Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts

30 November 2021

How to get Blessed at Dechenphug?

Everyone comes to Dechenphug to seek blessing and divine guidance from the mighty Ap Gayney. From ancient times, Bhutanese have been going to him in times of need. There are too many of us. Too many prayers. Too many expectations. Each one is more desperate, more urgent, and more earnest than the other. 

The poor deity there must be overwhelmed. His ears must be ringing with a million prayers, mostly selfish ones. He must be the most confused-deity in the country; Two persons competing for one job slot are both visiting him and seeking his help, whom should he favour? If it was based on merits then why go to him? 

In this mysterious scheme of seeking the attention of the divine one at Dechenphug, I suggest you approach things slightly differently. Make it easy for him to notice you in the maddening crowd; Just help Azha Lhagay, the cleaner, sweep the huge courtyard and the long winding footpath from the parking to the temple. Help him clean the toilet that's hidden behind the lam's residence. Help him uproot weeds from between the stone slabs, this has been bothering him every season. I gave him an idea to pour either bleaching power or used-engine oil between the slabs to prevent weeds from flourishing. 

For a tiny man in his 70s, Azha Lhagay is too thinly spread at Dechenphug. He needs help. Who knows the cleaner may be the divine one. He may have taken the form of the pitiable one just to see if you are kind enough to deserve the blessings you came to seek.

Take toilet paper rolls and soap instead of dalda and incense sticks. Don't do what thousands are already doing. Being the most visited temple, there is Dalda overdose. Do something different to be noticed. 

Thousands come there, but only a few return with blessings. If you want to be among the blessed ones, help do some necessary chores for Ap Gayney. Excite the divine one, impress him and seek his favour. 

Ap Lhagay is the lone cleaner at the temple. He is a grateful person who got this job as a Royal Kidu. He says he can't even offer a spoonful of butter as an offering to Ap #Gayney but he serves by cleaning the home of the divine with all his heart. He says, he would be so grateful if some young visitors could help him with his chores at times. 

15 December 2013

Extremism and Buddhism, Sex and Liberation

Extremism and Buddhism are two words not even meant to be written on the same page but over time the two were crossing paths or perhaps the inconvenient truths that always existed are finally surfacing in the awakened society. There are a certain ideology in Buddhism that are truly extremist in nature and I know many would deny it like a blogger friend, Karma wrote in his radical piece "Confessions of a Trulku’s Mistress: Lies and Whispers"

Trulkus are born lucky or made lucky, I don't even care. They are after money, unexpected yet ok, they know they are humans after all. They want women, men are men see, but why trulkus always have to be men? That's something to wonder but it's not what I am going to stress on.

Recently I was listening to a friend who is highly religious. She is young and beautiful and you won't expect her to be someone who has already made countless trips to all the holy sites in India and Nepal. I have high regards for her deep faith in religion but I pity her greed for blessings. She has lavished so much in her lamas and monasteries that she is barely surviving now, and ironically she thinks that she has sinned in her past life.

As I listened to her narration of biography of each trulku she worships, she talked about a certain Rinpoche that I couldn't digest. She proudly told me that the Rinpoche must sleep with 108 girls and liberate them from their sins. I almost screamed, "In which book is it written?" 
She explained that she heard it. 
I told her, "Your Rinpoche must be the reincarnation of a breeding bull then."
She left.

I know she is religiously innocent. She was made to believe that. And perhaps she was intending to be liberated some day. Religion is such a bait that even the smartest of people can be hooked. Sex is good for health but how can sex liberate one from sin? Have you heard about such extreme application of Buddhism? Buddhism is about mind, when did sex become a chapter? How can rapist deliver liberation? Who is playing Drukpa Kunley? 

If such trulkus got away with this so far they are lucky, because they only met with blind faith, if they think they can screw the world and screw the very essence of Buddhism itself they will have to face the fate of Asaram Bapu of India. They can be charged for Deception, Rape, molestation, wrongful confinement and defamation of religion. 
You shouldn't Copy me!
P:S: This is written with due respect to the great Buddhist masters who protect and uphold the teaching of Buddha with heart and soul. 

