A Brief History of the Origin of Menri Drubchen (sMan-ri sGrub-Chan), The Great Medicine Retreat of Menri or the Mendrub Öser Khyilwa, the “Medicine Nectar With Coiling Rays of Light” and its benefits


In the various monasteries of Yungdrung Bon, there are different traditions of performing Mendrub (sMan-sGrub, the Medicine retreat) rite and the text for this Mendrub rite usually comes as a supplemental part of the main text of the concerned tutelary deities. Shen (gShen) and Zhu lineages performed A Ma Ra Ya Mendrub’ rite and ‘Yudrang Chugmo Mendrub’ (gYu-‘Brang Phyug-Mo sMan-sGrub) rite respectively while Dru (Bru), Meu  (rMe’u) and Pa (sPa) lineages performed ‘Trowo Mendrub’ (Khro-Bo sMan-sGrub) rite at their lineage seats (gDan-Sa). ‘Trowo Mendrub’ rite was performed both in the Menri Monastery, the upper monastic center (Dra-sa Gongma) and the ‘Kharna Samten Ling (mKhar-sNa bSam-gTan gLing) Monastery, the middle monastic center (Dra-sa Barma). The Phurba Mendrub (Phur-ba sMan-sGrub) rite however, was performed in the Yungdrung Ling (gYung-Drung gLing) Monastery, the lower monastic center (Dra-Sa ‘og-Ma). These three monastic centers have their own tutelary deities which are associated with different Mendrub rites. Mendrub rites would be performed during Drubchen (sGrub-Chen, the great retreat) and the popularity of Drubchen depends on the popularity of the monastery or the lineage seats. The Trowo Mendrub rite (“nectar with coiling rays of lights”), one of the nine rites of the supplementary part of the elaborated version of Zhi-tro (Zhi-Khro) is performed together with the Zhi-wa (Zhi-Ba) and Tro-wo (Khro-Bo) rites and known as Mengyi Drubchen (sMan-Gyi sGrub-Chen, the Great Medicine Retreat) or Menri Drubchen (sMen-ri sGrub-Chen, the Great Retreat of Menri). The origin of this ‘Drubchen’ is said that the Buddha Chime Tshukphud (‘Chi Med gTsug Phud) gave Mendrub teachings to his father Trulshen Nangden (‘Phrul-gShen sNang-lDan), mother ‘Zang-za Ring-tsun’ (bZang-bZa’ Ring-bTsun), friend ‘Sangwa Duepa’ (gSang-ba ‘Dus-Pa), and consort Kun-nang Salma (Kun-sNang gSal-Ma), in the south-east cave of Yu-lung Shel-drak (gYu-Lung Shel-Brag) which is located at the center lower part of Tshal-ri Lha-yi Dhun-sa (mTshal-Ri Lha-Yi mDun-Sa), and at the south-west direction of Nam-gyal Khang-sang (rNam-rGyal Khang-bZang) in the 33rd realm of his heaven abode. In the teachings, he introduced the Mendrub retreat and Mendrub ingredients, which were blessed and kept in a medicinal box made with eight precious stones by Garlha Yugpa (mGar-lHa Yug-Pa). The box was given to Shen Sangwa Duepa (gShen gSang-Ba ‘Dus-Pa), who did a retreat with this teaching and Mendrub ingredients at nine holy places and attained the accomplishment. The teachings of Zhi-Tro Men-Sum (Zhi-Khro sMan-gSum) were transmitted by Shen Sangwa Duepa (gShen gSang-Ba ‘Dus-Pa) to three Shen (gShen) masters (god, naga and human) first, and then passed down through thirteen lineage holders, four great scholars and nine Shens, who were blessed. This teaching was transmitted with uninterrupted empowerment and accomplishment and unfaded blessings and grace, from the hundred and twenty eight masters till Khoepung Drenpa Namkha (Khod-sPung Dren-Pa Nam-mKha’). During the period of Bonpo Prosecution, the Bonpo masters hid these texts in the cave of Khyungzong Sangwai Drag (Khyung-rDzong gSang-Ba’i Brag) in Zhangzhung, and consigned the protection of the texts to the protectors: the queen of Dang-ra (Dwang-Ra) lake, seven brothers of Tsan (bTsan, violent spirits) from Ta-go (rTa-sGo), and five classes of oath-bound Yum-say (Dam-Chan Yum-Sras sDe-Nga). Khoepung Drenpa Namkha gave the empowerment and oral transmission of this teaching to Gyermi Nyiwoe (Gyer-Mi Nyi-‘Od), who transmitted it to Maton Solzin (rMa-sTon Srol-‘Dzin). In 1108, the year of male earth mouse, Maton Solzin rediscovered two texts Yungdrung Kabtrin (g.Yung-Drung sKabs-‘Phrin) and Chhong-gu Chha-lag (‘Phyong-dGu Cha-Lag), and two bowls (one big and one small) full of Mendrub ingredients. He gave the texts and Mendrub ingredients to Druton Nyigyal (Bru-sTon Nyi-rGyal), who started Zhi-tro Drubchen (Zhi-Khro sGrub-Chen) at Yeru Wensa (g.Yas-Ru dBen-Sa) Monastery, the seat (gDan-Sa) of Dru (Bru) lineage. Since then, the Zhi-Tro Mendrub teaching and retreat were transmitted and observed throughout all the abbots of Yeru Wensa Monastery. Khedup Rinchen Lodoe (mKhas-Grub Rin-Chen Blo-Gros), the 18th abbot of Yeru Wensa monastery, gave the empowerment and oral transmission to Nyamme Sherab Gyaltsen (mNyam-Med Shes-Rab rGyal-mTshan), and entitled him as the owner of this teaching. When Yeru Wensa monastery was destroyed by the natural disaster, Nyamme Sherab Gyaltsen retrieved the Mendrub bowl as the prophecy given by Sidpi Gyalmo (Srid-Pa’i rGyal-Mo). In 1405, Nyamme Sherab Gyaltsen built Menri monastery, the upper monastic center (Grwa-Sa Gong-Ma) in Tsang Thopgyal (gTsang Thob-rGyal), and introduced Drubchen according to Dru Tradition, which was then known as Menri Drubchen (sMen-ri sGrub-Chen). Since then, it had become a tradition to hold Menri Drubchen once in the life time of each Menri abbot. When the culture revolution took place in Tibet, His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpai Nyima Rinpoche, the abbot of Menri Monastery and the spiritual head of white hate tradition, rebuilt Menri Monastery in Dholanji, Northern India. In 1988, His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoche held Menri Drubchen and the public participants who came from Tibet and abroad were given empowerment and Mendrub during the ceremony. The Mendrub Öser Khyilwa, the “nectar with coiling rays of light”, has two aspects: realization and the material form. Realization is explained as follows. All the sentient beings were born due to ignorance as a cause; influenced by the five poisons as a factor; and fall into the five paths and six causes of Samsara as a result. The awareness-wisdom which destroys the five poisons is the supreme medicine of all the five wisdoms. As the material form of Mendrub, it has to be made up with proper medicine components, such as five root ingredients, various medicines, incenses and different types of precious gems, and is blessed with Zhitro Menrdrub ritual. When Mendrub is formed and when it will be respected with high esteem on the crown, or consumed, or contemplated; the practitioner will receive benefits such as the long life. Also, Mendrub could cure the disease or remove the poison, sharpen the practitioner’s mind, and increase his/her intelligence/wisdom and various qualities. By receiving Mendrub, a person’s clan and retinue could increase in number. Also, he/she will be endowed with Phywa and gYang (life force and prosperity), have glittering complexion, prosper in wealth and chattel, display miracle, manage things with strict rules, and be free from poison, disease and curse. Furthermore, he/she will possess power, and have the ability to fulfill the wishes. The above are the qualities received from practicing Mendrub given in the text. The practitioner can also see the other signs when he/she accomplishes Drubchen, such as the emanating light of blessing, coiling rays reflected from the dew drops, and other qualities.  This Mendrub ingredient is as valuable as the wish-fulfilling gems. It will help to achieve Buddhahood in one body in one life time, and to remove obstructions of Karmic actions and afflictions. Those with the firm belief will gain seven blessings merely by seeing it, receiving the empowerment of Mendrub, touching it with hand, or consuming it. The Drubchen of Zhitro Mensum, which was first performed by Buddha Chime Tsugphud (Chi-Med gTsug-Phud), has been transmitted throughout the series of Bonpo masters in Menri tradition with unfading blessings and uninterrupted grace. In 2020, the Iron Mouse year according to Tibetan calendar, Menri Drubchen Öser Khyilwa: the Great Menri Medicine Retreat of the Nectar with coiling rays of light, of the 34th Menri Trizin Lungtok Dawa Dhargyal Rinpoche, the spiritual head of Yungdrung Bon, will be held. An official announcement about the time and venue was made August 2019. A detailed schedule and program will follow soon. We hope you could visit on this auspicious occasion to receive the blessings from the Menri Drubchen.


Yungdrung Bon Monastic Centre Society

Also Read:

  1. Official announcement regarding Menri Drubchen
  2. The main program during the retreat of Menri Drubchen (sMan-ri sGrub-chen, the Great Medicine Retreat of Menri) to be held from 28 April to 14 May 2020

Offer Donations for Mendrub Öser Khyilwa

Contact for Offerings

  1. Yungdrung Bon Monastic Centre Society: ybmc2@rediffmail.com
  2. Office of His Holiness Gyalwa Menri Trizin Rinpoche: ohhmt34@gmail.com
  3. Geshe Tsewang Ngodup (General Secretary): +91 98051-88766
  4. Geshe Shetsu Gyatso (Joint Secretary) : +91 980534-6661
  5. Geshe Yungdrung Wangdak (General Treasurer):      +91 86278-51678