09 April, 2016

Book Review - One Hundred Years of Development

Title: One Hundred Years of Development
Author: Damchu Lhendup
Translation: Needrup Zangpo
Pages: 226
Publisher: KMT Publishing House, 2008.
MRP Nu. 350
This book talks about the achievements of the successive monarchs who brought to Bhutan and the Bhutanese unprecedented peace and happiness. It answers the question of what it was like to live in the long-ago Bhutan. It takes the reader to a different age and time.
The book opens with Bhutan’s pre-monarchy era. Bhutan was, of course, vastly different from what now it is. There were unending internal conflicts, as well as external threats, including outbreak of epidemics, famine and other calamities small and big. That we enjoy unprecedented peace and tranquility is not by chance. It took extraordinary courage, strength and efforts of our kings.
Kings, particularly the Bhutanese kings, are born according to the prophecies of the divine and the collective merits of the Bhutanese people. They all have reigned wisely through love and compassion to achieve peace and prosperity of the nation and its people. Our kings, therefore, are the true Bodhisattvas.
One Hundred Years of Development is the story of the blessed country’s extraordinary monarchs and their godly deeds that shaped the nation that is Drukyul, our home.
This book will serve as an excellent reference for those who wish to enquire into the process of nation building. It is an important source of information for researchers, academics and young people alike, for making of Bhutan that it is today took love and labour immense of kings selfless and visionary.
The book paints the true picture of Bhutan that was and is. In many ways, it proffers great lessons – cultural, social and historical…The author has put together information from written sources and the experience of individuals who served the kings.  Research employed by the author is commendable. It shows. From the closing lines from blurb: “The book manages to capture Bhutan’s transformation in the 20th century in a fresh narrative punctuated with intimate anecdotes of former courtiers.” Indeed!
Needrup Zangpo, former editor of Bhutan Observer who now heads a consulting firm, Druk Lot─ôr, deserves special commendation for excellent translation of the book.
This book that celebrates the development that it has seen since 1907, was published to celebrate one hundred years of monarchy and to commemorate the coronation of The Fifth Druk Gyalpo.
Title: One Hundred Years of Development   Author: Damchu Lhendup Translation: Needrup Zangpo Pages: 226 Publisher: KMT Publishing House, 2008. MRP Nu. 350   Nonfiction/History

Soe-nam Khorlo – the wheel of meritorious elephant

The above picture is known as Soe-nam Khorlo – the wheel of meritorious elephant. It is believed to generate power and wellbeing. It is also known as ‘yangdrup yidzhen drupai soe-nam khorlo’ meaning wealth accomplishment and wish fulfillment wheel of fortune.

According to a legend, when King Trisong Detsen of Tibet was not able to rule his kingdom in accordance with dharma, he requested Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) to grant a blessing that would pacify obstacles causing hindrance to his endeavor.  Guru Rinpoche then blessed King Trisong Detsen with oral transmission on Soe-nam Khorlo – the wheel of meritorious elephant. It was then hidden as Terma (a spiritual treasure).

Later, this terma was discovered and further propagated by terton (terma revealer) namely Ajo Palpo, Dre Sherab Bar and Nyalpa Nyima Sangge. Through the power of wheel of the meritorious elephant, one can accomplish all wishes and multiplies the power of influence, fame, wealth and other positive things in life. It enables one to conquer both self and the others.

However, according to some masters, the wheel of meritorious elephant is not meant to be kept in Choesham (alter), meaning it is not something that we take refuge in but to keep it in our places of business/work to generate positive influences.

In any case, elephant is a symbol of good luck. Elephant figurines if, kept on shelves are believed to shower wealth, fortune and longevity. In Hinduism, elephant is revered as Ganesha - the god of luck and is revered as an essential jewel that preserves human life.

Yangdrup yidzhen drupai soe-nam khorlo when kept as talisman is extremely profound and some people have experienced the significant benefits.

Source: The Palace of Good Fortune and good Luck Vases.    ISBN 978-99936-827-1-4.

04 April, 2016


Engineer by profession, Jambay Dorji writes on ancient wisdom in modern context for present and future generations. He is the author of Astrologically Auspicious Aspects in Building Construction and The Palace of Good Fortune and Good Luck Vases (KCL Publication, 2014).

His writing has appeared in several publications. Currently,  Jambay Dorji works for Bhutan Power Corporation Limited, Thimphu.

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