A Tribute to Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Few Buddhist masters have had as extensive an impact on the Buddhist world at large than Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. With over 1,100 Buddhist centers (and growing) across both the Eastern and Western hemispheres, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has brought the Dharma to places which may otherwise never have exposure to Buddhism.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is one of the last Greats, that last generation of immaculate teachers, scholars and monks who left Tibet and brought with him the perfect lineage of teachings that are being upheld today. Ordained since the young age of 8, Geshe-la studied for many years under the father of all Lamas today, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, before he eventually left Tibet to live in India among the exiled Tibetan community.

Living in exile never deterred him from his practice and spiritual determination. Having brought only two Buddhist scriptures with him during his escape Geshe-la endured the hardships of a new country to settle into his monastery, where he taught and did retreats for 18 long years.

Under the guidance of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Lama Yeshe – another of the greatest pioneering Buddhist teachers in the West – invited Geshela to join him in England to teach. Again, he would start a new life in a completely foreign land, teaching in a place and to a people who were only beginning to know the existence Buddhism.

Against all odds, Geshe-la has built the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) organisation to what it is today – a spiritual institution that has centers in every major city in the world, that publishes thousands of books of his teachings and that only continues to grow.

Geshe-la maintains the perfect lineage as passed to him by his own teacher, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. His centers throughout the world promote and uphold the most sacred teachings of the Gelug lineage – Tsongkhapa, Vajrayogini and Dorje Shugden.

By his tireless efforts in bringing these practices to the world to help beings everywhere, he is now the most widely-known Gelugpa Lama in the world, second only to the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. Bookstores throughout the world carry his books and thousands of people from all over flock to the NKT headquarters in the Lake District, England to attend their globally famous summer festival and teachings each year.

While there are many Lamas all around the world creating tremendous change, few have reached out to as many people from as many countries, backgrounds and cultures as Geshe-la has. At www.dorjeshugden.com, we rejoice in his continuous and enormous contribution to making Dharma so widely accepted in the world today.

From a single Geshe from Tibet, thousands of practitioners, monks, nuns, scholars and Dharma teachers have emerged; further, tens of thousands of students have also been introduced into the authentic Buddhist lineage, studying at introductory, intermediate and advanced levels.

We celebrate the thousands more students now and in the future who are being introduced to Dharma through Geshe-la’s extensive study programs and the beautiful Sangha that flourish throughout his organisation.

All of us at dorjeshugden.com make this virtual offering of a butterlamp to the incomparable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, requesting him to remain for another 1,000 years to continue turning the wheel of Dharma and benefiting countless beings.

This is the first of the many tributes of Dorje Shugden lamas that we at DorjeShugden.com will be offering. Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is the first. We will do similar tributes in the near future, with dedications for the long life of these great lamas. We invite any information, background, history, pictures, memoirs, etc of lamas who are champions of our lineage. Please leave your ideas, thoughts, pictures etc in the comments section below.

Admin: We are sure that Geshela has had a tremendous and deep impact on thousands of practitioners everywhere. If you have had any experiences or wish to exchange any thoughts about Geshela, we invite you to please share them with everyone here – either in writings or pictures. We would love to hear your experiences and celebrate in what you have to share.

Many people would be inspired to hear your views, thoughts, sharings and perhaps encounters with this great 21st century Master of Sutra and Tantra.

Please take note that the comments section is able to accept pictures and links to videos as well as text.

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  1. I met Geshe la when NKT was being built. The group was small but incredibly enthusiastic, highly spirited and want to give every bit of energy to study, meditate and help Geshe la.

    At that time, funny really, no mention of Shugden. Geshe la would teach lamrim and mind training. We will gather for sunday pot luck and you see smiles from everyone’s faces, shire joy, delight and amazement to Geshe la’s knowledge and dedication.

