The Rebuilding of Rato Dratsang
Rato Dratsang, the 14th century Tibetan monastery devoted to the study of Buddhist logic, is being reestablished in a Tibetan refugee settlement in the south Indian state of Karnataka. $500,000.00 are needed to accomplish this.
Rato Dratsang is a Tibetan Government monastery, with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at its head.
"It is by means of wise scrutiny that one establishes truth from which one cannot be swayed." Tsong Khapa
Each year the foremost scholar-monks from throughout Tibet spent a month as guests of Rato, developing their mastery of the logic by which spiritual practice may evolve from faith to the true inner development that leads to the ultimate state of enlightenment: Buddhahood.
Today in exile the new young monks of Rato continue to memorize and debate the works of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist logicians of the past in order to prepare themselves to meditate on reality and thereby counter the ignorance that inhibits enlightenment.
In 1983 Rato Dratsang was given a quarter acre of land upon which the few surviving Rato monks constructed a two story building with five monks’ rooms and a temple, as well as accommodations for each of Rato’s two incarnate lamas able to escape the Chinese communist invasion of Tibet.
Since then, monks have escaped Tibet in order to pursue a traditional Buddhist monastic vocation and training in Buddhist philosophy and practice. Others have come from northern India, Bhutan, Nepal, Taiwan, and the United States, growing Rato's community of monks to over 120.
The curriculum of study and practice that had developed in Tibet over six centuries is being maintained by these monks in India, however living conditions are difficult. Monks are now cramped four to a room,
and Rato's temple is temporarily under an asbestos roof.
The kitchen is also an open sided area with asbestos sheet roofing.
Rato has bought land from local farmers, and as funds have been raised new buildings have been constructed.
A 24 room structure was completed 8 years ago, and a few years later the foundation was laid for a new temple, though there hasn't been the money to complete it.
Last year $350,000 was raised to construct the temple; work on its design had begun 15 years ago.
With the assurance of funds, the monks of Rato expanded plans to include construction of a complete monastic complex to house over 150 monks, comprising 66 new monks’ rooms, an administration block, and a kitchen/dining building.
Rato Dratsang's architects, Pradeep Sachdeva and Associates, set to work on the design of the many new structures. The senior monks then decided where to place the buildings, and construction of the temple, administration building, and kitchen/dining building began in May, with the monks’ rooms following one month later, just as the monsoon began.
Today the main part of the temple is finished, it’s flooring is being laid. The requisite rooms for His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the second floor are presently being constructed.
The first two floors of the three stories of monks rooms are up. Finishing work is beginning, as is brickwork on the third floor.
Work on the kitchen/dining room structure is now finishing.
The administration building, which includes the Abbot’s apartment, is up; finishing work will begin soon.
Please consider making as large a donation as possible. A gift of $8,000 would allow you to fund a monk's room in your name. Rooms can be sponsored individually or as a group. We hope we can rely on your support at this critical time.
As we are a nonprofit organization the entirety of your donation will be used for the construction of our new monastery.
Your tax-deductible contribution may be made out to the Rato Dratsang Foundation. As the construction continues we will update our website with photographs of our progress.
How You Can Help
There are four ways to support the foundation:
- Make a secure online donation
- Give one dollar a day for one year
- Wire money (Electronic Funds Transfer) to Rato Dratsang Foundation; BIC# or Swift Code CITIUS33; Citibank Routing No. 021000089 Account No. 35470424 - For wire transfers, we humbly request you to send us an e-mail with contact information so we can acknowledge your donation.
- Send a check by mail to:
Rato Dratsang Foundation
P.O. Box 1873
New York, NY 10156
Rato Dratsang Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization under IRS regulations. Your contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.