Lhabab Duchen

Descending Day Of Lord Buddha, November 7th 2020

This year, on the Descending Day of Lord Buddha, Rinpoche took a small group of his students on a 3 days pilgrimage to Nabji Lhakhang, which is in located in the middle of Bhutan. This is the infamous temple where Guru Padmasambava mediated the dispute between King Sindhi Raja and King Nawoche.

According to traditional history, in the mid-8th century lived an Indian king named Sindha, alias Kunjom, who was exiled by his father, King Singgala, and subsequently became the king of Bumthang. There was another King from India named Nawoche who hated king Sindha and vice versa. During a battle, King Sindha’s son, Taglha Mebar, was killed by King Nawoche. After his son’s death, King Sindha stopped all sacrificial offerings to the protective deities and ordered all holy places to be covered with excrement. Thereupon, Shelging Karpo, the mightiest of gods and demons, stole the “life power” of King Sindha. Padmasambhava was then invited to cure the king, and he helped the king to regain his life power. Padmasambhava also had a good relation with King Nawoche, so he was able to call both kings to the border of India and Mon where the present temple lies. The two kings were made to take an oath of non-violence against each other in the presence of Guru Rinpoche. A monolith was erected in the palace with the handprints of both kings and the Guru Rinpoche. Thus the place was named Nabji which comes from nἁboed (མནའ་འབོད), which means “taking an oath.

The temple is built by Guru Padmasmbhava’s dakini Khando Tashi Kheyuden and is located at 2156 m in Nabji village, Korphu gewog, 110–115 kms by road from Trongsa town, and another half hour walk up from Nabji Primary School.

Upon arriving at the location, you will find two huge cypress trees towering above the entrance of the temple, one of the younger trees was planted by Pema Lingpa. The tree is also believed to be the walking stick of Guru Padmasambhava. Here, Rinpoche was welcomed by the local villagers, who were all waiting with patience and devotion for his blessings. There were about 150 people that day who are in attendance, where chöd ritual was performed by 50 lay people from 7am-3.30pm. Later, local leaders and villagers had also requested for long life empowerment from Rinpoche. At the end of the empowerment, Rinpoche and his students donated BTN$30,000 to the local community with the hope that they keep the tradition of Tshechu alive.

On the way back to Thimphu, about 2hr drive away from Nabji, Rinpoche stopped by Taktse Lhakang to receive blessings from the self arising Hayagriva statue built by Bvimalamitra (an indian mahasiddha) in the eighth century.

Rinpoche is so thankful and happy to be spending Lhabab düchen this year with his students and local villagers in Trongsa. Even though the 350km journey to Trongsa was long and arduous, Rinpoche is grateful for being able to travel, be outdoors, connecting with his students and local villagers, but most importantly giving benefits to all around him with prayers and ritual on this holy day.