Over the holidays, our family had the incredible honor of joining His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama (HHDL) in inaugurating South India’s new prayer hall, Tashi Lhunpo Monastery. We are very grateful to have celebrated this auspicious occasion.
In support of the monastery and HHDL’s messages of compassion, love and tolerance, we are inspired to share the story of this monastery and it’s significance in Tibetan Buddhism.
The Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is seat to the second most important spiritual leader of Tibet, the Panchen Lama, who carries the spiritual responsibility of finding the next Dalai Lama and mentoring him in Buddhist philosophy. The original monastery, founded in 1447 by His Holiness the First Dalai Lama, was a great learning center for Tibetan Buddhists.
Unfortunately, the monastery was destroyed in 1959 by the Chinese during the invasion of Tibet, killing thousands of monks. In 1972, the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery was then reestablished in Bylakuppe, South India by displaced monks who fled the invasion. It is located on one of the many Tibetan settlements granted by the Indian Government.
To add to the struggles already faced by Tibetan Buddhists, in 1995 the Chinese authorities kidnapped the 11th Panchen Lama, who was only six years old at the time. The Chinese installed their own candidate in his place, threatening a frightening end to Tibetan culture.
The Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in exile seeks to preserve Tibetan heritage and educate 350 young Buddhist monks on the virtues of Kindness and Compassion to help make the world a more peaceful place.
We congratulate our friend, Khen Rinpoche Kachen Lobzang Tsetan, Abbot of the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in exile and also Founder of the Siddhartha School Project, for his contributions to the Monastery’s growing success.
To learn more about the Monastery or make a donation visit, please visit Pachen Lama Tashi Lhunpo Project.
If you’d like to learn more about Tibetan culture and the Dalai Lama, check out this recent New York Times article.