Buddhism refers to the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, who lived in India 2600 years ago. He taught about suffering, its cause, how to end it, and the method to reach enlightenment, which is a state beyond self and beyond suffering.
His teachings eventually spread throughout the world, taking on the cultural flavors of each country. Today there are many different schools of Buddhism. They all have the core teachings, but their emphasis and methods vary.
Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) came to the west in the late 1950’s when Tibetans fled the Chinese invasion of their country. Many settled in India, where the government provided land for resettlement. Later, Tibetan Buddhism made its way to other parts of the world.
Palyul Monastery in Tibet was founded in 1665 by Vidyadhara Kunzang Sherab, and became one of the 6 Mother Monasteries of the Nyingma Tradition. The root teachings of Palyul come from Terton Migyur Dorje, who revealed the “Sky Treasures” of Nam Cho when he was just a youth. Kunzang Sherab was an early disciple, along with his sister Genyenma Ahkon Lhamo. In addition to practicing Nam Cho, Palyul practices all the main Nyingma terma traditions. Palyul is also known as being a primarily monastic lineage within Nyingma, whose other lineages are often led by lay Lineage Lamas. Palyul has founded many well-known Shedra (University) schools around the world.
Palyul, Namdroling, India
In 1959, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche had to flee from Palyul to India during the Chinese invasion of Tibet, in order to preserve the lineage and the teachings. He settled in southern India. Today, Namdroling Monastery in Byalakuppe, Mysore is a thriving community and home to thousands of lamas, monks and nuns, making it the largest Nyingma teaching center in the world. The Shedra (Buddhist University) is known worldwide. Those who have studied or are studying at the monastery include all the major lineage holding Tulkus and Lamas of the Palyul tradition.
Today, there are Palyul centers around the world: in India, Asia, Australia, North America, and Europe, where the Dharma flourishes widely.