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Gaden was originally  founded in Tibet by Tsongkhapa (1357 - 1419), the great preacher, saint and  indigenous Tibetan Buddhist scholar. In the year 1409, Tsongkhapa established  Gaden Monastery and consequently the Gelugpa School or the yellow hat (as said  by Chinese) section of the Tibetan Buddhism arised. 


Prophesies of occurrence of Tsongkhapa was done by both Buddha Shakyamuni and Guru Padmasambhava. During the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, Tsongkhapa was a young Lichavi boy, who offered a crystal rosary to Buddha and in return received a conch shell from the Buddha. Buddha then told to his attendent Ananda "in distant future this boy would be born in north and establish great monastery named Gaden". Tsongkhapa is well known emanation of Manjushri (embodiment of the wisdom of all Buddhas), Avalokiteshvara (embodiment of compassion of all Buddhas) and Vajrapani (embodiment of power of all Buddhas). The conch shell was later unearthed from the location of Gaden monastery. But it was given to the founder of Drepung monastery as an auspicious gift by Tsongkhapa.


Gaden Monastery is one of the three most renowned monasteries of Tibet. It was magnificently built on a large mountain, calm, peaceful and highly suitable place for spiritual development. The monastery is located at approximately 50 kilometers east of the city of Lhasa the capital of Tibet. There are two colleges in Gaden  monastery the Shartse and Jangtse. Gaden was known to have a population of more than 3,300 monks during early years of 1900. Later in 1950's the population of  the monastery grew up to 5,000. Gaden quickly became well-known for its moral discipline, academic & spiritual values. Monks poured in from every part of Tibet, Mongolia, China, Japan and Northern India. Though monks came from all ages, the youngest monks started at age seven. Regardless of special focus on specific studies, all monks engaged in rigorous study programs of the monastery for many years. In addition to vast  philosophical study, there were trainings in different vocations; religious music, arts, sculpture, and administrative work etc.


In both colleges Shartse and Jangtse, Buddhist Sutra and Tantra are taught and practiced in a combined program. That contrasts with many other Gelug monasteries, where study of Sutra and Tantra are kept separately. Thus a monk learn in Gaden means knowledgeable in both field of Sutra and Tantra.



In 1950's the People's Liberation Army of China invaded and occupied Tibet. In 1959 His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was forced to escape to India for safety of himself and Tibetan people. India, with deep kindness, offered Tibetans safe place to live and keep their culture and religion intact. Over hundred thousand Tibetans followed His Holiness the Dalai Lama into exile and are now living in India, Nepal and  Bhutan.


During the period of transition, education for the children became priority of the Exiled Tibetan Government and schools were quickly established. Many elder Tibetans perceived, in majority of these new schools, curriculum was strongly influenced by Indian style of education thus comprehensive Tibetan education was unintentionally ignored. This problem was compounded by the fact that the Cultural Revolution was puposely destroying all centers of Tibetan culture and education inside Tibet.


These conditions led some senior monks originated from Gaden to pool their efforts together. Under wise guidance of His Holiness Dalai Lama, with support from the Indian Government and modest contributions from fellow Tibetans, they re-establish  Gaden Monastery in South India, solely to revive Tibetan education, culture and  pure Buddhist teachings. 




Beginning of Gaden Monastery in India was very difficult due to the dramatic climate differences from Tibet and severe heat. In spite of all the hardships, in 1970 Gaden Shartse was formed by 85 refugee monks near the remote village of Mundgod, in the state of Karnataka, South India.


The first members of Gaden Shartse settled in the refugee camps of Mundgod, a night's drive from the City of Bangalore. Initially tents were provided through donations and the monks put together a bamboo thatch structure to serve as common hall. In that humble structure they prayed, studied, debated, ate and slept. Many monks died of sickness and exhaustion. With trial and error, they learned to adjust to the new environment and were able to make modest living by cultivating the land provided to them. 


Over the time of four decades, population of the Shartse increased to more than 1200 monks, including resident scholar, writers, administrators and students from different parts of the world; Tibet, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Taiwan, Europe and U.S.A. Gradually, educational programs began to demonstrate sustained growth and success. Admission, instruction and accommodations were provided free of cost.  Preference was always given to children who were either orphans or from very poor families.

However, being located at refugee community in a developing nation and with constantly growing number of students, we are still struggling to provide good basic facilities, healthcare and other essential necessities to our students and teachers.






Day starts at 6:00am when all the monks meet together at the assembly hall for the morning prayers and pujas. Monks take their breakfast at 6:30am. Then monks attend their daily classes until 11:00am and they take a lunch break for few hours. In the afternoon the junior students spend their time in the school, while senior students attend private teachings given by the assigned teachers. Dinner is served at 5:00pm. The daily debate session begins around 6.30pm and lasts until 10:30 pm, except Monday which is weekly holiday in the monastery. Most of the graduated elder monks spend most of their time in teaching students, doing spiritual practices, social and spiritual works to help public, doing administration or research in various fields of Buddhist teachings.








1. To preserve, diffuse and propagate the teachings of Gautama the Buddha all over the world.


 2. Highly qualified buddhist monks teachers to spread real message of Buddha.


 3. To enhance brotherhood amid different religious traditions of world through love, care and kindness.


 4. To retain the pure teachings of Tsongkhapa with special focus on tradition passed through generations of  scholars at Gaden Shartse.

 5.  To spread precious teachings of great Tsongkhapa all over the world to benefit all sentient beings.




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