Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
Keutsang East
by José Ignacio Cabezón
January 30, 2006
Section 2 of 4


Before 1959, the hermitage belonged to Purchok Hermitage. There are two conflicting reports concerning the founder of the hermitage. One contemporary Tibetan historian identifies the founder as the first Purchok incarnation Ngawang Jampa (Purchok Kutreng Dangpo Ngawang JampaPhur lcog sku phreng dang po ngag dbang byams pa),1 the cofounder of Purchok Hermitage. Another Tibetan scholar identifies the founder as Keutsang Jamyang LoselKe’u tshang ’jam dbyangs blo gsal.2

Like all of SeraSe ra’s hermitages, this one had an assembly hall and monks’ quarters, and was home to about ten permanent monk residents. It was renowned for having a particularly holy statue of Avalokiteśvara. Like the Maitreya (JampaByams pa) statue at Keutsang West, this Avalokiteśvara was supposed to emit rays of light to guide to the pure land the minds of deceased persons brought to the funeral grounds located at the base of the mountain.

Apart from these few details, we know nothing about this hermitage or its history at the present time. The monks of PurchokPhur lcog tell us that they have chosen not to rebuild Keutsang East for fear that this will siphon off resources from the rebuilding of Purchok Hermitage, the restoration of which they see as their primary responsibility.

[1] Dge bshes ye shes dbang phyug, Sermé Tösam Norling Dratsanggi Chöjung Logyü Norbü TrengwaSer smad thos bsam nor gling grwa tshang gi chos ’byung lo rgyus nor bu’i phreng ba [A History of the Sermé Tösam Norling College: A Garland of Jewels] (Bylakuppe: Ser smad par khang, nd), 42.
[2] Dungkar Lozang TrinléDung dkar blo bzang ’phrin las, Dungkar Tsikdzö ChenmoDung dkar tshig mdzod chen mo [The Great Dungkar Dictionary] (Krung go’i bod rig pa dpe skrun khang, 2002), 93. It is unclear whether this is an alternative name of one of the Keutsang LamaKe’u tshang bla mas, or whether the figure got his name from the fact that he was a monk of the Keutsang West monastery.
Keutsang East , by José Ignacio Cabezón

Table of Contents

  1. Location and Layout
  2. History
  3. Glossary
  4. Notes
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