This page contains affiliate links. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.
Language:
Form:
Genre:
Published:
Collection:
Tags:
Buy it on Amazon Listen via Audible FREE Audible 30 days

ceremonies one thousand six hundred years ago; as well as an ancient stone statue of Buddha brought from Delhi by the founder of the Yellow Faith, Paspa.”

The Bogdo clapped his hands and one of the secretaries took from a red kerchief a big silver key with which he unlocked the chest with the seals. The Living Buddha slipped his hand into the chest and drew forth a small box of carved ivory, from which he took out and showed to me a large gold ring set with a magnificent ruby carved with the sign of the swastika.

“This ring was always worn on the right hand of the Khans Jenghiz and Kublai,” said the Bogdo.

When the secretary had closed the chest, the Bogdo ordered him to summon his favorite Maramba, whom he directed to read some pages from an ancient book lying on the table. The Lama began to read monotonously.

“When Gushi Khan, the Chief of all the Olets or Kalmucks, finished the war with the ‘Red Caps’ in Tibet, he carried out with him the miraculous ‘black stone’ sent to the Dalai Lama by the ‘King of the World.’ Gushi Khan wanted to create in Western Mongolia the capital of the Yellow Faith; but the Olets at that time were at war with the Manchu Emperors for the throne of China and suffered one defeat after another. The last Khan of the Olets, Amursana, ran away into Russia but before his escape sent to Urga the sacred ‘black stone.’ While it remained in Urga so that the Living Buddha could bless the people with it, disease and misfortune never touched the Mongolians and their cattle. About one hundred years ago, however, some one stole the sacred stone and since then Buddhists have vainly sought it throughout the whole world. With its disappearance the Mongol people began gradually to die.”

“Enough!” ordered Bogdo Gheghen. “Our neighbors hold us in contempt. They forget that we were their sovereigns but we preserve our holy traditions and we know that the day of triumph of the Mongolian tribes and the Yellow Faith will come. We have the Protectors of the Faith, the Buriats. They are the truest guardians of the bequests of Jenghiz Khan.”

So spoke the Living Buddha and so have spoken the ancient books!

CHAPTER XLII

THE BOOKS OF MIRACLES

Prince Djam Bolon asked a Maramba to show us the library of the Living Buddha. It is a big room occupied by scores of writers who prepare the works dealing with the miracles of all the Living Buddhas, beginning with Undur Gheghen and ending with those of the Gheghens and Hutuktus of the different Mongol monasteries. These books are afterwards distributed through all the Lama Monasteries, temples and schools of Bandi. A Maramba read two selections:

“. . . The beatific Bogdo Gheghen breathed on a mirror. Immediately as through a haze there appeared the picture of a valley in which many thousands of thousands of warriors fought one against another. . . .”

“The wise and favored-of-the-gods Living Buddha burned incense in a brazier and prayed to the Gods to reveal the lot of the Princes. In the blue smoke all saw a dark prison and the pallid, tortured bodies of the dead Princes. . . .”

A special book, already done into thousands of copies, dwelt upon the miracles of the present Living Buddha. Prince Djam Bolon described to me some of the contents of this volume.

“There exists an ancient wooden Buddha with open eyes. He was brought here from India and Bogdo Gheghen placed him on the altar and began to pray. When he returned from the shrine, he ordered the statue of Buddha brought out. All were struck with amazement, for the eyes of the God were shut and tears were falling from them; from the wooden body green sprouts appeared; and the Bogdo said:

“‘Woe and joy are awaiting me. I shall become blind but Mongolia will be free.’

“The prophecy is fulfilled. At another time, on a day when the Living Buddha was very much excited, he ordered a basin of water brought and set before the altar. He called the Lamas and began to pray. Suddenly the altar candles and lamps lighted themselves and the water in the basin became iridescent.”

Afterwards the Prince described to me how the Bogdo Khan tells fortunes with fresh blood, upon whose surface appear words and pictures; with the entrails of sheep and goats, according to whose distribution the Bogdo reads the fate of the Princes and knows their thoughts; with stones and bones from which the Living Buddha with great accuracy reads the lot of all men; and by the stars, in accordance with whose positions the Bogdo prepares amulets against bullets and disease.

“The former Bogdo Khans told fortunes only by the use of the ‘black stone,'” said the Maramba. “On the surface of the stone appeared Tibetan inscriptions which the Bogdo read and thus learned the lot of whole nations.”

When the Maramba spoke of the black stone with the Tibetan legends appearing on it, I at once recalled that it was possible. In southeastern Urianhai, in Ulan Taiga, I came across a place where black slate was decomposing. All the pieces of this slate were covered with a special white lichen, which formed very complicated designs, reminding me of a Venetian lace pattern or whole pages of mysterious runes. When the slate was wet, these designs disappeared; and then, as they were dried, the patterns came out again.

