Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
Trashi Chöling Hermitage
by José Ignacio Cabezón
January 30, 2006
Section 5 of 5


[1] The institution corresponds to TBRC G2482.
[2] On the history of this controversy, see Georges Dreyfus, The Shuk-Den Affair: Origins of a Controversy, at http://www.tibet.com/dholgyal/shugden-origins.html. To see a tangkathang ka painting of the deity in question, see http://www.himalayanart.org/image.cfm?icode=90554.
[3] The main images that existed at Trashi ChölingBkra shis chos gling before 1959 are mentioned in 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] (Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang, 2001), 24.
[4] Lozang Yeshé Tendzin GyatsoBlo bzang ye shes bstan ’dzin rgya mtsho (1901-1981), junior tutor to the Fourteenth Dalai Lama (Dalai Lama Kutreng ChuzhipaDa lai bla ma sku phreng bcu bzhi pa), and one of the chief Dharma-heirs of PabongkhapaPha bong kha pa (1878-1941). It was Trijang RinpochéKhri byang rin po che, for example, who was responsible for compiling Pabongkha RinpochéPha bong kha rin po che’s teachings on the graded stages of the path (lamrimlam rim) into the classic text known as Liberation in Our Hands (Namdröl LakchangRnam grol lag bcangs). That work has been translated twice into English. See Artemus B. Engle,tr., Liberation in Our Hands (New Jersey: Mahāyāna Sūtra and Tantra Press, 1999.
[5] Lhasé GöntoLha sa’i dgon tho, 24, gives the number of fully ordained monks as twenty-five.
[6] The author of Lhasé GöntoLha sa’i dgon tho reports, however, that at the time of the writing of his book there were four monks of the Sera Tantric College living at the hermitage.
[7] Lhasé GöntoLha sa’i dgon tho, 23.
[8] Ser smad spom ra 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: Sermey Printing Press, 1984), 140, states: “On that [same] mountain [as Pabongkha Hermitage] is the hermitage of Trashi ChölingBkra shis chos gling. In the past, it was the assembly place of King Lhazang Khan’s (Lhazang KhangLha bzang khāng) ritual college (kurim dratsangsku rim grwa tshang). Later, the ritual college was moved to SeraSe ra’s old assembly hall (dukhang’du khang) and Trashi ChölingBkra shis chos gling became a hermitage. Trashi ChölingBkra shis chos gling was [then] offered by the Tantric College to the PabongkhaPha bong kha incarnation – Jampa Tendzin Trinlé GyatsoByams pa bstan ’dzin ’phrin las rgya mtsho (1878-1941) – of Sera Mé College (Sera MéSe ra smad) Gyelrong Regional House (Gyelrong KhangtsenRgyal rong khang tshan). This holy person completely redid the shrines and offerings. [At this hermitage] there is an assembly hall, personal residence, protector deity chapel (gönkhangmgon khang), gold-plated statue of the protector Maitreya (JampaByams pa), unlimited numbers of representations of the Buddha’s body, speech and mind, as well as many monks’ quarters.”
[9] It is not clear whether this transition from the private ritual college to the Sera Tantric College took place immediately or over a period of years.
[10] This coincided with PabongkhapaPha bong kha pa officially becoming part of the Sera Tantric College. And according to at least one informant, the offering of Trashi ChölingBkra shis chos gling to PabongkhapaPha bong kha pa was in fact a way of inducing him to affiliate with the Sera Tantric College. This tradition is carried on today, and the present Pabongkha RinpochéPha bong kha pa rin po che, for example, has affiliations both to the Smad and Tantric College.
[11] Pabongkha RinpochéPha bong kha pa rin po che was known as one of the strongest proponents of this controversial deity in the twentieth century.
Trashi Choling Hermitage , by José Ignacio Cabezón

Table of Contents

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