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See more historical details under Kathok Monastery

In the Nyingma Tradition, there are six principal Nyingma monasteries:

1 Kathok Monastery 2 Palyul Monastery 3 Dzogchen Monastery 4 Shechen Monastery 5 Mindroling Monastery 6 Dorje Drak Monastery

The sub-tradition of Nyingma Kat'hok is the source of all the other sub-traditions and historically, it is the oldest of all traditions of Buddhism in Tibet.


Great Kat'hok Dorje Den



The main monastery of Kat'hok is located in the Si Chuan Province, White Jade County - Ho Po region (Derge), a pure land where all the people embrace the Teachings of Lord Buddha. The monastery is situated at the middle of the Bai Long Gou (White Dragon Channel) on Do-Nian Mountain.

It was found by the great Nyingma Master Tampa Deshek in Year 1159.

The full name of the monastery is Kat'hok Dorje Den (Ga Tuo Duo Ji Dan) named so because the monastery is built on top of a naturally-arisen "Ga" letter on a huge and smooth white-coloured stone.

"Dorje Den" in Tibetan means "Vajra Seat", [Vajrasana] the holiest place for Buddhists all over the world, the very place where Lord Buddha manifested the Great Enlightenment.

Great Guru Padmasambhava declared that the blessings of Kat'hok would reign supreme and is equivalent to that of the Vajra Seat in Bodhgaya on which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment. Guru Rinpoche personally consecrated Kat'hok Monastery 13 times and prophesied Kathok to be The Supreme Holy Place of the Snowy Lands, The Ultimate Source for the Dissemination of the Vajrayana Teachings of the Great Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal.

100,000 Rainbows of Kat'hok

Relying upon the unique Kat'hok's esoteric practices of the Dzogchen Zuktor Sangwai Mengag, Dzogchen Semde Deun Poa and 13 other great volumes of precious Teachings, there have, from the founding of Kat'hok to the present time of Ya La Bai Ma Deng Du, been 100,000 practitioners who have attained the highest enlightened stage of Rainbow Body. The holy place containing the foot-prints of 100,000 dakinis are still clearly visible on Mount Duo Nian today. The unsurpassable blessings of the holy Kat'hok Nyingma Tradition are unique.


Golden Kat'hok Nyingma Lineage

The Kat'hok Nyingma Lineage is analogous to the essence of the most refined gold. In the centuries of Kat'hok's history, there have been a total of 123 accomplished masters from the time of the Kat'hok Great founder Tampa Deshek to:

the 80th Throne-holder Kat'hok Tai Situ Chokyi Gyaltsen Rinpoche, Situ Rinpoche's students, include the great Khenpo Lei Xia Deng, Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Rinpoche, Geze Rinpoche, Deng Be Namjia Rinpoche, great Khenpo Gyaltsen Ozer and other great masters.

From the great Khenpo Gyaltsen Ozer Rinpoche, the Holy Throne-holder of Kat'hok was passed on to Mocha Rinpoche and Dimed Shing Kyong Rinpoche, the 83rd Throne-holder of Kat'hok.

Now, the glorious seat of the Kat'hok Nyingma Lineage is occupied by the H.H. Lhoga Rinpoche as the 84th Supreme Throne-holder of Kat'hok.


H.H. Lhoga Rinpoche -- Nyingma Kat'hok 84th Lineage Throne Holder

From the great Guru Padmasambhava, the H.H. Lhoga Rinpoche could be considered as the 99th Absolute Lineage-holder of the Nyingma Tradition. Presently, many rinpoches from the main Kathok Monastery are diligently spreading the Kathok Nyingma's Teachings of Lord Buddha for the benefit of mother sentient beings everywhere and are duly recognised through the precious instructions of the:

..great Khenpo Jamyang and other great masters ..the noble Dimed Shing Kyong Rinpoche ..H.H. Mocha Rinpoche ..Ge Ze Rinpoche ..Chadral Rinpoche ..Jiang Yang Tulku and so on.


Father of Kathok Monastery H.H. Mocha Rinpoche

However, owing to the great number of affiliated monasteries of Kathok, it is virtually impossible to list out of all the great masters.

Nevertheless, accomplished prominent masters of Kathok who propagated the Dharma overseas are as follows:

..Chatral Rinpoche ..Bairo Tulku Rinpoche (the younger brother of H.H. the Mocha Rinpoche; the father of the present H.H. Gyalwang Drukchen Rinpoche, the supreme head of the Drukpa Kagyu Tradition) ..Kathok Tai Situ Rinpoche ..Weng Chu Rinpoche ..Yanpan Sherap Gyaltsen (Karma) Rinpoche (the present 85th Kathok Lineage Throne Holder, - previous life was Xire Jiangcan, one of the 3 Immediate Enlightened Ones.) ..Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche .. Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche .. Wei Yin Tulku and other noble masters.


Kathok Monastery at present

For hundreds of years, the Kathok Nyingmapas had monasteries all over Tibet, Bhutan, India, Sikim, Mongolia as well as China. During the ancient times, there were over 300 monasteries but many were in ruins. However, thanks to diligent reconstruction efforts in recent years, there are now a total of 130 monasteries still existing. The great Khenpo Gyaltsen Ozer; Mocha Rinpoche; Kyong Jung Rinpoche as well as H.H. Lhoga Rinpoche have been incessantly working hard to revive the once extremely vibrant Kathok Tradition. They are rebuilding many Kathok holy temples, monasteries, Buddhist colleges and meditation retreat centers.

In particular, they oversee the reconstruction of the magnificently spectacular holy mandala of the Auspicious Copper-Coloured Mountain, the Pure-land of Padmasambhava, so that it can once again be a holy place for everyone, everywhere.


H.H. Kyong Jung Rinpoche One of the greatest masters in the Kat'hog lineage

The Kathok Buddhist University is the highest institution of learning in the Kat'hok Nyingma Tradition. The entire course stretches for a period of 5 years. Monks who aspire to continue their studies at Kat'hok Buddhist University have to first graduate from their own local Buddhist institutions before they are allowed to pursue their post-graduate studies at Kathok Buddhist University.