To be able to give our children the chance to learn, as you can read in “Two Mustangi stories”, we were sending them to the Sakya school in India.

In 2001 His Holiness the 41th Sakya Trinzin*, came in Lower Mustang**.

During his visit he called all the leaders of the Sakyapa monasteries for a meeting. This happened two times, in two different monasteries.

His Holiness said that it was important to create facilities to keep the children in the monasteries. Near the families.

At that time only 2 monasteries had the internal school. “Those who don’t have the school and the community hall have to make it” His Holiness said.

Since he knew that monasteries were very poor, he kindly donated 3 laks*** of rupies to each monastery and also a Buddha Shakyamuni statue. He did so to help and good auspicious reasons.

His Holiness said that he admired the senior monks and rejoiced for their work, who had hold the Holy Dharma alive in Mustang through very difficult times.

He thanked all of them for that.

He also advised all the monks to work hard, and be united, and practice intensely the Dharma.

When His Holiness left, our monks had many meetings on how to manage to create the school. They wanted it strongly, but they where very poor! The monastery treasure consisted in 2800 rupees (around 23 american dollars), and the 3 laks donated by His Holiness.

They were all young, so they thought: we need to build it immediately. If we don’t start now, that we are all young and full of strength, we will never be able to have it!

That time our late Khenpo was a teacher in Sakya college. A friend of him, in Tibet, had just asked him to go to Tibet to give teachings. Right at that time we requested him if he could do something for helping us, our village, our people, our monastery.

We would be very grateful.

He accepted.

But he thought that a strong team was needed to work with him.

His concern was about having people who were able to support the difficult task. It was a needless worry because all the monks where there, to work with him.

They were young and fully enthusiastic with the idea. The Sakya Monlam**** was the perfect time to gather all our monks also the ones that were studying in India at Sakya college. During the 10 days of the Monlam they meet several times. They discussed, had meals together, and so on to decide what to do.

That time they decided to appoint our late Khenpo to be our Khenpo. Being him the right person to take care of the monastery and to bring us through that task.

He was also a very kind person.

He was nearly 40, maybe 37. The monks where younger than him, except out two Lobpons.

Khenpo-la asked Lama Yonten Sangpo to stay to be his right arm in the task he had taken on himself.

But the whole monastery was seriously and enthusiastically doing whatever needed to earn the money to have the school.

One of the special things of our monastery was that we were, and still are, really united. Could be because we where all very young, could be because of a great leadership. But that was it. All together we did it! And now already a few generations of students have enjoyed the result of our work!

*Sakya Trinzin = the chief of the Sakyapa School of tibetan Buddhism

**Lower Mustang = Mustang is divided in Upper and Lower Mustang. Our monastery is in Upper Mustang, near the Chinese border.

***lak = In India and Nepal is the way they use to indicate one hundred thousand (100,000). 3 laks rupies are more or less (the exchange rate is of course volatile) 2529.43 US $

**** The Sakya Monlam = the Sakyapa celebration of the Monlam Chenmo. The great prayer gathering that has been part of Tibetan New Year celebrations for more than 600 years. During a Monlam people pray with the motivation to liberate all sentient beings from suffering and to achieve enlightenment.

H.H. the 41th Sakya Trinzin