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…
One Man and His Tomorrow. I have a feeling as if I am
falling in love for the first time whenever I try to write after a gap of many
months! I have always cherished the significance of living in this moment, for
moments constitute life. We tend to forget this very moment while busy
wondering about a more prosperous tomorrow. In fact, today is the tomorrow that
we wanted to live yesterday. Today is the ‘future’ that we imagined many years
ago. Today is the dream that we dreamed of living years ago. Today is the
product of all our hard work and sweating that we have endured for many rainy
days. If we fail to enjoy today, then when are merely existing but not living. Living in the moment translates
to being aware of one’s state of being at the moment and being grateful and
rejoicing over all the good things you have in life today. Every morning as I wake
up, I pull the purple window curtains to be greeted by a majestic view of the
hills of Samazingkha with the morning
sun shining with all…
An elderly man from Norfolk in England
called Arthur Flowerdew, who from the age of twelve experienced inexplicable
but vivid mental pictures of what seemed like some great city surrounded by
desert. One of the images that came most frequently to his mind was of a temple
apparently carved out of a cliff. These strange images kept coming back to him,
especially when he played with the pink and orange pebbles on the seashore near
his home. As he grew older, the details of the city in his vision grew clearer,
and he saw more buildings, the layout of the streets, soldiers, and the
approach to the city itself through a narrow canyon. Arthur Flowerdew much later in his
life, quite by chance, saw a television documentary film on the ancient city of
Petra in Jordan. He was astounded to see, for the very first time, the place he
had carried around for so many years in those pictures in his mind. He claimed
afterward that he had never even seen a book …