• Olivia and Jordi

Ranbal Thapa and The Truth: Teachings From a Yogi

Ranbal Thapa needed only the first nine years of his life to decide to travel a path that, despite it being against his mother’s wishes, was an important source of knowledge and cultivation of conscience. Ranbal, eighty two years old, tells how those five years living in the jungle with an ascetic life and in full sobriety motivated by his grandfather, a well-known yogi of the town, were enough to give him the wisdom and values ​​that have guided him throughout his life.

His greatest inspiration were the words of his grandfather who told him that "You have to be like me, have a mission in life." To become a holy man and a person of knowledge, it was necessary for him to live with him in a hut and a holy cave in the jungle without being able to eat anything that was prepared at home. He tells us how his diet of very little quantity consisted of drinking milk from the cows that they cared for, as well as fruits and vegetables that they collected from nature. "I had long hair and my body was smeared in ashes. In the morning we woke up and sang our prayers to Shiva and other gods,” he told us while beginning to recite them with closed eyes, returning for a few seconds to those moments of his childhood. It was a very beautiful and powerful experience. Meditating alone is how Ranbal started and finished his days living in the jungle. He continues telling us that during the day he took long walks in nature, read the Bhagavad Gita (an important book of the Hindu religion) and had deep conversations with his grandfather. All this helped him to get away from anger, anxiety and bad emotions. It brought him closer to his own being. Moksha in the Hindu religion is this liberation of the soul, being free of samsara (bad emotions, desires, etc) which is everything that distracted him and turned him away from enlightenment.

Seeing all the experiences that he lived, we asked him what was the most valuable of what he learned in those five years, and what warning he would give to humanity to guide her towards a path more respectful of nature and human beings. He told us that from the aforementioned book, Bhagavad Gita, he learned that "Truth gets victory over lies. And we must know what is true and what is false." He informed us that we can find that Truth in our hearts. All the religions, gods, ethnic groups, and everything that we have created is inside the heart of the human being. Every fruit that we take from the tree, grains that we take from the earth, the water with which we shower or drink, should be taken consciously without forgetting that we are part of nature. We ourselves are "Prakriti Upahar", which is the Nepali for gifts of nature, and we do not live from it but with it. It tells us that if we learn the message of the heart, we can reach world peace. "The heart contains the most important thing we have: the Truth", he repeats without a second of doubt, where he summarizes that in the end it is the most important thing he learned and that he has followed throughout his life. It is what has led him to what in Nepali is called "Bibek", or good heart, good soul. According to the Hindu religion, that Truth has guided life on earth for millions of years in four cycles that are repeated in a circular manner. It tells us that right now we are in the fourth cycle that consists of about a thousand years and that it will end with the necessary destruction of the earth to restart said cycles. However, he tells us that this does not have to separate us from the path of Truth, the only real one that will lead us to happiness and peace. With his great energy, his deep gaze and a warm Namaste the conversation came to a close, being a little closer to the truth by seeing the ways of life and consciences that motivate us to continue in our daily struggle for social justice and peace.