Friday, October 10, 2014

Drukpa Kunleg: Phallus Paintings: Crazy Wisdom from Bhutan (1500 AD)


Click Here to View the Main Index


"Drukpa Kunleg ('brug pa kun legs) [1455-1529] aka The Madman of Bhutan, Kunga Legpa ('brug smyon kun dga' legs pa)..... was a great master of Mahamudra in the Buddhist tradition, as well as a famous poet, and is often counted among the Nyönpa.... After undergoing training in Ralung Monastery under siddha Pema Lingpa, he introduced Buddhism to Bhutan and established the monastery of Chimi Lhakhang there in 1499."

"Nyönpa (Wylie: smyon pa "mad one(s)") may refer to a group of Tibetan Buddhist yogis or a single individual belonging to this group. They were mainly known for their unusual style of teaching, to which they owed their names......Famous Nyönpa....
Drukpa Kunley....(1455 - 1529)....The Madman of Bhuta
Thangtong Gyalpo (Tibetan: ཐང་སྟོང་རྒྱལ་པོ་, Wylie: thang stong rgyal po) (1385–1464) ...aka: Chakzampa (Wylie: lcags zam pa) and Tsöndrü Zangpo (Wylie: brtson 'grus bzang po) was a great Buddhist adept, a yogi, physician, blacksmith, architect, and a pioneering civil engineer.....He is said to have built 58 iron chain suspension bridges around Tibet and Bhutan, several of which are still in use today. ....
Tsangnyön Heruka (Tibetan: གཙང་སྨྱོན་ཧེ་རུ་ཀ་, Wylie: Gtsang smyon Heruka 1452-1507), was a Tibetan master of the Kagyu school and writer. Born in Tsang, he is best known as a biographer and compiler of the "The Life of Milarepa" and "The Collections of Songs of Milarepa", both classics of Tibetan literature.....
U Nyön Kunga Zangpo......"Madman of Central Tibet" (dbus smyon kun dga' bzang po) [1458-1532]....

"Phallus paintings in Bhutan are esoteric symbols of an erect penis in Bhutan and are generally traced to Drukpa Kunley.....which have their origins in the Chimi Lhakhang monastery near Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan. The village monastery was built in honour of Lama Drukpa Kunley who lived in the 15-16th century and who was popularly known as the "Mad Saint" or “Divine Madman” for his unorthodox ways of teaching, which amounted to being bizarre and shocking. These explicit paintings, though embarrassing to many urbanites now (this folk culture is now informally discouraged in urban centres), can be seen painted on the walls of houses and buildings throughout Bhutan, particularly in villages, and are credited as Kunley's creations. Traditionally symbols of an erect penis in Bhutan are traced to Drukpa Kunley....studies carried out at the Center of Bhutan Studies (CBS) have inferred that the phallus was an integral part of Bön tradition, an animistic and shamanistic religion, which existed in Bhutan before Buddhism became the state religion. In Bonism, phallus was integral to all Bon rituals. Dasho Lam Sanga, a former principal of the Institute of Language and Culture Studies (ILCS), while stating that there are no written documents on it, elaborates: “But the worship of the phallus was believed to be in practice even before the arrival of Guru Rimpoche and Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal ... What we know about it is what we heard from our forefathers....The phallic symbols are, however, generally not depicted in community temples and dzongs, which are most revered places of worship where lamas or Buddhist monks reside and who have adopted celibate lifestyle and pursue divine ideals. However, rural and ordinary houses continue to display them."..... Karma Choden (2014). Phallus: Crazy Wisdom from Bhutan. Bhutan: ButterLamp Publishers.

"Bhutan's pervasive phallus: Is Drukpa Kunley really responsible? Francoise Pommaret and Tashi Tobgay (Royal University of Bhutan).....As the Bhutanese scholar Sonam Kinga has written, in Bhutan “phalluses are everywhere”......

"The Gold Manuscript of the Fifth Dalai Lama contains images of ritual cakes in the shape of a “Human penis representing Shiva, used in the rite for dealing with evil omens that occur”......The Indian reference to the Shiva linga is also explicit in Bhutan as the phallus is referred to by one of the names of Shiva: Wangchuk chenpo (dBang phyug chenpo). This is clear evidence that the phallic symbol echoes its association with the Hindu deity Shiva channelled through Buddhism."....Bhutan's pervasive phallus: Is Drukpa Kunley really responsible? Francoise Pommaret and Tashi Tobgay (Royal University of Bhutan)

"Tandin Dorji in his unpublished PhD on the lha 'bod ritual of Bjena village in Western Bhutan, writes: 'Le phallus en bois est un objet qui a un rôle significatif dans plusieurs rituels : dans le rituel de chodpa'.....In these community rituals, which take place in the village and which are associated with Bon beliefs, as understood in the Bhutanese context, that is non-Buddhist."....Pommaret, forthcoming, CBS, 2004, and Tandin Dorji, unpublished PhD

" anecdote from the life of the ‘divine madman’ Drukpa Kunley ('Brug pa Kun legs 1455-1529). He convinced his mother to sleep with him, the act of incest par excellence, and when she finally relented, he left.".....Dowman, Keith,....The Divine madman. The sublime Life & Songs of Drukpa Kunley....1980.

