Young monks in class at Pawo Monastery
Pawo Monastery (Nehnang Phuntsok Choeling Monastery) was established 1986, near our school by the 10th Pawo Rinpoche and during his time, more than 20 monks lived there. Pawo Monastery was established mainly to preserve the teachings of the Buddha but five years afterwards, Pawo Rinpoche passed away. After that, the condition of his monastery here in Nepal became worse and worse.
At first, two of Pawo Rinpoche’s lamas, Lama Tsultrim and Lama Choephel took the initiative to look after the monastery until the 11th Pawo Rinpoche was found. Somehow they managed to keep Pawa Gompa going. Unfortunately they both passed away and after 2008, with no one to guide and to raise funds the condition of the monks and the monastery deteriorated.
The present Pawo Rinpoche (the 11th) was recognized by 17th Karmapa and enthroned at his monastery in Tibet but he was taken into custody when he was quite young (Pawo Rinpoche would be 16 years old now). This causes hardship at the monastery here in Nepal.
At the moment Mr.Gyurmey Wangdak, Lama Sonam, Lama Palden Dorje are in charge of the monastery and they are handling everything that goes inside the monastery. Nowadays Pawo Monastery has 13 monks altogether.
Nine of the monks are little boys. They are getting a chance to study because they have 6 teachers. They get lessons in different fields. The little monks are so busy always involved in things like prayers, cleaning, learning dharma texts, and of course, their classes.
The little monks chant prayers in their shrine hall just like big nuns and monks in the other monasteries do. The Prayer Leader is Tsultrim Dawa and the big drums are played by Kunsang Choegyal and Kunsang Tsultim. The horns, kanglings and gyalings are done by Karma Tsewang and Kunsang Tenzin. Dunkchens are done by Kunsang Namdul and Kunsang Dorje. Kunsang Choying is Choeyong (who offers water and tormas (ritual cakes) in the morning and throws out in the evening according to their prayer chanting) and he is in charge of making tormas (cake offerings) by himself. In the morning these monks are chanting prayer called Tara and Sang. In the evening they are chanting the Mahakala Prayer. These small monks do everything by themselves. It’s really astonishing!
Young monks hard at work
All the monks in the monastery also take the initiative to protect the environment from environmental degradation. They started to build a plant nursery where forestation is being done. They’ve also started a garbage management system and they are composting. In the process of saving the environment they also use solar power energy to pump the water and generate electricity.
Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche used to be a disciple of the 10th Pawo Rinpoche, so he has given his attention to this monastery that is struggling. It’s for this reason that we students at Thrangu Rinpoche’s school are so happy we can help Pawo Monastery. We seniors volunteered to help the little monks in their studies. So four of us are running classes there. We are teaching different subjects like English, Mathematics, Nepali and Science, 45 minutes for each lesson. We go every day excepts Saturday and our own days off. Other SMD students are helping there saving and protecting the environment programs. Beside this our Principal Khenpo Chonyi Rangdol and Director Shirley Blair are both of them helping the monastery directly and indirectly.
Young monks studying
Monastery has two main buildings and it has three beautiful dogs. It is very peaceful and we think it is a great Monastery. It is one of the oldest monasteries in the Boudha area. It also looks old and little faded but it still looks wonderful and it’s nice to visit and get the blessings. Sometimes many Buddhist old women and men instead of going kora (circumnabulating stupas..a form of prayer) at Boudha Stupa just go to Pawo Monastery to do kora) because it is old and they believe it has many powerful blessings.
Tsering Dekyi B348