    Now look at what happened. Geshe la told me recently that he has never dared to sleep in one room for years for fear of taking his life away by either anti-Shugden factions or the zealous disciples who will loose everything if the struggle is ended. Geshe la is scared of the anti-shugden as much as the zealous fanatics at NKT most of whom he does not know.

    What shall we do now? Is there any solution to this problem?

  2. No, there is no solution I think. The only possibility would be if part of our lineage split off into another institution, in order to preserve Geshe-la’s teachings, example and lineage in a new, non-political and non-NKT context. But this would be difficult legally and I don’t believe many followers would be brave enough to see it through.

    I and my friends miss Geshe-la very much. We pray for his wellbeing, health and continued guidance and find absolutely no ground in the allegations raised against him by people such as Bob Thurman or the NKT survivors. But sadly, we can see that the activities of the NKT institution are fueling the negative view the world has on them. Also, the institution is becoming ever more business-like, with the costs of classes and festivals increasing tremendously and a never-ending stream of new editions to books, CDs, sadhanas and thangkas being produced.

    It feels as if something unimaginably beautiful has been destroyed by the ignorance of the masses

  3. As far as I can see, with twelve years of experience of the dear old beige NKT, the organisation is still perfectly straightforward and has fewer problems than ever. If the Dalai Lama were merely trying in a rarefied academic way to mess around with Dharma Protectors, perhaps there might be some cause to criticise Geshe-la for doing something about it. But it is not that simple.

    The Dalai Lama is unscrupulous and nefarious in using his powers as a God-King to manipulate and intimidate people into following his so-called “advice”. He is trampling on people’s religious rights, their access to employment and their acceptance within their own society.

    Furthermore his religious activities are not just some dry debate within the Gelugpa. He has interfered deeply in the traditional relationship between teacher and student, interrupted many lineages, defamed teachers who were previously recognised as of good conduct and great intelligence, corrupted Tibetan religious and secular society by rewarding toadies, recognises no religious authority higher than his own brutal ego, and perhaps worst of all goes around the world teaching a platitudinous pudding which has no method, no power and no chance of causing real change in people’s lives and works, since he does not regard Tibetan meditation as suitable for mere Westerners and would rather stroke their vague liberal consciences.

    Politically, the Dalai Lama is a medieval anachronism, doing absolutely nothing for the millions of people still trying to live an ordinary life in Chinese Tibet other than inciting fiercely punished rebellion and suicide. He has also achieved nothing for the Tibetans in India, keeping them within his fiefdom by encouraging the fear of losing of their cultural heritage rather than encouraging them to grow beyond the ghetto and become full members of Indian society. Within the Tibetan enclave he denies them any chance of democracy, a system in which there is such a thing as legal and respected opposition, unthinkable under his rule even after his much-trumpeted “retirement” from politics which has produced zero dissent and debate.

    THIS is the heap of malice and stupidity which makes the cause of protecting purely religious lineages and teachings from political vandalism something worth participating in. THIS is the cause for which Geshe-la risks his life and reputation. THIS is the brave and idealistic protest which makes cynics and defeatists sadly shake their heads and close their doors rather than dare admit the evil that is being done.

  4. We are very fortunate to be have such a attain lama that resides in this era to turn the wheel of Dharma, without this teacher the Dharma will not florist and more people will suffer. Thank you DS.com for continuously update us and bring the Dharma to more people around the world.

  5. Yea fuck u and all u people protesting everywhere in the world. U shud be shamed ofurself. Fucking retards

  6. Dear DS.com

    Thank you for the article. Many years ago, I became attracted to Buddhism after reading Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Book’s – Introduction to Buddhism. His explanation was so clear and I was very much addicted to the book.

    I am amazed that how one person can inspire so many lives and devoted students who happily carry his lineage and build hundreds of centre around the world.

    The other thing that makes me admire him more is he was courageous in defending his faith although it means to be at odds with the Dalai Lama and his followers. Although he had suffered backlash because of that, but he sent a powerful example to the world that nothing is more precious than his guru’s instructions and lineage.

    I folded my hand to the Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso


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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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