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 The Drupchhu (Holy Water)

Here is a brief account of the holy water (‘Drupchhu’) emerging out just in front of central tower of the temple/Monastery. Since all earth, rocks, rocky precipices, water and trees in the vicinity of the holy site of ‘Tango Nye’ is said to emanate from the center-circle (‘Kilkhor’) of the body, speech and mind of the sacred deity ‘Tandin’ Himself, the holy water undoubtedly possesses the eight qualities of good water, (viz Cool, light, sweet, smooth, clear, without bad smell, soothing to throat, and harmless to stomach). Moreover, the holy water flowing in continuum from inside the ‘Jokhang’ of the main temple is ambrosial nectar resulting from the blessings of the inner images, especially those of the three Buddhas of the past, the present and the future. Therefore, it is of immense benefit to all sentient beings in general, and the pilgrims in particular. If we drink or rinse ourselves with this ambrosial water, it has the special benefits of cleansing our defilements, karmic obstructions and obstructions.


                                                            Stupa (Chorten)

Stupa (Chorten)

Stupa (Chorten)

About a minute right wards of the main temple is a stupa of profound significance. It is said that, as His last unforgettable teaching/demonstration to all the beings that everything, (including even a highly accomplished human being and a much revered lama like Himself) is impermanent in this space, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye Rinpoche at the age of 59 entered into ‘parinirvana’. Following this, all His disciples having great faith and devotion, built this stupa; they built it within a month’s time starting from the 10th day of the 9th month till the 10th day of the 10th auspicious lunar month (during which 1 of 28 constellations fell), of the Bhutanese calendar. The inner monument (the internal supports) of the stupa consists of many tiny stupa-shaped structures called ‘tsha tsha’ made from the remaining bones of Gyalse Rinpoche, the silk fabrics/dresses of Rinpoche, the remaining stones and ashes, amongst several other sacred objects. Thus it today stands as a reliquary to be worshiped by the Gods, Demi-Gods, deities, human beings and other sentient beings of this transient World. And it is believed to be growing skywards by about a finger’s breadth (an inch) yearly, the miracle of which is well-established and appreciated by all and sundry.


                                  Meditation center called Ngoe Dhen Gatshel 

Ngoe Dhen Gatshel

Ngoe Dhen Gatshel

Here is another brief description about the meditation center called “Ngoe Dhen Gatshel”, literally meaning ‘a delightful forest of absolute truth’. The center is located just above the reliquary stupa of His Holiness Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye. The meditation center got its present location after the foundation for the same was established by His Holiness the 68th Chief Abbot of Bhutan, ‘Kyabje Dorji Chhangwa Jetsun Tenzin Dhendup’, following his visionary prophetic dream. ‘Dorji Chhangwa’ means ‘the great Vajradhara sage’ and ‘Jetsun’ translates to ‘the venerable’, and the sage is presently widely known as ‘Kyab Goen Je Thrizur Rinpoche’. All the inner images of the center were also established in accordance with His Holiness Je Thrizur Rinpoche’s advice. They consist mainly of the images whose shapes are in conformity with those same images found in a Tibetan place called ‘Boe Tsarei Nye’. A very sacred statue of ‘Dorji Phagmo’, which is ‘Vajravarahi’ (A ‘Diamond-sow Dakini’), accentuates the sanctity of the center further. The relics of a renowned Dzogchhen master called ‘Polong Khen’ Rinpoche and the tooth relic (‘Tshem’) of Lam Tenzin Jamtsho, in the form of a precious white conch-shell whose spiral is turning right instead of the usual left (symbolizing the sound of Dharma to be heard in all directions) can be seen, in addition to lots of other much-blessed images/internal supports.


                                                   Dzongkhag Drub Dhey

Dzongkhag Drub Dhey

Dzongkhag Drub Dhey

In general, the sacred abodes (Nyes) in and around the ‘Dzongkhag’ areas are found in various aspects as the earth, rocks, hills and rocky precipices.  All these ‘Nyes’ (the sacred sites/abodes) became such, by the sacred blessings through the center of the ‘Mandala’ (Kilkhor) of Body, Speech and Mind of ‘Jetsun Dorji Phagmo’, who is considered the spiritual mother of the Buddhas of past, present and future. Moreover, a lineage holder ‘Dungsey Ngawang Tenzin’, also an emanation of ‘Sangdag Gartoen’ (Sangdag can be either an epithet of Chador or a master of secrets) at the age of 50, predicted flourishing of the doctrine of practice lineages in this place. He therefore, visited the place himself, blessing it and securing a firm foundation for establishment of the same. The internal supports (Nangtens) are chiefly of ‘Dorji Phagmo’, amongst a host of other much-blessed and empowered images. The Center is divided into an interior and an exterior part, where a total of about 12 meditators are in deep meditation presently. At the end of this sacred abode to one’s amazement, holy water dripping from the sacred genitalia of ‘Dorji Phagmo’ can be seen to this day.


Dho Mendrel

It is located about one hour and a half by walk upwards from the ‘Dzongkhag Meditation Center’. The place is a stupendously wonderful hill-top with beautiful views seen from there almost everywhere. It is a secluded haven, away from the usual hustle-bustle 24-hour activities, rendering it perfectly conducive to meditation practices. The rocks seen on this hill-top are mostly in the forms of ‘Mandala Offerings’, hence the holy site’s name as ‘Dho Mendrel’. Also seen there, are two lakes (‘Lha Tsho’ meaning lakes where Gods and ‘Nagas’ or ‘Lus’ reside). One is bigger than the other and each is said to belong to our Lord Protector deities ‘Pal Yeshey Goenpo’ and ‘Tandin’. Some other oral tradition says these lakes to be the residents of ‘Nep Bak Yoepa’ (another protectorate deity of wakefulness, conscientiousness, or vigilance). Around these lakes can be seen the meditation houses of Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye Rinpoche’s parents. Legend goes that way back in the 17th Century AD, the first king of Sikkim (‘Drey Jong’, valley of rice), Chador Namgyal’s son was a very close friend of Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye. One day the former requested the latter to come over to Sikkim for the consecration ceremonies of the former’s Palace in ‘Drey Jong’ (present-day Sikkim). Albeit unable to attend the same personally due to his old age, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye fixed an auspicious time for the consecration ceremony during which he threw some grains into the air, producing a ‘sorr’ noise. Simultaneously with that noise ‘sorr’, some grains of good fortune and immense auspiciousness is said to have miraculously descended right into the Palace of his close friend, Sikkim’s first king as alluded to, just above. 

Yet another site of tremendous sacredness of course needs a brief description here. When one walks for a little more than 3 hours towards the right from the ‘Dzongkhag’ Meditation Center, one reaches this holy site called, ‘Tok Chue’. During the 17 Century AD, when Zhabdrung Rinpoche made visits throughout the Country, blessing all the places enroute as he travelled, ‘Tok Chue’ is said to be His Lordship’s main path (called ‘Zhung Lam’). We can also see the footprints of the very Tiger on which Zhabdrung Rinpoche rode, besides Zhabdrung’s own footprints on the rocks here. Later, this holy site of ‘Tok Chue’ became a meditation center for great superiorly acclaimed beings who were true adherents of ‘Buddha-Dharma’ at its root essence. So, this holy place got transformed into an outstanding hermitage, where more and more of such superior beings meditate to arrive at an insightful understanding and realization of the true nature of all Worldly transient things. Presently, there are 8 such hermits, meditating strictly for all sentient beings and for the teachings of Buddha-Dharma to flourish for eons. The immeasurable credits and gratitude, for the sun of peace and happiness shining on all humans and animals alike in Bhutan goes to these great hermits.