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A Brief History of Tango Monastery Kuenleg, Tshenyid Lopen Nov 30, 2000

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Tshenyid Lopen Kuenleg*
I pay obeisance to the wrathful Hayagriva, in whose form is
assembled the prajna (transcendental wisdom) of body,
speech, and mind of all the Buddhas. The key of the sacred
place is here, so that it may open the door of faith to myself
and to others.
The history of Tango (rTa-mgo) Monastery will be related here
in three parts:
1. How    great    and    important    the    sacred    place    is,
including an eulogy.
2. How the successive great saints came to this place.
3. How the monastery was constructed by Gyalse Tenzin
How Great and Important the Sacred Place is, Including
an Eulogy
Generally speaking, this kingdom of the Sandalwood Valley is
the second Copper-coloured celestial palace or the hidden
holy land of the Second Buddha Guru Padmasambhava.
Through the miraculous powers of the Buddhas and
Bodhisattvas, the earth and all the rocks, stones, hills and
mountains are manifested in the form of tutelary deities, both
peaceful and wrathful, indicating how the sentient beings
were subjugated and protected. Likewise, this is the place
where the Compassionate Universal King Avalokitesvara
revealed Himself in the self-emanated form of the Wrathful
Hayagriva. Therefore, this is the holy place for retreats, the
Siddhidhara, which was blessed by Guru Padmasambhava.
The present master of logic and metaphysics (Tshenyid Lopen) ofthe
Central Monastic Body.
 A Brief History of Tango Monastery
When the divine son Ngawang Tenzin opened the door of this
holy place, he said the following:
"Om! Let there be peace and happiness. Let the
precious Kargyud be victorious. Let the past Buddhas
remain in the sacred sphere of the Dharma: let the
future Buddhas consider the well-being of the sentient
beings: let the present Buddhas undertake the service
of the sentient beings. Let me pay obeisance to the
past, present, and future Buddhas.
The appearance of this extraordinarily sacred site of
the horse-head was predicted in Tibet. In the spacious
southern valley, this horse-head is like a chaitya
(chorten) come down from the 33rd heaven. It was
emanated like a wishfulfilling gem from the palaces of
the Nag as underneath the earth. It stands on this
earth like a tutelary deity. The triangular mandala
below the horse-head signifies that it will be a place
conducive to meditative accomplishments. The
majestic height and space behind the horse-head
indicates the greatness and glory of the Kargyudpa
sect. In front, it has the appearance of a heaping of
precious jewels, symbolising the best utilization of
endless hidden treasures. The sacred unvarying
Vajrasana falls at its right, pointing to the immortality
of morally up-right people. At its left is the oblation of
the river like the Ganges, possessed of eight
attributes, reflecting the satisfaction of all noble sons
of the land in the Dharma. At its centre, the
unshakeable Vajrasana represents the everlastingness
of the Dharmakaya. Below is the dzong of Kiphug
nyima a symbol of the increase of samadhi. Above is
the super-natural horse in space, embodying the
subjugation of the 3 sensual worlds. The rugged and
steep hill to its right signifies the subjugation of
heroes. At the left, Mahesvara is shown to be within
the power of Hayagriva, signifies the subjugation of
heroines. At the centre,  the sacred secluded spot of
 A Brief History of Tango Monastery
dakini indicates the purity and protection of the
Dharma. The Silwatshel (cool grove) temple of
Mahakala below symbolizes the subjugation of all the
Dharmapalas. The upper part of the sloping valley
held by a Lhatsen stands for the offering of siddhi to
the yakshas. The lower terrace of the plateau is
protected by Mentsuen, auguring good and plentiful
harvests, while the wealth of the people on the land is
indicative of the abundance of food. In front, the
meandering of rivers represents voluntary oblations,
and the leafy tree of the forests reflect the increase in
experience. The crolicking of monkeys serves as
consolation to the yogis. The flutter of wings of birds
in the sky offers inspiration to them. Like one rock
may have a thousand mouths, so also a religion may
have manifold sects, but its reality or the essence is
aggregated in the mind.
