South Asian conference to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche
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.