Friday, 17 April 2009

Bhutan : A forum to exchange and share knowledge

16 April, 2009 - Thimphu resident Buthri, 75, left for Nepal on April 5, three days before the annual Drukpa council (ADC) in Kathmandu began, because she heard that the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche - the reincarnation of Drogon Tsangpa Gyare (founder of the Drukpa lineage) and recognised and revered as the spiritual head of today’s Drukpa lineage - would be there.

On 8 April, before the sun rose, the old lady with her walking stick rushed to the Druk Amitabha mountain (where the ADC was being held), some 50 km from Kathmandu. There, along with thousands of worshippers and followers, Buthri waited for her Rinpoche in the scorching sun. His Holiness came to her with a smile. She folded her fingers and closed her eyes. She was so overwhelmed that tears streamed down her face.

There were thousands of devotees from Vietnam, America, Europe, Tibet and Ladakh (about10,000 in total), who had come for the ADC, initiated by His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche and planned to be now a yearly event. The ADC, the first of its kind in Drukpa history, gathered some 50 Drukpa masters from across the world to discuss promoting and making Drukpa teachings relevant to people in the modern world.

The chairman of ADC, His Eminence the 9th Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche, said that, in the absence of such meetings, the wisdom that the Drukpa masters of Bhutan have will remain in Bhutan only, and similarly the knowledge and wisdom that different masters have will remain within themselves. “This kind of forum will give an opportunity to exchange and share their knowledge with each other. The followers of the dharma will also get a chance to meet, listen and get wisdom from their masters.”

He added that the duty of any dharma holder was to provide chances to all living beings to listen to their teachings and put them into practice. “Generally any objective of the Buddha’s follower is to benefit others. There are various ways of doing that, such as giving happiness through special teachings like ADC or through social activities such as helping the poor”.

Devotees were more than happy. Nima Namgyel from Ladakh said there was no more significant occasion in his lifetime. “I’ve seen the live Buddha of compassion (referring to His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche),” said Nima. Most of the people said that it was the ADC that got people from all walks of life, from different countries, to see His Holiness and receive blessings from him, whom they regard as a living god.

Sonam from Bhutan said she wanted to be a true practitioner after listening to the teachings of the denpazhi (four noble truth) by His Holiness. The weeklong ADC will end today.

By Tenzin Namgyel

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