Have you ever been to the Tibet? The profound culture of Tibet Buddhism, the grandiose temple and the devout worshipers strike all the visitors. It is a spirit baptism and cultivation of your heart when you throw yourselves into this kind of distinctive and pure culture. Now that we’re on the subject of Tibet Buddhism, we have to mention a holy place- Derge Parkhang.
Where is Derge Parkhang?
Dege, meaning “land of benevolence” in Tibetan, is derived from the “ten benevolences of the 4 orders” of Tibetan Buddhism. Derge is a county seat in a high valley in Kham, an eastern district of traditional Tibet and Derge Parkhang is located in Gengqing Temple in Dege County on the east bank of the Jinshajiang River northwest of the Ganze Tibetan Nationality Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province.
The Derge Parkhang was established in 1729 by King Tenpa Tsering, the fortieth King of Derge (1678–1739) with the spiritual and literature assistance of the 8th Tai Situ Panchen Chokyi Jungne in the 7th year of Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty.
The Function of Derge Parkhang
- One of the most important cultural, social, religious and historical institutions in Tibet, (also known as The Derge Sutra Printing Temple, Dege Parkhang, Derge Sutra Printing Temple, Dege Yinjing Yuan, Derge Barkhang, Dege Barkhang, Barkhang, Parkhang, Bakong Scripture Printing Press and Monastery)
- A living institution devoted to the printing and preservation of Tibetan literature,
- A temple that holds the greatest number of Tibetan woodblocks in the world. (more than 200000 blocks of religious, historical, literature and art, medical, astronomical and calender-arithmetical book edititons)
- An active center for publication of Tibetan Buddhist sutra, commentaries, and thangka as well as works of history, technology, biography, medicine and literature
- The largest of the three big Sutra-printing houses in the Tibetan regiongs of China (Lhasa Sutra-printing House in Tibet, Lhapuleng House in Gansu and Dege Parkhang in Sichuan).
Books are still being made as they have been for nearly 300 years: hand-printed from hand-carved wooden blocks, with ink and paper locally manufactured in a centuries-old tradition. Cinnabar is used to colour the text red. Printers work in pairs, one puts ink on wooden press, later cleaned in a trough, while the other rolls a piece of paper using a roller which is imprinted red with sayings of Buddha.
- Pearl of the Snowlands
Pearl of the Snowlands features twenty-five woodblock prints from the Parkhang’s collection along with beautiful photographs by Patrick Dowdey and Clifton Meador of the elaborate Tibetan architecture of the printing house and its ancient hand-printing process.
- Kanjur and Tanjur
The Kangyur is a collection of the Buddha’s own teachings in their Tibetan translation. The parent collection of the Kangyur is the Tengyur that gathers the treatises composed by the great Indian masters of the first millennium in Tibetan translation.
It is worth of us paying a visit to Derger and enjoy the charm of the distinctive culture. You must be shocked by this fascinating place.