Prophesy fulfilled

Eyes of compassion

Many years ago, while resting in Mesina, Je Geshe Gedun Rinchen, surveyed the horizons, and predicted that, one day, a monastery would be built on the high hill that stood before him.

Yesterday, that prophesy was fulfilled. In a sacred ceremony, His Holiness the Je Khenpo consecrated Bhutan’s newest monastery, the Sangchhen Dorji Lhendup Lhakhang. The monastery, built in traditional Bhutanese style, stands on the prophesized site, a prominent ridge overlooking almost all of Punakha, Wangduephodrang and Toebasa.

The monument was painstakingly built by Yab Ugyen Dorji over the last two years, and is a showpiece of traditional art and craft. The stone masonry is precise, the wood carvings are intricate, the murals are exquisite, and the gigantic bronze statue of Chenrigzig Chagtong Chentong – crafted completely in Bhutan – is simply awesome.

The monastery also demonstrates that our spiritual heritage continues to flourish – it was presented to His Majesty the King and the people of Bhutan, and has already become a seat for higher education and meditation for nuns.

Sangchhen Dorji Lhendup Lhakhang and its accompanying stupa now occupy the high ridge that once returned Je Geshe Gedun’s benign gaze. There’s no doubt that the perspicacious Geshe could already see that the countless travelers passing through Mesina would admire the monastery – featured in our banner – and offer quiet prayers for all sentient beings.

Moenlam chenpo

circumambulating the prayer hall 2Yesterday I attended the moenlam chenpo in Haa and, with my extended family, offered lunch to the devotees. The prayers for universal peace and harmony have been conducted in Haa annually since its inception in 2001. And His Holiness the Je Khenpo has personally led the prayers there every year.

People from every village in Haa, some having walked for several days, are participating in the moenlam chenpo, which is being conducted in the compounds of the Lhakhang Karpo. Devotees from neighboring Paro and Thimphu are also attending the sacred event.

The photograph shows the faithful circumambulating the main prayer hall. You’ll find a few more pictures from the moenlam chenpo in the photo gallery.

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.