Nobody has the right or dares to ask the Living Buddha to tell his fortune. He predicts only when he feels the inspiration or when a special delegate comes to him bearing a request for it from the Dalai Lama or the Tashi Lama. When the Russian Czar, Alexander I, fell under the influence of Baroness Kzudener and of her extreme mysticism, he despatched a special envoy to the Living Buddha to ask about his destiny. The then Bogdo Khan, quite a young man, told his fortune according to the “black stone” and predicted that the White Czar would finish his life in very painful wanderings unknown to all and everywhere pursued. In Russia today there exists a popular belief that Alexander I spent the last days of his life as a wanderer throughout Russia and Siberia under the pseudonym of Feodor Kusmitch, helping and consoling prisoners, beggars and other suffering people, often pursued and imprisoned by the police and finally dying at Tomsk in Siberia, where even until now they have preserved the house where he spent his last days and have kept his grave sacred, a place of pilgrimages and miracles. The former dynasty of Romanoff was deeply interested in the biography of Feodor Kusmitch and this interest fixed the opinion that Kusmitch was really the Czar Alexander I, who had voluntarily taken upon himself this severe penance.

CHAPTER XLIII

THE BIRTH OF THE LIVING BUDDHA

The Living Buddha does not die. His soul sometimes passes into that of a child born on the day of his death and sometimes transfers itself to another being during the life of the Buddha. This new mortal dwelling of the sacred spirit of the Buddha almost always appears in the yurta of some poor Tibetan or Mongol family. There is a reason of policy for this. If the Buddha appears in the family of a rich prince, it could result in the elevation of a family that would not yield obedience to the clergy (and such has happened in the past), while on the other hand any poor, unknown family that becomes the heritor of the throne of Jenghiz Khan acquires riches and is readily submissive to the Lamas. Only three or four Living Buddhas were of purely Mongolian origin; the remainder were Tibetans.

One of the Councillors of the Living Buddha, Lama-Khan Jassaktu, told me the following:

“In the monasteries at Lhasa and Tashi Lumpo they are kept constantly informed through letters from Urga about the health of the Living Buddha. When his human body becomes old and the Spirit of Buddha strives to extricate itself, special solemn services begin in the Tibetan temples together with the telling of fortunes by astrology. These rites indicate the specially pious Lamas who must discover where the Spirit of the Buddha will be re-incarnated. For this purpose they travel throughout the whole land and observe. Often God himself gives them signs and indications. Sometimes the white wolf appears near the yurta of a poor shepherd or a lamb with two heads is born or a meteor falls from the sky. Some Lamas take fish from the sacred lake Tangri Nor and read on the scales thereof the name of the new Bogdo Khan; others pick out stones whose cracks indicate to them where they must search and whom they must find; while others secrete themselves in narrow mountain ravines to listen to the voices of the spirits of the mountains, pronouncing the name of the new choice of the Gods. When he is found, all the possible information about his family is secretly collected and presented to the Most Learned Tashi Lama, having the name of Erdeni, “The Great Gem of Learning,” who, according to the runes of Rama, verifies the selection. If he is in agreement with it, he sends a secret letter to the Dalai Lama, who holds a special sacrifice in the Temple of the “Spirit of the Mountains” and confirms the election by putting his great seal on this letter of the Tashi Lama.

If the old Living Buddha be still alive, the name of his successor is kept a deep secret; if the Spirit of Buddha has already gone out from the body of Bogdo Khan, a special legation appears from Tibet with the new Living Buddha. The same process accompanies the election of the Gheghen and Hutuktus in all the Lamaite monasteries in Mongolia; but confirmation of the election resides with the Living Buddha and is only announced to Lhasa after the event.

CHAPTER XLIV

A PAGE IN THE HISTORY OF THE PRESENT LIVING BUDDHA

The present Bogdo Khan of Outer Mongolia is a Tibetan. He sprang from a poor family living in the neighborhood of Sakkia Kure in western Tibet. From earliest youth he had a stormy, quite unaesthetic nature. He was fired with the idea of the independence and glorification of Mongolia and the successors of Jenghiz Khan. This gave him at once a great influence among the Lamas, Princes and Khans of Mongolia and also with the Russian Government which always tried to attract him to their side. He did not fear to arraign himself against the Manchu dynasty in China and always had the help of Russia, Tibet, the Buriats and Kirghiz, furnishing him with money, weapons, warriors and diplomatic aid. The Chinese Emperors avoided open war with the Living God, because it might arouse the protests of the Chinese Buddhists. At one time they sent to the Bogdo Khan a skilful doctor-poisoner. The Living Buddha, however, at once understood the meaning of this medical attention and, knowing the power of Asiatic poisons, decided to make a journey through the Mongol monasteries and through Tibet. As his substitute he left a Hubilgan who made friends with the Chinese doctor and inquired from him the purposes and details of his arrival. Very soon the Chinese died from some unknown cause and the Living Buddha returned to his comfortable capital.

On another occasion danger threatened the Living God. It was when Lhasa decided that the Bogdo Khan was carrying out a policy too independent of Tibet. The Dalai Lama began negotiations with several Khans and Princes with the Sain Noion Khan and Jassaktu Khan leading the movement and persuaded them to accelerate the immigration of the Spirit of Buddha into another human form. They came to Urga where the Bogdo Khan met them with honors and rejoicings. A great feast was made for them and the conspirators already felt themselves the accomplishers of the orders of the Dalai Lama. However, at the end of the feast, they had different feelings and died with them during the night. The Living Buddha ordered their bodies sent with full honors to their families.