30 October 2012

Religion in School

This topic came up when we were connecting our school activities to GNH domains. Many were confidently listing prayers, Rimdro and religious discourses in schools as activities they have in place that caters to Cultural Diversity. Where is diversity in an institution where one religion is generously practised without any regards to other believes?
I raised a question about how compulsory attendance in prayers and other buddhist discourses in schools might be disregarding children from different faith. And how this is unconstitutional. To which the facilitator, who used to be my teacher in Drukgyel, gave a very satisfying answer. He cited an example from a school in Thailand where the school hall has alters for different faiths, which he said could be an ideal concept. But he said if we are looking for a workable solution then respecting their faith and allowing them to stay away from normal religious activities could be realistic. However, he said, the best solution is to educate the children to such depth that they attain the openness to embrace the diversity, and be able to accept and tolerate. That sounded the most difficult and most convincing. Only this has the long term value which we are seeking. 

18 August 2012

My Invention: Made in Bhutan

A teacher has to wear different shoes on different occasions. We become doctors, engineers, mashions, police, judge, accountant, and so on and we do just fine, and being scientist wasn’t very difficult either. It was during science exhibition last summer that I was working closely with my friend who was initiating the show. I got to see how skillful our students were in creating replications, but it was a rare thing to see anyone creating anything that is original. Everything seemed like inheritance from the past batches- volcano, hydraulic machines, steam boats, lighting bulb from potato, ... My friend asked me if I could show them what a science exhibition means in simple terms, and I said I will illustrate with a simple invention.

The inspiration came from necessity. Every household needs a sangphoo each, and sangphoo needs burning charcoal to function, which is not available any more. Worse even when we have to offer a suu in the middle of the night when someone falls ill, the idea of starting the fire in sangphoo is a big hassel. This gave me the inspiration of creating an EzSangphoo that could be started at a click of a button.
The EZSangphoo, Made in Bhutan
Built: EzSangphoo is built on normal earthen sangpho with basic circuits and everyday objects. The challenging part is controlling current flow to the filament, because the size of coil used in it is so small that it will blow off on 240 volts. Moreover using 240 volts in a sangphoo, which is expected to be used mostly by old people, could spell electrocution risks. Therefore we need to have a special device that could adapt the current flow to less than 12 volts.
I completed three prototypes and presented during the Science Exhibition but because I was not participating in the competition I kept it at the gate and made the chief guest click the button, what happens next is seen in the picture!
The simple idea can be replicated by anyone for personal use, but if someone wants to mass produce this then please notify me, so that I could take you to the court lol.

31 July 2012

Dorji-puen: Spiritual Brothers and Sisters

Both my mother and mother in-law were among thousand other in Haa last month receiving Thrul from his holiness the Je Khenpo. And this time I had the opportunity to understand the purpose of closely. There were many things I took for granted and therefore I missed the biggest responsibility as the eldest son.
Thrul is the spiritual preparation for death, it's the turning point in ones life; the point in life where we realize and accept death as the gateway to next life and therefore receive the teachings that are believed to be the light through the gateway.
My mother with her spiritual family
My Mother (green tego)and her Dorji-Puen
Two interesting events during the Thrul are Getting the spiritual name and then meeting the spiritual family.
Our names are believed to be associated only with our body, and therefore we must leave it behind as well. We receive choeming, meaning the spiritual name, the name with which we will be known after death.
Then the spiritual family- the crowd of thousands will form groups of seven with the blessing from the je Khenpo and they become Dorji-puen. Seven strangers unite in the presence of his holiness to be spiritual brothers and sisters across lives, yes across lives. Dorji-puen means your brothers and sisters for next life.

