Moelam: His Holiness the Je Khenpo, who is presiding over the Moenlam Chhenmo in Samdrupjongkhar, told the devotees not to make wild and baseless conclusions about what happened there on Saturday.

On Junuary 9, a choekhang (prayer hall) at on-going Moenlam Chhenmo collapsed and injured 11 devotees. The incident happened at about 5am.

The choekhang, which was constructed with bamboo poles, came tumbling following heavy rainfall.  The temporary shed could not hold the water accumulated from the heavy rains.

Words quickly spread among devotees and Samdrupjongkhar residents that the incident augured something inauspicious. There was also an earthquake at the start of the Moelam Chhenmo on January 4.

Urging people to remain calm and focused, His Holiness said, humans have no power over natural events. He said that when it snows on the mountains, there will be rain in the plains. And rain, he said is good for farmers.

Help: Volunteers clear the ground after the rain

Help: Volunteers clear the ground after the rain

The incident did not disturb the Moenlam Chhenmo. Plastic chairs and umbrellas were immediately provided to about 3,000 devotees. The 500 devotees who had put in choekhang were vacated to classroom.

The devotees began the day afresh on Sunday celebrating Chunyipai Losar with His Holiness the Je Khenpo. Devotees offered prayers for His Majesty The King, His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen and soon-to-be-born Royal Heir.

Bhutanese singers performed to entertain the gathering.

About 30 devotees, who lost their belongings in the mishap, were given ghos, kiras and tegos with the blessings from the Je Khenpo.

Sixty-one-year-old Jurmey from Trashiyangtse said it was a happy and blessed moment for the people to be able to celebrate losar with His Holiness the Je Khenpo.

“It is as if nothing happened. Everything was quickly and professionally managed,” he said. “The highlight of this moenlan is that we got to celebrate losar with our Je Khenpo.”

The week-long Moenlam Chhenmo ends today.

Yangchen C Rinzin,  Samdrupjongkhar


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