Drubgyu Gön

In the 17th century Lho Khonchog Thrinle Namgyal had founded the monastery Lho Miyel Gön (lho mi g.yel dgon) at the Migyel Cave in Dokham. He was a disciple of Kunkhyen Rigzin Chödrak (1595-1659). He recognized Drubgyu Chökyi Nyima as the emanation of Chakna Dorje (phyag na rdo rje, Skt. Vajrapani) and he gave him his name. With Drubgyu Chökyi Nyima the line of incarnations of the Drubgyu Tulkus started.

Thrinle Namgyal then prophesized that Chökyi Nyima would erect a new monastery in front of a mountain named Driri near Jekundo (Kyigudo) in Kham. Drubgyu Chökyi Nyima prayed to Achi, Gönpo, and Chökyong, the three protectors of the Drikung Kagyu order. After that he shot an arrow into the air, which landed across from the prophesized mountain, which is a mandala of Chakrasamvara. There Drubgyu Monastery was built in 1668.

From its foundation until 1959 around 400 to 500 monks were living in the monastery. There were about 20.000 families living in the land pertaining to Drubgyu Monastery and they were strongly devoted to the Monastery and the Drubgyu Rinpoche, as was the custom in Kham. But the monastery did not have an institute for higher Buddhist studies (Shedra), therefore education was poor at Drubgyu Gön.

Following the occupation of Tibet by the Chinese, in 1959 the monastery was destroyed. More than two decades later permission was granted to rebuild monasteries in Tibet, and reconstruction at Drubgyu Gön started in 1982. Eventually many new monks joined the monastery.

Already at a very young age, the present Drubgyu Chenga Rinpoche went to Sichuan to study philosophy for ten years under Khenpo Pema Tsewang, Khenpo Chöying Kyabdag, and Khenpo Jigme Phuntsog. Khenpo Pema Tsewang, his main teacher, motivated him to build a Shedra at the monastery, and Drubgyu Chenga made intense and successful efforts in building up a Shedra there. The subjects taught in the Shedra by nine Khenpos are grammar, Buddhist dialectics, commentaries, Madhyamaka, Prajnaparamita, and Tantra. For the older monks there is a special course in the practice of rites and rituals.

Drubgu Gön has also a retreat center and until now four three-year retreats have been completed with ten to fifteen monks in each retreat. After practicing the 6 Yogas of Naropa they practice the 13 Tantras of Marpa (Kagyu Ngag Dzo). In this way Drubgyu Chenga and Drubgyu Thenpel Rinpoche have succeeded in making the monastery complete with Shedra and retreat center.

The Shedra has a very strict curriculum and candidates for becoming Khenpos have to carry out extensive studies there and at other Shedras to perfect their knowledge of Buddhist dialectics. Following a proposal by Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen, every year after the Parinirvana day of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon, a seminar is held in which Gonchig (dgongs gcig, “The Same Intention”), a famous collection of commentaries on Jigten Sumgon’s pith instructions, is taught.

Presently the monastery houses about 700 monks and a new Nunnery, Drikung Kagyu Dolma Jangchubling, with approximately 400 nuns has been founded. Presently in the nunnery the distinguished text of the Drikung tradition Thegchen Tenpe Nyingpo (theg chen btsan pa’i snying po) by Ngoje Repa (ngo rje ras pa), a disciple of Jigten Sumgön, is being taught.

During the past years Drubgyu Chenga Rinpoche often traveled to Kongpo to give teachings. As a result he has many disciples from Kongpo; quite a few of those entered Drubgyu Monastery to pursue their studies. There is almost no Drikung Kagyu presence in Kongpo. Now an old monastery there has been offered to Drubgyu Chenga Rinpoche. It will become a Drikung monastery in the future. In addition Drubgyu Chenga has established a retreat center for nuns in Kongpo, Samten Dorje Ling, where the first 15 nuns are about to finish their three-year retreat.