My mother inlaw with her spiritual family
My Mother In-Law (in Blue tego) and her Dorji-Puen
And if you love your parents so much you must make it your first priority to let them receive this blessing when they are still strong and breathing. You may not believe in all this but what is more important is what they believe in. This is one priceless gift. But I failed. I was out on vacation when my mother met her spiritual brothers and sisters. I and all my siblings were expected to be with her during the ceremony, and we should be meeting her newfound family over tea or lunch. I am only hoping I will make it up to her someday. But you need not wait for another day, know that you have to be there during the last two days of the Thrul with tea, which I didn't know. My brother in-law, though youngest in the family, made all the difference by being there and fulfilling his duty as son. Thank you.

25 July 2012

Anti Buddhist Shoes- Made in USA and China

I didn't believe when I saw an Ugg boot with Buddha on it in Kuenzang's Blog. I thought it was a photoshoped piece of work by some sick people. But I copied the link address of Amazon from his picture and did a little verification only to find that one whole company called Iconshoes is sick. They boast their founder to be some fool from Hollywood who landed up becoming a shoemaker, and they have a long list of sick artists whose brushes deserved only some ill-designed shoes. 
The Sick Icon
Why do they have to put Lord Buddha's image on shoes? Among Buddhist we don't even let our shadow fall on His image. It cannot be ignorance since they had the guts to run a company and even call the pattern "Thangka of the Buddha". They know everything, they are simply launching war against our faith, knowing that we are Buddhist and that we are capable of saying nothing. They are looking for enemies by hurting Buddhist sentiments across the world.  As much as Jesus is to Christians, and Allah is to Muslims, Buddha is to us Buddhist. He is our God, Our light, Our Hope. We don't fight Jihad nor we fight Crusade, that doesn't show our weakness, thank the lord you have put on your shoes that we are not violent. 
But remember we are only Buddhist, we are not the Buddha to tolerate that level of disrespect and hatred to our faith. If your factory was somewhere near you would see how it burns down tonight, lucky that you are hiding in California and China.

Anti Buddhist Shoe 1

Anti Buddhist Shoe 2

Anti Buddhist Shoe 3

Anti Buddhist shoe 4

Anti Buddhist Shoe 5
These are just a few from their wide range of choices. They have boots and UGGS and I am surprised the as allowed the sale of these hateful shoes on their popular site. I am sure some crazy people must have bought some of these and might wear it on their feet, but I swear if I see someone wearing one of these shoes I will break their feet and remove the shoe to show them how badly they have hurt my Buddhist heart.

If you are a Buddhist and you are hurt by this insensitive shoemaker then pour your emotion on their site's contact form. You can also write to them @ or  Call  888 426-6746. Or Leave comments on their Facebook Page. Make sure you use the worst language possible.

UPDATE 10 AUG 2012: Please Sign the Petition: Stop using Buddha's image on shoes. This will be delivered to Icon Shoes, amazon and, the three companies who were involved in producing and distributing the Anti-Buddhist Shoes.

31 December 2011

Our Faith, Their Business

I am a true Buddhist but I am still amazed at the amount of money people are investing on pilgrimage to Bodhgaya and other holy places across India. At this time if you are in Phuntsholing you will see how our people are struggling, sweating, arguing, fighting and what not to get a ticket to Bodhgaya.
Buddha sure attained his enlightenment there but he didn't promise enlightenment for us by coming there, rather he left behind the road map to enlightenment and that didn't have any place in particular.
There are several double-decked buses leaving for Bodhgaya each day and I see them all cramped up with dedicated Bhutanese people. Each Bhutanese will be at least carrying over Nu. 50,000 excluding the massive shopping they did. They are on their way to find Buddha and may land up being robbed or murdered but their faith keep them going, not knowing the impact on our economy.

