|Traditional Chinese||格魯派 / 黃教 / 新噶當派|
|Simplified Chinese||格鲁派 / 黄教 / 新噶当派|
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The Gelug (Wylie: dGe-Lugs, translation: Yellow Hat)is the newest and currently most dominant sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded by Je Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), a philosopher and Tibetan religious leader. The first monastery he established was named Ganden (which gives an alternative name to the Gelug school). The Ganden Tripa is the nominal head of the school, though its most influential figure is the Dalai Lama. Allying themselves with the Mongols as a powerful patron, the Gelugpa have emerged as the pre-eminent Buddhist school in Tibet and Mongolia since the end of the 16th century.
"Ganden" is the Tibetan rendition of the Sanskrit name "Tushita", the Pure land associated with Maitreya Buddha. At first, Tsongkhapa's school was called "Ganden Choluk" meaning "the Spiritual Lineage of Ganden". By taking the first syllable of 'Ganden' and the second of 'Choluk', this was abbreviated to "Galuk" and then modified to the more easily pronounced "Gelug".
The Gelug school was also called the "New Kadam", because it saw itself a revival of the Kadam school founded by Atisha.
The Kadam school was a monastic tradition in Tibet, founded by Atisa’s chief disciple Dromtön in 1056 C.E. with the establishment of Reting Monastery. The school itself was based upon the Lamrim or "Graded Path", approach synthesized by Atisa. While it had died out as an independent tradition by the 14th century, this lineage became the inspiration for the foundation of the Gelug-pa.
The Gelug school was founded by Je Tsongkhapa, an eclectic Buddhist monk who traveled Tibet studying under Sakya, Kagyu and Nyingma teachers, such as the Sakya Master Rendawa (1349–1412) and the Dzogchen master Drupchen Lekyi Dorje.
A great admirer of the Kadam school, Tsongkhapa merged the Kadam teachings of Lojong (mind training) and Lamrim (stages of the path) with the Sakya Tantric teachings.He also emphasized monasticism and a strict adherence to vinaya (monastic discipline). He combined this with extensive and unique writings on Madhyamaka, the Svatantrika-Prasaṅgika distinction, and Nagarjuna's philosophy of Śūnyatā (emptiness) that, in many ways, marked a turning point in the history of philosophy in Tibet. Tsongkhapa's Great Exposition of the Stages of the Path (Tib. Lam Rim Chenmo), is an exposition of his synthesis and one of the great works of the Gelug school.
Tsongkhapa and his disciples founded Ganden monastery in 1409, which was followed by Drepung (1416) and Sera (1419), which became the "great three" Gelug monasteries. After the death of Tsongkhapa the order grew quickly, as it developed a reputation for strict adherence to monastic discipline and scholarship as well as tantric practice.
Tsongkhapa had two principal disciples, Gyaltsab Je (1364—1432) and Khedrup Gelek Pelzang, 1st Panchen Lama (1385—1438).
In 1577 Sonam Gyatso, who was considered to be the third incarnation of Gyalwa Gendün Drup,formed an alliance with the then most powerful Mongol leader, Altan Khan. As a result, Sonam Gyatso was designated as the 3rd Dalai Lama; "dalai" is a translation into Mongolian of the name "Gyatso" ocean. Gyalwa Gendün Drup and Gendun Gyatso were posthumously recognized as the 1st and 2nd Dalai Lamas respectively.
Sonam Gyatso was very active in proselytizing among the Mongols,and the Gelug tradition was to become the main spiritual orientations of the Mongols in the ensuing centuries. This brought the Gelugpas powerful patrons who were to propel them to pre-eminence in Tibet. The Gelug-Mongol alliance was further strengthened as after Sonam Gyatso's death, his incarnation was found to be Altan Khan's great-grandson, the 4th Dalai Lama.
Following violent strife among the sects of Tibetan Buddhism, the Gelug school emerged as the dominant one, with the military help of the Mongol Güshri Khan in 1642. According to Tibetan historian Samten Karmay, Sonam Chophel(1595–1657), treasurer of the Ganden Palace, was the prime architect of the Gelug's rise to political power. Later he received the title Desi [Wylie: sde-sris], meaning "Regent", which he would earn through his efforts to establish Gelugpa power.
The 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, was the first in his line to hold full political and spiritual power in Tibet. He established diplomatic relations with Qing Dynasty China, built the Potala Palace in Lhasa, institutionalized the Tibetan state Nechung oracle and welcomed Western missionaries. From the period of the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century, the Dalai Lamas held political control over central Tibet.The core leadership of this government was also referred to as the Ganden Phodrang.
