Thursday, July 19, 2012

Letter To Author of GK of Bhutan

Dear Author,
First of all, I would like to congratulate you on publishing the General knowledge book. As I am a regular  reader of  books written by Bhutanese authors, I bought your book from Pekhang Enterprise and read first four sections (ie a, b, c & d) of your book.   I don’t claim to know the history of Bhutan, and by no means I am writing this letter to criticize this book. I just would like to clarify my doubts.
Firstly, The Q&A on Guru Rinpoche created confusion in my mind instead of clarifying . In the section b-a, the question is,’when was the king Thri-song Deo-tsen born?’ and the section b-13 asks, ‘when was the 36th Dharma King Thrisong Deutsen born?’. The answer is 742 A.D and 682 A.D respectively. Now, my confusion is; are they two different historical figures? Or are they the same figure. While I believe that there shall be some inconsistencies in date, but it should be the job of author to harmonize the date. If you consider the first date i.e 742 and refer to visit of Guru Rinpoche to Bhutan from Tibet with Denmang Tshemang in 747 (as mentioned in b-5 of your Q&A), then Drisong Deutsen should be only 5 years old child. If my knowledge in history is right, it was king Thri-song Deutsen who actually invited Guru Rinpoche to Tibet before 745 A.D. He was not child-king wanting to build Samye Monastery. He was an adult king.
Secondly, the section (c) on Phajo Drugom Zhigpo, the questions c-2 and c-13 are as thus; ‘what is the childhood name of Lama Phajo Drugom Zhigpo?’ The answers are Dendup Gyeltshen and Tharpa Gyelthsen respectively. While it is likely that a person possess more than one childhood names, but it creates confusion especially for us who are not researchers or scholars. The author neither try to harmonize the facts nor try to explain the existence of two names.
Thirdly, on section 4(d) on Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the question d-54 is ;who was the first incarnation of Zhabdrung Rinpoche, the answer is given as Phag-Pa-Chen-ri-zig. In d-55, the question is ‘who was the seventh incarnation of Zhabdrung,’ the answer you have given Drowai Goenpo Tshangpa Gyaray.  As far as I understand, the incarnation should come after the Zhabdrung as also evident looking at your other questions-who is the third speech incarnation of Zhabdrung, who is the fourth speech incarnation of Zhabdrung etc. I learnt that Zhabdrung was embodiment of Chenri-Zig and Tshangpa Gyaray, I didn’t know it was vice-versa (previous incarnations and re-incarnations must have been separated). May be this confusion is result of my ignorance in Buddhism and weakness in English. However, as a reader in doubt and buyer of your book, I would like to be clarified.  

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