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THE BEAUTY AND SUBLIMITY OF MY SPIRITUAL MOTHER- BHUTAN

Dear Karma Jamtsho,
Farewell by K.C Jose and Ganeshman Gurung on final departure, 30/03/13
On my final departure from Chukha and my Spiritual Motherland - Bhutan, you escorted me along with your family up to Jaigaon. In fact you wanted to drop me at my home in India but your time did not permit. And today you are leaving Chukha for your new place of posting, Kurichu, Mongar. So on your farewell, from far away in my motherland, India, I would like to join my beloved brothers and sisters of Chukha Hydro Power Plant to pour out my feelings, experiences and wishes about you and the Tsa-wa-Sum.

You have been a divine candle to me. A great gift of God! I do not know how to thank the almighty Lord for such a sublime gift. I have seen you and your life since you were a student of Class Four at Tsebar Primary School, Pemagatshel. In my analysis of today’s
Peak of student's devotion to teacher
mature age and experience, you have been throughout your life a shining symbol of many lofty values and virtues. In spite of being a student, you had supported my survival and settlement in Bhutan in 1987, and in 2013 on my repatriation like a parent, so securely and lovingly you dropped me back on to the lap of my biological mother – India by your own car. I was overwhelmed with emotion by your sense of dutifulness and gratefulness. From your contribution, care and concern about me, I only learn that God has created us to love and care each other transcending our narrow geographical, religious, racial and linguistic walls, though due to ignorance and limitations many of us become oblivious about our true identity that “God is the Supreme Father of us and we are brothers and sisters”. I have realized that it is due to that supreme connection and relationship between us, you were so much inclined and devoted towards me. This sacred relationship between us could surface and rise for our natural life in the pristine environment of Bhutan and our closeness to Mother Nature. Experience has taught me that the closer we live to the Nature, the deeper and stronger becomes our bond with each other, and thereby the higher we rise in the plane of humanity. That’s why perhaps the famous writer Ruskin Bond came back from his motherland, England, and got resettled in Missouri, India, to live on the Nature’s lap.

I am glad that you have decided to travel by the lateral road to your new place of posting though I have been passionate to have a glance of you and your family on our Indian highway. Your journey through the lateral road will be much safer since you will be travelling all along through the loving touch of the pristine nature.

I can’t forget those days at Tsebar Primary School when as a student you devoted your life to my service and survival. That time though I was appointed as a teacher, I was raw, inexperienced and immature in the strange land and society of Bhutan. You had domestic problems. By our kind and caring headmaster Mr. Tshering Dendup, you were attached to
me for your betterment. Being a bachelor, stranger and unseasoned, I was in dire need of someone like you to support me. Omniscient God helped me by providing your service. I remember every morning you washed my kitchen pots sparklingly clean, cooked my food and served me the meals with your holy mind and holy hands. Today I realize every day I ate Tshok from your hand. I was blessed to eat from the hands of a Buddha. On Wednesdays you went to the forest along with other students and fetched me firewood. And everything you did happily and lovingly. Without your support at my initial groping and crippling stage, I would not have survived and enjoyed such a glorious teaching career in Bhutan.   You were an angel sent to me by the almighty. Though you were a small boy, you exhibited astounding maturity in your attitudes, thoughts, actions, discipline and manner.

You suffered a lot during your childhood for your domestic problems but you never bore any ill-feeling towards her, nor uttered any word of hatred or dislike. Instead, you have been rendering a lot of services and good will towards her ever since you have been appointed in C.H.P.C. This is a quality of Buddha mind which ordinary human being rarely possesses. Throughout my life journey with you I have never seen in you any ill feeling towards anybody, even to the ones who had hurt you. Being your so called teacher at the primary school on many occasions I used to be harsh on you, but you bore everything with unfaltering tolerance like the mother earth. When Jesus Christ was being crucified at the age of thirty three, his last prayer was: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” I wish and pray that God gives you that degree of tolerance and forgiveness. “To err is human, but to forgive is divine.” Bhutan and most of the Bhutanese are very much elevated in the divinity of “Forgiveness” which is on wane in the rest of the world.

