Terton Lerab Lingpa (1856-1926) prophesied, “At one point of time, there will be a war of horses in Kurtoe valley and, to avert this, a statue of Guru Nangsi Zilnoen should be built.” Likewise, Lam Sonam Zangpo, a revered Yogi of Bhutan, emphasized that, to ensure continued prosperity in the world, and Bhutan in particular, a giant statue of Guru Rinpoche should be built in Takila, Lhuentse, in eastern Bhutan. With initiation and funded by Druk Odiyana and conceptually designed by the Ven. Khenpo Karpo Rinpoche the 154ft tall Guru Padmasambhava statue Guru Nangsa Zelnen, was constructed at Takila under Menbi Gewog at lhuentse. The construction was started in March 2008 and was consecrated in 2015.
The giant Guru Statue is surrounded by 8 big Stupas of 43 feet in height marking the four corners of the site and four cardinal directions. Each of the big Stupas’ interior prayer wheel contains billions of mantra of Vajrakilaya, Amitabha, Amitayus, Padmasambhava, Avalokitesvara, Vajrasattva, Dorje Drolod and Sid Dok (the mantra for the prevention of the negative forces) respectively.
Guru Padmasambhava Statue in Lhuntsi, Bhutan: the tallest in the world
In addition to the big 8 Stupas, there are small Stupas built in between forming a circumambience of 108 Stupas. With all these in place the entire complex would symbolically represent the Mandalla (the outer Cosmos) with the Guru in the centre.
The construction of the Stupas evokes the memory of the Buddha and the Dharma activities of Buddha Shakyamuni. It also represents the complete path to enlightenment which results in the enlightened mind of Buddha, the Dharmakaya. The Buddha’s eternal presence is contained in the Stupa.
It is also stated in Ratnakuta Sutra, “The merit generated in paying respect and homage to the stupa is same as worshipping the Buddha himself. The reason for that is because Buddha is the manifestation of the Dharmakaya but Rupakaya.” Therefore, the Stupa is depicted as the Dharmakaya of the Buddha. It represents the Buddha’s mind quality which brings peace, prosperity, good health and long life for all beings in all lifetimes.
The Vajra of Guru Rinpoche, the most precious relic sealed inside Guru Statue was originally discovered by the great Terton Ratna Lingpa (1403-1479) from Pema Koed (present day Arunachal Pradesh). Statues of Jowo Rig Nga, brought from Lhasa with a 108-eyed dzee, precious relics and treasures were some of the zung installed in the giant statue.