Changyul bumo Galem

During one of my travels from Thimphu to Phuentsholing, I had a travelling companion who told me stories about many places. One of the stories related to Dungkar at Wang Sisina.

The story went on to say that there were many Sinpos and Sinmos who lived along the cliffs facing Wang Sisina. These Sinpos and Sinmos preyed on unsuspecting and weary travellers. One big house below the road, which stands even today, belonged to one rich man whose name I cannot recollect. Since he was religious and generous, he was known to have been blessed by one lama with many treasures. Out of many treasures, there were two conches and a religious scripture which helped him keep away the menancing Sinpos and Sinmos.

One day, when a monk was reading scriptures, he felt very shitty (hahahahaha) so he went to relieve himself in the bush nearby. While he was gone, it is said that the servant of the house, who was a dumbo, stumbled on the floor while bringing some tea and snacks for the monk. As he stumbled, he knocked Choktsi and the leaves of the scriptures were strewn all over. Wooooooooo!!!! the hell broke loose. The sinpos and sinmos came rushing towards the house. The monk, who was still relieving himself leisurely saw the sinpos and sinmos rushing. So he hurried back inside the house and threw one dungkar towards the cliff. As soon as it was hurled at the cliff, the sinpos and sinmos fled back. Once all the sinpos and sinmos were inside the cliff, it got sealed with Dungkar as it got stuck on it. So the people still belive that dungkar exist on the cliff face and some people in fact claim to have seen it.

The other story related to the house at Wang Sisina is a continuation of celebrated love story of Gasa Lamai Singye. It is being said that Singye, the servant of Gasa’s Lama and Galem of Changyul have ended in that house actually and not at the cremation ground in Punakha. Of course everybody knows the story of Gasa Lamai Singye. But for the sake of those readers from outside, the story is summarised as under:

Galem, a local beauty of Changyul, who was in love with Singye was being offered a marriage proposal by the Dzongpon of Punakha. In the meantime, Singye, who was then working for the Dzongpon was sent away as Gasa Lama’s attendant.

However, Galem, who was expecting a child from Singye, refused the marriage proposal of Dzongpon. Her father, fearing wrath from Dzongpon, tried to force Galem to accept Dzongpon’s proposal. In desparation, he even used force to make her agree to Dzongpon’s proposal.

Galem was desperate too. With Singye gone to Gasa, she didn’t know what to do. As she drowned herself in dilemma, she saw a traveller going elsewhere. However, she requested him to pass on the message about her prediament and to return to her as soon as possible.

Singye took leave from Lama and hurried back as soon as he got the message. However,before he could reach, she had died. It is said that he met her spirit who had come to meet him on the way with food and wine. While he was offering prayers before food, she suddenly disappeared. Suspecting that something may have gone wrong, he walked faster only to find that people were about to cremate her body.

Not being able to bear the loss, he jumped into the pyre with her and ended his life.

Now, thats the story most Bhutanese know. But it is said that their love story didn’t end there. Months later, they were known to have been reborn as banana trees near the cremation site but it is said that some family members of Galem uprooted it and threw it away.

Soon after, they were reborn as cats. The tom cat was killed by a dog. Then they were reborn as a rooster and a hen. Hen got eaten by a fox. After that they were reborn as cow and bull. Oppsss!!! the owner sold away the bull to faraway place and they were separated again.

I really don’t know how many but I guess it took series of other births before they were reborn again as human beings. It was a case of unrequitted love- each time they took rebirth, they were divided by circumstances fueled by their previous Karma.

Finally, it is said that Galem was reborn as a daughter of one of the decendants of the rich man of Wang Sisina while Singye was born as a son of a poor potter in Genekha.

One day, he happened to reach the house at Wang Sisina to sell his clay pots.During the course of bargain and deal, Galem felt very familiar about him and excited. As she thought about it, the memories of countless lives came flooding in and she fainted.

Her mother, who was nearby, thought that the poor potter was responsible for making her faint. So she asked her servants to chase away the potter while she attended to her.

When Galem regained her consciousness, she asked for the potter. When she was told that he was chased away she became furious with her mother and the servants. She then followed him to next village where he was selling pots again to the people there.

When she finally caught up with him, she reminded him of their past lives. That union brought them so much joy that they decided to live together again. Having worn-out bad karma through many lives, they were finally free and happy.

Isn’t it a nice story?


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