What is Nalanda Buddhist Institute Monastery?
Nestled on the side of a mountain high in the Himalayas lies Nalanda Buddhist Institute Monastery in Bhutan. From its inception in 1757 CE by the Buddhist saint Shakya Richen, Nalanda Buddhist Institute has been a place for spiritual education teaching Buddhist principles and prayer ceremonies for the benefit of humanity.
The original Nalanda University was constructed in India in the 5th century. Nalanda University was a center for sacred teachings and learning throughout Asia. A vast amount of what came to comprise tantric Buddhism stems from 9th century teachings. Unfortunately, in the late 12th Century (1300’s) CE, the Nalanda University was destroyed by an invading army. At this time, Nalanda University is under restoration in India.
Nalanda Buddhist Institute in Bhutan was constructed as a temple in the 18th century after a number of auspicious signs occurred. Some of these auspicious signs were correlated with special previous scholars from Nalanda University. Today the monastery has grown to house 150 monks studying Buddhist texts and arts that are integral within the society of Bhutan. The monastery is a learning institution that provides for monastic education, housing, food and other basic needs. By studying at Nalanda Buddhist Institute, the monks have a purpose to their life while benefitting their family with prayers and the community around them.
Our Goal and How We Pursue It
It has been a desire of the monastery to build a classroom so that all monks could receive education in a space that is conducive to learning. It was impossible for the monastery to consider constructing a classroom building until Choki stepped in. Our organization, Choki, is turning the wish for a classroom into a reality.
Continuing to lay one brick at a time, building one wall at a time, finishing one floor at a time, brings the day closer to when the monks will be in a space dedicated just for learning. Together, through caring and compassion, we are giving an opportunity where opportunity did not exist. Be a part of Choki by helping to support Nalanda’s monks, monastic education, and culture.