Scofield (1976: p.669), one of the first western journalists into Bhutan, outlined that:
One Sunday I watched the monks shape an elaborate offering of dough and colored butter and put it atop a roof...as a treat for the ravens. "All living things are sacred," a monk explained, "but especially the ravens. They spend their days repeating one of our holy syllables, 'Ah! Ah! Ah!'" Killing a raven, he informed me, would be as great a sin as slaughtering a thousand monks...The dough offering is what is known as a torma. The sacred syllable 'Ah', the first letter and sound of the Sanskrit and Tibetan languages, is a bija mantra about which volumes have been written in Hinduism, Tantra, Bon and Vajrayana Buddhist doctrine. Raven are sacred in many traditions and for many peoples.