About Root Institute
Root Institute for Wisdom Culture is located in the holy land of Bodhgaya, where Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment more than 2,500 years ago. The Centre received its name in 1984 from its founder Lama Thubten Yeshe, a highly qualified teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Since Bodhgaya is where the Buddha became enlightened, Lama Yeshe considered this place to be the Root from which the branches emerged to the rest of the world as depicted in our logo above. Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the heart disciple of Lama Yeshe and current Spiritual Director of Root Institute and the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) added the term "Wisdom Culture". Root Institute currently has pending affiliation to FPMT, which comprises a network of about 150 meditation centres in over 30 countries.
It was the aspiration of Root Institute's founder, Lama Yeshe, that
the Institute must "return the historic kindness of the Indian people".
As part of this ideal, the Institute runs various social welfare
projects immediately benefitting those who are impoverished.
Each winter, October to April, we offer a series of courses and retreats on Tibetan Buddhist meditation and philosophy in English. These courses cover a wide range of Buddhist topics and are designed to complement each other. Taught by experienced Western teachers and visiting Tibetan lamas, all of our courses and retreats emphasise practical application of the Buddha’s teachings in order to increase wisdom, compassion, peace and happiness in daily life. Courses taught in Hindi for our Indian students are offered year round. For a complete listing of our current spiritual programmes please check here.
We offer comfortable, clean and affordable accommodation, a well-stocked library, delicious vegetarian meals, regular pujas (group practicies) including Guru Puja, Tara Puja, Medicine Buddha Puja, light offerings, offering robes to the Mahabodhi Buddha statue, sutra recitations and fully serviced private retreat facilities.
Root Institute is a 15 minute walk from the Great Mahabodhi Stupa of Buddha's Enlightenment, the holiest of holy sites in the Buddhist tradition. You can reach Root Institute by flying into Gaya or Patna, Bihar from major cities around the world and then taking a taxi or by an overnight train from the capital cities of New Delhi and Calcutta in India. See Location and Getting There.
Root Institute is a registered non-profit, charitable trust, under the laws of India, and is managed together with its social welfare projects, by volunteers.
Root Institute General is the mothership of all our projects and is responsible for implementing our spiritual programme, and the maintenance of our beautiful grounds. It supports our local Indian staff, the animal welfare programme and our sangha. Root Institute General along with our four main social projects are completely dependent on the kind generosity of sponsors and donors.
New Sangha Policy regarding Accommodation, Meals and Retreats
Effective Jan 8, 2016
All FPMT / IMI sangha staying at Root Institute (RI) will be offered the following:
- 2 weeks dormitory accommodation and all three meals for 2 weeks.
- After 2 weeks lunch will be offered for the entire duration of their stay.
- FPMT / IMI Sangha engaging in a strict retreat for 3 months or longer in a private room will receive a 15% discount for their accommodation.
- FPMT / IMI Sangha who stay longer than 3 months in a private room and are not engaging in retreat will receive a 15% discount from the 4th month onwards for the rest of their stay.