Benchen Phuntsok Dargyeling Monastery, Kathmandu
In the mid 70s H.H. 16th Karmapa advised Tenga Rinpoche that it would be beneficial to have a place where the Kalachakra practice could be performed within the vicinity of Swayambunath.
Due to health problems, Tenga Rinpoche travelled to Kathmandu for medical treatment in 1975.In 1976 during a conversatiIon with H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Kyentse Rinpoche said that it would be very beneficial to have a monastery for both H.E. Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche and Tenga Rinpoche.
Later in 1977 Tenga Rinpoche managed to buy a small piece of land with a small house on it from a rana family. There he did his one year Tara retreat.Then in 1980 as a start Tenga Rinpoche enlarged the building. At that time Rinpoche had already a few young monks.
On16 January 1987 the foundation stone for Benchen Monastery was laid. During the construction all the four Kagyu Lineage Holders as well as H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche blessed the land as well as the construction of the monastery. In the same year at the advice of H.H. Dalai Lama the oral transmission of the Tengyur took place.
The construction was completed in the early 90s. At the request of devotees, Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche gave the transmission of the whole Kangyur. During this transmission several thousand people were present. In spring 1996 Chokling Rinpoche gave the full transmission of the Chokling Tersar.
Benchen Phuntsok Dargyeling is considered as one of the main Kaggyu monasteries in Nepal. It is under the guidance of Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche (who is one of the Mahamudra lineage holders) and Tenga Rinpoche.
Each month a one week extensive practice (drubcho) along with the construction of the respective sand mandala is performed, such as Kalachakra, Vajra Yogini, Chakrasamvara, Gyalwa Gyamtso, Guru Rinpoche including the lama dances of the 8 aspects of Guru Rinpoche, Tashi Tseringma the protector of Milarepa, Two Armed Mahakala along with the lama dances etc.
At present the monastery houses 277 monks. All of the monks receive basic education from both Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche as well as Tenga Rinpoche, instructions in Dharma, meditaion and rituals. Furthermore the monastery runs the Free Clinic that provides free medical and dental treatment for outpatients.
Following a wish of Gyalwang Karmapa Tenga Rinpoche went to Gyuto Monastery end of May 2009 for nine days. Tenga Rinpoche offered instructions on tantric rituals to His Holiness. The lessons commenced at 6 o’clock every morning.
Benchen Environment Protection Committee has initiated a first project. The committee members, monks from Sangye Choling Monastery and volunteers cleaned up places around the gompa and the Swoyambhu Stupa. The photos were taken before cleaning on March 31, during collecting rubbish around Swoyambhu Stupa hill on April 1 and after cleaning on April 2.
In May 2009 at Benchen Monastery during 12 days monks and lay people collected one billion Tara mantras for the 17th Karmapa's 25th year. Due to Tibetan belief the age of 25 is an obstacle year. Both Rinpoches wish to pacify all obstacles and that all of Karmapa's wishes will come true and turn out to be successful.
The Karma Kagyu Monasteries situated in Kathmandu organize a Kagyu Monlam by turns every year. The Monlam is held for the benefit of all sentient beings, to pray for the world peace and the long life of all precious Dharma Teachers. It has taken place in the capital of Nepal for about 12 years. In March 2009 the Benchen Monastery was responsible to organize this event.