Thimphu: Coinciding with the auspicious occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche, the government of India gifted a statue of Lord Buddha to the people of Bhutan on Sunday.
To mark the day, the Embassy of India in Thimphu and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) hosted two events in collaboration with the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Privy Council of Bhutan.
The first event, held on Saturday on the eve of the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche, was a special function on a digital platform on the handing over of the statue.
The function commenced with solemn prayers and blessings by His Eminence Tshugla Lopen Karma Rangdrol and His Eminence Laytshog Lopen Sangay Dorji and monks of the Zhung Dratshang (central monastic body).
Indian Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, who is also the president of ICCR, and Dr Tandi Dorji, foreign minister of Bhutan, as well as Ruchira Kamboj, the Ambassador of India to Bhutan, and Dinesh Patnaik, director general of ICCR, addressed the handing over ceremony.
At the conclusion of the event, ICCR president Sahasrabuddhe ‘gifted’ the statue of Lord Buddha to foreign minister Dorji.
The second event was the consecration and enshrining ceremony of the statue of Lord Buddha that took place at the magnificent Grand Courtyard of the Tashichhodzong on Sunday to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche.
About 300 monks of the Tashichhodzong chanted prayers and presided over the rituals of the ceremony.
Ambassador Kamboj ceremonially handed over the statue of Lord Buddha to the Bhutanese foreign minister in the presence of members of the chairman and councillor of the Privy Council, senior officials from the ministry of foreign affairs of Bhutan and revered Lopens (heads of monastic body) of the Zhung Dratshang.
Lighting of butter lamps followed by the Zhingshey Pemai Kuncham (masked dance) marked the joint celebrations of the consecration and Guru Rinpoche’s birth anniversary.
According to the press release from the Embassy of India in Thimphu, the consecration of the statue of Lord Buddha at the Kuenrey of the Tashichhodzong was a true reflection of the deep cultural connect and strong people-to people links between India and Bhutan.
The statue is a subtle smiling 3.3-ft-tall bronze cast statue of Lord Buddha in a lotus pose, weighing approximately 200kg, designed by a renowned Indian sculptor Naresh Kumar Kumawat.
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