The Inaugural Class of Naropa Fellowship begins this September in Ladakh

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Naropa Fellowship

The Naropa Fellowship is a new immersive program empowering young, socially-conscious leaders to serve their communities, with a focus on underrepresented Himalayan Regions. New Delhi, 14 thSeptember 2018: The Naropa Fellowship, founded by His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, is a one-year, residential post-graduate academic programme that will create and nurture agents of change in the world. The immersive curriculum focuses on sustainable social and economic development in Ladakh, the greater Himalayas, and beyond. The first batch of fellows begin the program this month, taking residence on the dedicated campus in Hemis village, Ladakh.

Socially-conscious entrepreneurship that integrates local heritage can both strengthen and stabilize regions as they develop. The fellowship will aid young leaders in addressing regionspecific challenges like unemployment, cultural erosion, and the disenfranchisement of native parties. To this end, the curriculum is uniquely holistic, integrating personal development courses, communications training, and cultural explorations. Fellows will ultimately design and execute a “live project” that identifies and solves a real community issue. Faculty support will include industry experts, academics, entrepreneurs, and community leaders.

The inaugural class comprises of 70students from across the Himalaya nations like Nepal, Bhutan and India (Delhi, Mumbai, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and more). Together they represent a wide breadth of work and social experience, adding to the diversity and richness of academic exchange. Total scholarships worth INR 7 crores were awarded to students who were carefully chosen from across these regions.

Over 40 of the world’s leading academics, industry experts, and entrepreneurs will guide the students as visiting faculty, facilitating their professional development and growth. The reputed faculty includes Kenwyn Smith, Professor, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice; Kathy Dewitte, Dean, Arteveldehoge school, Belgium; Stuart Hendry, Entrepreneurship Lead Professor, University of Cape Town; Sara J. Corse, Associate Adjunct Professor, Thomas Jefferson University and many others.

The program kicked off with an orientation and welcome ceremony, where His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, a Spiritual Regent to His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, gave an address on the importance of education and culture, especially in the Himalayan Region, and on developing the skills to serve a larger community. Dr Pramath Raj Sinha, Formatted: Font: Times New Roman Formatted: Font: Times New Roman co-founder Naropa Fellowship elaborated on how a love and respect for local heritage can be very rewarding in one’s career.

About Drukpa Lineage:

The Drukpa Lineage (the “Dragon Lineage”) is an integral part of Himalayan and Central Asian legacy and culture. Dating back to the Indian scholar-saint Naropa, the Drukpa Lineage is woven throughout the history of Buddhism, India, the Himalayas and Central Asia.

The Drukpa Lineage follows the Mahayana Buddhist tradition in philosophy, i.e. the philosophy of “enlightenment for the benefit of others” and the methods are based on the Tantrayana teachings passed down from the great Indian saint Naropa, who was born a prince in 1016. It acquired the name “Drukpa” in the twelfth century when the reincarnation of Naropa, TsangpaGyare, saw nine dragons fly up into the sky from the ground of Namdruk. The present Gyalwang Drukpa is the twelfth incarnation of the founder of the Drukpa Lineage.

The Drukpas are best known for taking its meditation practice off the mat and into the world – converting compassion into action to tackle the world’s challenges.

Because the Lineage makes its home along the most important historic trading routes, its core tenet of Ultimate Truth fostered and nurtured great civilizations throughout the region including modern day Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, China, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Today, the Drukpa Lineage sprawls over major parts of the Himalayas, especially in Ladakh, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti in India, as well as Bhutan and Nepal. Bhutan, also known as “Druk Yul” or “Land of Thunder Dragons”, honours the Drukpa Lineage as its state religion. The lineage is also widely practiced in many countries throughout the world, especially Vietnam, another nation deeply influenced by the legends of “Dragons”.