One of the two great monasteries of the Gelug-pa lineage in Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, Gyuto Tantric University was established in 1475 by Jetsun Kunga Dhondup. Gyuto became one of only two major colleges of advanced tantric studies and philosophy. In Tibet’s capital city, Lhasa, the Gyuto Monastery’s seat was the central cathedral until 1959 when their famous Ramoche temple was desecrated and the population of nine hundred monks decimated.
In 1959, only about sixty Gyuto monks escaped to India with the Dalai Lama, bringing a few precious texts and their wealth of memorized scholarship with them. Many lost their lives on the journey into exile. Throughout the past forty plus years, while enduring serious privation as refugees, they have preserved the ancient traditions and carefully rebuilt their monastic community to today’s number of over four hundred monks in India. The older monks strive to pass on the teachings to the young refugee monks still pouring out of occupied Tibet into Nepal and India.
The Gyuto monks still practice the major tantric texts of Guhyasamaja, Chakrasambara, the Yamantaka Tantras, and many others. Several elder monks from the original Ramoche cathedral have played an important part in the establishment of the Gyuto wheel of Dharma Monastery and are much loved teachers and spiritual friends to the community.
Gyuto Wheel of Dharma Monastery is part of a larger cultural preservation effort whereby a new generation of young Gyuto monks continue the unbroken Dharma lineage and offer the promise that the sacred teachings will not be lost.