The temple guardians were with us today! To finish the final video for my book “Heal Your Past Lives”, we had to befriend Vaiśravaṇa, the chief of the Four Heavenly Kings who guards the North direction. Here he is behind me in the clouds.
The Four Great Kings guard the entrance to the Paro Rinpung Dzong, and the four cardinal directions. Each of the kings are leaders of a semi-divine class of beings in their own realm, to uphold and teach the path to enlightenment while destroying obstacles and surveying their realm. Always ready to protect the Dharma, they are surrounded by fire and smoke representing dynamism and spiritual wisdom.
In Bhutan’s Buddhist tradition, large paintings of the Four Great Kings are placed at the four directions of the monastery entrance, to set boundaries and guard the monks from obstacles.
With Vaiśravaṇa behind me, we finally finished the video to introduce my new book: “Heal Your Past Lives: Six Steps to Dissolve Old Trauma for Lasting Happiness”. It was an interesting day, because for the very first time the temple police required that I change into formal Bhutanese attire, and to remove my overcoat. They also demanded that I purchase a ticket to enter the temple. Perhaps after so many videos they consider me a pest. No worries, I just smiled and did everything they asked. We borrowed a traditional jacket from a local woman and purchased a $7 ticket. Once we got inside, the roosters were quiet. No wind, temple drums, or airplanes disturbed us. All was good.
The character of Vaiśravaṇa is also called Kubera, the god of wealth and abundance. Often shown with a yellow face, he carries an umbrella as a sign of his power, and a spear. He frequently holds a mongoose spitting out precious jewels, showing generosity and abundance. The mongoose is the enemy of the snake, which symbolizes greed and hatred.
Our next project is to make a video for the final book. The proposed title was: “Walking in the Footprints of the Enlightened Ones: The Bhutan Travel Cookbook”, however now we all agree this is too long. We’re not quite sure what the title and subtitle will be. This is a topic of great debate among my team in the USA. If you have a title suggestion, kindly let me know. The book proposal is online here:
Warmest best wishes, Srijana