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Namgyal Monastery

Namgyal Monastery Dharamsala, India

Namgyal (Tibetan: རྣམ་གྱལ།Wylie: rnam rgyal) Monastery is a Tibetan buddhist monastery closely associated with all the Dalai Lamas since the third. Namgyal Monastery is the personal monastery of the 14th Dalai Lama.

Its primary role is to assist with rituals involving the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Its main tantric practices reportedly include those of Kalachakra, Yamantaka, Chakrasamvara, Guhyasamaja, and Vajrakilaya.


  • Early years 1
  • Since 1959 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early years

Founded in either 1564 or 1565 as Phende Lekshe Ling (on the foundations of the since defunct monastery called Phende Gon) by the Third Dalai Lama Gyalwa Sonam Gyatso, Namgyal Monastery was renamed in honour of the female long-life deity Namgyälma in 1571.[1]

Since the completion of construction on the Potala Palace (begun by the Fifth Dalai Lama), Namgyal was traditionally housed in the red section at the top of that building in Lhasa.

Since 1959

Following the Tibetan uprising of 1959, Namgyal Monastery relocated to Dharamshala, India, where it continues, active, to this day. According to Namgyal's website, Namgyal (Dharamshala) has "nearly 200" monks (up from 55 in 1959), representing all four main Tibetan monastic lineages.

In 1992, on the advice of the present Dalai Lama, Namgyal established an American branch in Ithaca, New York, including within it the Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies. On February 8 of 1996, the monks of Namgyal Monastery's Institute of Buddhist Studies offered their first "Blessing of Cyberspace" as part of the "Twenty-four Hours in Cyberspace" event.[2]

In 1998, Namgyal incorporated a Tibetan monastery in Bodhgaya, India, called Gendhen Phelgyeling. That monastery is now known as Namgyal (Bodhgaya), and has 45 monks.

Namgyal (Dharamsala) also manages a temple in Kushinagar (since 1967), and an elderly home in Simla (since 1992).

Whether the People's Republic of China has maintained an institution with the same name inside Tibet is unclear.

See also


  1. ^ Bryant, Barry (2003) [1992]. Wheel of Time Sand Mandala: Visual Scripture of Tibetan Buddhism (2nd. ed.). Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications. pp. 95, 96.  
  2. ^ Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies (8 February 1996). "Blessings of Cyberspace". Retrieved 15 December 2012. In the monks' view, cyberspace resembles space in general, which Tibetan Buddhists characterize more as the absence of obstructions than as a distance between two points. Also, cyberspace, like ordinary space, can be defined as something that cannot in and of itself be seen or measured, yet which can be conceptualized and used. That is, it has no inherent existence for its own part, yet it exists as a field for mental activity. Where there is an absence of obstructions, there is the potential for something to arise, the nature of which depends on the motivation of those who use it. In blessing cyberspace, the monks reasoned, they could offer prayers that the motivation of Internet users become more positive and that the benefits of using the Internet become more positive. 

External links

  • Namgyal (Dharamshala) - The home monastery in Mcleod Ganj, India
  • Namgyal (Bodh Gaya) - Gendhen Phelgyeling branch in Bodh Gaya, India
  • Namgyal (Ithaca) - Institute of Buddhist Studies branch in Ithaca, New York, USA

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