Introduction about Bayul Demojong and advent of Buddhism in this land.

Bayul Demojong, which is presently known as Sikkim, is most Sacred Land in the Himalayas as per the belief of the Northern Buddhists. The spiritual description of this land has been made in various religious texts such as ‘Dejong Ney-yig’* the volume of Text, which contains many secret notes about the places of worship, lakes, streams as well as the instructions to follow while making entry into this land. As per this text, it is mentioned that Lord Avalokiteshvara, God Indra and Five Sublime Incarnates (hPhags-pa sPrul-pa Mi-Nga) showered their blessings to this Hidden Land in time immemorial in the past. Particularly, in 8th century A.D, Guru Padmasambhava paid a visit to this land during his quest for hidden land around Tibet and included it in the list of “Four Great Hidden Lands” which are significantly located in four cardinal direction of Tibet. He consecrated this land by means of concealing sacred objects in its caves, rocks and in the sacred lakes. At the same time, he subdued all the dreadful spirits of this land and appointed them as Guardian of the hidden treasures.

In the later era, between 14th to 16th century A.D, many Terton Lamas known as Rigdzin Goedki Demthruchen, Mon Kathok Sonam Gyaltshen and Rigdzin Legden Je( Goedem II) who came from Tibet and blessed this land. The latter even built a Dubde** or Hermitage on the hilltop of present Pawo Hungri hill in west Sikkim and presently one can see its ruins. Legden Je was said to have been arrived in Dejong in earth-dragon year of 10th Rabjung cycle year, which corresponds, to 1568 A.D. However, these Lamas did not spend much times in Dejong and returned to Tibet while “Mon Kathog Sonam Gyaltshen” went towards Bhutan and said to have been settled there permanently. Sikkim’s modern history began from the middle of the 17th century. It is said that about 1641-1642, three holy Lamas viz. Lhatsun Namkha Jigme, Ngadag Sempa Chenpo and Kathok Kuntu Zangpo came from Tibet to this sacred land to fulfil the prophecy made by Lord Guru Padmasambhava in 8th century A.D. They opened the door of this Hidden Land by means of entering from three directions of this hidden land i.e. North, South and West and met at the place called Norbugang or present day Yuksam***. The three Lamas however, after having been referred Guru’s prophecy text, consulted among themselves to materialize it, which was said- “Four Noble Brothers would meet in this holy land and thereby establish a Kingdom where Buddha Dharma would flourish in this Hidden Land at the time of degenerate age”. They said, “We are three that came from South, West and North. Now still one person named ‘Phuntshog’ would be coming from the place called ‘Gang’, East to make the four Yogi Brothers” Accordingly, they sent a search party towards the East Demojong to find out the destined person called ‘Phuntshog’ and afterwards traced him out at present Gangtok. The search team conveyed him the massage sent by the holy Lamas, following which he agreed to proceed to his new destination along with the attendants and followers. After Phuntshog’s arrival at Yuksam the three Lamas welcomed him and accordingly consecrated him as a patron King or Chhogyal of Demojong in water-horse year, which corresponds to 1642 A.D. Initially, Phuntshog Namgyal subdued all the smaller Chiefs in adjoining areas, divided his Kingdom into 12 Dzongs (District) and formed a system of Monarchy Government by appointing 12 Ministers and 12 District Commissioners. Thereafter, under the patronage of Chhogyal, the three Lamas started founding Buddhist Teaching Centers in nearby hills. Later, their lineage Holders carried further the heritages to other parts of Demojong.

*‘hBras-lJongs-gNas-Yig’ a Text having detail description about geographical position and significances of various holy places of this hidden land.

** In the text “Dejong Gyalrab” It is mentioned “ Nga-ris Rig-hDzin Chenpos kyang Byang-sgo gser-gling du sgrub-sde bcugs”(Ngari Rigdzin also built a Hermitage at Serling on the north point.) The ‘Serling’ as per Khenpo L. Tsering’s write up is present Pawo Hungri hill in western Sikkim.

*** Yuksam where “Yuk” meansYukmon or ‘Superior one’ and “Sam” means ‘Three’ in Lepcha language. Some people write Yoksum or some writes Yuksom which are both incorrect.

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