I was invited to the Kingdom of Bhutan by a dear Bhutanese friend. My host was very gracious and showed me many fascinating sights. The highlight of my visit was when we travelled by car into an isolated remote part of the country in Phuentsholing to camp for a few days.
My friend was a VIP in his country, so an entourage of friends, staff, guards, etc… accompanied us.
We set up camp at the foot of the mountains by a river. We were miles away from the closest village. It was serene and picturesque. All we heard was the sound of the river and the occasional bird and wildlife.
We sat around a large campfire at night and enjoyed our evening meal. The mood was pleasant, and we shared funny stories and jokes. Then my host looked at me and said, “Would you be scared if I were to show you something?”
I wasn’t sure what he meant, but I instantly replied, ‘No.’
“Turn around and look behind you. Look at the mountains.”
I turned to look and could not see much through the darkness save for a few flickering lights. I told my host there was not much to see, and he asked me to keep looking. As my eyes adapted to the dark, the flickering lights appeared fuller and more detailed. They looked like flames with different colours, but I observed that they were not behaving as flames do by swaying slightly or flickering slightly; they were, in fact, lights! White lights with a little golden hue, and what fascinated me was that they were moving independently across the mountain in what appeared to be random directions. Some moved up; others came down; I even saw some of these lights, seemingly playful and chasing one another between trees. I was not scared but rather fascinated at the inexplicable sight before me.
“What are these lights?” I asked my host
“The mountain is our burial ground. It is where we lay people to rest. It is a sacred mountain to which no one ventures except to bury their dead. The lights or flames you see are the souls of the dead.”
I turned to look again, and his explanation made sense. They were indeed intelligent and not just random gaseous or flammable emanations. I saw the lights interact playfully with one another, chase one another, gather around and hold the same position for a while, seemingly in deep conversation; they were intelligent beings. I felt honoured and humbled to witness such a magnificent sight. When we all retired to our tents, I spent most of that night watching the lights and praying. I firmly believe in life after death and the soul’s survival, but what I witnessed was beyond words and comprehension.
It was beautiful…
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