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On the end of the seventh day of the sacred Thri ceremony in Gelephu His Holiness the Je Khenpo, Trulku Jigme Choedra, united devotees from all walks of life into one family as the seven Dorji Puen (spiritual brothers and sisters) today. A seven member Dorji Puen shared their ceremonial tea after receiving khaddar from His Holiness. The 2,500 devotees were grouped into 357 spiritual families with two monks and five civilians in each "family".

Most of the devotees expressed their happiness to have been blessed and the 'new bonds' created with their fellow citizens.

"The system, an age old tradition in Bhutan, helps strengthen and harmonise the relationship between the clergy and the people," one devotee said. As a part of the Thri ceremony, the people and business community in Gelephu offer Kusung Thigten Mendrel to His Holiness every day.


Meaning of Thri
His Holiness unites spiritual families - The system of creating 'one family'
Seven members of Dorji Puen shared their ceremonial teal after receiving khaddar from His Holiness

Fifty-year old Sonam Zangmo from Thangrong in Mongar had no brother or sister before she came to Gelephu to receive admonition from His Holiness the Je Khenpo. But after the end of the seventh day of the sacred Thri ceremony she was overjoyed to be united with two monks and another four women as her brothers and sisters.

"I feel like I am beginning a new life," a devotee said after she received a Khadar from His Holiness. "I was able to group with different people from different dzongkhags into Dorji Puen (spiritual brothers and sisters) because of our close relation in our past life.""The system of creating 'one family' with people from all walks of life is a very unique one, as the Dorji Puen is selected by His Holiness at random," former drangpon Tamzhing reported.

His Holiness united 2,500 devotees into 357 spiritual families with two monks and five civilians in each "family". Elucidating the significance of Dorji Puen, His Holiness said that the Dorji Puen is not just seven individuals but symbolize seven Buddhas. It is believed that the founder of the Drukpa School, Dro Goen Tsangpa Jarey was meditating at the foot of a tree when seven Buddhas (Sangay rabduen) revealed to him the sacred teachings known as Tendril-Gi-Choe (auspicious teachings of cause and effect). It was only after the revelation of sacred teachings by the seven Buddhas, according to His Holiness, that the system of Dorji puen developed. Seven is the sacred number because a Dorji Puen is given seven precepts, he is expected to circumambulate the Thri Mandala (Kilkhor) seven times, and to recite the Thri Saranam (Kyal Aro) seven times. "It is, therefore, very important to keep close relations with your new found Dorji Puen," His Holiness said.

Devotees expressed their happiness for the blessings and the 'new found bonds' with their fellow citizens. "This age old Bhutanese tradition helps strengthen and harmonize the relationship between the clergy and the laymen," one devotee said.


Meaning of Thri
13,000 devotees received wang
Je Khenpo
His Holiness the Je Khenpo conducting wang
His Holiness the Je Khenpo conducted the Lama Guru Dragpoi Wang and the Tachha Chhungsum Wang (blessings) to over 13,000 devotees as a part of the Wanglung (oral transmission of blessings) ceremony in Gelephu.

Led by His Holiness with more than 500 monks of Gelephu, Zhemgang, Tsirang, Nimalung, and Tharpaling dratshangs are performing Goenpoi kurims (dedicated to Bhutan's main protecting deity, Mahakala) and reciting Baza Guru (dedicated to Guru Rinpoche) for the well being of the country and people.

His Holiness will perform the Lhamoi Barcheod (dedicated to goddess Mahakali) next day. His Holiness will also conduct the Zhabdrung Dagnangmai Tshewand (blessing for long life) and the Gonpoi Tongtshog Tangra (offering to the country's guardian deities)..

Contributed by KUENSEL, Bhutan's National Newspaper
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