May 3, 2006

Coorg: Day I - Bylakuppe - Namdroling Monastry

The Namdroling Monastry is almost an anachronism of sorts. There is a serenity and vibrance of a throbbing culture so deftly intermingled that it makes it almost unbelieveable.

Most of my impression is obviously colured by the interactions i had with the monks there, however i will like to keep this as unbiased as possible and put forth all that i perceived at the outset. The entrance to the Namdroling Monastry is an ornate gate with a massive dragon painted in from of it.

Upon entering another misfit to the place was a series of absolutely slick bikes that were parked, sleek and bright red with Ducati written across. But apparently it turned out to be a modified Pulsar really. I was frankly amazed.

Apart from that the place is literally manicured. Green lawns with splinklers and ducks wadddling about. But the one thing that takes away all the attention is the first structure which is the Tibetian depiction of how heaven is. Grand and infinitely colourful. Perhaps all the colours one can imagine is right here in front of you defiant of any misery or torment that might ever exist.

The main attraction of the monastry is however the 50 mts tall statues of Padmasambhava, Buddha and Amitayo (pic below). Much is known about Lord Buddha, Padmasambhava was the one who brought Buddhism to Tibet and Lord Amitayo is the one who showed the path of mediatation as a secret to a longer life.

Some more pics of the monastry below...

Gold plated statues of Lord Padmasambhava, Lord Buddha and Lord Amitayo

An ornate door

A medley of colours

One li'l monk


golliwog said...

attended a seminar yesterday by one of our phd students on forms of buddhist worship and changes in architecture. interesting that this place 'worships' buddha as a god, which is a later (cannot be more time specific) development of buddhism into a increasingly esoteric religion...
nice, nice!
next stop- bhutan. piku went to bhutan in march- he strongly recommends the place!

Ramesh Sivarajan said...

hey aditi, i have taken the same pics wen i visited coorg yaar. u will find that in moi ryze page. i loved moi 3 days trip 2 coorg too.
phood, people, climate, nature ...
i see that u have visited lots of places in coorg. now i can see where u r busy travelling ;) lol

Webmaster (Mary) said...

Would love to see any and all pics of Namdroling as we're rebuilding site. Thanks much!

Anonymous said...


"interesting that this place 'worships' buddha as a god"

Not so. Where do you get that impression? There is an immense difference between the contemplation, and generation of self nature as a mediatational Diety (Yidam), which is a support and tool for the development of an enlightened mind, and taking the erroneous position that god is an external entitiy. That is not to say that there are not, at the periphery of the Dharma, people who hold such a view.

In any any of the great traditions, you will find many stages of developement where the notion of divinity is interpreted differently. There are Sufi mystics in Islam. There are Christian Mystics in Christianity. There are Judaic Mystics in Judaism.

You'll find fundamentalist, literalist Christians, as well as deeply realized christian mystics (IE. Father Thomas Keating).

It is no different in Buddhism. I had the pleasure of listening to a Mongolian Gelug Lama that visited us at KPC, that lamented over the lack of understanding of the average Mongolian 'Buddhist' that came to them for blessings, as if they were external entitites which could grant such dispensations without an equivalent grace on their part. Such is the nature of human development.

However, to state that at Namdroling they worship an external God is completely erroneous.

I am a Tibetan Buddhist Pratitioner in the Palyul Lineage (HH Penor Rinpoche is the head of this Lineage and he resides most of the year at Namdroling) and I can categoricaly assure you that we do not hold such notions.