Takten Damcho Puntsok Ling Monastery

rtag brtan dam chos gling
Alternative Name(s):
Takten Damcho Ling Ngedon Gaway Tshal, rtag brtan dam chos gling nges don dga' ba'i tshal, Takten Phuntsok Ling, rtag brtan phun tshogs gling, Ganden Phuntsok Ling, dga' ldan phun tshogs gling
Site Type: Monastery
Site Location: Lhatse (lha rtse)
Operating Status: Active
Current Tradition: Geluk
Former Tradition: Jonang
Date Established: 1619
Current Residents: 35
Former Residents: 3000
Founding Master: Taranatha
TBRC Place #: G390

Takten Damcho Ling Ngedon Gaway Tshal, sometimes referred to as “Takten Phuntsok Ling,” was established by Jetsun Taranatha in the year 1615. Located about an hour south of the Great Stupa of Jonang at the Richo Chenmo, Takten Damcho Ling Monastery was the largest monastic establishment of the Jonangpa in Central Tibet in the early 17th century. For 35 years, from 1615 until its conversion in 1650, this monastery was the center of Jonangpa activity. Enclosed within this monastic complex is a large Buddhist studies college (bshad grwa), meditation retreat facilities (sgrub khang), a printing press (par khang), and 16 temples (lha khang). During Taranatha’s time, it is said that there were approximately 10,000 yogis and scholars living in the vicinity of Takten Damcho Ling and the mountain retreat (ri khrod) that surrounds the stupa. After Taranatha’s passing, in the year 1650, Takten Damcho Ling was forcefully seized by the 5th Dalai Lama Ngawang Lozang Gyatso (1617-82). At this time, the Central Government in Lhasa headed by the 5th Dalai Lama prohibited the study of the Jonang scholastic curriculum throughout Central and Western Tibet, banned and burned Jonang texts, sealed the printing press, and instituted a Geluk study center at Takten Damcho Ling. By the year 1658, Takten Damcho Ling was officially converted into a Geluk monastery.

The Geluk name for this monastery is, “Ganden Phuntsok Ling.” Today, 8 of the original 16 temples are active.

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Main Temple Taranatha’s Palace Printery Debate Grounds