The Purjang of late Yab Dasho Ugyen Dorji, was held on the 3rd of October, corresponding to the 5th day of the Eighth Bhutanese month, at Wolakha, in Punakha.
The Purjang was attended by His Majesty The King, His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, and the entire Royal Family.
Representatives of the government led by the Prime Minister, members of Parliament, the armed forces, dignitaries from the international community, as well as thousands of people whose lives have been touched by late Yab were present to offer their respects. The prayers for the last rites was presided over by His Holiness the Je Khenpo, and conducted by the Zhung Dratshang.
Yab Dasho Ugyen Dorji passed away peacefully on the 12th of May this year. Thousands of Bhutanese offered their respects while the Kudung lay in repose at Wolakha.
Yab Dasho Ugyen Dorji is the maternal grandfather of His Majesty The King and the father of Their Majesties the Queen Mothers.
Known as a pioneering entrepreneur and a great religious patron, Yab sponsored the construction and renovation of many important religious structures across Bhutan throughout his lifetime.
Late Yab was conferred the Red Scarf by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo in 1991.
The Purjang witnessed massive crowds which could not fit into the four major tents and the provision of extra chairs had to be made.
There was a solemn air as the realization sunk in for many that the Purjang also marked the end of a legacy of an important figure in Bhutanese history. Yab Dasho was not only an important figure but he was also a man who represented an earlier bygone era.
He best symbolized the fortitude and persistence of that era through his own well known story of his struggles and how he overcame great odds and tumultuous times to become a self-made man.
As the Purjang ceremony carried on many of those who came from high officials to local farmers talked about the legacy of Yab. Some talked about how hardworking he was, others talked about the loving family man that he was, while many others talked about his many contributions not only in the field of religious structures but also in terms of someone who has played an important national role in contributing four Queens to Bhutan.
Yab Dasho was well known as a successful and pioneering businessman but what the Purjang showed was that he was far richer in the love that he gave and got back in return from his family members.
While the people had come for Yab’s Purjang ceremony in recognition of his many contributions and his important historical role, they had also come to share a difficult personal moment for Bhutan’s Royal Family given the deep emotional connect between the Monarchy and the people of Bhutan.