I often wonder whether we ‘create’ the purpose of our life or ‘discover’ it? What can make someone leave their country, possessions, neighborhood, relatives, go to a strange place, and live as refugees so that they can be with their Guru or Lama?
The only answer is: love and devotion. These people inherently know that the essence of phenomena is impermanence which is the root of our suffering. And one way to realize the true nature of reality (or the way out of suffering) is to find someone who has done it and is capable guiding others. That’s where the need of Guru/Lama comes in picture. The compassion and presence of these spiritual teachers fill the hearts of their followers with love and devotion.
The stories of city of Amritsar (lit. pool of nectar of immortality) and Dharamsala (lit. place of refuge for pilgrims) are very similar. Both cities were founded by spiritual teachers and populated by their followers, although at different times.
The city of Amritsar (Punjab, India) was founded by Sikh Guru Ram Das in 1574. It has the Golden Temple which is the most sacred place in Sikh religious tradition. It was built by Sikh Guru Arjan Dev and its foundation stone was laid by his friend, a Muslim Sufi Saint, Mian Mir Sahib in 1588. The city is built on the love of Sikh Gurus and their followers.
McLeodganj, a suburb of city of Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh, India), is at the foot of the evergreen Dhauladhar range filled with stately and beautiful Deodar trees. Blessed with dense forests, Tibetan monasteries and spiritual environment, tranquility is often just a short walk away. In 1960, Indian Government offered refuge to HH Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, where he set up the Government of Tibet in exile and McLeodganj became his official residence. Dharamshala has become home to several Buddhist monasteries and thousands of Tibetan refugees who followed their beloved Lama.
Blessed are the spiritual teachers and their followers who remind us that there is more to life then mundane sensory experience. Even in the most helpless moments of life they are able to love in simple and ultimate way.
“My heart yearns for a sight of the Guru
And it wails like a chatrik (rainbird)
My thirst remains unquenched and I find no peace
without a glimpse of my Beloved Satguru
I am ever a sacrifice unto a blessed vision of my beloved Satguru
Blissful is Thy face and Wisdom-Divine flows from your Holy Lips ”
~ Guru Arjan Dev