Jonang Takten Phuntsok Chosling Cultural Society
Registered under the Societies Registration Act. XXI-1860. No. S-37/2001
Jonanpa was founded at Jonang, the name of a reteat location in Tibet - in today’s district of Lhaze in the Shingaze area, near the Tibetan capital Lhasa. The Chinese largely destroyed the original Jo-Mo-Nang Monastery during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). The monastery at Sanjauli, Shimla was originally founded in 1963 by Lama Jinpa, head of the Gelug School, and named Sangje Choling. On June 7th 1990 - the date of his birthday - the His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama visited Sangje Choling, and the aging Lama Jinpa gave the monastery to the Dalai Lama as a birthday present! After overseeing the monastery for 7 years, the Dalai Lama in turn presented the monastery to His Holiness the 9th Kalka Jetsun Dhampa, the head of the Jonanpa. He is the 9th reincarnation of the Taranatha, and is therefore the leading principal of the Jonang sect and of Mongolian Buddhism. The monastery is offered to Jonang communities, both inside and outside Tibet. The monastery was re-named Jonang Ma Gon Takten Phuntsok Chosling Cultural Society (shortened to the Jonang Monastery) - and is the only monastery of the Jonangpa in India.
The Jonang Monastery is situated in Sanjauli, east of the hill city of Shimla in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is a 15 minute bus drive from the centre of Shimla, the old summer capital of the British Raj. The monastery sits precariously on a towering hillside alongside an important Hindu Temple dedicated to the Goddess Kali. It commands astonishing views deep into the Shimla Valley, and further afield to the snow-topped Kinnaur and the Western Himalayas.
There are over 120 monks in the Jonang Monastery, including monks from Mongolia, Tibet and various regions of India. The monastery is divided into educative and meditative parts. The larger educative part is made up of monks aged between 7-17 who study Tibetan language, Tibetan Buddhism and English language. The smaller meditative part is made up of an elite group of monks who undertake a difficult and rigorous three year course in Kalachakra - and are personally tutored by Ven. Chokyi Nangwa, Abbot of the monastery (the only expert in Kalachakra in India). The monastery is presided over by the premier Lama of Mongolia, His Holiness the 9th Kalka Jetsun Dhampa.
The monastery has a temple, a meditation house and a hostel. There is also a small library with a full collection of Kanjur, the whole body of Buddha’s teaching; and Tanijur, the writing of ancient Indian Buddhist scholars. These are both translated into Tibetan, as well as over 500 volumes of Tibetan scholars’ writing.