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.

Li thang County

(168) Bye ’bur Monastery

1. Name

The monastery’s full name is Bye ’bur gYung drung gling or Bye ’bur gYung drung bde ldan gling.

2. Location

The monastery is located on the bank of the Yangtze river, 5 km southeast of Rong brag, the county seat.

3. History

The original site of the monastery is in Sha ba mtsho near Sog po ri rtse in the same county and the ruins of the former monastery are still visible. The monastery was moved to its present site by a master called gDan khri for an unknown reason. According to a legend recorded by gNyags Chos nyid rdo rje (gYung drung bde ldan gling, MS., p.1), in the thirteenth Rab byung (1747-1806), dGongs rtse gYung drung tshul khrims, who had studied at sMan ri, occupied the monastery’s throne. One night, one of his boots disappeared and was found on a dune on the bank of the Yangtze river. dGongs rtse gYung drung tshul khrims took this as a prophecy and thus moved the monastery to the place where the boot was rediscovered, which is the present site of the monastery. The monastery was therefore called Bye ’bur dgon pa, “the dune monastery”. The monastery was demolished during the Cultural Revolution and rebuilt in the 1980s.

4. Hierarchical system

  • one khri pa
  • one dbu mdzad
  • one dge skos
  • one dkor gnyer

All the incumbents are appointed on a permanent basis as there are very few monks in the monastery.

5. Current number of monks

There are seven monks in the monastery.

6. Current education

There are no organized classes.

7. Educational exchange

The monastery has no special ties with any other monastery and the monks may go to the monastery of their choice for their ordination vows.

8 / 9. Rituals

Commemoration of mNyam med Shes rab rgyal mtshan for a few days at the beginning of the 1st month; sgrub mchod in the 3rd month; g-yang sgrub in the 5th month, smyung gnas in the 8th month.

The dates and length of the rituals mentioned above vary according to the amount of donations received.

10. Income and expenses

The monastery depends on donations from the faithful. The monks provide their own food.

12. Local community

The local community of the monastery consists of fifty families in Bu rgod village, seventy-two families in sGang ’bur village and forty-five families in Rlob grong village.

13. Local festivals

The mountain behind the monastery is called gSum zer and is the residence of the local deity of the same name. There is a la btsas is at the top of the mountain which is renewed on the 10th day of the 7th month.

Sources

(1) Interviews

With the following monks at the monastery in autumn 1997: bsTan ’dzin g-yung drung (b.1929), gYung drung ’chi med (b.1938), Tshul khrims bstan ’dzin (b.1976)

(2) Texts
  1. gYung drung bde ldan gling by gNyags Chos nyid rdo rje, MS
/bonpo-monasteries/b6-11-2/

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.