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A 'hidden land' at the border of 'Ol-kha and Dvags-po.

"Aux confins sud-est, le district cache de 'Brasmo; aux confins nord-ouest, le district cache Fougeres; aux confines nord-est, le district cache du Triple Val."

G.C. Toussaint (1933: 339-399)


Tibetan pilgrims travelling along the gTsang-po river used to visit a valley stretching to the north, which was regarded as forming the border between the regions of 'Ol-kha and Dvags-po. The guide book of 'Jamdbyangs mKhyen-brtse dbang-po (1829-1892) gives the following details of the main sacred sites to be encountered there:

"At the border between 'Ol kha and Dvags po lies rGyal me thog thang, a residence of rGyal ba dGe 'dun rgya mtsho, and at the top [of the valley] the 'life-power lake' (bla mtsho) of dMag zor ma where different sorts of apparitions can be seen, and many other placs." (1)

According to the autobiography of dGe-'dun rgya-mtsho, also known as Second Dalai Bla-ma, a monastery with the name Chos-'khor rgyal was established at Me-thog thang in the year 1509 after political tensions with the Karma bKa'-brgyud-pa school in the lHa-sa area made him accept an invitation of the local ruler of 'Ol-kha. This monastery became closely associated with the incarnation lineage of the Dalai Bla-mas--which received this title only at the time of bSod-nams rgya-mtsho (1543-1588), the successor of dGe-'dun rgya-mtsho--and it is said that each member of this lineage paid at least one visit in his life to this site. The importance of the lake is connected with the cult of the protective deities of the Dalai Blamas, especially with the form of Sri Devi (dpal ldan lha mo) called "Queen armored for war" (dmag zor ma). It is known from the mentioned autobiography that this female protective deity appeared to dGe-'dun rgyamtsho in a vision and helped him to identify the actual place of his future residence. Shortly afterwards he went to a nearby lake, where he was blessed with a further vision which played a significant role for his spiritual life and made him a follower of Sri Devi. Since that time that particular site is known as "lake of the life-force of the lHa-mo" (lha mo bla mtsho) and it is valued as a sacred place conducive to visions, especially during the search for a proper candidate of the incarnation lineage of the Dalai Bla-mas. (2)

There exist also pictural representations of the physical landscape of Chos-'khor rgyal and lHa-mo bla-mtsho and it was especially the Third Dalai Bla-ma, who ordered a painted scroll in order to document the visions he saw in the lake; this happened during a visit to the area in the year 1555. The Fifth Dalai Bla-ma Ngag-dbang Blo-bzang rgya-mtsho (1617-1682) paid repeated visits to the region as known from his autobiography and like his predeccesors he was deeply involved in the cult of dPal-ldan lha-mo, the main female protector of his incarnation lineage and of the dGe-lugs-pa school in general. (3)

After the death of the Fifth Dalai Bla-ma it was especially the "Regent" (sde srid) Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho (1653-1705), who produced literary works with the aim of solidifying the lineage of his teacher, regarded as an incarnation of the Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion. In the same way he also documented the spread of the dGe-lugs-pa school in the various districts of Tibet under the regime of the centralized dGa'-ldan pho-brang government. These works mention also the sacred sites at the border of 'Ol-kha and Dvags-po and which specific monastic institutions developed there. In his treatment of the life of the Second Dalai Bla-ma sDe-srid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho highlights especially the themes of dGe'dun rgya-mtsho being the builder of Chos-'khor rgyal and the discoverer of the visionary lake; this role is underlined with a number of propecies, mainly from different parts of the bKa' gdams glegs bam, a treatise known for its importance in legitimating the lineage of the Dalai Lamas. (4)

In his treatment of the different monastic institutions of the dGe-lugs-pa school sDe-srid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho presents Chos-'khor rgyal by refering to these prophecies as well--and directing the reader to the relevant sections of the biographical data of the Second Dalai Bla-ma as contained in the section of 'Bras-spungs monastery of which dGe-'dun rgya-mtshos became abbot in the year 1517--but in addition he mentions Chos-'khor rgyal under a name which associates the site with a particular "hidden land" (sbas yul):

"The grove resounding with elegant sayings [called] Chos'khor rgyal: after he had seen the excellencies that the householders of this hidden land "White Valley" (dkar po ljongs) are born in [the realm of] the Thirty-three gods and the ordained ones in the Tusita [heaven] and so forth, it was founded by Mahapandita dGe-'dun rgya-mtsho, the previous reincarnation of the noble teacher [= Ngag-dbang Blo-bzang rgya-mtsho]. The way of the prophecies concerning the site of this [name] and the person and so forth, it is according to what has been told [in the section] on [the monastery of 'Bras-spungs above." (5)

The statement that the Second Dalai Bla-ma had been engaged in erecting his residence in a hidden land by the name of White Valley can be further documented by recurring to the literary source used by sDesrid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho. This is another text dealing with the different monastic institutions of the dGe-lugs-pa school and providing historical information on the individual colleges, successions of abbots and so forth. The author of this work is known as mKhar-nag Lo-tsa-ba (15th /16th cent.) and he was affiliated to the monastery of 'Ol-kha rDzing-phyi, located in the valley to the west, where Chos-'khor rgyal had been erected; the section on the latter monastery is introduced with the following words:

"A division of the hidden land White Valley at the border of 'Ol[-kha] [and] D[v]ags[-po], [these] two, [is] the grove properly called Victorious Plain of Flowers. In the chapter Lung bstan gsal ba'i sgron me of [the work] mDo sde gdams ngag 'bog pa [it is said]: 'The vihara called rGyal, a miraculous [statue] of Mi-pham mgon-po [= Maitreya] has been erected [there]. At this [site], all the householders and the ordained ones, they will proceed to Tusita, the place of the gods!' What is told of in this way, although it is identified [as the site known as] rGyal in 'Phan-yul, it is [nevertheless] appropriate as a prophecy of rGyal Me-thog thang. It is [also] said: 'An emanation of Mi-pham mgon-po [= Maitreya] will be erected!' because this statue of Maitreya [in the monastery of Chos-'khor rgyal] which resembles a mass of gold is a miracously produced one.

And in the sBas yul dkar po ljongs kyi gnas yig it is stated that [in this hidden land] all males are viras and all females viras; and thus all the householders [living] there will be born during all lives in godly realms, and the ordained ones will be born in Tusita in the presence of Lord Maitreya! Thus, if for other [persons] virtuous actions exist here all the time in an equal way, and their benefit being great, what can be said of those, who strive [at that very place] for virtue? This is the way of excellency of this sacred site." (6)

Although the first quotation has not yet been verified, the second quotation makes clear that the author must have had access to a text dealing with the hidden land White Valley and its spiritual qualities. As this text has survived I will present in the following some materials on the background of this particular literary source which is regarded as a "treasure work" (gter ma). In a second step the composite structure of the text is looked at in more detail and a reproduction of a dbu-can version is added to allow the reader first-hand knowledge of the text.