Every day affair below the bus station
Pilgrimage is supposed to bring about peace of mind but half of the time you have to spend on taking care of your luggage and worrying about it. Each day of your Buddha-finding journey has to be spent sleeplessly worrying about your belongings and the huge amount of money you are carrying.Rest of the time you are either complaining about the heat and dust or cursing the huge number of beggars coming after you. At the end of journey you are bound to be disappointed that you didn't find any salvation but lost all you compassion.
Bhutan has the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage site and I wonder why Bhutanese are so much after the risky voyage. Is it about the status? Then it's very unBuddhist. If it's not about showing off then Paro Tasktshang, Bumthang Kurjey, Paro Kichu, Haa Lhakhang Karpo, and so many others are place you could find perfect peace of mind without having to worry about accidents, pick pocketing, murder and heavy expenses. After all Buddha is there where there is a good heart.
As of the "Very Important Wang in Bodhgaya", a resident of Phuntsholing told me that it's an annual business strategy the Indian use to lure the Bhutanese. The "Very Important Wang in Bodhgaya this year, which is going to be the last" was announced for the last ten years and Bhutan still believe in it.

11 September 2010

9/11- Burn a Quran Day

9/11/2001- seconds before the second plane hit
On this day 9 years ago four American Airlines jet hijacked by terrorist group masterminded by Bin Laden suicide-attacked the US. Two of the four hit on the World Trade Center twin towers, one hit the Pentagon and the last which was headed for White House crashed in a field. Today is a day to remember ...but...

One lone voice of some Pastor Jones of a small congregation in Florida with only about 50 followers disturbed the minds of million in the world. This man wanted to remember 9/11 victims by burning copies of Quran today. Quran or Koran is the holy book of Islam.

To Pastor Jones and his followers:

Pastor Jones- the man with bad idea
Why are you burning Quran? Quran is not Bin Laden’s Diary or his preaching. Quran is the holy book of Islam and Islam wasn't responsible for 9/11. Terrorists were Muslims but all Muslims are not terrorists. You can’t hate all the mothers in the world just because your mother ill-treated you. If you really want to burn it do it in the corner of your house and stop creating unrest in the world. You are a bad man. You are not different from terrorists; they misunderstood Islam and your misunderstood Christianity.

To Muslim who were disturbed by the plan:

Muiz Nasrallah wrote in Facebook, "You may burn thousands, millions of Koran, but you cannot burn our religion." and I say yes, Quran is just a book, faith is all that matters. Why make big issue out of a crazy man’s plan. It is all about being hyper-reactive; we don’t tickle a person on the forehead, we do under his arms because that part reacts. It’s a good chance to show to the world that Islam is not what they think, Islam is tolerant and Islam loves peace too. People have burnt Buddhist temples and bombed Buddha’s statues but nothing happened, so they were bored and they bombed no more.

To Media:

Media is responsible for the unrest. Otherwise what difference would one man with 50 followers matter in the world so big? Why did they make his crazy plan hot news? If it was not broadcast, no one would know and nothing would happen.

I was in Drukgyel High School when the Twin Tower came crumbling down, which triggered the war in Afghanistan; nine years on today so many people were killed and what have we got? There should be a better way to remember 9/11!

P:S: Today is the last day of the holy month of Muslims. Muslims labour working in Bajo Construction took our school's big speak for their prayer ceremony. Wish them good day!

25 August 2010

“Ladies, go back home” Policy

Government drove off all Indian maids working in Bhutanese homes and now you can’t even keep Bhutanese helpers. What alternative did the government come up with? Well it none of their business. Following the house raid last year families across the nation are devastated, all they could do was to call their old parents to babysit for them. What about those without parent? Well, don’t give birth!
Despite substantial effort in bringing about gender equality, Bhutan couldn’t really remove its deep root from feminine discrimination. The ill feeling is at the heart of our beliefs, superstitions, religion and culture. We are all brought up with the belief that girls are nine lives below us, whatever it mean. It takes a man to perform or inaugurate an important ceremony. It will be considered bad if a woman walks over a man, or for that matter his gho or any other things that belong to man. If you know a Bhutanese fairy tale, tell me who is the gunda boss? Who else but a witch. There is no room in Bhutan where man can’t go in but many temples have certain chambers where females are forbidden. Symbol of male sex organ (phallus) is considered scared and is seen hanging from roofs and drawn on walls but not the female one. Even wise figure like Guru Rimpochee relates tobacco with female menstrual fluid. One Dzongkhag text we were taught in high school fully talks on how dirty a female body is. This is a short list I can remember to illustrate the depth of feminine prejudice in our society.
And with change in time things seem to have moved on but with the root deep down underneath how we could expect so much; Health people say a mother must breastfeed their baby for full six month while the maternity leave is just three months and no office will allow women employees to walk in the office with their babies. Now as women rub shoulders with men, our society can't resist it and therefore “ladies, go back home” policy is put in place- I mean if babysitters are illegal or made unaffordable it only means mothers leaving the jobs and going back home.
Just sit down with a cup of tea and look back on our beliefs and culture and ask yourselves who must have made them. If your mind is not frozen in some ancient times perhaps you would realize that all of these are brainchild of some powerful foolish men back in Dark Age.

