The Third Eye by Lobsang Rampa (book review)

“The Third Eye” was the first book of an author called Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, published in 1956, soon afterwards to become a global bestseller. The story of this author is quite interesting. Lobsang Rampa was supposedly an advanced Tibetan lama who lived in the 19th century Tibet. Some time after he passed away from his life, an Englishman was contacted through a metaphysical mean in the 20th century, and was asked if he is willing to let go of his physical body so that a Tibetan lama Lobsang Rampa could use it, because the latter had a mission to fulfill and he needed a mature body that he could use.

In order for this to happen, the Englishman had to consent for his soul to permanently leave his body (as in the process of death), so that the Tibetan lama could enter and start using it. The Englishman was made aware that this consent would create him a very good dharma and would release him of some of his karmic debts, and so he agreed and the arrangement was made for the transfer of the occupancy of his body.

To the public this was a very unusual case, however the author explains in his first book “The Third Eye” a lot about his life in Tibet in the 19th century, and how Tibet was at that time, which made even those very suspicious ones ponder over whether his account is real or not?

I really enjoyed reading this book which I carried with me to India and read the most of it in the sub Himalayan region, finishing it during my time in a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Nepal – a perfect setting to visualize in a colorful way the environment in which Lobsang found himself and the things he went through. In the book he describes his life starting from  toddler’s age, and how he entered early on in a Buddhist monastery to study Buddhism. Lobsang happened to get accepted in a very good one where he developed his ethics, discipline, learning capabilities, physical endurance, mental capacities, and gradually the powers of the soul.

The book is written in an easy to read way, humorous and witty at times, and at times serious, but always interesting. Besides speaking about the matters of psychic and astral development, there is a lot of information regarding the customs, rituals and traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, and also how Tibet as a whole was at the time. One of such interesting detail was about a ceremony performed by a group of monks, for another monk who recently died in an accident, so that he wouldn’t get lost in lower realms during his process of death.

He also explained, after describing a situation of being badly injured by a fellow monk from the same monastery, how the word “monk” at the time was equivalent to “boy”. He said how someone ordaining to become a monk did not necessarily signify that this person is good or that he has spiritual longings. Instead, many kids were there for various reasons, similarly how it is today in many Asian countries – when parents cannot provide their child with basic necessity, they can send him to study with  monks, and to eventually become a monk himself. Many young men stop being monks after finishing education that is provided for them, in order to experience life outside of the Buddhist tenants, though there are also those who decide to stay.

“The Third Eye” is a really nice and inspiring book, with some insights into deeper aspects of Buddhism.

HDP, January 2020.

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