 You have been always well doer and well wisher to others.
Goodwill gesture to Karma. Tommy wants to study 
Even my late pet dog, Tommy, enjoyed your divine love and compassion. In 2009 I had left Tommy under your care during the winter vacation when I came down to my hometown in India. Within the span of two months Tommy found her heaven at your house under your care. And upon my return after the vacation when I wanted to take her back to my house at upper Terrace, she was reluctant to go back and I left her to your  care. Thus she had lived with you for the rest of her days till she died in 2015. But despite being a dog, she was so much awakened and transformed by your holy touch that every morning from your house she came to the school in search of me in the midst of huge crowd of students and teachers of Wangchu Middle Secondary School and offered her obeisance to her master. The Wangchu family
Gesture of love and respect to master 
was marveled at her sacred behavior. I remember you always had kept the most comfortable and important seat in your Santro Car for Tommy. She always travelled in the car with you like a VIP guest. After Tommy’s death you offered butter lamps and a daylong prayer in the lakhang for elevation and emancipation of her soul. You also faithfully kept me informed everything about Tommy. In the last reply, I wrote to you, Karma,” Whatever you did to Tommy, you did it to your beloved teacher.” And today I add further that whatever you did to Tommy, you did  to the Supreme Father.  We all living beings are His children. Lord Buddha said: “Until Man has unconditional and unbiased love for all beings, he will not find peace.”

 Karma, as you have practiced in your life, please teach the same values and virtues to your kids. Without perfect devotion to the teachers, no one
can enjoy true success, peace and happiness.  Upon my transfer from Nangkor Higher Secondary School to Wangchu MSS, Chukha, when I visited your beautiful CHPC quarter at LMT, Chukha, and expressed my wonderment about the house and your heavenly life, you marveled me saying: “Sir, this is not my house, it is yours. Because of you only today I am able to enjoy this good life.” Your sense of gratitude will lift you to a higher plane of life. Italian philosopher Cicero said: “Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues but also the mother of all virtues.”

Dear Karma, it is my prayer to the Lord that you continue to live like a spiritual lamp. And I want to continue to share my experiences and philosophies about life and remain connected with you for my spiritual growth. Though you are very much ahead of me in many matters, yet I will go on advising you on different matters in the interest of your country wherein hides your own interest. You must live and work in the spirit and philosophy of Abraham Lincoln who said: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

Recently I have learned from our Hindu scriptures that a king is a living embodiment of God. So unlike past, now I worship the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and the Queen Azhi Jetsun Pema, the Divine Mother, with profound devotion. Burning and waving incense stick with bowed head before the King and Queen’s portraits in my Indian house and paying my heartiest obeisance is now one of my morning activities. I have not been fortunate to have a glimpse of the present King and the Queen. Please pray that God blesses me to gain the privilege to be able to pay a glance at the two Divine figures. I have burning passion to see both of them. I want you to bear similar thoughts and attitudes about the King and the Queen and to instill the value, patriotism, in your children. Thadamtse and Lejumdrey to the Tsa-Wa-Sum are main pillars of peace and prosperity in individual as well as national life.

If God grants, I want to share all my experiences, thoughts and philosophies with my students whom I consider as my spiritual children. Even when you become old, I will visualize each one of you as a small child in my mind. I find living heaven in children. Rabindranath Tagore said: “From the solemn gloom of the temple children run out to sit in the dust. God watches them play and forgets the priest.”I have developed similar philosophy about children by virtue of my services to students in Bhutan.

It is so interesting and rewarding to share with you that first I was given birth, educated and equipped by my motherland, India, to serve my Spiritual Mother- Bhutan.  And then I have been reshaped and rebuilt by Bhutan to serve my biological motherland, India. So with the Bhutanese skills and resources now I am serving my Mother India as a principal. I feel assured that God has plan and will to engage me in greater service in India. For that vision and passion, I seek prayer of all my spiritual brothers and sisters of Bhutan.

