by José Ignacio Cabezón and THL.
The title of the KarchakDkar chag reads Yul nyer bzhi’i ya rgyal/ de bi ko ṭi dang ming gzhan pha bong kha byang chub shing gi nags khrod du bkod pa’i dkar chag dad ldan padmo rgyas byed gzi sbyin ’od stong ’bar ba’i nor bu (hereafter Pha bong kha’i dkar chag). It appears to be an edited version of a text bearing the same name published in Three Khrid on the Nā ro mkha’ spyod Practice (Delhi: Ngawang Sopa, 1976), 454-532. (I have Gene Smith to thank for making a copy of this latter edition available to me.) References to the Dkar chag in this work are to the edition published in Tibet. The publication of the Tibetan edition of the Dkar chag was sponsored by a contemporary abbot (or perhaps now former abbot) of PabongkhaPha bong kha, Jampa Tupten RinpochéByams pa thub bstan rin po che.
In the colophon the author of the KarchakDkar chag identifies himself as the reincarnation of a LamaBla ma of Kongpojo DzongKong po jo rdzong, the reincarnation of the LamaBla ma of Chökhang Tsewa Monastery (Chökhang Tsewa GönpaChos khang rtse ba dgon pa); he also identifies himself as belonging to the Mé College (Dratsang MéGrwa tshang smad) of SeraSe ra, but gives his name only in Sanskrit as Wāginḍamatibhadrapaṭu bandashāsadharasagara (sic).
The introductory verse of the Delhi edition bears identifying marks (dots) under certain syllables. (These are missing in the Tibetan edition.) Those marks spell out “Ngawang Lozang Tupten Gyatso Jikdrel Wangchuk Choklé Nampar GyelwaNgag dbang blo bzang thub bstan rgya mtsho ’jigs bral dbang phyug phyogs las rnam par rgyal ba.” This resembles the name of the eighth Demo incarnation Ngawang Lozang Tupten Jikmé Gyatso (Demo Kutreng Gyépa Ngawang Lozang Tupten Jikmé GyatsoDe mo sku phreng brgyad pa ngag dbang blo bzang thub bstan ’jigs med rgya mtsho, 1778-1819), tutor of the Ninth Dalai Lama (Dalai Lama Kutreng GupaDa lai bla ma sku phreng dgu pa, 1806-1815).
The colophon tells us that the work was written between the female-fire-pig (MemopakMe mo phag) and male-earth-bird (SapojaSa pho bya) years. In the fourteenth calendrical cycle or RapjungRab byung, this corresponds to 1827-1828. The author of the Dkar chag further states that he based his work on a verse text compiled by KhardowaMkhar rdo ba (mkhan thog brgyad pa kha rdo sku thog bzod pa rgya mtsho’am/ blo bzang sgom chung pas bsgrigs pa tshig bcad ma), as well as on the constitution (ChayikBca’ yig) of the monastery written by Tatsak Yeshé Tenpé GönpoRta tshag ye shes bstan pa’i mgon po (1760-1810). On Khardo Zöpa GyatsoMkhar rdo bzod pa rgya mtsho (1672-1749) see the Introduction to the Hermitages. On Tatsak Yeshé Tenpé GönpoRta tshag ye shes bstan pa’i mgon po, see TBRC P302.
Still unavailable, to my knowledge, are: (1) the KarchakDkar chag of PabongkhaPha bong kha in six folios written by Khardo Zöpa GyatsoMkhar rdo bzod pa rgya mtsho, and (2) another KarchakDkar chag by Khöntön Peljor Lhündrup’Khon ston dpal ’byor lhun grub (1561-1637). The latter is mentioned in Akhu RinpochéA khu rin po che’s (1803-1875) list of rare texts; see Lokesh Chandra, Materials for a History of Tibetan Literature (Kyoto: Rinsen Book Co., 1981, repr. of the 1963 ed.), no. 11012. Bshes gnyen tshul khrims, Lhasé Gönto Rinchen PunggyenLha sa’i dgon tho rin chen spungs rgyan [A Catalogue of the Monasteries of Lhasa: A Heap of Jewels; hereafter Lha sa’i dgon tho] (Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang, 2001), 15, quotes Khöntön’Khon ston’s KarchakDkar chag, implying, perhaps, that he had the text at his disposal; he gives the date of composition of the work as 1619.
Sde srid sangs rgyas rgya mtsho’s account of PabongkhaPha bong kha in the Baidurya SerpoBai ḍūrya ser po, 144, is fascinating because it links the flourishing of Tibet to the flourishing of PabongkhaPha bong kha; and vice versa, it links political problems in Tibet with the decline of PabongkhaPha bong kha. Mention of PabongkhaPha bong kha is also found in Turrell Wylie, The Geography of Tibet According to the ’Dzam-gling-rgyas-bshad (Rome: IsMEO, 1962), 83 and 159 n. 400; and Alfonsa Ferrari, Luciano Petech and Hugh Richardson, Mk’yen brtse’s Guide to the Holy Places of Central Tibet (Rome: IsMEO, 1958), 42, 101-102 n. 86, and plates 6 and 7.