Bhumchu

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Bhumchu (Bhum is a pot, Chum is water) is a Buddhist festival, which on the Tibetan lunar calendar is held on the 14th and 15th day of the first month. The Bhum or Sacred vase, according to Zigpo Lingpa, is made out of various kinds of sacred soil, water and five kinds of precious jewels found in sacred lands of India, Odiyana and Zahor. In Sikkim the Tashiding Monastery is recognized as a sacred place. It is believed that this place, Dakkar Tashiding in the center of four sacred caves, Sharchog Bephug in the east, Khandozangphu in the south, Dechenphug in the west and Lhari Nyingphug in the north, is meant to free you from the suffering of hell. At the start of the year the vase is opened and the Lama or monk determines the future. “If the water is to the brim, it foretells a year in which peace and prosperity will prevail. If the water is over the brim and is spilling, it signifies a year with natural disaster and disturbances. If the water level is low or almost dry it signifies famine.” The celebration of “The Holy Water Vase” started under the rule of King Trisong Deutson in Tibet, Guru Padmasambhava.” It is believed that the water overflowed from the vase as a sign of a good omen and there was an earthquake. The four guardian deities of Dharma and the gods of thirty three heavens showered flowers from the sky.” This ritual is one of the holiest in Sikkim. From midnight until the next day thousands are seen waiting to receive the holy water. “A part of the holy water is distributed amongst the gathering of devotes and the pot is replenished with river water and sealed at the end of the festival to be opened only in the during next Bumchu festival.” It is said that by taking a drop of the Bumchu water enlightenment is achieved and all of the evil spirits and distress are removed. It is said one would somehow attain a form of Buddhahood or be born at a higher ranking in the next life.

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