Phallus in Bhutanese Culture
For centuries, people of Bhutan have been living in the isolation, so their culture was, unexploited by any foreigner. The phallus or in layman term “the penis” is commonly seen on the wall of the houses with much decorative color and of different size; some big, some small and some petrifyingly huge. They come in various color and schemes and some with curling ribbons. To make it more curious some painting even got eyes with fully erected exuding semen.
These unambiguous paintings, though embarrassing to many metropolitans (this folk culture is now informally discouraged in urban areas), can be seen painted on the walls of houses and buildings throughout Bhutan, particularly in villages. But one will not see this folk practice in d divine madman said himself that the people who are following strict monkhood will be confused if he or she doesn’t understand the actual truth of the teaching when most of his method consists of a human private organ. Though many lay people received teaching form Drukpa Kuenley with much faith and dedication, the monks put their faith in Buddhist master who follows strict Buddhist way.
People famously know Phallus as the “creation of Drukpa Kuenley and have great faith in it.
In the 15th and 16th century, Bhutan was visited by a Buddhist saint “Drukpa Kuenley”, after hearing about the good wine and beautiful women in the south of Tibet. The unorthodox method of Saint got him many names, Devine Madman is most called name of him after his real name. The lama at young very age abandon the materialist life and follow the path of non-attachment on any emotion. He started wondering in Himalaya region, spring the teaching of Buddha and protecting it from the evils. He was also notable for offering blessings in the form of sexual intercourse and he was known to awaken unenlightened beings and subduing demons that were terrorizing the locals using his penis. His phallus became so famous and powerful that it was known as The Flaming Thunderbolt of Drukpa Kuenley.
The Chimmi Lhakhang built after Drukpa Kuenley by his cousin elder brother Lam Ngawang Chogyel has a very special place in the heart of people of Bhutan. Bhutanese has very strong belief of the temple of having some divine power to bless someone with the child when the modern medicines fail to inseminate. A red wooden crafted penis of huge size is carried by the women and circumambulate the temple for getting the blessing in the form of the child.
The infants around that locality are brought to the temple to get name and protection. The Phallus is also used toward all the negative karma and also to cure the sickness of the child.
Not to be astonished if one finds the locket of phallus around the neck of the person or for the sell in the market. The locket of the phallus is worn like any other amulet for the protection and for a blessing. The treasure gift from Drukpa Kuenley is cherished by most of Bhutanese and can be seen in a different form. The phallus gives protection and blessing to an individual or to the society at large.
Traditionally, there are many ways of using phallus symbols, such as painting, sculpting, and curving, based on the convenient and situation. The painting of phallus at the entrance of a house is to guard the entry from all the negative energy entering the house and to cleanse the passer from any carrying malicious energy. It also blesses the family with fertility and health so the generation can continue living with time.
The erected phallus is intended to drive away the evil eye and malicious gossip. Such phallus is erected in front of a new house or the property which becomes the cause of jealousy. The process of erecting phallus after the ritual is done at might night, without the knowledge of the neighbors. It is believed that this ornament can block and protect any negative energy which can cause harm to the family of the proprietor.
In some village, people do celebrate the completion of house construction by hanging phallus from the roof. They will have a ceremony were the phallus is carried through the village, making villagers aware of the completion of the house and they hang from the new roof. By doing so, it is believed that the phallus will guard and protect the family. People also say that the ceremony of such kind if necessary for pleasing the local deity and to seek the protection for the family living in the house.
Travelers also seek protection from Phallus by hanging the sculpted penis in the car. The locals believed that the phallus possesses the power of warding away any cause of the accident and also an unfavorable situation that will make the travel a bad experience.
In the festival of celebrating the return of Guru Rinpoche on the 10th day of lunner month
(tsheshu), one can witness the phallus used by the participants. The clown liked the character in the festival has one or more phallus in hand and the gesture of playing with phallus and the motion is undeniably recognizable to any viewers. One can also witness the clown approaching any woman in the crowd and with indiscrete manner talks with the woman. This scene is the message for the people witnessing the festival and for the individual woman for not grasping on any emotional feeling and to be the openness of sexuality.