Oh! what a wonderful place it is ! The very hearing of
its name is enough atonement for one' sins. The
possession of faith will make one blessed. Seeing it,
one will be enlightened. Residing in it, one will attain
nirvana. There will be contentment and tranquillity.
May peace and happiness envelop this place".
As can be seen from the above eulogy of the great saint, this
extraordinary place is veritable tutelary deity to the morally
upright person. But to people of ordinary timbre, it appears
as a rock-horse with all its limbs.
Within the rock is a cave. There are four stages in the upper
and lower parts of the cave, at the centre of which is a secret
self-emanated cavern of a dakini containing triangular red
and black colours and a natural divine mansion. At the side
of the rock, there are self-emanated figures of the sun and the
moon. At the bottom of the cave there is a self-emanated
impression of the demon Matramrutra. When Zhabdrung
Ngawang Namgyel brought the remains of his father to the
fire mandala,  13 Pal-khorlo-dompa (Sri Cakrasambhara gods)
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emanated by themselves at the side of the rock, a sight which
can still be seen today. At the basement of the cave there is a
long passage of rock, which differentiates the virtuous from
the non-virtuous. The virtuous cross it easily, while the sinful
people are squeezed in between and become terrified.
There is an upper cave, the unvarying Vajrasana cave, which
houses a self-emanated Hayagriva whose chest directly faces
the south, symbolizing the actions of Abhicarya in wrathful
forms. The siddhikara-tantra describes the requisite locale for
the tantric practizing siddhi. It should possess a black rock
with a pointed head and its mouth facing south, and it
should be at the summit of a hill or at the site of a tree or
cemetery, or a place associated with a mamo. In Tango all
these requirements are perfectly met.
When Zhabdrung Rinpoche was in meditation in this cave, at
mid-night the demons of the valley caused this horse-head
area to tremble, accompanied by loud swishing and
thundering sounds. A large lump of rock, equivalent to the
size of a yak's body, came crashing down towards
Zhabdrung's head. He was then in complete samadhi, but the
supernatural rock, instead of piercing the larey, was
miraculously held in it. The rock has been carefully preserved
till today, so that it may rouse the faith of future generations.
At present, there is a two-storeyed temple here. The lower
storey contains the temple of Hayagriva, and has for its main
object, the speaking Hayagriva. There are many other internal
objects of one's personal lamas and gurus; crystals in which
images of tutelary deities made their appearance; and a three-
faced Hayagriva discovered by the divine son Ngawang Tenzin
from the Thuji rock at Phadjoding. Also can be found a whip
containing collective supplications, and a small flat stone
which, according to the Namthar of Phajo Drukgom Zhigpo,
bears the foot impression of the youngest daughter of
Ngawang Tenzin, who was a dakini. These kinds of wonderful
objects abound at the place.
 A Brief History of Tango Monastery
On the upper storey is a temple of Mahakala where
Zhabdrung Rinpoche meditated on Mahakala and his retinue.
The main object here is the speaking statue of the 4 handed
Mahakala, which was made by Zhabdrung himself. The
wondrous tormas from which fire sprang forth during the
performance of prayers are extant till today.
The cave below, known as the Kiphug Nyima dzong, has a
very difficult approach but possesses all the requisite
necessities for reclusses. Those who can reach its interior will
attain enlightenment, and the qualities of samadhi and
experience. At the right of the sacred place, there is a big
sandalwood tree. This was originally a staff of Phajo Drukgom
Zhigpo, who planted it - on the earth, saying, 'This will be the
centre from which the Drukpa Kargyud doctrine will spread'.
Below and very near the tree is a small ground containing a
chaitya-an inheritance left behind for posterity by Dakini
Sonam Paldon at the time of her entering the state of
This holy place is like the range of the Malay hills, full of the
most delicious and fragrant wines, attracting one to reside
there. Drupkhangs, fruit trees and flower gardens abound. At
the centre, surrounded by this wealth of nature, there is the
mandala of the sacred horse, and a self-emanated
congregation hall of heroes and dakinis. Hence, the sanctity
of the place is great, beyond description.
