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Emblem of Bhutan.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Bhutan

The Je Khenpo (Tibetan: རྗེ་མཁན་པོ་Wylie: Rje Mkhan-po; "The Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body of Bhutan"[1]), formerly called the Dharma Raj by orientalists, is the title given to the senior religious hierarch of Bhutan. His primary duty is to lead the Dratshang Lhentshog (Commission for the Monastic Affairs) of Bhutan, which oversees the Central Monastic Body, and to arbitrate on matters of doctrine, assisted by lopons (learned masters).[2] The Je Khenpo is also responsible for many important liturgical and religious duties across the country. The sitting Je Khenpo is also formally the leader of the southern branch of the Drukpa Kagyu sect, which is part of the Kagyu tradition of Himalayan Buddhism. Aside from the King of Bhutan, only the Je Khenpo may don a saffron kabney.[3]

History[edit]

According to the dual system of government established by the Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in the 17th century, the powers of the government of Bhutan are ideally split between the religious branch, headed by the Je Khenpo, and the administrative branch, headed by the Druk Desi.[4] The position of Je Khenpo is granted on merit by election, and typically is given to the most respected monk in the Dratshang Lhentshog (Commission for the Monastic Affairs). Thus, unlike reincarnation lineages such as the Dalai Lama, Shabdrung, or Panchen Lama, the position of Je Khenpo is never held by a child but always by a seasoned monk.

Historically, the role of the Je Khenpo was quite powerful. The Je Khenpo and Druk Desi collaborated to disempower the office of the Shabdrung through finding multiple incarnations of various aspects of the Shabdrung; both the Je Khenpo and the Druk Desi wanted to retain the power they had accrued through the dual system of government.[5] However, since the establishment of the monarchy in 1907, the relative influence of the Je Khenpo has diminished. Nonetheless, the position remains a powerful one and the Je Khenpo is typically viewed as the closest and most powerful advisor to the King of Bhutan.

The 67th Je Khenpo, Ngawang Thinley Lhundup, died at the age of 84 on 10 June 2005. He was noted as a strict disciplinarian who would not compromise any rules in managing the Central Monsatic Body. In addition to his position as Je Khenpo, he was recognized as the trulku of Nyizergang, the seat of the terton Woogpa Lingpa, in Wangdue Phodrang province.

The 70th and present Je Khenpo is Trulku Jigme Chhoeda. He is believed to be the reincarnation of Maitreya, as well as the mahasiddha Saraha, Hungchen Kara, Kheuchung Lotsawa, and Pema Tsering.

In 2008, the office of the Je Khenpo was codified as part of Bhutan's Constitution. Under Article 3 Section 4, the King appoints the Je Khenpo as the spiritual leader of Bhutan on the recommendation of the Five Lopons. In turn, the Je Khenpo appoints, on the recommendation of the Dratshang Lhentshog (Commission for the Monastic Affairs), monks with the nine qualities of a spiritual master and accomplished in ked-dzog (stages of development and completion in Vajrayana practice) as the Five Lopons.[1]

List of Je Khenpos[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan (English)" (PDF). Government of Bhutan. 18 July 2008. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  2. ^ Worden, Robert L.; Savada, Andrea Matles (ed.) (1991). "Chapter 6 - Bhutan: Religious Tradition". Nepal and Bhutan: Country Studies (3rd ed.). Federal Research Division, United States Library of Congress. ISBN 0-8444-0777-1. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
  3. ^ Worden, Robert L.; Savada, Andrea Matles (ed.) (1991). "Chapter 6 - Bhutan: Social System". Nepal and Bhutan: Country Studies (3rd ed.). Federal Research Division, United States Library of Congress. ISBN 0-8444-0777-1. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
  4. ^ Worden, Robert L.; Savada, Andrea Matles (ed.) (1991). "Chapter 6 - Bhutan: Theocratic Government, 1616-1907". Nepal and Bhutan: Country Studies (3rd ed.). Federal Research Division, United States Library of Congress. ISBN 0-8444-0777-1. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
  5. ^ Worden, Robert L.; Savada, Andrea Matles (ed.) (1991). "Chapter 6 - Bhutan: Administrative Integration and Conflict with Tibet, 1651–1728". Nepal and Bhutan: Country Studies (3rd ed.). Federal Research Division, United States Library of Congress. ISBN 0-8444-0777-1. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 

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807 videos foundNext > 

Groundbreaking

HIs Holiness the Je Khenpo of Bhutan officiates at the groundbreaking ceremony of Sangye Migyur Ling, Milarepa Tower and monastery in South Bhutan.

Punakha crowds await the Je Khenpo on Nov 17th

Blogged: http://andreakw.blogspot.com/2010/01/bhutan-arrival-of-abbot.html.

Punakha Dzong

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Blessing

His Holiness the Je Khenpo of Bhutan officiates at the groundbeaking ceremony of Sangye Migyur Ling, a Milarepa Tower and monastery in South Bhutan.

H.H. Zigar Choktrul Rinpoche..

H.H. the 9th Zigar Choktrul Rinpoche, Karma Tenpa Gyurme Gocha Trinley Kunchap Palzangpo was born in Bhutan in 1961 with many wonderful signs. Rinpoche was b...

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Pri príležitosti Tibetského Nového Roku Losar 2139 sa v bratislavskom klube Dunaj uskutočnilo veľmi milé podujatie. Pozvanie prijali aj dvaja tibetský lámovi...

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Bhutan natural beauty beautiful zoo animals flowers gardens hills airport hotels nature dragon

Bhutan,Thimphu,india,nepal,sikkim,meghalay,tour,tourism,tourist,spot,tourist spot,ngultrum,Dzongkha,gorkha,monarchy,monastery,gangtok,dzong,Jigme Khesar Namg...

807 videos foundNext > 

2 news items

 
Kuensel, Buhutan's National Newspaper
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 03:30:00 -0700

A first of its kind, led by His Holiness the Je Khenpo Trulku Jigme Choeda, about 300 monks of Haa dratshang, goendeys and nuns will be performing Moenlam Chenmo at Lhakhang Karpo.The Moenlam Chenmo will be for two weeks starting on June 8 .
 
Kuensel, Buhutan's National Newspaper
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 03:30:00 -0700

Renovated Lhuntse dzong consecrated Heritage: The renovated Lhuntse dzong was consecrated by His Holiness the Je Khenpo Trulku Jigme... Politics amid cultural conservation and art Talk: A conversation on the use of cultural conservation and art as a ...
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