Helping the Sangha
The basic needs of a monk are study materials, soap, detergent, robes and food on days when the monastery kitchen is closed. It costs approximately RM100 a month to sponsor a monk. Gaden Shartse College spends USD 600,000 a year on food alone for all 1,600 monks. Constant fundraising, such as world tours organized by the monastery, is an absolute necessity. The funds are used for the upkeep of the monastery, which sits on 84 acres of farmland, and food for the monks.
Gaden Shartse does not receive any form of funding from the Indian or Tibetan government. The monastery’s main source of income comes from the sale of rice grown on leased farmland. At its most profitable, the yearly revenue from the sale of the crops will only cover one month’s expenses of the monastery!
With this acute shortfall in cash, the monks have to go abroad for months at a time to perform lama dance, sand mandala, prayers and pujas to raise funds. This unfortunately creates constant interruption to their studies and education curriculum.
How you can help
One of the methods to ease the financial burden of the monastery is through the sponsorship of pujas. During pujas, the monks pray for the sponsors, after which a small monetary offering is made to the monks together with food and drinks, which consists mainly of Tibetan bread, butter tea, cheese and eggs.
Puja costs start from RM300, depending on the complexity of the rituals, the number of monks, the monetary offering the sponsor wishes to give, and the number of meals. Those who wish to sponsor a puja can contact Director Ooi Beng Kooi (email@example.com).
His Eminence’s organization, KECHARA, also collects donations that go directly towards helping the Sangha. Donation boxes are located at the Dharma center Kechara House, and at all Kechara Paradise Dharma stores. If you would like to make an online contribution, you may contact Ladrang Director Ooi Beng Kooi (firstname.lastname@example.org).