How the Successive Great Saints Came to This Place
When during the 4th Rabjung, in accordance with the
prophecy of Chos-rje Tsangpa Gyare, Phajo Drukgom Zhigpo
came to this place, he suddenly heard the neighing of a horse,
and turning towards the source of the sound, he beheld the
vision of Bhagavat Hayagriva sitting in the form of the Horse-
King, the crown of its head blackish-green. He went up and
prostrated himself before it. The Bhagavat said, 'You, my son,
whose coming was predicted by the Guru - you should not be
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small-minded, but you should posses the Bodhicitta
(Bodhisattva mentality). Constantly keep in mind the
predictions of the Guru.'
As was forecast, Phajo Drukgom Zhigpo married Sonam
Paldon, the manifestation of Machig Lapdon, through whom
he begot four sons. He meditated over a long period of time,
and attained the vision of all the tutelary deities. Immense
credit goes to him for the great service he rendered in
bringing the Drukpa Kargyud tradition to this valley for the
well-being of the sentient beings.
During the 8th Rabjung, Chos-rje Drukpa Kunlay came and
blessed the place. He prayed that his successors would take
care of this Vihara. Within a short time, the divine son
Ngawang Tenzin, then aged 50, opened the door of this sacred
place in accordance with the prophecies of Dakinis and
Dharmapalas. He meditated and gained experience on
Mahamudra practice. Many of his disciples resided here and
propagated the doctrines. His son Tshewang Tenzin, who was
the manifestation of Phajo Drukgom Zhigpo, undertook for
many years the responsibilities of the monastery and of
spreading the sacred teachings.
In the 10th Rabjung, when Zhabdrung Rinpoche also arrived
at this place, the divine son Tshewang Tenzin acted as his
host, and offered to Zhabdrung the entire monastic
endowments along with its subjects. Subsequently
Zhabdrung sat in meditation in a secret cavern and, on the
basis of the Abhicarya tantra, propitiated the black-
foreheaded wrathful Mahakala. Within a month, with the help
of his acquired powers, he killed his antagonist Desi Tsangpa
and his queen. Then, while celebrating the happy occasion by
making offerings to the Dharmapalas, he said, 'I am the
turner of the spiritual and temporal laws. I am the refuge of
all.' etc. That is how the seal with 16 1 (Ngas), which is like a
lion's roar, was invented, and became widely diffused.
Because of this, the secret cavern is called duedulphug (place
where the demons were subjugated), and Zhabdrung is also
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known as Duejhom Dorji (the thunder-bolt which rooted out
the devils).
These are the main important events, which occurred here.
Many others, which took place, cannot be related within the
brief length of this history.
Khenchen Sonam Ozer, Thubwang Shakya Rinchen and
others meditated at this place and became siddhis. We
disciples also must now under-take the following religious
Theory - Mahamudra
Meditation- Six mystic topics
Ethics - Based on Ronyom Kordrug
Results- Stages of Tendrel
Lastly, and most importantly, is the secret path and
propitiation of one's Gurus.
If we practise all this sincerely at this extraordinarily holy
place, we shall achieve quick success and realization, for it is
said that seven days of meditation here is equivalent to seven
years of meditation elsewhere.
How the Monastery was Constructed by Gyalse Tenzin
Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye was born to Tshewang Tenzin and
Damchoe Tenzima (daughter of the Lama of Chang Gangkha)
in the Earth Tiger year of the 11th Rabjung corresponding to
1638 A.D., i.e. 2,516 years after the Buddha. At the age of 8,
he was offered to Zhabdrung, who performed the symbolic
gesture of cutting the hair from the crown of the boy's head.
From then on, he received his religious instructions and
injunctions on the Drukpa Kargyud tradition both from
Zhabdrung himself and his tutor Damchoe Gyeltshen. Later,
after having attained proficiency in it, he ascended the throne
of Desi at the age of 31, i.e. in the Earth Monkey year. He also
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became the 4th Desi at the age of 43 in the Iron Monkey year,
and ruled the country on the basis of both spiritual and
temporal laws. For quite some time thereafter, the country
enjoyed peace, happiness and tranquillity that is comparable
to a god's heaven. Guru Rinpoche himself had prophesied
that a person by the name of Tenzin would come from the
centre of Dorje-den (Vajrasana), and that his time would be
characterized by the momentary peace both in Tibet and in
the Southern Valley (Bhutan). In keeping with the prophecy,
there is a general saying that never had the country known
such idyllic peace as during the days of Gyalse Tenzin
At the age of 51, the Earth Dragon Year of the 12th Rabjung,
corresponding to 1689 A.D., i.e. 2,567 years after the
Buddha, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye constructed, within the brief
span of 2 months, the main beautifully decorated 12 cornered
monastery, along with the 3 storeyed gallery central tower.
