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Neten Chudrug Thongdroel
Special prayers on Lord Buddha's parinirvana

His Majesty the King, Their Majesties the Queens, the council of ministers, and senior government officials took part in a sacred ceremony and offered prayers to the Neten Chudrug (16 Arahats) Thongdroel, which was unfurled in Tashichhodzong to celebrate Lord Buddha's Maha-parinirvana.

Led by His Holiness the Je Khenpo, lopons and monks of the central monk body conducted a special religious ceremony of Thubwang Neten Chudrug Choga, dedicated to Lord Buddha and his 16 followers, Arahats.

The 16 arhats (those who had extinguished all defilements) originated from India during the time of Buddha Shakyamuni. It is believed that the Buddha entrusted his teachings to the 16 great arhats when he was about to pass away. The Buddha instructed them to remain in this world, dwell in different lands, and disseminate his teachings to benefit all sentient beings. This special religious ceremony was initiated by His Holiness the Je Khenpo in 2001 with the financial support from the Menjong Choethuen Tshogpa.

The Duechhen Ngazom or Lord Buddha's Maha-parinirvana), is considered as auspicious by all buddhists because on the 15th day of Saga Dawa month (Bhutanese 4th month), Lord Buddha was conceived and born, attained enlightenment, subdued demons and entered Nirvana (liberation). The Saga Dawa month is also called as Vaisak or Wesar in other Buddhist countries and is widely celebrated.

Guru Thongdroel
The more than 200-year-old Guru Thongdroel which was unfurled at the Tashichhodzong
after 41 years to mark the auspicious
occasion of the ascension of
His Royal Highness as Chhoetse Penlop.
Neten Chudrug Thongdroel at Tashichhodzong

Devotees offer butter lamps
It is beleived that one good deed or virtue done on this day will be rewarded with one hundred thousand merits.

Lord Buddha was born in 560 B.C. to Suddhodana, king of the Sakhyas and Maya who died seven days after her son's birth in Lumbini, near the city of Kapilavastu in Nepal. He died at the age of eighty in 480 B.C. in Kusinagara, India.

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