Himalayan Art Resources

Bhutan: Bumthang Tang Mebartsho (A. Maki Archive)

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Bumthang Tang Mebartsho: (site name: Mebartsho; location: Tang Valley, Bumthang) Mebartsho (me 'bar mtsho), or Burning Lake, is the site where the treasure revealer (gter ston) Pema Lingpa (1450-1521) brought forth two sets of terma. The first took place in 1475, after he received a prophecy to go to the Long-Nosed Cliff (sna ring brag) along with five friends. This first treasure consisted of the text of the Longsel Sangwa Nyingchu (klong gsal gsang ba snying bcud) concealed in a chest. In addition to the teaching within, the text gave a prophecy that he should return to the site and extract more. Shortly thereafter, Pema Lingpa returned to the Long-Nosed Cliff and, in front of a large crowd, addressed everyone with a lighted butter lamp in his hand, saying that if he were truly an emanation of Guru Rinpoche, he would emerge with the lamp still burning. Pema Lingpa then plunged into the water and shortly thereafter, emerged with his treasures: a small statue, a skull filled with medicinal substances and sealed with wax, and the still-burning butter lamp. From that time onwards, Long-Nosed Cliff was known as Mebartsho, the Burning Lake.

Ariana Maki 3-2012