Ngagyur Nyingma College (Five
Sciences University) is an institute of higher Buddhist studies. Advanced
Buddhist studies is deemed necessary for the preservation of the precious
living lineage and spread of the vast and profound Buddha Dharma for the
benefit of all sentient beings. All relative and ultimate happiness of
sentient beings results through the understanding of the interdependency of
cause and effect, and from the cultivation of virtuous and abandonment of
non-virtuous actions. top
Ngagyur Nyingma College is Founded
The profound teachings of the Buddha say that ultimate happiness is achieved through the unsurpassable Enlightenment. Realizing the necessity of advanced Buddhist studies, plans were made for building a Shedra in Mindrolling. The foundation stone for the Ngagyur Nyingma College was laid on the 26th of April, 1988 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It was started functioning in 1991 when H.H. the Dalai Lama formally inaugurated it on 28th March of the same year as a part of Mindrolling. This institute is one of the largest Buddhist Institutes in India. top
Needs, Study, and Practice of Buddha's Teachings
Monks of Ngagyur Nyingma College study and practice the teachings of Buddha in accordance with the living lineage of Omniscient Rongzom Pandita, Omniscient Longchenpa, the Vidyadhara Rigzin Terdak Lingpa, Lochen Dharmashri and Jamgom Mipham Rinpoche. With the increase in the number of students in the Institute, plans for the further expansion are to be realized. Construction on a new wing is recently started due to the help of the Venerable Khandro Rinpoche and several other generous donors. The Ngagyur Nyingma College is presided over by His Eminence Khenchen Rinpoche with a team of fully trained and experienced Khenpos (abbots).
The learned Khenpos are also invited from other Buddhist institutes for advanced and special courses. His Holiness Mindrolling Trichen also confers highest teachings and empowerment to senior students. Ngagyur Nyingma College offers a nine-year course of studies, which includes the vinaya (Buddhist discipline), philosophy, logic, psychology, debate, Tibetan literature, Buddhist history and tantras. It has four main levels: top
Nine Year Curriculum
- Vinaya (discipline)
- Abhidharma (metaphysics)
- Sutra (discourses)
The nine year curriculum covers all the three vehicles of Tibetan Buddhism: Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana. Besides these, the monks at the Institute participate in all the major Drubchens held in the main monastery, Ngedon Gatsal Ling. Upon the successful passing of the entrance examination, monks can join the 'Shedra'. All students are required to be ordained with the vows of novice monk.
The term begins on the first day of the fourth lunar-month and ends on the last week of the eleventh lunar-month. Intensive study schedule is followed during the term. Annual examinations are held at the end of each term. Monks are provided with certificates on the successful completion of each annual examination. In order to standardize the courses, the preparation of questions for the annual examinations and the checking of the answer-papers are done by the celebrated abbots from other renowned Buddhist Institutes in India and Nepal.
After completing the nine years and all levels, monks can take up three years of voluntary teachings, management or research work at the Institute. Following that only outstanding monks are awarded with the title of Khenpo.
Course of Studies and Certificates
- The courses are divided into two categories, core and supplementary subjects. In order to pass an examination, students have to obtain atleast 40% marks in core and 33% in supplementary subjects. The passing results are graded into three divisions. Marks obtained above 60% are categorized as first division, above 50% as second, and the rest as third division.
- The first three years' course primarily focuses on Vinaya, the monastic discipline. There are Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced Levels on Vinaya teachings. After the successful completion of these three levels, monks are awarded with a certificate of 'Rabjampa on Vinaya'
- The next two years' course mainly focuses on Abhidharma, Metaphysics. There are Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced Levels on Abhidharma. After the successful completion of these three levels, monks are awarded with a certificate of 'Rabjampa on Abhidharma'.
- The next two years' course mainly focuses on Sutra, Discourses. There are Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced Levels on Sutras. After the successful completion of these three levels, monks are awarded with a certificate of 'Rabjampa on Sutras'.
- The next two years' course mainly focuses on Mantrayana. There are Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced Levels on Mantrayana. After the successful completion of these three levels, monks are awarded with a certificate of 'Rabjampa on Sutra and Mantra'.
- After completing all the nine levels successfully, one can take up three years of research and specialization on any one of the subjects mentioned above. One with outstanding knowledge and accomplishment is then awarded with the title of Khenpo (abbot).
