Tshepamey Wang


There are many different kinds of blessings in Bhutan, and the one which is very popular in Trongsa is called the Tshepamey Wang (Tshe dPag Med dBang). Tshepamey literally means ‘Long Life’ (Tshe means Life, dBang means Blessing, and dpag med means boundless). This generally means, ‘Blessing of Long Life’. However, Tshepamey (in Sanskrit Amitayus), is also the Buddha of long life.


In 1541, Lam Ngagi Wangchuk from the Drukpa Kagyupa religious school came to Trongsa from Ralung (Tibet) and built a small mediation room in the place called Yuling in 1543, and then following a light built his meditation place where Trongsa dzong now stands.

According to Lopen Jambay, while meditating Lam Ngagi Wangchuk got ill several times and became worried that illness might disturb his meditation. So, in order to recovery from illness, obstacles and to increase his life span Lam Ngagi Wangchuk meditated and practised the yoga of Buddha Tshepamey/Amitayus for one month. One day when Lam was meditating, Tshepamey/Amitayus suddenly appeared in front of him and said, “don’t worry one day you will be cured of your sickness.” He ordered him to engage in his practice sincerely. If he did this practice effectively, the Buddha Tshepamey/Amitayus assured to him that his illness would be naturally cured and that the practice would also increase his life span, thereby he would ultimately attain enlightenment. After practicing the Buddha of Long Life yoga for one month, Lam Ngagi Wangchuk was cured.

That year the people of Trongsa requested Lam Ngagi Wangchuck to give the same blessing (Tshe dPag Med dBang) to all the people in and around the region. He was 49 years old when he started the ‘blessing of long life’ (Tshe dPag Med dBang) for the people of Trongsa.

The Blessing

Before they give the blessing to the public, the monks headed by the Lam Neten performs the ritual and the basic mantras related to the blessing which starts from the 8th month of the Bhutanese calendar dated between 8th to 14th, which is exactly for a week long. The last day, on the 15th day of the same month, they offer the blessing to the public.

Social and Cultural Functions

The blessing has a huge importance for people of many districts of Bhutan, and is also a great social occasion. After the death of Lam Ngagi Wangchuk, the blessing (Tshe dPag Med dBang) continued as a yearly blessing on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. At present the main relic during the blessing is the ‘Walking Stick’ (Par Khar Tshig gSum) of Lam Ngagi Wangchuk. People across the country come for the blessing. Although the same blessing is also performed in Lhuntse and Jakar (Bumthang), the blessing in Trongsa is considered more valuable than the blessing given in the two other districts, because the Trongsa blessing was introduced by Lam Ngagi Wangchuk himself.

Informants: Lam Neten Wangchuk, Trongsa Dzong; Jampel, Library In-charge, Tshangkha village, 2013

Sangay Phuntsho
Asst. Lecturer, Institute of Language and Culture Studies, RUB

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