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.

Bonpo temples in sTong che

(131) Bon brgya Khyung smon Monastery

1. Name

The full name of the monastery is Bon brgya Khyung smon dgon smin grol mdo sngags bshad sgrub bdud las rnam rgyal don gnyis lhun grub gling.

2. Location

It is located on Bon brgya pasture which is about 45 km east of Mang stod, the county seat of Guinan.

3. History

According to Bon brgya gYung drung lhun grub, the origin of the monastery was a small temple called Bon brgya gsang sngags bdud ’dul gling founded in 1409 by Sha rgya gYung drung rin chen at ’Ba’ tshe chu kha in Reb gong (for reference see his work given below), but this consideration needs to be proved. The present Bon brgya Khyung smon Monastery was founded by him during 1983 to 1990. He is the head of the monastery.

4. Hierarchical system

  • one dgon bdag bla ma
  • one khri ba bla ma (for one year)
  • one byang ’dren or dbu mdzad (for one to three years)
  • one dge skos (for one to three years)
  • one gzhung gnyer chen mo (for one to three years)
  • one mchod gnyer for each temple (for one to three years)
  • one dung ’bud for each temple (for one to three years)
  • one rtsi ’bud for each temple (for one to three years)
  • one dbu g-yog for each temple (for one to three years
  • one ja gnyer for each temple (for one to three years)

All the incumbents are appointed every year by Bon brgya gYung drung lhun grub based on reelection of monks except the mchod gnyer, rtsi ’bud, dung ’bud, dbu g-yog and ja gnyer which are appointed by the dge bskos. mchod gnyer, rtsi ’bud, dung ’bud, dbu g-yog and ja gnyer could be punished to carry out the services for a longer period in case they did not do them well.

5. Current number of monks

There are eighty-eight monks in the monastery.

6. Current education

The monk students receive a traditional education, both through private tutoring and collective lessons organized by the monastery.

7. Educational exchange

The monastery has a close relationship with rTogs ldan Monastery (No.178) in rNga khog. They send monks to rTogs ldan for some further studies and receive monastic vows.

8 / 9. Rituals

  • 1st month: ritual of sMon lam chen mo from the 1st to 13th of the first month; in conjuction with this ritual, the following rituals are also performed based on the texts such as the Rṃa gnyan yul lha’i bsang khrus, Sṭong rgyung brngan chen mo, Sḍe brgyad brngan bsang and Rṃa rgyal spom ra’i g-yang ’bod.
  • 2nd month: ritual of Kun bzang rgyal ba ’dus pa from 8th to 15th
  • 3th month: ritual of bsKang chen from 25th to 29th
  • 4th month: ritual of commemoration of Byang ston Rinpoche
  • 5th month: ritual of sTag la’i sgrub chen from 8th to 16th
  • 8th month: ritual of gSang bdag mkhar rtse from 20th to 23rd
  • 12th month: ritual of dBal gsas sgrub chen from 13th to 21st

10. Books held in the monastery

The monastery has nine printed copies of Bonpo Kanjur and one printed copy of Bonpo Katen. Two printed copies of the Collected Works (twenty-five volumes) of Kun grol grags pa. Five printed copies of the Collected Works (thirteen volumes) of Shar rdza bKra shis rgyal mtshan. Four printed copies of the W (sixteen volumes) of gTer chen Tshe dbang ’gyur med. Five printed copies of gter ma collection (twenty volumes) of gSang sngags gling pa. Four printed copies of the Collected Works of Tshul chen bsTan pa’i rgyal mtshan. Four printed copies of the Collected Works (two volumes) of dBra ston bsKal bzang bstan pa’i rgyal mtshan. Three printed copies of the biography of Bon brgya Rang shar rig grol, Bon brgya gYung drung phun tshogs and Byang ston Nam mkha’ rgyal mtshan. More than two hundred other Bonpo texts. In addition to these, there also several Buddhist texts.

11. Income and expenses

The monastery has neither land nor animals. The monks are provided for by their families and the monastery depends financially on donations from the faithful.

12. Local community

The local lay community consists eight villages in Bon brgya shog kha (communal division) in Bon brgya pasture and Reb gong, because almost every village of Bon brgya shog kha has both agricultural and nomadic parts, the former is in Chu khog Township of Reb gong County, the latter is divided into two parts administratively which are Sumdo Township of Guinan County in mTsho lho Prefecture and Bon brgya Township of rTse khog County in rMa lho Prefecture.

13. Local festivals

There is a sacred mountain called A myes Ba yan located west of the monastery. The date of its veneration is 4th of the sixth month every year. It is circumambulated by both Bonpo and Buddhists until today.

14. Occupation of the local people

Agriculture and pastorilism

Just now, when I have finished writting about Bon brgya Khyung smon Monastery, sad news has reached me to say that Bon brgya gYung drung lhun grub has passed away in his monastery. I hope that his reincarnation will come soon and his plan to build a Tibetan medicine hospital in Bon brgya pasture for the people will be materialized accordingt to his wishes.

Sources

(1) Interviews

In autumn of 1996: gYung drung lhun grub, the head of Bon brgya khyung smon Monastery; sByin pa, monk of the monastery.

Texts:

Bon brgya yab myes kyi sgrub sde rjes skyong ba khyung sman dgon gyi bon ’byung lo rgyus grub pa’i gdung rabs dang mkhas pa’i gdan rabs rnams brjod pa sdong rnying me tog gsar bzhad dpyid kyi dpal yon by Bon brgya gYung drung lhun grub. MS.

/bonpo-monasteries/b6-4-5/

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.