Zang Phelgye Ling Monastery
Zang Phelgye Ling Monastery
was built by the villagers about 400 years ago. Chen Nga Sherab
Jungne, a disciple of Kyabpa Jibten Sumgon, founded Tilchen monastery
on the hill top of Zang village, near his meditation cave, Gompug,
on the side of a rocky mountain. In the 15th century, Tilchen Monastery
and the local villagers were heavily taxed annually by the legendary
five brothers of the Kingdom of Zumling. The local people, the monastery
and the lamas' estates were unable to pay the tax so the monastery
was closed and all the religious objects and valuable possessions
were transferred to Weltse Monastery. Later, the local people decided
to reconstruct Zang Phelgye Ling Monastery and brought back all
the sacred objects that had been moved to Weltse
The monastery's main contents
are a foot-high Dorjee Chang (Vajradhara) and a Jo-O Shakyamuni
(Lord Buddha), made from Le-Mar (red bronze) and burnished in gold.
These were brought from Tilchen Monastery and are one of the oldest
objects in the monastery.
meter-high image of Achie Choe Kyi Dolma riding on her horse. She
is one of the Dharma Protectors of the Drikung Kagyu Order and is
believed to be Yeshi Pe Sungpa. "Achie" translates as
grand-mother in English; "Choe" means Dharma in Sanskrit
and Buddhism in English; "Kyi" means of; "Dolma"
translates as Tara in Sanskrit and is a name. Achie Choe Kyi Dolma
was born in 1027. When she was alive, she was a genuine Buddhist
practitioner and showed her compassion to all sentient beings equally.
Therefore, she was known as Buddhism because she was living by the
teachings of Buddha. She is believed to be an emanation of Tara
and was given the name Dolma. Tara is an Indian woman, who has gained
the state of liberation.
A pair of wooden Chod Ten (stupa)
which are covered in silver. "Chod" means offering and
"Ten" means an object to depend on. The two words together
translate as an object to make an offering and depend on. Buddhists
take refuge in the Three Jewels, known as Konchok Sum in Tibetan,
which are the body, speech and mind of Buddhas. To represent the
Three Jewels, images of Buddhas are seen as bodies, teaching books
are studied as speech and Chod Ten are considered to be representation
of Buddha's minds. Since there are countless number of Buddhas,
there are a great number of Chod Tens. Some contain actual dead
bodies of highly-realized Buddhist practitioners, known as Mer Thong,
and others have some precious substances such as the ashes of practitioners,
thousands of block-printed images of Buddhas or a block-printed
Chod Ten itself, known as Tsa-Tsa, and other things.
There are a number of small
images and over 40 Thangka paintings. In fact, there are a great
number of objects which have been there for hundreds of years and
there are some wonderful religious instruments and containers.
Some 20 years ago, the Phelgye
Ling Monastery invited Me Dawa, a well-known image-maker, and his
companions, from Kathmandu. These artists made three giant images
- of Buddha Shakyamuni in the centre, Guru Nangsed Selnon on the
left and Kyab Jigten Sumgon on the right - in the meeting hall of
the monastery. At the same time, the roof of the hall had to be
raised because of the size of the images. On completion, the artists
painted some amazing paintings, including Guru Tsen-Gyad (eight
different Gurus), eight Medicine Buddhas, and fifteen images of
Shegro Dampa, three Agon Choe Sang (Dharma Protectors) - Achie,
Gonpo and Choekong - and four Kasung (those who obey all orders)
- Tashi Tsering ma, Mamo, Za , Damchen and Hara.
With the help of the current
His Holiness Drikung Chungtsang Rinpoche, Zang Phelgye Ling bought
a Goku Thangka in Lhasa. The contents of the Thangka are almost
the same as the old Goku at Weltse Rinchen Ling monastery. In addition,
there are over 40 masks to perform Lama dances and the same number
Zang is one of the three villages
of Limi. There are 64 households. Some households have upto 17 people
sharing three generations in a kitchen. The population of Zang village
is over 700 peoples.