Bhutan Celebrates Birth of Prince by Planting 108,000 Trees
In some places around the world, the relationship between nature and modern life remains unbroken, and in the small Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, the respect given to a newborn leader is demonstrated by showing respect for nature, and in this case planting 108,000 trees. Some 82,000 households recently planted a tree in honor of the first-born child Bhutan’s King Khesar and Queen Jetson. Additionally, some 26,000 trees were also planted by volunteers.
Bhutan plants 108,000 trees to celebrate the birth of the new Prince. How inspiring! https://t.co/M7mZOJ7gCa
— Yahoo India (@YahooIndia) March 14, 2016
The number 108 is understood to be sacred in many religious traditions, including Buddhism, and the planting of each tree was accompanied with a prayers or wishes from those who were planting, sending the new prince a true, enduring gift that will endure for centuries.
“Each sapling encapsulates a prayer and a wish from the person who planted it to His Royal Highness the Prince so that just like the bountiful tree, the Prince also grows up healthy, strong, wise and compassionate.” Tenzin Lekphell
In honor of several key events converging in one moment, the organization Tendrel coordinated the extraordinary tree planting to mark the special significance so far in this new year:
“In 2016, the people of Bhutan come together to mark the Tendrel of probably the three biggest events in recent memory. First, the birth of Guru Padmasamabhava in the Fire Male Monkey Year which comes only once in a Rabjung (60 years); secondly, we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel to Bhutan; and, perhaps, most significantly, we will be welcoming the prince, an heir-apparent to the Golden Throne, who will be born during this most significant year.
It is time to celebrate…” [Tendrel]
The Buddhist nation of Bhutan is respected the world over as being the first nation to go 100% organic in the global race towards modern agro-chemical farming techniques, and they have been revered as being the voice in the wild of the United Nations calling upon the world for a mindfulness revolution.
Planting trees with thousands of volunteers to celebrate the birth of HRH, our Gyalsey. Well done Tendrel Initiative pic.twitter.com/i0hxFF9EHa
— Tshering Tobgay (@tsheringtobgay) March 6, 2016
As the world watches deforestation eat more and more of the world’s precious forests, it’s inspiring to see how the coordinated efforts of happy, positive people can contribute to well-being of unborn generations to come.
“In Buddhism, a tree is the provider and nourisher of all life forms, symbolizing longevity, health, beauty and even compassion,” Lekphell said, noting that it’s not a coincidence the Buddha attained enlightenment under a banyan tree.
Their close relationship to the environment is one of the key factors that makes Bhutan such a happy place to live, according to the world’s happiness index.
“Bhutan is known as a country of happiness. To have a happiness garden is therefore logical. With this garden, we hope to bring the peoples of the world closer.” Damchoe Rinzin
— Tourism Bhutan (@tourismbhutan) March 6, 2016
The rest of the world could benefit from taking Bhutan’s lead in placing our relationship with nature at high value. Their public and political respect for trees in particular, which they view as sacred beings, is inspiring and should set an example.
“The country’s constitution mandates at least 60 percent of its land remains forested. Currently, more than 70 percent is. Bhutan has even banned export logging. And its ambitions don’t stop there. It’s aiming for zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, while also going 100 percent organic by 2020 and zero-waste by 2030.” [Source]
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