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Je Tsongkhapa (Je Rinpoche)

Tsongkhapa was born in the district of Tsongkha, meaning onion valley. Though his original time was Lodoi Dagpa. He is known with the name of "Je Rinpoche” or the “precious ruler” as his name reflects. In the northeastern Tibet, or Amdo district, where Tsongkhapa was born there was Kumbum monastery. At the very early age he received a consecretion from Rolpe Dorey who was the forth Gyalwa Karmapa (1340-1383), and as a boy of eight he received a further consecretion and an introduction to the disciplinary rules “Vinay” and to the Tantra, from a great spiritual friend named Dondup Rinchhen, who also gave him the monastic name Lopsang Takpa.

Guru Tsongkhapa Statue Guru Tsongkhapa Statue

At the age of sixteen Tsongkhapa went to central Tibet and for many years studied with famous teachers of Nyingma-pa, Sakya-pa, Kagyu-pa, Tshalpa, Phakmotupa, Shalupa and Kadampa. Especially influential were the Nyingma-pa Lekyi Dorjey, the Sakyapa Redapa, who was a disciple of the Sakyapa teacher Rongchong Rawe Senge and the Kadampa Lamas Chhokyap Sangpo and Bumapa, the last two being those who especially introduced him to the tradition derived from Atisha. The Lama Bumapa who was also said to have brought Tsongkhapa into mystic communication with the Bodhisatwa Manjushri, to whom Tsongkhapa turned for guidance at various points in his life. Tsongkhapa himself was also regarded as an incarnation of Manjushri, therefore sometimes Tsongkhapa is seen with the symbol of Manjusri but with yellow hat.

Tsongkhapa is the founder of Gelukpa Sect reforming the new Kadampa tradition.

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