Coinciding with the auspicious occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche on 20 June, the Embassy of India to Bhutan, gifted a statue of Lord Buddha, as a gift from the Government and people of India to the Government and people of Bhutan.
According to the press release from the Indian Embassy, the function commenced with solemn prayers and blessings by His Eminence Tshugla Lopen Karma Rangdrol and His Eminence Laytshog Lopen Sangay Dorji and monks of the Zhung Dratshang (Central Monastic Body). Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Member of Parliament and President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Tandi Dorji, as well as the Ambassador of India to Bhutan, Ruchira Kamboj and Director General, ICCR, Dinesh Patnaik addressed the handing over ceremony.
The consecration and enshrining ceremony of the statue of Lord Buddha that took place at the magnificent Grand Kuenrey of the Tashichhodzong.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.: Gautam Buddha”
The Kuenrey of the Tashichhodzong is its most beautiful and elaborate hall, used for prayers and important ceremonies. The main statue within the Kuenrey is a gigantic golden Buddha, and the walls are adorned with elaborate Buddhist paintings, as well as 1008 Buddhas in statues and images. Over the years, the Grand Kuenrey has been the select venue for important ceremonies and events, including the reception of important state guests, offerings of butter-lamps and prayers by His Majesty and the Royal Family, and the commemoration of significant royal events.
A Jaling and Phoepho procession was held to receive the statute of Lord Buddha at the Tashichhodzong. The prayers were chanted by 300 monks of the Tashichhodzong and presided over the rituals of the consecration ceremony at the Kuenrey.
Ambassador of India to Bhutan ceremonially handed over the statue of Lord Buddha to the Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji in the presence of members of the Chairman and Councilor of the Privy Council, senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and revered Lopens of the Zhung Dratshang.
Lighting of butter lamps followed by the Zhingshey Pemai Kuncham (Masked Dance) marked the joint celebrations of the consecration and Guru Rinpoche’s birth anniversary.
Meanwhile, the statue is a subtle smiling 3.3-feet tall bronze cast statue of Lord Buddha in a lotus pose, weighing approximately 200-kgs and designed by renowned sculptor Naresh Kumar Kumawat who has many awards to his credit. The statue is a single cast unit, quite unique in terms of posture and facial expression.
The press release further states that the consecration of the statue of Lord Buddha at the Kuenrey of the Tashichhodzong is a true reflection of the deep cultural connect and strong people-to- people links between Bhutan and India.