Tuesday, March 25, 2014

BHUTANESE RITUAL - TSHO-BHUM


Offerings
Hey guys! Sorry for not updating in such a long time, and I got no excuse…so I am hoping a sorry would suffice J. Anyways, today I want to do an article on “tsho-bhum”. It’s a Bhutanese ritual that’s of great deal. Tsho-Bhum basically means one lakh offering and prayers. It helps you gain luck in both this life and the next life. It takes place for days even weeks sometimes. But the one we had was for almost four days, one day for the preparations and next three days of reciting prayers in an attempt to recite it one lakh times.
A lot of goods like snacks, fruits, rice and so many items are offered in the alter and decorated since that is one of the most important offerings of this Tsho-Bhum.
We had around seven people reading the prayers...we usually get monks but this 
 but this time we had a monks and villagers who know how to read the prayers. The aim was to get those prayers read, so it was okie to have anyone who could read it. 
It almost looks like annual ritual that most Bhutanese have, because the Chhops (people reading the prayers) used dungchen, lingm, ngga and rim (you can call it religious instruments...lol) because honestly I dont think they have English translation. Anyways it’s loud and takes all your attention. 
My nephews and aunt chanting prayers


It’s a nice liberating feeling because for three days we chanted our prayers, did prostrates and made many offerings. Whenever I attend religious rituals, I feel like its cleansing me. I hope you get to feel what I felt through these images.

The following pictures are just an additional write up on the famous Bhutanese butter lamps; I helped preparing for it so I captured the process.

1. Wash the the containers and wipe them clean. 

2. Make small strands of thread using cotton. It needs to be clean since its an offering made to God (sorry I didn't show the picture of how that thread is made). Now we have to fit those strand of tread into each container (each container has a tiny hole to fit the thread in)

3. Arrange all the containers in a line and start filling them up melted butter. But to be honest butter lamps are offered on special occasions or rituals, usually hydrogenated vegetable oil is melted and used.

4. We light all the lamps during the ritual and it’s a pretty sight  J
Beautiful Butter Lamps offered