karmachoden

Spontaneous expression of thoughts and emotions in words.

Immense Gratitude to our LEADERS

This monsoon has seen one of the worst floods leading to road blocks, damages to the bridges, homes and even taking a few lives. But it is in this worst situation we have seen the best of leadership, compassion, sympathy and empathy of our leaders. It was the presence of His Majesty in the worst affected area that touched the hearts and won admiration of many people in the country. Without giving a second thought to his personal safety, HM led the rescue team from the front personally overseeing the mitigation, restoration, relocation and safety of his subjects while himself being drenched and soaked to the brim in rain and flood. While the rest of us basked in the comfort of our warm cozy rooms HM spent his time with the flood affected people giving warmth and comfort to the people. To this we the citizens at least owe our gratitude for once again our Kings have proved that the safety of his subjects is far greater than his personal safety.

Seeing HM at devastated Sarpang town reminded me of HM the Fourth King who led his team at the forefront risking his own life during the December 2003 flush out operation of the insurgents in our country. This time it is HM who came at the forefront leading his team to rescue our people from dangers to their lives and properties. Where in the world will one find such a king who immerses himself so fully at the ground level?

Secondly, it was great to see our Prime Minister who immediately cancelled his scheduled visit to Lingzhi and personally engaged in the rescue work at Phuentsholing, Kamji, Pasakha, Samtse and joining HM at Gelephu. He left  no stone unturned to follow in the footsteps of His Majesty and spent tireless nights sometimes working till the wee hour in the morning to ensure the safety of our people.

PM’s recent FB post indicate that he is at Nimtola in Dagana and is seen interacting with the students and public to learn the ground situation there since the gewog got disconnect from the rest of the Dzongkhag due to the flood. It is heartening to know that a farm shop with essential food items will be opened immediately and food items will be sold at fair prices to the public. I learned that food items will be airlifted and stocked at the farm shop till the situation there improves. This also reminded me of how at one point of time people complained, whined and made a hue and cry over the government buying helicopters. People come to know the value of a person or a thing only at the time of disasters such as this.

Our people should remain grateful for all that the PM has done in the recent flood. I don’t know how our people feel but I am not ashamed to admit that our PM has earned my deepest admiration. Actions after all speak louder than words which PM proved in all his moves.

And last but not least, I for one cannot shy away from admitting the selfless service of our arm force and desuups who are always ever ready, willing and in the service of our country. I salute to you all who were engaged in the rescue and restoration works of the recent flood. Images of the people in uniform working hard day and night at times like this are always heartwarming and heart wrenching too. One cannot help but admire their level of devotion, love and display of patriotism to our King, Country and People.

Times like this also bring people from all walk of lives in solidarity and support for the ones affected. It was very heartwarming to see organizations coming together to help in the damage mitigation work carried out at different places. Some contributed physical labour while some contributed food and refreshment.

Now, there is a darker side shown by the recent flood. People in the capital city not only selfishly lined up their cars around every available fuel station creating traffic jam but also hoarded fuel despite repeated request from the PM and concerned agencies not to hoard fuel. Vegetable vendors started selling vegetables at exorbitantly high rates.  Onions during the time of flood were priced at Nu.80 per kg while it costed only Nu. 40/kg just a week before the flood. Taxis started charging extra fare for the customers in genuine need for travel. I will not be surprised if someday we get to hear that grocery shops have raised the price on food items.

How selfish can we get? and how grateful can we remain?

 

Youth, Social ills and Family Bonding.

Its summer breaks and children all over the country are home for 15 days. While few will be engaged meaningfully, many will be taking the opportunity of the freedom from the strict watchfulness of the school teachers, wardens and matrons and taking advantage of the unconditional love of the parents.

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A young boy of 16 years old has already succumbed to stabbing in a gang fight around Norling area in Changangkha. There are others who are found in groups in their favourite hangouts. Some of the most common places children frequent in groups are around Norling Building area in Changangkha, Yellow Building in Changzamtog, City Bus Parking area in the main town, Red Building in Olakha, Twin Building in Babesa, cinema theatres and all the dark and dingy places. If your children are not home at certain time, do check out these places and all the bars and restaurants around Norzin Lam. Children flocking in the town and streets are like a time bomb. Any time the bomb may blast and we may hear news of another child either being in the hospital or in the custody of the police.

