Dodrupchen Monastery

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photo courtesy of Pema D. Latshang
photo courtesy of Pema D. Latshang
photo courtesy of Pema D. Latshang

Dodrupchen Monastery (Tib. རྡོ་གྲུབ་ཆེན་དགོན་, Wyl. rdo grub chen dgon) aka Tsangchen Ngödrub Palbar Ling (Wyl. rtsang chen dngos grub dpal 'bar gling) is a monastery of the Longchen Nyingtik lineage in Golok, Eastern Tibet, founded in its current location in 1862 by the second Dodrupchen Jikmé Puntsok Jungné in the Tsangchen plain in the Do valley.

The First Dodrupchen Jikme Trinle Özer had built three monasteries:[1]

  • Drodön Künkhyap Ling or Drodön Lhündrub Gompa at Shukchen Tago (shugs chen stag mgo) in Do Valley
  • Ogmin Rigdzin Phelgye Ling or Dzagyal Monastery at Getse Tö in Dzachukha Valley
  • Yarlung Pemako or Pemako Tsasum Khandro Ling at Drakchen Yarlung in Serta Valley (gser rta brag chen yar klung)

Jikme Trinle Özer had first laid the foundation for a monastery called Drodön Lhündrub Gompa at Shukchen Tago, about ten miles from the present Dodrupchen monastery, but then left for other matters. He resumed building in 1799, where he was assisted by Jikme Gyalwe Nyugu. Later on, Jikme Trinle Özer refused to stay there because of some incident with the local chieftain. It remained a hermitage for some time and Patrul Rinpoche still stayed there. But Tulku Thondup says that when he passed by the monastery as a child, he saw only ruins.[2]

He built Dzagyal Monastery with the help of Jikme Gyalwe Nyugu in Dzachukha Valley. Later this place became the main seat of Jikme Gyalwe Nyugu himself and of his famous disciple Patrul Rinpoche.[3]

Then in 1810 the First Dodrupchen established another meditation centre at Yarlung in Serta. He named it the Pemako Tsasum Khandro Ling (pad+ma bkod rtsa gsum mkha' 'gro'i gling), which became known as Yarlung Pemako Monastery. After building it Dodrupchen Rinpoche vowed never to leave it again and stayed there for next ten years of his live.[4] Many great masters came to receive transmissions from Dodrupchen here, and it is here where Gyalsé Shenpen Tayé instituted an annual forty-five day teaching and practice of the Guhyagarbha Tantra.

When Gönpo Namgyal, a warlord of Nyarong, attacked the Ser valley, the Second Dodrupchen Jikmé Puntsok Jungné had no choice but to flee the monastery. He then settled in 1862 in the Tsangchen plain in the upper Do Valley, and this became the location of the current Dodrupchen Monastery.

In its heyday, the monastery had a group of great scholars who came to be renowned as the 'Four Great Khenpos'.[5]. They were:

Tulku Thondup writes: 'Almost all the scholars of that time in Golok and Serta provinces of Tibet and also many from Nyingma monasteries of Kham, Gyarong, and Amdo were students of Dodrupchen Monastery'

In India

Dodrupchen monastery has been founded in exile by the Fourth Dodrupchen Tubten Trinlé Pal Zang, and is called (Deorali) Chorten Gompa (deorali mchod rten dgon pa).

Notes

  1. Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, page 176
  2. Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, page 154
  3. Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, page 155
  4. See Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, page 155. Tulku Thondup notes that Yarlung Monastery is being rebuilt under the guidance of Yarlung Tulku Tenpe Nyima, an incarnation of the Third Dodrupchen.
  5. See Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, page 247, and Adam Pearcey, A Greater Perfection? Scholasticism, Comparativism and Issues of Sectarian Identity in Early 20th Century Writings on RDzogs-Chen (SOAS University of London, 2018), pages 44-45
  6. He might have been originally from the Geluk monastery of Sershul

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