Grandmother Aama Bambo
(Buddhi Maya Lama)
Nepal, Asia

Text adapted from "Grandmothers Council the World: Women Elders Offer Their Vision For Our Planet"
by Carol Schaefer
Trumpeter Books, 2006

Grandmother Buddhi Maya Lama, who is also known as Aama Bombo (Mother Shaman) was born into a poor family in Melong, Nepal in the Bagmati Zone. Her father was a famous shaman; her mother the second of his seven wives.

Grandmother Aama was born into the Tamang clan. The Tamang ancestry began in Tibet and is the largest ethnic group in Nepal. However, Tamang traditions prohibits women from practicing shamanism, something Aama had wanted to become since age 5.  Her father also discouraged her dream of becoming a healer, so Anna had no way to develop her gifts. 

When Aama was 10, her mother moved away, leaving Aama to be raised by her grandmother.  At 16 years of age, Amma married and moved to Katmandu.  Shortly after that, her father died.

When she was 25 year old, Grandmother Aama suddenly began to feel shaking sensations in her body.  For fourteen months she visited doctors and healers, seeking a cure. The people around her believed she was becoming mentally ill and wanted to admit her to a psychiatric hospital. But, as a last resort, Grandmother Aama was taken to a Buddhist lama who uncovered the problem. Apparently, her father's spirit had been searching for someone through whom he could transmit his work, but the only person with a good enough heart was Grandmother Aama.  So, despite Tamang traditions forbidding women shaman, her father's spirit accepted Aama as a healer.  Soon Aama felt better. Since then, her father, the gods and the spirits began visiting her and teaching her their healing ways.

Today Grandmother Aama is a beloved and respected shaman in Nepal. She begins each day at 4:00 am with prayers at the temple of the god, Shiva. Then Grandmother Aama works all day treating patients through healings, cleaning their homes of negative energy, and offering guidance.  She treats everyone, from the poorest people to the King, with equal respect and dedication,.  The guidance she has given to the royal family has come to pass, including the prediction of a massacre that ended their royal line. She worked a great deal with the late king, Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev.

When she is doing her healing work, Grandmother Aama calls upon the spirits of her father, her clan, the natural world, the gods and goddesses of the four directions,  and the above-world and the underworld. Most important are the fearless mother named Kali and the monkey-god, Hanuman-ji Hanuman-ji, a mighty ape who aided Lord Rama in his expedition against evil forces.

Today Grandmother Aama lives in Boudhnath which is outside Katmandu. While Nepal is a poor country, it is rich in cultural history.  Located on the highest reaches of the Himalayas, the scenery is stunning. However, today's  government is unstable, and violence can erupt at any time. In fact, Grandmother Aama worried that she would not be allowed to leave her country to join the grandmothers council. At the last minute, she was granted permission.

Grandmother Aamo joins the other Grandmothers in spreading the message of universal peace, harmony, and brotherhood. "I am doing my prayers around the world to create a world without war and tension," Grandmother Aama says. "I want to see this world full with natural beauty, where everybody will have equal rights and opportunity to share nature's womb.




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