For over thirty years, Sonam Lhamo has led ALL’s three centers in southern India. With a team consisting primarily of women, many of whom have been with her for over two decades, Sonam is devoted to digitizing and transcribing ancient manuscripts written by both Indian and Tibetan scholars for the benefit of current and future generations.
As a result of this work and its ramifications, Sonam’s team and their families, all members of the Tibetan diaspora, have been able to endure hardships with a positive outlook. Not only have they obtained sustainable livelihoods, but they have also found a way to live in accordance with Buddhist principles, such as generosity and accumulation of merit. Through their diligent efforts, they’re not only preserving sacred texts but also furthering their spiritual paths and enriching the lives of countless others.
“Since I started working in ALL,” Sonam shared in a recent conversation, “I’ve come to realize how important our rich culture and religion is … by preserving these texts, we are extending wisdom and compassion throughout the world. Sometimes I can’t believe the impact that ALL has had;, it has made my life so meaningful by preserving our Buddhist manuscripts. I’m so proud to be part of ALL!”
In addition to her direct contributions to cultural preservation, Sonam is also mindful of passing on her role to the next generation and is already training her successors. “Due to ALL, we’ve gained community respect and people recognize us. Our work will have a lasting impact for many more generations to come,” she adds. With her leadership and the community’s ongoing support, Sonam Lhamo continues to make an indelible impact on cultural preservation.
We rejoice in the lasting success of our partnerships with the preservation centers in South India. The three centers—TDL, Hunsur, and Bylakuppe,—are working on texts from the Narthang Tengyur, one of the major editions of the commentarial literature (shastras) preserved in the Tibetan canon. In the past few months alone they have made great progress, completing over 17 volumes, or over 5,000 pages.
Tibetan dedication of merit:
Daggi sonam diyi ni. Semchen thamche malü pa.
Digpa thamche pagne ni. Tagtu gewa jepar shog.
By the merit I have accumulated, may every living being without exception be freed from negative deeds, and always engage in virtue.