- TPLS AssociationTo Preserve promote and Advertise about Tamu BON Religion, Ritual, Culture and Traditions., 1992
Tamu Pye Lhu Sangh (TPLS) was established to preserve/conserve and promote the Tamu(Gurung) heritage cultures, religious beliefs and practices. Also it will bring about awareness among the Gurung community of its importance. Since its inception, the Association has been providing that awareness about the Tamu cultures and traditions with remarkable results.
In the last few decades, many Tamu organisations have been established with each playing its roles and preserving the values of the Tamu. However Tamu Pye Lhu Sangh is the only organization which has put much emphasis and efforts towards the heritage culture for practicing our culture based on the Pyetañ Lhutañ.
The efforts made by Tamu Pye Lhu Sangh is producing impressively positive results and effectively working to preserve our heritage cultures and to unite the Gurungs to their true identity. As this Association represents the whole Gurungs; half a million Gurung (according to the latest population census), it is every single Gurung’s responsibility to understand and preserve the Pyetañ Lhutañ, particulary at this much needed stage which is endangered by various influences. It is that treasure which was from our ancestors. We are to preserve and promote based on the value inherited. Tamu Pye Lhu Sangh most welcome your comments and suggestions and greatly value your support.
What is Pyetañ Lhutañ (प्येताँ ल्हुताँ)?
In Religion categories: Pyetañ Lhutañ is the Bön Religion where the nature and anchesters are worshipped and animism is practised. The animism is the belief in a supernatural power that organises and animates the materials of universe. The existance of animism has been supported by the Anthropologists and more researches have been endorsed from all over the world. The Tamu(Gurung) are follower of the Bön Religion which is one of the oldest religions in the world using its own Priests; Pachyu, Klehpree and Bönpo Lam.
The Tamu (Gurung) has very rich cultures and traditions in practicing and following its own way of various ritual ceremonies from (birth to the death); language, costumes, festivals etc. The heritage religion of the Tamu is Bön Religion, also known as Pyetañ Lhutañ (प्येताँ ल्हुताँ) who uses its own priest; Pachyu, Klehpree and Bönpo Lama. With the effects of the urbanisation and the influence of the other religions, some Tamumai have stopped following the heritage cultures. Despite that, the Tamu Pye Lhu Sangh has been providing the importance of our heritage cultures and has been successful in substantially preserving and promoting the Pyetañ Lhutañ.
Pyetañ Lhutañ is the unshakeable identity of the tamu which is an orally preserved holy scripture of the ancient history, myth, traditions and cultures of the Gurung. To list some: Pahse meh theba(Naming Baby), Chah Krapoh(Chhewar), Pahiru Khiba (Ripa), Plah Wuiba, Nghyoblic, Dheñkho, Phailu Tehñ, Chhyopa Tehñ, Healing & Curing, Funeral Rituals etc are still widely used. The most significant among them all is the Pai Laba; to connect the deceased spirit to the holy ancestors land Heaven which lasts for 3 nights and 2 days. The language used in the Pyetañ Lhutañ is Chõ language which is slightly different than the present Tamu language. It is said that the present Tamu language is the variation of the Chõ language which has changed over the periods but the Chõ language maintained strictly its origin when taught to the Khegi(priest) students.
History of the Association
The Tamu PyeLhu Sangh (TPLS) was established in 3 Kartik 2047 (1990 AD) with the great efforts to promote and preserve the Pyetañ Lhutañ. Also it aims at preventing from the various damaging influences such as: urbanisation lifestyle, modernised meterilism, other religions influences, dafecting publicities for the heritage cultures and traditions. First to establish the Association was extremely difficult, due to the Bureucratic system of that time, freedom of religious belief was forbidden, further forming up an Ethnic Group/Religion organisation was extremely difficult. However, under the direction of Mr. Bhovar Palchaiñ, a committee was formed up as follows:
Bhovar Palchaiñ Tamu
Yarjung Kromchhaiñ Tamu
Balasingh Kromchhaiñ Tamu
Om Kromchhaiñ Tamu
Janga Kromchhaiñ Tamu
Bhuwansing Chahkli Tamu
Bibha Lai Tamusyo
Founder Committee Members
President - Janga Bahadur Lehge Tamu
Vice President - Balasing Krõmchhaiñ Tamu
Secretary - Yarjung Krõmchhaiñ Tamu
Vice Secretary - Kosh Bahadur Mhobchhaiñ Tamu
Treasurer - Gau Prasad Krõmchhaiñ Tamu
Member - Keshbir Krõmchhaiñ Tamu
Member - Mohan Bahadur Tamu
Member - Om Prasad Krõmchhaiñ Tamu
Member - Khadga Bahadur Krõmchhaiñ Tamu
Member - Ganja Bahadur Tu Tamu
Member - Kul Bahadur Tu Tamu
After the formation of the executive committee of the 11 Tamu mai, Mr Bhobar Palchaiñ then drafted a constitution to register at the District Office, Kaski, Pokhara.
