Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Story of Gasa Tashi Thonmoen



Pics of Gasa Tashi Thongmon (thank you whoever took the pics. It accidentally was saved in my phone)


Some believe that Gasa was called Gangsel before it got re-named. In 1616 A.D, Zhabdrung turned his horse towards south. Zhabdrung entered Lhomon through Wakila in the Laya region. When he reached at the place called Bangdekha below Lepnathang, Zhabdrung was received by both human devotees and non-human spirits of Bhutan. Humans were Optsho Lam Druk Namgyal, students and some chugpos of Gasa while non-human spirits were Ap Genyen, Gomo and some other minor spirits. Among the non-human spirits, it was possible that deities of Tshachuphu and Remi were also there. Zhabdrung was received with offering of feasts and songs. The Gon-Zhey with 25 different types of dances originated from here. It was there Zhabdrung renamed Drak Nyerpa of Remi as Tashi Thongmon and Togleg Pakhab of Tshachuphu as Dendup Norzang.
Nedha (Owner of Place) Dondrup Norzang is a protector of cattle especially in lower Khatoe area. To appease him, Dzongkhag Administration kept a permanent employee on contract basis. In the past, the people of other villages were dissuaded to buy cattle from Khatoe because buyers used to get sign of deity’s displeasure while taking animals away. Displeasure could be in form of animals getting sick midway or nightmarish dream of buyers. Thus, they had to return the animals. In 2015, the Neykhang was built at place called Jawathang. He is said to be dressed in monk’s robe. His consort is a mermaid from river Mochu.
On other hand, Tashi Thongmoen is said to be Phola ‘god of males’. Pholas are venerated by those who seek to have blessings of great physical strength. Tashi Thongmon is usually revered by the local people for blessing of luck in sports like archery or khurus. However, his power of blessing doesn’t extend beyond Damji. His Neykhang was built recently by Dzongkhag Administration through some external funding. In 2016, some local people sponsored his first ever statue to be installed.
I was privileged to witness the installation of statue in Neykhang. He is depicted as a wrathful warrior riding on green horse (may be in the spirit world, color of horses are green). Next to him, stands his mermaid consort. I don’t understand how he got mermaid wife. They might have net when he went to took bath in Tshachu (Lol).
Gasa Dzong is named as Gasa Tashi Thongmoen after him.



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