Who Was Lama Tsongkhapa?
Lama Tsongkhapa (1357-1419) was a Buddhist scholar and Mahasiddha who founded the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. His teachings emphasized study, morality and collected the best teachings from the existing schools of Buddhism in Tibet and from Indian Buddhist masters. He was a realized meditator and prolific writer and one of his works The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lamrim Chenmo) is one of the great classics of Buddhism. This outlines the gradual path to enlightenment, laying out the steps a practitioner must take in order to progress to enlightenment. Je Rinpoche’s compositions are famous for being exquisitely clear and paid particular attention to the most difficult points such as the perfection of concentration and highest yoga tantra completion stage practice.
According to Prof. Robert Thurman, “Tsongkhapa attained full enlightenment in 1398 and then taught for twenty-one years in such an intelligent, energetic, and charismatic way that his movement transformed the whole of Tibet and brought it into a genuine renaissance regarding its embodiment of the Dharma.”