Lord Tsongkapa, King of the Dharma

By | Jun 14, 2016 | Views: 2,994
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King of the Dharma – Lama Tsongkhapa, with his heart sons Gyaltsab Je (lower left) and Khedrub Je (lower right).

(By Tsem Rinpoche and Valencia)

Dear readers,

I am honoured to have the opportunity to write about Lama Tsongkhapa, one of the greatest Buddhist masters and philosophers of all time. I admire his selfless dedication to preserve and uphold the pure Buddhist teachings. Through this he was able to eliminate the confusion and wrong views prevalent during his time, while inspiring many to practice the Middle Way philosophy as taught by Nagarjuna. Out of all the incredible qualities that he possessed, I particularly respect the fact that he lived as an ordinary pure practitioner although he had achieved the realisation of of Highest Yoga Tantra. He has connected with us on a personal level by showing us how to begin, progress and complete the stages of the path to enlightenment. If he had appeared as a holy being from the beginning and manifested a lot of miracles, his legacy would not have endured, as contemporary practitioners do not easily believe in miracles. Therefore, it was important for Lama Tsongkhapa to be born as an ordinary practitioner, in order to show and inspire us with what we can all achieve. Thank you Rinpoche for giving me the opportunity to learn and be familiar with the life story of this extraordinary master.

Sincerely yours,
Valencia

 


 

King of the Dharma – The Great Lama Tsongkhapa

“If one keeps even a drop of the nectar of the name of this holy being – Lama Tsongkhapa – in a devotional heart, it plants the seed of liberation and one receives the fortune to practice and enjoy happiness from this life up to enlightenment.”

Pabongka Rinpoche

 

The Prophecies

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Lord Buddha Shakyamuni who taught the path out of suffering after attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Painting by Kritsana Suriyakarn.

The prophecy regarding Lama Tsongkhapa’s birth had been spoken by the omniscient Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, in Bodhgaya, North India. One day, a young boy, who was the son of a Brahmin, went up to Buddha Shakyamuni, prostrated and offered a clear crystal mala (rosary) to him. Upon receiving the mala, Buddha Shakyamuni placed his holy golden hands on the boy’s head and made a prediction to one of his disciples, Ananda. He predicted that this boy would be born in the ‘Northern Land of the Red-Faced Barbarians’ (a reference to Tibet). In that incarnation, the boy would revive the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni in the era of degeneration. Buddha Shakyamuni also prophesied that the boy would be reborn as the emanation of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom, and that he would be called Sumati Kirti or Lobsang Drakpa in Tibetan. He would establish a monastery called ‘Ge’, meaning ‘virtues’, between Dri and Den.

This boy would be reborn as Lama Tsongkhapa, a notable Buddhist teacher who revitalised the Buddhist teachings by emphasising discipline and morality in addition to distilling the purest teachings from the greatest Buddhist masters of his time. He would also present a crown and ornaments to the statue of Buddha Shakyamuni in Lhasa, an act for which he is remembered until today.

After making the prophecy, Buddha Shakyamuni asked one of his disciples, Mahamaudgalyayana, a highly attained Arhat who had the ability to walk very fast over a vast distance, to bury a conch shell in Tibet where Gaden Monastery would be built. This conch shell was gifted to Buddha Shakyamuni when he was teaching on the shore of Lake Anavatapta by the King of the Nagas. Buddha Shakyamuni blew this conch shell on Mount Kailash (Ti-Se Snow Mountain) to herald his presence and assemble the great nagas and worldly deities. Its deep pervading sound represents the spreading of the Dharma teachings and thus the awakening of beings from ignorance. A conch shell also represents the speech of the Buddha, indicating that the future incarnation of the young boy would be the representative of Buddha Shakyamuni himself. He would touch the hearts of those who hear the Buddha’s teachings.

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The conch shell, a representation of Buddha’s speech.

In 1409, the conch shell that was buried by Mahamaudgalyayana during the Buddha’s time was unearthed as Lama Tsongkhapa commenced the building of Gaden Monastery. The unearthing of the conch shell symbolised the fulfillment of Lord Buddha’s prophecy. The conch shell was later moved to Drepung Monastery where it could be seen until the mid-20th Century.

The prophecy regarding Lama Tsongkhapa was also mentioned in Manjushri’s root tantra. As Buddha Shakyamuni professed to his heart disciple Manjushri:

“After I pass away and my pure doctrine is absent,
You will appear as an ordinary being,
Performing the deeds of a Buddha
And establishing the Joyful Land, the great Protector,
In the Land of the Snows”

Here “The Land of the Snows” refers to Tibet and “Joyful Land” refers both to Gaden Monastery and to the Gaden doctrine.

Therefore, Buddha Shakyamuni gave prophecies on two occasions regarding the coming of Lama Tsongkhapa. The first one was to the boy who offered a clear crystal mala and the second one was to Manjushri. Buddha Shakyamuni clearly stated that the future incarnation of the young boy would be an emanation of Manjushri. This is possible because an enlightened mind is said to have three types of bodies – the Wisdom Truth Body (Dharmakaya), the Enjoyment Body (Sambhogakaya) and the Emanation Body (Nirmanakaya). Within Buddhism, an emanation is an animate or inanimate form manifested by the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas for the purpose of benefiting others. Therefore, Lama Tsongkhapa was an emanation of Manjushri, who manifested to spread the pure teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni.

Lama Tsongkhapa is actually considered an emanation of three great bodhisattvas – Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani – as he possesses the profound qualities of enlightened compassion, wisdom and spiritual power that the three bodhisattvas embody respectively.

 

Avalokiteshvara – Buddha of Compassion

Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara - Buddha of Compassion

Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara – Buddha of Compassion

(Click here to learn more about Avalokiteshvara)

Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig is the flawless personification of perfect compassion who vowed to free all sentient beings from suffering. The Sanskrit name ‘Avalokiteshvara’ means ‘the Lord who looks upon the world with compassion’. In the Lotus Sutra, Buddha Shakyamuni said that if a suffering being hears the name of Avalokiteshvara and sincerely calls out to him, Avalokiteshvara would hear the call and relieve the being from his suffering. Avalokiteshvara is often depicted as having 11 heads, 1,000 hands and an eye on the palm of each hand, commonly known as Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara. The thousand eyes allow the Bodhisattva to perceive the sufferings of sentient beings and the thousand hands represent his ability to reach out to help them.

 

Manjushri – Buddha of Wisdom

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Manjushri – Buddha of Wisdom

(Click here to learn more about Manjushri)

Manjushri is one of the most important figures within Mahayana Buddhism. His Sanskrit name means ‘he who is noble and gentle’. Manjushri first appears in Buddhist literature in the Mahayana Sutras, in particular the Lotus Sutra. The following is a description of Manjushri’s qualities by Zen teacher Taigen Daniel Leighton:

“Manjushri is the bodhisattva of wisdom and insight, penetrating into the fundamental emptiness, universal sameness, and true nature of all things. Manjushri, whose name means ‘noble, gentle one,’ sees into the essence of each phenomena. This essential nature is that not a thing has any fixed existence and separate in itself, independent from the whole world around it. The work of wisdom is to see through the illusory self-other dichotomy, our imagined estrangement from our world. Studying the self in this light, Manjushri’s flashing awareness realizes the deeper, vast quality of self, liberated from all our commonly unquestioned, fabricated characteristics.”

(Bodhisattva Archetypes, p. 93).

 

Vajrapani – Buddha of Protection

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Vajrapani – Buddha of Protection

(Click here to learn more about Vajrapani)

According to the Mahayana tradition, Vajrapani is one of the eight heart disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni and is portrayed with a peaceful appearance. However, within the Vajrayana context, Vajrapani is often depicted in a wrathful form as the main recipient, holder and protector of the tantric texts, literature and teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni. Therefore, he blesses tantric practitioners to achieve realisations on the path of tantra. He is prophesied to be the 1000th Buddha who will manifest full enlightenment and turn the Wheel of Dharma in this eon, in the same manner as Buddha Shakyamuni. Thus, he is known to be the embodiment of the transcendent power and skillful means of an enlightened being.

Padmasambhava is also called Guru Rimpoche, the founder of the Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism. All through his life he was a controversial figure. On at least two occasions his flouting of convention caused such outrage that people attempted to burn him at the stake – but he emerged unscathed each time. He is the archetype of the embodiment in one person all the accumulated knowledge, wisdom, love and power of the Buddhist tradition. He brought Buddhism to Tibet from India in the eighth century.

Lotus-born Guru Rinpoche

1000 years after Buddha Shakyamuni’s prophecy, another prediction regarding Lama Tsongkhapa was made by the Lotus Born Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava. According to one account, Padmasambhava incarnated as an eight-year-old child appearing in a lotus blossom floating in the Dhanakosha Lake, in the kingdom of Oddiyana. He arrived in Tibet during the 8th Century to aid in the establishment of Buddhism there and to introduce the people to the practice of Tantric Buddhism. He is also regarded as the founder of the Nyingma tradition, one of the major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Padmasambhava was renowned for his mystical abilities and power that arose from his tantric practice, resulting in his ability to subdue a multitude of evil spirits and demons. He foretold that a fully ordained Buddhist monk named Lobsang Drakpa would appear in the east, near the land of China. This monk would be regarded as the emanation of the bodhisattva of great renown, Manjushri, and would attain enlightenment in that lifetime.

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Dipamkara Atisha who was of the same mind stream as Guru Rinpoche and Lama Tsongkhapa

According to His Holiness the 2nd Dalai Lama, Gedun Gyatso (1476 – 1542), Lama Tsongkhapa, Padmasambhava and Dipamkara Atisha (980 – 1054) were of the same mindstream. Lama Tsongkhapa is also said to be the incarnation of Nagarjuna, who was a 2nd Century Indian Buddhist philosopher who founded the Madhyamaka School of Buddhist philosophy. All four of them (i.e. Lama Tsongkhapa, Padmasambhava, Dipamkara Atisha, and Nagarjuna) were important figures in spreading and clarifying Buddha’s teachings.

 

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Auspicious Dreams

In the year prior to Lama Tsongkhapa’s birth, his parents began to have auspicious dreams. His father, Lubum Ge, dreamt of a monk from Five-Peaked Mountain (Wu Tai San) in China. In many scriptures, this mountain is referred to by Lord Buddha to be the holy abode of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom. The monk, travelling from afar, requested shelter in his home for nine months. Lubum Ge gladly accepted the monk’s request in his dream.

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Shingza Acho was chosen among 1000 other women to be the mother of Lama Tsongkhapa

Lama Tsongkhapa’s mother, Shingza Acho, also had an auspicious dream about being in a beautiful garden with 1000 other women. In that garden, there was a young boy who come from the east, dressed in white and carrying a vessel of water. There was also a young girl who came from the west, dressed in red, holding peacock feathers in her right hand and a large mirror in her left. The boy approached each of the women and asked the girl as to which woman was a suitable vessel. The girl chose Shingza Acho as the only suitable candidate out of all women in the garden. Upon choosing her, they bathed Shingza Acho in order to purify her.

In the first month after his conception, Lama Tsongkhapa’s parents began to have more auspicious dreams. His father dreamt of the bodhisattva Vajrapani. In his dream Vajrapani threw a vajra from his pure land, which fell and melted into his wife’s body.

In 1357, Shingza Acho dreamt of monks carrying many ritual items as offerings for Avalokiteshvara, requesting him to appear. Avalokiteshvara finally appeared in the form of a holy being as big as a mountain in the sky, shining as bright as the sun. As Avalokiteshvara approached her, he diminished in size and melted into her body.

The night before giving birth, Shingza Acho dreamt of a crystal door within her heart that opened and that celestial beings appeared to bathe her. At dawn, the baby who would later become the great master Lama Tsongkhapa was born. The auspicious dreams of his parents confirmed Lama Tsongkhapa as the emanation of Manjushri, Vajrapani and Avalokiteshvara.

 

The Birth of Lama Tsongkhapa

Lama Tsongkhapa (‘The man from Tsongkha’) Lobsang Drakpa was born in 1357 to a nomadic family from Tsongkha in Amdo, Tibet (present-day Haidong and Xining, Qinghai). As witnessed during the birth of other holy beings, his birth caused no pain to his mother. The arrival of three great bodhisattvas in the form of a baby boy was accompanied by the incredible singing voices of dakas and dakinis as well as beautiful rainbows appearing in the sky.

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The Kumbum Tree (The Tree of 1000 Buddha Images)

A large sandalwood tree sprung up with more than 100,000 leaves from the exact spot where a drop of blood from Lama Tsongkhapa’s umbilical cord had fallen. The tree’s leaves bore the outline of the Buddha Simhanada, hence why the tree is known as the Tree of Kumbum or the Tree of 1000 Buddha Images. In the past, during the autumn season, pilgrims would collect and keep the fallen leaves. The leaves would then be crushed and made into medicine. Those who took the medicine would be healed and empowered with greater wisdom.

In 1379, Lama Tsongkhapa’s mother, with the help of fellow Buddhists, built a small temple with a stupa around this tree. This simple temple was the first temple built at Kumbum. In 1481, the nobility and nomads of the Kokonor region built a larger temple for making offerings at the holy tree. In 1560, the meditator Rinchen Tsondru Gyeltsen built a small monastery called Gonpalung for intensive meditation practice in that region. Later, the 3rd Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso (1543 – 1588) stopped at the isolated retreat place and requested Rinchen Tsondru Gyeltsen to construct a larger monastery at the exact site and appointed him as the abbot. The new monastery was called Kumbum Monastery. The holy tree at Kumbum Monastery is located near a bejeweled silver stupa and can still be seen in that monastery. Several Dalai Lamas have visited this site throughout history. The tree remains a most sacred pilgrimage site for those who pray there as they are healed of diseases, purify obstacles, gain merit, increase luck and receive blessings.

Based on the prophecy of Buddha Shakyamuni, many Tibetan scholars and practitioners had anticipated the emanation of Manjushri to be born as the Tibetan lama, Je Tsongkhapa. The Kadampa Master Choje Dondrub Rinchen (1309 – 1385) was one of the great Buddhist masters who anticipated the coming of Lama Tsongkhapa and was interested in the auspicious omens surrounding his birth. He studied and lived in central Tibet before returning to his homeland to build two monasteries in Amdo. This master also had a dream of Yamantaka, who is Manjushri in wrathful form, who informed him that he would come to the area of Tsongkha within one year, while pointing at the land of the Tsongkha River, “At about this time next year, I will be arriving in the hinterlands of that place. Until then let your heart be at ease.”

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Kumbum Monastery

 

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Lama Tsongkhapa’s Early Life

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The 4th Karmapa Rolpai Dorje

After Lama Tsongkhapa was born, Choje Dondrub Rinchen offered some gifts to his parents along with a letter to explain on how to protect their newborn baby. When Lama Tsongkhapa was about three years old, Choje Dondrub Rinchen offered a gift of livestock to his father and requested the right to be in charge of Lama Tsongkhapa’s education. Recognising his son’s superior qualities from his early years, his father sent him to receive lay upasaka vows when he was only three years old from H.H. the 4th Karmapa Rolpai Dorje (1340 – 1383). He was given the name Kunga Nyingpo, and Rolpai Dorje predicted that this boy would come to be referred to as ‘the Second Buddha’.

