tradition is still carried on today.
Zodpa Namgyla started his prostration from his monastery on 3rd February 2005, he was supported by his mother to carry his metal cart, initially when he started his mission, it was difficult for his body, he said after prostrating about 100 times, he gets pain in his stomach and have to rest and then start again, this went on for couple of days but after about one month, his body got
Prostrating on Chabahil Road, Kathmandu
used to prostration and then he did not feel any pain and he was healthy, unluckily his 63 years old mother was ill after about two months and could not continue and sadly they have to depart, his mother went back home and he continued his journey alone. He continued his prostration journey and reached Chamdo where he took rest for about one month and again continued to Lhasa where he prostrated to important monasteries of Tibet like Gaden Monastery. He continued his journey towards Nepal, in Tibet people know about his prostration and many offered help, he remembers that once on the way his cart was blown away by wind downhill and he could not pull it back, he was wondering what to do, luckily, a jeep full of pilgrims from Amdo arrived and help him pull back his cart, he thinks its all due to blessing of God and that way he safely reached Nepal-Tibet border Dram (Zhangmu), Chinese Police did not allow his prostration on the Friendship Bridge at Nepal Tibet border but after the bridge in Nepal he continued his prostration. While in Nepal many Buddhist people who knew what he was doing were helpful but some locals who dont understand what he was doing were curious and two men even threatened him and took away 200 rupees. However, he does not carry much money with him and try to manage his food by seeking alms on the way.
He has a metal cart in which he carries his food supplies like tsampa and bedding and a small tent in which he sleeps at night, he starts his prostration everyday at about 7 AM in the morning and continues until about 7 PM in the evening, that way he prostrates about 12 hours a day and covers a distance of about 5-6 kilometers, he pulls his cart for about 50 meters, come back and start prostrating to the cart, then pull the cart again for about 50 meters, come back at where he stopped prostrating and then continue prostrating again and that way he has prostrated over two years from Amdo, Tibet and reached Kathmandu, Nepal. When asked about his mission, he said, I came prostrating from Amchok Tsenyi Gonpa in Amdo
Prostrating around Boudanath Stupa, Kathmandu
and I am going to Dharamsala, my mission is to seek an audience our leader of Tibet and an apostle of World peace, Gyalwa Tenzin Gyatso, I am prostrating for His long life, for World peace, for long life of all righteous people of Tibet and for the well being of all sentient beings. He would be prostrating straight to Dharamsala in India and would not visit other holy places as his most important goal is to seek an audience with his Holiness the Dalai Lama and then return to his monastery in Ngaba, Amdo and meet his mother.
Amchok Tsenyi Monastery is situated about 40 kilometers from Ngaba County Town of Ngaba Prefecture, Sichuan Province, Amdo Region, Tibet, there are about 1000 monks and the head of the monastery are Amchok Rinpoche and Gungthang Rinpoche.
If there were a Guinness Book of World Record for prostrating, then this lanky monk might a very good candidate, there were also two other Tibetans who prostrated all the way from Tibet to India before, as far as we know.