Sunday, July 17, 2011
Preamble: Transforming Gratitude Into True Grit
As we mark the third anniversary of that historic day exactly three years back on the year of the Manifestation of the Triple Gems – in the contemplative festivity of the Centennial Celebrations, the Enthronement of His Majesty the King, and on the 18 of July, the Signing of the Constitution, it is perhaps a timely moment to reflect back on those joyous times and in our way, pay a token tribute with humility and in gratitude, for no amount of words will do justice to that selfless service and gift bestowed upon us all by Their Majesties.
To His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, with whom we must have reaped karmic virtues so deep and abiding to have had the good fortune and karma to be born during and in his reign; to have had the spiritual connect to call ourselves his proud and humble subjects. Such a Dharma King comes once in awhile, and blessed are those who live under such monarchs.
His Father, the Third Druk Gyalpo said: “If I were to make a prayer, I would ask that during my son’s reign the people of my country would be far more prosperous and happy than they are today.” And when he took over the reigns at the tender age of 17, His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo reminded the people, that “a great misfortune has befallen upon our Kingdom…In particular speaking for myself, my sorrow in having lost my own father is indeed great…However, since all of you have strong loyalty for me and have placed great hope in me, from my part, I hope to serve my Kingdom and its people to the best of my ability and with all my heart and soul…All of you must also abandon your grief. With strong endeavors in each of our own tasks, we must unite our minds for the sake of the strength and progress of our country. As far as you, my people, are concerned, you should not adopt the attitude that whatever is required to be done for your welfare will be done entirely by the government. On the contrary, a little effort on your part will be much more effective than a great deal of effort on the part of the government.”
That is why our thanks, no matter how deeply embedded, will never find enough expression in words. Hence the Symbolic token tribute in gratitude, with a reminder and a remembrance of what he bestowed upon us, should perhaps be embodied and enacted upon, rather than merely expressed.
When His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was crowned the Fifth Dragon King, he said. “I believe this momentous occasion is a time for reflection, for deep in our hearts, as Bhutanese citizens, we will be able to see beyond the pain of His Majesty’s selfless act and find that this special nation built by His Majesty is left to none other than the people of Bhutan. Such devolution is a source of great optimism for our future. I share His Majesty’s complete faith in the people and I believe that we will, as His Majesty has bestowed today, leave to our own children such a gift in 30 years.”
This auspicious anniversary will perhaps find some genuine reciprocity if we, the people of this blessed kingdom, somehow find a way to display our heartfelt gratitude by consciously contemplating upon and conscientiously try all that is good within us to become better human beings; fathers, mothers, sons and daughters; public servants, businessmen and better friends, colleagues, neighbors and communities, healing the differences and knowing that in the larger scheme of things, our similarities, wants and expectations far outnumber our differences.
We all know the lengths and depths into which Their Majesties submerged their time, thoughts and actions into, to make certain that every Bhutanese, no matter how isolated or deprived, were consulted and informed, made to understand, involved as participants in the creation of that document. Even if some of us did not understand the vision of such a noble and farsighted goal, we now do. And that is one of the many manifestations of the love and care of our beloved Druk Gyalpos.
In a way, like a master mentoring his protégé, we have been led to where we are today by and through their wisdom.
This is thus an opportune and apt time to ask ourselves; “What are we doing with the legacy and the trust beholden upon us?
In His Majesty the King, we have a monarch that is the epitome of a Dharma King and a Philosopher Ruler: kind, patient, benevolent, compassionate, and the very figure of wisdom in action - whether it be in thoughts, action or speech.
In His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, we have a peerless incarnation that invokes selflessness, sacrifice, strength, duty and honor.
Like His Majesty the King keeps saying, the one resource we have is our own people. That is unbridled trust, faith and explicit confidence in our ability to rise above our differences and put the bigger picture before we endeavor to venture out. We must rise above the petty barriers; for if we cannot put aside and sacrifice out little comforts for discomforts that expand our own being, then we are simply being stupid, careless, lazy and ignorant, building up an apathetic attitude that worms and creeps in, creating divisions. In His Coronation address, His Majesty said, “I firmly believe that we must not forget that first and most importantly we are all the same—we are citizens of one small nation. We must be united—all of us. We must always be One Nation with One Vision in our convictions and efforts,”
The reason is very simple. There are only 691141 of us. Our blessed kingdom is 38816Sq.Km. We have not one but two Dharma Kings. If we do not even put in an effort to aspire and emulate the many noble traits manifest in their person and in their actions, we’ll have committed the ultimate irony – a slow and gradual internal decay.
And that is a scenario we should not even fathom, least of all give rise to, for this is all we have and this is who we are.