Shechen (Tib. zhe chen) Monastery, one of the Six "Mother" Nyingma Monasteries of Tibet, was destroyed in the late 1950's. In 1980, in exile in Nepal, H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche began the building of Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Baudhanath, Kathmandu. Intent on preserving the extremely rich artistic tradition of the original Shechen Monastery in Tibet, H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche supervised all the aspects of the work with the greatest attention to detail. Magnificent paintings cover the walls of the main temple and one hundred and fifty statues were made for it by the best Tibetan craftsmen and sculptors of the time. The monastery hosts an important Tibetan library, the Tsering Art School for the preservation of Tibetan culture and sacred arts and a shedra. More than three hundred monks live at the monastery and receive an education which, apart from philosophical teachings, comprises traditional music, dance and painting.
The abbot of Shechen Monastery is the seventh Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche.
Shechen Monastery in Tibet
The original Shechen Monastery was founded in 1695 by Rabjam Tenpai Gyaltsen who was missioned to Kham with this purpose by the Fifth Dalai Lama. (Some sources say it was established by Gyurmey Kunzang Namgyal, brother of the second Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, in 1735) It became gradually the head of a net of around one hundred and sixty satellite monasteries, all over the Himalayan region. Rapidly renowned for the authenticity of the teachings at its shedra and for the quality of its sacred arts, it became one of the six main monasteries of the Nyingma tradition. Many great masters originated from Shechen Monastery including Shechen Gyalstab, Shechen Kongtrul, Khempo Gangsar, and the sage Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa and many other important 20th century teachers took teachings at the Monastery.