THE STORY OF AJALAA

THE  STORY  OF  AJALAA

This is the story of Ajalaa, a despised and illiterate old woman dying of advanced TB, told by her visitor Jaylund.

*************

Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a doctor, but those who are sick” (Luke 9:12).

ལུ་ཀཱ 9:12 – ཉི་མ་ནུབ་ལ་ཉེ་བའི་དུས་སུ། ཉེ་གནས་བཅུ་གཉིས་པོ་ཁོང་གི་དྲུང་དུ་ཡོང་སྟེ་ “ས་ཆ་འདི་དབེན་སྟོང་ཡིན་པས་ཁོ་ཚོ་མཐའ་འཁོར་གྱི་ཡུལ་སྡེ་རྣམས་ལ་རང་རང་གི་ཟས་ཉོ་བ་དང༌། བསྡད་ས་འཚོལ་བའི་ཆེད་དུ་གཏོང་བར་མཛོད་” ཅེས་ཁོང་ལ་ཞུས་པ་ན།

 

She had been brought to the hospital slumped in a wheelchair.

Her real name was unknown; so, they just called her Ajalaa.

No one liked her; who could? They avoided her with her louse-ridden matted hair, her bony limbs, and her gruntings of unknown meaning uttered between spitting on the floor through her decaying teeth.

The visitor was Jaylund. The doctors, who did not know Tibetan, had asked her to come and speak with the sick woman because she had once known some Tibetan language.

As she approached, Ajalaa grunted a greeting. And spat. Then mumbled some words in a dialect that Jaylund could hardly understand. So she prayed, “Jesus, what can I do? Lord, please give me your love for this wretched woman.”

After the nurses had washed her hair, Jaylund tried to comb out the remaining lice in it. Food was brought, but Ajalaa would not eat. And when the time came to go, Jaylund said, “Ajalaa, I have a helper (rogs-pa); his name is Jesus. I will pray to him every day and ask him to help you.” In reply she muttered something. But after that no word of goodbye (g-le phebs), no light on her face, just dejection.

Jaylund returned after three days. But there seemed to be another woman with clean hair asleep in the bed, so she looked elsewhere for Ajalaa. It was in vain; had she died? But coming back she leaned over the bed and whispered, “Ajalaa.” The woman stirred and looked up.

Yes! It was Ajalaa! So improved! And Jaylund spoke with her for a little while telling her about her children, and a few other things that she knew how to say. Ajalaa listened, and then spoke, “Give me some money.”

Jaylund, “I haven’t come to give you money; the hospital is looking after you. But I could tell you about Jesus.” And Ajalaa replied at once, “Yes, tell me about Jesus. What’s money? Money doesn’t bring peace of mind. I want to hear about Jesus.” All that Jaylund knew to say was, “Ajalaa, Jesus loves you.” But, holding her hand, she prayed for Ajalaa before leaving.

She visited again a few days later and found Ajalaa clean and good-looking. “Ajalaa, you look pretty today.” And Ajalaa told her how Jesus had helped her. So, Jaylund played her tapes of the Good

 

News of how Jesus came “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

ལུ་ཀཱ 19:10 –  མིའི་རིགས་ཀྱི་བུ་ནི་བརླག་པ་རྣམས་འཚོལ་བ་དང་སྐྱོབ་པའི་ཆེད་དུ་ཡོང་ངོ་” ཞེས་གསུངས།

 

On further visits Ajalaa wanted to hear more stories about Jesus, and to sing Jesus songs.

And one day, as Jaylund prayed to Jesus, she also prayed.

But as days passed her relatives spoke against her new faith. Then, as she grew stronger, she sadly no longer wanted any visits from believers in Jesus.

 

Seven years later 

Jaylund was in a town looking for a shop to buy momos (mog-mog). Suddenly an older Tibetan lady came up alongside her and peered into her face, and exclaimed, “Oh, it is you my helper (rogs-pa)! How good to see you! I saw your hairstyle; but I came up to be certain. And, yes, it was the same! And it really was you, my friend (rogs-pa)! You are the one who saved me!” She then invited her into her little house, and fed her cheese (phyur-ba) and tea (bod-ja).

And Jaylund finally realised this lady was Ajalaa. And she said. “Ajalaa, I didn’t save you.

It was Jesus. He is our true Rokba, our helper.”  And she rejoiced because Jesus had arranged this meeting. Jesus had not forgotten Ajalaa.

They met again another year. Ajalaa was with her friends walking on the path of merit-making (dge-ba gsog) round a stupa (mchod-rten) and spinning her prayer wheel (maNi ’khor-lo skor). Jaylund stepped alongside her to greet her, and she seemed pleased.

But that was the last time that they met.

