Segyu Gaden Phodrang Monastery

Segyu Monastery in Tibet

Segyu (or Segyued) Monastery is one of the most important historical Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the Gelug tradition. It was founded in the middle of the 15th century by Jetsun Sherab Sengge, a direct and principle disciple of Lama Tsongkapa, founder of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. It is in Segyu Monastery that the foundation of Lama Tsongkapa’s tantric teachings such as Guhyasamaja, Heruka and Yamantaka was developed and preserved according to tradition until today.

Jetsun Sherab Sengge

Jetsun Sherab Sengge was known for his perfect moral conduct from childhood. After becoming a monk at a young age, he studied under various great masters, the foremost of which was Lama Tsongkapa himself. Known for his mental and spiritual brilliance, this eminent master was a great tantric scholar and one of Lama Tsongkapa’s eight closest disciples.

In the year 1419, when Lama Tsongkapa was near the end of his life, Tsongkapa asked a mass gathering of his spiritual sons who among them would be able to preserve and promote his tantric teachings. Such a huge task and responsibility was overwhelming even for the many great masters present except for one. Lama Tsongkapa asked the question again for the second time but still none of his spiritual sons were able to respond with confidence. Then Jetsun Sherab Sengge stood up from the crowd, made three prostrations to Lama Tsongkapa and said that he would preserve and promote Lama Tsongkapa’s teachings in accordance with Lama Tsongkapa’s wishes. It was at this moment that Jetsun Sherab Sengge was blessed and empowered by Lama Tsongkapa as the holder of the unsurpassed Secret Tantra.

Lama Tsongkapa presented Jetsun Sherab Sengge auspicious gifts of a skull cup filled with inner offering, a holy golden statue of Guhyasamaja, the four-in-one commentary of Guhyasamaja – two tantric commentaries and texts of the Generation and the Completion Stages, a Dharmaraja mask, ritual dance costumes, and a club. Jetsun Sherab Sengge was then instructed to institute the study and teaching of Tantra in the Tsang province of Tibet, where Lama Tsongkapa predicted Jetsun Sherab Sengge would have many bright disciples.

Dulnaga Palden Zangpo

With Lama Tsongkapa’s blessings and a firm determination to spread the teachings of Tantra, Jetsun Sherab Sengge and his spiritual son, Dulnagpa Palden Zangpo, left for the Tsang province, where he gave great commentaries and instructions to many eminent scholars at Se Gaden Phodrang. It was here that the Tantric monastery known as the Upper Tantric College, also known as Segyu, was founded by Jetsun Sherab Sengge.

Since then, Segyu Monastery’s fame spread far and wide, and it became the centre of Tantric practice and education. Jetsun Sherab Sengge and his disciples had successfully established the foundation for Vajrayana practices such as Guhyasamaja, Heruka, and Yamantaka in accordance with Lama Tsongkapa’s tradition.

Layout of the original Segyu Monastery

Present day Segyu Monastery in Tibet

Previous Segyu Monastery in Tibet that was completely destroyed in 1959

During the events of 1959, only 40 monks from the original Segyu monastery successfully fled Tibet to India. During this time, many of the Segyu monks faced great hardship and financial difficulties. Some of the monks were sent to do construction work while others performed religious rites for the local populace.

In 1979, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang visited Kalimpong twice, during which he advised the monks that it was extremely important to ordain new monks and preserve the special tradition of Segyu monastery as it was, and still is, the source of the Tantric lineage in the Gelug tradition. With Trijang Rinpoche’s advice in mind, the Segyu monks determined to find a way to rebuild the destroyed Segyu Monastery despite the challenges they would face.

In 1986, some sponsors came forward to offer a small piece of land near the famous Boudha Stupa in Nepal, on which a simple prayer hall and shelter was constructed. The new Segyu monastery was thus established in Kathmandu, where the Segyu monastic community continues the practice that was entrusted to them by Lama Tsongkapa to this day.

The construction of Segyu Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1988

H.E. Jampa Tsundu oversaw the construction of the Gompa

At present, Segyu Monastery in Nepal has not changed since it was built in 1986. Although it is one of the most important Tantric monasteries in the Gelug tradition, Segyu monastery faces tremendous financial difficulties, which are obstacles to the monastery’s growth and expansion. The monastery’s main prayer hall can only seat a maximum of 50 monks at any given time, and the constant lack of funding means insufficient housing for the monks.

