Phelgyeling Monastery is nestled at the foot of Swayambhu Stupa in Kathmandu. Each day spent here, it was clear to see that all activities surround the learning and practice of Gelug Buddhism.
Each morning, the gong sounded at 5am, and the monks woke to prepare for early morning puja from 5:30-7:30 am. Regular daily pujas continued from 9 am-2 pm. A schedule of other studies and practices was also followed, memorization of scripture, making of butter sculptures and torma offerings, ritual practice, Tibetan handwriting, and study of Nepali and English language.
Nyanang Shedrup Gaden Phelgye Ling Monastery was first established in 1689 by the 5th Dalai Lama. At that time, the Dalai Lama constituted the monastery as a branch of the illustrious Sera Mey Monastery. The original Phelgye Ling Monastery was located inside the border of Tibet, very close to Nepal. The area of Nyanang, in Tibet, was also one of the four great hermitage places of Jetsun Milarepa. At its height, the monastery’s population reached about 150 monks.
In 1972, with a congregation of only 5 monks, the monastery was reestablished in Kathmandu. Since then, Phelgyeling Monastery has continued to welcome many eminent Buddhist masters, as well as host religious festivals and celebrations. Feel free to have a look at their website to see such details https://nyanangphelgyeling.org/history/
Phelgye Ling Monastery was also able to preserve several very precious religious artifacts; some dating back to over a thousand years! Many of these items were first brought out of Tibet to ensure their safety during the conflict with China in 1959. These treasures are very well known by many in the community, and they have been a continual source of blessings for those far and wide who come to see them and behold.
Today, Phelygyeling Monastery currently has 55 monks, and about half are children.
Our group was so pleased to have spent time here at Phelgyeling Monastery. It felt like a homecoming of sorts, even though for many of us it was our first time there. Ven. Zawa Rinpoche though, has had a long standing relationship with Phelgyeling Monastery. The monastery too, has long heard of Ven. Zasep Rinpoche, and the Abbot himself expressed how happy he was to be acquainted with Rinpoche fully in person. Ven. Zasep Rinpoche developed a warm regard for Phelgyeling and all the monks there young and old, and he expressed admiration for their activities. It is at the strong suggestion of Ven. Zasep Rinpoche, that Gaden Relief begin a fundraising project to support daily living and the spiritual activities of the monastery. Contributions can make a significant impact by providing essential necessities such as food, clothing, and medicine.
A significant portion of Nepal’s population continues to live in extreme poverty, lacking access to essential resources such as clean water, nutritious food, and adequate healthcare. Nepal, like many other developing nations, grapples with widespread poverty, limiting access to basic necessities for numerous families.
The stark economic realities make it challenging for parents to afford formal education for their children. Many families turn to monastic education in order to provide for and create good opportunities for their children. Your contribution will undoubtedly contribute to a better quality of life for these monks, providing the necessary support that allows them to practice Buddhadharma and uphold the spiritual and cultural values of Gelug Buddhism.
Please join us in supporting this illustrious monastery, where the Gelug tradition lives and breathes each day, steeped in history and tradition.
Photo Credit: Christian Vizl, November 2023.