Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
Jokpo Hermitage (Jokpo Ritrö’Jog po ri khrod)
by José Ignacio Cabezón
April 26, 2006

Location and Layout

A statue of Jokpo Ngawang Tendzin’Jog po ngag dbang bstan ’dzin (b. 1748) in Zhungpa Regional House (Zhungpa KhangtsenGzhung pa khang tshan), Mé College (Dratsang MéGrwa tshang smad), SeraSe ra, Tibet. This statue is said to contain the remains of the lamabla ma within it.

This hermitage (ritröri khrod), located at the far western end of the NyangdrenNyang branValley, is today mostly in ruins. It takes over two hours to walk to Jokpo’Jog po from SeraSe ra. The hermitage is situated above pastures used for grazing. One or two huts have been rebuilt at the site to serve as the residences for the SeraSe ra monks who tend the SeraSe ra herds. It appears that before 1959 the hermitage was the property of the Jokpo Lama’s estate (Jokpo Labrang’Jog po bla brang). Today it is the property of SeraSe ra.

The hermitage originally served as the meditation retreat of a monk of the Sera Mé College (Sera MéSe ra smad) Zhungpa Regional House (Zhungpa KhangtsenGzhung pa khang tshan), Jokpo Ngawang Tendzin’Jog po ngag dbang bstan ’dzin.1 This monk was renowned as a great meditator. Oral tradition has it that after he passed away his body remained in a state of perpetual meditative equipoise. It was kept in a rear chapel inside the Zhungpa Regional House temple. Monks say that his hair and nails continued to grow even after his death, and that these had to be trimmed by attendants. After 1959, the body was buried in order to protect it from destruction. This, however, caused it to start decaying. After the regional house (khangtsenkhang tshan) was rebuilt in the 1980s, Jokpo Rinpoché’Jog po rin po che’s remains were exhumed and his bones were placed inside the clay statue that today resides on the main altar of the regional house temple.

The UCSB team was not able to make it to the Jokpo Hermitage site in 2004. At this point in time we know little about the hermitage other than what is written here. A portion of the Jokpo Lama’s residence (Jokpo Labrang’Jog po bla brang) still exists in SeraSe ra, Tibet today.

[1] Also known as Jokri Ngawang Tendzin’Jog ri ngag dbang bstan ’dzin.
Jokpo Hermitage , by José Ignacio Cabezón

Table of Contents

  1. Location and Layout
  2. Glossary
  3. Notes
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