Lémoché (klas Mo Che)

Tibetan Renaissance Seminar > Structured Monastery Entry > Lémoché


Contributor(s): Chelsea Hall, Luke Wagner.

General information

Nameklas mo che
Etymology1. Great Court 2. Without women
Sectarian affiliation 
Source of informationBlue Annals
Locationsnar (thang)
Cultural locationTibet
Location's languageTibetan
Location descriptionmonastery
Blue Annals References81, 421, 600, 1068, 1069

Historical Summary

It is unclear in the Blue Annals during which time period this monastery was occupied, nor was its founding discussed. In the context of the Blue Annals, Lémoché served as a meeting place for important personages to receive teachings. Chartong Nakmo ( ‘phyar stong nag mo) taught at Lémoché. In the Blue Annals several manifestations of Tara are mentioned at this location during meditative experiences. In one episode, Khaché Panchen (Śākyaśrī) is scolded by Tara for not offering a Khampa monk from Drikung his religious robe when it was requested. He also resided at Lemoché and taught The Commentary on the Pan͂͂caviṃśatisāhasrikā. Lemoché also served as the location for retreats during the summer and rainy seasons. Here many teachers met to debate, teach, or merely stop on their way to Lhasa.

Passages from The Blue Annals

  • R 81 - Further, the disciple of rtsis pa (the Astrologer) dpal ldan gros took over snar thang. ‘phyar stong nag mo taught at klas mo che, stag tshal smon gro and at rong mkhar phug. His disciple mnga ‘ris dgra bcom studied for a while under dpal ldan rngor gzhon. Later on having met stong nag mo, he became learned. He founded the monastery of sba gor brag nag and zam 'tsher. He had eight disciples, including 'chims nam mkha' grags and gyang mo che. His last disciple was seng ge zil gnon.
  • R 421 - He taught to gser sdings pa gzhon nu 'od, who belonged to the family of monks of sum pa skyil mkhar. In his childhood (F:9a) he was ordained in the presence of 'dul dkar gzhon nu tshul khrims. He heard much (the exposition) of the lam rim (Bodhipathapradipa) and its hidden precepts handed down in the Lineage of the Venerable Master (Atīśa), and (the precepts) became impressed on his mind. He obtained final monastic ordination in the presence of the upādhyāya gtsang nag pa and others, and became a great Vidyādhara. He studied extensively the texts belonging to the Vinaya class. On one occasion he visited grub thabs dpon, (on the way) his feet ached and he rested at sna rips of sab, during which glang mo che pa entertained him. glang ma che pa said: "Teacher! Do you know the system of Nāgārjuna (the Guhyasamāja according to the system of Nāgārjuna)?" gser sdings pa replied: "Where can one find upādhyāyas having knowledge of the Guhyasamāja according to the system of Nāgārjuna?" glang mo ches pa exclaimed: "The old woman of lha sa did not see lha sa! (meaning: you did not see the teacher who resided besides you). Did you not hear there was a scholar learned in the Guhyasamāja according to the system of Nāgārjuna and a tree of Vajrayāna at thur la?" He (gser sdings pa) felt somewhat ashamed. On his return, he asked the ācārya gtsang pa to intercede before 'phags pa to give him instructions. 'phags pa said: "I shall do everything for him presently!" (kho bo la ma thogs pa cig bgyid, lit.”I shall relieve myself of my duties towards him") and he gave him a complete exposition of the basic (Samāja) text and its hidden precepts. Further, since he had mastered many doctrines, he gave them freely away. (Without being asked) he also practised the Pañcakrama by remaining immured. Futher, he obtained the "Six Doctrines" of nA ro pa and the guide to the Mahāmudrā from a direct disciple of the Master sgam po pa (R:421) named log phug pa. gtsan pa sar bo, who was engaged in the teaching of the Mādhyamika system, once asked him to become his assistant preacher, and he agreed to do so, but then discovered that others had become jealous, and so he went away to spa gro of mon (in Bhutan) and other places. From there, he proceeded via bum thang (Bhutan) to gro bo lung. He also stayed at many holy places, such as sgrags yang rdzong, rtsibs ri of rgyal (near sel dkar rdzong) and other localities. He said that "at those places knowledge was born in him". Later, 'when the kha che paN chen (Śākyaśrī) came to Tibet, they met at klas mo che and he put to the paṇḍita six or seven questions on Doctrine.
  • R 600 - While the kha che paN chen was residing at klas mo che, a khams pa monk of ‘bri khung asked the paN chen to give him a religious robe (chos gos). An attendant told him that there was no other religious robe, except the one paN chen was wearing, and therefore did not give it to him. But the khams pa seized the robe (cīvara) of the paN chen. The attendant then pushed him, and he fell on the ground, and hit his nose which bled. The paN chen when meditating used to see the Venerable One (Tārā) without any hindrance, but after that occurrence, the goddess did not show herself to him for seven days. He did not know the reason, and made a general confession (spyi bshags) , and offered prayers. Then, after seven days, (the Tārā) appeared again, but was seen turning her back on him. He asked the goddess: "O Āryā! What sin have I committed?" and the goddess replied: "You and your attendant have committed a transgression against a disciple of the ācārya Nāgārjuna." He said: "I can't remember any such person." The goddess said: (F:86b) "Is not the priest whose nose bled yesterday, he?"—"Now, now can I expiate my fault?" The goddess again said to him, "You should give away to other priests religious robes equal in number to your years. This will remove the sin."
  • R 1068 - After that the mahā-paṇḍita proceeded to klas mo che of snar (thang). There he preached the Commentary on the Pan͂͂caviṃśatisāhasrikā . When he reached the chapter of the Tathatā-pariccheda, his book of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā-Prajn͂͂apāramitā was taken away by the Tārā who made many offerings to it and proceeded towards the East. The mahā-paṇḍita said: "This indicates that I am to go towards dbus." (It was said that when the mahā-paṇḍita was reciting the text, a crow, a manifestation of Tārā, snatched away some of the pages of the palm-leaf manuscript, and took them away towards the East. These leaves, believed to have been brought by the crow, were discovered at spo khang, and are now preserved in the monastery of spo khang). When he had come to the last chapter of the Prajn͂͂apāramitā, he saw a goddess, worshipping this book which was placed inside the maṅḍala of the offerings, and then the goddess proceeded (R:1069) towards the West. The mahā-paṇḍita said: "This indicated that in my old age I was to go to Kāśmīra.”
  • R 1069 - After that the mahā-paṇḍita spent his summer retreat at klas mo che of snar, and spent some time there. After performing the ceremony of the end of the rainy (F:4a) season , many sthaviras invited him to C:mig ring mo. There he preached the Mādhyamaka-ratna-mālā and the dpe'I rgyan . After that he was invited by the inmates of srin po ri , and then proceeded to 'tshur phu and lha sa via Upper gzhu snye. The mahā-paṇḍita made large offerings to the two images of the Lords (of lha sa). Then the mahā-paṇḍita reached srin po ri escorted by numerous horsemen of 'tshur phu. The mahā-paṇḍita said to the escort: "At the time of my visit to your monastery, I discovered there were three images of divinities which were mentioned in the Tantra of sangs rgyas thod pa . Your former Teachers knew them, but had no faith. If I were to introduce you to these gods, and preach to you their precepts, numerous yogins would later appear (among you)."