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Popular religious festival or Tshechu in Bhutan - Festival – Invoking Happiness

Festival – Invoking Happiness

The main goal of Buddhism is to cleanse obscurations by applying various antidotes to impurities or delusions until one ultimately become fully unobscured. In essence, Buddhism is a way to cultivate and develop one’s own mind. Buddhism does venerate the historical Buddha and many other manifestations of the enlightened mind however this is not the main purpose rather the Buddha festival Bhutan picturepresents us with a delightful example of transcendence, a template illustrating what is possible for everyone to achieve through mindfulness and contemplation. Although Buddhists pray before shrines, status, stupas, thangkhas, the Bodhi Tree and even before spiritual masters but the purpose of Buddhism is not to worship sacred objects or persons instead generate an appropriate relationships towards them, recognizing them as potential guide or teacher. Thus, the practicing Buddhist strives to become a Buddha in this lifetime or at the moment of death or in future life.

Most of the Tshechus (festival) features sacred dances those are established by masters of Vajrayana Buddhism. The main goal of practicing Buddhism is to become fully enlightened and there are various ways to achieve this aspiration. For an individual to simply be present and see these sacred dances and experience them with the right mindset and pure intention is considered an auspicious opportunity. This applies to all those present, including the dancers, that they may be liberated from the suffering that pervades earthly life. This potential for transcendence is further extended to animals and other sentient beings, such as insects, that may be present in vicinity of these public performances. It is said in the Vajrayana that once you adhere to the Buddhist teachings, there is every possibility to become fully enlightened within this very lifetime. However, the enlightenment is contingent upon following the advice and guidance of a qualified masters, and the Vajrayana path is considered a fast, yet tough, means of doing so. Practioners must harbor strong devotion and dedication, and while the Tshechu performance provide entertainment, more importantly they serve to remind practioners of the different dimensions of the Vajrayana tradition, prompting them on the path to enlightenment in an entertaining yet effective way.

The sacred festivals of Bhutan are one of the main sources of promoting Gross National Happiness (GNH) as festivals assist in creating and developing positive mental attitudes and help to inspire love and compassion. In accordance with Mahayana Buddhist tradition which is widely practiced in Bhutan, the basis of happiness is related to cultivation of profound compassion and concern for the happiness of all. This is what characterizes the GNH most; genuine compassion and concern for all coupled with willingness to take action to restore the well-being for those need it the most.

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