Exodus from Tibet
In 1959, at the age of twenty-nine, Trichen Jurme Kunzang Wangyal’s father, the Xth Mindrolling Trichen, had died. His enthronement as the XIth Mindrolling Trichen was set to take place. All these plans were shattered by the Communist Chinese invasion and the Tibetan uprising. His Holiness went into exile in India, fleeing Tibet along with many great masters of his generation. He left behind the monastery established in 1676 in the Drachi Valley by his predecessor the first Mindrolling Trichen, Terdag Lingpa. After several years of tireless effort helping to establish Tibetan Buddhism in exile, his official enthronement took place in 1962. In 1976 Rinpoche was finally able to set up the official monastic seat of Mindrolling in exile.
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in Dehra Dun in North India, Mindrolling Monastery has expanded steadily to become one of the largest Buddhist centers in existence today. All the great masters of Tibetan Buddhism, and especially all the teachers of the Nyingma lineage consider Mindrolling to be an inspiring example of the practice of the pure and profound Dharma of Vajrayana Buddhism.
The Mindrolling organization provides Buddhist education to over 300 monks beginning with primary and secondary school, facilitates research, and preserves and promotes Buddhism and Tibetan culture. Monks use Drubde Ödsal Ling for 3-month and 3-year retreats. Libraries are expanding and the recently fomed, Dharmashri Translation Group, is busy translating liturgies and publishing a Buddhist Journal. Samten Tse Retreat Center, a branch of Mindrolling for nuns and western retreatants located in Musoorie, is responsible for preserving the Jetsunma line, one of the most remarkable features of Mindrolling. The tradition of female masters at Mindrolling can be traced back to Yeshe Sogyal and Machig Labdron.
Ngagyur Nyingma College
Established in 1991, Ngagyur Nyingma College, Mindrolling’s Institute of Advanced Buddhist Studies. (Five Sciences University) where hundreds of monks receive advance training to preserve the unbroken lineage of teachings and pass them on to the next generation of practitioners. It is now one of the largest Buddhist Institutes in existence. Monks of Ngagyur Nyingma College study and practice the teachings of Buddha in accordance with the living lineage. The College library at Mindrolling houses commentaries by Indian and Tibetan masters on the Buddha’s teachings. Current expansion will add a state-of-the art media facility for preservation activities.
Art and Architecture
Mindrolling has many magnificent examples of buddhist art and architecture. Ngedon Gatsal Ling, the main monastery and practice center at Mindrolling. There are also many shrine rooms including several within the Great Stupa, constructed to benefit all beings and dedicated to world peace, was inaugurated in October, 2002. In 2016 the Padmasambhava Statue and shrine rooms were inaugirated. There are several large prayer wheels on the grounds surrounding the Stupa for use by monks and laity.
Life of the monastic residents is closely interwoven with that of the Tibetan Refuge Colony of Clement Town, adjacent to Mindrolling. The Community Prayer Hall of Clement Town is on the Monastery property. The building also houses dormitories and classrooms for the schools for young monks. The young students follow a curriculum consisting of a wide range of dharma and practical studies.
Industriousness is inextricably interwoven with the contemplative and scholarly atmosphere of Mindrolling. The monastery maintains its own dairy requiring the care of animals. The infrastructure and landscape require constant care and attention. Ongoing construction projects are happening continuously.
The activities of the Mindrolling Monastery and its college, the Ngagyur Nyingma Institute, are administered by a staff of Rinpoches