After 8 weeks of Hindi instruction, I have finally departed Mussoorie and am now continuing my research for another 3 weeks throughout northern India and Nepal. I arrived in Dehradun yesterday and spent the afternoon with my friend, Karma Tsering, who is a Buddhist monk here at the Sakya Center.
Created in 1964, the Sakya Center is basically a monastic institute and its course of study is based on the traditional monastic educational system followed by monasteries in Tibet. The Center here in Dehradun provides education K-12 and afer completing their studies, monks and nuns can attend either Sakya College, also in Dehradun, or the Sakya Institute for further education in Higher Buddhist Studies.
I spent yesterday touring the monks’ living areas and was also given a very special tour of the nunnery, their temple, and was also able to see the Songsten Library which functions as a non-political institution geared to the collection and preservation of books, as well as research and publication on various subjects related to Tibet and the Himalayas. The institution is named after the 33rd Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo (617-650 A.D.).
After breakfast this morning, Karma Tsering and I will be heading to Clement Town, a large Tibetan settlement area located about one and half hours from Dehradun. Later tonight, I am catching an overnight train to Amritasar, Punjab and will spend two days relaxing in the 105 degree weather!