“The Buddha Dharma is the ultimate source of happiness and refuge for all beings. We should preserve it through practice and so preserve the precious lineage of living wisdom teachings. In order to do this, the monastic setting is indispensable. Such a sanctuary radiates positive energy and promotes peace, harmony, happiness and liberty throughout the entire universe.” H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche
Monk sponsorship is a very powerful way to express our gratitude to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who are continuously working for our benefit. Supporting the monk Sangha in these times sends tremendous blessings to a very weary world. To support the monastic community is to plant seeds of enlightenment for countless beings.
The purpose of the monk sponsorship program is to provide for a monk’s basic necessities during his life at the monastery. The sponsorship monies pay for the costs of food, housing, clothing, study materials, health care and other basic necessities for the monks in the monasteries of H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche. Through sponsorship, a monk is able to pursue his practice, and to be dedicated to serving others without the distraction of having to pay for food, clothing, and shelter.
The Importance of Monastic Life
Monks are of vital importance to the progress of Buddhism. The monks are the major source and labor behind the preservation of the Tibetan language, culture, dance rituals, prayers and practices, written language (Sanskrit), and holy traditions and transmissions brought from India by the enlightened teacher Padmasambhava.
What Sponsorship Shows His Eminence
The support of the monastery and the monks shows several positive and auspicious signs to H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, Tertön; that the students: Support the work of the monks: to live a life dedicated to Dharma, to serve other beings, and to achieve accomplishment on the spiritual path.
- Support monastic traditions and way of life, including the monks’ act of giving up all material possessions and taking chastity vows; these vows are acts of courage, discipline and compassion that humble and inspire us to dedicate as much of our lives to the support, practice, and advancement of the Dharma as possible.
- Support the preservation and advancement of the history and traditions of the ancient practices and rituals.
- Understand how supporting the monks, supports the unfoldment, development and improvement of our own practice.
Benefits of Sponsorship to the Sponsor
Your support of a monk is like dropping a stone in calm water. The ripple effect is exponential. Through your generosity a monk is able to enter and stay in the monastery. When you support a monk you not only create good karma for yourself but you now have support from a monk and a direct link with the community and the monastery. Think about it this way, you will have a part of you in the monastery.
Gifts to the Monk
Giving small gifts is acceptable. Please do not give gifts of VCR’s, computers, expensive clothing, large amounts of cash (unless there is an emergency), complex electronic devices, cellular phones, etc. Any gift that might distract them from their studies and duties is inappropriate. Be careful with the complexity of a gift. It is okay to give small amounts of cash to the monk for spending money, but it is best not to make it a habit. Receiving money is an uncomfortable act for them; the monastery takes care of all their personal needs.
It is completely appropriate to help pay for medical expenses for the Monk whom you sponsor. Most of the routine medical expenses are covered by funds from the monastery for the socialized medicine system in India and Nepal. But on special occasions if there is an emergency and they need an expensive operation or treatment, it is completely appropriate to help defer the medical costs. There is no obligation for a monk sponsor to do this, but some sponsors enjoy getting involved and can afford the cost.
Currently there are approximately 200 monks total between the monastery in Orissa and the monastery in Nepal, and about half of those monks still need sponsorship. We would like to encourage you to sponsor a monk. If you would like to make an online donation, this can be done via the Ripa Ladrang website in the United States (donations are tax deductable – in the US): Monk Sponsorship Project .
Thank you in advance for your generosity, your help is deeply appreciated!