Religion: Doctors advised him to stay in solitary confinement for three months. He had only recently undergone kidney transplant. There is always a danger that treatment could fail.

“Stuck in there, lonely and hanging between life and death, I meditated on the sadhana of medicine Buddha,” said the ninth Neytrul Ngawang Shetdrup Choeki Nima.

Doctors were amazed at the progress of his recovery. The wounds had healed.

“From then on, I started advising every sick person I meet to pray to the eight medicine Buddhas,” Rinpoche said.

Popularly known as Paro Heyphu Trulku, Ngawang Shetdrup Choeki Nima began as a novice monk from Dechenphodrang monastery in Thimphu. He received the empowerment, oral transmissions and blessings on the medicine Buddha sadhana from his root teacher Penor Rinpoche at Mysore, India. He could not delve on it seriously then as he was pursuing his studies. He believes that the sadhana actually saved him.

Terton Minjur Lingpa propagated the practice. Guru Rinpoche is believed to have introduced the practice in Tibet for the wellbeing of the people of the Himalayan region.


“It is not very common here, I realised,” Rinpoche said.

With a personal conviction and hearing similar success stories of the impact of the practice, he organised the 100 million recitation of the medicine Buddha mantras at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck Memorial Choeten in Thimphu.

“If you’re kind, nothing can harm you,” Rinpoche said.

The first recitation at the choeten is dedicated to the wellbeing of His Majesty The King.

“It’s the birth year of His Majesty so such religious ceremonies are necessary,” he said.

The event is unique with only organically produced local offerings like milk, water, and fruits. “We don’t have to offer packaged products. There is no better offering than milk and water as they are pure,” Rinpoche said. There are also environment and health advantages.

Devotees participating in the recitations eat one meal a day and observe the eight precepts such as not killing, lying, and stealing, among others. They are served lunch in plates made from dried leaves.

“We wanted to replace as many things with organic and locally produced as possible,” said one of the organisers, Lily Wangchuk.

The tshog offerings at the end of the day are distributed to patients in Thimphu hospital and other health centres in the city.

The organisers have on display a shoe belonging to Guru Rinpoche, which is the main relic of Neyphug Goenpa in Paro.

The five-day recitations end today.

Tshering Palden


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