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.

rMe ba county

(193) Tsha lung Monastery

1. Name

The monastery’s full name is Tsha lung rNam rgyal bsam gtan ling, or sTag lung rnam rgyal bsam gtan ling. It is also known as Tsha lung sTag tshang.

2. Location

The monastery is located 90 km southwest of Khyung mchu, seat of the rMe ba county.

3. History

The monastery was founded by Bya chen Nyi ma ’dzin in the Fire-Horse year of the 3rd Rab byung (1186). He was a son of Do ’phags chen po, the founder of sNang zhig Monastery (No.180) in rNga khog.

Following is a list of Bya chen Nyi ma ’dzin’s descendants and successors :

  1. Bya chen Nyi ma ’dzin
  2. dBang phyug rin chen
  3. sMin grol rgyal mtshan
  4. bSlab gsum tshul khrims
  5. mKhas btsun kun bzang
  6. rNam grol rin chen
  7. Drung mu bstan ’dzin
  8. mKhas mchog lhun grub
  9. baTan ’dzin ’od zer
  10. rGyal ba bsam gtan
  11. mKhyen brtse bstan pa
  12. rNam grol rin chen
  13. gYung drung bstan dbang
  14. bsTan ’dzin dar rgyas
  15. Dza rong Nyi ma bstan ’dzin
  16. gYung drung tshul khrims
  17. Grags pa bzang po
  18. rGyal ba
  19. Rin chen lhun grub
  20. Tshul khrims rgyal mtshan
  21. Nam mkha’ tshul khrims
  22. Dza rong Nam mkha’ rin chen

The 22nd in the line is the present master of the monastery. He was seriously ill when I visited the monastery in autumn 1998, and I was told that he was training sKal bzang shes rab (b.1982), his son, to be his successor. The monastery was razed during the Cultural Revolution and was rebuilt in the 1980s.

4. Hierarchical system

  • dgon bdag, hereditary
  • one dbu mdzad
  • one rgan pa
  • one dge skos
  • one mchod g-yog

The incumbents, with the exception of the dgon bdag, are replaced every three years.

5. Current number of monks

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

6. Current education

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

7. Educational exchange

For the above-mentioned historical reasons, the monastery is connected with sNang zhig (No.180) and is still responsible for Tsha lung, and the monks go there for further training and ordination.

8 / 9. Rituals

Ma rgyud from the 4th to the 7th day, followed by smon lam from the 8th to the 15th day of the 1st month (with Byams pa gling skor festival on the 15th day); rNam rgyal stong mchod from the 4th to 9th day of the 4th month; the summer fast (dbyar gnas) from the 14th to the 21st day of the 6th month; Atonement ritual for the religious protectors (srung ma’i tshogs ’don) is from the 1st to the 6th day of the 9th month.

11. Income and expenses

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

12. Local community

The local lay community consists of four villages: Ba kha so ma of Chu kha ru community with twelve families, Ba kha rnying ba of Chu kha ru community with eleven families, Brag ris ma village with fourteen families and Shing bzo ba kha village with sixteen families.

13. Local festivals

The mountain behind the monastery is called bTsan mkhar and is associated with a local deity called bTsan A bse. He is propitiated by both monks and lay followers on the 2nd day of the 1st month.

There is a sacred mountain known as Tsha ri gYung drung dgra ’dul 8 km west of the monastery that was sanctified by rTogs ldan bSod nams phun tshogs, a master of rTogs ldan Monastery (No.178) in rNga khog. It is propitiated by both monks and lay followers on the 15th day of the 6th month.

14. Occupation of the local population

Farmers

Sources

(1) Interviews

With the following monks at the monastery in autumn 1998: Dza rong Nam mkha’ rin chen (b.1938), Tshul khrims ye shes (b.1930), Dza rong sKal bzang shes rab (b.1982)

(2) Texts

sTag lung rnam rgyal bsam gtan gling gi bstan ’byung bkra shis bde legs kun ’byung by Nam mkha’ tshul khrims, MS

rNga ba khul hung yon rdzong gi tsha lung dgon pa’i lo rgyus mdor bsdus in NKhGL, pp.7-8

/bonpo-monasteries/b6-15-2/

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.