Thirteen geomantic temples

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The thirteen geomantic temples of Tibet were built at the time of King Songtsen Gampo to tame the supine demoness that lie along the land of Tibet, and guard the country. They are the four Region Subduing temples, four Extremity Taming temples, four Farther Taming temples and the Jokhang in the centre. There are several versions of the 12 peripheral temples and their location. The Mani Kabum gives them as follows:[1]

The four Region Subduing temples (Ru gnon chen po bshi):

  • Left upper arm: Yuru, central Tibet (g.yu ru khra ‘brug)
  • Right upper arm: Uru, one of the two regions of U-Central Tibet (dbu ru ka tshal)
  • Right hip: Yeru, one of the two regions of Tsang (g.yas ru gtsang ‘phrang)
  • Left hip: Rulak, one of the two regions of Tsang (ru lag gi grom pa rgyang brtsigs)

The Extremity Taming temples

  • Right elbow: Kongpo bu chu (gong po bu chu)
  • Left elbow: Lhodrak Khoting (lho brag kho mthing)
  • Left knee: Bumthang, Bhutan (mon bum thang)
  • Right knee: Pradumtse Temple in the north (byang pra dum brtsigs or byang pra dun rtse).

The four Farther Taming temples

  • Right palm: Langtang Tara temple in Khams (mdo khams glang thang sgrol ma)
  • Left palm: byang tshangs pa rlung gnon (in Nyethang, central Tibet)
  • Sole of the right foot: Jamtrin in Mangyul, north of Kathmandu (mang yul byams sprin)
  • Sole of the left foot: Paro Kyerchu temple, Bhutan (spa gro skyer chu’i lha khang)


Further Reading

  • Mills, M., Re-Assessing the Supine Demoness: Royal Buddhist Geomancy in the Srong btsan sgam po Mythology, JIATS, no. 3 (December 2007). [1]

Notes

  1. chos rgyal srong btsan sgam po’i ma Ni Bka’ ‘bum, pod gnyis pa, Yeshe De Project, Odiyan, USA, 2005, p.332-334