Tsongkhapa was born in in the Tsongkha valley of Amdo province in northeast Tibet. Having learned to read and write with great ease, Tsongkhapa both studied and practiced meditation from a very early age. When he was eight years old he received ordination as a novice monk and was given the name Losang Drakpa Blo bzang grags pa. At the age of sixteen Tsongkhapa left Amdo to pursue his quest for knowledge in central and southern Tibet, where he studied with more than fifty prominent teachers.
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Tsongkhapa was born in in the Tsongkha valley of Amdo province in northeast Tibet. Having learned to read and write with great ease, Tsongkhapa both studied and practiced meditation from a very early age.
When he was eight years old he received ordination as a novice monk and was given the name Losang Drakpa Blo bzang grags pa. At the age of sixteen Tsongkhapa left Amdo to pursue his quest for knowledge in central and southern Tibet, where he studied with more than fifty prominent teachers. Between and he concentrated on the Perfection of Wisdom sutras and on the five treatises of Maitreya along with the many commentaries devoted to them.
He gained a rigorous intellectual training and a wide knowledge of both sutra and tantra during this period. Tsongkhapa was already determined to combine scholarship with the practice of both sutra and tantra and he continued to receive tantric empowerments from a number of important masters belonging to different traditions. He was dedicated to developing the correct understanding of reality and at this time had a significant experience of entering a profound state of meditation during a ceremony when the assembled monks were reciting a Perfection of Wisdom sutra.
He remained deeply absorbed long after the cer emony was over and the other monks had left the hall. For the next eleven years Tsongkhapa travelled from one monastic college to another deepening his philosophical knowledge and giving teachings.
At the age of thirty-three he met with the remarkable Lama Umapa dBu ma pa , who came to Tsang gTsang with the intention of studying with Tsongkhapa. Umapa had had a vision of Manjushri, the embodiment of enlightened wisdom, which had changed his life from that of a simple cowherd.
Eventually Tsongkhapa himself experienced visions of Manjushri, who bestowed empowerments on him and gave him teachings. He was joined by a group of eight carefully chosen students.
Living austerely, they began practices for purification and the accumulation of merit reciting purificatory mantras, making prostrations and offerings of the mandala many hundred thousand times. Tsongkhapa simultaneously continued to study the most important texts dealing with the nature of reality.
In they decided to break this retreat to refurbish and reconsecrate a famous and venerated statue of the future Buddha Maitreya which had fallen into disrepair. This generated much interest and many craftsmen and benefactors offered their help for the project, which was successfully completed. In the late spring of these concerted and extraordinary efforts finally bore fruit. One night Tsongkhapa dreamed that he was present at a gathering of famous Indian masters discussing the subtleties of the Madhyamika view.
One of them, who was dark-skinned and tall and whom Tsongkhapa recognized in the dream as Buddhapalita, rose and, holding a volume in his hands, approached Tsongkhapa and joyfully blessed him by touching his head with the book. When he reread the passage he at once experienced a seminal insight into the nature of reality, which brought him the understanding that he had been seeking. The second was an extensive teaching on the code of discipline for the ordained which he, Rendawa and Kyapchok Pel Zangpo sKyabs mchog dPal bzang po gave for several months at Namtse Deng gNam rtse Ideng , thereby revitalizing the tradition of monasticism.
The third deed was his establishment of the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa in , beginning a tradition that has continued until now of devoting the first two weeks of the Tibetan new year, culminating on the day of the full moon, to prayers for universal well-being. Tsongkhapa donated everything he himself had received from benefactors to support this event and offered ornaments made of gold and precious stones to the famous statue of the Buddha in the main temple in Lhasa. The monastery was completed and consecrated in In special halls were built to house selected mandalas.
All of this was destroyed after the Chinese occupation of Tibet in During his last years Tsongkhapa devoted much of his energy to giving extensive teachings. He passed away in Personally and through his students he made an extremely significant impact on the development of Buddhism in Tibet and his influence extended to Mongolia and China.
He wrote prolifically and lucidly on topics connected with both sutra and tantra, and thanks to his clear and elegant style these great works remain illuminating, relevant and accessible to this day.
The later period is defined by a series of publications, beginning in about , which systematically present his mature philosophy. Tsongkhapa, influenced by the divisions used by the editors of the Kanjur, treats non-tantric and tantric sources separately. His philosophical views on tantra, and, to a certain extent his work on ethics fall naturally into separate categories. The later period of his life includes a period of institution building, possibly with an eye to the founding of a new school or sect. His given name is Losang sometimes written Lozang Drakpa bLo bzang grags pa. He was born, probably to semi-nomadic farmers, in a settlement now incorporated into the outskirts of the Chinese city of Xi ning. According to Kedrup, on his arrival in Central Tibet Tsongkhapa first studied Tibetan medicine, then a traditional Buddhist curriculum of abhidharma, tenet systems Tib.
Je Tsongkhapa | Life & Biography
But she appears at a relatively early point--by at least the twelfth century--in the mythologized accounts of the conversion of Tibet to a Buddhist country, and references to her clan title Mkhar chen Bza Karchen Za also make her historicity credible. Her name, " Wisdom Lake Queen" Wylie : ye shes mtsho rgyal , derives from her birth causing a nearby lake to double in size. She felt so strongly about this, that she ran away and had to be brought back by force. At the age of sixteen, she was compelled into an unwanted arranged marriage with the then-emperor of Tibet, Trisong Detsen. It was after their marriage, that Trisong Detsen invited Padmasambhava to come to Tibet from India and propagate the Buddhist teachings.
In addition to his studies, he engaged in extensive Meditation retreats. He is reputed to have performed millions of prostrations , Mandala offerings and other forms of purification practice. Tsongkhapa often had visions of meditational deities and especially of Manjushri , with whom he would communicate directly to clarify difficult points of the scriptures. He was effective as a teacher in Tibetan Buddhism and became a leading figure amongst his peers as well as his students.