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. Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, great ocean of good fortune for people of this world.
    He showed us how to rely on your spiritual guide and attain enlightment.
    May all been have the opportunity to practice his pure Dharma.

  2. Dear Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso,
    Thank you for the highest of giving
    Dharma. May your life be stable
    and before too long may we all
    attain the highest attainment.
    Om Ah Hung

  3. I would not be alive today without the Buddha Dharma that Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Because of the Busddha Dharma that he brought forth I learned that how precious is our human life. The impermance of things, the two truths, that all living beings are our kind mothers and we must exchange ourselves for others. I try to keep the six prefections with everything I do in this life.

  4. There is not a moment that goes by that I am not grateful for the teachings Geshe-la has given to me. I cannot imagine a life without this precious presentation

  5. Thank you Geshe-la!!! :) ))))))))))

  6. I feel happy to meet this page

  7. I am grateful for the teachings I have received from Venerable Kelsang Gyatso. He is so humble and His teachings are so accessible to the western student. Thank you with all my heart


    Translation: OM, salutations venrable teacher of the holy darhma: geshe-la, you are the protector of darhma, the seed of the essence of enlightment, please stay here!

    I offer this prayer to you so you may continue to turn the wheel of dharma for us.

  9. Thank you Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatzo Rinpoche!!!! May You stay for many years with us, to still help many more sentient beings with your teachings and inspiring blessings. May I be able to fullfil your wishess. Thank You Lama!!!

  10. Good to see tributes to the Gelug Masters who still worship Dorje Shugden. However, these tributes seem a little two-faced. On one hand you pay tribute to Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, on the other hand you show “BBC – An Unholy Row” on your videos, this piece of propaganda aired by the BBC in 1998 plays right into the Dalai Lama’s hands and does little to promote the worship of Dorje Shugden.

  11. Dear Geshe La,
    Thank you for appearing in this world!
    Thank you for re-appearing in this world the Pure Ganden Oral Lineage!
    Thank you for hooking the ring of my mind with the hook of your Great Compassion!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  12. I live in México, and for the past 2 years i have been attending regularly to Avalokiteshvara center near México City Downtown.
    I cannot express how thankful i am for the teachings i received in this NKT center. The understanding and acceptance of impermanence, that all things keep changing, the love and genuine interest that we need to give to our fellow living beings, the peace of mind with meditation, the friends i have made there………… Thank you Geshela for being such a wonderful soul, and have the generosity for share your experience and knowledge with us all.

  13. He is a fake Geshe and a thief. He was kicked out from Sera. How can someone give tribute to this man.

  14. This old man with a monk robe was not a real Geshe. People in this world, please ask Sera Jey monastery abbot and administration. This is Sera Jey monastery website. http://www.serajeymonastery.org/portal/ Here is phone number of Sera Jey monastery administration +91-8223-258435; 258035 And this is e-mail contact= [email protected] Mr Kelsang was already dismiss from Sera Jey monastery with nine black clap & black ritual. He bring us only shame in Tibetan society. Please investigate this old man and then decide.

  15. @thetruedalailama – I think the point of that is to give people a full understanding of the ban? If you want to talk about promoting the worship of Dorje Shugden, I think this whole website is doing that so to find fault with a coupla videos here and there strikes me as being a little petty.

    @john – and yet, this “fake” Geshe has done much more to spread the Dharma than you have. Without any smarminess whatsoever, let me ask you this – what centres have you set up? Who have you taught? Who have you inspired to give up their samsaric life to take ordination? If you havent, I suggest perhaps you ought to exercise a little more respect towards Geshe-la even if you dont agree with what he practises. People who break their vows and misuse Buddhadharma will never be able to achieve the kind of success that Geshe-la has achieved in spreading Tsongkhapas tradition.

  16. We should not miss the opportunity to receive teachings and blessings from a qualified Buddhist Master.
    It´s up to our mind to qualify anyone. Our mind is the origin.
    I prefer to believe he is a pure Buddhism Teacher.

    In the West , Jesus Christ was pleaded guilty and crucified together with thieves…
    what an awful mistake !

