Friday, February 10, 2017

Gon Tshephu-Mediation Place of Guru Rinpoche in Gasa

In more than two years of my stay at Gasa, I have walked in the clouds of dusts in winter. I have waded across ponds of mud in summer. I have climbed uphill from Tshachu to Gasa following leech infested path. I have travelled to Laya with sweets in my mouth to avoid altitude sickness.  I have watched colorful dance of Goen-Zhey dedicated to arrival of Zhabdrung. I have participated in receiving invisible protective deity on living mount. I have made mistakes and gain experiences. I went to through emotions called happiness and sadness, peace and disturbance and contentment and discontentment. With all ingredients of life, time flew on its wings of unruliness. Today I have some memories so strong that that I try daily to suppress and memories so weak that I try daily to re-awaken them. But there are some forgotten moments, some uncharted destinations and some suppressed memories. One such uncharted destination of mine is   visit to Gon Tshephu which would have been one of the best memories. I failed to get blessing of the sacred place. To create connection for next life, I will attempt to write a short note on Gon Tsephu.
Gasa has been a melting pot of many different sects of Buddhism, if not, at least a stable container. Before arrival of Zhabdrung, various places of Gasa had been inhibited by Barawas, Shingtaps, Shangpas and Kagyudpas. In 1616 A.D, when Zhabdrung reached Damji, he had to return back to Gasa and travelled via Lingzhi to Thimphu due to obstructions from Lam Shangpa of Gon Tshephu and Nangsel temple of Punakha and the descendents of Nenying lineage of Uma and Bardong.
In 1634 A.D, Tshang Desi launched second attack on Bhutan at behest of Lam Kha Nga. One of the locations of attack was through Tongserkha of Gasa region probably aided by rival of lams of Gasa Kagyudpa. After defeat of invaders, Zhabdrung visited Punakha in search of a place to establish Drukpa seat which took him to Gon Tshephu. Gon Tshephu is believed to be a meditation place of Guru Padmasambhava known as Gon Tshephu Maratika. Probably, just like in Maratika, Guru Rinpoche invoked Buddha of Long Life there. Before, Zhabdrung reached at Tshephu, lama shangpa of Tshephu fled the place. But lama and students attempted to assassinate Zhabdrung through sorcery.  Later, even lama and followers of Barawa fled to Tibet.
Zhabdrung mediated at Gon Tshephu. Guru prophesied that Drukpa Kagyud would flourish in Southern Land of Mon. People of Gon Tshephu and Zhelngo of Mangduekha submitted to Zhabdrung thereby firmly establishing the Drukpa rule in Gasa.

1.       The Biography of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel by Dasho Sangay Dorji
2.       The History of Bhutan by Dr. Karma Phuntsho
3.       History of Bhutan by Lam Pema Tshewang

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