The Treasury of Lives

Chensiyuan, Wikimedia Commons

Larung Gar is a major Nyingma monastery in Serta that was founded initially in 1880 by Dudjom Lingpa, the prolific treasure revealer from Golok. Starting in 1980, it was rebuilt and greatly expanded by Khenpo Jigme Puntsok, one of the most influential and charismatic Nyingma lamas of the twentieth century. At first Khenpo Jigme Puntsok maintained the site as a Tibetan Buddhist encampment (chos sgar), a mobile community traditionally inhabited by followers and devotees gathered around a particular teacher. Then he built a small seminary college (bshad grwa) and a retreat center (sgrub grwa).

As Larung Gar began to attract large numbers of devotees, eventually the curriculum expanded to include grammar, philology, epistemology, reasoning, monastic discipline, Madhyamaka philosophy, mind-training, tantric textual commentaries, Dzogchen and pith instructions. 

The Tenth Panchen Lama Chokyi Gyeltsen blessed Larung Gar and bestowed its official name of Serta Larung Ngarik Nangten Lobling or Serta Larung Five Sciences Buddhist Academy. As Larung Gar became one of the most popular centers of Buddhist learning in twentieth-century Tibet, its example inspired several other Nyingma encampments to develop across Eastern Tibet. It is the largest Buddhist institute in the world. 


Dorje, Gyurme. 2009. Footprint Tibet Handbook, 4th Edition. Bath, UK: Footprint Handbooks Ltd, p. 773-4.


Gruschke, Andreas. 2004. The Cultural Monuments of Tibet's Outer Provinces. Kham Vol. 1. The TAR Part of Kham. Bangkok: White Lotus Press, p. 260. 


Bstan 'dzin kun bzang lung rtogs bstan pa'i nyi ma. 2004. Snga 'gyur rdzogs chen chos 'byung chen mo. Pe cin: Krung go'i bod rig pa dpe skrun khang, p. 316.


There are 4 related biographies