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The History of Dzogchen Shira Sing Buddhist University

Old University
Dzogchen Shira Sing Buddhist University after reconstruction in 1988

Since its founding in 1848 by Fourth Dzogchen Rinpoche and Gyalse Shenpen Thaye, Shira Sing Buddhist University has been famous for the quality of its professors and graduate students. Highly renowned masters such as Mipham Rinpoche and Patrul Rinpoche taught at Shira Sing, and many key texts which form the core curriculum of Buddhist universities around Tibet and India were written in Dzogchen. In the college’s one hundred and fifty year history many thousands of lamas have been trained. A number of eminent graduates of Shira Sing went on to found their own Buddhist universities within the various traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Some famous ones include the Buddhist Universities of Dzongsar, Gatok and Palyul.

Shirasingha

Great Dzogchen Master Shira Singha

The college was named after the great Dzogchen master and scholar Shira Singha, one of the principle lineage holders of the early Dzogchen tradition. The university founders saw the master sitting on a rock. He vanished quickly, but it was clear that this was an indication of where the college should be built. Shira Sing was founded on the site where he sat. The rock bears an imprint where he sat upon it, and this can still be seen in the outer south-west corner of the university quadrangle.

Shirasingha stone print

The rock which bears an imprint of Shira Singha

Reconstruction of Shira Sing Buddhist University began in 1988 by Kyabje Pema Kalsang Rinpoche, using his own private resources. He laboured alongside the monks as they rebuilt the accommodation quadrangle and assembly hall. Since then most of the important wood and earth constructions have been replaced with more permanent concrete structures.

Read the biography of Great Khenpo Yonten Gonpo

Read the biography of Dzogchen Master Dokden Lama

 

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