Jigme Singye Wangchuck Pillar


His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo King Jigme Singye Wangchuck


 His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck in his address to the nation said:
“The Fourth Druk Gyalpo is our precious gem, the unfaltering parent and the god to whom we can rely and prostrate….In the history of Bhutan, no King like Him was ever born, and will not be born again in the future. His actions are not historic just for Bhutan, but even for the world.”
The Fourth Druk Gyalpo His Majesty the King Jigme Singye Wangchuck is a destined manifestation of an enlightened being. His Majesty is the symbol of unity, and one of the most important sources of inspiration to all Bhutanese. To ensure that the unity of people in the country is promoted in the future, it is very important for every Bhutanese of both present and future generations to hold him as an idol- a true patriot of Bhutan.  His Majesty’s achievements are timeless, and generations will stand to benefit from His Majesty’s wisdom, policies and sacrifices.
His Majesty’s reign brought unprecedented peace and progress to Bhutan. With the establishment of a just society, the people of Bhutan enjoyed unprecedented justice. In body, mind and speech, His Majesty had Bhutan for thirty-four years. Therefore, as we celebrate the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty, this is the perfect moment and befitting opportunity for us to honour His Majesty’s selfless services to the nation, His continued inspiration – the shining guiding light, and for gifting us the Constitution – the culmination of His life’s work.
The Pillar is made firstly, to ensure that every Bhutanese remain reminded of and inspired by His Majesty’s achievement and selfless services for all generations to come. Secondly, to remind ourselves of Fourth Druk Gyalpo’s success in achieving unprecedented development in very short span of time, by selflessly working for the country and the people, in His thirty-four years of reign. Thirdly, as a priceless object or a relic for faculty and students of the law school to pray and pay homage, and to inspire them to work hard in achieving His Majesty’s aspiration of ensuring access to justice by promoting foundation of justice and the rule of law.
The Pillar is the tree of life of the law school, and it is the beacon of our land, the shining sun – the wheel of Dharma Law, which will remind us of the fact that the sun gives life, the tree bears fruits of labour, and the fearless lion can defend and protect the sovereignty of the nation.
The Pillar is incomparable to His Majesty’s achievements of showering happiness, well-being and unity of the people, and security and sovereignty, identity and economic development of our country, however, it is made to show our deepest respect to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. The Pillar also represents the Royal Institute of Law family’s prayers for His Majesty’s life, wisdom and deeds to live forever like letters in-scripted on the stone. 
Painting of the JSW Pillar
 Detail Description
It is a four-faced and twelve-edged pillar. The four-faced pillar signifies birth of His Majesty the living god in Bhutan as the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, identification of the four pillars of the Gross National Happiness, and spreading or reaching of His Majesty’s priceless deeds to all four directions. Similar to the ability of the Tree of Jewel to bear continuous desired fruits of jewels, it is the Pillar of Strength signifying that the people of all four directions are able to enjoy the result of His Majesty’s selfless services to the nation, that is, the country’s sovereignty, peace, development, co-existence, unity, happiness and well-being of the people.
The 12-edges in the Pillar signify that the His Majesty’s achievement and reforms brought in governance is nothing short of twelve deeds – Zhepa-Chunyi of the Lord Buddha.
The Pillar is placed on Mandala-like platform and there are four paths leading to it. On the throne of the Pillar, there is carving of four lions. The four paths symbolises four noble truths of suffering, the origin of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and path that is, the eightfold path of right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right concentration, and right mindfulness. Lion symbolises His Majesty the King Jigme Singye Wanghchuck. Together, these symbolises descending of enlightened King Jigme Singye Wangchuck from the heaven to worldly earth as prophesied by Ugyen Guru to Terton Drukda Dorji. The pillar that is made from stone symbolises, taking charge of very heavy national responsibilities at the very young age of sixteen and His Majesty’s ability to shoulder these responsibilities, which are heavier than weight taken by any pillar of the building.
On top of the Pillar, there is this sun-like appearing Dharma Wheel with thirty-four spokes. In general Khorlosignifies the Golden Throne. Specifically, it symbolises His Majesty’s ability to envision needs of the country and the people, and by turning both spiritual and political wheels in thirty-four years of His reign, His Majesty has secured the nation and brought unprecedented happiness to the people.
Khorlo is placed above the Zhuthat is covered with clouds showing supremacy of the Throne and clarity in oceans of His Majesty’s actions. It also symbolises ability to overcome all kinds of challenges, secure sovereignty and security, and bringing glory to nation by rising above the clouds. The Jewel surrounded by clouds in the Zhusignifies efforts made by the people of Bhutan to celebrate the 60thBirth Anniversary of His Majesty the King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
The lotus, beads, leaves and hanging jewels symbolises the Tree of Jewel signifying formulation of the Gross National Happiness by His Majesty, showering uninterrupted happiness and development to the people and the country. The Jewel surrounded by clouds symbolises the confidence, the admiration, and the respect people, both within and outside Bhutan, have for His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. His Majesty has become the spiritual leader – the Jewel for people.
At four corners of the Pillar’s throne, there are four Dungkars. These Dungkars symbolises spreading of His Majesty’s kindness and results of unparalleled actions to all four directions reaching out to people in each and every corner of the country.
The Pillar stems from His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck. It makes an attempt to relate His Majesty’s name to His resolute strength and selflessness. His Majesty’s name symbolises his fearlessness and un-biasedness, and possession of eight mighty powers – Wangchuck Gye. It  also signifies offering of sincere prayer by the people for His Majesty’s good health and long life. 
