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.