In Sanskrit the name means Maitreya Monastery, another name, Ganden Sambling Monastery in Tibetan means Buddha Maitreya's Heaven monastery.
In 629 Nepal and Tibet had a good relationship. At that time the Tibetan Dharma King Srongtsen Gompo, who was the reincarnation of Avalokiteshvara, was married to Birikuti the daughter of the Nepalese king Amshu Varma. So Tibet and Nepal were friendly, having cultural exchanges and experiencing each other's customs. The people of these two countries were free to visit one another. From this historical past of good relations, the 20th. century saw many educated people from Nepal visiting Tibet to see high spiritual Tulkus and Lamas, and gradually Nepali people started studying and practicing Buddha Dharma in Drepung, Sera and Ganden which are the biggest monasteries of the Gelugpa sect in Tibet.
In 1949 Gelung Zinamashula, a Nepali, with six Nepali Gelungs returned from Tibet after study and practice. At the time Nepal was having big problems with weather, there was no rain and the land was dried up, so the Nepalese King invited the six Gelungs for puja and prayer. When they arrived they did Puja and prayer and soon it started raining, crops grew well and the people lived in peace and prosperity. So the monks got permission from the Nepalese government to establish one small monastery for the abbot Gelung Zinamashula. At the time a successful business man called Maitreya Ratna was doing good business between Tibet and Nepal, and he sponsored them to found this first small monastery in Nepal for the Gelupa sect. Soon after in 1959 China invaded Tibet and caused all kinds of troubles, thus many Tibetan became in exile from their country. The high spiritual Tibetan lama Serkhung Dorje Chang with 30 monks from Drepung, Ganden and Sera came to Karma Raja Maha Vihar and stayed there. There came increasing numbers of lamas and monks to stay at the small monastery and consequently in 1964 Serkhung Dorje Chang with the 30 monks moved to Maitreya Vihar or Ganden Sambling Monastery and started prayer, puja and meditation there. It was this year that the Dalai lama's two tutors were giving teachings for all sentient beings for liberation and enlightenment everywhere, which helped this beginning to be successful and auspicious. In 1978 Serkhung Dorje Chang passed away. Afterwards, a close friend of Serkhung Dorje Chang who had helped him to study Buddhist philosophy asked Lubum Rinpoche to look after Maitri Vihar and so Lubum Rinpoche started taking care of this monastery. Gradually the monks and lamas improved their study and grew in number to about 60. In 1980 they established a school for studying philosophy and modern languages for all newcomers. As the monastery aged it started leaking water causing major problems and so from 1983 they started collected donations for rebuilding, and finally reconstructed the monastery in 1986. The monastery is located in the north side of Swyambhu stupa.
The present reincarnation of Tulku Serkhung Dorje Chang is studying in Ganden in South India. The present reincarnation of Tulku Lubum Rinpoche is a 6 year old boy living with his family in Kathmandu. This year 2005, if the needed sponsorship of $10,000 to build a private residence and $10,000 to enter Gaden Monastery in Mundgod and be enthroned as a tulku is supported. Lubum Tulku will move and begin his studies at Ganden Monastery in Karnantaka State, Mundgod India.
The time table of special puja and Dharma Practice in this monastery as follows. Every month on 10th and 25th. we do 4 deities puja. Every year April is the auspicious month we do Vajra Hevajra puja with sand mandala and Ramni. This is the lower tantric sect. According to the Tibetan date 29th. of December we do puja and offer the offering cake for wishing to prevent from obstacles what came in the period of one year. Our breakfast time is from 5am. to 7am. When we have special sponsor and we do puja as asked it takes the time according to the type of puja they request us to do--some puja takes 3 hours, some puja takes all day. If there is no special request for puja we do puja every morning until 7 am. and then after lunch until 3pm. The rest of the time the high lamas do puja in their room and other lamas go to class for study Buddhist philosophy, English, Nepali and Tibetan. In this monastery here are Tamang, Sherpa, Newar and Tibetan monks, and others can stay at this monastery if they obey the rules and regulations of the monastery. If some lamas come from another monastery they have to pay rs. 20 per day for a month and if they are found to be good, they can then stay at the monastery permanently. This rule was made in 1997.
The system of the monastery work:
The source of support for food for the lamas at this monastery, buying fuel, gas and electricity and water are offerings From H. H. Buddha Maitreya and his Church. Prior to this there were only small offerings from Nepalese, Tibetans and foreigners, the tourists that came to Swyambhu. The monastery has no business to generate funding for the monastery. After this support started they were able to accept new monks into the Monastery! Since 1965 to 1990 we controlled the expense of food, saved money and built a Kitchen. Now we can feed good meals to the monks and lamas here with the help of the monthly food, gas and electricity money from The Church of Shambhala. There is one khenpo and two high khenpos at the monastery to lead all the lamas of the monastery. One discipline master, two accountants and administrators, two store keepers, one monk who makes offering cakes (torma), two language teachers and two cooks are working at the monastery. And their duties are as follows: Taking care of monastery's property, upkeep of the monastery buildings, arranging food, fuel and other things for the monastery, cook good food and serve everyone . They also welcome and greet sponsors and guests of the monastery. H.H. Buddha Maitreya visits the monastery yearly, bringing Western students on pilgrimage to the Sacred site of Swyambhu and showing them the need for help in the daily lives of the monks of Maitri Vihar Monastery, and reminding them how fortunate Westerners are in comparison and shows them first hand what benefits their financial assistance brings.
In 1999 H. H. sponsored the setting up of the Clinic at Maitri Vihar and was regularly paying for food for the monastery. In 2003 H. H. Buddha Maitreya and a group of Western Students visited and it was at that time that He began paying for the salary of a teacher at the Monastery. At present we pay a total of $1,600 per month. In April of 2005, we pay $280/week for food and $180 for electricity. H. H. Buddha Maitreya has sponsored the Monastery in increasing amounts, the total of which came to $20,000 in 2004.
Help with the sponsorships, is greatly needed, please contact us to make a donation!