After successfully registering the Association, more in depth field research was considered to carry out. Such kind of attempt was never tried before. The Research team was lead by Pahchyu Paiñdi Chiba Yarjung Krõmchhaiñ , Klehpree Chiba, Kumba Singh Mhobchhaiñ . On the field trip, Yarjung mentioned to Bhobar that his deceased father Pahchyu Paiñdi Chiba Khe Parsingh gave him a message in his dream in the eve of the field trip, that the team will successfully build a Kohibu and suggested a name of Pha. Li. Na. Kohibo. Bhobar then affirmed the idea of adopting the name and Kohibo construction was proposed. The field trip was incredibly successful where the team discovered many anchesteral ruins of the past tamu habitat matched up with the orally preserved holy scriptures. When the team returned from the field trip, the news of the Kohibo construction spread like wild fire. A Khegi Convention was soon held and an impressive mass assembly was gathered. The people supported the proposal of the Kohibo construction. Few defected Tamu mai opposed but the opposition was worthless and never listened to. The construction of the Kohibo (Tamu Holy Shrine) was given a go ahead.
Just like any other Associations, The committee faced another challenge; a financial hardship. An appeal for the financial help was sought to all Gurungs in Nepal and Abroad and was well received from all directions. One name in particular shouldn’t be forgotten to mention when it comes to the financial help received for the construction; is Mrs Biba Krõmchhaiñ Tamusyo (wife of Late Honorary Captain GCO Pratap Singh Mhobchhaiñ MVO, MBE, OBE) who donated graciously generous sum. As the fund raising program had successfully managed to collect enough fund, the construction of the Kohibo (Tamu Holy Shrine) proceeded.
The concept of the Kohibo design is the idea of Yarjung Krõmchhaiñ Tamu. He tried to reflect the distinctive nature of our identity into the design of the Kohibo. The idea was then further enchanced by Bhovar Palchaiñ who spent many days and nights designing various models which became financially viable, spiritually meaningful and artistically impressive. The most architectually feasible one was finally designed by the Architect Engineer Lekh Bahadur Lehge Tamu. The financial management of the whole Kohibu construction budget was carefully managed by Honorary Major Hum Bahadur Lehge.
The Kohibo Shamans (pachyu, Klehpree, Bönpo Lam) Monastery
The architectural design of the Kohibu(Holy Shrine) is based on the Pye Tañ Lhu Tañ. On the top of the building, the crown is the Kleyh also known as Hyõ Kaiñdu, below is the Sargya Kaiñdu which stood as a single cone and the four large cones supporting the Kleh and Sargya, are the Chhyopa Kaiñdus. These eccentric Kaiñdus are highly regarded as they possess supreme abilities for protecting their followers. In the interior of the Kohibo; there are 9 pillars representing the Meku (9 planets), 8 of them are around the sides and one in the middle; each representing the planet of the solar system. The Mewa Parka Pye and Soñku Loñba (mystical voyage of the 9 Planets) are interestingly mentioned in the Pyetañ Lhutañ. 3 Lhos on each side of the room. The total of the 12 Lhos are inscribed on the beam bar.
Finally, the Kohibo, the holy shrine of the Tamu mai was completed with the generous assistance from many tamu mai which still stood with high pride as a symbol of the Tamu(Gurung). That has blessed all of us for prosperity and good health. For sure, the imminent threat of the external influences towards the Pyetañ Lhutañ has been diminished to the least but there is still a long way to go to complete this effort. We all should be pleased with the efforts so that our heritage culture can be found and followed. We should whole heartedly and delightfully declare that founder members of the Pyelhu Sangh should be regarded as the Legends of the Gurung which one hardly can contest on their contributions and dedications. It is another undisputed fact that these Legends names are written in the golden ink in the Tamu History.
Prem Chahkli Tamu
Raniswar, Majhakot-5, Syangja
At Present in London
16 July 2006
1. Tamu Pye Chhya (Tehñretaña Pye, Mewa Parka Pye, Lhokur & Lhokor)
2. Interview with Yarjung Krõmchhaiñ Tamu