Monday, December 26, 2016

An Experiential Narrative of The Sacred Sites of Singye Dzong: Part - II

In this part of the post, I shall make an effort to elaborate on some of the significant Nyes (Sacred sites) with the details which I gathered from many reliable sources. Singye Dzong being the Thrinley Nye (activity site) of Guru Padmasambhava, one can see numerous bodily imprints of Guru Padmasambhava, Tachog Balaha a.k.a Gurui Chipta and  Khandro Yeshi Tshogyal  on stones and rocks. There are also drupchu (holy water), ritual objects and other holy imprints which can be seen distinctly even to this day.

At a place called Juli (between Tshikang and Thangkarmo), there is a drupchu of Guru Rinpoche. It is quite amazing to see the water coming out of the root of a half-rotten tree. The water is said to have originated from the tree-trunk when the tree was healthy and intact. It is believed to cure many ailments. As one moves further up from Thangkarmo, the imprints of Tachog Balaha's saddle and thread that secures the collar-bell are seen on the stone. Few minutes walk from Doksum, one can see the shape of a goat on the other side of the hill. It is said that the demon, which disguised itself in the form of a goat was subdued by Guru and its imprints left on the rock.

Rabney Zam
Of the many ters (sacred objects), the Rabney Zam, which is a low-lying bridge just before reaching Singye dzong stands as quite a miracle. This particular bridge is said to have been constructed and consecrated by Guru Rinpoche himself and thus do not get washed away, even when the stream swells up and flows above the bridge. This bridge has remained as a test of time. Other bridges en-route to Singye dzong have to constantly undergo renovation or a complete remake each season.

Eight dzongs and the peripheral Nyes:

Gawa Dzong:
The main relic here is five unique Phurba (Kila). It is said that upon the request of Khandro Yeshi Tshogyel, Guru Rinpoche  revealed these unique Phurba from a lake which now remains as the main relic. It is said that out of the five, one phurba is not complete in its form and design. The legend has it that, in future, these phurbas will again get its way to the lake and with the favourable cause and conditions, Guru Rinpoche will once again reveal these Phurbas in its complete form. There is also a statue of Guru known as Guru Sungjenma which came from Tibet. This statue is believed to have spoken of its destiny while at Tibet. Outside the lhakhang, one can see Rigsum Goembo and Drupchu. Guru's footprint can also be seen on one of the rocks. There is place for Driba Shubsa (removal of sins). Other important ters are 21 tara rock, Dungkar ter, Rock where 108 phurba were hidden, Terdom (Relic box) of eight dzongs, Guru's Uzha (hat), Dzambalai Bangzay, Chanda phu, Tandin (Hayagriva) Kingkhor  and many others. Behind the lhakhang, there is a huge rock called dochen Amolika atop which lies a pool of clean water. It is said that Guru Rinpoche used to bathe here. This is yet another miracle which is even seen today.
Pool of holy water atop Dochen Amolika

Duelwa Dzong:
At this dzong Khandro Yeshi Tshogyel manifested herself as an eight year old girl and meditated in this cave. She subdued a demonic crocodile, the form of which can be seen even today. The foot prints of Khandro can also be seen. There is a tshebum (Longevity Vessel) rock which is also known as Tsari Nyipa. Tsari Nye is a famous pilgrimage site in Tibet circling around the mountain called Takpa Shelri. The pilgrimage is divided into Tsari Kyilkhor and Tsari Rongkor, the latter being the most difficult. One can also see Guru's seat, Ser Nga (Golden drum),  Lha Wangchuk's Chagtshen (Shivling) and many others. Further up, one can pray at the wish-fulfilling cave at melam phu and reach a place where Guru witnessed the dance performed by the five dakinis on the plains of Zhemithang . Five trees have grown on the ground where the dakini dance was performed.

Namkha Dzong:
The hardest of all the dzongs to reach, there is a Driba Shubsa (removal of sinful obscurations) high up in the caves. The Nyes found below are self-arisen Hung on the rock face, Guru and his horse's seal and a cliff where bird-eating frogs were subdued.

Dorji Dzong:
There is a small lhakhang built in the recent years. One can see outlines of a sun and moon on the cliff. There is also Ro Ngedrup Zangpo, Seats of Guru Tsokhor sum and a small red opening on the cliff from where blessed ones can hear religious hymns.  

Pema Dzong:
This is the dzong where Guru and Khandro performed Longevity meditations. If one can descend from the cliff face without any difficulty, it is said that one can fulfil the wishes of our parents.

Rinchen Dzong:
This dzong is famous for having curative powers to remove our karmic obscurations associated with our birth, sickness and death. Ascending further up negotiating on the steep precarious cliff, one can reach a huge rock believed to be Zangdopelri.

Tsemo Dzong:
This Dzong had the tooth relic of Tachog Balaha, its golden saddle and a garuda egg. However, these relics have been moved to Singye Dzong for better care and custody. There is also a rock where demons disguised as one hundred garuda were subdued.
This peculiar rock is where 100 garudas were subdued

Singye Dzong:
This is the place where Khandro Yeshey Tshogyal meditated for several years in the cave with her spiritual companion, Acharya Saleh of Nepal. The demon Atsara Nagpo was subdued here.

There are eight duethrey (charnel ground) associated to these eight dzongs. It is believed that if one lies down on these charnel grounds and imagine to be dead and receiving the wangkur (empowerments) from Guru Rinpoche , it is not even required for a high lama to preside over the funeral rites during the actual death.
Besides these eight dzongs, there are also spiritual lakes high up in the mountains.

Terdag Lha-tsho

Tshokar and Gangla at the back
Tsho -Nak
 Other important places of visit are Rolmoteng and Phumachen which are also equally sacred. The last of all to be visited during the pilgrimage is Sangwai Druphu at Khomagang.

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