About the Khangtsen
As in the great monasteries of central Tibet, each hostel is linked to a province and has to accommodate the monks that hail from this area.
These hostels or houses function independently and have to find their own donators/supporters to provide the monks with the living necessities, which includes medical care, and schooling material, as well as housing.
60 % of our monks fall in the 15-30 age group and many come from underprivilaged areas/families. They are therefore in need of considerable financial support.
The Ngari Khangtsen is in fact one of the poorer Khangtsens of the Sera Jey Monastic University.
Either which way, the Khangtsen helps us feel at ease, since we are surrounded by monks who speak with our dialect and are accustomed to our background. Since so many of us are very young, this is very important. It creates a feeling of home away from home.
Where are we from and where do we live now?
We have over 150 resident monks in our Khangtsen. They are Tibetans from western Tibet and ethnic Tibetans from the Himalayan region, from for instance Nepal or Ladakh.
The Thö Ngari region (a former kingdom) comprises several regions of old Tibet, today in Tibet, India and Nepal: Gertse in Tod, Dzong-Ga, the entire region of Ladakh and Zansgar, Khunu, Lahaul, Spiti, Khatsar and Sherpa.
This is a region of high altitude, a poor population, border disputes and a rich, wonderous history. Many of the ancient Buddhist masters had to traverse this mountainous region on the way to or from Tibet. They usually stayed a while, thereby imparting their knowledge to the residents. For instance saints like Milarepa lived in the Ngari area, Atisha taught here for many years here.
We live in Bylakuppe, South India, where the Sera Monastery Monastery was recreated in a Tibetan refugee camp in 1963.
It started with only 300 monks, who were at first living under a tent and then in little houses, that were kindly provided by the Indian authorities.
As problems in the home-land grew bigger, more and more monks went into exile and the number of monks has gradually increased until reaching 6000 a few years ago!
Our biggest cities fairly close-by are Bangalore and Mysore. The state of Karnataka is lush and beautiful – and we have a thriving Tibetan community in Bylakuppe.