More than 12,000 people received the blessing of the Vajrasattva empowerment yesterday

A three-and-a-half-month-long oral transmission, empowerment, and instruction of the treasury of precious termas, Rinchen Terzoed Wangchhen, began with the preparatory empowerment of the peaceful and wrathful deities, the profound dharma of self-liberated wisdom mind of Karma Lingpa at Ugyen Pema Woeling Zangdho Pelri in Bongdey, Paro, yesterday.

Conferring the initiation for the first time in Bhutan, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche bestowed the blessing of Vajrasattva empowerment (Pel Dorje Sempai Wang) to more than 12,000 trulkus, lams, monks, nuns, lay monks, and devotees who converged from across the country.

Elucidating the significance of Rinchen Terzoed, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche said that the sacred terma or hidden treasures, with a 63-volume compilation of revealed texts, were meticulously assembled in the 19th century by the Rimed masters Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thaye and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. The collection, according to Rabjam Rinpoche, encompasses crucial terma concealed by Guru Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyal, Vimalamitra, and their primary disciples during the 8th and 9th centuries.

Devotees pitch tents on private land in and around Bongdey due to housing shortage

Rinpoche also explained how masters like Guru Rinpoche, Vimalamitra, and Vairotsana imparted teachings that were concealed for the benefit of future generations, later unearthed by eminent masters spanning the 11th to 19th centuries in the Nyingma tradition.

The collection of terma teachings revealed by 108 tertöns was compiled by Khenkong Chogsum, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Kongtrul Yonten Jamtsho, and Chogyur Dechen Lingpa in the 1850s.

Rabjam Rinpoche will bestow the empowerment of Rinchen Terzoed’s blessings (Kawang), while Adzom Gyalse Rinpoche will confer the oral transmission (Jaglung) until the completion of teachings on September 13.

His Holiness Trulshik Rinpoche’s Yangsi and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche’s Yangsi are also receiving the Rinchen Terzoed empowerment.

Rush for accommodation

A 73-year-old Tshampa and his 48-year-old son from Trashiyangtse rented a temporary makeshift shelter that can hardly accommodate three people above the Zangdho Pelri Lhakhang.

The Tshampa’s daughter, who works in Thimphu, booked the space with a monthly rent of Nu 7,000 early this month and paid Nu 14,000 in advance. They paid Nu 14,000 for the remaining two months’ rent when the father and son entered the rented makeshift on May 28. “We were asked to pay rent for the entire four months in advance,” the daughter said.

A Bongdey resident constructed 40 units of makeshift shelters using plywood over the past month, and four more units were constructed this week to meet the high demand. Some landowners have constructed temporary wooden houses near the Wangkhang and rented them out for Nu 12,000 to Nu 20,000 per month. Some are rented out for commercial purposes. Each unit accommodates three to four people.

Due to a shortage of housing in and around Bongdey, some devotees pitched tents on private land, which were leased out for Nu 6,000 each per month on a decimal of land.

Many devotees from Gelephu, Mongar, Trashigang, and Trashiyangtse have booked rooms in private homes since January after hearing about the initiation of Rinchen Terzoed.

Contributed by 

Rinzin Wangchuk