It turns out that the valley at the border of 'Ol-kha and Dvags-po, where the monastery of Chos-'khor rgyal had been erected--which housed a total of five different colleges--and at some distance from which the famous vision-lake of the incarnation lineage of the Dalai Bla-mas was located, takes a prominent place in the group of hidden lands which offered the followers of Padmasambhava security and protection in troubled times. These promises and the geographical remoteness of the area did nevertheless not prevent intrusion from outside in later times and it is known that the monastery was destroyed on two occasions: in 1718 by Dzungar forces and in the 1960s at the time of the Chinese cultural revolution. (7)

Treasure Finders of the 13th and 14th Centuries

The final line of the work sBas yul dkar po ljongs kyi gnas yig gives the name of the treasure finder and the place from where it was recovered. It is said that it is "a work from the water cave, the treasure mine of Gu-ru Tshebrtan-pa" (gu ru tshe brtanpa'i gter kha chuphug mo). This is followed by a note on the place where the work had been copied and for whose benefit this was achieved. Unfortunately these latter details are too vague for identifying the locality or the benefactor in question. It is also noted that the original manuscript was of no good handwriting, a fact that is still witnessed in the original dbu-med version in which this work has survived. (8)

Recent reasearch has already addressed the importance of the person of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan (12th/13th cent.) for the study of the literature on hidden lands. This is particularly true as this treasure finder of the rNying-ma-pa school predates, for example, Rig-'dzin rGod-ldem 'phru-can (1337-1406), generally regarded as the most prolific writer of texts dealing with the routes and rituals for approaching these kind of sanctuaries. It was especially Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan's work on the hidden land known as "Heavenly Gate of Half-Moon Form" (gnam sgo zla gam), located in the Tibetan-Nepalese borderlands--and corresponding to present-day Langthang to the north of the Kathmandu Valley--which initiated scholarly interest in his person and treasure works; these findings will first be updated in the light of the text now under investigation. (9)

In the historiographical literature of the rNying-ma-pa school a quotation is transmitted which groups together five treasure finders, all regarded as different "manifestations" (sprulpa) of the Precious Gu-ru Padmasambhava. This quotation is interesting in regard to the fact that it occurs at the beginning of a biographical account of Rig-'dzin rGod-ldem 'phru-can and is used in order to underline his role as a treasure finder in a constellation with other important discoveres of treasures. Next to Nyang-ral Nyi-ma'i 'od-zer (1124-1192) and Gu-ru Chos-kyi dbang-phyug (1212-1270)--known as the "upper [and] lower treasure mines" (gter kha gong 'og)--we find in this reference the two names of O-rgyan gling-pa (1323-1360) and Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan. The reference is attributed O-rgyan gling-pa himself and this points out that at least at the time of the later treasure finder the person of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan was highly esteemed:

"The manifestation of the body [of Padmasambhava] is Nyi-ma'i 'od-zer; the manifestation of his speech is Chos-kyi dbang-phyug; the manifestation of his heart is rGod-kyi ldemphru; [the manifestation of his] qualities is O-rgyan gling-pa; the manifestation of his activities is Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan: these five [treasure finders] are Padmasambhava in person." (10)

This connection between O-rgyan gling-pa and Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyalmtshan is noteworthy, but let us first take a look at the paricular site from where the latter one extracted his findings and which of them continued to be of some influnence. Both texts devoted to the hidden lands in south-western and southeastern Tibet mention the Chu-mo cave as the place of discovery and report that this treasure site is said to have been located in the region of Mon. According to a modern work on the spread of the Buddhist traditions in 'Brug-yul, i.e. present-day Bhutan, that particular cave was situated in sPa-gro and Gu-ru Tshebrtan rgyal-mtshan discovered there especially "cycles for the practice of the Gu-ru [i.e. Padmasambhava] in his peaceful [and] wrathful form" (gu ru zhi drag sgrub skor rnams). When consulting the earlier historiographical writings it becomes clear that there were different opinions concerning the exact location of the cave and it seems that another place in Bhutan was favoured as well as the original treasure site:

"Although there appear some different identifications concerning the treasure site [of this finding], the ones lacking judgement say that it is what is called Chu-phug dPal-gyi phug-ring rDo-rje rdzong, a part of Mon-kha Tshering Seng-ge rdzong." (11)

This latter toponym stands for one of the so-called "solitary places" (dben gnas) prophesied by Padmasambhava as spots for the spiritual exercises of his disciples and it espcially associated with Ye-shes mtsho-rgyal, who is said to have attained realization at that place. According to the classificatory scheme of these sites as found in the biographical tradition of Padmasambhava the latter spot is known as "Mon-kha Seng-ge rdzong, the solitary place of the activity" ('phrin las kyi dban gnas mon kha seng ge rdzong). (12)

As already noted it were mainly cycles devoted to the cult of Padmasambhava in his peaceful and wrathful aspect that were among the discoveries of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan. A historiographical source of the 17th century that elaborates on these teachings uncludes Gu ru bla sgrub, Tshe sgrub Padma dbang chen and Khro bo'i rgyal po rme brtsegs. One of the most detailed accounts of what had been transmitted up to that period from the treasures of Mon-kha Chu-mo phug can be found in the "records of teachings heard" (gsan yig) of the Fifth Dalai Bla-ma. In his treatment of that treasure tradition Ngag-dbang Blo-bzang rgya-mtsho makes it clear that he obtained in particular the cycles of "the teacher [i.e. Padmasambhava] in his wrathful form" (gu ru drag po) and he refers in this respect especially to the "introductory scripture" (them yig) of Yeshes mtsho-rgyal. In the detailed account of the actual teachings prominent place is then given to different form of Padmasambhava, including those of the "Eight Names" (mtshan brgyad). The succession of these different forms of Padmasambhava and their iconographical representation are known to depict the spiritual career of the master and can be found mainly in his biographical tradition. (13)