The Bogdo Khan knows every thought, every movement of the Princes and Khans, the slightest conspiracy against himself, and the offender is usually kindly invited to Urga, from where he does not return alive.

The Chinese Government decided to terminate the line of the Living Buddhas. Ceasing to fight with the Pontiff of Urga, the Government contrived the following scheme for accomplishing its ends.

Peking invited the Pandita Gheghen from Dolo Nor and the head of the Chinese Lamaites, the Hutuktu of Utai, both of whom do not recognize the supremacy of the Living Buddha, to come to the capital. They decided, after consulting the old Buddhistic books, that the present Bogdo Khan was to be the last Living Buddha, because that part of the Spirit of Buddha which dwells in the Bogdo Khans can abide only thirty-one times in the human body. Bogdo Khan is the thirty-first Incarnated Buddha from the time of Undur Gheghen and with him, therefore, the dynasty of the Urga Pontiffs must cease. However, on hearing this the Bogdo Khan himself did some research work and found in the old Tibetan manuscripts that one of the Tibetan Pontiffs was married and his son was a natural Incarnated Buddha. So the Bogdo Khan married and now has a son, a very capable and energetic young man, and thus the religious throne of Jenghiz Khan will not be left empty. The dynasty of the Chinese emperors disappeared from the stage of political events but the Living Buddha continues to be a center for the Pan-Asiatic idea.

The new Chinese Government in 1920 held the Living Buddha under arrest in his palace but at the beginning of 1921 Baron Ungern crossed the sacred Bogdo-Ol and approached the palace from the rear. Tibetan riders shot the Chinese sentries with bow and arrow and afterwards the Mongols penetrated into the palace and stole their “God,” who immediately stirred up all Mongolia and awakened the hopes of the Asiatic peoples and tribes.

In the great palace of the Bogdo a Lama showed me a special casket covered with a precious carpet, wherein they keep the bulls of the Dalai and Tashi Lamas, the decrees of the Russian and Chinese Emperors and the Treaties between Mongolia, Russia, China and Tibet. In this same casket is the copper plate bearing the mysterious sign of the “King of the World” and the chronicle of the last vision of the Living Buddha.

CHAPTER XLV

THE VISION OF THE LIVING BUDDHA OF MAY 17, 1921

“I prayed and saw that which is hidden from the eyes of the people. A vast plain was spread before me surrounded by distant mountains. An old Lama carried a basket filled with heavy stones. He hardly moved. From the north a rider appeared in white robes and mounted on a white horse. He approached the Lama and said to him:

“‘Give me your basket. I shall help you to carry them to the Kure.’

“The Lama handed his heavy burden up to him but the rider could not raise it to his saddle so that the old Lama had to place it back on his shoulder and continue on his way, bent under its heavy weight. Then from the north came another rider in black robes and on a black horse, who also approached the Lama and said:

“‘Stupid! Why do you carry these stones when they are everywhere about the ground?’

“With these words he pushed the Lama over with the breast of his horse and scattered the stones about the ground. When the stones touched the earth, they became diamonds. All three rushed to raise them but not one of them could break them loose from the ground. Then the old Lama exclaimed:

“‘Oh Gods! All my life I have carried this heavy burden and now, when there was left so little to go, I have lost it. Help me, great, good Gods!’

“Suddenly a tottering old man appeared. He collected all the diamonds into the basket without trouble, cleaned the dust from them, raised the burden to his shoulder and started out, speaking with the Lama:

“‘Rest a while, I have just carried my burden to the goal and I am glad to help you with yours.’

“They went on and were soon out of sight, while the riders began to fight. They fought one whole day and then the whole night and, when the sun rose over the plain, neither was there, either alive or dead, and no trace of either remained. This I saw, Bogdo Hutuktu Khan, speaking with the Great and Wise Buddha, surrounded by the good and bad demons! Wise Lamas, Hutuktus, Kampos, Marambas and Holy Gheghens, give the answer to my vision!”

This was written in my presence on May 17th, 1921, from the words of the Living Buddha just as he came out of his private shrine to his study. I do not know what the Hutuktu and Gheghens, the fortune tellers, sorcerers and clairvoyants replied to him; but does not the answer seem clear, if one realizes the present situation in Asia?

Awakened Asia is full of enigmas but it is also full of answers to the questions set by the destiny of humankind. This great continent of mysterious Pontiffs, Living Gods, Mahatmas and readers of the terrible book of Karma is awakening and the ocean of hundreds of millions of human lives is lashed with monstrous waves.

Part V

MYSTERY OF MYSTERIES–THE KING OF THE WORLD

CHAPTER XLVI

THE SUBTERRANEAN KINGDOM

“Stop!” whispered my old Mongol guide, as we were one day crossing the plain near Tzagan Luk. “Stop!”