In the ground floor temple of Trulku, the main sacred object
is a gold and copper Buddha statue thrice a man's height,
which was made by the famous sculptor Panchen Deva of
Nepal. It is believed that if one prays before it, the prayer is
always fulfilled. Both at the right and the left, there is a clay
Buddha Dipankara made with medicinal metals. There is also
a statue of Maitriyanath, which is twice a man's height. To
the left and right of these sculptures, there are life-size statue
of the 8 chief spiritual sons of the Buddha. These are said to
be the work of the renowned craftsmen Trulku Dzing and
Druk Chophel. In the Jokhang, there is a stone carrying a
distinct footprint of Jetsuen Tenzinma, daughter of the divine
son Ngawang Tenzin. Together with this, there are various
other impressions of riding horses, goats, and sheep. One of
the outstanding internal objects of the monastery is a golden
key in the shape of a horse-head, which was discovered by
the divine son Ngawang Tenzin from the Thuji rock at
Phajoding. Common belief has it that a pious man can open
the key. On the left is a great Mahakala temple, whose chief
deity   is   the   four-handed   Mahakala.   A   skull   in   one   of
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Mahakala's hand is said to be that of the great Tibetan King
Thrisong Detsan.
The second floor temple is the temple of Sambhogakaya. Its
main sacred object is a gold and copper statue of
Avalokitesvara, which was also made by Panchen Deva of
Nepal. At its right, there is a temple of Guru Rinpoche. At its
left is the temple of Namse palace. On the third floor is the
temple of Dharmakaya, with a gold and copper statue of
Buddha Amitayus made by Panchen Deva as its main sacred
object. Both on the left and the right, there is a statue of
Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. There is also a life-size clay
figure, made with medicinal metals, of Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye.
All these sculptures are very sacred. At the right there is the
bedroom of Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye. Its main sacred object is
an image of Guru Rinpoche, who appeared in his vision.
Other objects include the Kargyud Serthreng. All the images
are made with medicinal metals and are the real work of the
renowned sculptor Trulku Dzing.
The bed-room walls depict paintings of weeping images which
can be seen even today. It is said that the miraculous images
began weeping at the time of the passing away of Gyalse
Tenzin Rabgye when he was 59 years old.
In the temple to the left there is a statue of Trulku Jampel
Gyamtsho, which is believed to have been made by himself.
The wall paintings on all the 3 storeys are the real work of the
great painter Jangchub Sempa.
In front of the central tower and in the middle of the
courtyard, there is a natural fountain whose flow is constant
throughout the year. Then, between the Dzong and the sacred
place, there is a chaitya known as Jangchub Chorten.
According to the Namthar, the chaitya was built from the
ashes of Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye.
 A Brief History of Tango Monastery
In the Wood Horse Year of the 16th Rabjung, corresponding
to 1966 A.D., i.e. 3,024 years after the Buddha, the 64th rJe
Khenpo Jamyang Yeshey Sengye together with Her Royal
Highness the Grandmother Ashi Phuntshog Chodon revived
the Shaydra (School of Buddhist Studies). In the Fire Serpent
Year corresponding to 1977 A.D., Her Majesty the Queen
Mother Ashi Kesang Wangchuck renovated the monastery
and made it far superior to the original.
Everyone is aware and proud of the great patronage rendered
by Her Majesty the Queen Mother and other members of the
royal family, to whom we would like to record our immense
respect and unstinting loyalty. The very existence of such an
extraordinary sacred place and monastery is a great fortune
to us, and all of us should pay it due homage and respect
with unfailing devotion. Through this key to the holy place,
those creeds, which are impelled to come here and meditate
on the sacred doctrines, will achieve the Mahamudra
experience and understanding.
