Pabangka Monastery
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Pabangka Monastery

Update: Dec. 28th, 2012

Pabangka Monastery

Brief Introduction of Pabangka Monastery

"Pabangka" means "giant stone palace" in Tibetan language. The Pabangka Monastery is located in the cove which is about 9 kilometers away from west of Sera Monastery, on north of Lhasa. The monastery was built on two giant stones which look like turtles, hence the name Pabangka Monastery. Pabangka Monastery is with long history. According to legends, Songtsen Ganpo ever practiced there and took charge of construction work of this monastery before building Jokhang Temple and Ramoche Monastery. There is a cave under the giant stone. It is said that the cave was the practice place of Songtsen Ganpo. There is an earth platform in the cave which was the throne of Songtsen Ganpo. In addition, there are some stone statues of Buddhas which were carved by Nepal craftsmen. It is recorded in relevant Tibetan history that the palace was nine floors' high when it was built; it was constructed with bricks, and the seam of bricks was filled with cooper; and four sides of the construction was fixed with four iron chains. That's the "Marubao Palace" which has good reputation in Tibetan history. It is said that Songtsen Ganpo ever received foreign envoys and talked about affairs of the state in the palace. According to legends, Tunmi Sangbuzha who was important officer of Songtsen Ganpo ever lived in Pabangka Monastery after he studied in Indian. In Pabangka Monastery, Tunmi Sangbuzha hard worked for three years and created Tibetan Character based on Sanskrit and Wuerdu Character. He first taught Songtsen Ganpo and officers Tibetan Character in Pabangka Monastery and wrote the Sutra of Six Truest Words with Tibetan Character and carved on stone. Then Songtsen Ganpo proclaimed the characters created by Tunmi Sangbuzha as the unified characters of Tubo Kingdom. Later, Trison Detsen and Padmasambhava and master of Samye Monastery ever came there. The Pabangka Monastery became important place of religious activities, as well as the center of politics and Buddhism in Tubo Kingdom.

History of Pabangka Monastery

In 841, Langdama burned Pabangka Monastery. In history, Pabangka Monastery was repaired for several times. In late grand period of Buddhism, Boduowa Renqinsai who was famous disciple of Adixia and his disciple came to Pabangka Monastery to worship. He felt very sad when he saw the ruin of Pabangka Monastery. Then, he asked his disciples to repair the Pabangka Monastery. Accordingly, a two floors' hall was built up on the ruin. Later, the monks of Kadampa repaired original 108 pagodas, carved Buddha statues and built Lakhang. At that time, the Pabangka Monastery was with over 400 monks, and became important monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. In the period of fifth Dalai Lama, the Pabangka Monastery was repaired and enlarged in large scale. One floor was added to the two floors' high hall. In the period of Cultural Revolution, the Pabangka Monastery was destroyed. The existence is the wall of ground floor. There were nine rooms on the ground floor. Based on the research of Cultural Relic Department, there were Lani Lakhang, Gongkang hall, etc on the second and third floor, and with the statue of Sakyamuni enshrined.

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