He slipped from his camel which lay down without his bidding. The Mongol raised his hands in prayer before his face and began to repeat the sacred phrase: “Om! Mani padme Hung!” The other Mongols immediately stopped their camels and began to pray.

“What has happened?” I thought, as I gazed round over the tender green grass, up to the cloudless sky and out toward the dreamy soft rays of the evening sun.

The Mongols prayed for some time, whispered among themselves and, after tightening up the packs on the camels, moved on.

“Did you see,” asked the Mongol, “how our camels moved their ears in fear? How the herd of horses on the plain stood fixed in attention and how the herds of sheep and cattle lay crouched close to the ground? Did you notice that the birds did not fly, the marmots did not run and the dogs did not bark? The air trembled softly and bore from afar the music of a song which penetrated to the hearts of men, animals and birds alike. Earth and sky ceased breathing. The wind did not blow and the sun did not move. At such a moment the wolf that is stealing up on the sheep arrests his stealthy crawl; the frightened herd of antelopes suddenly checks its wild course; the knife of the shepherd cutting the sheep’s throat falls from his hand; the rapacious ermine ceases to stalk the unsuspecting salga. All living beings in fear are involuntarily thrown into prayer and waiting for their fate. So it was just now. Thus it has always been whenever the King of the World in his subterranean palace prays and searches out the destiny of all peoples on the earth.”

In this wise the old Mongol, a simple, coarse shepherd and hunter, spoke to me.

Mongolia with her nude and terrible mountains, her limitless plains, covered with the widely strewn bones of the forefathers, gave birth to Mystery. Her people, frightened by the stormy passions of Nature or lulled by her deathlike peace, feel her mystery. Her “Red” and “Yellow Lamas” preserve and poetize her mystery. The Pontiffs of Lhasa and Urga know and possess her mystery.

On my journey into Central Asia I came to know for the first time about “the Mystery of Mysteries,” which I can call by no other name. At the outset I did not pay much attention to it and did not attach to it such importance as I afterwards realized belonged to it, when I had analyzed and connoted many sporadic, hazy and often controversial bits of evidence.

The old people on the shore of the River Amyl related to me an ancient legend to the effect that a certain Mongolian tribe in their escape from the demands of Jenghiz Khan hid themselves in a subterranean country. Afterwards a Soyot from near the Lake of Nogan Kul showed me the smoking gate that serves as the entrance to the “Kingdom of Agharti.” Through this gate a hunter formerly entered into the Kingdom and, after his return, began to relate what he had seen there. The Lamas cut out his tongue in order to prevent him from telling about the Mystery of Mysteries. When he arrived at old age, he came back to the entrance of this cave and disappeared into the subterranean kingdom, the memory of which had ornamented and lightened his nomad heart.

I received more realistic information about this from Hutuktu Jelyb Djamsrap in Narabanchi Kure. He told me the story of the semi- realistic arrival of the powerful King of the World from the subterranean kingdom, of his appearance, of his miracles and of his prophecies; and only then did I begin to understand that in that legend, hypnosis or mass vision, whichever it may be, is hidden not only mystery but a realistic and powerful force capable of influencing the course of the political life of Asia. From that moment I began making some investigations.

The favorite Gelong Lama of Prince Chultun Beyli and the Prince himself gave me an account of the subterranean kingdom.

“Everything in the world,” said the Gelong, “is constantly in a state of change and transition–peoples science, religions, laws and customs. How many great empires and brilliant cultures have perished! And that alone which remains unchanged is Evil, the tool of Bad Spirits. More than sixty thousand years ago a Holyman disappeared with a whole tribe of people under the ground and never appeared again on the surface of the earth. Many people, however, have since visited this kingdom, Sakkia Mouni, Undur Gheghen, Paspa, Khan Baber and others. No one knows where this place is. One says Afghanistan, others India. All the people there are protected against Evil and crimes do not exist within its bournes. Science has there developed calmly and nothing is threatened with destruction. The subterranean people have reached the highest knowledge. Now it is a large kingdom, millions of men with the King of the World as their ruler. He knows all the forces of the world and reads all the souls of humankind and the great book of their destiny. Invisibly he rules eight hundred million men on the surface of the earth and they will accomplish his every order.”

Prince Chultun Beyli added: “This kingdom is Agharti. It extends throughout all the subterranean passages of the whole world. I heard a learned Lama of China relating to Bogdo Khan that all the subterranean caves of America are inhabited by the ancient people who have disappeared underground. Traces of them are still found on the surface of the land. These subterranean peoples and spaces are governed by rulers owing allegiance to the King of the World. In it there is not much of the wonderful. You know that in the two greatest oceans of the east and the west there were formerly two continents. They disappeared under the water but their people went into the subterranean kingdom. In underground caves there exists a peculiar light which affords growth to the grains and vegetables and long life without disease to the people. There are many different peoples and many different tribes. An old Buddhist Brahman in Nepal was carrying out the will of the Gods in making a visit to the ancient kingdom of Jenghiz,–Siam,–where he met a fisherman who ordered him to take a place in his boat and sail with him upon the sea. On the third day they reached an island where he met a people having two tongues which could speak separately in different languages. They showed to him peculiar, unfamiliar animals, tortoises with sixteen feet and one eye, huge snakes with a very tasty flesh and birds with teeth which caught fish for their masters in the sea. These people told him that they had come up out of the subterranean kingdom and described to him certain parts of the underground country.”