In the chapter by the Fifth Dalai Bla-ma on the treasures of Gu-ru Tshebrtan rgyal-mtshan a section dealing with the spiritual practice devoted to Ye-shes mtsho-rgyal is to be found and one encounters there different rituals for protection against natural calamities, including destruction by hail, fire, water and so forth. In a final statement with regard to the find from the Chu-mo phug these damages are called "fear [due to] water" (chu'i 'jigs pa) and "fear [due to] fire" (me'i 'jigs pa). The rituals aimed at preventing these dangers seem to have survived in later times, as they are among the few treasure writings of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan included in the massive collection of texts compiled by 'Jam-mgon Kongsprul Blo-gros mtha'-yas (1813-1899). The records of the Fifth Dalai Blama mention also a further treasure site of Gu-ru Tshe-brtsan rgyal-mtshan, Rong-gi rdza lhang-mo by name, but it is only stated that a treasure cycle was extracted from that site which contained rituals for the "turning back of military forces" (dmag bzlog). (14)

Although there is no mention of works dealing with the routes and rituals of the hidden lands gNam-sgo zla-gam or dKar-po ljongs, a text with the title "Route Description, a Certificate of the Real Meaning" (lam yig don byang) retrieved by Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan from Chu-mo phug is refered to in the records of the Fifth Dalai Bla-ma. The quotation from this work describes a further treasure site, located in the eastern direction of "the king of Mang-yul [Gung-thang]" (mang yul rgyal po) and near a lake known as lHa-mo srin-mtsho in the upper part of the dPal-mo thang region in southwestern Tibet. It is a prophecy addressed to a further treasure finder, one Byang-chub gling-pa (14th cent.), who brought forth from this site--known as Bya mang-po--a treasure cycle with the title Kun bzang thugs gter 'khor 'das rang grol. In the historiographical literature of the rNying-ma-pa school it is noted that Byang-chub gling-pa was only able to retrieve this particular treasure after the introductory list of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan had come into his hands. (15)

This points to two factors which are important for contextualizing the work dealing with the hidden land of White Valley, First, individual texts from the treasures of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan played a role for the corresponding activities of further treasure seekers, as could be just seen in events surrounding the findings of Byang-chub gling-pa in the domain of the rulers of Mang-yul Gung-thang. Second, individual texts from Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan's discoveries were also transmitted by other treasure finders as known from Rig-'dzin rGod-ldem 'phru-can's involvement with passing on the work on Nam-sgo zla-gam; this seems to apply especially to works dealing with the cult of hidden lands as demonstrated in the latter case. In order to find out which other treasure finder is mentioned in connection with the hidden land at the border of 'Ol-kha and Dvags-po we have now to take a look at the text as such.

The Hidden Land of White Valley

The work published under the title "Description of the sacred site Hidden Land of White Valley" (sbas yul dkar po'i ljongs kyi gnas yig) is of a quite heterogenous character, but it is possible to divide it into two main sections. The first one is called "inventory of the Valley of the Three Regions" (lung gsum ljongs kyi dkar chag); the topographical description of the area as to be found in this title is used alternatively with the general known name or sometimes the two designations are combined and the hidden land is called "White Valley of the three Regions" (lung gsum dkar po ljongs). While the first section is classified as an inventory or register, the second section has no title proper, but in the first lines it is said to be the actual "route description" (lam yig) providing details of the natural landscape and especially the different entry points to the sacred site. It closes with the following admonition to the reader: "The means for offerings to the master of the territory [and] the means for opening the gate [to the hidden land] should be looked up in the great inventory!" (gzhi bdag mchod thabs sgor byed (= sgo 'byed) thabs rnams dkar chag chen mo'i nang du ltas). As the second section refers to the first one it is obvious that the inventory was composed prior to the route description.

This 'Great Inventory' seems to have been written out in some haste or without paying proper attention to the topical outline of the text proposed at the very beginning. One gets the impression that in continuation of the first chapter, bearing the title "the chapter on the subject matter of the hidden land" (sbas yul gling bzhi'i [= gleng gzhi'i] le'u), the author had the intention to produce further chapters, but was only able to complete a second one; this chapter has no title and is the final one as it closes with the formula of the sealing of the text, which is characteristic of treasure works. (16)

The act of sealing is then attributed to the sacred site as such with the following words: "This fivefold sealed hidden land is the patrimony by O-rgyan gling-pa" (rgya lngas stab pa'i (= btab pa'i) sbas yul 'di : o rgyan gling pa'i pha phogs yin). The name of O-rgyan gling-pa turns up once again in the second--and final--chapter of this section of the work of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan; this is in the context of the means for offerings to the master of the territory and those for opening the gate to the hidden land: "If this [sacred site] is obtained, the enemies decline [and] the lord of Yar[-lung] arises. This is the small wish of O-rgyan gling-pa." ('di snyed dgra nub yar rje 'byung : o rgyan gling pa dgongs ma chung). It is also stated afterwards that this particular hidden land is during all its phases of occupation first and foremost in the hands of the "worldly gods [and] evil spirits" (lha 'dre).

This mention of the treasure finder O-rgyan gling-pa in connection with the hidden land at the border of 'Ol-kha and Dvags-po brings us to the question if there are further details on the White Valley or the Valley of the Three Regions contained in his writings. If one consults the lHa 'dre'i bka' thang--a treasure work of O-rgyan gling-pa from the collection known under the name bKa' thang sde lnga--the hidden land is actually found at a quite prominent place of the text. It is in the chapter describing the journey of Padmasambhava to the regions of Byar, Dvags-po, Kong-po and E-yul and the narrative unfolds the story how Tshangs-pa 'brug-zhon, "the king of the masters of the territory" (gzhi bdag rgyal po), had been tamed by him. Under the name White Valley of the Three Regions the site is in the same work localized at the border of 'Ol-kha and Dvags-po and said to be a place where the treasures of the Buddhist doctrine will be safeguarded; it is a hidden land having the form of a tripod, where a vihara should be erected whose proper consecration would drive back foreign armies. With related activities at lHa-sa, bSam-yas, Khra'brug and Lung-gsum ljongs these goals would be achieved and all the worldy gods and evil spirits pacified. (17)

Looking again at the structure of the inventory it can be observed that a kind of appendix is added which seems to have been written when the author noticed that the topic of dealing with the Hidden Land of White Valley "in particular" (sgos) had been missing in the work. After stating that in general there exist many hidden lands he begins his treatment with a description of the way which leads to the sacred site and brings it thus in relation to Tibet's first Buddhist vihara: "Taking bSam-yas as the center, if one [then] proceeds for three days in the eastern direction ..." (bsam yas dbus su bzhag pa'i shar phyogs na : nyin lam gsum phyin pa na). There follow the topographical details of eight "virtuous site" (dge gnas brgyad), each dominated by one master of the territory and the last one being characterized as a place where a treasure had been deposited. There is no colophon of any sort to be found at the end of this appendix. (18)

The second section of the text of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan, i.e. the route description to the hidden land, opens with a hommage to the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and lists afterwards the various situations which characterize Tibet at the time of a degenerate age and which bring the followers of Buddhist doctrine to this remote sanctuary. It contains once again a localization of White Valley to another sacred site, this time in relation to a hidden land: "E-ma! In the north-east of the Valley of Artemisia, the hidden land which liberates from armed forces, lies the hidden land called White Valley of the Three Regions. [It is] a sacred site similar to [these two:] the real mountain Potala[ka] and [the celestial realm] Abhirati!" (e ma dmag gi mi thar sbas pa'i yul : 'khan pa (= mkhan pa) ljongs kyi byang shar na : ri bo po ta la dngos dang 'dra ba'i gnas : mngon par dga' ba dag dang mtshungs : lung gsum dkar po ljongs zhes sbas yul yod).