Scottish botanist George Forrest, who witnessed the 1905 Tibetan Rebellion led by the Gelug Lamas, wrote that the majority of the people in the Mekong valley in Yunnan were Tibetan. According to his accounts, the Gelugpas were the dominant power in the region, with their Lamas effectively governing the area. Forrest said they used "force and fraud" to "terrorise the... peasantry".
After the Incorporation of Tibet into the People's Republic of China, thousands of Tibetan monasteries were destroyed or damaged, and many Gelug monks, including the 14th Dalai Lama fled the country to India. The three major Gelug monastic colleges (Sera, Drepung and Ganden) were recreated in India. The Dalai Lama's current seat is Namgyal Monastery at Dharamshala, this monastery also maintains a branch monastery in Ithaca, New York.[ citation needed ]
The central teachings of the Gelug School are the Lamrim teachings of Tsongkhapa's Great Exposition of the Stages of the Path (Lamrim chenmo), which is based on the teachings of the Indian master Atiśa (c. 11th century) in A Lamp for the Path to Awakening . As the name indicates, this is a hierarchical model in which the practitioner accomplishes varying stages based on the classical Indian Mahayana model of the Bodhisattva "five paths and ten levels". One initially begins with the desire to seek a good rebirth, and then moves to seeking liberation for oneself (Sravaka motivation), and then to seeking Buddhahood so as to aid the liberation of others (Mahāyāna motivation), further adding Vajrayana methods to aid in the speedy attainment of Buddhahood. Higher motivations build on, but do not subvert the lower ones.
Tsongkhapa outlines the three major features of the path thus:
The correct view of emptiness is initially established through study and reasoning in order to ascertain if phenomena are the way they appear. Gelug texts contain many explanations to help one obtain a conceptual understanding of emptiness and to practice insight meditation (vipasyana). Gelug meditation includes an analytical kind of insight practice which is "the point-by-point contemplation of the logical arguments of the teachings, culminating in those for the voidness of self and all phenomena."The presentation of samatha and vipaśyanā in Tsongkhapa's Lamrim is also based on eighth-century Indian teacher Kamalaśīla's Bhāvanākrama, or ‘Stages of Meditation’. The highest view of emptiness is considered to be the Prāsangika Mādhyamika of Candrakirti, as interpreted by Tsongkhapa. Another important text of Gelug teachings is the Book of Kadam also known as the Kadam Emanation Scripture which includes teachings from Kadam masters like Atisha and Dromton.
The tantric practices of the Gelug are also integrated into the stages of the path model by Tsongkhapa's The Great Exposition of Secret Mantra. This is combined with the yogas of Anuttarayoga Tantra iṣṭadevatā such as the Guhyasamāja, Cakrasaṃvara, Yamāntaka and Kālacakra tantras, where the key focus is the direct experience of the indivisible union of bliss and emptiness.
The Guhyasamāja tantra is the principal one. As the Dalai Lama remarks,
There is a saying in the Gelug, 'If one is on the move it is Guhyasamāja. If one is still, it is Guhyasamāja. If one is meditating, it should be upon Guhyasamāja.' Therefore, whether one is engaged in study or practice, Guhyasamāja should be one's focus."
Tsongkhapa also incorporated the tantric practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa, and Mahamudra, from the Dagpo Kagyu lineages. This tradition was continued by the first Panchen Lama, who composed A Root Text for the Precious Gelug/Kagyü Tradition of Mahamudra.The Gelug tradition also maintains Dzogchen teachings; Lozang Gyatso, 5th Dalai Lama (1617-1682), Thubten Gyatso, 13th Dalai Lama ( 1876-1933), and Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama are some Gelug-pa Dzogchen masters. Likewise the practice of Chöd was taught by Gelug-pas such as Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.
The Gelug school focuses on ethics and monastic discipline of the vinaya as the central plank of spiritual practice. In particular, the need to pursue spiritual practice in a graded, sequential manner is emphasized. Arguably, Gelug is the only school of vajrayāna Buddhism that prescribes monastic ordination as a necessary qualification and basis in its teachers (lamas / gurus).[ citation needed ] Lay people are usually not permitted to give initiations if there are teachers with monastic vows within close proximity.
The Gelug school developed a highly structured system of scholastic study which was based on the memorization and study of key texts as well as formal debate. The primary topics and texts used in study are:
Six commentaries by Tsongkhapa are also a prime source for the studies of the Gelug tradition, as follows:
According to Georges Dreyfus,
For each topic studied, the procedure is similar. The process starts with the heuristic memorization of the root text and sometimes of its commentaries. It continues with the interpretation of the root text through commentaries, and culminates in dialectical debate.
