Attractions & Sightseeing

Dzongsar Institute

The Institute has a faculty of six Khenpos and about 300 monks from various locales and monasteries, representing all sects. Most of the students are refugees from Tibet. The Institute has produced 15 Khenpos and now graduates 1-6 Khenpos each year. The Khenpo degree encompasses a complete theoretical education in Buddhism and generally requires a nine year program of studies. Some of the Institute's graduates have returned to Tibet where they are now teaching. Western dharma students are now beginning to engage in studies at the Institute. The Institute includes facilities for closed meditation retreats which are also available to Western practitioners.

From 18th September to 7th October 1999 His Holiness Sakya Trizin and his entourage visited Dzongsar Institute in Bir to formally consecrate the Institute. As Glenn Fawcett reports from India, the ceremonies were a great success, but not without their challenging moments. Rinpoche, in true Western style, instructed to have preparations for the consecration under way months before the event.

This is distinguished from the Tibetan style of improvising on the day. Rinpoche used this difference in styles to instruct his Khenpos who, after nine years of philosophy, seemed "distanced", perhaps even "practically challenged" to use a politically correct euphemism. Rinpoche quickly introduced taking notes - to those who never have - and even though Rinpoche sometimes upbraided them with great gusto, in the end only one of four used a notebook. Westerners, of course, had a lot to learn by dealing with the chaos principle, which is how most things work in the Tibetan Buddhist framework, especially in India.

Distance from the resort 2 Kms