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.

’Bar khams

(186) dGon gsar Monastery

1. Name

The full name of the monastery is sPa tshang dgon gsar nor bu gling. It is also known as sPa tshang Monastery.

2. Location

The monastery is located about 80 km north of ’Bar mkhams (70 km of motorable road and a further four hours’ walk uphill).

3. History

The history of the monastery remains unknown. It was demolished during the Cultural Revolution and was rebuilt in the 1980s. The present head of the monastery is sPa tshang Tshul khrims bstan pa rab rgyas (b.1970). He studied at sNang zhig Monastery (No.180) for four years and at the Tibetan Buddhist College in Beijing for two years.

4. Hierarchichal system

  • dgon bdag
  • one dbu mdzad (replaced every five years)
  • one dge skos (replaced every five years)
  • one mchod dpon (replaced every three years)
  • one do dam pa (replaced every three years)

5. Current number of monks

There were twenty-six novices and monks at the monastery in autumn 1998.

6. Current education

There are no organized classes; the younger novices are trained by the elder monks.

7. Educational exchange

The monastery has been closely connected with sNang zhig Monastery since the time of the twenty-third master of the sPa tshang lineage. sNang zhig sends a teacher who is replaced every three or four years, and every three years dGon sar sends three novices to sNang zhig for training and ordination.

8 / 9. Rituals

  • 4th month: ceremony of the mChod pa stong mtshan from the 8th to the 15th day
  • 6th month: the observance of the summer fast (dbyar gnas) from the 8th to the 15th day
  • 12th month: the sgrub mchod dgu gtor rite from the 11th to the 14th day with a ’cham dance on the last day

10. Books held in the monastery

The monastery has one printed copy of the Bonpo Kanjur, one printed copy of the Khams chen, one printed copy of Shar rdza bKra shis rgyal mtshan’s collected works and various manuscript copies of ritual texts.

11. Income and exppenses

The monastery has no regular Sources of income and depends on offerings; the monks provide their own food.

12. Local community

The local lay community consists of two villages: Myo kyo with twenty-five families and sMad yul with seventy families.

13. Local festivals

The bsang ceremony on a mountain called ’Byo ko g-yung drung lha rtse is performed by the monastic community on the 16th day of the 6th month.

There are three la btsas: rMa bya, Wer rtse ko and Shu ku. The dates of the renewal ceremony of these la btsas are not fixed.

14. Occupation of the local people

Farmers

Sources

(1) Interviews

In autumn 1998 with sPa tshang Tshul khrims bstan pa rab rgyas (b.1970)

(2) Texts
  1. An untitled text about the monastery by sPa tshang Tshul khrims bstan pa rab rgyas, MS
/bonpo-monasteries/b6-13-5/

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.