For me Bhutan become an extraordinary journey in which I examined questions of culture and values. Many visitors feel altered by Bhutan, sensing that they have traversed life changing terrain. I was at the edge of learning something important, something primary.
Bhutan is a small landlocked place in the Himalayas, the country is the size of Switzerland. The forests, rivers and breathtaking mountains have a power that makes us seem like inconsequential visitors.
Buddhism in Bhutan is a branch of Tibetan buddhism, more frequently termed “ Tantric Buddhism “ or “ Vajrayana “, which is frequently heard in Bhutan.
The most important figure in Bhutanese culture is the 8th century character Guru Rinpoche, he is more important in Bhutan than Buddha. Every place Guru Rinpoche visited in Bhutan is not a pilgrimage site & he inspired a large part of the important teachings.
Much of his life was spent subduing fierce evil forces, although they may be disease, starvations & weather, all the forbidding aspects of life in this mountainous region.
In the 17th century a man known as “ Shabdrung” fled Tibet, landed in Western Bhutan. He overcame his opponents and accumulated power, this story shows that Buddhists can achieve political power as vigorously as anyone.
Shabdrung built a chain of fortresses call “ dzongs “ and managed to defeat five invasions from Tibet.
By 1905 Ugyen Wangchuck managed to gain a power position similar to that of Shabdrung and became the first king of modern Bhutan. A hereditary monarchy took root which produced wise kings.
May the future be kind to Bhutan