Drupchu by the Second Je Khenpo, Sonam Wozer

Category: Drupchu (Holy Water) Address Thimphu

The Drupchu by the Second Je Khenpo, Sonam Wozer is located between the Taba and Dechencholing, Thimphu. When you cross the Taba towards Dechencholing, before reaching the bridge and opposite to Dechencholing Palace, towards the right side of the road and in the base of the mountain, the Drupchu is located. The Drupchu is fetch by the people residing nearby where Drupchu is believed to be healing many diseases.

Brief Biography Second Je Khenpo, Sonam Wozer

Sonam Wozer (bsod nams 'od zer), the Second Je Khenpo of Bhutan, was born in Selung (bse lung) in the Karbe (dkar spe) area of Punakha (spu na kha), in 1613. His father was Guru Drakpo (gu ru grags po, d.u.), a descendent of Phajo Drugom Zhigpo (pha jo 'brug sgom zhing po, 12th c.) and Chonyi Gyelmo (chos gnyis rgyal mo, d.u.). He spent his childhood at home until the age of twelve.

In 1639, at the age of thirteen he was placed in the retinue of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel (zhabs drung ngag dbang rnam rgyal, 1571/1594-1626/1651) and Khedrub Lhawang Lodro (mkhas grub lha dbang blo gros, d.u.) at Chakri monastery (lcags ri dgon) in Thimphu (thim phu). He took the lay (dge bsnyen) and novice (dge slong) vows from them and also received teachings on Mahāmudrā, the Six Yogas of Nāropā (nā ro chos drug), and the Six Equal Tastes (ro snyom skor drug), for the purpose of view, contemplation, and practice, respectively. It is said that the Zhabdrung once said to him, “Monk! You will become a great lama in the future.”

According to legend, one time in a place called Yusar (g.yus gsar) in the Ngon Lung (sngon lung) region of the Shar (shar) valley, Sonam Wozer participated in a game during which he left a footprint in a rock. He repeatedly denied responsibility for the miracle, despite everyone insisting that it was created by him.

In 1672, the first Je Khenpo Pekar Jungne (pad dkar 'byung gnas, 1604-1672), who was also a descendant of Phajo Drugom Zhikpo, passed away. The Third Druk Desi Mingyur Tenpa ('brug de srid 03 mi 'gyur brtan pa, r. 1667-1679), who was responsible for nominating a new Je Khenpo, nominated Sonam Wozer for the position, and thus that year he was elevated to the position, becoming the leading cleric in the country.

Several miracles are attributed to him during his tenure. It is said that once, when Sonam Wozer was in meditation in Tashichoedzong (bkra shis chos rdzong), people saw flames pouring out of the central temple. They ran towards the temple in the hope of extinguishing the inferno, but they soon discovered that the flames were only an illusion, which was attributed to the powerful practice of Sonam Odzer.

On another occasion monks on their way to Tashichoedzong the monks were prevented by rain from reaching the dzong. The Dzongpon (rdzong dpon) of the region went and reported to the Je Khenpo that he had assembled enough raincoats for the group. “That will not be necessary,” said the Je Khenpo, and at that instant the rain stopped. The monks arrived at the dzong without getting wet. However, as soon as the monks were inside the hall, the rain poured down again as if a vessel of water had been upturned.

Towards the end of his life Sonam Wozer was identified as the reincarnation of Milarepa (mi la ras pa, 1040-1123). According to legend, when he was in Wangduephodrang (dbang 'dus pho brang) to give teachings called Sepho (bse 'pho) to the gomchen (sgom chen), lay practitioners who were undertaking mountain retreats, a Nyingma mendicant named Peljor Tendzin (dpal 'byor bstan 'dzin, d.u.) went before him and said, “During my recent retreat two beautiful women appeared and informed me that the reincarnation of  Milarepa is going to give initiations on Sepho teachings in Wangduephodrang and that I should go and receive the teachings.”

In addition to Seula Jamgon Ngawang Gyeltsen (byams mgon ngag dbang rgyal mtshan, 1647-1732), his disciples include the Pekar Lhundrub ('brug rje mkhan po 03 pad dkar lhun grub, 1640-1699, r. 1689-1697), Zoba Trinle ('brug rje mkhan po 05 bzod pa 'phrin las, 1645-1729, r. 1707-1724), Ngawang Gyeltsen ('brug rje mkhan po 06 ngag dbang lhun grub, 1670-1730, r. 1724-1730, and Ngawang Trinle ('brug rje mkhan po 07 ngag dbang 'phrin las, 1668/1671-1746, r. 1730-1738), the Third, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Je Khenpo, respectively.

He is said to have founded the monastery of Khodang Dolung Gonpa (mkho dang rdo lung dgon pa) in Wangduephodrang district.

Sonam Wozer passed away in 1689, in the first lunar month. 

Source:  www.treasuryoflives.org

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