DAKPA TAMDIN TIBETAN INCENSE Since 1969 With the blessings of Dukpoema; goddess of incense
The purpose of incense is to provide an aromatic environment to purify our thoughts of conflicting emotions, calm the body and mind, sharpen our senses, help focus and concentrate; as an aid to meditation and prayer and bring vitality and inner peace to oneself. To provide you with products based on this theme as a companion in your solitude is our mission at Dakpa Tamdin Incense.
Incense is one of the eight offerings we make to the Triple Gems (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha) which comprise of Argham (drinking water) (Tib. Choying), Padyam (water to wash Buddha’s feet with) (Tib. Shabsee), Pushpe (flowers) (Tib. Metok), Dhupe (Incense) (Tib. Dukpoe), Aloke (light) (Tib. Marme), Gandhe (perfume) (Tib. Thijab), Navidya (celestial food) (Tib. Sharse) and Shapda (music). Out of the eight offerings, water and incense are the most commonly used. These physical offerings are made to compliment our mental offerings.
The history of incense culture in Tibet starts in the 8th century when Buddhism arrived at its Himalayas. Tibet was introduced to the globally unique culture of incense during the reign of the mighty King Songtsen Gampo who was converted to Buddhism by his two consorts, Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal and Princess Wencheng of China. The Buddhist King had sent Thonmi Sambhota, the founder of the Tibetan script, to learn Sanskrit in India. Along with a rich library of Buddhist texts, he also brought the method of incense making on his return to Tibet.
The oldest extant Tibetan text on incense was written by Padmasambhava who was invited to Tibet by the then King Trisong Detsen. On one occasion when the King fell sick, Guru Padmasambhava healed him with the practice of sang (smoke offering). For the benefit of future generations, a mural with instructions, history and description of the benefits of sang offering were inscribed on the walls of Samye, the first Buddhist monastery of Tibet, built by the Guru himself.
Among the many scriptures on the method of incense making, Dakpa Tamdin incense refers to the Peme Chumbu written by the 1st Jamgon Kongtrul, Lodro Thaye.
All the major monasteries in Tibet produced their own incense containing their own special substances. The Tashi Lhunpo monastery in Shigatse, seat of the successive Panchen Lamas of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism, produced an incense called Tsopoe. In Lhasa, the Potala Palace produced Shingkham Kuenkhyap, in Sakya they made Sapoe and in Mindrolling, a major Nyingma monastery, produced Minling Surpoe which went on to be the most popular incense all over Tibet.
Ven. Dakpa Tamdin as a young monk in Sakya, Tibet, learnt the art of incense making from many revered lamas in his monastery. After the Chinese occupation, he fled Tibet and started producing incense in Kalimpong, India, under the instruction and guidance of His Holiness the 2nd Dudjom Rinpoche (1904-1987), the supreme head of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Ven. Dakpa Tamdin, being one of Rinpoche’s favourite disciples, was given the Thamdze nyewa kuensel- a pill to mix with the initial ingredients. This is passed down until today to every batch of incense we make by the process of Jinlab Phabta so as not to break the chain.
With Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche’s approval and usage of Dakpa Tamdin incense for his personal daily practice, demand increased and Dakpa Tamdin incense flourished. Dakpa Tamdin incense was used in most households and in major Buddhist centres in Asia, Europe and America.
Along with growing popularity, came a wave of fake Dakpa Tamdins which are still sold today. Ven. Dakpa Tamdin continued to produce incense well into his late seventies and is currently retired and living in Kathmandu. He has now passed down his secrets and technical expertise to his daughter and granddaughters but still keeps a watchful eye on his method of production and ensures that the finest quality is maintained. Dakpa Tamdin's daughter, Dechen Choden Ukyab and her daughters have restarted the production of the four types of incense in Kathmandu.
1) SHINGKHAM KUENKHYAP ( BUY NOW $6.90)
The Tibetan word Shingkham means ‘world of the Buddha’, Kuen means ‘everywhere’ and Khyap means ‘to spread’. This incense is a special one that was produced exclusively for the Potala palace at Lhasa. It contains all the requisite herbs and substances to worship and please Gyalwa Rignga (the 5 Dhyani Buddhas)’s Shingkham (palace). 30 sticks/ box
2) RIBO SANGTSOE (BUY NOW $6.90)
The Tibetan word Ribo meaning hilltop, Sang meaning clairvoyant and Tsoe being a type of worship, altogether means mountain smoke offering. The purpose of this incense is to cleanse and purify oneself of spiritual impurity or contamination. Along with prayer and meditation, it is also used during the hoisting of prayer flags (tib. Lungta). 30 sticks/ box
3) MINLING SURPOE (BUY NOW $6.90)
This incense contains all the ingredients of the old incense of Mindrolling, one of the six major Nyingma monasteries in Tibet. Mindrolling monastery made their incense (tib. Poe) with a dent (tib. Sur), hence the name Surpoe. The word Minling is derived from Mindrolling meaning ‘place of perfect emancipation’. Minling Surpoe is mainly used for mandalas (tib. Kingkhor) as it contains all the substances and herbs permitted in the making of mandalas, big and small. 25 sticks/ box
4) SAMBARA (BUY NOW $6.90)
This was among the first kinds of incense to be produced. It contains all basic herbal ingredients which have been used for centuries in Tibet. In the Buddhist scriptures "Dho Tharpa" it is mentioned that Gyajin (Indra- - the king of a god realm) offered the sweet fragrance of Sambara Dukpoe to the Buddha himself. From this early evidence, we incur the importance of incense in Buddhism. 25 sticks/ box
At our Kathmandu factory, throughout the process of manufacturing incense sticks right till it’s packaging, we faithfully follow the age old craftsmanship of Tibetan tradition. So what leaves Dakpa Tamdin incense unsurpassed by any other Tibetan incense? Our products have a unique blend of herbs and spices, one that has been passed down by word of mouth from H.H Dudjom Rinpoche to our grandfather and now to us. This high quality mix resulting in a unique aroma relaxes and soothes your soul. This long cherished feature sets us aside from the rest and gives us a benefit that only Dakpa Tamdin incense enjoys.
Dakpa Tamdin incense also boasts of being purely handmade, 100% vegan, with no artificial fragrance and is prepared and maintained under strict hygienic conditions. Our incense also lasts longer than most other incense available in the market because of its superior ingredients. We do not use paper or any other cheap materials that are quick to burn.
We hope you enjoy the oriental fragrance of our exquisite creations, the fruit of many long years of experience, practiced skill, continuous improvement and passion of our