The Lama Turgut traveling with me from Urga to Peking gave me further details.

“The capital of Agharti is surrounded with towns of high priests and scientists. It reminds one of Lhasa where the palace of the Dalai Lama, the Potala, is the top of a mountain covered with monasteries and temples. The throne of the King of the World is surrounded by millions of incarnated Gods. They are the Holy Panditas. The palace itself is encircled by the palaces of the Goro, who possess all the visible and invisible forces of the earth, of inferno and of the sky and who can do everything for the life and death of man. If our mad humankind should begin a war against them, they would be able to explode the whole surface of our planet and transform it into deserts. They can dry up the seas, transform lands into oceans and scatter the mountains into the sands of the deserts. By his order trees, grasses and bushes can be made to grow; old and feeble men can become young and stalwart; and the dead can be resurrected. In cars strange and unknown to us they rush through the narrow cleavages inside our planet. Some Indian Brahmans and Tibetan Dalai Lamas during their laborious struggles to the peaks of mountains which no other human feet had trod have found there inscriptions carved on the rocks, footprints in the snow and the tracks of wheels. The blissful Sakkia Mouni found on one mountain top tablets of stone carrying words which he only understood in his old age and afterwards penetrated into the Kingdom of Agharti, from which he brought back crumbs of the sacred learning preserved in his memory. There in palaces of wonderful crystal live the invisible rulers of all pious people, the King of the World or Brahytma, who can speak with God as I speak with you, and his two assistants, Mahytma, knowing the purposes of future events, and Mahynga, ruling the causes of these events.”

“The Holy Panditas study the world and all its forces. Sometimes the most learned among them collect together and send envoys to that place where the human eyes have never penetrated. This is described by the Tashi Lama living eight hundred and fifty years ago. The highest Panditas place their hands on their eyes and at the base of the brain of younger ones and force them into a deep sleep, wash their bodies with an infusion of grass and make them immune to pain and harder than stones, wrap them in magic cloths, bind them and then pray to the Great God. The petrified youths lie with eyes and ears open and alert, seeing, hearing and remembering everything. Afterwards a Goro approaches and fastens a long, steady gaze upon them. Very slowly the bodies lift themselves from the earth and disappear. The Goro sits and stares with fixed eyes to the place whither he has sent them. Invisible threads join them to his will. Some of them course among the stars, observe their events, their unknown peoples, their life and their laws. They listen to their talk, read their books, understand their fortunes and woes, their holiness and sins, their piety and evil. Some are mingled with flame and see the creature of fire, quick and ferocious, eternally fighting, melting and hammering metals in the depths of planets, boiling the water for geysers and springs, melting the rocks and pushing out molten streams over the surface of the earth through the holes in the mountains. Others rush together with the ever elusive, infinitesimally small, transparent creatures of the air and penetrate into the mysteries of their existence and into the purposes of their life. Others slip into the depths of the seas and observe the kingdom of the wise creatures of the water, who transport and spread genial warmth all over the earth, ruling the winds, waves and storms. . . . In Erdeni Dzu formerly lived Pandita Hutuktu, who had come from Agharti. As he was dying, he told about the time when he lived according to the will of the Goro on a red star in the east, floated in the ice-covered ocean and flew among the stormy fires in the depths of the earth.”

These are the tales which I heard in the Mongolian yurtas of Princes and in the Lamaite monasteries. These stories were all related in a solemn tone which forbade challenge and doubt.

Mystery. . . .

CHAPTER XLVII

THE KING OF THE WORLD BEFORE THE FACE OF GOD

During my stay in Urga I tried to find an explanation of this legend about the King of the World. Of course, the Living Buddha could tell me most of all and so I endeavored to get the story from him. In a conversation with him I mentioned the name of the King of the World. The old Pontiff sharply turned his head toward me and fixed upon me his immobile, blind eyes. Unwillingly I became silent. Our silence was a long one and after it the Pontiff continued the conversation in such a way that I understood he did not wish to accept the suggestion of my reference. On the faces of the others present I noticed expressions of astonishment and fear produced by my words, and especially was this true of the custodian of the library of the Bogdo Khan. One can readily understand that all this only made me the more anxious to press the pursuit.

As I was leaving the study of the Bogdo Hutuktu, I met the librarian who had stepped out ahead of me and asked him if he would show me the library of the Living Buddha and used a very simple, sly trick with him.

“Do you know, my dear Lama,” I said, “once I rode in the plain at the hour when the King of the World spoke with God and I felt the impressive majesty of this moment.”

