Droelma Jig Chompa

The Central Monk Body offered three days of continuous prayers throughout the country for the people of Japan. Yesterday, the officiating prime minister, speaker, chairperson, cabinet ministers, MPs, civil servants, and other well wishers joined Japan’s new ambassador to Bhutan, the resident coordinator of JICA, and Japanese experts and volunteers at the Kuenrey in Tashichhoe Dzong to participate in the concluding day of the prayers.

Lopen Gembo explained the prayers and delivered the following statement on behalf of the Dratshang:

May I take this opportunity to welcome all to Tashichhoe Dzong to take part in this very special ceremony of propitiation and chanting of the Mantra of Drolma Jigchobma – the Wisdom Mother Tara, the great protector. For kind information, the ceremony was initiated by the Royal Government and started on 18th March and is performed in all Monk Bodies and institutions in all 20 districts. Please allow me to give a brief description of the service.

In our Bhutanese belief, Tara is regarded as a Buddha of compassion and action. She is the female aspect of Avalokitesvara (Chenrezig) and in some origin stories she comes from his tears and became the most compassionate Tara, emanation of the activities of all Buddhas.

In terms of grace and achievement, all Buddhas are same. But due to their aspirations and prayers made during their path to enlightenment, they differ in their powers of blessings. Arya Tara generated Bodhichitta and took the vow to benefit all sentient beings and safeguard them from all unseen threats in presence of Buddha Amogasidhi. Since then, Arya Tara tok successive incarnations. She continuously performed enlightened activity for the benefit of sentient beings. She emanated into twenty-one forms of Tara, and through these emanations dispelled various sufferings of countless sentient beings.

In the absolute state of enlightenment or Buddhahood, everyone is one and equal. However, we are relative beings living in a relative condition. Therefore, we sometimes need different things at different times, different remedies for different causes. Because of this, apart from the 21 Tara, she had manifested in innumerable different forms to help our relative problems.

Not only is supplicating Arya Tara beneficial for clearing away the four major obstacles of anger, pride, attachment and ignorance embodied as fire, poisonous substances, ocean and demons. It also heps to clear away all hindrances and disasters caused by the four elements. Therefore, Arya Tara is referred to as the undisputed protector from the eight great fears. Using the power of Tara’s mantra, visualization, creation of the Mandala and generation of immense positive energies, we hope to divert all negative energies and various unseen hindrances. Thus we presume this religious ceremony will restore peace and harmony in the affected region.

The Monk Body of Bhutan humbly acknowledges the continuous assistance provided for decades by the people and government of Japan. We are very thankful for that and hope this small gesture and ritual service will uplift the spirits of Japanese people and create favorable conditions to overcome the disaster. At the same time, please accept our sincere prayers and condolence for those effected and lost lives. We do share your concerns and hopes and will continue praying for strengthening our good relations.

Thank you all once again for taking time to join us in this special ceremony.

Summer residence

His Holiness the Je Khenpo and the central monastic body took up their summer residence in Tashichhodzong last Saturday.

This week’s banner celebrates this centuries-old tradition. The gallery has a few more photos of the soelthap arriving at the Tashichhodzong.

Guru’s birthday

Monks celebrating Guru

Monks celebrating Guru

Today, the 10th day of the 5th month, the Zhung Dratshang, our central monastic order, performed Tsho-khor for Trel-da Tshechu to commemorate Guru Rimpoche’s birth anniversary, and to offer prayers for the welfare of our country.

The Trel-da Tshechu­­ was first performed, on the 10th day of the 5th month, by Guru Rimpoche to mark the completion of Samye Monastery, Tibet’s first and oldest monastery. The monastery was built by King Trisong Detsen in the 8th century.

This week’s photo banner features monks performing the Tsho-khor for Trel-da Tshechu at the kuenra – the main assembly hall – ­of the Tashichho Dzong.

Tashichodzong: summer residence

Blessed Bhutan

Coming to Thimphu

In keeping with tradition that goes back many centuries, His Holiness the Je Khenpo took up his summer residence at the Tashichodzong today, the first day of the fourth month of our calendar.

And, in keeping with tradition, residents of Thimphu rushed to receive blessings from His Holiness the Je Khenpo and the Nangtens (sacred relics) of the Zhung Dratshang, the central monastic order.  Despite the rain, people of all walks lined the streets to welcome His Holiness back to Thimphu. It took the entourage almost seven hours to travel the short distance from Semtokha to Tashichodzong.

This week’s photo features Thimphu residents, some with their entire families, receiving blessing from His Holiness.