First Consecration in 1990
The main consecration of the new Kurjey Temple was held on
the 15 Day of the Fourth Month of the Wood Horse Year in
the 17th Rabjung corresponding to June 8, 1990, which
coincided with the anniversary of Lord Buddha's birth,
enlightenment and Mahaparnirvana. The consecration
ceremony was performed by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse
Rinpoche, Trulkus and monks of Tongsa, Tharpaling,
Nyimalung and Shechan Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery of His
Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche at Boudhnath, Nepal. His
Majesty The King, Her Majesty The Queen Mother, Their
Majesties The Queens, Their Royal Highnesses The Princes
and Princesses, senior monks from the Central Monastic
Body and officials of the Royal Government attended the
consecration and offered prayers.
The first Drubchen (Mahasadhana) at this newly built temple
started on the 5th Day of the Fourth Month and concluded on
the 16th Day with Ngodrub Langchog (Ceremony of Receiving
the Supreme Consummation) in the early hours of the
morning. In the afternoon of the same day, the three-day long
consecration ceremony was concluded with benedictions of
Yondag Ngasoel (Installation of Patron) with offering of the
Eight Auspicious Emblems and the Eight Lucky Offerings to
His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Mother by
His Holiness Khyentse Rinpoche to the accompaniment of
prayers by the monks. This was followed by presentation of
scarves, images and zongs by Their Majesties The Queens,
Their Royal Highnesses The Princes and Princesses, senior
monastic representatives and government officials on behalf
Translated from Dzongkha
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of the monastic bodies and the Royal Government. Both the
Drubchen and the consecration ceremony came to an end
with the prayer of Marmai Monlam (Prayer of holding sacred
lamps in the hands) symbolizing the attainment of
Buddhahood together with spiritual brothers and sisters
attending the ceremony.
Kurjey, which literally means "impression left by sacred body
of Guru Rinpoche" is considered to be one of the most holy
places in Bhutan because it was blessed by the presence of
Guru Rinpoche. It was here that Guru Rinpoche subdued evil
spirits and wrathful local deities and then turned the Wheel
of Vajrayana Buddhism for the very first time in Druk Yul by
preaching the Nying-gi Thigpa, the essence of all religions
known as the Dzogpa Chenpo Selwai Melong (The Clear
Mirror of Great Mahasanti). It was here where he meditated
and left the sacred impression of his back (Kurjey) on the
rock in the cave of the Diamond Pile Rock (the Rock of Kurjey
around which the original temple was built).
The unique and magnificent new Lhakhang is the third
temple built on the sacred ground of Kurjey. The first temple
is believed to have been built in the 8th century by King
Sendha of Bumthang after his conversion to Buddhism by
Guru Rinpoche.
The second temple, which is known as the Temple of Sampa
Lhundrub (Complete Fulfillment of one's Mind and Thoughts
or Anabhog bhavana) was constructed in 1900 by Ugyen
Wangchuck, the first hereditary monarch of Bhutan when he
was the Tongsa Penlop.
The construction of the new Lhakhang on the sacred ground
of Kurjey was undertaken by Mayum Chonying Wangmo Dorji
and Her Majesty The Queen Mother in keeping with His
Majesty's desire and wishes to build a sacred image of
Palchen Heruka while her mother Mayum Chonying Wangmo
Dorji had also wished to construct a similar big image of Dorji
Phurpa (Vajrakila) at this holy spot. When His Holiness Dilgo
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Khyentse Rinpoche was consulted about this, he advised Her
Majesty The Queen Mother to build a temple of Ka-Gong-
Phur-Sum (Kagye, Gongdue and Phurpa) on this sacred place.
Thus the construction on this magnificent temple started in
1984 in loving memory and dedication to all the past Kings of
Bhutan, and to Gongzim Ugyen Dorji, Gongzim Sonam
Tobgye Dorji and Lyonchen Jigme Palden Dorji, and with
deepest prayers for the long life and successful reign of His
Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, and for the eternal
happiness and well-being of the Kingdom of Bhutan in
particular and all sentient beings in general. It is the biggest
and most elaborate Ka-Gong-Phur-Sum Temple of the Terma
tradition. The Ka-Gong-Phur-Sum literally means Three
Mystic Revelations of The Eight Pronouncements (Kagye),
Abhipraya Samaja (Gongdue) and Vajra Kilaya (Phurpa).