To my astonishment the old Lama very quietly answered me: “It is not right that the Buddhist and our Yellow Faith should conceal it. The acknowledgment of the existence of the most holy and most powerful man, of the blissful kingdom, of the great temple of sacred science is such a consolation to our sinful hearts and our corrupt lives that to conceal it from humankind is a sin. . . . Well, listen,” he continued, “throughout the whole year the King of the World guides the work of the Panditas and Goros of Agharti. Only at times he goes to the temple cave where the embalmed body of his predecessor lies in a black stone coffin. This cave is always dark, but when the King of the World enters it the walls are striped with fire and from the lid of the coffin appear tongues of flame. The eldest Goro stands before him with covered head and face and with hands folded across his chest. This Goro never removes the covering from his face, for his head is a nude skull with living eyes and a tongue that speaks. He is in communion with the souls of all who have gone before.

“The King of the World prays for a long time and afterwards approaches the coffin and stretches out his hand. The flames thereon burn brighter; the stripes of fire on the walls disappear and revive, interlace and form mysterious signs from the alphabet vatannan. From the coffin transparent bands of scarcely noticeable light begin to flow forth. These are the thoughts of his predecessor. Soon the King of the World stands surrounded by an auriole of this light and fiery letters write and write upon the walls the wishes and orders of God. At this moment the King of the World is in contact with the thoughts of all the men who influence the lot and life of all humankind: with Kings, Czars, Khans, warlike leaders, High Priests, scientists and other strong men. He realizes all their thoughts and plans. If these be pleasing before God, the King of the World will invisibly help them; if they are unpleasant in the sight of God, the King will bring them to destruction. This power is given to Agharti by the mysterious science of ‘Om,’ with which we begin all our prayers. ‘Om’ is the name of an ancient Holyman, the first Goro, who lived three hundred thirty thousand years ago. He was the first man to know God and who taught humankind to believe, hope and struggle with Evil. Then God gave him power over all forces ruling the visible world.

“After his conversation with his predecessor the King of the World assembles the ‘Great Council of God,’ judges the actions and thoughts of great men, helps them or destroys them. Mahytma and Mahynga find the place for these actions and thoughts in the causes ruling the world. Afterwards the King of the World enters the great temple and prays in solitude. Fire appears on the altar, gradually spreading to all the altars near, and through the burning flame gradually appears the face of God. The King of the World reverently announces to God the decisions and awards of the ‘Council of God’ and receives in turn the Divine orders of the Almighty. As he comes forth from the temple, the King of the World radiates with Divine Light.”

CHAPTER XLVIII

REALITY OR RELIGIOUS FANTASY?

“Has anybody seen the King of the World?” I asked.

“Oh, yes!” answered the Lama. “During the solemn holidays of the ancient Buddhism in Siam and India the King of the World appeared five times. He rode in a splendid car drawn by white elephants and ornamented with gold, precious stones and finest fabrics; he was robed in a white mantle and red tiara with strings of diamonds masking his face. He blessed the people with a golden apple with the figure of a Lamb above it. The blind received their sight, the dumb spoke, the deaf heard, the crippled freely moved and the dead arose, wherever the eyes of the King of the World rested. He also appeared five hundred and forty years ago in Erdeni Dzu, he was in the ancient Sakkai Monastery and in the Narabanchi Kure.

“One of our Living Buddhas and one of the Tashi Lamas received a message from him, written with unknown signs on golden tablets. No one could read these signs. The Tashi Lama entered the temple, placed the golden tablet on his head and began to pray. With this the thoughts of the King of the World penetrated his brain and, without having read the enigmatical signs, he understood and accomplished the message of the King.”

“How many persons have ever been to Agharti?” I questioned him.

“Very many,” answered the Lama, “but all these people have kept secret that which they saw there. When the Olets destroyed Lhasa, one of their detachments in the southwestern mountains penetrated to the outskirts of Agharti. Here they learned some of the lesser mysterious sciences and brought them to the surface of our earth. This is why the Olets and Kalmucks are artful sorcerers and prophets. Also from the eastern country some tribes of black people penetrated to Agharti and lived there many centuries. Afterwards they were thrust out from the kingdom and returned to the earth, bringing with them the mystery of predictions according to cards, grasses and the lines of the palm. They are the Gypsies. . . . Somewhere in the north of Asia a tribe exists which is now dying and which came from the cave of Agharti, skilled in calling back the spirits of the dead as they float through the air.”

The Lama was silent and afterwards, as though answering my thoughts, continued.

“In Agharti the learned Panditas write on tablets of stone all the science of our planet and of the other worlds. The Chinese learned Buddhists know this. Their science is the highest and purest. Every century one hundred sages of China collect in a secret place on the shores of the sea, where from its depths come out one hundred eternally-living tortoises. On their shells the Chinese write all the developments of the divine science of the century.”

As I write I am involuntarily reminded of a tale of an old Chinese bonze in the Temple of Heaven at Peking. He told me that tortoises live more than three thousand years without food and air and that this is the reason why all the columns of the blue Temple of Heaven were set on live tortoises to preserve the wood from decay.

