Ten Drepang Gomang monks of Tibet will take a week-long residence in Rye at Wainwright House during the week of July 23 with several events open to the public, including a two day craft fair and public program called "Prayers, Chants and Stories."
The life story of the monks is nothing less than fascinating.
Gomang is the oldest college of the Tibetan Drepung Monastery and once the largest in the world. When the Chinese occupation of Tibet began in 1959, thousands of monks fled to India to practice their religion. Sleeping outside and fleeing Chinese soldiers, they reached the monasteries in Nepal and India where they are now free to study their own language, culture, and religion.
And the group, many of whom were born in Tibet and spend months traveling on foot through the snow covered Himalayan Mountains, will make their way to Rye the week of July 23 for several days of retreats and programs at Wainwright House.
Only 59 monks of the Gomang College survived the exodus to South India, 20 of them are still alive today. Two of them live in the U.S. One of those is Geshe Keslang Monlam, the co-founder of Friends of Drepung Gomang Monastery.
From the group of 59, the number of monks of this monastic college in exile has grown to more than 2,000. Every year, an average of 120 additional monks arrive from Tibet.
On Tuesday and Thursday, the Gomang Monks will have a Tibetan Handicrafts Store in the lobby of the Wainwright House. Everyone is welcome to come support the work of the Gomang Monks by purchasing beautiful hand-crafted items, purses, bells, altar items, wall hangingsand jewelry. All Tibetan Handicrafts Store proceeds benefit the mission of the Gomang Monks. Hours are Tuesday, July 24 from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Thursday, July 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and again 9-10:15 p.m.
The prayerful chants of the monks are called “pujas”- a Sanskrit word for worship. Prayers are recited in the traditional overtone chanting, each monk singing a full chord of three notes. “Prayers, Chants and Life Stories” -Thursday, July 26 at 7:30 p.m.- will share this practice with attendees. Reservations are required: 914-967-6080 or www.wainwright.org. Cost is $35.
The prayers are often accompanied by delicate hand gestures, symbols, drums, horns and flutes. Prayers may be recited for the clearing of karma, pacification of local negative energy, world peace, individual or global healing, financial security, spiritual evolution, the development of wisdom, and the removal of obstacles.
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