Empowerment: Lama Je Tsongkhapa with H.E. Zasep Rinpoche.
H.E. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche, our venerable teacher, returns to Toronto for a series of teachings in January, starting with Lama Tsongkhapa initiation. More about Lama Tsongkhapa and our teacher Venerable Zasep Rinpoche below.
Lama Tsongkhapa is considered to be a manifestation of Chenrezig (compassion), Manjushri (wisdom)and Vajrapani (power) — a very profound practice. Lama Tsongkhapa is the Enlightened founder of the Gelug tradition. His practice embodies Compassion, Wisdom and Power.
[About Lama Tsongkhapa below.]
“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.”— Buddha Shakyamuni in the Root Tantra of Manjushri
The Buddha of Our Times
Lama Tsongkhapa is a “Buddha of our times” in the Gelug Vajrayana tradition. As an enlightened being, Buddha Tsongkhapa has the same realizations as all of the Conquerors (Buddhas). His practice is very powerful, in part, because he was an emanation of Avalokitesvara (compassion), Manjushri (wisdom), and Vajrapani (power). Famously, Lama Tsongkhapa wrote the three-volume Lam Rim Chenmo text: The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (see below), books on Lamrim that numerous serious practitioners read, reread and refer to throughout their lives.
He is visualized as a wise and kind guru, smiling and beautiful, with a tall yellow pandit’s hat, seated on a lotus throne, with all the marks and signs of a Buddha. His kind, smiling visage makes him approachable to many new to His practice, while his authority as a great Sage makes him reliable and beneficial.
Tsongkhapa, the Second Great Sage
Tsongkhapa (Je Tsong-kha-pa Blo-bzang grags-pa) (1357-1419) is considered, by millions, to be a great sage. Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha, is the great Sage of our times, the Enlightened Buddha. Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), another enlightened sage, foretold Tsongkhapa’s coming.
Tsongkhapa famously wrote numerous authoritative texts, and notably the Lamrin Chenmo. His teachings rejuvenated Buddhism at a time when it fell into degenerate beliefs, and fused Sutra practices with Tantra. Tsongkhapa’s teachings instilled such belief and practice in Tibetan Buddhists that it had a profound impact on the history of Asia. Practices Tsongkhapa taught found their way into China, Japan, Korea, India and ultimately around the world.
- Excerpted from Buddha Weekly story with permission. Full feature story here>>