The Gangteng Monastery (Dzongkha: སྒང་སྟེང་དགོན་པ ),generally legendary as Gangtey Gonpa or Gangtey cloister, is an vital cloister of Nyingmapa faculty of Buddhism, the main seat of the Pema Lingpa tradition. located in the Wangdue Phodrang District in central Bhutan. The Monastery, also legendary by the Gangten village that surrounds it, is in the Phobjikha Valley wherever winter guests – the black-necked cranes – visit central Bhutan to roost, circling the monastery 3 times on arrival and continuance this circling once returning to Tibet. The Monastery’s history traces to the early 17th century and back to the prophecies created by the well-known Terton (treasure finder) Pema Lingpa within the late fifteenth century.
The Monastery is one amongst the most seats of the spiritual tradition supported Pema Lingpa’s revelations and one of the 2 main centres of the Nyingmapa faculty of Buddhism within the country.
A Nyingma monastic college or shedra, Do-ngag Tösam Rabgayling, has been established above the village.
The descent of the first king of Bhutan, Ugyen Wangchuck of the Wangchuk Dynasty of Bhutan, which continues to rule Bhutan is copied to the kindred of the Dungkhar Choje, a subsidiary of the clan of Khouchung Choje whose founder was Kunga Wangpo, the fourth son of Pema Lingpa.
The Gangteng Monastery, also known as the Gangteng Sangngak Chöling སྒང་སྟེང་གསང་སྔགས་ཆོས་གླིང་, was established in 1613 by the first Peling Gyalsé Rinpoche or Gangteng Tulku, Rigdzin Pema Tinley (1564–1642), who was the grandchild of the nice Bhutanese “treasure revealer” Terchen Pema Lingpa (1450–1521). The earliest historical background relevant to this monastery is copied to institution of the Vajrayana tradition of Buddhism, by Guru Rinpoche, who was instrumental in creating Bhutan a Buddhist nation. The Guru, during his visits to the country in the eighth and ninth centuries, had hidden many sacred treasures (called terma) (images and scriptures), to avoid their desecration or destruction throughout troubled times, at various places in Bhutan to be retrieved in later years by treasure finders, to propagate the teachings of Buddha. These were retrieved at various periods over time and in the fifteenth century Pema Lingpa, born in 1450, considered associate incarnation of Guru Rinpoche, prompted by a revelation of 108 treasure coves in his psychic dream revealed by his Guru Rinpoche. He embarked on the game in 1476 when he was twenty five years older. He was successful in locating several treasures of pictures and scriptures connected to Buddhism throughout Bhutan, which resulted in establishing several monasteries throughout Bhutan, and Buddhism took firm roots in the country. Consequently, Pema Lingpa came to be known as the “King Terton”, a revered saint and teacher. The Terton, came on a visit to the Phobjikha Valley as a saint to teach Buddhist precepts to the individuals and conjointly to bless them. During this visit, after wanting at the spectacular mountains that encircled the depression he had expected that one amongst his descendants would build a cloister or gonpa on the Gangten (meaning high of the mountain) and create it renowned because the seat of the Peling tradition. This prediction fructified when a cloister was designed by his grand son Gyalse Pema Thinley in 1613, and the spur of the mountain was given the name, the Gangteng Sang Nga Choling (meaning: “summit for the teaching of the dharma”). He became the first Trulku (spiritual head of the cloister or gonpa) of the cloister. It was initially designed as a Lhakhang, a small village cloister, which was later dilated by his son Tenzing Legpai Dhendup (1645–1726), who succeeded him as the second Trulku. It was built sort of a Dzong (fortress). The present Wangchuk kinfolk, which rules Bhutan, are descendants of Pema Lingpa.
From 2002–2008, the Monastery has been fully improved beneath the gift Gangteng Tulku, H.E. Rigdzin Kunzang Pema Namgyal (b. 1955).
The rebuilt cloister was consecrated by the gift incarnation of Pema Lingpa on the Oct ten, 2008, graced by the fourth King of Bhutan. Gangteng Sang-ngak Chöling, as now improved, retains its original glory and is stated to be the revivification of the Peling Tradition. Hence, the restoration of the Lhakhang and the resurgence of the Peling Tradition conjointly symbolises the aura of Bhutan’s autocracy.”
In the context of the 1864–65 battle fought between land Army and therefore the Bhutanese Army at Deothang in Bhutan, it is mentioned that the hands of land man that was severed within the battle are “preserved within the sanctum sanctorum of the Gangteng Gonpa.
- AddressWangdue Phodrang District, Bhutan
- Category Monastery, Temple
- Location Wangdue Phodrang
- Tag Bhutan, Gangteng Monastery, Monastery, Paro, temple, Thimphu, tour operator
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