On June 29, on the way to Bema, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang paid a visit to the Drukpa Monastery at Domkhar, where he performed the consecration and cleansing for the new temple.
Thereafter, His Holiness was invited by the family of Sonam Tenzin Thanjuk from Domkhar for lunch and to visit an area of prehistoric rock art, which he and his friends are protecting. The rocks covered with ancient petroglyphs lie close to the Indus River 116 kms north from Leh. Present at this occasion were also the Chief Executive Councillor of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Rigzin Spalbar, Executive Councillor for Agriculture Sonam Dorjey, Tsering Samphel, and Professor Tashi Ldawa.
His Holiness gave a speech by English, and most Ven. Rigyal Rinpoche translated in Ladakhi. His Holiness explained that modern human migrated from the Great Rift Valley of East Africa and arrived in India around 60,000 BCE. His Holiness added that he was very interested in ancient history since many years and that he studied rock art since 20 years at many places around the globe.
Talking further about its importance he said that these petroglyphs are not just a drawing or art, they are the history of Ladakh. These particular examples date back from the times before literature. They represent some kind of beginning of the letters, since the petroglyphs express specific meaning, which was used to communicate even before the use of language, which was spoken in ancient times. His Holiness tentatively divided Ladakh's rock art into three classes. The first is found from central Ladakh up to Mount Kailash. The second class of rock art, from Khaltse to the west of the Indus River, is more refined and seems to have been influenced by the art of Sogdiana. The Domkhar Thangjuk rock art is significantly influenced by the art of Sogdiana. Sogdiana was an ancient kingdom near Khotan. The third class includes the petroglyphs from the river Zanskar to the south, which seem to be more similar to Indian rock art. His Holiness expressed his happiness that at this small place many people gathered to protect this important rock art for study and research, which is a big step forward to protect Ladakh’s history.
On the way, the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang stopped at many places, giving blessings and consecrating temples and villages. At 6:00 pm, His Holiness and his entourage arrived at Bema, where the local Aryan (Dard) people performed dances and their traditional songs for greetings and warm welcome to His Holiness.
On June 30, for the first time, His Holiness made a puja together with 25 young Aryan monks at the new temple. At this place, some years ago His Holiness encouraged the Aryan people to preserve their cultural heritage. He had asked the Swedish Tibetan Society for School and Culture to help build a local high school hostel at this new place.
The Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang performed the Ushnishavijaya puja together with monks for the whole day. During the puja, he gave simple and brief teachings on the sadhana of Namgyalma (Ushnishavijaya).
On July 1, the function for the day was organized by the working committee. His Holiness was asked to offer kathaks and appreciation to all who worked on the temple and school, and the sponsor, the Swedish Tibetan Society for School and Culture.
His Holiness gave a three-hours long speech, beginning with the history of the Aryan people. He explained that it was the Aryan people who survived in the army of Alexander the Great when he invaded India (327 BCE). Aryan people are very strong and played a major role in early history. Although, Tibetan ruled central Asia and conquered many kingdoms including China, Aryan people of the kingdom of Balur (today’s Gilgit in Pakistan) were respected. As recorded in a Dunhuang manuscript held at the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris, France, Jewa Thrimalö, the sister of the Tibetan Emperor Thridé Tsuktsen (Mé Aktsom) was married to the king of the Balur in 740 CE. During the rule of the Tang Dynasty, two groups of Aryan people escaped from present Pakistan and settled on the northwestern region of Ladakh at the Indus River. His Holiness expounded that the key to the success of the Aryan people lies in education of the younger generation.
His Holiness said that he would like to return next year to the Aryan villages and conduct the puja of Ushnishavijaya. He furthermore suggested that all the villages should sponsor the puja one after the other every year. He will give detailed teachings and help to promote the special Aryan cultural dances, which they feel ashamed to dance. His Holiness invited them to dance their traditional dances at the Phyang Festival.
On July 2, the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang visited Bodhkharbu, where he gave teachings on the Heart Sutra and he also visited the old monastery up in the mountains and he stayed there for a night. The following day early in the morning, he visited the nunnery, made prayers and then left for Leh, Ladakh.