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Children are on vacation and it’s time for them to relax, rejuvenate, and recuperate to prepare them for the next half of the academic session. As such, they do deserve some outings to chill out with their friends, share their teenage stuffs that they can only share with their friends. However, these outings will have to be guided so that they don’t get into the peer pressure or any harmful temptations.  Parents should constantly stay informed of the whereabouts of their children, the kind of friends they are hanging out with and the details of the parental backgrounds of their friends.

Parents should also make conscious effort to leave their office on time so that they can spend quality time with their children thereby ensuring that children do not feel the need to hang out much with their friends. There are so many beautiful places that you can hang out with your children if one is in Thimphu. Why not take a healthy walk around the Ludrong Memorial Garden, appreciate the beauty of the nature and enjoy a cool lunch amidst the nature. Or for that matter why not hike up the nature trail around the Kuenselphodrang Park, or drive up to Lamperi Park over a day’s picnic. This may just sound like outings and picnics but this is when parents are together with their children and this is when bonding between the two are enhanced.

I know most parents do know of this but it is our human nature to forget amidst the busy schedule of our daily work unless we continuously remind ourselves and make conscious effort to keep the flame of family bonding burning all the time. It is in this conscious effort that we will save our children from becoming one of the victims of the social ills.

While parents play their role, it is equally important for all the operators of the bars and clubs to be socially responsible and mindful and not to engage in indulging our youth in damaging activities. We can’t shy away from our roles and responsibilities when it comes to our youth- be it our own children or somebody else children. Every individual is responsible. Let’s roll up our sleeve and save a child from social ills.

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Book Review: Lomba

Title of the Book: Lomba

Author: Pema Euden

Year of publishing: 2016

Number of pages: 203

 

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Seday the protagonist in Lomba doesn’t sound so enthusiastic about going to Haa having to leave behind her close friends in Thimphu. Nevertheless, she had to tag along with her parents as her father lands up with a good job that paid better and so does her mother who easily lands up with a job by virtue of being a teacher.

Seday wasn’t actually looking forward to her schooling in Haa. She misses her best friends in Thimphu but to her dismay, finds out that they had taken her for granted. However, the strong characteristic in her makes her move on and as time passes by she gradually settles down with her new friends especially Tenzi and Pem in her new school. She finds out that Haa is actually not so bad and she starts to feel at home. Everything was going perfectly well for her.

And then Lomba starts. And that is where the mystery lies. What happens on the night of Lomba if you don’t eat your dinner which is usually Honteys-the cuisine from Haa made on the night of Lomba? What is the mystery about? Is it just a belief? Or does this really happen?

She is being provoked by her friends that if she doesn’t eat dinner on the night of Lomba she will be in for a surprise- a very bad surprise. They tell her mysterious stories about Lomba that doesn’t go very well with her. She doesn’t buy their stories at all and earns the title of being a very stubborn girl.

Seday decides to challenge her two friends to forego her dinner on the Lomba night to prove her friends wrong about the mystery stuff. She feels the whole ritual is a waste of time and stupid. However, on the night of Lomba she finds herself being carried away to a strange land amongst friends and people she had never had any real conversation with surrounded by alien like creatures.  That is where the real story of Lomba starts.

Seday’s experiences in the bizarre world of strange people is put very explicitly, unequivocally and imaginatively in modern contemporary English that is very much relatable to the younger generation of her age.

Through this book of fiction, the author brings out the core values of friendship, relationship, family, trust, good vs evil and most importantly the message that we should never take anything for granted.

The cover art is done very well that matched the imagination of the author and the blurb page leaves a great sense of suspense that kind of arises curiosity in the readers. The author could have worked a little extra on the layout and design and the quality of printing. If not for this little shortcomings, the book has come out very well in terms of the quality of language and story.

Done in 203 pages the young author of 19 years of age has brought out a book of imagination targeted at the young Bhutanese audience. The cost of the book is Nu.295 and most importantly 30% of the proceeds from the book will go to Tarayana Foundation. It may be worth noting that she published her first book, “Coming Home” in 2008 making her the youngest author in Bhutan and the proceeds from the earlier book were also donated to Tarayana Foundation.

