Deden Tashi Choeling Temple
In Padmasambhava’s sacred hidden land of Pemakod, in accordance with the aspirations of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche and that of his own disciples, Togden Kunzang Longdrol (sometimes known as Togden Sithar) built the original temple, and named it Deden Tashi Choeling.
Among other sacred objects, Togden built six statues: Amitabha, Avalokiteshvara, and Padmasambhava, each of which was to be enshrined in the three-story temple that he envisioned for the future, as well as Guru Dorje Drolod, Guru Senge Dradrog, and Senge Dongma (or Lion-Faced Dakini). In these six sacred statues, many precious and blessed objects from Tibet were placed. Also, there are two reliquary stupas, one of which houses the relics of HH Dudjom Rinpoche’s root teacher, Jyurmey Nedon Wangpo, and the other of which (built by Togden himself) houses the precious remains of HH Dudjom Rinpoche’s mother, Namgyal Drolma, who was well-known as a Dakini in human form.
Through Deden Tashi Choeling Temple, Togden preserved not only the sacred objects entrusted to him by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, but also, more importantly, Togden preserved the authentic Dudjom lineage itself, purely and stainlessly. Over time, Deden Tashi Choeling became the second seat of the Khorlo Dratsang (Ngakpa or tantrika sangha) in Lower Pemakod. At His Holiness’s recommendation, many of the yogis and yoginis from the original Khorlo Dratsang (Ngakpa sangha) in Chinese-controlled Upper Pemakod eventually made their way to this temple, and spent the remainder of their lives in small huts around this temple.
Led by Tulku Orgyen, Deden Tashi Choeling Temple – in the form of the Copper-Colored Mountain, Zangdok Palri, with its complete contents and surrounding facilities, long- envisioned by his predecessor and that of the many great masters – was finally completed. This Temple was the first ever of its kind in this part of the sacred hidden land of Guru Padmasambhava.
On the auspicious 10th day of the Tibetan calendar – January 21, 2013 – Deden Tashi Choeling Temple was consecrated. Devoted people from many villages in Pemakod, and also devotees from far way cities and countries, gathered to celebrate the auspicious completion.
This Temple will remain as a place where new generations of Dharma practitioners can gather together, to practice, to learn from one another, and as a place where all those who sincerely aspire to practice Holy Dharma in Pemakod for the benefit of all beings may come to receive precious teachings and engage in pure practice.
Since Togden’s passing, all of the traditions that Togden established for group practice on a monthly and annual basis are faithfully maintained by his disciples. Monthly practices include an extensive Guru Rinpoche Tsok on 10th day; practice of the One Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities (Shi-tro) or Vajrasattva practice (DorSem) on 15th day (Full Moon); and Dakini Tsok on the 25th day of the month. A drupchen is conducted every year during the first month of the Tibetan calendar, and a Nyung Ne retreat is held for several weeks during the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar. Other periodic regular group practices include Tara practice and Tsok Bum (one hundred thousand tsok offerings), which were Togden Sithar’s favorite group practices.
Today, Lama Rigdzin P’huntsok – a close disciple of Togden Sithar and a highly respected lama who is also Tulku Orgyen P’huntsok’s father – along with other lamas, leads these practices uninterruptedly in this newly-completed Zangdok Palri Temple in the innermost Heart of Padmasambhava’s King of the Hidden Lands.
May all beings benefit!