Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sketching for community cause

- Banjar Lhakhang Fund Raising Initiative

It may be bit too early to claim myself as an Artist, but this thought of "doing something helpful to the community" with my skills always kept bothering me. I thought may be a small initiative such as this would help keep the flames of my desire to become an artist one day, constantly fueled while benefiting the community on the other hand. And it is never too early to begin with such a small cause too. Therefore, I thought it wouldn't be wrong to begin with my own community, Banjar - where I was born and bred until I became strong enough to stand on my own. Over these next few weekends, I am committed to doing sketches with a hope to raise some funds for ongoing construction of a Lhakhang by the community. Last couple of weeks I've been doing pencil sketches and the responses have been overwhelmingly positive. But let me be honest here, I'm not really confident in doing portraits although some portraits have come out exceptionally brilliant. Drawing some energy and motivation from these few successes, I would like to continue doing portraits. Therefore, if you like to have one for yourself, kindly send your photo references to my email at thubtenpelbar@yahoo.com along with your donation amount. Meanwhile you can also have a look at the sketches and paintings from my recent past. These sketches and paintings will be let out to those who are willing to pay maximum donation amount...now PLACE YOUR BETS!  

Banjar1: A4 water color paper
"Already sold out"
Banjar2: A4 watercolor paper




Banjar3: Pencil on A4 paper
"Already sold out"
Banjar4: watercolor on A4 paper

Banjar5: watercolor on A3 paper
Banjar6: Rihana
Pencil on paper 24x18cm
Banjar7: Rose
Pencil on paper 24x18 cm
Banjar8: Pencil on paper
24x18 cm

Banjar10: Pencil on paper
24x18 cm

Banjar9: Pencil on paper
24x18 cm

Banjar11: Pencil on A3 chart paper
(Coming-up)
BACKGROUND on Banjar Lhakhang construction
-         Reproduced from the "Implementation Strategy booklet"

Through the three doors, I constantly make prostrations and offerings to,
The Buddha who shows unmistakable, ultimate noble path;
The sacred Dharma which protects us from the lower rebirths;
And the Sangha that guides us on to the path of liberation.

With the above offerings of flowery words of praise, here is presented the short background to the construction of new Lhakhang at Banjar in Tsamang, under Mongar Dzongkhag.
In the east of the Land of the Palden Drukpa, within the region popularly known as the Sharchog Khorlo Tsipgyed (or the Eight Spokes of Wheel of Eastern Region), in the administrative region of Mongar Dzongkhag, the Banjar village under Tsamang Gewog is blessed with the fertile landscape, wherein the common nine types of food grains are cultivated and grown; where the nine aspirations/ wishes are spontaneously fulfilled; wherein the flowers, medicinal plants and abundant species of vegetation adorn and enrich the village landscape; and the birds such as the Cuckoo are heard singing their melodious tunes against the backdrop of the wild animals grazing at their natural ease in a care-free manner; while the people of the village are busy with their daily farming activities in their pursuit of peace and, happiness. Adorning the right side of the village is the abode palace of much acclaimed protector and the local deity known as Gogphel Lhatsen, who protects and safeguards the people from obstacles, famine, disease and other obstacles to people's health and happiness. From this abode palace originates Phelgang Chhu rivulet with its eight tributaries. The top of the village is adorned with the mountain range/ peak known as the Pang Phu that resembles the mystic Kilaya (Phurpa) pointing towards the eternal sky.
Towards the left of the village, originating from the Sengram ranges is the rivulet called Shel Khil Chhu. At the bottom stretch of the village is the swift-flowing, well-known river fed by the sacred Tsokar and Tsonag (Black & White) Lakes, known as Kuri Chhu, which has helped in dispelling the darkness of thousands of households through the generation of hydro-electricity.
With such serene surroundings and ideal location, the Banjar village could be really compared to the abode of the celestial beings where peace and happiness is the call of the day.
In Banjar village, sometime before 150 years, the noble families of the village and the noble high Lams of the past, thinking for the sake of the future generations have built a small Lhakhang to serve as the source of blessings for the living and the dead.
As said in the words of Shantideva:
                   "The Ultimate medicine for beings' sufferings,
                    The Ultimate source off freedom and happiness,
                    Is the Buddha-Dharma, which I pray that, 
                    It remains long with support of veneration and offerings".
For the Buddha-Dharma to remain and last longer, the unbroken lineage holders of the sacred Dharma must be sustained and supported with veneration and offerings. To actually achieve this objective, thus, the Buddha's body, speech and mind representations and relics must be built and supported by generous offerings with due respect and regard. Thus, we can't agree any less with the above stanza of, Shantideva on the importance of building a new Lhakhang.
Old Banjar Lhakhang
With the overall developments In the world economy, and with the increase in population, there is an urgent need for the rituals and ceremonies to be hosted for both the living and the dead almost on a daily basis. As the old Lhalhang in the village is beyond repair, it's felt that it would be far better to construct a new Lhakhang. Moreover, with the yearly increase in the village population and the marked increase in the village youths enrolling into Dharma practice, it's difficult to accommodate the entire gathering under one roof.
Therefore, in May 2007, coinciding with the Fire Female Pig year, Lopen Perna Jamtsho had a consultative discussion with the Banjar community, during which the public submitted their absolute assurances and commitment to support the construction of Lhakhang, both in terms of labour and materials in every manner they can.
New Lhakhang
(Construction still going on)
Thence, correspondingly, the Royal Government of Bhutan, considering the importance of propagation and preservation of Buddha-Dharma and also keeping in mind the welfare of the people, granted the permission/approval to construct the new Lhakhang vide their letters of approval NCCA/0-15/2001/ 4826, dated 20th December 2001, and DoC/0-l/2006/913, dated 11th December 2006.
Thereafter, with due consultation amongst the people of the village, a Working Committee was established to ensure the proper implementation of the construction.
The following are the members of the working committee:
(a) Dasho Sherab Tenzin,
(b) Retired Major Tshewang Sithar,
(c) Lopen Perna Jamtsho,
(d) Ex-Gup Kuenzang Gyeltshen,
(e) Ex-Gup Sonam Tenzin,
(f) Deki Phuntshok,
(g) Peljorla


OBJECTIVES OF LHAKHANG CONSTRUCTION

The following are the main objectives for constructing a new Lhakhang at Banjar:
a)      To preserve and promote the Buddha-Dharma for the welfare and benefit of sentient beings, not only for this present life but for after-life as well,
b)      To accommodate more number of monks and people during the religious functions, rituals and ceremonies. The old Lhakhang was in a dilapidated state and didn't have the capacity to' accommodate large number of people,
c)      To provide an opportunity for the people of Banjar community and their relatives and associates to accumulate enormous merit and thereby cleanse their karmic sins and retributions through their generous contributions of labour, material and money,
d)     To coincide with and represent the auspiciousness and the Tendrel celebrations of 100 years of monarchy with the ascension of our 5th King, His Majesty, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck" , on the golden throne of the glorious Palden Drukpa,
e)      To facilitate the proper study a.n d meditation practices for the Gomchens and monks at their inner, outer and secret levels,
f)       To facilitate the regular performance of rituals and ceremonies for the sake of the Buddha-Dharma in general; and for the King, Country and its people in particular,
g)      To equip the Lhakhang with numerous main inner statues, Buddhist thematic paintings, frescoes, religious instruments and sacred scriptures to sanctify the village through their presence and blessings.