Lama Tsongkhapa left his parents to live with Choje Dondrub Rinchen at the age of seven. Even at such a young age, he exhibited supreme intelligence. He could read and write Buddhist texts just by observing his teacher. Choje Dondrub Rinchen gave him the empowerments of Heruka, Hevajra and Yamantaka, three of the most prominent Higher Tantric initiations, and the oral transmissions of many sutras including the Manjushrinamasamgiti. He was also given in-depth teachings on these tantric practices. It was during this period that Lama Tsongkhapa started to practice meditation. He was only eight years old when he received his novice vows and was given the name Lobsang Drakpa (which translates to Sumati Kirti in Sanskrit), another fulfillment of Buddha Shakyamuni’s prophecy.

At the age of seven, the young Lama Tsongkhapa had pure visions of Dipamkara Atisha (982 – 1054), a noble Buddhist teacher, whose life’s work was to restore the purity of the Dharma in India and Tibet. His vision of Atisha indicated that he would follow after Atisha’s footsteps in clarifying the Buddhist teachings.

At the age of 16, Lama Tsongkhapa left Amdo for U-Tsang in order to further his studies on the great Buddhist treatises. Before he left, Choje Dondrub Rinchen instructed Lama Tsongkhapa to focus on the practice of Yamantaka, Vajrapani, Manjushri and Amitayus, and to propitiate three Dharma Protectors (i.e. Vaisravana, Mahakala and Dharmaraja / Kalarupa) in order to safeguard him on his spiritual path.

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Panoramic view of Kumbum Monastery in Amdo

Because he had a strong inkling that he would never return to his hometown, Lama Tsongkhapa made a beautiful mandala offering, which looked like sparkling jewels, to Choje Dondrub Rinchen as a parting gift. He also recited the ‘Praises of the Names of Manjushri’ to his master as he was walking away from his guru. As he reached the line, “Those who do not return to cyclic existence do not come back,” he knew that he would not be returning. At the time, he felt such great sadness that his tears ran down his cheeks. Choje Dondrub Rinchen remained in Jakyung Monastery, which is situated south of Kumbum Monastery.

 

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Lama Tsongkhapa’s Quest for Knowledge

In the autumn of 1373, Lama Tsongkhapa started his journey to Drikung Monastery, Central Tibet. It took five days to reach his destination from Lhasa. At this monastery, he trained under the guidance of the abbot Chennga Chokyi Gyelpo and studied a wide range of topics including the secret instructions called ‘A String of Diamonds’, the Six Yogas of Naropa and Mahamudra, also known at the ‘Great Seal’.

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Drikung Monastery complex

The young Lama Tsongkhapa continued his journey to Gungtang, where he studied the eight branches of medical diagnosis under the guidance of the great physician Lhadje Konchok Kyab. He studied medicine in order to show his pure dedication towards following the bodhisattva’s codes of conduct. A bodhisattva should train in every art and science that would be of benefit to others. Although he mastered the medical treatises, he never actually practised medicine. However, because of his medical skills, other physicians would often consult him regarding the best possible treatment for their patients.

Lama Tsongkhapa continued his quest for knowledge in one of the largest monasteries at that time, Chodra Chenpo Dewachen in Nyerthang, following the completion of his studies in Drikung Monastery. He studied under the guidance of Tashi Senge and Densa Gekong. In Nyerthang, he studied the works of Buddha Maitreya and achieved the complete understanding of the Perfection of Wisdom (Prajnaparamita). As such he was already renowned as a great scholar at the young age of 19.

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Samye Monastery

Later, he debated at Samye Monastery, received the Heruka initiation in Zhalu and took his examinations on the Prajnaparamita in Sakya. According to his autobiography ‘Fulfilled Aims’, he studied texts and topics such as ‘Five Treatises of Maitreya’ at length. He also studied the related works by Asanga (4th Century), the Abhidharma of Vasubhandu (4th Century), the logic systems of Dignaga and Dharmakirti (6th Century) and the Madhyamaka system of Nagarjuna (150 – 250 CE). His in-depth study on philosophy and logic would later become the essence of the Gelug Tradition.

During his studies, he also took part in philosophical debates at various monasteries, such as Sakya, Sangden, Garong, Ngam-ring and Nenying Monasteries. His fame continued to rise after taking part in the dialectical debates on four of the great Treatises of Maitreya in Tse-tang.

He was committed to develop the correct understanding of Dharma and determined to combine his education with the practice of both sutra and tantra. Lama Tsongkhapa was also interested in other areas of study such as poetic composition, astrology and mandala construction. Both teachers and fellow students respected him for his supreme intelligence and his skillful debates. His pursuit for knowledge continued from 1373 to 1393 as he travelled all over Tibet and studied under 45 of the greatest teachers from different Buddhist lineages. Despite his renowned mastery of Dharma, Lama Tsongkhapa remained humble throughout his life.

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Rendawa Zhonnu Lodro

During his quest for knowledge, he focused on the Sakya tradition and the Sangpu tradition, which originated from Sangpu Monastery that was founded by Atisha. One of his main teachers was Rendawa Zhonnu Lodro (1349 – 1412). Rendawa was a proponent of the Prasangika view of Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka (Middle Way) philosophy. During this time, Lama Tsongkhapa devoted himself primarily to the learning and training in the Commentary of Valid Cognition. He developed a strong mutual Guru-student relationship with Rendawa. They respected and admired each other, and Lama Tsongkhapa even composed a prayer to Rendawa as a sign of his admiration:

Lord of stainless wisdom, Manjushri,
Objectless compassion, Chenrezig,
Crown jewel of the sages of the Land of Snows,
O Rendawa Zhonnu Lodro, at your feet I make this request;
Grant protection to me; a fly seeking liberation.

His beloved student’s prayer moved Rendawa. However, he felt the prayer made by Lama Tsongkhapa was more applicable to describe his student’s qualities. Therefore, he reciprocated by replacing his name with Lama Tsongkhapa’s along with other slight amendments:

Objectless compassion, Chenrezig,
Lord of stainless wisdom, Manjushri,
Conquering mara’s hordes, Vajrapani,
Crown jewel of the Sages of the Land of Snows,
Lobsang Drakpa, at your feet, I pray.

The prayer containing the blessings of Lama Tsongkhapa and Rendawa is also known as the Migtsema mantra. It is one of the most important prayers for Gelugpa practitioners and devotees of Lama Tsongkhapa.

MIG-MEY TZE-WEY TER-CHEN CHENREZIG
DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL YANG
DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY DAG
GANG-CHEN KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN TSONGKAPA
LO-SANG TRAG-PEY SHAB-LA SOL-WA DEB

Translated in English:

Je Tsongkhapa, crown jewel of the holy Masters of the land of snows,
You are Avalokiteshvara, great goldmine of Compassion untainted by ego’s delusion.
You are Manjushri, great Master of stainless wisdom.
You are Vajrapani, great subduer of all the gatherings of demons.
At your feet, famed Lobsang Drakpa,
I humbly bow and earnestly request that all sentient beings achieve Enlightenment.

Lama Tsongkhapa’s Migtsema mantra is a wonderful and powerful mantra suitable for anyone at any given stage of practice. In addition, the Migtsema mantra is at the center of Lama Tsongkhapa’s Guru Yoga, which was originally taught by Manjushri to Lama Tsongkhapa. Lama Tsongkhapa taught it to Sherab Senge and he in turn, passed it to Palden Sangpo who wrote it down for posterity. Here are the known benefits of reciting the Migtsema mantra, commonly known as Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra:

  • Pacifies negative karma and obstacles.
  • Increases merits, life span and Dharma realization.
  • Increases compassion, wisdom and spiritual power.
  • Protects from spirits and untimely death.
  • Creates rain for crops and controls the weather.
  • Cures the ‘drib’ disease (a type of mental obscuration that makes us dull and sleepy especially during one’s Dharma studies) and is caused by a certain classes of spirits.
  • Protects from harm from weapons.
  • Cures wind or ‘lung’ diseases (another mental disease that makes our emotions go up and down due to mental stress arising from various causes).
  • Cures physical and mental disabilities.
  • Protects from harm such as robbers.
  • Pacifies obstacles to grow crops such as insect infestation.
  • Protects those who are travelling.
  • Those who chant the prayer will never be hungry or want for food.
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The Migtsema mantra is the mantra of Lama Tsongkhapa

A lot of questions arise due to the fact that Gelug practitioners pray to Lama Tsongkhapa, a seemingly ordinary teacher, instead of the bodhisattvas Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani individually. The reason is that Lama Tsongkhapa, the humble and brilliant Dharma teacher, is the embodiment of the three great bodhisattvas. Therefore, reciting Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra is the same as invoking and receiving blessings from the three great bodhisattvas.

Aside from the Migtsema, there are various praises of Lama Tsongkhapa that can be recited as a prayer to receive blessings from him. These include:

In 1370, Lama Tsongkhapa and Rendawa headed to Ngam-rim, where Master Rendawa composed a commentary on the ‘Compendium of Abhidharma’ (Abhidharma Samuccaya). The young Lama Tsongkhapa also listened to his teaching on the commentary of the Pramana-vartika. Lama Tsongkhapa was so enthralled and moved by the meaning and realisation of Pramana-vartika that shivers of bliss rolled up his spine and tears fell in a steady stream.

Several years later, he spent the summer in Narthang Monastery where he listened to a teaching on a commentary of the Pramana-vartika composed by the great Lotsawa Donsang and participated in philosophical debates there.

As the number of his disciples grew, Lama Tsongkhapa decided that it was time for him to become a fully ordained monk. Lama Tsongkhapa received the vows of a fully ordained monk in Yarlung, surrounded by 20 monks. Tsultrim Rinchen, the master of the Four Great Subjects was the vow preceptor.

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Narthang Monastery

While staying in Tsel Monastery, Lama Tsongkhapa examined and grasped the entire breadth of the Kangyur, the spoken word of the Buddha, and Tengyur, the commentaries to the Buddha’s teachings, opening him to new insights into the entire body of Buddhist teachings. It was in Tsel Monastery that he began to compose his commentary on Abhisamaya-alamkara and engaged in an informal memorisation contest with three other monks: Ling Tsungme, Jampel Trashi of Domey and Sakya Drup, who were famous experts of scripture. Lama Tsongkhapa however, with his divine intelligence, emerged as the winner.

Before completing the composition of his commentary of the Abhisamaya-alamkara, he accomplished with great zeal the practice of Nyungne at the feet of the self-arisen statue of Avalokiteshvara. He also went to Cha-yul and Dewachen to give many lectures. It was in Dewachen that he finalised his commentary.

From Dewachen, he went to Kyormo Lung, where he received teachings on the Kalachakra Tantra from Tokden Yeshe Gyeltsen, the teacher of H.H. the 4th Karmapa Rolpai Dorje. It was also the place where Lama Tsongkhapa had the opportunity to learn about the Great Commentary to the Wheel of Time (a Kalachakra commentary) in more detail, as well as related subjects such as the preparation of astrological charts.

During the summer at Olkha Cholung in Yarlung, he conducted a retreat focusing on the meditational deity Heruka. There, he performed the Six Practices of Niguma and inner breathing exercises 100 times during each session. He developed high realisations as a result of his practices. In the spring of 1390, he went to the region of Tsang and arrived at Nubchu Lung in Rong where he listened to the teachings of the Basket of the Tantra from Drakpa She-nyen.

Lama Tsongkhapa studied under the guidance of many great masters including:

  • Chennga Sonam Gyeltsen (1378 – 1466), a Drigung lama from whom he received the Six Yogas of Naropa;
  • The Jonang lama Chokle Namgyel (1306 – 1386), from whom he received the Kalachakra cycle;
  • The Sakya master Rinchen Dorje, from whom he received the Lamdre teachings and the Hevajra Tantra;
  • Khyungpo Lepa Zhonnu Sonam, from whom he received the Guhyasamaja cycle;
  • Djen Nga Drakpa Jam-chup in the Tel Monastery, from whom he received the Six Yogas of Naropa, the collected writings of Pakmo Drupa, the writings of Jikten Gonpo and the teachings of Path and Goal; and
  • Lama Dampa Sonam Gyeltsen Pelzangpo, from whom he received the cycle of the body mandala of Heruka Chakrasamvara.

Equipped with concrete understanding of Madhayamaka philosophy, he began to compose his most important early work on Prajnaparamita titled ‘The Golden Garland’ (legs bshad gser phreng).

He studied logic and reasoning intensively at the age of 22 by focusing on the works on valid cognition by Dignaga and Dharmakirti. He was especially impressed by the works of Dharmakirti of Suvarnadvipa, a 10th Century renowned Buddhist logician from Srivijaya, Sumatra. Dharmakirti was also known as Dipamkara Atisha’s teacher. Much of Dipamkara Atisha’s work was based on the work of Dharmakirti of Suvarnadvipa. For the next 11 years, he travelled from one monastic college to another to learn new philosophical knowledge and to give teachings.

When Lama Tsongkhapa was 33 years old, he met with the extraordinary Lama Umapa from Tsang, who travelled to study with Lama Tsongkhapa. Lama Umapa had a special ability to communicate directly with Manjushri after undertaking extensive practices related to Manjushri. Lama Umapa would later become Lama Tsongkhapa’s medium of communication with Manjushri. They often spent time together in retreat during which Lama Umapa delivered Manjushri’s advice and responded with answers from Manjushri to Lama Tsongkhapa’s questions.

 

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The Purification Retreat

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35 Confessional Buddha

One day, during their meditation retreat, Lama Umapa relayed an important message from Manjushri. Manjushri advised Lama Tsongkhapa to stop meditating excessively because he would not gain realisation by meditation alone. Meditation is important to collect positive merit and purify negative karma, but it was not going to be enough for Lama Tsongkhapa to purify his negative karma at the rate that was necessary for him to become enlightened. Manjushri instructed him to go into a purification retreat instead.

As instructed by Manjushri, during the winter of 1392, Lama Tsongkhapa took a break from his teaching obligations and withdrew from the public for four years. He lived simply with a group of eight close students. The purification retreat began at Chadrel Hermitage in 1392 and moved to Olkha Cholung several years later. During the four-year long purification retreat, he performed 100,000 prostrations to each of the 35 Confessional Buddhas, completing a total of 3.5 million prostrations, in conjunction with the practice of Triskandhadharmasutra (‘Sutra of the Three Superior Heaps’). Imprints of his body could be seen on the ground after the retreat. His purification practices were fruitful as he gained direct visions of the 35 Confessional Buddhas. He also completed 1.8 million mandala offerings until his forearm was wounded and bled, as the result of using his forearm during the offering process.

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The entrance to one of Lama Tsongkhapa’s meditation caves. The entrance is below the main altar in the center of the room.

Toward the end of the retreat, Manjushri appeared in his vision. Manjushri told him that his negative karma was purified, and as a result he could now have direct communication with Manjushri without having to go through Lama Umapa. He also gained a vision of Maitreya Buddha. Lama Tsongkhapa’s purification retreat inspired many masters and gurus to be more dedicated and committed to investing more effort in their spiritual journey.

 

The Lamrim Chenmo: The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment

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Lamrim Chenmo (The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment) has been translated into many other languages including English and Chinese.

