Set in the foothills of the Himalayas in Dehra Dun
in North India, Mindrolling is one of the largest Buddhist centers
in India today, and includes the following:
Ngedon Gatsal Ling
Ngedon Gatsal Ling is the main monastery and practice center. The daily prayers as well as the Drubchens (Mahasadhanas) are performed here. Monks learn and practice rituals, mandala drawing, lama dances and the playing of ritual instruments. Monks can also choose to study thangka painting and sculpting.
Ngedon Gatsal Ling - today
Ngedon Gatsal Ling - 1978
Primary and Secondary Buddhist School
The Primary and Secondary Buddhist School has eight levels where the monks study recitation, calligraphy, grammar, poetry, recitation, philosophy and English. On the completion of the eight levels, monks can join the Ngagyur Nyingma College or continue to practice in the main monastery.
Drubde Ödsal Ling
Drubde Ödsal Ling is the retreat center. Here monks undertake retreats of various lengths including the 3-year/3-month solitary retreat. Before going into retreat, monks are given teachings and receive profound and advanced Buddhist meditation instructions from the Rinpoches.
Other Shrine Rooms
Besides the shrine rooms in the main monastery and Ngagyur Nyingma College, there are other shrine rooms. The Padmasambhava shrine room depicts the eight manifestations and twenty-five disciples of Guru Padmasambhava. The Mindrolling lineage shrine room has the statues of all the Trichens and Khenchens of Mindrolling since the establishment of the Mindrolling monastery in Tibet, including the 11th Minling Trichen and the 9th Minling Khenchen.
Libraries are set up in Ngedon Gatsal Ling and Ngagyur Nyingma College for the monks. These contain the Kagyur or Sutras, Tengyur or Commentaries by various Indian masters on the Buddha's teachings, Sastras and works of many great Tibetan masters. The libraries also contain the Collected Works of Terdag Lingpa consisting of sixteen volumes and the Collected Works of Lochen Dharmashri consisting of twenty-one volumes. These have been computerized and printed through the untiring perseverance and effort of the Venerable Khochhen Rinpoche.
The World Peace Stupa
With the immense blessing from His Holiness Trichen Rinpoche, His Eminence Khenchen Rinpoche and the constant hard-work of the Most Venerable Khochhen Rinpoche, the 185 feet tall and 100 square feet wide World Peace Stupa or stupa of Buddha's descent from Heaven was built on 29th April, 2000. Built according to the instructions of the learned, this stupa is a source of merit to the entire beings.
The facade of the main stupa contains a magnificent relief of Maitreya, the future Buddha. Descending from the tri-colored steps (representing lapis lazuli, gold and silver) of the stupa is Buddha Shakyamuni. The artwork within this stupa is an outstanding example of Buddhist art. The main stupa has five main shrine rooms. The ground floor level's shrine is of Guru Padmasambhava and its main statue is his manifestation as Guru Lakeborn Vajra. The life-story of the glorious Guru Padmasambhava is painted on the walls in accordance with the terma of Ogyen Lingpa, the Crystal Cave Chronicles [bKa'-thang Shel-brag-,ma], which consists of one hundred and eight chapters. Also included are the paintings of the Seven Chapter Supplication [Le'u bDun-ma], the Supplication for Clearing the Obstacles to the Path [Bar-chad Lam-sel], the Outer, Inner and Secret Assembly of Heart Essence of Vidyadharas [Rigs'dzin Thug-thigs], the short description of the past lives of Terdak Lingpa, the One Hundred and Eight Mahasiddhas of India, the Twenty-five Disciples of Padmasambhava, the One Hundred and Eight Great Treasure Masters, the Eight Great Chariots of the Practice Lineage, and the Dharmapalas who protect the Dharma.
The shrine room on the first floor is dedicated to Shakyamuni Buddha. The murals on the walls depict the Jataka tales according to the text Wish-fulfilling Tree [rTog-brjod dpak-bsam Khri-shing], written by the Dharma king Kshemendra. The 16 great arhats, the seven entrusted with the teachings, and the 17 panditas of Nalanda, India, are shown on the pillars.
The shrine room above contains statues of the descendants of Terdag Lingpa, the great throne holders [Khris-chen] and the lineage of the supreme abbots [mKhan-chen]. A magnificent 3-dimensional mandala of the union of the oral lineage transmission [bKa'-ma] and the treasure teachings [gTer-ma], based on Lochen Zhi-khro, is built in the center of the shrine room. In addition to these, there are paintings of the precious lineage masters of the Patrimoksha, Bodhisattvayana, and Vajrayana.
