Introducing Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery
Some 50 years ago, His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpè Dorje, uttered the following prophesy to one of his principal gurus, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Dharma master of Lachab Gompa in Kham: "If you go to Nepal, it will further the Buddhist doctrine and benefit sentient beings."
In accordance with Karmapa's wish, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche left his monastery in eastern Tibet and crossed over the soaring snow-capped Himalayas into neighboring Nepal where he settled in its capital city, Kathmandu. In 1963, His Holiness placed Tulku Urgyen in charge of Nagi Gompa, a secluded nunnery nested high on the northern slopes of Kathmandu Valley. After settling there, Tulku Urgyen quickly expanded the hermitage to include a main temple and simple dwellings for about 80 nuns.
In 1972, Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche and Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche joined their father, Tulku Urgyen, and their mother, Künsang Dechen, in Kathmandu. Since childhood, the brothers had been studying under the close guidance of the Karmapa at Rumtek, his monastery in Sikkim. Based on the Karmapa's further command, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and his family began construction of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery on 2½ acres of farmland just north of the ancient legendary Jarung Khashor Stupa in the village of Boudha Nath.
View photo gallery of monastery construction
Upon completion of the monastery in 1976, His Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah performed the official inauguration — the first time a Nepalese monarch had ever performed such a ceremony for a Buddhist monastery. Immediately thereafter, Karmapa appointed 24-year old Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche abbot of the new monastery. Karmapa then carried out the elaborate consecration ceremonies for the monastery. Several thousand monks, nuns, and lay people, both local and from faraway lands, offered ceremonial white scarves symbolizing their yearning to create an auspicious link. Later that day, the local Nepalese celebrated the grand opening with a medley of colorful folk dances and songs.
View photo gallery of inauguration
During the following weeks, Karmapa remained at the new monastery and, seated on the highest throne in its spacious main temple, offered to the assembled monks, nuns and general public the complete transmission of the Kagyu Ngak-dzö cycle of teachings and practices. Since that time, Tulku Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche has served as abbot of the monastery while Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche has served as the monastery’s dorje lobpön, or Vajra Master.
In keeping with its promising beginnings, Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling swiftly blossomed in all directions. Additional floors, extra rooms, an annex and more have been added while its original gathering of resident monks has grown from 30 to more than 250. In recent years, several more acres of land have been acquired to further enlarge the overall complex.
As the decades passed, the ceremonial thrones of its serene shrine-hall have been graced by the presence of a host of high Lamas of all four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Each Losar (New Year) has ushered in a flourish of auspicious activity. Under the capable, ever-present, ever-watchful direction of the distinguished family lineage of high Lamas, its unique mandala has evolved into a haven for Buddhist clergy seeking to share spiritual insights and an oasis for wayfarers searching for the heart of wisdom amid the high Himalayas.