Brief History of Nyeshang Monastery (Manang Monastery)

In 1959 Lama Jigme and a group of his followers from Nyeshang went to Sikkim to consult His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Ranjung Rigpe Dorje about Nyeshang in Nepal. During this time His Holiness advised Lama Jigme to built a monastery in Pokhara, Nepal. His Holiness cited that in Pokhara, Matepani is an auspicious site as the sword used by King Ling Derma to destroy all evil Kings in Tibet was lost in Pokhara. It was also predicted that by building a monastery here will benefit all future generations of practitioners. Lama Jigme commissioned the task to built a monastery, using only raw materials like stone and mud. Upon completion, the monastery was hand over to Nyeshang Communitiy. The monastery was without a Lama and not spared by the impending weather that causes much wear and tear. The Nyeshand Communitiy decided to offer the monastery to His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa and named the monastery “Karma Dubgyu Choling”. His Holiness appointed Lama Nyedon Rinpoche as his envoy to Karma Dubgyu Choling Monastery in 1982. Lama Nyedon Rinpoche was welcomed with a big celebration and was enthrone as the Head of the monastery, taking over leadership and administrative affairs. At present, the monastery is under the care of Lama Nyedon Rinpoche with about 90 lamas.

About the Kagyu Lineage

The Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism traces its origins to Shakyamuni Buddha through Marpa the Great Translator, who three times traveled to India to bring back authentic Buddhist teachings to Tibet. His teacher, Naropa, received the lineage transmission from Tilopa and so on, back to the Buddha himself. Marpa’s most famous student was the greatest yogi in all of Tibet, the renowned Jetsun Milarepa, who passed the teachings on to Gampopa, who in turn transmitted the teachings to the First Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa. Since then, the Kagyu Lineage has been headed by a succession of reincarnations of the Gyalwa Karmapa. The line of the Karmapas is said to be self-announced, because each incarnation leaves a letter predicting his next rebirth. All great Kagyu teachers regard His Holiness Karmapa as the embodiment and source of all of the blessings of the lineage.

A day in the monastery

For us monks the day starts at 5.30am with the morning puja which takes about two to three hours. It belongs to the prayer if we eat our breakfast inside of the temple or after the prayer in the dining room. After breakfast we either have Tibetan lesson where we learn reading and writing or as older monks we can also have some different practical work to do in the monastery. At 11.30 we eat our lunch all together. After that we have free time until the next puja starts at one o’clock. The duration is variable and can take about one and a half until three hours. After this puja we have tea break. Half an hour later we can either have Tibetan or learn to make turma, which plays a very important role in our monastery. That is why the little monks also practice it from an early age. Before we go to take dinner at 7.00pm we have a little free time most of the days. After dinner we are taught in English and Nepali for about one and a half hour before we finally go to bed.

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