Having always been politically independent, there is a rich heritage and culture that has developed in this beautiful country over the ages. And perhaps one of the most important cultures that have moulded the character of Bhutan are the teachings of Lord Buddha which were first brought in Bhutan, Tibet by the great Indian saint, Guru Padmasambhava.
And that’s how Bhutan became the epicentre of the Buddhist culture.
Image Source – https://www.hinduwebsite.com/buddhism/images/buddha.jpg
Buddhism practised in Bhutan has its origins in Tibet and follows the Vajrayana or Mahayana branch of Buddhism as opposed to Sravakayana, which is slightly more common in India or Theravada Buddhism which is more widely practised in Southeast Asia. Buddhist monks in Bhutan follow the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism. This is the kind of meditation and praying that monks practice for the liberation. This is also considered as the highest form of practice.
Did you know that Buddhism in Bhutan comprises almost three-quarters of Bhutan, whereas Hinduism is comparatively and understandably followed by a small number of the total population? The Vajrayana Buddhism is the state religion of Bhutan which is significantly more different compared to Mahayana and Sravakanaya and Theravada; be it in the form of rituals, liturgy, and the famous monastic organizations.
The life of a monk here has a pretty interesting touch to it too. Monks here often come from rural regions where the availability is little to zero as far as work or education is concerned. Families place boys, from as young as five years old in a monastery. The reason behind this is often because they can’t afford to feed or pay for them. While others does it because it is a tradition. And that’s how the monks get ordained whilst still young. Thereupon they join a monastic order and graduate to higher studies of Buddhism.
A monk’s life revolves around daily chores, Buddhist teachings and practising meditation alongside other things built into the other monastic curriculum such as studying and understanding, English and Mathematics especially.
So now that you have a little glimpse into the Buddhist culture and their followers why not pack up and leave for this charming land of thundering dragons? Plan your Bhutan tour with SOTC’s exclusive Bhutan tour packages and explore the best of Bhutan tourism.