This mortal world is constantly chasing one thing or the other—worldly wealth for many, nirvana and moksha for some. Bhutanese monk Namgay Rincha, 47, belongs to that minority trying to follow in the footsteps of the Buddha. His lean frame, hermit’s robes and endearing smile betrays no signs of anguish for the path he had chosen to tread.
Rincha from Thimphu is in Bodh Gaya since late October and will stay for three months before returning home. He is among millions making a pilgrimage every year to the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment.
He adheres to a simple philosophy. “I don’t want to become somebody big. No matter what you become, it’ll all come to grief. The soul should be good and pure.” Predictably austere, his day is spent meditating and praying. He wakes up at 3 am every day, prays for two hours, and when you still can’t hear the birds, he walks to the Mahabodhi Temple.
Till the time he goes to bed at 9 pm, he keeps meditating and chanting hymns. The sole interruptions are meal and tea breaks. He prefers the Tibetan variety—the salty, butter tea from the mountains. “The Buddha renounced wealth and property for knowledge,” he says. “We just try to follow him.”
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