Monday, April 11, 2016

Druk Gyalpos' pilgrimage of labour.

Some 25 years ago, His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuk had got a Throne crafted for His Holiness the Cheri Monastery Jhe Khenpo Tenzin Dhendup. His Holiness the 68th Jhe Khenpo had retired to Cheri Monastery to guide the many young aspiring spiritual leaders of Kagyu Sect. And after it was crafted, the King carried the Throne on his back up to the Cheri Monastery from the Dhotena bridge. It is a very steep trail. Even ascending the Cheri hill without any load is quite a task. The Kingly labour has paid huge dividends. His Holiness now must be in his 90s and is still carrying out the dharma duties from this Throne. Such is the merit of a King's physical labour and spiritual offering.

Yesterday his son King Jigme Khesar  Namgyel Wangchuck was among the six pilgrims who had carried boxes made of sandal wood each weighing around 55kgs. on their back up to Cheri Monastery. The six boxes were offered by the 5th King to the Monastery for storage of religious artifacts. I do not know what the previous three Wangchuck Kings of Bhutan had carried to the Monasteries ( not necessarily Cheri ) as their offerings but there must be precedents. Perhaps unrecorded because Bhutanese people have short memories just like our media of modern era. 

Offerings of labour and products are part of Buddhist tradition. However, the impact of the pious deed would be dependent on the intensity and pureness of the offering not the monetary value. The material value is for the earthly mind to dissect. King Jigme Singye Wangchuck's pious deed resulted in so many learned spiritual leaders passing out from the Monastic University of Tangu/ Cheri under the overall guidance and blessings of His Holiness the 68th Jhe Khenpo. And His Holiness himself enjoys long life and good health.

The Kingdom and the people would vastly benefit from the 5th King's pious act. Religious artifacts are real national treasures. These are " termas " that must be preserved for continuous good fortune  of Bhutan and her people. The sandal wood boxes are also kind of termas in the religious significance attached to sandal wood. I hope these previous boxes with even more previous artifacts would be stored safe from fire. May Dharma flourish and the Kingdom be blessed.

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