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A Walk Away From Worldliness

Tenzin Namgyel of Kuensel Online, Bhutan's daily news site, gave a coverage on the Pad Yatra

About 30 Bhutanese monks, studying in India, accompanied by 700 other pilgrims, started a 43-day pilgrimage walk today.

The walk, which began from Manali, India, will cover Himachal Pradesh, and finish at Hemis in Ladakh, covering a distance of some 400 km. The group will cross five high Himalayan passes, the highest of which, Shikunla and Singgela, both measure about 5,200 m above sea level.

The programme was initiated by His Holiness the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche, the reincarnation of Drogon Tsangpa Gyare (founder of the Drukpa lineage) and recognized and revered as the spiritual head of the Drukpa lineage.

On the way, the group will visit holy sites of Chakrasamvara, Avalokiteshvara, Guru Padmasambhava and one of the sites of the great Drukpa master, Naropa.

The walk, according to the 9th Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche, was to keep one's mind out of desire, ignorance, jealously, attachments, and anger and accumulate good karma. "Good merit is accumulated through keeping our mind free of material world and emotions and this walk will help keep one's mind free," Rinpoche told Kuensel.

One loses attachment of comfortable and luxurious life because everybody will be sleeping under trees, at roadsides and in the fields wherever possible.

The walk also aims to raise funds for children of deprived background in the Himalayan regions. The group will distribute pamphlets and shopping bags to discourage the use of plastics in the region.

His Holiness will also conduct oral transmission and admonition of the dzogchen text, Kuenzang Lamai Zhelung (Words Of My Perfect Teacher).

The group will reach the final destination, Hemis in Ladakh, on July 2, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche.