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Goen Tshephu Ney (sacred cave) is associated with the 8th-century saint, Guru Padmasambhava. It is said that after Guru’s retreat at Maratika in Nepal, he visited this sacred cave and it is here that Guru Padmasambhava was able to see the full form of Amitayus “ Buddha of Long Life”. Later a monastery was founded by Tsephu Trulku Gyeltshen Pelzang, a follower of Saint Goe Tsangpa. Among the many relics in the temple, the gold-plated replica of Zhabdrung’s hat is the main one. It is a pleasant 10 minutes walk from the car parking is around a 15-kilometer drive from Khuruthang town.
Guru Rinpoche sungjouen (self-spoken) Statue is the main statue at the Monastery. Pentsa Deva originally crafted this statue at Punakha to be taken to Bumthang. However, after completing, the statue spoke that he be placed at Gon Tshephu. Apparently, this statue is the most sacred statue at Gon Tshephu.
At the entrance of the Monastery, there is a rock which is believed to be the upper lip of the Mara subdued by Guru Rinpoche. On this stone face, there are three-foot prints left by Guru Rinpoche. He stepped on it and flew to Tshechudra, Gasa. On the same stone, footprints of Terton Dorje Lingpa were also seen. The wish-fulfilling tree (pasam jinshing) is seen nearby that give fruits throughout the year
Right at the entrance to the main Life Vase cave, there is Tshe Chu (long life holy water) channeled in a tap. Tshe Bum (Life Vase). Entering a narrow rock passage, suddenly it opens up to a huge caravan of rock with big open space. There is continuous dripping of longevity water from the top believed to be coming out from an elephant tongue. Little up in a small cave is the main treasure of Gon Tshephu, the Life Vase with self-arisen treasure letter ཨ (Ah), which has flown from Nepal’s Maratika Cave.
It is the most sacred cave where Guru Rinpoche met Buddha Amitayus face to face, heard his speech, and received empowerment. Besides Life Vase Cave there is an iron ladder that takes you to Dakini meditation cave.
Besides Dakini meditation cave (Dedh Drib Ney), there is a cave where one can ascertain positive and negative Karma. Returning to the monastery and climbing above, in a cave face a self-arisen 21 Tara’s images can be seen believed to be concealed there.
Besides Tara cave, on the rock, there is a mark where Guru Rinpoche sat, possibly offered protection prayer to all sentient beings. From that point, the views are wonderful. The vast mountain ranges are in one’s view. Just viewing from that place, one can easily release all the stresses.
On top of the big rock above the monastery, there is a cooking oven used by Dakini to make food for Guru Rinpoche. A small plant amazingly with many long cripper like roots is the catching rope or ladder to reach up. One has to be very careful while climbing or staying at the top. Any accidental slip could be disastrous.
Below the Monastery on the backside of Mara’s upper lip, a wonderful self-arisen letter ཨོཾ་ཨཱཿཧཱུྂ: can be seen. On close observation, all letters are raised letters. Truly amazing. The portion of the stone is believed to be Mara’s heart.
Besides the butter lamp offering room, there is a small boulder. Here Wangchu chenpo with male and female conch can be seen.
There is a small hole on the face of the stone from where Terton Dorje Lingpa took out Phurbi Ter.
The following are the Bodhisattva who has visited Gon Tshephu Ney: