Kathmandu's Benchen Phuntsok Dargyeling Monastery
The Benchen Phuntsok Dargyeling Monastery is a relatively small and new monastery that serves a very important role in the local community. It was established in the late 70s not long after the 16th Karmapa determined that it would be wise to establish a place in Swayambunath where the kalachakra practice could be performed. The Karmapa voiced his opinions to Tenga Rinpoche and not long afterwards Tenga Rinpoche had to travel to Darjeeling and Kathmandu to seek medical treatment for his health problems.
After about a year of staying in Nepal, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche suggested to Tenga Rinpoche that he felt a monastery in the area could serve not only for Tenga Rinpoche’s needs but also for those of H.E. Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche. This opened the way for Tenga Rinpoche to purchase a small piece of land with a house with the purpose of establishing a monastery in Kathmandu – which he did in 1977. He stayed here while his health improved and spent the time making plans for the development of the monastery. By 1980, when he started to enlarge the building, he already had a few young monks at his side. The official founding date of the Benchen Monastery is 16 January 1987 as this is when the first stone of the monastery was laid. The land on which the monastery was built was blessed many times by many noted people and the spreading of monastery teachings was further aided by the oral transmission of the Tengyur which took place that same year at the command of the Dalai Lama. Thus, when the building was finally completed in the early 90s, the entire Kangyur was transmitted by Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche to several thousand people who were present for the official opening of the monastery.
Today the Benchen Phuntsok Dargyeling Monastery is considered to be one of the main Kaggyü monasteries in Nepal. It is still operated under the guidance of Tenga Rinpoche and Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche and it not only serves to provide for the spiritual needs of the people, by the physical ones too. The monastery operates a Free Clinic which provides medical and dental treatment to thousands of out-patients every year. It also serves to educate the monks who are at the monastery and there are currently 177 monks living at the monastery. Why not discover more about this charming spiritual place by visiting it yourself? You may be surprised by what you find.