It is a gloomy morning in late Spring in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. As I walked to my office, it was raining gently. I had to avoid vehicles from splashing muddy water on my gho by walking very carefully. Life is back in full force. Beautiful flowers are turning into tiny, delicate fruits. The brownish hue of hills and mountains surrounding Thimphu valley is getting back to its glorious green. Lots of tourists from India and China can be seen taking pictures around the memorial Chorten.
As this month is a holy one for followers of Tibetan Buddhism, a lenthy Monlam is being organized at the memorial Chorten. The stupa built in late 90's is clad in colorful ceremonial scarfs. Surrounding it, elaborate offerings of flowers, scented water, sweet cakes and aromatic herbs are made. Melody of Buddhist musical instruments enhance the beauty of on a gloomy morning.
Many people have come here, on their way to office, like me, to make a prayer before they start their day. Old men and women are pouring in from different parts of Thimphu to sit near the Chorten and pray the whole day. Young ladies and gentlemen are wearing beautifully designed traditional dress as they walk smiling round the Chorten. Some of them are in deep introspection. A few elderly women are seen prostrating to the Buddha.
A flock of grey birds sit on the entrance to the Chorten compound. An old man, his back slightly bent forward with age, is scattering rice on the ground for the birds to feed on. Young girls and boys with name tag on their dress offer the visitors tea and breakfast.
As I mix myself among hundreds of people walking round the chorten, I tell myself 'this country is beautiful beyond words'. I rejoice in the merits of all fellow citizens who have come here to pray. I pray that their prayers be ever more powerful so that it can dispel the ignorance in all of us and lead us to ultimate freedom. I rejoice in the deeds of people who come here to make offering of tea and breakfast. I pray that by virtue of my prayers, may my defilement be cleansed and may I become enlightened soon so that I can help countless sentient being to enlightenment.
Life is simple in Thimphu. Everyday I get to walk 30 minutes to my office. I get to pray near the Chorten. I get to breath fresh air in the mornings. I get to rejoice in the good deed of others. I get to remind myself how lucky and fortunate I am to be born in Bhutan.
As I write these lines, gentle rays of sun shines through thick cloud. A faint sound of monks chanting prayers could be heard. (my work place is near the Chorten). In the back of my mind, sweet memories linger of a beautiful morning in spring. A wonderful start to a beautiful day! Live on.
rainy day, locally known as Thrue-Bab,
is truly an indigenous Bhutanese festival.
With exception of Bhutan, in no other parts of the world it is
celebrated. It is believed that on the particular day, the rain is thought to
be sanctified by the cosmic Buddha Mahavairocana.
And therefore, taking a cleansing bath from the divine rain water collected
overnight is thought to purify all defilement and bad karma of a person. The
festival also marks the end of farming season and start of harvest months. In
eastern Bhutan, blessed rainy day is a big festival. People call it as the
gateway to other celebrations because Blessed Rainy Day is the first of all
festivals in the Bhutanese calendar. The reason
behind celebrating Blessed Rainy Day is drawn from Buddhism. It is said that,
at the beginning of time, the universe was evolving and the sun, the moon and a
planet named Rikhi also called (Thruelkar) were formed simultaneously
with other solar systems. Planet Rikhi
is said to be compo…
the great men and great leaders are great readers as well. Television has
completely changed the way we think and work. New lifestyles are adopted from
popular reality shows broadcasted on the TV. Ancient culture and heritage are
replaced by modern popular western culture. Children are glued to the idiot box
for most of their free time. Families get rare opportunity for quiet and
peaceful time after a tiresome day. Everyone is busy in their own world
watching different shows on the TV. On the other hand, the culture of reading
books is diminishing at drastic rate. Children and young people find it more
and more monotonous to pick up a good book and enjoy the read. Supporters
of the mainstream TV culture maintain that watching TV is more effective for learning
than reading. They also say that what you see in live pictures and footages
remain more vividly in the memory. They assert that scientific knowledge can be
assimilated more easily by the use…
It's been over nine months that I did not write a blog piece. Logging into to blogger and writing these lines gives me a feeling of deja' vu. It feels like taking rebirth in the blogger's world. When we try to write after a gap of months, you notice that words don't flow easily from the creative parts of your heart. It is a sort of victory day today for me. Victory over procrastinating that I will write tomorrow.
In early spring of 2017, I was sitting outside a holiday resort in Paro, with my laptop open, my eyes scanning the picturesque Paro valley and surrounding mountains. It was the perfect place to write a poetic piece. The morning was afresh with thin mist of clouds hanging loosely in the opposite mountains, fresh pale green apple leaves growing on weather beaten, dry apple trees. First rays of the morning sun was kissing the otherwise dry paddy fields of Paro. Two huge old dogs from a nearby animal rescue shelter sat lazily near my table. Fresh vapors rising f…