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Devotion and compassion

The Statesman's Nirendra Dev attended the 2nd Annual Drukpa Council and provided this article (download article in PDF format)- The Drukpa lineage claims to have at least 4 million followers. Nirendra Dev attends the second annual Druk Council of the Buddhist monastery in Nepal

Kalenjoj (10) is the third member in his family to turn a Lama besides his elder brother; his 6-year-old sister has become a nun. A simple boy from a tiny hamlet in Nepal, Kalenjoj knows little about the tough metaphysical aspects of Buddhism. For him, Buddha is best known throughout the universe for his teachings of love and com-passion. "Woh pyar sikhanchcho (he teaches love)", he says in Nepali adding that he finds Buddha's feet "very attractive".

In this little known place called Bajurai, for children like Kalen-joj getting inducted into lamahood is also tinged with sadness. "My father is dead," he said with moist eyes and added that he wept a lot when his mother agreed to let him join the monastery. His 15-year-old brother Sher Bahadur had gone home about two years back and sought his mother's permission to allow Kalenjoj to be dedicated to the service of the Lord and humanity. "I know it was a difficult decision for mother. But she is a devoted believer and hence allowed me," the 10-year-old said.

For the past two years, he is among the 1500 plus lamas of young aspiring monks and nuns in the mo-nastery at the Druk Amtibha Mountain of the Drukpa sect of Buddhists.

The Drukpa lineage is one of the main Buddhist schools of thought in the Himalayan ranges beginning from 1206 and spreads across Bhutan, Tibet, China, Nepal and India. It claims to have at least 4 million followers.

Druk Amitabha Mountain is located in Sitapaila, within the provincial district of Bagmati. It is within walking distance from Kathmandu's famous Swayambhunath Stupa.

The mountain has now become the main training centre and administrative headquarters of the nunneries of the Druk lineage. About 800 nuns from across the globe, especially from the Himalayan range, and 200 young lamas and about 15000 participants had gathered at the monastery for the group's second annual Druk Council. The daily life of the participants and the nuns during the 8-day long festival primarily consisted of morning prayer, education, learning some martial arts and also education in religious rites and practices.

"Besides being involved in daily spiritual activities, the nuns also practice Kung Fu twice daily. We believe firmly in what our spiritual guru His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa says, that spiritual and physical well being are equallyimportant," said Jigme Rigzin Jhano, one of the nuns and office-bearers at the monastery. On a different plane, boys like Kalenjoj miss their childhood. There is another compatriot of his age, Rinche Tare, who addresses himself as "Jigmey"; a title he still struggles with. Their concept of Buddhism is basic but sound.

"Paap karne hunna" (mankind should give up all kinds of sin), said Tare and added that his daily prayer includes a modest slot for universal peace.

Tare's father stays in Malaysia, so for his mother it was but a natural choice to allow him to join lamahood as that would probably guarantee a salvation from worldly pathos. "Nepal mein shanti chayie," remarked Tare intelligently but his face betrayed the innocence of childhood. It is a similar story for the slightly older Jigme Rigzin Jhano, a 20-year-old officer at DAM. She said she fled her home in Ladakh against the wishes of her parents to join the monastery. "I wanted to serve people," she said. Zineet Amo and Zineet Sunam are also from Ladakh but their joining the monastery was voluntary and with the approval of their families. They participated in the 10-day-long special prayer session coinciding with the Council's annual conference and the coronation of the 4-year-old boy reincarnate of Sengdrak Rinpoche (1947-2005), Kyabje Sengdrak Rinpoche.

About 800 nuns participated in the special prayers with participants drawn from across the globe including, Bhutan, France, Brazil, England, Hong Kong and Germany. "Zineet (Jigme) means Nidar - we are fearless," said Zineet Amo.

 

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