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Why people worship penises in Bhutan

In Bhutan, small Buddhist Himalayan kingdom, penises wrapped up in ribbons is what you expect to find.

These phallic painting are surprisingly a serious business in the area and are mostly painted on houses or suspended from rooftops and interestingly they are larger than humans.

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They are in various sizes, colours and adornment and are mostly tied like holiday presents ready to be gifted to individuals.

Phallus in Bhutan
Phallus souvenir shop in Bhutan. Photo courtesy

The penises also have hairy testicles which are trimmed or some full-on Yeti-style.

The penises are always fully erect.

The paintings of the phallus in Bhutan are however an essential part of their traditional.

Bhutanese believe that the penises offers protection from evil ,spels malicious gossip and most importantly help them in fertility.

The tradition begun back in the 15 the century at a time of eccentric and maverick Tibetan saint, or Lama, called Drukpa Kunley who is believed to have shot an arrow to mark a spot where he would establish his temple.

Phallus
A house with big phallus wall paintings near Bumthang, Bhutan. The phallus is a religious symbol in Bhutan and a widely used decoration for the houses.

The arrow landed to the site of present day Chimi Lakhang in Punakha that led him to Bhutan.

When he was looking for his arrow, he met a young lady who got along with him and he slept with her and ‘blessed’ her with his offsprings.

In the present day, temple of fertility is decorated with ancient bow and arrow and a penis made of ivory and wood

He then moved from place to place in the kingdom learning and adhering to the strict orthodox societal norms.

While traveling he kept spreading the true teachings of Buddha also pledging to get people off the formal ways.

Drukpa got the name The Divine Madman due to his illicit sex and sexual overtones.People from the kingdom could not question his new traditions as he won over them with his bawdy poetry, titillating humour and wine-induced sermons.

The Divine Madman offered blessings in the form of sex, and his penis was referred to as his “flaming thunderbolt of wisdom.”

At one time Drukpa was awarded a holy thread to tie around his neck but surprisingly he ardoned his phallus with hopes for good lack.

This explains why the current paintings of the phallus on their premises have have ribbons round them.

Another tale about the mad saint disclosing that at one time he urinated on a holy scroll.

In present days, barren women from any part of the world flock at the temple of fertility seeking aid from the ‘divine thunderbolt’.

Phallus
Bhutan is located in South Asia. Photo courtesy

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Drukpa who received a lot of criticism during his time would be a happy and proud man as today he is widely worshipped for his great teachings.

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