- After the completing all these, one should then wholeheartedly devote himself to practicing and spreading the Buddha's teachings under the guidance of the head of the Mindrolling monastery and Ngagyur Nyingma College. top
In 2005, Mindrolling Monastery of India held its first enthronement of Khenpos in its history.
First Certified Khenpos from Ngagyur Nyingma College
Khenpo Pema Gyaltsen
Registration for New Admission
In order to maintain a high standard of studies of the Sutras and Tantras through hearing, contemplating and meditating, and upholding the traditions of the great spiritual masters of the past, a code of conduct has been deemed necessary for all students. This is as follows:
- If an applicant is non-ordained, he has to receive ordination with keen aspiration from a vinaya Master.
- He should have his own 'Choego', upper robes and 'Dingwa' (mat meant for monk). He should have a copy of 'Rigzin Thug Thig' and 'Yumka Dechen Gyalmo' texts in order to perform monthly practice on the 10th and 25th day of each lunar month.
- He must respect the rules and regulations of the Institute, and follow them earnestly.
- For monks seeking admission from within Mindrolling monastery, a certificate of having completed all the eight levels of the Primary and Secondary Buddhist School is required.
- Monks from other monasteries should bear a letter of introduction from the head of their concerned monastery.
- Other applicants, apart from the two categories listed above, may also be considered if they have adequate knowledge and are keen to pursue the Dharma.
- Only eligible applicant can take a written entrance examination, and the Examination Board will decide the final selection.
- Once admitted, one should diligently perform any duties assigned by the head of the monastery and of the Institute, teachers and Gekko (disciplinarian). top
The Code of Conduct
- Monk should always be dressed in the robes of an ordained monk in accordance with the Vinaya Sutra.
- Any activity not conforming to the vows of a novice monk such as; singing and dancing, are prohibited.
- One is not allowed to go out on leave without a valid reason except once a month.
- If needed, one can do so after getting permission from the proper authorities.
- On breaking the rule, one will be disciplined accordingly and must make a commitment to not repeat the same.
- Formation of any kinds of committee or group is not allowed, unless consented by the head of the monastery.
- Two-hour outing is allowed on every Sunday.
- Once in a month on Saturday, a half-day outing is allowed.
- All rules mentioned above are subject to change by the management at any time. top
To be Eligible for the Annual Examination
- The minimum of 80% attendance in a year is required.
- Should memorize 10 pages of root text within a specific period of time.
- Shouldn't take any books in the examination hall.
- Shouldn't indulge in cheating during exam and if caught, one is not allowed to take exam for that year.
- On misbehaving with anyone of the management committee, one is barred from the examination of that year.
- Failing in two consecutive examinations will deprive one from continuing his studies in the institute. top
The Examination Board Committee
- The Examination Board Committee (EBC) will notify the schedule of examination on a month prior to the examination.
- It has to request the concerned Institutes and Scholars to set up question papers.
- The committee should maintain question papers confidentially.
- In the event leakage during printing, it must acquire new question papers.
- If any member of the committee is found guilty of leaking papers, he will be expelled from the board for a period of five years.
- It has to announce the results of the examination 15 days before the starting of a new session.
- The Board has to declare the date of announcement of examination results prior to the vacation.top
- Every year there is one and a half-month vacation after the annual examination with the specific date decided by the Institute's administration in consultation with the head of the monastery.
- One should come back from vacation within the specified reporting time.
- Reporting time is on 30th of the 3rd lunar-month, and until 14th of 4th Lunar-month, all are required to do self-study. The regular classes start from 15th of the same month.
- The announcement of the results will be on 10th of 4th lunar-month.
- Failing to return on the day of announcing the results will suspend one from the Institute for a period of one year. top
Prior to being awarded with a certificate, monks are required to make the commitment to devote their whole life to practicing and propagating the Buddha Dharma in general, and of the view, philosophy and accomplishment of the Ngagyur Nyingma tradition in particular. They must also uphold the values of Ngagyur Nyingma College at all time. top
Instructor’s Qualifications and Teaching Schedule
In Ngagyur Nyingma College, the instructor should be a qualified abbot, scholar, or someone with equivalent qualifications. They must be able to teach the treatises listed in the curriculum. To be a kyor-pon, a student is required to have ranked in the first division in each of the four years of study, or an equivalent qualification. They all must be ordained.
