About the Nechung Monastery

Nechung Dorje Drayangling Monastery has an important place in Tibetan history as the seat of Nechung, the State Oracle of Tibet. The original Nechung Monastery, is located four miles west of Lhasa, the nation's capital.

During the reign of King Tri-Song Deu-Tsan, in the eighth century AD, the great Indian Buddhist Master, Guru Padmasambhava, appointed the Nechung Oracle protector of Tibet's Buddhism at the temple of Samye. Later, Mune Tsanpo, son of King Tri-Song Deu-Tsan, built a small monastery on the present site and established a sangha community.

The monastery was named Nechung Yulo Ko. At the time, Samye, Tibet's first monastric institute, was known as Nechen(the later site) and Nechung(the small site) to house the protector. In the sixteenth century, His Holiness the second Dalai Lama (1476-1542) and Nechung established initial contact and developed a close relationship. The monastery was rebuilt during the reign of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso (1617-1682), who was also the principal architect of Nechung Monastery and renamed it Nechung Dorjee Drayangling. It was under His advice and guidance that the monastery was expanded in 1681 and completed in 1683 during the regency of Desi Sangye Gyaltso.

Since then, the monastery was institute as the official residence of the State Oracle of Tibet. Moreover, when Great Fifth Dalai Lama became both the spiritual and temporal ruler of Tibet in 1642, the Dalai Lama designated the Nechung Oracle as the chief protector of the Tibetan Government, responsible for peace and harmony on earth. Nechung Monastery shared a particularly cordial relationship with the Great 13th Dalai Lama, Thupten Gyaltso (1876-1933). He established a standard strength by increasing the number of monks serving in Nechung to 115.

Unfortunately, the monastery was destroyed by the communist Chinese during disastrous "Cultural Revolution" (1966-1976). H.H. the 14Th Dalai Lama, was forced to flee his country in 1959 and by the mid 1960's 100,000 Tibetans had followed him into exile in India, Nepal and Bhutan. Led by the previous Nechung Kuten(the medium), five senior Nechung monks were able to escape from Tibet and resettled temporarily at Buxa in West Bengal, then Dalhousie and eventually established a modest monastery in an old colonial bungalow in Dharamsala, North India.

Under the guidance of H.H.The Dalai Lama, and with support from friends and well wishers worldwide, various monasteries have been re-established in exile. The exiled Tibetan Administration gave land for the Nechung monks to reconstruct their monastery. The monks began their building work in 1977 and the new monastery was completed in 1984. The monastery was officially inaugurated and consecrated by the Fourteenth Dalai Lama on March 31, 1985 and further consecrated by the late Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

Current monks in India Current the monastery has about 93 monks headed by Ven. Nechung Kuten Thupten Ngodup and Ven. Nechung Choktrul Rinpoche Tenzin Losel. The monks study various subjects: Buddhist philosophy, psychology, the sutra and tantra texts of Tibetan Buddhism as well as traditional rituals, creation of sand mandalas, English and computer.

The Nechung Monks perform various ceremonies for all living beings in general and particularly for the longevity of H.H.the Dalai Lama and the well being of the Tibetan Government.