Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Becoming a Monk: February, 1996

Dear readers,

I have many things to share about my early childhood days. This small anecdote is one of them. Actually, I am afraid it is cheerless. But all the same, I sincerely hope that you will enjoy ‘my little world’ and empathize with me. 
Just like you, I had many dreams in my life. When I was quite young I used to tell my mother that one fine day I will become a DCM Truck Driver or Dasho Dzongrub. But did I really fulfil my dream? I ask this question time and again. And I always get the same answer- No. No, I did not fulfil my dream. Who has seen the future? God perhaps has seen it. I didn’t.

Can a monk drive a DCM Truck or become a Dasho Dzongrub? It was beyond imagination, at least in those days. One has to study hard and get a lot of trainings to become somebody in his/her life. Day dreaming is one thing, but materializing those dreams are quite another. And almost everything starts with schooling. As I reminiscence over my bygone days, I am often strung with nostalgia and a sense of guilt as my parents struggled to see me through schooling system. Kadrinchey, Apa and Ama. What I am now is totally because of the sacrifices that you made for me, and the choices I made for myself.

But not so long ago, I decided to become a monk in Lhuentse Dzong. My parents wished me well. We assembled some basic things and packed them in a basket. I was ready. Monkhood was all I wanted. I was filled with joy and happiness. We started our journey and said goodbye to my village friends and neighbours. I had my cousins in Lhuentse Dzong. This fact excited me even more.

According to Dratshang norms, the total number of monks in the Dzong should be approximately 100 or 108. I ranked 130 on the admission list. So naturally, I was not recognized as a full-fledged monk. But I was lucky to receive ‘Wang’, ‘Lung’, ‘Thri Sum’ from His Holiness Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpochey who blessed us in the Dzong for 14 days. It was a grand ceremony indeed. But soon hustle and bustle in the dzong came to an end, and with it, my excitement too.

Life in Dzong took a different turn. I felt strange. I felt alienated. Day in and day out I agonized. My innocent heart ached with pain and tears simply oozed out of my eyes. I prostrated before Lord Buddha and said a humble prayer of remorse, “I am so sorry. I am not ready”. 

What is a monk? Did I become a monk? What did I do? Were my parents really happy with this? Did I find out another new world to become a DCM Truck driver or Dasho Dzongrub? It is beyond my comprehension. Who has seen the future anyway?


Tashi said...

Everything that had happened have been good for you. I feel that way, at least. Now I think you have to stop questioning yourself and tread the path you have found. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Dreams do take different twists and turns in our life. Nice post, Jurmey. In chasing different dreams, you surely have learnt some new things and that should be compensate you for failing to live one dream. :)

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