Drakar Gonpa, also known as “Drakar Sang-nga Mingyaling,” is located at the foot of Bai Shi Ya (White Stone Cliff), nestled against the mountainside, and is situated 38 kilometers from the town of Xiahe. It is a Gelug Pa monastery of Tibetan Buddhism.
The monastery is not large in scale, and its head is the only recognized female living Buddha reincarnation in Gansu Province, known as “Gong-ri-cang” or “Ka dolma,” meaning ” Dakini”
In Tibetan, “Gong-ri-cang” translates to “the one who guards the Stone Mountain,” with the “stone mountain” referring to the Bai Shi Ya. Legend has it that she possesses supernatural abilities and prophetic powers. After the passing of the first Gong-ri-cang female living Buddha, as no one knew where the key to the protective hall was located, the hall remained closed. However, when the second Gong-ri-cang female living Buddha, born in “Gangjiaxi” and known as “Gu-er-wu-cang,” came to pay her respects outside the hall, she instinctively picked the key to the protective hall from among many ceremonial Hardar. Upon opening the hall, the divine lamp lit by the first Gong-ri-cang female living Buddha at her passing still flickered, leading to her recognition as the reincarnation of the first Gong-ri-cang female living Buddha.
At that time, the monastery’s abbot, Kangmu·Laka Druchen, constructed a residence for the second Gong-ri-cang female living Buddha on the eastern side of a cave opposite the Bai Shi Ya. Since then, she has resided there, overseeing the monastery. The lineage of the Gong-ri-cang female living Buddha has now reached the sixth reincarnation, and her residence still stands at the foot of the Bai Shi Ya.
According to legend, in the year 1644 AD, Gangya Bandita founded this monastery and built the Tenzin Phodrang Hall. He established the Exotoric Buddhism Academy with Yu·Gyaran Kuanba. At that time, there were over 700 monks in the monastery, with one main scripture hall and a large cauldron capable of holding 80 barrels of water for the monks’ meals.
Nechu Gyatso once served as the head of the monastery. He welcome and brought in the “Kanyur” Tripitaka written in gold to the monastery, accumulating great merit for the monastery. In the year 1788 AD, together with the elders of Gangya, he invited Awang · Bedan Gyanzhen to transform the Sutra Academy into the Tantric Academy, where he served as the abbot, overseeing the teachings and debating.
Later, they invited the second Jiamu Yang Living Buddha to serve as the head of the monastery, overseeing both political and religious affairs. From that time until 1958, the successive Jiamu Yang Living Buddhas have upheld the monastery and appointed abbots, chant leaders, and “gengchabu.”
The Bai Shi Ya Monastery is often considered to be the palace of the Cakrasamvara. In reality, the Bai Shi Ya Monastery also venerates various Buddhas and deities and houses numerous Buddhist scriptures.
It was destroyed in 1958 during the Cultural Revolution.
In 1981, the Government of Xiahe County approved its reopening. The main building covers an area of 948 square meters.
Cultural Relics and Classics
The main cultural relics in the temple include: 7 paintings of Thousands Buddha from the Bhadrakalpa Thousands Buddha era, a Vajrapani statue brought from the mainland by the Laka Dalai Huituktu, and many gilded bronze Buddha statues.
Inside the Golden Tile Hall, there is a Maitreya statue that houses a one-inch tall statue of Shakyamuni Buddha sculpted by Ga-ju-wa. There are also statues of Shakyamuni Buddha with blessings sculpted by Ngo reba • Gyayang Dantso from Tibet, Shangjia·Gulema, a standing statue of Shakyamuni Buddha bestowed by the Gongtang Cang Living Buddha, a Vajrasana statue of the Buddha King Nengren, and a statue of Dapu Dolma.
There are also small clay statues made by the Longdao Guru, such as the Avalokitesvara statue with Thousand hands and Thousand eyes, and the skull of Guangri·Gongque Renzen.
Buddhist classics include the “Kanzur” Tripitaka, the complete works of the Tsongkaba master and disciples, and the spiritual stupas of the Laka Cang and Youjia Cang Living Buddhas. In addition, there is a Cakrasamvara Mandala made of sandalwood.