It is obvious that the ban on Dorje Shugden is the major contributing factor to the monastery’s hardship. Ever since the ban was enforced in 1997, the Segyu monks in Kathmandu decided to break off from the rest of the Gelugpa community, even separating themselves from Segyu Monastery’s branch in Kalimpong, which abides by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama’s dictates. Segyu monastery in Nepal thus became an independent monastery despite knowing the many challenges they would face both politically and socially.

In spite of this separation, the Segyu monks continue to uphold the promise that the monastery’s founder, Jetsun Sherab Sengge made to Lama Tsongkapa so many centuries ago. Their guru devotion and integrity in continuing the lineage that was once practiced in Segyu Monastery Tibet has lost them the support of the Dalai Lama and Central Tibetan Administration. The violence instigated by the ban on Dorje Shugden has also stuck terror in many of their lay supporters, causing them to stop their sponsorship in fear of being associated with Dorje Shugden practitioners. It is not difficult to conclude that Segyu monastery in Nepal is falling apart due to the discrimination caused by the Dorje Shugden ban, while Segyu monastery in Kalimpong continues to prosper.

Segyu Monastery’s grand prayer hall in Kalimpong, India. This branch of Segyu Monastery is under the patronage of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, having broken with tradition for political expedience.

Segyu Monastery’s small main prayer hall in Kathmandu, Nepal. This branch of Segyu Monastery upholds the tradition of Jetsun Sherab Sengge

Segyu Monastery’s prayer hall in Kathmandu is too small for their ceremonies

Oftentimes, visitors and even sangha are forced to sit outside the prayer hall due to a severe lack of space

The poor condition of Segyu monastery’s prayer hall

Up till today, Segyu Monastery continues their practices, upholds the three principal pratimoksha precepts, and keeps their unique lineage alive and authentic. The traditional rituals of Segyu Monastery are still performed during the summer retreats in the same manner as the original Segyu Monastery in Tibet. Every year during the rains retreat, the monks of Segyu Monastery also perform a variety of higher tantric retreats such as Yamantaka and Guhyasamaja, and a special Dorje Shugden Kangsol offering puja.

Segyu Monastery’s yearly rains retreat includes a special Dorje Shugden Kangsol on August 27th

Tormas in Segyu monastery with Dorje Shugden’s image

Offering Balingta (Torma) to the great protector Dorje Shugden

Outwardly, Segyu Monastery today no longer has the grandeur it once had in Tibet, but the monks’ determination has ensured the continuity and growth of Lama Tsongkapa’s pure lineage and tantric teachings for future generations. It is for this very reason that Segyu Monastery is well known as a stronghold for Dorje Shugden practitioners and many acclaimed Dorje Shugden masters have visited Segyu Monastery in Nepal such as Kyabje Daknak Dorje Chang.

Dorje Shugden thangka in Segyu Monastery

Today, Segyu Monastery continues to be independent of the monastery in Kalimpong and propitiates our great Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. The great Abbot of Segyu Monastery in Nepal, H.E. Jampa Tsundu is raising funds to build a new prayer hall for the monks, replacing their current prayer hall. Financial assistance to build this new prayer hall is urgently needed to create a more conducive environment for the monks to teach and learn Lama Tsongkapa’s secret whispered lineage, ensuring the tradition that was once practiced in Tibet continues to live on in Segyu Monastery in Nepal.

Plans for Segyu Monastery’s new prayer hall in Nepal

We at dorjeshugden.com rejoice at the determination and integrity of the monks in Segyu monastery for their continuous effort in transmitting the pure lineage of Lama Tsongkapa’s teachings. May their new prayer hall be funded quickly for the continuation of the BuddhaDharma.


To contribute and support the monks of Segyu Monastery, Nepal, please contact the following persons:

Sonam Tsering Kansakar (Secretary)
Mobile no.: +977 9801021941
Email: sonam@rantacarpets.com

Palden Gurung (Vice Secretary)
Mobile no.: +977 9808062366
Email: sedgyued@gmail.com

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7 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Thank you Admin,

    For opening our eyes to this gem in our lineage upholding its holy practices unbroken from HH Lama Tsongkhapa.
    How inspiring, I will certainly support in any way I can and humbly request others also help. How wonderful that we have an opportunity to create merit for dharma to grow in these difficult times.
    I am thankful for the ban because I know more people will come to know who we are? what we stand for and importantly that we have human rights like everyone else.

