Sunday, August 27, 2017

Striking Similarities: Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and The Great Genghis Khan.

This is a long overdue blogpost I desperately wanted to write. I could finally complete writing it this afternoon. The findings have been already shared with my history students at the beginning of this years academic session. It was intended to arouse interest and garner appreciation for history as a subject.  

I was  mesmerized when I realized that there are a lot of striking similarities between Genghis Khan and our very own Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. Genghis Khan is a title so is Zhabdrung Rinpoche.  Zhabdrung Rinpoche means "At whose feet one submits" and the former title when translated would mean " Oceanic Ruler " or "universal Ruler".

So what are the similarities?

1.Similar Appearances: Digital (real) photographs are not available to confirm their similar facial feature but the narrations and the available sketches prove that both the gentlemen had long bushy beard which dangles loosely down till their torso. 

2.Political and cultural unification (and development): After both the leaders assumed full control over the country, they started consolidating their state by framing laws, ensuring equality and justice and developed culture and traditions.  

3.They had to leave the place of their origin: Zhabdrung, like Genghis Khan, left his place of origin and established himself in the foreign land where both of them could garner high respect and great recognition. Had they never leave their places, Zhabdrung would have been just known as the eighteenth abode of Ralung Monastry in Tibet and the Great Genghis Khan merely a Minor Chieftain of a small tribal people in Mongolia.
Ralung Monastery inTibet. 
4.Immensely Celebrated Military Generals: The life they lived was very rich as they had multiple task and roles to execute. But these two gentlemen find themselves surrounded in military engagement throughout their lives. Thus, they were first a military man and then a civilian. Historians call them military Generals!
Warriors of the Great Genghis Khan

Paazaps of Zhabdrung Rinpoche.

5.Almost Similar war Tactics: Genghis Khan and Zhabdrung had used similar war tactics. However Zhabdrungs intention was only for defense purposes while former opted for attack and defense purpose as well. 
While advancing towards enemy front, Genghis Khan's warriors would tie a small log at the tip of the tail of horses they rode. The log touching the ground would blow the dust in the air creating a dust storm giving enemies a sense that a huge army is advancing towards them. This caused many kingdoms and states to submit to the Great Genghis Khan.

The warriors are instructed to form groups and take turn as they shoot arrows attacking their enemies. It assured continues and heavy attack on the enemy within a short span of time. The picture below may help you understand better.
When defending the borders of Bhutan against as many as six Tibetan invasions, Zhabdrung did use similar tricks to make believe the advancing Tibetans that a large number of Army is present to garrison the Drukgyel Dzong.

Hundreds of scare crow resembling Bhutanese armed personals were strategically placed in and around the Dzong. And the small Bhutanese Armed personals were instructed to enter the Dzong from the back door and then they had to show their presence in the Dzongs court yard and repeat the act continuously from dawn to dust so that it looks like a large army is awaited to give Tibetans a crushing defeat. History says, after the incident, the Tibetans never dared to come close to the garrisoned Dzong ever.

6.Their Mysterious death and stories related to it: Zhabdrung's death was kept as a secret for 59 years. We dont know exactly when he died. It is said that a handful of close associates were present when the death was made confirm after twelve years since he embarked into his permanent retreat in 1651.
Similar fate is being recorded of the Great Genghis Khan. While his dead body was escorted by his guards to an unknown location high in the mountains, the guards murdered the onlookers for it was Genghis Khans dead wish that his burial place shouldnt be known to anybody. 

To be continued......

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