Essence of Gaden

Essence Of Gaden

Gaden is a name given to the heaven whereby all Bodhisattvas reside before taking rebirth for the last time on earth to manifest their full enlightenment. Also known as the Land of Joy and Tushita in Sanskrit, the monastery which was built in Lama Tsongkhapa’s honor and to assist his works was given this name with hopes for everyone to attain this piece of Joy.

Essence of Gaden is a page which is focused on giving you our best description about what Gaden is all about – Lama Tsongkhapa. Here, we explicitly share in layman terms what the great scholar saint has done in his life with the hopes of inspiring ourselves to take a piece of spirituality and weave it into our busy lives, creating a resonance and balance in the things we do.

So, stay tuned as we progressively work on the different stages in presenting to you the sacred life story of  our patron Buddha – Lama Tsongkhapa.

Lama Tsongkhapa

Lama Tsongkhapa

Lama Tsongkhapa

Lama Tsongkhapa (1357 – 1419) was Buddhist scholar and saint who lived in Tibet during a time when Buddhist teachings had degenerated. Through deep study, profound practice and high attainments, Lama Tsongkhapa led a renaissance of pure Buddhist teachings by emphasising study, morality and distilling the best teachings from the existing schools of Buddhism in Tibet and from Indian Buddhist masters.

His teachings became the basis for the establishment of the Gelug school of Buddhism and he founded the illustrious Gaden monastery, a monastic institution which survives to  this day although it has since relocated to South India.

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Lama Tsongkhapa's Birth

Lama Tsongkhapa’s Birth

 Lama Tsongkhapa’s Birth

Tsongkhapa was born on the 25th day of the tenth month in the year 1357 CE in the Tsong kha region of Qinghai province, an area bordering Tibet and China. There were many auspicious signs around his birth.

The biographies of Lama Tsongkhapa reveal that there were many, many great signs heralding his birth. For example, his mother dreamt that Lord Vajrapani threw vajras from the heavens, which landed softly and gently on her womb. She had frequent reams of Lord Manjushri appearing and casting his sword towards the direction of her womb and stomach. 

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4 Great Deeds

4 Great Deeds

 4 Great Deeds

Lama Tsongkhapa did four great deeds during his life.

1. The renovation of the Maitreya statue at Dzingji monastery

2. Revitalised the vinaya (code of monastic discipline)

3. The establishment of the annual Great Prayer Festival – Monlam Chenmo

4. Wrote the Lamrim Cheno, “The Graduated Stages of Path to Enlightenment”, a refined form of Buddha’s 84,000 teachings which is used in every Gelug instituition for study and practice until today.

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Gaden

Gaden

Gaden

His disciples offered to build him a monastery so that their master could teach in comfort and reduce the need for travel. Lama Tsongkhapa founded Gaden monastery in the Land of Nomad Mountain. During construction, the conch shell which was previously buried under the instruction of the Buddha was unearthed, fulfilling the prophecy of Buddha.

Eventually, another two monasteries were established after Gaden. They were named Drepung and Sera and became extensions of the Gelugpa lineage. These three monasteries housed over 15,000 monks at their peak.

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