Logically the two dzongkhag - Wangdue and Punakha - are so close to each other that it takes less than an hour in car to reach from one to another. Therefore, geographically a melam chenmo at Punakha is as good as it being conducted at Wangdue. The historical Dzong of both the Dzongkhags lies at the border of the Dzongkhag, one at the eastern border and another at the western border and it hold the administrative office of the Dzongkhag just like all the districts. But politically, it cannot be said so and the people in the vicinity of the two Dzongs would be doubly blessed. The military station based at wangdue would be doubly blessed and doubly stressed too, for it provides the necessary support at the background to both the district.
Attending the melam chenmo for a few days it was spiritually satisfying. One thing I noticed about our His Holiness the Je Khenpo was that he can sit for hours together like a statue, a real life statue. The movements were minimal and he seldom takes a break once the melam begins. The whole area brightens with the aura that he emits. One look at His Holiness would fill the spiritual mind with so much of serenity and peace, such is his personality. The spectacle or the glass that His Holiness adorns resembles that of the historical figure of India - the Mahatma Gandhi. The perfect circle frames sitting snugly on the nose befitting the personality of peace and tranquillity, with genuine resolve to spread the same.
Being the chief abbot of the country, he could have enjoyed in luxury. But that is one thing His Holiness does not resort to. At this time of the year, when it is cold, every day at the break of the dawn he is there on time, never late if not early to preside over the melam chenmo. This makes us put in more effort to wake up much early to be there on time to receive His Holiness at the parking. If he can we - the being just a little more than animal - should be able to put in double the effort.
The holidays meant for waking up late, without having to attend the PT parade was spent having to wake up much earlier. The more effort one has to put in in religious affairs, the more one's sins would be cleansed - says some; the equivalent to the military saying 'The more you sweat in peace the less you bleed in war'.
I don't know about the cleansing part but I do feel blessed having seen and attended the melam chenmo being conducted at the doorstep. The opportunity that it created for the people of the 'Sha dagay' to accumulate merits through offerings of prayers and contributions which did not have any lower or upper limits. Thousands of people in attendance were fed three square meals. The group of people wishing to contribute were too many to be slotted within a weeks time. The total contribution made was announced repeatedly for transparency and people were encouraged to take the receipt for better accounting.
The good deeds and good thoughts bring in ample food and other necessary things, that red local rice were seen strewn around. And what could surpass good deeds than praying for the welfare of not only human race but for all the beings on the planet - all sentient beings.