‘Lomba’ was launched by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck on 28th June, 2016 at Tarayana Foundation.

 

 

Eulogy on the demise of Shakespeare from Bhutanese curriculum

My thoughts on the removal of Shakespeare from our curriculum. I was feeling nostalgic going through Shakespeare’s works and most  importantly I was flipping though the pages of Julius Caesar which actually motivated me to write the following lines:

Friends, Bhutanese, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Shakespeare, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Shakespeare.
Our noble curriculum reviewers hath told you Shakespeare was archaic;
And grievously hath the Bhutanese English curriculum answered it.
Here under the leave of curriculum reviewers and the rest,
For curriculum reviewers are honourable men;
So are they all, all honourable men-
Come I to speak in Shakespeare’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me;
And curriculum reviewers say he was archaic,
And curriculum reviewers are honourable men.
Shakespeare hath brought many linguistics integration to Bhutan,
Whose ransom did Shakespeare’s coffer fill:
Did in this Shakespeare seem archaic?
When the thirsty learners have sought,
Shakespeare hath quenched the thirst;
Yet curriculum reviewers say Shakespeare was archaic.
And curriculum reviewers are honourable men.
I speak not to disapprove the curriculum reviewers,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You did love Shakespeare once not with out cause:
What causes withholds you not to mourn his removal?
O judgement, thou art fled to unreasonable thoughts,
And men have lost their reasons.
Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Shakespeare,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

In response to Mr. Wangcha Sangay’s post on “Please Quit the Education Ministry”

Dear Mr. Wangcha Sangay,

I have always followed your post very religiously and almost every time admired your boldness and guts in writing about everything under the sun and above the earth without any hesitation. But this time I am sorry to say I don’t agree with the way you wrote about Sherig Lyonpo and how you construed the meaning of the justifications Sherig Lyonpo gave at the Question –Answer Session of the National Council.

You see most of the times people are under the denial state and always try to sweep things under the carpet. Most of the time we don’t want to accept that there is a problem and because we do not want to admit that there are problems we do not come up with any solutions as well.

It is only in accepting that there are problems that we can come up with solutions to overcome the problems and I guess Sherig Lyonpo is only trying to admit that there are problems for which we need to find solutions. It only shows his concern about the grave situation that we are in and how best we can answer such situation so as to mold our youth in ways that is envisioned from the throne. In no way I see Sherig Lyonpo shaming our youth, Education Ministry, Parents and nation by admitting that we have problems. Let’s accept it, own it and let’s face it if we feel the need to move ahead.

And for your kind information, Sherig Lyonpo wasn’t being just loud mouth as you seem to refer him to. The fact that there are 50% of the youth abusing drugs (drugs here is inclusive of all substance starting from Chewing Tobacco, Cigarette, various inhalants and others) is true and it has been derived based on the average of the survey carried out by sampled schools in urban areas.  These figures may not suggest that 50% of our youth are full time addicted on drugs but it is something for everyone to think about and especially for an Education Minister it is a matter of huge concern for its on his shoulder the burden lies to strategize the answers to such problems.

And yes 33.5% of the students were stunted due to malnutrition in 2010 as per the National Nutrition Survey, 2015. This figure has dropped down to 16.6% in 2015 but still some disparity in different regions. For instance, the prevalence rate of stunting is 20% in eastern region while it is 14.9 % and 14.2% respectively in western and central region. There is a disparity even in rural and urban areas as in 20.8% in the former and 11.9% in the later.

You see what matters is the fact that Sherig Lyonpo cares and because he cares he is willing to accept the fact and admit it publicly. Don’t you think it is the duty of everyone to support and work towards achieving one common goal of improving the quality of our youth? And for that first we need to accept the fact and admit it.

 

Book Review Title: The Sacred Jewel of Bhutan

Kyichu Book

Book Title: Kyichu Lhakhang

Publisher: Gatshel Publishing

Pages: 172

A book that starts with a supplication prayer the ending of which says, “What is written here is offered as nectar to the ears of the faithful ones. Having prayed thus, we hereby offer an explanation of this sacred jewel called Paro Kyicu Lhakhang.”

