02 Mar, Yuksam : Holy Bumchu this year was held as per the Lunar Calendar schedule on 1st and 2nd March, 2018.
The main ceremony by the monk had started on 3rd February 2018 with the Thujaychenpo Khorwaledrol puja which lead up to the distribution of the sacred water this year, the occasion falls on the intervening night of 1st and 2nd March.
However, the Holy vase was opened on the midnight of 1st March 2018 by the monks of the monastery in the presence of official representative of Government of Sikkim by Sonam Dadul Bhutia Area MLA this time and the Gendrung of Ecclesiastical department along with members of monk body led by Ven. Khen Rinpoche Lha Tshering of Tashiding Monastery. Also present in the ceremony was Gangtok MLA Pintso Chopel Lepcha, and the Advisor of ecclesiastical department, Pem Tshering Lama.
Bhum Chu is an auspicious and age old event observed at Tashiding monastery every year with great faith and divinity by the devotees from across the State and nearby areas including Bhutan and Nepal.
“As per tradition, only three cups of sacred water are taken out: one cup is for the royal family, one for the monks, and the third cup for the general masses gathered for the ceremony”.
It is considered that the water in the sacred vase makes some very important prediction for state.
The vase can hold a total of twenty one cups, its quantity however do not stay stable always.
A sacred cups (Total 21 cups, this year founded 1 cup less) of Holy water this time was found missing but the quality and the purity of holy water was higher than last year.
It was in the year 2015 the quantity of water had increased by the cup and half then it’s usual capacity of 21 Tings (Tibetan Water Offering Bowls).
This sort of shortages of holy water farsights the upcoming droughts and restless in the region.
However, the monks of the Gumpa takes immediate steps by conducting preventive prayers and puja with the financial aid from the Government of Sikkim.
The same practice have been undertaking whenever there is shortages of water since
many years ago, Said General Secretary of Monk body Phurba T. Thechutharpa.
With the help received from the concern West District authority, Bumchu this year was organized in an organized way & Grand manner.
However, the bad weather this year caused the major problem this year. The rainfalls tarted with drizzle in the morning with occasional shower throughout the day and night brought the trouble & difficulties for the thousands of devotees as they couldn’t reach the monastery in time.
The traffic this year was diverted towards Senek Bazar and Yuksam Road. The playground of Tashiding Senior Secondary School and Primary school were packed with the parking.
Entry from the main gate at Senek Bazar Tashiding till the monastery premise was allowed this time for drop and go purpose only. Just like last year, the registration of devotees had made mandatory. This helped the rush and jostling at the queue bars and thus preventing from the injuries and noises among the devotees and also in maintaining & keeping records of the exact numbers of devotees visiting Tashiding monastery for Bhumchu ritual ceremony. There was separate queue bars set-up for male and female respectively. Separate queue bar had also been set up for the senior citizens and the physically challenged.
The use & consumption of alcohol, meat and gambling at the outskirt of monastery too was completely banned which helped further improving the peaceful environment and sanctity of holy Tashiding.
As per the registration record, this time had over 21,000 (Twenty one thousands) devotees registered their attendance from everywhere.
Nepalese, Bhutanese, Sikkimese and some Westerners and South Asians were among the lists of registration. However, the numbers are much less comparing to last year due to the bad weather.
Adequate security measures have been taken to ensure smooth Bhumchu festival for devotees at Tashiding.
As many police personals have been deployed for smooth Bhumchu at Drakar Tashiding monasetary, Fire vehicles have been kept ready as a precautionary measure.
Despite bad weather, the main event of Bumchu Ceremony concluded on successful note and this was all possible by the active coordination & supports rendered from the following individuals and government departments, Said Bhumchu Celebration Committee of Drakar Tashiding monasetary Phurba T. Thechutharpa.
On behalf of the Bhumchu Festival Celebration Committee and Duchi Committee of Drakar Tashiding monastery He thanked Area MLA Sonam Dadul Bhutia, District Magistrate (West). Senior Superintendent of Police, SDPO and all police force in maintaining peace and security and also coming with an excellent idea of proper registration and traffic management.
Divisional Engineer power & energy department for installing and lightening the entire streets of monastery area. Divisional Engineer PHE for taking care of water supply related facilities. SDM Yuksam, CMO West and team of medical specialist for the firstaid, District fire and emergency personals, Excise Department, PWD employees for
maintaining the roads, Panchayat Members of Tashiding Gram Panchayat Unit, Block Development Officer Tashiding, Tourism and Civil aviation department, Rural Management Department, Monk Body of Tashiding monastery, Ecclesiastical Department and the entire devotees who had come and gathered amidst the bad & cold weather from all across. Bhumchu Celebration Committee of Drakar Tashiding monasetary expressed thanks to them. General Secretary Phurba T. Thechutharpa said, without their active and passionate supports, this festival wouldn’t had been possible. We also thank all the respected press reporters (visual and print) for rendering services to publicize the events and it’s importance to masses.
Similarly, we shall promise to further organized the festival in much systematic way sharing prior information in much advance. And for that we look forward to all the authorities mentioned above for simmilar support in future.
Thank you all. May the blessings of holy Tashiding and Bumchu reaches to all of you. May you all be blessed with good health ,wealth and peace prevail in our beautiful state Sikkim, He added.
Report by Pritam Lama Gurung