Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
A Survey of Bonpo Monasteries
by Dondrup Lhagyal, Phuntso Tsering Sharyul, Tsering Thar, Charles Ramble and Marietta Kind
Edited by Samten G. Karmay and Yasuhiko Nagano
National Museum of Ethnology and THL
Reproduced with permission from the authors
under the THL Digital Text License.

The bo County

(93) Nags gong Monastery

1. Name

The monastery’s real name is bSam ’grub, but since it is located at the foot of Nags gong village it is locally known as Nags gong or Nags gong bSam ’grub dgon.

2. Location

Nags gong Monastery is located on north bank of the ’A zha river in ’A zha valley, about 90 km southeast of the county town (latitude: 33°48’18”N, longitude 103°41’58”E).

3. History

The monastery was founded in ca. 875 A.D. by sKyang ’phags Nyi ma rgyal ’mtshan and is now a branch monastery of dGu skyang Monastery (No.196), the main seat of dGu skyang Nyi ma rgyal mtshan. Prior to 1959, the monastery comprised one assembly hall, and living quarters consisting of thirty-nine cells accomodating fifty monks (DBSJ, p.101; TLPY, p.69). It was rebuilt in 1991. At present it comprises one assembly hall, the residence of the head lama, and ten cells.

When I visited the monastery, the assembly hall was under construction, but all the monks were away performing a ritual at a private home. I found the head lama of the monastery in Pe gseb village. He was born in 1968. He is not considered an incarnation but was chosen a few years ago by the monks. Since he has been busy with rebuilding the monastery, he has had little time to study and knows almost nothing of the monastery’s history, even though he is considered the most learned person in the area.

5. Current number of monks

The monastery has twelve monks, five or six of whom live outside the monastery with their families.

6. Current education

The head of the monastery is a young monk called bSod nams ye she. Since all the monks are very young, they study mainly Tibetan and ritual practice under the head master.

8 / 9. Rituals

The monks go to dGu skyang to perform the ’cham dance with the monks there on the 13th day of the 3rd month. Occasionally, they also perform funerary rites and rituals for health, fortune, abundant crops etc, in private homes at the behest of the families.

12. Local community

The local lay community of the monastery consists of five villages: Nags gong with twenty families, Pe gseb with thirty-eight families, Gro mang with twenty-two families, dNgul ba with twelve families and sTag dpung with ten families (one hundred and three people in total).

14. Occupation of the local people

Farming

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Note Citation for Page

Dondrup Lhagyal, Phuntso Tsering Sharyul, Tsering Thar, Charles Ramble, and Marietta Kind, A Survey of Bonpo Monasteries and Temples in Tibet and the Himalaya (Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology, 2003), .

Bibliographic Citation

Dondrup Lhagyal, Phuntso Tsering Sharyul, Tsering Thar, Charles Ramble, and Marietta Kind. A Survey of Bonpo Monasteries and Temples in Tibet and the Himalaya. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology, 2003.