Kurjey Lhakang mural

Central Bhutan- Kurjey Lhakhang

Author: TG Contributor
Date: 2020-01-04

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Kurjey Lhakang, The Kurjey Monastery, is located in the Bumthang valley in the Bumthang district of Bhutan. This is the final resting place of the leftovers of the first three Kings of Bhutan. Also, a large tree behind one of the mandir buildings is believed to be a terma that was left there by Padmasambhava.

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It is believed according to whom that Sindhuraja the monarch of Bumthang at the time was at war with another King called Nawchhe(Big nose) and in one of the battles with Nawchhe, Sindhu Raja had prayed for the help of the local deities but it was to no avail and Sindhuraja had lost his son in the conflict. Enraged, Sindhuraja decided to obliterate all structures belonging to the local deities, angered by this Shelging Karpo the local deity stole the life force of Sindhuraja, and thus Sindhuraja fell sick due to this and the local healers were unable to do anything. At this point one of Sindhuraja's assistant sought help from Padmasambhava, who was residing in Nepal at the time, it is said that a cup of gold dust was presented to Padmasambhava, who then entered Bhutan through the route of Nabji Korphu via Mangde Chhu region.

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After he reached Bumthang, Sindhuraja promised him anything if he could heal him, Guru Rinpochhe then asked for Sindhuraja's daughter Moenmo Tashi Khuedron. Shelging karpo at the time was hiding inside his cave Padmasambhava had to cure him out of the cave to restrain him. Padmasambhava started performing a cham dance, but although it managed to draw the attention of most local deities it failed to cure out Shelging Karpo. So he then asked Tashi Khuedron to get for a pale of water in a copper vase and this source of water which Tashi fetched water from became a source of sacred water called Kurje Drupcchu which is considered to be sacred even now and believed to cure illnesses due to its holy powers. After Tashi Khuedron fetched the water, Padmasambhava used the indication of the light of the Sun from the vase and directed it towards the cave that Shelging Karpo was hiding in, intrigued Shelging Karpo decided to step out and find out what this indication was, and when he stepped out Padmasambhava immediately cowed and also had him be a guard of the Dharma. Padmasambhava made Shelging Karpo return the sog of Sindhuraja and thus Sindhuraja was healed. Padmasambhava also meditated at the cave and thus left a print of his body on the cave which is why it is called Kurjey since you can see the imprint of Padmasambhava on the cave.

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