Larung Buddhist Institute is the biggest and most influenced Buddhist center in the world with more than 40000 nuns and monks.
Larung Buddhist Academy has been a major center for scholastic study of Buddhist on the Tibetan plateau. It was formed in 198 by the renowned Jigme Phuntsok lama. From an unknown institute, Larung Buddhist Institute had become the most influenced center of Tibetan Buddhist with about 40000 nuns and monks.
In recent years, Larung Buddhist Academy has also become the hub of the ethical reform movement. One of the pioneer scholars of this movement is Khenpo Tsultrim Lodrö, he has vigorously advocated for vegetarianism, promoted the use of Tibetan language and AIDS prevention. He also encourages Tibetan people to follow the new set of ten Buddhist virtues include not to sell livestock for slaughter; not to drink alcohol, gamble, or smoke; not to visit prostitutes; not to wear fur; not to fight with weapons; and more.
Khenpo has promoted non-violence and Tibetan unity in many of his speeches and writings. In 2012, he introduced a “charm of peace” which can be worn around the neck as a reminder to stop fighting among Tibetans, especially the disputes over the grazing area on the grassland, a major problem of the nomad of Tibetan.
As a result of the Khenpo’s efforts, many monasteries have stopped serving meat for their meals, monks and nuns are becoming vegetarian and the movement is spread at an unprecedented rate. Countless Tibetans in the region have also stopped using meat. All thirty monasteries in Serta have implemented the new ten virtues, which have also spread to neighboring areas since 2010.
However, the ethical reform also has to face critics and controversy in the Tibetan due to the economic loss of nomadic families who can’t sell their livestock for slaughter. Besides, the strict implementation methods by local monasteries make people feel suffocated.
On 20th July, Chinese Government has begun demolishing buildings at the study center and residence building of Larung Buddhist Institute. Thousands of the monks have expressed their disappointment with the government decision but there hasn’t been any resist.
On 2001, the local government intended to force thousands monks and students of the institute leave and move 1000 of villages in Larung Gar move to other places. Their reason is that the area was too crowded and the risk of fire was extremely high. However, the Government plan was failed to carry out at that time due to the objection of the Tibetans.
Larung Gar and the Buddhist Institute used to be forbidden from tourist till 2011. From that time, the area has become a famous destination and attracted thousands of tourists each year. The institute has been closed to tourist since 16th June.