    Thank you Again.
    DS.COM

  2. Please also link the website of this important monastery in your article.
    http://segyugadenphodrang.org/

  3. Thank you for helping to create awareness for this important project!!!

  4. This is yet another example of how Dorje Shugden monasteries and monks are being discriminated for practicing their lineage teachings. The history is so clear that the founder of this monastery Jetsun Sherab Sengge is a direct disciple of Lama Tsongkapa and that he holds the vows and teachings for this lineage’s Tantra practice. Yet, his students and followers in this generation is being discriminated and is suffering from insufficient resources etc. Really sad to see such unethical practice and worse of all in the world of Buddhism !

  5. Admin,

    I would just like to add further to my comment above…that the monks of Segyu Monastery (actually any monastery within our DS lineage) are very deserving of our help from those who hold DS as their heart practice, we receive so much in return and this is a beautiful way to repay that kindness in return.

    What better way to create merit for many lifetimes…why because you are helping to support a Monastery where erudite scholars, potential Buddha’s to be will pray, study, meditate and disseminate the holy Dharma unbroken from HH Lama Tsongkhapa to us now.

    Does your offering have to be big money not necessarily any amount no matter how small is suitable as an offering, how many stories do we read of lay persons offering what seems like items of no / or small value to the Buddha creating the causes for many lifetimes down the track.

    Do you need to offer ONLY monetary value certainly NOT based on your own circumstances if you can please help, contact Lama Palden either directly or via Facebook in my little experience he is genuine and helpful with my Q&As.

    Other ideas an Offering can be as little or big as your imagination / creativity can determine for your own situation? Making a comment is an offering, education and awareness about Segyu is an offering.

    Support for the education programme is an offering, anything to connect you with Segyu Monastery we let ourselves win and not the ban in my humble opinion.

    My personal preference is to use PayPal as a method to support causes and people I like after checking out of course. This is great because I live a world-away on the other side of the planet.

    It only takes seconds to donate an amount via Segyu Monastery Pay Pal details below.

    segyueprayerhallproject@gmail.com

    Thank you again Admin, & Lama Palden / Segyu Monastery.

    For creating this opportunity for us to create Merit

    Much Love

    LC

  6. Admin,

    I would just like to add further to my comment above…that the monks of Segyu Monastery (actually any monastery within our DS lineage) are very deserving of our help from those who hold DS as their heart practice, we receive so much in return and this is a beautiful way to repay that kindness in return.

    What better way to create merit for many lifetimes…why because you are helping to support a Monastery where eruldite scholars, potential Buddha’s to be will pray, study, meditate and disseminate the holy Dharma unbroken from HH Lama Tsongkhapa to us now.

    Does your offering have to be big money not necessarily any amount no matter how small is suitable as an offering, how many stories do we read of lay persons offering what seems like items of no / or small value to the Buddha creating the causes for many lifetimes down the track.

    Do you need to offer ONLY monetary value certainly NOT based on your own circumstances if you can please help, contact Lama Palden either directly or via Facebook in my little experience he is genuine and helpful with my Q&As.

    Other ideas an Offering can be as little or big as your imagination / creativity can determine for your own situation? Making a comment is an offering, education and awareness about Segyu is an offering.

    Support for the education programme is an offering, anything to connect you with Segyu Monastery we let ourselves win and not the ban in my humble opinion.

    My personal preference is to use PayPal as a method to support causes and people I like after checking out of course. This is great because I live a world-away on the other side of the planet.

    It only takes seconds to donate an amount via Segyu Monastery Pay Pal details below.

    segyueprayerhallproject@gmail.com

    Thank you again Admin, & Lama Palden / Segyu Monastery.

    For creating this opportunity for us to create Merit

    Much Love

    LC

  7. Due to the ban, Shar Gaden and Serpom Monasteries are no longer permitted to enroll for tantra studies and either Gyuto or Gyume. The idea behind this prayer hall project is to create the space needed for Segyu Monastery to host post-geshe tantra studies for these monks of our lineage who are not able to receive a tantra education at the other monasteries mentioned above.
    Meetings have taken place and the plan is already moving forward.
    Dorje Shugden was consulted via the oracle concerning the new prayer hall project. The abbot of Segyu realized that this was a huge project and wanted advice if the size of the project should be scaled back or not. Dorje Shugden told the abbot that the current plan was a good one and not to scale back. Dorje Shugden fully supports this plan and Segyu Monastery and knowing that, I have no doubt this monastery will once again be restored to its former glory as the principal holder of the tantra lineages of our precious lineage.

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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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