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Department of Gelug Sampradaya


Department of Gelug Sampradaya was established in 1967 to preserve and disseminate the valuable tradition of Kadampa, which had come down from the great Indian master Atisha.

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The Gelug School established by the great Acharya Je Tsongkhapa Lobsang Dakpa (1357-1419). He was born in the Tsongkha region of Amdo province. He was ordained at the age of three by the fourth Karmapa and received the novice vows at the age of seven. Tsongkhapa travelled within Tibet extensively and studied with masters of all existing Tibetan schools and mainly from the Kadampa masters. Atisha (982-1054), the great Achårya of Vikramshila of India was invited to Tibet in 1039 and taught the teachings of both sutra and tantra. His lineage of the teachings that was later transmitted through Khuton, Ngok Lotsawa Loden Sherab (1059-1109) and Dromtonpa Gyalwai Jungney (1005-1064) is known as Kadampa tradition.


Je Tsongkhapa's had many disciples; such as Gyaltsab Dharma Rinchen (1364-1432), Khedrub Geleg Pelsang (1385-1438), Gyalwa Gendun Drup (1391-1474), Jamyang Chojey Tashi Palden (1379-1449), Jamchen Chojey Shakya Yeshe, Je Sherab Singe and Kunga Dhondup (1354-143S) were the most famous disciples.


Tsongkhapa founded Gaden monastery in 1409. The Gelugpa School was founded as the school's original name Gadenpa. The monastery was divided into two colleges, Shartse and Jangtse. Other major monasteries of this school are Drepung, Sera, Tashi Lhunpo, Gyutod and Gyumed. One of his disciples, Jamyang Choje Tashi Palden founded the Drepung monastery in 1416. The two main branches of this monastery are Loselling and Gomang. Another disciple of Tsongkhapa, Jamchen Choje Sakya Yeshe established Sera monastery in 1419 consisting two divisions of Sera Jey and Sera Mey.


Gyalwa Gendun Drup, the first Dalai Lama, founded Tashi Lhunpo monastery at Shigatse in 1447, which became the seat of the Panchen Lamas. Monks in these monasteries mainly studied the sutra teachings, while the mantra teachings were mainly practiced in two other monasteries viz., Jey Sherab Senge established Gyumey, the lower Tantric monastery in 1440 was and Gyuchen Kunga Dhondup founded the Gyutod, the upper Tantric monastery in 1474.


The central tenets of the Gelug school consists of The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lamrim) based on the teaching of great Indian master Atisha (11th century), The union of the practices of Sutra and Tantra are the key focus of this school to the realization of the bliss and emptiness. The monks of this school learn five major sciences i.e. Abhidharmakosh, Pratimokshasutra, Pramanavartika, Abhisamayalamkaraprajnaparmita and Madhyamkavatra.




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