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BHUTAN: Founding of Kheri Gonpa in Dungsam

Posted by carchu on January 27, 2011 at 3:45 AM

Founding of Kheri Gonpa in Dungsam

Kuntu Zangpo, Dorje Sempa, Garab Dorje, Shri Singha, Pema Jungney, and Yeshi Tshogyal,

Who are the Dzogchen Lineage holders,

And the root Gurus of Pemalingpa,

To them, I submit my humble respect!

Similarly, I also submit my due respect to the Trikaya or the Three Bodies (Ku, Sung, and Thug) of Kunga Wangpo.

Rigzin Pemalingpa was born in accordance with Ugyen Pema Jungney’s endeavors and prophesies in clearing the darkness of sentient beings. Pemalingpa had seven children: Ache Ugyen Zangmo, Thuksey Dawa Gyaltshen, Konchog Zangmo, Dragpa Gyalpo, Kunga Wangpo, Tenzin Gyurmed, and Sangdag.

In the Wood Female Ox Year, Kunga Wangpo was born to Yum Bumdren at Tamzhing and Yab Rinpoche (father) recognized him as reincarnation of Budhana Samkrita, the son of Brahmin (Dramdzi). At the very tender age, he was fond of giving teachings and blessings. Besides, he proved to be skilled in Zorig (arts and crafts works). In addition to such skills, he also received complete teachings on Kagyad Zhithro Kunzang Gongdue, Thegpa-rim-gu Duekhor, Dechen Kye-dor, and Sangdue.

Pemalingpa said to Kunga Wangpo:

“Worldly existence will be free of obstructions to act upon,

As you have achieved comprehensive wisdom,

You have also gained control over your mind and is free of ignorance,

So, to you, guardian of the decadent age, Kunga Wangpo,

I pray you, to meterialise blessings of Three Bodies (Kusum).

With these words, he was entrusted to be the guardian of Sang-ngag Gyud-dey and destined as follows, “there is a small valley which is crucial for you, situated on the elephant’s trunk-like mount facing Khenpajong in Kurilung. Go there and execute your works.”

So he left for the destined place, following the prophesy given by Pemalingpa. There, he set-up his seat and named it as Khochung. He spent his days working tirelessly, availing his presence to places from Dungli in the east to Paro Taktshang in the west, Lhodrag in the north and Dungsam in the south, including Kheng Bumthang, Kurtoe, and Trashigang. Besides, he also stayed at the Mugtangkhar and gave elaborative initiations and transmissions (Wang, Lung, and Thri) to thousands of his pupils.

He had fate to see Ugyen Rinpoche for two times, Yab Pemalingpa for five times, and also Chador, Shri Singha, Jampel Shenyen, Ludrub, Garab Dorje, and Yeshi Tshogyal once, through his wisdom eyes (Yeshi kyi zig-nang), from whom, he received intense teachings on Dzogpa Chenpo and practiced it in his daily life.

Likewise, even in dreams, he was fortunate enough to see Indra Bodhi, Nangwa Thaye, Thuji Chenpo, Munsel Dronmey. Besides that, he had visited Dewachen, Ngawab-ling, Changlochen, Wogmin, and Khachod Dechen, where he received all sorts of teachings and became one of the most learned and accomplished persons (Khe-drub) at that time.

He then tied nuptial knot with a lady from Khadro Chodung clan from whom were born a son called Ngawang and daughter named Tsheten Gyalmo.

Then, Khedrub Kunga wangpo set-off for pilgrimage to the valley of Gyalwai Zhingchog Tsachog Drong. On the way, he came across Dungsam and he rested on a stone slab for a while. During which, a bird flew at lama’s sight. The bird danced at its soothing chirps, flapped its wings to sprinkle water drops at lama. Then, it had flown at hillside and repeated the action for three times. So then lama followed the bird and found a small lake at the site. Again the bird danced twittering on the lake, spraying water drops at Lama. With this omen, lama felt so happy and spent one week at the site.

By then, cow herders of the vicinity came to know about the lama and the news spread to the village of Shalikhar. With the help of village head (Tsor-gen) of Nangkor, villagers approached the lama. To the gathering, Lama Rinpoche gave teachings and advices. All the people became so devoted and thanked lama for visiting their village and blessing them. They also sought lama’s help, whether it would be good or bad to construct a lhakhang at the site as the centre of worship for the entire population. Lama then confirmed that it would be auspicious and of great importance, if they come up with construction of Tsuglagkhang. He explained that it would not only help to subside famines and diseases, but also accumulate enormous merits and blessings. It would also promote peace and happiness both at present and future lives.

People, headed by village heads and patrons, requested for his supervision at the construction, to which, lama instructed them to arrange timbers and stones. So that, they could start their works upon his return from his pilgrimage. So then he left.

The people of Dungsam Dozhi including village heads of Shalikhar and Nangkor, elders and patrons discussed construction works to be undertaken. Once all items were in place, such as timber and stones, lama returned from the Tsa-chog Drong.

Meditating for one week at the lakeside, Lama dried the brook through his meditative power, and laid foundation, which took five months to complete the construction. Therefore, ten days of consecration ceremony was held during which he gave complete initiation and transmission of Peling tradition to the public. And the monastery was named as Kheri Gonpa. Besides such remarkable deeds, he also left his body and leg imprints and also imprints of walking stick on the stone slab where he had rested before, located just below the Kheri Gonpa. Thereafter, people of Dungsam Dozhi had appointed four households as care-taker (kunyer) of the lhakhang and another ten households to fetch and provide firewood and water, with the initiative of Shumar Khoche.

The land in the vicinity of the Tsuglakhang was also submitted for the welfare of the lhakhang and the thram to this effect exists. The prominent people of Shalikhar, Nangkhor and the people of Dungsam Dozhi led by Shumar Khoche, made offerings and expressed their gratitude for the light shone by the lama in a place of darkness. They promised to perform all the seasonal Bumdey, Kangsol and maintain the lhakhang whenever required. However, they said the lama must remain at Kheri Gonpa. To this, the lama explained that the offer made by the people was a sign of very good omen. But, he said he had to return to Muktangkhar in Trashigang, in keeping with the prophecy given by Yab Pemalingpa. He told the people that they should not feel sad, and that he would send one of his descendants, who would be no different from himself, in the year after to take his place at Kheri Gonpa and, with that, he left for Muktangkhar.

After one year from the date of his departure, the people were busy preparing for the Annual Tshechu on the 5th month when Shumar Khoche’s daughter Ani Nyinda Dolma gave birth to a son. It’s said that, as soon as the child was born, it said ‘‘Kunga Wangpo Khenno’’ where the people were very much pleased and contended. At the age of five, he was sent to his father for studies and he was named as Pema Gyatsho. At the age of fifteen, he successfully completed all his studies and having been sent back to Kheri Gonpa by his father, he conducted all religious discourses of the Peling lineage to the religious practitioners and public.

The descendent of Pema Gyatsho was Pema Kunden, youngest of his three children. He gave two sons, of whom Choje Drangsong carried the lineage. His descendant was Yongba, followed by Lama Tharpa Gyaltshen (who was married to the daughter of Yongla lama and himself became Yongla lama in due course). This was followed by Sangay Chophel (who also became Yongla lama), Thonglek, Kinga Dorji and present lama being Kunzang Lhendup. See Kheri Lineage below.


TRANSLATION BY: Gengop Karchung

(Published by Kuensel Corporation)

Categories: None

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