South Asian con­fer­ence to mark the birth an­niver­sary of Guru Rin­poche

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing/Paro

To pro­mote and re- em­pha­size Guru Rin­poche as a re­gional fig­ure, from the Hindu Kush to the Eastern Hi­malayas, two days South Asian Con­fer­ence and Cel­e­bra­tion of the birth an­niver­sary of Guru Rin­poche was held on June 14- 15 in Paro.

The event was be­ing or­ga­nized on a re­gion­wide ba­sis for the first time. In the course of two day con­fer­ence, it in­volved the dis­tin­guished set of spir­i­tual lead­ers and schol­ars from Bhutan, In­dia and Nepal.

The Pres­i­dent of Cen­tre for Bhutan Stud­ies and GNH Re­search, Dasho Karma Ura said that Guru Rin­poche left a last­ing im­pact in the re­gion by prop­a­gat­ing spir­i­tual val­ues and spread­ing of cul­ture.

Guru Rin­poche was a prop­a­ga­tor of Bud­dhism and the big­gest ex­porter of rich In­dian clas­si­cal cul­ture, Dasho added.

The in­flu­ence of Guru Rin­poche is so pro­pound in Bhutan that he brought le­gal prin­ci­ples to coun­try dur­ing his first visit to Bhutan in 746 AD. Guru was in­vited by Sindhu Raja or Kuen­jom to set­tle a con­flict be­tween an­other king Nab­hud­hara or Gyab Nawachhe (Big nose). Sindhu Gyab was a ruler of Bumthang at that time.

He was driven here by Gyab Nawchhe from the south­ern plains of In­dia af­ter be­ing de­feated in the bat­tle that en­sued be­tween two. How­ever, he was not to live in peace for long. Gyab Nawachhe sent his forces to at­tack Sindhu Raja in Bumthang. Fear­ing loss again, Sindhu Raja sought the help of the lo­cal deities in the up- com­ing bat­tle but no avail.

The bat­tle was lost and his son Taglamem­bar was killed. In­fu­ri­ated, the king went on to des­e­crate the sites of the lo­cal deities and Ned­hag Shel­ging Karpo, the chief of the lo­cal deities in turn re­venged to the king. The king was se­ri­ously ill and no reme­dies of any kind could cure him. It was when an of­fi­cial heard of Guru Rin­poche, a great tantric mas­ter me­di­at­ing in a cave at Yan­gloeshoe in Nepal at the time.

While a mis­sion was sent to in­vite the holy mas­ter and Guru reached at Bumthang via Nabji- Kor­phu un­der Mangde re­gions. The King promised him with any­thing if he could be cured. That is when he chose one of his daugh­ters, Moenmo Tashi Khi­u­droen also known as Bum­den Tshomo as his tantric part­ner. It was a play of destiny for his visit saw a spread of Tantric Bud­dhism in the coun­try and his meet­ing with yet an­other spir­i­tual con­sort Moenmo Tashi Khi­u­droen.

Ac­cord­ing to the for­mer Chief Jus­tice of Bhutan, Sonam Tob­gay, Guru Rin­poche left be­hind a le­gal prin­ci­ple of me­di­a­tion in the process of ne­go­ti­at­ing a con­flict be­tween Sindu Raja and Gyab Nawchhe (Big nose). The cod­i­fi­ca­tion of law is based on Bud- dhist prin­ci­ple.

He also said that it was Guru Rin­poche who ad­vised his fol­low­ers to ed­u­cate ev­ery child and ac­quire read­ing and writ­ing skills.

Guru also brought Den­mang Tse­mang in the coun­try who in­tro­duced Bhutanese writ­ing ‘ Joyig’ which in­spired gen­er­a­tions to read and write and na­tional iden­tity as well, added the for­mer chief jus­tice.

The visit of Zhab­drung Ngawang Nam­gyal to Bhutan was proph­e­sied by Guru Rin­poche more than nine hun­dred years be­fore the birth of Zhab­drung Rin­poche. Zhab­drung uni­fied our coun­try not only po­lit­i­cally but cul­tur­ally as well.

More­over the Lam Neten of Paro, Sonam Ten­zin talked about the ac­tiv­i­ties of Guru in Bhutan as many site was blessed as hid­den par­adise or Beyuls.

Fol­lowed by the dis­cus­sion, the schol­ars from In­dia tried to prove that Guru Rin­poche was born in Odisha but not in the Swat val­ley of Pak­istan pro­vid­ing the his­tor­i­cal ev­i­dences. “Ti­betan and Bhutanese should move away from the con­ven­tion of Od­diyana,” said the scholar.

The two day event con­cluded on Wed­nes­day with light­ing thou­sands of but­ter lamp be­fore the Guru Thong­drel dis­played on the wall of Rin­pung Dzong fol­lowed by mask dances.

The birth an­niver­sary of Guru Rin­poche is cel­e­brated on the 10th day of the fifth lu­nar month of Bhutanese cal­en­dar. This was ob­served by the en­tire Bud­dhist in the re­gion.

Mean­while, the con­fer­ence was or­ga­nized by Cen­tre for Bhutan Stud­ies and GNH Re­search and Cen­tre Es­ca­la­tion of Peace ( CEP) in New Delhi.

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