This same geographical position of White Valley to the north-east of the Artemisia Valley--which is placed in the south-west--can be found in the biographical tradition of Padmasambhava as codified by O-rgyan glingpa. His version of the Padma bka'i thang yig contains a list of different "places of spiritual realization" (sgrub gnas), including a set of three "valleys" (ljongs). Two of them are called sBas-yul mKhan-pa ljongs and sBas-yul Lung-gsum ljongs respectively. The third one bears the name sBasyul 'Bras-mo ljongs and refers to the Rice Valley; i.e. present-day Sikkim; like the Artemisia Valley--which is located in eastern Nepal--this hidden land is named after the plant or crop to be found mainly in the remote region. It is thus obvious that the hidden land of White Valley had been familiar to O-rgyan gling-pa like the two other hidden lands which he inserted into his version of the Padma bka'i thang yig; these latter two sanctuaries are known mainly from the textual tradition of Rig-'dzin rGod-ldem 'phru-can. (19)

The main part of the second section of the text of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan is devoted to the "gates" (sgo) to the hidden land of White Valley. The concept of ordering these entry points is a quite singular one as it follows the triad of Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya; they correspond respectively to the northern gate, the eastern gate and the southern gate. An approach from the west, i.e. from 'Ol-kha, is thus missing and by implication also the geographical pattern of four gates, which provide a hidden land with the ideal status of the center of a mandala to be approached by four entry points in the four cardinal directions.

When giving a first overview of the topography as depicted in the Lam yig it should be mentioned that the landscape as to be seen by the approach from the northern gate is compared to the one of Gangs-dkar Ti-se, i.e. Kailasa, and La-phyi Chu-bar, while the approach from the eastern gate makes one see the landscape like the one of the sacred site of Tsa-ri[-tra]. By this means the hidden land of White Valley is identified with the three pilgrimage sites of Cakrasamvara's body, speech and mind. The southern gate in turn is responsible for viewing the region like Potalaka, the residence of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara; the landscape is in this case also characterized by the existence of different lakes. The final part of the route description refers to one lake in particular, known as lHa-lung Padma braggsum mtsho. It also provides the names of different sponsors and contains that very quotation about the spiritual qualifications of the male and female inhabitants of the sanctuary known from historiographical sources. (20)

Although not many of the writings of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan have survived, it should have become clear that his works on hidden lands must have influenced further treasure finders involved in the propagation of the cult of these remote sanctuaries. The geographical concepts encountered in these works belong to a quite early stratum and thus provide insight into the formative stage of the literature sacralizing and spiritualizing the Tibetan landscape. (21)

The hidden land of White Valley, which is not situated in the Himalayan valleys to the south of the Tibetan plateau, but on the border of 'Ol-kha and Dvags-po is a quite outstanding case among the manifold sanctuaries known to us by now. This is especially true as it was at a certain point in time appropriated by the dGe-lugs-pa school and became associated with the lineage of the Dalai Bla-mas and its individual representatives.

Tibetan Texts

Karma Mi-'gyur dbang-gi rgyal-po (17th cent.) gTer bton brgya rtsa'i mtshan sdom gsol 'debs chos rgyal bkra shis stobs rgyal gyi mdzad pa'i 'grel pa [gter bton chos 'byung], 174 fols. Darjeeling: Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche Pema Wangyal, 1978.

Kun-bzang Nges-don klong-yangs, 6. Dog-sprul (b. 1814) Bod du byung ba'i gsang sngags snga 'gyur gyi bstan 'dzin skyes mchog rim byon gyi rnam thar [nor bu'i do shal], 186 fols. Dalhousie: Damchoe Sangpo, 1976.

Gu-ru bKra-shis, sTag-sgang mkhas-mchog (18th/19th cent.) bsTan pa'i snying po gsang chen snga 'gyur nges don zab mo'i chos kyi 'byung ba gsal bar byed pa'i legs bshad mkhas pa dga' byed [ngo mtshar gtam gyi rol mtsho], 1076 pp. Hsining: mTsho-sngon mi-rigs par-khang, 1990.

dGe-bshes Brag-phug-pa dGe-'dun rin-chen, 69th rJe mkhan-po (1926-1997) dPal ldan 'brug pa'i gdul zhing lho phyogs nags mo'i ljongs kyi chos 'byung [blo gsal rna ba'i rgyan], 216 fols. (xylograph).

Ngag-dbang Blo-bzang rgya-mtsho, Fifth Dalai Bla-ma (1617-1682) 'Jig rten dbang phyug thams cad mkhyen pa yon tan rgya mtsho dpal bzang po'i rnam par thar pa [nor bu'i 'phreng ba], 52 fols. In "The Collected Works ofthe Vth Dalai Lama", vol. 8. Gangtok: Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, 1992, pp. 247-350.

--rJe btsun thams cad mkhyen pa bsod nams rgya mtsho'i rnam thar [dngos grub rgya mtsho], 109 fols. In "The Collected Works of the Vth Dalai Lama", vol. 8. Gangtok: Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, 1992, pp.31-245.

--Zab pa dang rgya che ba'i dam pa'i chos kyi thob yig [gang'i chu rgyun], 4 vols. In "The Collected Works of the Vth Dalai Lama", vols. 1-4. Gangtok: Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, 1991-1991.

'Jam-dbyangs mKhyen-brtse'i dbang-po (1820-1892) lHa ldan sogs dbus 'gyur chos sde khag dang / yar klungs lho rgyud/gtsang stod / byang rva sgreng rgyal ba'i 'byung gnas sogs kyi rten gnas mang po'i gnas yig [ngo mtshar lung ston me long], 30, pp. In Bod kyi gnas yig bdams bsgrigs (= Gangs can rig mdzod, 37). Lhasa: Bod-ljongs bod-yig dpe-rnying dpe-skrun khang, 1995, pp. 186-216.

dPal-'byor rgya-mtsho, mKhar-nag Lo-tsa-ba (16th/17th cent.) dGa' ldan chos 'byung [dpag bsam sdong po mkhas pa dga' byed], 102 fols. (manuscript).

Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan, Gu-ru (12th/13th cent.) sBas yul dkar po ljongs kyi gnas yig, 6 fols. In "Tibetan Guides to Places of Pilgrimage: A Collection of Guidebooks (gnas yig) to Places of Buddhist Pilgrimage in Tibet and China from the Library of Burmiok Athing T.D. Densapa". Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1985, pp.203-215.

--sBas yul padma'i tshal gyi gnas yig kun tu gsal ba'i me long, 20. fols. Gangtok: Bla-ma Zla-ba and Sherab Gyaltsen, 1983.

Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho, sDe-srid (1653-1705) dPal mnyam med ri bo dga' ldan pa'i bstan pa zhva ser cod pan 'chang ba'i ring lugs chos thams cad kyi rtsa ba gsal bar byed pa [bai durya ser po'i me long], 523 pp. Peking: Khrung-go'i bod-kyi shes-rig dpe-skrun khang. 1989.

O-rgyan gling-pa, gTer-chen (1329-1367) O rgyan gu ru padma 'byung gnas kyi skyes rabs rnam par thar pa rgyas par bkod pa [padma bka'i thang yig], 792 pp. Chengdu: Si-khron mi-rigs dpe-skrun khang, 1988.

--bKa' thang sde lnga, 539 pp. Chengdu: Si-khron mi-rigs dpe khrun khang, 1986.

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Batchelor, S. (1987). The Tibet Guide. London.

Blondeau, A.M. (1971). "Le Lha-'dre bka'-than." In Etudes tibetaines dediees a la memoire de Marcelle Lalou. Paris, pp. 29-126.

--(2008). "Le Reseau des milles dieux-demons: mythes et classification." Revue d'Etudes tibetaines, 15 (= Special Issue : Tibetan Studies in Honour of Samten Karmay, 2 : Buddhist & Bon-po Studies), pp. 199-250.

Chan, V. Tibet Handbook : A Pilgrimage Guide. Chico, California.

Childs, G.H. (1993). Journey to the Hidden Valley (Sbas-yul) of Gnamsgo zla-gam: Perspectives on the Tibetan Concept of Himalayan Refuges. Unpublished M.A. thesis. Indiana University.

--(1999). "Refuge and Revitalization: Hidden Himalayan Sanctuaries (Sbas yul) and the Preservation of Tibet's Imperial Lineage." Acta Orientalia, 60, pp. 126-158.

Dowman, K. (1988). The Power-Places of Central Tibet: The Pilgrim's Guide. London.

Ehrhard, F.-K. (1997). "A 'Hidden Land' in the Tibetan Nepalese Borderlands." In Mandala and Landscape (= Emerging Perspectives in Buddhist Studies, 6). New Delhi, pp. 335-364.

--(2003a). "Political and Ritual Aspects of the Search for Himalayan Sacred Lands." In The History of Tibet, Vol. II: The Medieval Period: c. 850-1895. The Development of Buddhist Paramountcy. London / New York, pp. 659-674.

--(2003b). "Kah thog pa bSod nams rgyal mtshan (1466-1540) and his activities in Sikkim and Bhutan." Bulletin of Tibetology, 39:2 (= Special Issue: Contributions to Sikkimese History), pp. 9-26.

--(2005). "The mNga' bdag family and the tradition of Rig 'dzin Zhig po gling pa (1524-1583) in Sikkim." Bulletin of Tibetology, 41:2 (= Special Issue: Tibetan Lamas in Sikkim), pp. 11-30.

Ferrari, A. (1958). Mk'yen brtse's Guide to the Holy Places of Central Tibet (= Serie Orientale Roma, 16). Rome.

Gyurme Dorje (1996). Tibet Handbook with Bhutan. Bath.

Heller, A. (2005a). "Der Zweite Dalai Lama Gendun Gyatso." In Die Dalai Lamas: Tibets Reinkarnationen des Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Stuttgart, pp. 42-51.

--(2005b). "Die Schutzgottheiten der Dalai Lamas." Ibid., pp. 212-229.

Huber, T. (2008). The Holy Land Reborn: Pilgrimage & the Tibetan Reinvention of Buddhist India (= Buddhism and Modernity, 3). Chicago and London.

Klaus, C. (1982). Der aus dem Lotos Entstandene: Ein Beitrag zur Ikonographie und Ikonologie des Padmasambhava nach dem Rin chen gter mdzod (= Asiatische Studien, 85). Wiesbaden.

--(1985). Schutz vor den Naturgefahren: Tibetische Ritualtexte aus dem Rin chen gter mdzod ediert, ubersetzt und kommentiert (= Asiatische Forschungen, 97). Wiesbaden.

Martin, D. (1994). "Tibet at the Center: A Historical Study of Some Tibetan Geographical Conceptions Based on Two Types of Country-Lists Found in Bon Histories." In Tibetan Studies, vol. 1 (= The Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture, 1,1). Oslo, pp. 517-532.

--(1997). Tibetan Histories: A Bibliography of Tibetan-Language Historical Works. London.

--(1999). "'Ol-mo-lung-ring, the Original Holy Place." In Sacred Spaces and Powerful Places in Tibetan Culture: A Collection of Essays. Dharamsala, pp. 258-301.

Mullin, G.H. (1986). "De-si Sang-Gye Gya-Tsho's The Life of the Second Dalai Lama." The Tibet Journal 11:3, pp. 3-16.

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Nornang, N.L. (1990). "Monastic Organization and Economy of Dvags-po Bshad-grubgling." In Reflections on Tibetan Culture: Essays in Memory of Turrel V. Wylie (=Studies in Asian Thought and Religions, 12). Lewistown/Queenstown/Lampeter, pp. 249-268.

Schwieger, P. (1985). Tibetische Handschriften und Blockdrucke, Teil 9: Die Werksammlungen Kun-tu bzan-po dgons-pa zan-thal, Ka-dag ran-byun ran-sar and mKha'-'gro gsan-ba ye-shes kyi rgyud (= Verzeichnis der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland, 11: 9). Stuttgart.

--(2009). Tibetische Handschriften und Blockdrucke, Teil 13: Die mTshur-phu-Ausgabe der Sammlung Rin-chen gter-mdzod chen-mo, nach dem Exemplar der Orientabteilung, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin--Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Hs or 778, Bande 40-52 (= Verzeichnis der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland, 11: 13). Stuttgart.

Shaw, M. (2009)."Palden Lhamo: Supreme Guardian Goddesss of the Dalai Lamas. In As Long as Pace Endures: Essays on the Kdlacakra Tantra in Honor of H.H. The Dalai Lama. Ithaca, New York, pp. 153-167.

