Just below the Tibetan Library in Gangchen Kyishong is the
splendid new Nechung Monastery, the seat of Nechung, the state oracle and
protector-deity of Tibet. The oracle is the medium through whom Dorje
Drakden (Nechung), the principal protector of the Dalai Lama and the
Tibetan government, communicates with His Holiness and the Kashag
(cabinet). Major decisions of the state are also made in consultation with
the Nechung Oracle.
Nechung monastery in Tibet lies just below Drepung monastery, four miles west of Lhasa, and the country's capital. Nechung originally came to Tibet with a descendant of the Indian sage Dharmapala. During the reign of King Tri-Song Deu-Tsan in the 8th century AD, he was appointed protector of Samye monastery by the Indian saint and tantric master 'Padmasambhava'. At that time, Samye, Tibet's first monastic institute, was known as Nechen (the larger site) and Nechung (the smaller site).
During the time of the Great Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thupten Gyatso (1876-1933), with the admission of 14 additional monks by him, the number of monks in Nechung monastery was increased from 101 to 115. Since then, this was the standard strength of the monks residing in Nechung monastery.