Trichen Ngawang Chokden, the 54th Gaden Tripa (1677-1751)


In Trichen Ngawang Chokden’s biography called Melodious Talks on How to Accomplish the Celestial Land Called the Great Drums of the Gods as written by Changkya Rolpai Dorji, on the back page of Tibetan page no. 66, the fifth line says thus:

“Earlier, a perilous king-spirit used to come into trance by entering the body of a person from Draksep. Some retired Lamas, and houses [in Gaden] went out of their way doing unwanted things, and started worshipping and relying on it. On the mountain that serves as the backdrop of [Gaden] Jangtse Monastery, they had even constructed a cairn for it. Seeing them as utterly impertinent, speaking to the monastic congregation, Tri Rinpoche decreed that since there was no tradition of propitiating various worldly gods and protectors during the time of Tsongkhapa and his spiritual heirs, henceforth, it should also remain prohibited in future. The cairn was destroyed, and its stones and earth were returned to the respective places from where they were gathered. The medium was put to trance and the perilous spirit was commanded not to enter the medium again. The perilous king-spirit then said thus: ‘If it is the order of Tri Rinpoche [the throne holder] that prohibits me, there is no other way but to leave.’ It then fled to the region of Taktse Shol. As Tri Rinpoche continued to observe steadfast meditation, he also established the tradition of performing Yama Raja’s Pacifying Ritual of Cake Offering, based on the omniscient Gedun Gyatso’s work, in Gaden. Due to Dharma Raja’s punishment, the retired lama [ex-abbot] died instantly while the house that worshipped it faced numerous tragedies. This served as an exemplary deterrent for others, and contributed to the purity of the monasteries [in Gaden] and their traditions”.

This account in the biography of Trichen Ngawang Chokden completely matches with the words of Phurchok Ngawang Jampa. In this biography, it says that Trichen Ngawang Chokden destroyed the cairn of the perilous king-spirit and totally prohibited its propitiation. Here again, it is not explicitly mentioned who that devil was. However, that both of these were referring to Dolgyal is very clearly mentioned in the biography of Changkya Rolpai Dorji, written by his student Thuwuken Chokyi Nyima.

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