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Honouring a mummified teacher

india Updated: Sep 06, 2009 00:34 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Giving cards and gifts to teachers on Teachers’ Day is all very well. For a true measure of tribute, check this out.

About 60 km from Dharamsala, there is a monastery called the Khampgar. It was set up in 1950 by the eighth Khamtrul Rimpoche, Dongyu Nyima. Nyima passed away four years ago at the age of 84, but his students decided to keep his memory alive — by mummyfying his body with common salt.

Each day, before starting their day’s work, his disciples routinely pay obeisance to the mummy. They offer him tea and milk. “His mummy inspires us to follow his path”, said Nawang Negi, a senior monk at the monastery.

“For us each day is Teachers’ Day”, added another senior monk.

The body, which is mummified is a sitting posture, has been put into a wooden box recently. Plans are afoot to shift it into an oxygen-free glass box.

The monks at this monastery reworked many texts of the Drukpa sect, an offshoot of the Karma Kagyu sect. They renamed the place where the monastery is located as Tashi Jong after a village in Tibet.