Monday, June 14, 2010

The Jonang Takten Phuntsok Choeling Monastery, Sanjauli, Shimla

When monk Yonten Gyamtso (see picture above) made his journey to India, he was only a young lad. Travelling on foot, in bitter cold and snow with a friend, he crossed over to Kathmandu, Nepal, via Lhasa, from his home town Amdo, in Tibet. It took the lads afull month, to reach Kathmandu, by foot! From there the two monks travelled by bus to Delhi and then to Shimla. The year was 1996, a year before the inaugeration of the first Buddhist Jonang Taken Phutsok Choeling Monastery in India – Sanjauli, Shimla.

The Jonang Taken Phutsok Choeling Monastery, is the only one of its kind in India, the other being only in Amro, Tibet. It was founded by Lama Jimpa in 1963. It was initially named Sangey Choeling. On 6th July, 1990, the monastery was gifted to The Dalai Lama when he visited it, in Shimla. His Holiness took care of it for seven years and in 1997, H.H. Dalai Lama in order to preserve the practice of Kalachakra or the followers of the six Unions, the intrinsic Tantra and the only school that preserves it in India and Tibet, he appointed H.H. Khalka Jetsun dhampa, head of this Jonang school. In all of India and Tibet, there are only two of these, one here in Sanjauli, the other in Tibet.

The Kalachakra Root Tantra, as taught to a few monks by Buddha on the vulture peak hill, from 7th to 14th century was translated by Tibetian translators and codified them as the standard translation. These are of two types: The translations of Buddha’s words, consisting of 100 volumes and the translations of Indianmasters’ commentaries on these which consist of 200 volumes. These translations consist both of Sutras and Tantras. The Jonang tradition is meditation of Generation Process and Perfection Process of the Six Yogas of Kalachakra (see below).

In the Amdo region of Tibet, there are approximately 60 – 80 monasteries with a strength of over 10,000 monks. In India, here at Jonang Taken Phutsok Choeling Monastery, there are about 105 monks and about 10-20 Cub monks(see picture), between the ages of 6-8 years who are from Arunachal Pradesh and Mon Tawang. Out of the total number of students in this monastery, about 30 are from Outer Mongolia.Here in the monastery they learn the Tibetian language, calligraphy handwriting, history of Tibet, epistomology, rituals, instruments for performing rituals, mandala drawing, religious dancing and chanting and of course the scriptures. The meditative practice course is three and a half years’ rigorous retreat of the Six Yogas of Kalachakra Tantra.

To reach Jonang Taken Phutsok Choeling Monastery from Shimla, take a bus to Sanjauli from Bus adda, or Lakkad Bazar. Get down at Sanjauli Chawk, walk backwards towards Dhalli and in less than ten minutes you will see Mata Dhingoo Mandir signboard. The climb is steep over almost 800 steps. Just below the Dhingroo Mata mandir is The Jonang Taken Phutsok Choeling Monastery.

You can also arrive there by car. However, there is no vehicular road to the mandir or the monastery below. Take a deep breath and begin your climb.

To reach Monk Yonten Gyamtso Email:
Cell: 0-9882702611/ 0-9218771798

Six yogas of Kalachakra

Please view more pictures:



Amrita said...

I visited the Tebetan settlement and monastary several time sin Mussoorie, this reminds me of that. I have several Tebetan friends. They are such gentle , easy going people.And I love momos.

Durgasankar Mandal said...
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Durgasankar Mandal said...
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Durgasankar Mandal said...

There's an Outlook India magazine article that elaborated on the law and order problem created by Tibetans at Dharamasala. And here's the reponse from the Tibetan community .

I am inclined to draw and analogy what I saw during the time when I was an engineering student(though it is good 17 years ago). With every act of benevolence, the benefactor incurs the wrath of the beneficiary.

Julia Dutta said...

Hi Amrita,
Yes they are some of the most gentle people on earth.

I amon a new job and very tight on time. Hence the delay in time. Please excuse

Julia Dutta said...

Thanks fot that link. Interesting.

Three comments have been deleted from here - not by me!!

Wonder what is happening:((


Several tips said...

Nice post.

Durgasankar Mandal said...

Now it is a BIG news!!! That Tibetan Karmapa is accused by the Indian police and Chinese spy

Read the news in: IBM Live news