“I decided to take on the role of an entertainer when people in the country were locked at home, bored and in distress. I’m a monk but it did not deter me from making videos of myself acting, dancing and telling jokes. I got an overwhelming amount of positive responses from the viewers. I felt that all this was helping people a little. It had been a childhood hobby of mine, something ages before social media.

I became a monk after completing High School in the year 1995. I studied in Himachal Pradesh from Zindra 1st to last. In 9 years, I completed my Masters in Philosophy and Religious Studies and started service at a monastery. The next step was for me to get a doctorate, for which there are lots of steps. One must have 5 years of service to a monastery, excellence in academics and numerous contributions to community social service. Only then can one be conferred a doctorate in Buddhist Studies and become a Khenpo. At the age of 42, after 15 years of monkhood, I was able to complete the process and get a doctorate.

But I got married. After this, I decided not to hold the title of Khenpo anymore. I am just a simple practitioner of the Dharma now, not even a monk. I found another purpose during the height of COVID with social media and my followers. I did feel guilty indulging in social media at first. Criticism followed with me giving political statements. But I did gain a good following with me.

My belief is that Buddhism isn’t only about sitting on a lama’s throne. While using social media as a tool to entertain people with jokes, I also made sure to give messages of spirituality and religion. I have a song in Tsanglakha called Kota Yongba. With material dreams about the pursuit of power and money, Kota Yongba talks about hypocrisy and ethics – a story about practising spirituality with no merits at the end. In the COVID years I composed 10 such songs on various issues, some of which are inspired by His Majesty’s wisdom and compassion. I’ve also made videos and the first video was dedicated to Namkhai Nyingpo, filmed by my 11-year-old son. In today’s world, we must learn to adapt to the norms and do what we can to bring social progression.”

#HumansofThimphu

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