Sorensen, P.K. (2008). "The Sacred Junipers of Reting: The Arboreal Origins behind the Dalai Lama Lineage." Orientations, 39:6, pp. 74-79.

Toussaint, G.C. (1933). Le Dict de Padma (Padma Thang yig). Paris.

Tucci, G. (1949). Tibetan Painted Scrolls, 2 vols., Rome.

Vitali, R. (2001). "A Note on the Third Dalai Lama bSod nams rgya mtsho and his Visionary Thang ka od lHa mo'i bla mtsho." The Tibet Journal, 26:3-4 (= Special Issue: Contributions to the History of Tibetan Art), pp. 91-102.

Vostrikov, A.I. (1970). Tibetan Historical Literature (= Soviet Indology Series, 4). Calcutta.


Franz-Karl Ehrhard


(1) See 'Jam-dbyangs mKhyen-brtse'i dbang-po: Ngo mtshar lung ston me long, p. 196.18-20 ('ol dvags gnyis kyi mtshams su rgyal me tog thang zhes rgyal ba dge 'dun rgya mtsho'i gdan sa dang / rtser dmag zor ma'i bla mtsho mthong snang sna tshogs yod tshul sogs mang du yod); the translation is the one of Ferrari (1958:48). For modern descriptions of the routes leading to the "Plain of Flowers" (me tog thang), the triangular shaped monastery of the Second Dalai Bla-ma dGe-'dun rgya-mtsho (1475-1542) and the famous lake known as lHa-mo bla-mtsho, regarded as the life-supporting talisman of the incarnation lineage of the Dalai Bla-mas, see Dowman (1988:255-261), Chan (1994:634-641) and Gyurme Dorje (1996:286-287).

(2) For the main events in the life of the Second Dalai Bla-ma and the foundation of the monastry of Chos-'khor igyal in the year 1509, see Heller (2005a:43-50). The iconographic form of dPal-ldan lha-mo called dMag zor-ma and her cult are treated in Nebesky-Wojkowitz (1975:24-30). Concerning the visions of the Second Dalai Bla-ma and especially the one occuring at lHa-mo lha-mtsho, compare Heller (2005b:253-256). A photograph of the so-called "vision lake" showing the reflecting qualities of the surface can be found, for example, in Batchelor (1987:38-39).Compare Shaw (2009157-164) for the importance of dPal-ldan lha-mo for the incarnation lineage of the Dalai Bla-mas.

(3) The circumstances of the composition of the visionary scroll painting of lHamo bla-mtsho and its content in the context of depicting episodes from the life of the Third Dalai Bla-ma are sketched in Vitali (2001:93-97). Concerning the Fifth Dalai Bla-ma and his association with the monastery of Chos-'khor rgyal compare Heller (2005b:217).The latter contribution contains also a reproduction of a mural showing a further lake, the "Door Protecting Lake" (sgo srung gi mtsho), visited as well during the search for a new Dalai Bla-ma.

(4) The chapter on the person of the Second Dalai Bla-ma in sDe-srid Sangsrgyas rgya-mtsho's continuation of the Fifth Dalai Bla-ma's autobiography has already been translated by Mullin (1986:6-15) and Ahmad (1999: 202-210). For the activities of the Second Dalai Lama in propagating the tradition of the bKa' gdams glegs bam, compare Serensen (2008:78). Next to quotations from this collection one quotation from the work of a treasure discoverer of the rNying-ma-pa school is also to be found; the person in question is called Rig'dzin Las-'phro gling-pa. The Fifth Dalai Bla-ma lists in his records of teachings received five different persons bearing that name; see Ngag-dbang Blo-bzang rgya-mtsho: Gangd'i chu rgyun, vol. 4, pp. 93.3-101.6. The treasure discoverer in this case is Las-'phro gling-pa alias 'Ja'-tshon snying-po (1585-1656).

(5) See Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho: Baidurya ser po'i me long, pp. 196.25-197.3 (chos 'khor rgyal legs bshad sgrog pa'i dga'tshal ni sbas yul dkar po longs de'i khyim pa rnams sum cu rtsa gsum gyi lha dang rab tu byung rnams dga' ldan du skye ba sogs khyad 'phags su gzigs nas rje bla ma'i yang srid gong ma pan chen dge 'dun rgya mtshos btab cing de'i gnas dang gang zag lung bstan tshul sogs gong du 'bras spungs kyi dus brjod zin par ltar ro). For the relevant prophecies in the mentioned chapter on 'Bras-spungs, see ibid., pp. 108.2-110.25.

(6) See dPal-'byor rgya-mtsho: dPag bsam sdongpo mkhaspa dga' byed, fol. 72a/ 4-b/3 ('ol dags [= dvags] gnyis kyi mtshams sbas yul dkar po ljongs kyi bye brag rgyal me thog thang legs par sgrog pa'i dga' tshal 'di ni / mdo sde gdam [= gdams] ngag 'bog pa'i lung bstan gsal ba'i sgron me'i le'u las / rgyal zhes bya ba'i gtsug lag khang / mi pham mngon po'i sprul pa bzhengs / der ni khyim bdag thams cad dang / rab tu byung ba dga' lha yi gnas su 'gro bar 'gyur / zhes gsungs pa 'di phan yul rgyal du ngos 'dzin kyang / rgyal me thog thang gi lung bstan du 'os te / mi pham ngon po'i sprul pa gzheng zhes pa byams pa'i sku gzugs gser gyi lhun po lta bu 'di bzo sprul sku yin pa'i phyir dang / sbas yul dkar po ljongs kyi gnas yig du [= tu] / pho skyes thams cad dpa' bo dang mo skyes thams cad dpa' mor gsungs pa bzhin / khyim pa der skyes thams cad lha yi gnas su skye ba dang rab tu byung ba rnams dga' ldan du rje btsun byams pa'i drung du skye ba yin no / des na gzhan du nyin tshan sbra ba'i [= sbrel ba'i] dge ba las 'dir gtang [= btang] snyoms su sdod pa phan yon che na / dge la brsoms pa rnams la lta ci smos te gnas kyi khyad par 'phags tshul lo). It is known that the works of mKharnag Lo-tsa-ba had been used by later masters of the dGe-lugs-pa school, and it has also been observed that the Fifth Dalai Bla-ma had relied on some of mKhar-nag Lo-tsa-ba's biographical writings when composing his own works on the lives of the Third and the Fourth Dalai Bla-ma; see Tucci (1949:150). Compare in this respect Ngag-dbang Blo-bzang rgya-mtsho: Dngos grub rgya mtsho'i shing rta, p. 244.6 and Nor bu'i phreng ba, p. 350.2. For the affiliation of mKhar-nag Lo-tsa-ba with the monastery of rDzing-phyi in 'Ol-kha, see Martin (1997:96). A large image of Mi-pham mgon-po, i.e. Maitreya, had been located in the Byams-pa lha-khang, dating from the foundation of the monastery of Chos-'khor rgyal; see Dowman (1988:258).