In the vase enclosure of the stupa are the images of the thousand Buddhas of 'the Good Aeon'. In it are the statues of the field of accumulation that embodies the entire qualities of the three secrets of all the victorious sugatas, based on' Ati Zab-don snying-po, the extraordinary tradition revealed by Terdak Lingpa.
The shrine room above the vase contains the statues of the five families of Buddha, along with Buddha Amitabha. The walls are painted with a depiction of the twelve teachers of the Dzogchen lineage. The life-force tree is shown in accordance with the mandala and the stupa ritual of the Two Aspects of Stainlessness [Dri-med rNam-gnyis]. The upper and the lower end of the life-force tree is anointed with saffron water, and it is covered with silk. There are over one hundred and eleven extremely secret Dharanis from sutras and tantras including the five great sections of dharanis. Dharani of Rigpa Phugron and of Akshobya. Alphabets and the mantra of the essence of Dependent Origin are also found with them. All the dharanis are arranged in compliance with 'the Practical Guide on Offering Dharani' text by Lochen Dharmashri.
The neck of the stupa lies above the vase and below the 13 golden colored tapering wheels of Dharma. It is filled with the texts of the Buddhist canon as well as earlier and later versions of commentaries translated into Tibetan. It also includes the works of the famous Six Ornaments and Two Supreme Ones, Rongzom, Mahapandita, the Omniscient Longchenpa, Terdag Lingpa and Lochen Dharmashri. Also included are a number of tsa-tsa built according to the ritual of Drimed Namnyi. Additionally, there are brass statues: five of Buddha Muni, one of Green.Tara, one of the Lake-born Guru with his retinue of two, Standing Ksitigarbha, and one of Manjushri. There is a silver statue of Vajrasattva, a gold and. copper statue of Buddha Amitabha, Phurpa of Nyang-gter, a Samye. Dora [vajra], and a holy brass statue of Java Shakyamuni presented by Dzongsar Khentse Rinpoche.
Relics of the four different types are also kept there, namely: the relics of the Dharmakaya [chas-sku'i ring-bsrel], such as Guru Rinpoche's tooth (offered by Nyenchen Thangla) and relics of Buddha Kashyapa; relics of the cremated bodies of holy saints [sku-gdung-gi ring-bsrel]; relics of the saints' robes [sku-bal-gyi ring-bsrel]; and relics resembling mustard seed [Yung-'bru lta-bu'i ring-bsrel].
Furthermore, the stupa also houses a collection of numerous other spiritual objects of spontaneous origin, as well as various indisputably holy substances that were passed down from the reliable sources. These are all full of blessings. Every aspect of this stupa was built under the guidance of the most venerable Khochhen Rinpoche and follows the famous stupa-building guidelines of Phugpa and his heart sons, Lochen Dharmashri, and other reliable sources.
Stupa Inauguration and Consecration Ceremony
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
inaugurated the World Peace
Stupa on 28th of October, 2001
in presence of the special guests
including the honorable Defense Minister of India, Shri George
Fernandes, the Vice Chairman of Lok-Sabha Shri Lachungpa, and the CM
of UA. Shri. Hari Singh, the CM of Arunachal Pradesh Mr. Tsering
Gyurme, the President of Lhadak's Autonomous Body Mr. Thubten
Tsewang, the Chairman of Tibetan People's Deputy of CTA Mr. Perna
Jungne and the Vice-chairman Mrs. Gyari Dolma, the Minister of
Department of Education and Religion of CTA Mr. Thubten Lungrig, the
Dalai Lama's special envoy to the US Mr. Gyari Lodoe Gyaltsen, the
former Minister of CTA Mr. Sadu Rinchen, and the Ambassador of
Bhutan in Bangladesh. The renowned spiritual masters such as Kyabje
Trulshig Rinpoche, Khenchen Rinpoche, Khochhen Rinpoche, Sakya
Dungse Rinpoche, Dzogchen Rinpoche, and Dorzong Rinpoche, Khenpos,
Tulkus and Lopans were also present during the inaugural ceremony
along with the hundreds of monks and lay people.
