The Nalanda Masters’ Garden

Consecrated in 2020 by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the Nalanda Masters’ Garden is a heart project for our resident teacher Geshe Tsultrim. It commemorates the 17 most important and influential Mahayana Buddhist masters of Nalanda Monastic University, the great centre of Buddhist higher learning established in fifth century India. The Nalanda masters represent the pinnacle of Indian Mahayana philosophy and thought, and their teachings continue to inspire and motivate Mahayana practitioners in the world today.

Geshe Tsultrim says the presence of the statues at Chenrezig results in powerful seeds of virtue being placed upon the mind stream of all who see them. The statues make a difference to people in terms of affecting the purpose of this lifetime, as well as affecting future lifetimes. Geshe Tsultrim adds that the statues benefit people here, right now, but will also benefit future generations who visit the centre.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama pays respect to the lineage of the seventeen Nalanda masters in his invocation Illuminating the Threefold Faith, which expounds their virtues.

Read a description and history of each pandit

The garden is also home to the Fasting Buddha, recommended for our centre by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and the revered Tibetan religious philosopher Lama Tsongkhapa (1357 – 1419), central to the Gelugpa tradition. All statues have been carved in marble by master stone masons in Vietnam.

The sunny space of the Nalanda Masters’ Garden has become a natural gathering place for community celebrations, including Buddhist holy days and special occasions. When conditions are favourable, the massive hand-painted Chenrezig thangka, painted by Peter Iseli at the request of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, is unrolled and mounted on the large frame, an unforgettable sight.

The garden is a natural resting place on the way up to the gompa. A timber seat flows around the bodhi tree overlooking the garden, providing a place to reflect on the wisdom and generosity of our great teachers, past and present. The Nalanda masters bestow blessings upon all visitors who come here, and inspire the practice of pure Dharma.

From the first spark of inspiration, with the support of volunteers and benefactors along the way, Geshe Tsultrim continues to work towards his vision. This beautiful garden will be Geshe Tsultrim’s lasting legacy at Chenrezig for generations to come.