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Je Tsongkhapa Thangka


A stunning hand painted Je Tsongkhapa Thangka made in Bhaktapur Nepal and painted with gold and silver details

22 by 17 on canvas suitable for framing

Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), (Tsong-kha), referring to his birthplace in Tsongkha, Amdo; literally translating as Onion Valley with (Pa), meaning man, together is often misinterpreted to mean the 'Man from Onion Valley," however according to Tibetologist Glenn H. Mullin, Tsongkhapa as a proper name, was likely never intended to be literally translated, was a famous teacher of Tibetan Buddhism whose activities led to the formation of the Geluk school. He is also known by his ordained name Lobsang Drakpa (blo bzang grags pa) or simply as Je Rinpoche (rje rin po che).

Tsongkhapa heard Buddha’s teachings from masters of all Tibetan Buddhist traditions, and received lineages transmitted in the major schools.[1]

His main source of inspiration was the Kadampa tradition, the legacy of Atiśa. Based on Tsongkhapa’s teaching, the two distinguishing characteristics of the Gelug tradition are:

  • The union of Sutra and Tantra, and
  • The emphasis on the step by step graduated way to enlightenment along the three principal aspects of the path (a genuine wish for liberation, generation of bodhicitta and insight into emptiness)

In his two main treatises (lam rim chen mo and sngags rim chen mo) Tsongkhapa meticulously sets forth this graduated way and how one establishes oneself in the sutric and tantric paths.