Source: Parents are entirely responsible | kuenselonline
The president of the young Buddhists’ association Druk Nangpoi Zhoenu, His Eminence Garab Rinpoche, talked to Kuensel’s reporter, Tenzin Namgyel, about the programme to commemorate Lord Buddha’s parinirvana.
Q. What’s the idea behind organising the event in a different way?
It was kind of expressing our gratitude to Buddha, who was born in samsara to benefit all beings. The other reason was to remind Bhutanese about the birthday. Today, most Bhutanese do not want rituals.
Q. What are the spiritual benefits of members appearing as Buddha’s first five disciples?
Spiritual benefits are immeasurable. We believe that whoever sees Buddha in the form of a statue or thangka, its liberation of sight (thongdrel). By seeing his face, it will bring peace, even if a person did not make a wish. With Buddha’s statue, we also carried Buddhist texts that represent Buddha’s speech and it was liberation of sound. There was also a small chorten that represented Buddha’s love and compassionate mind, which brings peace and happiness on earth.
Q. Why do you give so much importance to youth and Buddhism?
I want to ask our young generation to support and maintain their religion that our leaders and kings have done so much to propagate.
The youth today have much faith, love and belief in me, despite the fact I am a kind of modern generation rinpoche. I thought I should take this good opportunity before they lose faith in me. When they trust me, I’ll create some awareness and build faith in religion.
Q. Some people say that lay people should not wear Buddha’s robe. Please comment on this.
When we follow religion, we do not see the real Buddha. So what we do is we depend on symbols, such as statues made out of copper, bronze or mud. Some people feel that ordinary people should not represent Buddha. In one way, that is right; but how different is it from seeing Buddha as a statue? In fact, it might bet better for a human to be dressed as a Buddha for everyone to see and relate to.
No one in the world qualifies to wear Buddha’s robe and mask, including rinpoches and scholars, unless one has completely removed the root cause of suffering; desire, hatred and ignorance. In a programme like this, what was most important is good motivation. Our motivation was to express gratitude to Buddha and turn the dharma wheel.
Q. Is it the government or Buddhist masters, who are not doing enough for youth to understand Buddhism?
It’s nothing to do with the government, but parents are entirely responsible. Most parents today think about only education and send their children for studies outside and abroad. Students studying outside really do not care about culture and religion. I’ve noticed the reaction of students studying in Sherubtse college and those studying outside – it’s different; Sherubtse students are religious.
Q. Does teaching methodology and mode of communication have a bearing on understanding the essence of Buddhism?
We should create an environment so that modern people understand Buddhism. I started the Throema group and people liked it because it’s interesting. Likewise, when I stared the Druk Nangpoi Zhoenu I told youth about simple and different ways of commemorating Buddhist days. If I had said that they would be made to meditate, nobody would pay attention. Accordingly, Buddhist teachings should be done in such a manner that it suits people, according to the time and place.