The land of the Sherpas. Tengboche monastery (Nepal)

The land of the Sherpas. Tengboche monastery (Nepal)

Solo Khumbu – “lotus valley” – known to the world for the fact that in its upper reaches are the highest mountains of the world Everest (aka Sagarmatha or Chomolungma) 8848 m, Lhotse 8516 m, Cho Oyu 8201 m. At first, only professional climbers had access to the paths to these majestic ice giants. But after the first ascent of Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the tourist development of this region began.

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The people living here are Sherpas, who come from Eastern Tibet. In the 16th century, they began to populate these high-mountain valleys, crossing the high-mountain passes that now divide Tibet and Nepal. In the discovered manuscripts – tertons – hidden by Guru Rinpoche in this valley in the 8th century, it is said that this valley is sacred and will give shelter to Tibetans in difficult times. Guru Rinpoche meditated here in the Akar-phug cave, located above the village of Khumjung. After his meditations, Solo Khumbu was cleansed of evil spirits and became a sacred valley – biul – a place perfect for both practice and living for respectable people.

The Sherpas turned out to be very receptive to new trends people, with the help of the development fund and with the direct participation of Hillary, they have arranged this valley almost like Switzerland! Guests from all over the world are greeted by unusually clean alpine shelters at an altitude of 5100 m (!), Called loggias here, with Wi-Fi, restaurants, solar panels. The region is constantly developing. They are building small power plants, farms, and a center for the cultivation of medicinal plants. All this takes place under the strict guidance of the spiritual mentor Tengboche Rinpoche Lama. For the inhabitants of the valley, he is both a spiritual teacher and an adviser in matters of education and health, he takes an active part in the lives of children whose parents died while working on expeditions. The Nepalese government has awarded the Lama four times for his successful efforts in the development of the region and Nepal as a whole.

Tengboche Monastery was founded in 1916 on the site where Lama Sangwa Dorje left his footprints in the stone during meditation. Sangwa Dorje said that a temple would be built here. And then one day, it was in 1914, a lama from the village of Khumjung named Chatang Chotar (he was also called Lama Gulu) went to the Rongbuk monastery, located on the Tibetan side near Everest. There he received teachings from Lama Navang Tenzing Norbu. After completing all the pujas and ceremonies, Lama Tenzing Norbu said that Chatang Chotar should establish a monastery at Solo Khumbu at the site of the Sangwa Dorje trail. The agitated monk wondered how he could find the money to build such a monastery ?! In response to his thoughts, Tenzing Norbu said that in one of his incarnations Chatang Chotar was the father of Sangwa Dorje, so he need not worry, this good karma will help to find the necessary funds. At that time, the Rana dynasty ruled Nepal. They heard that the lama was laying the foundation for a new monastery and sent him an offering and food for the monks. There were also donations from local residents Genpo Sherab Tsepal, Lama Karma and Thakdo Kusan. Local residents were directly involved in the construction.

The current abbot of Ngawang Tenzin Zangbu monastery is the reincarnation of the monastery’s founder. His father received the blessing of a long life from Lama Gulu (Chatang Chotar), and as it turned out later, a month later Lama Gulu left incarnation. And the soon-born son constantly surprised his relatives with the desire to go to Tengboche. Then the parents went to Rongbuk, where the uncle of the departed Lama Gulu lived at that time. At the meeting, the boy rushed to hug his uncle, as if he knew him before. Then the boy was brought to the Tengboche monastery, and he had to choose from the monastic utensils those things that belonged to him in his previous life. He coped well with the test, and he was recognized as the reincarnation of Chatang Chotar. After the young lama studied in various monasteries in Tibet and Sikkim and received initiations, he studied not only the teachings of the Ningmapa tradition (Lingbu monastery in Gyantse), but also Kagyu (Talung Chib-phung monastery near Lhasa) and Sakya (Tsedong Chode monastery near Shigatse, teaching Larnda Cho). Tengboche Rinpoche Lama returned to the monastery at the age of thirty, after completing all the practices and training, and since then has been the abbot and pastor of all Sherpas. Sherpa monks study and serve in the monastery, conducting daily pujas.

This year, Tengboche Rinpoche Lama, after visiting the Sherpa villages, arrived in Tengboche the day before the earthquake. The monastery was badly damaged, some of the monastic cells were completely destroyed, the lama also had to move to the loggia located below, which generally survived.

We visited the Solo Khumbu Valley and monastery a few days after the earthquake, in early May. You can read more about this here: Travel Notes of Svetlana Pasha from Nepal in May 2015 And visited Rinpoche. Received a blessing and asked for a ten minute meditation. This, of course, was an unforgettable 10 minutes – next to Rinpoche and even in the Himalayas! It was incredibly powerful and amazing!

We asked about the possibility to help the monastery and the Sherpas whose houses were destroyed and we were given the bank details of the monastery.

If you want to donate funds for the restoration of the monastery or for the restoration of Sherpa houses in the villages of Solo Khumbu, then you can transfer funds to the account of the monastery indicating the purpose (donation) to the account from which only the lama personally distributes the funds.

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