Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal,1594-1651 was an immediate reincarnation of the 4th Gyalwang Drukchen , the Omniscient Pema Karpo (kun khyen padma dkar po) and the 18th throne-holder and "hereditary prince" of Ralung.
Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal was a Tibetan Buddhist lama and the unifier of Bhutan as a nation-state.
Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal's father was Drukpa Mipham Tenpai Nyima and His mother Sonam Pelkyi Butri.
Born: 1594, Ralung Monastery
Died: 1651, Punakha, Bhutan
Structures: Punakha Dzong, Rinpung Dzong.
Zhabdrung Kuchoe is observed on the tenth day of the third Bhutanese month. Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel entered into meditation when he was 58 for 12 years at the Puna Dewai Chenpoi Phodrang in 1651.
Hundreds of devotees offer prayers and butter lamps to mark the Death Anniversary of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel.
Over his 35 years as the temporal and spiritual ruler of Bhutan,Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal repelled a series of Tibetan invasions and overcame internal opposition to unify the country for the first time in its history.
On seven occasions between 1616 and 1679, Tibet launched war against Bhutan, first under the Tsangpa king and, after 1642, under the central Gaden Photang government newly established by 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobzang Gyatso ,1617-1682.
So important was the Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to the stability of Bhutan during this period that his death was kept secret. In 1651 his closest aids announced that Zhabdrung had entered strict retreat - and they continued to maintain that he was "in retreat" like this for more than 50 years issuing edicts in his name until 1705.

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