The GRL Monastic School (Bomdila Monastery) was established with the government initiative and popular assistance after the Chinese Aggression of 1962. During the course of this aggression panic-stricken people and monks fled from this area to take shelter in Shillong and other areas. Due to the confidence building measures of the government normalcy was restored and people returned to their native places.
Observing the influence of the Buddhist Monasteries on the people of this area the then Chief Commissioner of NEFA, Mr. K.A.A. Raja and the then Deputy Commissioner of the then Kameng District, Mr.T.Haralu took keen interest and initiative for establishing the Bomdila Monastery and GRL Monastic School for cultural integration of this tribal and border area with Indian mainstream.
Accordingly, the then Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam, Mr.Chaliha advised Mr. K.A.A. Raja and Mr. T. Haralu, to meet the 12th Tsona Gontse Rinpoche (the traditional spiritual head of this area) and request him to contribute to the task of national integration by constructing the monastery and the monastic school. Acting on this line Mr. T. Haralu, the then D.C, Kameng District allotted a plot of land in 1965 and granted roofing materials and seed money for this purpose. Thus, the temporary structure for the monastic establishment was created in 1965 and the monastic school made its humble beginning.
However, more vigorous attempt in this regard was taken by Mr. Yusuf Ali, the then D.C.,Kameng District in 1970, when he allotted a large plot of land to construct the monastic establishment for Tsona Gontse Rinpoche and his disciples.
Further, with the labour cooperation and donation of building materials from the local Buddhist community the SP Type infrastructure was constructed to house the monastery and the School at Bomdila in 1970. Thus, the G.R.L.Monstic School started functioning properly w.e.f. 1970. In the beginning only the religious education was imparted to the monks at this school but from the year 1987 the Society under the Chairmanship of 13th T.G.Rinpoche framed a strict curriculum in which religious and modern subjects were suitably included. Since then the school has been imparting a systematic, disciplined religious as well as formal education with the help of well trained and experienced teachers to about 250 monks.
The prayer hall of the monastery was completed under the spiritual guidance of His Eminence the 13th Tsona Gontse Rinpoche on 10th October 1997.
Further the prayer hall was inaugurated and consecrated by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on 15th October 1997. Due to increased in numbers of monk, the prayer hall of the monastery became congested and with the financial assistance from government of India, the extension work was completed in 2015.
The Society contemplates to increase the intake capacity to 300 monks in future and the foundation stone of the hostel was laid by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Shri Pema Khandu ji on 2nd September, 2020. Here the students are provided free education, food and other basic amenities. People both from within and outside the state are approaching to get their wards admitted in this monastic school.
Details of subjects
1.Buddhist Text memorization
3. Buddhist Rituals
4. Mandala art practice (Kyil-khor)
5. Traditional Monastic Dances
6. Bhoti Language
7. Modern English
9. Debate on Buddhist Texts
Academic And Co-Curricular Activities
The school planned both academic and co-curricular activities in the very first week of the session with the support of teaching staff and the same had been systematically put into action. To evaluate the understanding level of students, class tests had been conducted for all the core subjects in every alternate week and an Annual examination was conducted in the end of the session. The results were prepared by computing the cumulative records of the students.
Literary competitions like Essay writing, Drawing, Quiz, Song, Poem recitation, extempore speech, debate, Buddhist dialectics etc. were conducted on regular basis and the students getting highest scores in respective competitions were motivated by giving them prizes and certificates.
In addition to above mentioned co-curricular activities the following regular activities were also performed by the apprentice monks and their teachers:-
1. Kangyur Recitation
2. Guru Bhum-Tsok and Dolma Bhum Reading or memorizing For One Lakh times
3. Dho Kel-Sang Text Reading for one thousand times
4. Namgyalma Text Reading for Thousand time
5. Lha-mu Kang-Shak Text Reading for Thousand Times
6. Nye-Choe and Gyal-way Shap-ten etc. frequently
7. So-Jong (Confession) on 15th and 30th of every month of the Buddhist lunar Calandar
8. Universal Peace Day Puja
9. Independence Day Puja
10. Republic Day Puja
11. BCPS Raising Day Puja
12. Yar-ney (Summer retreat) for 45 days
The tradition of colored stone dust Mandala practice along with the monastic dances and Drum-Chos ritual etc. came to a halt due to ransacking of the Gaden Rabgye Ling Monastery in Tibet by the Chinese soldiers in 1959. However, because of good karma of the people of the Mon region, the region was sanctified by the birth of the omniscient His Eminence the 13th T.G.Rinpoche who took keen interest in reviving the above mentioned tradition. Thus, he invited renowned Buddhist scholars from other monasteries in November 2007 to teach about the coloured stone dust Mandala practice along with the monastic dances and Drub-Chos-Chen-mo ritual to the senior monks. After completion of the course, prayers had been offered by dexterous monks for a week and thereafter blessing objects were distributed to the general public according to their wishes on the occasion of the celebration of the first Tor-gya at G.R.L.Monastery, Mon-Bomdila on 8th- 10th December 2007 and since then the festival has been celebrating every year.
Also, 53 novice monks got full ordination (Getsul-Donpa) from His Eminence the Jangtse-Choe-Je Rinpoche, the Second Highest Head of Gelukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism and 10 apprentice monks (Getsul) got qualified for their ordination as Gelong. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama conferred Gelonghood on these monks in February 2007. Ordination of ten monks for Gelonghood is a significant achievement on the part of the monastic establishment. Since then every year or alternative year, at least ten monks from the monastery have been receiving Gelong vow from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama till date.