DREPUNG MONASTERY

  Drepung lies five Kilometers west of Lhasa at the halfway point of the hill. It was built in 1416 by Gyayang Chugye, the disciple of Master Zongkaba. It is the biggest monastery in size and is built in the style of Tibetan religious constructions. There are four Zhacang as GoMang, Loseling, Deyang and Agba. The Sutra Hall is the main construction and looks magnificent with beautiful carvings. It can hold over 8,000 monks. The Palace for the Dalai Lamas from the 2nd to the 5th is named Gandan Potrang was built in 1530. The successive Dalai Lamas regarded Drepung as their mother monastery. There are lots of religious relics, art and collections in it.

  1、Gandan PoTrang: It was built by the 2nd Dalai Lama, Gendun Gyatso in 1530. Dalai Lamas from the 2nd to the 5th lived there before the Potala Palace was built and the 5th Dalai Lama gained power with combination of religion and politics here. Since then, Gandan PoTrang was also considered as the local government of Tibet. There are seven stories to the building divided into three parts. Store rooms are in the first part of the basement. Dormitories of monks are around the second floor. The Dalai Lama’s Palace is on the 7th floor containing sutra room, bedroom and meeting room etc.

  2、The Tsochin Hall:Located in the middle of the monastery covering the area of 4,500 square meters. There are 182 big pillars in the hall and it can hold over 7,000 monks. It is the location for important activities and ceremonies. There are some ancient armours and bows on the pillars. The statue of Manjusri, Sakyamuni and his two disciples, the Future Buddha and the Past Buddha are all enshrined in the left chapel. The statue of Songtsan Gampo, his concubines and some of the officers are inlayed on the pillars. The stupa of the 95th Gandan Chiba’ relic, the statue Manjusri, Zongkapa, the 13th Dalai Lama, and Gyayang Chujie, the creator of the monastery are enshrined in this hall.
The second floor at the northwest corner is a important chapel with a massive statue of Jampa {extending three floors},represents the future Buddha Maitreya at the age of twelve. The chapel next to the Maitreya chapel enshrined three period Buddha, third Dalai Lama and eight Types of stupas, 1. Enlightmen stupa, 2.Budhi stupa, 3Dharma stupa, 4.Miraculous stupa, 5.Descension stupa,6. Harmonious stupa, 7.Vijaya stupa,8.Nirvana stupa.

  3、The Agba Zhacang :This was built in 1419. The monks who want to make a further study in this Zhacang had to have the experience of the studying in the other Zhacangs and passed the examinations. The excellent member from the Zhacang may have the chance to enter Lhasa Tantric Seminary.
  The chapel of the YAMANTAKA: It is the earliest construction that was built by Zongkapa. It is the most holy statue. There is a story about it that just when master Zongkapa finished the head and neck of the statue, it was completed itself.

  4、Loseling Zhacang:It is the biggest Zhacang in the monastery and use to have over 6,000 monks studying in it. The first sutpa hold the first manager of the Zhacang. The statues of the 5th, 6th, 7th Dalai Lamas and 1,000 longevity Buddas are enshrined in the main hall.
  Three small chapels are behind the main hall: The sixteen Arhats and a stupa are in the first chapel. In the second chapel, are the statue of the Future Buddha, Sakyamuni, Zongkapa, his three disciples as well as the 13th Dalai Lama. The statue of Sakyamuni, Buddha stupas and Scriptures are in the third chapel.

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