|The following article is from the Spring, 1994 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.|
Ghadong Monastery is one of the three oldest monasteries in Tibet established prior to the foundation in the fifteenth century of the three great monastic centres of Lhasa: Ganden, Sera and Drepung. It is traditionally the seat of the Ghadong Oracle which, along with the Nechung Oracle, were the most commonly consulted oracles in Tibet. It was during the time of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama that Ghadong became one of the oracles also officially consulted by the Dalai Lamas and by the Tibetan Government on important matters of state.
Ghadong Monastery traditionally follows the rituals of the Nyingma and Gelug schools of Tibetan Buddhism and is renowned for its particular ceremonies, costumes and ritual dance. The Ghadong oracle deity manifests by means of a medium, chosen centuries ago from an old family living near the monastery, whose line has continued to transmit from father to son up until the present time.
Ghadong Monastery suffered severely at the hands of the red guards during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Many of the buildings were totally destroyed and the main Gompa was stripped of its top two storeys, the remaining building being ransacked and robbed of its precious religious objects. Apart from the Oracle himself, no monks managed to escape to India.
We have had a strong relationship since 1980 with the reestablished Ghadong Monastery in India, and last year during a prolonged stay in Tibet, we visited the now dilapidated and run-down monastery on several occasions and saw for ourselves the urgent need for reconstruction and refurbishment of the main Gompa buildings and upgrading of the presently-existing poor and inadequate accommodation for the twenty monks in residence.
It is our sincere wish that Ghadong Monastery should be transformed into a restored, functioning monastery, able to meet the needs of its monks and to serve as a spiritual focus for the people in the area, as many other monasteries in Tibet are now doing due to the generosity of many people throughout the world.
If you would like more information or would like to help realise this goal, please write or send your donation to: Gelongma Tenzin Yeshe and Gelongma Tenzin Dao, P.O. Box 651, DICKSON, A.C.T., 2602, AUSTRALIA. Cheques payable to Tenzin Yeshe. Ghadong Gompa Fund. With grateful thanks for your kindness in contributing to the restoration of one more Tibetan Gompa.