Tibetan Buddhism and Mustang are magic. That's why we are sharing a bit of our history with you. To give you the taste of our ancient roots and traditions.
And of course, at our beginning, there is a prince.
A Mustangi prince, a very special person, a great Buddhist practitioner!

Once upon a time, there was a famous Buddhist scholar in Tibet. His name was Ngorchen Kunga Sangpo.

His reputation grew so much that at one point all the Buddhist kings wanted him to come to their kingdom to give teachings.

At that time he had a dream which showed him where he had to go. Mustang.

He came to Mustang three times as a guest of King Ama Pal.

When Ngorchen Kunga Sangpo went back to Tibet, the King used to accompany him to the border.

King Ama Pal's first son, Amgon Sangpo was in love with Buddhism. He was a very respectful and kind person. But the last time he accompanied the great scholar to the border of Tibet, he couldn’t refrain from begging him to stay in Mustang to continue giving him and his people Buddhist teaching.

Ngorchen Kunga Sangpo answered: “ I cannot stay. But do not worry. You will have a son who will benefit all sentient beings. He will be very famous all over the world.” He added: “ Usually, Buddhist teachings come from Tibet to Mustang. But a time will come when it will happen the other way round. Buddhadharma teachings will go from Mustang to Tibet!”

Ngorchen Kunga Sangpo never went back to Mustang because he passed away. And that very year, around 1456 a.d., Lowo Khenchen was born. His birth name was Dhondrup Tashi.

He was the third of king Amgon Sangpo's four sons. Lowo Khenchen* is universally reputed as a great scholar and practitioner. Among other things, he wrote many profound commentaries of Sakya Pandita's works. They were so highly regarded that Lowo Khenchen was considered a reincarnation of Sakya Paṇḍita. His knowledge was at Sakya Paṇḍita** level. His realisations were great too! The Sakyapa and other Buddhist schools, consider his teachings fundamental.

*Lowo Khenchen means abbot of Lowo. Lowo is Mustang.

** Sakya Pandita was a holy Buddhist Lama and great Buddhist scholar. His reputation was so great that he was invited to the Mongol court to become the spiritual teacher and also advisor of Emperor Güyük Khan. Kublai Khan’s grandson.

The prince discover the monastery ruins

Nobody knows when Nyiphug Monastery was founded or by whom. When Prince Lowo Khenchen found it, in the 15 century, the ancient monastery was in ruins. But even in ruins it was such a special site that Prince Lowo Khenchen decided to make it his place of retreat. There were several beautiful caves. Perfect for meditation. Cool in summer and warm in winter.

He had several years long retreats there.

He called it Nyiphug Gonpa: SunCave Monastery.

The Silence Boundary Magic

There is a bird in Mustang. The people call it Chichu Bichu, from the noise it makes.

It is a very noisy bird. He goes ‘chichu bichu’ all the time and it can disturb a meditator.

Plus it is a very sociable bird, it likes to go around chatting with a lot of friends! You can imagine the noise!

Lowo Khenchen was having a meditation retreat.

And that insistent and quite strong noise was disturbing him. So he forbade the Chichu Bichus to come near the monastery. He created a boundary against them.

That boundary still exists today. No Chichu Bichu can come near our Monastery. But you still find plenty of them outside the borders fixed by Lo Khenchen.