Dorje Drak

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Dorje Drak
Tibetan transcription(s)
Tibetan རྡོ་རྗེ་བྲག་དགོན་པ།
Wylie transliteration rdo rje brag dgon pa
Dorje Drak is located in China
Dorje Drak
Dorje Drak
Location within China
Coordinates: 29°21′11″N 91°07′55″E / 29.353°N 91.132°E / 29.353; 91.132
Monastery information
Location Lhoka (Shannan) Prefecture
Founded by The First Rigdzin Godemchen Ngodrub Gyeltsen (1337-1409)
Type Tibetan Buddhist
Sect Nyingma

Dorje Drak Gompa (Tibetan: རྡོ་རྗེ་བྲག་དགོན་པ།Wylie: rdo rje brag dgon pa "Indestructible Rock Vihara") or Tupten Dorjé drak Dorjé Drak Éwam Chokgar (Tibetan: ཐུབ་བསྟན་རྡོ་རྗེ་བྲག་རྡོ་རྗེ་བྲག་ཨེ་ཝཾ་ལྕོག་སྒར་Wylie: thub bstan rdo rje brag rdo rje brag e waM lcog sgar) was one of the Six "Mother" Nyingma Monasteries in Tibet. It is located in the Lhoka (Shannan) Prefecture in the south of the Tibet Autonomous Region, older southeastern Ü-Tsang.[1]

Dorje Drak is also the name of the monastery built to replace it in Shimla, India after the original was destroyed during the Battle of Chamdo. It is now the seat of the throne-holder of the monastery and the tradition.[2] Along with Mindrolling Monastery it is one of the two most important Nyingma monasteries in the region of Ü.[3]


[Dorje Drak] ... was founded by the First Rigdzin Godemchen Ngodrub Gyeltsen (1337-1409). In 1632 the monastery relocated from Tsang to its present tranquil setting on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, when the young Third Rigdzin Ngagiwangpo and his guardian Jangdak Tashi Topgyel were forced to flee the wrath of the kings of Tsang. Their successor, the erudite Fourth Rigdzin Pema Trinle (b. 1641) greatly enlarged the monastery before his untimely death at the hands of the Dzungar Mongolians, who sacked the monastery in 1717.[4]

Rebuilding began in 1720, under patronage of the 7th Dalai Lama, Kelzang Gyatso. However, when Kelzang Pema Wangchuk, The Fifth Dorje Drak Rigdzin (1719/20-1770/71) was enthroned as the monastery's third throne holder, its buildings were still lying mostly in ruins.[5]

The Sixth Dorje Drak Rigdzin, Kunzang Gyurme Lhundrub (d. 1808?) is remembered for "building and maintaining the monastery." He "gave teachings, commissioned numerous objects of faith, sponsored the printing of scriptures, and emphasized the study of the Jangter and other traditions' texts."[6]

Later, during the 1960s the monastery was again obliterated. Nonetheless it has been gradually restored in recent years through the efforts of the present incarnation of Dordrak Rigdzin, who lives in Lhasa, and those of Kelzang Chojor and the local community.[4]

"The monastery specialized in the Northern Treasures (Tib. བྱང་གཏེར་, changter; Wyl. byang gter) tradition of Rigdzin Gödem".[7] It had approximately 200 monks before the Chinese invasion.[2]

Former incarnations[edit]

  • Rigdzin Gödem (1337-1408) [8]
  • Lekden Dudjom Dorje (1512-1625) - the teacher of Changdak Tashi Tobgyal [8]

Throneholders (Dordrak Rigdzin)[edit]

  • Rigdzin Ngakgi Wangpo (1580-1639) [9]
  • Rigdzin Pema Trinlé (1641-1717) [10]
  • Kalzang Pema Wangchuk (1719/20-1770/71) - born in Chagdud [5]
  • Kunzang Gyurme Lhundrup Dorje (17th century - 1808?) [6]
  • Ngawang Jampal Mingyur Lhundrup Dorje (1810?/1839-1844?/1861) [11]
  • Kalzang Pema Wangyal Düdul Dorje (1848-1880)[12]
  • Thupten Chöwang Nyamnyi Dorje (1884/6-1932/5) [8]
  • Thupten Jikmé Namdrol Gyatso (b. 1936) [8]

Dorje Drak Gompa (Jingangsi)[edit]

This monastery at the southern end of the city of Kangding (Dartsedo) in Eastern Kham (Ganzi Prefecture) is a branch of the Dorje Drak monastery in Central Tibet. It was destroyed in 1959 before the Cultural Revolution, but the Chanting Hall (the main temple), in which there is a large statue of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), and Jokhang have been restored.[13]

In exile[edit]

As the original monastery was destroyed after the Chinese invaded Tibet, a new monastery was founded by Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche in 1984 in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India, modeled after the original Dorje Drak monastery in Tibet. It is called Thupten Dorje Drak Ewam Chogar Chökhor Namgyal Ling.[2]

The current throneholder is Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche or H.H. Taglung Kyabgon Tsetrul Thupten Gyaltsen Rinpoche, who also accepted the position of Head of the Nyingma sect on 22 March 2012.[14][15]


  1. ^ Berzin (1991, expanded 2003)
  2. ^ a b c Dorje Drak Monastery
  3. ^ Mayhew and Kohn (2005), p. 147.
  4. ^ a b Dorje (2009), p. 197.
  5. ^ a b Chhosphel, Samten (July 2013). "The Fifth Dorje Drak Rigdzin, Kelzang Pema Wangchuk". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  6. ^ a b Chhosphel, Samten (July 2013). "The Sixth Dorje Drak Rigdzin, Kunzang Gyurme Lhundrub". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  7. ^ "Rigdzin Gödem". Rigpa Wiki. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Throneholders of Dorje Drak Monastery". Rigpa Wiki. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  9. ^ Chhosphel, Samten (May 2013). "The Third Dorje Drak Rigdzin, Ngakgi Wangpo". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  10. ^ Chhosphel, Samten (February 2012). "The Fourth Dorje Drak Rigdzin, Pema Trinle". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  11. ^ Chhosphel, Samten (July 2013). "The Seventh Dorje Drak Rigdzin, Ngawang Jampel Mingyur Lhundrub Dorje". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  12. ^ Chhosphel, Samten (July 2013). "The Eighth Dorje Drak Rigdzin, Kelzang Pema Wanggyel". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  13. ^ Osada, et al, (2004), p. 240.
  14. ^ [1] in Tibetan
  15. ^ New Supreme Head of the Nyingmapa, Kyabjé Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche


  • Berzin, Alexander (1991, expanded 2003): "A Brief History of Dorjey-drag Monastery."
  • Dorje (2009): Footprint Tibet Handbook. 4th Edition. Gyurme Dorje, pp. 197–198.
  • Dowman (1988): The Power-Places of Central Tibet: The Pilgrim's Guide. Keith Dowman. Routledge & Kegan Paul, london & New York, pp. 205–213.
  • Mayhew and Kohn (2005): Tibet. 4th Edition. Bradley Mayhew and Michael Kohn. Lonely Planet, p. 147.
  • Osada, et al, (2004). Mapping the Tibetan World. Yukiyasu Osada, Gavin Allwright and Atushi Kanamaru. Kotan Publishing, Tokyo, pp. 97–98, 240.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°21′16″N 91°07′47″E / 29.35444°N 91.12972°E / 29.35444; 91.12972