This book is a slightly revised version of the thesis entitled "History of Bhutan based on Buddhism" submitted to the Magadh University, Bodhgaya, India for Doctorate in Philosophy. As a matter of fact, I started the work on this thesis in January 1975 availing the opportunity of some leisure and only completed it in 1990. The work continued on a slow and steady basis for 15 long years.
The History of Bhutan based on Buddhism is, indeed, the first book ever to appear on this subject in English by a Bhutanese. With the exception of some erudite books in Chhokey, little has been written on such a subject in English by Bhutanese scholars. My long years of contact with contemporary men and my personal experience of the many historical, events within the country are invaluable in writing this book. The numerous conversations and personal observations that I made during the course of my many pilgrimages and visits to historical places throughout the country enabled me to gather a first-hand knowledge of the history of my country. My detailed study of the Buddhist literature in Chhokey was also a great help. It is my sincere hope that more Bhutanese scholars will come forward, in the near future, to contribute to the development of Bhutanese literature in English. Bhutan being the last sovereign independent country of Mahayana Buddhism always fascinated men of adventure and daring. It is hoped that this work will help bring about a greater awareness of the richness and intellectual depth of Bhutanese civilisation and history.
The entire structure of government, social, culture, customs and traditions of Bhutan are bound up with Mahayana Buddhism. The Chhosi- Nyidhen or dual system derives its inspiration principally from the Buddhist doctrinal lore and the ethical concepts of the trinity of the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha known as Sangye Chhyo-dang Gedun Soom. Accordingly, people do respect such value system as Tha-dag Dham- Tshi (complete pledge) and Lay-dangIum-Day (works, their causes and their results). The Bhutanese code of conduct popularly known as Driglam Namzha 'is strictly, followed by all. It emphasises a strong sense of discipline with respect for elders and seniors, and love for youngers and juniors. Importantly, the seniors must' know how to receive and reciprocate the respect shown by the juniors.
The dates mentioned in the book are on the basis of the Bhutanese almanac in the absence of a correspondence between Bhutanese and the Western system of reckoning time. An attempt has been made to use the most appropriate Bhutanese words and phrases in this book wherever possible. Therefore, I have given a glossary of non-English words and pharases used in the book. The original words and phrases exude a flavour which is so much a part of the Bhutanese way of life and culture