Teacher's love
 I have developed faith in prayer by observing our Bhutanese students praying before their breakfast, lunch and dinner in their hostel life and before morning assembly and before retiring to bed at night. At the Nangkor H.S.S girls’ Hostel each day after the last bell at 9.30 p.m. when I used to go around the girls’ rooms to check whether they had gone to bed or not, I used to feel at heaven seeing many of my spiritual daughters immersed in profound prayer in the dark rooms connecting and rebinding themselves to the Source, The Supreme Father, before retiring to the bed. Like this, so many divine practices I saw in my Little Buddhas, the students. Swami Vivekananda said:  “Faith! Faith! Faith in God is the secret of all success.”

You know very well how passionately I used to clean the entire Chukha along with many volunteer students of Wangchu School on holidays. I did that job because I realize that the Natural Environment is a manifestation of our Universal Mother. My unfathomable love
and attachment towards Nature that grew in me for my long life on the lap of the pristine Nature of Bhutan is beyond description. I firmly believe that man can enjoy perfect health, happiness and peace only if Nature is respected, loved and worshipped. So I want to request you and your whole family to pay utmost care, respect and love to every natural phenomenon. There should be respect and concern even for every drop of water to keep it free from pollution and contamination. No litter should be discarded carelessly that dirties the face of the mother earth.

I have seen, experienced and enjoyed so many beautiful things in Bhutan and in the Bhutanese that I do not want to search for any better place and people on the earth. By my life in Bhutan, I am well convinced that God is alive in human beings and heaven exists on the earth itself.

The Greek Philosopher, Bestolozzy, said: “Give me a child for seven years. Afterwards, let the God or the Devil take the child. They cannot change the child.” In line with the view of the philosopher, I want you to live a more refined, elevated and ignited life in the eyes of the children so that they are shaped into lofty citizens. I believe a nation becomes great and mighty not by the number of people and the size of the land but by the number of value and virtue-laden productive citizens.

You know from 1987 to 1997 I had to take long arduous walks between Khodakpa and Tsebar Pry. School and many a times between Pemagatshel and Tsebar over the rugged terrains. When I was at Nangkor H.S.S, I had to take ascending and descending walks between my Girls hostel and the classrooms. At Chukha I had to ascend and descend between my Wangchu M.S.S and my residence (Qr. No. P-VII/10) at Upper Terrace daily over scores of steps, sometimes several times a day which demanded a lot of stamina. In the Wangchu School throughout the working hours daily I had to rush up and down to the classrooms of the huge three storied building. But with my slender and frail body I always managed it easily, happily and proudly. Of course there were times when I cursed myself to be forced to take such challenging walks. But in contrary to that life, today in my hometown I go to  school by the school bus, sit on a comfortable chair of the Principal for the entire working period without taking any class or up and down walk and come back home luxuriously . I eat more varieties of food at my hometown. But the disaster is my amazing strength and stamina that I had in Bhutan has fallen down drastically for losing the habit of daily walk. I know now why the Bhutanese are hardy and sturdy. I have learned that those who have to take long walks for their work and living are not unfortunate rather they are more fortunate than the non-walkers. Walks on the Himalayan Mountains is a great health building tonic. Mahatma Gandhi, had walked thousands of kilometres in South Africa. He said the secret behind his amazing strength and stamina in his thin and slender body was his daily long walks. So, Karma I request you to be an ardent walker. Walk will bring benefits to your personal life and offer many benefits to the nation. Avoid using vehicle when it is possible to walk. When you walk, you will build your health and stamina, develop your contact with the Nature, save your money, save fuel for the posterity and protect the environment from pollution and degradation.

Swami Vivekananda said: “Devotion to duty is the highest form of worship to God.” Lord Buddha said: “Do not neglect your own duty for the sake of some other work, however great or beneficial. Know your own duty – what you should be doing and perform it.” I have seen that art and education in you right from your childhood. The sincerity and faithfulness that you are devoting to your profession today I had seen the same degree of earnestness in your study and in your service in my kitchen work. Let your children also build this value.

