Saturday, 9 May 2015

Drukpa Kunley - the Divine Madman

We were introduced to many Bhutanese legendary personalities but the most bizarre has got to be Drukpa Kunley, the divine madman. I was going to write about his exploits until I found someone who did it so well here. It's a very fascinating read.

The Bhutanese who, despite being a very conservative society that never shows affection in public, protect their homes from evil spirits and promote fertility by painting cartoon images of flying phalluses on the outside walls of their houses.

Just to give you an idea, the women wear Kira, an ankle-length dress usually worn with a wonju (long sleeved blouse) inside and a short jacket (toego) outside. The men wear Gho, a knee-length dress like a Japanese kimono, paired with stockings or knee high socks.

You can barely see any show of skin yet it's easy to find an erect phallus hanging over the doorway.

Near the town of Punakha, Drukpa Kunley founded a monastery dedicated to fertility. Each year hundreds of people come from all over Bhutan to pray for children. In the temple they are blessed by a monk holding a symbolic phallus.

Needless to say, we should not pass an opportunity to see the monastery with our own eyes. The trek across was field was a welcome change after spending hours in the car.

Wheat field.
The farmers grow organic potatoes.

Huge bodhi tree.

Many happy couples bring their children to give thanks after giving birth.