Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Xigaze

You may have seen Tashi Lhunpo being written as Tashilhunpo, Trashilhunpo, Trashilhünpo, བཀྲ་ཤིས་ལྷུན་པོ་or扎什伦布寺. If you write it in one word, Western people might get the idea it is Tashil-hunpo, which simply is wrong. Trashi is correct (even bkra shis is correct), but it looks too trashy for such a wonderful temple. The Ü is also correct, but anglophone people don’t use this umlaut.

The Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is in Shigatse (Xigaze) and has been founded in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama; actually he wasn’t the Dalai Lama back then as the title has been accorded to him 104 years after he had died (one should have waited four more years). The monastery is the traditional seat of Panchen Lama. Panchen means great scholar. The Panchen Lama has high spiritual authority, only second to the Dalai Lama. The future will show, if this sequence won’t be reversed.

About two-thirds of the buildings were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, but these were mainly the residences for the monks; the monastery however suffered less damages. One reason might also have been that the Panchen Lama remained in China and hadn’t fled to Nepal. The Red Guards burnt scriptures and desecrated the relics of at least two Panchen Lamas. A lot of the stupas canstill be seen. 

The lingkhor outside the walls climbs up high and has good vistas of Xigaze and the dzong; remember always walking clockwise.

The middle part is only for 
the Panchen Lama or the Dalai Lama

Another great wall to exhibit a thangka

Walking, praying, and resting on the lingkhor



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