(7) For the five colleges of the monastery Chos-'khor rgyal known as gZhi-pa grvatshang, sGar-pa grva-tshang, Dvags-po grva-tshang, mNga'-ris grva-tshang, and rNam-rgyal grva-tshang, see dPal-'byor rgya-mtsho (as in note 6), fols. 73b/174b/1, and Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho (as in note 5), pp. 197.19-200.13). An account of the development of the monastic organization of the five colleges up to the 20th century can be found in Nornang (1990:249). Concerning the different phases of destruction of Chos-'khor rgyal, see Chan (1994:638).

(8) See Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan: sBas yul dkar po ljongs kyi gnas yig, p. 215.7 [= fol. 13a/2-3], The second reference stands here and in the following references for the dbu-can version reproduced in the appendix. The writer's colophon states: "Written out in the meditation cave of [the one from] Orgyan. The letters were not well done, but there was nothing missing nor to be added. Properly petitioned to be made for the wish of the precious Drung." (o rgyan sgrub phug tu bzhengs pa lags / yi ge legs po rang mi 'dug ste / lha (= lhag) chad par yod lags / drung rin po che'i thugs dgos (= dgongs) mdzad pa zhu zhu legs).

(9) For first evaluations of the person of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan in the context of his work sBas yul gnam sgo zla gam gyi gnas yig lam byang gsal ba'i me long, see Childs (1993:8-11) and Ehrhard (1997:351). A complete translation of the text can be found in Childs (1993:12-29); it is the version published under the title sBas yul padma'i tshal gyi gnas yig kun tu gsal ba'i me long. The dbu-can version of the text reproduced in Ehrhard (1997351359) is based on a manuscript filmed by the Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project (NGMPP) under reel-no. L 290/2. This version contains a more elaborate colophon stating that the text had also been passed on as part of the treasure works of Rig-'dzin rGod-ldem 'phru-can. The importance of this particular work of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan as the earliest literary source on hidden lands has been highlighted in Childs (1999:137).

(10) See Kun-bzang Nges-don klong-yangs: Nor bu do shal, pp. 145.5-146.1 (rig 'dzin rgod ldem chen po ni / o rgyan gling pa'i lung bstan las / sku sprul nyi ma 'od zer yin : gsung sprul chos kyi dbang phyug yin: yon tan o rgyan gling pa yin: 'phrin las tshe brtan rgyal mtshan yin: 'di lnga padma 'byung gnas dngos). For this quotation compare also Schwieger (1985:xxxii) in the context of the biography of Rig-'dzin rGod-ldem phru-can. In the historiographical literature of the rNying-ma-pa school Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan is thus known as the "treasure finder [who is] the manifestation of the activities of the Great One from O-rgyan" (o rgyan chen po'i 'phrin las kyi sprul pa'i gter ston); see Gu-ru bKrashis: Ngo mtshar gtam gyi rol mtsho, p. 463.18.

(11) See Gu-ru bKra-shis: Ngo mtshar gtam gyi rol mtsho, p. 403.6-10 ('di'i gter gnas la ngos 'dzin mi 'dra ba 'ga' re snang yang / shar zug pas [= sha gzur pas] / mon kha tshe ring seng ge rdzong gi ya gyal / chu phug dpal gyi phug ring ro rje rdzong zer ba de yin gsungs). The description of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan's activities in Bhutan according to the modern source and the correct identification of the treasure site can be found in dGe-bshes Bragphug-pa dGe-'dun rin-chen: Blo gsal rna ba'i rgyan, p. 142.2-4 (de nas rab byung bzhi pa'i nang gu ru tshe brtan rgyal mtshan ces bya ba'i gter bton chen po de'ang spa gror byon / chu mo phu [= phug] gu ru zhi drag gi sgrub skor rnams dang / skye bdun dam rdzas sogs mang du bzhes te 'gro don mdzad); compare Aris (1979:43 & 157).

(12) For the classificatory scheme of the five solitary places which is sometimes enlarged by a group of three further sites, see Ehrhard (2003a:659 & 667). The locus classicus for the fives sites is the Padma bka' thang literature; see, for example, O-rgyan gling-pa: Padma bka'i thangyig, chapter 95, p. 589.3-7. The prophecy concerning the person of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan and his treasures in Mon-kha chu-phug can be found in the same work; see ibid., chapter 92, pp. 568.14-569,1.

(13) The resume of the findings of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan as known in the 17th century is contained in the work of Karma Mi-'gyur rdo-rje dbanggi rgyal-po: Lo rgyus gter bton chos 'byung, pp. 55.5-56.2. For the references in the Fifth Dalai Bla-ma's records, see Ngag-dbang Blo-bzang rgya-mtsho: Gangd'i chu rgyun, vol. 3, pp. 110.6-126.4. For the sections describing the different aspects of Padmasambhava, compare ibid, pp. 113.5-115.4 & 119.5-122.2. It is mainly the Padma bka' thang literature which is regarded as the source for the description of the emanations of the master known as "Eight Names"; see, for example, Klaus (1982:33-34).

(14) For the section describing the "cycle for the spiritual realization of the Lady [i.e. Ye-shes mtsho-rgyal]" (jo mo'i sgrub skor) see Ngag-dbang Blo-bzang rgya-mtsho: Gangd'i chu rgyun, vol. 3, p. 122.3-5. For the final teachings, including those against natural calamities, compare ibid., p. 125.4-6. These ritual texts have been included in the Rin chen gter mdzod collection under the titles "Protection from fear [due to] water" (chu'i 'jigspa srung ba) and "Protection from fear [due to] fire" (me'i 'jigs pa srung ba); for an edition and translation of these ritual texts, compare Klaus (1985:26-28 & 126-128). They are part of a collection of texts for the protection from fear of damage caused by earthquake, flood, fire and storm originally compiled by 'Bri-gung Rig-'dzin Chos-kyi grags-pa (1597-1659); see Schwieger (2009:177-178).

