Bhutan is a land of myth and magic, largely unspoilt country, never been colonized and it’s ravishingly beautiful. The place is the territory of the elusive snow leopard, the royal Bengal Tiger, the Golden langer monkey, the Red Panda and the endangered white-bellied heron. Here many weird things haunt you, where tigers fly and witches reside in ancient forests, you find massive dzongs, medieval monastic fortresses and the splendid array of temples and monasteries that it has spawned across the country.
In India, we live in practices some horrific brutal rituals, there are a bit weird including practises like cannibalism, dunking babies in to hot boiling water, walking barefoot on fire and human marrying animals and many more, but on the contrary Bhutan would be at peace because of its philosophy, Buddhism, cluttered lives, and the equal value it places on human and animal life and its warm calm and meditative nature.
There are no high rises in Bhutan, only pastoral scenery, white clouds and high peaks. This is the real ‘Shangri La’ the happiest purest land on earth.
These contemplating along with my excitement and breeze shooting, our car drove us from Paro to Thimbu, the trip to which, we went to mighty Buddha Dordenma which was made up of bronze and gilded in gold. It is being built to become a major pilgrimage centre and a focal point for Buddhists all over the world to practice, meditative and retreat. It is also the record holding tallest Buddha statute at a height of 169 feet (51.5 meters) in the world at Kuensal Phodrang .Inside the Bhudha Dordenma,there are Thankas paintings that spell identification of figures and scenes in formal and delicately rendered scripts in which depicted important teaching tools of Buddha and various influential lamas and other deities and Bodhisattvas and in the wheel of life which is a visual representation of the Art of enlightenment. All these Thankas are commonly used here for devotional as well as decorative purposes.
We remained quiet reflecting on the nature of impermanence that could easily be seen all over the wooden floor of the Buddha Dordenma. Thinking about how fast life passes, saying this Pema Dorgy became silent. My heart filled with gratitude to have met a friend in this short life who was purely selfless.
I got enlightenment in my life two years back. He told me.
“I want to be present to the world of phenomena. I started enjoying and meditating on one breath, one bird’s song, one leaf, one ray of sunlight –and all of these might serve as my subject of mediation and I find the happiness to liberation lay in each breath and each step in my life”. Dorgy quipped.
Dorgy has been an incredible journey of change and adaptation in his life. He spent darkest days in his life with reckless behaviour, over spending money and drinking with friends. One day, he was contemplating Buddha’s life, then he thought about karma cycle, he was convinced himself that his life was polluted and irretrievably flawed. As crippling as the weight of one’s past lives can be, however, it is nothing compared to the horrors of the here and now. He came to know the wheel of reincarnation rumbles ruthlessly over him all forcing him to live again and again in this horrid world until he gets it right and learn to not exist.
As a sceptic, I don’t belong to his beliefs but I don’t have any snide comments on his enlightenment story, but personally I am very appreciative of the way of life he lives.
Throughout my Bhutan days, Mr.Tamaganta was with me, we became good friends. One day he came with wearing the ubiquitous national dress, a knee length wrap-over tunic hitched up by a wide belt. He is skilled in telling me myths and stories to the places where we visit.
He continued; Bhutan is land of myths and magic- a Shangri-La where, as legend has its tigers, fly through the air and witches reside in ancient forests.
All most all Bhutanese ponder on dreadful event that would be occurred due to bad omen. So all their houses are decorated with dragons, animals and phallic symbols to guard against malicious thoughts. Even Buddhists stupas are erected near river to defy the evil spirit that lurks beneath the water, and shrines containing gilded prayers wheels are dotted across the hillsides.
Once I entered in to shrine rooms where every inch of wall space was covered in exquisite frescoers of gods and demons and there is a huge golden statue illuminated by hundreds of flickering butter lamps while red-robed monks sat crossed legged.
I was plunged in to trance by mumbling prayers in a hypnotic chant accompanied by the sound of tinkling bells and clashing cymbals.
I saw there are mischievous Lamas, who just finished their class, rushed on the swing bridge, leaving the prayer flags swirling with the wind; the trace of moisture floated in the air. Everything seemed so surreal.
I disdaining my rational thoughts, I fell in to irrational element of reality over and above the rational and my experience is surreal is very strange and difficult to understand, I dipped in the bizarre of imaginations.
Once the sun went down, the temperature plummeted, we were there while on the horizon, jutting above the swirling mists were ranges of shimmering peaks.
Tamaganta, our guide, hardly tried to make us happy with his naïve nature and calmness .But he is hesitated and under stress. , but he is rather anxious, insecure, and easily annoyed. He has a tendency towards depression, often show low self-esteem and tend to be generally dissatisfied with the situation. I observed.
What make u sad? I asked him
He opened his mind.
He fell in love with a Meghalaya girl and married one year before despite of the opposition of his family. Then, She left him and went to Singapore after a few days. The lady said to him that she will reunion with him after 10 years.
I will have to wait for her remaining nine years. He said
I imagined: It is springtime and they are everywhere: Newly joined couples walking through the city hand in hand, floating on cloud nine. Yet a few days later the initial rush of romance will have dissolved and the world will not appear as rosy anymore.
As a naïve Bhutanese man, he is not adept in reading shrewd mind, he is not a perspicacious.
He sighed and softly said: “I don’t want to hurt her feelings”
“I feel guilty”
“It’s for a good cause”.
Sure, she won’t come to him. I said to myself.
But I am unable to hurt his sappy heart.
When the time came for us to say goodbye
To my surprise, he wiped away his tears and squeezed me farewell.
I said to myself:
love and romance have not long lasting effect.
“When will he get enlightenment”?