load of Nyingmapa-
the second secret
abode:of the Kathok
Vajra Seat (Dorje
Tibet’s Kathok Monastery- School of
Eternal Life Introduction:
【西藏噶陀寺 - 永恆生命的學校】
Dharma KingKadampa Deshe
Nyingmapa- Kathok Monastary in Tibet
Nyingmapa- Kathok Monastary in Tibet
years after building
Dharma King Kadampa
lecturing hall, and
Yab Mountain retreat
center. In there He
gave full monastic
thousands of monks.
In the summertime,
he gave teachings on
sutra and tantra in
the lecturing hall,
and he bestowed
advices in the
retreat center in
the winter. He
turned the wheel of
dharma according to
There were times
where he needed to
sessions of teaching
in one day.
During the time, there were eighty thousand practitioners coming from different places to the monastery to learn Dharma, especially the old translation tradition. Later, during the time of Kejyu-Yeshe Bonpa, there were as many as one hundred eighty thousand monks and practitioners. Up in mountain four thousand eight hundred above the sea level, there were many spectacular events happened around Kathok Monastery. Monks from different regions flew to Kathok using their miraculous power in the morning, and flew back to different caves at night. Due to the number of flying monks in the sky, farmers said: “we can not dry our grains because you all have blocked the ray of the sun!” Areas around Kathok Monastery was so full of practitioners with red robes that the blue sky became ruby red.
In the two thousand year history of Buddhism, there has not been an occurrence where there is as much as one hundred eighty thousand monks gathering at the same time. In this millennium, due to cause of interdependence, the activity of Kathok has its ups and downs. But numerous practitioners still wish to travel to Kathok to learn and practice. There were three practitioners like such. They were Master Shere Jiansen from Mar Kham Sate in the Aba province, Master Songkan Lhabasan, and Master Sila Dorje from DrosvJya. With their cranes, they traveled long distance to Kathok. When they arrived to Kathok, just by hearing Lord Kadanpa’s voice from a distance, they were spontaneous liberated and achieved Dzogchen Realization. These three practitioners were extremely happy they threw their canes up in the air. The canes fell and instantly became three pine trees. These tresses were still in the monastery, proof of what had happened in the past. In recent years, there was a practitioner in the meditation hall that walked from Chendu which was twelve hundred kilometers away. The way he traveled was he did a long prostration for every step he took. It took him three years to reach Kathok, and finally he was able to fulfill his wish. He still resides in the monastery practicing Vajrayana teaching of the Old Translation School.
All the lineage master and Khenpos in Kathok Monastery put all their energy into propagating Buddha Dharma to practitioners everywhere. There were two different types of Khenpos in Kathok: Khenpos that held the lineage, and Khenpos that protected the lineage. They instructed many disciples on the path of meditation and teaching. All the Khenpos that holds the lineage propagated the teaching, and taught the practitioners to understand the meaning of Dzogchen and the Old Translation Sutras. The practitioners were instructed according to the Kathok traditions. Because of their activity, all the lineage holders of the Ancient Translation School of Nyingma were trained under the Kathok Tradition. The Khenpos that protected the lineage’s activity of spreading the teaching and benefiting sentient beings was vast. They transmitted the teachings from the lineage masters: the teaching of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, and the ripening secret pith instruction to the disciples. They wrote numerous volumes of commentaries on the Kathok teachings. They also turned the wheel of liberation and precepts to many fortunate students. The activities the khenpos displayed to preserve the Kathok lineage was incomparable. They gave numerous fortunate ones a final place for refuge in the school of everlasting life.
The Institute of Ten Science in Tibet’s Kathok Monastery
In the end of Ching Dynasty in China, Master Kathok Mahapanjida Situ Urgen Choki Gyatso (Kathok Tai Situ Rinpoche) in the state of meditation saw a gigantic lotus in the middle of the lake. The lotus had sutra texts and swords as its ornament. There were four pillars of lotus with sutra and sword in the four cardinal directions. Lights shined out from them. There were numerous lotus and texts at the tip of the light. The attendant of the master said “the lotus, sword and the dharma text is the causal interdependence of building of the lecture hall. The lotus, sword, and the text in the four cardinal directions are the lecture hall of your four main disciples. The light that shined from the lotus, sword, and the text is a sign that the students from the lecture hall will pervade every region in the land of the snow”. In the Fire horse year in the Fifteenth cycle ( 1906), the All-knowing Mipham Rinpoche instructed Kathok Monastery to build “ The Institute of Jewel Sumeru Mountain”. The project expanded in the later years.
