Bon Religion

The Bon religion developed along side Buddhism which was established in the 7th century. Today Bon religion has a structured doctrine.


Recommendation of Trekking Organisations

Books on Dolpo

Literature on Dolpo and on the Bon religion.

Thaktsen Rabgyeling Gompa (Pumer Gompa)

New roof and restoration of murals and statues

The monastery was build around 300 years ago by the Bon lama Jimpa Gyaltshen from the Dongminyag lineage in Pumer. Therefore, it is locally referred to as Pumer Gompa. The region was a famous pilgrimage place and many monks stayed in the monastery to learn and meditate. The monastery was taken over by The Treton line who took over the monastery, presumably through marriage, and led its affairs for several generations. Then, there were no male heirs and the monastery was neglected and began to dilapidate. 
        Around 120 years ago a lama called Shenrab Gyaltshen from the Khyungpo karu lineage from Tibet reached Dolpo and settled in the monastery. He revived the place and shaped the local Bon tradition significantly. During his life time the old structure was extended and the monastery was renamed into Padma Ling Gompa. The monastery once again became a central religious place for the Bon community of Pugmo and the larger region because the religious abilities of the great master and later of his son Druptop Rinpoche were important for the entire upper Dolpo. Until today the head lama comes from this lineage. The monastery was recently renamed again by Geshe Shenrab Nyima from the Khyungpo karu lineage and is now officially called Thegchen Rabyeling. 

The older part of the monastery was in desperate need of renovation. The roof was leaking and the water seeping in had damaged the historical statues. The doors of the monastery were painted by the master Pon Migyur, an exceptionally gifted painter, and are around 120 years old. The dampness threatened to permanently destroy the paintings and wood carvings. It was a great concern of the villagers to preserve the monastery with its statues and murals. Therefore they initiated a renovation project which began in the year 2005. 

The villagers contributed material, food and labour and carried a significant part of the costs, but their resources were not sufficient. In the year 2005 the Tapriza NGO gave a contribution and in the following year the Italian NGO EVK2 supported the project. Thanks to a generous project-bound donation from the Ernst Göhner Stiftung the Tapriza NGO could finance the entire remaining restoration. In the year 2007 the renovation was completed with a grand celebration. The purchase of the most important holy Bon scriptures (Kangyur and Tengyur) underlined the renovation as now a secure place for the storage of the scriptures. The arrival of the text collection was important for the whole region, as previously no monastery in Phoksumdo had the entire collection. Therefore grand ceremonies were held. (M.Kind)

Lama Chumik hermitage

Holy place with hermitage at the heart of the Lama Chumik pilgrimage

The hermitage of Lama Chumik is located in the centre of the pilgrimage of the same name underneath an overhanging rock about one day walk from Pugmo village. It is surrounded by various holy foot and body prints of early religious masters and unit date it serves as a meditation retreat for monks and religious masters. Once a year the entire village community makes a pilgrimage to the holy place to mutually worship their sacred sites, the traces of masters and the local mountain and nature deities embedded in the landscape and collect religious merit. The hermitage is a part of the inner circumambulation (kora) while the outer circumambulation leads through the surrounding mountain landscape on more distant paths. The hermitage was in ruins, we supported the reconstruction with a onetime contribution. (M.Kind)

Shrine renovation (Chörten)

We have already supported several shrine renovations just as in Ringmo. The shrine corresponsing to the Kalsang Ombar (bsKal bzang 'od bar) shrine in Ringmo, called Schibschi Hombar (gZi brjid 'od bar), in Pugmo could however not be saved. It collapsed and thad to be completely rebuilt and new murals painted. (M.Kind)
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