Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Grand Relic of Bhutan, "Rangjung Khasapani " spelt as I heard.

I was told through oral tale that this Relic is one of the 21 that are back bone remains of Tsangpa- Jhari. He is the Lama who is said to have founded Druk Ralung. The same great Kagyu Master who left a " " Will " directing Phajo Druk Guom to Lho Moen after receiving all teachings. Phajo arrived too late to Ralung and never met his Master in person.

This Relic is said to be the top most segment ( near the neck ) of the back bone. It is said these 21 bone segments were recovered after the cremation. The chenrezi statue is said to be naturally already formed on each bone segment.

Personally I believe that the bones may have remained unburnt and chenrezi statues carved upon them later. What is a fact is some body parts of very high Lamas do remain unburnt in the cremation fire. I remember meeting a Gelong at Taba. He was watering and grain feeding the horses. We exchanged few pleasantries but I had no idea who he was. Much later, I heard that Siu-la Lamchu had died at Shhodu  on his way to Lingshi. He was journeying to Chomolhari for meditation. And that he really loved horses. He was cremated at Dechenphudrong and I was told that his body part was left unburnt. It was the heart I believe. And at that time I learnt that such were signs of greatness of the Lama.

I heard of our national Relic when studying at Ugyen Wangchuk Academy, Paro Sartsam Chorten. But being told of its placement where only the King, Jhe Khenpo and  Machhen Lopen had access, I thought it was either a myth or any way out of sight forever. Then few decades later a person had the audacity to take it out of its sacred place and the nation had a glimpse of it ( courtesy BBS TV ) after its recovery ( I think the same person surrendered it back ).

I heard that His Holiness the present 70th Jhe Khenpo was furious when he found out that it was missing. A year later after it was recovered, I was blessed with an audience of His Holiness along with few members of Haa Chhundu Tsogpa at Punakha. In the course of audience, I submitted that I did not think the Relic was stolen. It simply took an outing to grant an audience to the nation and her people. His Holiness just smiled. He did not express his opinion but regarding the Jho Statue at Jho Lhakhang in Lhasa, His Holiness seemed to share my own thoughts. By the way the audience was about Haa Moelam Chhenpo. I just took the opportunity to probe His Holiness about my own thoughts and beliefs. I have not been to Lhass either.

Tomorrow is going to be a great day because finally I hope to get a real visual glimpse of the real Relic. I am told its placed few metres away from worshippers. It would not be possible to determine whether the chenrezi is natural or crafted. But for me just the opportunity to get blessed by Tsangpa Jhari after so many centuries of his passing away is a dream fulfilled. Somehow I have been always enchanted by the Master though I heard so little about him. And I am far removed from the average Bhutanese who have Lama craze or fascination. I am not Lama religious though of course the reverence is there as to all sage.

Tomorrow my only humble request to the great Master who actually revived the Kagyu Teaching will be to have the man who was induced to reveal the Relic to the nation and the people , released from the prison ( I am presuming that the man is still serving prison sentence for his legally deemed, " heinous " crime. Bhutanese laws and authorities have devilish intent when dealing with chorten / temple robbers ). He had stolen it with a different intent but that could be just the way of the Buddhas to lead him to the path of what Tertons did. The Tertons too were destined to lift Relics from their sacred placements so that same can be revealed to the Believers. I am certainly not equating other antique robbers to Tertons but this man seems different because of what followed later. Today I ask once again of myself ," would this opportunity to get a glimpse of the Relic be possible but for that audacious terton of a man ?".

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