“Several times the Pontiffs of Lhasa and Urga have sent envoys to the King of the World,” said the Lama librarian, “but they could not find him. Only a certain Tibetan leader after a battle with the Olets found the cave with the inscription: ‘This is the gate to Agharti.’ From the cave a fine appearing man came forth, presented him with a gold tablet bearing the mysterious signs and said:

“‘The King of the World will appear before all people when the time shall have arrived for him to lead all the good people of the world against all the bad; but this time has not yet come. The most evil among mankind have not yet been born.

“Chiang Chun Baron Ungern sent the young Prince Pounzig to seek out the King of the World but he returned with a letter from the Dalai Lama from Lhasa. When the Baron sent him a second time, he did not come back.”

CHAPTER XLIX

THE PROPHECY OF THE KING OF THE WORLD IN 1890

The Hutuktu of Narabanchi related the following to me, when I visited him in his monastery in the beginning of 1921:

“When the King of the World appeared before the Lamas, favored of God, in this monastery thirty years ago he made a prophecy for the coming half century. It was as follows:

“‘More and more the people will forget their souls and care about their bodies. The greatest sin and corruption will reign on the earth. People will become as ferocious animals, thirsting for the blood and death of their brothers. The ‘Crescent’ will grow dim and its followers will descend into beggary and ceaseless war. Its conquerors will be stricken by the sun but will not progress upward and twice they will be visited with the heaviest misfortune, which will end in insult before the eye of the other peoples. The crowns of kings, great and small, will fall . . . one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. . . . There will be a terrible battle among all the peoples. The seas will become red . . . the earth and the bottom of the seas will be strewn with bones . . . kingdoms will be scattered . . . whole peoples will die . . . hunger, disease, crimes unknown to the law, never before seen in the world. The enemies of God and of the Divine Spirit in man will come. Those who take the hand of another shall also perish. The forgotten and pursued shall rise and hold the attention of the whole world. There will be fogs and storms. Bare mountains shall suddenly be covered with forests. Earthquakes will come. . . . Millions will change the fetters of slavery and humiliation for hunger, disease and death. The ancient roads will be covered with crowds wandering from one place to another. The greatest and most beautiful cities shall perish in fire . . . one, two, three. . . . Father shall rise against son, brother against brother and mother against daughter. . . . Vice, crime and the destruction of body and soul shall follow. . . . Families shall be scattered. . . . Truth and love shall disappear. . . . From ten thousand men one shall remain; he shall be nude and mad and without force and the knowledge to build him a house and find his food. . . . He will howl as the raging wolf, devour dead bodies, bite his own flesh and challenge God to fight. . . . All the earth will be emptied. God will turn away from it and over it there will be only night and death. Then I shall send a people, now unknown, which shall tear out the weeds of madness and vice with a strong hand and will lead those who still remain faithful to the spirit of man in the fight against Evil. They will found a new life on the earth purified by the death of nations. In the fiftieth year only three great kingdoms will appear, which will exist happily seventy-one years. Afterwards there will be eighteen years of war and destruction. Then the peoples of Agharti will come up from their subterranean caverns to the surface of the earth.'”

* * * * * *

Afterwards, as I traveled farther through Eastern Mongolia and to Peking, I often thought:

“And what if . . . ? What if whole peoples of different colors, faiths and tribes should begin their migration toward the West?”

And now, as I write these final lines, my eyes involuntarily turn to this limitless Heart of Asia over which the trails of my wanderings twine. Through whirling snow and driving clouds of sand of the Gobi they travel back to the face of the Narabanchi Hutuktu as, with quiet voice and a slender hand pointing to the horizon, he opened to me the doors of his innermost thoughts:

“Near Karakorum and on the shores of Ubsa Nor I see the huge, multi-colored camps, the herds of horses and cattle and the blue yurtas of the leaders. Above them I see the old banners of Jenghiz Khan, of the Kings of Tibet, Siam, Afghanistan and of Indian Princes; the sacred signs of all the Lamaite Pontiffs; the coats of arms of the Khans of the Olets; and the simple signs of the north Mongolian tribes. I do not hear the noise of the animated crowd. The singers do not sing the mournful songs of mountain, plain and desert. The young riders are not delighting themselves with the races on their fleet steeds. . . . There are innumerable crowds of old men, women and children and beyond in the north and west, as far as the eye can reach, the sky is red as a flame, there is the roar and crackling of fire and the ferocious sound of battle. Who is leading these warriors who there beneath the reddened sky are shedding their own and others’ blood? Who is leading these crowds of unarmed old men and women? I see severe order, deep religious understanding of purposes, patience and tenacity . . . a new great migration of peoples, the last march of the Mongols. . . .”

Karma may have opened a new page of history!

And what if the King of the World be with them?

But this greatest Mystery of Mysteries keeps its own deep silence.

GLOSSARY

Agronome.–Russian for trained agriculturalist.

Amour sayn.–Good-bye.

Ataman.–Headman or chief of the Cossacks.

Bandi.–Pupil or student of theological school in the Buddhist faith.

Buriat.–The most civilized Mongol tribe, living in the valley of the Selenga in Transbaikalia.

