On February 24th, 2014, 43 new students arrived at the monastery. Most of these new students have traveled from small villages in Nepal to ordain as monks and receive a Buddhist education. The educational opportunities in the small villages of Nepal are very meager and in some of the villages no education is available at all. The parents of these new students are very grateful that their children will now receive a proper education in Dharma, as well as a well-rounded secular education.
Upon arrival at the monastery, the new students were gathered in the prayer hall to select who would become their room-teachers. The room-teacher is the monk who will take care of their daily needs and provide them with guidance in monastery life. The room-teachers are chosen randomly by drawing names from a bowl. This is the start of a long and close relationship that becomes very much like a small family.
Welcome to your new home students! We are very happy to have you here with us.
Below are photos of the new students and photos from their being assigned room-teachers.
The annual Tordrup Puja and Losar Celebrations are quickly approaching. This is a festive time as the monks offer pujas to usher in the coming new year with many blessings. This year the tordrup puja will start on 26th of February.
The Tordrup puja is performed at the end of each year just prior to the new year celebrations. This Dharmapala puja consists of three days of recitations and prayers by all of the senior monks, geshes, tulkus, as well as the venerable abbot. The purpose of these pujas is to clear all obstacles and negativity for coming new year , as well as to create the causes for peace and prosperity for the community, sponsors and all living beings.
The Tibetan New Year (Losar), which is based on the lunar calendar, starts on the 2nd of March this year. One the first morning of Losar, the monks gather in the assembly hall for group prayers. Losar is also celebrated at Shar Gaden Monastery by visiting each of the labrangs ( labrang is a household within a monastery where esteemed teachers reside with their direct students). During these visits the monks offer incense and ritual scarves to the Lamas of the labrang. The monks also visit the abbot and other teachers of the monastery to wish them ‘tashi delek’ (good fortune) for the coming year.
During the losar celebrations, the monks have free-time to relax and take a break from their rigorous schedule. Losar is a time of great joy and excitement for all of the monks, young and old.
Below are pictures from previous Tordrup pujas and Losar celebrations. We will add more pictures of the upcoming celebrations soon.