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Chapter 3 THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE Religion

The influence of religion is highly visible in everyday life as it permeates every aspect of life in Bhutan. There is profound worship of the Buddha, Guru Padmasambhava and numerous tantric deities. Worship and faith take many forms, from daily prayers before the shrine room at home to reciting prayers with the rosary or a prayer wheel.

Late N. Wangchhuk

With monasteries and prayer flags dotting every hill and valley, Bhutan is predominantly a Buddhist country. The Drukpa Kagyu and the Nyingma strand of Vajrayana Buddhism are widely followed in Bhutan. Vajrayana Buddhism is the later form of Buddhism that derives its origin from the tantras (a body of texts that emerged between the third and tenth centuries). Unlike Theravada Buddhism, which does not believe in deities, Vajrayana Buddhism recognizes the existence of numerous symbolic deities.


42 X FACTS ABOUT BHUTAN

Yeshey Dorji

Bhutanese visit lamas, make offerings to monasteries, help in the repair and maintenance of religious monuments, participate in wang (initiation) or lung (a verbal transmission by a great master), put up prayer flags, go on pilgrimages and take part in religious festivals. All these are believed to add merit to one’s life. Bhutanese consult astrologers and accordingly perform rituals on all important occasions such as birth, death, marriage, official functions, household ceremonies, departure on a trip or when unwell. Bhutanese tradition is thus deeply steeped in its Buddhist heritage.


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Buddhism has shaped the nation’s history and played a vital part in the lives of its people. Bhutanese language and literature, arts and crafts, drama, music, ceremonies and events, architecture, and basic social and cultural values draw their essence from Buddhist values.

The spectacular Trongsa Dzong

The Friendly Planet

Lydia Kulik

Hinduism is practised mostly in the southern regions. Buddhism and Hinduism co-exist peacefully. Some residue of Bon (animism and shamanism) still exists in some pockets of the country merely as local culture.


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Durdag -Dance of the Lords of the Cremation Grounds

The Friendly Planet

THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE X

THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE Chapter 3 : Facts About Bhutan  

All facts and figures about the Kingdom. It describes in detail about the Kingdom's religion,culture and society,people,language,dress,food...

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