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YaDhi Ka GyadCholing Monastery

(The formation of YaDhi Ka GyadCholing (yad+hIbka’ brgyadchosgling) Monastery in Mongar, eastern Bhutan).

In the early ages, as the name of the place ByarGodphung poi re (the Vulture peak mountain) in India, was given after the numerous Bodhisattvas who possessed miraculous powers visited the place in the form of Vultures when the Buddha Gautama discoursed on the Sher Chen Do (Prajnaparamita Sutra). Similarly, the Monastery Byargoddgonpa was named based on the coincidence that numerous Vultures flew in and rested on a tree while founding the new Byargoddgonpa, that was located on top of the YaDhi village, which also got its name as YaDhi based on the naturally scripted letter of “YA” that is prominently visible on a distinct Rock.

Above the Byargoddgonpa, at the place known as GowaDrak tog (dgoba brag tog) sited the residence of Ser Sung Lama (ser srungbla ma) a.k.aSa khodnang lam (sa ‘khodnangbla ma). During that time, one of the Ser Sung Lama’s spiritual friend was also devoted in meditation in Ngang Ring Tshamkhang(Ngang Ring Meditation enclosure) at Chas Khar Sha Ju la Goenpa(lcagssamkhar sha ‘ju la dgon pa). Every morning, the two spiritual friends used to burn incense as a means of communication to convey to each other their presence and sound health. They lived happily, exchanging their compassion to one another. However, one day Ser Sung lama couldn’t see the rising of incense smoke from his spiritual friend at Chas Khar Sha Ju la Goenpa, and he intentionally visited the place and saw that his spiritual friend had departed to the pure realm. Then, Ser Sung Lama took the possessions of his spiritual friend Sha Ju lama and established a Nunnery in the area and the Buddha Dharma prevailed. At present, the ruins of Sha Ju Lama’s Meditation enclosure can be sighted and the place is known as AneyGoenpa (a nedgon pa) and the water as Aney Drub Chu (a ne grub chu).

According to source of oral tradition, after the departure of said two Lamas to the pure realm, the meditation enclosure remained vacant and prompted the benefactors of the area to construct the first temporary Monastery at Ye Khar (ye mkhar) in order to store the special relics of the two lamas and provide to the local people, a place of worship and prayer.

Later, while exploring a suitable place to construct a permanent Monastery, on reaching the site where the present Monastery is situated, they experienced a sweet smell and in sight was a rainbow dome in the sky and with this auspicious coincidence built the present YaDhi Ka GyadCholing (yad+hIbka’ brgyadchosgling) Monastery. No documents that validate the date and founder of the Monastery we found, and this information is based on memoirs recited by elderly people.

However, having seen the badly worn-out Monastery which built years back, in 2017 a noble benefactor of virtue, the Chairperson of Nga Tshang Gewog (Sngatshangrgod ‘og) Dorjilayki (rdorje las skyid) initiated a renovation project and the renovation activites are in full swing under his coordination. Incidentally, like the passing of a prophesy, on the 15th day of the 8th auspicious month of the Earth female Hog year of the Bhutanese calendar, the people under Pal shugphu Chiwog (dpalshugsphuspyi ‘og) of upper YaDhi and the people under Ye Khar Chiwog (ye mkharspyi ‘og) of lower YaDhi, with their own voluntary and full consensus offered without duality of words and thoughts, “The YaDhi Ka GyadCholing (yad+hIbka’ brgyadchosgling) Monastery” with all sanctuaries and sacred images along with the Lagthram of Monastery’s Abbacy to His eminence Khentruel Rigzin Pema Dorji (mkhansprul rig ‘dzinpad+mardorje). The Khentruel, also with great pleasure and kindness, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Treasurer Rigzin Pema Lingpa (gterchenchoskyirgyal po rig ‘dzinpad+magling pa) the great treasurer and lord of dharma, on 15th day of the 11th traditional month of the Earth female Hog year, enrolled an auspicious number of Monks equivalent to the renowned sixteen Arhats, thereby paving a strong basis for long run stability and prevalence  of the Buddha dharma in the region

History of SangayCholing Monastery

SangayCholing Monastery is located in the village of Mu Hung (mu hU~M`) under Shri mu hung (shelri mu hU~M`) Gewog, near Aja Ney (a brgyagnas) the sacred place blessed by Ugyen Guru Rinpoche (o rgyangururin po che), in Mongar Dzongkhag. The Monastery was newly constructed during the year 2010, under the initiative of Khentruel Bazar Guru Rinpoche (badz+ragururin po che), the religious tradition holder of Pema Lingpa. It was constructed for the benefit of Buddha dharma and all beings in general and in particular, to create opportunities to study Buddha dharma for the children of humble parents in remote areas, who could not afford to educate their children. Additionally, it would address the problems of scarcity of Lams and religious practitioners in the village.

The construction of the Monastery was followed with the establishment of a monastic community (Sanghas) of more than 30 individuals including 25 Monks, 1 Khenpo (Preceptor), 3 Lopen (teacher), 1 me shi lam (death ritualist) and 1 Store keeper. Everyone the nearby Gewogs were largely benefited as accounted by the villagers. The first group of Monks who completed primary education in Buddhist religion from this Monastery are currently pursuing their higher education in Gangtey University of Do NgagsRab Jay Ling Shad dra (sgangstengmtho slob mdosngagsrabrgyasglingbshadgrwa). At present, the SangayCholing Monastery has a total of about 55-person strong monastic community (Sangha) including 50 Monks, 1 principal, 3 teachers, 1 store in charge and a cook.

Mu Hung (mu hU~M`) is a very remote village located about 21 Km away from the half way point of Yadhi (yad+hi) highway. The village has a population of more than 1,500 people in around 100 households. The village being one of the main entry and exit ways towards Aja Ney (a brgyagnas), the Monastery has been serving its best to all devoted Bhutanese pilgrims.

In 2017, to bring about worldwide peace in general and for the King, Ministers and the people of Bhutan to continue enjoying peace and prosperity with protection from pandemics, famine and warfare etc., the Monastery invited Gang TeyChamgon Rinpoche (sgangstengskyabsmgonrin po che) to perform a three-day Tshog Bum (100,000 feasts offering ritual) followed with Tshe wang (longevity empowerment) to the public. Also In 2018, Chab Je Sung truel Rinpoche (skyabsrjegsungsprulrin po che), the main holder of pad Ling teachings was invited to perform Tshog Bum (100,000 feasts offering ritual) followed by the Ripening Empowerment (sminbyedkyidbang), largely benefiting the people in the area with the opportunity to practice Buddha dharma. This was done for the wellbeing of all sentient beings in general and exceptionally, as a means to bring further peace and prosperity to this Buddhist country; And in order to pacify the human pandemics and waterborne diseases etc., bring timely rainfall and abundant yielding of crops in the Gewog.