One evening at Chukha when I went to your house I found your three small children busy chopping potatoes, onion, etc to cook their dinner.
On enquiry about you and Pema Choki, your wife,when I came to learn that both of you were away from home I was shocked and annoyed with you. After one or two days on your return when I asked you: “ Karma, how could you both stay away from home putting the children in such difficult situation? “ Politely you replied: “Sir I am just giving them training to learn to be self dependent because sooner or later time may come when they have to do everything by themselves for their survival.” I was sparkled at your beautiful thought and farsightedness. The famous late American President Abraham Lincoln wrote to the headmaster of his son:” ……………….treat him gently, but do not cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel…………….”

According to scriptures, infidelity and greed towards wealth and women drag men to hell. I am proud of you with the knowledge and faith that you have been totally free from either kind of corruptions throughout your life. You must ensure that your three sons attain that character- building education. I have been blessed by Bhutan to develop a new mind and new eyes towards women. As Swami Vivekananda said: “Every woman is a living embodiment of the Universal Mother,” I have seen and experienced that truth in my close life and association with my divine daughters for eleven years when I looked after them as the matron and in my close company with many Bhutanese women. I have learned to worship women in Bhutan. According to Vivekananda,   “disgracing and dehumanizing women is one of the strongest causes of men’s suffering on this earth. Mahatma Gandhi said: “I have worshipped women as the living embodiment of the spirit of service and sacrifice.” I am in full agreement with Dr. Radhakrishnan’s philosophy: “God could not go everywhere, so women have been sent.” So I want you to teach your kids this sublime value.

Karma, it is my earnest wish and prayer that every Bhutanese develop the divine eyes to see and enjoy the divine grandeur and splendor of the Land of the Thunder Dragon. In tune with Late Madam Tessa Goldsmith, England, who was a D.R.T in Bhutan, today I want to say that Bhutan must not become like England, America or any other country in the world. Her uniqueness and Spiritual Light is her might. Little by little I will try to share more things about the glory and sublimity of the nation as I saw and experienced.

I found the Bhutanese students amazingly imaginative and creative. When in most places in today’s world, students depend upon external forces for innovation and creation, Bhutanese students have the art of depending on their imagination and inner world. They
Art of loving and teaching 
are able to write, draw, design and plan so many beautiful things from their own imagination. They are able to compose songs, music s, drama and many other cultural items of their own without any external assistance. Lord Buddha said: “The more you depend upon yourself, the more your power manifests.” Albert Einstein said:  “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited but imagination encircles the world.” I have seen the reflection of the above sayings in our Bhutanese students.  My students have written and drawn many sublime things about their dreams of me from their imagination. When I go through them, I feel rekindled, re-energized and recommitted. I will go on struggling to live and grow up to their hopes, dreams and expectations about me till my last breath. I believe in students’ wish and prayer there is blessing of God. To me, my students’ expectations are Gods expectations.

I want to reveal all secretes that are stored in my heart. The Himalayan Kingdom has bestowed so many gifts upon me. And the greatest of all is the crown of Yoga, which descended on me when I was at the remote hill-top shrine, Tsebar Primary School. I call it a shrine because I got connected to my Yoga teacher, Late B.K.S. Iyengar, in the school library of Tsebar. By the blessing of Tsebar School, I went to Pune and learned Yoga from my great teacher. B.K.S. Iyengar who is known as the Michalengelo of Yoga and king of all Yogis. Yoga is a great art and science which transforms and sublimates human mind, thoughts, attitudes, behaviour and actions. It is a secular subject, not a religion. Anybody of any belief can practice it. My Yoga teacher said to me: “Yoga will make you a better teacher.”The truth of the words shone in my teaching career in Bhutan. I am optimistic that by the effect of Yoga I will rise further as a teacher in my homeland. So I pray to Lord that my every Bhutanese brother and sister including the school children take to Yoga. As per the news report, yoga is taught in every American school. As per the latest news, Yoga is going to be a compulsory subject for all the Indian universities.

