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The Last Day of Sister Palmo.
Though published two years ago, we only recently received a small leaflet called: 'The Last Days of Sister Palmo' by Anila Pema Zangmo; and this excerpt has been published as an offering by one of her South African devotees.
"The day Holy Mother died was an interesting one. We were staying at the Oberoi Hotel in Delhi when quite spontaneously many people came to see Holy Mother, many relatives, her secretary, and others. She insisted that I get in touch with Bender, her son because she insisted that no other time would do. Much food and tea arrived although we didn't order it. It just arrived and we had a house full of company.
At 6.00 p.m. we took a walk. Afterwards Mommy did much letter writing. At 8.00 p.m. Holy Mother did her meditation. At I0.00 p.m. while I was resting Holy Mother called me and I pretended to snore. Then I told her I was only joking. I said, "Okay what would you like me to do." after closing the curtains Holy Mother gave me many detailed orders about gifts and money to give to special people. Mommy brought out some nice yellow fabric which she put against me. She told me to make a blouse with it and to practice dharma faithfully.
Holy Mother put out her finest and special dharma robes. I said, "Why Mommy?' Holy Mother said, "I will need them tomorrow." She gave me Cho Rinpoche's large picture to deliver to Tilokpur. Holy Mother played a tape of His Holiness, which was advice he had sent from New York. Holy Mother told me that tomorrow I would need to call lamas. I said, "Why:'" Holy Mother said, "Yes, you need to. Call lamas, do prayers." Then I slept, with Mommy nearby, a few feet away doing sitting meditation. At one time I heard her make some loud breathing, so I tapped her. She just went. Her face was nice. It was 10.30. I cried.
Holy Mother's body remained in the meditation posture, upright. Her body became smaller. There were rainbows around her. I saw. Many people saw this. For three days Holy Mother remained so.
Ranga Bedi, Kabir Bedi, her children beautifully meditated with Holy Mother. These children, who had continuously honoured their Mother, provided for her, supported her, now prayed for her at her deathtime. Relatives came, friends came, Indian officials came, in droves they came.
Many people took photos of Holy Mother's body, but none of them turned out. Flowers, incense, katas, food were offered. Buddhists came from Thailand, Cambodia, Ceylon and Japan to pay their respects. Many Tibetan lamas came and prayed and chanted.
Holy Mother's body was taken to Indian Continental Gardens where it was cremated on a beautiful pyre. Following this, Kabir Bedi and I brought Holy Mother's ashes to Rumtek Monastery. The lamas gave many prayers and Kabir Bedi gave many offerings of money.Then began the 49 days of prayers which continued from early morning until night,"