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Blessing Rainy Day

Due to prays made in the times of yore by thousands of gods and goddesses and the fate of the entire living being, the south pole star of crystal water (Karma Rekhey) faces the cosmic Buddha known as Vairocana at Mount Meru for period of a week. In so doing the dewdrops of nectar of auspicious blessing drizzles from the blue to the earth which on falling to anyone rinse out his or her sin of wrongdoings and as well clears all the obstacle of the lifetime into the vast space. This event takes place once every twelve month but however the precise timing for the start of such auspicious episode is determined only by astrologers, and shall be televised in advance for citizens. During the week long period of showery blessing, all the water bodies of the globe are contaminated with the nectar that can get rid of all the worldly impurities. This deletion of impurities shall not be rigid only to Buddhist cohorts, but to all the sentient being regardless of religion; it’s like a patient who is benefited not considering of whether he beliefs to the medicine or not. However, there would be slight distinction in the quality of merits gained depending on the strength of belief you cultivate during the event of receiving such blessing. 

Fig: Budhha Vairochana (Courtesy: Ebay)
The above paragraph enlighten the readers on spiritual significance of the day to the living beings of all realms. So now, the real crux of my critique start from this section of writing by stating that the celebration of feast arranged to observe ‘Blessing Rainy Day’ in every homes of ours is totally a shaggy dog story to the pains of great Vairocana sitting on the petals of thousand Buddha. Confused? Or gnashing your teeth to read the earlier line? But the fact is that the day mistakenly referred to as festival was celebrated with pork, beef, and alcoholic drinks but in reality it is a day supposedly to be meant to cleanse sins accumulated in the past, and devote to gain fresh merits for it is called as ‘Duechen’ which means great day of all time. Some smartly shield their views by saying that the day besides being marked as ‘Blessing Rainy Day’ also coincide the end of monsoon and start of harvest for farmers because of which they, together with their folks enjoy the feast. And if it were the reason for bulging the belly of animal slayers then the gods and goddess who prayed in the past for wanting such blessing day would unquestionably regret for their wish to delete the impurities of mankind which served no purpose. I do not have opposing view when it comes to celebration like arranging archery match or outdoor darts as it is the way of expressing our joy for having rinsed out the sins and diseases by the shower from heaven, but the contradictory part is that there are no such play-offs excluding meat and drinks from the menu of banquet at the end of the day. So, whatever be the reason, the day of great cosmic Buddha is now a platform for someone to swell their business by slaughtering thousands of childlike animals for quenching the thirst of many feast lovers.

So, brothers and sisters let us analysis it carefully and start new tradition of devoting in spiritualism at that particular day for the wellbeing of our-self and others. Or otherwise, the natural disasters, global climatic change, untimely rain, etc would not cease in this globe for not respecting the effort of Buddha Vairocana to delete the impurities of body, speech and mind of all life forms. Thus, save our-self and others from being not lucky to continue such auspicious day by refraining flesh and drinks at least for a day. May the gods and goddess be pleased to see the change in us, and inspire them to make another similar prays for our benefit. I would love to see all the readers to bring change during day. HAPPY BLESSING RAINY DAY in advance for next year.


Perfection of Generosity

The advise on perfection of generosity are published below not because that I’ve mastered all the words of Buddha, but it’s only the flat form I used to wind back those teaching on six virtues of life from booklet called ‘Thirty Seven Bodhisattva Practice’  taught by Dasho Namgay Wangchuk (Ex Member of Parliament, Punakha) during high school times. This work of mine is sincere dedication for his selfless service.

Generosity is the nobility of being willing to dedicate our body, worldly goods and merits with pure motivation of genuine concern for the benefit of sentient beings. One ought to keep away from erroneous notion that generosity has no outcome, for it is the basis of gaining merits and this shall serve the best reason or necessity of being generous. There are three nature of generosity that we may offer to the sentient beings based on the grounds of their necessity, i.e. possessions giving to those who are suffering from starvation, frostiness, etc, giving of dharma (highest order of giving) to those who are wrapped by the dust of ignorance, and lastly fearlessness giving to folks who live in displeasure, terror and misery by heartening them to rise above any difficulties encountered.

However, there should be perfection in generosity which is not accomplished simply by giving things or by the value of gift donated. For the purpose, the giver should not have expectations of worldly rewards like reputation, recognition, gratitude, advantages, or taking rebirth in moneyed family, etc.  With neutral compassion for both alien and foe, one should consider the subject to whom we are being generous as a tutor who is assisting to complete the perfection of generosity.

