Buddhist Education in India

In early 2005, at the urging of Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, a group of Mongolian Nyingmapas on pilgrimage in India made a special journey to HH Penor Rinpoche’s Namdroling Monastery to seek his blessing and advice about the revival of Buddhism in Mongolia. He told them it was premature to send teachers to Mongolia. Instead, he suggested they send their most promising students to him in India for training. Jetsunma considers this the top priority of the Mongolian Buddhism Revival Project.

Before 2005 was over, KPC had sent the first two young men to Namdroling to begin their studies. The following year, a generous donation from B. Alan Wallace allowed eight more young men to join them.

On the auspicious Spring Equinox day of March 21, 2008, the MBRP then helped nine young Mongolian women fulfill their dreams of studying Buddhism in-depth in India. With the generous sponsorship of many individuals, they are now happily ensconced at Penor Rinpoche’s neighboring Tsogyal Shedrup Dargyeling nunnery.

These efforts were undertaken in partnership with KPC’s sister temple in Mongolia’s Eastern Gobi, Khamariin Khiid. That institution was renowned for its founder Danzan Ravjaa’s insistence that men and women be provided equal opportunity for spiritual training. A women’s temple there, Toinag Datsan, gained a strong reputation for the quality of its practitioners.


Toinag, along with all of Khamar, was destroyed during the Stalinist religious purges in the late 1930’s. Since Mongolia’s peaceful democratic revolution in 1990, however, Khamar has been steadily rebuilding. Khamar’s director, Altangerel, intends to rebuild Toinag Datsan and wants well-trained women to practice there. So these women are undergoing the training with the understanding that they will return to Mongolia and reside at Toinag to share their knowledge and experience.

All the young men and women sent to Namdroling by the MBRP will receive world-class training for 10 years. They will learn the Tibetan language and classic texts, receive the proper transmissions and instructions for practice, and becoming adept at the details necessary for ritual performance and the spiritual arts, all according to the unique Nyingma system. Many will dedicate their lives as ordained monks and nuns. They will bring all of this training and experience back to Mongolia, most of which is now completely missing.