HISTORY

GADEN SHARTSE MONASTIC UNIVERSITY

The monastery is a non-profit cultural and educational institution that covers the costs of its upkeep thanks to the cultivation of 84 hectares of land which were donated to them by the Indian government. The income they obtain by the selling of their produce goes towards covering the daily running expenses of the monastery. Owing to this, every resident, at the age of 17, begins to work in the fields from anywhere between four to six months a year.

We have been supporting Gaden Shartse since 1992. Through the World Tour for Inner Peace funds are raised from the donations that are received in exchange for the activities the monks offer – this allows for the improvement of Gaden Shartse, it’s  different buildings and facilities. These funds also assist in resolving the health and educational challenges they are facing. Although not all the activities take place in Inkarri Centers we coordinate and organize them, including the lodging and travel arrangements of the monks, in the different countries in which we work. These groups of monks share their knowledge, rituals, medical and astrological consultations amongst others activities on these tours.

GADEN SHARTSE IN TIBET

Gaden Shartse was originally founded in Tibet by Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), the great Tibetan Buddhist cleric, saint and scholar. In the year 1409 Tsongkhapa established Gaden Shartse Monastery and from the time of its founding began to develop the Gelupa School of Tibetan Buddhism also known as the ‘Yellow Hat Sect’.

The monastery was situated approximately 30 miles from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. There are two university colleges within the monastery of Gaden, Shartse to the east and Jangtse to the west. Gaden was known to have a population of more than 3300 monks during the first years of the 20th century.

Later, in 1950 the population of the monastery increased to almost 5000 monks. Gaden soon became famous for both it’s moral discipline and it’s academic and spiritual excellence. The residents were composed not only of those monks who observed the rules of Vinaya or moral discipline, but also of other monks who arrived from all across Tibet, Mongolia, China, Japan and Northern India.

GADEN SHARTSE IN INDIA

The beginnings of the Gaden monastery in India were very challenging owing to the dramatic climatic differences from Tibet and the intense heat. Despite all the difficulties, in 1970 Gaden Shartse was founded by 85 refugee monks close to the remote village of Mundgod, in the state of Karnataka in Southern India.

Three years later the first group of new students arrived whose ages ranged from between approximately 10 and 16 years old. In four decades, the population of Shartse increased to more than 1400 monks. With the constant increase in the number of students, they continue to struggle to provide the basic services of food, health and education.

Education, the development of the Tibetan culture and it’s conservation are the principle priorities of Gaden Shartse. The rector of the university, who is also the abbot of the monastery, is personally chosen by H.H. the Dalai Lama. The administration of the center is, for the main part, under the coordination of the resident members and many administrative auxiliaries who work on a voluntary basis.