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Common Beliefs


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Lochey(household annul worship)

Lochey are held each year to appease the local deities to ensure the families welfare and wellbeing. They are also occasion for a family to get together. A new prayer flag is unfurled each year following the lochey.

Choesham (shrine-room)

In most Bhutanese homes there is a choesham or a quiet corner where several manifestations of the Buddha and his dharma teachings are maintained. Every morning the floor is swept, water offering bowls filled with fresh water and some incense offered. Butter lamps are usually offered at night.

Chilu

It is a ritual preformed to extend one’s life and to remove any obstacle in achieving one’s personal goals. An effigy of the person is prepared and burnt after the ritual is over.

Kora or circumambulation of temples, monasteries and stupas is an integral part of Buddhist rituals. Most Bhutanese circumambulate temples on auspicious day to gain merit. Circumambulation is preformed in a clockwise direction for odd rather than even numbers of time.

Chanting prayers on prayer beads is a common sight especially on auspicious days. There are 108 beads in a rosary which is a sacred number corresponding to 180 different manifestation of Avalokitesvara(Buddha of Compassion).

Butter lamps are also commonly seen in Bhutanese homes and monasteries. The lamps traditionally burn butter but now vegetables oil is more commonly used. Bhutanese offer butter lamps in their choesham and monasteries especially on auspicious occasion to gain merit. Such merit is said to contribute to a person’s growth towards liberation. Butter lamps are also offered for a deceased in his or her new existences.

Prostration in Buddhism is used to show reverence to the Buddha, his teaching, the spiritual community and other objects of veneration. It is said that prostration has multiple and overlapping benefits for practitioners which include an experience of giving and veneration an act to purify defilements especially conceit a preparatory act for medication and an act that accumulates merit. There are two ways to prostrate the kumcha (half prostration) and changcha(full prostration).