A Favorite Saint. A Favorite Phallus?
The story goes that THAT is the PHALLUS of one of Bhutan's favorite saints who used this "Flaming Thunderbolt" to distract, subdue and turn demons into protective deities.
Spending a week in Bhutan yielded 3 blog posts here and I feel I'm not done yet. Not until I write about this. Of all the cultures I have experienced, theirs is markedly different in a way I feel compelled to explain. After all, it is not everyday that you find houses with hanging phalluses and the same subject painted on their walls. Some in full color, even beribboned, with matching pubic background.
Excuse me, did you say THAT is the phallus of one of your favorite saints?
Yes, this requires some good explaining. Our tour guide Sonam Norbu gave us a glimpse of Bhutanese culture as he narrated the story of the "Thunderbolt of Flaming Wisdom" which is how they referred to THAT. He narrated it so matter-of-factly that one begins to believe how seriously the Bhutanese take to THAT. When it came to the part where Drukpa Kunley is also considered the "Saint of 5,000 Women" because ladies went to him for blessings by way of SEX........I had to look down and keep my eyebrows in place. The Saint is also quite a poet and a lyricist. In one of his songs, a
Not just a decoration. This wooden phallus is intended to drive away the demons. This one we found in the lovely cafe where we had lunch looking out at farmers harvesting their rice in Chimi Lakhang.
few lines go like this. Maybe some of you can relate to the "poignant lines". *smiling*
"A young woman finds pleasure in love. A young man finds pleasure in sex. An old man finds pleasure in his memoirs. This is the doctrine of the three pleasures."
Lama Drukpa Kunley(1455-1529) also known as the Divine Madman distinguished himself for his outrageous behavior and teaching style. Legend goes that the saint used to hit the evil forces with his penis or cohabited with them. All these outrageous acts meant to distract, subdue and eventually convert these demons into protective deities. When presented with a "thread of blessing", he wound the thread around THAT, irreverent that he was. As my Bhutanese guide puts it, this favorite Bhutanese saint "took away the shame" from them. I take this to mean the Divine Madman extracted out the "malice" from them. Of course. I see all these phallic symbols painted on the houses, crafted as "wooden ornaments" hung like a talisman at the corners of houses we found in the village near Chimi Lakhang where they dedicated a shrine to Drukpa Kunley. I look at them, and discreetly check my Bhutanese guide and driver, the local folks, the children playing about, and I found how seriously they adore their Divine Madman.
To be honest, it takes some getting used to. The
The story is that the ribbon is really a "thread of blessing" given to the Divine Madman, one of Buthan's favorite saints.
story, the first time it is narrated, may yield various reactions. Some may burst into laughter. Or uncontrabble giggles. Others may simply shrug it off and say "Naaaah......what saint would want to have his phallus painted on your wall". Still others may try to look as serious as the local folks, with chest heaving as one controls giggles and such, perhaps letting out just a simple smile. How do you think did I react? I'm not tellling
Lastly, the saint is also considered Bhutan's Fertility Saint. Need I explain why?You may wish to get more photos and details on this interesting subject. Check out this link .
Here's a few more lines from this beloved poet-saint.
I am happy that I am a free Yogi.So I grow more and more into my inner happiness.I can have sex with many women,because I help them to go the path of enlightenment.
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