“And now, encouraged by these words from a scholar who is neither a fanatic nor a conservative, we will recall a few things reported by travelers as having been seen by them in Tibet and India, and which are treasured by the natives as practical proofs of the truth of the philosophy and science handed down by their forefathers.
First, we may consider that most remarkable phenomenon as seen in the temples of Tibet and the accounts of which we have reached Europe from eye-witnesses other than Catholic missionaries – whose testimony we will exclude for obvious reasons.
Early in the present century a Florentine scientist, a skeptic, and a correspondent of the French Institute, having been permitted to penetrate in disguise to the hallowed precincts of a Buddhist temple, where the most solemn of all ceremonies was taking place, relates the following as having been seen by himself. An alter is ready in the temple to receive the resuscitated Buddha, found by the initiated priesthood, and recognized by certain secret signs to have reincarnated himself in a new-born infant.
The baby, but a few days old, is brought into the presence of the people and reverentially placed upon the altar. Suddenly rising into a sitting posture, the child begins to utter in a loud, manly voice, the following sentences: “I am Buddha, I am his spirit; and I, Buddha, your Dalai-Lama, have left my old, decrepit body, at the temple of…and selected the body of this young babe as my next earthly dwelling.”
Our scientist, being finally permitted by the priests to take, with due reverence, the baby in his arms, and carry it away to such a distance from them as to satisfy him that no ventriloquial deception is being practiced, the infant looks at the grave academician with eyes that “make his flesh creep”, as he expresses it, and repeats the words he had previously uttered.
A detailed account of this adventure, attested with the signature of this eye-witness, was forwarded to Paris, but the members of the Institute, instead of accepting the testimony of a scientific observer of acknowledged credibility, concluded that the Florentine was either suffering under an attack of sunstroke, or had been deceived by a clever trick of acoustics.
Although, according to Mr. Stanislas Julien, the French translator of the sacred Chinese texts, there is a verse in the Lotus which says that “A Buddha is as difficult to be found as the flowers of Udumbara and Palaca”; if we are to believe several eye-witnesses, such a phenomenon does happen.
Of course its occurrence is rare, for it happens but on the death of every great Dalai-Lama; and these venerable old gentlemen live proverbially long lives.”
H. P. Blavatsky