Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sympathy for the Devil

Bhutan’s a crazy country, but then again I think most countries are crazy in their own crazy ways.
Its a very pretty country too, even though that comes at a price for the Bhutanese. But thats a story for a later day.

So interestingly, when I went a visiting Bhutan I heard this story about the great non-vegetarian Buddhist race. You heard me.

And the story went ....

When Buddhism spread to Bhutan, there wasn’t much that grew in terms of agriculture. The locals thrived/survived on the meat of the land and as little farming as was needed ( I know its a bummer, but you do need some veggies!).
Now there’s a dictum in buddhism, which states that whatever you get in alms you have to eat it (emphasis on the “have to”). So it came to be that the early monks went begging for food in Bhutan and got only meat to eat, which they.... well ate. It was the Dictum you know.

To cut long stories short ( thats also a general protest), slowly Bhutan became predominantly Bhuddist. Ummm, predominantly Non Veg Bhuddist. But there was a slight problem - buddhists don’t kill. So, who then?

Simple really - they herd the sheep near a cliff and scare them ( with sticks and screams) over the cliff and claim to the great stomach god that they didn’t kill, but hey, now that they’re dead why waste it.

Man - 1 God - 0. Bring it on.

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