Staff reporter/Samtse, Bhutan
February 5, 2017
Hindu Dharma Samudaya of Bhutan celebrated the first birth anniversary of Gyalsey, the prince born to King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk and Queen Jetsun Pema, in a five day long ritual held at Shivalaya in Samtse. The ritual that began in February 1 concluded on February 5 coinciding with the 1st Birthday Anniversary of the Gyalsey.
Around 135 Hindu priests and scholars (Pundit) flocked to Samtse from around the country to occupy the hostel of National College of Education in Samtse for temporary residence.
In a telephone conversation with BNS, a pundit participant of the religious function told that virtually every level of Hindu priestdom thronged to this religious gathering, though the plan was announced to engage 108 purohit and pundit.
It was a voluntary gathering, said one source. The Hindu Dharma Samudaya raised money from private donations to organize the function.
The main events featured in the religious congregation were hawan, mantra recitation, and other religious offerings in the name of Prince- the Gyalsey, Jigme Namgyal Wangchuk.
A huge number of devotees from Sarpang, Samdrup Jongkhar, Dayana, Chhukha, Tsirang Dzongkhags and the villages of Dorokha, Denchukha, Sibsoo and surrounding Samtse town poured in to offer prayers and sit for meditative mantra recitation. Also, the Dzongkhag officials visited the Shivalaya. Among the prominent persons, former royal advisory counselor, Bidhyapati Bhandari and officials of Hindu Dharma Samudaya came to offer prayers.
In facebook post of Tshering Tobgay, ‘OM NAMAH SHIVAYA’ is particularly highlighted, saying “Our Hindu community have congregated in Samtse to take part in a five-day Akhanda Shiva Maha Yagya at the Shivalaya Mandir. The sacred puja is presided by the Venerable Swami Vivekananda Saraswati with 135 pundits and Purohits from across the Kingdom.”
Though Their Majesties King and Queen could not attend the ceremony, Minister of Information and communication D N Dhungel sat in the Mahayagya for all five days. According to the pundit, HM gave away Nu 5 lakhs to provide dakshina to the purohits and pundits who performed the yagya. It was delivered by the secretary of HM, the Zimpon.
In a conversation with another volunteer priest of Mahayagya BNS caught on his return from Samtse, the priest felt so blessed to have participated in the yagya that dedicated to the good health of future heir to Bhutan’s golden throne. But, he also lamented for being ignored by the national media that failed to cover such congregation of high value to the country.
The Shivalaya temple was constructed at the initiation of His Majesty by means of his personal contribution.
The concluding ritual of evening sermons and bhajan kirtan performed on the last day. MP Ritu Raj Chhetri thanked everyone involved in organizing and making the event successful during his brief vote of thanks deliberation.
Photo Courtesy: Pictures featured in this report are duly credited to the official Facebook page of Samtse Dzongkhag and PM Tshering Tobgay.