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Old 02-12-2014, 10:45 PM   #391
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The House of Wangchuck (Tibetan: དབང་ཕྱུག་རྒྱལ་བརྒྱུད་, Wylie: Dbang-phyug Rgyal-brgyud) has ruled Bhutan since it was reunified in 1907.. Prior to reunification, the Wangchuck family had governed the district of Trongsa as descendants of Dungkar Choji. They eventually overpowered other regional lords and earned the favour of the British Empire. After consolidating power, Penlop of Trongsa Sir Ugyen Wangchuck was elected hereditary King of Bhutan, or Druk Gyalpo ("Dragon King"), thus founding the royal house..There have been 5 Wangchuck kings of Bhutan..The ascendency of the House of Wangchuck is deeply rooted in the historical politics of Bhutan. Between 1616 and 1907, varying administrative, religious, and regional powers vied for control within Bhutan. During this period, factions were influenced and supported by Tibet and the British Empire.. Ultimately, the hereditary Penlop of Trongsa, Ugyen Wangchuck, was elected the first Druk Gyalpo by an assembly of his subjects in 1907, marking the ascendency of the House of Wangchuck..The penlops of Trongsa and Paro, and the dzongpons of Punakha, Thimphu, and Wangdue Phodrang were particularly notable figures in the competition for regional dominance...

Within this political landscape, the Wangchuck family originated in the Bumthang region of central Bhutan.. The family belongs to the Nyö clan, and is descended from Pema Lingpa, a Bhutanese Nyingmapa saint.. The Nyö clan emerged as a local aristocracy, supplanting many older aristocratic families of Tibetan origin that sided with Tibet during invasions of Bhutan.. In doing so, the clan came to occupy the hereditary position of Penlop of Trongsa, as well as significant national and local government positions...Although Bhutan generally enjoyed favorable relations with both Tibet and British India through the 19th century, extension of British power at Bhutan's borders as well as Tibetan incursions in British Sikkim defined politically opposed pro-Tibet and pro-Britain forces.. This period of intense rivalry between and within western and central Bhutan, coupled with external forces from Tibet and especially the British Empire, provided the conditions for the ascendancy of the Penlop of Trongsa..Penlop is a title roughly translating to "Provincial Governor" or the European title "Duke." The crown prince holds the title "Penlop of Trongsa," or "Trongsa Penlop," which is the title held by the House of Wangchuck before its ascendancy to the throne. Originally, there were Penlops for each of the nine provinces of Bhutan, but they were consolidated under the control of the Penlop of Trongsa Ugyen Wangchuck when he became the first Druk Gyalpo..The powerful aristocratic Dorji family are descended from the influential 12th century aristocratic Lama Sum-phrang Chos-rje (b.1179; d. 1265). The Dorji family are therefore also descended from the aristocratic Dungkar Choji (b. 1578) of the prominent Nyö clan. This means that the Dorji family are related by blood to the reigning Wangchuck monarchs who share the same ancestors.. In fact Gongzim Ugen Dorji (b.1855; d.1916) who served as the Chief Minister (Gongzim) to the first king Ugyen Wangchuck was also his second cousin, because they shared the same great-grandfather Padma, son of the aristocratic Rabgyas..As a young lad, Gongzim Ugen Dorji acted as a moderator between the British diplomatic officials and the Bhutanese court.. And in 1864 he accompanied his father to meet the British diplomatic mission under Sir Ashley Eden..

In the early 1960s, the Third King fell ill and went to Switzerland for treatment.. As the king was unavailable, Prime Minister Jigme Dorji sought to fill a leadership role, however this led to tensions with the military and monarchist factions.. Namely, Dorji conflicted with the Royal Bhutan Army over the use of military vehicles, forced the retirement of some 50 military officers, and sought to limit the power of state-supported religious institutions such as the Dratshang Lhentshog and Je Khenpo.. On April 5, 1964, reformist Prime Minister Jigme Dorji was assassinated in Phuentsholing by monarchist cadres as the king lay ill in Switzerland.. The Dorji family was subsequently put under close watch..The King's Tibetan mistress Yangki and her father, who had been implicated in the assassination, suspected that Jigme Dorji's son Lhendup would use the king's absence to exact revenge.. They attempted to flee into India, but were detained at Gelephu.. They eventually fled the country..The King's own uncle and head of the Royal Bhutan Army, Namgyal Bahadur, was among those executed for their role in the attempted coup..The Third King died in 1972, and the Raven Crown passed to the 16-year-old Jigme Singye Wangchuck.. The Fourth King was, like his father, educated in England and India, and had also attended Ugyen Wangchuck Academy in Paro..Rinpung Dzong a fortress-monastery overlooking the Paro valley has a long history. A monastery was first built on the site by Padma Sambhava at the beginning of the 10th century, but it wasn't until 1644 that Ngawang Namgyal built a larger monastery on the old foundations, and for centuries this imposing five storey building served as an effective defence against numerous invasion attempts by the Tibetans..A 16 km road passes up the valley to the ruins of other fortress-monastery Drukyel Dzong, partly destroyed by fire in 1951...

Padmasambhava ( "Lotus-Born"), also known as Guru Rinpoche, is a literary character of terma, an emanation of Amitabha ("The Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Light") that is said to appear to tertons in visionary encounters and a focus of Tibetan Buddhist practice..According to the Larger Sūtra of Immeasurable Life, Amitābha was, in very ancient times and possibly in another system of worlds, a monk named Dharmakāra..After the Amitabha doctrine, one can come to paradise (in the Pure Land of Amitābha), if they visualize at their death Amitābha in the heaven (sun) over their head (western horizon), think his name as a mantra and leave the body as a soul through the crown chakra..Amitābha is also known in Tibet, Mongolia, and other regions where Tibetan Buddhism is practiced.. In the Highest Yoga Tantra class of the Tibetan Vajrayana Amitābha is considered one of the 5 Dhyāni Buddhas..Terma (Tibetan: གཏེར་མ་, "hidden treasure")are key Tibetan Buddhist and Bon teachings, which the tradition holds were originally esoterically hidden by various adepts such as Padmasambhava and his dakinis (consorts) in the 8th century for future discovery at auspicious times by other adepts, known as tertöns..Many tertöns are considered incarnations of the 25 main disciples of Padmasambhava..

The "seal" of all tertöns is said to have been Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820-1892). In one of his visions, he could clearly see all the terma that were hidden throughout Tibet and other countries.. He was the only master in Tibetan history to have not only received, but also transmitted the "se7en transmissions" (bka' babs bdun), that are the canonical teachings, treasures taken from the earth, reconcealed treasures, mind treasures, recollections, pure visions, and aural transmissions received in visions... mind the lads.. We'll take on some new staff, we'll expand, because all that matters is our girls..That's very clever to have a little sewing kit in your bag...

Last edited by lightgiver; 02-12-2014 at 10:48 PM.
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