Rinzin Wangchuk 

About 144 nuns from Bhutan and neighbouring countries received Gelongma vows from His Holiness the Je Khenpo at Ramthangkha, Paro yesterday.

Organised and registered by the Bhutan Nuns Foundation, His Holiness ordained the nuns for the first time in Bhutan.

Her Majesty Gyalyum Tshering Yangdoen Wangchuck, Dratshang’s Dorji Lopon, Tshogki Lopon and Laytshog Lopon attended the ordination ceremony.

Dratshang’s media focal person said that Ramthangkha is considered a sacred place where Gelongma Pelmo, who was an Indian princess and became an ordained nun, practised Nyungne or fasting ritual. The ordained monks or nuns have to abide by hundreds of vows like not to kill, not to steal, not commit sexual misconduct, not lie, and not consume intoxicants, etc.

His Holiness is considered as the only spiritual head with the unbroken transmission of high ordination (Ngyendzog Dompa) of the Drukpa Kagyu tradition. His Holiness ordained hundreds of monks at the Gyetshuel level (novitiate) and at the Ngyendzog (celibate) level from various religious institutions in the country since 1997 and also ordained hundreds of monks from outside Bhutan.

Several monks, including Khamtrul Rinpoche Shedrup Nima of the Tashijong Khampa Ghar Dratshang in Himachal Pradesh and Drupchen Khamchey Dratshang in Darjeeling, India, received both Gyetshuel and Ngyendzog Dompa from His Holiness.