The new Kurjey Temple has three storeys with the main
image of Palchen Chemchog Heruka (Mahasri Parama
Heruka) in wrathful form or in short form "Mahasri Heruka of
Palchen Duepa", with his mystic consort standing imposingly
from the first to the third floor. This commanding image of
Palchen Heruka is 34 feet in height and has 21 heads, 42
hands with an image of various deities in each hand and 8
legs. The mystic consort has 9 heads, 18 hands, 4 legs and
stands 30 feet in height.
Though there are different forms of Palchen Heruka in
various traditions of Vajrayana Buddhism, this particular one
installed in the new Temple of Kurjey is the Chief of all
Mahasri Heruka, and this sacred image has been made in
accordance with the Longchen Nyingthig (The Heart Essence
of Vast Openness) tradition. The image of Palchen Heruka has
the beneficial effect of averting all undesirable elements like
war, internal strife, natural calamities, misfortune, epidemics
and bringing peace and happiness to the county.
On the right of Palchen Heruka stands the 17 feet image of
Drangsong Throepa Lama Gondue with 3 heads, 6 hands and
4 legs while his consort has one head with two hands and two
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legs. On the left side of Palchen Heruka stands a 17 feet
image of Sinbu Throepa Palchen Dorji Phurpa or Vajrakila
with 3 heads, 6 hands and 4 legs with his consort who has
one face with two hands and two legs.
Life size statues on the top floor on the right of Palchen
Heruka are KHEN-LOB-CHOE-SUM or Khenchen Bodhisattava
(Shantaraksita) on the right, Lopon (Guru) Rinpoche in the
centre and Choegyal Thrisong Deutsan on the left. Images of
the lineage of Nyingmapa Lamas adorn the top portion of the
Statues of similar size on the left side of Palchen Heruka on
the top floor are Drogoen Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorji, founder
of the Drukpa Kargyu tradition with Zhabdrung Ngawang
Namgyel and Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye, the fourth Desi of
Bhutan on the right and left respectively. Images of the
lineage of Drukpa Kargyu Lamas are beautifully placed in a
row above the three statues.
Statues in the middle floor are Kagye (The Eight
Pronouncements), Gongdue (Abhipraya Samaja) and Phurpa
(Vajra Kilaya). They are the Chief Tutelary Deities (Yidam) of
the Terma tradition of Buddhism in the Kingdom.
Statues to be completed on the ground floor are Buddha
Sakyamuni, the main image on this floor with Sariputra and
Moggallana standing on his right and left, the sixteen Arhats
(Neten Chudrug), Hashang, Upasaka Dhamata, and the four
guardian kings ofthe Four Directions (Digpalas).
Along with construction of the new temple, a new chari (wall)
has also been erected around the three temples at Kurjey.
The top of these walls is adorned by 108 chortens (caitya)
carved out of stones and placed at regular intervals. These
Chortens are known as Duduel or Jangchub Chortens.
Chortens represent the Mind of all the Buddhas, and the
steps towards spiritual enlightenment. The Chortens on the
Chari  at  Kurjey  are  symbols  that  commemorate  Buddha's
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victory over evil forces and the absolute purity of His
enlightenment. The purpose of erecting these Duduel or
Jangchub Chortens is to enable all beholders to receive the
benefit from the merits and blessings of the Buddha
symbolized by the structure of these Chortens and the sacred
relics placed inside them.
The successful completion and consecration of the new
Kurjey Temple has been possible because of His Majesty's
personal interest and generosity for this noble task, the
spiritual guidance in accordance with religious ceremonies
and specifications given by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse
Rinpoche, the dedication of Mayum Chonying Wangmo Dorji
and Her Majesty The Queen Mother, and the generous
personal funds provided by them, and the dedication of the
supervisors and master Bhutanese craftsmen and their
teams. Besides the generous funds contributed towards the
construction of this new Temple, Mayum Chonying Wangmo
Dorji also donated many sacred and priceless relics enshrined
as Yeshe Sempa (Jananacitta or Divine Wisdom Mind) in the
images of the new temple.
