18 Jun 2009

The Divine Madman

Since now I am so loquacious,
Once I must have been a woman;
But I cannot tell you if this is really true.
Consider the matter yourselves.
What is your opinion?

Drukpa Kunley
Dangbo..o..o Dingbo..o..o there were two brothers. They were neljorpa - yogis - and they travelled Bhutan teaching people the truth of the Buddha. The older brother was very pious on the outside, but his insides were not so admirable. The younger was a strange man -outrageous on the outside, but a true disciple of the Buddha on the inside...where it mattered. He was Lama Drukpa Kunley.

They called him the Divine Madman.

One day the Divine Madman was talking to a large group of people who had gathered together to witness his magical powers. The people wanted to see the lama perform a miracle.

The Divine Madman declared that he was hungry. First they must feed him a goat and a cow for lunch, and then he would show his powers. The people prepared the animals with care and presented them to the teacher. He ate them with relish, throwing the bones aside on the ground. After letting out a loud and satisfied burp, the lama bend down and began gathering the bones together. He placed the bones of the goat in one pile; the bones of the cow in the other. When he had finished collecting the bones, he discovered that the head of the cow was missing.

The Divine Madman took the head of the goat, and stuck it on the body of the cow. Then, with a snap of his fingers he commanded the strange beast to get up and to graze on the mountainside. Much to the astonishment of the people, the animal began to arise. It stood unsteadily for a moment, and then with a shake of his strange head, cantered off to eat.

The animal became known as the dong gyem tsey - or takin - and you know it can still be seen, grazing on the mountainsides of Bhutan, to this very day.

1 comment:

  1. I love this! We spent a very l o n g time looking photos at and reading about takin after you mentioned them in a holiday post. Must have been amazing to see them in person.


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