Saga Dawa is the sacred Buddhist month. It is the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar that starts on May 9 and ends on June 6 in 2024.

Dawa means moon(d) and “Saga” or “Saka” is the name of a star that is prominent in the sky during this fourth month. The 15th day, the day of the full moon, is the most important. Then it is Saga Dawa Düchen when specifically the birth, attainment of enlightenment and death (paranirvana) of Buddha Sakyamoeni is commemorated and celebrated.

For Tibetan Buddhists, Saga Dawa is 'the month of merit'. It is believed that the effects of positive actions are multiplied 100,000 times during this time. Saga Dawa Düchen is therefore the perfect day to take positive actions.

A few activities undertaken to accumulate positive earnings are:

  • Refrain from eating meat
  • Doing prayers and reciting mantras
  • Making pilgrimages
  • Buying animals freely to prevent them from being killed
  • Give donations to beggars 
  • Give donations to monasteries or individual monks and nuns
  • Lighting butter lamps, offering light

light action
There is a lot of confusion and chaos in the world right now. In Buddhist monasteries people focus on developing wisdom and compassion, a counterforce to negative trends.

By lighting butter lamps in Dagpo Dratsang's light house with a positive intention on this special day, you also contribute to a positive counterforce.

This is how you participate
To sacrifice a butter lamp in Dagpo Dratsang, you can deposit 5 euros into bank account number NL92 ABNA 0833 8907 35 in the name of The WHISE Foundation, stating 'donation of lights action'. We inform the monastery how many butter lamps can be lit, for whom and with what intentions. You can send a message with the number of lights, name and intention (as concise as possible) to

If you would like to leave your lights on on May 23, we will ask you for the numbers and intentions for 21st of May to pass on

Your contribution will entirely benefit Dagpo Dratsang.

Purpose and Mission

WHISE stands for Wisdom Housing In Sustainable Environment.
The WHISE Foundation (TWF) was founded in 2018 with the aim of: 

 1) To raise funds to address urgently needed structural strengthening and extensive repairs required to ensure the safety of the existing monastic buildings of Dagpo Shedrup Ling Monastery in Kaïs, Northern India. This location is not only very sensitive to seismic activity, but also suffers from drainage problems and is at risk of landslides and soil erosion.  

2) Finding environmentally ecologically sustainable solutions for the necessary structural improvements and for the drainage problems of the site by collaborating with experts in the field of geology, architecture, engineering and sustainable housing.  

3) Promoting and advancing the self-sufficiency of Dagpo Shedrup Ling Monastery and by extension surrounding local communities by relying upon local resources and labor as whenever possible. 

4) To work to ensure the survival of Dagpo Shedrup Ling into the distant future to preserve its age-old, valuable traditions of Buddhist teachings. 

Read our mission here >


Below you will find a video of flooding of the road on which the monastery is housed.
This gives a good picture of the threatening situation.

(Kais, July 2023)

Urgent Appeal

Will you help to raise sufficient funds:  

a) have a project plan drawn up by a team of geological and civil engineers, architects and other specialists.

This concerns:  

  • The realization of sustainable, safe monastic buildings that can withstand earthquakes and landslides in the Kullu Valley, in particular tackling weak foundations. 
  • Tackling the environmental problem by realizing clean waste incineration, a proper sewerage system and good drainage of the site. 
  • The realization of a safe school building for primary education, housing the medical post.  
  • Good heating and cooling in all buildings. 

b) have the project plan executed in a sustainable manner in phases under the constant guidance of our Spiritual Director and Patron, Rev. Dagpo Rinpoche.

Background information

The original Dagpo Shedrup Ling Buddhist monastery was founded in the mid-1400s and was located in southeastern Tibet. In 1959 there were about 700 monks who followed the tradition of study, reflection and meditation, safeguarding the precious systems of inner cultivation developed over the centuries within the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions of Buddhism. 

 The communist Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959 forced many thousands of Tibetans, including monks, to flee Tibet for India and elsewhere. After decades of great difficulties and thanks to the unwavering support and guidance of Venerable Dagpo Rinpochee, the Dagpo Shedrup Ling Monastery was rebuilt in the Himalayan Kullu Valley in the northern Indian village of Kaïs. The monastery also has a primary school for young monks and a medical post that serves both the local community and the monks. 

Dagpo Monastery’s core values are based on the Buddhist ethic of non-violence and the wish to be of benefit to all beings. Therefore, the monastery is committed to advancing education, health care and other aid within the local community however possible. For example, during the Covid pandemic monks of Dagpo Shedrup Ling organized, prepared and distributed hundreds of food packages for members of the local communities.

The monks have a good relationship with the local community. They support several local schools. With the medical post they offer affordable and high-quality care for poor villagers in this remote Himalayan area. This contributes to the development of the region. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, they were active in helping people with food aid.

Further background information

Temperatures in the Kullu Valley can reach lows to 4 degrees Celsius (high 30 sF) in the winter months. This may not seem so cold to those living in colder northern countries, but without modern heating systems it is extremely cold.

The identification of the structural problems with the monastic building's foundations came due to requests on the part of concerned supporters to install heating systems for the sake of the monks enduring these cold Himalayan winters.

But it was discovered, thanks to a team of Delft students from the Technical University who visited the monastery, that heating systems could not be installed safely. Thus found large cracks in the walls of several monastic buildings. The buildings themselves were found to be unsafe due to increasing structural damage to the foundations of the buildings. To ensure the safety and sustainability of the buildings it is therefore vital to address the structural damage immediately.

How to proceed and how you can help?

A lot needs to be done. The latest research shows that the foundations of the buildings are on a soft top layer, causing the buildings to sink. These cracks will continue to increase. In the event of an earthquake, buildings can collapse within one minute! Improving the foundation of the buildings is of great necessity.
Drainage of the site, the school and the indoor medical post also have the highest priority. The sewerage system causes a lot of odor nuisance to the environment and needs to be adjusted.

In keeping with the traditions of Dagpo Shedrup Ling, we do not directly solicit donations. But donations are welcome. We also want  people and organizations inspire you to devise and organize actions to raise money for good housing for the monastery. Coming up with and carrying out actions for others gives pleasure and provides wonderful contacts and experiences.
This gives generosity an extra dimension!


Help restore the monastery!


Read the 2022 activity report here


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