The wishes of His Majesty as well as that of Mayum Chonying
Wangmo Dorji are fulfilled with the successful completion of
this majestic Lhakhang. The construction of the new Kurjey
Temple is only one of the many great contributions made by
Mayum Chonying Wangmo Dorji and Her Majesty The Queen
Mother in the service of the nation and towards the
preservation and promotion of Bhutan's rich religious and
cultural heritage. In 1961, Her Majesty was responsible for
establishing the Simtokha Rigney School (College for
Buddhist Literary Science) under the principalship of His
Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. In 1966, Mayum Chonying
Wangmo Dorji and Her Majesty constructed the beautiful
temple of Guru Nangsi Zilnon, Guru Horsog Magdog and
Kurukule, attached to the historic and sacred temple of
Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro. On completion of this temple, they
introduced an annual Drubchen with Tordhog and Tshogbum
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for the welfare and happiness of the country and the salvation
of all sentient beings.
Mayum Chonying Wangmo Dorji and Her Majesty The Queen
Mother also built the Dechog Lhakhang (Cakrasamvara
temple) in Punakha Dzong. They also introduced an annual
Dechog Drubchen in Punakha and the offering of regular
liturgical prayers to the three Chief Guardian Deities of the
kingdom, Pal Yeshey Gonpo (Mahakala with Raven Head) in
Tashichhodzong and Simtokha Dzong.
With the consecration of the new Kurjey Temple, the kingdom
has gained another sacred and important national treasure.
The generous and selfless contributions of Mayum Chonying
Wangmo Dorji and Her Majesty The Queen Mother towards
the construction of the new Kurjey Temple and their
numerous other contributions towards preserving and
promoting the religious and cultural heritage of Bhutan will
be cherished by the people of Bhutan for generations to come.
Second Consecration in 1991
For the second consecutive year, the Holy Dubchen of Kagye
Desheg Duspa (The Eight Pronouncements), the Hidden
Teachings revealed by the great Terton Ngadag Nyangral
Nyima Ozer (1124-1192), was performed at the newly built
temple of Ka-Gong-Phur-Sum at Kurjey Lhakhang, Bumthang
from the 7th Day of the third month of Iron Sheep Year
corresponding to 21st April till 4th May, 1991 in accordance
with His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's Gongter.
The Dubchen and consecration ceremonies were performed
by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Trulshig Rinpoche,
other venerable Trulkus and 108 monks from Tongsa,
Tharpaling, Nyimalung and Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling
Monastery of His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche at
Boudhnath, Nepal. His Majesty The King, Her Majesty The
Queen   Mother,   Their   Majesties   The   Queens,   Their   Royal
 A Brief History of Tango Monastery
Highnesses The Princes and Princesses, senior monks and
officials attended the ceremonies and offered prayers.
On completion of the new Kurjey Lhakhang and statues on
the first and top floors, the first Kagye Dubchen and
consecration ceremonies were held in June 1990. During the
last 11 months, since the first Dubchen, beautifully painted
murals depicting life stories of Guru Rinpoche and his Eight
Manifestations on the top floor and on the ground floor life
size images of 16 Arhats (Neten Chudrug) including Hashang
and Upasaka Dhamatala and one storey high image of Lord
Buddha, flanked by Sariputra on his right and Moggallana on
the left have been completed and were consecrated by His
Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Tulkus and 108 monks.
The consecration ceremony of Geleg Dhojo "Fulfillment of all
Auspicious" was performed at the Neten Chudrug Lhakhang
for two days. The images (Ku), Scriptures (Sung) and Stupas
(Thug) will have visualization of Wisdom Being on actual
meditational deity that is mediated upon through the
performance of consecration ceremony. On the completion of
the consecration, His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche gave
the name Ngedon Shedrub Gatsal "The Joyous Garden for the
practice and Expounding of the Absolute Teachings" to the
new Kurjey Lhakhang.
