Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche
"A Brief History Of Khordong Monastery"
The name of my monastery is "Khordong Gompa". It means "one small house
in a mountain's corner". In general, people don't know who made this monastery,
but we understand that its founder was Nubchen Sangye Yeshe (one of the twenty-five disciples of Padmasambhava), who was a practitioner of Yamantaka. Nubchen Sangye Yeshe built on the ground a huge Yamantaka mantra's prayer wheel (not in the air, as in general). Due to the ice, in winter times, we can hear it sounding, "grrr, grrr, grrr".
Where is this monastery located? Generally, we can say that all Tibet is a place
of Avalokiteshvara (i.e. his teaching place). But in particular, Padmasambhava (Tsokye Dorje) came to this place and blessed it. His blessings are very powerful. In the country called "Dorma Zalmo Gang", there is a valley called "Nyikog" where the Nyetshe river flows. There are many great forests, flowers, many various medicinal plants, waterfalls, many different kinds of birds, games (like tigers) and mountain animals like dears, etc. In the upper part, there are plenty of animals producing milk - yaks, sheep, goats, etc. - and therefore there are lots of butter, cheese, and milk. In the lower part, many people are involved with agriculture work, and therefore the crops are consequent. Thus this is a very valuable place.
Concerning the religious aspect, each village has a monastery, as well as a lonely retreat place. Representatives of Shakya, Gelug, Kagyu and Nyingma
are many. Khordong monastery, in particular, is a Holy Place ("Ba yer Ga wa Long"). There is a Padmasambhava cave, where many dakinis gather, self-existing mantras, etc. If you practice in this place, the diseases and obstacles of this life will be extinguished, you will gain the long life power, you will possibly get rich, and you will gain enlightenment. It is thus near this very place that, in the eighth century, Nubchen Sangye Yeshe made this prayer wheel, and for that reason, the place has been called "Khor Lo Dong". Padmasambhava himself recognized the eight auspicious signs self appearing on the valley of the mountains. Very high sages lived in the surroundings, and many people were therefore attracted to this place.
Among these sages, the first to settle there, in the twelfth century (the 7th Rabjiung, according to Tibetan system), was the tantric sage Ringa Changwa Amgon. He was contemporaneous with the First Dalai Lama and Rigdzin Logden Dorje (one of the twenty-five persons in Rigdzin Godem's lineage). Ringa Changwa Amgon practiced Vajrakilaya during his entire life. He penetrated one rock with his phurba and got many symbols. He fully dedicated his life to Dharma practice and benefited sentient beings. He died at the age of one hundred-and-ten. At that time, there was only one house on that mountain's corner, that is, "Khor Lo Dong".
The 2nd Lama was a woman named Rinchen Tsul Dror, who did dakini practice
until the age of thirty-nine. Then she died, and her body was burnt. At that time,
the skull bone appeared, bearing the inscription BAM HA RI NI SA. This was the sign that a wisdom dakini had manifested in a human body.
Later on came many lamas, who practiced there and gave many different teachings. They also built seven houses of about 19,136 square yards (16 m2). One would practice, cook, and sleep there.
The 3rd lama who came there was the high lama Sangye Dorje. He had spent time at Bani monastery, where high lama Shakya Gyaltsen became his root guru.
He became a good scholar, as well as a sage. He was able to go directly through mountains and rocks (it was not necessary for him to walk). He built a big gompa in that place, which was then named "De Chen Sang Ga Khor Lo Dong". Sangye Dorje lived until the age of one hundred-and-seven. Along with him, many people came to that place: male dakas, female dakinis, all sages.
The fourth lama to settle there was Je Wang Rinchen Puntsog. He practiced during all his life, and when hail storms were occurring, he just had to point his finger and the hailstones would fall on a small rock mountain instead of falling on the fields. He died at the age of seventy-three.
The fifth lama was called Lha Wang. He once showed his power to soften iron
in his hands in softening a horseshoe. He died at the age of seventy-two.
The sixth lama, Sangye Tendzin. During a puja's ritual for a dead person, the picture of this person must be burned. During one of these pujas Sangye Tendzin burned it with his wisdom fire (there was no need for him to use any outer tool to light fire). He died at the age of sixty-seven.
The seventh lama, Lama Karma Lhawang showed a very bright intelligence since his early childhood. During a long life Puja for the village officer, Uchenora (there he was considered just as a "king"), and his family, Lama Karma Lhawang miraculously extended the long life banner. He made a Kriya Tantra (3 Ayus statues): Amitayus (Tsepagme), White Tara, Vijaya Devi. He developed
the monastery and died at the age of eighty-four. Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche himself saw those statues, unluckily broken at that time.
The eight lama was Sonam Sherab. At the time of his birth, the light was seen,
and his body was covered with small feathers, like a bird. He was a great Mahayana sage and died at the age of seventy-four.
