For the first time, the holy relics known as ‘Gnangther’ of Kathok Monastery of Pakyong district, was publicly displayed Thursday , in the presence of Kyabje Kathok Situ Rimpoche at the monastery.
The general secretary of the Kathok Dorjeeden Gumba Duchi Managing Committee, Palden Lama, spoke on the significance of the ceremony have announced a four-day long religious ceremony, which shall start with the public display of the Gnangther, on April 13, followed by the inauguration of the newly constructed Chorten.
The holy relics (Gnangther) consists of a holy conch, a key believed to unlock the five treasuries of Mt. Kanchenjunga, a piece of shoewear worn by Great Lama Yawa Champo, and a holy scripture scripted in gold.
The publicity secretary of the committee, Tashi Wangchuk Makpen, have said that they do not want to restrict the positive energy of the relics to the monastery, and that, they wanted to share the history of Kathok Monastery and the blessings stored in the holy relics throughout Sikkim, by allowing people from all communities to seek its blessings.
Earlier, Gnangther was limited to the chorten of Kathok Monastery, and were kept secluded for the sacredness of the relics. It is for the very first time, that Kathok Dorjeeden Gumba Duchi Managing Committee, have decided to let the common people seek its blessings on April 13, from 10am to 06pm. The relics will then again be kept in secluded place until next time.
The displayed holy relics include ancient neta vajra, iron knot, conch, statues of lord Buddha, great lamas and other deities, part of shoe worn by Gyalwa Yeshi Bumpa and an ancient Kangyer text written in gold. Sonam Lama, Minister, Ecclesiastical department stated that Kathok monastery is one of the oldest and historical monasteries of Sikkim. He also expressed delight on devotees being able to worship and witness such ancient relics of Buddhism.
“We want to follow the instructions of His Holiness Kyabje Kathok Situ Rimpoche and decide whether displaying of holy relics would be done in three years or five years,” said Minister Sonam Lama. According to Buddhist legends, Kathok Monastery was originally established by Kathok Kuntu Zangpo, one among the three great lamas who coronated the first king of Sikkim in 1643 AD at Kathok, Yuksom, West Sikkim. In 1789 AD the monastery was destroyed during Gorkha invasion of Sikkim following which Kathok Kuntu Zangpo directed his son Kathok Rikzing Chewang Norbu to travel to Sikkim and retrieve all the holy relics of monastery.
After arriving at the ruins of the Kathok monastery at Yuksom, Kathok Rikzing Chewang Norbu discovered a pair of holy conch had already flown away from the monastery upon which the Lana travelled to various places in Sikkim along with other relics JN search for the holy conch. The holy conch finally settled in Pakyong where the present day Kathok monastery was reestablished in 1840.
The inauguration ceremony of Tshae Chuc Chorten organised by Kathok Dorjeeden Duch Managing Committee at Kathok Monastery, Pakyong was also held today.
Nitesh R Pradhan
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