Spiritual discipline foremost for young monks at Bomdila

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Itanagar, Jan 12 (PTI) For young monks spiritualdiscipline is foremost at Thubchog Gatseling Monastery in WestKameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.

The Bomdila monastery is among several Buddhist placesof learning that dot the region, including the monastery inTawang, about 40 kilometers northwest of Bomdila.

In the past, parents with three sons would send themiddle one to a monastery, while parents with two sons sentthe youngest. Other boys joined if they wanted to.

"Now people do not care for such customs," a seniormonk said.

At the age of 20, Tenzing Sherab, a saffron-robedyouth with a shaven head has already completed nine years atthe monastery in Bomdila, the district headquarters, whichborders the Tibetan region of China.

He had to become a monk, he said, since Buddhist lamasin his village in Bhutan identified him as the reincarnationof a tulku, or bodhisattva, an enlightened being who choosesto continue to reincarnate to help others achieveenlightenment.

Sherab recalled walking three days to reach themonastery, since no roads connected his village in easternBhutan with Bomdila. .

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