The Treasury of Lives

Marlene Erschbamer

Drakkar Tashiding is a monastery and hermitage site in Sikkim, said to be the center of the maṇḍala of the hidden land of Dremojong. It was first developed by Rigdzin Godemchen in the fourteenth century, on a site said to have been blessed by Padmasambhava. The monastery was established in the mid-seventeenth century by Ngadak Sempa Chenpo Puntsok Rigdzin and consecrated in 1665. Ngadak Sempa Chenpo, one of the three Nyingma lamas credited with opening the hidden land and who enthroned the first Buddhist king of Sikkim, is said to have discovered as treasure a vase first used by Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyel and which has been used since in an annual public ceremony. In the 1990s local opposition to a hydroelectric dam over the Rathong River, where water for the vase ceremony is collected, successfully prevented the project. 

Sources

Acharya Samten Gyatso Lapcha. 2008. 'bras ljongs dgon sde'i lo rgyus, pg 44. Gangtok, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. TBRC W1KG879.

Vandenhelsken, Mélenie, and Hissey Wongchuk. "Tibetan Masters and the formation of the sacred site of Tashiding." Bulletin of Tibetology 42, no. 1 (2006): 65-90.

Chogyal Thutob Namgyel and Gyalmo Yeshe Dolma. The Royal History of Sikkim. Kazi Dawasamdup, John A. Ardussi, Anna Balikci Denjongpa, and Per K. Sørensen, translators. Chicago: Serindia, pp. 92–97.

Mullard, Saul. 2003. "Brag dkar bkra shis sdings kyi sku 'bum: The Text, the Author, the Stupa and its Importance in the Formation of Religious Politics in Sikkim." Bulletin of Tibetology, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 13–24.

Ridgzin Ngodub Dokhampa. 2003. "Origins of the Bumchu (bum chu) of Drakar Tashiding (Brag dkar bkra shis sdings)." Bulletin of Tibetology, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 25–30.

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