History of the Monks
A Brief History of Drepung Loseling Monastery
Drepung Monastery was established near Lhasa, Tibet, in 1416 by Chojey Tashi Palden. It had four departments, of which Loseling, "The Hermitage of the Radiant Mind," was the largest, housing more than three quarters of Drepung's 10 to 15 thousand monks. Drepung Loseling was especially close to the Dalai Lama incarnations; the Second Dalai Lama made his residence here in 1494, and subsequent incarnations maintained this link.
Drepung Loseling Monks in front of the main shrine, India
After the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibet in 1959 and the forced closure and destruction of its 6,500 monasteries, some 250 monks from Loseling managed to escape the holocaust and rebuild their institution in Karnataka State, South India. The traditional training program was thus preserved. Over the years, many more young spiritual aspirants have fled Chinese-occupied Tibet and sought entrance into the monastery, thus helping to preserve their traditional culture. The number of monks presently in the re-established Drepung Loseling has increased to more than 2,500.
Drepung Loseling Monastery-in-exile in India
In 1991, as a result of The Mystical Arts of Tibet tours, the monks were invited to establish a seat in North America. Thus Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc. was born in Atlanta, GA. A non-profit organization dedicated to the study and preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of wisdom and compassion and a center for the cultivation of both heart and intellect; Drepung Loseling provides a sanctuary for nurturing inner peace, community understanding, and global healing. In 1998, Drepung Loseling and its North American seat established academic affiliation with Emory University with the objective of promoting transcultural understanding and scholarly interchange. This historic affiliation between two major institutions of learning was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on May 12, 1998.
Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc. – Atlanta, GA