Profile: Monks of Drepung Gomang

Drepung Monastery was founded in 1416 near Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Gomang Dratsang or College is the oldest of the 4 colleges of Drepung. In 1959, before the invasion of Communist China, Drepung monastery had more than 10,000 monks. Gomang alone had about 5,500. Since its beginning, Gomang College has produced many eminent Buddhist masters and has been a very important Tibetan and Buddhist learning center. Each of the colleges of Drepung has its speciality and the focus of Gomang is philosophy: logic and debate.
Only about 100 monks managed to escape with His Holiness the Dalai Lama when he fled Tibet in 1959. They lived first in Boxa, North India, and then, in 1969, 62 of the surviving Gomang monks were given 42 acres of land in Mundgod, south India. There they started to rebuild Drepung Gomang Monastic Dratsang in its present location. Today approximately 2,000 monks live on these few acres.

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Sacred Art of Sand Mandalas

Tibetan sand mandalas are an ancient art form of Tibetan Buddhism. Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “cosmogram” or “world in harmony.”
In Tibetan, this sacred art is called dul-tson-kyil-khor which means “mandala of coloured powders.” The sand mandala is carefully constructed from dyed sand particles to represent the particular esoteric, textual traditions of Buddhism. It’s a transient art form, thought to have originated in India and transferred in the middle ages to Tibet. The sand mandala is constructed as a vehicle to generate compassion, realize the impermanence of reality, and as a social/cosmic healing of the environment.
A short video of the construction of these beautiful creations is included at the end.
Originally posted to The Mindful Word. CC BY-SA 3.0

Category: Arts

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