Staff Reporter  

In 1996, His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and His Holiness the 60th Je Khenpo formally established the country’s first school of astrology in Dechen Phodrang, Thimphu. Last week, the college marked the 25th anniversary of its establishment with a grand celebration.

Her Majesty the Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck, the chief guest at the celebrations, launched the silver jubilee logo along with Gyalsey Trulku Jigme Tenzin Wangpo and Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering.

Principal of the college, Sithar Gyeltshen said: “We were fortunate to have Her Majesty as the chief guest to mark the occasion. Her Majesty has helped develop and uplift this sacred place to the present state. It was a fitting occasion, which also coincided with Mother’s Day, to celebrate Her Majesty’s contributions.”

The silver jubilee celebrations were marked on the Descending Day of Lord Buddha, which in Bhutan also marks Mother’s Day and the 25th anniversary of the enthronement of His Holiness the Je Khenpo.

Principal Sithar Gyeltshen said that the occasion was marked to dispel misconceptions about Druk Tsi (astrology) .

“What we propagate is the teachings of Buddha and not something Bhutanese astrologers have invented. If followed diligently, Druk Tsi can help practitioners accomplish good fortune and attain enlightenment eventually,” Sithar Gyatshen said.

The principal said that the silver jubilee also marks the importance of developing and propagating Druk Tsi in the country. The college makes yearly predictions about health, wealth, career and many more.

The college also awarded merit certificates to eight former teachers and principals of the school for their contributions.

“It was a modest gesture from our side to encourage them to help flourish the sacred teachings,” the principal said.

From a few students learning traditional Druk Tsi in its early years, the institute today has close to 200 students. According to the principal, around a thousand students have graduated from the college. There are 102 students and teachers in the college, and around 90 in its two branch schools in Serzhing, Sarpang and Trashiyantse.

The college has been conducting jana chidoe kurim, a nine-day ritual, for the wellbeing of the sentient beings and for the peace and prosperity in the country.