Dzogchen Monastery (Tib. རྫོང་ཆེན་དགོན། rdzogs chen dgon) is one of the six great Monasteries of The Nyingma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. It is located in Sichuan province, China, and marks part of the Tibetan cultural region of Kham. It was founded by Dzogchen Pema Rigdzin (1625-1697) in 1675, 1684 or 1685. It became especially renowned for its Shri Singha Shedra established by Gyalsé Shenpen Thayé during the Time of the Fourth Dzogchen Rinpoche Mingyur Namkhé Dorje, shortly after the Monastery was almost totally destroyed by an earthquake in 1842. Among the great masters to have lived and taught at Dzogchen are Khenpo Pema Vajra, Patrul Rinpoche, Mipham Rinpoche and Khenpo Shenga. It eventually grew into the largest Nyingma Monastery of all Time.
During the Time of the Fifth Dzogchen Rinpoche (1872-1935), Dzogchen Monastery was at the peak of its activity, with up to five hundred Monks residing, 13 Retreat centres, and an estimated two hundred and eighty branches - a gathering of which would have seen tens of thousands of lamas, tulkus, khenpos, Monks and Nuns. Throughout the year, an extensive array of complex Ritual ceremonies were accomplished. Dzogchen was also one of the most famous centres of sacred Ritual dance, now commonly known as Lama Dancing.
Dzogchen Monastery is also known as the principal repository of the Konchok Chidu cycle of the Jangter (Wylie: Byang gTer, Northern Treatures), a prominent Terma cycle revealed by the Terton Jatson Nyingpo.
Following the destruction of the Monastery in the late 1950s, during which the complex was burnt to the ground for a second Time in its history, it was re-established in South India according to the Directions of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The site was chosen personally by His Holiness, on land close to his own Dhondenling residence. Work began in 1985, three hundred years after the completion of the original Dzogchen Monastery in eastern Tibet.
In January 1992, the Dalai Lama formally inaugurated the new Dzogchen Monastery and gave teachings and empowerments over 11 days. Several thousand attended from the local community and from other Monasteries and settlements in South India. His Holiness gave much advice for the Monastery and the community, and pointed out that the work of the outer Monastery was complete - meaning the buildings and a gathering of Monks - and that now the work of the inner Monastery could begin.
Now firmly re-established at the Dhondenling Tibetan settlement in Kollegal, South India, Dzogchen Monastery is the official seat of the seventh Mindstream 'emanation' (Sanskrit: Nirmanakaya) of the Dzogchen Rinpoche. In December 2000, His Holiness visited the Monastery and settlement bestowing teachings and Blessings for the lamas, Monks, Nuns, people of Dhondenling and others who had travelled from throughout all parts of India, Nepal, Australia, Europe, Singapore, the USA and Canada. At the busiest Times during the visit up to 10,000 people gathered.
Since the early 1980s the Monastery has been undergoing reconstruction. It has 300 legally registered Monks in residence and about 750 others staying there temporarily for varying periods. Besides the Monastery itself, the complex includes a shedra (Buddhist institute) and school that teaches traditional Tibetan Medicine.
At Pema Tang, is a newly built Retreat centre and temple complex situated deep in the Dzogchen valley. The centre is dedicated to the teaching and practice of the Dzogchen tradition and is a natural haven for peaceful reflection and Meditation.
- One of the Six Main Nyingma Monasteries and the historical seat of the Dzogchen Rinpoche and Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche incarnation lines.
- Dzogchen monastery was founded in 1685 by HE Dzogchen Pema Rinzin. He was the most outstanding Dzogchen master of his time and Dzogchen teacher to His Holiness the Great Fifth Dalai Lama. Having received all the Dzogchen teachings, His Holiness instructed Pema Rinzin to travel to the Kham region of Eastern Tibet and found a monastery, so that the teachings might prosper. Following His Holiness’ instructions, Dzogchen Pema Rinzin travelled on foot to the Kham region with his two main students Ponlop Rinpoche and Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche. Having arrived at a spot close by the Rudam valley the masters stopped to have some tea. Pema Rinzin made an offering of the tea and put the offering cup on a nearby stone. Then, as the master watched, a crow flew down and picked up the cup in its beak and carried it off. They saw the crow disappear into an adjacent valley. The masters considered this an auspicious sign and they walked in the direction that the crow had flown. After a short time Pema Rinzin found the offering cup on a rock in the Rudam valley. It was on that spot that he founded Dzogchen Monastery. Having established the monastery in the Rudam valley, Dzogchen Pema Rinzin spent the rest of his life giving guidance and empowerments of the Great Perfection teachings, and thousands of students gathered to practise with him. Engaging in meditative concentration, they would stay out throughout the night, completely covering the hillside behind the monastery. Since its founding Dzogchen Monastery has had a total of thirteen abbots. The present throne holder, the Seventh Dzogchen Rinpoche, was enthroned in 2003, taking over from Kyabje Pema Kalsang Rinpoche, who was abbot for over forty years.
- 1st Dzogchen Rinpoche Pema Rigdzin
- 2nd Dzogchen Ponlop Namkha Osel
- 3rd Dzogchen Rinpoche Gyurme Thekchog Tenzin
- 4th Jebon Pema Kundrol Namgyal
- 5th Dzogchen Rinpoche Ngedon Tenzin Zangpo
- 6th Khedrub Namkhar Tsewang
- 7th Dzogchen Rinpoche Migyur Namkhe Dorje
- 8th Kushok Gemong Gyalse Shenpen Thaye
- 9th Dzogchen Rinpoche Thupten Chokyi Dorje
- 10th Dechog Dorje
- 11th Dzogchen Rinpoche Jigdral Jangchup Dorje
- 12th Choktrul Pema Kalsang
Current Lineage Holders
- Dzogchen Rinpoche
- Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
- Dzogchen Khenpo Choga
- Kushok Gemong Rinpoche
- Dzogchen Khyentse Rinpoche
- Dzogchen Kongtrul Rinpoche
- Tulku Kunzang
- Tulku Pegyal
Practices and Teachings
- Nyingma Kama
- Khandro Nyingtik
- Konchok Chidu (dkon mchog spyi 'dus)
- Longchen Nyingtik (klong chen snying thig)