Therefore, the book researched and edited by Dungchen Sangay Dorji, Supawan Pui Lamsam, Kesang Choden Tashi Wangchuck and Pema Wangdi with magnificent photos contributed by Chotiwat Punnopatham, Chongmas Rajabhandarak and Supawan Pui Lamsam actually tells the history behind the construction of Kyichu Lhakhang at Paro in Bhutan.

Many of us who have read the history of Bhutan know that Kyichu Lhakhang was built by the Tibetan Dharma King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th Century and that is it. Now I come to know that Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the 108 monasteries built in order to subjugate the large supine demoness, upon whose heart the Jokhang in Lhasa fell. Out of the 108 monasteries, two were built in Bhutan; one is Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro and the other one is Jampa Lhakhang in Bumthang. It is believed that all the 108 monasteries were miraculously built in a day by artisans who were emanations of the Dharma King Songtsen Gampo himself.

As you flip through the pages, you will discover why the Dharma King Songtsen Gampo conceived the idea of 108 monasteries and who were the principal people involved in identifying the solutions to ensure the propagation of the Buddha Dharma.

One will also find the historical background of how the Monarchs of the Kingdom of Bhutan were spiritually linked to and guided by many eminent Buddhist masters thereby ensuring the peace and prosperity of the Kingdom and its people including the history behind the famous raven crown worn by the Kings of Bhutan.

It is believed that many Treasures were hidden in Paro Kyichu Lhakhang by the famous 8th century Tantric master Guru Padmasambhawa who introduced Vajrayana Buddhism in the Kingdom of Bhutan including other Himalayan regions such as Nepal, Sikkim, Ladakh and Tibet. Many of these treasures were later discovered by the Treasures Revealers who were the emanations of Guru Rinpoche himself or the emanations of his 25 principal disciples. How, by whom and what are some of the treasures revealed at the Kyichu Lhakhang are clearly detailed out in the book.

One will also find the roles played by many great people in protecting and maintaining the sanctity of the Kyichu Lhakhang, the most important being the true patron of the Dharma Her Majesty The Royal Grandmother Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck, the Dharma King of Bhutan His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo King Jigme Singye Wangchuck and His Holiness Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche . I quote the editors, “Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck is truly the giver of life and the Goddess of Prosperity, Lakshmi Dipam, for the Kingdom of Bhutan and its people. She has given ceaselessly with unprecedented faith to strengthen and sustain the Dharma and welfare of the people through her innumerable activities. She has touched many lives and inspired others with her grace, magnanimity and wisdom.”

Thus, the book is humbly dedicated to the 85th Birth Anniversary of Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck and for her long life and to celebrate her ‘exemplar brilliance and steadfast commitment to the Kingdom of Bhutan.’ The book is also to celebrate ‘the auspicious occasion of the 50th year of Terton Jigme Lingpa’s most sacred Kagye Yongdu Thukdrub Palchen Dupa Drubchen.’  in Kyichu Guru Lhakhang.

The Book is divided into three parts. Part I of the books takes the readers through four chapters starting from the Conception, Sublime Blessings, The Revelation of Profound Treasures to Bodhisattva Luminaries and Emanations. Part II of the book details about the The Wish Fulfilling Jewel-The Sanctum of Jowo Lhakhang and The Sanctum of Old Guru Lhakhang. Part III of the book talks about the The Precious Gem- The formation and the creation of New Guru Lhakhang, The Sanctum of New Guru Lhakhang,  and photos that have been captured from the surrounding and preparation towards the Kagye Yongdu Thukdrub Palchen Dupa Drubchen as well as the scenes from the Drubchen itself. The preface by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche Ugyen Tenzin Jigme Lhundrup briefs out the significance of Kyichu Lhakhang and the important roles played by the Dharma Patrons.

The detailed history of Kyichu Lhakhang with magnificent pictures is recorded in this book for posterity. Knowing the significance of Kyichu Lhakhang in connection to the Jokhang in Lhasa and knowing that the Jowo statue at the Kyichu Lhakhang having the same sacredness and blessings as that of the Jowo statue at the Jokhang in Lhasa make it even more valuable for the Bhutanese to appreciate and preserve what we have in hand now-The Sacred Jewel of Bhutan.