In 1398, he composed the ‘Praise to Dependent Origination’ after attaining realisation and the perfect understanding of the Madhyamaka upon obtaining a vision of an assembly of the great Indian Prasangika masters. In 1402, at the age of 46, Lama Tsongkhapa began to write a book about the graded path to Enlightenment called the Lamrim Chenmo or ‘The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment’. This most famous book was based on Dipamkara Atisha’s text called ‘Bodhipathapradipa’ (‘Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment’). It describes in detail the gradual path to enlightenment from the perspective of the sutra but also incorporates aspects of tantra as well. The Lamrim Chenmo was written while he was staying at Reting Monastery and was considered as one of Lama Tsongkhapa’s greatest deeds.

After completing the Lamrim Chenmo, he began writing several other works around 1407 and 1408, specifically his commentary on Nagarjuna’s ‘Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way’ called ‘The Ocean of Reasoning’ and ‘The Essence of Eloquence’. In 1415 he composed the Lamrim Dring or ‘The Medium-Length Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment’, which is a condensed version of the Lamrim Chenmo.

As a companion volume to the Lamrim Chenmo, he wrote the Ngarim Chenmo, or ‘The Great Treatise on the Tantric Stages of the Path to Enlightenment’ in 1405. The volume covers all the four classes of tantra in accordance with the Sarma traditions (such as the Kagyu and Sakya traditions) with a detailed explanation of the two stages of Anuttarayoga Tantra, also known as Highest Yoga Tantra. His other important tantric works include his works on Guhyasamaja, especially his ‘Commentary on the Vajrajnanasamuccayanama Tantra’ composed in 1401 and ‘Exposition of the Five Stages of Guhyasamaja’ composed in 1411.

 

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The Realisation of Buddha Shakyamuni’s Prophecies

Lama Tsongkhapa lived during a time when many monasteries had abandoned the rules of the Vinaya (monastic codes of conduct) and the practices had degenerated. Lama Tsongkhapa was determined to revive the Buddha’s teaching by following the method of Atisha. He put much emphasis on morality and especially strict discipline with monasticism. His great attempt to revive monastic discipline is considered the most important of his greatest deeds.

Throughout his life, Lama Tsongkhapa wrote 210 treatises, compiled into 20 volumes. The treatises combine the paths of sutra and tantra, specifically written to unite the View of the Middle Way School with the practice of Anuttarayoga Tantra.

 

The Monlam Chenmo: The Great Prayer Festival

When he was 52 years old, Lama Tsongkhapa initiated the New Year ‘Great Prayer’ Festival (Monlam Chenmo) in Lhasa. Monlam Chenmo was celebrated in Lhasa for two weeks after the Tibetan New Year. All the monks, nuns and lay people from all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism come together to pray and make offerings of thousands of butter lamps. During the two weeks period of Monlam Chenmo, which continues to this day, people perform virtuous actions to collect merits by making tremendous offerings, engaging in prostrations, going for spiritual retreats and looking for Sangha to sponsor. The Monlam Chenmo was one of the four great deeds of Lama Tsongkhapa.

Lama Tsongkhapa was a humble man who preferred not to show miraculous signs. However, there were few instances in which he showed his supernatural power. One day during the first Monlam Chenmo Festival, the flames from the thousands of butter lamps in the temple became uncontrollable. People were afraid the huge flames would burn the temple down. Upon hearing about the incident, Lama Tsongkhapa entered deep meditation and suddenly all the flames were extinguished as if they had been blown out by a gust of wind. He restrained showing his power although he was a powerfully realised being and had visions of the 84 Mahasiddhas perceiving them in the sky above Lhasa. He wanted people to study the Dharma, instead of striving to attain supernatural powers.

His remarkable life became the model for the monastic community to revive the Buddhist teachings. Through his clear teachings and specific guidance, the monastic codes of conduct were finally revived. His great accomplishment drew in more students and followers to the Dharma. He did not want to see Buddha’s doctrine degenerate in Tibet.

 

Maitreya Statue at Dzingji

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Dzingji Temple as it stands today

Advised by Manjushri, Lama Tsongkhapa went to Dzingji Temple to see the Maitreya Statue. He was deeply saddened by the dilapidated state of the building and the icon within. The holy statue was covered in dust and dirt. He felt compelled to restore them but did not have enough funds to accomplish the task. Lama Tsongkhapa and his disciples then made offerings and requested for Vaishravana’s assistance, the Protector of Wealth, to bless them with enough resources to complete the restoration task. Whatever he requested would manifest due to his pure intention. At last, both Dzingji Temple and the Maitreya Statue within were restored to their former glory. The restoration of the Maitreya Statue is usually considered the first of his great deeds.

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Maitreya Buddha

 

Gaden Monastery (Gaden means “Joyful”)

As his popularity grew, his students and followers asked Lama Tsongkhapa to build a monastery. He contemplated the idea and went to request guidance from the statue of Jowo Rinpoche at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. Jowo Rinpoche advised him in his dreams to build Gaden Monastery in 1409 at the Drok Riwo Mountains. The monastery was the first and most central monastic institution of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism. His followers were first known as ‘Gadenpas’ before their name was changed to ‘Gelugpas’ – ‘the Virtuous Ones’.

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Gaden Monastery in Tibet

Lama Tsongkhapa entrusted the construction of Gaden Monastery to one of his main disciples, Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen (1350 – 1413). He built the temple in accordance with the rules of Vinaya and with great perseverance. Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen first examined the site, and then asked permission from the Sangha to build. Once the Sangha granted permission and appointed him as the head builder, he took the responsibility for all aspects of the building, from excavating the land for the kitchen to completing the final touches on the temple and representations on the altar. Even the smallest of details such as the size of rooms was based on the Vinaya text. When the project was completed, he invited Lama Tsongkhapa and performed all of the three rounds of work in a manner that fully pleased his Guru.

 

Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen – The Holder of the Vinaya (1374 – 1434)

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Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen

Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen was born in an area between central and western Tibet. A studious disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa, he made bodhicitta his innermost heart commitment and became a great treasury of scriptural knowledge and realised qualities. He was also known as one of the closest heart disciples of the great Lama Tsongkhapa, and realised that reliance upon the Guru is the root of all good qualities and realisation. After Lama Tsongkhapa passed away, he would not take his master’s place, but instead suggested Gyaltsab Je to take the throne of the Gaden Tripa, as the head of the lineage. Because of his deep love for Lama Tsongkhapa, he preserved Lama Tsongkhapa’s precious remains in a case made of sandalwood. Then he placed them in a vase container made from 18 ‘dre’ (30 lbs) of beaten silver.

After Lama Tsongkhapa’s passing, he continued his master’s legacy by founding Tsunmo Tsel (Queen’s Garden) Monastery at the site of the Gyamadar Palace Jampa Migyur Ling in Uruto. It was located at the place where the Dharma King Songtsen Gampo was born and where the queen’s retinue usually resided in the royal garden.

In his lifetime, he carried out the great task of reviving the Vinaya by writing a collection of works on the subject called ‘The Great Precepts of Vinaya’, ‘Advice for Novices’ and ‘The Ritual for the Three Bases’. He also wrote sadhanas for mandala accomplishments and commentaries, consecration rituals, outer offerings for Chakrasamvara, an offering manual for making offerings to the front-generated Akshobya Guyasamaja in reliance upon a heaped mandala, Ganthapa Five-Deity Sadhana, Accomplishment of Great Wheel Vajrapani, Mandala Ritual for Luipa Chakrasamvara, Sadhana of Red-Black Yamantaka, Mandala Rituals of Vajradhatu Ishvari, Ritual of Kunrig Vairochana, Commentary on Purifying Lower Realms and Ritual Practice in the Three Families of Kriya Tantra.

He was called the ‘Holder of Vinaya’ because of his extensive work in preserving the Dharma system from decline. Just saying his name ‘Dulwa Dzinpa’ is something that benefits the teachings.

At the age of 63, he went to Tsunmo Tsel and left his physical body to go to the feet of the Unconquerable Manjusrigarbha Tsongkhapa in the Dharma palace of Tushita Pureland.

 

Drepung Monastery

Drepung Monastery in Tibet

After Gaden Monastery’s construction was completed, Lama Tsongkhapa instructed another of his disciples by the name of Jamyang Choje Tashi Palden (1379 – 1449) to build a monastery. He specifically instructed Jamyang Choje to build a monastery bigger than Gaden.

Lama Tsongkhapa offered him the conch shell that was unearthed during the construction of Gaden Monastery. Upon receiving the instruction, Jamyang Choje Tashi Palden proceeded to build the monastery that would be named Drepung, where the conch shell remained until the mid-20th Century. The construction commenced in 1416 and was completed in 1419.

 

Sera Monastery

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Sera Monastery in Tibet

In 1408 the Yongle Emperor of the Chinese Ming Dynasty (who reigned from 1402 to 1424) sent an invitation to Tsongkhapa inviting him to the royal court in Nanjing. Knowing that his arrival before the emperor would be celebrated with wealth and opulence, he refused the invitation. A second invitation was sent in 1413. This time, he sent his student Shakya Yeshe to represent him. Shakya Yeshe had a successful visit to China and received his title of Jamchen Choje from the Emperor. Great offerings were given to Shakya Yeshe after his visit, which he used to establish Sera Monastery.

The Gaden, Drepung and Sera Monasteries became three of Tibet’s most prominent Gelug monastic institutions and housed several thousand monks. Unfortunately, the original Gaden Monastery, the Gelugpas’ spiritual home, was damaged by Chinese troops during the 1959 uprising in Lhasa. It was during the uprising that Lama Tsongkhapa’s mummified body was ordered by the army to be burned. Presently, the Chinese government is rebuilding the monastery. After the exodus from Tibet to India in 1959, Tibetan lamas in exile re-established Gaden, Sera and Drepung Monasteries in Karnataka, India, where they continue to produce highly skillful and learned Dharma teachers and scholars.

 

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Entering Clear Light

While he was teaching the Guhyasamaja Tantra at Drepung Monastery, Lama Tsongkhapa stopped teaching halfway and left without explanation. As he departed, there was a sudden earthquake and the sky became very dark; many rainbows and clear streams of light shone forth in the direction of Gaden Monastery.

On his way back from Drepung, he paid a visit to Jokhang Temple to make many offerings and prostrations to Jowo Rinpoche. His prayer was simple; it was that the Dharma exists forever.

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Jowo Rinpoche statue at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa

When he finally reached Gaden Monastery, he made many offerings and dedicated the merit to all sentient beings and recited a Pure Land prayer. As the evening approached, he started to feel great pain all over his body and the monks performed prayers for him. He was accompanied by Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen, Gyaltsab Je and other close disciples. Gyaltsab Je begged Lama Tsongkhapa to grant advice. The Guru then took the sage’s cap from his head and tossed it into Gyaltsab Je’s lap. He also gave him his monk’s cloak before saying to all his close disciples, “Understand what I mean when I do this; now go and perfect the wish to become enlightened for others.” He gave these last instructions to his disciples and particularly to Gyaltsab Je whom he designated as his successor.

On the second day, knowing that he was going to depart from this world, he entrusted his position to his main disciple, Gyaltsab Je, who would become the 1st Gaden Tripa, Lama Tsongkhapa’s representative on earth. After Gyaltsab Je’s term as Gaden Tripa expired, Khedrup Gelek Pelzang became the 2nd Gaden Tripa.

On the morning of October 25, 1419, Lama Tsongkhapa entered into Samadhi meditation, made many inner offerings and took his last breath. Many saw his body transformed back into that of a 16-year-old boy (some say this is reminiscent of the youthful Manjushri) and rainbows emitting from his body. The rainbows were also seen when he last taught at Drepung Monastery. These auspicious signs signified Lama Tsongkhapa’s wish for his teachings to endure. He passed away at the age of 63, leaving behind him a great legacy of purified Dharma. To this day, the anniversary of Lama Tsongkhapa’s passing in 1419 on the 25th day of the 10th month, is celebrated in Tibet and Mongolia as ‘Gaden Ngamcho’ or Lama Tsongkhapa Day.

 

Gyaltsab Je (1364 – 1432)

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Gyaltsab Je

Gyaltsab Je or commonly known as Dharma Rinchen, was an ordained monk of the Sakya lineage who was an accomplished and eloquent scholar. His intellect had made him arrogant and he initially wanted to challenge Lama Tsongkhapa. It was not until he listened to the incomparable Lama Tsongkhapa’s profound teachings that he regretted his arrogance. Upon listening to Lama Tsongkhapa’s teaching, he became completely devoted to this great teacher. He was also a direct student of Rendawa. Other than being the 1st Gaden Tripa, he wrote a famous commentary on the Bodhicharyavatara known as the Dar Tik.

Gyaltsab Je became the 1st Gaden Tripa (Gaden Throne Holder) after Lama Tsongkhapa entered clear light in order to continue his lineage. To this day, the Gaden Tripa is the official head of the Gelug School, not the Dalai Lama as is mistaken believed by some. The Gaden Tripa is an appointed position, with a seven-year term of office. The position is the symbol of Lama Tsongkhapa’s continuing legacy.

 

Khedrup Gelek Pelzang (1385 – 1438)

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Khedrub Je

Khedrup Gelek Pelzang or better known as Khedrup Je was one of the main disciples of Lama Tsongkhapa. He was considered to be an emanation of Manjushri and the previous incarnation of Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen, the 4th Panchen Lama.

When Gelek Pelzang was 21, he studied under the guidance of Rendawa Zhonnu Lodro, with whom he took full ordination. He studied Darmakirti’s Pramanavartika, Abhidharma and the Five Books of Maitreya, Nagarjuna’s work on Madhyamaka and the Vinaya. He was already a learned Sakya scholar before becoming one of Lama Tsongkhapa’s foremost disciples, and he received instructions on both sutra and tantra from Lama Tsongkhapa. He was remembered as a charismatic teacher who wrote many excellent commentaries on the tantric practices, which Lama Tsongkhapa compiled and clarified.

His collected works total nine volumes in all, comprising a total of 58 treatises and many prayer books. In addition, he wrote an important text on Kalachakra that is still used by the current 14th Dalai Lama.

He was unanimously elected as the 2nd Gaden Tripa, succeeding Gyaltsab Je. He was also unanimously elected as Gaden Monastery’s third abbot (after Lama Tsongkhapa and Gyaltsab Je).

 

Qualtities of Gelug Monks

If we were to summarise the good qualities of Gelug monks from the Gaden tradition, it would come to 10 inspiring characteristics that Lama Tsongkhapa himself possessed:

  1. They are examined using debate, as emphasis is placed on logic and understanding in grounding one’s practice.
  2. They practise humility and do not show they have any special attainments. This is because the real attainments are mind transformation and the Six Paramitas, and not the supernatural abilities such as flying, walking fast, clairvoyance, etc. These are viewed as ordinary attainments.
  3. They focus on ethics and monastic discipline (Vinaya) as the core of their spiritual practice. Therefore, Gelug monks are celibate. They do not engage in consort practice.
  4. They rely on the combined sutric and tantric paths of method and wisdom for gaining attainments.
  5. They focus their teachings along the lines of of Dipamkara Atisha and followed the path of the Lamrim.
  6. They are committed to removing distractions due to mental wandering (e.g. annoyance, jealousy, pride, doubt and boredom).
  7. Their respect is not only based on rank, but also attainments. The system is meritocratic – a simple farmer boy who studies hard enough, can rise to the ranks of the Gaden Tripa (representative of Lama Tsongkhapa on earth, throne holder and head of the Gelug lineage).
  8. For scholar monks, who have compassion and the commitment to study, they may be able to turn the wheel of Dharma and preserve the teachings and traditions of Lama Tsongkhapa as lineage holders themselves.
  9. For worker and administrative monks, they serve the Sangha with compassion in order to relieve the scholar monks and lamas of secular work so they can focus on studying and teaching the Dharma.
  10. They are devoted to their teacher. To hold one’s teacher with the highest respect because without the teacher, we would not have access to the Dharma and gain any kind of realisation and insight into the higher teachings. We can study from books but that is not the same as having a teacher who elucidates the Dharma clearly and skillfully, and creates the conducive conditions for us to practice. Since we did not have the merits to learn from Buddha Shakyamuni, our teachers keep their commitments so that we are able to connect with the Dharma.

