Development of Sakya Nunneries and College outside Tibet

Following the vision for ordained nuns to dedicate their lives to the practise of the Dharma, the Sakya Nuns' communitiy has grown and spread in different parts of India and Nepal. Sakya Rinchen Choling is the umbrella for the other two nunneries, namely Sakya Thrinley Choling, nunnery for young nuns in Leh-Ladakh, India and Vajrayogini Meditation Centre for nuns in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The administrator for Sakya Rinchen Choling is Ani Sangay, who can be contacted via email: (sakyanunnery_office at yahoo dot com).

 

Sakya Rinchen Choling, Dekyiling, Rajpur, India

In 1993, batches of Sakya nuns started to arrive in India. They shared similar aspirations to remain as nuns. At that time, there were no facilities for the nuns and they were housed in temporary quarters.

His Eminence Luding Khenchen (senior) Rinpoche offered a piece of land in Dekyiling to His Holinessto start a nunnery in 1996. It was within the Tibetan settlement, which is about 15 minutes' drive from Rajpur. Sakya Rinchen Choling Nunnery was established in 1998 as a non-profit organization. The nuns' dormitories could house 170 nuns, but there was no temple for their daily practice. The dining hall also served as the prayer hall.

An earnest fund-raising event to build the temple commenced in 2005, with ground-breaking in 2006 followed by the construction of the temple as well as another wing for the dormitory were completed in 2008. His Holiness 41st Sakya Trizin consecrated the temple on 29th March 2009 and His Holiness Dalai Lama visited it in 2012.

 

Sakya Thrinley Choling, Nunnery for Young Nuns, Leh-Ladakh, India

 

In 2010, it was decided that a separate nunnery for younger nuns should be established for more effective training of the nuns as the age gap in the main nunnery was too wide. There are about 40 young nuns altogether and their age range from between 6 to 14 years old. They are taught Tibetan, Hindi and English.

 

Vajrayogini Meditation Centre for Nuns, Kathmandu, Nepal

 

This centre, near Boudhanath Stupa, was offered to His Holiness in 2013 by H.E. Tashi Chophel Rinpoche after he went into long-term retreat in Tibet. About 80 young and senior nuns reside and practise here. The premises was affected by the earthquake in Nepal in March and June 2015. Above is a joyous photo of the younger nuns on the final day receiving the Lamdre teachings from His Holiness 41st Sakya Trizin and His Eminence Ratna Vajra Rinpoche in Kalimpong, India (October - December 2015). They showed great enthusiasm and spirit during the 2-month duration of the teachings.

 

Future of the Young Nuns

Some of them will aspire to study at Sakya College for Nuns or proceed to either Sakya Rinchen Choling or Vajrayogini Centre for Meditation to continue their training. A few will enrol in Tibetan Medical Institute to be health-care providers. As with each generation, they are the core group in practising and spreading the Buddha-Dharma. Taking care of them is a full-time task for the teachers and administrators, alike. May they be blessed to continue the path to pray for all sentient beings.