The book is recommended for every individual as a sacred treasure in your homes to be liberated from the samsara and to be gifted to your children in the same token. It is also highly recommended as reference in all school libraries. The cost of the book is Nu.3500 and all proceeds from the sale of the book will directly go to Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck’s temple restoration project and her various Dharma activities.

“May all auspicious circumstances occur and wishes be fulfilled for those who come into contact with Kyichu Lhakhang, the Saccred Jewel of Bhutan.”- (pg. 128, Editors.)

Book Review Title:The Bodhisattva King in action

20160322_170716“Have you ever heard of the name ‘Hotel Mike’?” I asked this question to a colleague at work and she said it could be the name of a mid level hotel at one of the places that I visited lately. “Well, even I came to know about this only very recently. In fact only after my return from the trip” I told her. Now that made her a bit curious and she prompted me to spill the beans. I asked her ‘have you heard of the book titled ‘The Bodhisattva King’ by Tshering Tashi and Thierry Mathou? She said, ‘I saw that in your office.’ “Then, take the book, turn to page number 235 and spot the article ‘The Buddhist warrior- The Strategist who saved the sovereignty of the Nation’ by Tshering Tashi and you will discover the secrets behind ‘Hotel Mike.’” I said.
For now let me tell you ‘Hotel Mike’ is none other than His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck. This was the code name given by the senior officers of the Armed Forces to the Supreme Commander-in Chief who led the Low Intensity Conflict- Operation Flush Out against the militants in the southern belt of our country in December, 2003. Reading for the first time the inside story of the Operation Flush Out had me go emotional and teary eyed. It brought back memories in flashes. 15 December 2003 is the date I will never ever forget in the history of Bhutan and in my own life. This was the day our great fourth led a small team of true sons (my husband played his own role as a militia volunteer) and daughters of Palden Drukpa to save guard and ensure the sovereignty of our nation. Tshering Tashi (who was a militia volunteer himself) tells this and more about the King who risked his life and put himself at the forefront to ensure the continuity of livelihood of the people in those regions and also to protect the overall independence of our country.
I picked this up as my favourite article out of the many articles shared by great thinkers, scholars, activists, politicians, individuals and many more who shared personal moments with His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The first write up that caught my attention though as I was just flipping through the 368 pages of the book was by someone I came to know as a good human being, a great soul and a great person by the name Chimi Zangmo. Sometimes the so familiar names and sometimes the not so familiar names catch the attention of the readers. It did so in my case. Then and there I read the ‘Moments’ by Chimi Zangmo because I am filled with curiosity to know what she has to tell us about Hotel Mike. She talks about a ‘hope’ implanted in a teenager who lost her father and was lost in confusion. It was then our very own Hotel Mike who lifted the spirit of this young teenager and made her what she is today- a very kind and compassionate soul herself reflecting the very virtues that implanted hope in her.
However, the article that caught my attention and mesmerized me the most is a special tribute by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Written in two pages, short and sweet, the tribute reveals a lot about an outsider’s outlook with regard to our Hotel Mike. I read a lot about this bold and beautiful, courageous and iron lady and watched many movies about her and Michael Aris but then here I get to read her thoughts about our great fourth and that is it.
What is the symbolism of the Bhutanese Monarchy? What do you understand by Cakravartin King? If you wish to find out more, then come out of your shell and read this article titled ‘The Cakravartin-King: Symbolism of the Bhutanese Monarchy’ by Aum Francoise Pommaret. It enlightened me and I am sure so will it do to every readers. I have never even heard of the word ‘Cakravartin’ until I read this book. So it got me more interested and took me deeper into the article. The term Khorlo Gyurwa Gyalpo sounded so musical to my ears. You may want to read further to understand better about the concept.
And another not so familiar writer that caught my attention was this- Afroze Bukht who contributed the article titled ‘The Story of a Living Legend’. He thus writes, “In 1963 when I visited Bhutan, I had the honour of calling upon on the Queen Mother in Dechencholing Palace. I remember seeing a young boy scampering across the lawns of the compound. Later on I Iearnt that the young man was the Crown Prince. His demeanour and his gait portrayed him as a man of supreme confidence. It was that trait which would come to his rescue when he was called upon to shoulder the responsibilities of the kingdom at the tender age of sixteen years.”
Lee Kwang Boon is another familiar name in the book whose article I enjoyed reading. It sounds very genuine and right from the heart. Likewise as you flip through the 368 pages of the book you will come across many eminent contributors who shared their personal testimonies of the foresight and wisdom of a wise leader who has come to be known as The Bodhisattva King.
I have read many books about His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo but in ‘The Bodhisattva King’, Tshering Tashi and Thierry Mathou have attempted to capture and record testimonies from people of all walks of life to unveil the many reasons as to why His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wanghuck is considered as The Bodhisattva King.
And yes you would not want to miss hearing about the King from none other than Her Majesty Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck-the Royal Queen Mother of King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. There is a ‘Special recollection of the birth of a King of Destiny’ by Her Majesty Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck.
All in all, I have come to the understanding that this book is a product of careful supervision of Her Majesty The Royal Grand Mother Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck- the Queen Mother of His Majesty The King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. One will find rare and personal collections of Her Majesty The Royal Grand Mother’s Pictures in this book. I get a feeling that Her Majesty The Royal Grand Mother spent her precious time conscientiously working on this book in her effort to record not only the intrinsic details but also to give away something to the people of Bhutan for the preservation of the Tashigomangs.