At the present day, the Gelug doctrine has been well-received all over the world with the existence of many great Gelug Monasteries. In this way, Lama Tsongkhapa’s legacy continues to live on. Some of these monasteries include:

  • Gaden Monastery
  • Drepung Monastery
  • Sera Monastery
  • Labrang Tashikyil Monastery
  • Namgyal Monastery
  • Tashilhunpo Monastery
  • Kumbum Monastery
  • Dhetsang Monastery
  • Reting Monastery
  • Denma Gonsa Monastery
  • Riwo Choling Monastery and many others

 

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The Iconography of Lama Tsongkhapa

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The Long Life form of Lama Tsongkhapa

Every element of the iconography of Lama Tsongkhapa carries great importance and meaning. Taking the time to understand the meaning of each symbol in his iconography will help us to visualise the correct representation of Lama Tsongkhapa during prayers and meditations. It is especially critical when inviting Lama Tsongkhapa’s statue or image to bless your house because the Buddha image should have the correct iconography.

The following are the meaning of Lama Tsongkhapa’s iconography:

  1. The face of a 16-year-old boy represents youthfulness.
  2. A smiling and happy face represents a pleasant state of mind.
  3. The lotus seat represents bodhicitta.
  4. The moon disc represents the realisation of emptiness.
  5. Lions represent protection against the four fears (demons): the demon of the delusions, the demon of contaminated aggregates, the demon of uncontrolled death and the Devaputra demon.
  6. His white skin represents attainment of bodhicitta.
  7. The tinge of red in his skin represents attainment of shunyata or emptiness.
  8. His three robes represent holding the vows (i.e. Pratimoksha, Bodhisattva and Tantric).
  9. He is seated in the vajra position representing the immutable, permanent stability in his realisations.
  10. His one face represents non-duality (seeing beyond the illusion of ‘I’ and ‘you’).
  11. His two hands represent the two truths: relative and ultimate truths.
  12. The dharmachakra mudra represents turning the wheel of Dharma.
  13. In his ‘long life’ form in which he holds a vase, this represents dispensing the nectar of immortality.
  14. The flaming wisdom sword  represents oneness with Manjushri, cutting of ignorance and delusions.
  15. The Prajnaparamita Scripture / Sutra of the Perfection of Wisdom resting on a lotus represents wisdom realising emptiness.
  16. The yellow pandit’s hat represents the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) school of Buddhism.
  17. The two flaps of the pandit’s hat represent the vast (method) and profound (wisdom) lineages.
  18. The pointed tip of the hat represents the stage of no more learning (enlightenment).

In his iconography, Lama Tsongkhapa holds a sword on a lotus on his right side. It symbolises the fact that as we listen and learn the Dharma, like a sword, the Dharma cuts through our ignorance. However, in the iconography, the sword is placed on a lotus. The lotus represents compassion and love. Therefore, the sword acts from compassion and love, and not from the intent to harm.

There is another lotus (compassion and love) on the left side with a Dharma book on it. The Dharma book has a ‘wish fulfilling jewel’ sitting on top of it. The jewel represents the benefits of the knowledge acquired when listening to and understanding the Dharma. When we make offerings and pray to Lama Tsongkhapa, our knowledge, intelligence and ability to communicate, especially through speech will increase.

Lama Tsongkhapa is always pictured in a meditation posture. The meditation posture represents that he has become enlightened by studying, understanding, engaging in retreat and meditation.

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The glorious king of the Dharma – Lama Tsongkhapa

 

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This is the foot print of Lord Tsongkapa. He imprinted his foot in stone as a sign of his tantric achievements.

This is the foot print of Lord Tsongkapa. He imprinted his foot in stone as a sign of his tantric achievements.

A unique Byzantine style depiction of Lama Tsongkhapa with his two heart disciples, Khedrup Je and Gyaltsab Je. This depiction of the three great practitioners is known in Tibetan as Je Yab Se Sum.

A unique Byzantine style depiction of Lama Tsongkhapa with his two heart disciples, Khedrup Je and Gyaltsab Je. This depiction of the three great practitioners is known in Tibetan as Je Yab Se Sum. Click to enlarge and download the high resolution version.

For more interesting information:

 

References

  • https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/exciting-information-on-tsongkapa.html
  • https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/tsongkhapa-prayers.html
  • https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/transcript-lama-tsongkhapa-24th-july-2008.html
  • http://tsongkhapa5.blogspot.co.id/2010/05/prophecies.html
  • http://tsemrinpoche.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Music-Delighting-English.pdf
  • http://resources.tsemtulku.com/free-downloads/15-thangkas-of-lama-tsongkhapa.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Padmasambhava
  • http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/guanyin.htm
  • http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/kuanyin-txt.htm
  • http://buddhism.about.com/od/iconsofbuddhism/a/manjushri.htm
  • http://www.himalayanart.org/search/set.cfm?setID=169
  • http://www.tamqui.com/buddhaworld/Vajrapani
  • http://www.lamayeshe.com/teacher/lama-tsongkhapa
  • http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Tsongkhapa_Lobzang_Drakpa
  • http://buddhism.about.com/od/Schools-of-Tibetan-Buddhism/a/Gelugpa.htm
  • http://www.lama-tsongkhapa.com/migtsema/
  • http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Gyaltsab_Darma_Rinchen
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khedrup_Gelek_Pelzang,_1st_Panchen_Lama
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyaltsab_Je
  • https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/benefits-and-miraculous-signs-of-lama-tsongkhapas-statues.html
  • http://treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Khedrubje-Gelek-Pelzang/8027
  • http://www.lama-tsongkhapa.com/iconography/
  • http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Gelug

 

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Valencia Suhendra

About Valencia Suhendra

Valencia is a liberal person who highly values equality and freedom in all aspects of life. She believes that all confusion, conflicts and dilemma we experience on a day-to-day basis can be solved through inner reflection, a thought that has brought her to explore the philosophies of Buddhism. New to spirituality, Valencia finds herself deeply interested in the fields of inner development and meditation, which she reads extensively during her time away from family and work.
Valencia Suhendra

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49 Responses to Lord Tsongkapa, King of the Dharma

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  1. Samfoonheei on Oct 10, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Its definitely a wonderful and great write up about our lineage holder Lama Tsongkhapa biography. Reading this post again to understand better. Very good informative guide for all of us . Lama Tsongkhapa is an emanation of three great bodhisattvas – Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani. My first Buddha statue that I received from a friend is Lord Tsongkapa. I am fortunate to learn Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings from Rinpoche .
    Thank you Rinpoche and Valencia for this inspiring GREAT post which have increased my knowledge .

  2. Shelly Tai on Dec 16, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valencia for this complete write of Lama Tsongkhapa. Reading this greta being live story is very inspiring to us as a lay practitioner because it reminds us the important of Dharma, and the amount of hard work that they put in for the benefits of others it really amazing. As such we will not easily give up our practice despite all these obstacles that we face because the only way to release ourself is the Dharma.

  3. Lum Kok Luen on Dec 8, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Dear Valencia,

    Thank you for this beautiful and well researched information on Lama Tsongkhapa..

    We are really thankful and fortunate to have our Guru, HE 25th Tsem Rinpoche to bring the sacred and rare lineage teachings to such far away place like Malaysia. We must have had the merits necessary to be able to meet the teachings and to follow a Guru as we tread on the Dharma path.

    Lama Tsongkhapa is such a compassionate Bodhisattva that if any one of us were to emulate his great qualities, I am sure we will be assured of enlightenment within a short time.

    Thank you Rinpoche, Valencia and the whole Kechara team to make and sustain the teachings until Liberation.

    Humbly yours
    Lum Kok Luen

  4. Anne Ong on Mar 2, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valencia for the compilation of this great Guru of the time.This extraordinary master’s legacy is really amazing and inspiring. He creates the conducive conditions for us to practice. Especially for people who really needs Dharma in this degenerating period. We are fortunate to meet the pure lineage of Lord Tsongkhapa in this life time through our precious guru H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche._/\_

  5. freon on Dec 18, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Dear Valencia,

    Thank you for this nice article.

    I feel i am very fortunate to have meet with Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings and lineage in this very lifetime. Although Lama Tsongkhapa was a Buddha, but to guide sentient beings like us, He manifest as human like us, and, he became a role model for sentient beings and show us the path to enlightenment.
    He learned and practice hard to show us the methods of apply dharma in our daily life. He is very serious on his learning journey. Through Lama Tsongkhapa, we have complete monastery system, we have proper moral discipline and vows. Even though Lama Tsongkhapa was attained master, he was very humble, he never show off his super power. By reading Lama Tsongkhapa story again, it touches me a lot- an inspiration to learn my dharma well.

    I thanks Rinpoche for bringing Lama Tsongkhapa lineage to my life. May Rinpoche continued to turn the Dharma wheel.

    With love
    Freon

  6. Wan Wai Meng on Oct 31, 2016 at 2:02 am

    Lama Tsongkhapa certainly left his mark in our world, being the founder of the Gelug traditions, Lama Tsongkhapa has been associated with many titles and names, my favourite ones of him are he has been called ‘Incomparable’ Tsongkhapa and Tricosmic Master. It is very apt to call Tsongkhapa incomparable, no one could rival Tsongkhapa during his time, his learning, practice of which he applied himself doing retreats and teachings and he systemized the Buddhist teachings, and was a very prolific writer at that.

  7. DavidFong on Sep 21, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    感谢您分享出一份有关于宗喀巴大师的生平事迹和他的伟大成就和一个令人惊讶知识,谢谢您这个殊胜的博文。
    我个人很喜欢宗喀巴大师,他的勤奋、奉献、承诺、 值得我去学习。

  8. Pastor Han Nee on Sep 9, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you Valencia for researching and presenting this vast blogpost containing an amazingly vast store of knowledge of Je Tsongkhapa’s life story and his greatness and achievements.

    Lord Tsongkhapa is aptly called King of the Dharma. His humility in the face of his amazing scholastic achievements and accomplishments in the study and writing of Dharma, as well as in his accomplishment of many great feats of Dharma, humbles me. His purity of heart and his mind of bodhicitta saw him accomplish so much in teaching and spreading the Dharma, and in all his other feats for Dharma for the greatest benefit for all sentient beings.

    I am deeply touched by the thoughts that ran through his mind as he sadly bade farewell to his beloved teacher Choje Dondrub Rinchen, as well as his home. As he was bidding farewell by reciting “The Praises to Manjushri”, as he reached the line, “Those who do not return to cyclic existence do not come back,” he knew that he would not be returning. At the time, he felt such great sadness that his tears ran down his cheeks. He knew he would not be returning, because he had renounced samsara and turned his back on it already. We know his full renunciation in the anecdote, where he actually wrote a letter n drew a picture of himself, to give to his mother, who had missed him and asked him to go back to see her. He did not return home but the picture of himself that he sent to his mother, talked to his mother!

    Lama Tsongkhapa realised and practiced the Three Principles of the Path that he wrote into the Lamrim Chenmo – renunciation, bodhicitta and the Correct View of Emptiness. His Lamrim Chenmo, one of his greatest gifts to us all, is still one of the most powerful texts of all times, containing all the stages of the Path to Enlightenment.

    His mind was so pure, with only Dharma and Bodhicitta motivations, that when he wanted to renovate the dilapidated Maitreya statue in Dzingji Temple, which was in a sad state of disrepair, and he prayed to Vaishravana, the Protector of Wealth’s assistance, for resources, these all came for him to fulfil his task of restoring the statue.

    His bodhicitta motivations to benefit all beings in every way led him to study medicine and master all the medical treatises ( “A bodhisattva should train in every art and science that would be of benefit to others”). Although he mastered the medical treatises, he never actually practised medicine. However, because of his medical skills, other physicians would often consult him regarding the best possible treatment for their patients. Hence, he was able to benefit sentient beings with his knowledge, even though he didn’t practice medicine.

    His quest and thirst for every aspect of dharma knowledge – both sutric and tantric – led him to many masters from all existing schools of Tibetan Buddhism ,as well as to great Indian Masters, and in the end, he gained mastery of an amazingly wide range of knowledge. His quest to gain knowledge of the best view of Wisdom caused him to gain mastery of all lineages of the Prajna-parimita. Ultimately, he was led to the study of Nagarjuna’s Middle View of Emptiness. He studied and gained mastery of the profound view – the Prasangika view of Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka (Middle Way) philosophy , and attained realisation of it.

    As realising the Correct View of Emptiness, which is Nagarjuna’s Middle View(the Prasangika-Madhyamika view), is the only ultimate method to eradicate all our suffering and its causes, Lama Tsongkhapa’s unexcelled understanding and propounding of this view is most precious and invaluable for us all in this degenerate age. Hence, compassionate Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen arose as the Dharma Protector especially to protect these teachings, so necessary for beings in this degenerate age.

    Lama Tsongkhapa has left such a powerful legacy of his lineage of teachings and practice that we remain eternally indebted to Him and to our Guru, Tsem Rinpoche, for bringing this lineage to us.

  9. graceleong on Sep 8, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Lama Tsongkhapa really lives up to his title of being the King of Dharma. At every juncture of his life, he showed incredible talents and results. He studied hard and widely, he practiced purification retreats at a rate which most practitioners will find hard to conquer, but this inspired many to emulate his methods to focus more on holding their vows and doing their practices. He also wrote books and commentaries on all the crucial subjects, laying down the path which can lead one to Enlightment.
    Thank you Rinpoche for providing us the practice of Lama Tsongkhapa in Kechara. We are very lucky and blessed to have this precious opportunity. With folded hands.

  10. Pema Thinley on Sep 8, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Thank you Valencia lah for such amazing and inspiring post. Many would be benefited in the future. It is sorted out in very easy understandable manner. I could really easily get the sequence of the story of this great master ever lived _()_.
    Thank you Rinpoche

  11. Carmen Koo on Aug 21, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Such a comprehensive compilation of Je Tsongkhapa’s life. I have always loved Lama Tsongkhapa, and reading this biography further reinforces his supreme and sublime deeds to inspire us on our practice.

    One thing I liked was the benefits that was stated out from reciting Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra, or the Migstema. To name a few from the article:

    – Pacifies negative karma and obstacles.
    – Increases merits, life span and Dharma realization.
    – Cures wind or ‘lung’ diseases (another mental disease that makes our emotions go up and down due to mental stress arising from various causes).
    – Cures physical and mental disabilities.

    I remember that Rinpoche had told us before that Migstema mantra really helps with stabilising our mental health, and rids depression. I guess that is why also, when you visit the monastery, you will see many old and senior monks, some in their 70s, 80s, and even 90s, still with a very sharp, light, happy mind. Of course they spent their entire lives doing the Dharma, and chanting mantras, which I believe gives them ultimate peace even at that age.

