Thursday, December 30, 2010

Heard It On the Grapevine

"And I say, 'Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.' And he says, 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.' So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."

We already know... the sight of this tulku gossiping with a large marmot is fifty-fifty for a put up job, but it has already gone viral in Buddhist circles. By the time you read this, numerous eyewitnesses will have published their accounts of who, what, where, when, and why. There will be a folksong, a Facebook page, a fight club on Twitter, and a movie deal.

Looks like East Tibet in the background of this photo and if it is, that marmot is taking a chance. The genus of ground squirrels -- be they marmots, gophers, or what have you -- are not well liked in the region. The Tibetan ponies break their ankles in the burrow holes, throwing the riders, who break their necks.

Still, it will be nice if we discover the photograph is legitimate. Maybe then, we'll be able to fill in the blanks on the conversation.

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4 reader comments:

Don Croner said...

I am willing to bet dimes to donuts that the animal in the photo is a marmot, not a gopher. Gophers are endemic to North America.

Editor said...

Well, right you are. Upon examination, it appears this guy is a Marmota himalayanus (Himalayan Marmot) -- although he really doesn't look like one -- rather than a Marmota monax (Groundhog). Truth be told, he looks more like a Marmota flaviventris, but they live in Canada.

Thank you, Don. You obviously are a man who knows his marmots.

Anonymous said...

and the question... is this Adzom Rinpoche?

Anonymous said...

By the way, at least in Kham, the Chinese government would like to eliminate these creatures. But, the local people - the nomads and their horses - resist this activity, saying the marmots are also sentient beings and it is bad to kill them.

Yes, they do make a lot of holes. Makes it a real adventure to drive across fields and even on the dirt roads. And, yes they do got into things, I found one in my bed one night at Junyong Gompa.

But, the people I met in Kham welcome them as fellow inhabitants of the area.