And I quote the authors, “Her Majesty Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck- The Queen Mother of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck and His Majesty the Fourth King have strived to conserve the arts and preserve Bhutan’s unique culture and traditions. Bhutan is known today for its vibrant living culture because of the concerted efforts, love and care of Their Majesties. All profits from the sales of this book will go towards Her Majesty’s efforts in reviving the tradition of the Lam Manips and preserving the Tashigonmangs or portable shrines, a national treasure on the brink of extinction.”
‘The Bodhisattva King’ is worth 1000 kilos of gold and is recommended as a rare collection in your homes and a great reference in the school libraries. The cost of the book is Nu.5000.00 and remember that its non-profit based. All proceeds from the sales of the book will go towards a great cause under the wise leadership of Her Majesty The Royal Grand Mother.

Book Review Title: The Sacred Jewel of Bhutan

Book Title: Kyichu Lhakhang             Kyichu Book.jpg
Publisher: Gatshel Publishing
Pages: 172
A book that starts with a supplication prayer the ending of which says, “What is written here is offered as nectar to the ears of the faithful ones. Having prayed thus, we hereby offer an explanation of this sacred jewel called Paro Kyicu Lhakhang.”
Therefore, the book researched and edited by Dungchen Sangay Dorji, Supawan Pui Lamsam, Kesang Choden Tashi Wangchuck and Pema Wangdi with magnificent photos contributed by Chotiwat Punnopatham, Chongmas Rajabhandarak and Supawan Pui Lamsam actually tells the history behind the construction of Kyichu Lhakhang at Paro in Bhutan.
Many of us who have read the history of Bhutan know that Kyichu Lhakhang was built by the Tibetan Dharma King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th Century and that is it. Now I come to know that Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the 108 monasteries built in order to subjugate the large supine demoness, upon whose heart the Jokhang in Lhasa fell. Out of the 108 monasteries, two were built in Bhutan; one is Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro and the other one is Jampa Lhakhang in Bumthang. It is believed that all the 108 monasteries were miraculously built in a day by artisans who were emanations of the Dharma King Songtsen Gampo himself.
As you flip through the pages, you will discover why the Dharma King Songtsen Gampo conceived the idea of 108 monasteries and who were the principal people involved in identifying the solutions to ensure the propagation of the Buddha Dharma.
One will also find the historical background of how the Monarchs of the Kingdom of Bhutan were spiritually linked to and guided by many eminent Buddhist masters thereby ensuring the peace and prosperity of the Kingdom and its people including the history behind the famous raven crown worn by the Kings of Bhutan.
It is believed that many Treasures were hidden in Paro Kyichu Lhakhang by the famous 8th century Tantric master Guru Padmasambhawa who introduced Vajrayana Buddhism in the Kingdom of Bhutan including other Himalayan regions such as Nepal, Sikkim, Ladakh and Tibet. Many of these treasures were later discovered by the Treasures Revealers who were the emanations of Guru Rinpoche himself or the emanations of his 25 principal disciples. How, by whom and what are some of the treasures revealed at the Kyichu Lhakhang are clearly detailed out in the book.
One will also find the roles played by many great people in protecting and maintaining the sanctity of the Kyichu Lhakhang, the most important being the true patron of the Dharma Her Majesty The Royal Grandmother Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck, the Dharma King of Bhutan His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo and His Holiness Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche . Thus, the book is humbly dedicated to the 85th Birth Anniversary of Her Majesty The Royal Grandmother and for her long life.
The detailed history of Kyichu Lhakhang with magnificent pictures is recorded in this book for posterity. Knowing the significance of Kyichu Lhakhang in connection to the Jokhang in Lhasa and knowing that the Jowo statue at the Kyichu Lhakhang having the same sacredness and blessings as that of the Jowo statue at the Jokhang in Lhasa make it even more valuable for the Bhutanese to appreciate and preserve what we have in hand now-The Sacred Jewel of Bhutan.
The book is recommended for every individual as a sacred treasure in your homes to be liberated from the samsara and to be gifted to your children in the same token.
“May all auspicious circumstances occur and wishes be fulfilled for those who come into contact with Kyichu Lhakhang, the Sacred Jewel of Bhutan.”- (pg. 128, Editors.)