The Kagye Dubchen started with ceremony of Sachog with
rituals of invocation and offerings to the Field Protectors for
preparation of Ritual Ground and elimination of hindrance
during the Dubchen. This was followed by preparatory rites
(Tagon), drawing coloured sand Mandala and other
preparations. The main Kagye Dubchen was performed on the
first floor of the temple where 34 feet high image of Palchen
Chemchog Heruka (Mahasri Parama Heruka) and 17 feet high
images of Gongdus (Abhipraya Samaja) are beautifully
installed and consecrated last year.
The sacred Teachings of Kagye, originated from the primordial
Adi-Buddha Kuntu Zangpo, were transmitted to Dorje
Dagpotsal who handed down the teachings to Dakini Lekyi
 A Brief History of Tango Monastery
Wangmo. She concealed the teachings in a Stupa located in
the cremation ground of Silwi Tshal (Sitavana) near Bodh
Gaya. The teachings were later uncovered in a beautiful jewel
casket from the Stupa and presented to Guru Rinpoche who
initiated his Eight Principal Spiritual Sons into the sacred
teachings at Dagmar Keutshang (Red Rock Cave), Samye
Chimphug. After the initiation, Guru Rinpoche had hidden
the teachings, which were later discovered by Ngadag
Nyangral Nyima Ozer at Khothing Lhakhang of Lhodak in
Tibet. Nyima Ozer is known as the Sun like Terton while
Guru Chokyi Wangchuk (1212-1270) as the Moon of Tertons.
The teachings discovered by them are called the Upper and
Lower Treasures. Desheg Kagye, in its peaceful form
symbolizes the Eight Spiritual Sons of Buddha and in its
wrathful form it represents Eight Herukas. Making images of
Chemchog or performance of Dubchen prolongs one's life,
ensures prosperity and bestows protection against poison and
weapons for all living beings.
While Dubchen was in progress, His Holiness Trulshig
Rinpoche assisted by Venerable Rabjam Rinpoche, Namkhi
Nyingpo Rinpoche and other senior lamas ordained over 250
monks at the recently consecrated Neten Chudrug Lhakhang.
Over 75 monks took high ordainment of Gelong, fully
ordained monk, observing a total of 253 vows while the rest
took ordainment of Getshul, a novice monk observing only 36
precepts according to Pratimoksha Vows. These ordainments
were performed as per the lineage tradition of Mindroling
On 30th April, corresponding to the 17th Day of Third Month,
auspicious Tenshu (Longevity Ceremony) was offered to His
Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and to His Majesty The
King by Venerable Tulkus and monks led by Trulshing
Rinpoche in accordance with rituals of Longevity ceremony of
Ngodrub Langchog (Ceremony of Receiving the Supreme
Consummation)  was  performed  in  the  early  hours  on  4th
 A Brief History of Tango Monastery
May. Sacred objects in the Mandala were taken out, and
prayers said at the same time when H.H. Dilgo Khentse
Rimpoche bestowed longevity initiation of Kagye Desheg
Duspa to His Majesty The King, Her Majesty The Queen
Mother, Their Majesties The Queens, Their Royal Highnesses
The Princes and Princesses, monks and the officials gathered
This was followed by Jinseg (Fire offering ritual) held outside
in front of the new temple. The Fire Offering Ritual of Peace
and Increase was performed in order to compensate for any
excess or omission during the preceding rituals and to
increase the ritual potency respectively. There are four kinds
of Fire Offering Rituals concerning with Peace, Increase,
Power and Wrath.
The ceremonies came to an end in the afternoon of the same
day with the beautiful prayer of Marmai Monlam (Prayer of
Holding Sacred Lamps) symbolizing the attainment of
Buddhahood together with spiritual brothers and sisters
attending the ceremony.
On the next morning, the entire ceremony ended with the
collection of magnificent Sand Mandala (signifying the fact
that all things are ephemeral) and immersion of sand grains
into the Chamkha River in a procession of monks carrying
banners and playing religious music as presents to Nagas
(Serpent Spirits). Such deeds usher in good crops, timely
rain, prevention of wars, epidemics and famines in the
country. In this way, the ritual of Kagye Desheg Dubchen and
consecration in its complete form was auspiciously brought to
a conclusion.


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