The Story Behind The Sacred Springs of Tsheringma

Right on the Wangdue-Trongsa highway before you hit the village of Tshangkha in Trongsa is this Tsheringma Drubchu (holy water of Tseringma).

The site was revealed to a tsipem (lead singer) from Tangsebji village singing group when she was preparing to journey to Kuenga Rabten, having been summoned, to sing for the Second King, Jigme Wangchuck. She was obviously terrified by the royal summon.

However, in the dream, the story goes, a lady dressed in white instructed her to visit the source of the spring called Ba-Khey-Thong-Sa, literally meaning “place where the cows drink water”. There she was told to wash her head with the water, and drink few sips before starting her journey to the palace. She did as she was instructed in the dream and set off on the one-day journey to Kunga Rabten with her troupe.

At the palace when they performed the Tongsebjibi Zhyem her melodious voice is believed to have pleased the King and the courtiers, and even made them tear up. As a reward for her melodious voice, she and her troupe were given lavish gifts. The tsipem herself was gifted with ricefields, which was big in those days.

In the months that followed the whole story became legendary, which caught the attention of lama Pedseling Trulku, who was visiting the village from Bumthang.

He listened to the story of the lady, visited the source of the spring, and after meditating for few minutes concluded that the lady in white from her dream was Tashi Tsheringma – a wish-fulfilling worldly deity.

Wordly-deities, unlike the Wisdom Protectors, also assist the people with mundane requests and desires, such as charm, success and wealth, to lead a peaceful and even prosperous life, so that ultimately when one’s basic needs are taken care people can practice dharma. Tashi Tsheringma is one such deity.

Coincidentally the villages of Trongsa, which was known as Mangde Tsho Zhi, produced some of the best contemporary folk singers, such as Aum Nimchu Pem of Bji village, which many attribute to this Tsheringma Drubchu.

During the tunneling works of Tangseji Hydropower Project, the source was destroyed, which rightfully irked the locals. It was later restored by the project authorities.

Sacred places, from my research, are sources of not only power and blessings but also are social spaces that bring people together. They are important unifying forces, which should not be underrrated or underplayed.

Ultimately these places and the stories, irrespective of whether they are true or not, whether there are any scientific evidences, construct our identity, and who we are as individuals.

holywater #sacredspring #tsheringma #trongsa #mangdeyzhey

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