Monday, February 18, 2019

Holiest water on earth celebration in Sikkim starts tonight

From tonight an annual 2 days Bumchu Celebration Festival starts at Dakkar Tashiding Monastery, Sikkim. It is a great night and a blissful day tomorrow for the great people of Sikkim and neighboring states and countries.

The importance of the day cannot be felt if the Origin of Bumchu Festival is not known. I therefore would like to narrate the fact as to how the celebration of 'Holy Water Vase' festival originated” in Sikkim after little research.
During the reign of the religious king Trisong Deutsen in Tibet, Guru Padmasambhava, while bestowing the unparalleled tantric system of tutelary deity Mahakarunika Avalokitesvara Sadhana and initiation on emancipation from the cycle of mundane existence to king Trisong Deutsen, prince Murub Tsenpo, Yeshe Tsogyal and Verotsana, consecrated the same Holy Vase which is preserved in the Tashiding monastery till today.

According to the works of Zhigpo Lingpa, the Holy Vase is made of various kinds of sacred soil, water and five kinds of precious jewels (Rinchen Na-nga) collected from the holy places of India, Odiyana and Zahor by Guru Rinpoche.

It is said that Damchen Garngag, wrathful Dharmapala, makes the Vase and consecrated by Guru Rinpoche by conducting Sadhana of Yidam Chuchig Zhal (tutelary deity of eleven heads). When he performed the sadhana, the entire retinue of the deity and deity himself appeared in the sky and inseparably merged into the Holy Water contained in the Vase.

Thereupon the holy water overflowed and spread in all directions in the form of rays. That very moment, as a sign of good omen, there was earthquake, the four guardian deities (Gyalchen Dezhi/Cutur-Maharajika) of Dharma and the gods of thirty-three heavens (Sumchu Tsasumgyi Lhanam) showered flowers from the sky. The people assembled there witnessed this event. All the people were overjoyed at this spectacular event and Holy Water was distributed to the devotees from the Vase. Yet it was found that the holy water of the Vase never decreased. Inspired by this, the sinners became virtuous; the pious people realized the lofty divine qualities and all were spiritually benefited.

Finally, Guru Rinpoche concealed the 'Holy Water Vase' into the sublime hidden treasure and entrusted it to the protective deities.

In the later period, the great Terton (revealer of hidden treasures), Chokyi Gyalpo Garwang Rigzin Zhigpolingpa, the reincarnation of prince Murub Tsenpo of Tibet, unearthed the Vase of Holy Water for the sake of sentient beings.

After the discovery of the Vase, Terton Zhigpolingpa maintained it as his Thugdam Ten and in the later part of his life; he offered it to Terton Tagshamchen with special instruction. Terton Tagshamchen then handed over the holy Vase to Ngadag Sempachenpo Phuntshog Rigzin to be kept and installed at Dakkar Tashiding, the holiest and most blessed hidden land of Guru Padmasambhava.

So, Terton Ngadag Sempachenpo brought the Vase to Tashiding and installed it in the Tshuglagkhang. He conducted special recitation of 1,300 million syllables 'OM MANI PADME HUM', through Thugjechenpo Khorwalegrol Sadhna under the royal patronage of the first Chogyal Phuntshog Namgyal. At that time many unprecedented and auspicious signs had appeared in the country.

Bumchu celebration is one of the most important and holiest events in Sikkim and thousands of devotees from all over the state and its neighbouring countries come on pilgrimage and participate in the holy occasion. The Vase, containing holy water, is kept in a miniature mansion (chosham) under lock and seal of the Chogyal of Sikkim.

Every year special recitation is conducted and the high officials and Lamas check the seal before the Vase is taken out of the mansion. The Vase is opened on the night of the 14th day of the first month of the Tibetan Almanac, which is today (1st March 2018). From the Vase three cups of the water is first taken out. The first cup is meant for the royal family, the second cup for the Lamas and the third is distributed among the devotees on the full moon day. Fresh water is brought from Rathong Chukha, which is also considered as a blessed river, as replacement.

In some years the Holy Water in the Vase increases by 21 cups and other times it decreases. In some cases the water of the Vase remains at the same level but other time it is found dusty. These are believed to be the predictions of auspicious and inauspicious observances in the country.

When the water level increases, it is a sign of prosperity and when it decreases it is an indication of bad year of drought and diseases the dusty water indicates conflicts and unrest.

In brief, the seed of enlightenment is obtained by taking a drop of this Bumchu water thereby all the distress; evil spirits and untoward happenings are removed. And prosperity and fulfillments are rewarded in this life and one attains Buddhahood or is born in the Riwo Potala or Zangdopalri in the next life.


Thank you.

Courtesy: ORGIN OF THE BUMCHU OF DAKKAR TASHIDING by Rigzin Ngodub Dokhampa.

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