Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Guru Gomo of Gasa

Guru Gomo, who is also known as Genyen Chenpo is the local deity of Gasa and the descendants of Lama Norbu Palden. He has his abode at Gomo Terkhung, the hot springs that is believed to cure many diseases.

Many years ago, the spring was a haunted place where the dud Gomo had established himself. He spread fear among the locals and other unsuspecting people. Lama Norbu Palden, who was the son of Geshe Ta Thangpa and disciple of Tsangpa Gyare took to subduing the dud.

In order to tame the dud, he meditated day and night for a week on the bank of the haunted spring. On the last night, the dud started creating storms, boiled the spring water and tried to incite fear in the mind of the Lama. However, the act did not even move a single hair of the lama. The dud transformed himself into a big black giant with fierce eyes and hungry mouth. He carried bow and arrow on the right hand and started hurling the snares with the left. The dud did everything to frighten the lama but he failed to do that.

Having lost patience, the dud challenged him to a competition where both the dud and the lama were to increase and decrease their body sizes. The dud won the competition of increasing the body size but lost the competition of decreasing body size. Since the competition ended in draw, the dud suggested that they should swallow each other. First the lama swallowed the dud. While the dud was inside, he tried to kill lama by tearing the intestines and other organs but the lama increased his body temperature to such an extent that the heat was unbearable for dud. Dud begged for mercy to come out. Once outside, dud demanded that he swallow the lama to which the lama agreed. Once the lama was inside, the dud tried to kill him again by decreasing the breathing spaces for lama. Once again, the lama increased his body temperature until the dud felt unbearable burning sensations and rolled in pain. The lama made dud promise that he would become the protector of Buddhism teachings and only then he stopped torturing him. After the lama tamed him and bound him under oath, he assumed the human body and became a faithful servant of the lama. He also promised to become the protector of the descendants of the lama. Having tamed the dud, the lama was known as the Ter Khungpa.

Since the descendants of Ter Khungpas, through marital relationships or otherwise, had associations with Lamas of great repute of Drukpa Kargyudpa sects they assumed high responsibilities in Bhutan, especially in religious areas. It is being said that the Choje incarnations, which actually originated from Ter Khungpas was born within the family only.

However, when one of the reincarnations of the Choje in question was born as a prince of Ladakh, it created a problem. The people were not happy to know that their lama Ngawang Gyeltshen had taken rebirth in the foreign soil. This had never happened before. His contemporary, Lama Ngawang Thinley slapped the face of the deity Gomo for having allowed such thing to happen. Gomo transformed himself into a bee and traveled all the way to Ladakh looking for the prince. Once he found the prince, he stung him and flew back carrying the life force of the lama and injected it into a womb of a woman belonging to the family of Ter Khungpas descendants. The woman gave birth to Lama Yeshey Dorji.

Today, one can still see the image of Gomo whose nose has become crooked after being slapped by lama Ngawang Thinley.



4 comments:

  1. Tshering Sir,
    i am a teacher who has the hunger and thirst to explore more about our rich and diverse history, especially the wodge share of local and oral history and documentation of such records. hence, it is beyond the capacity of few english words to express my interest in going through your articles whenever i have time.
    This article in particular has given me insight into what i have never known and would have never known if i didn't have had the chance to go through it. thank you tshering sir... i will proudly share this article to my students....

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    1. Hi Rinchey,

      You will be doing me a great favour if you could share with your students. By doing that, we will be passing some element of Bhutan history to our children's children and hopefully the chain will continue.

      Cheers!!!!!

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  2. Its just phenomenal that you have gone beyond what others have just wished. Great posts. Read almost all. Must say, its damn despicable.

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    1. Thank you Sonam. I guess it is people like you all who keeps me going.

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