Thursday, 27 November 2008

Bhutan : His Majesty graces Gangtey Goenpa

26 November, 2008 - The 66-year old nun met with His Majesty the King, spoke to him, and offered thridar at the courtyard of the Gangtey Lhakhang where she was told His Majesty would visit. His Majesty accepted her thridar and in return presented to her a watch.

Kencho Wangmo said she would cherish the moment for the rest of her life. “I will always wear it and learn to guide my prayers that I’ll offer to His Majesty,” she said.

Hundreds of people from Bjena, Phobjikha and Gangtey under Wangduephodrang dzongkhag gathered to celebrate His Majesty’s Coronation on November 24, when His Majesty visited the 395-year-old restored Gangtey Sang Nga Choling monastery, the seat of the Pema Lingpa lineage, and prayed for the happiness and the well being of the people, continued peace, prosperity and security of the country, and long life of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

The monks and gomchens of Gangtey shedra and gomdey and the people received His Majesty in a traditional chipdrel procession to the lhakhang.

Led by Gangteng Trulku, monks and gomchens offered prayers of Tshepa Mey Ngidup Lawang followed by Zhugdrel Phunsum Tshogpa, and offerings of Ku Sung Thuk Mendrel and Tashi Zey Gyed to His Majesty.

His Majesty offered one thousand butter lamps at the dukhang to pay homage to Terton Pema Lingpa, the ancestor of the Wangchuck dynasty.

After the ceremony, His Majesty the King spent the rest of the day with the people and students.

Most people felt they were fortunate to offer their first thridar to His Majesty the King right after the coronation celebrations in Thimphu. “We’re fortunate because our Druk Gyalpo visited our village first after ascending the throne,” said Pema Choden, 48.

A group of 40 pilgrims from Dashang Kagyuling, a Buddhist institute based in France, who came to visit Gangtey Goenpa, was enthralled by the moment.

“We were on pilgrimage and never thought we’d see and offer thridar to the Monarch,” said Frances Cardot. “I’ll carry the memory back home.”

“I’ve never seen such a King, who smiled at everyone, shook hands with each individual and cared genuinely,” said another pilgrim, Jacqueline Juerdous.

By Rinzin Wangchuk

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