Dzongsar Khamje Shedra, Tibet

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Dzongsar Khamje Shedra

Country Tibet/China
Founder and Spiritual Lead Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo / Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Lineage Rimé



Dzongsar Khamje Shedra was founded in 1871 on a plain below Dzongsar Monastery by the great scholar and mystic Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. Because of the unique geomancy of the site, he and Chökgyur Lingpa prophesied that establishing a college at this location would greatly benefit the Buddhadharma. Under the direction of Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, the original structure was expanded and the shedra became an important ecumenical center of learning, supporting the study and practice of the spiritual traditions of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. In its golden age, the monastery encompassed 23 temples and many hermitages and retreat areas. The rimé library of Jamgön Kongtrül, Chökyi Lingpa, and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo contained an extensive nonsectarian collection of texts that made it possible for monks and others to study all sects of Buddhism.

The shedra was destroyed in the 1960s, but reconstruction began in 1986 at the behest of the late Panchen Lama and sponsored by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. The basic structure of a new college was completed in 1989.

The current curriculum of the shedra, which was set by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, includes study of the Buddhist scriptures such as the tripitaka, the shastras, the tantras, and the sciences of poetry, astrology, and medicine. Many khenpos have also expanded their studies to explore other philosophical traditions, reading texts by Karl Marx and Immanuel Kant. They are eager for opportunities to learn and put their knowledge into practice. Rinpoche wants to provide khenpos with much more diverse courses, including economics, finance, and social studies. He said, “I have noticed that many Tibetan lamas may need some leadership training.” Khyentse Foundation is now developing plans for leadership and educational programs at Dzongsar.

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