  17. I give much praise to Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche for his introduction to Buddhism, and all the forms that he and his organization developed to teach me (us Western folks) which made it fun and yet serious. His books and his organization (the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT)) has definitely got me thinking about Dharma. I have studied Joyful Path of Good Fortune (the Lamrim as outlined and explained by Je Tsongkhapa and taught by Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche) and a few other books by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. His books are all based on the teachings he received directly from his teacher Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and through his meditation on the works of his lineage teachers Je Phabongkhapa, Je Tsongkhapa, Gampopa, Atisha, Shantideva, Nagarjuna, and the Buddha Shakyamuni (I skipped a bunch in between). I have learned so much in a few years of study with the NKT and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s books, yet I must admit that I still know nothing, so I practice whatever I can. I am glad to see that grateful people (grateful for the teachings presented through the NKT) around the world are working to protect the dharma and so are manifesting as Dorje Shugden by creating websites such as this one. Still much more left to do. I wish continued awareness of the issues and increased tolerance and acceptance around the world for the practices and those who practice them can do so safely and that they benefit all Buddhist communities and non-Buddhist too.

  18. Thank you for paying homage to my spiritual teacher. As written in “Great Treasury of Merit” the Spiritual Guide is “our mother who cares for us and cherishes us, our father who provides us with all we need and protects us from danger, like the moon that cools the heat of the delusions in our mental continuum, and like the sun that dispels the darkness of ignorance in our mind. He is a kind benefactor who gives us the priceless gift of Dharma.”
    Thank you Venerable Geshe-la!

  19. Venerable Geshe-la has been supremely kind to myself and all the beings of this modern world. He has introduced Modern Buddhism into this world as a completely free ebook for everyone (www.emodernbuddhism.com)-this includes the entire path of sutra and tantra. What supreme kindness, equanimity and selflessness.

    Without Venerable Geshe-la I would know nothing about Dharma. I would not be trying to achieve the real meaning of my human life. As someone else has also said, I would probably be dead or in a great deal of suffering if not for the kind actions and prayers of this Guru and other holy Gurus. I am protected from the lower realms only through their kindness and have an opportunity to create pure karma every day by living at his Dharma center and trying to help in whatever way I can.

    He is truly a great knowledge hero who has arisen from an ocean of wisdom. Venerable Guru, may you live for a very long time!

  20. May I be forever your humble servant!

  21. From Canada: Deep gratitude for his compassion and teachings, opening our hearts and mind to wisdom:
    On Reality-
    “The things that normally appear do not exist”
    On Purpose-
    “Devloping compassion and wisdom, and helping those in need whenever possible, is the true meaning of life”

  22. Thank you Geshe-la, your immeasurable compassion and pure example have changed my life completely

  23. From South America! :)

  24. @a dog:

    Thank you very much for writing to us. We are glad to hear that Geshe-la’s book changed your life. We hope you don’t mind, but we wish to share the link to this book on our website so that many more will benefit from Geshe-la’s knowledge and insight.

    Thank you,
    DS Admin

  25. Geshe-la is a truly precious teacher. He has taught me how to have meaning in my life. Before I met his teachings I wondered everyday what life was all about. There had to be something more than getting up everyday, working all your life and then just dying. Geshe-la teaches clearly how to have a meaningful life, how to be happy. How he lives his life is so pure. He is so humble and so wise. There is no greater Dharma teacher in our time.

  26. Dear Geshe-la, Thank you so much for helping all of us learn another way
    of life and for your love.
    Blessings, Sangwang

  27. Dear Geshe-la, I am eternally grateful for you and all your teachings that have brought peace to my soul. Thank you for the selfless and dedicated work that you do for us and this world! We all love you, Denise :)

  28. Venerable Geshe-La thank life have coincided in time and space with you. I appreciate and rejoice that you share, teach and transmit this immense Buddhist knowledge to get out of samsara. Know and understand that attachment, self-grasping and ignorance are some of our major enemies are wonderful because our life change. Thank you for being and living. Gina

  29. It is definitely a lot of hard work and dedication having faced so much challenges from within the Tibetan monastic community as well as to face a whole new culture to reestablish the Buddha’s teachings in a foreign land.

    Through Geshela’s hard work and overcoming adversities have become a beacon of light of many people to find peace and solace with themselves in the face of spirituality.

    May Geshela live up to 1000 years to continue turning the wheel of the Dhama!

  30. Words are not enough as they are empty, my life changed is sooooo many positive ways since seeing / listeng to pure Dharma from Geshle La’s pure mind, I’m trying hard to except and rid myself of delusions with Geshe La & Dorje’s help – may I always come under your lovely care. xxxxxxx

  31. Obrigada querido Geshe-la por me ensinar o caminho.
    Que possa viver por muito tempo difundindo a doutrina e ajudando milhares de seres.
    ” Segura-me com o gancho de sua compaixão” e me abençoe sempre.

  32. Without Geshe-la I would not have come to rely upon Je Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden. His Dharma centres are special holy places, offering doorways to inner peace for all who visit them.

  33. Thank you Geshe-la for your continued teachings….I work on getting rid of Anger, Attachment and Ignorance every day…..

  34. Thank you Geshe-la for your compassion and your teachings. You have my eternal gratitude. May the holy dharma flourish forevermore.

  35. To VGKG
    I dedicate all my lives. May I forever be in his loving care.

  36. May I never be separated from my Spiritual Guide Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso! you are showing me the path to liberation and enlightenment, you are my guide and best friend. Your teachings are so precious! May you live for a very long time and continue to turn the wheel of Dharma, so that many can benefit.

  37. Eternally I go for refuge to my most kind spiritual guide geshe kelsang. I pray Dorje Shugden leads all living beings to full enlightenment xxx

  38. I love The Dharma Kadam, My life is amazing because it.

  39. May all sufferings, obstacles and anger of sentient beings ripen on me, and that my merits become the direct cause of his perfect happiness, this as a sublime gift to my Spiritual Guide. Your works show your immaculate qualities more than thousand words and Gueshe’s titles.

  40. Thank you Geshe-la for making my life meaningful.

    With you the world becomes a pure land .

  41. Thank you VGKG,
    Your hook of wisdom found me, you have transformed my life. I was blessed to be born at a time when pure Dharma exists, to be ordained by you and held in your loving care.
    You have shown the only true way to happiness, thank you from the depths of my hearth. May you remain with us for a very long time and may your devoted students continue to share these blessed teachings.

  42. a mon bien aimé guide spirituel,Guéshé- la,je t ai rencontré depuis peu et pourtant,j ai l impression de te connetre depuis tres longtemps…tu a illuminé ma vie,avec cette rencontre j ai retrouvé le dharma et une sangha!tous les mots du monde ne seront pas assez forts pour exprimer ma gratitude!!!alors,tout simplement et humblement,je te dis merci!!!

  43. Geshela- there are no words… so I will show my gratitude and devotion to you by putting your teachings into practice faithfully for as long as I live.

  44. Dear Geshe-la,
    You have changed my life and inpired me principally to love others, even when it’s hard. I will keep working on this until I become nothing but pure love.

  45. I read a few books by Geshe Kalsang Gyaltso, especially his commentary on Heart Sutra and 8 Path to Happiness. No doubt he is a great scholar and teacher.

    I am so sad that why Geshe la focus on Shugden deity. I feel Geshe La could have became truly second to the Dalai Lama if he stopped Shugden and focus on his other works. Why didn’t someone at the Center advicsed him that?

    Imagine Geshe La no Shugden controversy? Where would he be today?

    I felt that that he was perhaps controlled by a few fanatics. I could be wrong.

    Dharma friends, imagine Geshe la without the Shugden issue?

    Now his image is further turnished by the most ruthless few Tibetans in US. These Tibetans, I met some of them, are really out of their mind. One of them told me that he would kill anyone if they even question about rethinking NKC approach. We were horrified.

  46. Dear New Kadampa Friends:

    I feel that we should move from Shugden to other most sacred and profound teaching that Geshe la’s oral lineage holds; both Tantra and Sutra.

    New Kadampa should focus on practicing and showing result of the Completion state of Chakrasambhaba that Geshe la teaches. Focusing on Vajrayogini practices, of heat and other issues.

    For the outsiders, we are nothing but a bunch of Shugden protesters. Is that what we want?

    Besides, the look of the Shugden’s scary face does not give us a peaceful practitioner.