Book Review Title: Our Most Treasured and Beloved Father of Drukyul

11.11.11-tribute book

 

‘Our Most Treasured and Beloved Father of Drukyul’ is the way Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck describes His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo in the book of tributes to him, 11.11.11, published by MCP Publications coinciding with his 56th Birth Anniversary. This review is based on the 2nd Edition which was done in 2013. The whole idea of the book was conceptualized by Mr. Karma Tshering.
The 56th Birth Anniversary has been significantly portrayed in the numerical sequence 11.11.11. 11 as in the Day, Month and Year of the anniversary. The number 11 also happens to be the auspicious dice number of Gay-Ngen Jagpa-Melen-Chenpo- the protective deity of the country.
Such concurrence happens only to a rare being whose birth has been prophesied by the 18th Century treasure revealer Terton Drukda Dorji. He prophesized that in a Female Sheep Year, a king would be born who would bring unprecedented peace and prosperity in to Bhutan.
True to the prophecy, in the Female Sheep Year of 1955, the good news of the birth of a prince was heralded on November 11 by Her Majesty Ashi Phuntsho Chodron Wangchuck, Royal Mother of The Third Druk Gyalpo.
As little as three years old at the time of formal introduction to the public, His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo is said to have brought Genday Namgay –the then Drabe Lopen in awe and yet another prophecy was pronounced, “This is no ordinary child; he is destined for greatness; he is protected by YesheyGoenpo.”
11.11.11, through 11 chapters, briefly takes the readers through the journey of His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo starting from early life facts to the accomplishments and inspirational stories including some of the path breaking royal decrees.
The deep respect and reverence that every Bhutanese has for His Majesty The Fourth King can be drawn from some of the most poignant messages about the sacrifices, contributions, achievements, values, and personal beliefs and selflessness of His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo as opined through the tributes starting from members of the Royal Family to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers to the Youth, Business and International Organization as well as Lams and Rinpoches.
Here is what His Majesty The King says about his father, “To me personally, His Majesty is my King, my Teacher, my Inspiration and my Tsawai Lam.” Thrizin (Dr.) Sonam Kinga, National Council of Bhutan says that, “His Majesty has embodied the epitome of leadership by actualizing the ideal protector.”
“If my king sees my message, I want him to know we all love our king and want to wish him a very happy birthday.” Tashi Yangbi, 11 Years Old, Class V (then) Yadi Middle Secondary School, Mongar.
Those who believe in ‘brevity is the soul of wit’ by Shakespeare, this is the right book in terms of writings. The rare pictures of His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo adds charm. Personally, to me reflecting on the 56th Birth Anniversary tribute is a humbling offering on the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

Reminiscences of 2015 and Bucket list for 2016

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Today marks the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. As 2015 comes an end, I thought I might as well reflect on it so that I would know what to set out for 2016. Well, personally 2015 has been one of the most fulfilling and satisfying year for me. One thing I have learned is to ignore the negative criticism to live a happy and contended life. I have realized that how people treat me is their ‘Karma’ but how I react is my ‘Karma.’ So I have learned not to react to negative people but instead deal with them proactively.
I had set out a challenge to read and review 20 books by 11 November 2015 but I could read only 15 books and do 13 book reviews. Even though I could not reach my goal, I am glad I got at least near to it. I attended almost every session in the Mountain Echoes whenever time permitted me and especially did not miss the ones conducted after the office hours. I bought several books and got them autographed by the authors present during the Mountain Echoes-2015.

