The Treasury of Lives

Gyuto Dratsang Sangchen Dorje Ling (rgyud stod grwa tshang gsang chen rdo rje gling), more popularly known as Gyuto Dratsang, meaning the ‘Upper Tantric College,’ is a monastic college for tantric studies at Labrang Tashikhyil (bla brang bkra shis 'khyil) Monastery. It is maintained that the college was founded by the Fifth Jamyang Zhepa, Yeshe Tenpai Gyaltsen ('jam dbyangs bzhad pa 05 ye shes bstan pa'i rgyal mtshan, 1916–1942), in 1928. In 1937, the Fifth Jamyang Zhepa and his brother, the Fourth Belmang, Jigme Tsultrim Namgyel (dbal mang 04 'jigs med tshul khrims rnam rgyal (1918(?)/1920–1957), traveled to Central Tibet. When they returned to Amdo in 1941, they brought along tantric masters from Gyuto Monastery (rgyud stod grwa tshang) in Lhasa. The Fifth Jamyang Zhepa then assigned his brother, the Fourth Belmang, to build the college infrastructure, including the assembly hall and ritual chapels, which were completed within two years. The college was formally inaugurated in 1943.

The college follows the tantric tradition and practice and adopts the same academic curriculum and administrative system as Gyuto Monastery of Lhasa, Central Tibet. It thus assumes the eponym from the central tantric monastery in Lhasa

Gyuto Dratsang is one of the four Tantric colleges of Labrang Monastery, the others being Gyume Dratsang (rgyud smad grwa tshang), Kyedor Dratsang (kya'i rdor grwa tshang), and Dukhor Dratsang (dus 'khor grwa tshang). Labrang also has two non-tantric monastic colleges—Tsenyi Dratsang (mtshan nyid grwa tshang) and Menpa Dratsang (sman pa grwa tshang).


Nietupski, Paul. 2011. Labrang Monastery: a Tibetan Buddhist Community on the Inner Asian Borderlands, 1709-1958. Lanham, MD: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, p. 21.


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