Monks at the Kalachakra 2002
Many of the monks who attend the Kalachakra Sand Painting Initiation come from the Namgyal Monastery. The monastery was founded in 16th-century Tibet by the second Dalai Lama, Gendun Gyatso. Since its founding, the Namgyal monks have assisted the Dalai Lamas in public religious affairs and have performed ritual prayer ceremonies for the welfare of Tibet. The monastery was also established as an esteemed center of learning, contemplation, and meditation on the vast and profound Buddhist treatises.
Situated in Lhasa next to the Potala Palace, the private residence of the Dalai Lamas, Namgyal Monastery has played an integral role in the Tibetan religious establishment over the centuries. As a result of the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and one hundred thousand Tibetans fled to India and Nepal. Among the original refugees were 55 monks from Namgyal Monastery. After His Holiness the Dalai Lama was granted asylum in the Northern Indian town of Dharamsala, Namgyal Monastery was re-established very nearby the new residence of His Holiness. To this day, nearly fifty years later, the Tibetan religious, artistic and intellectual traditions are being preserved and maintained through the cooperative effort of the Dalai Lama and the Namgyal monks.
Editor’s Note: Original World/Spirit of India offers cultural immersion tours to India, including the upcoming once-in-a-lifetime tour, Himalayan Tour Ladakh: Kalachakra Teaching with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Hemis Festival which takes place July 4-19, 2014.