His Majesty The King and His  Royal Highness Gyaltshab Jigme Dorji Wanchuck yesterday attended the funeral of late Lam Kunzang Wangdi at Bartsham, Trashigang.

Following a six-month long mourning period, the Purjang or cremation ceremony was held in front of the Chador lhakhang in Bartsham. Lama Kunzang Wangdi passed away at his residence in Genyenkha, Thimphu on October 6, 2018.

The Purjang ceremony was presided over by His Eminence Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse and the reincarnation of late Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, Dudjom Tenzin Yeshe Dorje with more than 20 monks including trulkus and lay monks.

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering, cabinet ministers, parliamentarians and dzongkhag officials attended the purjang ceremony. They were joined by thousands of devotees both from home and abroad.

Lam Kunzang Wangdi, popularly known as Lam Nyingku, passed away at the age of 76. Born in 1942, Lam Kunzang Wangdi was a highly learned tantric master from Bartsham. He was one of the closest disciples of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche.

He was the Sungkhorp (mantra holder) to His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo and the Queen Mothers. Lam Kuzang Wangdi also served as the head of Sangdag Gyepailing Gomdey of Bartsham Chador Lhakhang under Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, representative of gomchens or the communities of non-celibate Vajrayana practitioners in the Religious Council, home ministry (1995-2001), and Ngajur Nyingma in the Chhoedey Lhentshog since 2009.

Lam Kunzang Wangdi was conferred the status of Lama on June 1, 1993 by His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo, in recognition of his deep religious knowledge and as an appreciation of the total dedication of his religious practice to the wellbeing of the country.

He began his religious studies under the tutelage of the renowned disciple of His Holiness Dudjom Rimpoche, Bartsham Lam Pema Wangchhen. He then spent many years under the personal care of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, receiving teachings, initiations and blessings.

Lam Kunzang Wangdi received the highest teachings of the Dzogchhen (Atiyoga) tradition and was a recognised master of this great Buddhist tradition. He has also received spiritual instructions from many great Buddhist teachers.

In Bhutan, Lam Kunzang Wangdi was widely known to be highly accomplished in all the important forms of religious practice: reading, writing, painting, sculpture, architecture, astrology, philosophy, grammar, dance, mandala, and in the use of all religious instruments.

Among the many notable deeds, while in service to His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, Lama edited 103 volumes of text, which included Ngajur Kama – the treasure teachings (terchhoe) of previous Dudjom and Gongter (heart teachings) of Chabje himself.

He studied 12 to 13 years under Dudjom Rinpoche and constructed the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Choeten in Punakha (1992-1999) as per the noble wish of Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck; a Lhakhang in Yongla Goenpa in Pemagatshel (1997-2001) with the statue of Dorji Droloe in the centre, Guru Horsog Makdhog on right and Juelug Phurpa on the left with 1,000 images of Guru Dorji Droloe on the walls as per the command of His Majesty The Fourth King; and established and supported Thadra Goenpa retreat in Thimphu.

Initiated and envisioned by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, Lam Kunzang led his community in Bartsham to construct the new six-storied Chador Lhakhang in 2006.

Neten Dorji | Bartsham