Chandigarh: Led by His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, of the Ladakh based Drukpa Order, 500 monks and nuns cycled into India and reached Chandigarh as a part of their 2500 km journey to Hemis Monastery in Ladakh.
The Drukpa Order, which has come to be known for its insistence on gender equality and celebration of diversity regularly organises such events to highlight issues of global significance. The Cycle Yatra, which commenced in Kathmandu (Nepal) on 3rd July 2016 from one of the monasteries of the Drukpa lineage, has become an annual feature of Order’s efforts to promote awareness about the Environmental Crises in the region and inspire collaborative action to resolve it.
The two month long Yatra traverses through some of the most arduous routes in the Himalayan region amidst adverse conditions. From the quake-hit regions in Nepal, to the monsoon hit towns in Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Pathankot, Srinagar, Sonmargand Kargil (J&K) – The Yatra will culminate at Hemis Monastery, 45 kilometres from Leh. Where it is scheduled to arrive, prior to Naropa 2016 – a grand spiritual festival that is held once in every 12 years, celebrating the 1000th birth anniversary of the Indian Saint Naropa, patron of the Drukpa Lineage.
“The Himalayas have been the home of the Drukpa Lineage for over 1000 years now. Recently, the region has faced several environmental disasters that caused unwanted &unprecedented loss of life and upset the natural ecosystem. Our aim through this journey is to inspire people to be one with nature instead of being in a constant state of war with it. The Himalayas and the earth were formed millions of years before we were and it is our duty to respect them,” said His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa – the 12threincarnation of the head of the Drukpa Order.
His Holinesshas personally led the Cycle Yatra from Kathmandu and plans to complete 2500 kilometres all the way to Hemis Monastery in Ladakh – shattering the conventional concept of the role of the spiritual Guru.It is through his vision that the number of women being inducted into the Order has increased manifold since his accession. The nuns of the Drukpa Order are instrumental in the activities of the Lineage across the Himalayan Region and are fondly known as the ‘Kung Fu Nuns’ for the role they have played in resolving on ground issues.
For his tireless efforts, His Holiness has been conferred the title of ‘Keeper of the Himalayas’ by the United Nations.
About Drukpa Lineage:
The Drukpa Lineage (the “Dragon Lineage”) is an integral part of Himalayan and Central Asian legacy and culture. Dating back to the Indian scholar-saint Naropa, the Drukpa Lineage is woven into the history of Buddhism the geographic locales of India and Central Asia. It is strategically located along some of the world’s most significant historical trading routes and has over 1000 monasteries in the region. The state of Bhutan, honours the Drukpa Lineage as its state religion.
The present Gyalwang Drukpa is the twelfth reincarnation of the founder of the Drukpa Lineage, whose tenant of “service before self” and their zeal to convert compassion into action to tackle international challenges has earned the lineage a robust global following.