Total Pageviews

Monday, August 12, 2013

History that I'll Remember - I

Bhutan, the land of thunder Dragon, is best described and also known as the land of happiness where development strategy is driven with Gross National Happiness (GNH). The story that I am going to narrate has happened when I was kid and when the philosophy of GNH was not into action. 

I enjoyed the well preparation and honor for the first time in my life for the Rinpochhe, Chabjay Drodrup Rinpochhe who is currently at Gantey Goenpa, Sikkim. His eminence, Rinpochhe visited Yarphu community. As a kid it was bother less for me to know about religion and politics but I was there with my parents to receive blessings from the Rinpochhe. The celebration for the visit and blessing were immense and all the people were incalculably happy. I, as a little naughty boy just enjoyed the beautiful preparation and honor for the Rinpochhe

Since then due to the initiative of the community and the Rinpochhe’s compassion, the monasteries of Yarphu and Shugung were constituted as the Buddhist College, Sheadra. The left out children of the community as cow boy, helper at homes were admitted as monks. 

Beautiful lawn at the back of Shugung lhakhang with lone Chorten
It was in 1993 or 1994 when I was in class two. I can’t clearly state the reasons why and how it happened? But it happened! It may be because our main state religion is Drukpa Kajue. We consider it as our main Buddhist religion in our country which has loads of historic significance and validity to live it as our religion specifically. But that particular year brought tears to the devotee and the monks of the community. 

I was not definite when it first begun but I clearly remember when it ended. It was misery for the already admitted monks and to the locality as a whole. When I knew, already big building for monks were constructed and used as an accommodation in Yarphu Shaedra. A new building which was twenty to thirty meter long was under construction at Shugung Shaedra. With full support and hard work of the villagers it was successfully accomplished and ready for to use as an accommodation for monks. 

Dodrup Rinpochhe is Ngyingma master. When every masters/Rinpochhe in religious discourse admit - it doesn’t subject what religion you follow but the master of our body – mind matters irrespective of Ngingma, Kajue, Tersar you follow etc...  But why this big discrimination? May be it was national issue but I am still waiting for the right answer for otherwise in their wish of irrespective religion. Yes the history told me the civil war in the country was mainly due to different religions and due to the fact of every master’s wish to flourish their own religion in the region. 
Dodrup Rinpochhe

It was one fine afternoon when I saw a bald man with three policemen. From my grandmother I knew that he was Dzongrab (Asst Deputy Administrator). I didn’t know the reason for his sudden visit! We need to prepare a lot for officials’ visit otherwise. After an hour I saw few monks loitering around Yarphu primary School with their robe tight on thigh nonsensically. And I saw few police walking to and fro in front of the monastery. Still the reason wasn’t clear for me as a little kid who doesn’t know to intone numerical from 1 to 100. 

Both Sheadras were closed forever. Days passed with all monks were left in respective home as farmer. The new buildings built were left in vain. All most everything seemed was blank for them and villagers too. They could not go against the will of government but left only option to follow their great master to Gantey Goenpa, Sikkim. All most all of them went there to pursue and fulfill their dreams to cram religion in life.

From then what followed beyond my village and school were not known until yet except that the Rinpochhe went permanently to Sikkim.

Lhakhangs were taken care by the locality with directive from the government but not the buildings that was built for the monks. It was so sad to see the building collapse bit by bit. And elders used to shed tears looking at the collapsing and uncared building. The very atypical observation was the building collapsed bit by bit only on the auspicious occasions. It was a wonder for the entire locality. It is the power of religion, they use to say. And a statue in Shugung Lhakhang still changes its position, as said and observed by few. 

Statue of Guru that turn it's position
From then Bhutanese followed Rinpochhe and every year thousands of Bhutanese visit Gangtey Goenpa

Still the stigma of forbidden and derelict building is in the mind of old people in the village of Yarphu and Pangthang. 


  1. I think the Gompa you are referring to at SIkkim is Deorali Chorten Gonpa.

    Yes, in the first place, it was the govt. who invite and introduce such a great masters and it the same govt. who told the people to undo what has been done. One cannot play with faith. It's such as painful to see the great master forever left Bhutan. It's a mystery that'll never solved..

  2. mysterious!!! such were never know to me before, history as i like:thanks for enlightening:))

  3. Sangay SIr,
    I am amazed of your stories, particularly the statue of Guru Rincpochhe turning its position.
    I didn't know Yarphu also has such a significant history to tell.
    Great writing.


I will love to read your constructive criticisms for if I may deserve.