When the birth to the art of giving is barred by our attachment to worldly materials, then we should learn by heart that the article and its proprietor shall be separated when departing from this globe, and accordingly his misery shall persist in next generation due to demerits so developed by the poison of greed. So while practicing bigheartedness, the giver should assume that he or she is returning the assets to its legal owner who in the times of yore had given it for safeguarding and by such mind-set one shall have calm and peaceful mind while giving it, and shall not regret the action afterwards. These words do not try to paint fortress in heavens, it is however thorny when put into practice but not at all impossible, or otherwise in the ancient time our forefathers may not have seen flying Yogis who lived with such generous act.

For perfection of generosity, we should emphasize on four actions of dedicating, protecting, purifying and increasing; dedicate our body to all the sentient beings with truly generous motivation of the awakened heart of compassion, wisdom and love. Having dedicated our body, we should protect it from being worn out in worthless deeds. We should also make generosity of the body a pure practice by concentrating on the subject, object and action. Then the merits gained from generosity has to be dedicated to all sentient beings, increasing in numbers equal to the sands of Ganges River. 

During the process of underlining some tips of perfecting generosity, I've touched about one of the other noteworthy virtues of life i.e. the ethics required for being generous, and it is obvious that other four virtues like patience, dauntlessness (energy), concentration and wisdom are also inseparable while practicing generosity; during the practice we must have patience and do not get heated with the treacherous act of betraying by the object of generosity, or else anger is one of the three fatal poisons in life that tear down our merits. It must be made with unbroken vigor or if not our virtues habit of giving may fade away. The giver should contemplate on payback of being openhanded and the fallout if does not practice it, otherwise our monkey wits may get sidetracked by fake worldly pleasures. While being charitable, one should also ensure that the practice is pure without any shady action, thought and tongue.

Gyalse Tokme Zangpo (1297-1371), Author of 37 Practices of Bodhisattva



Burning of Troy, Oil painting by Johann
At the peak of present I stand to watch the past,
where Paris cries to have heard the roar of hell
and the jaws of death approaching to kiss his last breath.

His cry ne’er reached to the ears of heaven
as he was the torch to set his city in flames
which prolonged for decades with no tail in the battle of Troy,
and troubling the nose of heaven by the reeks of slaughter

He as a prey of Sparta now recounts his deeds,
where he brought a rose along with thorns indeed
from the palace of Sparta without Menelaus’ consent.
Here Helen is subjected as a rose and the thorns were Menelaus’ battalion,
who thundered o’er the seas near the fortress of Troy like lion

He could not cover his fear to watch thousands of liner,
ploughing the foams o’er seas for years and decade
and burning the topless tower of Ilium to cascade. 

Remorse roll’d over his heart for having stole Leda's daughter.
Having seen the courtyard of Troy bathed in tears and bloods,
he thought its inhuman to fight for face of Helen
because of whom thousands with hearts of Buddha were slaughtered 


Open letter on About last Rites of H.E Shamarpa

Late Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche

Dear Nepal,

This is to send words that we the aficionados of Karma Kagyu are wounded when your government decided not to permit the entry of sacred body of H.E Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche for his last rites. Though acres of land in hundreds of Karma Kagyu monasteries are on hand for the cremation of our late master, we are still trying to win the heart of Nepal only to have the soil of Sharminub Foundation in Nepal be endorsed for the mentioned purpose. The government having turn deaf to the call of devotees, the ultimate voyage of Kudung Rinpoche to Nepal which earlier was scheduled on 14th July failed and thereby making all the globe wait in Kalimpong for such a long days. If Rinpoche during his lifetime had not made wish in front of thousands during world peace ritual ceremony in Nepal few years back on about his last rites to ensue in the land which gave birth to father of Buddhism (Buddha), we like insane would not at all disturb the ears of your government. But we still have hope in our hearts that your great government will understand our sentiments very sooner and therefore having trust in our own thoughts, the administration of Sharminub Foundation in Nepal continued with all necessary preparations as per the wish of our late master though decision from your state was not yet clear.

