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.

Nyag chu county

(166) Thang sgang Monastery

1. Name

The full name of Thang sgang Monastery is Thang sgang g-yung drung nags tshal gling.

2. Location

The monastery is located 49 km south of the county town of the Nyag chu County, of which 40 km for car and the rest 9 km there is no road for car, one has to go on foot for about 5 hours.

3. History

There is a text entitled Thang sgang dgon pa’i lo rgyus by Rig ’dzin bstan srung. It is about history of the monastery and written very recently. The author states that the monastery was founded by gYung drung rgyal mtshan in the Wood-pig Year of the tenth Rab byung (1575). The following names of the masters are still remembered by the old monks in the monastery:

  1. gYung drung rgyal mtshan
  2. gYung drung lhun grub
  3. gYung drung smon lam
  4. gYung drung bstan ’dzin
  5. A ’bi bla ma
  6. Shes rab tshul khrims
  7. Tshul khrims bstan ’dzin. It was rebuilt in the 1980s

4. Hierarchical system:

  • one bla ma
  • one dbu mdzad
  • one dge skos
  • one phyag mdzod
  • one mchod dpon

They appointment is changed every three years. The present bla ma of the monastery is Tshul khrims bstan ’dzin.

5. Current number of monks

There are fourteen monks in the monastery.

6 and 7. Current education and exchange

There are courses for language and teachings for the young monks in the monastery. The monastery has very close relationship with Ye shes Monastery (No.150) in Nyag rong.

8 / 9. Rituals

This monastery has re-established the performance of the ritual dbyar mchod and dgun mchod. The dbyar mchod takes place from the 1st to 30th of the 1st month, and the dgun mchod from the 20th to 30th of the 12th month.

10. Books held in the monastery

The monastery has a set of the Bonpo Kanjur of the 1985-1988 edition as well as copies of the collected works of the following masters: mNyam med Shes rab rgyal mtshan, Shar rdza bKra shis rgyal mtshan, dBra ston bsKal bzang bstan pa’i rgyal mtshan. There is also a copy of the Khams chen.

11. Income and expenses

Monks in the monastery have to provide their food and the expenses of the monastery depend on offerings of followers.

12. Local community

There is only one village called Thang sgang with 40 families.

13. Local festivals

The mountain behind the monastery is called sPang ser. There is a lake called Pang ser g-yu mtsho sngon mo situated up in the mountains and is regarded as the abode of the local deity by the same name. The la btsas for the deity is on bank of the lake and the deity is propitiated on the first of the first month and the 6th of the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar.

14. Occupation of the local people

Agriculture

Sources

(1) Interview

In autumn of 1997 with: Blo bzang ye shes (b.1967), a monk in the monastery

(2) Texts
  1. Thang sgang dgon pa’i lo rgyus by Rig ’dzin bstan srung, MS
/bonpo-monasteries/b6-10-2/

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.