Monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery of Tibet visit C’dale
Sopris Sun Staff Report
from the 600-year-old Gaden Shartse Monastery of Tibet visit Carbondale
for presentations on Aug. 12-14. They are being hosted by Davi Nikent
and Green Weaver. Their schedule is as follows:
Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m. – The monks present “Tara Empowerment” at True
Nature Healing Arts on Third Street. “During empowerment, each
participant’s body, speech and mind are purified of negatives and
blessed individually,” said a Davi Nikent spokeswoman. The suggested
donation is $20.
Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. – The presentation is titled “Sights and Sounds of
Monastic Life” at the Third Street Center. The evening includes sacred
music, chanting, slide show and question and answer session. The
suggested donation is $15-$20.
Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. – The monks present “Vajravidaran Healing Ritual” at
the Third Street Center Vajravidaran is a Buddha associated with
purification and health, according to a press release. The ritual
provides an opportunity to improve one’s health by purifying negative
karma. The suggested donation is $20
monastery is one of the three most renowned monasteries of Tibet,
according to the monastery website. It was built on a mountain, a calm,
peaceful and a highly suitable place for spiritual development located
at approximately 25 miles east of the city of Lhasa, the capital of
There are two colleges in Gaden monastery: the Shartse and Jangtse.
was known to have a population of more than 3,300 monks during the
early years of 1900. Later, in the 1950’s, the monastery population of
the monastery grew to 5,000. Gaden quickly became well-known for its
moral discipline and academic and spiritual values. Monks poured in from
every part of Tibet, Mongolia, China, Japan and Northern India. Though
they came from all ages, the youngest monks started at age seven.
Regardless of special focus on specific studies, all monks engaged in
rigorous study programs of the monastery for many years. In addition to
philosophical study, there were trainings in different vocations:
religious music, arts, sculpture, administrative work and more.
1950’s, the People’s Liberation Army of China invaded and occupied
Tibet. In 1959 His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was forced to escape to
India for safety of himself and Tibetan people. India offered Tibetans a
safe place to live and keep their culture and religion intact. More
than 100,000 Tibetans followed His Holiness the Dalai Lama into exile
and are now living in India, Nepal and Bhutan.
1970, Gaden Shartse was formed by 85 refugee monks near the remote
village of Mundgod, in the state of Karnataka, South India.
first members of Gaden Shartse settled in the refugee camps of Mundgod,
a night’s drive from the city of Bangalore. Initially tents were
provided through donations and the monks put together a bamboo thatch
structure to serve as common hall. There, they prayed, studied, debated,
ate and slept. Many monks died of sickness and exhaustion. With trial
and error, they learned to adjust to the new environment and were able
to make modest living by cultivating the land provided to them.
the time of four decades, the population of Shartse increased to more
than 1,200 monks, including resident scholars, writers, administrators
and students from different parts of the world: Tibet, India, Bhutan,
Nepal, Taiwan, Europe and U.S.A.