Due to political workloads, your government may have forgotten the pending spiritual issue which I thought is necessary to once again remind as the date line for final rites is very near. The Kudung Rinpoche shall be cremated on 31st July coinciding to first sermon of Lord Buddha which I believe is very near now. Whatever the reason may be for rejection of the proposal, we as devotees would not be very comfortable to stand in front of the next reincarnation of our master in future for having not fulfilled his only wish when he during his lifetime worked hard to fulfill the wishes of all the sentient beings.Though he the late master is Bhutanese by citizen, I don’t support the move to bring the sacred remain here in Bhutan or back to Delhi on taking consideration of the wish made by him. Every Bhutanese (including me), Indians, Germans or any other Buddhist States would wish to have the final voyage of Kudung Rinpoche be in their home but it’s lucky that he the great one had chosen your nation for his final rites, and I am sure your countrymen felt the same as what rest of the globe felt.

To support our proposal, it is not necessary to reflect history of how 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche were associated with the soils, people and kings of great Nepal because we have just read about his hagiographies in papers but it was your holy country that got opportunity to experience such blessing in the times of yore. Forget the tales of ancient times, just call to mind of how the late 14th Shamarpa contributed to spirituality of Nepal in recent years. 

So, may I appeal at this moment to your great nation to find solutions in nullifying the retraction order for the entry permit of Kudung Rinpoche issued by Home Ministry?

Looking forward for your great and kind support please

Thanking you
Yours Dharma Friend
Karma Thinley


Amla; Off Farm Business in Eastern Bhutan

Usually in mid November, farmers fully clad in eye catching outfits get together in Drametse to witness annual festival. The event marks the start of dry season where men need not have to chase monkeys in the sunlight or wild hogs in the moonlight as their farmlands are bare without corns or paddies.  With no worries of their farm animals being beaten by landlords for having encroached into the fields or their people being troubled by irrigation dispute, farmers dance to the rhythm of the festival. During the occasion, I have seen men gaming with cards and dices, women cheering with goblets and bottles, and children fooling around with lately bought playthings.  Those notes they pay out for their festivity are not earned with the paper works like nearly the entire civil servants do. Every fifty pence piece was earned by ploughing the unbreakable earth, terracing the steep slopes and watering the scorched plants.
Cautiously Harvesting amla
Now with the end of the festival, farmers usually do not have on farm duties until the thunder cracks through the shady clouds with salutation for the monsoon to pour out its initial shower or unless the flowers blossom in every wild lands. During this sleeping phase of the year, some men travel poles apart in search of off farm works and some stay at home helping their neighbors to erect houses. But few farmers, mostly women stay at home doing only kitchen works and those people otherwise will reach to dormancy stage like seeds of plants if not intervened at precise point of time by extension agents like us.
Boiling of amla friuts
So, during this dry winter season, a group of sixteen members from Bikhar hamlet of Drametse decided to reap amla (Emblica officinalis) from Dozam Community Forest under strict supervision of Geog Forestry Extension Office. In a couple of day the group successfully harvested 2560 kg of fresh amla which when processed in dried form yielded approximately about 436 kg. The semi-processing and packaging task was completed only after ten working days and in the end a merrymaking rice wine gathering was arranged by the coordinator of the group. 
Deseeding of Amla with wooden hammer
But before wrapping up my article, a number of readers may possibly be eager of how semi-processing of amla is done. So, at first the fresh amla needs to be boiled in big pot and on cooling the stones of the amla fruits have to be removed by cautiously hammering on the deseeding table. Then it should be sun bathed for many days, and sorting has to be done before packaging in food grain polythene plastic. This then needs to be pressed by sealing machine and weighed. 
Sorting of dried amla
This semi-processed product on reaching to market will earn Nu 131 per kg (latest revised rate, earlier it was Nu 109 per kg) which means the group will have gross income of Nu 57,116 without deducting cost incurred in transportation and paying 5% of its total amount to the Dozam Community Forest as incentive for resource consumption. During the marketing process, RAMCO (Regional Agricultural Marketing Cooperation Office) in Mongar plays vital role in connecting the value chain as marketing facilitator. The semi-processed products are then reached to Bio-Bhutan or ITMS as per their demand by RAMCO. 
Packaging and weighing of amla
ITMS processed about 20% of the dried amla into 37 types of traditional medicines and supplies to forty Indigenous hospitals, and remaining 80% are processed into herbal teas. However, Bio-Bhutan export dried amla to Taiwan at Nu 135 per kg and also process some of it into herbal tea.
These are stories of amla after having supplied by Eastern farmers and before reaching it to end consumers. However, back at home the farmers are happy with what they earn because such work coincide with lean winter season or otherwise it would not be profitably if it were to be harvested in the middle of monsoon when they are digging soils and sowing seeds.
Tea & Rice wine, its Party time