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There are three regions in Tibet. Nyari in the west, Ü-Tsang in the middle, and Dokham to the east. One may further subdivide Dokham into north (Amdo) and south (Kham). In southern Kham, through which the golden waters of the mighty Yangze River run, lies Derge county,within its district “The Lords of Wild Yaks” sits Simdha Dzogchen Monastery. The environs are auspiciously oriented.


This place, which was blessed by previous incarnations of the throne holders, has become a place of good earth and clean water, conducive to meditation, intelligence, and dharma. Simply by being there, your mind echoes the clarity of its elements and you become spontaneously joyful, peaceful, and harmonious,you shed your worldly concerns. This hundred-thousand-auspicious-features-possessing place is where the monastery has been built, at the heart of the dharma patron Wild Yak the Eighth.


In the Water Buffalo Year, the King of Derge sponsored an extremely famous printing of an edited edition of the kangyur. Orgyen Samten brought back one of the first editions of this kangyur to his monastery, which was welcomed with music and incense, given book covers, wrappings, and title pages, and placed them into the main temple of his monastery, along with many terma texts, Prajnaparamitas (all written in gold and silver on black paper), various Sutras, collected works, and secret biographies.


The main statues include the talking Vairocana from the Fifth Dalai Lama and a representation of Guru Rinpoche. There is also an amazing fascinating footprint that was pressed into the ground where Yamantaka stepped onto the grounds. The monastery’s other wealth consisted of monetary offerings, as well as livestock, provided by donations and taxes.


The sangha also has a long history of diligent study in the ritual arts, strong in the mind of renunciation, and rich in the trainings and the vows. At that time, there were more than 70 bikshus and shramanas. The lamas would often give empowerments, read transmissions and explanations, and teach on various terma texts.


As for the vinaya, they established their customs on the basis of Ogmin Ogyen Mindroling, protecting the 253 vows, 17 rules, and four root downfalls, performing the proper sojong rituals, and practicing the three main bases. They also practiced the normal pujas and rituals at appropriate times, made offerings, such as the chopa and the ganachakra, the annual drupchen, as well as practice other various rituals and termas.

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