**************

How difficult it was for Alalaa, being unable to read the Bible, and having no believers in Jesus among her friends, people who could have encouraged her and reminded her of what Jesus had done for her when she was sick and despised.

Isaiah 53:3-5

3 He was despised and rejected by men,

a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;

and as one from whom men hide their faces

he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs

and carried our sorrows;

yet we esteemed him stricken,

smitten by God, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;

he was crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

and with his wounds we are healed.

 

ཡེ་ཤ་ཡཱ 53:3-5

 3ང་ཚོས་ཁོང་ལ་སྨད་ཅིང་སྤངས་བར་བྱ། ཁོ་ཡི་སྡུག་བསྔལ་ན་ཚར་བཟོད་སྲན་བྱས།

སུས་ཀྱང་ཁོ་ལ་བལྟ་བར་མི་བྱེད་དོ། ཁོ་ལ་ང་ཚོས་རིང་ཐང་བརྩི་མེད་བྱས།

4འོན་ཀྱང་ང་ཚོས་མྱོང་དགོས་སྡུག་བསྔལ་དང་། ང་ཚོས་ན་ཚ་འཁྱེར་དགོས་ཁག་བཅས་དང་།

ཁོང་གིས་བཟོད་སྲན་བྱས་པར་འགྱུར་བ་ཡིན། ཁོང་གིས་མྱོང་བའི་སྡུག་བསྔལ་ཚང་མ།

དཀོན་མཆོག་ཁོང་གིས་གཏོང་བའི་ཉེས་ཆད་ཡིན་ཞེས་ང་ཚོས་བསམ་བྱུང།

5ང་ཚོས་སྡིག་པའི་རྐྱེན་གྱིས་ཁོང་ལ་རྨས། ང་ཚོས་ལས་ངན་རྐྱེན་གྱིས་ཁོང་ལ་བརྡུང་།

ཁོང་གི་མྱོང་བའི་ཉེས་ཆད་རྐྱེན་ང་ཚོར་སྐྱིད་པོ་དང་ཞི་བདེ་ཐོབ།

ཁོང་གི་རྨས་ང་ཚོ་དྲག་ཡོད།

 

There was of course no need for her to gain merit by going round the stupa. Jesus had suffered for believers on the cross for their sins. On it He had won for Ajalaa all the righteousness and merit that she needed.

 

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”   (1 Peter 2:14)

པེ་ཏྲོ་༡ 2:14 – ཁྱེད་ཚོས་གཙོ་བོའི་དོན་དུ་སྲིད་འཛིན་པ་ཐམས་ཅད་ལ་བཀུར་དགོས་ཏེ། དབང་ཆ་མཐོ་ཤོས་ཀྱི་རྒྱལ་པོའམ། ཡང་ན་ཁོང་གིས་མངགས་པའི་སྤྱི་ཁྱབ་རྣམས་ལ་བཀུར་དགོས། སྤྱི་ཁྱབ་རྣམས་མངགས་པའི་རྒྱུ་མཚན་ནི་ངན་པ་བྱེད་མཁན་རྣམས་ལ་ཆད་པ་གཏོང་ཞིང༌། ལེགས་སྤྱོད་མཁན་ལ་བསྟོད་པ་བྱེད་པའི་ཕྱིར་རོ།

 

And Jesus is the loving One who faithfully holds us fast in His grasp.

It was Jesus who caused Jaylund to meet Ajalaa again after that gap of 7 years.

If our relatives and friends with their merit-seeking habits are the only human company that we have, so that we forget to hold fast to our faith in Jesus, yet Jesus will always hold fast to us and welcome us back into His arms. He will never cast out those whom His Father God has given to him.

 

ཡོ་ཧ་ནན། 6:37ཡབ་ཀྱིས་ང་ལ་གནང་བ་ཐམས་ཅད་ངའི་རྩར་ཡོང་ངེས་ཡིན། སུ་ངའི་རྩར་ཡོང་ན་ཡང་དེ་ངས་ནམ་ཡང་བསྐྲད་པར་མི་བྱ།

 

We may be faithless, but He remains faithful.

 

ཐི་མོ་ཐེ། 2:13ངེད་ཀྱི་དད་སེམས་བསྐྱུར་ཡང་ཁོང་མིན་ཏེ།། ཁོང་གིས་རང་ཉིད་སྤང་བ་སྲིད་ན་དཀོན།། ཞེས་སོ།། གདེང་འཇོག་ཐོབ་པའི་ལས་བྱེད་མཁན་གྱི་སྐོར།

 

Footnote: I have tried to write the name of Jaylund in Tibetan characters. It could perhaps be gces-lon-da, because she showed love to Ajalaa.