"Contemporary Bhutanese associate the protective role of the phallus—its ability to wardoff evil spirits or obstacles—with Drukpa Kunley who subdued demonesses with his‘thunderbolt’ (rdo rje/vajra), meaning his male organ. Tiny phallus (called srung ma) are carved from special trees for the protection of children, but are also hung around the necks of animals, and nowadays on the inside mirrors of cars.".... Bhutans_pervasive_phallus_ Is_Drukpa_Kunley_really _responsible

"Drukpa Kunley has become in Bhutan almost a timeless figure presenting similarities with two other folk heroes, Ap Wang Drugye of western Bhutan and the Tibetan Akhu Tonpa(A khu ston pa)....Stories of Akhu Tonpa are widely popular throughout the Himalayan world and across the plateau where Akhu Tonpa is an archetypal trickster figure.....They have their share of ribaldry and illicit sexual adventures, soit is clear that sexuality in Tibet was part, at least, of the popular discourse as it is in Bhutan."....

Pommaret, Françoise, ‘Bon and chos, community rituals in Bhutan’, Proceedings of the XIIth IATSBonn 2006, in Antonio Terrone (ed.).....Buddhism beyond Monasticism, Brill. Leiden,forthcoming 2009

The Saintly Madman in Tibet.....

Shiva......དབང་ཕྱུག་ཆེན་པོ་........། (Wyl. dbang phyug chen po ) Pron.: wangchuk chenpo Skt. महेश्वरः, maheśvara, Pron.: maheshvara. From Sanskrit: a great lord, sovereign, 'chief of the gods' ..... (•esp. of Śiva and of Kṛishṇa......of the Loka-pālas or guardians of the world

"Bhutan’s phallic worship is getting a second look. The age-old tradition is being reconsidered — to preserve its rich narratives, as artistic inspiration and as a tool for religious belief. In fact, the phallic symbol is suddenly again in vogue, contrary to the popular belief that modern Bhutanese are discomfited by the graphic paintings of an erect penis......A young Bhutanese female author has released a new book, “Phallus: Crazy Wisdom from Bhutan,” a filmmaker is working on a film that explores phallic culture and an artist has carved a provocative phallus with dragon......“I not only saw phalluses of all kinds — from one village to the other — but I found the stories behind its symbolism equally intriguing,” said the author, Karma Choden. “It is like a new art form is found. We are now giving our own spin to spirituality, culture and ritual.....An animist ritual, which predates the arrival of Buddhism in Bhutan, is still practiced in western Bhutan. During the festival called “Lhabon,” or “calling the gods,” one community uses a ladder that has its edges carved in a shape of a phallus. They believe the deities, who will bless them with prosperity and good health, descend on a rope tied to the ladder..”....Bhutan takes a second look at phallus Tara Limbu

"Drukpa Kunley, who is a very accomplished and unusual mahasiddha. He actually met Tsongkhapa as is a contemporary of Lama Tsongkhapa. It is said he requested Lama Tsongkhapa for a protection string from Lama Tsongkhapa. Tsongkhapa asked him where would he want the string to be tied to, Drukpa Kunley replied that he would like it to be tied on his penis which is as clean as his hand. Later on, it is said that he is able to use his penis to subdue demons and he refers to his penis as a vajra.".....Converting Demons with his Thunderbolt.....

"In Bhutan, they take fertility very seriously. So much so that there is even a monastery devoted entirely to promoting fertility…the Chimi Lhakhang, more commonly know in English as the “Temple of the ‘Divine Madman’” after its founder.......Long throughout human history, the phallus has been an important symbol, often used as a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva (though here it is referred to as a Lingam). In the case of Bhutan, this long tradition of painting phalluses on houses is thought to bring its inhabitants luck (particularly with the ribbon in the photos above) and serves as a symbol of fertility.....So just who is this divine man and why is he mad? Well, Drukpa Kunley, as he is known, is a 15th century saint who was quite famous for his sexual exploits, which were his methods of enlightening people… Rumor has it that he even tied a ribbon around his own phallus to give him luck with the ladies! (It seems to have worked, as now you see ribbons around painted phalluses all over the place! .....


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….October 2014


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.