RAKKH PATRIKA

11 Jan 2021

BROUGHT TO YOU BY RAKKH RESORT HIMACHAL PRADESH

A Library Of Tibetean Learning
Near Our Resort In Dharamshala! 

In our previous posts, we’ve spoken about the spiritual aspect of this great land of Dharamshala. Right from prehistoric ages, there has been some form of a spiritual sojourn by those that called these hills their home. Be it the oldest royal dynasties of the region, or the Gaddis that lived among the villages, or in more recent times, the British with their stained glass churches and finally the Tibeteans with their vibrant monasteries. Dharamshala continues to be the realm of the spiritual.

Libraries have always been a place of serenity and learning for those that seek it. High up in the hills of Dharamshala, one of the most important libraries for Tibetean learning resides within the Tsuglagkhang Monastery. Known as the Library of Tibetean Works And Archives, the library serves as a destination to everyone who wants to follow the path of the Buddha and beyond.

The Library is just a short drive away from our resort in Dharamshala, making this the perfect escape to immerse yourself in some learning and lessons on wellbeing straight from the source. The Library Of Tibetean works is therefore a must visit when staying at our resort in Dharamshala.

monks in a monastery near our resort in dharamshala

With the moving of the Dalai Lama to Dharamshala, there was a need to protect and conserve the sacred artefacts whose contents need to be sown into the future generations to spread the message of Buddhism throughout the realm. The onslaught of Chinese invasions on Tibet meant that these documents were at great risk from being destroyed forever. Therefore, the Lama decided to install a library within his current residence, the Tsuglagkhang Monastery in Dharamsala. In June 1970, the foundation was laid for a learning center that would parallel the likes of ancient Tibetean institutes from the motherland, and thus the Library was born. Today, the Library is recognized by the Himachal Pradesh state government as a center of learning and is given the same academic credentials as any other institution in India.  



The Library currently is part of the Tsuglagkhang Monastery Complex, one of the earliest places of worship that the Dalai had commissioned on his arrival here. The complex was founded as the de facto place to be for all those who wish to find their spiritual roots. The library itself contains several reading rooms full of Tibetean literature, a meditation room where both students and visitors can seek guided meditation at no cost, a beautiful courtyard where students can relax and some more administrative rooms.



museum collection in a monastery near our resort in dharamshala


But what of the hidden treasures we were talking about? These are certainly present in the form of the National Museum and National Archives, a project led by the in-exile Tibetean Parliament. The museum contains a plethora of images, artefacts and texts from the early days of the Tibetean Buddhism movement. The Archives also contain artefacts of a similar nature along with ancient documents and doctrines teaching the Buddha’s way of life. 
The Library is also the base for the National Manuscripts Mission, an initiative by the Indian Government to store all sacred texts from all walks of spirituality, right at the Library. 

Learning being an essential aspect of the Library, there are various academic departments within the library. The library’s language center undertakes language courses for both Tibetean nationals and those who seek to learn the intricate language. In addition, students from other parts of the country also have access to research material, archival material and cultural study material. There are over 150,000 literary works in total in the entire library! One of the rarest manuscripts that resides within the library is an 8000 verse sutra on wisdom and perfection, that was handwritten in the 12th century. 

Altogether, an extremely vital destination for all those that seek the spiritual. The Library is a must visit when staying at our resort in Dharamshala, and since it’s only an hour’s drive away from our resort in Dharamshala, do take an afternoon off and spend time learning as the students, monks and the Riponche himself once did! 

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