 

THE STORY OF THOMAS

THE  STORY  OF  THOMAS

Thomas was one of the twelve apostles who accompanied Jesus in his ministry while walking around Galilee and Judea. In this story we join the party as they walk south in their final visit to Jerusalem. Three times Jesus had told them that he would die, saying that he must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

 

Mark Ch 8 v.31

དེ་ནས་ཁོང་གིས་ཉེ་གནས་ཚོར་མིའི་རིགས་ཀྱི་བུ་ནི་ངེས་པར་དུ་སྡུག་བསྔལ་མང་པོ་མྱོང་ཞིང༌། ཡ་ཧུ་དཱ་པའི་མི་རིགས་ཀྱི་རྒན་པོ་དང་བླ་ཆེན་རྣམས། ཆོས་ཁྲིམས་ལ་མཁས་པའི་མིས་ཁོ་རང་དོར་ནས་གསོད་པར་འགྱུར་ལ། ཡང་ཉིན་གསུམ་གྱི་རྗེས་འཆི་བ་ནས་སླར་གསོན་པར་ལང་ངོ་ཞེས་གསུངས།

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

 

They didn’t understand. They believed he was Messiah; surely he would become Israel’s victorious and undying King, not be rejected by the Jewish sangha and then be killed. They walked on, then up the long rough uphill road to Jerusalem. Great crowds followed, and others came out from the city to greet him. A donkey was brought and he rode it just as the prophet Zechariah said the Messiah King would do. (What a joyous time! You can read about in Mark’s Gospel Ch 10:1-11)

In the next few days too he was popular with the listening crowds. But on his last night, when eating the supper of the Passover Festival with the twelve, he said, “I am with you a little longer, and then I am going where you cannot follow now.”

 

John 13:33

ཕྲུ་གུ་རྣམས། ང་ད་དུང་ཁྱོད་ཚོ་དང་མཉམ་དུ་དུས་ཐུང་ངུ་ཞིག་ཡོད། ཁྱོད་ཚོས་ང་བཙལ་ཡང༌། སྔར་ངས་ཡ་ཧུ་དཱ་པ་རྣམས་ལ་བཤད་པ་བཞིན་དུ་ད་ཁྱོད་ཚོར་ཡང་ཟེར་རྒྱུར། ང་གང་དུ་འགྲོ་བའི་གནས་སུ་ཁྱོད་ཚོ་ཡོང་མི་སྲིད།

Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’

 

They wondered what he meant, and Peter asked, ‘Why can’t we?’ Jesus explained, ‘I am going to my Father’s house, and I will then come back and take you there. You know the way.’

 

John 14:2-4

ངའི་ཡབ་ཀྱི་ཕོ་བྲང་ལ་གནས་ཁང་མང་པོ་ཡོད། དེ་ལྟར་མ་ཡིན་ན་ངས་ཁྱེད་རྣམས་ལ་སྔ་མ་ནས་བཤད་ཡོད། ང་ཁྱེད་ཚོའི་དོན་དུ་གནས་གྲ་སྒྲིག་བྱེད་དུ་འགྲོ། ང་སོང་ནས་ཁྱེད་ཚོའི་དོན་དུ་གནས་གྲ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་ན། ང་ཕྱིར་ལོག་སྟེ་ཁྱེད་ཚོ་ངའི་རྩར་འདྲེན་པར་བྱ། དེ་ནས་ང་རང་གང་དུ་ཡོད་པ་དེར་ཁྱེད་ཚོའང་ཡོད་པར་འགྱུར།  ང་རང་འགྲོ་རྒྱུ་ཡིན་པའི་ལམ་དེ་ཁྱེད་ཚོས་ཤེས་” ཞེས་གསུངས་པ་དང༌།

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  And you know the way to where I am going.”

 

But to Thomas a ‘way’ meant a stony, dusty path that led to a town or a house. He said, ‘We don’t know where, and so we don’t know the way.’

 

John 14:5

ཐོ་མཱས་ཁོང་ལ་ “གཙོ་བོ་ལགས། ཁྱེད་རང་གང་དུ་ཕེབས་པ་ང་ཚོས་མི་ཤེས་ཏེ་ལམ་དེ་ཇི་ལྟར་ཤེས་” ཞེས་ཞུས།

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way.”

 

John 14:6

ལན་དུ་ཡེ་ཤུས་ “ང་ནི་ལམ་དང༌། བདེན་པ་ཉིད། དཔག་ཏུ་མེད་པའི་ཚེའང་ཡིན། ང་མ་བརྒྱུད་པར་སུ་ཡང་ཡབ་ཀྱི་དྲུང་དུ་འགྲོ་བའི་ལམ་མེད་དོ།

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

And after an evening of talking the apostles finally understood that he had come from God; he was the ‘Way’ to Father God. (A full account of Jesus’s talk with them can be read in John’s Gospel Chapters 13 to 16)

What a change next evening when they saw Jesus’s bloodstained and broken corpse being taken down from the cross! They no longer understood; their hopes were destroyed.