(15) For the quotation from the work Lam yig don byang in the records of the Fifth Dalai Bla-ma, see Ngag-dbang Blo-bzang rgya-mtsho: Gangd'i chu rgyun, vol. 3, p. 158.5-6 ('di nas nub kyiphyogs shes na : g.yas ru chu khung 'bab pa'i lho : mang yul rgyal po'i shar phyogs logs : dpal mo thang gi dkyil stod na : lha mo srin mtsho'i nub phyogs na: slob dpon padma'i dgongs pa'i bcud : nam mkha'i snying po'i thugs gter yod : lnga bcu khar la snyigs ma'i dus : rang gter blangs nas 'gro don byed : gsang sngags dar la ma smin dus : skal ldan kun gyi chos skal yin : dran par gyis shig pad bangs kun). The fact that the introductory list from Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan was the necessary condition for the treasure recovery of Bya-mang-po Byangchub gling-pa is also highlighted in the work of Gu-ru bkra-shis; see his Ngo mtshar gtam gyi rol mtsho, pp. 479.8-480.9.

(16) For the dkar chag and the lam yig of the hidden land of White Valley see the work of Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan, pp. 204.1-208.5 [= fols. 1b1/-6a/3]. The two chapters of the inventory can be found ibid., pp. 204.1-205.2 [= fols. 1b1/1-3a/1] and pp. 205.2-208.5 [= fols. 3a/1-6a/3]. The introductory chapter is structured along three topics: "general" (spyi), "special" (bye brag) and "in particular" (sgos). The first topic, dealing with hidden lands in general, is to be found ibid., p. 205.2-7 [= fols. 1a/4-2b/4]. The second topic is treated then as the third one, which makes the third one--dealing with the hidden land of White Valley in particular--missing; see ibid., pp. 204.7-205.2 [= fols. 2a/4-3b/4].

(17) The two references to O-rgyan gling-pa are contained in Tshe-brtan rgyalmtshan; sBas yul dkar po ljongs kyi gnas yig, p. 208.4 [= fol. 6a/1] and p. 209.4 [= fol. 3a/5]. It should be noted that after the first reference the lord of the territory with the name Tshang-pa 'brug[-zhon] is mentioned; see ibid., fol. 208.4 [= fol. 6a/2]. The chief of the masters of the territory seems to bear generally a name starting with the syllable Tshangs / 'Tsang / Tsang; see Blondeau (2008: 244). Concerning the different references to the hidden land at the border of 'Ol-kha and Dvags-po in the treasure work of O-rgyan gling-pa see his lHa 'dre'i bka' thang in bKa' thang sde lnga, pp. 67.3-68.16, 75.16, 80.18-81.2 & 81.12-16; compare the translations in Blondeau (1971:98-99, 109 & 114). For a chronological calculation on Lung-gsum dkar-po ljongs in the Lopan bka' thang corresponding to the year 1393, see also Blondeau (1971:98, note 253). This calculation which prophesises a famine in that very year has already been noted by Vostrikov (1970:40-41); see Lo pan bka'i thang yig in bKa' thang sde lnga, p. 408.18-19.

(18) The appendix to the inventory is contained in the work of Tshe-brtan rgyalmtshan, p. 208.5-209.5 [= fols. 6a/3-7a/2]. In the second chapter of the inventory the hidden land is actually characterized as possessing this eight sacred sites; see ibid., p. 205.3 [=fol. 3a/4]: "As the Valley of the Three Regions at the border of 'Ol[-kha] [and] D[v]ags[-po] is one having eight virtuous sacred sites" ('ol dags mtshams kyi lung gsum ljongs : dge gnas brgyad kyi gcig yin pas). This specific attribute of virtuousness must have been responsible for the designation "White Valley" (dkar po ljongs). The second designation "Valley of the Three Regions" (lung gsum ljongs) points to the physical landscape of the central grassy plain, where three side valleys converge (and where later rGyal Me-thog thang had been erected in a triangular form); see Dowman (1988:257) and Chan (1994:638).

(19) For the quotation from the lam yig of Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan's work, see p. 211.2-3 [= fol. 8b/1-2]. The set of three hidden lands as presented by O-rgyan gling-pa can be found in his Padma bka'i thang yig, chapter 95, pp. 589.14-590.2 (lho nub mtshams na sbas yul 'bras mo ljongs : nub byang mtshams na sbas yul mkhan pa ljongs : byang shar mtshams na sbas yul lung gsum ljongs). Concerning the different textual traditions of the "guide to the sacred place" (gnas yig) associated with sBas-yul mKhan-pa ljongs, the predominant one being that of Rig-'dzin rGod-ldem 'phru-can, see Ehrhard (1997:335-336). For the relevant texts of the same treasure finder concerning sBas-yul 'Bras-mo ljongs compare Ehhard (2003:13, note 8 & 15-16, note 11); see also Ehrhard (2005:19-20) for the movement of teachers of the rNying-mapa school to the latter hidden land in the 17th century.

(20) The three descriptions of the triple approach to the hidden land according to what can be called a "trikaya model" are to be found in the work of Tshebrtan rgyal-mtshan, pp. 211.5-212.4 [= fols. 8b/5-9b/5], pp. 212.4-213.1 [= fols. 9b/5-10b/1] & pp. 213.1-214.2 [= fols. 10b/1-11b/2]. For the quotation as transmitted in the historiographical work of mKhar-nag Lo-tsa-ba, see note 6. The two lines occur in two identical versions in the Lam yig; see the work of Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan, p. 215.1 & p. 215.3-4 [= fol. 12a/5-6 & fol. 12b/ 2-3]: (pho skyes thams cad dpa' bor shes par gyi : mo skyes thams cad dpa' mor shes par gyi). In contrast to a trikaya model as applied in the text on dKar-po ljongs, the work of Gu-ru Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan dealing with gNam-sgo zla-gam employs a fourfold "mandala model" when setting forth the entry points to the sacred site; compare Ehrhard (1997:344).

(21) In the dKar chag of the hidden land of White Valley, Mount Sumeru is placed in the centre with Jambudvlpa and its satellite countries in the south; see the work of Tshe-brtan rgyal-mtshan, p. 204.2-7 [= fols. 1b/4-2b/4]. The author follows here a trend in Tibetan geographical conceptions which has been called "Indiocentric" in contrast to "Tibetocentric"--or "Kailashocentric"--see Martin (1994:520-521) and Huber (2008:77-83). In his presentation of the individual Buddhist countries he makes use of a scheme known as "shoulder-blade" geography. i.e. placing the individual countries on a "shoulder blade" (sog pa) in the form of a downward pointing triangle. This concept of the world can be found in both Bon and Buddhist literary sources and seems quite old; see Martin (1999:266 & 289, note 25).
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Title Annotation:Cultural Geography
Author:Ehrhard, Franz-Karl
Publication:The Tibet Journal
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Sep 22, 2009
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