Drigung Monastery

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Drigung Monastery
Drigung monastery.jpg
Drigung Monastery
Tibetan transcription(s)
Tibetan འབྲི་གུང་མཐིལ
Wylie transliteration ‘Bri-gung mthil ‘Og-min byang-chub gling
Other transcriptions Drigungtil Ogmin Jangchubling Monastery, Drikung Thil
Chinese transcription(s)
Simplified 直贡梯寺
Drigung Monastery is located in Tibet
Drigung Monastery
Drigung Monastery
Location within Tibet
Coordinates: 30°06′24″N 92°12′17″E / 30.10667°N 92.20472°E / 30.10667; 92.20472Coordinates: 30°06′24″N 92°12′17″E / 30.10667°N 92.20472°E / 30.10667; 92.20472
Monastery information
Location Lhasa Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China
Founded by Drigung Kyobpa Jigten-gonpo-rinchenpel
Founded 1179
Date renovated 1980
Type Tibetan Buddhist
Sect Kagyu
Lineage Drigung Kagyu

Drigung Monastery (直贡梯寺) is a notable monastery in the Lhasa Prefecture, Tibet founded in 1179. High in the Himalayan mountains, the monastery stands at an elevation of 4150m and currently houses 250 to 300 monks.[1]

The monastery (actually Drigungtil Ogmin Jangchubling Monastery (Wylie: ‘Bri-gung mthil ‘Og-min byang-chub gling); also Drikung Thil Monastery)) is named after its location in a valley about 150 km east from Lhasa, in Drigung district, and is the mother monastery of the Drigung Kagyu (Drikung Kargyu) tradition.

It was founded in 1179 by the founder of that tradition, Drigung Kyobpa Jigten-gonpo-rinchenpel (Wylie: ‘Bri-gung sKyob-pa ‘Jig-rten dgon-po rin-chen dpal, also called Kyobpa Rinpoche, or Jigten Sumgön 1143-1217). The tradition emphasizes its founders tantric meditation and Phowa practices.[2]

After being destroyed by Communists following the takeover of Tibet in 1959, reconstruction work began in 1980. Additionally, the Drigung Kagyu traditions are now upheld at Jangchubling Drikung Kargyu Institute at Dehradun, Uttar Pradesh, India, founded in 1985.

A tradition in Tibetan Buddhism known as sky burials are commonly performed by monks of the monastery, and it has become one of the more notable aspects of the monastery's culture wherein the bodies of the dead are put out for nature to decompose or for predatory birds to eat. As Buddhists believe in reincarnation, there is no need, in their view, to preserve the corpses.[3]

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