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Loyal to the lineage

The link between Ladakh and the Drukpa lineage dates back to Zhabdrung’s time

By Samten Yeshi, Ladakh

Tagna monastery in Ladakh : The Drukpa monastery was offered to Zhabdrung’s representative Chojey MuzinpaBeside the natural beauty and the landscape that Ladakh share with Bhutan, it was the devotion of the Ladakhis for the two line- ages of Zhung druk-druk Ralung in Tibet and Lho-druk in Bhutan that made Ladakh the favourite venue for the 3rd Drukpa Coun- cil, say to organisers.

Deputy chairperson of ADC , Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, said the Zhung Drukpa lineage in Tibet and Lho-druk from Bhu- tan originated from two 5th Gyel- wang Drukpa Rinpoches, born as Pagsam Wangpo, that spread the Drukpa lineage in Tibet; and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in Bhutan.

“Drukpa Lineage in Hemis monastery and Tagna monastery are the most significant monas- teries in Ladakh’s religious history and its relation with two major Drukpa lineages,” Rinpoche said.

According to local Ladakh history, Gyelwang Pagsam Wangpo sent Taktsang Raypa Nawang Gyatsho, on the invitation from Ladakh king Singye Namgyel, and founded the Drukpa Lineage in Hemis Monastery, thus extending his lineage to Ladakh.

On the other hand, Chojey Muzinpa was offered the Tagna monastery in Ladakh, which is now over 500 years old, after Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel sent him as his representative on the invitation from Chogyal Singye Namgyel in 1590.Hemis Monastery

According to historical records of Tagna monastery published by the Tagna mo- nastic school, Chojey Muzinpa later founded the current Tagna monastery and relocated it to the present site from the bottom of the hill in 1618.

A statue of Zhabdrung Ngadrama (look alike statue), self crafted by Zhabdrung himself, is also found in Tagna monastery among its sacred relics today.

Since then the Tagna monastery became the link between Ladakh and Zhabdrung in Bhutan, and the Hemis monastery, the link between Gyalwa Pagsam Wangpo (the fifth Gyalwang Drukpa) in Tibet.

Locals believe that the Lho- druk tradition of Drukpa Lineage, founded by Zhabdrung after he settled in Bhutan, was introduced in Ladakh, after Jetsun Ngawang Gyeltsen became the next seat holder in place of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel from 1680 to 1720.

About 21 lists of seat holder in Tagna monastery, until the 19th seat holder Lama Tashi Tenphel were appointees from Bhutan. After Bhutan stopped appointing, Lama Tashi Tenphel’s successive reincarnations took over as the seat holder of the monastery.

Current seat holder was the 4th Tagna Rinpoche Doenyoed Dorjee, who passed away on January 25 last year. “His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa has said our rinpoche (Tagna Rinpoche Doenyoed Dorjee) has a reincarnation, but we’re yet to locate him,” Damchoe Jurmey, treasurer of Tagna monastery in Ladakh, said.

In memory of the religious bond established by Zhabdrung between Bhutan and Ladakh, over 40 monks from Bhutan, who are attending the ADC made a Tshogkhor in Tagna Monastery yesterday.