Namdroling Monastery (Wyl. rnam grol gling) was established by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche shortly after he came to India from Tibet. It is a few hours from Bangalore and Mysore, in Karnataka state, South India.
The huge investment of time and energy made by Penor Rinpoche to build his monastery has borne abundant fruit. Today, Namdroling Monastery is a thriving community and home to over one thousand lamas, monks and nuns, making it the largest Nyingmapa teaching centre in the world. Among those who have studied, or are studying, at the monastery, are all the major lineage holding tulkus and lamas of the Palyul tradition, including the fifth Karma Kuchen Rinpoche, the third Choktrul Rinpoche and the third Rago Choktrul. Their spiritual training is directed and guided by Penor Rinpoche himself.
Namdroling Monastery in Bylakuppe also has a retreat centre, opened in 1985, where thirty monks undergo an intensive three-year retreat. Penor Rinpoche personally instructs them in the Dzogchen Longchen Nyingtik cycle.
Every autumn, according to the tradition of the Palyul Monastery, he gives instructions on ngöndro, tsa-lung and Dzogchen from the Namchö cycle of Tertön Mingyur Dorje. This one month retreat is attended by students from the Institute, monks from the monastery and lay people. It was Penor Rinpoche's dream, and something he continues to emphasize, that students would be able to combine in-depth, intensive study with practice, and now the monastery offers the perfect setting in which to do this.
The establishment of the Ngagyur Nyingma Institute (Higher Buddhist Studies and Research Centre) is one project of which Penor Rinpoche can be particularly proud. Officially opened in 1978, it currently houses over three hundred monks who are studying the buddhist sutras and tantras in depth, and each year students of outstanding scholarship and wisdom graduate after completing their nine-year course. The quality of training they receive is extremely high and those graduates who are selected to become khenpos are then sent to teach in different monasteries and centres.
The faculty of the Institute includes Khen Rinpoche Pema Sherab, Khen Rinpoche Namdrol, Khen Rinpoche Tsewang Gyatso, and a team of newly appointed khenpos. They all work tirelessly, with a pure motivation and no thought for fame or material gain, to keep the lamp of Dharma burning. Khenpos of outstanding wisdom and realization, like Dzogchen Khenpo Tsöndrü, Khenpo Dazer, Khenpo Rinchen, Khenpo Rigdzin, and Khenpo Tseten have helped enormously to shape the Institute into its present form. Khenpo Jigphun Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche have been among the 'visiting professors', and the Institute has been greatly enriched by their precious presence and their enlightening teachings.