The 6th Annual Drukpa Council (ADC) was held at Druk Amitabha Mountain in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 27th December 2014 to 1st January 2015 by the Drukpa Buddhists. The Council was attended by Buddhists from India, Bhutan, different parts of Himalayas and across the world. At the opening ceremony, after the flag hoisting, Drukpa Kung Fu nuns took the stage with a synchronized upbeat drum performance, never seen before in this region. Tens of thousands of devotees assembled at this picturesque and unique spiritual sanctuary in Kathmandu to share and reconnect the various practices through teaching.
The ADC, had enjoyed the presence of His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, spiritual head of Drukpa Buddhists, with more than 60 Drukpa masters and over 20,000 followers from 27 countries coming together.
Some prominent guests during the opening ceremony included Pradeep Shrestha from SAARC Secretariat, Dasho Rigzin, the representative of the Royal Government of Bhutan, Dasho Ugyen Wangdi, MP of Bhutan, and Shri Ravi Thakur, Member of Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly and Vice Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
While addressing a huge gathering, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual head of the Drukpa Lineage said at the opening address, “The ADC provides a platform for different global cultures to come together and inspire each other to work towards common good. It is time for humanity from different backgrounds to put aside all differences and find a common ground to work for the benefit of all through positive activities, such as cleanliness drive, medical camps and gender equality. Only positive actions will be able to bring positive results for the individuals and the world at large,” he added.
His Eminence Gyalwa Dokhampa, the organizing chairperson, elaborated on the theme of this edition of ADC “Living in Harmony” with further description and said,“The legacy we as masters of the Drukpa Lineage leave behind should be one of unity where the entire Drukpa community will work in unison to spread the Dharma by keeping our traditions and beliefs alive. We may follow different masters, go to different monasteries, come from different regions of the world; but our goal is the same, as our ultimate aim is to benefit all sentient beings through the gift of the Dharma by presevering the lineage. In this sense we are all travellers who take different routes to reach the same destination.”
Teenage students from Bhutan and Druk Padma Karpo School in Ladakh, better known as “Rancho’s School” after “3 Idiots” was filmed there, travelled from afar to give spectacular cultural performances based on their own Himalayan traditions.
While the 6th ADC puts an extra emphasis on bringing people from different backgrounds together, resonating how respect and appreciation for different cultures and traditions can “live in harmony”, it will eventually conclude with a cleanliness drive that will see thousands cleaning the area of Swayambhunath, just below Druk Amitabha Mountain. This is because “Living in Harmony” includes living in harmony with nature. This is in fact in line with what the lineage has been propagating, as with its various editions of “Eco Pad Yatra”, with the month-long 7th edition that took place in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in November 2014. This recent 7th Eco Pad Yatra saw more than a thousand participants and a daily picking up of a truck load of non-biodegradable garbage.
The Annual Drukpa Council (ADC) is the largest gathering of Drukpa Lineage. ADC aims to provide a platform for building and nourishing of multi-lateral and inter–group relationships within the Drukpa Lineage as well as introducing the richness of its spiritual heritage to others. It is an annual gathering for the followers of the Drukpa Lineage to meet once a year, thus nourishing a firm bond and strengthening the relationship among the individuals and groups within the Drukpa Sangha. ADC will include not only traditional rituals and practices, but also open discussions and exchange of views regarding the practical use of spirituality to resolve today’s difficulties. It should also function as a forum to increase our ability to work more productively together in a harmonious way. One of the key driving forces of the ADC is to promote “Compassion in Action” which is the practical aspect of inculcating loving-kindness and compassion in the world today. Chaired by His Eminence Gyalwa Dokhampa, a young, energetic and charismatic master, this 6th edition of the ADC taking place between 27th December 2014 and 1st January 2015, at Druk Amitabha Mountain in Kathmandu, better known as “Seto Gumba” or “White Gompa” is expected to see more than 20,000 participants from across Himalayas and 27 different countries in the world.
About Drukpa Lineage:
The Drukpa Lineage follows the Mahayana Buddhist tradition in philosophy, i.e. the philosophy of “getting enlightened for the bene¬t of others” and the methods are based on the Tantrayana teachings passed down from the great Indian saint Naropa, who was born a prince in 1016. It acquired the name Drukpa in the twelfth century when the reincarnation of Naropa, Tsangpa Gyare, saw nine dragons fly up into the sky from the ground of Namdruk. The present Gyalwang Drukpa is the twelfth incarnation of the founder of the Drukpa Lineage. Today, the Drukpa Lineage sprawls over major parts of the Himalayas, especially in Ladakh, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti in India, as well as Bhutan and Nepal. Bhutan, also known as “Druk Yul” or “Land of Thunder Dragons”, honours the Drukpa Lineage as its state religion. The lineage is also widely practiced in many countries throughout the world, especially Vietnam, another nation deeply influenced by the legends of “Dragons”.