I have had a surprising number of blog responses, emails, personally conveyed comments and one telephone call concerning my blog of 29th. The emperor of Japan is not Buddhist, even nominally, to the best of my knowledge. The last three Buddhist monarchs are Bhumipol of Thailand, Jigme Singye Wangchuk of Bhutan and Naradom Sihamoni of Cambodia. The last Buddhist monarch to be dethroned was Palden Thodup Namgual, Chogyal of Sikkim who lost his throne and his country in 1975 when it was absorbed into India. This had been preceded by one of those 99.9% plebiscites in favor of union. I suppose the 01% who didn’t vote for it was the poor old Chogyal. The Chogyal and his 12 predecessors were believed by the Sikkimese to be the reincarnation of the great lama who founded Bhutan as an independent state in the 17th century. His official title was ‘Dharmaraja.’ He was a genuinely religious man, deeply learned in Tibetan Buddhism and with a strong leaning towards Theravada. He had been an active patron of the Mahabodhi Society for many years. Unfortunately, he married an American, arousing Mrs. Gandhi’s suspicions of foreign interference in a sensitive border area. Also, this was when Mrs. Gandhi still had some leftist credentials (i.e. before her ‘regal’ period) and she was not at all sympathetic towards kings. The top picture is of Palden Thondup Namgual and the other is of his funeral in 1980 which thousands of his former subjects attended.