Monday, May 23, 2016

Khamsum Yully Namgyal Choeten- Wesak Day: 21 May 2016

The first time I heard of Wesak Day was then in Malaysia in 2014. I have witnessed the Wesak celebration parade in Klunag, Johor State last year. It was something respectable and enlightening to have witnessed in the Islamic dominant state. Something fresh and indomitable.The carnival brings all Buddhist association together annually showcasing various Lord Buddha related form to the crowd gathering with other feast.

Wesak Day is one of the most important festivals in Buddhist Calendar as it commemorates three significant events in Gautama Buddha’s life- Birth anniversary, enlightenment and his passing away.

Equally Bhutanese observes Lord Buddha’s Parinirvana (Duechen Nga Dzom) day to this day. It was on this day that Buddha was conceived, Born, Subdued evil, achieved Parinirvana or complete Nirvana and got enlightened upon the death of his physical form. It is considered the most auspicious day to all the Buddhist in the universe.
What Buddhist mass does in this day? First thing that rings through peoples’ awareness is to run vegetarian for a day. Visiting temples, lighting butter lamps, sponsoring meals to those monasteries that perform special prayers and rituals, and hoisting prayer flags are common but considered unusually holly in this day.

Of the lane to sanctify inner and physical worldliness I have become vegetarian for a day and visited Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Choeten at Punkaha, Lit butter lamp, offered prayers and framed ourselves to the serene sight.

At Yambesa village seven Kilometers north to Punakha, Khamsum Yulley Namgayl Choeten stands majestically on the hill top, other side of the river bank along Gasa road. It is also known as Nyzergang Lhakhang. The 30 Meters tall Choeten was consecrated in 1999 and dedicated to His Majesty the fifth King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk.

Within the Choeten the first story has Phurbha Latshog (Kilaya Mandala) followed by Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Latshog. Gongdue takes third floor, and the Buddha statue stands atop at level four overlooking Kabesa Village.

The 45 minutes uphill hike from the suspension bridge to the Choeten would take one through lusty green chili (Capsicum) and beans plantation field. One could see few Chilies crop up against the law of Gravity which has questioned me seriously and would appreciate anyone clearing my doubt. Countable thingye (wild Pepper) trees along the foot path were not ripened enough for the harvest but the aroma baked in my nostril that day.
The bridge is spot where one could see river rafting and kayaking gears ready for an adventure along the Mochu. Ironically, I have seen many idle rafting team (Young men) laid their heavy butts to the black topped road stretching their head to every car stopped by, possibly for potential clients. Why not those team cater to the Bhutanese clients with subsidized/at marginally low cost. I am going to try for myself once very soon.

The Choeten has really fine maintained footpath within the premises. The rock slabs arranged pleasantly and steps height set pleasingly for all devotees, young and old. However not sure, the reason they do not have paved foot path from the starting point (Suspension Bridge until the Choeten's entry gate).

Wesak Day/Duechen Nga Dzom marked, Our prayers and Tshog offered, butter lamp lighted, calories ignited and pictures shot. The weekends outline were perfected with merits gained and shared. 

River Rafting Boat
Suspension Bridge: Starting of the Hike  

Chili against the Law of Gravity 

Cascading River : Mochu 

The Majestic Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Choeten