A helping hand

Here’s an announcement from Jurmi Chhowing. I won’t be in Thimphu, but for those who are … please attend.

My apologies for going off the topic!
I’m requesting personal help. We are trying to help raise whatever cash/kind we can for the Tsunami/Earthquake victims of Japan.

Its called “A HELPING HAND” – (With The Journalist, Bhutan Today, Radio Valley, Kilu Bhutan Music School & Japanese friends & colleagues using their resources besides many others). We are building up to the event (a MUSIC concert by STUDENTS from KILU), and trying to create avenues/raise publicity for people to chip in and show Solidarity at this tragic juncture in Japan.

It will culminate with the Concert on Sunday 2:30PM at the Clock Tower. And you are ABSOLUTELY WELCOMED!

Thanking You, Sincerely, Jurmi Chhowing.

 

 

GNH for dummies

Gross National Happiness explained in three minutes by Morten Sondergaard, a “serial entrepreneur”.

Enjoy!

Droelma Jig Chompa

The Central Monk Body offered three days of continuous prayers throughout the country for the people of Japan. Yesterday, the officiating prime minister, speaker, chairperson, cabinet ministers, MPs, civil servants, and other well wishers joined Japan’s new ambassador to Bhutan, the resident coordinator of JICA, and Japanese experts and volunteers at the Kuenrey in Tashichhoe Dzong to participate in the concluding day of the prayers.

Lopen Gembo explained the prayers and delivered the following statement on behalf of the Dratshang:

May I take this opportunity to welcome all to Tashichhoe Dzong to take part in this very special ceremony of propitiation and chanting of the Mantra of Drolma Jigchobma – the Wisdom Mother Tara, the great protector. For kind information, the ceremony was initiated by the Royal Government and started on 18th March and is performed in all Monk Bodies and institutions in all 20 districts. Please allow me to give a brief description of the service.

In our Bhutanese belief, Tara is regarded as a Buddha of compassion and action. She is the female aspect of Avalokitesvara (Chenrezig) and in some origin stories she comes from his tears and became the most compassionate Tara, emanation of the activities of all Buddhas.

In terms of grace and achievement, all Buddhas are same. But due to their aspirations and prayers made during their path to enlightenment, they differ in their powers of blessings. Arya Tara generated Bodhichitta and took the vow to benefit all sentient beings and safeguard them from all unseen threats in presence of Buddha Amogasidhi. Since then, Arya Tara tok successive incarnations. She continuously performed enlightened activity for the benefit of sentient beings. She emanated into twenty-one forms of Tara, and through these emanations dispelled various sufferings of countless sentient beings.

In the absolute state of enlightenment or Buddhahood, everyone is one and equal. However, we are relative beings living in a relative condition. Therefore, we sometimes need different things at different times, different remedies for different causes. Because of this, apart from the 21 Tara, she had manifested in innumerable different forms to help our relative problems.

Not only is supplicating Arya Tara beneficial for clearing away the four major obstacles of anger, pride, attachment and ignorance embodied as fire, poisonous substances, ocean and demons. It also heps to clear away all hindrances and disasters caused by the four elements. Therefore, Arya Tara is referred to as the undisputed protector from the eight great fears. Using the power of Tara’s mantra, visualization, creation of the Mandala and generation of immense positive energies, we hope to divert all negative energies and various unseen hindrances. Thus we presume this religious ceremony will restore peace and harmony in the affected region.

The Monk Body of Bhutan humbly acknowledges the continuous assistance provided for decades by the people and government of Japan. We are very thankful for that and hope this small gesture and ritual service will uplift the spirits of Japanese people and create favorable conditions to overcome the disaster. At the same time, please accept our sincere prayers and condolence for those effected and lost lives. We do share your concerns and hopes and will continue praying for strengthening our good relations.

Thank you all once again for taking time to join us in this special ceremony.

Bhutan prays

His Majesty the King

It’s almost exactly a week since the 9.0 earthquake hit Japan triggering the worst disaster in that country since WW II. The catastrophe, which has already taken thousands of lives, and left countless more homeless and destitute, has galvanized governments and peoples around the world in support of Japan’s mighty relief efforts.

In Bhutan too, people throughout the country are offering prayers for the victims of the disaster in Japan. His Majesty the King has lit butter lamps and offered prayers with the Japanese community in Bhutan. Similarly, the prime minister and government also offered butter lamps and prayers.

Earlier this morning, the Central Monastic Body began offering three days of continuous prayers for the victims in Japan. The prayers are being conducted in all twenty dzongkhags. But if you are in Thimphu, please visit the kunrey in the Tashichhodzong to join our monks in solemn prayer.

Our youth have also starting mobilizing support for the earthquake victims. Kilu Music School together with Radio Valley, Bhutan Today and The Journalist have announced that they will be performing a “donation concert” to raise funds.

And I just received the following SMS:

Thimphu Primary School is doing a sponsored walk on Sunday 9:30 AM to the  Buddha Point. We’re trying to raise money for the earthquake victims in Japan. Please join us, contribute and walk to help someone in need. See you there – TPS family:)

UPDATE

His Majesty the King has donated US$ 1 million to the Japan

The Youth Development Fund will organize a fund raising concert on 26th March

Prayers for Japan

Tragic

Japan is reeling from extreme devastation. Friday’s massive earthquake, the biggest in Japan’s recorded history, and the powerful tsunami that it triggered has caused unprecedented destruction to many parts of the country.

The death toll has already crossed 2,800. And it is expected to get much higher – in Miyagi prefecture alone the number of deaths is expected to exceed 10,000. To make matters worse, three nuclear reactors at Fukushima have failed threatening a full-blown nuclear meltdown.

Japan has faced major disasters before. The Kanto earthquake of 1923 killed more than 100,000 people. And the Kobe earthquake in 1995 killed more than 6,000 people and left 300,000 homeless. The Japanese – famous for their perseverance, resilience and stoicism – recovered from these disasters. They also prevailed through the ravages of World War II.

There’s no doubt that Japan will rise yet again. But each day seems to bring even more dramatic pictures of destruction, and yet more bad news.

Governments from around the world have come forward to help out with disaster relief. So far 69 governments and 5 international institutions have made offers of assistance.

Bhutan is not among them. We should be. And not just to have our name included in the list. Instead, we should offer whatever help we can because we mean it. And because, we’ve been receiving Japanese assistance for more than 45 years. Agriculture, communication, roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, governance – assistance from Japan, currently the second largest donor after India, has touched almost every aspect of our development.

We won’t be able to make a significant offer. But that should not stop us. Our offer of assistance, though relatively small, will be meaningful. It will be a token of our support to the Japanese people. And a symbol of our gratitude for their unwavering friendship.

In the meantime, I join the people of Bhutan in offering our deepest condolences to the Japanese people. Our thoughts and our prayers are with them during this very difficult period.