The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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The Gelugpa school is one of the five major lineages of Buddhism in Tibet. Its founder, Je Tsongkhapa gave the advice to his Heart son, Jamyang Choje to establish a monastery for the study of this approach to Buddhist teachings. At the site where Drepung was to be built, Jamyang Choeje dreamt of a man, who was of a pure white appearance, who stated “if you establish a monastery at this site, I will provide you with 5000 monks.” The man that appeared in his dream was indeed the King of Speech, whose Chief Emanation is Nechung Dorje Drakden.
Drepung Monastery was built at that location, just as prophesied, it became the greatest institution of learning in Tibet, eventually having seven colleges. These were Deyang, Loseling, Gomang, Ngakpa, Gyeba, Shakor and Dulwa. At its peak it had over 7000 monks, from which numerous great scholars and masters have emerged. The Nechung Protector serves as its principle guardian.
Deyang was established by the Heart son of Jamyang Choeje, Chokpa Jangchup Palden. There were many accomplished practitioners of the vast Sutras and Tantras. There have been many generations of such great masters who have flourished in their teachings and accomplishments, like the swelling of the streams in the summer. The origin of how Nechung came to be the Guardian of Drepung is of great importance. In the 8th Century, when Buddhism came to Tibet during the time of the Dharma King Trisong Deutsan, his son Mune Tsanpo, the Great Translator Vairocana, the abbot Shantarakshita, and Guru Padmasmabhava - it was prophesied that the location of the Drowa tree would to be the abode of the Nechung Protector - Pehar. Mune Tsanpo built a small temple at this place.
Here is a brief explanation of how Nechung and Deyang Monasteries are interconnected. Following the building of Drepung, Chokpa Jangchub Palden had a vision that an article of the Nechung Protector Pehar was to come down the Kyichu River, which was directly in front of Drepung. He told his attendant that a special guest would be arriving and to go receive and escort him.
Upon arriving at the riverside, the attendant saw a box floating down stream. He lifted it up and carried it, walking uphill towards Drepung. The box became heavier and heavier, when he arrived at the site where the current Nechung Monastery (in Tibet) is situated, he could no longer carry it. He put the box down on a flat rock, and cried out “Lama Khyen! (May the Lama Know!)” It is said that the same Mantra appeared spontaneously on that rock.
Wondering with curiosity why it became so heavy, and what was within, he opened the box just a crack to peak inside. At that instant, out flew a dove, which went into the Drowa tree, which happened to be at that exact place. He closed the lid and carried the box, which was now very Light, and continued on up the hill to Deyang and presented it to Chokpa Jangchub Palden.
Chokpa Jangchub Palden decided that at the place where the dove flew into the tree, a small monastery would be established, initially with 8 resident monks. This would be the beginning of Nechung Monastery. As a result, the founder of both Deyang Monastery and Nechung Monastery was Chokpa Jangchub Palden. In this way, the Deyang Monastery and Nechung Monastery have a very unique connection.
The majority of Deyang Monastery’s monks were unable to go into exile after 1959. Due to that, Deyang has not been reestablished. Now, the Nechung Kuten, Venerable Thupten Ngodrup has personally undertaken the responsibility to reestablish Deyang Monastery, with a main temple, monks’ quarters, and a room dedicated for the exclusive use of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He has the support of H.H. the Dalai Lama, the Nechung Oracle, and the Office of Religion and Cultural Affairs for this project. The location of the new Deyang Monastery is adjacent to the reestablished Drepung Monastery in Mungod, Karnataka State, South India.