What are the values that guide a Bhutanese man/woman?
The answer probably lies in:
(1)following the principle of mutual sincerity and loyalty in relationships (tha dam tshig) whether it is between the ruler and subjects, husband and wife, parents and children, or between friends,
(2)following the principle of cause and effect (las rju 'bras) - the belief in the relation between cause and effect of actions.
(3)having loving kindness and compassion (byams pa dang sning rje) for all sentient beings
(4)following the sixteen pure rules for worldly conduct (mi chos gtsang ma bcu drug)
(5)restraining oneself from the three poisons (dug gsum), and
(6)restraining from the ten misdeeds (mi dge ba bcu).
I do not mean that the Bhutanese live up to these values/ideals to the letter in their daily lives, but it can be said that these values/ideals form the foundation of Bhutanese social values.
The sixteen pure rules for worldly conduct (mi chos gtsang ma bcu drug) are said to have been propagated by the Tibetan King Songtsan Gampo in the seventh century. These sixteen rules form the basis of conduct for Buddhists who lead worldly life. They are as follows:
1. Respect for the triple gem – Buddha, Dharma and Sanga (lha dkon mchog gsum la mos gus bskyed pa).
2. Seeking and following the dharma (dam pa'i chos btsal zhing bsgrub pa).
3. Repay one’s gratitude to parents (pha ma la drin lan 'jal ba).
4. Respect for the good qualities of other people (yon tan can la zhe mthong yod pa)
5. Respect for the elders and people in higher positions (rigs mtho ba dang rgan par bkur sti che ba),
6. To be able to benefit the one’s hometown and neighbours (yul mi khyim mtses la phan 'dogs pa),
7. To be honest and modest (bka' drang zhing sems chung ba),
8. To keep good relationship with one’s relatives (nye du mdza' bshes la gzhung ring ba),
9. To follow and keep company with good people (ya rabs kyi rjes snyeg cing phyi thag ring ba),
10. To know one’s moderation with food and wealth (zas nor la tshod 'dzin pa),
11. To seek and show gratitude to people who have helped you in the past (sngar drin can gyi mi rtsad gcod pa),
12. To repay debts in time and not to cheat on weights and measures (bu lon dus su 'jal zhing bre srang la gyo med pa),
13. Not to be jealous of others’ good fortunes (kun la phrag dog chung ba),
14. Not indulge in harmful gossips and have self-control (ngan pa'i gros la mi nyan zhing rang tshugs 'dzin pa),
15. To be polite and speak less (ngag 'jam zhing smra ba nyung ba),
16. To have endurance and to be broad-minded (theg pa che zhing blo khog yangs pa ste bcu drug)
In addition "the 'three poisons' (dug gsum) and the ten misdeeds (mi dge ba bcu), also contain practical injunctions for the daily lives of the religion's adherents, promising karmic consequences for observance and breach."
The three poisons are:
(2) anger, and
The ten misdeeds consist of three physical misdeeds, four verbal misdeeds and three mental misdeeds. The physical misdeeds are:
(2) taking what is not given, and
(3) engaging in sexual misconduct.
The verbal misdeeds are:
(5) uttering divisive talk,
(6) harsh words, and
The mental misdeeds are:
(8) harboring covetousness,
(9) ill-will, and
(10) wrong views.
1. Rangjung Yeshe Tibetan-English Dictionary of Buddhist Culture, http://www.nitartha.org//dictionary_documentation.html
2. Fernanda Pirie, Secular morality, village law, and Buddhism in Tibetan societies, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, March 2006. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-145574673.html