In 1575 Sonam Gyatso, the Third Dalai Lama, officially founded a monastery, which later came to be known as Namgyal Dratsang (Victorious Monastery). Since its inception, the monastery has assisted the Dalai Lamas in their public religious activities and performed ritual prayer ceremonies for the welfare of Tibet. The monastery has been a center of learning, contemplation and meditation on the vast and profound Buddhist treatises. Namgyal monastery is nonsectarian and maintains ritual practices and teachings of the four main lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.
In Tibet, the 175 Namgyal monks and their monastery were located in the Potala Palace, performing spiritual duties and religious ceremonies for both the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government. A distinctive feature of this monastery is its diversity of practice. Namgyal monks perform prayers and rituals of all the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery is now situated next to the Central Cathedral.