The ninth lama was the great sage Sangye Dorje's incarnation, Padma Kunsang Yeshe, who got the name Sherab Mebar in Dorje Drag monastery because
he was able to memorize a thick book at once. Sangye Dorje only practiced Rigdzin Godem's terma (the Jang Ter). He became a monk of the seventh Dalai Lama (Kalzang Gyamtso). He went to Tsang (a branch monastery of Dorje Drag), where he got all Byangter lineage transmission from the head lama, Padma Shenyen, a very great sage. Then he settled and practiced in the area of Dergye Dzogchen. Because of some obstacles, there was a thunderstorm. He took it away, collecting it all in a piece of cloth. Everything around him was burning, the forest, the mountain was blazing, but for him, there was no trouble at all. He was able to teach the entire Northern Treasure by memory. He displayed many miracles, and his life was only a benefit for sentient beings. He went to Do village (near Dodrubchen Rinpoche's monastery), and the village officer there gave him the monastery nearby. So that monastery, which was a Sakya's system monastery, became a Byangter's system monastery. Sherab Mebar introduced [in Khordong monastery] Tse-Bchö (a Padmasambhava's practice), lama dancing, as well as music and painting. He died at the age of eighty. His substitute was Kalzang Gyamtso, a monk
from Gyarong village.
The tenth guru was the great treasure finder, Padma Nudan Dorje Drophan Lingpa. He discovered many hidden treasures and practiced Byangter. Through his very great compassion and the power of his blessing, people from different villages, as well as animals and even insects got enlightenment by the mere fact of seeing him. He died at the age of seventy-three.
The eleventh lama was the great sage Sangdzin Gonpo Wangyal ("Sangdzin" means "great sage"). According to popular ideas, his father was Abo Dorten. But naturally, Mahakala is his father. Gonpo Dong Ri is a Mahakala mountain - he was Mahakala's baby. Many lamas said that he is very great, that he wrote many things, but actually he did not write. Among his gurus were Nudan Dorje, Ugyen Punzog from Bani monastery, and Kunzan Niendrag (Sherab Mebar's incarnation) from Chugchong Monastery. He himself was very great, he gave many initiations and died at the age of seventy-three.
The twelfth guru was Nudan Dorje's son, Padma Donsal. He was the incarnation
of Chusang Namkha Yongya, a lama of Dorje Drag's monastery. He was a very great monk. He died at the age of ninety-three.
The thirteenth lama was Nudan Dorje's incarnation, Dorje Gyaltsen, i.e. Kalden Lingpa. He studied, practiced, and gave teachings. He died at the age of thirty-seven. Many lamas say he was a great terton. But indeed, he didn't take out many things, only one Sengdongma text, and two other volumes.
The fourteenth guru was Tulku Tsurlo (the incarnation of Vasumbindo, one of Buddha's disciples), he was in charge of Chug Chong monastery. His younger brother, Gyurme Dorje, was in charge of Khordong monastery. Their father was Gonpo Wangyal and their mother, Nudan Dorje's daughter, Zhiwam Tso. Tulku Tsurlo was also a great scholar and a great sage. He used to stay in Khordong monastery, where he did Yamantaka practice. He had recognized Nudan Dorje's incarnation, Chhimed Rigdzin, who stayed in Khordong monastery until he reached the age of nineteen. Tulku Tsurlo died at the age of seventy-three.
The fifteenth lama was Tulku Tsurlo's younger brother, Gyurme Dorje. Once he got a beating from a great sage who was named as Vajradhara, Gyaje Tubthub,
and he understood all Dharmadhatu and natural idea. He went from Eastern Tibet to Central Tibet, then to Tashiding, in Sikkim. He came back to Tibet and died after having completed all necessary deeds, at the age of seventy-eight.
Then, due to his own karma and reasons, Chhimed Rigdzin went to Nepal and India, following the advice of his guru Tulku Tsurlo. He travelled also to Ladak, Bhutan, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Japan, Corea, China, England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Poland, Austria, Australia, United States, Island, Sweden, Denmark, Scotland, etc. In Tibet, he visited the various places of Tsang, Wee, Tshang Tang, Dergye, Dza Ko, Nyi Ko, Serta, Do Kog, Amdo, Dzeka, Gyarong, Trango, Lyiko, Namchan, Sokpo Kompo Pema Ko, Yarlong Sertö, Serma, Nemzog, Gorcheng, Jagtal, Guenta, Tseurma, Chechen, Raktom, Nyi Zog, Mewa, etc. He visited the very high holy places of Zang Zang Lharta, Samye, Samye Chimpu, Tak Yerwa, Tashiding in Sikkim, Gye Chen, Manka Sengye Yarzo, Sergye Gompo Yorö, Thorchang Tugche Tsempo, Tsö Nae, Dong Sag, Pogöj, Pani, Palhar Gang , Gyengang , Zahor Puni, Tsari, Khani (Kailash), Tso Pema, Sarnath and in Nepal Swayambhu, Namo Buddha, Asura Cave, Parping, Mara Zhikra, etc.
Since this monastery has started, about five hundred years have passed. And during that time, many many sages have dwelled in the monastery, whose names and lives have not been mentioned in the above lines, like for example Tendzin Dorje, whose left thumb was half trimmed down by moving his mala's beads while reciting mantras. He had the power of healing mad people by the mere fact of looking at them...
The original Tibetan text has been written by Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche, whom himself brought it to his monastery of Khordong in Kham (Tibet), in 1990. Marie-Neige Lefevbre brought it back from Tibet in 1997. Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche dictated its summarized translation to Nadia Maati and Nathalie Koralnik during the Butterlamp Retreat held on the monastery land, at Dhansara village, Siliguri, in January 1998). Typed in English by Nathalie Koralnik.
At present, the head and the Abbott of Khordong Monastery is Chhimed Gyaltsen Rinpoche. In the last few years he built the new building of the main monastery hall, he established new shedra for 500 monks, and began construction of the great Dorje Phurba's mandala. To have enough room for this project cutting the top of the mountain was necessary.