    Lama Tsongkhapa, of course, not an ordinary being, but in a human form, subjected to all the things and conditions that the human body, mind and spirit goes through, proved that with diligence, practice, devotion, commitment, hardwork, and more, enlightenment is possible in the human form. Even he did millions of prostrations and mandala offerings to the 3 jewels in his lifetime, amongst other great accomplishments. He shows that we can too if we focus on our Dharma practice.

    Thank you Valentina for this article that is so beneficlal for many.

    Carmen

  12. William Chua on Aug 3, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Thank you Valencia for the comprehensive article about Lama Tsongkhapa. This is very useful for beginners who will start to know about the founder of Gelug school of Buddhism. I find the iconography of Lama Tsongkapa is very important because every part represents a teaching. When we engage in Lama Tsongkhapa practice, we understand better and not just blindly practicing. With understanding, it will support us in our visualisation when we practice.

    Knowing the origins of Lama Tsongkhapa also strengthens our belief and that the teachings are from a proper lineage.

  13. TekLee on Aug 2, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valencia for sharing the article of Lama Tsongkhapa. It let us know in detail about Lama Tsongkhapa. I am very fortunate to be a member of Kechara and in Gelug lineage. Without Lama Tsongkhapa, we won’t have the chance to practice Dharma in Kechara.
    The very first day I stepped into Kechara Main Gompa, I already like Lama Tsongkhapa very much, and Migtsema mantra is very easy to chant. It is very powerful as it consists the qualities of the three bodhisattvas, Manjushri, Chenrezig and Vajrapani, which helps us in mind transformation.
    Thank you again Rinpoche and Valencia. _/\_

    • Valentina Suhendra on Aug 14, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      Dear Tek Lee

      Thank you for your comment. I am happy that you found this article to be useful. I agree with you that this article is is a good informative guide for beginners and even for someone who have known about Lama Tsongkhapa because it compiled a detailed information from his birth, work, achievements, until his passing. It also explains about his practice.

      Do continue to visit this blog from time to time and looking forward to seeing your other comments.

      Valentina

  14. Carsden on Aug 1, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing and giving knowlegde on Lord Tsongkapa for those who are new to Tibetan Buddhism like me.

    This extraordinary master’s legacy is really amazing and inspiring. He creates the conducive conditions for us to practice. Especially for people who really needs Dharma in this degenerating period.

    The very first buddha statue that I received from Tsem Rinpoche is Lord Tsongkapa, King of the Dharma. I like it very much when i first looked at it with his smiling and genial face. Since then, I pray to Lord Tsongkapa and Dorje Shugden everyday until now.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valencia once again!

  15. Vivian Ong on Aug 1, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you Valencia for this detailed article about Lama Tsongkhapa. I understand better about Lama Tsongkhapa right from his birth time until his passing and also his Iconography. Lama Tsongkhapa is considered an emanation of three great bodhisattvas – Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani – as he possesses the profound qualities of enlightened compassion, wisdom and spiritual power that the three bodhisattvas embody respectively. The Migstema mantra is very powerful as it consists the qualities of the three bodhisattvas.

  16. Sock Wan on Aug 1, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Lama Tsongkhapa received many teachings from different lineages and took the best of each lineage, combined them into one and founded Gelug lineage. He emphasised a lot on holding vows, learning Dharma and being humble. In Gelug lineage, even though all highly attained beings due to the nature of their attainment possess magical power, they will not show it as they want the practitioners to focus on learning, which eventually leads to mind transformation.

    What I find interesting is that the Migtsema prayer was originally composed by Lama Tsongkhapa for his guru but instead, his guru offered the prayer back to him. This shows Lama Tsongkhapa was indeed a highly attained lama. By reciting Migtsema we are reciting the mantras of the 3 Buddha deities, ie Manjushri, Tsongkhapa and Vajrapani. If we don’t know which mantra to recite, Migtsema will be the best to start with.

    Lama Tsongkhapa dedicated his life to reviving the pure teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni, because of him we have the opportunity to learn the precious Middle Path teaching of Nagarjuna. He left his own family at the age of 7 and did not go back home ever since. His only wish was to revive Buddha Dharma and continue to pass the teachings down. This is not something an ordinary being like us can do.

  17. Karen on Aug 1, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Thank you Valencia for this wonderful and elaborate write up about our lineage holder Lama Tsongkhapa biography. This write up is easy to understand yet comprehensive for everyone even newbie to understand, including me who find it very difficult to understand years ago.

    Since I joined Kechara, I always heard Rinpoche said by just reciting Migtsema or do Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa, we could get many benefits on different level. Just pray to 1 Buddha (TKP) we get benefits from other 3 Buddhas (Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara & Vajrapani), 3 in 1. hehe.. I did not really understand at that time. And now that everyone of us have to engage in Tsongkhapa retreat on yearly basis, I really experienced the goodness and benefits from the retreat. After the retreat, I always feel my mind becomes calmer, anger is lessened, my mind is more open, sharp and memory increased. On top of that, many of my fear has gone and I feel lighter. Honestly I was quite amazed by the result from engaging in Lama Tsongkhapa retreat.

    Lama Tsongkhapa practise and retreat is easy and suits the city people who has busy schedule like you and me.

  18. Wylfred Ng on Aug 1, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    谢谢 Valencia 的用心分享。

    宗喀巴大师是格鲁传承的创始者。 在宗喀巴大师出现之前, 佛陀和莲花生大士已经预言在14世纪宗喀巴大师即将会诞生且振兴佛法。宗喀巴大师有不同传承的上师, 也学习了很多不同传承的法门。 宗喀巴大师的著作比如菩提道次第广论、密宗道次第等等还是被沿用至今。

    宗喀巴大师时代建立的三大寺–甘丹寺、色拉寺与哲蚌寺, 到现在还继续传承着宗喀巴大师的事业, 弘扬佛法, 利益众生。

    今天在克切拉佛教中心我们还是学着宗喀巴大师所传的法, 上师詹杜固仁波切也是出自于甘丹寺。

    上师詹杜固仁波切非常推崇宗喀巴大师的上师瑜伽法。 宗喀巴大师由文殊菩萨直接得到此法门。 宗喀巴大师上师瑜伽法集合了佛陀的八万四千法门, 也集合了长寿法门、破瓦法门等等, 是一个非常完整的法门, 适合我们忙碌的现代人修行。

    感恩与随喜宗喀巴大师的佛法事业, 让我们身在末法的我们还有如此清净的法门让我们修行。

    谢谢。

  19. jerry_sito on Aug 1, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    感谢你的分享,

    尊贵的宗喀巴大师,被喻为第二佛,也是属于我们格鲁派的创始人,伟大的宗喀巴大师也就是说是我们整个格鲁派(黄教)的传承上师,在藏传佛教中,上师与传承上师是非常重要的,倘若没有了来自上师与传承上师的加持与祝福,在佛法的修行道路上,我们是很难有所成就的,因此身为格鲁派系的我们,在每天的仪轨(早课)中,我们都会念诵宗喀巴大师的上师瑜伽法与缘悲经,好让我们能够亲近自己的上师,并且得到上师的佛法教诲与开示,以及得到整个传承上师们的保护与加持,并且如果我们认真的修持宗喀巴的上师瑜伽法与缘悲经,还可以帮助我们在死亡的那一刻帮助我们投生弥勒佛的兜率净土,而且我最喜欢有关宗喀巴大师的是,他重新整顿了当时僧侣的戒律,造就了今天的藏传佛教的重要影响。

    我还记得其中一个开示是只要有供奉宗喀巴大师的地方,宗喀巴大师的佛像,能够加持与祝福这个地方,并且能够帮助那一个地方增长与远离贫苦,现代的人都在忙绿的都市生活与灯红酒绿宛如走马灯的生活了,人们总是忙着赚钱,找寻爱情等,然而内心却是充满空洞,与充满忧郁,忧郁症是当下十分普遍的都市病,然而宗喀巴大师的缘悲经对于忧郁症,心情时常低落的人有非常强大的治愈能量,所以修持宗喀巴大师都我们是十分有利的。

    谢谢
    Jerry sito

  20. samfoonheei on Aug 1, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Thank You Valencia for sharing this informative article on Lord Tsongkapa “s life.Lama Tsongkhapa is an emanation of three great bodhisattvas – Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani – Interesting reading it …at least i could understand better. We fortunate to have Rinpoche making the practice that easy for us to practice in away reconnecting link with Lama Tsongkhapa too.May all us be blessed under Rinpoche and hoping the ban of Dorje Shugden be lifted soon.
    Thanks Rinpoche and Valencia again.

  21. Su Ming on Jul 24, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    WOW, this is such a good compilation of Lama Tsongkhapa biography. This really makes a good teaching material. What I really like about this article are the pictures of the monasteries, temples and even where Lama Tsongkhapa performed his purification retreat which has been inserted inside when as we go through Lama Tsongkhapa life journey.

    What I have found very profound about Lama Tsongkhapa’s story is that he manifested during the time where the rules of the Vinaya and practices had degenerated. And this I find it very similar to what we are doing in Kechara Forest Retreat under our spiritual guide, Tsem Rinpoche. I have been lucky enough to be expose to the monasteries for the past few years. Gone were the days that parents actually encouraged their children to be in the monastic environment. Instead, monasteries has to recruit young monks who are from the poor villages and majority of them when they come to age, they have decided to go back to the samsaric world. Therefore, what Rinpoche wants to achieve in Kechara as a whole is important cause is bridging the gap between the new modern and even more degenerated world today with what Lama Tsongkhapa restored.

  22. Eric kksiow on Jul 15, 2016 at 1:35 am

    Thank You Valencia for detailed Lama Tsongkhapa article. It’s great to re-read again in “Detailed”.

    Always amazed by Lama Tsongkhapa due thru his practices and ethic in Dharma at his young age.

    Thank You
    Eric kksiow

  23. Mingwen on Jul 15, 2016 at 12:37 am

    “The young Lama Tsongkhapa continued his journey to Gungtang, where he studied the eight branches of medical diagnosis under the guidance of the great physician Lhadje Konchok Kyab. He studied medicine in order to show his pure dedication towards following the bodhisattva’s codes of conduct. A bodhisattva should train in every art and science that would be of benefit to others. Although he mastered the medical treatises, he never actually practised medicine. However, because of his medical skills, other physicians would often consult him regarding the best possible treatment for their patients.”

    By reading this section, I realised that every actions that Lama Tsongkhapa did were for the sake to benefit all sentient beings. Thus, being selfless and have good motivations are definitely the main qualities to be a better person. I am feeling extremely fortunate to have the chance to have a link with him( Lama Tsongkhapa, the Second Buddha) and do his practice.

  24. Pastor Henry Ooi on Jul 14, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Monks and lay practitioners of the Gelug lineage rely very much on the teaching of dharma by Lama Tsongkapa, who in turn, learned from his gurus and his gurus learned from their gurus, and so on. This unbroken lineage dates way back to the historical Buddha. Monks and lay practitioners of the Gelugpa lineage have been engaging in the practice of Dorje Shugden for hundreds of years. The ban enforced by the Tibetan leadership on the practice is destroying the teachings and lineage of Lama Tsongkhapa. Dharma practices are now being eradicated from within its own camp and not from outer forces. What happened to loving compassion, kindness, tolerance, acceptance, giving, equality, wisdom? Why practice, pray and dedicate the merit to all sentient beings? Are Dorje Shugden practitioners not sentient beings?

  25. nicholas on Jul 14, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    From the articles we can see that Lama Tsongkhapa is an important saint as during Buddha Shakyamuni time that he already prophesied Lama Tsongkhapa would be reborn as the emanation of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom that will revive Buddhism from the degeneration.

    The existence of Lama Tsongkhapa is very important during that time to revive the monastic value and the establishment of Gelug lineage that produce to many great master that continue to turn the wheel of dharma. Even such a great being like him, would still need to do purification practice to purify the karma in order to achieve attainment. Great learn from this biography.

  26. pammie yap on Jul 14, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Reading Lord Tsongkhapa’s bio is as interesting as reading Rinpoche’s bio. Both of them are full of wisdom, pure Guru devotion and always thinking of benefitting others with the best motivation. Especially when Tsongkhapa built Gaden and Rinpoche, Kechara Forest Retreat.

    Reading through Tsongkhapa life’s works really amaze me. From young age till His passing, He learned so well, so fast and so much! Not only that, He combined everything and made it easy for us to learn. Even when He knew it was time to ‘leave’, He still made prayers. For Dharma to exist forever!! How inspiring is that prayer!!

    Thank you Tsongkhapa, Rinpoche and Valencia for this beautiful writeup! ??
    May all sentient beings never be separated from Dharma in all lives till we are Enlightened.

  27. Pastor Ong Moh Mei on Jul 14, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    That is one long elaborate story of Lama Tsongkhapa’s life. One thought that comes to mind is did Lama Tsongkhapa become enlightened due to all His learnings, practices and great deeds in that lifetime or what He has demonstrated was due to Him being already enlightened (as He was the emanation of Manjushri).

    If enlightened beings and their emanations are the ones performing all the great dharma deeds and just “pretending” to go through the motions of practicing the path to enlightenment, how much hope does that give normal humans to be able to get anywhere.

    The life of Lama Tsongkhapa is beyond my level of comprehension and understanding.

  28. June Kang on Jul 14, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    看宗喀巴大师的生平,很清楚说到宗喀巴大师不是一个普通的人,宗喀巴大师从3岁至16岁所学是让人很惊讶,惊讶他的智慧, 这显示宗喀巴大师是文殊菩萨的化身。

    宗喀巴大師在其六十二年的歲月裡,所成就的學習、修行、著作、教授及閉關不可思議,一般人要在畢生完成上述其中一項成就都是不太可能的。

    作者对宗喀巴大師的出生、出家、学习做了全面而翔实的记述。

  29. Jace Chong on Jul 14, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche and Valencia for the compilation of this great Guru of the time.

    Personally I am very grateful that my spiritual journey on Tibetan Buddhism started with Tsongkhapa. Many years ago I was in a great grief of losing 2 of my colleagues, a friend gave me a A5 size card printed a praise to Tsongkhapa. Out of no where my faith on this yellow hat Lama grows and I read the praise everyday before I sleep or when I miss my friends who passed away. My pain was lighter and gradually I heal from the grief.

    From this article, we can see how Lama Tsongkhapa took steps to reach enlightenment as an ordinary being. However, his ability since young to memorize and understand so many powerful scriptures made him an extraordinary person. His purification retreats show us a highly respected scholar with vast knowledge need to purify his negative karma to go to the next level of his path. I might not able to have great wisdom to learn so much as Lama Tsongkhapa, however the purification methods are something easy to start with.

    LamaTsongkhapa ‘s walked a life that’s inspiring in every part of it. Contemplating on Lama Tsongkhapa good qualities give me hopes that there’s answer for every question, there’s solution for every problem.

    Thank you.

  30. Julia Tan on Jul 14, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    We are fortunate to meet the pure lineage of Lord Tsongkhapa in this life time through our precious guru H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche. What’s amazing me about Lord Tsongkhapa was his dedication to the Dharma. Lord Tsongkhapa used his whole life to seek for the pure Dharma and bring them all back together. Not only benefited the people of Tibet but the whole world now. He used his body as an example to show the people that any one of us can achieve perfection which is enlightenment if we dedicated fully and practice fully. He showed us that’s no easy way nor miracles nor super natural power but to practice sincerely. We all have a chance to accomplish enlightenment.

