The straightened pillar
DRUKPA KUNLEY Our next story from Pho Chu could be described as light-hearted good works. It all started when Drukpa Kunley paid a visit to the home of Apa Tashi and Ama Nanga Lhama. It was infatuation at first sight, resulting in the couple begging DK to marry their daughter. If I’m going to marry your daughter I need chung, said DK. It turned out that they were expert brewers of chung— Kunley [... Read More]
The 67-year-old continues to find solace in the music box
LAST PAGE It was a hot summer night. By the time I got into bed, it was late and everyone at home was deep in slumber. The light snores broke the dead silence of the night.
As soon as my head hit the pillow I was asleep, only to be awoken by music. No, I did not mistake the snoring sound for music and soon [... Read More]
The motives today are surprisingly secular: mostly driven by poverty rather than a vocation
COVER STORY It would be good to have monk in our family.
These were the only words Sonam Tshoki heard his parents say. If they had discussed at length about sending him to the dratshang (monk body), he was oblivious to it.
By the time Sonam Tshoki, who was then nine, knew what was happening, he was at Dechenphodrang monastic school. Little [... Read More]
Nuns learn how to make torma (ritual cake)
Just a stone’s throw from Thimphu, the nuns at the retreat live a life that is a world away from city life
NUNNERY Seated on a plastic chair, ani Yeshey Choden, in her 80s, the oldest nun at the Wangsisina nunnery also known as Shechen Ogenchozong monastery, was basking in the sun.
As old as ani Yeshey was the nunnery, standing proud and picturesque, a few metres away. The nunnery, about 25km drive from the [... Read More]
WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO We have discussed duechen as an auspicious time marked by right alignment of astrological bodies and, as a result, by inner spiritual and wholesome achievements. Tshechu is one such duechen when the external constellation and stars in the right alignments making the time conducive for spiritual achievements.
Tshechu is a duechen associated with the person of Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche. Guru Rinpoche is believed to have been born [... Read More]
Residents of Thimphu practising Chod
There are in our midst those who choose to lead a religious life while going about their daily lives
FAITH While leading a life dominated by office work and chores at home, once in a while an individual commits and practises religion out of interest and faith.
One such individual is a civil servant, who’s been wearing a red robe since last year.
Starting from curiosity, Karma Lhendup’s interest in religion reached its peak when he [... Read More]
I am shy at speaking in front of many people. How can I get over this?
Sonam Tashi, Thimphu
YOUTH IN FOCUS We all have different abilities. Some of us are good at speaking, while others are not. Of course, you can practise to improve your skill, but finally you might still be unable to speak well. That is not important. The key point is to do your very best and not compare with [... Read More]
Monks washing robes with soap
HEALTH Significant changes that can be seen in monasteries today are in health and sanitation.
About a decade back, as is practiced in remote villages even now, monks used pit toilets without water or other sanitary facilities.
There were no proper soap to wash their hands and diseases like flu, body aches and sores were common among monks.
Monks studied, ate and slept at the kuenrey (chapel), which created an unhealthy environment that triggered drowsiness among [... Read More]
LAST PAGE Who am I? Why am I on this planet? Why am I Bhutanese? Where am I headed?
These were the many questions that have hounded me since I was a child.
My first encounter with death was at the age of six, when I was hospitalised with dysentry. The girl, who still remains that little girl in my mind, occupying a bed next to me passed away.
This single incident, in retrospect, was the [... Read More]
Do parliamentarians have nothing to do outside the National Assembly hall?
COVER STORY: The lights are out. Darkness has enveloped the ornate National Assembly hall. Except for monks from the central monastic body making offerings at the altar every morning and evening, no one enters the hall.
Occasionally state visitors and students are given a tour of the assembly secretariat, including the hallowed hall.
For official business, the hall is closed till February end, when the [... Read More]