Achievement Inscriptions
His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo in His thirty-four years of reign has given equal importance to both spiritual and temporal aspects of our nation. It has been our very unique identity ever since unification process of Bhutan started with the arrival of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. Despite the numerous challenges He had to face, His Majesty gave us the tree of life-like Constitution which shall guide us through our future and secure the sovereignty of nation for all times to come.
In His coronation address, His Majesty said:
“As far as you, my people are concerned, you should not adopt the attitude that whatever is required to be done for your welfare will be done entirely by the government. On the contrary, a little effort on your part will be much more effective than a great deal of effort on the part of the government.”
He made very clear that people’s participation is very important if we are to forge ahead together. To enable people’s participation, His Majesty began devolving power starting with decentralizing administrative powers to local government in 1981, introducing the Dzongkhag Yargay Tshogchung, and in 1991, the Gewog Yargay Tshogchung. In 1998, the National Assembly elected the Cabinet, and executive powers of the King were handed over to them.
On 4th September 2001, he briefed government officials on the need to draft a Constitution for the Kingdom of Bhutan. He initiated the drafting of the Constitution, constituting a 39 member drafting committee, and revised and created the Constitution to introduce a system of democracy, and it’s safeguards for our country and people.
He desired that the people take on the Constitution as our own and hold it as a reflection of our hopes, aspirations, and guiding light for the future.  A public referendum took place, when His Majesty and His Majesty the Fifth King took the Constitution to the 20 Dzongkhags where a member of each household was represented.
When we look back, we now know that what was happening to us was all part of a plan- we were being prepared and gradually transformed as a nation.  Almost in cycles that came every decade, a meticulous plan was patiently charted out, that culminated in the introduction of democracy for our country.
He put in place almost everything that is required to make democracy vibrant. The grounds had been prepared.  We were ready. Education was given highest priority, a well-experienced cabinet had been groomed, grassroots had been empowered, and the people had embraced a new order. The Judiciary had been strengthened. The Election Commission was established to ensure free and fair elections. The Anti-Corruption Commission to curb and root out corruption from the very beginning. Media was given autonomy and free press was introduced.
One of the basis for prosperity of the people is economic self-reliance. Keeping this in mind, His Majesty ensured equal development throughout the nation. In addition to decentralisation, His Majesty made reforms in private sector development policies. To ensure development in agriculture sector to promote people’s self-sufficiency, His Majesty granted kidus to the people, starting from seeds, lands, agriculture machineries, and tools. Above everything, His Majesty adopted the middle-path strategy of sustainable development to ensure balanced growth without endangering scarce natural resources and pristine environment.
His Majesty’s wisdom of past, present and future, and perfect execution of plans and policies has secured the sovereignty of our nation. In the time of difficulties and threat to nation, His Majesty had His body, mind and speech dedicated to it.  His exemplary vision, unparalleled ideas, and the resolute strength helped over come all challenges and difficulties faced by the nation.  In 1995 three groups of Indian militants set up camps in Bhutanese soil illegally. Over the years, they had established 30 camps within the territory of Bhutan threatening the security and undermining the sovereignty of Bhutan. We negotiated for many years for peaceful dissolution of these camps. His Majesty himself took the lead in these negotiations, visiting each and every camp and talking to their leaders.  These missions were dangerous, and were undertaken regardless of the risks. With eminent threat to our people and as peaceful negotiations did not materialize, a difficult decision was made to protect our country’s sovereignty and security. On 15 December 2003, we went to battle- a day that would decide the future of Bhutan. His Majesty himself led the troops to battle to flush out the militants from our country.
Whatever temporal policies are developed, His Majesty made sure that they don’t deviate from our spiritual heritage, age-old tradition and culture, and discipline. He adopted this approach as one of the most important identities of our nation that can protect and promote our security and sovereignty for all times to come.  To ensure security of nation, His Majesty adopted the policy of one nation one people. Given the country’s size and population, His Majesty realised that Bhutan has no strength that could match external forces, and we cannot succeed in securing our sovereignty by going into battlefields. Therefore, He Majesty emphasised that it is important for us to implement one nation one people policy by unifying the people of Bhutan, so that our sovereignty can be protected, and happiness is shone forever in this country.
His Majesty tackled issues of Tibetan immigrants in the north, and Lotshampas entry in the south very diligently. To ensure the practical achievement of this policy of one nation one people, He gave highest priority in protection and promotion of our national language, national dress, and Drig-Lam-Namzhag. Through these efforts, He adopted policy of the united people to ensure our security.
Dedication Inscriptions
The following inscriptions are placed on four faces of the throne of the Pillar.  These inscriptions are dedicated to His Majesty who possesses five wisdoms of suchness, awareness of sameness, mirror-like awareness, investigative awareness, and accomplishing activities.
These inscriptions recognise His Majesty as the almighty visionary Singye, fearless Singye with the lion’s roar possessing wisdom and strength to conquer and defeat external threat of all kinds. He is also recognised as the ultimate patriot who sacrificed His childhood and life in selfless service to the nation. People also believe and recognise His Majesty as an extraordinary human-being who possesses kind heart and the ability to end suffering of the people.
Stone Material

