Gaden Shartse Lhopa Khangtsen
The Full Story
Accordingly, the great Je Tsong Khapa (1357-1419) at the age of 53 revealed (took out) the white conch offered to Buddha Shakyamuni by Naga king Modro as well as the mask of the Dharmaraja. And established the monastery with the assistance of his two close disciples – Gyaltsab Je (1364-1432) and Khedup Je (1385-1438). Subsequently, instituted the Gaden Namper Gyalwe Ling (the Gaden Monastic University) of Gelukpa Order in the year 1409.
One of the colleges of Gaden, the glorious Shartse Thosam Norling Monastery was then established by Shatchen Rinchen Gyaltsen (1366 – 1427). The great Je Tsong Khapa’s disciple, the omniscient Khedup Je became the first abbot of Shartse Monastery in the year 1419, and since then till date more than 108 abbots have ascended to the throne of abbot ship of the monastery. Moreover, like the galaxies of stars or the fauna and flora on this earth, numerous highly realized beings have intentionally taken birth. Amongst them few became Gaden Tripas (Head of Gelukpa Order), Sharpa Choejes, tutors of the Dalai Lamas. The monastery has thus produced many illustrious beings in the service of the Buddha Dharma and sentient beings.
Shartse Monastery, which is a hub of scholars and practitioners of Buddha Dharma has eleven Khangtsen (Houses).
Likewise, a number of highly realized lamas and learned geshes had been the product of this Khangtsen and had played significant role in the dissemination and preservation of the Buddha Dharma. However, as misfortune it would have been, Tibet was captured by the ill willed battalions of barbaric armies who inflicted immeasurable suffering and loss to the people in general and to the Buddha Dharma. Such came time when people could hardly enjoy the freedom to utter even a stanza of religious sermons.
Nevertheless, His Holiness the Dalai Lama the champion of World Peace, because of his bindings of pledge made in the presence of numerous Buddhas in past live could come into exile and contributed towards achievements in the field of temporal and spiritual activities due to the force of his meaningful prayers. In particular, he re-established the monastic universities and laid the foundation to preserve the great tradition of study, contemplation and meditation of the five major texts of Buddhist Philosophy.
Gaden Shartse Lhopa Khangtsen is one amongst these and has four wings: Lin Gang, Nagsho Gang, Lhopa Gang and Gomte Gang. The origins of the monks of these four wings were from two sources – the upper and the lower. There were more than 400 monks. Amongst these monks, numerous supreme beings such as, Lhopa Gyalse Rinpoche the emanation of the great Je Tsun Milarepa (1040 – 1123), Geshe Dhakpa Donyoe the emanation of Je Tsun Rechungpa (1083 – 1161) have descended.
The 15th Gaden Tripa Panchen Sonam Dhakpa ( 1478 – 1554 ) in the year 1529 has been the Chant Master of Gaden Shartse Lhopa Khangtsen. Furthermore, a great abbot such as Gyatso Wangchuk and others have been the abbots of the Shartse Monastery.
Furthermore, the Buddha Dharma has also gained its popularity and momentum in the Western World where the name of Buddha Dharma was unknown in the past. These are solely due to the kindness of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Young Monks of Gaden Shartse Lhopa 2010
As on today, Gaden Shartse Lhopa Khangtsen has around 200 monks who are continuously striving in the activities of practicing the three fold higher training and are engaged in the study, contemplation of the three “Pithakas”.
Around 170 of them reside in the Khangtsen and the rest are spread in the service of humanity in and around the world. The khangtsen is blessed with the presence of Gyalse Rinpoche the emanation of great Milarepa, Geshe Dhakpa Donyoe the emanation of Je Tsun Rechungpa, Geshe Lobsang Sherab the Trulku Rinpoche of great learned and scholarly Geshe Thubten Tsering,Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen who is himself a learned Geshe engaged in spreading Buddha Dharma in abroad and numerous other Geshes.
The dedicated monks of the Khangtsen are engaged primarily in the study of Buddhist Philosophy as well as in their modest way in learning modern education. Thus, is a brief introduction of Gaden Shartse Lhopa Khangtsen.