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The Divine Madman

In the history of Bhutan, it’s very strange about the origination of religion. In other words, the destination of religion in the country is peculiar compared to other characteristics. The peculiarity lies in the legends of the great religious teacher and also holyman, Lama Drukpa Kunley. He is known throughout the country as The Divine Madman.

To share a brief history of DrukpaKunley, he was born in the year of the wood-pig in the eighth cycle—1455 in Tibet. Unlike other kids, he was very intelligent and had all the memories of his last incarnations. Lama Drukpa Kinley had tough time as a child. His father was killed in a family feud and this made his life more miserable. Being disillusioned with the world around him, he dedicated himself to religion and finally joined a monk body. He even hated the life of monk in a long run and he had given up his robes. Later, he became a mendicant, wandering throughout the nation and he succeeded in gaining master in the studies of the spiritual arts and magic.

After wandering a lot in Tibet, he traveled to Bhutan and started his teaching in the country. The means of his teaching is very different from the other lamas and saints as his means of teaching is based on ribald and debauched life style. He purposely acted in a madman type to gain people’s attention and to teach the world to adopt honest and spiritual lives rather than having a selfish and greedy life. So the great lama spent most of his life drinking and singing in the companies of girls deflowering their virgins.

Following the legends of Lama DrukpaKunley is same like going through Rabelais (both relying on the idea of divine excess). When he is free from drinking and making love to a maiden, he utilizes his Flaming Thunderbolt of Wisdom to subdue evil demons. As the lama mastered in the arts of magic, he performs magical feats (blessing based on their moral treatment of others, converting small quantity of tea into amounts more than enough to drive away the thirst of thousands, exorcising evil spirits, reforming demons, and instantaneously transporting himself to far off locations). Besides this, some of the stories says that he kill animals for their meats and he stores their life from their bones and initiates them on their way.

The life style of this great saint is liked and loved by the people of Bhutan. As a sign of love and faith in him, they paint a flying phallus on the outside walls of their houses in order to promote fertility and protect from evil spirits.

There is a monastery called Chimilhakang in Punakha dzong founded by DrukpaKunley. This monastery is dedicated to fertility. So every year, hundreds and thousands of people come there to get the blessing of children. As they pray for children, a monk blesses them with a symbolic phallus to fulfill their dreams of having a child.