Zaedja Pagsam Thishing

Captivating stories

Yesterday, I had the opportunity of visiting Rigsum Goenpa in Bomdiling, Trashiyangtse. The monastery is famous for its history, sacred artifacts and, most of all, its murals.

If you visit Trashiyangtse, make sure to do the 2-3 hour trek to Rigsum Goenpa. The trail is broad, and the views of and from the monastery are spectacular.

And once you get there, make sure to visit Lhakhang Wogma, the lower monastery. That’s where you’ll see the rare and exquisite murals of the Zaedja Pagsam Thishing, which is an account of the Buddha’s 108 previous incarnations. These include the popular “Thuenpa Puenzhi” in which the bird was the Buddha’s previous incarnation. And the story of a man, another of the Buddha’s earlier incarnations, who allowed a starving tigress to feed on him so that her cubs would survive.

I couldn’t find the depiction of these two stories. But I did find some others that I recognized. Like the story, pictured here, about the gigantic snake that encircles a group of merchants, and prepares to devour them. Just then a lion and an elephant (the previous incarnations of the Buddha and Shariputra, his foremost disciple, respectively) attack the snake and rescue the merchants. But both lion and elephant are fatally wounded by the snake, and die shortly thereafter. The grateful merchants erect a chorten in memory of their saviors.

Searching for stories in the extensive Zaedja Pagsam Thishing murals is difficult. But it is enjoyable too, especially if done with family and friends.

And here’s the best part: you don’t need to travel all the way to Trashiyangtse to enjoy these murals. The same ones adorn the walls of the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang in Dochula.


Facebook Comments:


  1. Massive,

    I’m delighted to discover your blog! Hope to see you again soon.

    Best of luck!

    Laso La, john

  2. Hope OL have visited or would visit Gyelposhing while en-routing his tour or campaign whatever, to eastern bhutan and hear out from the localities about the land scam. People here in the forums had felt necessary from OL to generate a separate topic for discussion. Dig out some minimum truths. Why all affected innocent parties had remain in silence if that was really true. Anyways this is too early to believe anything and let it find its own course…

  3. I have opened this blog to see anything on Land scam. Nothing so far, perhaps OL is busy in the tour. Or may not choose to share his views at all??????

  4. Your Excellency,

    Sub: A plea to Your Excellency to demand an immediate independent investigation into the land grab scam.

    As you are aware, the Business Bhutan (BB) has done exclusive investigative reports on corruption ravaging our society and reversing the progress made under our benevolent monarchs.

    The speaker was the “HERO” who had violated all established laws and who even had the audacity to defy HM the fourth King’s decree. The beneficiaries of this land-grab corruption includes the Prime Minister who is the head of the government, the Chief Justice who is the head of the Judiciary, top bosses of the bureaucracy, a couple of other ministers, their relatives, and other well-connected affluent individuals. That all the heads of the three arms of the government  – executive, legislative, and judiciary – are the accused in the scam is but a hilariously dangerous revelation. What is it if not collusion to crush the innocent, ordinary folks with impunity!  

    This is the government voted into power with overwhelming majority on “equity and justice,” “zero tolerance on corruption” campaign slogans. The top bureaucratic bosses and the judges involved are the most trusted servants of the Kings and benevolent leaders of the people of Bhutan. Thus they are empowered with sacred responsibilities to serve the King, country and people. The hypocrisy, the double standard, the dishonesty, the betrayal of this government and its officials bring tears into my eyes, and heartaches into my chest simply because I love my country. I am neither a victim nor have I any stake in it.

    I think to a great extent that the BB has been sharing the sacred responsibility of RAA, ACC, and the opposition party. It deserves our accolades. What worries me is this: The case is not a top priority for ACC. And that the Speaker had requested the PM to institute a high-level inquiry into the case. This is ridiculous! PM is one of the accused. I didn’t know this is the level of his thinking. The Speaker was quoted as saying: “All people, who wrote about the land issuance and who gave information, will be called during the inquiry.”  “The parliamentary law allows such inquiries,” he said. Is he indirectly threatening the whistle blowers and the journalists? Or is this a warning for the individuals uncovering the evidence. If I go by the Kuensel’s report and if it has quoted correctly, every line he said reeks of shady affairs.

    I am delighted to read on your blog (a response) that the case is a serious matter and that the opposition party would demand an immediate and full investigation. I would also request you to demand full investigation into the lottery scam. I think this is the fundamental duty of the opposition party.

    I sincerely hope the Opposition will do something before the government launches a “high level enquiry into the case,” apparently to go after those who brought this case to the fore rather than to bring out what actually happened many years ago.

  5. Your Excellency OL,

    I would like to bring a new topic for all of us to think and act. Bhutan has been depending upon imported goods including basic necessities. It is because we didn’t have human resources and innovations.
    But now with many educated, farsighted and innovative youths, we have a hope that Bhutan will produce our own goods if given chance and a platform to perform the works.
    Therefore, I would like your excellency to reflect on the article posted in kuensel website by Vamish Rai dated 22nd August 2011.
    Thank you.


  7. I join others in urging the OL to do something about this sad yet interesting story urgently and judiciously!

    At this moment, the Gelpozhing land case looks more important and interesting than your “Zaeda Paksam Thrishing” or the eastern dzongkhags tour.

  8. Hahahahah… are rite YPenjor. OL come back soon and start making voices on Gyelposhing land scam. Nothing is important at this moment than just one as outlined by YPenjor….

  9. Hon OL,

    Still on tour !we are waiting for the two opposition members to probe into the land scam,in the absence we feel it is being swept under the rug .Are you going to strike the iron when it is hot or you believe that revenge is best severed when it is cold( not per se).

  10. Please save Bhutan – please do something before the whole thing is swept under the carpet. If hope you are not thinking ‘if you can’t beat them, then join them”. I appreciate your blog, but sometimes it gets to intellectual and not very helpful for simple common people like myself. i expected you to fight the lottery scam but you never did. You must be wondering why people are asking you and not ACC. this is because we belief you can do it as shown by you during the case against the government. You might have to sacrifice some friendship when fighting corruption but the inner satisfaction you will get should outweigh everything else. Bhutan is in NEED of a real leader. There is a huge resentment amongst many middle class and farmers – I hope it won’t become like what is happening in north Africa and Middle East. Bhutanese believe in peace but not at the cost of huge disparity between rich and poor. We are not stupid.

  11. Dear OL,

    I think we have become addicted to read your blog. It is been really long (it appears so) we are missing your comments.

    I am sure some of the places where you are visiting may have the net connectivity. Missing your presence…

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