I know Mongarpas are well aware about Larijab, one of the most sacred sites in the district beside Aja Ney. Since young, I longed to visit the site because of its sanctity and uniqueness. During my vacation I use to accompany my parents as a cowherder in jungle of Thangrong. We call it as “Lari Brangsa” which means a cowshed on the mountain. Zimrong mountain or “Zimrong Phu” in our local dialect is one of the iconic mountains adjacent to the sacred site. As a cowherder, I use to glace every time to the site and pray I would visit a day to explore its sanctity and receive blessing. My father used to narrate stories about Gorillas and Chimpanzees making the place look more of jungle and wild. But I was still happy with the sight of serene hermitages and Lhakhang. Elders who came from the place use to bring bamboos popularly known as “Brung” and “Shi” in our local dialects. Men use it for making arrow and women for weaving. The stories of the place were astonishing with spectacular environment so lush and green beautified by the most iconic lake or “Tsho”. Luckily, in 2015 I had an opportunity to visit hermits of Gyeltsen Trulku Rinpoche where one was my brother in-law who was in three years retreat. The journey was tiresome but it was my dream coming true which no longer remained as wish. After venturing to its inner beauty, I had an unprecedented satisfaction which I feel is worthy to share for those who believes in Buddhism and are longing to visit.
- Lake “Tsho”: The Opening Gate
Buddhist offer Tshochang for good beginning or “Tendrel”. I feel the lake is the welcome gate of the site offering Tshokchang to all visitors. It is located in the well-furnished environment surrounded by healthy forest. The place is so serene and tranquil and you feel you are entering inside the gem of knowledge with fresh and open mind. I heard many a time people talking about its sacredness, we aren’t allowed to shout or make noise and dirty the lake. I was told that a village man threw stick which stuck in the middle of the lake and was trouble with illness in the family. It appears in the findings of astrologer where he has to immediately remove it or the story would be otherwise. The man did as astrologer said and was recovered from the illness. Therefore, the lake to me is one important asset of the site which you must not forget to visit while on the adventure. Of-course, you will be taken to visit but if it gets in adverted from your inner thinking, I am reminding you to visit since it is one only lake in Monger if I am not mistaken with such sacredness and value.
2. Dhakini built Lhakhang: Seat of Tse Pamey
One unique architect that you will notice is the seat of Tse Pamey. The magnificent Lhakhang built on the rock (Rhino horn shape) with small stones as the base by Dhakini or god. Usually we prefer large rocks as the foundation of building but here the fact is otherwise. The Lhakhang was built by the heart son of the 9th Jekhenpo Gyelwa Shacha Rinchen who is a highly accomplished yogi Lama Kinzang Chophel. The lama after finding its residence prophesized by his root teacher-built Lhakhang on the very place. Towards his astonishment, he heard some noises in that mountain and was fond that the base of his Lhakhang was set up by the Dhakini. He then put a plank over the wall to see whether it is the real prophesized area and to protect from the rain. The next day he saw the wall has been continued by Dhakini or Khandrom over the plank. The plank is still seen today.
The temple is the seat of the most holy statue “Tse Pamey” which bless those devotes for their continuous good health and prosperous life. The statue showers drop of holy water when you hold in your palms. It may sound skeptical and people may try to prove it scientifically but I must say no science is above religion, Buddhist have most lamas, truelkus and hermits reincarnated again and again but no single scientist even the great Albert Einstein has the rebirth. To get that holy water over your palms you must purify with inner cleanliness and take those hardships to visit the place. I bet; you will be the happiest person if you visit the place. Firstly, it is seat of heart son of 9th Jekhenpo who travel 15 days crossing peaks and mountains, streams and rivers taking all the hardships as per the prophecy of his root teacher. Secondly, you will notice the most wonders on earth, a temple built by Dhakinis with small stones as foundation on a big cliff. Thirdly, it is such as happiness to receive blessing form the most holy relic Tse Pa Mey. Fourth, the place is environmentally aesthetic with serene beauty all over. You will realize it’s the heaven on earth.
3. The Rock Revealing Six Mantras of Chenrey Zig : OM Ma Ney Pad Mey Hum
Bhutan being the Buddhist kingdom has good spiritual connection with the environment. Not all rocks and forest in Bhutan is exploited. Gross National Happiness, the country’s developmental paradigm gives environmental conservation epitome position. Like buddha face rock of Wangdue Phodrang, Natural imprinted Guru at Heybesa, Larijab in Mongar has the most wonders of earth. Being a spiritual kingdom, the god of compassion and those spiritual leaders has never left us unblessed in this modern world where everything becomes old (Nyigma Ngai Due). It was in the year 2004, a group of hermits revealed the six natural imprinted mantras of god of compassion. In other words, I may put as those hermits unlocked the hidden treasures to public during their times of meditation. I must consider as “Drupta” if am not mistaken.
The place is considered as “Reo-Potala” or the heaven. It was in the times of Drupoen Wangda form Kangpar who first founded the imprinted mantras. The image those times were so blur which could be visible only form a certain distance. But today it has become much clearer where one can notice easily. Out of skeptics, people question and washed with “drezang” and water to see if it is painted but it could not be erased showing its natural. Tashi Chophel, my Facebook friend who contributed many pictures said he has even washed with thinner to see if it dissolves or get it washed away. He said it is so natural that there is no question of being skeptical. Therefore, I must urge those visitors not to forget to have glance over its wonder and pray for the sentient being. Visit the place as it is the Reopotala Zingkham as said by his holiness Gyeltshen Trulku Rinpoche to his disciple.
4. Holy Drupchu: The Protector deity Sonam Jamtsho
Holy water, or Drupchus are important water for the Buddhist community. The water is either extracted by the great masters of highly accomplished yogi. Holy water at Larijab is extracted by the great Sachag Lama or the founder of Larijab holy place. He extracted near to his temple but was not allowed by the demon named as Sonam Jamtsho. Later, he extracted again from the right side of his Lhakhang but was also disturbed by the demon every time his disciple went to fetch water. The demon in the form of fish made the water impure which made Lama to catch the fish. The deity then appeared to him and pledge he won’t harm any people if he is free. To confirm, he rolled a pot over that cliff and returned unaffected without any shortcomings. Over the centuries, there isn’t any casualties happened in the sacred site though it is located on the cliff. Environmentally, you feel young when you reach there because the air and water is so pristine and fresh. You need not necessary plan a trek to climb highest mountains like Jomaolhari, rather visit that place and get a chance to walk over that cliff.