Benchen Phuntsog Dargyeling Monastery was founded by the 4th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche.

The first three Sangye Nyenpa incarnations resided in Jangchub Chokhor Ling Monastery in Eastern Tibet. The fourth Sangye Nyenpa broke from this tradition. In his youth, he stayed in the great Surmang Monastery. Later on, he left that area and moved to the nearby Ga district. He became very fond of it and decided it was the right place to set up a monastery. He waited for an auspicious sign to occur as a confirmation. 

One day, while he was resting at a particular spot, suddenly a huge raven landed on a big rock nearby, dancing on it and making loud noises. Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche found this strange and decided to investigate. He climbed the rock and when he arrived at the top, an object fell out of the raven’s beak as it flew away. Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche found it to be a small turquoise image of Mahakala Dorje Bernagchen, the main protector of the Karma Kagyu Lineage, which he kept enshrined in the future monastery.

Considering this to be a very auspicious omen, he went to find the owner of the land. The land belonged to the head of the Radha family who joyfully donated all of it to the monastery.

The work started right away but strange phenomena occured constantly such as heavy thunderstorms and other hindrances. Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche realized that it was good to do the practice of the protector the Radha family was related to, Shing Kyong. Nyenpa Rinpoche went into retreat, supplicated Shing Kyong and thus pacified the situation. Since then Shing Kyong is one of the main protectors of Benchen Monastery.

Over centuries, Benchen monastery in Eastern Tibet was the main seat of the following incarnations of Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche, Chime Rinpoche and Tenga Rinpoche. When the buildings were totally destroyed during the Chinese invasion of 1959, the ninth Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche and the third Tenga Rinpoche went into exile.

In 1982, the previous Chime Rinpoche, who never left Tibet, saw to the reconstruction of the smaller shrine hall. In 1990s a decision was made to rebuild the main shrine of Benchen monastery.

The reconstruction got underway in 1996 under the supervision of the current Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche and was finished in 2002. The fourth Chime Rinpoche currently lives in Benchen monastery in Tibet. Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche and His Eminence Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche visited the monastery a number of times. Both transmitted several essential empowerments and teachings to the monks.

The monastery is in possession of four retreat centres and a shrine hall dedicated to Nyungne practice, located few kilometres away.



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