karmachoden

Spontaneous expression of thoughts and emotions in words.

Archive for the month “January, 2016”

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.)

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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.

camp RUF family
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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