After the study of the exoteric texts, a monk may then enter the esoteric study and practice of tantric texts, particularly the Guhyasamāja, Yamāntaka, and Cakrasamvara tantras.
A monk who has completed all his studies may then attempt a geshe degree, a title rare and difficult to obtain which can take 15 to 25 years to complete.
Each Gelug monastery uses its own set of commentarial texts by different authors, known as monastic manuals (Tib. yigcha). The teachings of Tsongkhapa are seen as a protection against developing misconceptions in understanding and practice of Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna Buddhism. It is said that his true followers take The Great Exposition of the Stages of the Path as their heart teaching.
The Great Exposition of the Stages of the Path was completely translated into English in a three volume set in 2004, under the title The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. The translation took 13 years to complete, and was undertaken by scholars at the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, a non-sectarian Tibetan Buddhist educational center in Washington, New Jersey.A translation is also available in Vietnamese. In 2008, the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso gave a historical five day teaching on the text at Lehigh University.
Tsongkhapa founded the monastery of Ganden in 1409 as his main seat.
Drepung Monastery was founded by Jamyang Choje, Sera Monastery was founded by Chöje Shakya Yeshe, and Tashi Lhunpo Monastery was founded by Gyalwa Gendün Drup, the 1st Dalai Lama. Before the Chinese occupation Ganden and Sera each had about 5,000 monks, while Drepung housed over 7,000.[ citation needed ]
Labrang Monastery, in Xiahe County in Gansu province (and in the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo), was founded in 1709 by the first Jamyang Zhaypa, Ngawang Tsondru. Many Gelug monasteries were built throughout Tibet as well as in China and Mongolia.
Tsongkhapa had many students, his two main disciples being Gyaltsab Je (1364–1431) and Khedrup Gelek Pelzang, 1st Panchen Lama (1385–1438). Other outstanding disciples were Togden Jampal Gyatso, Jamyang Choje, Jamchenpa Sherap Senge and Gendün Drup, 1st Dalai Lama (1391–1474).
After Tsongkhapa's passing, his teachings were held and spread by Gyaltsab Je and Khedrup Gelek Pelzang, who were his successors as abbots of Ganden Monastery. The lineage is still held by the Ganden Tripas – the throne-holders of Ganden Monastery – among whom the present holder is Thubten Nyima Lungtok Tenzin Norbu,the 102nd Ganden Tripa (and not, as often misunderstood, by the Dalai Lama).
Among the main lineage holders of the Gelug are:
Dalai Lama is a title given by the Tibetan people for the foremost spiritual leader of the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" school of Tibetan Buddhism, the newest of the classical schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, who lives as a refugee in India. The Dalai Lama is also considered to be the successor in a line of tulkus who are believed to be incarnations of Avalokiteśvara, a Bodhisattva of Compassion.
Sonam Gyatso was the first to be named Dalai Lama, although the title was retrospectively given to his two predecessors.
The Kadam school of Tibetan Buddhism was founded by Dromtön (1005–1064), a Tibetan lay master and the foremost disciple of the great Bengali master Atiśa (982-1054). The Kadampa were quite famous and respected for their proper and earnest Dharma practice. The most evident teachings of that tradition were the teachings on bodhicitta. Later, these special presentations became known as lojong and lamrim by Atiśa.
The Ganden Tripa or Gaden Tripa is the title of the spiritual leader of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, the school that controlled central Tibet from the mid-17th century until the 1950s. The 103rd Ganden Tripa, Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin died in office on 21 April 2017. Jangtse Choejey Kyabje Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin Palsangpo is the current Ganden Tripa.
Lamrim is a Tibetan Buddhist textual form for presenting the stages in the complete path to enlightenment as taught by Buddha. In Tibetan Buddhist history there have been many different versions of lamrim, presented by different teachers of the Nyingma, Kagyu and Gelug schools. However, all versions of the lamrim are elaborations of Atiśa's 11th-century root text A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (Bodhipathapradīpa).
Tsongkhapa, usually taken to mean "the Man from Onion Valley", born in Amdo, was a famous teacher of Tibetan Buddhism whose activities led to the formation of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. He is also known by his ordained name Losang Drakpa or simply as "Je Rinpoche". Also, he is known by Chinese as Zongkapa Lobsang Zhaba, He was the son of a Tibetan Longben Tribal leader who also once served as an official of the Yuan Dynasty of China.
The Dorje Shugden is a controversy over Dorje Shugden, also known as Dolgyal, who some consider to be one of several protectors of the Gelug school, the school of Tibetan Buddhism to which the Dalai Lamas belong. Dorje Shugden has become the symbolic centre-point of a conflict over the "purity" of the Gelug school and the inclusion of non-Gelug teachings, especially Nyingma ones.
