Tugs Bayasgalant Nunnery

In Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, there is a temple that faithfully remains loyal to the practice of Dorje Shugden. Established in 1990, the Tugs Bayasgalant Nunnery was built with great perseverance through a ten-year of struggle, and is now maintained and operated by a group of Mongolian women and lay nuns who have strong faith and devotion to Dorje Shugden. The gonpa (main prayer hall) of the nunnery features a beautiful shrine dedicated to Tara.

Tugs Bayasgalant, which means Heaven of Joy, is one of the few nunneries in Ulaanbaatar. Led by its current Abbess, a lay Buddhist nun named Gantamur, the temple focuses on Buddhist study and practice. In fact, in 2008 there were 21 nuns at Tugs Bayasgalant nunnery, half of which had graduated with a Bachelors degree in Buddhist studies from Zanabazar Buddhist University. This was the first time Mongolian women had been granted such an honor.

Tugs Bayasgalant has been blessed with visits from erudite Dorje Shugden lamas including H.H. Trijang Rinpoche, H.E. Zasep Rinpoche, H.E. Zava Damdin Rinpoche and many others, who fearlessly dedicate their lives to spreading the lineage and practice of Dorje Shugden worldwide.

May all at Tugs Bayasgalant nunnery continuously be blessed with the wisdom of Dorje Shugden and continue to propagate the Gelugpa lineage and practice of Dorje Shugden to many Mongolian women in Ulaanbaatar.

The main gompa at Tugs Bayasgalant

Dorje Shugden altar in Tugs Bayasgalant

A close-up of the Dorje Shugden altar

A beautiful shrine dedicated to Tara

The nuns of Tugs Bayasgalant

Abbess Gantamur, the head of the nunnery

An extremely old and precious thangka of Lama Losang Thubwang Dorje Chang that survived the cultural revolution, passed down through many generations.

A statue of Guru Deva Rinpoche in Tugs Bayasgalant

His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche visited Tugs Bayasgalant and expounded the Dharma to the lay nuns

His Eminence Zava Damdin Rinpoche, an erudite Mongolian Lama of the Gelug tradition has also visited Tugs Bayasgalant

The current incarnation of Geshe Tendar at Tugs Bayasgalant

Zasep Rinpoche enthroned in the main gonpa of Tugs Bayasgalant Nunnery in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Zasep Rinpoche giving audience to the Abbess and nuns of Tugs Bayasgalant. Zasep Rinpoche is the Spiritual Director of Gaden for the West

Zasep Rinpoche, the Abbess Gantamur (center) and some lay nuns

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  1. Wow, how very wonderful that there is a nunnery for Dorje Shugden devotees:). I am really happy that Trijang Rinpcoche (current emanation) has visited this place to bless it and the women there. Mongolia sounds like a really awesome place for Dorje Shugden practice, as it seems to flourish there.

  2. Rejoicing news for Tugs Bayasgalant Nunnery and the nuns that are part of that establishment. It is inspiring to see such loyalty to Dorje Shugden and Dorje Shugden Lamas. Perhaps it is the Mongolian spirit to be fiercely loyal towards their lamas and tradition.

    Seeing the Dorje Shugden statues, especially the statue of Guru Deva brought much warmth to me, Guru Deva Rinpoche who did so much for the Tibetan people and monasteries in India. Guru Deva Rinpoche was threatened in India when the ban was in full swing, so much ingratitude can occur because of the illogical ban.

  3. Wherever CTA (Tibetan exiled Govt) does not have a reach, the dharma grows, spreads and has harmony. CTA must shut down as it’s on it’s last leg of making trouble for Buddhists all around the world.

  4. In NKT we also have equal rights for nuns. It is wonderful to see women with equal opportunities for the study and practice of Dharma as it was meant to be.

    I sincerely rejoice there are committed female practitioners gathered into one place for the practice of Dorje Shugden’s lineage.

  5. This is the first time I heard of lay nun, I wonder what the vows they hold as compare to the ordained nun. I am so happy to see that these nuns are receiving equal education and opportunity when it comes to Dharma. They are so fortunate to have high Lamas visiting and giving teachings. I hope there will be more nunnery like this establish all around the world. Mongolia will be another place on my ‘to visit places’. :) Rejoice!

