Namchi meaning ‘Nam- Sky, Chi- High’ in Sikkimese language is the southern district head quarter of the Sikkim State in the North Eastern part of India. Situated some 78 kms from the State’s capital Gangtok, Namchi is surrounded by the hills at an elevation of 5500 ft. and offers panoramic view of the snow capped mountains prominent among them is Mount Khangchendzonga.

Namchi City

Buddhism being one of the major religions in the State is the most integral part of Namchi’s tradition and culture. 

A monastery in Namchi

Some of the oldest monasteries are the identity of the Namchi, of which Ngadak Chyangter Gompa being one of them. 

Other well known monasteries of Namchi are the Sherdup Choeling Monastery, the Dichen Choeling Monastery, The Namchi monastery and the recently inaugurated Ngadak Thupten Shedup Dhargay Choeling Gompa.

Apart from the monasteries and scenic beauty of the region the one who attracts attention the most are the little monks in and around monasteries. Known as Sramanera (meaning small in Buddhist context) and Sramaneri for male and female respectively until 20 yrs of age, they are entitled to keep the Ten Precepts (training rules for novice monks) as their code of behaviour. 

Procession

Right from the early age they are devoted to the Buddhist religious life during a break from secular schooling or in conjunction with it if devoted to formal ordination.

The other pair

The Ten Precepts upheld by sramaneras are:

  • Refrain from killing living things.

  • Refrain from stealing.

  • Refrain from unchastity (sensuality, sexuality, lust).

  • Refrain from lying.

  • Refrain from taking  intoxicants.

Do not Mess

The Ten Precepts upheld by sramaneras are:

  • Refrain from taking food at inappropriate times (after noon).

  • Refrain from singing, dancing, playing music or attending entertainment programs (performances).

  • Refrain from wearing perfume, cosmetics and garland (decorative accessories).

  • Refrain from sitting on high chairs and sleeping on luxurious, soft beds.

  • Refrain from accepting money.

Run Monk Run

Ordination differs between sramaneras and sramaneris. At the age of 20 or after a year, a sramanera is eligible to be considered for the higher Bhikkhu (an ordained male Buddhist monastic) or Bhikkhuni (an ordained female Buddhist monastic) ordination. 

Minding Steps

Some monasteries will require people who want to ordain as a monk to be a novice for a set period of time, as a period of preparation and familiarization.

Self Service

Find out more about Namchi and Buddhism at: 

http://sikkimfirst.in | http://sikkimtourism.gov.in | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhikkhu

 

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