Shedrub Development Fund

“A thousand candles can be lit from a single candle…” – The Buddha

An Update from Nagi Gompa

Nagi Gompa, a nunnery outside of Kathmandu connected to Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling monastery, has been hard hit by the earthquake. The main temple has only suffered a few cracks, but the temple on the lower level has been severely damaged and so monks from Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling arrived on May 26th to help remove several precious statues. This temple is so badly damaged that many of the nuns have said they are afraid to enter it.

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Tenzin Sangmo, a young nun from Patan talked about her experience during the first major earthquake on April 25th, “I was in Boudhanath when the first earthquake struck. We were all going to get food when it happened. I went to stay with another nun’s relatives that night, but I was feeling very worried for our elderly nuns at Nagi and I hoped that I would be able to return and help them. The next day I was able to return, but I was heartbroken to see that the lower temple had been very badly damaged, as well as our rooms.”

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Tsering Dolma, a nun from the Nubri region was at the nunnery for the first earthquake. She explained, “I was at Nagi Gompa when the first earthquake struck. It came while we were preparing our lunch, and since it came all of the sudden, we did not even get to eat. We were all quite frightened, and at first we had to stay outside without any tents or any shelter at all. It was quite difficult: we did not want to stay inside for fear of another earthquake and it was raining quite a bit which made it difficult to stay outside as well. We were also quite worried about our older nuns, since they could get sick so easily. Fortunately, the next day Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche sent monks up to Nagi Gompa with food and tents.”

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She continued, “During the second major earthquake, I was again at Nagi Gonpa. Tulku Urgyen Yangsi Rinpoche had just arrived, and as soon as he entered into the main temple it started to quake. We were all quite scared for him, especially since the building was shaking quite violently.

Since the earthquake, we had to set up places for everyone to sleep, prepare and serve food, and also perform daily pujas for victims of the earthquake two hours every day. We have many nuns now staying in the new building, though not all are able to stay there and so some continue to stay in the old building which is a bit scary.”

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[From Left to Right: Tenzin Sangmo, Tsering Dolma, and Gyan Tara]

Gyan Tara is one of the senior nuns at Nagi Gompa and assistant to the young Tulku Urgyen Yangsi Rinpoche. As she detailed the damage to the nunnery, she was visibly shaken, and recited ‘Om Mani Pedme Hung’ and ‘Lama Khyenno’ a few times under her breath. When asked how people can help the nuns there, she answered, “Before the earthquake, all of us nuns would prepare food in separate kitchens and eat in different dining halls, but now we are all eating together in the same kitchen so it is a little difficult for us. Also, the nunnery here of course must be fixed. If people want to help or offer us something, they can do so however they wish, but particularly we are concerned about food and the condition of our nunnery.”

Tsering Dolma agreed with Gyan Tara about this, but also added, “Our main concerns are food and the condition of our nunnery which must be fixed. However, we also have to be concerned with access to medicine and healthcare, since we have to travel quite a distance to get sick nuns to even the closest hospital. Perhaps the best way for people to help is to just send money if they can. With money we can get whatever we need: food, shelter, medicine, and so forth.”

Gyan Tara concluded by folding her hands and said emphatically, “To all of you who have provided us with aid, I wish to express my sincere gratitude. We appreciate your kindness and your concern so very much.”

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