  31. Uncle Lai on Jul 14, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    During the time of Buddha Shakyamuni a small boy presented Lord Buddha with a crystal mala. Upon receiving the mala Buddha Shakyamuni placed his hands on the boy’s head and predicted to one of his disciples Ananda. He said that this boy would be reborn in the land of the snow (Tibet) and would revive the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni in the era of degeneration. Buddha Shakyamuni also prophesied that this boy would be reborn as emanation of Manjushri, the Buddha of wisdom and he would be called Sumati Kirti or Lobsang Drakpa in Tibetan. This boy would be reborn as Lama Tsonghkapa a notable Buddhist teacher.

    The year prior to Lama Tsonghkapa’s birth his parents had auspicious dreams. His farther Lubum Ge dreamt of a monk from Five Peak Mountain (Wu Tai San) in China. The monk travelling from afar requested shelter in his home for nine months and Lubum Ge gladly accepted.

    Shingza Acho, Lama Tsongkhapa’s mother had auspicious dream too. She dreamt that she was in a garden among 1000 other women. Also present there was a boy and girl very nice and beautifully dressed. The boy approached each of the women and asked the girl which woman was a suitable vessel. The girl chose Shingza Acho. Upon choosing Shingza Acho they bathed her in order to purify her.

    In the first month after his conception Lama Tsongkhapa’s farther dreamt of the bodhisattva, Vajrapani who threw a Vajra from his pure land which fell and melted into his wife’s body. (Shingza Acho)

    In 1357 Shingza Acho dreamt of monks carrying ritual items as offerings to Avalakiteshvera, requesting his appearance. Avalakiteshvera finally appear in a form of a holy body very huge in size up in the sky and shining brightly like the sun. As Alavakiteshvera approached Shingza Acho he diminished in size and melted into her body.

    The auspicious dreams of his parents confirmed Lama Tsongkhapa as the emanation of Manjustri, Vajrapani and Avalakiteshvara,

  32. Alice Tay on Jul 13, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    好喜欢这片博文。因为这片博文可以让我们更加了解有关宗喀巴大师的故事。

    在宗喀巴大师还未出世前,他的父母亲陆陆续续的发梦到一些吉祥梦直到宗喀巴大师出世。而最令本人敬佩的是宗喀巴大师从小聪颖过人,大师可以透过观察他的上师阅读后,他就会随着诵读与写出佛法经典。在大师七岁那年就离开父母亲,然后八岁那年授出家戒。如果与现今社会相比,我相信没有多少人可以像宗喀巴大师年纪轻轻就有如此的坚定与坚信佛法。

    除此,宗喀巴大师曾为他的上师仁达瓦作緣悲经來赞颂其师。然而仁达瓦却将原颂末后的两句改成赞颂宗喀巴大師。後來,此颂成为赞颂宗喀巴大師的緣悲经。而此缘悲经至今是依然令人感动与舒缓人心。

    感谢上师尊贵的詹杜固仁波切以及Valencia用心的与大家分享此博文。

  33. Albert on Jul 12, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you Valencia for such detail Bio of Lama Tsongkhapa, many of us has heard about Lama Tsongkhapa and got bits and pieces of info about him but not as detail as in this Bio.

    Reading this bio of lama Tsongkhapa, it feel like I’m walking through his life, his work and his life is really amazing, Lama Tsongkhapa work so tirelessly in his life to spread Dharma, to revive Dharma that was taught by Buddha Shakyamuni, he travelled from 1 place to another place to learn the Dharma and combine it and founded Gelug Tradition, this is not an easy task at all, but Lama Tsongkhapa has done it, imagine the challenges he has to go through.

    If without Lama Tsongkhapa selfless contribution towards Dharma, we all would not be here to practice our spiritual path. Rinpoche today is doing the same, he work tirelessly, he build kechara Forest Retreat is to benefit the people in the many years to come, just like Lama Tsongkhapa building Gaden in Tibet.

  34. Valentina Suhendra on Jun 26, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Dear Valencia

    Thank you for this comprehensive article about Lama Tsongkhapa. I learned a lot from reading it. I have been praying to Lama Tsongkhapa and when I established a premise for Yayasan Kechara Indonesia back in year 2011, my teacher, H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche gave me a 3ft Lama Tsongkhapa statue, which is a very beautiful object of veneration.

    I hope your comprehensive article will attract a lot of people to the practice of Lama Tsongkhapa.

    Valentina

  35. Stella Cheang on Jun 18, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Lama Tsongkhapa in his previous incarnation, was a young boy who offered a clear crystal rosary to Buddha and received a conch shell in return. The Buddha prophesied that the boy will be born in Tibet, would found a great monastery and be instrumental in spreading Buddha’s doctrine in Tibet. Lama Tsongkhapa through his eclectic and analytic studies and meditations in all the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, resulted in the founding of the Gelugpa system of the Tibetan Buddhist heritage.

    It is truly inspiring to find out how Lama Tsongkhapa’s quest in search for Dharma knowledge and later on be instrumental in reforming the Buddhist practice in Tibet. Lama Tsongkhapa revived the Buddha’s teaching by following the method of Atisha. He emphasized on morality and especially strict discipline with monasticism. His great attempt to revive monastic discipline is considered the most important of his greatest deeds.

    Lama Tsongkhapa also founded the three Great monasteries of Tibet. These monasteries are Gaden, Sera and Drepung. Gaden Monastery being the first monastic institution of the Gelugpa school has significant meaning to Gelug lineage followers. The construction of Gaden Monastery was entrusted to one of Lama Tsongkhapa’s main disciples, Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltse. He built the temple in accordance with the rules of Vinaya and with great perseverance.

    Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltse was one of the closest heart disciples of the great Lama Tsongkhapa. He would later on arose as world peace enlightened Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden to protect Lama Tsongkhapa’s teaching.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valencia for this informative sharing.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  36. Uncle Eddie on Jun 18, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Lord Tsongkapa holds a unique position in Tibetan Buddhist Tradition – all in one, he was said to be the greatest Philosopher, the most eloquent writer, and the most successful Teacher and organiser of Tibetan Buddhism who ever lived in this World. It is said that everywhere a young scholar goes, he is surrounded by the great Master’s influence. The very monastery in which he walks, has been founded either by Lord Tsongkapa or one of his direct desciples; Ganden in 1409 by the Lord himself; Drepung in 1416 by Jamyang Chuje Tashi Pelden, and Sera in 1419 by Jamchen Chuje Shakya Yeshe. The very robes that the monk wears were part designed by Lord Tsongkapa. When he sits down and fingers his beads, he may well be counting the famous and powerful Migtsemas mantra; the tibetan equivalent of hail Mary’s, in supplication to Lord Songhkapa. Lord Tsongkapa, possessing the profound qualities of enlightened compassion, wisdom and spiritual power of Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani, is considered to be an emanation of the three great bodisattvas. This is for the purpose of spreading the pure teachings of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, and benefitting all sentient beings. Thank you so much Valencia, for the sharing of your well-written and comprehensive write-ups, which make reading so enlightening!

  37. Valencia Suhendra on Jun 18, 2016 at 12:04 am

    Dear friends,

    Thank you for the kind comments. I am very impressed with Lama Tsongkhapa’s dedication to the Dharma. I must admit, I felt a little bit intimidated by the topic, considering Lama Tsongkhapa was one of the great Buddhist teachers of all time. I must give two thumbs up to him. All he had learnt in his lifetime was probably equivalent to the highest level of learning of today, multiplied by 1 million times. I am glad that his legacy endures til today. I hope this article can bring blessing and give knowledge on Lama Tsongkhapa’s life.

    Valencia

  38. Pastor Niral Patel on Jun 17, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    This biography of the great Lama Tsongkhapa is very concise in its explanation of his life and does so in a manner that is easy to understand. There are a few such concise biographies around, but Valencia’s is well written and informative. In fact there are some points in the biography that unique that i have found in other succinct biographies.

    Valencia has taken the time to explain the prophecies concerning Lama Tsongkhapa as well as how these prophecies came to pass. It is interesting that a lot of biographies state that there were prophecies but do necessarily explain how they were fulfilled. This biography also contains a short description on the Three Bodhisattvas that Tsongkhapa is an emanation of. We gain the blessings of these great beings when we engage in the practice of Lama Tsongkhapa. In fact, when we engage in Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice we also make a strong connection with the future Buddha Maitreya as well, as Lama Tsongkhapa currently resides in Tushia Pureland, which is ruled by Maitreya at the current point in time.

    I remember when first coming across His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche’s teachings, i found a wealth of information and prayers dedicated to Lama Tsongkhapa. I found this information to be useful in my own life and began engaging in Lama Tsongkhapa’s Guru Yoga (https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/tsongkapas-daily-practice-video-commentary.html) This really had a very strong impact on my mind, especially coupled with readings of Lama Tsongkhapa’s biography.

    Thank you Valencia for writing this, it has helped me in my understanding of Lama Tsongkhapa’s life in a very nice and easy to understand manner.

  39. Vivian Ong on Jun 16, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    I would like to thank Rinpoche and Valentina for this article. I was able to understand more and in details about the history of Lama Tsongkhapa and his great works and also attainments. We must therefore practice the Guru Yoga intensively if we want to gain the same attainments as Lama Tsongkhapa. _/\_

  40. shelly tai on Jun 16, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Thank you Valencia for this explanation of Lama Tsongkhapa. I personally think the practice is fantastic because by reciting the mantra of Migtsema one can get protection of three Buddhas which is Cherezig, Manjushri, and vajrapani, I think is the most suitable practice for our the lay people because nowadays people are busy and also complain not enough of time to practice.

  41. sonny tan on Jun 16, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Thank you Valentina for this write up on Lama Tsongkhapa, the name Tsongkhapa is relatively new to me although I do notice him at Kechara Paradise. We usually goes there to purchase our incense and other praying paraphernalia but it did not register any interest in me,the only time I became more aquainted with Tsongkhapa was at KFR in February this year. I did not know that he even existed as coming from a Hinanaya background the only enlightened person I prayed to is Lord Gautama Buddha who I still do my sadhana in the morning and taking refuge in the Budhha, Dhamma and Sangha.
    I must admit that learning tantric and paying homage, setting up an Tibetan altar, mantra reciting is pretty ritualistic at the start of my journey because having been exposed to the Theravadan way I do find it pretty difficult.
    It was my wife a Christian that was at the forefront on my journey into Tibetan Buddhism, she began to purchase many Buddhist items from Kechara Paradise. Prior to that on one ocassion when my daughter was having her SPM exam she did some candle lighting and etc..at Kechara Paradise.
    Surprisingly, my daughter’s SPM result was exceptional with flying colours on all subjects and they always say the rest is history.
    I began to invest in book such as ‘Liberation in the palms of your hands’ and immersed myself and trying to digest and grasp into its meaning. Though some chapters are difficult to comprehend I decided that I will need to invest in books at my level and I began my purchasing spree in to books such as ‘Tsongkhapa a simple guide to a powerful practice’ ‘The promise’ ‘If not now when’ ‘Guru for Hire’and also the box set.
    Today, after having a glimpse into the history of Lama Tsongkhapa after four months that I am begining to understand his role as the second Budhha of our generation. However, it is a pretty good start for both of us into Tibetan Buddhism and I must admit that it was my wife’s change that propel and encourage me to learn more.

  42. Martin on Jun 16, 2016 at 2:16 am

    Another good writeup by Valencia who is the blog’s rising star.

    Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice must surely be the quintessential practice today for its relative simplicity and at the same time the ability to convey tremendous benefits. Therefore I appreciate very much how this important post is easy to digest and yet not losing any of its key essence.

    Whilst I value all sects and schools of Buddhism, it has always given me great comfort and confidence that Lama Tsongkhapa’s coming was prophesied by Buddha Shakyamuni himself, not to mention Guru Rinpoche as well.

    There have been times when people questioned the legitimacy of Tibetan Buddhism and yet one wonders why the Buddha not only prophesied but also allowed Ganden to be set up, and even instructed for the conch shell to be buried where Ganden would be built? Ganden is synonymous with the Gelug lineage founded by Lama Tsonglhapa.

    What is of concern is how this illustrious and important Tibetan Buddhist School is experiencing such upheavals because of the Dorje Shugden ban.

  43. Jill Yam on Jun 15, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    I love Lama Tsongkhapa practice as it is a simple yet powerful practice as I am praying to the embodiment of 3 Great Buddhas at one time – Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani.
    The mantra of Migtsema when recited helps to clear our mind and negative disturbances and improve our memory.

    As Lama Tsongkhapa’s birth is prophecy by Buddha Shakyamuni how can one go wrong with this practice. I have been doing the Gaden Lhagyalma of Je Tsongkhapa daily and it has improved my memory as well.
    Thank you Valencia for this beautiful sharing.

  44. Adeline Tan on Jun 15, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I like Lama Tsongkhapa practice because it is simple no need initiation and yet a very powerful practice. Lama Tsongkhapa is the embodiment of the 3 great Bodhisattvas, they are Avalokitesvara (compassion),Manjushri (wisdom) and Vajrapani (power). The mantra of Lord Tsongkhapa is Mitseyma, it is so powerful that by reciting Mitseyma can help improve memory, counter depression and calm our mind. It can also purify our negative karma and protect us from evil forces. In every prayer and the sadhana we do we will have to do Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga first.Therefore the Great Lama Tsongkhapa is regarded as the King of the Dharma.Thank you Valecia for this detailed and well written article.

  45. Fong on Jun 15, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Lama Tsongkhapa practice is, to me, a short cut practice as I don’t have to individually practice Avalokitesvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani. Lama Tsongkhapa is regarded as an emanation of all three Buddhas. So, when I do one practice, I propitiate all three – symbolises the compassion, wisdom and power/qualities of the Buddhas, the strength of the Dharma.

    As the prophecy of Lama Tsongkhapa’s arrival was made by the Buddha Shakyamuni himself, how can I go wrong is following Lama Tsongkhapa and his teachings? Lama Tsongkhapa has shown by example what one has to do on the dharma path, though not necessarily the path of the ordained but the laity as well.

    So much to learn, but thanks, Pastor David for condensing the life of Lama Tsongkhapa and the practice for us.

    • Fong on Jun 15, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      Thanks, Valencia for a comprehensive and well written article.

    • CindyH on Jun 16, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      So blessed that we have a practice that is condensed and made so easy for us to practice devoid of many strenuous commitments, complicated visualizations and long prayers that take hours but yet incredibly powerful. Apart from embodying the holy triad of Bodhisattvas (Avalokitesvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani), it is also interesting to note that Lama Tsongkhapa arises from the heart of Maitreya Buddha. Logically since Lord Tsongkhapa emanates from the heart of the Buddha Maitreya, then it would not be far-fetched to say that one gains a special connection to Buddha Maitreya through Lama Tsongkhapa. And since the next Buddha to appear after Buddha Shakyamuni is Buddha Maitreya, it can be said that its like getting a four in one rather than just three in one.

  46. Pastor David Lai on Jun 15, 2016 at 4:13 am

    I am delighted to see a great biography of Lama Tsongkhapa published here on Rinpoche’s blog. To be honest, I found his biography quite difficult to read many years ago when I was new to Tibetan Buddhism because it contains many Buddhist jargons and terms. Hence, I would expect the same here but I find it to be rather complete and has many additional explanations not found in other biographies. It even explains the 3 great Bodhisattvas that Lama Tsongkhapa embodies and what they represent.