I got invited to do a presentation on reading and also to organize the reading sessions at the Camp RUF (Rural-Urban Friendship) in order to inspire our youth to develop good reading habits. I shared my personal journey with reading and how reading impacts our lives. Even if I had impacted one person, it would still be a huge achievement for me. More than anything the Camp made me feel so good surrounded by lots of young, energetic and positive energies. There is so much we can learn from each other. I applaud Tenzin, Tim and the team Camp RUF for many beautiful experiences they are providing to our youth.

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I donated several books from my collections to my son’s and daughter’s schools to help them build their libraries. I contributed books to the book café in Dorokha hoping that young and old alike would take to reading. I also worked very closely with Ms. Tashi Paydey Tshering and Druk Asia in doing book drives and this time the books were gifted to the campers at Camp RUF as well as to remote Nimtola Primay School in Dagana. We also donated shoes to the remote Chimuna community under Phuentsholing Dungkhag. The books and shoes had come all the way from Singapore and donated by Clementi High School. I have realized that much happiness comes in giving back to the community and helping the less fortunate ones to rise.

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I tried becoming a citizen volunteer after my office hours and during weekends and holidays. One of them is being a part of the Community of Bhutanese Bloggers where I not only attended the conferences and bloggers meet but also did presentation on Leadership of the SELF.

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As a part of being a citizen volunteer I participated in the Bhutan Urgent Run organized by the Bhutan Toilet Organisation where in I coordinated in cleaning six public toilets in Thimphu. Not many people would want to clean the poops of other people. But we did and we got one of the greatest satisfactions to be able to present to our people with clean public toilets. As a citizen volunteer I also participated as a panelist during the International Day of Human Rights where I spoke on ‘Civic Rights and Duties.’

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2015 saw the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo on 11 November where in for the first time after my college, I danced in the open ground with 107 other ladies from all walks of life. It was a special tribute dance and it was so much fun practicing and performing at Changlimithang. It connected me to many bold and beautiful ladies and we had a wonderful closing dinner hosted by Ashi Bidha and graced by Her Majesty The Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck.

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Being Desuup is also being a citizen volunteer. I participated in social services organized by the Desuung Office whenever I was around in the town. Being a part in each of these communities has given me lots of new friends both young and old. My social circle has increased and I gained greater circle of influence. I joined my fellow Desuups to orange our neighbourhood with a walk to eliminate violence against women and girls to observe the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women coordinated by RENEW.

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On the family front, I led a very beautiful and peaceful relationship with my kids, a good understanding providing space to each other with my husband and my kith and kin.
On the professional front, I fared well in the interpersonal and intra-personal relationships with my supervisors, subordinates, colleagues and whatever has been targeted for has been on track. I remained open to ideas, suggestions and always used proactive languages than reactive ones.
On the whole 2015 has given me so much with many beautiful memories to cherish. What more can I ask for? With much happiness and gratitude, I bid fare well to 2015 and I am now ready to welcome 2016 with the same spirit if not more.
My bucket list for 2016:
1. Read and review 20 books starting January 1.
2. Visit Merak, Sakten, Gasa, Laya and Lingshi. (I believe in knowing our country first before embarking on a foreign trip.)
3. Do more book drives and help some schools in developing hostel libraries.
4. Volunteer in every social services whenever I am around.
5. Keep my blog updated on a continuous basis.
6. Be a proactive member in the Desuung family.
7. Contribute more and quality book reviews on the READRIGSS webpage and Desuung webpage.
8. Listen to more music.
9. Be friends to my two kids and hubby.
10. Keep in touch with old friends while I make more new friends.
11. Finally take off for a month long vacation which I never did till now.

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