Traditionally, pillars in Bhutan are made from wood. However, Her Royal Highness Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck conceived the idea of making this unique and very significant pillar made of stone to commemorate His Majesty’s 60th Birth Anniversary celebration. The stone used for making pillar is mint yellow sand stone. It is one of the most exported stone materials in India. As per Indian architects, the colour of stone is very soothing to mind, and delightful to work on. Similarly, as the stone material is neither too hard nor too soft, it is confortable to work on and it is very durable. The material is imported from Rajasthan, India, and the work of stone art is outsourced to Laxmi Stone Art, based in Rajasthan, India. 

Material Used: Sand Stone
Types of stones studied
Structure and Measurement of the Pillar
The symbolism of the Pillar is well described earlier. However, the height of the Pillar is exactly 16ft, and this symbolises taking charge of pillar-like national responsibilities at the age of sixteen. The design and inscriptions are adopted and composed to cover His Majesty’s virtuous actions, the unprecedented achievement of national goals and security, and happiness of the people. This Pillar is the result of over a year research and efforts.
Consecration of the Pillar
The Pillar has Zungsplaced inside, and is the tree of life of the campus. It has Chorten-likesignificance, and people can worship and offer their prayers. Therefore, the comprehensive consecration was conducted as per our traditional and religious practice today on the 23rd October 2015.  As the Pillar is a dedication to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the consecration was conducted coinciding with the auspicious day of His Majesty. The consecration began with early morning purifying ritual followed by the Zhug-Dey-Phuensum-Tshogpa, consecration ceremony, and was unveiled by the Her Majesty The Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck and Her Royal Highness Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck.

The consecration and unveiling program concluded with the recitation of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo’s Zhabten

Royal Institute of  Law folks posing for a group photo infront of the JSW Pillar after its successful consecration, with all other folks who were directly or indirectly involved in making the Royal Law Project a successful one. I am glad that I also got an opportunity to take part in this historic event.



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