Bhutan - phallus

Painted on many homes accross the country, the use of phallic representations to ward off the evil eye remains popular in modern Bhutan and is associated with the 500 year old Buddhist tradition of Drupka Kinley.

 

from "The Atlantic" Oct 2007

The phallus is Bhutan’s most celebrated symbol. Homes are painted with images of 10-foot-tall penises spurting semen, monastery entrances are adorned with carved wooden erections, giant concrete fountains have phallic shapes. According to Buddhist scholars, the phallus is a cautionary symbol of the dangers of the male ego; for ordinary Bhutanese, it’s a talisman against evil spirits.

 

The symbol can be traced back to the Buddhist saint Drukpa Kunley, the “divine madman,” who came to Bhutan in the late 15th century. He is a contradictory hero—a holy man, degenerate womanizer, and blasphemous drunk whose behavior was intended to shock both clergy and laymen out of lazy reliance on ancient ritual. Legend has it that he shot an arrow into the sky from Tibet, followed its path into Bhutan, and began seducing his way across the country, subduing maidens and demonesses alike

 

 

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Taken on October 8, 2008
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