All subjects are classified as core or elective. Abbots and scholars teach the core subjects in the morning. In the afternoon, some of the senior students are chosen to recapitulate what has been taught in the morning. These students are called kyor-pon. The elective courses are scheduled in the evenings. Please Click Here for the detailed class schedule.
The Activity of Teaching, Debating and Writing
Generally, the students, ranked by their standards, make regular speeches throughout the academic year. The topics are settled according to the lists prepared by the concerned authority. On certain special occasions like the last day of the summer retreat and the anniversaries of Terdag Lingpa and Mipham Rinpoche, a group of students make oral presentations on topics related to sutra and tantras. These speeches are made according to the three traditions of scholastic assertion: refuting the other's stance, establishing one's view, and responding to criticism of one's statement. On every Friday during the evening session of the summer retreat, each student explains the complex meaning of a particular treatise as an oral examination.
College Shrine Hall
The students, either in one large group or as smaller groups as determined by the college's authorities, debate regularly from 3 pm to dusk during the academic year. On the last day of summer retreat and the respective anniversaries of Terdag Lingpa and Mipham Rinpoche, debates are organized in which the debating groups support their arguments with quotes from the main text, using logical reasoning and dialectical skills.
There is also competition on poetry readings, essays and other creative writings on the last day of summer retreat and the anniversaries of Terdag LiJ.1gpa and Mipham Rinpoche. The themes of the compositions are related to the appreciation of Buddhism'_through the works of famous Buddhist scholars and saints from both India and Tibet, such as Buddha Shakyamuni, the Six Ornaments and Two Supreme Ones, the Omniscient Longchenpa and Rongzom Mahapandita, Terdag Lingpa and his close disciples, Mipham Rinpoche, and so on.
The editorial committee has so far published two major books. The first is a bilingual, booklet titled The Words of Arhat; the Disciplines of Ngagyur Nyingma College and its History, and the second is the book, The Celebration of the Complete Victory of War Revealing the Life Stories of the Supreme Abbot Lineage of Mindrolling Monastery. The committee, will continue to publish a book annually.
Special scholarly debates and discussions are held every Saturday during the summer retreat. The participants either make speeches, debate or read their compositions at that time. In short, the students of the college faithfully follow the path of the ancient scholars and saints by actively participating in teaching, debate and writing. top
Under the leadership of His Holiness Mindrolling Trichen Rinpoche, His Eminence Khenchen Rinpoche and the most Venerable Khochhen Rinpoche, Ngyagyur Nyingma College produced its first class of graduates in the year 2000, nearly a decade after its inauguration 1991. Since then, students have graduated from the institute each year.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited Mlndrolling Monastery on October 25, 2002, and awarded the degree of 'The Holder of Tripitakas' to the students who had completed seven years of advanced studies on sutras, as well as the"Vidyadhara' degree to those who passed two years of intensive study on Tantras. While congratulating the graduates, the Dalai Lama emphasized the importance of applying their knowledge to look within rather than outside of one's mind, and practice what they have learned diligently for inner spiritual development.
The graduated scholars now serve as teachers in the monastery's elementary school, as well, as in the Tibetan schools, Dharma centers and monasteries throughout India,. Bhutan, Nepal and the world. top
Requirements for the Title of Khenpo (Abbot)
List of Special Holidays
- The prospective abbot must complete nine years of higher Buddhist studies and be able to proficiently teach both the core and elective courses.
- He must accumulate three years of teaching experience and be a well-disciplined, fully ordained monk.
- He must have received a number of empowerments, oral transmission and teachings, and must diligently practice these regularly.
- Gentle and well-mannered, he should have a great sense of commitment to the Buddha Dharma in general and the Ngagyur Nyingma doctrine in particular.
- He should have a sense of belonging to the college, and must be responsible for and concerned about it affairs.
- If a prospective abbot has fulfilled the above qualifications, a final decision is made by the authorities of the monastery. top
- Birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
- Birthday of His Holiness Minling Trichen Rinpoche
- The day on which His Holiness the Dalai Lama was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize
- The day before the start of summer retreat
- Five-day break after the end of summer retreat
- Nganpa dgu 'zoms festival
- Indian Independence Day
- The Anniversary of Ngagyur Nyingma College
- The Anniversary of Ogmin Ogyen Mindrolling Monastery in India
- The day after the end of annual examinations. top