KATHMANDU, Nepal and NEW DELHI, March 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Tourists from across the globe gather to witness this mesmerising festivity
Followers, fans and supporters all over the world celebrated the birthday of His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, India-born spiritual head of Drukpa Buddhists with much fanfare and gaiety. While the main birthday celebrations happened in Kathmandu in Nepal, over 2000 monastic centres across the Himalayas, and an additional 50 spiritual centres across the world, participated in the grand celebration with individually planned programs. This was the first time that the Gyalwang Drukpa's birthday, according to both the western calendar as well as the lunar calendar fell in the same week. Delegations from various countries including Bhutan, Brazil, France, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States thronged the Druk Gawa Khilwa Nunnery in Kathmandu to pay their respects and partake in the grand celebration that was preceded by the Phowa retreat. More 15,000 participated in the grand ceremony, amongst others, all finding solace and tranquillity in the presence of their spiritual master. His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche's birthday was also celebrated on the same day.
Speaking on the celebrations, His Eminence Gyalwa Dokhampa said, "We are extremely fortunate to have the continued presence of His Holiness amidst us for the welfare and enlightenment of all sentient beings. With His Holiness being the reincarnation of 12th century Indian saint Naropa, we are fortunate to join together to celebrate his birthday and in the name of his birthday, had a retreat together."
The entire birthday celebration was organised and spearheaded by the nuns of the Druk Gawa Khilwa nunnery who led the prayers, conducted religious activities, cultural performance, dragon dance, and Kung Fu demonstrations. Delegations of followers from various other countries also performed during the celebration. Speaking on the location choice, His Eminence Gyalwa Dokhampa who lives in Bhutan said, "What could be a better venue? Keeping in mind His Holiness' unflinching focus on empowering the nuns, it was apt that the nuns lead the celebrations. This is our biggest nunnery, and thus maximum number of nuns could participate in conducting the celebrations and hosting the event.
An eye camp is also being organised as the concluding activity to the birthday celebration. Headed by Dr. Sanduk Ruit and sponsored by the Drukpa Buddhists, the 3-day eye-camp will benefit 200 cataract patients with their eyesight completely restored.
About The Gyalwang Drukpa
The Gyalwang Drukpa is the head of the thousand year old Drukpa Order, based in the Himalayas and has millions of followers worldwide. His mission is to promote universal harmony and inner peace by integrating the spiritual tenets of love and appreciation into daily lives. His work includes promoting gender equality; establishing educational institutions, medical clinics and meditation centres; and rebuilding heritage sites in the Himalayas. He is the founder and spiritual director of the award-winning Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh, India, which provides its students with a modern education while preserving their local culture. In 2007, His Holiness founded the not-for-profit international humanitarian organization Live to Love which has Aamir Khan and Michelle Yeoh as its global ambassadors. In September 2010, the United Nations honoured His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Award for his efforts to "create compassion into action". Earlier in September, he was named the "Guardian of the Himalayas" by Waterkeepers Alliance (a Foundation ) for his conservation efforts in the Himalayas.
About Drukpa Lineage:
The Drukpa Buddhists follow the Mahayana Buddhist tradition in philosophy, i.e. the philosophy of "getting enlightened for the benefit of others" and the methods are based on the Tantrayana teachings passed down from the great Indian saint Naropa, born in 1016. "Druk" in means "Dragon" and it also refers to the sound of thunder. In 1206, the first Gyalwang Drukpa, Naropa's reincarnation, saw nine dragons fly up into the sky from the ground of Namdruk, and he named his lineage "Drukpa" or "lineage of the Dragons" after this auspicious event. Today, the Drukpa Lineage sprawls over major parts of the Himalayas, especially in Ladakh, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti in India, as well as Bhutan and Nepal. Bhutan, also known as "Druk Yul" or "Land of Thunder Dragons", honours the Drukpa Lineage as its state religion. The lineage is also widely practiced in many countries throughout the world, especially Vietnam, another nation deeply influenced by the legends of "Dragons".
More about the Gyalwang Drukpa at http://www.drukpa.org
For further press information please contact:
Shreeya Roy Bhowmik
Communications @ Drukpa
SOURCE The Gyalwang Drukpa