The Great Kadampa Teachers
Kadampa Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (AD 982-1054). Atisha presented Buddha’s teachings in a practical way, emphasizing the basic views and intentions necessary to accomplish realizations on the path to liberation and enlightenment. These teachings are known as the Lamrim (Lamp on the Path).
By integrating their understanding of all Buddha’s teachings into their practice of Lamrim, and by integrating their experience of Lamrim into their everyday lives, Kadampas learn to use Buddha’s teachings as practical methods for transforming daily activities into the path to enlightenment.
After Atisha, the Kadampa lineage was passed down through a succession of great Kadampa Teachers including Dromtönpa, Geshe Potowa, Geshe Sharawa, and Geshe Chekhawa. These precious Teachers were not only great scholars but also spiritual practitioners of immense purity and sincerity. They placed particular emphasis on the practice of Training the Mind (Lojong) by which all our daily life experiences—and especially all our problems, suffering, and difficulties—can be transformed into the spiritual path.
The New Kadampas
The Kadampa lineage passed from generation to generation until the fourteenth century, when it reached the great Buddhist Master Losang Dragpa, known as Je Tsongkhapa. Atisha and his disciples left only brief instructions of Lamrim and Lojong, and Je Tsongkhapa clarified and integrated all of these teachings so that they became very accessible to the people of that time.
In particular, he showed how to combine Lamrim, and Lojong with Mahamudra Tantra in a unified daily practice. Just as the union of study and practice was a hallmark of the early Kadampas, so the union of Sutra and Tantra was to become a hallmark of the New Kadampas, as the followers of Je Tsongkhapa became known.
Modern Kadampa Buddhism
After Je Tsongkhapa, the New Kadampa lineage flourished for hundreds of years, and thousands of practitioners have accomplished enlightenment through receiving his blessings and following his clear instructions.
Now, the contemporary Buddhist Master, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, has brought new purity to this tradition by developing the unsurpassed New Kadampa Tradition – Kadampa Buddhist Union. (NKT-IKBU). By relying sincerely on his own Spiritual Guide, Trijang Dorjechang Rinpoche, and Dorje Shugden, the chief Dharma Protector of Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition, Geshe Kelsang has established a presentation of Kadam Dharma for the modern world.
There are hundreds of Centres throughout the world and more than a thousand groups practicing Modern Kadampa Buddhism with his compassionate guidance. Each Centre is led by a trained and qualified Resident Teacher who leads the spiritual program that includes study, prayer and practice according to the authentic Kadam Dharma.