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.

Chu chen County

(190) Bla med Monastery

1. Name

The monastery’s full name is Bla med yid bzhin nor bu’i gling.

2. Location

The monastery is located 110 km west of Chu chen, seat of the Chu chen county.

3. History

According to Yon tan rgya mtsho (dGon pa’i lo rgyus mdor bsdus, MS) the monastery was founded Rig pa rang shar at the age of thirty-seven and died at the age of ninety-five.58

Following is a list of the monastery’s masters:

  1. rDza bo Rig pa rang shar
  2. gSal ba ’od chen
  3. gSal ba ’od chung
  4. Dran pa bdud ’dul
  5. bShes yes dbon po
  6. rNam dag rgyal mtshan
  7. gTsug phud ’od zer
  8. gYung drung rgyal mtshan
  9. Khro bo rgyal
  10. Kun bzang rgyal mtshan
  11. Tshul khrims
  12. Thub pa
  13. rNam dag ’od zer
  14. Ngag dbang rgya mtsho
  15. bSod nams nyi ma
  16. Theg pa rgyal mtshan
  17. Phun tshogs rnam rgyal
  18. Blo gros thub bstan
  19. Shes pa
  20. Rin chen lhun grub
  21. bsTan ’dzin grags pa
  22. Shes rab nyi ma
  23. Shes rab dbang ldan
  24. Zla ba rgyal mtshan
  25. Phun tshogs dbang rgyal
  26. bSod nams blo gros
  27. bsTan ’dzin tshul khrims
  28. gYung drung phun tshogs
  29. Kun bzang lhun grub
  30. Shes rab kun gsal
  31. sKal bzang nor bu
  32. sByin pa
  33. gYung drung rnam dag
  34. gYung drung mthu rtsal
  35. Tshul khrism ’od zer
  36. Tshe dbang rgyal mtshan59

4. Hierarchical system

  • one dbu mdzad (replaced every three years)
  • one dge skos (replaced every three years)
  • one gnyer ba (replaced every year)
  • one mchod dpon (replaced every year)

5. Current number of monks

There were forty-five novices and monks at the monastery in autumn 1998.

6. Current education

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

7. Educational exchange

The novices are sent to the monasteries of sNang zhig (No.180) and rTogs ldan (No.178) for their ordination and further training.

8 / 9. Rituals

Commemoration of mNyam med Shes rab rgyal mtshan on the 5th day and the ritual based on the gYung drung klong rgyas from the 15th to the 18th day of the 1st month; the rituals performed in summer known as dbyar sgrub from the 1st day of the 6th month and those performed in winter dgun sgrub starting in the 11th month.

10. Books held in the monastery

One printed copy of Kanjur published by Nam mkha’ bstan ’dzin and one printed copy of Katen published by bsTan pa’i nyi ma.

11. Income and expenses

The monastery owns thirty ’bri (female yak) which are kept by the local people for the monastery with the shi med contract. Otherwise the monastery depends on offerings from the faithful and has no regular Sources of income.

13. Local festivals

There is a sacred mountain (gnas ri) called Ma rgyud gsang mchog, west of the monastery. It is surrounded by four mountains at the four directions: gYung drung gtams rdzong to the east, ’Khor lo brtsegs rdzong to the north, Pad ma spungs rdzong to the west and Rin chen ’bar rdzong to the south. There is a la btsas on top of each mountain which are dedicated to the spirits of the mountains.

The main sacred mountain was sanctified by gTer ston Tshe dbang ’gyur med who is said to have retrieved many gter ma scriptures from it. There is a hermitage facing the principal mountain. The propitiation ceremony of the mountain by the local people takes place on the 22nd day of the 5th month.

14. Economic occupation of the local population



(1) Interviews

In autumn of 1998 with Yon tan rgya mtsho and Ya ma bKra shis (b.1934)

(2) Texts
  1. dGon pa’i lo rgyus mdor bsdus by Yon tan rgya mtsho, MS
  2. rNga khul chu chen rdzong gi bla med dgon pa’i lo rgyus mdor bsdus in rNga ba khul gyi dgon pa’i lo rgyus, the Religion Bureau and the Buddhist Association of rNga pa Prefecture, MS, pp.236-238


[58] According to another source, the monastery was founded by Rig pa rang shar 114 years before the introduction of the Rab byung system of datation, in 913 A.D, (see rNga khul chu chen rdzong gi bla med dgon pa’i lo rgyus mdor bsdus, p.236.
[59] The rNga khul chu chen rdzong gi bla med dgon pa’i lo rgyus mdor bsdu provides a list of masters of the same lineage differently: 1) rDza bo Rig pa rang shar, 2) gSal ba ’od chen, 3) gSal ba ’od chung, 4) Dran pa bdud ’dul, 5) bShes yas dbon po, 6) rNam dag bshes yas, 7) rGyal mtshan bshes yas, 8) Shes rab ’od zer, 9) gYung drung rgyal ba, 10) Kho bo rgyal, 11) Kun dga’ rgyal mtshan, 12) Tshul khrims, 13) Thub pa, 14) gYung drung rnam dag, 15) bsTan ’dzin tshul khrims, 16) gYung drung phun tshogs, 17) Kun dga’ ’od zer, 18) Legs bshad rgya mtsho (b.1931), 19) Ya ma bkra shis (b.1934), 20) gYung drung rab rgyal (b.1962), 21) Yon tan rab rgyal (b.1962), 22) dPal ldan rab rgyal (b.1971), 23) mThar phyin rab rgyal (b.1971).

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.