The Aims of DBA
- Accomplishing the activity of the Gyalwa Karmapa & Shamarpa
- Preserving and transmitting the Karma Kagyu teachings
- Building a bridge of knowledge between the East and the West
- Educating a new Karma Kagyu generation
- Training qualified Dharma teachers
- Establishing the foundations for deeper practices
- Spreading the Buddha Dharma
- Adopting a proper ethics
The Kalimpong Shedra is home to over 150 students and teachers. It is an institute of higher education that offers a ten-year course in Buddhist philosophy. The shedra is located on the outskirts of Kalimpong, a small town in the district of Darjeeling, West Bengal. Kalimpong is famous for its educational institutions and the moderate climate making it an ideal place for studying.
DBA was founded in 2002 by H.H. Shamar Rinpoche. In the first class, there were 30 students. It has grown significantly in the last years. Now over five times as many students are studying the Dharma in Kalimpong.
In 2010 the first 34 students graduated after completing a seven-year program. Since then the program has been extended to ten years of continuous studies.
DBA has a team of twenty-two staff members including teachers of Buddhist Philosophy, Tibetan, history, and English. Language of instruction is mainly Tibetan and students follow the traditional curriculum of the Karma Kagyu lineage. Graduates are awarded the title of Acharya which translates into a modern Ph.D.
Most of the students are between 16-27 years old. They come to the shedra after having received elementary education, for example in elementary school Takdah or the Tilopa Institute in Himachal Pradesh. Many are ethnic Tibetans or come from Buddhist families in India, Bhutan, and Nepal. There are also students from countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, and France, making the Shedra a truly international place. DBA offers the students a high-quality Buddhist education, food, and accommodation free of charge. This allows even students from poor families to study the Buddhadharma.