  6. Wonderful post. I rarely heard about nunneries and now i get the chance to read about this wonderful nunneries. Although their numbers are relatively small compare to the monastery, it’s rejoicing to see women share the equal rights to study and practice Dharma studies like men. Erudite masters like Trijang Rinpoche even visited this place. How holy and blessed.

    Can anyone explain how does this lay nuns work? lay means not ordained? Why lay nuns?

  7. Rejoice to see another few nunneries established and practicing Dorje Shudgen. Moreover, this nunnery is led by this group of dedicated Mongolian women and lay nuns. Despite all the obstacles faced during their earlier times, they still kept going on and have faith in what they believe in. It is also very nice to hear that great masters such as HH Trijang Rinpoche also came to support and visit this nunnery.They definitely show the full dedication in spreading Dorje Shudgen all over the world. May Dorje Shudgen expand to even more people and flourish. Rejoice in this great news!

  8. This is a really nice article to read about the devotion and dedication of these beautiful lay nuns who work hard to bring the Buddha Darma and practice of Dorje Shugden to other women in Mongolia. It is wonderful to know that they are able to pursue further studies at the Zanabazar Buddhist University and be given equal opportunity.

    It is truly a great blessing to be able to host esteemed lamas such as His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche, Zasep Rinpoche, Zava Damdin Rinpoche at the nunnery. They must be doing something right, to gain the support of these highly attained lamas, otherwise they would not visit the nunnery. So to see these lamas in the nunnery is so meaningful because these holy lay nuns are keeping their samaya well and propagating the holy doctrine of Buddha to many.

  9. This is also my first time hearing of lay nuns. I am curious why are they called lay nuns and whether they hold full ordination nun vows.

    It is simply wonderful and heartwarming to know the existence of this nunnery in Mongolia still upholding and practising the special protector. And also to see high lamas stay connected and supporting the nunnery.

  10. How wonderful that Tugs Bayasgalant Nunnery was established 10 years ago and is run by lay people. They have gone through the pressure of continuing the Dorje Shugden practice and have shown results. This is because of their faith. Also the lay nuns are highly educated. Their focus is to gain knowledge which is utmost important in this day and age. Knowledge is power. Their strive to spread the Dharma is supported by great high lamas including Trijang Rinpoche. It is really an honour given that women are not looked at as equal. May their hard work continue to make the dharma flourish.

  11. Lay nuns, does it mean these women live like a nun but do not hold any ordination vows? Do they live in the nunneries with the ordained nuns or they go home after the monastic activities like prayers? I understand nuns are subordinate to the monks in terms of institutional power, but their spiritual capabilities were recognized. I read from a book the lineage of nuns’ ordination exists from the time of the Buddha and the first nun was His aunt, who raised him after His mother’s death.

  12. Tugs Bayasgalant Nunnery was built with great perseverance through a ten-year struggle. I can imagine it must be really difficult to set up and fund a nunnery. Not just any nunnery but one that practices Dorje Shugden which is” THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL” Dharma protector of all times ! But this is very inspiring indeed.
    Also, in these degenerate times, to have such dedicated women who aspire to renunciate, take on vows and be a nun, is rare to come by. Sincerely rejoice for all of them. May Dorje Shugden give them blessings to be Enlightened !

  13. Very bless to look at this beautiful nunnery monastery , in this age of degenerating time young women who give up so much for Dhrama, most of this lay nuns are so highly educated very pround of these group of nuns and lay people who practice holy dharma what more important it actually set a standard for us to learn and to be inspire to become like them. Rejoice for their hard work ! Keep it up !

  14. It is interesting to note that the Abbess of Tugs Bayasgalant Nunnery is a lay nun named Gantamur. I learnt something new today. That one can be a nun and and yet not be ordained. But then, may be I’ve got it wrong.

    But, whatever it is, the foundation for the nunnery has started off well. Many great master have endorsed the founding of the center. Judging by the photos, the nunnery has garnered support for their work.

    Om Benza Wiki Bittana Soha, may all auspiciousness be upon Tugs Bayasgalant Nunnery, may their work to benefit sentient beings flourish.

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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