Chahars.–A warlike Mongolian tribe living along the Great Wall of China in Inner Mongolia.

Chaidje.–A high Lamaite priest, but not an incarnate god.

Cheka.–The Bolshevik Counter-Revolutionary Committee, the most relentless establishment of the Bolsheviki, organized for the persecution of the enemies of the Communistic government in Russia.

Chiang Chun.–Chinese for “General”–Chief of all Chinese troops in Mongolia.

Dalai Lama.–The first and highest Pontiff of the Lamaite or “Yellow Faith,” living at Lhasa in Tibet.

Djungar.–A West Mongolian tribe.

Dugun.–Chinese commercial and military post.

Dzuk.–Lie down!

Fang-tzu.–Chinese for “house.”

Fatil.–A very rare and precious root much prized in Chinese and Tibetan medicines.

Felcher.–Assistant of a doctor (surgeon).

Gelong.–Lamaite priest having the right to offer sacrifices to God.

Getul.–The third rank in the Lamaite monks.

Goro.–The high priest of the King of the World.

Hatyk.–An oblong piece of blue (or yellow) silk cloth, presented to honored guests, chiefs, Lamas and gods. Also a kind of coin, worth from 25 to 50 cents.

Hong.–A Chinese mercantile establishment.

Hun.–The lowest rank of princes.

Hunghutze.–Chinese brigand.

Hushun.–A fenced enclosure, containing the houses, paddocks, stores, stables, etc., of Russian Cossacks in Mongolia.

Hutuktu.–The highest rank of Lamaite monks; the form of any incarnated god; holy.

Imouran.–A small rodent like a gopher.

Izubr.–The American elk.

Kabarga.–The musk antelope.

Kalmuck.–A Mongolian tribe, which migrated from Mongolia under Jenghiz Khan (where they were known as the Olets or Eleuths), and now live in the Urals and on the shores of the Volga in Russia.

Kanpo.–The abbot of a Lamaite monastery, a monk; also the first rank of “white” clergy (not monks).

Kanpo-Gelong.–The highest rank of Gelongs (q.v.); an honorary title.

Karma.–The Buddhist materialization of the idea of Fate, a parallel with the Greek and Roman Nemesis (Justice).

Khan.–A king.

Khayrus.–A kind of trout.

Khirghiz.–The great Mongol nation living between the river Irtish in western Siberia, Lake Balhash and the Volga in Russia.

Kuropatka.–A partridge.

Lama.–The common name for a Lamaite priest.

Lan.–A weight of silver or gold equivalent to about one-eleventh of a Russian pound, or 9/110ths of a pound avoirdupois.

Lanhon.–A round bottle of clay.

Maramba.–A doctor of theology.

Merin.–The civil chief of police in every district of the Soyot country in Urianhai.

“Om! Mani padme Hung!”.–“Om” has two meanings. It is the name of the first Goro and also means: “Hail!” In this connection: “Hail! Great Lama in the Lotus Flower!”

Mende.–Soyot greeting–“Good Day.”

Nagan-hushun.–A Chinese vegetable garden or enclosure in Mongolia.

Naida.–A form of fire used by Siberian woodsmen.

Noyon.–A Prince or Khan. In polite address: “Chief,” “Excellency.”

Obo.–The sacred and propitiatory signs in all the dangerous places in Urianhai and Mongolia.

Olets.–Vid: Kalmuck.

Om.–The name of the first Goro (q.v.) and also of the mysterious, magic science of the Subterranean State. It means, also: “Hail!”

Orochons.–A Mongolian tribe, living near the shores of the Amur River in Siberia.

Oulatchen.–The guard for the post horses; official guide.

Ourton.–A post station, where the travelers change horses and oulatchens.

Pandita.–The high rank of Buddhist monks.

Panti.–Deer horns in the velvet, highly prized as a Tibetan and Chinese medicine.

Pogrom.–A wholesale slaughter of unarmed people; a massacre.

Paspa.–The founder of the Yellow Sect, predominating now in the Lamaite faith.

Sait.–A Mongolian governor.

Salga.–A sand partridge.

Sayn.–“Good day!” “Good morning!” “Good evening!” All right; good.

Taiga.–A Siberian word for forest.

Taimen.–A species of big trout, reaching 120 pounds.

Ta Lama.–Literally: “the great priest,” but it means now “a doctor of medicine.”

Tashur.–A strong bamboo stick.

Turpan.–The red wild goose or Lama-goose.

Tzagan.–White.

Tzara.–A document, giving the right to receive horses and oulatchens at the post stations.

Tsirik.–Mongolian soldiers mobilized by levy.

Tzuren.–A doctor-poisoner.

Ulan.–Red.

Urga.–The name of the capital of Mongolia; (2) a kind of Mongolian lasso.

Vatannen.–The language of the Subterranean State of the King of the World.

Wapiti.–The American elk.

Yurta.–The common Mongolian tent or house, made of felt.

Zahachine.–A West Mongolian wandering tribe.

Zaberega.–The ice-mountains formed along the shores of a river in spring.

Zikkurat.–A high tower of Babylonish style.