The Pang Lhabsol festival was celebrated with grand fervor at Thangu Monastery by Lachen Dzumsa, Lachung Thomchi ground by Lachung Dzumsa, Ringhim Monastery and Pakshep in Mangan. Prayers in reverence of Mount Khangchendzonga and other deities were performed at all the above the places.
The Sikkimese believe that deities, spirits and supernatural beings inhabit almost every mountain, hill, mountain pass, prominent rock, valley, cave, cliff, river, lake, stream and many other physical features of the land of Denjong/Sikkim. Among them, the mountain deity referred to as ‘Dzonga’, is considered to be their chief. Dzonga is believed to inhabit the peak of Mount Khangchendzonga and is held in great reverence by the Sikkimese. Worship of this deity is an important part of the prayers and rituals of Sikkimese Buddhists.
As per Sikkimese Buddhist tradition, when Guru Rinpoche/Padmasambhava first visited Denjong/Sikkim, he found it dominated by negative forces under the destructive influence of Dzonga. After concealing various ‘ters’ (dharma/spiritual treasures) which were to be discovered in later time by his own preordained incarnates, the Guru, using his spiritual powers, convinced and converted these negative forces into deities led by Dzonga as the chief deity. He then bound them through solemn oath into being protectors and guardians of Buddhist dharma and of all sentient beings.
Guru Rinpoche also instructed ‘Yeshey Gonpo’ (Mahakala) to ensure that Dzonga kept his pledge. The deities, led by Dzonga, are ceremoniously invoked and propitiated on several religious occasions- the most notable being Pang Lhabsol. This important occasion is observed in many monasteries across Sikkim.
However, its observance at the Tsuklakhang Royal Chapel in Gangtok, has traditionally been of great significance.Guru Rinpoche is further believed to have blessed the entire land of Denjong, which he equated with his own abode- ‘Zangdopalri’. Before departing, he is said to have prophesied that he would return in the form of ‘Naljor Cheshi’ or the four great yogic brothers for the benefit of dharma, of the land, and also of all sentient beings.
At Thangu Monastery, prayers were performed invoking the guardian deities of Sikkim. A traditional Cham was also performed by the monks and the warrior dance was performed by the people of Lachen Dzumsa. Lachen Secondary School put up a traditional dance performance while the local public depicted their daily activities through their dance. The District Collector North, SDM Chungthang, and other local public graced the occasion.
The Member of Parliament graced the ceremonies at Thomchi ground in Lachung. Here the Dzumsa organized various traditional games and colorful cultural programme was performed by the people of Lachung Dzumsa. A paragliding test flight was also displayed on the occasion.
At Pakshep the monks performed three day long prayers in honor of Khangchendzonga. The Righim Monastery also performed prayers and cham on the occasion which was graced by the local gentries of Mangan.
Source: Northeast Today