13 October 2009

Why do we need a religion? why a new one?

How many of us Bhutanese are Buddhist? Strictly hardly any of us are. Do we care? NO! and this carelessness in us has kept our country at peace so far. The bloodiest wars on earth are fought in the name of religions, thank god we never really bothered to know what religion we are supposed to follow, forget about fighting a war.

Buddhism has deep root in Bhutanese history and it has won faith over centuries. Therefore when a child is born he is a Buddhist by birth. Though half understood and half manipulated in blind faith yet our religion is keeping us happy and at peace. And as long as we have that we are ready to call it our religion.

Of all the things in world religion should be the last thing to play round with, it's a matter of belief and faith and not something that could be thrust upon somebody with power or influence. Religion is of god and soul and all the good things that it should be the last thing to start a war. But what has happened so far everywhere?

We are the last country left, and we are changing- many new religions are breeding in the corners of our streets, and many people are working full time in spreading them. It's like forming gangs, who has the biggest gang has the most power to rule the streets. Buddhism is cool and tolerant and selfless, therefore we never had problems of any the religions known for wars are coming up in our street, and they are already showcasing groupism and the day is not far when we will have to see Holy Wars!

We don't want any New Religion in our country- STOP RELIGION, STOP WAR we will get nothing more than war and blood in the name of god ( actually it is not god, it is some crazy people doing all these stupid things)

Picture from Google: the ancient Buddha statue in rock before Taliban bombed it down. We didn't say anything. Buddhism is tolerant.

28 June 2009

e- Soonkey

Soonkey means a holy locket, a tiny packet containing prayer stitched in silken pouch or a miniature statue or a picture of some god or just a foot long string, generally worn by Buddhists and even Hindus as protection from evil influences, just as Christians wear cross. Soonkey was a priceless gift pilgrims bring home from holy places like Dorjidhing, Tsho Pema, Lhasa, and even Bumthang Kuje, Paro Taktshang, and Paro Chumphu. Over

the time fashion influenced soonkey's designs; any piece hang-able on the neck becomes soonkey with blessing received upon it, making it worth commercial. Ironically even bullets are worn as soonkey! Many won't want to wear the bamboo piece from Paro Chumphu, once considered holiest. So this is a little bit about soonkey, but what is e-Soonkey?

This is my very personal invention and therefore must sound crazy to some. Though my faith in religion and god is deep rooted, I often

take some practices for granted, by choice or by chance. People give me soonkeys and I appreciate it so much but I hardly have it on my neck the next day, either it went lose or I forgot to wear it back after shower. What I don't forget to wear on my neck is my 1 GB Thumb Drive (you may call it Pen Drive or USB Drive). I don't remember a day I didn't wear it! Now the point is Why don't I get my Thumb Drive blessed and wear it as soonkey?

Logic behind the idea is no just I-don't-forget-to-wear-it but that 1 GB space can hold hundreds of pages of prayer, hundreds of Kupars, and religious symbols along side my important documents and software. If the same amount of prayers, kupars and symbols are to be hung literally on your neck; perhaps you may need a car to carry your soonkey. Now, if you question the content of the device being just virtual and nonphysical, you should perhaps reflect on your faith.

So my e-Soonkey is the marriage of faith and technology.

At times I funnily believe that someday e-Soonkey may be more effective than antivirus in protection against computer viruses.