February 4, 2007

What is Buddhism?

Before we talk about Buddhism in Bhutan, let us first try to understand What this Buddhism is all about?

First of all, I am not a Rinpoche nor a Buddhist practisioner. I am just a common man, a sentient being, foreover swaying in the ocean of Samsara. There will be, definitely, lots of shortcomings (and misgivings) in what I will write. It is with a hope (and prayers too) that I will begin to understand this fasciniting legacy left behind by the Buddha.

Anyway, what is Buddhism?

Some people say it is a religion, a theocracy bounded by orthodoxical misgivings. Some say, it is a complex web of ritualistic nonsense. Some believe it to be like any other religion. Yet, some believe it is a philosophy, a way of life that aims at improving the livelihood of the people and the world he chooses to live in.

Whatever the definition, Buddhism has engrained itself into the lifestyle of almost every Bhutanese. The culture and tradition and the whole landscape of Bhutan is endowed with Buddhistness (excuse the term) of Buddhism. It is as if the whole nation is breathing a Buddhist fume!

Besides the exaggeration, Buddhism surely has found its place in the lives of almost every Bhutanese (am I repeating myself?).

Prayer flags, Monasteries, Stupas, Monks, Gomchens...are the only trademark of Bhutan's cultural wealth and it is a wealth of Buddhism.

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