The Zhabdrung Kuchoe this year will be special for two main reasons. The first is that it marks the 400th year of Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel’s arrival in Bhutan, and the other special reason is the naming ceremony of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey.
The Bhutan of today, from its sovereign political status to cultural and religious identify owes a lot to Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel.
Zhabdrung was not only a very learned and accomplished spiritual master, but he was also a gifted statesman who built a nation out of warring factions, and a supremely gifted strategist who kept Bhutan safe from external threats to its sovereignty.
Zhabdrung was not happy with just keeping the nation safe and bringing warring factions together. He understood that a nation needs much more and in this were his great accomplishments in religion, the arts, culture, tradition, script and language.
After his demise instability gradually set into the Bhutanese state as various factions came out in either open conflict or maintained their own fiefdoms. As a result, the original project of nationhood that Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel started on, suffered for over close to three mainly unstable centuries.
It was the establishment of the Wangchuck Dynasty in 1907 that saw Zhabdrung’s project of nation building getting a new lease of life. It is, therefore, no coincidence that historical Bhutan has seen its best period in the last hundred years.
The Wangchuck dynasty era in its state craft, foreign affairs, economy, culture, environment preservation, religion and compassion, is most similar to the era of Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel.
It is also significant that His Majesty The King has taken personal pains and effort to preserve and legacy and holy relics of Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel.
So in 2016 it is only apt that as we celebrate the birth of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey, the naming ceremony should be on Zhabdrung Kuchoe on the 400th year of Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel’s arrival in Bhutan.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams