Skip to main content

Fluttering solution to our prayer-flag dilemma

Back in those days when trees were aplenty and permission to cut them down was not required (this was at least so in rural Bhutan), people would normally erect 108 prayer flags in the name of a dead person. Erecting prayer flags is believed to deliver the dead person's soul from the state of Bardo.

And still to this day most people insist on wooden poles. This comes at a time when we face difficulties in conserving our forest and keeping our constitutional promise to the future generation. But again the issue concerning the dead is a sensitive one that requires utmost care. On one hand, we need to respect the sentiments of those bereaved family members and on the other, it is important to protect our forest.

Realizing this, a few years ago, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest (MoAF) encouraged people to use bamboo poles instead as they are stronger and more durable. The same poles, unlike their wooden cousins, can be reused multiple times. This was a perfect substitute and the whole nation praised the idea. It was a big relief to many nature conservationists. But again it was not a law and thus many continued to cut down trees. That calls for stricter regulations by the Ministry. And maybe we need to request Dratshang Lhentshog to put an end to people's doubts and clarify that hoisting prayer-flags is same, irrespective of the type of poles used.

And to our relief, of late, a new idea has come to Bhutan. I have seen them along our national highways, too. Some people maintain that it is derived from Tibetans. 

But it is good because it encourages people to use neither trees nor bamboo poles to erect prayer flags. The whole idea is to string the prayer flags together vertically and hang them by two strings that are tied to two different standing trees or poles horizontally. This way we can hoist a lot more flags with less effort. At the end, I am sure, the benefit for the dead person's soul is the same as the number of frames on fluttering prayer flags is much more than on conventional prayer flags. 

This is the 21st Century idea and a fitting solution to our dilemmas. I feel that MoAF and other agencies including Dratshang Lhentshog must promote and encourage this form of prayer flags and put an end to pressure on our forest.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Utpal Academy - Bhutan's first All-girls High School

Academic Block Welcome to Bhutan’s first all-girls school. Isn’t that wonderful news to all our parents? Certainly, as a parent of a one-year old daughter I am excited about the coming of a school exclusively dedicated to the needs of girls. Our girls need special treatment, which we can for sure entrust the responsibility to Utal Academy, Paro. Dinning Hall I really like the name – Utpal – in Buddhist world, Utpal is another name for lotus flower, which is believed to grow from mud and yet blossoms into a beautiful and majestic flower. It stands for purity and many deities are depicted holding flower Utpal, more prominently Jestusn Dolma, the Goddess Tara. Symbolically, it also stands for the transformation of our girls. What an apt name for the school! Hostel Room The Principal’s message posted on the academy’s website promises providing our young women an “opportunity to participate fully in a wide range of extracurricular activities to develop skills and qualities that

Unblocking

  That in the end is what we make out of it. After all, a block is something everyone suffers once in a while, but they have overcome it by doing more and more regularly. Such is the power of practice – you can already feel it coming back. Such is the power of consistency - imagine how much better it would come out if we do it on a more regular basis.    I am a firm believer that we need practice but have failed more than once to keep up to that belief. Now I believe that everyone does this regularly. That's why, I need to invest more time and effort in honing this skill. I know I have deviated a lot from my original thought process, and I am aware of it. But I am also doing it with a purpose. And that's to say that I am going through a lot these days and have failed to express myself more effectively.  

Fighting RCSCE-phobia

Now that the orientation is over, graduates all over Bhutan would be hunting for information and scratching through all our history books. And in absence of readily available information, it is going to be so frustrating for many. There are are aspirants like Tashi.P Ganzin who are already seeking divine intervention- whether to appear or not to.  This is the biggest moment in a graduate’s life – it’s time to learn and relearn so many things about the home and the world. And they need good attention from their parents and relatives, guidance and advice from elders. I am sure all 1300 graduates who attended the NGOP may not appear RCSC Common examination, but we need to inspire and encourage those that brave the odds. Many of my friends are waiting to take the exam of their life – their future will either be made or broken when RCSC declares the results. And my full prayers and support are with them. They are terribly afraid of it to say the least. I heard while there are no prob