Pewar Monastery, also known as “Baiya Monastery” in Chinese Pinying, is located in Dege County, Garze Prefecture, about 90 kilometers away from Dege County. It is accessible by road but no electricity.
It was founded in 1225 AD by Paldan·Yangchub Lingpa, one of the thirteen disciples of Rigung·Jigtensum whom was the founder of the Drigung Kagyu Sect. The period when Paldan·Yangchub Lingpa was the abbot was the most prosperous time of Pewar Monastery in its history, which according to the records of Pewar Monastery, the total number of monks and workers at that time exceeded tens of thousands.
However, about a hundred years after the establishment of Pewar Monastery, due to the changes of Drigung Kagyu itself, and following the conflict between Sakya pa, it became a Sakya tradition monastery at the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th century. After that, by 1959, there were only more than 100 monks remaining, and now there are about more than 50.
The “Lakhang” hall is the oldest hall in Pewar Monastery, which was built during the Drigung Kagyu era, and it has a history of about 700 years. The “Lakhang” hall is a big assemblly hall with 30 pillars, in addition to the Spirit-pagodas, there are many precious Buddha statues and sutra pagodas in it
The “Lase” hall (meaning “New hall”) was built by Dege Tusi (meaning “chieftain”) — Tenpa Tseren, whom raised the funds. It has a history of nearly 300 years and has the scale of 36 pillars, which is even 6 pillars more than The “Lakhang” hall. This was a huge and difficult project in Dege which was poor in materials at the time.
In addition, there are five new and old Dharma shrines
Around 1958, most of the monastery itself and the Buddhist statues and pagodas enshrined in it were destroyed, and the “Lase” hall was preserved because it was used as public housing by the local villages
During the Cultural Revolution in 1966, Pewar Rinpoche properly collected more than 700 pieces of precious Buddha statues, sutra towers, and offering vessels, which were worth hundreds of millions of yuan.
In 1983, after the implementation of the religious policy in Dege County, with the joint efforts of the eminent monk headed by Pewar Rinpoche and the local religious people, and with the help of foreign friends ( by Kham Aid Foundation, the Pewar Monastery Mural Preservation Project ), the damaged “Lase” hall’s wall, assemblly hall, canteens, many temples of Dharma shrines, meditation institutes and other buildings, as well as many Buddha statues, spiritual pagodas and so on.
It is now working on rebuilding the old “Lakhang” hall, 25 lecture halls, canteens, butler rooms, As well as ten monks’ houses, it is hoped that Pewar Monastery will be given a new look.
In the long-term development of traditional Tibetan paintings, many styles and schools of various styles and inheritance systems have been formed. Among them, there are three major painting schools that still exist and are the most influential: that is,
–the “Miantang” painting school, which was founded by the master of painting Manla·Dengzhu Gyatso in the 15th century;
–the “Chentse Chenmo” painting school, which was founded by Chentse Chenmo in Shannan Area of Tibet;
–the “Karma Gartse”painting school, which was founded by Nanka·Tashi Rinpoche in the 16th century
The Thangka murals in Pewar Monastery are the most complete and exquisite Karma Gartse paintings in Garze Tibetan area.
The murals preserved from the Yuan Dynasty to the present have become cultural treasures.
A lot of gold were used in each thangka, the face of the Buddha painting is painted with gold, and the clothing lines are all outlined with gold, and the technique is delicate, which embodies the extremely high artistic value.
Annual practice and worship
In addition to renovating the new and old main halls, lecture halls and meditation halls of the temple, Pewar Monastery also held various practice and worship in the same way as before.
In the meditation center, there are monks who practice in retreat for three years and three months.
In addition, various regular pujas and worship rituals have been added as below listed
In January, the “Cause And Effect” Inheritance Guru Pujia, the Red Guanyin Ten-day Amrita-dra-chompa Pujia
In April, the Tathagata Puja·In May, Pujia for the auspicious bodhisattva and the rituals for the prosperity of prayer teachings
In June, Pujia for Summer retreat
In September, tthe “Cause And Effect” Inheritance Guru Pujia
In December, the Great Vajrayana Pujia