Living Buddha Succession
There is a living Buddha in the temple, commonly known as “Kang Dolma” meaning “Dakini”. She is a famous female living Buddha in the Ando region and the only female living Buddha among many living Buddhas in Gannan. There is a shrine dedicated to her in Labrang Monastery, and her seat is also set up during major ceremonies in the temple.
The living Buddha succession has reached its sixth generation. The successive Kang Dolma living Buddhas have not only been recognized by the highest living Buddha in Labrang Monastery, but also have their own residence and dharma seat in the temple. There are countless stories and legends about the Kang Dolma living Buddha.
The 1st generation Gong-ri-cang·Lobsang Qudzong, was born in Kham and later visited the Amdo, where she did good deeds for the Xiaqiong monastery and Taer Monastery. She passed away in Kham.
The 2nd generation Gong-ri-cang·Lobsang Dolma, was born in Ganjia County. Her residence was called “Laka Angqian” because she resided in a cave on the east side of the Baishi Cliff, opposite to the Baishi Cliff Monastery. The Laka Living Buddha built this palace for her, hence the name “Laka Angqian”. It is said that she traveled from Tibet through Kham to Guangri region, paid homage to the Gongbao Hall, and took out the key from the cracks of many revered Hadas. When the hall door was opened, she saw the sacred lamp that was lit when 1st Gong-ri-cang passed away still burning, and she was recognized as the reincarnation of 1st Gong-ri-cang.
The 3rd generation Gong-ri-cang·Gongque Qudzen, was born in 1745 (the 10th year of the Qianlong reign of the Qing Dynasty) in Ganjia. She listened to the empowerment and teachings of Midoro in front of the second generation Jiamu Yang Living Buddha’s throne, and founded the “Dao Wei Jiang Xia Temple”. She passed away in the Iron Sheep year (1811 AD, the 16th year of the Qing Dynasty).
The 4th generation Gong-ri-cang·Gongque Renzeng Dloma, also known as Renzeng Huamao, was born in the Tibetan 14th Rabjung Wood Dog year (1854 AD, the 19th year of the Jiaqing reign of the Qing Dynasty) in Ganjia. She was recognized as a reincarnated living Buddha by the Gong Tangcang Danbei Zhuomei Living Buddha. At the age of 4, she received the laywoman precepts. She studied Buddhist scriptures and teachings extensively under the guidance of the third and fourth generation Jiamu Yang Rinpoche, the third generation Gong Tangcang, the third generation Dewa Cang, Amon Bantida, and Xiangdun Danba Jiacong. She passed away on the 20th day of the third month of the Tibetan Golden Rabbit year at the age of 78.
The 5th generation Gong-ri-cang·Gongque Hudan Bewangmo, was born in the Tibetan 15th Rabjung Water Dragon year (1892 AD, the 18th year of the Guangxu reign of the Qing Dynasty) in the Jiang Xia region of Qinghai Province. At the age of 5, she was welcomed to the temple and enthroned. Aketan Mukei conferred novice precepts on her and gave her a Dharma name. She received teachings from great masters such as Jiamu Yang. Later, she built a three-story scripture hall and expanded the residence. She passed away at the age of 49 in the Wood Dog year.
The 6th generation Gong-ri-cang·Gesang Danqu Dolma, was born in the Tibetan 16th Rabjung Fire Rat year (1936, the 25th year of the Republic of China) in the Tongren Jiawu Pastoral Area of Qinghai.
The fifth generation Jiamu Yang recognized her as the reincarnation of the previous living Buddha. At the age of 7, she was welcomed to the temple and enthroned, receiving the novice nun precepts. Huasang Gyatso and Fenranba · Qingrab Gyatso served as her scripture teachers in the Labrang Lower Tantric College.
She received many empowerment and teachings. She built a two-story Buddha hall in the temple and repaired the scripture hall and residence. After the residence, there is a meditation room opened by the Shael Gadan Jiacong Living Buddha. In 1958, she sought guidance from the scripture teachers, returned the precepts, and became a state cadre. She currently serves as a member of the China Buddhist Association, the Gansu Province Buddhist Association, a standing committee member of the Gannan Prefecture Political Consultative Conference, a member of the Gannan Prefecture Women’s Federation, and a standing committee member of the Xiahe County Political Consultative Conference, while also taking care of her own temple.