Rolwaling is a remote mountain valley situated in the north east of Kathmandu, and to the west of Khumbu region. The valley is situated at an altitude of 4000m above sea level and bordered to Tibet to the north.
For the local people and in Tibetan Buddhism the valley of Rolwaling holds special religious and spiritual significance. In Tibetan language ‘Rolwa’ means ‘furrow’ and ‘ling’ means ‘place’. It is mentioned in the tex Pema Kathang by Padmasambhava( also known as Guru Urgen Rinpoche) that Rolwaling is a beyul, a sacred hidden valley, carved out with one stroke of his plow.
After creating the valley, Padmasambhava rested and meditated for three months with his consort and 100 followers. Rolwaling was thereby consecrated as a beyul, or hidden valley, one of eight beyuls created by Padmasambhava in Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim.These valleys were created to serve as dharma sanctuaries in future times of trouble. Padhmasambava had prophesied that some Buddhists would be able to take refuge from an oppressive government, keeping the faith for more auspicious times.
Rolwaling's special status has meant that Buddhist traditions are taken more seriously than elsewhere. Buddha’s teaching have been preserved and followed since the first Sherpa settlement in the valley. Religious festivals are very frequent and celebrated with great enthusiasm: not just with tantric rituals, but singing and dancing late into the night.
Moreover, Buddha’s teaching of non-violence and not taking life of animals is practiced with deep faith. Therefore hunting and animal slaughter is strictly prohibited inside Rolwaling. Anyone found to be selling and buying animals for killing will be penalized by the community.
Rolwaling Sangag Choling Monastery is a precious cultural & religious heritage of Rolwaling. It is the main monastery in Rolwaling.
The monastery is also a precious gift of our ancestors. Although the actual date of the first construction of the monastery is not known, according to the oral tradition the monastery was built around 300 years ago and prior to it there used to be hermitage of great yogis.
Also a prophecy about the monastery states that the beding monastery (now, Sangag Choling Monastery) will undergo renovation for 5 times- having been renovated 3 times already. And every time the monastery is renovated it is enlarged.
The present monastery building is the renovated one in 1957 as the previous one was smaller in size. So to accommodate the population of Rolwaling ,then, and also to facilitate the Dharma practice in more extensive way the old monastery building was renovated and enlarged.
Tulku Ngawang Lapsum Rinpoche
Tulku Ngawang Tenzin Lama was born on 29th September 1968 to Ang Chote Sherpa and Tsering Bhuti Sherpa in Khandro Rolwaling in Eastern part of Nepal. He was recognized as the reincarnation of great yogi lama Ngudup Dorjee Rinpoche of Thamey Monastery by His Holiness Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche, at the age of 3. Then he was enthroned in Thame Monastery by His Holiness Tulku Ngawang Shedrup Rinpoche and other great teachers of Thame and Rolwaling monastery.
He received primary education in Tibetan language from Tulku Ngawang Shedrup and other teacher Dakpa Gyaltsen and Ngawang Nyendak. At the age of 7 he received oral transmission and empowerment of Dam-Ngag-dzo( the treasurer of Sutra and Tantra) from His Holiness Khentse Rinpoche. He received empowerment of Chang-ter Dupkhor Nam-sum( set of Sadhanas of the Northern Treasures), Phurpa ( Varjra Kilaya) and Sheto-Ngedon-Nyingpo from Tulku Mangten.
At the age of 17 (in 1984) he received explanation of preliminary practice of Thukzhe-Chenpo-Dhe-kun, Nyingthik Zhou-Thuk-Zhe-Chenpo, Phowa, Lung(oral transmission) and Cheo from His Holiness Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche.
At the age of 10 he took Upasaka’s vows (lay practioner vows), at the age of 21 he took novice vow from His Holiness Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche, after he was given name Ngawang Labsum and he also received empowerment of Rinchen Terdzod( Treasury of Terma Teachings), Nyingma Karma( the long oral lineage of the Nyingmapas) and Ku-Sung-Thug-Thik from His Holiness Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche.
From 1987 to 2005 he received empowerment and oral transmissions of Chang-Ter-Choekhar (whole Teaching of Northern Treasures); Gong-Pa-Zang–Thal (of Unimpeded Realization); and Rinchen Terdzod(Treasury of Terma Teaching) from His Holiness Tsetul Rinpoche.
In between (1991-2006) he received empowerment and oral transmission of Rinchen Terdzod(Treasury of Terma Teaching), Mipham-ka-Bhum( the collection of Mipham Rinpoche), Nyingthig-Tsa-Sum(three roots of Nyingthig), empowerment of Reling Gurdak, Phurba (Vajrakilaya), Tsedup(essence of long life) and Thukdup-Yangnying-Duepa(the very essence of mind sadhanas) from His Holiness Druwang Padma Nurbu Rinpoche. He also received whole teaching of Rigzin Jatson Nyingpo and explanation of preliminaries of Zokchen Sang- Gye-Lakchang three times.
In 1992 he was admitted to Namdroling Nyingma Buddhist High Institute in South India( Karnataka state) and he studied nine years course, graduated High secondary in year 1998, Bachelor of Buddhist Philosophy in year 2001 and Master of Budhhist Philosophy in year 2004 with blessing and successful certificate of completion from His Holiness Druwang Padma Norbu Rinpoche.
From 2006 to 2009 he did 3 years retreats of Nyingthik-tsa-sum(of three roots of Nyingthik lineage) and Nam-Choe-Tsa-Sum at Samten Osel Ling retreat centre of Namdroling Monastery. He received empowerments and oral transmission of Nam-choe from His Holiness Thupten Palsang Rinpoche, and also received circle of the teaching of Lha-Tsun-Namkha-Dhe-Mey from His Holiness Yangthang Rinpoche.
He received oral transmission of Ngal-Soh-Kor-Sum( Trilogy of Natural Ease of Longchen Rabjam) from Nyoshul Khenpo and he received oral transmission of Rinchen Terdzod ( treasury of Term teaching) from Tulku Rigzing Pema.
He received empowerment of Ter-sar (New Treasure) from His Holiness Difuk Rinpoche. Also he received Krem- Mehnga( Pith Instruction on the Generation Stage practice) and Kun-zang-lame-lung( the words of my perfect teacher) from Khenpo Pema Sherab.
In 2009 he was enthroned as Rinpoche of Khandro Rolwaling( Hidden Valley of Guru Padhmasambhawa) in eastern part of Nepal as he consent to be the head lama of Rolwaling village for the benefit and well-being of the people.
In 2011 he established Monastery school under the administration of Sangag Choling Monastery to give education to the children of the Rolwaling village and he has great thought to preserve culture and tradition of Buddha Dharma which is being followed from their forefathers’ time. He has also been giving guidance to monk and people of the Thamey village, Solukhumbu.