Bhutanese Using WeChat To Practice Buddhism

Email

Lamas are using WeChat to send mantras and teachings, and Bhutanese living abroad resort to the chat app to appease local dieties.

More than 50 percent of Bhutanese population use WeChat. (Source: Periphery Digital)

 

By Yangchen C Rinzin | Kuensel

Bhutanese have adapted technology to our culture and social practices, according to a PhD student of Macau University, Dorji Wangchuk.

He said that in the context of how Bhutanese use social media app, especially WeChat, to practice Buddhism.

Sharing a part of his study on ‘WeChat Spirituality: Buddhism and Social Media in Bhutan’ at the Vajrayana conference on March 30, Dorji Wangchuk said his study is an attempt to answer how the existing culture and spiritual practices are adapting and adopting the technology.

Blessings and Reciting Mantras Through WeChat

“We already have lots of lamas using WeChat to send mantras and teachings from other side of the globe and from different parts of Bhutan and India,” he said.

More than 50 percent of Bhutanese population use WeChat.

Dorji Wangchuk said there are people, who get Tara empowerment via WeChat from their Lama based in Sikkim, a WeChat group of about 200 members conduct a collective Jamyang Seldep prayer and report to the coordinator in the Wechat where they have recited over 13 million chants and there are Khenpos that bless people and recite mantras through WeChat.

“I myself had to resort to astrological services from an astrologer who is based in Trashiyangste from Macau after I saw a bad dream of me swept by the river,” he said. “Then he blessed me on the WeChat after conducting Barchay Lamsay and I sent the evidence of the service.”

Keeping Connected To Spiritual Traditions

Dorji Wangchuk said Bhutanese living abroad resort to WeChat while trying to appease the local deities like tsans and gyaps, who become wrathful if regular rituals are not performed.

“WeChat helps us to come to terms with our spiritual and tradition demand, besides keeping us connected with our family.”

He said WeChat is also used for social mobilisation in terms of promoting vegetarianism and animal rights, which are aligned with the practice of Mahayana compassion.

“The study also saw that there is a lot of pragmatism in the way we practice now and it is not like before where people accepted and practised Buddhism blindly,’ he said.

Strong Cultural Foundation Still Needed

Dorji Wangchuk also said technology is a reality and cannot neglect and if there is one thing that is the biggest threat that is technology, which is no more neutral.

“Our spiritual tradition is still alive but strong cultural needs to be instituted in our people. If we want technology to keep reappearing in the use of our spiritual practices, then these have to be supplemented with strong cultural foundation.”

He added Vajrayana teaching is timeless and they are not at all diluted in any form, but the medium has kept changing.

Dorji Wangchuk is currently pursuing PhD specialising in socio-linguistics and Buddhist communication.

 

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.


Tag Cloud

Related Posts

The Great Fourth King and Fifth King of Bhutan on Royal Tours...

Many Bhutanese people eyes brimmed with tears. The heart was a knot of inexplicable emotions when they saw His Majesty...

Oct 07, 2020 09:16

Australia supports Bhutan in its COVID-19 preparedness, response...

Extending support to Bhutan in its fight against COVID-19, the Australian Government has supplied medical equipment in...

Sep 22, 2020 09:39

Virtual Tsechu in Bhutan amid Pandemic.

Tsechu (Festival ) is one of the biggest religious celebrations of the Bhutanese year in every district in Bhutan....

Sep 21, 2020 12:38

Technology-based Conservation in Bhutan

Bhutan homes around 11,248 species making us one of the biodiverse countries in the world. With the digital age, how is...

Sep 16, 2020 19:23

FOOD SECURITY- Rice for three meals could face repercussion on...

“One of our primary objectives is to be self-reliant. When we talk about self-reliance it means that we should be able...

Sep 13, 2020 12:13

Bhutan 'travel bubbles' tourism plan from March 2021

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) 'travel bubble' proposal consists of 2 options that may be implemented from March...

Sep 11, 2020 16:42

Latest

News

The Great Fourth King and Fifth King of Bhutan on Royal Tours amid the COVID-19 pandemic brought tears to many Bhutanese.

Many Bhutanese people eyes brimmed with tears. The heart was a knot of inexplicable emotions when they saw His Majesty the fourth King...

Oct 07, 2020 09:16

Australia supports Bhutan in its COVID-19 preparedness, response and recovery

Extending support to Bhutan in its fight against COVID-19, the Australian Government has supplied medical equipment in response to the Royal...

Sep 22, 2020 09:39

Features

Ngultrum- The Bhutanese Currency but does Bhutanese address the money Nu or ?

Ngultrum is pegged at par with the Indian rupee. Ngultrum is the identity of the Bhutanese monetary system. But most Bhutanese refer to the...

Oct 23, 2020 16:00

Significance of the Stupa of two lovebirds across Lungtenzampa- the Bridge of Prophecy

According to the caretaker, many believe that couple who wishes to have children gets their wishes fulfilled if they pray at this sacred...

Oct 17, 2020 17:32

Sports

Football clubs in Bhutan gearing up for Bhutan Premier League (BPL) 2020

Bhutan Premier League (BPL), the top national football tournament in Bhutan is set to commence on August 1.

Jul 24, 2020 14:33

Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18

Business

Bhutan- The Kingdom of Peppers

Bhutan is a country with the highest per-capita consumption of chilli.

Sep 26, 2020 09:15

Are Local Vendors Earning More Money Than the Civil Servant?

A Farmer from Lango, Paro gave up farming to be vendor while office goers are switching into agriculture as the remedy to curb their...

Jul 27, 2020 19:15

Travel

Harvest Time in Bhutan- It is the happy time for peasants for the bountiful harvest

This time of the year, the lush green valleys and hills have turned into a mellow yellow field. Farmers are seen at their field to harvest...

Oct 26, 2020 12:52

Domestic Tourism to boost Local Economy in Bhutan

Although Bhutanese have not seen tourists for the last few months, locals are riding the bandwagon of being "tourists in one's own...

Oct 13, 2020 21:26

Lifestyle

Food on Wheels- First of its kind in Bhutan

The World's Largest Fast Food Restaurant Chains doesn't exist in Bhutan.

Mar 04, 2020 09:39

Amazing Stories from the Eastern Part of Bhutan

You can't say you have visited the eastern part of Bhutan unless you have experienced the following bizarre things.

Mar 02, 2020 19:02

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!