    Please think about it. We should not be used by those hologan Tibetan Shugden followers. They are really ruthless bunch and I know few of them.

    We should focus on those higher teachings. No?

    In Chinese we have a saying, if you stay with god, the devils will worship you but if you fall out they would destroy you. If we stay with the Geshe la those great teachings, the teachings will protect us and people will show us respect.

  47. As soon as I heard him speak I heard scholarship, intelligence, good humour and honesty. He only teaches Buddhist meditation and view, nothing else. I honour him as my second father.

  48. Geshe la’s teaching is great. But I don’t like Shugden protest. Since the Shugden protest, I have to hide my real identify among my friends. I am worried that people label me as a devil worshipper.

    Some of the comments above had the same touch. We need to move away from Shugden protest to practice. Do some real community work to give people the real benefit of our teacher’s teaching.

    The protesters I found are not deep in their practice. They don’t represent Geshe la neither Kadampa tradition.

    It is not too late that we change our course or we will loose a lots of friends and members. I talked about this with other members. They all hide their teacher in public. Most of them never talk about Shugden issue because it is not important to them. When we talk about Geshe la’s teaching people light up but as soon as the Shugden issue raised, people shy away and change their topic. This is members at the Center, imagine. Not mention outside.

  49. Dear readers, dear Geshe-la, dear Shugdenites,

    I cannot add much to what has been said as regards Geshe-la’s incomprehensible spiritual activities, his unceasing effort, kindness and wisdom and the positive impact he and his tradition have had in my life. I pray that his teachings remain for a long time and that he continues to teach us until we achieve enlightenment.

    I do not agree with liu Han – assimilation to a political agenda is not an appropriate solution. But, for what it’s worth, I would like to take this opportunity to point out that the NKT – a tradition Geshe-la has worked very hard at – is in an incredibly bad and unstable condition due to the unfounded, uneducated and ignorant actions of many of its members. It fills me with great sadness to see more and more people turning away from this tradition as they are sick and tired of dealing with political quarrelling and loud demonstrations that aim to defame another lama and ruin his teachings for his disciples. Please, all you Kadampas, make no mistake about it: You are single handedly destroying this tradition.

    Has the unrest over the Shugden ban been reduced in the last eighteen years? No. Has the NKT annexed and isolated itself from Tibetan Buddhism en large? Yes. We have no more common ground or friendship with our brothers and sisters from other Buddhist traditions, all due to the completely wrong, childish and contradictory way in which the so-called International Shugden Society has handled this political issue. An issue, by the way, that was caused by a bunch of Tibetan lamas quite some time ago and has nothing to do with us. I highly doubt a single Kadampa has ever been told they can’t practice Dorje Shugden.

    I am convinced that Geshe Kelsang has never promoted his followers to a) go out on a Dalai Lama witchhut – without knowing a thing about the whole issue, background and history (which none of them do), nor to b) use his establishment of Kadampa Dharma as a platform for a schismic, political issue.

    I am therefore convinced, that Geshe Kelsang has some terrible advisors, that there are some incredibly zealous and ambitious people at the top of the NKT with bad motivations and that these people are running the tradition in to the ground. It is very, very sad.

    Unfortunately, I am right here. You will see in five years.

    In conclusion, this takes nothing away from my Guru, who I view as an emanation of Buddha. All Buddhas appear in this world according to our karma, needs and wishes, but also according to our delusions, of course. Dear Geshe-la, may you continue to teach us, guide us and help us see the hypocricy in and damage caused by our actions.

  50. I have always very much loved Geshe-la and his teachings. But already in my early years, in the 90s, I notice problems in the way nkt people are as group, how they behave. There is too much group-mentality, and is true what maik108 says, they have become to much isolated from main body of Buddhism and gelugpas. I think because they are not encouraged to study Buddhism in general, or to read books by other autors, they are not well informed or have much knowledge. I have had many fantastic teachers and guides but many many teachers in nkt are simply not enough knowledge of Buddhism and experience in meditation. Too much promotion of young and ignorant people to become teachers…! The problem is, in future, younger generations will carry this tradition and will have not much authentic power. Finally, are we studying and practice ‘buddhism’ or ‘nkt-ism’?

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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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