Tragically, Bhutan's centuries old Wangduephoedrang Dzong is no more: it has been totally destroyed by fire. However, due to the quick action of His Majesty the King of Bhutan -- who was personally involved in firefighting efforts -- and a fortuitous set of circumstances, many of the dzong's ancient treasures were saved.
Continuously, throughout the ordeal, firefighters and volunteers risked their own safety to recover precious images and books. These were quickly inventoried and conserved. Here, His Majesty examines some texts that were saved.
Fortunately, the dzong was undergoing renovation when the fire began. In consequence, many of the most precious images and books were all located in one place. Quick thinking and fast action combined to bring them to safety.
Arriving at the site with Her Majesty the Queen at his side, His Majesty rapidly organized a team of responders to recover the objects.
Although the character of impermanence has demonstrated itself in this sad incident, we can take some comfort that there was no loss of precious life, and that some of the dzong's most beloved treasures were saved.
We cannot help but admire Their Majesties the King and Queen of Bhutan, and the leadership they demonstrated in a time of trouble. Long Live Their Majesties, and our fraternal best wishes to the People of Bhutan. Hopefully, the Royal Government will soon inform us of ways in which we can all support recovery efforts.
Let a phoenix rise from these ashes and spread the light of Guru Rinpoche for all the world to see. Structures are impermanent, but faith is not.