Lama Tsongkhapa

The history of Buddhism in Tibet has been turbulent, going through periods of revival and decline. 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.

Lama Tsongkhapa

Lama Tsongkhapa

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.

Revered as an emanation of the three great Bodhisattva; Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani, Lama Tsongkhapa embodied the respective profound qualities of enlightened compassion, wisdom and spiritual power of all three Beings.

Among the many renowned teachings he gave and Dharma texts composed, Lama Tsongkhapa’s Lamrin Chenmo, translated as The Graded Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, is considered one of his greatest works and is widely studied today, by both ordained sangha and lay people all over the world.

Despite his high attainments and enlightened qualities, Lama Tsongkhapa never exhibited any public display of miraculous powers, such as clairvoyance, and expressly prohibited his disciples from doing so. Instead, Lama Tsongkhapa focused on studying and teaching pure Buddhadharma, and was a role model of pure virtue. The Gelug school of Buddhism, which means “virtuous” tradition, arose out of his teachings, and has become one of the fastest growing Buddhist schools in the world today.

Lama Tsongkhapa’s works and achievements are extremely extensive and are presented here in a short biography so you can gain a glimpse of his greatness to appreciate the vast breadth and depth of his teachings and accomplishments.

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