The Institute of Jewel Sumeru Mountain has a five year study program. The texts studied in the five year are: one hundred texts that set aside habitual tendencies, twenty-five texts on removing difficult points through contemplation, and the five texts on realizing Dharma through practice. During past 45 years, many great scholars that were versed in the tantra, sutra, and the five sciences all originated from the institute. The scholars have revived the method of both teaching and realization. During the summer teaching, the institute propagated expansively the teaching on Vinayas, Madhamika, logics, Prajna, and both inner and outer science. Later, because there were too many monks, the sections on the five science and methods on sutra and tantra were taught by the khenpos in the teaching hall, and the khenpos in the meditation hall taught the tantra and sutras. This became the rules in the monastery, and many “professional” masters gathered there.
Bhaban Situ Choki Shone taught on the three canons, new and old medical treaties, didactics, Tibetan grammar, vocabulary, poetry, astrological calculations, and chanting.
Great master Kathok Jigme Shonjong taught phonetics, and examples and stanzas from grammar and poetry.
Kathok Gezheji Benchin taught explanations on didactics and Kalachakra.
Khenpo Richen Gyatso and Lama Danzhen Jiansen from Kuonu taught the great and small five sciences on the sutra on Manjushri dietetics.
The lord of teachings and realization Kelsang Wanshok taught calculations of astrological and Kalacakra calendar.
Master Jiaba taught texts on crafts.
Jiwen Rinpoche Padma Jiansen taught Tibetan Calligraphy.
There were also Master Kathok Gezhe Jugme Danpe Jiansen and many other great masters and khenpos that were very knowledgeable and accomplished.
After Tathagatha Master Rinchen Kathokpa Deshe entered Nirvana, The texts that were practiced in Kathok monasteries were the teaching from the one hundred thousand venerable masters that attained rainbow bodies, and the thirteen Terma collections, or the Thirteen Fold of Teachings. They were:
1. Churji Zandungpa’s [Explaination and Teaching Of The Oral Transmission].
2. Keji Namkai Dorje’s [Teaching On The Semde Light Of Perfection]
3. Meshe Senge Dorje’s [Teaching On The Profound Dharma Of Lama]
4. Keju Yeshe Jiansen’s [the Sea of Mahamudra Oral Doctrine]
5. Great Accomplisher Konga Bonpa’s [Teaching On The Great Chod]
6. Bar Chuwen Tashi Rinchen’s [The Clear Mirror Of The Teaching And The Clear Path Of Great Perfection]
7. Chajawa Sonam Dunju’s [The Profound Essence Of The Great Perfection Teaching]
8. Hepo Sakya Jiansen’s [Teaching On The Kindness Debate]
9. Keju Zhima Madi’s [Teaching On The Wrathful Manifestation Of The Six Bardo]
10. Rinchen Chawang Norbu’s [The Jewel Ornament Of The Collection Of The Teaching Of Mind Of Guru]
11. Padma Madi’s [The Teaching Of The Clear Meaning Of The Profound Path Of The Black Profound Gold Nugget]
12. Rigzin Duldul Dorje’s [Great Perfection Teaching On The Rainbow Body Of The Guru Gonsang]
13. Rigzin Longsal Nyinpo’s [Teaching On Rainbow Projection Of Consciousness]
The teaching that incorporated all of the teachings above was written by Kathok Gezhe Jigme Danpa Namje called [The Precious Mirror Of Teaching]. This cannon that was composed in the time of degeneration is still been persevered.
After the extensive propagation of Kathok tradition, many Kathok Lineage monasteries in many places were built.
In the middle there were ten or more monasteries such as Jiaga, Anjian.
In the East, there were thirty or more monasteries such as the Dagai Jyude Monastery in Narong.
In the South there were close to fourty monasteries include Jiashe.
In the West there were ten monasteries such as the three Kathok Monasteries in Nepal.
In the North there were twenty or more monasteries such as Geje Jiale.
There were close to thirty monasteries scattered around Wu-Tai Mountain such as Litai Monastery.
There are two hundred Kathok Monasteries that are in Kampa, Tibet, China, Mongol, Menpa, Dali, and Bhutan, France, Germany, Sri Jien, Nepal, India, America, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, and many other places. Kathok Monastery, a school that is 4800 feet above sea level, a school that once had had one hundred eighty thousand teachers and disciples, a school that is taught by manifestations of Buddha and Bodhisattva, a school that one will receive attainment of everlasting life after graduation, is a school that everyone dream of going. How can a school like this not make us rethink about the rules of regulation in the modern educational system impose on us, and not make us ponder on the question of what the real essence of life is?
Homage to the everlasting Kathok Monastery
Homage to the school of everlasting life.
The Institute of Ten Science in Tibet’s Kathok Monastery