Having welcomed all the guests and people who gathered during the
ceremony, the Dalai Lama expressed his deep appreciation for this
remarkable achievement. He said was the result of the
financial support from the great benefactor Ven. Ti Ching, the
infinite aspiration and leadership of His Holiness Trichen Rinpoche,
and the sole administration of Ven. Khochhen Rinpoche. While
particularly thanking Ven. Khochhen Rinpoche for his hard work, the
Dalai Lama admired Khochhen Rinpoche's simplicity and dedicated
During the inaugural ceremony 28th of October 2002, His Holiness the
Dalai Lama consecrated the stupa. Later, His Eminence Trulshig
Rinpoche performed the consecration ritual for five days. Again, in early
2003, His Holiness Sakya Trizin led a consecration ceremony for the
stupa for three days.
Primary Health Care Clinic
A primary health care clinic, known as Tsering Gatsal, has been set up on the monastery's premises for the monks and local community. Qualified doctors provide both modern and Tibetan medicine.
Guesthouses / Dining / Conference Rooms
Dekyi Gatsal Guesthouse is a well-furnished lodge of nine double-bedded rooms with attached baths. It also has a kitchen and dining room for the use of the guests.
Deva Loka Guesthouse has double rooms that occupy the second floor of a lovely, curved building. Doors open to the balcony where one has a superb view of the Great Stupa and the courtyard below with its cafe tables and flower beds.
Deva Loka's lower level features gift shops, a restaurant, an internet cafe, and the relocated Peace Cafe, all managed by residents of the Clement Town Tibetan community adjacent to Mindrolling. Two new dining areas have been constructed on the roof of the Deva Loka Guesthouse. Built almost entirely of glass, the facilities will provide diners with beautiful views of the Stupa and all of Mindrolling. Hosting of conferences and group activities may now be held within a beautiful and spacious environment in the heart of the Mindrolling campus.
The Community Prayer Hall
A large community prayer hall of the Tibetan Colony of Clement Town is on the premises of the monastery and is at the disposal of the Mindrolling monastery. The top floor consists of dormitories for the younger monks and classrooms of the Primary and Secondary Buddhist School.
There are various other Mindrolling centers. A retreat center and monastery of Mindrolling is in Kalimpong in Eastern India. There are Mindrolling centers of practice and study in Mongolia and Taiwan.
The Mindrolling monastery was headed by His Holiness the XIth Mindrolling Trichen, and administered by the Ven. D.G. Khochhen Rinpoche. Ngagyur Nyingma Institute is headed by His Eminence Khenchen Rinpoche. In addition to many tulkus and khenpos, Mindrolling today includes over 300 monks.
The monastery is a Charitable Society registered in India under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 as 'Nyingmapa Mahabodhi Charitable Society'. Besides providing Buddhist education and research, the organization preserves and promotes Buddhism and Tibetan culture. The monastery provides free food, accommodation, clothing, medical care and education including textbooks and stationery to over 300 monks. The sole source of income is voluntary donations.
The extensive planning and construction began in 1965 under the vision and effort of the Ven. D.G. Khochhen Rinpoche and the late Ven. Jampal Lodro Rinpoche. Since then, many have contributed in various ways to the monastery and its sangha. Today the entire sangha of monks, nuns, and lay people continue to work in propagating and preserving the Dharma.
The Venerable Khochhen Rinpoche
Venerable Khotrul Jurme Dogyud Gyatso Rinpoche, renowned as the Venerable Khochhen Rinpoche, was born in 1937 in Gonjo Dodrup in Eastern Tibet. He was recognized as the reincarnation of Namdrol Sangpo Rinpoche of Khochhen monastery at an early age by His Eminence the 8th Mindrolling Khenchen. Tersay Chime Rinpoche, who was the elder brother of Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, formally enthroned Rinpoche at Khochhen monastery.
Rinpoche undertook his studies in Mindrolling in Tibet where he studied and mastered Buddhist philosophy, psychology, tantras, astrology, poetry, literature, calligraphy and rituals. He received profound teachings and instructions from eminent masters such as Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, Minling Chung Rinpoche and Minling Khen Rinpoche. Rinpoche was at Mindrolling for well over ten years until the Communist invasion in 1959. Following the invasion, Rinpoche, at the age of 22, escaped into exile in India as one of the seven-member entourage of His Holiness Mindrolling Trichen.
Since the establishment of Mindrolling in India, the Venerable Khochhen Rinpoche has worked tirelessly for the construction and maintenance of Mindrolling monastery. His efforts and perseverance have played a major role in every development in the monastery through the years. Besides being the principal of the Mindrolling Monastery, Rinpoche is also the President of the Tibetan community in Clement Town since the year 1987.