By Tenzin Sangmo
Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 22: The Geluk International Foundation has announced that the foundation is observing 2019 as the “International Year of Tsongkhapa” to commemorate the 600th death anniversary of the great spiritual master, who died in 1419.
The General Secretary of Khenpo Lobsang Gyaltsen, at a press conference held today at Namgyal monastery, said, “We call upon all Gelukpas and all well-wishers to render their support spreading awareness of the eloquent teachings and writings of the great Master Tsongkhapa throughout the world and encourage Geluk monasteries, centres, organisers, individuals and admirers worldwide to initiate special activities throughout the year 2019.” The foundation recognizes the extraordinary contribution made to the world by the renowned 14th century Tibetan master Tsongkhapa, establisher of Geluk (Virtuous) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
About a dozen abbots from different Gelukpa monasteries were present at the press conference along with the two Geluk members of parliament, Geshe Lharampa Atuk Tsetan and Gowo Lobsang Phende.
A special seminar on Bhavaviveka's Essence of the Middle Way (Madhyamakahrdayakarika) was held from Jan 16-18, which was a part of the eleven different programs being organized through the year to mark the anniversary.
The other programs to follow are 600 million recitations of Migtsema, making of 1,000 statues of Je Tsongkhapa, 1,000 statues of Buddha Shakyamuni, book printing of the teaching of Je Tsongkhapa and his spiritual sons, analytical essay and poetry competition, teaching in Hong Kong and Malaysia, additional Monlam program, and a special seminar, the last two programs spilling into the next year.
Hailing from Amdo region of Tibet and known as “the Man from Onion Valley" or Tsongkhapa, he is known for his two main treatises, the Lamrim Chenmo and Ngakrim Chenmo which meticulously sets forth this graduated way and how one establishes oneself in the paths of sutra and tantra.
The Geluk International Foundation was formally registered under Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 in Delhi on 24th March 2005.