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rgyal ba kaH thog pa'i lo rgyus mdor bsdus

rgyal ba kaH thog pa'i lo rgyus mdor bsdus
Format: Book (single author)
Publication Date: 199601/1996
Publisher: Sichuan Minorities Publishing House
Place of Publication: Chengdu, Sichuan
Sources ID: 122429
Visibility: Public (group default)
Abstract: (Show)

Katok Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in eastern Tibet (khams; Baiyu County, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province). Founded in 1159 by Ka Dampa Deshek (kaH dam pa bde gshegs, 1122-1192), the initial regimen involved rigorous monastic discipline, seminary studies, and complex ritual performances. Its first few generations of scholars wrote many works of Nyingma tantric exegesis, especially on the Transmitted Precepts (Kama; bka' ma). The monastery's initial vitality and prestige fell into decline from the fourteenth through the middle of the seventeenth centuries. Beginning in the last half of the seventeenth century, many generations of lay yogis reinvigorated Katok Monastery through the introduction of new ritual programs based on Revealed Treasures (terma; gter ma). During this era celibate monasticism was not the dominant ethical ideal of the community. Towards the end of the nineteenth century the monastic and scholastic revival movement so prevalent in Eastern Tibet during this time affected Katok. The great Ju Mipham ('ju mi pham rnam rgyal rgya mtsho, 1846-1912) founded a scriptural college (bshad grwa) at Katok in the early twentieth century, thus reviving its earlier model of monasticism and Kama studies. At present it is administered by several reincarnate lamas, and has a seminary with a very learned abbot and nearly 300 monks.

This book is a comprehensive history of Katok Monastery written by a lama who was instrumental in the reconstruction of the monastery after the Cultural Revolution, Jamyang Gyaltsen (d. ca. 2001). The first sections of the work are structured around the traditional periodization of the monastery into lines of leaders and teachers. In sequence, these are the founding lamas (bla rabs), abbots (mkhan rabs), lay yogis (drung rabs), and lamas who also taught at the monastery during the reign of the lay yogis (mchad nyan). The latter half of the book covers the different incarnation lineages that have been the primary power-brokers at the monastery since their rise in the eighteenth century. The final section is on the founding of the seminary by Ju Mipam ('ju mi pham rgya mtsho, 1846-1912).

This book is largely based on earlier written sources, but also includes many details from oral traditions. It is especially strong on the early history of Kathok and the early 20th century.

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