Karma, I have many wishes about my Bhutanese family members: A Japanese friend commented: “Bhutan is poor but the Bhutanese are rich.” Yes, I too have found the Bhutanese rich. I found them rich in their spirituality, compassion for all beings, simplicity, contentment, hospitality to guests, friendliness, hearty smile and laughter, dignity in living style, discipline, love and respect for each other, loyalty to the Tsa-Wa-Sum, dignity in school and office culture and in celebrations of important events and ceremonies, maintenance of clean environment and in many other things. I want my Bhutanese brothers and sisters to add more good habits to their lives for more health, happiness and prosperity. I believe it is not only by the force of wealth and resources a nation prospers but by the best use of her resources. And here the citizens’ habits play important role.
Goodwill service
Singapore is a good example of that. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said: “We cannot change our future but we can change our habits. And when habits are changed, naturally future gets changed.”As a well wisher, I fervently request every one of you to start developing home library and daily reading culture among family members at a fixed hour. Through library and avid reading culture you can create heaven at your home. This is what I have learned from the lives of the great men and women.   “Learning gives creativity/ Creativity leads to thinking/ Thinking provides knowledge/Knowledge makes you great,” said A.PJ. Abdul Kalam. I am so grateful to Bhutan. By the blessing of Bhutan, I have developed a strong library and passion for reading and writing. My library is now my greatest wealth and pillar in my life. I organized and looked after the library at Tsebar Primary School for several years and at Nangkor H.S.S for the first two years. To me, every book in the library was a gift of God. I can never forget Mr. Gyembo Namgyel’s rich library in his small house at Nangkor, Pemagatshel. He is an avid reader as well as writer. I wish and pray that every house becomes adorned, ornamented and more dignified with a good collection of books and strong reading culture. The Late Scientist Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had not possessed a television, a refrigerator, a car or a house but he had a huge collection of good books.
Whatever arises in my mind I want to share in the benefit of you students, and thereby in the service of the kingdom that I love so much. I suffered a lot of teeth problem when I was at Tsebar and Nangkor, and lost some precious teeth. But ever since I started using dental floss to clean in between the teeth that brush cannot clean,  my teeth problem has disappeared and in about last ten years I haven’t suffered any tooth problem. So I advise you to brush teeth scientific way and do flossing daily at least after the dinner. That will keep your teeth strong and healthy. Teeth are very precious part of our body. Teach the art to your family members and friends also.

To teach any good habits to the Bhutanese children is so easy and inspiring. As the matron at the Nangkor H.S.S girls hostel I used to feel so rewarded to see my girls carrying soap while going to the toilets and brushing teeth after breakfast and dinner as a result of my own practice and a few rounds of briefing to them on health, hygiene and sanitation. They learned to keep the toilets sparklingly clean. During British period in India Gandhiji used to say: “Sanitation is more important than freedom.”At Wangchu Middle Secondary School, I used to carry tooth brush and tooth paste in my bag and presented demonstration of tooth brushing technique and talks to the students during my substitution periods and on some important health days. The effect in the children was overwhelming. Any good practice they learn and follow so rapidly and sincerely.  

I am so sorry Karma, I am too late to join the CHP family to share my humble words on your farewell at Chukha. When I told Babu to send the message, he informed me that you had already left Chukha and he read the words you had left for me at your departing hours. I am ashamed of myself but proud of you. I failed in my duty towards you but you did not. I am wonder-struck at your sincerity, gratefulness, faithfulness, and your overall humanity. My dear child, grow more and more and rise higher and higher. I want to learn more from you. As I am growing older, my learning passion from my students is growing stronger. So I am keeping my eyes fixed on all of you, my sweet students, my Little Buddhas, my best friends, my angels, with a hope to see more and more beautiful things in your life and soar higher in the light of your serenity, sublimity and divinity.
                                                                        

May the New Year – 2016 enrich and ennoble your life with better health, greater happiness and prosperity and with the fulfillment of your loftier hopes and dreams.

O Lord, may all beings enjoy Divine health and happiness!
May Truth triumph! May Humanity triumph!
May we become worthy children of the Mother earth!
May we all live in a spirit of universal brotherhood!
May the Divine light in everyone shine!
O the Omnipotent, may Thou manifest Thy glory in every man and woman!
Peace, peace, peace!
Peace for all! Peace for all! Peace for all!









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