They hid in despair and fear, until on the third morning news was brought to the apostles that Jesus had risen; but Thomas was absent. For Thomas, a corpse was a very dead person – just as, a ‘way’ was a road. So, when they told him Jesus was alive, he said, ‘I’ll never believe; that is, unless I can see and feel those nail-pierced hands.’

 

John 20:24,25

འོན་ཀྱང་ཉེ་གནས་བཅུ་གཉིས་པོའི་ནང་ནས་མཚེ་མ་ཟེར་བའི་ཐོ་མཱ་ནི་ཡེ་ཤུ་ཕེབས་པའི་ཚེ་ཁོ་རྣམས་དང་མཉམ་དུ་མེད་པས། ཉེ་གནས་གཞན་པ་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་ཁོ་ལ་ “ང་ཚོས་གཙོ་བོ་མཐོང་ངོ་” ཞེས་ཟེར། འོན་ཀྱང་ཁོས་དེ་ཚོར་ “གལ་ཏེ་ངས་ཁོང་གི་ཕྱག་ལ་གཟེར་གྱི་ཤུལ་མཐོང་བ་དང༌། ངའི་མཛུག་གུ་གཟེར་གྱི་ཤུལ་ལ་འཇུག་པ། ལག་པ་ཡང་ཁོང་གི་གཞོགས་ཀྱི་མདུང་ཤུལ་ནང་དུ་བཅུག་ན་མ་གཏོགས། ངས་རྩ་བ་ནས་ཡིད་ཆེས་མི་བྱེད་” ཅེས་བཤད།

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin,[d] was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

 

But Jesus was kind to Thomas, and came again on another day, and said to him, ‘Thomas, look here, and feel with your fingers my nail-pierced hands, and feel here the wound in my body. Believe me.’

 

John 20:27

དེ་ནས་ཁོང་གིས་ཐོ་མཱ་ལ་ “ད་ཁྱོད་ཀྱི་མཛུག་གུ་འདི་རུ་ཞོག་ཅིག ངའི་ལག་པ་ལ་ལྟོས། ཁྱོད་ཀྱིས་ལག་པ་བརྐྱངས་སྟེ་ངའི་གཞོགས་ཀྱི་ནང་དུ་ཆུག་ཅིག དད་མེད་ཀྱི་སེམས་སྤོངས་ལ་དད་པ་བྱོས་ཤིག་” ཅེས་གསུངས།

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

 

And Thomas believed, and worshipped.

 

John 20:28

ལན་དུ་ཐོ་མཱས་ “ངའི་གཙོ་བོ་དང་ངའི་དཀོན་མཆོག་ལགས་” ཞེས་བཤད།

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

 

What gracious pity Jesus showed to Thomas!

 

John 20:29

ཡེ་ཤུས་ཁོང་ལ་ “ཁྱོད་ཀྱིས་ང་མཐོང་བས་དད་པ་བྱེད་པ་ཡིན་ནམ། ང་མི་མཐོང་ཡང་དད་པ་རྣམས་བདེའོ་” ཞེས་གསུངས།

“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

 

****************

 

Thomas would never forget that evening spent with Jesus in a locked room. He went on to spend his life walking in the way of faith and obedience to Jesus.

He went to South India where he preached the Good News.

Then one day priests of the Indian Sangha killed him with spears, as the Jewish Sangha had killed Jesus his Lord.

Churches founded in South India are still there today. They give honour to Thomas.

As for believers for whom Jesus is the Way of Salvation, they were not called Christians at first, but ‘People of the Way’.

 

གསུང་མགུར 30:1-3

1གཙོ་བོ་དཀོན་མཆོག་ང་ཡི་ཁྱེད་ལ་བསྟོད། གང་ལགས་ཟེར་ན་ཁྱེད་ཀྱིས་ང་ལ་སྐྱབས་གནང་ངོ་།

ང་ཡི་དགྲ་རྣམས་དགའ་རུ་འཇུག་མ་གནང་།

2ཀྱེ་གཙོ་བོ་དཀོན་མཆོག་ང་ཡི་དཀོན་མཆོག་ལགས། ཁྱེད་ཀྱིས་ང་ལ་སྐྱབས་གྲོགས་ཕྱིར་འབོད་པ་དང་།

ང་ལ་ནད་ལས་ཁྱེད་ཀྱིས་དྲག་པར་མཛད།

3ཁྱེད་ཀྱིས་ང་ལ་དུར་ལས་སྐྱབས་པར་མཛད། ང་ནི་འཆི་བའི་ལམ་བརྒྱུད་འགྲུལ་བའི་དུས།

སྐྱར་དུ་ང་ལ་མི་ཚེ་གསར་པ་གང་།