Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Trip to Ombha Nye


On 12th October 2014, Sunday was the first study trip for the second year media students to Ombha Nye, Tashiyangtse.   The students were lead by media professor Mr. Dorji Wangchuk as most students didn’t visit there before. Having begun our day at six, the journey started with good objective, prayers and hope whereby it also turned out to be a productive trip at the end of the day. We wonder foolishly if this is going to be so easy but everybody was so excited and soon we were singing cheerfully from a mad jukebox selection of open-ended tunes from current western pop, Bollywood hits and popular rigsar song.

The long journey seemed so exhausting and tiresome. Our feet thump bravely through rocky deciduous forest mostly covered with different species of trees. Several times I toss and turn, trapped in the kind of nightmares that make us hot while the distant river or some primal drum beats a constant rhythm to a fitful dream. Some of the students said that they won’t go there anymore but after all people were happy about everything which is so ordinary throughout the day trip: the aroma of fresh ground maize and traditional offerings of local spirits.

It says the letter “Om” is located in Ombha Ney, which means the sacred place of hidden “Om” in Tashiyangtse. It is a legendary place since 8th century where Guru Rinpoche visited Bhutan to subdue the demons and spread Buddha Dharma. It is one of the many places in Bhutan which is blessed and considered a sacred site because Bhutanese believes that there is not even a horse’s hoof size land area in Bhutan where Guru Rinpoche did not visit to bless. Ombha Ney is one of the many unexplored nyes in Bhutan due to inaccessibility.

It is said that Guru Rinpoche has kept his prophecy for the wellbeing of the future sentient beings during different materialistic times by blessing three most sacred religious sites based on the three letters of his Dharma. They are ‘Om’, ‘Aa’ and ‘hung’.
The letter ‘Om’ which means wisdom body is located in Teodtso gewog under Tashi Yangtse dzongkhag, ‘Aa’ (wisdom speech) is located in Aaja in Sherimuhung in Mongar dzongkhag and ‘Hung’(wisdom mind) can be seen at Hungdrel in Paro dzongkhag. According to a legendary, those three places are so connected spiritually and are equally sacred and blessed at the same time by Guru Rinpoche though we can only view them at very different places far from each other.

 The trip was perhaps 36 kilometers from Tashigang till a place called Tsangpochen in Tashi Yangtse. From Duksum( place where three trails meet) ,Tsangpochen is a 45 minute drive and from there  no motor able road and then we had to walk for about 2-3 hours towards places named Sep and Jangphu village through a narrow and gentle sloped route without much climbing. After passing by some villages there, we were at Ombha village and the nye place was just a fifteen minutes climb up the hill. Once at ombha nye, a lhakhang and statue of Guru Rinpoche greet the eyes. The traditional architectural structural where hovering on a solid rocky cliff. All the students were totally exhausted but became energetic again after a delicate lunch at a homely place there.

The Nye is huddled on a bottom of rocky mountain beneath Jangphutse. Upon asking the koenyer(caretaker) he said the Om refers to the wisdom body of Guru Rinpoche and that Ombha Nye was first revealed as a sacred Nye by some descendants of Guru Choewang. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche came to Ombha Nye following his vision which he professed in Monyuel Shao Taktshang in Arunachel Pradesh. Guru Rinpoche as prophesied trailed to Ombha Nye to subdue a snake demon that tormented people in Toedtsho. Later the treasurer of Terton Pema Lingpa has also blessed the place and then his granddaughter named Ani Choeten Zangmo also spent sometimes there in meditation. So he said that it is a must for us to visit such place once in our life time.

The place is made up of massive rock and the letter ‘Om’ can be actually viewed imprinted on the rock surface. Besides the holy inscriptions on the mountain, there were other sacred sites like Chortens on the rocks, hat, cave Guru Rinpoche meditated and walking stick, hand and foot prints of Guru himself. It is believed that one can rinse away all the sins committed if we go through the narrow tracks inside the rocks there. According to legendary Guru Rinpoche blessed the place when he was in pursuit of Yong alias Geygnen Choephel guardian deity of Gomphu Kora. So today, it is believed that the local deity is residing there to protect every people and animal of that place. We came to know other sacred places nearby such as a place called ‘Gongza’ located at about few distance walk down from there. The name was actually known as ‘Gong Ja’ where by Guru spent duration of having tea.
As the valley got into chilly gloominess, we started our way back through the same track along with the evening breeze of Yangtse valley. The long tiring day made everybody in bad condition when we reached to the hostels lately but every step, every bead of sweat and every single discomfort we endured purified our minds and rewarded manifold. Therefore, it was indeed an enlightening, learning and adventurous trip.


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