Saturday, January 5, 2019

Traditional Day of Offering

Every year the 1st day of the 12th lunar month, is celebrated as the traditional day of offering (buelwa phuewi nyim). 

It is said that on this day representatives from all regions of Bhutan offered Buelwa or offerings to Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to express their love and devotion to him. Hence the day has been observed as Buelwa Phuewai Nyim or the traditional day of offering. That day falls tomorrow the (6th January 2019) 25th January 2020 and is a national holiday.

The Traditional Day of Offering is a time to give thanks to Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the famous Rinpoche who unified all 20 districts and made   Bhutan an independent and sovereign country. The day will be of highest significance if we all remember Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and offer fruits, tsho, and butter lamps at his images and pray for his continuous blessing. This is the very purpose of the occasion, to remember and thank our Great Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

Bhutan celebrates the Chunyipai Losar, commonly known as Gyalpi/Tshangla/Sharchokpa Losar. The occasion is more popular in Eastern Bhutan. The day also focuses on charity, particularly feeding others, and recreation.
It is celebrated with feasting and traditional sports, including archery, digor, and khuru.

In the East, this day is celebrated as a new year. Families and entire communities feast and enjoy traditional sports together to welcome the new agricultural season. At the end of these festivities farmers begin the hard work of preparing their fields for the new farming cycle.

However, please watch on meat consumption. Instead thrive on vegetarian diet.

Remember: Buddha said,

"Meat-eating is a diet that convolutes the three realms of Samara. It is a sword that severs the potential for liberation. It is a fire that burns the seed of Buddhahood. It is a shaft of lightning that ends rebirth in the higher realms or a precious human rebirth". 

Furthermore, the terma teaching of Guru Rinpoche called Rinchin Dronme clearly condemns the eating of meat for both lay and ordained people:

 “All the followers of Buddha, monks or nuns, novice or lay have seven main principals to follow. These are ‘the four root principles’ and abstinence from alcohol, meat and evening food.” 

I agree that due to ignorance, you are consuming meat. If you can't, gradually reduce the consumption and finally give up. 

Till then recite the following mantra (Note that this mantra is not to promote non-veg. This mantra is to help you to stop eating meat gradually).

“Om Ahbirakay Tsara Hung”

Recite this seven times over the meat to stop the fault of eating meat and to help the sentient beings whose flesh it was to be reborn in a happy realm.

Have a pure body during great occasion.


Image courtesy: Bhutan Majestic Travel

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