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Benefit of Taking Refuge in Guru Rinpoche

These days, when told to tag along the footstep of Milarepa or the great Asoka, many would ask for one more paths to nirvana since those paths were thought to be built only to men destined to become treasured figures of the globe. The tales of flying yogis or a prince being enlightened under a tree were thousands of years old. Those stories are now fading and renouncing the worldly pleasures in search of eternal bliss is also losing ground. But the Vajra Guru Drupthop for a second time taught the world of how an ordinary man can be liberated without submitting yourself to much difficulty.

Vajra Guru Lam was some time ago an ordinary layman who was born in a Bon family. Having live out the Bonism way of life, he was one time in opposition to philosophy of lotus born prince of Uddyana, the great master. With no respect he spoke many slandering words against Bodhisattvas, especially to the Guru Rinpoche. But the fact of why such a doubting Thomas later took refuge in Padmasambhava was untold and remains as a mystery of the tale. It may be a contradicting situation but the lotus born prince would for all time sanctify those who remember him not considering who he is.

He the Vajra Guru Lam travelled into many vales and peaks in search of haunted sites like caves, cliffs, cremation grounds, etc. He meditated in those ghostly sites reciting the Vajra Guru Mantra to challenge evils and in the due course overcome the fears of death. A time came where he overwhelmingly achieved realization and liberation through recitation of the Vajra Guru Mantra. He then like a psychiatrist could read other’s mind and could also presage the future events for the reason that the locals called him as ‘Vajra Guru Lam,’ meaning the master of Vajra Guru Mantra.

In mid 1990s he turned out to be popular for his naked dance which was an atypical ritual art performed to eliminate all the sickness and catastrophes befalling a person. Therefore in some corners of Bhutan, particularly in my village (Korphu) he was known by the name ‘Pang Je Lam’ which means a master who shows the Phallus in crowd. His destitute lifestyle of wandering in woods and villages finally came to closing stage when his few rivals took away his eyesight by the art of sorcery. A master having rivals and they inflicting curse on him was just a twist of story resulted by karmic obscuration for disrespecting many Bodhisattvas in his younger age. The visually impaired master then settled his life in a haunted cave below Zhemgang Dzong where he spent years reciting the Vajra Guru Mantra.     

Fig: Vajra Guru Lama
He would have attended nirvana with rest of his stories untold to the universe if Urgyen Lama had not met him.  To him the stories of holy water oozing out of his hand prayer wheel  and seeing vision of Guru Rinpoche in Vajra land were revealed. As per the source, he the Vajra Guru siddha declared his death one week in advance on which it exactly becomes seven years from the time he saw Guru Padmasambhava’s vision, making the prophesy of recovering eyesight in seven years come true in view of the fact that he would see Guru Rinpoche after attending nirvana. Every crack of dawn was breathtaking to see three birds believed to be dakinis flying to circumambulate his body three rounds before flying off. More than thousand devotees poured down to pay their homage to the great Vajra Guru Drupthop.

At this verge, I humbly bow and go for refuge in Guru Rinpoche, the lotus born prince to clear away all our obstacles with power. I supplicate in the king treasurer reveler, the great Terton Padma Lingpa who blessed my land with compassion to lead us down the path of love. Lastly, I pray from my inner heart to your eminence the Vajra Guru Drupthop for being a paradigm to those who are yet to be enlightened.

You may also like article “A True Account of an Accomplished Practitioner of the Vajra Guru Mantra in Recent Times ”by Jigme Sherab, 2011


A Day in Wangduephodrang Farm

An extension agent ought to work in changing livelihood of farmers. Hence, to understand the lifestyle of a farmer, I was sent to work under a host family for about a month in one of the rural areas of Wangduephodrang District during my training period (March, 2011). It was often the most memorable part of any trainee’s college year for the reason that we tackled loads of thorny challenges while doing the work assigned by our host family. In college one has no other vital roles and responsibilities other than the studies, but in the farm there are lots of contractual obligations to be performed. A farmer gets engaged in several works in a single day so as to sustain their livelihood. During the occasion, I had seen a trainee be a milkman, a cowboy, a woodcutter, and lot more to study the incredible diversity within farming. 

College students assigned to build kitchen by a host family 
Potato plantation day would serve as a mere example of what a day in the farm might entail. The day started with a cup of tea. When I mention about the tea it do not mean that there was someone to wake me up with a cup of tea aside my bed. I still remember the day where I woke up when the sirens of alarm clock broke the silence of the dawn. Then I stumbled downstairs to get my face cleansed with water. Only after that I joined the host family to have a cup of tea. During the crack of dawn, Aum Yanka, the host mother went to feed the cattle. She walked me towards the cowshed with a bucket of food stuff. The cattle were fed with porridge like food. The two cows were milked by Aum Yanka and I was near her to note down the milk yield. At that particular instant I thought how could be my life if I were a milkman by profession. Before I was totally lost in the fantasy I heard Aum Yanka calling me to untie the calve. Ap Kinley, the host father cooked breakfast for the family. Sooner after the food was eaten, Agay Dengo, the oldest of the family took the cattle away from the village for grazing. Herding cattle was my routine assigned job but at that particular day I have joined the family to plant potato.

        Gelekha farm in Wangduephodrang
In the field, Aum Yanka sprinkled manure and Ap Kinley followed her to till the soil with power tiller. The steep gradient of the field leaves the use of other contemporary farm machinery out of question. But human hands and oxen cannot measure up to the challenge. Therefore, they somehow manage to use small machine like power tiller. I was instructed to be extra careful while sowing the seed. Chado, son of the host family was behind me to cover the sown seed with spade. Minute seemed to strike like a day and hour passed like a month for the reason that the farm works are easier said than done. 

I struggled to work in the field until the sun plunged down into west horizon. Though the work was incomplete, Ap Kinley decided to continue it in the next day. No sooner the rest was declared I have to rush into the forest to get back the cattle. Aum Yanka was ready with a kettle of tea for me when I returned home. It was six o’clock in the evening and I was incredibly tired. I couldn’t imagine what other seasons on the farm were like.

Dinner was served before I manage time to wash my body. Out here in the village, dinner was eaten in the early hours but I have no other alternative than joining them. I thought that I need some time to get myself adapted to their routine. After the dinner I sat near the fire to scribble down the daily report in my diary. Only at that moment I was reminded that I am no more a farmer but a trainee who was struggling in other's village to gain some practical knowledge on farming system. 

On the bed, I recollected upon my day. I was pleased to see that my host family truly operated together as a family with dedication and cooperation during the work hour. Each member had played a dynamic role allowing the potato plantation work to run smoothly. I was now equipped with some skills and knowledge to operate the farm. I now have an idea of how difficult a day on the farm is. Keeping such memories in my heart, I as a forestry extension agent would serve the farmers with full dedication.