Gedun Gyatso, also Gendun Gyatso Palzangpo, was considered posthumously to be the second Dalai Lama.
Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso was the 5th Dalai Lama and the first Dalai Lama to wield effective temporal and spiritual power over all Tibet. He is often referred to simply as the Great Fifth, being a key religious and temporal leader of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibet. Gyatso is credited with unifying all Tibet under the Ganden Phodrang after a Mongol military intervention which ended a protracted era of civil wars. As an independent head of state, he established relations with Qing Empire and other regional countries and also met early European explorers. Gyatso also wrote 24 volumes' worth of scholarly and religious works on a wide range of subjects.
The New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT—IKBU) is a global Buddhist new religious movement founded by Kelsang Gyatso in England in 1991. In 2003 the words "International Kadampa Buddhist Union" (IKBU) were added to the original name "New Kadampa Tradition". The NKT-IKBU is an international organisation registered in England as a charitable, or non-profit, company. It currently lists more than 200 centres and around 900 branch classes/study groups in forty countries.
Drepung Monastery, located at the foot of Mount Gephel, is one of the "great three" Gelug university gompas (monasteries) of Tibet. The other two are Ganden Monastery and Sera Monastery.
Khedrup Gelek Pelzang, 1st Panchen Lama – better known as Khedrup Je – was one of the main disciples of Je Tsongkhapa, whose reforms to Atiśa's Kadam tradition are considered the beginnings of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Monlam also known as The Great Prayer Festival, falls on 4th–11th day of the 1st Tibetan month in Tibetan Buddhism.
Kumbum Monastery, also called Ta'er Temple, is a Tibetan gompa in Lusar, Huangzhong County, Xining, Qinghai, China. It was founded in 1583 in a narrow valley close to the village of Lusar in the historical Tibetan region of Amdo. Its superior monastery is Drepung Monastery, immediately to the west of Lhasa. It is ranked in importance as second only to Lhasa.
Trülku Drakpa Gyeltsen (1619–1656) was an important Gelugpa lama and a contemporary of the 5th Dalai Lama (1617–1682). His Seat was the upper residence of Drepung Monastery, a famous Gelug gompa located near Lhasa.
The Third Trijang Rinpoche, Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (1901–1981) was a Gelug Lama and a direct disciple of Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo. He succeeded Ling Rinpoche as the junior tutor of the 14th Dalai Lama when the Dalai Lama was nineteen years old. He was also a lama of many Gelug Lamas who taught in the West including Zong Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten and Lama Yeshe. Trijang Rinpoche's oral teachings were recorded by Zimey Rinpoche in a book called the Yellow Book.
Panchen Sonam Dragpa,, (1478-1554) was the fifteenth Ganden Tripa or throneholder of Ganden Monastery. His texts form the core curriculum for the Loseling College of Drepung Monastic University, the Shartse College of the Ganden Monastic University, and several other Gelugpa monasteries. He was taught by the second Dalai Lama, and in turn later became the teacher of the third Dalai Lama.
Juniper Foundation is an organization that works to adapt and promote meditation tradition in the modern world. It was founded in 2003 by five individuals, Segyu Choepel Rinpoche, Hillary Brook Levy, Christina Juskiewicz, Pam Moriarty and Lawrence Levy. Juniper calls its approach "meditation tradition for modern life" and it emphasizes meditation, balancing emotions, cultivating compassion and developing insight as four building blocks of meditation training.
The Ganden Phodrang or Ganden Podrang was the Tibetan government that was established by the 5th Dalai Lama with the help of the Güshi Khan of the Khoshut in 1642. Lhasa became the capital of Tibet in the beginning of this period, with all temporal power being conferred to the 5th Dalai Lama by Güshi Khan in Shigatse. After the expulsion of the Dzungars, Tibet was under administrative rule of the Qing dynasty between 1720 and 1912, but the Ganden Phodrang government lasted until the 1950s, when Tibet was incorporated into the People's Republic of China. Kashag became the governing council of the Ganden Phodrang regime during the early Qing rule.
Jangsem Sherab Zangpo, also known as Jangsem Sherab Sangpo, (1395-1457) was a 15th-century Tibetan Buddhist monk and teacher, and one of the six contemporary disciples of Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of one of the newest school of Tibetan Buddhism, the Gelug school. He is crediting with establishing the famed Thikse Monastery and the remotely located Phugtal Monastery in Ladakh, in the North Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
And as we have seen in the previous chapter, the Ge-lug-pa sect in 1640, under its fifth Grand Lama, leapt into temporal power as the dominant sect in Tibet, and has ever since remained the Established Church for the country.
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