Dzongsar Institute

Chauntra Moving Into The 21st Century

In March 2006, with the guidance and encouragement of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Institute in Chauntra, India, formed a management committee that is responsible for the administration and development of the Institute.

This is a significant step toward modern management of the Institute, which follows the century-old heritage of the original Dzongsar Institute in Tibet, established by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö. Khenpo Kunga Wangchuk, who has been the principal for almost 20 years, has been in one-year retreat since January 2006. Under the present principal, Khenpo Jamyang Lösel, the new management committee consists of ten senior khenpos whose responsibilities are broadly divided into four primary areas: student union and environment; financial control and future development; receptions and national and international relations; and education and academic development. The Institute also appointed a new secretary, Tashi Wandue, a former Dzongsar Institute student who recently graduated from Varanasi University, to assist Khenpo and the management committee, and to act as liaison with sponsors like Khyentse Foundation. Several ground-breaking events took place at the Institute during the spring.

Teachers for the world. During the inauguration of the Institute in November 2004, shortly after the Institute moved to its new campus in Chauntra, Khyentse Rinpoche clearly articulated his wish for the Institute ‘to produce foremost Buddhist scholars and teachers who will make a difference in the world.” The role of Khyentse Foundation is to assist the Institute to reach its goal by enhancing its curriculum to include languages, computers, and short courses on world economy, history, mathematics, and other important subjects. Khyentse Foundation is also committed to establishing the Institute as a world-class center of Buddhist studies that will produce the next generation of Buddhist teachers for the world.

Globalization. Rinpoche invited Sin-ming Shaw, an economist, banker, and investment adviser, to give a series of lectures on globalization to the khenpos and senior students at the Institute, with Rinpoche himself serving as translator. Sin-ming introduced the students to the impact of technology, cell phones, computers, and the Internet, which have contributed to the rapid globalization of the modern world. He also taught about money: investments, currencies, and the interdependence of the global economy. And he spoke of the importance of having endowments and management systems for any institution that looks beyond the present. He used the examples of Harvard and Columbia Universities in the United States. Rinpoche also invited Ivy Ang, a business consultant who specializes in strategic planning, and who has been instrumental in assisting Khyentse Foundation in its planning since the beginning, to introduce basic planning, leadership, and management concepts to the khenpos.
English Program. The Institute has a 13-year study program. Students concentrate on traditional Buddhist philosophy for the first 7 years. English was introduced to the curriculum this year, and a program on Hindi will soon be offered to senior students. Read about Pema Maya’s experience teaching the first class of this new generation of monastic students.

Health and Lifestyle. Also during the spring, the Institute opened the on-campus medical clinic to meet the health care and hygiene needs of over 500 students and teachers. Computer skills courses have also been introduced, and Nikhil Kashyap, a computer engineer, will visit the Institute this summer to assess their computer needs and to train a number of monks in computer operations and maintenance.