    I have always been a fan of Lama Tsongkhapa and what he represents. To me, Lama Tsongkhapa represents great harmony between the powers of wisdom, compassion and skilful means. But ultimately, he represents Buddhist scholarship of the highest order and the special wisdom to glean meaning and insight into the subtlest of the Buddha’s teachings. Personally, I love to read, hear and absorb Dharma and Lama Tsongkhapa’s special blessings appeal to me in this manner.

    I guess, I have been heavily influenced by Rinpoche’s school of thought – which is his absolute love for all forms of Manjushri (including Lama Tsongkhapa) because he blesses one to be smart and insightful.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Nov 15. 2018 12:40 PM
    Its great sharing …… Rinpoche’s biography “The Promise” in Mongolian for those Mongolian friends .May more and more people do read it to understand better about Rinpoche and the Dorje Shugden controversy. May Rinpoche’s teachings spread to every corners of the world. Thank you Rinpoche and writers team for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/%D1%82%D0%BE%D0%B2%D1%87-%D0%BD%D0%B0%D0%BC%D1%82%D0%B0%D1%80-tsem-rinpoches-short-biography-in-mongolian.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Nov 15. 2018 12:39 PM
    Interesting biography of a great and influential Gelug religious lady……the Lady Lhalu Lhacham Yangdzom Tsering, who was one of the most popular and also an important aristocratic students of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche. She was one of the influential Gelug religious figures in the Lhasa at that time. The Lhacham’s devotion to the controversial protector deity Dorje Shugden whose practice she received from Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche is beautifully reflected in her deep spiritual conviction in the very deities and practices. Interesting read of a GREAT spiritual lady of how she struggles in life and never gave up her commitments to her guru Kyabje Pabongka Dorjechang. Her dertermination, motivation and inspiration are indeed incredible .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche and his yogini student, the Lady Lhalu.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/pabongka-rinpoche-and-his-yogini-student-the-lady-lhalu.html
  • Alice
    Thursday, Nov 15. 2018 02:20 AM
    Sakya Pandita is believed to have been an emanation of Manjushri and just like other great beings, when he was born, several auspicious signs appeared such as at the time of his birth, the sky was awash with a great light, a certain special physical marks on his body etc.

    It is very impressive that he learned to read both Sanskrit and Tibetan scripts without being taught. On one incident, Shakyashri Bhadra was giving teachings in Sanskrit but Sakya Pandita was seen referring to a Tibetan text. Nevertheless, Sakya Pandita was still able to understand his guru’s teachings perfectly. Besides, During the 13-day debate between Sakya Pandita and Harinanda (the six non-Buddhist Indian pandits) and Harinanda could not win the argument. Finally, Harinanda said, “It is not you I cannot defeat, it is the orange being sitting above your right shoulder.” This showed that Sakya Panidita is no different from Manjushri.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this meaningful post.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/sakya-pandita-kunga-gyeltsen.html#comment-823605
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Nov 15. 2018 01:50 AM
    Nun from Seremban

    An interesting story of a nun that experienced haunting that prevented from sleep for such a long time. Find out what happened.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/tsem-paranormal-tv/nun-from-seremban.html
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Nov 15. 2018 01:37 AM
    JP

    Find out JP’s experiences in New York during his first year at college. Scary!

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/tsem-paranormal-tv/jp.html
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Nov 15. 2018 01:12 AM
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Nov 15. 2018 01:11 AM
    Bukit Antarabangsa Hauntings

    The tragedy of this high rise collapsing still haunts us today.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/paranormal-stories/bukit-antarabangsa-hauntings.html
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Nov 15. 2018 01:10 AM
    Till I See Blood

    Really scary account of Angel’s experience in a hotel. Find out what happened.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/tsem-paranormal-tv/till-i-see-blood.html#comment-823703
  • chris
    Wednesday, Nov 14. 2018 08:15 PM
    The Body of a Buddha: A Road Map to Liberation

    In Buddhism, we often pray to the statues or representations of the Buddha. Many people said that we are idolistic but actually we are praying to the virtues and good quality that Buddha’s body represents. We do not pray to the statue just because it is in the form of a Buddha, we pray because we wish to achieve the same qualities of the body that manifested into these signs.

    The Buddha’s body consists of 112 marks where 32 of them are major signs and 80 minor signs. Each and every one of these signs represent the virtues that Buddha had practised over 3 great aeons to achieve what he is today, enlightened.

    Every single one of the signs is the guideline for us to practice. For example, the dharma wheel at the bottom of Buddha’s feet means that we should have the selfless attitude when we serve other and one of the best ways is to teach them Dharma. The Buddha has said, the best gift is the gift of Dharma.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-body-of-a-buddha-a-road-map-to-liberation.html
  • chris
    Wednesday, Nov 14. 2018 07:23 PM
    Pabongka Rinpoche and his yogini student, the Lady Lhalu

    Thank you, Rinpoche for sharing about this incredible lady with us. She is very inspiring and she showed us that with her unwavering guru devotion towards Kyabe Pabongkha Rinpoche bears fruit when she attained high attainments and stayed in Tukdam for 3 days when she passes away.

    Lady Lhalu is incredible because being an aristocrat, she enjoyed a life of leisure. However, that did not deter her from a life of spirituality. She was one of Pabongkha Rinpoche’s main sponsor that time and she was the one who requested the teachings of the famous 24 days Lamrim teachings which proven to be very beneficial when Trijang Rinpoche compiled notes on the teachings and published them later as a book called Lamrim.

    Until today, this book is still being used by Buddhist centres all over the world. Here in Kechara, we too used this book as the main reference in our Dharma classes and the profound teaching has benefited alot of people.

    Read more about Lady Lhalu here:
    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/pabongka-rinpoche-and-his-yogini-student-the-lady-lhalu.html
  • Yee Yin
    Wednesday, Nov 14. 2018 04:44 PM
    Do you believe in reincarnation? Buddhists believe after people die, the consciousness will take rebirth again and again. The consciousness can take rebirth as a human, animal, ghost or god. It all depends on the karma. In the US, Dr. Brain Weiss, who is a prominent psychiatrist and a leading reincarnation researcher found pieces of evidence to prove reincarnation does exist.

    Read more to find out the interesting story about reincarnation:
    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/interesting-signs-of-reincarnation.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Wednesday, Nov 14. 2018 04:08 PM
    The bigger the Buddha statue is, the better it is, because more beings can be blessed by seeing the Buddha statue. Not only that, dharma seeds will be planted in the mind of those who see the Buddha statue as well. It is said that a big outdoor Buddha statue can help to calm the surrounding environment and pacify natural disasters. We have some big outdoor statues in Malaysia too. If you have not heard of them, do read the article below to learn more.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/6-incredibl-stunning-big-buddha-statues-in-malaysia.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Wednesday, Nov 14. 2018 01:02 PM
    Guava is a very common fruit in Malaysia, they can be found easily in the markets and supermarkets. They might not look very attractive, but they are full of goodness for our health. Some of the benefits of Guava including relieving diarrhea & dysentery, acting as an effective laxative, boosting our immunity, just to name a few.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/20-ultimate-health-benefits-of-guava.html
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Nov 14. 2018 12:00 PM
    Shocking to know the history of the American-Japanese during the WWII in 1942, where discrimination did happened at that time. The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people is really sad. Rinpoche did experienced the share of discrimination within the Kalmyk community in New Jersey years back. Looks like it happen every now and then in our society. Many thousands of Japanese Americans suffered badly , sent into interior camps, land, housing, businesses and lives were all taken away. Thanks to the photographer Paul Kitagaki Jr. who has been tracking down wartime pictures. Looking through pictures, paints a thousand words of sorrow, suffering those Japanese Americans had gone through. Even what they went through , they did not give up but made them stronger in fact to be what they are today. They were citizens of American yet it was an injustice to them. There are similarities happening to those who practiced Dorje Shugden. The practitioners were denied services to schools, medical treatment, hotel and so forth.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/etc/survivors-japaneseamerican.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Nov 14. 2018 11:59 AM
    Seeing the Kechara flag in the pictures being flown are indeed wonderful. Flying with our country and state flags paints a thousand words of joy. Glad to come across this old post which explained the meaning behind it. Wow ….so it was designed by Rinpoche , have each stroke of wording and the white background representing the clear, luminous mind of enlightenment, of the state of peace and the state of happiness which we strive to achieve. Beautifully done.
    Thank you Rinpoche for spending the explanation for the design of the flag which I did not know at all . i am glad i read this old post.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/what-our-flag-means.html

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Concept: Tsem Rinpoche
Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
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Content: Tsem Rinpoche, Justin Ripley, Pastor Shin Tan, Sarah Yap
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I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

Tsem Rinpoche

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

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I was given this beautiful gift today from Karen Chong. It is an enormous gift. I really treasure this. I love anything to do with invoking Manjushri or connecting with Him. Thank you so much. Tsem Rinpoche
14 hours ago
I was given this beautiful gift today from Karen Chong. It is an enormous gift. I really treasure this. I love anything to do with invoking Manjushri or connecting with Him. Thank you so much. Tsem Rinpoche
I requesed His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche to write out the mantra of Vajra Yogini. He immediately compassionately obliged me. This is the mantra as written by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. I\'ve had this in a safe plastic wrap and wore it around my neck in a small yellow cloth \'bag\' for many years. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
I requesed His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche to write out the mantra of Vajra Yogini. He immediately compassionately obliged me. This is the mantra as written by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. I've had this in a safe plastic wrap and wore it around my neck in a small yellow cloth 'bag' for many years. Tsem Rinpoche
If there were just 10 persons you should know about in your lifetime, one of them is this incredible Dr. Ambedkar. Enrich your life and don\'t miss this: https://bit.ly/2Dub7xu
7 days ago
If there were just 10 persons you should know about in your lifetime, one of them is this incredible Dr. Ambedkar. Enrich your life and don't miss this: https://bit.ly/2Dub7xu
Dear friends, watch this short 11mins video. It is so nice. My dream idea of living. I love the fresh things they grow for their own food. I wish our culture here was more geared toward this type of living. Watch plse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do1O5Avw_SQ&feature=share
1 week ago
Dear friends, watch this short 11mins video. It is so nice. My dream idea of living. I love the fresh things they grow for their own food. I wish our culture here was more geared toward this type of living. Watch plse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do1O5Avw_SQ&feature=share
No one stays around, do not depend on anyone. Let go of them before they let go of you...it is inevitable. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
No one stays around, do not depend on anyone. Let go of them before they let go of you...it is inevitable. Tsem Rinpoche
Outdoor stunning Tara at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
2 weeks ago
Outdoor stunning Tara at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
The Promise - https://bit.ly/2NfHJjQ
2 weeks ago
Hunting is a horrible \'sport\' because it is not necessary and unfair. Killing animals is vicious and inhuman. Hurting animals does not help us, our karma, our mind and it does not help the animals. Killing animals serves no benefit and it stunts our spiritual growth. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Hunting is a horrible 'sport' because it is not necessary and unfair. Killing animals is vicious and inhuman. Hurting animals does not help us, our karma, our mind and it does not help the animals. Killing animals serves no benefit and it stunts our spiritual growth. Tsem Rinpoche
This is a beautiful Yamantaka
2 weeks ago
This is a beautiful Yamantaka
This is so powerful. This is so true. This is something we must remember about our self worth. We must value ourselves without arrogance.
2 weeks ago
This is so powerful. This is so true. This is something we must remember about our self worth. We must value ourselves without arrogance.
Nothing is for free for sure.
2 weeks ago
Nothing is for free for sure.
Beautiful Dorje Yudroma protector. A gentle Goddess I\'ve had the pleasure to meet via her oracle.
2 weeks ago
Beautiful Dorje Yudroma protector. A gentle Goddess I've had the pleasure to meet via her oracle.
Beautiful Kalachakra painting
2 weeks ago
Beautiful Kalachakra painting
I like this picture of my teacher behind me.
2 weeks ago
I like this picture of my teacher behind me.
This magnificent Dorje Shugden statue is enshrined at Choijin Lama Museum in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. The museum was the home of the Choijin Lama, the State Oracle of Mongolia. Choijin Lama was an oracle of the Nechung deity and the brother of the 8th Bogd Khaan Jebzundamba (1869-1924), the de facto leader of Outer Mongolia. - https://palyulmedia.smugmug.com/Worldwide-Palyul/MongoliaConnections/Mongolia-Choijin-Lama-Museum/i-TQ8CmHM
3 weeks ago
This magnificent Dorje Shugden statue is enshrined at Choijin Lama Museum in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. The museum was the home of the Choijin Lama, the State Oracle of Mongolia. Choijin Lama was an oracle of the Nechung deity and the brother of the 8th Bogd Khaan Jebzundamba (1869-1924), the de facto leader of Outer Mongolia. - https://palyulmedia.smugmug.com/Worldwide-Palyul/MongoliaConnections/Mongolia-Choijin-Lama-Museum/i-TQ8CmHM
Please download this and share this meme with others. Thanks.
3 weeks ago
Please download this and share this meme with others. Thanks.
Beautiful Tibetan art for FREE download: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
3 weeks ago
Beautiful Tibetan art for FREE download: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
Sacred Protector Dorje Shugden can help you, if you invoke Him sincerely..
3 weeks ago
Sacred Protector Dorje Shugden can help you, if you invoke Him sincerely..
Now there is a Tsem Rinpoche blog  site in Nepalese language! Check it out:  https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/l/np/
3 weeks ago
Now there is a Tsem Rinpoche blog site in Nepalese language! Check it out: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/l/np/
The Reasons Why People Who Practice Dorje Shugden Do Not Go To the Three Lower Realms- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSBbFiexCCE
1 month ago
The Reasons Why People Who Practice Dorje Shugden Do Not Go To the Three Lower Realms- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSBbFiexCCE
Very interesting blog post that goes along with this depiction of the Yeti. - https://bit.ly/2E43COF
1 month ago
Very interesting blog post that goes along with this depiction of the Yeti. - https://bit.ly/2E43COF
His Holiness Sharpa Choje Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Nyima of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He was a supreme master of both Sutra and Tantra. He served as abbot of both Gaden Shartse Monastery as well as Gyuto Tantric college. After serving as abbot of Gyuto Tantric college he entered into a few long term (3 year, 3 month and 3 day) Vajra Yogini retreats in the forest. He completed that long retreat twice and was going to enter it again till he was asked to be abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery by H.H. the Dalai Lama. He was a great practitioner of Vajra Yogini\'s tantra as well as Dorje Shugden. He was a scholar of the highest renown and he was highly sought after for teachings. He was very devoted to Dorje Shugden throughout his whole life as a pure monk. I was fortunate enough to have him as one of my teachers. Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche

To read more- https://bit.ly/2zW2Grz
1 month ago
His Holiness Sharpa Choje Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Nyima of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He was a supreme master of both Sutra and Tantra. He served as abbot of both Gaden Shartse Monastery as well as Gyuto Tantric college. After serving as abbot of Gyuto Tantric college he entered into a few long term (3 year, 3 month and 3 day) Vajra Yogini retreats in the forest. He completed that long retreat twice and was going to enter it again till he was asked to be abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery by H.H. the Dalai Lama. He was a great practitioner of Vajra Yogini's tantra as well as Dorje Shugden. He was a scholar of the highest renown and he was highly sought after for teachings. He was very devoted to Dorje Shugden throughout his whole life as a pure monk. I was fortunate enough to have him as one of my teachers. Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche To read more- https://bit.ly/2zW2Grz
Beautiful thangka painting of Lord Yamantaka the slayer of ignorance and who bestows supreme wisdom that eradicates all projections.
1 month ago
Beautiful thangka painting of Lord Yamantaka the slayer of ignorance and who bestows supreme wisdom that eradicates all projections.
Kadroma Metsik Nakmo or Dakini Ucchusma who purifies and heals the body.
1 month ago
Kadroma Metsik Nakmo or Dakini Ucchusma who purifies and heals the body.
I am reciting a daily prayer to Dorje Shugden. Here is the youtube link to the audio- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-OSudd323A
1 month ago
I am reciting a daily prayer to Dorje Shugden. Here is the youtube link to the audio- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-OSudd323A
It\'s hard to not fall in love with little cute Pema baby girl. She is so light, happy and wags her tail super fast when she sees us or anyone. Super friendly. She is a heart breaker for sure. Teehee...She is our Kechara Forest Retreat doggie and runs free throughout our sacred land. Her name Pema means lotus. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
It's hard to not fall in love with little cute Pema baby girl. She is so light, happy and wags her tail super fast when she sees us or anyone. Super friendly. She is a heart breaker for sure. Teehee...She is our Kechara Forest Retreat doggie and runs free throughout our sacred land. Her name Pema means lotus. Tsem Rinpoche
My Nepalese boys work hard and I appreciate them. Today we have purchased special foods for them to snack on and also to cook with so they won\'t be so homesick. These foods are all imported from their country. There\'s a street in downtown K.L. that sell all this. So happy to get this for them. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
My Nepalese boys work hard and I appreciate them. Today we have purchased special foods for them to snack on and also to cook with so they won't be so homesick. These foods are all imported from their country. There's a street in downtown K.L. that sell all this. So happy to get this for them. Tsem Rinpoche
I come out of the bathroom to be greeted by the mess the two monsters made...Some more they want snacks! Monster Oser girl and Monster Dharma boy.
2 months ago
I come out of the bathroom to be greeted by the mess the two monsters made...Some more they want snacks! Monster Oser girl and Monster Dharma boy.
This blog post has had amazing response. Since published on July 27, 2018, there has been 114,788 views and still increasing. I am happy to see how this post has made things clearer. Do visit this post here-  https://bit.ly/2MATbGe
2 months ago
This blog post has had amazing response. Since published on July 27, 2018, there has been 114,788 views and still increasing. I am happy to see how this post has made things clearer. Do visit this post here- https://bit.ly/2MATbGe
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his disciple Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche. Beautiful picture.
2 months ago
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his disciple Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche. Beautiful picture.
This monk takes trance of Dorje Shugden and he was happy to receive THE PROMISE book in Tibet
2 months ago
This monk takes trance of Dorje Shugden and he was happy to receive THE PROMISE book in Tibet
Find out about the blessed healing water for health and healing at Kechara Forest Retreat- https://bit.ly/2CtVQNk
2 months ago
Find out about the blessed healing water for health and healing at Kechara Forest Retreat- https://bit.ly/2CtVQNk
This is my ultimate home!!! Blue waters, trees, skies, mountains, house that is open, retreat, meditation, Buddha images and purple flowers. Wow. Such a perfect place for me. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
This is my ultimate home!!! Blue waters, trees, skies, mountains, house that is open, retreat, meditation, Buddha images and purple flowers. Wow. Such a perfect place for me. Tsem Rinpoche
To see other beautiful portrayals of Dorje Shugden, click here: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 months ago
To see other beautiful portrayals of Dorje Shugden, click here: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Severed head Vajra Yogini has a brilliant orange body, orange darting eyes, wearing a necklace of freshly cut human heads firmly standing within a wisdom fire emanating from her sacred body reminding us to cut off our self damaging ego. Without the ego, our sufferings cannot survive and our happiness will arise. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Severed head Vajra Yogini has a brilliant orange body, orange darting eyes, wearing a necklace of freshly cut human heads firmly standing within a wisdom fire emanating from her sacred body reminding us to cut off our self damaging ego. Without the ego, our sufferings cannot survive and our happiness will arise. Tsem Rinpoche
A thought on how to repay the kindness of the guru
2 months ago
A thought on how to repay the kindness of the guru
Very nice old artwork on the Bodha Stupa in Nepal.
2 months ago
Very nice old artwork on the Bodha Stupa in Nepal.
This is quite interesting....
2 months ago
This is quite interesting....
Wonderful statement by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Although Dorje Shugden is not negative, lets hope His Holiness can apply this to the Shugden issue. Then there will be peace.
2 months ago
Wonderful statement by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Although Dorje Shugden is not negative, lets hope His Holiness can apply this to the Shugden issue. Then there will be peace.
Left to right: Tritul Rinpoche, Gaden Tripa Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastic prayer hall during puja.
2 months ago
Left to right: Tritul Rinpoche, Gaden Tripa Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastic prayer hall during puja.
The oracle of Dorje Shugden Choyang Dulzin Kuten of Gaden making offerings to Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche during a teaching in Gaden Shartse Monastery.
2 months ago
The oracle of Dorje Shugden Choyang Dulzin Kuten of Gaden making offerings to Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche during a teaching in Gaden Shartse Monastery.
Their Holinesses Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche
2 months ago
Their Holinesses Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche
Please click on this picture and see how tragic this is.
2 months ago
Please click on this picture and see how tragic this is.
Advice by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche- https://bit.ly/2NiryBg
2 months ago
Advice by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche- https://bit.ly/2NiryBg
Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in 1987 Los Angeles.
2 months ago
Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche in 1987 Los Angeles.
Beautiful Yamantaka print
2 months ago
Beautiful Yamantaka print
Beautiful and sacred Vajra Yogini painting for you to download free in high file to print out, frame and place on your shrine or share with friends. May you be blessed. Download here: 
 https://bit.ly/2N5zI02
2 months ago
Beautiful and sacred Vajra Yogini painting for you to download free in high file to print out, frame and place on your shrine or share with friends. May you be blessed. Download here: https://bit.ly/2N5zI02
The Fifth Dalai Lama & Dorje Shugden | ༧གོང་ས་ལྔ་པ་ཆེན་པོ་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། | 第五世达赖尊者与多杰雄登---read more--- https://bit.ly/2C65Iwr
2 months ago
The Fifth Dalai Lama & Dorje Shugden | ༧གོང་ས་ལྔ་པ་ཆེན་པོ་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། | 第五世达赖尊者与多杰雄登---read more--- https://bit.ly/2C65Iwr
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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
    6 days ago
    If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
    2 weeks ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
  • It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
  • BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
    3 weeks ago
    BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
  • Super cute seal and so gentle. Must watch this video and realize we are all one. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Super cute seal and so gentle. Must watch this video and realize we are all one. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Legendary Heart sings “Stairway to Heaven” in tribute to Led Zeppelin. Incredible tribute and rendition. Everyone is blown away. TR
    4 weeks ago
    Legendary Heart sings “Stairway to Heaven” in tribute to Led Zeppelin. Incredible tribute and rendition. Everyone is blown away. TR
  • In a low-income neighbourhood, this man is growing his own organic produce, and giving extras away for free to neighbours who can’t afford fresh ingredients from the store. Must watch!
    4 weeks ago
    In a low-income neighbourhood, this man is growing his own organic produce, and giving extras away for free to neighbours who can’t afford fresh ingredients from the store. Must watch!
  • Neat little video
    4 weeks ago
    Neat little video
  • It is nice to see sangha release animals into the wild. Gen Kunchok Palden and Chodrak contributed to releasing of frogs back into the wild. This is wonderful. Compassion is the mainstay of all spirituality. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    It is nice to see sangha release animals into the wild. Gen Kunchok Palden and Chodrak contributed to releasing of frogs back into the wild. This is wonderful. Compassion is the mainstay of all spirituality. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is a special ‘carpet’ for dogs that you hide their snacks and they have to go digging for it. It is challenging and fun where they use their nose, paws and all to dig and find the snacks in between. This dog play carpet is ordered online. You can see little Zopa baby who is a Kechara resident doggie looking for the snacks in this cute video. She is kept busy and entertained! Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    This is a special ‘carpet’ for dogs that you hide their snacks and they have to go digging for it. It is challenging and fun where they use their nose, paws and all to dig and find the snacks in between. This dog play carpet is ordered online. You can see little Zopa baby who is a Kechara resident doggie looking for the snacks in this cute video. She is kept busy and entertained! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Kechara Forest Retreat in Bentong, Malaysia’s dog Pema is super adorable and cute. Everyone loves her. She is wearing a Manjushri blessing pendant.
    2 months ago
    Kechara Forest Retreat in Bentong, Malaysia’s dog Pema is super adorable and cute. Everyone loves her. She is wearing a Manjushri blessing pendant.
  • Spontaneous trance in Tibet by powerful healing Protector Dorje Shugden of a monk who usually takes trance.
    2 months ago
    Spontaneous trance in Tibet by powerful healing Protector Dorje Shugden of a monk who usually takes trance.
  • 喀切玛波向詹杜固仁波切献供养
    2 months ago
    喀切玛波向詹杜固仁波切献供养
    喀切玛波护法降神,向詹杜固仁波切献供曼扎及身语意之供养,同时也加持马来西亚克切拉禅修林道场。喀切玛波护法乃古时候的紫玛护法,他是藏地首座佛教寺院桑耶寺的护法神
  • Huge Chenresig statue being built. Very beautiful.
    2 months ago
    Huge Chenresig statue being built. Very beautiful.
  • Sacred Kache Marpo in trance of oracle makes offerings to Tsem Rinpoche and blesses the temple in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia. Kache Marpo in ancient times was known as Tsiu Marpo the great protector of Samye Monastery which is the first monastery of Tibet.
    2 months ago
    Sacred Kache Marpo in trance of oracle makes offerings to Tsem Rinpoche and blesses the temple in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia. Kache Marpo in ancient times was known as Tsiu Marpo the great protector of Samye Monastery which is the first monastery of Tibet.
  • Shugden practice in Tibet strong and growing
    3 months ago
    Shugden practice in Tibet strong and growing
  • It is Tsunmo Nunnery in Tibet. This nunnery all practise Dorje Shugden.
    3 months ago
    It is Tsunmo Nunnery in Tibet. This nunnery all practise Dorje Shugden.
  • Light offerings to the outdoor Buddha Tara shrine in Kechara Forest Retreat, Malaysia at night. Beautiful.
    3 months ago
    Light offerings to the outdoor Buddha Tara shrine in Kechara Forest Retreat, Malaysia at night. Beautiful.
  • Interesting new interview of Boy George where he mentions about his practicing Buddhism- See the clip I snagged for you above. It’s beautiful to see him chanting. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 months ago
    Interesting new interview of Boy George where he mentions about his practicing Buddhism- See the clip I snagged for you above. It’s beautiful to see him chanting. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Dharma boy is always mooching for a free snack! As shown in the video, Dharma gave up real fast and is waiting anxiously for a free snack!
    3 months ago
    Dharma boy is always mooching for a free snack! As shown in the video, Dharma gave up real fast and is waiting anxiously for a free snack!
  • Oser girl is very determined to get the snacks out! Look at how her cute little hands hold onto the ball.
    3 months ago
    Oser girl is very determined to get the snacks out! Look at how her cute little hands hold onto the ball.
  • Yudroma takes trance at Gyuto
    4 months ago
    Yudroma takes trance at Gyuto
    In Dharamsala there is a famous oracle to the Goddess Yudroma. She is the protector of Gyuto Tantric Monastic College. Many monks consult her for guidance. Here she is attending a puja session at Gyuto Tantric Monastic College where she is pleased with the people helping the monastery and takes trance spontaneously to express this. Tsem Rinpoche
  • The Simpsons: Lisa becomes a Buddhist
    4 months ago
    The Simpsons: Lisa becomes a Buddhist
  • Considering getting a tattoo of a Buddha image? Watch this video.
    4 months ago
    Considering getting a tattoo of a Buddha image? Watch this video.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s personal shrine. May everyone who view the shrine be blessed and have peace.
    4 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s personal shrine. May everyone who view the shrine be blessed and have peace.
  • Very powerful and heartwarming short video about love. A must watch and a must share. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Very powerful and heartwarming short video about love. A must watch and a must share. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Megnath is such a devotee of Bhagawan Dorje Shugden where he brought this protector to many people. Must watch this short video of him with the school kids. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Megnath is such a devotee of Bhagawan Dorje Shugden where he brought this protector to many people. Must watch this short video of him with the school kids. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My super adorable Oser girl Schnauzer reaching for a carrot on a chair. Her face looks like a stuffed animal toy. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    My super adorable Oser girl Schnauzer reaching for a carrot on a chair. Her face looks like a stuffed animal toy. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the shrine next to my working table where I sit daily. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    This is the shrine next to my working table where I sit daily. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    1 years ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    1 years ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    1 years ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    1 years ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    1 years ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    1 years ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    1 years ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    1 years ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    1 years ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    1 years ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    1 years ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    1 years ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    1 years ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

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CHAT PICTURES

2 days ago
KSDS - Pilgrimage cum Camp 2018 We will be organising KSDS very first family pilgrimage cum camp this 24th and ‪25th November‬ 2018 (Saturday and Sunday). Don’t miss this opportunity to have a Family Getaway in the holy place of Kechara Forest Retreat.by Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
KSDS - Pilgrimage cum Camp 2018 We will be organising KSDS very first family pilgrimage cum camp this 24th and ‪25th November‬ 2018 (Saturday and Sunday). Don’t miss this opportunity to have a Family Getaway in the holy place of Kechara Forest Retreat.by Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
What's so happening at Kechara House? Rehearsal for Graduation Day on this coming Sunday 18/11/18. Stay tuned.KSDS Together We Care.By Asyley Chia KSDS
Serve 360 ~ Doing Good In Every Direction organised by Marriott International serving to 66 families consisting 300 recipients who are celebrating Deepavali. Thank you Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral The Westin Kuala Lumpur JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur Renaisance Hotel #KecharaSoupKitchen #MarriottInternational #serve360 #Kechara - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 days ago
Serve 360 ~ Doing Good In Every Direction organised by Marriott International serving to 66 families consisting 300 recipients who are celebrating Deepavali. Thank you Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral The Westin Kuala Lumpur JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur Renaisance Hotel #KecharaSoupKitchen #MarriottInternational #serve360 #Kechara - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
KISG has carried out our monthly animals liberation activity in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
4 days ago
KISG has carried out our monthly animals liberation activity in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Max Tee doing recycling at KSK Imbi ~ Max Tee
5 days ago
Max Tee doing recycling at KSK Imbi ~ Max Tee
Other volunteers doing recycling at KSK Imbi are from left to right, Ethan Lua, Yi Qin, Jamie Chan and Legan Tju ~ Max
5 days ago
Other volunteers doing recycling at KSK Imbi are from left to right, Ethan Lua, Yi Qin, Jamie Chan and Legan Tju ~ Max
Teacher Kien leading the prayer session before start of dharma classes. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Teacher Kien leading the prayer session before start of dharma classes. Lin Mun KSDS
Kah Lock was expressing his thoughts on the white board. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Kah Lock was expressing his thoughts on the white board. Lin Mun KSDS
The Promise
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Dorje Shugden
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